Rain brings unwanted pests

by Tom Simplot

Sep 19, 2014

Sandbags and hurricane watches aren't usually part of Arizona's weather, but these past two weeks we have all learned a lot about navigating major rainfalls. By now you have probably also noticed that desert bugs are in full force. Scorpions, spiders, millipedes and other pests come out after major rain events and often settle into our homes.

In an apartment community or rental home, it's important to watch for these pests and notify your property manager quickly so the insect problems can be addressed correctly. Don't try to apply your own bug treatment. Many of these drugstore remedies don't interact well with commercial pesticides, which are almost always more effective.

After the rains, scorpions are more likely to come out to visit. Bark scorpions, the kind most commonly found in Arizona, tend to be a yellowish-brown and often blend in with dirt or neutral carpeting. Wearing shoes or slippers indoors can be a good idea. Their sting is painful, but usually not dangerous unless you are allergic.

Crickets prefer the humid temperatures as well. The chirping may seem like simply a minor annoyance, but it's best to treat for these pests early. Crickets are food for other insects like scorpions.

Cooler temperatures can mean more time outside. Be aware of ants. Colonies will be more active, and some ants bite. Again, it's best to let your community manager know about the ants' activity and let him or her treat the problem.

Many bugs that bother us the most are nocturnal. They are attracted to light sources, so turn off lights to minimize them buzzing around your home. Outside, the larger lights in the parking lots and overhead in common areas attract flying insects. You've likely seen the oversize beetles, the paloverde root borer and the June beetles, and noticed the loud buzzing. They are harmless and won't bite.