December’s Pest of the Month – Raccoons

Noises in Your Attic?  Could be a raccoon.

animal control

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Raccoons are one of the most charismatic species of animals found in North America. They are said  to be very intelligent; they can remember the solution to tasks up to three years later.

  • 16 to 28 inches in length
  • Weighs 8 to 20 lbs
  • Grayish in color with white and black facial markings

HABITS

  • Superb ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
  • Common residents in cities, towns, and suburbs.
  • Will live in hollowed out trees, caves, or even an attic or garage if they find one available.
  • Consume both animal and plant matter.
  • Diet varies with locality, season, and availability.

THREATS

  • Commonly raid gardens, garbage cans, bird feeders, fish-ponds, and even kitchen cabinets.
  • Have been known to use door knobs which makes cabinet doors fair game.
  • A pet door is an open invitation into a home.

PREVENTION

  • Provide an exclusion barrier where needed.
  • Live cages around garbage cans.

For more information on raccoons and other wildlife removal, call Northwest Exterminating.

 

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

Helpful Tips to Keep Wildlife our of Your Home

Tips to Keep Wildlife out of Your Home

In our last blog we discussed the potential health threats and property damage that animals can cause when they enter your home.  We’re not talking about dogs and cats here, we’re talking about the animals that belong in the wild: bats, raccoons, squirrels , mice, opossums, and other wildlife.  With the cold temperatures we are starting to experience, it’s a prime time for wild animals to seek warmth and shelter in homes.

Here are some helpful tips on how to keep wildlife out of your home:

  • Take out the trash regularly and ensure that the container is tightly sealed.
  • Cut back tree limbs from your house.  Animals can use these to gain entry to your home.
  • Properly seal any vents or openings around the home that animals could use as entry points.
  • Remove standing water from your yard.  This includes bird baths, pooled water areas, and pet water bowls.
  • Never leave pet food and water bowls outside.  These can attract wildlife.
  • Remove debris from your lawn.
  • Install chimney caps so wildlife can’t enter your chimney.

If you hear wildlife in your home, it is best to call a professional animal removal company.  Some animals can get aggressive when they feel they are being threatened.  Northwest’s wildlife control specialist can help to remove the animal, seal off entry points, and help you to ensure that other wildlife do not return.

 

Fall & Winter Brings Wildlife Into Homes

Cold Weather Has Wildlife Seeking Shelter in Homes

Those furry little creatures are cute outdoors but they somehow turn into scary monsters when they’re scurrying through your attic, basement, or even your walls.  During the fall and winter months different wildlife can make their way into houses seeking warmth from the outside cold.

SquirrelCommon invaders like squirrels, bats, raccoons, and possums can be a threat to your health, property, and even your safety.  These animals can carry diseases and can even get aggressive when they feel threatened.  They can damage your property by gnawing on sheet rock, wood, insulation, storage containers, and wiring (a potential fire hazard).

There are easy steps to take that will help keep animals out of your home for the colder seasons: take trash out regularly and seal tightly and cut back tree limbs from your roof line.  Animals, especially squirrels, use tree limbs as an entry to your home.  Look for gnaw marks and feces and listen for scurrying sounds as indicators that you may have unwanted guests in your home.

Because these animals have a potential to be dangerous, it is best to call a wildlife removal company to properly remove these animals.  Call Northwest Exterminating for animal removal.

 

August Pest of the Month: Ticks

It’s important to protect yourself and your pets from ticks this season!  Keep reading for more information on the little suckers!

tick

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

  • Size varies depending on the species and type.
  • More closely related to spiders than insects.
  • Can have either a soft or a hard body.
  • Usually brought into homes by animals.
  • Feed on animals and humans for their blood meal.

HABITS

  • Live in low lying areas such as grass, shrubs, and bushes while waiting for a passing host to attach themselves on to.
  • Female ticks have about 3,000 eggs in the spring time.
  • Ticks feed on humans, mice, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and birds.

SPECIES

  • American dog tick
  • Blacklegged/deer/bear tick
  • Brown dog tick
  • Lone Star Tick
  • Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

THREATS

  • Ticks attach themselves to animals or humans to obtain their blood meal by biting the victim.
  • Can cause irritation around the site of the bite, allergic reaction, or cause the mouth parts to get stuck in the skin when the tick is removed.
  • Known to transfer Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis.

PREVENTION

  • When in wooded areas or tall grass, wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed toed shoes.
  • Use a bug repellant that contains DEET.
  • Keep grass and other vegetation on your property properly cut and maintained.
  • Inspect yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
  • Inspect your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
  • If you find a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick with a slow, gentle, upward pressure.

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Call Northwest Exterminating for information on how to protect your home and loved ones from ticks.

 

 

Pests That Affect Your Lawn

It’s summer time, so you and your family will likely spend a great deal more time outside enjoying the weather. However, your household won’t be the only ones wanting to take advantage of your lawn. Especially during the summertime, certain insects can cause damage or even kill your turfgrass. Signs of insect feeding include grass turning yellow or brown and eventually dying. This begins as small patches of grass but can eventually lead to widespread damage. It’s important to eliminate lawn damage using preventive measures and Northwest Lawn Care offers just that!

 

 

One pest in particular that you may be used to seeing is a white grub. These insects are the larvae stage of several species of masked chafer beetles. This said, if you spot beetles in your yard, you’re likely to have white grubs. They are small, white “C” shaped bugs with six legs. When these insects infest, they can destroy grass roots, which weakens the affected area. If ever you’ve been able to lift your grass easily from the ground, it’s likely to be due to these insects.

White GrubMasked chafer

Another common insect pest is the armyworm, which is actually the larva stage of a moth and is therefore, a caterpillar. Like all caterpillars, army worms like feed of plants, including all types of grass. They like to chew on leaves as well as the base of leaves, leaving irregular patches of grass. Once again, if you notice a fair amount of brown or gray moths in your yard, you’re likely to already have an armyworm problem.

Armyworm

Armyworm

Other common insect pests include billbugs, black turfgrass ataenius, fiery skipper, lawn moths, sod webworms and the southern chinch bug. Keep in mind that these pests are perfect treat for larger pests such moles, skunks and raccoons. If you feel like your lawn may be at risk, call the Northwest Lawn Care Team and they will meet your needs.

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7476.html

http://www.diynetwork.com/outdoors/how-to-identify-common-lawn-pests/index.html

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/homegrnd/htms/13inslwn.htm

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/white-grubs-lawns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venomous Snakes Common to GA and Other Parts of the Southeast

Northwest’s Wildlife Services Team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of animal nuisances. Among our specialties are squirrels, rodents, raccoons, opossums, bees, armadillos, and chipmunks. An important wildlife service in the coming warm months is our snake removal! Our Wildlife team uses a Green product that is used to deter snakes.  We also spend a great deal of time educating the customer on snakes.

Georgia is among the states with the highest biodiversity of snakes in the U.S. with 43 different species. They are located anywhere in Georgia from the mountains in the north to the barrier islands along our eastern coast. Below we have pictures and descriptions of the most common venomous snakes. If you spot one of these, call our Wildlife Services Team at 770.436.3362 to get them off your hands, or better yet, remove them very far away from your hands!

Copperhead

copperhead

Copperhead

Copperheads are fairly large – anywhere from 2 to over 3 feet long! They have brown, triangular heads and elliptical pupils. You likely won’t want to get close enough to be sure, but they have two tiny dots at the center of the top of the head. More distinguishing features include yellow tails for juvenile snakes, and the brown bands that run along their body are in a distinct hourglass shape. They are found mostly in the forested areas of Georgia and South Carolina.

Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin

cottonmouth

Cottonmouth

Water Moccasin

Water Moccasin

Just like copperheads, cottonmouths have large, triangular heads with elliptical pupils. They get the name water moccasin from their semi-aquatic nature and are likely to be found by mostly all types of freshwater habitats.  These are more difficult to identify by appearance because they have a wide range of colors but tend to feature colors that will camouflage them into their habitats.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern diamondbacks are among the largest of 32 species of rattlesnakes, ranging anywhere from 2.75 feet to 6 feet long. They have large, broad heads with two light lines on their faces. These are easily recognized by their brown diamonds, surrounded by lighter colored brown, tan or yellowish scales. They can be located anywhere from the southern part of North Carolina, but especially in South Georgia and Florida. They like to be in drier, sandy or low cut grass areas and tend to avoid wetter areas, though they are great swimmers and even travel through saltwater!

Canebrake/Timber Rattlesnake

Canebrake-timber rattlesnake

Canebrake-timber rattlesnake

These snakes tend to range from about 3-5 feet in length and are usually gray with a pink, yellow, orange or brown stripe running along their back. They have solid black tails and black chevrons along the back and sides of their body with the point of the (V) pointing forward. They are found in most of the eastern United States, but are somewhat absent from Florida. They can be found in a wide range of areas, but are least likely to be found in highly urbanized or residential areas.

Pigmy Rattlesnake

Pigmy rattlesnake

Pigmy rattlesnake

This rattlesnake is on the smaller side, usually coming in at under 2 feet in length. This snake has 9 large scales on the top of it’s head and a tiny rattle that can rarely be heard. They have a row of mid-dorsal spots and a bar from the eye to their mouth that ranges from black to brownish. The name is deceptive as they can be gray, tan, lavender, orange, red, or even black. These are mostly located from central Georgia up throughout South Carolina. They also like to be near water sources like creeks, marshes, and swamps.

Eastern Coral Snake

Coral Snake

Coral Snake

“Red on yellow, kills a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.” These snakes are sometimes up to 4 feet in length with smooth heads with a bright body pattern of black rings in which the red and yellow rings touch each other. These are sometimes confused with king snakes, but these snakes only have the red touching the black rings and are not venomous. These snakes are found all the way from Louisiana to Florida, where they are most prevalent. They are rarely spotted because they hide under ground and spend only a limited time crawling above ground. Unfortunately, because of these secretive habits, coral snakes tend to persist in suburban areas.

 

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://georgiawildlife.com/node/497

https://uga.edu/srelherp/snakes/index.htm

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkcon210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkpis210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/agkpis4.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/croada210.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/crohor3.jpg

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/pics/sismil210.jpg

http://www.petmd.com/sites/default/files/coral_snake.gif

 

 

Northwest Exterminating’s 2013 Pest Calendar

Northwest Exterminating recently added another tool to our website that will benefit business and homeowners.  The 2013 Pest Calendar is available for printing and download on our site.  Each month we highlight a particular pest that is often seen at that time of the year.  Along with a visual reference, we offer some little known facts about the pest.

We cover squirrels, cockroaches, termites, carpenter bees, mosquitoes, bed bugs, fire ants, fleas/ticks, stink bugs/kudzu bugs, spiders, rats, and raccoons.

We hope this will serve as a useful tool to our customers and those that visit our site at www.callnorthwest.com

Go to our website and check out our 2013 Pest Calendar!

Pest Calendar

 

Organic Pest Control – Companion Planting

Ever wonder how gardens stayed plush and green without modern pest control techniques? Before exterminating companies existed, many planters relied on a method of organic pest control known as companion planting. Companion planting involves placing plants in your garden that have qualities that deter pests that surround and protect your other plants. For instance, planting certain herbs in your vegetable garden can attract beneficial insects while simultaneously repelling harmful ones.

One pest that likes to frequent gardens is the aphid, otherwise known as plant lice. These tiny insects suck the sap from the plant, taking all the nutrients to keep the plant healthy and living. Sometimes as they are feeding, aphids transmit plant viruses to plants such as potatoes and citrus plants, which can kill the plants. Planting chives, coriander or nasturtium around your plants will discourage infestations by these plants.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium

Certain plants can keep larger pests out of your garden. For instance, planting lavender not only deter ticks, but also moths and mice. Mice also do not like the smell of daffodils, which can be used as a colorful boarder for an herb garden. Additionally, rabbits do not like the smell of onions, which can be planted alongside peas, beans, lettuce and cabbage. Lastly, sprinkling cayenne pepper on your plants can act as a deterrent for raccoons.

If companion planting still does not do the job of minimizing pest invasions, Northwest Exterminating offers pest control services that not only takes care of pest, but also does it in a green, environmentally friendly way! Northwest offers many services that will protect your plants, home and office environment. We offer more than pest elimination, but also healthier living and working environments. Check out our website for more info at www.callnorthwest.com

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://gardening.about.com/od/naturalorganiccontrol/a/Companion_2.htm

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

http://www.naturalnews.com/035853_companion_planting_garden_vegetables.html

 

Raccoon Removal

Raccoons may look cute and cuddly but make no mistake about it…raccoons are one houseguest that you do not want.  Raccoons are a common nuisance in the southeast.  They can make a home in the attic of a structure and cause several thousands of dollars in damage.  Many times raccoons will make a home in an attic to have their babies, called kits.  They typically have 3-8 young in the late fall.  They can be a nuisance by getting into trashcans found outside of homes or business looking for food.

Along with the damage they can do to your home, they can also be a health concern:

  • Carry rabies in their saliva which can be transported by their bites.
  • Carry parasites on their fur that can impact both humans and animals.
  • Can transfer roundworms and fleas that they carry on their fur.

Wildlife ControlCommon traits of raccoons:

  • Female raccoons do not tend to be pack animals, however, males often form social groups to maintain their position against other males or predators.
  • Raccoons become aggressive when protecting their young.
  • Nocturnal.
  • Adaptable creatures.  Raccoons can easily adapt to their environments.

The feeding of raccoons by people has helped grow their population in urban areas.  Some wildlife experts and public authorities warn against feeding wild animals such as raccoons to discourage them from becoming dependent on humans as a food source.

If you think you have a raccoon in your house call a professional animal control or professional animal removal company immediately to reduce health risks and damage to property.

Tip: Loud noises, flashing lights, and foul odors are said to drive away raccoons before they would typically leave the nest on their own.

 

Hibernation

Wildlife ControlChanging temperatures means changes in the types of pest you may see around your area. One of the reasons you may soon see certain pests less is because of hibernation. Hibernation is a period of inactivity in animals during which they experience lower body temperatures, slower breathing and lower metabolic rates. Most people think that hibernation is just an animal sleeping but it’s more about the animal conserving energy during winter when food supplies are limited.

To prep for hibernation, animals spend the autumn foraging for food, which means they might be around or even inside your home searching for a treat! Animals that spend the autumn prepping for hibernation include bats, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and bears. In addition, cold-blooded critters hibernate too because the cold weather causes their body temperatures to drop. These animals include bees, earthworms, frogs, toads, lizards, turtles, snails and snakes. You won’t have to worry worry about these animals foraging for food as they tend to hide away around the time autumn hits.

Make sure not to tempt these animals on to your property by maintaining a clean home and making sure the trash is not easily accessible. Northwest Exterminating can help guard your home by providing services such as Complete CrawlSpace and TAP Attic Insulation. If you are interested in this service or more, please visit us at www.callnorthwest.com!

Sources: