Finding signs of a pest infestation on your property is upsetting and frightening. While you need to act quickly to resolve the problem, you also need to find pest control in Baton Rouge that is effective, reliable, and affordable. You do not want to pick the cheapest pest control company only to find that the work it does is inadequate. Here are some tips for locating the right pest control company to meet your needs.
Give Yourself Time To Find the Right Pest Control in Baton Rouge
It is true that a pest infestation is something that you need to address in a timely fashion. However, this emergency does not mean you should forego due diligence. Rather than call the first pest control company for which you find a phone number, take a few days to do some research into the companies in your area to choose the one you think will do the best job. A few days shouldn't be long enough for the problem to become significantly worse than it already is.
Learn To Recognize Red Flags
While most companies offering pest control in Baton Rouge are honest, there are some that try to take advantage of property owners' fears to make a dishonest profit. The following are red flags that a pest control company is not trustworthy:
Additionally, if a purported pest control company does not have a working phone number, or does not list a number at all, it is probably not legitimate.
Perform a Background Check
Once you have compiled a shortlist of companies, vet them by checking with third-party organizations such as the EPA, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or the Better Business Bureau. If anyone has filed a complaint about a pest control company, those organizations should have a record of it.
Ask for Estimates for Pest Control in Baton Rouge
A reputable company will provide an estimate of what it will cost to treat your property. This not only gives you an idea of what the services will cost, but it also gives you an opportunity to speak with a representative of the company. The representative should be knowledgeable and competent. He or she should treat you with respect, listening to your concerns without trying to pressure you into anything. You should feel at ease when talking to him or her.
Ask the Right Questions
A conversation with a representative of a pest control company gives you the opportunity to ask questions. You should ask for copies of the labels from the pesticide products that the company uses, which should give you information about the precautions that the company should take and the methods used for application.
You should find out who will perform the services at your property, whether it will be a licensed technician or a certified applicator. You can call the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to verify licenses.
You should ask how long the company has been offering pest control in Baton Rouge from its current location. A new pest control company isn't necessarily illegitimate, but the more established a company is, the more trustworthy it is likely to be.
Ask about what sort of preparation you need to do at the property before the treatment takes place. Pest control companies often require that the property owner does some prep work beforehand in the interest of safety and to make sure the treatment is effective. Make sure that you know what you have to do beforehand and that you can follow the instructions exactly. You may have to do things such as moving large pieces of furniture or appliances away from the walls so the technician has access to places where pests may hide and removing food and dishes from your kitchen counters and cabinets to avoid contamination.
When you are considering hiring a company for pest control in Baton Rouge, ask for a list of references. Take some time to check these references and ask people who have worked with the company before about their experience and whether they felt satisfied with the service they received. You may not have to call all the references if you receive a long list, but you should contact at least three.
Make Sure the Company Offers What You Need
Bug Ninja Pest Control provides pest control in Baton Rouge for both commercial and residential properties. Find out more about the specific pest control services we offer.
Pest problems of any form can turn hazardous if not taken care of quickly. Termites, in particular, can cause extensive damage to wooden structures, potentially rendering them unstable. Whether the pest invasion consists of bed bugs, rodents or termite swarms, it's not usually recommended that you try to remedy the problem on your own. Learn more about how pest control specialists are best qualified to determine termite species and the means to eliminate them.
There are many different kinds of termites with distinctive behaviors and characteristics. While most species hold destructive potential, the ranges and degree of trouble vary widely.
Subterranean Termite Swarms
Many termites only inhabit tropical and subtropical regions due to their preference for warm, moist conditions. However, subterranean species can be found everywhere in the United States. Their diet consists largely of plants and especially trees or wood. Since these termites live underground, it can be challenging to detect their presence until the infestation has reached a more severe state.
Swarmers, or alates, are winged termites that leave their birthplace to start new colonies. They generally embark on their searches for a new home in the spring or early summer, when the weather begins to turn warmer and more humid. Once a colony is established, it can grow to number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions strong, and most of these insects work around the clock devouring wood. If a colony remains undetected for many years, it can eventually destroy entire buildings.
Drywood termites prefer to make themselves at home inside support timbers and furniture rather than underground. They are most common in the southern and coastal regions of the United States. As with subterranean termites, the drywood species produces swarmers that spread infestations.
Look out for winged termites and their discarded wings around your house or business. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact trusted pest control experts to perform an inspection.
The dampwood species of termite is attracted to woods with high water content such as logs, dead trees, and wooden posts. Due to their persistent need for moisture, dampwood termites don't typically infest structures themselves. However, they can still cause damage. Not even telephone and electric wiring are safe from them.
Different termite species require distinct methods of removal. Contact professional pest control to determine the best way to take care of your pest problem.
Conehead termites are named for the pointed shape of their heads. While coneheads tend to prefer fences, trees, and open grassy areas, they may also invade buildings. This termite can also travel above ground, unlike other species relying on underground termite swarms to spread. Unfortunately, this enables coneheads to spread quickly and survive in a greater variety of environments. A distinguishing feature of coneheads that may help early detection is their tendency to build nests in trees or other structures above ground.
This termite species is a danger not only to manmade structures but to trees and shrubs, causing more destruction at a faster rate than other termites. If coneheads aren't properly eliminated, they may spread quickly due to their unique traveling capabilities. If you suspect a conehead invasion at your home or business, contact a licensed pest control agency immediately.
Another invasive species, this subterranean termite is bigger and more destructive than other species. The swarmers from Formosan and other subterranean termite species can be mistaken for flying ants. To distinguish between the two in case swarmers are trying to establish colonies in your home or business, look for straight antennae on swarmers. In comparison, flying ants have curled antennae. Additionally, flying ants have different-sized wings, while flying termites have only one size of wings. Swarmers are also drawn to light around porches or other outdoor lighting areas and often shed their wings in those locations.
Stopping swarmers before they establish new colonies is essential to preventing more termite swarms, infestation and damage. The best way to prevent termite swarms is to hire a licensed pest control company to identify pests and termite-proof your home or business.
Signs of a Termite Problem
Termites cause billions of dollars in damage every year in the United States. Besides consuming wood, termites also create tiny tunnels called mud tubes to keep themselves moist and travel between their nests and food sources. These passages can sometimes be visible running along foundations or trailing down walls. While termites mainly eat cellulose, they are also capable of chewing through substances such as plastic or insulation in their efforts to construct mud tubes.
Termite nests and mud tubes may not be visible until affected wood is accidentally bumped or damaged, exposing the damaged structure. It is critical, therefore, to remain vigilant for other signs of termite infestation.
Watch out for these common indications of termite problems:
Eliminating Termite Swarms for Good
The best way to prevent termites is to hire a trusted pest control agency to inspect and termite-proof your home or business. Ask family members or friends if they have any good recommendations for a pest control agency. Then, compare estimates and plans from among your chosen candidates. Always check that the company you select has a valid and active license.
There are also actions you can take to prevent infestations during the interval between pest control visits. Follow these tips to help prevent termites:
You may feel pressured to take care of a pest issue such as termite swarms yourself due to time or finances. However, misidentification of the pest may lead to incomplete removal and further damage. Licensed experts are the best solution to termites and other pest problems.
Bug Ninja Pest Control quickly takes care of termites, rodents, mosquitos and other pests. Contact us to transform your home or business into a pest-free location.
Mosquito bites are not only itchy and unpleasant; they can also expose you to dangerous diseases. There are things that you can do to make your home less attractive to the blood-sucking pests. If these measures do not work and you are still receiving too many bites, it's time to call for professional mosquito control in Baton Rouge.
Removing Standing Water Is Effective Mosquito Control
Mosquitos can only lay their eggs in water, and they prefer standing water to running water. They do not need a lot of water; a depth of 1 inch is sufficient. Therefore, you should drain all the collections of standing water in your yard, no matter how small. Little puddles can collect in the following places and provide nurseries for mosquito eggs and larvae:
If you find any puddles of water in areas such as these, drain them.
Trimming Plants Around Your Yard Robs Mosquitos of Places To Hide
Mosquitos are not nocturnal but crepuscular. This means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. They do not tolerate hot temperatures very well, so they hide in foliage during the day so they can stay cool while they rest. By keeping your lawn cut short and pulling weeds, you deny mosquitos places to hide on your property during the day.
Placing Fans Around Your Porch Provides Extremely Localized Mosquito Control in Baton Rouge
When you look at how tiny a mosquito's body is and how delicate its wings are, perhaps it is not surprising to learn that it has trouble flying in a strong breeze. Air circulation also disrupts streams of carbon dioxide exhaled by hosts that mosquitos use to locate their next meal. Running a few fans in an area where you spend a lot of time outside, such as a porch, can help protect you from mosquitos in that specific area. Obviously, if the fans are electric, the spot has to be close enough to the house to plug the fans in. This may only be effective for a limited area as fans do not move air over long distances.
Window Screens Keep Insects Out of Your House
Even if methods to keep mosquitos off your property are less successful than you hope, you should at least be able to escape from them by retreating indoors. Window screens are effective at allowing fresh air into your home while denying mosquitos and other bugs entrance, but only if they are intact.
Unfortunately, window screens are susceptible to damage from snags and punctures. Even a small hole in a screen could be large enough to allow mosquitos to get inside. You should inspect your screens frequently for damage and repair any holes that you find so that you can open the windows without giving mosquitos access to your home.
Mosquitos are hardy, and they can be relentless. If they remain on your property despite your best efforts, you need professional mosquito control in Baton Rouge. Call Bug Ninja Pest Control.
No one wants to have an ant problem at home or in the office. To ensure that your business and home in Baton Rouge remain free of bugs, you need to take both preventative and responsive measures for exterminating ants in and around the structure.
Preventing an Ant Infestation
Prevention starts with regular professional pest control. The technicians who service your house or workplace can suggest other good habits to keep insect problems at bay.
Control Puddles in Yard
Most insects are attracted to water, so a good way to keep ants away is to make your property less appealing to them. Keep a watch on the areas of your yard where water tends to pool and update your drainage system to direct the water where it is needed instead of causing puddles.
Seal Common Ingress Areas
For bugs to get into a building, there has to be an opening where they can enter. Pest experts can help with exterminating ants once they're inside, but it's better to keep them out to begin with. Replace worn-out caulk on windows and make sure doors seal shut when they're closed. Inspect the foundation for cracks where ants can come in.
Keep Things Clean
Ants are particularly attracted to food, which makes your kitchen or breakroom especially vulnerable. Clean every time you cook, and empty your trash on a regular basis. Make sure that any food particles that go through the garbage disposal wash completely down the drain.
Welcome Help From Nature
Making your property hospitable for plants and animals that discourage ants is a natural way to prevent infestations. Plant flowers or put out feeders to attract birds that prey upon ants. Certain herbs are particularly able at repelling ants:
Exterminating Ants in Your Home or Business
Despite your best efforts, ants may find their way inside. When this happens, the Bug Ninja Pest Control team can assess and address the problem.
Finding the Source of the Problem
The first step to exterminating ants is to find out where they are coming from. Technicians look for the entry point and trace it back to the nest. If they can eliminate the problem at the source, they not only get rid of the current issue but prevent further infestations. Spraying the nest itself kills the colony.
Servicing the Exterior Areas of Your Property
Thorough pest control involves spraying both outside and inside your home or office. Technicians treat the perimeter and pay particular attention to the areas where ants are likely to multiply. They target anthills and trails leading to and from them. That way, they are likely to get rid of the problem before the bugs have a chance to make it into your home or office.
Exterminating Ants in the Interior
Technicians can spray any area of your home that needs ant control. Some treatments may require special preparation on your part to ensure that they are effective, such as removing items from cabinets or drawers. It's important to check with the exterminator beforehand to see if there's anything you need to do.
When you need help exterminating ants, Bug Ninja Pest Control can help. Contact us today to get started.
Termites are fascinating insects, but they can cause significant damage to homes and businesses. That is why it is essential to take the proper steps if you find a termite tube. Keep reading to learn all about these mysterious mud tubes and what to do if you spot one around your home.
What Is a Termite Tube?
A termite tube is a thin structure made from mud and wood pulp. It serves as a protected highway for termites to travel from one area to another. They allow termites to:
Many tubes extend between the ground and the wood sill plate on a building. These are known as working tubes and are used to enter and exit the structure. There are also hanging tubes, which you may find extending from floor joists in basements or crawlspaces or ceilings inside a home with a heavy infestation.
Why Do Termites Build Them?
Subterranean termites live all (or almost all) of their lives underground. Their bodies require high moisture levels, which are found in the soil. For most termites, exposure to the air and sun will cause them to dry out. As a result, they travel through the soil, wood, or wood fiber materials. When they must go from one area to another, with no direct, protected route, termites build thin tubes out of mud and bits of wood or fibrous materials.
So, just like a subway allows people to travel from one place to another without dealing with traffic and road conditions, a termite tube lets the colony move from one area to another without exposing themselves to the outside environment.
How Do Termites Make Mud Tubes?
Subterranean termites make a sort of plaster from soil and wood mixed with their droppings and saliva. The termites will start applying this to a surface they want to travel over and gradually build up the structure until it forms a tube. It is lengthened as they go forward. An exploratory termite tube can be constructed in just a few days; however, a whole tube will usually take a few weeks to build.
Can You Just Take Mud Tubes Down?
Many homeowners mistakenly believe removing any visible mud tubes will eliminate the termite problem. However, it will just force them to make new tubes. Alternatively, if they have already settled into another portion of your home, they may not even notice the broken tunnel. You might think the problem is solved when, in reality, it is just growing in another part of the house. For these reasons, removing a termite tube yourself is generally not a good idea.
You might want to break a small portion of a tube to determine if it is active. If you decide to give this a try, follow these steps:
Knock out a small portion of the tube — no more than a couple of inches. If it is active, there may be termites moving inside. Leave it otherwise undisturbed and inspect it daily. If there are termites still using it occasionally, they will try to repair the tube. On the other hand, if it remains broken after several days or a week, it is probably no longer active.
An inactive tube does not mean you are termite-free. Remember that termites build tubes to avoid exposure to the outside air. If the access tubes are inactive, the termites can easily have moved on to another area of the house and are now happily tunneling through the wood there.
What Should I Do if I Find a Termite Tube in My Home?
Now that you know a bit about termite behavior and why they build tubes, let's look at what to do if you find one around your home.
This is a crucial first step. The sight of a termite tube can cause a moment of panic. Your mind might automatically conjure up images of termites crawling through the house's framing or tunnel-marked wood struggling to hold walls up. However, in most cases, especially if you are vigilant about monitoring your home for signs of pests, that is not realistic. So take a moment to collect your thoughts and remain calm as you address the situation.
Inspect the Termite Tube
Take a few minutes to inspect the termite tunnel. Be careful not to disturb it if you can help it. Consider these things to look out for: Is the mud moist and fresh-looking, or is it dry and crumbling? This can help you determine if it is an active tube or an abandoned one. Remember that an old tube doesn't necessarily mean you don't have an active problem; the termites could simply be in another area of the home now.
Are there any signs of termites going into or out of the tube? This is a surefire way to know if there is current activity.
Call in a Professional
Professional termite control experts have the training and equipment to handle termite infestations in homes and businesses, which is why calling one if you find a termite tube is your best course of action. First, our technicians will determine if the tube you found is active, and then they will dig deeper into the situation.
We can often determine where the termites are and then destroy the entire colony. Because termites can control a large portion of land, sometimes traveling up to 200 feet from the nest to find food, this can be a highly complex process. However, we use bait stations to effectively attract termites who then bring the poison back to the rest of their colony.
How Will You Handle Termite Tubes?
Now that you know the best thing to do if you find a termite tube around your home, the next steps should be easy. First, no matter how gross the tubes may seem, try to remain calm and inspect them for moisture content or visible activity. Then, contact our office to schedule a professional inspection. Our technicians at Bug Ninja Pest Control know the correct way to handle termite mud tubes to eliminate the infestation at its source.
Did you know the chances of bringing bed bugs into your home are higher if you travel? However, your plans shouldn't be put off just because bed bugs can quickly hide and spread. Don't wake up to swollen, itchy bites and the fear that blood-sucking insects are crawling around in your bed. Avoid bed bug infestations by checking for bed bug eggs at home and while you travel.
How To Identify Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are insects that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. They prefer to emerge past midnight when their prey is asleep, the better to go undetected. Unfortunately, neither daylight nor artificial light prevents bed bugs from emerging to sneak a snack if they're hungry.
Many people develop a swollen red mark on their skin from a bed bug bite, but others show no symptoms of being bitten. A bed bug infestation is challenging to confirm based on bite characteristics alone because skin conditions such as eczema or mosquito bites can mimic bed bug bites.
The best way to find out if you have a bed bug problem is to find and examine the culprit. The main physical characteristics of bed bugs include:
These parasitic insects must feed every two weeks to reproduce but can stay alive for a year or more without feeding as they wait to mate. This endurance is a large part of why bed bug problems can be difficult to eradicate on your own. Enlist the expertise of a licensed pest control company to verify the nature of the infestation and resolve it quickly and competently.
Identifying Bed Bug Eggs
One bed bug colony can double in approximately two weeks due to rapid growth and reproduction rates. It also takes just over a month for a bed bug to achieve reproductive capabilities, and female bed bugs can lay over one hundred eggs during their year-long lifetime.
The eggs of bed bugs are a milky white color and are difficult to detect with the naked eye due to their tiny size, no bigger than the eye of a needle. Eggs older than five days have an eyespot and are closer to hatching.
When you're traveling, always check the following items in your hotel room for bed bug eggs:
The presence of bed bug eggs indicates an active infestation and that they're feeding on you, your family or your pets. It's critical to catch bug eggs before they hatch and worsen an infestation.
How To Recognize Bed Bug Look-Alikes
Some insects resembling bed bugs are harmless, while others carry potential hazards. Among the most common pests mistaken for bed bugs are:
While bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, other common pests do. Watch out for the following bed bug look-alikes.
Pre-adult cockroaches called cockroach nymphs possess similar coloring and shape to bed bugs. Cockroaches eventually grow to become much larger than bed bugs, however. They can spread disease-causing microorganisms through food exposed to their feces and vomit.
Ticks consume the blood of humans and animals like bed bugs do. However, they feed for hours rather than minutes and are more likely to be discovered latched onto the skin of animals and humans. Bed bugs and ticks share similar coloring and shape, but ticks are usually smaller. Ticks can also transmit diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease to humans.
Fleas suck blood like bed bugs, though they usually prefer animal blood to human blood. When fleas aren't actively feeding, you can find them lounging in pet beds, bedding or toys. Fleas are different from bed bugs due to their smaller size and long back legs, enabling them to jump far distances. These parasitic insects can transmit dangerous diseases such as typhoid and plague.
A licensed pest control agency can handle an infestation best, whether you suspect you have bed bug eggs or some other pest. They have the knowledge and experience to correctly identify the bug species and form a treatment plan to evict your unwanted guests.
How To Spot a Bed Bug Problem
Bed bugs inhabit dimly lit, compact spaces close to animals, regardless of living conditions. Their small size enables them to hide and travel without being immediately detected. If left untreated, bed bugs spread when people move contaminated furniture, baggage or clothing, eventually settling throughout entire houses, hotels and apartment complexes. Here are some ways to look for bed bug infestations at home or while you travel.
Look for Adult Bed Bugs
In addition to eggs, bed bugs leave behind other signs that they've made themselves at home. Check for these signs when you change bedding at home or first thing after entering a hotel room:
The high blood content of bed bug waste gives it a rusty brown color. Bed bugs shed their waste and their skins as they feed and grow. The sweet, musty smell is the product of pheromones released by the bed bugs and usually indicates a worse infestation.
Some bed bugs have developed pesticide resistance, rendering some treatments less effective. Avoid uncertainty by consulting a licensed pest control company. They are best equipped to eliminate any level of bed bug infestation.
How To Eliminate Bed Bug Eggs and Adults
Don't hesitate to hire a licensed pest control company to handle an infestation. It may seem tempting to save money by taking care of a pest problem yourself. However, inexperienced attempts to get rid of pests often cost more time and hassle due to incomplete eradication and spreading of the pest. Contact Bug Ninja Pest Control to eliminate pests at any stage of life, including bed bug eggs.
Most homeowners experience a problem with pests at some point. Finding nuisance insects, rodents, or other bugs or critters in your home can be disturbing, and it is natural to want to get rid of them as soon as possible. However, while a pest problem needs to be addressed quickly, you shouldn't call the first company you find in the phone book.
It takes time for pests to cause extensive damage. Mice can reproduce quickly, but their gestation period is 21 days. You have a few days in which to do your due diligence and find a knowledgeable pest control company with a good reputation, such as Bug Ninjas. It is crucial to find a company you can trust. Otherwise, the treatment could be ineffective at best or harmful to you or the environment at worst.
What Do You Need To Do When Looking for a Pest Control Company?
Due diligence is vital when you are looking for a pest control company, but what exactly does that mean? Take the time to investigate several companies fully to make sure that the one you ultimately choose can perform an effective treatment while keeping you and your family safe from harmful exposure to toxic chemicals.
You should look into several companies before making your final decision, and here are some things you should keep in mind as part of the process.
1. Look for Pest Control Companies That Provide Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management is a common-sense approach to pest control based on scientific principles. It is the safest method, the method that is best for the environment, and also the method that is most effective against pests.
IPM involves identifying the pest as specifically as possible and tailoring an approach toward control based on identification. It calls for learning as much as possible about each pest and using that information to formulate a plan for control that will be most effective. Following IPM, professionals identify all the options available for control and start by using the least toxic methods available first in a systematic approach. Only if the initial method is not effective does an IPM technician move on to more toxic options. IPM limits exposure to chemicals by only applying the treatments where they are needed.
2. Understand the Different Pest Control Categories
Not all pest control companies are equipped to handle every type of pest. Some are more specialized while others work more generally. General household pest control can handle most of the nuisance species that you may encounter in your home, such as bed bugs, rodents, and mosquitoes. Some pests, such as termites, require more specialized methods and therefore a different category of pest control. Before you hire a pest control company, make sure that it provides the type of service you need. Bug Ninja provides termite control as well as more general services.
3. Find Out About the Legal Requirements
Every pest control professional has to comply with federal and state regulations on the industry, and sometimes with local requirements as well. Every state has its own laws governing pest control companies, so the requirements vary. However, it is a standard requirement that the company has to be licensed in the state in which it operates, as Bug Ninja is licensed in Louisiana.
You don't have to take a company's word that it is licensed. In the state of Louisiana, you can verify this information with the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry. A representative of the company should also be able to show you documentation as well.
4. Confirm Insurance Coverage
You should also find out about the insurance coverage the company has for its technicians. It should have general liability insurance to cover you in the event that the technician makes a mistake, and workers' compensation insurance to protect you from liability in the event that a technician is injured while working on your property. It is reasonable to ask for proof on paper that a pest control company has adequate insurance.
5. Find Out About the Company's Reputation
Chances are good that you know other homeowners, such as friends and family members, who have had to hire pest control professionals such as Bug Ninja in the past. You can ask them to recommend a company with which they had a good experience. You can also investigate whether there have been any complaints about a company by making inquiries to the state pesticide regulatory agency or third-party organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
6. Make Sure the Company Has a Working Phone Number
Unfortunately, there are some fraudulent pest control companies operating in the United States. Once you get ready to start calling companies to arrange interviews, you may find that some do not have phone numbers listed, or the phone number list does not work. If you find any of these, stay away from them as they are probably fraudulent. When you do get ahold of a pest control company by phone, ask for its physical address. If you cannot verify its location, that is a red flag, and you should not communicate with the company any further.
7. Interview up to Five Pest Control Companies
When you have narrowed down the list of candidates to around three to five companies, you should conduct interviews with them face to face. During the interview, there are important questions that you should ask:
During the interview, ask for references, which you should follow up on as soon as possible. You should be able to receive a free estimate of the cost to treat your home from each pest control company during the interview.
8. Inspect Company Vehicles
When you are interviewing pest control companies, you should take a look at their vehicles. In Louisiana, it is acceptable to use a removable sign on the vehicle, such as a magnetic sign. However, an unmarked vehicle is a red flag for a fraudulent company. Not only should the vehicles be clearly marked with the name of the company, but the pesticide containers should be labeled clearly with their contents. The containers should be secure, the equipment should be well organized, and the vehicle itself should be well-maintained and clean.
What Should You Expect a Pest Control Company To Do?
What you can expect from pest control pros varies depending on whether you choose one that performs Integrated Pest Management. Assuming that you hire an IPM company, such as Bug Ninja, you can expect these steps to deal with your problem.
1. Identify the Specific Pest
IPM is based on learning as much as possible about each specific type of pests, including its life cycle, needs, and habits. A pest control company that practices IPM should be able to not only identify the pest but explain the risks that it poses to you and your property and present options for resolving the issue.
2. Perform an Inspection
Effective pest control involves not only identifying the type of pests you have in your home but also where they are hiding and how many of them there are. To do this, a technician must perform a thorough inspection of your home that involves looking around, behind, under, and on top of areas that are likely to be infested. They are looking not only for current nests but also entry points. IPM involves preventing further inspections by identifying and sealing these entry points.
3. Explain Safety Measures
The chemicals used in pest control can be dangerous. The company should be able to explain the safety measures it has in place to prevent unnecessary exposure and reduce risks to the environment. You should ask questions about how the pesticides are applied and whether you have to clean up the residue, which is rare with an IPM approach.
By law, the company should be able to provide you with material safety data sheets and product labels for the pesticides used upon your request. If you do request them, you should review them.
4. Provide a Written Quote
A pest control company should quote you a price for services in writing. The written quote should be itemized with prices for all the services performed as part of the treatment.
5. Explain the Terms of the Contract
You will be asked to sign a contract before the treatment can take place. You have a responsibility to read the entire contract before signing it and to make sure you understand it. If there are any terms that are unclear, you should ask about them, and the company should be able to explain them to you in a way that you can comprehend.
6. Comply With the Law
You can expect a pest control company to comply with applicable laws even if it means not doing exactly what you want. For example, a technician cannot just "spray everything" merely because that's what you ask of them. That would be a violation of the constraints imposed on pest control companies by law.
7. Show You the Damage or Signs of Infestation
A pest control company should be able to show you the signs of infestation and the damage that has been done to your property. If you do not understand what you are seeing, you should be able to receive an explanation upon request.
8. Have Qualified Personnel Perform the Inspection and Application
The people who perform the inspection of your property and the application of the treatment should be qualified to do their jobs. Just bear in mind that the same person doesn't always do both. The one doing the inspection may be a salesperson with the company, while a technician may perform the actual application.
9. Communicate Effectively
A pest control company should be able to explain to you things like contract terms, pricing, and instructions that you have to follow prior to the treatment. For example, you may be asked to leave the premises during the application or not to allow pets in the area. You may have to move furniture out of the way so that the technician has access or dispose of food to prevent contamination. The company should be able to communicate these requirements to you clearly well before the treatment takes place.
However, effective communication also involves listening to your concerns and taking them into consideration. Remember that taking your concerns into consideration is not the same as doing whatever you want without regard for applicable laws.
Pay attention to your feelings when you are communicating with representatives of the company. If you feel that you are being rushed or pressured, or that you are not being listened to or shown the proper respect, this is a red flag that the company may not be trustworthy. In that case, you should cut off contact with the company immediately.
10. Make Suggestions To Prevent Future Infestations
In addition to identifying and sealing entry points, a pest control company should be able to suggest home maintenance steps you can take to prevent future infestations. For example, clutter inside and out provides cover where nuisance species can hide. Allowing standing water on your property or irrigation that moistens the walls can create conditions conducive to pest breeding and infestation. Allowing the branches of trees and shrubs to touch walls and windows provides a bridge of sorts for pests to access the building.
The professionals may also suggest ongoing inspections and treatments to prevent future infestations. This is part of Integrated Pest Management.
Bug Ninja is a pest control company providing services in Baton Rouge that takes an Integrated Pest Management approach. Contact us today for more information.
Exterminating Fleas 101
Whether you own pets or not, there’s always a chance of an indoor pest problem in your home at any time of year. You might think that fleas are only an issue during the warmest months of the year, but especially in the South these parasites are a year-round problem. If you suspect you have a flea problem at home, you shouldn’t wait around and hope the situation resolves itself — you need to take quick action. Here’s a brief guide to exterminating fleas so you can get rid of these troublesome pests for good.
Detect the Presence of Fleas
Are you wondering if you have a flea problem at home? The first thing you should do is jump into detective mode. There are some obvious signs to look for, especially if you have pets. If your dog or cat is scratching like crazy and you hear them whining or groaning, they likely have fleas.
You may even see fleas on your short fiber carpets or hardwood floors. If you spot a single insect, there are likely many more, so you need to spring into action to prevent a full-blown infestation from occurring in your home. Don’t hesitate to call an exterminator immediately.
Check Your Pets Before Exterminating Fleas
If you have fleas on your pets, that means the bugs are inside your home, whether it’s the pests themselves or their eggs or larva. Grab a flea comb, a cup of soapy water and dry paper towels to physically check your pets for fleas. It’s best to use slow, gentle strokes to see if any bugs are getting caught in the comb’s teeth.
As you encounter fleas on your pets, drown them in the soapy water and keep combing. You should also invest in a veterinarian-approved flea and tick shampoo. It’s best to keep shampooing pets every week until you’ve eliminated every trace of the parasites from both your pets and your entire house.
Clean Your House
If you’ve found fleas on your pet or on yourself, they are probably inside your home, too. A deep cleaning can help. Take time to dust wood furniture and thoroughly wipe down all other surfaces. Wash all bedding, throws, curtains and other fabrics.
One of the best things you can do to remove fleas and flea eggs from your home is to run the vacuum over your floors, whether hardwood or carpet. Vacuum your floors several times and make sure to use the wand extension to get into cracks and corners where insects could be hiding. Be thorough and vacuum all sliding door tracks and windowsills.
Call an Expert at Exterminating FleasIf you detect fleas, whether in your home, on pets or even on your own body, you need to call an exterminator right away. The presence of one flea signals the presence of many more, so extermination is the only option for preventing a full-blown infestation.
When it comes to exterminating fleas, Bug Ninja is the name to call. If you want to get rid of pests in a hurry and make sure they don’t come back, contact us today.
7 Signs of Drywood Termites
Drywood termites are found around the world throughout the tropics. They consume dry wood and are often found in residential roof materials and within the wooden wall supports of homes and other buildings. These termites can also infest any dead wood that you have lying around near your home.
Though termites are small, they can cause as much as $5 billion in property damage every year (in just the United States!) That’s a lot of damage. Unfortunately, since they’re so small, termites are often overlooked until they create a full-blown infestation and do a lot of hidden structural damage to your home or commercial building. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to spot signs of drywood termites in and around your property.
Look for These Signs of Drywood TermitesWhen you know how to recognize signs of a termite infestation, you can quickly take action to get rid of the problem before significant damage is caused by the little pests. If your area is prone to termite infestations, it’s important to inspect your home or commercial building regularly. Look for these seven common signs of drywood termites.
1. Flying Termites
One obvious sign of a termite infestation is the visible presence of flying termites. Winged termites can be both males and females, and they’re responsible for leaving their nests to establish new colonies. So if you see any flying termites on your property, watch out! They’re most likely looking for a new home, and you don’t want it to be yours!
2. Small Bugs That Look Like White Ants
Some people see drywood termites but think they are small, white ants. If you see white or cream-colored “ants” near your home or commercial building, you may have a termite infestation. Termites sometimes look transparent. They also have straight antennae instead of the curved antennae of ants. Termites are also much thicker through the waist area than ants. Finally, there are no species of white ants, so any white ant-like bug you see is likely a termite.
3. Termite Droppings
Drywood termites leave droppings (called frass) behind. This is one of the most common indications of a termite infestation. As the termites consume wood, they create fecal matter. To dispose of this fecal matter, they push it out of the tunnels they make in wood. The feces pile up outside the termite nests and can be easily spotted if you know what you’re looking at.
The droppings left by drywood termites are very fine. Many people mistake them for sawdust. But if you haven’t been sawing anything in your home or office building, there is no reason for there to be sawdust inside. If you see it unexpectedly, look around for telltale signs of termite burrows. These could be tiny holes in your wood paneling or any other wood structures. Often, there is a dark powdery substance left directly around the outside of termite holes.
4. Hollow Wood
Termites like to consume the inside portions of wood while leaving the outside portions somewhat intact. So if you’re trying to find out if you have drywood termites on your property, look for branches, logs and other pieces of wood that are hollow on the inside. Hollowed-out wood is very lightweight and may feel or look papery. Termites also use the same eating pattern to consume the inside portion of chair legs, bedposts and other types of wood furniture.
Some common horror stories involving termites include accidentally pressing a finger right through a termite-consumed door frame or lightly bumping a skirting board with a vacuum cleaner and breaking right through the board due to termite damage.
5. Fallen Termite Wings
Even if you don’t actually see termites flying around your house or building, you may notice fallen termite wings. Discarded wings are a sign of a serious infestation. Soon after finding a mate, swarmer termites lose their wings. So if you see fallen termite wings, it means there are termites on your property that are getting ready to start a new colony (if they haven’t started one already). This is the time to schedule pest control services without delay.
6. Clicking Noises in Your Walls
One of the most annoying signs of drywood termites is clicking sounds in your walls at night. These noises occur when the termites bang their heads against the wood to warn the colony of danger. Clicking noises can also be caused by termites simply shaking their bodies. And of course, the chewing sounds termites make as they consume the wood in your home or building can be quite loud when it’s multiplied by hundreds or thousands of little bodies.
If you hear unusual clicking sounds coming from your walls, press your ear against the wall and listen closely. You’ll soon be able to tell if the sounds are really coming from inside your walls or from somewhere else.
7. Doors That Are Hard To Open
As drywood termites eat through the wood of your doors, warping is a common result. Warped doors tend to become stiff when they’re closing or opening. Termites also create a lot of moisture within wood as they consume it. It’s easy to confuse this damage with damp weather, but take a closer look to rule out a termite infestation. You may also discover that your wood window frames are harder to open or close when you’re dealing with a termite infestation.
Schedule Your Pest Service for Drywood TermitesIf you have any of the above signs of drywood termites, it’s essential to do something about it as quickly as possible. Termites can multiply at an alarming rate. They are also voracious eaters and can quickly consume massive amounts of wood within your home or office building. Many homeowners discover (too late) how serious a “small” termite problem can quickly become.
To protect the structure of your home or building while also protecting your bank account, look for signs of termite problems regularly. If you are ever suspicious of termites, contact Bug Ninja at your earliest convenience. We’ll get you scheduled for our leading pest control services as soon as possible so you no longer have to worry about the damage drywood termites are causing to your property.
Pests are a huge problem in homes and other types of buildings throughout the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, residents of 14.8 million housing units reported rodent sightings within the last 12 months. A typical home often has many different species of insects living in it, but homeowners may not always be aware of their presence. If you have ever dealt with insects or other pests, you may be able to make your home a less hospitable place for them to dwell. Insulation and pest control are more closely related than many homeowners realize. Here’s what you need to know about the two.
How Pests Get Into Your Home
Like criminals, pests often look for easy opportunities to get into your home. Homes with structural issues are more likely to become infested than those that are well-sealed and structurally sound. But even still, it’s possible for bugs and pests to get into your house when you let the dog out to go to the bathroom, when the kids run outside and forget to shut the door behind them, or when you unknowingly carry a spider inside on the back of your jacket.
Pests can also get into your home through exhaust fans and dryer vents, small cracks or holes in your siding, or through the tiniest access points in your exterior foundation. If you have a natural Christmas tree every year, you’re probably bringing a lot of little bugs into your house that are hidden away in the tree. Some homeowners are surprised to learn of the link between insulation and pest control. The right kind of insulation in the right amounts can deter pests from entering your home.
There are so many ways pests can get into your house that you should expect to see some occasionally. Depending on the type of pest you’re dealing with, you may be able to quickly kill it and be done with it. But chances are, if you see one pest, there are probably others hiding more successfully in your home.
Signs of a Pest Infestation
Seeing an occasional spider isn’t typically something to be alarmed about. But if you develop a pest infestation of any kind, it’s very important to schedule pest control services to come take care of the problem. An infestation isn’t likely to resolve on its own, and depending on the types of pests infesting your home, they could cause extensive damage. Insulation and pest control may help minimize the damage pests do in your home.
To figure out if you’re dealing with a pest infestation, look for these common signs:
Additional indications of a pest infestation include tapping, scurrying or other strange noises (especially at night or when things are quiet). If these signs are very apparent, you’re likely dealing with a pest infestation that should be addressed before it becomes even worse. You may also want to look into insulation and pest control.
Most Common Home PestsThe most common types of home pests in Louisiana and other parts of the United States include:
Not all of these pests are capable of producing the same level of damage (for example, millipedes are unlikely to cause structural damage to your house but mice are capable of chewing through walls, wires and other important parts of your home). However, they are all an annoyance and don’t belong inside your home. Some can also cause a variety of health issues to you, your kids and your pets.
The Link Between Insulation and Pest Control
It may seem strange, but insulation can help combat pests in your home. Adding insulation won’t get rid of a current infestation (you’ll need to call a professional pest management service for that), but it can help you deter future pests from choosing your home as a living destination.
Spray foam insulation is a unique type of insulation that helps create air-tight reinforcements to the most vulnerable areas of your house (including around door and window sills). Some insulation is also commonly called pest control insulation because it is so effective at keeping pests out. Insulation and pest control are two great tactics you can use to keep your residence and the surrounding property free from unwanted pests such as rodents and insects.
Spray foam insulation can also improve the energy efficiency of your home by slowing down airflow. It is dense enough to keep air from flowing into and out of your house, which means your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to keep your home at your specified temperature. If saving money while simultaneously making it harder for pests to get inside sounds appealing to you, it may be time to learn more about pest control insulation.
Some types of pest control insulation also degrade more slowly than typical fiberglass insulation, which means it will last longer and you can go longer before you need to enhance or replace it. Ultimately, this means lower costs for you as a homeowner. Some types of pest control insulation even contain borates, which are present in nature and are poisonous to insects. Borates are safe for humans and can provide additional pest control to give you peace of mind in your own home.
Use Insulation and Pest Control to Combat Your Pest Problem
When combined, insulation and pest control can help you finally get rid of unwanted pests that are infesting your home and property. They can also help you take care of minor pest problems before they become bigger issues.
If you have any signs of pests, Bug Ninja Pest Control can help you get rid of them. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control services or to schedule your pest control appointment.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.