Imperial Beach Pest Control

Imperial Beach Pier, CA

Imperial Beach Pier - I.B. is known for its big surf and grunion runs.

Open sky and long sandy beaches - Imperial Beach has mild winters and warm, temperate summers. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego´s South Bay, the City of Imperial Beach is the most southwesterly city in the United States.

I.B. (as local residents refer to it) encompasses miles of uncrowded beaches, open spaces of wetlands and - even agriculture, all teeming with wildlife, including some that become pests.

Problems with ants, black and brown widows, gophers and rats, are just a few of the creatures that become pests when they make their way into a home or yard.

Grunion in sand

Grunion spawning in sand - In early spring, midnight hunting for grunion is a popular sport for both tourists and locals

Hearts Pest Management is able to utilize Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and both Traditional or Organic Methods to solve customer pest concerns.

If you live in Imperial Beach then you know about the grunion runs. Several times a year, residents and tourist hunt for grunion around midnight when the fish swim ashore to spawn. If you already live in I.B. or plan to move there, you'll want to know about the city and some of the current pest issues.

Imperial Beach and Tijuana Estuary

Imperial Beach is home to the Tijuana Estuary - the largest coastal wetland in Southern California.

Open Wetlands in Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach is a dichotomy of long sandy beaches and open wetlands, with residential areas in between.

Home of the Tijuana Estuary, the wetlands begin on Imperial Beach Blvd. and 3rd street, then end at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

While the Estuary protects several endangered species, the open land allows for all sorts of rodents, other animals, and insects to propagate.

This poses a problem for Imperial Beach homeowners when it comes to keeping pests out of their home and away from their landscapes.

Imperial Beach Waterfront Homes

Ocean air currents in Imperial Beach help "ballooning" spiders travel far distances.

Common Pests in Imperial Beach

Some of the most common pests for this coastal town are: mice and rats, gophers, squirrels, spiders, flies, ants, and landscape pests such as whiteflies, aphids, and scale insects.

Bees are beneficial for pollinating our crops. Hearts makes it a practice NOT to treat for bees unless they are building a hive in or very near your home and the bees are considered a threat to you or your family.

Spiders and Ants

Spiders: It´s very common to see homes in Imperial Beach covered in spider webs, especially during spring and summer.

One of the reasons spiders are greater in numbers on the coast is because of a behavior called "ballooning." Ballooning is when a spider (usually small spiderlings) climb to the top of a fence post, tree, or plant, and then stick their abdomens up in the air to let out a single strand of silk.

The air currents from the ocean catch the silk thread and lift the spiderlings high, carrying them to new locations. Sometimes it´s a neighboring house but other times the wind can carry the spiders several miles away and into the next town.

Western-spotted Orb-weaver Spider

Western-spotted Orb-weaver - Orb-weaver spiders are beneficial in gardens; they catch flies and other garden pests inside their intricate webs.

Once spiders land, they will re-infest already treated areas. This is why sometimes you see a spider web after your service technician has just treated.
Hearts Pest Management Professionals are aware of this ballooning behavior and web dust homes on a regular basis. Ballooning spiders have been known to fly as high as 10,000 ft. and land on ships 200 miles out in the ocean!

Spiders of Medical Importance: In California, two spiders of medical concern are the Black and Brown Widow. Brown widows have an easily identifiable egg-sac - cream-colored with spikes. This spider likes to lay her egg-sacs underneath patio furniture, playground equipment, and even under children´s outdoor toys.

Black and Brown Widow Spiders

Black Widow and Brown Widow with Egg Sac.

Black widows also like to hide, especially in dark corners. Hearts can treat for Black and Brown widows with either traditional or organic methods; our technicians are exceptional at finding areas where these two spiders tend to hide.

Organic and Traditional Spider Control Available in Imperial Beach

EcoWise Certified logo Green Pest Management

EcoWise Certified Green
Pest Management

If insects are able to get inside the home, spiders will surely follow. The first strategy in ridding a home of spiders is for a Hearts Pest Management Professional is to conduct a thorough inspection of any insect infestations that may be present.Spiders feed on a variety of insects - eliminating these insects reduces spider populations in and around the home.Hearts has both traditional and organic methods for spider treatments.

Unlike ants or other social insects, spiders are solitary and have to be eliminated with direct contact. Your Hearts Pest Management Technician will search out and destroy any egg sacs he/she finds. Organic products work best with a maintenance plan, either monthly or bi-monthly treatments will help to keep spiders from taking up residence in your home and/or garage.

Grass Spider

Grass spiders are also called "Funnel-weavers" and although their webs are unsightly, these spiders are harmless.

All of Hearts Pest Management technicians are EcoWise Certified in organic applications. During summer months it can be a real team effort for both homeowner and Hearts Service Technicians to keep spiders under control.

Hearts will web dust around the outside of the home and check for hiding spiders but the homeowner also needs to sweep regularly and check as well, under playground equipment, children´s toys, and patio furniture.

For more information on our "Green" service," please visit: Organic Pest Control

Imperial Beach Ant Control

Ants: The City of Imperial Beach, like the rest of San Diego County, is sitting on top of a huge super colony of Argentine ants, an invasive species from South America that came by way of cargo ships back in the late 1800´s.

There are three of these supercolonies throughout the world; Europe, Japan, and - lucky California!
Argentine ants are about 1/8 of an inch long, light or dark brown, and produce a faint, greasy odor when crushed. In California, Argentine ants have become the most common ant around and inside of the home.

Argentine ant and aphid

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile) tending an aphid.

They can be found in the kitchen pantry, bathrooms, children´s rooms, closets, electrical outlets, even in the freezer during the summer months!
These ants will eat just about anything from sweets, to meats, and fats. Argentine ants are also drawn to electrical systems and outlets and can cause damage to the wiring.

It´s important to identify ant species correctly, in order to properly treat for ants and ensure the ants stay outdoors where they are beneficial for the soil. There is one redeeming quality about Argentine ants - they eat termites! Argentine ants actually hunt for termite nests and then they eat them.

Odorous house ants and larvae

Odorous house ants and larvae - Also called "stink ants" because they smell when squished. These ants like sweets - and pet food!

Organic and Traditional Pest Control for Ants

Spraying alone will not control a colony of Argentine ants. Hearts Pest Management technicians are able to identify the type of ant invading a home and use the appropriate methods for eliminating a particular ant species.

The best way of controlling Argentine ants is through the use of slow-acting poison baits; once the ant eats or gets it on her skin, she carries the bait back to the colony - and eventually, the poison eliminates other worker ants as well as the queen.

It may take up to four or five days to completely eradicate a colony. Other species do respond to spraying, be it traditional or organic.
It´s important however, for all ant species, to remove any food source - especially sweets.

Ants can be controlled by organic methods but for really big, inside infestations, it may be necessary to use a low toxic ant gel to ensure that the ants take it back to the entire colony.

All our service technicians are experts at finding out just where the ants are coming from and where they are living. Hearts utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions to maintain and keep ants outside, and away from the home.

Caulking cracks and crevices

Caulking cracks and crevices helps keep ants from coming indoors.

IPM methods include working closely with customers and sharing their knowledge of ants and ant species. They take time to discuss potential areas where ants are likely to find a way inside, such as small cracks and crevices, and suggest caulking any holes where ants have been seen or are likely to come indoors.

When treating for ants organically inside and/or out, you don´t have to leave the premises or stay away from a treated area, as you do with traditional pesticides.

You can also use soapy water to wipe up any invaders, until your technician is able to treat with the appropriate products.

Note: Most insects and small animals are beneficial for the environment and don´t become pests until they start to invade the home, causing potential harm to humans, electrical systems, and pets.

Landscape Pests in Imperial Beach

The City of Imperial Beach borders with the Tijuana Estuary, the largest coastal wetlands here in Southern California.

Sandy shore in Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach has a variety of pests due to its ecological diversity.

For I.B. residents and visitors, the Estuary is a wonderful place but it is also teeming with wildlife. Some of this wildlife includes the kinds of animals and insects that become pests when they look to your home for food shelter.

This can make it a challenge to keep animals like gophers and squirrels away from the landscape.

Hibiscus flower and whitefly

In residential areas, hibiscus trees are often infested with whiteflies.

Plant-eating bugs find their haven in lush, green plants; gophers and squirrels frolic in lawns, rats find their way into attics, and standing water from the wetlands promotes flies and mosquitoes.

As summer warms up, seaweed begins to accumulate on the beach; both seaweed and dead mammals that have washed up on the shore also attract flies.

Landscape pests are often abundant in Imperial Beach´s moist climate. Whiteflies in particular, are very characteristic of coastal landscapes.

In residential areas of Imperial Beach, it is considered illegal to have chickens (according to Imperial Beach municipal code).However, a local Imperial Beach feed store reports an estimated 500 chickens kept as pets by I.B. residents.

Being near chickens and other birds can result in bird mite infestations in neighboring homes, as well as the owner´s home.

Chickens in Imperial Beach and Bird Mite

It´s estimated there are around 500 chickens in Imperial Beach that are kept as pets. Chickens can become infested with bird mites from other birds that may then transfer to humans.

Pest Control for Landscapes

Hearts Pest Management Professionals are experts at implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods for providing environmentally sound, yet effective ways to keep pests from becoming a nuisance or damaging your landscape.

Here are some of the IPM methods you and your Hearts Pest Management Technician can work together on in order to keep your landscape beautiful, while at the same time, keeping pests at bay:

1.Discourage Pests: Group plants according to their water use; space plants to prevent overcrowding where animals such as rodents may be encouraged to nest. Keep plants from touching the home by trimming often. Make sure irrigation systems are working properly.

2.Exclusion: Keep pests out of your home and garden by using barriers; screens, netting, and caulking any cracks and crevices.

3.Use of Pesticides: Sometimes it is necessary to use pesticides when all non-chemical controls have been exhausted and pests are beginning to enter the home. Hearts Pest Management can manage your landscape with both traditional and organic products to keep pests away.

Here are just some of the landscape issues we help our Imperial Beach customers with: White flies on ornamental and fruit trees, aphids, bird mites, and of course, gophers and squirrels.

Rats and Mice

Rat in a flowerbox

Rats make their way indoors in search of food and shelter.

Mice and rats are able to thrive under a variety of conditions. In nature, rodents live in open fields but as houses are being built, less open land is available to them. Imperial Beach, however, has the Tijuana Estuary, acres of wetland and natural habitat where rats and mice are able to live and multiply.

Mice and rats tend to find their way into our homes seeking easy access to food and water as well as shelter from the cold. Once rats and mice have made their way into a home, they start nesting right away and continue to breed throughout the year.

Rat infestation caused damage in attic

Rat nest and damage caused by rats in an attic. Breathing in the smell of rat feces and urine through vents is very unhealthy for humans.

Roof rats can produce up to 6 litters a year, anywhere from 6 to 10 babies in each litter. Mice can squeeze through holes and crevices just over a ¼ inch in diameter so it´s really easy for them to come indoors!

Evidence of mice and rats include: A bad smell coming from the vents or a wall, noise in the ceiling or walls, especially at night when they are most active, droppings, urine and feces in the attic or crawl space, grease rubs (The dark, greasy stain comes from the belly of the rat crawling in and out of a space), wiring that´s been chewed, and of course - actually seeing rats or mice!

If you think you have rats, it´s important to begin treatment right away to avoid an infestation and damage to your home - and your family´s health!

Imperial Beach Rat and Mice Control

Attics are notorious for rat infestations that cause damage to wiring and insulation. Hearts Pest Management provides free inspections for rats and mice and other rodents.

Your Service Professional may recommend trapping and an exclusion (blocking off current and potential access points) to keep rodents from coming back indoors. Hearts will also perform a clean-out of the attic, if there is damage caused by rat urine and feces.

house with sub-area

Many homes have basements or crawl spaces where rodents can enter.

Trapping and Exclusion is the most successful method for rat and mice control.
Once current rats and mice have been eliminated through trapping, it´s important to keep them from returning.

Hearts service professionals are experts at blocking off any access points and making home owner recommendations such as trimming trees to keep the branches from touching the roof.

If a "clean-out" is necessary to get rid of damage caused by rats or mice, Hearts service professionals are able to provide this service as well.
Together as a team, both Hearts Pest Management and homeowners can keep rodents from coming into homes and creating unhealthy environments.

Honey bee on Leaf

Honey bees are beneficial for pollinating our food crops; Hearts does not treat unless a hive is being built in or very near a home

Imperial Beach Bee Control

Hearts Pest Management believes in the honey bee. We understand how essential bees are for pollinating our crops.

You shouldn´t worry about bees if they´re just pollinating flowers near your home.

If you want to see fewer bees - plant red flowers; you´ll be sure to see more hummingbirds because bees are often attracted to yellow and hummingbirds love red. If you see bees going in and out of a particular area, they probably are making a hive. At this point you shouldn´t try to treat yourself but give us a call to have a professional inspect and treat as necessary.

Sometimes bees are just swarming or resting between locations but they soon leave in a day or two. Hearts makes it a practice NOT to treat for bees if they are over 40 ft. high or 100 ft. away from the home. Remember, bees only become aggressive when defending their queen or there is a hive nearby; otherwise, when honey bees are out pollenating, they are quite docile.

When are Bees a Problem?

Bees making hive in irrigation box

Bees pose a problem when they start building honeycomb in irrigation systems.

oIf you see bees entering the eaves of your roof or going in and out of cracks, there could very well be a hive in your attic. It´s best to call a professional and not risk getting stung.

Honeycomb inside of a shed

Old and new honeycomb inside of a shed.

oBees often get into irrigation boxes looking for water and shelter.

oOther areas on the property where bees may build a hive near the home is under a shed, in a bird house, inside garbage cans, under shrubs, and even in a BBQ.

If Honey bees become a safety issue, Hearts Pest Management provides bee inspections free-of-charge. Hearts can treat and then remove any honeycomb that has formed. We will also perform an exclusion to keep bees from entering the area again in the future.

To schedule a service for ants and spiders or a free Inspection for bees, landscape or rodents, please call today for a caring Hearts Pest Service Representative at 1-800-986-1006.

You can also fill out the form below to obtain more information regarding both our traditional and organic pest management services.

Call Now 1-800-986-1006 or complete the form below

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