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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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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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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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Silverfish Often Establish Nuisance Infestations Within Homes, But They Can Damage Valuable Indoor Items As Well

Silverfish Often Establish Nuisance Infestations Within Homes, But They Can Damage Valuable Indoor Items As Well

Silverfish are bizarre looking and common insect pests in homes and buildings all over the world. Like their common name suggests, silverfish closely resemble fish, or shrimp-like crustaceans, and they grow to be a relatively sizable ¾ of an inch in body length. Silverfish are capable of living in homes and buildings throughout their life cycle, and females deposit their eggs within indoor cracks and crevices in walls and ledges. Larvae emerge from their eggs within a period of three weeks, and it takes 4 to 6 weeks before larvae develop into adults. Females lay around 100 eggs during their lifetime, and considering that eggs can develop into adults in less than two months, silverfish can become abundant within homes in a relatively short amount of time. Silverfish are particularly common in homes located in dry areas, making silverfish frequent home-invaders in Arizona. While silverfish are largely considered nuisance pests within homes, they can have an economic impact as well, due to their habit of chewing away at certain items, such as paper and stored food.

Silverfish have long lifespans for insects, as they live for a period of 6 to 8 years, and they are able to survive without food for over a year before succumbing to starvation. These pests can survive long periods within homes without being noticed by residents, as silverfish forage at night, and they are able to skitter along floors at fast speeds. However, silverfish require specific conditions in order to survive indoors, and they generally remain on the first floor of homes or in crawl spaces, cellars, and basements. Occasionally silverfish are found in large numbers in attics, but only under certain environmental conditions. These insects prefer to dwell in environments where the temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees, and they are particularly sensitive to moisture, as they require 70 to 90 percent humidity levels in order to survive.

Silverfish are unpleasant to look at and they can become a nuisance in a home when large numbers congregate indoors, but silverfish are also in the habit of seeking out and consuming human food, even unopened packages of stored food items. Silverfish prefer to consume human foods that are rich in carbohydrates and protein, such as flower, dried meat, oatmeal and cereals. These pests also feed on just about any item containing paper, such as books, important documents, photo albums and cardboard boxes. Silverfish also seem to have a taste for glue, which makes the binding of books a preferred snack for the pests.

Have you ever found items in your home that you believe had been damaged by silverfish?

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Why Some Homes See Repeated Spider Infestations While Others Don’t

Spiders do not generally establish extensive infestations within houses and buildings, but a few species are known for congregating in certain areas within homes. Since Arizona is home to the medically significant western black widow species, as well as five recluse spider species, not including the brown recluse, it is important for residents to identify the species of any spider/s that makes repeated appearances indoors. The relative abundance of vegetation, especially overgrown vegetation, surrounding homes is, perhaps, the most significant factor that can influence spider pest infestations within homes.

Spiders are attracted to residential yards due to the prevalence of their insect prey in gardens and lawn-grass. Some spiders capture insect prey with webs, while others have adapted to hunting down spiders on foot. Web-spinning spiders that are frequently found around and within homes include orb weavers, funnel weavers, cobweb spiders, house spiders, and black widows. Hunting spiders that are commonly found around homes include wolf spiders, crab spiders, wandering spiders, ground spiders and tarantulas. Web spinning spiders attach their silken webs to garden plants, tall overgrown weeds, shrubs and other forms of vegetation, while hunting spiders maintain a presence in yards and around gardens due to the abundance of insect food sources in vegetation-rich areas.

Spiders of all kinds are constantly present within all yards, and even in homes, but they become particularly numerous in yards where an abundance of vegetation indicates a high population of insect food sources. When vegetation becomes abundant around a home’s foundation, spiders often find a way indoors through cracks, crevices, crawl spaces, vents and a variety of other external entry points. This is why keeping shrubs and other forms of vegetation around a home’s foundation neatly trimmed will help to prevent spiders from wandering indoors.

Garden beds should be located about a foot away from a home’s foundation, and firewood should never be stacked against a home’s exterior walls. Outdoor lighting attracts insect pests, which in turn, attracts spider pests to homes, but using yellow incandescent and sodium vapor lamps in place of white incandescent and mercury vapor lamps will help to reduce both insect and spider population numbers on a property.

Have you had success at reducing arthropod pests around your home with yellow light bulbs?

 

 

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Pacific Deathwatch Beetles Infest Structural Wood Which Can Lead To Devastating Structural Damages In Some Cases

Pacific Deathwatch Beetles Infest Structural Wood Which Can Lead To Devastating Structural Damages In Some Cases

Termites are not the only wood-infesting insect pests in the United States, as carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and several beetle species in the country are well known for nesting within the structural wood in homes and buildings. Hemicoelus gibbicollis, is one wood-boring beetle species that is common in the southwest. This species is commonly referred to as the Pacific deathwatch beetle, and they are sometimes referred to as powderpost beetles despite this common name being attached to another wood-boring beetle species. Deathwatch beetles prefer to nest within softwoods, such as fir, or within weak, damp and decaying wood sources, which is why infestations are often found in high-moisture areas around homes, particularly in basements, cellars and crawl spaces. However, infestations can occur in a variety of indoor locations including floors, door frames, window sills, rafters, beams, stair railings and furniture. The damage these beetles inflict to wood can be devastating if infestations are not noticed for a long period of time, as infested structural wood has been known to collapse as a result of being hollowed out by deathwatch beetle larvae.

Once adult deathwatch beetles emerge from pupation during the spring, females place their eggs within narrow cracks and pores on natural and structural wood sources. Once larvae emerge from the eggs, they bore into wood where they excavate long tunnels, eventually causing infested wood to become hollow and in urgent need of replacement. Deathwatch beetles can remain in their larval stage for months or even years depending on environmental conditions, and larvae can also overwinter within structural wood before emerging. Larval feeding within wood produces a sawdust-like material that the larvae tightly pack within their tunnels, sometimes resulting in a blistered appearance on the surface of infested wood. Eventually, pupation takes place within the tunnels, causing newly formed adults to break through the surface of wood in order to fly away. Larvae inhabiting structural wood communicate with each other through tapping sounds which can be heard under some circumstances within infested homes. Centuries ago, many people interpreted this tapping as the ticking sounds made by a clock. This “ticking” indicated that an elderly or sickly person’s death was fast approaching, and this is how the insect pests got their common name.

Have you ever heard sounds produced by any type of insect pest within a home, with the exception of chirping crickets?

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Government Employees Working In A Bed Bug Infested Office Building Inadvertently Transported The Insect Pests Into Their Homes

Government Employees Working In A Bed Bug Infested Office Building Inadvertently Transported The Insect Pests Into Their Homes

A few weeks ago, an anonymous individual called reporters with the Phoenix New Times in order to announce that bed bugs have been infesting a branch office where employees for the Department of Economic Security (DES) work daily. This office is located at 115th Avenue and Bell Road in Phoenix, and the caller stated that the heavy infestation has lasted for weeks and authorities are doing little, or nothing at all to have the infestation eliminated. This whistle-blower claimed to be a government employee working at the office where his/her colleagues are also distressed about the high probability of tracking the bed bug pests back to their home. The anonymous employee further claimed that the bed bugs have been biting both employees and disabled residents visiting the office for financial assistance. After being contacted by reporters, DES spokesperson, Taysa Peterson, confirmed that the office is, in fact, infested with bed bugs.

After learning that the office houses case workers for the Division of Developmental Disabilities, reporters questioned another employee at the office about this matter, and she was happy to answer questions. The employee, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, claimed that bed bugs had been found in several cubicles, and she also claimed that office management had done nothing to address the long-running infestation which is causing psychological distress among employees at the office. The infestation has become so bad that employees have become used to removing their clothes before setting foot within their homes after work, and both case workers and their clients are concerned that the infestation will lead to further infestations at schools, daycare facilities, homes and other government offices. The employees seem to agree that the entire building needs to be fumigated, but officials are merely having repeat inspections conducted within the office.

Just a week ago it was revealed that agency officials had been struggling to have the building’s landlord fulfill his legal obligation to have the bed bugs eradicated, but he has yet to fulfill this obligation. The office recently closed due to the infestation, and officials announced that the infestation in the office is now so advanced that the bed bugs have probably dispersed to new locations on the clothing of employees and clients. This infestation has displaced 135 government employees for an indefinite period of time.

Have you ever struggled to get your landlord to address an insect infestation in a rental unit?

 

 

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Arizona Is The State That Sees The Greatest Number Of Venomous Arthropod Species

Arizona Is The State That Sees The Greatest Number Of Venomous Arthropod Species

Generally, warmer regions of the world see a greater number of venomous arthropods than colder regions of the world. Knowing this, it should not come as a surprise to learn that Arizona sees the greatest number of venomous arthropod species when compared to the other 49 US states, at least according to the Hazardous Animal Database. This database was created by the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, and it includes 500 venomous species worldwide that have been known to cause serious injury or death to humans.

Venomous arthropods in Arizona include scorpions, tarantulas, honey bees, wasps and spiders. There are several scorpion and tarantula species in Arizona, but none of these species will cause serious medical complications or fatalities except for the Arizona bark scorpion. Honey bee stings have led to hospitalizations and fatalities all over the US, but Arizona is one of only a few states where the aggressive and often deadly Africanized honey bee resides. In fact, studies show that all Arizona honey bees are now “Africnaized” due to nearly 30 years of interbreeding between common honey bees and Africanized honey bees.

The potentially deadly southern black widow species is abundant in Arizona, and the non-native brown widow has been spotted throughout the southern half of the state. Brown widows are not quite as dangerous as black widows, but their bites should not be taken lightly, and fatalities have occurred in response to brown widow bites. While the notoriously harmful and potentially deadly brown recluse cannot be found in Arizona, five other recluse species inhabit the state, out of the 13 total found in the US. This makes Arizona home to more recluse species than can be found in any other state.

The five brown recluse species in Arizona include L. apachea and L. sabina in the far southeastern corner of the state and L. kaipa, L. deserta, and L. arizonica in the western half of the state. With the exception of L. arizonica and L. deserta, these recluse species dwell in uninhabited regions where they are not likely to be encountered by people. However, a few documented reports described bites by other recluse species in the US as being just as harmful as brown recluse bites. Of all venomous arthropods in Arizona, Africanized honey bees cause the most annual fatalities.

Have you ever encountered a venomous arthropod?

 

 

 

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Pharaoh Ants Establish Nests Within Homes, And They Spread Disease-Causing Microorganisms Wherever They Go

Pharaoh Ants Establish Nests Within Homes, And They Spread Disease-Causing Microorganisms Wherever They Go

More than 700 ant species have been documented in the United States, but only a small minority are considered pests within homes and yards. Much like other eusocial insect groups, many ant species have established permanent habitats outside of their native range. Some ant species have even managed to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions on nearly every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, of course. The relatively small group of ant species that have spread to virtually every urban region of the world are known as “tramp ants.” This name comes from their habit of hitchhiking to new areas all over the world via cargo shipments, much like a tramp or vagrant.

Tramp ant species tend to be nuisance pests around homes due to their ability to tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions. Tramp ants are also well adapted to surviving long periods within human habitats, as all tramp ants have endured long journeys across the world on cargo ships and other human forms of transportation. Naturally, several tramp ant species can be found throughout the US, and some of the most commonly encountered tramp ants in Arizona include Argentine ants, crazy ants, odorous house ants, and Pharaoh ants. Monomorium pharaonis, or “Pharaoh ants” as they are commonly known, are notorious for establishing stubborn indoor infestations where the ants pose a health threat due to the disease-causing microorganisms that the ants carry.

Pharaoh ants are one of the smallest sized ant pest species, as they usually do not grow any larger than 1/16 of an inch in length, but the tiny ants can still be recognized within homes for their strikingly yellow exterior. Pharaoh ants prefer to nest within obscure indoor locations that are difficult to access, such as within wall voids, beneath baseboards or within attic spaces. Since Pharaoh ant colonies can contain more than 30,000 individual ants, infestations can be hard to eradicate. Workers often forage around homes where they will consume just about any human food source that they encounter, such as meats, sweets, and fats. These ants also require copious amounts of water, and they can harvest water from any source, including from the wounds of debilitated and/or immobile people.

Pharaoh ants also nest outdoors, often beneath leaf-litter and stones, and while these ants do not damage lawns, their population can reach nuisance levels in residential yards where they frequently congregate within homes in order to secure easy human food sources. Considering the disease risk that these ants pose to the occupants of an infested home, a pest control professional should be contacted when Pharaoh ants are found indoors.

Have you ever spotted Pharaoh ants within your house?

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Velvety Tree Ants Are Nuisance Pests That May Damage A Home’s Structural Wood And Inflict Bites

The velvety tree ant is one of many nuisance ant pest species commonly found around and within Arizona homes. These ants establish nests within dead wood sources that have become decayed or waterlogged. This species’ most common nesting sites are located within tree stumps, dead trees, isolated logs, beneath the bark of living trees, and within soil located beneath dead wood. These ants have also been known to nest within structural and cosmetic wood sources, especially in damaged structural wood that makes contact with the ground soil. While velvety tree ants do not feed on structural wood like termites do, they can cause further damage to structural and cosmetic wood sources that have already become compromised by rainwater, plumbing leaks or lawn irrigation. Velvety tree ants may also infest yards where they build an extensive network of foraging trails below and above the ground. Although these ants do not sting, they may bite when disturbed.

In addition to nesting within damaged structural and cosmetic wood sources, velvety tree ants may also establish centralized nesting sites within decayed natural wood sources located on residential lawns. These ants sometimes become abundant near or alongside structural foundations where the pests can easily invade indoor areas in large numbers. Reproductive swarmers emerge from colony nesting sites every summer, and these swarms have been known to emerge from infested structural wood within homes. The nests that these ant pests excavate within wood resembles a honeycomb, and workers venture back and forth between the nest and the outside environment where they prey upon honeydew-rich aphids and other insects. Velvety tree ants feed on a variety of human foods as well, which may attract large numbers of worker ants into indoor living areas, particularly kitchens and pantries.

Black to brown colored velvety tree ant workers range from ⅛ to ¼ of an inch in length, and they are often confused with odorous house ants due to their similar indoor foraging habits, appearance and for the unpleasant odor that workers emit when they become threatened or crushed. Velvety tree ants are also frequently confused with carpenter ants due to their habit of nesting within decayed structural and cosmetic wood within homes.

Have you ever found ants congregating in your cupboard or pantry?