Getting Rid of Pests by Eliminating their Needs

Getting Rid of Pests by Eliminating their Needs

Bugs are no different than humans in that we’re all in search of 3 basic needs: water, food, and shelter.  It’s important when trying to obtain a pest-free home that we are eliminating pest’s basic needs.  Limiting their access to these items will be a big step in prevention AND maintenance.

So what steps do you take to eliminate these sources?

Trim vegetation away from structure

Trim vegetation away from structure

How to Eliminate Pest’s Water Sources From Your Home:

  • Check under cabinets and sinks for leaks
  • Caulk around pipes
  • Eliminate any areas in the yard where water pools
  • Clean out gutters of debris so water can drain properly
  • Don’t leave your pet’s water bowls sitting out
  • Remove debris in the yard that gathers water
  • Remove standing water from bird baths

How to Eliminate Pest’s Food Sources From Your Home:

  • Clean up any food spills immediately
  • Don’t leave your pet’s food sitting out
  • Keep food (pet food included) in tightly sealed containers
  • Take out trash on a regular basis
  • Place trash in an outside garbage can with a tightly sealed lid

How to Eliminate Pest’s Access to Shelter From Your Home:

  • Be cautious of what you bring in (old furniture, produce, boxes, all can contain bugs that you could potentially bring into your home)
  • Caulk and/or seal any cracks or crevices located around windows, doors, pipes, vents, etc.
  • Use low sodium vapor lighting on the outside of your home
  • Point security lights away from your home
  • Trim back vegetation at least 1 foot away from your home
  • Remove clutter and debris from the interior and exterior of the home
  • Keep doors and windows shut
  • If you need to have doors or windows open use screens

If pests have already found their way into your home it’s best to call a professional exterminator.  A pest professional can properly inspect your property, identify the pest, identify the sources, effectively treat the home for the targeted pest, and work with you to develop a customized action plan to maintain and prevent further issues from occurring.  If you’re in need of a professional pest control company call Northwest Exterminating!

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

Keeping Ladybugs Out

LadybugLadybugs Seek Warmth in Homes

Ladybugs are beneficial insects but when they overwinter in your home they become a nuisance pest.  They spend the warmer months of spring and summer growing their populations and like other overwintering pests, they seek warmth from the cold temperatures in fall and winter.  Many seek shelter under rocks, leaves, or other items found in nature, then you have those that find shelter in homes and buildings.

Although typically harmless, ladybugs can aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in people.  They can also emit a foul smelling, yellowish fluid that can stain surfaces.

Keeping ladybugs out of your home starts with the usual preventative pest management steps that we typically cover in our blogs: screen all windows, keep doors closed, door sweeps on exterior doors, and seal all cracks and crevices around the exterior of the home (windows, doors, pipes, etc).

If ladybugs have already found their way into your home, use a vacuum cleaner to clean them up.  Empty the vacuum bag into a trash bag and make sure it is tightly closed.  Discard of the trash bag in a sealed outside container.  If you have a ladybug infestation, call a professional pest control company to evaluate, assess, and treat the problem.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more on ladybug pest control.

 

 

Fall Pest Prevention Tips

With cooler weather you may begin to see more pests coming into your home.  Pests and rodents are looking for a warm place with food and shelter and homes and businesses are prime real estate for them.  We often talk about the health risks and the nuisances that unwelcomed pests bring into a home.

The NPMA recommends the following steps to keep your home pest free this fall:

  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention where utility pipes enter the structure.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well trimmed.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.

For pest protection for your home or business call Northwest Exterminating.

Source: NPMA – Fall Pest-Proofing Helps Keep Pests Outdoors

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

Aphids

Aphids are interesting insects in that almost every plant serves as a potential meal for one or more species of these tiny pests. They have long, slender mouths used to pierce stems, leaves and other tender plant parts to draw out the fluids from the plant. They also all are pear-shaped with long legs and antennae, but they come in many shades of colors including green, yellow, brown, red or black. This varies with the species as well as the type of plant they choose to feed on.

Aphids

Aphids reproduce at a very rapid pace as each adult aphid is capable of producing up to 80 aphids a year. Most adult aphids are wingless, but some come in winged forms, especially during the spring and fall. This allows them to move onto another food source when one becomes no longer available. Most often, these insects travel in dense populations along the leaves or stems of a plant.

That said, the amount of leef-feeding aphids determines their potential damage. Low to moderate numbers are usually not damaging, but much larger populations they have the effect of curling, yellowing, distorting leaves and also stunting plant growth. They may also transmit viruses from plant to plant. If you feel that your garden is being taken over by an aphid population, let Northwest Lawn Care services take care of your outdoor pest control needs.

Curling of leaves due to aphids.

 

July Pest of the Month: Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Fire Ant

Brief description:

Fire ants get their name through their ability to inflict painful bites and stings.  They vary considerably in size and build large raised mounds in lawn areas.  One interesting fact about fire ants is they have been known to infest electrical boxes en masses, causing the equipment to malfunction.

Habits:

  • Build nests in soil near structural foundations or in landscaping.
  • Nests can be between 2 and 4 square feet in size.
  • Although they typically make their nests outside, they can enter structures through HVAC systems, electrical lines, and even under siding.

Different species:

  • Argentine ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants
  • Crazy ants
  • Acrobat ants

Threats:

  • Produce a painful sting when they feel threatened.
  • Sting results in a painful, raised bump.
  • Often receive more than one sting at a time.
  • Devastates local insect populations and small wildlife when it invades an area.
  • Many grouse and ground nesting bird species have been eliminated by fire ants when they attack newly hatched nestlings.

Prevention:

  • Avoid fire ant mounds.
  • Seal all entry points into a structure.
  • Contact a licensed pest professional if you have fire ant nests in your lawn.

Other pests to look out for:

  • Other species of ants listed above

 

 

Health & Mosquitoes

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a…MOSQUITO?!?!

Source

Source

Yes, that is right mosquito season is here!  And although we all enjoyed the mild winter, we may not be able to say the same this summer.  Mild winters usually mean an influx in pest pressure for Pest Management Professionals and their customers…including mosquitoes.

There are currently 63 different species of mosquitoes found in GA.  Approximately$125,000,000 is spent annually in Georgia in an effort to reduce and treat the effects of disease and nuisance caused by mosquitoes.  That’s a lot of money to control one insect.  But is there a cost to protect the public’s health?  Because the mosquito has become a big threat!

Worldwide malaria remains the most important human disease transmitted by mosquitoes.  Malaria counts for almost 2 million deaths each year and is estimated that there are over 400 million cases in the world.  In Georgia, we see about 50 to 60 cases of Malaria a year.  Although Malaria affects the most humans worldwide there are two other diseases that we see more frequently in Georgia.

The West Nile virus was first found in the states in 1999.  In 2002, the virus spread over most of the United States and caused over 4,000 cases and 277 deaths.  The virus is transmitted from the mosquito to a host bird, where the virus grows and then is transmitted to an incidental host (humans) by another mosquito.  To date, there is no antivirus for those affected with the disease.

Another common disease doesn’t affect humans directly but it does affect the family dog.  Dog heartworms are a serious problem and are spread by mosquitoes.  Infection rates in some states have been reported to be as high as 80% in dogs over 2.5 years old, and almost 100% in dogs over 5 years old that are left un-vaccinated.  There is approximately $60,000,000 being spent on heartworm prevention in Georgia each year and it cost nearly $1,000 to treat a case of heartworms.  Bottom-line…make sure you treat your dog for heartworms BEFORE it’s an issue.

So what can we do?  Mosquito prevention at Northwest Exterminating is a five step program following the basic principles of an Integrated Mosquito Management program:

  1. Education
  2. Surveillance
  3. Source Reduction
  4. Larviciding
  5. Adulticiding

It is important as homeowner’s that we do our part.  Here are some simple steps to help reduce mosquitoes around your home:

  •  Reduce water collection sites
  • Clean gutters regularly
  • Remove yard clutter

For more tips like these and to help reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your home call Northwest Exterminating.  Our goal is to create a healthier environment around your home so you can enjoy your yard!

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating
avannest@callnorthwest.com

 

Giant African Land Snails

Recent news stories have brought attention to a new pest that has all threat of pests such as rats, including its size! Snails may not seem like the most imposing of pests, but the giant African land snail is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It is starting to invade parts of southern Florida, but has also been seen in parts of Texas and the Great Lake states.

Giant African Land Snail

Giant African Land Snail

These snails live up to nine years and can produce 1200 eggs a year, after reaching adulthood in just one year. If you’re not a fan of math, just be certain that these snails can soon become an astronomical problem. Florida knows this especially after having to spend $1 million on its initial infestation – which evidently did not offer them a permanent solution.

So what’s the bigger issue here? Firstly, these snails eat at least 500 different types of plants, thus serving as a huge threat to agriculture. Not only that, but according to Agriculture Department spokeswoman Denise Feiber, giant African land snails carry a human parasite called rat lungworm, a potentially deadly form of meningitis. Homeowners should beware not only for these issues, but also because their shells are so sharp they might shred a tire!

These pests are thought to be carried in through traveler’s luggage, although other, not so wise citizens, carry them as pets and later release them. This was the cause of the original infestation on the American mainland in 1966. Agriculture officials are working to eliminate the pest problem before it becomes a major issue, but urge homeowners that they are the first line of defense against this pest. If you spot a pest similar to these below, call Northwest Exterminating immediately! There might be a larger problem than the one that already meets the eye.

Snail Diagram

Snail Diagram

If you’re interested in learning more about this pest and pest prevention, view the video here.

Sources:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/gas/index.shtml

http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/animals/africansnail.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/us/florida-giant-snails/index.html?iref=allsearch

http://news92fm.com/350719/giant-african-land-snails-spotted-in-houston/