Here are the 3 major signs you have termites in your home

Termites can cause thousands of dollars in property damage in a short amount of time, causing them to be one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. These small insects eat wood and can cause substantial damage to the structure of a building. Termite damage typically is not detected immediately, but there are 3 major signs you have termites in your home. We’ll review these signs in this blog post.

Checking your home periodically for signs of termites could help you discover an infestation before the damage becomes severe. Of course, the best way to know for sure that you do or do not have a termite infestation is to contact the team at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We offer free in-home inspections and estimates in the Valley and Casa Grande.

Here are the signs of termites:

#1. Clicking noises

If there are termites hidden deep within your walls, chances are you won’t be able to see them. But, you may be able to hear them. The fact that they create hollow tunnels and caverns in walls while leaving a thin layer of wood at the surface allows them to go undetected for months.

As termites eat wood, their mandibles make soft clicking noises. When this sound is multiplied by the several thousand insects that belong to a single colony, it because audible when you listen carefully. If you hear a clicking sound when your house is quiet, your home may have a termite problem.

#2. Termite tubes

Another major indicator of termites is the presence of brown clay shelter tubes. Termites build these structures along foundation walls and use them to find food, protect themselves from predators, and travel through a building.

These tubes are small and narrow when a colony first builds them, but the tubes are widened over time. The wider the shelter tubes, the more damage has been done to your home. Having your home inspected annually by Arizona’s Best Choice Pest and Termite Service is a great way to discover termite tubes before the insects cause much damage.

However, you can also do a quick check at home. Walk around your home and look at the foundation for any mud tubes. Then, go into the attic and use a flashlight to look at the wood beams. Termites will often make mud tubes to travel between beams.

#3. Hollow wood or sagging floors

One of the most obvious termite warning signs is the presence of hollow wood. The insects leave huge, hollow caverns in wood, causing severe structural damage. You can check for this by periodically tapping the walls of your house. If you’re tapping studs and the sound being returned is hollow, it could be an early alert to termite damage.

Do you have a basement or a second floor? This same hollowing out of support beams could lead to sagging floors on either your ground floor or second floor. The presence of a sagging floor is a major, dangerous indicator of a termite infestation.

If you’re seeing signs you have termites, call us!

Based on these tips, if you suspect that you have a termite problem, contact us at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We’re proud to offer termite treatment options throughout the Phoenix metro and Casa Grande, and we offer free pest inspections and estimates.

Here’s how you can spot the signs of a termite infestation

A termite infestation in your home is very bad news. The sooner you can detect a termite invasion, however, the more likely that you can minimize the damage these insects will do your home. That’s why it’s important for Arizona homeowners to be aware of the signs of a termite infestation.

get-rid-of-termites-professionallyHere at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, we offer free termite inspections in the Valley and in Casa Grande. If you suspect that you have termites, it’s time to call in the experts. Contact us online to get started today.

Detecting any damage

Many homeowners first realize they have a termite problem when they see damage caused by the insects. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to schedule a termite inspection:

  • Many tiny holes in the wood (about the size of a nail)
  • Fissures or cracks in the wood
  • Small tunnels made from mud or soil on the home’s foundation
  • Sagging, drooping, or discolored drywall
  • Peeling paint
  • Buckling or blistered wood or laminate floorboards
  • Loose tile
  • Doors or windows that are difficult to open
  • Wood with a hollow sound or honeycomb appearance
  • Quiet clicking sounds in the walls

In addition to structural damage, you might also find piles of discarded termite wings that look like fish scales, mounds of termite droppings, or even live swarms of the insects. Some termite species shed their wings when they mature.

The live bugs look almost like ants but range in color from white-to-light brown. The droppings are a dark brown or black powder that collects on the outside of the termite tunnels.

Preventing a termite infestation

You can take a few proactive steps to lessen the chances that termites will decide to set up shop at your property. Here’s a few things to watch out for:

  • Remove wood and dead trees from your yard or property.
  • Keep firewood and construction materials in a dedicated shed, as far from your house as possible.
  • Build outdoor structures with treated wood, which repels termites.
  • Spread landscaping mulch away from your home’s foundation.
  • When possible, direct the flow of water (from your hose or irrigation) away from the foundation of your home, so that the soil near your foundation is consistently dry.

Be sure to check out this article for more on the signs of a termite infestation.

Dealing with the signs of a termite infestation

A professional inspection by an experienced termite specialist is the best course of action if you suspect you have termites. However, any existing signs of termite damage may mean that the problem is already well-entrenched. If you’re concerned about termites, you may even want to schedule an annual inspection and preventive treatment.

Call in the experts at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services

Call us here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services to schedule a free termite inspection. We have been serving homeowners in Phoenix and Casa Grande for more than 20 years, and have more than 7,000 loyal clients who will speak to our effective treatments and outstanding customer service.

Here’s why we hire the best pest technicians in the Valley (and Casa Grande!)

When you call us to service your home, you want to know that our pest technicians will take care of you, your home, and your family. At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, you know we will value you as a customer because of how we value everyone we employ.

Pictured: Our pest technicians are amongst the best in the Valley.In this blog, we’ll review some of the ways that we treat our employees, and why you should call our pest technicians for your pest control needs.

Why do people love working for us?

At the end of the day, our business is not about a number and a dollar sign. It is about people building lives for their families. Each of our pest technicians is working to create a meaningful life in and around their career.

People love working for Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services for many reasons:

  • We prepare our employees for success. With extensive training and support, they are equipped to grow professionally and personally.
  • We offer jobs in Casa Grande, Mesa, and Phoenix.
  • Our compensation is fair and competitive.
  • After 20 years in business, anyone can build a lifelong career with us.

Our technicians take pride in the work they do and the company they work for.

Why should employee satisfaction matter to customers?

Simply put, a company has a personality and habits in the same way people do. When a business treats their employees unfairly, they will not have their clients’ best interests in mind, either. We invest in the success of our staff through training, stability, and support.

This is also an investment in our customers, because happy workers who are well-trained and taken care of will go above-and-beyond for our clients. Our business is like a family. The strong bond between us and our pest control techs, makes us want to take care of each other and work together to make our customers happy.

Schedule your free inspection from our great pest technicians!

At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, we have a deep desire to give the best quality of work to each and every customer. Whether you want your home treated for scorpions, termites, or other pests, we have the most effective tools around.

Get started by scheduling a free pest inspection for your home.

5 facts you should know about the Arizona bark scorpion

Native to the Sonoran Desert, the Arizona bark scorpion is light brown in color and very small. Some homeowners in Arizona may come up against this pest on a regular basis, so it’s important to be educated about scorpions and know when it’s time to contact a professional for help getting rid of them.

Here are Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, we offer free scorpion inspections in the Valley and Casa Grande. If you suspect that you have scorpions, contact our team today!

Things to know about scorpions:

1. They eat other pests around and in your home

The scorpion is in or around your home to eat spiders and insects. They can go days without food but must have access to water regularly to survive.

2. Bark scorpions are nocturnal

This type of scorpion sleeps during the day and is active at night. This doesn’t mean that you won’t see them during the day if you accidentally stumble upon where they are hiding on. They prefer to hide under wood, debris, or rocks outside, and may also make a home in a tree somewhere on your property.

3. They can enter your home easily

The bark scorpion prefers to be outside hiding under rocks and logs, but may enter your house looking for prey in the summer when it’s hot. They get into the home through voids in the walls and can squeeze into tiny spaces.

4. They are easy to find

One of the lesser known facts about Arizona bark scorpion is that they glow in UV light. If you are hunting for scorpions, purchase a blacklight at your local hardware store and watch for them to glow.

5. They can be very dangerous

If you are stung by a scorpion, you could feel acute pain for up to three days. The affected area may also be numb and tingle for a while. Although fatalities are extremely rare, some people report convulsions and allergic reactions to scorpion bites.

Stings from the bark scorpion are extremely painful, and children and pets are more likely to experience life-threatening problems from them. If you or someone close to you has been bit by a scorpion, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.

Call us for to schedule a free inspection

At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, we know all about scorpions, how they enter homes, and—most importantly—how to remove them safely. Contact us today to schedule a consultation

Why we use Altriset termite treatment here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite

If your home has termites, you don’t have time to fool with products and so-called experts who might not live up to their hype. Here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite, we rely on our experienced employees as well as Altriset termite treatment to take care of termites. Here, we’d like to tell you why.

Here’s how Altriset works:

When it comes to taking care of termites, the way Altriset works is it prevents termites from gnawing away at your property by paralyzing their mouthparts. Once termites come into contact with the product, it doesn’t immediately take effect, allowing them to continue their normal habits without them becoming “suspicious.”

This allows for more termites to be exposed. Altriset also provides lasting effects, and even better is the fact that it lasts for a while, better ensuring that every single termite is eradicated.

We’re also proud of the fact that this termite product attacks termites and only termites. This means you can treat your property without worrying about harming helpful bees and earthworms. We see no need to do more harm than good to organisms that do more good than harm.

You might also be worried about the effects of the pesticide if you have animals or children who might come into contact with it.

Here are the benefits of Altriset:

There are also several benefits to be enjoyed by using Altriset. For instance, the product has been officially registered as reduced-risk by the Environmental Protection Agency. It also has a low use-rate per gallon.

Once the fromula has done its job, it continues to do its job long afterward, meaning there’s less chance of you experiencing a re-infestation. This healthy “shelf life” also means that you don’t have to spend more money than necessary on additional treatments.       

Outside of Altriset, there are a number of benefits you receive when you leave the job to us. Our technicians offer free inspections, so you know for a fact what kind of pest problem you have, and we offer 100% guaranteed termite service for your full satisfaction.

Choose AZ Best Pest: the team that uses Altriset termite treatment

Be sure to contact us here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite to find out more about Altriset and all other pest control products and plans we offer. See how easy it can be to handle pests when the job is left to the pros.

What are silverfish, and how should they be treated?

Silverfish are strange pests. While not as ubiquitous in Arizona homes as termites or scorpions, they’re still an insect to look out for. In this blog, we’ll talk more about this pest, signs of an infestation, and why you should call Arizona’s Best Pest for any silverfish control needs.

What are silverfish?

Image courtesy: By Taken by Soebe in nothern Germany – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110451

While they are typically a silver hue, they’re most certainly not fish, and resemble the cross between a cricket and a cockroach, with some of the same eating habits as a termite (more on that in a second).

Silverfish aren’t venomous or dangerous. Unlike roaches, they don’t transmit diseases.

They’re about 12-19 millimeters long and oval, with three long antennae near the rear of their body and two large antennae on their head. They have 6 legs in total.

What is remarkable about these pests?

Much like termites, silverfish can sustain themselves on all kinds of carbohydrates, from human food to paper and clothing. While they’re not as destructive as termites (they don’t eat wood in your home, or at least at any noticeable rate), they can ruin clothes, sheets, or paperwork in storage. They’ll even eat wallpaper.

Silverfish can thrive in many different circumstances, but their favorite places are in cardboard boxes containing stored clothes or paperwork in your cool garage.

How do silverfish get into my home?

Much like roaches or scorpions, silverfish are adept at squeezing through tight spaces to get into your living spaces where their favorite foods are. They can move through cracks in your foundation, door gaps, or through torn window screens.

In many cases, silverfish can be accidentally brought into the home. When you bring home that box full of antiques, or those files from the office storage closet, you could be bringing silverfish into your living spaces or your garage without knowing it.

Treating an infestation

Strangely, there’s actually truth to that old myth that silverfish hate cinnamon. This spice (and other strong-smelling spices) is an effective deterrent to adult silverfish, who will avoid areas that smell of it.

However, it’s not effective in treating an infestation: this pest breeds fast, and cinnamon won’t eliminate the eggs. Of course, it’s worth noting that cinnamon doesn’t kill the adults either; they just take paths through your home to avoid it.

The best way to treat a silverfish problem is to call in a pest professional who can tackle the following:

  • Finding the silverfish infestation
  • Eliminating all current silverfish and their eggs
  • Recommending places where further entry can be blocked.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite

For friendly pest control services here in Phoenix & Casa Grande, contact Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We have dedicated pest control experts on our team with years of experience treating infestations.

It’s spring, and it’s time to get ready for Phoenix summer pests

It’s been yet another beautiful winter here in Phoenix. But, all good things must come to an end: a hot summer is on the way, and will be here sooner than you think. The same is true for all the pests that come out of the literal and figurative woodwork as the weather warms up. It’s time to get ready for Phoenix summer pests.

From cockroaches and ants to crickets and bark scorpions, hot weather is an invitation for pests to come out into your home. If you’re seeing evidence of Phoenix summer pests awakening for the season, contact Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services for a free pest inspection.

What pests become more active in the summer?

In a previous blog post, we discussed some winter pests that are active here in the Valley when temperatures drop. Here are the big three pests to look out for in the late spring and summer:

Bark Scorpions

Bark scorpions, for example, overwinter in groups. It’s not impossible to see a scorpion in the winter, but it’s less likely: these scorpions are less active when the weather gets colder. In fact, when homeowners do encounter bark scorpions, it’s because they stumble across a group of them huddled together for warmth.

When the weather warms, scorpions begin to stir and become more active. By the time summer rolls around, they’re actively searching for prey around your home and property.

Roaches

Just like bark scorpions, roaches are more active during the summer. If you’ve had issues with roaches, you’ll see more of them as the weather warms and they become more active. It’s time for you to call in the pros at Arizona’s Best Pest for help with these Phoenix summer pests.

Ants

Ants, too, are active in the summer, heading out of their colonies in search of food. When they arrive in your home in the late spring, it’s time to call us and have us treat for ants in your home.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice for your Phoenix summer pest control

These three aren’t the only pests that are active during the summer. It’s worth noting that many pests “associated” with the winter, such as termites and bed bugs, are still active and problematic in the summer. As a homeowner, it’s best to stay alert and aware, especially when it comes to termites.

If you suspect you have pests in your home, give Arizona’s Best Choice a call to schedule your free pest pest inspection. One of our certified, expert techs will inspect your home to see if, and where, pests are hiding. If pests are found, we’ll recommend a treatment.

Contact us today to get started, or give us a call at (480) 986-8500.

Here are 5 signs you have roof rats

Roof rats are a common pest throughout the Phoenix metro and Casa Grande. Their ability to easily travel from home to home makes this rodent a headache for homeowners. In this blog, we’ll review some of the signs you have roof rats — and when you need to call Arizona’s Best Choice for services.

#1. Half-eaten citrus around your home

One of the reasons that roof rats have flourished in the East Valley is because of the prevalence of backyard fruit trees, especially citrus trees. This provides the rats with a convenient food source close to warmth and shelter.

The rats typically will target the lowest hanging fruit—literally. They’ll eat oranges, lemons, and more that have fallen to the ground.

One of the most effective ways to determine if you have roof rats is to check the fruit that has fallen in your yard. If you’re noticing half-eaten fruit, or fruit with tiny bite marks in it, it might be a sign you have roof rats.

#2. You hear squeaking or scratching noises

Roof rats are generally not quiet pests. In the process of nesting, they’ll often make squeaking or scratching sounds. When it’s quiet at night, listen inside of your house.

If you hear noises that can’t be otherwise explained by your appliances, call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite for a free pest inspection.

#3. Your pets are acting strangely

Take notes on the behavior of your pets. Both cats and dogs have far better hearing and noses than humans, and they’ll often detect the presence of roof rats in your attic before you do.

If they’re constantly staring up at the ceiling, seemingly barking or hissing at nothing, or are trying to get higher to smell, it could be a sign that something is up there worth checking out.

#4. You may see rat droppings

If you have roof rats, you may see rat droppings around your home, outside your home, or in your yard. These droppings may be near the dropped, eaten fruit mentioned in #1.

Reminder: rat droppings, urine, and nest can contain dangerous pathogens and bacteria that can make you very sick. So, keep your distance and call in the experts at Arizona Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

#5. You may see the rats themselves

Roof rats are generally larger than common mice, and much of their diet—such as citrus and fruit dropped from trees—is found outside. That’s why many Valley homeowners find out they have roof rats by actually seeing one around their home, outside their home, or in a high place.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite for a free roof rat inspection

If you suspect that your Valley home has roof rats, contact us at Arizona’s Best Choice to schedule your free roof rat inspection. We’ll send one of our experienced techs out to your home to check for signs of roof rats and determine if further treatment is needed.

Here’s how a pigeon infestation can hurt your business

We may live in a city named after a bird of mythology, but the most common bird in the Valley is probably the pigeon. You can find these pests all over parking lots, businesses, and parks. They may look innocent enough, but they’re actually a public nuisance. A pigeon infestation is bad news for businesses, homes, vehicles, and more.

If you own a business in the Valley or in Casa Grande, you need a professional to inspect for pigeons and help you develop a plan for dealing with these pests. Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite offers pigeon control services. Contact us for a free inspection.

How a pigeon infestation impacts your business

Pictured: Pigeon infestation on a local rooftop here in the Valley.

Businesses should not take a pigeon infestation lightly. Here are some of the ways in which a pigeon infestation can hurt your business.

1. Pigeons create a perception that your business is dirty

This isn’t to say that pigeon droppings and nests aren’t dirty. But, perception matters here. Even if the pigeons are just on the roof or hanging out by your front door, their presence could send the wrong messages to your customers and employees about the cleanliness of your business.

Customers may be hesitant to park in front of your business. Your employees might think about parking elsewhere and walking to work. That’s a lot of trouble caused by some birds, and it’s why we recommend that you invest in some pigeon deterrence from Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

2. They can damage your property

Pigeons aren’t just a blight for sight. Their droppings are highly acidic, and can actually damage the roof of your business over time. “Sure, but I rent.” Yes, but all those droppings can smell and make your roof less effective at dealing with rain, leading to a whole host of other problems and damages to your business.

For example, it’s common for pigeons to build nests in exposed roof drains and gutters. These nests can cause a “dam” effect, blocking the effective removal of water from the roof after a summer monsoon. All that extra weight can cause problems for your roof—and, in extreme cases, even a collapse.

3. Pigeons can pose a serious health risk

Not many people know that pigeons are a source of several infectious diseases, including bronchiolectosis, hypoxia, peribronchial fibrosis, pulmonary cysts, to name just a few. Theses diseases are mainly spread to humans through contact with feather dust, dried bird droppings, and mites.

If your business serves or prepares food, this problem is even more pronounced. You simply cannot have a pigeon infestation and expect your business to be as clean as you’d like it. You’ll need professional pigeon removal services.

4. They can damage vehicle and building paint

Those acidic droppings we mentioned earlier? That same property means they can really damage the paint on vehicles and buildings, causing significant property damage for you and your customers if left unchecked.

Often, the biggest problem is company cars and vehicles, which are constantly on-site—and, therefore, a consistent target for pigeons. You spent thousands wrapping and branding your business’ vehicles. It’s not worth it to let a pigeon ruin all that.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice for help with your business’ pigeon infestation

Pigeons might seem innocuous enough. They certainly don’t have as much bad publicity as other pests found here in the Valley. But, if you’re a business owner, you need to be ready to deal with pigeons quickly and effectively. For that, you’ll want the help of the experts at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

We’re the best choice for pest control and pigeon control here in the Phoenix metro and in Casa Grande. Contact our team today to schedule your free pest inspection. We’ll help you develop a game plan for dealing with your pigeon problems.

The 5 best ways to avoid bed bugs this holiday season

Bed bugs are terrible. They can infest homes, motels, and even airplanes, traveling through luggage and clothing to new places to feed. In this blog, we’ll run through the 5 best ways to avoid bed bugs while you’re traveling for the holidays.

At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite, we offer free bed bug inspections in the Phoenix and Casa Grande area. Contact us to schedule yours!

5 ways to avoid bed bugs infesting your home

1. Clean used furniture before bringing into your home

It’s a great feeling when you find that perfect couch, chair, or fabric-backed headboard for your bed at your local consignment store. However, buying used furniture could mean you’re getting something else thrown into the deal: bed bugs.

Avoid bed bugs like this one!

Bed bugs can hitch a ride on used furniture into your home, where they’ll spread to infect your home. If you do choose to buy used furniture that has any kind of fabric, thoroughly inspect it for bed bugs.

Keep your new piece in “quarantine”, in a garage or on a patio, separated from other pieces of furniture, carpet, and pet / human interaction. If you’re planning on reupholstering the piece, do that before you bring it into your home.

As a side note: used mattresses are typically a bad idea. Obviously, this is a popular place for bed bugs to hide, and buying a used mattress could be asking for trouble.

2. Read hotel and motel reviews

 

Bed bugs are natural hitchhikers, and their transit hubs to new places are hotels and motels. Bed bugs are the terror of the hospitality industry, and they should be: bed bugs can not only ruin your vacation, but ensure that your return home is just as awful.

Before you book your next hotel or motel stay, check out online reviews and see what people are saying.

  • If there’s multiple reviews alluding to the presence of bed bugs and no attempt to address these customer concerns, you should probably look elsewhere.
  • If there’s only one review that mentions bed bugs, and the hotel has responded and provided follow-up, they might be okay. You can call the hotel and ask about the precautions they take to prevent bed bug infestations.

Always check your hotel bed for bed bugs before getting into it, putting clothing on it, or opening your luggage.

A final note: the price of the hotel has little to do with its chances of having bed bugs. Often, a high-end hotel is just as likely to have or not have bed bugs as a chain motel. Bed bugs cut across class lines!

3. Put your luggage on watch

If you’re a frequent traveler, your risk of bringing home bed bugs goes up significantly. You need to develop a routine for handling your luggage and laundry when you return home to avoid bed bugs. Try this:

  1. Pack your garments into plastic bags inside of your suitcase to prevent any potential cross-contamination.
  2. Without bringing them into any other space of your home or mixing them with other clothes, immediately throw your clothes from the trip into the wash when you get home, and wash them on the highest heat setting possible.
  3. If you have an extra space freezer in your garage that your suitcase fits into, you can always freeze your luggage to kill off any remaining bed bugs (or bacteria!). Two hours of 23 degree temperatures or lower will eliminate any bed bugs.
  4. If you don’t have that freezer, you can hand wash your suitcase with hot water and a brush. Inspect for bed bugs as you go.

These steps might seem extreme, but, for the frequent traveler, they’re a way of ensuring that bed bugs don’t infest your home when you return.

4. Be careful when using shared laundry facilities

If you use a laundromat, be cautious of the risk of bed bugs. The hot water of a washer and the heat of a dryer can kill bed bugs, but the risk of cross-contamination comes when people are transferring laundry or folding it to be put away.

5. If you suspect you have bed bugs, call in the pros!

This one’s important. If you have even a sneaking suspicion that your home, bed, or furniture has bed bugs and that they’ve gotten past your defenses, you need to call a professional pest control company. Here in Phoenix and Casa Grande, that’s us here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

Avoid bed bugs with our tips and our help!

Our technicians are bed bug control experts, and we offer free bed bug inspections here in the Valley and Casa Grande. If you need us to check for bed bugs in your home, call us at (480) 986-8500 or contact us online.