It’s Bark Scorpion Season – 5 Tips to Prevent Being Stung

Bark scorpions, also known as Arizona bark scorpions, are typically 3 inches in length or less, with a light brown body. They can be found in the southwest of the United States, including Las Vegas, and into northern Mexico. The venom of the bark scorpion is the most potent scorpion venom in North America. As the weather gets cooler, scorpions start to gather near homes on block walls, rocks, and near retaining walls.

Bark Scorpions and Dangerous Stings

A sting from the bark scorpion can cause symptoms for up to three days, including:

  • Severe pain
  • Numbness in the affected limb
  • Convulsions

Deaths have been known to occur after a sting, though usually only in the elderly, very young, or those with scorpion venom allergies. After a scorpion sting, medical attention must be sought immediately.

Bark Scorpion Behavior and Your Home

Bark scorpions don’t have nests or burrows, and prefer to roam, looking for food and shelter. They are nomadic, and will travel from home to home, looking for potential resources and invading any available space.

Most scorpions do not socialize or congregate, preferring to remain solitary. Bark scorpions are the exception: they will congregate in groups of 20-30 scorpions during the winter. Most scorpions that enter a home during the fall are doing so to escape the cold weather, and it’s vital to prevent them from moving inside.

5 Tips to Prevent Bark Scorpion Stings

Your home should be protected as thoroughly as possible against scorpions. Here are some basic prevention tips to “scorpion-proof” your house, and to prevent the stings themselves:

  1. Check your clothing, and shake your shoes before putting them on.
  2. Always check bedsheets and blankets before using them.
  3. Homes should be kept clean.
    • Clutter or other items that can serve as hiding places for scorpions should be eliminated.
    • Never reach into a box, bag, or other container without checking for scorpions first.
    • Thorough cleaning should also be completed to prevent other insects that bark scorpions like to eat, like ants and cockroaches.
  4. Your backyard should remain tidy as well.
    • Don’t allow standing water to accumulate.
    • Fill all holes and burrows (Carefully!)
    • Clean up any pet food
    • Remove any brush or piles of vegetation
    • Never go outside barefoot.
  5. Cracks in walls and foundations should be sealed, ensuring that small scorpions cannot enter.

Professional Help for Bark Scorpions in Las Vegas

If you have experienced multiple bark scorpion sightings, or you find them frequently in your backyard, you need to get professional help as soon as possible. Bark scorpions are a major and dangerous problem, and they should never be allowed to remain anywhere near your property. If you’re not sure what species of scorpion you’re seeing, give Western Exterminator a call! We can inspect your property, identify the species of scorpion, seal your home against future problems, and treat any possible scorpion infestation.

The Creepy Noise in Your Attic Could be Roof Rats

The roof rat population in Las Vegas has slowly increased over the last decade, and it shows no signs of stopping. Roof rats, also known as black rats, are much more than ugly or scary nuisances–they can carry a variety of diseases and cause serious damage to a home. How can you protect yourself and your home from these rodents?

How Do Roof Rats Get Into Your Attic?

While roof rats prefer to live in trees, they can and will move from the trees in your yard to the roof of your home, and then into the rest of the structure. They can also travel from home to home via block wall fences and trees, making their way into any structure that presents itself.

Here are just a few locations that roof rats prefer to live in:

  • Trees
  • Sheds
  • Storage sheds
  • Attics

If rodents are in your yard or in one of your outbuildings, they will continue to make their way inside your house, where it’s warmer, safer, and where they have more access to food. While in your backyard, they will eat anything they have access to, including dog feces, pet food, bird food, and garbage. It’s crucial to limit rats’ access to these materials, to avoid giving them further reason to settle within your property.

Signs of a Roof Rat Problem

Like other rodents, roof rats gnaw on things, but because of their greater size, they can cause far more damage.

  • Gnawed limbs or tree damage
  • Empty citrus fruit rinds with teeth marks
  • Smudge marks on the walls and exposed parts of your home’s interior
  • Well-worn runways (basically rat highways) through undergrowth and around your yard
  • Seeing the rats themselves in trees (usually after dark)
  • Moderately sized droppings (larger than mouse droppings)
  • Noise made running within the walls or ceiling of your home, as well as gnawing or scraping sounds

This last sign of a roof rat infestation is the worst sign, as it means they have made a home within your home! Professional rodent control and removal should be scheduled immediately.

What to Do If You Have Roof Rats in Las Vegas

If you’re hearing strange noises, or even if you only find evidence of their presence outside, it’s important to take action immediately. Roof rats are invasive, and they breed very quickly. There are few natural predators to keep their numbers down. If you need to remove roof rats from your backyard or home, call Western Exterminator today!

Do Cockroaches Really Spread Disease?

When it comes to household pests, cockroaches might be at the very top of the list. They can cause physical damage to your home, most people find them psychologically disturbing, and cockroaches can absolutely spread disease as they travel throughout your home. Cockroaches have also been linked to asthma and allergies, making these pests seriously harmful.

Cockroaches Can Spread Disease

Cockroaches are excellent carriers of disease, because they frequent the dirtiest parts of your home. They can spread e. Coli, salmonella, and other bacteria, carrying pathogens on their feet and bodies. Cockroaches love garbage, humidity, and dark places–and they will do anything and everything to gain access to these spaces. Once they’ve picked up bacteria or viruses, they will travel throughout your home, finding more dark hiding places and potential food sources. Roaches can also spread disease through their droppings, shed skins, and vomit, making them a formidable health threat.

Here are the cockroaches most commonly found in Las Vegas:

Cockroach Allergies and Asthma

Cockroach exoskeletons have been known to cause a range of respiratory conditions in humans. It has been proven that cockroaches can trigger allergies in both children and adults, which can then result in asthma attacks. Scientists believe that somewhere between 23% and 60% of urban-dwelling asthmatics are also sensitive to the allergens of cockroaches. Making matters worse, the cockroach population in urban areas grows bigger every year.

How Do Cockroaches Cause Allergies?

Cockroaches can trigger allergies just like any other common allergy source like pollen, dust, or other animals. Allergies are caused by the body’s overreaction to foreign objects it deems harmful. For example, when people who are allergic inhale pollen, their bodies go into emergency mode, producing extra mucus and other symptoms. For cockroaches, a human body reacts to the creature’s saliva, feces, and exoskeleton. Cockroaches can shed these allergens around the clock, throughout your home.

Cockroaches cause a specific type of allergic reaction in some people that can cause asthma. These acute attacks occur after the victim breathes in cockroach allergens, and they can continue for hours. Over the past 30 years, incidents of cockroach-related asthma attacks have skyrocketed.

Basic Prevention for Cockroaches

The best way to get rid of these vermin is through extermination and then preventative measures. Sanitation is essential to keeping your home roach-free after extermination.

  • Eliminate Food Sources for Cockroaches: Roaches are attracted to fruits, vegetables, crumbs, and garbage.
  • Sweep, Mop, and Clean to Prevent Cockroaches.
  • Eliminate Hiding Places: Spend some time cleaning up cluttered piles of newspapers, cardboard boxes, or old grocery bags.
  • Sprays or Chemicals: Boric acid and roach traps help with getting rid of a cockroach infestation, but prevention is the best policy.

Professional Cockroach Extermination

It is very difficult to treat cockroaches with DIY methods. More often than not, these methods do nothing more than push the cockroaches further into your home, or if you live in an apartment, into someone else’s home.

Western Exterminator specializes in cockroach extermination and infestation prevention. If you suspect you have cockroaches, or you’re at risk for asthma or allergy attacks, we recommend contacting us for an inspection right away. Cockroaches can multiply very rapidly throughout a home, and small problems can become massive in just a few short months.

Why Fall Pest Control is Important

When the long days of summer draw to a close and the cooler weather of fall approaches, so do fall invading pests. At Western Exterminator we realize that we all have some kind of bug that plagues us, and to understand why fall pest control is so important, you first have to look at the problem. And it’s not pretty.

Mice and rats can get into your walls, chew on wires, and nibble on sheet rock. So, besides being disease carriers that can run through your garage, pantry and food drawers, they can also create problems with your electric, phone, internet, and television wiring. Rodent control discourages and eliminates mice and rats from your home.

Fall invaders also bring viruses and disease.  Cockroaches can passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including pathogens that are potentially dangerous to humans. Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health because certain proteins (called allergens) found in cockroach feces, saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Cockroaches will eat almost any organic matter no matter how rancid. Once inside the home, they will seek out food scraps, unsealed food containers, sugar and grease deposits, pet food, rancid meat, glue and even bookbindings. If you see a clump of pepper-like specs in your kitchen cupboards, it is likely cockroach feces marking their courtship and nearby nesting territory.  Cockroach control can rid your home of these disease producing pests.

In fall, bugs and rodents are looking for a place to hibernate or overwinter and that’s why fall pest control is so important. A pest professional can treat your property and set up devices that watch for harmful insects, like cockroaches, scorpions and spiders. Monitoring insect activity can help to prevent many bugs from entering your home.

Fall Pest Prevention Tips:

  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help keep these areas dry.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  • Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and a buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food. It is recommended to clean up after each meal and to properly close garbage cans when they are stored in the home or garage.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry point for household pests. When you open the window, you could be letting in more than just fresh air.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
  • Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
  • Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests.


If you live in Las Vegas or Henderson, you don’t have to live in fear of bugs and rodents. Proper fall maintenance can keep your home and your family safe, and bug free. Don’t make the common mistake of stopping pest services during this time of year, a mistake that could easily lead to more serious pest problems. To learn more about protecting your home and family from pests year round, contact us today at 702-385-1269.


Preventing Bed Bugs in College Dorms

College is an exciting time. While your child is getting packed and ready for the next school year, it’s an ideal time to go over the risks and dangers of bed bugs. Bed bugs have made a comeback across the United States, and bed bug infestations are at an all-time high–especially in living situations with a high population and a typically lower level of hygiene. College dorms and apartments are the perfect environment for a bed bug infestation. Western Exterminator has put together our favorite tips and tricks for beating bed bugs.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips for Your Child

Inspect your college dorm room or apartment when you arrive: These tiny bugs can be very difficult to spot, but it is possible to find signs of their presence.

  1. Before you settle into your room, take a moment to inspect the room for signs of bedbugs.
    • Look around and between the mattress and box spring for any signs of eggs, feces, or skin that has been shed.
    • When you look at the surface of the mattress, you might find tiny specks of blood, where the bugs have bitten before.
    • Check any and all furniture within the apartment for signs of bed bugs.
  2. Bring a mattress encasement with you: Look for one that will completely seal your mattress.
    • Keep your sheets out of reach: Bed bugs can climb into your bed from the floor.
    • In general, it’s good preventative practice to keep everything off the floor, including clothes, backpacks, suitcases, and pillows.
    • Reduce clutter to prevent hiding places and unseen infestations.
  3. Wash bed linens frequently in hot water and dry thoroughly on highest heat setting.
    • Heat kills bed bugs.
  4. Don’t bring any furniture or used belongings back to your dorm or apartment without inspecting them first.
  5. Don’t leave your backpack on couches or other furniture pieces for long periods of time, especially in other people’s rooms.


Prevent Bed Bugs from Returning to Your Home

While your child is away at college, you might think your house is safe from bed bugs. But what happens when they come home? Bed bugs can make their way into suitcases and backpacks, making the journey home for Thanksgiving or Christmas a nightmare. The following precautions can help reduce the risk of a bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Put any luggage into garbage bags before bringing it into the house.
  • Wash and dry all clothing in the hottest water the fabric can safely withstand and dry on high heat setting.
  • For dry clean clothes that are able to be placed in dryer, put in dryer on medium to high setting and run for at least 30 minutes.
  • Thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the suitcase. Pay careful attention to the lining and any pockets where the bugs could be hiding.


Treatment for Bed Bugs in Dorms

The worst has happened, and despite your best efforts–you found bed bugs! Don’t try to treat them by yourself; though there are ways to help rid your home or dorm room of bed bugs, it can also make matters worse. Often times the home remedies only push the bed bugs away from the treatment and further into your home.
If the bed bug infestation is within a dorm, contact the RA right away. The school has measures in place for bed bug infestations. If the bed bug infestation is in a college apartment, or at your home, call a professional bed bug exterminator right away. The faster the problem is taken care of, the less it can spread and infest other apartments or homes.

Defend Your Home Against Ants this Fall

Ants are known for being resourceful and persistent insects–they will eat almost anything, live almost anywhere, and need little to survive. In many locations, winter can keep ant populations at bay, but sometimes cold weather just drives them further inside! As the fall weather begins to cool down, prepare yourself against ants with these tips from Western Exterminator!

How to Prevent Ants

Ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States. With more than 700 species occurring in the country, and more than 20 types known to infest homes and other structures, it’s not surprising that so many people report having issues with this pest. Argentine ants, also referred to as sugar ants by homeowners, are one of the most common ants in the Las Vegas valley. However, there are some simple elimination steps that homeowners can take to reduce the chances of unintentionally inviting ants into their home. You should aim to control or eliminate these problems before ants invade:

  • Sources of Water: Reducing moisture and standing water around the home can go a long way to help prevent ants.
    Repair leaky pipes, and routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture.
    Pet water bowls are an attractant for pests, so be sure to keep pet bowls clean and clean up any spilled food or water promptly.
  • Sources of Food: Keeping a tidy kitchen will help to discourage ants from coming indoors.
    Wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills.
    Store food in sealed pest-proof containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
    Wipe down sticky jars, especially any containing honey, syrup, sodas, or other sweets.
    Use a lid on trash-cans, and dispose of garbage regularly.
    Be sure to keep pet bowls clean, and clean up any spilled food promptly.
    Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container.
  • Sources of Entry: It’s probably not surprising to hear that ants most frequently infest kitchens. Here are a few other popular ant attractions around the home:
    Bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, inside walls, and in/around air conditioning and heating units are also known to attract ants, so make sure all entry points are sealed.
    Inspect dog/cat doors to ensure that pests cannot get through. Remember that ants can fit through even the tiniest openings.

Remember, ants want three things: water, food, and shelter. Eliminate these three resources, and you significantly reduce a potential ant problem.

Preventing Ants from the Exterior

Sometimes the exterior can be even more important than the interior! Taking steps to protect your home from the outside is one of the best ways to prevent ants from coming in during the fall.

  • Look outside of your home for easy access points.
  • Trim trees and bushes away from the home, as branches can provide highways indoors for ants.
  • Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with silicone caulk, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter.

Professional Help to Prevent Ants

Battling ants doesn’t have to be an uphill battle, but it is important to ask for professional help if you see signs of an infestation. Some species of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause serious property damage. Other species, like fire ants, can pose health threats to your family. Even species that are considered nuisance pests, like argentine ants, can contaminate food.

If you need help sealing your home and preventing ants this fall, give Western Exterminator a call today! We’ll inspect your property, identifying problem areas and access points, and we’ll help you treat or prevent a serious ant problem.

5 Steps to Keep Ants Out of the Kitchen

5 Tips to Keep Ants Out of the KitchenAs the weather cools down, ants need a place that is warm and safe so that they can spend winter in a comfortable haven. In most cases, this haven happens to be your home.

An ant infestation can drive almost anyone crazy, trying to keep up with the problem, only to find they’re back a few hours later can cause frustration to just about anyone. Ants are a very common occurrence in the Las Vegas and Henderson areas and although some homeowners may never experience an ant infestation, others can constantly be plagued by these little nuisance pests.

Odorous house ants and argentine ants tend to start showing up in the spring, and once temperatures reach triple digits, they often march inside homes in search of food and water sources. And no one wants to invite them into their home and support their large ant families.

While different species have different requirements, all have three things in common: the need for food, shelter, and water. Controlling access to these three requirements is vital in preventing an ant infestation and it’s probably not a surprise that the kitchen is considered a favorite ant hangout. Here are a few tips to keep ants out of the kitchen:

 Clean Up and Don’t Leave Dishes In The Sink Overnight

The first, and perhaps easiest measure to take, is to keep a clean kitchen. Ants will scavenge for the tiniest particles of food and ensuring that leftovers are not kept out overnight is not enough. Counters and dishes should be wiped down and spills should be wiped up with soapy water as soon as possible. Besides keeping the environment clean for humans, this also ensures that any pheromone trails laid by ants will be washed away.

Sweep and Mop Your Kitchen Floor

Ants leave pheromone trails behind. Just mopping or sweeping your floor won’t eliminate the ant trail; it needs to be cleared away with some disinfecting cleanser. Try mixing a solution of ½ vinegar and ½ water in a spray bottle, and apply to your kitchen floor before you mop. Make sure to target ant areas where you have witnessed ant activity.

Pick Up Pet Food Bowls

Your pets may not be the only ones eating from their dishes. Ants are often found swarming in food and water bowls because they need water and love the protein in pet food. When feeding, try to place the bowls away from foundation walls. It’s very easy for ants to trail in from outside and find Fido’s food. Keep pet dishes slightly elevated if you can, and pick up and discard any uneaten food every night before you go to bed

Keep Food in Sealed Containers

Ants are in search of sugar-based foods and protein-based foods. Be sure to store all open food in containers with tight fitting lids. Glass and plastic containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you feel an ant can get into a certain type of food, just store it in an airtight container to prevent access.

Take Out The Trash

Ant colonies will find your trash as treasure. Food items should never be left in the garbage pail to sit for days, so trash should be taken out frequently. Make sure all perishables are bagged well before throwing them away. As garbage breaks down, it takes on an even stronger odor, so keep your outdoor garbage bins as far from your home as possible and rinse out with soap and water regularly.

If you apply these methods and still experience ant issues, Western Exterminator has compiled an Ant Resource Center to help you not only identify what types of ants you’re dealing with, but help you get your problem under control. We also provide expert solutions to help our customers keep their homes and businesses ant free. Give us a call if you decide you need help combating these invaders.

Keeping Stink Bugs Out Of Your Home This Fall

What are these stinky pests?

Stink bugs are insects known as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) that found their way to North America during the late 1990s. It is said that they came to the eastern United States from Taiwan, China, Korea or Japan. With the help of the Agriculture Department’s Crop Research team, new management solutions are being developed to protect our homes and food supply.

Their brown shield-like shape and the smelly odor they emit when crushed helps to identify the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. It seems that these bugs are now becoming an annoyance in homes throughout the east coast and spreading further to the western states of the U.S. These brown stinky pests are no longer just an issue for the farmer. They do not harm humans or cause interior damage to structures, but they have become a menace in homes, and businesses requiring Stink Bug Control.

Stink bugs can easily create havoc in and around the home

These pests are trouble. The BMSB easily destroy the ornamental plants around a home. They are very fond of vegetables, fruit, nut plants, shrubs, and other plants found in backyard gardens. The stink bug’s mouth has tiny needle-like projections that aids in their recovery of nutrients from their favorite plants. There are over fifty different varieties of vegetation that attract the stink bug.

Due to the cooler weather and diminishing availability of food and water they will start to look for a place to overwinter. Like many other flying insects, as the weather changes, they look for a warm home to nest. The stink bug will choose to overwinter in your home if they are given an opportunity, and will overrun any home leaving, it smelling like dirty feet.

Be Concerned if a Stink Bug is Spotted…

  • Flying around the living areas of the home
  • Near indoor lighting, light shades, draperies or blinds
  • Around the kitchen or bathroom looking for water sources
  • Near or in the family’s pet water dishes or fish bowls
  • Looking for food near indoor ornamental plants

Preventive Measures to Take for Stink Bug Control

Stink Bug Control begins with an inspection of your property as soon as a BMSB is spotted. Having a licensed pest control expert spray the exterior and interior of the home is helpful. It does not stop there; repeated applications may be required. Checking the exterior of the home for openings, holes, and cracks fends off an invitation to any flying insect who is looking for a suitable place to overwinter. They sense the cooler weather approaching faster than humans. Finding evidence of these pests too late may mean they will be visiting throughout the long winter season. Entomologists suggest avoiding the temptation to step on these pests due to the nasty smell they emit when crushed. Best practices recommended to rid the home of these pests are to vacuum them up or flush them down the toilet.

Remember to Inspect the exterior of the home for:

  • Cracks and openings in the fascia or stucco walls
  • Old and cracking caulking around incoming utility wires, cables, water pipes, and vents
  • Holes in door and window screens

Repairing these items will help keep stink bugs at bay. These smelly insects search for warm areas of the home and can flatten their bodies to fit into the tightest crack. Proper preventive maintenance of the home will keep it that Home Sweet Home.

Bug of the Week ~ The Walking Stick

Walking Stick Pest Control Las Vegas Pest Control Western Exterminator Las Vegas Henderson NV
The Australian walking stick mimics leaves.

Although you don’t come across walking sticks often in Las Vegas and Henderson, our pest professionals have spotted the insect on valley trees and shrubs. Stick insects are so named for their effective camouflage among the woody plants where they feed. They’re typically brown, black, or green, with stick-shaped bodies that help them blend in as they perch on twigs and branches. Some even wear lichen-like markings to make their disguise more authentic. Stick insects imitate twigs swaying in the wind by rocking back and forth as they move.

Almost all stick insects have a body that is not exclusively designed for movement or efficiency, but also designed for camouflage. Their body and legs are elongated and some, like the australian walking stick have projections on their legs and body to mimic leaves or other natural occurring material.

Stick insects can shed and regenerate their limbs to escape attacks by predators.

Stick insects can shed and regenerate their limbs. Should a bird or other predator grab hold of a stick insect’s leg, it can still make an easy escape. The stick insect simply gives up the leg, using a special muscle to break it off at a weak joint. Juvenile stick insects will regenerate the missing limb the next time they molt.

Stick insects don’t bite, but they aren’t defenseless.

Stick insects can shed and regenerate their limbs.

If threatened, a stick insect will use whatever means necessary to thwart its attacker. Some will regurgitate a nasty substance that will put a bad taste in a hungry predator’s mouth. Others reflex bleed, oozing a foul-smelling hemolymph from joints in their body. Some of the large, tropical stick insects may use their leg spines, which help them climb, to inflict some pain on an enemy. Stick insects may even direct a chemical spray, much like tear gas, at the offender.


Resource: Debbie Hadley /