Protect Your Home Against Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma

Eliminating Pests to Prevent Allergies and Asthma This Spring

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, we want to remind people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses during the spring season on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well. It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
Source: NPMA

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Source: NPMA

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

Protect Your Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Simple ways pet owners can keep their animals safe from fleas and ticks

The spring season is a time when all members of the family, including pets, wander outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and blossoming flowers. Unfortunately, it’s also prime pest season, which means pets are at risk of encountering hungry fleas and ticks that are in search of active hosts. Northwest Exterminating encourages pet owners to take precautions against these dangerous pests during the warmer months.

Fleas are more than just an itchy annoyance. Their saliva can cause anemia, dermatitis and can transfer tapeworms in dogs and cats. Ticks can spread bacteria to pets and cause tick paralysis, which occurs when a female tick attaches near a pet’s spinal cord. This condition can lead to muscle weakness, loss of coordination and in some cases, death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.

In addition to the health threats posed by fleas and ticks, both pests are small in size and extremely mobile, making them difficult to detect and get rid of once inside the home. It’s extremely important for pet owners to be cautious of these pests and contact a licensed pest professional if they suspect an infestation.

The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers these tips to keep pets pest-free:

  • Check pets’ coats thoroughly for ticks and fleas on a regular basis, especially after spending time outdoors. Be aware of excessive scratching and licking.
  • Avoid walking dogs in tall grass, where there is a greater chance of encountering ticks.
  • Bathe pets after walks or playtime with other animals.
  • Wash pet bedding, collars and plush toys frequently.
  • Wash bed linens and vacuum carpets, floors and furniture regularly.
  • Empty vacuum bags in an outside receptacle.
  • Speak to a veterinarian about flea and tick prevention treatments.

Source: NPMA

 

Spring Wildlife Prevention Tips

Head Into Spring With These Helpful Wildlife Prevention Tips

The South (and a greater portion of the country) is making its way out of a treacherous winter.  During the recent cold months its likely that pests or wildlife may have taken shelter in your home.  Since Spring is approaching it’s a good time to get in the habit of checking around your property for areas that could have been used or could be used as entry points for wildlife.

chipmunk

chipmunk

Wildlife and pests come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some are relatively harmless while others can cause potential health threats.  Illnesses can be contracted by breathing in contaminated air with spores that develop from fungus grown in animals’ fecal matter.  The elderly, children, or those with compromised immune systems can be at high risk for contracting these illnesses.

If you hear scratching or scurrying in your walls, don’t ignore it or try to solve the problem on your own, call a professional wildlife removal team.  Guessing or attempting to get rid of the animal on your own could result in costly damage and even danger.  When hiring a trusted wildlife removal company, like Northwest Exterminating, the first order of business is to inspect the property and assess the situation.  They can identify the issue based on where you’re hearing noises, openings, droppings, gnaw marks, or nests.  Once the pest is identified a customized plan can be established.

As we say here over and over again, the key is PREVENTION.  Some wildlife are bound and determined to get into your home regardless of the steps you take, however, there are ways you can deter them.

Wildlife Prevention Tips:

  • Bring pet food and water indoors and keep in a tightly sealed container.
  • Trim trees back from the roofline.
  • Although they are fun to watch and enjoy, bird feeders should be removed.  They can attract squirrels and other animals to your home.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Keep outdoor trash in a tightly sealed container.
  • Caulk & seal entrances around the home.
  • Hire a trusted and knowledgeable wildlife expert to remove wildlife from your home.

 

 

Winter Weather Forces Rodents and Other Pests Indoors

Winter Weather Forces Rodents and Other Pests Indoors

Raccoon in tree

Raccoon

Last week we saw cold weather and snow blanket much of the country.  In cold conditions homeowners aren’t the only ones seeking shelter indoors. Northwest Exterminating warns that rodents and wildlife are also looking for a warm place, like our homes, to escape the winter chill. Unfortunately, these small pests can cause more than just a headache for homeowners if they gain entrance inside.

Rodents can contaminate food sources and serve as vectors of many diseases, such as salmonella and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.  Moreover, mice and rats can cause serious structural damage by chewing through insulation, walls, wood, and electrical wiring.

It’s much easier to prevent an infestation than to get rid of pests after they’ve found a cozy retreat inside the home. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips to keep homes rodent-free this winter:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.

Northwest Exterminating advises homeowners to also be on the lookout for signs of an infestation. If you find rodent feces or hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or attic, contact a licensed pest professional, like Northwest Exterminating, to inspect your home for rodents.

For more information, visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/wildlife-control/.

 

Proper Pest Treatment Starts with Inspection

Installing Sentricon

One of the keys to properly treating your home for bugs and other pests is to have a thorough inspection by a professional and knowledgeable pest inspector.  Many pest species are often mistaken for other pests.  A knowledgeable technician is able to properly identify your current pest infestation and create a detailed plan on how to get rid of the pests and how to keep them from returning.

Proper identification ensures that your property receives the appropriate plan related to treatment solutions and areas to be treated.  If you aren’t certain of what pest you are targeting then you may be using unnecessary chemicals in or around your home or business and may still be left with an infestation.

A professional pest control technician can also identify areas of concern that will help to solve your current problem as well as any future issues that you may have.  A detailed action plan will provide you with preventive pest control protection.

If you’re looking for a professional pest control company in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, or South Carolina call Northwest Exterminating! 888.466.7849 or callnorthwest.com

 

 

Bugs Heading Indoors Due to Rain

The recent rain has kept more than just human beings inside…it’s caused lots of pests to head indoors as well.  You may have seen an increase of bugs in and around your home or office where they are entering to seek shelter from the rain.

Easy steps to keeping pests out:

  • Eliminate possible entry points.  Check doors, windows, foundation, attic, and/or basement for places that could be used to gain entrance to your home.  Insects can enter into the smallest of spaces.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in and around the foundation and around pipes and electrical boxes.
  • If you don’t have screens on your doors or windows then it’s best to keep them closed.
  • Keep outside lights pointed away from your home.  Most species are attracted to light.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.
  • Seal and take trash out on a regular basis.
  • Check items brought into the home for pests.
  • Hire a reputable pest management company to do regularly scheduled services that will help in preventing insects, pest, and rodents from entering your home or office.

 

 

 

Signs of Termites

Termites are some of the hardest working pests in the business.  24/7 they are in search of food which is oftentimes the wood from our homes.  Termites are responsible for an estimated amount of over 2 billion dollars worth of damage to home in the US each year.

One of the first signs of a termite infestation is spotting termite swarmers.  Swarmers are winged termites that are often mistaken for flying ants.  Swarming (flying) termites have only 2 body segments, straight antennae, and 2 sets of wings equal in length. Flying ants, on the other hand, have 3 body segments, bent antennae, and 2 sets of wings that differ in length.  Mud tunnels or tubes along the foundation are also signs that termites have found their way to your home.

The best action against termites is to be proactive.

  • Divert water away from the foundation of your property.
  • Reduce humidity, especially in areas like attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
  • Keep all wood at least 20 feet away from your home and at least 5 inches off the ground.  Termites are known to travel in tunnels underground.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches away from the foundation.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating at the first sign of termites.  Termite infestations need immediate action by a licensed pest professional.
 

Got Questions? Visit our Learning Center.

Learning CenterThe colder months are a time when pests, rodents, and other creatures make their way into homes and businesses for food and shelter.  These pests can be a nuisance and sometimes even a health concern to your home.

If you’re wondering about a specific insect or rodent that you’re seeing you can find out more information at Northwest Exterminating’s Learning Center at callnorthwest.com.

Our Learning Center serves as a helpful tool to our customers that helps them to identify pests, learn about their habitats, and learn what the best solution is to get rid of them and prevent them from returning.  You can also find out how at risk your home may be for termites.   And our frequently asked questions page offers answers on some of the questions that we see and hear often from other customers just like you.

If there is anything that you would like to see on our Learning Center page, please feel free to tell us by filling out our “Ask the Mouse” section located on our site.

 

 

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.

 

September Pest of the Month: Stink Bugs

kudzu bug stink bug

Brief description:

The stink bug gets its name from its ability to release an odor when they are disturbed or crushed.  Stink bugs have a triangular or shield shape.

Habits:

  • Enter homes and other structures in the winter for shelter and emerge from their hiding spaces in early spring.
  • Mostly feed on plants and crops.
  • Some species feed off of other pests such as caterpillars and other crop damaging pests.  This species of stink bug is used as a natural pest control for crops.
  • When disturbed, they release a foul smelling fluid from their pores to protect themselves from predators.

Different species:

Threats:

  • Can damage plants and crops.
  • Invade homes in large numbers.

Prevention:

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the structure of your home so they cannot enter.
  • Do not shine outside lights directly onto your home…this will attract stink bugs to your home.
  • Use a vacuum to get rid of stink bugs.  Empty contents of vacuum into a tightly sealed trash bag and dispose of immediately.  Do NOT crush!  Crushing will cause them to emit their infamous odor.
  • Because of their ability to invade en masse, contact Northwest Exterminating if a stink bug infestation happens in your home or business.

Other pests to look out for: