Protect Yourself From Tick Bites and Tick-Borne Disease

Northwest Exterminating offers tick bite prevention advice for the summer season

As people venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather we want to encourage increased public awareness of ticks and their numerous health risks.

Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting serious diseases to humans when they bite, including Lyme disease, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We encourage people to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites when outdoors this summer and decrease the chances of contracting one of these tick-borne illnesses.

Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests.

Most effective ways to prevent a tick encounter, and tick bite, include:

  • Landscape your yard. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris. Ticks are found in high grass, and yards with shrubbery.
  • Protect your skin. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Use an effective bug repellant. Always apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Regularly check for ticks. Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
  • Don’t forget about pets. Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
  • Brush up on proper removal techniques. (Read our post “How to Remove a Tick“) Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water, and flush the tick down a toilet or wrap it in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
  • Contact a professional pest professional. Anyone suspecting a tick bite or experiencing symptoms, including a skin rash, joint pain or fever, should seek prompt medical attention. If ticks are a problem on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and implement a treatment plan to reduce tick populations.

 For more information on ticks, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/.

Source: NPMA

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

Northwest Exterminating Ranked #19 on PCT’s Top 100

Northwest Exterminating Jumps 3 Spots to #19 on PCT’s Top 100

Each year PCT (Pest Control Technology) puts out a list of the Top 100 Companies.  We are proud to say that Northwest Exterminating jumped 3 spots to #19 from last year!  The list is compiled by the PCT staff.

In the article, Northwest Exterminating’s Stanford Phillips talks about our NorPest Green Pest Control service and how “Going Green” is truly a way of life at Northwest.”It’s really changed our culture overall.  Green is who we are, it’s what we offer, and our purpose is to help create a healthier working and living environment.  We’re out there with the purpose of leaving that home or business knowing that we’ve created a healthier environment for that family.  That makes it personal.”

If you’re not using a green approach to your pest control, we highly recommend that you do.  FOr more information on NorPest Green you can visit our website.  We offer a FREE inspection for your home.

 

 

 

 

What Is A Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Identification of stink bugs:

  • Grayish-brown
  • 6 legs
  • Triangular or shield shped
  • 2/4 in long
  • Found in eastern US, as well as California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

What are stink bugs?

Brown marmorated “stink bugs” are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Why are they called stink bugs?

Stink bugs get their name from the odor they emit as a defense against predators, including birds, spiders and assassin bugs. When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies.

Are stink bugs more prevalent during a specific season?

Adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather, often from mid-September through mid-October. They reemerge from overwintering sites in early spring and try to exit, but sometimes enter living spaces instead.

Why are stink bugs problematic?

Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be increasingly harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.

Do stink bugs pose a threat to human health?

Stink bugs are not known to bite humans, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers makes them a difficult pest to control once inside.

What can homeowners do to prevent an infestation?

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum because stink bugs are drawn to light. Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Repair damaged window screens. Don’t forget to check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Also, install screens over chimney and crawlspace vents.
  • A licensed pest professional can pre-treat homes for stink bugs in the late summer or early fall just prior to their full maturation and congregation.

How can a homeowner get rid of stink bugs once they are inside their home?

  • If stink bugs have already entered a home or building, use a vacuum cleaner to aid in their removal
    • Remove the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can stink up your home.
    • Seal contents from the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
  • If an infestation has developed inside the home or building, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem and help to identify the access points for these invasive species.

Source: Professional Pest Management Alliance

Photo Credit – Steven Jacobs Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

 

 

Protect Your Home Against Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma

Eliminating Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma This Spring

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, we want to remind people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses during the spring season on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
Source: NPMA

To view full image click HERE

Source: NPMA

 

Protect Your Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Simple ways pet owners can keep their animals safe from fleas and ticks

The spring season is a time when all members of the family, including pets, wander outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blossoming flowers. Unfortunately, it’s also prime pest season, which means pets are at risk of encountering hungry fleas and ticks that are in search of active hosts. Northwest Exterminating encourages pet owners to take precautions against these dangerous pests during the warmer months.

Fleas are more than just an itchy annoyance. Their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms in dogs and cats. Ticks can spread bacteria to pets and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

In addition to the health threats posed by fleas and ticks, both pests are small in size and extremely mobile, making them difficult to detect and get rid of once inside the home. It’s extremely important for pet owners to be cautious of these pests and contact a licensed pest professional if they suspect an infestation.

The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to keep pets pest-free:

  • Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
  • Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
  • Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.

Source: NPMA

 

Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

Northwest Exterminating’s Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

The best way to keep insects out of your home is to not allow them in there in the first place.  Aside from regularly scheduled pest control there are things you can do to keep pests out.  Here’s a quick video of the Top 10 Ways to keep Insects out of your home.

Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects out of Your Home

  1. Go around the exterior of your home and seal up any areas where insects could enter your home.  Check around windows, doors, plumbing entrances, fan vents, and electrical entrances.  If your home has window screens make sure they are intact and if areas are torn or damaged replace them.
  2. Make sure to trim all hedges, trees, and other landscaping back away from the home.  Creating at least a one foot barrier will keep insects from using easy methods to enter or get close to your home.
  3. Always remember that insects are living creatures just like humans and they need food, water, and shelter.  Inspect the perimeter of your home, as well as the interior, and pay close attention to areas that could potentially provide all three of these needed resources.
  4. All food and beverages should always remain covered or sealed in air tight containers.  Following this simple step will eliminate the risk of insects being attracted to your home.  If you have fruit out in your kitchen make sure you eat it before it over ripens or store it in your refrigerator.  If food or drinks are dropped or spilled make sure that they are cleaned up immediately.
  5. Routinely empty all the trash and place it outside in garbage cans with tight fitting lids.  All trash cans inside the home should also have lids.
  6. Make sure to keep all pet food sealed in air tight containers.
  7. Remove extra clutter from your home.  Get rid of items that are old and damaged and find a great charity to donate the rest.
  8. Keep all doors and windows closed while not in use.
  9. Make sure to change all your exterior lighting to low sodium vapor light bulbs.  Most insects are attracted to light but they are less attracted to low sodium vapor lighting.  Also make sure to point your security lighting away from your home and not directly on it.
  10. Don’t Bring Them In!  Be careful whenever you travel, move, or bring home the groceries that you check everything before bringing it into your home.  Especially as it gets colder make sure to check and clean all your firewood before you bring it in your home.
 

Preventing Mosquitoes

Source

Prevention is key in keeping mosquitoes and other pests away from your home.  Making your property less appealing to mosquitoes is a huge step in keeping mosquitoes away.  If they don’t have a place to lay their eggs, then they won’t stick around.  One of the most important things you can do is to remove areas of standing water.

This can be done by eliminating areas in your yard where standing water occurs (gutters, plants, lawn decor, tires, playgrounds, items found in yard, etc.).  Make sure that things such as bird baths, fountains, and plants are emptied frequently.

This is one simple yet effective way to keep mosquitoes away.

Mosquito Control by a professional pest control company can effectively eliminate mosquito habitats and work with you to ensure that your property is not a mosquito magnet!

Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Control Program.

 

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

 

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

 

Hornets

Hornets are wasps that are closely related to, but not to be confused with yellow jackets. In all, there are about 20 hornet species worldwide, but the primary hornet in North America is the European hornet. Just like other social wasps, hornets create their nests from chewing wood into a papery pulp to raise their eggs to adults.

European hornet

You’ll tend to see hornet activity during warmer weather because hornet nests get abandoned in the winter. During this time, they’ll hide under tree bark or even inside human dwellings in order to protect themselves and their eggs. When spring hits, the surviving queens crate a new nest and this is when they become quite an issue for homeowners.

Their threat to homeowners is in their sting, as they use it to kill prey and defend their hives. Unlike bees, hornets can sting multiple times as they do not die after stinging. The toxicity of their sting depends on their species, but the Asian giant hornet is the most venomous. People must be very careful because as social wasps, hornets can mobilize the entire nest to sting in defense, creating a highly dangerous situation. Furthermore, it’s better to call an exterminating company to eliminate the entire hive. This is because if hornets are killed near their hive, their bodies may release a pheromone which can cause other hornets to attack.

Asian giant hornet

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/hornet/