As the name suggests, powderpost beetles can reduce wood to a fine powder given enough time. These bugs are more than just a nuisance and can cause serious damage to your property and belongings. Learning more about these insects can help you determine when to contact Baton Rouge pest control professionals to avoid further wood damage.
What Are Powderpost Beetles?
There are 70 species of woodboring insects known as powderpost beetles. These pests target deciduous trees, and depending on the species, they can attack hardwood and softwood varieties. Most species of powderpost beetle share a few characteristics. In their adult form, the beetles don’t usually cause much damage to the wood. It’s when an adult lays its eggs on exposed wood that the larvae can cause problems.
The larvae create tunnels and galleries in the lumber as they take in nutrients and grow. As they feed, they leave behind frass, also known as wood powder. The frass may be compacted together, sticky or left loose and powdery. Depending on the species, the larvae can spend months or even years inside before emerging. It’s only when they tunnel out as adults that you realize you have an infestation and need a pest control service.
True Powderpost Beetles
The adults of this species are very small, less than a one-fourth of an inch. Their coloring is a reddish-brown, and they appear slightly flattened. This species prefers wood with a high moisture content. Lumber with a moisture content of less than 6 percent can help discourage true powderpost beetles from feeding on the material. These insects feed on the starch, sugar and protein of hardwood and sapwood tree species. Oak, hickory, cherry and walnut flooring, as well as antique furniture, can be frequent targets of true powderpost beetles.
The name of these beetles is attributed to the ticking or tapping sound they create to attract mates. The larvae of deathwatch beetles, while quite soft, are still able to consume both hardwood and softwood. The frass of these beetles is compacted into pellets in the various tunnels and galleries inside the wood. Adults range in size from one-fourth to three-eighth of an inch long. Get in touch with Baton Rouge pest control professionals if you believe the repeated tapping sounds coming from the rafters are deathwatch beetles.
False Powderpost Beetles
False powderpost beetles are reddish brown to black in coloring. Unlike other species, the adults drill into the wood to lay eggs, leaving behind a hole larger than one-eighth of an inch in diameter. After the larvae mature into adults and emerge, the exit holes do not contain the powdery frass, but the galleries and tunnels inside the wood do. The frass tends to stick together and is compacted.
Round-Headed Borers or Longhorn Beetles
These beetles tend to infest dead or dying trees, though a few species attack living trees. A frequent cause of indoor infestation occurs when firewood is brought in from the outside. The adults range in size from one-half to three inches long, and the larvae can be one-half to four inches in length. Most species can be characterized by their long antennae while just a few species have short antennae. Some of the species also mimic the coloring of wasps, ants and bees; however, most of the species have coloring that matches their environment. Contacting a Baton Rouge pest control service can help you identify the species of round-headed borer or longhorn you are dealing with.
Assessing Active Infestations and Inactive Infestations
Knowing whether your lumber is actively infested is an important step in addressing your wood damage. Sometimes, an infestation can die out without your intervention. Chances are you are dealing with an active infestation if the color of the frass resembles fresh cut wood. If the exit holes look weathered and match the rest of the wood, it’s more likely that the infestation is an old one. If your wood is in an area with some air movement, the very presence of any wood tailings can be a sign of a recent infestation. Conversely, if your wood is in an area that has not been disturbed recently, a layer of film or dust over the frass can indicate a dead infestation. One way to check if you have an active infestation is to remove the frass and recheck the area in a few days. If there are new piles, you could have an active infestation. It’s important to remember that most active emergences occur through the months of April to July.
Determining whether you have an active or inactive infestation can be a difficult assessment to make on your own. Pest control professionals can assess the wood damage to see if the larvae are still present.
Prevention and Treatment Strategies
Preventing powderpost beetle infestations before they begin can save you trouble down the road. If you have yet to make a lumber purchase, inspect it for signs of infestation. The following are tips that can help discourage infestation if you’ve already bought the lumber:
Finding the bored-out holes and wood damage from powderpost beetles can be a distressing experience. Given enough time, these pests can cause a considerable amount damage to your home and property. However, by following a few preventative maintenance tips, you can lessen the chances of wood damage from a powderpost beetle infestations. If, however, you’re facing an infestation beyond your expertise, contact a pest control company today.
It is termite season in Baton Rouge. While termites are active all year, they become very active right around Mother's Day. (Sorry Mom!) It is the right mix of temperature and humidity for termites to leave their home and seek out a new place to move. We call it swarming.
Termite swarming can be as simple as seeing a few termites flying around a light post. Other times it can be down right frightening like walking into a room of your home buzzing with flying termites. If this is you, don't freak out just yet. Termite swarmers to not necessarily mean you have a termite problem in your place. Get a Baton Rouge based pest control company to do a thorough termite inspection on your home.
How to Look for Signs of Termites
Wings - Look for loose wings lying near sources of light. Termite swarmers are drawn to light sources at night. Once they can to these locations, they can drop their wings and look for both a food (wood) and water source.
Flying Termites - Obvious, but these can be confused with flying ants. Capture a few in a container so you can show them to your pest control company representative.
Wall Pin Holes - Small pin sized hole in your wall may be termites. Look for frass and dirt at the hole or on the ground beneath it. Termite construct tunnels, but need to get rid of what they don't want in the tunnels.
Mud Tunnels - Check around the foundation of your home. A hardened mud tunnel going from the ground to your home along the foundation is sure sign of termite activity. It could be an old tunnel, so your pest control technician will check for damages to your home.
Weak Spots - Termites eat away cellulose in wood. This can lead to weakened areas and creaking in flooring and cabinets.
Bubbling Paint - Raised areas in paint can be a sign of termite activity. This can be from termite disposing of frass from beneath the paint. Instead of the frass falling to the ground, it stores behind the paint instead.
Termites are very prominent in south Louisiana. If you think you may have termites, contact Bug Ninja Pest Control today for a free termite inspection. You can also get your home under termite contract to prevent termite damage in the first place.
You may sometimes see armadillos on the roadside after a fatal encounter with an automobile. You may also see evidence of their presence in your yard or garden. Pest control strategies needs to include methods to manage these invaders. Understanding the animal and its habits can make critter control more effective, reducing or preventing the damage armadillos can cause to your property.
The nine-banded armadillo moved north out of Mexico in the late 1800s and was introduced into Florida by way of specimens that escaped from private zoos and traveling circuses. Its range has continued to expand northward but may be curtailed by climate. Armadillos have made a well established home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Armadillos have sharp claws that help them dig their dens. They prefer moist soil close to where they feed, often near creeks and other bodies of water. They have few natural predators in the United States, can live 12 to 15 years and reproduce quickly. Armadillos are nocturnal, usually coming out around dusk to dig for grubs and insects.
A single armadillo may have as many as 12 burrows in its territory. Individual burrows can measure up to eight inches wide, seven feet deep and as much as 25 feet long. Burrows have even been found to extend under the foundation of homes.
Pest control for armadillos often becomes necessary when they invade gardens and ornamental beds in their hunt for food or shelter. Telltale signs of their presence include uprooted but uneaten plants, holes in your yard and sometimes even damage to sidewalks or driveways caused by their burrowing activity. You may also see footprints or hear scraping sounds beneath structures.
Critter Control Strategies
Take a multifaceted approach to protecting your property from damage by armadillos to give you the best chance of success. Implementing these ideas can build a defense that achieves your objective.
1. Remove as many armadillo-tempting features as possible from your yard. Effective pest control involves making your property unattractive to armadillos. Characteristics that armadillos find enticing can include overgrown areas and wood piles that offer protection. Also trim shrubbery away from your house, and block entrances to areas under your house, porch or deck.
While the preferred diet of nine-banded armadillos consists of insects and grubs, they will occasionally eat some types of produce. If fallen fruit from plants or trees is left on the ground, it can provide a nice supplement to the armadillo diet. Clearing food sources and reducing opportunities to find shelter can be the first step in your campaign.
2. Determine the strategies to use. The effectiveness of different approaches is an important factor in deciding what to do next. Your particular situation and preferences also play a role in making this decision.
3. Maintain your armadillo-free yard. Once your armadillo infestation is under control, you’ll want to make sure you don’t erode the progress you’ve made. These ideas can reduce the effects of these animals' damage and help you make their return unlikely:
Armadillos may be funny critters to watch, but they can be trouble for a yard or garden. Their burrowing as well as their eating habits makes pest control an important component of maintaining your property and preserving its value. If you need pest control service in Baton Rouge, contact us today.
Spiders have long been cast as monsters and arch villains, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasies to the 1950s-era giant tarantula to Rod Serling’s sinister visions in “Night Gallery.” Spiders, however, do much good for your environment. They play a big role in managing the pest population in and around your home, and their webs are marvels to behold. Southern Louisiana, with its warm, moist climate, attracts bugs of all sorts, including numerous types of spiders. Some of these have venom that can harm humans. If you are concerned about populations in and around your property, talk to Baton Rouge pest control professionals about spider control. There is no need to panic, though, once you understand more about these retiring creatures. Here are a few words about spider behavior and a rundown of the three most dangerous poisonous spiders of Louisiana.
Spiders are not aggressive. In fact, they want to cloister themselves away from humans and other disturbances so they can quietly construct a web, catch food, mate, and generally carry on with life. They do not go out to hunt and attack humans. In fact, they want to avoid you as much as you wish to stay away from them.
Sometimes, though, accidental contact occurs. Spiders prefer dark places, including shoes, drawers, nooks, and corners. Pay attention to your environment before sticking your hands or feet anywhere. Take a moment to look around you, carefully shake out your shoes, and watch where you are reaching. Most types are not poisonous spiders, but three species in southern Louisiana are dangerous to humans.
The Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is typically different shades of brown in color, though variations can range from whitish to blackish gray. These spiders usually have a marking near their head resembling a violin, leading to other common names such as brown fiddler, violin spider, and fiddleback spider. Many other spiders, however, have a similar look, so take care what you touch, and, if in doubt, leave it alone. Interestingly, the abdomen of the brown recluse has many short, fine hairs that look like soft fur. As the name implies, they look for dark, dry places that are quiet, such as:
They seek to avoid contact and confrontation with humans, often choosing to run rather than fight. However, if they are cornered and cannot escape and feel threatened, they will bite. These poisonous spiders have venom that can cause significant injuries to skin tissue and may even lead to necrosis, or the premature death of living tissue cells.
If you are bitten, remain calm. Put the wound under cold water or ice, and get medical attention. You can start with poison control, but brown recluse bites should be taken seriously, and you probably will want to see a doctor right away. The good news, though, is that the brown recluse lives up to its name. Watch where you are putting feet and hands, and do not touch any spider that you suspect might be a brown recluse.
Perhaps the most feared spider in the world, black widows get their name from the occurrence of sexual cannibalism, as females sometimes eat males after mating, though this behavior may not occur in all species of so-called widow spiders. Furthermore, their venom is not regularly fatal to humans, though death can sometimes occur, especially in young children and the elderly. Females are most often dark, often shiny black, with a distinctive red hourglass shape on their abdomens. They produce silk-like strands that are sticky, and female black widows like to build webs near the ground or in holes burrowed out by animals. Generally, they seek dark, noiseless places where they will not be readily disturbed, like:
Though they are poisonous spiders, black widows are not aggressive. They will not seek out humans to attack them. However, they will bite if they are startled and feel their life is threatened. Black widow bites can be painful when they do occur, and the venom contains a substance that can affect the human nervous system. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, muscle spasms, and intense muscular pain. Antivenom can alleviate some of the pain and mitigate other potential dangers. If bitten, apply a cold compress to the site and get medical help right away.
Brown widows are thought to have originated in South Africa, but scientists are not certain. They have migrated to tropical regions around the world. They compete with black widows, and while not as poisonous as their cousins, they are more aggressive. They are interlopers, and only time will tell how the growing population of brown widow spiders affects the ecosystem. Brown widows often nest around buildings.
These poisonous spiders are varying shades of brown in color and sport a bright orange or yellow hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. Their venom, like the black widow’s, is also a neurotoxin, though the effect of brown widow venom is usually limited to the bite location and the nearby tissue, while the black widow’s venom creates systemic problems. Nonetheless, their bites should be taken seriously. If bitten, call poison control and, if necessary, seek medical attention.
The Bottom Line on Louisiana’s Poisonous Spiders
Brown widows may be the most aggressive of Louisiana’s three most poisonous spiders, but even they will not actively hunt humans and attack them. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in obvious places where these spiders might be, such as around piles of wood and rubble, in dark corners of sheds, basements, and garages, and under stones. Gently check shoes for any unexpected inhabitants, and look where you are reaching and putting your hands. These spiders only bite if you surprise them and they feel endangered. It is common sense, really. However, if you are concerned about growing populations, you may want to talk to Baton Rouge pest control experts about spider control. Respect their environment, teach children to look but not touch, and these spiders will likely, in turn, leave you alone.
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.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.