What are the Differences Between Moles, Voles, and Pocket Gophers?

And what is in your backyard? There’s an old adage that says “April showers bring May flowers”, but spring doesn’t only come with beautiful flowering plants and fresh veggies from your garden, it also brings a whole bunch of unwanted pests, namely voles, moles and gophers, who will spend the rest of the season comfortably munching on the roots of your plants and any vegetables you have planted nearby. But, how do you know which one of them is actually infesting your garden? After all, they all look the same, don’t they? The short answer, and the easiest one, is yes, they do look alike, but the truth is they don’t, and it doesn’t take the eye of an expert to differentiate between them. So, before these little nuisances start invading your yard, let’s take a look at how you can find out what is actually eating away at your carrots and ruining your lawn. Keep in mind that knowing what animal is infesting your backyard will lead to s more targeted and effective treatment Gophers: The largest of the bunch Measuring anywhere from 4 to 12 inches in length, gophers are the largest of them all, and therefore, are the ones that cause the most damage in the least amount of time. They are also known as pocket gophers because they have pouches in their cheeks which they use to carry food and materials to craft their nests. So, if you see an animal with big cheeks running across your lawn, it’s highly likely it is a gopher. Another way to identify gophers is through the color of...

How Houseplants May Be Infecting Your Home (and What to do About It)

Houseplants are a great addition to any home. They are not only decorative but help keep your home clean and free from pollutants that would otherwise affect the quality of the air you breathe, helping you stay healthy and comfortable. But sometimes plants can develop mold, which can infect your living space and create a health hazard for you and your loved ones. But how does this happen, and what can you do about it? Excessive moisture breeds mold – One of the most common ways in which houseplants develop and spread mold is from being too wet. Moisture and soil are breeding grounds for mold, so make sure your plants are always dry. Avoid watering them every day and only do so when the soil in the pot has dried out. Otherwise, you may be inadvertently creating a health hazard for your family from exposure to mold. Keep your plants clean – Mold also thrives on plant leaves and stems, so make sure to wipe down your plants regularly. Keep in mind you should use a spray bottle with clean water and moistened paper towels to do so, otherwise you run the risk of mold spores volatilizing into the air you breathe. Additionally, make sure you change paper towels often to prevent any unwanted accumulation of spores and move your plants to an open, well ventilated area to make sure you don’t unwillingly contaminate the air you are breathing as you clean. Remove mold from the top layer of pot soil regularly – This is a bit more complicated, but if your plants have been kept in soil that is too...

The Link Between Pests And Asthma

A common lung condition that can cause breathing difficulties, asthma often appears early on during childhood, although it can sometimes appear for the first time in adulthood. To this day, there is not cure for asthma but there are treatments that help those who suffer from it control the symptoms when they appear, preventing the condition from becoming a burden on their life. Over the years, many scientific studies have been performed to find the exact causes for asthma, which could lead to a possible cure, but they have all found that the exact causes for this condition are as varied as the lifestyles of those who have it. In many cases, though, there are commonalities that extend almost across the board, with contaminants and certain allergens found to be the main triggers for an asthma attack in a high percentage of patients. A good number of these contaminants and allergens are found to originate with common household pests. Let’s take a look. How common pests produce asthma Some of the most common household pests include cockroaches and rodents. These pests shed skin flakes, body parts, dander, fur, and feces wherever they go. These contaminants tend to become airborne if allowed to accumulate, causing asthma and any other respiratory problems. As a matter of fact, roaches have been listed as one of the most common causes of asthma in young children. This is because roaches prefer humid areas, and humidity and mold can be triggers for an asthma attack. Aside from roaches and rodents, there are other common household pests that can cause or worsen a person’s asthma, including...

Where Termites Live Inside California Homes

Termites are definitely the most unwelcome of all “guests” in your home. They start invading your space quietly, practically undetected until one day you start hearing them in your walls, under your hardwood flooring and practically anywhere you go inside your house, and that’s when you know it’s time to call the exterminator, so the damage they have caused doesn’t get any worse, or any more expensive. But before you get all hyped up about termites, you have to keep in mind that just because you found them invading your walls, it doesn’t mean that’s the only place they can hide. Termites can hide practically anywhere in California homes, starting with your outside foundation and spreading almost everywhere around the house. This is why periodic termite inspections should be at the top of any California homeowners To-Do list at least once or twice each year. Here we tell you where to get started on your semi-annual hunt for termites, and which are the best places to start looking for those house munching pests. How bad can termite damage be? One of the most worrisome estimates is that termites cause more than 5 billion dollars in damages to homes across the country each year, which come to an average of $3,000 per affected household just to repair the damaged wood. This is why it’s so important to detect these pests early on. So, where can you find termites inside your California home? Let’s take a look. Where exactly do termites hide? Because of California’s benign weather, termites can hide almost anywhere in your home, but they seem to favor certain...

How to Protect Your Pets from Fleas and Ticks

How to Protect Your Pets from Fleas and Ticks Owning a pet can be an amazing experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. For pets in Southern California, the arrival of cooler months often means the start to flea and tick season. While generally non-fatal, these insect invaders can be very problematic – and very unpleasant for your pets. Instead of letting Fluffy or Fido suffer this season, take steps now to prevent your pets from facing fleas and ticks. Treat for Ticks and Fleas Year-Round Flea and tick prevention isn’t solely a seasonal task. The best way to keep fleas and ticks at bay is to approach treatment all year – not just when the weather changes. Even though some seasons are riskier than others, there are always risks, so ignoring problems the spring can mean issues that last into the fall. For best results, get into a pest prevention routine and stick to it all year. This can mean grooming appointments as well as applying treatment products, but no matter how you choose to handle proactive prevention, make it a habit. Employ the Right Products Not all tick and flea prevention products are made equal. Some are far better than others, so before going to the store and buying the cheapest option or the treatment that sounds the easiest, determine what is truly best for your pet. Prevention products come in all shapes and sizes, from pills to gels to collars. However, some products are known for being ineffective or even dangerous. To choose a preventative product, head right to the source: your vet. Vets...

Rodents, Cockroaches, Spiders

Rodents, Cockroaches, Spiders The onset of fall means many things, like turning the clocks back, shorter days, and the start of cooler weather. However, the commencement of chilly temperatures in Southern California can be a prime time for rodent, cockroaches, and spiders. While the occasional pest might be unavoidable, you don’t have to spend your fall afraid of a damaging infestation. These are the best ways to prepare for fall pests – and prevent their unwanted presence. Screen or Block All Areas Open to the Outdoors Bugs and pests are great at finding sneaky ways into your home, but the last thing you want to do is leave the door open for them. Instead of surrendering before the war even begins, take time to screen or cover all areas of your home that lead to the outdoors, like chimneys, windows, doors, and attic openings. Keep an eye out for signs of animal infestation, too, like droppings. These spaces are likely easy points of access and may require a little extra attention. There are steps you can take outside your home, too. Once done addressing indoor issues, take a few passes around the your house’s exterior with caulk or another sealant to fix any bug-friendly cracks or rodent-sized holes. Keep Storage Spaces Cool and Dry Nothing attracts pests like moisture, so creating a damp environment in closets, basements, and storage spaces is akin to ushering them in yourself. Instead of fostering a hospitable environment for bugs and rodents, keep spaces dry and clean. Fix leaks in pipes, use a dehumidifier where appropriate, and keep all spaces free from debris. If...