Entry points

Entry points

This entry point – I couldn’t see this opening really well, but was sure something could gain entry. Could it be a bird or a rodent? This opening in the attic is important to annual checks. I would be concerned just looking at it but still needs to be sealed tighter to not allow unwanted guest. At least the door was closed but what if it was open, who would check and who might be able to close or lock it?

My opinion is that this is a perfect opportunity for rodent activity. The minute that mice or rats get into this space opens the chance for bacteria, urine and feces to become part of this home or business. Mice urinate while on the run and feces may be spread throughout the space.

Annual checks is what I’m saying, top on my list.


Corner checks for termites

Foundation corner may contain surprises

Corner and indents may hide termite activity and the jtrim may also have huge openings. It is important to check your slab and house at least monthly for unwanted pests activity. This may help to avert any potential long lasting problems. If you don’t check often you might allow a bee colony to take over. That can bee a sticky problem down the road.

I find that most people stack stuff against garage walls and this allows a termite issue to go on a very long time. For some reason I think the garage is the most overlooked and usually the last to be treated by termite companies. Don’t place wood or cellulose items on the garage expansion joint. I’ve found books, posters and antiques full of termite activity and ruined forever.


Vines and the world of pests

Vines and the pests they may bring in

The art of pest management is what can be seen but also knowing what isn’t there, when looking at potential issues. Hiring a professional isn’t just about spraying, it is the knowledge that the Pro has to offer. Book knowledge is great but actually having real world experience is even better. In a perfect world everyone would ask my opinion before planting or just in general building a house. Opening can be a real problem but vines can cause further damage to pre-existing holes or openings. Damage can occur from trees pushing up on roofs just like you can see damage from tree roots pushing concrete sidewalks up.

Vines allow pests to hide and prevent you from noticing damage or possible entry points. Box Elder bugs can squeeze through very small opening, rodents can also get in and damage pipes and wires. Wildlife like rabbits and birds may nest in these areas. Knowing your property is a great plus in keeping damage and issues to zero.


Hole = entry points for rodents

Hole the size of a dime = mice entry

Hole = As long as the diameter is the size of a dime and the mouse can fit its head through the opening he/she can make it in. Equally important is how you prevent the reoccurrence – don’t just fill in with foam, it must contain something that will prevent eating like steel or copper wool. Fill the opening and mix the wool within so the rodent will not gnaw through.

Hole the size of a quarter = rat entry

As long as the diameter is the size of a quarter and the rat can fit its head through the opening he/she can make it in. A crawlspace home may have more entry points and you must crawl and investigate those possibilities. Or hire a professional to do that service, hire one that is knowledgeable about pests and housing construction. Also be aware of termite issues and be prepared to further explore any signs.

Rodents include rats, mice and rabbits – they all may gnaw wires and be potential carriers of diseases. They may also carry parasites and remember when they are gone the parasites may remain behind and go after humans. I also believe especially in crawlspaces that all entry must be prevented, I’ve seen cats and other animals living in these areas and for sure they carry other critters like fleas and ticks.


Valentine Day

Don’t spend your Valentine Day with the bugs!

Valentine or bust – As many might be aware of, we had some sightings recently in Phoenix, Arizona. Spotted in several weird places, shopping carts and movie theaters. I often worry that my techs or myself might bring them home after an inspection or treatment. So what can you do to protect yourself?

  • Stay informed, if you hear about it – ask management.
  • If something is biting at the place, ask or inform management.
  • If you suspect bedbugs please check clothing or carry on stuff like purses etc.
  • Remove clothing in garage and immediately put in washer/dryer for at least 40 minutes on high heat.
  • If you suspect them in your house quarantine the room in question, don’t be moving things around and call a Professional.


Strange fruit

Strange fruit – I’ve never seen this

This strange fruit is a grapefruit tree at a clients home, I noticed it while doing a pest treatment. I spent a lot of time in Florida and now here in Arizona and I don’t recall anything this obscure and just plain weird. I see some pretty unique things along my path daily but this one was just different.

This just struck me as odd, but little limb is doing its best to live its dream. Maybe we should all do what the little tree to doing. But you will notice there is no fallen fruit for rodents to be eating. One of the ways to discourage animals and wildlife is to keep your yard clean, no clutter and keep an eye on the property each month. No surprises!



Tiny Termite House project

Tiny Termite House – coming soon March 2018

Tiny Termite House – The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) commissioned a third-party group.  Their plan is to research and build a real tiny version of a typical house. They hope to see how termites deal with structures and hopefully see it in real life.

The group is set to dump 500,000 Formosan termites into a custom, built-to-scale, miniature dream home and capture them at work utilizing a mix of high-definition video footage and photography. “This project is a really exciting one for our industry because we will be using sophisticated equipment to obtain never-before-seen footage of termites and glean more insight into the important roles that termite castes play in eating their way through homes,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “The consumer education aspect of this project is huge. Our goal is to physically demonstrate the hidden dangers that these wood-destroying insects pose to consumers’ biggest investments, and hit home the importance of regular prevention and professional inspection.”

Stay tuned for Termite Awareness Week – March 11-17, 2018

Tiny Termite House




Tubes and termites

Tubes, tunnels, termites and damage

Tubes and tunnels – We get calls all the time on these lovely little creatures, termites can cause a lot of concern. But in Arizona they are more of a nuisance than damage causing scourge. Probably the lack of water has the greatest influence on them.

What area do we cover in Arizona – ProBest services include phoenix home pest control and commercial pest control. We are in the Phoenix and surrounding cities. Gilbert. Mesa. Chandler. Queen Creek. Apache Junction. Gold Canyon. Johnson Ranch. Buckeye. Avondale. Surprise. Sun City. Glendale. Peoria. Deer Valley. Scottsdale. Tempe. Maricopa. Casa Grande. Goodyear. El Mirage. Litchfield Park. Tolleson. Laveen. Carefree. Cave Creek. Fountain Hills.  Paradise Valley. Youngtown. New River. Sun Lakes.



Rattlesnake Rattlers

Rattlesnake Rattlers – What’s inside the box?

Rattlesnake Rattlers – I don’t advocate killing things unless you have to. Now with that being said, if you have rodents inside your home, they must die. End of story, why you ask? Because they can cause serious health risks, they urinate and cause other potential issues like asthma. I technically didn’t kill this rattlesnake, it crawled into a rodent station that had a snap trap within. I probably should have saved the skull but didn’t think that far but the rattlers were impressive. Also I somewhat relived I didn’t run into this snake when it was alive. It must have been a good size, probably a good 5 foot.

Rattlesnake Rattlers

A few of my accounts just relocate the snakes, taking them for a ride to a somewhat further distance away from the house or business. I was out the National Cemetery and there was a small 1 footer which I moved to a field just down the road.

Jumping cholla cactus

Jumping Cholla cactus

Jumping Cholla – If you live anywhere in the desert you know about these cactus. They will attack if you get close. OK they won’t attack but it seems like it. Its like they are magnetic. But a question was asked recently why don’t rodents or coyote’s ever have them attached? Or better yet why not Pack Rats? It’s called behavior modification, they learn and they learn quickly. It’s amazing cause almost every time I’m in the desert I get a few. I kneel to check a rodent station and get one in my knee or there might be bits and parts inside the bait station. Sometimes I even get them in my shoes, right through the soles and you think its a rock but surprise a needle shooting pain.

The dangers of the desert

So a word of caution, there are many things in the desert that can do you harm, rattlesnakes, Africanized Honeybees, rocks and cacti – so use extreme care.  I seem to find almost all of these dangers as I’m doing my work. Stay tuned for a resent find in a rodent bait station.

I have seen Pack rat middens or dens full of this stuff, how do they do it – I have no idea. I was training a technician once and mentioned to be careful, I had no sooner turned around and he had them from toe to waist on his right leg pants. Painful and barbed, did I say ouuuuuch? But yet the animals seem to be impervious or maybe it’s just that they are smarter. You decide!

jumping chollajumping cholla