Pinpoint Pest Control Blog

Integrated Pest Management Serving North San Diego County for over 40 Years.
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4 Tips to Protect Your Home From Fall Pests

With Autumn right around the corner, homeowners like you have to get ready for a new wave of pests and possible infestations. It’s not pleasant to think about, but keeping unwanted guests out of your home is an issue that must be addressed as the seasons change. To help you prepare, here are four tips to protect your home from fall pests.

Tip #1 - Seal Your Home

Pests don’t need a lot of wiggle room to get inside your home. As the weather begins to turn cold, bugs will try their best to find a new place to stay - and your house is a perfect place for them to set up camp. 

Make sure to install weather strips under all the exterior doors in your home. If you have sliding glass doors, confirm that the bottom brushes are in good condition. If they are worn out, replace them immediately. Check out your house’s corners, foundation, windows and roof for cracks that may need sealing up, and consider using insulation as a method of keeping critters from flocking to your home. 

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Top 5 Things That Attract Ants to Homes and Businesses

Summertime means outdoor picnics, barbecues and time in the pool. Unfortunately, with these outdoor activities comes unwanted pests. They may even follow you indoors. If you have a home or a business, then you no doubt are concerned about keeping it pest-free. Keep reading for the top five things that attract ants to homes and businesses

1. Food Debris

Ants are always looking for a food source. Once they find one, they bring in their colony to help carry out the food. They will keep returning to the source in the hopes of finding more. To prevent ants from returning for more food, properly store all your leftovers. Keep all pet food stored as well. Keep cabinets free of crumbs. Make sure that kitchen floors are swept and cleaned regularly. Keep other living areas free of food debris as well, as ants will travel throughout the home or building looking for any traces of food. 

2. Sugar

Ants are attracted to sweet smells. If they find sticky spills on the floor, for instance, they will gather around them. They are also attracted to sugary treats and sweet foods like apples, grapes and strawberries. Clean spills right away and keep all sugary treats stored. Keep sugar stored in an airtight container. 

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Why Are There Spiders in Your House?

Spiders are one of those pests that just rub some people the wrong way. Maybe it’s the number of legs; maybe it’s the webs they spin. Whatever the reason, spiders are just something we’d rather not find in our homes.

Spiders are one of the most common critters found in houses all over the world. If you have them in your house, then you’re probably wondering how to keep them out. While most solutions aren’t completely foolproof, there are several things you can do to help keep spiders away from your house.

Declutter

Like many home invaders, spiders are naturally drawn to places that are crowded. The more clutter in your home, the easier it is for them to nest and spin webs. 

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Tips to Prevent Your Pets From Getting Fleas

Getting more sun time is as beneficial for dogs as it is for humans. The problem comes in when they bring home extra friends that will have them scratching through the night. No loving pet parent wants to see their four-legged friend struggle with fleas. Here are some tips for preventing your pets from getting fleas.

Anti-Flea Medication

There are multiple medications specifically for protecting your pets from fleas. These are the easiest way to protect your pet without much work afterward. Flea medicine can be consumed or poured directly on your pet’s skin. The pill helps prevent fleas from your pet while the liquid kills the flea if consumed. The consumed flea medicine can last up to three months for effectiveness. The liquid affects each pet differently by size.  Talk to your veterinarian and find out which medicine is best for your pet. 

Regular Pet Cleaning

Wash your pets and shampoo their fur with special medicine designed to keep fleas away. If you can find some in your area, purchase flea combs to use. Wash your pets regularly to prevent fleas. You also have to make sure your home is clean as well. Common areas like couches and beds need to be cleaned, as do the areas where your pets regularly lounge or sleep.  

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How to Have a Pest-Free Yard This Summer

Bugs and other pests can ruin everything from a game of catch to a backyard barbecue, so you need to be prepared. Fortunately, with a few preparation tips, you can enjoy a pest-free yard this season. 

Which Pests are Most Common?

There are a variety of insects and other pests that can crash your outdoor party. In Southern California, you might have to deal with one or more of the following: 

  • Mosquitoes.
  • Yellowjackets.
  • Ants.
  • Fleas.

Each pest requires different prevention and extermination tactics, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. You may also have to use multiple methods to ensure that your yard stays pest-free. 

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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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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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Pests to Avoid at the Beach

Like any other natural environment, beaches are home to a wide variety of species that call these areas home. Unfortunately, many of the same insects and animals that people consider to be pests in the ordinary world can be found on beaches. People who plan to visit beaches should be prepared to chase away pests that could be in the area with repellents, and they should avoid areas frequented by pests. Beach pests can be especially problematic for people who own property that is adjacent to a beach or near the ocean. Understanding the types of pests that can be found on beaches can help people to prepare for the worst.

Types of Pests

Many of the pests that can be found on beaches are seen on dry land as well because beaches are relatively small habitats. Therefore, few species have evolved to adapt themselves specifically to the beach environment. Instead, pests found on beaches tend to be those that thrive in either the wet environment found near the water's edge or the dry sand that covers the main portion of a sunny beach. Some of the most common pests found on beaches include ticks, spiders, ants, and flies. For beaches that are less crowded, snakes and rodents can often be found in many areas.

What Beach Pests Look Like

Due to the wide variety of pests that can be found on a beach, people should be prepared to look for anything that could resemble a pest when settling down on their beach towel. Small insects that can bite should be the first thing that people check for when seeking a peaceful place to spend time on a beach. Setting a towel down on top of an ant colony, for example, could make for an uncomfortable afternoon. People should also look for potentially dangerous animals that could be present on a beach. Aggressive animals may attack people on beaches who they perceive to be walking on their territory.

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Prepare Your Yard For Your July 4 BBQ

If you are planning to host a cookout July 4, you might be wondering what you can do to prevent fleas and ticks from spoiling the fun. Although these pests prefer to target animals, they will gladly feed on a human host if the opportunity presents itself. You will want to learn about the steps that you can take to safeguard yourself and your guests from the danger, but as long as you have a plan in mind, you can reduce the risk and reclaim your yard. The key is to remain proactive and to take action as soon as possible.

Fleas

Taking a close look at fleas is a good point from which to start for those who want to get the most from their cookout. The small parasites have six legs and can survive for up to 100 days without a host, but they will spend their entire lives on a single host if they can do so. Since these pests can spread diseases, keeping them away from you and your pets is vital if you want to avoid safety hazards. With a quick trip to the store, you can locate several products that can discourage fleas from entering your yard, but you will want to apply the treatment a few days before your cookout takes place.

Ticks

Ticks are small insects that have eight legs, and you won't want them to visit your home this summer. Since they can survive for three years without a blood meal, they don't need to live on their host. Once a tick is done eating, it will leave the host until it's ready to feed again. Ticks can't jump, so they will sit at the edge of plants and weeds until a suitable host gets within range, and dogs make perfect targets.

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How to Keep Your North County Home Spider-Free All Winter

Are you kidding? We don’t do winter here in North County, but there are some things that you might want to do to prepare for the cooler weather that is ahead. Many of the pests that we must deal with are here from areas where there is a strong winter, and their instincts are to seek shelter … in your home if they can get away with it.

Make sure that the weather stripping is functional under all exterior doors, including the door between your house and the garage. If you have sliding glass doors, inspect the brush at the bottom of the door and adjust it or replace it as needed. This will keep the ground crawling bugs, especially the Hunting Spiders, outside where they belong. 

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