Vagabonds. Our local ants here in North County are nearly all highly mobile colonies of Argentine Ants that are descendants of a colony that came here from Brazil near the beginning of the 20th century on a coffee boat.
Ten years ago most pest control companies were not even training their technicians in how to control bedbugs; here at Pinpoint, we handled only one or two jobs a year. Now it is not unusual to get that many calls a week!
Homeowners, institutions, and businesses in San Diego County are properly concerned about the explosion in honeybee swarming activity; the past ten years have shown an exponential increase in bee swarms. New colonies are appearing at a startling rateContact us if you have any questions about a swarm or a hive.
Starlings, Swallows, and Pigeons are often fun to watch; they are very comfortable around people and they see no problem in building nests on our structures. Swallows build mud nests in sheltered overhangs like those under bridges and beneath our rooflines. The South American Bird Mite and other mites that are associated with bird nests are appearing in ever greater numbers in and around North County homes.
Carpenter Bees look a whole lot like Bumble Bees except that they have a bare shiny black abdomen without yellow stripes. The females are relatively docile; they have a very functional stinger that is good for multiple stings without coming out … much like a Yellowjacket.
Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and persistent pests known to mankind. Much like mice and rats, they are found throughout the world in places where people live, work, and eat and they appear in uninhabited locations also.
Ground cover, mulch, and plastic sheeting on the ground are the favorite hangouts for those “pincher bugs”, properly known as European Earwigs, these little bugs like to travel … especially at night and they will show up inside our houses with distressing regularity.
Fleas are some of the most annoying and difficult pests that you can have in your home and the best way to control them is to prevent them from ever getting started. Fleas have a four stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
All flies, like bees, have a four stage life cycle: Egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. Some live as adults for only one day, but most survive for five days to four weeks with only a little, moist food. Some, like horse flies and mosquitoes, have pierced, sucking mouthparts and feed on blood, but most are scavengers that aggressively seek out exposed food and lay their eggs nearby.
Every spring the snails start showing up everywhere in our lawn, garden, porches, sidewalks, trees, etc. They will be attacking our strawberries, herb garden, and patio furniture with mindless intensity unless we do something about it.
The most common residents of owl boxes in this area are honeybee hives, and unattended bee hives are a repository for parasites, diseases, and instincts that are the bane of local bee keepers. ALL unattended bee hives will eventually turn aggressive, some of them become a serious threat to people or animals that may pass by, and all of them are a liability for the property owner.
Especially active in the Spring and the Fall, gophers can be a plague to any lawn or garden in North County. Even though they are capable of heavy digging in clay hillsides, they prefer moist, soft soil and their favorite hangouts are backyard gardens, plush lawns, and well laid out flower beds with lots of nice juicy bulbs and roots to eat.
There are several varieties of psocids in North San Diego County, but the ones that we get the most calls on are the three types that feed on molds that are associated with plants or moist wood. Psocids (pronounced “so – sids”) come into the house when things start to dry up outdoors and sometimes they appear in great numbers.
Raccoons and possums are not native to southern California; both are imported species, and they can be very hard on local wildlife. If you have a porch, a deck, or a shed that an animal can fit under, you would be well advised to seal up the openings before the skunk moves in!
We are careful in our inspections and treatments to avoid any virus problems associated with rats or mice. Pinpoint does not expect a Hantavirus outbreak here in North County, but if we find Deer mice inside a structure, we recommend a decontamination treatment just to be extra careful.
There are several different species of silverfish here in San Diego County and two types of firebrat; all of them are small, wingless, carrot shaped insects that have a characteristic metallic sheen that rubs off when you touch them.
The White-lined Sphinx Moth appears, often in great numbers, during the late summer here in North County. They are powerful flyers and are often mistaken for hummingbirds as they feed on the same kinds of flowers.
Spiders are common pests locally and they are actually beneficial in that they will make a meal of any insect that they can catch! They are often very difficult to control because they normally stay out of sight during the day and they try to avoid people.
Two types of termites are quite common in San Diego’s NorthCounty: Subterranean termites, and Drywood termites. Pinpoint does not offer termite treatments or inspections, but if you contact us we can refer you to a reliable, affordable termite inspector here locally that can give you more specific advice and appropriate treatments. Read on if you would like to know more about your voracious house guests!
Try to picture a chubby little mouse with small ears, beady eyes, and a short little tail; that’s a vole. They are cartoonish attractive little creatures that seem to be all head (see the picture) that live outdoors and feed on seeds and shrubbery; they will take over your flower garden if they are not stopped!
Paper wasps are often called umbrella wasps because of the shape of their nests that hang under our rooflines. Bumblebees are pretty much gone from North County because of depredations caused by the Varoa mite. Yellowjackets can be very dangerous, especially to children and pets. Yellowjackets like to build their nests in the ground, usually in old gopher holes.
Whiteflies are actually little moths that produce a white, waxy substance called “scale” that streams from the plants that are heavily infested. The scale discourages predators and helps the little moths to protect their eggs.