An image of cumulus storm clouds forming over Superstition Mountain. Monsoons bring nourishment for summer pests in the Phoenix area.

Surviving Summer Pests in Phoenix

We’ve been in triple-digits for several weeks now around the Valley, but summer only officially just began last week! The monsoon season has also joined us, though it may be weeks before we benefit from any of its storms. Both the intense summer heat and the increased moisture from the monsoon have huge effects on pests. Read on to see how, and what you can do to protect yourself against summer pests!

Summer Pests and the Monsoon

The increased pest activity that begins in spring tends to progress in summer. The intense heat drives many of them to find shelter during the hottest parts of the day. Be extremely careful outdoors when handling rocks or anything else you can move or pickup, because you never know what could be lurking underneath. Scorpions and centipedes are famous for hiding beneath rocks and in small, shaded alcoves! In the evenings and early mornings, you will find a variety of insects out and about seeking food, water, and mates. Be mindful of the lights in and around the exterior of your home. Nighttime lighting attracts nocturnal insects and their predators (including scorpions, spiders, and reptiles!). Indoors, the air conditioning in your home is a huge enticement to pests of all kinds as well. Use care when rummaging through your cabinets, drawers, and closets to avoid unpleasant bites and stings.

Also, monsoon season tends to bring a lot of moisture to the valley, both in the form of precipitation and humidity. The increased moisture nourishes pest populations, and also makes the environment ripe for reproduction. For these reasons, we expect the populations of a variety of insects and pests to skyrocket in the coming months.

An image of a desert scorpion among dirt and rocks.

Scorpions are well camouflaged in the Arizona desert, so be careful!

Are Rodents Active in the Summer?

Rodents can be a particularly big problem in the summer, since most species mate primarily in the spring. Many rats, mice, and gophers are raising their young around the Valley this time of year. In the process, they are damaging gardens, burrowing under yards, and invading the walls of homes. Additionally, their droppings can spread disease and trigger allergic reactions for those with allergies – a significant health concern! The large, poisonous predators they tend to attract (i.e., snakes and Gila monsters) can also pose a significant bite risk. So keep an eye out, and contact a professional right away if you think you might have a rodent problem!

An image of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake coiled up in the desert.

Gophers and other rodents may seem relatively harmless, until they start attracting these guys to your house!

How Can I Stop Summer Pests?

Residents can do a lot to protect themselves from summer pests! Many articles like this one provided excellent advice. However, we highly recommend keeping debris cleaned up around your property, including brush, trash, wood piles, and old or discarded cardboard. Rodents, snakes, and a variety of poisonous insects (including scorpions, spiders, and centipedes) like to use these both for shelter and as safe havens for reproduction. Similarly, it is best to keep bird feeders and pet food and water off of your patio, at least when they’re not in use by your pets. Otherwise, they will attract rodents and insects, which may then attract snakes and Gila monsters.

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