Pest Index

At Preventive Pest Control, our approach is to prevent as many unwanted invaders as possible from entering your home. Many pest issues can be avoided by understanding what attracts them.

While not a comprehensive list, the following is a list of common pests found here in Southern California that we regularly encounter.

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Bed Bugs:

Bed bugs are insects that feed on sleeping people at night. They hitch a ride on clothing and luggage and quickly multiply, occupying the unsuspecting sleeping area of the passenger. Professional treatment is the only remedy, which includes vacuuming and targeted insecticides. In extreme situations where the infestation is extensive, fumigation is an alternative treatment.


Boxelder bugs:

Mostly black bugs with several fine red lines. These pests eat leaves, flowers, and fruit trees. These bugs live in gardens but do minor damage to decorative plants. It is unlikely that they would try to enter a person’s home. Regular perimeter insecticide sprays will keep any wandering boxelder bug from coming in.


Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles feed on wool, silk, leather, fur, pet hair, and feathers. Pheromone traps and targeted spot treatments with insecticides are adequate management controls. 



Usually found outside under pavers, stones, or logs, they can find their way inside in search of other small household insects. They are capable of inflicting a painful bite if provoked. 


Clothes Moths:

Their tell-tale silken webs of the larvae give away their presence. You can use insecticides and pheromone traps to treat the infected area. Dry cleaning and laundering of all items near the infestation are recommended.


Clover Mites:

Small red bugs, clover mites are not harmful to humans but can be quite a nuisance if they find their way inside your home. Clover mites eat plant material and can quickly destroy a flower garden.  


Crane Fly:

 Often confused with and thought to be a giant mosquito. Crane flies are harmless and, when seen in their adult fly form, have only the purpose of mating before they die.



 The chirping noise of the male crickets trying to attract females has caused many sleepless nights for homeowners. Crickets do not pose any health threats to humans and do not bite. They can eat fabrics and carpets. 


Drain Flies:

 Commonly found in sinks and floor drains in commercial settings. Thorough removal of the organic material in a drain is the most effective way to treat drain flies. An enzymatic drain cleaner, readily available online, is also recommended. Fly lights in commercial settings can help reduce the overall population.



They are commonly referred to as pincher bugs due to their pair of prominent appendages that resemble forceps at the tail end of their body. They can be beneficial insects in the garden, feeding on other crop-destroying pests. They thrive in moist conditions and can be controlled effectively with insecticides and trapping.


False Chinch Bug

Gray, elongated bugs that attack young trees by sucking sap from shoots and stems. Large numbers migrating can feed on many plants and trees and quickly destroy an orchard or garden. Regular pesticide treatments around the border of your property will keep them away.



Fleas are no larger than ⅛ inch and feed on blood meals from animals and humans. They reproduce quickly, laying 20 to 50 eggs per day. They transmit the disease Typhus. Rats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and feral cats are common carriers of fleas. We recommend professional treatment for indoor fleas. 


Fungus Gnats:

 Sometimes confused with mosquitoes, these flies are attracted to light and often seen flying near windows indoors. The adult flies do not bite or damage plants. However, the larvae form can stunt plant growth as they feed on houseplants.


German Roaches:

 German cockroaches are a unique nuisance because they reproduce at an alarming rate. German roaches are carriers of diseases. The initial treatment for German cockroaches requires a clear area of all items in cupboards, cabinets, and countertops. This “cleanout” service will flush out the German cockroaches from their hiding places and have them come in contact with products that will kill them quickly


Green Fruit Beetle

Green fruit beetles are sometimes mistaken for Japanese beetles, which are much smaller. The best management is to harvest all fruit when ripe and remove fallen fruit immediately.


House Flies

These insects find their way into homes and businesses through open doors and windows. Insecticides are ineffective after they’ve reached the adult stage. Proper management includes removing the sources where they are likely to lay their eggs. We recommend fly lights, sticky flypaper, and inverted cone traps to reduce the adult house fly population. 


June Beetles:  

June beetles, aka June bugs, these insects feed on newly planted trees. They hide during the day in the soil. These flying insects are common in Southern California but cannot be controlled by insecticides.


Lawn Shrimp:

 Lawn Shrimp are small brown/black insects. These bugs live in moist soil but relocate after rain. After emerging, they usually die within a day.



Millipedes don’t usually stray far from their homes in the garden, where they feed on decaying plant matter and other insects. Eliminating moist hiding places inside your home is an effective way to discourage millipede activity.


Pantry Beetles

By the time you notice the insects, they’ve likely spread to other food packages. You should remove all food items and thoroughly clean the pantry.


Pantry Moths

The larvae of this moth do the most damage, attacking almost anything available in the pantry. They lay their eggs in cardboard boxes and the corners of the pantry. They can take 6 to 8 weeks to mature into moths, which means it takes continuous and persistent effort to remove the infestation altogether. Pheromone traps have proven successful in speeding up the recovery from this type of infestation.


Pillbugs / Sowbugs

These bugs live exclusively outdoors in moist areas feeding on decaying plant matter and sometimes young plants and their roots. Sometimes called “rollie-pollies” because they curl into a tight ball— Pillbugs are a nuisance to homeowners as they can damage young plants. Pest control pesticides are effective against these bugs as it affects their exoskeletons.


Red Bug:

 Adult bugs are ⅜ inch long and have brightly colored reddish-orange and black bodies and wings. They feed on seeds and developing plants.  


Red Fire Ant

Fires Ants are an invasive species to Southern California. Their bites can be painful and leave a mark on the skin that can scar if infected. These ants can do a great deal of damage to commercial agriculture. In backyards, they can displace local wildlife and kill young birds and lizards. Their dirt mounds give them away, and our team will immediately treat their nest with pesticide.  



Scorpions are nocturnal, predatory pests that feed on various insects, spiders, and other scorpions. They hide during the day under rocks, bark, and woodpiles. Larger scorpions can feed on small lizards, snakes, and mice. Scorpions are found throughout Southern California, preferring our dryer desert climate. They use their stinger to paralyze their prey. If provoked, they may sting humans. Prevention is the best way to keep them out of your home; clean your yard by removing all trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks. Make sure weatherstripping is around doors and windows.


Silverfish / Firebrats:  

These nocturnal pests love to chew on books, starch, clothing, or dry foods in the pantry. Silverfish can come into a home on lumber and other building materials. They have long, narrow bodies and are usually a silver color. Regularly cleaning out enclosed spaces like closets and bookshelves will help keep them out of the home. If there is an infestation, localized interior treatments will quickly solve the problem.



A slime trail is a sign that you have snails in your yard. Snails can do significant damage to a flower or vegetable garden. They also attract other unwanted predators like snakes, rats, and raccoons. There are plenty of home remedies for snails, but we find baiting for them in the targeted zones they frequent to be the most effective.


Spider Mites

Spider Mites get their name from the silk-like webbing they produce on infested plants. Spider Mites are tiny, about 1/20th inch long. They can easily catch the wind and land on other plants, and continue their destructive behavior. 



They are often confused with fleas because of their jumping behavior, but they do not bite humans or pets. They feed on decaying organic matter and are usually found in areas with good moisture; under bark, rotting wood, leaf litter, and organic mulches. They are attracted to light and often find their way into homes through cracks and crevices near entryways and windows. Regular barrier sprays around the perimeter of a house will generally keep them outside.



Ticks are common carriers of Lyme disease, which can cause fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches. Their bites can leave swollen and painful rashes. Pets are susceptible to tick bites, too, so frequent checking when outdoors is needed. Most tick infestations in and around homes are a result of them hitching a ride on a host.



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