America’s Rodent Problem

America’s Rodent Problem

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 45 % of rodent infestations occur in fall and winter.  This is one of the reasons that many of our recent blogs have been about colder weather bringing rodents and wildlife into homes (Tips on Keeping Rodents Away After Removal) .  Below is an informative infographic that gives more information into America’s Rodent Problem.

NPMA Rodent Problem - infographic

SOURCE: NPMA

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
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SEEDN app

The latest app in pest control is SEEDN or Southeast Early Detection Network.  SEEDN allows you to report infestations by collecting data and submitting pictures right from your mobile device.  The report is then emailed over to local and state verifiers.  According to the site:

Now you can submit invasive species observations directly with your smartphone from the field. These reports are uploaded to EDDMapS and e-mailed directly to local and state verifiers for review. (http://apps.bugwood.org/seedn.html)

According to the site, non-native invasive species of pests and plants cost the US over $120 billion each year.  Pest infestations and damage to plants and crops can cause issues for our health and economical issues.  The SEEDN app allows us to report infestations quickly and gives a better chance at preventing other potential infestations.  It also provides a helpful ID guide.

For those in the pest management field, this is a great tool to have on your mobile device.  SEEDN is available for Apple products and Androids.

 

 

Watch Out Pests! It’s National Pest Control Awareness Month

Watch out pests, it’s National Pest Control Awareness Month and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Gary W. Black is reminding Georgia residents to protect your homes and businesses from pests.  Read the GDA’s recent press release for more tips and information on how to keep your home free from pests.

State Ag Commissioner reminds residents to protect homes, businesses
Spring has sprung in Georgia. This season is always a busy time for insects and pests in Georgia, but it is especially the case after such a mild winter. In honor of National Pest Control Awareness Month in April, Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Gary W. Black reminds residents about the risks posed by household pests.

“We are already seeing more insects and pests earlier this year due to the warm winter Georgia has had,” said Commissioner Black. “Every year, pests cause millions of dollars in damage for our residents and it is important for Georgians to prepare a plan of action to help prevent damage from occurring.”

In addition to fees paid for control and preventative services done by pest control professionals, Georgia residents spend untold dollars to repair damage caused by pests such as termites, rodents and carpenter ants who chew through walls, flooring and even electrical wiring. Residents also pay for expenses related to the treatment of medical conditions; mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus while house dust mites and cockroach allergens trigger asthma attacks, and stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.

“I encourage all Georgians to take proactive steps to prevent infestations in their homes and businesses,” said Commissioner Black. “All it takes is a few simple, preventative measures to help protect year-round.”

In April, consider these tips and suggestions:
- Trim back trees and shrubs so they are not physically touching any building structures;
- Walk the perimeter of a structure’s foundation and seal up any cracks or small openings;
- Install window and/or door screens and check once a year for holes or tears;
- Keep wood debris and piles of wood (including firewood) at a distance;
- Check plumbing and pipes to eliminate sources of moisture or standing water;
- Tightly secure all food and garbage to prevent pests from finding their way to the source (this includes pet food dishes and storage containers); and
- If there are any visible signs of pests or an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately.

“April is a great time to have your home or business checked to determine if it’s necessary to re-establish any pest control measures, such as termite protection” said Commissioner Black. “And if control or treatment is necessary, that is one homeowner project best left to the professionals.”

Consumers are urged to only seek advice and use licensed professional pest control companies. If a company is not licensed by the GDA, it is illegal for them to practice pest control protection as a business. Residents can find a list of all licensed professional pest management companies at www.kellysolutions.com/GA/Structural/searchPCOCo.asp, or contact the GDA Structural Pest Section at 404-656-3641.

Note: Consumers can learn more about Pest Control Awareness Month, the GDA’s Structural Pest Section and hear from industry partners in a short video clip available on the Department’s website homepage starting April 1: www.agr.georgia.gov.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for licensing the professional pest management companies who perform termite control. There are approximately 1,200 of these companies operating in Georgia. Learn more online at www.agr.georgia.gov.

 

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/