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Pest Library

What you need to know about pests in Orange County, California

The first thing that everybody needs to know about pests is that they do not belong in our Orange County, CA homes, nor should they be allowed to take over our yards. The best way to guard our properties against insects, rodents, and more is to learn which ones live in our area in large populations. Knowing what our area's common pests look like, where they live, and what they like to eat is important in order to keep these dangerous, destructive, and annoying pests at bay.

We may be a new pest control company, but our technicians are some of the most experienced in the industry and area. Benefit from all of their knowledge and learn about the pests that plague Orange County, CA area homes and businesses in our Pest Library.

To help educate you about the pests that live in Orange County, we have put together a helpful pest guide that provides a quick overview of our area's most problematic pests. 

Bed Bugs

The reason bed bugs are so closely associated with people and are such regular, albeit unwanted, visitors to our homes is that our blood is their preferred food source. While they will feed on other warm-blooded animals like cats, dogs, birds, and rodents, if we are around, we are their target. Bed bugs are insects that have adapted to living indoors. They have oval-shaped flat bodies that are reddish-brown. After consuming a blood meal, they will swell in size, elongate, and turn a darker color.

As indoor pests, their main mode of transportation has become hitchhiking. They will move to wherever we take them after crawling onto our clothing or personal belongings like furniture, bags, or luggage. People easily transport bed bugs across streets, towns, and countries as we travel, work, and run daily errands. Once bed bugs have found their way into your home, they will retreat to dark, tight spaces to hide and emerge at night to feed. Knowing their most common hiding spots is important to help identify a problem with these pests as quickly as possible.

Regular bed bug hideouts include:

  • The seams of mattresses and box springs.
  • Behind baseboards, trim, and wall hangings.
  • Behind the cushions of upholstered furniture.
  • In cracks that develop in walls, floors, and wooden furniture.
  • Within piles of dirty laundry and other areas of clutter.

In addition to our professional bed bug treatment services, there are several steps you can take around your home to protect it from bed bugs. Our top prevention tips include:

  • Always inspect secondhand items for bedbugs before bringing them into your house.
  • If possible, never purchases used mattresses or box springs for use in your home.
  • Take care when traveling; always inspect your hotel room or other rentals for bed bugs before bringing your luggage inside. 
  • Regularly vacuum your home and change and wash your family's bedding.
  • After having overnight guests always thoroughly clean the room, they slept in.
  • Do your best to keep your belongings up off the ground and away from other people's things in public places. 

Cockroaches

Did you know that most of the thousands of species of cockroaches living worldwide are not associated with people and have no real interest in moving into our homes? That's right; it is only a handful of cockroaches that have given this insect their bad name. Most cockroaches live outside well away from people and are actually helpful. 

  • They act as a food source for other animals. 
  • As they move across plants and flowers, cockroaches help in the pollination process. 
  • As scavengers, they help to eliminate decaying organic matter. 

However, those species, like American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and oriental cockroaches that live outside near our homes or have adapted to living indoors with people, are quite dangerous and problematic.

Cockroaches are naturally drawn to areas of filth and are responsible for carrying and transmitting a variety of diseases, bacteria, and pathogens that can make people ill. When cockroaches find a way into our homes either on their own or after being unknowingly transported inside, they make themselves at home, taking advantage of any food, water, and shelter they find. Cockroaches are prolific breeders and quickly develop into large populations. Inside our homes, cockroaches cause many problems, including contaminating food, food prep areas, and other surfaces. Cockroaches are also a source of allergens, and their shed skins and excrement trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Additionally, their presence causes a lot of stress and makes people feel uncomfortable in their own homes.

In addition to our professional home pest control services, there are several steps you can take around your house to make it less attractive to problematic cockroaches.

Our top prevention tips include:

  • Eliminate excess water and moisture by repairing leaking pipes and fixtures, keeping gutters clear, and using dehumidifiers in naturally humid areas of your home.
  • Remove their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins, keeping kitchen areas clean, and regularly vacuuming your house.
  • Get rid of clutter in your yard where cockroaches like to hide like woodpiles, lawn debris, and leaf piles. Create a barrier between any mulch and your foundation. 
  • Prevent roaches from easily moving into your home by sealing spaces in its exterior, keeping screens on vents and drains, and making sure screens are secure in windows and doors.
  • Always inspect boxes, deliveries, and secondhand items for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

Pantry Pests

The only thing you want to find in your pantry is the stored foods that should be in there, not the eggs and feeding larvae of pantry pests. Pantry pests have received their name because they invade and contaminate stored products. Female pantry pests lay their eggs in stored foods like flour, cereal, dry pet food, and like items, and once the larvae hatch, they begin feeding on those items. Pantry pests cause major economic loss in the food industry.

Some of the most common pantry pests that find their way into our homes regularly include:

  • Earwigs
  • Indian meal moths
  • Silverfish
  • Millipedes
  • Moths
  • Weevils
  • Flour beetles

Pantry pests are problematic inside our homes, grocery stores, restaurants, food storage facilities, pet stores, schools, and anywhere else food is handled and stored. The most common way pantry pests find a way into our homes is inside stored products purchased from the store already infested with pantry pest larvae or eggs. Once the larvae develop into adults, the females will lay their eggs on dry goods stored within your home, continuing the lifecycle and infestation within your home. In addition to the larvae and eggs of pantry pests entering your home through purchased food items, an infestation can also happen after adults move into your home. Things like light and moisture attract pantry pest adults. As they move along windows, doors, and exterior walls, they come across openings that allow these pests to move into your home. 

In addition to our professional pest control services, there are steps you can take to protect your home and family's food from pantry pests.

Our top prevention tips include:

  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging and properly store them in plastic or glass containers with snug lids.
  • When shopping, pay attention to the food packaging and never purchase anything with torn or ripped packaging. 
  • Keep your pantry and other food storage areas free of food debris.
  • Make sure the screens in windows and doors are secure. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors as well.
  • Turn off outdoor lights that are attractive to some species of pantry pests. 
  • Store edible seasonal decorations like dried corn, potpourri, etc., in plastic containers with locking lids.

Rodents

Rodents are wild animals that have developed a very close relationship with people and our homes and businesses. Rats and mice are the most troublesome species of rodents that people deal with regularly. Mice and rats are prolific breeders, cause structural damage with their sharp front incisors, contaminate food, and carry and spread many diseases and parasites. Their shed fur and excrement can trigger allergies. Though rodents are happy to take advantage of the food, water, and shelter our properties provide, the feeling is not mutual and having rodents in our homes is not something that makes us happy. 

If you discover a rodent in your Santa Ana or any Orange County home, it is likely a field mouse, house mouse, roof rat, or Norway rat. All four species have developed a need to "share our table" and want to live with us and forage for food in our trash cans, gardens, kitchens, and pet food bowls. As rodents are moving around our yards, it is easy for them to find a way into our house through openings in our home's exterior walls. Depending on the species, rodents can enter either at ground level or above the ground. Once inside, rodents will move into dark, quiet spaces to protect themselves and avoid detection. Since rodents are nocturnal, it can take some time to identify an infestation, and we are often alerted to a problem, not by the rodents themselves but the signs they leave behind. Noticing things like rod-shaped droppings, gnaw marks, or musty odors in your home should alert you to a rodent infestation. Short circuits caused by chewed wires are another common problem caused by rodents. If you spot any signs of rodents in your home, immediately reach out to us for assistance!

In addition to our professional wildlife exclusion services, there are several steps you can take around your house and yard to make it less attractive to rodents.

Our top prevention tips include:

  • Outdoor trash cans always need their lids in place to reduce food odors and a rodent's access to food. 
  • Remove excess yard clutter where rodents can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter from storage areas in your home like closets, basements, or attics.
  • Ensure large openings leading into your house like chimneys, vents, and drains have appropriate covers over them.
  • Repair cracks or other openings that develop in your foundation or roofline. Install door sweeps, weatherstripping, and make sure screens in windows and doors are secure.
  • Regularly vacuum your house and wipe down counters to remove crumbs rodents could use as a food source.

Spiders

Next to ants, spiders are probably the most easily recognized household pests. Their eight legs, two body segments, many eyes, and quick movements make them easy to identify. Beneficial out in nature, spiders are natural predators and help control insect populations, but they are unwanted pests in our homes. There are a wide variety of spiders that live in California and across the United States, with some of the most well-known being black widows, wolf spiders, and daddy long legs. 

Spiders are more often than not found outside during the spring and summer seasons, building their webs in areas of lush vegetation and hunting the many insects present in large populations. Our yards, filled with grass, trees, and landscaping plants, provide perfect habitats for spiders to thrive. Many insects move indoors in the fall and winter seasons as food sources diminish and weather conditions become less suitable. As their insect prey moves indoors, spiders will follow. Once inside, and as long as there is plenty of food, moisture, and shelter available, spiders tend to stay and lay their eggs, creating an even larger and more difficult-to-manage infestation. 

In addition to our professional pest control services, there are several steps you can take around your property to protect it from a spider infestation.

Our top prevention tips include:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Vacuum and sweep your home regularly, to remove spider webs, spiders, and their eggs.
  • Keep your house and yard free of the clutter where spiders like to hide.
  • Seal gaps around windows and repair damaged window screens.
  • Repair gaps along your foundation and roofline.
  • Outdoor lights attract insects to your home; keep those lights off as much as possible.

Stinging Insects

Though stinging insects are beneficial to the environment, they can cause big problems when deciding to nest in our California yards or homes, and you may even find yourself asking Are Wasps In Orange County Dangerous? Stinging insects are most active in the summer; unfortunately, that is the time of year when we are also most active outside, putting us near these pests on a regular basis. Having a lot of contact with these pests is dangerous because of their stingers that extend from their hind ends. When they feel threatened, stinging insects are known to defend themselves by delivering painful stings filled with venom. The venom of stinging insects is potent enough to trigger serious reactions in people and pets that are allergic to the venom. 

Two of the most common stinging insects in our area are the paper wasp and yellow jacket, both are predatory species and help control nuisance insect populations. As they move around gardens and flowerbeds, they also aid in pollination. When stinging insects decided to nest in a yard, they will make quick work of taking advantage of the food sources it provides. They don't just stay in the garden; they also forage for food and become problematic around trash cans, recycling bins, grills, and outdoor eating areas. Knowing where these stinging insects regularly build their nests will help you identify and avoid a nesting site until a professional can come to your property and remove the nest.

Regular nesting sites include:

  • Ground holes
  • Within or under woodpiles or shrubbery
  • Trees and utility poles
  • Under decks, railings, or roof eaves
  • Behind shutters or siding
  • On or in chimneys
  • Inside wall voids or attic spaces

In addition to our professional pest control services, there are several steps you can take around your yard to make it less attractive to nesting or hungry stinging insects. Our top prevention tips include:

  • Fill in ground holes on your property.
  • Remove unnecessary piles of wood and yard debris from your yard.
  • Cut back shrubs, trees, and bushes away from your home's exterior and roofline.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
  • Reduce the amount of flowering vegetation planted near steps, entrances, exits, or other high-traffic areas.

If you want to get rid of pests from your Orange County area home or business, then turn to the professionals at Black Diamond Pest Control. Our friendly and experienced professionals will provide you with the customized services necessary to eliminate pests and ongoing services to prevent their return. Learn more about our residential or commercial pest control solutions by reaching out to us today and speaking with one of our helpful pest control professionals!