Top 6 Most Common Arizona Ants

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.

Carpenter 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.

Crazy Ants

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.

Fire Ants

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!

Forelius Ants

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

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.

Top 5 Most Common Arizona Household Pests

Arizona household pests

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

5 Signs that Scorpions are Taking Over Your Home

az scorpion infestation

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

5 Spiders You Don’t Want Shacking Up in Your Home

arizona-spiders-pest-control

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!

Top 6 Tips to Keep Pests Out When It Rains

keep out pests during monsoon season

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 GreenShield Pest Control is the perfect choice for Arizona pest control!