Winter Pests In Arizona

Winter is here and for many Phoenix residents, there is an assumption that with the weather being cold there is no need to worry about insects or pests. To the contrary, there is substantial proof that keeping up with your home or business and preventing pests from invading is important.

Every season is pest season in Arizona. In this article, we’re going to discuss the most common pests that remain active in winter and can pose a threat to your home regardless of the temperatures outside. If you notice these pests or any sign, big or small, it’s better to take action now than to let the breeding cycle continue uninterrupted.


Termites Are Still Nibbling On Your Home

A common misconception is the thinking that termites are sleeping throughout the winter. The matter of the fact is termites are just as active in winter as they are in summer. The difference between the seasons is we may spend less time in the yard and termite tubes go unnoticed.

Winters are mild enough for termites to thrive and survive so it’s a smart idea to inspect your home and look for the telltale signs of a termite infestation.  Left to their own devices, subterranean termites can cause significant damage to your home. Look for the signs of subterranean termites in and around your home.  Exterior, look for shelter tubes along the stem wall and at the corners of the roll up garage door. Inside, check for shelter tubes around plumbing pipes and protrusions from the ceiling and walls.

During a swarm, you can often spot the winged termites (swarmers) around windows and around doors. Swarming termites include foragers, soldiers and reproducers searching out a location for a new colony.  Swarming usually occurs in the spring and around monsoon season, these pests are often misidentified as “flying ants” upon closer inspection you will see the termite swarmer does not have a “pinched” waist like a flying ant but has a more full body.

If you have swarming around your home do not hesitate to call, we will identify the pest and offer a solution to the problem.

The Black Widow and The Brown Recluse

Spiders seek out the warmth of your home during the winters here in the Valley. But not to worry! Many spiders are harmless. The cellar spider—aka “  Spider” in the United States—is an example of a spider that poses no threat to humans, but is a predator to other insects (which is good for us in winter). Unless you’re an arachnophobe, we recommend leaving them be.

This, however, is not true for two other species: the black widow and the brown recluse, both found here in Arizona. These spiders love to make their winter homes in garages, attics, and other secluded spaces. As venomous species, both can pose a threat to you and your family.

If you spot either the black widow—one of the most recognizable spiders in the world—or the brown recluse, call Arizona’s Best Choice for service, Preventive Pest Control.

Cockroaches Pose Serious Health Risks

Roaches carry many microbial pathogens, including salmonella, streptococcus, and Staphylococcus. If you suspect your home has roaches, call in our team—even in the colder months, roaches can multiply and become a big headache for you and your home.

There are many cockroach species thriving in Arizona, most of which require different approaches to control.  Roaches are survivors, it is NOT recommended to use over the counter sprays or “bombing” the home, this will drive roaches into wall voids and result in a much larger population emerging in 2-3 weeks.  Timely treatments, mechanical removal, and sanitation with a baiting program is the answer to keeping your home roach free.

The Ants Keep Marching In

Ants are a more surprising winter pest as it is known they hibernate in the cold underground. But the issue here as the weather gets cold, insects begin their march inside to avoid the cold, lay their eggs, and wait out the winter.

Ants that live in hot climates don’t tend to react much to winter, although they may shut down temporarily during a dry or wet season instead. Some ants have extensive nests with elaborate ventilation systems, where the environment inside has a uniform temperature and humidity year around. Backyards, parks near, and sidewalks are hot spots for ants. Keep an eye out for nests. When you notice even just one, it’s best to let Preventive Pest Control know so we can schedule a time to come out an to prevent a spring invasion. Much like termite control it is important to kill the entire colony with a product that will translocate throughout the colony without alarming the soldiers.  When ant colonies sense an attack they will move the queen and create a new colony, quickly doubling and tripling your ant problem.

Rats and Mice Think Your Home is Nice

Roof rats aren’t just a kitschy term, they’re a real thing. Roof rats are typically night owls, pitter-pattering around in attics and on roofs. How do rats get inside your house?  Unsealed roof vents, abandoned plumbing pipes, unsealed holes along exterior walls, and through the openings at the sides of your garage door. Mice need a hole the size of a dime to gain entry to your home while rates require a hole about the size of a quarter.  Once inside, major damage to wiring and insulation can occur. Rodent populations in Arizona have increased tenfold over the last fifteen years and pose a major health risk along with the structural damage they can create. Keeping rodents excluded from the home BEFORE they begin nesting is FAR LESS expensive than waiting until they have turned YOUR home into THEIR home.

Signs of roof rats; scratching sounds, chewing noises, and the pitter-patter of little feet in the attic (usually at night).

Packrat isn’t just a term for people who horde, it’s also a type of rodent that likes to live inside your garage, roof, or any other object they can make a nest in. If you have a lot of vegetation around your home that isn’t used for growing your own food, you may want to take care of your yard.

Signs of pack rats; chewed up wire harness on your vehicle, rat droppings inside the outdoor barbeque, nesting materials around dense vegetation areas in the yard, chewed up weather strip on your garage door.

How to Prevent Pest Damage to Your Home

There are other pests that can run amuck in your home during the winter months of Arizona, but these are the five most commonly found ones. A throughout inspection of your home is always a good move if you suspect rodents, insects, or any other kind of pest. Prevention is always better than reacting, especially since it is often too late in the case of some insect invasions.

Protecting your home from pests is not a one-time event. Ensuring your property remains free of pest damage and your family’s health is protected from pests requires a plan to prevent pest invasions from ever happening.

Property damage from pests can cost thousands of dollars. Health issues from pest invasions can be extremely harmful to children and can end up having lasting effects. As scary as these issues are, the wonderful thing is that they can be prevented. Give our offices a call and schedule a time that works best for you. We’ll come out to perform an inspection and together we can create a plan that will protect your home from pests and insects.