The Common House Spider

SpiderThe house spider is a common problem that we’re seeing in homes lately.  We’ve had lots of calls and concerns about the tiny little pests hanging around.  The most effective way of getting rid of spiders is to prevent them from ever coming into your home.  Spiders, like most insects, come into your home in search of food.  By ridding your home of other insects (regularly scheduled pest maintenance) your home will be useless to the spider.

Ways to Prevent Spiders from coming into your home:

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the perimeter of your home that can be used as entry points into your home.
  • Use screens on doors and windows.
  • Use a vacuum to suck up spiders and their eggs (they often escape if a broom is used).
  • Spider survival is low in homes with low humidity, few insects, higher garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, etc.
  • Spider webs are often built in corners and angles of walls and windows so web brush often or ask your pest professional to do it while they are treating your home.
  • Spiders build webs by trial and error which explains why there may be multiple vacant webs around your home.
  • Keep your home clean.  Clutter is good for spiders because it gives them a place to hide.
  • Ensure that bushes and other plants are trimmed back from the outside wall of your home.
  • Make sure mulch is kept a few inches back from the foundation of your home.
  • Use plastic storage boxes instead of cardboard. Spiders love cardboard.

Again, regularly scheduled pest control from a professional pest management company will keep out the spiders and their food sources.

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

Keeping Snakes Away From Your Home

The weather is warm and the snakes are out.  There aren’t a lot of snake lovers out there, us included.  We don’t like to think about snakes being in or around our home but they are a reality and there are steps that we can take to keep snakes away.

  1. Use a snake repellant.  It is said that home remedies like moth balls and lemon grass are great deters for snakes but have also been said to be unreliable.  There are other snake repellants available at your local hardware store.
  2. Keep the clutter out of your yard.  Keeping grass cut and vegetation trimmed down reduces areas for snakes to hide.  Remove any wood piles, leaves, or other debris where snakes can hide.
  3. Pest control.  Regularly scheduled pest control keeps insects and rodents out of your yard that snakes use to feed on.  By keeping these pests out of your yard…you have a better chance of keeping snakes out too.
  4. Check for gaps and cracks in your home.  Snakes can enter homes through any open gaps or holes that may be present.  Use weather stripping under doors and seal all cracks and crevices.  This will assist in keeping out pests and keeping in the cool air.
  5. Don’t forget about the shed.  Sheds can become cluttered and perfect places for snakes to hide.  De-clutter your work space.
  6. Call a professional.  If you have a snake in your yard or home, call a professional team that specializes in removing snakes and other wildlife.  Don’t handle these on your own.

Northwest Exterminating has a highly trained wildlife team that specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of wildlife including snakes.

 

Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

Customers are always asking us how to keep pests out of their homes.  Besides regularly scheduled pest control treatments from their pest control company, below are Northwest Exterminating‘s Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home:

top ten ways to keep bugs out_infographic 10-12.ai

 

 

Is DEET losing its effectiveness?

DEETFor years, DEET has been the “go-to” insect repellant recommended by everyone from Doctors to pest control companies. But recently, reports have come out that although they deter insects at first, they learn to ignore it and will go on to bite anyways.  Specifically, mosquitoes, are thought to be getting more and more resistant to the substance.

It just goes to show how adaptive insects and animals really are.  That is why Northwest Exterminating, and other pest control companies, need to constantly be on the cutting edge of technology.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

 

N.C. State Examines Why Cockroaches Groom Themselves

Humans and pets aren’t the only things getting groomed.  Researchers at NC State explain why cockroaches spend so much time in the grooming department.  Read below…

Like a self-absorbed teenager, insects spend a lot of time grooming. In a study that delves into the mechanisms behind this common function, North Carolina State University researchers show that insect grooming — specifically, antennal cleaning — removes both environmental pollutants and chemicals produced by the insects themselves.

The findings, published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that grooming helps insects maintain acute olfactory senses that are responsible for a host of functions, including finding food, sensing danger and even locating a suitable mate.

The findings could also explain why certain types of insecticides work more effectively than others.
Insects groom themselves incessantly, so NC State entomologist Coby Schal and post-doctoral researchers Katalin Boroczky and Ayako Wada-Katsumata wanted to explore the functions of this behavior.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: Science Daily

 

Ants, Ants Everywhere…In the Winter?

Ants in the kitchen, ants in the bathroom…that wouldn’t be unusual except it is in the middle of winter!!! Aren’t ants supposed to hibernate during the cold months?

Most likely the ants that are seen during winter are Argentine ants. These ants don’t have to live in the ground; they can make themselves right at home under structures or in the walls of homes protected from the elements. And just a few feet away is everything they need to survive:  water, food and shelter. But just think, if the ants are this bad now, imagine how bad they will be in the summer!

Argentine Ant

Argentine Ant

Argentine ants can quickly populate into multiple colonies containing many queens and thousands of workers. The ants can travel freely between and within these colonies.  Due to their fast growth it makes it difficult to control these ants once they have made their way into a structure. People often panic when they see ants inside their home and spray them with the closest can of bug spray that they can find. This might fix the problem temporarily, however, it is best to have a professional who can properly identify the ants and understand their habits in order to devise a treatment plan that will be most effective.

Argentine ants are constantly looking for food. They love sugary foods like soft drinks and syrups. Once an ant finds a food source, it alerts the other ants to “come and get it.” Before you know it the trashcans, counter tops and cabinets are taken over by ants! But don’t worry; there are ways to combat these guys once they have invaded.

  • Keep counter tops clean of food and drink residue.
  • Frequently wipe out cabinets to remove food debris.
  • Thoroughly rinse out soft drink cans and bottles before throwing them in the trash and take the trash out often.
  • Don’t leave unclean dishes in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Keep sugary foods like cereal in sealed containers.
  • Some household plants attract small insects, like aphids, that produce honey dew. Argentine ants will feed on honey dew. Controlling the insects on plants or selecting plants that are not susceptible to them will help to deter ants.

While all these methods can be effective, the best way to battle Argentine ants is to keep them from entering homes in the first place. Homeowners can cut limbs and other vegetation away from homes to prevent easy access. Rake fallen leaves and pine straw away from the home. Seal all cracks and entry points around the home (this will help with energy bills as well). Don’t forget about potted plants; ants can even nest under pots!

Many times, the materials we use to make our landscaping aesthetically pleasing are the very materials that will harbor pests.  Mulch is not only a favorite material for homeowners to use, but it is also the preferred nesting material for ants – providing moisture and shelter from the elements. If mulch is used next to a house it should be pulled away from the outside walls. Refrain from over-watering mulched areas and limit the depth of the mulch to just a couple of inches to help keep it more dry. The drier the mulch, the less inviting it is for ants and other insects.

Garbage cans are often stored next to houses and buildings for convenience. It also makes the area more attractive to ants and brings them closer to your home. Garbage should be kept in sealed cans that are stored as far away from the home as possible.

Controlling Argentine ants is a difficult, year-round task, but with proper prevention and the help of your pest control provider, it is possible.

Teresa Womack
twomack@callnorthwest.com

 

 

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

 

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

 

Diseases Caused by Pests

With our commitment to healthier living and working environments, we at Northwest understand the importance of good pest management for personal health. Living in a hygienic environment and minimizing exposure to unwanted pests can literally save lives. For instance, the lives of twenty-five million Europeans during the Late Middle Ages were claimed by fleas that had spread the bubonic plague. They managed this feat by using another pest as a host – rats! Modern improvements on hygiene, sanitation and pest management have dramatically reduced the impact of this disease.

 

Another more common disease brought on by insects is Lyme disease. This disease is carried by the deer tick in the form of a bacterium called Borrelia bugdorferi. If a deer tick bites you, the bacterium enters the bloodstream and will lead to skin rash and in extreme cases, paralysis. When caught early, antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria before it causes furthermore harm.

Mosquitoes in particular can carry a host of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, pogosta disease, and West Nile virus. They carry similar traits in that when infected, a person will experience a fever indicating that more serious effects are on the way such as meningitis or arthritis.  All these diseases can lead to death if not caught or treated properly. For some of these diseases, the best form of prevention is pest management. Northwest Exterminating provides solutions to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in and around your home or work environment.

If you come in contact with a pest and feel you may have been exposed to any disease, be sure to immediately seek medical attention. Many of these diseases, as well as others such as malaria or rabies can be treated when caught early.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/diseases.htm

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

 

 

Spiders are Here for the Holidays!

Common house spiders have made their way back into the comforts of your warm home this winter season.  Luckily, house spiders are a nuisance pest more than anything, meaning that your biggest concern is really the webs that they leave behind rather than the threat of the spider itself.

Spiders do not survive very long in modern homes with low humidity and that are pest free.  Without insects to feed on they cannot survive.  (This is just one of many reasons to make sure that your pest control stays up-to-date).  However, spiders do thrive in places with high humidity and insects to feed on such as garages, sheds, warehouses, basements, etc.

Spiders are often found in a home in corners, window frames, along baseboards, in garages, and close to light sources.  Dusting webs and keeping your pest control up to date can help you in keeping spiders out of your home.

For pest control, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit us online at www.callnorthwest.com