Strange Facts About Bugs

Besides being interesting to look at, there are many little known but fascinating facts about insects that make these pests something to marvel at. Perhaps one reason why it takes a skilled pest control company to totally eliminate insect pests is because of their general resilience. As we blogged about before, the notion that roaches can withstand nuclear warfare is true (to a degree). It should be of no surprise then that the larvae of one type of midge can survive for up to three days in liquid nitrogen. Since the temperature of liquid nitrogen is negative 321 degrees, that’s a pretty amazing feat. Now we know who survived the Ice Age!

Midge

 

Some humans have trouble finding a date and even resort to the Internet to search for love all over the world. Well, we’re not the only ones who can find a mate from a distance. Indian moon moths are able to smell the pheromones of a potential mate over 6 miles away! How’s that for a long distance relationship?

Indian Moon Moth

Another intriguing but devastating fact pertains to mosquitoes. For the most part, we are bothered by mosquitoes due to the pesky insect bites they leave. Red and itchy marks aren’t the only thing that mosquitoes can leave behind though. Often, mosquitoes transmit diseases to our blood, so devastating in fact that mosquitoes have killed more humans worldwide than all of the wars in history. If you want help fighting that enemy, Northwest Exterminating has a Mosquito Reduction program designed to keep mosquitoes away from the home front.

Mosquito

You can go to this link http://science.discovery.com/creatures/10-weird-bug-facts.htm
for more interesting bug facts.

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

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

If you are just now being able to absorb the menace of the Gallinipper mosquito, unfortunately you won’t be able to breathe easy just yet. Evidently, tourists aren’t the only people coming to our American shores this summer. The Asian tiger mosquito is named for the black-and-white stripes on its body.  You may think that spraying on some bug spray during the day time will help keep them at bay, but think again! This mosquito is different from others in that it bites all day long and pursues not only humans, but also dogs, cats, birds and other animals.

According to Livescience.com, entomology professor Dina Fonseca reports “Part of the reason it is called ‘tiger’ is also because it is very aggressive… you can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go.” Another serious concern of this particular insect is that it spreads more than 20 diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever and two types of encephalitis.

Since the 1980s, the Asian tiger mosquito has reached 26 states, primarily in the eastern United States. Warm weather helps this pest get around, but its eggs are also capable of surviving cold weather. To help eliminate the potential destruction of this pest, it is important to remove standing water, wear insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants outdoors. Naturally, Northwest Exterminating is equipped with preventive solutions to give you a mosquito-free summer. If you’re interested in our services, give us a call!

Sources:

http://www.livescience.com/37715-asian-tiger-mosquitoes-chikungunya.html

 

Daddy Long Legs vs Daddy Long Leg Spiders

Daddy Long legs or Daddy Long legs Spider?

harvestmanDaddy Long legs, or harvestmen, are not actually spiders.  Daddy long legs are not poisonous, have long legs and a large bulbous-looking body.  They feed on insects, which makes them helpful around the garden.  They are especially active at the time of harvest, toward the end of summer and beginning of fall.  To keep daddy long legs away, vacuum carpet, upholstery, and curtains frequently to remove spider webs, adult spiders, and egg sacs.  Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag.  Tightly seal the trash bag to make sure eggs can’t hatch and crawl out of the bag.

Tip for preventing daddy long legs: Pour 1 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup vanilla extract into a spray bottle and shake.  Spray areas where the daddy long legs have been spotted indoors and out.  The smell will repel the insects.

Daddy Long legs Spiders, or cellar spiders, although venomous, are not known to be harmful to humans.  Their fangs are short and they do not have enough muscle to be able to penetrate human skin.  Daddy long legs spiders are very fragile and delicate.  They are usually brown or gray in color, cylindrical in shape and their legs are very long and thin.  Daddy long legs spiders survive on others species of spiders, or on occasion they will invade other spiders’ webs and consume the host, their egg, and any prey caught in the web.  They hang upside down on their webs, which they create in dark, damp places like home cellars, caves or abandoned animal burrows.

Tip for preventing daddy long leg spiders: To keep daddy long legs spiders away you will need caulk, a vacuum cleaner, a duster, boric acid/Borax, and spider traps.  Caulk cracks in your walls, foundation, and loose window frames.  With a vacuum cleaner attachment, suck up spiders and their webs at wall corners, undersides of furniture, floors beneath appliances, crevices along the baseboards and around windows and curtains.  Insects attract daddy long legs spiders so dust frequently and repair leaking pipes and faucets both inside and out.  Sprinkle boric acid under doorways, around window sills, along baseboards, and under appliances.  Boric acid is a common ingredient in household cleaning products and is not harmful to humans and pets.  Place spider traps in areas where spiders are usually seen.

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

Endangered Species and Pesticides

As a pest control company, Northwest Exterminating makes it a point to provide cleaner living and working environments. Furthermore, we do so by following federal and state guidelines, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 provides legal protection for endangered and threatened species, requiring all federal agencies to ensure their actions do not harm the lives of the endangered. This is important to pest control because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can restrict the use of pesticides that may be threatening.  Northwest Exterminating provides itself on not only meeting these standards, but also exceeding them by providing green pest control as an alternative to traditional pest control.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Pesticides are useful to society because they are used to control…potential disease-causing organisms, insects, weeds and other pests.”  The EPA takes careful measures to ensure that the products used to control pests do not have unreasonable effects on humans or the environment.  For instance, this agency regulates the sale and use of ALL pesticides used in the United States. Just as recently as 2008, the EPA began the Pesticide Registration Review Programs to update research on how pesticides may affect endangered species.

 

Sources:

http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Issues/Pesticides.cfm

Georgia Pest Control Employee Registration Manual

 

Termite Fighting Tips from UGA

UGA recently released an article that gave helpful tips on how you can help your home to be less of a target to termites.  We all know that termites cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year.  Once you have a termite infestation, not only do you have to repair the damage but you must call on the help of a professional to get rid of them.   These simple steps are a great way to stay proactive so that termites don’t become an issue.

Tips such as keeping wood products away from the perimeter of your home, keeping water away from the foundation, sealing cracks and crevices in the structure, and working with your termite professional to prevent termites feeding on your home.

To read the full article with helpful tips from UGA entomologist, Brian Forschler, CLICK HERE.

For termite protection on your property, call Northwest!

 

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

 

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