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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