Raccoons in the House?

We often get calls from people wanting us to come out and remove wildlife from their homes.  One of the most common nuisances that we find are raccoonsRaccoons are native to North America and have made themselves at home in rural neighborhoods.  They can be found living in hollowed out trees, caves, garages and attics.  They are attracted to gardens, bird feeds, fish ponds, garbage cans, pet food and even your kitchen cabinets.  Raccoons are on the hunt for food and a nice warm place to live, so if you have those, they are going to try to make themselves at home.

Raccoons are easily recognized by their grayish color, black mask and ringed tail.  As adults they usually weigh between 10-20 lbs and are nocturnal creatures.  Raccoons are typically kind animals but will attack if they feel they are in danger.  They usually live up to 5 years in the wild and have a litter of 3-6 every spring.  Raccoons are known for their ability to adapt to environmental changes.  They are strong, intelligent creatures who are great climbers with skilled hands.  With their excellent ability to climb they will often get into your home by breaking in through the roof or attic.  Also, be sure to cover your pet doors because this is oftentimes an easy entrance for wildlife such as raccoons.

When raccoons, or other wildlife for that matter, get into your home they can cause serious damage.  They have been known to cause a significant amount of damage to attics, garages, property and even living areas.  It is best to hire a professional wildlife removal company to get rid of raccoons.   A company such as Northwest Exterminating, will ensure that the animal is removed in a humane way that is best for the animal as well as the health of your home.

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

Squirrels in the Attic

As with many pests, squirrels and other rodents are finding their way into your attic this winter to take shelter from the cold.  Squirrels may be cute but we can assure you that your attic is not where you want them to make their home.  Squirrels can cause a great deal of damage if they take up residency in your attic.  And if they are not taken care of, they may stay until spring which just so happens to be their breeding season…and that’s a problem that you don’t want to have.

Squirrels and other rodents are a nuisance to have in your home.  Squirrels will often defecate and urinate in your attic which leads to a horrible stench.  Not only will it stink, but they can also damage storage and insulation.  When you’re insulation is damaged, it can cause the insulation to be less effective (see TAP Insulation).  Speaking of stench, you will be in for a rude awakening if a decaying squirrel is stuck in the attic.  And awakenings…you will most surely be awakened by the constant noise making of their gnawing or their scurrying.

Squirrels are known to carry hitchhikers such as fleas and mites and in some cases carry diseases.  This is worrisome because they can attack if they feel they are in danger.  They can also cause serious damage to your home.  With their constant need to chew, they will chew on sheetrock, wood, insulation and roofing which could give them a path right into your living area.  Chewing on wiring could potentially be a fire hazard for your home.  If they chew a hole in the roof you could have a major moisture problem on your hands.  All of this on top of damaging any storage that you may have in your attic.

To keep squirrels from entering your attic, seal any holes that lead into the attic, trim back trees from your house (they are great jumpers) and limit the food sources outside of your home such as bird feeds, pet food or garbage cans.  If you hear scurrying in your attic call a pest professional that specializes in the exclusion, removal and control of these nuisances.

 

Ear + Wig = ????

 

Put these two images together and what do you get?  EARWIGS!!

The name earwig comes from an old European superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into their brain.  We now know this not to be true but it’s still a fun fact!

Earwigs are easily identified by their forcep-like cerci located at the end of their body.  These are used as both defensive and offensive weapons.  Earwigs possess wings but rarely use their flying abilities. These pests have an appalling smell when they are crushed.  For protection, some species of earwig will squirt this same foul smelling liquid from scent glands located on their abdomens.  It aims the liquid by revolving the abdomen which enables it to simultaneously use its cerci like pincers in defense.

Earwigs are nocturnal pests that live in moist, shady areas and typically overwinter outdoors in protective situations.  They are often found under mulch, rocks or logs.  They do not survive in long periods of dryness.  However, earwigs travel in groups so if they find a moist area in your home, you could have quite the infestation.  The European and red-legged species invade homes, sometimes by the hundreds or thousands.

Earwigs feed on plants and insects and have been known to damage cultivated plants, vegetables, flowers, fruits, shrubs and trees.  Sometimes, they feed on honey from beehives.

To prevent earwigs from making their way into your home:

  • Establish a low moisture zone around the perimeter of your home.
  • Look for areas that are dark and moist such as the attic, basement or garage.
  • Earwigs are attracted to lights and are attracted to other insects that are attracted to lights so be sure that all outside lights do not show directly on the house or are low level or yellow lights.
  • Call a professional exterminating company to help control the issue
 

Cockroach Allergies

Cockroaches are enough to make your skin crawl but did you know they can make your skin itch too?  When you think of the causes of allergies, you generally think of plants, pollen, dust, or animals…you don’t think about roaches.  However, roaches can trigger allergies and asthma.  Studies have shown that people with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks.  These attacks occur after inhaling cockroach allergens and can last for hours.

Cockroach allergies are a concern for people who live in inner cities, the South, or people of low socioeconomic status.  However, this does not mean that it doesn’t affect people outside of those realms.  Asthma is the most common chronic disease found in children.  Experts believe that the reason for the increase among children is that they play indoors more than years past and are at increased exposure.

People who suffer from allergies have very sensitive immune systems that react when they inhale, swallow, or touch a certain substance.  These substances are the allergens.  Cockroach allergens are believed to come from feces, saliva, and the bodies of cockroaches.  People with chronic bronchial asthma are most likely to be allergic to cockroaches.  People who suffer from chronic stuffy nose, skin rash, constant sinus infection, repeat ear infection, and asthma are also likely to have cockroach allergies.

Asthma symptoms aren’t just a problem in certain seasons but can affect year round.  This can make it difficult to determine that a cockroach allergy is the cause of the asthma.  Symptoms of cockroach allergies can vary but may include itchy skin, scratchy throat or itchy eyes and nose.  Allergy symptoms can become stronger, including severe, persistent asthma in some cases.

Roaches are often carried into homes through groceries, furniture, and luggage.  Once they are in your home, they are very difficult to get out.  Once a roach is seen, there is a chance that there could be at least 800 roaches hidden throughout your home.  The first step is to get rid of cockroaches.  Call a professional pest control company that knows how to get rid of cockroaches.

If you or someone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies make sure that they use an eco-friendly pest control instead of chemical agents that can be irritating to allergy sufferers.  NorPest Green by Northwest Exterminating is an eco-friendly pest control solution that is effective, non-invasive and kind to your natural environment.

 

Occasional Invaders vs. Overwintering Pests

This time of year we often find ourselves battling large numbers of insects seeking to get away from the environmental issues of cold and wet weather. We often confuse these overwintering pests with the more traditional ones we encounter, considered occasional invaders, because of their marauding nature.   Occasional invaders are a catch-all group of pests that invade homes from time to time.  The horde of insects coming in now are considered overwintering pests and differ in a very specific way from those of the summer months because these don’t continue with their life cycle once indoors.  The typical occasional invader, such as earwigs or crickets, can continue with their life cycle and make life miserable for people. These come inside and enjoy the hospitality we provide, yet generally go into a sort of dormancy.

To reduce the occurrence of overwintering pests look to the following:

  • Reduce clutter around the outside of your home; this includes both debris and vegetation.
  • Make sure all areas around your home are well sealed.
  • Check attic spaces for pests, especially after prolonged periods of temperatures below 40 degrees.
  • Look in garages for signs of rodents.  Pay close attention to areas against or alongside interior walls.
  • Take up all dog or cat food and water bowls.
  • Check outdoor furniture and barbecues prior to bringing them inside.
  • In the event the pests make it in, simply vacuuming may be enough for small amounts of them.
 

The Flying Squirrel…No, not the dive!

The flying squirrel isn’t just a dive you do off the diving board!  It’s a real tree squirrel that is present right here in Georgia and the Southeast.  The flying squirrel is a tree squirrel that can glide, rather than actually fly, over 80 yards!  These are only considered pests once they enter your home.  Once inside your home they can cause damage and odor with their urine.  They are nocturnal creatures so they will surely keep you up at night but all in all, they are of minor medical concern to humans.

Flying squirrels are very similar to your everyday squirrel with their brown bodies and white bellies.  However, the flying squirrel will have a loose fold of skin between the front and hind legs.  These squirrels are the smallest of the tree squirrels and are the only ones that are nocturnal.  They eat nuts, berries, insects and even meat when it is available.  Flying squirrels are agile creatures that can turn mid glide and change their angle of decent, lightly landing on all fours.  As graceful as they are in the air, they are clumsy creatures on the ground.

The flying squirrel favors the woodpecker by nesting in small holes in a tree.  They may also find a home in your attic.  During the winter, you may find 20 or more living together.  Exclusion is the key to squirrel removal from your attic.  It is best to call a professional animal removal service that can safely remove the squirrels, find the points of entry and seal any holes.  For more information, visit us HERE!

 

Signs of a House Mouse

Have you ever woken up to the sound of scurrying across your floors or tiny little squeaks?  Maybe it’s just an overactive imagination…or maybe not!  House Mice are a common problem in homes.  Although they are generally harmless, we must not forget that mice are a nuisance and a threat to the health of our home.  Mice are known to cause damage and carry diseases.

Here are some signs that you may have an unwanted visitor in your home:

  • Gnaw marks – Check for tooth marks and wood shavings around doors, baseboards, and cabinets.  Mice will also chew on food containers to get access to food.
  • Droppings and/or urine – Look for droppings about the size of a grain of rice along walls, storage areas and next to objects.
  • Tracks/footprints – Look for footprints.  The front foot will have 4 toes and the back foot will have 5 toes.
  • Rub/Grease marks – When mice are traveling along walls, pipes, etc, they leave greasy smears as dirt and oil from their fur rub off onto the surfaces.
  • Burrows – They often create nests in materials such as insulation.
  • Damaged goods – Because of their constant chewing, droppings, and urination they are known to damage wood, electrical wiring, insulation and other items around the home.
  • Nests – Check areas of the house for nests built of debris.
  • Sounds – Listen for squeaks and squeals at night when the house is quiet and the mice are most active.
  • Sightings – Mice are very inquisitive so be on the lookout.

If you find a mouse or signs of a mouse in your home, call Northwest Exterminating for mouse control.

 

Strange Pest Facts

Pests are incredible creatures.  Here are some little known facts about pests!

  • According to studies, half of all known animals are pests.
  • The majority of insects use their antennae to search for food.
  • All insects have 3 pairs of jointed legs.
  • An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight.
  • There are 4,000 kinds of wasps in the United States.
  • A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites.
  • Stink bugs were not reported in the US until the late 90’s after originally being found in East Asia.
  • Certain moths have a natural anti-freeze that keeps sharp ice crystal from breaking their cells. This allows them to stay active in freezing weather.
  • The total weight of all the termites in the world is more than the total weight of all the humans in the world.
  • An adult rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter.
 

According to studies, half of all known animals are pests.

The majority of insects use their antennae to search for food.

All insects have 3 pairs of jointed legs.

An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight.

There are 4,000 kinds of wasps in the United States.

A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites.

Stink bugs were not reported in the US until the late 90’s after originally being found in East Asia.

Certain moths have a natural anti-freeze that keeps sharp ice crystal from breaking their cells. This allows them to stay active in freezing weather.

The total weight of all the termites in the world is more than the total weight of all the humans in the world.

An adult rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter.

 

 

 

 

Northwest's Realtor Relations Team

In this housing economy, Realtors are more important than ever.  We know that you take your job seriously and want to do what’s in your customer’s best interest at all times.  That’s why Northwest Exterminating has a whole team that is specifically devoted to serving Realtors!

We offer you peace of mind and treat your customers as our own.  Although termite letters are no longer required in the state of Georgia, we all know that having a professional termite inspection and peace of mind is worth the time and effort.  A termite letter is a great selling tool that gives a buyer comfort in knowing the house is free of termites.

We assist real estate agents in the buying and selling process by providing:

To schedule your FREE termite inspection CLICK HERE!  To find out more about our Realtor Services CLICK HERE!

 

Little Known Facts About Cockroaches

They are one of the most feared pests in homes and businesses.  Not only are they a nuisance but they are also capable of carrying diseases as well as causing allergic reactions.  Here are some little known facts about cockroaches.

What is the most common species of cockroach?
There are 4,000 species of cockroaches, 70 of which can be found in the United States.  Among the most common are the American, Australian, brown, brown-banded, German, oriental, and smokybrown.  The German cockroach is the most common.

Do cockroaches fly?
Most cockroaches do not fly.  However, the brown-banded and American cockroaches do.

How long can cockroaches live without food or water?
Most small species can live up to several weeks without food, and a week without water.  Larger species can go a bit longer.

How long can a cockroach live without its head?
Depending on the species, a cockroach can live anywhere between 1 week and 1 month without its head.  The cockroach’s nervous system and organs are not centralized which enables them to survive.  When decapitated, they usually die due to dehydration and starvation.

Why do cockroaches die on their backs?
When a cockroach is treated with certain insecticides it can affect the roach’s nervous system.  This causes tremors and muscle spasm that cause the cockroach to flip on its back.

What color is a cockroach’s blood?
Cockroaches
do not have red blood because they do not use hemoglobin to carry oxygen.  They do not carry oxygen in their blood stream either.  Most cockroach’s blood is colorless.