Cockroaches and Mice are Most Common Home Intruders

According to the 2013 US Census, 1 in 10 American homeowners have evidence of mice and cockroach living in their homes. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns homeowners that these pests are likelier to enter homes in fall and winter, so it’s important to take preventative steps to reduce chances of an infestation.

Cockroach and rodent infestations can have serious impact on health. Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Mice can bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into a home.

To prevent these pests from entering the home, seal all cracks and holes, eliminate food sources and keep your home clean.

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Keep the Warmth In and the Pests Out

pest proof your Arizona home this winter

As you crank up the heater this winter, you could be inviting some unwanted guests into your cozy home. These pests could take advantage of your heat and cause more serious problems in your house. Follow these quick tips from BugMaster to prevent these pests from invading your home this winter.

House Mice
House mice are the most commonly-encountered rodents and can cause serious damage by chewing drywall and wires. They can also contaminate food and spread diseases!

Quick tip: Check dark, quiet areas (like attics or basements) for house mice. Keep these areas clear of clutter that house mice use as their cozy homes.

 

Norway Rats
Norway rats are notorious for gnawing through anything and everything, even lead pipes, to find food and water. Like their house mice friends, Norway rats nuzzle into piles of debris in quiet basements and attics.

Quick tip: Inspect the exterior of your home for openings as small as a quarter. Norway rats can invade your home through even this small of an opening.

 

Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are tiny insects that survive by eating the blood of humans and animals. You can find bedbugs in clothing, luggage, airplanes, sofas, and of course, beds.

Quick tip: There are not many effective DIY methods to remove bedbugs. But, to prevent them, be sure to inspect beds and furniture for signs of these pests, including live or dead bugs and drops of dried blood.

 

Spiders
With the possibility of over 350 species of spiders in any one region of the country, there’s a high chance that some spiders will find their way into your home. Most spiders are harmless to humans, but they are a nuisance if one surprises you in the kitchen or bathroom!

Quick tip: Cut tree limbs and shrubbery so that they are not hanging over or close to your house. This will reduce the chances of spiders finding a way inside.

 

Firewood Pests
Along with the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace comes the possibility of ants and termites that nestle in firewood and can cause extensive damage to your home.

Quick tip: Do not store firewood inside. Rather, keep it outside and away from your home. When you bring in the firewood, burn it immediately in order to reduce the risk of pests crawling into other areas of your home.

 

If you have some unwanted guests that you can’t kick out with these quick tips, call Bug Guardian Pest Prevention to help you show them the door! During these chilly months, you’ll want to keep the warmth inside the house and the pests outside — where they belong.

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Keep Rodents Out of Your Arizona Home During Holidays

rodents in home during holidays

Unfortunately for us, rats and mice often live in close proximity to humans and they tend to love to find their way into our homes where they can make their nests and raise their young especially during as the weather starts to get colder in Arizona. Once this infestation occurs, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Below are some of the best ways to keep rodents out of your house.

The first and best way to keep rodents out of your home is simply to deny them entry. To do this, you will need to seal all cracks, holes or openings in your house’s foundation or walls that are larger then a quarter of an inch. Basically put, if you can fit a pencil into the hole or crack, then it’s possible for a rodent to enter through it. The best way to seal these cracks is with a heavy and strong material, such as galvanized sheet metal, concrete or heavy gauge hardware cloth. You can also use weather stripping on the door and window gaps so that you have a seal when they close.

You also want to make certain that you do not attract them into your home by poor sanitation. The lack of proper sanitation around your home is the best way to invite rodents into your home so making certain that you clean your kitchen properly by washing all surfaces so that they are clear of all food particles is important. Also make certain that you store your trash in sealed containers. Good sanitation won’t guarantee they will stay out of the house but it will make certain they are not sent an invitation.

Keeping the outside of your house in proper order is also important. Keep the outside of your house clean and sanitary by making certain your trash containers are sealed, that there is no trash around your house, and that pet food is not kept out at all times. You will also want to make certain that you remove any debris or other places where rodents can hide. Lastly, make certain that you keep control of your weeds and destroy and nests or burrows that you find on your property.

If you think you have a problem with mice, rats or other rodents, contact Bug Guardian to come out to your house and take care of your rodent problem and suggest ways to keep rodents out in the future.

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Watch for Bed Bugs while Traveling outside of Arizona

The last decade has seen a huge resurgence in bed bug infestations. The number of reported incidents in New York City rose from 500 in 2004 to 10,000 in 2009, but its not just the big cities being affected. We’ve been getting calls from all over the metro area, from single-family homes in Anthem, to apartment complexes in Mesa and gated communities in Scottsdale. Bed bugs can happen to anybody anywhere. So here are some tips on how to avoid a bed bug infestation in your home:

1. Know how to identify a bed bug. Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown with a flat, oval body that measures approximately ¼ of an inch (6.35 mm) long. Newly hatched bed bugs are translucent and 1mm long.

2.Check for bed bugs before unpacking during a trip away from home. Change rooms or hotels immediately if you see any evidence of bed bugs.

3.Take care of bed bugs that may have hitched a ride on clothing.Separate laundry into plastic bags so the clothes can be placed directly in the washer without bugs escaping. Wash and dry the clothes on the highest setting that the fabric can withstand or take items to the dry cleaners.Undress on a hard surface floor rather than on carpet if you suspect bed bugs are on your clothing. Bed bugs do not travel on people like lice do. Wipe off the floor to capture any bed bugs that fall off the clothes.

4.Take care when bringing used furniture and clothing into your house. Wash clothing immediately. Furniture, however, should be inspected carefully before even bringing it into your home.

Taking these precautions can go a long way to keeping bed bugs out of your home. If you find yourself with bed bugs, despite all your efforts, there’s no need to panic.

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Winter Pests 101

Common Pests that Invade the Home During the Winter Season

 

When winter weather arrives, some pests go into hibernation while others enter homes seeking warmth and food sources. The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches and spiders. Follow this guide of quick tips to prevent an infestation over the next few months.

House Mice

The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent in the United States.House mice usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and basements. This rodent can cause serious property damage by chewing through drywall and also wires that can then spark an electrical fire. House mice are also known to contaminate food and spread diseases, including Salmonella and tapeworms.

Quick tips:

  • Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.
  • Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.
  • Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

Norway Rats

Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris and other undisturbed materials. They are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. Norway rats are also a vector of many diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever and cowpox virus.

Quick tips:

  • Norway rats can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch (or the size of a quarter). Inspect the outside of the home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture in crawl spaces and basements.
  • Regularly inspect inside the home for signs of an infestation, including greasy rub marks caused by the rat’s oily fur.

German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found throughout the world. German cockroaches prefer to live in small areas close to food and moisture, so human homes make the perfect habitat. This type of cockroach often hitchhikes indoors via grocery bags, boxes and secondhand appliances, and is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and human pathogens. Moreover, cockroach allergens are know to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Quick tips:

  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.
  • Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Pay attention to kitchens and bathrooms, especially under appliances and sinks.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders prefer to spin webs in undisturbed places, such as closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements. Like other types of spiders, the brown recluse is frequently found inside cardboard boxes, along window moldings and in seldom-used clothing and shoes. These spiders can bite and inject venom if disturbed, making them dangerous to humans.

Quick tips:

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.
  • Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.
  • If you suspect you have a spider bite, seek prompt medical attention.
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Arizona’s Worst Winter Pests

Winters in Arizona are mild, but the nights may get cold. Pest activity seems to slow down, so many homeowners are tempted to take a month or two off from regular extermination services. This is inadvisable, because some of the winter pests in Arizona will seek refuge in homes from the chilly nights. Certain pests may be more of a nuisance than others during the winter in Arizona.

Some of the Winter Pests in Arizona

Rodents

Rodents are year-round pests, but may become a particular nuisance during the winter. Rodents will seek out the warmth and shelter of lower traffic areas such as attics or sheds. Once rodents have entered the home, it can cause an infestation to develop quickly. Not only do rodents multiply quickly, the scent that rodents leave behind attracts other rodents. A professional pest exterminator can help to rodent-proof the home for the winter and the rest of the year.

Cockroaches

American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches all prefer the warmth and shelter of homes during cooler months. Any of these cockroaches may quickly cause a severe infestation, as cockroaches multiply extremely quickly and may be difficult to eliminate. Cockroaches are typically found in areas of the home that are used for food preparation or serving, but may be difficult to spot because of their nocturnal nature. A professional extermination service may be required to rid a home of a cockroach infestation.

Conenose or Kissing Bugs

Kissing bugs earn their name because they bite around the lips and face while homeowners are sleeping. These bugs may nest and lay eggs in small crevices around sleeping areas. These bugs often accompany pack rat infestations, as they are particularly attracted to pack rats. This makes these bugs more of a nuisance during the winter, as pack rats often move indoors. Eliminating a pack rat issue may not be enough to rid the home of a kissing bug infestation, however, as kissing bugs may begin to feed on pets or residents within the home. An exterminator will often inspect and treat the home for kissing bugs when pack rats have been found or if other signs of the bugs are visible.

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Pests Are Not a Treat

With the vanishing summer warmth and the approaching cooler, fall months, everyone gets ready for the fun holidays to begin such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. People decorate their homes with spooky things, kids plan their Halloween costumes and haunted houses open up everywhere. It’s easy to get sucked into the creepy spirit of spiders, witches and pumpkins popping up everywhere but the last thing you want is a real house of haunting spiders lurking around every corner. However, that is exactly what happens in the fall months as the weather turns chilly. Spiders seek warmth and protection, more specifically, a safe, cozy place to place their egg sac until it hatches in spring. Your home has all the necessities they need and they will stop at nothing to get inside. They won’t bother knocking and yelling “Trick-or-Treat!” either, they’ll just rudely waltz in and make themselves at home. Are you going to allow that?

Trick them, don’t treat them!

Bug Guardian Pest Prevention is experienced at hunting down the spiders and their eggs sacs. We know where they like to hide and our techniques will ensure that come spring, you won’t have a house full of unwanted baby spiderlings. Here are a few tips to decreasing spiders around your home during the winter:

1-Clear unwanted debris from outside your home
Spiders live love leave piles, wood piles or any other kind of pile you can think of. They live for clutter so de-clutter and remove all spider nesting spots.

2-Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum
Spiders don’t necessarily like outside light, but other flying bugs and flies do. Spiders will hang out where there is a decent meal and if you’re providing that with a well lit porch and patio, spiders will be frequent diners there.

3-Seal cracks in your home, windows, and doors
This is a given. If your home is sealed tight as a drum, you leave them outside and extremely disappointed.

Call the Bug Guardian Pest Prevention experts!

Last but not least, call in the professionals. We know how gross, creepy and annoying spiders are in your home and we want to help you make it a peaceful haven once again. Unless you’d like to invite them in to add to the spooky holiday spirit, spider control in Arizona is best left to the us. We use the best, most environmentally friendly methods of removing spiders. Our spider control is gentle for your family and loved ones, so you won’t need to worry about replacing scary spiders with dangerous chemicals. We have you covered! Give us a call today!

 

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Deal With Your Pest Control Now Before the Holidays

The holidays are coming and they’ll be here before you know it. If you’ve been meaning to get an exterminator into your home to diagnose your pest control issues, now is the time to get that taken care of. Our green pest control will not leave any telltale residues for your holiday guests to detect. If you’re planning on having out of town guests for the holidays you don’t want them sharing beds with pests of any type.

Once the leaves start to fall and Halloween comes and goes, everyone goes into holiday mode. The cooler temperatures tend to drive many different insects and critters into homes in search of a warm and comfortable place to spend the off-season months. No matter what they are and how they arrive, it’s imperative to get them dealt with before the holidays.

It won’t be long before you find yourself up to your elbows in seasonal preparations like decorating (inside and out!), shopping, baking, wrapping presents and neighborhood gift swaps. You want this time of year to be a celebration, not a battle with ongoing pest control issues.

Here are some suggestions to make your home less of a temptation for pests of any type.

    • Keep pantry foods in tightly sealed containers of plastic or glass, not paper.
    • Baking items that you will be keeping for an extended period of time are best kept in the refrigerator or freezer. This includes sugar, flour and spices.
    • Do not mix new product with old. Use up all the old flour and sugar and wash the containers well before pouring fresh product in.
    • Wipe countertops, cupboards and other kitchen surfaces often, including under appliances that sit out.
    • Check expiration dates and toss out anything past it’s sell by date.

Taking the above precautions should keep your pantry pests to a minimum and discourage new pests from moving in.

This is the time of year when you’re pulling out boxes that were stored after the holidays last year. During the past year it’s possible that rodents or other critters have set up housekeeping in your boxes. Be careful as you unpack to what you may uncover in the boxes. To avoid any nasty and unexpected surprises it’s best if you opened your boxes outdoors. When this holiday is over, repack all of your decorations into plastic storage bins.

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Look out For Scorpions This Halloween in the Valley

While you and your family are out Trick or Treating this Halloween in Arizona make sure to keep an eye out for Scorpions. While the temperatures in the Valley are slowly dropping they are still warm enough that Scorpions are out.

Arizona Bark Scorpions are at home in the desert and can usually be found near rocks, hiding under them or in crevices. However, these scorpions are also able to climb, so they will sometimes take refuge in trees or on rock walls. Bark Scorpions have also been found in people front yard’s and walls.

At night Scorpions can be difficult to see especially while you are keeping an eye out for your trick or treaters. It is best to avoid areas with new construction as you are more likely to see them in these neighborhoods.

If you are stung by an Arizona Bark Scorpion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe reactions to stings may require antivenin, which a doctor can administer. Expect pain and swelling at the site of the sting, and avoid drinking alcohol or taking any sedatives if you have been stung. An ice pack can also be applied to help ease the discomfort.

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Winter is Coming, Pests Want Inside

As the seasons change, the hot Arizona desert takes a change with cooler temperatures making Arizona a wonderful place to explore during fall and winter months. But even for the most enthusiastic nature and outdoors lover, even they don’t like nature waltzing into their homes to take up residence and neither do you. It’s one thing to admire a beautiful spider in its web or appreciate a vast ant hill, but it’s an entirely different thing to allow these exquisite pieces of nature to sleep next to you. That simply will not do.

Bug Guardian Pest Prevention appreciates nature too, so we only use the most environmentally friendly methods to remove infestations from your home. And as the months grow colder, this only increases their tenacity—they want inside! Your home offers the warmth and shelter they need. Here are the top 5 pests to watch out for as the temperatures drop:

1-Rodents

Rodents will stop at nothing to keep their families safe. They can chew through just about anything, thus it is vital to keep your home sealed tight. Regular inspections will insure that they haven’t chewed through anything to get inside.

2-Spiders

Homeowners often believe spiders “disappear” or die during the winter months. That isn’t the case. Maybe the female dies, but beforehand, she left you a gift—an egg sac with thousands of her offspring. She knew your house was warm and cozy. If you don’t call in Pointe Pest Control, you may not find the egg sac till it’s too late!

3-Ants

Like nearly all pests, ants are quite determined, little creatures who just want food. If the weather is inhospitable, they will move their colony somewhere safer, warmer and more accessible to food. If a scout ant has spotted your house, it won’t be long before his scent pheromone trail leads all his buddies inside your house.

4-Cockroaches

These pests definitely make this list. They want your kitchen, want your shelter and are assuredly one of the nastiest pests out there. Spreading disease and contaminating everything in their wake, it is definitely a homeowner’s nightmare to find an infestation of cockroaches.

5-Flies

In the fall, you’ll notice a surge of flies suddenly. The days are cool but as the nights get cooler, they want to prolong their short lives as long as possible. The frost kills them off but before they go, they want to get into your cozy house before the cold temperatures claim them.

Being extra vigilant with pest prevention and regular inspections during the fall and winter is important. It will minimize the risk of infestation once spring and summer hit.

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