Northwest’s Learning Center

Have you seen a strange pest flying or crawling around your home?  Would you like to learn more about the habitats of certain insects that you are seeing?  Northwest Exterminating can be your source of information on all things pest.  By visiting our website and going to the Northwest Learning Center, you can Identify Your Pest, use our Termite Risk Calculator, or view Frequently Asked Questions.

Identify Your Pest – helps you identify and become knowledgeable about common household pests

Termite Risk Calculator – Use this calculator to find out if your home is at risk of termite infestation and damage

Frequently Asked Questions – View questions that are commonly asked by our customers

Help us add to our pest library!  What pests would you like to see on there?
What questions would you like to see in Frequently Asked Questions?

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

Early Warm Temps, Early Termites

If you are anything like me, you are loving this unseasonably warm weather that we are experiencing in Georgia.  It’s been a nice preview of what is in store for us come Spring time.  That being said, I’m not looking forward to the cold snap that we will inevitably experience before Spring comes around.  I’m also not looking forward to an earlier termite season due to the warm temperatures.

Termites aren’t usually moving this time of year because the temperature is typically below 60 degrees.  When temperatures are above 60, that is when termites start to swarm.  And when they start to swarm, they start inside your home before moving outside.  Unfortunately, once you find out that you have termites in your home, damage has most likely already occurred.  And termites can do some serious damage, causing up to $5 billion of damage each year in the US.

Oftentimes, termites are mistaken for flying ants.  If you think you see what appears to be flying ants, call your termite control company, such as Northwest Exterminating, to come inspect your home.  Termites look for moisture in and around homes, so be sure that any standing water or leaking pipes are adequately taken care of.  Look for mud tunnels, usually the size of a pencil, that are created on the inside or outside of the home’s foundation.  Clean gutters and pull back soil and mulch from the home’s foundation where termites can find their way into the wood of a structure.

If you have questions about termites or suspect that termites may be in your home, call Northwest Exterminating today and we will be happy to come out and conduct a FREE termite inspection.

 

iPest app

We’ve recently discovered a useful tool that has helped us both inside and outside of the office.  iPest is a mobile app that is beneficial not only for pest control technicians but homeowners, building managers, etc.  The iPest app is a guide that was developed by researchers at the University of Florida.  The app is a great tool to identify and educate yourself on common pests that are found in and around homes and businesses.  iPest contains 3 series, a search tool, and color photos that can help you quickly find a particular pest.

Series:

iPest1cockroaches, flies, occasional invaders, and urban pest and wildlife droppings. 

iPest2ants, beetles, termites and wood destroying insects.

iPest3 – biting, stinging, and bloodsucking arthropods

This app has been a great tool in and outside of the office and we think it would be great for our customers as well.

Go to you app store and purchase iPest for $1.99

 

Technician Tales: There’s a boa in your refrigerator

Technician Tales

As you can imagine, there is never a dull moment in the pest control industry.  It is our privilege to be able to help our customers keep their homes and businesses healthy and free of pests.  Along the way, we get ourselves into some pretty interesting situations.  Sometimes we get a good laugh about them around the different offices and thought that we would share our stories with our readers.  Technician Tales will be stories from our ladies and gentlemen out in the field or in the office who have found themselves in some very interesting predicaments.  For your enjoyment:

Technician Tales: There’s a boa in your refrigerator

Recently our representatives went on a call for a German cockroach infestation.  The area was crawling (no pun intended) in cockroaches.  There were roach droppings covering the floors, walls, and naturally, surrounding the refrigerator.  As a team of technicians were treating and vacuuming up the roaches, one of the technicians had pulled back the refrigerator and was treating around the area.  The technician was working his way around when he all the sudden jumped back and screamed, “SNAKE!!!!!!”.  Everyone hurried to see what he was yelling about.  When they looked at the bottom of the refrigerator, curled up at the bottom was a 4 foot long boa constrictor!!!!  Our technicians went to find someone at the location to let them know what they had found only to be met with the response “We’ve been looking for him”!!

Now THAT was a technician tale that we just had to share.

 

How Do Ladybugs Get in My Home?

Ladybugs are making their way into homes for the winter instead of finding a home outside.  Ladybugs are attracted to the heat that the homes reflect and often prefer older homes and light colored homes.  Once these cute little bugs make their way into your home they can be difficult to get rid of.  One of the reasons they are difficult to get rid of are because they release a pheromone that attracts other ladybugs into your home.  This pheromone can be detected up to 1/4 mile away and is a way of communication to let other ladybugs know where make their home for the winter.

Removing the pheromones from your home can be almost impossible considering that they remain long after the ladybugs are gone.  So the key to keeping ladybugs out of your home is prevention.  To prevent ladybugs from getting into your home is to ensure that all cracks around windows, doors, pipes and vents.  Also, make sure you have a good pest control company that you can depend on.

Ladybugs are cute but do you want them in your home?

 

Varied Carpet Beetle

Recent calls have led our technicians out to homes to find the varied carpet beetle.  The varied carpet beetle is a common household pest found throughout the US.

Carpet beetles feed on natural fibers that can be found in upholstery or clothing, carpet, insect carcasses, and animal parts such as furs, hair, etc.  Most carpets are made of synthetic fabrics and are not of concern.  It is the natural fibers, like wool, that carpet beetles feed on.  The varied carpet beetle enters the home in search of these food items and often cause damage.  They can be found in attics, carpets, and curtains in search of the food items above.

To avoid varied carpet beetles, store clothing in plastic containers and dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.

Treatment options:

  • Treat their preferred feeding sites: closets, rugs, under beds and furniture
  • Remove their food sources such as winter clothing
  • Launder or dry clean clothing to remove any eggs or larvae
  • Call your local pest control operator for effective treatment
 

You Asked, We Answered: Winter Edition

Q:Why am I seeing pests like ants in my home in the middle of winter?

A: It has been a strange year. From a personal perspective, no snow and warmer than usual temperatures, have been very nice.  From a pest perspective, I fear we will be seeing some unusual pest movements this year. Recently we have had several wasp and bee complaints, ants are running wild and termite swarms have occurred. Setting us up for a very unusual spring and summer. Ants have been especially problematic because they usually are not around for awhile, but they’re back.

What do you do? First, keep areas clean, spills and dropped food can attract the ants from a distance. Pick up pet food and water, this can also act as an attractant. Watch for leaking hoses and garden or yard tools that are left wet after work, this attracts pests to the structure and could lead them inside. The best way to protect yourself is to have a professional exterminator your structure for entrances and give recommendations to reduce the potential hiding areas around your place.

 

Jerry Hatch
Technical Director
BCE CEHT CP-FS
LEED Green Associate

If you have a question about your pest control, ASK THE MOUSE!

 

5 Bugs to Love

Valentine’s Day is a day of LOVE!  Bugs aren’t something that we usually “love” but in the spirit of the holiday, here are 5 bugs to love!

  1. Ladybugs are not only one of the cuter bugs out there but they are beneficial because they eat large quantities of aphids, mites and other arthropods that feed on various plants in your yard or garden. Imported more than 100 years ago to defend orchards and orange groves, ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 pests in their lifetime.
  2. Earthworms are nature’s most efficient composters.  These scavengers create the kind of well-aerated, humus-rich soil gardeners call “black gold.”
  3. The love bug is also known as the honeymoon fly, kissing bug, or double-headed bug.  The adult is a small, flying insect common to the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast.  During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to several days.
  4. The praying mantis is named for the “praying” position that it often assumes.  This insect will eat just about any living thing it can fit in its mouth, helpful or not. It is known to consume mosquitoes, nocturnal moths, bees, beetles, small lizards, even frogs—as well as fellow praying mantises.
  5. Bumblebees collect nectar and the pollen that will make tomato plants and apple trees produce more fruit.  The female bumblebee can sting but they much prefer to stick to gentler business.
 

What is the “Stack Effect”?

As part of our Complete CrawlSpace service we have talked to you about the “stack effect”.  But what exactly is the “stack effect”?

As air enters the crawl space, the hot, moist, outside air meets the cool surfaces inside causing condensation to occur, which can lead to mold in your home.

As air enters the crawl space, the hot, moist, outside air meets the cool surfaces inside causing condensation to occur, which can lead to mold in your home.

As the air in your home warms, it rises and makes its way through the house and out of the roof.  This phenomenon is called the “stack effect”.  It causes the home to suck air up from the crawlspace into the main living area of the home.  Moist conditions in the crawlspace can lead to mold, mildew and other issues that compromise the air quality that comes up and through your home often aggravating breathing problems, such as asthma, and creating a variety of health-related problems.

We don’t have to explain to you the dangers of mold and mildew…we all know that these are harmful and you don’t want them in your home.  If you’re interested in finding out more information on how to keep the air in your home healthier for your family, call Northwest Exterminating at 888-466-7849 or visit us online.

Do you or anyone in your home suffer from breathing problems, such as asthma?

 

Are Termites A Threat to Your Home?

Termite Threats:

  • Termites are responsible for more than $2 billion of damage in the US each year.
  • Termites cause more damage in a year than fires, floods, and tornadoes.
  • One termite colony may contain several hundred thousand termites

These are pretty frightening statistics.  Our goal is not to scare you but to make you aware of the potential threat that termites can have on your home.  We also want to provide you with tools to prevent and treat any potential issues you may have.  Northwest Exterminating offers several termite protection options for your home.  For more information on how you can prevent your home from getting termites visit us online.

Try this FREE termite risk calculator to see if termites are a current or future threat to your home.