Get to know your local Louisiana termites

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaTermites are termites, right? Well, sort of!

Sure, all termites are on the hunt for food and water. And unfortunately, food is often found in the form of your home. But knowing what kind of termites are behind an infestation is important, as it helps us create a treatment and prevention plan that will successfully eradicate the problem.

Two kinds of termites are prevalent in Southern Louisiana: Formosan and Native Subterranean.

Knowing the difference can help you spot an infestation and prevent damage.

Formosan termites: the tough guys

Originally hailing from Asia, Formosan termites (Coptotermes Formosanus) are common across the southern states, with sightings as far north as the Canadian border. Fierce defenders of their territory, Formosan termites are fast acting and aggressive. Preferring warm, damp climates, they reproduce quickly. Colonies have up to 350,000 workers, and a queen can lay up to 1,000 eggs in one day!

These termites build their nests in the soil, and make mud tubes to bring food and moisture to their colonies. Preventing Formosan termite infestations means keeping moisture away from your home’s foundation, so properly functioning gutters and downspouts are important. Good ventilation in crawl spaces reduces humidity, and most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil.

A mature Formosan termite colony can cause serious structural damage to a home in as little as six months. Prevention is key with this species.

Native subterranean termites

Native subterranean termites (Reticulitermes) also live in colonies underground and spend their days searching for food. They are found throughout the U.S. in every state but Alaska, making them much more common than the Formosan termite.

Like their Formosan cousins, native subterranean termites build nests in damp soil, making mud tubes to transport food and moisture to their colony. They eat anything containing cellulose, with sharp, scissor-like jaws that can collapse a building entirely if an infestation goes unchecked.

You may not be able to identify which type of termites are swarming in your yard, but either species can cause damage very quickly. If you see winged termites around your home, they’re looking for a new place to live. Make sure your home and property are protected by calling us to inspect, prevent, and remove termites before they cause real trouble.

Daniel Hill talks fruit fly management for PCT Magazine

When handling fruit flies, how many times have you said to a commercial customer, “It’s a sanitation issue,” pointed out some things that need to be fixed or cleaned and left? If so, you should never do it again after today! I’d like to give you some tips and selling points, as well as equip you with the knowledge to stop fighting symptoms and start seeing results. Let’s jump into our first tip.

1. Stop using the word “clean.” There’s a reason it rarely works; everyone has his or her own definition of what “clean” means. The way to combat that is to give them a visual definition. Say the words, “scrub and remove.” This gives your customer an image in his mind of what he is supposed to do because you’ve replaced a concept with an action. Don’t stop there: Carry extra cleaning tools (nylon brush, scraper) and show the client how to scrub and remove. You can even give him the tool. You have just instantly made him accountable for handling the source of the problem with a scraper investment of just a few bucks!

2. Be scientific and speak their language. Generally speaking, a fruit fly can go from egg to adult in one to two weeks and is sexually mature two days later, ready to mate and lay up to 500 eggs at one time. If you’re having problems with customer cooperation, give them that scientific fact. It’s enough to make the average person think twice about turning a blind eye to the problem.

Another way to have your customer buy in to looking past the symptoms is to use the word “maggot” instead of “larvae.” This tip works wonders. When people think of the word “larvae,” they picture butterflies. But, when people hear the word “maggot,” they think…well, maggot. It’s a visceral word that sounds gross.

3. Put on your best Sherlock Holmes. This is where you become the detective and search out the source. You’re looking for grime; the perfect amount of moisture. The larval stage/maggot of a fruit fly will be deep in moist, decaying matter. The most common areas are the underside of drain covers; caulk lines; backs of appliances like ice machines and dishwashers; dark corners where mops have slosh build-up; decaying food and more. The trick to seeing them is thorough use of a flashlight. Take a few minutes (yes, literally, a few minutes) and watch. Maggots will constantly move, and you’ll see a sort of pop of light — a flicker or glimmer — where the light reflects off the maggot as it moves. Use your scraper to get it out and show your customer as you uncover the white larvae coming from the build-up.

The next stage of a fruit fly can be a little more difficult to find. The maggot moves away from the food in search of a dry place, and turns into a hard, dark shell. Then, the adult fly emerges and is sexually mature in just 48 hours. You can shine your flashlight directly onto P-traps and PVC pipes under sinks and you will see dark spots where build-up is apparent (see photos above).

4. Create the right conditions. One good tip is to recommend a box or snail fan. (It’s not a bad idea to buy some nice fans and lease them out either.) The idea behind a fan is to keep things dry and keep the fruit flies from mating or landing in that area. Fruit flies are weak fliers and can be deterred by air disturbance. Traps and fly lights are also useful and should be used to catch emerging adults, but they are not the only answer or a permanent solution; they are just another tool in the toolbox.

5. Damage their home (the fruit flies, not your clients). Another tip is to use bioremediation products packed with good microbes to fight that organic build-up and odor. It’s important the customer removes anti-microbial and bleach products from their sanitation practices when you use these solutions, as they kill the good microbes and corrode pipes, mitigating the effectiveness of your treatment. Another chemical suggestion is to use a waterproof dust. If used in a drain, it will coat the drain as the water rises and falls. An IGR mixed with a pyrethroid is good for a quick knockdown, just follow the label closely before any application.

FINAL THOUGHTS. Implementing these tips and suggestions can result in not only making your customers happy and their accounts fly-free, but also be the inspiration for a more comprehensive bioremediation protocol for your business. Managing fruit flies can be a very rewarding and profitable experience.

Laura Simpson interviewed by 225 Magazine April 28th 2017

On muggy summer nights in Louisiana, it’s sometimes best just to not look down when you’re walking on the streets. That way you can be blissfully oblivious to whatever creatures might be scurrying around near your feet.

It’s a little tougher to turn a blind eye when those creatures invade your home, though. Then, it’s war. The key to keeping pests away, says Dugas Pest Control President Laura Simpson, is eliminating food, shelter and water for insects. This may prove difficult, as most of us love plants, trees and water features around our home. But practiced locals, like Simpson, know the precautionary measures to take.

1. Keep plants and trees trimmed. You want them to be 20-24 inches away from the sides and roof of your home, Simpson says.

2. Don’t let vines grow on the outside of your home. This can be a nice look, but keep it on a fence or trellises.

3. Fill in or contour any low areas around your yard. Lower areas may stay wet for a few days after a rain, attracting bugs.

4. Keep your gutters clean and free of debris. This is the area where the most problems start. All insects love the moist environment of rotting plant material, which is what you end up with in clogged gutters.

5. Check seals and weather stripping on your doors and windows. If you can see daylight, insects may be able to enter.

6. Keep flowerbeds 4-6 inches below the top of your slab or piers/chain wall foundation. Insects that live in the soil, including termites and roaches, can enter between the exterior siding and the foundation of your house, according to Simpson.

7. Routinely clean spider webs from the exterior of your home. The spiders don’t like to be disturbed. So the more often you bother them, the more likely they are to leave.

Dugas Volunteers

Since 1995, the Volunteers of America Drop In Center has served as a point-of-entry for the street homeless. The primary focus of the Center is to assist homeless individuals and families with obtaining treatment and housing. The Center provides case management as well as a place for homeless individuals to do their laundry, shower, receive mail and use the telephone.

When we were approached to quote an annual inspection of Volunteer Services of America Greater Baton Rouge’s drop in center, we discovered an opportunity to give back to the Baton Rouge community we’ve been part of for 60 years.

Dugas Volunteers

The whole company came together to donate time and services for the Center. “These guys are all off the clock right now,” said Jeremy Clark, our General Manager , as four employees inspected the building. “We’re proud to be in a position to be able to give back. Our team enjoys volunteering their own time in the community, and we want to encourage and support them in that.”

Dugas Volunteers

“We are pleased to have this partnership with Dugas Pest Control,” said Janet Pace, President and CEO of Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge. “They are a recognized leader in their field and share in our efforts to ensure that the individuals we serve are in safe and welcoming spaces. It is heartening when companies invest in their communities.”

Please join us in supporting this valuable organization – learn more about the Drop In Center here:

Warm Spring 2017 Weather Has Local Bugs All in a Tizzy

We Louisiana folks love teasing our Yankee friends about our mild winters. Thanksgiving with the AC running. Christmas in shorts while they shovel snow.

Some winters are milder than others. But this year, some folks have put out a “missing person” report on our winter and spring.

It’s only March and our late spring and early summer pests are already starting to party.  Here’s a lowdown on the pests which are active early and what you can do to keep them at bay…


We received our first calls about termite swarms around Valentine’s Day. That’s EARLY!

Termites swarming this early in the season is not a good harbinger of things to come.

The reason that termites swarm is that the colony gets too big for it’s current location. They outgrow the food and water source.

When this happens, the “alates”, or swarmers, grow wings and take off to find a new food source. About half of any given colony will become alates and leave.

Those swarmers are looking for a new home. Or maybe it’s a big colony that’s outgrown it’s space in your home…

In either case, it’s time to take action.

If you’re a do it yourselfer, check the soil levels in your garden beds and around your home to make sure they’re not higher than the slab or touching the bricks. Seal the access points to your home.

You can also call us to schedule a free termite inspection and make sure your termite protection is totally up to date.


2016 was a nasty year for mosquitoes. Zika made us forget all about West Nile at least for awhile.

We’re already getting calls for people requesting mosquito suppression treatments for their yards.

Here in south Louisiana, once the temperature gets above 65 degrees for 4-5 days, you can bet the mosquitoes will be out in force. Especially after a rain!

The flooding in greater Baton Rouge last year isn’t helping this spring’s mosquito problems either. Many people don’t know that mosquito eggs can lie dormant for months just waiting for the right temperatures to hatch.

Make sure to eliminate all standing water from around your home. Turn over the frisbees, kids toys and anything else that might hold even a small amount of water.

Then get rid of damp coverings or brush piles where mosquitoes may breed.

And while these types of prevention tips will always help, nothing beats professional mosquito suppression treatment. Call us for more information.

Other Pests Who Are Active Early

It seems like all the bugs are active early this year. We’ve had calls for fire ants, spiders and roaches (just to name a few) already and it’s not even April.

These pests are actively moving about seeking new sources of food and water. And of course, new mates for breeding.

If you’re seeing pests running around your home, don’t wait until your regular service or for the bugs to get out of hand. Call us today to schedule service, even if it’s early, and keep your home pest free for the spring!

Waking up to your worst nightmare

You’re vaguely aware of an odd noise. It’s jagged. Like someone crinkling paper.  But it’s faint…a few rooms away.

You could hear it just enough to wake you from your sleep. But it’s 2:18 am and you’re groggy. Daylight savings time has been tough to get used to.

As you start to gather your senses in the darkness, you notice a strange scent. It’s ashy smelling. Almost grey. What is that?

Something’s burning.

The thought of fire is enough to cut through the fog and put you into full alert mode.  Fires are the subject of nightmares. And you’ve just woken up to one in your own home!

You wake your loved one with 2 shakes and a whisper. “Baby, I think there’s a fire.”

Your next thought is the kids. As you rush down the hallway to their room, you can feel the smoke getting thicker as it spills out of the attic staircase.

You put the kids over your shoulder even though they’re not yet awake.

No need to call the dog. He’s following your every footstep. He already knows something is wrong.

Your mind is racing…so many things to grab. Things you can’t replace.

But you realize you’ve already got the things you can’t replace…your spouse and your children.

As you get safely outside, you can see the flames through the attic window.

During the rush, somehow, without thinking, you managed to grab your phone and call 911. You can hear the fire department sirens in the distance.  They’ll be here soon.

An hour later, the fireman says “You don’t know how lucky you are.” He explains that the damage was limited to the attic. All of those valuables you thought were gone are safe and sound.  He explains: “Your home had a lightning strike. A direct hit.  But the insulation kept the fire from spreading.”


Yes insulation.

You see, earlier that year, we installed TAP Insulation in this client’s attic. Fire resistant TAP Insulation.

At the time they were thinking it would be nice to help keep pests out of the attic and save a few bucks.

Did they ever imagine that insulation might save their lives and their home from a fire?

Of course not. None of us ever think it will happen to us.

But sometimes it does. And that’s one of the big reasons we love installing TAP Insulation.

Wildlife Exclusion: What you need to know

Dugas Pest Control provides humane wildlife trapping service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Do you enjoy keeping your house warm and cozy? Most of us do, unfortunately, wildlife will be drawn to your home for the same reasons you enjoy being in it. Though some of them will seem cute and fuzzy from afar, they can pose a real threat to you, especially if they manage to enter your home!

Here’s what you need to know about wildlife in our local area, and how you can prevent them from wreaking havoc in your home.

Dangers of Wildlife

You may already be familiar with common wildlife like raccoons, squirrels and opossums. But did you know that they carry diseases and bacteria that can cause harm to you, your family, and your pets?

For example, raccoons can spread diseases like rabies and canine distemper. While the raccoon only exhibits signs of rabies during the final week of the disease, they can show signs of the disease at much earlier stages. Their droppings also carry diseases like raccoon roundworm, leptospirosis, and Giardia lamblia.

Many people are also unaware that the ubiquitous squirrel can carry the bubonic plague with them, as well as the tularemia bacteria and leptospirosis, all of which are spread through coming into contact with their feces. Contaminated drinking water that has been infected by the squirrel is also a common way of contraction.

Opossums are also carriers of distemper, rabies and other diseases, though relatively rarer than the first two animals. However, they are often flea-infested, and can readily spread bacteria and diseases via those pesky flea bites.

How to Keep Wildlife Out of Your Home

Look out for any openings or holes that a pest can squeeze through easily. Comb your entire property, starting from the foundation of your house and moving up from there, while watching out for small tunnels or chewed wood.

Any holes you find need to be sealed up with caulk or low-expansion polyurethane foam. Chimneys and flues can be sealed with aluminum flashing or high-temperature caulk. For holes or tears in screens and vents, replace or repair them as necessary.

Pests are attracted to moisture, so it’s important to fix any leaky pipes in walls or under sinks. Ventilate those areas to dry them out, and use a dehumidifier for any other areas that tend to be damp. Make sure any leaks on your roof are also repaired.

Next, it’s important to make your home a lot less attractive to these pests by removing accessible sources of food. Spray your trash cans with ammonia or bleach to deter them, and keep any pet food neatly stored away. Seal any food bins tightly.

Have woodpiles outside your home? Keep them as far away from your house as possible, high off the ground and away from trees.

Lastly, getting professionals to come in and make sure your house is pest-free is an invaluable investment in your peace of mind. They are trained to spot early signs of infestations, while making improvements to any existing safeguards.

How Professionals Can Help Remove Wildlife Safely

It’s important not to try to remove wildlife yourself. Trained wildlife removal professionals can do the job in a safe and humane way. They will be able to identify the animal, recommend a plan of action, trap the animal safely, and relocate it to a suitable environment.

Whether you are already facing a wildlife intrusion or want to prevent one, Dugas Pest Control can help. Contact us today to get started!

Termites will be here before you know it! Is your home ready?

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Spring is around the corner, and along with the warmer weather, pests will soon come out of the woodwork. Of these pests, the termite in particular is one you don’t want to mess with!

Is your home protected from these cellulose-chewing, destructive intruders? Here’s what you need to know about them and how you can keep them at bay.

Termite Types and The Damage They Cause


Formosan termites originate from China and Taiwan, and live underground. Brought over from military ships during the 1940s, they are one of the most destructive types of termites. Their colony can grow up to a million members, causing great structural damage in a short span of time.

Nothing stands in their way: they are able to chew through PVC pipes, metal, and electric power lines, in order to get through to any cellulose material. Today, they are mostly found in the South, including Louisiana.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern Subterranean termites thrive in moisture. They build their nests in soil and wet wood, and make their way to above-ground wood by building mud tunnels.

An infestation of termites can mean a million of these critters chewing on your building’s foundation at once, which can cause devastating damage as a result. Subterranean termites can be found in all parts of the US except Alaska, though they are more commonly found in the humid and tropical areas.


True to its name, the dampwood termite loves moisture. That’s why they are usually found in wood that’s located near a water source, like leaky plumbing.

Larger than other types of termites, they do not need soil to thrive, and are usually found in the Pacific Northwest.

Dry wood

Dry wood termites are the exact opposite of dampwood termites. Even without moisture, they can thrive for a long period of time because they get water from the digestion of cellulose.

Dead trees, structural timbers, stored lumber, and hardwood floors are common nesting sites, which is also where they cause serious damage! However, they are smaller in size, which means that the damage they cause is at a slower rate as compared to the dampwood termite.

Look out for them in the early spring and summer, especially in humid states like California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi and our home of Louisiana.

Prevention Steps

Now that you know what kind of termites you are up against, what can you do about it?

Call in a Professional for an Inspection

Many signs of termites are easy to miss, especially to an untrained eye. A professional will be able to conduct a thorough inspection. Whether it’s crumbling drywall, small holes in any wood structures, sagging floors or doors, or insect wings, these are telltale signs that they will be able to pick up on.

The best way to remain termite-free is to get a professional to make regular inspections. With their training in termite behavior and biology, they will be able to treat and prevent termite infestations in a timely manner.

Consider Professional Treatments

Sentricon is applied in the form of baits placed around the termites’ underground mud tunnels. It prevents the termite from molting, which leads to its eventual death. Similarly, the termite passes the poison to the rest of the colony after it comes into contact with the colony.

Whether you suspect you have a termite problem, or simply want to prevent an infestation, it’s always wise to call on trusted professionals. Contact us today for a quote!

Dugas Service Supervisor Daniel Hill Named to Prestigious NPMA Executive Leadership Program

Dugas Service SupervisorEarlier this week our own Daniel Hill was selected to participate in the prestigious NPMA Executive Leadership program!

The Executive Leadership Program is an NPMA initiative designed to find passionate, committed, and engaged individuals from all parts of the country who want to enhance the association and the membership experience.

The ten candidates of the ELP¹s inaugural class were selected through a rigorous application process, which vetted more than 40 applications from across the country. Applicants were selected based on broad criteria, which accounted for leadership potential, industry participation and commitment to professional development, among other factors.

During the two-year curriculum, candidates will participate in training sessions and courses designed to cultivate skills and knowledge essential to successful organizational leadership within NPMA and beyond. Training will encompass a comprehensive range of competencies including: the history of NPMA and its future plans, industry trends and consumer insights, inclusion and diversity training, executive etiquette, public policy and legislative issue navigation and community engagement, along with a suite of skills related to strategic management and planning.

Congratulations Daniel!