Did you know that a millipede isn’t an insect at all?! They are arthropods that feed on dead and decaying plant matter. Millipedes overwinter in homes which means they enter when the temperatures drop and come out when the temperatures rise. This is why you see millipedes around your home in warmer months…they’ve been there; they’ve just been “resting”. Well, they’re not always “resting”, sometimes they are mating which can be a pain because they can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. This is usually when you discover a millipede infestation. In the right situation, a millipede can live 5-7 years.
The best way to keep millipedes out of your house is to stop them from getting in.
- Seal any cracks and/or crevices in the foundation, around wiring, and plumbing where millipedes, or other pests, could enter.
- Millipedes require high humidity. Use dehumidifiers to keep the air dry or use fans in rooms that done have good air flow.
- Repair any leaks. Leaky faucets or pipes can attract millipedes.
- Clean out and remove debris from gutters. Gutter build up can cause water from draining correctly.
- Keep your yard clean by removing dead plant matter. Remove piled up mulch or woodpiles that store moisture and attract millipedes.
If you have a millipede infestation, contact your local pest control company for a free pest inspection.
Northwest Exterminating shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation
Summer vacation is almost over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over bed bug prevention, Northwest Exterminating, a pest control management company, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places. This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.
A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.
NPMA experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:
- Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
- If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
- Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
- Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans
NPMA also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:
- Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
- Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
- Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing
For more information on bed bugs, please visit our Bed Bug Control page.
Northwest Exterminating offers tick bite prevention advice for the summer season
As people venture outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather we want to encourage increased public awareness of ticks and their numerous health risks.
Certain species of ticks are capable of transmitting serious diseases to humans when they bite, including Lyme disease, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We encourage people to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites when outdoors this summer and decrease the chances of contracting one of these tick-borne illnesses.
Below are some tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests.
Most effective ways to prevent a tick encounter, and tick bite, include:
- Landscape your yard. Keep grass cut low and remove weeds, woodpiles and debris. Ticks are found in high grass, and yards with shrubbery.
- Protect your skin. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in wooded areas or tall grasses. Choose light colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks and other insects.
- Use an effective bug repellant. Always apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET to protect against ticks when spending time outdoors, and reapply as directed on the label.
- Regularly check for ticks. Most ticks require 24-48 hours of feeding before they can successfully transmit infections, so it’s crucial to perform a thorough tick check immediately after spending time outdoors. Be sure to check all areas of the body, including the hair.
- Don’t forget about pets. Check pets frequently for ticks, especially after the animal has been outside. Consult with a veterinarian about prevention and treatment options available to pets and wash pet bedding and toys frequently.
- Brush up on proper removal techniques. (Read our post “How to Remove a Tick“) Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, using a slow, steady pulling motion. Wash hands and the bite site thoroughly with soap and water, and flush the tick down a toilet or wrap it in tissue before disposing in a closed receptacle.
- Contact a professional pest professional. Anyone suspecting a tick bite or experiencing symptoms, including a skin rash, joint pain or fever, should seek prompt medical attention. If ticks are a problem on your property, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and implement a treatment plan to reduce tick populations.
For more information on ticks, please visit https://www.callnorthwest.com/learning-center/identify-your-pest/ticks/.
Head Into Spring With These Helpful Wildlife Prevention Tips
The South (and a greater portion of the country) is making its way out of a treacherous winter. During the recent cold months its likely that pests or wildlife may have taken shelter in your home. Since Spring is approaching it’s a good time to get in the habit of checking around your property for areas that could have been used or could be used as entry points for wildlife.
Wildlife and pests come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are relatively harmless while others can cause potential health threats. Illnesses can be contracted by breathing in contaminated air with spores that develop from fungus grown in animals’ fecal matter. The elderly, children, or those with compromised immune systems can be at high risk for contracting these illnesses.
If you hear scratching or scurrying in your walls, don’t ignore it or try to solve the problem on your own, call a professional wildlife removal team. Guessing or attempting to get rid of the animal on your own could result in costly damage and even danger. When hiring a trusted wildlife removal company, like Northwest Exterminating, the first order of business is to inspect the property and assess the situation. They can identify the issue based on where you’re hearing noises, openings, droppings, gnaw marks, or nests. Once the pest is identified a customized plan can be established.
As we say here over and over again, the key is PREVENTION. Some wildlife are bound and determined to get into your home regardless of the steps you take, however, there are ways you can deter them.
Wildlife Prevention Tips:
- Bring pet food and water indoors and keep in a tightly sealed container.
- Trim trees back from the roofline.
- Although they are fun to watch and enjoy, bird feeders should be removed. They can attract squirrels and other animals to your home.
- Clean out gutters.
- Keep outdoor trash in a tightly sealed container.
- Caulk & seal entrances around the home.
- Hire a trusted and knowledgeable wildlife expert to remove wildlife from your home.
Getting Rid of Pests by Eliminating their Needs
Bugs are no different than humans in that we’re all in search of 3 basic needs: water, food, and shelter. It’s important when trying to obtain a pest-free home that we are eliminating pest’s basic needs. Limiting their access to these items will be a big step in prevention AND maintenance.
So what steps do you take to eliminate these sources?
Trim vegetation away from structure
How to Eliminate Pest’s Water Sources From Your Home:
- Check under cabinets and sinks for leaks
- Caulk around pipes
- Eliminate any areas in the yard where water pools
- Clean out gutters of debris so water can drain properly
- Don’t leave your pet’s water bowls sitting out
- Remove debris in the yard that gathers water
- Remove standing water from bird baths
How to Eliminate Pest’s Food Sources From Your Home:
- Clean up any food spills immediately
- Don’t leave your pet’s food sitting out
- Keep food (pet food included) in tightly sealed containers
- Take out trash on a regular basis
- Place trash in an outside garbage can with a tightly sealed lid
How to Eliminate Pest’s Access to Shelter From Your Home:
- Be cautious of what you bring in (old furniture, produce, boxes, all can contain bugs that you could potentially bring into your home)
- Caulk and/or seal any cracks or crevices located around windows, doors, pipes, vents, etc.
- Use low sodium vapor lighting on the outside of your home
- Point security lights away from your home
- Trim back vegetation at least 1 foot away from your home
- Remove clutter and debris from the interior and exterior of the home
- Keep doors and windows shut
- If you need to have doors or windows open use screens
If pests have already found their way into your home it’s best to call a professional exterminator. A pest professional can properly inspect your property, identify the pest, identify the sources, effectively treat the home for the targeted pest, and work with you to develop a customized action plan to maintain and prevent further issues from occurring. If you’re in need of a professional pest control company call Northwest Exterminating!