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Termites 101

Apr 30

At Surf City Pest Control, our Huntington Beach pest control company handles all types of pests from bees and wasps, to raccoons and mice. Termites are one of the many pests that we seen in California homes as well. Here are some interesting facts about termites to help you better understand the invader and possibly help you ward them off.

 

They are not just underground.

Most colonies of termites build their nests underground and navigate through subterranean tunnels. But there are some species that do their foraging above ground, which allows them to spread quickly and easily if left unchecked.

 

They are always hungry.

Termites consume every day, all day. They can eat through the equivalent of one cup of sawdust in two hours. Just imagine the damage they can do when ignored.

 

They are social insects.

Termite nests are not made of just a few individuals, but millions of individual insects. They are social insects that work in a swarm, interacting as a single unit. The needs of the group always take precedence over the individual.

 

They are specialized.

Termite colonies are divided into specialized jobs to help the colony grow. A typical colony consists of workers, soldiers, nymphs, and reproductive individuals. They also have a primary queen and king who mate for life. They can also have winged reproductive individuals that can leave to start their own colonies.

 

 

Don’t ignore the threat of termites. Call the professional Los Angeles pest control experts of Surf City Pest Control to help protect your home and property. Click here or call us today at (714) 655-1947 for more information.

Interesting Ants

Apr 17

At Surf City Pest Control, our Huntington Beach pest control company has been providing expert pest prevention and removal services for over 45 years. Much of our great success is due to educating our customers and our readers about what we do and the pests that they encounter. Today’s subject: ants.

 

Ants are common almost everywhere, check out some of our interesting ant facts below:

  1. Colonies are bigger than the average ant farm. While there are a few species that live in colonies of only 30 or so ants, the average ant colony contains thousands of individuals. There are even super colonies that contain more than 300 million. These colonies have been identified in Japan, Australia, the United States, and southern Europe.
  2. Each ant has a specific job. Ants are very social insects and they divide up the jobs in each colony. The queen: her only job is to lay eggs. All other female ants are workers who feed the larvae, remove waste, forge for supplies, and defend the nest. Male ants only mate with the queen.
  3. Ants do not have ears. Ants use special sensory preceptors on their feet and knees to feel vibrations in the ground. They also use their antennae and cilia (hairs) on their bodies to feel around their surroundings.
  4. One species of ant is exclusively female. In Central and South America, researchers have yet to find a male in the ant species M. smithii. The queen ant apparently reproduces asexually so all of the offspring are clones of the queen.
  5. Some ants can become zombies. There is a species of fungus that infects ants. Through certain means the fungus finds it way under the ant’s exoskeleton and controls the body, eventually killing the ant. Some ant species have learned to recognize infected colony mate and will take them away to protect the rest of the colony.
  6. Ants can lift 10-50 times their body weight. Because ants are so small, they need larger muscles than their body mass to carry objects much heavier and larger than themselves. If humans could lift 10 times their weight, a 200-pound man could lift a VW Beetle over his head.
  7. Some ants do not live in colonies. Army ants live in groups of 200 or so and have two phases of their lives: nomad and stationary. The ants travel each day and only stop with the queen lays eggs and the colony waits for them to hatch. During this time the worker ants make a nest out of their bodies to protect the queen, the food, and the eggs.
  8. Ants are found almost everywhere on Earth. Ants are found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica. The vast distribution of ants is rivaled only by humans.

 

Ants have some fascinating characteristics, but ant control and management around the home are important for health and safety reasons. Click here or call Surf City Pest Control today at (714) 655-1947 to find out more about Newport Beach pest control.

Yellowjackets 101

Mar 31

At Surf City Pest Control, one of the most common pest complaints we get is for yellowjacket, wasps, and hornet infestations. They love the sun, water, and flowers that occur all over Southern California. Our Newport Beach pest control company wants to let our customers and readers understanding the unique yellowjacket in order to control them on your property and reduce the likelihood of stings.

 

What do they look like?

Yellowjackets obviously get their name from their typical black and yellow bands across their abdomens. They are primarily flying insects that are segmented with a very small “waist.” While most species exhibit yellow and black, some can also have white or red markings.

 

Yellowjackets share many similar characteristics with wasps and hornets, but they can vary greatly in their level of aggressiveness and their habits. Before attempting any type of control it is important to properly identify the type of stinging insect in your home or garden.

 

Where do they live?

There are about 16 different species of yellowjacket in the U.S. but they can be found worldwide. They are a social insect that lives in colonies with a queen at the center. Depending on the species they can live either in an aerial site or underground with nests made of paper-like cellulose bulbs, typically attached to bushes, trees, or under the eaves of homes.

 

What do they eat?

Like their flying insect relatives, adult yellowjackets primarily feed on sugary substances like nectar and fruit. But larva yellowjackets consume protein, which makes them unique. Worker insects bring back different kinds of meat as food for the larvae. Most homeowners consider yellowjackets to be a pest, but their diet makes them an important part of garden pest control.

 

Why do they attack?

Yellowjackets are usually slow to sting, but they are very territorial. If their nest is approached, they will become aggressive. They can inflict several very painful stings. Their venom can cause allergic reactions and even hypersensitivity to yellowjacket venom in the future.

 

It is very important to call a professional LA pest control company to remove yellowjackets and their nest from your property. The experts at Surf City Pest Control use special equipment and safety precautions to effectively remove a yellowjacket threat. Click here or call us today at (714) 655-1947 to schedule a consultation.

Things You Can Do Every Day to Prevent Pests

Mar 27

At Surf City Pest Control, we have helped many people not only get rid of the pests they have, but also prevent new pests from moving in. In a further effort at prevention, our expert Huntington Beach pest control company is encouraging homeowners to try these pest-prevention techniques as part of their spring cleaning in the coming weeks.

 

You can avoid unwanted infestations of pests like, ants, termites, ticks, and stinging insects from invading your home and yard with a few simple tasks.

Outdoors

  • Inspect the outside of your home for easy access points, like areas where utility pipes enter. Seal small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Seal larger areas by plugging them with steel wool which deters pests with rough steel fibers.
  • Look for signs of termite damage, like mud tubes, soft wood that sound hollow when you tap it, and cracked or bubbling paint.
  • Keep the grass cut low and make sure tree branches, shrubs, and other vegetation is well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Clean out gutters to prevent standing water–an excellent breeding ground for pests.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles to deter wood-loving insects.
  • Replace weather-stripping and loose mortar around foundations and windows, especially basement windows.
  • Screen your windows, outside doors, attic vents, and chimney. Repair any rips in existing screens.
  • Direct water away from the house with properly maintained downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and AC units.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the house.

 

Indoors

  • Regularly dispose of garbage in a sealed trash bin outside.
  • Keep kitchens clean by wiping down countertops, and sweeping and mopping floors regularly.
  • Store food in sealed containers and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
  • Vacuum at least once per week.
  • Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up their spilled water. Store the pet food in a sealed plastic container.
  • Follow your vet’s advice about regular preventative treatment for ticks and fleas on dogs and cats.
  • Get rid of areas of moisture by routinely checking under sinks and repairing any leaks. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces, or attics.

 

These are just some of the helpful tips and trick from the pros at Los Angeles pest control company, Surf City Pest Control. For more information about our pest removal and prevention services, click here or call us today at (714) 655-1947.

Masked Bandits: Raccoon Pest Control

Feb 24

Procyon lotor, or the North American raccoon can be found throughout the United States, Mexico, Central American, and Canada. This masked bandit is a medium-sized mammal, typically weighing between 10 and 30 pounds—a bit larger than a house cat. They are grayish brown, and characterized by a black masked face and a black ringed tail. As omnivores and opportunists, raccoons can thrive in and around human populations, often taking up residence in barns, sheds, garages, and attics. While, it is important to coexist peacefully with animals, they can cause countless problems when they move into your home or gardens.

 

At Surf City Pest Control, premier LA pest control company, we provide humane remove and prevention of raccoons and other rodents. Raccoons are very social creatures, so they often live in family groups—it is typical to find 4-6 raccoons living together in one space. We have professional equipment for trapping raccoons and have many years of experience that enable safe and comprehensive animal control. Homeowners should not attempt to remove the animals themselves. The most common mistakes we see made in raccoon removal include:

  • Waiting for the raccoon to leave and then sealing off the entrance. The problem with this is that raccoons usually take up shelter inside of buildings to make a den for their young. If you seal off the entrance with unknown, helpless young inside and they die, then you have a new problem—dead rodent removal. Live animals are always easier to work with, plus you’ll probably end up paying more than if you had just called a professional in the first place.
  • Smoking the raccoon out of the chimney. Raccoons will often nest in chimneys have their young there. When a homeowner tries to light and fire and smoke the animals out, you have the same problem—dead rodent removal. Even if the parent leaves the house, there is probably still young trapped and now dead left in the chimney. The dead rodents smell up your house and breed maggots. So, again, it is always recommended to call a professional first.

 

If you suspect a raccoon and its family are living on your property or you find missing pet food, tipped over garbage cans, upset outdoor pets, or other signs, then call the professional Orange County pest control experts at Surf City Pest Control. Click here or call us today at (714) 655-1947 for a FREE pest evaluation today.

Mouse Control

Feb 18

As the winter weather hits stride and the evening temperatures dip lower, many mice are trying to find ways to get indoors. Cracks, crevices, and holes are excellent places for the small rodents to sneak into your homes, sheds, and garages. At Surf City Pest Control, we ensure the quickest possible results for rodent infestation removal. Our Orange County pest control experts are specially trained to remove and prevent rodents from getting into your home or business building.

 

The best way to prevent mice from entering your home is to seal off all of their points of entry. All cracks, crevices, and holes larger than a pen cap should be sealed with cement or a mixing compound. Do not use wood to seal these holes, because mice can chew through the wood.

 

In addition, getting rid of rodent attractors is also one of the best ways to prevent an infestation. A clean home is usually a home without rodents. Wash your dishes immediately following use, and store food in glass or metal containers with tight lids. Mice acquire most of their food and water from scavenged food, so keep crumbs off of tabletops and floors.

 

When a home is already infested, you need the most effective mouse control methods administered by the trained professionals at Los Angeles pest control company, Surf City Pest Control.

 

Many mice carry bacteria, viruses, and other diseases. One of the worst is the Hantavirus, which is transmitted in the dust of their droppings. It is very important not to disturb nests, dust particles, or feces in affect areas, without an OSHA-approved respirator with functioning cartridges, and watertight, disposable gloves. Clothing worn during clean up should be thrown away immediately. Dispose of all contaminated materials in a tightly sealed trash bag, and place that inside of yet another tightly sealed trash bag, disposed of in a landfill or outdoor garbage bin. Thoroughly wash your hands and body. The newly clean area should be exposed to fresh air and sunshine for a number of hours.

 

Before conducting any sort of cleaning or removal, please contact a professional trained in pest control in Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and surrounding Orange County to get expert advice and services. Click here or call Surf City Pest Control today at (714) 655-1947.

Escrow Clearance Reports: What, Why, When?

Jan 06

At Surf City Pest Control, we provide our Orange County pest control customers with a variety of services, including structural pest control inspections for escrow clearance. Many people don’t understand this provision, so we have published this article to provide a bit of knowledge for our readers.

 

What is an Escrow Clearance Report?

In the state of California many mortgage lenders require a state-licensed pest control specialist to inspect for signs of structural damage by pests. The report must include any wood-damaging insect, including termites, boring beetles, or fungus. It should also include any possible conditions that could lead to damage in future, such as moisture, earth-to-wood contact and poor grading levels. The inspector must diagram the areas of the home checked.

 

Why is an inspection necessary for an Escrow Clearance Report?

Although not state required, lenders ask for an inspection in order to protect their investment. Some buyers also include a termite contingency in their purchase contract that allows them to withdraw from the transaction if there is extreme damage found.

 

When should I get an inspection?

Companies are not responsible for conditions that develop after the inspection date so it is always advisable that home-buyers get an inspection as close as possible to the closing date of escrow. Sellers can also have their property inspected to save time and cover their bases.

Tags are posted in the attic, basement, or garage each time a building is inspected. The tag contains the inspection company’s name and the date of inspection. Similar tags are left after any treatment to indicate the date and the type of treatment chemicals used. These reports are kept by the pest control company for three years.

 

Surf City Pest Control always has the safety of customers as their utmost priority. If you have questions concerning your residence or a building your intend to purchase, click here or call us today at (714) 665-1947 to speak with one of our Huntington Beach pest control experts.

Green Pest Control Products

Jan 02

Surf City Pest Control is always conscious about green and organic pest control methods. As the premier Huntington Beach pest control company, we take great pride in educating our friends about pest prevention and green methods. Here’s some valuable information on one of the latest and greatest eco-friendly pest prevention products on the market.

 

Bora-Care

How is Bora-Care different?

Our Bora-Care treatment is a liquid spray that is applied to the foundation of a structure by our certified technicians. In previous years, the only available termite treatment available was to pump harsh liquid chemicals into the ground underneath the structure, but Bora-Care provides a more sustainable solution to treat new construction for termites. We treat the outside foundation, walls in crawlspaces or basements, studs, and cracks.

 

How does Bora-Care work?

Bora-Care is applied to all concrete, wood, steel, and other building materials. The active ingredients Boron and other minerals (collectively called a borate) work to liquefy the mud tubes termites live in causing them to disintegrate. Termites require these moist tunnels in order to leave the ground and ascend building structures. Any surface treated with Bora-Care will not hold the mud, so termites cannot build on them. Any previously build mud tunnels will disintegrate, killing the termites inside and discourage others from remaining there.

 

At Surf City Pest Control we utilize the safest and most effective treatments available. Our Orange County pest control services are always cutting edge and highly recommended. Click here or call us today at (714) 665-1947 for the best in Los Angeles pest control.

Silverfish 101

Nov 04

Although they are not harmful to humans or animals, silverfish are pesky insects that feast on paper, flour, sugar, grains, and fabrics. They rarely cause damage to buildings or objects, but their presence can quickly develop from a few to a full-blown infestation.

 

Silverfish are commonly found in damp places such as basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms. They are characterized by their long, flat bodies with long, thin antennae protruding from their heads. Nocturnal by nature, silverfish move quickly and will find new hiding places if they are disturbed. Our Newport pest control professionals are aware of many options to effectively treat an infestation of silverfish in your home. Surf City Pest Control associates recommend sticky traps in order to initially identify the scope of the pest problem. If only a few silverfish are captured, continued use of sticky traps should eliminate the problem. If, however, many are captured in one area, usually a good indicator of a colony, then other measures should be taken. According to our Los Angeles pest control experts, silverfish are attracted to damp areas, so repairing moisture leaks and using a dehumidifier to dry the air stop more silverfish from entering and encourage the current ones to leave. Sanitation alone will not remove the pest, but it is always counted as an excellent preventative measure.

 

In extreme cases, our Long Beach pest control authorities will be able to remove the infestation via chemical means. Chemical options include boric acid and silicon dioxide, both of which can be found at a hardware store, but professional application is always encouraged for safety reasons. Always be sure to keep children and pets away from exposed areas.

 

Click here or call us at (714) 655-1947 for a consultation with a highly trained and trusted Orange County pest control expert.

Bed Bug’s Secret Weapon

Nov 01

Newport pest control company, Surf City Pest Control wanted you to know:

There has been a recent surge in reported bed bug infestations around the country, the increasing infestations have caused a recent surge in chemical and biological studies as well. In an effort to abate the blood-sucking creepy-crawlers, the scientists at Washington State University have discovered that the bed bug is unaffected by pesticides.

The reason for their survival in the face of chemical pesticides is found in the bed bug’s touch outer shell, or cuticle. WSU scientists have discovered 14 genes, most in the cuticle, that in various combinations allow the parasite to resist pyrethroid-type insecticides. The genes actively block or slow the insecticide from reaching the nerve cells where it can kill the insect. This unique adaptation is not found in cockroaches, termites, ants or other insects.

Because of its resistance to chemical inhibitors, the bed bug can be effectively managed with a combination of pesticides and other, common-sense measures. Your Los Angeles pest control experts at Surf City Pest Control specifically suggest:

  • Removing bedroom clutter where bed bugs can hide
  • Frequenting vacuuming dust and debris
  • Washing bed linens in hot water and heat-drying in a dryer
  • Sealing cracks and crevices behind light switches and plugs and along baseboards to eliminate hiding places

Click here or call us today at (714) 655-1947 for a consultation with our Orange County pest control professionals.

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