How to Tell the Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are frequently mistaken for termites in Baton Rouge LA - Learn how to tell them apart with Dugas Pest Control's tips!Carpenter ants and termites are two wood-destroying insects that are often mistaken for one another. In the swarmer stages of their life cycles, they look very similar and swarm at the same time of the year. Although they both attack wood, one is infamous for being much more destructive than the other. So how do you tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants? Keep reading for info from the exterminators at Dugas Pest Control!

Main Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

When it comes to telling the difference between carpenter ants and termites, it’s important to look at the size of their wings and bodies.

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers
    1. These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring.
    2. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
    3. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant.
  2. Termite swarmers
    1. Swarmers are dark brown to black, and measure 3/8″ long including the wings.
    2. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color.
    3. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This feature is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. termite in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest Control

The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects

Both carpenter ants and termites attack wood, but in different ways. Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. When you notice the damaged wood, the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. Although they destroy wood, the damage caused by carpenter ants does not amount to the potential damage of a termite infestation.

Termites find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. Bottom line, termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant!

How to Get Rid of Termites & Carpenter Ants

There’s no denying that these insects can both cause a lot of property damage with their wood-boring habits. If you notice the signs of either, it’s time to call the termite experts at Dugas Pest Control. Our exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your Baton Rouge LA property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments.

Damage & Diseases Caused by Rodents

One of the many dangers of rodents in Baton Rouge LA is when rats chew through electrical wires. Dugas Pest Control can protect you from rats!If your property has been inflicted with a rodent problem in the past, you know how distressing they are. Rats and mice leave behind a huge mess, and contaminate any surface they walk across. Most concerning of all is the fact that rodents are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases, including hantavirus and salmonella. Because rat and mouse problems are so common in the Baton Rouge LA area all year long, it’s important to learn about the many dangers of rodents.

The Damage Caused by Rats & Mice

Rats and mice aren’t exactly subtle pests, and they can leave a big mess in their wake. Rats have incisors that never stop growing, which means they never stop chewing! One of the most dangerous things rats chew on are electrical wires. Needless to say, exposed wires can become a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear up any type of material to create nests. If you’ve had an ongoing rodent infestation, you can be sure you’ll have a lot of clean up and damage to fix once they’re gone.

What Diseases Do Rodents Transmit?

The thing you need to worry most about if you have a rodent infestation is the diseases they can possibly inflict. Whether transmitted directly through human contact or indirectly through fleas and ticks, these diseases can cause mild to serious symptoms. If you suspect you’ve come into contact with rodents and are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to always consult a medical professional. Some of the most worrying diseases caused by rodents include:

  1. Hantavirus
    1. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  2. Salmonella
    1. When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  3. Lyme disease
    1. This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.

How to Get Rid of Rats & Mice

If you’ve discovered a rodent problem in your home or business, it’s best to act quickly to remove them. There are many dangers of rodents even after an infestation, which is why it’s important to enlist the help of a rats or mice exterminator. At Dugas Pest Control, we have the years of experience required to not only control active infestations but prevent future ones from happening!

Benefits of TAP Pest Control Insulation

TAP pest control insulation is energy efficient and protects your Baton Rouge LA property against pests - Dugas Pest ControlThe most successful, long-lasting form of pest control is pest prevention. That’s where TAP® Insulation comes in! This industry-changing home insulation service not only surpasses traditional insulation, it also works to control pest problems in homes throughout Baton Rouge LA. Made out of more than 80% recycled paper, it is environmentally friendly and is an informed investment for any property owners looking to prevent pest infestations.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of TAP pest control insulation, a service proudly offered by the team here at Dugas Pest Control.

Pests Controlled by TAP Insulation

At Dugas, we want to provide our customers with pest-free living all year long. The biggest selling point of TAP pest control insulation is, of course, its pest management features. Within the TAP Insulation, a borate product designed to kill off pests is embedded. When some insects come into contact with the insulation, they will die off as they groom themselves and ingest the borate. Although TAP pest control insulation will not kill rodents or wildlife, there are many insects that it does kill, including:

Why Get TAP Pest Control Insulation?

TAP Insulation doesn’t just control pest infestations—it has many other benefits as well. This home insulation can be installed right over any existing installation in your home. Even better, once it’s installed, it never needs to be replaced! Additional benefits of TAP pest resistant insulation include:

  • Reduces energy bill costs
  • Reduces outside noises
  • Improves indoor air quality
  • Mold & mildew resistant
  • The borate serves as a fire-retardant
  • Made of recycled, eco-friendly materials

Our TAP Insulation Installation

TAP pest control insulation is a smart choice for any property owner. It provides long-lasting pest control, not to mention outperforms traditional home insulation in a number of other areas. Whether you own a new home or are looking to upgrade your current insulation, the TAP Insulation experts at Dugas Pest Control can help. To learn more about this game-changing service or to set up an appointment, call Dugas today!

Spring 2020 – Prepare for These Pests

2020 pests to look out for in your Baton Rouge LA home this year - Dugas Pest ControlHindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Dugas Pest Control.  We are helping homeowners prepare for the 2020 pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity.

At Dugas Pest Control, we have examined trends and used our field experiences and company data to determine the following five pest predictions. Along with these predictions, we are offering preventative tips to help you keep your home pest-free in 2020.


Mice

An increase in mice populations over the past several years may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again for the winter of 2020, mice activity may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.

Homeowner Tips: Mice can squeeze through holes the size of a dime. To prevent an infestation,  rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. Weatherproof gaps under garage doors, door frames, windows, or pipes and cables that penetrate your house.


Stinging Pests

Changing climates cause dramatic effects in the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and man-made or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Since yellow jackets and hornets can overwinter, they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.


Ticks

With the rise of popular outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and years of warmer than usual winters, humans and their pets are likely to encounter ticks in 2020. The Lone Star tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special interest. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets may also be at risk for some of these diseases.

Homeowner Tips: During the time spent outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also recommended to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019.  If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer.  Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.


Termites

Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year.  According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.

Homeowner Tips: To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


The experts at Dugas Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.