What bug is in my Sacramento home and how can I prevent it?
It’s that time of year again: pesky, annoying bugs have found their way into your home and you just can’t figure out how.
For starters, a bug’s recent stay may not be entirely your fault. As the Sacramento weather continues to warm up, all types of bugs are popping out of the cracks and crevices.
Soon the insects will seek respite from the heat and your home will be the perfect place to relax.
Besides common ants, fleas, cockroaches, and general spider visitors, Sacramento is known to be home to tough creatures that carry disease and even venom, increasing the number of calls pest control experts receive.
“Everyone’s tolerance level is different,” said Jayson Gaultney, Vice President of Direct Hit Pest Control in Rio Linda. “Some people see an insect and call pest control, it’s very individual.”
The Bee quoted Direct Hit Pest Control’s guide to “Common Summertime Bugs near Sacramento” and cross-referenced the list with Gaultney and other online resources to get a better idea of what kind of bugs to expect, from their habits and where they are most likely to be found.
Here’s what we learned, plus the best way to keep those bugs out of your home:
Elder box bugs
In the same family as bedbugs, heirloom bedbugs have a half-inch elongated, flattened oval body with six legs and two antennae, according to Direct Hit Pest Control. These insects usually enter the home in large numbers, but usually do not damage property – they just stain surfaces.
“Usually when you start seeing them, it’s pretty common to see a lot of them at once,” Gaultney said. “They kind of come in large numbers because they tend to congregate around specific trees and they go into a breeding cycle and the next thing you know, you have hundreds of them.”
Where you’ll probably find them: in sunny areas of your home, especially in small spaces where they can get the most heat.
Cockroaches, including the small German cockroaches traditionally found in food cupboards, are prevalent year-round. But the Turkestan cockroach has taken hold of the Sacramento area. These outdoor sewer cockroaches are currently breeding, which means you’ll likely see a few big crawlers in the summer, Gaultney said.
“There are a lot of them outside, so they get into the cracks and crevices around your foundation where the cement meets the foundation of the house, but they usually come from storm drains or sewers,” he said. he declares.
Where you’ll probably find them: in dark and damp places.
black widow spiders
Spiders bloom during the summer, with a specific increase in black widow spiders. With venom 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake, their bite causes pain, nausea and difficulty breathing, according to National Geographic.
“Black widow spiders are of more concern because they can be dangerous, they’re really the only dangerous spider we have in our area,” Gaultney said. “Black Widows Warrant a Call for Pest Control.”
Spiders are extremely common in Sacramento during the summer, but they’re hard to spot during the day because they hide in gaps and under objects, Gaultney said. Black widow spiders are usually identified by their strong web.
“Black widow spiders are identified by their red hourglass mark on the underside of their shiny black abdomen,” according to the Direct Hit Pest Control website.
Where you’ll probably find them: in “poorly sheltered places”, including firewood, foundation voids, lawn furniture and outdoor toys.
How to know if you have been bitten: According to National Geographic, although bites can be fatal (more likely in babies, the elderly, and sick people), you are unlikely to die.
“In humans, bites produce muscle pain, nausea and paralysis of the diaphragm which can make it difficult to breathe; However, contrary to popular belief, most people bitten suffer no serious harm, let alone death.
They only bite in self-defense.
Nearly invisible springtails don’t sting or bite, but they do cause problems for houseplants, according to Direct Hit Pest Control. Slender, elongated insects jump using their abdomen.
“These guys come in big numbers, they have splits and they’re very persistent,” Gaultney said. “They are resistant to pesticides, so they are quite difficult to kill.
Where you’ll probably find them: in the soil of overwatered houseplants, indoor plumbing leaks and under outdoor carpets.
The house fly is the most common fly in homes, and although it only lives up to 25 days, it reproduces quickly and carries disease, according to Direct Hit Pest Control. House flies enter the house through its “structural problems”, attracted by “cool drafts” on summer days.
“The main control for houseflies is sanitation,” Gaultney said.
Where you’ll probably find them: windowsills, door cracks and garbage.
The tiny six-legged gnats aren’t very common, but they can take up residence in homes, especially where fruit is left out, according to Direct Hit Pest Control. The bloodsucking gray flying insects resemble mosquitoes and are often called “blind mosquitoes,” according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“They’re seasonal, they come in large numbers, sometimes you’ll see little swarms passing by,” Gaultney said.
Where you’ll probably find them: near the open fruit.
Here’s how to specifically limit the number of houseflies and gnats in your home, according to the California Department of Public Health:
- Remove decaying organic matter, including meat, leaves, grass, clippings, household trash, and pet waste from the home.
- Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, lemon oil, eucalyptus, or IR3535.
- Turn off or dim the lights at night.
- Cover human and animal food.
Gnats are small, long-legged flying insects attracted to moist, moist areas, according to Direct Hit Pest Control. Some bite for blood and transmit disease.
Where you’ll probably find them: Near food scraps and wet ground.
Of the 6,000 species of thrips, most are only harmful to plants, according to Direct Hit Pest Control.
The tiny, slender, winged insects that feed puncture the host’s tissues and “suck in the contents of the cells”, resulting in discoloration of the markings. Gaultney said they resemble midges in that they are tiny flying insects.
Where you’ll probably find them: in onion, bean, carrot or squash plants.
How can I limit insects in my home?
Pests and insects are drawn to a home for the same reasons you are: food, water and shelter. So removing these items will force unwanted critters to move on, according to pest control company Ortho.
Here are some tips to help limit the number of insects in your home, according to Ortho:
▪ Do not leave gaps around doors and windows.
▪ Keep kitchen counters dry and clean.
▪ Sweep regularly.
▪ Keep the exterior of your home debris free.
▪ Kill insects as you see them.
This story was originally published June 9, 2022 5:00 a.m.