TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - While southern Arizona enjoyed several rain storms, many homeowners across Tucson are frustrated with a particular result of such the wet winter.
False chinch bugs are all over Nancy Bailey’s property in midtown Tucson. Before she tried bug sprays and eventually called an exterminator, Bailey wasn’t sure if they were ticks, bed bugs or something else.
“They’re all over the ground, all over the walls,” she said. “Once they climb above a doorway they drop ... and they’re on your shoulder. I lay in bed at night freaking out I have bugs crawling in my hair.”
Bailey said she feels like a hostage in her own home. She won’t let her dog outside for fear of Boo carrying more of the bugs inside.
“It’s really cramped my lifestyle,” she said.
The bugs feast on weeds, according to Truly Nolen Branch Manager Anthony Molina. He said Bailey’s yard is well maintained, but her neighbors’ yards have some problem areas.
“That’s why you don’t see as much of an issue coming from this side because the plant growth is much, much lower,” he said.
Molina said the wet winter is a factor, but it really comes down to yard maintenance. Exterminators can treat doors, windows, cracks and other areas, but it takes days to fully clear out an infestation. The key is to remove the source of their infestation.
With more than a decade with the company, Molina said he’s only experienced a few seasons like this. He said his east side branch has fielded days of requests for these bugs in just a few days. He said crews are keeping busy across the Old Pueblo.
“They come by the thousands,” Molina said. “It’s like a mass movement of insects.”
The bugs don’t bite and aren’t a public health concern, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying.