Prevent Ants This Spring

PREVENT ANTS FROM MARCHING ONE-BY-ONE INTO HOMES THIS SPRING

Northwest Exterminating shares five simple steps to prevent ants this spring

As weather conditions improve, ants will soon begin to enter homes in search of food and water. Northwest Exterminating encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of seeing these nuisance pests in your garage or crawling across the kitchen counter in the coming weeks.

Ants often infest kitchens and bathrooms, but homeowners may also encounter them in cooler spaces like basements, garages and around air conditioning units. The key to preventing ants from finding a way inside is to eliminate harborage sites around the property.

Experts from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend the following five simple steps that homeowners can do today to thwart an ant infestation.

 

  1. Block off access points. Take time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and crevices, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small holes or gaps with a silicone-based caulk. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the structure.
  2. Eliminate sources of water in and around the home. Indoors, routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.
  3. Keep a clean kitchen. Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Also, make sure to dispose of garbage regularly.
  4. Don’t forget about the pets. After mealtime, keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants, rodents and other pests.
  5. Work with a pest professional. Eliminating ants can be a challenge without the proper treatment. Some species of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause serious property damage while others can pose health threats. If you see ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

For more information on ants or other common household pests, please visit www.callnorthwest.com.

 

Source: PPMA

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

Could Roaches Be A Cure?

Could Roaches Be Used to Cure Human Diseases?

Cockroaches serve no other purpose than to gross us out, right? Not anymore! New research was conducted using roaches as a guinea pig for new technology. Scientists injected the roaches with nanobots, tiny robots that can be programed to carry out a task. This is the first step towards using nanobots to help cure human diseases sometime in the future. The nanobots were labeled with a fluorescent marker so they would glow to let the researchers track their progress, and they performed exactly as they should. The nanobots look like DNA, which is how it was injected into the roaches, and then it unfolded and moved to the target area as programmed.

Advances in modern science and medicine aside, roaches are still high on the gross out meter for most people.

Does this new science help your roach “gross out meter”?

Katherine King
kking@callnorthwest.com

 

When DIY Pest Control Isn’t Enough

Not All DIY Pest Control Methods Are Effective

Thanks to the wonders of Google and Pinterest we can become experts, or at least knowledgeable, on just about anything these days.  Between YouTube videos and DIY blogs we’ve got a lot of information right at our fingertips without ever having to call a professional.  Pest control is no exception.

Although some DIY pest control methods are effective there are other times when it’s necessary to call in a pest control professional.  According to NPMA, “When a homeowner attempts to treat a pest problem on their own, they are often treating the ‘tip of the iceberg’, and not the root cause of the problem.  The pests you see might be eliminated, but a larger infestation can continue to grow out of sight. These infestations can pose significant health risks to your family and cause damage to your property.”

So when should you call in a pest professional?

The above situations can cause serious damage to property or put your health at risk.  By calling in the professionals they can properly identify and solve the issue and even help you with DIY tips to help avoid infestations in the future.

What DIY pest control methods have you tried that work?

Here’s a few DIY tips on our Pinterest board

 

 

Bed Bug Awareness Week

Bed Bug Awareness Week

This week (April 20-26) is Bed Bug Awareness Week.  It’s a week to spread awareness about bed bugs and what people can do to prevent bed bug infestations.

It’s no secret that bed bugs are one of the hardest pests to control, even by pest professionals.  They are easily transported by hiding in handbags, luggage, etc., are quick to reproduce, and can be difficult to see with the naked eye.  Even though they can be difficult to treat, rest assured, that they can be treated by a knowledgeable, highly trained pest control professional.

Throughout the next few months people will begin to travel more and it is important that people are educated and aware of the steps to take to prevent bed bugs.  This is where Bed Bug Awareness Week and Northwest Exterminating come in to help!

What can you do to prevent bed bugs?

  • Be aware of what bed bugs look like (here).
  • When traveling, do not put luggage on the bed or on the floor.  Use a luggage rack.
  • Pull back the corner of the mattress cover to check mattress seams for signs of bed bugs.
  • Check sheets and pillows for signs of bed bugs.
  • When returning home, leave luggage outside and wash all clothes in hot water.
  • Contact a pest professional if you think you may have a bed bug infestation in your home.  A highly trained professional will be able to quickly identify the problem and develop a customized solution for your infestation.

For more tips on how to prevent bed bugs visit our past blogs for helpful tips:

How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs on Spring Break
The 411 on Bed Bugs
The Dreaded Hitchhikers…The Bed Bugs

 

 

New Information About Bed Bugs

Just hearing about bed bugs is enough to make most people’s skin crawl and frantically check their beds just in case the nasty little bugs have made it into the house. New research has led us to believe that there is actually a bed bug season. The researchers gathered information from various service providers over a 4 year period that offered bed bug treatments. They analyzed all of the data and noticed that there is a definite trend from April through October where the number of bed bug treatments increases. Bed bugs are like most other insects despite living indoors, they begin to make a reappearance as the weather warms up and decline as the weather cools down.

We are now entering bed bug season, so here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • When arriving in your room be sure to pull back the sheets at the corners and check for the presence of bed bugs around the cracks and crevices of the mattress and box spring.
  • Make sure to place your luggage on the luggage rack.
  • When returning home from your trip be sure to wash/dry clean all contents.
  • Luggage should be placed up in the attic or left out in the garage.
  • If you do bring bed bugs into your house, Northwest Exterminating can help you out. We have bed bug specialists who only perform bed bug treatments. Northwest Exterminating will guarantee elimination of a bed bug infestation before the contract is considered finished. We can also provide preventative services that will decrease the likelihood of a bed bug population becoming established should they be brought in accidentally. Please visit the website at www.callnorthwest.com for more information.

Katherine King
kking@callnorthwest.com

 

Mazda Recalls Due to Spiders

Mazda recall due to spiders

Mazda is recalling 42,000 Mazda6 sedans from 2010, 2011, and 2012 due to spiders.  This is the second recall Mazda has made since 2011 for the same spider issue.

According to USAToday.com, tiny spiders “can weave a web in an evaporative fuel hose, blocking it and causing executive negative pressure to build up in the fuel tank. Too much pressure…and a fuel could crack and leak. Fuel leaks can lead to fires.”

After the 2011 recall, Mazda thought they could prevent the problem by installing a spring inside the fuel line.  But in some cases the spring wasn’t enough which has resulted in this latest recall.

The latest recall is for Mazda5s made from September 14, 2009 – May 2, 2011, and come with a 2.5-liter engine.  Mazda plans to run an inspection that will show if a spider web is present.  If so, they will replace the canister vent line.  For more information on the Mazda recall visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/driveon/2014/04/09/mazda-spiders/7494105/

 

Checking for Ticks

Checking for Ticks

tickThe weather is warming up which means it’s prime time for outside activities.  Among the fun that can be had in the great outdoors there are also some concerns.  One being TICKS.  Ticks are found in high vegetation areas, usually in tall grass.  They await a host (human, dog, deer, etc) that they can latch on to and consume a blood meal.  Checking for ticks is important if you’ve recently spent time outside.

Ticks have 4 life stages, egg, larva, nymph, and adult.  To go from one life stage to another they have to get blood from a host.  Most ticks need 3-4 hosts to complete their life cycle.

Once a tick is fully engorged, weighing 200-600 times what it did before the meal, they drop off the host, digest, molt, and then find another host to feed off of.

Ticks bites can cause irritation to the skin of people and pets.  In some instances they can cause allergic reaction, transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  If you, your kids, or your pets have spent time outdoors it is important that you thoroughly check for ticks on the body, especially the hair.

For more information on ticks:

http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/tag/ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2012/03/dr-goos-corner-ticks/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2012/05/tick-prevention-from-the-epa/

 

What Is A Paper Wasp?

What is a paper wasp and will it sting?

You may notice a long, skinny wasp flying around the windows inside of your home looking a bit “lost”.  That’s usually a paper wasp that is looking for their way out.  Although they have no interest in stinging you, they will sting…painfully, we might add, if someone is near their nest.

Paper wasps mate in the fall and are now searching for a good place to start a new colony.  Nests can typically be found under eaves, around outdoor air conditioning units, mailboxes, decks, swing sets, attics, and window sills.  A paper wasp nest houses less paper wasps than a yellow jacket nest or hornets nest but there may be more paper wasp nests per property.

The nest of a paper wasp is easily identifiable.  It looks like an upside down umbrella hanging from a small stalk.  The nest has many visible tubes and looks like it’s made up of brown and grey paper.

It’s important to be able to identify a paper wasp nest so you can steer clear.  Paper wasps can deliver a pretty painful sting when their nest is approached.  Don’t risk your health and safety, or those of your family, by trying to get rid of the nest on your own.  Call Northwest Exterminating to professionally remove the paper wasp nest from your property!

 

 

 

 

 

Tawny Crazy Ants in the South

Tawny Crazy Ant, An Aggressive Ant Species, Marches Through South

Source

Photo courtesy Joe A. MacGown/Mississippi Entomological MuseumSource

Fire ants have long been a threat in the southern United States, but another aggressive ant species known as the tawny crazy ant is taking over in many areas of the region. These ants can invade structures in extraordinary numbers and Northwest Exterminating wants to advise homeowners to take preventative steps to protect their properties from infestations.

Unlike fire ants, tawny crazy ants don’t sting, but they can become a nuisance once inside. They are highly adaptable, nest everywhere and are even known to damage electrical equipment, so it is important for homeowners to take steps to curb their activity.

Crazy ants enter homes in the autumn or after rainfall because both conditions reduce their supply of honeydew. Once inside, crazy ants usually nest underneath floors or in wall voids. Outdoors, their nests are commonly found in soil under objects or next to foundations.

To prevent crazy ants from gaining access to a structure, experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend the following tips:

  • Trim vegetation away from the home to prevent pathways inside.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including around doors and windows.
  • Clean up food spills and other potential attractants as soon as possible.
  • If an infestation is suspected, contact a licensed pest professional to treat the problem.

SOURCE: PPMA

 

Termites Appearing This Spring

Northwest Exterminating encourages public awareness of termites during the spring season

Source - UGA entomology

Source – UGA entomology

As temperatures continue to increase across the country and the ground becomes warmer, winged termites will emerge in search of a suitable spot to create a new colony, often in residential settings.  We want to take this opportunity to educate homeowners about the threat of termites and the possible signs of an infestation this spring.

Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to compromise the structure of a home without being noticed until it’s too late.

Termites are very destructive and the damage inflicted can be quite costly if left untreated.  Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.

Here are a few clues that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint
  5. Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home
  7. If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan

For more information on termites, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/termite-control/.