Pinpoint Pest Control Blog

Integrated Pest Management Serving North San Diego County for over 40 Years.

Getting Rid of a Rodent Infestation on Your Own

Getting rid of a rodent infestation on your own can be tricky. Rodents are common pests and when they are attracted to a certain area, they tend to stay put. However, there are a few steps you can take to eliminate a rodent infestation. Here are some tips. 

Clean Up

Rodents are often attracted to an area because of food debris in that area. These furry nuisances are always looking for something to eat, and as long as they know food is available in your backyard, they will keep coming. The same goes for other waste, leaves and other yard debris. Rodents are always in search of shelter, so they will make a nest out of clumps of leaves or woodpiles in your yard. The most effective thing you can do is to clean the area thoroughly and get rid of any trash and debris. If your yard or home is shipshape, rodents are much less likely to stick around. 

Use Rodent Traps

If you constantly see rodents scuttering around, try using traps. Some people don’t like to use rodent traps because they usually kill the rodents, but it is certainly an effective means of mitigating the problem. You can also purchase humane traps that do just what they say: trap the unwanted guests without harming them, allowing you to release them into the wild.  

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Why Do Bees Build Nests Near Your Home?

Mid-March to early July is considered the typical bee swarming season in the United States. During this season, bees begin collecting pollen to feed and store for the upcoming winter season.

At this point, the hive population is abundant because the queen bee ensures a workforce large enough to sustain the colony. Consequently, the hive can become overcrowded, causing the group to split into two separate colonies. This action puts many homeowners at risk of getting unwanted hives on their properties.

The group of bees that will leave will be in search of a suitable area to nest, which can sometimes be a home. Structures, buildings and other objects that provide shelter on a property can become new homes for bee colonies.

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Common Signs of Termites in Your Home

Termites nest in the subsoil, since there they find the humidity and temperature necessary for their survival. They are quiet and do a thorough job. They build galleries through which they reach the wood or cellulose they will use as food. They also do not like light, so they will always try to be hidden from view. This means that they may be attacking your property without you even knowing it.  

So, it is crucial that you periodically inspect your property in an effort to detect them as soon as possible. Here we show you the most common signs of the presence of termites in your home.

Four Major Signs to Know That You Have Termites in Your Home

  • Tunnels or mud roads: Look for tunnels or mud paths on surfaces such as walls, ceilings, floors, beams, etc.
  • A large amount of soil: Check if there is a large amount of soil accumulated inside the galleries of the affected wood.
  • Winged termites: Look for dark-colored winged termites in spring. 
  • Wood: When you lift wood that was in direct contact with the ground and find termites there, they are likely in your home, too. 

Other Signs That Indicate the Presence of This Pest

Here are some less common signs that you may have termites in your home: 

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Different Types of Spiders found in San Diego, CA

Despite popular belief, most spiders found in and around your home are harmless. In fact, many spiders actually help with natural pest control by preying on the garden and household insects that can potentially infest your home or yard. 

That being said, there are still several venomous spiders that have the potential to harm humans found in and around the San Diego area. How do you tell the difference? Here’s a handy guide to identifying harmful spiders that you may encounter near or around your home.

Black Widow Spider

Found across North America, adult female Black Widow Spiders have a venomous bite. Typical specimens are approximately half an inch long without including the reach of their legs. Their abdomen is a shiny black with a red hourglass figure standing out prominently on the underside. 

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Identifying Different Types of Ticks

Ticks are a mysterious species of pests. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are common in North America. Despite their regularity, these little guys are troublesome regardless of species. They feed off the blood of mammals and can spread diseases. Some ticks are simply annoying to deal with, while others are a bit more dangerous. Here, we will take a look at some of the different types of ticks one may encounter.

Brown Dog Ticks 

Brown dogs ticks are the most common tick species found in North County. Typically found on pets or people, they are known for hanging near the yard of your home. Like most ticks, brown dog ticks run the risk of carrying diseases. If you are bitten by a brown dog tick you should get cleared by a medical professional to make sure you are not infected. 

Soft Ticks

If you have ever seen a bug crawling around that looks like a big brownish raisin, it was likely a Soft Tick. These are common across the western United States as well as parts of Canada. Fortunately, the bite from a soft tick is painless. Still, they are best to avoid and get rid of when found inside of the home. Despite a non-painful bite, Soft Ticks carry tick-borne relapsing fevers. Since the bite is painless, many people are unaware of when they are bitten. If you encounter one, briefly check yourself for signs of a bite. 

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Key Factors of a Rodent Infestation

Having a rodent infestation can mean as few as five or as many as five hundred. Granted, if you have more than twenty rodents running around your home, you already have a very big problem that is readily visible to Pinpoint exterminators. However, some people can live years in a house without knowing that their attics and walls have many busy and unwanted inhabitants.

There are some key factors of rodent infestation that every exterminator looks for. Before you can even begin a rodent control program, the exterminator has to walk through, around and look into many spaces in your home to determine how serious your rodent problem is. These key factors are as follows.

High Grass and Weeds Around the Property

When you leave your yard au naturel for a long time, that is exactly the kind of ground cover rodents love. It hides them from most predators and allows them to move quickly out in the open. If you have a lot of weeds, brush and/or high grass, this is the first of many areas where our exterminators will look.

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How Ants Enter Your Home

Given their tiny size and tenacious nature, ants are easily one of the most pervasive pests. Once a scout ant finds a viable food source and reports back to the colony, it opens the floodgates for an endless stream of foraging ants to make their way into your home.

Understanding how ants enter your home is vital to slowing their advance and saving your property from undue damage. Pinpoint Full Service Pest Control is here to help you identify and educate you on this phenomenon. Here, we will discuss what to look for when you start to notice ants in your home so that you can take proactive measures to keep them outside where they belong.

How Ants Create Trails

As mentioned, ants often deploy scouts to find food sources and efficient routes to get to them. If allowed to make it back to the colony, they create a scent trail for other ants to follow. If you notice a large amount of ants in your kitchen or elsewhere in the home, study their movements and see if there is an organized line they follow. This will identify areas to clean, as removing the scent trail disrupts their movements.

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What You Need to Know About Silverfish

Don’t let the name fool you — silverfish aren’t aquatic animals living far from your house. They are dangerous small insects that can destroy wooden surfaces in your home. The main issue with ridding yourself of silverfish infestations is that they’re particularly difficult to spot and identify. Luckily, a little bit of information goes a long way. Here’s what you need to know about silverfish to identify and prevent them.

Silverfish Appearance

Silverfish are tiny, about 12-19 millimeters in length. You can spot them by their small, wingless, carrot-shaped bodies and the three filaments coming from their tail. They’re difficult to find since they are mostly nocturnal and run away from light. But, they often get stuck on smooth surfaces since they can’t grip and climb them. If you can get a hold of one, silverfish leave a metallic sheen on your finger to help you identify them. 

Silverfish Habitat and Diet

Since silverfish love the dark, they are mostly found in basements and attics. Sometimes, they can be found in bathrooms and kitchens since they also thrive in humid environments. They tend to hang around areas with lots of exposed, unfinished wood, which is their main source of food. Sometimes silverfish will destroy fabrics, but they mainly eat wood products and the glue that holds them together. Any places where you store cardboard boxes, like garages, are also possible breeding grounds for these insects. 

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The Dangers of Mosquitoes

If someone asked you what the most dangerous animal on earth was, what would you say? It may come to a surprise to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the mosquito to be “one of the world’s most deadly animals”.

Mosquitoes may look like your average, annoying pest, but they are not. In fact, they can be quite dangerous at times. Let’s take a closer look at mosquitoes and the dangers they pose.

Male vs Female Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are different from other insects because males and females go after different feeds. They both require water and will feed on nectar. However, when females go through the reproductive cycle, they seek out blood to supplement their diet with more protein.

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Pest Control for Property Rentals

Pests are an unwelcome addition no matter what type of property they find their way into. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to keep your tenants and property safe. Pests can cause many problems for everyone. They disrupt your current tenants and can reflect poorly on you as a landlord. You need to work together with your tenants to help prevent and eliminate pests.

Who is Responsible for Pest Control?

When it comes to pest control, everyone is responsible:

While building maintenance is primarily the responsibility of the landlord, tenants have to shoulder some of it as well. Tenants are the ones living there and their actions may be attracting pests. If they are leaving food out or failing to take out the trash, they could be expected to pay for pest control. If the tenants' lease agreements state that they are required to clean and maintain the inside of their units, this conclusion is verifiable.

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California’s Most Invasive Spiders

The most invasive spiders in California are the brown widow spider, the black widow spider the desert recluse. These spiders are large and very noticeable, so if you have one in your home, you will definitely notice. These spiders thrive in warm climates, which is why they have spread throughout California.

The Brown Widow Spider

The brown widow spider was first found in California in 2000. Today, the species is common throughout Central and Southern California. The brown widow is originally from Africa although it does have established populations in parts of Australia, Japan and some Caribbean Islands.

The brown widow is a combination of tan and brown colors along with black accents. Its bite is very minor in comparison to that of a black widow, although humans can still experience painful symptoms. Headaches and nausea are very common if bitten by this spider, and some people need to be hospitalized because they lose consciousness.

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5 Most Common Rodents You Can Find in Your Home

A rodent in the home is never a welcomed sight. They are small, fast and can get to just about anywhere in the house. Plus, they can be a little gross. There is a reason people usually screech when they see a rat or mouse in their home. Unfortunately, they are all too common of a pest. But, how do you know what kind of rodents you are dealing with? There are all different types of rodents in the world. However, some appear more often than others. So, let’s take a look at some of the more common ones you may come across in your home.

House Mouse

The house mouse is far and away the most common rodent you will encounter, hence the name. >They have that typical “mouse look” to them with large circular ears, a small nose, and a tail as long as their body. They feed on almost anything, which allows them to survive in a wide array of conditions. A house mouse is not particularly dangerous or harmful, just fast and curious.

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Tips for Industrial Pest Control

All industrial buildings are different. Each creates different products, offers different services and employs different people. Because of this, there is no one size fits all protocol when it comes to pest control. Keep reading for five helpful pest control tips.

1-Seal Cracks Around the Building

Most industrial buildings are large and therefore it can be difficult to know if you have a pest control issue. You most likely will have unwanted critters coming into your building at some point, but you can still be proactive in keeping your building protected. An effective way to go about this is to make sure that any holes or cracks are repaired and any gaps in the walls, ceilings or around doors and windows are sealed.

2-Keep Entryways Closed

This may seem like an obvious solution, but there may be times when doors are left open for a longer amount of time due to receiving a delivery. Perhaps you leave doors and/or windows open to allow a better circulation of airflow. Unfortunately, this can allow unwanted pests inside. Rather than leaving doors and windows open, look into HVAC systems or fans to increase the flow of air.

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The Best Shampoos for Dealing With Lice

Lice are common pests that cause irritating symptoms and can be a hassle to fully get rid of. Fortunately, there are affordable shampoo products available that are specifically designed to deal with a lice problem. The following are some of the best shampoos for dealing with lice.

Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse

Nix Lice Killing Creme Rinse is a shampoo that is designed to kill lice and their eggs, as well as preventing reinfestation for up to 14 days. This product is also safe to use on children that are over two months old and has the ability to kill lice that are resistant to traditional lice treatments.

RID Lice Treatment

RID Lice Treatment is a three-step lice removal kit that makes it simple to comb lice out of hair. This product can also be used within your home on mattresses, furniture and the interior of a car. Simply removing lice from your hair may not always be enough to deal with the problem completely. Removing them from different areas in your home makes it much less likely for you to experience a reinfestation.

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The Best Methods for Storing Food Away From Pests

Pests that invade your home will have a high priority on reaching your food supply and eating it. This is why it’s so important to properly store your food, so pests will have a much harder time getting to it. The following are the best methods for storing food away from pests.

Invest in Plastic Containers

The cardboard boxes that most dry food comes in is fairly easy for pests to break into. Store any dry food such as cereals, rice, crackers and beans in a sealable plastic container. There are plenty of cheap options for plastic containers that will prevent pests from getting into your food.

Keep Your Kitchen Dry

Pests thrive off of environments that are high in moisture. Kitchens are notorious for accumulating moisture in ways that you wouldn’t expect, such as humidity from cooking with heat, leaky refrigerators and sinks. After cleaning up your kitchen, use a dry mop on the floor and wipe off your stoves and sinks to remove any moisture.

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Fumigation: What to Expect

A fumigation is a big job that you will need to prepare for to get the most out of it. You may not know what to expect. Read on to see what you have to anticipate when it comes to a fumigation. It will be a busy time, so it is better do the most you can to prepare.

Biggest Preparation Steps

Fumigation involves harmful gases so it is important to do everything you can to prepare. First and foremost, everyone and all the animals and plants will need to be away from the house while it occurs and for some time afterwards.

See ahead of time where you can bring your animals. Ask friends or professional pet sitters if they can board you, or find animal friendly accomodations.

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Bee Behavior in the Fall in California

Now that we are getting into the fall, you may be noticing that change in allergies that a lot of us are having here in sunny Southern California. With the changes in weather, we also see a change in the behavior of pests and bees in the San Diego area.

What’s interesting is that due to the warm climate that we experience throughout the fall, bees behave differently in Calfornia than they do throughout the rest of the country.

Bees in Southern California

What is different about bee populations and behaviors in San Diego and other regions of Southern California when compared to the rest of the country? If you are used to having bees around your house and your property, you may have noticed that your bee population is growing, and not shrinking.

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Dealing with Spiders in the Fall

For many, the onset of fall is the best time of the year. The leaves change into crisp, golden colors and spread themselves along the ground. Football games, bonfires, pumpkin spice-flavored anything, it’s all here. As we adapt and change with the seasons, however, so do our arachnid friends. Spiders change their habits just as any species does when summer turns to fall, and some of those habits aren’t thought of too fondly by humans. Let’s take a look at what spiders are up to when autumn arrives.

Mating Season

While not the true mating season for all arachnids, the San Diego area has a couple of types of spiders that seek to lay their eggs during the fall. This includes orb weaver spiders, California Ebony Tarantulas and San Diego Bronze Tarantulas as well as house spiders. Male spiders will emerge from their burrows looking for a mating partner. For the tarantula species, the females will actually sometimes attempt to eat the male spider after mating, forcing the males to flee quickly. The orb weaver females typically die within months of laying eggs, so they are alone till hatching in the spring. If there are more spiders around your home in the autumn months, it’s probably because they are looking for a mate.

It’s Not the Cold

Most people think their homes are invaded by spiders because the temperature is dipping outside. This is a common misconception. Spiders are cold-blooded creatures, therefore getting to a warmer spot indoors is not a priority for them. Again, they are simply looking to partake in mating season, which is where you will see the influx of arachnids in your home. Fortunately, there are ways to limit the invasion.

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What To Expect After You Have A Pest Evaluation

Pest evaluations can be nerve-wracking. Not only are you going to have a stranger look through your house, but you also have to worry about what the verdict will be. However, if you have a pest infestation, it’s better to have someone take a look at your problem as soon as possible, then try to delay the inevitable. When a pest control specialist visits your house to look for signs of pests, here is how the process will go.

The Evaluation

When the pest control professional comes to your house, they will usually make a brief introduction and give you some time to voice any concerns. Then they will begin their search of the home. They’ll often start with an entry point inspection, as this is the most important part of defending your home from pests. The professional will check around doors, pipes, windows, crawl spaces and any other places where the outside meets the inside.

Then they will do a yard examination and search for overgrown lawns, branches touching the house, and other potential opportunities for pest infestations. They will conclude with a moisture check, using a humidity sensor around the darker, less aerated parts of the house to see how much water is in the air.

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Safeguarding Your Home From Fleas and Ticks

Those of us with pets are more susceptible to fleas and ticks. These pests attach to your pet, which then enters your home. Once the pests are inside, it takes much more effort to get rid of them. You can take some preventative measures to ensure that fleas and ticks do not enter your home.

Flea and Tick Pet Medication

The first step in preventing fleas and ticks from entering your home is stopping them from getting on your pets. There are a couple of different pet medications that can help deter these pests. You will give the medication at the same time every month to keep its effectiveness. One type of medicine is a chewable tablet. Another type is a liquid which you place on the skin of your pet along the back. Another common treatment is a flea and tick collar. The collar contains the medication which soaks into your pet’s skin. You can purchase any of the medications from a pet store or your vet.

If you want to ensure that your pet is flea and tick free, you may want to use a combination of the liquid or chewable tablet and the collar. You will also want to check your pet frequently for fleas and ticks, especially during the peak season.

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