Know When to Hire a Pest Professional

Why Do-It-Yourself Measures Aren’t Always Enough


When pests find their way indoors, homeowners are often tempted to try and control the problem on their own, but the truth is that most pests are better left to professionals. After all, pest professionals have the knowledge, tools and training to safely and properly eliminate pest infestations.

“When a homeowner attempts to treat a pest problem on their own, they are often treating the ‘tip of the iceberg’, and not the root cause of the problem,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “The pests you see might be eliminated, but a larger infestation can continue to grow out of sight. These infestations can pose significant health risks to your family and cause damage to your property.”

There are several pest scenarios that should always be handled by a professional. These include:

Bed Bugs

  • Bed bugs are notoriously elusive, hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. In addition, they are very hardy pests, having been known to live for several months without a blood meal, and withstanding a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.  In fact, according to the NPMA’s Bed Bugs in America survey, bed bugs are THE most difficult pest to treat – more difficult than cockroaches, termites and ants! Even when working with a professional, it can take several treatments before the bugs are completely eliminated.

Stinging Insects

  • Stinging insects – such as wasps, yellow jackets or fire ants – should always be left up to the professionals. Many stinging insect species will swarm en masse if their nests are threatened, posing a serious health risk to homeowners. In fact, these pests send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. Those with allergies to insect stings are especially at risk.

Reoccurring infestations

  • No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that keeps coming back, it’s time to contact a professional. More likely than not, there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed before the problem can really be resolved. A trained professional will be able to inspect your home, identify the infestation and determine a plan to treat the problem most effectively.

If you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call the qualified and licensed people at Bug Guardian Pest Prevention.

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What to Know About Rodent Control in Arizona


Roof rats and other vermin seek shelter when the going gets rough. The walls, attic, and basement of your warm, cozy property provide an ideal environment for rodent families to escape from the snow and sleet. Plus, a never-ending supply of food via your kitchen is always within easy reach. Whether you’re trying to keep your home hygienic and pleasant for your family or looking to run a business, rodents are always bad news.


The tricky thing about a rodent infestation is that you can actually have one for quite some time before you’re truly aware of it. A handful roof rats may not cause much of a stir by themselves. However, an entire colony of them is another story. Often, property owners only discover they have a roof rat control issue on their hands once things have gotten completely out of hand.

You can learn to catch potential issues that might eventually require roof rat extermination services in Arizona by learning to recognize the signs as early as possible. Mice and other rodents always leave behind evidence of their presence. Gnaw marks or other damage caused to stored items in your attic, closets, basement, or other out of the way places are often among the first signs of an issue. Some people may notice scurrying or gnawing noises coming from inside the walls.

Actual droppings are, of course, a clear sign that you’re dealing with rodents. Mice and rats are nibblers when it comes to their eating habits, so they tend to generate a lot of droppings scattered over the areas where they feed or spend time. Also, rodent urine and feces contains pheromones and other compounds that attract even more rodents. This can make it extra tough to get an issue with roof rats under control once it starts.

When looking to rid your property of roof rats or other rodents and pests call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

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Watch for Bed Bugs while Traveling outside of Arizona

The last decade has seen a huge resurgence in bed bug infestations. The number of reported incidents in New York City rose from 500 in 2004 to 10,000 in 2009, but its not just the big cities being affected. We’ve been getting calls from all over the metro area, from single-family homes in Anthem, to apartment complexes in Mesa and gated communities in Scottsdale. Bed bugs can happen to anybody anywhere. So here are some tips on how to avoid a bed bug infestation in your home:

1. Know how to identify a bed bug. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown with a flat, oval body that measures approximately ¼ of an inch (6.35 mm) long. Newly hatched bed bugs are translucent and 1mm long.

2.Check for bed bugs before unpacking during a trip away from home. Change rooms or hotels immediately if you see any evidence of bed bugs.

3.Take care of bed bugs that may have hitched a ride on clothing.Separate laundry into plastic bags so the clothes can be placed directly in the washer without bugs escaping. Wash and dry the clothes on the highest setting that the fabric can withstand or take items to the dry cleaners.Undress on a hard surface floor rather than on carpet if you suspect bed bugs are on your clothing. Bed bugs do not travel on people like lice do. Wipe off the floor to capture any bed bugs that fall off the clothes.

4.Take care when bringing used furniture and clothing into your house. Wash clothing immediately. Furniture, however, should be inspected carefully before even bringing it into your home.

Taking these precautions can go a long way to keeping bed bugs out of your home. If you find yourself with bed bugs, despite all your efforts, there’s no need to panic.

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German Cockroaches 101

german cockroch removal

There are about 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, 70 of which are found right here in the United States. If you’ve ever encountered a cockroach at home, a restaurant or a public bathroom, it could have been anAmerican cockroach, a brown-banded cockroach or an oriental cockroach, but chances are it was likely a German cockroach— the most common species of cockroach found all over the world.

What does a German cockroach look like?

Cockroaches, in general, are flat and oval in shape with six legs and a pair of antennae. German cockroaches range in size from ½ inch to 5/8 of an inch long. They are light brown to tan in color and often distinguished by two dark stripes down their back.

Where do German cockroaches live?

German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments, close to food and water sources. They frequently invade residential properties by hitchhiking in grocery bags, cardboard boxes and secondhand appliances. Homeowners are most likely to find a German cockroach crawling around the bathroom or kitchen.

What do German cockroaches eat?

German cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste!

Are German cockroaches dangerous?

German cockroaches are more than just nuisance pests – they have been linked to disease transmission by picking up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter. These germs are then transferred to food and other common surfaces that humans frequently touch. In fact, cockroaches are known to spread at least 33 different types of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other human pathogens. Additionally, the saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain proteins that trigger allergies and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Practicing good sanitation is key to preventing an infestation, as cockroaches spend most of their time near food sources. Homeowners should make a concerted effort to keep kitchen counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. It’s also important to vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage on a regular basis.

If you find one cockroach in your home, it’s likely there are many more hiding in cracks and crevices. German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact Bug Guardian Pest Control today!

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Winter Pests 101

Common Pests that Invade the Home During the Winter Season


When winter weather arrives, some pests go into hibernation while others enter homes seeking warmth and food sources. The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders. Follow this guide of quick tips to prevent an infestation over the next few months.

House Mice

The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the United States.House mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and basements. This rodent can cause serious property damage by chewing through drywall and also wires that can then spark an electrical fire. House mice are also known to contaminate food and spread diseases, including Salmonella and tapeworms.

Quick tips:

  • Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.
  • Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.
  • Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

Norway Rats

Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris and other undisturbed materials. They are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. Norway rats are also a vector of many diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox virus.

Quick tips:

  • Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter). Inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements.
  • Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur.

German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world. German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, so human homes make the perfect habitat. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Moreover, cockroach allergens are know to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Quick tips:

  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.
  • Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders prefer to spin webs in undisturbed places, such as closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse is frequently found inside cardboard boxes, along window moldings and in seldom-used clothing and shoes. These spiders can bite and inject venom if disturbed, making them dangerous to humans.

Quick tips:

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.
  • Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.
  • If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek prompt medical attention.
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