Winter Time Means Louisiana Rodents Are Moving Indoors

Dugas Pest Control provides rodent extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana

No matter what time of year it may be, rodents are always a nuisance in southern states.

However, the colder months bring a new wave of rodents, especially mice, squirrels, and rats, all looking for cozy homes out of the chilly weather. This can be a big problem for homeowners in southern Louisiana, and it’s never too early in the season to start rodent-proofing your home!

Rodents are not the only wildlife that may want to make a home with you – other animals like raccoons, possums, squirrels, and more may move in. If you think you have more than just a rodent problem, learn about wildlife control and exclusion services.

Why Do Rodents Head Indoors in the Winter?

The most obvious reason that a rodent will search for shelter in the winter is to take advantage of the warmth. But there are a few other reasons as well.

One big one is food!

Your home is full of food that mice, rats, and squirrels can take advantage of during the barren winter months. When there’s nothing for them outside, your kitchen is still well stocked!

Another thing that these creatures are looking for is safety.

They seek out small, hidden places, such as in your crawlspace, inside the walls, and even make nests inside the insulation in your attic or other spaces. They can get through even the tiniest of spaces, so a small crack in the foundation is basically an open door for a mouse family seeking a winter hiding place.

Why Bother Getting Rid of Rodents?

You may wonder why it’s really necessary to get rid of them if you can’t see or hear them, and you aren’t noticing any evidence of them coming into your home.

However, the fact is that even if these rodents are staying in the crawlspace and not entering the home itself, they can still cause problems.

For example, did you know that rodent droppings can irritate allergy symptoms, or that rodent urine can irritate asthma sufferers? Dander from their fur can also cause breathing issues.

Another big problem is that rodents can cause serious damage to your home.

When they make their nests, they chew whatever materials are in their way, and whatever is nearby that can be used for nesting material. They often damage electrical wiring, plumbing, and foundational or insulating materials when they do this.

Finally, rodents typically carry diseases and other pests along with them.

It’s very easy to get lice in your home if there are mice, because mice can carry lice inside. Other diseases and bacteria can be transferred to humans and pets wherever the rodents run around in the house. 

Cats Are Not the Best Deterrent

One thing that we often see is homeowners letting their cats take care of rodent problems more often in the winter. But there are two reasons why this is not the only pest control you should rely on:

  • First, cats can’t always get to the places where rodents are living in your home. Crawlspaces, inside the walls, and tiny nests inside the insulation are not places where most cats can get reach to eradicate the entire nest – and killing just one mouse does not mean the problem is gone. This is the reason that mouse traps are not always the best course of action, as well. Setting enough traps to kill all the mice in an entire nest would take a lot of traps and time.
  • Second, killing rodents could cause your cat to get sick because these creatures carry disease.

The best plan of attack is to bring in the professionals. At Dugas Pest Control, we have years of experience with both eliminating the initial problem, no matter how numerous, and preventing them from getting in again. If the cold weather has brought rodents into your home, contact us today to evict them for good.

Daniel Hill named Branch Manager for New Orleans and Northshore operations

Daniel Hill named Branch Manager for New OrleansWe are pleased to announce that Daniel Hill has been named Branch Manager for Dugas Pest Control’s New Orleans and Northshore operations, serving St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

An award-winning pest management professional, Daniel was nationally recognized as the “most passionate technician” in 2014 by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). He was also the recipient of a Copesan Technology Committee scholarship.

Daniel served on the board of directors for the Greater Baton Rouge Pest Control Association and  is part of the National Pest Management Association’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP)designed to find and grow future industry leaders. He serves as the Vice State Policy Affairs Representative for Louisiana for the 2018-19 term.

While participating in the ELP, he has met with members of Congress in Washington D.C. to discuss issues that affect the industry with industry leaders from Louisiana.

Beyond work, Daniel has many interests.  He is an avid videographer.  A classical pianist, Daniel has been playing for 23 years and makes all kinds of music in his home studio Watch the Video!.

Daniel loves spending time with my wife of 8 years, Callie and  their two children (Emmy 4, Elijah 6 months) and is very involved with his church.

Dugas Featured in Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Dugas Featured in Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Family businesses are a big part of the Baton Rouge community, and we’re proud to be featured in the latest special edition published by the Baton Rouge Business Report.

From the special edition:

“It cannot be overstated what an important role family businesses play in the Baton
Rouge economy. Studies have shown that family-owned businesses rank high in
revenue and employment growth. Why? Most family businesses have a longer term
view of investment. They tend to be more stable than wings of national
corporations, and they inspire more trust and commitment in their employees.
Above all, our local family businesses form the roots of our community. We are
proud to highlight the businesses local families have grown in this special section.”

Are bedbugs hitching a ride into your home?

Dugas Bed Bug control and extermination in Baton Rouge and New OrleansBedbugs have been in the news a lot for the past few years. You may have felt safe here in south Louisiana, but they are showing up in our area, and just a few of these hitch-hiking pests can turn into a full-fledged infestation.

Unlike other pests, bed bugs don’t feed on filth (they feed on you!), so spotlessly clean homes, hotels, and businesses can still have a problem with these small, agile bugs.

Just a few of these tiny pests can quickly multiply, feasting on your family and spreading to unsuspecting guests. Our technicians have been seeing bedbugs at customers’ home in the area – learn how to stop them in their tracks.

Prevent hitch-hikers when traveling

It’s summer, which means vacations, travel, and visiting your friends and family. Unfortunately, this also means that you’re visiting lots of places where bedbugs love to live.

Bedbugs can hitch a ride on your clothes if you sit on upholstered furniture like chairs and couches that are infested. Any public place, like doctor’s offices, malls, or airports can have bedbugs just waiting for a ride to their new home.

Just 1-2 nights at a hotel can put you at risk for bringing home bedbugs. They can easily hide in your luggage, even in the tiniest cracks, as they flatten themselves down to find tiny crevices to rest in during the day.

When staying in a hotel, remember that online bedbug ratings and reviews aren’t the best way to determine whether a hotel is “safe.” Infestations can change from day to day and room to room, plus, there’s no way to ensure these reviews are real.

Before you get comfortable in your home away from home, check for signs of bedbugs:

  • Use the flashlight feature on your phone and take pictures of anything suspicious.
  • Put your luggage in the bathtub until you’re confident your room is safe – there’s nowhere for bedbugs to hide in the tub.
  • Look behind headboards and under beds. Tiny dark spots show where bedbugs have been.
  • Strip the mattress, making sure to check seams where bugs love to hide, again checking for tiny stains.
  • Check behind and inside night stands and dressers, they have cracks that can make a convenient home.
  • Check your sheets in the morning; if bedbugs have been snacking on you during the night there will be tiny blood spots on the sheets.
  • You may also spot cast shells or fecal stains.
  • Any decorative grooves on furniture can provide a good place for bedbugs, even on leather or metal (like around or in screws and grommets).

You can check your home for bedbugs the same way, paying special attention to box springs.

If you think you have bedbugs

There are a lot of treatments that promise to rid your home of bedbugs quickly and easily. The problem is, you may have these pests hiding in places you haven’t looked, or don’t expect them. Treating just a few rooms will cause bedbugs to relocate, regroup, and return.

Dugas Pest Control has comprehensive bedbug treatments to eradicate these pesky bugs and prevent them from spreading through your home. Contact us with your bed bug questions.

Asian Roaches are here in Louisiana

Asian Roaches in LouisianaHave you heard of Asian Roaches? If you haven’t yet…you’re about to!

The reason? Your neighbors are already talking about them.

Of course, no one wants to think about roaches if they don’t have to, but Asian Roaches are a new invasive species in Southern Louisiana, and we’re starting to see them at our customer’s homes.

Here’s what you need to know about this newly-arrived pest. 

How Can I Identify Asian Roaches?

Asian Roaches look almost identical to German Cockroaches. In fact, you might need to use a microscope to tell the difference!

However, they have very different habits and habitats.

Asian Roaches could also be referred to as “garden roaches.” Believe it or not, they would rather live outside. They love moisture, especially leaf litter and mulch. They’re often transferred to your yard in loads or bags of pine or bark mulch.

Asian Roaches are also strong fliers, traveling up to 120 feet on strong wings. They are attracted to light, light colors, and aren’t afraid of people (unlike most roaches who scuttle away when a light comes on). So if you spot one in your house, it’s probably just attracted to your lights.

German cockroaches would prefer to be in your home. They love garbage cans and anything sticky, and they prefer dark places with no people around.

If you think you have Asian Roaches, a pest control expert can tell you for sure.

If Asian Roaches Stay Outside, What’s the Big Deal?

Even though Asian Roaches may not want to move into your home, they can be a real nuisance and even a danger. All roaches can transfer disease, so this is a health concern.

Besides that, Asian Roaches are aggressive and often displace the other kinds of roaches in an area.

Hundreds of thousands have been found in just one acre of land – when Asian cockroaches decide to move into an area, they usually become dominant.

With such a large population, strong wings, and the possibility of disease, these pests are undesirable to say the least, especially if you enjoy spending time outside your home. 

The Good News

Fortunately, Asian cockroaches aren’t as resistant to pesticides as German cockroaches.

However, their outdoor habitat means that traditional roach treatments designed for the interior of your home don’t work well to control them.

Dugas Pest Control is an expert in all types of pest control. If you suspect that you may have Asian roaches, don’t wait until they take over your yard. Call us and one of our expert technicians  will identify what types of cockroaches you have and eliminate them!

How to Prevent Tawny Crazy Ants from Spreading

Dugas Pest Control provides ant extermination services in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaFire ants are pretty much the worst, right?

Their painful stings and aggressive swarming behavior make them more than a nuisance – they can be dangerous.

But there’s a new ant moving into Louisiana that has some people wishing fire ants were the worst of their problems.

It’s called the Tawny Crazy Ant, and though the name sounds a little silly, these crazy ants should be taken seriously.

What makes these ants so “crazy?”

Originating in South America, crazy ants take out any competition in their territory, killing fire ants, bees, even birds. They can harm pets and livestock as well.

They were discovered in Texas back in 2002, and they got their name from the erratic, almost crazy way they move around. These tiny ants have colonies in the millions and BILLIONS, and they will infest your home quickly, killing all other pests that get in their way.

Tawny crazy ants have another crazy trait: they love electrical wiring. In fact the first time you discover them it may be because some of your home’s wiring or appliances short out (we’ve heard reports of them destroying A/C units, interior wiring, and even car electrical systems!).

Prevent crazy ants from moving into your home

Many typical pest control tactics don’t work on crazy ants, because they will nest inside your home as well as outdoors. They also aren’t typically attracted to the usual ant foods, like sugary spills or most ant baits, so control and prevention of crazy ants is highly specialized.

Here are the main things to consider when fighting crazy ants:

  • They love moist conditions, so ensure you have good drainage around your home, and remove fallen branches or debris they may find a home in.
  • Avoid spreading them to new locations: check anything from an infested location before moving it. Tawny crazy ants will hitch a ride on anything they can (even your car)!
  • Professional chemical control is preferred for this highly invasive and aggressive species. Consumer chemical products simply don’t work on crazy ants.
  • After treatment, piles of millions of dead ants will appear. These need to be removed to continue treating the surface underneath.

If you suspect you have Tawny Crazy Ants in or around your south Louisiana home, call Dugas Pest Control to get ahead of these pests. We can help you eliminate these invasive ants and work together to prevent their spread through our region.

How a love of animals led to a career in pest control

Meet Debbie!


She’s one of our pest control technicians and she’s been with us for almost 4 years now.

It might seem unusual that we have a woman working as a technician in our industry, but the pest control world offers wonderful opportunities for people with all sorts of interests.

You see, Debbie has always loved nature, animals, and the outdoors. In fact, she started out working at Audubon Zoo at just 18 years old!

After many years of working as a zookeeper, curator, and educator, she moved on to another career with animals: managing an animal shelter.

Even though both of these jobs had serious challenges and tough situations, Debbie has always loved helping, learning about animals and educating people.

Then one day as she was considering a career change, her interest in the natural world led her to us in what most people refer to as the pest control business!

It was an amazing coincidence – Debbie wanted to work outdoors and manage her own schedule, and our job post was the first thing she saw. She applied at Dugas, and the rest is history… 

Know Your Enemy

It seems like an unusual career change, but a love of learning about science and nature makes Debbie a great pest control technician.

“I’m not the annihilator,” she says, “but I know that pests can get out of control, especially with our climate and terrain. All the standing water this year is a perfect example.”

By learning how to identify bugs, knowing their habits, and staying aware of the dangers they present, Debbie has quickly become one of our top pest control technicians. Once she performs an inspection, she has the knowledge and expertise to determine the best way to solve your pest problem.

She loves the challenge!

Knowing the difference between similar-looking pests and their habits helps Debbie create a customized plan to keep your home pest-free as well as safe from the diseases they can carry. She even collects some insects to show to other technicians!

So even though it seems like a former zookeeper and animal lover with 3 dogs (and maybe a foster or two), 3 miniature horses, a Cockatoo, and a Macaw might not be what you expect in your pest control technician, Debbie’s interest in nature and knowledge about animals and bugs inspire her to solve pest problems for her customers each and every day.

Next time you see Debbie in one of our vehicles headed to a job, give her a wave! We promise she’ll smile right back 🙂

Don’t take any chances with West Nile virus

Dugas Pest Control provides mosquito control service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Pretty much everyone in South Louisiana can agree that mosquitoes are one of the drawbacks of the warm summer season.

The stinging.

The buzzing of that one evasive mosquito – right in your ear.

And now… the danger to you and your family’s health.

With West Nile virus found locally, our customers (especially those who are expecting a baby), are taking no chances this summer. With so much standing water everywhere, mosquitoes have been especially persistent this year, and local mosquito control boards have ordered extra spraying to control the population.

Why worry about West Nile?

If an infected mosquito bites you, the most common illness contracted is called West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, body- and head- aches, vomiting, fatigue and a skin rash.

About 1% of people get something called West Nile encephalitis or meningitis, which is extremely dangerous. This infection causes swelling of the brain, the membranes around it, and the spinal cord. The symptoms are more severe than West Nile fever, and additional symptoms like a stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, even seizures or partial paralysis can result.

Who’s at risk?

Anyone can contract West Nile, but some people have a higher risk if infected. People over 50, those with cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, and of course pregnant women are all at a higher risk. West Nile can cause brain damage in unborn babies, even in mild cases.

Pets can also be infected, although many flea and tick treatments also repel mosquitoes.

What can you do to protect your home and family?

You can take steps by staying indoors at dawn and dusk and using a personal mosquito repellent with DEET, but this only prevents bites without eliminating mosquitoes.

At Dugas, we control mosquitoes with a variety of techniques. Our mosquito suppression treatment reduces mosquito populations by up to 90%, and we offer 6-12 month annual programs to keep your yard mosquito-free year-round.

Our automated mosquito misting systems kill and repel mosquitoes around pools, porches, and patios during pre-set times of the day. They are easy to maintain and professional support is available.

Our technicians will also inspect your yard and around your home to identify places mosquitoes might live and breed, like standing water, overgrown or dead vegetation, and clogged gutters.

Contact us to learn more about our treatments to kill mosquitoes around your home or business.

Academy 2017 – Hosted by NPMA

Our own Daniel Hill recently attended Academy 2017, hosted by NPMA (National Pest Management Association).

This was an Olympic style conference for the Leadership Development Council of which Daniel is a member.

He produced this video of his experience captaining the Red Team, which won first place.