Got Questions? Visit our Learning Center.

Learning CenterThe colder months are a time when pests, rodents, and other creatures make their way into homes and businesses for food and shelter.  These pests can be a nuisance and sometimes even a health concern to your home.

If you’re wondering about a specific insect or rodent that you’re seeing you can find out more information at Northwest Exterminating’s Learning Center at callnorthwest.com.

Our Learning Center serves as a helpful tool to our customers that helps them to identify pests, learn about their habitats, and learn what the best solution is to get rid of them and prevent them from returning.  You can also find out how at risk your home may be for termites.   And our frequently asked questions page offers answers on some of the questions that we see and hear often from other customers just like you.

If there is anything that you would like to see on our Learning Center page, please feel free to tell us by filling out our “Ask the Mouse” section located on our site.

 

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

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?

 

 

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

If you are just now being able to absorb the menace of the Gallinipper mosquito, unfortunately you won’t be able to breathe easy just yet. Evidently, tourists aren’t the only people coming to our American shores this summer. The Asian tiger mosquito is named for the black-and-white stripes on its body.  You may think that spraying on some bug spray during the day time will help keep them at bay, but think again! This mosquito is different from others in that it bites all day long and pursues not only humans, but also dogs, cats, birds and other animals.

According to Livescience.com, entomology professor Dina Fonseca reports “Part of the reason it is called ‘tiger’ is also because it is very aggressive… you can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go.” Another serious concern of this particular insect is that it spreads more than 20 diseases, including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever and two types of encephalitis.

Since the 1980s, the Asian tiger mosquito has reached 26 states, primarily in the eastern United States. Warm weather helps this pest get around, but its eggs are also capable of surviving cold weather. To help eliminate the potential destruction of this pest, it is important to remove standing water, wear insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants outdoors. Naturally, Northwest Exterminating is equipped with preventive solutions to give you a mosquito-free summer. If you’re interested in our services, give us a call!

Sources:

http://www.livescience.com/37715-asian-tiger-mosquitoes-chikungunya.html

 

Stored Product Pests

Pests can show up in the most unexpected of places – in your bed, in your luggage and unfortunately in your food. What might have appeared to be a perfectly fresh and untouched package might actually be home to insects that infect food products. These insects are aptly named stored product pests and are usually small beetles or moths. For the most part, you will notice the adult form of these insects as they immediately begin their search for more food, typically in the area where the infestation first began.

These insects have a rather rapid life cycle lasting just four to five weeks. During this time, adult females can lay anywhere from 1000 to 1,000 eggs! If the adults themselves do not eat your food, then they serve as breeders who locate food sources for their larva. The name suggests that these pests only consume food products, but actually have a very large appetite including, but not limited, dried flower arrangements, bird seed, dog bones and even jewelry or holiday decorations!

In the Southeast, one particular stored product pest you may spot is an Indianmeal moth. Despite what their name suggests, these moths can be found in bird seed, breakfast cereals and other consumables, typically located in kitchen cupboards. However, because of their great ability of flight, adult Indianmeal moths can be found pretty much anywhere within an infested home. Indianmeal moths are also easy to spot during the larva stage, as they are almost an inch long and create webs of silk in the items they infest.

Indianmeal moth

Indianmeal moth

 

 

 

Indianmeal moth larva

 

 

 

 

 

Another well-known insect is the drugstore beetle which commonly infests dried herbs and spices as well as other dried plant and animal material. These pests can chew through paper packaging and even aluminum foil. You’ll spot these pests as they are active, great flyers that are attracted to light. However, don’t assume that one not moving is one not to worry about. These pests, like another stored product pest known as the weevil, may pretend to be disturbed when threatened.

Drugstore beetle

Drugstore beetle

Preventing these infestations is difficult as many of these pests do not appear until the packaging has been opened. It’s important though to keep food in tightly sealed containers and also use older products first. If the infestation is relatively bad, pest control companies such as Northwest Exterminating can provide traps to bait these pests using pheromones that attract these insects.

Sources:

http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=7914

 

Tips For Dealing With Bugs at Summer BBQ

 

 

It’s summer time and BBQ season is in full effect. Naturally, your family and friends aren’t the only ones attracted to the smell of something good on the grill. We at Northwest Exterminating provide extensive treatments for mosquitos, fleas & ticks and other creepy crawlers that may want to stop by. However, being proactive in small ways can add to the benefits of pest and mosquito control. Below is a list of tips to help you keep your BBQ guests from getting bugged!

  • Keep your outdoor dining area clean. For instance, flies hate the scent of Pine-sol. Mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle to use to wipe down the porch and furniture.
  • Place a fan near your BBQ area. This moderate breeze will blow tiny insects off-track
  • If you have a more serious mosquito problem, use a fogger in the BBQ area before the event and make sure to spray bushes as well.
  • Tiki torches, citronella candles or insecticide candles should go around the edge of your BBQ area, though guests will have to be mindful if you choose to go this route.
  • Screen tents are a useful means of protecting food and guests.
  • Keep food inside and have guests serve themselves indoors before coming outdoors to eat.
  • Bug spray is useful plus and there should be enough for each guest to use.

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8229328_keep-bugs-away-during-barbecue.html

 

Lady Bugs

LadybugThere are more than 5,000 different ladybug species in the world, known by many different names.  Ladybird beetles, lady beetles, ladybirds, God’s cow, lady clock, lady cow, lady fly..these are just to name a few.   The easiest way to tell a ladybug from another insect is their appearance: their bodies are always a round or oval dome-shape, they have a hard shell wing that covers their inner wings, and they are able to retract their head like a turtle.

Ladybugs leave their summer feeding grounds in fields, forests, and yards and begin to appear indoors in the fall looking for a place to spend the winter.  Children love ladybugs because they are easy to catch and they are bright in color.  Gardner’s also enjoy them and consider them useful as they eat aphids or insects.  Many cultures consider ladybugs lucky and in many countries the sight of a ladybug is either a call to make a wish or a sign that a wish will soon be granted.  Ladybugs are the state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.  They are the official national mascot for the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority in the United States and the mascot of a ski resort in Spain.

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center Manager
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

How Do They Do It: Squirrels Flying, Snakes Swimming, Bugs Walking on Water

All creatures are capable of fantastic feats, some of which we are accustomed to. Birds fly, fish swim and bees buzz along as they collect nectar. We’re so used to certain animals doing certain things that we marvel when they do something unexpected. After all, wouldn’t it shock you if animals could talk like humans? That is, until you have a conversation with a parrot. Below we feature some creatures you know well and finally get an explanation for how the neat tricks they do!

Squirrels Flying

Northern flying squirrel

Southern flying squirrel

Southern flying squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying squirrels aren’t as a familiar as their red or gray sisters because when you’re likely to be sleep when they tend to be out. In North America there are two species of flying squirrel – the northern flying squirrel and the southern flying squirrel.  Contrary to what their name suggests, flying squirrels don’t fly because they don’t have wings. They do however, have web-like folds of skin known as patagium which when get taught when they stretch their bodies out and help them glide from high altitudes.

 

Snakes Swimming

Snake swimming

Snake swimming

Though some snakes are known specifically for being in the water, all snakes can swim. This may boggle the mind because these creatures have no arms or fins! However, they glide gracefully through the water by moving their body laterally, as if twisting into an ‘S’ shape. These movements start at the head and continue through its body, allowing them to exert a force backwards against the water, effectively moving their bodies forward. Those we typically refer to as water snakes have flatter bodies which make it more efficient for them to swim.

 

Bugs Walking on Water

Scientists used to believe that bugs secreted a wax on their legs that helped them take advantage of the surface tension of water. Now they believe that insect’s legs have microscopic hairs that trap air bubbles to allow them to float.

Bug walking on water

Bug walking on water

 

 

 

Know Your Red & Black Bugs

Spring is a time when everything comes to life, blooming into an array of lovely colors. You’ll see flowers that are pink and purple, baby bunnies that are tan or gray and insects that are red and black. Just like every other little life form emerging this time of year, insects can also be a variety of colors and it’s important not to get them confused. Some bugs you might spot frequently are of the Georgia Bulldog variety – red and black spots, stripes and even a combination of both.

If any of these insects or other pests become too much of nuisance, Northwest Exterminating has the expertise and knowledge to take care of your bug problems.  Our Director of Pest Services Adam Vannest has provided some information about these bugs that will help you know the difference and what measures to take against them.

Lady Bug

Ladybug  – Beneficial insect

–  Overwinters

–  Feeds on aphids

Control Measures: exclusion and vacuuming for long-term prevention. When necessary, chemical contact treatments can knock down a population

Box Elder Bug

Box Elder Bug

-  Overwinters

-  Female: Box Elder trees and Silver Maple trees serve as the primary host plant

-   Control Measures: Exclusion and a contact/residual application around the foundation and base of host plant

 

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed bug  – Found in gardens on Milkweed plants or around shelled sunflower seeds

Control Measures: Over-the-counter garden insecticides

 

Leaf-Footed Stink Bug

Leaf-footed stink bug

-      Feeds on a wide variety of host plants

-       Besides birds, they do not have too many natural predators due to their taste and smell

-       Control Measures: Over-the-counter insecticides for garden areas. Outside of the garden, any contact or residual product labeled for stink bugs

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

 

–       Semicircular cogwheel-like crest on its thorax

–       Feeds on a wide variety of insects including caterpillars, beetles, aphids

Control Measures: Prevention is the key! All plants should be inspected before they enter the home. Exclusion should be performed for long-term prevention. All vegetation should be trimmed away from the home, at least one foot. Pesticides are rarely needed

 

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!