By Angela CamaraOctober 11, 2019
FORT HUACHUCA, ARIZONA -- Living in the desert southwest can bring many encounters with various types of insects and wildlife, but Mountain Vista Communities (MVC) and Fort Huachuca's Directorate of Public Works want to ensure the health and safety of all our residents both inside and outside the home.
All vacant homes are inspected and treated by a licensed pest control contractor prior to occupancy to identify and eliminate any existing pest issues and help reduce the possibility of a future pest threat.
It is a resident's responsibility to inform the MVC Maintenance Office of any pest problem that cannot be easily resolved with over-the-counter remedies. A technician will be sent out to assess the situation. Upon verification of a pest issue, MVC will schedule a licensed contractor to provide service until resolved.
Infestations could be ants, roaches, silverfish or other insects that are seen in or around the home in quantity. Infestations could also be mice and other small rodents.
Upon move-in, families receive a voucher for a free 5-liter bottle of indoor insect killer. MVC provides this to residents so they may perform their own routine preventative pest control to help reduce the possibility of an infestation.
Residents are encouraged to routinely apply pesticide to the exterior perimeter of their home and entryways to the home such as thresholds and window frames. This can be done with over-the-counter pesticides similar to what is provided upon move-in.
Bees are not considered to be an infestation unless they are building a hive or present for more than 24 hours.
MVC residents who require a pest inspection, should call the Maintenance Office at 520.458.5885.
Even in the cantonment area, wildlife abounds on Fort Huachuca and living here gives residents an opportunity to see everything from bears and bobcats to snakes and skunks.
Bears venture down from the canyons and into picnic areas and neighborhoods every summer. They are drawn by the multiple food sources that are intentionally or unintentionally left out. Unfortunately, most bears that find their way into neighborhoods are eventually euthanized because they become habituated to human activity and food sources.
Bobcats are a medium-sized cat that tends to be very secretive, solitary and is seldom seen by people. They are active both day and night. Its coat is variable, though generally tan to grayish-brown with black streaks on the body and dark bars on the forelegs and tail. Its spotted patterning acts as camouflage. If you see a bobcat, keep your distance and do not approach it.
Coyotes are very common. They have large ears, gray and black fur, and a long bushy tail. Coyotes also have a great sense of smell and can easily become attracted to food left out or garbage cans that do not have a secure lid. Coyotes are extremely shy and one they notice your presence will typically run away. If you spot a coyote, do not approach it.
Mountain lions are large slender cats with short coarse fur. The general coloration ranges from a yellowish brown to grayish brown on the upper parts and a paler, almost buff color on the belly. The throat and chest are whitish. Although the mountain lion tends to stick in and around the mountains, they have been sighted in the cantonment area, likely using drainages and in search of prey. If seen, do not approach.
Skunks are primarily nocturanal, it is not unusual to see them during the day. This is especially true during winter and spring (breeding and young rearing seasons). Most skunks are passing through and do not pose a risk to humans.
Snakes can be present anywhere! Be aware of your surroundings. When walking at night always carry a flashlight.
• Never leave food out.
• Keep garbage cans inside the garage until the day of pick up and bring cans back inside the same day. Even garbage cans that are tied down outside act as an attractant.
• Keep pet food indoors at night.
• Keep pets indoors at night.
• Bring bird feeders inside at night.
• Keep barbecue grills clean and in your garage.
If you have any safety concerns regarding a wildlife interaction, call the Military Police station at 520.533.3000.
For wildlife questions, call the Environmental and Natural Resources Division at 520.678.8112.