Arizona is home to many different fearsome creatures, some of which have fangs and stingers, and that creep, crawl or slither. The black widow spider is one of the most common inhabitants of the valley which contains 22 different kinds of these arachnids.
The Black Widow is a creature that receives its name for its particular reproductive pattern and cannibalism: females, which are larger and stronger than males, eat their mates after copulating. These females can be easily identified by their characteristic 1.5-inch-black bodies with a red dual triangle-shaped mark on their abdomen. Males are smaller and weaker as their only function is to inseminate the females. Black widows search for dark, cool places to build their spider webs and lay their egg-sacs, usually on corners, on the floor, under patio furniture, around a barbecue, inside mailboxes, toys lying on the floor, and also in the outdoors, inside shrubs or vines. Black widows spread very fast as a female can lay up to 750 eggs (inside up to 9 egg-sacs) several times throughout summer. However, only some of the spiderlings survive, as the fittest prey on their weaker siblings.
Contrary to popular belief, these spiders actually hide from humans and do not attack unless they feel their shelters or offspring are being threatened. In case someone accidentally puts their hand in a black widow’s web, the spider will automatically bite that person. Black widow bites consist of two red spots that mark the area where the spider pierced the skin and injected the neurotoxin into the nervous system. The symptoms are mainly pain, muscle cramps, nausea and in extreme cases, trouble breathing. In order to prevent these unfortunate encounters, it is useful to learn how to identify these venomous spiders and to keep the house and surrounding vegetation clean and free of debris and clutter.
Though black widows are the deadliest spiders in the USA, they inject a little amount of venom when they bite a human, so people do not generally die from these bites. Nevertheless, if you are bitten by a black widow, call the local authorities immediately for help. In order to keep these creatures away from your home, make sure you keep others pests away, such as crickets, roaches, and mosquitoes, their favorite meals. In cold weather and drought, black widows look for refuge indoors, so make sure you keep your floors free of clutter!
Are you afraid of spiders? Do you like crushing these arachnids when you see them? Or do you immediately get out of a room if you see spiders there? Maybe you are one of those people who cannot sleep with any type of bug in their bedrooms because you are afraid one of them will crawl into your mouth.
You shouldn’t be afraid of admitting it. You are a small part of the population that most likely suffers from arachnophobia. It means that you are afraid of spiders. The problem with this phobia is that, of course, it’s not very logical. After reading this article you will realize that you can sleep tight: it’s not true that spiders can crawl into your mouth while you rest!
First of all, spiders avoid being in contact with human beings as much as possible. The fact that you are asleep does not make you a probable victim. These small creatures do not see you as a harmless body and would not take this as a chance to attack you. In addition to this, the possibility of a spider getting into your mouth is very small.
It’s not very common for people to sleep with their mouths open. If they do, they are probably snoring. It’s not possible for a spider to want to enter into a mouth that’s moving air and resonating. Especially because a lot of vibration is produced by snoring. This kind of resonation is one of the things that repels spiders the most because it is a sign of danger for them.
If this information is not enough to make you feel better, let’s take a look at some statistics regarding spiders. Following some associations like the Poison Control Center, only two people died from spider bites between the years 2000 and 2004. And these species do not even live in the United States.
Even though it is true that there are some cases of people who have suffered in the hands of spiders (like the case of a Chinese woman back in 2011, who discovered she had a very small spider living in her ear canal), this is not common. As you can see, the chances of eating a spider while you’re sleeping are minimal. Rest assured that these arachnids will never try to enter into your mouth. You are far scarier for them than they are for you.
Bedbugs are certainly a nightmare. If you happen to encounter some of these tiny creatures, you will certainly have some itchy spots the next day. Now, what are bedbugs and how do we identify them? Keep on reading to find out more information on these insidious little insects.
Why are there so many?
Bedbugs are small, brown and elusive. Usually, they are not bigger than an apple seed. It’s not easy to see them unless they bite you. These insects usually suck the blood of animals until they find some unsuspecting person to bite. Fortunately, they cannot fly, though this does not make these bugs less annoying. They are incredibly quick when crawling over floors and beds of course.
In regards to their mating habits, females can lay a large number of eggs in very little time. These eggs are so small that it’s almost impossible for a person to see them. Once they are born, nymphs develop very fast: in only a month they are ready to lay eggs themselves. This makes it even harder for us humans to get rid of these nuisance pests. The only good thing is that they do not transmit any known diseases.
Where can I find them?
Unfortunately, bed bugs can enter your home through your clothes, suitcases, and by other means. They are so tiny that they can fit into virtually any space. Mattresses and bed frames are their favorite spots. This way they can have easy access to people whom they can bite. If they are not eliminated in time, they can scatter all over the bedroom and the house.
What happens when they bite?
Their main period of activity is night time. They prefer their victims to be asleep, and they feed on them over a period ranging from 3 to 9 minutes. Then, they go away without being noticed.
Their bites are not painful, which is nice considering that they are incredibly itchy. Almost 75% will develop a rash after being bitten, and 80% will have some kind of reaction.
All in all, what makes these pests so horrible is that they annoy us in the place where we should feel the most comfortable: our own beds. We are completely defenseless when we rest. These bugs should have the decency to at least let us sleep unmolested. Call for a professional pest control company right away when you spot these pests in your home.
A common misconception about Arizona scorpions is that they die off in the winter. This is not entirely true though. Arizona scorpions actually dislike winters so much that they opt to hide in their homes until March or April. This is called hibernation and is also pretty standard for a wide variety of both insect and animal life.
They start hibernating as soon as fall begins, which is why most scorpions can’t be found on land during this time. What also helps them is the fact that they are built to endure a wide variety of temperatures. Although most scorpions are lone creatures, bark scorpions tend to form clusters when they hibernate or nest. They can even form groups of 30 or more scorpions huddled together. Once the clusters are formed, the scorpions stay safe until the weather begins to warm. Another option for scorpions during the winter is to make their way into a warmer environment. This warmer area could easily be your well heated home. They are very small and can even squeeze into a space as small as 1/16 of an inch. These creatures can be found hiding somewhere in your stores, tiny openings or maybe even your shoes, so be careful!
One of the reasons why it could be a little tricky to spot scorpions in your house is because they are nocturnal beasts that sleep during the day and come out at night. They feed on roaches, crickets and other insects. The bark scorpions are the only kind of scorpions that can actually climb walls which gives them a lot of options to hide within your house.
Just because it’s winter time in Arizona doesn’t mean that scorpions are gone hibernating for good. Always check your home for these pesky little critters just in case they were seeking a warmer environment. Watchdog Pest Control specializes in scorpion eradication, removal, and exclusion. Give us a call for details.
Rodents: How They Invade and Attack
What would you do if you saw a rat crawling around the kitchen of your favorite restaurant? Disgusted, right?
What you probably don’t know is that many houses (especially older ones) are home to rodents without their owner even knowing. Whether these pests are hiding in your basement, attic, pantry, or even inside of your walls, the first step to solving your rodent problem is by knowing how these creatures get in, and the damage that you’ll see if they are living in your residence.
One of the downsides of buying an older house is all the cracks and holes that are found along the foundation of the building and the small gaps in the windows and ceilings. Although they may look small, pests like mice are prone to get in. Often, rodents enter during the fall or winter time when food is becoming more scarce in their natural environments and the temperature is plummeting. Once they enter, they proliferate exponentially to host a huge population in just a matter of weeks.
The best way to prevent this unwanted invasion is by keeping track of all the openings in your house and filling cracks and gaps with metal or concrete that will block these rodents from entering in the first place. In the meanwhile, store all your food in airtight containers so that they don’t attract these creatures. A few simple steps can stop many problems before they even start.
Once a rodent gets into your home, the damage that it can cause can be enormous. The first thing that you would probably notice would be the mouse droppings, little black pieces that look almost like raisins. If you do find any, get some gloves and antiseptic spray to dispose of them and call pest control right away. Odd noises is another clue that rats are scurrying around in the walls and floorboards. However, the worst part of a rodent is it’s teeth. Rodents will gnaw on almost anything. Apart from having strange scratches and nicks all over your household belongings, rats can also chew on electric wires to cause a fire or other hazardous materials.
It’s really important to know the signs of a rodent invasion before your whole house becomes a mess of droppings and chewed belongings. Most of the time, mousetraps and rat poison aren’t enough. Don’t delay to call rodent experts like us to take care of these critters before they infest your house.
As it gets warmer, fleas and ticks might show up. These pesky parasites can cause problems for pets and humans alike. Although they might be small, they can cause a lot of damage that can be prevented if proper steps are taken.
Even though this is the case, fleas and ticks are commonly mixed up and although they have many similarities, let’s point out some differences.
Appearance and Activity
As you may have noticed, both fleas and ticks are extremely small. While a flea may be the size of a pinhead, a tick is usually a little bigger.
Fleas love to jump around and contrary to the common notion that they can fly, fleas actually just stay on one host for their small lifespan of around 100 days. But don’t be relieved yet… During this time, the flea can have thousands of offspring which can be a headache for you to deal with.
On the other hand, ticks are actually related to spiders (arachnids) and consume blood by digging/burrowing into the skin which is also difficult to find. “Tick” is really a term for many different small arachnids who are parasites. They can live from 3 weeks to up to 3 years, moving from host to host while having offspring.
Apart from creating a small rash on your pets (or you), these creatures can carry some deadly diseases. Fleas can carry many types of bacteria, including one that transmits the plague! Ticks meanwhile carry diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can cause neurological damage in severe cases. But don’t be too worried, if you take a few precautions, nothing bad will happen!
The best way to keep these parasites away are usually by using natural sprays that stop these bugs from showing up in the first place. Flea lotions, creams, collars, and other products are available for pets (and you when outdoors) to disinterested fleas. If you or your pet do get infected, go to a doctor for medicine. Ticks are treated the same way, but if you are bitten by a tick, use a credit card or other flat object to pull it away. Using tweezers can squeeze harmful fluids into your body. Talk to a doctor afterwards.
These pests don’t usually show up in residential areas so removal usually isn’t an issue.
Fleas and ticks are pesky parasites that cause disease and discomfort. Hopefully though, you can distinguish between the two and tackle any of the problems that you may face. Call Watchdog Pest Control immediately to prevent them from multiplying and further harming your family and your pets.
The most venomous scorpion in North America, the Bark Scorpion sting can cause severe pain, numbness, tingling and convulsions lasting between 24 and 72 hours. Tens of thousands of people are stung across the country each year, many in their homes. A large proportion of these stings could have been prevented by people undertaking simples steps to deter the bark scorpion from their homes. So here we explain what you can do to deter these common household pests from your home.
Seal Your Property
Sealing the cracks and holes in the foundations, walls and baseboards is an excellent way to prevent scorpions entering your home. These critters can squeeze through a gap as thin as a credit card! Be sure to close windows tightly so there are no gaps for an invader to climb in and invest in door seals to prevent an entry route.
Remove Potential Scorpion Shelters
The predominantly nocturnal scorpion will seek shelter during the day, becoming active at night. Removing structures that scorpions may use as a daytime hiding place will prevent the creature from hanging around both inside and outside the home. Store cardboard boxes on cupboard shelves and keep storage and wardrobes neat and tidy. Outside, ensure hedges and plants are trimmed so there are no places to hide and don’t leave garbage hanging around.
Lavender or Citrus
Both Lavender and Citrus naturally deters scorpions. Plant lavender around the perimeter of your home and use lavender scented cleaning products. The same principles apply to citrus products, a pot with some citrus plants near entrances to your home will deter the arachnid invaders.
Balance the Insects
Bark Scorpions feed on insects around the home so be sure to kill and remove ants, cicadas, crickets and cockroaches quickly. However, leaving spiders around the home will help! Spiders will kill scorpions in the vicinity.
Birds are beautiful creatures. They perfectly symbolize freedom. They can fly anywhere they wish and nest on places they find ideal for them. While they’re certainly beautiful to look at, they are sometimes considered nuisance pests. Because the sky above your home is beyond your control, it is best for you to learn more about bird prevention tips so you can effectively keep them away.
In Phoenix, Arizona, many homeowners consider birds as pests. Their droppings can be very difficult to clean and can also cause serious damage to property. Bird droppings are very acidic. When these aren’t removed or cleaned up immediately, they can easily damage wood, metal, plastic, vinyl, paint, and other commonly used materials around your household. These droppings can cause pricey damage to roofs, cars, and other belongings.
Aside from the stress and damage to property they bring, these birds can also cause serious health risks. For instance, pigeons, which are very common in Phoenix, can transmit a number of diseases. Smaller birds can take with them an infestation of ticks, mites, and fleas. Furthermore, their droppings can be a source of viruses and other diseases.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Even before birds start becoming pests in your property, it’s best to prevent them from being around your own private space in the first place. Here are some tips you can keep in mind:
- Do a regular spot check on your entire property for possible bird nests.
Birds will come back again and again when they have already built their nest in your property. These nests aren’t only found in trees; they can also be found in chimneys, vents, roof drains, and others. When you check on your property, make sure you remove these nests as well.
- Don’t leave possible food sources lying around.
Depending on their species, birds may eat fruits, worms, bird feed, grains, seeds, and many more. It is best for you to make sure they have nothing to feed on in your property. Of course, you can’t possibly pick up all the worms in your garden or eliminate all of your fruit trees, if you have any. At least you should avoid leaving grains and seeds lying around by making sure your property is always clean and well-maintained.
- Consider using bird repellent sprays.
There are some bird repellent sprays and chemicals that may be applied on to your roof, porch, and other areas around your home where you frequently find birds resting. You may consider using these to keep many of these bird species out.
- Bird spikes may also be installed across your property.
Some would think it’s inhumane to install bird spikes in houses. However, birds don’t actually get killed by these spikes. They can go ahead and rest elsewhere, but not on those spikes in your property. Truth be told, when all else fails, bird spikes might just be your next best option to keep birds out.
Birds are difficult to control since they are free to fly anywhere they wish. In fact, many of their species are even protected by law. When dealing with a serious bird problem and your own DIY bird prevention methods simply didn’t work, it is time to call on the experts. Watchdog Pest Control is a top pest control contractor in the Phoenix, Arizona area. We can help you out. Give us a call at 602-842-5290 for an appointment.