Does Diatomaceous Earth Work For Scorpions?

Does Diatomaceous Earth Work For Scorpions?

It’s a question we get nearly every single day…

“Does diatomaceous earth really work for scorpions” and “Where can I get some?”

Let’s break this down.

If you have scorpions in or around your home, DIY pest control just isn’t going to do the trick. IN fact, DIY pest control might actually trick YOU into thinking what you’re doing is working because maybe, just maybe, you don’t see a scorpion for a few weeks…

But, I guarantee those scorpions are out there, they’ve just been avoiding the ‘line in the sand,’ so to speak.

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So, today let’s answer the bit question about diatomaceous earth:

Does It Work?

Technically speaking, yes, diatomaceous earth is made up of a material that will dehydrate and literally destroy any pest with an exoskeleton. So, ants, spiders and scorpions, as well as cockroaches, will be affected by diatomaceous earth…if they come into contact with it.

Let’s say a scorpion happens to cross the line of diatomaceous earth. That slow death will take time…long enough for that scorpion to still get into your home.

Speaking of getting in to your home, if the scorpion is already inside of your home, the diatomaceous earth will not do any good. You’ve basically trapped those scorpions inside of your home.

It has been clinically proven in a lab that diatomaceous earth will kill a scorpion, but it takes one to two weeks!

Well, now that you know diatomaceous earth can work to kill scorpions…eventually, the next question you need to be asking is “Is it safe?”

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe?

Yes and no. If inhaled by you, your children, even your pets, diatomaceous earth can cause respiratory problems…although minor. It is recommended that, when laying diatomaceous earth, you and anyone around it wear a mask. If it’s windy outside, say goodbye to your lungs…and the diatomaceous earth!

Where To Lay Diatomaceous Earth

If you’re still thinking about DIY pest control with diatomaceous earth, consider laying a boundary around the foundation of your home, including the garage. You’ll also want to place diatomaceous earth around the concrete fencing we have here in Arizona, as well as in between the bricks.

If you have any plumbing pipes coming out of the walls of your home, dust diatomaceous earth around those pipes and holes.

Honestly, if you have had more than one or two scorpions in your home in the past few weeks, you need to call in an expert.

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Everything You Need to Know About Termites

You may be wondering what termite tubes are? They are created by the subterranean type of termites and serve the purpose of shelter from the above ground environment. This protection often takes the form of a tube and can measure anywhere from 1/8 to 1 inch wide in places with the longest being several yards in length. This article will focus on termites Arizona and related information.

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5 Signs That You May Have Termites in Your Home

1. You see termite wings. If you see wings around the perimeter of your house or indoors, it may be a sign that termites have already invaded the area surrounding your home. As termites swarm, they shed their wings. If you find clusters of wings over several days, it’s important to contact an exterminator right away.

2. You find sawdust. Noticing small piles of sawdust is another sign of a serious termite problem. This “symptom” indicates that termites have been chewing on the wood in your home and have created piles of sawdust as they wreak havoc on your housing structure.

3. You see shelter tubes. Termites are subterranean insects that require moisture to live; they seek protection by dwelling in tiny spaces. As a result, termites will infest and build small tunnels of mud in exposed areas. To determine if a termite tube is active, break one off and check later to see if it has been rebuilt. If so, you have a termite infestation on your hands.

4. You find hollowed wood. As you inspect the woodwork in your home, use a flat blade screwdriver or knife to check if wood has been hollowed out. Wood that has been severely damaged by termites may also sound hollow when tapped.

5. You see visible termites. Once termites are visible on your property, watch out! Termites may look yellow or white. Although there are over 40 termite species in the US, many will share the same physical characteristics. Termites can be most often found in damp areas of a home close to sources of wood. They may easily be confused for small ants. If you have any question about the type of insects found in your home, use the criteria above to determine if they are termites and call a professional exterminator right away for help.

Tips to Prevent and Spot Termite Damage

Every pier and link between the house and the ground should be checked for leads on all sides, as often as possible. This is very vital if the structure is only protected by a stainless steel mesh, aluminium or other metal shielding (including ant caps) and graded stone barriers.

The passive barriers are chemical barriers that are held in a matrix. These obstructions are not designed in a manner to kill termites, but also force them to go outside the perimeter. Also, remember that these termite tips can be very helpful if they are followed on a regular basis.

The outside area and the area underneath your house should always be kept cleared of things such as plants, stored goods, fill or any other objects or materials that could visually obscure the entry of termites to the building. Remember early detection is your best defense mechanism possible against potential harm done by termites.

Never carry out any additions and modifications to your house or to the near by soil, paths or attached structures without first consulting a termite professional. Termite professionals consider this factor as one of the most important and sought after point in the termite tips check list.A

Always repair the leaky shower stalls, dripping taps, overflowing gutters, down pipes, and tanks, leaky plumbing as soon as it noticed. Hot water overflow and roof water waste should be away from structures.

Do not add any gardens next to your house and if you are planning to do so, then seek the help of termite professionals.

If you notice a collapsing timber, stains, or mudding you should immediately contact a termite professional without wasting any time. Never interfere with the suspected activity during this time as it may cause further damage to the building.

Termite professionals are of the opinion that termites have many hidden entrances. So it is quite possible that you might miss out. A more detailed approach including the use of high tech tools can often detect either their hidden presence or structural or environmental developments that will assist or invite termite infestation.

Get your house or building thoroughly checked by a termite professional at least once a year.

Arizona Termites – What Type Is Living In Your Home?

Arizona Termites – What Type Is Living In Your Home?

Termites can make quick work of destroying a structure to the point that repairs may not be feasible. These tiny insects live in colonies that can be massive. Documented cases have revealed that some queens of termite colonies have lived for more than 50 years. Experts say that it isn’t a stretch to say that they could live to be 100 years old. In Arizona, termites are generally found to be one of five species.

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Desert Subterranean Termites

One of the most common subterranean termites in Arizona, these termites are pretty much restricted to the area as well as California, mainly in the desert areas. They do show up from time to time in Colorado as well as Houston, however, they are mainly concentrated in the Gila desert of Arizona and California. While they can live in desert plants such as dead cactus, they can be extremely destructive to structural timbers in homes, out sheds and other buildings as well as utility poles and other structures constructed of timber.

Desert subterranean termite swarmers are approximately 3/8 inches in length, including their wings with a pale brownish yellow body. The soldier has a rectangular shaped. In contrast to the Western subterranean termite’s thick and curved mandible, the desert subterranean termite’s mandible is rather straight and slender with a slight curve at the tip.

Arid-Land Subterranean Termites

Considered the most common and destructive termite in Arizona, the arid-land subterranean termite can be found in a good two-thirds of the country, from the Pacific Coast to Indiana, to Mississippi and across the Gulf Coast, then upwards to Montana. Their colonies have been found in a variety of land types from sand dunes to altitudes in excess of 7,000 feet within the states of the Rocky Mountains. While they can be found in moist environments such as river lowlands and along streams, they are primarily a desert species.

Swarmers measure around 1/3 inches long with wings or 1/5 inches without. Their bodies are black or dark brown with whitish wings. Soldiers are about ¼ inches long and their jaws are very similar to those of the desert termite in that they are long and straight. The only difference is that the arid-land termite’s mandibles are a little thicker.

Western Dry wood Termites

These termites are typically found along the coastal areas as well as in the southwest, as far north as Sacramento. They are heaviest in the coastal areas. In Arizona, the Western Dry wood termite is responsible for the majority of the drywood termite damage. They live in timber, including furniture, picture frames and wood that have a moisture content that is less than 12 percent. Humans are responsible for a good deal of their distribution through furniture and other wood household objects.

Swarmers are approximately 1/3 inches long, wings included. The abdomen is dark brown while the head and pronotum is a brownish orange. Soldiers heads are anywhere from orange to a reddish brown with whitish eye spots. Their mandibles have an unequal number of teeth and antenna that are large in the third segment.

Pacific Dampwood Termite

These termites are the largest in the United States. They are also the most significant, found as much as 6,000 feet above sea level. However, they seem to prefer the humid, cooler coastal areas as that is they are most commonly found.

Swarmers can be as much as 1 inch in length. They are a light to medium brown. Their wings are dark brown. Soldiers are typically the largest termites in the United States. They have large heads with long, black mandibles. Their bodies are black to a dark reddish brown with the abdomen and thorax typically a light brown.

Desert Dampwood Termites

This species of termites is mainly confined to the arid and semi-arid southwestern states including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California. They live in wood that often extends into the soil. They have been known to overtake shrubs and trees, killing them.

Swarmers are dark brown in color.

Termites in Arizona are destructive pests and they can be a challenge to control.

It is best to leave termite eradication and control to a pest professional.

Termites In Your Neighborhood?

Termites In Your Neighborhood?

There’s no need to move to another town from Gilbert just because termites have started nesting in your home. It would make sense to either build or remodel our homes with the intention of preventing termites rather than waiting until we have a major termite problem and then working overtime to eradicate the problem. This article will take into account several techniques and materials that may help prevent termites from becoming a problem…

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The primary thing to recognize is that termites need food and water to stay alive. If we can create or remodel our homes in ways that eliminate termite’s access to food and water, the danger will be reduced considerably. Although that sounds simple, the details are somewhat more complex.

The 3 basic steps in preventative remodeling are:

1) good defensive design that includes a variety of tactics,

2) use of termite-resistant building materials, and

3) installing barriers to inhibit access by termites.

Defensive design includes keeping the structure dry, controlling moisture in and around the home and permitting straightforward termite inspection. Research demonstrates that most infestations start with wood-to-ground contact.

A high-quality design will eliminate wood-to-ground contact. The next thing is to prevent moisture problems. Moist wood is a termite magnet. Make sure the soil slopes away from the home. Lower the humidity in crawl spaces.

Termite-resistant materials are a key component of termite prevention. Possibilities include using steel framing rather than wood and using treated lumber or naturally resistant woods such as heartwood of cypress. A newer alternative is composite wood or plastic. These are 100% plastic or wood mixed with plastic leftovers such as sawdust.

A number of grades are available. One way to increase the termite-resistance of existing wood is to paint or spray with any preventative mixture. This is a better option if you’ll be installing new wall so the framing is totally open. Termite preventative solutions penetrate the wood. this makes them hard to break down over time and will last a very long time.

Physical barriers for termites also mean that the home must be sealed completely. After the remodel is complete, use caulk and expanding foam to seal every little crack and crevice. Leaving even one tiny breach means the termites have a way into your home. Eventually, one of them will get in and create a colony.

The most secure way to approach termite remodeling is to employ all possible technique and technology. Time and money are limited, however. Go with the most valuable techniques and materials first.

Get rid of wood-to-ground contact. Slope the soil away from the structure. Include access panels. Spray a preventative solution on open wood. Use termite resistant construction materials. Seal the remodel project thoroughly. And get a termite inspection once a year.

October Ants – How To Get Rid of Frustrating Pests

Ants are annoying. I mean, seriously, they appear seemingly out of nowhere, take over your yard, the garage, even invade your home in little armies.

And just when you think you’ve got them figured out and exterminated, there they are, in your bathroom, crawling across your countertop!

Ants are relentless. It’s part of the reason why they’ve been around since the dinosaurs. Like many of the pests we deal with here in Arizona, ants might be harmless compared to Bark Scorpions or Black Widow Spiders, but they can be cumbersome.

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Look, we’ve had a fairly dry summer, which is typical for the middle of the desert, but it also drives ants and other pests into new areas searching for food and water. Many times, that means invading your home.

What can you do to keep ants from invading your property and home?

Follow these steps:

Clean: No one actually enjoys cleaning, but if you want to keep pests out of your home, particularly ants and cockroaches, which ultimately lead to spider and scorpions invading your home, you need to keep things clean. No crumbs on the floor, no crumbs on the counter, no dirty dishes in the sink. A clean home means a pest free home…most of the time.

Pantries: We often shut the door of the pantry, or close the door of the cabinet, and thing the food is secure. In reality, that is the biggest mistake most homeowners make in terms of pest control. Food is never safe from ants. If your cereal is not in a container, if your chips and crackers are not sealed properly, ants will sniff those things out and will find them.

Sugar: If you have kids, and you send them outside with a tasty treat in the heat of summer, that tasty treat can very easily end up all over the patio…which will absolutely attract ants and all kinds of pests. Sugar is the ultimate calling for ants, so be sure to keep not only the floors and countertops clean inside, but spray off the patio and keep food and sugar and soda spills off the concrete.

Home Sealing: Ants and other pests can come through cracks in your caulking smaller than you probably realize. Sure, you can DIY seal your home, but it’s best to call in the Magic Pest Control experts and have them seal up every nook and cranny of your home.

Ultimately, you do have control over whether pests are going to find their way into your home…

Termite Signs You Should Not Ignore [checklist]

Termite Signs You Should Not Ignore [checklist]

When most Arizona homeowners think of termites, they think of porches falling down, wood rotting showing through the cracked paint, an infestation of large, Amazon-like tubes in the yard, mounds from the African Serengeti in the grass…

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In reality, the first, and most important signs of a termite infestation in your Gilbert or Chandler home, are difficult to detect. But, with a little help from our termite control experts, you’ll know what to look for:

Symptom of Termite: Discarded Wings

What To Look For:Wings all of the same size (look like tiny fish scales) shredded near an entry point to your home.

Swarmers are usually winged and as a part of their behavior, they usually discard their wings in places like windowsills, doors or in cobwebs.

Symptom of Termite: Mud Tubes

What To Look For: Mud tubes are usually built by Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive species. As they move out from their colony in search of food, they build mud tubes to provide moisture. These mud tubes are often found near the foundation of the home, so those places should also be checked regularly.

Symptom of Termite: Wood Damage

What To Look For: Termites often eat wood from the inside out thereby making the wood soft. The damage may not be visible on the outside. The woods surface might still appear smooth even if termites are causing damage from inside. So if the wood sounds hollow when tapped, it may be because termites are eating the wood from the inside.

Symptom of Termite: Cracked Paint

What To Look For: Swarming drywood termites can enter through very tiny openings. Always try to cover up cracks in the homes foundation, near roof siding, vents and windows. If your paint is cracking, it means there is moisture build up in it which could be as a result of either water damage or termite problems.

Symptom of Termite: Frass

What To Look For: As Drywood termites infest wood, they leave behind wood-colored droppings called frass. You can prevent this by keeping gutters and crawl spaces free of debris and cellulose materials so that termites don’t use them as sources of food.

Symptom of Termite: Noise

What To Look For: Some species of termites, like the soldier termites, usually make loud noises while eating or while trying to sound alarm to warn others of impending danger. The soldier termites make a banging noise with their heads on the wood to serve as an alarm to alert others. So if you tap on a piece of wood where you suspect termites, and you hear a loud banging sound, then there is termite infestation in your home.

Creeped Out By Spiders? Happy Halloween and Spider Season!

Creeped Out By Spiders? Happy Halloween and Spider Season!

One of the most commonly associated symbols of the fall season is the spider. These eight-legged crawlers even get their own spooky holiday on Halloween!

For Gilbert, Arizona homeowners, however, spiders are not restricted to the drop-down versions that hang from terraces or front porches on Halloween, or dangle upon glow-in-the-dark webbing across the bushes in October.

Web-spinning spiders can be found in many locations in and around a home. And while spiders are quite beneficial to our ecosystem – they eat unwanted insect pests – they are creepy and can be quite a nuisance for those who share the very common arachnophobia.

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There are about 13 (lucky number 13) recluse spider species throughout the nation, and many of those species reside right here in the dessert of Arizona. We are quite use to the brown spiders, the hairy spiders, the large and small spiders, the more dangerous spiders like the Black Widow Spider, and the creepy but non-venomous Wolf Spider,  and the long-legged cellar spider (sometimes called the “daddy long-legs” spider).

Web-spinning spiders do not pose a threat to humans, but they are quite lethal to the unsuspecting prey that fly, fall, or are blown into the concentric circles that make up their webs.

Spider webs – often regarded as one of the strongest natural fabrics, and can be built and rebuilt overnight – are half as strong as a steel thread of the same thickness and more elastic. Spider webs are found in garages, carports, eaves, attics, sheds, around windows, and other places around your home.

How can you prevent spiders from becoming a nuisance around your home? Check out these tips:

  • Eliminate clutter: Spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal. Attics, crawl spaces and storage sheds are prime locations. Keep these areas clean and free from clutter, and seal boxes with tape to prevent spiders from climbing inside.
  • Suck and sweep spiders away: Vacuum or sweep windows, corners of rooms, storage areas, basements, and other seldom-used areas regularly to remove spiders and their webs. A spider’s soft body will not survive this process.
  • Wash clothing: Avoid leaving clothing and shoes on the floor, and consider storing them inside plastic containers in the off-season. Shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. Wear gloves when going through boxes or when removing items from storage areas.
  • Seal cracks and crevices: Spiders can crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding. The exterior of homes should be inspected for these defects seasonally, as weather and changes in temperature can cause or worsen existing problems.
  • Inspect packages and boxes: Inspect such items as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Plants and firewood also can provide modes of transportation for spiders.
  • Maintain your landscape: Outdoors, you can eliminate spider hiding places and web-building areas by keeping your yard free of trash, leaf litter, and overgrown vegetation. Make sure to trim shrubs and plants near the house and other structures to discourage spiders from establishing a foothold.