(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

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.

Crickets Love Your Clutter

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Crickets are versatile and may feed on dog food, fruit, nuts, cereal, glue, paper or even dead insects. They like cracks, crevices and clutter and can be found in cracks in the pavement, meter boxes, attics or anywhere in between. Once they establish in a home, they can build large populations quickly. A garage cluttered with cardboard boxes can support a huge number of crickets. In nature, they serve as food for lizards, spiders and scorpions, attracting these animals to the home. Any control program for spiders and scorpions must first concentrate on eliminating crickets.

Controlling moisture, clutter, leaf litter and food sources are key to eliminating crickets. Ensuring that doors seal tight and that cracks are repaired is also important in stopping cricket infestations. Weeds around the home should be eliminated, and shrubs should be trimmed to raise the crowns so that branches do not lie on the ground. Dead cacti need to be cleaned up to eliminate cricket harborage. Your professional pest control technician is trained in the habits of crickets and has the materials necessary to get rid of this persistent annoying pest.

For more information, click here to read our article on crickets.

Bee Elimination and Prevention

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The best form of bee control is prevention, eliminating potential hive sites or sealing up openings that might allow access to these sites. An experienced Bee Control Technician can help identify these potential hive sites and determine the best way to seal them. Once a colony establishes in or around the home, bees have something to defend.

Africanized bees will set up sentries to fly CAP (Combat Air Patrol), patrolling this territory. If a person enters this defensive zone, the sentries will dive and body slams the person as a warning not to approach closer. If the warning is not heeded, zap… you are stung. The sting includes a pheromone trigger that causes additional bees to sting.

Do not attempt to eliminate the bees on your own.  This is how people were injured or killed when the Africanized bees first arrived in Arizona. A specially trained Bee Control Technician has the appropriate safety equipment to allow him to deal with bees. Once the bees are eliminated, if the hive was in the home or a wall void, the dead bees, honey and honeycomb (wax) must be removed. Without the bees to maintain all of this organic material, it will begin to rot, smell and attract other pests.  Your Bee Control Technician can also assist in determining the best course of action.

For more details about bees in Arizona, click here.

The Real “Killer Bees”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

SNL - The bees are coming!“The Killer Bees are Coming!” was the Saturday Night Live sketch from 1976 that became a running gag. This was based on real world news about some “wild type,” not domesticated African bees that escaped from a research facility in Brazil. These bees had not been domesticated, and since they are the same species as the Italian bee, they were able to interbreed creating “Africanized Bees.” A little over 20 years after the Saturday Night Live sketch, the “Killer Bees” reached Arizona with tremendous media exposure. Panic ensued and misinformation that caused misunderstanding and mishandling of the bees resulted in several attacks and a few deaths. Ten years later, Arizonans have learned to live with this more aggressive bee, just like they have learned to live with scorpions and rattle snakes where incidents are rare.

Scorpions Starting Early

Monday, April 14th, 2014

scorpion_pest_IDWith our warmer than usual temperatures Tucson News Now is reporting that there’s been an increase in scorpions, when we usually wouldn’t be seeing them until later in spring.  The article they post mentions that they’re more active at night and does offer the helpful tip of keeping them out of the home by:

“Seal cracks and remove debris from around the house”

While that’s one of several ways to help prevent seeing a scorpion in your home, what should you do if you find one? Our experts are here to help. Reach out to us for a complimentary inspection and evaluation, so that we can assess if, and what kind of scorpion issue you may have, and then determine a treatment process.

For additional information about Scorpions in Southern Arizona, click here.

A Surprise About the Packrat

Friday, April 11th, 2014

imagesPackrats are actually named Woodrats. They are commonly called Packrats because they collect all kinds of objects and types of material to put in or build their nests. They are especially fond of small, bright, shiny objects.

Primarily nocturnal and vegetarian, desert they survive on a diet of spiny cactus, yucca pods, bark, berries, pinyon nuts, seeds and any available green vegetation. They are one of the few animals that can navigate with impunity between cactus spines to feed on the juicy pads. They rely on succulent plants for their water, since they do not have the refined metabolic and water conservation capabilities of Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats. (more…)

Summer Rains and Desert Swarmers

Friday, April 11th, 2014

SwarmersPicDriving down desert roads early on the morning following an evening of monsoons, you may see something that looks similar to columns of smoke rising from the medians or the soil along the road. You have just encountered “desert swarmers.” The rains compel the ants and termites to begin their swarming season. The columns of smoke are really thousands of winged ants and termites.


These winged future kings and queens of new ant and termite colonies are seeking a date. Both the male and female reproductives take the monsoon as their alarm clock to mix with those of other colonies. (more…)

The Earwig Myth

Friday, April 11th, 2014

earwig_on_plastic__180x120The Earwig Myth

 Earwigs were given their name from a folk story that they crawl into a person’s ears and eat their brains. Contrary to the stories, they are not aggressive, are not drawn to human ears, and do not spread disease. Their frightening presence normally alarms most homeowners when they are found. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides which they use to defend themselves and capture pray, help you to easily identify them. (more…)

Weather, Bugs and You

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Weather Bugs and You



Most people think of Arizona as hot and dry. There is actually a great deal of variation in the weather from season to season and year to year. A three to four inch variation in annual rainfall may have a dramatic effect on plants, animals and insects in the desert. (more…)

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