Tips to Keep Your Anthem Home Flea & Tick Free

February  marks the beginning of warmer weather in Anthem, Arizona but with that warm weather comes more pests. Today we are specifically talking about Fleas & Ticks and how to protect your dogs and cats from them.

These are the best way to keep your furry family members free of unwanted fleas & ticks:

  • Providing a balanced diet with real food to keep the immune system vital and strong.
  • Bathing and brushing your dog regularly and doing nose-to-tail body checks when you come in from outside. If you recall from previous posts, this is also a great way to check your dog for any signs of new bumps, lumps or other tender spots.
  • Steering clear of old, stagnant water and any areas which have been treated with chemicals of any sort in both your own yard and the areas you run your dog,
  • Using natural pest deterrents, some of which are described above.
  • Being prepared with both the tools and the knowledge of how to safely remove a tick if you do find one. The traditional way is still the best, using tweezers or a tick remover tool. Other methods which promote using a match, petroleum jelly or swivel methods of making the tick ‘dizzy’ are not as reliable and may actually cause the tick to burrow deeper or leave parts still attached. As always, if in doubt, consult your vet.

If you find that you’re having an infestation of fleas and ticks at your Anthem home feel free to call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

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Household Plants that Attract Bees

Many people enjoy gardening and maintaining flower beds. The flowers add color to your home and yard, and the outdoor activity is invigorating to many. However, most people are not pleased when they look into their garden area or flower beds and see it swarming with bees.

While bees are nature’s way of pollinating plants, excessive amounts of bees in any area that is not a specific hive can be dangerous. A swarm of bees can harm someone even if they are not allergic to the stings, and for those who are allergic, one simple sting can be deadly.

To even out the balance between necessary pollination and keeping your flower beds and gardens nearly bee free, gardeners need to be creative with their planting.

CHOOSE PLANTS WISELY – SOME ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE TO BEES

Wildflower gardens have become very popular. These gardens are meant to be beautiful and attract butterflies. Many people love to spread them out over large areas as a way to add beauty to an area that otherwise has a hard time growing other flowers. These wonderful plants do everything they claim to do. They will grow quickly, add lots of color to your yard, and attract butterflies. They will also attract bees.

Bees love wildflowers because most of them have a lot of nectar. Bees can return often to the same flowers to get their fill and return to their hive with food. Bees also love large areas of the same type of flower. It makes them feel “comfortable” in a large patch of the same type of plants. This s why you will see many bees in fields , groves and orchards.

Another bee attractant is shallow water sources. Not many people realize that when they place a bird bath in their flower garden, they are also creating a place for bees to stop for a drink.

Bees are also attracted to vegetable flowers or that of fruit and berries. If you are going to grow these types of plants, it is best to spread them out some to make it less convenient for too many bees to gather. However, you do not want to get rid of all the bees around these plants because they will not produce fruit or berries without being pollinated.

ARE THERE PLANTS THAT ARE LESS LIKELY TO ATTRACT BEES?

Bees are attracted to all plants. Nectar in the flowers is what provides them food and helps with pollination. All plants need bees to perform this service.

However, planting methods and choosing flowers that do not have strong odors will help you cut down on the amount of bees that enter into your yard. It is also very important that you mix your flower beds and vegetable gardens up so that bees do not develop a comfort zone.

To keep bees from being attracted to your garden area you should also keep weeds under control. Clover, milk weed, dandelion, and goldenrod grow wild everywhere, and bees love their nectar.

If bees are taking over your yard and you cannot control them by changing your plants and planting methods, you should seek professional bee removal. Bee removal can be very dangerous and should only be attempted by someone with experience.

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9 Tips to Keep Ants Out of Your Home

Attracts ants inside Peoria home

Ants aren’t all that different from us. Like us, they are looking for food, shelter, and water. Remove their access to these resources in your home and you can greatly reduce their interest in making your home a permanent residence. Because like us, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll look for it somewhere else. And you want that somewhere else to be outside, in their natural environment. That is rule #1 in getting rid of ants.

1. Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately

Ants seem to start out on your floors and on your countertops. They are there because your crumbs and spills are there. Make a habit of sweeping up crumbs right away. Spills should be wiped up, and if sticky, should be cleaned with soap and water or another appropriate cleanser.

2. Keep food in sealed containers

Opened bags of chips, crackers, cereals, and other snacks should be rolled up tightly and kept closed with a clothespin or other similar device. Sugar and flour should be placed in airtight containers. Honey, maple syrup, and other sticky-sweet goodies should be stored in the refrigerator.

3. Dispose of garbage appropriately and regularly

Keeping food scraps in your household garbage is a huge no-no, especially in the summer. Invest in an outdoor composter and put raw food scraps in the composter, immediately. Raw food scraps include potato peels, banana peels, lettuce ends, carrot tops, and any other uncooked food. You can also toss your egg shells, coffee grinds and teabags into your composter. Make sure to keep your compost bin far away from home’s foundation. We like to use my grandmother’s method of eliminating cooked food scraps. In the summer, my grandmother would put cooked food scraps in a plastic bag and put this bag in the freezer until trash pick-up day. Any food scraps left in your regular trash are a homing beacon to hungry ants.

4. Keep pet food and water dishes clean

Your pet’s food bowl is easy-pickins for ants. Serve your pet only the amount of food that she will eat in one sitting. Any leftover dry kibble should be tossed or put back in the bag for tomorrow. Wet food leftovers should be treated like cooked food scraps (see above). Your pet’s water bowl should be cleaned regularly to avoid an accumulation of food residue or the stray bloated kibble. Your pet’s dry kibble bag should be kept in a airtight container.

5. Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk

Silicone caulk is readily available at any of the big box home improvement stores. Your local hardware store is also likely to carry silicone caulk. Youtube can provide you with a quick tutorial, if you need one, on how to apply caulk to exterior cracks.

6. Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens

Big box home improvement stores sell screen repair kits, but truthfully they can often be a pain. Oftentimes, your local hardware store can be your best resource when you have a rip in a screen. Our neighborhood hardware store fixes screens for $2-$5 a screen. You take them out of the window, drive them down, and often can pick them up the next day.

7. Replace weather-stripping

Your doors and windows can provide easy entry for not only you and your expected guests, but also the unexpected and unwanted guests—ants. Inspect your doors and windows regularly and replace any loose or damaged weather-stripping. These materials are cheap and easy to use. In most cases, you roll it out, remove the backing, and just stick it on.

8. Repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows

This is a task best left to the professionals. Surprisingly, masons are not as expensive as one might think. Look up a reputable mason, or get a good solid reference from a dependable source.

9. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house

This is another situation where you may want to call the professionals. We’ve all heard the stories about the neighbor who insists on cutting his trees himself, on a step ladder, with a chainsaw. Save yourself the trip to the emergency room (and the humiliation), and call a tree surgeon to trim your overhanging trees. You can likely take care of the low shrubbery yourself with a good set of hedge clippers.

Still have ants?

If ants persist, despite all your best attempts, a professional pest removal service will be your best bet. A good service technician can provide preventative pest control that can often be environmentally friendlier than you might think. Ants are smart and catch on pretty quick. Once they know your home is being maintained regularly, they will lose interest and look for their resources elsewhere.

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When DIY Pest Control Won't Cut It In Avondale

Three signs it’s time to call in a pro

diy pest control 2As 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 DIY 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.

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What attracts ants inside your home?

Attracts ants inside Peoria home

When it comes to household pests, ants are the number one problem. These tiny nuisances can invade your Peoria home without warning and be nearly impossible to get rid of without professional help. Ant colonies can have thousands of individual ants residing in them, making it hard to stop the invasion once it begins.

There are, however, some things that you can do around the house that will make your home a less desirable place for the ants to forage for food. Understanding what attracts ants to your home is the key.

WHAT ANTS ARE ATTRACTED TO IN YOUR HOME

Ants are continually looking for food and water. They are attracted to anything that is damp or that contains standing water in your home. They are also attracted to anything that is sugary or smells sweet. Ants are also attracted to bread and pet food.

To prevent ants from searching for food, make sure to eliminate any standing water in your kitchen area and be sure to wipe out the sink when you are done. This should also be applied to your bathroom. Additionally, you should make sure that damp clothes or towels are not left on the floor, the ants will chew on these items to get the water out, destroying the cloth.

Store bread and other dry goods in plastic containers to prevent ants from smelling these products. Placing a bay leaf in each container will provide extra protection. Store fruit in the fridge and wipe down the outside of containers of syrup and honey. Clean up any spills immediately. I you delay cleaning up the spill, the ants will come, even if it is cleaned up later.

Do not allow pet food to remain on the floor in their dish over night or for extended periods during the day. Ants will attack the food and keep returning once they established a continual source of food.

If you recycle soda cans or other containers, make sure to thoroughly rinse them out before placing them in the recycle bin. Recycle bins are often the leading cause of ant infestations.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR AN ITEM TO BECOME COVERED IN ANTS?

The timing on ants can be very different based on each individual situation. If the home has already been invaded by ants and they are lurking in the shadows waiting for a meal, they could react instantly to finding food and water. If the ants are still outside or have not marked this area as a place to find food, it could take several hours or days.

Ants will return to the same spot over and over once they have established that it is a good source of food and water. Once this has happened, the only option is to have a professional come in and handle the issue. .

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DANGEROUS SPIDERS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

black widow dangerous spider

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

black widow dangerous spiderWidow spiders (Latrodectus) are members of the comb-footed spider family and 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. However, there are also other varieties of the black widow that can be found in Northern states. Two other widow species, the false widow and the brown widow, are also located in many portions of the country.

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

recluse dangerous spiderThe most well-known species in this group (Loxosceles) can be identified by the telltale violin pattern on its head, or cephalothorax. 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. In one case, exterminators found more than 2,000 brown recluses in a family’s home. In the eight years the family had been living there, not a single bite occurred. Even if someone is bitten, the bite doesn’t always result in infection and necrosis. In healthy individuals, little more than time and an ice pack may be all that’s needed.

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Proper Bee Removal in Scottsdale

Without performing a honeycomb removal, future bee colonies have the potential to re-build in the same location due to familiar scents and honeycomb debris in the area. Multiple colonizations can cause greater damage, and can result in possibly having to replace sheet rock, carpets, siding and attracting other unwanted insects.

What Kind and Where Can Bees Be Found

Bee infestations may include:

  • Africanized honeybees
  • Honey Bee
  • Carpenter bees
  • Small cavities
  • Yellow jackets
  • Paper wasps
  • Hornets

Bee colonies may be located in:

  • Small cavities
  • Trees & Shrubs
  • Sides of Buildings
  • Roof & Eve Overhangs
  • Crawl Spaces

Bee colonies may also be Located In:

  • Block Walls
  • Drain Pipes
  • Water Meter & Value Boxes
  • Appliances & Junk Piles
  • Anything that makes them feel safe

 

Expert Bee Removal services in Scottsdale, Arizona are offered by Bug Guardian Pest Prevention we have experience dealing with Bee hives and their complete removal. If you fear you have an infestation feel free to call Bug Guardian Pest Control today!

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Is the Landlord or Tenant Responsible for Pest Control in Arizona?

The Arizona climate is considerably different than other parts of the country. With the Arizona heat comes a great deal of unwanted pests.Scorpions, black widow and brown recluse spiders, a variety of ants, and cockroaches all love to call this area home. Add to the fact that places like Arizona are major tourist destinations, and you can also add bed bugs to the mix of unwelcome pests.

Because of this keeping your rented home or apartment free of unwanted pests is essential to your health and happiness.  Spider and scorpion bites can be very painful and dangerous as an example. So it is essential to have continual pest control services in your apartment to ensure that the residents are not harmed.

The question is, who is responsible for pest control services in Arizona, the landlord or the tenant?

LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PEST CONTROL

According to the Landlord Tenant Act (Title 33, Chapter 10, Article 2, Section 33-1324):

A. The landlord shall:
1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in section 9-1303.
2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.
3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition.
4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him.
5. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal.
6. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of  hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable  air-conditioning or cooling where such units are  installed and offered, when required by seasonal  weather conditions, except where the building that  includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be  equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so  constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot  water is generated by an installation within the  exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct  public utility connection.

State law requires that the landlord keep the unit in properly maintained and habitable order for the rental lease to remain in effect. However, the law clearly states that if damages or other conditions cause the property to become uninhabitable, the landlord is not responsible for the damages.

WHEN IS THE LANDLORD RESPONSIBLE?

In most cases, it has been found that landlords are responsible for providing pest control prior to renting the property and if any pests are found within the first 30 days of a rental contract. After the 30 days, it is assumed that the pest infestations are caused by the liing habits of the renter.

For instance, a renter that does not properly dispose of garbage or has visitors that bring bed bugs into the home are responsible for ridding the apartment of the infestation. However, if the infestation is caused by something that happened to the house that the landlord has not repaired, such as a leaking roof, the pest control is the landlords responsibility, regardless of how much of the lease time passed.

For the landlord to be responsible legally for pest control services after the initial 30 days, it must be proven that their actions are responsible for the infestation.

WHAT RENTERS NEED TO DO BEFORE MOVING IN

It is very important for any renter to make sure that they clearly read the terms of their lease agreement before signing it and moving in. The responsibility for pest control services should be clearly stated in the contract. You will discover by reading the terms if the landlord will continue to provide services for pest control of if you are responsible.

If the terms for pest control are not in your contract, make sure that you ask about these terms and ask for them to be placed in writing. By having the terms in writing, you can guarantee that you will have continued pest control services either by the landlord or by yourself.

If you are required to provide your own services, you can have Bug Guardian Pest Prevention complete monthly treatments. Treatments that take place at longer intervals can allow many pests to enter the home.

Arizona is a wonderful place to live. However, all residents understand how important it is to keep unwanted pests out of their homes. Know the terms of your contract, and if necessary, sign up for pest control service to begin a month after you move in.

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Why Roaches Are Bad For Your Arizona Home

Cockroaches are extreme survivors.  They’re the oldest surviving insect form on the planet and have been present on Earth for nearly 350 million years.

There are approximately 3500 identified cockroach species that roam the earth.  Cockroaches come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors and are found in almost every environment on the planet.  The general shape of a cockroach is oval and flat-bodied, which allows them to squeeze into all types of cracks and crevices.

There are about 70 different species of cockroaches found in the U.S.   The majority of cockroaches serve very important ecological roles as scavengers, however, there aresome species that are considered pests and give cockroaches their bad name with humans, including German cockroaches and America Cockroaches

There are many reasons why roaches are bad roommates for humans. The species of roaches that are considered pests live in or around houses and buildings.  Indoors, cockroaches multiply quickly, contaminate many surfaces with their feces and are often found inside kitchen cabinets, helping themselves to your food.

But besides being a nuisance and an all around disgusting little creatures, there are bigger reasons why we need to control cockroaches.  Cockroaches have been shown to sometimes carry disease-causing microorganisms on their bodies.

Microbes found on cockroach bodies include several types of bacteria, worms, fungi and viruses.  While cockroaches have never been linked to the direct transmission of any disease, they can contaminate clean surfaces with these disease-causing microbes.

Another big reason for controlling cockroaches is that they produce several very potent allergens that have been linked to the development of asthma.  In fact, cockroaches are the number one cause of allergies among inner city children, and 26% of the US population is said to be allergic to cockroaches. In the video below we have compiled other prevalent facts about cockroaches and cockroach prevention tips.

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Tips to Keep Your Anthem Home Flea & Tick Free

February  marks the beginning of warmer weather in Anthem, Arizona but with that warm weather comes more pests. Today we are specifically talking about Fleas & Ticks and how to protect your dogs and cats from them.

These are the best way to keep your furry family members free of unwanted fleas & ticks:

  • Providing a balanced diet with real food to keep the immune system vital and strong.
  • Bathing and brushing your dog regularly and doing nose-to-tail body checks when you come in from outside. If you recall from previous posts, this is also a great way to check your dog for any signs of new bumps, lumps or other tender spots.
  • Steering clear of old, stagnant water and any areas which have been treated with chemicals of any sort in both your own yard and the areas you run your dog,
  • Using natural pest deterrents, some of which are described above.
  • Being prepared with both the tools and the knowledge of how to safely remove a tick if you do find one. The traditional way is still the best, using tweezers or a tick remover tool. Other methods which promote using a match, petroleum jelly or swivel methods of making the tick ‘dizzy’ are not as reliable and may actually cause the tick to burrow deeper or leave parts still attached. As always, if in doubt, consult your vet.

If you find that you’re having an infestation of fleas and ticks at your Anthem home feel free to call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

Read more