Why You Shouldn't Cancel Your Mosquito Program this Fall

I am constantly explaining to my customers that most treatments are beneficial even if they don’t have a current issue. For instance, when trying to sell a pest control program I am often told, “Well, we’re not really seeing anything right now but if we do we’ll be sure to give you a call.” Generally, I will not push the issue because as a consumer myself, I don’t like to be “sold” to and with the current state of our economy I can certainly appreciate not spending money on things I don’t yet see a need for.  However, we must take into account the possibility of issues occurring in the future. If you were to wait to call an exterminator after there are ants all over your kitchen counter it is not only going to be much more difficult to get rid of them but most pest control companies are going to see that your need is much higher and could take advantage of your situation by charging more than they would have if they knew you had no or fewer problems. It’s not because they want to take advantage of your situation, they just know that it is now going to require more time, more trips, and more products.

This is the time of year where the temperature is dropping thus humidity and increased moisture goes down with it. Going back to the comment of not paying for things we don’t see a need for, I specifically see people cancelling their mosquito service this time of year. “We’re not really seeing them anymore so we don’t need you to come out and treat.” Our mosquito program runs from April through October and yet it never fails that we will have people wait and call in July to begin treatments and then turn around and cancel after August. There’s a reason it is important to “start it early and finish late.”

Do you ever wonder where mosquitoes go in the fall and winter? Depending on the species of mosquito there is one thing for certain – they haven’t gone anywhere! They are still in your lawn, pond, creek, woods, etc. Mosquitoes function in warm weather thus they remain inactive in colder months. Some mosquitoes lay winter eggs that are dormant in the soil until warmer weather returns. Beginning in the fall, the female mosquito lays her eggs in wet areas. The eggs will begin to hatch when conditions become favorable again. This typically occurs in the spring when temperatures rise and rain falls.

Some mosquitoes will survive colder weather in their larval stage. Mosquito larvae will require water even in winter. When the water temperature drops, it will cause the larvae to go into what is called diapause. This is when certain insects can adapt to weather change by suspending their development during a period of rest and resume activity when the water temperature goes back up.

Other mosquito species survive winter in the adult stage. In fall, the mosquitoes mate and the male dies. The females will spend the cold months hidden. They may do this in areas like wood piles or animal burrows. In the spring, when the temperatures are consistently around 60 degrees or more, the female will require a blood meal to develop her eggs and the season will begin again. Once she has fed, the female mosquito will lay her eggs in whatever standing water she can find.

As you can see, it is very important to understand that treatment schedules are in place for a reason. It is just as important to treat things you can’t always see before waiting for it to become a nuisance. My advice; hire a pest control company that controls adult mosquitoes with a monthly mist spray system and make sure they also use a larvaecide. After that, let it run its course. It will be much more effective.

Austin Milligan
Alpharetta Service Center
Northwest Exterminating
amilligan@callnorthwest.com

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

The Return of West Nile

It’s 2011 and the West Nile virus has made its return.  Several states have confirmed cases of the virus.  States include Minnesota, where a dead crow was found, Connecticut, where mosquitoes tested positive, Tennessee, where mosquitoes tested positive, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, where one person has been infected, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. 

The West Nile virus targets birds but is known to infect humans, dogs, squirrels, and even rabbits.  The most common way of contracting West Nile is through a mosquito that has bitten an infected bird.  A staggering 90% of humans that have been infected by West Nile do not show symptoms of the virus.  In rare cases, victims show signs of fever, headache, vomiting, and skin rashes.  1 in 150 cases of West Nile will develop serious illness which can include permanent neurological damage and death in some cases.

Tips on avoiding West Nile:

  • DO NOT touch dead birds.
  • AVOID mosquitoes…call Northwest Exterminating to protect your home from mosquitoes.
  • Wear protective clothing when outside, if possible.
  • Wear bug repellent when outside.
  • Use screens on open doors and windows.
  • Get rid of any standing water that may attract mosquitoes.
 

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
 

2 New Programs: Green Mosquito Service & Pest Entrance Prevention

It’s that time of the year, coats coming off and thoughts turning to Spring.  It’s also the time pests start coming out to annoy, harass and just generally be a nuisance. So with everything else we think of at this time its time to start thinking of pest prevention.

To continue with Northwest Exterminating’s commitment to enhance and provide a healthy environment for your home and business, Northwest is offering a Green mosquito service this year to compliment its already successful traditional methods and materials.  The service will still entail a thorough inspection and service, however the products have been specifically selected to provide the protection you’ve come to expect, but with natural products. You’ll receive the value you have come to expect and be able to enjoy the outdoors all spring and summer. 

Northwest is taking the pest prevention side of Integrative Pest Management to a new level by offering an additional service to our customers.  Our pest entrance prevention program will seal any areas pests may get in and help decrease energy costs. (Studies show that cracks and gaps in and around windows, doors, etc. can reduce your structures heating or cooling efficiency, costing you money). The service can be performed by the regular technicians when they visit…a person you already trust for protection from pests.

Yes, it’s time to prepare and with Northwest services we make it easy. For these and any of our other services please call 888.466.7849 or visit us on the web at www.callnorthwest.com

 

Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

Click here to find out.

 

Mosquitoes hit Atlanta

SPRING!! Its finally here. After a cold and wet winter were all ready for the warm weather. The lake, the pool, the cookouts, the Atlanta Bravesthese are what spring is about in Georgia. This is the time of year where we spend time with friends and family just enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when those pesky MOSQUITOES show back up.

Interesting facts on mosquitoes:

  • Carbon dioxide draws mosquitoes from up to 30 yards away.
  • Only female mosquitoes feed on our blood. (easy with the comments men!!)
  • Blood is used by the females to mature eggs prior to laying. Blood has no nutritional value to a mosquito.
  • Most adult mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks. Some species that live in garages, culverts and attics can live for 6 months.
  • Not only can mosquitoes be an annoyance but they can also be a health hazard. They are known to pass some blood-born illnesses from one victim to another.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to aquatic situations. After all of the rain we experienced this past year they will surely be attracted to the standing water that we are experiencing.
  • The majority of bites occur during dusk, dawn and at night. You can take precautions during this time by dressing in light, loose fitting clothes and using an insect repellant on exposed skin areas.

Northwest Exterminating offers an effective Mosquito Reduction Program that features monthly treatments by a licensed professional. Most mosquitoes that breed around your home stay in a 300ft zone-thats why Northwest uses a highly targeted approach. Our program includes a property inspection to identify mosquito breeding/resting sites, application of treatment to target mosquito hatching areas (standing water) and application of treatment to mosquito resting areas (shrubs, ivy, tall grass, shaded areas). Call NORTHWEST EXTERMINATING today to sign up for our Mosquito Reduction Program!

 

Mosquito Control

Many issues contribute to a mosquito problem; landscaping with heavy vegetation, containers left out in the open to collect rain, and nearby water sources all are potential mosquito breeding sites or are attractive habit for mosquitoes. Our most persistent and annoying mosquito species are container breeders. Any item left out that can collect water becomes a potential breeding site for these species. The Asian Tiger mosquito is an example of a container breeder.

Homeowners should be aware of items and locations where water collects after a rain. Toys, birdbaths, tarps, and many other locations can hold water long enough for mosquitoes to develop. These items should be emptied of water and allowed to dry out after a rainfall.

A comprehensive mosquito control program should take into account the life cycle of mosquitoes and target vulnerable life stages to eliminate the population. Breeding sites should be eliminated whenever possible, and mosquito larvae must be treated with a larvacide to prevent adult mosquitoes from developing. Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest under heavy vegetative cover during daylight hours. These areas can be treated with residual or contact insecticides to eliminate adult mosquitoes.

Mosquito control is evolving as our tools and techniques improve. You can still see government trucks out at dusk in some communities, fogging the streets. Usually these trucks are traveling to fast to properly apply the fog, and this application fails to treat the breeding sites that are the source of mosquito problems. Mist dispensers have become popular in recent years, but these products are expensive and require large containers of pesticide on the property, and likewise fail to address the breeding sites that generate the mosquitoes.