How Gardening Could Effect Termites

Could your gardening ideas effect your termite treatment?

Spring time is an ideal time to get out in the yard, work in your garden, dig in the dirt…all those enjoyable things we like to do in the warm weather.  These are great ways to improve the aesthetics of your property and also enjoy the sunshine.  Hold the shovel!  Wait one second before you start digging in the dirt!

Digging around the foundation of your home could disturb your termite barrier system.  Minor disturbances are nothing to worry about but a major disruption can put the effectiveness of the treatment in jeopardy…causing concern for your home.

What to consider before digging around your foundation?

Mulch is a great way to spruce up your yard.  Mulch provides protection, warmth, and moisture to plants but can also provide those same things to termites.  Not to mention that mulch is wood!  TERMITES LOVE WOOD!  Other pests, such as, roaches and earwigs also find comfort in mulch.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use mulch around your home.

Don’t be discouraged.  You can still use mulch around your home.  Just make sure when using mulch that it is kept 1-2 feet away from the structure.  Any wood that is in contact with soil and your foundation is considered a major risk for termites.

If you’re concerned about disturbing your termite treatment or suspect you may have termites, give us a call!

 

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

Termites Appearing This Spring

Northwest Exterminating encourages public awareness of termites during the spring season

Source - UGA entomology

Source – UGA entomology

As temperatures continue to increase across the country and the ground becomes warmer, winged termites will emerge in search of a suitable spot to create a new colony, often in residential settings.  We want to take this opportunity to educate homeowners about the threat of termites and the possible signs of an infestation this spring.

Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to compromise the structure of a home without being noticed until it’s too late.

Termites are very destructive and the damage inflicted can be quite costly if left untreated.  Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these wood-destroying pests in and around their property.

Here are a few clues that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint
  5. Small piles of feces that resembles sawdust near a termite nest
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home
  7. If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should contact a pest professional who can best determine the extent of the problem and recommend a proper treatment plan

For more information on termites, please visit http://www.callnorthwest.com/termite-control/.

 

Preparing for Swarms

With Spring upon us, the temperature will start to get warmer, finally! This is great news for us, but it also means that insects are beginning to come out of hibernation. Two insects of great concern, particularly in the spring, are the ant and the termite.

Both of these insects, flying ants and termites, will begin to swarm soon, so it is important to know the differences between them so you can help out your Pest Management Professional. Should you catch one, there are three noticeable differences between a flying ant and a termite.

  1. Ants have bent antennae. They look like they have an elbow. Termites have straight antennae.
  2. Ants have a narrow waist. Have you seen the old pictures of women in corsets? That is what the waist of an ant swarmer will look like. The termite looks uniform from top to bottom.
  3.  Ants have wings that are two different lengths – the best analogy is a butterfly wing. The top wing is longer than the bottom one, similar to how a butterfly wing looks. Termites have wings that are the same length. (I caught one the other day, and it looked like one giant wing stacked together, not four individual parts.)

flying ants vs termites

If you see swarmers and are worried, call your local Northwest Exterminating Service Center. They will be happy to help you with all of your pest control needs, and can target problem insects as needed.

Katherine King
kking@callnorthwest.com

 

Signs of Termites

Termites are some of the hardest working pests in the business.  24/7 they are in search of food which is oftentimes the wood from our homes.  Termites are responsible for an estimated amount of over 2 billion dollars worth of damage to home in the US each year.

One of the first signs of a termite infestation is spotting termite swarmers.  Swarmers are winged termites that are often mistaken for flying ants.  Swarming (flying) termites have only 2 body segments, straight antennae, and 2 sets of wings equal in length. Flying ants, on the other hand, have 3 body segments, bent antennae, and 2 sets of wings that differ in length.  Mud tunnels or tubes along the foundation are also signs that termites have found their way to your home.

The best action against termites is to be proactive.

  • Divert water away from the foundation of your property.
  • Reduce humidity, especially in areas like attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
  • Keep all wood at least 20 feet away from your home and at least 5 inches off the ground.  Termites are known to travel in tunnels underground.
  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches away from the foundation.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating at the first sign of termites.  Termite infestations need immediate action by a licensed pest professional.
 

Got Questions? Visit our Learning Center.

Learning CenterThe colder months are a time when pests, rodents, and other creatures make their way into homes and businesses for food and shelter.  These pests can be a nuisance and sometimes even a health concern to your home.

If you’re wondering about a specific insect or rodent that you’re seeing you can find out more information at Northwest Exterminating’s Learning Center at callnorthwest.com.

Our Learning Center serves as a helpful tool to our customers that helps them to identify pests, learn about their habitats, and learn what the best solution is to get rid of them and prevent them from returning.  You can also find out how at risk your home may be for termites.   And our frequently asked questions page offers answers on some of the questions that we see and hear often from other customers just like you.

If there is anything that you would like to see on our Learning Center page, please feel free to tell us by filling out our “Ask the Mouse” section located on our site.

 

 

Termite Fighting Tips from UGA

UGA recently released an article that gave helpful tips on how you can help your home to be less of a target to termites.  We all know that termites cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year.  Once you have a termite infestation, not only do you have to repair the damage but you must call on the help of a professional to get rid of them.   These simple steps are a great way to stay proactive so that termites don’t become an issue.

Tips such as keeping wood products away from the perimeter of your home, keeping water away from the foundation, sealing cracks and crevices in the structure, and working with your termite professional to prevent termites feeding on your home.

To read the full article with helpful tips from UGA entomologist, Brian Forschler, CLICK HERE.

For termite protection on your property, call Northwest!

 

What’s Eating At Your House?

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

Carpenter Bee Damage Source: NPMA

There’s been a lot of buzz (pun intended) on our blog about carpenter bees and termites.  It’s termite season so we always want to keep our readers aware of the potential risks and damage that termites can cause.  And carpenter bees are our Pest of the Month for the month of April.  Both of these wood-boring pests should be taken seriously due to the great amount of damage that they can cause.

Carpenter bees eat through soft woods where they make their nests and lay their eggs inside the tunnels.  This can cause damage to decks, eaves, porches, or even support beams in your home.  Luckily, they are rarely a threat to humans.  Males don’t have stingers but do tend to be aggressive toward other bees, animals, or humans that are near their nests.  The female carpenter bee has a stinger but rarely uses it.

 

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termite Damage Source: NPMA

Termites (March’s Pest of the Month) are working 24/7 to find food…and unfortunately for us, their food is typically the wood that was used to build our homes.  Without termite protection, your home could be at risk for severe damage.  Termites are responsible for more than $2 of damage to homes in the US each year.  Like carpenter bees, termites often leave a trail of wood that can serve as a tell-tale sign that they are there.

Whether you have carpenter bees or termites, you should contact a licensed pest professional.  Not only will they be able to correctly identify the insect but they will be able to develop a customized plan that is specific to your home and your situation.  By doing this, you are ensuring that the problem is diagnosed correctly, that the correct product, if any, is being used correctly and safely, and that proper steps are taken to ensure that the issue does not reoccur.  Northwest Exterminating and our highly trained pest professionals will be glad to come to your home and do a free inspection of your home.  Just give us a call at 888.466.7849 or visit us at www.callnorthwest.com

 

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

 

April’s Pest of the Month – Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee-uga websiteCarpenter bees are often mistake for bumble bees because of their similarity in size and color.

Habits

  • Often found under decks or porch railings and under the eaves of a house.
  • Make nests by tunneling into wood.
  • Leave a trail of sawdust as they discard of the wood to build partitions within the tunnels.
  • Feed on plant nectar, not wood.

Threats

  • Homes with wooden decks, eaves, or other areas of exposed wood are likely targets for carpenter bee damage.
  • Males do not have stingers but can be aggressive to other bees, animals, or people near the nest.
  • Females can sting but rarely do unless they are agitated.

Prevention

  • Treat or paint all exposed wood surfaces.
  • Each nest hole should be treated individually if bees are inside.
  • Seal or paint nest holes if bees are not inside.

Other Pests to Look Out For:

For more information on carpenter bees you can visit our PEST ID page or call Northwest Exterminating at 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!