Dr. Goo’s Corner: How Do I know If I’m Allergic to Mosquitoes and What To Do If I Am?

Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.

How do I know if I, or my child, has an allergy to mosquitoes?

Usually people who ask this question already suspect they have an allergy to mosquito bites.  When they get bitten they get large swollen bumps that are red, itchy and painful.  These bumps tend to last longer than mosquito bites for other people and they cause more discomfort.  The reaction may not be classified as a true “allergy” but the problem is a larger release of histamine and other immunoglobulins that cause inflammation.

These people have a more severe reaction to the proteins that mosquitoes inject into the bite to keep the blood from clotting. The reaction is usually a large red whelp that itches, swells and is very uncomfortable. Although these bites are very irritating, it is rare to have a serious allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. Life threatening reactions would include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fainting or swelling all over.

If you or your child has a more severe reaction to mosquito bites than others, you may have what is known as the “Skeeter Syndrome.”  People that have the “Skeeter Syndrome” have more severe reactions and will have larger, itchier and more painful bumps associated with the bites.  The bites can also cause blisters and be associated with infections if the bites are scratched until they are open and bleeding.  True mosquito allergies can be diagnosed with allergy testing.

What to do if you are allergic?

The first thing to do is to avoid the mosquito bites in the first place. Have Northwest Exterminating, or your local exterminator, provide your home with a mosquito treatment.  Also, cover your body when you go out and use an insect repellent, such as DEET.

If you do get bitten, you can use an anti-histamine like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for the itching.  You can take the anti-histamine by mouth or use preparations that can be placed topically on the bite.  Anti-inflammatory creams like hydrocortisone may also be used. If the bite is scratched open, you will want to wash it daily and apply an antibiotic ointment to keep them from being infected.

If you have severe allergic symptoms like respiratory distress, swelling of the body, face, mouth or throat you will need to go directly to the emergency department.

Thanks,
Dr. Goo

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sand Gnats in Savannah

We’re all aware of the annoyance and health concerns that come along with mosquitoes. But there is a similar bug that can be just as annoying to those residents living in areas where sand is found, the sand gnat. The sand gnat (also known as sand fly or no see um) flies, bites, and sucks blood just like the mosquito. Sand gnats leave behind red, itchy bumps on the skin after they have fed off of your blood. It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense and last for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite. Like mosquito bites, these bumps can become infected or cause a rash.

Sand Gnat

Sand gnats are a major concern to our customers living in Savannah and the surrounding areas. By being proactive, you can ensure that mosquitoes and sand gnats don’t invade your yard. Our Savannah service center offers a Green Mosquito & Sand Gnat Program to reduce the annoyance of these pests while still using the lowest environmental impact possible. To ensure that our mosquito control program is effective and environmentally friendly, we use products that are derived from flowers and bacteria.

For pest, mosquitoes, and sand gnat control in Savannah, call Northwest Exterminating. Visit us online for more information at www.callnorthwest.com.

Did you know: Sand gnats are so notorious in Savannah that the city has a minor league baseball team named after them, the Savannah Sand Gnats.

 

Mosquito Eggs are Hatching Early…So What Does That Mean For You?

Mosquito eggs are hatching early…so what does that mean for you?

Reports have talked about the early mosquito season due to the warmer temperatures that we’ve experienced early in the season.  But will this impact your summer plans of being outdoors anymore than usual?  The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a story featuring Northwest Exterminating that gives a glimpse of what we have to look forward to this summer with not just mosquitoes, but ants, kudzu bugs, and other pests as well.  The article includes reasons why we are seeing so many mosquitoes and tips on preventing them from invading your yard.

Read The AJC article here.

Although there are many DIY products and other mosquito control systems, Northwest recommends a monthly mosquito control program performed by licensed, experienced professionals.  Our Green Mosquito control uses products that are derived from flowers and bacteria to ensure that our program is effective and environmentally friendly.  For more information on our Green Mosquito Control or for a FREE inspection, visit us at callnorthwest.com.

 

Termites, the hardest working bugs in the business?

If you think that you work hard, think again, you have nothing on THE TERMITE!  Termites are working hard, 24/7, to find food.  Unfortunately for us, their food is the very wood that we use to build homes.  Your home is your biggest asset and you shouldn’t compromise the structural integrity of your home by allowing termites to feed and cause damage.  Termites cause up to $5 billion in damage each year and their damage is typically not covered under homeowners’ insurance.  This can be an expensive out-of-pocket cost.

Termites show up around your home in early March and hang around until June.  A lot of termite damage can be done in this time.   It is best to have a professional exterminating company provide you with termite control that will get rid of termites that are in your home and prevent new termites from coming in.  Northwest Exterminating is one of the few termite control companies that offer warranties along with our termite treatments.  Retreatment & Repair warranties or a Lifetime Termite Warranty are both offered by Northwest Exterminating.  Our highly trained representatives will conduct a FREE termite inspection on your home and create a customized treatment plan that is best suited for the needs of you and your home.

Termite damage

Keep an eye out for signs that termites may be invading your home.  Look for rotting wood, mud tunnels, or shed wings on both the inside and outside of your home, paying close attention to doors and windowsills.  Ensure that there is no water gathering near the foundation of your home.  Not only will it serve as an invite to termites but other pests such as silverfish, mosquitoes, and many others.  Inspect all raw lumber or firewood before you bring it into your home for signs of termites.

For a FREE inspection of your home visit our website or call us at 888.466.7849.  Make sure that your home is protected from termites.

 

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22!

This Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day!  As our customers and readers know, taking care of our environment is our mission and way of life at Northwest Exterminating.  We are the leader in Green pest control and take pride in our services and ways that we GO GREEN as a company.  We are constantly working to improve our green footprint over time.  Some of our efforts include reducing our power consumption, minimizing our use of paper, applying technology to reduce fuel costs, and many other techniques that will make our environment a healthier environment for generations to come.  We always keep in mind our 5 C’s: conserving, condensing, converting, controlling, and cutting.

Earth Day is a day to increase awareness and appreciation of our Earth and all it has to offer.  Earth Day is celebrated in over 175 countries.  We encourage you to participate in Earth Day this Sunday.  Ways to participate:

  • Join in an Earth Day event (For events in Atlanta, or other parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina visit the EPA’s Earth Day page)
  • Plant a tree
  • Recycle
  • Help clean up public roads or parks from litter and other debris
  • Buy local, organic produce
  • Commit to making your home or business more Earth friendly
  • Ride your bike, carpool, or take mass transit instead of driving your car

Northwest Green Services:

If you are interested in helping Northwest in our mission to GO GREEN sign up for online bill pay.

What kinds of things do you do on a daily basis for the Earth?

Send us pictures of your Earth Day!

 

Best Pest Control in Georgia – NorPest Green by Northwest Exterminating

Northwest Exterminating has been servicing the Atlanta area for over 60 years.  In the past 60 years, we have seen the industry grow to be more environmentally friendly while protecting homes and businesses from pests.  During this growth, we have proven to be the leader of green pest controlNorPest Green is a program that was developed exclusively by Northwest Exterminating to get rid of pests while maintaining the lowest environmental impact possible.

NorPest Green is a customized program that utilizes only the most innovative and advanced products and equipment available. Our products’ active ingredients are derived from flowers, plants, and natural elements from the earth. No harsh chemicals. And just as effective as traditional pest control.

Check out our latest commercial that features some of the benefits of using Northwest Exterminating and NorPest Green to get rid of your pests.  Not to mention that the cute factor in this commercial is OFF THE CHARTS

For your termite, mosquitoes, and pest control needs Trust the Mouse to Protect Your House.  Call Northwest Exterminating for your FREE inspection.

Check out our YouTube page for other videos http://www.youtube.com/user/NorthwestExterm

 

What are the tiny red bugs crawling around my windows?

What are the tiny red bugs crawling around my windows?

This is a common question that we get in early spring and late fall.  Clover mites are found in warm, sunny places which is why you usually see them around your windows and crawling on your curtains.  Clover mites are smaller than the tip of a pencil which allows them to fit into the smallest cracks and crevices around a structure.  They are oval shaped with 8 legs.  Their 2 front legs are longer than the rest and protrude forward which can be confused with antennae.

Clover mites can be alarming to homeowners because they gather in large numbers but there is no need for alarm.  Clover mites do not bite or carry diseases, however they can cause skin irritation to some with sensitive skin.  (These are not to be confused with chiggers which look similar but get into the skin and itch.)  They do not damage furniture or pursue your food.  Clover mite eggs lay dormant in the summer months and hatch in temperatures of 85 F or below.  They are attracted to warm, sunny places which leads them to the windows in your home.  Clover mites are often identified by the red stain they leave once they have been squashed.  The red substance is the pigment in their color, not their blood.  Grass and clovers are their main source of food.

There are simple ways to get rid of clover mites in your home.  The best way is to vacuum them up.  As with any vacuumed pest, make sure that you dispose of the bag immediately in an outdoor trash can.  Disposing of the bag is always recommended but is especially an issue when it comes to clover mites because they are so small and can escape from the bag into your home.  Another way to get rid of clover mites is to place sticky traps around your windows.  As always, prevention is your best option. Clover mites feed on fertilized lawns, so if you are seeing an infestation cut back on the fertilizer.  Remove grass that has direct contact to your structure.  Instead, use soil, gravel, or mulch because clover mites have difficulty moving on bare, loose terrains.  Make sure all window screens are tight fitting.  Seal any cracks around the outside of the structure and use weather stripping on entrance areas.

If you are having a consistent problem with clover mites or other pests, it’s best to call Northwest Exterminating.  We will ensure that your issue is identified and a customized plan is created for treatment of clover mites.

Are these small red bugs showing up in your home?

 

Bugs and Your Health

MosquitoesThe early spring has brought pests out in full force and we suspect that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.  Not only are bugs annoying but they’re a health concern as well.

  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, dog heartworm – mosquitoes
  • Lyme disease – ticks
  • Rabies – rodents
  • Allergies & Asthma – cockroaches
  • Food Contamination – cockroaches, mice/rats
  • Salmonella – cockroaches, house flies
  • Skin irritation and rashes – lice, fleas, bed bugs, mites
  • Venomous bites & stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) - black widow, brown recluse, scorpion, snakes
  • Painful stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps

Pests can carry diseases and cause areas to be unsanitary.  These are issues of concern for both homes and businesses.  Even the cleanest homes can have bug problems in an environment like this.  Carpenter bees, mosquitoes, ants, yellow jackets, silverfish, and other pests have recently been invading properties.  If you’re in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating.  Our NorPest Green program was developed exclusively by Northwest Exterminating to get rid of pests using the lowest environmental impact possible.  A Northwest representative will develop a customized plan to target those pests while maintaining the health of your home.

We are strategically placed throughout Georgia and Tennessee to service all areas of Georgia as well as parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina.  Visit us online or call 888.466.7849 to find the location nearest you.

 

 

Do it Yourself Pest Control VS. Professional Pest Control

There is a whole market for people who like to do it yourself.  I am one of them.  I enjoy the occasional weekend project around the house like painting, fixing a leaky faucet, or changing out fixtures.  However, there are some do it yourself projects that are just not for me.  I don’t touch wires, I don’t clean high chandeliers, and I don’t clean out gutters (thank goodness Northwest Exterminating does).  Those are the tasks that I leave for the professionals.

In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs.  There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring an exterminator.  If you spot a single bug such as a fly, yellow jacket, or ant, there is usually no need for a professional pest control company to come to your home.  But if you spot a termite, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call an exterminator.

There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or hire a professional:

  • Expense

o   DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.

o   Professional – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem.  Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive.  Not to mention the potential damage to your home that pests can cause.

  • Convenience

o   DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.

o   Professional – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and your exterminator to meet at your home for a treatment.  More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer.  However, a good exterminator will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.

  • Knowledge

o   DIY – The instructions are on the label.  Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect.  Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.

o   Professional – An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.

  • Risk

o   DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk.  Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area.  This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label. 

o   Professionals – By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner.  Be sure to read all contracts and get reviews from past customers before hiring a pest control company.

  • Effectiveness

o   DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective.  For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products.  Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time. 

o   Professionals – A reliable pest control company will have up to date information and products to treat your infestation. 

  • Warranties

o   DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product.  Check your local store return policies before purchasing.

o   Professionals – Always ask about a company’s policies before hiring them to treat your home.  Will they return to your home for no charge if your issue is not solved? Do they offer warranties on their work?  A good exterminating company will.

When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above.  For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive.  For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call a professional exterminator.  As always, the key to pest control is prevention. For pest prevention tips visit this blog.

If you have a pest or termite issue in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating. 

What kind of do-it-yourself projects do you enjoy?

Have you ever tried to do-it-yourself and had to call in the professionals?

 

 

How to Remove a Tick

You’ve heard the news about the large numbers of ticks that have decided to come out earlier in the season than usual.  But if you are like me you thought “Well that sure stinks that it’s happening to other people but I’m sure it won’t happen to me”.  WRONG!!  Actually, the day Dr. Goo’s Corner: Ticks was posted I came home and found a tick on my beloved boxer!  It’s a good thing I had read that blog post because I knew I had to get that tick off of my dog immediately.

It’s important that ticks are removed quickly and correctly.  To be sure that you know how to properly remove a tick from yourself or your dog, we’ve provided instructions.

How to properly remove a tick:

  • Don’t panic
  • Using tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible
  • Slowly pull the tick upward with a steady, gentle, and even pressure.  Do not twist or yank the tick; this can cause the mouth of the tick to remain in the skin.  If this happens, try removing the mouth with the tweezers.  If the mouth doesn’t come out do not keep trying, this can cause an irritation of the skin.  Let the skin rest and try again later.  If it still does not come out, see a doctor or veterinarian for advice on having it removed or waiting for it to come out on its own.
  • Once the tick has been removed, thoroughly clean the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
  • If any strange symptoms, such as rash or fever, occur in the following weeks, notify a doctor or veterinarian.
  • If you think that you may have a tick problem in or around your home call a professional exterminating company to inspect your property.

Picture courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ticks in Atlanta and surrounding areas are on the rise this season because of our warm winter.  Trust Northwest to protect your home, family, and pets from ticks.

Have you experienced ticks this season?