WHERE DO BUGS AND OTHER PESTS GO IN THE WINTER?

Mouse in Arizona House

Have you ever wondered where bees go in the winter? Is it any different than where wasps go? What about carpenter ants, flies, and ladybugs? Do they migrate, hibernate, or maybe even die?

It’s likely not something most people are overly concerned with, but it’s worth answering; what happens to insects during winter in the Arizona?

Insects, like animals, have all developed a means for survival, especially for recurring weather patterns like the cold winter season or the extreme heat of summer. While pest problems differ throughout the country for a number of reasons, it has been proven that climate plays a major factor.

Insects have a variety of ways to survive the frigid winter temperatures. Some survive as eggs, larvae or pupa, while others make it through as adults.

There are a few types of pests, like spiders, cockroaches, and rodents, that will simply move indoors, but for the most part, insects typically have three distinct survival strategies:

  • Migration: Like birds and humans looking to escape the harsh northern winters, insects also participate in migration or the seasonal movement from one region to another. The distance traveled varies with each species. seeking warmer temperatures. The most well-known insect migration is that of the Monarch Butterfly. Monarchs whose habitat is east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, fly south each fall, gathering in central Mexico’s Oyamel fir forest for the winter. Those west of the Rockies migrate to Santa Barbara, California.

  • Overwintering: This is a process by which some insects actually pass through or wait out the winter season. Overwintering occurs in places such as beneath leaf litter, inside buildings, or even under the bark of trees. All sites provide a shelter from frigid temperatures. Some insects that use overwintering to survive through winter are bees and box elders. Activity by species that overwinter almost completely halts until conditions prove to be suitable after winter subsides.

  • Hibernation: Typically associated with large land mammals, the period of time spent in a dormant state of being is referred to as hibernation. Hibernation is an extended period of time that one remains inactive through the unfavorable conditions of winter. Ladybugs, wasps, and some mosquitoes find protected areas like under bark or leaves, inside hollow trees or even in crevices of rocks to hibernate in until warm weather activates them. Another form of hibernation is forming a cocoon. For example, moths that form cocoons in the fall need that period of winter cold, since they likely won’t complete their development in a warmer climate.

There are many possibilities when it comes to insects surviving harsh winter weather, depending on the specific species and where they are located geographically. The alternative to the above-mentioned measures is literal death. Some insects do actually die in the winter, like crickets, but they leave behind eggs that will replace the since-dead mature adult one the weather returns to its warmth.

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Bed Bug Prevention Tips to Help Avoid

Arizona Bed Bug

The holiday travel season has arrived.  Which means millions of Americans are gearing up for time spent with their families. However, before hitting the road to enjoy some rest and relaxation, we encourage travelers to learn how to avoid bed bug infestations.

According to the NPMA’s 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, 75 percent of pest control experts reported rendered bed bug treatments at hotels or motels.  Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and are easily transported, hiding behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, furniture crevices, and even suitcases or shoes.

How To Keep Bed Bugs Away

If you are planning to stay in a hotel or motel his holiday season, utilize our infographic and keep these bed bug travel tips in mind:

  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams for telltale stains or spots.

  • Put suitcases in the bathtub and inspect the entire room before unpacking (be sure to check behind the headboards and seams of any chairs/couches)

  • Use a large plastic trash bag or a protective cover to store your luggage during your stay. Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces

  • If any pests are spotted, notify management and change rooms or properties immediately. If staying in a hotel, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.

  • Vacuum your suitcase when you return home

  • If any pests are spotted, notify management and change rooms or properties immediately. If staying in a hotel, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.

If you’re concerned about bed bugs in your home or business, contact us today for an inspection.

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Dangerous Spiders And How To Avoid Them

There are literally thousands of spider species in North America, all of which are important parts of a healthy ecosystem. While most pose no threat to humans and pets, there are a handful of species that are considered pests and can cause serious health problems or death. Here are some of the most common dangerous spiders and what to do about them.

WIDOW SPIDERS

Widow spiders can be identified by their messy, tangled webs. The black widow is the most familiar widow species and is typically found in the American South and Southwest.

All but the false widow posses the characteristic hourglass pattern on their undersides. Interestingly, only the females are dangerous. The small, drab-colored males are harmless. That said, any pest control company will tell you that the female widows bite can cause serious problems. These include severe pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches and severe muscle cramps. In small children, the elderly and those with compromised immunity, the bite can be fatal.

RECLUSES

Brown Recluse Spider PhoenixThe most well-known species in this group can be identified by the telltale violin pattern on its head. These spiders are mainly restricted to the Southern states. However, there are other recluse varieties in many portion of the US that pose little or no threat. True to their name, recluses prefer to stay hidden and aren’t aggressive.

They’re wandering hunters, which means that they don’t spin webs. The danger of these spiders, while real, is dramatically over-blown. It’s common for people to mistake insect bites, MRSA and certain skin conditions as recluse bites, even when these cases occur outside of the spiders’ natural range. Even if you live in an area where the recluse population is abundant, few actual bites occur.

It’s best to take preventative measures instead of having to deal with one of these intimidating creatures in person. Avoid having piles of junk or clutter in your house or garage. Never stick your hand into boxes or anywhere where you can not see into the space. These are prime places where spiders take up residence. It’s best advised to not deal with these types of spiders on your own as they are no easy feat for the average homeowner.

Seek out professional help from a local company, if you are dealing with a spider situation in an outdoor garden or around the house.

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3 Reasons to Worry about Rodent Control in Cooler Months

Unwanted Pests in Phoenix Valley

Hickory, dickory, dock, The mouse ran up the clock; The clock struck one, And down he run, Hickory, dickory, dock.

Although this Mother Goose rhyme sounds quaint, there’s actually nothing cute about having a mouse in the house. A mouse in the house is always bad news for three distinct reasons.

Three Reasons to Worry about Indoor Mouse Control:

Reason One: Mice contaminate food. Aside from allergy-inducing mouse dander, food contaminated with rodent urine or fecal matter can lead to bacterial infections and other food-borne illnesses. Since a favorite mouse hobby is to snack in your kitchen after hours, chances are high that if you have a mouse in the house, your food could become contaminated and you could become ill.

Reason Two: Mice damage structures. Make no mistake: mice in the home always lead to some sort of economic damage. Due to gnawing, nest-building, and feeding habits, mice always do their fair share of damage. The sooner they’re eliminated from the home, the more easily you can mitigate your losses.

Reason Three: Mice can spread diseases. According to the CDC, rodents can carry and spread up to thirty-five distinct diseases, all of which can be spread through bites, through contact with their waste and dander, or through contact with the rodents themselves.

All things considered, it’s probably safest not to try to handle these animals yourself. If you own a home or a business, it’s important to consider indoor mouse control. The best way to know that you are well-protected is through consulting with a pest-control professional.

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Roof Rat Control in Paradise Valley Homes

Over the last five years roof rat sightings have increased in the Paradise Valley area as well as South Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Central Phoenix. Many residents in the area are alarmed when hearing this due to the damage of their Valley homes.

Roof rats start to look for warmth and dry havens in the attics of many Valley homes, sometimes chewing through wiring and also cause damage to citrus and fruit trees. While Roof rats do not carry diseases they are a pest that can cause damage through this busy holiday season.

You can usually tell if there are roof rats by doing an inspection of your property. Look for citrus that is hollowed out, along with cylindrical droppings, gnaw marks on your house or trees, live or dead rats and rodent odors.

Also inspect your attic and garage for signs of roof rat invasion. If you store a motorhome or boat on your property, also check to see if roof rats are living there and gnawing on the hoses and wiring. Roof rats will gnaw on anything to keep their front teeth from growing too long.

Roof rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. Usually you can tell if your attic has been invaded by checking your insulation for nesting. Also look for gnawing on any exposed wiring. Many times people first realize they have roof rats when they hear them at night in their attic or garage.

If you find evidence of roof rats living in your house or on your property call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention Today!

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