When DIY Pest Control Won’t Cut It In Avondale

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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Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Difference Between Bees and Wasps

Do YOU know the difference between bees and wasps?

Sure, most of the time we don’t care WHAT it is once they’ve stung us, but it’s good to know which insect you’re dealing with so you know how to react!

This week, we’ve broken down some key differences between the two.

Bees and wasps come in a variety of colors, so sometimes it’s not as simple as looking at their color scheme… there are black bees and yellow wasps (in fact, there are black and yellow flies)!

  1. One of the easiest indicators is the insect’s body. Wasps are slender, while bees are more rotund… mainly because their feeding habits are different. Wasps are predators, and have to hunt their prey (other insects and bugs)… so their bodies are sleeker to give them an advantage when hunting. Bees, on the other hand, have a more rotund body… more suited for gathering pollen and transporting it to feed their young.

  1. Nests also differ between wasps and bees. Most bee nests (most commonly referred to as “hives”) are manufactured, but sometimes bees make their homes in tree cavities, buildings or even holes in the ground. A wasp’s nest consists of a pulp out of chewed-up fibers and its own saliva. Wasps tend to build in hidden, out of the way places, like under decks or in remote crevices.

  2. Social or Asocial? Bees are more “social” insects – their hives can have up to 50,000+ residents, while even large wasp nests usually contain well under 10,000 residents!

  3. Winter Workouts. Another difference (though not necessarily easily observable) is that wasps hibernate during winter, while (surprisingly) bees do not. Bees go into what is often called a “winter cluster.” They remain in the hive, and group together to “shiver,” keeping the queen bee (who is at the center of the huddle) warm!

So there you have it! Of course, there are more similarities and differences between these insects, but the above gives you a great primer for identification. The next time you see something buzzing around, take a second glance and see if you can tell into which family it fits!

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Issues With Little Black Ants Everywhere?

Ant Control in Arizona

Are you finding issues with little black ants everywhere?

Did come home or wake up to hundreds of tiny critters uniformly marching in a line to you kitchen, pet food bowl, or restroom?

Hot weather creates the perfect storm for persistent ants to head into your home in search for food and water. The endless clusters of them may seem unstoppable but there is an effective way to combat them.

But first, let’s learn a little bit about these unwelcomed guests.

Who are these guys? And What Are They Doing In My House?

Little black ants can come in a variety of colors ranging from dark-brown, black and jet black. They can be found throughout the United States, including the Phoenix Valley of Arizona.

Just like their name, they are about 2mm in length and have two nodes on its pedicel. The little black ants are very similar in appearance to Pharaoh ants except for its darker coloration.

Where Are They Coming From?

Almost all little black ant colonies originate from an outside dark covering. Tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks are common nesting areas for this type of pest. Once inside, they can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.

Don’t be deceived if the problem has progressed and it appears the ants are coming in from all around – the infestation originates from one source. The source will be found in one of the nesting areas mentioned above. The next step is to find this location by tracking the ant trail(s) using some professional techniques.

Our previous blog post covers in detail how ant trails are formed and typical pathways they take to get to food sources.

Be One With The Ants…Or At Least Know How To Follow A Trail

Following a clearly defined trail of hundreds of ants may not seem difficult; but, when you add breaks in the line, obstructions, coverings, or multiple trails – it can get tricky. To successfully track, follow the ant trail in the opposite direction that the majority of the ants are headed.

If there are multiple trails, this may take more time, but you will eventually find their home. It’s similar to solving a maze puzzle: Start with one route and if you come to a dead end, start from another route.

When you have followed the trail outdoors, removing grass or vegetation from the foundation, driveways, and sidewalks will be beneficial to continuing the hunt. Hidden trails can be found this way. Also, consider raking any vegetation or mulch around trees and shrubs. Ant colonies can be found underneath anything that is in contact with the soil – including sprinkler heads.

The most common nesting area for little black ants is tree stumps, dead wood or piles of items (bricks or stones). If located within a tree, the ants could be traveling up and down the trunk to a dead limb or hole high up – accessing this location may be difficult. Having a tree company prune any dead branches can remove the current ant colony and prevent any future ones from occurring.

If you still can’t find the nest, there still are methods for controlling the ant problem. Place baits near trail entrances into your home. This can attract many more ants for a couple of days before they start to subside. The baits will be collected by the ants and taken back to the nest to feed the rest of the colony. How’s that for a little bit of trickery?

Hooray, You Found The Ant Nest!

Now that you know where the hundreds of ants that were in your home are residing, you can take them out in one fell swoop. Contact a Pest Prevention company like Bug Guardian to help with ant eradication.

Continually monitoring pest activity around your property can make for a solid pest prevention plan as well, which is something Bug Guardian can also assist with.

A Shorter Summary Of Eliminating Little Black Ants

Just in case you zapped through the above looking for an easy-as-ABC control process, I have provided some quick bullet points. However, please note that the above provides very useful details (and some really cool images) for eliminating your ant problem.

  • What Are Little Black Ants? A 2mm ant that can be black, jet-black, or dark brown found throughout all of the United States. They are very common in the Phoenix Valley.
  • Where Are They Coming From? Common nesting place for little black ants are tree stumps and piles of wood and bricks. Foraging ants located inside can be found in wall voids, underneath the edge of carpet or t-mold, cabinets, or masonry.
  • How Can I Locate The Source? By using tracking techniques you can follow the ant trail in the opposite direction to find their nest. Smashing the visible ones in your home is a temporary fix, the nest has hundreds to thousands more that will invade. Find the ant’s nest to resolve the infestation.
  • What Treatment Do I Use For The Ants? Contact Bug Guardian Pest Prevention to help with ant removal.
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Scorpion Pest Control

Arizona scorpion pest control

Scorpions are related to spiders and mites but belong to their own order, Scorpions. They are eight-legged with crab-like pincer appendages on the front end and the scorpion’s tail is usually elongated and terminated by a venomous stinger.

Scorpions use their stinger to subdue prey and for self-defense. Some scorpions can deliver deadly venom when they sting, while the venom and sting in some are no worse than that of a wasp. Highly venomous species occur in northern Africa, the Middle East, South Africa, east Africa, South America and one species in the Southwestern US including Arizona, officially named Centruroides, also known as bark scorpions. Anti-venom (antivenin) is available for these venomous species.

Scorpions hunt at night. Occasionally they may wander into houses as they search for food and water. They are most often encountered outdoors under loose debris and cracks and crevices. Gardeners should protect their hands with work gloves, especially around wood or debris piles.


Many times scorpions can be eliminated by using various eco-friendly methods including food elimination, catch and trap, even planting fresh lavender can help keep these pests far away from your home. Compared to many other dangerous insects and spiders, scorpions are pretty high on most people’s pest control priority list if you happen to live in Arizona!

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