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.

West Nile will be a big threat to south Louisiana after flooding subsides

The Louisiana Flood of 2016 is finally over and the flood waters are starting to retreat.  People are returning home to access the damage and formulate plans to move forward.  Streets, parking lots, houses and backyards that were recently under water are now drying out after the historic event that damaged at least 40,000 homes across the southern part of our state.

But, there are may be other problems that people are not aware of…

According to Frank Welch, the Louisiana Department of of Health’s director of community preparedness, we may experience an influx of West Nile in our area.

“The severe flooding in the middle part of the state is going to increase our risk for West Nile” he stated earlier this week.

Over the next month, the large amounts of standing water that remain in the flooded areas will provide an excellent breeding ground for new mosquitoes, and could result in an increased health risk for mosquito-related viruses starting three or four weeks after the flood recedes, Welch said.

A Tulane University study published in 2007 found that people were twice as likely to contract a more severe form of West Nile virus in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi that were most affected by Hurricane Katrina. It’s possible a similar spike could happen in the flood affected areas.

But the increase in West Nile wasn’t necessarily because there were more mosquitoes following Hurricane Katrina, but mostly because people in the areas hit by the storm tended to be outside more during mosquito season, working near standing water.

As people cleaned up and repaired homes after Katrina, they were outside longer and during the time of day when mosquitoes are most active, said Dawn Wesson, a professor at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The same scenario could occur for after this recently flooding.

What can you do to protect against West Nile?

There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of your exposure to the West Nile virus and to protect yourself and your loved ones.

First, it’s important to identify areas in your yard or flooded home where mosquitoes breed including wet spots, damp areas and standing water. Empty out these areas. Be sure to wear insect repellent when working outside or inside your flooded home or property.

Second, we recommend creating a mosquito barrier around your home with our mosquito control service. While Louisiana parishes and cities spray roads and ditches, it’s best for each homeowner to treat their own property especially within the nearest 10 feet of the home.

Contact us today to learn more about the mosquito services that we offer!