Mosquito Season is Here – Take Precautions

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites When Outdoors this Summer

Warmer weather is finally here and we know our residents are no doubt spending more time outdoors. However, with increased outdoor activity, the public is at risk of becoming a meal for summer’s most dangerous and pesky pest – the mosquito. That’s why we are urging the public to  take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families.

Mosquitoes are emerging early across the country due to recent rainfall and an increase in temperatures. With the threat of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, it’s important for people to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors in the coming months.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers the following tips to avoid becoming a mosquito meal:

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about a ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.If you must be outside during those times, consider staying inside a screened-in porch or dressing in clothing that leaves very little exposed skin.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors, loose-fitting garments, and open-toe shoes.
  • Always use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors or traveling, especially in areas known to have increased mosquito populations.

For more information on mosquitoes and other summer pests, please visit www.callnorthwest.com.

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

Prevent Ants This Spring

PREVENT ANTS FROM MARCHING ONE-BY-ONE INTO HOMES THIS SPRING

Northwest Exterminating shares five simple steps to prevent ants this spring

As weather conditions improve, ants will soon begin to enter homes in search of food and water. Northwest Exterminating encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of seeing these nuisance pests in your garage or crawling across the kitchen counter in the coming weeks.

Ants often infest kitchens and bathrooms, but homeowners may also encounter them in cooler spaces like basements, garages and around air conditioning units. The key to preventing ants from finding a way inside is to eliminate harborage sites around the property.

Experts from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend the following five simple steps that homeowners can do today to thwart an ant infestation.

 

  1. Block off access points. Take time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and crevices, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small holes or gaps with a silicone-based caulk. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the structure.
  2. Eliminate sources of water in and around the home. Indoors, routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.
  3. Keep a clean kitchen. Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Also, make sure to dispose of garbage regularly.
  4. Don’t forget about the pets. After mealtime, keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants, rodents and other pests.
  5. Work with a pest professional. Eliminating ants can be a challenge without the proper treatment. Some species of ants, like carpenter ants, can cause serious property damage while others can pose health threats. If you see ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

For more information on ants or other common household pests, please visit www.callnorthwest.com.

 

Source: PPMA

 

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!

 

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