Aedes Aegypti: A Closer Look at the Mosquito Spreading Zika

The Zika virus got its name from the place where it was discovered in 1947—the Zika forest in Uganda. Recently, health experts have been sounding the alarm regarding the virus after more countries in the Western hemisphere have been exposed to the tropical virus, especially with the outbreak that happened in Brazil last May. Last February of this year, the World Health Organization declared Zika as a “public health emergency of international concern.”

If infected by Zika, a person will experience mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, and joint pains. But the more alarming fact is that it can cause a birth defect to an unborn child. If a pregnant woman is infected, Microcephaly can occur; this is a condition that results in a baby with an abnormally small head and stunted brain development. Zika has also been associated with the Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare condition that causes muscle weakness and paralysis.

Zika Predictions in the US

Most of the Zika cases in the US are travel-related, but health professionals are warning that this coming summer may increase the number of Zika cases in the country, with those living in the Gulf Coast being the most affected. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), certain US cities will be vulnerable to the Zika virus based on the following factors: air travel, climate, mosquito breeding patterns, and the socioeconomic status of residents.

Since the Zika-carrying mosquitoes are fond of warm weather, the places most likely to be affected are the southern and eastern US, with Miami and Orlando as the likeliest cities to be affected. Another reason for the possible rise of Zika is the expected increase of tourism arrivals from regions that have been previously exposed to the virus. Houston could be affected because of its large number of travelers coming from countries that have already been affected. St. Louis and Denver were also mentioned in NCAR’s study because of their summer conditions that are ideal for these mosquitos.

About the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is also called the yellow fever mosquito. Aside from Zika, it can also spread dengue fever and chikungunya. While most people will lump all mosquitos as one type of insect, there are actually more than 3,500 species, with the genus Aedes Aegypti mosquito being one of the most dangerous.

The life cycle of an Aedes Aegypti mosquito begins with the hatched eggs, which become a larva in less than 24 hours. The larva will then become a pupa in about four days, and two days after that, it will become a fully grown adult. Once the adult Aedes mosquito has bitten human flesh and drank human blood, it will lay eggs, and the whole cycle begins again.

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is tiny, dark-colored and its distinguishing marks are the white markings on its legs. It is a tiny, tropical mosquito that lives inside buildings and near people. It moves around very fast, making it harder to catch than other species of its kind.

Its feeding hours are during the day. You won’t notice that it has already bitten you because its bite does not sting and is relatively painless.

These kind of mosquitoes only need one inch of water in order to lay their eggs and survive, which is why an ignored flower vase or an innocuous water container can be a breeding ground for these mosquitoes. They can hide behind unused furniture and dark corners, and can survive without venturing outside the home.

How to Get Rid of the Aedes Aegypti

Since no vaccine exists yet that will treat the Zika virus, you need to exercise caution, especially with the summer months fast approaching. In order to prevent the spread of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, check the insides of your house and your immediate surroundings for any water-holding containers and empty them of water and other liquids. Use insect repellents and secure the house with window and door screenings to prevent mosquitoes from invading your house.

For your peace of mind and to ensure that your loved ones and your house remain mosquito-free, contact us today!

Tawny Crazy Ants Have Arrived in Louisiana

Have you heard of the Tawny Crazy Ant? It is an invasive species that has recently made it’s way into Louisiana. This incredible species can coat itself in formic acid as a defense against fire ant venom and also aggressively forages for their several queens.

Our own service supervisor, Daniel Hill was interviewed by Pest Management Professional on his first (and intense) experience in dealing with these resilient pests!

When a customer called to inform Daniel that his entire yard was covered in ants, Daniel thought that they were most likely Argentine ants, but was surprised to find out that they were not and were in fact, Tawny Crazy ants. Since no one had dealt with this species yet, Daniel had to do quite a bit of research to figure out how to exterminate them.

“I told the customer it was a new invasive species of ant, and that, at the time, there was no easy way to get rid of the pests, but that I was dedicated to keeping him safe and comfortable,” Hill recalls.

After different methods and no avail, Daniel discovered Louisiana was granted a quarantine exemption to use fipronil as a broadcast treatment, and that’s what ultimately did the trick.

Benefits of Professional Pest Control

Pest control is something that every homeowner will have to deal with eventually. Whether it’s rodents, termites, bedbugs, or hornets, there is an entire world of pests out there that can be challenging and expensive to deal with.

For this and other reasons, there is a strong temptation to deal with an infestation by yourself without calling a professional.

While this might save you some money for a minor infestation by a type of vermin that isn’t particularly resilient, trying a do it yourself extermination with anything more tenacious than that will most likely result in you losing a lot of time and money.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the many reasons why professional pest control is a better way.


Overall, there are a ton of benefits that come from hiring a professional pest control expert. We’ll go over them one by one in order to give you a better understanding of why getting a professional is the right call in a pest control scenario.

Eradicate pests entirely

While using a can of Raid to kill a hornet’s nest is relatively straightforward, not all vermin are the same, and not all vermin can be killed so easily. Termites, for example, are notoriously hardy creatures and sometimes, even professional attempts to exterminate them will cause numerous resurgences in their population.

The unfortunate result of many do it yourself attempts at exterminating pests is that you think that you’ve gotten rid of a vermin population only to discover later that they have actually still been there the whole time.

This can cost a lot of money in the form of damages you weren’t aware of, and often, when you do seek help from a professional after having tried to handle something yourself, the infestation will have grown to a degree that it will cost more than if you had just called professional in the first place.

Specialized equipment

The typical conception of what an extermination treatment might look like is probably something that revolves around spraying a property with a lot of insecticide. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

A successful and effective treatment requires specialized equipment. In the case of termites, this includes concrete drills and injections rods in order to treat the foundation of a building.

For others like bees or hornets, a serious infestation might require protective equipment or a smoke machine.

Prepared with a variety of treatments

One benefit of hiring a professional is that they’re rarely going to fall back on that can of Raid.

Professionals come armed with a variety of solutions to pest control problems that are often far more comprehensive than anything that even the most inventive do it yourself-er could come up with. This is because they are trained experts.


The kind of chemicals that are powerful enough to deal with infestations are the kind that you don’t want kept anywhere near yourself, your children, or your pets.

Trying to use industrial pesticides can be incredibly dangerous, even if they’re just stored improperly. Professionals, meanwhile, are trained to use these chemicals safely in domestic locations.

Handle heavy infestations

The work required to deal with a really big infestation is, plainly, something that no one without professional experience and training is prepared to deal with.

Knowledgeable about different pests

The internet might house a whole lot of information on many different pests, but determining the difference, for example, between dry wood termites and subterranean termites can make a big difference in how to treat your home for them.

Professionals are far more knowledgeable about the pests themselves.

Dugas Pest Control offers the service you need

Dugas Pest Control is an experienced extermination service in the Louisiana area. We have dealt with all kinds of pest control situations and you can rely on us to deal with pests that you aren’t equipped to deal with yourself.

While the idea of saving a little money by trying out a do it yourself extermination method is tempting, there are a lot of reasons that it might not be the best idea.

Pest control experts simply know what to expect, and we’re better equipped by a huge margin to deal with whatever it might be. Relax with the peace of mind of hiring a professional to handle any of your pest control woes.

Perfect Weather for Termites!

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaTermites are one of the worst pests out there for homeowners to deal with.

Unlike larger vermin such as mice, rats, or even other insects, the danger that termites represent is increased because it can be very difficult to tell that they are even present in a home, and often not until it is too late to prevent a lot of the damage that they have caused.

In this article, we will discuss how recent weather has affected termites, what homeowners in the southern U.S. can expect in terms of termites, and what treatment options are out there to deal with termite infestations.

Termites thriving in warmer conditions

The main things that termites need to thrive are warmth and moisture. During the colder parts of the year, termites burrow into the ground in order to escape the cold.

The harsher winter is, the further into the ground the termites have to burrow, and the longer it takes for the ground to thaw. By extension, it also takes the termites much longer to surface.

When the winter is exceptionally mild, like it was this past year, then termites can become active much quicker. Additionally, flooding like we recently experienced has given termites exactly what they need to swarm: warmth and moisture.

Unfortunately, even if your building wasn’t damaged or isn’t in a location known for termite activity, the prime termite conditions may have changed as termites grow more numerous and start looking for new places to feed.

A cautionary tale: southern Florida

Let’s look at an area with weather like ours, but is dealing with a more serious problem. Southern Florida, unfortunately, has prime conditions for termites, and the recent weather patterns have only exacerbated the degree to which termites are comfortable infesting homes.

This is particularly important because the state is home to a large variety of invasive termite species. These include the Formosan subterranean termite, the Asian subterranean termite, and the West Indian dry wood termite.

Each of these species of termite pose a pretty serious threat to homeowners, and the Formosan and Asian subterranean termites cause around $32 billion worth of damage worldwide every year.

Researchers have predicted that Florida is such an ideal location for termites that subterranean termite activity will expand to such a degree that by 2040, half the structures in southern Florida will be at risk of infestation.

Why should this matter to us? The termite species that are affecting Florida homes are already here, and travel and weather patterns are increasing this trend. In other words: Louisiana is next on the menu!

How to prevent infestations

One of the biggest termite prevention methods that people often miss is to remain vigilant even when you aren’t dealing with an infestation.

One of the reasons that termites can cause so much damage is that they often remain undetected until something incidental reveals that they’re present in a home.

Keep an eye on places that they’ll infest first, especially beneath wooden siding or in places where wood is in contact with soil or is dark, warm, and wet.

Other things you can do to prevent termites from spreading into your home is to reduce humidity in crawlspaces and other dark areas, avoid letting moisture accumulate near the foundation, use mulch sparingly, especially near the foundation and, of course, consider having your home professionally treated by pest control experts.

Dugas treatment options

Dugas Pest Control offers comprehensive options for termite prevention and removal in the greater Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Tammany, and Lafayette areas. We offer three general services:

  • preconstruction treatment
  • post-construction treatment
  • baiting systems.

Pre and post construction treatments work in the same kind of way. Both of them rely on, which is a pesticide that was specifically developed to kill termites.

In pre-construction treatments, it’s applied into the foundation of a structure and the soil around it. This provides immediate protection for a building as it is being constructed.

In post construction treatments, it works pretty similarly, except that it is applied directly to the foundation with supplementary treatments in the soil around the foundation.

Finally, baiting systems are used for effective long term protection.

Termites are a scary and potentially costly problem to have to deal with as a homeowner, but like many other pests, they can be dealt with using a bit of forethought and planning.

Whether you live in southern Louisiana or another state with a high termite population, vigilance is the key to stopping termite infestation before they’re allowed to become more expensive and time consuming than they were already.

Formosan Termites Take Damage to a New Level

Dugas Pest Control provides termite treatment and extermination service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge LouisianaTermites are a particularly annoying and dangerous pest to deal with. One thing that is so irritating about them is that unlike many pests which are much larger, they can easily cause structural damage to a wooden building. The worst part is that you might not notice that it’s happening until it’s too late.

However, one thing about termites that people have come to expect is that removing them usually means they won’t return unless you are very lax with preventative measures.

There is, however, a species of termite that this doesn’t apply to – the Formosan termite, which is now threatening homes in in several regions of the country. In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes this termite so difficult to get rid of.

Damage caused by Formosan termites

It is estimated that Formosan termites alone cause around 100 million dollars of damage every year in warm, humid locations like ours. In one frustrating case, a homeowner dealt with three separate infestations that occurred one after the other; spreading from a windowsill to underneath the baseboards of almost the entire house’s ground floor.

This isn’t an uncommon story where Formosan termites are concerned, as they are able to spread fast and far throughout a home or region. Once an infestation has occurred, it is incredibly difficult to completely remove them. This isn’t to say that it is impossible – just that it is a whole lot better to prevent them from ever getting inside your home in the first place if you can.

Where do Formosans thrive?

Formosan termites are an invasive species in the Carolinas, the Gulf South, and similar regions which landed in the United States in the 1950s. They were accidentally brought in shipping containers from Asia.

Formosan termites are incredibly hardy, and they can thrive anywhere that is moist, dark, and vaguely woody. They can live on the cellulose in soil, but they greatly prefer wood for its nutritional value to them.

Termites of all kinds thrive in situations where wood meets soil or other wood, and which are dark and moist. This means they scout out basements, crawlspaces, windowsills, and anywhere with stagnant air, a lack of light, and a potential connection to the soil are present.

What to look for

Formosan termites can be difficult to detect and even more difficult to get rid of. However, they can be identified by the fine grain like powder they leave behind as they mine through the wood in their straw-like tunnels.

Additionally, if a house nearby has been infested, it is highly likely that yours might be dealing with an infestation, too. Formosan termites are incredibly resilient and as if their species weren’t annoying enough, they can fly to travel to new places.

Once they have been established somewhere, their colonies spawn queens who lay around two thousand eggs per day. Congrats, Queen Mother, it’s a bouncing baby infestation!


Termite prevention often relies on treating wood with chemicals that kill termites or drive them off somehow. Conversations are ongoing about the complete environmental impact of this practice, but it is one of the only effective methods of preventing Formosan termites.

Besides requiring careful handling, these treatments require a lot of planning and set up, and involve drilling into baseboards in order to create barriers against termite invasion. Due to the difficulty, not to mention the possible destruction of your home if this treatment is applied incorrectly, it is much better to leave this sort of thing to the professionals.

Formosan termites might be scary, but there are definitely things you can do to prevent them from infesting your home. If you live in an area where Formosan termites are active, you can start working on preventative measures now. Contact the termite professionals at Dugas Pest Control today for an inspection, and keep your home the safe place it is for you and your family!

What Kind of Pest Problems Will We See This Year?

Dugas Pest Control provides mosquito control service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Having pests crawling all over the place where you live is more than annoying and inconvenient, it’s harmful to the overall health of your family. They bite, bring you diseases, taint the food you have stored, and cause damage to your property.

For these reasons and more, pest control is important in order to keep the unwanted insects out of your home and off your yard.

Implementing an effective pest control program requires predicting and correctly identifying the kinds of pests that could infest your home, depending on where you live, and the habits of the pests in your area.

Once you are able to identify the pest and learn about its lifestyle, then you will have an easier time controlling and exterminating it.

Here is some of the important information can that make you all the wiser about pest infestations in 2016.

The Correlation Between Bugs and the Weather

First let’s take a closer look at bugs and the weather. The lives and habits of insects depend on the temperature. It is during the cold winter months that many pests spend their time burrowed underneath the ground, waiting for spring to come around, and we don’t see them.

Conversely, during periods of higher temperatures, pests get out of their self-imposed hiatus and move out of their habitats. It is then that they become problematic, reproducing swiftly and improving their growth rate.

Warmer temperatures also mean that pests can feed earlier in the day and for a longer amount of time than they normally would during the winter season.

Unfortunately, this could also mean that the destructive pests that thrive in hotter climates also increase their population, and increase the number of diseases they carry.

This year we are experiencing a milder than normal winter, which as you can see, often results in more pests.

Insects are Surviving in the Mild Winter

Many insects imitate the robins: they survive harsh cold winters by going southwards in search of warmer weather as soon as the temperatures begin to drop. For other bugs, they wait out winter by burrowing down into soils and into the bottoms of ponds.

Still others become larvae and pupae so that by the time spring rolls around, they can emerge as a fully-grown adult insect. But now, there are plenty of insects that can tolerate the mild winter weather we are having and stay above ground.

Epidemic Potential for 2016

With the current weather conditions, there are potential epidemics at hand for 2016.

Industry experts predict that mosquito-carried diseases will reach epidemic levels in many countries around the world.

Zika virus

As you have surely heard, the Zika virus has seen a massive outbreak in Brazil and is also causing havoc in other Caribbean and Latin American countries. If infected, it could cause birth defects, including brain damage to the fetuses.

Just recently, its alarming spread across the Western Hemisphere has caused the WHO to declare the Zika virus as a public health emergency. US residents are not immune to this also because Zika is spread by the yellow fever mosquito, also known as Aedes aegypti, which is commonly found in Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Chikungunya virus

The Chikungunya virus is considered as a cousin of the Zika virus, because it is also transmitted through mosquito bites, and both diseases have similar side effects on their victims. A person suffering from the Chikungunya virus can experience fever, headache, muscle pain, and joint swelling.

Lassa fever

Another disease caused by pests that could continue to make its presence felt this year is Lassa fever.

This disease is spread by rats and is transmitted to humans through food and other materials that have been contaminated with rat feces or urine. Lassa fever has caused the death of at least 100 people and counting in Nigeria.


Dengue is expected to continue to be an epidemic in Southeast Asia in 2016, due to the fact that the El Niño effect continues to be experienced in the Pacific. This weather pattern brings heavy rains, flooding, and a generally wet environment where mosquitoes thrive.

As these conditions are not unlike our own weather, those in our area should be prepared for an active pest season this year.

It is wise to be attuned to the kind of weather you are having, as well as the kinds of insects that live in our area, in order to take the proper prevention steps to ensure a healthy home. Dugas Pest Control is your ally in the fight, so get in touch with us today to keep your family protected this year!

Common Property Management Concerns

Pest Concerns for Property Managers

As a property manager of condominiums, apartment complexes or other multi-family environments, pest concerns are often a common issue. Properties utilized by large numbers of people are often vulnerable to bed bugs, cockroaches, flies, wasps and rodents, to name a few.

Not only do they pose very real health risks to tenants, they can also cause damage to the very structure of the building. An especially terrifying example is when rodents chew through electrical wiring, causing electric fires.

When pests move in, other than having to deal with the particular set of issues they bring along, another potential headache is managing the expectations of tenants. Tenants expect a safe and clean environment to live in.

With rodent or other pest infestations, this trust is broken, leading to increased vacancy rates and rent reduction. Understandably, preventing pests is a top concern for property managers.

Potential Pests

Infestation often occurs when the entry points to a property face structural defects, which allows easy access for pests. The lack of knowledge and awareness on the tenant’s part about the need for active pest prevention could also be a cause.

The highest risk of infestation goes to rodents and pest birds at 90%, followed by crawling insects at 85%, then bed bugs at 80%, food and textile pests at 75%, and lastly flying insects at 20%.

Here is the info you need to know about potential pests:

Bed bugs. While bed bugs are commonly thought of as a result of poor hygiene, that’s not actually the case. Though the good news is that they pose no actual health risk to humans, they are still a real headache, and one that is plaguing the country at higher rates than ever before. Removing them yourself is also a hassle, as they are small and usually multiply quickly.

Rodents. Rats and mice often enter buildings in search for food, through openings in walls, open basement windows and even vertical gutters. Rather than wait for an infestation to happen, prevention and early detection are key. Voles and moles are also forms of rodents that could potentially destroy landscaped gardens, parks and green areas.

Fleas and Ticks. Crawling pests like fleas and ticks are attracted to warmth, food and water, making boiler rooms, private and communal kitchens appealing breeding grounds. As they can reproduce quickly, it’s important to detect them early, before they multiply and spread disease-causing germs to tenants and their pets.

Termites. Certain kinds of conditions are particularly attractive to termites, depending on their particular type: dry wood or subterranean. Dry-wood termites feast on dry wood, while subterranean termites prefer the insides of wood structures, covering their tracks with mud or dirt. Termite infestations need to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible, to prevent serious structural damage to the building.

Roaches. Hardy pests that can survive for long periods of time without any food or water, roaches come in several varieties that could take up unwelcome residence in your building.

Dugas Pest Control Solutions

Our team is trained to confront the any pest problem through education, early detection and proven elimination methods. By understanding the biological and behavioral nature of every pest, we can remove them quickly and efficiently.

Whether it’s termites, bedbugs, fleas and ticks, or roaches, we have the expertise to handle them all, and most importantly before they wreak serious havoc on your property.

Though it’s possible to set traps and use insecticide on your own, true peace of mind comes when you know that a professional job has been done to ensure that these pests will not return to disturb the tranquility of the property that you manage.

Call us now for a free estimate on pest control. With our regular inspections, prompt and efficient services, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

Will a Wet Winter Cause A Squirrel Infestation?

A wet winter isn’t just a hassle for human beings, it also causes disruption to wild animals and their habitats. One of the byproducts of a stormy few months is facing the possibility of an infestation if a home or property owner is not properly prepared and defended against these rodents.

You don’t need to have a kid on a baseball team to know that it’s been especially damp lately; read on for some insight into how a wet winter affects wild animals and your home.

How Storms Affect Rodents

After a storm, the natural habitats of rodents may be destroyed. This leaves rats and squirrels to seek an alternate shelter in order to find warmth and food. Usually, houses, barns, sheds and other buildings become common targets, especially those that have been damaged structurally by a storm.

With many access points, small rodents are able to enter property easily, cause damage within, and on some occasions, even pose a health risk.

How to Prevent Squirrel Infestations

Preventing squirrel infestations is chiefly about eliminating access points into your property. You can do so by taking the following precautions:

– Check for any vulnerable areas that could be potential access points at least once a month.

– Keep areas surrounding the house and the attic clean, removing any potential foodstuffs that could attract squirrels.

– Prune the trees close to the house, to prevent squirrels from jumping onto the roof.

– Check for openings into the attic and eaves of houses and buildings, and seal them with heavy 1/2-inch wire mesh or sheet metal.

– Make it more difficult for squirrels to traverse wires and cables leading into the building by installing lightweight plastic pipes onto the cables. As squirrels use the wires as private highways, the pipe rotates, causing the squirrel to lose balance and fall. These pipes should be in 2-foot sections, measuring 2 or 3 inches in diameter. Installation simply requires you to slit the pipe lengthwise, spreading it open over cables and placing it over the wire.

– Consider using chemical repellents, such as mothballs or moth crystals, which could act as temporary deterrents. Distribute 1 to 2 pounds evenly throughout the attic. You could also use ammonia-soaked rags, a popular folk remedy.

– Set traps, by using foods like apple, cracked corn, shelled pecans, peanut butter and sunflower seeds as bait, to catch squirrels that are attempting to enter the building. Some commonly used traps include No. 0 or 1 leg hold traps, box traps and cage traps. To avoid a smelly situation, you’ll want to check these traps often.

– As a last resort you could use small-caliber firearms to shoot squirrels, away from your home of course! Check with law enforcement agencies and wildlife conservation offices for proper procedures.

How to Remove Squirrels from the Attic

If squirrels have already entered your property and have taken up residence in your attic, there are several ways to remove them. Before you take any action, first check if there is a nest of squirrels with young. Humanely removing them will involve waiting a few weeks for the babies to grow old enough to leave with their mother, as they will not be able to survive without her.

Once that precaution has been taken, you can proceed with the following steps:

– Locate the entry points that squirrels use to enter your attic. Seal all but one entry point, so that they are forced to use just one.

– Next, one option is to trap the squirrels in order to remove them. Mount cage traps right against the point where they exit their nest to forage for food. Some available traps are body grip traps, repeating live cage traps and single animal live cage trap.

– Another option is to install one-way doors. These doors have a tension flap that allow the animal to exit, but not to enter. You’ll want to take care when installing these as it is important to place them in the correct direction.

– Using commercial repellents such as sprays can be effective as well. A non-toxic way would be to leave rags soaked in ammonia or apple cider vinegar in the attic, as the smell would be able to drive them away.

– Try making loud noises, like banging on the rafters or speaking loudly in the attic, which may scare them away. You could also leave a radio on in the attic around the clock, set to a particularly stimulating station. Installing a bright light in the attic all day and night will also serve a similar purpose.

To ensure a safe and hassle-free removal of squirrels, calling in a professional will prove to be the most effective, not to mention easiest, method. At Dugas, we handle pest removal in a safe, efficient and humane way. Get in touch with us today for assistance with your squirrel infestation issues.