The Homeowner's Halloween Nightmare

Happy Halloween!!!  Tonight, you expect to see vampires, ghosts and goblins around your neighborhood but it’s the bedbugs, spiders and other pests that will be giving you nightmares!  Bedbugs, spiders and other pests are still on the rise this season!  As temperatures begin to cool, pests are looking for a warm place to take up residency.  Unfortunately for you, they are looking in your home.

Certain pests, such as bedbugs, have a scary resemblance to those Halloween characters you will be seeing out and about tonight.  Bedbugs are similar to vampires in the sense that they are both nocturnal, bloodsucking creatures.  Lucky for us, when bitten by a bedbug we do not turn into a bedbug the same way that vampires turn their prey into vampires.

A vast majority of rabies cases that are reported in the US are bat related.  Bats make wonderful Halloween decorations but you don’t want them hanging around your house (no pun intended)!!  Bats are a serious health risk and require in-depth control procedures.  If you have a bat problem, contact a pest professional instead of doing it yourself.

To keep spiders, mice, roaches, and other unwelcome creepy crawlers out of your home, keep all food and sweets stored in air tight containers.  Don’t let your kids leave their candy on the floor…this is an open invitation for pests.

Don’t let these pests be a nightmare in your home any longer!!!  Call Northwest Exterminating for your pest solutions!

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

Insects 101

A basic knowledge of insects is needed to identify and control insects that may be found in your home.  Insects are the largest, most diverse group in the animal kingdom.  According to studies, half of all known animals are insects.  As much as we dislike insects inside of our homes, without them, our ecosystem would collapse within months.  They are both beneficial and harmful.  They pollinate our food, decompose organic matter, and solve crimes.  On the other hand, they are known to spread diseases, and damage plants and structures.

The most basic definition of an insect is that it is made up of 3 pairs of legs and 3 body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen).  Below is a breakdown of each region of an insect:

Head

  • The head consists of the mouthparts, antennae, and eyes.
  • Mouthparts are used to drink, chew, or even suck their food.  Some insects bite and pinch using their mouthparts.
  • The antennae are used to judge sounds, vibrations, and other environmental factors.
  • Insects can have compound or simple eyes.  Compound eyes are large with many lenses which gives the insect the ability to see complex images in its environment.  Simple eyes contain only one lens.
  • Some insects have both simple and compound eyes.

Thorax

  • The thorax includes the wings and legs…all 6 legs!
  • Legs come in different shapes and sizes depending on the insect and what their purpose is.
  • Wings also come in different shapes and sizes.  Some are colorful and vertical, while others are flat and transparent.  Either way, these are very helpful in identifying the pest.

Abdomen

  • Contains the insect’s organs.
  • Organs include digestive organs and reproductive organs similar to that of humans.

If you have found an insect in or around  your home and would like help in identifying it…contact Northwest Exterminating.

 

2011 Tax Credit for TAP Insulation

It’s not too late to be eligible for the 2011 Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency.  One of the Energy Star qualified products is the attic insulation that is offered by Northwest Exterminating, TAP InsulationTAP Insulation is a loose-fill cellulose insulation that is made up of 87% recycled newsprint.  TAP not only provides pest protection but also has sound barrier qualities as well as energy savings.

The tax credit will expire on December 31, 2011.  To be eligible for the tax credit, TAP must be installed to an existing home and your principal residence.  New construction and rentals DO NOT qualify.  With the tax credit you will receive 10% of the cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50-$300.

The 2011 tax credit is just one of the many benefits that you receive when you install TAP attic insulation to your home.  Adding adequate insulation is one of the most cost-effective home improvements that you can do.  For a list of benefits or more information on TAP Insulation click HERE.  Call Northwest Exterminating for professional service!

 

What Do REAL Customers Have to Say About TAP Insulation?

Don’t just take our word for it.  See what some of our customers are saying about TAP Insulation!

“I was amazed at how efficient the insulation was handled. Actually, I thought there would be a terrible mess in the installment process because of the very fine and light material they were installing. Quite the opposite happened as the workers were very careful not to let the insulation fall back into the living areas. They were very pleasant to work with and very careful not to damage anything.  As they worked, they kept the floor clean and all three were very professional. They made certain everything was picked up and the living area clean before departing. Thank you very much for the great installation, and I look forward to cutting the cost of my utility bill over the coming year.” ~B. Warden

“I have recently had TAP installed in my attic. Before it was put in, my heater would come on about every 15 minutes for long periods of time. Since the installation, the frequency and length has been greatly reduced. The staff, both sales and office, and the installation team were very professional and handled the process with the expertise I expected. It was performed with as little disturbance as possible to my daily routine. The installation team was on time and had the job done in the amount of time they told me it would take. I am looking forward to reduced heating and air conditioning bills. Thanks for a great job and a great product!” ~M. Price

“We recently had problems with raccoons and as a result needed to have insulation replaced in our home. I would like to bring to your attention the outstanding customer service we received from your representative. His professional and courteous attitude and expert knowledge in handling our specific issues were very important to our complete customer satisfaction. We would also like to thank the crew, who removed the old insulation and installed the TAP Insulation, for a tremendous job. They were prompt, worked tirelessly to complete the job, and cleaned up afterward. The crew was courteous and respectful. We appreciate having personnel like this crew working in our home. We are completely satisfied with the product and services rendered by your company. We will look forward to patronizing Northwest Exterminating whenever the need arises.” ~L. Galloway

 

Difference Between Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are often confused for one another. Some people think that a rat is just an over-sized mouse – this is simply not the case. Although rats and mice have their similarities, they are different types of rodents. All differences aside, we can assure you that you don’t want either to be present in your home.  Call your local exterminator if you have found evidence of rats or mice in your home.

 

 

 

Rat

 

 

 

Mouse

Full grown weighs a few pounds Full grown weighs a few ounces
Full grown is the size of a full grown mouse Full grown is the size of a young rat
Dig deep burrows 3 feet or longer Live behind walls, under or behind appliances
Aggressive.  Will attack if they feel they are in danger Shy, scared and timid.  Will freeze if they are cornered
½”droppings 1/8”-1/4” droppings
Travel further for food and water Stay close to nest for food and water
Smart – become familiar with traps and poisons and don’t return to those places Mice keep returning to areas where traps and poisons are set
Rats will kill each other if nest becomes too crowded and food source is in danger Not known to kill
Most common species: Roof rat and Norway rat Most common species: House mouse and Field mouse
Have larger features such as feet, ears, nose Have smaller features such as feet, ears, nose
Have small ears relative to the size of their head Have large ears relative to the size of their head
 

What Do You Get with TAP Insulation?

Having TAP Insulation (or Energy Star Insulation) installed in your attic is a benefit to your home as well as yourself. When you have TAP installed, a Northwest Exterminating professional will evaluate the current r-value (indicates an insulation‘s resistance to heat flow) in your attic and let you know how much TAP Insulation will be needed to bring your home to the Department of Energy’s standards.  The Department of Energy recommends an r-value of 49 with a minimum of 30.  Once you have been notified how much insulation you will need, TAP insulation will be added to the current insulation in your attic.

Attics are known to be housing for invaders like wildlife, rodents and pests.  Oftentimes, the attic insulation is damaged by these un-welcomed visitors by moving the insulation or contaminating it with their urine and fecal matter.  Northwest Exterminating will remove any contaminated insulation and replace it with TAP Insulation to rid your home of any health risk that contaminated insulation may cause.

TAP Insulation offers several benefits to the homeowner:

  • Immediate Return on Your Investment – Typical to see anywhere from 20-38% savings on your energy bills!
  • 10% Tax Credit in 2011 – Homeowners can claim a 10% tax credit (or up to $500) on the installation investment, if TAP is installed in 2011.
  • Permanent Pest Protection in Attic – Roaches, ants, and other pests like to nest in attics.  TAP Insulation controls these unwanted invaders.
  • Fire Safety – TAP is treated with a fire retardant that forms a charred surface which, when burned, limits the spread of fire.
  • Year-round comfort – TAP allows you to keep more consistent temperatures throughout the seasons.
  • A Break for Your HVAC System – With proper insulation, your heating and cooling systems will not have to work as hard.
  • A GREEN SolutionInsulating your home with TAP saves landfill space and conserves energy used in your home.

Call Northwest Exterminating for the best insulation for your home!

 

Saving Money on Your Energy Bills with Insulation?

Attic Before TAP

This past summer we experienced extreme heat in Atlanta. The rising temperatures not only put a strain on our bodies and outdoor activities but it also put a strain on our energy bills as well. I have been in my home for 8 years and this summer was the highest my energy bill has ever been in the summertime. And if last year’s winter was any indication of how bitter the winter will be…then we’re in for another cold one in the coming season. Luckily, Northwest Exterminating provides a solution to the rising energy bills due to the extreme temperatures we’ve recently faced in the summer and winter times. Northwest offers attic insulation that not only lowers your energy bills but protects your home from pests as well.

 

Attic After TAP

TAP Insulation, or Energy Star Insulation, is a loose-fill cellulose insulation that is put into your attic. The insulation is made of 87% recycled newsprint which makes it one of Northwest’s GREEN services. TAP is the only pest control product on the market that carries an Energy Star Rating. The insulation allows you to reduce your heating and cooling bills up to 38% by keeping your home at a comfortable temperature year round. Besides the energy savings and pest protection it also provides sound barrier qualities.

If you’d like to read more about how to insulate an attic with TAP Insulation call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit us ONLINE.

 

Fall Tips for Your Lawn

Fall is the best time to prepare your lawn for how you want it to look when spring comes back around. The cooler weather should be a relief from the past few months you’ve spent in your lawn in the scorching heat. Cooler temperatures allow the grass to focus on its root growth and building density.

Here are some tips for fall that will have your lawn looking green and healthy next spring:

  • Attack weeds. Fall is the best time to tackle those weeds. This is the time to apply herbicides to broadleaf weeds.
  • If your soil is in need of a reduction in acidity, apply lime. If you’re not sure, have a lawn care company perform a soil test.
  • Make sure to rake up any leaves that have fallen onto your lawn.
  • Water during warm spells only. Watering isn’t as necessary in the cooler months as it is in warmer months. Be sure to water when temperatures are unusually high.
  • Fertilize your lawn if you have cool season grass such as fescue.
  • Raise the height on your lawn mower. Do not over cut the lawn.
  • Grass clippings can be beneficial this time of year. Leave clippings where they fall unless a large amount has been cut.
  • Overseeding should be done to fix bare patches in lawn or to keep lawn looking green throughout the winter.
  • Call a lawn care company such as Northwest that can come assess your lawn and let you know what steps should be made in the fall to be sure that you have a healthy, green lawn in the spring and summer.
 

Ants in the House?

Ants in the home are a common problem this time of year.  NorPest Green from Northwest Exterminating is a green solution to this common pest control problem.  For more information on how NorPest Green can eliminate your pest problem, visit us ONLINE or call us at 888.466.7849.

Here are some unique facts on ants that you probably didn’t know:

  • Ants stay awake their whole life.
  • Ants move their jaws sideways to chew their food.
  • One single ant colony can house half a million ants.
  • Certain honey pot ants become a colony’s warehouse.  Their bloated abdomen produces a liquid food that serves as food to other individuals in the colony.
  • A fire ants sting is worse than a hornet’s sting.
  • A fire ant grows as big as a grain of rice.
 

How to Avoid Crickets in the Home

Crickets are not only annoying with their high pitched chirps that keep you up all night but they can also be damaging to your home.  Crickets feed on just about anything.  This includes clothes, wall paper, wood, food in your pantry and even wrappers.  It is important to avoid crickets getting into your home to avoid damages and them laying eggs inside your home.  Female crickets lay hundreds, sometimes thousands of eggs.  The good news is that these eggs can take about a year to hatch.  The bad news is that detection can be difficult, if not impossible.  These are all reasons why it is so important to keep crickets out of your home.

The best way to control crickets is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.  Block off any entry points for the crickets which may include sealing any cracks and crevices, and covering any areas with screens.  Crickets love vegetation and look for plants surrounding your home.  Keep any vegetation trimmed and under control.  General housekeeping is important in the control of crickets, as well as other pests.  Clean up debris in the garage, basement and gardens.  Messy places that are rarely visited are prime locations for cricket nests.  Cover and seal garbage bins so you are not attracting them to your debris and food.  Regular maintenance of your drains and roofs are important for cleaning out any nests that crickets may have built in the debris.  Crickets, like other pests, are attracted to bright lights outside of the home.  Replace any bright lights with low-lights that emit a yellowish glow.

If crickets have already invaded your home, call a pest control company to get rid of the pests.