Holiday Pest Proofing

Holiday Pest Proofing

The holiday season is upon us with decorations, food, and traveling to see family and friends. While most of us are focused on our holiday preparations, we often lose focus on another important aspect of this time of year – pest prevention. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean pests aren’t a problem. The holidays provide many opportunities for spiders, ticks, ants, mice, bed bugs, and other pests to make their way indoors and take over your home.
One of the most common ways pests can get into your home during the holidays is on live Christmas trees, wreaths, and firewood. Ants, spiders, ticks, and other pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in the crevices of wood. They can even lay their eggs in trees or garland which can hatch once you put them out in your home, potentially causing a major infestation.
Pests can also access your home in those boxes of decorations you drag out from the attic, basement, garage, or crawlspace. Mice and other pests love to get into those cardboard boxes during the off season. You may be in for a surprise when you open your decorations by finding a live pest, droppings, or even damage to your lights and ornaments. It is especially important to check the wiring of your lights to make sure pests haven’t chewed through them.
The holidays are also one of the busiest travel times of the year. Most of us will either travel to visit loved ones or have loved ones travel to visit us. While we’re usually excited to see everyone, we’re not so excited to deal with bed bugs which often hitch rides on the luggage of these travelers. We often see a spike in bed bug cases during the holiday season.
So what can you do to pest proof your home and make sure you don’t get any unwanted guests for the holidays?

  1. Carefully inspect all items before bringing them into your home including trees wreaths, garland, and other decorations. Make sure to check for insects, eggs, and nests and shake them to rouse any pests that might be hidden deep within.
  2. Unpack your decorations outside instead of in your living room. Inspect them thoroughly for any signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks, or any other damage before bringing them inside.
  3. Store your holiday decorations in plastic containers with lids that seal tightly instead of cardboard containers or bags.
  4. Don’t put discarded trees or cut firewood near your home. Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevate it if possible.
  5. Thoroughly check your luggage before you enter the place you are staying and ask your guests to do the same before they enter your home.
  6. Put your clothing in the dryer, if possible, for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Keep your bags closed when not in use and store them off the floor.
  8. If you suspect you have a pest problem this holiday season, contact a pest control professional who can provide you with an evaluation and treatment plan.
Season Changing Pests

Season Changing Pests

Autumn is right around the corner and it brings with it cooler weather, Halloween, football, and a plethora of new pests. As the weather gets colder, pests will seek shelter, food, and warmth in our homes. Different seasons bring different pests and this time of year is no exception. Here are 7 of the most common fall pests and ways to prevent them from invading your home.

RODENTS

Rodents
Rats, mice, and squirrels are among the most common rodents seen in the fall. They need food and warmth to survive the cold winter months. Rats are known to carry disease and can cause potential health problems for you and your family. They also get into food storage and chew through wooden supports. They build their nests in your insulation and can cause fires by chewing through electrical wires. They can fit into small gaps and holes to get into your home and bring fleas, mites, ticks, and lice with them.
Rodents can be prevented by:

  • Storing food in airtight containers.
  • Sealing cracks around your foundation.
  • Keeping your kitchen clean.
  • Decluttering your garage and attic.
  • Using plastic storage containers instead of cardboard.

COCKROACHES

Cockroaches
Cockroaches are the most common fall pest. Cockroaches can be dangerous to your health as they are known to carry 33 different types of bacteria and can cause asthma in children. They are large, fast, and extremely resilient. They like to hide near pipes and drains and are commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms.
Cockroaches can be prevented by:

  • Keeping kitchens and bathrooms sanitized.
  • Vacuuming frequently.
  • Ensuring cracks around your home are sealed.
  • Storing food in airtight containers.
  • Eliminating sources of standing water.

FLEAS

Fleas
Fleas come into your home on both pets and rodents. While they don’t transmit serious diseases to humans, their bites can be painful and irritating. Fleas can spread throughout your home quickly and can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Fleas can be prevented by:

  • Keeping grass mowed and shrubs trimmed.
  • Not leaving pet food out overnight.
  • Sealing openings to crawlspaces, garages, sheds, and decks.
  • Using preventative products on your pets.
  • Vacuuming often.
  • Washing pet bedding often.

ANTS

Ants
There are several species of ants that are common in the fall. Ants can move into the walls of your home or underneath your foundations and cause significant damage to your home. Carpenter ants can chew through the wood of your home and compromise its structure. Odorous house ants can get into and contaminate your food.
Ants can be prevented by:

  • Sealing cracks around your foundation.
  • Storing food in airtight containers.
  • Sweeping your floors often.
  • Eliminating sources of standing water.
  • Keeping tree branches and plants cut back from your home.
  • Not storing firewood near the home or indoors overnight.

STINK BUGS

Stink Bugs
Stink bugs actively seek shelter indoors from the cooler weather of fall. Stink bugs don’t transmit diseases, nor do they bite or sting. They can, however, cause damage to clothing, furniture and other fabrics with their droppings. They emit a strong odor when they are frightened, disturbed, or squashed as a defense mechanism against predators.
Stink bugs can be prevented by:

  • Checking your belongings before bringing them inside the home.
  • Making sure screens on doors and windows are in good repair or, if not, that they are replaced.

SPIDERS

Spiders
There is a significant increase in the number and variety of spiders that appear in the fall. Fall is mating season for most spiders so they are actively seeking mates before winter sets in. The most common spiders seen in the fall are house spiders, which are responsible for the cobwebs you often see in your home, wolf spiders, and hobo spiders.
Spiders can be prevented by:

  • Sealing cracks and crevices around your home.
  • Turning porch lights off at night to decrease the number of bugs around your home for spiders to eat.
  • Dusting regularly.
  • Removing cobwebs as soon as you find them.

BED BUGS

Bed Bugs
Travel in the fall increases with a large number of sporting events, family gatherings, and students heading back to school and college. Bed bugs ride on clothing, suitcases, and even school bags. While they don’t spread disease, they do leave behind itchy red welts. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to control and eliminate.
Bed bugs can be prevented by:

  • Inspecting hotel rooms and dorms before unpacking.
  • Keeping personal belongings off the floor in public places.
  • Checking suitcases before bringing them back into your home.
6 Tips For Fall Pest Prevention

6 Tips For Fall Pest Prevention

Fall is the perfect time of year to prepare your home for winter. While prepping your yard and storing away your summer things are usually at the top of the list, don’t forget to protect your home from pests this winter also! Fall is prime time for pests to make their way into your house in search of food, shelter, and warmth over the cold winter months.
Rodents will make their way indoors in search of a warm place to shelter for winter. Flies will often be found on the south and west facing walls of your home in search heat. Many stinging insects like yellow jackets, bees, and wasps will become more hostile in the fall as their food supply dwindles. Cockroaches are attracted by the moisture found in and under your home. Other pests like ants, stinkbugs, ladybugs, and box elders will come inside looking for a place to overwinter.
Now that you know what kinds of pests to expect this fall, what can you do to protect your home from these often unseen invaders? Check out these 6 tips to prevent pests this fall.

  1. Keep Them Out. Inspect the inside and outside of your home for possible entry points that pests can use. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home with caulk and steel wool, especially around utility pipes. Screen your attic vents and install chimney sweeps. Screen any other openings to the outdoors like mail slots and pet doors. Repair loose mortar around your foundation and windows. Check screens for holes and repair or replace them as needed. Check for any gaps around doors and windows. Install or replace weatherstripping as needed and install door sweeps.
  2. Keep It Clean. Wipe down your counters and sweep your floors often. Clean up spills immediately. Take out your trash on a regular basis. Don’t let fruits and veggies get overripe on your counters. Keep food, including pet food, stored in airtight containers. Avoid leaving pet food dishes out for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Dry It Out. Mosquitoes breed in standing water and cockroaches are attracted to moisture. Walk your property on a regular basis to check for any standing water. Be sure to check your gutters and rain spouts for clogs and consider installing gutter guards to help prevent them. Check for leaks near your air conditioning unit. Pick up any toys from your yard that may hold water. Keep basements, attics, and crawlspaces dry and ventilated. Consider enclosing your crawlspace. Use dehumidifiers in attics and garages.
  4. Don’t Forget Outside. Maintain your landscaping and keep grass trimmed and mowed. Trim any bushes and shrubs away from your home. There should be at least 2 feet between any landscaping and the walls of your house. Rake up any debris from your yard and be sure to pull weeds. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your house and store it in racks above the ground.
  5. Inspect Before Bringing It In. Thoroughly inspect any items like boxes, packages, and even grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Thoroughly inspect luggage after traveling before bringing them into your home and store them in plastic bags or in external buildings like sheds or garages instead of in your home.
  6. Call The Pros. Call a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
Pest Control Options In Roswell, GA

Pest Control Options In Roswell, GA

Summer is a busy season for most of us. Whether it’s traveling for summer vacation, planning barbecues, or just spending more time outdoors we tend to be a lot more active in these warmer months. The same is true for pests! Ants, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and lots of other pests are much more prevalent in the summertime. To enjoy summer to the fullest, it might be necessary to call in a pest control professional to eliminate these pesky pests. Here are a few options in the Roswell, GA area:

  1. ATA Family Pest Solutions – Offers a full range of pest control, mosquito, termite, rodent, and wildlife services with no contracts and a 100% guarantee.
  2. North Fulton Pest Solutions – A full service pest control company offering both commercial and residential services, as well as energy efficiency solutions for your home.
  3. Zone Home Solutions – A hometown pest control and heating and air specialist that is family owned and operated since 1996.
  4. Pure Defense Pest Solutions – A family owned company in operation since 2011 offering a full range of services and eco-friendly products.

Choosing a pest control company is a personal choice. Many factors go into determining the best fit for you and your family including personal experience, Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews, personal recommendations, and past experiences to name a few. Make sure you make the best choice by doing your research before choosing a company.
As always, we hope you will consider calling Northwest Exterminating for any of your pest problems if you’re in the Marietta or surrounding area, as we have locations to service most parts of Georgia. However, our biggest goal is for you to find the right pest solution for you. Feel free to check out more on our website to identify your pests and to determine what pest solutions are out there for your home, or get started by calling (888) 466-7849 or filling out the Free Estimate form below.

Summertime Pest: Ants

Summertime Pest: Ants

Ants are the most common household pest in the United States, especially during the summer months. As the weather warms up ants come indoors in search of food and water. While most ants are harmless, a few of them can cause problems for you and your home. Odorous ants can contaminate your food, carpenter ants can cause damage to wood structures, and fire ants will definitely sting if they feel threatened. When ants get into your home they can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and even around air conditioning units. Ants can be one of the hardest pests to get rid of. One key to controlling ants is through prevention. What can you do to keep these pests from ruining your summer? Check out these 14 tips for summer ant prevention.

  1. Keep your food sealed in airtight containers, even pet food.
  2. Keep your pet’s food and water dishes clean and don’t leave them out overnight.
  3. Wipe up any crumbs or spills immediately.
  4. Thoroughly clean your counter tops, cupboards, cabinets and other kitchen surfaces regularly.
  5. Make sure to also clean under your sink, stove, and refrigerator.
  6. Sweep your kitchen and bathroom floors daily.
  7. Vacuum regularly to pick up any missed food crumbs.
  8. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
  9. Dispose of your trash promptly.
  10. Inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes and seal them with silicone caulk.
  11. Caulk around your windows and doors and repair any holes or gaps in them.
  12. Replace weatherstripping around windows and doors and repair loose mortar around your foundations.
  13. Keep tree branches and other shrubbery trimmed back from the sides of your house as ants can use these to access your home.
  14. If you have an ant problem, contact a professional pest control company who can identify the type of ants you have and recommend the appropriate treatment for them.
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