FAQ

Termites

Bed Bugs

Stinging/Biting Bugs

Mosquitos

Pest Professional

 

Termites

What are termites?
Termites are small colonizing insects that feed on mostly cellulose, which could be plant fibers at any stage of decay.
Are there different kinds of termites?
There are several types of termites. The most common and destructive termite in southern Arizona is the subterranean. Subterranean termites and drywood termites tend to be more active in warmer climates.
How do you recognize termites?
Termites themselves are usually hidden, so seeing them is rare. Subterranean termites are usually a white/yellowish color and are similar in size to ants. You are more likely to find evidence of termite activity than to see them. Evidence can include mud tubes, blisters in wood flooring, hollowed or damaged wood, and evidence of swarms, like clusters of wings and drywood termite droppings.
How much damage do termites cause?
Over $5 billion in damages in the US alone. Termites cause more damage than fire, floods, and other natural disasters. Termites’ threat to wood-based structures is of high priority.
What can I do to prevent termites?
Termite problems are usually a question of when you get them versus if you get termites. There is not much you can do to prevent them, but make sure you’ve had a termite treatment within the last 5 years or have an ongoing protection plan. You should have a warranty with either plan to keep you protected. Another step when preventing termite activity is to keep conducive conditions under control. For example, a house with a corner covered by vines produces a conducive condition for termites to begin their activity, as well as other pests to become a nuisance entering your home.
What is the most effective type of termite treatment?
Treatments depend on the termite infestation. There are two treatment options; a conventional liquid treatment or a termite baiting system. To help a property owner form such an executive decision, a termite inspection must be completed.
How difficult are termites to treat?
This depends on what type of treatment is needed. Termite treatments can include getting into hard-to-reach areas and areas you never thought of, like behind outlets or other power sources. We would highly advise not treating for termites on your own. This is NOT a DIY job.

Bed Bugs

Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the U.S. and how do you know?
Yes, the U.S. is experiencing a huge resurgence of bed bugs in epidemic levels.
Where have you been finding bedbugs?
Everywhere! Anywhere that humans rest, bed bugs can be found. Bed bugs can be found at hotels, motels, dormitories, apartments, condos, private homes, movie theaters, and public transportation!
What states have been affected?
All 50 states have been affected by bed bugs. Generally, the more populated or congested the cities are, the bigger the size of the bed bug problem.
Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?
Bed bugs can survive temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees and can also go several months without feeding. This makes bed bug removal impossible to treat with DIY measures. The biggest concern is how easily they are spread, which is one of the major factors of the bed bug resurgence in the U.S..
What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?
Be very careful about thrift shopping for used clothes and furniture. Handle clothes and luggage with caution when returning home from trips. Do NOT place any luggage or contents on your bed after travel.
Are bedbugs just in beds?
No, bed bugs can be anywhere they can come in contact with humans, including but not limited to hotels, motels, dormitories, apartments, condos, private homes, movie theaters, and public transportation!
How can you control bedbugs?
Contacting a professional is highly advised. Due to the complex habits and biology of bed bugs, tailor-made bed bug treatments are required for each situation in order to ensure elimination.
Can I get sick from bedbugs?
Bed bugs have not been known to carry any diseases but are an invasive nuisance that affect humans and pets in the home.

Stinging/Biting Bugs

What types of pests are included in the stinging insect category?
Bees, wasps, scorpions, centipedes, and ants. When stinging insects live near humans, situations can arise that cause them to attack. This presents serious health concerns and liability for property owners.
Are stinging insects considered public health threats?
Yes. People who are allergic to insect stings are vulnerable. Bee and wasp attacks have been known to hospitalize and even kill people and animals.
What time of year are stinging insects at their peak?
Peak times for stinging insects are usually the warmer months of the year.
Why shouldn't homeowners try to control stinging insects without the help of a trained professional?
It is very dangerous and can lead to serious injury and even death. In the case of Africanized honeybees, cases have occurred where hundreds and thousands of bees have descended on people and animals that died as a result of their stings.
Can stinging insects also be a property threat?
Bees and wasps can make a home in and around property that can be damaging. When stinging insects are living in close proximity to humans, situations can arise that cause them to attack. This presents serious health concerns and liability for property owners.

Mosquitos

Are mosquitoes a real health threat?
Mosquitos have been known to carry and transmit viruses.
What is West Nile virus?
West Nile virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes West Nile fever. It is a member of the family Flaviviridae, specifically from the genus Flavivirus, which also contains the Zika virus, Dengue virus, and yellow fever virus. West Nile virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes.
Do we get malaria in the U.S.?
About 1,700 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs.
Are Americans at risk for Dengue Fever?
Most Americans infected with Dengue Fever were infected while traveling abroad. Outbreaks in the United States have been relatively small and limited to small areas.
What can homeowners do to reduce the risks from mosquitoes?
Mosquitos are usually attracted to areas with sitting water or moisture. Any items that can retain sitting water should be turned over or removed.

Pest Professional

What should a homeowner look for when selecting a pest professional, commonly called an exterminator?
  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state, or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.
If you hire a pest control professional, are you guaranteed a pest-free home?
Most pest professionals will not guarantee a pest free home. The key is to control the pest situation with the idea of having a relatively pest-free home.
Can I get help from a pest control professional if I have pets?
Yes! Essential Pest Control uses treatments that are designed for insect biology and are relatively harmless to pets.