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
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

How to Get Rid of A Mosquito Bite

How to Get Rid of a Mosquito Bite

If you spend any time outside, especially in the Southern states, there is a good chance you will get a mosquito bite.  The female mosquito (males don’t bite) feed on blood.  Once they bite they cause a minor allergic reaction.  You will most often see the skin raise and turn red.  The itch comes from the allergic reaction to the saliva, an anticoagulant, that the mosquito injects while sucking your blood.

So how can you get rid of a mosquito bite?

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol to remove any excess saliva that is still on the skin.
  2. Apply ice to the bite as soon as you become aware that you’ve been bitten.  Ice will help alleviate pain and swelling.
  3. Apply an anti-itch medication to the area of the bite. You can also try home remedies such as applying toothpaste, baking soda, mouth wash, or Epsom salt.
  4. Although it can be difficult, avoid scratching.  Scratching will only further aggravate the itch and prolong healing.

How to avoid getting bit by a mosquito:

  1. Have your property treated by a licensed mosquito control company like Northwest Exterminating.
  2. Apply an insect repellent to deter mosquitoes.
  3. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes when possible.
  4. Read our blog 10 Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
 

Mosquito Season is Here – Take Precautions

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites When Outdoors this Summer

Warmer weather is finally here and we know our residents are no doubt spending more time outdoors. However, with increased outdoor activity, the public is at risk of becoming a meal for summer’s most dangerous and pesky pest – the mosquito. That’s why we are urging the public to  take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families.

Mosquitoes are emerging early across the country due to recent rainfall and an increase in temperatures. With the threat of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, it’s important for people to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors in the coming months.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers the following tips to avoid becoming a mosquito meal:

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about a ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.If you must be outside during those times, consider staying inside a screened-in porch or dressing in clothing that leaves very little exposed skin.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors, loose-fitting garments, and open-toe shoes.
  • Always use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors or traveling, especially in areas known to have increased mosquito populations.

For more information on mosquitoes and other summer pests, please visit www.callnorthwest.com.

 

Lyme Disease Cases Much Higher Than Previously Reported

According to new information gathered by the CDC the number of lyme disease cases is 10 times higher than the 30,000 cases each year that has previously been reported.  Because not every case is reported, recent efforts have uncovered that the number of lyme disease cases is about 300,000 each year.  The CDC is conducting 3 complimentary studies to improve their count of lyme disease cases.

how to remove a tick

How to Properly Remove a Tick
Source

To prevent tick bites:

  • Avoid thick areas of vegetation.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet when going outside.
  • Use insect repellant such as DEET.
  • Bathe as soon as possible when returning from being outside.  This allows you to find ticks easier.
  • Check yourself for ticks from head to toe, especially in your hair.  Make sure to check your children when they return from being outside.
  • Check any jackets, hats, bags, etc. that may have come into contact with ticks.
  • Dry clothes on high heat to kill any ticks on clothing and/or accessories.
  • Talk to your veterinarian on the best solutions to keep ticks away from your pets.
  • Check your pets when they come in from being outside.
  • Immediately remove ticks if found on a human or a pet. Find out How to Remove a Tick.
  • Keep grass cut and vegetation trimmed to reduce areas for ticks to call home.

For more information on Lyme disease visit the CDC.

For more information on how to control ticks visit Northwest Exterminating.

 

 

 

Sand Fleas

No-see-um’s, hop-alongs, beach fleas, biting midge, punky…these are just a few of the “cute” names that sand fleas go by!   But cute they’re not!  And they are very present in the low country area of Savannah, GA!

Sand Fleas reside on the beach and in other sandy areas during warm weather, double in numbers during the spring, produce a loud whine when in groups, and feed early in the morning and late at night.  Sand flea bites may feel like a sting because they are very deep causing welts and lesions with severe pain and itching.  The female bites for the blood protein needed for her egg laying, however this saliva can trigger your body to react and the bites can cause infections and fever viruses.  Sand Fleas tend to “feed” on people with paler skin, as the skin is thinner making it easier to pierce.

To help keep these fleas at bay, try using an insect repellant similar to those used against mosquitoes.  If you are bitten, do not scratch the welts, as scratching can cause swelling, itchiness, skin redness, and can lead to sand fleas burying themselves underneath the skin allowing them to continue feeding on blood.  For bite relief, you can take a pain killer such as ibuprofen gels.  Seek medical advice should the pain or itchiness worsen.

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center Manager
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

The 411 on Sand Gnats

If you’ve spent any time in Savannah, Ga in the spring or fall, you know all about sand gnats, or as locals call them….the state bird.  The sand gnat is not just the mascot for the Savannah Sand Gnats minor-league baseball team, but just like the baseball team, they’ll sting you, draw your blood and defeat you on the field.

Sand Gnat bite - Source

Sand Gnat bite – Source

In the low country, the sand gnat is more of an issue than mosquitoes or fleas.  Sand gnats live along waterways, such as the ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds, and marshes.  They fly, bite, and suck your blood just like a mosquito, leaving behind

red, itchy bumps on the skin.  Although blood has no nutritional value to the sand gnats, they need it so their eggs can mature prior to laying.  Carbon dioxide draws sand gnats from up to 30 yards, they stay in a 300 foot zone where they breed around your home, fly less than 25 feet high and most adult females live for 2-3 weeks.

It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite.  Unless you want to cover yourself from head to toe in the sweltering Savannah heat, be proactive.  Commercial repellents with Deet can be useful to prevent biting, or you can try a local remedy such as taking garlic pills – that is, if you don’t mind smelling like garlic.  However, a more “user friendly” remedy such as rubbing your arms with baby oil will prevent the sand gnats from biting as it provides a protective layer to your skin that the gnats can not penetrate.

For sand gnat treatment at your home or business, Call the Mouse!  888.466.7849 or visit online at www.callnorthwest.com

Barry Teubert
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

May’s Pest of the Month – Mosquitoes

MosquitoesTake Back Your Yard!Don’t let mosquitoes suck the fun out of your Summer!

HABITS

  • Breed in stagnant water such as ponds, marshes, drainage ditches, etc.
  • Can be found in almost every type of landscape on Earth except deserts and the Arctic.
  • Bite most often at dusk and dawn.

THREATS

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

PREVENTION

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flower pots, bird baths, etc.  Mosquitoes only need about one half inch of water to breed.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors whenever possible.
  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating for a professional inspection and treatment plan for breeding sites.

Enjoy your yard this Spring and Summer.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Program!

 

When Should You Be Concerned About A Spider Bite?

SpiderSpiders often get a bad reputation.  They are creepy, crawly creatures and we fear their bite.  They are often blamed for skin irritations but the fact is that 80% of presumed spider bites are actually due to some other insect bite or skin infection.  Most spider bites are harmless and done by accident.  However, there are spiders that can cause real harm (black widow, brown recluse).  Not only can the bite be painful but the spider’s venom can cause pain as well.  Non-venomous spider bite pain will typically last 5 minutes to an hour but a venomous spider bite can be painful for longer than 24 hours.

So when should you be concerned about a spider bite?

Seek medical attention if:

  • pain at the site of the spider bite lasts for longer than 24 hours
  • spreading redness around the site
  • puss draining from the bite site
  • increase in pain
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • discoloration around the site

In rare situations, spider bites can cause allergic reaction.  In this case, you should seek immediate medical attention.

If you are concerned about spiders in or around your home, call a professional exterminator to identify the problem and develop a customized plan to rid your home of spiders.

SOURCE

 

Ants Are Back!

AntAnts have been making their presence known in homes as of late.  Ants are one of the most common pests that homeowner’s and pest professionals find in and around homes.  Common ant species are fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.

Ants have a wide range of habits.  Some ants build mounds in the ground, others are found in homes near cracks and crevices, on counters, in kitchen sinks, pantries, and even bathrooms.  Knowing the different species of ants and their habits and preferences is key in controlling an ant problem.

Most ants are simply a nuisance pest.  They cause little damage but will invade and ruin food and some ants bite.  Generally speaking, there are no diseases associated with ants.

A licensed pest professional can identify the type of ant that you are experiencing and develop a customized plan to get rid of ants.  With this process, you are using the least amount of chemical possible (if any) while also coming up with a plan that will deter ants from returning.  If you are one of the many homeowner’s experiencing ants right now, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit www.callnorthwest.com

 

Getting Rid of Fire Ants Quickly

Fire ants are a common problem for homeowners in Atlanta and other southeastern cities.  They can be found in the yard and should be a concern for homeowners. Fire ants can be difficult to get rid of once they have moved onto your property and have built their colonies.  They are an aggressive species and will bite and sting if they feel that they, or their colony,  is being threatened.  A fire ant’s bite or sting can be painful and cause serious health risks to you, your family, and pets.  You and your family should be able to enjoy your yard freely without the concern of stumbling across a fire ant mound.

Because fire ants can be difficult to get rid of and carry a health risk, Northwest Exterminating recommends using a professional exterminating company to ensure the fire ant colonies are treated effectively.  Northwest Exterminating’s Fire Ant Control program reduces fire ant colonies within 24 to 72 hours.  Our treatment even targets the colonies located underground.  Other products used by companies take up to 30 days to control fire ants, require immediate irrigation to work, can be harmful to your family and pets, and may require over 80 pounds of product to be effective.

In the summer, you don’t have 30 days to spare to enjoy your yard!

Benefits of Northwest Exterminating’s Fire Ant Control Service:

  • We use Dupont’s AdvionTM, the fastest acting fire ant bait on the market.
  • The bait is ingested by the fire ant, controlling the colony within 24-72 hours.
  • Entire yard is treated to wipe out all colonies, even the ones underground.
  • Application is environmentally friendly to your family and pets.

 Have you had a run-in with a fire ant mound?