Author: Bhavleen Singh

Are Pest Control Services Worth It?

Pests can be a considerable nuisance and cause costly damage to your home and property. While there are DIY solutions available, it is often more cost-effective in the long run to hire professional pest control services.

A professional pest control company can implement integrated pest management services to protect your home consistently. A professional pest control company will have the expertise and tools necessary to quickly identify the source of the problem and eliminate it before it gets out of hand and the knowledge to enact pest prevention before an infestation occurs.

Pest Control Service for Tucson homes

Pests can be a significant problem in Tucson homes. Whether it’s ants, cockroaches, or the dreaded pack rat, it’s no secret that a small pest problem can quickly cause significant damage to your home and health. But is professional pest control worth it, or is it better to attempt your pest control before calling in the experts?

Most pest control companies will deliver a general solution to a general problem, but an experienced pest control technician knows that not all infestations are created equal, and they are especially unlikely to respond to generalized or DIY pest control.

To get the most out of one-time or routine pest control, it’s essential to have a reliable pest control service that can help you take care of the problem quickly and effectively.

At Pest Friends, we offer comprehensive pest control efforts for Tucson homes that are tailored to your specific needs. Our experienced technicians use the latest tools and techniques to ensure that your home is free from pests. We also provide regular maintenance services to ensure that any future infestations are prevented or quickly dealt with. With our professional pest control services, you can be sure that your home will remain safe from pests for years to come!

Pest Control FAQs:

Are Monthly or Quarterly Pest Control Services Worthwhile?

Monthly pest control visits can help to prevent health issues and keep your home or business safer.

Many pest control companies report that year-round visits will also help protect a property’s structural integrity by irradiating a pest infestation before it can do any real damage.

How Much Does Pest Control Cost?

Pest control companies typically charge around $250 for a one-time treatment or between $30 to $50 for weekly pest control services. However, a diagnostic inspection is needed for the most accurate quote.

Pest Control Companies near me

Pest Friends is your locally owned and operated pest control service working to keep your home pest free. Our top-rated, five-star staff has the tools and expertise to fight these problematic pests by offering effective pest control solutions around your property. They understand the behaviors and characteristics of these pests, so they know the right strategies for getting rid of them.

Contact us at (520-999-2847) to schedule an inspection of your property on your preferred date of service, find out what pests may be lurking in your home, receive a free inspection, and to learn about your options for protecting your property.

What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By Mosquitoes In Tucson

How do mosquitoes bite? How do mosquitoes find you, and what should you do if you’ve been bitten? Here’s what Tucson homeowners should know about identifying a mosquito bite on your skin, what you can do to keep these bites from itching, what home remedies you can use on mosquito bites, and how to keep mosquitoes away with pest control in Tucson.

What Do Mosquito Bites Look Like?

Unfortunately, it can be tricky to tell mosquito bites apart from other types of bug bites. Like those of many insects, most mosquito bites appear as tiny, raised bumps on your skin. These bites can appear right away or within a few hours of the bite. 

Mosquito bites can be itchy, and excessive scratching can break the skin near the bite, cause more swelling, or even lead to temporary redness around the bite mark. The good news is that most mosquito bites don’t cause any permanent harm or damage – the bite may itch for three to four days after you were bitten, but swelling should disappear within a week. 

Keep in mind that not everyone has the same reaction to mosquito bites. While most people have mild swelling and itchiness, some people can have more severe reactions. This is called Skeeter’s Syndrome, and it occurs when someone is allergic to a protein in mosquito saliva. 

If someone has Skeeter’s Syndrome, the bite may swell up to an extremely large size, become painful, and they may even develop a fever. If you suspect you have Skeeter’s Syndrome, you should always seek medical attention. 

If you begin to experience excessive swelling, fever, chills, or other symptoms following a bite, this could indicate the bite is from another pest – or you’re dealing with a mosquito-borne illness – so you should take a trip to the doctor. 

How To Stop Mosquito Bites From Itching?

One of the most annoying parts about having a mosquito bite is the itchiness, which can last several days as the bite heals. Not only is it a nuisance, but too much itching can even break the skin and lead to a sore or, in rare cases, a secondary skin infection. 

The reason that mosquito bites itch is because mosquitoes inject their saliva when they suck your blood. Your body recognizes this saliva as a foreign substance, triggering your immune system – hence the itching. 

Fortunately, there are some ways you can counteract this unpleasant side effect, such as: 

  • Use a lidocaine or benzocaine treatment on the bite. These are topical agents that will numb the area. If you happen to have a lidocaine or benzocaine cream on hand, it could stop the itching while the bite heals. 
  • Use an antihistamine. Over-the-counter antihistamines can reduce the inflammation in your body, which may relieve some of the itchiness and swelling. 
  • Apply some aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, so it can reduce swelling and promote healing in the spot where you’ve been bitten. 

If you’re using one of these treatments for the first time, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your doctor before using a new topical cream or treatment. 

What To Put On Mosquito Bites

Besides topical treatments you can put on mosquito bites to stop the itching, what else can you do following a mosquito bite, and how can you treat the bite? 

Here’s what you should do if you find you’ve been bitten by a mosquito: 

  1. Resist the urge to itch the bite; instead, gently clean the area with soap and water. 
  2. Use an icepack on the bite for five to ten minutes to reduce swelling and some of the itching. 
  3. If the bite is still itching a lot, you can apply a lidocaine cream, aloe vera, or take an antihistamine to relieve it. 

Mosquito bites should heal within three to four days, and scratching the area is only likely to prolong the healing process. 

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From You And Your Family

While you may not be able to keep mosquitoes out of the yard or prevent bites completely, you can significantly reduce mosquito populations by working with Pest Friends. With years of experience, our effective pest control treatments can help you get rid of mosquitoes in Arizona that are causing you trouble.

If you’re constantly treating mosquito bites, there’s only one thing to do – contact us today at Pest Friends to learn more about how our mosquito control program can help you. 

Tucson Property Owners’ Handy Guide To Drywood Termite Control

When it comes to destructive insects, drywood termites are right at the top of the list. While not as destructive as subterranean termites, this termite type is no slouch in terms of how much damage they can do. Today, we’re going to give you a quick rundown of what you can expect from drywood termites and what you can do to protect your property.

Hardwood Termites

Drywood termites target wood that other termites turn their noses up at. This is good and bad. The good news is that they’re likely to create noticeable damage because they’re not going to be feeding on rotting wood in dark, moist locations. The bad news is that they feed on perfectly sound wood that is undecayed. That means a brand new home can be attacked by these insects. They’ll also feed on hardwood furniture and other objects made of hardwood.

Aerial Termites

Drywood termites don’t require contact with the soil around your home. They can get directly into your home and create an aerial nest. You won’t find mud tubes on your foundation walls if you have these termites.

Drywood Termite Prevention – Since these termites attack your home from the air, the most important preventative step you can take is to seal entry points around windows, doors, and exterior penetrations.

Termite Identification

You’re not likely to see drywood worker termites unless you do some renovations. They tend to hide from the light as the sun causes them to dry up and die. You may, however, see drywood termite swarmers. These are winged male and female reproductives. Unfortunately, these winged termites aren’t produced until a nest has matured. This can take years.

If you see swarmers in your Tucson home, it is a sign that your home has already been damaged for years. But it is still good to be able to recognize them when you see them. The primary identifying feature of a termite alate are rounded wings. This rounded appearance occurs because all four of the termite’s wings stack directly on top of each other, rather than in two stacks of two, like the wings of an ant. You’ll also notice that the wings hang quite a ways past the abdomen of the swarmer – doubling its length.

Other Warning Signs

Drywood termites give a few helpful signs when they infest a Tucson home. Do routine inspections for these signs to protect your home from extensive damage.

  • Frass: The waste products of drywood termites are called frass. You may be able to find frass on window sills, floors, and surfaces. Keep in mind that frass may also be pushed out in the voids within your walls, where you can’t see it.
  • Kickout holes: These insects create tiny holes in hardwood which are used to push the frass out of their tunnels. These holes can be difficult to see as they are only about 1mm in diameter, and there may be a paper-like substance blocking the holes.
  • Hollow wood: This is not a great way to find out that you have drywood termites, but you should be aware of it. If you tap on a thick, wood timber and it sounds hollow, there may be termite tunnels inside.
  • Swarmers: As mentioned above, swarmers can be a warning sign of a drywood termite infestation. Keep in mind that these winged termites may swarm and disappear before you see them. If they do, you might find their shed wings as evidence.

Drywood Termite Treatments

It can be difficult to treat these termites. A colony will usually start out inside one timber. When swarmers are created and new colonies are formed in new timbers, a treatment of one timber will not arrest the entire infestation. There are also many DIY treatments that promise to get rid of drywood termites but actually do nothing. If you apply these, you might think you’ve arrested the problem only to find out later that you’ve only allowed the termites to continue to damage your property.

How To Protect Your Tucson Property From Drywood Termites

Routine inspections and appropriate treatments are the best protection from these destructive insects. We strongly recommend having a licensed and experienced professional handle this for you. A professional has specialized tools and training. As always, we’d like to remind you that the service team here at Pest Friends is always available to assist you with all of your pest concerns.

We can guide you toward an effective one-time or year-round solution for termites, other wood-destroying organisms, and the long list of common pests we battle in our Tucson service area. It’s easy to get started. Hop over to our contact page and request a pest control evaluation. We’ll come take a look and let you know what you’re up against. It pays to have a friend in the business. Reach out to Pest Friends for advanced termite control today. We also provide commercial pest control for Tucson businesses.

Tucson Homeowners’ Secret Weapon To Effective Cockroach Control

There are many things you can do to prevent a cockroach infestation or to get control of a cockroach infestation in your home. If you’re willing to roll your sleeves up, you can have success, but it depends on the cockroaches you’re dealing with in your home and on your property. Some cockroach infestations are more difficult to control than others. When you have difficult roaches, or when things go wrong, your secret weapon is professional Tucson pest control. Join us as we look at which Tucson roaches are the worst, the dangers they present, and what you can do to get rid of cockroaches without cockroach control products. 

Types Of Roaches That Infest Tucson Homes

We have three kinds of cockroaches in Tucson that you should know how to identify. They vary in their ability to infest your home. Let’s start with the worst.

German Cockroaches

These little, tan-colored pests aren’t just the worst of all cockroaches – they are among the worst of all structure-infesting pests in the world. They reproduce quickly, are highly adaptable, and are able to live in conditions that are inhospitable.

American Cockroaches

These large, chestnut-colored roaches are often called palmetto bugs. They got this name because they love to hang out underneath palmetto fronds. They do this to shield themselves from the drying effects of the sun and to keep themselves hydrated in the moist environment found underneath vegetation. While these insects can infest your home, you can have some success in deterring them by reducing moisture and humidity.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches are relatively small, only growing to about ½ inch long. They can be identified by the lighter brown bands across their darker brown bodies. Like other species, these pests prefer moist environments and are often found in kitchens and bathrooms. Their small size can make it easy for them to go unnoticed in your home. Reducing moisture in your home can also be somewhat effective in preventing this species.

Did you notice the theme? Moisture control is your weapon against cockroaches. When combined with a high level of sanitation, you can have some success keeping cockroaches out of your home. However, for a serious cockroach infestation, especially with German cockroaches, you’re going to need professional treatment. Reach out to Pest Friends for assistance in Tucson.

Is This A Cockroach Or A Beetle?

The first step to preventing and controlling cockroaches in your home is knowing how to identify them. Cockroaches can look similar to other insects, including beetles. However, there are some simple ways that you can tell them apart.

When it comes to cockroaches and beetles, most people prefer not to deal with either. However, cockroaches often rank higher on the “gross meter” than beetles. Out of the 350,000 different beetles worldwide, only a few typically bring significant problems to homes. Knowing the distinct differences between the different types of cockroaches and beetles can aid in adequately removing them from homes.

A listing of differences between cockroaches and beetles includes the following:

  • Cockroaches are typically larger than beetles.
  • Cockroaches’ antennae are long; beetles’ antennae are short.
  • Cockroaches’ legs are long and have noticeable spikes; beetles have short legs that bend close to their body.
  • Cockroach bodies are narrow, oval, and flat; beetles are thick.
  • Cockroach bodies have no gaps between their head, thorax, and body, whereas beetles’ heads have a noticeable gap between their head and body.
  • Cockroaches move fast; beetles are slow movers.

Cockroaches are also much more likely to invade your home than beetles. Beetles prefer to live outdoors, while cockroaches thrive inside our homes. If you regularly see bugs in your home that resemble roaches or beetles, it is more likely that they are cockroaches. Unfortunately, cockroaches are a much more problematic insect. Next up, we’ll explore some other signs that you may have a cockroach infestation in your home.

How To Tell If You Have A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are most active at night and are excellent hiders. This makes it difficult to see the insects themselves. However, cockroaches leave behind other telltale signs of their presence.

Do you suspect that cockroaches have taken up residence in your home? Here is how you can tell:

  • You see cockroach droppings. Cockroach droppings look like coffee grounds or smear marks on surfaces.
  • You detect a strong, musty smell. 
  • You find odd, dark-colored capsules around your home. They might be cockroach egg casings, which each contain many eggs inside.
  • Unexplained damage to personal belongings such as books, leather, etc., can be due to cockroach activity.
  • You find the exoskeleton of cockroaches but no actual cockroaches. Cockroaches are good at hiding, but you can still find their exoskeletons as they shed them.
  • If you find a cockroach in your house, you are sure to have more hiding out of sight.

You might not always see cockroaches in your home, even if they are active and are reproducing, but you will most likely see one of the signs above. If you suspect a cockroach infestation, it is crucial that you take control of it and learn how to deter cockroaches.

Cockroaches Trigger Allergies And Spread Dangerous Diseases

While it is sometimes possible to control cockroaches on your own, you might not want to make the attempt. If your cockroach control falls short, it can leave you exposed to allergens and diseases. Cockroaches are implicated in the spread of more than 33 kinds of bacteria, seven human pathogens, and at least six parasitic worms. Here is a breakdown of diseases that cockroaches can spread:

  • E. coli infection
  • Salmonellosis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Giardia
  • Cholera
  • Listeriosis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Dysentery

Not only do cockroaches spread disease, their presence inside homes is connected to an increase in hospitalization for asthma-related symptoms. A cockroach’s shed skin, feces, saliva, and urine can cause problems for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. 

The cockroaches in your home are attracted to filthy things and they are quite efficient at spreading microorganisms around. If you decide to tackle your roach problem on your own, please make sanitation a priority. Doing so can reduce the risk of bacterial illness. For the safest and most effective cockroach control, it is always best to work with pest control professionals.

Five Effective Cockroach-Prevention Tips For Around The House

Whether you have had cockroach problems in the past or simply want to take a proactive approach to cockroach control, prevention is key to keeping your home cockroach-free. We’ve already touched on two of the five tips we’re going to share. Here are some specific ways to apply these control methods.

  1. Address exterior moisture. Clean your gutters. Remove organic debris. Move stacked wood away from your exterior. Fix plumbing leaks.
  2. Keep your exterior clean. Clean your trash receptacles. Pick up litter. Remove piled objects. If you have compost, make sure it is properly mixed.
  3. Seal potential entry points. Use a caulking gun to seal gaps. Patch foundation cracks. Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps if needed. Install weep hole protectors. 
  4. Reduce interior moisture. Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and garbage disposals. Install a dehumidifier. Use your bathroom fan when you take a shower or bath.
  5. Keep your interior free of food options. Clean. Deep clean. Put dirty dishes in soapy water. Keep food in sealed containers. Put pet food down only during mealtimes.

Do you see how it works? Cockroaches are looking for moisture and food. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they may go elsewhere. Despite your best efforts, your home may still be susceptible to cockroaches. In that case, reach out to your local cockroach control experts.

The Secret To Total Cockroach Control For Tucson Homes

Getting rid of cockroaches is only part of the battle. You also need to keep them from coming back. DIY cockroach prevention can provide some relief, but an experienced pest control company can help you find more long-lasting and effective methods to keep your home free of cockroaches. 

Cockroaches are not only startling and unsettling; these scavengers can carry serious diseases. If keeping your home clean and using prevention tactics aren’t helping you get rid of cockroaches, it is time to contact a professional pest control company and ask about effective cockroach control that fits your needs. Your secret weapon is a licensed pest management professional. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Your technician will identify the cockroach species you’re dealing with on your property and select appropriate products to address the specific species.
  • Your technician will inspect your property and consider breeding sites, conducive conditions, and other important factors that relate to cockroach control.
  • Your technician is trained to apply a regime of control products to deal with German cockroaches.
  • Your technician uses field-tested inspection methods to make sure no cockroaches remain inside your home.

If you live in Tucson, you’re in our service area. Reach out to us at Pest Friends for a cockroach treatment or for ongoing protection from cockroach infestations. Our residential pest control service is one of the best in the area. We can keep cockroaches, and a long list of other pests, out of your home. Connect with us today to request a pest control inspection.

The Secret To Effective Ant Control For Tucson Properties

You may not notice them much outside, but if they’re crawling across your countertops, ants can be a major nuisance. For Tucson residents, there are quite a few different types of ants that can end up in your home, including:

  • Harvester ants: As their name suggests, harvester ants are great at “harvesting” seeds to eat. Since they’re not afraid to sting, having harvester ants around your home can be more than just an annoyance – it can be painful.
  • Argentine ants: Growing a tenth of an inch long, Argentine ants travel in long, wide trails and love picking up food crumbs you’ve got lying around your home.
  • Odorous house ants: Similar to Argentine ants, odorous house ants are after your sweets and meats. They give off a musty odor when they’re crushed.
  • Carpenter ants: In addition to chasing food crumbs, carpenter ants cause structural damage by chewing through the wood in your home.
  • Fire ants: Fire ants may prefer to build their mounds outside, but if you encounter a nest on your property, these critters aren’t afraid to give you fiery, burning stings.

Whether you’ve got the annoying house ant or the painful fire ant in your home, these pests can contaminate food, cause structural damage, and health concerns. Here’s what Tucson homeowners should know about what attracts ants to a property, how you can prevent them, and what to do if you’ve already got an ant infestation in your home.

What Attracts Ants To Tucson Homes?

Ants are usually attracted to your home because of the same three things:

  • Food: While ants will eat just about any food debris or crumbs you leave out, they’re especially attracted to sugary foods and sweets. Meat, bread, and even pet food sitting in your pet’s food bowl can draw ants in and serve as a food source.
  • Water: Standing water, like a water bowl, leaky pipe, or even anything remotely damp, can keep ants coming back for more.
  • Damaged, wet, or moldy wood: While house ants and Argentine ants may not be interested in wood, carpenter ants love to feast on damaged, moldy, or wet wood structures around your property.

When foraging for food or water becomes more difficult in the winter, ants can become especially aggressive about looking for food and water – making it even more important to reduce ant attractions around your home. 

How To Prevent Ants In Tucson, AZ

Now that you understand what attracts ants into Tucson homes, the next step is understanding how to reduce attractions – and prevent these pests from getting in. Here are a few quick tips for lowering the risk of ant problems around your property:

  • Make sure you’re keeping leftovers in airtight containers or sealed packaging so that ants can’t smell them. 
  • Don’t leave pet food sitting out.
  • Wash dirty dishes in a timely manner, and don’t leave them sitting overnight.
  • Empty your indoor and outdoor garbage bins regularly and keep them sealed. 
  • Address moisture issues, like leaky pipes and faucets, as soon as you notice them. 
  • Get rid of damaged and moldy wood and structures around your home and property.
  • Identify cracks and crevices in your foundation that may let ants get inside, and seal them off with a sealant.
  • Clear yard debris from your yard and property regularly and inspect items before you bring them inside.
  • Keep up with regular lawn maintenance and inspect for fire ant mounds around your property and near your home.

The Most Effective Form Of Ant Control In Tucson, AZ

Reducing ant attractions and preventing them can only go so far. If you’re dealing with an existing ant problem, there’s only one solution: contacting the professionals at Pest Friends for more assistance. Our professionals have seen and dealt with it all, from nuisance house ants to more serious pests, like the fire ants. We know how to permanently eliminate ants from your Tucson home

If you’re finding ants around your home or property in Tucson, you shouldn’t give the infestation more time to grow and cause problems. Call us today at Pest Friends to learn more about total ant control or schedule an inspection of your home.

Cockroaches In Tucson Can Be Extremely Hard To Get Rid Of

What’s the best type of cockroach? A dead one! Unfortunately, killing cockroaches is easier said than done. These filthy bugs are extremely adept at avoiding being caught, squished, and sprayed. We understand the struggle – that’s why we’ve put together this guide to eliminating cockroaches. Learn what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to killing roaches in your Tucson home.

What Attracts Roaches To Your Home?

Cockroaches are common pests in Tucson, and there is no shame in having a roach problem. They can survive off the smallest morsels of food and water, so even clean homes may be harboring cockroaches. That said, certain factors can make your home more vulnerable to cockroaches. These include:

  • Moisture issues – High humidity areas, poor ventilation, and leaking fixtures.
  • Entry points – Small cracks or holes in the exterior of your home, spaces around windows and doors, unscreened drains, and vents.
  • Food sources – Food particles on floors and surfaces, improperly stored garbage, pet food left sitting out.

If you can avoid a cockroach infestation altogether, then you’ll never have to worry about how to get rid of it. Using barrier exclusion methods such as sealing cracks in your home and screens on vents and drains can help keep cockroaches from entering. Reducing moisture and keeping your kitchen clean can also help prevent cockroaches in your home.

Despite your best efforts, cockroaches may still invade your house. The following section will cover some of the best ways to kill cockroaches.

Six Ways To Kill Cockroaches In Your Home

Cockroaches are known for being hard to kill, but they’re not invincible. Humans have discovered many effective methods for destroying roaches, from cockroach control products to home remedies. Here are six ways you can kill cockroaches in your home:

  1. Glue traps – Cockroaches become stuck when they crawl over these sticky pads.
  2. Gel bait – This gel-based insecticide lures and poisons cockroaches.
  3. Boric acid – Spread this powder around cockroach hiding places.
  4. Cockroach spray – Kills roaches on contact and can be used on surfaces.
  5. Baking soda and sugar – Cockroaches are attracted to sugar and killed by baking soda.
  6. Soap and water – Mix soap and water in a spray bottle to kill roaches on contact.

While all of these methods can kill cockroaches, they have their limitations. For example, many work only on adult cockroaches and do not affect cockroach eggs. Or, they may work on individual cockroaches but aren’t effective at eliminating the entire population.

Chemicals and poisons can also be dangerous for humans and pets. You may succeed using the techniques above, but professional cockroach control treatments are the safest and most effective.

What Doesn’t Work When Trying To Get Rid Of Roaches

Now you know what works for killing cockroaches, but it’s also important to know what doesn’t work. Squishing cockroaches, while possible, is very difficult.

Firstly, cockroaches are extremely fast, and it is challenging to catch them in the first place. Even if you manage to stomp on them, cockroach exoskeletons are incredibly strong and flexible. They can withstand hefty weights and compress their bodies to avoid killing. This flexibility also helps them to disappear into tiny crevices. Even if you are a master at squishing cockroaches, this is not a long-term cockroach control solution.

Killing cockroaches one by one will never eliminate the entire infestation. Cockroaches are excellent at staying out of sight, so you will probably never see the majority of the cockroaches living in your walls and under your appliances. Plus, the squishing method only kills adult cockroaches and doesn’t address the cockroach egg capsules scattered throughout your home. Your best bet is to work with a Tucson pest control company to eliminate cockroaches completely.

Professional Cockroach Control Can Be A Huge Help

Killing cockroaches is a task best left to the professionals. The experts at Pest Friends can quickly and effectively eradicate cockroaches in your home. Pest Friends provides modern, innovative, and eco-friendly pest control solutions in the Tucson area. We are a locally owned and operated business dedicated to providing superior services to our customers.

If cockroaches are out of control in your home, Pest Friends is here to help. Our process begins with a thorough inspection to determine problem areas and the severity of the infestation. Next, we will develop a customized plan that will work best for your situation. This combination of effective, eco-friendly methods will work quickly to kill the cockroaches in your home.

Our services include a 100% satisfaction guarantee – if you see signs of cockroaches after our initial service, we will re-treat your property at no additional charge. For modern and eco-friendly cockroach control in Tucson, contact Pest Friends today.

Are the Spiders In Tucson A Danger to Me and My Pets?

While all spiders have fangs and venom, widow spiders are the only medically important spiders in Tucson. These spiders can bite you and your pets. Let’s take a look at some essential facts about these venomous spiders.

What You Should Know About Widow Spiders

The more you know about widow spiders, the less you’ll fear them, and the more likely you will be to avoid a venomous bite. Here are a few important facts every Tucson resident should know.

  • Male widow spiders don’t bite. You can tell males from females by the fact that they’re half the size, and they have markings on the top of the abdomen, not the bottom.
  • Both male and female widow spiders don’t bite when they are juveniles. A juvenile female does not have a clearly defined red or yellowish-orange hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. It may also have a different overall coloration, depending on the species. 
  • Female widow spiders don’t tend to bite when they are away from their webs. Bites most often occur when a web is touched and when the female is tending to her egg sac.
  • The egg sac of a widow spider is paper-like and may be smooth or spiky (like a World War II naval mine). This sac can be collected with a spider web-removal tool and it can be crushed and destroyed. Wear protective clothing when doing so, or have a licensed pest professional handle this task for you.
  • Female widow spiders eat other arachnids and sometimes attack and eat male widow spiders. This is what led to the name. But you should know that she doesn’t mate with the male and then kill it. If she kills a male, it is an honest mistake. We point this out because it is important to know that female black widows aren’t evil. You don’t need to fear them.
  • Often, a female widow will cause a dry bite. This is when no venom is introduced into the bite wound.
  • An envenomated wound can lead to medical symptoms, such as tightness in the chest, severe pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, an itchy rash, fever, sweating, and more. The toxin of a widow spider often targets the nervous system. This can lead to overall weakness, tremors, and even paralysis. At the first sign of symptoms, seek medical assistance.
  • According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there hasn’t been a death in the United States caused by a black widow bite since 1983.
  • While most widows are black, brown widows have been found in Arizona, and they present the same threat as black widows. 

What You Should Know About Widow Spider Webs

Before you see a widow spider, you’re likely to see a web. Here are a few important facts about widow spider webs.

  • A female widow spider establishes a web for the purpose of catching food and making babies. The food she prefers to catch in her web is larger insects, such as crickets, centipedes, and grasshoppers. Therefore, you’ll often find these webs close to the ground.
  • Since the web of a widow spider is used to catch large prey, the threads are very strong. If you pluck one, it is likely to make a detectable sound.
  • A widow web is not pretty to look at. In fact, you might think it is a tangled mess. But there is a method to that madness. A widow spider can’t catch the kind of food she wants by creating a beautiful and intricate web, like an orb weaver’s web.
  • You’re likely to find a black widow spider hanging upside down in her web. If so, she’s not just relaxing; she’s waiting for prey.

Spider Prevention

There are a few steps you can take to reduce widow spider activity in your yard.

  • Remove yard clutter. These spiders hide in and under the objects in your yard.
  • Seal any openings that can allow these spiders to get into voids, such as the hollow pipes of a swingset.
  • Keep your grass and landscaping trimmed and free of weeds.
  • Stay on top of yard work, such as removing leaf litter.
  • Address any moisture issues.

Spider Management

The best way to avoid a bite from a widow spider is to invest in a pest control plan for your property. Pest management will reduce the food sources widow spiders are seeking, and this will work to deter widow spiders from living in your yard. If you’re in the Tucson area, reach out to Pest Friends. We can answer any questions you have and guide you in selecting the right services for your specific needs and budget. While widow spiders aren’t nearly as dangerous as you might have heard, it is still better to not have them in your yard.

Are Drywood Termites A Serious Issue In Tucson?

Termites are typically known for thriving in humid environments and feeding on damp wood, so you might expect that Tucson’s dry and arid climate would keep it safe from these wood-eating insects. Unfortunately, there is a lesser-known species of termite that doesn’t need moisture from the soil, making Tucson its ideal habitat. This is the aptly named drywood termite.

Drywood termites can wreak havoc on Tucson homes and businesses, quickly making a meal of attics, door frames, siding, and more. These termites can cause serious structural damage and are extremely difficult to get rid of on your own. Knowing the signs of drywood termites could save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Let’s explore how to identify drywood termites, tips for preventing them, and what to do if you catch them on your property.

Drywood Termite Identification

Drywood termites range from light brown to creamy white in color, and have a long, narrow body. They measure between ⅜ of an inch and 1 inch in length. Alates, or swarmers, have clear or smoky gray wings. Drywood termites differ in size and appearance depending on their caste — workers, alates, or reproductives.

Unlike other species of termite, the drywood termite does not require moisture from the soil in order to survive and build nests. Drywood termites prefer to nest in dry roof materials and wooden wall supports. They may also be found in door frames, window sills, eaves, trim, siding, and even wooden furniture.

While they don’t need much water to survive, they can sometimes be found in damp wood as well, such as areas near a water heater or leaky pipe. These silent invaders frequently infest rarely-visited areas of the home such as attics and crawlspaces, so infestations often go undetected until severe structural damage has been done.

Signs Of Drywood Termite Infestations

Drywood termites are often identified by property owners when groups of alates emerge from holes in the wood. These winged termites are attracted to light and may swarm around lamps or the TV screen in the evenings. Another sign of drywood termites is the blistering of wood surfaces, which may indicate that termites are tunneling close to the surface of the structure.

Discarded wings that accumulate around window sills can also be a telltale sign of drywood termites. Six-sided wooden pellets, which will be the color of the wood the termites have been eating, may accumulate in piles near the infested wood. If you notice any of these signs of drywood termites, you should call a pest control professional as soon as possible.

Preventing Drywood Termites In Tucson

The best way to prevent drywood termite damage to your property is to keep them from getting inside in the first place. Here are some measures every Tucson property owner should take to protect against drywood termites:

  • Store firewood and lumber at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Install mesh screens on all openings into your home, including doors, windows, and vents, particularly ones leading to crawlspaces and attics.
  • Seal unfinished wood both inside and outside your home, using paint, sealant, or varnish.
  • Inspect your home for cracks, crevices, or holes and fill them to prevent termites from entering.
  • Use caution when bringing secondhand wooden items such as furniture or picture frames into your home, as they may be infested with drywood termites.

These prevention tips will help reduce your chances of a drywood termite infestation in your home, but if an infestation does occur, be sure to reach out to a professional pest control company.

Effective Drywood Termite Control In Tucson, AZ

Tucson is notorious for termites, and it is a problem most property owners will deal with at some point. Termite damage is one of the most costly repairs for homeowners in Arizona, especially if the infestation goes undetected for a long period.

Drywood termites are a challenging pest to control, and DIY solutions are not effective in the long run. Termite colonies can number over 100,000 and be almost impossible to fully eradicate without professional assistance. Luckily, Pest Friends provides effective termite treatments in Tucson to keep your property safe from these destructive pests.

Pest Friends is a locally-owned business that proudly serves the Tucson area with modern and eco-friendly pest control. We have more than 35 years of experience in the industry, are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and provide a Pest Friends Guarantee for your total satisfaction.

We offer both termite prevention and elimination, and there is no termite challenge we can’t treat. Whether you want to take proactive action to protect your property from drywood termites, or you have spotted signs of an infestation, Pest Friends has got you covered. Don’t let drywood termites eat your home from the inside out, schedule an inspection with Pest Friends today.

The Problem With Rodents Around Your Tucson Home

People have an instinctual fear of rodents for a reason: disease. As long as rodents have been living alongside humanity, they’ve been stealing our food, living in our rafters, and leaving unwelcome gifts behind. Having domestic rodents in your homes is costly in terms of health, safety, and damage.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of rodents in Tucson, the dangers and problems they pose in your home, and how to get rid of rodents for good.

Types Of Rodents In Tucson

There are a handful of common Arizona rodents to be aware of as different rodents cause unique problems to structures and pose varying health threats. Knowing the differences between common types of rodents can also mean the difference between effective and ineffective treatment.

The first is the packrat, also known as the woodrat. There are a few different species of packrats in Arizona. Packrats get their name from their fondness for using stolen objects in their nests, particularly bright, shiny objects. For rats, they have fairly large ears and hairy tails. These rats can grow to 20 inches long, with a tail making up to 9 inches of that length. These rats are vegetarian, nocturnal, and great climbers. They rely on the plant material they eat for water.

The second of the common Arizona rodents is the roof rat. Roof rats are generally no longer than 8 inches long, not including their scaly tails that exceed the length of their bodies. Roof rats typically shelter in the upper parts of buildings, such as attics and rafters. They prefer cool weather and covered hiding places, so areas with lots of vegetation and fruit trees are a roof rat’s paradise.

A third contender among domestic rodents, one of the most common home-invading pests, is the house mouse. House mice are small and round, only growing to around 3 ¾ of an inch long, with their tails usually equal to or surpassing that length. They have large rounded ears and big eyes. House mice do not see well and aren’t particularly agile, but they make do with their excellent hearing and whiskers to navigate challenging environments.

Rodents In Tucson Are Unsanitary

Most people are aware that rodents are unsanitary but may not have the full picture. Different rodents have different disease-carrying capabilities. House mice usually carry fewer diseases, limited to salmonellosis, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and tularemia for the most part.

Roof rats carry more diseases and of a more dangerous order. Some of the diseases they are capable of transmitting include typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis, salmonellosis, and the plague. Several of these diseases are transmitted through the disease-carrying parasites they host, such as fleas and ticks.

Similarly, packrats are carriers of the plague, tularemia, and leptospirosis. Though disease transmission through the packrat itself is rare, one should be extremely cautious of handling a rodent, dead or alive. Some diseases like rat-bite fever can be spread through contact with a rodent corpse.

Rodents In Tucson Chew

While the chewing capabilities of different rodents vary based on their size, rats are capable of chewing through practically any material, including rubber, vinyl, brick, wood, drywall, concrete, and aluminum. Not only can this make getting into your home no more than an inconvenience, but the rodents can also damage timbers, stored property, and wiring in an attempt to make a nest or create a pathway to travel through. Wiring is of special concern, as it is often damaged in out of sight places and can create a risk of fire.

The Best Rodent Control In Tucson

Rodents are dangerous to your health, safety, and property. Still, many homeowners attempt to get rid of rodents in their homes themselves, often putting themselves in close contact with potent poisons and disease-ridden rodents. Not only is this likely to be ineffective, but it may worsen your pest problem and jeopardize your health, the health of your family members and pets.

Don’t waste your money and risk your health trying to do rodent treatment yourself. Instead, trust Pest Friends to get rid of rodents fast. Not only are our Tucson pest control treatments eco-friendly, but we offer innovative solutions to protect your home from the outside, keeping risky pests and poisons out of reach of your loved ones.

If rodents do happen to get inside, we use naturally-occurring products to get rid of them. You shouldn’t have to worry about pests and poisons when calling pest control. With Pest Friends, you can get safe, reliable, and effective rodent treatment that gets rid of rodents for good. Call Pest Friends today to request your free inspection.

The Key To Effective Cockroach Control In Tucson

Does your home have cockroaches? If so, you’re not alone; about 63% of homes in the United States contain cockroaches. There are different types of cockroaches in Tucson, but they all have one thing in common: they’re gross!

Nobody wants to see a roach scuttling across their kitchen floor in the middle of the night. Lucky for you, we are going to share our key to effective cockroach control in Tucson, as well as exploring the types of local cockroaches, whether they are harmful, and cockroach prevention tips. Let’s get started!

What Types Of Cockroaches Invade Tucson Properties?

Different types of cockroaches may look alike to the untrained eye; they’re typically brown, oval-shaped, and fairly flat. However, there are key differences between species, and it’s helpful to be able to identify the cockroaches that have invaded your home.

Here is a breakdown of the common cockroach species we have here in Tucson:

  • German Cockroaches – The German cockroach is the most common species in the world. It measures between ½ inch and ⅝ inch in length and has a light brown body with two dark stripes. While they do have wings, German cockroaches are more often seen running than flying.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroaches – The brown-banded cockroach is the smallest of the three species found in Tucson, at about ½ inch long. This cockroach earned its name from the light brown bands that run across its darker brown body. Males have full wings while females have smaller, underdeveloped wings and are not able to fly.
  • American Cockroaches – The American cockroach is the largest species found in the United States. It is a uniform red-brown color and can grow to be over two inches long. The American cockroach has wings and can fly. It is also known as the palmetto bug, Bombay canary, and water bug.

If you identify any of these types of cockroaches, it’s important to act quickly. Cockroaches aren’t just gross; they’re also potentially dangerous.

Are Cockroaches In Tucson Harmful To Humans?

Whether you are dealing with brown-banded, American, or German cockroaches, all species of cockroaches are harmful to humans. If you notice signs of cockroaches in your home, you need to be aware of the risks. While cockroaches don’t bite, they do carry numerous diseases. These pathogens include salmonellosis, typhoid fever, cholera, giardia, gastroenteritis, and E. coli.

Cockroaches can also cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks via saliva, urine, droppings, shed skins, and carcasses. Most people think cockroaches are nasty but don’t realize how threatening these pests can truly be. Continue reading for the best way to kill cockroaches and how to prevent them in your Tucson home.

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Roaches In Tucson

Cockroaches are notoriously hard to kill. They are able to flatten themselves to avoid being squashed, are resistant to many pesticides, and can even survive for a week without their heads! That’s why the best way to kill cockroaches is to hire professionals to do it for you. For effective cockroach control in Tucson, we recommend that you contact the experts at Pest Friends.

Pest Friends has 35 years of experience in cockroach control and provides modern, eco-friendly pest solutions to the Tucson area. Our experts will inspect your property and thoroughly eliminate the roaches from your home. Our services come with our Pest Friends Guarantee, ensuring that your home will be 100% cockroach-free.

If you notice signs of cockroaches in your home, don’t put off seeking professional cockroach control. Contact Pest Friends today for quality service and peace of mind.

Simple Cockroach Prevention Tips For Tucson Properties

Once the cockroaches have been eliminated from your home, it’s important to take steps to keep them from returning. Cockroaches are highly invasive and will do their very best to get inside your home. However, there are ways you can prevent them.

Here are our recommendations for how to deter cockroaches in your Tucson home:

  • Cockroaches can enter through tiny cracks and gaps – inspect your home for any small openings and seal them tightly.
  • Install mesh screens on windows, vents, and drains.
  • Keep your home clean and sanitized; wipe down surfaces, sweep and mop floors, and vacuum regularly to eliminate food particles.
  • Cockroaches are attracted to moist environments – address any moisture issues by maintaining gutters, repairing pipes, and using dehumidifiers.
  • Trim shrubs and trees around your home’s foundation.
  • Remove any yard debris and piles of dead leaves.
  • Store trash securely and dispose of it frequently.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and never leave unfinished pet food sitting out.

These prevention techniques will help protect your home from future cockroach infestations. However, these persistent pests may return despite your best efforts. For more advice on how to deter cockroaches, or to schedule your free inspection, contact Pest Friends today.

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