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Healthy Homes Tips

No One Likes a Soggy House Except for Fungus

How to Find, Identify, and Eliminate Moisture Conditions

Termite inspection reports often list “moisture conditions” as problem items. What exactly are moisture conditions and why are they a problem?

First, why you should care. Moisture in and around your home allows the growth of fungus and mold. It is an essential element for dampwood termites, springtails, and other damp-loving pests. It […]

Kids Ask the Best Questions

I was recently contacted by a 6th grader working on a school project. He asked some really great questions about ants and pest control in general. We read too much in the news about failing school systems, but this young man’s thoughtful questions belie those generalizations. I hope they leave you feeling positive too. His questions and my answers […]

Keep Fungus From Feasting on Your Home

Did you know that two species of fungi rank in the top five of wood destroying organisms (WDO)? Wood destroying fungi basically decompose wood studs, framing, floor joists, sub-floors, mudsills, and attic members, thereby destroying the strength of the wood holding up a house.

Meruliaporia incrassata (known as Poria)  and Serpula lacrymans (known as dry rot) are the two most […]

Failed Termite Fumigation or Filtering Frass?

How to Tell Whether a Drywood Termite Fumigation Failed

It’s rare, really, really rare that a drywood termite fumigation fails to kill all the drywood termites currently infesting a structure. So why might someone continue to find termite frass (a.k.a. termite pellets, droppings, excrement) one month, two months, or two years […]

New Law Impacts DIY Consumer Pesticide Purchases

Before you head to Home Depot to purchase a can of Raid©, you better have your Certificate of Safe Pesticide Use Training (COSPUT) in hand. A new law requires consumers to present the COSPUT certificate at the checkout counter. No COSPUT, no pesticides or chemicals for you.

To earn the Certificate of Safe Pesticide Use Training, consumers must submit to a fingerprint […]

Buy “As-Is” but Live “All-Better”

Now that California buyers are again competing for housing, we’re seeing many “as-is” offers. “As-is” means that the buyer is accepting the property with all its defects, including dry rot, termite damage, fungus, beetles, and other issues. Most buyers are savvy enough to order any recommended […]

Watch Your Step! Yellowjackets Nest in the Ground

One the most troublesome stinging insects of summer is the ground dwelling western yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica). This yellowjacket is the most commonly encountered species and is sometimes called the “meat bee.” If you’ve ever been swarmed while picnicking late in summer, this is the likely culprit. The western yellowjacket is a medium-sized black wasp with […]

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    Golden Snitch of the Bee World: Male Valley Carpenter Bees Take Flight

Golden Snitch of the Bee World: Male Valley Carpenter Bees Take Flight

That large golden lozenge hovering around the bushes just might be a male Valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta)–the Golden Snitch of the bee world. This time of year, these one inch long, quickly moving bees are not out to collect pollen. They are looking for a mate. Although it’s been reported that male carpenter bees are territorial, we’ve found […]

Five Reasons to Hate Argentine Ants

An Argentine ant super-colony stretches 560 miles along the California coast. Our clients live in the middle of it.

Argentine Ant Supercolony California

Ever wonder why it is so difficult to get rid of ants?

Answer: You are surrounded.

An Argentine ant super-colony stretches from Mexico to Ukiah. This super-colony is formed of closely […]

What to do if Attacked by Bees

With news of the recent Africanized honey bee attacks, we’d like to share these important recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Follow these steps if you are  attacked by a group of honey bees:

1. RUN away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.

2. As you are running, pull your […]

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