Santa Barbara County, California

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Mark G.

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Questions (43)

Egg shaped rock

I have an egg shaped rock that is very heavy. It is black, however the black rubs off and under it is a gold colored non magnetic rock. What is this?



Santa Barbara County California almost 2 years ago

Egg shaped rock

I have an egg shapped rock that is very heavy. It is covered with something black but underneath it is gold in color and not magnetic. What is this?



Santa Barbara County California almost 2 years ago

Proper dilution measurements for Murphy's oil soap

How much Murphy's oil soap should I use when the instructions state to dilute the soup with half a cup per gallon of water and I only have a 28 fluid ounces spray bottle


Santa Barbara County California over 5 years ago

What Plant is this?

I saw this plant in my backyard and have no idea what it is. It looks like an umbrella leaf, but the flowers do not match.


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Santa Barbara County California about 4 years ago

What is this?

So this is a vine like plant with juicy looking burgundy berries that are pea size or a little bigger. The leaves are symmetrical but no flowers right now. Small leaves about 1" long



Santa Barbara County California over 4 years ago

hazelnuts,Bees & pollinating.

Do hazelnuts produce better when you have Bee hives in the orchard doing the pollinating.


Santa Barbara County California about 5 years ago

What is this flower?

A friend in Santa Barbara, CA sent me this photo of a flower that showed up in her garden unexpectedly and we can't figure out what it is. I thought maybe it was a wild geranium but she says it has waxy, needle-like leaves.
Thanks for your help.



Santa Barbara County California over 4 years ago

Battle of the Bites

Last June, 2019, I started getting mysterious bites behind my knees, under my arms, on my hips and inner thighs and under my bra area. They appeared in the morning after waking up but I never felt the bites. Once they appeared, they were red, raised, very itchy and the itchiness lasted for 4-5 days. My husband was also being bitten but he was not as sensitive to the bites as I was.

We tried everything we could think of outside of blasting the house and yard with pesticides. In consultation with our local Vector Control Biologist, we determined that the only possibility would be rat mites from our yard. We have a large yard with many fruit trees including a giant avocado tree. The Vector Control sent out an inspector who very thoroughly went over the inside of the house and also the exterior/yard area. She found evidence of rat feces on one of the side yard fences and around the avocado tree. Some of the fruit was scored and scooped out to indicate the rats were eating them. She found nothing inside of the house. Sticky traps were placed around the yard and under trees and a few rat mites were found under the avocado tree.

We have taken all the measures you suggested in your response posted:
Tropical rat mites Asked October 30, 2019, 2:13 PM EDT We came up empty-handed from all our spot checks during the day or night. We have not been able to find a single mite inside the house. In addition to what you recommended, we cut back all bushes from the fence area, trimmed and thinned the avocado tree and other fruit trees, installed metal sheathing on the tree trunks to discourage rats from climbing up, cut any low hanging branches that could be used to climb into the tree, removed all leaves and debris from under the tree, hired a humane kill rat company that installed kill stations in the yard for 6 months. Despite our efforts, the bites continued until the weather got colder. The Vector Control guy told us that his best guess was rat mites or rabbit mites as both frequent our yard. The Rat guy said he only killed 3 rats the whole time we had the service and he believed the rats were travelers and not nesting in our yard.

We have 2 small dogs. We have limited their usage of the yard, keeping them restricted to pavement and non-grassy areas. We wash them a minimum of 1 time per week. They are on flea and tick control medication. We do not allow them into our bedroom which we clean thoroughly including vacuuming weekly.

It is now June, 2020 and the weather has warmed up and the bites have started again.

We have contacted the Vector Control and reported the reoccurrence of the biting and were told that others in the area have also been getting these mysterious bites. At this point, we discussed the idea that just coincidentally we have a termite issue and will have to have the house tented anyway. We are wondering how that will impact the mite problem short-term or long-term. Could this resolve the problem?

We have contacted a Pest Control Company to come out and do an inspection specifically for rodents and any other possible biting pests or infestations. We are hoping they will find some nests in the attic or somewhere so that we can find the vector and eradicate it. So far, we have not been lucky enough to find the source inside.

We believe these are true bites and not a medical condition even though we can’t find the pest. We have documented the bites with photos (see attached) and have sent these to our Vector Control contact per his request.

Any further suggestions or comments about how to deal with this situation would be deeply appreciated. We are miserable and with the Covid19 pandemic would find it close to impossible to leave our home. We are feeling hopeless, anxious, powerless and tired.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter and we hope for a quick response.



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Santa Barbara County California 4 months ago

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