You want a healthy and happy life for your pets, but sometimes nature itself poses a risk to your furry friends. Even a brief encounter with common insects could have potentially deadly consequences for animals. Prevention is your best defense against disaster, and a Baton Rouge pest control company can help eliminate these threats before they cause a problem. However, if an incident should occur, knowing what to look for and when to intervene and seek medical attention could mean the difference between life and death for your animals.
Bugs That Bite
It’s not easy for bugs to get a bite through an animal’s thick fur. If they do, the consequences can range from slight discomfort to something much more serious.
Most spider bites cause minor reactions with a small area of painful inflammation, but some arachnid varieties have highly toxic venom that can be extremely dangerous for your pets. A bite from a black widow can cause aggressive symptoms, including muscle pain, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. A brown recluse bite causes cell damage that spreads from the initial puncture wound, so early intervention is critical to prevent significant tissue death that may require surgical removal or amputation. Brown recluse spiders tend not to attack unless agitated, so cats that explore small, dark spaces where these arachnids hide are more at risk.
In typical cases, flea bites cause nothing more than local itching and irritation, but a more severe reaction called allergic dermatitis can occur. Your pet may resort to excessive scratching to ease the itch, causing sores, bleeding, and bald patches. Preventative treatments are widely available, but topical reactions to flea bites can be alleviated with antibiotics prescribed by your vet.
Bed bug bites can make you and your pets itchy and uncomfortable, but they tend to be more of an annoyance than a threat. Some other biting or stinging insects, such as ants or bees, are also most likely to cause minor symptoms. However, in some cases, a more serious allergic reaction like anaphylaxis can occur, which will require medical attention. If you find bed bugs in your home, a Baton Rouge pest control service can help clear them out to protect you and your animals.
Bugs That Transmit Disease
With some insects, their bite doesn’t cause much damage on its own. However, even tiny bugs with weak bites can transmit potentially deadly pathogens.
Mosquitoes are a common nuisance for humans, but they can be a bother to your pets as well. Furred animals have protection on most of their bodies, but some areas, such as their noses or ears, are more susceptible to bites. Common mosquito-related symptoms include the expected itching and irritation, which can be treated topically. A greater risk that mosquitoes pose is the spreading of disease. Illnesses that affect humans, such as West Nile virus, may also impact your pets, as well as some diseases that are more common in animals. Heartworm is a common risk for dogs and cats while Eastern equine encephalitis, a much rarer condition, can have deadly consequences for horses. If you live near still or stagnant water, your pets are especially at risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Animals that spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly at night, are also more likely to be bitten.
Ticks are a common problem for pets that spend a lot of time in wooded areas, especially if they’re unsupervised. An expert in Baton Rouge pest control is familiar with local species of ticks and has the tools to keep them under control. A well-known tick-borne illness in humans, Lyme disease, can also be contracted by your animals. If you find a tick on your pet, you should carefully remove it as soon as possible, as a prolonged bite can cause tick paralysis. Symptoms of this condition include vomiting and difficulty breathing, and if left untreated, it can even result in death.
A lesser-known pest with lethal potential is the kissing bug. This insect tends to bite humans and animals near the mouth, transmitting parasites that cause an illness known as Chagas disease. This condition can progress in your pets for months or even years without being detected, often leading to heart failure. Chagas disease affects more dogs than cats, and there is currently no known cure for animals, so prevention is vital. Sealing points of entry to your home and clearing out areas where the bugs can hide may reduce the possibility of infection.
Bugs That Are Dangerous To Eat
Curious pets aren’t just prone to bites or stings. If your dog or cat likes to eat everything in sight, including insects, you should be aware that some of them could cause a toxic reaction.
Butterflies and Caterpillars
There are some insects that you would never expect are harmful, but a Baton Rouge pest control professional has the expertise to minimize even unlikely threats. The monarch butterfly itself isn’t poisonous, but its caterpillar form, as well as the milkweed plants it tends to hide in, can be dangerous to eat. Some other caterpillars, such as the woolly bear, are also harmful if ingested.
Crickets, beetles and cockroaches are known carriers of parasites, and ingesting one of these creatures could cause stomach worms. Using an insecticide to eliminate June bugs can make them toxic to eat, and the foul-smelling fluid produced by stink bugs can cause irritation in the mouth, as well as nausea. Insects with a carapace are hard to digest, so if your pet consumes a lot of them, it could develop a mass called a bezoar that will need to be surgically removed from his intestines.
The chemical that causes a firefly’s glow can also be harmful to animals if eaten. Larger pets will most likely just experience an upset stomach or vomiting, but smaller pets such as cats and even lizards or birds may be fatally poisoned.
Keep Your Pets Safe
There’s no reason to put your pets’ health at risk. While some household treatments may be effective in relieving your pet’s symptoms, some of them may cause further harm, so you should seek the help of a veterinarian for medical intervention. The assistance of a Baton Rouge pest control company can get rid of dangerous pests before they have a chance to harm your furry family members.
Saving Your Property From Termite Damage
Your home or business is an investment that should stand the test of time. It should appreciate throughout the years and provide a solid foundation for future generations. When termites and other invasive and destructive creatures gain access to it, they can quickly undermine everything you have worked so hard for and compromise your safety. At Bug Ninja Pest Control, we understand how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be to lose your home to termites. We encourage you to take a proactive stance by learning about the signs of infestation, termite treatment and prevention protocols.
Termites are often a silent threat that many homeowners and business owners are not aware of until there is a large infestation. It is not uncommon for people to confuse them with swarming or flying ants, and they are active all year round. Our Baton Rouge termite control service wants to make it easier for property owners to protect their investments. Here is a brief overview of termite identification, prevention and treatments.
Seasonal Pest Inspections Are Highly Encouraged
Ideally, you should inspect your business’s and home’s foundation and baseboards for signs of termite infestation at the start of every season. This may seem counterproductive because most building foundations are made of concrete; however, cement does not deter termites, as they can create mud tubes on cement. They do not eat concrete, but they do ingest wood. They use the mud tubes to gain access to the more internal wooden structures of a property.
Other common areas where signs of termite infestation tend to occur are the crawlspace, attic and basement. Do not rely solely on visual signs to determine if there are termites onsite. In any areas where you suspect there are mud tubes, lightly press on them with your thumb; if the area seems soft or gives way, it is likely there is some termite activity.
Lightly tap some of the potentially compromised areas in your home, and listen for hollow sounds. Look for discarded termite wings, as termites shed their wings after they have finished swarming. You may also notice droppings, bubbled paint and warped wood. It is common to see some of these signs on the outside of your home as well.
Types of Termites That Infest Louisiana Properties
Louisiana is home to two types of termites: drywood and subterranean. Drywood termites target dry wood and do not need soil or moisture to thrive. They do not leave behind mud tubes, but they do leave behind droppings. They often hide in old furniture, dead trees and other wooden structures where there is minimal moisture. Subterranean termites are the biggest termite threat in the country. They can be found in both soil and wood and are often discovered in the home and outside in the yard. These termites build mud tubes and require moisture. Subterranean termites love cellulose products and have been known to eat books, paper and plants.
It can be hard for homeowners to identify the type of termite that is eating away at their home. It is important to have a professional inspection to determine the correct termite species and get the right treatment. The most effective removal method for large drywood termite infestations is fumigation. For smaller infestations, spot treatments are ideal.
You Suspect Termites—Now What?
Once you suspect that there is a termite problem in your home, you should call a pest control company. Though you might feel like screaming and stressing about what happens next, you don’t have to. Most termite infestations are treatable, and the presence of termites does not mean you will lose your property. There are remediation options that can help restore your home or business to its former glory; however, before you can explore those solutions, the property must be treated and termites eliminated.
It is important for you to be selective about your options. A company that is highly rated, bonded and established and that specializes in termite infestations is ideal. You may run across other companies that focus on a wide variety of pests; however, if they do not have experience dealing with termites directly, you could end up with a bigger problem.
There is no one-size solution for termite eradication, and often it takes a combination of treatment and preventative measures to resolve the issue. At Bug Ninja Pest Control, we utilize treatment control barriers and more. There are many types of barrier methods, such as chemical, particle and sand, and we’ve found treatment barriers to be highly effective at getting rid of termites and keeping them out.
How Do Treatment Barriers Work?
Before any treatment begins, our pest control technicians perform an in-depth inspection. We pinpoint termite entry points and locations and potential nesting areas in and outside of the property. We devise a plan of action based on your building’s structure, past infestation history and current termite and pest management needs. Upon your approval, we may install physical barriers such as (chemically treated) sand or steel mesh to discourage termite activity in certain areas of your home. Using a combination of treatment techniques, we can devise the right solution to safeguard your property.
Other types of treatment options include the following:
Regardless of the treatment option you choose, we treat the interior and exterior of your home and business. For extreme drywood termite infestations, tenting fumigation may be necessary to prevent further damage to your home or structure. If tenting is recommended, you will need to remain off the premises for a few days while the treatment takes effect, but once the process is complete, your home is safe for you to return to.
We do not stop there. Keep in mind, more time, monitoring and treatment are needed for larger infestations. We continue to monitor the property for termite activity and provide treatment until the problem is gone. We also provide professional termite inspections year-round.
Our methods are very effective. However, some homeowner and business activities may interfere with the results; we will inform you of what they are. We also encourage you to ask questions and let us know your concerns at any time before, during and after the treatment process.
DIY Termite Prevention Tactics
Termites are more likely to infest properties where conditions are ideal for their survival. By making your home less friendly for them, you can keep them from invading your space.
Regular inspections are necessary to ensure potential termite infestations are caught and treated during the initial stages. The longer termites remain in your home, the greater the damage and repair expenses. Get in the habit of checking your property and getting a professional termite inspection to be safe.
Is Professional Pest Control Really Necessary?
You may feel that you can handle a termite infestation on your own using DIY solutions. However, those measures often involve a lot of trial and error. When it comes to termite infestations, the whole colony must be stopped. DIY termite solutions can enable you to target small-time infestations, but if you do not eradicate the whole problem, the damage that is being done to your home or business will continue. You do not want to wake up to learn that your pest management attempts did not work and your property is in danger of being condemned. Professional pest management is a long-term, cost-effective solution. You must be willing to invest in the right measures for termite treatment and prevention.
Why You Should Choose Bug Ninja Pest Control?
We make it easy for you to save your property from termites. Untreated infestations can undermine the safety and habitability of your place, and termite damage can provide access for other pests, such as ants, mice, squirrels and more. Your home is not a zoo, nor do you intend for it to become one. You expect for your home to provide a safe, nurturing and secure environment for you and your loved ones. We can help you achieve that and more.
Your home is like our home. That means you can expect for us to treat it and you with respect. We go above and beyond to show our customers why they always come out on top with us. No matter the nature of your pest control issue, we are here to provide the support and integrated pest management solutions necessary to restore your peace of mind. We offer one-time treatments, service contracts and pest management bundling to make protecting your property more convenient and affordable.
Contact Us To Save Your Property
By doing your part to prevent pests from inviting themselves over and combining that with our highly effective pest management treatments, your property can become a fortress against insect and rodent invaders. We’ve helped countless families and businesses in Louisiana protect their properties against some of nature’s most destructive creatures and insects.
Do not take chances with pests of any nature. From termites to bed bugs, rodents and mosquitos, we are the experts you can trust. Termite survival in your property is contingent on its destruction. From the very first moment you begin to suspect there are termites or any other type of pest inside of your home or on your property, get professional help. Regardless of whether you need advice, have questions or are looking for estimates, Bug Ninja Pest Control is here to save the day and your property. Contact us at 225-414-2020 to arrange an in-home/business pest inspection and learn treatment options.
9 Surprising Facts About Common Spiders
Spiders can be a pest that many people would rather not see at all. From spindly, long-legged arachnids to furry jumping spiders, they can be startling and just plain gross-looking. Luckily, Baton Rouge pest control services can help keep them from overtaking your home. Learning a few interesting facts about these eight-legged arachnids can help make them seem a little less frightening. Next time you encounter an intrusive spider in your home, you can feel well informed about these nine spider facts.
1. Spiders can be beneficial to the environment
Spiders can be an important part of many ecosystems. They work to both control the insect population and act as a food source for other animals such as fish and birds. That being said, spiders in your home probably won’t do much more than irritate you and can, in some rare cases, pose a risk to your safety. Keeping spiders outdoors where they belong can be accomplished with the help of Baton Rouge pest control.
2. Spiders can be found nearly everywhere
The world is full of thousands of species of spiders, with arachnids known to be living on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Whether you are outside or inside, you’re usually never more than a couple of feet away from a spider and it can be estimated that around one million spiders can live on an acre of land. While these might be startling facts for anyone who isn’t a fan of these creepy crawlers, it can help to put it in perspective just how common arachnids are. Generally, spiders stay hidden away out of sight from nearby humans, but if you’re starting to see them regularly in your home, then it might be time to look into Baton Rouge pest control.
3. Spider species common to Louisiana are diverse
From average, run-of-the-mill house spiders to frightening black widows, Louisiana can be home to a number of diverse spider species. While certain species, such as cobweb spiders and jumping spiders are commonly found indoors, others, such as spotted orb weavers and yellow garden spiders, are generally only found outside.
4. Spiders bites are not always deadly
While almost every species of spider has some form of venom that it uses to kill prey, many do not have the ability to cause any real harm to humans. Spider bites can be a rare occurrence that is usually not life-threatening. Despite the fact that most are harmless, there are a few dangerous species that should be avoided.
Dangerous species can include:
● Black Widows
● Brown Widows
● Brown Recluses
Baton Rouge pest control can help you to lower the risk of dangerous spiders in your home, but if you suspect that you have been bitten by one of these species, it can be best to get medical help as soon as possible. While dangerous to everyone, the venom can be especially threatening to elderly individuals and children.
5. Spider webs are incredibly strong
While anyone who has dusted webs out of the corners of their home may not believe it, the silk spiders produce can actually be one of the world’s strongest natural materials. It can be hard to notice because of the small size of spider silk strands, but webs can be substantially stronger than steel.
Spider silk actually starts out in liquid form and hardens when air contacts it. Because the webs can easily fill up with dust and other debris, spiders often have to rebuild, leaving behind the abandoned silk that is commonly known as cobwebs. Pest control can be a good investment if you find that your home is being taken over by these messy webs. While many spiders leave behind cobwebs, some may roll old webs into balls and eat the leftover silk.
6. Spider muscles work differently from most other creatures
It can be a commonly observed fact that a dead spider’s legs automatically curl inwards. This can be because spider’s leg muscles are powered hydraulically. Strangely enough, the muscles only have the ability to curl in. To move their legs out, spider’s bodies pump the limbs with liquid. When spiders move, they will generally have four legs on the ground and four legs off the ground for each step.
7. Spider blood is blue
Spiders bodies do not absorb oxygen the same way that most larger creatures do. In most animals, the part of the blood that absorbs oxygen contains iron, which turns the blood red. In spiders, the oxygen binds to a molecule that contains copper instead, reacting to give their blood it’s unique blue color.
8. Spiders can be a lot scarier than they should be
If you are terrified of spiders, or even just a little creeped out by them, then you are not alone! The fear of spiders, known as arachnophobia, can be incredibly common, especially in North America and Europe. Despite the widespread fear inspired by spiders, they are generally harmless and don’t need to be something you worry about all too much. Baton Rouge pest control can help give you a little extra reassurance that you won’t have too many frightening encounters with arachnids in your home.
9. Spiders don’t have to be something you live with
As interesting as they can be, spiders don’t have to be something you deal with on a daily basis. Spider control can be entirely possible in most homes. If you live in either Baton Rouge or New Orleans, Bug Ninja Pest Control can help you to take measures to get rid of spiders. You can save yourself from having to worry about dangerous spider bites, nasty spider sightings, and obnoxious cobwebs by keeping arachnids out.
Spiders can have several interesting traits that can make them unique. Their bodies function differently from other creatures, and their webs can be one of the strongest materials on the planet. While spiders can be frightening as well as incredibly common, it can be important to keep in mind that they are usually not a big threat to your safety. Learning a bit more about them should help to lessen any arachnophobia you may be suffering, and Bug Ninja Pest Control can help you take care of the practical task of getting them out of your house.
Know Your Enemy for Ant Control in Louisiana
Nobody wants ants in their home—or even in their yards—in large numbers. Depending on the species, these pests can cause structural damage to your home. They can also spread disease organisms by contaminating food, not to mention give you painful bites. Bug Ninja Pest Control provides Baton Rouge pest control to keep ants and other pests away from your home and family.
When the weather begins to warm, look not to Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow, but to the ants. They are one of the first animals or insects to start moving around each year. You know it’s spring when you start seeing them, and if you’re concerned about having them in your home, it’s time for an ant treatment.
Ant species eat several different types of food. While some go for nectar and sugary substances, others will eat seeds and fungus. Seed-eaters may store seeds inside their nests, while those that eat fungus may even grow it there. Many of them eat small animals and other insects as well as dead meat; this helps maintain a healthy habitat for all. For water, ants may drink from raindrops, dew on plants and puddles. Some foods, like nectar, give them the moisture they need.
As social insects, ants live together in large groups, known as colonies. Some colonies can grow to include several million members. Many species use soil and plant material to create underground nests, which are interconnected by tunnels. Some also make their nests in mounds of soil above ground, and some make their home in trees.
All Ants Have a Job
The sex of the ant distinguishes the work it does. Like bees, ants have a queen who is in charge, and her job is to lay eggs. She lays thousands of them each year to replace workers, who typically die after a few months. Queens can live for several years, however. If the colony is very large, there may be additional queens. Males are typically smaller than females and are known as drones. His only purpose is to mate with the queen, and he dies soon after.
That leaves the majority of females responsible for building nests and tunnels and fighting off enemies. The workers will attack predators; protecting the nest is everything to them, and they will die for it. Ants have mouths and can bite; some can also sting. Many also have toxins they can spray on enemies. Predators that eat them include birds, spiders, bears, toads, beetles and other ants.
Female workers are also responsible for finding food and feeding the queen and her babies. They typically carry food and water back to the colony by swallowing and holding it in a separate stomach. When back inside, they regurgitate it for the others to eat.
When baby ants hatch from their eggs, they appear similar to larva; they do not have legs, but they do have a small head. It is at this stage that the workers begin caring for and feeding them. In summer, new queens and males, who all have wings, fly from the nest to mate and begin new colonies. When starting a new nest, queens remove their wings; other females don’t have wings.
How They Communicate
Some ant species are as small as 1/16 of an inch, while larger ones can grow to an inch. Many are black or red, but some are brown or yellow. Ants have six legs and big heads that sport compound eyes, but they have poor sight and communicate with each other by touching heads and antennae or by rubbing legs against their bodies. They can also communicate with chemicals that their bodies produce. These chemicals alert others to the location of food and, if the nest is under attack, ants can produce chemicals that act as an alarm to others so they will return and help defend the colony.
They are related to wasps and bees and have three separate body parts: the head, thorax and abdomen, with a slim connection between thorax and abdomen. They are sometimes confused with termites, but a termite is identifiable by the connection between its thorax and abdomen, which is much wider than an ant’s.
There are 12,000 species of ants throughout the world and more than 700 species in the United States. The good news is that only about 25 species invade homes. Some of them include the following:
Smaller workers typically work inside the colony. The larger ones forage for food, and it is these you see in your home; you may need ant control to get rid of them.
Treating Ant Bites
Most ants are harmless to humans, except for fire ants and carpenter ants. Although their mouths are tiny compared to any part of a human, imported red fire ants can bite and sting, and you will know it when they do. They can be very aggressive in protecting their nests and, if they sense a threat, will swarm the intruder. They bite, clamping their jaws to give themselves a stable base, then sting over and over, each one several times.
Stings result in red, swollen bumps that blister on top. They hurt, can itch and remain on the skin up to a week. Although not typically dangerous, some people may be allergic and can have dangerous, even fatal, reactions that occur soon after a sting. Watch for signs such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, nausea and dizziness. If you have any of these reactions, get medical attention right away.
Treat milder reactions by washing the area bitten with a gentle soap and water, then apply a bandage to help keep it clean and prevent infection. If the bite is painful, try applying ice or a baking-soda paste first. If needed, over-the-counter creams and antihistamines can help reduce itching and pain.
DIY Ant Prevention
One ant does not an infestation make, but when you learn their nature, you understand that where there is one, there may be more on the way. There are several things you can do to prevent ants from moving in, and they all focus on making your home less inviting. Their size means they can enter a house through the tiniest of cracks. To help limit access, you need to do a thorough job of sealing, by caulk or another method, every little hole, crack and crevice you can find. This includes caulking around doors, windows and other points of entry such as where cables run through the walls of your house.
When workers find a good source of food, they lay down a trail of pheromones, or chemicals, to lead others to the food. Humans can’t see the chemicals, but you can see the line of ants following them. Because they are always looking for food, be especially careful to maintain a clean kitchen and keep food sealed tight, especially if you store opened items in the pantry, like cereal and crackers. If you eat in other rooms of the house, clean up afterward and vacuum regularly to remove any stray bits.
If you have pets, you may leave a full bowl of food out all day and night, which is tempting to ants. Consider feeding your pets only once or twice a day and picking up the bowl in between feedings to make it less attractive to pests. If you have outdoor pets, this is a must. Another option is to mix three parts vinegar with one part water and spray it around your pets’ eating area; if you have messy pets, you’ll need to clean up any bits of food when they’re done eating as well.
Another solution is to set bait stations at possible entry points. However, you will need to maintain these stations. Bait may not be a good option if you have pets or small children, who may ingest it.
Outdoor Measures to Take
There are also some outdoor measures for Baton Rouge pest control:
The idea behind these measures is to prevent trapping moisture underground, which attracts pests to breed there.
Time To Contact Professionals
You may be able to kill a good number of ants with sprays and baits. But it’s a temporary fix unless you can locate the colony and destroy it. That includes killing the queen and all her eggs, which she lays several times a year. If they return, they may bring additional pests into your home that are looking to eat them, which only compounds your problem.
Your best option for ant control is to contact a professional company that can track and kill ants and their eggs, even in hard-to-reach areas. Let the experts at Bug Ninja Pest Control develop a plan for year-round ant treatment to rid your home of pests and prevent new infestations.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.