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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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Fall Pest Proofing Tips!

As the days get shorter and falling temperatures force people to become homebodies, many pests will have the same idea.  Magic pest Control reminds homeowners that rodents, squirrels, cockroaches and spiders may try to find their way inside to escape the coming chill, bringing with them a number of health risks.Exterminators Mesa AZ

One of the best ways to get homes ready for the fall and winter months is to conduct a simple check of the home and perform any necessary maintenance.  Proactive and vigilant fall pest-proofing is crucial in preventing pests from coming indoors

Besides being a nuisance and irksome, these pests can also pose serious risks — rodents spread diseases such as Salmonella, contaminate food and can damage drywall and electrical wires throughout a home. Cockroaches trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children, and some species of spiders may bite if their hiding spot is discovered.

Magic Pest Control recommends these pest-proofing tips for the fall season:

  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention where utility pipes enter the structure.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well-trimmed.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
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Neuroscientists Have Revealed How Humans Really Feel About Insects

Having a fear of insects is not uncommon. Even those people who claim to be fearless when encountering creepy-crawlies still probably become startled upon unexpectedly seeing one in their home. Since a few insects can inflict painful, or even deadly bites or stings, our instinctive fear of them keeps us safe. It is generally believed that humans developed this sense of fear over the course of evolution in order to recognize and avoid threats to our survival. However, how do we know that we are really experiencing “fear” when encountering creepy-crawlies? After all, the feeling of being scared does not necessarily match the feeling experienced during arthropod encounters.

Obviously, being alone in the dark, watching scary movies, or being stocked by a stranger elicits feelings of fear, but seeing a creepy looking arthropod, like a tarantula or a praying mantis, does not make us feel the same way. Of course, this is not to say that arthropod encounters don’t elicit negative feelings that make people uncomfortable, but perhaps we humans have been misjudging our own feelings toward insects. Many people would argue that the feelings that one experiences upon unexpectedly finding a creepy arthropod are merely subjective feelings that differ from individual to individual. This is a sensible opinion, but most neuroscientists would disagree. A recent study had researchers examining how our brains function upon finding insects. As it turns out, we are not scared of these multi-legged creatures at all, but we are certainly disgusted by them.

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have recently determined that the part of the human brain associated with disgust, and not fear, becomes activated upon finding insects. The feeling of disgust is associated with contamination and disease. This finding surprised the researchers that had been expecting to record a neurological fear response, but the fear centers remained inactive upon exposure to insects. Understandably, the study subjects became particularly disgusted upon seeing the common household insects that are capable of spreading disease pathogens, such as roaches. In fact, household insects elicited more fear in the subjects than insects in the wild. This makes sense, as humans have naturally become conditioned to fear the very pathogen-spreading insects that we encounter most often.

After reading this blog article, do you find it easy to believe that insects elicit feelings of disgust rather than fright? Or do you feel like the study’s finding runs contrary to your own feelings when finding an insect in your home?