Los Angeles has its share of unwanted pests, and some are a challenge to eliminate from your home. But which ones are the worst?
In this quick guide, you’ll discover:
- The top five worst pests in order of difficulty
- Characteristics of each type
- Why these pests are so hard to eliminate
- Best kept secrets for getting rid of them
#5. German Yellowjackets
The most common species of yellowjacket in California is the western yellowjacket. However, since its introduction in the 1990s, the German yellowjacket has become the dominant invasive species in the state.
Worse, German yellowjackets prefer to build their nests in attics and wall spaces, making them an even greater threat, especially for those allergic to their stings.
Queens that have overwintered within structural cavities begin their colonies in early spring. By mid to late summer, their nests can increase by up to 4,000 individuals.
German yellowjackets are exceedingly aggressive and can sting multiple times, unlike honey bees which lose their stingers and die after defending their hive.
The general rule of thumb is to get rid of yellowjackets yourself if the nest is less than eight inches in diameter. Otherwise, it’s best to hire an exterminator.
Professional-grade yellowjacket killers use a high-pressure aerosol that allows you to stand back about ten feet to avoid getting stung. However, it’s best to spray nests during dusk when these stinging insects are subdued.
Common house flies are everywhere, no matter what part of Los Angeles you live in. So, it’s best to prevent them through sanitation measures. However, even then, it can be a challenge to control flies around your home.
One secret the pros use is to deploy fly bait along the fence line of your property. This will help draw flies away from the perimeter of your house.
Of course, it should be mentioned that cleaning up after your pets is the first line of defense against unwanted flies. Also, be sure your trash can lids are tight. Lastly, applying a biological outdoor drain cleaner will help limit breeding areas as well.
#3. German Cockroaches
You’ll generally find German cockroaches in kitchen areas. In addition, they infest storage spaces, particularly if there’s plenty of food and water available.
The adult German cockroach is about 3/4 inch long, golden brown, and has two black stripes behind its head. Fertilized females carry large egg sacs that are about a third the size of their bodies.
German cockroaches reproduce at an astonishing rate which can make them difficult to manage. One egg sac can produce over 48 instars at one time.
One of the worst ways to control German cockroaches is with aerosol sprays. That’s because any repellent insecticides will spread them out and drive them up to the ceiling, making infestations even harder to access.
Instead, it’s best to bait for German roaches using well-placed gels into cracks and crevices where insects feed. Also, bait stations work well for long-term control.
Termites create millions of dollars worth of destruction to California homes every year. They do that by eating wood material and causing structural damage.
Subterranean termites live underground and infest structures by building mud tubes to stay in constant contact with the soil.
Drywood termites need less moisture to survive. As a result, they can infest higher within the framework of a house, making them much more challenging to eradicate.
No matter what species of termite you have, treatments can be complicated and costly. Some methods involve the use of liquid barrier treatments, while others utilize whole-structure fumigation techniques. However, neither are suitable as a DIY project.
#1. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that are gaining in importance in Los Angeles County every year. They are on the rise due to a recent increase in international travel.
Bed bugs rely on human blood for survival. While they’re not vectors for diseases, they can cause skin irritations along with psychological trauma.
You can identify them by their reddish-brown color, moltings they leave behind, and the ink-like stains they make over linens and other fabrics.
There are several treatments for bed bug infestations, including:
- Chemical eradication. This includes the use of pyrethrin-based aerosols to knock down adult bed bugs quickly. They also eliminate eggs and instars for complete control.
- Heat treatments. Warming the room to a temperature above 130 degrees Fahrenheit kills bed bugs almost instantly without chemical pesticides.
- Steaming. Using a portable steam cleaner works well for bed bugs, as long as the temperature exceeds 150 degrees Fahrenheit.