How Does Cold Weather Effect Your Lawn?

Can the cold temperatures damage your lawn?

frozen lawn

Winter weather can take a toll on your lawn.  Cold temperatures, snow, ice, and freezing rain (all of which we have experienced A LOT of recently) can damage lawns.  When these weather conditions sit on grass for extended periods of time it can damage, even kill, warmer season grasses.  Root damage is also a concern.

When ice forms on cooler season grasses it can make the blade brittle and easy to break.  It’s best to limit activity on cooler season grasses when there has been long periods of ice on the ground.

As spring approaches and your lawn starts to green you may notice blotchy areas due to winter kill. This is often in areas that took longer to thaw out due to lack of sunlight or a larger collection in one area of the lawn.

The best way to help restore your lawn after winter damages is to learn from past experiences because history tends to repeat itself.  If you had an area that collected more snow because it was in a low lying area then make sure to level out the area so you won’t have the same problem next time it happens.  Also, a healthy lawn is much more resilient.  Keeping a healthy lawn year around can improve it’s durability during the winter months.

To keep that lawn healthy all year, call Northwest Lawn Care for expert care!

 

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

Squirrel Control: How to Keep Squirrels Out

The Damage Squirrels Can Do and How To Keep Them Out of Your House

Squirrels are cute when they’re running around outside but are not so cute when they’ve entered your home.  Squirrels are difficult to control because of their ability to enter small and high spaces.  They are known to get into houses by using tree limbs and even power lines to squeeze their way into the smallest openings, chimneys, or vents.  Once squirrels are inside they can cause significant damage and contaminate your home.

Squirrels can cause considerable damage to your property.  Their gnawing can damage wires (leading to power outages and potential house fires), holes in the structure (allowing other pests/rodents entry into the home) and damage or contaminate insulation.  They can invade and damage items that you may have stored away, including storage boxes and their content.  Outside items like electrical boxes and phone cables can also become a victim of squirrel damage.

In addition to property damage, squirrels can contaminate your property.  Contamination from their fur, urine, and droppings can damage insulation, items in storage, electrical wiring, among other things.

Although squirrels are a threat all year, the cooler months, when they seek warmth and shelter, are a main concern.  Prevention is the key to squirrel control:

  • Locate and seal off any entry points 1/4″ or larger to prevent squirrels and other rodents from entering the home.
  • Caulk any openings or crevices that can be used as entry points.
  • Provide an exclusive barrier on roofline.
  • Set traps if you suspect you may have a squirrel, or other rodent, in your home.
  • To keep squirrels from using utility wires as a way to your attic, slit a 2-foot section of 2-inch PVC pipe lengthwise and slip it over the wire. This makes squirrels unable to maintain their footing when the pipe rotates.
  • Cut back tree limbs that are close to your structure.
  • Squirrel removal is not recommended for amateurs. Call Northwest Exterminating for squirrel removal.
 

Termite Fighting Tips from UGA

UGA recently released an article that gave helpful tips on how you can help your home to be less of a target to termites.  We all know that termites cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year.  Once you have a termite infestation, not only do you have to repair the damage but you must call on the help of a professional to get rid of them.   These simple steps are a great way to stay proactive so that termites don’t become an issue.

Tips such as keeping wood products away from the perimeter of your home, keeping water away from the foundation, sealing cracks and crevices in the structure, and working with your termite professional to prevent termites feeding on your home.

To read the full article with helpful tips from UGA entomologist, Brian Forschler, CLICK HERE.

For termite protection on your property, call Northwest!

 

Textbook Eaten by Termites

We recently acquired this book that had been destroyed by termites.  These things really had a hunger for knowledge!  hehe!  Ok, ok, we’ll stop.  This is a great example of how termites can cause significant damage.  Make sure that you have termite protection for your home.  You wouldn’t want any piece of your home looking like this textbook.  Call Northwest Exterminating 888.466.7849.

Termite Damage to Book

 

 

What’s Eating At Your House?

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

There’s been a lot of buzz (pun intended) on our blog about carpenter bees and termites.  It’s termite season so we always want to keep our readers aware of the potential risks and damage that termites can cause.  And carpenter bees are our Pest of the Month for the month of April.  Both of these wood-boring pests should be taken seriously due to the great amount of damage that they can cause.

Carpenter bees eat through soft woods where they make their nests and lay their eggs inside the tunnels.  This can cause damage to decks, eaves, porches, or even support beams in your home.  Luckily, they are rarely a threat to humans.  Males don’t have stingers but do tend to be aggressive toward other bees, animals, or humans that are near their nests.  The female carpenter bee has a stinger but rarely uses it.

 

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termites (March’s Pest of the Month) are working 24/7 to find food…and unfortunately for us, their food is typically the wood that was used to build our homes.  Without termite protection, your home could be at risk for severe damage.  Termites are responsible for more than $2 of damage to homes in the US each year.  Like carpenter bees, termites often leave a trail of wood that can serve as a tell-tale sign that they are there.

Whether you have carpenter bees or termites, you should contact a licensed pest professional.  Not only will they be able to correctly identify the insect but they will be able to develop a customized plan that is specific to your home and your situation.  By doing this, you are ensuring that the problem is diagnosed correctly, that the correct product, if any, is being used correctly and safely, and that proper steps are taken to ensure that the issue does not reoccur.  Northwest Exterminating and our highly trained pest professionals will be glad to come to your home and do a free inspection of your home.  Just give us a call at 888.466.7849 or visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

March’s Pest of the Month – Termites

Sub Termite-Swarmer-033Termites are very destructive and cause billions of dollars of damage to homes each year in the U.S.  That is why we are dedicating March’s Pest of the Month to TERMITES!

Habits

  • Operate under a caste system. There are workers, soldiers, and reproductives.
  • Live in colonies underground or in moist secluded areas.
  • Feed on items containing cellulose.
  • Swarm in the spring when reproductive termites go out to start new colonies.

Different Species

Threats

  • Cause severe damage to a structure by chewing away at the wood.
  • Responsible for more than $2 billion of damage to homes in the US each year.
  • Cause more damage in an average year than floods, fires, and tornadoes.
  • A termite colony may contain several hundred thousand individuals.

Prevention

  • Divert water away from the foundation of a structure.
  • Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and AC units on the outside of the home.
  • Properly ventilate areas of high humidity like crawl spaces, attics, and basements.
  • Keep mulch or ground cover at least 15 inches away from the foundation of a structure.
  • Sentricon Termite Elimination baiting systems may be placed around the perimeter of a structure.

Other Pests to Look Out For

If you think you may have termites, or other pests in your home, call the mouse at 888.466.7849 or visit us online at www.callnorthwest.com

 

Protecting Your Plants from the Cold

You spend a lot of time on your lawn and plants in the warm months.  You enjoy their beauty, their usefulness, and even their taste if you have vegetables in your garden.  So you want to make sure that your plants stay healthy in the cold temperatures of winter.  Rapidly changing temperatures, extreme temperatures, frost, and snow can damage your plants.

Here are some helpful tips to protect your plants from the cold:

  • Cover your plants with clear plastic.  A plastic covering protects plants from snow and frost.  Make sure that the plastic is a bit higher than the plant so the plastic doesn’t freeze to the plant.  Using clear allows you to see through the plastic and monitor your plants.
  • Cover plants with blankets.  An alternative to using clear plastic is using old blankets or sheets to cover your plants.  However, when using this method it is important to keep blankets dry.
  • Use hot caps on vegetables. Hot caps are recommended to protect tender vegetables from frost.  These can be purchased or you can make your own.  Visit http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Garden-Hot-Caps-from-Used-Milk-Jugs
  • Move plants to shelter.  If possible, move plants to a place that offers shelter and warmth from the elements.  This can be inside or even under a covered structure.
  • Use mulch.  Mulch acts as an insulator for plants during temperature swings.

For more information on lawn care, please visit our site at http://www.callnorthwest.com/lawn-care/

 

Increasing Wildlife, Increasing Spending?

Wildlife ControlAccording to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, wildlife damage to crops, landscaping and infrastructure now exceeds $28 billion a year.  The article addresses the benefits to the increase in wildlife but also the damage they can cause and the effect it has on our local economies.

This year, Princeton, N.J., has hired sharpshooters to cull 250 deer from the town’s herd of 550 over the winter. The cost: $58,700. Columbia, S.C., is spending $1 million to rid its drainage systems of beavers and their dams. The 2009 “miracle on the Hudson,” when US Airways flight 1549 had to make an emergency landing after its engines ingested Canada geese, saved 155 passengers and crew, but the $60 million A320 Airbus was a complete loss. In the U.S., the total cost of wildlife damage to crops, landscaping and infrastructure now exceeds $28 billion a year ($1.5 billion from deer-vehicle crashes alone), according to Michael Conover of Utah State University, who monitors conflicts between people and wildlife.

Click here to read the whole article.

For wildlife removal or exclusion needs in your home or business, call Northwest.  A Wildlife Control representative will inspect your property for evidence of wildlife and will determine the points of entry being used by these critters to get into your structure. A customized plan will be developed to get the immediate nuisance under control and to seal off any known points of entry.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204846304578090753716856728.html#

 

Formosan Termites found in Columbus, GA Home

A Columbus family recently had some unwelcome guests in the form of Formosan termites.  Out of over 2,000 species of termites, Formosan termites or “Super Termites” are the most aggressive.  They are native to Asia and often make their way into the US through shipped wood.  Formosan termites gather in large colonies and can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a home.  Once a home is infested with Formosan termites, they can be difficult to control.  That is why termite prevention is key!

In this particular case, a family member noticed “flying insects” and called Northwest Exterminating to identify the pests as Formosan termites.  Northwest President, Steve Phillips, personally went out with the team to inspect the home.  The termites were found swarming in several areas of the home.  We installed a termite baiting system, The Sentricon System with Always Active, an effective and environmentally friendly option to eliminate and prevent termites.  Always Active offers continuous property protection from the termite colony – not just the individual termite.

We strongly suggested that this customer’s neighbors have their homes inspected for termites as well.  If a neighbor has termites, or some other pest or rodent infestation, they can easily make their way over to your home.  That is why termite protection is so important…prevention is key!  Preventing termites from ever getting into your home will ensure that you don’t get a termite infestation.  Call us or visit us online for a FREE termite inspection

Watch Steve Phillips and some of the Northwest Exterminating team on Columbus’ WRBL News 3.

5:27 mark

 

Watch this at WRBL

 

“Holy Mole-y!” There’s a mole in the pool!

moleThere’s nothing like jumping in the pool on a hot summer day (well, a day that feels like summer anyways)!  So that is exactly what my family and I did on Saturday.  We went to my in-laws’ house and jumped right in the pool.  We had just begun to cool off and enjoy the water when we noticed we weren’t alone.  There was a mole in the pool!!!

The mole was quickly removed without incident and the fun continued but of course my mother-in-law had lots of questions about what it was doing in her yard, how did it get there, what is was looking for, and how does she get rid of them.  So mother in law…this is for you!

Moles are mammals that live underground and occasionally come to the surface.  Above ground, they breathe in oxygen and are able to re-use it to survive in low-oxygen environments such as underground burrows.  When they surface, they cause damage.  Mole damage is divided into two types: burrows and mounds.  Burrows occur when moles search for food near the surface, causing soil to be raised in ridges. Mounds are created when moles burrow deep or tunnel under solid objects such as tree roots or sidewalks and push the soil to the surface.

Mole's runway system

Moles’ bodies and front claws are ideal for digging.  Their hands are quite large for their bodies and include an extra thumb and multiple joints in other fingers.  There are situations where mole damage is mostly visual, but in other situations they can destroy root systems in your yard, eventually killing the grass.

Damage caused by moles:

  • Interference of mowing and planting
  • Create weed invasion
  • Damage plants
  • Damage drainage systems and watercourses

The best way to get rid of a mole is by trapping or baiting the runs.  The trick to mole extermination is to find the feeding tunnels vs. the travel tunnels.  A professional animal removal service provider can distinguish between the two and can humanely remove the moles from your yard.  Call Northwest Exterminating for mole removal.

What is the craziest thing you ever jumped in next to?