What are the Most Common Pests During the Summer in California?

While warm and sunny California does have its share of household pests all year round, you’ll no doubt notice a peak in the population once summer comes around. 

After all, if you’re in the pest control industry (as we are), look no further than all the calls you get from customers asking for you to come to help them with their bug troubles from May to September.

The most common pests we see bugging (pardon the pun) California in the summertime are wasps, termites, ants, and cockroaches.

Even as you’re gearing up for some serious fun in the sun, the insect world is a flurry of activity with the welcome heat brought about by the summer. That said, here are the most common pest problems in California during the summer months. 

Wasps 

Wasps are particularly troublesome because they can get really aggressive and territorial. If you (or a pet) would haplessly wander too close to a wasp nest, these flying critters will attack relentlessly to keep you away! 

Fun fact: unlike bees, wasps can use their long stinger several times to attack. 

A wasp queen can start with a small paper nest to house their young. But once summer comes rolling in, that small nest can quickly grow to become a thriving complex of extended relatives! 

You’ll find these colonies around the exterior of your home, or sometimes in sheds and garages, where piles of junk go undisturbed for months. 

Termites 

The problem with termites is that their nests are generally hard to find: either underground, inside dead trees or even in the foundations of your home. 

They feed on moist, rotting wood– usually something in contact with the soil like an old fence, unused wooden furniture, or even the paneling in your basement. 

As a result, you normally wouldn’t complain about termites until it’s already too late, and they’ve already done some extensive damage to your home.  

Fun fact: you know you have termites if you see piles of “sawdust” in and around the exterior of your home, as well as wings shed by termites as they’re mating and looking for a new home in late summer. 

Ants 

Ants are everywhere and are active all year round, but they’ll only be considered pests once they’ve started discovering our food supplies, crawling their way into cupboards and containers, or just about anywhere where there are crumbs and morsels lying around. 

More of a nuisance than anything else, you know you have an ant problem when you see them swarming around used dishes or even food you’ve only just set down on the table.  

Fun fact: ants march retreat to the warmth of their nests in winter to lay eggs, which all hatch by the time spring comes around. 

Cockroaches 

In California, roaches are a problem all year-round, and they’ll scurry around your home looking for a damp and dark hidey-hole to call home. They need water and decaying matter to survive, usually making nests in and around sewer systems or piles of garbage.  

Keeping your home sparkling clean may deter them from hanging out, but sometimes you might have a full-blown infestation in your home without you even knowing it. These ornery creatures are even starting to develop resistance to many common insecticides, so you might need to call in the professionals to help you keep them in check. 

Fun fact: cockroaches venture outside of their nests when it’s crowded and they’re looking for food. You might see an isolated roach creeping around the kitchen and think you don’t have a problem. They say that for every cockroach you see, there’s a dozen scurrying about nearby just hidden away from view! 

A Final Word 

Even as early as spring, pests are already starting to get problematic as the weather becomes more favorable for feeding and growth. By the time we hit the summer months, many insect populations have already exploded in terms of size and activity.    

While a big portion of pests die off in the fall just as the temperature has started to drop and winter starts setting in, winter conditions in California are relatively mild enough such that certain types of pests are a nuisance all year round.