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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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Sacramento - Bed Bugs Pose Irritating Pest Control Problem


Source: Sacramento Press -

By: Dave Picton


Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are once again a problem in the United States, around the world—and even in Sacramento—a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.


Bed bugs were seemingly eradicated in the United States and much of the rest of the world back in the 1940s, largely due to the widespread use of the pesticide DDT. Use of DDT was banned in the United States in 1971, and later in the rest of the world, due to environmental and health concerns. The resurgence of bedbugs has been attributed in part to the ban on DDT, to increased global travel, and to the possibility that the insects have developed resistance to pesticides. Increased use of baits to control insect infestations, which results in less pesticide residue, and the use of very targeted insecticides—both mainstays of modern integrated pest management methods—may also be contributing to the bed bug problem.

Whatever the reason, there has been a 71% increase in reports of bed bugs since 2001, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The problem has become so serious that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has included research into prevention and treatment of bed bug infestations in its Healthy Homes Strategic Plan (

Bed bugs have been known at least since the 1700s in Jamaica and are believed to have been transported to the United States by European colonists. Although they thrive in crowded and cluttered conditions, which give them lots of hiding places close to the humans they feed upon, bed bugs don’t discriminate between clean and dirty environments. “The cleanest living area can have a very large infestation, and improving sanitation alone will not eliminate an established bed bug population…,” said Dr. Harold Harlan, a former career bug expert for the military in a recent MSNBC interview. “Almost anyone is at risk of having an infestation if bed bugs are brought into their home.”


Bed bugs can be brought into your home from hotels, theaters, even public transportation. They are nocturnal, typically active after midnight into the early morning hours. Flat and brown and about the size and shape of an apple seed, they hide in the tiniest of cracks and crevices, usually near where their human hosts sleep. Check for brownish stains or black specks in the seams of mattresses and behind bed headboards.


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Clark Pest - Clark is Awarded Green Certification in Sacramento

Source: Sacramento Business Journal  

Green bugs

Clark Pest Control has become the first company in the Sacramento area to receive a "green" certification by the National Pest Management Association.

The QualityPro Green certification requires companies to adopt an integrated pest management program. First they have to inspect a site and try non-chemical measures, such as trimming bushes that harbor rodents or sealing cracks that let in moisture and ants. If that doesn't work, they can introduce low-toxicity pesticides. Conventional pesticides become a last resort, and they try to use as little as possible.

"At this point the QualityPro Green certification is geared to individual sites," said Darren Van Steenwyk, Clark's technical director. "We're looking to implement this inspection-based service on a companywide scale."

Pest-control firms typically use a handful of products regularly. Clark is looking at alternatives. "We're looking at going away from synthetic pyrethroids and moving towards a botanical product," Steenwyk said. Among the candidates: oils of clove, eucalyptus and thyme.

Pyrethroid exposure can make people's skin itch or burn, and large amounts (way more than a pest-controller would spray around your home) can cause convulsions or knock people out for a few days.

But even the harmless-sounding botanical extracts can have some drawbacks.

"Sometimes the smell may be a little overpowering," Van Steenwyk said. "The technology is definitely improving. But in certain circumstances they work, and in certain circumstances they don't work." | 916-558-7866

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Sacramento Valley fox now found to be native


By Matt Weiser



There isn't much mystery left in the natural environment of the Sacramento Valley, a place completely reshaped by a century of intensive farming, urbanization and levee building. At least, that's the usual assumption.

In fact, it's a faulty one.

A subspecies of red fox that has lived in the Valley all these years turns out to be native to the area.

For more than 100 years these foxes were assumed to be nonnatives, escaped from fur farms and hunting parties in the 1900s and considered a pest that threatens ground-nesting native birds.

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Sacramento - another pest infestation turns up in California


Published on 08/21/2009 01:01pm By Don Schrack

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is once again preparing to battle the Oriental fruit fly, but at a different site.

Less than two months after an Oriental fruit fly infestation was declared to be eradicated in a Los Angeles suburb, another pocket of the pests has turned up near Sacramento, 400 miles north, a news release said.

Three of the insects were recently trapped in Elk Grove, southeast of Sacramento. The state agency will launch a treatment program covering more than seven square miles around the sites where the insects were trapped, the release said.

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Fire and cold weather bring unwanted rat visitors indoors


by Dave Picton 

As the cool weather approaches, so does the likelihood that rodents will be seeking warm nesting sites in the attics, garages and foundations of our homes and commercial buildings. In fact, some of our customers who live near wildfire areas have experienced an unseasonably early influx of these critters, driven from woods and fields by the smoke and flames.

The two most common rodent invaders are mice and rats.

In our region of Central-Northern California, the two most common species of pest rats are the roof rat (Rattus rattus) and the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), neither of which are native to California but originated in the Far East and spread across the globe centuries ago. The roof rat is the smaller of the two, averaging 5 to 10 ounces in weight, gray to white in color, with a pointed snout, long ears and a black tail as long as its body. The Norway rat is stockier, weighing 7 to 18 ounces, grayish in color, and with shorter ears and tail than the roof rat.

The roof rat is a good climber, nests in trees and dense shrubs, and may take up housekeeping in your attic, the space above dropped ceilings or even in high cabinets. The Norway rat is a burrower and indoors usually sticks to basements or ground floor spaces. You may spot its nest lined with shredded paper, fabric or other fibrous materials.

Although both these types of rat are common in our region, and highly adapted to residential neighborhoods and urban environs, our Earth Guard customers complain most frequently of the roof rat.

Sometimes depicted as funny and cute in popular media such as the Disney-Pixar movie "Ratatouille," in fact Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus pose serious health and safety problems for home- and business owners. Rats eat and contaminate human and animal food and whatever container or packaging it is stored in; they gnaw on and ruin wooden doors and cabinets, chew through electrical wires and shred insulation to use for their nests. One of our customers recently had to place a service call to her security alarm company when a sensor stopped working; the mystified technician finally found a place in the attic where a rat had chewed through the alarm system wiring.

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If your experiancing rodent issues in the Sacramento area, Clark Pest Control's Sacramento branch handles rodent,pest,bird and termite control.

Visit the Sacramento Pest Controls branch web page.

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