- Author: Elaine Lander
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
This unexplained itching feeling can be very bothersome to those experiencing it and can lead to stress. The issue is addressed in UC IPM's newly revised Pest Notes: Itching and Infestation: What's Attacking Me? Authored by UC Davis entomologists Lynn Kimsey, Robert Kimsey, and Eric Mussen, this updated publication contains guidelines on what might cause itching sensations and also provides an extensive reference section for more information.
With any unexplained itching, the first person to contact should be your primary health care provider or family physician. Medical professionals are licensed to diagnose itching conditions and recommend treatment for these conditions.
Most people are practicing social distancing due to the current pandemic, so contracting head lice might not be a top concern right now.
However, many families with young children have at least one encounter with head lice at some time or another. Finding effective ways to manage these pests can be difficult, but it is possible. And remember, anyone can get head lice.
In the newly updated Pest Notes: Head Lice, authors Victoria Leonard and Dawn Gouge bring their public health and pest management expertise to the topic of head lice management, providing easy, safe, and effective ways to control a head lice infestation.
The authors state that while normal shampooing, hair-conditioning, brushing, and hair-drying will kill many lice, care givers should take action as soon as live lice are discovered. Treat the infested person's hair, then comb with a metal lice comb and clean the person's bedding and other belongings.
Choosing a treatment can be challenging since many common insecticidal shampoos no longer work well due to resistance. Regardless of the product chosen, always follow the label directions for safe use and reapplication. For detailed instructions on combing for head lice removal and discussion of prescription and non-prescription head lice treatments, consult the Head Lice publication.
Eventually, we will all return back to normal so we hope this information prepares you ahead of time dealing with head lice.
- Author: UC IPM
Tis the season for holiday travel. As you make reservations for rental accommodations to visit family and friends, we wanted to share a few suggestions to help you avoid bringing bed bugs home with you. Regardless of what type of lodging you choose-- hotel, motel, cabin, or other type of rental-- no place is immune to bed bug introductions or infestations.
We don't wish to alarm you, but we do want to point out that bed bug infestations are on the rise in the United States. Take precautions to save yourself from later issues and costs in case bed bugs do find their way into your home.
When settling into your room
- Before plopping your luggage down on the bed, couch, or floor, we recommend doing a quick bed bug check of the room. You can either leave the luggage in the hall or place it in the bath tub, where bed bugs are not likely to be. Traveling with the family? Let them and all the luggage sit comfortably in the lobby while you do the room inspection.
- Do a thorough inspection of the bed, night stand, upholstered furniture, and closets. You can use a flashlight or a phone light to help you look for bed bugs, shed skins, or fecal matter.
- Some establishments use bed bug mattresses and box spring encasements. These can make it easier to detect bed bugs or be used as a preventative measure.
- Not sure what you are looking for? We created this video to show you what bed bugs look like and how to search for them.
After You Return Home
- Before you bring luggage back into the house, inspect it for any signs of bed bugs that may have hitched a ride. Store luggage away from the bedroom to prevent potential introductions.
- To be cautious, launder all the clothes from your trip on the hottest settings to kill bed bugs that may have gone unnoticed. For items that cannot be washed, freezing them for several days will also kill bed bugs.
- If you do find bed bugs, these steps will help reduce the risk of infestation. See more about identification and management in our Pest Notes: Bed Bugs
Follow these tips to enjoy your holiday travel, reduce your risk of getting bitten by bed bugs, and not bringing bed bugs home with you.
Staying home for the holidays? Here are some tips to host a bed bug-free holiday!
- Author: Anne E Schellman
Last week, someone called our helpline about a strange phenomenon happening on her backyard plants. She described the symptoms as “big, white, masses of fluffy cotton.” I asked her to email some photos our helpline address (email@example.com).
When I opened her email, I was surprised to see images of what appeared to be giant whiteflies. This pest invaded California in the early 1990's and was until recently only found in Southern California and along the coast. The Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner's Office confirmed that giant whiteflies are present in our County.
If you've heard of whiteflies or dealt with them in your landscape, you may wonder how giant whiteflies are different, aside from being larger. Both pests suck plant juices and weaken plants. The main difference is that giant whiteflies tend to feed together in large groups. This large population creates waxy looking deposits that create a “bearded appearance” or what the caller described as “fluffy cotton” on plants. If you look closely at the infestation, you may see the pests living on the undersides of the leaves.
If you find giant whiteflies in your landscape, there are a few things you can do. For small infestations, pull off affected leaves, place them in a sealed bag, and discard them. For larger ones, direct a strong stream of water at the undersides of the leaves to knock giant whiteflies off and kill them.
Visit the UC IPM publication Pest Notes: Giant Whitefly for more information about this pest, or call our helpline at (209) 525-6802 to speak with a UCCE Master Gardener.
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
[From the Pests in the Urban Landscape blog]
Spring is here which means pest activity is on the rise. Termites are one of the top pest concerns for many city dwellers and rural residents alike. The infographic shows some interesting facts about termites.
Here in California, there are three kinds of termites considered pests including subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. The Formosan termite is one kind of subterranean termite found in California, although in limited areas.
Treatments differ for each type of termite, but there are many things you can to reduce infestations. This includes removing wood piles and scrap wood around the home, keeping substructures dry and well ventilated, and finishing exterior wood with sealants or paint.