Pest Library Helping You Identify 
That Pesty Problem

What You Need To Know About Pests In San Jose, California

Knowing what pests have infested your home or business is an important part of receiving the right treatments to protect your property. Learn more about common household pests in the San Jose, CA area, why they are present, what to watch out for, and how to prevent them with the help of our pest guide. We understand how frustrating dealing with pests can be and want to help you eliminate these pests from your property as quickly as possible!

Ants

a fire ant on a green plant

Black house ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, harvester ants, odorous house ants, and sugar ants are examples of the different types of ants that try to turn our San Jose outdoor spaces and homes into places they can acquire their basic needs their own! Ants, like most pests, are opportunistic, and any place that provides them with food, water, and shelter is a place they will happily move into and, in most cases, take over!

Ants are nuisance pests, and while they are certainly annoying to contend with, they also pose some significant problems.

  • Ants spread bacteria to surfaces of any home they have invaded.
  • They contaminate food.
  • Their presence can overwhelm us.
  • Ants create multiple indoor and outdoor nesting sites.
  • Carpenter ants cause property damage by nesting in structural wood.
  • Fire ants deliver painful bites and stings.

As you can see, despite their small size and appearance, ants are not pests that you should overlook or underestimate!

To help you prevent your California yard and home from being overtaken by ants, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • Keep your windows and doors closed.
  • Replace damaged window screens.
  • Properly repair cracks and gaps in your foundation and around windows and doors. 
  • Limit food odors that attract hungry ants by keeping lids on trash cans, picking up uneaten pet food, and picking up fruits and vegetables from garden areas that fall to the ground.
  • Take away an ant colony's access to water by repairing leaky pipes and making sure your yard has adequate drainage.

Bed Bugs

bed bug on skin

Bed bugs are apple seed-shaped insects that regularly find their way into our homes. These pests live indoors with people because blood is their sole food source, and our blood is their preferred food source. Bed bugs are other pests commonly associated with filth. Yet, the truth is that these pests can find their way into any of our homes no matter how clean or cluttered they may be by hitchhiking on our clothing, in luggage, and on secondhand things like mattresses and furniture.

Bed bugs live almost anywhere large groups of people gather regularly. Some of the most common places you'll find these biting pests include hotels, airports, schools, hospitals, movie theaters, and libraries. If any bed bugs crawl onto your clothing or belongings, you will then introduce them into your house. A single female bed bug can lay over 1,000 eggs in its lifetime. Meaning that even a couple of bed bugs hitchhiking their way into your home unnoticed can lead to a large-scale infestation in a short period!

To help prevent bed bugs from taking over your California home, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • When washing your clothing and bedding, make sure to use the hottest water the fabrics can handle. 
  • Keep clutter in your home to a minimum; bed bugs love to hide in areas of clutter.
  • Cover your mattresses with bed bug-proof encasements to prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattresses and box springs.
  • Cover outlets to keep bed bugs from moving through them and into wall voids.
  • Regularly vacuum your home to pick up stray bed bugs.

Cockroaches

american cockroach on the rocks

Cockroaches are scavenging insects that regularly find their way into our homes and businesses. The most common structural invading species living throughout California are:

  • American cockroaches
  • Brown-banded cockroaches
  • German cockroaches
  • Oriental cockroaches

Cockroaches enter our homes quite easily on their own through openings they discover in the exterior or by coming in through sewers or drains. They also get into structures by hitchhiking. They crawl into appliances, pieces of furniture, and boxes and move to wherever we take them.

Though many people associate cockroaches with a dirty, cluttered environment, the truth is that there are many reasons why cockroaches may be attracted to a structure. Some of the most common include ample moisture, food, and dark spaces they can use as a daytime retreat. Since cockroaches can invade any of our homes, and many different species live in our area, partnering with pest control experts to eliminate these pests is always best. Professionals know the fastest way to identify the species present, find all their hiding spots, and rid them from your home.

To help you prevent cockroaches from easily finding their way into your California home, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • Cockroaches love to gather in damp, dark areas. Make your home less appealing by keeping it well ventilated and using dehumidifiers.
  • Store food in your home out of a cockroach's reach by keeping it in the fridge or hard-sided containers with airtight lids.
  • Declutter your house regularly to eliminate hiding spots.
  • Always inspect things coming into your home like plant pots, boxes, deliveries, and secondhand furniture for hitchhiking cockroaches.

Rodents

a house mouse in the dark

Rodents are some of the most common visitors to our San Jose yards and homes. They have discovered that living near people offers them the things they need to survive. While rodents can survive on their own in the wild, why would they when they know our properties provide them safe shelter, food, and water! Unfortunately for us, the presence of rodents on our properties is not helpful, and unfortunately for them, they need to be eliminated from our properties as quickly as possible.

Mice and rats are two of the most widespread and problematic rodents to find their way into our yards and homes. Mice and rats live outside but regularly find their way into our homes. They typically move indoors if the outside temperature becomes too hot or cold, if there's a lack of food, or in order to find a safe nesting site. Having rodents in our homes is problematic because of the structural damage they cause, their ability to contaminate food, and the health risks they pose. Rodents carry and spread bacteria, pathogens, and parasites that make people ill.

To help you prevent your California property from becoming a home to rodents, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • Remove things from your yard that rodents can hide in like woodpiles, construction materials, and dense landscaping.
  • Maintain gardens and pick up fallen fruits and vegetables.
  • Take away water sources by repairing leaking pipes, fixing areas of standing water, and storing containers upside down that collect rainwater.
  • Remove food sources, keep lids on trash cans, remove uneaten pet feed, and keep outdoor eating and cooking areas free of leftover food.

Spiders

black widow on blue plastic

Spiders are an important part of the ecosystem and live all around us; in fact, you probably have walked by several spiders today and never even noticed! California's mild weather and abundant vegetation allow spiders and their insect prey to thrive. Spiders live in large populations all around us and, unfortunately, often wind up in our structures as they search for prey and quiet places to lay their eggs. Some of the most common species in your area of the country include:

  • Black widow spiders
  • Brown recluse spiders
  • Common house spiders
  • False black widows
  • Ground spiders
  • Wolf spiders
  • Yellow sac spiders

Spiders are a problem for several reasons, including creating unsightly messes, startling us, and making us uncomfortable in our own homes. More significant issues that spiders cause include their ability to bite, and some species like black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders have venom strong enough to trigger serious physical reactions in people. Spiders prefer to live on properties with plenty of prey to hunt; therefore, a spider infestation is typically just the tip of the iceberg. The presence of spiders often indicates an overall pest problem on your San Jose property.

To help you prevent your California property from being taken over by spiders, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • Keep spiders from following insects indoors by caulking openings, installing door sweeps, and replacing torn screens and worn weatherstripping.
  • In addition to searching for prey, spiders sometimes move indoors when it becomes too dry outside. Repair leaky pipes and fixtures and use dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture. 
  • Reduce hiding spots in your yard by keeping the grass cut short, cutting back overgrown shrubbery, and cutting back tree branches from your home's exterior.
  • Keep spiders from hiding in your home by reducing areas of clutter and vacuuming and dusting frequently.

Stinging Insects

wasps all over a nest

Stinging insects are those pests that most people hate to hate. We understand how eco-important they are, but we also don't want them in our yards nesting in high-traffic areas, or worse yet, nesting in our homes. Listed below are the stinging insects that frequent our properties the most.

  • Honey bees
  • Hornets
  • Paper wasps
  • Yellow jackets

There are many dangers associated with stinging insects when they call our properties home. The most well-known is, of course, their ability to deliver painful stings. We also all know that those severely allergic to their venom can experience serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.

In addition, depending on the species and where they place their nest, these pests can cause other problems. Nests that stinging insects build inside wall voids and then abandon can attract other hungry insects. Also, as the nest decays, it will cause mold issues and damage the drywall and insulation.

To help you prevent your California yard from becoming attractive to stinging insects, we have compiled a list of our top tips and tricks.

  • Fill in ground holes to stop stinging insects from nesting there.
  • Cut back tree branches, shrubs, and bushes from the exterior of your home.
  • Remove woodpiles, fallen trees, and tree stumps where stinging insects may nest.
  • Keep the doors to outdoor structures like garages and sheds closed as much as possible to prevent stinging insects from nesting inside. 
  • Seal gaps in the exterior of your home to help keep stinging insects from entering.
  • Clean up after eating outdoors; stinging insects love to feed on leftover sugary drinks and our leftover food.

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