Helpful Pest Control Hints for the Homeowner

Glendale Pest Control Solutions

As mentioned on another blog (When DIY Pest Control Won’t Cut It), we believe that the homeowner should let a professional handle their pest control needs. However, there are some things that a homeowner can do to help the pest professional keep their home pest free.

Many pest control applications create a chemical barrier between your house and the outside in order to keep insects from coming into your house. Trees, bushes, and vegetation that come into contact with the house can allow ants and other insects to bridge the chemical barrier. Thus, we recommend that homeowners trim trees and bushes so that the leaves do not come in contact with the house. We also suggest that the homeowner keep their lawn trimmed around the house in order to reduce the insect activity in those areas. It is also a good idea to remove ivy and any other vegetation that may be growing along the outside walls of the house. We also suggest that the homeowner use mulch, such as Cedar or Cypress, that has already been treated for insects. These steps will improve the effectiveness of the pest control applications and help to keep the bugs out of your house.

The homeowner should also be aware of entry points to their house for insects. Various pests can enter the house through cracks, crevices, holes in screen doors, and holes around air conditioning lines. Sealing entry points by caulking, replacing screens,  patching the holes around air conditioning lines, and replacing the weather stripping on doors can limit the entry points for the insects. These steps will improve the effectiveness of the applications from your pest professional.

Keeping your house, garage, crawl space, and gutters clean will improve the effectiveness of your pest control service. A garage or crawl space that is cluttered with boxes, furniture, and other items is conducive to pest activity (especially spiders). In addition, a crawl space or garage that is cluttered is difficult to inspect and the clutter makes a proper pest control treatment difficult to complete. Gutters that are clogged by leaves and debris are an excellent breeding ground for ants and other insects. Thus, regularly cleaning your gutters can reduce your ant problems.  Keeping your kitchen and cabinets clean will eliminate a food source for many insects such as ants and roaches. Vacuuming your carpets on a regular basis will aid in the control of fleas and spiders.

These steps, by themselves, will not keep your house pest free. They will, however, create an environment that will allow your pest control professional to peform pest control applications with maximum effectiveness.

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Benefits of a Scorpion Home Seal

Sealing the Exterior of Your Arizona Home

You’ll be surprised at the high number of places where pests gain entry into your home, restaurant or business. Some insects and spiders only need an opening the thickness of a credit card. Mice can squeeze their way through a gap the size of a nickel. Once they make their way inside it will be difficult to evict them. Lock those pests out now.

Benefits of Sealing Your Property:

  • Keeping unwanted pests out like  scorpions, crickets, roaches, flies, mosquitoes, ants, silverfish, and earwigs
  • Properly sealed doors will result in keeping cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter from escaping these points therefore reducing energy costs
  • Selling a home that is sealed versus one that is not, in scorpion prone areas is always a benefit
  • When you scorpion seal a home and/or property and follow up with regular pest control, you drastically reduce the chances of finding scorpions and other unwanted pests inside your home.

Our customized home seal program will help prevent pest invasion, although it doesn’t guarantee that you will never see a pest again, it is always best to include monthly pest control spraying of your property. For more information on our Scorpion Seal Service contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

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Most Common Species of Scorpion to Invade your El Mirage Home

Arizona Scorpions

Before you can treat for scorpions, it is helpful to know which species are infesting a home or property. Here are the three most common species that threaten US homes:

Arizona Bark Scorpion

scorpion

Arizona Bark Scorpions are considered the most venomous scorpions in North America, with the number of Bark scorpion sting victims in Arizona alone estimated to be in the thousands each year. These scorpions measure an inch to inch and a half in length, and are a pale yellow in color.

Striped Bark Scorpion

Striped-Bark-Scorpion

The Striped Bark Scorpion is the most widespread scorpion in the United States. The scorpion is a smaller species of scorpion, measuring a total body length of 1 to 1.5 inches. This species has a powerful sting, which often results in pain comparable to that of a wasp; that can last for several hours. They are distinguished by their orangish brown color, and the black striped that run vertically down its back.

Striped-Tailed (Wood) Scorpion

striped-tailed-wood-scorpion

The Striped-Tailed Scorpion is sometimes referred to as the Arizona devil scorpion or Wood scorpion. These scorpions measure about two inches in length, are a tan to dark brown in color, and are a little thicker or stockier than the bark scorpions.

Please note that Desert Hairy scorpions are also common in the Southwestern U.S., but rarely infest homes to the extent as the above scorpions.

Scorpions & Scorpion Control

Today, scorpions are considered to be one of the most significant pests that afflict millions of residents throughout much of Arizona.

Scorpions prefer the outdoors but will wander inside through cracks in our homes. In fact, these malevolent stingers can squeeze through cracks as small as a credit card’s width. Once inside, they often make their way into shoes, piles of clothing and beds which, increases the chance of a human being stung.

Seeing a couple scorpions a week in your home would likely qualify as a significant scorpion infestation. In cases such as this, please contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today to schedule an appointment.

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9 Do It Yourself Pest Control Tips for Cave Creek Homes

To protect your home and help prevent the potential or continued infestation of your home, follow these tips.

1. Seal Exterior Walls and Cracks – Even small cracks can make way for pests to get through.
2. Fix Loose-Fitting Windows and Doors – Loose fittings can create access points for pests to enter.
3. Seal Gaps Around Plumbing – Scorpions can enter houses through plumbing gaps.
4. Keep Leaves and Yard Debris Away from Home – Debris around the home can attract roaches, scorpions, ants, and other pests.
5. Wash Clothing in Hot Water after Hotel Stays – Bed bugs are often transferred from hotels to homes via clothes.
6. Steam Clean the Mattress – Steam cleaning your mattress will kill bed bugs.
7. Keep Your Home Clean – Put food away, wash dishes, and take out trash. Pests like roaches are attracted to food.
8. Clean around Walls and Cracks with Detergent – Cleaning smells can deter ants from entering the home.
9. Maintain Regular Scheduled Pest Control Visits – End existing infestation and help prevent future pest problems by calling the professionals at Bug Guardian Pest Prevention.

Following these steps will help to prevent infestation from all types of pests in Cave Creek Arizona.

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Ant Control in Arizona

Have you found an ant mound in your yard or somewhere near your home?

antsAnts affect us adversely by stinging or biting; invading and contaminating food; nesting in lawns, golf courses or within premises; stealing seeds from seed beds or feeding on germinating seeds; defoliating or gnawing into plants and plant products; fostering other landscape pests (e.g. aphids or scale insects on ornamental plants); gnawing holes in various types of fabrics; removing insulation from telephone wires or other equipment; killing young poultry, birds, livestock or game; simply annoying humans and animals with their presence; and possibly transmitting certain human diseases after crawling over sputum, feces, carrion and so forth.

Treatment:

The first step in any treatment plan is finding what is attracting the ants and removing the food source or stopping access to the food source. Then we inspect to find where the ants are coming from. This is often done by following the ant “trails” that they often follow. These trails will lead to the surface opening to the colony. Our customers often help us find these entrances by simply telling us where they see the most ant activity. Once we locate the colony entrances, we often use baits, non-repellents or a combination of both.

  • Baits: Baits use an attractant that ants think is food. Baits draw in foraging ants, which then take the bait back to the colony, where it is shared with the other ants. Baits often create more ant activity initially because the baits are attracting more ants. The bait’s active ingredient is untraceable and slow acting, giving the ants plenty of time to spread it throughout the colony – ultimately reaching the queen, which eliminates the colony.
  • Non-repellents: Because ants can’t detect non-repellent treatments, applying the liquid at the colony entrances means the ants will pick up the product as they go out to forage and carry it back inside the colony when they return. The non-repellent product will eventually spread through the colony, eventually reaching – and eliminating – the queen.

Homeowners usually notice more ants after bait treatments, which can be disconcerting. However, the increase in ant activity is good because it means the treatment is working. More ants are being drawn in by the baits, which then take the bait back to the colony to share with the other ants and ultimately the queen. The products are designed to ensure the ants survive long enough to transport the bait back to the colony. As the colony begins to die off, homeowners will notice a drop in ant activity, usually within 10-14 days. Depending on the species and the situation, it may take several treatments to control the colony.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ant Control products, if misused, can potentially poison or otherwise harm you, your children, or your pets.

Prevention:

One of the easiest prevention steps you can take is to keep your food sealed in airtight containers and clean up crumbs, spilled pet food or any other food sources that might attract ants. You can also try to seal up cracks and crevices around your home. However, you should be aware that since ants are so common and are such prolific colonizers it is normal to have ants reestablish themselves around a home or building. Ants are small, industrious, and relentless, and if they want to find a way into your home, they likely will.

Our goal is to keep ants (and all pests) out. Each Bug Guardian service plan provides coverage for ants and is backed by a simple guarantee: “If between your scheduled treatments you feel you need additional service or are not satisfied, please call us and we will return and service your home, free of charge.”

 

Who should you call when you need an ant exterminator? Phoenix, Scottsdale and Maricopa County residents rely on the experts at Bug Guardian Pest Control.

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How to Bug Proof Your Home

bug proof avondale home

If done correctly, pest proofing your Avondale home is actually a long-term savings in not only pest management but also energy costs while increasing your home value. Far too often, the homeowner relies on pesticide treatments self applied through purchases of pesticides from a local nursery or home improvement center. A single application very rarely corrects the problem so continuous multiple applications are necessary. Costs can dramatically increase in this way and you may become frustrated by this approach. Simply excluding pests from your home by following some general measures provided in this document will give you the best approach to managing unwanted pests.
Another benefit of pest proofing homes and buildings is an improvement in energy efficiency of the building, resulting in a welcome reduction in utility bills. Some pest management companies provide excellent pest proofing services. The first step is to conduct a thorough inspection of your home.

Inside Your Home

  1. Screen all openings. Include screens (20 mesh or finer) on doors or windows that can be opened, and on all ventilation openings. After maintain all screens in good repair. This stops the entry of many pests; however, certain tiny pests, such as aphids and leafhoppers, can get through standard mesh screening. The only way to deny entry to these small pests is to keep windows and doors closed.
  2. Install door sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior entry doors. No light should penetrate underneath exterior doors. The bottom of garage doors can be fitted with a rubber seal (not vinyl as it performs poorly in cold weather). Sliding glass doors can be sealed by lining the bottom track with foam weather stripping.
  3. Door seals. Be sure to inspect all seals of doors including the tops and sides. This is especially true for double doors that lack a central vertical support.
  4. Fill cracks. To exclude rodents, lizards and insects look for cracks around windows, doors and in fascia boards. For small cracks use good quality silicone or acrylic latex caulk. Latex-type caulks clean up easily with water and can be painted although they are less flexible than pure silicone. For larger openings, fill with a strong material that matches the structure such as wood, cement, sheet rock or mortar.
  5. All outside doors should be self-closing. Where this is not possible, a second screen door should be installed. This is particularly important for areas of scorpion or snake activity.
  6. Seal all utility openings. Include entry points of pipes and wires, around outdoor faucets, gas meters and laundry vents. Cracks should be cleaned and any peeling material removed. The hole can then be filled with a suitable sealant.
  7. Repair leaky piping. This will reduce water availability to pests. Inspect plumbing regularly, as a problem may not be apparent. Water damage can also weaken walls creating additional entryways.
  8. Install wire mesh. Use 14 inch hardware cloth over the attic, roof, chimney and crawl space vents in order to prevent entry of birds, bats, squirrels and rodents. Wear gloves when installing hardware cloth, as the wire edges are extremely sharp. Mesh screens can also be installed around the base of portable classrooms. The crawl spaces are attractive to many pests such as widow spiders, scorpions, cats and rodents that may create further insect and health problems (e.g., fleas, ticks, lice, etc.).
  9. Use airtight storage containers. Especially true for pet or human food. Certain small ants can gain access into ordinary jars by following the thread. If in doubt, keep the food in the refrigerator or freezer.
  10. Employ good sanitation procedures. Vacuum up all food crumbs; do not let soiled dishes sit out overnight. Dust under kitchen appliances and clean pet food dishes.

 

Outside Your Home

  1. General yard clean up. Remove clutter, in particular leaves and grass clippings from around the foundation and clean out window wells and drainage guttering. Prune shrubs and tree limbs touching the house to eliminate entry points.
  2. Use pest resistant trash receptacles. Lids should be self-closing with a tight seal. Dumpsters must be steam cleaned frequently.
  3. Pest proof your compost bin. A well-maintained compost bin will not attract pests into the area. Do not compost any meats, fish, bones, oils, fatty foods or dog/cat manures. Burying food waste into the center of the pile will reduce smells that attract pests. Ensure that each layer remains slightly damp and turn or poke holes in the pile every week or two to discourage nesting. Harvest finished compost at the bottom of the bin every three to six months. Avoid rodents and other small animals gaining access with a secure lid and stop them from burrowing in by lining the bottom and sides of the bin with hardware cloth (galvanized wire mesh).
  4. Encourage birds and bats. They are excellent predators of pests. To persuade birds to take up residence in your yard, plant trees or shrubs for nest sites, and provide a fresh water source. To encourage bats, put up houses for bats to roost in during the day.
  5. Plant flowers. This will help to encourage many beneficial insects. For example, the annual flower, alyssum, attracts flower flies and tiny parasitic wasps. Wildflowers and native shrubs are an effective and attractive addition to a yard.
  6. Regular maintenance checks. This requires a specific “walk-around” to inspect areas of previous insect activity and ensure all pest-proofing measures have remained intact.
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Pest Control Tips for Carefree Arizona

A successful pest control program requires more than simply relying solely on your recurring Pest Control services. Understanding that recurring pest control plays a critical role, supplemental pest control methods include the client’s cooperation in properly preparing and maintaining the property being serviced. Properly preparing and maintaining a Pest-free environment includes:

Interior Considerations: Seal holes in walls and around pipes, cables and wires. Seal cracks and crevices with paint or caulk. Seal other holes ¼” or larger. Fix leaky plumbing. Correct excessive moisture problems. Remove clutter. Organize storage rooms/closets. Store Pest nesting material (fabric, paper, rug scraps, plastic, and insulation) in Pest-proof containers. Clean and screen drains. Cap drains in basement floors. Store human and pet food in Pest-proof containers. Maintain excellent sanitation conditions. Dispose of Pest- or Rodent-infested goods. Remove fecal matter (rodents & birds). Sanitize animal fecal matter after removal. Investigate secondary pest potential from primary pest infestation (e.g. fleas, mites).

Exterior Considerations: Cut vegetation back from building walls at least 18″. Remove ivy and other vines from sides of buildings or nearby trees. Trim back tree branches that touch or rub against building. Seal and/or repair air conditioning unit(s). Seal holes in walls and around pipes, cables, and wires. Seal other holes ¼” or larger. Repair damaged roof. Move compost into Pest-proof containers. Fix leaking irrigation. Eliminate standing water. Maintain properly functioning drains. Maintain order in storage shed(s) and/or garage(s). Store Pest nesting material (fabric, paper, rug scraps, plastic, and insulation) in Pest-proof containers. Store grass seed and pet food in Pest-proof containers. Remove debris, lumber and/or rock piles. Move firewood piles as far away from the structure as possible. Cut grass and eliminate weeds. Remove fallen fruit or nuts. Remove fecal matter (rodents, bats, birds). Sanitize animal fecal matter after removal. Investigate secondary Pest potential from primary Pest infestation (e.g. fleas, mites).

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How to Remove a Tick from Your Child: A Guide for Parents

Ticks are familiar to many of us in Arizona,where they are found year-round in most of the state.There’s no doubt that these parasites are scary, but that doesn’t mean you have to wrap your kids in bubble wrap or lock them in their bedrooms. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about removing ticks, that way you can relax when the kids head outside to play.

How do I remove a tick from my child?

A tick has bitten your child and is still latched to your child’s skin, what do you do next?
“The best advice for parents who find a tick attached to their child is to not panic,” says Kristen Nordlund, a public affairs officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There are simple steps they can take to remove the tick with a set of fine-tipped tweezers.”
The following tick removal process comes directly from the CDC:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. If your child develops a rash or fever within the next few weeks after the tick was removed, take them to a doctor and make sure to tell him or her about the recent tick bite.

Ticks usually need to be attached for several hours in order to spread a disease. For example, the blacklegged (or deer tick) needs to be attached for about 24 hours to pass on Lyme disease. It is also important to know that not everyone who gets Lyme disease will have the “telltale” bull’s eye rash. It’s always a good idea to have your child tested more than once for a tickborne disease because sometimes tests can come back as false negatives.

We know ticks are still terrifying, but we hope you feel better prepared with this information. If you feel that your home has a pest problem feel free to call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today at (480)345-2847.

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Black Widow Control in Anthem

As the temperature increases in Arizona you might notice that more and more black widows are noticeable in your Anthem home.
Why be concerned about Black Widow Spiders?

  • The venom of a Black Widow Spider is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake!
  • The Black Widow Spider bite feels like a pinprick. If bitten, a person experiences nausea, muscle ache, and paralysis of the diaphragm which makes breathing difficult. In rare cases, bites can be fatal—especially to small children or the elderly.
  • Black Widow Spiders are shy but move quickly and bite, if disturbed.

Identifying Black Widow Spider Infestations:

  • Identifying Black Widow Spiders of the female species is easier, as they can be seen hanging upside down on their webs, which makes the red hourglass mark very visible. The male Black Widow Spiders are harmless—only the females bite.
  • Black Widow Spiders can be found hiding in dark places like garages, wooden piles, cellars, shades, etc. and the webs can be observed closer to the ground.
  • The female Black Widow Spider spins a large web in which they suspend a cocoon filled with hundreds of eggs, and the female Black Widow Spider rarely leaves the web.
  • If you spot a Black Widow Spider, do not bother it.

Black Widow Spider Control must be thorough and your cooperation enlisted in removing any Black Widow Spider webs. If you believe you have a Black Widow Spider infestation in your Anthem home contact Bug Guardian Pest Control today.

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9 Do It Yourself Pest Control Tips for Cave Creek Homes

To protect your home and help prevent the potential or continued infestation of your home, follow these tips.
1. Seal Exterior Walls and Cracks – Even small cracks can make way for pests to get through.
2. Fix Loose-Fitting Windows and Doors – Loose fittings can create access points for pests to enter.
3. Seal Gaps Around Plumbing – Scorpions can enter houses through plumbing gaps.
4. Keep Leaves and Yard Debris Away from Home – Debris around the home can attract roaches, scorpions, ants, and other pests.
5. Wash Clothing in Hot Water after Hotel Stays – Bed bugs are often transferred from hotels to homes via clothes.
6. Steam Clean the Mattress – Steam cleaning your mattress will kill bed bugs.
7. Keep Your Home Clean – Put food away, wash dishes, and take out trash. Pests like roaches are attracted to food.
8. Clean around Walls and Cracks with Detergent – Cleaning smells can deter ants from entering the home.
9. Maintain Regular Scheduled Pest Control Visits – End existing infestation and help prevent future pest problems by calling the professionals at Bug Guardian Pest Prevention.
Following these steps will help to prevent infestation from all types of pests in Cave Creek Arizona.

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