Expert Advice for a Bed Bug Free School Year

Northwest Exterminating shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

Summer vacation is almost over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over bed bug prevention, Northwest Exterminating, a pest control management company, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places.  This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans

NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing

For more information on bed bugs, please visit our Bed Bug Control page.

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

Protect Yourself From Tick Bites and Tick-Borne Disease

Northwest Exterminating offers tick bite prevention advice for the summer season

As people venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather we want to encourage increased public awareness of ticks and their numerous health risks.

Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting serious diseases to humans when they bite, including Lyme disease, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We encourage people to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites when outdoors this summer and decrease the chances of contracting one of these tick-borne illnesses.

Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests.

Most effective ways to prevent a tick encounter, and tick bite, include:

  • Landscape your yard. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris. Ticks are found in high grass, and yards with shrubbery.
  • Protect your skin. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
  • Use an effective bug repellant. Always apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
  • Regularly check for ticks. Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
  • Don’t forget about pets. Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
  • Brush up on proper removal techniques. (Read our post “How to Remove a Tick“) Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water, and flush the tick down a toilet or wrap it in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
  • Contact a professional pest professional. Anyone suspecting a tick bite or experiencing symptoms, including a skin rash, joint pain or fever, should seek prompt medical attention. If ticks are a problem on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and implement a treatment plan to reduce tick populations.

 For more information on ticks, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/.

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.

 

 

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!

 

Proper Steps in Getting Rid of Rodents

The Proper Steps to Getting Rodents Out of Your Home

If you’ve read this blog before then you know that prevention is key.  Whether talking about ants, termites, mice, or other pests and rodents, prevention is always the first step.  Taking the proper steps to prevent these creatures from entering your home is the key to eliminating pest and rodent problems.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents, such as rats and mice, spread over 35 diseases.  Their diseases are spread through contamination by urine, feces, saliva, or bites.

So what are the proper steps to getting rid of rodents in your home?

First, is a thorough inspection of your home by a licensed professional who is knowledgeable about wildlife removalNorthwest Exterminating’s wildlife team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of rodents and wildlife.  The wildlife team will inspect your property for any current infestations and points of entry.  After that, they will work with you to customize a plan to get rid of any current rodents and the necessary steps to prevent future rodent infestations.

Second, is trapping the rodent.  After your rodent control specialist has inspected your property and identified the infestation they will place traps or bait in the areas where the rodents will most likely travel.

Third, after rodents have been trapped and controlled, the wildlife team will work with you to take the necessary steps to prevent future rats and mice from returning.  Proper prevention can include but is not limited to sealing cracks, blocking off entry points, eliminating food sources, and cutting back tree limbs from the roofline.

Lastly, it is very important that after the rodents have been properly trapped and out of your home that the area is carefully cleaned to avoid the spread of disease.  Droppings and urine should be cleaned immediately, any nests should be removed, damaged wires repaired, and contaminated insulation should be replaced.

For more questions on rodent or wildlife control please call 888-466-7849 or visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

 

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.

 

Preventing Mosquitoes

Source

Prevention is key in keeping mosquitoes and other pests away from your home.  Making your property less appealing to mosquitoes is a huge step in keeping mosquitoes away.  If they don’t have a place to lay their eggs, then they won’t stick around.  One of the most important things you can do is to remove areas of standing water.

This can be done by eliminating areas in your yard where standing water occurs (gutters, plants, lawn decor, tires, playgrounds, items found in yard, etc.).  Make sure that things such as bird baths, fountains, and plants are emptied frequently.

This is one simple yet effective way to keep mosquitoes away.

Mosquito Control by a professional pest control company can effectively eliminate mosquito habitats and work with you to ensure that your property is not a mosquito magnet!

Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Control Program.

 

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!

 

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

 

Sentricon Interviews Peter Schmidt for Blog

Pete - SentriconSentricon Colony Elimination Systems interviewed our own Peter Schmidt for their blog.  Peter is a great asset to our team at Northwest Exterminating and especially our customers.  Great job on the interview, Sentricon!

Pete talks about why he thinks Sentricon is a good choice for homeowners in the prevention of termites, as well as tips for homeowners, and even a funny story about how you have to be quick on your feet in the pest control industry!

“A self-described graduate of the “school of hard knocks,” Peter Schmidt first became involved in pest management in Florida in 1992. He started his career with Northwest Exterminating in 1995, and became an Authorized Operator for the Sentricon® System in 1997. We caught up with Peter at a large Sentricon installation at an apartment complex in North Atlanta, where he shared some solid advice for both homeowners and other Authorized Operators—the latter of which might want to invest in some running shoes.”

To read the entire blog CLICK HERE.