a spider crawling on the floor

A Guide To The Common Pests Of Sacramento, California

If you are curious to learn more about the pests crawling or buzzing around your property, our pest library is the resource you need. This reference page will provide helpful information about our area's most common insects and rodents, helping you to maintain a pest-free property. From their habits to the potential dangers they pose, our pest library has everything you need to know about Sacramento's common pests.

Ants

several ants outside of a house

Ants are social insects and one of the most common pests to invade homes and other structures. Most species of ants create multiple indoor and outdoor nesting locations making them a tough pest for property owners to control and eliminate. Ants come in a variety of colors, and all have three distinct body parts - head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have a pair of bent antennae and a constricted waist.

Ants will feed on almost any type of food, but sweets are a big attraction. You'll find these pests foraging for food in our trash cans, compost bins, and gardens. Inside, they seek out crumbs and spilled liquids in our kitchen and pantry areas.

There are over 700 species of ants living throughout the U.S. The most common in our area are Argentine ants, pavement ants, and carpenter ants. Like most species of ants, Argentine ants and pavement ants are both nuisance ants.

Nuisance ants contaminate food and invade properties in large numbers, but they do not cause significant danger to people or property. The carpenter ant, on the other hand, is an example of a dangerous ant. After finding their way into a structure while foraging for food, they often stay to nest inside water-damaged structural wood and eventually cause significant and costly structural damage. Ants, no matter the species, should never be allowed to roam around our homes and businesses.

Avoid problems with ants by using the following prevention tips:

  • Reduce moisture levels in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes, keeping gutters clear, and utilizing dehumidifiers.

  • Limit their access to food by placing tight-fitting lids on all outdoor trash cans and compost bins.

  • Pick up fallen fruits and vegetables in garden areas and uneaten pet food between feedings.

  • Cut back overgrown vegetation.

  • Caulk openings in exterior walls, place mesh covers over vents, and seal spaces around wires and pipes entering your house.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug on a persons skin

Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded mammals. While they will feed on the blood of animals, people are their preferred hosts. Bed bugs are nocturnal, emerging at night to feed on the blood of their sleeping hosts.

During the day, bed bugs hide in small dark spaces like the seams of mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture. They also hide in the cracks in wood furniture and walls, behind baseboards and wall hangings, and under piles of dirty laundry. Bed bugs live anywhere people come and go regularly. Houses, hotels, libraries, movie theaters, schools, office buildings, and shopping centers are places you can find them.

Adult bed bugs grow to about 1/4 of an inch long, have six legs, and a flat oval-shaped, reddish-brown body. People often say that they resemble an apple seed with legs. Bed bugs are wingless, but they move from place to place easily by hitchhiking on people or their belongings. Avoiding bed bugs is difficult because they live where we live, work, and visit.

Bed bugs are also prolific breeders, and a few hitchhiking their way into a structure have the potential to create a large scale infestation. Working with a professional to get rid of bed bugs from homes and businesses is the best way to ensure their complete elimination.

Avoid problems with bed bugs by using the following prevention tips:

  • Always inspect your hotel room or any other rental before bringing luggage and personal belongings into it.

  • Do not buy used furniture, mattresses, or box springs.

  • Place a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to help reduce hiding spots in your home.

  • Keep luggage, coats, and other personal belongings up off the ground in public places and away from other people's belongings.

Cockroaches

a cockroach on an egg carton

You can find cockroaches living worldwide. Many species live outdoors far away from people and pose no risks to us or our property. However, there are a handful of species that have a closer relationship with people, and these regularly invade our homes and businesses.

Some of the most common species of roaches living in our area include the brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach. All three are capable of finding their way in while foraging for food or after hitchhiking their way in inside of used appliances, furniture, deliveries, or potted plants.

Cockroaches have an oval body shape, long antennae, and six legs. Some species have wings, although whether winged or not, cockroaches are not adept fliers. Most species, like the German cockroach and Oriental cockroach, prefer to live in damp, dark areas. Inside they nest in and around drains, in cabinets under sinks, in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Brown-banded cockroaches differ because they prefer warm, dry areas like attics and cabinets.

Something all cockroaches have in common is that they should never live with or near people. Roaches carry and transmit a variety of human pathogens, viruses, and parasites and contaminate food and surfaces. Their presence also triggers allergies and asthma attacks, especially in young children.

Avoid problems with cockroaches by using the following prevention tips:

  • Reduce moisture levels in and around your home.

  • Keep gutters clear of debris, fix leaky pipes and fixtures, and use dehumidifiers in the basement and other damp areas of your home.

  • Seal cracks in the exterior walls, roofline, and foundation of your house.

  • Repair loose screens, and place weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep cockroaches out.

  • Always inspect deliveries and used furniture and appliances for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

  • Eliminate their access to food by placing locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, picking up uneaten pet food, and storing food inside the fridge or containers with airtight lids.

Rodents

a rat outside of a home

Rodents are mammals, and all have front incisors that grow continuously throughout their lifetime. These animals vary in size, color, behavior, and food preference. They live in rural, urban, and suburban locations and invade our yards, homes, and businesses regularly. Mice and rats are two of the most common species of rodents that people come into contact with.

Both mice and rats are damaging and dangerous pests. They cause structural damage, spread disease and parasites, and contaminate food and food prep areas with their excrement and saliva.

Rodents invade our properties because they have come to rely on people for their basic needs. Rats and mice are omnivores feeding on seeds, fruits, meats, and grains. They forage for food in our gardens, compost piles, and bird feeders, and look for shelter in our yards, homes, and garages.

Rodents are shy animals and choose places to nest that will keep them out of sight. Tall grass, woodpiles, areas under decks, fallen logs, trees stumps, lawnmowers, and machinery all make suitable hideouts for rodents. Those that move inside to nest usually do so in basements, boxes, crawlspaces, attics, and the back of closets and cabinets.

Avoid problems with rodents by using the following prevention tips:

  • Eliminate hiding spots on your property by getting rid of fallen trees and tree stumps.

  • Keep the grass short and cut back overgrown shrubs and garden areas to limit hiding spots.

  • Keep rodents out of your home by sealing spaces in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.

  • Get rid of easy access to food by keeping tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins. Make sure outdoor eating areas are free of food debris and harvest fruits and vegetables in garden areas.

Spiders

a black widow spider in its web

Spiders are arachnids and live outside all around us. They live in our gardens, our grass, our woodpiles, and in the dark cracks and crevices inside our homes. Spiders vary in color, color patterns, and size, but all have eight legs, two body parts, and no wings or antennae. Spiders are predators, feeding on and helping to control a number of nuisance insects. Spiders typically only become unwanted once they invade our homes.

Most species of spiders that people come into contact with are harmless and considered nuisance pests. Nuisance spiders living in our area include the house spider, wolf spider, and orb-weaver spider. Their venom is not strong enough to cause harm to a person. Brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders are examples of dangerous spiders living in our area.

The black widow spider is the most common for people to come into contact with. They have shiny, black bodies and an identifying reddish-orange hourglass marking on their belly. The venom in both black widow and brown recluse spiders is strong enough to cause serious health concerns in people - a bite from either warrants medical attention.

Avoid problems with spiders using by the following prevention tips:

  • Reduce moisture levels in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes, keeping gutters clear, and use dehumidifiers.

  • Seal up cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline to keep spiders out of your home.

  • Keep storage areas clear of clutter and well-organized.

  • Make your property less attractive to them by keeping the grass cut short, removing excess woodpiles, cutting back overgrown vegetation, and maintaining garden areas.

Stinging Insects

a wasp crawling on a handrail

Stinging insects all have stingers that they use as a means of defense and to inject venom and paralyze their prey. Living outside and away from people, they are considered very beneficial. Wasps, yellow jackets, and bees are all examples of stinging insects. They help to pollinate crops, flowers and other plants, and the predatory species help to control populations of nuisance insects.

However, when stinging insects decide to nest near our homes, they become dangerous because of the health risks associated with them. Stinging insects deliver painful stings and have venom that is powerful enough to trigger severe allergic reactions in some people. You should always take care around stinging insects and never intentionally provoke them.

Our yards make great places for stinging insects to forage for food and shelter. They are outdoor pests, and keeping them off of our properties is a difficult task. Wasps, yellow jackets, and bees feed on the food in our trash containers, compost piles, and gardens. They nest in trees, shrubs, woodpiles, and ground holes located on our properties.

Unfortunately, our homes also provide sheltered areas for these insects to build nests like doorways, roof eaves, and decks. Stinging insects are most troublesome for people during the late summer and fall months when their colonies have their highest populations, and workers are out foraging for food to sustain the queen and colony members.

Avoid problems with stinging insects by using the following prevention tips:

  • Keep stinging insects out of your house by sealing cracks in exterior walls and the roofline, and place caps on chimneys.

  • Repair loose screens and install weatherstripping around windows and doors.

  • Limit the number of flowering plants on your property, especially near your exterior walls.

  • Remove excess woodpiles, cut back overgrown vegetation, and cut tree branches away from the outside walls of your home.

If you are looking for exceptional pest protection in Greater Sacramento, contact Suburban Pest Control Service, and learn about our effective pest control services!

 

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