Organic Pest Control – Companion Planting

Ever wonder how gardens stayed plush and green without modern pest control techniques? Before exterminating companies existed, many planters relied on a method of organic pest control known as companion planting. Companion planting involves placing plants in your garden that have qualities that deter pests that surround and protect your other plants. For instance, planting certain herbs in your vegetable garden can attract beneficial insects while simultaneously repelling harmful ones.

One pest that likes to frequent gardens is the aphid, otherwise known as plant lice. These tiny insects suck the sap from the plant, taking all the nutrients to keep the plant healthy and living. Sometimes as they are feeding, aphids transmit plant viruses to plants such as potatoes and citrus plants, which can kill the plants. Planting chives, coriander or nasturtium around your plants will discourage infestations by these plants.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

Certain plants can keep larger pests out of your garden. For instance, planting lavender not only deter ticks, but also moths and mice. Mice also do not like the smell of daffodils, which can be used as a colorful boarder for an herb garden. Additionally, rabbits do not like the smell of onions, which can be planted alongside peas, beans, lettuce and cabbage. Lastly, sprinkling cayenne pepper on your plants can act as a deterrent for raccoons.

If companion planting still does not do the job of minimizing pest invasions, Northwest Exterminating offers pest control services that not only takes care of pest, but also does it in a green, environmentally friendly way! Northwest offers many services that will protect your plants, home and office environment. We offer more than pest elimination, but also healthier living and working environments. Check out our website for more info at www.callnorthwest.com

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://gardening.about.com/od/naturalorganiccontrol/a/Companion_2.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphid

http://www.naturalnews.com/035853_companion_planting_garden_vegetables.html

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

Why Do I Need an Inspection for Pest Control?

Why do I need an inspection before you treat my home for pests?

The short answer is because every situation is different.  A professional exterminating company will thoroughly inspect both the interior and exterior of a structure to determine the identity of a pest(s), the entry point(s), the severity of the issue, and a customized treatment plan that is suited for your home or business.  The customized plan will include the type of treatment to be done by a professional exterminator as well as recommendations for the home or business owner that will prevent the insects from returning.   By having a thorough inspection of your home, you can be assured that Northwest Exterminating isn’t just spraying your home without knowing the real reason why and will, in turn, reduce the chance of us having to return before your next scheduled visit.

While one treatment may eliminate current pest issues, we recommend ongoing service to prevent future pest problems. NorPest Green quarterly visits, once every three months, will ensure your home and family are protected from pests year round.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Termites, the hardest working bugs in the business?

If you think that you work hard, think again, you have nothing on THE TERMITE!  Termites are working hard, 24/7, to find food.  Unfortunately for us, their food is the very wood that we use to build homes.  Your home is your biggest asset and you shouldn’t compromise the structural integrity of your home by allowing termites to feed and cause damage.  Termites cause up to $5 billion in damage each year and their damage is typically not covered under homeowners’ insurance.  This can be an expensive out-of-pocket cost.

Termites show up around your home in early March and hang around until June.  A lot of termite damage can be done in this time.   It is best to have a professional exterminating company provide you with termite control that will get rid of termites that are in your home and prevent new termites from coming in.  Northwest Exterminating is one of the few termite control companies that offer warranties along with our termite treatments.  Retreatment & Repair warranties or a Lifetime Termite Warranty are both offered by Northwest Exterminating.  Our highly trained representatives will conduct a FREE termite inspection on your home and create a customized treatment plan that is best suited for the needs of you and your home.

Termite damage

Keep an eye out for signs that termites may be invading your home.  Look for rotting wood, mud tunnels, or shed wings on both the inside and outside of your home, paying close attention to doors and windowsills.  Ensure that there is no water gathering near the foundation of your home.  Not only will it serve as an invite to termites but other pests such as silverfish, mosquitoes, and many others.  Inspect all raw lumber or firewood before you bring it into your home for signs of termites.

For a FREE inspection of your home visit our website or call us at 888.466.7849.  Make sure that your home is protected from termites.

 

Do it Yourself Pest Control VS. Professional Pest Control

There is a whole market for people who like to do it yourself.  I am one of them.  I enjoy the occasional weekend project around the house like painting, fixing a leaky faucet, or changing out fixtures.  However, there are some do it yourself projects that are just not for me.  I don’t touch wires, I don’t clean high chandeliers, and I don’t clean out gutters (thank goodness Northwest Exterminating does).  Those are the tasks that I leave for the professionals.

In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs.  There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring an exterminator.  If you spot a single bug such as a fly, yellow jacket, or ant, there is usually no need for a professional pest control company to come to your home.  But if you spot a termite, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call an exterminator.

There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or hire a professional:

  • Expense

o   DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.

o   Professional – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem.  Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive.  Not to mention the potential damage to your home that pests can cause.

  • Convenience

o   DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.

o   Professional – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and your exterminator to meet at your home for a treatment.  More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer.  However, a good exterminator will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.

  • Knowledge

o   DIY – The instructions are on the label.  Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect.  Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.

o   Professional – An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.

  • Risk

o   DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk.  Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area.  This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label. 

o   Professionals – By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner.  Be sure to read all contracts and get reviews from past customers before hiring a pest control company.

  • Effectiveness

o   DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective.  For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products.  Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time. 

o   Professionals – A reliable pest control company will have up to date information and products to treat your infestation. 

  • Warranties

o   DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product.  Check your local store return policies before purchasing.

o   Professionals – Always ask about a company’s policies before hiring them to treat your home.  Will they return to your home for no charge if your issue is not solved? Do they offer warranties on their work?  A good exterminating company will.

When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above.  For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive.  For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call a professional exterminator.  As always, the key to pest control is prevention. For pest prevention tips visit this blog.

If you have a pest or termite issue in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating. 

What kind of do-it-yourself projects do you enjoy?

Have you ever tried to do-it-yourself and had to call in the professionals?

 

 

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/