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

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

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/.

 

April is National Pest Management Month

It seems there’s a day/month of recognition for just about anything these days.  January is Artichoke and Asparagus Month, June is International Surf Music Month, and we can’t forget about September being Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month.  There really seems to be a month for everything.  However, we may be partial, but we think that April is a very special month!  It’s National Pest Management Month!

Source: NPMA

Source: NPMA

National Pest Management Month is a time to celebrate your pest professionals who protect homes and businesses from pest threats!  According to Miss Henriksen, NPMA’s VP of public affairs, “During National Pest Management Month, we shine the light on the importance of professional pest management in consumers’ everyday lives.”

Joining NPMA on a media tour is renowned home improvement expert Bob Vila.  NPMA and Bob Vila want to remind homeowners of the importance of keeping a pest free home and the ways you can thwart off pest invaders this spring and summer.

In recognition of National Pest Management Month, Bob Vila and NPMA offer the following tips to pest proof your home:

Exclusion

  • Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes;
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.

Prevention

  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Ensure basements, attics, and crawl spaces are well ventilated and dry.
  • Clean out gutters and install gutter guards.

Elimination

So what are you waiting on…hug your pest professional today!!  Or you can just say thank you!

Source

 

Would You Eat Bugs?

Have you ever thought about eating bugs?

We’ve blogged about it before.  In many places around the world insects are considered a delicacy.  That trend has not caught on in America (thank goodness).  That’s not to say that no one has jumped on the bug eating bandwagon.  In September, over 3,000 people attended BugFest in Raleigh, NC, another 1,300 people attended Hoppy Thanksgiving in New Orleans…all to taste foods that included bugs. Meal worms, crickets, larva are all different insects that are eaten.

Those that support bug foods compare it to eating sushi.

“Those of us engaged in entomophagy are hoping that this will be like sushi. Forty years ago, you would’ve looked at someone like they were crazy if they suggested opening a restaurant serving raw fish, but now it seems you can’t walk a city block without coming across a sushi place.”

To read more about this new phenomenon, visit USA TODAY’s article There’s a bug in my food…on purpose?

So what do you think?  Would you add bugs to your diet?

SOURCE

 

Preparing for Swarms

With Spring upon us, the temperature will start to get warmer, finally! This is great news for us, but it also means that insects are beginning to come out of hibernation. Two insects of great concern, particularly in the spring, are the ant and the termite.

Both of these insects, flying ants and termites, will begin to swarm soon, so it is important to know the differences between them so you can help out your Pest Management Professional. Should you catch one, there are three noticeable differences between a flying ant and a termite.

  1. Ants have bent antennae. They look like they have an elbow. Termites have straight antennae.
  2. Ants have a narrow waist. Have you seen the old pictures of women in corsets? That is what the waist of an ant swarmer will look like. The termite looks uniform from top to bottom.
  3.  Ants have wings that are two different lengths – the best analogy is a butterfly wing. The top wing is longer than the bottom one, similar to how a butterfly wing looks. Termites have wings that are the same length. (I caught one the other day, and it looked like one giant wing stacked together, not four individual parts.)

flying ants vs termites

If you see swarmers and are worried, call your local Northwest Exterminating Service Center. They will be happy to help you with all of your pest control needs, and can target problem insects as needed.

Katherine King
kking@callnorthwest.com

 

#7 on AJC’s Top Workplaces in Atlanta

AJC Top WorkplacesWe did it again!  For the 3rd consecutive year, Northwest Exterminating has been named as one of the AJC’s Top Workplaces in Atlanta!  Coming in at #7 in the mid-size company category, Northwest is proud to make the list once again!

What makes this award even better…it’s based on results from employee surveys!!  What an honor!!

Go take a look at the other Top 100 Workplaces in Atlanta HERE!