Pest Allergies

Now that it’s pollen season, many people are suffering sneezing, coughing and discomfort due to an allergy to different pollen types. Though many people know that this triggers allergies within them, they may not know that various household pests can also contribute to allergies. Additionally, those who have asthma may suffer to pests such as cockroaches or mice being in home because these pests can spread strong asthma triggers.

PestWorld.org provides facts about pests and asthma, as well as a ‘First Responder PSA’ that highlights the risk that household pests can put us at when we are indoors. For instance, 63% of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches, but if the home is located in an urban area, it can even reach 98%! Additionally, mice can spread asthma triggers found in 82% of homes. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, patients with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks after inhaling cockroach allergens. Allergens can come from not only the actual body of the pest, but also its saliva and feces.

If you are experiencing minor symptoms such as, the AAFA recommends the use of antihistamines, decongestants and anti-inflammatory medications. An effective means to reduce the chance of exposure to pest allergens is using regular treatment through a pest control company. Northwest Exterminating offers services that eliminates and reduces the occurrence of a wide array of household pests including mice and cockroaches.

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/first-responder-psa/

http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=22&cont=312

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

Ants Are Back!

AntAnts have been making their presence known in homes as of late.  Ants are one of the most common pests that homeowner’s and pest professionals find in and around homes.  Common ant species are fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.

Ants have a wide range of habits.  Some ants build mounds in the ground, others are found in homes near cracks and crevices, on counters, in kitchen sinks, pantries, and even bathrooms.  Knowing the different species of ants and their habits and preferences is key in controlling an ant problem.

Most ants are simply a nuisance pest.  They cause little damage but will invade and ruin food and some ants bite.  Generally speaking, there are no diseases associated with ants.

A licensed pest professional can identify the type of ant that you are experiencing and develop a customized plan to get rid of ants.  With this process, you are using the least amount of chemical possible (if any) while also coming up with a plan that will deter ants from returning.  If you are one of the many homeowner’s experiencing ants right now, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit www.callnorthwest.com

 

Textbook Eaten by Termites

We recently acquired this book that had been destroyed by termites.  These things really had a hunger for knowledge!  hehe!  Ok, ok, we’ll stop.  This is a great example of how termites can cause significant damage.  Make sure that you have termite protection for your home.  You wouldn’t want any piece of your home looking like this textbook.  Call Northwest Exterminating 888.466.7849.

Termite Damage to Book

 

 

What’s Eating At Your House?

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

There’s been a lot of buzz (pun intended) on our blog about carpenter bees and termites.  It’s termite season so we always want to keep our readers aware of the potential risks and damage that termites can cause.  And carpenter bees are our Pest of the Month for the month of April.  Both of these wood-boring pests should be taken seriously due to the great amount of damage that they can cause.

Carpenter bees eat through soft woods where they make their nests and lay their eggs inside the tunnels.  This can cause damage to decks, eaves, porches, or even support beams in your home.  Luckily, they are rarely a threat to humans.  Males don’t have stingers but do tend to be aggressive toward other bees, animals, or humans that are near their nests.  The female carpenter bee has a stinger but rarely uses it.

 

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termites (March’s Pest of the Month) are working 24/7 to find food…and unfortunately for us, their food is typically the wood that was used to build our homes.  Without termite protection, your home could be at risk for severe damage.  Termites are responsible for more than $2 of damage to homes in the US each year.  Like carpenter bees, termites often leave a trail of wood that can serve as a tell-tale sign that they are there.

Whether you have carpenter bees or termites, you should contact a licensed pest professional.  Not only will they be able to correctly identify the insect but they will be able to develop a customized plan that is specific to your home and your situation.  By doing this, you are ensuring that the problem is diagnosed correctly, that the correct product, if any, is being used correctly and safely, and that proper steps are taken to ensure that the issue does not reoccur.  Northwest Exterminating and our highly trained pest professionals will be glad to come to your home and do a free inspection of your home.  Just give us a call at 888.466.7849 or visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

Tips for Allergy Relief

allergiesAfter a season filled with clouds and rain, I believe most of us are excited for the warmer temperatures that the spring is bringing us.  However, not everyone is enjoying the fresh air of spring, especially not those suffering from allergies.  Sneezing, itching, and watery eyes shouldn’t be synonymous with spring.

Reports have been made that this could be one of the toughest allergy seasons that we’ve seen in years.  A recent pollen count in Atlanta just last week (4/11) was 8,024 (anything over 1,500 is considered extremely high).  Pollen is everywhere so it can be difficult to avoid.  Below are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure to pollen:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Use a HEPA filter on your furnace and air conditioner.
  • Wipe pets down before they come indoors from being outside.  Pollen can collect on their fur.
  • Remove shoes before coming inside so you’re not trekking pollen off the bottom of your shoes.
  • Do NOT line dry your clothes outside.  Dry all clothes in the dryer.
  • Wash bedding on a regular basis to remove pollen left on sheets.
  • Shower before going to bed to remove the day’s pollen from your hair and skin.
  • Vacuum, sweep, mop, and dust.  Keeping floors and surfaces clear of allergens can help reduce the amount of pollen floating around your home.  It is highly recommended that you wear a mask and gloves while cleaning.
  • Treat allergy symptoms with over the counter allergy relief.
  • Consult your Doctor.  Your Doctor will be able to help you determine what exactly it is that you’re allergic to.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/spring-allergy-tips

http://www.atlantaallergy.com/

Northwest Exterminating

 

Atlanta #3 Most Pest Infested City

According to a new study out by Orkin, Atlanta ranks #3 among the U.S.’s most pest infested cities and ranks #1 for mosquitoes.  There is little explanation as to why bugs are found in certain cities more than others.  Two common factors are climate and building infrastructure of the area.

Knowing that Atlanta ranks so high on both of these lists it is important that you keep your property protected from pests and mosquitoes.  A regularly scheduled pest control program and mosquito control program will not only get rid of bugs but it will assist in keeping the bugs away.  Our NorPest Green pest control program and our Green Mosquito Control program are customized plans that are developed specifically for the needs of you and your property by one of our highly trained technicians.  For more information on NorPest Green visit HERE, for more information on Green Mosquito Control visit HERE.

Source

 

Baby Bugs, All Grown Up: Insect Metamorphosis

Before that “giant” bug showed up as an unexpected guest at your first barbeque of the spring, it started off life as a tiny egg. The process of growth and development that most insects experience is known as metamorphosis. During this process, insects will change shape, form and size until they reach the adult stage. There are several different types of metamorphosis including gradual metamorphosis, incomplete metamorphosis, and complete metamorphosis.

Some insects, however, grow and develop without metamorphosis. These insects, such as silverfish, grow and develop through a series of molts. When an insect’s exoskeleton no longer stretches to accommodate its size, it must shed this exoskeleton and grown a new one, while going through an intermediate phase known as instar. Until the insect reaches adulthood, or sexual maturity, it goes through several nymph stages that have the same appearance as the adult. At adulthood, molting ceases.

The insects that experience gradual metamorphosis include cockroaches, termites, bedbugs, and earwigs. They have three distinct stages in development – egg, multiple nymph stages, and adulthood. The nymphs begin to gradually resemble the adult as they grow, but do not have wings.

During incomplete metamorphosis, which occurs for dragonflies, damselflies, and mayflies, insects experience a transition from egg to naiad to adulthood. Naiads possess a different body structure and way of life from the adults. These nymphs live in water whereas the adults live on dry land and have wings.

The last form of complete metamorphosis occurs in beetles, moths, butterflies, flies, fleas, ants, bees and wasps. They go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Each stage has a different appearance. The larva hatches from the egg and then goes into a resting stage known as the pupa. During this stage, the insect changes from larvae to adult and fully develops its wings, legs, and antennae before emerging.

 

 

Sources:

Georgia Pest Control Employee Registration Manual

 

Why Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Why Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Just like any living being, lawns need TLC too.  Throughout the seasons, climates, and general wear and tear, lawns can become damaged.  The ground gets hard and compacted, not allowing water and nutrients to get through.  This can make for an unhealthy lawn.

Aerating can be just what your lawn needs to allow it to “open back up” and be able to receive its water and nutrients again.  Aerating consists of inserting holes into the lawn for better water and nutrient absorption, and eliminating thatch (organic and non-organic debris that settles between the green and the soil).  All of this build up makes the soil hard and compacted.  Aerating will loosen the compacted soil and allow your grass to grow faster and thicker.

Aeration will make your lawn treatments more effective.  Oxygen, fertilizer, water, and other nutrients will be better absorbed.

When is the Best Time to Aerate?

It is recommended that cool season grass be aerated in the fall.  Warm season grass should be aerated in spring or summer.

For more information on aeration and other lawn care services, contact the professionals at Northwest Lawn Care.  We will come out and do a FREE lawn care analysis of your lawn and work with you to create a customized lawn care program that is right for your yard.

 

Weather & Insects

Everyone knows that warmer weather, mixed with a little rain and lots of sunshine makes for a spring full of bloom and growth. However, it may not be as common knowledge that, just like plants, insect population growth responds to certain types of weather, while being discouraged by some other weather patterns. In particular, temperature and moisture have quite an effect, especially during the warm and dry weather months of April, May, and June.

Temperature has such a significant effect because insects are poikilothermic, which means cold-blooded. Cold-blooded animals are unable to regulate their body temperature, so the environmental temperature affects their internal temperature. Certain insects develop rapidly when environment temperatures are in the 85-90 degree range. Development alone is not the only aspect of insect life affected by temperature, but also insect behavior such as flight, movement, reproduction and feeding. Extreme temperatures, whether very hot (> 120 degrees Fahrenheit) or extremely cold (< 32 degrees Fahrenheit) makes insect growth and behavior restricted and is often deadly.

Moisture is important in a way that most people don’t expect. Humidity itself affects insect development, because low humidity can make it difficult for an insect to regulate it’s water loss. Alternatively, too much moisture, such as excessive rainfall or winter storms, can damage insects. The amount of moisture in an insect’s environment is particularly important for those who depend on crops as their food supply. Cold, wet moisture extremes can also lead to disease, slow growth rates and disturb feeding patterns.

Source

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

April is National Pest Management Month!

Monday, April 1, 2013

This April, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take precautions against common pests

FAIRFAX, VA – The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) celebrates April as National Pest Management Month, an observance that’s been taking place for more than 30 years to recognize the pest management industry for its commitment to the protection of public health and property from common household pests.

“Whether it’s rodents, ants, termites, bed bugs or cockroaches, pest professionals play an important role in preserving our quality of life,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We’d like to recognize these men and women for all they do to keep our families and homes safe from unwanted pests not just during National Pest Management Month, but year-round.”

This April, homeowners are reminded to pest-proof their home in preparation for the upcoming pest season. NPMA experts recommend the following tips:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Keep kitchen counters clean, and store food in sealed containers.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.

“As the weather continues to get warmer, pests will begin to emerge from their overwintering sites and look for food indoors. National Pest Management Month comes at the perfect time to make pest-proofing a priority to prevent an infestation during the spring and summer seasons,” added Henriksen.

For more information on National Pest Management Month or for information on common household pests, please visit Pestworld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.

Source