Ants Have 4-5 Times Higher Sense of Smell Than Other Insects

As humans, we are often amazed at the ability of pests, specifically ants, to locate food.  If there is food available, ants will find it. New research is now available to help us understand how ants have been so successful in our ecosystem.

A study led by Lawrence Zwiebel at Vanderbilt University found that ants have 4 to 5 times higher odor receptors than most insects.  Odor receptors are unique proteins that distinguish between different odors.  Ants showed more than 400 odor receptor genes (the largest of any insect species) compared to fruit flies at 61, mosquitoes at 74-158, and honeybees at 174.

New information is being released daily to help us understand the make-up of pests.  The more we know and understand pests, the better we know how to control them.  Call a professional ant exterminator in your area who is knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in treating ants.  Call Northwest Exterminating.

Source: ANI News

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

Top Ten Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

One of the questions that our representatives get asked the most is “How To Keep Pests Out of The Home“.  We regularly offer tips to readers on how they can keep pests out but here is a list of the Top 10 Ways to keep pests out of your home.

Top Ten Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

  1. Go around the exterior of your home and seal up any areas where insects could enter your home.  Check around windows, doors, plumbing entrances, fan vents, and electrical entrances.  If your home has window screens make sure they are intact and if areas are torn or damaged replace them.
  2. Make sure to trim all hedges, trees, and other landscaping back away from the home.  Creating at least a one foot barrier will keep insects from using easy methods to enter or get close to your home.
  3. Always remember that insects are living creatures just like humans and they need food, water, and shelter.  Inspect the perimeter of your home, as well as the interior, and pay close attention to areas that could potentially provide all three of these needed resources.
  4. All food and beverages should always remain covered or sealed in air tight containers.  Following this simple step will eliminate the risk of insects being attracted to your home.  If you have fruit out in your kitchen make sure you eat it before it over ripens or store it in your refrigerator.  If food or drinks are dropped or spilled make sure that they are cleaned up immediately.
  5. Routinely empty all the trash and place it outside in garbage cans with tight fitting lids.  All trash cans inside the home should also have lids.
  6. Make sure to keep all pet food sealed in air tight containers.
  7. Remove extra clutter from your home.  Get rid of items that are old and damaged and find a great charity to donate the rest.
  8. Keep all doors and windows closed while not in use.
  9. Make sure to change all your exterior lighting to low sodium vapor light bulbs.  Most insects are attracted to light but they are less attracted to low sodium vapor lighting.  Also make sure to point your security lighting away from your home and not directly on it.
  10. Don’t Bring Them In!  Be careful whenever you travel, move, or bring home the groceries that you check everything before bringing it into your home.  Especially as it gets colder make sure to check and clean all your firewood before you bring it in your home.

So there you have it.  Northwest Exterminating‘s Top 10 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home.  For more information, visit our website at callnorthwest.com.  If pests still find there way into your home, call one of our professional exterminators to help you identify the source of your issue and get rid of the problem.

 

Bug Inspired Halloween Costumes

If you’re a lover of tasty treats and creative costumes, then your favorite celebration is right around the corner! Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. This festival celebrated their new year on November 1 and marked the end of summer and harvest as the dark, cold winter began. Over time, Celtic areas became overtaken by the Romans and many Roman Catholic and Celtic traditions were intertwined. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated October 31st as All Hallow’s Eve, the day before a Catholic holiday known as All Saint’s Day.

Though today’s celebration is more about dressing up and having a good time, many of the older traditions and superstitions about Halloween remain the same. One of the superstitions regarding Halloween is that anyone who has seen a spider on this evening has encountered the spirit of a loved one watching over them. In actuality, you probably will not see too many spiders around this time because most of them have already laid eggs and died. In fall and winter, spiders might be found in the dark corners of your home or basement as they prepare to begin laying eggs again. If the site of these creatures troubles you, Northwest Exterminating has experienced technicians who can scare these pests away from your home!

Northwest Exterminating can take care of pests in the home for you, but if you would like to embrace pests in a different way, maybe some of these costumes will do the trick!

Lady bug

Bug eyed bug

Giant Cockroach

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

http://suite101.com/article/halloween-nature-myths-a151873

http://www.read-legends-and-myths.com/halloween-myths.html

 

How to Save Money on Your Energy Bills

We’re all looking for ways to save money.  We’re cutting back on unnecessary items, thinking twice before we spend our money, and looking for ways to save on necessities.  One way to save is to install TAP Insulation in your attic.

Attic Before TAP

Tap Insulation saves in two ways: saving on your energy bills and energy savings (along with many other benefits).  When your attic has the right r-value, resistance to heat, then your HVAC system runs more efficiently.  Less work for your HVAC means less money each month on the bill.  Our highly trained professional will evaluate your current r-value and bring your insulation to the Department of Energy recommended r-value of 49, with a minimum of 30.

Attic After TAP

It’s typical to see a 20-38% savings on your energy bills after you’ve had TAP Insulation installed.  This will benefit your home in both the cold winter months and the warm summer months because it keeps your home at a consistent temperature throughout the season which gives your HVAC system a break.  Lastly, TAP Insulation is a GREEN solution for your home.  It’s another great way to save green while going green!

Other benefits of TAP Insulation:

  • Insulation made of recycled newsprint.
  • Permanent Pest Protection in your attic.
  • Fire Safety
 

German Roaches

The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach and can be found all around the world.  They are most often found in kitchens and bathrooms due to their preference for warm, humid places that are near food and water sources.  But you won’t always see them out in the open because they like to live in the cracks and crevices around homes and commercial buildings.  In fact, they spend 75% of their time in the cracks and crevices.

Environment of German cockroaches:

  • Cosmopolitan in distribution and will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas
  • Behind and under appliances
  • In cracks and crevices behind backsplashes
  • At counter edges
  • Behind and under cabinets
  • In void areas around plumbing
  • Backs of drawer wells
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers

Not only are German cockroaches a nuisance pest but they are also a health risk.  Studies have shown that German cockroaches have been linked to illness and allergic reaction in humans, especially children.  They can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens.  They pick up germs while crawling around and transfer them as they crawl on our food and surfaces.  They spread allergens as they crawl, and deposit droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies.

Health threats of German cockroaches:

  • Will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Can generate 3 to 4 egg cases in a lifetime
  • Difficult to eradicate because they can infest so many areas and can be very difficult to contact with an insecticide

Contact a professional pest control company if you think German cockroaches have taken up residence in your home. Trained personnel 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.

 

Rodent Control

Rodents are mammals that are distinguished by a single pair of constantly growing teeth known as incisors in both their upper and lower jaws. These incisors are kept short by the constant gnawing that the animal does on wood, food, predators and unfortunately in and around homes. About 40% of mammals are classified as rodents, compromising the majority of these species. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs and even hamsters.  Contrary to popular belief bats, moles, and weasels, despite common associations, do not belong to the rodent family.

Many rodents have had an adverse effect on humankind. For instance, rodents cost billions of dollars in lost crops each year and some carry diseases such as bubonic plague, typhus and hantavirus. The best way to prevent human exposure to rodent disease is rodent control. This includes eliminating food sources such as open garbage bags, sealing entries to the home and trapping rodents in and around the home.

Northwest Exterminating’s Wildlife Team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of wildlife nuisances. A Wildlife Services Representative will inspect your business or property for evidence of wildlife and will determine the points of entry being used by these critters to access your building. A customized plan will be developed to get the immediate nuisance under control and to seal off any known points of entry. If you have more questions, please give us a call at 1-888-466-7849.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodent

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/rodentia/rodentia.html

http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/commercial-services/commercial-wildlife-control/

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

Not All Bugs Are Bad

The fear of insects is normal.  For some, the fear can be so severe that it can be diagnosed as entomophobia, a fear or aversion to insects.  This fear can confine people to their homes without the ability to enjoy the great outdoors and interfere with the quality of life.  Experts say that 1-2% of adults in the US has some degree of entomophobia.

But not all bugs are to be feared.  We speak a lot about the harm and damage that pests can do to your health and home but we also want to point out that not all insects are bad.  The preying mantis is pest control in itself.  Preying mantis’ are predators that catch and feed on other insects.  Although termites can do thousands of dollars of damage to a structure they are beneficial for the eco-system. Termites help break down decaying trees.  Termites can break down wood on a massive scale and prevent trees from piling up and killing the forest.  Ladybugs are another natural pest control.  Ladybugs eat other insects that do not have a too hard shell.

Although some bugs can be beneficial it is still very important to protect your home. Continue your pest control service to keep bugs in their natural environment instead of your home.

Check out our blog 5 Bugs to Love

 

Round 7 of Lawn Care

We are currently on Round 7 of our Lawn Care treatments.  During this round, we are focusing on root growth and controlling weeds by applying a combination of fertilizers.  Round 7 is vital to your lawn care program and is especially important in the prevention of poa annua.  Poa annua is common in the South and begins to emerge during the early spring months.

For the best results:

  • The treatment should be watered in within 48 hours.
  • The lawn should not be mowed 2 days before or after the treatment.

Fall is the most important time of year to get your lawn healthy and green!

What’s the key to a healthy lawn?

Watering is essential for a healthy lawn.  We can not stress the importance of watering to improve the color and condition of your lawn.  We suggest watering at least 45 minutes in each zone once a week.

For more information on improving the healthy and look of your lawn visit Northwest.

 

More Information on the Stink Bug

We talked on Wednesday about the return of the stink bug. We had so many questions that we thought we would continue our conversation about these pesky pests.

Stink bug

You may have noticed these six legged creatures in and around your home lately. The brown marmorated stink bug, also simply known as the stink bug, originated in parts of Asia. It first showed up in the American mainland in parts of Pennsylvania. At some point, these insects migrated to all parts of the Southeast and have a penchant for fruits, vegetables and other plants.

Stink bugs get their names from a defense mechanism located under their bodies that is triggered when threatened by predators such as birds or lizards. Nevertheless, simply handling the bug, injuring it or attempting to move it can trigger it to release an odor.

Damage done by a stink bug to an apple

As the seasons change, these bugs tend to seek out people’s homes as overwintering shelter from September to the first half of October in order to go into a state of hibernation.  Adults can live anywhere from several months to a year. Typically, these bugs enter the home through cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Sealing these openings will prevent the insects from entering.

If you find that you are having trouble keeping these bugs at bay, call Northwest and our experienced technicians will provide you with a service that protects your homes, lawns and gardens. For the best – Call Northwest!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

The Return of the Stink Bug

The stink bug made it’s presence well-known this past Spring when we saw a large invasion of the pest.  Well it seems that they are back.

Stink bugs feed on leaves, flowers, fruit, crops, and even other pests, such as caterpillars.  They can damage plants and crops but luckily besides the foul odor they emit when they are crushed or threatened, they do not cause harm to humans.

 

 

Prevent stink bugs from making a comeback in your home:

  • Seal cracks around the structure of your home.
  • Replace damaged screens on door and windows.
  • Vacuum up stink bugs found in your house (DO NOT step on them.  They will emit a horrible odor.)  Tightly seal and throw away the vacuum bag outside of your structure, immediately.  It is important to dispose of the bag immediately.  Stink bugs tend to die or bust in the bags causing a horrendous smell that could be difficult to get out of your vacuum.
  • Call your pest control companyProfessionals can help you identify where these pests are coming from and what is attracting them.  They will also be able to help develop a customized plan that would get rid of any stink bugs and prevent them from coming back.