America’s Rodent Problem

America’s Rodent Problem

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 45 % of rodent infestations occur in fall and winter.  This is one of the reasons that many of our recent blogs have been about colder weather bringing rodents and wildlife into homes (Tips on Keeping Rodents Away After Removal) .  Below is an informative infographic that gives more information into America’s Rodent Problem.

NPMA Rodent Problem - infographic

SOURCE: NPMA

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

Tips on Keeping Rodents Away After Removal

Keeping Rodents Away

Squirrels, mice, rats, and raccoons are just some of the wildlife that are taking shelter in your home.  It can be difficult to remove wildlife and rodents once they are in your home.  So what do you do once you’ve successfully removed wildlife from your home?  How do you keep rodents away?

As with all pest control, prevention is the key.  Pest and rodents are in search of 3 basic needs: food, shelter, and water.  By eliminating these sources you make your home less attractive to pests and rodents.

Eliminating food and water:

  • Tightly seal all food in containers.
  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Tightly seal trash in an outside trash bin.
  • Make sure that pet food and water is not left sitting out.
  • Remove sitting water from bird baths and other areas in your lawn.

Eliminating shelter:

  • Properly seal areas around home.  Even squirrels only need a baseball size hole to enter into a structure.
  • Keep gutters clear of water and debris.
  • Ensure that attic vents are screened.
  • Replace screens on windows and doors.

Rodents can cause serious damage to a property and can be a concern to your health.  Certain species like mice, reproduce at an extremely high rate so keeping them out of your home is extremely important to prevent a bigger issue. Eliminating their needs will make your home less attractive to rodents and will assist in keeping rodents away.

For more information on rodent removal or more information on keeping rodents away you can visit our website http://www.callnorthwest.com/wildlife-control/ or call us at 888-466-7849.

 

Warm Up with TAP Insulation

How to Save on Energy and Bills with TAP Insulation

It’s cold and rainy, then it’s warm and sunny, cold and rainy, warm and sunny…and this is January!!  The weather for the past couple of months has been a bit unpredictable.  A couple of weeks ago we had temperatures in the 70’s…in December!!  The very next day it was in the 30’s.  All this crazy weather makes it difficult to dress when heading out the door and it makes it difficult on our homes trying to keep the temperature regulated.

TAP Attic Insulation Before and After

TAP Attic Insulation Before and After

One of the things that can help in regulating the temperature in your home is to install TAP Insulation in your attic.  Properly insulating your attic can save on your energy bills and keep your home at a comfortable temperature year round.  When a home is poorly insulated, your HVAC system has to work harder to heat and cool your home.  This increases the amount of energy and the cost of your energy bills.

Insulation is measured using “r-value” or the insulation’s resistance to heat flow.  Builders are required to put in insulation with a minimum r-value of 30 but the Department of Energy suggests having an r-value of 49 for optimal savings on energy and money.  When TAP Insulation is installed, it can be added to your current insulation to add to it’s r-value.

Benefits of TAP Insulation:

  • Immediate Return on Investment
  • Year-Round Comfort
  • Permanent Pest Protection
  • Fire Safety
  • Green Solution

To find out more about TAP Insulation and how it can benefit your home and the environment, click HERE.

 

Can Bees Sniff out Cancer?

New Article Suggests Bees May be Able to Sniff Out Cancer

A recent article that appeared on Smithsonian.com says that new research may prove that bees are able to detect cancer.  Insects, including bees, have such a keen sense of smell that they are able to detect smells made up by only a few molecules.

According to the article “Can Bees Be Trained to Sniff Out Cancer?

U.K.-based product designer Susana Soares has created a simple, elegant way of harnessing bees to screen for a number of diseases, including cancers, like tumors of the lung and ovaries. Her glass apparatus, called “Bee’s,” features a large chamber and a smaller connected chamber housed within it. After training the bees to associate a specific chemical odor with a food reward, such as sugar, the insects are released into the diagnostic device through an opening. Patients would simply blow into the smaller compartment and wait to see if a swarm gathers toward something alarming in the person’s breath.

Insects are great detectors due to their antennae.  Bees have an accuracy rate of 98% and have been known to detect tuberculosis, diabetes, cancers, along with other diseases and illnesses.

Read the full article Can Bees Be Trained to Sniff Out Cancer?

 

Stink Bugs Cause a Real Stink With the Cooler Weather

Northwest Exterminating shares tips to prevent a stink bug infestation

As the seasons bring cooler weather, stink bugs are likely to make an appearance in homes throughout the United States.  Northwest Exterminating encourages homeowners to take proactive measures to stink bug-proof the home, both inside and out, to help keep these smelly pests at bay in the coming months.

Stink bugs often enter homes and other structures this time of year to seek food, water, and shelter in preparation for the upcoming winter weather. Fortunately, stink bugs do not pose a safety or property risk to homeowners. However, they tend to invade homes in high numbers and can become a nuisance once inside.

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food, and property from household pests, offers a few simple tips to ward off stink bugs before an infestation develops.

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans, and light switches to prevent stink bugs from entering the home.
  • Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum.
  • Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas.
  • Install screens over the chimney and attic vents.
  • Keep branches and shrubbery well trimmed, and make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

If you find a stink bug in the home, you can use a vacuum to aid in its removal. However, a licensed pest professional can be contacted if a more serious infestation is suspected.

For more information on stink bugs, visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/kudzu-bug-stink-bug/.

 

December’s Pest of the Month – Raccoons

Noises in Your Attic?  Could be a raccoon.

animal control

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Raccoons are one of the most charismatic species of animals found in North America. They are said  to be very intelligent; they can remember the solution to tasks up to three years later.

  • 16 to 28 inches in length
  • Weighs 8 to 20 lbs
  • Grayish in color with white and black facial markings

HABITS

  • Superb ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
  • Common residents in cities, towns, and suburbs.
  • Will live in hollowed out trees, caves, or even an attic or garage if they find one available.
  • Consume both animal and plant matter.
  • Diet varies with locality, season, and availability.

THREATS

  • Commonly raid gardens, garbage cans, bird feeders, fish-ponds, and even kitchen cabinets.
  • Have been known to use door knobs which makes cabinet doors fair game.
  • A pet door is an open invitation into a home.

PREVENTION

  • Provide an exclusion barrier where needed.
  • Live cages around garbage cans.

For more information on raccoons and other wildlife removal, call Northwest Exterminating.

 

 

The Dreaded Hitchhikers…The Bed Bugs

When traveling this holiday season, be careful not to pick up the dreaded hitchhikers…bed bugs.

Bed bugs can be found in homes, hotels, trains, buses, anywhere that people are traveling.  Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that make their home in the seams of mattresses, cushions, pillows, and other linens.  They spread from place to place by getting into purses, suitcases, or other belongings that people are traveling with.

There are ways to protect yourself from bed bugs:

bed bug

(See bed bug ID)

Do not put any furniture on the floor, instead use luggage racks or the bathroom.  It’s important to check mattress seams when you arrive at a home or hotel.  You can do this easily by pulling back the sheets and mattress pad and checking along the seams for bed bug casings.  Bed bugs are small, flat, and a reddish-brown color.  Since they are nocturnal, you may not see actual bed bugs but you can see the casings or the rusty colored spots that they leave behind.  If you do find signs of bed bugs, immediately notify the hotel or the homeowner so that different sleeping arrangements can be made.

Whether you’ve seen bed bugs or not, when returning home, make sure to inspect your luggage before bringing it into your home.  You can do this by checking the seams of the bags and by placing all of your clothes and luggage in the dryer on the hottest setting.  This will kill any bugs that may have found their way home with you.

Bed bug infestations can be difficult to treat.  It is highly recommended that a trained professional who specializes in bed bugs perform bed bug removal treatments.

 

 

What to Look for When Choosing and Exterminator

What to Look for When Choosing an Exterminator.

Last week we talked about the reasons that it can be best to hire a professional pest control company (Why Choose a Professional Pest Control Company?) to come in rather than doing-it-yourself.  A simple recap: Professionals are the experts in their field and are better equipped to identify the problem and the source, treat the problem, and develop a plan to keep pests or rodents from returning.

Whether faced with an infestation or looking for preventative measures, here are some tips on What to Look for When Choosing an Exterminator:

  • Do your research.  Don’t just go with the first company that comes up in Google or in the phone book.
  • Ask friends, neighbors, and view review websites like Yelp or Angie’s List.
  • Look for companies that are members of local or national pest management associations.  These companies have to live up to higher standards than the exterminators that are not part of these associations.
  • ALWAYS use licensed pest control companies.
  • Call the State Department of Agriculture for more information on a professional pest control company.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Make sure that you fully understand the treatments and all other aspects of the contract BEFORE signing.
  • Ask about warranties and guarantees.  What do they cover?  How long do they last?  Upkeep?  What do you need to do to hold up your end of the contract?
  • Choose based on VALUE, not cost.  Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean that it’s better.  You may end up spending more money in the long run if a quality job isn’t done the first time around.
  • Talk to more than one company so you can compare the services, quality, cost, etc.
  • Visit www.pestworld.org for exterminators in your area.
 

Why Choose Professional Pest Control?

Some things are just better left to the professionals. Why Choose Professional Pest Control?

pest professionalWhen dealing with bugs in your home or business, there are often times that do-it-yourself measures do the trick and get rid of your pest problem.  However, when you have a bug infestation, it’s best to realize that it is probably a job that is better off left to the professionals.  Knowledge is power – and knowing exactly what you’re working with is key to eliminating your pest problems.  A pest professional, or exterminator will be able to:

  • Identify the pest – knowing the difference between a carpenter ant and an Argentine ant can make a huge difference when it comes to correct treatments.
  • Eliminate the source – you may not realize that something in your home is being used as bait or an open invitation for pests to invade.
  • Effective treatment – based of the type of pest, an exterminator is able to suggest what treatment plan will be most efficient and effective for your home or business.
  • Ongoing plan – based on the information gathered, pest sources, and treatment options, a professional pest control company, along with the home or business owner, is able to develop a customized plan that can help prevent pest problems in the future.

All of the above reasons help to alleviate headaches that come with DIY, saves you from dumping unneeded or inefficient chemicals around your property, often times can save you money, and helps to reduce the risk of returning pests.

Call Northwest Exterminating to make sure your home or business stays pest free.

 

Miniature Animals

We often think of critters in our house as the big bad monsters that are under our bed.  In our minds, these intruders are the size of a Great Dane running around in our walls or in our attic.  But that’s not always the case.  A house mouse is typically between 2 1/2-3 3/4″ long, not the monster we imagine it to be in our heads.

The world is full of tiny little creatures.  And it seems that bigger isn’t always better since so many things come in “mini” versions; mini candy bars, mini dogs, mini cars, iPad minis…things seem cuter when they’re MINI.  Animals are no different! Miniature animals are sure to elicit an “awwwww” from even the toughest hearts!

Check out this Flickr page of “Tiny Animals on Fingers“.  There are lots of pictures that are sure to make you smile!