Why Are Mosquitoes Active in the Winter?

Mosquitoes in the winter in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlThe last pest you may think you’ll encounter in the middle of winter here in Baton Rouge is the mosquito. However, these pests can stick around well into the winter months, especially in our region. In general, mosquitoes will disappear when the temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. With temperatures still in the 70s in December, chances are you might have an encounter with a mosquito or two while putting up your holiday lights or picking out a tree at your local lot. At Dugas Pest Control, we know how frustrating mosquitoes can be in our region year-round. Read on to learn more about winter mosquito activity, and whether you should be worried about bites this time of year.

What Do Mosquitoes Do in the Winter?

In spring and summertime, mosquitoes are just a given when you spend time outdoors. This is due to the fact that mosquitoes prefer temperatures in the 80s or more. Needless to say, it can be rather startling to come across these pests in the wintertime. Most male mosquitoes will die off when, as mentioned previously, temperatures begin to dip. Even when it begins to get colder, however, female mosquitoes can go into a state similar to hibernation called diapause. 

The reason why we are still seeing and dealing with mosquitoes this time of year is that we are experiencing warm weather well into the winter months. Hardier mosquitoes are able to remain active and even potentially bite you.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes Year-Round

Even if we still are seeing some remaining mosquitoes, they are mostly inactive this time of year. This makes it the best time to start preparing for next year’s mosquito season. Some of the best mosquito prevention tactics you can do yourself in the next couple of months include the following.

  1. Prevent overwintering mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes may look to wait out the winter in your backyard if she lays their eggs nearby. Make sure to inspect your yard and get rid of debris, old tires, or tree trunks that could harbor these insects. 
  2. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, even before wintertime. Remove, overturn, or cover any tires, buckets, birdbaths, flowerpots, and other things that contain standing water. 
  3. Cut back grass and vegetation. Keep your grass mowed and take proper care of your yard to avoid mosquitoes harboring in dense brush.
  4. Try out natural mosquito repellents. While not always effective, planting rosemary, mint, and lavender in your garden could make for a natural mosquito repellent.
  5. Contact your local mosquito exterminators. Your best chance of not dealing with mosquitoes year-round is by teaming up with an expert. Professional-grade repellents can help keep mosquitoes away for good!

Mosquito Treatments in Baton Rouge

Whether you want to prevent mosquitoes in the summer or get rid of lingering mosquitoes this winter, the experts at Dugas Pest Control can help! Our mosquito control team will work with you to implement the best mosquito treatments, no matter what time of year. Contact us today to get started!

Mouse or Rat? 4 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Louisiana Rodents

A mouse found in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlMany of us are familiar with that scurrying sound in the walls. However, when it comes down to getting rid of rodents, many people don’t care what they’re dealing with as long as they’re out of the house ASAP! While a professional pest control company can always take care of your rodent infestation, no matter what kind, we highly encourage our customers to learn about the differences between the two. It can save you from future infestations!

To learn more about the differences between mice and rats in Baton Rouge LA, read on for some pointers from the rodent control team at Dugas Pest Control.

Rats vs Mice: Why Should I Know the Difference?

To a certain extent, whether or not you have mice or rats in your home does not matter immediately. Both of these pests are capable of spreading dangerous diseases and filth and causing similar damage to your home: scratches, stains, and chewed-through wiring. Either way, your safest move is to hire a rodent removal professional to assess your situation.

However, learning the differences between the two is what will save you from future infestations. While they share many similarities, the differences between mice and rats are consequential enough to allow you to target the prevention of whichever species is giving you trouble on your property.

4 Differences Between Rat and Mice Species in Baton Rouge

These are the four main factors to look for to tell if you’re dealing with rats or mice:

  1. Appearance: The house mouse is the most common mouse in Baton Rouge. At only .5oz, they are much smaller than rats. They range in color from light brown to gray. Besides their larger size, the roof rat can be differentiated from mice by its darker coat, and the Norway rat can be told apart by its shaggy coat.
  2. Behavior: The biggest distinction to make between rats and mice is this: rats are curious and mice are cautious. When dealing with mice, you can put baited traps out and expect success with a quick turnaround time. However, rats need to investigate items that are newly introduced to their environment. Placing unset traps first can help increase the likelihood of their eventual success.
  3. Diet: Although mice are known as cheese-lovers, they actually prefer grains and plants. Cereals and fresh produce are delectable to mice. Rats are less picky, but their favorite foods are fresh grains and meat. Rats also need a consistent water source, while mice derive almost all of their necessary hydration from food sources.
  4. Habitats: Mice like to build nests close to their food source using shredded paper, fabric, or similar materials. Both local rat species nest differently: Norway rats burrow outdoors or in large enough piles of debris, and roof rats nest as high up as they can, usually in attics or trees.

Rodent Removal Services with Dugas Pest Control

No matter which rodent species you’re dealing with, you can trust in the technicians at Dugas Pest Control to remove them. Our rodent control experts conduct comprehensive mouse and rat removal services, offering advice to prevent future infestations based on complete property inspections. For a free quote or to hear more about how we can help, contact us today!

Keeping Pests Out Over the Holidays

A cockroach found in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlThe holiday season means family gatherings, good food, and sharing gifts—it’s a time of the year that so many of us look forward to. However, many different kinds of pests in Baton Rouge look forward to it, too. With so many new opportunities for pests to spread and proliferate associated with the holiday season, it’s important to stay diligent about pest prevention. To learn how to prevent pest infestations this holiday season, read on for advice from the expert technicians at Dugas Pest Control!

How Do Pests Spread During the Holiday Season?

Pest infestations definitely aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the holidays, but many people here in Baton Rouge LA can associate them with each other through past experiences. Here are the main ways pest outbreaks start during the holidays:

  • Plants: Trees, garlands, wreaths, and other decorative plants are all popular decor options during the holidays. They make easy hiding places for all sorts of insects, and sometimes even mice.
  • Packages: Bugs like cockroaches and beetles like to chew their way into cardboard packaging for shelter. They can end up being transported somewhere and multiplying in their new home.
  • Decorations: We’ve heard many stories of homeowners pulling their decorations out from storage to find them teeming with insects.

3 Ways to Prevent Holiday Season Pests

It’s important to take extra precautions against pests during the holiday season. We’ve asked our technicians to provide their three most essential tips to prevent pest problems around this time of year:

  1. Check your storage space and boxes for pest damage before bringing your decorations out for the season. There could be scratches and bite marks on boxes or droppings nearby.
  2. Store your firewood outside, off the ground, and away from your home if you can. Make sure to inspect your woodpile for pests before bringing wood inside.
  3. Shake out your tree or similar greenery before setting it up inside your home.

Need Pest Control in Baton Rouge LA this Holiday Season?

No one wants to deal with pests during the holidays, especially if you’ve already experienced how frustrating it can be. If you’re looking to get a head start on pest prevention this holiday season, ask your local pest control company how they can help. Our licensed and certified technicians at Dugas Pest Control are trained to conduct all-encompassing pest control services that include inspections, extermination, and preventative maintenance work to keep your home pest-free through the holidays and all year long. Contact us today for a free quote!

A Closer Look at the Opossum

An opossum in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlLouisiana is home to all sorts of wildlife and pests, but the opossum is one the most unique of the bunch. As the only living species of marsupial in North America, the opossum is in a class of its own, although it is commonly grouped in with rodents due to its appearance. While they don’t pose many dangerous health risks to humans, they can be frightening, filthy, and possibly disease-ridden. To learn more about opossums and how you can keep them off of your property in Baton Rouge, read up on the Dugas Pest Control technicians’ advice!

What Do Opossums Look Like?

Opossums largely resemble rats. They have gray bodies with white, slender faces and long, rat-like tails. They will grow to be about the size of a house cat in most cases, reaching up to about seven pounds.

There are several other habits that can help you identify opossums in your yard:

  1. Opossum mothers carry their young on their backs. If opossums are nesting in your yard, you might soon see upwards of ten young. They are capable of having three litters a year, too!
  2. When approached, opossums are known to play dead as a defense mechanism. Never approach one with intent to remove it, as it may resort to quickly biting.
  3. Opossums mainly eat grains, fruits, and insects. If you have lots of fruit trees or bugs in your yard, you are sure to attract opossums.

Are Opossums Dangerous?

Fortunately, opossums aren’t usually dangerous. They are timid creatures that only attack in situations where they feel extremely threatened. However, they have the ability to spread disease and filth in some cases. Here’s how you can prevent them from nesting on your property:

  • Seal any entry points to your shed, attic, crawlspaces, and more.
  • Declutter your yard by promptly removing any yard waste.
  • Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent them from digging through your garbage for food.
  • Call a wildlife pest control expert for professional prevention or removal services.

Wildlife Control in Baton Rouge LA

If you’re already dealing with opossums on your property, it’s safe to not try to remove them by yourself. You can rely on your local wildlife removal experts to get the job done. Our wildlife specialists at Dugas Pest Control have years of experience dealing with the specific pest problems that we face in our climate. For a free quote or more information on our services, contact us today!

Why Do Rodents Chew Wires?

A rat seen in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlOne of the most dreaded parts of a pest infestation is the potential for property damage. Rodents are some of the worst offenders in the world of destructive pests. Not only do they spread filth and disease, they can cause expensive and even dangerous property damage when they decide to take up residence on your property. If you’ve noticed that electrical wiring has been chewed or torn in your home or car, you’re dealing with rodents, and they have to be dealt with quickly. Learn how with Dugas Pest Control!

Why Do Rodents in Baton Rouge LA Chew Wires?

Rats and mice are infamous for being hard to detect before a full-blown infestation has developed. When fall comes around, rodents prepare for winter by finding a place to nest and hide out from the cold. Apparently, it’s not enough that we give them places to live—they insist on tearing up our homes from the inside out, too!

Rodents of all kinds have a pair of upper and lower teeth called incisors that never stop growing. This means that they have to be worn down constantly to stop them from growing up into their brain. Rats and mice remedy this problem by grinding their teeth together or chewing on anything that they can find, which can be anything from support beams to electrical wiring when they are living in our homes. Finding damaged electrical wires is a common sign of a rodent infestation.

Why Are Rodent Infestations Dangerous?

When rats or mice chew through the wires in your car or home, they tear through the protective coating, causing the metal to become exposed. A spark in the cable can then directly lead to a fire, especially when surrounded by the wooden structures in your home.

When fall comes around, it’s important to take preventative measures to keep rats and mice out of your home. Make sure to do the following before fall sets in:

  1. Look for holes in your foundation, walls, or roof, and seal them promptly
  2. Set up baits or traps around your home to keep rodents outside
  3. Store and seal food properly and securely fasten your trash cans
  4. Get help from your local pest control company

Ready to Get Rid of Rodents in Your Home?

If you think it’s too early to start pest-prepping your home in Baton Rouge LA for winter, think again. Many rodents are preparing for the winter as well—by finding a cozy space to live on your property! If you want to avoid a mouse or rat infestation this fall, ask the rodent removal specialists at Dugas Pest Control about how they can help. Our mouse and rat extermination processes involve inspection, removal tactics, and follow-ups with tips to help you prevent future outbreaks. Contact us today for a free quote!

Are Raccoons Dangerous Around My House?

A raccoon hanging out in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlRaccoons are often considered violent, aggressive, and dangerous. They forage for food in our trash cans and sneak around our yards at night, creating an unsettling environment for the fearful. They have also been proven to carry rabies in some cases. But is there truly a reason to panic if raccoons are inhabiting your yard?

While it is true that raccoons have been known to exhibit aggressive behavior, they are actually much more scared of you than you are of them. So long as you do not try to get rid of raccoons on your property on your own, they will leave you alone and keep a safe distance. If you are concerned about the raccoons on your property in Baton Rouge LA, read on to learn more about them from the Dugas Pest Control experts.

Are Raccoons Dangerous in Baton Rouge LA?

When living in the wild in their natural habitats, raccoons leave humans alone whenever possible. However, sometimes they stumble into residential areas looking for food and shelter, and when they find them, they might stick around. Trying to ward off raccoons on your own can be very dangerous—they have sharp claws, bite, and can transmit various diseases. However, they will not bite unless you threaten them.

That said, raccoons can cause a hassle by way of property damage. They have been known to:

  • Climb through chimneys and cause structural damage
  • Chew on electrical wiring, causing fire hazards
  • Damage your siding, insulation, wiring, and other parts of your home

How Can I Prevent Raccoons?

Keeping your property clean and your home sealed off will prevent raccoons from taking residence around your home. Here are some starters that you can do on your own:

  1. Clean up waste. Any food scraps, fallen fruit from trees, and other trash can attract raccoons.
  2. Seal your trash cans. Consider buying a garbage can with a latch so raccoons can’t get inside.
  3. Look for open entry points. If you’ve noticed raccoons lurking in your neighborhood, look around your house for small gaps in the siding or foundation where they could get inside your walls.

Professional Raccoon Removal with Dugas Pest Control

If you can’t get rid of raccoons on your property in Baton Rouge LA, have your local pest control company help you out. Our Dugas Pest Control wildlife specialists are trained to use safe and humane strategies that handle active raccoon infestations quickly. We also emphasize the importance of learning how to prevent raccoons on your own going forward. For a free quote on the best raccoon removal service in Baton Rouge, contact us today!

What Are Those Bugs in the Bathroom?

What silverfish look like in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlSometimes, even when we think we’ve kept our bathrooms as clean as we can, we still find that they’ve become a home for unwanted pests. The moisture and humidity that build up in our bathrooms provide essential needs for many kinds of pests in Baton Rouge LA. Whether they’re looking for drinking water, hospitable environments, or other bugs to eat, there’s something for every critter in your bathroom. To find out what pests you might find in your bathroom and how to prevent them, learn from the technicians at Dugas Pest Control!

What Pests Infest Bathrooms?

There is a long list of Baton Rouge LA pests that could find their way into your bathroom, but these three are some that we deal with all the time:

  1. Ants: These critters are attracted to excess moisture in our bathrooms for drinking water. The scent of our perfumes, soaps, body washes, shampoos, and other hygiene products are also likely to draw ants in, looking for food.
  2. Cockroaches: Infamously easy to please, roaches are comfortable eating toothpaste, soap, and grime that they find in our bathrooms. The warm temperatures, moisture, and dark cabinets keep them around.
  3. Silverfish: These insects love humid environments, which are easily created by a poorly ventilated bathroom. If you find silverfish on the floor of your shower or tub, you probably have a humidity issue that you need to address.

Humidity is also known to draw in drain flies, centipedes, and certain kinds of spiders.

What Can I Do to Keep Pests Out of My Bathroom?

You will have a much better chance of avoiding pest problems with a clean and dry bathroom. Add these measures to your cleaning routine to help keep pests out of your home:

  • Wipe down your countertops to remove any standing water and excess filth
  • Keep your bathroom well-ventilated, especially during and after a shower, to reduce humidity
  • Inspect your plumbing fixtures regularly to look for leaks or pest activity
  • Clean up any toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, or other hygiene products that spill

Whatever you can do to remove excess moisture and mess from your bathroom will contribute to a pest-free environment!

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Baton Rouge LA Bathroom

When pests are taking over your bathroom to the point where you can’t shower in peace, it’s important to let your local pest control company know. At Dugas Pest Control, we take pride in our expert ability to identify pest vulnerabilities and eliminate active populations swiftly and safely, restoring our customers’ bathrooms to proper conditions. Don’t hesitate to get rid of pests in the bathroom—contact us today for a free quote!

7 Common Household Bugs in Louisiana

There are many wonderful things about living in Louisiana, but the bugs usually aren’t at the top of the list! The warm, semi-tropical climate is favorable to pests, which is why Louisiana is known for its readily available supply of bugs and insects. Some insects are harmless, even though they may look fierce, while others carry disease. Nevertheless, all insects are a nuisance, and no family wants to share their home with them. At Dugas Pest Control, we get many calls for many types of pests. In this blog post, we’re sharing the most common household bugs and pests in the Baton Rouge area. Read on to learn more!

Common Pests in Louisiana

Termites are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

1. Termites >>

There are two types of termites in Louisiana: subterranean and drywood. Subterranean termites like to chew through the interior part of a wood structure. They then cover their tracks by filling holes with dirt or mud. By the time the damage is discovered, it’s too late. There is probably hundreds to thousands of dollars of damage. Drywood termites feast on dry wood and leave feces behind, but they don’t fill holes with dirt.

Carpet beetles are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

2. Beetles >>

There are many species of beetles, but the most common in the Baton Rouge area include carpet beetles and powderpost beetles. Interestingly, carpet beetles in their adult stage aren’t much of a problem, but as larvae, they are quite the nuisance. They feed on household items such as clothes, linens, and food.

Powderpost beetles can be just as severe as termites as the larvae create tunnels on the inside of wood structures. It won’t be until these beetles chew their way out as adult beetles that you will see signs of damage.

Mosquitoes are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

3. Mosquitoes >>

The wet, humid summers create the perfect environment for mosquitoes. Although mosquitoes are synonymous with Southern living, these insects can carry deadly diseases that can be transmitted to humans. With the recent threat of West Nile, it’s crucial to have professional mosquito repellents applied to your yard before mosquito season, which starts early Spring here in Louisiana.

Cockroaches are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

4. Roaches >>

Between flying roaches and cockroaches, the roach population certainly shows its face in Louisiana. Roaches thrive off warm, moist environments, and some, such as cockroaches, are found in high-filth areas. They can also carry diseases such as E.coli and salmonella. Baton Rouge is home to many types of roach, including the smokybrown roach, American cockroach. and German cockroach.

Spiders are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

5. Spiders >>

Spiders are versatile insects that can be found in just about any climate, but the fact that Louisiana is warm and sub-tropical makes it a great location for all breeds of spiders. They especially prefer dark, moist places like underneath flowerpots or garbage can handles. Some of the most common spiders found in Baton Rouge include your typical garden spiders, fishing spiders, and bold jumping spiders. However, some have poisonous venom that can cause serious reactions in humans, including the brown widow spider, black widow spider, and brown recluse spider.

Fire ants are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

6. Fire Ants >>

With a warm climate and close proximity to Central America and Mexico, Louisiana is known for its colonies of ants, more specifically, red fire ants. Fire ants can have up to 700 colonies per acre that can include up to 250,000 crawling members. Fire ants are also fierce predators, carry disease and destroy property. If you are noticing an excess of fire ant mounds, be very cautious and reach out to your local ant control experts.

Silverfish are a common household pest in Louisiana - Dugas Pest Control

7. Silverfish >>

Silverfish have small pinchers, and although they are not poisonous, their pinchers will hurt. They have a fish-like shape and are a gray or silver color. They prefer dark, moist areas and are most commonly seen at nighttime when they leave their nest. Homeowners are accustomed to seeing these tiny bugs in kitchens and bathrooms, where there is excess moisture.

Need Help With Louisiana Insects & Pests?

Pests are a fact of life in Baton Rouge and all of Louisiana—all year long. To keep you, your family, and/or your business safe from Louisiana bugs and insects, the experts at Dugas can help. Contact our licensed pest control experts today to see how we can ensure you stay pest-free.

Can You Kill Mosquito Larvae in Standing Water?

Mosquito larvae in Baton Rouge LA yard - Dugas Pest ControlMosquitoes are known to linger around areas with standing water. This is because mosquitoes have to lay their eggs in stagnant water in order for them to develop and hatch properly. The key to preventing a mosquito problem in your yard is by stopping mosquitoes from laying eggs in the first place. This required knowing how to look for potential mosquito breeding grounds around your property. But if, in doing so, you notice mosquito larvae in water, what are you supposed to do? The experts at Dugas Pest Control are here to share their top tips to safely kill mosquito larvae to prevent an infestation—read on to learn more!

Where is Mosquito Larvae Found?

There’s a reason why mosquitoes are so frequently found near ponds and marshes—they need a source of standing water in order to reproduce. After a female mosquito bites someone, she is able to lay her eggs in water. It is from there that mosquito eggs will hatch and develop into larvae. The larvae can be found in a number of areas in your yard. Some of the most common mosquito breeding sites include:

  • Ponds
  • Birdbaths
  • Pools and spas
  • Gutters and puddles
  • Garden planters 
  • Childrens’ playsets
  • Tarps
  • Buckets

How to Safely Kill Mosquito Larvae

A “raft” of mosquito eggs can look as small as a speck in the water. This makes it important to cover any source of standing water in your yard or to regularly tip out water that pools up. There are also a few all-natural ways you can discourage mosquito larvae from developing properly. Some of the things you can add to water to kill mosquito larvae includes:

  1. Dish soap or shampoo: Liquid soap is known to effectively kill mosquito larvae. Just a millimeter of dish soap in a gallon of standing water will kill off the larvae.
  2. Oil: Olive oil and vegetable oil will get rid of mosquito eggs and larvae almost immediately. However, you should not put any oils in a pond where fish live or a birdbath.
  3. Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar works to get rid of mosquito larvae in small amounts of water. Add enough apple cider vinegar so that it makes up about 15% of the total liquid.

Outdoor Mosquito Prevention

If you’ve done all you can to put an end to the mosquito life cycle in your backyard to no avail, it’s time to get in touch with your local mosquito control experts. At Dugas Pest Control, our specialists will pinpoint and target all mosquito breeding grounds around your home. We will work hard to prevent mosquitoes before they hatch. Contact us today to learn more!

Mosquito Control Tips for Louisiana Residences

A mosquito biting someone in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest Control

One long-standing joke that many Louisiana residents enjoy is that the mosquito should replace the pelican as the state bird. With their overblown regional prominence, there might be something to this idea! If you live around Baton Rouge LA, you know that it’s near impossible to avoid mosquito problems for most of the year, especially if you don’t take them seriously. This is why our technicians at Dugas Pest Control have decided to lay out all of the tips and tricks that we know to help you avoid mosquitoes on your property on your own!

Standing Water—The Number One Mosquito Attractant

Although they are frail insects and live short lives, mosquitoes as a whole are able to thrive every year due to their lightning-fast reproductive cycle. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water, so eliminating sources of standing water in your yard will help to prevent them from using your property as breeding grounds. Standing water often builds up in these areas:

  • Trash bins, buckets, and other containers
  • Gutters and drains
  • Birdbaths and wading pools
  • Old tires, tarps, and other clutter

Some standing water sources can’t be drained. If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure to keep it covered when not in use, and consider buying an agitator or fish for your pond, if you have one.

Other Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

As we know here in Louisiana, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid or remove stagnant water. With our climate and landscape, the Baton Rouge LA area is the perfect place for mosquitoes to live and breed. Thankfully, there are other strategies that you can try at home to control mosquitoes on your property. These include:

  1. Using insect repellent on exposed skin
  2. Installing fans in outdoor areas to block mosquitoes with wind
  3. Placing mosquito netting in high activity areas
  4. Planning outdoor activities in the midday, their time of least activity

Professional Mosquito Treatment in Baton Rouge LA

Many people find that their mosquito outbreaks are simply too large to handle without professional help. Our expert technicians at Dugas Pest Control are trained to conduct complete property inspections to determine the best strategy for a barrier treatment. We only use top-tier, environmentally responsible products that are safe for you, your family, and your pets. If you need the mosquitoes in your yard gone today, reach out to us for a free quote!