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Clark Pest Control has grown to be the West's largest pest management company with branch offices throughout California and in the Reno, Nevada area.

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Bumping Bed Bugs From Your Holiday Travel Itinerary

 
bed bugThe holiday travel season is upon us, and according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average for travelers is four nights away from home. Whether it’s a trip to visit relatives or a holiday getaway to grab some powder on the ski slopes or sun at the beach, Americans like to hit the road for the holidays.

As you finalize your holiday travel plans, the Clark Man reminds you to be aware of certain unwanted travelers that have no problem hitching a ride in your luggage or backpack, and come home with you to infest your living space. The travelers we’re talking about are bed bugs.

In a survey by the National Pest Management Association, 75 percent of pest management professionals indicated that they’ve encountered bed bug infestations in hotels and motels. As you set out on your travels, the Clark Man offers the following tips for preventing bed bugs from ruining your travel plans:

  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, notify the front desk and change rooms or hotels immediately.

  • inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms or establishments immediately.

  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent to and/or directly above or below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can hitchhike easily via housekeeping carts, luggage, and even through wall sockets.

  • Pack and store your clothes is sealable plastic bags to prevent bed bugs from infesting them.

  • Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house and vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it away if you see anything suspicious. Wash your clothes immediately.  Those that you haven’t worn – throw in the drier to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers or closet.

If you think you have a problem with bed bugs, contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out, inspect your residence, identify any active pests, and provide a treatment recommendation.

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

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

Special Thank You to Our Sacramento Clark Pest Control Branch!

 

We would like to extend a special thank you to Richard Drews from our Sacramento branch for setting up a canned food drive for the Salvation Army.  We would also like to thank our route technician Ron Dormeyer who went above and beyond in getting his customers to donate items.

Thank you to Richard, Ron and our wonderful customers and employees.

canned food drive

 


If you are not in our service area and would like to assist those in need please visit:


The Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank

Website:        www.salvationarmyrenton.org


What types of food does Renton Rotary Food Bank need?

The food bank can use any nonperishable food or monetary donations. The Renton Rotary Salvation Army is in dire need of food donations, especially cold cereals and protein items such as frozen meats, canned chili, canned tuna, spam, chicken and beef.  Here are some other food suggestions:
General food items:

•       Cold Cereals
•       Whole grain pastas
•       Brown rice
•       Tomato products
•       Canned vegetables
•       Canned fruit, especially with low sugar (but not artificial sweeteners)
•       Canned fish or meat
•       Shelf-stable milk
•       Beef stew, chili and similar meals with low sugar and saturated fats
•       Canned milk
•       Infant cereal
•       Powdered or canned milk
•       We also accept baby diapers
•       Meats both canned and frozen

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

Say “Bah Humbug” to Pests This Holiday Season

 

rat
Pests are opportunists, plain and simple. They’ll take advantage of any opportunity to enter your home in search of food, water, and warmer harborage – and the holiday season is not exempt.

And while pests including spiders, ants, and mice won’t come down the chimney with care (well, a raccoon might), they can make their way indoors on Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, and storage containers for your decorations.

Pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in crevices of wood. In some cases, insects may even lay eggs in trees or garlands, and when brought indoors, those eggs can hatch, creating an unwanted pest infestation in the home.

The Clark Man recommends that homeowners inspect holiday decorations and firewood carefully before bringing them indoors. Look for insects, nests, or eggs, and give your tree or other green decorations a good shake outdoors to dislodge any hidden pest “elves” that may be hiding inside.

Pests also can gain access to your home in boxes of decorations that typically are stored in basements, attics, garages, and crawlspaces – all favorite hiding spots for pests. Mice and other pests can crawl into boxes during the off-season in search of harborage, and you might find live or dead pests and their droppings inside when you open them up. In some cases, you may find that your favorite Santa centerpiece has been used as a mouse house, and has been chewed or destroyed by pests.

To avoid an unpleasant encounter with pests, the Clark Man recommends that you unpack your holiday decorations outside and inspect all items for signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage before bringing them indoors. Also, inspect strings of lights carefully to ensure that the wiring has not been chewed on by hungry mice – a leading cause of electrical fires in homes.

The best way to prevent pests from making a unwanted guest appearance during next year’s holidays is to store your decorations in hard plastic bins with tightly sealed lids, instead of cardboard boxes or bags that can be chewed through easily.

Also, do not pile discarded live trees or cut firewood near your home, as this can attract mice, termites, and other pests. The Clark Man also recommends that you store firewood off the ground, and at least 20 feet from your house on concrete blocks or poles.

If you think you have a problem with pests this holiday season, contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out, make a proper identification, and provide a treatment recommendation.

 

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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Don’t Let Pests Spoil Your Holiday Baking

 

 

 pantry pestsOne of the best things about the holiday season is all the home-baked cookies, pastries, cakes, and other assorted treats that are served in a seemingly never-ending supply. There always seems to be room for just one more chocolate chip or gingerbread cookie!

 

As the holiday baking season swings into full gear, cookie and cake aficionados need to keep one eye on the oven timer and another on making sure unwanted pests don’t play Scrooge when it comes to their baking efforts.

 

Pests that can threaten your holiday baking include various species of moths and beetles. These insects can spoil grain products in your pantry where their larvae feed; they also leave behind fecal pellets, cast skins, and  eggshells.

 

Indian meal moths are the most commonly encountered stored-product pest in homes. Adult Indian meal moths are reddish to yellowish brown in color, with reddish-brown wings that have a copper sheen to them. They are approximately a half inch in length with a a half-inch wingspan. They are attracted to light and are often spotted indoors flying in a fluttering pattern. They will feed on whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, crackers, birdseed, and dry dog food.

 

Other important stored-product pests include the merchant grain beetle and red flour beetle, both of which enjoy feasting on flour, baking mixes, spices and nuts – all staples of holiday cooking. The confused flour beetle, called that because it looks so similar to the red flour beetle, likes spices.

 

When these nuisance pests gain access to your pantry, they not only leave a bad odor and taste behind, but they also render baking and cooking foodstuffs useless. This, of course, can put a real damper on your holiday food plans.

 

The Clark Man recommends that holiday bakers follow these tips to prevent pantry pests from ruining the ingredients for those holiday pies, cookies, and cakes:

 

  • Store sugar, flour, spices, chocolate, coconut, and other baking staples in tight-fitting plastic containers
  • Check for signs of pest infestation, such as torn/opened bags or a bad odor, before you leave the grocery store
  • When unloading your purchases, make sure pests did not hitch a ride home in your shopping bag, or container of cake or brownie mix
  • Clean up food spills on kitchen shelves and counters immediately
  • Rotate baking supplies in your pantry and discard of any old or expired items

 

If you think you have a problem with pantry pests, contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out, make a proper identification, and provide a treatment recommendation.

 

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.

The Clark Man Recognizes Rodent Awareness Week

 

 

 

 

Rodent

Rodents will invade more than 21 million homes this winter in search of food and shelter, and the Clark Man is out to make sure your home isn’t one of them.

This week, the Clark Man and his fellow pest management professionals across the country are recognizing Rodent Awareness Week. Why does the third week of November qualify as Rodent Awareness Week? As they say in show business, timing is everything.

According to a nationwide survey from the National Pest Management Association, 45 percent of homeowners indicated they had issues with these furry little invaders during the fall and winter, as temperatures drop and outside food and shelter sources become less plentiful.

How do you know if you have a problem with rodents? The Clark Man offers the following telltale signs that rodents could be trying to relocate in your home for the winter.

 

  • Droppings: A trail of rodent droppings is typically found in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, and in boxes, bags, and old furniture
  • Noises: Rodents often make scurrying sounds, especially at night, as they move about and nest
  • Gnaw Marks: New gnaw marks tend to be rough to the touch and are light-colored
  • Burrows: Inside, rodents are drawn to areas that are dark and secluded. They often nest in various materials, such as insulation, storage boxes, and even rolled-up sleeping bags
  • Damaged Food Packages: House mice prefer to feed on cereals and seeds, while Norway rats prefer meat, fish, and dry dog food

The most commonly encountered rodent in residential settings is the house mouse. They are gray in color and three to four inches in length, with a tail of equal length to its body, and usually nest in dark, secluded areas within structures. Kitchens, basements/crawlspaces, and bedrooms are where these mice are found most often. House mice are also excellent climbers, can jump up to a foot high, and can access your home through an opening as small as a dime.

Even though they are cute to look at, house mice have a not-so-nice side to them. They can cause serious property damage by chewing through materials, including electrical and computer wiring that can spark an electrical fire. They are also a health threat, as they can contaminate stored food, along with food preparation and serving surfaces, and they can spread disease pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.

If you have a problem with rodents in and around your home, contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out, make a proper identification, and provide a treatment recommendation.

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.

The Clark Man Says “Boo” to Spiders

 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 41 million little ghouls and goblins (and some adult ones as well) in the United States participated in last year’s Halloween festivities, collecting treats of all kinds in pillowcases, plastic pumpkin heads or extremely large pockets

Consumers buy an estimated $2 billion of the $19 billion of candy sold annually in the United States at Halloween. What candy is most in demand with trick or treaters? The hands-down winner is chocolate, with a whopping 90 million pounds sold during the week of Halloween alone.giant spider

Halloween is also busy time for the Clark Man. Aside from carving jack-o-lanterns and enjoying a tasty chocolate or sweet treat, he is busy making sure pests don’t pull any “tricks” on homeowners.

The pest that gains the most notoriety during Halloween is the spider. Spiders are synonymous with the October 31 holiday, and that makes sense, because spiders are usually more active in the fall. Spiders reach maturity during the fall months, and fall’s increased moisture and cooler temperatures are more conducive to web building.

And while spiders are beneficial to our environment, since they hunt and eat other less desirable insects, and generally are not a threat to homeowners, they still rank high on most people’s “things I don’t want to see in my house” list.  The fear of spiders – officially known as arachnophobia – even inspired the 1990 cult-classic movie Arachnophobia, but spiders commonly seen out in the open during the day are unlikely to bite people. 

It is true that certain species of spiders – black widows and scorpions – can present a threat to homeowners who unknowingly cross their paths, but the black widow, for example, spends most of its time hiding under furniture or boxes, or in woodpiles, corners and crevices – locations not frequently visited.

To keep your “close encounters” with spiders to a minimum, the Clark Man suggests the following spider prevention tips:

 

 

  • Remove and reduce trash and rubbish from your home, such as woodpiles, boxes, plywood, tires, and trash cans – especially if they are stored adjacent to the house
  • Seal cracks and crevices around doors, and windows, on the foundation, and at access holes for electrical conduits or plumbing
  • Remove clutter in closets, pantries and storage areas inside your home
  • If you leave clothes and shoes outside in the garage or porch, be sure to shake them well before putting them on
  • Apparel and equipment that is only occasionally worn (garden gloves, boots, athletic shoes, baseball mitts, camping gear, sleeping bags, etc.) should be stored in tightly closed containers, especially if stored in the garage or other dark storage areas.
  • When removing boxes and other items from the garage or storage areas, wear a pair of heavy gloves in case you encounter a black widow spider nesting among the items.

 

Remember, if you have a problem with spiders around your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out, make a proper identification and provide a treatment recommendation.

 

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.

Horror Movie Bugs

 
Horror Movie Bugs & Real Life Counterparts

Horror Movie Bugs and Their Real Life Counterparts
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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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