California is not just a state. It’s a state of mind. Just moving to Cali makes people feel relaxed, happy, and just a little bit more sunny. That’s why more and more people are looking at California real estate.
It seems like the California mindset is not just one of those things people have. Insects like it too. If you are worried about the type of bugs that you might run into in the confines of your own home, don’t panic. Our guide will teach you about them and how to prevent them.
What household bugs do you have to watch for in California?
Whether you’re in San Bernadino or San Francisco, there’s going to be a chance that you might deal with pests in your home. These are the ones that you have to worry about the most…
If you have dogs or cats, be careful. Fleas are a possibility for you. These pests are typically spread by biting pest rodents like mice and rats. When the rodents end up in your home, fleas can make their homes on your pets…or your carpeting.
The best way to prevent fleas from entering your home is to address rodent problems immediately and prevent their entry. Oh, and give your pets flea prevention medicine on a regular basis.
No one likes cockroaches in California, but California sure does seem to attract cockroaches. These are the most common pests found in urban parts of the state, especially in cities like Los Angeles and Oakland. It’s a part of city life, but they can also infiltrate the suburbs.
While Oriental cockroaches and American roaches can be found here, the true menace to Cali homes is the German cockroach. German roaches are particularly awful because they are so hard to get rid of once they make a home in your place.
Cockroaches can be repelled by keeping entry points sealed (including drains). You also should remove food from your area and take out the trash daily. Having roach traps around the perimeter of your building and planting roach-repellent plants can help.
PRO TIP – If you hear that one apartment in your building has cockroaches, put roach traps near the entrance of your apartment. They often scurry from room to room.
It isn’t summer in California without mosquito bites. These annoying insects are the cause of many itchy welts on bodies throughout the United States. More often than not, you will see the bites sooner than you’ll see them.
Citronella candles and bug spray are your besties here.
Ants are a huge problem outdoors, especially in Southern California. Considering the size of California as a state, it should come as no surprise to anyone that there is a wide array of different ant species you may find.
Pavement, Pharaoh, Thief, and Carpenter ants are the most common. With most ant species, the easiest way to prevent them is to remove their food sources from them. Keeping food sealed in bags, avoiding keeping food outside, and using common sense can help.
In the case of carpenter ants, you need to make sure to seal your home’s wood up. Otherwise, they will start to eat away at the structure of your home. If you have an odorous house ant, you’ll smell the infestation.
PRO TIP – If you suspect termites or carpenter ants, call an exterminator and a repairman. The structural integrity of your home could be at risk.
Termites look like larger ants and can occasionally emit a slightly sour smell. They tend to have larger abdomens and antennae. Some also have wings. Much like carpenter ants, their favorite target is your home.
Unlike carpenter ants, termites don’t just drill in your home. They also tend to eat the woody pulp in your home. Sealing your home regularly, checking for termite holes, and getting any infested furniture out of your house ASAP are what keep these at bay.
It’s important to remember that termites, like carpenter ants, can damage the structural integrity of your house. If you see them, call a repairman.
6. Bed Bugs
You know this is a must-have on any list of common pests, especially in a place that is as populous as California. Bed bugs are basically little insect vampires. Their main dish is human blood, nothing else. So, they’re found where humans are found.
Bed bugs come in by hitching in luggage. When they get in your home, they’ll nest anywhere that is warm and fluffy—more specifically, anywhere that you tend to hang out. Beds, couches, bean bag chairs, and even carpets can end up being a place for them to hide.
While bed bugs are pretty terrible, the worst that you will get from them are allergic reactions and a case of PTSD from them. They are exceedingly difficult to get rid of and they spread fast. Professional treatment is absolutely necessary.
The easiest way to check for bed bugs is to look at the mattress you have. If you see reddish-brown stains or little shell casings, then you have bed bugs. Generally speaking, just having the bites (three in a straight line) will be reason enough to call an exterminator.
PRO TIP – Always check your luggage after you take a trip to a hotel. Hotels might look clean, but they are pretty good places for bed bugs to network. Heat kills bedbugs, so if you recently had an infestation, use a steamer to sanitize affected areas.
Spiders are commonplace everywhere, and in California, there are tons of spiders that can end up in your home. Indoors, the most common ones include house spiders, crab spiders, jumping spiders, and daddy longlegs spiders. They’re all harmless, really.
However, there are several very venomous and common species of spider to watch for. The worst ones are black widow spiders, white widow spiders, and brown recluse spiders. (Yes, there is a species of spider known as a white widow. It’s not just an herbal strain.)
Most spiders will eat other baddies, like ticks and bed bugs. If you notice a venomous one, don’t get bitten. Remove it and consider calling an exterminator if the problem persists.
8. Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are often mistaken for fleas. They can jump like fleas, but they do not focus on pets as fleas do. Their main prey is fabric, or really, anything that looks even remotely like a textile. They bite and can cause seriously bad rashes.
Carpet beetles are fuzzy, reddish-brown beetles that can multiply to large numbers and destroy clothing and carpets alike. They eat carpets pretty quickly and can also spread to cars, where they eat upholstery.
Vacuuming regularly and thoroughly cleaning carpets is all you need to do to prevent them. Your vacuum and a good rug shampooer are going to be your best allies.
Silverfish aren’t fish, but rather, long thin arthropods that are light grey and move in a fish-like manner. As the name would suggest, silverfish are fans of water and moisture. In fact, they gravitate toward it wherever they go.
These creepy bugs tend to nest in moist books, often like the ones you may find in a basement. If you want to avoid them, make sure that your rooms are dry. Clean bathtubs and wipe them down. Oh, and avoid keeping books near damp areas.
Wasps are not like honeybees, though they look a lot like them. Wasps don’t make honey, but their stings are something fearsome. They are also very aggressive and will sting you just because you exist.
Wasps, especially paper wasps, will make their home in any cracks or crevices that they can find. Sealing up the house properly and removing any wasp nests that are in your area are two smart ways to prevent them from making your home theirs.
PRO TIP – Do not try to remove a wasp’s nest near your house or in your house. This is a job for animal control or pest control, depending on your municipality and situation.
California is a massive state that can have a lot of different types of bugs living in it. The specifics of what you will find in your area depend on where you’re located. In Northern California, bugs tend to be more petite and cold-hardy. SoCal is more prone to desert bugs.
Regardless of where you live, a lot of what you should do relies on proper prevention. A clean home that’s cared for deserves regular pest prevention. Don’t you think?