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Common Pests In Santa Barbara & Surrounding Areas

What You Need To Know About Pests In The Santa Barbara Area

No one wants to deal with a pest infestation, but if or when one happens, it helps if you know what kind of pests you’re dealing with and what issues they might cause in your house. Our Pest Library is a resource you can use to identify and learn about the most common pests in Santa Barbara and the surrounding area, and how to eradicate common pests from your home.

Ants

ants in a kitchen

Ants are social insects that live in large colonies. Although many of the species you will encounter are considered nuisance pests, some can cause concerns for Santa Barbara-area residents. Two of these species are Argentine ants and pharaoh ants.

Argentine ants don't spread diseases to people or bite, but as an invasive species, they cause a lot of strain on the ecosystem, including displacing other ant species and helping aphids thrive. They are also responsible for crop devastation.

On the other hand, pharaoh ants can spread dangerous pathogens to people, such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, and salmonella. They do this by contaminating food and surfaces.

Did you know ants release chemicals that attract other ants? They do this for several reasons, including letting the rest of their colony know they found a food source or alerting them to danger. Because of this, it is never a smart idea to crush ants or even use store-bought sprays on them. Instead, let our experts at Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc. assist you.

To get you started with ant prevention, here are a few tips that will help to keep these pests away:

  • Keep your yard maintained, remove organic debris, treat gardens for pests, and clear any branches touching your home.
  • Fill any cracks in your home's foundation and exterior walls and repair any damaged screens.
  • Keep gutters from getting clogged, fix any leaking pipes and faucets, and ensure your home has proper ventilation.
  • Sweep and wipe down surfaces daily to eliminate crumbs, store food in airtight containers, and rinse out food packaging before throwing it away.

Bed Bugs

bed bug up close

Bed bugs are external parasites; however, they don't live on a host. Instead, bed bugs live close by and come out at night to feed. Because of this, many people believe that bed bugs only infest the areas around beds, but this isn't true. Bed bugs can spread throughout a home, living in furniture, curtains, electrical outlets, appliances, and just about anywhere else.

These reddish-brown pests have flat, oval-shaped bodies but will become swollen and redder once they feed. Usually, the first signs of bed bugs are bites, likely in clusters around the ankles, arms, shoulders, and other exposed skin. Although they don't transmit diseases, bites can lead to secondary infections, high stress, and insomnia.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers and easily picked up by unsuspecting people in public places such as offices, schools, restaurants, theaters, and more. To reduce the possibility of this happening, never put your belongings on the floor, inspect bags before returning home, and also check hotel rooms before your stay.

If you are concerned about a bed bug infestation, don't waste time trying to get rid of these pests on your own. Instead, allow our Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc. team to assist you with our specialty bed bug control services.

Cockroaches

cockroach in a basement

Cockroaches are well-known pests to home and business owners because they are frequent invaders attracted by the abundant food and water sources people provide. Cockroaches will eat just about anything, including garbage and waste.

Several cockroach species are common in our area:

  • German cockroaches

  • American cockroaches

  • Brown-banded cockroaches

When these pests infest, they come with many problems, including the many diseases they spread as they contaminate food and surfaces. Cockroaches can cause salmonellosis, cholera, and E. coli. They can also aggravate allergies and asthma, creating an overall unsafe living environment.

Not only are cockroaches dangerous, but they are also among the most challenging pests to get rid of. They have strong immune systems that allow them to adapt to conventional pesticides. There are a few things you should do to make your home less attractive to cockroaches:

  • Remove food sources by cleaning up crumbs right away, using garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, and properly storing food.

  • Remove water sources by repairing leaks and keeping your yard clear of organic debris.

  • Remove entry points by repairing cracks in the foundation, installing screens and weatherstripping on all exterior doors and windows, and placing covers on drains.

For more tips about cockroach control and prevention, call us at Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc.

Rodents

mama mouse with babies

The most common home-invading rodents are mice and rats. While they both share similar qualities, you will likely never experience an infestation of both mice and rats at the same time because they are both territorial pests.

Rodents are opportunists and will take advantage of any food, water, or shelter resource you might be supplying. Because rodents have teeth that never stop growing, they can chew through almost any material to get into your home. Once inside, rodents can spread diseases parasites and affect allergies. They can also cause cosmetic and structural damage, chewing on wires, pipes, and more.

Although there are many different store-bought traps and baits on the market, these control methods help to eliminate conducive conditions, which attract rodents. To do this, you should replace your garbage cans with bins that have tight-fitting lids, keep your yard clear of debris, remove access to food in your home, and address any moisture issues you might have. Also, regularly inspect the exterior of your home for potential cracks and gaps that these pests can squeeze through.

You should never try to handle rodents yourself, but you can keep your home protected from rodents with ongoing professional rodent control. Whether you have an active infestation or want to prevent one from happening, we can help at Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc.

Spiders

male and female black widow spiders

Spiders are arachnids, which means they have eight legs and a hard exoskeleton. Most people are familiar with spiders but don't know much about the many different species in our area. Even though almost all species in North America are not considered medically dangerous to people, we do have black widows.

Only female black widows are dangerous. You can identify them by their iconic shiny black appearance and red hourglass marking on the abdomen. While bites from this spider are rarely fatal, you should always seek medical attention.

Another species in our area is the harvestman spider; you may know them as daddy longlegs. Although this species is not dangerous, their presence in any home is unwelcome.

Unfortunately, if you see spiders, there are likely other pests around also because spiders feed on prey pests and are attracted to homes where they can get food easily.

In a way, spiders are helpful to us because they keep pest populations under control, but you don't have to live with them in your home. At Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc., we can help you deter prey pests and keep spiders away.

Termites

big termite with small termites

Termites are wood-destroying pests that cause billions of dollars in damages each year. They can move into a property and go unnoticed for a long time. As social insects, termites live in large colonies of thousands of individuals.

Termites are often associated with older homes that have water-damaged or decaying wood, but some species consume untreated, dry wood. No matter the termite species you are dealing with, they can cause extensive damage to any property. In some cases, the damage caused by these pests can leave home structurally weak and dangerous for people to live in.

If you see insects that look like white flying ants, these are termite swarmers, and they indicate a forming infestation. You might also see piles of dropped wings near windowsills, mud tubes along the foundation, or hear clicking noises coming from inside walls. Call us at Jhonny's Pest Control, Inc. for an expert termite inspection and treatment visit if you suspect a termite problem.

You can help prevent a termite infestation by reducing the moisture on your property, replacing any water-damaged wood, sealing cracks in the foundation, and keeping up with a yearly inspection to catch these pests early.

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