May’s Pest of the Month – Mosquitoes

MosquitoesTake Back Your Yard!Don’t let mosquitoes suck the fun out of your Summer!

HABITS

  • Breed in stagnant water such as ponds, marshes, drainage ditches, etc.
  • Can be found in almost every type of landscape on Earth except deserts and the Arctic.
  • Bite most often at dusk and dawn.

THREATS

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

PREVENTION

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flower pots, bird baths, etc.  Mosquitoes only need about one half inch of water to breed.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors whenever possible.
  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating for a professional inspection and treatment plan for breeding sites.

Enjoy your yard this Spring and Summer.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Program!

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

Adam Vannest Featured in Pest Management Professional Magazine

AdamDirector of Pest Services at Northwest Exterminating, Adam Vannest, was recently featured in Pest Management Professional magazine.  Adam answered some Q and A’s regarding fleas and ticks and also gave some Do’s and Don’ts for when dealing with these pesky pests.

Read below to get the full story:

Adam Vannest, director of pest services for the Atlanta area’s Northwest Exterminating, has faced plenty of hard-to-solve flea and tick problems. He recently shared tales of some memorable infestations — and his team’s solutions — with Pest Management Professional.

Q: What’s the largest flea and tick infestation you’ve faced, and how did you conquer the pests?
Vannest: One of the largest was in a rural subdivision that backed up into a large wooded area. The customer reported dealing with an intense flea problem and said she’d also noticed multiple ticks on the family dog. Seeing ticks on her children was this customer’s threshold point.

While inspecting the outside we noticed a lot of the areas around the home were overgrown. There were tall weeds and grass up against the house and woodpiles around the exterior. We started looking at the ticks’ harborage sites to figure out why they would be attracted to the location. It was a three-story house on a crawlspace, and once inside we noticed the crawlspace door was already open. There were also other entry points because it wasn’t sealed up very well. We definitely found fleas in the crawlspace. The main floor and upstairs also had fleas.

We explained to the customer that we wanted to eliminate harborage areas around the outside by cutting down weeds and trimming the grass around the foundation. We also educated the homeowner about the crawlspace and how many entry points were visible to stray animals and rodents. We had an exclusion team come out and seal up those areas so that we could treat it with a residual product and an insect growth regulator (IGR).

Next, we explained to the customer that to get our product were it needs to be we’d have to remove everything from the floor for cleaning and vacuuming. We also instructed them to take the dog to the vet for treatment. After that, we applied a broadcast treatment to the floor surfaces and throughout the house.
We had to treat the lawn for ticks as well.

Q:What’s your hardest-to-find flea and tick story. How did you solve the problem?
Vannest: It took place at a ranch house on a crawlspace. When we inspected we noticed that the family pets were pest free. This told us we were dealing with a population in the home that had been carried inside by other means.

Sometimes people forget all of the other things that can be responsible for bringing fleas into a home. Some of the hardest flea problems to solve are ones where a rodent population carries them inside.

We inspected the rest of the house and found pockets of flea activity but no defined area. However, when we got to the attic level we found a roof rat population bringing in fleas from outside, so we applied residual products and treatments there to eliminate the rodent problem. When we placed monitors to determine where flea hot spots existed we found a few more harborage sites that had been egg-laying areas. We targeted those areas and eliminated the problem.

Adam Vannest’s Dos & Don’ts
Do
■ Train technicians to always think outside the box. Every flea situation and every tick situation can be different.
■ Know your products and which ones are best for a particular infestation. Read labels and test the products.
■ Use monitoring to help find hot spots.
Don’t
■ Don’t assume the customer is doing the prep work.
■ Don’t assume every situation is going to be the same.
■ Don’t stop educating your technicians. Give them ongoing training.

You can visit Pest Management Professional magazine by going to www.mypmp.net

Note: We will link directly to the article as soon as it is available online!

 

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

 

Ants Are Back!

AntAnts have been making their presence known in homes as of late.  Ants are one of the most common pests that homeowner’s and pest professionals find in and around homes.  Common ant species are fire ants, carpenter ants, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, and odorous house ants.

Ants have a wide range of habits.  Some ants build mounds in the ground, others are found in homes near cracks and crevices, on counters, in kitchen sinks, pantries, and even bathrooms.  Knowing the different species of ants and their habits and preferences is key in controlling an ant problem.

Most ants are simply a nuisance pest.  They cause little damage but will invade and ruin food and some ants bite.  Generally speaking, there are no diseases associated with ants.

A licensed pest professional can identify the type of ant that you are experiencing and develop a customized plan to get rid of ants.  With this process, you are using the least amount of chemical possible (if any) while also coming up with a plan that will deter ants from returning.  If you are one of the many homeowner’s experiencing ants right now, call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 or visit www.callnorthwest.com

 

April is National Pest Management Month!

Monday, April 1, 2013

This April, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take precautions against common pests

FAIRFAX, VA – The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) celebrates April as National Pest Management Month, an observance that’s been taking place for more than 30 years to recognize the pest management industry for its commitment to the protection of public health and property from common household pests.

“Whether it’s rodents, ants, termites, bed bugs or cockroaches, pest professionals play an important role in preserving our quality of life,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We’d like to recognize these men and women for all they do to keep our families and homes safe from unwanted pests not just during National Pest Management Month, but year-round.”

This April, homeowners are reminded to pest-proof their home in preparation for the upcoming pest season. NPMA experts recommend the following tips:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes.
  • Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
  • Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Keep kitchen counters clean, and store food in sealed containers.
  • Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.

“As the weather continues to get warmer, pests will begin to emerge from their overwintering sites and look for food indoors. National Pest Management Month comes at the perfect time to make pest-proofing a priority to prevent an infestation during the spring and summer seasons,” added Henriksen.

For more information on National Pest Management Month or for information on common household pests, please visit Pestworld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.

Source

 

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

 

Virtual Home Tour to Help Keep Pests Out

Homeowners often look for tips on how to keep pests out of their homes.  Our blogs are often filled with tips from Northwest Exterminating on common approaches to keeping your house clean, sanitary, and with minimum clutter for keeping bugs out.

www.whatisipm.org offers an interactive home tour that can be used as a guide for you, along with your pest professional, to keep bugs from becoming an issue in and around your home.

The home tour offers great tips such as vacuuming frequently, wiping down counters, and inspecting luggage before bringing it into the house along with other helpful tips.  We strongly encourage you to visit this site and see how you can prevent bugs from calling your house, HOME.

Source

 

Spring Clean Your Lawn

Wednesday marked the first day of Spring.  For many of us that means one thing…Spring Cleaning!  We often think about all the things to do indoors but what about outdoors?  It’s time to spring clean your lawn as well.

backyard

Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips for your Lawn:

  • Clean up lawn debris – Remove trash, animal debris, dead grass, leaves, pine cones, sticks, etc from your lawn.  Debris removal will not only make your lawn look better but it also eliminates hiding and feeding areas for pests and rodents.
  • Rake Leaves – If you have piles of leaves left over from fall or some stragglers that have come down more recently, rake those up and dispose of them.  Raking up leaves and removing debris  will eliminate hiding spots for occasional invaders like millipedes, ants, and other pests.
  • Check leftover firewood – Check under any leftover firewood for signs of pests that often hide between and underneath wood.  Make sure that wood piles are located as far away from your home as possible.  The last thing you want is termites next to your structure.
  • Remove standing water – Standing water is a breeding ground for pests, especially mosquitoes.  Dump water from bird baths or install drains that will aid in water flowing from your yard rather than gathering.
  • Trim Bushes – By trimming your bushes you are not only making your lawn look aesthetically pleasing but you’re also reducing the risk of pests near the structure of your home.
  • Apply pre-emergent – Now is the perfect time to prevent weeds from popping up in your lawn.  Call a lawn care professional for the most effective products and treatment options for your lawn.

There’s no better time than now to trust Northwest’s Lawn Care experts to prepare your lawn to be healthy and green for the upcoming months so you can enjoy the outdoors!

 

Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

Customers are always asking us how to keep pests out of their homes.  Besides regularly scheduled pest control treatments from their pest control company, below are Northwest Exterminating‘s Top 10 Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home:

top ten ways to keep bugs out_infographic 10-12.ai

 

 

The Kissing Bug

We recently celebrated Valentine’s day, a time of year when couples make sure to let each other know just how much love there is between them. But when we talk about the kissing bug, we don’t mean the kind you get from your sweetie.  Kissing bugs, also known as conenose bugs, assassin bugs, or triatomines, get their name from choosing to bite their victims close to the mouth, possibly due to their attraction to the carbon dioxide coming from a mammal’s breath.

Adult bugs are about 6/8 inch long and range in color from dark brown to black, wings and six equally-spaced reddish-orange spots. Kissing bugs also occur in and around homes, where they feed on the blood of humans, rats and other animals. Additionally, they feed on other pests – including other kissing bugs! During the day they take refuge, but at night time they search for blood when their host is asleep and the air is cooler.

In the southern United States, on rare occasions, some of these bugs transmit Chaga’s disease among their victims. Rather than transmitting it through its saliva as most would assume, kissing bugs transmit this to humans via its feces.  It can also be spread from human to human via blood transfusion and organ transplantation, ingestion of infected food and from mother to fetus.  Mild symptoms include fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, and rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Though rare in this part of the United States, if you spot these bugs, you know exactly who to call – Call the mouse!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

https://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/aimg53.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triatominae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chagas_disease