Flower Flies

Are you the type of person who freaks out the instant that they spot a yellow and black winged creature nearby? If so, maybe you should take a second glance before you run screaming back into the house. That yellow and black creature flying amongst your freshly planted to roses may very well be a flower fly! However, they want you and other predators to think that they are wasps or bees so that they can feast in peace.

Syrphidae

Members of the Insect Family Syrphidae

 

Flower flies, also known as hoverflies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. They get their name from their main source of nutrients – flowers! They, much like bees, feed mainly on nectar and pollen. Their larvae, however, feed of a wide range of foods including other pests. This may seem like it will cause potential pest problems, but in actuality, they are considered natural pest control (much the green products of Northwest Exterminating), in that they prey on insects such as aphids, which cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops globally. Additionally, adult aphids are important to the plant pollinating process.

 

Petroselinum_crispum_003

Parsley

If you would like to the help of flower flies to aid you in pest control, then you should look to companion plants such as buckwheat, chamomile or parsley to attract them. If, however, you’d like a stronger pest control force to protect your home and lawn, then Northwest Exterminating offers all the resources you need.

Chamomile

Chamomile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Syrphidae/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverfly

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

Ounce for Ounce – The New Healthy Alternative

Recently the news has been booming about the new healthy alternative:

Eating Insects

Eating insects may be a new form of pest control but it appears to serve a larger and healthier purpose.  The United Nations recently released an extensive document on the health impact of consuming edible insects.  Okay don’t stop reading this is serious.

Did you know that over two billion people, largely in Asia, Africa, and Latin America already include edible insects into their daily diets?  The idea has been around forever and some candy makers have even made money off of imitation insect candies or even a real version.  Have you seen chocolate covered crickets or ants?  Although I have spent my whole life in the pest control industry I can honestly say I have never eaten an insect…on purpose.  The United Nations believes that proper education and communication could not only help us with our health but also help the world fight hunger.  Studies have shown that there are approximately 1,900 edible insects in the world.   The edible insects show amazing study results when it comes to their nutritional makeup.  Certain insects like grasshoppers and beetles can go toe to toe and ounce to ounce with other high protein foods like lean ground beef.  These 1,900 edible insects are high in protein and fiber, and contain helpful minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Are you convinced to switch your whole diet over yet?  Probably not and neither am I and most of the population.  This is a hard concept for many of us to swallow (literally) because insects should be exterminated and they scare us.  Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we all have already consumed some insects or their parts in what we eat already.  Some insects have been used for their colors for dyes in food, while others just have accidentally made it into the food.  If you ever want to learn more and don’t have a weak stomach I urge you to look into some of the acceptable thresholds for insect parts in common food we consume.

So where do I stand with this?  Lets just say I am excited we might have found a solution to help the world’s hunger problem but at this point I think I will stick to my current diet while making a conservative effort to try new things as our food choices evolve.  Will the United States ever evolve and jump on this new alternative food?  Maybe eventually, we already have with other things like lobsters (who were once viewed as rats of the sea) and/or any other bottom feeding fish or crustaceans.  One thing is for sure, Northwest Exterminating will always be around for those who still wish for the Mouse to Protect their house!

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating
avannest@callnorthwest.com

 

Stored Product Pests

Pests can show up in the most unexpected of places – in your bed, in your luggage and unfortunately in your food. What might have appeared to be a perfectly fresh and untouched package might actually be home to insects that infect food products. These insects are aptly named stored product pests and are usually small beetles or moths. For the most part, you will notice the adult form of these insects as they immediately begin their search for more food, typically in the area where the infestation first began.

These insects have a rather rapid life cycle lasting just four to five weeks. During this time, adult females can lay anywhere from 1000 to 1,000 eggs! If the adults themselves do not eat your food, then they serve as breeders who locate food sources for their larva. The name suggests that these pests only consume food products, but actually have a very large appetite including, but not limited, dried flower arrangements, bird seed, dog bones and even jewelry or holiday decorations!

In the Southeast, one particular stored product pest you may spot is an Indianmeal moth. Despite what their name suggests, these moths can be found in bird seed, breakfast cereals and other consumables, typically located in kitchen cupboards. However, because of their great ability of flight, adult Indianmeal moths can be found pretty much anywhere within an infested home. Indianmeal moths are also easy to spot during the larva stage, as they are almost an inch long and create webs of silk in the items they infest.

Indianmeal moth

Indianmeal moth

 

 

 

Indianmeal moth larva

 

 

 

 

 

Another well-known insect is the drugstore beetle which commonly infests dried herbs and spices as well as other dried plant and animal material. These pests can chew through paper packaging and even aluminum foil. You’ll spot these pests as they are active, great flyers that are attracted to light. However, don’t assume that one not moving is one not to worry about. These pests, like another stored product pest known as the weevil, may pretend to be disturbed when threatened.

Drugstore beetle

Drugstore beetle

Preventing these infestations is difficult as many of these pests do not appear until the packaging has been opened. It’s important though to keep food in tightly sealed containers and also use older products first. If the infestation is relatively bad, pest control companies such as Northwest Exterminating can provide traps to bait these pests using pheromones that attract these insects.

Sources:

http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=7914

 

Lawn Diseases

During this time of year, you may notice that your lawn isn’t as green as the grass on the other side. Have no fear, Northwest Lawn Care services can provide diagnostics to let you know what’s going on beneath the surface of your lawn. For the most part, the summer months can mean very green lush grass, but the same warm temperatures might permit infections in your lawn. Way may seem like an unfortunate eye sore to you, may be one or more lawn diseases interrupting your summer plans.

Brown patch

This is a very prevalent disease that may make you think your lawn isn’t getting enough water and treatment. In actuality, this results due to moist, hot weather or over-fertilized lawns. This is active when grass remains wet at temperatures between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to improve aeration and drainage on such lawns by watering deeply and infrequently, mowing high and removing excess thatch.

Brown Patch

Brown Patch

Fairy Rings

Despite what their name suggests, fairy rings are not due to Tinkerbell and her friends dancing across your yard. Rather, patterns of circles of mushrooms or unusually lush grass are due to soil exhaust forcing nutrients to the outer edge of dying mycelium. Your only choice in this instance is to dig up the affected area and use lawn treatments in order to make this area less visible.

Fairy rings

Fairy rings

Summer patch

This disease grows as a result of a fungus that infects and destroys grass roots. It mostly affects gross growing in a sunny, hot lawn. The grass will begin as wilted, dark green and eventually turn straw brown. The most effective means eliminating this is using preventive measures that Northwest Lawn Care provides.

Summer patch

Summer patch

 

If you are interested in learning about more lawn diseases, please visit the link below. If there are any that you feel affect your lawn, please contact Northwest Lawn Care and schedule an appointment today!

Sources:

http://www.yardcare.com/restore/fighting-lawn-diseases/summer-lawn-diseases/

 

Tips For Dealing With Bugs at Summer BBQ

 

 

It’s summer time and BBQ season is in full effect. Naturally, your family and friends aren’t the only ones attracted to the smell of something good on the grill. We at Northwest Exterminating provide extensive treatments for mosquitos, fleas & ticks and other creepy crawlers that may want to stop by. However, being proactive in small ways can add to the benefits of pest and mosquito control. Below is a list of tips to help you keep your BBQ guests from getting bugged!

  • Keep your outdoor dining area clean. For instance, flies hate the scent of Pine-sol. Mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle to use to wipe down the porch and furniture.
  • Place a fan near your BBQ area. This moderate breeze will blow tiny insects off-track
  • If you have a more serious mosquito problem, use a fogger in the BBQ area before the event and make sure to spray bushes as well.
  • Tiki torches, citronella candles or insecticide candles should go around the edge of your BBQ area, though guests will have to be mindful if you choose to go this route.
  • Screen tents are a useful means of protecting food and guests.
  • Keep food inside and have guests serve themselves indoors before coming outdoors to eat.
  • Bug spray is useful plus and there should be enough for each guest to use.

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8229328_keep-bugs-away-during-barbecue.html

 

Hornets

Hornets are wasps that are closely related to, but not to be confused with yellow jackets. In all, there are about 20 hornet species worldwide, but the primary hornet in North America is the European hornet. Just like other social wasps, hornets create their nests from chewing wood into a papery pulp to raise their eggs to adults.

European hornet

You’ll tend to see hornet activity during warmer weather because hornet nests get abandoned in the winter. During this time, they’ll hide under tree bark or even inside human dwellings in order to protect themselves and their eggs. When spring hits, the surviving queens crate a new nest and this is when they become quite an issue for homeowners.

Their threat to homeowners is in their sting, as they use it to kill prey and defend their hives. Unlike bees, hornets can sting multiple times as they do not die after stinging. The toxicity of their sting depends on their species, but the Asian giant hornet is the most venomous. People must be very careful because as social wasps, hornets can mobilize the entire nest to sting in defense, creating a highly dangerous situation. Furthermore, it’s better to call an exterminating company to eliminate the entire hive. This is because if hornets are killed near their hive, their bodies may release a pheromone which can cause other hornets to attack.

Asian giant hornet

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/hornet/

 

Wasps

Unless you’re a Georgia Tech fan, wasps are likely not one of your favorite animals. The major concern regarding wasps is their poisonous sting, which for can be fatal for those who are allergic. Wasps tend to have two pairs of wings, few to no thickened hairs on their bodies and terrestrial. They also all have a pair of talons. Though these are similar in appearance to bees, these insects actually have a different function in nature as predators to almost every pest insect in nature. For instance, there are cicada killer wasps or spider hunting wasps.

There are two types of wasps – solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary wasps operate alone and therefore tend not to create nests, but are all fertile. One the other hands, social wasps are the type that create nests in the eaves of homes and live in colonies where not every member is reproductive. This said, the queen can mate with male wasps but the majority of the colony is comprised of sterile female workers.

Nests

You may also find that adult wasps feed on nectar just like bees and therefore will be attracted to your garden full of fresh flowers during the warmer months.  Wasps build nests in various places, but often choose sunnier spots. Though they can be found in the eaves of homes, they can also be found underground, along bodies of water, beneath floors or on the sides of walls, trees or plants. When their nests are threatened, wasps will sting humans. Protecting your home is an important part of pest control and if you spot any nests around your home, call Northwest Exterminating to eliminate the problem.

Wasp stinger

Sources:

http://www.adkinsbeeremoval.com/wasp-identification.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp

 

NorPest Green Guard

What is NorPest Green Guard? NorPest Green Guard is our Green termite treatment that includes the initial pest control treatment of NorPest Green, pest control the way nature intended! For a $500 value, NorPest Green Guard comes with treatment options that offer damage and repair warranty from termites. It comes with a first year termite warranty, courtesy of the builder who chooses our services, after which homeowners can choose to renew. This warranty option is so important because many home insurance policies do not include termite damage. With a whopping 1 million dollars in structural termite damage coverage, homeowners are going to appreciate the relationship Northwest Exterminating has with the builders who use our services.

We have a great Builder Relations Team whose main goal is to provide for to builders who want to ensure their future homeowners have quality termite care. They also are committed to Northwest Exterminating’s mission of creating a healthier living and working environment. With this initial pest control treatment of NorPest Green, NorPest Green Guard gets ride of pests by using materials that require low environmental maintenance. This makes this service not only eco-friendly and enhances the health of a home, all while preventing the establishment of cockroaches, ants, silverfish, millipedes, earwigs and cricket infestations.

If you’re looking to offer homeowners quality construction with the ensured termite protection, look to the company that has the lowest violation rate of any exterminating company in the state of Georgia. Let the Mouse Protect Your House… It’s an Inside Job!

 

Aphids

Aphids are interesting insects in that almost every plant serves as a potential meal for one or more species of these tiny pests. They have long, slender mouths used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to draw out the fluids from the plant. They also all are pear-shaped with long legs and antennae, but they come in many shades of colors including green, yellow, brown, red or black. This varies with the species as well as the type of plant they choose to feed on.

Aphids

Aphids reproduce at a very rapid pace as each adult aphid is capable of producing up to 80 aphids a year. Most adult aphids are wingless, but some come in winged forms, especially during the spring and fall. This allows them to move onto another food source when one becomes no longer available. Most often, these insects travel in dense populations along the leaves or stems of a plant.

That said, the amount of leef-feeding aphids determines their potential damage. Low to moderate numbers are usually not damaging, but much larger populations they have the effect of curling, yellowing, distorting leaves and also stunting plant growth. They may also transmit viruses from plant to plant. If you feel that your garden is being taken over by an aphid population, let Northwest Lawn Care services take care of your outdoor pest control needs.

Curling of leaves due to aphids.

 

July Pest of the Month: Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Brief description:

Fire ants get their name through their ability to inflict painful bites and stings.  They vary considerably in size and build large raised mounds in lawn areas.  One interesting fact about fire ants is they have been known to infest electrical boxes en masses, causing the equipment to malfunction.

Habits:

  • Build nests in soil near structural foundations or in landscaping.
  • Nests can be between 2 and 4 square feet in size.
  • Although they typically make their nests outside, they can enter structures through HVAC systems, electrical lines, and even under siding.

Different species:

  • Argentine ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants
  • Crazy ants
  • Acrobat ants

Threats:

  • Produce a painful sting when they feel threatened.
  • Sting results in a painful, raised bump.
  • Often receive more than one sting at a time.
  • Devastates local insect populations and small wildlife when it invades an area.
  • Many grouse and ground nesting bird species have been eliminated by fire ants when they attack newly hatched nestlings.

Prevention:

  • Avoid fire ant mounds.
  • Seal all entry points into a structure.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if you have fire ant nests in your lawn.

Other pests to look out for:

  • Other species of ants listed above