What You Need To Know About Pests In Baton Rouge, LA
In Louisiana, pests don’t take a season off. Instead, every season of the year brings with it a new set of pests that will make it their mission to get into your home or business. Learning about these pests, the problems they cause, and what to do if you find them on your property arms you with the information you need to make smart decisions when an infestation occurs. Our Pest Library provides the information you need.
Ants are a major pest problem across the United States; these social insects create large colonies that span multiple nests and are problematic year-round. Helping these pests to thrive in large numbers in our area is the hot, humid weather that enables them to feed and breed throughout most of the year.
If ants have made themselves a home in your yard or house or are using either as a foraging ground, they are likely one of the following species:
- Crazy ants
- Fire ants
- Odorous house ants
- Pharaoh ants
If ants are on your property, food is likely what attracted them. Ants are omnivores and eat most of the same foods as we do, which is why so many species are drawn to our indoor and outdoor spaces. Ants have a good sense of smell; odors from outdoor eating areas, pet feeding areas, gardens, and trash cans will attract them to your property. If ants discover a suitable food source, they will keep returning, and as the ants move around searching for more food, they often wind up inside homes through cracks and gaps they come across in exterior walls or the foundation. Pharaoh ants are especially known for living indoors, and their presence is very problematic as they are known for spreading salmonella, staph, and strep.
If you are ready to make your Baton Rouge property less attractive to ants, no matter the species, take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Pick up uneaten pet food each day.
- Make sure trash cans and recycling bins have tight-fitting lids on them.
- Maintain outdoor cooking and eating areas and keep them free of leftover food.
- Keep your home's kitchen clean and regularly vacuum floors to remove crumbs that provide ants with a food source.
- Repair leaky pipes and fixtures that provide ants with water.
- Make it difficult for ants to find a way into your home by regularly inspecting the exterior and sealing any cracks or crevices you discover.
What is shaped like an apple seed, has six legs, no wings, is reddish-brown all over, and is an expert hitchhiker? A bed bug! Bed bugs are insects most people know of because of their feeding habits. Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals as their sole source of nutrition. Cats, dogs, rodents, and birds are examples of the animals they feed on, but their absolute favorite meal is human blood. Their love of our blood is why these pests are so closely associated with people and why they regularly take up residence in our homes and businesses. Anywhere there are people, there is the potential for bed bugs!
Bed bugs can't fly or jump, so to move effectively, they have learned to hitchhike. They will crawl onto us or our belongings and travel to wherever we take them. After coming into contact with bed bugs and introducing them into our homes, they hide in areas that put them near us while we sleep or rest. At night they emerge to feed on our blood.
While they aren't responsible for the significant spread of diseases like other blood-feeding pests, they will cause other problems:
- Large populations of bed bugs create an unpleasant sweet, musty odor.
- Those allergic to their saliva develop red itchy rashes.
- The knowledge of their presence leads to restless sleep and days filled with worry.
- Their excrement and feeding habits cause stains on bedding, walls, and upholstered furniture.
If bed bugs ever find a way into your Baton Rouge home, immediately reach out to us at DAT Exterminating for help eliminating these invasive, unwanted, biting pests.
If you are ready to make your Louisiana property less attractive to bed bugs, take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Avoid purchasing used mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture for your home to help avoid an accidental bed bug infestation.
- Do not set down bags, coats, or other personal items on the ground for long periods when in public places.
- When traveling, remain vigilant against bed bugs and always inspect your hotel before bringing your belongings inside.
- Regularly vacuum your floors.
- Routinely wash your family's bedding using the highest heat settings the fabrics can handle.
- Invest in bed bug-proof covers for your family's mattresses and box springs to eliminate one of their favorite hideouts.
- Schedule a bed bug treatment for your Covington home.
If there is something that there is never a shortage of in Louisiana, it is mosquitoes! Our hot, humid weather and area's marshes, swamps, and woodlands provide the ideal environment for these biting pests to develop into large populations. The mosquito is a type of fly with a specialized, elongated mouthpart used to pierce the skin of a host to feed on their blood. While blood is not the sole source of nutrition for mosquitoes, it is a vital part of their life cycle. Female mosquitoes require blood meals to create viable eggs. Males and females feed primarily on plant nectar and other sweet liquids.
Mosquitoes feed on a variety of warm-blooded animals, including people; throughout their lifetime, a single mosquito will feed on the blood of many different hosts. Their ability to acquire and spread diseases is almost unmatched. While not every mosquito you see carries a disease, some do, so it is important to avoid them as much as possible. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water or in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. The more standing water available, the larger mosquito populations will be. Things in our yard that act as mosquito breeding sites include clogged gutters, water on the top of a tarp, low-lying areas that puddle, over-watered gardens, buckets, and poorly cared for pools or ornamental water features.
If you are ready to make your Baton Rouge area property less attractive to mosquitoes, take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Cut back overgrown trees and vegetation and keep your grass cut short to reduce areas that mosquitoes will gather to rest.
- Always store containers that collect water upside down when they are not in use.
- If you have a pond on your property, keep it stocked with fish to help agitate the water and make it less attractive to egg-laying female mosquitoes.
- Make sure pools and water features on your property are properly maintained.
- Keep gutters and drains on your property clear of debris to avoid areas of standing water.
- Make sure the screens in your windows and doors are secure to keep mosquitoes from moving inside.
- Schedule a mosquito treatment for your Covington home.
Rodents, like mice and rats, belong outside in fields, meadows, wooded areas, and along riverbanks. Where they do not belong is in our Baton Rouge yards or homes and businesses. Mice and rats are among the most common dangerous and destructive pests that make regular appearances in our homes and businesses. They chew through wires, pipes, drywall, boxes, furniture, and more using their sharp front incisors.
Rodent infestations have been known to trigger fires and water damage. They will stain surfaces with their urine and leave trails of feces as they move throughout your home. Diseases and allergens spread by these pests make people quite ill, and knowing they are in our homes makes people uneasy and unable to sleep well at night.
Mice and rats are wild animals, but these wild animals have learned the benefits of living near people. These commensal rodents have learned to "share our table," though they provide us with nothing positive in return.
Things that attract rodents to our yards include the following:
- Leaking pipes and faucets that provide them with a reliable water source
- Trash cans, compost bins, bird feeders, and gardens where they can gather food
- Lots of dense vegetation or yard clutter they can hide in to protect themselves from predators
- Outdoor eating and cooking areas
- Outdoor pet feeding stations
If you are ready to make your Baton Rouge area property less attractive to rodents, proper prevention is important. Take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Keep rodents out of trash cans and other containers by always keeping tight-fitting lids on them.
- Keep eating areas free of food debris and leftover food.
- Maintain your lawn, cut back overgrown shrubbery, and remove fallen trees, unnecessary rock piles, and other debris from your yard.
- Stop rodents from being able to easily move into your home by inspecting your home's exterior and sealing cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.
- It is also important to place caps or mesh covers over vents, chimneys, and drains that lead into your house.
Like ants and mice, spiders are pests that we regularly find living around our homes. Spiders are arachnids and have eight legs. These predatory species help control populations of nuisance insects and, in most cases, do their best to stay out of the way of people. They are naturally shy and reclusive and like to hide in dark, quiet areas, away from the hustle and bustle.
Our yards, gardens, trees, and landscaping provide spiders with many places to call home and a lot of insects to use as a food source. In manageable numbers, spiders are generally harmless, but when their populations explode, they become troublesome pests that need controlling.
Many people naturally fear spiders because of their quick movements, less than cuddly appearance, and ability to deliver venom-filled bites. The good news is, in the U.S., the number of harmless spiders far outweighs those with venom potent enough to harm us. The biggest concern when seeing lots of spider activity in your yard or home is not the spiders themselves but what's attracting them. In most cases, large populations of insects are what draw spiders to your property and then into your home.
While spiders typically live outdoors, they commonly move indoors while following their insect prey. More often than not, controlling populations of spiders is only achieved after implementing a comprehensive treatment that eliminates both spiders and their prey.
If you are ready to make your Baton Rouge area property less attractive to spiders, take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Keep spiders from being able to follow their insect prey into your home by repairing damaged weatherstripping, door and window trim, and screens.
- Remove areas of standing water from your yard that provide a water source for spiders and their insect prey.
- Cut back overgrown vegetation and trees away from your home's exterior.
- Keep your yard free of clutter.
- Vacuum and sweep your home regularly to dislodge and remove spiders and their webs.
- Inspect plants, boxes, and wood for spiders before bringing those items into your home.
- When you first notice a large number of spiders on your property, call for professional help to get rid of them and the insects that are attracting them.
A homeowner's worst nightmare, termites are common household pests that will eat you out of house and home if given the opportunity! These wood-destroying pests regularly find their way into Louisiana homes, where they feed upon structural wood and cause extensive damage.
In our area, subterranean termites like Formosan termites and native subterranean termites are the most common and you'll find them living in or near our yards and feeding on our homes. Subterranean termites nest underground and travel each day back and forth from their nest to a food source. Formosan termites are unique because they can nest both under and above the ground, constructing carton nests that they typically place on roofs.
Subterranean termites prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. Things like poor drainage, ventilation, clogged gutters, and leaking pipes can cause excess water to build up in your home and damage its structural wood.
After finding their way into your home, usually through cracks in the foundation, damaged roofs, or wood making direct contact with the ground, the termites will travel through walls and floors looking for a suitable food source. If they find a food source, they return daily, gathering food to bring to their nest. Termites are tenacious social insects that spend their lives ensuring the success of their colony, making them difficult pests to prevent!
If you are ready to make your Baton Rouge area property less attractive to termites, take advantage of the following prevention tips:
- Remove things from your yard that can act as a food source for termites and attract them to your property like fallen trees, tree stumps, and brush piles.
- Get rid of as much wood to soil contact as possible on your property.
- Seal up cracks in your foundation.
- Repair roof damage.
- Repair or fix leaky pipes and poor ventilation or drainage in and around your home.
- Reduce humidity levels in your house through the use of dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
- Schedule a termite treatment for your Covington home.
Local Pest Control You Can Count On In Baton Rouge, LA
Committed to protecting people and their homes from destructive, dangerous, and annoying pests, trust Dat Exterminating with all your pest control needs. With over a decade of experience in the industry, our experts have the knowledge and advanced technology necessary to rid our area's homes and businesses of pests. To learn more about our Baton Rouge home pest control or commercial pest control services and how we can help you achieve your pest control goals, give us a call today!