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Published on April 20, 2017. Last modified on October 21, 2019

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Getting Help with Pests

Bed Bugs

Bed_bug_300x210What are bedbugs

Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, such as humans, birds, rodents, bats and pets. Young bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed and adults are about quarter of an inch in length. Their bodies are oval and flat, and their color ranges from nearly white (after molting) to deep brown (after feeding). Bed bugs come out at night to feed and live in cracks and crevices.

How did beg bugs get into my home?

Bed bugs are efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported home on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture, etc. Travelers returning from countries where bed bugs are common bring bed bugs home in their luggage or clothes. Buying secondhand furniture is another way bed bugs can enter your home. The cleanliness of the dwelling has little to do with the level of bed bug infestation. Bed bugs will thrive in any location where there are warm-blooded hosts and plenty of hiding places.

Additional Information:


Fleas_300x210Types of Fleas

Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are frequently encountered in homes and are common pests on domestic cats and dogs. Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) look like cat fleas, but are rare in California. Sticktight fleas (Echidnophaga gallinacea) can become a problem when pets frequent areas near poultry. Female sticktight fleas firmly attach themselves around the ears and eyes of their host. Fleas on either cats or dogs in California are most likely cat fleas.

Problems with Fleas

The cat flea is suspected of transmitting murine typhus to humans, but its primary importance is in its annoyance to people and pets. Cat fleas readily try to feed on almost any warm-blooded animal. Some people are bothered by the sensation of fleas walking on their skin, but bites are the major nuisance. Bites tend to be concentrated on the lower legs but can also occur on other parts of the body. The bite consists of a small, central red spot surrounded by a red halo, usually without excessive swelling. Flea bites usually cause minor itching but may become increasingly irritating to people with sensitive or reactive skin. Some people and pets suffer from flea bite allergic dermatitis, characterized by intense itching, hair loss, reddening of the skin, and secondary infection. Just one bite may initiate an allergic reaction, and itching may persist up to 5 days after the bite. Cat fleas may also serve as intermediary hosts of dog tapeworms. Cats or dogs may acquire this intestinal parasite while grooming themselves by ingesting adult fleas that contain a cyst of the tapeworm.

Additional Information:

Rats Prevention Tips & Resources

rats_300x210Types of Rats

Norway Rat: The Norway rat has a heavy body with a tail shorter than its head and body length. It lives on the ground and seldom climbs trees, shrubs or buildings.

Roof Rats: The roof rat has a slender body with a tail no longer than its head and body length. It climbs in shrubs, trees and buildings.

Rat Proofing your Building After the rats have been killed, care should be taken so they will not enter your home again. Close all openings larger than ¼ inch to exclude mice as well as rats. Close vents, holes and overlapping roof lines with 16 to 20 gauge ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth. Use sheet metal collars around pip entrances on wooden walls. Use cement fill round pipe in brick, stone or cement. Additional Information on how to get rid of and prevent rats:
Rat Prevention Tips & Resources. Produced by Jack Peterson,MCAET


Bees_300x210Bees in Monterey County

Warm weather causes honeybees to leave their hives in search of new nesting sites. The month of April is peak swarming season. If you see a cloud of bees flying or a bunch of bees resting on a tree branch, these are bees from an overcrowded hive looking for a suitable cavity to use as a home.

If a swarm settles on your property in an exposed location, they will probably leave the next warm day in search of a better site. If they have moved into your wall, they are not likely to leave. It is usually necessary to call a structural pest control company to remove them. Swarms are less aggressive than established colonies that have a home to defend. Swarms and colonies should not be disturbed and homeowners should not try to remove the bees without some help. The beekeepers above may be interested in collecting the bees. Some may charge for this service, but others do not.

The bees in this area are the gentler European honeybees. The Africanized honeybee is not yet believed to be established in Monterey County.

Bee Collector list