DIY Flea Treatment

It is a common misconception that if you don’t have animals in your home that you can’t get fleas…FALSE. Fleas can be an issue in homes both with and without pets. They often attach themselves to rabbits, skunks, possums, and other rodents or wildlife that can be found living in wooded areas around a structure. Their 6”-8” vertical jump gives them the ability to attach themselves to humans and animals.

The thought of fleas creates a sense of uneasiness…and with good reason; fleas can carry several diseases like plague, tapeworm, and murine typhus that effects humans and pets alike. Flea prevention is much easier and less expensive than flea treatment.

Flea Prevention Tips:

  • Clean your home regularly – Regular cleaning prevents fleas and many other pests from being attracted to your home. Make sure that spills and crumbs are cleaned up quickly, vacuum floors and upholstery*, and wipe down counters and furniture. Regular maintenance will make a huge difference against pests. (*Immediately empty, seal, remove, and dispose of the vacuum bag outdoors for your trash provider to retrieve.)
  • Wash and treat pets – Bathe your pets on a regular basis. Wash any bedding the pet is allowed to sleep on. Treat your pets with flea prevention by taking them to your veterinarian, the groomer, or using over the counter medication. When cleaning, special attention should be paid to areas where pets often spend time.
  • Shampooing carpet – Shampooing carpet can be more beneficial than vacuuming alone.
  • Keep out wild animals – Wild animals such as rodents and opossums should be prevented from entering the structure and appropriately trapped.
  • Wear light colors when outdoors – Wearing light colors enables you to spot fleas more easily.
  • DEET – Apply DEET, an insect repellant, when outside.
  • Make a fashion statement – Wear long pants and hiking boots when you are outside. It is also best to tuck pant legs into your socks. A look that your neighbors will surely follow!

Do it yourself flea treatments can be effective. However, we would like to warn you that flea exterminating is a difficult task and more often than not should be done by a professional exterminating company like Northwest Exterminating. When getting rid of fleas yourself, keep in mind that fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Only 5% of the flea population is on your dog or other household pets, the rest have fallen off in and around your home.

DIY Flea Treatments:

Disclaimer: Northwest Exterminating does not encourage the use of the following treatments. We strongly recommend that all instructions are carefully followed on packaging of the following products and hold no liability for the following DIY treatments. Please contact a doctor, veterinarian and a professional pest control company before trying any of these treatments.

  • Borax powder – Sprinkle borax powder on your carpet (always do a test patch before treating your whole carpet) and let sit for approximately 24 hours. Vacuum and immediately seal and dispose of vacuum bag. Repeat until fleas are gone.
  • Water & Dish Soap – Put ½”-1” of water in shallow dish with a squirt of liquid dish soap. Put the dish directly under a lamp or some other form of light. The fleas are drawn to the light and heat which causes them to jump in the water. The soap makes it difficult for the fleas to move and they will eventually drown. Do this for several days until there are no new fleas found in your dish. Continue for a few days to make sure they are gone. Placing several soap and water dishes around the home where fleas are suspected gives you a better chance of getting rid of the fleas faster.

If you have tried DIY flea control methods without any luck, a pest control professional is your best option. A good exterminating company will be knowledgeable about flea prevention and treatment and should treat your home until fleas are gone.

If you’re looking for flea control in the Atlanta, Savannah, Nashville, or Columbus areas Northwest Exterminating is your best choice. Visit us at callnorthwest.com or call at 888.466.7849

Have you tried any of these DIY flea treatments?

Additional links:
http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/08/facts-about-ticks-and-fleas/
http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/06/dog-fleas/

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

How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs on Spring Break

It is Spring Break time here in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.  It’s a time that parents and kids both look forward to.  A lot of people will be going out of town this spring break and staying in hotels.  I’m sure you’ve seen media reports of bed bug outbreaks across the US.  Hotels are being hit pretty hard with bed bug infestations and it is something that travelers need to be aware of.  The truth is that you are more than likely not going to experience bed bugs in your hotel room or home but it is always best to be educated and aware!

Many wonder why the number of outbreaks has risen in recent years, it is suspected that increase in travel, less effective household pesticides, resistance to pesticides and lack of awareness are among the main reasons.  The key to avoiding bed bugs is early detection.  Make sure you are checking mattresses and other upholstery items when traveling.  Know that bed bugs are not a sign of a sanitation issue with the hotel; they are often brought in by other guests.

Bed Bugs on a mattress cover

What to Look For:

  • Brown or chestnut in color
  • Size of a pencil eraser
  • Eggs are several millimeters and clear to whitish in appearance
  • Droppings and dead skin of bed bugs

How to Search Hotel Rooms for Bed Bugs:

  • Simply call the hotel.  They may not always be forthcoming in their answer but it’s worth a shot.  A lot of hotels will be honest and tell you if they have or haven’t had experiences with bed bugs.
  • Check The Bedbug Registry.  This free data base is a place where bed bug sightings are reported.
  • Pack clothes and shoes in air tight bags in your suitcase.  Keep your items packed away in Ziploc bags inside of your suitcase to protect them from bed bugs.
  • Inspect the bed.  Pull back the sheets and check the mattress, concentrating heavily on the mattress seams, for droppings or skin that has been shed.  Also check the headboard, footboard, sheets, comforter, and pillows for signs of bed bugs.
  • Use the luggage rack.  Do not put your luggage on the bed or on the floor.  Hotels usually provide a luggage rack, if not; place the luggage on a tile floor where it is easier to see bed bugs moving if they are present.
  • Bites on body.  Bed bug bites are not dangerous but do cause allergic reaction.  Bed bugs often bite in a straight line on the body.  You can tell the difference between mosquito and other common pest bites and bed bug bites by the area on your body you have been bitten.  Mosquitoes mainly bite on the arms, legs or other body parts that are left uncovered.  Bed bug bites can be found throughout the body.

The thought of bed bugs and their bites are unnerving to say the least.  However, you may find comfort in knowing that bed bug bites are not dangerous because they do not carry human diseases.  All of that being said, you want to be sure that you do not carry these pests home with you from vacation.  Bed bugs are not only difficult to treat but can be an expensive treatment.

Tips for returning home:

  • Keep luggage in the garage or outside until you can unload your suitcase fully.
  • Wash and dry everything on the hot cycle immediately.  The hot temperatures will kill any bed bugs that may have made the trip with you.
  • Vacuum out suitcase once emptied.
  • Take precautionary measures with your own furniture.  Get a bed bug proof mattress case for your mattress and add traps on the legs of your bed.
  • Inspect frequently.

At the end of the day, we want you to have the best time on your spring break or other vacation.  We just want to make sure that you are not bringing home anything that wasn’t supposed to come home with you.  As we said earlier, the key is to be educated and aware.

If you have more questions on bed bugs or think that your home may have bed bugs, call Northwest Exterminating.  We have a dedicated team of experts that specialize in bed bug treatment.

Other Additional Links:

http://www.callnorthwest.com/pest-control/bed-bug-control/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/07/dorm-rooms-and-bed-bugs/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/bed-bugs/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/02/npma-releases-bed-bug-best-management-practices-for-pest-professionals/

 

 

Carpenter Bees Are Making a Buzz in Atlanta

 

Carpenter bee

Last week it was the stink bug, this week it’s the carpenter bee!  We told you that the weird temperatures were going to bring out these pests…and here they are!

It’s officially spring which means that carpenter bees are out in Atlanta and other southeastern areas.  There is a good chance that you are seeing these large black bees along with the large black tunnels that they create in wood around your home.  Those are carpenter bees that have been living in those holes and tunnels throughout the winter and are emerging in the spring time to find places for new nests, which can mean new holes and tunnels in your wood.  Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but differ slightly in appearance.  The upper surface of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is bare and a shiny black color; while bumble bees have a hairy abdomen and yellow markings.

Carpenter bees drill through wood to build nests where they stay all winter and throughout the spring until they find a new nest or emerge to mate.  Although male bees tend to be aggressive, often hovering around people who are near their nests, they are mostly harmless since they do not have stingers.  On the other hand, females can inflict a painful sting but rarely do unless they are being handled.

Carpenter bee tunnel

You may find piles of wood underneath the hole where the bee has drilled their nest.  Carpenter bees prefer to make their nests in bare, untreated or weathered wood.  Wood that is painted or pressure-treated is much less susceptible to a carpenter bees nesting.  Common areas for nesting include window trim, facia board, siding, wooden shakes, decks and outdoor furniture.

The best control for carpenter bees is to treat or paint all exposed wood surfaces.  If you are using a spray, it is best to spray at night, while wearing protective clothing, when bees are less active to reduce your risk of being stung.  Each hole should be treated individually if the bees are inside the holes.  If they are not in the hole, seal or paint the hole so the bees cannot return.

As with most infestations, it is best to call a professional exterminator to ensure that the issue is taken care of quickly and thoroughly. Call Northwest Exterminating if you are seeing carpenter bees or other pests around your home.

 

Invasion of the Kudzu Bug

Due to the massive amount of calls that we have received lately regarding kudzu bugs, or stink bugs, we thought this earlier post would be beneficial!

In the past several weeks, our service centers have seen an emergence of kudzu bugs.  Kudzu bugs, also known as lablab bugs or globular bugs, have made their way to Georgia in recent years from Asia.  Thoughts are that because Atlanta has the “World’s Busiest Airport”, they could have arrived through Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.  Since kudzu bugs are fairly new to experts, research is still being done on this particular bug.

Kudzu bugs look like brown lady bugs and eat what other than…kudzu.  But kudzu isn’t all that these bugs are feeding on.  Kudzu bugs also eat soybean plants.  More research is being done to find out if kudzu bugs will eat our Georgia crops as well.

The kudzu bug is an occasional invader, choosing to enter properties for the shelter and possibly needing moisture.  Think of them as the same as boxelder bugs, but with an increased amount of generations and smaller so they fit in tiny cracks and crevices. They are known to eat specific plants, but can survive on others.  They have 3 generations per year, so they can build up populations in great numbers, but once the population is reduced, control can be maintained.

Kudzu bugs have a notorious stench they emit when they feel threatened so it is suggested that if you come in contact with such bugs in your home or vehicle that you vacuum them up instead of squashing them.  It is highly recommended that you dispose of the vacuumed bugs so they do not continue to emit their stench.

For more information, check out the University of Georgia’s kudzu video:

University of Georgia – Kudzu Bug

Northwest Exterminating offers a treatment plan specifically for kudzu bugs.  Call us at 888.466.7849 for more information.

 

Kudzu Bugs

Do to the massive amount of calls that we have received lately regarding kudzu bugs, or stink bugs, we thought this earlier post would be beneficial!

In the past several weeks, our service centers have seen an emergence of kudzu bugs.  Kudzu bugs, also known as lablab bugs or globular bugs, have made their way to Georgia in recent years from Asia.  Thoughts are that because Atlanta has the “World’s Busiest Airport”, they could have arrived through Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.  Since kudzu bugs are fairly new to experts, research is still being done on this particular bug.

Kudzu bugs look like brown lady bugs and eat what other than…kudzu.  But kudzu isn’t all that these bugs are feeding on.  Kudzu bugs also eat soybean plants.  More research is being done to find out if kudzu bugs will eat our Georgia crops as well.

The kudzu bug is an occasional invader, choosing to enter properties for the shelter and possibly needing moisture.  Think of them as the same as boxelder bugs, but with an increased amount of generations and smaller so they fit in tiny cracks and crevices. They are known to eat specific plants, but can survive on others.  They have 3 generations per year, so they can build up populations in great numbers, but once the population is reduced, control can be maintained.

Kudzu bugs have a notorious stench they emit when they feel threatened so it is suggested that if you come in contact with such bugs in your home or vehicle that you vacuum them up instead of squashing them.  It is highly recommended that you dispose of the vacuumed bugs so they do not continue to emit their stench.

For more information, check out the University of Georgia’s kudzu video:

University of Georgia – Kudzu Bug

Northwest Exterminating offers a treatment plan specifically for kudzu bugs.  Call us at 888.466.7849 for more information.