Northwest Exterminating has seen an increase in calls for spiders this year. No doubt that is not news to most of you. With the cold and wet Winter and the heat this Spring, spider numbers have increased at an alarming rate.  What can we do? Is there an answer to help stem the tide of the unwanted visitors? There is but first a little background.


Fear of spiders (arachnophobia) is consistently one of the most common fears. Possibly dating back to antiquity (remember Little Miss Muffet?).  Most entomologists will tell you the fear is basically unfounded and the spider just suffers from bad PR. Adding to the fear and confusion is the readily available Emergency Room diagnosis of “spider bite” for any bump, nodule or unexplained skin eruption. This not only is a nuisance but can be quite dangerous since the “official” diagnosis can often mask the true culprit sometimes a much worse malady such as MRSA. 


There are over 40,000 species of spiders on our planet. Most are harmless and even beneficial, helping keep other pest populations in check.  Spider silk is perhaps the strongest material on the planet and scientists are constantly trying to duplicate its tensile strength. All spiders are venomous, that’s how they capture and digest their food, turning the insides of the common pests into a soup, but most venoms will have little or no effect on humans. Possible medical uses for spider venoms are being investigated, for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and erectile dysfunction.


Spiders use a wide range of strategies to capture prey: trapping it in sticky webs, lassoing it with sticky bolas, mimicking the prey to avoid detection, or running it down. Most detect prey mainly by sensing vibrations, but the active hunters have acute vision, and hunters of the genus Portia show signs of intelligence in their choice of tactics and ability to develop new ones.

The abdomen has no appendages except those that have been modified to form one to four (usually three) pairs of short, movable spinnerets, which emit silk. Each spinneret has many spigots, each of which is connected to one silk gland. There are at least six types of silk gland, each producing a different type of silk. Silk is initially a liquid, and hardens not by exposure to air but as a result of being drawn out of the spider.

Some spiders have a cribellum, a modified spinneret with up to 40,000 spigots, each of which produces a single very fine fiber that is combined into a composite wooly thread that is very effective in snagging the bristles of insects. Species that do not build webs to catch prey use silk in several ways: as wrappers for sperm and for fertilized eggs; as a “safety rope”; for nest-building; and as “parachutes” by the young of some species.

This doesn’t answer the question though, “How do we control them?”. Spider control is best accomplished through proper housekeeping, the strategic placement of products and reducing harborage and points of entrance. It’s impossible to keep all spiders out, except in the Space Shuttle, but a great reduction can be achieved.  Here are some steps to take:

  •  Remove all extra boxes, bags and containers from off the floor
  • Be thorough in removing any and all webs
  • Allow items that must be on the floor or shelving that sits on the floor to have some space from the wall (at least 8”)
  • Keep lights off the building if possible, for security you can have a light shine onto a building
  • Reduce all vegetation at least 18” from the building outside
  • Seal all areas around windows, doors and other entrances into the structure
  • Reduce/eliminate standing water
  • If you can capture the spider and set it free so it can continue to protect your building
  • Treat the areas the spider may hide or build a web with a light fan spray covering the corners of the area. Make sure to treat into any cracks and crevices adjacent to the webs.

If you continue to have an issue with spiders, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 and ask how NorPest Green Pest Control Program can help solve your spider problem.


Jerry Hatch (jhatch@callnorthwest.com)
Northwest Exterminating
Commercial Training & Development Specialist
Board Certified Entomologist


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

What is Plastic #6?

You look on the bottom of your cup and there it is…the universal recycling sign with a number 6 in the middle.  “Great”, you think, “I can toss this in the recycle bin”.  MAYBE NOT.  All plastics are labeled, however, not all are accepted from your local recycling company.

Polystyrene, or Styrofoam, is not recycled in all areas of the country.  Part of that reason is that much of the Styrofoam we use is contaminated with food or drink.  When Styrofoam cannot be recycled it is thrown into a trash can and sent to live in a landfill.   The biggest issue with this is that polystyrene does not break down at all.  And, although polystyrene only comprises about 2% of the total municipal solid waste stream by weight, it comprises roughly 30% of the total volume in the landfill due to it excessive use in packaging.

Check with your local provider to see if they accept plastic #6.  If not, we recommend using another plastic option that can be recycled!


You Asked, We Answered

At Northwest Exterminating, we are the leaders in GREEN pest control.  We want to be sure that your home is treated with the most up-to-date kid and pet friendly pest control that is available.  We recently invited you to ASK THE EXPERT.  Below is a question we got from one curious Northwest customer:

Northwest Customer:
Thank-you. I would like to see the ingredients that are in the product used on the home’s interior due to breathing issues of the people and creatures who live here.  Ingredients for the exterior would be great as well. 

Northwest Expert:
Hi, Thank you for the question. It’s important to be cautious about materials being used inside especially when a person claims “Green” practices. The products used in our industry have 2 different components: an active ingredient and an inert. The inerts often are propellants, or materials used as carrying agents for the active ingredient.  Why this is important to you is the actual amount of product you may be exposed to may only be a percentage of the applied material. So for example, a product mixed in water may have an applied amount of 4 ounces of finished material delivered to the application site, part of a gallon of mixed material. To obtain that mixed gallon a person would mix an ounce of ingredient to 127 ounces of water. That 1 ounce of material would have maybe 5 -10 drops of active chemical, the rest being mixers and stabilizers. In our example of 4 ounces of applied material the active may only be .33 drops, spread over an entire structure. I say all that to demonstrate that even with a traditional approach very little material may be involved, and to give you an idea of the safety factor that goes into even our traditional approach.

When using Green products we use Diatomaceous earth in a powder form, Essential oils such as Eugenol, Geraniol, Clove, and Thyme, Natural Pyrethrum, and sometimes a boric acid compound for specific insects.

Hope this helps,
Jerry Hatch.   

We hope this helps you to understand a little bit about what makes NorPest GreenGreen.  If you have any questions for our expert…email him at jhatch@callnorthwest.com


Post Office Offers GO GREEN stamps

Northwest Exterminating isn’t the only one GOING GREENThe United States Postal Service now offers Go Green stamps.

16 new stamps have been created to show ways to keep our environment healthy.  Green tips include:

  • Plant trees
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Use public transportation
  • Buy local produce, reuse bags
  • Fix water leaks
  • Share rides
  • Turn off lights not in use
  • Choose to walk
  • Compost
  • Let nature do the work
  • Recycle more
  • Ride a bike
  • Insulate the  home
  • Use efficient light bulbs
  • Maintain tire pressure

Go Green stamps are just one of the many green tools that the USPS website offers to ensure that we are making positive changes in our environment.  Visit their website to order Go Green stamps and to read about the USPS‘ other initiatives to Go Green!


Integrative Pest Management

By: Jerry Hatch

Today, as in the past, clients want to know they are getting their money’s worth. Customer expectations continue to rise and tolerance for irritants, in this case a pest, or the illusion of their presence, may drive them away for good. We all know that when a person feels “wronged” that becomes the topic of conversation for quite awhile. Our task is to prevent that discussion, and along with pressure from various consumer groups and regulatory agencies, this means having to direct our attention to solving the problem in one of two ways; first finding that magic product to reduce the problem, or spending the time and through a process of data collection and using a variety of items reducing the likelihood of pests.

Pests have remarkable adaptive qualities, able to alter behavior and chemically reduce toxicity of products, or to completely adapt to different environments for survival. Continuing to rely on the newest and latest chemistry may gain an advantage for a short time, but the pest’s very existence is dependent on their ability to change. They perform this adaptation easily.

The better method is longer lasting and a more integrative approach to pest reduction and elimination, one that may require some time, but pays off in huge dividends as clients needs and concerns change and their tolerance for pests decreases even more. That way is the Integrative Pest Management way or in many cases NorPest Green by Northwest Exterminating.  If you follow the prescribed steps of data collection, with a thorough understanding of the pests and their needs, together with the customers culture and location, you can effectively prescribe a proper course of action. This can be done with a very low impact product and with a reduced risk to the environment. 

So there you have it, the overview of IPM and a challenge to provide the customer with a healthy environment for their homes and businesses with honesty and integrity.


Introducing: Green Mosquito Control

With Northwest’s mission to create healthier living and working environments we are now offering a Green Mosquito Control service in addition to our traditional Mosquito Control service.  The Green Mosquito Control Program consists of inspection, identification and source reduction.  Limited product is used in areas needed to control and reduce mosquitoes.

Tips for Mosquito Prevention:

  • Eliminate standing water in flower pots, containers, toys, bird baths, etc. once a week
  • Keep gutters clean
  • Remove litter from yard (mosquitoes can lay eggs in small, discarded items that hold water, such as cans, bottles, wrappers, etc.)
  • Correct drainage problems

Mosquito Facts

  • 4 stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, adult
  • Water must be present for cycle to take place
  • Eggs are laid where standing water exists
  • Standing water that remains for at least 7 days or more is a potential breeding site
  • Mosquito life cycle can be completed in 11-14 days in very warm weather
  • Only female mosquitoes bite – they require a “blood meal” to reproduce
  • Males and females feed on nectar and plant juices for nourishment
  • Exhaled carbon dioxide from up to 150 feet away attracts female to prey
  • Other cues once in range of carbon dioxide: body odor, heat, perfume, beer drinkers, Octanol
  • Mosquito saliva causes the allergic reaction
  • Most common mosquito disease vector in Atlanta: Asian Tiger Mosquito
    • Only mosquito in this area to bite during daytime hours
    • Very aggressive and prefers to bite humans, usually on the lower legs, ankles, and feet
    • Do not fly far from breeding site
    • Identification: black with white stripes on legs and body
    • Diseases:
      • West Nile virus
      • Encephalitis
      • Dog heartworm
      • Yellow fever
      • Malaria

Money Saving Tips! 100 Ways to Clean Using Household Products

In this economy we’re all looking for ways to cut spending in any way that we can.  The article below shows us how we can use everyday household products to clean.  These tips not only save money but are safer alternatives to the chemicals that come in many cleaning products.

Read the article below that was featured on moreorless.com

100 Smart & Surprising Uses for Simple Drug Store Items

Did you know that there are many different uses for even the simplest of drug store items? Rubbing alcohol, q tips, nail polish remover, and other simple drug store items have lots of different applications, around the house and beyond.


Keep your home clean and fresh with these drug store products.

  1. Keep your windows frost free: Make a solution with 1/2 a cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 liter of water, then wash your windows with it to keep frost away.
  2. Deodorize your refrigerator with vanilla extract: Soak a cotton ball with vanilla extract and place it in your fridge.
  3. Get rid of fruit flies: Kill fruit flies by misting them with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Clean counters and tabletops with hydrogen peroxide: Spray hydrogen peroxide on your tables and counter tops, or just add it to your dishrag.
  5. Apply polish to small crevices using q tips: Polish your silver with a q tip.
  6. Fight mildew: Soak cotton balls in bleach, place them in hard to clean spots, and leave them there to zap the stains.
  7. Add hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher: Prevent spreading colds and other diseases by adding 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher.
  8. Spruce up china: Clean spots off of your china with nail polish remover-but test a small inconspicuous spot first.
  9. Fade tea stains: Apply diluted lemon juice to cloth with a q tip.
  10. Clean bathroom tiles: Mix epsom salt and dish detergent to mix bathroom tiles.

Click HERE to continue reading this list.


Winter Pests Love Your Home

Our own, David Niles, recently wrote an article for The Cherokee Consumer Connection.  Check it out below:

Winter Pests Love Your Home

By David Niles

Winter weather is a time where pests want to hide in the warmth of your home.  Most folks think of rats and mice, but many other pests like ants are also prone to hiding indoors in the wintertime.

Rats, mice, and squirrels love to nest in attics during the winter.  They burrow through the insulation and huddle around furnaces.  They can be especially annoying by scratching in the ceiling and walls, keeping you up all night.  They can also turn your attic into a disaster zone by contaminating the insulation with feces and urine.

It is a nasty thought to think of all the airborne contaminates floating around the attic and into the HVAC system of your home.  These rodents need to keep their teeth sharp and constantly gnaw on anything to sharpen their teeth.  They chew on wires and in some cases have led to house fires.

Raccoons, opossums, and bats can also contaminate and destroy attics.  These critters can be eliminated with proper exclusion work.  Winter is a great time to ensure all entry points into the home are sealed off.  Many do not realize there is a gap between the shingle line and the gutter line, the usual entry point into the home for unwanted pests.  A good exterminator can seal off these areas so animals can no longer get in these gaps.

Roaches and silverfish enjoy huddling in the warmth of attic insulation, and many homes see an influx of these two pests during the winter.  Cockroaches also spread disease, and their droppings and saliva can trigger asthma attacks, especially in young children.

Winter is also a great time to consider the amount of insulation in your attic.  A low amount can lead to higher energy bills with all the heat escaping right through your attic.  The lower the R-value (thermal resistance) in your attic the higher the odds that you are spending too much on energy costs and wearing down your HVAC system faster.

Northwest Exterminating provides a pest control-insulation product called TAP InsulationTAP stands for Thermal Acoustical Pest Control.  This product keeps pests out of your attic and reduces energy bills, while keeping a good sound barrier in the attic.  Unlike fiberglass insulation, this product is 87% recycled newsprint and is a better fire retardant than fiberglass.  The usual savings on energy bills is 20-38% with the Energy Star rated insulation.  This material is created with boric acid built into it to repel pests and must be installed by a professional with a pest control license.

David Niles is an inspection specialist with Northwest Exterminating in our Canton service center
David Niles

Beat Georgia's Heat and Start Saving Money!

Looking for a way to save on energy costs while still keeping comfortable temperatures in your home? The Department of Energy recommends properly insulating your home: Energy Savers: Attic Insulation.

Northwest Exterminating can help with TAP – Thermal Accoustical Pest Control Insulation. What makes it different from other insulation products?

1. It’s a loose-fill cellulose insulation that is composed of 87% recycled newsprint.

2. It provides permanent pest protection in your attic.

3. It acts as a sound barrier…outside noise is minimized while inside noise stays inside.

4. It’s Energy Star Rated…install TAP before December 31, 2010 to take advantage of the 30% tax credit, up to $1500!

5. You’ll feel noticeable temperature differences in your home right away. If you live in Georgia, your AC is probably running ALL the time and still not keeping your house as cool as you would like. TAP keeps the hot air out and the cool air in…without your HVAC system having to work overtime. This will also reduce your energy cost by up to 30%!

Call Northwest today – 888.466.7849 – and start saving money!