Kuzdu (Stink) Bugs Are Back! How You Can Control Them

 

kudzu stink bugIt’s that time again. Since their appearance in Georgia in 2009, Kuzdu (Stink) Bugs have become more and more prevalent among common household pest annoyances. Kudzu bugs are rarely seen throughout the warmer months but then make their appearance in the Fall as they’re trying to stay warm. As the temperatures drop, Kudzu bugs begin looking for places to take refuge to survive the cold winter months, which can be inside the cracks and crevices of your home.

How to Identify Kudzu (Stink) Bugs

Kudzu bugs closely resemble ladybugs, only they are a brown, olive-green color. They’re sometimes referred to as “stink bugs” for the not so pleasant smell they emit when threatened (or crushed). As their name suggests, these bugs are often found in and around kudzu, their preferred food source. They also have a taste for other vegetables, making them a threat to our crops in Southern states.

How to Get Rid of Kudzu Bugs

Since you can’t really control the kudzu bug populations around your home, there are some things you can do to prevent them from coming inside.

  1. Eliminate any sources of kudzu or vines on or around your home
  2. Keep doors and windows closed and fix any torn screens
  3. Seal all cracks and holes on the exterior of your home
  4. If Kudzu bugs get inside, vacuum them up rather than stepping on them or crushing them – to eliminate the unpleasant odor they emit. Dispose of them immediately, outside of your home.
  5. If you’re still seeing them, call a pest control company – a professional can identify and correct entry points and treat existing kudzu bugs
Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

How to Control Armyworms

As their name indicates, armyworms travel in large groups and can create a significant amount of damage to your lawn. Find out more about armyworms, how you can prevent them, and how you can get rid of them if they’re eating your grass and plants.

What are Armyworms?

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar and the larvae of moths with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed on mostly grass, plants, and vegetables. Chances are, you’re seeing fall armyworms right now, which are very common in Southern states. These armyworms can cause substantial destruction to your lawn which is unsightly and detrimental to your lawn care program. They multiply very quickly and can be tough to eradicate once plants or grass is infested.

How to Prevent Armyworms?

Check for signs of lawn and plant damage often. This includes patchy areas in your lawn that turn brown, where grass has been noticeably eaten.  In their adult form, armyworms are brown moths with a white spot on each wing. If you see these moths, it’s likely that larvae is feeding on nearby plant sources. You may also notice more birds in your yard when armyworms are active, as birds eat armyworms. Spotting armyworms early is critical in successfully eliminating them and will cause the least amount of damage. It’s also important to continue a good lawn care program so that your your grass can return to its previously healthy state.

How to Get Rid of Armyworms?

Keep grass maintained with a good lawn care program including regular mowing to keep grass short, watering your lawn often, and giving it the proper nutrients needed to maintain healthy grass. Apply an insecticide specifically for the treatment of armyworms; your local lawn care company or exterminator can take care of this for you or recommend effective products.

After armyworms are treated and eliminated, the process doesn’t stop there. It’s important to continuously check for armyworm damage as a reoccurrence is common. Because this pest cannot withstand cold temperatures, early Spring is when you’re likely to have another infestation.

 

Rats and Mice: How to Keep Them Out of your Home

Do You Have Rats or Mice?

It’s a common question homeowners often ask us: Do I have rats or mice? Neither are good news but it’s important to know which type of rodent is inhabiting your home so you know how to properly get rid of them.

Rats

If you’ve had the misfortune to actually see a rodent in your home, a rat would be significantly larger than a mouse. There are 2 common types of house rats – the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

The Norway Rat is the largest of commensal rodents with small ears, a blunt nose, and a short tail relative to its head and body. Their droppings are up to 3/4 inch with blunt ends. They usually gnaw on wood but will also chew on electrical wiring, causing damage. Typically, they will reside outside your home in burrows or in your crawl space or basement, entering the structure at night for food and water.

The Roof Rat is usually darker in color than the Norway Rat and smaller, weighing less than a pound. They have large ears, a pointed nose, and a long tail. Their droppings are spindle shaped with pointed ends. Unlike Norway Rats, Roof Rats prefer to live higher above ground, making your attic an ideal environment.

Both are cautious and will be suspicious of any foreign objects or changes in their environment. This makes rodent control tricky as they usually will not approach a recently placed trap or bait box. Proper placement and patience is crucial.

Mice

Mice are smaller than rats and usually a lot less suspicious, making them easier to trap through routine pest control methods. They’ll eat mostly anything so your home likely has a food source that’s appealing to them. Mice breed often and offspring can reproduce in less than 6 weeks, so it’s important to catch them early before they multiply. Like rats, mice are nocturnal and mostly come out of their nest, looking for food, at night. They have the ability to fit into tiny spaces, needing only 1/4 inch gap or opening. Also like rats, mice will leave behind droppings (much smaller, rod-shaped, with pointed ends).

How to Get Rid of Rats & Mice in Your Home

DIY Pest Control is not recommended for rodent control. Rats and mice have very specific habits, making them harder to catch and eradicate. Because rats are cautious by nature, any differences in their routine may cause them to move into other areas of your home. Depending on where they are nesting in your home and the type of rodents, an exterminator can then determine the best plan of attack; whether to use baits, traps, a combination of both, and the size of traps required. And because rats and mice multiply quickly, its essential that you call a pest control company at the first signs of infestation:

  • Droppings
  • Gnawed areas
  • Tracks or tail marks in dusty areas
  • Noises at night in less-frequented areas of your home, commonly attics & basements
  • Unusual odor

Preventing Future Mice & Rat Infestations

Because these rodents require only a tiny gap or space to enter your home, it’s essential that you implement good exclusion and sanitation practices. Every gap in your structure larger than 1/4 inch should be properly sealed, especially those around drainage pipes, vents, utility lines, doors & windows, etc. It’s also important to remove any available food sources, like trash cans, pet food, and bird feeders.

If you think you have a rat or mice infestation, call your local pest control company for an immediate inspection.

 

Spiders in Your House?

Spider season is upon us! Chances are, you’ve seen a couple of these creepy crawlers in and around your home lately. While most of the common house spiders don’t pose any real threat to you and your family, they’re still considered unwanted houseguests by the majority of people. So why are you seeing spiders and how you can keep them out?

Why are you seeing spiders?

While spiders are active throughout the year, they’re more likely to come indoors in the late summer and fall months. Outdoor spiders usually reproduce in the Spring, so young spiders slowly mature through Summer and become adult spiders later in the year, making them more visible to us. As male spiders mature, they begin seeking a mate, which may be inside your home (eek!).

To find out what type of spiders you’re seeing, visit our Spider Learning Center.

What health threats do spiders pose?

Not all spiders are dangerous. And if you’re less creeped out by spiders than other common pests, like roaches, flies, and mosquitoes, then it may be best to coexist. Spiders will eat these pests…free pest control! They also eat other spiders, thereby reducing your spider population naturally.

On the other hand, spiders can pose certain risks to your family. If spiders feel threatened, they may bite…and spider bites can be painful and unpredictable. The reaction caused by spider bites is different for everyone, depending on the type of spider and the individual that’s bitten.

How to control spiders in your house

If you’re don’t like the idea of spiders hanging out around your house, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from coming inside.

  • Avoid bringing in anything that spiders may travel in – wood, debris, plants, etc. (anything that’s been sitting outside for an extended period of time)
  • Regular pest control – professional or DIY – to keep other common pests out of your home. If you have other pests, spiders are likely to make an appearance, looking for a steady food source
  • Dust your home frequently, including areas where spiders like to live: corners, windows, any dark areas that are less frequented
  • Keep mulch away from the perimeter of your home

A comprehensive pest control program by a professional will include protection against spiders and other household pests. Our advanced pest control service, NorPest Green, is kid and pet-friendly and utilizes the latest technology, products and equipment to safeguard your family from unwanted bugs.

 

 

 

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

Ants in the Kitchen?

You’re not alone. Our phones have been ringing non-stop for the last few weeks with one common problem: ANTS IN THE KITCHEN. So you may be asking yourself: 1) Why are they here? 2) How can I get rid of them? 3) How can I keep them from coming back? 4) Should I call a pest control company?

Why are Ants in the Kitchen?

Let’s start with why you’re suddenly seeing ants. Ants are always looking for food. Most likely, your kitchen has food. Simple. But maybe you don’t have any food laying around, easily accessible to the ants. No spills or messes left uncleaned. And still… those pesky ants are trailing around your sink or across the countertops. Why? They’re foraging for food and even the smallest supply (that you can’t even see) will keep them busy for days.

How to Get Rid of Ants?

Next question: How to get rid of ants? Start with the basics. Clean any kitchen spills immediately. Wash dirty dishes after using them. Take the trash out daily. Don’t leave any unsealed food out. Kill any ants you see with a household pest product and clean the areas thoroughly. Try and find where the ants are coming in. Clean these areas too and seal any points of entry. Apply an ant bait product near entry points, preferably on the outside of your home so the ants don’t have to come back inside to eat the bait. The goal here is for the ants to take the bait back to their colony, therefore eliminating the source.

How to Prevent Ants?

So now that you’ve eliminated the ants you’re seeing today, how can you keep them out tomorrow and the next day? The answer isn’t as simple. Ants are everywhere and they are constantly looking for food to feed their colony. You can eliminate one tribe and another will appear within days or weeks. This is why preventative pest control is so important and necessary.

DIY or Professional Pest Control?

If you have the time and patience for DIY pest control, you should repeat the above process regularly, in addition to treating the perimeter of your home with some type of granular pesticide. Or you can save time and your sanity and call a pest control company.

Our comprehensive pest control service covers ant control and so much more. Trained technicians will inspect your home quarterly for current pest infestations or entry points, treat and correct these issues, and implement treatment methods that will prevent future infestations. Our unique pest control program, NorPest Green, utilizes the latest professional products (all of which are completely environmentally, kid and pet friendly) and equipment, and comes with a pest-free guarantee.

For more information or to schedule a free pest inspection, visit our pest control services page or call (888) 466-7849. If you’re seeing a few ants now, most likely there are hundreds more that you can’t see. Our advice: act quickly before the ants takeover and move into other parts of your home.

 

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.

 

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.