Since winter temperatures in southern Arizona rarely drop below freezing, some insect pests can be an issue for homeowners year round in the state. Generally, however, insect pests are most active during the spring, summer and fall season in Arizona. Some of the most common insect pest species in the state include include Pharaoh ants, harvester ants, southern fire ants, rover ants, American cockroaches, desert subterranean termites, western drywood termites, urban-dwelling mosquito species, Indian meal moths, and although they are technically arachnids, striped bark scorpions frequently congregate on the internal and external walls of homes, especially on excessively hot summer days.
While many people assume that pest control professionals mainly apply remedial treatments to homes after they become infested, this is not necessarily accurate. These days, the pest control industry focuses on preventing insect infestations by making homes less inviting and hospitable to insect pests. Modern pest control professionals also make a point to keep insecticide use to a minimum by relying on a combination of various non-chemical means of insect pest control. This updated and eco-conscious approach to residential and urban pest control is known as integrated pest management (IPM), and it promotes preventative pest control practices above all else.
The first thing a homeowner should do to prevent insect pest invasions into a home is to set aside time to locate as many entry points as possible that could provide insect pests with access indoors. Cracks and crevices on foundations, ill fitting and/or damaged window screens, crawlspace and attic vents, and sizable gaps below doors are just some of the entry points that insects commonly use to establish indoor infestations. Using caulk to seal cracks in a home’s foundation and external walls will prevent relatively small sized insect pests from accessing indoor living spaces. However, even relatively large arthropods like silverfish, firebrats, earwigs, cockroaches, and centipedes can, surprisingly, fit through extraordinary narrow foundation cracks in order to seek food or shelter within homes.
Installing door sweeps will not only help to keep bugs outside, but they can reduce the cost of central heating. Insect and arachnid pests gravitate to areas of abundant vegetation for food and nesting purposes, and an overgrowth of vegetation against a home’s foundation will bring insect and arachnid pests directly to basement, cellar or crawl space vents and windows, as well as door frames, window frames, foundation cracks, and gaps where wiring, cables or plumbing lead into homes. If insect pests enter a crawl space, they can then gain access into indoor wall voids and subfloors where numerous insect species congregate during the winter.
Have you ever taken the time to bug-proof your home?