Granddaddy Long Legs Aren’t Spiders

It may be one of the most easily identifiable pests but it’s also commonly misrepresented.  Granddaddylonglegs, or daddylonglegs, are often thought to be spiders but are actually harvestmen.  Harvestmen get their name because that is when they are usually seen…during harvest time.  There are about 150 species of daddylonglegs in North America.

When you spot a granddaddylongleg, with its long and thin legs, it is not hard to see where the “longlegs” part of their name comes from.  They use their infamous legs to catch insects, spiders, and plants that they feed on.  They are found around structures of homes and buildings, and tree trunks, presumably looking for food.  Inside of a structure they are typically found in garages, basements, crawlspaces, or other damp areas of the home.  You won’t usually find them in the common living areas.

Another common misconception about daddylonglegs is that they are poisonous or venomous…neither of which are true.  They are not harmful to humans or animals, they won’t even bite.

How to Get Rid of Daddy Long Legs
  • Keep pests out.  By keeping pests out of your home granddaddylonglegs won’t venture in looking to feed on these small pests.  *Maintaining your pest control service with a professional exterminating company will keep bugs out of your home.
  • Vacuum.  Vacuuming is the easiest way to remove any daddylonglegs that you find in your home.  Vacuuming also helps to remove food sources from your carpets and furniture.
  • Keep house dry.  Like most insects, daddylonglegs like moisture.  Fix leaky faucets and pipes, use dehumidifiers, and dry any standing water.
  • Sticky Traps.  Sticky traps are a great way to catch harvestmen and other insects.  Place traps in areas of the home where you have seen pests.  Check regularly to see if any pests have been trapped on the board.

Did you know that granddaddy long legs weren’t spiders?

Call Northwest Exterminating to get rid of grand daddy long legs or other pests in your home or business.

 

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

Flea Prevention & Facts

How can something as small as a flea be such a huge pain?  Pet owners are all too familiar with the annoyance of fleas because they make us AND our pets miserable.  Fleas attach themselves to warm-blooded animals (pets and humans) and feed on their blood.  A flea bite can cause discomfort, painful, itchy red bumps and can lead to an allergic reaction.  In some cases, they can even transmit diseases like the bubonic plague, murine typhus and transfer tapeworms in pets.

To prevent fleas from becoming a pest in your home, clean and vacuum frequently.  A clean home is a healthy home and will aid in the prevention of other pests as well.  Cleaning will help to remove any fleas and their eggs.  Maintaining a clean yard is just as important, especially if you have pets that go outside often.  A well kept lawn with no debris or pet droppings will reduce the flea population around your home.  Bathe pets regularly and apply a flea and tick treatment.  Most importantly, call a professional exterminator if you have fleas in your home.  A flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of and is best left to the professionals so the problem does not continue to grow.

Interesting Flea Facts:

  • The largest recorded flea measured almost ½ inch!
  • Fleas consume 15 times their weight in blood each day. That is like a 140 lb. woman eating 8,400 burgers in one day!
  • Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in cats and dogs.
  • Fleas can live for about 100 days.
  • Fleas don’t fly, they jump.
  • A pair of fleas can produce 400-500 offspring in their lifetime.
  • A flea can jump up to 8 inches high or 150 times its own height.

Got a flea problem?  Call Northwest Exterminating for professional, effective flea control.

 

Mound Ants & Their Mounds

The allegheny mound ant is a common ant found outdoors.   They feed on small insects or arthropods that are found outside so they rarely have a need to make their way into a structure…but that doesn’t mean you will never find them inside.

Identification:

  • 1/4″ long
  • red bodies and black abdomen
  • most often identified by the large mound that they build

The Mound:

The allegheny mound ant is known for the large mounds that they build.  This is the easiest way to identify the species.  Their mounds are made up of built up soil that can go up to 4 feet above soil and extend 3 feet deep into the ground.  A 5 month old mound can be about 2 feet wide and 8 inches tall.  A two year old mound can be up to 3 feet tall.  These large mounds are mostly found in unkept grassy areas, pastures, nurseries, and turf.

Allegheny mound ants produce formic acid that can damage bushes, plants, and gardens.  Formic acid can kill small trees and shrubs within 40-50 feet of a mound and the grass of your lawn that is located around a mound.  Most new mounds are made in late May and early June.  This can cause issues if you spend time in your lawn because the mound ants will bite if they feel like their colony is being disturbed.

Protect yourself and your lawn by hiring a professional exterminator that can eliminate ants around your home and prevent damage and harmful bites.  Call Northwest Exterminating to get rid of your ant problems.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: How Do I know If I’m Allergic to Mosquitoes and What To Do If I Am?

Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.

How do I know if I, or my child, has an allergy to mosquitoes?

Usually people who ask this question already suspect they have an allergy to mosquito bites.  When they get bitten they get large swollen bumps that are red, itchy and painful.  These bumps tend to last longer than mosquito bites for other people and they cause more discomfort.  The reaction may not be classified as a true “allergy” but the problem is a larger release of histamine and other immunoglobulins that cause inflammation.

These people have a more severe reaction to the proteins that mosquitoes inject into the bite to keep the blood from clotting. The reaction is usually a large red whelp that itches, swells and is very uncomfortable. Although these bites are very irritating, it is rare to have a serious allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. Life threatening reactions would include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fainting or swelling all over.

If you or your child has a more severe reaction to mosquito bites than others, you may have what is known as the “Skeeter Syndrome.”  People that have the “Skeeter Syndrome” have more severe reactions and will have larger, itchier and more painful bumps associated with the bites.  The bites can also cause blisters and be associated with infections if the bites are scratched until they are open and bleeding.  True mosquito allergies can be diagnosed with allergy testing.

What to do if you are allergic?

The first thing to do is to avoid the mosquito bites in the first place. Have Northwest Exterminating, or your local exterminator, provide your home with a mosquito treatment.  Also, cover your body when you go out and use an insect repellent, such as DEET.

If you do get bitten, you can use an anti-histamine like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for the itching.  You can take the anti-histamine by mouth or use preparations that can be placed topically on the bite.  Anti-inflammatory creams like hydrocortisone may also be used. If the bite is scratched open, you will want to wash it daily and apply an antibiotic ointment to keep them from being infected.

If you have severe allergic symptoms like respiratory distress, swelling of the body, face, mouth or throat you will need to go directly to the emergency department.

Thanks,
Dr. Goo

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a question for Dr. Goo?  Click HERE to submit your question.

 

Sand Gnats in Savannah

We’re all aware of the annoyance and health concerns that come along with mosquitoes. But there is a similar bug that can be just as annoying to those residents living in areas where sand is found, the sand gnat. The sand gnat (also known as sand fly or no see um) flies, bites, and sucks blood just like the mosquito. Sand gnats leave behind red, itchy bumps on the skin after they have fed off of your blood. It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense and last for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite. Like mosquito bites, these bumps can become infected or cause a rash.

Sand Gnat

Sand gnats are a major concern to our customers living in Savannah and the surrounding areas. By being proactive, you can ensure that mosquitoes and sand gnats don’t invade your yard. Our Savannah service center offers a Green Mosquito & Sand Gnat Program to reduce the annoyance of these pests while still using the lowest environmental impact possible. To ensure that our mosquito control program is effective and environmentally friendly, we use products that are derived from flowers and bacteria.

For pest, mosquitoes, and sand gnat control in Savannah, call Northwest Exterminating. Visit us online for more information at www.callnorthwest.com.

Did you know: Sand gnats are so notorious in Savannah that the city has a minor league baseball team named after them, the Savannah Sand Gnats.

 

What are the tiny red bugs crawling around my windows?

What are the tiny red bugs crawling around my windows?

This is a common question that we get in early spring and late fall.  Clover mites are found in warm, sunny places which is why you usually see them around your windows and crawling on your curtains.  Clover mites are smaller than the tip of a pencil which allows them to fit into the smallest cracks and crevices around a structure.  They are oval shaped with 8 legs.  Their 2 front legs are longer than the rest and protrude forward which can be confused with antennae.

Clover mites can be alarming to homeowners because they gather in large numbers but there is no need for alarm.  Clover mites do not bite or carry diseases, however they can cause skin irritation to some with sensitive skin.  (These are not to be confused with chiggers which look similar but get into the skin and itch.)  They do not damage furniture or pursue your food.  Clover mite eggs lay dormant in the summer months and hatch in temperatures of 85 F or below.  They are attracted to warm, sunny places which leads them to the windows in your home.  Clover mites are often identified by the red stain they leave once they have been squashed.  The red substance is the pigment in their color, not their blood.  Grass and clovers are their main source of food.

There are simple ways to get rid of clover mites in your home.  The best way is to vacuum them up.  As with any vacuumed pest, make sure that you dispose of the bag immediately in an outdoor trash can.  Disposing of the bag is always recommended but is especially an issue when it comes to clover mites because they are so small and can escape from the bag into your home.  Another way to get rid of clover mites is to place sticky traps around your windows.  As always, prevention is your best option. Clover mites feed on fertilized lawns, so if you are seeing an infestation cut back on the fertilizer.  Remove grass that has direct contact to your structure.  Instead, use soil, gravel, or mulch because clover mites have difficulty moving on bare, loose terrains.  Make sure all window screens are tight fitting.  Seal any cracks around the outside of the structure and use weather stripping on entrance areas.

If you are having a consistent problem with clover mites or other pests, it’s best to call Northwest Exterminating.  We will ensure that your issue is identified and a customized plan is created for treatment of clover mites.

Are these small red bugs showing up in your home?

 

Bugs and Your Health

MosquitoesThe early spring has brought pests out in full force and we suspect that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.  Not only are bugs annoying but they’re a health concern as well.

  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, dog heartworm – mosquitoes
  • Lyme disease – ticks
  • Rabies – rodents
  • Allergies & Asthma – cockroaches
  • Food Contamination – cockroaches, mice/rats
  • Salmonella – cockroaches, house flies
  • Skin irritation and rashes – lice, fleas, bed bugs, mites
  • Venomous bites & stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – black widow, brown recluse, scorpion, snakes
  • Painful stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps

Pests can carry diseases and cause areas to be unsanitary.  These are issues of concern for both homes and businesses.  Even the cleanest homes can have bug problems in an environment like this.  Carpenter bees, mosquitoes, ants, yellow jackets, silverfish, and other pests have recently been invading properties.  If you’re in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating.  Our NorPest Green program was developed exclusively by Northwest Exterminating to get rid of pests using the lowest environmental impact possible.  A Northwest representative will develop a customized plan to target those pests while maintaining the health of your home.

We are strategically placed throughout Georgia and Tennessee to service all areas of Georgia as well as parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina.  Visit us online or call 888.466.7849 to find the location nearest you.

 

 

Spring Fever and Spring Pests

Spring is here and so are the pests.  We’ve talked a lot about the unusually warm weather leading to higher numbers of pest sightings and our Ask the Mouse section on our website has been a great place for readers to ask questions about pests they are seeing.  Mosquitoes, bed bugs, and carpenter bees are among some of the common household pests that are being seen this spring.  Take a look below at some of our most common recent questions.

Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

MosquitoesMosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and can sense it from up to 30 yards away. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what it is that makes some people more attractive than others. Research has indicated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath, pregnancy, body temperature, alcohol and odorant markers based on blood type are the top attractants. Pregnant women are preferable because they exhale more carbon dioxide and tend to run a little warmer than the average person. It is also thought that alcohol increases body heat making a person more appealing. So be careful who you hang around at the next cook out.

My son’s coming home from college. What do I need to do to make sure he doesn’t bring home bed bugs?

bed bugBed bugs are evasive and hard to detect. When your son brings home his clothes, make sure to leave them outside, in a detached building or in the garage. Immediately place the dirty clothes in the washing machine and dry them on high for at least 10 minutes. It is best to keep the luggage out of the house if possible. If you don’t have that option you can place the luggage in black plastic bags and leave them outside in the sun on a hot day. You can also do this with furniture. Bed bugs won’t tolerate temperatures greater than 120 degrees. Since bed bugs are tiny and can get into the smallest cracks, it is best to have a professional to inspect furniture and other items before you bring them into your house.

I found sawdust on my back porch. Does that mean I have termites?

Termites eat the cellulose part of the wood and don’t leave behind sawdust. Chances are you have a different pest, one of the most common is the carpenter bees. Carpenter bees get their name because they excavate clean round entrance holes, close to ½ inch wide, into soft wood such as pine, cedar, cypress and fir. The prefer to attack structural timbers and other wood products such as fascia boards, porch ceilings, decks, railings, siding, shutters, firewood, and other weathered wood.  They tend to avoid wood that is well painted or covered in bark. They do not eat the wood therefore they leave behind the sawdust. They bore into wood to make galleries for nesting. If left untreated, they can cause extensive damage.

What other questions do you have for Northwest Exterminating’s Ask The Mouse section?

Have you seen mosquitoes, bed bugs, carpenter bees, or other pests in or around your home?

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: Mosquitoes

Disclaimer:  The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice.

Spring brings with it flowers, pollen, birds and bees! But it also brings pests that are returning from their winter break.  For many of us, mosquitoes are a real problem that keeps us from enjoying the outdoors.  But more importantly, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.  They can also cause heartworm in dogs.  *Click here for a brief outline on these diseases*  These diseases are very serious but fortunately, rarely directly related to mosquitoes.

In General

In general, the problem with mosquito bites is due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva and the problems associated with swelling and scratching of the mosquito bite.  When a mosquito bites you they inject saliva which helps keep the blood from clotting. The saliva causes an inflammatory reaction which causes the itching and swelling associated with the bite. Most people just get a big irritating lump on the skin which if they scratch becomes more swollen and lasts longer.  But some people actually have an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva and can become very ill.

For the itching and swelling, anti-histamines are recommended.  Diphenhydramine (commonly known as Benadryl – TM) can be used orally or applied in creams or lotions combined with calamine. Anti-inflammatory steroid creams may help too – creams like 1% hydrocortisone.

Interesting Fact: Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood to obtain protein for their eggs; male mosquitoes suck nectar.

Impetigo

Even if you don’t get sick from the mosquito, many people scratch their bites until they bleed. When the skin is open it is susceptible to secondary infection. Children and adults can get a skin infection called impetigo which is a superficial skin infection caused by bacteria called staph and strep.  Impetigo causes open sores and crusting (honey colored) and swelling in the areas. Impetigo is usually worse in the summer when children are out playing in the dirt, getting bitten by mosquitoes, and then getting those sores infected. Excellent hygiene (SOAP and WATER) can prevent most impetigo and cure mild cases.  Over the counter antibiotic ointments (like Bacitracin) can help too as well as prescription ointments like mupurocin. There may be enlarged glands in the area, fever, and a spreading rash. Usually more severe impetigo needs an oral antibiotic so contact your doctor if you think you have impetigo and need medicine for it.

Heartworm

Man’s best friend can be affected with heartworms which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. So protect your entire family against these pests.

Prevention

The best prevention is to eliminate mosquitoes from your environment. Since this is virtually impossible to do completely, several strategies should be employed:

  • Be sure to get rid of any standing water around your home to avoid breeding areas for the mosquitoes. Old tires are notorious for having water inside of them so be sure to get rid of any tires in or around the yard.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating.  Their Green Mosquito Control Program is a 7 month program which sprays the shrubs, bushes and plants where mosquitoes and ticks like to hide.  This will greatly reduce the mosquito and tick population in your yard and will act as a barrier and repellent for any stray mosquitoes that fly into the area.
  • By wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, hats and socks you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites.
  • Also, use of insect repellents is a good idea. There are many products on the market; but the most popular is DEET.  DEET contains repellents and comes in many different forms and concentrations.
  • Screened in porches, mosquito netting and other barriers are helpful too.

Give your family the best protection against mosquitoes by calling Northwest Exterminating for their Green Mosquito Control Program.  Be sure to ask for your FREE inspection!

Thanks,

Dr. Goo