Archive for Exterminating Arizona

With plant growth regulator, we have a reliable solution for olive fruit prevention. Trees can be sprayed from late January to early April before any flower bud formation on the olive tree. The chemical causes any flowers which form in April and May to wither and fall off without setting fruit. This effectively prevents the messy problem caused by unwanted olives in late fall and into the following year, usually with 90% fruit elimination or better! The spray only works for a single season, and must be done every year. Trees under stress, radically pruned, or with sensitive plants under them may require special precautions.  Covering plants during application or hosing off the plants beneath the tree before and after the spraying will help protect them, and our service technicians will provide this service to avoid any damage to other plants. We do offer discounts for multiple trees, neighborhoods, and communities!

The holiday season is filled with decorating, baking and celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, many pests, including rodents, pantry pests, spiders and mites, have been known to try to join in the holiday fun. We urge homeowners to take precautions against pests that may invade their homes via decorations, firewood and baking ingredients.

Everyone enjoys the festive spirit of the holidays. Unfortunately, as we bring beautiful parts of nature indoors to decorate and warm our homes, we could be rolling out the red carpet for pests, as well.   Ants, spiders and more can easily be brought in on firewood, Christmas trees and other greenery. Mice can be smuggled in through boxes of decorations and baking ingredients can harbor pantry pests. By taking a few preventative steps, homeowners can keep their homes safe and healthy for their families this holiday season.”

 To keep pests from spoiling your family’s holiday fun, the NPMA offers the following tips:

•Inspect live, fresh cut evergreen trees, wreathes and garlands for spiders, insect nests or eggs before purchasing. Shake greenery outdoors to remove any pests before bringing them inside.

•Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or poles.

•Unpack decorations outdoors so pests aren’t released into the home.

•Check expiration dates on ingredients before use and only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.

•Store freshly baked sweets and opened ingredients in airtight containers.

•Add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods like flour and rice – the pungent scent repels many pantry pests.

•Repack decorations in durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through.

•If an infestation occurs, partner with your local, licensed pest professional.

For more information on common household pests, prevention tips contact Bircher Exterminating Services

If you’re looking for a warm place to spend the winter, you’re not alone! So are pests!

This time of the year, we get calls about all kinds of pests trying to take up residence in homes and businesses in preparation for winter. Pests like rodents (mice & rats), flies, crickets, stink bugs, spiders and others are being reported throughout the valley this fall. If you observe any of these or other pests, be sure to give us a call!

In the meantime, there are measures you can take to prevent pests from entering your home or business. These include:

• Caulking or otherwise sealing openings on the outside that leads into the structure.• Trimming bushes away from the sides of the building. These act as superhighways to pests looking for a warm place to spend the winter.

• Check to be sure screens are in good repair.

• Seal doors, windows and basement sashes with adhesive- backed weather stripping. Clean the surface first so the weather strip will adhere well.

• Rake moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from the window frames and low wood. Turn your mulch periodically to help keep dampness down, and keep bushes trimmed back as well.

• Fix any leaks inside that will provide needed moisture to pests.

• Move wood piles, compost piles, piles of leaves or grass clippings, or stacked boards or stones away from the foundation.

• Ventilate basements and crawlspaces to reduce moisture levels.

• Drain standing water around the foundation.

• Reduce outside lights, especially around doorways. Many pests are attracted to lights.

Remember, we’re here to help when you need us!!

Almost anywhere in a backyard can be a home for roof rats. Home owners just need to maintain their landscaping and keep a clean patio and they should be roof rat worry-free. Here are some tools to use to help keep these rodents away.

 A popular spot is resting water; in the summer’s monsoon or storm season a lot of water is left on carports or on back porches. It is best to sweep the water into the gutter or into your grass, that way there are no puddles for rats to come drink from.

 Don’t worry if you have a giant amount of resting water known as a pool, roof rats are afraid to swim! But keep plants that are next to your pool trimmed up.

 Another great way to prevent roof rats in your plants is to put the planters on a rack so they are not resting on the ground.

 A favorite of roof rats is dog or cat food, if there are food bowls left outside for your animal there is a high possibility roof rats will stop by.

 A great way to keep roof rats out of your citrus trees is to put a rat guard on the tree. This is a piece of sheet metal wrapped around the tree to make sure the rats cannot crawl up it.

 Trimming all trees is important. Make sure they are not touching power lines or anything else as the rats will use those to get into the top of the tree. Also make sure no branches are too low as that will be a way to crawl up the tree.

 With bushes, it is best to keep them pruned regularly, and having the bottom not touch the ground below is helpful.

 With all shrubbery, bushes, and trees it is best to have them free standing that way their limbs do not overlap fences or worse yet, your house, which can make it easier for roof rats to make a home.

 All stacks of wood or clippings should be kept at a higher level and not on the ground.

 Keep any containers that are outside closed with a tight lid. Anything from a trash can to a plastic storage container. Especially a trash container otherwise it’s a roof rats paradise.

 When trimming bigger plants like oleanders or bougainvillea’s, make sure they are thinned out enough where you can see the sunlight through them. The thicker they are, the more appealing they are to roof rats.

 Rats will eat anything so ensure to clean up thoroughly after parties on your patio.

 Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees on a daily basis. If they can’t get in your tree then the next best thing is a free meal.

 Pick up animal waste on a daily basis. Yes, as gross as it sounds that is another invitation for a rat to come feed.

 Keep the bottom of your trees cleaned up as well, if you don’t have a rat guard. If the area is open many of the rat’s enemies could see it, so they tend to stay away from areas where they can’t hide.

Although the rats are not in the house, they are still close enough that they could have the opportunity to get in. In the spring and fall seasons the evenings can be cool, sometimes with a slight breeze; many people tend to open a porch door or some windows in the house to help with air flow. Even though the weather is nice this is a welcome mat for roof rats.

Double check these areas, as they are the most popular places for roof rats to live.

Pre-Emergent Weed control is like insurance for your yard! You know the weeds will come, it is just a question of when and how bad will they be this season? The cities of the valley are known to be hit with winter weed annuals after the winter rains and summer weed annuals during Monsoon season.

The goal is to prevent the seeds and spores of weeds that travel by wind and other animals from taking root in your yard.  Treating the rocks and crevices where weeds pop up while leaving no damage to the lawn or existing shrubs and trees.

We recommend a Pre-Emergent Weed Control be applied every six months to control weeds in your yard.

What does the term “pre-emergent weed control” refer to?  It means “weed prevention.” It refers to a method for preventing weeds by way of killing weed seeds and seedlings before they can germinate or establish themselves. To accomplish this, there are pre-emergent weed control products you can use to kill weed seeds before or as they try to sprout. Pre-emergent weed control can tremendously cut down on the need for mixing and spraying other chemicals to kill weeds post-emergently, after they have sprouted.

Winter annuals germinate in late summer and fall, small leaves during our short mild winter then flourish in the spring or the months of March and April in the valley. It is best to apply a pre-emergent weed control herbicide from February thru April.

Common winter weeds include:

-Spurges (Euphorbia spp) spotted spurge; ground spurge and creeping spurge typically have prostrate stems up to about ½ meter in length. Typically considered a summer annual, Arizona’s warm climate keeps this weed active year round.

-London rocket (Sisymbrium trio) Flowering December to May growing up to 36” tall with yellow flowers.

-Nettleleaf (goosefoot Chenopodium murale) coarse bushy annual with a strong unpleasant odor, 1 to 3 feet high, December to June.

-Silversheath Knotweed (Polygonum argyrocoleon)

-Spiny Sowthistle (Sonchus asper)

-Wild Oat (Avena fatua)

-Shepherdspurse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

 Summer annuals in the valley, they germinate in the spring, mature and produce seeds during the summer, and die in the fall or winter when frost occurs.

Common summer weeds include:

-Russian Tumbleweed (Salsola kali var. tenuifolia) the classic Arizona tumbleweed.

-Junglegrass (Echinochloa colonum)

-Spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) Active August through November. Growing in a flat mat shape with little leaves, and spread throughout landscaping rocks. Contain white, sticky milky juice which may cause skin inflammation, all the more reason to not pull your own weeds!

-Red Sprangletop (Leptochloa filiformis)

-Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus pallmeri)

-Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)

-Large Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)

-Bermuda grass:  This troublesome weed is very hard to eradicate when it becomes established in undesired areas. Bermuda pollen is one of the most serious sources of hay fever in the state. However, it is the most common summer lawn grass in southern Arizona. It cannot stand freezing temperatures, shade, or frequent cultivation, but can tolerate indefinite periods of drought.

-Nutsedge:  Resembling grass, Nutsedge can take over your lawn and can be hard to treat if not managed early on.

If you are sick and tired of seeing weeds on your property, and if you have tried just about everything in the book trying to get rid of them, please give us a call. We are straightforward in our approach and professionalism, and we always aim for total customer satisfaction with our complete services.


Ant Activity

Posted by: | Comments (0)

If you haven’t already seen them, now is the time when pesky little ants make their appearance in many homes. As the weather gets warmer ant colonies become more active.  Not only are ants a major nuisance for many homeowners but it is very hard to get rid of ants due to their very large colonies which house thousands of ants.

There are several species of ants that can be found in Arizona and while most are considered just nuisance pests, others like carpenter ants can actually cause extensive structural damage. But regardless of the species of ant, they are not an insect that you want to welcome inside or anywhere near your home. The most common mistake that homeowners make is attempting to get rid of ants on their own with store bought sprays. Not only will you still see ants but it will be even harder to locate the source of their colony.

In order to help protect your home from any ant invaders follow these steps for ant prevention:

-Make sure that all of your windows and doors are secured with tight fitting screens that have no holes or tears.

-Cut back bushes and shrubs so they are not touching the side of your home.

-Seal off any holes or cracks on the exterior of your home.

-Keep your kitchen clean from any food debris including grease, crumbs, and spills.

-Keep open food stored in containers with tight fitting lids.

-Always continue with your routine home pest control services.

Ants may come in large numbers but homeowners can still win the battle! By following these ant prevention tips you will hopefully stay free of any major ant infestations this year. But if they do happen to sneak past your barriers and find their way into your home then it is best to call in the pest control pros so that they can locate the colony and eliminate it.

For those living with pesky ants, contact Bircher Exterminating Services! Our team of pest control professionals will be able to not only get rid of the existing ants but help you to prevent them from coming back.

The mosquito is a disease carrier and an irritant, but the mosquito is not impossible to control. Understanding mosquito’s biology and the mosquito breeding cycle can result in effective pest control for mosquito infestation. This pesky mosquito is found worldwide.

The mosquito affects humans only in their adult stage, all other mosquitoes stages occur in water. There are about three thousand species of mosquitoes worldwide, approximately 170 species in North America. Breeding sites, biting preferences, time of day they bite and ability to transmit diseases vary with the species.

Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis, egg, larvae, pupae and adult. The adult male feeds on nectar and is important only for mating. The female usually must have a blood feast in order to produce viable eggs and that is where the problems begin. They feed on mammals, and humans are among some species favorites. This is annoying and at times unbearable, but not as scary as the diseases some are able to carry. Certain female mosquitoes are capable of being vectors (disease carriers,) of Malaria, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, Dengue, and Dog Heartworm.

Breeding occurs with mosquitoes in any area there is standing water such as stagnant ponds, discarded tires, tree stumps, etc. The more rainfall per season, the more numerous the mosquitoes. With mild winters and excessive rainfalls the possibility of a troublesome mosquito season is more likely.

Complete development from egg to adult varies with species and temperature, but usually takes from 10-14 days. Once the eggs hatch into larvae or wigglers they begin feeding on algae and other organic matter in the water. The larvae develop through four molts and pupate. The pupae do not feed but are mobile spending much of their time near the water surface to breathe, and after one to three days emerge as an adult. The adults mate 24-48 hours after emergence.

The male dies after six or seven days, the female, depending on the species, lives from two weeks to 3 months during the summer. Once she has had a blood meal she will lay her first and largest brood of 50-500 eggs. Subsequent broods will be smaller but there will be 8-10 broods. Consider an average brood of 200 eggs per brood and that this insect can complete its development in less than two weeks, we can obtain in only five generations some 20 million of these pests.

Mosquito Control

Mosquito control can be achieved using a biological environmentally safe bacteria that kills only mosquito larvae or an I.G.R. (insect growth regulator.) The best time to control mosquitos is before they become adults. Through careful inspection of breeding sites and timely applications of a larvicide you can achieve up to ninety percent control.

 Mosquito Preventive Measures

Some mosquito problems can be eliminated by local residents. This could possibly reduce the number of costly applications during the season, especially in a cooperative effort. The preventative measures are as follows:

-Clean and maintain catch basins that hold water.

-Collect and properly discard all useless artificial containers such as cans bottles and old tire casings.

-Cover or turn over other containers such as boats, barrels, tubs and tanks.

-Inspect and clean rain gutters and down spouts regularly

-Fill or drain low places where water may accumulate and stand for more than one week.

-Properly maintain backyard swimming pools.

If drainage is a major problem, or if drainage ditches remain damp, use alarvicide. (mosquito dunk or Altosid) These are biological or growth regulators and are not harmful to fish, humans or other animals.

Let Bircher Exterminating Services be the company you call to keep you protected. Contact us today at


Homes all over the country can be infested by the dreaded termite. This insect will work quietly and devastatingly inside the structure of your house and can do serious damage if not removed. Here are some pointers on how to look for signs of termites.

Watch out for mud tubes. Unlike ants, termites do not roam around exposed. They either burrow through wood or travel inside pencil-sized (or larger) mud tubes that they build from wood particles, soil and other materials. Look around the foundation of your home, in the crawl space and along the walls of your garage for termite tubes. These tubes are earth-colored and about the diameter of a pencil. If you find any, break them open to see if there are live termites inside. Live termites are a sign that you have a termite problem. Even if you do not see termites, it doesn’t mean that termites are gone; they may have just abandoned this particular mud tube. Check again the area after a few weeks to see if the termites have rebuilt the mud tubes.

Be wary of any holes that suddenly emerge in walls, most especially if you see any signs of soil close by. While the tunnels may be deep within the walls, termite holes can sometimes be found in painted drywall, and even in wallpapers.  Some small surface holes may already be a clue of termite activity, just a few inches behind the walls.

If you think you may have termite damage, call us, as serious damage could be taking place in the structure of your home. Proper treatment is best handled by a Bircher Exterminating professional.


While bees are crucial for plant pollination and wasps are predators that help control the insects they feed on, they can quickly become a hazard when they take residence around your property. Bees can become aggressive and will sting in order to defend themselves, their queen, colony, and nest. Wasps can even become aggressive around human food.

The most important rule of bee control is to eliminate the nest, where the queen bee is living and reproducing while her worker bees build comb and make honey to store for winter.

Bees, wasps, and hornets will build nests in or on any protected place, including overhangs, eaves, walls, garages, attics, sheds, barns, or trees. Bee honey and comb can cause structural damage when the hive or nest becomes too large, and the sweet honey will attract other pests as well, such as insects and rodents.

The best time of year for bee control is in late spring or early summer, when the queen has already established her colony but the nest is still small.

A professional bee exterminator is recommended for bee removal because bees become territorial and aggressive when their hive is threatened. Part of a bee’s job is to protect the queen by defending the hive, and even the most non-threatening bee species like honey bees and bumble bees will become aggressive when their hive is attacked for removal or extermination.

Are the roaches I am seeing possibly coming from my neighbor’s house? This is a question you hear often, and the answer is yes, it is possible. Roach problems like this between neighbors often happen more in row home or apartment and condo situations. With the close proximity of a row home and sometimes with the common joist set up, or in the case of apartments where pipes and wires are all common, it is the perfect highway set up for roaches to travel back and forth.

If you are faced with this problem it is best to team up with your neighbor, swallow your pride, and set up pest control services for all the homes affected.

One thing you don’t want to do is set off “bug foggers” in your home. This will only spread roaches back and forth for sure.

Thankfully roaches are easy enough to get rid of, especially if you catch the problem early. Call a professional and relax.