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.
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.
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.
Most people don’t give a second thought to pests. For the most part, when they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind. A new event seeks to change that. The first-ever World Pest Day was started on June 6, 2017 to get people thinking differently about bugs and vermin. The CPCA (China), NPMA (USA), FAOPMA (Australia) and CEPA (Europe) wanted to shed light on the importance of protecting homes, families, food, lives and businesses from various insects and rodents. These creatures are more than just a nuisance, and while you may not want to celebrate the day with cake and ice cream, you should care more about the reasons driving World Pest Day.
The Rodent Scourge
Fairy tales and animated films suggest that rats and mice are adorable, magical creatures. While carefully controlled, domesticated rodents can be safe, the uncontrolled variety can cause considerable damage to crops, infrastructure and human health. Some species have adapted so well to coexisting with humans and their environments that they’re thriving.
These animals can multiply exponentially if left unchecked, and like all living creatures, they require food. In the wild, away from human civilization, this isn’t as big of an issue, but coexisting with humans has driven them to seek out food supplies that humans also eat. These pests can quickly contaminate and damage food and water sources. The scale of the problem can be as small as an individual home to as large as entire regions. The intrusion of rodents into human food and water supplies poses a serious risk to health.
Rats and mice also have a habit of gnawing anything and everything. This causes damage to various infrastructures, but one of the more susceptible victims of rodent malice is electronic equipment. It’s estimated that these pests set back work productivity by eight days a year based on the destruction they wreck.
While contaminated food and damaged infrastructure is unpleasant enough, one of the most dangerous aspects of rodent populations can be the diseases they carry. It’s estimated that rodents can claim responsibility for more deaths than all wars in the past 1,000 years. These pests can carry the following diseases:
Minimizing your individual risk of rats and mice can be facilitated by cleaning up trash, sealing up cracks in your home’s foundation, closing garbage bins, ensuring proper food storage and refraining from feeding birds large amounts of seed.
The Growing Threat of Mosquitoes
There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes; however, three species are primarily responsible for most of the diseases humans contract from them. Approximately 1 million people die each year because of mosquitoes. The bite itself is inconsequential, but the diseases these pests transfer are deadly. Almost half the human population is at risk of malaria, and 300–600 million people are infected each year. Mosquitos are also responsible for the following diseases:
Because of their reliance on water for breeding, eliminating or disrupting standing water sources is important to keep mosquito populations in check. Pesticides can also be used to eliminate the bugs. Unfortunately, scientists warn that climate change may exacerbate the current mosquito problem. Mosquito prevention is key to minimizing these pests. The following are steps the average person can take:
The Encroaching Cockroaches
Another bug that that World Pest Day is trying to shed light on is the cockroach. These bugs are estimated to be 280 million years old and have around 4,000 different species. If you happen to see one, chances are there are many others just out of sight. Cockroaches are incredibly hardy and can live in harsh environments. They tend to be attracted to warm, moist areas, so sewers, pipes, and garbage make ideal living situations. They can live for a month without food or even a head for that matter.
These bugs aren’t picky when it comes to food and eat just about anything, from other cockroaches to garbage to animal feces. Because of these unhygienic feeding habits, these pests spread several foodborne illnesses such as salmonella and cholera. The body parts, saliva and feces of cockroaches can also trigger allergies and cause asthma attacks.
Preventing cockroaches requires a multi-pronged approach. One of the most important things you can do is keep your living space clean and dry. This is especially important if you suspect you have a cockroach infestation because cleaning helps to remove their food sources and waste produced by the bugs themselves. Another step is to seal cracks in your walls and foundations to prevent them from gaining access inside. While your home is undergoing these repairs, it’s also a good time to fix water leaks, because these insects are attracted to damp places. If you find yourself with a cockroach infestation or a problem with any of the other pests, calling a professional exterminator can help you get a clean slate in your fight against these bugs and vermin.
The Goals of World Pest Day
For many people, these pests are mostly invisible, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can cause irreparable damages to the lives of people around the world. These infestations can drive up food prices, disrupt economies and kill millions. World Pest Day seeks to raise awareness of these issues. There are several things you can do to help address the problems caused by these pests:
For billions of people around the globe, pests and bugs are more than just an uncomfortable collection of creatures. They wreck serious havoc on lives and wellbeing. By being aware of these problems and supporting World Pest Day on June 6, you can have an impact on improving the quality of life for many people.
Pest control may include tackling infestations of a wide variety of crawling critters. Some of the most damaging pests in Louisiana, however, are carpenter ants, whose presence can range from annoying to structurally condemning. If this wood-destroying insect decides to establish its colony in the walls of your home, it is essential to address the problem as soon as possible.
Identifying Carpenter Ants
One of the first steps of preventing or eliminating carpenter ants is to correctly identify them. Pest control is only possible when the pest and its habits are known. Carpenter ants are the most common variety of ants found in the Baton Rouge area, and they are also the largest ant species in North America. Thus, if you can see ants crawling your home or yard, they are probably carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants come in different colors, depending on the colony. Many are black, but some are red, orange, or brown. They are noted for the small hairs around the abdomen, and for their large jaws, which aid them in chewing away wooden structures. Because they make their nests in damp and rotted wood, they are likely to be seen along the branches of trees and bushes, in tree stumps, around piles of firewood, around wooden door or window frames, along fences, near baseboards, and in the joints in walls with interior plumbing. As nocturnal insects, the ants are not as active during the day. Keep an eye out for crawlers during the evenings and mornings when you first turn on the lights.
Signs You Might Have a Carpenter Ant Nest
When dealing with pest control of carpenter ants, there are a few signs to look for if you suspect a nest in your home. These include the following:
If you live in a particularly moist area or are otherwise susceptible to the wrath of carpenter ants, you can prevent infestations with some effective Baton Rouge pest control tips, such as:
Carpenter Ant Bait
When you know you have a colony of carpenter ants in your house, pest control strategies recommend using bait to get rid of them. Bait is used as food for worker ants, who are attracted to a sugary compound laced with a chemical poison. The workers carry the bait back to the colony where other ants feed on it and die. The most effective way to distribute bait is to set it along the paths that the ants usually use for finding food. When using store-bought bait, be sure to select one that is water-resistant and targeted especially for carpenter ants. Otherwise, it might accidentally get washed away or eaten by some other critter, and your ant colony will never receive the sugary toxin.
Carpenter Ant Pesticide
Instead of bait, you may prefer to use pesticides. This can prevent ants from colonies that have inhabited your yard from entering your house. If you feel confident in your Baton Rouge pest control techniques, you may also consider using a foam, dust, or aerosol insecticide to attack an indoor nest at its source. To do this, be sure that you have properly and correctly identified the nest location and drill a few small holes in the wall at least two feet from where you see the ants entering the wall. Spray the insecticide around the holes as well as any other opening the ants are using. This should effectively wipe out the entire colony.
For those families that have children or pets at home and may prefer a less chemically toxic solution to carpenter ant extermination, there are some easy DIY methods you can also use. For natural Baton Rouge pest control, use boric acid, an affordable, natural, and relatively safe-for-humans poison, and combine it with 10 parts sugar water. Add this solution to any food you chose and set it out appropriately as bait. Boric acid can also be used as a pesticide by spraying it in or near the nest, or along the paths the ants travel. Diatomaceous earth is another natural product that is effective in pest control. DE is a sedimentary rock that insects cannot ingest, and dusting it over the nest kills off your carpenter ants.
When dealing with particularly large or aggressive infestations, consider calling a professional exterminator to get rid of the ants with strategic Baton Rouge pest control. The carpenter ant, as a wood-destroying insect, is one of the biggest threats to the stability of home. When you spot the signs, take action immediately.
A rolled newspaper, a flyswatter or even the palm of your hand can all be weapons in your battle for fly control. These tiny creatures are often a harmless nuisance, but there may come a time to consider a pest control service. Sometimes fly season just doesn’t seem to end.
When people think about flies, the first thing to come to mind is often the common house fly; however, there are many more species. Flies are classified as part of the order Diptera, which is estimated to have a million species, but only 125,000 have been described. The following are species you may encounter:
The Anatomy of a Fly
Flies are characterized by having a single pair of wings used for flight, while the hindwings have evolved into sensory organs. These sensory organs facilitate their ability to maneuver. If you’ve ever wondered why fly control can be so difficult, this added maneuverability is part of the reason. Flies have mobile heads and compound eyes that allow them to see information from a variety of angles. Depending on the species, flies can have a mouthpiece designed to pierce and suck in nutrients or to lap and suck in nutrients. These insects also have an ability to cling to smooth surfaces and walk up walls due to the claws and pads on their feet.
Because of the diversity of fly species, some have developed hardy adaptations to their environment. Shore fly larvae and a few Chironomidae can live in hot springs, crude oil, sulfur springs, glaciers, saline springs and septic tanks. The larvae of the Megaselia scalaris can incorporate shoe polish and paint into their diet.
A Bug’s Life Cycle
The life cycle of a fly consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The common house fly provides a typical example. House flies lay eggs that resemble grains of white rice. These eggs are often laid in dark, damp places. Compost, garbage and feces are popular sites for fly eggs. Up to 150 eggs can be laid in a single batch, with five or six batches laid over a period of a few days.
The eggs hatch within a day and become larva, also known as maggots, that feed on their environment for three to five days. When the maggots are ready to pupate, they find a dark place to form a protective shell, similar to a butterfly’s cocoon. The pupae grow wings and legs and emerge after three to six days as fully-grown house flies.
It only takes another two to three days for female flies to be ready for reproduction, thus starting the cycle anew. Moreover, adult house flies can live for two to four weeks, depending on conditions. This rapid life cycle can make fly control a difficult process.
The Ecological Importance of Flies
While flies can be both a nuisance and a danger, they also play an important role in the ecological community as predator, prey and parasite. Many animals rely on flies as a source of food, while at the same time, flies consume various organic matter. Some of these insects play an important role in helping to decompose matter in either their adult or larva stage.
In addition to aiding decomposition, flies play an integral role in the pollination of flowers. It’s estimated that 71 families in the order Diptera regularly visit flowers, and over 550 species of flower are routinely visited by flies. Depending on the local ecology, flies may be the only insect that facilitates a plant’s pollination, or they may share the role with another insect such as bees. Some flies go to flowers to feed on the nectar while others prefer pollen. A few types visit flowers to lay eggs or to seek shelter from the weather. Some flowering plants exercise fly control by tricking the insects into visiting their flowers by emitting scents that mimic decaying flesh.
The Risks Posed by Flies
Flies can pose serious dangers to the health and wellbeing of humans and livestock. Because many flies land on and feed on decomposing flesh, feces and other bacteria-laden garbage, they can quickly spread bacteria and disease. A common method of fly feeding involves vomiting and defecating on almost everything they land on, which further aides in the spread of disease.
One way to prevent the spread of sickness is to dispose of food that flies have landed on. A fly infestation could potentially facilitate the transfer of any of the following diseases:
Other flies such as the mosquito prefer a more direct approach by biting their victims. Mosquitoes are responsible for the deaths of 1 million people each year due to the diseases these insects can spread. The lack of fly control is a serious concern in all parts of the world though areas with large amounts of standing water can be more severely affected.
In the United States, one of the most serious diseases carried by mosquitoes is the West Nile virus. Since 1999, the United States has reported 44,000 cases. About half of those reported cases resulted in an infection of the spinal cord and brain, and 1,900 people died. West Nile can cause body aches, headache, rash, fatigue, weakness, diarrhea and joint pain. If you suspect you may have contracted an illness by a mosquito or other fly, contact your physician.
Prevention and Eradication Strategies
With so many different species of fly to contend with, fly control can be a difficult challenge. There are a few steps you can take to minimize your risk of infestations:
If these steps aren’t enough to address your fly problems, it may be time to call a Baton Rouge pest control service to professionally address the issue. Your hand or newspaper may end the annoyance of an individual fly, but professional services have the experience and equipment to deal with more comprehensive fly control issues.
You wander into your kitchen in the middle of the night to get a glass of water. When you turn on the light, you see cockroaches scurry to the shadows under the cabinets. When you open up your cabinets, you see unwanted pantry pests lurking within. While prevention is the best way to keep bugs out of your home and kitchen, you can still rid your space of unwanted pests once they have decided to invade. Follow these tips to take back your kitchen from meddlesome insects
1. Prevent Entry
Bugs do not respect a locked door, so you have to seal up any possible entry point from the outside. Armed with your caulking gun, seal up any visible holes on the exterior of your home. If there are cracks in your foundation, have them repaired. Test the doors and windows of your home to see if there is an air leak. If air can get in, so can cockroaches. Replace worn weather stripping to seal up the leak and keep bugs out.
2. Block the Inner Path
Once you have sealed the outside of your home, set up a secondary barrier on the inside. Inspect your walls, baseboards and cupboards for cracks and crevices. Grab that caulking gun again and make those cracks disappear. This is especially important if you live in an apartment building, as you have no control over the pest control efforts of your neighbors. Just because they have cockroaches, however, does not mean you have to resign yourself to that fate.
3. Fix Water Leaks
Pantry pests, particularly roaches, love water. If your kitchen sink or the pipes underneath it leak, bugs consider it an open invitation. Fixing the leak and drying out your cabinetry gets rid of their oasis in your home. It also prevents water damage that can weaken the cabinet’s structure, allowing for holes through which bugs can enter.
4. Cool It Off
If you are looking for another reason to crank up your air conditioner, you can always cite pest control. Cockroaches take advantage of the formidable heat of summer to spread their wings and fly. The warmer it is, the better their muscles function. Keeping your home as cool as possible may not kill them, but it probably will keep them from going airborne and might make them slower, easier targets.
5. Cover Items Up
If pantry pests invade your kitchen, they are going to go right for the snacks. Put pet food up at night in a sealed receptacle to ensure that it does not lure pests. Keep your pantry items in airtight, leakproof containers that keep bugs out and seal in freshness. Stay aware of the expiration dates of all your pantry items, as food tends to expand when it rots or goes stale, potentially leading to bursting packages that signal a smorgasbord for cockroaches. Keeping food sealed away leaves exploring insects nothing to find.
6. Keep It Clean
A clean kitchen is less likely to attract unwanted pests. Bugs have a built-in radar for food remnants left on dirty dishes. Wash dishes every time you cook or eat, and wipe down cabinets to remove any remaining food particles that are left behind. It is also a good idea to sweep the floor every night to clean up anything that has spilled from the countertops. A free meal signals welcome. Do not give the insects that long to infest your home the satisfaction of giving them a reason to stick around.
7. Dry It Up
As mentioned before, cockroaches love moisture and will seek it out any chance they get. If your pantry is not well ventilated, it could become just the sort of damp environment that pantry pests love. Make sure that the place you store your food has sufficient airflow to keep everything dry and pest free.
8. Centralize Food
Try to store and consume all food in a centralized location. It might be tempting to take a midnight snack to bed, but spreading crumbs out over the house makes it more difficult to keep everything clean and free of bug infestations. If food is only allowed in certain areas of your home, you do not have to worry about food becoming a temptation for cockroaches to enter through every window, crack and drain.
9. Use the Bait
If you do find bugs in your kitchen, it is time to go to war. Roach bait comes in a wide variety of applications and strengths, so it is easy to find a product to solve your particular problem. Putting baits near water sources and in corners can help curtail the problem. Several products also offer a gel-based substance you can squeeze into crevices if you want a treatment that is a little more discreet. If you have small children or pets, you can opt for a more natural solution, such as a sprinkling of boric acid, which is safe for humans and larger animals but toxic to cockroaches.
10. Call the Experts
Whether you are preventing pantry pests or treating an existing problem, it is vital to call extermination specialists to assist in the process. A regular perimeter treatment around the outside of your house can help discourage pests from getting near it. Most pest control experts are willing to set up a regular schedule so that you know when to expect them every month or quarter. They can also spray the perimeter of your kitchen. Be sure to follow preparation instructions closely prior to their visit so that they can spray for cockroaches without endangering your family’s health.
10 Ways to Win the Fight
There are many things you can do to fight against pantry pests. Ideally, your prevention efforts will be successful so that you do not have to contend with unwanted insects in your kitchen. If you discover that an infestation is already present, however, there are measures you can take to remedy the problem. If you see cockroaches scurrying across the floor or counters at night, you now have the tools to turn your kitchen into an inhospitable place for them.
First things first: you won’t find an earwig nesting in your ear. Baton Rouge pest control experts will tell you that old yarn is nothing more than a myth. You could find them scurrying about your bathroom floor, tub or sink, however, most likely at night when you step into the bathroom and turn on the light. The tiny insects with the long bodies and big pincers are nocturnal and feed on live sprouts, decaying vegetation and fellow insects at night
What Is an Earwig?
There are more than 2,000 species of earwigs, and they all encompass the insect order Dermaptera, which means “skin wing.” While they sport a pair of membranous wings and forewings, they do not fly. Some species may try, but flight is short and clumsy.
They are widely identified by the pair of forceps-like pincers that protrude from their abdomens. No fear, though. Those pincers are not poisonous, and they do not spread disease. A few species emit an odor for defense.
Earwigs are small, no more than an inch long, and they inhabit every continent of the world, except Antarctica. More than 20 species live in the United States. For the most part, earwigs inhabit dark, moist spaces where they gather during the day and depart from at night. These spaces may include cracks and crevices in the home. They prefer the outdoors and take up residence in gardens and plants. If their numbers multiply, they can become a damaging pest.
How Do You Know You Have an Infestation?
Because of their size and the ominous look of their pincers, seeing one or two earwigs in your home does not necessarily signal an infestation. Usually, earwigs enter a home because of a change in weather or when food is scarce outdoors. More often than not, a door is left open and the earwig enters by accident. But because earwigs are outside insects and seldom wander indoors, seeing earwigs in your house could signal an outdoor earwig infestation.
Deducing whether there is a true infestation can be a challenge. Unlike many insects, earwigs are not social and do not gather together, like bees in a hive. There is no class structure - queen or king and workers - so an infestation cannot be identified that way, either.
Earwigs enjoy moist soil and like to hide under vegetation. The plant material, living or dead, acts as both a food source and a place where earwigs can lay eggs and raise their young. Often, you will find this around a home’s foundation or in a garden.
If you see earwigs in your home, it may be worth a trip outdoors to turn over leaves and stones to see if earwigs are living there. You could see handfuls of earwigs scurry away to find a new place to hide. While there is a chance this is normal with respect to the earwig population where you live, you may want to consider consulting a professional for earwig treatment to determine if you have an infestation.
How Do You Get Rid of Earwigs?
There are a number of home remedies you can try to get rid of earwigs. One simple way is to cover plant stems with petroleum jelly. It will keep earwigs from crawling up and traversing the plants. Borax sprinkled over wood piles or near low areas with plenty of vegetation is another possibility. Oil pit traps might work, and a split garden hose can act as a trap when laid between plant rows. The bugs will fall into the trap and have a hard time escaping. Simply transport them somewhere other than your garden.
If those home remedies fail to keep earwigs away, another option is calling a professional exterminator. Since every infestation is different, a professional can assess the situation and come up with a solution that will work best for your situation.
Often, an infestation will take more than one treatment to succeed. Your professional exterminator will go over that plan to let you know what it will take to solve the problem.
How Do I Prevent Earwigs From Coming Back?
If you have endured an earwig infestation or want to prevent one from happening in the first place, here are a few steps you can take:
1. Eliminate Their Hiding Places
This could be the biggest step you take to keep earwigs from coming back. Earwigs cannot endure sun and light, so without a place to hide, they will relocate somewhere else. If earwigs have a place to hide, some treatment applications may not work as efficiently as one would hope.
2. Clean Up the Yard
Beyond eliminating hiding places, you may also want to eliminate earwigs’ food source. While some earwigs are predatory, subsisting on other insects, most eat vegetation. Removing ground vegetation, old firewood, fallen leaves and so forth will help keep the pests at bay.
Make sure you minimize wet vegetation and moist soil, which attracts earwigs. If you are able to create a dry zone near your home’s foundation, you should be able to keep most earwigs away from the indoors.
3. Fortify Your Home
Since earwigs love a wet foundation, inspect gutters and other forms of exterior drainage to ensure that water is adequately shunted away from the home. Similarly, if you plan to water the lawn, do so in the morning so that the sun dries moisture throughout the day.
Earwigs, along with many other pests big and small, shy away from light. Use that knowledge to your advantage and make sure certain areas around the home are well lit at night. That should help keep any number of creepy crawlies away. Then, make sure there are no easy ways for earwigs to get into the house. Eliminate space under doors, and make sure screens are repaired.
With a little forethought and the right steps, many homeowners can avoid an earwig infestation. That includes eliminating places for earwigs to hide and keeping the area around a home’s foundation clear and dry. If earwigs manage to infest anyway, seeking the help of a professional exterminator can help ensure they will go away and stay away.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.