Cold Weather Pests in Arizona
Just because it’s cold out…finally…doesn’t mean you can get lazy with your pest control efforts. This is the time of year when we get calls from surprised and overwhelmed clients…
Clients with family coming into town who had a scorpion invade their bedroom. Clients with friends coming into town for the holidays who saw a mouse scurry across their kitchen floor.
We’re well into the thick of holiday season, and travel season, and keeping the house as clean as you can to impress the inlaws season. All of this means that pest control should also be at the top of your list. Travel season is huge for bed bugs. And holiday season is huge for ants, cockroaches, rats and mice. Oh, and cold winter weather is the best time of year for scorpions to move into the warmth of your home.
One of the most annoying insects that can invade your property and home during the winter months is the earwig. Since they are not capable of withstanding the extremely cold temperatures, they will do their best to harbor in warmer areas such as mulch, patio stones, a deck, or an above-ground pool. The real problem arises when they find a way into your house. One of the common methods earwigs will use to get inside your home is by nesting in plants and soil that you bring in for decoration. They were there to stay warm outside, but now that they are in a warm house they will start moving about again and become a nuisance.
Although wasps are one of several species that die off in the freezing weather, they can still be a nuisance in the winter months. When the temperature drops, the wasps desert their paper nests and leave their larvae to die in the cold. Although their fate is almost certain death, during the time from when they leave their nest to when they freeze they are flying around without a home, just waiting to sting innocent bystanders.
- Secure your home. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent mice and rats from using easy entry ways. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Don’t build rodent attractions near your home. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground. Keep shrubberies cut back from the house.
- Make sure your home isn’t rodent-friendly. Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear, and store boxes off of the floor. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. Keep food in rodent-proof containers.
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a pest professional. Hiring a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem is the most effective solution to eliminate rodent infestations.
Scorpions are very resilient insects, and just like a termite, they can survive the freezing weather and bark scorpions hibernate during the winter. While scorpions are creatures, naturally live in solitary, bark scorpions hibernate together in clusters of up to 30 scorpions.
Even though scorpions can survive cold temperatures, they don’t like the cold, so they hide in warm places in the winter. As the temperatures begin to decrease in the fall, scorpions search for warm dark places to hibernate. Many times, this indicates that they will make their way into your home during the winter months in order stay warm. Once they are inside, they will find any warm, dark crevice to hide. Scorpions only need an opening 1/16” wide to intrude into your home so that they can be found in crevices between baseboards and floors, behind furniture, layers of clothes and even in shoes.
You will likely start to notice scorpions’ activities in your home during winter as the days start to get a little bit warmer. It is common to see people requesting for scorpion control when the weather starts to heat up, and one of the widespread misconceptions is that scorpion season is approaching. Indeed, these scorpions found in your house were most likely hibernating in a dark, warm crevice all winter long. Sometimes, they aren’t noticed at all until the outside temperatures start to warm up, and scorpions come out of their hiding place.