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.

Guide to Seasonal Pests

Rodents are a seasonal pest in Baton Rouge LA - Dugas Pest Control

We all know that pests are a common problem in Baton Rouge in the spring and summer, but what about the fall and winter? Even though you may not see them as frequently during certain parts of the year, pests are common all year long in Louisiana. Mosquitoes in the summer and rodents in the fall are two of the most common seasonal pest problems, but there are others to worry about as well. With help from the NPMA, the team at Dugas Pest Control is sharing all you need to know about seasonal pests in your community. We hope that this information will help prepare you for pest threats throughout the year.

Fall and Winter Pests in Baton Rouge

With warm and drier conditions predicted in the coming months, ants and roaches may be more active than usual this time of year. With their need for water in order to survive, these two insects in particular will crawl into your home to seek out moisture. There are other pests to keep your eye out for in the fall and winter months, including house mice, spiders, silverfish, and flies.

Winter pests in the South Central United States map
Rodent
Fly
Mosquito
Ant
Cockroach

What Pests are More Common in the Spring and Summer?

Warmer weather in the spring and summer brings about all types of pests. With our warm, moist environment, Louisiana can be a haven for pests this time of year. The most common pests we deal with include:

  1. Termites. Our climate is ideal for termites, who swarm in the spring and are at full force in the summertime. Subterranean termites are especially dangerous this time of year.
  2. Mosquitoes. With the amount of rainfall we get, mosquitoes love warmer temperatures in the spring and summertime.
  3. Stinging Insects. Wasps, bees, and hornets are very active this time of the year. They can build nests near residential areas.
  4. Cockroaches. Heat, moisture, and humidity in the summer months brings about roach activity, especially in more urban areas.
  5. Ants. Certain ant species will forage for food in the warmer months. Rainy weather also drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.

Pest Seasonality in Louisiana

Due to our climate and weather patterns throughout the year, Baton Rouge residents and business owners experience a lot of pest problems. It’s important to know which pests to keep your eye out for in order to prevent a seasonal pest problem. At Dugas, our residential and commercial exterminators can work with you to ensure you are protected from pests all year long.

Dealing With Springtime Allergies? Pests Could be Making Them Worse

Springtime allergies in the Baton Rouge LA area may be triggered by pests - Dugas Pest ControlAre your allergy symptoms in full force right now? This time of year in the Baton Rouge area, blooming trees and springtime weather can bring an onset of spring allergies for many people. But what if it’s more than just the spring causing your allergies this time of year? With May being National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, the team here at Dugas Pest Control wants to shine light on the dangers of pest allergens in your home. There are several household pests that can trigger your allergy symptoms, and the key to preventing them is to prevent the pests themselves. Read on to learn our top tips for keeping your family safe from pest allergens this spring and all year long.

6 Steps to Remove Pest Allergens

To avoid the frustration of dealing with pest-related allergies, you need to learn how to keep pests out in the first place! Some of the best pest prevention tips that double as pest allergen prevention include:

  • Storing food in sealed containers and cleaning kitchens on a daily basis.
  • Disposing of garbage regularly and using a tight-fitting lid.
  • Sealing cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, screen doors, and windows.
  • Keeping your basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry!
  • Washing blankets, rugs, and bedding in hot water or getting them dry-cleaned.
  • Vacuuming and dusting your property on a regular basis.
  • Keeping pet food sealed in a tight container and washing food bowls.

What Pests Trigger Allergy Symptoms?

You may be wondering what types of pests cause allergies in the first place. A lot of research has proven that cockroach droppings, skins, saliva, and more contribute to allergies and asthma, particularly in children. A roach infestation is often known to exacerbate allergic reactions. In addition, stinging insects such as yellow jackets and fire ants can cause allergic reactions for certain individuals. These symptoms are often different than your typical seasonal allergies.

In any case, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from an allergic reaction. Severe symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, swollen throat, and wheezing.

Year-Round Pest Allergen Prevention

Staying safe from pest allergens means staying away from pests in the first place! Basic pest prevention methods can greatly reduce the amount of pest allergens in your home. If you’ve done all you can to prevent pests and still have them in your home or business, the team at Dugas is here to help. Our experts are committed to keeping you and your family safe from the many dangers of pests, allergies included!

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.