Don’t let the headline scare you, but Arizona is home to a few pests that can kill. This post is informational in nature, and precautions should be taken to ensure these creatures do not come into contact with you or your loved ones.
As always, consult a licensed professional when dealing with any pest but particularly those mentioned in this article.
It’s a common myth that the brown recluse spider is native to Arizona. This is not true, mainly because the desert recluse is commonly misidentified as its deadly lookalike. With that said, there’s still at least one spider to be wary of in Arizona, and that’s the black widow.
Black widow bites are rarely fatal, but can be particularly troublesome if left untreated. Be careful around cluttered, undisturbed, damp areas (sheds and garages are common hiding places).
Arizona is home to more than a dozen types of rattlesnakes. For the uninitiated, rattlers are members of the notorious pit viper family. They carry a ruthless, venom-packed bite and intimidating warning mechanism true to their namesake. Western Diamondback rattlesnakes can grow to 8 feet or more.
Like black widow bites, rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal if treated properly.
Rattlesnakes are not the only highly venomous snakes in Arizona. The Arizona Coral Snake is also quite dangerous, but no fatalities have been reported from this snake.
Thousands of Arizonians are stung every year by bark scorpions. The most venomous scorpion in North America, this pest has claimed hundreds of lives over the years, but there have only been two recorded deaths in Arizona since 1968. Either way, these critters are difficult to spot in natural terrain and can climb walls and trees. These scorpions are known to group up in the wintertime in packs of 30 or more.
Though not traditionally grouped alongside vipers and spiders, mice carry potentially deadly diseases that can be spread through droppings, food contamination, bites, and other methods. Additionally, these little critters have been known to cause house fires from chewing on electrical wiring. As such, we consider mice to be cataloged alongside other dangerous creatures — and arguably more deadly than you might think.
Fall and Winter months bring along festive colors and holiday cheer, but also the most rodent infestations. An estimated 28% of homes in the western U.S. will encounter a rodent problem.
Mice and rats are more than just food-nibblers. They carry diseases and can ruin property and electrical wiring. Given their short reproduction cycles, a seemingly minor issue can turn into a major problem if left untreated.
Why so much activity in winter?
Mice and rats seek shelter from the cold. Unfortunately that often means unwanted tenancy in your home or office. Serving an eviction notice is sometimes harder than anticipated without professional help, as mice can squeeze through holes smaller than a dime and hiding spaces are plentiful for small critters.
Given their small size, it’s also incredibly easy for mice to invade most homes. Loose paneling, chipped wood or siding, and doors left ajar can lead to quick, unwanted entrances and escapes.
Rats and mice must eat constantly given their metabolism, and easy access to food is another reason they seek shelter within human proximity. Nearly 50% of all rodent infestations are in the kitchen.
How do I fix my rodent problem?
You should always consult a professional for a thorough pest assessment, but there are options to remove rodents on your own. Traps, both lethal and nonlethal, can be effective with the right bait and preparation.
Spring-loaded mouse and rat traps loaded with a proper bait (peanut butter, for example), can be a viable solution for small numbers. The problem with these traps is that a human scent can often deter rodents from approaching the traps. For every mouse or rat you snag, there are likely others hiding in the shadows.
The only true way to secure your home is to eliminate the current threat with a series of treatments, and prevent future exposure with proper perimeter control and maintenance. Once your home is clear of rodents, you must ensure no others can find their way inside. A licensed professional can help by identifying structural weaknesses.
Keeping scorpions away from your home can be an ongoing battle. The best way to scorpion proof your home is to keep the little devils from getting in. Whether it’s in the summer during peak activity or the winter when they are trying to get out of the cold, scorpions are always looking for ways to enter your home. Here are a few of the best ways to scorpion proof your home throughout the year:
- Remove all debris from around your home. Scorpions love hiding places, and piles of leaves, stones, wood, and even overgrown bushes make perfect homes for scorpions to protect themselves and hunt other creatures as well.
- Use caulk to seal any cracks or gaps between your home and concrete extensions such as patios or front porches. Scorpions love the gaps beneath concrete. It’s warm and protected and the perfect place to hide out.
- Make sure that the weather stripping around your exterior doors is in good shape and fits tightly. This keeps scorpions from being able to wiggle under doors and enter garages and homes.
- Cover any vents to the outdoors with a screen. This not only keeps scorpions out, it also keeps out other bugs and pests!
- Replace your door sweeps. Scorpions only need 1/16 of an inch to get underneath a door so make sure your doors fit tightly and seal your home from the outside.
Above all, make sure that you maintain your efforts to keep out scorpions. Screens get damaged, debris piles up around your yard and caulk breaks down as it’s exposed to the elements. No matter what the time of year, scorpions are seeking a place to either warm up or cool down. Your home is the perfect temperature controlled environment. Keep scorpions out and your home secure, all by maintaining your pest control efforts year round. Call us at 520-393-3352. We can help!
Scorpions are more than just a nuisance to have around your home. They are dangerous creatures that can harm both you and your family. It’s important that you know methods for keeping them out of your home and understand when they are most likely to be looking for shelter inside your home. So here is a full-length timeline of the Arizona scorpion season and where scorpions are most likely to be at every time of year.
September to October
Around this time of year, temperatures tend to drop from the blazing heat and humidity of July and August. As nights become cooler, scorpions begin to look for shelter indoors, which is why it’s crucial to seal your home before this time of year, rather than after you notice a couple of these unwelcome visitors. Additionally, keep a close eye on your doors. Scorpions tend to be sighted around exterior doors this time of year and inside garages as they seek winter shelter.
November to December
During the winter months, temperatures get cool, especially at night. Scorpions begin to winter down, looking for places that are warm and dry to wait out the winter. Homeowners also tend to take a break from pest control because there are fewer pests around to begin with. It’s very common to find scorpions inside the home at this time of year, not because they are active but because they can be unintentionally disturbed.
January to February
In the dead of winter, scorpions are very inactive. If there are significant freezes, they will enter a state of diapause, meaning they will go into dormancy. Scorpions have an incredibly low tolerance to the cold, and if they have already wintered down somewhere warm in your home, they are likely to stay put. This is the time where the fewest sightings of scorpions in the home are made. However, if they are disturbed, they will certainly become active. The most common places for scorpions to hide out are under duct work or near heaters. Keep in mind that if winters are warm, scorpions and other pests will become active earlier.
March to April
As temperatures warm up, scorpions and other pests become more active. As this is also pest control season, keep in mind that the use of pesticides can flush scorpions indoors to escape the spraying. Additionally, any scorpions who have found comfortable places to hide in your home are unlikely to venture out while the spraying is going on, but will also be more active. This makes it even more crucial that your home is proofed against scorpions to prevent them from ever entering your home.
May to June
When the temperatures get hot and humid, scorpions tend to move more slowly to conserve energy. They also look for cool places to escape the heat meaning, you guessed it, in your home! Keep up with your house proofing and your pest control efforts throughout the summer and prevent scorpion infestations in your home.
July to August
This is the time of year when scorpions are at their most active. This is also the busiest time of year for pest-control companies so scorpions are coming into contact with more applied product and scorpions will try to escape indoors if they come into contact with the treatment. Be vigilant within your home and work with us to repair any openings that scorpions might be able to use to enter your home. Call us at GreenShield Pest Control (520-393-3352).
Termites are such small creatures that it is almost impossible to believe that they can cause over $30 billion worth of damage nationwide in just one year. They cause major damage to property and are one of the most stubborn pests to get rid of. Here are a few things you should know about Arizona termites and what to do if you have an infestation.
Signs of Infestation by Arizona Termites
The main sign of an Arizona termite infestation is a swarm. When termites move from one location to another they fly in tightly packed clouds known as swarms, and when they reach a new location, they discard their wings. If you notice a pile of discarded wings somewhere on your property, chances are excellent that you have found the address of a new termite nest.
Most-common Arizona Termites
The most common termite species found in Arizona are subterranean termites. These creatures are tiny but aggressive, and they use mud tubes to reach above ground wood, and once they enter your home, they chew through wood and drywall at a truly terrifying rate. They can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage in almost no time at all.
Drywood termites are also a common occurrence, but they pose different risks than subterranean Arizona termites. Due to the use of mud tubes, subterranean Arizona termites are easier to spot. Drywood termites can live undetected inside wooden structures for long periods of time and by the time you notice clues to their existence, they may have wreaked massive havoc on your home. The most common clues to their presence are dried out wood pellets that have overflowed from their tunnels. The trouble is, when you see these wood pellets, huge portions of your wood are already likely to be unsalvageable.
Protecting Your Home from Arizona Termites
Home inspections are your first line of defense to avoid a major termite infestation. An inspection can not only catch a termite problem early, even if you have no problem yet, a technician can tell you where your home is at risk for problems and preventative measures can be taken to eradicate Arizona termites.
Crack and crevice sealant as well as chemical barriers can be used to avoid allowing Arizona termites to settle into your home. If you do have a minor problem, there are often small scale treatment options that will take care of the current problem before it spirals. And, of course, if you have a large scale problem, an expert can help you decide on the best approach to get rid of the current issue and prevent future infestations by Arizona termites.
Do-it-yourself Care Doesn’t Work for Arizona Termites
If you notice that you have Arizona termites and want to try a home remedy before calling in a professional, reconsider. If you are noticing a termite issue, chances are it is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the scope of the infestation. Do-it-yourself remedies are not nearly effective enough to get rid of a full-fledged termite problem, and if you don’t take action quickly, the bill could be a whole lot bigger than one technician and extermination treatment.
Infestations by Arizona termites can quickly spiral into a very expensive problem. Give one of our technicians a call today (520-393-3352) and see how we can pretreat your home to prevent termites from entering or to clean out a current termite infestation.
Ants do more than ruin picnics… especially if they wind up invading your home! Arizona is home to dozens of different ant species and they are by far one of the most common pests to have homeowners seeking help. Know your enemy with these tips about the most common Arizona ants.
Their name may be deceiving, but carpenter ants actually do not eat wood. Instead they make their nests in dry, moist, and rotting wood. They excavate the wood in the process of building their nests, they don’t eat it, so the damage they do is less dramatic than termites. However, they can create cosmetic damage, and over time if they are not dealt with, they can weaken the structural integrity of your home.
Named for the way they rush around in erratic fashion when disturbed, crazy ants can live in both moist and dry habitats. When cold weather sets in, this species tends to migrate indoors, into your home. Not only will they eat just about anything, they also bite when disturbed.
Probably one of the better-known ant species in Arizona, fire ants tend to build nests in sunny, wide open spaces, like in your backyard. Fire ant stings are painful and can even be fatal if you have a particular sensitivity to the venom they inject. A colony can include anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 ants, exponentially increasing the likelihood of suffering multiple stings. Fire ants are particularly dangerous to children and pets, so if you see a nest, call us!
This is one of the most common ants to be found in the Tucson area. This species is harmless, which isn’t to say they are not a nuisance, and they tend to be found raiding pantries and other food storage areas in your home.
Pavement ants are another species of the stinging and biting persuasion. They tend to build nests outdoors on patios, driveways, sidewalks, and in the foundation of your home. They can pose a threat to children and pets, especially to those with a high sensitivity to insect bites.
Odorous House Ants
As their name suggests, this type of ant, when crushed, emits a smell of rotting coconuts. They tend to build nests both inside and outside. Common places to find odorous house ant nests are in wall crevices, near heaters, under carpets, and beneath floors.
Whether you’re looking at a benign but annoying forelius ant problem or trying to protect your children and pets from the dangers of fire ants, these pests can cause major problems in and around your Arizona home. Don’t let Arizona ants take over your home, take action and call us at 520-393-3352 today! Our technicians would be more than happy to evaluate your home and provide you with a safe and effective pest control solution.
If you live in the Tucson area, your home could be the site of a whole host of pest problems. While some Arizona pests are just a nuisance, others can be dangerous, and all of them can cause you and your family major problems! Never underestimate the inconvenience and damage of an infestation. Here’s how you can identify five of the most common Arizona household pests and what you need to know about them.
- Termites. Termites cause over $5 Billion in damages every year in the United states. They are a nationwide problem, and Arizona is no exception. In fact, Arizona sits on top of one of the most active subterranean termite belts in the US. Massive colonies of these bugs exist underground, and they can cause major damage that isn’t immediately visible.
- Ants. Ants exist throughout the US, but sometimes they can be dangerous! Fire ants are one of the most common household pests in Arizona. They come in massive colonies and can deliver several painful bites at a time, so you definitely don’t want them around your home, particularly if you have small children or pets! Carpenter ants can also wreak havoc on your home. This species tunnels through damp wood to build their nests, causing major damage to your home. You tend to find them in bathrooms and kitchens. If you spot them, it’s definitely time to call a professional.
- Scorpions. Scorpions are one of the most dangerous household pests in Arizona. Their stings are painful and dangerous and to make matters worse, they can be difficult to spot because of their translucent bodies. While most scorpions have a sting no worse than a bee, bark scorpions inject a highly toxic venom that requires immediate medical attention. If you have lots of shade around your yard or citrus trees in the vicinity, you need to be very careful about keeping an eye out for bark scorpions. They are small, only 2-3 inches long, but their sting can result in intense pain, breathing difficulties, or convulsions.
- Spiders. Arizona is home to numerous spider species, most of them large and all of them creepy! Most spiders are harmless and though their bites can be painful, they won’t cause lasting damage. The main spiders to steer clear of are tarantulas, black widows and brown recluse spiders. While tarantulas are rarely ever found in homes, black widows and brown recluse spiders do often enter homes and their bite requires immediate medical attention.
- Bees and Wasps. Bees and wasps are a common occurrence in Arizona, particularly during the summer months. They can come in very large colonies or smaller occurrences, and often use homes as a site to build their nests. While not inherently dangerous, allergies to their sting are not uncommon and their stings are painful. Additionally, so-called killer bees tend to be aggressive and attack in swarms. These are not the type of pests you want around your home if you have children or pets.
Protecting your home against Arizona household pests is where GreenShield Pest Control comes in. Our proven strategies work to eliminate colonies and nests and protect your home against future infestations. If you’re looking for an experienced team to provide efficient and effective pest control, give us a call at 520-393-3352! We’d love to help you with whatever pest problem you might be experiencing.
Summer in Arizona is in full swing, and the risk of a scorpion infestation goes up with the temperature. Chances are, if you live in Arizona, you know at least one person who has seen a scorpion face to face, and you know it’s not a fun experience! Scorpions are a scary problem to have, due to the venomous stings they can inflict on you, your family or your pet. The good news is they only tend to sting when they are disturbed. The bad news is these creatures are translucent and hard to spot if you’re not looking for them. If you’re worried that you might have a scorpion infestation, here are a few signs you might be right!
- Your Yard Has Shade. Scorpions may live in warm climates, but they are actually a nocturnal creature. When they have the chance, they tend to seek out cool and shady areas in which to dwell. If your Arizona home has plenty of shady spots to hide, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these creatures.
- You Have Citrus Trees. There are many types of scorpions in Arizona, but one of the most common is the bark scorpion. This species likes dark and wet environments and tend to be found in orchards or citrus trees. Be very careful if you have a citrus tree in the vicinity of your home, it might be home to a few bark scorpions.
- You have Seen a Scorpion Already. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! If you’ve seen a scorpion around your home, chances are there is more than one. They are naturally territorial creatures who tend to settle in once they have found a good place to stay. If they are comfortable in their surroundings, it takes a lot for them to leave.
- You Live in a Warm Climate. You might find this obvious, but just in case you were unaware, scorpions thrive in warm climates. They are commonly seen in California, New Mexico, Texas and, of course, Arizona.
- You’ve Noticed an Increase in Smaller Insects. If you’ve been seeing more crickets and cockroaches in your home, you might shortly notice that scorpions have invaded as well. Scorpions go where the food goes, and if your home has a wealth of smaller insects for them to prey on, they won’t ignore such a great food source.
If you have a scorpion problem, it’s time to call us! These are not pests that you should ignore because they are dangerous creatures, particularly to children or pets! If you’re concerned about a scorpion problem, give us a call at 520-393-3352! GreenShield Pest Control’s team has the perfect strategy to clear out the pests and make your home safe again.
No matter how big of a Spiderman fan you are, chances are good you are not into the idea of playing host to these creepy-crawlies. Aside from the obvious ick factor, some of these spiders can cause serious issues and some can even make you sick! These are the five most common Arizona spiders and what you need to know about them to keep your home and yourself protected.
Wolf Spiders. Wolf spiders are big, hairy and sometimes scary, but mostly harmless, which isn’t to say you want to come across one on a late-night bathroom run! They will bite if they feel threatened and their jaws are big enough that they might tear the skin. The symptoms of the bite are mild, just swelling and some pain. The bite might also turn black or your lymph nodes might swell. However, this isn’t a bite that will cause serious or long lasting issues and typically the bite will be gone within 10 days.
Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider. You’ll tend to find these guys in open fields, higher brush, or in your garden. They are not considered dangerous to humans and a bite will result only in a mild reaction. They do get pretty big, a female will grow to over an inch long! You can recognize them by their distinctive yellow pattern.
Banded Garden Spider. Generally, Banded Garden Spiders hang out (as you may have guessed) in gardens. While not the biggest spider species you’ll run across, females will grow to between 10-26 mm long and males will grow to between 4-6 mm long. They are not aggressive arachnids, and even if you do receive a bite from a female, it will cause no more discomfort or danger than a bee sting.
Arizona Brown Recluse. These nasty little buggers grow to between 6 and 20 mm long. They are generally shy and non-aggressive and tend to lurk in dry and undisturbed places. You’ll usually find them in cellars, attics, closets or garages under boxes or behind seldom-used belongings. Bites from this species might not be immediately painful but they can become dangerous. In rare cases they can cause necrosis or other serious problems. If you receive a bite, keep an eye on it and seek medical attention. Most bites occur when the spider is being pressed to the skin when putting on clothing that has been on the floor for a few days or not worn for awhile. It’s a good idea to shake out your clothes before putting them on (just in case).
Black Widow. Probably one of the more famous of the spider species, black widows are not a spider to take lightly. Their bites are almost never fatal and only a female’s bite is dangerous to humans. It does hurt pretty badly though, so consult a doctor if you are bitten and you can be given anti-venom for the pain. Most of the symptoms such as abdominal cramps, muscle spasms, and severe muscle pain will dissipate within 3-7 days.
Whether you think these creatures are cool or creepy, there’s no denying that you do not want your home turned into a spider habitat. If you’ve run across too many of these Arizona spiders, it’s time to call us at 520-393-3352 for a quote today and see why we’re the perfect solution for Arizona pest control!
Brace yourself. Monsoon season is coming! When the rains come down, bugs and pests want the same thing that you do—to get out of the rain! The damp weather makes conditions ideal for critters to breed, and the heavy rains make those same pests likely to seek shelter somewhere dry and warm. Make sure your house isn’t their destination with these six easy tips for Arizona pest control!
- Clear Out Stagnant Water. Stagnant water might not look particularly cozy to you, but it’s a haven for garden variety pests, particularly mosquitos! When mosquitos start breeding they can cause all sorts of problems, especially by carrying disease. Clearing out stagnant water in your garden and around your home will keep your yard from becoming a breeding ground for those pesky, bloodsucking pests.
- Install Window Screens. This is the simplest and often most effective way to keep pests out. Make sure to repair your screens as needed so bugs can’t creep through holes or worn out corners.
- Switch Your Lightbulbs. You can also keep your exterior lights off at night to avoid attracting mosquitos and change your bulbs to yellow. Yellow bulbs are more difficult for bugs to see so they tend to stay away!
- Clear Out Garbage. Don’t offer up a welcoming feast to the pests near your home! Clean out the garbage around your house to avoid luring critters towards your house where they might decide to move in with you! Rinse out containers that have contained food thoroughly before throwing them away and seal food in a bag before throwing it out.
- Barricade any Openings. If light or air can get through to your home, pests can get through too! Make sure you calk around any openings in your house for utility lines and appliance vents, put critter-proof mesh on vents in attics and crawl spaces, and check for any damage to your home’s exterior walls. Make sure your home is airtight with no holes to crawl through.
- Keep Wooden Items Dry. This can be a tough task, particularly when you’re dealing with torrential rains, but damp wood is a great food source for many termites, so try to dry things out as much as possible between storms.
Keeping your house protected during monsoon season can be tricky. The damp conditions can make pests both multiply and seek shelter in dry places, meaning your home! You don’t want to wait until pests have made their home in your house to take action against them. Be proactive with these strategies and you’re less likely to have to deal with a major problem. Contact us today at 520-393-3352 for a quote and see why we are the perfect choice for Arizona pest control!