Watch Out For These Winter Pests in Southern California

Watch Out For These Winter Pests in Southern California

Winter is a time of year that everyone loves. There’s two magnificent holidays, there’s an excuse to drink endless amounts of coffee and hot chocolate, you get to wear comfy clothes like scarves and boots, you might be able to light your fireplace (if you have one), the list goes on.

Unfortunately, we humans aren’t the only creatures that love to be warm and cozy during the winter.

The following is a list of unwanted house guests that you need to keep your eyes peeled for this winter.

Carpenter Ants

It’s common to believe that once summer is over, all your ant problems will be over. However, that’s not always the case. Not all ants are the same and some are indeed active during the winter months. A carpenter ant is one of them.

Risks: Luckily, these ants do not come with a health risk to humans. Unluckily, they do come at a risk of doing some damage to your house as these ants make their nests within wood.

What to Look For: If you happen to spot small holes within your wooden structures, you’re going to want to get your wood checked out.

Remedies: Carpenter ants are difficult to get rid of so your best solution would be to seek professional help from your local pest elimination team.

Box Elder Bugs

If you have Box Elder Bugs in your home, you’ve actually got the best pest that you can get! That sounds weird, but these bugs are only a mere annoyance.

Risks: There are no dangers to this bug to humans or to your house. Regardless, you don’t want bugs in your house, right?

What to Look For: Box Elder Bugs are probably bugs you’ve seen all the time but had not known the name of them. These creepy little buggers are usually bright red and black with reddish narrow lines along its back. They seek out shelter in buildings in the winter, coming in through cracks or crevices in walls, doors, under windows, and around foundations, particularly on south and west exposures.

Remedies: A vacuum cleaner will do the trick if you happen to see these bugs out and about, followed by taking prevention measures. Spraying fast-acting synthetic pyrethroids on exterior walls will help prevent the Box Elder Bugs from returning.

Asian Lady Beetles

The Asian Lady Beetle or Ladybug can actually become a pest. These cute little bugs we all seem to love can actually be annoying to have in your house. Cute or not, nobody wants a bug infestation in their house.

Risks: If you’re into Ladybugs, you have the best pest problem of all. They don’t harm humans or houses! They just infest the place.

What to Look For: Large numbers of adult Ladybugs around buildings. They enjoy outside surfaces of structures, they congregate in the cracks and gaps of the sides and inside of the building, and on the walls and ceilings. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a yellow-colored secretion that the beetles may produce and deposits on surfaces.

Remedies: The remedy to a Ladybug problem is preventative. You want to seal cracks and gaps in your house, paying particular attention to sidings, doors, windows, chimneys, ridge, soffit and gable vents, openings around pipes, and conduit and utility wires. Replace any broken door screens and repair any damaged windows.

House Mice

Some find them cute, most find them annoying (and rightfully so)! Odds are, if you see a mouse, you’re going to freak, but us at Green Rat Control have you covered.

Risks: Mice are a danger to both you and your house. For your house, you can get structural damage. These little creepy crawlers chew on wires which can lead to your house catching on fire! For you, they can cause health risks. Mice carry all sorts of nasties; bacteria, diseases, parasites, and viruses. It is crucial to spot the signs and fix the problem ASAP.

What to Look For: Sometimes you have daring mice that like to bolt out right in front of you when you’re about to do something, such as watch TV. They are brown, grey, or black in color and are rather small. You may hear them in your walls running about while you’re trying to sleep. You might spot small chew marks on cardboard boxes of your cereal. Or worst of all, you might spot mouse droppings in a corner of your cupboard (or worst of the worst: on your kitchen counter). These droppings are rod-shaped and pointed on both ends.

Remedies: There are preventative remedies. Seal every single crack, crevice, hole and gap larger than a pen cap with something strong, such as cement. Do not use wood as mice can chew through wood. Make sure your house is in tip-top shape in terms of cleanliness, such as washing your dishes immediately after use.

Your best bet to get rid of your mouse infestation is to get the help of trained professionals. This isn’t something you want to mess around with. As mentioned before, Green Rat Control have you covered.

Norway Rats

15102219218_65dc565244_zSource: Bayer CropScience UK

Another rodent creepy that are an annoyance and a danger to you and your house is the Norway Rat. Here’s what you need to know:

Risks: As is usually common knowledge, much like House Mice, Norway Rats do carry diseases and can cause structural damage.

The CDC lists out 11, yes, 11, diseases directly transmitted by rodents:

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
Lassa Fever
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
Rat-Bite Fever
South American Arenaviruses (Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Sabiá-associated hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever)

What to Look For: As for your house? Keep your eyes peeled for outdoor burrows surrounding the building, gnaw markings on food and objects such as utility lines. Rub marks or grease stains caused by rats running along an edge also can indicate activity. The darker the stain, the greater the activity. Perhaps one of the most well-known signs is their droppings, which are blunt and can be scattered along a rodent pathway. Usually, you won’t see a Norway Rat unless they are forced out of their hiding space due to limited space or disturbances. If you do happen to see a rat, you may have a rather large infestation.

Remedies: Preventative remedies include reducing their food sources, water sources, and shelter sources. Like House Mice, seal all cracks, gaps, and crevices with the tough stuff immediately. Close any object that opens such as a window or a door. Repair plumbing leaks and remove containers outside that contain standing water.

To get rid of the Norway Rat, you’re going to need professional help. Here at Green Rat Control, we are just the guys to take care of your rat problem (humanely, too)!

Black Widows

Black Widows. Black wid-no. You know how Black Widow kicks major butt in The Avengers? She gets her name from one of the most butt kicking spiders out there. Here’s what you need to know.

Risks: Black Widow bites are poisonous. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a Black Widow bite will feel similar to a pinprick when first bitten. Fifteen minutes to an hour later, the pain will become a dull muscle pain it will be felt throughout the body. If you were bitten on your upper body, you’ll feel most of the pain in your chest. Lower body and you will feel most of the pain in your abdomen. For more information, please click here.

What to Look For: Black Widows produce messy, irregular webs. Webs can usually be found near ground level and under a protected ledge such as under lawn furniture or wood piles. The female with the iconic red hourglass marking also indicates their presence. Inside your home, black widows usually hide in sheltered, dimly lit locations such as garages, dark corners, basements, closets and cluttered areas.

Remedies: Remedies include cleanliness. Eliminate as much clutter as possible in storage areas such as attics and closets. Frequently dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, and under furniture. Always wear gloves when handling debris or material like firewood. Seal cracks to prevent them from coming inside. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove webs, spiders and their egg sacs.

Keep your family safe and you home pest free this winter. Don’t let unwanted guests ruin your holidays! Green Rat Control uses only eco-friendly products to get rid of any rat infestation that might find it’s way into your home. Visit their site or call to schedule your free estimate!