Rats in Space?

Scientists Develop a Use for Rats in Space

By: Katherine King

It seems like every little kid, and some (most) adults, dream of going to space one day. The only trouble seems to be the whole lack of gravity thing, minor details. Scientists have come up with a new way to study the effects of microgravity on astronauts…rats!

Scientists have developed new, high-tech cages that will allow for constant monitoring of rats or mice as they are in space. The cage provides food, water, fresh air, lighting, and bars to aid in movement. It is designed so that the rats can move from a transport cage to their main habitat without risk of escape. Rats and mice are great study animals, because they have similar eating habits to humans, have been extensively studied, and have a short life span. The new information gathered from the rats and mice will help scientists to understand the effects of microgravity over time, and help astronauts to come back healthier than in the past.

Scientists may not have been studying rodents in space for very long, but Northwest Exterminating has been studying rodents in your “space” for years! If you have a rodent problem, call Northwest Exterminating today.

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

What Is A Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Identification of stink bugs:

  • Grayish-brown
  • 6 legs
  • Triangular or shield shped
  • 2/4 in long
  • Found in eastern US, as well as California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

What are stink bugs?

Brown marmorated “stink bugs” are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Why are they called stink bugs?

Stink bugs get their name from the odor they emit as a defense against predators, including birds, spiders and assassin bugs. When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies.

Are stink bugs more prevalent during a specific season?

Adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather, often from mid-September through mid-October. They reemerge from overwintering sites in early spring and try to exit, but sometimes enter living spaces instead.

Why are stink bugs problematic?

Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be increasingly harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.

Do stink bugs pose a threat to human health?

Stink bugs are not known to bite humans, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers makes them a difficult pest to control once inside.

What can homeowners do to prevent an infestation?

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum because stink bugs are drawn to light. Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Repair damaged window screens. Don’t forget to check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Also, install screens over chimney and crawlspace vents.
  • A licensed pest professional can pre-treat homes for stink bugs in the late summer or early fall just prior to their full maturation and congregation.

How can a homeowner get rid of stink bugs once they are inside their home?

  • If stink bugs have already entered a home or building, use a vacuum cleaner to aid in their removal
    • Remove the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can stink up your home.
    • Seal contents from the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
  • If an infestation has developed inside the home or building, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem and help to identify the access points for these invasive species.

Source: Professional Pest Management Alliance

Photo Credit – Steven Jacobs Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

 

 

How to Cope with Snakes

Beware of Snakes While Still Enjoying Your Summer

By: Katherine King

The weather is starting to warm up nicely, making a lot of us want to be outside to soak up the sun. We aren’t the only ones enjoying the sun’s rays, though. Snakes are reptiles, which means they are cold-blooded and dependent on their surroundings to regulate body temperature. Be careful when participating in outdoor activities. Caution is necessary around rock and log piles, particularly if they are in a nice, sunny spot. Snakes will often rest on the top of these areas to warm up before they begin the day’s activities.

Snakes may also be in your garden, helping you control insect populations. Watch where you put your hands so that you do not accidentally grab a small snake. Snakes never intentionally harm humans, but when they do it is because they feel threatened. If at all possible, avoid interactions with snakes. If you are bitten by a snake that is poisonous, seek medical attention immediately, do not try to do anything on your own.

If you are having a snake problem, contact Northwest Exterminating’s Wildlife division. A service representative will be sent to remove the snake, and provide suggestions on how to avoid contact with snakes in the future.

Katherine King
kking@callnorthwest.com

 

Protect Your Home Against Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma

Eliminating Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma This Spring

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, we want to remind people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses during the spring season on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
Source: NPMA

To view full image click HERE

Source: NPMA

 

Protect Your Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Simple ways pet owners can keep their animals safe from fleas and ticks

The spring season is a time when all members of the family, including pets, wander outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blossoming flowers. Unfortunately, it’s also prime pest season, which means pets are at risk of encountering hungry fleas and ticks that are in search of active hosts. Northwest Exterminating encourages pet owners to take precautions against these dangerous pests during the warmer months.

Fleas are more than just an itchy annoyance. Their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms in dogs and cats. Ticks can spread bacteria to pets and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

In addition to the health threats posed by fleas and ticks, both pests are small in size and extremely mobile, making them difficult to detect and get rid of once inside the home. It’s extremely important for pet owners to be cautious of these pests and contact a licensed pest professional if they suspect an infestation.

The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to keep pets pest-free:

  • Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
  • Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
  • Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.

Source: NPMA

 

10 Ways Prevent Mosquito Bites

What Are 10 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Here in the South, mosquitoes and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. In North America there is an estimated 170 different species of mosquito. Sometimes it feels like 169 of those species live right here in the south. Aside from being a nuisance, mosquitoes can be a threat to our health. West Nile virus is a disease that is carried by mosquitoes and has become a concern in the US in recent years.

So how do you keep those pesky mosquitoes away? Below are 10 ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites:

  1. Wear long clothes – We know it’s the summer and it’s hot but if possible, wear long sleeves and pants when you’re going to be outdoors.
  2. Eliminate areas of standing water – Empty areas where water collects such as flower pots and bird baths.  Properly landscape areas of the yard where water pools.
  3. Use insect repellant containing DEET – Follow the instructions on insect repellants that contain DEET.
  4. Ensure windows and doors are screened – If you have windows and/or doors open make sure they are properly screened to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.
  5. Avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn – Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Avoid going outside during those times.
  6. Try not to work up a sweat – Mosquitoes are attracted to the lactic acid in sweat.
  7. Don’t move – Mosquitoes are attracted to movement, so be still!!
  8. Wear light colored clothes – Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so wear lighter colors to avoid their bites.
  9. Don’t drink beer – Mosquitoes are beer lovers and will likely bite you if you are drinking one.
  10. Keep body temperature low – Stay cool. The higher your body temperature, the more attracted mosquitoes are to you.

Mosquito treatments can also be a great way to prevent mosquitoes. Northwest Exterminating offers a GREEN mosquito program that targets both mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes.

 

Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

Northwest Exterminating’s Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

The best way to keep insects out of your home is to not allow them in there in the first place.  Aside from regularly scheduled pest control there are things you can do to keep pests out.  Here’s a quick video of the Top 10 Ways to keep Insects out of your home.

Top 10 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.
 

The Dangers of Mosquitoes

Are Mosquitoes the Most Deadly Animal? The Dangers of Mosquitoes.

Bill Gates recently wrote “The Deadliest Animal in the World” on his blog, ‘gatesnotes’. In this article, Mr. Gates quotes some pretty startling statistics about the dangers of mosquitoes and their threat to humans. Mosquitoes kill more people each year than any other animal in the world. How’s that for the tiny, annoying bug that we often sarcastically refer to as the “state bird”?!

Mosquito infographic - bill gates blog

Source: gatesnotes “The Deadliest Animal in the World

There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes around the world (covering every region except Antarctica). Besides termites and ants, mosquitoes outnumber every other animal.

What makes mosquitoes so dangerous?

Mosquitoes can carry malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile, and encephalitis. Malaria alone threatens half of the world’s population and is responsible for killing more than 600,000 people each year. Dengue fever causes serious illness and death, especially among children. Cases of dengue fever were discovered in Florida last year. Read more on Bill Gates recent trip to Indonesia to learn more about the fight against dengue fever HERE.

We encourage you to read Bill Gates full blog on the dangers of mosquitoes. For more information on what you can do to control mosquitoes around your home visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/pest-control/mosquito-control/

 

Pest Control in Smyrna, GA

Are you looking for pest control in the Smyrna, GA area?

If you’re in Atlanta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Decatur, Mableton, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Scottsdale, Shady Dale, or Smyrna then you are serviced by our Smyrna service center.

Our Smyrna service center offers Green pest control, Green termite control, wildlife control, Green mosquito control, bed bug control, ant controllawn care, TAP Insulation, and Complete CrawlSpace.

Meet the Manager

Peter Schmidt

Peter Schmidt

Pete is the best of the best and has been with Northwest for over 19 years.  He exemplifies the “Customers for Life” attitude that we strive for at Northwest Exterminating.

 

Bottle Fly

Shoo “Bottle” Fly, Don’t Bother Me

The bottle fly is a common household fly.  They are known for their metallic blue or green color and look like they are wearing aviator sunglasses.  Some may enjoy their appearance but you won’t enjoy them if they’re in your home.

Bottle flies breed amongst unsanitary and filthy conditions.  Like many other flies, they can spread diseases on the surfaces they land on including your food, kitchen counters, animal waste, and garbage.  They are usually the first ones on the scene of a dead animal.  Bottle flies lay their eggs in the carcass and the maggots will develop by eating the carcass.  They develop from egg to adult in less than 3 weeks.

What if I find bottle flies in my home?

Finding bottle flies in your home is a good indication that you have either a dead animal located somewhere in your home or a sanitation issue.  Either problem should be addressed immediately.  Calling a pest control professional will allow them to identify the source of the problem and help to eliminate the original problem, as well as, the bottle flies.