There are an estimated 90,000 mosquito misting and automated insect control systems currently installed in the United States. The number of systems alone is a testament to how well mosquito misting systems take care of mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and other flying insects. If you enjoy spending time in your own yard - swimming in the pool, grilling on the patio, or having a party with friends on the deck - you should be able to do so without swatting. Below we'll explain why there isn't a better option to enjoy your outdoor space bite free than a mosquito misting system.
A mosquito system is will treat your mosquito population on a timer. You will forget how often you got bit since it will seem like there aren't any mosquitoes in your yard.
Treats When Mosquitoes are Active
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Fogging treatments and other control measures are applied when the technician has the time to come. Midday treatments are more likely to affect non-target species like butterflies and honey bees.
Between 30 to 60 Seconds
The recommended misting time is between 30 and 60 seconds. That's it! The precision engineered misting nozzles project a fine mist that takes care of flying insects.
Properly installed mosquito systems mist the perimeter of your property and the plants where mosquitoes reside. This is better than a backpack fogging mosquito treatment.
High Quality Parts
Bug Ninja Mosquito Systems only use high quality parts that ensure a long use life. They operate as intended for years and resist corrosion and sun damage. You can choose between an innovative tankless system or a traditional misting model requiring a drum.
Do mosquito systems work? Yes they do. We beleive they are the best option for you to control mosquitoes at your home. If you are interested in a mosquito system request a quote or give us a call today.
How Pests Can Bug Your Property Management Business
Though most pests are small, they can have a huge impact on your property management business. Unfortunately, that impact may be mostly negative. Bedbugs, mites, mice, rats, cockroaches…these are all words that can make current and potential residents run for the hills. If you want to keep your business lucrative and your clients happy, you need to invest in property management pest control. If you aren't entirely convinced that you need such services, consider the consequences of not investing in apartment pest control.
1. Pests Cause Extensive Property Damage
Termites, rat and mice are the biggest culprits of property damage, but they’re not the only ones. Pests can live inside walls, chewing up foundation, drywall, insulation and electrical wiring and compromising the overall integrity of your building. If you want to keep your building up to code and in safe condition for residents, you need to get rid of the wall dwellers. Baton Rouge pest control experts can help identify the critters causing the problems, locate nests and hiding places and exterminate the pests before they cause additional damage. By investing in the right services, you may save yourself thousands of dollars in property damage repair costs in a given year.
2. Pest Bring Down Property Value
Some property managers don’t bother with pest control efforts because their client plans on selling in the near future. This is a huge mistake. If inspectors discover pests living on or within the property, they may either reduce the value of the property or require the property owner to remediate the issue before listing. The longer remediation is put off, the worse, and therefore costlier, the damage can become. Help maintain the value of the property you are tasked to manage and invest in property management pest control services.
3. Pests Are Unhealthy
Many pests, including rats, mice and bedbugs, can severely compromise the health of your tenants and their pets. Rats carry dangerous diseases that can be spread via food or even rat bites. Bedbugs can cause unsightly sores and infections, and cockroaches and flies can contaminate food and surfaces with diseases transported from other locales. Failing to implement pest control is not only careless, but it can be a liability issue if a tenant becomes sick or injured because of your negligence. Negate any liability issues and invest in apartment pest control on behalf of your client.
4. The Presence of Pests Can Harm Your Reputation
You may think that you are saving money by negating property management pest control services, but the truth is that you are doing more financial harm than good. Once word gets out that pests are on your property and that you have not taken any measures to eradicate the issue, tenants typically begin to move out and units can remain empty. Nobody wants to live in a complex or home that has pest problems and is maintained by an uncaring landlord. Preserve your reputation with tenants and your community by investing in Baton Rouge pest control services as soon as an issue is brought to your attention.
5. Pest Complaints Put You in Reactive Mode
When it comes to maintaining any business, proactive is better than reactive. Once you are reduced to only reacting to problems, you become unable to move your business forward. This is not good for you or your client. Avoid falling into catch-up mode and pre-emptively invest in property management pest control services. The services you hire can work to keep your property pest free while you focus on more important business matters such as finding residents and keeping units full.
6. Pest Problems Are Almost Never Minor
Have you ever heard the saying that for every rat you see, there are 10 more behind the walls? Such a saying is true with most pests. Creatures like rats, termites, cockroaches and bedbugs often only make their presence known when there is nowhere left to hide. If a tenant saw a rat, you can count on there being dozens more living in the very infrastructure of your building. The best way to stop a pest infestation is to ensure that it never gets to the “infestation” phase. Apartment pest control services can look out for potential issues such as nests, eggs and hatchlings and eliminate them before they become full-blown infestations.
7. A Pest Infestation Is Costlier Than Pest Control
Too many property owners consider pest control an expense when in actuality, they should view it as an investment. Most property management pest control companies offer their services on a quarterly basis. They do this to keep seasonal pests at bay and to prevent infestations by eliminating problem areas. The total cost of annual preventative pest control services should be relatively low, even for full apartment complexes.
Reactive pest control services and maintenance, however, is much more expensive. Not only will you have to enlist the help of exterminators and extermination equipment, but also, once pests are present, you may need to hire a building inspector to inspect for major structural damage, and contractors to repair said damage. Most exterminators require several visits to kill an entire pest population, which could increase your total remediation costs.
In addition to having to pay for the damage itself, you may find yourself saddled with regulatory fines for failing to maintain a habitable structure. If any of your tenants or employees contracted an illness or disease because of the problem, you may be forced to deal with a liability lawsuit, which could end up in more fees and costs.
While property management pest control may not be at the top of your list of priorities, especially if you don’t yet have a pest problem, it should be. Invading bugs and critters are not only annoying to deal with, but they can be detrimental to both your profit and tenants’ health. Don’t risk tenants’ health, your buildings’ structures or your bottom line, and invest in apartment pest control services today. A Baton Rouge pest control company can help prevent infestations, eradicate existing ones before they become too costly and preserve the overall integrity of your building.
3 Ways To Control Birds on Your Commercial Property
Many birds are pleasant additions to a property. They can eat problematic worms and insects and even melodically chirp in the morning hours. However, certain species of birds can negatively impact your commercial property. They might gather in large numbers, devastate your food supplies, defecate excessively and damage your buildings. Baton Rouge bird control experts have several methods to control a fowl overpopulation. Educating yourself on how to get rid of birds is important in case your property is ever victimized by these cute yet dangerous animals. These are three common remedies used by the professionals.
1. Environmental Management
Birds are primarily attracted by food. Especially in urban areas, food tends to accumulate near restaurants and grocery stores. In addition to people discarding food in public areas and feeding birds for fun, birds can often find a variety of sources on which to feast. Pest control experts understand how to get rid of birds through intelligent environmental management. This might include:
Without ways to acquire food, many birds simply fly away to find new places to roost. Environmental management can be an effective way to disperse a large bird population without killing any of the animals.
Sometimes, property owners are looking for ways to prevent birds from entering a building. Professionals use a range of equipment to block entry points where birds can gather to roost and multiply:
To determine how to get rid of birds, experts first closely examine your building. Birds may enter through a damaged roof or other area that can be repaired to rectify the problem. If no maintenance is required, professionals might install Avishock electric fencing. This product delivers a small shock to birds upon contact, but not enough to harm the animal. Another option is spring wire that prevents birds from settling on ledges, beams and sills by rebounding them in the opposite direction. Finally, stainless steel spines can be placed on flat surfaces where birds want to settle and gently push them off-balance, forcing them to find another resting place.
3. Population Control
If birds are reproducing seasonally on your property, experts can keep the flock size down by targeting eggs and nests. Removing these prevents adults from raising their young. It typically requires several visits by experts who know how to get rid of birds in a sneaky way. They may use fake eggs to trick the animals into thinking they're already raising young, or arrange baited cages or mist netting to capture and release them in a faraway location. Professionals check the cages regularly to make sure there's enough food and water to treat the animals humanely.
Problematic Bird Species
Commercial pest control often involves targeting specific bird species that are known to cause trouble. It can be helpful for property owners to acquaint themselves with these types so they can spot them in their area and take steps to ensure that their building is adequately bird-proof. Learn about these five winged menaces that might wreak havoc on your business or rental complex.
Common in parks and urban areas, pigeons might seem harmless at first. But they tend to congregate in large numbers on ledges and roofs, behavior most likely inherited from their ancestor the rock dove. Their excrement can corrode limestone or sandstone surfaces. In fact, it may cause a fungus to grow that makes surfaces porous to water, thus encouraging cracks in cold weather. Pest removal experts had to learn how to get rid of birds in large cities such as London when many historic buildings became damaged and face many of the same challenges in the United States today.
Starlings love to come alive at night. Unbeknownst to you, they flock to stain buildings with droppings and build nests in drain pipes, ceilings and holes. Those who own a farm should take special care to protect their food stock against these fowl, since they're particularly attracted to grains, insects, berries and seeds. If you notice starlings doing damage, contact professionals who know how to get rid of birds immediately.
3. House Sparrows
House sparrows might look cute and fluffy, but they can be a problem in large numbers. Commonly found in factories and warehouses, they love to munch on stored food as well as build large nests of grass and ruin surfaces with droppings. They are even persistent enough to peck at packages to create holes. A house sparrow infestation is complex, and many property owners have no idea how to get rid of birds in an efficient way. If you live in an area prone to this species of bird, always have a number for pest control nearby.
Gulls typically inhabit coastal towns. They love to flock on roofs and annoy people with constant cries. Their excrement can degrade roofing materials and their nests may block drains. Fortunately, licensed experts can utilize their knowledge on how to get rid of birds and ensure you don't have to invest in costly repairs because of their meddling.
5. House Myna or Indian Myna
This bird has been called one of the 100 most invasive species globally. It is a native of Southeast Asia but has spread to Australia, United States and South Africa. House mynas are natural scavengers that love to gather in noisy flocks and consume a large variety of food in urban and rural areas. Recruiting experts who know how to get rid of birds is crucial in minimizing the potential damage of these animals.
Dealing with a bird infestation can be frustrating, especially because birds tend to be more likable than many pests most of the time. Learning about environmental management, exclusion and population control hopefully educates you on the fact that no animals have to be harmed for you to keep your property safe. Baton Rouge bird control experts who know how to get rid of birds have ample experience keeping commercial buildings free from damage.
You do a lot to keep your home in order. It takes time, effort and attention to detail, and the last thing you want is a pest problem to upend all your hard work. Finding a rodent—or worse yet, multiple rodents—in your living space is enough to turn a good day bad, and worst of all, it’s rarely an issue that can be resolved overnight. Single rodent sightings usually mean more are waiting in the wings, and an infestation of rats or mice demands swift action. Keep these New Orleans rodent control tips in mind should you find yourself in this unsavory situation.
While some may choose to keep them as pets, it goes without saying that most would prefer to not see rodents running free throughout their homes. There are plenty of good reasons to feel an aversion, as even a single rat or mouse can cause serious property damage. They’re also potential carriers of dangerous diseases, including several that are known to occur commonly in the United States:
These diseases don’t occur simply from direct person-to-animal contact, either. Mice and rats each can transmit different types of bacteria directly through bites, but more commonly, transmission takes place via exposure to rodents’ urine, saliva or their droppings. Such circumstances may come about in a number of different ways, such as:
Bear in mind that these troublesome critters can also become a source of serious property destruction. Mice and other small animals are often equipped with mighty incisors that’re perfect for chewing through building materials, which is especially problematic should they come across electrical wiring. Compromised wires can spark fires with little or no warning, heightening the need for a quick resolution to an infestation.
Whether you have yet to spot animal invaders or you’ve recently rid your home of them, a good prevention strategy is essential to maintaining order. Keeping pests out is always preferable to removal after the fact, so consider these recommendations for better peace of mind:
Even the best-laid plans often come to naught, which means it can become necessary to remove rats or mice that’ve already gained access to your home. There are several options available to you, depending on how personally involved you want to get:
Choosing the Right Solution
Ultimately, the best choice for your home will come down to a variety of factors. You’ll need to consider not just your own personal ability to deal with the infestation, but risks to other family members in the home as well. Households with young children or small pets should be careful with traps or poisons, which might present dangers to people or animals other than the intended targets.
If you live in a rural area where consistent prevention of mice and rats is more difficult to achieve, a steady removal method may be necessary. When all else fails, consider a professional New Orleans rodent control provider for confidence, relief and, most importantly, a rodent-free household.
Topping every other city in the survey, 41 percent of New Orleans households reported seeing cockroaches within the house, according to a Bloomberg compilation of 2015 American Housing Survey data. Roaches and other common pests are frequently found in warm, humid climates. If pesky cockroaches are present, there are most likely additional types of pests residing in dark crevasses throughout the home. New Orleans pest control takes ongoing commitment and dedication to keep buildings free from these unwanted inhabitants.
Pest-proofing a structure is often one of the best ways to keep bugs out of the home. It can be easier to keep them outside compared to getting them to move back outdoors once they have taken up residence in your home. Below are seven helpful tips for pest-proofing any structure. The equipment referred to is typically available at local hardware or home improvement stores.
1. Repair Door and Window Screens
Repairing door and window screen tears or gaps is one of the first steps to take when making New Orleans pest control efforts. These holes can allow entry of mosquitoes, flies, gnats or other insects into the home. Even after eliminating any openings, some insects may be small enough to fit through standard mesh window screens. Denying entrance to these tiny bugs may mean that windows must be kept closed during certain times of the year.
2. Apply Caulk to Cracks
Cracks can form around doors, fascia boards, windows, or other surfaces on the outside of the home. A high-quality acrylic latex or silicone caulk can plug those holes to keep insects out. Latex-based caulks clean up easily with water. Caulked surfaces can be painted to match the surrounding area. For those with less experience, caulks that are clear after drying can be easier to use because mistakes will not show as well.
Before sealing a crack, clear it of any peeling substances. For a clean look, apply the caulk bead to the surface and smooth it with a damp rag or moistened finger. A good caulking gun can make all the difference when tackling New Orleans pest control projects. Look for these handy features:
3. Install Door Sweeps
Door sweeps or thresholds installed at the base of all exterior, sliding glass and garage doors can block accessible entrances for many pests. Lie on the floor and check for light visible under each door. Pay particular attention to the corners, where there is more likely to be a gap. Openings as small as 1/16 inch or less can permit insects and spiders to access the structure’s interior. In addition to insects, mice can enter through a hole the size of a pencil’s diameter, and it only takes a one-half inch gap to give access to a rat.
New Orleans pest control often starts with blocking these common openings. Caulk applied along the outside bottom edges and sides of exterior doors can obstruct ants and other small insects. Foam weather-stripping applied to the bottom track of a sliding glass door can seal this popular entrance point. Garage doors can be fitted with a rubber bottom seal to eliminate space between the door and the driveway floor.
4. Seal Utility Openings
Pipes and wires often enter a home’s foundation and sidings through utility openings. When left unsealed, these can become beacons for bugs to enter the building. Examine openings for outdoor faucets, clothes dryer vents, gas meters, receptacles and wiring that come into the building. Plug holes with cement, caulk, expandable urethane foam, copper mesh, steel wool, or any other suitable sealant. As the seasons change, check these entry points at least a couple of times per year to ensure that the closures remain intact.
5. Place Wire Mesh Over Vents
A thorough New Orleans pest control strategy often includes installing wire mesh or hardware cloth throughout the attic, crawl spaces, roof and vents. Because of the material’s razor-sharp texture, use gloves when cutting and installing the coverings. In addition to bugs, the mesh can also successfully keep birds, squirrels, bats, and rodents from living in rarely used attic areas.
6. Apply Barrier Treatments
An exterior insecticide perimeter barrier can be established to keep pests even further away from the structure. Long-lasting liquid formulations are available to spread around strategic areas of the home or other structures. Many lawn and garden shops stock different types of insecticides, some of which may be specially formulated to combat New Orleans pest control issues.
Apply the insecticide around exterior doors, crawl space entrances, garage door openings, vents and utility openings throughout the foundation and underneath the home’s siding. Use a hose-end or compressed-air sprayer to dispense the insecticide. Homeowners may also want to treat a perimeter band around the building, ranging from two to six feet in width.
7. Evaluate Lighting
While outdoor lighting is often used for safety reasons, it can also attract more pests towards the building, particularly when entrances are illuminated. Certain spectrums of outdoor lights, such as those with wavelengths less than 550 nanometers, can increase pest attraction. When lighting an area with pest-attracting lights, take other New Orleans pest control measures to secure the area.
Controlling the entrance of unwanted pests into your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It has been a sanitation and health issue for centuries, considering that as far back as the 1400s, fleas carried on the back of rats transmitted the bubonic plague. More recently, bugs and other types of vermin have been found to trigger asthma and allergies, in addition to creating an unclean environment that contains saliva, feces, body parts and partially eaten food. Stronger strains of pests are proliferating as well, including biting bed bugs, invasive ant species and brown marmorated stink bugs.
Taking steps once can help you win the battle today, but ongoing work is needed to win the war against unwanted insect houseguests. New Orleans pest control experts can provide a plan to remove pests from inside the home and keep them outdoors where they belong.
Facilities management requires many responsibilities, one of which is maintaining a safe working environment. A common threat commercial properties face is infestations. This is not only bothersome but also unhealthy. Top-notch pest control services detect, prevent and remove any unwanted critters from the property.
Rodents are the last thing workers want to see in a building. Many people fear them, and for good reason. These rodents spread illnesses such as rat bite fever, Weil’s disease and salmonellosis. Signs of a rat infestation include the following:
It doesn’t take much for rats to survive. They can live on 15 to 60 millimeters of water and 15 to 30 grams of food a day.
Birds, and pigeons in particular, are common pest control problems for commercial properties. They live on rooftops, ledges and surrounding locations. They also prefer nesting in drains and alcoves, increasing the chance of experiencing blockages in these areas. This is an added nuisance when it comes to facilities management.
There’s a public health factor as well. Aside from creating building-related complications, birds pose a hazard to human beings. Harmful microorganisms are present in their nests, feathers and fecal matter. Their droppings can lead to ailments such as cryptococcosis, psittacosis or avian influenza.
Cockroaches hide in places where there is warmth, shelter, moisture and food. Common infestations occur in or around boiler rooms, storerooms, toilets and kitchens. This is especially true if the premises suffer from poor sanitation.
These bugs feed off dead or decaying matter. Because of this, they can spread a number of maladies:
For the well-being of building occupants, keep all food products protected and stored. This must be an integral part of facilities management.
4. House Flies
House flies are known to gravitate toward filth and feces. Tons of flies around a business is not a good look. Their presence has a negative impact your client’s reputation and bottom line. Controlling these insects requires exceptional sanitation and food hygiene practices.
Additionally, they are a health risk. Flies carry disease-causing organisms. If they enter a food source that’s left open, this can result in contamination, so anyone who consumes these products faces potential illnesses.
Mice are rodents like rats. They leave grease marks, footprints, urine pillar and droppings. They also make scratching sounds and squeaking noises. Additionally, it doesn’t take much for them to survive. These pesky creatures nibble on roughly 0.15 grams of food a day.
Mice have poor eyesight, so they maneuver by relying on their keen sense of touch, hearing and smell. Controlling these pests requires that facilities management pay attention to cafes, canteens and kitchens. These are the primary spots where the rodents congregate.
Do you have a client located in an area with a high density of mosquitoes? If so, it’s crucial that you have solutions in place. These insects carry deadly diseases and spread them to humans. These conditions include malaria, chikungunya and dengue fever.
It's recommended that facilities management staff take notice of standing water. Pools and puddles are breeding spots for mosquito larvae. It only takes six to 10 days for a mosquito egg to grow into an adult. Addressing the water problem helps protect employees.
7. Bed bugs
In recent years, bed bugs have made major headlines. There has been a significant increase in their infestation around the globe. In a 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, 99.6 percent of U.S. pest control professionals stated they have treated bed bugs.
These bugs survive off the blood of a host, causing itchy insect bites. They often show up on commercial properties where people sleep. They are most commonly found on the following types of properties:
The tiny bugs are 4 to 5 millimeters in length. They are distinguished by a reddish brown color with a flat or long body structure. The nymphs are smaller and lighter in color. Because of their size, it’s easy for these insects to gain entrance onto the premises. Entry points include antique furniture, external contractors, laundry services, luggage and clothing.
Fleas are often associated with cats, dogs and other domestic pets. However, if the building you’re managing has birds, mice or rats, chances are fleas are on the property. The parasites often attach themselves to these other pests.
Those working in facilities management may have a hard time spotting these minuscule insects. This is often the case for buildings with rough surfaces. Fleas blend into these environments due to their physical characteristics, especially their tiny size. The flea itself has a reddish-brown hue and measures roughly 2 millimeters in length. Their eggs have a long, oval structure and measure about 0.5 millimeters.
Flea bites aren’t painful, but the side effects can range from mild to severe. At the least, the person bitten can expect to experience itchiness, a rash or eczema. Bites can also result in more serious ailments:
Generally, ants don’t pose an obvious health threat. With that said, they are a troublesome for any facilities management company. They can also hurt a business’s reputation if they become an obvious nuisance.
Ants thrive on water and food waste. Ant prevention requires that you maintain a sanitized and hygienic environment. They are often sighted on the following property types:
Overlooking ants is easy. There are size variations among the species. On average, they are 1.5 to 6 millimeters long. When clustered together, their nests are often mistaken for soil or dirt. Additionally, certain species prefer nesting in quiet areas such as walls. This helps them go unnoticed.
10. Stored-Product Insects
There are a group of insects that prefer rummaging inside stored food items, posing a contamination threat. SPIs are often found in fruits, nuts and flour. They include moths, weevils, beetles and some mites. In the case of mites in particular, it’s difficult to see them. Like ticks, they are microscopic in size.
Facilities management plays a pivotal role in keeping commercial properties pest-free. You can prevent many infestations with proper hygienic and sanitation practices. For more support, hire a reputable pest control supplier. This can be the best long-term solution for controlling the worst pest problems.
Finding creepy crawlies in your home or business can be a major problem. Whether you simply hate sharing your space with so many insects or you don't want to deal with the effects of the bugs, turning to a Baton Rouge pest control team early in your infestation problem can help speed up your recovery. Carpet beetles can wreak havoc on a home and take a while to get rid of. Read through this beginner's guide to learn how to identify the bugs, locate their nest and find the right carpet beetle treatment.
How Can You Tell Carpet Beetles Are in Your Home?
Before you can figure out how to get rid of a pest, you need to know what it is. Most adult carpet beetles, which are about the same size as the head of a needle, have a similar look and coloring.
Some varieties may have yellow or white markings on their backs, too. Typically, an infestation includes both adult and larvae forms of the bug. A carpet beetle larva has hair-like protrusions from one or both ends and brown bands running across the back.
As you look around your home, you may notice fecal pellets and shed skins. These are common signs of infestation. It may be helpful to call in a Baton Rouge pest control specialist when you first notice these.
Another distinguishing feature of the beetle is its movement patterns. These bugs move slowly across floors or carpeted surfaces. If you touch one, it may roll over.
Where Are Infestations Concentrated?
Carpet beetles can spread across your entire home or office, but typically these pests are drawn to certain areas::
The bugs are typically drawn to fabrics, but they also love dark, secluded locations. A pest control company may be able to help you locate the main group of carpet beetles.
How Can You Get Rid of These Pests?
The exact carpet beetle treatment you use may vary based on the severity of your infestation. You can get great advice on treatment options from a reputable Baton Rouge pest control company. The following steps may help:
Getting rid of carpet beetles can take a long time. If you don't have the time or equipment to properly clean and protect your house, you can turn to a Baton Rouge pest control company that specializes in carpet beetle treatment.
Any effort at rodent control in New Orleans must consider how to deal with one of the most common rodents in the area, the Norway rat. Successful rodent control depends on knowing where and how your target lives and breeds. Use this information on the Norway rat’s habits and preferences to help you determine if they’re living around you and what to do if they are
The Norway rat probably came to the North American continent around 1775 on ships arriving from Europe. They’re tremendously adaptable and are prolific breeders, capable of producing as many as 12 litters of up to 22 offspring per year. It’s not surprising that they quickly spread to the 48 contiguous states, even though they usually only live one year in the wild. They are often called by names that describe their color (brown or gray) or where they live (house, barn, sewer or wharf).
Because of southern Louisiana’s unique environment, New Orleans pest control companies see a lot of Norway rats. These rodents like to live around people. They find a nourishing diet from stored food as well as garbage and safe places to hide in buildings and other shelters. Urban and suburban residential areas offer garages, basements, water features such as docks and even sewers. Rural habitats include barns, kennels and grain storage facilities, where rats particularly like corn, oats and wheat. If they have a choice, rats will opt for fresh food items.
Their nests are usually in burrows on low ground or underground. Norway rats can enter structures by jumping, climbing or swimming to burrow inside walls or under foundations. You’ll also find them living around ponds, along stream banks and in garbage dumps.
Signs of Infestation
Before beginning any rodent extermination attempt, you have to know what you’re dealing with. It’s important to inspect areas around home foundations, along baseboards, and behind and under stored materials for indications of animal activity. These are some common signs that you’re dealing with Norway rats:
Getting an accurate count of the rats you’re dealing with is impossible, but the evidence you find can help New Orleans pest control companies estimate how severe the problem is:
Ways To Deal With Norway Rats
Rats are smart. They memorize the features of their surroundings and are suspicious of any changes they encounter. If they eat a food that makes them ill, it can teach them to avoid that food for some time into the future. New Orleans pest control companies have to outsmart the Norway rat to be successful and often use several methods to eradicate them.
Norway rats are not protected by state or federal law, so the use of traps, with or without bait, is often the first choice. Trapping allows for the removal of trapped animals and can be relatively inexpensive. Unset traps can be placed in areas where rats travel so that they become accustomed to them before setting the trap to spring. It’s also possible to enlarge the trigger area to increase the chance of early success.
Anticoagulant poisons are often used in today's New Orleans pest control efforts. Because they’re slow-acting, the rats don’t associate any ill feeling with the food they consumed. Offering untainted bait food for several days before applying the toxic substance can increase the chances it will be accepted. When used properly by professionals, rodenticides seldom present dangers to humans, pets or livestock.
Rodent control efforts can be difficult because of the age of many structures and catastrophic weather damage. Norway and other species of rats find shelter in buildings where they gnaw and burrow through walls, ceilings, doors and floors. While Norway rats are not known to be associated with plague, they can spread diseases such as salmonellosis (food poisoning) to humans as well as livestock, and present the danger of rat-bite fever.
If you’ve had to go through eradicating Norway rats, preventing their return is likely high on your list of priorities. Take these steps to thwart them:
For all of these reasons, effective rodent control is important for health and safety. By understanding the basics of Norway rats and rat infestations, you can better assist New Orleans pest control professionals in eradicating these critters from your property.
Rats are a familiar pest to many in the United States. Understanding rats’ behavior is key to utilizing proper rodent control, and this includes knowing what kinds of rats you’re dealing with. One of the two species of rats found in the continental U.S., the roof rat is a sleek and agile rodent with its own set of adaptations and preferences apart from its cousin, the Norway rat. Knowing the differences helps with identification and thus prevention or removal, whether done by yourself or with professional Baton Rouge pest control service.
What Is a Roof Rat?
The roof rat (Rattus rattus), also called the black rat or ship rat, was introduced to North America and elsewhere in the world via trading ships. In the United States, it lives along the West Coast and in the southeastern states, unlike the Norway rat’s nationwide range, preferring the warmer climates. Roof rats typically have a mix of brown and black fur with a uniform gray, white or black underside, as well as a slim and slender build compared to the larger Norway rats. They possess the same keen senses of smell, taste, hearing and touch as other rats, as well as an adept sense of balance. Combined with their sleek build, this makes them very capable of climbing and walking across utility lines, tree branches and other narrow pathways to find food and evade predators.
Roof Rat Behavior
True to their name, roof rats like to nest above the ground, settling in trees or atop vine-covered fences and walls. Their natural agility lends itself well to this, as they have little trouble scaling such surfaces. They may be found along streams and riverbeds, within parks that have natural or artificial ponds, or in groves and farmlands - and, of course, within homes and warehouses, entering from the roof and nesting within the upper floors when available while Norway rats prefer the ground floor or basement. Utility lines and trees close to a building’s rooftop are common entry points.
Roof rats are omnivorous and will feed on nearly anything if necessary, but they often have a preference for fruits, nuts and seeds. In homes or on farms, they can develop a taste for livestock feed or dry pet food. The search for food begins early in the evening and may take roof rats as far as 300 feet from the nest to find something to eat. They have no problems gathering heaps of food to eat safely. Roof rats tend to stick to familiar travel routes and feeding locations once identified as safe, so they are not likely to wander into traps laid out traditionally. This is compounded by roof rats’ noted neophobia, or fear and aversion to new objects in their environment, which is stronger in this species than in Norway rats. This means they tend to avoid bait stations and traps, and if sufficiently disturbed, they will change their routes and feeding spots entirely, a behavior that complicates pest control efforts.
Damage and Dangers of Roof Rats
A nest of hungry, omnivorous roof rats presents an obvious concern for homes, food processing and storage facilities, and farms alike. Frequently, roof rats in residential buildings will tear up insulation and electrical wiring as they build nests, particularly in the attic. Wiring damage may also occur in the kitchen when rats hide under the refrigerator or freezer. Gardens and outdoor landscaping may suffer from the foraging of roof rats as they feed on fruits, vegetables, nuts and ornamental plants.
Agricultural orchards are especially endangered by roof rats, which are already inclined to climb trees for food and shelter. They can eat away the pulp from oranges and leave empty rinds hanging and will gladly feast on avocados and nuts as well. Norway rats are more partial to rice and other crops than roof rats, which will prefer the tree crops if present. Roof rats also climb and feed on maturing sugarcane stalks, often leaving them vulnerable to other pests.
Like other rat species, roof rats are carriers for a number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans or domestic animals, as well as potentially carrying parasites. This especially mandates swift rodent control to prevent the spread of such diseases.
Identifying and Controlling Roof Rat Infestations
The specific damage done to outdoor vegetation can help distinguish between a roof or Norway rat infestation. Ruined tree crops are a sure sign of roof rats, in particular. Rat signs, such as tracks, urine and droppings, are not as readily visible with roof rats since they primarily live and travel in overhead and utility spaces rather than along the floor, except when obtaining food.
Visibly confirming the presence of rats naturally works to identify an infestation. Setting a trap to collect rats can help, with the aforementioned caveats regarding roof rats’ aversion to traps. The location of nesting and food caches also helps confirm and distinguish rats, with these found in attics or upper floors mainly for roof rats. Nighttime searches are ideal as rats will be more active at this time and can be heard scurrying about.
To rodent-proof your building against roof rats, the key is to minimize roof level access. When possible, eliminate vines and overhanging tree branches that could permit rats to reach the roof. Given their climbing abilities, this will not completely keep them out alone, and sealing openings greater than 1/2 inch in diameter further ensures exclusion. Use steel wool, concrete mortar or other hard substances that the rats can’t easily chew through.
Proper sanitation can discourage roof rats from moving in; proper disposal of garbage and sealing of food containers makes feeding difficult. Prune outdoor vegetation such as dense shrubbery and vines that roof rats can use to hide or travel.
Baton Rouge pest control services can use rodenticides in bait to control roof rat populations, though they have some resistance to common anticoagulants compared to Norway rats. Trapping is another option, whether using kill traps or live traps, though the tendency to spread disease means releasing trapped rats can cause other problems. Other rodent control methods are of questionable use; fumigants have little effect since roof rats rarely burrow, and deterrent devices using noise or lights are only initially effective until the rats acclimate to them.
There are plenty of things to love about fall in New Orleans. However, while autumn in the city can bring fun times and pleasant weather, it also brings a new group of bugs and pests to worry about. Where moist conditions in the spring and summer create ideal environments for roaches and mosquitoes, the dryer weather in the fall is ideal for spiders, rodents and other insects that like to create nest-like homes in attics and other typically dark spaces. Worst of all, these pests have had the entire summer to breed and build their population before emerging in the fall. Their high numbers mean homeowners must be aggressive when it comes to fall pest and rodent control. What types of pests should you be on the look out for come fall in the city? Here are a few of the worst offenders.
It’s a well-known fact that rodents are some of the city’s most despised residents. In fact, one 2016 report ranked New Orleans top in the nation for rat and general pest infestations. The common house mouse is a main offender, taking up residence in the walls and basements of New Orleans homes in the fall and winter. As the weather cools down, these critters like to sneak into buildings through cracks in the foundation, window gaps and the like. They need no more than a quarter inch of space to get into your home in some cases. Once inside, they can quickly wreak havoc as they chew and shred up everything from paper to furniture to wiring. They can gnaw holes into walls and in extreme cases can even weaken a home’s infrastructure. Take the first steps toward rodent control by:
While those steps can provide a good start, mice can be notoriously difficult to get rid of both because of their rapid reproduction and how tricky they can be to catch. This and the dangers associated with their waste makes it a good idea for homeowners to leave rodent control to New Orleans pest control experts.
Fall is a prime mating season for spiders, which means they are more likely than ever to come out of hiding and cross your path. Southern Louisiana is home to more than 16 different types of spider, including the black widow and brown recluse spiders with bites that can be fatal to humans. That makes a spider problem more than a creepy inconvenience and as important as rodent control.
Spiders typically prey on small insects. When those pests come into your home seeking warmth and food in the fall, spiders have a tendency to follow them. Some of their favorite homes include attics, crawlspaces and basements. Because spiders aren’t much interested in human food, wiping down counters, disposing of trash and other typical pest prevention efforts aren’t likely to work. Instead, focus on:
Because of the unique threats some species of spiders can present, consider asking about experience with spider extermination when choosing a New Orleans pest control expert for general critter and rodent control.
At less than an inch long, the common clothes moth might not seem like a major threat. But it can cause a lot of damage to personal property, as countless New Orleans homeowners discover each year. These cream-colored menaces like to feed on just about any fabric item, especially wool and cashmere. The insects aren’t necessarily more plentiful in the fall, but they are more likely to be noticed around then, as homeowners pull cardigans and other thicker clothing out of storage boxes. When you notice tiny, unexplainable holes in your favorite shirt or fall pants, these moths are a likely culprit. The fall, when you’re likely packing up summer clothes, is a great time to address these pests. You can fight back by:
Like rodent control, moth control can help you avoid damage to your personal property.
Termites are a known problem in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter. What many people don’t realize is that termites cause trouble year-round, even when you can’t see them. These wood-chewers don’t hibernate. Instead, they prefer to dwell in a warm area that’s roughly 75 degrees. As the temperatures cool down outside and warm up inside, more and more of these creatures are likely to show up in your home, where they can destroy its infrastructure with shocking speed. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t provide any funding or help with termite eradication in private homes. That leaves it up to you, the homeowner, to take steps to keep them out of your house. Take action by:
Termites present one of the most destructive and challenging pest menaces in the city. It’s a good idea when you are investing in rodent control or other pest prevention to ask your specialist about their specific experience with these creatures.
The fall months can bring a welcome respite from some of the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer. But the change of seasons may also bring new types of pest headache. When fair-weather pests are ruining your autumn, consider calling a pest management expert to provide the rodent control and general extermination to help you reclaim the season.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.