Looking forward to Spring Break? Watch Out for Mosquitoes!

If you’re traveling somewhere for Spring Break be prepared for mosquitoes.

Northwest Exterminating cautions travelers about mosquito-borne diseases

Many people are looking forward to escaping the winter chill by jet setting to a warmer destination during Spring Break, but they may find themselves with a biting problem – mosquitoes. Northwest Exterminating encourages Spring Break travelers, especially those visiting a tropical location, to take precautions to protect themselves from these blood-sucking pests.

Unfortunately, mosquitoes can inflict more then just painful bites. Travelers are at an added risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, Malaria and Dengue Fever.

mosquitoAnyone traveling to the Caribbean should also be aware of Chikungunya virus, an infection spread by Asian tiger mosquitoes that was recently reported in St. Martin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is characterized by fever, rash, fatigue, vomiting and intense muscle and joint pain that can last for weeks in serious cases.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggests the following tips to avoid mosquito bites while basking in the sun:

  • Minimize outside activity, particularly at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, loose-fitting garments, open-toe shoes and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes.
    • If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching, and apply anti-itch cream.
    • Seek prompt medical attention if you experience additional symptoms such as high fever, head and body aches, confusion or weakness.

For more information, visit our mosquito page.

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

Keeping Mosquitoes Away!

Northwest Exterminating representative, Courtesy of AJC

Northwest Exterminating representative, Courtesy of AJC

Need tips on how to keep mosquitoes away?

  • Remove standing water from your yard.  These areas serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Keep screens on windows and doors to keep them out of your home.
  • Use an insect repellant.  DEET is highly recommended.  Be sure to read the label and reapply as necessary.
  • Cover up.  We know it’s hot but items like hats, long sleeve shirts, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet will help keep the mosquitoes from biting.
  • Wear light colors.  Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors so keep it light and bright to keep them away.
  • Stay still.  Movement produces a change in waves of light and acts as a signal to mosquitoes.  Carbon dioxide is also an attractant, so the more you move, the harder you breathe and the more you attract mosquitoes.
  • Plants.  Certain strong smelling plants help keep mosquitoes away.  Citronella, marigolds, and lemongrass are some of the plants you can use outdoors, while rosemary and basil are said to be helpful inside.
  • Home remedies.  There is no shortage of DIY remedies online.  Some of these can be useful for short term effectiveness.
  • Professional pest management.  A trained pest control technician can inspect your property to identify what is attracting the mosquito infestation.  The technician can then treat your property in an earth friendly and effective manner.  They can also provide you with a plan to keep mosquitoes away.

These are just a few tips on keeping mosquitoes away.  Mosquitoes are known carriers of diseases like West Nile virus, encephalitis, and heartworms in dogs.  Make sure that you are protecting yourself and your loved ones.  For more information, visit our blog or call Northwest Exterminating at 888.466.7849.

Why Do Mosquitoes Love Me So Much?

 

 

Health & Mosquitoes

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a…MOSQUITO?!?!

Source

Source

Yes, that is right mosquito season is here!  And although we all enjoyed the mild winter, we may not be able to say the same this summer.  Mild winters usually mean an influx in pest pressure for Pest Management Professionals and their customers…including mosquitoes.

There are currently 63 different species of mosquitoes found in GA.  Approximately$125,000,000 is spent annually in Georgia in an effort to reduce and treat the effects of disease and nuisance caused by mosquitoes.  That’s a lot of money to control one insect.  But is there a cost to protect the public’s health?  Because the mosquito has become a big threat!

Worldwide malaria remains the most important human disease transmitted by mosquitoes.  Malaria counts for almost 2 million deaths each year and is estimated that there are over 400 million cases in the world.  In Georgia, we see about 50 to 60 cases of Malaria a year.  Although Malaria affects the most humans worldwide there are two other diseases that we see more frequently in Georgia.

The West Nile virus was first found in the states in 1999.  In 2002, the virus spread over most of the United States and caused over 4,000 cases and 277 deaths.  The virus is transmitted from the mosquito to a host bird, where the virus grows and then is transmitted to an incidental host (humans) by another mosquito.  To date, there is no antivirus for those affected with the disease.

Another common disease doesn’t affect humans directly but it does affect the family dog.  Dog heartworms are a serious problem and are spread by mosquitoes.  Infection rates in some states have been reported to be as high as 80% in dogs over 2.5 years old, and almost 100% in dogs over 5 years old that are left un-vaccinated.  There is approximately $60,000,000 being spent on heartworm prevention in Georgia each year and it cost nearly $1,000 to treat a case of heartworms.  Bottom-line…make sure you treat your dog for heartworms BEFORE it’s an issue.

So what can we do?  Mosquito prevention at Northwest Exterminating is a five step program following the basic principles of an Integrated Mosquito Management program:

  1. Education
  2. Surveillance
  3. Source Reduction
  4. Larviciding
  5. Adulticiding

It is important as homeowner’s that we do our part.  Here are some simple steps to help reduce mosquitoes around your home:

  •  Reduce water collection sites
  • Clean gutters regularly
  • Remove yard clutter

For more tips like these and to help reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your home call Northwest Exterminating.  Our goal is to create a healthier environment around your home so you can enjoy your yard!

Adam Vannest
Director of Pest Services
Northwest Exterminating
avannest@callnorthwest.com

 

May’s Pest of the Month – Mosquitoes

MosquitoesTake Back Your Yard!Don’t let mosquitoes suck the fun out of your Summer!

HABITS

  • Breed in stagnant water such as ponds, marshes, drainage ditches, etc.
  • Can be found in almost every type of landscape on Earth except deserts and the Arctic.
  • Bite most often at dusk and dawn.

THREATS

OTHER PESTS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

PREVENTION

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flower pots, bird baths, etc.  Mosquitoes only need about one half inch of water to breed.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outdoors whenever possible.
  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating for a professional inspection and treatment plan for breeding sites.

Enjoy your yard this Spring and Summer.  Call Northwest Exterminating for more information on our Green Mosquito Program!

 

Keeping Pets Healthy from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

sick dogThey don’t call him Man’s Best Friend for no reason.  Dogs, and cats (we can’t forget our beloved cats) are truly part of the family.  We treat them and take care of them just as we would any other member of the family.  That’s why it is important that we protect them from outdoor pests that can cause serious health risks to our furry friends.  Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are all predicted to make a heavy appearance this season as the weather warms up.

Ticks are most commonly found on our pets.  Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and cause tick paralysis.

Fleas can cause itchy, red bumps that cause animals to scratch.  Fleas are also easily brought into the home where they can invade your living space and reproduce.  Fleas can cause anemia, skin issues, and even tapeworms for our pets.

Heartworms and West Nile Virus are some of the more serious issues that come along with mosquitoes.  A bite can manifest into a full heartworm in 6-7 months in a dog, and 8 months in a cat.

Keep your pets healthy by following some of these tips to controlling ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes:

  • Regularly scheduled pest control service in and around your home will help keep pests away that can cause risks to your pets.  (Call Northwest Exterminating for our NorPest Green Pest Control service.  Our program is kid and pet friendly while keeping the bugs away.  Our Green Mosquito Program also keeps mosquitoes away while using Earth friendly solutions.)
  • Check your dog and cat on a regular basis.  Check for excessive scratching, bumps, fleas, and ticks.
  • Keep vegetation cut and trimmed.
  • Bathe pets regularly.
  • Remove standing water in yard where mosquitoes breed.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick prevention and heartworm prevention.

Contact Northwest Exterminating if you think you have a problem with fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes.  Keep your pets healthy!

 

Diseases Caused by Pests

With our commitment to healthier living and working environments, we at Northwest understand the importance of good pest management for personal health. Living in a hygienic environment and minimizing exposure to unwanted pests can literally save lives. For instance, the lives of twenty-five million Europeans during the Late Middle Ages were claimed by fleas that had spread the bubonic plague. They managed this feat by using another pest as a host – rats! Modern improvements on hygiene, sanitation and pest management have dramatically reduced the impact of this disease.

 

Another more common disease brought on by insects is Lyme disease. This disease is carried by the deer tick in the form of a bacterium called Borrelia bugdorferi. If a deer tick bites you, the bacterium enters the bloodstream and will lead to skin rash and in extreme cases, paralysis. When caught early, antibiotics can eliminate the bacteria before it causes furthermore harm.

Mosquitoes in particular can carry a host of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, pogosta disease, and West Nile virus. They carry similar traits in that when infected, a person will experience a fever indicating that more serious effects are on the way such as meningitis or arthritis.  All these diseases can lead to death if not caught or treated properly. For some of these diseases, the best form of prevention is pest management. Northwest Exterminating provides solutions to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in and around your home or work environment.

If you come in contact with a pest and feel you may have been exposed to any disease, be sure to immediately seek medical attention. Many of these diseases, as well as others such as malaria or rabies can be treated when caught early.

Melissa Brown
mbrown@callnorthwest.com

Sources:

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/diseases.htm

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

 

 

West Nile Precautions for Your Labor Day

West Nile Virus has made its way back into the news for 2012.  After a few years of laying low, health officials have warned that the virus is once again on the rise. Reports state that four times the usual number of cases for this time of year have been identified.  As of August 27, the AJC reported that Georgia had seen 21 cases of West Nile so far, which is only 1 case away from the 22 total that were reported in 2011.

Labor Day weekend is often spent outdoors enjoying the last little bit of summer.  If you and your loved ones are going to be outdoors for the holiday, we urge you to take steps to keep the mosquitoes away.

Steps for keeping away mosquitoes/West Nile:

  • Apply DEET, or any other EPA approved product that repels mosquitoes.
  • Get rid of any standing water.  These areas of standing water will be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and needs to be drained or removed.
  • Use a bug zapper.
  • Mosquitoes are active all day but the species that carry West Nile are most active at dusk and dawn.
  • Use citronella candles.
  • Wear waistbands or bracelets that have repellants built in or that can be clipped on.
  • Wear loose, long sleeve pants and shirts when possible.
  • Use screens on open doors and windows.

If you are bitten and start to experience symptoms like dizziness or fever, contact your physician.

Happy Labor Day to all from Northwest Exterminating!

 

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.

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: Ticks

Disclaimer:  The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice

Ticks like to “hang out” in low lying shrubs, bushes or plants waiting for animals to come by to supply them with the blood meal that will help them complete their life cycle. Ticks then climb on the animal or human and attach themselves to obtain the blood from their victims. In the process they inject saliva and suck blood from the host, much like mosquitoes.

In general, most tick bites do not transmit disease. More commonly they are associated with infection around the site of the bite, local irritation, allergic reaction, or the cause of retained mouth parts when the tick is removed. The sooner you can remove the tick, the less likely they are to transmit diseases, so get them off quickly!

How to remove a tick

Most of the time, a pair of tweezers and slow, gentle, upward pressure will get rid of the tick. Burning the tick off may not work and may cause a burn to the patient.  For a nice diagram and instructions please see the CDC website about how to remove a tick:

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html

If there are retained parts, please see your doctor so they can recommend options for getting the head out or letting it come out on its own.

Tick Borne Diseases

There are some serious diseases associated with tick bites. Usually they are associated with fever, feeling ill, and a rash. A few of the more common illnesses are:  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Erlichiosis, and Tularemia.  Please contact your doctor immediately if you develop a rash, fever, or are feeling sick after a tick bite.

To avoid ticks, know where to expect them and use a bug repellant.  Ticks live in areas that are grassy or near woods.  They are often found in bushes and shrubs and can become a big problem when grass is too high.  A bug repellant, such as DEET, can protect you for several hours.

If you find ticks on you, someone in your household, or a household pet, call Northwest Exterminating to speak to someone about a way to get rid of ticks.

Thanks,

Dr. Goo

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: Mosquitoes

Disclaimer:  The following are general guidelines to follow and do not constitute medical advice.

Spring brings with it flowers, pollen, birds and bees! But it also brings pests that are returning from their winter break.  For many of us, mosquitoes are a real problem that keeps us from enjoying the outdoors.  But more importantly, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.  They can also cause heartworm in dogs.  *Click here for a brief outline on these diseases*  These diseases are very serious but fortunately, rarely directly related to mosquitoes.

In General

In general, the problem with mosquito bites is due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva and the problems associated with swelling and scratching of the mosquito bite.  When a mosquito bites you they inject saliva which helps keep the blood from clotting. The saliva causes an inflammatory reaction which causes the itching and swelling associated with the bite. Most people just get a big irritating lump on the skin which if they scratch becomes more swollen and lasts longer.  But some people actually have an allergic reaction to the mosquito saliva and can become very ill.

For the itching and swelling, anti-histamines are recommended.  Diphenhydramine (commonly known as Benadryl – TM) can be used orally or applied in creams or lotions combined with calamine. Anti-inflammatory steroid creams may help too – creams like 1% hydrocortisone.

Interesting Fact: Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood to obtain protein for their eggs; male mosquitoes suck nectar.

Impetigo

Even if you don’t get sick from the mosquito, many people scratch their bites until they bleed. When the skin is open it is susceptible to secondary infection. Children and adults can get a skin infection called impetigo which is a superficial skin infection caused by bacteria called staph and strep.  Impetigo causes open sores and crusting (honey colored) and swelling in the areas. Impetigo is usually worse in the summer when children are out playing in the dirt, getting bitten by mosquitoes, and then getting those sores infected. Excellent hygiene (SOAP and WATER) can prevent most impetigo and cure mild cases.  Over the counter antibiotic ointments (like Bacitracin) can help too as well as prescription ointments like mupurocin. There may be enlarged glands in the area, fever, and a spreading rash. Usually more severe impetigo needs an oral antibiotic so contact your doctor if you think you have impetigo and need medicine for it.

Heartworm

Man’s best friend can be affected with heartworms which are also transmitted by mosquitoes. So protect your entire family against these pests.

Prevention

The best prevention is to eliminate mosquitoes from your environment. Since this is virtually impossible to do completely, several strategies should be employed:

  • Be sure to get rid of any standing water around your home to avoid breeding areas for the mosquitoes. Old tires are notorious for having water inside of them so be sure to get rid of any tires in or around the yard.
  • Call Northwest Exterminating.  Their Green Mosquito Control Program is a 7 month program which sprays the shrubs, bushes and plants where mosquitoes and ticks like to hide.  This will greatly reduce the mosquito and tick population in your yard and will act as a barrier and repellent for any stray mosquitoes that fly into the area.
  • By wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, hats and socks you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites.
  • Also, use of insect repellents is a good idea. There are many products on the market; but the most popular is DEET.  DEET contains repellents and comes in many different forms and concentrations.
  • Screened in porches, mosquito netting and other barriers are helpful too.

Give your family the best protection against mosquitoes by calling Northwest Exterminating for their Green Mosquito Control Program.  Be sure to ask for your FREE inspection!

Thanks,

Dr. Goo