Roaches like humidity and warmth. They can survive just about anything, but cold weather makes a significant reduction in their reproduction. In addition, like humans, roaches prefer to be out and active in warmer weather.
Reproduction is based on the life cycle and it is very sensitive to small temperature changes.
For example, if the temperature drops five degrees, the roach reproduction life cycle is cut in about half. If you take it down another five degrees, you cut the cycle down by another half.
So, in other words, for a ten-degree drop in coolness roach reproduction will decrease by 3/4.
Evidence of temperature on roach reproduction is the relatively higher number of roaches in hotter and more humid states than colder states. States with harsh winters have the least number or cockroaches.
One thing that roaches do is come indoors for the winter. They like a hot spot under a water heater, a stove, or the pantry. Areas with a lot of outdoor roaches will simply come into the home for the winter.
Boric acid dust in concrete cracks can help keep them from walking into your home and reproducing successfully.
Getting Rid Of Roaches: Identify Their Area
If you plan on getting rid of these cockroaches, you would need to first identify where are the areas that they normally hang out.
Roaches like dark, damp and moist places. Particularly if there is an abundant source of food nearby for them to rummage through at night.
Most of the time, you can find them coming out at night in your kitchen or bathroom areas. Places where we normally throw out our leftover food like trash cans or near drains are their ideal hangout spot.
Use Roach Traps
Now instead of trapping them, you’ll want to exterminate them. This is where you use cockroach bait which you can easily buy from any pest control store.
One thing about using roach traps or bait is that they are fairly easy to use. You do not need to do any substance mixing or preparation.
The insecticide is located in a small child-resistant plastic container. There is no need to empty out any food cabinets or cover any food preparation. All you need to do is get around 10 or 12 of these roach traps to place strategically in those areas where the roaches have been spotted.
Nooks And Corners
Just slip them underneath your refrigerator, stove, kitchen cabinets, dishwasher, and storage places. Remember now, you need to place them in all the nooks and corners where cockroaches will travel along.
Do not spray any insecticide on these roach traps or around them as these will deter the roaches from coming near.. The idea is that the roaches come out and eat the cockroach bait or bring them back to their nest where they will slowly die.
Don’t worry as the insecticide is not exposed to people or pets. You should be able to see a significant change in the roach population within 1 to 3 weeks.
Most people might not be familiar with Chagas disease but they might recognize the disease after hearing its common term, the “kissing bug“.
Kissing bugs not only kiss your skin when they land on it. They will bring out their suction tubes at the end of their mouth and stick them into your skin to suck on your blood.
Their bites are virtually painless which are why kissing bugs are barely noticeable. But don’t rest on this because kissing bugs are known to transmit Chagas disease. This disease can cause chronic neurological disorders and serious heart and digestive system damages.
The disease is endemic in Latin America and it affects almost 10 million people. It affects other countries even if it is not endemic in their places such as the United States and Spain.
It is worth noting that a large part of the disease incidence occurs in rural areas where the breeding and feeding ground of the vector insect are available.
Trypanosome cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease. It is a parasitic protozoan that lives inside different animals such as raccoons, squirrels, mice, wood rats, and opossums.
But, it is also found out that even domestic animals such as dogs, cats, and cows can also be a reservoir for T. cruzi. As a result, the disease is even made more rampant.
The carrier of T. cruzi is the kissing bug. The bug feeds both in animals and humans. When it sucks blood from an infected host, the kissing bug can transfer T.cruzi to other animals.
But when it comes to humans, the kissing bug is attracted to bite on the face of its victim then after it is done in sucking blood; it will defecate on the fresh wound it made, thus passing on the parasite.
Signs and Symptoms
There are two phases of Chagas disease in humans. The first one is the acute phase. This may last for many weeks or even months.
The acute phase may last for too long because it is asymptomatic at first. Even when the disease’s manifestations start to surface, it is only mild and most will just ignore how they feel.
The following are some of the manifestations of the acute phase:
- Inflamed face originating from the bite site
- Pyrosis (fever)
- An itchy or non-itchy rash
- Body pain
- Headache, nausea, vomiting
- Splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen)
- Liver enlargement
The acute phase commonly subsides by itself and the body is capable of fighting the disease.
But sometimes, other factors might lead to the chronic phase. If the body is already weak when the Chagas disease develops, there is a high tendency that the affected person with proceeding to the chronic phase. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Myocardial inflammation or enlargement
- Heart failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Enlargement of the esophagus
- Enlarged colon
When the disease is not resolved promptly, it can lead to death. Every year, around 20,000 deaths are caused by Chagas disease.
Using natural mosquito repellent is the safest way to keep bothersome insects out of your yard, and the need for an organic method becomes even more important when you are dealing with your garden or even a small farm.
If you are tired of looking for a mosquito spray that actually works, the above-mentioned garlic mosquito repellent is guaranteed to keep your yard, garden, and home free of mosquitoes for the whole season.
Prevent Mosquito Bites Naturally
Not only is the thought of an insect drawing blood from you in your sleep repulsive, but many individuals also suffer from allergic reactions caused by mosquito bites and sometimes even contract a severe disease from the bug.
There are dozens of different mosquito repellents on the market, but many of these can cause more harm to your plants than the mosquitoes themselves, and others still fail to even keep the mosquitoes away.
If you need to find a solution that actually works, continue reading for an easy-to-understand guide to purchasing mosquito repellent.
Different mosquito repellents do very different things: some kill mosquitoes on contact; others try to mask the smell of carbon dioxide that mosquitoes use to find humans and animals so that they will move on by themselves.
You obviously don’t have enough time to chase mosquitoes around all day with a spray bottle, so you are definitely going to want to go for something that can be sprayed to keep them away from your front porch and house entirely.
These insects are initially attracted to the grass, plants or flowers in your lawn, so the most realistic approach towards truly repelling mosquitoes far, far away from your house is to focus on keeping them away from your lawn.
At the same time, you really don’t want to spray something that will leave all of the greenery withered as this will eventually attract even more undesirable bugs and insects and just looks undesirable.
Using an organic mosquito repellent or spray that specifically focuses on making your front lawn an undesirable location for mosquitoes to linger and breed without harming the other plants, animals or even people in the area is your best bet every time.
Using strong insecticides on your front yard can be a very dangerous decision to make. These chemicals can harm you, your animals and your children, and they will also leave any plants or grass you had in a terribly unhealthy state if not dead.
Mosquito Barrier offers an amazing organic repellent for mosquitoes that uses a garlic-based liquid that keeps these insects away from your yard for about a month with 1 spray, and it doesn’t have any harmful side-effects or chemicals at all – just a powerful garlic extract and a few food-grade preservatives.
Mosquitoes naturally shy away from garlic, and their sensitive sense of smell allows them to still sense the garlic for months later. You might be thinking that your whole house is going to smell like garlic, but the smell becomes untraceable to the human nose after just a few minutes.
A carpet beetle is usually a pest you have to worry about outside the home, but on occasion, an inside infestation can occur. They like to lay their eggs in carpets and other fabrics.
Once you have larvae in the home they can be quite damaging and it is best to get rid of them.
The carpet beetle larvae will create holes in the fabric and will invade any animal product, like leather or food.
The first sign that you may have a problem is that the adults will try to get back outside once they lay their eggs, so you will often see them at windows and other areas that access the outside. At that point, you need to find where they are laying their eggs and how the larvae are feeding to get rid of them.
Once you find these areas you should:
- Vacuum frequently (be sure to do all areas with carpet and fabrics, including furniture and drapes)
- Eliminate any piles of clothes or other materials that larvae could feed on
- Remove bee or birds nest around your home (these are hot spots for laying eggs)
- Use an insect spray and spray around the floorboards and furniture
When you do these things you will be removing new eggs, removing larvae, preventing the carpet beetles from having anywhere to lay their eggs and removing food sources. At this point, there will be no reason for them to want to be inside.
Fortunately, these are not too difficult to control. You will have a hard time keeping them out once they start coming in, but getting rid of them is not too hard.
As long as you do a good cleaning of carpets, furniture, rugs, and drapes then you should be able to get rid of them. If you seem to have a persistent issue with carpet beetles, just use an insect spray and this should do the trick.
Consider washing your fabrics. Use hot water to clean them. Stuff, such as towels and linens should be washed in a washing machine containing hot water.
For very bad infestation, consider steam cleaning all your carpets as well as upholstered furniture. You may know that carpet beetles tend to be resilient. So, using hot water is better than using cold water.
Lastly, if you do find the specific area where the carpet beetles are getting in then you can simply close it up so they can no longer get in.
Be aware, though, that most will enter from the attic area or in some area where they can easily get inside.
You may not find the actual entrance, but as mentioned, if you do everything to get rid of them then you will be eliminating the perfect environment for them to live and they will not be interested anymore in coming inside.
Mosquito bites and summer go hand in hand. While summer conjures up happy thoughts, mosquito bites do not.
What are these bites from mosquitoes? The truth is, they aren’t really mosquito bites at all – they are ‘stab wounds’.
What is this stabbing concept?
Mosquitoes have a long mouth piece called a proboscis that will actually saw (with a back and forth motion) into your skin.
Once you are adequately stabbed, then some mosquito saliva is spat into your skin to prevent blood clotting. Now, this insect goes about mining for blood – moving that long proboscis in and out, to the right and left, up and down, searching for the perfect vein to suck from & fill her belly.
Only female mosquitoes suck blood as they need the protein to procreate and make millions of more blood suckers to torment you.
If a vein is struck, she sucks to her content and flies away fat with human blood, and happy. If not and the multiple attempts sawing in and out of your skin offer no reward, she goes away empty-handed.
But, the gift was still left behind as she spat just as much saliva in you whether she received nothing or the mother lode.
What’s up with the saliva?
Not only does the thought of another creature spitting into your skin sound repulsive but here is the real kicker – that saliva is what you have an allergic reaction to. The saliva injected into your body is what causes the mosquito ‘bite’.
It isn’t a bite at all – it is a puncture wound where a female mosquito has spit into you. So if the thought of mosquitoes didn’t really bother you before, it certainly will now.
If you have 6 itchy, irritating mosquito bites right now, then 6 females have violated your skin.
Maybe they were fed off of your blood supply, maybe not but their calling card is the same – an itchy, annoying welt to remind you of how nasty parasites can be.
So, what can you do to avoid this nightmarish scene?
It is summer and mosquitoes are here with a vengeance – ample rainfall, perfect temperatures, a lot of new diseases to spread around which brings us to the obvious point of why you want to avoid mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is common, and so is the Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
And, we always have spinal meningitis to worry about but now we also have Malaria, Dengue Fever and even the Sleeping Sickness infiltrating the United States, so beware.
To prevent having mosquitoes get rid of standing water so they can’t breed.
Second, use a mosquito repellent that is safe and effective. Use a product that is natural, food-grade safe and has good customer service behind it.
Third, pest control for mosquitoes proves to be a great help. Many homeowners and companies have benefitted from evaluating their areas ridden with mosquitoes and eliminating them safely and effectively so.
This way you avoid these torturous human-stabbing creatures and can actually enjoy the summer. And that is a happy thought.
Flea bites on humans constitute a problem which many people tend to ignore either out of embarrassment or due to the belief that they are not a serious condition.
But, these little insects carry a lot of diseases, and through their bite, the viruses can get into your bloodstream and cause an infection.
Most often, flea bites on humans appear under the form of itchy spots that form over the surface of the body, predominantly in the area of the legs.
If you notice such spots and think you may have been bitten by fleas, do not rush into thinking that this is a cause of embarrassment, since fleas are attracted to unclean environments. Actually, most often, fleas are transmitted to humans by their pets.
If you notice that your dog has lost its appetite and seems to feel lethargic, the chances are it is also infested with dog worms, internal parasites that affect our pets. Is your dog constantly scratching its ears? Ear mites in dogs are also a rather common problem. This infection can cause serious damage to your dog’s inner ear.
Dogs do have the instinct to fight against parasites, but their natural methods are usually inefficient. In fact, as the dog scratches, external parasites may fall off its fur, and unto your carpet. Once you have fleas in house, it is only a question of time until you will start noticing flea bites on humans as well.
The best thing you can do is get a professional treatment for your dog. Also, calling a pest control company for flea removal and elimination of dog fleas in your home is a great idea.
Ask your veterinarian which one is the most suitable for your dog, according to its breed, weight, and age. Once your dog is treated, those annoying flea bites on humans will also disappear.
As for the internal parasites, one of the most efficient treatments available is usually prescribed by the vet. Any treatment for your dog has to work — as this is one of the basic steps in preventing illness caused by worms and fleas that took refuge in your pet.
If you fear that your budget may not permit you such a complex treatment, take into consideration the fact that there are a lot of pet meds for less money you can choose from. Pet medication discounts are easy to find, just ask your veterinarian or browse the Internet for some great offers.
Another method to fight against parasites is prevention. Buy a series of dog grooming supplies, such as brushes, clippers, and shampoos and make sure that you keep your dog clean, and, consequently your home’s environment more hygienic. Brush the fur of your dog on a daily basis and wash it as often as it is recommended. You will notice that with such a routine, flea bites on humans or even on dogs will no longer be a problem.
To guarantee your home free from fleas, contact your pest control company for flea removal.
Most spiders in the United States are not poisonous. Therefore, some spider bites do not cause any harm so you do not need to treat them. This allows your body to heal itself which is always the best for your continued good health.
To tell if you have suffered a spider bite (and not a bite from another insect like a mosquito for example), simply look at the center of the bite mark. If you see two small indentations or holes then you most likely have a spider bite.
Some people do experience some mild symptoms or reactions to spider bites even when the spider was not poisonous.
Spider Bite Treatment
- The first thing you will want to do is to clean the area where you have the spider bite to prevent any infections or other reactions from occurring. The best way to clean your bite area is with warm soap and water. Then dry your skin completely and apply an antibiotic ointment.
- If you start to experience any swelling around the bite area or itching you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. You can stop this reaction in its tracks by taking an antihistamine.
- If you experience any pain in the bite area you can use acetaminophen which is also called Tylenol. Tylenol is effective in reducing pain and swelling. In addition, grown adults may use aspirin to reduce swelling and pain.
- A great way to reduce the swelling without taking any kind of medicine is to simply press a cool wet washcloth or ice pack to the bite area for 20 minutes or so. If you are using an ice pack be sure to wrap it in a small cotton cloth to keep the ice pack itself away from your skin.
If you have a child that is under six years old that has been bitten by a spider, you should contact your doctor right away.
If you experience any of these symptoms it is time to call your doctor for an appointment.
Spider Bite Symptoms
- Headache after getting bitten
- You develop a fever
- You begin to experience muscle aches and pains
- You have nausea
- Your skin around the bite area is discolored
If the spider that has bitten you happens to still be nearby, you can easily catch it to identify that it is indeed not a poisonous spider.
To catch a spider simply take a paper cup and a small piece of paper. Slowly put the paper cup over the top of the spider. Then keep the paper cup pressed against the wall or floor, and slide the paper under the top of the cup without lifting the cup up. Then lift the paper cup up being careful to keep one hand on the piece of paper to keep the spider inside the cup.
You can also use a glass cup as well, however, they are heavier and sometimes harder to be slow in putting it over the top of the spider. If you move too quickly the spider will run away. By using slow movements you will discover just how easy it is to catch the spider in question.
Bed bug bites tend to occur along a straight line, in a pattern known as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The bites themselves are usually nothing more than small, raised, red bumps that itch.
For the most part bed bugs will bite you on exposed areas of skin like the arms, feet, hands, and face. The bites will normally go away within a week.
You’re probably thinking it would be hard to tell them apart from many other kinds of small insect bites. You’re right. That’s why you have to play detective and look for other signs of bed bugs to be sure.
If you have done that though and you’re fairly certain that your bites are bed bug bites, there are a few things you need to know.
The first time you are bitten, it can take up to 9 days for the bites to show on your skin. The more you are bitten, however, the less time between the biting and the skin reaction. This can make it hard to initially identify bites as coming from bed bugs, especially if you have been travelling.
The way a person reacts to the bites varies. Some people have very little reaction. Others can become ill.
Bed bug bites are sometimes misdiagnosed by doctors as scabies, allergic reactions or other insect bites. The delay in onset between the bites and the skin reaction is partly to blame. The doctor may prescribe something to address the bites and the itching but this doesn’t address the bed bugs themselves of course.
The good news is that bed bug bites are not dangerous. Bed bugs do carry certain pathogens but are not known to carry or spread any kind of disease. The bad news is that if you have been bitten by bed bugs in your home, you probably have an infestation on your hands.
Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere in the world but they are very hard to detect especially in the first stage of infestation. Sometimes, your only hope of detecting the presence of bed bugs is through a bed bug bite symptom.
Why They Are Hard to Find
Bed bugs are easy to distinguish once detected. They are reddish-brown, oval flat insects that look like small seeds.
They are wingless and usually do not grow bigger than half an inch. The reason why they are so hard to find is that they usually bite people in the evening and hide in the morning although there are some that may still bite in the morning.
Because of their small size and flat bodies, bed bugs can easily fit in between thin bed slat spaces, furniture cracks, and crevices.
Bed Bug Bite Symptom
A bed bug bite symptom may be your first clue that you have the insects in your room and on your bed or mattress. A bed bug bite is not very painful or not painful at all and may simply just feel itchy.
Bed bug bites may first look like a series of organized or lined welts that are not significantly raised. The welts may be reddish and swollen at first but will fade in a few days.
People with sensitive skin may lose some skin tissue or get skin blisters especially if they violently scratch the welts. Infections and allergies have also been known to occur in some cases.
“Kill it with fire” is a common response to anyone that has found a spider. You’ll even find plenty of memes online of people setting fire to their own houses because they found a spider inside. Of course, it’s just a joke – but the underlying fear of spiders is there.
Arizona and California share a lot of the same spiders, including some of the most dangerous ones.
Of course this list would have the black widow spider, and they are actually fairly common in California. It’s only one of the most dangerous spiders found in the country – the infamous shiny black spider with the distinctive red hourglass shaped mark on the underside of its abdomen. Sometimes, they may also have red markings on their back too.
They are typically black, but can also be dark brown in color. They hide in dark, low-lying areas, so it’s not at all surprising for people to not even suspect they’re there until they feel its bite – you may feel a pinprick, immediately followed by painful burning sensation. Sometimes they even leave double fang marks like a tiny vampire.
Redness and swelling follow shortly after. With black widow bites, pain is not limited to the bite area. You’ll likely experience muscle spasms in your chest and abdomen, and your back and shoulders may also hurt. In rare cases, black widow spider venom may lead to seizures, and even death.
Males are generally not black, and hardly ever bite. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention right away.
Thankfully, the areas where desert recluse spiders are commonly reported are sparsely populated by humans – areas including the lower San Joaquin Valley and the Sonoran and Mojave deserts.
Even so, if you see this spider, steer clear of it. Recluse spiders are known to have a violin shaped mark on their back, but with desert recluse spiders, they’re a more uniform tan or brown in color so it may be hard to see this mark. Another way you can tell it’s a recluse spider is that unlike many other spiders that have 8 eyes, they only have 6 eyes arranged in 3 pairs known as dyads.
That said, it’s advised you don’t come near enough to find out – these spiders have necrotic venom.
If you’ve been bitten by a desert recluse spider, it may not be immediately painful but tissue will break down in the next several days. Because of this, if you think you’ve been bitten by a recluse spider, seek medical attention immediately.
Other symptoms from a recluse bite may be skin rashes, chills, fever, joint pain, vomiting or nausea.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It may be challenging to keep spiders and other pests away from your home, but there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from getting inside:
- Seal cracks and crevices where spiders and other pests may enter. Be sure to use good quality caulk (expanding foam breaks down much faster over time)
- Install mesh screens on all outdoor vents
- Install screens on windows
- Install weatherstripping to close gaps on windows and doors
- When bringing inside pots, boxes, or other such materials, give them a quick inspection to make sure there are no pests hiding inside
Spiders feed on a lot of other pests, so protecting your home from pests also means making it less attractive for spiders. If you have a spider or any other pest infestation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control company to have them safely and effectively removed from your property.
For more information on spiders, check out our Spider Archives!
There are over 3,000 species of snakes around the world and they’re everywhere except Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, New Zealand, and of course, Antarctica.
An impressive 600 or so species are venomous, with an even more impressive 200 or so species capable of killing or significantly wounding a human. The metro Phoenix area alone is home to more species of rattlesnake than any other city in the country.
Venomous or not, one thing that makes snakes even more frightening is that almost all species eat their food whole – and yes, for larger species of snakes that means humans too.
With its warm temperatures and diverse landscapes, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of snakes in Arizona and that over 50 species of it call it home. Below would be just some of the most common venomous snakes you’ll encounter in the state.
If encountered, it is important to leave them alone and give them a wide berth. If found on your property, get in touch with a professional who can remove or kill it for you (note that some species are protected).
It’s also important to keep an eye on the snake before a professional arrives – they’re often aware that they’ve been spotted and may hold still and remain silent, only to flee and hide when you’ve walked away (they only rattle when threatened, and not necessarily when you’re just in the vicinity looking at them). While a professional should be able to track them down again after they’ve fled, that isn’t guaranteed.
Arizona Black Rattlesnake
These snakes can grow 15 inches and up to 65 inches in length. Younger snakes are typically a tan or gray color with brown splotches or circles. Mature snakes are often black with thin white, yellow, or orange cross bars on its back.
Their diet includes rodents, birds, amphibians, and other reptiles.
These snakes are quite venomous, and should be left alone.
This large-bodied rattlesnake can grow 28 up to 49 inches in body length. They may be brown with orange, yellow, or green patterned stripes but are distinguishable from other rattlesnakes by the uniformly dark tail just before the rattle.
Their diet consists of small mammals.
Although usually mild-mannered, Blacktailed rattlesnakes are venomous and will defend itself when threatened.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
These are one of the most common snakes you may encounter in Arizona, and they can grow 30 up to 84 inches in body length. They are gray or tan in color, with large diamond-shaped brown markings lined with white on their back. They have white and black stripes on their tail that are equal in size.
Their diet includes small mammals, birds, and lizards.
They’re quick to be defensive and are considered generally more aggressive than the other snakes listed here.
Western Coral Snake
These are small, slender snakes, growing only 13 up to 21 inches in body length. They’re brightly-colored with red and black bands separated by narrower yellow or cream bands.
Their diet includes lizards and small snakes.
They are considered to be generally non-aggressive, and while they’re small, their venom is highly toxic.
If you encounter any of these snakes, remember to steer clear of them. And if you find them on your property, contact a professional service to remove them for you.
For more information on snakes and other reptiles – where they live, where they hide, and so much more – check out our Pest Encyclopedia.