Daddy Long Legs vs Daddy Long Leg Spiders

Daddy Long legs or Daddy Long legs Spider?

harvestmanDaddy Long legs, or harvestmen, are not actually spiders.  Daddy long legs are not poisonous, have long legs and a large bulbous-looking body.  They feed on insects, which makes them helpful around the garden.  They are especially active at the time of harvest, toward the end of summer and beginning of fall.  To keep daddy long legs away, vacuum carpet, upholstery, and curtains frequently to remove spider webs, adult spiders, and egg sacs.  Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag.  Tightly seal the trash bag to make sure eggs can’t hatch and crawl out of the bag.

Tip for preventing daddy long legs: Pour 1 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup vanilla extract into a spray bottle and shake.  Spray areas where the daddy long legs have been spotted indoors and out.  The smell will repel the insects.

Daddy Long legs Spiders, or cellar spiders, although venomous, are not known to be harmful to humans.  Their fangs are short and they do not have enough muscle to be able to penetrate human skin.  Daddy long legs spiders are very fragile and delicate.  They are usually brown or gray in color, cylindrical in shape and their legs are very long and thin.  Daddy long legs spiders survive on others species of spiders, or on occasion they will invade other spiders’ webs and consume the host, their egg, and any prey caught in the web.  They hang upside down on their webs, which they create in dark, damp places like home cellars, caves or abandoned animal burrows.

Tip for preventing daddy long leg spiders: To keep daddy long legs spiders away you will need caulk, a vacuum cleaner, a duster, boric acid/Borax, and spider traps.  Caulk cracks in your walls, foundation, and loose window frames.  With a vacuum cleaner attachment, suck up spiders and their webs at wall corners, undersides of furniture, floors beneath appliances, crevices along the baseboards and around windows and curtains.  Insects attract daddy long legs spiders so dust frequently and repair leaking pipes and faucets both inside and out.  Sprinkle boric acid under doorways, around window sills, along baseboards, and under appliances.  Boric acid is a common ingredient in household cleaning products and is not harmful to humans and pets.  Place spider traps in areas where spiders are usually seen.

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

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

Sand Fleas

No-see-um’s, hop-alongs, beach fleas, biting midge, punky…these are just a few of the “cute” names that sand fleas go by!   But cute they’re not!  And they are very present in the low country area of Savannah, GA!

Sand Fleas reside on the beach and in other sandy areas during warm weather, double in numbers during the spring, produce a loud whine when in groups, and feed early in the morning and late at night.  Sand flea bites may feel like a sting because they are very deep causing welts and lesions with severe pain and itching.  The female bites for the blood protein needed for her egg laying, however this saliva can trigger your body to react and the bites can cause infections and fever viruses.  Sand Fleas tend to “feed” on people with paler skin, as the skin is thinner making it easier to pierce.

To help keep these fleas at bay, try using an insect repellant similar to those used against mosquitoes.  If you are bitten, do not scratch the welts, as scratching can cause swelling, itchiness, skin redness, and can lead to sand fleas burying themselves underneath the skin allowing them to continue feeding on blood.  For bite relief, you can take a pain killer such as ibuprofen gels.  Seek medical advice should the pain or itchiness worsen.

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center Manager
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

The 411 on Sand Gnats

If you’ve spent any time in Savannah, Ga in the spring or fall, you know all about sand gnats, or as locals call them….the state bird.  The sand gnat is not just the mascot for the Savannah Sand Gnats minor-league baseball team, but just like the baseball team, they’ll sting you, draw your blood and defeat you on the field.

Sand Gnat bite - Source

Sand Gnat bite – Source

In the low country, the sand gnat is more of an issue than mosquitoes or fleas.  Sand gnats live along waterways, such as the ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds, and marshes.  They fly, bite, and suck your blood just like a mosquito, leaving behind

red, itchy bumps on the skin.  Although blood has no nutritional value to the sand gnats, they need it so their eggs can mature prior to laying.  Carbon dioxide draws sand gnats from up to 30 yards, they stay in a 300 foot zone where they breed around your home, fly less than 25 feet high and most adult females live for 2-3 weeks.

It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite.  Unless you want to cover yourself from head to toe in the sweltering Savannah heat, be proactive.  Commercial repellents with Deet can be useful to prevent biting, or you can try a local remedy such as taking garlic pills – that is, if you don’t mind smelling like garlic.  However, a more “user friendly” remedy such as rubbing your arms with baby oil will prevent the sand gnats from biting as it provides a protective layer to your skin that the gnats can not penetrate.

For sand gnat treatment at your home or business, Call the Mouse!  888.466.7849 or visit online at www.callnorthwest.com

Barry Teubert
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

Pollen Season

Although it may not feel like springtime just yet…spring is on it’s way which means flowers blooming, birds chirping, sun shining, and of course…sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and yellow pollen everywhere.  Welcome hay fever!

Common symptoms of hay fever are nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, postnasal drip, facial pressure, and fatigue.  The large number of pine trees along with various other trees, grasses, and weeds we have in Georgia is a major contributor of pollen. Each plant has a pollen season which begins as early as January and lasts until November.

Short of locking yourself indoors, there are steps you can take to limit the amount of pollen in your home and car:

  • Keep windows closed in your home and car
  • Wash your car regularly to reduce pollen exposure
  • Set your air conditioning on “recirculate”
  • Wash bedding, pajamas, and clothing in warm or hot water to remove allergens
  • Take a warm shower before climbing into bed at night
  • Do NOT hang clothes outside to dry
  • Do NOT rake leaves during pollen season
  • Taking over the counter medications may be all you need to relieve your symptoms, but natural options such as acupuncture or the natural herb Butterbur, which is as effective as Allegra, may also be options to explore.

So take a deep breath and just breathe!

Barry Teubert
Northwest Exterminating
Savannah Service Center Manager
bteubert@callnorthwest.com

 

2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah

Northwest is lucky enough to participate in the world renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah, GA each year.  Every year we have so much fun and we’re so lucky to be able to be part of such a great event.  2013 was no different!  We had a great time and would like to thank the great city of Savannah, GA and all the wonderful spectators for another great year in the 2013 Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

To view more pictures, visit our Facebook or Google+ pages!

DSC_0625

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR…well, almost!!  It’s New Years Eve!!  It’s a time for reflection over the past year as well as excitement for the year to come.  We had some major highlights in 2012.  Below are just a few:

    • The Grand Opening of our East Cobb service center
    • Participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah, GA
    • 2012 Relay for Life of Walton County
    • Kelly Combs was awarded the MSAR Affiliate Member of the Year
    • Launched Green Elite
    • Green Elite Spirit Contest
    • Awarded #23 in PCT’s Top 100 Pest Control Companies
    • Joined Pinterest
    • Randy Wilhite was a guest on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio
    • Participated in Adopt-A-School
    • Photo and commercial shoots
    • Raised over $7,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
    • Acquired Jody Millard Pest Control in Chattanooga, TN
    • Company wide Halloween costume contest
    • Another successful year for our Health Expo
    • Celebrated Steve’s 60th Birthday
    • Toys for Tots
    • Had an Ugly Sweater Christmas
    • Participated in many Chillin & Grillin events, trade shows, expos, and other fun things in our communities
St. Patrick's Day parade, East Cobb Grand Opening, Steve's 60th Birthday, Steve's Green Elite costume, Halloween costume contest

From L to R: St. Patrick’s Day parade, East Cobb Grand Opening, Steve’s 60th Birthday, Steve’s Green Elite costume, Halloween costume contest

We couldn’t possible list off all of the wonderful events and accomplishments that we had in 2012.  One thing we do know is that we couldn’t have done it without our loyal customers and the amazing Northwest Exterminating Team.

Here’s to a Happy Healthy New Year to you and yours…and another great year for Northwest Exterminating.

For pictures of the events above and many others visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CallNorthwest

 

Sand Gnats in Savannah

We’re all aware of the annoyance and health concerns that come along with mosquitoes. But there is a similar bug that can be just as annoying to those residents living in areas where sand is found, the sand gnat. The sand gnat (also known as sand fly or no see um) flies, bites, and sucks blood just like the mosquito. Sand gnats leave behind red, itchy bumps on the skin after they have fed off of your blood. It is not unusual for the effects of a sand gnat bite to be more intense and last for a longer period of time than a mosquito bite. Like mosquito bites, these bumps can become infected or cause a rash.

Sand Gnat

Sand gnats are a major concern to our customers living in Savannah and the surrounding areas. By being proactive, you can ensure that mosquitoes and sand gnats don’t invade your yard. Our Savannah service center offers a Green Mosquito & Sand Gnat Program to reduce the annoyance of these pests while still using the lowest environmental impact possible. To ensure that our mosquito control program is effective and environmentally friendly, we use products that are derived from flowers and bacteria.

For pest, mosquitoes, and sand gnat control in Savannah, call Northwest Exterminating. Visit us online for more information at www.callnorthwest.com.

Did you know: Sand gnats are so notorious in Savannah that the city has a minor league baseball team named after them, the Savannah Sand Gnats.

 

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.

 

 

Do it Yourself Pest Control VS. Professional Pest Control

There is a whole market for people who like to do it yourself.  I am one of them.  I enjoy the occasional weekend project around the house like painting, fixing a leaky faucet, or changing out fixtures.  However, there are some do it yourself projects that are just not for me.  I don’t touch wires, I don’t clean high chandeliers, and I don’t clean out gutters (thank goodness Northwest Exterminating does).  Those are the tasks that I leave for the professionals.

In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs.  There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring an exterminator.  If you spot a single bug such as a fly, yellow jacket, or ant, there is usually no need for a professional pest control company to come to your home.  But if you spot a termite, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call an exterminator.

There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or hire a professional:

  • Expense

o   DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.

o   Professional – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem.  Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive.  Not to mention the potential damage to your home that pests can cause.

  • Convenience

o   DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.

o   Professional – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and your exterminator to meet at your home for a treatment.  More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer.  However, a good exterminator will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.

  • Knowledge

o   DIY – The instructions are on the label.  Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect.  Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.

o   Professional – An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.

  • Risk

o   DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk.  Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area.  This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label. 

o   Professionals – By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner.  Be sure to read all contracts and get reviews from past customers before hiring a pest control company.

  • Effectiveness

o   DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective.  For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products.  Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time. 

o   Professionals – A reliable pest control company will have up to date information and products to treat your infestation. 

  • Warranties

o   DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product.  Check your local store return policies before purchasing.

o   Professionals – Always ask about a company’s policies before hiring them to treat your home.  Will they return to your home for no charge if your issue is not solved? Do they offer warranties on their work?  A good exterminating company will.

When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above.  For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive.  For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call a professional exterminator.  As always, the key to pest control is prevention. For pest prevention tips visit this blog.

If you have a pest or termite issue in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating. 

What kind of do-it-yourself projects do you enjoy?

Have you ever tried to do-it-yourself and had to call in the professionals?

 

 

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/