All posts in “pests”

Termite or???

Termite or???

Termite or???

Lookalikes similar to termites or earwigs in appearance – are they Termite or??? Nope they are web-spinners, small eyes, thread-like antenna and longish bodies. You often find them under rocks and stones in warmer climates. The females have no wings, and some males may have no wings either. The female feeds on plant material, and the males probably don’t eat and die soon after they mate when they might get eaten by the female.

They really do look like termites, so you really have to take a second look to identify correctly. Without a proper identification, you won’t know how to treat properly.

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

Danger Will Robinson Danger, Blister Beetle attack. Most of you know that warning message from the robot to the young Will. This beetle coloring similar to the Poison Dart frogs is that special warning, stay away from me I’m dangerous.

In Arizona we have several species of blister beetles, and some are black and they point their rear end at the aggressor, spraying a noxious spray to render the foe at bay.  Some stand out and some are colored, announcing their toxicity to would-be predators. Even brushing them off or accidentally squishing or crushing them on your skin can cause pain and blisters. Did you know that even dead they can pose an issue? Insects or predators eating them will be treated to a mouthful of pain, along with your pets.

While hiking stay alert:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you see anything suspicious use caution and if alerted stop and think..
  • Take care of pets as well.
  • If you encounter one and it lands on you, don’t swat. Pull it away or scrape it away with your hand.
  • Inform your children about the dangers of certain bugs, we have quite a few to worry about.
    • Rattlesnakes, critters that bite rodents, scorpions, Africanized Honeybees,and those Gila Monster Lizard things.
  • IPM is your friend.
Winter Weather

Winter Weather

Winter Weather

 

Winter weather generally means all of us are cold and that means critters as well. So as we are trying to maintain our houses, pests are trying to get in. Any hole or opportunity will allow them inside. I would recommend the use of IPM, the art of using everything at your fingertips and then getting to pesticide if you have to.

  • Do a monthly or at least quarterly check of your property.
  • Seal any cracks or holes on the home, use caulking or steel wool if rodents are involved. Remember mice need a hole the size of a dime. Rats require something in the area of a quarter to gain entry. Seal it with steel or copper wool and calking or cement.
  • Remove, replace any wood rot and seal it if possible.
  • Keep trash receptacles closed and clean and away from house.
  • Keep bushes, trees and vines away from the house.
  • Keep wood trim painted or sealed to keep away pests.
  • Keep water usage to a minimum, make sure you’re not collecting water in certain areas.
  • If you have a crawlspace keep it clean and dry, always good to keep it ventilated as well.
  • Once a year have a termite inspection done, they can also perform a pest inspection.
  • When in doubt, or maybe you don’t understand the pest – time to hire a Professional call 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

The picture is of bait in a rodent station and as you can see activity is taking place. The bricks show that something is gnawing at it, the next visit may or may not show more evidence but rodents should on the down swing.

Trash

Trash

 

Trash isn’t always an issue, but it can create some favorite problems and headaches in the way of pests. Its not just rodents, but critters, birds and insect pests as well. This alleyway situation might not be concern, but it will add up influence the neighborhood. If I was an owner of a home, I would try to rally the neighborhood troop to a clean-up day monthly. This benefits the entire community, oh and it might make you the hero.

What do you look for as you clean?

  1. Obviously, the trash, is it being eaten by an animal?
  2. Do the lids close properly?
  3. Are they relatively clean, inside and out?
  4. Do the can have holes?
  5. Do transients make their home in alley?
  6. Take care on needles and other hazards, report issues to Police.

What do you do if you spot activity of the rodent kind?

 

Spring bugs

Spring bugs

 

What are Spring bugs? Do you contribute to your home pest issues? What are you looking for?

 

Spring is the time of year that bugs reproduce and can become more numerous. What if you have 2-foot-high weeds out back, this can cause sap sucking bugs to get out of control? Do you stack stuff against the house or shed, this allows the pest whether bug or rodent the chance to set up house? Do you have stone up to the stucco, this allows termites access without your knowledge? Is the grass next to the house, or vines? All these things contribute to pests having a chance to get into your home.

  1. I suggest monthly checks of the outside and interior to check screens, door seals and weep holes.
  2. Check outdoor buildings like sheds, storage, or fire grills.
  3. Check the garage.
  4. Check the attic.
  5. Always look up and down, and not a bad idea to check the roof. Be careful.
  6. We have seasons foe specific bugs, the fall monsoon = termites and rodents. Spring = honeybee swarms and small bugs trying to get inside.

Pest Control Technician

Pest Control Technician

“We’re extremely pleased to see exterminator, or pest control technician, listed among the top ten best maintenance and repair jobs by U.S. News & World Report,” said Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association.

2022 the job market – if let’s say a certain fast food place ups the game and pay $15, that in itself starts the ball rolling. Now I’m not saying that $15 is not right, but we are talking a entry level job. Where $15 was a good wage to start a Professional job now has to rise higher and what if you can’t, how much can you afford for a pest service? We raise our rates generally every 2 years, this year mainly due to gas. How much do I then make, if gas goes up $2 – $3 dollars. Its not just gas but my suppliers have to pay more, manufactures charge more for chemicals – its a viscous circle.

I noticed a guy on Facebook looking for a job for is 15 year old son, he wanted $32 an hour. I think we have gone over that edge, I’m not sure I make $32 and hour after 30s years in this Professional.

Operating a business is not for the weak of heart, many things weigh on the owner from vehicles, vehicle maintenance to payroll.

spiders inside

Spiders Inside

Spiders Inside

Spiders inside can be scary, but most won’t hurt you. There are a few in the US that are venomous including the Black Widow, Hobo Spiders and the Brown Recluse. Sometimes they hitch rides to AZ such as is the case of Hobo and Brown Recluse, we have a relative called the AZ Brown. This spider does bite but isn’t has much of a deal here in Arizona.

I think most people don’t realize how open their homes are, screens need to fit tightly and door sweeps need to be installed and maintained. Garages need that bottom seal and the sides need that weatherstripping. Any opening the thickness of a credit card is an opening that will exploit, and that includes any bug or rodents.

What can you do?

  • Check screens and yearly, no spiders inside.
  • Do a walk around, checking for holes or evidence of infestation.
  • Looks for rodent activity, holes or gnaw marks.
  • Employ a quality pest control company on a consistent basis.
  • Have an annual inspection for termites.
  • Check high and low, that is why my techs use a webber pole to take down webs.
  • Check out buildings, sheds, garages etc.
  • If you notice a spot take a pic and send it to us.

 

Arizona Brown Spiders

Arizona Brown Spiders

Arizona Brown Spiders

So I’m sure everyone has heard of the Brown Recluse or Arizona Brown Spiders. If you look at maps Recluse live in a bell curve from Texas straight up through almost to Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Check out the map from Entomology Today

As you see we do have a species that lives here in Arizona, called Arizonica, Genus Loxosceles. As with spiders in general, the more you know the more informed you will be. Wear gloves if working in sheds, garages and outside. Many people believe they are bitten and identify it as a spider bite. Here are some myths about Brown Recluse spiders:

  • The common name Brown Recluse spider belongs to ONE species residing in central Midwest. This info is from University of Riverside. I love this article, check out the bottom disclaimer.
  • Not all recluse spiders are brown, some are gray, dark brown or even whitish.
  • People think the spider is poisonous, while actually they are venomous.
  • Brown recluse will attack you, nope a myth – they tend to avoid people.
  • Spiders in general try to get into homes, I don’t think they have a clue. They are just looking to get out of the open, an closed door is just a barrier. So having door seals, closed screens and cracks sealed are all good exclusion techniques.

 

Nasty Restaurants

Nasty Restaurants

Nasty Restaurants

Nasty Restaurants and how do you tell how bad it might be? I usually run into the bathrooms, if it is nasty, generally speaking I’m out. If they can’t keep their bathrooms clean, then I’m positive their kitchen is a mess. I love those kitchens which are visible, if you can peak in that is a great thing.

Restaurants and cleaning:

  • Everyday someone should be cleaning.

  • Each day certain areas should be cleaned, areas not used daily should be rotated cleaned. 

  • There should be charts with duties and persons assigned.

  • Managers should check cleanliness daily. 

  • Degreasers and heavy duty equipment may be needed, and supplied so the staff can adequately perform their duties. 

 

I have been to a ton of restaurants and I have tuned down quite a few. I can’t do my job, if the grease is thick my product will never do the job. Now lets talk about cockroaches, German Cockroaches come in on the folds of food boxes. Once a stowaway enters the property there is almost a 0% chance of the owner/manager/staff fighting the situation. You need a Professional, because you need the right equipment and the right products with the knowledge. A single female roach can set in motion a infestation that can grow quickly. 

 

 

Spiders

Spiders

Spiders

Wolf spiders are one of the fastest spiders, at least from my point of view. These arachnids have excellent eyesight and hunt down their prey. They don’t build webs and hunt alone. I have seen some about 2 inches, which is big enough for me. I’m not a BIG fan of spiders in general. These spiders are hairy and when their young are born they climb up on Mom’s back until old enough to fend for themselves. There are about 124 species of Wolf Spiders in the US and range in color from brown to black. They are venomous and usually use the venom to attack their prey, they can bite humans if they feel threatened and may react if squeezed or mishandled. So please wear gloves gardening and working in sheds and garages. Remember spiders eats lot of bugs and are considered good.

So what do you so to prevent running into them:

  • Keep the clutter down, interior and exterior.
  • All screens should be in place.
  • Keep doors sweeps in place, and closed.
  • If you store boxes in attics, open them outside or in garages.
  • Keep bushes, plants away from house.
  • Trees should not touch the house.
  • Cut down on lighting, but if you must have lights use yellow bulbs. This will keep the prey at bay.
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