Our Sacramento pest control company recently got a frantic call from a woman who had put off dealing with an enormous ant infestation on a large crepe myrtle tree that hung over her driveway. On a recent rainy morning, she walked out through her garage to pick up the morning paper, only to step, barelegged, into a swarm of ants that were using the concrete seam in the center of her garage floor as a highway under the garage door and into her dry garage.
Once ants are present in large numbers, they can be exceptionally difficult to eliminate. Inspection and identification of the type of ant is critical to effective treatment—and may be an argument for calling on a trained pest control professional rather than depending on a can of spray and a prayer. (For more information about common Sacramento-area ants, visit my blog post at http:// http://earthguardpest.com/blog/?p=13.)
Sometimes visitors to our Sacramento pest control company Website are surprised to find pigeons on our list of household pests. The fact is, if your home or commercial building ever becomes a popular roosting spot for these ubiquitous city- and suburban-dwellers, you have a pest problem that can encompass health hazards, safety hazards and property damage, to say nothing of an unsightly mess.
Spring and summer is high season for ants and for ant pest problems in our California homes and gardens.
There are about 300 species of ants here, but fewer than a dozen are common household pests in our area. One of the most common pests is the Argentine ant, a dull-brown ant about 1/8-inch in length. Less common but also significant are the carpenter ant, the pharaoh ant, the odorous house ant, the thief ant and the southern fire ant. Carpenter ants are black or red and black and larger than the Argentine ant at a quarter to half inch in length and, because they hollow out and nest in wood, can do significant damage to homes and buildings. You may recognize an odorous house ant, which is dark brown to black and about the same size as the Argentine ant, by its strong odor if you step on it. Our Southern California neighbors are dealing with a serious problem from the red imported fire ant, which has recently established a population there; but they have not yet been found in Northern California. Continue reading
Mice eat and contaminate human and pet foods, preferring grains but apparently willing to nibble on almost anything. One of our Sacramento pest control customers discovered a nest of mice in a trunk where she stored historic family documents, vintage clothing and other mementos. Not only did she find the remains of precious keepsakes shredded in a pile, she found dry dog food nuggets the mice apparently had confiscated from her pet’s dish and tucked away for safe-keeping.
Mice are a more prevalent, more damaging and tougher problem than their two common Sacramento rodent cousins, rattus rattus (roof rats) and Rattus norvegicus (Norway rats). And as our Northern California winter grows colder and wetter, mice are more likely to set up housekeeping in our cozy homes and businesses.
The mice we see most often in our Sacramento pest control business are the house mouse (Mus musculus). Two other types of mouse, the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse, also may invade human dwellings but are most often found in cabins and homes in remote or rural areas. Continue reading