Expert Advice for a Bed Bug Free School Year

Northwest Exterminating shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

Summer vacation is almost over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over bed bug prevention, Northwest Exterminating, a pest control management company, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places.  This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans

NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing

For more information on bed bugs, please visit our Bed Bug Control page.

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

Summer Stinging Insects

The Dangers of Summer Stinging Insects

Just because school is almost here, doesn’t mean the summer is over, especially for those summer stinging insects. The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. We want to warn that yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.

From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun. Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the playground or relax by the pool, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.

Below are the most common stinging insects of the summer months:

Yellowjackets – Yellowjackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.

European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellowjackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.

Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

Killer Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.

The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.

For more information on stinging insects, visit our PEST ID page.

Source: NPMA

 

Benefits of Bees

What’s the Buzz on the Benefits of Bees?

By: Katherine King

“Busy as a bee” is an old saying. The phrase implies that you are constantly moving, being industrious, getting your work done, and focused in order to achieve a goal. Now let’s think about the insect in the phrase, the bee. Bees are very industrious little animals. They are constantly in search of places to get nectar, their food, which they can bring back to the colony in order to feed everyone else. The bees that remain inside the hive are busy working as well. They are expanding the size of the hive, caring for young, and producing the honey which is their main food source.

All of these things are wonderful to hear about, but not many people are comfortable when they see bees. They can be rather large, bright colored, loud, and have a reputation to sting. These factors may make you wary of bees and may make you think that you need to make a run for it. In actuality, bees would much rather leave you alone. They only sting as an absolute last resort. They can only sting one time in their life and then die shortly after they sting you.

Benefits of Bees:

There are some redeeming qualities and benefits of bees…their honey. Honey does not have an expiration date. If your honey hardens, you can gently heat it and it will soften back up. If you ever get a burn, you can put honey on it to protect the burn and help it heal. Honey has other medicinal properties that aren’t confirmed, but from a holistic stand-point they are great. I have personally had good results using honey to try and fight some major allergies. If that is why you are eating honey, be sure you buy local honey from your area so that you are exposed to the right pollens.

Although bees have positive benefits, we want to make sure you know that they can also be a threat if caution is not exercised. If you have bees in or around your property and would like them removed, call our Wildlife division at Northwest Exterminating for our bee removal service.

 

What Are Your Termite Treatment Options?

You have termites…now what? What are your termite treatment options?

So you’ve called your termite extermination company out to your home and they confirmed your suspicions that yes, you have termites! There are many different termite treatment options so how do you know which one is right for your home?

Each termite infestation is unique, just like each home is unique. What works for your neighbor’s home may not work for yours. By working closely with your licensed termite professional, you can develop a customized termite treatment plan that is right for your situation.

So what are some of the termite treatment options?

  • The Sentricon Termite Baiting System – This termite baiting system is an environmentally friendly option to preventing and eliminating termites. Termite monitoring stations are placed around the perimeter of your home. Termites take the bait and share it with other termites. When the bait is ingested it helps to control the termite colony.
  • Liquid Termite Treatments – Liquid Termite treatments can be used inside, outside, and even on the structure. The method of application depends on the type of structure. Termites come into contact with the product, ingest it, and share it with their colony.

Regardless of what type of termite treatment you choose, it’s important that you maintain ongoing termite control. Your trusted termite exterminating company will help provide ongoing monitoring to ensure that your home stays free of termite infestations.

Northwest Exterminating offers free termite inspections.

 

Why Termite Control Is Valuable To Your Home

How to Maintain the Value of Your Home with Termite Control

Your home is probably the biggest investment that you will make in your lifetime. Not only is it a monetary investment but it’s a place where you want to feel safe, comfortable, and at peace when you are there. So what does termite control have to do with the value of your home?

Termites work 24/7 to find food.   Unfortunately for us, and our homes, their choice of food is wood…as in the wood that is used to build our houses. So here we have these creatures that are eating wood around the clock…they are bound to cause damage.

Termite damage can be severe. Each year, termites cause over $2 billion of damage to homes in the US. In most cases, termite damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. So with all of that being said, it’s easy to see why termite protection is important to maintain the value of your home.

Preventing Termite Damage To Your Home:

  • Be proactive. Don’t wait until the damage is done. Prevent termite infestations before they have a chance to cause damage.
  • Have a reputable exterminating professional perform a termite inspection on your home. This will help to determine if you have active termites or termite damage already. They can also educate you on things you can do to deter termites away from your home.
  • Save time and money by working with your pest control professional to treat your home with the termite treatments that are right for your property and situation.

By maintaining the quality of your structure you are maintaining the value of your investment, your home.

 

What Is Chikungunya?

What Do You Need To Know About Chikungunya, the mosquito-borne virus?

By: Kate King
kking@callnorthwest.com

As many of you have been seeing or hearing in the news recently, the mosquito-borne virus, Chikungunya is being reported in the United States. The symptoms of Chikungunya are very similar to those of the flu: fever, joint pain, muscles aches, joint swelling, and possible rash. The symptoms typically appear 5-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and last for about a week. However, the joint pain may continue for a longer period of time. The best thing for you to do if you are experiencing these symptoms is to get plenty of rest, keep hydrated, and take a pain reliever/fever reducer. You should also notify your doctor.

Let me first say that many of the cases reported are from people traveling in areas where the virus is found naturally. To date, there are no documented cases originating from within the United States, according to the CDC. The mosquitoes that carry the virus are found throughout the United States, so there is the potential for the virus to become established here.

There are a few things that you can do to help limit the possibility of being bitten by a mosquito and reduce the risk of chikungunya:

  • Prevent standing water
  • Dump water at least once a week to prevent mosquito larvae from becoming adults
  • Wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, and close toe shoes
  • Use a protective spray that will repel the mosquitoes
  • Be cautious when standing in shaded areas – the mosquitoes that carry the virus are known for biting during the day, not during dawn and dusk as many other mosquitoes are
  • Hire a professional mosquito control company

If you are experiencing an issue with mosquitoes on your property, or you would like to try and prevent any kind of issues, contact your local Pest Control Company.

 

The 411 on BedBugs

Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite: The 411 on BedBugs

It’s not just a nursery rhyme anymore, it’s a way of life.  Bedbugs are a real concern for people, especially those that travel, but those that stay close to home aren’t exempt from the threat of bedbugs.  Luckily, bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard.  Although not a health risk, it is imperative that you call a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like?

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with 6 legs.  Like mosquitoes, bedbugs feed on the blood of animals and humans.  They are brown in color and turn a reddish brown after a feeding.  Read more on how to ID a bedbug HERE.

Where Do Bedbugs Come From?

Bedbugs are great hitchhikers.  They can catch a ride on luggage, purses, clothing, pets, boxes, and other belongings that are taken from place to place.  That is why bedbugs are often found in hotels, apartments, dorm rooms, places where people often come and go.  Bedbugs are a world-wide issue.  At one time, they were most common in developing countries but due to increased international travel, they are an issue in the US and other developed countries.

What Do Bedbugs Eat?

As stated earlier, bed bugs feed on blood from humans and animals.  They typically feed at night.  After they feed, they become engorged and fall off of their host.  It only takes them about 3 minutes to complete their meal.  They can go weeks without feeding.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Feel Like?

Bedbugs inject a numbing agent in the body when feeding.  In most cases, you won’t know if you are being bitten by a bedbug.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Look Like?

Bedbugs bites are itchy, red bumps, usually left in a straight line, on the skin.  Bites are usually found on the upper body.

How to Treat A Bedbug Infestation?

It’s simple.  Hire a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.  They can be very difficult to treat.  In the mean time, inspect all mattresses and bedding, especially when traveling.  Avoid putting your luggage on the floor or bed, instead use a luggage rack.  When returning home, wash and dry clothing on the highest heat level.  Make sure to check the cracks and crevices of any luggage before storing.

 

 

Protect Yourself From Tick Bites and Tick-Borne Disease

Northwest Exterminating offers tick bite prevention advice for the summer season

As people venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather we want to encourage increased public awareness of ticks and their numerous health risks.

Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting serious diseases to humans when they bite, including Lyme disease, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We encourage people to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites when outdoors this summer and decrease the chances of contracting one of these tick-borne illnesses.

Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests.

Most effective ways to prevent a tick encounter, and tick bite, include:

  • Landscape your yard. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris. Ticks are found in high grass, and yards with shrubbery.
  • Protect your skin. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Use an effective bug repellant. Always apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Regularly check for ticks. Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
  • Don’t forget about pets. Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
  • Brush up on proper removal techniques. (Read our post “How to Remove a Tick“) Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water, and flush the tick down a toilet or wrap it in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
  • Contact a professional pest professional. Anyone suspecting a tick bite or experiencing symptoms, including a skin rash, joint pain or fever, should seek prompt medical attention. If ticks are a problem on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and implement a treatment plan to reduce tick populations.

 For more information on ticks, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/.

Source: NPMA

 

How to Get Rid of A Mosquito Bite

How to Get Rid of a Mosquito Bite

If you spend any time outside, especially in the Southern states, there is a good chance you will get a mosquito bite.  The female mosquito (males don’t bite) feed on blood.  Once they bite they cause a minor allergic reaction.  You will most often see the skin raise and turn red.  The itch comes from the allergic reaction to the saliva, an anticoagulant, that the mosquito injects while sucking your blood.

So how can you get rid of a mosquito bite?

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol to remove any excess saliva that is still on the skin.
  2. Apply ice to the bite as soon as you become aware that you’ve been bitten.  Ice will help alleviate pain and swelling.
  3. Apply an anti-itch medication to the area of the bite. You can also try home remedies such as applying toothpaste, baking soda, mouth wash, or Epsom salt.
  4. Although it can be difficult, avoid scratching.  Scratching will only further aggravate the itch and prolong healing.

How to avoid getting bit by a mosquito:

  1. Have your property treated by a licensed mosquito control company like Northwest Exterminating.
  2. Apply an insect repellent to deter mosquitoes.
  3. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes when possible.
  4. Read our blog 10 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
 

Mosquito Season is Here – Take Precautions

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites When Outdoors this Summer

Warmer weather is finally here and we know our residents are no doubt spending more time outdoors. However, with increased outdoor activity, the public is at risk of becoming a meal for summer’s most dangerous and pesky pest – the mosquito. That’s why we are urging the public to  take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families.

Mosquitoes are emerging early across the country due to recent rainfall and an increase in temperatures. With the threat of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, it’s important for people to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors in the coming months.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers the following tips to avoid becoming a mosquito meal:

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about a ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.If you must be outside during those times, consider staying inside a screened-in porch or dressing in clothing that leaves very little exposed skin.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors, loose-fitting garments, and open-toe shoes.
  • Always use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors or traveling, especially in areas known to have increased mosquito populations.

For more information on mosquitoes and other summer pests, please visit www.callnorthwest.com.