Spring and summer signal new beginnings. Seeds sprout, flowers bloom, new creatures are born, and life begins anew. Along with all of this new life comes some more unwelcome activity as unwelcome critters find their way into your picnics, sporting events, backyards, and within the walls of your home. Let’s take a look at some of the most common spring and summertime critters to watch for as warmer weather seeps into Southern California.
Common California Pests and Insects
- Bees and Wasps
Rodents can do some major damage if they get into your home. Once rodents get in, they can be difficult to get out as they winding their way through the walls and into your linen closet and food storage. Once you pull out the camping gear, you may find additional furry families that have wintered with you. Rats can be especially dangerous because they can carry zoonotic diseases, such as hantavirus and leptospirosis.
Other Southern California rodents include voles, moles, and gophers. Although these littler critters tend to stay out of the home, they can wreak havoc on your yard and summer vegetable garden.
The most dangerous spiders in the SoCal area include the black widow, the brown widow, and the desert recluse. Avoid bites by wearing shoes outdoors and being careful before putting hands in holes, under furniture, and in woodpiles. Shake out those summer inner tubes and beach towels to ensure spiders haven’t made them a home during colder months.
Spider infestations can be controlled with a few easy tricks.
- Keep woodpiles, leaves, and brush away from entryways.
- Seal cracks around windows and your home’s foundation.
- Vacuum and sweep storage areas and dark corners to remove webs.
Bees and Wasps
Bees and wasps can wreak havoc on summer picnics and outdoor activities and can quickly turn a nice summer evening sour. Those allergic to bee stings are especially in danger. Exterminating bees and wasps can be difficult as nests can be tucked away in hard-to-reach areas, such as within walls or in attics. If you see an overabundance of bees or wasps near your home, try to find where they are going to and from and call in a professional to remove the nest.
Ants are a common problem in San Diego homes where water is readily available. Some of the most populous ants in Southern California include Argentine ants, carpenter ants, red imported fire ants, pavement ants, and Pharaoh ants. Some of these ants can cause painful stings and even carry harmful bacteria into the home.
To prevent ant infestations:
- Seal cracks around doors and windows and within foundations.
- Prune away shrubs and branches near the home.
- Keep floors and surfaces clear of food particles.
Bats can be a terrifying pest to encounter, but in all actuality they are great for the environment. Bats are protected by law because of their diet, which consists of many local insects. Bats are attracted to open spaces where they have easy access to insects. They can often be found in attics or overhangs within a property. The main danger of bats lies within their ability to carry rabies, and the fungal hazard that accompanies their excrement. Because bats are dangerous and also protected by law, it’s important to stay away from them and call in a professional to remove them from your property.
With a few simple steps, you should have no problem having a fun, pest-free spring and summer.