3 Tips for Kids Safety and Pest Control

Raising a family with kids in Queen Creek, Mesa or Gilbert means you are probably spending a lot of time outdoors, soaking up the beautiful weather this time of year. Warmer temperatures also signal an increase in activity for all pests so we want to help you address your pest control needs while keeping your family safe.

1. Understand Pesticide Terms

Did you know that the warning labels on pesticides actually have different keywords to look for that will help you know which pest control method is the least toxic. It is important to note, these words only describe the short-term toxicity of the product so there may be other long lasting effects. That is why it is always important to keep any pesticide in a safe, locked away location that children can’t get into. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the three main words on pesticide labels include: CAUTION, WARNING or DANGER. Caution on the label indicates the product is slightly toxic if inhaled or eaten and will cause minor eye or skin irritation. Warning means that if the pesticide is inhaled or eaten it is moderately toxic with a more severe irritation to eyes and skin. Danger is the highest level of toxicity and should include the label ‘Poison.’ This means that the pesticide is highly toxic if eaten or inhaled and may cause severe damage to the eyes or skin. If a child ever comes in contact with any type of pest control product always be sure to call Poison Control or take them to the doctor right away.

2. Try to Prevent Pesticide Exposure in Kids

Trying to keep pests out in the first place is a good start to avoiding use of pest control methods. Some basic home maintenance can help deter pests, for example, sealing all gaps around your home and caulking around doors and windows can reduce the entry spots for bugs. It will also help to keep the outside of your home cleaned up by trimming all shrubs and trees away from your house and ensuring trash can lids are secure. Unfortunately, some household pests require the use of pesticides to get rid of an infestation but how and where you apply them can make all the difference in your family’s safety. There are some chemical-free pest control products on the market or as we mentioned above, using the least toxic pesticide is denoted by a ‘CAUTION’ label. Always following the label instructions very carefully will also help you to prevent overuse of the product. Instead of pesticide sprays or bug bombs, we recommend using crevice treatments or enclosed bait stations since these methods decrease the likelihood of pesticide exposure.

3. How Pest Control Products Harm Children

We have to remember that children learn about the world around them differently than adults. For example, infants and toddlers put things in their mouths and they are in more contact with the ground while learning to crawl and walk. Plus, children’s bodies are less able to detoxify and get rid of harmful chemicals as quickly as an adult. For all these reasons it is very important to understand that any pest control used can affect kids more than their adult caregivers. This is where it comes in handy to have a local pest control company assess your home and figure out a pest management plan that is kid-safe and gets rid of those bugs!
Armed with this knowledge, we hope it will help you decide how to tackle your home pest control issues while keeping your family safe. Many pest control companies have kid and pet safe options so always be sure to ask about them. Feel free to contact us for any pest management questions or for an assessment because we are always here to serve the Queen Creek community and all surrounding areas!

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Reasons for pest control, warm weather brings out the critters

As the weather starts to warm up, critters of all kinds start coming out of the woodwork (sometimes literally) so if you need  additional reasons for pest control in your Phoenix area home, here’s some information we think you’ll find useful.

Did you know?Reasons for pest control-warm weather brings out the critters

  • A female House cricket produces an average of 730 eggs and these eggs hatch in 2-3 months.
  • 1 queen fire ant can reproduce 1,600 new fire ant workers every day.
  • Arizona contends with the most ant species of any other state.

How pests get in

They gain entry into your home easily as they are great at finding cracks around doors and windows or open spaces around cables or wires that were not properly sealed.   A tiny scorpion can fit through holes the size of a dime while ants and smaller creatures squeeze through much smaller holes.  A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you can see daylight coming through any areas around your doors, windows or foundation, then pests will find their way into your home.

 Your home is inviting

Pests come into your home because they like the environment-there’s water, food and it’s warm.  Your home is like a buffet to bugs with an unending source of food.  Pests will often follow other pests;  for example, scorpions and spiders feed on crickets so they often follow their ‘food source’ into your house and then you have not 1 pest problem, but several.

 But I only see a few. . .

These little creatures don’t need much space so they hide in little cracks and crevices and many times, you might not even know they’re there (at least not right away).  A few roaches (or ants or crickets) can grow into a full-blown infestation very quickly.   That’s why we recommend calling at the first sight of critters as if you can see 1 or 2, you can bet there’s many more you can’t see as your home is the perfect place for them to set up a nest and breed.

What can I do to prevent this?

There are many things you can do to discourage pests from coming into your home and it starts with your yard.  Weeds around your home are a great breeding ground for pests so use a weed emergent to kill weeds and keep them under control.  Trim shrubs and plants so they aren’t touching your house and keep your grass cut low.  Clean up dead plants, fallen branches and woodpiles and make sure you have no standing pools of water as water is like a beacon calling pests to the area.

 Seal up your home

Critters are small and do not need an invitation to come inside so do an inspection around your home to find any places where you can see daylight coming in as that’s their open door.  These areas need to be sealed and standard caulking will do the job.  There are also less obvious hiding places, such as the underside of the weep screed of your stucco siding- crickets like to live there because of the moisture.

We all look forward to warmer weather and unfortunately, so do the pests so that’s your reason for pest control in Phoenix.

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Black Widow Spiders in Chandler & Gilbert: Separating Myths from Facts

You’ve probably heard of the infamous black widow spider and the fact that they live in our great cities of Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. However, did you know that they are considered one of the most venomous spiders in North America? With these credentials it’s hard not to stomp on any spider you see but you may not have to. There are many true and false statements surrounding black widows so we’ve got a few tips to keep you from running any time you see a black spider.

Myth: Black widows are aggressive towards humans and pets

Fact: Scientists recently completed a study on animal behavior to test the outcome when black widows were poked versus when they were pinched. The findings show that these fierce sounding spiders are actually quite shy and only bite if really provoked. So only when the spiders feel truly threatened by a predator or say, accidentally being stepped on by a human, will the black widow try to bite. To help avoid threatening these little spiders, it is always a good idea to be careful where you step, wear gloves and close-toed shoes when working in garages or sheds. Also, be sure to wash all produce before consumption. It’s not common but black widows can accidentally come home in fruit from the grocery store as there were two reports of that occurring earlier this year.

Myth: Black widow bites are commonly fatal

Fact: Before the creation of antivenin, black widow bites were recorded as being fatal about five percent of the time but now they are rarely fatal to humans. According to statistics from Poison Control Centers, 23,000 black widow bites were reported between 2000-2008 but no one died from any of those bites. As long as you seek medical care after a spider bite, then proper procedures can be taken to ensure there are no fatal consequences. This is especially important for the elderly, immunocompromised and young children as their reactions could be more severe.

Myth: Black widows only like to spin their webs outside.

Fact: Although black widows would happily make their home in a woodpile, these spiders like to set up shop in any dark, secluded area. So that could mean closets, basements, corners of garages, cluttered areas or behind your favorite chair that has never been moved. Identifying traits of a black widow are their black, shiny color with the signature red hour-glass shape on their abdomen and they make messy webs that often have no pattern. To avoid being hospitable to black widows be sure to vacuum and clean all areas inside your home on a regular basis, especially dark corners or behind furniture that isn’t moved very often. Also, keeping your home free from other pests which are the spiders’ food source will help deter them. Take a look at our tips for black widow control and prevention and with regular pest control you should be able to keep your home free from these pests.
Now that you have some of the truths about black widows we hope you make the important decision to call a professional pest control company if you see these spiders. We travel throughout the Valley, including Queen Creek, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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Black Widow Spiders in Chandler & Gilbert: Separating Myths from Facts

You’ve probably heard of the infamous black widow spider and the fact that they live in our great cities of Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. However, did you know that they are considered one of the most venomous spiders in North America? With these credentials it’s hard not to stomp on any spider you see but you may not have to. There are many true and false statements surrounding black widows so we’ve got a few tips to keep you from running any time you see a black spider.

Myth: Black widows are aggressive towards humans and pets

Fact: Scientists recently completed a study on animal behavior to test the outcome when black widows were poked versus when they were pinched. The findings show that these fierce sounding spiders are actually quite shy and only bite if really provoked. So only when the spiders feel truly threatened by a predator or say, accidentally being stepped on by a human, will the black widow try to bite. To help avoid threatening these little spiders, it is always a good idea to be careful where you step, wear gloves and close-toed shoes when working in garages or sheds. Also, be sure to wash all produce before consumption. It’s not common but black widows can accidentally come home in fruit from the grocery store as there were two reports of that occurring earlier this year.

Myth: Black widow bites are commonly fatal

Fact: Before the creation of antivenin, black widow bites were recorded as being fatal about five percent of the time but now they are rarely fatal to humans. According to statistics from Poison Control Centers, 23,000 black widow bites were reported between 2000-2008 but no one died from any of those bites. As long as you seek medical care after a spider bite, then proper procedures can be taken to ensure there are no fatal consequences. This is especially important for the elderly, immunocompromised and young children as their reactions could be more severe.

Myth: Black widows only like to spin their webs outside.

Fact: Although black widows would happily make their home in a woodpile, these spiders like to set up shop in any dark, secluded area. So that could mean closets, basements, corners of garages, cluttered areas or behind your favorite chair that has never been moved. Identifying traits of a black widow are their black, shiny color with the signature red hour-glass shape on their abdomen and they make messy webs that often have no pattern. To avoid being hospitable to black widows be sure to vacuum and clean all areas inside your home on a regular basis, especially dark corners or behind furniture that isn’t moved very often. Also, keeping your home free from other pests which are the spiders’ food source will help deter them. Take a look at our tips for black widow control and prevention and with regular pest control you should be able to keep your home free from these pests.

Now that you have some of the truths about black widows we hope you make the important decision to call a professional pest control company if you see these spiders. We travel throughout the Valley, including Queen Creek, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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Top Mosquito Prevention Tips

Spring is when most of us are likely to take a hike up a mountain, walk down a nature trail, catch some fish in a river, cook a hotdog on a stick over an open campfire, eat a marshmallow, watch the sunset, swim in a lake, have a gathering in the backyard, mow your lawn, and swat a mosquito. In fact, you’re likely to do that last one while doing all the others; but there are some ways to prevent bites this summer.

Top Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites in Order of Effectiveness

  • Don’t go out. Obviously, if you stay inside and you have good screens on your home, you don’t have a lot to worry about as far as mosquitoes go; but this isn’t exactly practical.
  • Don’t go out in the morning or the evening. Mosquitoes are least active during the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky, but more active in the morning and evening when there is some shade. Choose to go out in the middle of the day if you want fewer bites.
  • Don’t go where there are more mosquitoes. If you avoid areas that have shade or areas of still water, you can avoid bites as well.
  • If you must go out when mosquitoes are active, or into areas where mosquitoes are more abundant, your safest option is to use netting to protect you. Netting isn’t just used in tents. There are companies that make clothing that has netting. Hats, jackets, shirts, and pants can have netting applied; but, of course, this kind of apparel isn’t always desirable.
  • If clothing with netting isn’t for you, consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants when possible. This can give mosquitoes less areas of skin to attack. However, be aware that mosquitoes can bite through some materials–as you probably already know.
  • Your next option is repellent. We recommend something that has 20% DEET in it.
  • If you don’t want chemicals on your skin, consider spraying the DEET repellent on your clothing, or consider a natural alternative like a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus or citronella.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to make it harder for mosquitoes to lock onto you.

Mosquitoes are an inevitable part of summer, and these pests can be more than just an annoyance. They can carry many viruses that have severe symptoms. Protect yourself when you go out and consider mosquito services from a trusted pest control specialist like Bug Guardian Pest Prevention to reduce mosquitoes in your backyard. Fewer mosquitoes mean fewer bites. And fewer mosquito bites makes summer better.

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Signs of Fleas in Tempe Arizona

Signs of Fleas in Tempe Arizona

Many signs can indicate flea activity.  A common indication would be pets that repeatedly scratch and groom themselves. This is caused by the discomfort of the flea activity as the adult fleas feed on the pet’s blood. People also may experience bites which leave behind itchy bite marks (a medical doctor can be consulted, since there are other sources of skin irritation beside fleas). Flea dirt, the adult flea feces, also can indicate activity. Flea dirt looks similar to coarse ground black pepper and may be seen in pet beds, carpets, rugs and other areas where the animal host rests.

Fleas In Tempe Homes

Fleas depend on a blood meal from a host to survive, so most fleas are introduced into the home via pets or other mammal hosts. On some occasions, fleas may become an inside problem when the host they previously fed on is no longer around. Then fleas focus their feeding activity on other hosts that reside inside the home. An example of such a situation is when a mouse inside the home is trapped and removed, the fleas that previously fed on the mouse are then forced to feed on pets or people.

Get Rid of Fleas: Flea Control

Flea infestations require multifaceted treatment plans. Addressing only a pet’s infestation or individual flea bites will not prove effective for ridding your home of fleas. Effective flea control should encompass both chemical and physical methods and should be conducted on your pet as well as inside and outside of your home. Contact a Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today.

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