The Frequently Asked Questions section answers numerous questions we are often asked by our clients.

If we have not answered your question, please call us at 888-945-2847 or email us at Remember that we offer FREE, no obligation termite inspections.

How do I know whether I have a termite infestation?

Most homeowners are unaware of termite infestation. A trained termite technician can determine whether or not your home is currently experiencing a termite infestation based on telltale signs of termites. Should a termite inspection determine that your home has a current termite infestation, our trained and certified technicians will be glad to review with you all evidence of termite damage and termite colonization and recommend a course of treatment to eliminate the termite infestation.

Can I treat my termite infestation myself?

It is not recommended that you treat termites yourself. Ridding a home of a termite infestation requires special skills, including an understanding of building construction. Termite entry points into your home may be difficult to see and even more difficult to access. Termite control also requires specialized equipment and tools, along with specialty termiticide to complete the termite treatment.

I have a termite swarm in my house. Does that mean I already have termite damage?

In most cases, a termite swarm is an indication that the termite colony has existed within your home for several years. It is important to have the termite infestation properly inspected and the proper termite treatment plan completed in order to eliminate the termites.

I am purchasing a new home. Should I have a termite inspection done on the property prior to closing?

Prior to purchasing a new home, it is highly recommended that you have a termite inspection performed. As a buyer, you should have the home fully inspected for termite damage and other wood destroying organisms so that proper treatment can take place prior to the completion of the purchase. While the California Association of Realtors no longer requires that a termite inspection take place prior to the purchase of a home, most mortgage lenders do require a wood destroying organism inspection and report prior to funding a real estate transaction.




How much does termite inspection and termite treatment cost?

The cost for Mariners Pest Control termite inspection is free. The cost for termite treatment depends on the scope of the work and the extent of termite damage. In order for Mariners Pest Control to provide an accurate estimate, a termite inspection is necessary to assess the needs of your home’s termite infestation and recommend the proper termite treatment plan.

I woke up to ants all over my kitchen counter tops. I killed all of the ants and cleaned my kitchen. Will they come back?

In all likelihood, the ants will return within a short window of time. When ants enter your home, they also leave behind a scent so others of their like can follow the trail to food. In order to eliminate your ant infestation and provide ant control, it is recommended that you contact a pest control professional.

Can I treat this ant problem by myself?

Over the counter products are ineffective at treating ant infestations long-term. While they may provide a quick fix, the do-it-yourself approach only kills the ants you see. To be truly effective, a treatment must penetrate and destroy the unseen nest, which could be in your walls or foundation. Only professional pest control products, purchased by a certified and licensed provider, have the capability of getting to the heart of your ant problem.

I believe that I have identified fire ants on my property. I have pets and children. Should I be concerned?

A fire ant’s sting can be a very serious concern to people and pets. Fire ants can become very agitated when their nests are disturbed, and fire ants are capable of climbing onto a person and repeatedly biting or stinging their victim. It is recommended that you contact a professional as soon as you spot fire ants on your property to exterminate the fire ant colony.

Can ants cause property damage?

Carpenter ants are capable of excavating wood in order to build their nests, which can cause extensive damage to a structure. While most species of ants are considered “nuisance pests,” not all species can be filed in this category. Contact your pest control professional should you suspect that you have a carpenter ant or other wood destroying organism infestation.

How long can a cockroach live without food or water?

American cockroaches have been known to live for up to three months without food and one month without water.

I opened my refrigerator and found a cockroach. I don’t understand how it got there. Where do you think it came from?

The likely answer to this question is that a food item that you purchased contained a hitchhiking cockroach. While this may be an isolated intruder, it is better to play it safe and assume that there is more than one. The best recommendation would be to have a cockroach inspection performed by a professional pest control technician, in which they will evaluate your home for an infestation and if needed a treatment plan.

I just had my home treated for a cockroach infestation. How do I prevent the cockroaches from coming back?

It is recommended that you store all food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator. Never leave food, crumbs, or trash uncovered in your home to avoid re-infestation. It is also recommended that you perform regular home inspection and maintenance to ensure that you do not have any leaky faucets or drains in order to eliminate a water source for cockroaches.

Can I treat this cockroach problem on my own?

Over-the-counter insecticides are typically ineffective with pest control in general, especially cockroaches. Since cockroaches can be hard to find, that makes them difficult for the average person to treat. A professional pest control technician should perform a home inspection to determine the scope of the cockroach infestation. Upon completion of the cockroach inspection, your pest control professional will recommend a treatment plan to exterminate your cockroach infestation and prevent a future infestation.

I’ve noticed that I have a lot of cobwebs in my house. Are those from spiders?

Yes, the cobwebs you are seeing are from spiders – and are most likely from a common American house spider. While these spiders are usually harmless, they can make it more difficult to keep your house tidy. However, other species of spiders can be harmful and poisonous to your family and pets. The expert technicians at Mariners Pest Control can identify the particular species that inhabits your household and recommend a course of treatment.

I found a black widow in the corner of my garage. What should I do?

The best thing to do would be to keep your pets and children away from the area that the black widow is occupying and to call a professional pest control company to eliminate this poisonous spider and investigate for additional black widows. Spiders are solitary creatures, so it is very unlikely that you will find more than one black widow on a web. They could, however, be hiding in additional places in your garage or home.

I am afraid of spiders! Can you prevent spiders from infesting my home?

The professionals at Mariners Pest Control can inspect your home for spiders, as well as identify any access points through which spiders can easily enter your home. Additionally, Mariners Pest Control can provide quarterly pest control services to the outside perimeter of your home to help eliminate any existing spiders and their eggs, substantially decreasing the likelihood of a home invasion. While we help eliminate spiders, we are also eliminating other household pests that are a ready food supply for spiders.

I’m confused – do spiders prefer moist or dry conditions?

Different species prefer different conditions. Spiders that prefer moisture are found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of the home. Others like dry, warm areas such as air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics.

Do fleas carry disease?

Yes! Fleas can transmit diseases, as they feed on blood meal from warm blooded animals – which include you, your family and your household pets! Fleas can transmit Plague, Flea-borne Typus, Bartonellosis, Tapeworms and Tungiasis. It is essential to have a professional treat your flea infestation to exterminate these itchy insects from your home.

Does Mariners Pest Control treat my pets too?

No, Mariners Pest Control does not provide flea control for your pets. We recommend that you contact your local veterinarian for advice and to purchase of an effective flea control product. Your pets should also undergo regular bathing and grooming.

I haven’t seen any fleas, but I have noticed a black flaky substance in my pet’s bed. Could it be fleas?

What you are likely seeing is something referred to as “flea dirt,” which is the fecal matter of fleas. The color of flea dirt is black, as they feed on the blood meal of people and animals. If you see flea dirt on your pet’s bedding, you should wash all upholstered items thoroughly, apply a flea control product recommended to you by your veterinarian, and call Mariners Pest Control to exterminate your flea infestation.

I just returned home from vacation, and now I have fleas. How did this happen?

The likely cause of your flea infestation was carrying the little critters home in your personal belongings. Fleas can also hitch a ride on family pets while traveling, and bring home an unwanted gift that keeps on giving if a multifaceted flea treatment plan is not carried out. The ideal weather in California allows fleas to hatch nearly year round, which is why it is essential to have a professional pest control treatment plan completed.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown colored, do not have wings, and can live several months without feeding on any blood.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe. Although bed bugs have been traditionally seen as an issue in developing countries, bed bugs have been spreading rapidly across the United States. Bed bugs have been found in five-star resorts and multi-million dollar homes. Their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions in which they are found.

How did I get bed bugs in my home?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding! Their flat bodies allow them to fit into small spaces and stay there for long periods of time. Bed bugs are usually transported while traveling, hiding in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothing, bedding, furniture and anywhere else they can hide.

How do I know if I have rats?

Rats are nocturnal and most active at night, which means that a rodent infestation can begin before ever being seen. Listen and look for these signs, which are indicative of a rodent infestation: Rats or mice that are dead or alive, droppings near food and trash areas, noises such as scratching sounds in the attic, nests or piled nesting materials in hidden areas, gnawing evidence on wires or wood, burrows around the yard, gnawed fruit in trees, smudge marks along walls, and rodent hairs along paths or near food.

How do I know whether it’s a rat or a mouse?

Rats typically are larger than mice, with a full-grown size body of 8 inches long and a tail that is 9 inches long. A full-grown mouse typically reaches a potential size of 3 to 4 inches in body length with a 3-inch long tail. There is also a difference in weight, with an adult rat weighing in at about one pound, while a mouse averages about 30 grams. Rat droppings are also larger in comparison to the droppings of mice, which is also used as evidence to identify whether your rodent infestation is of rats or mice.

I found a nest in my attic. Do you really think that it belongs to rats?

The typical roof rat usually nests above ground in trees or tall shrubs. Their indoor nests are typically in the upper levels of the home. Roof rats are extremely good at climbing and often gain access to attics and crawl spaces by running along cables, wired and tree branches.

I think I only have one or two rats. Is that still a problem?

Yes! Two rats can lead to the reproduction of about 1,500 young! Rats as young as three months old can breed and produce offspring, and a female can have up to twelve offspring in each litter with up to seven litters in a year. That’s a lot of rats! It is important to engage in a rodent control treatment plan as soon as rats and other rodents are identified as inhabitants of your home.