Is Your Yard a Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes?

You yard might be infested with mosquito eggs right now, and you’d have no idea. Your neighbor’s yard, or your neighborhood green belt might be infested with mosquito eggs right now, all waiting to hatch and invade your property.

Mosquitoes are resilient creatures, having been around since before the dawn of man (remember the movie Jurassic Park). They are not only resilient, the amazing monsoon season we’ve seen here in Arizona these past two months has made conditions ripe for a mosquito invasion.

With hot and humid temperatures, combined with an enormous amount of rain and soil that seems to remain damp for days on end, mosquitoes are breeding like there’s no tomorrow.

Mosquitoes need water to breed. They need standing water, or in some cases moist soil, to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes need humid environments to keep those eggs healthy. A mosquito life cycle has four stages, all of which depend on water and food.

If you have any standing water around your home, you can apply larvicide and treat the area, although it’s best to call in a pest control expert to do it for you.

Mosquitoes can live up to 8 months, as long as they survive hungry birds and swatting hands. During that time they’ll continue to breed and lay eggs if the environment is right…like right now.

Here are some ways to control mosquitoes around your home:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
  • Empty standing water from used or discarded tires (pdf) that may have accumulated on your property (e.g. tire swings).
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Change water in birdbaths and wading pools on a weekly basis.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

If your mosquito problem is beyond control, call in the Magic Pest Control experts. We now fog for mosquitoes!

What Do Termites Look Like?

It’s important to be able to tell the difference between a termite and an ant. Particularly now, when we’ve had such a wet and humid monsoon season, and the ground is soft and easy to dig through…

Termites are loving this weather, and Arizona is seeing more termites this year than in years past. We’ve not only been getting more termite calls than any year in recent history, we’ve been hearing about other pest control companies seeing an influx of termite infestations as well.

Why are termites so active right now in Arizona? Because we’ve had such a wet and rainy monsoon season, which termites love. they might not love the downpour of rain, but they love the aftermath; moist and soft dirt, rotting wood and more cracks in your home and trim.

so, right now it’s crucial that you can tell the difference between an ant and a termite.

The Desert subterranean termite is one of the most common subterranean termites in Arizona.

It does somewhat resemble and ant, and thus can be confused for ants. You don’t want to make that mistake. It could cost you thousands in home damage.

Termite or Ant?

The easiest way to tell the difference between a termite and an ant is their body size and structure. Ants come in all colors, while termites are usually dark brown or black. Termites also have a long, straight abdomen while ants have sections to their body with shorter abdomens.

If you’re trying to tell the difference between a flying termite and a flying ant, the easiest way to tell the difference is by noticing the shape of their wings. Ants have shorter, fatter wings. Termites have longer, skinnier wings, almost like a small dragonfly.

If you’re still unsure whether you’re looking at a termite or ant, and you’ve got dozens of them, or hundreds of them, crawling around, don’t make the mistake of labeling them as the wrong thing. You absolutely need to call in an expert.

DIY Mosquito Repellent: Keep Mosquitoes Away This Season

We’ve gotten a lot of rain this monsoon season, and the mosquitoes are out in full force. Technically, it’s not even mosquito season yet, but the rain and the pretty extreme humidity has made the Arizona valley a breeding ground for mosquitoes…quite literally.

Did you know that Magic Pest Control does mosquito fogging? Yes, we have to tools to keep mosquitoes out of your yard and away from your home.

But for today’s blog, we thought we’d give you some DIY ways to keep mosquitoes away from your property, pets and loved ones.

Get Rid of Stagnant Water: After a rain, it’s common to have puddles of stagnant water around the yard. But this is what calls to mosquitoes. This is exactly what mosquitoes need to survive and multiply. Stagnant, standing puddles of water near or around your Phoenix home will attract thousands of mosquitoes who will multiply quickly. If you have any standing water around your home or in your Phoenix yard, get rid of it.

Natural Repellents: There are certain scents and plants that mosquitoes tend to avoid. Citronella candles can partially do the trick, but better yet is to get citronella plants. They secrete a scent that mosquitoes avoid. Lavender also keeps mosquitoes away. So planting planting lavender might be a good idea.

BBQ Party: If you have people coming over this weekend and want some additional DIY ideas to keep mosquitoes away from your Phoenix home, consider tossing some rosemary on the BBQ. As with citronella and lavender, mosquitoes hate the scent of rosemary. Toss some on the bbq before and during your outdoor party, and the mosquitoes will stay away.

Add Some Garlic: In my family, we can never have enough garlic. It’s not only great for your body, it’s also great for your Phoenix home as a repellent to mosquitoes. So toss some more on that burger on the BBQ!

Mosquito Traps: While not as effective as having Magic Pest Control professionals come out and fog your property, mosquito traps can be useful for containing your mosquito problem.

The best solution to get rid of mosquitoes this time of year is to call Magic Pest Control and have us come out to fog.

 

Coming Out of the Woodworking: Termites in Gilbert, AZ

Termites are a silent devastation to Gilbert homes, and you probably don’t even realize it. All over Gilbert, Arizona, termites lurk quietly in the shadows.

Ok, that sounds a bit dramatic, but it is true that termites can invade your Gilbert home at any time, without warning…especially this time of year. The soil is soft and easy to dig through. The wood on your home might be softer than usual due to the extreme rain we’ve seen this year. And the trim around your house might be cracked and basically yelling to termites “come invade my home.”

Subterranean Termites

These little pests will grow in number by leaps in bounds while invading your home. They multiply quickly, and find their strength in numbers. Before you know it, you’ll literally have thousands of subterranean termites within the walls of your Gilbert home.

While singularly, this type of termite is “less damaging” then other termite types, if your Gilbert home has subterranean termites, their ability to multiply will make the damage that much more devastating.

Dampwood and Drywood Termites

These two types of termites are far more damaging than subterranean termites. In Gilbert homes and businesses that receive the most financial damage from termites, these are the culprits. And, just as their names imply, drywood termites prefer dryer wood, where as dampwod termites prefer softer, wet wood…just the kind we’re seeing right now during monsoon season.

Termites In General…

They are extremely durable creatures, living for thousands upon thousands of years because of their durability. They can survive nearly anything…except our termite treatment.

The best way to avoid costly damage to your Gilbert home is to know the signs of a termite infestation before it becomes too damaging. And call in the experts. Never try to take care of termites on your own.

Monsoon Season Gilbert Brings Out the Scorpions

Monsoon season doesn’t just bring termites in seek of rotting wood. Monsoon season also brings out the cockroaches and the scorpions, all seeking food and shelter. Many of these Arizona pests actually love monsoon season!

Scorpions are on the hunt. They’re looking for dry shelter, but they’re also looking for food. And, since the rain brings out the cockroaches, scorpions are not far behind.

As insects make their way out to find shelter from the rain and flooding of their little homes, scorpions make their way out to eat.

You’ll want to seal up your home this time of year not only from the heat and rain, but also from the scorpions and other summertime monsoon pests.

Anything that lives underground in Gilbert, Arizona and throughout the desert, will come out big time when it rains. And, since we’ve seen a lot of rain recently, scorpions are already out and seeking food and new shelter. You’re not the only one who loves to be indoors during a haboob and torrential downpour.

To keep scorpions out, residents should do something called “exclusion,” such as the following preventative actions:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors, including garage doors that don’t close all the way, to keep scorpions out
  • Seal gaps in windows, thresholds and other places that could allow a scorpion to gain entrance to the home
  • Remove debris and clutter from around the exterior of the home, including piles of firewood, yard supplies, vegetation growing close to the house and anything else that would provide a hiding spot and hunting ground for a scorpion

If that doesn’t do the trick, and scorpions are still entering your Gilbert home during monsoon downpours, call us immediately!

Monsoon Season Brings the Bugs, and Termites

Mosquitoes. Worms. Termites. What do they all have in common? These are just a few of the pests that love this rainy weather. Monsoon season brings out all sorts of Arizona pests, all seeking food and shelter in your home…

Especially termites!

Right now, termites are on the prowl. They are highly active. They are eating like crazy. And they are destroying someone’s home.

Termites excel in this kind of weather: damp, moist, soft wood and even softer dirt.

After the rain has fallen, what termites signs should you be looking for in your Gilbert home? How do you know if termites have invaded your Gilbert home during this stormy weather?

Look for these symptoms of a termite infestation…

Subterranean termites eat decaying wood matter in the ground, but they also can create mud channels up from the ground and onto the exposed wood on your house, and move on from there.

Although these insects are most commonly known to feast on wood, their appetites don’t end there; termites will also attack metal, sheetrock, furniture and even food storage.

 

  • Termite Mulch: Termites leave behind a trail of their destruction. It’s a small trail, but if you notice wood powder or even small wings near that wood powder, you probably have termites. As soon as the rain ceases, you’ll want to be on the lookout for this sign of a termite infestation.
  • Mud Tubes: This is the most common sign of a termite infestation in your Gilbert home, but it’s also a sign that termites have been on the move for a while. They’re in your house…in the walls of your home, at this point. Mud tubes are small highways, perfectly constructed to allow the termites to travel unharmed.
  • Wood Chipping or Paint Chipping: This time of year, you might notice water spots on the ceiling thanks to all the rain. That water spot is calling termites. Any wood that is rotting, or has started to soften due to the monsoon rain, will be like candy to termites. If you have any rotting wood or paint chipping away, take a deeper look.

Monsoon season is termite season. They love to dig into your Gilbert homes when the ground is soft and moist, and the wood is covered with rain water.

If anyone in your neighborhood has had termites, or if you see any signs of a termite infestation at your Gilbert home, don’t wait to call us. Don’t handle the termites on your own. You need professional termite treatment with the right chemicals and the right experts.

Does Humidity Make Termites More Active – Arizona Pest Control 101

Monsoon season in Arizona is termite season in Arizona. This is a termite’s Christmas, in July.

Humidity in the air means moisture in the ground, which termites love.

Here’s the thing, most of the year, our soil is like clay. It’s hard. It’s dry. It’s difficult to dig through for us, let alone termites.

Right now, during monsoon season, all of that changes. Water sits and seeps into the dirt, making it soft and moist.

Water comes down in torrential downpours, making the soil easier to dig through.

Humidity and moisture in the air also can damage your home. If you have any rotting wood in your home or around the trim outside, it’s like a beacon for termites. That rotting wood will call to them, and the humidity in the air will only add to the damaged wood.

So, how do you prevent termites from invading your home during monsoon season, when the air is humid and termites are fully active?

  • Get firewood, pallets, or any debris away from the side of your home. Nothing should be touching your house, including patio furniture. All shrubs and trees should also be trimmed away from your home.
  • Check for rotting wood anywhere, particularly around the trim of your home. Any peeling paint along your home’s trim could be a sign of not only rotting wood, but termites. Get that rotting would fixed as soon as you can.
  • Before monsoon season starts is a great time to put a fresh coat of paint on your house, patio furniture, shutters, door or trim. A fresh coat of paint is a simple, affordable and effective way to keep termites away.

If you think that you might have termites in your Gilbert, Arizona home, don’t wait to call in the experts. Call now!

Does Rain Bring Termites – Arizona Pest Control 101

Do termites get more active in the summer? Do termites invade more persistently when it rains? Do termites love monsoon season here in Gilbert, Arizona?

You bet they do!

We get these questions quite often here at Magic Pest Control. In fact, we love talking to our clients about how pests invade their homes, and offer tips to keep those pests out of your Gilbert home. Heck, if you want us out just to do an inspection and to pick our brains, we’re here for you!

Well, it’s July, which means that monsoon season has officially started, and it’s been busy already. We’ve been hit by big winds, dust storms, torrential downpours and thunder storms.

And you might have noticed more pests making their way into your home and into your yard. All of a sudden, you’re seeing more pests around your Gilbert home.

So, do termites become more active during our Arizona summer monsoon season?

The answer is a simple and definitive YES…

Rain triggers moisture build up within the walls of your home. If you have a water leak, or rotting wood, rain will trigger that wood to release an unseen aroma into the air, attracting termites who instinctively know where to find that rotting, wet, moist wood. It’s like their candy.

Termites need moist, soft earth to survive. While we don’t have a lot of moist, soft dirt in Gilbert, Arizona during most of the summer, monsoon season is prime time for termites to do their thing. The ground is soft, moist, and perfect for an infestation. Termites are in heaven.

During monsoon season, it’s crucial to check for signs of termites around your home. Check crawl spaces, foundation, the attic, the roof, the trim around windows, doors and roofing tiles, and anywhere else you can think of.

If you think termites might be on your property or around your home, don’t try to get rid of them yourself…especially during monsoon season. The heavy rains and moist air will make your pest control efforts futile.

Give the experts a call.

How to Deal with Pests During Monsoon Season

Monsoon season is here and hat means that termites and scorpions will be in full force, along with other nasty pest. Termites, scorpions, and other pests will try to enter your home by any means possible, so it is best to stay ahead of the game and be prepared.

These tips for helping you keep the pest out are not only good during monsoon season, but year around. Monsoon season will just be the time when you see termites, scorpions, and other pests the most active because of the higher temperatures and humidity.

Here are some helpful monsoon season tips to help keep your home free of termites, scorpions, and anything else that wants to crawl on into your home.

  • Water bugs and earthworms will like to make their way into your bathroom. Although these bugs are not harmful by any means, they still will want to hangout in your bathroom. For this reason you will want to always keep your bathroom clean and dry.
  • If you want to keep mosquitos, flying bugs of any kind, and other pests, try using window and door netting. If you choose to keep your windows and doors open to listen to the monsoon storms, these nettings will cover the windows and doors and stay with velcro. This will create a barrier, keeping pests out of your home.
  • Be sure to always keep trash in and around your home picked up. Pests will surely love any food that you leave out, so do not invite them if you do not want them hanging around your house.
  • With that being said, be sure to keep all wood scraps away from your home, this will help eliminate and scorpions from hiding underneath the wood and then making their way into your home.
  • You will also want to keep your bed clean and be sure to clean your bed linens on a regular. Keeping everything clean and giving your linens a nice shake and fluff every night can help keep those bed bugs from finding their way into your bed.

All Natural Pest Control

When it comes to your home you want to keep it as safe as possible for your family. So, when it comes to doing pest control to keep those pest out you may be a little hesitant when it comes to using pesticides filled with different chemicals.

Sometimes many pesticides can be more harmful to you and your family then they are to the actual pest. There are some organic pesticides that you can buy, but those still contain some small amounts of harmful chemicals

If you want to still keep those annoying pest out of your house, you can try using these all natural DIY methods, that will keep you, your family, and your home safe.

  • If you have ants, you can start by trying and filling a small spray bottle with soapy water. Using mint is also a great way to keep ants out of your home. Try leaving mint tea bags in the area where the ants are most active. You may love cucumbers, however ants do not. leave either slices of cucumber or cucumber peels near the entry point of the ants.
  • If you have cockroaches, the first and best way to keep them away is by keeping your kitchen and bathrooms clean. If you still have a problem with cockroaches you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth along the bases of your cabinets, as well as inside and behind your appliances. Again, have that spray bottle with soapy water handy because spraying the soapy water directly on the roaches will kill them.
  • If mosquitos are hanging around your house, the most important thing to do first, is try and eliminate any areas of sitting water. Mosquitoes do not like sage or rosemary, so try burning a small amount coals that you grill with and sprinkle some of these herbs on top.