Top Ten Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

One of the questions that our representatives get asked the most is “How To Keep Pests Out of The Home“.  We regularly offer tips to readers on how they can keep pests out but here is a list of the Top 10 Ways to keep pests out of your home.

Top Ten Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

  1. Go around the exterior of your home and seal up any areas where insects could enter your home.  Check around windows, doors, plumbing entrances, fan vents, and electrical entrances.  If your home has window screens make sure they are intact and if areas are torn or damaged replace them.
  2. Make sure to trim all hedges, trees, and other landscaping back away from the home.  Creating at least a one foot barrier will keep insects from using easy methods to enter or get close to your home.
  3. Always remember that insects are living creatures just like humans and they need food, water, and shelter.  Inspect the perimeter of your home, as well as the interior, and pay close attention to areas that could potentially provide all three of these needed resources.
  4. All food and beverages should always remain covered or sealed in air tight containers.  Following this simple step will eliminate the risk of insects being attracted to your home.  If you have fruit out in your kitchen make sure you eat it before it over ripens or store it in your refrigerator.  If food or drinks are dropped or spilled make sure that they are cleaned up immediately.
  5. Routinely empty all the trash and place it outside in garbage cans with tight fitting lids.  All trash cans inside the home should also have lids.
  6. Make sure to keep all pet food sealed in air tight containers.
  7. Remove extra clutter from your home.  Get rid of items that are old and damaged and find a great charity to donate the rest.
  8. Keep all doors and windows closed while not in use.
  9. Make sure to change all your exterior lighting to low sodium vapor light bulbs.  Most insects are attracted to light but they are less attracted to low sodium vapor lighting.  Also make sure to point your security lighting away from your home and not directly on it.
  10. Don’t Bring Them In!  Be careful whenever you travel, move, or bring home the groceries that you check everything before bringing it into your home.  Especially as it gets colder make sure to check and clean all your firewood before you bring it in your home.

So there you have it.  Northwest Exterminating‘s Top 10 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home.  For more information, visit our website at callnorthwest.com.  If pests still find there way into your home, call one of our professional exterminators to help you identify the source of your issue and get rid of the problem.

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

How to Prevent Millipedes from Getting into Your Home

MillipedesDid you know that a millipede isn’t an insect at all?!  They are arthropods that feed on dead and decaying plant matter.  Millipedes overwinter in homes which means they enter when the temperatures drop and come out when the temperatures rise.  This is why you see millipedes around your home in warmer months…they’ve been there; they’ve just been “resting”.  Well, they’re not always “resting”, sometimes they are mating which can be a pain because they can lay up to 300 eggs at a time.  This is usually when you discover a millipede infestation.  In the right situation, a millipede can live 5-7 years.

The best way to keep millipedes out of your house is to stop them from getting in.

Prevention Tips for millipedes:

  • Seal any cracks and/or crevices in the foundation, around wiring, and plumbing where millipedes, or other pests, could enter.
  • Millipedes require high humidity.  Use dehumidifiers to keep the air dry or use fans in rooms that done have good air flow.
  • Repair any leaks.  Leaky faucets or pipes can attract millipedes.
  • Clean out and remove debris from gutters.  Gutter build up can cause water from draining correctly.
  • Keep your yard clean by removing dead plant matter.  Remove piled up mulch or woodpiles that store moisture and attract millipedes.

Call Northwest Exterminating if you are having a millipede problem.

For more information on millipedes visit out Identify your Pest section.

 

How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs on Spring Break

It is Spring Break time here in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.  It’s a time that parents and kids both look forward to.  A lot of people will be going out of town this spring break and staying in hotels.  I’m sure you’ve seen media reports of bed bug outbreaks across the US.  Hotels are being hit pretty hard with bed bug infestations and it is something that travelers need to be aware of.  The truth is that you are more than likely not going to experience bed bugs in your hotel room or home but it is always best to be educated and aware!

Many wonder why the number of outbreaks has risen in recent years, it is suspected that increase in travel, less effective household pesticides, resistance to pesticides and lack of awareness are among the main reasons.  The key to avoiding bed bugs is early detection.  Make sure you are checking mattresses and other upholstery items when traveling.  Know that bed bugs are not a sign of a sanitation issue with the hotel; they are often brought in by other guests.

Bed Bugs on a mattress cover

What to Look For:

  • Brown or chestnut in color
  • Size of a pencil eraser
  • Eggs are several millimeters and clear to whitish in appearance
  • Droppings and dead skin of bed bugs

How to Search Hotel Rooms for Bed Bugs:

  • Simply call the hotel.  They may not always be forthcoming in their answer but it’s worth a shot.  A lot of hotels will be honest and tell you if they have or haven’t had experiences with bed bugs.
  • Check The Bedbug Registry.  This free data base is a place where bed bug sightings are reported.
  • Pack clothes and shoes in air tight bags in your suitcase.  Keep your items packed away in Ziploc bags inside of your suitcase to protect them from bed bugs.
  • Inspect the bed.  Pull back the sheets and check the mattress, concentrating heavily on the mattress seams, for droppings or skin that has been shed.  Also check the headboard, footboard, sheets, comforter, and pillows for signs of bed bugs.
  • Use the luggage rack.  Do not put your luggage on the bed or on the floor.  Hotels usually provide a luggage rack, if not; place the luggage on a tile floor where it is easier to see bed bugs moving if they are present.
  • Bites on body.  Bed bug bites are not dangerous but do cause allergic reaction.  Bed bugs often bite in a straight line on the body.  You can tell the difference between mosquito and other common pest bites and bed bug bites by the area on your body you have been bitten.  Mosquitoes mainly bite on the arms, legs or other body parts that are left uncovered.  Bed bug bites can be found throughout the body.

The thought of bed bugs and their bites are unnerving to say the least.  However, you may find comfort in knowing that bed bug bites are not dangerous because they do not carry human diseases.  All of that being said, you want to be sure that you do not carry these pests home with you from vacation.  Bed bugs are not only difficult to treat but can be an expensive treatment.

Tips for returning home:

  • Keep luggage in the garage or outside until you can unload your suitcase fully.
  • Wash and dry everything on the hot cycle immediately.  The hot temperatures will kill any bed bugs that may have made the trip with you.
  • Vacuum out suitcase once emptied.
  • Take precautionary measures with your own furniture.  Get a bed bug proof mattress case for your mattress and add traps on the legs of your bed.
  • Inspect frequently.

At the end of the day, we want you to have the best time on your spring break or other vacation.  We just want to make sure that you are not bringing home anything that wasn’t supposed to come home with you.  As we said earlier, the key is to be educated and aware.

If you have more questions on bed bugs or think that your home may have bed bugs, call Northwest Exterminating.  We have a dedicated team of experts that specialize in bed bug treatment.

Other Additional Links:

http://www.callnorthwest.com/pest-control/bed-bug-control/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/07/dorm-rooms-and-bed-bugs/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/bed-bugs/

http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/02/npma-releases-bed-bug-best-management-practices-for-pest-professionals/

 

 

How Do Ladybugs Get in My Home?

Ladybugs are making their way into homes for the winter instead of finding a home outside.  Ladybugs are attracted to the heat that the homes reflect and often prefer older homes and light colored homes.  Once these cute little bugs make their way into your home they can be difficult to get rid of.  One of the reasons they are difficult to get rid of are because they release a pheromone that attracts other ladybugs into your home.  This pheromone can be detected up to 1/4 mile away and is a way of communication to let other ladybugs know where make their home for the winter.

Removing the pheromones from your home can be almost impossible considering that they remain long after the ladybugs are gone.  So the key to keeping ladybugs out of your home is prevention.  To prevent ladybugs from getting into your home is to ensure that all cracks around windows, doors, pipes and vents.  Also, make sure you have a good pest control company that you can depend on.

Ladybugs are cute but do you want them in your home?