A Retailers Guide to Fight Bed Bugs

At Bug Guardian Pest Prevention, we always want to stay one step ahead of bed bugs, and any way that we can help consumers or retailers is a bonus.

To that end, the University of Minnesota has created a retailers guide that gives solid and useful information about fighting bed bugs, and it’s a “must read” for those in the hotel business, hospitals, office buildings, movie theaters and virtually any other place where large numbers of people gather or congregate in a residential or commercial setting.

Here is a basic overview of the article:

Let’s Beat the Bed Bug

• A general history of bed bug infestations and where these pests can be found in both residential and retail establishments.

• An explanation of how bed bugs actually get into a retail store setting.

• Places in retail stores where they are most often found, highlighting both lower risk areas and higher risk areas.

• Prevention and control methods which address clutter, product returns, and what employees and managers need to know if there are bed bug complaints. This section also addresses basic bed bug control and having a pest control company summoned if bed bugs are found.

Read More

Preventing Pantry Pests in Arizona

From cutout cookies to gingerbread houses, holiday baking is a fun tradition for many families.  But there is one thing that can ruin the holiday cheer, and it’s not the Grinch. Pantry pests, or stored product pests that tend to gather around food stowed in pantries and cabinets, can quickly become a hassle for homeowners during the holidays.

A variety of critters fit into the category of pantry pests including beetles, ants, earwigs, weevils and pillbugs, but the most common species are the Indianmeal moth and merchant grain beetle. Fortunately, neither of these pests pose serious health or property threats, however, they can become major nuisances to homeowners due to their quick ability to infest an area in a short amount of time.

Pantry pests can infest common baking ingredients such as flour, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and more. In some cases, they are also attracted to dried flowers and potpourri, which make decorations another susceptible breeding ground for home infestations. Merchant grain beetles are typically not found in grain products, but instead like to attack cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate. Indianmeal moths like to feed on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, birdseed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy.

Now, as the holiday season kicks into full swing, people across the country will begin running to the grocery store and digging into pantries for baking ingredients to make their favorite holiday treats. But, before rummaging through to find the spices and flour, consider inspecting all of the pantry items to ensure they are pest free. Here are some other tips to guard against pantry pests and help the holiday baking plans run smoothly:

  • Purchase proper storage: Invest in some Tupperware-type containers with secure lids. These will not only keep your pantry looking nice, but will also protect your food from pantry pests and even small rodents that may be looking for an extra meal. Anything made of plastic or glass works well, as long as the storage item comes with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Store seasonal décor: Dried foliage, potpourri and Indian corn should be kept in airtight containers during off seasons and unpacked outside prior to displaying them inside the home for the holidays.
  • Use a bay leaf: Add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods like flour, rice and other grains – the herb’s pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
  • Inspect the groceries: Most pantry pests are brought into the home from items that are already infested such as food in paper grocery bags, cardboard or plastic bags. On your next shopping trip, make sure to inspect the packaging of all items before tossing them into the cart. If a package is opened or shows the slightest sign of damage, do not purchase it. For products already in the home, visually inspect and sift through ingredients to ensure they remained pest-free while in storage.
  • Check the date: Remember to check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use. Occasionally sort through old items in the pantry and toss out anything that’s been stored for a long period of time.
  • Practice good sanitation: Do not let spills sit for a long period of time. Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors and shelves, and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Also, consider periodically emptying the cupboards and cleaning them with soap and water to get rid of any bugs that may be hiding inside.
  • Seal cracks: Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your home especially around the stovepipes and water pipes. Also, eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains with a dehumidifier.

If you find pantry pests in your kitchen, discard the infested foods in outdoor trash bins and clean all of the shelves in the cupboards with a vacuum. If an infestation has already taken root, contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention to inspect and treat the problem. A pest control professional can keep these pests from multiplying and contaminating other foods in your home.

Read More

Winter Pest Proofing in Arizona

One noticeable change in the outdoors as winter approaches is the absence of flying insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and bees. We associate these pests with summer and fall, a nuisance to outdoor activities, and are thankful that the colder weather brings relief from their stings and bites. But a lack of flying pests does not mean a lack of all pests during the winter.

Whereas mosquitoes and bees were flying overhead in the summer, mice, cockroaches, and spiders could be crawling underfoot during the winter. These pests are seeking shelter from the cold, and unfortunately our warm homes seem cozy to them too. It is important to take preventative measures to keep pests out because they can cause more hazards than just cobwebs in the corner. Rodents are known to carry diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus, certain spiders can bite, causing serious side effects, and cockroaches can be a trigger for asthma and allergies.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has several tips that every homeowner can use to help prevent these winter pests from gaining access to the home.

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from getting inside. Be sure to check the areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home. Mice and ants can make their nests in wood piles and easily gain access to your home if the pile is nearby.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep storage areas well organized, and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Extra attention should be paid to kitchens and bathrooms as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens in windows.
  • Screen vents to chimneys. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

Winter brings enough worry about home damage with wind, snow and frost. Following these tips will help reduce the likelihood of your home experiencing other seasonal problems due to pests. When winter pests are kept outdoors, your home becomes a healthier place to host holiday parties and spend time with family, and that is what the season should be all about.

If you suspect you have a pest infestation, call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention today!

Read More

Importance of Scorpion Seal in a Arizona Winter

Now that Halloween has passed the temperatures in Arizona are starting to drop and with that drop unwanted pests will start looking for warmth. Before the cold winter nights come and you find yourself with those pesky pests in your home you should consider a Scorpion Seal of your home or business offered by Bug Guardian.

Sealing your property can solve many in home infestations. Insects and other pests often will enter a home through an unsealed door, torn screen, crack in the foundation or walls. After entry the pest will inhabit a portion of your home and reproduce. After a pest has infested your home it can be very difficult to exterminate. To prevent these pest from entering your home specific measures can be taken to seal these entry points.

The first step in preventing scorpions into your home is to seal it properly. The point of sealing is to prevent entry points so be sure your home is sealed from roof to foundation.

Areas that we seal:

  • Cracks, Gaps & Holes
  • Screening Vents and Windows
  • Doors and Windows
  • Property Walls

Next we seal the favorite habitat for scorpions which is inside the concrete block property walls that surround many of the homes in Arizona. The gaps where each segment meets and the space in between individual blocks provide a perfect entry point into these structures.

Sealing your Arizona property can have many benefits. First and foremost the goal is to prevent pests. Other affects of home sealing are reduced energy use, prevention of water damage and making your home more secure.

If you have more questions about Scorpion Seals or would like to request a quote feel free to give us a call today at (480)345-2847.

Read More

German Cockroach Control During Arizona Winter Months

Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches aren’t simply attracted to messy households. In fact, cockroaches move indoors during fall and winter to find warmth and escape the cold. Of course, that pizza left sitting out on the kitchen counter is just asking for a cockroach infestation.

During the cold weather months, it’s more important than ever to create a plan for cockroach prevention in apartments, condos, and other homes.

1) Tidy up around the house. Dispose of piled newspapers, empty boxes, unused paper bags and other piles of clutter. This helps eliminate places that may harbor roaches.
2) Eliminate sources of water. Roaches need water much more than food. It’s critical to fix leaky pipes and clean up any standing water.
3) Don’t feed roaches. Make sure to eliminate roach food sources around the house. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, sweep routinely after cooking, and never abandon food on countertops. Any leftover food should be stored in airtight containers.
4) Don’t give roaches a way in. Cockroaches can squirm through the smallest openings. Be sure to seal gaps around pipes with flexible caulk, as well as patch any cracks and crevices you find around the house. A Bug Guardian Scorpion Seal service also helps with this step.
5) Long-term cockroach prevention. The best strategy for complete roach control should be viewed as an on-going effort. Regular service visits from a pest control professional such as Bug Guardian’s trained professionals will help to keep unwanted infestations from occurring.

Read More