It’s livelier in the summertime with homes everywhere getting decked out for barbecues, pool parties, and family reunions—any excuse to soak up the sunshine and enjoy the company of friends and family. However, there may be unwelcome guests at your party every now and then, and pests—mosquitoes, ants, and wasps—are the top party crashers of the season.
One’s home has always had tiny yet formidable enemies, and they could be lurking anywhere in the nooks and crannies of your living room and your bedroom. Bed bugs are pesky critters found within the dark corners and folds of your bedding and furnishings. They have been called “public health pests that need to be addressed seriously” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In a recent poll about termite-infested cities, four California cities made their way on to the top ten list. San Diego came in fourth while Los Angeles topped the list. That isn’t anything San Diegans celebrate; after all, the average cost of termite damage is $8,184 according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive—and termite damage is usually not covered by insurance.
When checking for termites, you might see mud tubes (called “leads”) inside walls or along chimneys, which termites use to reach their food source. You might even see actual termite nests outdoors. However, signs like droppings, discarded wings, and damaged wood won’t be definitive proof of termites. Those signs could be the work of carpenter ants.
California Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa californica) are relatively large bees that are all-black in appearance, with some bluish/greenish reflections. The male is differentiated by lighter markings in the abdominal segments. They are agriculturally beneficial insects, and they play an important role in pollinating plants.