No one likes pests in their home. Not only are pests unsettling to find, but they can damage your property, inflict painful bites, and cause serious infestations—even in clean homes! Not only that, but infestations are intimidating and stressful. With so many different kinds of pests active during different parts of the year, it’s not uncommon for Phoenix homeowners to encounter pests in their residences. It’s always best to let professionals handle pests that make their way into your home.
The best thing you can do to prevent pests from entering your home is to seal up any openings leading inside your house, including broken window screens and cracks. However, even with preventative measures, pests can still enter your home. That’s why it’s important to learn about the different kinds of pests you may encounter. Here are the most common types of pests in Phoenix you need to be aware of.
Scorpions thrive in desert climates. During the day, they often hide underneath rocks, wood, debris, or other objects inside or outside of your home. In Arizona, one of the most common species is the bark scorpion. These small, tan-colored arachnids are the most venomous scorpions in North America! A bark scorpion’s sting can cause severe side-effects like intense pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing, making them extremely dangerous around young children and pets. If you start seeing scorpions in your house, it’s best to let the professionals take care of the infestation.
It is not uncommon to see an occasional spider in your home, and it does not necessarily mean you have an infestation. Most spiders are harmless to people and take care of pesky bugs that enter our homes. However, spider infestations can affect your health, and certain spiders are particularly dangerous to people and pets. Here are some spiders you should know about.
Most wolf spiders do not spin webs; instead, they hunt and kill prey using their speed. They like to hide under household furniture or outside under rocks or debris, and they only enter homes in search of food and water. Wolf spiders are not dangerous to humans, but their bites can hurt. There is no immediate cause for concern if you have been bitten by a wolf spider.
You may have heard horror stories about brown recluse spiders, but thankfully there are no established colonies of these spiders in Arizona. Out of 11 species of recluse spiders, Arizona is home to only 2 kinds: the Arizona recluse and the desert recluse. These spiders are small and prefer to be left alone—hence the name. However, recluse spiders are venomous and their bites can destroy tissue. The bite itself might not be painful, but the side effects include painful open sores and blisters. Recluse bites are rarely fatal. Always avoid handling these spiders if you see one in or near your residence. We advise wearing gloves when cleaning out rarely-used spaces (like attics or storage rooms) and while gardening. Be sure to check shoes and clothing before wearing them.
Like recluse spiders, black widows prefer dark, secluded locations. They are easily identified by their black bodies and red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomens. They are venomous, and their bites can cause muscle cramps, vomiting, swelling, and severe pain around the bite mark. Always call a professional exterminator if you notice these spiders in or around your home.
Termites are social insects that live in colonies and feed off dead plant material. These insects can cause serious damage to your home by tunneling through wood, plaster, and even metal siding! They can also ruin wooden furniture throughout your house. Termite damage often looks similar to water damage. If you notice areas with buckling wood, swollen floors, or visible mazes within walls or furniture, you likely have a termite infestation.
Most termite infestations are identified only after serious damage has occurred. That’s why it’s a good idea to let professionals determine the severity of the infestation and come up with a treatment plan.
Most of the time, ants are content living outdoors and providing for their colonies. However, small cracks and openings in your home are inviting ants looking for food and shelter. Here are three kinds of ants that you may see in or near your residence.
Harvester ants are red, black, or brown, and can grow up to one-half an inch long! They are helpful to the environment because they help disperse seeds and serve as a food source for other insects. However, they can become problematic if their colonies are located too close to your home. They will aggressively defend their mounds, and their bites are extremely painful.
Often confused with termites, carpenter ants are identified by their dark, segmented bodies. These ants can be hard to detect because they tunnel deep into the wood to create their colonies. Buildings with carpenter ant infestations often require fumigation and other pest control strategies to mitigate the damage they cause to structures.
Here’s an ant you don’t want to encounter! Fire ants are small at only one-sixteenth of an inch long, and they are typically reddish-brown. They will aggressively defend their colonies, and their bites are painful and can have serious side effects, especially if you are allergic to their venom. Fire ants typically build nests underground. Around homes, these nests are often located near walkway edges, steps, or cracks in the pavement.
With at least 5 different types of cockroaches living in Arizona, you will likely run across one at some point. Cockroaches are dangerous because they can contaminate your home with harmful bacteria. In serious cases, the bacteria they carry can lead to diseases like Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Dysentery, and Gastroenteritis. The only way to completely get rid of an infestation is to eliminate the nest, which can be difficult for a homeowner because nests are often located deep in wall crevices, floor cracks, foundations, and other areas that are extremely hard to reach. That’s why it’s best to call an exterminator immediately if you see cockroaches in your home.
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate from your home. They spread easily and travel on clothing, suitcases, furniture, and other items that are transferred into and out of houses. They are small, flat, and reddish-brown, and typically come out only at night. If you see trails of feces or blood along the seams of your mattress or furniture or notice numerous bite marks on your skin, you may have bed bugs. Although insecticides are available as treatment methods, these harsh chemicals are dangerous if not used properly. Professional pest control companies often have non-chemical treatments to deal with bed bugs.
These small insects have 6 legs, pinchers sticking out from behind, and range in color from white to bluish-gray. Although not harmful to your health, silverfish can cause damage to your property. Their diet consists of complex sugars and carbohydrates, so they often eat glue, paper, photos, books, curtains, cotton and linen, silk fabric, and more. They can even consume leather and polyester! These insects are resilient and require special extermination methods from professionals.
When most people think of pests, they usually think of insects first. However, rodents are another type of pest that can infest your home and cause undue stress and damage. Rats, mice, and gophers are the most common rodents found in or near your residence. These rodents can chew through wood and electrical wiring; exposed wires can significantly increase the danger of a house fire. Rodents may also carry diseases, making them particularly dangerous around your family and pets. Take note of scurrying noises (especially at night), remnants of citrus fruits, and sizable food stashes—these are signs of rodents in your residence.
Homeowners often try to clear pest infestations themselves, but DIY methods may be expensive and dangerous with only temporary results. Professional exterminators use high-tech equipment that is safe for your family and pets. We are trained to find the source of the infestation and clear it safely and efficiently, and we know the best methods to eliminate pests. Our treatments can also be less costly than repeatedly buying traps or harmful chemicals that may not clear pests the first time. Hire a professional exterminator to save time, money, and peace of mind.
If you have pest problems, let us handle the job. Call us at 480.964.0145 or email us for a free estimate.