Now that’s its cooler, watch out for mice & rats

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Well its that time of year, the rodents and other critters may be trying to gain access into your home. Just like any warm blooded animal, rodents want to be snug as a bug in a warm environment and that could be your home or attic. So I suggest that you take a look at the areas around your home that may be inviting to a critter, that doesn’t have to be a rodent exclusively. Pigeons, bats and even cats may try to get into your attics or crawlspaces and set up a home, so what can you do?

  1. Check your home quarterly inside and out and repair:
    1. Check weep screens.
    2. Check those louvers that allow your attic or crawlspace to breath.
    3. Caulk all holes or cracks that may allow access – remember mice can enter holes that are about the size of a dime and rats the size of a quarter.
    4. Here’s a biggie – think like a rat, how would you get in? I had a family of rats once that were coming in on telephone wires.
  2. When you bring down that stuff in the attic, open boxes either outside or in the garage oh and wear gloves as well. You don’t want any surprises jumping out of the box inside your home.
  3. Trim trees of your home, don’t allow vines to grow and attach.
    1. I suggest not planting plants to close to the house.
    2. If the trees did touch, make sure you repair tiles.
  4. Read up on the enemy and become familiar with their habits.
    2. Remember ProBest Pest Management is just a phone call away, 480-831-9328 check out our home seal page.

When, oh when will people read the pesticide label?

Dateline: July 2015

Owners of a Wok restaurant in Sunnybank, Queensland Australia decided to perform pest control on their own. The placed 24 aerosol bombs in their restaurant and BOOM!

“They send up a vapour or an aerosol so what happens is they’re highly explosive so you have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” he said.

Just an example is a fogger we use, 6 oz. fogs/treats approximately 5000 cubic feet of unobstructed space 25′ x 25′ x 8′. Now just for the record I want to explain how and why we might use a fogging device.

  1. Very seldom do I use a fogger and usually only on flying insects. My opinion is that it might drive the bugs deeper into walls and hiding areas.
  2. Depending on circumstances placement is essential to functionality.
  3. Lets use an example of German roaches, if you treat the area with a liquid first and get the roaches running a final step might be a fogger.
  4. Read and follow all label directions.


Brown recluse spider photo by PPMA

I absolutely hate stories like this, don’t you?

As many of you are aware I hate spiders, without any doubt the Brown recluse spider is right at the top of my list. I’m always the first to mention that is is very important to know your enemy, so even though they may not be in Arizona or Pennsylvania it is important to know that they may travel. “Venomous spiders close Pennsylvania elementary school” In Arizona we have a Brown spider, related to but isn’t the dread Brown Recluse. So just to reiterate, if your in the bug biz – know your enemy even if it doesn’t live in your area.

Photo by PPMA

Photo by PPMA

Bark scorpion entering a building under a door

What brings those scorpions to your doorsteps?

Another question of the week, this one is easy in my books. It’s either too much rain or the lack thereof. For some reason this year 2015, it seems to be ants and earwigs. I remember last year it was cockroaches and guess what they are all looking for? Food, water and harborage.

That’s right, just like you and me they need the 3 essentials. The scorpion below is looking for something, is it food, water or somewhere to hide?


Bark scorpion entering a building under a door

Halloween Decoration Bug

Happy Halloween!

Should be my favorite holiday, right? All the spiders and bug things. Anyway, BOO!

I was doing a pest service across the street and his head kept following me. Oh and just for the record the hourglass is on the wrong side…

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OK what do you see?

Well if you guessed Drywood termites pellets, you guessed right? Those little brownish colored things at the bottom of the picture are the fecal remains of wood eaten by Drywood termites. Subterranean termites mix their fecal material with the mud/soil and construct mud tunnels or tubes while Drywood termite fecal pellets are kicked out of their colony. These little pellets have little ridges and are fairly easy to identify. Drywood termites which are located within structures are often tented and just a side-note not usually a very big deal in Arizona but we do have them here. The more water we bring in, such as flood or drip irrigation helps to increase the humidity level and allow these termites to gain a strong-hold here. Even after a fumigation takes place, those pellets will continue to fall out – so the only real way to know that you still have them is by an actual swarm. Just one more thing to keep you from sleeping!

By the way this is generally not a “Do It Yourself” project, unless you are able to remove all the wood. In the case above it was a small shed, which I would just remove and rebuild. Which by the way falls into my model of IPM.


Water collecting, is it attracting mosquito’s?

I would say yes, and this is near a front door. So guess who will be accidentally drawn into the house when they open the door? I would encourage you to think about location and you might have to be creative on treatment options. Mosquito dunks may be an idea? Any ideas? A little thought with IPM in mind, maybe a screen door and actually those dunks are an IGR (insect growth regulator) no poison.

Front door wreaths and the birds

2014-06-12 08.14.40I really thought thought this was cute, the bird thinking that the wreath was indeed nature decided to make it’s nest.

Lucky for the dove the owner decided to let nature takes its course.

Not all birds and or people are so forgiving, pigeons will roost and nest anywhere. Pigeons will lay eggs, poop and allow dead chicks to inhabit their old nesting. While this scene above may be cute, don’t allow birds to nest in attics. The amount of fecal material and the parasites may cause real issues within a home.

  1. Check entry point from outside, check those louvered vents.
  2. Check weep screens which allow attics to breath.
  3. If you have a/c on roof, enclose the bottom.
  4. Check chimney for screening.

Does black-lighting or exclusion work to control pests?

So what in my opinion really works the best to control pests from getting into homes, without a doubt home sealing or exclusion. Here are my Top 3 ways to control scorpions and those other bugs that may want to make your home theirs.

  1.    Home seal or exclusion.
  2.    Black-lighting to reduce the population.
  3.    Consistent monthly pest control.

You hear me talk about IPM all the time and I’m telling you it works. Rather than spraying pesticides all the time, you can reduce the risk by helping your Pest Management Professional by doing a few things to improve the situation at your home. By black lighting you reduce the numbers and by doing so you reduce the numbers that might make it to your home. By sealing your home you again reduce the numbers that make it to your home and reduce the numbers that could make it in. The next way is to reduce the numbers of the food (crickets, roaches) and ultimately the scorpions themselves.

Now with all that said, I do believe in pest control but as I stated above it needs to be done in a consistent manner. If you have scorpions I think especially in Arizona it needs to be done monthly. I also believe that outside service is the most efficient along with home sealing and black-lighting. There are some in my professional that still don’t get it, they are the ones that still treat inside each month or power spray each month. Now don’t get me wrong I still occasionally do the inside ie: German Cockroaches or ants and if you have ticks I may decide to power spray. There are always exceptions to the rules. But soon the lack of water or water quality issues are going to trump the constant overkill of those outdated and impractical pest control techniques. (my opinion)  PART_1437183843093_20150717_184143

Why should you home-seal your home?

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At the bottom of your stucco, there is a device called the jtrim – it actually holds the stucco up when wet but more importunately it allows your home to breath. The problem comes later after the house has some time to settle and this piece pulls away from the foundation. See that little space, that is where the scorpions can enter your home. Use caulking and seal it or contact ProBest Pest Management to do it for you.

Clip the coupon for a money saving promotion going on right now – save $2 per lineal foot. 480-831-9328