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Chapman & Co. Pest Control offers general pest control. Whether you need service inside, outside, or both, we can tackle the job for you. This will cover your basic pest infestations like crickets, grasshoppers, earwigs, spiders, etc… No contracts, no hidden costs, make us your fist and last call for all your pest problems.

We will setup a no obligation appointment free, we will even come out and assess the situation for you before ever charging you. We only use licensed technicians and have over twenty years’ experience dealing with the valleys pest issues. So with nothing to lose, give us a call today!

If you have a specific pest problem, please feel free to check out the area below to learn more about your pest and what can be done to control the issue.

Ants

There are many different kinds of ants that affect us every day. From Fire Ants, Pharaoh Ants, to Harvester Ants they live around us going about their business. But when our paths cross with theirs, the result can be a nightmare. In Arizona there are too many species of ants to list them all, but the main three that people encounter are:

pharaohPharaoh Ants

Pharaoh AntsIdentification:

Sizes of the Pharaoh Ants are very small ants.Feeding and habitat: A very large range of foods appeal to the Pharaoh ant including human foods.

Harvester Ants

Identification:

harvesterHarvester AntsThis ant can be found in colors ranging from reddish brown to black with sizes up to 1/2 inch.

Feeding and habitat:

The Harvester Ant as its' name implies is a harvester. While a diligent worker, it unfortunately enjoys feeding on our agricultural crops reducing plant productivity. These pests nest for the long term going as deep as 15 feet near planted crops but also enjoy living near and in ornamental turf and landscape areas. If unchecked they move in under concrete slabs porches, and in the lawns too.

Fire Ants

Identification:

Workers are of differing sizes, about 1/16 to ¼ in. long. The queens are an average of ¼ in. long. Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen. The worker ants are blackish to reddish. Their profile is unevenly rounded with a stinger on the tail end. The antenna has 10 segments with the last 2 segments forming a club like appearance.

Feeding and habitat:

Most fire ants are ground nesting ants. The southern fire ant nests outside are usually found near kitchens and then situated under coverings such as stones, in a clump of grass or in the soil at the base of a tree. They will sometimes nest in the wood or masonry of buildings, especially near something warm, like around a fireplace hearth. Each colony has its own territory and there is usually no movement between nests. They have a habit of building nests along foundation walls and are commonly introduced into new areas by potted or balled plants. They have been known to nest in homes and offices, under sidewalks and roadways, in parks and school yards and colonies have been found in cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. These nesting habits have proved to be very destructive and a great nuisance to humans.

Fire ants will sometimes nest in gas and water meter boxes and follow the pipes into a building. Fire ants prefer food with high protein but will feed on almost anything, plant or animal and have been known to attack and kill small animals. The southern fire ant has been known to remove insulation from phone and electrical wires and to gnaw on clothing. They also feed on seeds, insects, young tree bark, honeydew from aphids and mealy bugs and other sweets.

The red imported fire ant is very destructive to vegetation. They eat the germinating seeds of some crops, burrow under soil and have eaten young potatoes, pods of peanuts and devoured the buds and developing fruit on trees. Pecan trees have been destroyed when imported fire ants girdled stems and trunks.

Pest Control

Eliminating these ants can be difficult, and often must include the use of insecticides and bait traps take care of colonies themselves. The use of chemical tools is best left in the hands of trained pest control exterminator. That said, there are many steps you can take to minimize carpenter ant activity on your property, and make it as harder for them to find their way into your home. Ants belong in a healthy environment, so eradicating all ants is not the goal - keeping them out of the house is the priority. Give us a call today and we can setup a free inspection to help you keep the ants away from you and your family and outside doing their jobs in nature.

Bats

Some are surprised to find out that bats are not rodents. They are in fact, mammals, and they are the only true flying mammals. Over 40 different species of bats live in the United States, but there are three species that are of the most concern with respect to pest management. These are the Big Brown Bat, the Little Brown Bat, and the Mexican Free-tailed Bat, and the three together often are referred to as "house bats" due to their common desire to nest or roost within structures.

Feeding and habitat

batsThroughout the world bats feed on a variety of things. The infamous vampire bats that live in Latin America feed on the blood of mammals. About one third of bats species feed on fruit or nectar, about one percent feed on small animals such as mice, fish, or frogs, but at least two thirds of the species eat almost exclusively insects, including those in the United States. In fact, a proper description of bats with respect to their feeding habits is that they are "insectivores".

Baby bats are usually born in mid to late spring, and into the early summer, and generally are capable of flying within a month. This is an important consideration in bat control, for you need to ensure you are not closing off all the access points into the building when you may be trapping the young bats inside. This could lead to problems as the bats then die within the building, leading to odor and fly problems that cause you even a greater headache. Similarly, you do not want to suddenly just block all the entry / exit points and not allow bats out. Ideally you identify all the openings they are using for passage into and out of the building, create a one-way door over these openings, and then permanently close it once you are confident all the bats have exited.

Pest Control

batsSo, when it comes to bat "control" you have very few options. At this time there are no poisons registered for use against bats, so killing them in this manner is not allowed. That is probably just as well, for if the bats were poisoned and died within the walls of the structure there could be an immense odor problem. You also may have received advice about repelling them from the building with odors, and moth balls or moth crystals are the standard suggestion. The ingredient is naphthalene, and it can have an odor of its own that you or other people may object to, since several pounds of the material would be needed to have any effect on the bats. This may work as a temporary solution to move the bats out, but the physical exclusion is still the only long-term control solution. Call us today to set up a free inspection and see how we can help rid you of these pests.

An Important Note:

In some states there are species of bats that are protected by laws or local ordinances, and you need to check on this status within your local area. Good contacts may be the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, or a university biology department. In Florida two species are classified as "endangered species", so obtaining a proper identification of the bats you are dealing with can be important.

Bed Bug

Diet

bed bugA bed bug pierces the skin of its host with what is called a stylet fascicle. This is a unit composed of the maxillae and mandibles which have been modified into elongated shapes from a basic, ancestral style. The entire maxillary and mandibular bundle penetrates the skin. Feeding by sucking for about three to five minutes or more, the bug then withdraws the stylet bundle from the feeding position and returns to its hiding place. It takes between five to ten minutes for a bed bug to become completely engorged with blood." Although bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days. In cold weather, bed bugs can live for about a year; at temperatures more conducive to activity and feeding, about five months.

Habitat

Bedbugs are nocturnal animals. They don't like light, and so they hide during hours when the room is lighted and feed only at night. Their hiding places can include virtually ANY tiny crack or opening into which they can squeeze their flattened bodies. This commonly is bedside furniture such as night stands, chairs, or dressers, as well as the bed framing and creases and folds on the mattress. They may hide under lamps, behind pictures on the walls, under the covers for electrical outlets, or even on the ceiling under the plates for ceiling lights and fans. They may crawl into items stored under the bed, or wander into the closet fobedr the multitude of possibilities there.

These can be tough guys to avoid completely, especially if you or someone in your family travels a lot to other parts of the world. They could even be acquired by staying in a nice hotel in North America, if a previous guest in that room was nice enough to leave some behind from HIS infested luggage. Poor sanitation is not what bedbugs look for, necessarily, but the cleaner we keep things and the less clutter we have in our homes the less likely bedbugs can get started. We can carefully inspect our own suitcases before we return from a trip overseas, we can thoroughly vacuum our carpets and furnishings, and these activities will help to discover and remove bedbugs.

matressLife cycle

Bed bugs have six life stages (five immature and an adult stage). They will shed their skins through a molting process throughout multiple stages of their lives. The discarded outer shells look like clear, empty exoskeletons of the bugs themselves. Bed bugs must molt six times before becoming fertile adults.

Pest Control

Bed bugs are a hard pest to get rid of. First they need to be located. There are many different ways to do this but we highly recommend a trained K9, as they are over 95% accurate. After that the use of chemical treatments and/or heat treatments are the only way to insure riddance of this pest. Call us today to setup a free consultation and rid yourself of this pest immediately.

Bees and Wasps

Bees

First of all bees and wasps are members of the order Hymenoptera, along with ants and a few "weirdo" groups including sawflies and horntails. Bees gathering nectar may accomplish pollination, but bees that are deliberately gathering pollen are more efficient pollinators. It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee.

Diet

combBees ingest the nectar of plants and flowers only to regurgitate it (after it has mixed with enzymes in the bees stomach) as honey. The honey is placed into cells and capped with wax. In order for bees to survive the winter they have to have sufficient Honey stored in the hive... Because that is their FOOD! Bees will also eat sugar syrup (thick sugar water).

They do also eat pollen, but its not a main food source and is actually mixed with honey and mostly used for royal jelly that the larva eat.

Habitat

Because honey bees in Arizona, such as African honey bees, do not experience long weeks of cold weather,bees they do not need to build large and well-insulated nests, produce thousands of workers or store large amounts of honey. For a honey bee in a beestropical habitat, swarming depends largely on the abundance of food sources, rather than seasonal factors. However, regardless of living in tropical or temperate climates, honey bees maintain their hives with a constant temperature of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

People often think that bees create hives in trees. While this is true, bees in the wild will make their hives in trees or bushes for protection, in rule areas they find other avenues. Rule area bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their nests in attics or under roof beams. If disturbed, bumblebees will buzz in a loud volume, and they will aggressively defend their nests.

Life cycle

In temperate zone species, in the autumn, young queens ("gynes") mate with males (drones) and diapause during the winter in a sheltered area, whether in the ground or in a man-made structure. In the early spring, the queen comes out of diapause and finds a suitable place to create her colony. Then she builds wax cells in which to lay her fertilised eggs from the previous winter. The eggs that hatch develop into female workers, and in time the queen populates the colony, with workers feeding the young and performing other duties similar to honey bee workers. New reproductives are produced in autumn, and the queen and workers die, as do the males.

Pest Control

Because bee colonies can be extremely large and removal can be very messy, only a pest management professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honeybee nest. We urge you not to go near them and not to interact with the hive, as they will defend it with their lives. We do live bee removal so that the bees can continue to keep our fields and flowers alive. Please call us to set up a free consultation and have us assess the problem.

Wasps

Diet

waspsGenerally, wasps are parasites as larvae, and feed on nectar only as adults. Many wasps are predatory, using other insects (often paralyzed) as food for their larvae. In parasitic species, the first meals are almost always derived from the host in which the larvae grow.

Several types of social wasps are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of fallen fruit, nectar, and carrion. Some of these social wasps, such as yellowjackets, may scavenge for dead insects to provide for their young. In many social species, the larvae provide sweet secretions that are consumed by adults. Adult male wasps sometimes visit flowers to obtain nectar to feed on in much the same manner as honey bees. Occasionally, some species, such as yellowjackets and, especially, hornets, invade honey bee nests and steal honey and/or brood.

Habitat

The type of nest produced by wasps can depend on the species and location. Many social wasps produce nests that are constructed predominantly from paper pulp. The kind of timber used varies from one species to another and this is what can give many species a nest of distinctive color. Social wasps also use other types of nesting material that become mixed in with the nest waspand it is common to find nests located near to plastic pool or trampoline covers incorporating distinct bands of color that reflect the inclusion of these materials that have simply been chewed up and mixed with wood fibers to give a unique look to the nest. Depending on the species of social wasp different areas are targeted for their next. Some species prefer to nest in trees and shrubs, others like to nest in cavities that include holes in the ground, spaces under homes, wall cavities or in lofts. By contrast solitary wasps are generally parasitic or predatory and only the latter build nests at all. Unlike honey bees, wasps have no wax producing glands. Many instead create a paper-like substance primarily from wood pulp. Wood fibers are gathered locally from weathered wood, softened by chewing and mixing with saliva. The pulp is then used to make combs with cells for brood rearing. More commonly, nests are simply burrows excavated in a substrate (usually the soil, but also plant stems), or, if constructed, they are constructed from mud.

Life cycle

Wasps do not reproduce via mating flights like bees. Instead social wasps reproduce between a fertile queen and male wasp; in some cases queens may be fertilized several males. At a certain time of the year (often around autumn), the bulk of the wasp colony dies away, leaving only the young mated queens alive. During this time they leave the nest and find a suitable area to hibernate for the winter.

Pest Control

Because wasp colonies can be extremely large, only a pest management professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a wasp nest. We urge you not to go near them and not to interact with the hive, as they will defend it with their lives. We do live removal so that the wasps can continue to keep our fields and flowers alive. Please call us to set up a free consultation and have us assess the problem.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleaas

Diet

Fleas are all parasites, feeding on the blood of warm-blooded animals, as well as some reptiles. The Cat Flea is the common flea on both our dogs and cats, and actually got that common name from its association with the large felines in Africa. When it bites our pets, or the people in the house, the flea causes quite a bit of distress to some people who are particularly sensitive to the bite. The "flea bite" reaction usually is caused by the saliva of the flea and our body's immune system reaction to it, and for some people the reaction is quite severe, while others in the family may not have any visible bumps or itching.

Habitat

Fleas tend to live in Warm dark areas, from carpet fibers to couch cushions. Fleas tend to hop on a pet and take a ride, for life if they can help it. According to one flea research expert, the Cat Flea adult is "a permanent ecto-parasite on pets", meaning it does not jump on and off the pet, but stays on board, hidden in the dense fur. It only gets off as an adult flea if it is forced off by your brushing or the dog's chewing.

Life cycle

Fleas undergo what is called a "complete" life cycle, and this is best understood if you think of a butterfly or moth, which most people are very familiar with. The four stages are the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the adult, and it is ONLY the adult flea that bites. The larva is a scavenger that crawls around in your carpet, feeding on whatever organic junk it can find. However, one very important ingredient in that organic junk is some dried BLOOD, and the source of this dried blood is the fecal drops that have come out of the adult fleas as they feed on your pets.

fleasSo, the female flea lays her eggs (potentially several hundred of them in her lifetime) on your pet. The eggs are not sticky, so they fall off the pet onto the surface below. If it's your cat, and she sleeps on the couch, then the eggs fall under the couch cushions. If she has a favorite window sill then the eggs are dribbled onto the carpet below this spot. If it's your dog, and he lays in the sunlight by a window or glass door, then that's where most of the eggs will be, and therefore the larvae that come from them. If your dog is as spoiled as mine, and sleeps on your bed, then the eggs fall there, or onto the floor below the bed when he jumps off in the morning.

The eggs hatch in just a few days, and become the larva. You will never see a flea larva. They just stay hidden in the thatch of the carpet and avoid light and activity. You also are not bitten by the larvae, but that's only a small consolation, since they all become adult fleas. The larva feeds for around 10 days and then goes into the pupa, or cocoon stage, by wrapping local debris around itself with a sticky material that causes it to adhere to the carpet fibers.

Inside this pupa the adult flea develops, and there are two groups - those that will hatch in a few days simply because the temperature is warm enough for them, and those that may stay in that pupa case for over 6 months, waiting for the presence of some animal nearby to trigger it to emerge as the hungry adult flea. It may be the vibration of the animal (or people) walking on the carpet, or the physical contact of being stepped or sat upon, that causes the flea to emerge within seconds after resting there for a long time.

Pest Control

The common fix that people think of is aerosol bug “bombs” and this is a mistake. It's very tempting to give into advertising, and believe that an aerosol can will eliminate a severe problem in which the fleas are living and breeding within the house. However, don't count on it. Aerosol "bombs" (more properly called Total Release Aerosols) give off a spray mist that goes up…….and falls down. The droplets land on top of the carpet and may kill lots of adult fleas, but do nothing to affect the eggs or larvae down deep in the carpet. Plus, the ingredients in aerosols quite often are very, very short-lived - perhaps only a couple of hours - and don't affect adult fleas emerging after that. We can rid you of this problem or point you in the right direction. Give us a call today and set up a free consultation and inspection.

Ticks

Diet

Ticks satisfy all of their nutritional requirements on a diet of blood, a practice known as hematophagy. They extract the blood by cutting a hole in the host's epidermis, into which they insert their hypostome, likely keeping the blood from clotting by excreting an anticoagulant.

Habitat

ticksTick species are widely distributed around the world. However, they tend to flourish more in countries with warm, humid climates, because they require a certain amount of moisture in the air in order to undergo metamorphosis, and because low temperatures inhibit their development from egg to larva. Ticks of domestic animals are especially common and varied in tropical countries, where they cause considerable harm to livestock by transmission of many species of pathogens and also causing direct parasitic damage.

For an ecosystem to support ticks, it must satisfy two requirements: there must be a high enough population density of host species in the area, and there must be high enough humidity for ticks to remain hydrated. Due to their role in transmitting Lyme disease, ixodid ticks, have been studied using geographic information systems (GIS), in order to develop predictive models for ideal tick habitats. According to these studies, it was determined that certain features of a given micro-climate – such as sandy soil, hardwood trees, rivers, and the presence of deer – are good predictors of dense tick populations.

Life cycle

Both ixodid and argasid ticks undergo three primary stages of development: larval, nymphal, and adult, Ixodid ticks require three hosts, and their life cycle takes at least one year to complete. Up to 3,000 eggs are laid on the ground by an adult female tick. When larvae emerge, they feed primarily on small mammals and birds. After feeding, they detach from their host and molt to nymphs on the ground, which then feed on larger hosts and molt to adults. Female adults attach to larger hosts, feed, and lay eggs, while males feed very little and occupy larger hosts primarily for mating.

Pest Control

Aggressive hunting must be pursued in order to rid you of these pests. Home and pet owners are encouraged to check themselves multiple times a day if this pest is present. Contact us to set up a free in-home consultation and let us help you rid yourself and your family of these pests right away.

Flies and Gnats

Most people are unaware the gnats are actually flies, albeit very tiny flies, but flies none the less. Steps taken against most flies will affect gnats as well with some exceptions.

Flies

Diet

Flies do not have teeth or a stinger. Their mouths absorb food like a sponge. They can only eat liquids but they can turn many solid foods into a liquid through spitting or vomiting on it. Their tongues are shaped like straws so they can suck up their food. They eat any wet or decaying matter, but they are particularly attracted to pet waste because the odor is strong and it is easy for them to find.

Habitat

Flies are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are especially attracted to garbage that has just been sitting around. House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born but will travel up to 20 miles to find food. They breed in garbage cans, compost heaps and pet areas.

Life cycle

The female lays her eggs as close to the food source as possible, and development is rapid, allowing the larvae to consume as much food as possible in a short period of time before transforming into adults. The eggs hatch immediately after being laid, or the flies are ovoviviparous, with the larvae hatching inside the mother.

flyLarval flies have no true legs. Some larvae, have prolegs adapted to such functions as holding onto a substrate in flowing water, holding onto host tissues, or holding prey. Roughly speaking, there is some anatomical distinction between the larve, the demarcation may be very visible in many Nematocera, such as mosquitoes; in the Brachycera, the head of the larva is not clearly distinguishable from the rest of the body, and there are few, if any, sclerites. Informally, such Brachyceran larvae are called maggots, but the term is nontechnical and often applied indifferently to fly larvae or insect larvae in general. The eyes and antennae of Brachyceran larvae are reduced or absent, and the abdomen also lacks appendages. This lack of features is an adaptation to food such as carrion, decaying detritus, or host tissues. Nematoceran larvae generally have visible eyes and antennae, though usually small and of limited function.

Pest Control

General rule of thumb when it comes to flies is “Keep you homes clean.” But it is never that simple, for the level of “clean” you have to maintain would take a working staff of people at all times of the day. Some simple things to help are removing trash regularly and seal your garbage cans, clean up pet waste immediately, & using fine mesh screens on doors and windows to prevent flies from getting into your home. This alone may not be enough though. If your problem persists don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up a free consultation to see if there is another way to rid yourself of this menace.

Gnats

The big difference between flies and gnats is habitat and pest control. The two biggest culprits of home invasion are Fungus Gnats and Drain Flies.

gnatsHabitat

Fungus Gnats target can thrive inside the home. A common place to find perfect conditions for fungus gnats will be house plants, more specifically the soils these plants grow in. We have a tendency to love our plants too much, and commonly over-water our plants, keeping the soil wet continually. The soils usually are high in organic matter, and this combination of moisture and organic matter is a perfect invitation for fungi to grow. It does not necessarily have to be a big mushroom growing up out of the soil, as the gnat larvae are tiny, and will find the minute bits of fungus growth within that medium. Allowing the soils in these pots to dry out on a regular basis is not only a good way to prevent the growth of fungi and fungus gnats, but it may also be better for the plants themselves. Their roots need to "breathe", and one way we stress or even kill our plants is by keeping their roots immersed constantly in water.

drainDrain Flies, unlike the fungus gnats, which manage to breed in simply damp conditions, the drain fly needs a much larger buildup of material, and over time our sink, floor, or bathtub drains can provide this micro-habitat for them. As hair and many other things get washed into sinks there eventually will be an accumulation that could even become a complete plug in that drain. This area remains continually wet, with organic buildup coating the sides of the pipes below the sink, and drain flies look at this as just heavenly. Their presence in a room such as the bathroom is a sign to you that some cleaning is necessary, and that is really how the control of drain flies will be accomplished.

Pest Control

For control of these gnats and most other nuisance flies we cannot focus on controlling the adult fly. Of course, if you simply have a few big flies buzzing around in the kitchen because someone left the back door open, a fly swatter is the perfect control device. But, for flies that we believe may be breeding within the structure itself our control MUST focus on controlling the larvae, by eliminating the conditions that allow them to live there. Simply swatting or spraying to kill the adult flies may give us temporary relief and satisfaction, but they will quickly be replaced by new flies coming from that larval habitat. For fungus gnats and drain flies there is no reason to set off bug "bombs" in the home, and very little reason to use other kinds of aerosol foggers to spray in the air. You need to take that careful walk through the home and find out where the flies are coming from, and then fix the problem that must be there.

Drain flies are controlled by cleaning the drains or other areas of organic buildup, and we have a wonderful arsenal of products that do this very effectively. These are not harsh and dangerous drain cleaners, but are products that use bacterial or enzymatic action to actually EAT the organic buildup and allow it to be washed away. It may take a few days to a week, but the result is far friendlier to the environment and to your family than the use of caustic cleaners. A service that provides retreatment of the drains in the structure on a regular interval can keep things clean and flowing, and keep insects from looking at your home as their home too. Don’t hesitate to call us today to set up a free consultation to see what we can do to help you out.

Mice, Rats, and Roof Rats

Rats and Roof Rats

There are currently hundreds of breeds of rats and scientists are still cataloging them all. In Arizona the two main pest rats are brown rats and black rats aka roof rats.

Diet

roofRoof RatBlack and brown rats are considered omnivores and eat a wide range of foods, including seeds, fruit, stems, leaves, fungi, and a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates. They are generalists, and thus not very specific in their food preferences, which is indicated by their tendency to feed on any meal provided for cows, swine, chickens, cats, and dogs. They are similar to the tree squirrel in their preference of fruits and nuts. They eat about 15 grams per day and drink about 15 ml per day. Their diet is high in water content. They are a threat to many natural habitats because they feed on native birds and insects. They are also a threat to many farmers since they feed on a variety of agricultural-based crops, such as cereals, sugar cane, coconuts, cocoa, oranges, and coffee beans.

Habitat

Through the usage of tracking devices such as radio transmitters, rats have been found to occupy dens located in trees, as well as on the ground. In some areas, rats have been found to form dens together. Rats appear to den and forage in separate areas in their home range depending on the availability of food resources. Research shows that in wooded areas, the black rat prefers to inhabit lower leaf litter of forest habitat. There is also an apparent correlation between the canopy height and logs and the presence of black rats. This correlation may be a result of the distribution of the abundance of prey as well as ratavailable refuges for rats to avoid predators. As found in leafy forests, there is positive correlation between rat abundance, leaf litter cover, canopy height, and litter depth. All other habitat variables showed little to no correlation. While this specie's relative, the Brown (Norway) Rat prefers to nest near the ground of a building the black rat will prefer the upper floors and roof. Because of this habit they have been given the common name Roof Rat.

Life cycle

In a suitable environment it will breed throughout the year, with a female producing three to six litters of up to ten young. Females may regulate their production of offspring during times when food is scarce, producing as few as only one litter a year. R. rattus lives for about 2–3 years. Social groups of up to sixty can be formed.

Pest Control

Rats and roof rats are a difficult pest to tackle. We recommend being proactive and getting rid of excess trash and not leaving food on counters. If you have a rat infestation, please don’t hesitate to call us and set up a free consultation to see what we can do and recommend specifically for you.

Mice

Diet

Mice are largely herbivores, consuming any kind of fruit or grain from plants. However, mice adapt well to urban areas and are known for eating almost all types of food scraps. These diets are nutritionally complete, but they still need a large variety of vegetables. Food intake is approximately 15 g (0.53 oz) per 100 g (3.5 oz) of body weight per day; water intake is approximately 15 ml (0.53 imp fl oz; 0.51 US fl oz) per 100 g of body weight per day.

Habitat

mouseMice are perfectly comfortable rearranging your home to make it a more welcoming environment. That can mean burrowing into wall and attic insulation for starters, not to mention unauthorized access into upholstered furniture. Papers, clothing, electrical lines, appliances and more are equally likely to fall victim to mice looking not only for a secure place to build a nest, but to line it with many of the valuables we treasure most. Machinery and vehicles parked in the garage aren’t safe either, as an engine compartment can often make for an ideal place to build a home.

Capable of fitting through incredibly tiny holes, a house mouse can access openings about the same width of a good old-fashioned No. 2 pencil. Wood, plaster, brick, siding, metal pipes, mesh and cables are scaled easily and provide access to potential entry points in the home.

Life cycle

Breeding onset is at about 50 days of age in both females and males, although females may have their first estrus at 25–40 days. Mice are polyestrous and breed year round; ovulation is spontaneous. The duration of the estrous cycle is 4–5 days and estrus itself lasts about 12 hours, occurring in the evening. Mating is usually nocturnal.

Pest Control

Mice are a difficult pest to tackle. We recommend being proactive and getting rid of excess trash and not leaving food on counters. If you have an infestation of mice, please don’t hesitate to call us and set up a free consultation to see what we can do and recommend specifically for you.

Mosquitos

Diet

mosMosquitoTypically, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices, but in many species the mouthparts of the females are adapted for piercing the skin of animal hosts and sucking their blood as ectoparasites. In many species, the female needs to obtain nutrients from a blood meal before she can produce eggs, whereas in many other species, she can produce more eggs after a blood meal. Both plant materials and blood are useful sources of energy in the form of sugars, and blood also supplies more concentrated nutrients, such as lipids, but the most important function of blood meals is to obtain proteins as materials for egg production.

Habitat

Mosquitoes tend to stay around a water source. There are two kinds of mosquitoes in our region, flood water mosquitoes and permanent water mosquitoes. Flood water mosquitoes will hang around damp areas to lay eggs and wait for water to come in to hatch the eggs. Permanent water mosquitoes will stay around a constant water source to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes don’t normally travel far from these regions unless transported by people, cars, planes, etc…

Life cycle

mos2Like all flies, mosquitoes go through four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult or imago. In most species, adult females lay their eggs in stagnant water; some lay eggs near the water's edge; others attach their eggs to aquatic plants. Each species selects the situation of the water into which it lays its eggs and does so according to its own ecological adaptations. Some are generalists and are not very fussy. Some breed in lakes, some in temporary puddles. Some breed in marshes, some in salt-marshes. Among those that breed in salt water, some are equally at home in fresh and salt water up to about one third the concentration of seawater, whereas others must acclimatise themselves to the saltiness. Such differences are important because certain ecological preferences keep mosquitoes away from most humans, whereas other preferences bring them right into houses at night.

Eggs hatch to become larvae, which grow until they are able to change into pupae. The adult mosquito emerges from the mature pupa as it floats at the water surface. Bloodsucking mosquitoes, depending on species, gender, and weather conditions, have potential adult lifespans ranging from as little as a week to as long as several months.

Pest Control

Pest control for Mosquitoes can be daunting. It’s not enough to just treat the adults, you need to find the source of the eggs and treat that as well. Give us a call to setup a free consultation today and let us help you rid yourself of the disease infested pests.

Pigeons and Other Birds

Diet

pigeonFeral pigeons and other birds can be seen eating grass seeds and berries in parks and gardens in the spring, but there are plentiful sources throughout the year from scavenging (e.g., remnants left inside of dropped fast-food cartons) and they will also take insects and spiders. Additional food is also usually available from the disposing of stale bread in parks by restaurants and supermarkets and from tourists buying and distributing birdseed, etc. Pigeons tend to congregate in large, often thick flocks when feeding on discarded food, and have been observed flying skillfully around trees, buildings, telephone poles and cables, and through moving traffic just to reach a food source. Other birds can be seen in similar flocks, duo, or solo pending the breed.

Habitat

Nests are oft rudimentary, similar to other ground or cliff nesting birds such as turkey, quail and ducks. Abandoned buildings are favorite nesting areas. PigeonsMass nesting is common as pigeons are a community flocking bird; often dozens of birds will share a building. Loose tiles and broken windows provide access, and pigeons are adept at spotting new access points, for example following property damage caused by strong winds. Other birds in the region exhibit similar behavior though they may nest in trees and bushes as well.

pigeonsNests and droppings tend to stay clustered and remain dry when out of the weather. Pigeons are particularly fond of roof spaces. These often contain water tanks. Any water tank or cistern on a roof must therefore be secured and sealed off to keep the pigeons out of them. The popularity of a nesting area does not seem to be affected by the pigeons population density.

On undamaged property, the gutters, window air conditioners and empty air conditioner containers, chimney pots and external ledges are used as nesting sites.

Pest Control

The two main ways to rid yourself of pigeons and birds in general is through the use of traps and spiked balls and wire setup called “exclusions.” Many building owners try to limit roosting by using bird control spikes and netting to cover ledges and potential nesting places on buildings. This has little effect on the size of the pigeon population, but it can reduce the accumulation of droppings on and around a particular building location. Give us a call to setup your free consultation and see what kind of exclusion or trappings you need.

Roaches

There are literally thousands of breeds and offshoots of cockroaches in the world. They are hard to kill, as they were the only survivors to early nuclear testing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get rid of them. The two main breeds that infest Arizona house are the:

German cockroach

Description

german roachGerman roach13-16 mm (1/2” - 5/8”) long. Light brown, two dark vertical stripes on pronotum. Nymphs are dark w/pale central marking. Ootheca yellow. deposited in sheltered areas. Likes heat (>70 F an d high humidity). Reproductive females are very mobile unless they are carrying an egg case; males tend to stay in harborage areas; nymphs stay within 18” of where ever the egg case was left. Adults live 6 mos-1 yr.

Habitat

Common in kitchens, secondarily in bathrooms. Infests electrical appliances (blender bases, radios, etc.). Adaptable; feeds on glue, toothpaste, and soap. Greatest reproductive potential of all cockroaches. Efficiently transmits a variety of pathogens on their body.

Pest Control

Clean, clean, clean! Replace corrugated cardboard with plastic bins, monitor kitchens intensively, rotate Maxforce gel (Fipronil) and Avert (Abamectin) baits in highly infected areas. ....Persistent pests! We can handle this problem for you today, give us a call for a free consultation and see what we can do for you!

American Cockroach aka “sewer roach” and “Palmettobug”

Description

34-53 mm long (over 2”). Reddish brown. Ootheca usually deposited in cracks and crevices near a food source. Egg-to-adult takes ~1½ yrs at room temperature. This is the largest of domestic roach species.

Habitatamerican roach

Detritus feeder; infests outdoor compost bins and decaying vegetation. Often moves indoors during hot weather and monsoon season. Found in moist areas indoors (bathtubs, clothes hampers, etc.). Mobile in dry sewer drains (toilets, sinks). They like it hot (84 F).

Pest Control

Keep water in drains. Pest proof the building by sealing cracks and crevices. We can handle this problem for you today, give us a call for a free consultation and see what we can do for you!

Scorpions

The Arizona bark scorpion
(Centruroides sculpturatus, included in Centruroides exilicauda)

A small light brown scorpion common to the southwest United States. The range of the scorpion is the Sonoran Desert. An adult male can reach 8 cm in length (3.14 inches), while a female is slightly smaller, with a maximum length of 7 cm (2.75 inches)

Diet

The bark scorpion is nocturnal, prefers to ambush its prey, and usually feeds on crickets or roaches.

Habitat

scorpionsThe bark scorpion is particularly well adapted to the desert: layers of fat on its exoskeleton make it resistant to water loss. Nevertheless, bark scorpions hide during the heat of the day, typically under rocks, wood piles, or tree bark. Bark scorpions do not burrow, and are commonly found in homes, requiring only 1/16 of an inch for entry.

Arizona bark scorpions prefer riparian areas with mesquite, cottonwood, and sycamore groves, all of which have sufficient moisture and humidity to support insects and other prey species. The popularity of irrigated lawns, and other systems which increase environmental humidity in residential areas, has led to a massive increase in the number of these animals in some areas.

Life cycle

Arizona bark scorpions have a gestation period of several months, are born live, and are gently guided onto their mother's back. The female usually gives birth to between 25–35 young, and the young will remain with their mother until their first molt, up to 3 weeks after birth. Arizona bark scorpions may live up to 6 years.

While nearly all scorpions are solitary, the Arizona bark scorpion is a rare exception: during winter, packs of 20 to 30 scorpions can congregate. Bark scorpions, like most other scorpions, are incredibly resilient. During US nuclear testing, scorpions, along with cockroaches and lizards, were found near ground zero with no recorded adverse effects.

UV lighting

Bark scorpions, like most other scorpions, will glow when exposed to a blacklight. This is particularly useful in scorpion detection, since bark scorpions are active during the night, and can be easily spotted using this method. Typical UV LED flashlights are able to readily detect scorpions at a distance of approximately 6 feet. Newly molted scorpions will not glow under ultraviolet light for a few days after molting.

Pest Control

Bark scorpions are a hard pest to tackle, but we can do it. We encourage you to call us today and take advantage of a free inspection to find out the best way to handle them. Because of the nature of this pest, until you fully know what you’re dealing with, we encourage to trust a professional as some people are allergic to their venom.

Spiders

Diet

widowFangs, the great majority of spiders can use them to inject venom into prey from venom glands in the roots of the chelicerae, or venom sacs. The family Uloboridae has lost its poison glands, and kills its prey with silk instead. Like most arachnids including scorpions, spiders have a narrow gut that can only cope with liquid food and spiders have two sets of filters to keep solids out. They use one of two different systems of external digestion. Some pump digestive enzymes from the midgut into the prey and then suck the liquified tissues of the prey into the gut, eventually leaving behind the empty husk of the prey. Others grind the prey to pulp, while flooding it with enzymes.

Habitat

When you think about where Spiders live, the better question to ask would be where don’t they live? Spiders are able to live just about anywhere and that is why there is such diversification out there. They are ranked at #7 when it comes to the most diversified living creatures in the world. That gives you a good idea of the spectrum of how they have branched out. The only place in the world where you won’t find spiders is in Antarctica.

brownYou will be able to find Spiders living in very dry climates. Some of them have evolved to the point where they don’t need to be around any water at all. They can survive in some of the harshest conditions you could imagine. They get the water they need from their food sources.

Spiders are even making their home in your home! It doesn’t matter how clean you are or how much you look for them. They may be in areas such as crawl spaces, the back of a closet, and even outside in a pile of bricks. If you have lots of clutter in your home though you are offering even more spaces that make an ideal Spider habitat.

Food supply has a great deal of influence in the Spider habitat. This is why you will see some of them in certain areas and not others. They need to be able to build their webs and have enough prey coming along for them to survive. Otherwise they have to look for a new location where those needs can be met.

orbLife Cycle

Females lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs, which maintain a fairly constant humidity level. In some species the females die afterwards, but females of other species protect the sacs by attaching them to their webs, hiding them in nests, carrying them in the chelicerae or attaching them to the spinnerets and dragging them along.

Baby spiders pass all their larval stages inside the egg and hatch as spiderlings, very small and sexually immature but similar in shape to adults. Some spiders care for their young, for example a wolf spider's brood cling to rough bristles on the mother's back, and females of some species respond to the "begging" behaviour of their young by giving them their prey, provided it is no longer struggling, or even regurgitate food.

Like other arthropods, spiders have to molt to grow as their cuticle ("skin") cannot stretch. In some species males mate with newly molted females, which are too weak to be dangerous to the males. Most spiders live for only one to two years, although some tarantulas can live in captivity for over 20 years.

Pest Control

As stated earlier, food supply is a big factor in controlling spiders locations. It is best to start with general pest services as this can all but eliminate the issues before it gets out of hand. There are other ways to get rid of spiders as well. We suggest you call for a free consultation and have us assess the situation today.

**Note**

If you are bit by black widow or a brown recluse please seek medical attention immediately!

Termites

Diet

termitesTermites are generally grouped according to their feeding behaviour. Thus, the commonly used general groupings are subterranean, soil-feeding, drywood, dampwood, and grass-eating. Of these, subterraneans and drywoods are primarily responsible for damage to human-made structures.

All termites eat cellulose in its various forms as plant fibre. Cellulose is a rich energy source (as demonstrated by the amount of energy released when wood is burned), but remains difficult to digest. Termites rely primarily upon microbes in their gut to digest the cellulose for them and absorb the end products for their own use. This relationship is one of the finest examples of mutualism among animals.

Some species of termite practice fungiculture. They maintain a “garden” of specialized fungi of genus Termitomyces, which are nourished by the excrement of the insects. When the fungi are eaten, their spores pass undamaged through the intestines of the termites to complete the cycle by germinating in the fresh faecal pellets. They are also well known for eating smaller insects in a last resort environment.

Habitat

Termite workers build and maintain nests which house the colony. These are elaborate structures made using a combination of soil, mud, chewed wood/cellulose, saliva, and feces. A nest has many functions such as providing a protected living space and water conservation (through controlled condensation). There are nursery chambers deep within the nest where eggs and first instar larvae are tended. Some species maintain fungal gardens that are fed on collected plant matter.

tubesNests are commonly built underground, in large pieces of timber, inside fallen trees or atop living trees. Some species build nests aboveground, and they can develop into mounds. Homeowners need to be careful of tree stumps that have not been dug up. These are prime candidates for termite nests and being close to homes, termites usually end up destroying the siding and sometimes even wooden beams.

Termites are weak and relatively fragile insects that need to stay moist to survive. They can be overpowered by ants and other predators when exposed. They avoid these perils by covering their trails with tubing made of feces, plant matter, saliva and soil. Thus the termites can remain hidden and wall out unfavourable environmental conditions. Sometimes these shelter tubes will extend for many metres, such as up the outside of a tree reaching from the soil to dead branches.

To a subterranean termite any breach of their tunnels or nest is a cause for alarm. When the Formosan subterranean termite and the Eastern subterranean termite detect a potential breach, the soldiers will usually bang their heads apparently to attract other soldiers for defense and recruit additional workers to repair any breach. This head-banging response to vibration is also useful when attempting to locate termites in house frames.

Life Cycle

At maturity, a primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs. In species, the queen adds an extra set of ovaries with each resulting in a greatly distended abdomen and increased fecundity often reported to reach a production of more than 2,000 eggs a day. termite tube 2The distended abdomen increases the queen's body length to several times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely, though attendant workers provide assistance. The queen is widely believed to be a primary source of pheromones useful in colony integration, and these are thought to be spread through shared feeding trophallaxis.

The king grows only slightly larger after initial mating and continues to mate with cealingthe queen for life (a termite queen can live for 45 years). This is very different from ant colonies, in which a queen mates once with the male(s) and stores the gametes for life, as the male ants die shortly after mating.

The winged (or "alate") caste, also referred to as the reproductive caste, are generally the only termites with well-developed eyes, although workers of some harvesting species do have well-developed compound eyes, and, in other species, soldiers with eyes occasionally appear. Termites on the path to becoming alates going through incomplete metamorphosis form a subcaste in certain species of termites, functioning as workers "pseudergates" and also as potential supplementary reproductives. Supplementaries have the ability to replace a dead primary reproductive and, at least in some species, several are recruited once a primary queen is lost.

In areas with a distinct dry season, the alates leave the nest in large swarms after the first soaking rain of the rainy season. In other regions, flights may occur throughout the year, or more commonly, in the spring and autumn. Termites are relatively poor fliers and are readily blown downwind in wind speeds of less than 2 km/h, shedding their wings soon after landing at an acceptable site, where they mate and attempt to form a nest in damp timber or earth.

Pest Control

This is not a project for the Do-it-yourselfer to say the least. If you think you have a termite problem we encourage you to call us to set up a free visit and consultation. The longer you wait the more damage will be done to your property.