Diamond Certified Blog

Tag Archives: Pest Control

Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them

Many people assume there’s only one kind of termite, but in reality it’s not that simple. In fact, there are three different types of termites found in the Bay Area, which is why it’s good to know how to identify and deal with each.

Dampwood termite. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2016)

Unlike drywood and subterranean termites, dampwood termites don’t actually pose a threat to your home. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2016)

1. Dampwood termites
If you find dampwood termites in your home, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: since they only eat damp, rotten wood, they’re actually doing you a favor. The bad news: damp, rotten wood means there’s some kind of leak in your home. Once you’ve fixed the leak and removed the rot, the termites will go away. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: 3 Types of Termites and How to Deal With Them” »

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How to Get Rid of Ants in the House

How to get rid of ants in the house

Flooded out of their homes, ants seek refuge in ours. Photo: Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, 2016

El Niño has finally arrived in Northern California, and the rains have had disastrous consequences…for ants. According to Janet Thrasher of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, Inc., when rainwater saturates the earth, it floods ants’ colonies and forces them to seek refuge in nearby dwellings. Consequently, ant-related calls to Diamond Certified pest companies are currently on the rise.

How to Get Rid of Ants
If you need to get rid of ants in your house, there are many different ways to go about it, but the most effective way is to destroy their nest. Continue reading “How to Get Rid of Ants in the House” »

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Posted in Home improvement, Home Tips, Pest Tips, Savvy Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Diamond Certified Experts: Tips for Pest-Proofing Your Home

When it comes to keeping your home pest-free, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2015)

When it comes to keeping your home pest-free, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures. Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2015)

“Termites and spiders and rats, oh my!” Even if you don’t have an ingrained fear of these pests, the last place you want to see them is inside your home. That’s why we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to give some tips on how to keep these vexatious vermin outside where they belong.

Keep things clean. There’s nothing pests like better than a free meal, which is why Felipe Montanez of Hydrex Pest Control of the North Bay, Inc. says the number one preventative measure you can take against infestation is to be thorough with your cleaning. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Tips for Pest-Proofing Your Home” »

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School’s Out: Here Come the Kids of Summer

Parents, get ready, for they are coming.

Best summer tip: throw cranky children in water. Photo: Royal Pools, 2015

Best summer tip: throw cranky children in water. Photo: Royal Pools, 2015

Remember last September? Just after Labor Day, you sent them off with new lunchboxes, pointy pencils and extra-long pants. The classrooms unto which they were delivered smelled of fresh paint. They cried a little, and so did you. You went home to an empty house and drank a well-deserved, oddly uninterrupted cup of coffee.

Well, parents…eight PTA meetings, seven slumber parties, four music recitals and one soccer tournament later, your precious bundles of joy are coming back. Continue reading “School’s Out: Here Come the Kids of Summer” »

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Party on the Patio: How to Get Your Yard Set for Summer Fun

summer-garden

With summer fast approaching, you’ll want to prepare your outdoor living space for optimum enjoyment of the warm, sunny weather. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2015)

If you’re like most Bay Area residents, as the long days and balmy evenings of summer set in, you’ll want to be spending as much time as possible outside. An outdoor living space can serve a variety of functions, whether an ambient setting to entertain guests or a relaxing oasis for lounging during your annual staycation. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your space, however, you’ll first need to get it clean and functional again after having sat unused all winter. Here are a few aspects likely to require your attention:

pool-maintenance-cleaning-sanitation

Proper swimming pool maintenance consists of two essential aspects: cleaning and sanitation. Photo: Royal Pools of Santa Clara, Inc. (2015)

Swimming Pool
Following its winter dormancy, your swimming pool needs a bit of maintenance to get it ready for summer use. According to John Pittman of Roger’s Pool and Spa Service, Inc., it’s best to start by getting the pool and its filter cleaned. You can clean the filter by disassembling it and using a garden hose to wash off the individual parts. You’ll also need to adjust your filter’s run time, from the minimal off-season setting up to 6-8 hours a day during the summer. Continue reading “Party on the Patio: How to Get Your Yard Set for Summer Fun” »

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Putting the Freeze on Fleas: A Basic Tutorial

pest-control-fleas-house

When fleas occupy your home, you’ll need to act fast to mount a successful resistance. Photo: Killroy Pest Control (2014)

So your dog went out back to do its usual business, but this time, when it returned, it brought along some uninvited guests. That’s right: fleas have dropped in for a surprise visit, and they just might end up staying for dinner. Before you know it, you’re scratching and slapping at these nearly imperceptible pests. A barrage of questions storm through your mind: Will I have to vacate my house? Are chemical treatments my only option? Will Fido have to go to the vet? Relax: the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.” Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps:

1. Decontaminate the host. Since your pet is the one who started this mess (albeit unwittingly), it should be the first to get treated. Start by washing your pet in warm, soapy water; as a supplementary measure, add a cup of white vinegar to the water and use a citrus-scented soap (fleas hate both). Following bath time, use a flea brush to excise the hardier fleas who survived the deluge. Continue reading “Putting the Freeze on Fleas: A Basic Tutorial” »

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How to Prevent a Termite Re-Infestation

If you’ve had a termite problem in the past, the last thing you want is another one. While treatments such as Orange Oil and fumigation may successfully eradicate a termite population in your home, they offer no guarantee against re-infestation down the road, which is why it’s important to take preventative measures. Consider the following tips:

Thoroughly paint and seal exposed wood
One of the most basic preventative measures you can take to protect your home against re-infestation is to make sure any exposed woodwork (both exterior and interior) is thoroughly painted and/or sealed. Things like exterior rafter tails and siding should be coated with paint and sealant to effectively protect the wood from termites. An equally important part of this is “back-painting,” which is the practice of painting wood that doesn’t show. Though it might seem pointless to paint an area that no one sees, it ensures there are no vulnerable areas for termites to access and provides extra protection against dry rot. Continue reading “How to Prevent a Termite Re-Infestation” »

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How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

While they may be best known for their allusion in the famous bedtime children’s rhyme, bed bugs are a real and rising concern in American households. Primarily nocturnal and parasitic, bed bugs are so named because of their preferred habitat: warm houses, particularly around and inside bedding. What the name doesn’t signify is the fact that bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, usually from a sleeping human host.

Although nearly wiped out in America by the early 1940s, bed bugs reemerged in the mid 1990s as a legitimate concern. While it remains unknown why and how they made a comeback, the subsequent rise in home infestations has led to exponential increases in bed bug bites and related health conditions. Continue reading “How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation” »

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How to Identify and Stop Termite Damage

When dealing with a termite infestation, taking protective steps can eliminate the need to have your house fumigated. Photo: Van Hooser Enterprises, Inc. (2011)

When it comes to dealing with termite infestations, prevention is always the best policy. Regular monitoring can prevent up to 90 percent of termite damage, so watch for telltale signs of termites and have them exterminated before they get too out of control.

One of the most obvious signs of a termite infestation is the presence of earthen tubes (also called migratory tubes) outside your house. These tubes are the result of termite swarms during the spring and fall, when it first starts to rain. Another thing to watch for is irregularly shaped piles of a powdery, brown substance protruding from your structure’s framing—usually in attics and crawlspaces or on windowsills.

There are several steps you can take to prevent termite damage and sustain an effective termite treatment plan throughout the year. Consider the following tips for making your home a less attractive target for wood-boring insects:

Take care of moisture problems

  • Keep gutters and downspouts as clean as possible. Wet leaves provide moisture and food for termites, and since the gutters are attached to your home, they’re easy points of entry. Clogged gutters can also contribute to moisture problems by soaking wood off the roof and fascia boards.
  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and air conditioning units
  • Divert water away from the foundation.
  • Remove excessive plant cover.Get rid of standing water on your roof.
  • Keep vents open and clear.
  • Seal entry points around water pipes and utility lines. Continue reading “How to Identify and Stop Termite Damage” »

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What Can I Do About a Stump Under My House?

These kinds of questions come up all the time when you’re managing a household. Do I need to buy new tires yet? Should we replace the furnace now, or can we wait another year? And the latest one, do I have to remove the stump under my house? I called a Diamond Certified company for the answer, John Kunkel, owner of Termite Police.

This pest control expert explained that you no longer have to excavate the stumps. It’s better to treat the stump with chemicals that poison termites. The termites ingest the poison, carry it back to the colonies, and that eliminates the problem.

So when you have a question and you need an expert answer and some help, tap into a great resource. Call one of the Diamond Certified companies. You can count on them for solid advice.

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