Tips to keep unwanted pests out of your home

Unwanted Pests in Phoenix Valley

Finding that your home has unwanted pests is never a pleasant discovery. As seasons and weather transition, spiders, insects and rodents attempt to enter buildings – usually with the intent of finding shelter.

Below are tips to help keep unwanted pests out of your home.

1. Reduce access through vents.

One of the best ways to prevent pest problems indoors is to exclude them from your home. Provide crawl space and soffit (attic) vents with heavy-duty galvanized hardware cloth screens. For crawl space vents, use quarter-inch mesh screens, and for soffit vents use one-eighth-inch mesh screens.

Lightweight screen door screens are too flimsy and fine to be used to screen vents. Screen door screens get plugged up easily with dirt and debris and rats and mice are able to chew through them easily.

You may wonder: “Why use screening? Why not just board up the openings?” Boarding up is okay in some situations, but never board up or seal openings which are intended for ventilation. In periods of extreme cold, vents may be temporarily covered to prevent pipes from freezing, but the covers should be removed promptly when it warms up.

2. Address openings around your home.

Gaps around pipe entrances, cables or other foundation openings can be sealed with mortar, boards or steel wool combined with an adhesive. Aerosol foam insulation can be used to keep out bugs, but rats and mice are easily able to chew through it. Also, make sure your crawl space access door to underneath the house fits tightly and has no gaps, which can permit pests.

3. Check seals around entry and garage doors.

Entry doors and garage doors should have tight fitting weather seals and fit properly. Insects and spiders can pass through a one-eighth-inch or less gap, mice a quarter-inch gap, and rats a half-inch gap.

Door seals wear out with age and often don’t fit tightly after a few years. Thus, they should be replaced or adjusted regularly. Also, be sure all of your windows have tight fitting screens to keep out flying insects.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can help to keep pests outside. A “scorpion sealed” home or business will have fewer pest problems, but even if you were to build a fortress, lock the doors and never leave, some pests still eventually get in. This is why it is important to have regular pest management visits in addition to pest exclusion tactics.

Read More

Do You Have Pests in Your New Home?

Pests in your new home in Arizona

Moving into a new home is an exciting and special moment, but it can quickly become stressful if the house has pest-related issues. Some pests have the ability to mask their prominence, and an otherwise clean looking home can, in fact, be harboring an insect or vermin problem. But there some things to check in your new dream home before moving in that can help alleviate any concern about a pest problem. However, if you have already moved into your new home, the Arizona pest prevention experts at Bug Guardian can do a thorough examination and bring a professional edge to pest prevention in your new home. So, if you are moving into a new abode or have recently moved, here are some quick things to be on the lookout for.

  • Chewed or Frayed Wires: This can be an obscure problem, especially when moving into an entirely new home devoid of many long-term wires or cords. However, nearly any home will have some form of remaining wires (or even carpeting), and it is important to check these for any signs of rodent damage. Chewed through cords can be a sign of a lurking rat or insect issue.
  • Droppings: Generally, these are not going to be out in the open. Most pest droppings are hidden within the same areas as the rodents themselves. So, be thorough in checking areas of the home you may not even take a look at in the home buying process (attics, behind stoves, under any remaining furniture). Clearly, a large amount of droppings could portend to some ominous things.
  • Dead Bugs: Well, we hate to the bearer of bad news, but if your amazing new home seems to have an abundance of dead bugs, odds are it has quite a few live ones somewhere, too. Similar to the advice with the droppings, look in areas that are less likely to have been disturbed or cleaned. Nearly every house in Arizona is going to have some level of dead bugs in it, but identifying a true hidden pest problem can simply come from the quantity you may be seeing.

These are but a few of the many ways to check a new home for a possible pest problem. Call the professionals in Arizona pest prevention at Bug Guardian for an exceptionally thorough inspection of any new home or business you have moved into. There’s nothing better, after moving in, than a feeling of security of knowing that you are pest-free.

Read More

Signs of a Mouse in the House

Mouse in Arizona House

As summer winds down and fall comes into sight, rodents, particularly mice, become more active in seeking new sources of food, water, and shelter. Why is there a rodent surge this time of year? Why might you see a mouse in the house?

Arizona’s dry, hot summer has depleted naturally occurring food and water sources, and this causes rodents to explore their surroundings more aggressively in search of these necessities. And like humans, rodents also look for relief from the elements (i.e., the heat), and they associate cooler locations with water sources.

The house mouse is a curious creature. It will readily explore your home using wall voids, utility pipes and wires, and heating and cooling ductwork to move around in search of its next meal. As the statistic mentioned earlier indicates, wall and cabinet voids near kitchen appliances (e.g., refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves) and the pantry are common nesting sites for mice.

And mice are patient invaders that will wait for just the right opportunity – a door left propped open, a box of off-season clothes brought in from a storage area in which they can stow a ride, an open bag of pet food or a dime-sized opening in the foundation or door frame – to enter your home.

How do you know if you have a rodent problem? Some common signs of a possible rodent infestation include the following:

  • Rodent droppings (usually black in color and ¼- to ½-inch long) and urine (best detected using a black light)
  • Chewed electrical, computer or cable wiring (a major cause of electrical fires)
  • Unexplained chewing or gnaw marks on carpet, upholstery, drapes, furniture, and baseboards
  • Chewed-on food product packaging in your pantry

In addition to the kitchen, what areas of your home are most vulnerable to attracting an unwanted rodent infestation? Bug Guardian has identified the following rodent hot spots in homes:

  • Attached garages, carports, and storage areas above these locations where storage boxes, pet food, and other items are found
  • Bathroom cabinet voids
  • In utility rooms and areas beneath, and within base voids of furnaces, washers, and clothes dryers
  • In wall, ceiling, and floor voids
  • In the insulation of attics and in the contents of the attic (e.g., storage boxes)
  • In basements and crawlspaces near utility openings
  • Firewood stacked next to the house and near a door

Remember, if you think you might have a rodent problem in your home, contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

Read More