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Pest Library

Common Pests in Santa Barbara & Surrounding Areas 

No one wants pests infesting their home or business. However, if this happens, it helps to have information about the pests you are dealing with and what issues they cause. Our pest library is a resource you can use to identify and learn about the most common pests in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas. 

Read on and reach out should you have questions or want to schedule a professional pest control service. Call (805) 491-9521 or connect with Jhonny's Pest Control online.


ants close up

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

Argentine ants do not spread diseases to people or bite, but they are an invasive species that causes a lot of strain on the local ecosystem. They displace other ant species, help aphids thrive, and are also responsible for crop devastation. On the other hand, pharaoh ants can spread dangerous pathogens to people by contaminating food surfaces.

Did you know ants release chemicals that attract other ants? These insects do this for several reasons, primarily to alert the rest of their colony of danger or a food source. As a result, it is never a smart idea to crush ants or even use store-bought sprays to kill them. Instead, let our experts at Jhonny's Pest Control assist you.

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

  • Keep your yard maintained, removing organic debris and clearing any branches that touch your home
  • Routinely treat your gardens for pest
  • Fill any cracks in your foundation and exterior walls and repair any damaged screens
  • Keep gutters from getting clogged
  • Fix any leaking pipes and faucets
  • Ensure your building has proper ventilation
  • Sweep and wipe down surfaces daily to eliminate crumbs
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Rinse out food packaging before throwing it away.

Bed Bugs

bed bug close up

Bed bugs are considered external parasites (“blood-sucking ectoparasites,” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency). However, they do not live on a host like other parasites. Instead, bed bugs live close by and come out at night to feed. Their tendencies lead many people to believe that bed bugs only infest areas around beds, but this is untrue. 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 do not transmit diseases, bites can lead to secondary infections, high stress, and insomnia.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and unsuspecting people can easily pick them up 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 check hotel rooms before your stay.

If you are concerned about a bed bug infestation, do not waste time trying to get rid of these pests alone. Instead, allow our team to assist you with our specialty bed bug control services.


close up of cockroach

Cockroaches are among the most well-known pests to home and business owners. They frequently invade spaces looking for food and water sources. 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

Cockroach infestations pose many risks. These pests contaminate food and surfaces, exposing people to health risks. They can also aggravate allergies and asthma, creating an overall unsafe living environment.

Not only are cockroaches dangerous, but they are 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:

  1. Remove food sources by cleaning up crumbs right away, using garbage cans with tight-fitting lids, and properly storing food.
  2. Remove water sources by repairing leaks and keeping your yard clear of organic debris.
  3. Remove entry points by repairing cracks in the foundation, installing screens and weatherstripping on all exterior doors and windows, and placing covers on drains.


Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. There are over 2,500 known species of fleas, with the most problematic being the cat flea, dog flea, ground squirrel flea, and oriental rat flea. Fleas pose health risks to humans and pets and can cause all kinds of property damage to furniture and carpets. 

Flea infestations can quickly become a major problem for property owners. These pests reproduce rapidly and are able to live for several months without feeding, making eradicating them complicated. In fact, flea infestations are difficult to address without professional help. 

DIY methods may offer temporary relief, but they will generally not eliminate the root of the problem. This can lead to recurring infestations and frustration. If you notice any sign of fleas on your property, call Jhonny's Pest Control immediately. 


mouse with baby mice

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

Rodents are opportunists and will take advantage of any food, water, or shelter that you supply. These pests can chew through various materials to gain entry to your property. Once inside, they can spread diseases and parasites and worsen allergies. They can also cause cosmetic and structural damage by chewing on wires, pipes, and more.

How can you steer clear of problems with rodents? 

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
  • Address any moisture issues you might have
  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your building for potential cracks and gaps that these pests could squeeze through.

Additionally, you can turn to our team at Jhonny's Pest Control for effective rodent solutions. Whether you have an active infestation or want to prevent one from happening, we are your best bet. 


spider close up in nest

Spiders are arachnids, which means they have eight legs and a hard exoskeleton. Most people are familiar with spiders but do not know much about the many species in our area. 

Fortunately, almost all spider species in North America are not medically dangerous. However, the black widow can be dangerous, particularly for young children and the elderly. You can identify these spiders by their iconic black appearance and red hourglass markings on their abdomens. 

Another common spider in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas is the harvestman spider. You may know them as “daddy longlegs.” This species is not dangerous, but they can cause quite a fright. 

An important thing to note about spider sightings is they are signs of other pests. Why is that? Spiders prey on other insects. If they are in your building, there is a good chance additional bugs are there for them to feed on. 

You do not have to live with spiders. At Jhonny's Pest Control, we can keep spiders away with targeted treatments and general pest control to eliminate prey pests. 


Mosquitoes are a huge nuisance. If you spend time outside at dusk or dawn or frequent wet areas, you know this to be true. Fortunately, you do not have to let mosquitoes ruin your outdoor time. Through strategic actions and professional help, you can effectively reduce and control mosquito populations. 

One of the most important things you can do to tackle mosquito problems is to remove standing water sources, such as old tires, bird baths, clogged gutters, and unused flowerpots. Doing so can make your property less inhabitable for these buzzing insects. 

In addition to these measures, you can turn to Jhonny's Pest Control for mosquito control. We can strategically spray insecticides and employ larvicides to kill existing mosquitoes and disrupt their reproduction cycle. With our help, mosquitoes can be a thing of the past.


Termites close up

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 that can include thousands of these insects. 

Termites are often associated with older homes that have water-damaged or decaying wood. However, they are able to cause problems in new homes with untreated, dry wood. 

Regardless of the termite species, these bugs can do extensive damage to any property. In severe cases, they can leave properties structurally weak and dangerous to inhabit.

If you see insects that look like white flying ants, these are termite swarmers. They indicate a forming infestation. 

Other signs of a termite infestation include: 

  • Piles of dropped wings near windowsills
  • Mud tubes along the foundation
  • Clicking noises coming from inside walls

Call Jhonny's Pest Control for expert termite inspection and termite if you notice any of the above. Are you interested in ways to prevent an infestation from ever occurring? 

You can reduce your risk by: 

  • Replacing water-damaged wood
  • Sealing foundation cracks
  • Implementing moisture control measures
  • Scheduling a yearly termite inspection


California is home to several wasp species, including yellow jackets, paper wasps, and mud daubers. These stinging insects are a common sight in our state’s urban and rural areas. In general, wasps have thin bodies with a narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen. They have six legs and two pairs of wings that are translucent or lightly colored.

Wasp colors range from bright yellow to dark brown or black. Some species have distinct stripes or spots on their bodies. Wasps also have large eyes and antennae, which they use to navigate and find food. 

While they may play an important role in pollination and pest control, they can also pose a threat to humans and pets. Wasps can become aggressive and sting multiple times when agitated. These stings can be painful. In the worst cases, wasp stings can cause nausea, vomiting, and severe allergic reactions

If you have issues with wasps on your property, trust our professional team at Jhonny's Pest Control for control solutions. We can identify the scope of the issue and safely remove and eliminate wasp nests and populations. 

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For Professional Pest Control Services, Go with Jhonny's Pest Control

We are the go-to in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas for comprehensive pest control. Our team is licensed, trained, and highly experienced. No matter the type or scope of an infestation, trust us for the job. 

Request a free estimate for our pest control services by calling (805) 491-9521 or reaching out online.

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