Health & Mosquitoes

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

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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

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

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/

 

Know Your Red & Black Bugs

Spring is a time when everything comes to life, blooming into an array of lovely colors. You’ll see flowers that are pink and purple, baby bunnies that are tan or gray and insects that are red and black. Just like every other little life form emerging this time of year, insects can also be a variety of colors and it’s important not to get them confused. Some bugs you might spot frequently are of the Georgia Bulldog variety – red and black spots, stripes and even a combination of both.

If any of these insects or other pests become too much of nuisance, Northwest Exterminating has the expertise and knowledge to take care of your bug problems.  Our Director of Pest Services Adam Vannest has provided some information about these bugs that will help you know the difference and what measures to take against them.

Lady Bug

Ladybug  – Beneficial insect

–  Overwinters

–  Feeds on aphids

Control Measures: exclusion and vacuuming for long-term prevention. When necessary, chemical contact treatments can knock down a population

Box Elder Bug

Box Elder Bug

-  Overwinters

-  Female: Box Elder trees and Silver Maple trees serve as the primary host plant

-   Control Measures: Exclusion and a contact/residual application around the foundation and base of host plant

 

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed bug  – Found in gardens on Milkweed plants or around shelled sunflower seeds

Control Measures: Over-the-counter garden insecticides

 

Leaf-Footed Stink Bug

Leaf-footed stink bug

-      Feeds on a wide variety of host plants

-       Besides birds, they do not have too many natural predators due to their taste and smell

-       Control Measures: Over-the-counter insecticides for garden areas. Outside of the garden, any contact or residual product labeled for stink bugs

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

 

–       Semicircular cogwheel-like crest on its thorax

–       Feeds on a wide variety of insects including caterpillars, beetles, aphids

Control Measures: Prevention is the key! All plants should be inspected before they enter the home. Exclusion should be performed for long-term prevention. All vegetation should be trimmed away from the home, at least one foot. Pesticides are rarely needed

 

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:

 

 

Ladybug Larva

We’ve gotten a lot of questions and phone calls regarding the ladybug larva.  So here’s a quick run down for those of you that are experiencing ladybug larva around your property.

ladybug-life-cycle

Ladybug Life Cycle

The female ladybug will lay her eggs on the undersides of leaves where there is a lot of food (aphids).  The eggs will hatch three to five days later.

When you think about what a baby ladybug might look like, you probably think of a small cute version of the adult, right?  Well, lets just say that a baby ladybug (larva) lives up to the saying “A face only a mother could love”.  Baby ladybugs (ladybug larvae) are long and black with orange markings on its back, a little spikey looking and some say that they resemble alligators, but a whole lot smaller of course!  I don’t see that but you can let your imagination go…

ladybug larva

Baby ladybug

For more information on ladybugs or ladybug larva, call the experts at www.callnorthwest.com.

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating

 

The World’s Smallest Pest: The Fairyfly

Tinkerbelle is no longer just Peter Pan’s fairy sidekick. Recently, scientists discovered a new fairyfly that they aptly named Tinkerbella nana in Costa Rica.

Tinkerbella nana

According to Science Daily, fairyflies are just one of 18 families of insects called chalcid wasps. Fairyflies are found all over the world except in Antarctica and feature the tiniest insect in the world called the Kikiki huna.

Kikiki huna

You probably have never noticed a fairly, not only because of their literally microscopic size, but also because of their life cycle .Most of the insects actually begin as parasitoids of the eggs of other, larger insects, usually found plants. This said a specific host of fairyflies remains on known. In order to find the new Tinkerbella nana, researchers had to sweep through rain forest litter.

If you would like to learn more, read the Science Daily article here.

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424103050.htm

 

Atlanta #3 Most Pest Infested City

According to a new study out by Orkin, Atlanta ranks #3 among the U.S.’s most pest infested cities and ranks #1 for mosquitoes.  There is little explanation as to why bugs are found in certain cities more than others.  Two common factors are climate and building infrastructure of the area.

Knowing that Atlanta ranks so high on both of these lists it is important that you keep your property protected from pests and mosquitoes.  A regularly scheduled pest control program and mosquito control program will not only get rid of bugs but it will assist in keeping the bugs away.  Our NorPest Green pest control program and our Green Mosquito Control program are customized plans that are developed specifically for the needs of you and your property by one of our highly trained technicians.  For more information on NorPest Green visit HERE, for more information on Green Mosquito Control visit HERE.

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Are You Ready for Termite Season?

Spring weather is the start of what we refer to as the beginning of “termite season“.  Termite season is when termite swarmers begin to emerge from their colonies in search of a new colony and a mate.  They look for the perfect place: moisture – CHECK…cellulose food source – CHECK…soil – CHECK!  Seeing swarmers is the first sign that you could have a termite infestation in your home.

A common question is how to tell the difference between a termite and a flying ant.  They may look similar but there are 3 distinct ways to tell the two pests apart:

  1. Body – ants have a distinct waist line between the thorax and abdomen while termites have a broad waist.
  2. Antennae – termites have straight (or slightly curved) antennae while an ant’s are bent.
  3. Wing Shape – termites have 4 wings of equal size while the ant’s front wings are larger than their back wings.

If you spot swarmers or other signs of termites, call your pest management companyNorthwest Exterminating provides a FREE, thorough inspection of your home.

 

Q & A: Is My Refrigerator Attracting Roaches?

Q: I have been cleaning and seems that every time I clean the kitchen there’s more and more cockroaches.  The owner from my apartment said it may be the refrigerator that is causing heat to attract more roaches.  Is this true?

German CockroachA: It sounds like you may be dealing with a German Roach infestation. German roaches are found in apartment communities often and usually require multiple treatments, as well as, some sanitation to eliminate them. Roaches are attracted to water, food, shelter, and when it’s cold…heat.  It is common to find a concentration of roaches in and around the appliances.  They are attracted to places like the refrigerator but that is not the cause of the infestation.  We strongly recommend a pest service or inspection to identify the issue.  Call your pest control management company to come out and properly identify the source of the infestation.  Together, you and Northwest Exterminating can come up with the right solution for your home.

 

Fact or Fiction?- Roaches & Nuclear Explosion

Our pest of the month for February is the roach. Sometimes it may seem like no matter what you use against them, whether it is insect repellant or the closest cleaning solution you can find, nothing keeps a roach down! Some claims even say that a nuclear explosion couldn’t even take roaches out. Though we don’t profess to have products stronger than something nuclear physicists can whip up, we do manage to handle roaches and other pests with our natural, green products.

So that leaves the question, are roaches truly capable of surviving nuclear explosions? The answer is – possibly! According to MythBusters, 10 percent of cockroaches exposed to the amount of radioactive gamma rays equivalent to the bomb at Hiroshima survived after exposure. It may be due to their simple bodies and slower cell cycles. Roaches lose their cells about once a week at most whereas some human cells constantly split up. However, just like all other life forms, if the radiation was great enough, roaches would not be able to survive.

As stated earlier, Northwest Exterminating has environmentally friendly products that handle your pest control needs. You don’t have to worry about exposure to harmful chemicals as we treat your home for pests. If you have a pest problem, we’ve got the solution! Call Northwest today.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Source:

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/cockroaches-survive-nuclear-explosion.htm