What Are the Most Common Winter Pests in Tucson?

winter pests

Due to the warm temperatures throughout the year, Arizona homes and businesses may be bothered by pests during any season. Winter pests like termites, cockroaches, and bed bugs can be particularly problematic. No matter which pests you’ve encountered, you can count on a pest control expert to take care of them for you.

 

Termites

Termites thrive in hot weather. Because of this, the slightly cooler temperatures of the wintertime in Tucson encourage termites to look for new, warmer homes—like yours. Consider calling a pest control company to inquire about preventive methods of dealing with termites. A proactive approach is best, since termites can cause extensive damage that’s expensive to repair. If you do see signs of termite activity, get a pest control technician out to your home right away. Some common signs of termite activity include:

  • Flying termites or discarded wings.
  • Hollow-sounding timber or drywall.
  • Mud tubes on the house’s exterior.

 

Cockroaches

Three types of cockroaches commonly infest Arizona homes and businesses—they are the American, German, and Brown Banded cockroaches. During the winter months, roaches look for warmer places to live, including residential structures. Cockroaches are generally nocturnal, although you may sometimes see them during the day. If you see one roach in your home, you should assume that you have an infestation.

 

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a major problem during the winter because people often travel for the holidays. If you’ll be staying in a hotel when you visit your relatives, take precautions to ensure that you don’t bring these little hitchhikers back home with you. You should examine every hotel room thoroughly before you settle in. If you notice any signs of bed bugs, you can request a new room or try a different hotel. Follow these steps to check for these pests:

  • Upon entering the room, place your luggage in the bathroom.
  • Remove the blankets and sheets from the bed.
  • Check the mattress and box springs for visible bugs or their dark, rust-colored leavings.
  • Upon arriving back home, place all clothing in your clothes dryer for 30 minutes, just in case.

For all of your pest management needs, you can rely on the licensed technicians at Essential Pest Control. We treat homes and businesses year-round throughout Southern Arizona, including in Tucson, Marana, and Green Valley. Give us a call today at (520) 908-6251 to request an appointment.

Are Bees Dangerous to Humans?

Bees are good pollinators, making them an essential component of ecosystems around the world. Each time a bee visits a flower to collect nectar, pollen sticks to the bee. This causes the bee pollinate other plants, allowing them to develop fruit and reproduce. As much as humans depend on bees for pollination, few people enjoy living in close proximity to a beehive. In Arizona, where Africanized bees—sometimes called killer bees—are common, homeowners and business owners should always take extra precautions around bees, and have beehives removed by professionals.

 

Aggressiveness of Bees

Bees vary in aggressiveness. If you see a solitary bee out collecting nectar, it will generally leave you alone. If you disturb it or try to capture it, it may sting you. Keep in mind that once you’ve been stung, you’re likely to get stung again. A worker bee has a barbed stinger that sticks in the skin. As long as it remains in your skin, the stinger will continue to release venom and pheromones, which let other bees know that you’re a potential threat. This is why you may get stung repeatedly.

 

Queen bees aren’t typically seen outside of a hive unless they’re swarming to form a new colony. Since queen bees have normal stingers that lack barbs, they can sting you repeatedly without losing the stinger. Swarming bees will go the extra mile to protect their queen, so it’s best to stay away from them.

 

Africanized bees tend to swarm more often than other types of honey bees, and are also more defensive of their hives. These characteristics are what make Africanized bees so dangerous. If they perceive a threat, they will generally deploy a greater number of bees to defend the hive or queen, resulting in a large number of stings, which can be fatal to humans and pets.

 

Stings of Bees

Getting stung by a bee can cause moderate to severe pain, depending on the individual person’s pain threshold. The longer a stinger is left in the skin, the more it will hurt. It’s often thought that the best way to remove a stinger is to scrape it off the skin. However, getting the stinger out of the skin as quickly as possible is more important than the way in which you remove it. Even if you aren’t allergic to bee stings, you may still experience a painful local reaction. Follow these steps:

  • Apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling.
  • Use an oral or topical antihistamine medication.
  • Elevate the body part, if possible, to further reduce swelling.

 

Allergies to Bees

For people with allergies to bee stings, bees can be even more dangerous. Note that allergies can develop later in life—even if a person hasn’t previously had an allergic reaction to a bee sting, it’s possible to have one later on. People with diagnosed allergies should carry an epinephrine autoinjector with them, and use it quickly in the event of a bee sting.

Have you spotted a beehive near your home in Southern Arizona? Call Essential Pest Control at (520) 908-6251, and we’ll send licensed technicians out to your property to handle the problem. Our pest control company proudly serves Tucson, Oro Valley, and the surrounding areas.

How to Tell If You Have Wasps in Your Yard

Wasps often evoke a sense of anxiety in homeowners because they have a reputation for being aggressive stingers. If you notice any signs that wasps have infested your home or yard, it’s time to call a pest control technician. Professional treatment is especially important if someone in your family has an allergy to stings. Note that someone with an allergy to bee stings might also experience a reaction to a wasp sting.

 

How to Identify Wasps

If you know what to look for, it’s easy to tell the difference between a wasp and a bee. Bees tend to have thick abdomens, while wasps have a thin waistline. Wasps also have far less body hair than bees. Yellow jackets, paper wasps, and hornets are the most common types of wasps that homeowners in the U.S. encounter. Here’s a quick look at their identifying features:

  • Yellow jackets have black and yellow striped bodies with black antennae. They build nests made of a papery material.
  • Paper wasps are typically brownish, but they can range in color from red to yellow. They have longer legs than yellow jackets.
  • Hornets are the largest of the three common types of wasps. They are typically brown with orange markings.

 

Where to Find Wasp Nests

If you have an allergy to stings, don’t attempt to find the nest yourself—leave this job to the professionals. Otherwise, you can generally look for the nest by observing the flight of wasps in your yard. Determine where they seem to be flying to and from. Check these areas for a nest, which will look grayish and papery. Wasps often build their nests under the eaves of buildings, in the recessed areas of garage doors and entry doorways, and in natural cavities, such as tree stumps.

Essential Pest Control can remove all sorts of flying and non-flying insects from your home and yard. Our technicians will work with you to develop an effective interventional and preventive treatment plan to keep your home pest-free. Call (520) 908-6251 to request our pest management services in Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, or beyond.

Checking for Pests Before You Buy a Home

tucson pest control

Are you about to buy a house? Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to make sure that your new home isn’t full of pests. By finding out if a house is infested with termites, cockroaches, or other destructive creatures in advance, you can negotiate with the sellers to have professional pest control services performed before you complete the purchase. Here are some tips to follow if you want to look for pests before purchasing a home:

Check the dark places.

Most of the time, pests don’t scurry around in plain sight—though it might be easier for you if they did! Most pests prefer to hide in dark places such as cabinets, storage rooms, and the backs of closets, so be sure to check all of those places for any signs of nesting materials or pest droppings. Be sure to also look at the baseboards for any small holes that pests could fit into. The more thorough you are in your search, the safer you’ll feel about buying the house.

Look at the foundation.

The foundation isn’t just what supports the home—it’s also where termites are most likely to thrive. Termites can cause expensive damage to a property, so it’s important to identify their presence before you decide to buy a house. Take a look outside and check for termite tubes, which are small, distinctive-looking mud tubes that the pests build for protection. Look closely at anything made out of wood inside the house to check for signs of termite damage.

Keep an eye out for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are one of the most dreaded pests in the world, and for good reason—once they move in, it’s hard to get them to leave! Check furniture closely for reddish stains and tiny black specks, which are clear indicators that there are bed bugs present.

If you’re in need of a reliable pest control service in Southern Arizona, it’s time to contact the experts at Essential Pest Control. We have been providing Tucson, Marana, Green Valley, and other local communities with bed bug control, termite control, and other important services for more than three decades. We can even perform a thorough pest inspection on a home you are getting ready to buy. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call (520) 908-6251 today.

Avoiding Bed Bugs While You’re Traveling

tucson pest control

If there’s one thing every traveler dreads, it’s bed bugs. These pests may be small, but they’re frustratingly difficult to get rid of once you have them in your home. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to pick up these unwanted travelers when you’re on the road. Here are some tips that will help you avoid inadvertently bringing bed bugs home with you.

Know what to look for.

While everybody knows that bed bugs should be avoided, not everybody knows what they look like or what evidence they leave behind. Telltale signs of the pests include brown-red stains, droppings that are black and dot-sized, and yellowish discarded shells. The bed bugs themselves are about the size and shape of an apple seed, but you often won’t see the actual bugs, as they are nocturnal and avoid light.

Always inspect hotel beds.

If you’re staying in a hotel, motel, or hostel, always check the bed for signs of bed bugs before sitting on it or placing your travel bags or clothing on it. Be sure that you inspect the mattress, the headboard, the sheets, the covers, and the pillows. If you see anything suspicious, don’t risk it! Instead, tell the staff of the hotel that you want a different room.

Keep your luggage safe.

Even if you don’t come into contact with bed bugs yourself, the pests can hitch a lift on your luggage. Never put down your suitcases until you’re sure you are in a bug-free zone. Here’s a tip: Bed bugs are less likely to be found in the bathroom, so keep your bags there while you do a quick room inspection.

For the past 35 years, Essential Pest Control has been providing dependable pest control services to residents of Southern Arizona. If you are in need of bed bug removal in Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, or another nearby areas, it’s time to get in touch with our pest control experts. You can reach us today by calling (520) 908-6251.