Everyone is happy to be out and about enjoying the sunshine this spring here in Baton Rouge LA. Unfortunately, the combination of consistent warmth and rainfall in our climate creates a haven of resources and shelter for all kinds of regional critters. If you aren’t careful, you could allow your backyard to become a home to many kinds of pests for several different reasons. Our expert exterminators at Dugas Pest Control are here to help prevent this. Read on for advice on how to make your backyard pest-free through the summer!
10 Pest-Proofing Tips for Your Backyard
The hot and humid weather we experience for most of the year in our region creates ideal conditions for a plethora of pests. This makes it crucial to incorporate pest prevention into your maintenance routines. Here are ten tips we suggest you take to keep a pest-free backyard this year:
Trim your plants: Keeping your bushes, trees, and shrubs neat and orderly will prevent shaded resting areas for common spring and summer pests like mosquitoes,ticks, and fleas.
Get rid of yard waste: Piles of yard waste or scattered scraps can provide temporary shelter or even food for insects and small animals. Clear them out to discourage pests.
Deal with standing water: Standing water serves as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and a hydration source for many other kinds of insects. Pour out or cover standing water when you find it building up in gutters, planters, buckets, tarps, or elsewhere.
Mow the lawn regularly: Mowing your lawn once a week can prevent tall grass blades from trapping standing water and housing pests.
Consider garden netting: If you have a garden, you could be unwittingly offering a food source for tiny bugs like aphids and large wildlife pests like raccoons. Garden netting can keep them from robbing your plants.
Dethatch your lawn: A thin layer of thatch can help insulate your lawn to regulate temperatures and promote healthy growth, but too much of it will suffocate your grass and offer shelter to many common lawn pests.
Keep bins sealed and distant: Several kinds of insects, rodents, and wild animals are known to break into our trash cans looking for food. Seal your bins if possible and make sure that they’re as far away from your yard and home as they can be.
Ensure proper lawn hydration: Both overwatering and underwatering can cause problems for your lawn, so ensuring a regulated supply of water can help prevent pests. This can be best attained using a sprinkler or irrigation system.
Store your firewood high and far: Woodpiles stacked against the side of homes or wooden decks are common contributors to termite infestations. Keeping a covered firewood rack at a distance from your home can prevent termites and other insects from infesting your backyard.
Look for professional pest control: An experienced technician can assess your yard for vulnerabilities that you haven’t caught to help determine the best ways to go about pest prevention for your particular property.
Pest Control for Your Backyard in Baton Rouge LA
If you’re looking for a calculated approach to pest control in your backyard in Baton Rouge, reach out to your local exterminators. At Dugas Pest Control, we train our technicians to shape their services to the individual needs of each property that they service. We pride ourselves on our holistic approach to pest control, complete with site-wide inspections, safe control and exclusion practices, and preventative maintenance to ensure that our customers never deal with pests again. Contact us today for a free quote!
Bug bites of any kind can be worrisome. Especially when you don’t catch the culprit, bug bites can leave you anxious, wondering what got to you and whether or not there are more of them waiting. Many people that wake up with bug bites after a night’s sleep misidentify the markings, which leads to a drawn-out process of catching and removing the biting pests from your home. If you’re wondering what bug bit you in Baton Rouge LA, read on. The pest experts at Dugas Pest Control are well-versed in the habits and attributes of biting pests in the region and can help you identify and remove the ones that you’re dealing with.
Pests that Draw Blood
Some blood-sucking pests might not appear as menacing as other biting bugs but are able to transmit dangerous diseases to humans. Because of this, it is important to be able to identify which kind of bite you’re dealing with. Blood-drawing pests in Baton Rouge LA include:
Mosquitoes: Mosquito bites start out as a raised, white welt and turn into an itchy, red bump, usually no more than 1/2“ across. They usually don’t come with any side effects besides pain and itchiness, but mosquitoes in tropical regions can carry deadly diseases like malaria and the Zika virus.
Ticks: Depending on the species, tick bites can look like a mosquito bite or a smaller, darker mark. They can develop a light red ring that circles the bump at a distance. If you catch a tick bite early, they will still be latched onto your body. Ticks are known for spreading the dangerous Lyme disease.
Fleas: Fleas bite our pets more often, but they bite humans, too. It won’t often result in initial pain, but it will be itchy. The worst outcome of a flea bite is an infection caused by excessive itching.
Bed bugs: If you wake up in bed with tiny, red bites aligned in a zigzag pattern on your skin, you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs do not pass on diseases through their bites, but they can pick up and carry diseases on their bodies through their travels.
Other Biting Pests in Baton Rouge LA
There are other kinds of biting pests in our region, but the aforementioned pests are the ones that you should be more worried about. Some kinds of pests in Baton Rouge LA either rarely bite or cause nearly negligible symptoms. Ants,cockroaches, and centipedes fall into this category. Some ants, like fire ants, bite someone that’s threatening them only to latch on to deliver a more acute sting, similar to a wasp. Bites from these pests are very rare, though.
A few spiders in the area are able to deliver painful bites, but again, only in rare circumstances. Wolf spiders,brown recluse spiders, and the feared black widow fall into this category. If you experience a black widow bite, seek medical attention immediately.
Need Protection from Biting Pests?
If you are worried about bug bites this summer, reach out to your local pest control company to see how they can help. Our technicians at Dugas Pest Control have experience identifying and removing all of the biting pests in Baton Rouge LA and can teach you exclusion efforts to help you keep them out of your home once we’ve dealt with them. For a free quote, contact us today!
Entomologists 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.
It’s the middle of the summertime in the Baton Rouge area, and people want to spend more time outdoors than ever. For pet owners, they are likely wanting to take their dogs on walks and have them spend time in their backyard. However, the warmer weather brings about a rise in the prevalence of ticks and other pet parasites. Ticks are infamous for transmitting Lyme disease–although cats are largely unaffected, they can be as dangerous for dogs as they are for people.
For that reason, it’s important to learn how to protect your pets from summertime ticks.
5 Ways to Keep Ticks off Pets
In general, it’s important to stay proactive about the possibility of your pets getting a tick. Some of the ways you can help include:
Keep a tidy, trimmed yard. By mowing your lawn regularly, you can make your yard less attractive to ticks. In addition, implement rodent prevention tactics to discourage rodents that could carry ticks.
Use tick preventatives on your pets. Talk to your veterinarian about prevention or treatment options, including heartworm protection.
Check your dogs or cats for ticks daily or whenever they go outdoors. When inspecting, focus on areas under the legs and around the neck and ears. In addition, look out for excessive scratching, licking, or grooming behavior.
Avoid areas with tall grass on hikes. Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass, be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.
Protect your family from ticks. During the summer, regularly check yourself and family members for ticks after being outdoors. They can easily hop from you to your pets!
Are Ticks Dangerous for Dogs?
Ticks feed by biting an animal or human and feasting on their blood. This could take days. When an infected tick attaches to a dog for a few days, it’s possible for them to transmit Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection. If you notice your pet is showing symptoms of depression, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, or swollen joins and lymph nodes, immediately contact your veterinarian. Ticks can also occasionally cause anemia in pets. Cats rarely get ticks, but could easily carry them into your home where they can infest other members and pets in the family.
Help With Tick Infestations
If ticks have been introduced into your home, it’s important to always clean your property thoroughly and inspect for them, just as you would with fleas. For more information on tick prevention or for advice on your tick problem, the team at Dugas is ready to help!
The team at Dugas Pest Control knows how distressing things are right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a dedication to the health and safety of our communities here in Baton Rouge, we are staying up-to-date with all of the new information coming out about the virus on a daily basis. We understand there is a lot of misinformation about the nature of the virus, including how it is spread. We are here to dispel one myth in particular! To date, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that mosquitoes or ticks transmit coronavirus. These insects are vectors for dangerous diseases, but COVID-19 is not one of them. Using information from the CDC, we’ve compiled facts on vector-borne diseases in this post. Keep reading to learn more!
Vector-Borne Diseases vs. COVID-19
Coronavirus is not transmitted by vector pests (including mosquitoes and ticks). Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is said to pass from person to person, meaning it is extremely contagious. Exposure is often due to droplets from saliva or nasal discharge, typically generated when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Studies show that it can be spread through contaminated surfaces, and it is increasingly considered to be an airborne virus. Mosquito-borne and tick-borne diseases are of an entirely different nature than this current virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors”. COVID-19 is not a parasitic disease.
Diseases from Ticks and Mosquitoes
Although they don’t transmit coronavirus, ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are vectors for a number of infectious diseases. Vector pests are organisms that transmit diseases to humans through bites. Mosquitoes and ticks are vectors for the following diseases:
Mosquitoes are infamous for transmitting malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and more.
Lyme disease, currently the most common vector-borne disease in the nation, is transmitted by ticks.
When vector pests feeds off a diseased host, they can transmit pathogens that may infect other hosts it subsequently bites.
Dugas Pest Control Is Here For You
Mosquitoes and ticks may not transmit COVID-19, but they can still be dangerous. As always, it’s important to take caution in the presence of pests and to always enlist the help of a professional exterminator to prevent dangerous insects. During these uncertain times, Dugas Pest Control will continue to provide essential pest control services to our neighbors and customers.
With new information about COVID-19 coming out every hour, we want to encourage our customers to seek more up-to-date info and follow guidelines released by the WHO and the CDC, as well as your state and local public health agencies.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to protecting your family and home against pests this year, you can be proactive with the help of Dugas Pest Control. We are helping homeowners prepare for the 2020 pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity.
At Dugas Pest Control, we have examined trends and used our field experiences and company data to determine the following five pest predictions. Along with these predictions, we are offering preventative tips to help you keep your home pest-free in 2020.
An increase in mice populations over the past several years may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again for the winter of 2020, mice activity may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.
Homeowner Tips: Mice can squeeze through holes the size of a dime. To prevent an infestation, rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. Weatherproof gaps under garage doors, door frames, windows, or pipes and cables that penetrate your house.
Changing climates cause dramatic effects in the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and man-made or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.
Homeowner Tips: Since yellow jackets and hornets can overwinter, they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.
With the rise of popular outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and years of warmer than usual winters, humans and their pets are likely to encounter ticks in 2020. The Lone Star tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special interest. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets may also be at risk for some of these diseases.
Homeowner Tips:During the time spent outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also recommended to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.
Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.
Homeowner Tips:The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.
Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.
Homeowner Tips: To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.
The experts at Dugas Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.
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.