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

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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How to Control Weeds in Desert Areas

The lack of moisture and rich, nourishing soil in a desert environment makes it difficult to maintain a grass yard. As a result, many homeowners install xeriscaping, or desert landscaping, to avoid some of the challenges that traditional lawns face. This landscaping design is less expensive and easier to maintain because it requires little water and no mowing. Even though it features hardy plants that require less water and are more appropriate for a desert climate, weeds can still be prevalent in your yard. Seeds can lie dormant for an extended period until climatic conditions are right for the weeds to take root and sprout. Because the soil is often conducive for weeds, many species can grow throughout the year. Weed Control Measures Like a traditional grass lawn, desert landscaping requires a year-round weed control program. Here are a few ways that homeowners keep their looking great. Some homeowners remove weeds...
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The Types of Spiders Common in Arizona

Spiders are one of the most commonly encountered pests in Arizona. Spiders are also one of the stealthiest pests, tending to lurk in out-of-the-way locations where they can blend in with their surroundings. Often, this stealthy behavior means that people are quite startled when they notice that a spider is present, making it more difficult for them to identify the type of spider and evaluate the potential for risk that it represents. The following list of the types of spiders that are commonly found in Arizona can help with identification. Tarantula Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders that are typically found outdoors. The species of tarantula that is common in Arizona is brown in color and seldom exceeds 5 inches in size. Although urban legends and horror movies have often cast tarantulas as killers, these spiders are not particularly aggressive and possess only a mild venom. They will bite if they feel...
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Beware of Termite Infestations this Fall

Warm, damp summer weather creates the perfect conditions for fall termite swarms. Encouraged by the summer monsoons in the desert, termites thrive and multiply in the early fall. As the colony grows they look for new food sources to makes they can flourish; making your home target number one. How the Weather Affects Termites A colony generally begins increasing its egg production in July. The need to provide for the influx of offspring and the warm, moist conditions provide the perfect combination to make termites most active from September to November. Depending on the area and the amount of rain during the winter, another spike in activity may occur in late February through March. When termite activity peaks, homeowners should be on the lookout for evidence of termites. The most common termite in Southern Arizona is the subterranean termite which typically can be identified by the mud tunnels on the foundation...
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Arizona Scorpion Info You Need to Know

Scorpions are fairly common in southern Arizona because the climate is ideal for them. The venom that scorpions release is toxic, but it rarely kills humans because of the size of the size of the human bodies. Scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions that can be dangerous, however. There are three main types of scorpions that are found in the state. If you are dealing with an infestation of scorpions, it is still a good idea for you to contact Bill's Home Service so that our experts can eradicate them from your home or business. Arizona striped tail scorpion The most common type of scorpion that is found in the state, the Arizona striped tail or “devil” scorpion has a robust tail with a striped appearance on the underside. It is a yellow color and its stripes are dark. The females are larger than the males, but most of these scorpions...
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What Are the Differences Between Bees and Wasps

Bees and wasps can act as a significant nuisance for homeowners. Large nests of wasps or bees can form across the yard and even inside a home, and this can lead to guests, pets, and small children getting stung. Some types of stinging insects can be significantly more aggressive and dangerous than others. Wasps and hornets, for example, can be very aggressive while stinging their victims multiple times. Individual honey bees, on the other hand, rarely cause harm unless they are directly provoked or are protecting their hive as a group. Homeowners should, therefore, learn to recognize the main differences between the various types of stinging insects to know how to keep your family safe. Differences in Behavior The behavioral differences between bees and wasps are one of the most effective ways to differentiate between these two types of stinging insects. In general, ordinary honey bees will be seen flying low...
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How You Need to Know About Centipedes

Centipedes You may have trouble spotting centipedes in your home because they’re nocturnal creatures that move at lightning speed. That’s easy to do if you have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. If you want to amaze your friends, tell them that no centipede, despite its name, has 100 legs. The number of pairs is always odd. Centipedes look something like worms with lots of legs and a pair of antennae. Their bodies are segmented. In color, they range from beige or pale yellow to dark brown. The most common North American varieties are only a few millimeters in length, however, the two most common in Southern Arizona – giant desert centipede and common desert centipede – are typically about 4 to 8 inches in length. Their two front limbs end in sharp claws that contain venom glands. Centipedes use these weapons to paralyze and kill prey. A centipede...
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Preventing Ants from joining your Memorial Day BBQ

While jokes about ants and their love of crashing picnics might get a round of laughter from the guests attending your Memorial Day barbecue, the reaction will probably be very different if these persistent pests actually begin marching into your backyard to join the festivities. How can you prevent ants from joining the party? Identifying Ants Ants are six-legged insects with narrow waists, large heads, powerful jaws and elbowed antennae. There are numerous species of ants, and their color and size vary depending on the exact species. They are normally black, brown or reddish, and they typically range in size from 2 millimeters to 25 millimeters. Social insects, they live cooperatively in colonies with up to 500,000 members. Unwelcome Foragers Ants are scavengers who will work diligently to scout out sources of food and moisture. In the wild, they eat nectar, seeds, insects, and fungi. However, they are also happy to...
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Why Termite Baiting Works

Arizona sits squarely in the midst of the Termite Belt—the band of southern states where termites are most prevalent and the damage that they do costs home owners billions of dollars each year. They typically enter unnoticed through a tiny crevice, but the bulk of their destruction impacts a home’s critical foundation, structural and support elements made of wood. Looking for a Food Source Many people don’t realize that—like ants and bees—termites are social creatures. Kings and queens breed to maintain the population, or colony. Pincer-jawed soldier termites protect that colony. Meanwhile, workers have responsibility for all labor, including finding food—wood or cellulose—and bringing it back to the colony to feed everyone. That means that workers in need of a new food source forage. These foraging worker termites tunnel outward in a starburst that radiates from the colony. Tunnels may be only a few feet long or can extend 100 yards...
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How to Stay Safe From Africanized Bees

In the deserts of Arizona, Africanized bees are not an uncommon sight. For many people, the sight of even one bee is frightening, let alone an entire swarm. However, panicking when you see a bee can lead to poor decisions with disastrous results. Learning about bees is a good way to protect yourself from danger. 1. Don't Panic If you come across a colony of bees in your yard, panic may set in and cause you to make some unfortunate choices. For example, if you run away with your arms flailing, you might irritate the bees further and end up with a significant number of bee stings. Some individuals have come to harm because they failed to pay attention to their surroundings, running straight into traffic or off a cliff. Making a quick escape in a straight line to an indoor space without drawing further attention to yourself is a wise...
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Dangers of Bats

Dangers of Bats If you live in the beautiful state of Arizona, then you've most likely seen a few of the 28 different species of bats that call this state home. Bats are actually extremely beneficial because they keep down the population of potentially dangerous mosquitoes and other pesky insects, but that doesn't mean that you want them to take up residence in or around your home. Here at Bill's Home Service, we've been called upon regularly to address bats that have decided to live in attics or just under the eaves of homes throughout the southern portion of Arizona. When Bats Invade Your Space While bats have no interest in any human interaction, they tend to find attics extremely attractive for the purposes of nesting. Because they're actually quite small when their wings aren't spread out for flight, bats find it easy to squeeze in through vents, chimneys, gable ends...
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Start your year with a home inspection

Start your year with a home inspection For the most part, southern Arizona homeowners don't face the same challenges as their counterparts in other parts of the country. Our fairly hot, arid climate cuts down on most of the property value threats that plague many Americans. Regardless, it's still a good idea to have your home inspected now and then. Here are just a few problems that a home inspection can identify early on. Unstable Foundations and Frames Unless you're a seasoned home inspector, it's difficult to accurately assess a house's structural integrity. Poor drainage and grading that directly impact the foundation can necessitate costly fixes later on if they're not rectified in due time. Likewise, a house frame that's been improperly assembled or modified is equally dangerous. Home renovations involving load-bearing walls that are performed by amateurs often impact structural stability in unexpected ways. Inferior Plumbing Infrastructure The state of...
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Have a Pest Free Holiday

Have a Pest Free Holiday Although Arizona often enjoys mild winters, the temperatures are still cool enough to attract pests. This means that your holidays may include unwanted guests. To keep your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations free of pests, it is important to consult with the experts at Bill's Home Service. Common Winter Pests in Arizona Rodents: Mice and rats are quite common in Arizona. Since they love warmth, they often enter your home as the temperatures drop. Your home features a constant food supply as well. Termites: Termites are destructive creatures that thrive in warm climates. This gives them more reason to find their way indoors during winter. Cockroaches:  In northern parts of the country, winter brings freezing temperatures that dampen exterior cockroach activities. However, the warmer environment in Arizona attracts these pests, which puts your home at risk for an infestation. How Pests Enter Your Home Mice find their...
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Don't Let Roaches Crash Your Holiday Party This Season

For good reason, roaches are known as some of the filthiest creatures on the planet. Throughout history, they have helped spread numerous diseases and devastating plagues. Not only are roaches extremely unsanitary, but they can also quietly destroy a home. While celebrating during the holidays, you definitely don’t want to see a roach scampering across the kitchen floor. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind. Key Signs of a Roach Infestation Often times, many homeowners fail to recognize the signs of a roach infestation. Depending on the specific type of cockroach, they can leave behind a very musty odor. The unpleasant smell can linger in your home for days at a time. In the course of only a few weeks, these nasty pests can contaminate your entire residence. You may also see roach droppings, which resemble small granules of black pepper. One of the tell-tale indications of a roach...
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The Best Ways to Treat Termites: Liquid Treatments & Sentricon Treatment

Bills Home Service offers comprehensive pest-control services to people in the areas of Southern Arizona. Our services are designed to protect your property from the intrusion of termites. We use the latest pest-control techniques and technologies to ensure that your property remains free from the encroachment of harmful termites. Two of the best treatments available include Sentricon and liquid termite treatments. We work with each customer to ensure that you understand the benefits and risks associated with each treatment. Comparing Sentricon and Liquid Treatments Sentricon is a system that utilizes the technique of placing a chain of bait stations in key positions around the perimeter of the residential home. These stations contain various components that can detect and verify the activity of termites. Once the presence of these termites is verified, the termite professionals will replace the bait with a deadly poison that is capable of destroying the entire termite colony....
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5 Ways to Identify Subterranean Termites

With central heating, homes have become a breeding ground for termites. When subterranean termites are present, there can be up to 14 colonies in a single acre. A home can easily be sitting on or next to three colonies. Each colony contains 1,000,000 termites, which means that an infestation is extremely likely. Statistically, subterranean termites cause more damage to American homes than fires and storms combined. 1. Look for the Right Conditions The only way you will get a subterranean termite infestation is if your home has the right environment. These termites like to be in the soil because it provides them with a source of moisture. Ideally, the termites want to attack wood that is in contact with the ground. If they are unable to, they will build mud tunnels several feet above the ground to reach the wood. 2. Watch Out for Winged Termites During springtime and fall, termites...
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