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El Mirage Home Infested With Hundreds Of Cockroaches And Other Bugs

El Mirage Home Infested With Hundreds Of Cockroaches And Other Bugs

If you ever want to make your home completely unlivable, get arrested for endangering human lives, and fill it with so many cockroaches that the floor crunches when you walk on it, then do exactly what these two women living in El Mirage did. A mother and her adult daughter were arrested by the police recently and are being charged with child abuse, as their were also young children living with them, because their house had basically been turned into a literal pig sty.

Carmen Sanfie, age 52, her daughter Connie Marie Valencia, age 35, and their three young girls, ranging in age from 7 to 14 years old, were visited by police after they were informed of a possible incident of domestic violence. Police were horrified at what they saw when they entered the home. It was absolutely filthy, filled with feces and a massive infestation of hundreds of cockroaches. The police were shocked at the amount of animal urine and feces, provided by the family’s five cats and three dogs, they found all over the home. It was smeared on the floor and lay in piles all throughout the house. The unsanitary nature of the home made it a perfect habitat for cockroaches. Cockroaches seek out unsanitary conditions when looking for places to colonize, and these ones had officially found the jackpot. This is why the infestation was so massive. They had basically found a dumpster to live and breed in. The number of cockroach infestation was comfortably in the hundreds, with so many cockroaches, as well as other insects that had jumped on this opportunity, that when the police walked inside, the floor crunched under their feet as they walked on a carpet of roaches. It is no surprise that these two women are being charged with child abuse since the three children were witnessed by the police walking barefoot around the feces and roach-covered floor.

What is the largest cockroach infestation you have ever seen?

 

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Which Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are Emerging In Urban And Suburban Areas In Arizona?

Which Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are Emerging In Urban And Suburban Areas In Arizona?

Mosquitoes have not always been a major public health threat in Arizona, but now that the West Nile virus has become permanently established in the southern half of the state, it has become more important than ever for residents to apply mosquito repellent and to stay aware of mosquito-borne disease trends around the state. This year has seen an unprecedented number of West Nile Virus cases in Arizona, most of which have occured in Maricopa County. As of October 18th, the number of confirmed and suspected cases of West Nile virus in Arizona is 383, and this figure only includes 2019 cases. Of these cases, 17 have resulted in death. Due to the sudden appearance of West Nile cases in Arizona, many residents are concerned that additional mosquito-borne diseases may become common in the state in coming years. Unfortunately, many of the mosquito species that inhabit urban areas of Arizona are capable of carrying multiple diseases that have not been known to infect humans in the state.

Several mosquito species, both urban and rural, carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus are two urban mosquito species that transmit the majority of West Nile infections in Arizona, but Culex tarsalis is significant for transmitting a number of different diseases to humans in various parts of the world. In Arizona, this species can transmit a number of encephalitic diseases to humans, and they transmit both St. Louis encephalitis and western equine encephalitis sporadically in Arizona, but the latter disease is more common in horses and livestock. Aedes aegypti is another mosquito species of concern in Arizona, as this species spreads the Zika virus as well as dengue fever. This species has transmitted both of these viruses along the Gulf Coast in recent years, but neither disease is endemic to Arizona. However, experts believe that this is likely to change in the coming years due to the abundance of A. aegypti throughout the state, and many researchers believe that the establishment of dengue fever in the state may be unavoidable in the future.

Do you think that the Zika virus and/or dengue fever will become common in Arizona before 2030?

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The Most Commonly Encountered Ticks In Arizona

The Most Commonly Encountered Ticks In Arizona

Ticks are a major public health threat in some parts of the country, and while Arizona is home to several tick species, some of which spread disease, there are only four species that residents of the state commonly encounter. These tick species include the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the rocky mountain wood tick, and the adobe tick. Unlike the other three species, the adobe tick is a “soft tick” from the Argasidae family. Of these four ticks, the brown dog tick may be the most dangerous tick to humans due to it ability to live entirely indoors and spread disease to humans. Since ticks have four pairs of legs, they are arachnids, and unlike the arachnids most people encounter in homes and elsewhere, ticks are parasitic organisms that feed on human blood, similar to mites, which are also categorized as arachnids. In order for ticks to survive, they must feed on the blood of their vertebrate hosts, including humans and a variety of other mammals, as well as birds.

Surprisingly, ticks are the most common arthropods that transmit vector-borne diseases in the US. When a tick feeds on a human, it becomes engorged with blood, but they extract all of the water from the blood before injecting it back into the human body. This means that ticks inject about 75 percent of the fluids they gather back into the human bloodstream, allowing them to efficiently transmit a variety of disease-causing organisms into the human body. These disease-causing organisms include bacteria, protozoa, viruses, spirochetes, rickettsiae, nematodes, and toxins. A tick bite can transmit pathogens while also putting a person at risk of developing a secondary infection, and some people are allergic to tick saliva, making them capable of causing serious allergic reactions, and possibly anaphylactic shock.

For residents of Arizona, the brown dog tick poses the greatest threat because this species feeds on dogs, which allows them to hitchhike into homes where they are capable of completing their entire life cycle. Adult brown dog ticks can survive for 18 months, while larvae can survive for eight months without feeding. Once indoors, brown dog ticks eventually detach from the skin of dogs and jump onto walls where they can then jump onto passing humans. Indoor brown dog tick infestations are not uncommon, but they can be prevented by regularly checking pets for ticks, keeping grass cut short, and allowing the sun to shine in shaded parts of a lawn, as ticks avoid sunlight.

Have you ever found a tick on your dog?

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You May Be Surprised To Learn Which Insects Are Most Problematic For Arizona Residents

Many people living in the northern United States prefer to avoid the freezing cold climate in their region by traveling south for the season. Arizona is a popular destination for these “snowbirds” during the winter, but during the summer, most Arizona cities become too hot for most people’s comfort. Due to Arizona’s extreme desert heat, residents of the state seek refuge within their air conditioned homes, but unfortunately, so do arachnids and insects. According to Dr. Kirk Smith with the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department, there are five different bugs that Arizona natives often find within their homes during the summer, and one or two of these common household bugs may come as a surprise to even Arizonans.

It is no secret that scorpions are well adapted to the desert landscape in Arizona, but even these arachnids have a hard time tolerating the hottest summer days in the state. Cotton plantations and citrus trees were a common feature of the pre-urban Arizona landscape, and it is believed that scorpions established habitats in these areas. Despite the proliferation of urban developments, scorpion habitats remain largely unchanged in the state, which is why certain urban and suburban areas of Arizona are more vulnerable to scorpion infestations and envenomations than other areas. For example, several neighborhoods in Mesa still contain clusters of citrus trees, and not surprisingly, scorpions are often found in the homes located near these trees.

Many people assume that mosquitoes are not an issue in Arizona due to the dry climate in the state, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Maricopa County officials have anti-mosquito foggings conducted regularly just to keep the bloodsucking insect populations in check. And since Arizona does not usually undergo a seasonal freeze, mosquito populations are not killed off during the winter season, resulting in high mosquito populations come spring. Dr. Smith also placed ticks on his list of top five bugs to look out for during Arizona summers, as ticks have been found within high elevation cities, such as Sedona, Payson and Flagstaff. So ticks are not just a problem for New Englanders, as many assume.

Have you ever spotted a tick embedded within your skin in Arizona?

 

 

 

 

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Horrific Scorpion Infestation In A Paradise Valley Home Has Led To A High-Profile Lawsuit

Anyone living in Arizona knows that the last thing you want to find inhabiting the place you are living are a family of Arizona bark scorpions. Finding one is bad enough, but to have an actual infestation is likely anyone’s idea of a living nightmare. Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, is currently involved in a lawsuit with landlords John and Mary Valentino for renting him and his family a home in Paradise Valley, Arizona during the Cubs spring training in 2015, in which they discovered a massive infestation of Arizona bark scorpions.

When they moved into the million-dollar home, Epstein’s family was horrified when they began stumbling upon scorpions all around their supposedly amazing rental property. After calling in an exterminator, they were informed that a huge family of Arizona bark scorpions were also residents of the house. Forty five scorpions in total were located throughout the property, with most of them living in five containers filled with wood and stone debris in the backyard. As the exterminator put it, when he shined a black light on the pack of scorpions, they “lit up like a Christmas tree.” It was determined that based on the size and age range of the scorpion population, they had been inhabiting that place for a long time and had a well established adult and juvenile population. The Epsteins were naturally very upset by this revelation, as they posed a particular threat to the family’s two young children and tiny dog, who, like most children and dogs, spent quite a bit of time out in the backyard.

The family ended up getting the hell out of their rental home a few weeks before their short-term lease ended, and asked that the Valentinos refund their $5,000 security deposit in addition to compensating them for the extra rent they had to pay to live somewhere else for those last couple weeks. However, the Valentinos did not take this lying down, claiming the Epsteins owed them the rather large sum of $51,405 for damages to the home they caused during their two month stay. Much of it sounds rather like the kinds of claims shady landlords would make in order to make some money. But, there was one claim that could very well be true, and is the reason this lawsuit hasn’t been settled yet. Apparently, the family’s tiny 10 pound dog has some issues with urinating in the house, and left quite the mark over the two months it roamed the place. Even after the Valentino’s had the house thoroughly cleaned, the smell of dog urine did not go away, and according to the couple, “penetrated through the carpeting and pad to the slab” underneath in addition to stains in the tile grout. I’m not sure if I’m more horrified of the scorpions or all of that dog pee.

Have you ever experienced an infestation of scorpions?

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Avoiding Issues With Indoor Insect Pests Means Becoming A Good Housekeeper And Handyman

Avoiding Issues With Indoor Insect Pests Means Becoming A Good Housekeeper And Handyman

Modern pest management focuses more on the prevention of insect pest infestations rather than eradicating existing infestations. When homeowners keep their indoor living space sanitary and free from structural defects, insect infestations are highly unlikely to occur. Generally, insect pests prefer to remain within their natural outdoor habitat, but they will invade homes when indoor conditions are more hospitable than their natural habitat. Homes contain all the resources that most insect pest species need to survive, such as food, water, shelter, and agreeable temperatures. This is why homeowners and apartment tenants should learn to be conscientious housekeepers, and if possible, knowledgeable of common home repair techniques.

It should be no surprise to anyone that unsanitary homes are particularly vulnerable to insect pest infestations. Homes that contain piles of dirty dishes, overflowing garbage bins, empty soda cans, food crumbs, pets’ bodily waste, piles of dirty laundry, clogged drains, and improperly stored foods attract a variety of insect pest species. The most common insect pests that thrive within unsanitary homes include several cockroach species, filth flies, ants, gnats, midges, mosquitoes and wasps. Also, failure to keep stored food items and pet food properly sealed will invite a variety of pests of stored food products, including Indian meal moths, black carpet beetles and a variety of larval moth species.

Another essential form of pest infestation prevention involves the removal of clutter that provides insect pests with abundant forms of shelter where they can easily remain hidden from a home’s occupants. Insect pests like bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, pantry pets, clothes moths, and although they are technically arachnids, spiders and scorpions, particularly black widows and Arizona bark scorpions, rely on indoor clutter for successfully maintaining a presence within homes. Also, many insect pests, like termites, silverfish, ants and cockroaches, prefer to dwell in dark and moist conditions where they can remain obscured from human view. This makes homes with plumbing leaks, defective gutters, and rainwater leaks particularly attractive to insect pests.

Could you do more to make your home less inviting to insect pests?

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Why Cockroaches Are Sometimes Found In Toilets, Bathtubs And Sinks

Why Cockroaches Are Sometimes Found In Toilets, Bathtubs And Sinks

The relatively mild winter climate and mountainous landscapes in southern Arizona make the region an ideal place to live for many people. Unfortunately, Arizona is also home to a large number of cockroach species that invade houses where they often establish a sizable infestation. The most common cockroach pest species worldwide can all be found in Arizona, including American, Oriental and German cockroaches. A few other species, like the desert cockroach, maintain a habitat solely within the desert southwest, and other species in the state, such as brown-banded, Turkestan and Surinam cockroaches, live in habitats that are limited to the southern US.

Cockroaches have adapted to living within human dwellings, and they are capable of exploiting a variety of access points in order to invade houses. This is especially true when it comes to domestic cockroach species, like German and brown-banded cockroaches, that dwell primarily within structures. The peridomestic cockroach species, the 2 inch American cockroach, is even capable of traveling through sewage pipes in order to enter houses through drains, and once inside, cockroaches expertly navigate indoor areas to gather food and maintain a safe shelter. Despite being well adapted to thriving indoors, many residents have found cockroaches struggling to escape toilet bowels, bathtubs and sinks.

As anyone can understand, people are perplexed upon finding cockroaches in their toilet. This sort of discovery begs the question as to how cockroaches can wind up in a toilet. Finding cockroaches in a sink makes more sense, as sinks often contain food scraps that cockroaches seek, but roaches are often found in bathtubs and sinks that are completely clean. The cockroaches found in toilets, sinks and tubs are most likely Oriental cockroaches. These cockroaches are not capable of flight and they move slowly and sluggishly. Oriental cockroaches cannot climb vertical surfaces well, and when they fall into sinks, tubs and toilets, they are unable to escape due to the smooth surface. Since cockroaches prefer moist conditions, it is not surprising that they often gravitate into bathrooms, and while finding roaches in a toilet may be perplexing, a toilet is probably the best place to find cockroaches within a home.

Have you ever found roaches in the toilet?

 

 

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Bed Bug Infestation Rates Are Increasing Dramatically In Arizona, And The Pests Seem More Resilient Than Ever

For the past two decades, bed bug infestation rates have been steadily increasing throughout the United States and most of the world. In fact, bed bugs are even expanding their range into Alaska where they are becoming significant pests in isolated rural villages. In Arizona, bed bug infestations have been common in apartments and single family homes for over a decade, but in recent years the pests have been appearing in government buildings, businesses, public buses, dormitories and many other high traffic public locations.

In response to growing bed bug infestations in Arizona apartment buildings and smaller multi-unit housing complexes several years ago, state lawmakers passed a law in 2014 that requires landlords to pay for bed bug treatments in circumstances where the pests invade more than one rental unit. This law also requires renters to promptly report bed bug issues when they occur in a rental unit, and if a renter neglects to do this, or attempts to eliminate the pests his/herself, he/she could be made liable for the total cost of eliminating the infestation.

Toward the end of 2017, pest control professionals removed three benches from the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix after multiple treatment efforts failed to eradicate the pests. Several years earlier, bed bugs were found on the same type of padded benches in a different area of the airport, and this case also saw the eventual removal of the infested seats. Earlier that same year, experts declared Phoenix to be the 7th most bed bug-infested city in the US, and this year, the New York Library Association published an article describing the alarming increase in bed bug infestations in Arizona’s public libraries. The most recent bed bug fiasco in Arizona that has made national news involves the long running infestation at the Phoenix Department of Economic Security.

A few months ago, employees at the DES building discovered that bed bugs were active in their workplace, which prompted management to hire pest control professionals in order to have the pests eliminated. However, bed bug issues, such as bites and employees bringing the pests home with them, continued for weeks, which eventually motivated a group of employees to describe the situation to a local news station. Once the story became public, management decided to vacate the building in order to have more aggressive treatments carried out.

While the building remained empty for extensive treatments, employees worked remotely from home, but upon returning to the building ten days later, they found that the bed bug infestation had spread to new areas. Now government officials are paying to have bed bugs eradicated from employee homes, as many individuals in the building left work with bed bugs on their clothing. The agency is also working with experts at the University of Arizona and the Department of Health and Human Services in order to fully eradicate the bed bug pests from the building.

Have you noticed that more people are claiming to have experienced issues with bed bugs?

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How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels

How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels | Bed Bug Control Phoenix

If there is one person who can answer all of your bed bug questions, then it would be author Brooke Borel. Borel writes for Popular Science Magazine, and she has conducted her own research on the behavior and biology of bed bugs. Most of her research focuses on what attracts bed bugs to humans. In addition to studying bed bugs, Borel has recently had a book published that describes the blood sucking creatures in detail; she has also experienced bed bug infestations herself. Recently, during an interview on National Public Radio, Borel described why bed bugs disappeared for several decades only to later return stronger and more resilient than they had been before before.

During the 1940s, scientists developed one of the first synthetic insecticides. This insecticide is now banned, but it was known as DDT, and it successfully destroyed bed bug populations, as well as many other insect species. During World War II, DDT was used by the Americans and British to fend off mosquitoes that carried malaria, as well as typhus-carrying lice. After the war, DDT became available to both pest control professional and consumers. People would often spray the chemical all over their homes, and DDT was included in many wallpapers, varnishes and paints. The widespread use of DDT during this time cannot be overstated.

DDT was so effective at killing bed bugs, the generations born after World War II had not even heard of the insects, as they had been virtually wiped out. This meant that pest controllers did not know how to treat bed bug infestations when the bugs resurfaced decades later. Bed bugs were so rare during the mid to late twentieth century that most professional entomologists had never been educated about bed bugs. According to Borel, to this day, experts cannot conclusively determine how bed bugs reappeared as aggressively as they did following several decades of inactivity. Many scientists believe that there had always been small pockets of bed bugs that had slowly adapted to survive DDT and other insecticide treatments over the course of several decades. However, this does not explain why bed bug activity was nearly nonexistent for so many years. Some believe that the spike in international travel that occurred during the 1980s led small pockets of surviving bed bugs to spread to urban areas all over the world by hitchhiking on travelers.

Do you believe that researchers are getting close to developing a revolutionary new insecticide that will work as effectively as DDT initially did during the middle of the twentieth century?

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How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels

How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels | Bed Bug Control Phoenix Bed Bug Control

If there is one person who can answer all of your bed bug questions, then it would be author Brooke Borel. Borel writes for Popular Science Magazine, and she has conducted her own research on the behavior and biology of bed bugs. Most of her research focuses on what attracts bed bugs to humans. In addition to studying bed bugs, Borel has recently had a book published that describes the blood sucking creatures in detail; she has also experienced bed bug infestations herself. Recently, during an interview on National Public Radio, Borel described why bed bugs disappeared for several decades only to later return stronger and more resilient than they had been before before.

During the 1940s, scientists developed one of the first synthetic insecticides. This insecticide is now banned, but it was known as DDT, and it successfully destroyed bed bug populations, as well as many other insect species. During World War II, DDT was used by the Americans and British to fend off mosquitoes that carried malaria, as well as typhus-carrying lice. After the war, DDT became available to both pest control professional and consumers. People would often spray the chemical all over their homes, and DDT was included in many wallpapers, varnishes and paints. The widespread use of DDT during this time cannot be overstated.

DDT was so effective at killing bed bugs, the generations born after World War II had not even heard of the insects, as they had been virtually wiped out. This meant that pest controllers did not know how to treat bed bug infestations when the bugs resurfaced decades later. Bed bugs were so rare during the mid to late twentieth century that most professional entomologists had never been educated about bed bugs. According to Borel, to this day, experts cannot conclusively determine how bed bugs reappeared as aggressively as they did following several decades of inactivity. Many scientists believe that there had always been small pockets of bed bugs that had slowly adapted to survive DDT and other insecticide treatments over the course of several decades. However, this does not explain why bed bug activity was nearly nonexistent for so many years. Some believe that the spike in international travel that occurred during the 1980s led small pockets of surviving bed bugs to spread to urban areas all over the world by hitchhiking on travelers.

Do you believe that researchers are getting close to developing a revolutionary new insecticide that will work as effectively as DDT initially did during the middle of the twentieth century?