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

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

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!

 

Spring Planning for Your Garden

Glimpses of spring have filled the air here and there.  Even though temperatures are unpredictable right now, it is the perfect time to plan for your garden.  Ideal conditions, like temperatures and planting zones, vary depending on your location.  The state of Georgia has 5 different plant hardiness zones or geographical areas in which specific plant life is capable of growing based on climate (source).

So what are some simple steps you can do right now to Plan for Your Garden?

  • Clean and perform maintenance on lawn equipment.
  • Check irrigation system.  Make sure that your system is working properly and that water is reaching the desired areas.
  • Get your soil tested.  Testing can help you to know what is crucial to your soil for the results your desire.  Test Your Soil
  • Make a plan.  Don’t just go buy plants on a whim.  Instead, do your research on what plants grow best where/when.  Map out what you want to do.  This will save you time and money.
  • Build raised beds for spring vegetables.
  • Prune shrubs and bushes.  Pruning stimulates growth so make sure to cut 1-2 feet lower than your desired end of season height.
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs.
  • Overseed fescue lawns.

Don’t have time for spring planning for your garden?  Northwest Lawn Care offers FREE lawn care analysis, aeration and overseeding, and tree and shrub services.  Save time and money and let the experts handle your lawn care year round!

 

Vote on the Next Northwest Exterminating Billboard

Visit our Facebook Page to Vote on the Next Northwest Exterminating Billboard

We are currently having a contest on our Facebook page where you can vote for the next Northwest Exterminating billboard.  Recently we had followers submit their billboard ideas on our Facebook page.  We narrowed those down to our top 3 where people can go vote on which one is their favorite!

So what are you waiting on?  GO VOTE!!  The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card and a chance for their billboard to be ran throughout Georgia! Billboard with the most LIKES WINS!!! Voting ends 3/19/14.

no mas cucarachas

No mas Cucarachas! Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

light makes roaches run GA 346S-349NS-355E

Light Makes Roaches Run…So Do We.

dont wait until crunch time

Don’t Wait Until Crunch Time.

 

Spring Wildlife Prevention Tips

Head Into Spring With These Helpful Wildlife Prevention Tips

The South (and a greater portion of the country) is making its way out of a treacherous winter.  During the recent cold months its likely that pests or wildlife may have taken shelter in your home.  Since Spring is approaching it’s a good time to get in the habit of checking around your property for areas that could have been used or could be used as entry points for wildlife.

chipmunk

chipmunk

Wildlife and pests come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some are relatively harmless while others can cause potential health threats.  Illnesses can be contracted by breathing in contaminated air with spores that develop from fungus grown in animals’ fecal matter.  The elderly, children, or those with compromised immune systems can be at high risk for contracting these illnesses.

If you hear scratching or scurrying in your walls, don’t ignore it or try to solve the problem on your own, call a professional wildlife removal team.  Guessing or attempting to get rid of the animal on your own could result in costly damage and even danger.  When hiring a trusted wildlife removal company, like Northwest Exterminating, the first order of business is to inspect the property and assess the situation.  They can identify the issue based on where you’re hearing noises, openings, droppings, gnaw marks, or nests.  Once the pest is identified a customized plan can be established.

As we say here over and over again, the key is PREVENTION.  Some wildlife are bound and determined to get into your home regardless of the steps you take, however, there are ways you can deter them.

Wildlife Prevention Tips:

  • Bring pet food and water indoors and keep in a tightly sealed container.
  • Trim trees back from the roofline.
  • Although they are fun to watch and enjoy, bird feeders should be removed.  They can attract squirrels and other animals to your home.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Keep outdoor trash in a tightly sealed container.
  • Caulk & seal entrances around the home.
  • Hire a trusted and knowledgeable wildlife expert to remove wildlife from your home.

 

 

Selling Your Home This Spring? Start Preparing Now.

Thinking About Selling Your Home This Spring?  Start Preparing Now!

Spring is a popular time for listing your home.  The yard is in pique performance, you have ample time before the kids are out of school for the summer, and people seem to enjoy getting out in the beautiful weather to search for their potential new home.  Are you looking to sell your home this spring?  Here are some tips on selling your home this spring:

  1. Find a Knowledgeable Realtor – Having a good Realtor on your side can make a big difference.  Their expertise in marketing your property, showing your property, and working with other agents can make the selling process easier on you.  Interview Realtors or ask for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.
  2. Take Care of General Maintenance – Cleaning out gutters, changing air filters, and having the HVAC system checked are all ways you can keep your home running efficiently.  This will aid in the purchasing process and have huge benefits while you’re living in the home as well.
  3. Make Small Improvements – Replace old fixtures, re-caulk the bathroom, change the doorknobs, all of these are small improvements that can make a big difference in the look of a home.
  4. Complete Any Large Home Improvement Projects – While small projects are encouraged it is recommended to finish any large projects before listing your home.  Paint, carpet, new landscaping are all things that you want completed before potential buys come to look at your home.
  5. Spring Cleaning – Spring cleaning can knock out the winter blues that may have sprung up in your home along with getting a deep clean.  Need a spring cleaning checklist?  Click here.
  6. Clean Out Storage – Take time to go through storage closets, basements, attics, and garages and throw out or donate any items that you no longer need or use.  Not only are you making more room but you’ll also have less to pack when you move.
  7. Remove Clutter – Remove clutter from around the house.  Potential buys don’t want to see bills lying around, laundry, or even extra knick knacks. The less clutter, the more eye appealing it is to a potential homeowner.  This will also help you to clean up quicker when those last minute showings pop up!
  8. Research the Market – Know what else is out there.  This will go hand in hand with Tip #1 because your Realtor should provide comparibles for you to view when choosing an asking price.  It’s good to know what other homes are offering in the area and how your home stacks up.
  9. Get a Termite Letter – Although termite letters are no longer required according to the Purchase and Sale Agreement it may be required based on other factors.  It’s also a great selling tool!  Northwest Exterminating provides a warranty for the initial termite inspection that is transferable to the buyer with the first year free.  For more information click HERE.

For information on Northwest services you can visit our website at www.callnorthwest.com.  Realtors please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/builder-realtor-services/realtor-services/