(520) 886-4146 or (800) 887-4146
(520) 886-4146 or (800) 887-4146
(520) 886-4146
(800) 887-4146

Archive for the ‘The Bug Blog’ Category

Termites are Beneficial

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

05-01mud_twotermsTermites play an important role in the Arizona desert. Organic material breaks down very slowly, especially wood and woody weeds. A fallen Saguaro cactus can take decades to decompose. Without termites, the desert would quickly become cluttered and at risk for fire. It is for this reason that Southern Arizona has high populations of subterranean termites. In fact, the desert just to the South of Tucson serves as one of EPA’s test sites when they are trying to determine the effectiveness of new termiticides in development.

By understanding termites and accepting them as part of the desert we live in, we can put them in perspective and prevent them from encroaching in to our lives and living spaces.

How Termite Re-infestations Can Occur

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

4909983_f520So, let’s say your house was treated for termites before you moved into it, and you have a five-year warranty protecting you against termite damage. Some think that means termites can’t invade your property for five years. But the truth is there are several ways in which re-infestation can occur.


The chemicals used to kill termites, termiticides, last a minimum of five years and often last more than 20 years. Termiticides are injected into the ground to form chemical barriers between the home and the termite colony. Re-infestations occur when termites locate a break or gap in the barrier. These breaks and barriers can be caused a number of ways. (more…)

The Arizona Brown Spider

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

brown_spiderSomeone recently posted on our Facebook page asking if a spider they found in their bathroom was a Brown Recluse. The Arizona Brown Spider is most often mistaken for the Brown Recluse. Both spiders are in the same family, but the Brown Recluse is not naturally found in Arizona. (It is possible they hijacked a ride to Arizona since this particular family moved to Arizona from Texas.)

Arizona Brown Spiders are slightly smaller with a less toxic dosage of venom, composed primarily of a potent digestive enzyme. The bite can result in a gaping crater like wound that continues to grow and refuses to heal. If immediate medical attention and anti-venom is not administered, the only effective treatment is to excise the skin around the wound or amputate the afflicted appendage. The result is permanent disfigurement and often a series of secondary infections. Bites to the face or to sick, injured, older or extremely young people have resulted in death. (more…)

Rainfall, Moisture & Pest Flare Ups

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


Weather, especially rainfall, is an important component to your pest control program, and in maintaining the health and safety of your family and your home.

Weather, especially rainfall, is an important component to your pest control program, and in maintaining the health and safety of your family and your home. It is possible to anticipate and prepare for pest flare ups. Requiring an in depth knowledge of pest biology and behavior, as well as an awareness of local weather conditions, a pest control professional can take actions to intercept many of these pests before they enter your home.

The Chinch Bug—Almost Invisible

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Variations in the weather from season to season and year to year may have a dramatic effect on plants, animals and insects in the desert creating problems with species that usually are not a problem. With increased rainfall they become tremendous pests.


A few years ago in Tucson, excessive rainfall resulted in a very large growth of mustard weeds in the surrounding desert. This weed became an overabundant resource for False Chinch Bugs, a small flying insect, always present in small number, but never noticed. The population grew to such a point that for a month, attracted to the city by lights at night, the insects covered building all over downtown and central Tucson, creating a panic and giving the news media plenty to report on.

To learn more about how weather and pests can affect you, click here.

Flies—the Unwelcomed House Guest

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


No doubt you’ve opened your windows and doors to allow the fresh air in and save some money on your air conditioning bill, unknowingly you may have signaled “open house” to houseflies near and far. In addition to being a major nuisance, they carry more than 100 different germs that can cause disease.


You can take some of the following necessary precautions to keep your family safe.



Flirting Fireflies

Monday, April 14th, 2014

1Flirting Fireflies:

Not often do people use words like bugs and beautiful in the same sentence, and it’s even less often that insects become art. The Smithsonian though, recently highlighted in their magazine gorgeous photographs taken by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu of fireflies. Hiramatsu, who is described by the Smithsonian as an “amateur” shot these amazing exposures of fireflies during mating season in forests outside Niimi, in Japan. He then “He then digitally merged the images, creating connect-the-dot photos of the fireflies’ golden flight paths”. (more…)

Mock Crickets

Monday, April 14th, 2014

“Mock Crickets” are so odd looking that many people may not recognize them as crickets. None of these crickets have significantly developed wings, they are all silent and are unable to chirp.

  • Cave crickets are found in small caves and rock piles in the desert.
  • Camel crickets are humpbacked with long antennae.
  • The Mole crickets are found underground and are most often encountered when digging. These crickets seem to frighten people, and we often tell of “old wives tales” about them.

One more “mock cricket” should also receive a mention here. Several times a year, a homeowner will report hearing a chirping cricket, but will not be able to find any insects. Upon professional evaluation, a smoke detector is the culprit, chirping to alert that the battery power is low.

Honeybees the Infrequent House Hunters

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Honeybees are social insects with a complex social structure. They tend to use the same hive year after year, with the colony growing all of the time. Periodically, a portion of the colony “buds” off to start a new colony. Gathering up a portion of the pollen and honey from the mother colony, these bees “swarm” from the hive, in search of a location to start a new hive.

This swarm includes a queen bee that will be the mother of the new colony. The queen will periodically stop to rest, and will immediately be covered with swarming bees. As she rests, scout bees will look for a suitable location for the new hive. If they do not find a new home, the swarm will move on. If a scout bee does find a good location, it will return to the swarm to recruit the other bees.

If their house hunt is successful, the bees will move to the new location and enter within a matter of minutes, setting up housekeeping. During the swarming process, the bees do not have an active hive to protect and are not very aggressive. Since Honeybees are beneficial insects, and the swarm will move on shortly, the swarms should be left alone.

Honeybees seek out new homes in small openings that serve as entrances to voids suitable to constructing honeycombs. A good example would be an overturned flowerpot. Wall voids, attic spaces, crawl spaces, abandoned appliances and equipment, unused vehicles, abandoned sheds and even large children’s toys all can become sites for a new beehive. The best form of bee control is prevention, eliminating potential hive sites or sealing up openings that might allow access to these sites.

For more information about bees in Arizona, click here.

Escaping Aggressive Bees

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Today, all Honeybees are Africanized because they have some African bee genes. These bees are less cold tolerant and their northward range is limited by harsh winters. Slightly smaller than the domesticated version, these bees form smaller colonies, produce less honey and leave the hive in mass more often. They also tend to be more aggressive, more easily agitated and quicker to attack and appear in larger numbers. Once provoked, they are more persistent and may pursue a perceived attacker for half a mile or more. If attacked, run in a straight line for a half mile, or get in doors. Do not dive into a pool. The bees will wait for you to come up for air.

For more information on bees, including details about prevention and elimination, click here.

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