The following is a list and brief description of the most to least invasive pests in our W. Los Angeles are.
It is said that this species consists of one major colony that occupies the southern quarter of the United States. Introduced through the Port of New Orleans around the turn of the last century, they have spread from coast to coast and are our most annoying nuisance pest. They will invade and colonize in and around structures in search of food and water and tend Homopterous insects living on plants (aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and white flies, etc.), all of which are honeydew providers.
In our experience, rodent problems are the second most calls received. As we know, L.A. started out as a desert from the mountains to the beach. Since then we have worked really hard to build and plant an environment we could re-name Rodents-Ville (since 1970, we haven’t seen an attic space that didn’t have rat turds scattered about). Of course, we have to include the huge mouse population of our area. Not only are rodents destructive, they can carry and vector some nasty diseases (e.g.: Bubonic Plague, food poisoning, Rat-bite fever, Weils disease, Hantevirus, to name a few.
In Southern California, our buildings are attacked by two species of termites. They are the Western Drywood Termite (Incisitermes minor) and the Subterranian Termite (Reticulitermes hesperus).
PLEASE CLICK TO PAGE “TERMITE REMEDIES” FOR OPTIONS OF TREATMENT.
Next to rodents, roaches produce considerable revulsion when they are found in our homes and businesses. Generally, there are three species of roach invaders that we encounter. Of course, the most common is the German Cockroach (Blattella germania) which can infest kitchens and peripheral areas, trash areas, restaurants, mills, warehouses, and shipping containers.
Over the last several years our area has been invaded by two species of LARGE roaches. Not large enough for a saddle, but big enough to start dancing the Hip-Hop. The two species are the American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) and the Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta brunnea). They have been spreading throughout our neighborhoods through our sewer systems. Remember that when you see them on your patio, sidewalks, or in your bedroom closet. This invasion will definitely “screw up your peace of mind”.
Stored Product Pests (or cereal pests)
These insects usually are brought into your home in packages that are already infested. Most people will notice the presence of small beetles or moths shortly after storing away foods consisting of grain, beans, dried fruit, nuts, macaroni, spaghetti products, and rice, just to name a few. In our areas we most encounter (starting with the most to least frequent), Indian Meal Moths, Saw-toothed Grain Beetles, Drugstore Beetles, Mediterranean Flour Moths, Rice Weevils, and Psocids (book lice). No criticism is intended by this observation, but most infestations arrive through products purchased at so-called “Organic Food” outlets.
Several years ago, fleas were a major pest problem, particularly during the warmer months of Summer and Fall. At that time, flea calls to our office made up about 60% of our pest elimination activities. Since the advent of direct-to-pet monthly applications, fleas have become a minor invader. Most infestations are now vectored by contact with squirrels, possums, feral cats, pigeons, and rodents, to name a few. The fleas are still out there, but house hold infestations have diminished drastically.
These are only mentioned because a vast majority of our population suffers from some degree of Arachniphobia. All spiders, to some degree, are beneficial to our environment. It’s been written, that globally, they eat more insects, by weight, than the entire weight of the human population. Although people fear spider bites, there is only one species that can cause any physical damage in our LA County area. It’s the Black Widow and Brown Widow spiders. Though not deemed to be lethal, if bitten, an adult might feel a little discomfort for a few days. However, bites are rare because these spiders are not aggressive and prefer to lounge around in out-of-the-way, dark corners waiting for a meal to drop by. News Flash: Contrary to popular belief, there are no Recluse (Loxosceles) spiders in our area! Source: University of California, Riverside, Department of Entomology.
Although Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) have not been a major pest in our area during the last twenty years or so, the press and our trade journals have been trumpeting their pending return. Factors for the resurgence of bed bugs center around immigration of population from bed bug infested regions and foreign travel increases in general. Also, the loss of most organophosphate, carbamate, and chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides are attributed to this resurgence. Fortunately, the author of this web site has vast experience in bed bug elimination, where most of our industry members have not confronted this problem. Stay tuned……….
Other Casual Invaders
There are a host of other little creatures that occasionally invade buildings and property. Bees and wasps can be a concern if in close proximity. The concern with the influx of Africanized Bees has somewhat diminished since they are thought to have adapted to our noisy, motion filled environment.
Of lesser importance we sometimes confront Silverfish, Crickets, Earwigs, Clothes Moths, Bird Lice, Flies and Gnats, Mites, Ticks, Book Lice, and sometimes Springtails. Check out our Service Methods Page.
Call us with any questions you have. It‘s a no cost way to get information. Ask for Carl.