Common Pest Identification & Prevention In Tucson, Arizona
The climate in Arizona attracts many different pests and provides them with a suitable place to live. Often our desert climate causes pests to have to search for reliable sources of water. They usually find what they are looking for in our Tucson yards and homes. Knowing which pests live around us and are likely to appear on our properties is the best way to protect yourself and your home from the threats they bring with them.
Our pest guide provides Tucson homeowners with a good overview of local pests, what they want, and how to avoid them! Reach out to the local pest control experts in Tucson at Rigo Pest Prevention today to rid your home or business of invasive pests.
Despite the ant's small size and ability to be easily squashed, they are one of the most successful creatures on planet earth. Adaptable, able to problem solve, and working together as a team enables ants to thrive. Having hundreds or thousands of ants in each colony also helps these pests to succeed. Ants live almost everywhere, including in Tucson, and when our yards and homes offer them food and water, they will take over without hesitation.
Pavement ants, fire ants, and crazy ants are the most common ants you'll find in our yards, and that often find their way into our homes. When nesting outside, they build their nests deep within the soil, where it is cooler. They have learned to meet their water needs from dripping hoses, leaking air conditioners, and damaged irrigation pipes. If the weather ever becomes too harsh for them to live comfortably, they will migrate indoors. Ants move inside through cracks in the foundation, gaps in exterior walls, and any other opening they discover. Once inside, if their basic needs are met, and they are comfortable, ants are extremely difficult to get rid of.
Keep ants off of your Tucson property with the following prevention tips:
- Use caulk or another appropriate sealant to seal cracks that develop in your home's exterior walls or foundation.
- Remove and replace any damaged weatherstripping or screens in your home.
- Prevent food odors from attracting ants by keeping lids on trash cans and recycling bins and keeping outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
- Eliminate food sources from inside your home by regularly vacuuming to pick up crumbs, wiping down counters, and not storing food out in the open on counters and tables.
- Remove debris from your lawn that provides a dark, cool place for ants to nest.
If you look up adaptability in the dictionary, there should be a picture of a cockroach next to it. Being around for eons means that cockroaches have adapted and learned to survive almost anywhere, including our Tucson homes. The German cockroach and the American cockroach are two roach species that commonly live with people. While these pests are unwanted in our homes, they play an important role in the ecosystem. Most cockroach species live outside and well away from people. They complete the important job of getting rid of decaying plant and animal matter.
Cockroaches are scavengers which is why they are so dangerous to be around. Roaches live and breed in unsanitary areas and carry a wide variety of parasites, pathogens, and bacteria on their bodies. When they move into your home, or we bring them inside accidentally, they contaminate food and surfaces with things that make us ill. Cockroaches feed on many of the same foods we do, making our trash cans, gardens, and kitchens so appealing to them. They also stain surfaces with their excrement, and their shed skins and waste are full of allergens that trigger skin rashes, allergy symptoms, and, in some, asthma attacks. In addition, the pheromones they emit to alert each other to their whereabouts produce a foul musty odor.
Keep cockroaches out of your Tucson home and yard with the following prevention tips:
- Keep all trash cans covered with tight lids. Store them away from the outside walls of your home.
- Store your family's food in the fridge or airtight containers.
- Inspect your home's exterior and seal up potential entry points.
- Fix leaks and clogged drains to remove standing water.
- Use dehumidifiers to dry out moist areas like crawl spaces.
- Make sure naturally humid areas in your home, like kitchens and bathrooms, are well ventilated.
- Declutter your home to reduce potential hiding spots.
Homeowners in Tucson are no strangers to rodents and the problems they cause. Rodents are one of the most regular visitors to our properties as they provide them with ample access to food, water, and shelter sources. Below are some of the most common visitors to our properties:
- Field mouse — These mice usually invade structures located in rural areas.
- House mouse — House mice are the most common rodents to infiltrate homes and are found in both urban and suburban areas.
- Pack rat — These rats create complex nests with multiple rooms. They are known for making their nests out of objects they go around and gather. Unlike most other rats, their tail has fur on it.
No matter the species and difference in behavior, appearance, and living conditions, all rodents have one thing in common — constantly growing front incisors. When they are in our yards and homes, they cause a lot of damage with those teeth as they try to wear them down or use them to access food or nesting materials. Rodents also carry many different bacteria, pathogens, and parasites on their bodies and in their feces and saliva that make people ill. When rodents move into our homes to nest, their chewing and digging behaviors often lead to short circuits, fires, and water damage.
Keep rodents out of your Tucson home and yard with the following prevention tips:
- Remove yard debris from your property where rodents can nest or that will provide them with nesting materials.
- Cut back shrubs and bushes from the sides of your house that rodents could use as camouflage.
- Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
- Remove bird feeders from your property.
- Help keep rodents out of your home by regularly and carefully inspecting its siding, windows, doors, and foundation, and sealing up any openings you discover.
Scorpions are pests that find their way into our Tucson yards and homes frequently. They have learned that our properties offer ample places to hide, plenty of prey to hunt (insects), and access to water. Though scorpions live in a desert climate, they have high moisture needs. While these arachnids prefer to live outside, if necessary, they will move indoors. The two things that commonly cause scorpions to enter our homes include a lack of water or food. If their food sources have moved indoors, they will follow. Water sources like leaky pipes, air conditioners, and high humidity also drive these pests indoors.
Many species of scorpions live in our area, including the Arizona striped scorpion, the rock scorpion, the deathstalker scorpion, and the bark scorpion. Each species has different physical features, but all scorpions have a tail that curves over their back with a stinger at its end and two claws they use for grabbing and stabilizing their prey. Being stung by a scorpion is painful, and in the case of the bark scorpion could result in serious health consequences, including difficulty breathing. These stinging pests should never be allowed to call your family's yard or house home!
Keep scorpions out of your home and yard with the following prevention tips:
- Make it as difficult as possible for scorpions to enter by sealing all cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your house.
- Remove areas of standing water from your property that both the scorpions and their prey can utilize.
- Repair leaky pipes, fixtures, faucets, and air conditioners that can draw scorpions to your home.
- Clean up clutter from your yard where scorpions can hide.
- Keep storage areas neat and free of debris and clutter.
Black widow spiders, cellar spiders, hobo spiders, and wolf spiders are common intruders into our Tucson yards and homes. Much to our dismay, these spiders regularly make themselves at home near us. While spiders are excellent predators and help by providing free pest control in gardens, fields, and wooded areas, they are unwelcome, uninvited houseguests.
Arizona is known for having its share of dangerous animals. Luckily most of the spiders you will run into are harmless; however, one that we should all take caution around is the black widow. The venom they inject when they bite is strong enough to pose a serious threat to people. The presence of any species of spider on your property should alert you to an overall pest problem that you should address. Spiders are only present in large numbers when there is prey to hunt, so if you see spiders inside your home, you have an overall pest problem.
Keep spiders out of your home and yard with the following prevention tips:
- Take away entry points by sealing cracks and crevices in your home's exterior.
- Eliminate common areas that insects congregate that will attract spiders like open trash cans, standing water, overgrown gardens.
- Keep outdoor lights off as much as possible and seal spaces where exterior lights meet your home's exterior.
- Before bringing boxes that have been stored outside into your house, always inspect them for spiders first.
Termites are well-known wood-eating pests. In our area of Arizona, we need to protect our homes from two types of termites; subterranean termites and drywood termites. Subterranean termites nest underground. These termites have high moisture needs and feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. Things in our homes like leaky pipes, dripping air conditioners, or poor ventilation often cause structural wood to become damaged and provide a food source for subterranean termites. In contrast, drywood termites have much lower moisture needs and nest in the wood they are feeding on. These termites cause damage to dry or solid pieces of wood like wood furniture, wooden beams, and wood trim.
Termites are active in our area throughout the year, with swarming seasons usually between January and March and then again between July and September. A termite swarm occurs when winged reproductive termites emerge from a mature colony to find a mate and create a new nest. Knowing signs of a termite's presence is helpful to identify an infestation sooner rather than later. During a termite swarm, winged termites will quickly drop their wings, leaving behind large piles of them. A subterranean termite infestation is often only discovered after a homeowner notices small, brown mud tubes running along the ground or the foundation of the house, on walls, or running down from the ceiling. Wood infested with termites will have tiny holes in the exterior; below those holes, coffee-ground-like droppings build up on the ground. At the first sign of termites on your property, reach out to us for immediate assistance!
Keep termites from causing damage in your yard and home with the following prevention tips:
- Make sure your yard's irrigation system is in good working order and not leaking.
- Regularly inspect your home for leaky pipes, sinks, and tubs that could cause water damage that attracts termites.
- Remove things like excess wood, wood mulch, and stacks of cardboard from your yard that will attract hungry termites.
- Always inspect wood furniture and lumber for signs of termites before bringing the items into your home.
- Remove things like old wood fencing, play structures, and furniture from your yard.
If you need to get insects or rodents out of your house, trust the local pest control experts in Tucson at Rigo Pest Prevention. With the help of our friendly professionals and thorough services, your home will soon be free of its current invaders and will keep new pests at bay! To learn more about our highly effective residential pest control services, reach out to Rigo Pest Prevention today!