New Research Finds New Ways to Control Mosquitoes

New Research is Helping Us Find New Ways to Control Mosquitoes

A mosquito’s ability to target humans seems a little mysterious, right? Not really. They are programmed to look for three things when looking for a blood meal to go lay their eggs: carbon dioxide, heat, and odor. Humans give off all three of these but the mosquitoes really only need two of these to decide we are a good meal.

Researchers have found that carbon dioxide is the most important cue for a mosquito choosing a blood meal. The researchers created mutant mosquitoes that could not detect carbon dioxide and when the mosquitoes were put in a situation with just heat or skin odor they would not bite.

The researchers took the experiment a step further and put a bunch of “regular” mosquitoes and some of the mutant mosquitoes, who could glow in the dark, in a greenhouse and then counted how many of each type landed on the humans. The mutants were still successful in finding a target, but not as good as the “normal” ones. When put in the room with a mouse the mutants really did not do well.

The mouse gives us some important information, the mosquitoes don’t want to waste their time on something that may not help them to lay eggs. This is important to us because it gives us a clue on how to make a better repellant for mosquitoes and control mosquitoes.

This is important to us because it gives the Pest Management industry a clue on how to create more effective products and treatment protocols for mosquitoes. The good news is Northwest Exterminating has an Integrated Mosquito Management program. IMM is an environmentally friendly way of managing mosquito populations at your home or place of business. Please visit the website under the Pest Control tab, or give your local Northwest Exterminating office a call to learn more about this program.

Kate King
Northwest Exterminating
kking@callnorthwest.com

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

Mosquitoes Still An Issue in the Fall

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that mosquitoes are no longer a concern.  Mosquitoes can continue to be an issue throughout fall.

Be sure that you are continuing to take the proper steps to protect yourself and your yard from mosquitoes.

  • Remove areas of standing water (gutters, plants, lawn decor, tires, playgrounds, debris, etc).
  • Keep screens on windows and doors.
  • Use insect repellant when outdoors.
  • Wear clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Wear light colored clothing.  Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
  • Hire professional pest management to treat your yard for mosquitoes and their breeding grounds.

Call Northwest Exterminating for mosquito control.

 

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.

 

Preventing Mosquitoes

Source

Prevention is key in keeping mosquitoes and other pests away from your home.  Making your property less appealing to mosquitoes is a huge step in keeping mosquitoes away.  If they don’t have a place to lay their eggs, then they won’t stick around.  One of the most important things you can do is to remove areas of standing water.

This can be done by eliminating areas in your yard where standing water occurs (gutters, plants, lawn decor, tires, playgrounds, items found in yard, etc.).  Make sure that things such as bird baths, fountains, and plants are emptied frequently.

This is one simple yet effective way to keep mosquitoes away.

Mosquito Control by a professional pest control company can effectively eliminate mosquito habitats and work with you to ensure that your property is not a mosquito magnet!

Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Control Program.

 

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?

 

 

Record Breaking Rain Brings Record Amount of Mosquitoes

Good news…we’re no longer in a drought!!

Bad news…thanks to all of the record breaking rain, we have record amounts of pests, especially mosquitoes!

mosquitoMoisture is known to attract pests.  They, like humans, need moisture to survive.  So it’s no surprise that with the large amount of rain we’ve gotten this year that mosquitoes have become a major issue for Georgia residents.

Georgia is no stranger to mosquitoes.  Between standing water (lakes, ponds, creeks, even standing water in your yard) and the local vegetation, we are accustomed to this issue.  While some residents turn to DIY options, those aren’t always effective. Going to the local hardware store and picking out a product from the shelves may help short term but will not get to the source of the mosquito infestation.

Northwest Exterminating’s Green Mosquito Control provides monthly mosquito treatments by a licensed professional.  Our professionals are knowledgeable about the products they are using, what attracts mosquitoes, and the process of keeping them away.  Our professional exterminators will inspect the property and identify the source of the breeding and nesting areas.  After they’ve determined these areas they are able to apply an environmentally friendly product derived from flowers and bacteria.

For tips on ways to reduce mosquitoes visit HERE.

For more information on Northwest Exterminating’s Green Mosquito Control call 888.466.7849 or visit us online at www.callnorthwest.com

 

 

August Pest of the Month: Ticks

It’s important to protect yourself and your pets from ticks this season!  Keep reading for more information on the little suckers!

tick

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

  • Size varies depending on the species and type.
  • More closely related to spiders than insects.
  • Can have either a soft or a hard body.
  • Usually brought into homes by animals.
  • Feed on animals and humans for their blood meal.

HABITS

  • Live in low lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes while waiting for a passing host to attach themselves on to.
  • Female ticks have about 3,000 eggs in the spring time.
  • Ticks feed on humans, mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and birds.

SPECIES

  • American dog tick
  • Blacklegged/deer/bear tick
  • Brown dog tick
  • Lone Star Tick
  • Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

THREATS

  • Ticks attach themselves to animals or humans to obtain their blood meal by biting the victim.
  • Can cause irritation around the site of the bite, allergic reaction, or cause the mouth parts to get stuck in the skin when the tick is removed.
  • Known to transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.

PREVENTION

  • When in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes.
  • Use a bug repellant that contains DEET.
  • Keep grass and other vegetation on your property properly cut and maintained.
  • Inspect yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
  • Inspect your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
  • If you find a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick with a slow, gentle, upward pressure.

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Call Northwest Exterminating for information on how to protect your home and loved ones from ticks.

 

 

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

 

The 411 on Sand Gnats

If you’ve spent any time in Savannah, Ga in the spring or fall, you know all about sand gnats, or as locals call them….the state bird.  The sand gnat is not just the mascot for the Savannah Sand Gnats minor-league baseball team, but just like the baseball team, they’ll sting you, draw your blood and defeat you on the field.

Sand Gnat bite - Source

Sand Gnat bite – Source

In the low country, the sand gnat is more of an issue than mosquitoes or fleas.  Sand gnats live along waterways, such as the ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds, and marshes.  They fly, bite, and suck your blood just like a mosquito, leaving behind

red, itchy bumps on the skin.  Although blood has no nutritional value to the sand gnats, they need it so their eggs can mature prior to laying.  Carbon dioxide draws sand gnats from up to 30 yards, they stay in a 300 foot zone where they breed around your home, fly less than 25 feet high and most adult females live for 2-3 weeks.

It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite.  Unless you want to cover yourself from head to toe in the sweltering Savannah heat, be proactive.  Commercial repellents with Deet can be useful to prevent biting, or you can try a local remedy such as taking garlic pills – that is, if you don’t mind smelling like garlic.  However, a more “user friendly” remedy such as rubbing your arms with baby oil will prevent the sand gnats from biting as it provides a protective layer to your skin that the gnats can not penetrate.

For sand gnat treatment at your home or business, Call the Mouse!  888.466.7849 or visit online at www.callnorthwest.com

Barry Teubert
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

May’s Pest of the Month – Mosquitoes

MosquitoesTake Back Your Yard!Don’t let mosquitoes suck the fun out of your Summer!

HABITS

  • Breed in stagnant water such as ponds, marshes, drainage ditches, etc.
  • Can be found in almost every type of landscape on Earth except deserts and the Arctic.
  • Bite most often at dusk and dawn.

THREATS

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

PREVENTION

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flower pots, bird baths, etc.  Mosquitoes only need about one half inch of water to breed.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors whenever possible.
  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating for a professional inspection and treatment plan for breeding sites.

Enjoy your yard this Spring and Summer.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Program!