The 411 on Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals, typically while they sleep. Usually, they live within 8 feet of where people sleep but are known to travel up to 100 feet in one night! This is because they can go many months without having to have a meal. When they take a bite, they will leave a small bite mark that, at worst, can cause a serious allergic reaction, but are otherwise not known to be a source of disease.

Unlike their name suggests, bed bugs can be found in houses, apartments, hotels, trains, and even cruise ships. At one time, it was thought that these insects were only an issue in developing countries, but recently they have rapidly spread throughout North America and parts of Europe. They travel through the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, clothing, bedding and furniture. Despite what conventional wisdom suggests, the presence of bed bugs does not have to do with lack of cleanliness. Bed bugs go where food can be found.

Bed bug infestation will most likely be spotted after they have already gotten to you. If you see inexplicable bite marks on your body after you wake up, you might want to investigate further. Looking around your sleeping area, you may discover bed bug exoskeletons, a sweet musty order, rusty-colored blood spots and of course, actual bed bugs in the folds of mattresses and sheets.

The treatment and prevention of bed bugs is where Northwest Exterminating comes in. We offer services to rid your home of bed bugs should an infestation occur. If you find that you have encountered these unwelcome bed guests, be sure to contact your nearest service center!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html

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

January’s Pest of the Month – Squirrels

Gray Squirrel

Unwanted House Guests in Your Attic This Winter?

They may look cute and furry but squirrels can cause major damage if they take up residency in your home. One of the first clues that people experience is the sound of scratching, clawing, gnawing, or scurrying in their attic or walls. If you think you may have unwanted visitors in your home, call Northwest Exterminating.

Habits

  • Natural habitat is wooded areas
  • Often make home in attics or garages for warmth, shelter, food, and a place to build their nests

Different Species

Threats

  • Urine and droppings can contaminate insulation and other areas of the attic
  • Can damage contents of attic including wood, insulation, wires, and storage boxes
  • Can cause damage to power lines outside of the home
  • Invade bird feeder

Prevention

  • Locate and seal off any entry points 1/4″ or larger to prevent squirrels and other rodents from entering your home.
  • Caulk any openings or crevices.
  • To keep squirrels from using utility wires as a way to your attic, slit a 2-foot section of 2-inch PVC pipe lengthwise and slip it over the wire.This makes squirrels unable to maintain their footing when the pipe rotates.
  • Cut back tree limbs that are close to your structure.
  • Squirrel removal is not recommended for amateurs. Call the professionals at Northwest Exterminating.

Other Pests to Look For

 

Diseases Caused by Pests

With our commitment to healthier living and working environments, we at Northwest understand the importance of good pest management for personal health. Living in a hygienic environment and minimizing exposure to unwanted pests can literally save lives. For instance, the lives of twenty-five million Europeans during the Late Middle Ages were claimed by fleas that had spread the bubonic plague. They managed this feat by using another pest as a host – rats! Modern improvements on hygiene, sanitation and pest management have dramatically reduced the impact of this disease.

 

Another more common disease brought on by insects is Lyme disease. This disease is carried by the deer tick in the form of a bacterium called Borrelia bugdorferi. If a deer tick bites you, the bacterium enters the bloodstream and will lead to skin rash and in extreme cases, paralysis. When caught early, antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria before it causes furthermore harm.

Mosquitoes in particular can carry a host of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, pogosta disease, and West Nile virus. They carry similar traits in that when infected, a person will experience a fever indicating that more serious effects are on the way such as meningitis or arthritis.  All these diseases can lead to death if not caught or treated properly. For some of these diseases, the best form of prevention is pest management. Northwest Exterminating provides solutions to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in and around your home or work environment.

If you come in contact with a pest and feel you may have been exposed to any disease, be sure to immediately seek medical attention. Many of these diseases, as well as others such as malaria or rabies can be treated when caught early.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/diseases.htm

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

 

 

Round 7 of Lawn Care

We are currently on Round 7 of our Lawn Care treatments.  During this round, we are focusing on root growth and controlling weeds by applying a combination of fertilizers.  Round 7 is vital to your lawn care program and is especially important in the prevention of poa annua.  Poa annua is common in the South and begins to emerge during the early spring months.

For the best results:

  • The treatment should be watered in within 48 hours.
  • The lawn should not be mowed 2 days before or after the treatment.

Fall is the most important time of year to get your lawn healthy and green!

What’s the key to a healthy lawn?

Watering is essential for a healthy lawn.  We can not stress the importance of watering to improve the color and condition of your lawn.  We suggest watering at least 45 minutes in each zone once a week.

For more information on improving the healthy and look of your lawn visit Northwest.

 

Preventing Head Lice

With kids being settled back into the school year, September is the perfect time of year for Head Lice Prevention Month.  Here are some tips on how to keep head lice from bugging your household:

  • Avoid sharing clothing or other belongings that might have come in contact with lice or nits (lice eggs).
  • Avoid head-to-head contact.
  • Do not share hats, brushes, combs, hair accessories, helmets, coats, or other pieces that come in contact with someone’s hair.
  • To disinfect combs, brushes, or towels that have come in contact with lice, soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Avoid laying on linens, pillows, or carpets where someone with lice has recently been.
  • Wash and dry clothing, linens, or towels that have come into contact with someone infected with lice during the 2 days prior to treatment.  Wash and dry on the highest heat.
  • Vacuum carpet and furniture where a person with lice has recently come in contact.

Using the simple tips above can help prevent the spread of lice from one household to another.  For more information on preventing head lice visit the CDC’s website.

Other useful blogs about head lice:

September is Head Lice Prevention Month
School Has Started…So Has Lice

 

Heartworm Heartache

Nobody likes mosquitoes! Especially, your four-legged friends. Besides being just plain annoying, mosquitoes carry many diseases that affect both humans and animals.  Heartworms are among the diseases that are carried by mosquitoes and can be a horrible disease for your furry friend to contract. The key to mosquito protection is prevention.

A heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and lungs of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream, damaging arteries and vital organs as they go, finally finishing their trip to the lungs and heart about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for up to five to seven years. Heartworm disease can be fatal and should be taken seriously.

Mosquitoes carry heartworms and transmit them from animal to animal.  The life cycle of the heartworm is intricate. An animal must have at least two heartworms (a male and a female) in order for female heartworms to reproduce.

Struggled breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss, weariness, and fatigue after only moderate exercise are signs of heartworm infestation. However, some dogs exhibit no symptoms at all until late stages of infection. Heartworm treatment can be very expensive for you and very painful for your precious pet. This is why it is so important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian on a regular basis and to keep them on a preventative plan. Heartworms do not discriminate – any dog can get infected. And while it is less of a threat to cats, they can still get heartworms as well.  So keep your feline friend protected too!

Turn your mosquito magnets into mosquito repellants with Northwest Exterminating Mosquito Control!

Has your pet ever been heartworm positive?

 

Formosan Termites found in Columbus, GA Home

A Columbus family recently had some unwelcome guests in the form of Formosan termites.  Out of over 2,000 species of termites, Formosan termites or “Super Termites” are the most aggressive.  They are native to Asia and often make their way into the US through shipped wood.  Formosan termites gather in large colonies and can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a home.  Once a home is infested with Formosan termites, they can be difficult to control.  That is why termite prevention is key!

In this particular case, a family member noticed “flying insects” and called Northwest Exterminating to identify the pests as Formosan termites.  Northwest President, Steve Phillips, personally went out with the team to inspect the home.  The termites were found swarming in several areas of the home.  We installed a termite baiting system, The Sentricon System with Always Active, an effective and environmentally friendly option to eliminate and prevent termites.  Always Active offers continuous property protection from the termite colony – not just the individual termite.

We strongly suggested that this customer’s neighbors have their homes inspected for termites as well.  If a neighbor has termites, or some other pest or rodent infestation, they can easily make their way over to your home.  That is why termite protection is so important…prevention is key!  Preventing termites from ever getting into your home will ensure that you don’t get a termite infestation.  Call us or visit us online for a FREE termite inspection

Watch Steve Phillips and some of the Northwest Exterminating team on Columbus’ WRBL News 3.

5:27 mark

 

Watch this at WRBL

 

How to Prevent Millipedes from Getting into Your Home

MillipedesDid you know that a millipede isn’t an insect at all?!  They are arthropods that feed on dead and decaying plant matter.  Millipedes overwinter in homes which means they enter when the temperatures drop and come out when the temperatures rise.  This is why you see millipedes around your home in warmer months…they’ve been there; they’ve just been “resting”.  Well, they’re not always “resting”, sometimes they are mating which can be a pain because they can lay up to 300 eggs at a time.  This is usually when you discover a millipede infestation.  In the right situation, a millipede can live 5-7 years.

The best way to keep millipedes out of your house is to stop them from getting in.

Prevention Tips for millipedes:

  • Seal any cracks and/or crevices in the foundation, around wiring, and plumbing where millipedes, or other pests, could enter.
  • Millipedes require high humidity.  Use dehumidifiers to keep the air dry or use fans in rooms that done have good air flow.
  • Repair any leaks.  Leaky faucets or pipes can attract millipedes.
  • Clean out and remove debris from gutters.  Gutter build up can cause water from draining correctly.
  • Keep your yard clean by removing dead plant matter.  Remove piled up mulch or woodpiles that store moisture and attract millipedes.

Call Northwest Exterminating if you are having a millipede problem.

For more information on millipedes visit out Identify your Pest section.

 

Tick Prevention from the EPA

Protecting ourselves and our pets from ticks are a big concern this year.  The EPA has put out information through the NPMA on tick bites and Lyme disease prevention:

An ounce of prevention

It is important to know about tick habitats and personal protection techniques because most people are exposed to ticks in residential areas. Here are a few ways to prevent ticks:

1. Keep the lawn mowed to make your property unattractive to ticks. Ticks are found in high grass, yards with trees and shrubs.

2. Keep backyard grasses set back from the woods around a home by eight feet. Place a three-foot wood chip, gravel or mulch border area between grassy edges and tick-prone zones. Ticks prefer moist areas like leaf litter and the edge of woods. Ticks don’t like the sun and wait in shady areas on brush and grasses.

3. Practice personal protection. Personal protection involves using repellents, wearing appropriate clothing and checking for ticks on one’s person, which is the most effective practice of all. In tick habitats, wear long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots, and long-sleeved shirts. This keeps ticks from reaching the skin and makes them easier to see. Ticks like places on humans that are warm and moist, most commonly the backs of the knees, armpits, the groin, the scalp, the back of the neck, and behind the ears. Attached ticks should be removed as soon as possible using fine-point tweezers since risk of disease transmission is increased the longer the tick is attached.

To read the full article click HERE.

To protect your home and loved ones from ticks, call Northwest Exterminating.

 

Flea Prevention & Facts

How can something as small as a flea be such a huge pain?  Pet owners are all too familiar with the annoyance of fleas because they make us AND our pets miserable.  Fleas attach themselves to warm-blooded animals (pets and humans) and feed on their blood.  A flea bite can cause discomfort, painful, itchy red bumps and can lead to an allergic reaction.  In some cases, they can even transmit diseases like the bubonic plague, murine typhus and transfer tapeworms in pets.

To prevent fleas from becoming a pest in your home, clean and vacuum frequently.  A clean home is a healthy home and will aid in the prevention of other pests as well.  Cleaning will help to remove any fleas and their eggs.  Maintaining a clean yard is just as important, especially if you have pets that go outside often.  A well kept lawn with no debris or pet droppings will reduce the flea population around your home.  Bathe pets regularly and apply a flea and tick treatment.  Most importantly, call a professional exterminator if you have fleas in your home.  A flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of and is best left to the professionals so the problem does not continue to grow.

Interesting Flea Facts:

  • The largest recorded flea measured almost ½ inch!
  • Fleas consume 15 times their weight in blood each day. That is like a 140 lb. woman eating 8,400 burgers in one day!
  • Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in cats and dogs.
  • Fleas can live for about 100 days.
  • Fleas don’t fly, they jump.
  • A pair of fleas can produce 400-500 offspring in their lifetime.
  • A flea can jump up to 8 inches high or 150 times its own height.

Got a flea problem?  Call Northwest Exterminating for professional, effective flea control.