Bill's Home Service Blog

This is the official blog for Bill's Home Service

Bill’s Home Service Company is one of Southern Arizona’s largest providers of Termite and Pest Control services.

Bill's Home Service

Common Arizona Summer Pests and How To Prevent Them

Common Summer PestsThe hottest weather of the year has arrived. With that comes critters and crawling things. There are pests of all kinds in Arizona, but these are the most common. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent them from infiltrating your home. Scorpions Scorpions are scary-looking, and for good reason. They can deliver a painful and serious sting. At worst, the venom can be fatal, so it’s important to protect you and your loved ones from them. As is the case for preventing any type of pest, try to keep clutter around your house to a minimum, along with food sources. Seal any openings you may find where critters can fit through – scorpions only need about the thickness of a credit card to gain access. Furthermore, take care not to leave damp towels on your floor. The cool, moist space it creates is the perfect hiding spot for scorpions. If you feel...
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Signs of a Harvester Ant Infestation

Harvester ants may not be as destructive as termites or carpenter ants. But, they are aggressive and are known to sting when provoked. If they invade your property, you need to take action to get rid of them as soon as possible. But, first you need to recognize that you have a problem. Here are some telltale signs that will let you know you have a harvester ant infestation. Appearance The first step in knowing if you have a harvester ant infestation is being able to identify the creature. Harvester ants measure between five and seven millimeters and are either red, orange or brown. They also have six legs, three distinctive sections on their bodies and antennae. If you notice any ants that fix this description in or around your house, it may be an early sign of an infestation. Mounds Harvester ants have distinctive mounds that are broad and flat....
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Five Facts About Centipedes in Arizona

Thousands of centipede species travel the earth, and Arizona is definitely home to some of them. In our state, there are three fairly common species. You may have found one or more of these on your property or in your home. First is the house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata). Then there are two species of desert centipede: the common desert centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha) and the giant desert centipede (Scolopendra heros). The house centipede is the most likely of the three to be found inside and is also the smallest variety at about 1.5 inches long. The common desert centipede has tiger-like striping and is commonly known as the tiger centipede; these animals are usually about five inches long. By comparison, the giant desert centipede is much larger – about eight inches long – with a rust-colored body and a blue head. Here are some other fun facts that you may not know...
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Types of Scorpions Found in Arizona

With several dozen species of scorpions native to Arizona, these arachnids are unfortunately common in Southern Arizona. They can creep around in your yard or throughout your home and may sting you when you least expect it. All species have an identifiable tail that carries venom as well as pincer-like claws that protrude from the front. The most common species in Arizona are the bark scorpion, the striped-tale or devil’s scorpion and the giant desert hairy scorpion. Arizona Bark Scorpion The bark scorpion is considered to be the most venomous species in the state. A sting may result in extreme swelling and redness, numbness, muscle spasms, foaming at the mouth and in some cases even death. Unlike many other species found in the area, the bark scorpion has a thin tail and a dainty body. Its yellowish or tan color makes it difficult to see in many environments. This scorpion, which...
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Do I Have Ants or Termites?

At Bill’s Home Service Company, we do a lot of pest control. The Arizona climate seems to be the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of pests that you don’t want in your home. One of the more frequent calls we receive is from customers who don’t quite know what type of pest they have, but they know that they need our help. It’s help we’re glad to give, and a common identification question that we’ll begin hearing frequently in the coming months is how to tell the difference between ants and termites. You don’t want either of these insects in your home, but knowing what you have can help protect your home better. In the case of termites, it’s vital to get treatment right away due to the damage they can cause to your home. Ants We know the most common ants, but how do you tell what you have...
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How to Remove Ticks From Yourself and Your Pets

Ticks are one of many elusive pests that can bring disease and irritation to pets and humans. You might instantly notice if a tick is on you, but your dog or cat might be the home of a tick too. Ticks vary in size from being as small as a head of a pin to as large as a sunflower seed. If you notice a tick on the coat of your pet, you can remove it with a brush or comb, and discard it. If you notice that a tick is biting you or your pet’s skin, there is a process that must be taken for you to remove the tick in the right ways. How To Remove A Tick Firstly, get a pair of pointed tweezers, or specialty tick tweezers that you can get from a veterinarian. These will be your tools to force the tick off of you or...
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I Have Termites—Now What?

You’ve probably heard stories about termites before; the destruction they can cause and the anxiety they bring, but now you have them for yourself, and the fear is setting in. But stay calm, termites are problematic, but there are steps you can take to handle them. Here’s what to do if you believe they are termites making a meal out of your house. What are the first steps? Confirm it is Termites Before you do anything else, check to make sure you actually have termites. A lot of times, wood damage can be caused by other things like water, rodents, or exposure to the elements, so it’s essential you find out for certain where exactly the damage is coming from. You can do this by trying to find individual termites or at least the mud tubes they leave behind. Mud tubes are basically the tunnels they make throughout wooden beams. Otherwise,...
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When is it Time to Call Professional Pest Control?

Bill's Home Service Termite & Pest Control, serving the southern region of Arizona, understands that you might be unsure of when you need professional help. We’ve been in operation since 1964 and have developed an understanding of how Arizona’s unique climate impacts the type of pests that you encounter. With 50 plus years in the pest control business, Bill’s knows exactly how to tackle these tricky pests for you. The hot, arid climate combined with the rainy seasons can contribute greatly to an infestation that can escalate rapidly. Infestation Situations During a home purchase or sale, it may not occur to many buyers or sellers, but having your home professionally inspected either before selling or prior to purchasing is one of the best actions you can take to protect yourself. While a clear inspection might help you sell your house faster, you should never purchase a home without a clear pest...
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How to Keep Pests Out of Attics and Crawl Spaces

As we head toward cooler weather, there are many reasons to get your home ready for the winter months ahead. One reason is that pests are going to want to get in out of the cold any way they can. This is a great time of year to protect your home against these intruders before they get too hard to control. Attics and crawl spaces are especially attractive for pests. There is no foot traffic, and they can be pretty easy to get into. They want to stay warm just like we do, so they find a way to get in to seek refuge for the upcoming winter. Take steps now to make sure that they don't get into your home. Inspect Your Home During the Day The first thing that you should do is thoroughly inspect your home during the day. Keep a list of anything you find that needs...
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Rodent Proofing Tips

Rodent ProofingRodents spread diseases and cause problems in many ways. They contaminate interior living areas with feces and dander and gnaw on furniture, walls and wires. If a rodent infestation goes untreated, it could not only cost you thousands of dollars in repairs but also negatively affect your health. 3 Tips to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home Block the entryways Rodents get inside your home in many ways. They'll climb through plumbing pipes, squeeze beneath doors and crawl through cracks and crevices around the exterior. It's important to block their entryways if you want to keep them outside. Inspect your home for openings and use a sealant to plug up rodent entrances. Remove All Clutter Clutter provides shelter for rodents and protection both indoors and outdoors. Piles of boxes, bins and other debris in the attic or garage gives rodents a place to hide. They'll also hide outdoors under old tires,...
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What to Do When Termites Move Into Your Home

TermitesIf you suspect that termites have moved into your home, the steps you take during the early stages of an infestation are vital. Learning to spot the red flags so that you can confirm your theory is the first step you must take. Once you have discovered termites are near, putting in the effort to contain the invaders before they cause any more complications is another critical piece of the puzzle you can't afford to overlook. Spotting the Red Flags Termites could remain in your home undetected for months or years if you don't know how to spot them. The good news is that detecting termites is not hard when you know the things for which you should look. These pests always travel in shelter tubes or mud tunnels that you can see advancing up your home’s foundation or even on a wall or ceiling inside. In some cases, the only...
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Three Things You Should Know About Scorpions

ScorpionsWith a tail curled over its back, a set of appendages that resemble lobster claws and a peculiar way of scuttling around on its eight legs, a scorpion can strike fear into the bravest of hearts. Beyond the fact that they all have four sets of legs, scorpions bear little resemblance to their spider and tick cousins. If you have lived in Southern Arizona for a while, you have probably seen at least one scorpion. If you are new to the area, you may be wondering how dangerous these bizarre creatures truly are. Whether you are native to the area or a newcomer, here are three things about scorpions that you should know. 1. Arizona is home to the most dangerous type of scorpion in the United States Worldwide, there are about 1,500 species of scorpions. 25 of which are potentially lethal. Approximately 90 species of scorpions can be found in...
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5 Bed Bug Myths

Bed Bug Myths The bed bug is a small insect that is often hard to see with the naked eye. While it's a fact that they commonly live on mattresses and box springs, there are a few myths about bed bugs that people often listen to and believe without finding out the truth about them. Any kind of infestation by the bugs should be dealt with as soon as possible. 1. Flying Away There are many insects that can fly, but bed bugs are not among them. They don't have wings. When they are crawling, they travel close to a meter in about a minute. 2. Lots Of Babies One myth is that bed bugs tend to reproduce on a regular basis. This is not true. They are one of the slowest insects to reproduce, each female laying only one egg a day. This egg takes about 10 days to hatch. If bed...
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Continuously Pest Proof Your House With These Tips

When pests invade your home, it's can be hard to get rid of them, especially if they are certain types of pests, such as roaches, termites, and bed bugs. Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use to pest proof your home before they invade. If you find that there are any issues, you can contact a company like Bill's Home Service that can come to the home to look for the source of the problem and get rid of the pests in a safe manner for the family and any pets. Keeping a well maintained home and yard can significantly reduce pest issues inside and out. A few easy ways to pest proof your home include: Examine the home for any openings that might make it easy for pests to get inside. Seal these openings with weather stripping, patches for screens, or caulking material that will prevent pests...
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Treating a Bee or Wasp Sting

It's a beautiful summer day in Arizona. You're soaking in some of Arizona's famous sunshine while barbecuing, gardening or going barefoot in the backyard. Then, you accidentally disturb a nest of paper wasps or a colony of Africanized honey bees. Wasps and bees can inject a painful and even life-threatening dose of venom in seconds. If you or a family member has been stung by an insect, here's what you should do. First Aid for Insect Stings If you were stung by a bee, you'll notice a black dot in the center of the wound. Try removing this stinger using a credit card or your fingernail. Thoroughly wash the sting site with soap and water. Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, to minimize the pain and inflammation. Diphenhydramine, which is available as a cough syrup or topical cream, is a safe and effective antihistamine that relieves...
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In What Climate Do Termites Live?

While some homeowners fear termites and the problems they cause, others prefer to look the other way and hope that a termite infestation would never happen to them. Knowing about termites and what they can do to your property is vital if you don't want to find yourself in a bad situation. Inability to detect and identify termites only gives the invaders even more time to cause harm, and you don't want to make that mistake. In addition to knowing the common warning signs, you must also understand the climate in which termites thrive. The Perfect Climate If termites got to choose their climate, they would pick areas that are dark, warm and moist. These pests are the most active during the hot months of summer, but they don't disappear in the winter. Even though they are less active than they are in the summer, termites are still a threat you...
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When to Call a Professional to Handle Bees and Wasps

If you have spotted a beehive or wasp nest in your yard, taking the proper steps to protect yourself and others is vital. A lot of people wonder whether they should deal with the problem or contact a professional, and you might have the same question. Unless you are a trained beekeeper or pest control expert with the proper equipment, you should always seek the help of a professional. The Risk of Addressing the Problem Alone If you would like to get a better understanding of why you should always turn to an expert, take a look at the risks to which you could be exposed if you move forward without help. If you try to manage a bee or wasp issue but don't follow the proper steps, you will agitate the hive and get stung, but you are also putting other people in harm's way. If you or someone you...
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Three Arizona Pests That Are Bad for Business

When you run or manage a business and want to succeed over the long run, your reputation is one of the most important factors. You will lose customers if the people who come to you discover pests on your property, and you must find a way to protect yourself from the threat. All pests can cause problems for business owners, but some invaders are worse than others. Learning about the most harmful pests that you can encounter will give you an idea of how you should move forward. Eliminating these pests the moment you notice the red flags will protect your reputation and show your customers that you care about their well-being. Bedbugs Having bedbugs in your business is one of the fastest ways to turn your customers away. If the bedbugs get in people’s clothes or bags while they are on your property, the pests will follow them home and...
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Common Ways That Flea and Tick Infestations Happen

Fleas and ticks have a lot in common. They both hang out in thick-weeded areas and feed on the blood of people and animals. Whereas fleas cause itchy bites, ticks can feed without making their presence known. These pests can cause many different problems for their hosts, including allergic reactions and diseases. When the conditions are right, flea and tick populations rise and quickly take over an area. 3 Causes for Fleas and Ticks Pets and Wildlife Your pets may not have fleas or ticks, but a neighbor's pets might have them. Flea-infested dogs and cats can trespass on your property and leave behind fleas in grass, vegetation, and outdoor furniture. Various wildlife may also enter your yard and deposit fleas and ticks throughout the landscape. Installing a fence around the perimeter will help to keep out neighborhood dogs, cats and wildlife. The Weather Fleas and ticks thrive in warmer weather....
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3 Bugs You Do NOT Want to Mess With

While many people may feel confident in handling small pest infestations on their own, there are some bugs you simply don't want to mess with. Finding these bugs in or around your home can be disturbing to your peace of mind. The following facts will provide insight as to why treating these three bugs are best left to professionals. Three Bugs You Don't Want to Mess With No type of insect or pest infestation is ever fun to deal with. That said, some pests create more of a concern than others. Here are some common pests that are best left to the professionals to sort out. 1. Termites Termites are likely among some of the most feared household pests and for very good reason. While termites don't bite or pose a physical threat to people, they are capable of producing a massive amount of structural damage to homes in a relatively...
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