There’s no doubt that Tucson pests love the monsoons just as much as we do. We’ve been hit with several monsoon thunderstorms in the past few weeks and this is welcome weather by many, pests and humans alike.
The added moisture turns our desert landscapes green and the cloud coverage provides cooler temperatures; these changes also bring out some of Tucson’s notorious critters – wildlife that can potentially cause harm to either you or your home. So keep on the lookout and make sure your home is protected from these little visitors this monsoon season.
Tucson Monsoon Pests
- By now you’ve probably seen a swarm of flying ants or perhaps the remnants of one around your home or neighborhood. These swirling dark columns are mating colonies where ants congregate in order to mate and subsequently lay their eggs. There is a significant increase in population because of all the food that is now available. There will also be many dead ant remains after one of these bevies; monsoon insects tend to have short life spans, living only a few weeks.
- These small rodents love to burrow and build their nests in shrubs and soil. Their teeth never stop growing, so they ware them down by chewing on whatever is available. They especially like to nibble on wires, so depending on where they’ve nested; your home or vehicle may be susceptible to costly damage. Trim the bottom of any shrubs around your home to reduce the risk of pack rats setting up shop nearby. If nothing works and you need Tucson rodent removal – you know who to call.
- The desert monsoons mark the peak of rattlesnake season as this is the time when the babies are being born. This is particularly hazardous because these newborns have not yet grown a rattle to warn other animals, such as humans, to stay away. Likewise, the rattle of adult rattlesnakes can become much less audible when wet, making them a more invisible threat to anyone not aware.
- Snake relocation is a Gecko Pest specialty, so if you feel threatened by the arrival of these venomous evil-doers make sure to get in contact with us.
- These familiar insects acquire more maneuverability in the wet soil and like to go searching for any soft wood to consume. This means they are able to enter homes through the vulnerable edges of the foundation, entering through the wood beneath the stucco and causing damage to wall studs or roof trouses. The best way to avoid this expensive damage is by keeping the ground around your home dry and making sure any water isn’t able to collect and pool.
- We all know what these little critters look like; this small cousin of the spider has its trademark pincers and stinging tail. There are more than 30 species of scorpions in Arizona, some more dangerous than others. In particular, the bark scorpion is small, yellow, has a penchant for climbing and a nasty sting that has a painful neurotoxin. They try to stay dry and have found our homes to be a nice place to hide, needing only 1/16 of an inch to gain entry.
- This list wouldn’t be complete without everyone’s favorite blood-sucking annoyance. Mosquitoes are active in Tucson from April through late fall, they also become very active during the time around sunrise and sunset. They like to lay their eggs in fresh or stagnant water, which means the containers or pools of water found around many Tucson homes are at high risk of attracting these itchy nuisances.
With the dry weather in Tucson termites aren’t as abundant as say they might be on the damper east coast, but that’s not to say they don’t exist in magnitudes.
This is somewhat misleading because it merely means that there aren’t as many prominent species of termites in Tucson as there are in other regions that contain more moisture.
In the science world, there are over 2,000 species of termites, only two of which actually exist in the Tucson area – those being subterranean termites and dry wood termites.
It’s important to know about the differences between to two, so as your local Tucson pest control professionals and termite experts we’ll be giving you a bit of a ‘bio’, if you will, on each of these types of termites.
Subterranean termites are just that – they live underground, but that’s just where they colonize. To reach “food sources”, or rather your home’s infrastructure, they build what we call “mud tubes” and can do so even between small cracks in your concrete foundation.
These types of termites have a make-shift class system in place, so if you happen to find a tube in your home you would most likely find the workers inside.
Workers are the destructive force behind subterranean termite colonies and they appear about 1/8”-3/8” in size and are a creamy, sometimes brownish, color, hence why the Australians refer to them as “white ants”.
Typical treatment for these types of termites involves drilling evenly spaced holes either around a building’s perimeter or directly around the affected area and injecting it with the pesticide Termidor.
As the wood in Tucson homes can be extremely dry due to our climate, mostly you’ll find these types of termites are foraging through your home’s drywall and occasionally nibbling at the surrounding wood.
It may seem minimal as your home could be loaded with drywall, but with colonies of up to 2 million termites, they definitely pose a huge threat and prevention is key and highly recommended in order to avoid costly treatment and repair.
Dry Wood Termites
Dry wood termites are extremely rare in comparison to subterranean colonies in Tucson. Subterranean termites are essentially commonplace in homes here and most people have had some sort of pest control done within the last year either to prevent or treat a subterranean Tucson termite infestation.
On the other hand, you won’t find many people who have encountered dry wood termites. This is mainly because they don’t form large colonies (compared to those of subterranean termites); however, since they actually live within the wood, and the more space they chew out the more room they have for a larger colony, they pose a somewhat greater threat.
Colonies of dry wood termites, which are a bit bigger than the subterranean type and don’t operate under a caste (all the termites are destructive), can reach up to 2,500 and treatments are more direct meaning the termites are either sprayed down or the infested wood is injected with pesticide.
If there are multiple infestations in a home, or the colonies are thriving in hard to treat places this could mean “tenting” off your home for fumigation is necessary.
A Friendly Reminder
You don’t want to have to deal with time consuming, costly solutions like fumigation, so make sure to contact your local Tucson termite treatment specialists at Gecko Pest Control to prevent either of these types of termites from ruining your home!
Termites can go unnoticed for years and potentially destroy most of a home in that time, so don’t think you’re not infested just because you haven’t noticed any activity, or spotted any mud tubes. Do yourself a favor, and have your home checked and serviced for pest prevention regularly – it’ll save you in the long term!Read More
In Tucson, and really all around the world, when it comes to pest control there are always people who think they know best, but those of us who are smart know the professionals are just that – professionals, and that means they know more than your average Joe about this pest control business. It’s the ones who refuse to believe in this that come up with most of the common pest myths that we think to be true today. We’re here to bring some light to the issue though, and though you may have already known some of these things were untrue it’s good to reiterate what’s right from wrong.
You’ll find a majority of these myths are focused around bed bugs, and that’s because they are one of the most commonly misconstrued pests and it’s pertinent that you understand the importance of using a professional pest control service to treat such an infestation.
So without further ado…
Common Pest Control Myths That You Should Ignore:
- Mice Love Cheese
This one stems from a lot of places, but we can assure you a mouse’s snack of choice is definitely not a hunk of cheese. In fact, mice prefer food with higher sugar content, for instance – peanut butter. If you’re trying to lure a mouse in your home in Tucson, or anywhere else, try peanut butter, dried fruit, or even cereal for bait.
- Bees Only Sting Once
True, but only for honey bees, and only when stinging a species with skin that is sufficiently thick. Any other bees or wasps can and will sting repeatedly if there is a threat posed to their hive. Just because you got stung already doesn’t mean you shouldn’t immediately remove yourself from the situation and tend to the sting as quickly as possible. This is especially important because many bee inject a toxin upon stinging that will release alarm pheromones in order to alert other nearby bees of a threat.
- Boiling Water Wipes Out Ants
Again true, but the problem with this is that boiling hot water is only going to kill the ants it hits while it’s still boiling. As soon as the ground cools it off as it absorbs into it, the ants just get a nice refreshing shower. The queen and the majority of an ant colony are simply too far down for the water to still be hot enough to wipe them out once it makes its way down there.
- Bed Bugs Don’t Exist in Clean Homes
This is an overly common misconception. Bed bugs have no preference for clean or dirty, they simply prefer blood; however, clutter can make an infestation more problematic due to the fact that the bugs will have more places to hide.
- Clean Houses Don’t Have Regular Pests
So you may have read the last myth and thought to yourself, “okay well bed bugs are the exception, but my house is spotless, so no other pests are interested in it.” Wrong. Pests could care less about your cleanliness; they’re just looking for shelter and some place to breed.
- A House on a Concrete Slab is Termite-Proof
We wish this was so, but it’s just not true at all. In fact, even if you have a brick house built on a concrete slab it’s still going to have wooden framework within; and not to mention, termites are professionals at tunneling, so they’ll surely find their way through the smallest of crack in your concrete foundation.
- If Your Neighbor Gets Their House Sprayed, You’re In Trouble
A lot of people don’t really understand that pesticide and insecticides aren’t so much repellents as they are killers. Cockroaches and other pests won’t find a sprayed house and turn to yours instead. What happens is they’ll try to enter the sprayed house, running over the spray in the process, and then die because of it.
- Bed Bug Problems Are Easy to Treat
This myth is the exact opposite of reality, which is that bed bug infestations are the most difficult to treat of all pest infestations. Depending on how bad of an infestation you have and the type of treatment your pest control company offers to solve the problem with, it could take several visits to achieve total elimination.
- Bed Bugs Are Treatable Without Pest Control Professionals
The hint is in the last myth. Notice how we insinuated you would be using a pest control company to treat the infestation; that’s because you definitely won’t be treating much without one. Over the counter treatments are ineffective, and in order to rid your home of bed bugs completely it requires that you do a careful, thorough inspection of all the places in your home that could be harboring the little buggers. A pest control professional, like the ones at Gecko Pest Control in Tucson, should be able to target even the most unlikely hiding spots and upon a full inspection they can offer a feasible treatment and future control strategy. Treating the infestation yourself may only cure parts of your home and you could easily end up with an even worse problem (that will only cost you more to treat now that you’ve realized you should’ve got a professional) not too far down the road.
- Electronic Pest Repellents Keep Pests Out of Your Home
If only it were that easy! Tons of internet sites boast about these devices, which pulse out ultrasonic waves that disturb pests so badly they don’t even bother to stick around your home. Unfortunately, there is zero evidence proving these products actually work. In fact, decades ago the FTC filed suit against six companies who lied about the effectiveness of these ultrasonic devices in ridding homes of insect and rodent infestations. Since then, they’ve been sending out warning letters to such companies reminding them about what happened to the other blatant liars; therefore, you’ll notice the people still selling these products are very careful in their wording, which mostly includes what the device is designed to do, and no longer what it has been proven to do.
- Bed Bugs Aren’t Visible Pests
This is absolutely untrue. Adult bed bugs are about a quarter inch in size and can be spotted with the naked eye. Even their fecal matter is visible, which is often a sure sign of infestation (look for small reddish brown dots on bed linens, or in other places where they might be hiding). Remember, if you have bed bugs, call a pest control professional!
- Daddy Long Legs Are the Most Poisonous Spiders
This one you may already know is a myth, but we figured we’d add it for fun, as well as to bring light to the fact that there are actually two types of “daddy longlegs”. The first is only a close relative to real spiders, and they don’t even have poison glands. The second, which is the most common cellar and garage spider, is able to bite humans, but is not lethal by any means. This not only busts the myth in general (this myth was even “busted” on the popular television show Myth Busters), but also the second part of the myth, which is that daddy longlegs aren’t able to bite humans with their super-tiny fangs – because they definitely can, it’s just a mere prick when they do.
- You Can Take Care of Pests Yourself
This is a great one to wrap it all up. Some pests can be treated with DIY tactics, and others not at all, but bottom line is that, in the end, you’ll most likely be saving yourself time, frustration, and even money by hiring a pest control professional like Gecko Pest Control in Tucson. Would you like to be pest free after a month of trying your own methods, or know FOR SURE you’ll be pest free and not have to put in any work yourself by hiring a pest control professional? Seems like an easy answer to us.Read More
We know you hate them. They’re definitely not something you think of as cute. They’re spiders – the worst kind of pests.
Well, not the worst, but are they really worth wasting all your extraneous hate on, and is it really imperative that one keeps their house spider-free?
No, and no. In fact, good luck getting rid of ALL the spiders. If you can do that, give us your number and we’ll make sure to give you a call next time we need pest control.
Okay, okay, so if you can’t exterminate them all, then…
What can the average avid spider hater do?
Go for it. If you’re home isn’t in it’s old age you just may be able to seal off every entrance that the little critters make their way through before they find your bed sheets; otherwise, trust us – they’ll find their way in if there is one.
Again, go for it, but good luck. Most insecticides are reliant on the creature actually applying the poison to themselves by running their body over it, which in the case of the spiders is slim to none, that is – unless you hit them with it as you’re spraying. This is because spiders keep “on their toes”, so to speak, at all times. Oh, and also – spiders aren’t insects.
You may say, “Yeah, but I have my house sprayed periodically and I rarely see a spider.” Oh, but of course! You’ve killed off the majority of their food supply is why.
Though relieving, this tactic unfortunately has zero effect on the size of your home’s spider population.
What’s the answer to the pest problem then?
We just told you: kill off their food supply.
As stated earlier – you won’t win the war completely, but if you manage to put a significant dent in their main source of food (mostly household insects) then you can be sure to see less creepy crawlies skittering around at night.
Spiders do have a thing for their own kind too though, so don’t think that eliminating their plate of pests will halt their feeding completely. The strongest and smartest ones will survive, and you can be sure of that.
What you can do though, is: grab the best vacuum you have, make sure the bag is empty, attach the hard surface extension, and go nuts on every nook and cranny in the house. This not only sucks up a lot of what they feed on, but also their un-borns (still writhing in their egg sacs – ew), themselves, and as a bonus – a bunch of unwanted dust.
Other tips include: sparingly using outdoor and indoor lights that you notice are attracting bugs, regularly trimming plants in and around the house, and installing door sweeps.
If all else fails…
We suggest you give us a call and let us put our pesticides to work. Unlike insecticides these chemicals are made up of larger particles that more easily catch onto pests passing through.
So, if you’re in Tucson and dealing with a sudden influx of eight-legged freaks, try out these tips and be sure to contact us if nothing seems to be helping the pest problem.