It's hard to believe that the tiny bed bug, only about the size of an apple seed, can damage the U.S. hotel industry worth $176 billion a year, but such is the case. All it takes is for a guest to mention bed bugs in a travel website review. A recent survey discovered that 56 percent of respondents would be very unlikely to choose that hotel, a serious problem in a business that relies heavily upon online reviews and word of mouth.
By including New Orleans pest control in a program of integrated pest management, hotels can reduce the odds that bed bugs will become a serious problem. The four steps to effective integrated pest management are prevention, identification, implementation, and monitoring.
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They enter hotels attached to guests' clothing and suitcases. These insects can also arrive uninvited with employees and contract workers, or as stowaways on delivery boxes. This means vigilance is key to preventing a bed bug outbreak. Hotels can take the following precautions:
A survey from the University of Kentucky found that only 30 percent of respondents could correctly identify a bed bug silhouette. This has two implications. One is that hotel guests might see a different bug and mistake it for a bed bug, thus raising a false alarm that nevertheless affects hotel business. The other is that hotel employees might not recognize that a room has a bed bug problem.
For proper identification, it's a good idea to hire professional New Orleans pest control. Not only will experts check for signs of current infestation, but they can also train hotel staff in various bed bug warning signs to watch for, such as excrement stains and pheromone odors. Housekeeping should perform a thorough room inspection with each cleaning.
The regular implementation of bed bug control methods is a crucial component of integrated pest management. There is a great deal of debate about how long bed bugs can live without feeding, with estimates ranging from 20 to 400 days depending upon room temperature and other factors. The potential length of this lifespan indicates the need for consistent control methods once a bed bug infestation has been confirmed.
While bed bugs can be tough to beat, there are some successful elimination methods that can be applied:
Once hotels have eradicated bed bugs, careful monitoring is a must to ensure they don’t return. Continuing inspections by hotel staff as well as regular visits from pest control experts should be a part of every hotelier's maintenance routine. Include these areas in a bed bug check-up plan:
By finding signs of infestation before it spreads to adjacent rooms, hotels can control an outbreak and the negative publicity associated with it.
The Impact of an Infestation
Bed bugs have a bad reputation that can tarnish a brand very quickly. The previously mentioned survey from the University of Kentucky asked respondents about their response if they found bed bugs in their room. 73 percent reported they would leave the hotel, while 38 percent said they would avoid lodging with that brand in the future. Clearly these are numbers that can't be ignored.
Of even greater concern was the survey finding that 47 percent of respondents would publish their experience on social media. In this way reports of bed bugs spread like wildfire and do a great deal of damage. Hotel management needs to develop an appropriate response to customers' bed bug complaints and queries.
Listening to customers' concerns and adequately addressing them goes a long way towards mitigating negative bed bug publicity. The survey revealed that 80 percent of hotel guests would like management to disclose previous bed bug occurrences. This indicates that clientele want to be informed that measures have been taken to prevent a repeat incident.
The Assistance of Professional Services
Hotels can rely upon New Orleans pest control to help them maintain an environment free of bed bugs. Depending upon the nature of the problem, the professionals may recommend one of several methods to eliminate these pests:
When it comes to the hospitality industry, bed bugs are bad for business. With New Orleans pest control, hotels can prevent outbreaks that lead to negative publicity, a tarnished brand, and reduced business.
Help! Are These German Cockroaches?
Your home is something you are proud of. You enjoy inviting friends and family over for backyard barbeques, holiday parties and other gatherings. How embarrassing would it be to have uninvited guests, such as German cockroaches, scuttle across the counter while you are serving delicious plates of meats and cheese? As a business owner, the appearance of these creepy crawlies in your store can be even more unwelcome as they are sure to scare away customers. Depending on how many pests you see, turning to a pest control professional may be your only course of action.
There are plenty of pests that can make their way into your home or commercial space. If you notice a bug and its friends in your home or business, you may want to identify what you are dealing with, figure out how it got in, determine if it is an infestation, understand why you do not want it in your space and get it off your property.
Identifying the Bug
How can you figure out exactly what you are dealing with? German cockroaches have a few important identifying features:
While you may notice wings on the pests, you do not have to see them fly to know what you are dealing with. In fact, most of these critters prefer to scuttle around on warm, humid surfaces in your home or business, such as floors and counters. You may never see them fly, and that is OK. Now that you know they do not usually use their wings, you may be able to sleep better at night.
German cockroaches are actually one of the smaller species of cockroaches, but that does not make them any friendlier. If you are still not sure what sort of critter you have in your house, you can turn to a pest expert.
Figuring out How It Got In
The first question you may ask yourself after spotting a cockroach is, how did it get inside? Unfortunately, pests can get into your home through a variety of ways. German cockroaches in particular can ride in with your groceries or hide in the folds of a cardboard box. Some people may even have eggs on their clothing or shoes without realizing it, which means your guests and customers could be introducing the bugs to your space.
Cockroaches can also find their own way into your building. They do not need a big gap to make it into your place. The bugs can squeeze under doors or in the gaps around pipes. As you search your home for the bug's entry point, you may come to realize how vulnerable your building is to pest infestation. There are likely hundreds of ways the insect could have gotten in.
Determining If It Is an Infestation
Is seeing one bug a problem? It definitely is not pleasant, but typically it takes little effort to get rid of a single cockroach. So how can you tell if you have a real problem with German cockroaches?
Figuring out if you are dealing with a single bug or an infestation can take time. You can either wait until you start spotting more roaches around your space, or you can call in a professional team to have them inspect your home for further signs of infestation.
Understanding the Consequences
You have German cockroaches in your home. Sure, they are not pleasant to look at, but is it really a big deal to share space with these bugs? The short answer is yes.
While you may only notice one or two right now, these pests can multiply quickly. A female roach that has mated once can produce 40 eggs four to six times. Because of this fast reproduction rate, the bugs can go from not a problem to an infestation surprisingly quickly. The more there are, the more challenging it is to get them completely out of your home.
These cockroaches are bad for your home and business because they can ruin your possessions. Not only do they love almost any type of food, they will also eat glue. This means the little bugs can start to eat away book bindings, soap bars and many other household items.
If you still need more proof that German cockroaches are bad news, consider the health effects they can have on you and anyone else who spends a lot of time in your home or business:
German cockroaches not only have a major ick factor, but they can cause some serious health problems for anyone who spends too much time sharing a space with them.
Getting Them Out
Once German cockroaches are in your home or business, it can be hard to get them out. Remember how quickly they reproduce? If you do not act fast, you may end up dealing with these pests and their offspring indefinitely.
There is no upside to having these bugs in your place. You need to turn to a Baton Rouge pest control company well-versed in getting rid of these creepy crawlies. With their assistance with a regimented treatment, barrier exclusions and vigorous cleaning, you can rid your home of the unsanitary, unsightly roaches.
Almost everyone has lived through this situation. After several days of rain, the sun finally fights its way through the clouds and creates a lovely, warm day. With weather this nice, you can’t help but go outside. The day feels just about perfect, but soon your arm starts to itch. Then it’s your leg. Before long, your entire body feels like one giant mosquito bite. You rush inside in search of some relief from the swarm that ruined an otherwise wonderful day, and it’s at that point you realize that you need mosquito control.
Nobody enjoys the nuisance of mosquito bites, and with over 60 different species in Louisiana alone, there are plenty of opportunities to be bitten. Besides being uncomfortable and itchy, mosquito bites can transfer nasty diseases like West Nile or Zika virus. While you could just hide under a mosquito net for the rest of your life, there are many other pest control options that can help limit the number the mosquitoes in and around your home.
1. Eliminate Standing Water
Even small collections of standing water on your property can provide a suitable environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Standing water can accumulate in unexpected places. Poor drainage can result in puddles of water in your lawn. Unattended gutters, drain pipes and rain barrels can be problematic. Even something as simple as a watering can left outside can become a mosquito breeding ground. A simple solution for mosquito control is to eliminate these standing bodies of water through proper cleaning and maintenance.
2. Keep Your Grass Trimmed
Mosquitoes enjoy thick vegetation and long, uncut grass. When grass is long, it takes more time for the dew to evaporate, which can attract more mosquitoes. A key to pest control is making sure you don’t fall behind on your landscaping duties. You may need to cut your lawn more than once a week, especially during the summer when grass can grow especially fast. While it may be tempting to cut your lawn extremely short, this could kill the grass by shocking it. While you are outside mowing, you can limit your exposure to mosquitoes by wearing light, long-sleeve clothing and working on a windy day.
3. Install Fountains in Ponds and Birdbaths
Besides being an attractive addition to your property, fountains keep water moving and disrupt the mosquito breeding process. This is especially important if you have a small pond on your property, as mosquitoes may otherwise lay their eggs there. If you don’t want to install a fountain, installing a water agitator can still help with mosquito control. Fountains can also be an attractive and effective solution if you have a bird bath on your property and you don’t have time to consistently change the water.
4. Be Mindful of Your Pet’s Water Dish
People love their pets, and nobody is asking you to deprive them of water. However, one thing you can do to help with mosquito control is to change your pet’s water dish frequently. This is especially important if you use a large water bowl. Instead of just topping off your pet’s water dish, empty the bowl down a drain and then refill it. This ensures that any mosquito eggs that were laid in the water are destroyed. Keeping an eye on the water dish is particularly important if your pet spends a lot of time outside.
5. Have Someone Watch Your House
No, you shouldn’t hire someone to run around your property all day long trying to kill mosquitoes. As amusing as that may be, pest control doesn’t have to be that intensive. If you plan on being gone for a few days, having someone maintain your landscaping and being alert to problems of standing water can go a long way. Without someone watching your property, you might come back to a mosquito country club.
6. Keep Things Breezy
Rather than have someone wave a giant tropical leaf at you, an easier option is to run a few electric fans to help with mosquito control. These tiny bugs are susceptible to wind and air changes, so running an overhead ceiling fan or a portable fan can keep the pests off you. Larger fans can even be used outside if nature isn’t generating enough natural air movement.
7. Patch Mesh Screens or Keep Windows Closed
On nice days, it’s great to have the windows open. However, if there are holes in your windows or door screens, that’s an open invitation for mosquitoes to come inside. Replacing broken screens or just keeping your windows closed can cut down on the number of mosquitoes inviting themselves into your home for lunch.
8. Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Another way to tackle mosquito control is to work on your green thumb. In addition to looking and smelling nice, some plants can repel mosquitoes. If you were already planning on adding some greenery to your property, the following plants may help keep mosquitoes away:
· Citronella grass
· Scented geraniums
9. Create a Dry-Ice Trap
Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that people and animals exhale in the process of respiration. While you could simply hold your breath, this is not an effective long-term strategy. Instead, set a container of dry ice away from your house. Once you’ve attracted enough of the bugs with your trap, seal the lid.
10. Hire a Professional
If you seem to be fighting a losing battle with mosquito control, it might just be time to hire a professional. A pest control professional can assess your individual property and help remove an infestation before things really get out of hand. Knowing when you need some outside help can save you time and frustration.
Besides just being an uncomfortable pest, mosquitoes can be a health hazard. Rather than ignoring mosquito control, take charge of your home and get rid of these bugs. Pest control doesn’t have to be difficult, and understanding how to decrease the number of mosquitoes in and around your home can improve the quality of your life and make going outside an enjoyable experience again.
Whether you own a home, rental home or apartment complex in the area, pest control should be one investment that you don’t skimp on. Because of Louisiana’s humidity, high temperatures and dense population, pests love the Bayou State, and it’s not uncommon for residents to deal with cockroaches, love bugs, mites and mosquitos on an almost daily basis. Another pest that residents have to be on the lookout for is the wolf spider.
Identifying Wolf Spiders
Spider control in Louisiana begins with understanding the wolf spider and specifically, what it looks like. The wolf spider is a fairly large arachnid that has the potential to grow up to two inches in diameter. It is covered in orangish-brown fur and has stripes or spots that give it a camouflaged look. Its eight eyes are arranged in three rows, with the two medium-sized eyes on top, the two largest centered right in the middle and the four smallest eyes lined in a neat little row on the bottom. Like all spiders, the wolf spider has eight legs, but its two front legs stick out in front, giving this species more of a crap-like appearance than spider-like. Like its namesake, the wolf spider chases and leaps after its prey, a thought that could give even the most spider-tolerant individuals a chill.
Because of its large, hairy and overall unique appearance, the wolf spider strikes a lot of fear into peoples’ hearts, but the truth is that the species is not all that dangerous. While its bite does hurt, unlike the bite of the brown recluse or the black widow, it’s not potentially deadly. It can, however, be hazardous to those who are allergic.
Baton Rouge pest control experts know how to identify grown wolf spiders from other species that may look similar. Better yet, they can identify the young, which look significantly different than adult spiders, and employ proper spider control measures to eliminate existing wolf spider infestations and prevent future ones.
Understanding Wolf Spider Habits
In addition to being able to identify the wolf spider, professionals have made a study of wolf spider behavior and habits. Wolf spiders, unlike many other species of spider, can be found all across the U.S. This is because the wolf spider doesn’t need specific conditions to thrive; it simply needs insects to feed on. Because most insects are found in wide open spaces or bustling communities, this species of spider is typically found in wide open areas, in large cities and on farmlands. They can also be in wood piles, leaf piles and other ground clutter.
Like most insects, the wolf spider is most active during the warmer times of year. This makes places like Louisiana an ideal breeding ground for them, as Louisiana is almost always warm. Because the wolf spider can remain active year-round in the Bayou State, it’s important for property owners to invest in year-round pest control. Without routine spider control, your home is at increased risk of an infestation.
Different from many species of spider, the wolf spider does not spin webs to capture its prey. Rather, it hunts, like the wolf it is named for. Like many mammalian predators, the wolf spider goes out at night and hunts down prey, usually smaller bugs and insects. When it spots its meal, it chases it. When on the hunt, the wolf spider can perform impressive feats, including climbing and swimming. Because it is a hunter, the wolf spider relies on its vision rather than its other senses, as most other arachnids do.
Controlling the Wolf Spider
Because it is not a stationary spider and is quicker and agile than most other bug species, the wolf spider is surprisingly difficult to control. Moreover, these arachnids are generally loners, making it difficult for pest control experts to identify infestations. For this reason, it’s important to work with a pest control expert who has experience in controlling the wolf spider.
Many house pests can be killed by setting out poison that can be passed from one bug to the next. However, because the wolf spider does not eat bait or socialize with other bugs, it can be difficult to get that poison into its system. Instead, wolf spiders are eradicated via direct contact. This can be either physical or chemical, but if you suspect that you have a wolf spider infestation, chemical is likely the best way to go.
Before spider control measures can be implemented, your pest control team will need to block off any entrances to your home. It is counterproductive to kill off one spider only to leave an opening for others to enter. The pest control team you hire may seal off any gaps, crevices, cracks or other openings in your home’s structure through which a wolf spider can crawl. They may recommend that you seal your windows as well. You may be asked to get rid of debris piles in or around your home, as wolf spiders tend to seek shelter in chaos.
Once structural modifications are made and debris piles cleaned up, your pest control team may proceed to bomb your house with either chemicals or a fogger. This serves to eliminate existing spiders and unhatched eggs. It is important to note that a fogger will not prevent new spiders from entering the home, which is why the aforementioned modifications are necessary.
If your goal is to eliminate wolf spiders from your property entirely, talk to your Baton Rouge pest control team about spraying beneath your windows, around the foundation of your home and outside of entrances. If necessary, a member of the team may need to spray directly into cracks and crevices. Such measures are best handled by professionals who know where and how to apply them, as pesticides used incorrectly can be bad for your health and the health of other residents.
Investing in Spider Control in Baton Rouge
Though the wolf spider is not necessarily dangerous to the average person, dealing with a bug infestation is never fun — especially when that bug can grow to be two inches in diameter. If you don’t want to want to deal with the fearsome wolf spider on your property, work with a Baton Rouge pest control team year-round. The right team can easily identify this arachnid and take measures to keep your home spider-free year-round.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.