June Pest of the Month: Bed Bugs

bed bug

Brief description:

  • Mahogany to re-brown in color
  • Flat, broad when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed
  • Ranging in size from 1.3mm to 7mm in length depending on the age
  • Females can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime
  • Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm bodied animals
  • Consume a blood meal every 5-10 days but can survive a whole year without eating

Habits:

  • Bed bugs harbor in cracks and crevices during the day and come out for blood feedings at night
  • Hence their name, they are often found in beds among the mattress, box springs, rails, frame, headboard, and footboard
  • They are excellent hitchhikers.  They hide in luggage, purses, bags, and other belongings to travel from place to place

Different species:

Threats:

  • Bites are painless but can cause an allergic reaction which triggers small, red bumps on the skin

Prevention:

  • Inspect bedding for bed bug skins and blood spots
  • Change linens often
  • Inspect rooms when traveling.
  • Do not set luggage on the floor or on bed when traveling
  • Inspect luggage, clothing, and linens when you return from traveling
  • Inspect second hand furniture before bringing it into your home
  • Seek professional pest control company to address a bed bug infestation

Other pests to look out for:

 

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Pest Control Among Top 8 Outdoor Jobs

Looking for a job where you can enjoy the great outdoors?  Pest Control may be just the answer that you’re looking for.  Fox Business recently released an article with the Top 8 outdoor jobs that are “growing or are poised to grow”.

Seeing as how pests are everywhere…it’s a pretty stable business to be in.  Pest Management Technicians, as well as, Termite Service Technicians both made the list.  To read the full list click HERE.

Interested in a career in pest or termite control that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors?  Visit our Careers page to see our career opportunities.

Did we mention we were recently named #7 of the Top 100 Top Work Places for medium sized companies by The AJC?!?!

 

Keeping Pets Healthy from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

sick dogThey don’t call him Man’s Best Friend for no reason.  Dogs, and cats (we can’t forget our beloved cats) are truly part of the family.  We treat them and take care of them just as we would any other member of the family.  That’s why it is important that we protect them from outdoor pests that can cause serious health risks to our furry friends.  Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are all predicted to make a heavy appearance this season as the weather warms up.

Ticks are most commonly found on our pets.  Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and cause tick paralysis.

Fleas can cause itchy, red bumps that cause animals to scratch.  Fleas are also easily brought into the home where they can invade your living space and reproduce.  Fleas can cause anemia, skin issues, and even tapeworms for our pets.

Heartworms and West Nile Virus are some of the more serious issues that come along with mosquitoes.  A bite can manifest into a full heartworm in 6-7 months in a dog, and 8 months in a cat.

Keep your pets healthy by following some of these tips to controlling ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes:

  • Regularly scheduled pest control service in and around your home will help keep pests away that can cause risks to your pets.  (Call Northwest Exterminating for our NorPest Green Pest Control service.  Our program is kid and pet friendly while keeping the bugs away.  Our Green Mosquito Program also keeps mosquitoes away while using Earth friendly solutions.)
  • Check your dog and cat on a regular basis.  Check for excessive scratching, bumps, fleas, and ticks.
  • Keep vegetation cut and trimmed.
  • Bathe pets regularly.
  • Remove standing water in yard where mosquitoes breed.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick prevention and heartworm prevention.

Contact Northwest Exterminating if you think you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes.  Keep your pets healthy!

 

Pest Allergies

Now that it’s pollen season, many people are suffering sneezing, coughing and discomfort due to an allergy to different pollen types. Though many people know that this triggers allergies within them, they may not know that various household pests can also contribute to allergies. Additionally, those who have asthma may suffer to pests such as cockroaches or mice being in home because these pests can spread strong asthma triggers.

PestWorld.org provides facts about pests and asthma, as well as a ‘First Responder PSA’ that highlights the risk that household pests can put us at when we are indoors. For instance, 63% of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches, but if the home is located in an urban area, it can even reach 98%! Additionally, mice can spread asthma triggers found in 82% of homes. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, patients with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks after inhaling cockroach allergens. Allergens can come from not only the actual body of the pest, but also its saliva and feces.

If you are experiencing minor symptoms such as, the AAFA recommends the use of antihistamines, decongestants and anti-inflammatory medications. An effective means to reduce the chance of exposure to pest allergens is using regular treatment through a pest control company. Northwest Exterminating offers services that eliminates and reduces the occurrence of a wide array of household pests including mice and cockroaches.

Sources:

http://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/first-responder-psa/

http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=22&cont=312

 

Common Ants

Properly identifying pests is such an important part of pest control prevention and management.  Professionals and homeowners both need to be aware of what pest they are dealing with so they know what actions need to be taken to properly get rid of and prevent the pest from returning.

Ants are a common concern in both residential and commercial dwellings.  Knowing what kind of ants you have will help in knowing the best course of action to treat the property.  Our Pest ID page gives 5 common ants that can be found in properties in the southeast: fire ants, carpenter ants, argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.  To find out more information about any of these types of ants, visit our Pest ID page or click on a picture below.

Acrobat Ant

Acrobat Ant

Odorous House Ant

Odorous House Ant

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

 

Sentricon Interviews Peter Schmidt for Blog

Pete - SentriconSentricon Colony Elimination Systems interviewed our own Peter Schmidt for their blog.  Peter is a great asset to our team at Northwest Exterminating and especially our customers.  Great job on the interview, Sentricon!

Pete talks about why he thinks Sentricon is a good choice for homeowners in the prevention of termites, as well as tips for homeowners, and even a funny story about how you have to be quick on your feet in the pest control industry!

“A self-described graduate of the “school of hard knocks,” Peter Schmidt first became involved in pest management in Florida in 1992. He started his career with Northwest Exterminating in 1995, and became an Authorized Operator for the Sentricon® System in 1997. We caught up with Peter at a large Sentricon installation at an apartment complex in North Atlanta, where he shared some solid advice for both homeowners and other Authorized Operators—the latter of which might want to invest in some running shoes.”

To read the entire blog CLICK HERE.

 

EPA Ban on Rat & Mice Killers

The EPA is banning 12 popular rat and mouse killers that are available to the public.  They are banning the product after a 2011 ban requiring rodent-killing products to stop using anticlotting chemical.  The company that makes these 12 products, D-Con, has refused to meet EPA regulations.

“In a move to protect children and pets from toxic chemical poisoning, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making moves to ban 12 popular mouse- and rat-poisoning products sold under the D-Con brand name. Products included in the proposed ban include D-Con’s pellet, bait bits, and ready-mixed formulations.

EPA says it’s banning the products—as early as the end of February—because “they cause unreasonable and unnecessary risks to children’s health and the environment, without overriding benefits.”

To continue reading the article posted on www.rodale.com CLICK HERE.

The article and the EPA both suggest getting rid of rats and mice in non-poisonous ways such as sealing out pests, not leaving out food for pests to eat, making your yard less appealing to mice, and being kind!!

For pest control, the solution is simple: NorPest Green…Pest Control the way Nature Intended. Call Northwest Exterminating.