Five Minutes With Dan Scott, B.C.E
Regions are defined by their cuisine, geography and culture. They are also defined by the unique pests that inhabit them. Just ask Dan Scott, B.C.E., regional entomologist with Sprague who supports the service teams in California, Arizona and Nevada.
“The desert areas of Southern California and Nevada, and Arizona do not have the seasonality other regions in Sprague’s service footprint experience. High temperatures and low moisture conditions are very much the norm,” said Scott.
Insect development and pressure levels are also tied to local weather conditions and the warmer it is, the more active insect pests are.
“Insects do not moderate their temperature internally and as a result they react and adapt to the temperature of the environment they are in,” added Scott.
Climate change is also playing an increasing role in where pests are found and what type of pests a region may see move in.
“As warmer seasons extend northward, you’ll see higher pest reproductive rates and the introduction of pest species that 10 years ago would not call that area home due to the climate,” said Scott.
Unique Pests of the Desert Southwest
What unique pests should Arizona, southern Nevada and California commercial property owners and managers be aware of?
- A pest that creeps out virtually anyone who experiences one inside their apartment or retail store.
- There are more than 50 different species calling Arizona, southern Nevada and California home.
- They are nocturnal hunters much like bed bugs.
- They feed on other insects. If you have issues with other pests such as ants or cockroaches in and around your facility you may attract scorpions as well.
- Scorpions like to hide under rocks, leaf litter, low hanging bushes and mulch but they will come inside looking for prey.
- Exclusion practices are the best defense against scorpions. Install door sweeps and repair window, door and ventilation screens. Scorpions are known to climb stucco walls and can access a facility through torn screening.
- Roof rats are making inroads into Arizona and southern Nevada and California, but the pack rodent is a growing threat to commercial properties.
- The pack rat is indigenous to the desert and as urban sprawl continues more commercial and residential properties are encountering them.
- They burrow underground – the entrances are often confused with snake holes – and will scavenge for garbage, wooden materials and debris to add to their nest. Hence the nickname of pack rat being assigned to someone who ‘collects’ things.
- They are primarily a threat to apartment and condo complexes, office parks and retail establishments. These properties offer multiple access points, and where clutter can build up and the landscape is well developed to provide them harborage and food.
- Exclusion practices – sealing holes in the foundation, installing door sweeps, good sanitation practices, reducing clutter and good landscape maintenance are keys to avoiding a pack rat problem.
- An invasive species that was introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by military personnel returning from the Middle East.
- Turkestan roaches are primarily an outdoor pest but as their population grows, they’ll forage as far as 100 ft. in search of food, water and harborage.
- Turkestan roaches are opportunists and can be found in a variety of locations in and around a commercial facility. They can access a structure through the slightest of openings – all they need is an 1/8 of an inch opening.
- The most visible sign of a Turkestan cockroach infestation is when they are seen flying (only males can fly) at nighttime on the exterior of buildings.
- Exclusion practices, good exterior maintenance (cutting grass, trimming shrubs, picking up landscape debris, reducing mulch usage), eliminating standing water and excess moisture and following a cleaning schedule that includes power washing once a month to dislodge organic debris from drains and cracks, is your best defense against Turkestan cockroaches.
For more information on how Sprague Pest Solutions can assist you establish an effective pest prevention or management program for unique and everyday pests in Arizona, Nevada or California, call 855.805.0755.
Meet Dan Scott, B.C.E.
Dan Scott, B.C.E. is as regional entomologist for Sprague Pest Solutions working in Arizona, California and Nevada. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Scott is a board-certified entomologist (B.C.E.) and has 30 years of pest management industry experience working for and owning his home pest control company.