Payne Pest Management Inc. is a full service pest control company offering pest management to commercial and residential properties in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Why Do Ants Invade Homes?

Most ant species are well-adapted to living outdoors, and between cleaners, a lack of moisture, and human hosts, homes are generally hostile environments for nesting sites. However, ants continue to be one of the most common household pests in the U.S. So what exactly leads to an ant problem in the first place? Read on to find out:

Close up of a welcome mat in an inviting house

A Viable Food/Water Source

There’s no doubt that ants are voracious insects, but they have different food preferences depending on the species and season—that’s why a bowl of pet food may be fine for weeks until a foraging ant locates it. A single ant in your home doesn’t necessarily indicate an infestation, but foraging ants leave behind chemical trails to lead others to food sources. A lack of outdoors food sources (i.e. other insects) can lead them indoors. Ant colonies also need constant moisture to survive, and a leaky faucet or air conditioner drain pipe can be the perfect water source during a drought.

Ideal Nesting Site

A clean, dry home is inhospitable for ant colonies, but a dilapidated, moisture-damaged area can be the ideal location for a new nest. And once an ant colony settles near the outside of your home, it won’t take much to drive them indoors. Additionally, attempting to burn or flood out a nearby nest may only push them further into your home if you fail to kill the queen. Carpenter ants are special cases: they don’t actually eat wood, but they do nest in it and can be incredibly hard to control once they start to establish satellite colonies.

Ants may be beneficial for the environment, but they’re extremely troublesome pests indoors. If you’re concerned about an ant or other pest problem in your Orange County home, contact Payne Pest Management to receive a free estimate from an experienced professional. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest pest prevention tips and call (949) 450-9955 today for more information.

A Look at the Top Bed Bug Cities

quilted bedding

The bed bug epidemic is sweeping across the U.S., and the Bay Area is steadily climbing the ranks of the top bed bug cities in the nation. Bed bugs don’t transmit any known diseases, but they can leave behind itchy red welts all over your skin and cause allergic reactions. Here’s a look at the top bed bug cities and how to protect your home from bed bugs:

Various locations throughout California jumped several spots in a recent survey of the top bed bug cities. Los Angeles was the highest area on the list at number five—a massive 25-spot jump from last year. However, it was not the biggest increase from the previous year’s study; the San Francisco area leapt 35 spots to number 12. San Diego tops the latter half of the list at number 26 (increasing 13 spots), and the Sacramento area is the last California location on the list at number 41 (up 24 spots). But what’s behind the huge bed bug spike for several areas along the Pacific Coast?

Several factors have contributed to the bed bug resurgence: their incredible resilience and fast reproduction rates, locations with high urban densities, and public unawareness of prevention techniques, to name a few. Additionally, all of the above locations are frequent travel hubs and tourist destinations, and hotels are some of the worst places for bed bug infestations.

Bed bugs can survive without food for several months and can withstand extreme temperature ranges. Females lay one to five eggs per day, and can fully mature in as little as 30 days. Bed bugs are year-round pests, but their activity levels tend to increase during warmer seasons.

If you have bed bugs in your home, nowhere is truly safe until you get rid of them once and for all. Fortunately, Payne Pest Management is here to provide Orange County homeowners with reliable pest control solutions for bed bugs and virtually any other type of pest. Call (949) 450-9955 today for more information.

How You Can Keep Your Summer Pest-Free

Several pests reach the peak of their activity levels in summertime, and they can quickly invade your home without preparation. Rather than compromising your comfort and possibly your health, watch this video for a few simple tips on preventing common seasonal pests.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so take care to eliminate any puddles around your home. Trim any bushes or shrubs away from the home, and eliminate any possible entry points such as wall cracks or loose window seals. If you have a pet, then regularly look for ticks, as they can transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

To protect your home or business from the worst seasonal pests in Orange County, contact Payne Pest Management at (949) 450-9955 today for a free estimate. We have over 35 years of experience in both commercial and residential pest control.

Identifying Common Household Ants

Ants building

Ants are the most common household pests the in the nation, but out of the 700 species throughout the U.S., only a couple dozen are recognized as household pests. Ants are some of the most versatile insects in the planet and can be incredibly difficult to get rid of without professional pest control. Read on to learn how to identify these common household ants:

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest hazards you can face since they burrow into wood and can compromise the structural integrity of your home, similar to termites. Unlike termites, they prefer cooler, coastal climates like those found in the Bay Area. They are larger than most other ants, varying in size from 3.4mm up to 33mm large. They are mostly nocturnal, which can make them difficult to identify.

Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants commonly nest outdoors in mulch and under stones. They are solid black or dark brown in color and are about 3.3mm in length. They do not bite or sting, but they do produce a distinctive licorice-like smell when crushed and often invade homes in large swarms. They prefer sugars, but will consume meats and other proteins as well.

Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants are common to Orange County and the rest of the southeastern U.S., and they are notable for their aggressive behavior and particularly painful stings. Unlike carpenter ants and odorous house ants, fire ants are opportunistic eaters and will freely feed on meats, plants, and processed sweets. They range in size from 1.6 to 5mm and build nest mounds that can be up to 18mm high.

Once ants invade your home, they can be incredibly difficult to get rid of without professional assistance. We here at Payne Pest Management can provide professional pest control solutions—everything from insects to birds—for homes and businesses in Orange County. Just read some of our satisfied customer reviews online and call (949) 450-9955 today to schedule a free estimate.

Understanding the Termite Diet

Termites

Since many structures, including homes and commercial properties, are built around wooden frames, termites are a serious problem in the area. Termite damage is frustrating to homeowners and other property owners because correcting it requires expensive, invasive repairs. Many property owners, however, do not fully understand how to prevent termite damage or control a termite infestation. The first step towards eliminating these pests is to understand their diet.

What Do Termites Eat?
There are several species of termite, but the two that affect human dwellings the most are subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites prefer to nest underground, close to the foundations of the structures they devour, but drywood termites can actually live inside the walls or under the floor of your building or home. Both species consume dead plant matter containing cellulose, including wooden beams and paper products.

How Do Termites Digest?
Termites cannot digest cellulose on their own. They depend upon microscopic protozoa that live in their guts to break down the cellulose in wood. These microorganisms have a symbiotic relationship with the termites, and also with even smaller bacteria that contribute to this relationship by releasing digestive enzymes that break down cellulose.

How Do Termites Nest?
Consuming wood does more than provide termites with sustenance—it also allows them to build their nests. Termites construct their dwellings out of a paste made from mud, saliva, chewed wood or cellulite, and feces. The nest helps termites stay hydrated by retaining moisture through condensation, and it also provides protection for nurseries full of termite larvae. The un-removed stumps of felled trees provide ideal places for termites to nest.

To prevent termites from devouring the wood that supports your home, consult Payne Pest Management today. Our pest control solutions help homes and businesses across Orange County eliminate termites, bed bugs, cockroaches, rodents, and many other household vermin. Learn more about our services by calling us today at (949) 450-9955.

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Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed