Living in the desert has its advantages—such as beautiful sunsets, mild winters, and endless hiking trails—but it also comes with a few annoying pests. 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 insects, scorpions, and snakes, both in and around your home!
One of the most common insects you’ll find in and around the Phoenix area are crickets. 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, other bugs and insects, scorpions and snakes you see in and around your home, by:
- Hiring an exterminator: Get two or three quotes from licensed and insured providers that guarantee their treatments. We suggest starting this sooner rather than later as scorpions can live for months on end without food.
- Spraying your house regularly with store-bought bug spray.
- Keeping your home clean: Set aside 15 minutes of every day to wipe down your countertops with vinegar (vinegar removes odor trails left behind by foraging insects such as ants), put dirty dishes in your dishwasher, sweep your floors, mop up any spills, put away food, and empty your garbage, if needed. On grocery day, transfer any food that comes in a plastic bag from its original packaging to tightly sealed glass jars, particularly grains, rice, pet food, and nuts. Eliminate any clutter like piles of newspaper or junk mail and remove piles of clothing from your floors that can serve as nice, dark hiding places.
- Keeping your yard clean, mowing the lawn regularly and trimming back trees or shrubs that touch your house, because branches provide a highway into the home.
- Sealing your house (e.g. doorways, windows, garage door, etc.) with a a tube of low-VOC silicone caulk, which you can find at any hardware store or Installing a door sweep. Make sure you repair all screens and caulk or stuff steel wool around gaps made by air conditioning units, utility lines and hoses. There are professional scorpion sealing companies around the valley, as well as sealing products you can buy and install yourself.
- Vacuuming: It won’t be possible to seal up every hole or keep every critter from crawling indoors. That’s where a weekly vacuuming session comes in handy.
- Keeping a bird feeder in your backyard to encourage and invite birds into your yard. (Birds like to feed on bugs and insects, so more birds equals fewer bugs and insects.)