Wasps

Unless you’re a Georgia Tech fan, wasps are likely not one of your favorite animals. The major concern regarding wasps is their poisonous sting, which for can be fatal for those who are allergic. Wasps tend to have two pairs of wings, few to no thickened hairs on their bodies and terrestrial. They also all have a pair of talons. Though these are similar in appearance to bees, these insects actually have a different function in nature as predators to almost every pest insect in nature. For instance, there are cicada killer wasps or spider hunting wasps.

There are two types of wasps – solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary wasps operate alone and therefore tend not to create nests, but are all fertile. One the other hands, social wasps are the type that create nests in the eaves of homes and live in colonies where not every member is reproductive. This said, the queen can mate with male wasps but the majority of the colony is comprised of sterile female workers.

Nests

You may also find that adult wasps feed on nectar just like bees and therefore will be attracted to your garden full of fresh flowers during the warmer months.  Wasps build nests in various places, but often choose sunnier spots. Though they can be found in the eaves of homes, they can also be found underground, along bodies of water, beneath floors or on the sides of walls, trees or plants. When their nests are threatened, wasps will sting humans. Protecting your home is an important part of pest control and if you spot any nests around your home, call Northwest Exterminating to eliminate the problem.

Wasp stinger

Sources:

http://www.adkinsbeeremoval.com/wasp-identification.php

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

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

Aphids

Aphids are interesting insects in that almost every plant serves as a potential meal for one or more species of these tiny pests. They have long, slender mouths used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to draw out the fluids from the plant. They also all are pear-shaped with long legs and antennae, but they come in many shades of colors including green, yellow, brown, red or black. This varies with the species as well as the type of plant they choose to feed on.

Aphids

Aphids reproduce at a very rapid pace as each adult aphid is capable of producing up to 80 aphids a year. Most adult aphids are wingless, but some come in winged forms, especially during the spring and fall. This allows them to move onto another food source when one becomes no longer available. Most often, these insects travel in dense populations along the leaves or stems of a plant.

That said, the amount of leef-feeding aphids determines their potential damage. Low to moderate numbers are usually not damaging, but much larger populations they have the effect of curling, yellowing, distorting leaves and also stunting plant growth. They may also transmit viruses from plant to plant. If you feel that your garden is being taken over by an aphid population, let Northwest Lawn Care services take care of your outdoor pest control needs.

Curling of leaves due to aphids.

 

Pest Allergies

Now that it’s pollen season, many people are suffering sneezing, coughing and discomfort due to an allergy to different pollen types. Though many people know that this triggers allergies within them, they may not know that various household pests can also contribute to allergies. Additionally, those who have asthma may suffer to pests such as cockroaches or mice being in home because these pests can spread strong asthma triggers.

PestWorld.org provides facts about pests and asthma, as well as a ‘First Responder PSA’ that highlights the risk that household pests can put us at when we are indoors. For instance, 63% of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches, but if the home is located in an urban area, it can even reach 98%! Additionally, mice can spread asthma triggers found in 82% of homes. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, patients with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks after inhaling cockroach allergens. Allergens can come from not only the actual body of the pest, but also its saliva and feces.

If you are experiencing minor symptoms such as, the AAFA recommends the use of antihistamines, decongestants and anti-inflammatory medications. An effective means to reduce the chance of exposure to pest allergens is using regular treatment through a pest control company. Northwest Exterminating offers services that eliminates and reduces the occurrence of a wide array of household pests including mice and cockroaches.

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/first-responder-psa/

http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=22&cont=312

 

Ants Have 4-5 Times Higher Sense of Smell Than Other Insects

As humans, we are often amazed at the ability of pests, specifically ants, to locate food.  If there is food available, ants will find it. New research is now available to help us understand how ants have been so successful in our ecosystem.

A study led by Lawrence Zwiebel at Vanderbilt University found that ants have 4 to 5 times higher odor receptors than most insects.  Odor receptors are unique proteins that distinguish between different odors.  Ants showed more than 400 odor receptor genes (the largest of any insect species) compared to fruit flies at 61, mosquitoes at 74-158, and honeybees at 174.

New information is being released daily to help us understand the make-up of pests.  The more we know and understand pests, the better we know how to control them.  Call a professional ant exterminator in your area who is knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in treating ants.  Call Northwest Exterminating.

Source: ANI News

 

Top Ten Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

One of the questions that our representatives get asked the most is “How To Keep Pests Out of The Home“.  We regularly offer tips to readers on how they can keep pests out but here is a list of the Top 10 Ways to keep pests out of your home.

Top Ten 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.

So there you have it.  Northwest Exterminating‘s Top 10 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home.  For more information, visit our website at callnorthwest.com.  If pests still find there way into your home, call one of our professional exterminators to help you identify the source of your issue and get rid of the problem.

 

Bug Inspired Halloween Costumes

If you’re a lover of tasty treats and creative costumes, then your favorite celebration is right around the corner! Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. This festival celebrated their new year on November 1 and marked the end of summer and harvest as the dark, cold winter began. Over time, Celtic areas became overtaken by the Romans and many Roman Catholic and Celtic traditions were intertwined. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated October 31st as All Hallow’s Eve, the day before a Catholic holiday known as All Saint’s Day.

Though today’s celebration is more about dressing up and having a good time, many of the older traditions and superstitions about Halloween remain the same. One of the superstitions regarding Halloween is that anyone who has seen a spider on this evening has encountered the spirit of a loved one watching over them. In actuality, you probably will not see too many spiders around this time because most of them have already laid eggs and died. In fall and winter, spiders might be found in the dark corners of your home or basement as they prepare to begin laying eggs again. If the site of these creatures troubles you, Northwest Exterminating has experienced technicians who can scare these pests away from your home!

Northwest Exterminating can take care of pests in the home for you, but if you would like to embrace pests in a different way, maybe some of these costumes will do the trick!

Lady bug

Bug eyed bug

Giant Cockroach

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

http://suite101.com/article/halloween-nature-myths-a151873

http://www.read-legends-and-myths.com/halloween-myths.html

 

German Roaches

The German cockroach is the most common species of cockroach and can be found all around the world.  They are most often found in kitchens and bathrooms due to their preference for warm, humid places that are near food and water sources.  But you won’t always see them out in the open because they like to live in the cracks and crevices around homes and commercial buildings.  In fact, they spend 75% of their time in the cracks and crevices.

Environment of German cockroaches:

  • Cosmopolitan in distribution and will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas
  • Behind and under appliances
  • In cracks and crevices behind backsplashes
  • At counter edges
  • Behind and under cabinets
  • In void areas around plumbing
  • Backs of drawer wells
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers

Not only are German cockroaches a nuisance pest but they are also a health risk.  Studies have shown that German cockroaches have been linked to illness and allergic reaction in humans, especially children.  They can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens.  They pick up germs while crawling around and transfer them as they crawl on our food and surfaces.  They spread allergens as they crawl, and deposit droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies.

Health threats of German cockroaches:

  • Will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Can generate 3 to 4 egg cases in a lifetime
  • Difficult to eradicate because they can infest so many areas and can be very difficult to contact with an insecticide

Contact a professional pest control company if you think German cockroaches have taken up residence in your home. Trained personnel know where to look for harborage sites and what products to apply to achieve fast and effective results. It is much easier to eliminate a German cockroach problem when it is newly established and small, rather than when the population has time to build.

 

Not All Bugs Are Bad

The fear of insects is normal.  For some, the fear can be so severe that it can be diagnosed as entomophobia, a fear or aversion to insects.  This fear can confine people to their homes without the ability to enjoy the great outdoors and interfere with the quality of life.  Experts say that 1-2% of adults in the US has some degree of entomophobia.

But not all bugs are to be feared.  We speak a lot about the harm and damage that pests can do to your health and home but we also want to point out that not all insects are bad.  The preying mantis is pest control in itself.  Preying mantis’ are predators that catch and feed on other insects.  Although termites can do thousands of dollars of damage to a structure they are beneficial for the eco-system. Termites help break down decaying trees.  Termites can break down wood on a massive scale and prevent trees from piling up and killing the forest.  Ladybugs are another natural pest control.  Ladybugs eat other insects that do not have a too hard shell.

Although some bugs can be beneficial it is still very important to protect your home. Continue your pest control service to keep bugs in their natural environment instead of your home.

Check out our blog 5 Bugs to Love

 

More Information on the Stink Bug

We talked on Wednesday about the return of the stink bug. We had so many questions that we thought we would continue our conversation about these pesky pests.

Stink bug

You may have noticed these six legged creatures in and around your home lately. The brown marmorated stink bug, also simply known as the stink bug, originated in parts of Asia. It first showed up in the American mainland in parts of Pennsylvania. At some point, these insects migrated to all parts of the Southeast and have a penchant for fruits, vegetables and other plants.

Stink bugs get their names from a defense mechanism located under their bodies that is triggered when threatened by predators such as birds or lizards. Nevertheless, simply handling the bug, injuring it or attempting to move it can trigger it to release an odor.

Damage done by a stink bug to an apple

As the seasons change, these bugs tend to seek out people’s homes as overwintering shelter from September to the first half of October in order to go into a state of hibernation.  Adults can live anywhere from several months to a year. Typically, these bugs enter the home through cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Sealing these openings will prevent the insects from entering.

If you find that you are having trouble keeping these bugs at bay, call Northwest and our experienced technicians will provide you with a service that protects your homes, lawns and gardens. For the best – Call Northwest!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

The Return of the Stink Bug

The stink bug made it’s presence well-known this past Spring when we saw a large invasion of the pest.  Well it seems that they are back.

Stink bugs feed on leaves, flowers, fruit, crops, and even other pests, such as caterpillars.  They can damage plants and crops but luckily besides the foul odor they emit when they are crushed or threatened, they do not cause harm to humans.

 

 

Prevent stink bugs from making a comeback in your home:

  • Seal cracks around the structure of your home.
  • Replace damaged screens on door and windows.
  • Vacuum up stink bugs found in your house (DO NOT step on them.  They will emit a horrible odor.)  Tightly seal and throw away the vacuum bag outside of your structure, immediately.  It is important to dispose of the bag immediately.  Stink bugs tend to die or bust in the bags causing a horrendous smell that could be difficult to get out of your vacuum.
  • Call your pest control companyProfessionals can help you identify where these pests are coming from and what is attracting them.  They will also be able to help develop a customized plan that would get rid of any stink bugs and prevent them from coming back.