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Serving Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area

When Was Your Last Termite Inspection?

What do you think of when you hear the word termites? You may think of a blue and yellow tent that covers a house to resolve the house’s termite issues. You may think of the scary thought of termites eating your foundation! Regardless of your thoughts, termites are an...

Ready for Bed Bugs?

“Where are you headed this summer?” This is a common question that we all seem to ask one another to find out each others’ summer plans. Most respond to this question by discussing their exotic vacation locations, their travel plans, or their plans for a staycation....

The Argentine Ant vs. The Odorous House Ant

There are two main ants, the Argentine and Odorous House Ant, that we deal with in the San Francisco Bay Area. Twice a year, we have an influx of ants during the rainy winter season and the extreme heat of summer. If Argentine ants are your problem, having a semi...

What is Happening to the Family Owned & Operated Businesses?

Over the course of the past several years, the Pest Management industry has experienced an acquisition and merger resurgence. In the late 1990’s, President of ATCO Pest Control, Richard Estrada, remembers hearing about the sale of a family owned pest management...

How to Protect From an Ant Invasion

What do you think of when you hear the word ants? Perhaps they are an insect that you don’t think very much about until you open your kitchen cabinet and you see a trail of ants surrounding a crumb you forgot to clean up. Or perhaps you began to see ants in a...

Global Bed Bug Summit 2018

Every other year the National Pest Management Association holds a Global Bed Bug Summit. ATCO Pest Control has attended the past four conferences, and it has been exciting to attend these conferences as several researchers from around the global share their results...

Protect Yourself from Rodents

As we move into the winter season one thing we should all be concerned about is, how can I protect my home from rodents? In the Bay Area, there are three different types of rats which include the roof rat, the Norway rat, and the wood rat. The wood rat can typically...

ATCO travels 2,500 miles to combat bedbugs

ATCO travels to the East Coast to eliminate bedbug infestation   Bedbugs are a growing problem in the United States and it is getting worse daily. It seems that almost no one is exempt from potential infestations of these nuisance pests.  Now our bedbug crew has...

Ticks & fleas increase; 2018 Summer

Ticks and Fleas predicted to be big problem this Summer Ticks and fleas can ruin summer fun in a hurry! We all look forward to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area summers. Lazy days at the beach, wine tours in the Sonoma and Napa Counties. Perhaps hikes along the...

More About the Pesticide Reduction Coalition

Last month, I introduced the Pesticide Reduction Coalition and detailed ATCO’s supportive role. This time, I’d like to share a bit more about the first initiative. To Review For those of you who may not have caught the last post, The Marin County Board of Supervisors,...

Introducing the Pesticide Reduction Coalition

Pesticides and Us Pesticides have, for many years, been a mixed blessing. When DDT was first developed, it seemed to be the answer to the spread of malaria and other dangerous diseases. But over time, harmful impact on the environment, particularly birds, led...

News and Insights from the 2016 Bed Bug Summit

News and Insights from the 2016 Bed Bug Summit Bed bugs have plagued humans for literally millions of years. Now, every two years, the pest management industry holds an event focused on the current status of bed bug infestation and the emerging science and methodology...

How To Avoid Bed Bugs During Holiday Travels

The holidays are nearly upon us, and we are coming into winter when travel increases. Whether that means heading for relatives for a holiday gathering and feast, escaping the clutches of winter or heading to the slopes, lots of people are on the move at this time of...

When is Ant Season?

Google “ant season” and you find responses for most times of the year, including December, April and July. Fact is, there is no single “ant season.” Ants may choose to enter buildings at any time of year seeking shelter from the elements, whether that means rain and...

Genetic Research Reveals Bedbug’s Unique Biology

Bedbugs have plagued humans for a long time—at least 3,000 years. DDT and other insecticides introduced in the wake of WWII knocked down their numbers to the point where these pests were largely ignored, forgotten for a couple decades. But now they are back, resistant...

On the Trail of Bed Bugs

Continuing our recent discussion of bedbugs, we offer an interesting recent study on the movement of those notorious insects. Despite considerable research in recent years, certain behaviors of the bed bug remain poorly understood. While their movement between...

Bedbugs in the Bay Area Redux

For some time now, our featured blog entry has been, “Bedbugs Are Occupying the Bay Area.” We first posted that in June of 2012. What has changed in the time since is not so much the reality of the invasion, but the response to it. According to the Centers for Disease...

A Bigger, Better ATCO

There’s a lot to the “less is more” argument. In many contexts, the idea of doing with less is sound, whether for economic or more philosophical reasons. We won’t argue. And sometimes bigger is better. Over the last year, ATCO has acquired two Marin pest management...

An ATCO Testimonial

This past month a gentleman referred by a friend, an ATCO client, called with this dilemma. For the past several months he had suffered from bites. His physician had identified them as mite bites, but couldn’t be sure of the source. The doctor had suggested rats, and...

Strange Bedfellows? Not!

Okay, students, for the next question, here are three businesses or organizations. Name the one that DOESN’T match the other two: a) Marin Conservation League, b) WildCare, c) a pest management company Most of you answered, “C,” right? Wrong! If that business is ATCO...

About the New Ban on Rodent Poisons

In March, California legislators voted to ban rodenticides statewide as of July 1. While animal rights activists hailed the ruling, Reckitt Benckiser, the UK-based company that markets a popular over-the-counter rodent killer, sued the state. The suit claims that the...

On the Road Again!

No sooner had Richard Estrada finished making another presentation to the Master Garden Class at Indian Valley College in Novato about Integrated Pest Management than he got a call from Tanya Drlik, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator of Contra Costa County,...

Bed Bugs in Library Books?

Last week, Marin Integrated Pest Management Commissioner Ed Hulme invited me to speak to Marin County Free Library staff about a growing concern both national and local: bed bugs in library books. ATCO Pest Control services all Marin County buildings under the IPM...

ATCO Earns “IPM Innovators” Award

In 2009, ATCO Pest Control won an IPM Innovators Award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), and they followed that up by contributing to the 2011 award by DPR to Marin County Parks. Marin County Parks won this award and ATCO is a major...

Sudden Oak Death back in the News

This article ran in a number of California and national publications recently, and we here at ATCO thought you’d be interested in reading this. We have been treating our beloved oak trees for many clients for years, and as you can see from this article, preventive...

Bedbugs are Occupying the Bay Area

Bedbugs are opportunists and they’re hitchhikers, so if you’re in the right place at the wrong time you could bring them home, no matter who you are or what your social status is. Although bedbugs don’t carry disease and they’re not dangerous, we are finding that...