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Pest Library

What You Need to Know About Pests in the Greater Phoenix Area

Rodents, insects, arachnids, and weeds are all referred to as pests. Being a pest means that their negatives outweigh their benefits; they are organisms that are unwanted, dangerous, or damaging to people or property. Knowing some basic information about the pests that live in our region, including why pests are on your property, where they live, and how to make them feel unwelcome, is the best way to protect your home and family from their potential dangers.

To help you learn about our area's common pests and protect your property from them, we have put together a pest library full of useful information.

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Pest Guide


Ants are pests that believe they belong living with people, even though we feel otherwise! Many species have adapted to living in our yards and homes and have learned to rely on our properties as places to find food, water, and suitable nesting sites. Since ants are regular visitors to our Arizona properties, it is easy for most people to identify these insects. Adults have three body segments, short antennae, and six legs. They are usually brown, black, or red, and only the reproductives have wings.

Arizona's warm temperatures allow ants to thrive in large populations. Ants are seen throughout the spring, summer, and fall, moving around our properties in a constant search for food and water to satisfy their colony's needs. In our yards, we'll often see ants moving around trash cans, recycling bins, gardens, and fruit trees; the food odors those things produce will draw them to your property.

Moisture is another big reason ants are attracted to our properties, especially in Arizona. The dry, hot weather drives them indoors to forage for food and water. If conditions are right indoors, they sometimes decide to stay and create indoor nests. The ant's many nesting sites, large colony size, and desire to be in our yards and homes make these a group of pests that require a professional's knowledge to get rid of and keep from coming back.

To help you make your property less attractive to these pests, we want to offer the following prevention tips:

  • Make sure that trash cans in your yard have locking lids on them to keep ants out of them. 
  • Remove things like woodpiles, leaf piles, grass piles, and other organic debris from your yard where ants can nest.
  • Repair or seal openings in your home's exterior that will allow ants to move inside. 
  • Store food in the fridge or containers with airtight lids, not out in the open on counters or tables to help prevent food odors from attracting ants to your home.
  • Repair things that may produce excess moisture like leaking pipes, poor ventilation, clogged drains.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are insects that live successfully in almost any indoor environment where people are present, including homes, hotels, airports, libraries, hospitals, and schools. While bed bugs may be wingless, they easily move long and short distances by hitchhiking. Bed bugs feed solely on blood, with human blood being their favorite. Bed bugs are small, but if you know what to look for, you can identify their presence and get help for an infestation before it gets out of control. The adult bed bug has a flat oval-shaped body, is wingless, has six legs, and short antenna.

Many people think they look like an apple seed, although their body swells with blood and becomes capsule-like in shape after feeding. Seeing drops of blood or dark streaks of excrement on bedding, pillows, or walls or noticing a musty odor in your home are other signs that bed bugs have found their way into your Arizona home.

Bed bugs feed as we sleep, and in individuals allergic to their saliva, they leave behind red itchy rashes. Incessant scratching at the bite sites can cause further problems, including a secondary infection. While bed bugs aren't responsible for transmitting a significant amount of diseases, they are a source of stress; when dealing with an infestation, you can have many nights of restless sleep and not be able to relax in your home.

Bed bugs got their name because their favorite hiding spots are in our mattresses and box springs. However, they will hide in other various areas throughout a house, including behind electrical outlets, in upholstered furniture, under rugs, behind wall hangings, and under wood trim. Bed bugs live inside and desire to be near their favorite food source (people); this makes them a tricky pest to avoid. Partnering with a professional is the best way to eliminate these pests from your home and make sure they don't return.

To help you make your property less attractive to these annoying, biting pests, we want to offer the following prevention tips:

  • When in public places, avoid placing your belongings on the ground for long periods or on top of other people's belongings. 
  • Always inspect your hotel room for bed bugs before bringing your luggage inside. 
  • Place bed bug-proof covers on mattresses and box springs.
  • Regularly vacuum your home, including mattresses and upholstered furniture. Wash your bedding and pet bedding on a routine basis.
  • Avoid purchasing second-hand furniture, rugs, mattresses, and box springs for use in your home.


Cockroaches are adaptable, persistent pests that are a year-round threat to people living in Arizona. In our area, the most common cockroaches we deal with in our homes and businesses are German cockroaches and American cockroaches.

German cockroaches are small, fast-moving roaches that primarily live indoors and move from place to place inside things like boxes, appliances, grocery bags, and furniture.

American cockroaches live both inside our homes and outside in our yards and gardens, and they are the largest species to invade structures in the U.S. They can hitchhike inside on things like potted plants but also move indoors through spaces they discover in the exterior of a building. Cockroaches are scavengers and will find their way onto any property that provides them with their basic needs.

Cockroaches aren't social, meaning they don't work together as a group, but they do live together in large groups. These prolific breeders can take over homes in the blink of an eye! Just saying the word "cockroach" is enough to make most people cringe. Not only because they aren't the cutest creatures to look at, but because of the dirt, parasites, human pathogens, and bacteria they carry and transmit to food and surfaces. They also do unpleasant things like stain our walls, floors, and other surfaces with their excrement. Chewing on and damaging furniture, wallpaper, books, curtains, and clothing is another problem with having roaches in your homes.

To help you make your property less attractive to these disease-spreading, destructive pests, we want to offer you the following prevention tips:

  • Vacuum your house regularly, not forgetting spaces under furniture and behind appliances to remove crumbs and other debris cockroaches will use as a food source. 
  • Place all trash bags into containers outside with locking lids. Doing so will help keep cockroaches out of your trash cans.
  • Check around your home for areas of standing water, eliminating any that is present.
  • Inspect your home's exterior, caulking or otherwise repairing gaps or cracks that could allow cockroaches inside. 
  • Before bringing boxes, packages, furniture, or used appliances into your home, inspect the items for cockroaches.


Pigeons are ubiquitous birds commonly found in urban areas around the world. These birds have adapted remarkably well to human environments, thriving on the food and shelter found in cities and towns. While pigeons might seem harmless, they can pose significant health risks and property damage. Pigeon droppings are acidic and can corrode building materials over time, leading to costly repairs. This waste can also harbor pathogens that cause diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis, posing health risks to humans.

In Arizona, pigeon infestations are particularly problematic due to the warm climate, which offers ideal conditions for birds to breed year-round. Pigeons typically build their nests in sheltered locations such as building ledges, attics, and under bridges. Their nesting materials and droppings can clog gutters and ventilation systems, leading to water damage and potential fire hazards. Additionally, pigeons can attract other pests like mites, ticks, and flies, further compounding the problem for property owners. 

Effective pigeon control involves not only addressing the immediate infestation but also implementing preventive measures to deter future nesting and roosting. This includes: 

  • Installing bird spikes on ledges, windowsills, and other potential roosting areas, and netting to cover large open spaces like balconies and rooftops, to deter pigeons from landing and nesting.
  • Using non-toxic bird gel or liquid repellents on common landing spots to make these surfaces uncomfortable for pigeons.
  • Eliminating access to food by securing garbage bins with tight-fitting lids and avoiding leaving pet food outside.
  • Regularly cleaning outdoor eating areas and promptly removing any food scraps to reduce attractants for pigeons.
  • Placing decoy predators such as fake owls or hawks around your property to scare pigeons away. Moving the decoys periodically can increase their effectiveness.
  • Reducing or eliminating flat surfaces where pigeons can perch by adding sloped coverings or angled surfaces.


Arizona is known for being home to a lot of outdoor space and urban areas, both places where rodents thrive. When it comes right down to it, rodents are wild animals, but many species like mice and rats have adapted to living with people and have come to rely on us to help them meet their basic needs. While they can survive on their own, if we are around providing them with food, water, and shelter, why would they? Our Arizona yards are places that rodents want to be, so keeping them at bay is difficult.

Rodents searching for food and water often move indoors through small gaps in exterior walls or by following wires or pipes. Once inside, they may decide to stay and nest, choosing quiet out-of-the-way areas. Crawl spaces, the backs of cabinets and closets, wall voids, boxes, and spaces under furniture are common nesting spots.

What sets rodents apart from other types of mammals are their continuously growing front incisors. To keep their teeth sharp and from overgrowing, they constantly gnaw on objects they come across, making them an extremely damaging pest to have in our yards and homes.

Another reason we don't welcome these pests into our homes with open arms is that they spread a lot of bacteria and diseases that can seriously affect people's health. Rodents living in our homes damage structures, contaminate food and surfaces, and trigger allergies and asthma attacks. The moment you realize that rodents have made their way onto your property, it is best to take immediate action and have them removed by a professional.

To help you make your property less attractive to these dangerous and destructive pests, we want to offer you the following prevention tips:

  • Caulk cracks in the foundation, seal up spaces around windows and doors with weather stripping, and place covers over vents.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and compost bins to prevent rodents from foraging for food in them. 
  • Repair leaky pipes and outdoor fixtures they can drink from.
  • Cut back shrubs, tall grass, and weeds from your foundation where rodents can hide and that will provide them with cover a they move in and out of your home.
  • Keep your home free of debris and excess clutter where rodents can hide, especially in storage areas like closets, utility rooms, crawl space, and attic

To help you protect your property from pests, trust the professionals at What's Bugging You Pest Control. Through exceptional pest control services, high-quality treatments, excellent customer service, and lots of experience, we protect Arizona homes and businesses from being overrun by pests. For information about our residential or commercial pest control options, reach out to us today! We will work with you and ensure we meet all your pest control needs and leave you with nothing but a pest-free property to enjoy with family and friends!


Termites are notorious pests known for their wood-destroying habits, which can lead to significant structural damage. These tiny insects feed on cellulose found in wood, paper, and other plant-based materials, making them a serious threat to property owners. Termites live in large colonies that can number in the thousands or even millions, and they operate with a high degree of organization. Each colony consists of workers, soldiers, and reproductive members, all playing specific roles to ensure the survival and expansion of the group.

In Arizona, several termite species are particularly prevalent. The most common include the desert subterranean termite (Heterotermes aureus), the western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor), and the arid land subterranean termite (Reticulitermes tibialis). The desert subterranean termite is known for its ability to thrive in the arid conditions of the Southwest, typically building its colonies underground and using mud tubes to reach above-ground food sources. The western drywood termite, unlike its subterranean counterparts, does not require contact with soil and can infest dry, undecayed wood, often causing extensive damage before being detected. The arid land subterranean termite also builds underground nests and is commonly found infesting homes and buildings where moisture is present. 

Understanding these species is crucial for effective termite control and prevention in Arizona's unique climate but there are some tips you can take to protect your property: 

  • Termites thrive in moist environments. Fix any leaks in pipes, faucets, and roof leaks, and ensure proper drainage around the foundation of your property to keep the area dry.
  • Ensure crawl spaces and attics are well-ventilated to reduce humidity levels, which can attract termites.
  • Keep firewood, lumber, and other cellulose materials at least 20 feet away from your home to avoid attracting termites.
  • When building or renovating, use pressure-treated wood for structures that come into contact with the ground. This type of wood is treated with chemicals that repel termites.
  • Seal any cracks in the foundation and gaps around utility lines and pipes to block potential entry points for termites.
  • Regularly clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent water accumulation that can create conducive conditions for termites.
  • Dead trees and stumps are prime habitats for termites. Remove them from your property to reduce the risk of infestation.
  • Use mulch sparingly and keep it at least 15 inches away from the foundation. Mulch retains moisture and can attract termites.
  • Schedule annual professional inspections to detect early signs of termite activity. Early detection can prevent significant damage.


Scorpions are pests that thrive in desert climates making Arizona a place where people and our pets often run into these arachnids. Scorpions are considered a type of stinging pest. At the end of their segmented curved tail is a stinger used for protection and to paralyze prey. Lucky for most people, only one species living in the United States can severely impact human health, not so lucky for Arizona residents; that species lives in our region — the bark scorpion. A sting from one of these scorpions can create a life-threatening allergic reaction, and if stung, medical attention is needed.

Despite living in deserts, bark scorpions actually have high moisture needs. Our properties offer them the water and food (insects and other small animals) they are looking for. Things like leaky outdoor fixtures, dripping air conditioners, and overwatered gardens are likely to attract bark scorpions. While they can survive much longer without food than water, scorpions are attracted to properties that offer abundant food sources. Trees, garden areas, dense landscaping, and yard debris offer hiding spots for both scorpions and their prey.

Scorpions are outdoor pests but often make their way into our homes through gaps in the exterior. The same things that attract them indoors originally attracted them to your yard — water and prey to hunt!

To help you make your property less attractive to scorpions, we want to offer you the following prevention tips:

  • The biggest thing you can do to avoid attracting scorpions to your home is to eliminate water sources. Repair leaking pipes and hoses, fix dripping air conditioners, and don't overwater your lawn and gardens. 
  • Keep scorpions out of your home by sealing cracks in the foundation, placing weather stripping around windows and doors, covering vents, and sealing spaces around utilities entering your home.
  • Maintain your lawn, remove unnecessary woodpiles and logs, maintain gardens, and keep shrubbery pruned to reduce insect activity in your yard. The fewer insects you have on your property, the fewer problems you will have with scorpions.


Weeds are plants with negatives that outweigh their benefits. We have not purposely planted them in our yards, but they have found their way there after being transported by wind or animals or accidentally in items like newly purchased mulch or soil. Weeds multiply quickly and are difficult for homeowners to control. Other problems that weeds cause include:

  • Attracting unwanted insects like mosquitoes and stinging pests.
  • Ruining your lawn's overall aesthetics.
  • Taking away the nutrients from the plants and grass that we do want in our yards.

Controlling weeds is tricky because they are opportunistic and will grow almost anywhere. Yards with lots of bare spots, under fertilized grass, and the cracks in walkways and driveways are areas you often find these unwanted plants growing. There are several reasons why weeds can take over our properties so easily. They produce a large number of seeds, and their seeds can remain dormant until the right environmental conditions are met. Even after we have disturbed the ground, weeds are still able to grow successfully. Whether your yard is sunny, shady, dry, or wet, there is a weed that will grow.

The best way to maintain a healthy, weed-free lawn is to partner with a local professional. At What's Bugging You Pest Control, we can do just that; rid your property of weeds through our regular and effective services. In addition, the following tips will help make your property a bit less conducive to weed growth:

  • Keep your lawn mowed to its ideal height.
  • Irrigate to ensure your lawn doesn't become overwatered or underwatered. 
  • Reseed your lawn's bare spots.
  • Make sure to fertilize your grass properly.
  • Seal cracks that develop in walkways, sidewalks, and driveways.

Excellent Pest Control Services In Phoenix

To help you protect your property and STOP what bugs you today, trust the professionals at What's Bugging You Pest Control. Through exceptional pest control services, high-quality treatments, excellent customer service, and lots of experience, we protect Arizona homes and businesses from being overrun by pests. For information about our home pest control or commercial pest control options, reach out to us today! We will work with you and ensure we meet all your pest control needs and leave you with nothing but a pest-free property to enjoy with family and friends. It's our mission to STOP what bugs you!

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