Rodent problems are common in Yuma Arizona. There are particular reasons for this, and some you can do something about to prevent a rat infestation. But, if you notice signs that you have rats, you don’t have to beat yourself up over it.

It would be prudent to take early action at the first signs to minimize the possibility that the rats might propagate and cause a health hazard – making the issue of ridding yourself of roof rats even harder to resolve. The best option is always to work with experienced roof rat experts like Hitman Pest of Yuma

To help you, here is a list of signs to look for.

What to Look For

In general, rats are intelligent creatures that have a mission regarding food and shelter. Furthermore, they like a warm place to shelter from the cold. So the winter season is no time to slouch on regular pest control services.

There is a high likelihood of finding rats have invaded your house or other properties during fall and into winter without anything luring them like pet food or animal feed. Farm or stable owners understand the significance of maintaining all feed well-covered and secured from rat raids.

Since rats can enter a property through any covering which they could chew, inspect the building from the ground to the roof. Focus on any place where exterior elements are fed via the outer building envelope into the cabin, home, or commercial properties like cable lines, vents, or where there might be ductwork or flashing.

Check out for any voids that are larger than one-fourth an inch. Maintain all trash cans sealed inside and outdoors. It would be best to store all firewood stacks and debris piles away from properties to eradicate potential rat’s nests.

These rodents are excellent climbers and can’t hesitate to utilize trellises and adjacent tree limbs to seek any unsealed nooks and crannies and get inside. Because nature has offered the rat a set of teeth that constantly grow, they’re always searching for materials which they can chew and gnaw to help keep those chompers filed down.

Typically, rats chew through plastic, metal, joists, wooden beams, cardboard, and wallboard. The longer your rat infestation goes unnoticed, the more financial damage they may cause to your building with their incessant chewing. The worst part is that they love to chew through wires – this may subject property to the likelihood of an electrical fire.

Signs You Have a Roof Rat Problem

You don’t have to see a rat before the critters have assumed residence in your home. Although rats like to come out mostly during the night, you might be able to notice their invisible presence from the strange sounds they make. The funny part is that you’re less likely to see even one before you start to notice the signs that signify their presence. These include:

Rat Droppings: They are often found in concentrated places since rats produce about 40 droppings per night. Typically, brown rat droppings are in a tapered and spindle shape approximately 9mm – 14mm long. Generally, they may resemble a huge grain of rice.

Footprints (running tracks): These rodents usually leave foot and tail prints in dusty and less-used places. Shining your flashlight at a relatively low angle can reveal these tracks.

pest tracks in the snow winter

If you’d like to determine whether an infestation is active, consider sprinkling talc or fine floor along a small floor stretch near the footprints and look out for fresh tracks the following day.

Scratching Noises: Do you suspect you may have rats on your roof? Roof rats, or black rats, are known to be agile climbers and may easily invite themselves into loft spaces and upper floors of houses.

Hearing scratching noises during the night from above might signify their presence. On the other hand, brown rats are less skilled climbers. Mostly, you might hear them scurrying under sheds, floorboards, and decking. They’re more likely to be recognized by a grinding noise they produce with their teeth called bruxing.

Damage: As aforementioned, rats have constantly growing teeth; therefore, they need to gnaw them on plastic and wood to keep them trim. You might also recognize ripped food packaging since rats tend to tear open food and leave behind visible teeth marks.

Rub Marks: Rats usually use established routes along walls and skirting boards because of their poor eyesight. Dirt and grease on their bodies leave dark marks and smudges on surfaces and objects they repeatedly brush against. These marks might signify rodent activity. However, as smears might remain for an extended period, they aren’t an ideal gauge of an active infestation.

Burrows: Typically, brown rats are believed to dig and excavate extensive burrow systems for food storage, shelter, and nesting. Check out for burrows in garages, under garden sheds or decking, or in compost heaps.

Nests: Rats tend to build nests in warm and secret areas using different shredded materials like fabrics and newspapers. Mostly, nests will have young rats and are often found close to their food source.

Termite damage typically starts around termite-vulnerable wood, which starts to spread once the infestation starts growing. Subterranean termites are known for boring tiny holes into wood. If the infestation is allowed to progress, wood paneling or flooring might start looking warped, water damaged, or blistered. Eventually, the wood supports will start to break, crack, or sag.

How To Detect A Termite Infestation

If termites are invading your home, here are the signs to look out for:

Mud tunnels around the outside of your home, including concrete slabs, walls, bricks, and any other dense structural material. Termites build mud tunnels so they can travel through them when they are not able to bore into objects when searching for water and food.

Termite swarmers inside your home. These are the termites that fly around in swarms in search of mates. If you have started to notice swarmers inside your building, this is one of the tell-tale signs that termites are invading your home. These termites also shed their wings, leaving them behind on places like your window sills. This is another signal that termites are present in your home.

Damaged wood is one of the most obvious signs of a termite infestation. Wood damage often includes wood that has gone darker, or it looks similar to water damage. If you knock the wood using a hard object or hammer and it makes a thudding, dull sound, it is important to have the wood inspected as soon as you can for a termite infestation.

Small holes surrounded by sawdust, is another common sign of a termite infestation. In most cases, these holes are tiny but result in significant damages inside these wooden structures.

Termite damage can also result in tunnels. If you are looking at a wooden structure that was once solid, and now looks porous filled with channels and troughs, termites have probably been eating the wood.

Common Places Where You Will See Termite Damage

Siding Damage

With wooden siding, it is common to see chewed and damages areas close to the soil, particularly when the outside walls come into contact with the soil. The wood will look like it has been chewed or nibbled on. You might also notice eaten areas and holes appearing randomly on the surface of your walls.

Damaged Studs

If there is an outbuilding or shed on your property, these are also common places where you will find termite damage. The termites burrow long channels or tunnels in the wood, making the timber brittle enough that it will start to splinter or crack when you try to walk over it.

Damaged studs are also detected when you tap on them using a hammer. If the sound is hollow it could be a sign of tunneling inside.

- Crawl Spaces

If termites have started to damage the crawl spaces found under your house, this is often accompanied by several mud tubes. Termites are known for building these mud tubes that they take from the soil into the wooden structures in your home. These moist tunnels offer protection, allowing the termites to move freely throughout your home.

Water Damage

While termite damage often goes undetected, a termite infestation can look like damage caused by water. In some cases, the surfaces of floors, ceilings, and walls will start looking bumpy or swollen.

Damaged Walls

It is not common to detect damage caused by termites in your walls unless you have started to renovate. However, if the termite infestation has gone undetected for many months, the wall might start bulging out, or your windows and doors in a wall are no longer closing or opening smoothly. If you break into a wall, damage from termites is going to be unmistakable.

Frass Holes

Once termites start chewing into wooden structures they expel waste out of the holes that they have made. This waste is known as "frass". They do this by periodically boring circular, small holes through the sides of the tunnels that they make. You may be able to detect these holes along with a sawdust-like substance (frass) around the holes. They expel this waste so that it doesn't clog up their living spaces.

Ceiling And Floor Damage

If termites have started to eat into your floors, they might start to warp down or dip. This is caused by the timber that starts to weaken inside. If termites have damaged your ceilings, they might start sagging.

If you have started to notice wood damage in and around your home, it is important to contact a professional company like Hitman Pest of Yuma. Termites can cause extensive damages to your home, which is why you should never allow this type of problem to go untreated. Hitman Pest of Yuma provides top-rated pest-control solutions while providing superior customer service.

pest tracks in the snow winter

Arizona homeowners often let their guard down when it starts to cool during the winter months believing that pests are only an issue during the hot Yuma summers, but nothing could be further from the truth.

When winter arrives, some pests hibernate, while others enter homes seeking food and warmth. If you are looking to protect your home from unwanted guests, here are 7 pests to look out for in winter:

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a problem at just about any time of the year since they can hitchhike at any point. However, the probability of encountering these insects is much higher in the winter since it is the perfect time for a vacation.

If you’re planning a winter vacation, don’t forget to inspect your hotel room for possible bed bugs. You should also examine your clothes and luggage before your return at home to prevent an infestation by any potential stowaways.

Bed bugs are usually very difficult to eliminate, and you will have to come up with a comprehensive plan if you want to successfully get them out of your house. That includes washing all the fabric throughout your home and perhaps scheduling a preventative service call with a pest control service.

Spiders

Spiders can invade your Yuma house at just about any time of the year, but the more dangerous spiders may choose to seek refuge indoors during the winter. While spiders tend to be less active during winter, they love heading to warmer places when it is cold outside.

Spiders such as the black widow and the brown recluse usually hide out in dark, low-traffic areas such as window moldings, cardboard storage boxes, basements, and many others.

To get rid of spiders from your home, you first need to identify the species that’s currently in your home. Once that is done, you can come up with a plan for getting rid of them once all factors have been considered. You should strongly consider hiring a pest control service to help with a spider infestation.

Roof Rats

Roof Rats are tiny rodents capable of slipping through openings the size of a dime. Roof rats love nesting in dark, secluded areas like your roof; and can become a major headache very quickly. They can cause serious damage to property by chewing through wires or drywall and may cause illness by contaminating food. Their droppings can spread deadly disease like the plague.

The best way to get rid of these little intruders is by sealing up any potential openings and calling professional exterminators.

Ants

Ants love enjoying the warmth of your home in winter, particularly carpenter ants. However, if you see ants, there is likely an established nest inside the house. Carpenter ants nest in wood, including windows and doors. Pavement ants as well as little black ants love nesting in cracks around the foundation as well as in walls.

Ants hibernate in their nests during winter. If you find a few ants walking out in the open when there’s a warm stretch in the winter, you should know that there’s probably a nest in your home. To get rid of ants, you should first find the nest and preferably call ant control experts to help you get rid of them.

Termites

Termites love feeding off wooden structures and timbers, which is why you will commonly find them in the walls of untreated homes. During the colder season, termites are particularly drawn to your house if there are high levels of moisture such as dripping air conditioner overflows, leaking showers, and tap or pipe leakages.

To stop a devastating termite infestation, you should consider pretreating your home.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches generally prefer living in small areas close to food and moisture, which is why human homes make the ideal habitat. Cockroaches hitchhike indoors via boxes, grocery bags, and secondhand appliances and are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.

Cockroaches, however, can contaminate food sources and spread bacteria and other pathogens. They are also known to trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms, particularly in children.

Storing food in securely sealed containers and keeping your kitchen clean are some of the best ways to deter cockroaches from getting into your house.

Wildlife

Wildlife such as racoons and squirrels typically don’t hibernate during winter. They prefer instead to hide in warm places attics as it gets cold outside. When they do, they can rip up insulation, tear holes in soffits, and generally make a mess that can attract other unpleasant pests.

Storing trashcans in sealed areas such as a locked shed and using animal-proof lids if you are keeping your trashcans indoors are all great ways to keep wildlife out of your home. Other measures include installing a mesh cover over chimneys and other exposed vents and repairing any lose shingles or siding to prevent entry.

Final Thoughts

Pests such as insects, rodents, and wildlife invade Yuma homes every winter. They need a place to survive until spring and can even choose to stay in your home even after seasons change. If they have food and a protective shelter, there’s no motivation for them to leave. So, ensure that they lack both and they will definitely leave.

As we already know, Arizona is an excellent place to live in. If you are looking into purchasing a home in the area or you already live, you may be wondering whether or not you will have to deal with termites in Arizona.

Unfortunately termites are found all over Arizona, including right here in Yuma. Below, we will be going over some of the key things that you should know about termites in Arizona.

Termite colony infesting a home Yuma

Are Termites Active Year Round In Yuma?

Yes, termites can be found eating the wood in our homes all year long. So one of the things that should be on your yearly to-do list is have a home termite inspection. Considering the fact that you will be dealing with termite season year-round, regular termite inspections are a must.

Since termites are active all year long, it's not really a season. Rather, it's something that you will have to contend with throughout the entire year. The temperature may drop a bit in Yuma, but not enough to drive those termites away.

So you you will find termites both visible and being a nuisance throughout the entire time. You can have issues with termites during the winter months when other areas might not have to deal with them any longer. While they won't nearly be as active as they are in the summer and warmer months, they will still present issues, and can still cause major damage. Even in the colder winter months.

Termites Can Cause Severe Damage All Year Long

One of the most important things to realize about termites anywhere is the fact that they don't stop eating in the winter. There is a common misconception that termites hibernate, but they don't. All winter long they will continue to quite literally eat you out of house and home.

As mentioned, they will end up causing a lot of damage to those with an infestation. Homes are subjected to a lot more damage from termites than natural disasters. You will find termites looking to mate and find new homes during the early summer. Because of this, you should be on the lookout for potential signs of a termite infestation.

Finding Out If You Have A Termite Problem

Knowing whether or not you have a termite problem doesn't have to be too difficult. One of the key things that you should be looking out for would be a swarm. You should be able to figure out if you have one during the busiest months by inspecting your windowsills and other areas throughout your home where termites may leave droppings. This way, you will be able to tell if you may be dealing with damage from termites.

Regular Inspections For Termites

You want to ensure that you can act on any discovery of termites as soon as possible. You should be getting your home inspected for termites professionally a minimum of once per year. You may even want to get into the habit of doing your inspections as much as every three months. This way, you can spot signs of trouble and act accordingly.

What To Do If You Spot Signs Of Termites?

Get Your Home Inspected

One of the best things you can do if you are looking to prevent the major damage that can result from having termites is getting your home inspected. You want to get your home inspected by a professional because they will be able to tell you whether or not you are dealing with an infestation. Here at Hitman Pest of Yuma, we can provide low-cost and affordable inspections for homeowners in the Yuma area. That way, you will be able to see what options you have available if you are dealing with a termite problem.

Preventing Termites

There are plenty of things that you should be able to do to prevent termites from becoming a problem. At Hitman Pest of Yuma we will be able to not only give you tailored advice on what you can do to prevent termites from destroying your home, but we will be able to implement cutting-edge termite control techniques to keep termites away from your property.

As you can see, termites are a big problem for a lot of homeowners in Yuma.

Unfortunately, the Yuma climate is one that is very friendly to termites all year long. It attracts termites because termites thrive in hot and humid conditions and can still survive our cooler months. Therefore, you aren't going to be able to prevent them entirely.

However, there are a lot of things that you can do to make it an unsuitable place for termites. This can help you keep termites at bay. However, when you are dealing with termite problems, you want to call on the professionals. We have all of the experience and expertise that is needed to ensure that your home is protected.

We use all of the latest treatment methods to ensure that your home is as protected as well as possible from termites and we stand behind our work. If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, give Hitman Pest of Yuma a call immediately. We will be able to prevent the problem from escalating and help you defend your home against these harmful invaders.

ants on the floor of a kitchen

With all the baits, traps, and pesticides on store shelves, DIY pest control may look like an easy project. However, for many pest infestations, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Often times homeowners will discover more pests immediately after trying to treat their home for pests themselves. The biggest reason why DIY pest control is so tricky?

Most people don’t have the right knowledge for effective application.

Even pests that may seem simple to identify actually aren’t. For example, there are dozens of different species of ants in Arizona, with different types of ants requiring very different solutions. The same strategy that may eliminate one kind of ant may be useless against another — and sometimes can make infestations worse.

Venomous insects can pack nasty bites and stings

Trying to get rid of insects without being bitten by ones that can actually cause physical harm is difficult. From allergies to spider bites, venomous insects shouldn't be tampered with by amateurs. If you are bitten by a venomous insect, seek medical attention.

Some treatments are dangerous, especially in inexperienced hands

Remember that pesticides are toxic to humans too and must be handled with care. While most modern treatments are better targeted than older ones and only cause permanent damage to pests, they can still cause health problems when used in excess. Additionally, even chemicals that are safe for humans can be deadly for pets, such as cats and fish.

Bugs are becoming more resistant

Over time, bugs and other pests are becoming more resistant to over-the-counter solutions. When you choose professional pest control, you’re choosing an expert who uses effective products known to zap pests and provide long-term solutions. Can't be creating super bugs now can we?

The wrong treatment can spread infestations

When used improperly, insecticides may be strong enough to temporarily scare away pests, but not strong enough to actually kill them. When that happens — a scenario all too common with bed bugs — these insects scatter throughout your home, possibly establishing multiple new colonies in the process.

You’re likely to waste more money than you’d save

Between accidentally buying the wrong treatments and having to apply them multiple times, you may end up spending more for supplies than you would hiring a quality exterminator.

Killing on contact is a short-term solution

If and when a DIY product does work, it typically kills on contact. This is a short-term fix, but it does nothing to help your situation over time. When you kill on contact, the pests remaining have a chance to regroup and relocate. You need a pest control solution that kills at the source rather than just some on contact.

Life is too short to spend your time worrying about pests

Successful DIY pest control takes up a huge amount of time that could be better spent doing things you love. Research to accurately identify your pest problem. Research to learn the most effective treatment. Research to find the best vendor for supplies. Just reading up can take a full day or more. When you hire a professional, you’re paying for experience. While pest control specialists do keep up with the latest scientific research in the field, they already have routine best practices down.

Hitman Pest of Yuma is Here for You!

If that list has convinced you to call in an expert to deal with your pest problem, contact the best!

Hitman Pest of Yuma has been dealing with Yuma's pest problems for years, and we can help you to.

Pests don't just magically disappear in winter.

They may simply be lying dormant or in a stage of their life cycle that doesn't make them all that noticeable.

Or they may simply be waiting for spring to arrive so that they can hatch or leave a cocoon or chrysalis. Don't leave yourself vulnerable to invading critters this winter looking for warmth by neglecting pest control for your home in the winter.

In the case of your larger pests such as rats, mice and other rodents - they don't hibernate during the winter!

They are only slightly less active because it is colder and they try to stay warm and insulated. However, they may become more noticeable during the colder months as they are prepared to take greater risks to get food.

So is pest control really necessary during Winter?

Absolutely!

In fact, this may be a good time to get rid of some pests when they can't run and hide.

This could save you from a major pest infestation when the warmer months arrive and those pesky critters start reappearing.

What Type Of Pest Control Do You Need During Winter?

1. Rodents

As mentioned above, rodents are generally just as active during Winter as in Summer.

However, Winter is a good time for identifying rodent activity in basements, attics and crawlspaces. This is important to find access points the rodents may be using and also to remove any signs of the presence of the rodents. Issues that are found can then be addressed and resolved before the weather warms up.

2. Spiders

Spiders tend to move indoors when the temperature begins to drop. They do this not for warmth but rather because their food source has largely disappeared from the great outdoors.

There are few insects available outdoors during Winter to feed off and spiders are more likely to find their preferred food source indoors. As any pest control expert will tell you, if you have a spider problem, you probably have other pests problems that you may not have noticed.

Removal of webs and other signs of spiders and eliminating the actual spiders themselves are all important things to keep in mind during the winter.

3. Attic Treatments

The attic provides the ideal habitat for dormant insects or eggs awaiting the warmer weather to hatch. These insects include carpenter ants, Boxelder bugs, moths and many more.

An attic treatment will eliminate the insects while they are in their dormant phase so they never have a chance to become pests as the weather warms up.

This type of treatment doesn't solely focus on eliminating bugs but also preparing the area to be bug-free when summer does arrives.

A clean, tidy and dust-free environment is a far less suitable habitat for insects. Pests are more likely to look for other accommodations after an attic has been treated by Hitman Pest of Yuma.

4. Sealing Structures

Ever wonder how those pests got in in the first place? The tiniest cracks and holes in a structure can serve as an access point. Winter is the best time to identify these access points and close them up permanently.

Cracks and holes that aren't noticeable are easier to find simply because cold air filters in from the outdoors giving a clear indication of where sealing is necessary. Even gaps that are formed between windows or doors and their frames.

The pest control specialists at Hitman Pest in Yuma are experts at using different techniques to seal your home as the first line of defense against pests, big and small.

5. An Invisible Barrier

Setting up an invisible pesticide barrier against invading pests is much more effective in Winter. This is because the chemicals are not as exposed to the elements of Mother Nature. Rain, wind, heat and sunlight all result in the breakdown of pesticides which make them far less effective over an extended period of time.

Preparing an invisible barrier is the perfect preventative measure to deter that first wave of pests from entering and infesting your home or business premises.

These types of barriers can be applied outdoors to set up a perimeter around a structure or inside the structure where pests are most likely to infiltrate. Hitman Pest will provide you with a comprehensive plan to set up pesticide barriers where they will be most effective when summer arrives.

6. Additional Pest Control Hints And Tips

The experts at Hitman Pest of Yuma are armed with the knowledge and experience necessary to deal with a range of pests that are common in southern Arizona. We know how to deter them and to eliminate them. Our staff also understand the importance of imparting their expertise to you, our valued clients, so that you can take the necessary measures to prevent pests from returning once they have been eliminated.

Check out these helpful pest control hints and tips from the pro's!

Last but not least, have your home or business premises inspected for pests regularly including in the Winter so that you are pest prepared in the summer.

 

While Yuma farmers rave over the benefits of pollinating bees as pollinators, everyone else is busy side-stepping them so as not to get stung!

Most of the time, we don’t even know if they are bees, wasps, or hornets. Yes, there are distinct differences among these three stinging pests! In fact, they vary in physical appearance, behavior, and sting potency.

Let’s go over the ways that bees, wasps and hornets can impact your health and property!

Getting to Know Bees, Hornets, and Wasps

Stinging insects make appearances during warmer months, just in time for your backyard pool party. Figures.  Here’s how to tell the difference between bees, wasps, and hornets.

Bees

There are about 30,000 bee species in the world. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, and honey bees are three types of bees that are most often found throughout the Southwest. The bumble bee has a rounded, fuzzy body that’s colored black and yellow.

Bumble bees spend their days buzzing from flower to flower gathering nectar and carrying pollen. Don’t let their cute, furry appearance fool you. If you disturb them or their nests, they will sting you.

Carpenter bees look similar to bumble bees. They are black and yellow in appearance, but the lower half of their bodies are fuzz free.

Only female carpenter bees can sting, but they rarely do. Instead of chasing you around the yard, carpenter bees spend most of their time doing damage to wood structures such as siding, fencing, and fascia boards.

Here in Yuma, you’ll most likely find honey bees tapping water sources near your home.  They’ll drink from your pool, but also from the fresh water drainage from your AC unit.

Bands of dark yellow and brown color their bodies, and their hair looks less furry than the hair of bumble bees. Honey bees pollinate plants and have a huge incentive not to sting you unless they feel threatened. A honey bee’s stinger allows it to only sting once, and then it dies.

Wasps

Wasps have cinched waists, and bands of yellow and black cover their bodies. They don’t have a furry look, so there’s no chance that you’ll mistake them as friendly. Wasps are somewhat aggressive. They can sting multiple times when they feel threatened or if you’re in their way.

While some wasps feed on flower nectar, others are meat eaters and aren’t much interested in pollinating your garden.

They are attracted to the hamburgers and hotdogs at your backyard barbecue. When they come calling, you’ll give a second thought to adopting that vegetarian lifestyle your quirky cousin told you about!

Tarantula hawk wasps are one of the most unusual types of wasps found in Yuma. These wasps inflict stings that are considered to be the most painful of any insect in the country. This sustainable-minded wasp attacks tarantulas, drags them back to its lair, and uses their carcasses for food and a nesting place for its babies.

Hornets

Hornets are a type of wasp. They look similar to other types of wasps, but they are sometimes a little larger in size. They inherit the same aggressive nature of wasps, and often earn nicknames such as “murder hornet.” The European hornet is the only true hornet species that you’ll see swarming around Arizona.

Where Do Stinging Insects Live?

The habitats of bees, wasps, and hornets vary by type. Bumble bees are found living in rodent holes, and they often die during winter.

Carpenter bees find housing in decayed wood structures or dying trees. Honey bees prefer hollow trees for their living quarters. Wasps set up house in gutters, eaves, and bushes; some types of wasps live underground.

Hornets like to build their nests high up to avoid disturbances. They take up residence in rooftop ac units, sheds, and dense tree limbs.

Given that the homes in Yuma don’t have gutters or aluminum siding, Hitman experts weighed in on where they frequently find hives.

“Bees, hornets and wasps can build hives just about anywhere in Yuma but they prefer the protection of bushes and vines.”

What Happens When Hives Are Left Untreated?

Have you spotted bees swarming around your home? You could have a beehive tucked underneath your wooden patio or roof overhang. Don’t zip up your bee suit or honey-collecting gear just yet.

The bees that are likely squatting on your property are carpenter bees or hornets. When left unchecked, carpenter bees cause extensive structural damage that costs home and business owners thousands of dollars in repairs.

Leaving a nest of hornets on your property is a health and safety risk. Hornets sting repeatedly with little provocation, and their stings are very painful.

The venom from bee, wasp, and hornet stings can cause deadly allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. When it comes to removing these pests, it’s best to call the professional exterminators to take care of your stinging insect problem.

Take a Hit out on Bees, Hornets and Wasps!  

Hitman Pest is committed to making Yuma homes and businesses safer and more enjoyable with effective pest control. We use proven pest management methods that eliminate infestations and prevent them from returning. If your property has a bee, wasp, or hornet problem, fight back by hiring a Hitman!

We have all seen the stories about “murder hornets” as we scroll through our social media feeds. The New York Times has reported the Vespa mandarinia, known as murder hornets, kill approximately 50 people every year in Japan and have made their way to the United States. Find out more about Murder Hornets and what people are doing to keep these pests under control.

murder hornet also know as an Asian Giant Hornet

Asian Giant Hornet by t-mizo

What Yuma Residents Need to Know About Murder Hornets

These hornets are approximately 2 inches long and have an orange-yellow head. They are reported to be very big and very beautiful. They are also very scary and seeing the arrival of this gigantic hornet is not a welcome sight.

The main risk of an invasion of murder hornets is the fear they will decimate Yuma’s local bee population, particularly the honeybee. The Vespa mandarinia is nicknamed the “murder hornet” because it snaps the head off of honeybees and other prey.

The murder hornet feeds on the bee larva. It doesn’t like the venomous flavor of worker honeybees. They don’t have a taste for the honeybee, but they find the young bees and the bee larva very appetizing. To obtain this larva, the murder hornet uses it huge mandibles to snap the head off the honeybees.

One murder hornet can kill approximately 4 honeybees each minute. If a swarm of murder hornets invade a bee colony, they can kill out the entire colony in only a few hours. Then they take the honeybee larva back to their hornet colony.

Are Murder Hornets in Yuma Arizona

These hornets are invading Yuma, Arizona. However, experts agree that it is unlikely they will settle in the area. These hornets need moisture and will most likely settle in the coastal areas. Still yet, they can easily survive in the mountainous areas of Northern Arizona.

Vespa mandarinia which translates to Mandarian hornet does not sound as scary as “murder hornet”, but it is the largest stinging insect in the world. The murder hornet can produce a venom strong enough to kill humans. It can take less than a dozen stings to cause complete kidney failure.

Experts feel we will be able to keep the murder hornets from gaining a strong foothold and control them in Yuma and across the country. Murder hornets have an unusually low reproduction rate, which adds an advantage to exterminating them. Setting traps to capture the queen will eliminate any threat of a colony.

The invasion of these hornets could be trouble for the honeybees in Yuma. Three new specimens of these hornets have been discovered throughout the Pacific Northwest areas in 2020. Biologists have tried to eliminate the hornets last year, but have discovered they survived through the winter months and are mating as early as May.

These large stinging insects have been found in the area. Murder hornets are different from Yuma’s native bees. The murder hornet needs meat to provide for their young. The honeybee feeds off of pollen from plants. The murder hornet can also sting its victim over and over, while the honeybee loses its stinger and dies after the first sting.

Even if these hornets get established in Yuma, Arizona experts do not feel residence will need to stay inside to survive an invasion. They are fierce, but they are also scarce. The murder hornet thrives in a forested area, it feeds on sap from oak trees and prefers to nest underground. They are most often found in areas with high altitude and do not cohabit near people in residential areas.

How Scary are Murder Hornets

murder hornet on a mans hand for scale

Asian Giant Hornet 2 by Justin

The giant Asian hornets have a powerful sting with a very strong venom. They can deliver more than seven times the venom than a native Yuma honeybee. Less than a dozen of these stings can cause death to a human, and one single sting can kill a small animal. One sting form these gigantic hornets is estimated to be equivalent to about 10 yellow jacket stings.

The most recent hornet-ID reports list over 20 species of murder hornets. They are all very large but vary slightly in appearance. Some are striped and others are blotched. They have color patterns ranging from brown and gold to bluish-black. These hornets are very different from the native wasps and hornets in Yuma, Arizona.

Murder hornets raid beehives decapitating the bees. However, honeybees do fight back by surrounding their nest and waiting for the intruder. Once the murder hornet enters their area, they surround it and beat their wings repeatedly to raise the temperature and produce enough carbon dioxide to kill the hornet.

They have a stinger that is long enough to penetrate through several layers of clothes. While the honeybees venom is more powerful than that of the murder hornet, the murder hornet can deliver more than 10 times the venom than honeybees.

How Bad is the Murder Hornet Sting

The danger or the murder hornet sting is not relative to the pain of its sting. With a stinger long enough to penetrate several layers of clothing, the pain from a fully penetrated murder hornet sting is ground dropping. Those who have fallen victim to these horrendous stings have described it as excruciating.

Pain aside, the danger of the murder hornet sting is not as severe to those not suffering from bee sting allergies. The murder hornet can sting repeatedly, but those who suffer less than 50 stings and do not have allergies to bee stings have a good chance of survival.

The danger to people is fairly low, officials are mainly concerned for the local honeybee population. Sightings of these giant murder hornets have prompted fear of these vicious insects establishing in Yuma, Arizona and devastating the bee population. While they completely ignore the honeybees honey, they seek the thorax to feed their young. Without the honeybee pollinating our food and the food we feed our livestock humanity will be greatly effected.

Termites are among the most destructive pests in the world and you need to call a termite control expert immediately if you think you have termites.

They are capable of creating havoc on several properties within no time. They can destroy properties worth thousands of dollars, thus creating instability on your properties.

Several factors may contribute to termites emerging. They include rising moisture levels, atmospheric pressure temperatures, wind, and light intensity. Even though several areas of the country may get termite swarms during the spring, in the region whereby temperatures are favorable, they may also flock in the fall.

Despite where you reside, it is good to keep termites keep out of your property. If you don't know what to look for, you might not be able to identify an invasion until it is too late.

This article gives an insight into several ways that can help you know that termites have invaded you. Therefore, you will become aware and take the necessary measure to eliminate them and avoid any further destruction.

Flying Termites

flying termite found in yuma arizona

Flying termites by Derek Keats is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is a good indication that sooner or later that you may be infested with termites. This is the primary sign that termite infestation is on the way. Flying termites are also referred to as swarmers or alates.

Both females and males fly together as they search for a good site that they can establish a colony. This also depends on the termite species, since some may fly during the night while others fly during the daytime.

Others, such as dry wood termites, may tend to be active just after the rainy season. In case you detect them around your location; it is good to start looking for them both inside and outside your house, or any other places such as crevices where they tend to settle.

Head Banging

If you sit down in a cool place in silence and hear some clicking noise that is coming out of the walls, it can be a clear indicator that you have been infested by termites. This noise is produced by worker termites.

Head banging is used as a way of communication to cause an alarm or warn the others that they are invaded by a stranger and hence, should run for their lives.

Termites also make such noises whenever they are eating, and you can be able to hear them whenever you lean your ear on the wall. In addition, research was once done, and it showed that when they are exposed to music, they eat twice as much as those that did not have the music.

Discarded Wings

When a female and male termite gets a mate as well as a suitable site, they can start a colony, and they will shed their wings. They choose a specific spot, crawl toward it, and secure it. Afterward, they start mating so that they can start a new colony. These two became the king and the queen of that colony.

They take care of the young colony until the workers are mature and take this responsibility. Thereafter they transfer these responsibilities they take over again as the king and queen of that colony. They enlarge it and can live more than a decade

termite diagram showing parts like termite wings

Hollow Sounding or Papery Timber

The species of drywood termite typically consume wood, thus leaving a thin layer of timber or paint. Whenever you tap or knock an area that has termite infestation or damage.

It will sound papery or hollow. The hollowness is because a part or all the timber inside has been consumed away. This is a significant sign of termite invasion

 

White Ants

Several people confuse termites for white ants since they look similar and especially when they lose their wings. Termites have a lighter color, and their antennas are straight, while those of ants are bent. Termites also produce thicker waste matter than ants. Termite's wings are of the same size, while ants have one pair of wings that's larger than the other.

Hard to Open Doors or Tight-Fitting Windows

Window and doors that are tightly fitted tend to stick or gets hard to open. This is because of the presence of wet weather or humidity that makes them swell. This swelling can result due to termite infestation.

This is due to the fact that termites also produce moisture when they consume wood, and hence, the piece of wood gets damaged and warps. This may cause the doors and windows to get sticky. If you see this or other signs of termites, it's time to get residential pest management working immediately.

Tunnels in wood

Tunnels are also referred to as galleries. They are apparently difficult to notice from outside. However, if you spot them on a piece of timber near your home, termites have certainly invaded your home

termite tunnels in wood

Droppings

Dry wood termites never use their waste products when constructing their nest but instead push them toward the entrance of their nest; this is a major determinant that you should look for when you are examining any sign of termite invasion. You can see powdery, small black marks that can be visible along the walls, cracks corners, or vents of your house. If you see these, it means that you are near the entrance.

Damage to Fabrics or Papers

termites have eaten the pages of a book

Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel to their source of food that may be from your house. These thin tunnels preserve some moisture that shields from termites from drying out. Mainly you will notice mud tubes on the home's foundation.

Wood damage

tree hollow from termite damage

 

Termites have a tendency of eating wood from inside out; as a result, wood that produces a hollow sound when hit usually indicates a termite infestation. The Homeowners are supposed to try to find sweltering pieces of wood too.

Wood, which is damaged on the outside, might indicate a probable a termite infestation. Exposed, bare, wood or decaying areas are typically an open calling for a termite infestation. Subterranean termites are normally attracted to wood and especially if it is damaged by moisture. Therefore, if you come across this kind of damage on your home, look for a specialized termite inspection

Hollow and Sagging Flooring

A termite can cause big damage by hiding away in the wood and forming a honeycomb pattern, which is usually tricky to notice from the outer surface. As they go on with burrowing in and consume more of the floor covering, it compromises its structural integrity. Sooner or later, you will note that your floors will begin to sag and produce a hollow sound when you step over them. If you fail to fix it, it can potentially end up collapsing.

Outside problems

Trees that are damaged by termites may be very dangerous if they chance to fall and land on your house or at your backyard. It will also mean that the termites could be en route to your home. One of the ways of knowing if your trees have termites is to search for tiny holes along with wood shavings where they usually enter into the tree.

Mostly, the best place to search for termites is around the foot of the tree. Make use of a small spade to dig up around the tree roots just beneath the soil line. Also, you might notice skeletons of dead termites or discarded wings at the bottom of the tree.

Yuma is a desert oasis city that’s home to over 90,000 friendly residents. Whether you’re here for pilot training at the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station or decided to make Yuma your winter retirement destination, you are going to come across a variety of pests in your home that you might not have dealt with in other areas of the nation.   In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions that Hitman Pest receives is “what are the most common pests I should know about when I move to Yuma?”

Most people assume Yuma is rampant with scorpions and snakes. While they are here, it might surprise you to learn that those are not the most common pests in Yuma!

We compiled a list of the top 6 most common pests to warn you about what you can expect when you move to our city!

1.) Pigeons on your Roof and Patio Furniture

If you hear the sound of flapping wings overhead, don’t look up! Here comes one of Yuma’s most annoying pests. Pigeons settle in Yuma faster than a retiree can drive his RV out of Canada before the first snowfall!

You’ll notice pigeons huddling on your roof and front entrances; wherever they can find a slice of shade from the merciless desert sun.

Pigeons can poop up to 50 times a day. Their droppings are known to carry diseases such as psittacosis and tuberculosis.  Hosing off pigeon droppings from your front door, driveway and patio furniture is a weekly chore.  When left to rot, their droppings can erode your metal patio furniture. They are a constant nuisance here in Yuma.

2.) Crickets are Common in Yuma Homes

crickets on the steps of a home in yuma

You probably have fond memories of sitting on your back porch during summer evenings and listening to the sound of crickets chirping. The good memories can turn into a nightmare when crickets find their way into your home.

Crickets hop into homes at night when outdoor temperatures drop. Male crickets rub their wings together and make chirping sounds to attract female crickets and repel other males. This noise can keep you up all night.

And it's not just noise you'll have to deal with. Crickets can destroy house plants by feeding on them. Crickets will also chew on wood, fabrics, and even paper.

Since crickets can live for several months, it’s best to get rid of them right away to restore peace in your home.

3.) Bees in your Backyard

bees drinking water in a Yuma backyard
You’ll find that agriculture is a driving economic force throughout Yuma County. Where you find plants and flowers, you’ll find bees. While these insects are great pollinators, they also deliver painful stings to unwary backyard barbecue enthusiasts.

If you see them around your property, they are probably looking for water. You’ll often find them buzzing around pools and air condition condensation drains.

Bee issues get serious when they build their hives close to your home, deck, or detached garage.  Normally honey bees avoid stinging you.  Once they sting, they die so they are inclined not to sting you in favor of living.  That said, if you threaten their hive they will defend it with their lives.

4.) Spiders in the Shadows

arizona recluse spider

Spiders are among the most common pests in Yuma. While people tolerate them because of their ability to snare flies, others realize the dangers that spiders present. Spiders have no problem invading your home, garage or garden shed.

Certain spiders have venomous bites that can cause serious allergic reactions in sensitive people. Experts warn people to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and gloves when going into areas of their property that might house spiders such as the Arizona brown spider or black widow spider.

You may not notice an increase in spider webs around your yard, patio or garage until your landscaper or pool maintenance man warn you they’ve found spider eggs on your property.  Another easy way to tell is when your pets have small bumps on their heads, indicating spider bites. You’ll need pest control treatment almost certainly if spider eggs are found.

5.) Ants Are Everywhere in Yuma red ants in Arizona

You might find trails of red ants in and around your house the day you move in.  Ants are excellent examples of industrious workers.   Even if you don’t have them in your own home, you can expect to see red ants somewhere in your neighborhood.  They are everywhere in Yuma.

Their single-mindedness to carry away the crumbs that surround your toaster oven leaves your kitchen counters, stovetop, and table vulnerable to dangerous organisms such as E. coli and salmonella.

Ants also bite. When small children or other sensitive persons are bitten by ants, they can develop painful lesions that require antiseptics to prevent infections. Don't let ants have free reign over your home. Call ant extermination experts at Hitman Pest of Yuma

6.) Killer Flies in Yuma?

Okay, okay.  That’s not true.  There are no killer flies in Yuma.  But they act like it! Unlike anywhere else in the US, the house flies here in Yuma dive-bomb straight into your face!  They don’t bite or sting, but it is super annoying when they savagely zoom into your ears and eyes!

Flies are the most annoying and prolific pests in Yuma.   When we poll new residents for their first impressions of Yuma, almost all of them say that the flies here are the worst!

No matter how many fly traps you set around your house, you will inevitably have roommates of flies in your house.  It’s just your new reality when you move to Yuma.

But these pesky critters aren't just annoying, they can carry harmful diseases and parasites. You'll often see flies around trash and waste who will then land on surfaces in your home. Don't waste any time putting up with insects.

Only in Yuma

High doses of sunshine, mild winters, and ample recreation activities make this a culturally rich desert city.  Its slow pace and charming family-owned businesses make it a highly desirable place to retire or raise a family.

Don’t let your quality of life take a hit because of common pest problems. Take out a contract on those pest!

Hitman Pest of Yuma specializes in safely and effectively eradicating insects and wildlife from homes in Yuma County.

Our experienced, responsive team of exterminators are standing by to answer your questions about pest control in Yuma. Call us today for a free quote on service.