3 Things You Should Know About Fire Ants

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Ants

Did you know that fire ants regularly kill small animals and eat them? Now before you get too worried, they cannot kill your outdoor pets, unless they are newborn horses, newborn calves, chicken, ducks, or geese. If you do have a horse or cow that is pregnant, make sure they are in a fire ant-free area when giving birth. For today, we are going to assume you do not have any of the above animals and are just trying to keep fire ants out of your yard. Here are some things you should know about fire ants and some practical ways to keep them away.

Fire Ants Are Rarely Indoor Pests

Ants are often known for the way they invade homes and scavenge for food. Fire ants are one of the exceptions in that they prefer the outdoors. This doesn’t mean they never invade homes, just that it is rare for them to do so. One reason for this is that fire ants love the heat that just can't be found in a temperature-controlled house. The hotter outside it is, the better.

Fire Ants Bite & Sting

One thing that sets fire ants apart from other ant species is that they both bite and sting. Biting at first to grip onto the skin and then stinging with a potent venom designed to kill smaller prey. Enough of these bites and it will feel like your skin is burning, hence their name, fire ants.

Prevention Steps For Fire Ants

Are you looking for a way to keep fire ants off your property? Here is a list of prevention steps you can take to minimize your risk of them settling down in your yard or invading your home:
  • Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from the exterior walls of your home.
  • Make sure no mulch or bedding material is directly touching your home’s foundation.
  • Mow your lawn regularly so that your grass stays at a reasonable length.
  • Pick up over-ripened fruit as it falls from trees.
  • Make sure all of your trashcans have tight-fitting lids.
  • Keep piles of leaves, grass clippings, and stacked wood a reasonable distance away from the walls of your house.

The Best Prevention For Fire Ants

For a prevention solution that goes above and beyond, Ventura County Pest Control has a pest control plan for you. Our fire ant treatments create a protective barrier that effectively stops fire ants before they can settle down on your property. No more worrying about being bitten or stung while enjoying your yard. With Ventura County, you get the protection you deserve. If you want to learn more about our pest control service options, reach out to us today.
Are Black Widow Spiders In Ventura County Dangerous?

Are Black Widow Spiders In Ventura County Dangerous?

Black widow spiders are the most venomous spiders in North America. Their venom is 15 times as toxic as a prairie rattlesnake’s venom. The black widow can be found indoors and outdoors throughout the Ventura County area. Only the female black widow is dangerous to humans. The male black widow is reclusive and rarely seen by humans. Sometimes, a female black widow will kill the male after mating. There are roughly 2,200 black widow bites reported every year in the U.S.

How To Identify A Black Widow

The body of a female black widow spider is around half an inch long. Normally, the female is shiny black and has a red hourglass marking on the underside of her abdomen. The marking may range in color from yellowish orange to red and the shape can vary as well. Black widow spiders prefer dark places and may hide in garages, basements, closets, cluttered areas, or anywhere that is dimly lit.

Dangers Black Widows Pose

Thankfully, no one has died from a black widow bite in over ten years. However, serious reactions to a bite will often require a trip to the emergency room and may require the use of narcotics and antivenin to counteract the effects of the black widow’s venom. Some patients require hospital stays, especially children and elderly patients. Doctors’ offices and urgent care centers may not be equipped to treat black widow bites. If you or someone you know is bitten by a black widow spider, call Poison Control right away at (800)222-1222.

Turn To The Professionals

DIY methods of spider removal often fail when not every spider is found and taken care of. If you do not remove any hidden egg sacs, you risk having hundreds of spiders hatching. A black widow can lay up to five sacks, each containing as many as 200 eggs. Some females live for more than three years. Keep in mind there are reasons the black widow and other spiders come inside Ventura County homes - food and shelter. If you are seeing spiders around your home, then they have found a reliable food source, which is other pests. Harmful pests like black widow spiders are not something to mess with. Trust the professionals at Ventura County Pest Control. Our six-step treatment plan ensures you won’t have to worry about black widow spiders or other pests. Contact us for a free no-obligation pest evaluation. Our lines are open 24/7.
Your Guide To Swarming Termites

Your Guide To Swarming Termites

Seeing a swarm of termites is not a good sign, as they are looking to start a new colony of their own. But at least if you’re lucky enough to spot them, you can act quickly to prevent any future damage they can cause...hopefully.

What Swarming Termites Look Like

A swarming termite has straight antennae, a body that is mostly uniform in width, and front wings that are the same size as their hind wings. Drywood termites usually have red or brown bodies, and dampwood termites are light yellow or tan. Swarming termites will lose their wings after fertilization and will then proceed to form new colonies.

Damage Termites Can Cause

Don’t discount the amount of havoc these pests can cost. Termites do an average of 5 billion dollars in damages to homes and properties every year. When they get into homes, they can damage support beams, floorboards, wood siding, windowsills, ceiling joists, and posts. They can also damage wood decks, sheds, and other outbuildings. Because they chew away from the inside of the wood beams, homeowners may not realize they have termites until they start noticing signs like buckling floor and walls. If termites can get into the White House and go undetected for years, they can get into your house as well!

What To Do

Termites can enter your home through a small opening that is 1/32 of an inch. All it takes is for them to find space around a drainpipe or even a crack in your foundation. A colony can range from thousands of termites to millions, so it is vital for homeowners to act swiftly before the colony has a chance to grow and do more damage. There is often more than one swarm setting up colonies around your house, so you could have competing termite communities infesting your property. Your best defense is to call Ventura County Pest Control. Our certified professional pest technicians are experienced in dealing with termites and other pests. Ventura County utilizes the Sentricon System to eradicate termites by strategically placing bait stations around the perimeter of your home. Termites can't resist the noviflumuron bait and will be drawn to it more than the wood in your house. It prevents the worker termites from molting, and once they take it back to their nest, they and the other termites begin to die off. Without workers, there will not be any food for the other termites, which will help eradicate the colony. Ventura County provides quality customer service achieved through our Guiding Principles. For a free no obligation pest evaluation, contact Ventura County Pest Control today!
3 Things Ventura County Residents Should Know About Mosquitoes

3 Things Ventura County Residents Should Know About Mosquitoes

Three things all Ventura County residents should know are what mosquitoes want, the dangers they pose, and how to avoid making your property a breeding spot for mosquitoes.

Not All Mosquitoes Bite

Mosquitoes don’t bite, they suck, and only female mosquitoes do this. She needs the protein in blood to help her eggs develop. It is believed that mosquitoes prefer type O blood and they use C02 to identify bite targets. They also are attracted to lactic acid, so people who are being active outside will have more mosquitoes seeking them out.

Problems Mosquitoes Cause

Mosquitoes are not just annoying insects that cause itchy red welts. They can spread diseases such as malaria, Dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. Around one million people die from mosquito-transmitted diseases yearly, worldwide. While there are vaccines and medications that can protect people from some of these diseases, it is best to take precautions and protect yourself against their bites.

How To Deter Mosquitoes

One of the best ways to deter mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding grounds. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so if you have any on your property, eliminate it if possible. For example, if you have kiddie pools, wheelbarrows, empty flowerpots, buckets, etc., store them upside down or remove them so that water won’t collect and become stagnant. It also helps to clear away brush around your property. Dusk to dawn is when mosquitoes are most active so staying inside at these times is helpful. Also, not having outside lighting on at night will help keep mosquitoes and other pests away. While some DIY treatments suggest spraying yourself down with bug sprays, the best protection from mosquitoes is to treat the problem at the source.

How Ventura County Pest Control Can Help

Ventura County Pest Control takes the threat of mosquitoes seriously. We offer the most comprehensive mosquito treatment around. We use a specialized targeted power mist. Our technicians eliminate breeding sites by treating standing water with a pre-emergent product. They also apply a mosquito granule to the turf to help target and control mosquitoes hiding in the grass. You can count on the Ventura County guarantee - we will get rid of your pests and keep them away! Call us to schedule services, our lines are open 24/7.
When Is Termite Swarm Season In Ventura County, Colorado?

When Is Termite Swarm Season In Ventura County, Colorado?

A swarm of insects is never a good thing, especially when the insects that are swarming are responsible for billions of dollars in property damage each year. The fact of the matter is that when termites swarm, wood gets eaten, the damage goes unnoticed, and homes are destroyed from the inside out. Is your home at risk? Here in Colorado, we have a number of different termite species, all of which swarm during different times of the year. Our list of the most common termite species here in Colorado will help you to understand when they have been known to swarm.
  • Eastern subterranean termites swarm in the months of February to May, during morning hours.
  • Southeastern drywood termites swarm in spring, during the night.
  • Formosan termites swarm in late spring, during the night.
  • Light Southeastern subterranean termites swarm in the fall, during the day.
  • Dark Southeastern subterranean termites swarm in the months of March to June, during the day.
  • Arid land subterranean termites swarm during spring and fall, during daytime hours.
  • Western drywood termites swarm in the summer, during the day.
If you see winged termites flying around your home, consult the list above to learn which type of swarmers they may be.  

Signs Of A Termite Infestation

Our hope is that your home does not already have an active termite infestation. Some signs that termites have invaded include pencil-sized mud tubes running up your exterior foundation, bowing walls, sagging floors, and overly squeaky floorboards. Also, look out for bubbling wallpaper and paint, and tunnels running into and through the wood of your home. Termite damage often goes unnoticed until it is severe. To know for certain if your home is termite-free, consider giving the professionals here at Ventura County a chance to inspect your home.

Why DIY Fails

If you suspect that you have termites eating away at your home or commercial building and are thinking of fighting them alone, consider these facts first:
  • Termites are invasive creatures, hiding in walls where you cannot see them. This makes knowing whether or not treatments have been effective.
  • Most over the counter termite control products contain chemicals that when used improperly, can pose a risk to you, your family, and your pets.
  • Without the proper tools and experience, treating for termites can be rather difficult and costly.

Why Ventura County Is Your Best Choice To Deal With Termites

Because of the nature of termites, professional help is always recommended if they have invaded your home or commercial building. Regardless of whether or not your building currently has termites, we would like to offer our assistance in making sure your home gets and stays termite-free. To find out more about how we treat for termites, or to schedule a service appointment for your home, give the experts here at Ventura County Pest Control a call!