Pest Proofing Your Home for the Winter

pest proof your Arizona home this winter

The shorter days and cooler evenings tell us that fall is in full swing. They also serve as a reminder to Arizona homeowners to take steps to protect their homes from unwanted pests that seek a place to wait out the winter.

With the new season comes different pest challenges to face and another round of pest proofing. It’s an important action that can help your home stay pest-free and keep your family protected from unwanted and potentially harmful pests.

Common household pests – mice, rats, cockroaches, spiders – will look for shelter in warm structures as the weather grows cooler. Therefore, Bug Guardian encourages homeowners to include pest proofing into their home maintenance routines this fall.

Besides being a nuisance to you and your family, these pests can pose serious risks. For example, rodents, particularly mice, are a more common fall pest and can spread such pathogens as Salmonella, contaminating food in your kitchen. Mice also can damage the drywall and electrical wiring in your home with their gnawing, which can increase the risk of an electrical fire.

In addition to carrying pathogens, cockroaches can trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children. Some species of spiders may bite if their hiding spot is discovered.

Proactive and vigilant winter pest proofing is crucial in preventing pests from coming indoors. The best defense is a strong offense. This “offense” we’re talking about is conducting a simple check of your home and performing any necessary maintenance.

Bug Guardian recommends the following home pest-proofing tips for winter:

  • Check screens on attic vents and around chimney openings to make sure there are no tears
  • Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes, clogged drains and broken irrigation systems
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool, paying close attention to where utility pipes enter your home
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles
  • Replace loose mortar and weather-stripping around the basement foundation and windows
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well-trimmed
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens
  • Inspect items for signs of pest activity, such as boxes of holiday decorations and grocery bags, before bringing them indoors

If you have questions about pests trying to gain access to your home, call or drop me an email at tom@mybugguardian.com.

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How to Prevent a Mosquito

Fever. Headaches. Muscular weakness.

All of these are symptoms of the West Nile virus, a mosquito borne illness that can cause serious pain, discomfort and sometimes even death to those who are infected. If you think that the West Nile virus is something you don’t have to worry about, think again. According to the Liberty Voice, West Nile virus has been found in mosquitos in a number of areas in Arizona. With all likelihood, this dangerous virus could spread further through the southern United States.

The presence of mosquitos in your area will greatly increase the risk of contracting the West Nile virus and other mosquito borne illnesses. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a passive bystander in regards to the spread of this disease. By preventing the mosquitoes from breeding and spreading, you can limit the likelihood of catching this disease—or even just reduce the occurrence of itchy mosquito bites. Here are a few tips on preventing mosquito invasion in your area:

  • Remove items from the yard that inadvertently collect water: Items that inadvertently collect water such as old tires, buckets and other containers provide a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ensure that these are stored in a dry place where water cannot sit and become stagnant, allowing mosquitoes to breed. Even small amounts of water can provide a spot for mosquitoes to reproduce, so make sure that your yard is free of water-collecting containers.
  • Clean/maintain items that do collect water: If you have areas or items that intentionally collect water, such as birdbaths, pools, ponds, or other bodies of water, ensure that the water is well maintained and kept clean. You can purchase devices to keep water moving to disrupt mosquitoes from breeding, or use chemicals that will stop mosquitoes from breeding in that water.
  • Keep gutters and drains clean: According to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health, gutters and drains are a prime mosquito breeding area. These can quickly become clogged or blocked, giving mosquitoes prime real estate in which to lay their eggs. Cleaning these on a regular basis will ensure one less area for these pests to reproduce.
  • Use natural mosquito repellent: Another good idea is to grow plants that naturally serve as deterrents to mosquitoes. These include catnip, lavender, marigold, peppermint and basil. This non-toxic method will allow you to beautify your surroundings (and provide some herbs for the kitchen!) while keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

An infestation of mosquitoes can quickly raise the likelihood of having you or your loved ones contracting West Nile virus or other deadly mosquito borne illnesses, as well as a number of nasty bites. However, by following the tips above, you can reduce the likelihood of mosquito infestation and remain healthy and bite-free.

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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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Spooky Spider Brownie Treats for this Halloween

Halloween is a great time to spend with the little ones and make fun treats to celebrate the spookiest time of year. Here’s a great recipe on how to make Spooky Spider Brownies!

Ingredients

  • 1 package (15.80 ounces) brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups crispy chow mein noodles
  • 18 candy eyeballs

Directions

  • Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions using an 8-in. square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Remove 1 tablespoon melted chocolate to a small bowl; reserve for attaching eyes. Add noodles to remaining chocolate; stir gently to coat. Spread onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, separating noodles slightly. Freeze until set.
  • Cut nine brownies with a 2-1/4-in. round cutter for spider bodies. Attach eyeballs using reserved melted chocolate. With a bamboo skewer or toothpick, poke eight holes in top of each spider for inserting legs. Insert a coated noodle into each hole. Store in an airtight container.
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Halloween Pests in Arizona

Halloween Pests

Is there any holiday more suited to pest control than Halloween? I think not. It may be the only time of year when people festoon their homes with spiders, bats, rats, webs and other creepy-crawly things. We usually spend our time removing such things from the homestead. So, before and after October 31, you may need us for…

Spiders. There are about 3,000 species of spiders throughout North America. All of them bite but only two of them are acknowledged to cause serious harm – the black widow and the brown recluse. The common house spider is perhaps the spider most frequently encountered indoors and is considered a nuisance pest. Eliminating harborage areas is a good way to control spiders.

Rats. These large rodents fearlessly leave the safety of their den to seek out food and many cities are creating task forces to combat growing infestations of these troublesome pests. Bug Guardian’s pest control program can protect your home and office from commonly encountered rats, such as Roof and Norway rats.

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Do You Need a Doctor After a Bug Bite?

Ouch! You’ve been bitten by a bug! Do I need a doctor after a bug bite?

You were out and about and ended up with an annoying new bug bite. But how do you know when it’s time to go to a doctor over the bite? How do you know if you are allergic?

As a blanket statement, most of the time bug bites aren’t serious. But if you notice things like signs of infection, it may be time to seek out a doctor or dermatologist. Sometimes the bite will become infected due to your reaction. If you have a mosquito bite, for instance, try your hardest not to scratch at it. Scratching will break the skin allowing infection to set in. If you notice infection, wash it carefully and use an antiseptic to clean the area.

It’s also important to notice allergic reactions. After all, we don’t know we are allergic until we receive that first bite or sting. The signs of allergic reaction can range from simple swelling all the way to anaphylactic shock. Typically allergies to bees are the worst. If you are stung by a bee or wasp, and notice signs of swelling of lips, eyelids or throat, you may have an allergy and need a trip to the emergency room.

For more information on allergic reactions to bee stings please click here

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Don't Let Unwanted Pests Ruin Your Tailgate Party

unwanted pests ruin your tailgate

Football season is in full swing and for fans across the country that means weekends are centered around tailgating with family and friends before the game. The early fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but those yummy snacks and the delicious grilled fare leave pests like bees, flies and ants looking to crash your party.
To keep pests from ruining your tailgate fun this football season, we recommend the following tips to keep your tailgate pest-free.

  • Bees are still active this time of year and attracted to sweets, so be sure to keep desserts in sealed containers and serve sugary drinks in covered pitchers.
  • House flies are a common nuisance pest at outdoor parties. To prevent these unwanted guests from crashing your tailgate, be sure to bring well-sealed garbage cans along with your tent and grill and remove the trash regularly throughout the day.
  • Ants can quickly infest an outdoor party and even hitchhike back into your car or home and carpenter ants and Argentine ants are the most common types found this time of year. To prevent ants from enjoying your pre-game goodies, keep food sealed in airtight containers and cover it immediately after grilling.

With these simple tips, you can ensure your tailgate party is free of pests. If it was only that easy to take care of the opposing team!

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Do’s and Don’ts of Bed Bugs in Laveen Home

Bed Bugs in Laveen can be a real problem for those who are unsure of what to do about them. Here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts for bed bugs.

Do:

  • Talk to a pest control professional. A professional such as Bug Guardian Pest Prevention. We have helped thousands of client’s with their pest control needs.
  • Eliminate clutter. Clutter is a bed bug’s best friend and a pest management professional’s worst nightmare.
  • Remove bed bugs. Before the infestation grows too large have a pest control professional come to your home and remove the infestation.

Don’t:

  • Use products that repel bed bugs. Bug Bombs can send bed bugs scattering throughout your home making your problem worse.
  • Move sleeping locations. The bed bugs may follow you to your guest room or sofa and then it will be much harder to get rid of them. They may hitch a rid to your relative’s home and you can cause them to become infested as well.
  • Immediately throw away items. The typical reaction for a person when learning they have bed bugs is to throw away the infested items. This is unnecessary and could make the problem worse.
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Pest Control Services Can Improve Your Quality Of Life

DIY pest control

No matter where you live in the greater Phoenix Valley, insects and other pests can be a problem throughout the year. Whether its insects or rodents, regularly schedule pest control services can eradicate them and restore your normal quality of life.

Not only do these professionals play a significant role in eliminating pest infestations, a pest control maintenance plan can protect you, your family, and your home throughout the year. Even though you may not have hired a pest control service in the past, your life may have been influenced in some way by these professionals. The following is a list of several ways in which these companies can positively impact your quality of life:

Home protection – some pests, such as termites, can damage to your home’s structure over time if they are not eradicated. For being as small as they are, these pests can cause thousands of dollars in damages. Calling out a reputable pest control company to inspect your home and eliminate any existing problems is an integral component of home protection.

Pest expertise – pest control professionals undergo rigorous education and training when it comes to pest behavior. Basically, each one is an expert in his or her field of endeavor. As a result, they can advise you on the proper solution for your specific circumstances in order to protect your home and everyone in it.

Prevents physical health problems – certain pests are disease carriers, deliver extremely painful bites and/or stings, and in some instances, lead to health problems that are life-threatening. One of the biggest pest problems during the warmer months of summer are those varieties of mosquitoes that spread malaria and the West Nile Virus. Regularly scheduled pest control services will prevent them from becoming a problem.

Protects your food supply and keeps it safe – professional pest control specialists are instrumental in protecting our food supplies and keeping them safe for human consumption. From commercial and residential properties to food processing plants and restaurants, pest control is essential to controlling ants, cockroaches, rodents, and a wide range of other bothersome pests.

Your peace of mind – investing in regularly scheduled pest control services can go a long way to providing you with peace of mind. There is considerably less stress and worry when you know that your home and family members are well protected from insects and rodents. Plus, your quality of life and safety within your home will not be jeopardized by infestations and any resulting health problems.

Why put the health and well-being of your loved ones and pets in jeopardy? To ensure a better quality of life and a safer living environment, contact a professional pest control specialist today and schedule a thorough inspection of your home and property. There are plenty of companies online which can be contacted to ensure that you have a clean and healthy home. It is best to get a written quote before you work with a pest control company.

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7 Helpful Pest Control Tips For Homeowners To Consider

Many homeowners in the greater Phoenix Valley have benefited from preventative pest control services.  These professionals have been educated and trained at identifying the different types of pests, how they enter your home, and using the proper chemicals and equipment to eradicate them.  They can also customize a preventative pest control plan that is tailored to address the specific needs of your household.  However, there are certain steps that you can take in between treatments that will be helpful as well.

Block all entry points – if you find any exterior entry points into your home, you should block them or seal them up.  Areas that you want to be sure to inspect include doors, electrical sockets, plumbing, and windows.  Certain foam sealants are inexpensive, quick fixes.  Plus, weather stripping around doors and windows should be inspected and replaced as needed.  This not only prevents pests from entering your home, it makes it more energy-efficient as well.

Destroy their homes – depending on the pest, this may require a little bit of effort to find where they are living in your home.  Make sure you inspect exterior and interior storage areas.  This includes inspecting your attic and garage.

Eliminate their food supply – store food in the refrigerator or in sealed containers and be sure that you clean up crumbs, food debris, and grease from counters, cracks, and crevices and off your dining room and kitchen tables.

Eliminate their water supply – look for excess water accumulation in certain areas of the home such as A/C unit, bathtub and shower stall areas, hot water heaters, signs of over-irrigation in the yard, and under sinks.  Be sure to remove all debris and dirt from your rain gutters as well.

If you’re not seeing any results when using OTC pesticides, quit buying them – while some over-the-counter baits and sprays may be effective, most of them will not be residual enough to prevent any future infestations.  One of the benefits of hiring a pest control service is that they use industrial strength chemicals and prevent you and your family from being exposed to them.

Remove branches and trim plants that brush up against the house – by trimming everything out to a distance of 2 feet from the home, you eliminate any means for them to access your home.

Sign up with a local professional pest control service – preventative pest control is a must in the greater Phoenix Valley.  In addition to eradicating pest infestations, they can customize regularly scheduled preventative pest control plans that are tailored to you and your family’s specific needs.

The bottom line is that you can only protect your household against pest infestations as thoroughly as the products you purchase over the counter are effective.  So if pests are a recurring problem in your home, it’s time to consider signing up with a local area pest control service.

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