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.

 

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

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!

 

 

 

Lawn Care Benefits of Northwest’s 8 Step Program

The Benefits of 8 Rounds of Northwest Lawn Care

It takes more than water and sunlight to get the fresh, green, luscious lawn that you envision.  It can take a lot of time and money to get the results that you desire.  That’s where Northwest Lawn Care comes in.  We can save you time and money by doing the tough stuff for you.  So what are the benefits of lawn care?

Northwest’s Lawn Care program consists of 8 rounds throughout the year.  Each round is done by our knowledgeable lawn care experts using the most advanced products on the market.  Lawn Care experts conduct a FREE lawn care analysis to determine the best treatment plan for your lawn and it’s needs.

Round 1: This treatment is a deep root treatment and weed prevention/control. This treatment is especially beneficial for stronger root development and to help provide nutrients to the soil for better digestion of the nitrogen products that are applied in the Spring and Summer times.

Round 2: This treatment is a combination of fertilizer and weed prevention/control. This treatment is especially beneficial for crabgrass control.

Crabgrass

Crabgrass

Round 3: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.

Round 4: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.

Round 5: The main focus of this treatment is turf growth through the application of fertilizers.

Round 6: The main focus of this treatment is weed control.

Round 7: The main focus of this treatment is root growth and weed control by applying a combination of fertilizers. This treatment is vital to any program and is especially important in the prevention of poa annua. Poa annua is common in the South and begins to emerge during the early spring months.

poa annual

poa annual

Round 8: The main focus of this treatment is lime application. Lime is essential for regulating the pH levels in soil.

In addition to the 8 round lawn care program, Northwest also provides, aeration, overseeding, tree and shrub, bed control, and warm season aeration.

Start now to get your lawn looking lush and green for the warmer outdoor seasons!

 

 

Educational Kid Crafts from Critter Crafts

Allow Kids to Create and Learn about Bugs with Critter Crafts

Christmas is a month away which means the kids will soon be getting out of school for Christmas break.  During these days you’ll need to keep them occupied when they’re cooped up inside the house.  Luckily, PestWorldforKids.org has got you covered with their Critter Crafts.

Critter Crafts are educational kid crafts that are creative bug inspired projects that are fun for kids…and even adults.  You can keep kids occupied by creating ladybug hats, bumblebee bookmarks, mouse headbands, and lots of other fun creations.

Ladybug hatbumble bee bookmarkmouse headband

It doesn’t stop at arts and crafts though, it also has some great ideas for some pest inspired snacks as well.  Worms in dirt, celery and PB butterflies, and apple ladybugs are just a few of the delicious looking treats that they feature on their site.

worms in dirtcelery and PB butterflyapple ladybug

PestWorldforKids.org offers a lot of entertaining games and learning tools for kids.  Help your kids to learn about bugs and rodents…they are part of nature afterall!

 

Proper Steps in Getting Rid of Rodents

The Proper Steps to Getting Rodents Out of Your Home

If you’ve read this blog before then you know that prevention is key.  Whether talking about ants, termites, mice, or other pests and rodents, prevention is always the first step.  Taking the proper steps to prevent these creatures from entering your home is the key to eliminating pest and rodent problems.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents, such as rats and mice, spread over 35 diseases.  Their diseases are spread through contamination by urine, feces, saliva, or bites.

So what are the proper steps to getting rid of rodents in your home?

First, is a thorough inspection of your home by a licensed professional who is knowledgeable about wildlife removalNorthwest Exterminating’s wildlife team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of rodents and wildlife.  The wildlife team will inspect your property for any current infestations and points of entry.  After that, they will work with you to customize a plan to get rid of any current rodents and the necessary steps to prevent future rodent infestations.

Second, is trapping the rodent.  After your rodent control specialist has inspected your property and identified the infestation they will place traps or bait in the areas where the rodents will most likely travel.

Third, after rodents have been trapped and controlled, the wildlife team will work with you to take the necessary steps to prevent future rats and mice from returning.  Proper prevention can include but is not limited to sealing cracks, blocking off entry points, eliminating food sources, and cutting back tree limbs from the roofline.

Lastly, it is very important that after the rodents have been properly trapped and out of your home that the area is carefully cleaned to avoid the spread of disease.  Droppings and urine should be cleaned immediately, any nests should be removed, damaged wires repaired, and contaminated insulation should be replaced.

For more questions on rodent or wildlife control please call 888-466-7849 or visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

 

Squirrel Control: How to Keep Squirrels Out

The Damage Squirrels Can Do and How To Keep Them Out of Your House

Squirrels are cute when they’re running around outside but are not so cute when they’ve entered your home.  Squirrels are difficult to control because of their ability to enter small and high spaces.  They are known to get into houses by using tree limbs and even power lines to squeeze their way into the smallest openings, chimneys, or vents.  Once squirrels are inside they can cause significant damage and contaminate your home.

Squirrels can cause considerable damage to your property.  Their gnawing can damage wires (leading to power outages and potential house fires), holes in the structure (allowing other pests/rodents entry into the home) and damage or contaminate insulation.  They can invade and damage items that you may have stored away, including storage boxes and their content.  Outside items like electrical boxes and phone cables can also become a victim of squirrel damage.

In addition to property damage, squirrels can contaminate your property.  Contamination from their fur, urine, and droppings can damage insulation, items in storage, electrical wiring, among other things.

Although squirrels are a threat all year, the cooler months, when they seek warmth and shelter, are a main concern.  Prevention is the key to squirrel control:

  • Locate and seal off any entry points 1/4″ or larger to prevent squirrels and other rodents from entering the home.
  • Caulk any openings or crevices that can be used as entry points.
  • Provide an exclusive barrier on roofline.
  • Set traps if you suspect you may have a squirrel, or other rodent, in your home.
  • To keep squirrels from using utility wires as a way to your attic, slit a 2-foot section of 2-inch PVC pipe lengthwise and slip it over the wire. This makes squirrels unable to maintain their footing when the pipe rotates.
  • Cut back tree limbs that are close to your structure.
  • Squirrel removal is not recommended for amateurs. Call Northwest Exterminating for squirrel removal.
 

Keep Wildlife in the Wild, Not in Your Home

Animals looking for winter shelter find human homes a little too appealing

Watching from your kitchen as squirrels and other wildlife run around the back yard can be amusing, but finding these animals frantically scurrying in your attic or garage is anything but funny. Northwest Exterminating wants to remind homeowners to be aware that all kinds of nuisance critters are looking to stay warm this season and may try to gain access to the home.

Finding any wildlife in your home can be an unpleasant experience. It is important to remember that these animals are wild and shouldn’t be handled without the help of a professional animal removal company. In fact, they can bite, claw or scratch if they feel threatened and you don’t know if they are harboring a disease.

Homeowners should do a careful check along the outside of the home to close up any gaps or entry points. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips to specifically keep nuisance wildlife in the great outdoors where they belong:

  • Seal any cracks or crevices with caulk and steel wool, and pay special attention to holes in the structure that lead to dark secluded areas, like attics and belfries.
  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Install door sweeps.
  • Repair any loose siding or shingles.
  • Store trashcans and recycling bins indoors, or in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse. If trashcans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids.
  • Bring pet food dishes inside at night to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Keep tree limbs cut back at least six to eight feet from the roofline.

For more information on wildlife animal removal and how to protect your home, visit www.callnorthwest.com.

Source: PPMA

 

Keeping Ladybugs Out

LadybugLadybugs Seek Warmth in Homes

Ladybugs are beneficial insects but when they overwinter in your home they become a nuisance pest.  They spend the warmer months of spring and summer growing their populations and like other overwintering pests, they seek warmth from the cold temperatures in fall and winter.  Many seek shelter under rocks, leaves, or other items found in nature, then you have those that find shelter in homes and buildings.

Although typically harmless, ladybugs can aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in people.  They can also emit a foul smelling, yellowish fluid that can stain surfaces.

Keeping ladybugs out of your home starts with the usual preventative pest management steps that we typically cover in our blogs: screen all windows, keep doors closed, door sweeps on exterior doors, and seal all cracks and crevices around the exterior of the home (windows, doors, pipes, etc).

If ladybugs have already found their way into your home, use a vacuum cleaner to clean them up.  Empty the vacuum bag into a trash bag and make sure it is tightly closed.  Discard of the trash bag in a sealed outside container.  If you have a ladybug infestation, call a professional pest control company to evaluate, assess, and treat the problem.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more on ladybug pest control.