Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Three Species of Arizona Cockroaches

Most types of cockroaches here in Phoenix, AZ are NOT household pests. The majority of cockroaches live in the tropics, far from fast food and flushing toilets. There are three species of cockroaches that are common to Arizona. They include:

Blatella germanica

German Cockroach

These cockroaches are notorious worldwide. When they invade, they set up housekeeping, living, feeding and breeding under the same roof with you. They like the kitchen and bathroom, where they can eat, drink and be merry at will.

They are pale brown and only about ½” to ¾” long. These little pests have oodles of off-spring. One female will lay over 2,000 eggs in a single year.



The american cockroach, Periplaneta americana....

American Cockroach

These cockroaches are reddish brown and up to 2” long. These guys are bigger and uglier then the Germans, but not quite the nuisance.

Americans just visit your home, stopping to grab something to eat. They then leave to live and breed someplace else.

They love warm, moist areas and live in sewers, basements, storage rooms and garbage areas. American roaches can go three months without food and a full month without water.



Turkestan Cockroach

Turkestan cockroaches are shorter and a little darker than the American roach. The Turkestans prefer to live outdoors rather than in buildings and sewers. You will find then in leaf litter, flower beds, under rocks and sprinkler control or water meter boxes.

These critters pose less of a health hazard than American or German cockroaches and have one major characteristic most people find offensive. They fly!



Phoenix Roach Control

The city of Phoenix will paint the inside of some 8,000 manholes with a latex based pesticide every two years. This greatly helps in controlling the cockroach populations. However, the City is only responsible for the public sewers. It’s us, the citizens of Phoenix, who are responsible for keeping cockroaches out of our homes and properties.

If you are a Phoenix resident, and are having a problem with cockroaches in and around your property, contact a local pest control professional today!

Bulwark Exterminating
10401 N 91st Ave
Peoria, AZ 85345
(623) 572-3016

Bulwark Exterminating
1228 East Broadway Road
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 969-7474

Beekeeper Total Bee Control Inc
1202 East Maryland Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 274-0400

Critter Control
Phoenix, AZ 85001
(602) 569-2360

The Maricopa Harvester Ant: The Most Venomous Insect in the World

The head of an ant seen very close up.

The Maricopa Harvester Ant

Maricopa harvester ants are commonly found in most parts of Arizona, including Phoenix. It is perhaps most recognized as holding the record for having the most venomous sting of all insects. The ant is about three centimeters long, and it spends its entire life in the desert areas. Maricopa harvester ants have two pairs of membranous wings, yet they will not have them for the greater part of their life. They build gigantic nests that can measure more than 30 feet in diameter and reach heights of six feet. However, these massive nests are only common if natural forces do not destroy them, or if the nest is not invaded by other ant species.


Maricopa harvester ants range in color from bright red to dark brown. They range in size from one centimeter to three centimeters, depending on their age. Like most insects, they have three body segments; the head, the abdomen, and the thorax. While most of the ants people see are wingless, Maricopa harvester ants due in fact possess wings. The male ants will lose their wings and die after they mate, while the females will just lose their wings. A feature that also separates this species of ant from others is that they possess a stinger that is similar to that of a bee. They use their stingers as a defense against invading creatures, and to capture their prey.


Like all other harvester ants, the Maricopa harvester ant is a forager. They are sent from their nests to gather seeds and dead insects and bring them back to their nest to share with the colony. Maricopa harvester ants will forage up to 33 feet away from the nest in order to make sure that they bring back enough food for the entire colony.


Maricopa harvester ants contain the most toxic venom of all insects. The venom is a mixture of amino acids, peptides, and proteins. The ant injects its venom after it attaches to their victim by clinging on to them with their pinchers. After it has attached, it will position itself so its stinger is facing towards the victim. The ant will then sting as many times as it can before it is dislodged or killed.

The venom from the Maricopa harvester ant is twelve times more powerful than that of a honeybee. A four and a half pound rat could be killed by as few as twelve stings, and a 150 lb human could be killed by about 350 stings. To get the same mortality rate from a bee, a human would have to be stung well over 10,000 times, without an allergic reaction taking place. While this may seem like a high number of stings it is very low compared to the amount of stings from other insects. The most dangerous aspect of an attack is when the first ant stings it’s victim it will release pheromones that signal other members of the colony to come and attack as well.

Ant Control

As Phoenix residents, we are often more focused on keeping the deadly Arizona Bark Scorpions out of our homes. The truth is that Maricopa harvester ants can be just as deadly as scorpions if left untreated. If you are having ant problems of any kind, it’s pest that you contact a Phoenix pest control professional to help eliminate the ants before they find you or your family.

Bulwark Exterminating
10401 N 91st Ave
Peoria, AZ 85345
(623) 572-3016

Bulwark Exterminating
1228 East Broadway Road
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 969-7474

Orkin Pest & Termite Control
3830 West Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019
(866) 713-9979