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

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

Inspecting Your Pantry for Pests

red flour beetles

Red flour beetles in a bag of flour

Baking is a big part of tradition for lots of people during the holiday season.  And what better time while you’re breaking out all of the baking supplies to inspect your pantry for signs of pests.  Pests are living creatures that are in search of the same things we are…food, water, and shelter.  A pantry where those necessities are stored is an ideal place for pests to make a home.

Common pests that are found in pantries:

Below are tips on ways to inspect your pantry for pests:

  • Place foods in tightly sealed containers.  This will keep bugs out and freshness in.
  • Unpack seasonal decorations outside.  Dried foliage, potpourri, etc, should be unpacked outside of the home and inspected before displaying in your home.
  • Place a bay leaf in containers of dry foods like flour and rice.  The smell of bay leaves often repels pests.
  • Inspect groceries before bringing them in to your home.  As with anything you bring into your home, be sure to inspect it.
  • Always check the date before using items in your pantry.  Frequent checks of this throughout the year can be beneficial.
  • Clean messes immediately.  Wipe any spills or crumbs as soon as they happen and take the trash out regularly.
  • Place trash in a tightly sealed bag.  Remove the bag frequently to a garbage can outside of the home that is equipped with a tightly sealed lid.
  • Seal cracks or holes that pests could use to enter your home.
  • Eliminate moisture areas.  Seal leaky pipes and use humidifiers in the home.  Water is a major attractant for bugs so the less access they have to water, the better.

If you find pests in your pantry, throw out the infested food immediately.  If pests have made a home in your pantry you should call your professional pest control company.  A professional exterminator will be able to inspect the area and treat the problem properly and efficiently.

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-articles/articles/preventing-pantry-pests/

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/pantrypests304.shtml

 

iPest app

We’ve recently discovered a useful tool that has helped us both inside and outside of the office.  iPest is a mobile app that is beneficial not only for pest control technicians but homeowners, building managers, etc.  The iPest app is a guide that was developed by researchers at the University of Florida.  The app is a great tool to identify and educate yourself on common pests that are found in and around homes and businesses.  iPest contains 3 series, a search tool, and color photos that can help you quickly find a particular pest.

Series:

iPest1cockroaches, flies, occasional invaders, and urban pest and wildlife droppings. 

iPest2ants, beetles, termites and wood destroying insects.

iPest3 – biting, stinging, and bloodsucking arthropods

This app has been a great tool in and outside of the office and we think it would be great for our customers as well.

Go to you app store and purchase iPest for $1.99

 

5 Bugs to Love

Valentine’s Day is a day of LOVE!  Bugs aren’t something that we usually “love” but in the spirit of the holiday, here are 5 bugs to love!

  1. Ladybugs are not only one of the cuter bugs out there but they are beneficial because they eat large quantities of aphids, mites and other arthropods that feed on various plants in your yard or garden. Imported more than 100 years ago to defend orchards and orange groves, ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 pests in their lifetime.
  2. Earthworms are nature’s most efficient composters.  These scavengers create the kind of well-aerated, humus-rich soil gardeners call “black gold.”
  3. The love bug is also known as the honeymoon fly, kissing bug, or double-headed bug.  The adult is a small, flying insect common to the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast.  During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to several days.
  4. The praying mantis is named for the “praying” position that it often assumes.  This insect will eat just about any living thing it can fit in its mouth, helpful or not. It is known to consume mosquitoes, nocturnal moths, bees, beetles, small lizards, even frogs—as well as fellow praying mantises.
  5. Bumblebees collect nectar and the pollen that will make tomato plants and apple trees produce more fruit.  The female bumblebee can sting but they much prefer to stick to gentler business.