Keep Louisiana Wildlife Outside This Winter

Keep Louisiana wildlife outside your home this winter - Dugas Pest Control in Baton RougeWhen the cold weather starts to settle in and there is a frigid bite in the air here in Louisiana, you probably want to head home and snuggle up inside where it is nice and warm. Unfortunately, you are not the only one who wants to do this. Creatures that would typically be more at home outside might decide to become your uninvited guests during the winter months.

This is true of rodents in particular, but all manner of critters can make their way onto your property and into your home, including raccoons, squirrels, and more. To avoid the dangers of a wildlife invasion in your home this winter, keep reading to learn how to keep them away!

Dangers of Wildlife in the Home During the Winter

Winter pests in the home are more than just annoying. There is also the potential for them to be dangerous. Mice, rats, and squirrels can carry various diseases, as can the fleas that rodents carry. Even if the rodent dies, the fleas can continue to live on and cause problems for you and your family. In addition, rodents can cause fires. This is because rats and other rodents often chew on electrical wires. Wild animals can be dangerous when they feel threatened, and they should never be approached. It’s always best to have a professional wildlife control expert assist you.

How to Prevent Winter Wildlife Problems

Having a good understanding of some prevention tips and following through with them will help to keep the wildlife from getting into your home, so you don’t have to deal with the dangers these pests present. The best winter wildlife prevention tips include the following.

1. Look for Holes and Gaps

Rodents can come into your home through holes found around the outside of the house. If you have holes in the attic, holes in the walls, gaps in windows and doors, and other areas that would allow for rodents and other pests to get into your home. Depending on the size of the hole or gap, larger creatures, even snakes, might find their way inside your attic, basement, or walls. Walk around your home, inside and outside, and look for these holes and gaps. Then, make repairs to these areas to eliminate these points of ingress into the home. This can help reduce the risk of pests entering the property. Keep in mind that even tiny gaps could allow for critters of all sorts to get inside.

2. Take Care of Leaf and Woodpiles Properly

During the fall season, you end up outside raking up piles of leaves with the intention of disposing of them. However, these piles of leaves and debris are often left too close to their homes. The piles end up as nesting grounds for rodents, which will then often try to make their way into the home. It is important to keep leaf piles, along with woodpiles, further away from the house to reduce the chance of pests getting into the home. Ideally, the piles will be at least 20’ from the house.

3. Protect Vents and Chimneys

If you have a chimney or vents that are coming into the home, you will want to screen them. This stops animals and other pests from having easy access to your house. If you aren’t sure how to install the screens properly and securely, you can hire someone who can do it for you.

Wildlife Prevention & Control Services in the Winter

Even when you take the right precautions, there is always a chance that various forms of wildlife might end up making their way into your home. It’s always a good idea to speak with a professional pest control company that can come to your home and inspect it to make sure it is safe from pests, and to get rid of any pests that might have already infiltrated your property. Working with the wildlife control team at Dugas can help keep you and your family safe from wildlife problems this winter in your Louisiana home!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Dugas Pest Control LogoEntomologists from Dugas’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Rodent Awareness Week 2020: The Rise of Rat Infestations

Rodents are entering homes in Baton Rouge LA during the pandemic - Dugas Pest ControlRats are always a common pest problem this time of year, but they are especially prevalent in recent times due to the pandemic. In fact, the CDC announced that rats are more aggressive right now due to their diminishing resources. When restaurants and cafes had to limit operations or shut down entirely, rodents were suddenly deprived of their normal food sources. This is why the pandemic has directly caused an uptick in residential rodent infestations. Besides simply being a nuisance, rodent problems can be dangerous as well. This Rodent Awareness Week, the team at Dugas Pest Control wants to help our customers stay protected from the threat of rat infestations.

Are Rats Spreading Coronavirus?

The shutdowns and shelter in place orders caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their pursuit of food. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. Although the number of infestations is rising, you thankfully do not need to worry about rodents transmitting COVID-19 to you or your family.

However, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home. With rodents more aggressive in the current moment, they will not hesitate to make themselves at home in your home this winter and beyond.

Tips to Keep Rodents Out in Baton Rouge

Rodent prevention is the key to rodent control. To avoid the distressing discovery of rodents on your property, try the following tips:

  1. Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  2. Clean the inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  3. Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  4. Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  5. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  6. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  7. Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

The Rise of Rodent Problems

With everything going on this year, the last thing you need to worry about is a rodent infestation inside your home. If you are dealing with rat or mouse sightings, it’s best to contact the rodent exterminators at Dugas. Our team will work with you to ensure your property is protected from these pests. Call us today!

Prevention Tips for Fall Rodent Infestations

Rodents get inside Baton Rouge LA homes in the fall - Dugas Pest ControlPest problems are notorious in the fall months, especially rodent problems. Rats and mice are known to enter homes through the tiniest of openings. Once inside, they will gladly burrow in the attic, basement, walls, and other areas of the home. Because rodents can contaminate surfaces, spread germs, and cause structural damage, it’s extremely important to learn how to keep rats and mice away. Here at Dugas Pest Control, we want you to feel comfortable in your home without worrying about rodents. We’ve gathered our top prevention tips for fall rodent infestations–read on to learn more!

Our Top Rodent Prevention Tips

No one wants to deal with rodents in their home. Some of our top tips to keep them out and away from your home in Baton Rouge include:

  1. Get rid of excess moisture. Fix leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  2. Store firewood away from your home. Piles of lumber will surely attract rodents and other pests to get close to your house.
  3. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  4. Keep a tidy yard. Cut back any tree limbs or vines that are attached to or near the home.
  5. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  6. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  7. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  8. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Dangers of Seasonal Rats and Mice

Rats and mice can be a nuisance at any time of the year. However, they often come inside more and more often when the temperatures drop, making them particularly troublesome in the autumn and winter months. Once they get indoors, rats and mice will take shelter in attics, basements, kitchens, and garages. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. In addition to contaminating surfaces and spreading germs, rodents can chew through materials with their ever-growing teeth and cause serious damage inside.

Fall Rodent Infestations in Baton Rouge

No one wants to deal with rats or mice in their property on their own. If you have an infestation in your Louisiana home or want to prevent one altogether, it’s important to call our team of rodent exterminators. The experts at Dugas will customize a rodent control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

Can Rodents Transmit Coronavirus?

Rats do not transmite COVID-19 in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest ControlThere is a lot of malformation about the nature of coronaviruses, including how they’re spread. So can rodents transmit coronavirus? The good news is that there is no current evidence or research to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. The team at Dugas Pest Control is committed to staying informed on the latest information coming out about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have seen a lot of questions surrounding the role of rats and other animals with transmission. Although some rodents have been proven to carry other coronaviruses, the strain associated with COVID-19 is not one of them.

Rats and Mice During COVID-19

The three most recently discovered human coronaviruses—including the virus causing the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2—have all caused serious infections and deaths throughout the population. These three viruses have also been genetically traced to a bat origin that crossed over first to other animals before eventually to people. Rats are indeed capable of carrying coronaviruses, but they have not yet been linked to any direct transmissions of COVID-19.

Other Dangers of Rodents During the Pandemic

There have been a lot of reports of rodents being more rampant than ever during the pandemic. Although we know that rats are not transmitting SARS-CoV-2, there are other reasons why it’s more important than ever to prevent and control rodent problems right now:

  1. Rats and mice can spread other diseases, including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and plague. They also can indirectly transmit diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and fleas. Some of these include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  2. Due to the restaurant shutdowns and lockdowns, there have been a number of reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources. This directly correlates to a bigger risk of infestations and rodent-spread issues.

Rodents in a Pandemic

As mentioned previously, there have been many reports of rodents becoming more aggressive in the past months in their hunt for food. This has led to growing infestations. Although you can rest easier knowing that rats and mice will not transmit COVID-19, they are still dangerous for several other reasons. It’s as important as ever to implement rodent prevention into your home maintenance routine. If you already have noticed the signs of rodents in your Baton Rouge area home, the rodent exterminators at Dugas are here to help.

The Downfalls of DIY Pest Control

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method in Baton Rouge LA. Learn more from Dugas Pest Control.One time or another, all of us have tried DIY pest control. Whether you’ve applied a vinegar solution to a trail of ants or went out to buy pesticides for roaches, there are many pest control products and methods that claim to be effective. But is that true? While DIY pest control may work to control small problems for a while, it never provides long-lasting relief from pests.

At Dugas Pest Control, we want to make sure our customers make informed decisions when it comes to keeping pests out of their homes. Read on to learn why DIY pest control is not a long-term solution!

Is DIY Pest Control Reliable?

Oftentimes, DIY pest control seems like the best choice. Although it may work for a small problem, it won’t control larger infestations. There are several disadvantages to DIY methods:

  1. Many store-bought products are filled with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
  2. Some types of pests, including bed bugs, rodents, termites, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these infestations will be a challenge for any novice.
  3. DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services. This can lead to you having to buy more products down the line.

What About Professional Pest Control?

To get rid of pests quickly and effectively, a professional exterminator is always your best bet. This may be a bigger investment of your time and money, but it’s always worth it. A professional pest control company can develop a custom plan to keep pests out all year round. Exterminators have the knowledge required to understand the unique habits and behaviors of all types of pests. This better equips them to control infestations and keep pests from returning. Lastly, a pest control professional will always apply top-of-the-line pest control products in a way that is safe for your family!

How to Choose

Pest control is an essential part of keeping your home safe and healthy. A professional pest control expert is equipped to take care of the difficult treatments for you. DIY pest control is never a long-term plan to protect your property from pests. Contact the team at Dugas today to learn how we can help!

Spring is Here! How to Prevent Springtime Pests

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Baton Rouge LA home! Tips from Dugas Pest Control.It’s officially springtime in Baton Rouge! Many celebrate the return of warmer weather and blooming trees. Unfortunately, pests do as well. Now is the time to safeguard your home against the many types of pests that become more active this time of year. Whether you want to prevent ants in your kitchen or rodents in your garage, it’s smart to implement pest prevention into your spring cleaning routine. Read on for expert tips from the team at Dugas Pest Control.

How to Stay Pest-Free this Spring

If you want to avoid a pest infestation this spring, summer, or even fall, it’s important to know how to keep them out. There are several ways to lessen the risk of getting pests in your property, and you can start with these spring cleaning tips:

  1. In general, deep-clean your home. Clean areas under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
  2. Clean your windows and doors thoroughly. If you find any cracks or crevices make sure to securely seal them.
  3. Deep-clean your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam cleaning works well.
  4. Sanitize and clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids welcome all types of insects and pests.
  5. Remove debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.

Common Spring Pests in Louisiana

There are many pests that are active year-round, but spring sees a peak in pest activity. The most common pests homeowners throughout the state deal with this time of year are:

  • Ants. With warmer weather comes hoards of ants in your home.
  • Termites. It’s swarming season. Termite infestations often start in the spring.
  • Rodents. Although they’re active year-round, rats and mice are a problem in the spring.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps and hornets are gearing up to build nests this time of year.
  • Stink bugs. After overwintering, people report a resurgence in stink bugs.

What to Do About Spring Pests

If you already have a pest problem in your home, it’s important to act quickly. Your best bet at stopping the infestation and preventing future problems is to work with a professional exterminator. At Dugas, we understand the unique pest problems faced by residents in the spring and will work with you to prevent them all year long.

Damage & Diseases Caused by Rodents

One of the many dangers of rodents in Baton Rouge LA is when rats chew through electrical wires. Dugas Pest Control can protect you from rats!If your property has been inflicted with a rodent problem in the past, you know how distressing they are. Rats and mice leave behind a huge mess, and contaminate any surface they walk across. Most concerning of all is the fact that rodents are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases, including hantavirus and salmonella. Because rat and mouse problems are so common in the Baton Rouge LA area all year long, it’s important to learn about the many dangers of rodents.

The Damage Caused by Rats & Mice

Rats and mice aren’t exactly subtle pests, and they can leave a big mess in their wake. Rats have incisors that never stop growing, which means they never stop chewing! One of the most dangerous things rats chew on are electrical wires. Needless to say, exposed wires can become a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear up any type of material to create nests. If you’ve had an ongoing rodent infestation, you can be sure you’ll have a lot of clean up and damage to fix once they’re gone.

What Diseases Do Rodents Transmit?

The thing you need to worry most about if you have a rodent infestation is the diseases they can possibly inflict. Whether transmitted directly through human contact or indirectly through fleas and ticks, these diseases can cause mild to serious symptoms. If you suspect you’ve come into contact with rodents and are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to always consult a medical professional. Some of the most worrying diseases caused by rodents include:

  1. Hantavirus
    1. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  2. Salmonella
    1. When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  3. Lyme disease
    1. This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.

How to Get Rid of Rats & Mice

If you’ve discovered a rodent problem in your home or business, it’s best to act quickly to remove them. There are many dangers of rodents even after an infestation, which is why it’s important to enlist the help of a rats or mice exterminator. At Dugas Pest Control, we have the years of experience required to not only control active infestations but prevent future ones from happening!

Why Do Rodents Keep Getting Into My House?

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

Mice and rats can enter the home 365 days a year, but they become especially relentless in the winter when they are looking for shelter from the cool, rainy weather.

Mice and rats most commonly enter homes through cracks in the walls, floors and foundation. They are resourceful, which means if you don’t carefully inspect your home from the ground up, you could miss the very spot where they are getting in.

If you’ve continued to hear or see rodents in the home, you need to increase your prevention method. Knowing why they keep getting into the home is key.

Where are the Most Common Places that Rodents Get in Through?

  • Gaps in windows and ceilings

  • Sewer lines

  • Sink or bathtub drains

  • Cracks in walls and floors

  • Cracks in the foundation

  • Entry holes around plumbing

  • Entry holes around oven gas lines

When are Rodents Most Likely to Come into My Home?

Remember, rats and mice will enter homes any time of the year, but during the fall and winter is when the most infestations are seen. The temperatures start to drop, and even though the weather is still mild in Louisiana, it’s natural for warm-blooded animals to start seeking shelter as a means of survival. When a colony finds a safe, warm place to call home, they rarely leave the area. Instead, they get comfortable, running through your walls or attic, leaving droppings all over and causing ruckus by scratching and squeaking.

Additionally, rats increase in numbers quickly, and one colony can turn to over 200 members in a few short months. You can’t deny their presence by this point.

I’ve Tried to Get Rid of the Rodents, but They Keep Coming Back. Why?

We’ve heard this story from multiple clients. They use some type of extermination method, but slowly, the rats come back.

Why?

Almost always, the answer to this question is because there is some entry point that is NOT sealed up.  That’s what pest companies mean when they use the phrase wildlife exclusion.

Rodents are small and have a flexible build, so they are able to slip through even the tiniest gaps and cracks. That’s why it pays to have a professional exterminator like Dugas Pest Control come to your home.

We have professionals who are trained to look for and identify entry points where wildlife is getting in. Once all of these areas have been identified, the holes need to be sealed up.

We don’t use a generalized approach, either. Instead, we implement the best solutions for sealing up the entry points based on the structure of the home or business. Generally, we use a cement or metal material to seal up the gaps since mice can’t chew threw these materials. If you haven’t been using a material that is strong and chew-resistant, it’s possible that the rodents have chewed right through it.

Also, our exterminators come back for a follow-up to ensure that all entry points are successfully keeping rodents out.

Sealing up holes and gaps is so critical to long-term protection, you shouldn’t even attempt trying to trap the rodents until you have sealed up the cracks. Otherwise, new rats and mice will just keep getting into your home, which is probably what has been going on for you. Also, when the holes are sealed up, it’s much easier to trap the rodents. There is nowhere for them to go, so your efforts are much more effective.

Prevention goes a long way in keeping all wildlife out of your home. Remember, you want to make your home look unappealing, so that includes keeping food in sealed containers and disposing of food scraps and waste as soon as possible. These scents are known for attracting animals like rodents, and it won’t be long before they are scoping out your home to see if it will be a great place to spend the fall and winter months.