Eric Papadeas

Eric Papadeas sprays bug spray around a yard in Chandler on Wednesday, April 10. Papadeas owns Pest'R Us and is celebrating 20 years in business this May.

Allison Hurtado/AFN

Regular spraying of your home and some professional advice could save homeowners a lot of trouble this year as experts are predicting crickets, scorpions and ants to be a big problem this spring.

Eric Papadeas and his wife, Melinda, started working in pest control in Ahwatukee 20 years ago. His company, Pest’R Us, has seen it all from rats and bees to scorpions and cockroaches. This year, he’s predicting a tough year because of all the rain the Valley has seen and the heat.

Papadeas said the heat puts pressure on the ground and forces more ants up to the surface. While taking away any sugar or food that might attract them can help, regular spraying is the best way to permanently keep ants out of the house.

Because of the rain, people moving or changing landscapes, Papadeas said he expects to see a lot more crickets this year and crickets are a main food source for scorpions. Scorpions will go anywhere they can find food and an opening, Papadeas said. They can squeeze through an opening the size of a credit card, but homeowners can help block some of those openings by using a flashlight on one side of a door and searching for spots where too much light comes through.

“Scorpions are blind,” he said. “They go by feel. When their appendages feel an opening they take the rest of their body into that opening. It’s good to seal off any plumbing coming into the home and good to look into your valve box or water main to see if there are any insects there that they might feed on.”

Bees are another problem Papadeas warns to look out for this season. Bees are pollinating right now and are attracted to damp, cool places and small openings. If a bee hive does appear in a tree Papadeas said it may go away on its own in a day or two. Most professionals cannot take the bees alive because it’s hard to tell if the bees are Africanized and bee keepers are rare in Arizona.

If bees leisurely fly into a yard to pollinate plants but don’t form into a hive, Papadeas said there’s no real cure for the problem. He said as long as people don’t swat at the bees they usually won’t be a problem.

While Pest’R Us has already received a few calls about rodents, birds and cockroaches he said it’s always difficult to predict when those critters might be a problem. A regular visit from an exterminator can usually keep all pests away.

Pest’R Us is celebrating 20 years in business with a customer appreciation night for all current customers on April 29 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Sleepy Dog Brewery, 1920 E. University Drive. There will be live music, food and giveaways. Going above and beyond to thank customers for their loyalty is how Papadeas said he’s been so successful in business. Customers can RSVP for the event at

For more information on Pest’R Us, visit or call (480) 598-9898.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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