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The Homeowner’s Guide to Pest Control in Phoenix

No one likes having their personal space invaded. It’s even worse when it’s pests taking over your home as they can cause short-term mayhem, long-term damage, and even create an unsafe environment to live in. Additionally, pests in Arizona can be even more bothersome because the weather, terrain, and types of pests here in the desert create a perfect storm that draws them into all the nooks and crannies of your home.

That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to show you how to identify pest invasions, the best solutions for each situation, and some proactive tips you can apply to make your household pest-free. Once you’re done with this comprehensive guide, you’ll laugh in the face of your previously terrifying visitors. (Or maybe call pest control and have them removed – that seems to be the best course of action.) Read on to learn about how you can solve your pesky pest problem pronto.

What is Pest Control?

While most people are colloquially familiar with ‘pests’ and ‘pest control’ as concepts, the reality is that each category is much more extensive than the vast majority assumes. However, you’re going to need to become acquainted with both concepts fast if you own or rent a home suffering from a pest invasion. We can start by defining pest control vs. pest exterminators:

pest control technician

Pest Control

High-quality pest control or pest management professionals will seek long-term solutions rather than relying solely on pest elimination products or other invasive methods. Their goal is to both kill any pests present in the moment and prevent them from coming into your space in the future. Proper pest control solutions will often include a comprehensive plan specific to your region, property, and pests to protect your home today AND tomorrow.

Pest Extermination

As implied by the name, pest exterminators go for the eradication of the pests that are in your home right now. In order to achieve this, there is often extensive product use to remove necessary pests from your home ecosystem. However, even if an exterminator gets rid of the pests in your home currently, they probably will not get to the root of the issue – meaning those unwanted guests may return.

Ultimately, working with a pest control professional can help you decide the best course of action for dealing with a current pest problem and prevention for the future.

Recognizing Phoenix Pests

Arizona and the greater Phoenix area present more complex pest scenarios than many states and cities due to the desert climate, terrain, and housing styles. While it is nothing to be afraid of, it is best to be well-acquainted with the local pests so you can escort them out and make sure they know they aren’t wanted back.

Some common pests in Phoenix and signs of them in homes include

  • Termites: Mud tubes, hollowed-out wood, or dry termite droppings
  • Bed Bugs: Dark or rusty spots on sheets or clothes, and/or a musty odor
  • Roaches: Roach droppings that look similar to coffee grounds, live cockroaches
  • Ants: Trailing ants, kick-out holes on the ground, and piles of soil and dirt (ants nest)
  • Scorpions: Increase in crickets or smaller insects that scorpions might feed on
  • Rodents: Rodent droppings, claw or grease marks on surfaces, shredded materials for nests
  • Spiders: Webs, egg sacs, or an excess of flying insects that may attract spiders

There are far more pests than just these broad types, and we could spend pages writing about the nuance of each category of invasion (and in fact we have). However, it is most important that you know each of these does possess a real threat to your home’s safety and structural integrity, so it is best to control these issues using proper professional help.

Professional Pest Control vs. DIY Pest Control

There is no question that professional pest control is the most effective option vs. extermination or DIY pest management. We do understand that there are pros and cons to DIY projects that can be weighed in certain scenarios. Here are some things to consider about each type of potential solution, and how you can determine what is necessary for your pest problem:

DIY Pest Control Pros and Cons:


  • It can be cost-effective in the short-term to do your own smaller projects if they are manageable.
  • You will learn about your home’s ecosystem and be able to diagnose issues easier.
  • You can administer these DIY solutions without interrupting your schedule or having someone visit your home.


  • Short-term fixes might not be functional long-term solutions; a professional will recognize whether the problem area is the source of an infestation and/or if the solution will work overtime.
  • Many DIY products are volatile or unsafe – they often contain dangerous active ingredients so that they will work to remove pests, but then leave residue, corrode surfaces, or lead to health risks.
  • You might have to do the same job over and over. Many pest control companies provide a warranty on their service, meaning that even if you pay more upfront, you can retain value if the job is not over after one try.
  • It is unlikely you are a pest control expert. It is extremely likely that pest control experts are, in fact, pest control experts.

While we are not against addressing small pest incidents with DIY measures, it is often easier and more cost-effective in the long-term to outsource the work to experienced professionals. Especially as Arizona pests can be notoriously stubborn, the amount of time, energy, and money you can spend on what amounts to a Band-Aid can add up quickly. A licensed pest control professional will be able to determine the broader source and can implement more comprehensive solutions right away.

Recommended Reading: Chapter 3 – Should You Do Your Own Pest Control?

pest control

Pest Control Services for Residential Areas

There are many different types of pests that plague certain property types throughout Arizona. Due to this, it can be a bit confusing about what the best pest control for homeowners in Phoenix is. However, if you look for these things in a home pest control service, it will make choosing a vendor much easier:

Choose certified and licensed technicians

The equipment and sprays that qualified pest-control agents use are often proprietary and can be dangerous if not handled properly. Conversely, in good hands, these tools will work wonders to help your pest problem. The Pest Management Division of Arizona creates strict environmental and human protection statutes that are upheld by quality pest-control companies. Make sure that any vendor you’re working with has their requisite licenses for being an applicator in the state – otherwise you risk hiring one of many underhanded companies that cut corners and put you and your home in danger.

Recommended Reading: Chapter 5 – Finding the Right Pest Control Professionals

Make sure you are being billed appropriately and communicated with properly

Many exterminators and pest control services will book you for a ‘block’ of time that their agent will notify you last-minute about. In reality, there should be a finite time that they arrive so that you are not waiting around for confirmation and/or can plot out what the entire scope of their services looks like.

Ask about the quality of their products

Many pest extermination products can be diluted, making them less effective. The best pest-control providers these days are shifting towards customized solutions for each property. There are also ‘green’ or organic products that are biodegradable and are good for the environment.

Get an itemized quote

While the pest control service itself is intricate, the pricing doesn’t have to be. Make sure you get an estimate and an explanation of it; no one wants to have to haggle after the fact or learn about ‘surprise’ charges when an agent shows up on site.

Most importantly, we advocate looking at reviews on multiple sites, checking the qualifications of each vendor, and getting a consultation with clear terms before committing to your service. Do your due diligence to find the right provider for your home. Once you’ve found a dependable pest-control provider, it can make a world of difference in your quality of life.

Recommended Reading: Chapter 6 – Pest Control FAQs: Can I Clean After Pest Control?

pest control spray
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