Page 1 | Clark Pest Control Blog | Pest Control Updates | Spider Control

Follow Clark Pest Control

Subscribe to our blog

Your email:

Free quote

Free quotes, same-day and Saturday service available. Contact Clark Pest today.

About Clark Pest Control

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.

Clark Pest Control's Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Making a List to Help You Prevent Termites

 

TermitesAs an old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regarding termites, that statement rings very true. Termites, like most structural pests you’ll encounter, are opportunists and will take advantage of any conducive conditions that provide them with food, water, and shelter.

To help keep termites from damaging your most valuable possession, your home, the Clark Man has put a list together that can help prevent termite infestations. Effective termite prevention means that it’s much less likely your home will need to be treated for a termite infestation. We recommend that homeowners follow these steps to help avoid these destructive and unwelcome house guests.

  • Avoid moisture accumulation around the interior and exterior of your home – termites are attracted to moisture.

  • When watering your lawn, don't sprinkle stucco or wood siding.

  • Routinely fill in any cracks in your foundation’s masonry or concrete, and caulk around door and window frames; make sure there are no easy entry points to your home.

  • Keep your gutters and downspouts in good repair and clean. Wet leaves provide moisture and harborage for termites and other pests.

  • Store firewood off the ground and away from your home.

  • Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath your home.

  • Eliminate any wood contact with the soil. – an 18-inch gap between the soil and wood is ideal.

  • Avoid planting trees and shrubs too close to the house. Trim trees and shrubs when necessary and keep them from touching your home’s roof or exterior walls, because they provide an easy pathway for termites.

  • Keep the exterior of your home well painted and in good repair. Bare wood is attractive to termites, and a good coat of paint can act as a barrier for drywood termites.

Another key element in protecting your home from termites is to have it inspected by a licensed termite inspector on a regular basis – every three years at the minimum, but annually if possible. An early diagnosis of a termite problem and taking corrective action sooner rather than later can help prevent more expensive treatments and repairs down the road.

During your inspection, Clark Pest Control’s highly trained inspectors will examine windows and plumbing along with the structural areas around them, and will inspect the attic, the basement, and any crawl spaces or voids. They will look anywhere termite colonies might be establishing a home base in and around your home.

 

If our inspector discovers evidence of termite damage, he or she will recommend a treatment method customized to meet your home’s specific needs, and also advise you on appropriate repairs for any damaged areas.


Remember, if your home has a problem with termites, call (800) WE NEED YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

 

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

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

Battling an Old Adversary: Cockroaches

 

Nothing gets a homeowner more worked up than seeing a cockroach scurrying along the kitchen baseboard,german roach or darting around on a shelf in the pantry when the light is turned on. Cockroaches have earned a nasty reputation, and deservedly so, which precedes them.

Let’s be honest: any pest that has been around as long as the cockroach – more than 300 million years, according to some researchers – can develop some less-than-desirable habits, which include infesting homes in search of food, water, and shelter.

While no pest will win an award for its sanitation habits, cockroaches seem to go out of their way to travel in areas where human and animal waste, grease, stagnant water, and rotting food are present.

Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, and will hide in dark, warm areas, especially narrow spaces where surfaces touch them on both sides. Their ability to hide in very small spaces – in cracks as tight as 1/16-inch wide – can make them a challenge to control.

Cockroaches tend to congregate in corners and travel along the edges of walls or other surfaces. The most commonly encountered cockroaches in residential settings are the German and American cockroach, respectively.

The repulsion homeowners feel when they encounter a cockroach is trumped by the threat they pose to food safety. Cockroaches – especially the American cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings – can transmit bacteria such as Salmonella if they come in contact with food preparation or serving surfaces.

Not to be outdone, German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms, including those that can cause staph infections and hepatitis. They also can spread dysentery.

The Clark Man has years of experience dealing with this nasty adversary, and recommends the following tips to protect your home, family, and food from exposure:

The Clark Man’s Top Seven Cockroach Prevention Tips

  1. Keep kitchen counters, sinks, tables, floors, cabinets, and pantries clean and free of clutter.
  2. Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away – cockroaches love grease and waste.
  3. Store food in airtight containers where cockroaches cannot access it.
  4. Seal cracks or openings around home foundations and inside cabinets.
  5. Eliminate excess moisture buildup (i.e., a leaky faucet).
  6. Inspect packages, school backpacks, and laundry bins for signs of cockroaches (and other pests). Don’t be afraid to give items a good shake!
  7. Keep the landscape plants next to your house trimmed, and don’t use too much mulch, as it can provide an ideal harborage for cockroaches.

Remember, if your home has a problem with cockroaches, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU, or drop me an email 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.
Tags: 

Keeping Rodents Out This Winter

 
rodent preventionAt first glance, the house mouse does not appear very threatening, but don’t let looks deceive you. Mice are the number-one rodent pest for homeowners in United States, and it’s estimated that mice and their rodent brethren invade more than 20 million homes each winter across the country.

How do these furry little creatures, which consume approximately 1/10 of their body weight – two to four grams of food – on a daily basis, gain access to your home? And what areas are most vulnerable to a mouse infestation?

According to research conducted by the National Pest Management Association, the kitchen – the hub of activity in many homes – is the number-one area where rodents are likely to be found. Let’s be honest: Rodents, while not Rhodes scholars, know where their bread is buttered, so to speak, and kitchens offer abundant sources of food, water, and shelter for these unwanted visitors.

What other areas of a home are susceptible to hosting a rodent infestation? The research revealed the following:

  • Kitchen – 50%
  • Basement – 27%
  • Living Room – 25%
  • Bedroom – 22%
  • Bathroom – 11%
  • Other – 9%

In addition to spoiling food with their droppings and urine, and transmitting dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, rodents also can pose a significant threat to the structural integrity of your home.

A house mouse or roof rat infestation can destroy insulation in attics, and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and electrical or computer wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year.

The keys to any successful rodent-prevention program are exclusion and sanitation. If you don’t “build” rodents out of your home and follow good sanitation practices on a consistent basis, the benefits of the Clark Man’s rodent-prevention measures will be lost, and rodents will reinvade faster than a New York minute.

Keep counters clean. Eliminate clutter. Make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently. Also, make sure all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers, indoors and out.

The Clark Man’s Top Five Rodent-Prevention Tips

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside your home – pay special attention to areas where pipes and utility wires or cables enter the home, even those up high; mice can squeeze through a  ¼-inch opening.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements, attics, and storage areas free of clutter, and eliminate moisture sources –  including leaking pipes, faucets, and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food – especially pet food – in sealed containers.

Remember, if your home as a problem with rodents, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email 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.

There Is a Mouse in the House

 

mouse

Did you know that rodents will invade approximately 21 million homes this winter? That statistic from the National Pest Management Association confirms what the Clark Man already knew – that these furry little intruders have no intention of taking the winter off!

Rodents, especially house mice, are the most active of winter pests. Like many pests, rodents seek warmer digs in the winter, preferably with an abundant supply of food, water and nesting materials.

Rodents are a crafty bunch and will wait patiently for the right opportunity – a door left propped open, a box of off-season clothes brought in from a storage area, an open bag of pet food or a small crack in the foundation – to enter your home. Rodents only need an opening of ¼- to ½-inch to gain access to your home. And, unlike a herd of noisy teenagers, they won’t announce their arrival until after they have settled in.

What are the most common signs of a possible rodent infestation in your home? They can include the following:

  • Rodent droppings (usually black in color and ¼- to ½-inch long) and urine (best detected using a black light).
  • Chewed electrical, computer or cable wiring (a major cause of electrical fires).
  • Unexplained chewing or gnaw marks on carpet, upholstery, drapes, furniture and baseboards.

What areas of your home are most vulnerable to attracting an unwanted rodent infestation? The Clark Man has identified the following locations as “rodent hot spots”:

  • Attached garages and carports, along with storage areas above these locations where storage boxes, pet food and other items are found
  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinet voids
  • Back base voids of refrigerators, stoves and kitchen appliances
  • In utility rooms and areas beneath, and within base voids of furnaces, washers and clothes dryers
  • In wall, ceiling and floor voids
  • In the insulation of attics and in the contents of the attic (i.e., storage boxes)
  • In basements near utility feed lines.
  • Firewood stacked next to the house and near a door

The Clark Man recommends that you seal cracks in the foundation of your house or utility pipe openings with caulk or other appropriate materials to deny rodents easy access, and that you make sure the weather stripping around exterior doors is in good repair.

Also, be sure to keep food in sealed containers, do not to leave pet food in the bowl overnight, and closely inspect any boxes you bring in from storage areas or that are delivered for signs of rodent infestation.

Remember, if an unwanted pest crosses your path, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email 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.

A Toast to a Happy, Healthy, Pest-Free 2015

 

HappyHolidays

According to the Wine Institute, Californians lead the way among Americans when it comes to enjoying sparkling wines and champagnes. That should come as no surprise, since California vintners produce some of the finest varietals in the world. Golden State residents enjoyed 3,645,900 cases in 2013, and when you consider it takes 600-800 grapes to make one bottle, that’s a whole lot of bubbly!

In the spirit of the season (and minus the bubbly during work hours), the Clark Man would like to toast to our success in preventing and eliminating unwanted, unhealthy, and potentially destructive pests from our customers’ homes this year.

Whether it’s removing an Argentine ant infestation along your sidewalk or performing a whole-house fumigation to eliminate drywood termites, the highly-trained professional men and women at Clark Pest Control enjoy serving your pest control needs, day in and day out. You can rest assured that the Clark Man has the solution to whatever your specific pest issue may be.

As the calendar clicks over to 2015, it’s time for the Clark Man to make his New Years’ resolution, and here it is: to maintain our uncompromising commitment to providing outstanding service and effective results for our customers, each and every time we visit their home. We also will continue to learn at every turn and embrace the latest pest management practices, so that our customers will receive the finest service possible.

Our final gift has nothing to do with pests. The Clark Man wishes you and your family a very happy holiday season and a healthy, prosperous New Year. We appreciate your business and we look forward to keeping your home pest free in 2015 and beyond.

If you think you have a problem with pests, please contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com. We will come out to inspect, identify whatever your pest issues may be, 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.
Tags: 

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.
Tags: 

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.
All Posts