Summer is finally upon us. Among all the summer vacations, family reunions, picnics, and days at the pool; something dangerous lurks. Desert cities like Las Vegas, NV, St. George, UT, Phoenix, AZ, and Mesa, AZ house a few unique and even dangerous pests. Here are three desert pests to watch out for this summer:
Desert Recluse - Loxosceles sp. (Photo credit: Lynette S.)
Commonly confused with the Brown Recluse spider, the Desert Recluse spider is equally as dangerous. Desert recluses are found in Southern Nevada, Southwest Utah, and Western Arizona. Not too many Desert Recluses invade the actual cities of Mesa or Phoenix; however, both cities do harbor the Arizona Brown Spider which is also in the recluse family. These recluse spiders hide in dark places. Desert Recluse spiders are tan in color, and have a dark brown violin shaped spot on their head. These spiders are not aggressive in nature, but do bite when bothered. Many homeowners in desert cities are bitten when they accidently touch the venomous spiders. When bitten, a victim will experience pain, swelling, and redness around the site. The site will begin to blister, causing open lesions and sores. Bites can take months to heal and even require skin grafts. Those with compromised immune systems, and the young and elderly, are at the most risk to a Desert Recluse bite. Death can be a result on rare occasions.
Arizona Bark Scorpion
Throughout all of the southwest, Arizona Bark scorpions wreak havoc on unsuspecting homeowners. If you live in a desert city, you’ve seen one of these scorpions before. While most other species of scorpion live solitarily, these scorpions congregate in groups. When you see one of these scorpions in your Arizona, Nevada, or Utah home; there are bound to be more. Feeding on crickets and roaches near your desert home, these nocturnal pests ambush their prey. Typically, Arizona Bark scorpions come into your home looking for water and refuge from the elements. It is then when unfortunate encounters occur. Hiding inside your shoe, or underneath a discarded article of clothing or towel; these pests sting you when you accidently encounter them. Their stings cause an unpleasant reaction that can include nausea, numbness, vomiting, breathing difficulties or convulsions.
Because of the several embellished myths about their size, speed, behavior, appetite, and lethality; many people who encounter a sun spider are deathly afraid of them. Sun spiders, also known as camel spiders or wind scorpions, are neither spiders nor scorpions and have no venom. They do however, exhibit very aggressive behavior and may attack for no reason at all. They can run up to 10 mph and have large, powerful jaws that can produce an irregularly large bite. Antibiotic treatment is necessary if a bite becomes infected.
Desert cities like Phoenix, AZ, Mesa, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, and St. George, UT house a wide and diverse variety of pests. Don’t let desert pests like Bark scorpions, Sun Spiders, and Desert Recluses spoil your fun this summer. Get Bulwark Pest Control!
With this year’s warmer than usual spring, Arizona residents are seeing quite the increase in scorpion activity. Warmer weather means more scorpion breeding; which in turn, means we are seeing a lot more of these dangerous pests. Because of these early sightings, Bulwark Exterminating technicians have been making more house calls than usual for this time of year. Scorpions are the most significant and prominent pests found in Arizona. When you’re dealing with such a malevolent pest, you want to call the best there is. That’s why CBS 5 News (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) turned to Bulwark Exterminating for some much needed scorpion advice. CBS 5 reporter Colton Shoneand crew tagged along in Bulwark Exterminating’s scorpion truck, as technician and scorpion expert Devin Conner treated a scorpion infested house.
"For every scorpion that you do find, there are a lot more hiding that you are not able to see," Devin said. "They will usually travel along electrical lines." Even closed doors... "They only need one-sixteenth of an inch which is about the width of that guy right there (credit card)."
Darren Desylvia, whose home Bulwark was treating as CBS filmed, believes scorpion controlefforts will pay off this year, and that his family will no longer have to live in fear of these stinging, malicious pests. Bulwark was happy to help.
When CBS News was in need of some expert advice and help dealing with scorpions, they called the best, and so should you. Bulwark Exterminating is an expert when it comes to Scorpion Control, having treated some 25,000 scorpion infested homes. Bulwark’s signature treatment, administered by highly experienced technicians, will create a barrier around your home that will keep those stinging scorpions away. Call us to find out about our nocturnal treatments, and our highly specialized scorpion truck.
Click here, for a complete transcript of the CBS News piece entitled, “Scorpions Popping Up in Phoenix-Area Homes Earlier.”
"As you sleep, you become a virtual playground for these creeping pests just mere minutes after you fall asleep; inhaling dozens of the scorpions and swallowing at least 20 during an eight-hour period."It gets worse. Meine added,
“While these microscopic scorpions are drawn to the moist and humid areas of the nose and mouth, they will also spend each night birthing hundreds of their young in and around your armpits.”There is one surefire way to tell if you have a microscopic scorpion infestation, Meine continued.
“Like all other scorpions, these microscopic scorpions give live birth. Victims who suffer from a microscopic scorpion infestation will awaken with scorpion afterbirth in their bed sheets. It’s about this time a victim should know they are not alone in bed.”At this time homeowners in Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah should be on high alert. There is no known cure for the microscopic scorpions, as this is a new report.
English: A frontal view of the Bark Scorpion of Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Spring is in the air here in Arizona, and that can only mean one thing… MLB Spring Training! Every year, 15 Major League Baseball teams ascend on the Valley of the Sun for six weeks of preseason baseball. Teams like the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Cleveland Indians all square off in the Cactus League; preparing for the upcoming season. Teams frequently use players' spring training performances as a way of assigning starting roles and roster spots. While spring training attracts a huge number of fans and spectators who eagerly wait to see the promising new talent, all while enjoying the warm weather, which also happens to coincide with the beginning of the scorpion season here in Arizona. Nobody knows that better than Milwaukee Brewers GM, Doug Melvin, who was recently stung by a very venomous Arizona Bark Scorpion… The most dangerous scorpion found in the U.S.
English: Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Milwaukee Brewers MLB club has descended on Maryvale Baseball Park, in Phoenix, AZ for their annual spring training. While in town, Doug Melvin, the General Manager of the Brewers, was stung by a scorpion. It all went down last Wednesday, March 5, 2013. Melvin and his wife had just enjoyed a night out in the Valley. Upon returning to their Phoenix-area condo after dinner, Melvin’s wife spotted a “bug” on the floor. After eyeing the bug, she shouted to her husband to take care of it. In an attempt to be the hero and save the day, the Brewers GM grabbed a tissue and picked up the bug—which happened to be a scorpion. The scorpion retaliated by stinging Melvin’s left middle finger through the tissue. Ouch! After the sting, Melvin’s arm began to tingle—kind of like hitting your funny bone. His left arm began to feel numb. The sensation moved from his arm to his shoulder. About this time, he began to worry that the venom might be spreading and eventually reach his heart. He headed to a Scottsdale emergency room where he was treated for the sting. After three hours in the ER, some pain medication, and some scorpion education, the Brewers GM made a full recovery. The next time he encounters a scorpion, he’ll likely just squash it with his shoe.
English: Closeup (macrograph) of the barb of an Arizona Bark Scorpion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Arizona alone, the Arizona Bark Scorpion is responsible for several thousand stings each year. With that being said, fatalities in the United States are rare, and generally limited to small/young children and adults with weakened immune systems. The symptoms of a Bark Scorpion sting include pain, tingling sensations, blurry vision, throat swelling, darting eyes, and tense muscles. Those experiencing an allergic reaction will have difficulty breathing and walking, and should seek medical attention.
The Arizona Bark scorpion is a golden tan in color, and can reach lengths of about two inches. They are frequently found in the southwest United States; predominately in the Sonoran Desert. Less toxic species of Bark scorpions have been discovered throughout areas in Southern Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas. Bark scorpions prefer to hunt at night by ambushing their prey. They commonly dine on crickets and cockroaches.
As Doug Melvin can attest, being stung by a scorpion is not a pleasant experience. Whether you live in Arizona, Texas, or Southern Utah; you don’t have to live in fear of these malevolent pests. Bulwark Exterminating is an expert when it comes to Scorpion Control, having treated some 25,000 scorpion infested homes. Bulwark’s signature treatment, administered by highly experienced technicians, will create a barrier around your home that will keep those stinging scorpions away. Call us to find out about our nocturnal treatments and our highly specialized scorpion truck.
Bulwark Exterminating has been awarded the 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award for the company’s excellent customer service rating in Arizona. Super Service Award recipients have maintained an “A” grade average in Angie’s rating formula. Only an estimated five percent of companies listed on Angie’s List receive the prestigious award on an annual basis. This will be the 3rd time that Bulwark has received the award here in the Phoenix area. “Our technicians and office staff deserve this award 100%”, said Mesa Branch Manager Joe Davey. “They work tirelessly to ensure the needs of our customers are met day in and day out.” Bulwark Exterminating services over ten thousand customers valley wide from offices in Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix and Peoria. The family owned exterminating company has made a name in Arizona as the pest control provider in the valley that absolutely guarantees to eliminate scorpions with a money back guarantee. In 2010, 97% of Bulwark’s current customers said they would recommend their pest control services to a friend or family member. “We appreciate that our customers take the time to recognize the hard work of the technicians that service their homes,” said Davey. “Our techs are the face of Bulwark. Receiving the Super Service Award is an honor and it validates the hard work of our entire staff across the valley.” While the award went to the Mesa pest control branch of Bulwark Exterminating the owners feel that the award is shared by all of the valley locations as customers on Angie’s list don’t often realize which branch services them. Phoenix Metro Locations include:Bulwark Exterminating, 40 N Central Ave #1400, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 652-2251Bulwark Exterminating, 10401 North 91st Avenue, Peoria, AZ 85345 (623) 572-3016Bulwark Exterminating, 1228 East Broadway Road Mesa, AZ 85204 (480) 969-7474Bulwark Exterminating, 18256 E Williams Field Rd # 2 Gilbert, AZ 85295 (480) 539-4933
About Bulwark Exterminating Bulwark Exterminating LLC is based in Mesa, AZ and is an industry leader in providing high-quality residential pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in seven states, including eleven major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common insects such as ants, roaches, crickets and spiders, the company’s differentiating specialty is scorpion control. To do this, Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems. Bulwark is privately and family owned, has approximately 250 employees and services over 50,000 customers nationwide, providing pest control in Raleigh, NC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Tulsa, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St. George, UT, Phoenix and Las Vegas. For more information, visit http://www.BulwarkPestControl.com.
For nearly two decades, the migration of retirees and other warmth-seeking Northerners to the Sun Belt was as predictable as death and taxes. New construction reached record highs and fueled a variety of industries, including pest management. Pest management companies thrived as the market expanded, seemingly without end. Many invested heavily in the pretreatment market segment.
Not Adam Seever, president of Mesa, Ariz.-based Bulwark Exterminating (#31), which serves 11 cities in the Sun Belt, Seever foresaw the housing collapse and opted to focus his energies on retaining his established customers and market share rather than relying on the influx of new-construction business he predicted would grind to a halt at any moment. He didn't believe in making investments in the pretreatment market.
“It was a gamble not chasing the new business, but I'm familiar with the dynamics of the economy, and I knew the growth couldn't continue indefinitely," said Seever, who holds a degree in finance and statistical analysis. “It worked out for us. We've managed to keep our numbers steady (around $19 million) for the past three years, and I expect to see modest growth in the coming years.”
Committed to Employees, Customers.
Seever's approach to strengthening his 12-year-old business began with the development of metrics to assess his employees’ performance. Those who scored among the top 80 percent were awarded bonuses to encourage them to continue providing top-notch service and set the pace for the rest of the team.
“Satisfied employees create satisfied customers,” Seever says, “and we all know that it's cheaper to retain an established customer than to win a new one. So I redirected a significant portion of our budget and efforts from marketing to employee satisfaction.”
Those efforts also included supplying each technician with his or her own Smart phone, equipped with an application developed exclusively for Bulwark. It enables technicians to interact with the company database from the field, minimizing the technician's need to come to the office.
“We've saved thousands of miles and a lot of our team's time, because now they need to come in only once a week. I respect their time, and they appreciate that. We've built a culture that supports and nurtures employees. They're inspired to provide great service and to smile when they visit customers,” says Seever.
While many pest management companies have either folded or sold their operations in the economic turmoil of the past three years, Bulwark stands among those that remain steady and focused on the future.
Seever added, “When you know that you're up against market challenges — that you aren t going to be able to expand through the routes that got you where you are today — you need to focus on what you can change. Don't let obstacles stifle your creativity. Invest in your people; they'll come through every time.”
I am a 5th Generation Arizonan, which is increasingly rare in this state due to the population growth over the last several years. So I am not sure what it is like to live in a state like Kansas during tornado season, or what it is like to live in Florida during hurricane season, or what it is like to live along the San Andreas Fault. I imagine, however, that it is similar to how I have always felt about living in Arizona with the Arizona Bark Scorpion, I have never thought much about it. When I was a teenager, I spent a summer in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands during hurricane season. I remember going through the preparations for a hurricane, including, buying bottled water, food and lumber to protect my parent's home and to prepare for hunkering down during the storm. It didn't seem out-of-the-ordinary because everything on the island stopped for the days leading up to the hurricane's landing. For the most part, once the events occurred, everything went back to normal. It was almost ritualistic for the natives in St. Croix. Back here in Arizona, the closest thing we have that compares to a Category 5 Hurricane is probably a micro-burst during a particularly bad monsoon or perhaps even a flash flood. Not quite the same as a massive hurricane. One of the next most dangerous things you might have to worry about as a resident of Arizona is our very own Arizona Bark Scorpion. The bark scorpion is considered the most dangerous scorpion in the United States and is also considered deadly, though victims of fatal stings usually have other underlying health issues, are either very young or very old, or are allergic and usually die due to complications from anaphylactic shock. Perhaps I am in the minority here in Arizona, but I neither check my shoes before I put them on nor do I shake my bed covers before climbing into bed to make sure that there aren't any scorpions lying in wait to poison me with painful neurotoxin. Well, it seems that maybe I should have been more careful because as I was cleaning up for the Christmas holiday, I picked up a cardboard box of Christmas presents that I just brought home from my in-laws (who must not keep up with their pest control). When I picked up the box, I put my pinky finger on a scorpion hiding under the box and for a brief moment, I could feel the scorpion trying to wiggle free and I dropped the box immediately; however, it was too late. The scorpion had injected me with its powerful neurotoxin and I felt an immediate pain in the middle of my pinky finger on my right hand. The sting felt like someone had poked me with a needle all the way into my bone. I quickly grasped my finger and squeezed tightly and the pain began to ease, but the damage had been done and my agony remained. Once I let go of my grasp and in the ensuing moments, the venom began to travel up my arm.
First, I felt the pain on the top of the back side of my hand where I could see the veins under my skin. Then, some moments later, I began to feel the neurotoxin work its way to my wrist where each time I felt my pulse, the pain seemed to grow stronger. Moments later, I felt it in my arm and then worse on the inside of my elbow. As I continued to work in the garage, I even felt the pain reach my shoulder. The pain was pretty strong during those first few moments but not strong enough for me to feel like I needed to go to the hospital. (However, many people, including real world sources, recommend that you do go to the hospital after being stung by a scorpion.) After several minutes, the pain was quite tolerable though very uncomfortable. My entire arm had the sensation of when your leg or arm falls asleep. I have heard it referred to as pins and needles and that is an accurate description. Today, several hours later, the pain in my shoulder and most of the pain in my arm has already subsided. My finger is a different story. I believe that the pain in my little finger is best described in this manner...have you ever had a Novocain shot while visiting the dentist? My finger feels like I have had an overdose of Novocain in my finger. I do have motor control over my finger, but it seems a little sluggish. When I touch my finger gently against my other fingers, I hardly feel the touch yet I consistently feel the tingling. If I really put pressure on my finger it hurts severely and even though it feels like it is swollen twice its normal size, I can't actually see any difference in size. Interestingly, the sting never made me feel like I needed to stay home from work or change my plans whatsoever but the pain continues even now, eighteen hours later, to affect just about everything I do. I cannot type with my pinky nor can I use the mouse without putting my pinky finger in the air as though I am about to drink some tea at my daughter's tea party. A few days later: When my wife was having her last baby, there was a chart on the wall with the numbers 0-10. There were also pictures next to the numbers that indicated levels of pain.
Even on the first day, immediately after the sting occurred, the pain level was only a 5 or 6. I continued to bring in the presents from the garage but I was careful not to touch anything with my finger. On day two, as I was writing this description, the pain was slightly less acute in the 4-5 range but still affected how I worked and went through my daily routines. On the third day, most of the pain was gone but my finger was still numb and by day 4 or 5, all of the pain had completely subsided. However, it took a few more days for the numbness to completely dissipate. Overall, I would have to say that being stung by a scorpion is quite a bit less frightening than I thought it would be. I have learned a lot from this process and the research I conducted after having been stung. I am happy to share my thoughts and feelings with you in hopes that you learn something too. I hope you enjoyed my article. Brian Farr @briangfarr