As autumn fades into winter in Arizona, pests start seeking shelter from the cold nighttime temperatures. Cracks in foundation walls, gaps around pipes and wiring, and other small access points allow unwelcome guests like spiders, termites, mice, and more to sneak inside your home. While most pose no real harm besides causing frustration, some pests can sting, bite, or damage your property.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the start of winter that brings critters inside in Arizona. Our milder winters mean that pests may seek shelter whenever the temperature dips. That means that you need to stay vigilant and take preventative measures to ensure your home stays winter-pest free. Here are five pests you’re more likely to encounter in the winter months, and how we deal with them.
5 Common Winter Pests in Arizona
Most spiders you’ll come across are harmless, and generally a spider inside your home will do more good than harm, preying on flies and other small bothersome insects. Of course, there are some that can deliver a nasty bite when threatened, and for that reason, you should be on the lookout for them during the winter when they like to take shelter inside.
Venomous spiders like brown recluses and black widows crawl into dark, undisturbed areas like basements, attics, and garages seeking warmth when temperatures drop. Make sure you check boxes and old blankets before you use them so you don’t get a nasty surprise. One or two spiders isn’t something to worry about, but if you start seeing a lot of them, then that can be a problem.
How we deal with spider problems depends on where they are, but chemical or heat treatments are effective.
Lacking a true deep frost season, termites across Arizona stay active all winter long, invading homes through the tiniest cracks and crevices in search of wood to eat. Once inside walls and under floors, they contentedly munch through structural beams, floor joists, and other wood materials. Unabated termite damage causes wood to become pitted and spongy, severely compromising its integrity. Termites are not to be left alone – they can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
If you have termites, you’ll usually see them around the exterior of the home. They sometimes leave small holes in the wood where they enter and leave, but they’ll often fill these in or use a crevice. Seeing a small amount of sawdust on surfaces or the ground is another common sight, as are mud tubes on the ground outside near your home’s foundation.
If you see something suspicious, call in the experts to check for you. It’s better to overreact and find out there’s no sign of them than find out too late that you ignored the signs. Heat treatments and fumigation are generally considered the two most effective ways to eliminate termites.
Even in mild weather, you shouldn’t have to deal with scorpions unless you come across them hiding in or around your home. Much like spiders, many species find somewhere sheltered to camp out until spring. That means that if you go digging around in the garage or a log pile near the house, you may disturb one.
Also like spiders, they’re generally okay to be left alone if you spot one, but if you see an entire family, you’ll likely want to get the professionals in to evict them so no one gets a nasty sting. Again, heat treatments or chemical treatments may be used.
Mice and rats do not hibernate, they stay active all winter long. They seek the warmth of your attic insulation and shelter of your garage, nibbling through your things. If they find their way into your kitchen, they may chew through cabinets and defecate as they try to eat their way through your pantry. If you see even one rodent in your home, it’s time to act.
You can use humane traps if you find just one, but if so make sure you drive it far away so it can’t find its way back. Killing any rodents in your home is usually more effective long term, especially since you can treat an infestation more easily. Poisons and other traps are often effective, but not always the most hygienic or environmentally friendly. In general, it’s best to speak to a professional to decide on the best course of action so you can eliminate them for good.
- Bed Bugs
After all the excitement of the holiday season, many of us like to relax in January and February after traveling through November and December. Unfortunately, all that travel on public transport and staying in hotels and other people’s homes make us especially vulnerable to picking up bed bugs.
Bed bugs often hitch rides into homes on luggage, clothing, and other items after traveling. They feed on our blood, preferring to bite us while we sleep. The sneaky pests hide in bed frames, furniture, and even behind wallpaper when not feeding, and breed at an incredible rate. Bed bug bites cause itchy red bumps that can drive you mad throughout the day.
Attempting removal without professional heat treatments usually fails since bed bugs can survive months between feedings, so act fast and get a professional treatment before you no longer want to sleep in your own bed at night.
Call Today & Stop Pests from Ruining Your Winter!
Don’t let winter pests interfere with precious family time or jeopardize your home’s structural integrity. Instead of waging a losing battle on your own, let the pest control experts at AZEX Pest swing into action!
Our technicians bring decades of experience specifically targeting Arizona’s most common winter invaders. We offer affordable pricing and outstanding customer service along with FREE inspections. After a comprehensive assessment of your unique pest issues, we create customized solutions for once and for all results.
Contact us today to schedule your free assessment. Spend this winter season relaxing pest-free while we handle the dirty work.