How to Control Armyworms

As their name indicates, armyworms travel in large groups and can create a significant amount of damage to your lawn. Find out more about armyworms, how you can prevent them, and how you can get rid of them if they’re eating your grass and plants.

What are Armyworms?

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar and the larvae of moths with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed on mostly grass, plants, and vegetables. Chances are, you’re seeing fall armyworms right now, which are very common in Southern states. These armyworms can cause substantial destruction to your lawn which is unsightly and detrimental to your lawn care program. They multiply very quickly and can be tough to eradicate once plants or grass is infested.

How to Prevent Armyworms?

Check for signs of lawn and plant damage often. This includes patchy areas in your lawn that turn brown, where grass has been noticeably eaten.  In their adult form, armyworms are brown moths with a white spot on each wing. If you see these moths, it’s likely that larvae is feeding on nearby plant sources. You may also notice more birds in your yard when armyworms are active, as birds eat armyworms. Spotting armyworms early is critical in successfully eliminating them and will cause the least amount of damage. It’s also important to continue a good lawn care program so that your your grass can return to its previously healthy state.

How to Get Rid of Armyworms?

Keep grass maintained with a good lawn care program including regular mowing to keep grass short, watering your lawn often, and giving it the proper nutrients needed to maintain healthy grass. Apply an insecticide specifically for the treatment of armyworms; your local lawn care company or exterminator can take care of this for you or recommend effective products.

After armyworms are treated and eliminated, the process doesn’t stop there. It’s important to continuously check for armyworm damage as a reoccurrence is common. Because this pest cannot withstand cold temperatures, early Spring is when you’re likely to have another infestation.

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

Rats and Mice: How to Keep Them Out of your Home

Do You Have Rats or Mice?

It’s a common question homeowners often ask us: Do I have rats or mice? Neither are good news but it’s important to know which type of rodent is inhabiting your home so you know how to properly get rid of them.

Rats

If you’ve had the misfortune to actually see a rodent in your home, a rat would be significantly larger than a mouse. There are 2 common types of house rats – the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

The Norway Rat is the largest of commensal rodents with small ears, a blunt nose, and a short tail relative to its head and body. Their droppings are up to 3/4 inch with blunt ends. They usually gnaw on wood but will also chew on electrical wiring, causing damage. Typically, they will reside outside your home in burrows or in your crawl space or basement, entering the structure at night for food and water.

The Roof Rat is usually darker in color than the Norway Rat and smaller, weighing less than a pound. They have large ears, a pointed nose, and a long tail. Their droppings are spindle shaped with pointed ends. Unlike Norway Rats, Roof Rats prefer to live higher above ground, making your attic an ideal environment.

Both are cautious and will be suspicious of any foreign objects or changes in their environment. This makes rodent control tricky as they usually will not approach a recently placed trap or bait box. Proper placement and patience is crucial.

Mice

Mice are smaller than rats and usually a lot less suspicious, making them easier to trap through routine pest control methods. They’ll eat mostly anything so your home likely has a food source that’s appealing to them. Mice breed often and offspring can reproduce in less than 6 weeks, so it’s important to catch them early before they multiply. Like rats, mice are nocturnal and mostly come out of their nest, looking for food, at night. They have the ability to fit into tiny spaces, needing only 1/4 inch gap or opening. Also like rats, mice will leave behind droppings (much smaller, rod-shaped, with pointed ends).

How to Get Rid of Rats & Mice in Your Home

DIY Pest Control is not recommended for rodent control. Rats and mice have very specific habits, making them harder to catch and eradicate. Because rats are cautious by nature, any differences in their routine may cause them to move into other areas of your home. Depending on where they are nesting in your home and the type of rodents, an exterminator can then determine the best plan of attack; whether to use baits, traps, a combination of both, and the size of traps required. And because rats and mice multiply quickly, its essential that you call a pest control company at the first signs of infestation:

  • Droppings
  • Gnawed areas
  • Tracks or tail marks in dusty areas
  • Noises at night in less-frequented areas of your home, commonly attics & basements
  • Unusual odor

Preventing Future Mice & Rat Infestations

Because these rodents require only a tiny gap or space to enter your home, it’s essential that you implement good exclusion and sanitation practices. Every gap in your structure larger than 1/4 inch should be properly sealed, especially those around drainage pipes, vents, utility lines, doors & windows, etc. It’s also important to remove any available food sources, like trash cans, pet food, and bird feeders.

If you think you have a rat or mice infestation, call your local pest control company for an immediate inspection.

 

Spiders in Your House?

Spider season is upon us! Chances are, you’ve seen a couple of these creepy crawlers in and around your home lately. While most of the common house spiders don’t pose any real threat to you and your family, they’re still considered unwanted houseguests by the majority of people. So why are you seeing spiders and how you can keep them out?

Why are you seeing spiders?

While spiders are active throughout the year, they’re more likely to come indoors in the late summer and fall months. Outdoor spiders usually reproduce in the Spring, so young spiders slowly mature through Summer and become adult spiders later in the year, making them more visible to us. As male spiders mature, they begin seeking a mate, which may be inside your home (eek!).

To find out what type of spiders you’re seeing, visit our Spider Learning Center.

What health threats do spiders pose?

Not all spiders are dangerous. And if you’re less creeped out by spiders than other common pests, like roaches, flies, and mosquitoes, then it may be best to coexist. Spiders will eat these pests…free pest control! They also eat other spiders, thereby reducing your spider population naturally.

On the other hand, spiders can pose certain risks to your family. If spiders feel threatened, they may bite…and spider bites can be painful and unpredictable. The reaction caused by spider bites is different for everyone, depending on the type of spider and the individual that’s bitten.

How to control spiders in your house

If you’re don’t like the idea of spiders hanging out around your house, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from coming inside.

  • Avoid bringing in anything that spiders may travel in – wood, debris, plants, etc. (anything that’s been sitting outside for an extended period of time)
  • Regular pest control – professional or DIY – to keep other common pests out of your home. If you have other pests, spiders are likely to make an appearance, looking for a steady food source
  • Dust your home frequently, including areas where spiders like to live: corners, windows, any dark areas that are less frequented
  • Keep mulch away from the perimeter of your home

A comprehensive pest control program by a professional will include protection against spiders and other household pests. Our advanced pest control service, NorPest Green, is kid and pet-friendly and utilizes the latest technology, products and equipment to safeguard your family from unwanted bugs.

 

 

 

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

Ants in the Kitchen?

You’re not alone. Our phones have been ringing non-stop for the last few weeks with one common problem: ANTS IN THE KITCHEN. So you may be asking yourself: 1) Why are they here? 2) How can I get rid of them? 3) How can I keep them from coming back? 4) Should I call a pest control company?

Why are Ants in the Kitchen?

Let’s start with why you’re suddenly seeing ants. Ants are always looking for food. Most likely, your kitchen has food. Simple. But maybe you don’t have any food laying around, easily accessible to the ants. No spills or messes left uncleaned. And still… those pesky ants are trailing around your sink or across the countertops. Why? They’re foraging for food and even the smallest supply (that you can’t even see) will keep them busy for days.

How to Get Rid of Ants?

Next question: How to get rid of ants? Start with the basics. Clean any kitchen spills immediately. Wash dirty dishes after using them. Take the trash out daily. Don’t leave any unsealed food out. Kill any ants you see with a household pest product and clean the areas thoroughly. Try and find where the ants are coming in. Clean these areas too and seal any points of entry. Apply an ant bait product near entry points, preferably on the outside of your home so the ants don’t have to come back inside to eat the bait. The goal here is for the ants to take the bait back to their colony, therefore eliminating the source.

How to Prevent Ants?

So now that you’ve eliminated the ants you’re seeing today, how can you keep them out tomorrow and the next day? The answer isn’t as simple. Ants are everywhere and they are constantly looking for food to feed their colony. You can eliminate one tribe and another will appear within days or weeks. This is why preventative pest control is so important and necessary.

DIY or Professional Pest Control?

If you have the time and patience for DIY pest control, you should repeat the above process regularly, in addition to treating the perimeter of your home with some type of granular pesticide. Or you can save time and your sanity and call a pest control company.

Our comprehensive pest control service covers ant control and so much more. Trained technicians will inspect your home quarterly for current pest infestations or entry points, treat and correct these issues, and implement treatment methods that will prevent future infestations. Our unique pest control program, NorPest Green, utilizes the latest professional products (all of which are completely environmentally, kid and pet friendly) and equipment, and comes with a pest-free guarantee.

For more information or to schedule a free pest inspection, visit our pest control services page or call (888) 466-7849. If you’re seeing a few ants now, most likely there are hundreds more that you can’t see. Our advice: act quickly before the ants takeover and move into other parts of your home.

 

Summer Stinging Insects

The Dangers of Summer Stinging Insects

Just because school is almost here, doesn’t mean the summer is over, especially for those summer stinging insects. The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. We want to warn that yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.

From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun. Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the playground or relax by the pool, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.

Below are the most common stinging insects of the summer months:

Yellowjackets – Yellowjackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.

European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellowjackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.

Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

Killer Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.

The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.

For more information on stinging insects, visit our PEST ID page.

Source: NPMA

 

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 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