The 411 on BedBugs

Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite: The 411 on BedBugs

It’s not just a nursery rhyme anymore, it’s a way of life.  Bedbugs are a real concern for people, especially those that travel, but those that stay close to home aren’t exempt from the threat of bedbugs.  Luckily, bedbugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard.  Although not a health risk, it is imperative that you call a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like?

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with 6 legs.  Like mosquitoes, bedbugs feed on the blood of animals and humans.  They are brown in color and turn a reddish brown after a feeding.  Read more on how to ID a bedbug HERE.

Where Do Bedbugs Come From?

Bedbugs are great hitchhikers.  They can catch a ride on luggage, purses, clothing, pets, boxes, and other belongings that are taken from place to place.  That is why bedbugs are often found in hotels, apartments, dorm rooms, places where people often come and go.  Bedbugs are a world-wide issue.  At one time, they were most common in developing countries but due to increased international travel, they are an issue in the US and other developed countries.

What Do Bedbugs Eat?

As stated earlier, bed bugs feed on blood from humans and animals.  They typically feed at night.  After they feed, they become engorged and fall off of their host.  It only takes them about 3 minutes to complete their meal.  They can go weeks without feeding.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Feel Like?

Bedbugs inject a numbing agent in the body when feeding.  In most cases, you won’t know if you are being bitten by a bedbug.

What Does a Bedbug Bite Look Like?

Bedbugs bites are itchy, red bumps, usually left in a straight line, on the skin.  Bites are usually found on the upper body.

How to Treat A Bedbug Infestation?

It’s simple.  Hire a licensed pest professional if you think you have a bedbug infestation.  They can be very difficult to treat.  In the mean time, inspect all mattresses and bedding, especially when traveling.  Avoid putting your luggage on the floor or bed, instead use a luggage rack.  When returning home, wash and dry clothing on the highest heat level.  Make sure to check the cracks and crevices of any luggage before storing.

 

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

The Dreaded Hitchhikers…The Bed Bugs

When traveling this holiday season, be careful not to pick up the dreaded hitchhikers…bed bugs.

Bed bugs can be found in homes, hotels, trains, buses, anywhere that people are traveling.  Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that make their home in the seams of mattresses, cushions, pillows, and other linens.  They spread from place to place by getting into purses, suitcases, or other belongings that people are traveling with.

There are ways to protect yourself from bed bugs:

bed bug

(See bed bug ID)

Do not put any furniture on the floor, instead use luggage racks or the bathroom.  It’s important to check mattress seams when you arrive at a home or hotel.  You can do this easily by pulling back the sheets and mattress pad and checking along the seams for bed bug casings.  Bed bugs are small, flat, and a reddish-brown color.  Since they are nocturnal, you may not see actual bed bugs but you can see the casings or the rusty colored spots that they leave behind.  If you do find signs of bed bugs, immediately notify the hotel or the homeowner so that different sleeping arrangements can be made.

Whether you’ve seen bed bugs or not, when returning home, make sure to inspect your luggage before bringing it into your home.  You can do this by checking the seams of the bags and by placing all of your clothes and luggage in the dryer on the hottest setting.  This will kill any bugs that may have found their way home with you.

Bed bug infestations can be difficult to treat.  It is highly recommended that a trained professional who specializes in bed bugs perform bed bug removal treatments.

 

 

Proper Pest Treatment Starts with Inspection

Installing Sentricon

One of the keys to properly treating your home for bugs and other pests is to have a thorough inspection by a professional and knowledgeable pest inspector.  Many pest species are often mistaken for other pests.  A knowledgeable technician is able to properly identify your current pest infestation and create a detailed plan on how to get rid of the pests and how to keep them from returning.

Proper identification ensures that your property receives the appropriate plan related to treatment solutions and areas to be treated.  If you aren’t certain of what pest you are targeting then you may be using unnecessary chemicals in or around your home or business and may still be left with an infestation.

A professional pest control technician can also identify areas of concern that will help to solve your current problem as well as any future issues that you may have.  A detailed action plan will provide you with preventive pest control protection.

If you’re looking for a professional pest control company in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, or South Carolina call Northwest Exterminating! 888.466.7849 or callnorthwest.com

 

 

Preventing Overwintering Pests

HSEFLY~2_smConditions will soon be right for overwintering pests to seek comfort and shelter in homes and buildings.  Overwintering pests are those pests that seek a warm place to live in the colder months.  You want to avoid your home being that place!

As we’ve said many times before on this blog…prevention is key.  It is much easier to prevent bugs from entering than to get rid of them once they are present.

Prevention Tips:

  • Seal or caulk all cracks and crevices around foundation, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
  • Use tight fitting insect screens on foundations and attic vents.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out. Pests feed and make homes out of the built up debris.
  • Keep a clean home. Vacuum, sweep, mop, and clean up spills that will attract pests to your home.
  • Clean up yard by raking, keeping grass cut, and picking up debris in the yard.
  • Get regularly scheduled pest control. Regular scheduled pest control will prevent bugs from coming in and will make it easier to control any pest problems that arise.

Common household pests that overwinter:

Along with winterizing your home from pests, call Northwest Exterminating to help provide treatments that will reduce the number of pests this fall, winter, and even into spring.

 

September Pest of the Month: Stink Bugs

kudzu bug stink bug

Brief description:

The stink bug gets its name from its ability to release an odor when they are disturbed or crushed.  Stink bugs have a triangular or shield shape.

Habits:

  • Enter homes and other structures in the winter for shelter and emerge from their hiding spaces in early spring.
  • Mostly feed on plants and crops.
  • Some species feed off of other pests such as caterpillars and other crop damaging pests.  This species of stink bug is used as a natural pest control for crops.
  • When disturbed, they release a foul smelling fluid from their pores to protect themselves from predators.

Different species:

Threats:

  • Can damage plants and crops.
  • Invade homes in large numbers.

Prevention:

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the structure of your home so they cannot enter.
  • Do not shine outside lights directly onto your home…this will attract stink bugs to your home.
  • Use a vacuum to get rid of stink bugs.  Empty contents of vacuum into a tightly sealed trash bag and dispose of immediately.  Do NOT crush!  Crushing will cause them to emit their infamous odor.
  • Because of their ability to invade en masse, contact Northwest Exterminating if a stink bug infestation happens in your home or business.

Other pests to look out for:

 

Keeping Mosquitoes Away!

Northwest Exterminating representative, Courtesy of AJC

Northwest Exterminating representative, Courtesy of AJC

Need tips on how to keep mosquitoes away?

  • Remove standing water from your yard.  These areas serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Keep screens on windows and doors to keep them out of your home.
  • Use an insect repellant.  DEET is highly recommended.  Be sure to read the label and reapply as necessary.
  • Cover up.  We know it’s hot but items like hats, long sleeve shirts, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet will help keep the mosquitoes from biting.
  • Wear light colors.  Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so keep it light and bright to keep them away.
  • Stay still.  Movement produces a change in waves of light and acts as a signal to mosquitoes.  Carbon dioxide is also an attractant, so the more you move, the harder you breathe and the more you attract mosquitoes.
  • Plants.  Certain strong smelling plants help keep mosquitoes away.  Citronella, marigolds, and lemongrass are some of the plants you can use outdoors, while rosemary and basil are said to be helpful inside.
  • Home remedies.  There is no shortage of DIY remedies online.  Some of these can be useful for short term effectiveness.
  • Professional pest management.  A trained pest control technician can inspect your property to identify what is attracting the mosquito infestation.  The technician can then treat your property in an earth friendly and effective manner.  They can also provide you with a plan to keep mosquitoes away.

These are just a few tips on keeping mosquitoes away.  Mosquitoes are known carriers of diseases like West Nile virus, encephalitis, and heartworms in dogs.  Make sure that you are protecting yourself and your loved ones.  For more information, visit our blog or call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849.

Why Do Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?

 

 

Protecting Your Dog and Home from the Brown Dog Tick

Each warm season brings questions from homeowners and pet owners regarding ticks.  We worry about our furry family members and ourselves if we plan on spending time outdoors, especially in or around wooded areas.

The brown dog tick is one species of tick that should be cause for concern, especially for those who have dogs.  Although they feed on a wide variety of mammals, dogs are their preferred host.  These ticks are unique in that they can complete an entire life cycle indoors.  They feed on the host for about a week before dropping off and laying their eggs…up to 5,000 eggs!!  After she’s done laying her eggs, she dies.  The full life cycle of a brown dog tick lasts just over two months and generally are long living creatures.

Tick Life Cycle - Source

Tick Life Cycle – Source

A brown dog tick infestation can develop in high quantities and very quickly.  Oftentimes, ticks go unnoticed on dogs until the ticks are spotted throughout the home.

To protect your home and your dog from brown tick infestation, here are some brown dog tick control tips:

  • Good house and lawn maintenance goes a long way in keeping ticks and other pests from getting into your home.
  • Take trash out of your home on a regular basis and put in a tightly sealed container outside of your home.  Make sure this container is emptied regularly.
  • Regularly schedule pest control will help to keep ticks and other pests away from your home.
  • Treat your animals, dogs especially, with a tick treatment.   Your veterinarian is a good source of information on the best products for your dog.
  • Regularly check your dogs for ticks and other pests like fleas.
  • Use DEET or other insect repellant when going outdoors.

For more detailed information on the brown dog tick, visit http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/brown_dog_tick.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Vannest Featured in Pest Management Professional Magazine

AdamDirector of Pest Services at Northwest Exterminating, Adam Vannest, was recently featured in Pest Management Professional magazine.  Adam answered some Q and A’s regarding fleas and ticks and also gave some Do’s and Don’ts for when dealing with these pesky pests.

Read below to get the full story:

Adam Vannest, director of pest services for the Atlanta area’s Northwest Exterminating, has faced plenty of hard-to-solve flea and tick problems. He recently shared tales of some memorable infestations — and his team’s solutions — with Pest Management Professional.

Q: What’s the largest flea and tick infestation you’ve faced, and how did you conquer the pests?
Vannest: One of the largest was in a rural subdivision that backed up into a large wooded area. The customer reported dealing with an intense flea problem and said she’d also noticed multiple ticks on the family dog. Seeing ticks on her children was this customer’s threshold point.

While inspecting the outside we noticed a lot of the areas around the home were overgrown. There were tall weeds and grass up against the house and woodpiles around the exterior. We started looking at the ticks’ harborage sites to figure out why they would be attracted to the location. It was a three-story house on a crawlspace, and once inside we noticed the crawlspace door was already open. There were also other entry points because it wasn’t sealed up very well. We definitely found fleas in the crawlspace. The main floor and upstairs also had fleas.

We explained to the customer that we wanted to eliminate harborage areas around the outside by cutting down weeds and trimming the grass around the foundation. We also educated the homeowner about the crawlspace and how many entry points were visible to stray animals and rodents. We had an exclusion team come out and seal up those areas so that we could treat it with a residual product and an insect growth regulator (IGR).

Next, we explained to the customer that to get our product were it needs to be we’d have to remove everything from the floor for cleaning and vacuuming. We also instructed them to take the dog to the vet for treatment. After that, we applied a broadcast treatment to the floor surfaces and throughout the house.
We had to treat the lawn for ticks as well.

Q:What’s your hardest-to-find flea and tick story. How did you solve the problem?
Vannest: It took place at a ranch house on a crawlspace. When we inspected we noticed that the family pets were pest free. This told us we were dealing with a population in the home that had been carried inside by other means.

Sometimes people forget all of the other things that can be responsible for bringing fleas into a home. Some of the hardest flea problems to solve are ones where a rodent population carries them inside.

We inspected the rest of the house and found pockets of flea activity but no defined area. However, when we got to the attic level we found a roof rat population bringing in fleas from outside, so we applied residual products and treatments there to eliminate the rodent problem. When we placed monitors to determine where flea hot spots existed we found a few more harborage sites that had been egg-laying areas. We targeted those areas and eliminated the problem.

Adam Vannest’s Dos & Don’ts
Do
■ Train technicians to always think outside the box. Every flea situation and every tick situation can be different.
■ Know your products and which ones are best for a particular infestation. Read labels and test the products.
■ Use monitoring to help find hot spots.
Don’t
■ Don’t assume the customer is doing the prep work.
■ Don’t assume every situation is going to be the same.
■ Don’t stop educating your technicians. Give them ongoing training.

You can visit Pest Management Professional magazine by going to www.mypmp.net

Note: We will link directly to the article as soon as it is available online!

 

The 411 on Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals, typically while they sleep. Usually, they live within 8 feet of where people sleep but are known to travel up to 100 feet in one night! This is because they can go many months without having to have a meal. When they take a bite, they will leave a small bite mark that, at worst, can cause a serious allergic reaction, but are otherwise not known to be a source of disease.

Unlike their name suggests, bed bugs can be found in houses, apartments, hotels, trains, and even cruise ships. At one time, it was thought that these insects were only an issue in developing countries, but recently they have rapidly spread throughout North America and parts of Europe. They travel through the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, clothing, bedding and furniture. Despite what conventional wisdom suggests, the presence of bed bugs does not have to do with lack of cleanliness. Bed bugs go where food can be found.

Bed bug infestation will most likely be spotted after they have already gotten to you. If you see inexplicable bite marks on your body after you wake up, you might want to investigate further. Looking around your sleeping area, you may discover bed bug exoskeletons, a sweet musty order, rusty-colored blood spots and of course, actual bed bugs in the folds of mattresses and sheets.

The treatment and prevention of bed bugs is where Northwest Exterminating comes in. We offer services to rid your home of bed bugs should an infestation occur. If you find that you have encountered these unwelcome bed guests, be sure to contact your nearest service center!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html

 

4 Diseases Caused by Rodent Droppings

The NPMA recently posted an article on their website that explained the dangers that rodents can cause to your home and your health.  We often talk in our blogs about the unsanitary conditions and the property damage that a rodent infestation can lead to but we rarely discuss the health risks that are involved.

Rodents, such as mice and rats, can leave droppings that can spread bacteria, contaminate food, and cause allergic reactions.  Droppings can also spread diseases and viruses such as the following:

  • Hantavirus – “Hantavirus is a potentially life-threatening disease transmitted to humans by rodents—primarily, the white-footed deer mouse. People become infected through exposure or inhalation of infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva, and the chances increase when people are near spaces where rodents are actively living.”
  • Bubonic plague – “…is usually spread by the bite of an infected rodent flea and can cause fever, headache and painfully swollen lymph nodes.”
  • Salmonellosis – Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning spread by rodent feces, especially through the consumption of contaminated food. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.”
  • Rat-Bite Fever – “Rat-bite fever (RBF) is a potentially fatal infectious disease spread by infected rodents or the consumption of food contaminated by rodents.”

To read the full article or get more information on the diseases above click HERE.

Please don’t take chances with the health of you or your loved ones.  If you have rodents in your home, call a licensed exterminator, Northwest Exterminating, to get rid of the rodents in your home.

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-articles/articles/health-threats-posed-by-rodents/