(602) 536-5647Get Started

Pest Library

What You Need To Know About Common Phoenix, AZ Pests

Pests can be dangerous to you, your family, or your business. It is necessary to identify which pest you are having problems with so that you can seek the right treatment to get rid of it. Here are some common pests in the area, along with some tips to help you prevent them from coming inside your Phoenix area home or building.

Ants

Ants are social insects that are typically considered nuisance pests. However, there are a handful of species that can be more problematic than expected in terms of health and safety.

In general, ants have antennae, six legs, and a segmented, oval-shaped body that is broken down into three distinct body regions, including the head, thorax, and abdomen. Many species are attracted to food and moisture and have a fondness for sweets. It is also common for ants to rapidly reproduce and build satellite nests in a variety of inconvenient locations, which makes them a difficult pest to eliminate in homes and businesses.

  • Argentine ants are dark brown to black in color, with a shiny appearance, and an average length of 1/16 – 1/4 of an inch. Argentine ants create a network of interconnected nests that can contain millions of members and multiple queens.
  • Carpenter ants are typically red, black, or brown in color, or a combination of red and black, with an average length of 1/2 - 5/8 of an inch. Carpenter ants excavate wood for nesting materials, creating tunnels that will eventually weaken the integrity of a structure.
  • Fire ants are dark, reddish-brown in color, and average around 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch. Fire ants can deliver multiple painful stings from more than one ant, causing severe reactions in people who are allergic to insect stings.

Regardless of the species, ants are carriers of disease-causing bacteria that can contaminate food and food prep surfaces. The only way to beat the odds against an ant infestation is with the help of Preferred Choice Pest Control’s ant control service.

Here are a few ways to prevent an ant invasion before it has a chance to start:

  • Eliminate sources of moisture, including clogged gutters and leaking faucets, pipes, or spigots.
  • Keep food preparation and dining areas tidy by washing dishes, wiping down surfaces, and vacuuming on a regular basis.
  • Secure trash cans and recycling bins with tight-fitting lids. Remove trash from buildings and property as needed.
  • Trim back tree branches and shrubbery that are in close proximity to your building to keep them from touching.
  • Fill in any gaps or cracks on the exterior walls and foundation of your building.
  • Install or repair door sweeps, weather stripping, and screens on doors and windows.

Beetles & Weevils

Beetles are characterized by a pair of protective forewings that serve as a covering for the delicate pair of wings that are used for flying. There are more species of beetle in the world than any other kind of insect. Beetles can be colorful, fascinating, and beneficial, but they can also be extremely destructive pests. Two good examples of problematic beetles are the carpet beetle and the weevil.

Carpet beetles are black, with white, brown, and yellow patches in an irregular arrangement. They have a round body, six legs, antennae, and are roughly 1/6 of an inch in length. Due to their ability to find an abundance of food in obscure places, carpet beetle infestations are often difficult to control. Carpet beetles feed on a wide variety of items, including carpets, upholstery, woolen fabrics, silk, leather, fur, feathers, hair, and dead insects.

Some helpful carpet beetle prevention methods include the following:

  • Turn off lights that attract carpet beetles at night. Be sure to keep doors and windows closed or well protected with screens, weather stripping, and door sweeps.
  • Closely examine cut flowers and stored or used furniture, clothing, and other items before bringing them inside.
  • Clothing and blankets going into storage should be cleaned before placing them into plastic containers with moth crystals or flakes.
  • Inspect and seal plumbing entrances and electrical ducts.
  • Keep air ducts free and clear of lint and dust.
  • Vacuum carpets and flooring on a regular basis.

Weevils have a well-developed snout that curves downward from their elongated heads. The antennae of most weevils are elbowed and club-shaped at the end. Weevils are generally brown or grey, and they average less than ¼ of an inch in length. The majority of weevil species solely feed on plants. They are considered a destructive nuisance when it comes to the damage of growing crops and stored grains.

Here are a few ways you can help prevent weevil invasions:

  • Closely examine packaging when purchasing wheat and grains to avoid infested products. Select packages in smaller quantities and store food items in sealed containers that are glass, metal, or plastic.
  • Inspect exterior walls and foundation for gaps or cracks needing to be filled.
  • Install or repair door sweeps, weather stripping, and screens on doors and windows.

Getting ahead of a pest problem is a good start, but the best way to prevent unwanted beetles on your property is with the help of Preferred Choice Pest Control’s quality pest control services.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are filthy pests that spread nearly 33 kinds of bacteria, contaminate food and surfaces, and trigger allergies and asthma attacks in humans. They are nocturnal insects that prefer warm and humid environments in a dark or dimly lit location. Regardless of their preference, cockroaches are highly adaptable to cold and heat; they are known as one of the more resilient pests in the world.

There are many species of cockroaches with varying habits and appearances. In general, cockroaches are reddish-brown or brown in color, with variations of lighter-colored markings in some species. They have six legs, an oval-shaped body, and long antennae. The most noticeable sign of a cockroach infestation is a visual sighting. There may also be small droppings in dimly lit areas or egg capsules that are ‘glued’ to surfaces near food sources.

American cockroaches are typically found in sewers and drains. They are reddish-brown with a yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of their heads, and they average between 1-1/4 to 2-1/8 of an inch in length. American cockroaches are the most common species in commercial and residential infestations.

  • Brown-banded cockroaches are a small species that averages ½ of an inch in length. They are brown in color, with light brown banding across their wings. Due to their small size and coloring, brown-banded cockroaches tend to easily blend in with their surroundings and often go unnoticed. They prefer drier and warmer environments than most species and can be found in higher locations.
  • German cockroaches are the most common species worldwide. They are often associated with commercial facilities and residential kitchens. German cockroaches are light brown to tan, with two dark stripes located on their backs below their heads, and an average size of 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch.
  • Turkestan cockroaches are primarily outdoor insects. Their colors range from dark brown to reddish-brown, with white lateral stripes or dashes on the ends of their wings, and they average between 5/8 – 1 1/8 of an inch in length. Turkestan cockroaches present water contamination issues due to their preference for in-ground containers.

Cockroaches are creepy, disease-carrying pests that present a long list of health and safety concerns. Without the help of Preferred Choice Pest Control’s cockroach control services, they will be extremely difficult to eliminate.

Some helpful ways to prevent cockroach invasions include:

  • Ventilate moisture-prone areas such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces.
  • Eliminating sources of moisture, including clogged gutters, leaky faucets, pipes, and spigots.
  • Keep your kitchen and dining areas free of crumbs, spills, dirty dishes, and trash. Cover trash cans with tight-fitting lids, store uneaten pet food, wipe down surfaces and be sure to vacuum regularly.
  • Examine exterior walls and foundation of structure for gaps and cracks that need to be filled.
  • Install or repair door sweeps, weather stripping, and screens on doors and windows.

Scorpions

Scorpions are nocturnal arthropods that are closely related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Depending on the species, scorpions vary in shades from yellowish-brown to tan and can range between 2 to 4 inches in length. In general, scorpions typically have eight eyes, four pairs of legs, a pair of pincers, a segmented body, and a long segmented tail with a stinger at the end.

The sting of a scorpion is generally harmless to humans and often likened to the sensation and symptoms of a bee sting. There are a handful of species that possess venom potent enough to prove fatal to humans without proper medical attention, and one of those species is a Phoenix local.

  • Arizona bark scorpions are one of the most dangerous species in the world. Their venomous sting requires immediate medical attention to ensure a healthy recovery. The Arizona bark scorpion is relatively small, averaging around 2-1/2 inches in length, with a tan body, and their backs are slightly darker in color.
  • Giant hairy scorpions are named after their massive size and large sensory hairs on their bodies and legs. Averaging around 7 inches in length, this beast of a pest can be quite intimidating in appearance. Giant hairy scorpions have dark bodies, and yellow legs, claws, and tails. Their sting is painful but it isn’t considered dangerous.
  • Striped-tail scorpions are often confused with the venomous Arizona bark scorpion, but their sting is not dangerous. They are light yellow-brown in color, with legs and a tail that are lighter than their bodies. Striped-tail scorpions also have a prominent striping along the length of their tail, and they average between 1 to 3 inches in length.
  • Striped bark scorpions have unique characteristics with their slender pincers, and long, slender tails. They have yellowish to tan bodies, marked with two blackish stripes on their upper abdomen, and a dark, triangular mark on their heads. Striped bark scorpions average around 2 to 3-1/8 of an inch in length. Reactions to their stings may vary depending on the sensitivity of the individual.

Scorpions primarily feed on ground-dwelling insects, and they can survive for months without food if water is readily available. Many species end up indoors following prey or in their search for shelter during extreme weather conditions. If you’ve seen a scorpion in your building, contact Preferred Choice Pest Control to get started with your pest control services today.

In the meantime, here are a few tips to prevent unwanted scorpions:

  • Remove stones and organic debris from the perimeter of your building.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the perimeter of your building and 5 inches off of the ground.
  • Seal up any exposed cracks or crevices found on the exterior walls and foundation.
  • Install or repair damaged door sweeps, weather stripping, and screens on doors or windows. Make sure poorly fitted garage and entry doors are properly sealed as well.

Silverfish

Silverfish get their name from the silvery, metallic appearance and their somewhat fish-like shape and movements. They can also be brown in color, with a flattened and elongated oval-shaped body covered in scales, six legs, antennae, and an average size of 3/4 of an inch in length.

Silverfish are found throughout the United States and are often seen in moist, humid environments, such as basements, bathrooms, and attics. They are usually introduced to a location through infested cardboard, books, and papers. Silverfish can be found in pretty much any area of a home or business, especially when a building is covered with a shake roof. Shake roofs provide an abundance of moisture, cellulose, starch, and dead insects.

Silverfish are considered a nuisance pest because they do not pose any threats to humans, but they can create a surprising amount of property damage. They will chew holes into items such as books and paper goods, clothing, upholstery, and wallpaper. Silverfish are nocturnal creatures that tend to remain well hidden within a structure. If they are living in a humid environment, silverfish are capable of surviving for weeks without food or water.

Dealing with a silverfish infestation doesn’t have to be a struggle. Preferred Choice Pest Control has just the solution you need. Contact us to receive exceptional pest control services for your silverfish problems.

Be sure to apply our recommended silverfish prevention tips:

  • Ventilate moist environments with fans and a dehumidifier. Eliminate additional sources of moisture, including clogged gutters, and leaking pipes, faucets, and spigots.
  • Replace any wet or rotting wood in or around the building.
  • Store paper items such as books and magazines in plastic bins. Place them in an environment that is dry and well ventilated.
  • Remove storage placed against or near the building's exterior.
  • Install or replace damaged weather stripping, door sweeps, and screens on doors and windows.
  • Seal any gaps around utility pipes and visible cracks around the exterior of your building.
  • Shake roofs should be cleaned and sealed every other year to eliminate ideal feeding and nesting environments.

Spiders

Spider identification can vary greatly from species to species. In general, spiders have a body divided into two regions, a pair of fangs, and eight legs. There are approximately 3,000 different species of spiders throughout North America, and roughly 98% of those species are relatively harmless to humans. Unfortunately, two of the most dangerous spiders can be found in the southern and western United States, and they are more than capable of harming humans.

  • Black widows are famous for the red hourglass shape that can be found on the underside of their abdomen. They are black in color, with round bodies, eight eyes, and an average size of 1-½ to 1-3/8 of an inch in length. Black widows are also notorious for their potent venom that has been reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s bite. Immediate medical attention is required to avoid a potential fatality.
  • Brown recluse spiders are often identified through the dark brown violin shape located on their backs. They are light tan to dark brown in color, with a round body, six eyes, and an average length of 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. Brown recluse bites can cause severe allergic reactions, and they usually take about three weeks to heal. Those who have been bitten should seek medical attention to avoid the forming of dead tissue and an ulcerating-like sore.
  • Tarantula spiders are often feared due to their massive size and formidable appearance. They come in a variety of colors, but they are generally brown or black, with very hairy legs and bodies, and an average length of 3 to 3-1/2 inches. The venom of a tarantula is milder than a honeybee. Many people enjoy keeping tarantulas as pets in their homes.
  • Wolf spiders can be intimidating with their large and robust bodies and legs that are covered in hair. They are usually dark brown, with paler or sometimes yellow stripes or markings. Their legs are long and spiny, and they average around 3/8 to 1-3/8 of an inch in length. Wolf spiders do not pose any threats to humans.

Finding spiders indoors often signals some form of a pest prey infestation that they have followed into your building. Preferred Choice Pest Control offers pest control services that will effectively eliminate all of your pest problems.

Here are few convenient prevention tips to get you started:

  • Eliminate standing water sources on the property, as well as any moisture issues stemming from clogged gutters, leaky pipes, spigots, or faucets.
  • Reduce clutter in basements, garages, and attics to eliminate hiding spots.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the perimeter of your building and 5 inches off of the ground.
  • Examine the exterior walls and foundation of your building for gaps and cracks that need to be filled.
  • Install or repair door sweeps, weather stripping, and screens on doors and windows.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions.

Request Your Free Inspection

Complete the form below to schedule your no obligation inspection.

Get Started With Preferred Choice Pest Control Today

(602) 536-5647

Find out how we can help Phoenix home or business safe from pest infestations.