People across the United States are finding out the hard way that yellow jackets – a particularly aggressive species of wasp – become more aggressive and rowdy as winter approaches. With increased reports of hives attacking school children and gardeners, remember to keep an extra eye out for signs of these unwanted, and painful, visitors.
Yellow jackets tend to make their hives low to the ground, in bushes, outdoor clutter, and garden mulch. They can sting multiple times – unlike honeybees, who die after stinging someone and thus tend to be less aggressive. Yellow jackets become more active in food foraging as winter approaches, and we often see an increase in their attacks as humans and pets tend to accidentally cross paths with the wasps.
If you discover a yellow jackets hive in your yard or building, do NOT attempt to remove it yourself. One sting marks you with a pheromone that alerts nearby wasps to you as the “enemy,” and one sting can quickly multiply into dozens. Call a professional pest control company, like Specialized Pest Patrol. You and your family will be glad that you did.
Every home-owner or business-owner will someday find themselves considering the following: “Can I handle this pest myself?” If you’re like many others, you’ll decide: “Yeah, I probably CAN handle it myself, and for a lot cheaper!” While this is sometimes the case, it’s important to realize that even the most seemingly-simple pest incident can quickly turn into an infestation, and a cheap solution can often end up costing a lot more than just hiring a pest control company from the beginning.
So, how do you know when a pest control issue is not working with the DIY approach? Well, there are a few ways to help determine this:
- Try getting a quote before you move forward. A good pest control company will happily offer you a quote for what they expect your pest problem to cost. If it’s lower than what you can guarantee you’ll pay to do it on your own, there’s no harm in trying.
- If you’ve already tried the DIY path and the pest has returned once, or even more than once, you know that the stubbornness of the pests is stronger than your stubbornness to not let a professional handle the problem. It’s okay to throw in the towel and let a licensed pest control company get rid of the pest once and for all.
- If the DIY solutions are more dangerous than the professional’s path, to humans or pets, for everyone’s sake, call the professionals to take care of it. There’s no harm in letting an expert take control of the situation, but too many unnecessary accidents happen from people who are inexperienced, no matter how well-intentioned they are.
As another scorching-hot Sacramento summer comes to a close and we officially enter fall, many of our neighbors in the greater Sacramento area are breathing a collective sigh of relief. With the approach of cooler temperatures and even rain comes the promise of a rainbow of fall leaves and the freedom from 100 degree days. Unfortunately, however, just as the weather is not yet abandoning those hot summer days, summer pests are also sticking around for a little longer.
Common summer pests such as fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches are still having a field day in the greater Sacramento area, and are likely to stick around in high numbers until the temperatures really start dipping. If you are still struggling to get those common summer pests under control, give Specialized Pest Patrol a call. We’d be happy to help ensure that the remainder of your warm Sacramento days in 2016 are pleasantly pest-free.
In the Sacramento area, eating out is a way of life for most people. In the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the world, Ssacramentans are immensely proud of the quality of their food offerings. However, nothing strikes fear into the hearts of restaurant owners quite like cockroaches. And with good reason, with more than 70 different types of cockroaches roaming around the United States. These pests not only can destroy a restaurant’s reputation in an already competitive market, but they can cause health scores to plummet, and spread bacteria as well.
Cockroaches are one of the most quickly-breeding and difficult to eradicate pests out there. And they’re sneaky; if you see one, chances are that there are dozens more where that came from. For these reasons, a restaurateur worth their weight in flour will never put the fate of their establishment in the hands of a cheap, hardware-store roach motel. A professional pest control company, such as Specialized Pest Patrol, will ensure that your business stays clean, thriving, and won’t break your budget.
While there are absolutely pests that require immediate professional pest control services – bedbugs, raccoons, and rodents come to mind – there are also a few common household pests that, provided their populations in and around your home aren’t too numerous, can likely be dealt with on your own, using a few handy tips.
- Most at-home pest control sprays are most effective when they dry, leaving a water-based residue behind, which gets trapped in pests’ feet, scales, and fur, and end up killing them during grooming later.
- Spiders are tricky in that they usually are not groomers, so you have to target their prey, which means finding their prey, through strategically-placed glue traps and sprays. When the spider eats its prey, goodbye spidey.
- Roaches can be tricky because they live in nests with others and are big fans of human food and water sources. For this reason, the best way to get rid of them is through gel bait, placed in traps in your kitchen, under the sink, in your pantry, and in your bathroom.
Mosquitoes have been a thorn in humankind’s side for thousands and thousands of years, but their predatory relationship with us will likely continue for even longer. Mosquitoes are also one of the most efficient spreaders of deadly diseases and viruses, and have been the cause of millions upon millions of deaths worldwide. And while Zika virus has not made its way to Sacramento yet, West Nile has, and fear of mosquitoes is reaching peak levels in America this summer. Thankfully, there are ways to help keep your family and pets safe from these annoying, even deadly pests that are so pervasive this time of year.
Many people seek alternative, “natural” ways to repel mosquitoes, but only some of these alternative solutions offer any relief. Claims of Vitamin B1 as an option for mosquito control have been entirely debunked in controlled studies, while claims of garlic rubbed into the skin showed that this method decreases mosquito bites, but only for 20-40 minutes, and has the unpleasant side effect of leaving you smelling like a garlic field.
So what are some natural remedies that DO actually repel mosquitoes? Oil of lemon and eucalyptus have been shown to help, but they require significant reapplication (every hour or so). The best natural remedy is wearing tightly-woven, permethrin-treated fabric over your entire body and staying out at dawn and dusk, but these are not only impractical in the heat, they’re incredibly uncomfortable. For those who want to be able to wear their shorts and sleeveless tops, but still want the best mosquito repelling available, products containing DEET or picaridin are the most successful mosquito repellents.
A new study has been released by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and is being hailed as a possible new breakthrough in the war against bed bugs. While bed bugs are a relatively harmless parasite, not known to spread diseases or be much more than a difficult-to-eradicate nuisance, these pests have nevertheless shared homes with humans for thousands of years, and have been one of the most persistent, and disgusting, pests for just as long.
Bed bugs, like most creatures with exoskeletons, occasionally shed their outer skins as they grow, leaving behind small replicas of themselves. The researchers at U.C. Riverside have determined that these shed exoskeletons of the bed bugs continue to release the same pheromones that the living pests release. Further, as bed bugs gravitate towards these pheromones and are drawn to them, the researchers have concluded that the shed bed bug skins can be used in miniature traps as lures for living bed bugs. As the bed bugs gravitate away from their host’s bed and furniture and into these traps, they are trapped and the population can be removed from the home.
While these traps are not yet commercially available, they could prove an invaluable tool in the war against these disgusting, parasitic, and extremely stubborn pests.
In our last post, we discussed a few of the more dangerous pests that can plague the great outdoors in a Sacramento Summer; namely, snakes and mosquitoes. But there are a number of irritating and painful insects and arachnids that can spoil your barbecues and hikes this summer. Rest assured, there are also a number of easy tips and tricks to keep them away.
Yellow jackets, along with other bees and wasps, can get aggressive when their nests are disturbed or when they feel threatened. However, the difference between generally-docile honeybees and yellow jackets is that yellow jackets have a reputation for being particularly aggressive, both in their attempts to investigate the sodas and food at backyard barbecues, but also in painful, repeated stings if one threatens or swats at them. The best way to keep these stinging wasps away is through the installation of a yellow jacket trap and the expertise of pest control experts.
Another common summer pest are spiders, and especially more poisonous varieties like black widows. Spiders – and black widows especially – are common house guests, often seen in clutter around porches or in potted plants around one’s home. However, they are excellent ant hiding and remaining undetected until their nests are disturbed, which is most often when bites occur. To avoid these painful, and dangerous, household guests, keep your yard and porches free from storage and debris, and have a trusted pest control specialist spray periodically to keep them at bay.
Northern California is no stranger to an array of miserable and pesky pests year round, but easily the most irritating, and even potentially dangerous, times of the year for biting reptiles and stinging insects. While these creatures can cause pain and even trips to the doctor’s office, there is no reason to let their existence keep you from enjoying the great outdoors this season. With a little preparation and know-how, you can safely and easily live it up this summer.
One of the most common and irritating pests on the planet is the mosquito, but with Sacramento seeing record levels of West Nile-infected birds this summer, they’re nothing to swat at. At dawn and dusk, try to cover your skin with airy fabrics that keep mosquitoes off but don’t heat you up too much. Or, if it’s just to hot to cover up, make sure to apply a thin but consistent layer of mosquito repellent before heading outdoors.
Snakes are another somewhat uncommon but also dangerous pest in the Sacramento area. If you live near fields in the suburbs or take a day hike, be sure to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, and call a pest control company if you see one. They are most active in the dawn and dusk and can often be found sunning themselves on a rock or quiet country road. Keep dogs on short leashes when hiking and always be aware of your surroundings.
The hot Sacramento weather can bring a lot of us into closer contact with pests than usual, as rodents and insects alike try to gain entry to our homes and businesses in search of cooler temperatures and guaranteed sources of water. But never fear, your trusty friends at Specialized Pest Patrol have a few handy tips for keeping many of the Sacramento area’s most common pests at bay.
- Raccoons are, as always, in abundance in the Sacramento area this year, and reports of these clever mammals making their way into homes and garbage cans outdoors are increasing. Make your home a much less desirable destination by installing locks on pet doors, removing pet food from outdoor areas, and ensuring all outdoor trash bins are securely locked
- Birds found dead of West Nile are at a record high in the Sacramento area this summer, so keep mosquito populations down and your family safe by conducting thorough, detailed searches for even the smallest amount of outdoor standing water. Consider having your yard and perimeter sprayed periodically as well, and always cover up or apply repellent when out, especially in the hours around dusk and dawn.
- Rodents and other pests love to get out of the heat and sun in the summer, so make sure there are no entries for them into your home or business. Cracks or holes under an inch in size can still let in mice and roaches, so be sure to plug up any potential breaches with steel wool or caulk.