Health & Mosquitoes

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a…MOSQUITO?!?!

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Yes, that is right mosquito season is here!  And although we all enjoyed the mild winter, we may not be able to say the same this summer.  Mild winters usually mean an influx in pest pressure for Pest Management Professionals and their customers…including mosquitoes.

There are currently 63 different species of mosquitoes found in GA.  Approximately$125,000,000 is spent annually in Georgia in an effort to reduce and treat the effects of disease and nuisance caused by mosquitoes.  That’s a lot of money to control one insect.  But is there a cost to protect the public’s health?  Because the mosquito has become a big threat!

Worldwide malaria remains the most important human disease transmitted by mosquitoes.  Malaria counts for almost 2 million deaths each year and is estimated that there are over 400 million cases in the world.  In Georgia, we see about 50 to 60 cases of Malaria a year.  Although Malaria affects the most humans worldwide there are two other diseases that we see more frequently in Georgia.

The West Nile virus was first found in the states in 1999.  In 2002, the virus spread over most of the United States and caused over 4,000 cases and 277 deaths.  The virus is transmitted from the mosquito to a host bird, where the virus grows and then is transmitted to an incidental host (humans) by another mosquito.  To date, there is no antivirus for those affected with the disease.

Another common disease doesn’t affect humans directly but it does affect the family dog.  Dog heartworms are a serious problem and are spread by mosquitoes.  Infection rates in some states have been reported to be as high as 80% in dogs over 2.5 years old, and almost 100% in dogs over 5 years old that are left un-vaccinated.  There is approximately $60,000,000 being spent on heartworm prevention in Georgia each year and it cost nearly $1,000 to treat a case of heartworms.  Bottom-line…make sure you treat your dog for heartworms BEFORE it’s an issue.

So what can we do?  Mosquito prevention at Northwest Exterminating is a five step program following the basic principles of an Integrated Mosquito Management program:

  1. Education
  2. Surveillance
  3. Source Reduction
  4. Larviciding
  5. Adulticiding

It is important as homeowner’s that we do our part.  Here are some simple steps to help reduce mosquitoes around your home:

  •  Reduce water collection sites
  • Clean gutters regularly
  • Remove yard clutter

For more tips like these and to help reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your home call Northwest Exterminating.  Our goal is to create a healthier environment around your home so you can enjoy your yard!

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating
avannest@callnorthwest.com

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

Gardening & Pest Control

Baby playing with dirtThis past weekend I was outside working in the garden when I came across a few unwanted guests.  There were a few spiders, a couple ground beetles, and a large amount of ants.  The ants and beetles were present because my garden provides them with a large amount of food and water.  The spiders were there because my garden provides them food (the other insects).

As most of you know the most common insecticides should not be used in gardens.  Leaving the everyday gardener to reach out to “over the counter” products from their local nursery or hardware store to help rid them of pests.  Although many of these products are effective for short periods of time, they require a minimum time lapse before you can harvest your yield.  As many of you know, at Northwest Exterminating we care about protecting your family from pests in the most natural ways possible.  And when it comes to the family garden our service technicians are trained to stop the pest before they enter the garden area.  That being said, a lot of the garden insects start in the garden area and never leave it – making it hard to control them.  So what can you do?  Below I have listed some natural ways to help assist you in keeping the pest populations down in your family’s garden this growing season.  Following these steps and methods will ensure a healthy garden with minimal pesticide use.

 Environmental Tips:

  • Be careful not to over water.  Excess water will provide a water source that is attractive to most pests.
  • Don’t plant too much.  Dense garden foliage will provide hidden shelter for pests including rodents.
  • Weed your garden regularly.  Eliminating the weeds will allow open spaces that leave pests exposed to other predators.

Natural Plantings You Can Add To Help Keep The Pests Down:

  • Plant some of your herbs in amongst your garden staples.  The strong aroma from these plants can deter harmful pests, and attract predators to some of the damaging pests.  Examples:  Basil, Citronella, Dill, Fennel, and Lemongrass
  • Spread coffee grounds around the garden to help reduce snails and provide an extra source of fertilizer.
  • Use a few peppermint essential oil drops in some water and lightly spray your plants to keep the ants off.
  • Plant onions, marigolds, and radishes around the garden to help as well!

We hope some of these tips help you keep your family garden healthier this season!  For more information on Northwest’s Pest Control and Lawn Care Services visit us at callnorthwest.com

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest ServicesNorthwest Exterminating
avannest@callnorthwest.com

 

Know Your Red & Black Bugs

Spring is a time when everything comes to life, blooming into an array of lovely colors. You’ll see flowers that are pink and purple, baby bunnies that are tan or gray and insects that are red and black. Just like every other little life form emerging this time of year, insects can also be a variety of colors and it’s important not to get them confused. Some bugs you might spot frequently are of the Georgia Bulldog variety – red and black spots, stripes and even a combination of both.

If any of these insects or other pests become too much of nuisance, Northwest Exterminating has the expertise and knowledge to take care of your bug problems.  Our Director of Pest Services Adam Vannest has provided some information about these bugs that will help you know the difference and what measures to take against them.

Lady Bug

Ladybug  – Beneficial insect

-  Overwinters

-  Feeds on aphids

- Control Measures: exclusion and vacuuming for long-term prevention. When necessary, chemical contact treatments can knock down a population

Box Elder Bug

Box Elder Bug

-  Overwinters

-  Female: Box Elder trees and Silver Maple trees serve as the primary host plant

-   Control Measures: Exclusion and a contact/residual application around the foundation and base of host plant

 

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed bug  – Found in gardens on Milkweed plants or around shelled sunflower seeds

- Control Measures: Over-the-counter garden insecticides

 

Leaf-Footed Stink Bug

Leaf-footed stink bug

-      Feeds on a wide variety of host plants

-       Besides birds, they do not have too many natural predators due to their taste and smell

-       Control Measures: Over-the-counter insecticides for garden areas. Outside of the garden, any contact or residual product labeled for stink bugs

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

 

-       Semicircular cogwheel-like crest on its thorax

-       Feeds on a wide variety of insects including caterpillars, beetles, aphids

Control Measures: Prevention is the key! All plants should be inspected before they enter the home. Exclusion should be performed for long-term prevention. All vegetation should be trimmed away from the home, at least one foot. Pesticides are rarely needed

 

Ladybug Larva

We’ve gotten a lot of questions and phone calls regarding the ladybug larva.  So here’s a quick run down for those of you that are experiencing ladybug larva around your property.

ladybug-life-cycle

Ladybug Life Cycle

The female ladybug will lay her eggs on the undersides of leaves where there is a lot of food (aphids).  The eggs will hatch three to five days later.

When you think about what a baby ladybug might look like, you probably think of a small cute version of the adult, right?  Well, lets just say that a baby ladybug (larva) lives up to the saying “A face only a mother could love”.  Baby ladybugs (ladybug larvae) are long and black with orange markings on its back, a little spikey looking and some say that they resemble alligators, but a whole lot smaller of course!  I don’t see that but you can let your imagination go…

ladybug larva

Baby ladybug

For more information on ladybugs or ladybug larva, call the experts at www.callnorthwest.com.

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating

 

Adam Vannest Featured in Pest Management Professional Magazine

AdamDirector of Pest Services at Northwest Exterminating, Adam Vannest, was recently featured in Pest Management Professional magazine.  Adam answered some Q and A’s regarding fleas and ticks and also gave some Do’s and Don’ts for when dealing with these pesky pests.

Read below to get the full story:

Adam Vannest, director of pest services for the Atlanta area’s Northwest Exterminating, has faced plenty of hard-to-solve flea and tick problems. He recently shared tales of some memorable infestations — and his team’s solutions — with Pest Management Professional.

Q: What’s the largest flea and tick infestation you’ve faced, and how did you conquer the pests?
Vannest: One of the largest was in a rural subdivision that backed up into a large wooded area. The customer reported dealing with an intense flea problem and said she’d also noticed multiple ticks on the family dog. Seeing ticks on her children was this customer’s threshold point.

While inspecting the outside we noticed a lot of the areas around the home were overgrown. There were tall weeds and grass up against the house and woodpiles around the exterior. We started looking at the ticks’ harborage sites to figure out why they would be attracted to the location. It was a three-story house on a crawlspace, and once inside we noticed the crawlspace door was already open. There were also other entry points because it wasn’t sealed up very well. We definitely found fleas in the crawlspace. The main floor and upstairs also had fleas.

We explained to the customer that we wanted to eliminate harborage areas around the outside by cutting down weeds and trimming the grass around the foundation. We also educated the homeowner about the crawlspace and how many entry points were visible to stray animals and rodents. We had an exclusion team come out and seal up those areas so that we could treat it with a residual product and an insect growth regulator (IGR).

Next, we explained to the customer that to get our product were it needs to be we’d have to remove everything from the floor for cleaning and vacuuming. We also instructed them to take the dog to the vet for treatment. After that, we applied a broadcast treatment to the floor surfaces and throughout the house.
We had to treat the lawn for ticks as well.

Q:What’s your hardest-to-find flea and tick story. How did you solve the problem?
Vannest: It took place at a ranch house on a crawlspace. When we inspected we noticed that the family pets were pest free. This told us we were dealing with a population in the home that had been carried inside by other means.

Sometimes people forget all of the other things that can be responsible for bringing fleas into a home. Some of the hardest flea problems to solve are ones where a rodent population carries them inside.

We inspected the rest of the house and found pockets of flea activity but no defined area. However, when we got to the attic level we found a roof rat population bringing in fleas from outside, so we applied residual products and treatments there to eliminate the rodent problem. When we placed monitors to determine where flea hot spots existed we found a few more harborage sites that had been egg-laying areas. We targeted those areas and eliminated the problem.

Adam Vannest’s Dos & Don’ts
Do
■ Train technicians to always think outside the box. Every flea situation and every tick situation can be different.
■ Know your products and which ones are best for a particular infestation. Read labels and test the products.
■ Use monitoring to help find hot spots.
Don’t
■ Don’t assume the customer is doing the prep work.
■ Don’t assume every situation is going to be the same.
■ Don’t stop educating your technicians. Give them ongoing training.

You can visit Pest Management Professional magazine by going to www.mypmp.net

Note: We will link directly to the article as soon as it is available online!

 

Adam Vannest: The New Director of Pest Services

Northwest Exterminating is proud to introduce Adam Vannest as our new Director of Pest Services.  As Director of Pest Services, Adam will be responsible for all of the ongoing pest control training and development at Northwest.  Adam has a strong commitment to excellence and continuing education; this passion will help Northwest to further their commitment to creating healthier living and working environments.

Adam is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where he studied Music Education.  Adam grew up surrounded by family members in the pest control industry.  So it was no surprise that after graduation Adam decided to follow in their footsteps.   Adam joined the Northwest family in 2007 and most recently served as the Monroe Service Center Manager.  He soon became a Georgia Certified Operator in both WDO and HPC categories.  Through his hard work, dedication, and involvement in civic organization, community events, and associations, Adam has helped Northwest to be the leader in pest and termite control.

Adam currently resides in Monroe with his wife, Elica, his son, Leo, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a daughter in October!

Northwest is excited to have Adam on board in his new role!

You can contact Adam at avannest@callnorthwest.com

Blogs by Adam:

How to Rid Yellow Jackets Using Glue Boards
10 Ways to Make Sure Your Home is Not Attractive to Rodents