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Look Up There! Is That a Termite?

 
Subterranean termiteWhen most homeowners hear the word termite, they usually think about the silent but very destructive subterranean termite. The subterranean termite, as its name suggests, invades structures from the soil beneath and will feast on a variety of wood, including framing, flooring and floor joists, deck posts, cabinets, and door frames.

The Clark Man has a long history of successfully treating and protecting homes from these destructive pests, which cost consumers nearly $5 billion annually for treatment and repair of the damage they cause. But did you know there is a termite that doesn’t like to get its antennae dirty?

The drywood termite – unlike its soil-loving cousin – lives above ground in the home’s wood siding, roofing, and wood supports in the attic. Drywood termites will swarm by the hundreds around the exterior of a home in search of the appropriate location to enter and begin their mischievous and destructive ways.

What areas of your home are at the greatest risk from drywood termites? In his experience, the Clark Man has noticed the following areas to be the most vulnerable to drywood termite infestation:

 

  • Wood molding and framing around windows and doors
  • Eaves and overhangs
  • Protected joints or crevices in and around doors
  • Attics and above-ground crawlspaces
  • Wood siding and roofing

 

The fall of the year from September to November is prime drywood termite swarming season, and swarms most often occur on sunny days after a spike in the thermometer following cooler temperatures.

Drywood termites are deliberate in their actions, and will excavate a small tunnel into the wood,drywood termite close it behind them, and create a chamber they will inhabit for a year or more. They can stay dormant for extended periods of time (more than a year) and then re-emerge stronger and hungrier than ever. And drywood termites are also creatures of habit and are known to re-infest the exact same place.

What are some signs that drywood termites may be targeting your home for their next dinner buffet?

  • Large numbers of flying insects on the exterior (and sometimes on the interior) of your home that are focused on the wood
  • Wings on windowsills, or flying termites on the exterior your home
  • Hollow-sounding or visibly damaged wood that is honeycombed or carved out. If you can easily make a hole in the wood with a pocket knife or flat-blade screwdriver,  it might be termite damage
  • Unexplained piles of what looks like coarse grains of sand (these piles are termite fecal pellets sifted out of wood by the termites)

Remember, if you suspect your home has a problem with drywood termites, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. Our highly trained, fully licensed termite inspectors will inspect your home thoroughly and, if treatment is required, will recommend preventative and curative treatments that are backed by our guarantee of 100-percent satisfaction.

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Stinging Insects: Friend or Foe?

 

 

paper waspAccording to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Stinging insects including yellowjackets, carpenter bees, hornets and wasps call a variety of locations in and around structures home including trees and bushes, building corners and overhangs, gutters, garbage dumpsters, and under patios and decks.

 

It is also a known fact that certain species of stinging insects, like the honey and bumblebee, are very beneficial to our environment as they pollinate crops and flowers. But how do you know what stinging insect is a friend and which is a foe?

 

The Clark Man says proper identification of the species is the first step to determining if they are a threat or not. For example, the Africanized "killer" bees looks very similar to a regular honeybee that the only way to tell the two apart is by measuring their bodies. A dangerous stinging insect, the Africanized bee has been known to chase people for more than a quarter of a mile once they get excited and aggressive.

 

Other stinging insects that pose a threat to humans, especially in early fall when they are protecting nests they spent all summer constructing, are the bald-faced hornet, wasps and yellowjackets. The carpenter bee presents a two-headed threat as they will sting if disturbed but also will bore into wood decks and sidings to construct their nests and in the process weaken the structural integrity of the wood.

 

The Clark Man’s Three Tips for Avoiding Harmful Stinging Insects include:

 

1.)    Identify It Correctly - There are many kinds of beneficial flies that closely resemble wasps, and there are many kinds of "solitary" wasps, such as sand wasps, which also look exactly the same as yellow jackets but that pose a much lower risk. The Clark Man will help make a proper identification before recommending a treatment option.

2.)    Take Away the Source of the Infestation - Removing a stinging insect’s source of food, water and shelter is the first step toward preventing and eliminating these pests. Cleaning up food and grease spills in outdoor patios and cooking areas (especially around the grill), using tight fitting lids on garbage and recycling containers, and emptying them on a regular basis, and covering food in sealed containers.

3.)    Use Exclusion Techniques - Seal exterior cracks and crevices to prevent stinging insects from entering a your home and building nests. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair.  

 

The Clark Man recommends that if you have any doubt on whether or not a stinging insect or any pest is harmful, to please give us a call. We also strongly encourage homeowners not to try to move or destroy a stinging insect nests on their own – this could cause serious harm to you and your family – and leave the task to a trained professional.

 

If you have questions on stinging insects, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

It’s Back to School For Bed Bugs

 

bed bugWith classrooms springing back to life as students and teachers return from summer break, there are a group of “new” students that are looking to enroll in a school close to you. These new students are quite small in stature and do have a nasty habit of biting others in search of a blood meal. Who are these new students that are destined to end up with a long list of detentions? They are bed bugs.

 

Bed bugs are a highly mobile pest that thrives in heavily populated and trafficked locations such as school classrooms, dormitories, locker rooms and even buses.

 

A recent study from the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47% of the pest management professionals who responded had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41% had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

 

And while the Clark Man provides pest management services to schools and colleges to prevent bed bugs and other pests from becoming a problem, he also wants to protect students’ homes from getting a very unwelcome “transfer” student.

 

The Clark Man recommends the following tips to parents to help prevent bed bugs from invading their living space:

 

  • Regularly inspect student belongings – backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes - for signs of bed bugs.
  • If your child’s school has reported bed bug infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin.
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures.
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans.

 

For college age students the Clark Man recommends the following steps to give bed bugs a failing grade:

 

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips.
  • Before putting sheets on a dorm or apartment bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
  • Inspect any "secondhand" furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into a dorm rooms or off-campus housing.

 

If you suspect you have a problem with bed bugs, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.
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Sound Science and Pest Management

 

Clark Pest Control

 

 

For more than 60 years Clark Pest Control has prided itself on delivering innovative pest management solutions to residential and commercial customers across California. During that time Clark has also committed itself to being a steward of the environment by designing pest management programs that leave as small an environmental footprint as possible. After all, we live and raise our families in the same neighborhoods as our customers.

Over the years there has been much debate on the national, state and local level about the use of pesticides in and around homes and businesses. At times this debate has become quite heated with theories and opinions taking the place of sound science and facts.

Only state-licensed, highly trained and experienced professionals can apply pesticides for Clark Pest Control or any pest control company in the state of California. In fact, the pest management industry is one of the most regulated in the state.

At Clark Pest Control we take pride in putting only the best-trained and equipped technicians in the field to assist customers with pest issues in their home or business, and to deliver a service that customers are 100% satisfied with. For us, it is the only way we know how to do business.

Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, wrote an op-ed piece in the August 6 edition Sacramento Bee, discussing the use of pesticides. The Clark Man thought it was important to share a few of the valuable insights Leahy mentioned in the article.

“Many Californians think of pesticides as something only farmers use. They don’t realize that pesticides touch many other areas in their lives. We all reap the benefits of pesticides. They are part of the complex processes required to deliver safe food, water and health care, yet some consumers are reluctant to accept the risks required to create those benefits.”

“Pesticides are critical to providing a safe, reliable food supply, maintaining public health, and managing open spaces and urban landscaping. There are no current replacements that effectively deliver these services on a wide scale. So society will continue to use them.”

“Pesticides are among the most regulated item in commerce in California. We are proud to have the most protective pesticide regulations in the world. California law allows my department to act based only on science, not on current trends, opinion or fear. In the meantime, we continue to make great strides in the safer use of all pesticides.”

 To read the complete article visit http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/06/6607685/viewpoints-pesticides-are-critical.html  

If you have a pest problem in your home or business, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Beetles Hit A Sour Note With Legendary Star’s Tree

 

george harrison memorial

You may have already heard that a tree planted in memory of legendary Beatles guitarist George Harrison was destroyed by of all things – beetles.

The tree, which was planted in 2004 in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, had reached a height of 13 feet and was a tribute to Harrison who in addition to lending his hand to some of music’s greatest songs was an avid gardener and lived his later years in the City of Angels. Harrison died in 2001.

Who were the beetles who felled the tree that honored another Beetle? Park officials laid the blame on bark beetles, an aggressive species known to attack trees.

The Clark Man found that more than 200 species of bark beetles live in California. Among the most commonly encountered species are the engraver, red turpentine, western pine beetle and elm bark beetles.

Bark beetles are known to go after pine, cedar and cypress bark beetles attack arborvitae, cypress, false cypress, junipers, and redwoods in urban areas. They attack twigs, branches, or trunks of trees and shrubs and are noticeable by the appearance sawdust-like frass that is created by the beetles. Frass accumulates in bark crevices and may be visible on the ground or in nearby spider webs.

Small emergence holes in the bark are also a good indication that bark beetles are present and if homeowners remove the bark around these holes they will often find dead and degraded bark.

These destructive wood eaters will attack trees weakened by drought, disease or other factors that stress the tree.

Since bark beetles live in the protected habitat beneath the bark, control can be difficult once they establish a nest. If trees or shrubs are infested, homeowners should prune and dispose of the bark beetle-infested limbs but if the main trunk is extensively attacked by bark beetles, the entire tree or shrub might have to be removed.

The best way to protect your trees from invasive and destructive pests like beetles is to perform regular, routine maintenance. Remember, a healthy tree is far less likely to be attacked by pests than an unhealthy one. Make sure you irrigate trees properly, trim off dead limbs and fertilize on a regular basis.

Clark Pest Control can create a customized program that ensures your trees and plants receive proper fertilization, year-round, along with any necessary protection from damaging insects and disease.

If you are having issues with bark beetles or lawn pest, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Taming Spiders In and Around Your Home

 

Spiders can be found in many locations – closets, garages or building a web outside your kitchen window - in and around your home. And while spiders are quite beneficial to our eco-system – they eat unwanted insect pests – most folks still get creeped out when they encounter one. spider tips

Two of the most common eight-legged arachnids Clark Pest Control customers in California and Nevada encounter are the black widow and the long-legged cellar spider.

The black widow can deliver a painful bite that in some instances can pose a serious health risk including anaphylactic shock. But despite its macabre name black widow spiders are actually quite shy and prefer to build their webs in dry, protected locations where its prey – other insects – like to travel.

Black widows prefer basements, crawlspaces, barns, sheds, meter boxes, brick veneer, eaves and attics to spin their webs which are approximately one foot in diameter. Once its prey gets caught up in the web black widows paralyze them with their venom. Ouch!

The long-legged cellar spider (sometimes referred to as the “daddy long-legs” spider) is a harmless web builder and can be found in garages, eaves, attics, sheds and many other places around your home.

Spiders enter houses and other structures through cracks and other openings. They also may be carried in on items like plants, firewood, and boxes. The Clark Man recommends regular vacuuming or sweeping of windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom used areas to remove spiders and their webs. You can also bring out the vacuum cleaner and suck them up since their soft bodies do not survive this process.

How can you prevent spiders from coming indoors and giving you a good fright? As is the case with many insects and rodents, sealing cracks in the foundation and other parts of your home and gaps around windows and doors will deny spiders (and other pests) easy access.

Inside your home, place boxes off the floor and away from walls to lessen the attraction to spiders to set up residence. Be sure to seal boxes with tape to prevent spiders from scampering inside and clean up clutter in garages, closets, pantries, sheds, basements, and other storage areas.

Outdoors, you can eliminate spider hiding places and web-building areas by keeping your yard free of trash, leaf litter and overgrown vegetation. Make sure to trim shrubs and plants near the house and other structures to discourage spiders (and other pests that could serve as dinner!) from establishing a foothold.

Your outdoor lighting will attract flying insects, which in turn can attract spiders looking for a meal. When possible, keep lighting fixtures off structures and away from windows and doorways and regularly sweep, dust, hose, or vacuum webs and spiders off your home on a regular basis.

To avoid an unpleasant encounter with a spider be sure to wear gloves when going through boxes, removing items from storage areas or stacking firewood and removing brush.

Clark Pest Control’s Pest-Away® service is the best solution for your home spider control needs. Through routinely sweeping for webs and treating your accessible eaves, as well as regular control measures in harborage areas, we control spider populations for our customers.

If you are having issues with spiders, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Trim Out Pests By Taking Care of the Yard

 

Clark Man Knows Lawn and Garden

When it comes to yard work the list never seems to end. Cut the grass, trim the bushes on the front of the house, water the plants – the list can be as long an Argentine ant trail but that’s another story all together!

Pests from ants to termites are primarily outdoor dwellers until circumstances – the need for food, water, shelter and to avid cold weather – drive them to look indoors for these vital necessities. And while insects do play a vital role in our ecosystem we don’t want to make it easier for disease-transmitting, destructive pests to invade your living space.

One of the ways to discourage pest harborage in your yard is to make sure regular maintenance and care is performed. Cutting the grass, trimming bushes and trees, and cleaning up leaves and brush not only give your yard more curb appeal but make it less attractive to pests seeking to gain access to the comforts of your living space.

For example, a firewood pile stored next to your house is an attractant not only for mice but for termites and other wood-destroying insects that will take a free ride inside when you go to build the first of the season this fall.

And tree limbs that rest on the roof of your house provide easy access to ants, rodents and other pests looking to gain entry through your attic – a common entry point for pests into a home.

The last thing the Clark Man wants to do is add another item to your to do list but he does offer the following pest prevention tips that can be done while you are taking care of your yard:

  • Keep tree limbs trimmed and from coming into contact with the roof; tree limbs make an ideal expressway to your house for ants and other pests.

  • Trim your shrubs and don’t let the grass grow high; pests including rodents, fleas, spiders, cockroaches and ants enjoy the “cover” overgrown shrubs and grass provide.

  • Do not overdo it with the mulch near your home’s foundation; mulch retains moisture and thus makes an ideal harborage for destructive termites, ants and other pests looking to make your home their home. Maintain a mulch-free barrier of stone or dirt at least 18-inches from the foundation.

  • Avoid excessive moisture or standing water in your yard; pests of all types love moisture and standing water is an invitation for mosquitoes. Fix leaky exterior faucets or broken irrigation systems, empty out the bird bath and do not over-water the lawn.

  • Clean up leaves and brush around the foundation of your home and in the yard. These give pests, especially mice, a convenient harborage location.
     
  • Do not let downed trees or rotting wood lay around your yard – it is an attractant to termites and carpenter ants.

  • Store firewood away from the house and off the ground to keep termites, wood-destroying insects and other pests from inhabiting it and hitching a ride inside.

If you are having issues with pests in your yard, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Red, White and Bothersome Pests for The 4th of July

 

The 4th of July agenda usually includes picnics, cookouts, fireworks and good times with family and friends. It can also include an “explosion” of unwanted pests that want to spoil your good times.

When people gather for their holiday celebrations it is given there will be abundance of food and beverages available. However, your guests aren’t the only ones angling to fill up their plates! Pests are drawn to the sweet, sugary desserts, fruit and soft drinks that are a staple of holiday functions, as well as the greasy leftovers that can be found on grills, serving trays and garbage cans filled with post-party trash.

The Clark Man wants you, your family and friends to have a safe, enjoyable 4th of July and offers the following tips to keep annoying pests from spoiling your holiday fun.

Ants – Like flies, ants are drawn to food, and food spills and leftovers. Ants, especially Argentine ants, one of the most commonly found species in California thrive on sweet, sugary substances like spilled soft drinks. Cleaning up spilled food and drinks, and rinsing out cans and bottles before they go into the recycle bin or garbage can will deny ants their sought after prize.

Stinging Insects – Nothing can ruin a party like getting stung by a bee or yellow jacket. The Clark Man recommends homeowners inspect their property before the party for any signs of nests in trees or under awnings and the eaves of your home. If you do spot a nest, call the stinging insect experts at Clark Pest Control immediately. Also, cover food and beverage cans/bottled since many stinging insects are attracted to sugary substances and no one wants to swallow a bee that flew into your beverage!

Flies – Flies are a common interloper to almost any backyard cookout or picnic. Keep these filthy insects from spoiling your picnic by covering your food with foil or tight sealing lids or set up the buffet inside a screened in porch or tent. Also, remember to clean up food and beverage spills since they are a major attractant to flies.

If you are having issues keeping ants, stinging insects or other pests from invading your outdoor living space, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.
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What Pests Bug You?

 

 

pest invasion  clark man   protect your home


Pest management services are more than just preventing and removing unwanted and potentially destructive pests - even though that is what the Clark Man has built his stellar reputation on!

The pest prevention and elimination services Clark Pest Control offer protect your family, your home, business or favorite restaurant, and the food you eat. They give you peace of mind that ants, termites, spiders, bed bugs or rodents won’t be a nuisance or a threat. In essence, we make your living or working environment pest- and hassle-free.

The National Pest Management Association shared with consumers a Pest Control Usage and Attitudes Survey that queried homeowners across the country on their usage and attitudes toward professional pest management services.

Being the “bug guy” that I am I found the responses interesting and accurate based on my experiences when working with customers across California.

When asked what pest causes them the greatest concern, survey respondents said ants (58%) made the top of their list. Termites (42%), spiders (40%), cockroaches (32%) and rodents (31%) rounded out the top five of most concerning pests.

The survey further broke down consumer attitudes by region and in California and nearby states the top three consumer pest concerns included:

  • Termites (25%)
  • Ants (23%)
  • Preventative care (11%)


When asked what time of year pest were most bothersome, it came as no surprise that summer (76%) ranked as the number one season for pests.

Pest prevention ranked high among consumers – it moved up to the top three concerns mentioned in six of the nine regions including California - as a concern they would like to see handled by a pest professional.

This fits in perfectly with Clark Pest Control’s pro-active approach to residential pest management that encourages good sanitation and pest exclusion practices, pest awareness, and staying on top of structural maintenance (i.e. filling in cracks and crevices, repairing screens, fixing leaky faucets, etc.) to keep pests away.

The Clark Man and the entire team of professionals at Clark Pest Control are working to make your home a pest-free environment for you and your family.

Remember, if you are experiencing a pest problem in your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Protecting Your Summer Picnic From Pests

 
picnic ants

 

June is quickly approaching and for some the official start of summer. While you are enjoying a ballgame, parade or backyard barbeque, the Clark Man reminds you that unwanted, bacteria-carrying pests are more than eager to crash your party.

Protecting food from the harmful bacteria that pests can spread and following good food safety practices before, during and after a meal can protect your family and guests.

Pests such as flies, cockroaches, ants, rodents and birds can spread harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria or E. coli if they come in contact with your food after having feasted on other less appetizing items such as garbage, feces or animal carcasses.

These pests, especially stinging insects and ants, are attracted to food high in sugar content - spilled soda, cake frosting, barbeque sauces and marinades. Rodents and cockroaches have less discriminating taste pallets and will feast on crumbs, oils, grease, garbage and waste.

Good sanitation practices are essential to preventing pests from becoming a problem in and around your home. The Clark Man recommends picking up leftover bottles and wrappers, cleaning up crumbs and spills, and frequently emptying garbage or recycle bins to make your summer picnic or cookout less attractive to these hungry pests.

Another step to preventing pests from contaminating food is to keep food tightly covered in plastic containers or covered with foil or plastic wrap before and after cooking.

While pests do contribute to food-borne illnesses, there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk before packing the picnic basket for your next trip to the beach or cookout. Remember, you can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness, so keep the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mind all summer long:

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Wash utensils, countertops and cutting boards with hot, soapy water or other appropriate cleansers; rinsing with just water won’t cut it.

 

  • Separate — Do not cross-contaminate foods – keep raw meats, fish and eggs separate from other foods. Use separate utensils, cutting boards and storage containers.


  • Cook — Cook food to the proper temperatures and use a meat thermometer. The CDC recommends 145 degrees for whole meats, 160 degrees for ground meat and 165 degrees for poultry.


  • Chill — Refrigerate leftovers promptly – within an hour in the summer heat - or discard them. Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the counter or kitchen sink.

Remember, if you are experiencing a pest problem in your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

 

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

 

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.
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