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

 

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

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

 

Bon Appetit?: A Different Type of Insect Bites

Normally, an invitation from a friend to go out to lunch will be met with enthusiastic acceptance. However, if your friend tells you that bugs are on the menu, you’ll probably take a rain check. Here in the U.S. most people go great lengths to avoid creepy crawlers in the kitchen, but other countries around the world have a different view.

In some countries, dishes featuring insects are delicacies, so these meals are a rare and unusual treat, much like escargot and caviar. Grasshoppers are the favorite insect to eat, being included in the diets of some people from Latin America, Japan, Africa and the Middle East. Other insect treats include wasp larvae, silk moth pupae, and termites. Some brave students over at Princeton University decided to give it a try, though they described their silkworm treat as “surprisingly bland.”

One researcher states “insects have been a delicacy… not only because of their delicious flavor, but also because they provide a more complete protein… and are concentrated sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium and many other nutrients.” So not only do some people think they taste good, but some insects are also good for you – better than soy, meat, and fish! In addition, insect farming is ecologically less damaging than raising animals for human consumption. At Northwest Exterminating, we have a different type of recipe when it comes to insects. Our goal is also to reduce our impact on the environment while protecting your home from unwanted pests.

Sources:

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/2795548-insects-are-worldwide-delicacies

http://blogs.princeton.edu/paw/2010/11/bugging_out_stu.html

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

Live Christmas Trees and Insects

For many families, a live Christmas tree is part of the Christmas tradition in their household.  Whether you are chopping down a Christmas tree yourself at a Christmas tree farm or buying one that has already been cut, Christmas trees can bring much more than holiday spirit and that infamous Christmas smell to your home.

Christmas trees can often serve as homes to insects and birds. Although this can be unnerving to think about, with careful inspection you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.  The insects that make themselves at home in trees often can not survive in the warmth of your home.  In this case, it is best to wait for the insects to die and vacuum them up.

Other insects that are overwintering in your tree may confuse the warmth of your home for spring time and begin to hatch or come out of hibernation. This is why it is so important to thoroughly inspect your tree when picking it out.  Take a look at each branch for signs of insects.  If you see insects, simply remove them.  If you see a large amount of insects, it is probably best to choose another tree.  Make sure to vigorously shake your tree before bringing it into your home.  This will dislodge any insects that may be in your tree.

Most importantly, do not spray your tree with an insect repellant.  These products are highly flammable and could be dangerous with the lights and decoration you put on your tree.

If you are concerned about insects brought into your home by your Christmas tree, call the experts at Northwest Exterminating.

 

“The Pest Detectives” Free eBook

Pests may not be something that intrigues most adults but most kids enjoy watching and learning about insects and other bugs.  If you have a pest explorer in your home, we have just the read for you.

PestWorld.org has a FREE eBook where your little explorer can join “Millie, an 8 year old insect lover, as she solves real-life pest mysteries with her father, a pest professional.”  Your kids can follow Millie and her dad as they help Mrs. Romero identify the pest in her home, where they came from, and a treatment plan to get rid of the pests.

Download this FREE eBook today…you and your kids will both enjoy this pest mystery!

 

 

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.

 

Not All Bugs Are Bad

The fear of insects is normal.  For some, the fear can be so severe that it can be diagnosed as entomophobia, a fear or aversion to insects.  This fear can confine people to their homes without the ability to enjoy the great outdoors and interfere with the quality of life.  Experts say that 1-2% of adults in the US has some degree of entomophobia.

But not all bugs are to be feared.  We speak a lot about the harm and damage that pests can do to your health and home but we also want to point out that not all insects are bad.  The preying mantis is pest control in itself.  Preying mantis’ are predators that catch and feed on other insects.  Although termites can do thousands of dollars of damage to a structure they are beneficial for the eco-system. Termites help break down decaying trees.  Termites can break down wood on a massive scale and prevent trees from piling up and killing the forest.  Ladybugs are another natural pest control.  Ladybugs eat other insects that do not have a too hard shell.

Although some bugs can be beneficial it is still very important to protect your home. Continue your pest control service to keep bugs in their natural environment instead of your home.

Check out our blog 5 Bugs to Love

 

5 Common Misconceptions About Insects

At this stage in your life, you probably think you know quite a few facts about nature – the sun rises in the east, dolphins can communicate with each other, and bees gather honey from flowers. So, it may come as a surprise to you that you may have to reconsider what you know. Keep reading for some myth busting – Northwest style.

5 Common Misconceptions About Insects:

1. Bees get honey from flowers

When bees buzz through your garden, they gather nectar, a complex sugar, which they carry to the hive in a “honey stomach.” Once they deposit it into the hive, other bees break down the sugar and pack it into the cells of the honeycomb. Finally, they fan their wings over the honeycomb to evaporate water out of the nectar and the end result is honey!

2. All spiders make webs

Many people think that all spiders spin webs of silk to trap their prey. It is true that all spiders produce silk. On the contrary, hunting spiders, which include wolf spiders, jumping spiders, and trapdoor spiders among others, actually track down their prey instead of making webs.

 3. Insects aren’t animals

When most people think of animals, they often mean furry creatures such as dogs, cats and even more menacing lions, tigers and bears. Perhaps because of the unusual appearance of most insects, which have exoskeletons among distinctive features, people tend to assume these arthropods are of a different classification. Though they may not have skin or fur, insects are animals just like dogs, cats – and us!

 4. A cocoon and a chrysalis are the same

Growing up, we learned stories of homely worms turning into beautiful butterflies after emerging from their cocoon. Actually, the term chrysalis defines this transformation stage between larva and adult, otherwise known as a pupa. Only butterflies can come from a chrysalis. It is its cousin, the moth, that emerges from a cocoon made of silk.

5. Daddy longlegs are spiders

Daddy longlegs, also known as harvestmen, walk around on eight legs as all spiders do. However, not all eight-legged creatures are spiders. Spiders have two distinct, separated body parts, whereas the harvestmen have one. They also do not have silk or venom glands as spiders do.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://insects.about.com/od/teachingaboutinsects/tp/15misconceptions.htm

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/exhibits/always-on-display/butterfly-rainforest/butterfly-qa

 

 

Insect Fashion

Insects and other pests may inspire a myriad of thoughts but fashion likely does not come to mind. Still, the array of colors and shapes found in the insect world may already have invaded your closet! Take a look at these bug inspired fashions below that are crawling down the hottest runways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If these outfits don’t pique your interest, perhaps these jewelry options below may intrigue you. Bug jewelry comes not only in artful bug designs but also feature actual insects!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bugs are “in” this season but you don’t want them “in” your home.  Call Northwest Exterminating or visit www.callnorthwest.com to learn how we can help you. If you want to see more artsy insect creations, please visit us on our Pinterest page.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

Bug Friendly Children’s Books

Though having pests in your home may be a different story, books about bugs have always been favorite reads for children. Below is a list of fictional stories about bugs that your kids are sure to enjoy:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This picture book features the tale of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly accompanied by vivid colored pictures. Children will not only learn about caterpillars, but also about numbers, healthy eating and days of the week as they chronicle his journey from newborn to cocoon.

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Ever wonder what ants are up to when they invade your home? Before you call the exterminator, let this picture book give you a glimpse into the mischievous adventures of two ants. Children will learn the importance of following directions and the consequences of their choices.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

This classic of children’s literature features a fun-filled cast of characters starting with a young orphan named James. With the help of a magic potion, James causes a peach tree to blossom an abnormally large fruit, which becomes home to an assortment of interesting insects.  This perfect first chapter book will offer your children lessons of friendship, bravery and loyalty.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

This American classic comes from the author of another well-known tale, Stuart Little. Told from the perspective of a pig, this novel follows the life of barn house creatures, one of which is a spider named Charlotte. Charlotte offers Wilbur much wisdom in one of the most beautiful friendships ever written.

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

This story follows a cricket from Connecticut who boards the wrong train to Times Square in New York. There he meets many interesting characters, both human and animal, that teach him many lessons, including how to play classical music.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com