How to Keep Pests Out of Your Arizona House

August 25, 2015

Tips for Getting Rid of Bugs, Insects, and Snakes

Living in the desert has its perks—such as beautiful sunsets, mild winters, and endless hiking trails—but it also comes with a few annoying pests. Namely, Arizona based insects, scorpions, and snakes.

Arizona is made up of 14 different biomes. Each biome is characterized by diverse vegetation, animals, bugs, insects, and more. This means that there are countless pests calling Arizona home. Whether you’re new to the Grand Canyon state or are a native, there are a few steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of coming across one of these creepy crawlers both in and around your home! Keep reading to find out how.

How to Keep Insects Out

One of the most common insects you’ll find in and around the Phoenix area are crickets. No matter where you live in the valley, chances are you’ll find yourself sharing your home and backyard with them. While they are not dangerous, they can be deemed annoying (especially if caught inside a wall in your house, as they’ll chirp at odd hours of the night, unreachable by you). They are also known to be one of the major food sources for scorpions, so ridding your home of crickets can help alleviate scorpion issues as well (we’ll get to this in more detail later on).

Arizona has over 250 bugs and insects. In addition to crickets and scorpions, we have cockroaches, ants, beetles, earwigs, moths, butterflies, spiders (black widows, brown recluse, wolf spiders, just to name a few) and many more.

You can reduce the number of crickets, spiders, and other bugs and insects you see in and around your home, by:

  • Hiring an exterminator
  • Spraying your house regularly with store-bought bug spray
  • Keeping your home and yard clean
  • Taking out the trash regularly
  • Sealing your house (e.g. doorways, windows, garage door, etc.)
  • Keeping a bird feeder in your backyard to encourage and invite birds into your yard (Tip: birds also like to feed on bugs and insects, so more birds equals fewer bugs and insects.)

How to Keep Scorpions Out

Keeping bugs out of your home is one thing, but keeping scorpions out is a whole other beast (pun intended). As we mentioned above, eliminating scorpions’ food source, such as crickets, can help to rid your home and property of scorpions as well. However, there is much more that can and should be done to ensure your home is safe from these dangerous bugs.

Seal Your House

You can seal your house to help protect you and your family from scorpions. There are professional scorpion sealing companies around the valley, as well as sealing products you can buy and install yourself. Unfortunately there is no 100% guarantee that sealing your house (either professionally or by DIY) will keep all scorpions out, but nonetheless, it’s a popular treatment for many Arizona residents.

Pest Control

As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to hire an exterminator to spray for bugs that scorpions view as a major food source, such as crickets. Getting rid of their food is an excellent long term plan of action. We suggest starting this sooner rather than later as scorpions can live for months on end without food. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin seeing results.

Raise Chickens

Chickens can be the best and most sustainable pest control available, not to mention they are free! As long as you live in an area zoned for housing chickens, keeping them in your backyard can reduce the number of bugs—including scorpions—you find. Chickens will eat these pests right up, all while providing you and your family with a regular supply of eggs. Not to mention they make adorable pets. If you are interested in adding some chickens to your backyard, read our article explaining how to raise and work with backyard chickens for helpful tips to get you started.

 

How to Keep Snakes Away

Arizona is home to a variety of snakes, the most well-known being the poisonous rattlesnake. Our major league baseball team is even named after the Diamondback rattlesnake! While the baseball team’s infamous ‘D’ logo (designed using a snake) shows the snake in a positive light, Diamondback rattlesnakes are actually extremely venomous. In addition to the Diamondback rattlesnake, Arizona is also home to the following snakes:

  • Arizona Coral Snake (venomous)
  • Sonoran Gopher Snake (non-venomous)
  • Desert Kingsnake (non-venomous)
  • Mexican Vine Snake (venomous)
  • Glossy Snake (venomous)

…and many more.

Just as with any animal, reptile, insect or bug, completely eliminating a wild and living thing from your yard or home is not always realistic. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can try that have been known to help keep snakes away! These tricks include:

Mow the lawn regularly

Snakes often look for tall grassy areas to lurk in, so by keeping your lawn properly maintained, you will be less likely to spot snakes nearby. Not to mention, your neighbors will be quite happy with the regular upkeep!

Eliminate any clutter

Clutter creates the perfect place for snakes to hide out in. Cleaning up the clutter, both in and around your home, will eliminate snake friendly hideouts and give you peace of mind.

Collect chicken eggs frequently

If you live on a farm or have egg-laying hens on your property, you’ll want to collect the eggs on a regular basis. To a snake, these eggs are the perfect meal, so make sure to get to them before a snake does!

Trim bushes and shrubs

Keep all of your bushes, shrubs, and miscellaneous plant life nicely trimmed and well-kept. Doing so will ensure your yard is everything but snake-friendly. The less snake-friendly you make your yard, the fewer snakes you’ll see.

Next Steps

Whether you have a current problem with one (or all!) of the pests mentioned above, or you simply have a fear that a problem is just around the corner, following the tips provided in this article will help.

It’s important to remember that snakes—especially non-venomous—can bring a lot of good to a neighborhood! They help keep away rodents, so avid gardeners often have a special affinity towards these slithery reptiles. That being said, it’s tricky to keep venomous snakes away while allowing nonvenomous snakes in. Choose your battles and determine what is right for you, your family, and your property.

Ready to pest proof your property? Stop by your local Shoppers Supply in Apache Junction or Chandler to pick up the supplies needed to keep your yard and house pest-free!