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

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

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!

 

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

 

 

4 Diseases Caused by Rodent Droppings

The NPMA recently posted an article on their website that explained the dangers that rodents can cause to your home and your health.  We often talk in our blogs about the unsanitary conditions and the property damage that a rodent infestation can lead to but we rarely discuss the health risks that are involved.

Rodents, such as mice and rats, can leave droppings that can spread bacteria, contaminate food, and cause allergic reactions.  Droppings can also spread diseases and viruses such as the following:

  • Hantavirus – “Hantavirus is a potentially life-threatening disease transmitted to humans by rodents—primarily, the white-footed deer mouse. People become infected through exposure or inhalation of infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva, and the chances increase when people are near spaces where rodents are actively living.”
  • Bubonic plague – “…is usually spread by the bite of an infected rodent flea and can cause fever, headache and painfully swollen lymph nodes.”
  • Salmonellosis – Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning spread by rodent feces, especially through the consumption of contaminated food. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.”
  • Rat-Bite Fever – “Rat-bite fever (RBF) is a potentially fatal infectious disease spread by infected rodents or the consumption of food contaminated by rodents.”

To read the full article or get more information on the diseases above click HERE.

Please don’t take chances with the health of you or your loved ones.  If you have rodents in your home, call a licensed exterminator, Northwest Exterminating, to get rid of the rodents in your home.

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-articles/articles/health-threats-posed-by-rodents/

 

Pest Proof Your Home

Around this time of year, cooler temperatures drive people to stay indoors. As some homeowners may know, a number of household pests such as rodents, spiders, ants, and roaches seek coziness from the weather too.  Pests are more than just unwelcome houseguests – they bring the possibility of disease, food contamination and allergies too.

Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association on pest-proofing your house for the fall. However, these tips don’t always work on some of those hard-to-get-rid -of pests, always remember you can call Northwest Exterminating for your pest management needs because creating healthier living and work environments is our business.

  • Install door sweeps on the exterior of doors and repair door and window screens. Also seal cracks and holes around the perimeter of your home.
  • Place screens over vents and chimney openings
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers and dispose of trash regularly.
  • Keep your attic, basement and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry (ask your Northwest representative about TAP attic insulation and Complete Crawlspace). Sites of moisture are breeding grounds for pests.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed and cut back from the house (ask your representative about Northwest’s Lawn Care services).
  • If you suspect that your home has been infested, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem – for the best, Call Northwest!

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: Wildlife and Rabies

Wildlife ControlWith cooler weather moving in it is the time of year where wildlife such as squirrels, rodents, raccoons, etc, begin to take refuge in your home.  Animal control is important for the health of your home.  Rodents make for unsanitary conditions by urinating, leaving droppings, chewing on wires, insulation, and other items in the attic, and can often carry disease.  Some rodents can be dangerous and will attack if they feel that they or their young are in danger.

A common concern for wildlife is the threat of rabies.  Rabies is a serious illness so we went to our health expert, Dr. Goo.  Below, Dr. Goo talks about the risk rabies:

Rabies is a viral illness that can cause death and serious illness if untreated. If treated quickly and appropriately almost everyone can be cured of rabies.

The most important way to avoid rabies is to not be bitten or exposed to animals that potentially may have the rabies virus.

The most common animal exposures to rabies are from wild animals. Bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes are the primary animals that carry rabies in the United States.

Pets can be protected from rabies by getting their rabies shots annually.  Domestic animals rarely transmit rabies.

If you think you may have been exposed or bitten by an animal that has rabies you should call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.  You should also notify your doctor.

Remember, prevention and avoidance are the best defense against rabies.

Northwest Exterminating offers Wildlife Control for you and your family. The Wildlife Services Team specializes in the exclusion, removal, and control of wildlife nuisances like bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes – the most common causes of rabies exposure.

For more detailed information about rabies exposure, treatment, prevention, and protection, please visit the Center for Disease Control and the Georgia Poison Center.

Dr. Goo
 

Keep the Bugs Away this 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!  We’d like to take a second to say how proud we are to be Americans!!  We’re proud to live in the country of the land of the free and the home of the brave!!  And like always, we’d like to thank all of the brave men and women and their families that have given so much for this great country!!

But before you go enjoy those fireworks…here are some tips to stay bug free this 4th of July:

  • Avoid standing water in areas like flower pots, bird baths, buckets, barrels, etc.  Areas like these are breeding spots for mosquitoes that can carry diseases like West Nile and encephalitis.
  • Wear an insect repellant, such as DEET, to protect against mosquitoes and other bugs.
  • Keep food covered when possible to avoid attracting mosquitoes, flies, and ants.
  • Tightly seal garbage and put it in a sealed garbage container on the outside of your home.  Make sure that the lid to the trash can is on securely to avoid rodents from getting in and going through the trash.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and clear of debris.
  • Protect your pets from fleas and ticks by using a preventative.  These can be purchased over the counter or by your veterinarian.
  • Have your exterminator treat your yard and home for insects and other rodents that could BUG you this summer!  (Get it, BUG you!)

What other tips do have for staying bug free this 4th of July?

 

What to Expect During a Pest Control Inspection

We recently discussed the importance of having an inspection prior to receiving a pest control treatment (HERE).  We thought we would continue with the discussion by letting you know what you should expect during a pest control inspection from an exterminator.

What to expect during a pest control inspection:

  • A highly trained pest management professional should be neatly and professionally dressed.
  • The exterminator should arrive in a well marked vehicle that clearly states what pest management company they are representing.
  • A thorough pest control inspection should include both inside and outside inspection of the structure.  This will target common “hot spots”, or entry points, for insects, rodents, and other pests.  Common entry points are bathrooms, kitchens, garages, attics, and crawlspaces.
  • Along with checking for entry points, the pest control representative will check for conducive conditions that would attract pests.
  • An exterminators best friend is their flash light.  The flashlight helps them to locate and see insects and harborage areas around the structure.  Other common tools that may be used: telescope mirror, moisture meter, and a probing tool.
  • Following the inspection, the inspector will review their findings and create a customizable treatment plan that is best suited for the needs of the structure.  The customized treatment plan will include how to exclude points of entry, eliminate conducive conditions, and a personalized pest control management plan for ongoing protection.

Getting rid of bugs is important to you and Northwest Exterminating.  We want you to know what you should expect out of our highly trained technicians when they inspect your home or business.  For more information about pest control visit us online at www.callnorthwest.com.

Northwest Exterminating offers FREE inspections.  Call 888.466.7849 or visit our website for your FREE, no obligation inspection.

 

 

Bugs and Your Health

MosquitoesThe early spring has brought pests out in full force and we suspect that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.  Not only are bugs annoying but they’re a health concern as well.

  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, dog heartworm – mosquitoes
  • Lyme disease – ticks
  • Rabies – rodents
  • Allergies & Asthma – cockroaches
  • Food Contamination – cockroaches, mice/rats
  • Salmonella – cockroaches, house flies
  • Skin irritation and rashes – lice, fleas, bed bugs, mites
  • Venomous bites & stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – black widow, brown recluse, scorpion, snakes
  • Painful stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps

Pests can carry diseases and cause areas to be unsanitary.  These are issues of concern for both homes and businesses.  Even the cleanest homes can have bug problems in an environment like this.  Carpenter bees, mosquitoes, ants, yellow jackets, silverfish, and other pests have recently been invading properties.  If you’re in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating.  Our NorPest Green program was developed exclusively by Northwest Exterminating to get rid of pests using the lowest environmental impact possible.  A Northwest representative will develop a customized plan to target those pests while maintaining the health of your home.

We are strategically placed throughout Georgia and Tennessee to service all areas of Georgia as well as parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina.  Visit us online or call 888.466.7849 to find the location nearest you.

 

 

DIY Flea Treatment

It is a common misconception that if you don’t have animals in your home that you can’t get fleas…FALSE. Fleas can be an issue in homes both with and without pets. They often attach themselves to rabbits, skunks, possums, and other rodents or wildlife that can be found living in wooded areas around a structure. Their 6”-8” vertical jump gives them the ability to attach themselves to humans and animals.

The thought of fleas creates a sense of uneasiness…and with good reason; fleas can carry several diseases like plague, tapeworm, and murine typhus that effects humans and pets alike. Flea prevention is much easier and less expensive than flea treatment.

Flea Prevention Tips:

  • Clean your home regularly – Regular cleaning prevents fleas and many other pests from being attracted to your home. Make sure that spills and crumbs are cleaned up quickly, vacuum floors and upholstery*, and wipe down counters and furniture. Regular maintenance will make a huge difference against pests. (*Immediately empty, seal, remove, and dispose of the vacuum bag outdoors for your trash provider to retrieve.)
  • Wash and treat pets – Bathe your pets on a regular basis. Wash any bedding the pet is allowed to sleep on. Treat your pets with flea prevention by taking them to your veterinarian, the groomer, or using over the counter medication. When cleaning, special attention should be paid to areas where pets often spend time.
  • Shampooing carpet – Shampooing carpet can be more beneficial than vacuuming alone.
  • Keep out wild animals – Wild animals such as rodents and opossums should be prevented from entering the structure and appropriately trapped.
  • Wear light colors when outdoors – Wearing light colors enables you to spot fleas more easily.
  • DEET – Apply DEET, an insect repellant, when outside.
  • Make a fashion statement – Wear long pants and hiking boots when you are outside. It is also best to tuck pant legs into your socks. A look that your neighbors will surely follow!

Do it yourself flea treatments can be effective. However, we would like to warn you that flea exterminating is a difficult task and more often than not should be done by a professional exterminating company like Northwest Exterminating. When getting rid of fleas yourself, keep in mind that fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Only 5% of the flea population is on your dog or other household pets, the rest have fallen off in and around your home.

DIY Flea Treatments:

Disclaimer: Northwest Exterminating does not encourage the use of the following treatments. We strongly recommend that all instructions are carefully followed on packaging of the following products and hold no liability for the following DIY treatments. Please contact a doctor, veterinarian and a professional pest control company before trying any of these treatments.

  • Borax powder – Sprinkle borax powder on your carpet (always do a test patch before treating your whole carpet) and let sit for approximately 24 hours. Vacuum and immediately seal and dispose of vacuum bag. Repeat until fleas are gone.
  • Water & Dish Soap – Put ½”-1” of water in shallow dish with a squirt of liquid dish soap. Put the dish directly under a lamp or some other form of light. The fleas are drawn to the light and heat which causes them to jump in the water. The soap makes it difficult for the fleas to move and they will eventually drown. Do this for several days until there are no new fleas found in your dish. Continue for a few days to make sure they are gone. Placing several soap and water dishes around the home where fleas are suspected gives you a better chance of getting rid of the fleas faster.

If you have tried DIY flea control methods without any luck, a pest control professional is your best option. A good exterminating company will be knowledgeable about flea prevention and treatment and should treat your home until fleas are gone.

If you’re looking for flea control in the Atlanta, Savannah, Nashville, or Columbus areas Northwest Exterminating is your best choice. Visit us at callnorthwest.com or call at 888.466.7849

Have you tried any of these DIY flea treatments?

Additional links:
http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/08/facts-about-ticks-and-fleas/
http://www.callnorthwest.com/2011/06/dog-fleas/