Weird Facts about Pests

Check out these interesting facts about pests that you probably didn’t know!

For more than 3,000 years carpenter ants have been used to close wounds in India, Asia and South America

Each year, insects eat 1/3 of the Earth’s food crop

The queen of a termite colony may lay 6,000 to 7,000 eggs per day, and may live 15 to 50 years

Cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 15 minutes

Did you know that you are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than a poisonous spider

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Nashville & Columbus…Here We Come!

Northwest Exterminating is expanding to Columbus, GA and Nashville, TN!

Northwest Exterminating is proud to announce that we are expanding into two new markets.  In March, we opened our 15th service center in Columbus, GA.  After servicing the Columbus area for many years, we thought it was time to put some roots down in the growing community. 

Most recently, Northwest Exterminating has announced that it will soon be opening a location in Nashville, Tennessee.  We have worked with builders in the area for a few years and decided that Nashville would be the perfect place for us to open our first service center outside of Georgia. 

 We are very excited about the expansion into these new areas and we’re looking forward to being a part of the local communities.

 

10 Myths about Spiders

Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders or other arachnids.  According to Wikipedia, “in Western societies, as many as 55% of females and 18% of males” experience arachnophobia.  Although some spiders do pose a threat, there are many misconceptions regarding these creepy crawly creatures.  Here are 10 myths about spiders:

Myth: A spider always has 8 legs
Truth: This isn’t always true.  All arachnids have 4 pair of legs (one pair per leg-baring segment).  Some individual legs can be lost.

Myth:  “Daddy-longlegs” is a spider
Truth:
This one can be a bit confusing since different people refer to different creatures as “daddy-longlegs”.  The majority of people refer to a Harvestman as a “daddy-longlegs” when actually it is an arachnid, not a spider.  Harvestmen have one body section whereas spiders have two.

Myth: Spider specimens can be mailed with a letter in a common envelope for identification
Truth: No.  Through the postage process envelopes can take a pretty heavy beating which leads to crushing of the spider.  This causes the spider to be unidentifiable.  If you would like to send a spider in for identification, call your pest control company or entomologist for special instructions on how they would like the spider delivered.

Myth: Spiders in the home are a danger to children and pets.
Truth: Spiders that are most often found in homes prey on insects or other small creatures rather than humans and pets.  It is extremely rare for a venomous spider to be found in a home, and when they are, they are usually unaware of your existence and will not bite.

Myth: A “Daddy-longlegs” is the world’s most venomous spider but it can’t bite you
Truth: As we discussed above, most people confuse “daddy-longlegs” with other species of arachnids or spiders.  The fact is, most of these creatures that they are confused with either have no venom at all or such weak venom that it has no effect on its victim.

Myth: A spider leaves 2 puncture marks when it bites
Truth: In most cases, the fangs are so small that there is no visible entry mark.  Also, the two fangs are so close together there is little visible separation. 

Myth:House spiders” should be put outside
Truth: Most spiders found in the home cannot survive outside and will perish quickly due to weather and other elements. 

Myth: One specimen is enough of a sample to tell what spiders live in a house
Truth: The truth is that there are many different species (10-30) of spiders living in your home.  Just knowing one species won’t help you with all of the spiders that could be found.

Myth: Spiders are poisonous
Truth:  Spiders are “venomous”, not “poisonous”.  In most cases, the venom from spiders is too weak to effect humans. 

Myth: Spider bites are deadly
Truth: Although, there have been occasions where people have died from spider venom, in most cases, if medical attention is sought, death from a spider bite is almost unknown.

 

What's the Difference Between Centipedes and Millipedes?

Millipedes and centipedes are both common pests that can be found in homes across the US.  Both pests are arthropods which mean they are inverebrates – having an external skeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages.  Although these pests look similar and are oftentimes confused, they do have some major differences. 

Centipede

 

  •  Centipedes tend to occur in lower numbers than millipedes
  • 14 or more segments
  • Centipedeshave forcipules (modifications on the first pair of legs that form pincer-like appendages) are found on no other arthropods.
  • Considered carnivorous compared to the millipede
  • Have 1 pair of legs per body segment
 

Millipede

 

For more information on Centipedes and Millipedes, visit our Pest Library!

 

Nisus GPM All-Star

Green Pro Certified

 Northwest Exterminating is Green Pro Certified

Northwest Exterminating was recently named a Nisus GPM (Green Pest Management) All-Star in the June 2011 edition of PCT Magazine (Pest ControlTechnology).  Nisus defines GPM as “an integrated, multi-step approach that combines prevention and monitoring techniques with a prudent approach to pesticides, rendering a responsible – yet highly effective – solution.”  Northwest Exterminating has been recognized because of our Green pest control solution, NorPest GreenNorPest Green is an eco-friendly pest control system that is effective, non-invasive and kind to your natural environment. 

Check out the latest issue of PCT Magazine or visit us ONLINE for more information on NorPest Green and our other Green options.

 

German Cockroach

It’s no coincidence that we often get calls regarding the German cockroach.  If you have ever lived in an apartment or rented a home, you have likely encountered the German cockroach. It is the most common cockroach found in homes, apartments, and restaurants. Not only will these big roaches make your skin crawl but they have also been known to spread illnesses.  It’s no wonder that the Germans do not like to claim this particular cockroach – in Germany, it is called the French cockroach.

German cockroaches will live anywhere that humans have built a heated structure.  These roaches are most often found in secluded areas of the kitchen behind or under appliances, in cracks and crevices, behind and under cabinets, around plumbing, and backs of drawer wells.  Since the German cockroach is attracted to warm areas, it has been known to infest around appliance motors such as the refrigerator or dishwasher.

As stated before, German cockroaches have been known to spread illnesses.  They spread illnesses by invading your home and leaving fecal matter and other debris around your food and in areas where food is stored or prepared.  German cockroaches can enter the home through boxes that have been shipped from one place to another.  They reproduce at a high rate, producing 30-48 eggs at a time and can generate 3-4 egg cases in a lifetime.   A German cockroach life cycle is completed in only 30-45 days.

With such high reproduction, it can be difficult to get rid of German cockroaches because they infest so many areas, so quickly.  Your best bet to eliminate German cockroaches from your home is to contact a professional pest control company, such as Northwest Exterminating. Trained exterminators know where to look for harborage sites and what products to apply to achieve fast and effective results. It is much easier to eliminate a German cockroach problem when it is newly established and small, rather than when the population has time to build.

Click HERE to schedule a FREE pest inspection.

 

Choosing a Termite/Pest Company

We recently discussed the difference between termite damage and termite activity.

If you do not have a current termite control company and are shopping around there are a few things that you should be looking for:

How long has the company been in business? If you are receiving quotes from 2-3 companies and one is considerably lower in price, be careful. You don’t necessarily want the cheapest because it could mean they are on the downfall and you’d be stuck with the same scenario even after spending several hundred dollars. Ever see a “going out of business sale” sign? There’s a reason everything is marked down 70% or more. They’re no longer worried about the effectiveness of their product. They just want to get rid of it to make a little money before they close.

Do they have different options in termite protection/pest protection, such as “green” services? Some people could care less about “going green” when it comes to bugs and termites. However, it is important to think about what “green” means. Green pest products are made up of botanical plant particles and minerals. Natural earth derived products are an important aspect of the exterminating industry. For years, pest companies have poured, pumped and sprayed millions of gallons of chemicals into the ground worried about keeping bugs away from homes, children and pets. Why are we concerned about keeping bugs away but have no problem with letting our families and pets be around harmful chemicals? Most companies have a form of “green” control but ask them what their products are made from and to give you a list of products they use. More importantly, ask if they keep their traditional and green products and equipment separate from each other so that there is no cross-contamination. Finally, for those few who still don’t care about the environment, I still urge you to go with a green solution. Most companies with a green solution still have access to traditional products but the goal is to only treat those as needed. Use green products around your home on a regular basis and if the need calls for it, traditional products can be used in a much smaller area upon request.

Go with a company that can provide several services. If you have ants in your kitchen, termites in your garage and mosquitoes in your backyard you don’t want to have to call three different companies. That’s three different appointments that you have to take time out of your schedule for, three different bills and three different agreements. Wouldn’t it be much easier to make one phone call and set up one appointment with one company? It’s much easier to remember who to call when anything comes up in the future and know they make you a high priority because they would stand to lose a lot more if they were to disappoint you.

Austin Milligan
Alpharetta Service Center Manager
Northwest Exterminating
amilligan@callnorthwest.com

 

Termite Damage vs. Termite Activity

It is very important for a consumer to understand that there is a huge difference between termite damage and termite activity. Year after year, I go into homes that may or may not have either of the two and regardless I can say that at the very least it “freaks people out.” Understandably so, no one wants to have termites eating away at their biggest investment. It is very important to have someone who can not only treat your home but also provide regular inspections to make sure that there is no activity present.

Termite activity always comes first! Just because the termites are there doesn’t mean they have caused any termite damage yet. Remember that they are essentially wild animals. They will choose to feed when and where they please. It is completely up to them. It is important that proper visibility for the termite inspector is allowed. There should not be large amounts of storage covering areas where visibility is impossible. Make sure that all areas, particularly exterior walls, are clear of storage. If termite activity can be found in it’s early stages then it can be resolved before the “damage is done.” 

If you suspect that your home could have either termite damage or termite control, call an exterminator…call Northwest Exterminating to protect your home.

Austin Milligan
Alpharetta Service Center Manager
Northwest Exterminating
amilligan@callnorthwest.com

 

How to Rid Yellow Jackets using Glue Boards

It seems that every year we have more yellow jacket nests that are not ground nests but are up under siding or behind brick, etc.  In the past most of us would dust, foam it or use something else along those lines.  Adam Vannest, Northwest Exterminating’s Monroe Service Center Manager, has recently been using a new approach that has been very successful in eliminating those hard to reach/access nests.  Not only is this a new approach, but it is also a green option to control yellow jackets.  If nothing else, it’s one heck of a show.

Next time you have a yellow jacket nest in a wall void or behind siding use a rat glue tray to block the entry for a second just long enough to snag one yellow jacket.  Then, leave the glue board as close as possible to the entry point.  As each yellow jacket gets stuck he stings the glue board and sends off the pheromone for reinforcements.  As each yellow jacket comes and gets stuck and stings, it multiples the scent.  Leave the trays for a little while until you see no more activity.  The remaining larvae will die, and the nest will dry out. 

This treatment is not only highly effective but entertaining as well!  We guarantee a good show!

A recent photograph showing yellow jackets stuck to glue boards

Caution: Wear protective clothing or bee suit when placing glue boards.  For maximum safety, call the experts at Northwest Exterminating to control yellow jackets.

 

Dorm Rooms and Bed Bugs

You’ve heard about bed bugs in hotels and homes but have you stopped to think about your kid’s dorm room?  Dorm rooms have long been a cause of infestation in the family home.  When a college student returns home from school with their laundry and belongings, there is a chance they are bringing home some unwanted house guests as well.  This can lead to an infestation in the home.

There are ways that your college student can check for signs of bed bugs when returning to their dorm.  Look for dark red or brown wingless insects.  Check for black, brown or brownish red marks on the mattress (be sure to check seams of mattress thoroughly), sheets, box springs, curtains, corners, headboards and bed rails. 

The good news is that bed bugs do not spread diseases.  However, they do bite which causes itchy red marks on the body.

If you or your child suspect bed bugs in their dorm, contact the RA immediately so they can contact a professional exterminating company such as Northwest Exterminating, to quickly and effectively get rid of these pests.

What to do while waiting on pest control company:

  • Leave furniture and clothing in the dorm room so as not to spread the infestation.
  • Vacuum and clean the entire room.  Pay close attention to cracks and crevices.
  • Clean bed frame, including baseboard and headboard, with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and hot water.
  • Use bed bug proof cover for your mattress, box spring and pillows.

Tips to avoid bringing bed bugs into dorm:

  • Thoroughly examine any furniture you plan to bring into the dorm room.
  • Use a luggage rack instead of putting luggage on the floor.
  • Inspect luggage, clothes and other belongings before leaving to go off to school.
  • Seal shoes, linens and clothing in plastic bags so if there are any bed bugs they can not escape.
  • Wash laundry in hot water and dry on high heat when you get to dorm.