an infestation of ants inside of a home in roseville california

Your Guide To Roseville, California's Toughest Pests

If pests are running through your halls, it's a good idea to figure out what they are so you'll know what to do about them. Our pest library is the place to turn for all the information you need. We highlight the most common pests that infest Roseville homes – explaining what they look like, if they're dangerous, and how to get rid of them.

Ants

ants crawling on a surface inside of a home in roseville california

Ants are social insects that divide their workload into different castes, or groups. Ants have three body segments and six legs. They also have constricted waists and bent antennae; only the reproductive members have wings. Queens are reproductive females and are responsible for laying eggs. Males have the sole purpose of mating with the queens. Sterile females do the bulk of the work. They gather food, care for the larvae, maintain the nest, and defend the colony.

Preventing ants from invading your home is important. Not only are they are a nuisance, but they contaminate food, spread bacteria, and are challenging to eliminate once established. There are more than 12,000 ant species that live throughout the world and, in our area, there are two species that cause property owners the most problems: the Argentine ant and the odorous house ant. Both species are nuisance pests and are not known for biting, causing significant health problems, or damaging property. You can identify Argentine ants by the long trails that they make as they move back and forth from their nest to a food source. On the other hand, you can identify odorous house ants by their smell. These ants emit a foul odor that smells like rotting coconut when crushed. Both of these ant species feed on a wide variety of foods, including sweets, meats, and carbohydrates. Finding their way into homes while searching for food to feed their colony is the most common reason for an infestation.

Ant Prevention Tips: Keep ants out of your home by sealing any openings in the foundation, exterior walls, or roofline. Repair torn screens and place door sweeps on all exterior doors. Create a barrier of stone or crushed rock between any mulch or soil and your foundation. Cut back shrubs and tree branches from your house. Remove access to food sources by keeping locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, and picking up uneaten pet food. Finally, keep kitchen and pantry areas clean and free of food debris.

Cockroaches

a german cockroach crawling on a plant outside of a home in roseville california

Cockroaches are hearty, social pests that live in various indoor and outdoor locations throughout the world. These insects are difficult to eradicate for many reasons: they can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes, run up to 3 miles per hour, and live for up to a week without their heads. Cockroaches have oval-shaped bodies, six spine-covered legs, and heads that are much smaller in size than their bodies. These insects are scavengers and feed on a wide variety of food and non-food items. Cockroaches get into homes – often while foraging for food – in a variety of ways, such as inside bags, in piles of mail, and inside used appliances or furniture.

There are 4,000 species of cockroaches living throughout the world, and about 70 species living in the United States. In our area, two species that homeowners deal with regularly are the German cockroach and Turkestan cockroach. The German cockroach is a small species that prefers to live indoors and causes significant problems inside homes and businesses, especially restaurants. The Turkestan cockroach prefers more of an outdoor lifestyle, but in the summer, when their populations are at their peak, they often find their way indoors. These cockroaches are attracted to outdoor lights and gain access to buildings through openings in their exteriors. Cockroaches are responsible for triggering allergies and asthma attacks, and spreading bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites that make people ill. You must get rid of them immediately if they gain access to your home.

Cockroach Prevention Tips: Inspect the foundation, roofline, and exterior walls of your home, and seal up any potential entry points you find. Place weatherstripping around windows and install door sweeps under exterior doors. Get rid of food sources that attract scavenging cockroaches by keeping locking lids on trash cans and compost bins, keeping outdoor eating areas clean, and storing food in the refrigerator or containers with airtight lids. Because moisture attracts cockroaches, use dehumidifiers in your home to reduce moisture levels, and make sure gutters are working to prevent water from pooling around your foundation.

Earwigs

an earwig crawling on a plant outside of a home in roseville california

Earwigs are common garden pests that spend most of their time outside, occasionally moving into homes and other structures. Though earwigs are not dangerous to people, many believe they are because of the myth that they crawl into the ears of sleeping people, boring holes into their brains in which to lay their eggs; luckily, this is only a myth. People also think these insects are more dangerous than they are because of their appearance. They have long, flat, slender bodies with appendages (cerci) extending from their abdomens. These pincers are not strong enough to cause pain or harm to people, and they are used to defend themselves against predators and each other.

Earwigs are nuisance pests, although they can cause plant damage in gardens if their numbers are very high. Earwigs are eco-important because they feed on and control populations of aphids and other garden pests. Their ability to enter homes in large numbers, and being difficult to prevent and eliminate, are the main reasons why these pests are problematic for homeowners. In the late fall, when the weather cools, these pests often find their way inside homes to spend the winter, attracted by their warmth. They hide in attics, wall voids, under floors, and in crawlspaces. Not only are these insects annoying to deal with, but they produce an unpleasant odor when disturbed, and they can potentially contaminate dry goods stored in the pantry or kitchen.

Earwig Prevention Tips: Eliminate earwig entry points into your home by sealing any spaces in the foundation and exterior walls. Place door sweeps on exterior doors, especially basement doors. Moisture attracts earwigs, so keep gutters clear, fix leaky outdoor fixtures, and replace mulch with drier gardening materials like crushed rock. Use dehumidifiers in the basement to reduce moisture and ventilate crawl spaces. The best way to prevent problems with earwigs is to be proactive and partner with a professional.

Rats

a rat crawling across the ground outside of a home in roseville california

Rats are large rodents that are a common sight in our area. Being a type of rodent, rats have large, sharp front incisors that grow throughout their lifetime. To prevent these teeth from overgrowing, they chew on almost anything they come across, making them very destructive pests to have on your property. Additionally, rats are dangerous due to diseases such as hantavirus, salmonella, rat-bite fever, and leptospirosis that they can spread to people with their saliva, urine, and excrement. When living on residential properties, they contaminate food, leave grease marks on furniture and walls, and damage structural elements like wires, pipes, drywall, insulation, electrical equipment, and more.

Two of the most common species of rats that invade homes in our area are the roof rat and Norway rat. The Norway rat has a blunt rose and a dense, heavy body covered in brown fur, with black hairs scattered throughout. These rats get inside through openings found at ground level. The roof rat has a much slimmer build. These rats are very agile and are known for being great climbers. They have pointed noses, and their bodies have dark brown or black fur, with gray hairs scattered throughout. As their name suggests, roofs rats move inside buildings through openings found along the roofline or the roof, itself. As our habitats have merged, rats have come to rely on people for some of their essential needs. They will take advantage of any food, water, and shelter we unintentionally provide them. Keeping rats out of our yards and homes is vital in protecting people and property from the dangers and damage they inflict.

Rat Prevention Tips: The best way to avoid problems with rats is to remove their easy access to food on your property. Keep tight-fitting lids on all outdoor trash cans and compost bins, and remove trash from your home daily. Get rid of bird feeders from your property, and pick up uneaten pet food at night. Keep outdoor eating areas clear of food debris. Reduce hiding spots on your property by removing fallen trees, trees stumps, piles of wood, and other debris from your yard. Eliminate easy access into your home by cutting back tree branches and overgrown shrubs from its exterior. Seal up cracks and openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.

Spiders

a black widow spider hanging from a web inside of a home in roseville california

Spiders live in high populations all around us. They are reclusive by nature and take advantage of dark, secluded hiding spots. At night, these mostly nocturnal creatures emerge to hunt. Spiders are predators and feed on other spiders, insects, and small invertebrates. They are beneficial creatures, controlling populations of garden pests and other nuisance insects. These 8-legged arachnids prefer to live outdoors but often find their way into homes, garages, warehouses, barns, and other structures while following their prey.

Most household spiders throughout the United States, including California, are harmless nuisance pests. All spiders contain venom, but only a couple of species living in the U.S. have venom potent enough to trigger health problems in people. In our area, the black widow spider is an example of a dangerous spider. Although they don’t seek to harm people, they will defend themselves with a venom-filled bite if they feel threatened. Another dangerous species of spiders in the U.S. is the brown recluse. The good news, however, is that this species isn’t native to California. Putting into place prevention measures to stop any spiders from taking over your yard and moving into your home is important. Once spiders make their way inside, they create unsightly webs, are difficult to eliminate, and are not creatures anyone wants to share their home with.

Spider Prevention Tips: Eliminate hiding and nesting spots for these reclusive creatures in your yard by removing fallen trees, woodpiles, rock piles, and overgrown vegetation. Keep spiders and insects out of your house by sealing openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and around windows and doors. Repair screens that have tears. Vacuum and dust indoors, and keep storage areas neat and free of debris. Replace white outdoor lights that attract insects with yellow or LED bulbs, which are less attractive; the fewer insects you have gathered around your home, the fewer spiders you will have gathered around your home.

Wasps

a european paper wasp crawling on a plant outside of a home in roseville california

Wasps are a type of stinging insect, and the majority of wasps are predators. They kill and feed on species of nuisance garden pests, spiders, and other insects. Adult wasps feed on pollen and nectar and, therefore, are responsible for some pollination. Though wasps are eco-important, they are also dangerous pests. Wasps deliver painful stings to defend themselves, and the venom they inject is strong enough to cause severe allergic reactions in some people. If wasps build a nest near, on, or in your home, they should be removed by a professional as quickly as possible.

The European paper wasp and yellow jacket are both common species in our area, and they are often mistaken for each other. Both of these wasps are a combination of black and yellow that create a similar striped pattern on their bodies. The biggest physical difference between these two species is that paper wasps have thinner waists and are a bit larger than yellow jackets; however, getting close enough to tell the difference is not recommended! The easiest way to tell yellow jackets and paper wasps apart is by their nests. Paper wasps place their unique, upside-down umbrella-shaped nests above the ground in trees, on utility poles, and under roof eaves, while yellow jackets place their nests underground, in secluded trees, or wall voids.

Wasp Prevention Tips: Fill holes in your yard and remove tree stumps, fallen trees, and other debris. Cut tree branches away from the exterior walls and roof of your home. Make sure outdoor trash cans and compost bins have tight-fitting lids to keep wasps from foraging for food in them. Remove water sources by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures. Get rid of entry points by placing caps on chimneys and weatherstripping around windows and doors. Fix holes along the roofline, and replace damaged windows and door screens.

White Line Pest Management helps homeowners maintain properties that are free from our area's toughest pests. We understand the pest pressures that our area faces, and we are proud to offer our home pest control services throughout Roseville, California. Reach out today to learn more about our comprehensive pest control services.

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