What to Ask When Hiring a Pest Mangement Company

The most effective way to deal with a scorpion infestation in Arizona is to hire a Pest Management Professional (PMP), frequently known as an “Exterminator”. If you try to control bed bugs on your own you are likely to fail. When looking for a PMP take the time to do some research and find a good company. The cheapest may not be the best option.

Questions to Ask the Pest Management Professional

When looking for a PMP to help you, we recommend that you ask the following questions:

  • Are they licensed? Ask to see the issued license before work commences.cfans_asset_370766-beware-of-companies
  • Does your company carry liability insurance?
  • Is the company affiliated with the National Pest Management Association? (The NPMA has drafted best management practices for their members to follow).
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to learn if the company has a complaint history.
  • How much experience does the company and applicator have inspecting and treating for bed bugs? What kind of training do employees receive, and how often?
  • What is the company’s standard procedure for dealing with bed bug infestations?
  • What is the length of the treatment?
  • What are your (as the customer) responsibilities in helping control the infestation?
  • Ask the PMP if follow up visits, after the initial treatment, are part of the management plan?
  • If a heat treatment is planned, does the company also use a supplemental insecticide?
  • What safety precautions need to be taken during a bed bug treatment?

After the Pest Management Professional has completed treatment, contact the company if you have concerns or questions. To take the guess work out of hiring a Pest Management Professional contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today with years of  licensed experience and a satisfaction guarantee we are defending your home or business from bug invasion. And changing the way pest control is done, one customer at a time.

Read More

Pet and Kid Friendly Pest Control in Fountain Hills

When you see evidence of cockroaches in your home, your first inclination may be to reach for the strongest bug spray you can find. But before you do, take a deep breath and think again. While pesticides will likely kill whatever unwanted visitors are infesting your home, they can also be harmful to you and your family.

Children are especially susceptible to harm from pesticides, because their bodies and immune systems are still developing. They are also more likely to be exposed to pesticides by crawling on the floor and putting their hands and other objects in their mouths.

But household pests can also be a danger to your family. Cockroaches produce allergens that can trigger asthma and allergies. Mouse droppings can also trigger asthma or allergies. Flies and mosquitoes can carry germs and diseases.

Fortunately, there are ways to control pests and keep your family safe, too. Bug Guardian Pest Prevention has several options for pest control that work great in Fountain Hills homes that are safe for pets and children. Call Bug Guardian Pest Control today to learn more and schedule your appointment!

Read More

Black Widow Spider Prevention In Arizona

Black widow spiders are the creatures of scary stories told on Halloween night – deadly females that kill and eat the males and who are poisonous to anyone that dares come near.

While there are elements of truth to these stories, the habits of black widow spiders aren’t any different than the habits of other species of spiders. However, of the spiders that interact with humans, the black widow’s characteristics coupled with its health risk make it one of the most dangerous spiders that can be found in or around the home. Being aware of where to find these spiders and the risks they pose can help protect you and your family from being bitten.

How dangerous are they?

Black widow spiders are one of a small number of structure-invading spiders that have both fangs big enough to pierce human skin and venom potent enough to cause severe side effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the black widow is the most venomous spider in North America. However, bites are very rarely fatal as the amount of venom injected is so small, and very few people have interactions with black widows in which they are bitten.

In the case of a black widow bite, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does produce an antivenin that can be used to counteract the effects of the venom, reducing the side effects and possibility of death in bite victims.

What do they look like?

widow2The good thing about black widows is that they have a very unique appearance. They can be recognized by most people and are easily identified by an expert. Their characteristic all black body is very round and there is a red hourglass or split-hourglass shape under their abdomen. Females can be 3/4 of an inch long with legs over one inch long. Males are about half the size of females.

 

Where are you likely to find them?

Black widows can be found both inside structures and outdoors. They prefer sheltered and protected areas where potential prey has the opportunity to be caught in their webs. Widows are most active during the night when they spend time spinning webs. These webs are very irregular and can be about one foot in diameter.

Outside, they are usually found under stones, in woodpiles or around decks. Occasionally they might live on low tree branches or in shrubs. However, being partial to protected areas makes man-made structures ideal places for black widows to seek shelter. Common places in the home for these spiders to live are in cluttered or seldom-used areas in the garage, basement or a crawl space.

How do you prevent a black widow spider infestation?

The best techniques for preventing black widow spiders are keeping the home free of clutter and sealing possible entry points.

Standard pest-proofing steps such as installing screens and weather stripping are effective at keeping black widows from getting into your home. Removing old boxes and other unwanted items from dark corners will reduce the number of places for the spiders to hide.

When cleaning out these areas of the home, be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves to avoid bites from a black widow or other spider that may already be hiding there. If a spider web is visible, use caution before putting hands or feet in that area. It is also good practice to shake out clothing and check in shoes that have been stored in a basement or garage before wearing them.

How can I recognize a black widow spider bite?

A bite from a black widow spider feels like a pinprick. Pain is usually immediate, but bites are not always felt. If it is not felt, the only evidence will be a slight swelling with two tiny fang marks.

Symptoms of a bite include fever, increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. The main component in black widow venom is a neurotoxin, which causes pain at the bite site and then spreads to other areas of the body such as the chest and the abdomen. Severe reactions could result in muscle cramping.

For most healthy people, symptoms of a black widow bite will dissipate within a few days. However, young children and the elderly may be susceptible to severe reactions.

Are all black widows bad?

Most bites from black widow spiders occur when a spider’s hiding place is discovered or a female is protecting her egg sac. Although they are dangerous, these spiders use their bite as a defense. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively.

If you suspect an infestation, contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention immediately. This is the safest way to get rid of black widow spiders in your home and keep your family safe.

Read More

When DIY Pest Control Won't Cut It

Three signs it’s time to call in a pro

As a homeowner, you know there are some home projects you can take on yourself (painting the guest room) and some that are better left to the professionals (installing electrical wiring in the basement). The same logic goes for pest control. In some cases, do-it-yourself measures are fine but in others, it is best to call in a pest professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. So how do you know which pest scenarios are DIY-approved and which are pro-worthy?
In most cases, the answer depends on the several factors, including the type of pest, its threats to your family’s health, the potential for property damage and the size of the infestation. For example, one lone yellow jacket that found its way into your home is no cause for alarm. But a nest of yellow jackets near your front porch? Time to call in the pros.
Specifically, here are a few pests that you should leave to the pros:
 1.    Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are certainly not a pest that should be handled on your own. For one, they are notoriously elusive, often hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. A trained pest professional will know where bed bugs are likely to hide in your home and can develop a treatment plan to target the pests while ensuring the safety of your family and pets.
To effectively treat a bed bug infestation all stages of the bed bug life cycle must be treated, including bed bug eggs, nymphs (babies) and adult bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against bed bug nymphs and eggs. Attempts to control a bed bug infestation on your own may only exacerbate the problem and give the infestation time to grow. And bed bugs reproduce quickly – one female bed bug can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in their lifetime, meaning that a small infestation can quickly grow out of control.
In addition, homeowners that attempt to control a bed bug infestation on their own often spend more money in the long run on failed treatments. Some residents with bed bug infestations unnecessarily throw out furniture, clothing and other personal property in an attempt to control an infestation. In extreme cases, homeowners have seriously damaged their homes or sickened their families by misusing pest control products.
 2.    Stinging Insects
Infestations of any type of stinging insect – such as wasps, yellow jackets or fire ants – should always be left up to the professionals. Stinging insects pose serious health risks. In fact, they send half a million people to the emergency room every year. A single colony of stinging insects can contain anywhere from a few hundred to 80,000 members, which can attack if their nest is threatened. Those with allergies to insect stings are especially at risk, but if a large nest of stinging insects attacks, it can be life threatening to anyone.
 3.    Reoccurring or heavy infestations
No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that keeps coming back no matter what you try, it’s time to contract a professional. Reoccurring pest infestations are a sign that your home is just too enticing for pests. Perhaps a small access point (such as a tear in a window screen or a crack in the foundation) is providing easy access indoors for ants. Or perhaps a drip under the bathroom sink is creating the perfect conditions for cockroaches. Whatever it is, a trained pest professional will inspect your home, determine the infestation and help you resolve it once and for all.
DIY methods are also no match for heavy pest infestations.  Because many pests pose serious health and property threats, a sizable pest infestation should be left up to the professionals to handle, before it can grow any larger.
As a homeowner, there are a lot of DIY steps you can take to help prevent pests from finding their way into your home, but even these are most effective when completed in partnership with a pest professional. And, if you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call Bug Guardian Pest Control. We will be able to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Read More

When DIY Pest Control Won’t Cut It

Three signs it’s time to call in a pro

As a homeowner, you know there are some home projects you can take on yourself (painting the guest room) and some that are better left to the professionals (installing electrical wiring in the basement). The same logic goes for pest control. In some cases, do-it-yourself measures are fine but in others, it is best to call in a pest professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. So how do you know which pest scenarios are DIY-approved and which are pro-worthy?

In most cases, the answer depends on the several factors, including the type of pest, its threats to your family’s health, the potential for property damage and the size of the infestation. For example, one lone yellow jacket that found its way into your home is no cause for alarm. But a nest of yellow jackets near your front porch? Time to call in the pros.

Specifically, here are a few pests that you should leave to the pros:

 1.    Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are certainly not a pest that should be handled on your own. For one, they are notoriously elusive, often hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. A trained pest professional will know where bed bugs are likely to hide in your home and can develop a treatment plan to target the pests while ensuring the safety of your family and pets.

To effectively treat a bed bug infestation all stages of the bed bug life cycle must be treated, including bed bug eggs, nymphs (babies) and adult bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against bed bug nymphs and eggs. Attempts to control a bed bug infestation on your own may only exacerbate the problem and give the infestation time to grow. And bed bugs reproduce quickly – one female bed bug can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in their lifetime, meaning that a small infestation can quickly grow out of control.

In addition, homeowners that attempt to control a bed bug infestation on their own often spend more money in the long run on failed treatments. Some residents with bed bug infestations unnecessarily throw out furniture, clothing and other personal property in an attempt to control an infestation. In extreme cases, homeowners have seriously damaged their homes or sickened their families by misusing pest control products.

 2.    Stinging Insects

Infestations of any type of stinging insect – such as wasps, yellow jackets or fire ants – should always be left up to the professionals. Stinging insects pose serious health risks. In fact, they send half a million people to the emergency room every year. A single colony of stinging insects can contain anywhere from a few hundred to 80,000 members, which can attack if their nest is threatened. Those with allergies to insect stings are especially at risk, but if a large nest of stinging insects attacks, it can be life threatening to anyone.

 3.    Reoccurring or heavy infestations

No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that keeps coming back no matter what you try, it’s time to contract a professional. Reoccurring pest infestations are a sign that your home is just too enticing for pests. Perhaps a small access point (such as a tear in a window screen or a crack in the foundation) is providing easy access indoors for ants. Or perhaps a drip under the bathroom sink is creating the perfect conditions for cockroaches. Whatever it is, a trained pest professional will inspect your home, determine the infestation and help you resolve it once and for all.

DIY methods are also no match for heavy pest infestations.  Because many pests pose serious health and property threats, a sizable pest infestation should be left up to the professionals to handle, before it can grow any larger.

As a homeowner, there are a lot of DIY steps you can take to help prevent pests from finding their way into your home, but even these are most effective when completed in partnership with a pest professional. And, if you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call Bug Guardian Pest Control. We will be able to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Read More

Prevent Mice and Rodents Inside the Home

Norway rat in Phoenix

Almost all homeowners know the feeling of unease that accompanies finding mice or rodents in your home.  Whether in the kitchen, attic, basement or dining room – a rodent sighting can incite surprise and fear in even the most composed homeowner. Unfortunately, these common pests are resourceful creatures that can enter a building or home through the smallest opening or crack, and require very little space to travel inside. Mice can easily fit through spaces as small as a nickel!

Rodents seek shelter indoors, especially during the cooler fall and winter months, and once inside can cause more than just an unpleasant infestation. Rodents put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires. More frequently, though, rodents serve as vectors, carrying bacteria, such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces and equipment. The common white-footed deer mouse is also known to transmit the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can proactively prevent and get rid of rodent infestations in their homes:

  1. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  4. Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  5. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  6. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  7. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  8. Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
  10. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

If you spot evidence of a rodent infestation, do not hesitate to act to handle the problem. Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and a small problem can turn into a big issue overnight if left untreated.

Rodent control and management are important for health and safety reasons. If you suspect a rodent infestation call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

Read More