March’s Pest of the Month – Termites

Sub Termite-Swarmer-033Termites are very destructive and cause billions of dollars of damage to homes each year in the U.S.  That is why we are dedicating March’s Pest of the Month to TERMITES!

Habits

  • Operate under a caste system. There are workers, soldiers, and reproductives.
  • Live in colonies underground or in moist secluded areas.
  • Feed on items containing cellulose.
  • Swarm in the spring when reproductive termites go out to start new colonies.

Different Species

Threats

  • Cause severe damage to a structure by chewing away at the wood.
  • Responsible for more than $2 billion of damage to homes in the US each year.
  • Cause more damage in an average year than floods, fires, and tornadoes.
  • A termite colony may contain several hundred thousand individuals.

Prevention

  • Divert water away from the foundation of a structure.
  • Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and AC units on the outside of the home.
  • Properly ventilate areas of high humidity like crawl spaces, attics, and basements.
  • Keep mulch or ground cover at least 15 inches away from the foundation of a structure.
  • Sentricon Termite Elimination baiting systems may be placed around the perimeter of a structure.

Other Pests to Look Out For

If you think you may have termites, or other pests in your home, call the mouse at 888.466.7849 or visit us online at www.callnorthwest.com

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

Swarm Season

When the season starts getting warm, the termites start to swarm! So what does that mean for homeowners?  If homeowners spot fully grown winged adults (swarmers), then the damage may already be done. If the swarmers are found within the home, there may be an infestation in or around the house. Once termites swarm, they may cause structural damage to your home which can lead to serious issues. Damaged door termites

Why is it that termites may arise unexpectedly and cause damage? Well, that may be because that they usually have nests underground where they thrive, usually in the wood of your home. Southern states are very likely to get termites. In Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina, where we service, the chances are extremely high.

termite map

It’s not just important to get rid of termites, it’s also important to prevent them. Getting rid of the termites you already have may eliminate the initial problem, but will not prevent termite activity in the future. Northwest Exterminating offers liquid pretreatments, borate pretreatments and Sentricon baiting in order to prevent termites from infesting a home.  In addition, these treatments come with a 5 year repair and retreat warranty that guarantees up to one million dollars in structural damage.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Source:

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/termites/pdf/termiteswarmers.pdf

 

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

 

Bon Appetit?: A Different Type of Insect Bites

Normally, an invitation from a friend to go out to lunch will be met with enthusiastic acceptance. However, if your friend tells you that bugs are on the menu, you’ll probably take a rain check. Here in the U.S. most people go great lengths to avoid creepy crawlers in the kitchen, but other countries around the world have a different view.

In some countries, dishes featuring insects are delicacies, so these meals are a rare and unusual treat, much like escargot and caviar. Grasshoppers are the favorite insect to eat, being included in the diets of some people from Latin America, Japan, Africa and the Middle East. Other insect treats include wasp larvae, silk moth pupae, and termites. Some brave students over at Princeton University decided to give it a try, though they described their silkworm treat as “surprisingly bland.”

One researcher states “insects have been a delicacy… not only because of their delicious flavor, but also because they provide a more complete protein… and are concentrated sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium and many other nutrients.” So not only do some people think they taste good, but some insects are also good for you – better than soy, meat, and fish! In addition, insect farming is ecologically less damaging than raising animals for human consumption. At Northwest Exterminating, we have a different type of recipe when it comes to insects. Our goal is also to reduce our impact on the environment while protecting your home from unwanted pests.

Sources:

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/2795548-insects-are-worldwide-delicacies

http://blogs.princeton.edu/paw/2010/11/bugging_out_stu.html

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

 

Not All Bugs Are Bad

The fear of insects is normal.  For some, the fear can be so severe that it can be diagnosed as entomophobia, a fear or aversion to insects.  This fear can confine people to their homes without the ability to enjoy the great outdoors and interfere with the quality of life.  Experts say that 1-2% of adults in the US has some degree of entomophobia.

But not all bugs are to be feared.  We speak a lot about the harm and damage that pests can do to your health and home but we also want to point out that not all insects are bad.  The preying mantis is pest control in itself.  Preying mantis’ are predators that catch and feed on other insects.  Although termites can do thousands of dollars of damage to a structure they are beneficial for the eco-system. Termites help break down decaying trees.  Termites can break down wood on a massive scale and prevent trees from piling up and killing the forest.  Ladybugs are another natural pest control.  Ladybugs eat other insects that do not have a too hard shell.

Although some bugs can be beneficial it is still very important to protect your home. Continue your pest control service to keep bugs in their natural environment instead of your home.

Check out our blog 5 Bugs to Love

 

Ants, Ants, and More Ants

Ants are one of the pests that can be an issue year around.  Although controlling ants can be difficult…it is possible.

Size is a big advantage to the small ants.  Because they are so small, they can enter a structure through even the tiniest of entryways.  When ants enter your home, they are looking for food and water.  Sweets and greasy foods are amongst some of their favorite foods.  To lead other ants to food, they leave behind a pheromone that allows the other ants to follow to the source of food.

Ants are social insects, meaning they live in large colonies.  You can find 300,000-500,000 ants in a single colony.   Ants can uproot and move their whole colony rather quickly.  Worker ants can live up to 7 years while queens can live up to 15 years.

Although size and quantity are on the side of ants, there are ways to keep ants out of your home:

  • Eliminate standing water.  This will help keep away ants, as well as other pests such as mosquitoes and termites.
  • Keep foliage away from the structure.  Ants and other pests can use branches, leaves, etc as a way to enter your home.
  • Seal your home.  Cracks and crevices around your home are used as entrances to your home by pests.
  • DIY methods.  Although some DIY methods can be helpful in getting rid of ants, you are not getting to the real source of the problem.  A professional pest control company can inspect your home and help you come up with a customized plan to get rid of and control future ants from coming in your home.

Call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849 if you are having ant problems in your home or business. Visit us online to find out more information about ants and how to control them.

 

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

 

Termites, the hardest working bugs in the business?

If you think that you work hard, think again, you have nothing on THE TERMITE!  Termites are working hard, 24/7, to find food.  Unfortunately for us, their food is the very wood that we use to build homes.  Your home is your biggest asset and you shouldn’t compromise the structural integrity of your home by allowing termites to feed and cause damage.  Termites cause up to $5 billion in damage each year and their damage is typically not covered under homeowners’ insurance.  This can be an expensive out-of-pocket cost.

Termites show up around your home in early March and hang around until June.  A lot of termite damage can be done in this time.   It is best to have a professional exterminating company provide you with termite control that will get rid of termites that are in your home and prevent new termites from coming in.  Northwest Exterminating is one of the few termite control companies that offer warranties along with our termite treatments.  Retreatment & Repair warranties or a Lifetime Termite Warranty are both offered by Northwest Exterminating.  Our highly trained representatives will conduct a FREE termite inspection on your home and create a customized treatment plan that is best suited for the needs of you and your home.

Termite damage

Keep an eye out for signs that termites may be invading your home.  Look for rotting wood, mud tunnels, or shed wings on both the inside and outside of your home, paying close attention to doors and windowsills.  Ensure that there is no water gathering near the foundation of your home.  Not only will it serve as an invite to termites but other pests such as silverfish, mosquitoes, and many others.  Inspect all raw lumber or firewood before you bring it into your home for signs of termites.

For a FREE inspection of your home visit our website or call us at 888.466.7849.  Make sure that your home is protected from termites.

 

Watch Out Pests! It’s National Pest Control Awareness Month

Watch out pests, it’s National Pest Control Awareness Month and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Gary W. Black is reminding Georgia residents to protect your homes and businesses from pests.  Read the GDA’s recent press release for more tips and information on how to keep your home free from pests.

State Ag Commissioner reminds residents to protect homes, businesses
Spring has sprung in Georgia. This season is always a busy time for insects and pests in Georgia, but it is especially the case after such a mild winter. In honor of National Pest Control Awareness Month in April, Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Gary W. Black reminds residents about the risks posed by household pests.

“We are already seeing more insects and pests earlier this year due to the warm winter Georgia has had,” said Commissioner Black. “Every year, pests cause millions of dollars in damage for our residents and it is important for Georgians to prepare a plan of action to help prevent damage from occurring.”

In addition to fees paid for control and preventative services done by pest control professionals, Georgia residents spend untold dollars to repair damage caused by pests such as termites, rodents and carpenter ants who chew through walls, flooring and even electrical wiring. Residents also pay for expenses related to the treatment of medical conditions; mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus while house dust mites and cockroach allergens trigger asthma attacks, and stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.

“I encourage all Georgians to take proactive steps to prevent infestations in their homes and businesses,” said Commissioner Black. “All it takes is a few simple, preventative measures to help protect year-round.”

In April, consider these tips and suggestions:
- Trim back trees and shrubs so they are not physically touching any building structures;
- Walk the perimeter of a structure’s foundation and seal up any cracks or small openings;
- Install window and/or door screens and check once a year for holes or tears;
- Keep wood debris and piles of wood (including firewood) at a distance;
- Check plumbing and pipes to eliminate sources of moisture or standing water;
- Tightly secure all food and garbage to prevent pests from finding their way to the source (this includes pet food dishes and storage containers); and
- If there are any visible signs of pests or an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately.

“April is a great time to have your home or business checked to determine if it’s necessary to re-establish any pest control measures, such as termite protection” said Commissioner Black. “And if control or treatment is necessary, that is one homeowner project best left to the professionals.”

Consumers are urged to only seek advice and use licensed professional pest control companies. If a company is not licensed by the GDA, it is illegal for them to practice pest control protection as a business. Residents can find a list of all licensed professional pest management companies at www.kellysolutions.com/GA/Structural/searchPCOCo.asp, or contact the GDA Structural Pest Section at 404-656-3641.

Note: Consumers can learn more about Pest Control Awareness Month, the GDA’s Structural Pest Section and hear from industry partners in a short video clip available on the Department’s website homepage starting April 1: www.agr.georgia.gov.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for licensing the professional pest management companies who perform termite control. There are approximately 1,200 of these companies operating in Georgia. Learn more online at www.agr.georgia.gov.

 

Spring Fever and Spring Pests

Spring is here and so are the pests.  We’ve talked a lot about the unusually warm weather leading to higher numbers of pest sightings and our Ask the Mouse section on our website has been a great place for readers to ask questions about pests they are seeing.  Mosquitoes, bed bugs, and carpenter bees are among some of the common household pests that are being seen this spring.  Take a look below at some of our most common recent questions.

Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

MosquitoesMosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and can sense it from up to 30 yards away. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what it is that makes some people more attractive than others. Research has indicated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath, pregnancy, body temperature, alcohol and odorant markers based on blood type are the top attractants. Pregnant women are preferable because they exhale more carbon dioxide and tend to run a little warmer than the average person. It is also thought that alcohol increases body heat making a person more appealing. So be careful who you hang around at the next cook out.

My son’s coming home from college. What do I need to do to make sure he doesn’t bring home bed bugs?

bed bugBed bugs are evasive and hard to detect. When your son brings home his clothes, make sure to leave them outside, in a detached building or in the garage. Immediately place the dirty clothes in the washing machine and dry them on high for at least 10 minutes. It is best to keep the luggage out of the house if possible. If you don’t have that option you can place the luggage in black plastic bags and leave them outside in the sun on a hot day. You can also do this with furniture. Bed bugs won’t tolerate temperatures greater than 120 degrees. Since bed bugs are tiny and can get into the smallest cracks, it is best to have a professional to inspect furniture and other items before you bring them into your house.

I found sawdust on my back porch. Does that mean I have termites?

Termites eat the cellulose part of the wood and don’t leave behind sawdust. Chances are you have a different pest, one of the most common is the carpenter bees. Carpenter bees get their name because they excavate clean round entrance holes, close to ½ inch wide, into soft wood such as pine, cedar, cypress and fir. The prefer to attack structural timbers and other wood products such as fascia boards, porch ceilings, decks, railings, siding, shutters, firewood, and other weathered wood.  They tend to avoid wood that is well painted or covered in bark. They do not eat the wood therefore they leave behind the sawdust. They bore into wood to make galleries for nesting. If left untreated, they can cause extensive damage.

What other questions do you have for Northwest Exterminating’s Ask The Mouse section?

Have you seen mosquitoes, bed bugs, carpenter bees, or other pests in or around your home?