Getting a Handle on Fleas and Ticks

The spring and summer months are upon us, which means so is flea and tick season. For Baton Rouge residents, fleas and ticks never really go away because the winters are mild and the pests can still thrive. Still, spring and summer are when these pests are at their highest numbers, so you’ll need to work hard to keep your home and pets free of these nuisances. Fleas and ticks are persistent, but with the help of a professional exterminator and simple steps you can take at home, you can keep these blood suckers at bay.

Why Fleas and Ticks are Stubborn Pests 

Fleas have a complicated life cycle and can survive in the outdoors in temperatures as low as 30 degrees. As long as the flea finds a suitable host to feed off of, it will stay warm and healthy through the winter season. This host can be a wild animal or your beloved pet. When springtime rolls around and the temperatures climb into the 60s, the growth and reproduction of fleas is at an all time high. Interestingly, flea pupae can remain dormant for up to one year waiting for the temperatures to be ideal.

When the temperatures are warm, the pupae will emerge from their cocoons, resulting in a mass of fleas. They then swarm around the first host they find, which may be your pet. Since fleas can survive the Baton Rouge winter, they do linger in the area over the colder months and become more aggressive in the spring and summer. Only low humidity and temperatures lower than 30 degrees will impact their life cycle. This is what makes fleas stubborn pests.

Ticks are also able to survive cool winter temperatures, providing that they find a host to feed off of. They aren’t quite as hearty as fleas since they can be killed off when temperature reach 45 degrees. However, it’s still important to protect pets during the winter months because ticks will thrive under the right conditions.

Dealing with Fleas and Ticks around the Home 

While you can’t eradicate fleas and ticks completely, there are steps you can take to minimize the problem:

  • Practice year-round flea and tick control by using a veterinarian-recommended product for every pet in your household. Even indoor pets are at risk.
  • Remove brush debris from around the home. This prevent animals from building nests and bringing around ticks and fleas they may be carrying.
  • Avoid having old upholstered furniture outside your home where your pets like to lie. These are prime places where fleas build nests.
  • Keep your home well sealed. Place screens over attics and ensure that all screens over doors and windows are free of rips, tears or holes.
  • Plant rosemary, sage and garlic plants around the home to make the area smell good but keep fleas and ticks at bay.
  • Keep the home clean by vacuuming and dusting regularly.
  • Contact a professional exterminator like Dugas Pest Control to learn about the severity of your tick or flea problem.

Disease Carriers for Humans and Pets 

Fleas and ticks are not just nuisances; they also spread disease and can infect animals with parasites. Some of the most common things they leave behind include tapeworm, dermatitis and allergies. Ticks are also known for spreading Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Pet owners often catch wind that their pet may be dealing with fleas or ticks when they started scratching, licking and chewing incessantly. Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors are at most risk, but even indoor pets need year-round protection.

Fleas and ticks must have a host to stay alive, but they also live much of their life cycle in the environment. This is perhaps what gives them added resilience; people think that if they can’t see them, they must be gone. However, they do a good job of lingering in the environment and then feeding off their hosts, which can be anything from a mouse to a human.

What type of snakes live in Louisiana?

banded-water-snake Snakes may not be anyone’s favorite creature to spot in their yard, but they are fascinating reptiles and a part of Louisiana’s natural heritage. They are also important members of our local ecosystem as for every snake with a bad reputation, there are many others that help keep the balance of nature in order.

Nevertheless, many LA residents worry about snakes hiding in their backyards, underneath decks and patios or lingering in woodsy areas. Many snakes are poisonous and leave behind painful bites. That being said, the majority of snakes in LA are harmless and are actually beneficial to the ecosystem as they limit the amount of insects and rodents and contribute to the “balance of nature.”

Interesting Facts:

1. Did you know that smaller snakes feed more than large ones? That’s right; small snakes will feed as much as once per day while large ones only eat once every two weeks.

2. When snakes are not searching for food, they’re relatively quiet and secret, and during the summer when the weather is warm, snakes become nocturnal.

How to Tell Venomous from Non Venomous Snakes

Even though snakes are an important part of the Louisiana ecosystem, they don’t get a free ticket to your home, especially because there are some breeds that are highly venomous. An easy way to tell a venomous snake from a non-venomous one is by the head. Non-venomous snakes have narrow heads, round pupils and no pit between the eyes and nostrils. Venomous snakes have triangle-shaped heads, elliptical pupils and a pit between the eyes and nostrils. A pest control company can also do a quick evaluation of the tail to determine if the snake is venomous.

If you do find snakes by your home, remove their habitat if possible; look for piles of wood or overgrown vegetation for example. Also be sure to seal openings to the home, garage or shed so that the snakes don’t relocate in these areas.

So, what types of snakes are common in the state of Louisiana?

  • Banded Water Snake
  • Black Pine Snake
  • Brown Snake
  • Canebrake Rattlesnake
  • Coachwhip
  • Common Garter Snake
  • Common Water Snake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Eastern Worm Snake
  • Louisiana Pine Snake
  • Pine Woods Snake
  • Rough Green Snake
  • Scarlet Snake
  • Texas Coral Snake

Taking a closer look at Louisiana racoon problems

Dugas Pest Control provides humane wildlife trapping service in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana In pictures, they look cute and innocent, but make no mistake; raccoons can be quite the pests. We often associate them with living in the streets and coming out at night to feast on garbage, but raccoons can also tear up people’s yards and make a home in the attic or underneath decks, leaving behind piles of waste and creating new life.

Raccoons are also difficult to get rid of because they are stubborn animals. If they need to chew a hole through the attic to get back in, they will.

Where Raccoons Are Commonly Found

Some of the most common places that raccoons enjoy nesting are in attics, underneath decks and porches, in chimneys and behind buildings. The signs that a raccoon has been in your space include tipped over trash cans and ripped up lawns. They are very social creatures and are often found in groups. January and February are their mating months, and when the babies are as young as two months old, they begin attending their parents on outings for food. Although raccoons feast on berries, slugs and frogs in the wild, they are an urban nuisance for homeowners.

Keeping Raccoons Out

Fortunately, prevention is the best key to keeping raccoons out of your space. Since trash cans are what they enjoy most, choose cans made from durable materials such as metal or hard plastic. Also make sure the can has a tight-fitting lid. Place screen wiring over chimneys so that raccoons can’t get in, and seal entrances to porches, patios and sheds. Sometimes, raccoons do get in, and homeowners are left dealing with the effects.

For example, raccoons can chew holes in insulation, raid garbage cans and prey in bird nests and feeders. If they get into the home, raccoons will make noise, scratch at the floors and walls and leave behind droppings. They can also carry diseases like roundworm, which is found in the waste, as well as ticks and fleas. Raccoons are strong animals that can damage shingles, vents and boards.

If this happens, contact your local pest control company. At Dugas Pest Control, we use humane measures that include trapping and relocating the raccoons. This type of entrapment is called wildlife exclusion. We make sure we have the whole family so that they can be relocated into wildlife as one unit.  When you work with a pest control company, you can be sure that the right measures are being used to lure, trap and relocate wildlife while giving you back your home.

What Are Silverfish and Why Are They in My Baton Rouge Home?

Silverfish are eight-legged insects that have scales on their bodies, which allow them to move very fast. This swift movement makes them resemble a fish, hence the name silverfish. And yes, they are all over Baton Rouge in homes and commercial buildings!

They are silver or gray in color and approximately 0.5 to 1 inch in length, with long antennae. Silverfish are often found in wet, damp and moldy areas, but they’re also commonly drawn to moist areas in the home like bathrooms, crawl spaces and attics. They prefer dark areas and are nocturnal, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find one trapped in your sink or bathtub first thing in the morning.

Some may also find it’s close cousin, the “Firebrat”, so called because they like to hang out near hot areas such as hot water heaters.  Thus the name “firebrat”!

 

Why Are There Silverfish in my Home?

Silverfish live behind baseboards, near plumbing and pipes or in small cracks. They may have been there all along because they lived in the existing foundation of the home. This is especially common in warm, tropical areas where silverfish were originally native to. Now however, silverfish can be found just about anywhere, including damp, cool areas of your home as well.

There is another way that silverfish can get into your home: you brought them there. It’s not uncommon for pests to be brought in from a cardboard box or secondhand item. Once the silverfish are in your home, they begin looking for a dark, moist area. They are drawn to bathrooms and attics, but they are also likely to find a home in your pantry where there is food and darkness.

Do Silverfish Carry Disease?

Whether you find a silverfish lurking around your pantry or crawling around your bathtub, the first thing you think is, “Is this pest dangerous to my family?” Fortunately, silverfish are not disease carriers, and they do less damage than ants, roaches or termites. Silverfish are often drawn to bookcases and shelving, so they may eat away at your books as they enjoy eating the book paste.

How Can I Prevent Silverfish?

Vacuum often, concentrating around baseboards, cracks and crevices. If you find silverfish, remove their sources of food and kill the eggs. You can also work with a pest control company such as Dugas Pest Control to lay silverfish traps where the insects have been seen.

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What Types of Pests Does TAP Insulation Control?

TAP insulation logo You definitely don’t want pests in your home; they scare the kids and some carry disease and bacteria! But even more than that, some pests can cause severe damage to the home.

By the time you see the effects of a pest infestation, it may be too late to prevent costly damage or illness. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and wonder if your home is being eaten away by annoying pests. TAP Insulation is the perfect product for eliminating pests in the home while at the same time offering noise reduction, energy conservation and money savings.

What is TAP Insulation?

TAP Insulation is a type of insulation that is made from recycled paper products and a borate-based solution that prevents pests from entering the home. Other insulation types do not provide this level of care, and TAP is the only pesticide that has earned itself the “Energy Star” certification. Since TAP can be applied directly over traditional insulation, it’s a smart investment for both new and existing homes.

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So what types of insects does TAP help control?

First consider how the insulation works. It contains a special, balanced formula of boric acid, which is toxic to pests. Self-grooming pests such as termites and cockroaches clean their bodies, ingesting the boric acid. They may be in the insulation passing through or nesting. When the boric acid builds up in the body, it causes the pests to die.

Since the borate product must be ingested, the insulation works best for self-grooming insects that will ingest the acid at some point during their stay in your walls. And, since borate cannot be detected, the pests will never know that they’re ingesting it. They also don’t build up a tolerance to it, so you can rely on TAP for a lifetime.

Below are the types of pests that TAP controls:

  • Ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Termites
  • Silverfish
  • Fleas
  • Waterbugs
  • Palmetto bugs

TAP does not work on squirrels, rodents or mice, but it does not act as a food source either. Contact Dugas Pest Control to learn more about controlling household pests with TAP Insulation.

Benefits of TAP Insulation

Dugas Pest Control provides extermination services for homes TAP Insulation is an innovative product that combines eco-friendly insulation and a borate-based product to ward off pests in homes and buildings. This insulation is made for both new and existing structures and can be easily laid over accessible insulation. Let’s take a look at the many benefits to choosing this type of insulation for your home and the differences it can make.

 

Benefits of TAP Insulation Include:

Money Savings – It’s estimated that 65% of American homes are under-insulated. With less insulation, heat escapes from the home and cold enters it, which means you may have difficulty keeping your home comfortable. When this happens, we crank up the heat, resulting in energy loss and costly bills.

TAP Insulation will lock in the heat, ward off the cold and keep your home comfortable. You’ll see this in your lowered utility bills each month, which is always a welcoming change.

Noise Reduction – Not only does TAP reduce noise from the outside, which is especially helpful if you live in a condo or townhome, but it also reduces noise from within the home. Think about how great it would be to not hear every toilet flush or appliance run from every room in the home.

Eco-Friendliness – Everyone wants to do their part to protect the environment, but you also want your home to be safe and healthy, and TAP will help you accomplish this. The product wards off insects, which keeps your home safer, but it’s also made from recycled paper products and is one of the greenest building products in the world. There is no waste, and the insulation reduces your home’s carbon footprint. Plus, TAP is the only product that is Energy Star rated and proven to repel pests.

Efficient – Compared to traditional insulation, TAP has 32% more efficiency and it outperforms other insulation types on noise and thermal qualities. It is made from 85% recycled paper products, and it relies on boric acid to do the job of controlling pests, which is low-toxic for animals and humans. With TAP, you’re accomplishing so many things with one product, while offering yourself long-term benefits of saving money, saving energy and reducing the number of creepy crawly pests around the home.

Contact Dugas Pest Control to learn more about TAP Insulation and how it can benefit your home.

 

Can You Kill Bed Bugs on Your Own?

Dugas Pest Control provides extermination services for Bed bugs in Louisiana DIY Pest Control has gotten to be a big industry with many stores and products on the market for roaches, wasps, bees and even termites.  But do these type products work for bed bugs?

The problem with trying to get rid of bed bugs using DIY methods is that many of the DIY treatments simply don’t work. The reality is that the treatment of bed bugs is a complex issue that will even pest control professionals to debate which are the best control methods.  A few factors play into this:

  • Bed bugs can live on many surfaces near the bed including the bedding, nightstand, curtains and even within certain types of walls
  • Even if you kill the adults, the eggs may survive treatment and hatch to re-start the infestation
  • Bed bugs can go into a dormant stage, and re-appear months later
  • Room to room movement is very common
  • Populations can grow quickly if not kept in check

You risk growing the infestation and having to put out more money for a bigger problem. Not to mention, you spend more time suffering in the meantime.

The bottom line is this: bed bug infestations are hard to get rid of.  Let’s explore some of the common DIY ways to eliminate bed bugs and why they don’t work.

Common DIY Bed Bug Treatments

The smoke bomb is believed to be a common solution, but it doesn’t work. If it did, we wouldn’t have the infestations we do. Heating a room to a high temperature also won’t work. It may kill off some bugs that are hiding in a mattress for example, but it won’t get to the bugs that are hiding in walls. When the room returns to its normal temperature, the bugs will be back. The same goes for freezing temperatures. You can freeze individual items like luggage or pillows, but you can’t do it in your home.

Finally, there are products out there that claim to kill bed bugs, but these are risky to use. Even though bed bugs are a nuisance, they don’t carry disease. So to spray potentially harmful pesticides on your mattress and your pillows is not safe for you or your family. Also, there are chemicals that people are simply not qualified to use. Calling in a professional is your best option.

DIY Measures that Can Help

There are things you can do that will help, just be sure to leave the treatments up to a professional like Dugas Pest Control. Below are smart measures to take on your own:

–      Vacuum your mattress and box springs
–      Vacuum baseboards, walls, light switches, outlets, picture frames, etc.
–      Get your luggage treated if you travel before you bring it home
–      Remove clutter, which are hiding spots for bed bugs
–      When you throw out blankets, coats, etc., be sure to label it with “Infested With Bed Bugs.”

If you are tired of trying to deal with bed bugs on your own, call the professionals today at Dugas Pest Control in Baton Rouge to eliminate the problem once and for all.

DIY Pest Control Gone Wrong

home pest control exterminators serving residents in Louisiana It’s not uncommon for homeowners to tackle jobs around the home on their own – yet there are some jobs that are better left to the professionals. One of those jobs is pest control; more specifically, the jobs that require eliminating the home of stubborn pests such as bed bugs, mice and termites. And despite the nuances of successfully controlling pests around the home, a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that out of the 111 people that were surveyed, 99 percent were taking pest control matters into their own hands.

The Main Differences between Professional Pest Control and DIY Pest Control

There are many differences between professional pest control and DIY pest control:

  • First, pest control companies have the education and experience needed to properly exterminate bugs and pests. You should always work with a company that is licensed and certified to ensure this level of excellence.
  • Second, pest control companies know the proper methods for bug extermination.
  • Finally, professional companies have access to the most effective and innovative products. In fact, some have their own unique patents that you won’t find at the home improvement stores.

DIY Pest Control Gone Wrong

So what can happen if you try to exterminate a pest problem on your own? With more families trying to save money, it’s no surprise that they try to resolve the problem themselves. But there are a number of things that can happen, and the consequences can be disastrous.

– Extreme high temperatures can kill bed bugs. Yet people who don’t know how to properly execute this procedure have accidentally burned down their homes or have harmed themselves and others in the process.

– Fogger cans can be used on such insects as bed bugs. However, when used in high concentrations, they can lead to illness or in some cases even death, which happened to a lady living in North Carolina who used 18 cans of fogger.

– People tend to leave mouse traps out in the open. However, by the time a mouse travels to the trap, it leaves bacteria and germs in your living space. These germs can lead to illness in humans.

Bottom Line: Pest Control is Best Left to the Professionals

There are many other problems that occur in DIY pest control. People don’t know all the places to look for infestations, they don’t know how to properly use products and they end up spending more time and money to correct the problem on their own. If you’re dealing with pests around your home, call in the professionals. You’ll be saving time, money and headache, plus getting the problem taken care of the first time around.

Top 10 reasons to get rid of mosquitoes using the Coastal Mosquito System

We might joke about mosquitoes being the state bird of Louisiana, but if you have a mosquito problem around your home or business it is no laughing matter.  Mosquitoes not only annoy us, but also spread potentially serious diseases even here locally in the Baton Rouge / southern Louisiana area.

If you have grown tired of poor results from mosquito control products that are “do it yourself” or purchased from a big box store, we’d like to suggest you take a closer look at the CoastalMister System™.  In fact, we even came up with a “Top 10” list of reasons this product beats any you’ve seen before.

 Top 10 Reasons to Consider the CoastalMister™ System for Mosquito Control:

  1. Health: Mosquito-borne diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, Gengue, and Encephalitis all pose a serious health threat. Protect you and your family against the risk today.
  2. Safety: Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide extracted from Chrysanthemum flowers; it is EPA registered, and leaves no residue. We are Eco-friendly and safe to the environment.
  3. Effective: The system kills mosquitoes, flies, and gnats. It works and it works well.
  4. Comfort: Your family, clients, and workers can once again enjoy the outdoors.
  5. Adaptability: The system can be designed to fit the needs of the most unique landscapes and outdoor areas.
  6. Convenience: The system has four operation modes giving you total control or hands-free operation. With four speeds; Automatic, manual, remote control and timer (optional).
  7. Low Cost: Pyrethrum concentrates are highly diluted and will provide months of protection.
  8. Guaranteed: Your satisfaction is guaranteed with a one year warranty.
  9. Experienced technical support: Available for installation and maintenance support.
  10. Customized: The CoastalMister System™ option gives you the flexibility to choose according to your needs and budget. Our skilled technicians are ready to help you better protect your home or business.

So why not try it today? We provide pest control services for communities in the following parishes: East Baton Rouge, St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, St. Helena, Livingston, Ascension, St. James, St. John, St. Charles, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche and Tangipahoa and hope to serve in neighboring areas soon.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your free inspection and estimate.