Stay Aware of Termite Threats to Your Property This Spring

Termite damage in Southern Louisiana - Dugas Pest ControlLast week was the annual Termite Awareness Week, and although we spent some time further educating ourselves and others on termite prevention, detection, and treatment, it doesn’t mean that termites are going to stop eating up our homes from the inside out. We recommend preparing for this spring’s termite reemergence by learning more about how they operate and how to tell if you have a problem in your house.

What Are the Signs of Termites in Your Home?

Termites have been given the nickname “the silent destroyers” because of their ability to go undetected chewing through wood, flooring, and wallpaper. These quiet critters are always on the go – termites can feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

Keep an eye out for these 7 signs that termites might have infested your home:

  1. Mud tubes on the exterior of the home – termites build these to travel to new food sources.
  2. Soft wood in your house that sounds hollow when tapped.
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint.
  5. Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust.
  6. Winged termites, called swarmers, flying around your house.
  7. Discarded wings near doors or window sills, which indicate that swarmers have entered the home.

When Do Termites Swarm?

Unfortunately, termites will start to swarm in high numbers very soon. Some colonies might already be active here in Southern Louisiana, as the mixture of rain and rising temperatures provides them with an ideal climate. As temperatures increase, termites emerge in search of mates and suitable spots to create new colonies.

Formosan termites are most likely to cause problems in Louisiana this spring, so homeowners should remain vigilant and routinely inspect the foundation of the home for signs of termites.

Professional Termite Control

Now is the time to take note of potential termite damage on your property. If you notice any of the above indications of a termite outbreak in your home, reach out to our professional termite exterminators for a free quote. We have many years of experience diagnosing and clearing termite-infested homes and are currently preparing to help Louisiana head into spring with sturdy houses free of pests!

Keep Louisiana Wildlife Outside This Winter

Keep Louisiana wildlife outside your home this winter - Dugas Pest Control in Baton RougeWhen the cold weather starts to settle in and there is a frigid bite in the air here in Louisiana, you probably want to head home and snuggle up inside where it is nice and warm. Unfortunately, you are not the only one who wants to do this. Creatures that would typically be more at home outside might decide to become your uninvited guests during the winter months.

This is true of rodents in particular, but all manner of critters can make their way onto your property and into your home, including raccoons, squirrels, and more. To avoid the dangers of a wildlife invasion in your home this winter, keep reading to learn how to keep them away!

Dangers of Wildlife in the Home During the Winter

Winter pests in the home are more than just annoying. There is also the potential for them to be dangerous. Mice, rats, and squirrels can carry various diseases, as can the fleas that rodents carry. Even if the rodent dies, the fleas can continue to live on and cause problems for you and your family. In addition, rodents can cause fires. This is because rats and other rodents often chew on electrical wires. Wild animals can be dangerous when they feel threatened, and they should never be approached. It’s always best to have a professional wildlife control expert assist you.

How to Prevent Winter Wildlife Problems

Having a good understanding of some prevention tips and following through with them will help to keep the wildlife from getting into your home, so you don’t have to deal with the dangers these pests present. The best winter wildlife prevention tips include the following.

1. Look for Holes and Gaps

Rodents can come into your home through holes found around the outside of the house. If you have holes in the attic, holes in the walls, gaps in windows and doors, and other areas that would allow for rodents and other pests to get into your home. Depending on the size of the hole or gap, larger creatures, even snakes, might find their way inside your attic, basement, or walls. Walk around your home, inside and outside, and look for these holes and gaps. Then, make repairs to these areas to eliminate these points of ingress into the home. This can help reduce the risk of pests entering the property. Keep in mind that even tiny gaps could allow for critters of all sorts to get inside.

2. Take Care of Leaf and Woodpiles Properly

During the fall season, you end up outside raking up piles of leaves with the intention of disposing of them. However, these piles of leaves and debris are often left too close to their homes. The piles end up as nesting grounds for rodents, which will then often try to make their way into the home. It is important to keep leaf piles, along with woodpiles, further away from the house to reduce the chance of pests getting into the home. Ideally, the piles will be at least 20’ from the house.

3. Protect Vents and Chimneys

If you have a chimney or vents that are coming into the home, you will want to screen them. This stops animals and other pests from having easy access to your house. If you aren’t sure how to install the screens properly and securely, you can hire someone who can do it for you.

Wildlife Prevention & Control Services in the Winter

Even when you take the right precautions, there is always a chance that various forms of wildlife might end up making their way into your home. It’s always a good idea to speak with a professional pest control company that can come to your home and inspect it to make sure it is safe from pests, and to get rid of any pests that might have already infiltrated your property. Working with the wildlife control team at Dugas can help keep you and your family safe from wildlife problems this winter in your Louisiana home!

West Nile Virus In Louisiana Backyards! 2018 Update

Dugas Pest Control provides mosquito control service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana

Summer is almost gone, but the mosquitoes are still here!   This summer (2018), East Baton Rouge, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and St. John Parishes all have multiple confirmed cases of mosquitos testing positive for West Nile Virus.

Of course the The East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control is working hard to reduce the mosquito population via daytime larval treatments as well as nighttime mosquito spraying with trucks and airplanes.

But what can you do in the meantime?

What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus

The Center for Disease Control states that:

  • West Nile Virus is most commonly spread through the bites of infected mosquitos.
  • At present time there are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the virus.
  • 80% of people infected will show ZERO symptoms.
  • 1 in 5 infected people develop a fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Symptoms will usually occur between 3 and 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, if at all.

What Can I do to Protect Myself and My Loved Ones?

Because there are no vaccines or medicinal treatments available, prevention is key this summer. Here are a few ways the Center for Disease Control suggests you protect yourself:

  1. Use insect repellent: Specifically, look for repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 (ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate), oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), and/or 2-undecanone. (All of these have been proven effective and safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women).
  2. Wear long sleeved shirts & pants treated with Permethrin: This may seem counterintuitive with the heat and humidity, but covering your most vulnerable organ, the epidermis, is your best bet. Clothes treated with Permethrin can protect you after multiple washings and it can also be used on boots, socks, tents, etc.
  3. Take necessary steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside: Screen doors, mosquito nets, and constant vigilance is one of the most important steps in West Nile Virus prevention. Make sure you’re using screens on all your doors and windows, repair any holes immediately, use air conditioning, and once a week empty, clean or throw out any items that may contain stagnant water (i.e. buckets, old tires, toys, planters, etc.)
  4. Schedule an appointment! We offer Mosquito Suppression, Automated Misting, and Large Area Fogging Treatments that can reduce the amount of mosquitos in your yard by up to 90%!

Our certified, experienced technicians are the best and most convenient line in self-defense against pesky mosquitos and the potentially fatal West Nile Virus – don’t wait until it’s too late.

Keeping pests out has never been more affordable – Give us a call today!

Pest Control Is Better When You’re Part of a Team – Meet Pest Technician Mary

Pest Technician Mary providing extermination services in Baton Rouge and St. Francisville When’s the last time one of your customers offered you a breakfast taco? 🌮

It happened to our technician Mary Branch just a few days ago!

We think it’s safe to say our techs and our customers are members of a mutual admiration society!

We Have the Best Customers EVER 💗

Mary says that her favorite thing about working as a pest control technician is the amazing customers she helps every day. She loves working to solve their pest problems and they love having pest-free homes and businesses!

Satisfied customers motivate Mary to do her best every day while she’s out in the field eliminating pests.

Besides having wonderful clients, Mary – like many of our techs – loves the outdoors. She enjoys being out and about and says she would prefer spending time around a campfire to being inside (unless there’s a football game on!). 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The whole Dugas team is on Mary’s side when she’s addressing pest problems.

If she runs into an unusual situation, she calls on the rest of the team at Dugas to help her create a pest control solution based on the local knowledge our techs have been gathering for over 60 years.

So when you call a Dugas tech, you get the entire team’s expertise!

Mary previously worked with a corporate pest control company, and she says there’s no contest when it comes to the inclusive environment at a family- and woman-owned firm like Dugas. Her “work family” is supportive and helpful, and everyone learns from one another on a daily basis. Each call is a chance to improve her skills and knowledge, and she’s happy to return the favor when her fellow technicians need a hand.

“Calling or texting another experienced local technician is way better than a Google search,” Mary says. “They know the area and the local pests, so they can give great advice if you need it.”

Summer Pest Field Report

Tawny “crazy” ants have been spotted in Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, and even farther afield. These bizarre ants congregate in colonies that can number in the millions. They’re tiny, and their frantic movements have given them their nickname of Crazy Ants.

Unlike most ants, these pests are attracted to electrical wiring, which means they can be VERY destructive to your property.

Talk about crazy !

One of Mary’s customers had an infestation that destroyed their A/C unit, and they had to replace the whole thing! Stay vigilant, and look for trails of tiny ants around your home, A/C unit, electrical boxes, even your car. If you see them, you need to act ASAP, as their huge colonies can move fast to destroy your wiring.

If you have had crazy ants in the past, you still need to stay vigilant, since these aggressive pests will try to come back if they can.

Termites may not be swarming anymore, but now that they have settled down in their new colonies, signs of termite infestation are cropping up around Baton Rouge and across southern Louisiana.

A customer in Lafitte called on Mary for their termite problem when tunnels were discovered near their home. Another home that had been flooded provided a ripe environment for termites, as it has been unoccupied and hadn’t been inspected for months. So if you have property that’s vacant, termite inspections are a must.

Asian roaches are also showing up in yards and flower beds everywhere. Unlike common or German cockroaches, Asian roaches typically stay outside, where they love to live in mulch or pine straw. Their tendency to stay outside is definitely a plus, but these pests could easily overrun your yard and “bug” you when you’re trying to enjoy some time outdoors.

Call on Our Expert Technicians to Combat Pests in Your Home of Business

If you have pest problems, Mary or another one of our experienced and certified techs can help!

Give us a call at or request service online for pest control service in Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Covington, and Metro New Orleans.

Jeremy Clark Named to National Pest Management Association Board

Employee Jeremy of Dugas Pest ControlCongratulations to our own Jeremy Clark, general manager of Dugas Pest Control!

He has been named to the board of directors of the National Pest Management Association. Jeremy will serve a two-year term as board member at large of this 7,000-member organization formed in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of the public health, food and property.

Clark is also president-elect of the Louisiana Pest Management Association. His mother, Laura Simpson, president of Dugas Pest Control, also served on the board of NPMA and was its president in 2005.

The Surprising Facts About DIY Pest Control

Surprising Facts About DIY Pest ControlPest control seems easy, right?

Just spray some insecticide and wait for the bugs to die.

But there’s more than meets the eye in professional pest control, so before you head to your local home improvement store, here’s what you need to know about DIY pest control.

Choosing the Right Product Isn’t Simple or Easy

Spraying your home or yard yourself might sound simple, but depending on your pest control goals, you may need to apply different treatments. Choosing the right product can get complicated, as ants, roaches, mosquitoes, flies, and other pests all respond differently to products and strategies.

Your head might start spinning just reading all those labels!

Indoor and outdoor treatments differ greatly as well, so you’ll probably need multiple types of pesticide to treat your entire home and yard.

If you’re thinking of tackling a termite problem on your own, treatment can take hundreds of gallons of insecticide to get the job done. That’s not cheap, and poor or incomplete application can fool you into thinking you’ve taken care of the problem when termites are still safe underground, just waiting to chew up your property.

Proper Equipment

Of course you’ll need insecticide to treat your home and yard.

But you’ll also need special equipment to spray with. A small sprayer can be inexpensive, starting at around $15, but it will be hand-pumped and might need many refills before your home and yard are completely covered. A more powerful unit can be $200 or up.

Safety equipment is also important – in fact it’s a must!

When handling chemicals, you need to make sure you’re safe, and that includes eye protection, gloves, a mask, and even a protective suit to ensure pesticides don’t affect you.

There’s a reason our pest control vehicles are fully stocked with different types of professional grade equipment! 

Know Your Pests

Do you know exactly what you’re dealing with?

Local Louisiana pests have unique habits, and professional pest technicians spend a lot of time learning about how they behave, what kinds of habitats attract them, and tips and tricks beyond pesticide that will keep them out of your home and yard.

Did you know that termites can tunnel underground for hundreds of feet? Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t under your house chewing away.

Did you know that roaches like to eat soap? Or that Crazy Ants are attracted to electrical wiring?

If you’re infested with pests, knowing their unique habits is important to make sure the population is eradicated and preventing them from coming back.

It’s Not Just About Spraying

Effective pest control is much more than just spraying chemicals where the pests are. A professional pest control service includes:

  • Locating where the pests are coming from and how they’re entering your property
  • Assessing the size & scope of the pest problem
  • Correctly identifying the pest
  • Putting together a treatment plan that involves environmental strategies as well as chemical application when necessary
  • Exclusion strategy to make sure that once pests are removed, they don’t come back in
  • Follow up inspections as needed.

So for successful DIY pest control, you need more than just some products of the shelf of a nearby box store!

If you aren’t ready to tackle your pest problems on your own, or if you have an infestation that DIY just won’t fix, call our experts for a free consultation!

Spring 2018 Louisiana Termite Field Report

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaEvery South Louisiana homeowners knows just how destructive termites can be to your home.

But do you know that even if you can’t see signs of these pests, they can still be hard at work chewing through your house – sometimes at the rate of a pound of wood a day!

We spoke to Branch Manager Daniel Hill about what he’s been seeing out in the field, so you can protect your property.

Termite Season is Intense This Year

Because of all the crazy weather we saw this year in South Louisiana – from warm to freezing – termite season will be especially intense.

Daniel says that the season started a little bit later than usual, but just as many colonies will be swarming. That means swarms will appear more frequently, and many colonies will swarm at once. You can think of them as “super swarms.”

The good news is that the season will still end on time, so this short but intense swarming season won’t continue through the summer.

How Far Will Termites go to Destroy YOUR Home?

Daniel has seen some interesting cases this year where termites have completely snuck up on unsuspecting homeowners.

Subterranean termites are named that for a reason – they live underground. Because of this they can sneak up on you and your home.

In one case, an inspection of a customer’s property revealed termites in a tree over 100 feet from the home. Further inspection revealed that they had actually tunneled all the way to the house and started making it their home from underneath. That’s why Daniel recommends a professional inspection – our fearless technicians will crawl through every nook and cranny of your home to ensure termites aren’t sneaking in.

Another customer saw no sign of termites – until they started chewing through the drywall! They had been hard at work without any sign of an infestation.

Termites Eat Like Crazy – and Not Just Wood

Since termites never stop eating, the search for a food source is constant.

But these hungry insects don’t just eat houses, they’ll attack anything with cellulose, including your vegetable garden! Daniel says that some customers have first noticed termites taking advantage of their gardens, before moving on to bigger sources of food on the property.

Other things termites might use as a light snack include trees, fences, mulch, and firewood. That’s why it’s important to keep the foundation of your home clear of anything that termites might use as an appetizer.

Moisture is also important, so keeping leaky hoses, puddles, or anything damp away from the foundation of your house is another way to help deter termites.

Dugas Can Give You Peace of Mind

If you see signs of termites on your Baton Rouge or New Orleans property, or if you just want to know for sure that they aren’t already hard at work, request a free consultation.

Congratulations to Laura Simpson on her recognition as one of 2018’s Influential Women in Business!

President Laura of Dugas Pest Control
Greater Baton Rouge Business Report has announced the 10 Capital Region women who will be celebrated this spring as this year’s Influential Women in Business honorees.

Dugas’ own Laura Simpson is proud to be one of the 2018 honorees!

Look for Laura’s profile in the May 22 issue of Business Report. She will be recognized at the 2018 Influential Women in Business Awards luncheon on June 6th.

Learn more here.

Technician Spotlight: Meet Leslie

pest technicianHow did years working in customer service prepare Leslie Lovett for her role as a pest technician?

Simple: she loves interacting with our clients, treating each one like “somebody I’ve known forever.”

The Power of Listening

Listening is key – Leslie listens to customers to make sure she understands their issues and more importantly, solves their pest problems.

Listening to colleagues has also helped Leslie learn her job – there’s always something new in the world of pests, and her interest in learning and continuous improvement has made almost 3 years with Dugas fly by!

She sees something new every day, whether in the field or from her fellow techs. The ongoing education makes each day a unique experience.

The flexible schedule and time spent outdoors are some of her other favorite parts of the job – working as a pest technician is an active job, perfect for someone with Leslie’s energy.

Reporting from the Field

Some things Leslie has been seeing in the field lately are lots of early mosquitoes. The recent warm weather combined with standing water from all the rain this winter make the perfect breeding ground for these pests.

Another issue is that this year’s cold snap made it hard to get out and maintain your yard, so clearing out gutters, emptying standing water, and other yard work that helps keep mosquitoes at bay may have fallen by the wayside as the cold weather kept folks indoors.

Rats and mice are another issue Leslie has seen a lot of this year. Once again, weather is a major factor, with cold temperatures driving rodents to find a warmer place to live. In extreme cases, rodents can destroy electrical equipment – even in your car! One customer has been fighting an infestation that’s damaged her electrics in her house and car, but Leslie was able to treat the problem and help save the customer’s property.

If you think pest technicians just spray and go away, you’d be wrong. Customer service, continuous improvement, and continuing education are a big part of the job and the reason techs like Leslie make Dugas great!

Laura Simpson Receives Award of Excellence from Louisiana Pest Management Association

President Laura of Dugas Pest Control

Laura Simpson, President of Dugas Pest Control, was presented with the Paul Adams Award of Excellence at the annual banquet of the Louisiana Pest Management Association held in late January. This award, which has only been given to thirteen people since its creation in 1983, is the highest honor the Association can bestow upon a member.

“Laura has done so much for our industry both in Louisiana and nationally through the National Pest Management Association,” said Jeff Porter, Executive Director of LPMA. “She has served the local, state and national organizations with skill and leadership for many years and is a well-deserving honoree.”

Simpson has been the president and primary license holder of Dugas Pest Control since 1996, succeeding her father, Doug MacPherson who purchased the company in 1973. She has been active in the pest control industry for over 35 years, serving as President of both the Louisiana Pest Management Association and the National Pest Management Association.

Dugas Pest Control, a Quality Pro Certified and family-owned company, has been serving South Louisiana for more than 50 years.