Here’s how you can handle pests in Arizona this summer

Jul 19, 2018, 2:52 PM
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

A host of “pests” manage to survive the heat of Arizona and may cause trouble in your neighborhood.

Here are the type of pests and how you can handle them.


Although Arizona is a desert, water-loving mosquitoes can thrive here and spread diseases to humans. Among mosquito-borne illnesses are the West Nile virus, encephalitis and dengue fever.  Here are some precautions:

• Drain bird baths, pet water bowls and animal watering troughs at least weekly.

• Repair water leaks, sprinkler systems or other devices that lead to ponding of water.

• Remove vegetation and floating debris on ponds and stagnant swimming pools.

• You can add mosquito-eating fish to ponds. The fish are available free from the Maricopa County Vector Control office.

• Fill in low spots in your yard and drain buckets and other containers that might collect water.

• In a housing community with ponds – like a golf course subdivision – ask about how and when standing water is treated for mosquitoes. It only takes 24 to 48 hours for larvae to mature and adult mosquitoes to emerge.

• Check your window screens for tears and gaps.

• Turn on air conditioning and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in the evenings and at night. Make sure children stay covered. Even lightweight clothing can deter mosquitoes.

• Use DEET mosquito repellent that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Follow directions carefully, especially if you want to put repellent on a child. DEET should not be used on babies less than two months old.


Summer can definitely be bark scorpion season in Arizona. So here are tips on keeping those critters from turning your yard and house into their yard and house.

• Scorpions may have moved into your yard when their territory was disrupted by construction, say the experts at the University of Arizona. They can also hitch a ride in loads of rocks or gravel or in the box for that new tree you planted. So inspect any boxes or tools that you use for traveling critters.

• Scorpions hang out in stacks of earthen pots or in saucers under plant containers as well as piles of firewood, boards, branches, and stacks of rocks or bricks. They also thrive in dried-out palm tree fronds. So clean those outdoor nesting areas soon. Always wear tough leather gloves for the job.

• Scorpions can easily squeeze into your house through teeny little openings. So put new weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk around roof eaves and any pipes in your walls that create gaps or cracks. Clean off bottoms of outdoor furniture and barbecue grills.

• Trim tree branches and heavy brush hanging around the sides of your house. Scorpions can use that foliage to get into walls or on your roof.

• Scorpions are more likely to scuttle around outside at night in summer when they go out to eat insects and spiders. That’s when you can use an ultraviolet black light to make scorpions glow in the dark; then you can spot them and destroy them.

• Most adults who are stung will probably recover quickly. But children and older family members need medical help as soon as possible.

• If you happen to find a scorpion in your house or yard, it’s time to call an exterminator.


Snakes of all kinds, including diamondbacks (not the baseball team), can be prevalent in populated areas in Arizona. They’re not all poisonous, but some are and unless you’re an expert on reptiles, you want to be cautious.

They’re particularly likely to be seen in spring and summer in housing areas on the fringes of undeveloped land. They’re less of a threat in winter when they hibernate. Some precautions to take around home and yard:

• If you are working in your yard around thick bushes and shrubs, wear long loose pants and high top boots in case you run into a snake.

• Try to keep small rodents out of your yard since they tend to attract rattlesnakes who feed on them. Keep trash cans closed with tight lids and don’t leave pet food outside. If birds nest in and around your yard, they can also attract snakes.

• Don’t let dogs or other pets go out unaccompanied into your yard during snake season.

• If your yard has wrought iron fencing with openings, you can buy screening covered with mesh hardware cloth to fasten between fence posts. You can also cover the drain holes in block wall fencing. Snake fencing is particularly important in yards that back up to a wash.

• Keep your garage door closed as much as possible so snakes don’t enter accidentally. That’s likely in fall when they’re looking for hibernation sports. Check to be sure that the bumper strip on the bottom of the garage door fits tightly against the concrete. Snakes can slither through the most improbable tiny openings.

• If you’re bitten, get emergency medical attention as soon as possible.

Rosie On The House

(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

How to select a granite countertop and keep it looking new

Granite is a very durable surface. In fact, it is the hardest of the polished stones commercially available. It beautifully complements any kitchen or bathroom and is available in an array of colors.
3 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

How to repair chipped or broken tile and replace grout

A chipped tile can be a trip hazard and dirty and crumbled grout can make your home appear unkempt. Here’s how to remedy both.
10 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

How to keep your furniture looking like new for years

Replacing furniture can get expensive. Save your money for as long as possible by keeping your furniture in good condition with regular cleaning and repairs.
17 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

How can I clean oil stains off my driveway?

Your home’s curb appeal is greatly affected by the condition of your concrete driveway. If your concrete is saturated in oils, grease, and radiator fluid, then it’s time to give your front yard a little face-lift.
24 days ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Summer is the time to buy these items when they’re on sale

Summer is the best time to buy things that you won’t need until after August but you can save all season if you plan ahead.
1 month ago
(Shutterstock Photo)...
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner of

Tips for buying a ceiling fan

Ceiling fans a are must-have in Arizona. We use them year-round. When the time comes to replace them, take these things into consideration as you shop for a new one.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Here’s how you can handle pests in Arizona this summer