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

 

Whats eating you?

Whose eating the fruit?

Somebody is eating the fruit. I think it’s rodents eating the grapefruit and pumpkin, when you make it easy for the animals/wildlife the next step is entry into your home. I tell everybody, it is extremely important to pick up the fruit that has fallen. No sense feeding any unwanted pest from the neighborhood. Unless of course that is your idea. I know birds will also eat the fruit but uninvited pests are sure to show up.

Oranges, lemons, limes and left over pumpkins are open season for any animal or wildlife. Rodents are prolific breeders and require a lot of food to raise their young. Essential to the control of rodents, eliminate harborage or shelter, reduce water and eliminate food sources. If you can control these factors the rodent population should be controlled.

eating

 

Bug-Man

The Bug -Man

Bug-Man strikes – My office staff has really stepped up this year, we incorporated a sign into our welcoming of our Post Office clients. We tell them the weather forecast and often underping the pest world into the mix. We even mention it in our message on our service slips.

“Bugs aren’t going to inherit the earth, they already own it”. Since the dawn of time, by the way I wasn’t there bugs have been gunning for us. We invaded their territory, we made caves our domain and then we build houses where they lived first. So technically they were here first but God gave us dominion over all creatures. In some cases people have to decided to just grin and bear it, but bugs can make it tough. I remember a campout once where the mosquitoes just wouldn’t leave me alone. By the way it is tough trying to breath when your all locked away in a sleeping bag. Have you witnessed those shows where the flies or gnats are a real pests especially for animals?

 

bug-man

Raccoon – Tragedy on a Phoenix Street

Raccoon plush toys – The things I see?

Stuffed toys raccoon etc. I’m on the road a lot and I encounter some really scary things, I was at a house one day when I heard a loud crash. I ran down the street and saw two young girls on the street involved in and accident. They attempted to cross the road and not at an intersection, I later heard that one of the young girls had died.

This is just a stuffed critter Raccoon that someone has discarded on the side of the street. I just don’t understand how people can just toss stuff from their cars. People have to clean this stuff up and guess who pays for this – you and me in taxes.

raccoon

Bees need water

Honey bees and all living creatures need water

Bees and all creatures need 3 things, water, food and shelter. It is very important for all creatures and with very few exception it is Life and Death. Some creatures can take water directly from the food they eat. Mice and termites are just a few.

So what do you do when they invade your space, adapt of course? We have tried moving a dish of water away from a pool or putting in a fountain to distract them away from the other water source. Most times the honey bees won’t sting, but why tempt fate, right? Imagine coming up from under the water and bee is on your face or head and they decide to randomly sting (rare). So we have tried the water dish and or fountain idea to motivate them away. These little bees were just going ahead with their business and unprovoked would never bother anyone. I often see bushes full of flower that almost come alive with honeybee activity – “leave them bee and they will leave you bee”.

I have a large account and they have a huge fountain and there are days when they are really active. I also know that most people are not familiar with bees like I am but just be nice to them and they will generally leave you alone. Remember one out of every mouth full of food relies on honeybees, we really need them to do their work. They are also the only insect that supplies us food. Something to really think about.

Bees

Fountains and bees

Water Fountains and bees

Anytime we think we are safe in the water, wait that was the Shark headline. Honeybees need water just like us and they will take it from anywhere they can find it. Water fountains aren’t the perfect place and neither are swimming pools. Swimming pools can be a sting of a place if you surface and the bee tags along she may decide to sting you and ouch.

This circumstance is difficult to adjust, the bees don’t want to move and generally speaking they won’t. I have tried placing a water dish with stones so they can get a drink, gradually moving it away from the other source.

 

fountains     fountains

Doodlebugs / Antlions

Antlions = Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs you might notice especially under sheds or awning small funnel shaped pits, yep it’s the antlions trap. The antlion waits on unsuspecting prey to fall into the trap and then attacks. These little assassins reside just about everywhere in the US, well maybe not Alaska but check them out anyway. They are way cool!

Now another bit of information, there are bugs that transform into more beautiful things. Monarch Caterpillar into a beautiful Butterfly, Dragonfly Triad into a beautiful Dragonfly and then this Antlion terror larva into a Lacewing, check out some pictures online to see what I’m talking about.

Doodlebugs

Tubes, tubes more tubes

Tubes, yes Termite activity.

Tubes – those amazing termites in Arizona can build some unique are artful looking down tubes. OK maybe not your cup of tea but isn’t artistic, that is without all the damage they do. I have seen them in a garage that was over 5 feet in length, been there for some time. These little gals work 24/7/365, looking for wood and ready to chomp through the house.

Look for these telltale clues, tunnels on the foundation slab, marks that look like dirt tubes on the wall and those that hang down from the ceiling. Don’t Panic and yes it is time to call a Pest Management Professional. Most houses will eventually get them and if you see drill mark or previous treatment signs it usually doesn’t means that it’s a bad thing. I personally think it’s a good thing, the  issue was found and handled. I would worry more about the house that was never treated and continued to be eaten away by termites.

By the way, in my opinion not a DIY (Do It Yourself) job. You need a true Professional, remember it’s not always about the equipment it’s about the KNOWLEDGE. You need an expert who has the knowledge, equipment and expertise to do a Professional job.

I suggest a monthly check of your home especially if you live in the southern U.S. Never hurts to check for termites, honeybees or anything that might later cause problems or issues.

tubes     tubes

Kangaroo Rat -somebody doesn’t look good!

Kangaroo Rat or Mouse?

Trick question – The Kangaroo rat usually have long tails, bushy at the end and big hind feet with four toes. They have large heads with big eyes and small ears. They are a sandy brown color with a white underbelly. Technically not a rat or mouse but a separate group on their own.

The Sonoran Desert kangaroo rats are remarkable in that they do not need to drink water, even though their diet is almost entirely composed of dry seeds. They survive almost entirely on water metabolized from the seeds they eat. The rats prefer seeds high in carbohydrates, from which they can produce a half gram of water from each gram of seed eaten. They even take a bath without water, keeping their shiny fur clean by taking dust baths in the sand.

Kangaroo Rat

Silverfish / Firebrats

Silverfish / Firebrats

Silverfish / Firebrats can infest various and obscure places, this one was is in an outside rodent station. Usually found within structures and notorious for eating books, book bindings, papers and old documents. The quickest and easiest way of transporting them into your home is by way of old storage boxes or materials which they love to infest. Silverfish are usually uniformly silver, while Firebrats are mottled gray-brown color. They are usually associated with damp areas, active at night and hide during the day. Mainly nuisance pests, usually causing little damage. They do not cause disease and they don’t come up drains. The best method is reduce the dampness and they will usually disappear.

I think if you have a crawlspace and/or attic, this would be the first place to check. Those areas are noted for undisturbed and dampness, depending as well on geological areas of the country. I would then check areas of bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchen and basements  and don’t forget to check stockpiles of books or magazines. I also think baits work best on getting rid of the little pests.

So here are a few tips:

  1. Fix any leaks.
  2. Caulk any opening in wall and any areas where they could slip in.
  3. If you see 1, take action. If your system doesn’t get rid of them – Call a Pest Management Professional such as ProBest. 480-831-9328

Silverfish / Firebrats