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Tips to keep your home from turning into a haunted house this Halloween

Tips to keep your home from turning into a haunted house this Halloween

It’s no wonder that haunted houses are decorated with fake rats, rubber bats, plastic spiders and stringy spider webs. After all, having these pests in your home can be a true nightmare – and unlike the spooky decorations, real pests can hang around long after Halloween is over. In order to keep your home from turning into a haunted house, the National Pest Management Association recommends that homeowners take steps to pest-proof this Halloween.

“In the fall, we often hear from homeowners who are dealing with pests like spiders, bats and rodents, so it’s no coincidence they are associated with Halloween,” explains Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Halloween is a fun celebration of all things creepy, crawly, but the holiday also serves as a reminder that the real-life versions of these pests can cause serious issues inside our homes.”

Spiders, while beneficial in controlling other bug populations in the home, can sometimes bite humans. Brown recluse spiders, for example, inject poisonous venom with their bites. These spiders are commonly found in woodpiles, basements and closets.

Bats tend to enter our homes through chimneys or vents, and may hide out in attics or other dark, secluded areas of a home. Infected bats can spread rabies, and their droppings can spread organisms that cause the lung disease, histoplasmosis.

Rodents like mice and rats can spread hantavirus and contaminate food. They can also gnaw on electrical wires, which can spark fires.

The NPMA offers these tips for preventing a pest infestation this Halloween season:

  • Seal cracks around the home’s exterior, especially where pipes and wiring enter homes.
  • Do not leave food lying around, as it attracts pests.
  • Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
  • If you see signs of an infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.

Termite Facts

Termite Facts

  • Termites are insects. They have hard, saw-toothed jaws that help them to eat lumber, wallpaper, plastics, and fabric made of plant fibers.
  • There are four different groups of termites: dampwood, drywood, subterranean and mound builders. Dampwood termites like to live and feed in very moist wood. Drywood termites can survive in very dry conditions and do not need moisture or soil. Subterranean termites are very common and live and breed in soil. Mound builders live in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and part of South America; they are able to build large earthen towers 25 feet or higher.
  • Termites can be found in almost every state as well as Mexico and parts of Canada. They favor warmer climates and actively avoid light. (See range map below)
  • As a species, termites date back to the time of the dinosaurs.
  • Termites are 24/7 bugs, which means they eat non-stop – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They feed on wood and may also destroy paper products such as books, cardboard, boxes and anything containing cellulose. Even buildings with steel framing and masonry walls are targets because of the wooden door and window frames, cabinets and shelving within the buildings.
  • Termites live in underground colonies, some containing over two million members.
  • The social structure of a colony includes the queen, king, winged reproductive swarmers, soldiers, and workers. Worker termites are small creamy white insects. They are the most numerous and the cause of all the termite damage.
  • Swarmers, or winged reproductive’s, are termites that leave the colony to mate, reproduce and start new colonies.
  • In a large nest, a queen and king may live for 15 years, with the queen laying up to one egg every 15 seconds for most of her life.
  • Termites can cause serious damage to structures often long before they are discovered, i.e., more than $1.5 billion in property damage a year to over 600,000 homes in the United States.
  • How do termites enter the home? The most common termite, the subterranean, builds its nest in the ground. These termites construct mud tubes that are used to explore for food and connect their underground nest to that food source. They can enter a building without direct wood contact with the soil through such tubes. They can find their way into a structure through an opening as small as 1/32 of an inch (smaller than the size of a pinhead!).
  • AZ Pest techs are termite control specialists, and can provide protection from termite infestations. Our termite inspectors are trained to locate specific areas in homes where a termite attack is most likely to occur. If termites are found, we can design a treatment plan to control current infestations and to protect homes from future infestations.

AZ Termite Inspection & removal