Keep Out the Bad Bugs (and Little 4-Legged Beasts) of Winter

December 3rd, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Lloyd home diagram

Every year, as summer turns to fall, the other technicians and I are given a moment to catch our breath.  The ants – which represent about 65% of our emergency calls each year generally stop trying to invade Southern California homes by late October.  Right around Thanksgiving, though, the winter pests come knocking – rats, mice, spiders.  They want in.  Here are some tips to keep them out.

TIPS TO SAFEGUARD YOUR YARD

Cover your trash cans.  And keep them away from your home.   Trash cans attract rats, mice, and larger pests like raccoons and opossums.  Ants and roaches are also big fans of your trash – don’t let their parade take a detour into your living space.

Move wood piles.   Move any wood piles (or clutter piles) away from your home.  Pests very much appreciate piles of stuff, and wood piles provide perfect shelter for rodents, black widows – and especially termites.

Adjust sprinklers.  Switch from your summer watering schedule.  Too much water in the yard makes attracts spiders, slugs, snails and other pests.

Remove fallen fruit.  I always recommend to my customers that they pick up all fruit that has fallen to the ground to prevent rats, mice and other pests from being attracted to the scent of decaying fruit.

Store your pet food.  Don’t leave pet food out overnight because it – you guessed it – attracts pests of all stripes.  (This also really applies to pet food on the inside of your the home.)

SEAL OFF PEST ENTRY POINTS TO YOUR HOME

Trim overhanging branches.  Tree branches that hang over your roof create a superhighway for pests – especially roof rats, which love the quiet shelter of attics.

Maintain your roof.  Broken tiles, missing shingles, and roofing soft spots provide opportunities for pests to get in.  While you’re up there, check your chimney, too – and make sure that the flue is clear before the first use of season.

Weather-strip your doors.  If you can see light beneath your front door, rodents can probably squeeze right through (this also applies to garage doors!).  Weather-stripping is cheap and easy to attach.  This is also a good time of year to make sure that your windows are properly sealed, too.  This keeps out cold – and roaches and earwigs and spiders!

Repair vent screens.  In my experience, about 50% of all interior rodent problems start with damaged or missing vent screens (to crawl spaces, garages, and attics).  It’s much cheaper to replace vent screens than it is to chase rodents!

Make sure your dog door shuts properly.  The good ones often use magnets to seal themselves shut.  A loose dog door puts out the welcome mat for rodents – and opossums, skunks, and raccoons.

It will take very little effort to keep this winter’s pests out of your home.  Minimizing the things that attract bugs to your yard – and sealing the entry points to your living space – will make for a much more pleasant holiday season, and guarantee you many a silent night.  If pests do somehow breach your perimeter, though, don’t hesitate to give me a call.  Happy holidays.

Posted in Pest Control Tips, Rodents, Spiders, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Frightening Halloween Pests

November 14th, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Halloween pests
When the chill of autumn arrives, so do some of the season’s scariest decorations. Witches, ghosts, vampires and mummies are the season’s headliners, but what about their trusty sidekicks? It’s nearly impossible to create a truly spooktacular Halloween display without spiders, insects, rats and mice.

spider web in old house
Spiders can be found in California throughout the year, but they are spotlighted at Halloween for a few reasons. Not only are some spiders venomous, they tend to build webs in dark and vacant spaces, like scary abandoned houses. Spiders tend to move indoors during the colder months to protect their webs and babies from frigid winter winds. Fortunately, spider control in San Diego is available from Lloyd Pest Control.

Death head cockroach
Like spiders, different types of insects are often used in Halloween decorations. The cockroach is a prime example. Online you’ll find tons of ads for bags of plastic cockroaches to use as creepy Halloween décor. You’ll even find recipes for Halloween treats that look like the pest. Cockroaches have probably won this Halloween honor because of their association with the dead. Their deadly image comes primarily from their connection to disease and unsanitary conditions (although they can live anywhere). It is also perpetuated by the death’s head cockroach, a specific breed of roach with an eerie skull-like marking on its head. There are several types of cockroaches in Southern California. If you have these pests in your home, you should contact a professional pest control company.

Rats drinking water

 

 

 

 

Rats are also linked to both Halloween and death. This dates back to the days of the plague. Mice and rats carried the deadly plague from house to house and town to town before pest control or modern medicine were available. A particularly violent outbreak known as the Black Death killed an estimated 75- 100 million people in Europe and the Mediterranean, solidifying the rat’s historical association with death. Rats are still known to spread disease and destroy property today. So while plastic rats are a necessary Halloween gag, no one wants real live rats in their house. Fortunately, rats in Southern California today can be easily and quickly eliminated with the help of an experienced pest control company.

In fact, pest control in Southern California can keep your home free of spooky spiders, bugs, rats or mice throughout the entire year. Contact Lloyd Pest Control for all your pest control needs. Halloween or not, we are not afraid of your dark attic, musty basement or creepy closets. Get rid of scary pests before they get rid of you.

Posted in For Fun, Rodents, Spiders, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Pest control shift toward bee protection

October 23rd, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Bee Keeper inspecting a hive with colony collapse disorder

Pests like spiders, termites, ants, fleas, roaches and rodents can be annoying, and they often cause damage to homes and other property. Some pests may contaminate food or transmit diseases to pets or humans. Consequently, pest control in Southern California frequently includes elimination along with prevention. However, while most people prefer not to have swarms of bees in their back yards or buzzing in their walls, bees are beneficial and perform a valuable service for us. Bees pollinate crops in and to flowers, and provide us with honey all while acting upon their natural instincts. Unless disturbed, bees usually do not sting, but they may cluster in trees and shrubs, establish colonies inside walls. While some people find this annoying, recent events have made it important to try and live and work with bees, not against them.

Dead bee

Currently the world is experiencing a mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. Beginning in 2006, bee keepers began reporting unusually high losses, between 30-90 percent of hives. Many of the hives showed no signs of known causes of bee death. Today, honey bees are disappearing across the country, putting $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts and vegetables at risk., not against them. Companies like Lloyd are joining in the movement to save bees, and support the environment in the face of colony collapse disorder.

Sadly, a recent application of a pesticide to control aphids on flowering linden trees in Oregon caused the deaths of thousands of bees along with other insects. Because of that unfortunate incident, methods of pest control in southern California are changing to help protect fragile bee populations. Instead of offering bee extermination services, companies like Lloyd are joining in the movement to save bees, and support the environment in the face of colony collapse disorder.

Bee pollinatingProviding bees with new, rent-free living spaces in friendly environments protects our honey-producing pollinators, an important part of our ecosystem and economy. Since  Lloyd Pest Control strives to be an ecologically responsible company, we will be moving away from bee extermination. Whenever possible we will refer residential customers to beekeepers in their area, so that the bees can be taken alive and allowed to pollinate and continue their honey production. If you need assistance with other types of bothersome and dangerous pests, Lloyd Pest Control  is still a premiere choice for pest control in Southern California.

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Pests Don’t Celebrate Labor Day: A Quick California Home Check on Your Day Off

August 28th, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Labor day image

This Labor Day you might find yourself with your feet up and the television on, what you won’t find is pests around your home taking it easy. Pests can invade your home any time of the year, they don’t take days off. The good news is that you can help keep your home pest-free with checks of your home on your own days off. With only a little time required, you can do your part to make your home unwelcome to creepy-crawly visitors.

One way to keep California pests out of your home is to make sure you don’t foster areas they’re attracted to in your home. This coming Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to do a check around your home and to make sure you’re not already infested, and to make sure you aren’t inadvertently welcoming pests.

Ants are often found in kitchens or anywhere in your home they can get to food. Keep your food in sealed packaging as much as possible, put food away after each meal and clean up any spills right away. Ants follow a scented trail left behind by other ants, so if you find an ant trail, spraying it with any cleaner that contains ammonia will destroy the path.

Bed bugs can be a frightening prospect in your home. Washing linens regularly and keeping your home clean can help prevent an infestation. However, if you find or suspect bed bugs in your home, it’s important to seek professional help immediately.

Rodents make homes in your walls and come out to get food. Keeping food in sealed packaging that can’t be bitten into will help keep rodents from being attracted to your home. If you use snap traps, set the trap perpendicular to the wall with the bait against the baseboard.

Spiders can be valuable outdoors to keep pests out of gardens, but inside they can be a nuisance. Spiders are attracted to moisture. When you check around your home, make sure there aren’t any pools of water sitting around. There is more likely to be moisture on the shady side of your house, so check there for spider webs. Make sure you and your family know poisonous spiders in your area and can identify them to stay safe.

Termites are wood-eaters. Make sure there are no woodpiles against your home or foundation to attract them. Termites can be deterred by painted wood, so check the exterior of your home for any paint on wood siding, window sills or shutters that’s cracked or peeling.

While the idea of pests invading your home can be scary, taking the time to check your home is a good step in pest management. Checking common pest areas like the kitchen or in dark, damp corners can help you identify infestations if you have them. By taking simple steps to keep your home clean and uninviting can help keep new pests from coming in.

Of course, identifying an infestation is only the first step. If you find California pests in or around your home, contact a reputable pest control business to help you with pest management and elimination. California pest control professionals can make sure any pests in your home are taken care of quickly and effectively. Take time this Labor Day to check your home for any infestations. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your home’s potential for infestation, contact Lloyd Pest Control today.

 

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Bed Bugs: The Wrong Kind of Vacation Souvenirs

July 24th, 2013 | Leave a Comment (1) »

traveling bed bug graphic

 

For some of us, summer is the time of year when vacation and travel peak. It brings adventure, excitement and, for some, the needed decompression from everyday life. Unfortunately for us it is via our regular travels that bed bugs often reach our homes. Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals while they are sleeping. Bed bugs need a host to survive, which is why they tend to hitch rides on luggage, overnight bags, clothing, furniture bedding and other traveling items.

As much as these bed bugs love to travel, there are ways to keep them from climbing aboard. Here are 5 ways to be sure that your next journey or vacation is bed bug free.

Travel with Zip Lock bags- When traveling, Zip Lock bags can be a lifesaver. Not only can they keep your clothing and items clean and organized, but also they will prevent bed bugs from crawling into your stuff and hitching a ride back to your home.

Use Hard Luggage- Hardcover luggage bags do not have zippers, cloths or seams that can deteriorate or break down causing entry points for bed bugs. If you don’t own hard luggage, use luggage with color and texture that will make it easy to spot bed bugs.

Inspect where you stay- Whether you’re staying for a single night or for multiple weeks, before you unpack your bags check the room for bed bugs. Your 15-minute inspection could prevent a costly infestation in your home later on. Inspect underneath bed sheets, in the mattress seams, headboard, sofa and anywhere that bed bugs might frequent.

Keep luggage away from the beds- Placing luggage close to the bed can allow easy access to your belongings if bed bugs are present. Keep your luggage away from beds, couches – and off the carpet.

Wash it all! – The most important factor in having a bed bug free trip is the washing of your clothes. It all starts with how you pack. Refrain from bringing clothing that can only be washed in cold water. Hot water and the heat from a clothes dryer works well to kill bed bugs that could be hiding in clothing. A greater measure one can take when trying to avoid bed bugs on vacation is to stop off at a Laundromat on your way back home to give all of your clothing a good wash. If a Laundromat is not available, put your clothing directly into your own washer and dryer as soon as you get home.

By following these few simple tips you can greatly reduce the chance of bed bugs returning to your home. Bed bug control is one of the most difficult challenges facing the pest control industry. Once bed bugs have settled in your home, they can be difficult to get rid of. For quick detection, thorough inspections and properly-timed treatments contact Lloyd Pest Control today.

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7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pests

July 1st, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Fun Pest Facts

Some ants protect their nests with their headsAnts Crawling On Leaf

Aside from being able to carry objects 50 times their own body weight, ants display another behavior that is quite spectacular. head to protect its colony from unwanted guests.

Ants use to live alongside the dinosaurs over 130 million years ago. Fossilized evidence of ants and other insects have been found in lumps of amber, or plant resin.

Termites are less dirty than you might think

Termites cleaning eachother

Termites, though they can be disastrous to your home, are actually a benefit to the environment. Termites are vital to earth’s decomposition of tough plant fibers. But that’s not what’s so cool about these pests.

Much of a termite’s life is spent cleaning other termites in the colony!

Bacteria and fungal infections can make quick work of termite colonies, which is why they spend such a great deal of time grooming each other to keep the colony clean. A termite’s antennae enable the termite to detect infections while they clean.

bed bug on skin

Bed bugs often hide before you even know they’ve bitten you

Over the past few years bed bugs have grown as a menace throughout Southern California and the entire country.

Bed bugs inject anti-coagulants and anesthetics into your skin so they can feed and hide before you even know they are around. The bed bug’s saliva acts as an anesthetic thus masking the bite and increasing the speed of the feeding process.

Spiders limbs work like that of a machine

spider on skin

While it’s true that almost every spider in the world is venomous, most spiders teeth are either too small or lack the potency of venom to harm people. But it’s not just the fangs and the venom that scare people. Spiders have a strange way of moving, which, as it turns out isn’t that different, mechanically speaking, than the more familiar movement of a common construction site excavator.

Spiders can control blood pressure in their limbs using a combination of hemolymph (arthropod blood) and extensor muscles located in the three hip joints, which allows them to move, and even jump in the case of jumping spiders.   

Bees will create a new queen from existing larvae if necessary

image of a beeOften, the only silver lining to a bee sting is the assumed knowledge that after a single sting, the bee dies.  The truth, however, is that honeybees don’t always die after stinging something. A bee stinger may become caught in a human’s skin but many other surfaces anima skins are more forgiving and will endure multiple stings without harm to the bee itself.

But despite all this seemingly violent behavior, bees are extraordinarily community driven. As a queen bee dies, she emits a pheromone that will cause worker bees to immediately create a new queen from existing larvae.

Fleas and brushes have something in common

image of fleaYour dog or cat may disagree, but the flea is quite a magnificent creature. Not only can a flea jump 8-10 inches vertically (making it one of the best jumpers of any animal, relative to body size), and not only can the flea’s hard body withstand incredible pressure, but the common flea is in some ways similar to the common hair.

 The flea’s body is covered with hard plates called Sclerites. In the same why that a hair brush is designed to easily part the hair on your head, the flea’s hard body plates (called Sclerites) have hairs that point away from its head allowing it to easily crawl through your dog or cat’s fur.

Cockroaches just want to be loved…sort of

cockroach imageYou may know that cockroaches can live for weeks without their heads, but did you know that they like to be touched? Cockroaches are thigmotropic, which means they like solid objects coming in contact with their bodies.

Despite how interesting these pests may be, they can be damaging to our home and health. That’s where Lloyd Pest Control comes in. Our elimination service covers Southern California with more than 200 radio-dispatched trucks, 200 licensed technicians, supervisors, a Quality Control staff, an entomologist, and a biologist. For more information about each of these pests and their eradication, contact Lloyd Pest Control today at 1.800.223.2847.

 

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RATS: The Deadly Diseases they Carry

May 20th, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

 

a common rat

PLAGUE:

In 1347, the infamous Bubonic Plague, Black Death, hit Europe and wiped out a third of earth’s population. The plague is a deadly disease carried mostly by rats and spread to people by their fleas. The plague can contaminate food sources, spread from direct contact or be airborne. Pain from the disease is usually caused from deterioration of the skin. But, how did such a nasty infectious disease make its way through Europe and wipe out nearly a third of all humans?

The rats is said to have originated in China. The disease had spread rapidly until the Mongols had cut off a trade route leading into Europe. Italian Merchants in the Black Sea fled back towards Europe unknowingly carrying rats on the ship with fleas that carried the disease. From there, the disease spread wildly throughout Europe. The outbreak claimed the lives of nearly 200 million people. The bubonic plague is one of the most infamous diseases that rats have carried. Rats also carry many more infectious diseases, that if not treated can cause serious damage.

microscopic view of salmonella

Salmonella: Is a potentially deadly disease if not treated carried by mice and rats. The spread of this disease is usually through the rodent’s droppings. Consumption of contaminated food is quite common. If mouse or rat droppings are noticed around your home contact a Pest Control Expert immediately to remove the infestation and potential for contamination.

picture of a tapeworm

Tapeworms: Infect the digestive track and begin to feed on consumed food. These parasites are commonly carried in rat droppings. Although tapeworms usually cause no symptoms to its host, some do experience abdominal pain.

Rat-Bite Fever: As one can suspect this is caused through a rat’s bite. Contamination of food from the rat’s urine can also cause the condition. Symptoms are commonly seen in inflammation around open sores, rashes, chills, fever, vomiting, headaches and muscle aches.

Rat & Mice contamination is a serious problem that requires swift action. Be sure to survey your house periodically with an eye out for droppings. If you feel there may be an infestation, or would like a consultation call a professional at 1-800-223-2847.

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Summer Insects: Bring the heat, not the bugs

May 6th, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

 

Mosquito on an arm.

3 ways to enjoy summer without bugs

Preparing for the summer season is more involved than simply unpacking your bathing suit and purchasing a pair of flip-flops. As temperatures begin to rise, so does the insect population. Warm temperatures coupled with abundant new plant life allow insects to fulfill their life cycle. Because insects are cold blooded, the environment regulates their body temperature. In hot weather, bugs are much more active. Larvae grow faster, insect’s speed increases and mating peaks. As the insects strengthen their numbers, keeping them off and out all summer long can be a challenge. Here are 3 tips to keep your summer bug free.

  • Leave the perfume: A few sprays of your favorite perfume may be attractive, but with it you will attract more bugs than boys. Many types of fragrances mimic the odor of flowers, citrus and sweets. Bugs love these smells and they will flock to you.

 

  • Use unscented bug spray: If you have ever been part of a camping experience, bug spray was most likely first on your grocery list. Insects such as mosquitos, black flies and deer flies are attracted to humans by their skin odor. Bug spray works to interfere with the insect’s senses and redirect the insect from the skin. Although bug spray keeps bugs from biting you, it does not keep the bugs from flying around you. Bug spray is only effective at close distances from the treated surface.

 

  • Keep your yard clean: Often, bugs are invited near/in your home by the way the yard is maintained. Standing water, pooling and poor drainage channels can be quite inviting to mosquitos and other bugs. If you have a swimming pool, keep it chlorinated and filtered. Be sure to rotate fountain water every other week. Removing debris and leaves can help eliminate hiding spots for critters
Water pooling in backyard

If your pests are persistent and you find yourself swatting throughout the day, you might need some extra help. Contact your pest control expert to fully diagnose the bug infestation. It may require more potent measures

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Termite problems in Southern California

April 23rd, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Termite infestations are a common occurrence in areas of Southern California. If you think that you may be dealing with termites in your home or office, it is time to look for signs of infestation. In most cases, subterranean termites live under the concrete of homes and look for spots that get a lot of moisture. Drywood termites that are commonly found in Southern California are more prone to wood destroying rather than seeking shelter in concrete. To start you search for these pests, check to see if there are any small mud tunnels in or around your home. These are usually found in basements and crawl spaces. To check for drywood termite infestation, look for little wood piles found around trees, fences and stumps.

Pest control is absolutely necessary when you first notice the infestation. If left untreated, the damage can become increasingly worse, making it harder to control. To get rid of pests, you may consider these 3 bug control options.

1. Spot Control - One of the easiest ways for controlling pests on your own is to use spot control treatments. These chemical treatments come in foams, liquids and pesticides. This method is focused on one area and may not treat the entire infestation.

2. Fumigants - Fumigants can not be used around humans or animals, but are one of the quickest, most efficient ways of getting rid of pests. This treatment can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

3. High Heat - High heat treatment is ideal for small houses that are dealing with termite problems. Humans and pets must not be present, as heats within the home are drive up to 120 degrees to kill all signs of pests.

Exterminating pests is best left done by the professionals. By hiring an exterminator, you are sure to get the best results and be left with a termite-free home. Simply contact Lloyd Pest Control for your in-home consultation today!

 

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Commercial Pest Control Solutions in San Diego, CA

April 12th, 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Insects are always going to be in San Diego, California, but that doesn’t mean they need to establish a presence in YOUR office space. Whether you run a school, office or restaurant, keeping pests to a minimum is crucial to the continued success of your day to day business. In the old days, a customer who saw a rat in your hallway or a cockroach in your kitchen might tell a few friends about it. Today, hundreds of people could read their full report on Yelp or Google+. Don’t take that chance! Get rid of pests and keep your reputation standing.

Pest control issues affect some companies more than others, but every business has unique problems that deserve a targeted solution. Unfortunately, in the rush to get rid of unwanted pests, many owners make strategic mistakes in exterminating pests.

  • Can’t find the pest nest
  • Using the wrong products, wasting money and potentially endangering the health of clients.
  • Failing to see the bigger problem, which may include a pest control prevention plan to keep the building pest free and ready to pass health inspections.

In San Diego, CA the roof rat prefers gutters, power lines and beams, but if it’s necessary, they will burrow. Cold weather will drive them inside, where they may live for several years. Another pest that can carry disease is the cockroach. Roaches can live in any home or business not protected by professional pest control for years. They carry streptococcus, salmonella, dysentery, E. coli, hepatitis B, cholera, and plague. The most common roach species in Southern California are the American and Oriental roaches, and the smaller Brown-banded and German roaches.  Powderpost beetles and carpenter ants can cause damage to structures, but termites are the biggest threat to property owners in warm climates like San Diego.

 

Get rid of these pests before they have a chance to establish themselves and eat their way through your building and furnishings as the weather warms up. If you are in San Diego, California and are needing a professional exterminator, call Lloyd Pest Control today.

 

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