Sacramento Pest Control Forecast: Wet and Wild!

The West

This past winter was severe in the West. Colder-than-normal temperatures and heavy precipitation hit many areas hard. Officials from the Department of Water Resources in California say the snowpack in the Sierra Mountains was 165 percent of normal levels.

While the snow is a blessing to previously drought-stricken California, it also sets the stage for heavier-than-normal bug infestations. Spiders, scorpions, beetles, termites can flourish when normally dry ground is flush with water.

One frequent menace is the Western subterranean termite. This native pest can enter structures through cracks less than one-sixteenth of an inch wide, including the tiny openings in concrete slabs, around drain pipes, and between the slab and a home’s foundation. Swarming can occur in the spring, but smaller swarms can occur throughout the summer and fall.

The wet conditions will also create a field day for ants, including the highly invasive Argentine ant, whose massive colonies can be found along the West Coast as well as parts of the Eastern and Gulf Coast states.

“The Argentine ant has few natural enemies here, so they can quickly knock out the native ants,” Davis said. “When Argentine ants get inside a house, they’re a force to be reckoned with. I’ve seen these ants travel in columns that were as wide as my wrist.”

Red imported fire ants have also invaded parts of the West, expanding their range every year. They are extremely resilient and have adapted so well that they can survive both floods and droughts. Fire ants are characteristically become ferocious if their nests are disturbed, and their painful stings carry venom that can be highly unpleasant or even lethal if an individual is sensitive to the venom or is stung excessively.

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