With almost a million identified insect species on the planet and a year-round hospitable climate, Phoenix has more than its share of six- and eight-legged pests. Insects and spiders in the southwestern deserts predate human habitation by eons. They’ve made it this far with highly successful adaptations to the weather extremes of heat and drought.
In this environment with its poisonous snakes and spiders, it’s natural to be suspicious about unidentified pests especially when they’re lurking around your home.
Beetles & Cockroaches
Ranging in size from the tiny bed bug to the colossal, black Palo Verde beetle, hard-shelled crawling insects are common. The most dreaded pests in the Valley are German cockroaches that happily take up residence in your kitchen and the larger American or Turkestan roaches that appear anywhere in the summer.
You’ll find kissing bugs in bedrooms or bedding and are not good pests to have indoors since they spread Chagas disease. Carpet beetles eat fibers and stink bugs release a hideous odor when killed. Boxelder beetles, sometimes mistaken for German roaches, live on yard vegetation and are harmless to people.
Weevils infest kitchens and are challenging pests to eliminate. They hatch from uncooked grains like flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, rice and wheat cereals. The bugs lay their eggs on the grain products, and if you store them too long at room temperatures, their larvae hatch and begin to eat. They mature into tiny brown bugs that will crawl inside the cracks and corners of the kitchen cabinets and counters.
It’s said that the only bees in the Phoenix area are killer bees, so it’s wise to keep your distance and let them do their job. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements around the bees and note that they do not like loud noises or sudden movements.
If you’ve ever been buzzed by a large black flying beetle that hovers, you may have met up with a carpenter bee. As threatening as these pests seem, the male can’t harm you, although the female has a powerful sting when threatened.
Most commonly seen in the spring and early summer, carpenter bees need a place to bore into wood to raise their young. Uncontrolled, a population of carpenter bees can cause considerable damage to your home.
Wasps certainly have their place in nature, and for the most part, they’re benign pests unless provoked. The occasional wasp sighting isn’t cause for concern, but if you see a wasp nest on your home or in a nearby tree, you may want to keep your distance until the exterminator arrives.
One wasp to cross the street to avoid is the tarantula hawk. A bite from this large black wasp with orange wings isn’t poisonous, but it’s said to be the worst pain, albeit, in short duration, a human can experience. To be safe around your home and yard, especially if you have a swimming pool, you may want to consult with Budget Brothers to help you manage wasp populations.
Ants and Termites
Ants may not harm your home’s structure, but termites certainly will. If you see white ants just below the soil, you probably have a termite infestation. Anytime you see mud tunnels in or around your home’s foundation or woody plants, call us. The most common termites in the desert are the subterranean species, and they become particularly active during the monsoon.
Unless they invade your kitchen or patio, ants aren’t normally troublesome pests, although you may want them controlled if you have fire ants. Left outdoors, pet food is always vulnerable, but ants normally only come into homes for food and water during dry weather.
Get Rid of Unidentified Pests
The pests noted in this post are a few you may encounter. If you’re concerned about these or others, call Budget Brothers for an estimate.