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Everything to Know About Mosquitos & How to Get Rid of Them

Mosquitos in Louisiana

Mosquitos…us Louisianians know a thing or two about these blood-sucking insects. According to National Geographic, there are now over 3,000 mosquito species worldwide. As the weather starts warming up, mosquitos start to populate around your home. The annoyance of itchy mosquito bites is one of the few downfalls of playing outside in the summer. Not only are they annoying biting nuisances, but they are a public health concern across the world. A mosquito’s ability to spread fatal illnesses make them one of the most deadly animals in the world. It’s important for residents to understand the basic facts about the mosquito, the associated health concerns, and the best methods of controlling and preventing them.

Basic Facts About Mosquitos

As you may have guessed already, mosquitos prefer warmer and more humid climates. This is why Louisiana is a great home for them. The majority of the different species of mosquitos can survive in temperatures between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Whenever Louisiana begins to reach these temperatures, mosquito eggs will begin to hatch. 

Mosquito species have different breeding habits, but most want to lay their eggs near water, this could include dog bowls, birdbaths, tires, flowerpots, and gutters. Female mosquitos can produce 100-200 eggs at one time, and the eggs can hatch into mosquito larvae within 48 hours. For about a week to 10 days, the larva will grow before changing into a pupa until finally emerging as an adult mosquito about two days later. After the mosquitos are born, male mosquitos live for about a week or two, feeding on nectar from flowers, and female mosquitos can live for over a month, feeding on humans and animals for blood to produce eggs.Believe it or not, your breath attracts mosquitos to suck your blood. Carbon dioxide gives insects the signal that blood is nearby, and since we exhale CO2, we make it easy for these bloodsuckers to find us.

Health Concerns

Mosquitos are in fact one the deadliest creatures on earth. They can carry dangerous diseases, and more deaths have been reported as a result of their bites than any other animal. According to The American Mosquito Control Association, mosquitos cause more human suffering than any other organism — over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitos include West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Zika virus, dengue, and malaria. It is important to learn about the different ways to prevent and control these pests before someone gets sick.

Controlling and Preventing

Just because mosquitos are an inevitable part of summer activities doesn’t mean you’re left totally defenseless. Try these tips to prevent these pests from biting you:

  • Get rid of standing water 
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Avoid dusk and dawn hours
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Wear repellent with DEET in it
  • Plant mosquito-repelling plants such as Citronella & Lemongrass

If you are still experiencing mosquitos on your property, it’s a safe bet you should call a pest control professional. The mosquito treatment plan usually begins with a thorough property inspection and identifying the kind of mosquitos that are causing problems. Once the inspection and identification are complete, your pest management professional will prepare a mosquito treatment plan best suited for your property, such as mosquito pots, misting systems, or yard fogging.


If you are concerned about a mosquito breeding site in or around your home, consider calling a pest management professional. The Bug Man provides three revolutionary mosquito treatments that don’t just repel mosquitos, the unit kills them for good! Our newest mosquito program is a great, inexpensive alternative to yard fogging. We place mosquito pots around your yard that sterilize a female mosquito from laying eggs. For an effective mosquito solution, contact The Bug Man and ask about their mosquito services or give us a call at (225) 923-2847.

What’s the Difference Between Swarming Ants and Swarming Termites?

Ants vs. Termites

Now that people living in Louisiana are at home more, you should be on the lookout for termites! With termite swarming season already underway, it’s more important than ever to be aware of these unwanted guests. Termites in their swarming phase can often cause confusion for homeowners experiencing this activity in or around their home. In this stage, termites are trying to mate and begin new colonies. The termite colony sizes can range from a few to thousands!

Many homeowners mistake termite swarming activity for swarming ants. Although these two pests may look alike, the treatment varies greatly. Not to mention, the damage they can cause! It’s crucial for you to know the difference between swarms of termites and winged ants in order to take the necessary prevention steps to protect your home. The Bug Man has created a guide for you to distinguish between swarming termites in swarming ants so you can seek the right treatment to eliminate them for good:

 

Termites

Something that a lot of our customers don’t know is that there are five different members of the termite family. The swarmers are just one of the five members. The other members of the colony include the Queen, King, Solider, Worker and Alate aka “swarmer”. The swarmer termites are the reproducers, measuring 4 mm long and are dark brown and/or black in color. Both termites and swarming ants have two pairs of wings that only appear when they’re swarming, however, they have differences. Termites have four wings of equal size and length that stack on top of each other when they are not flying. Their wings are easily broken, or shed after reproduction, often found around your home in the swarming phase.

The antennae of swarming termites are straight and beaded and have wide bodies with a broad waistline. Their main source of food is wood, paper, and other cellulose-based sources. 

While termites and flying ants have similar reproductive cycles, mating and establishing new colonies in warmer months, their life cycles vary greatly. Male flying ants typically die after mating, and most worker ants live for only a few months, while both male and female termites live on long past reproduction, often able to survive several years. 

 

Flying Ants

Flying ants are winged swarmers that can be seen nesting in damp or rotting wood, but may also be present in dry wood. Flying ants are omnivores that feed on seeds, nectar, and other insects and/or debris found in or around your home. The easiest way to distinguish a termite from an ant is to look at the body. Flying ants have pinched waistlines with three body parts: a head, abdomen, and thorax. They are black, brown, or reddish in color. The antennae of these pests are elbowed, unlike the termites. 

Although termites and swarming ants are similar in having two pairs of wings, the ants have front wings that are noticeably larger than their hind wings. On termites, all four wings are the same size. Ants wings also are more resistant than termites and don’t break off as easily. 

While flying ants live in large colonies similar to termites, and some (like carpenter ants) will even inhabit wood, they do not feed on wood, and therefore are much less likely to cause the structural damage that termites are known for.

 


 

Swarming termites are no joke and can destroy your home in the blink of an eye, costing you thousands. The Bug Man would be more than happy to explain to you more about these pests and what to do in the event of a termite swarm, and most importantly, how you should proceed with treatment. 

If swarming insects invade your home or are you’ve noticed them in the soil around your property, contact The Bug Man today. You can also Request an in-home estimate today or call us for all your pest needs at (225) 923-2847.

How to Best Prepare For Termite Season

How To Prepare For Termite Season

Believe it or not, termite season is already here! Termites love warm humid climates, meaning Louisiana truly is the perfect home for termites to establish their colonies. Since we have such a short winter season down here in the South, we typically have “termite season” practically year-round with swarming starting as early as February. Once a termite colony has settled comfortably into your home, they will continue to feast upon wood and other materials, not leaving until they’ve depleted their food source. 

While you may be a little preoccupied with crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades this time of year, you shouldn’t overlook termite prevention to keep these unwanted guests from destroying your home. Termites cause over $5 billion in damages each year, but luckily, there are some good preventative measures you can take to keep your home out of that statistic.

 

Early Detection of Termites

Depending on the species of the termite, there are many warning signs to look out for:

  • Mude tubes – Subterranean termites are known for digging mud tubes. They connect their colonies through a mud tube in the soil underground to their above-ground food sources. These mud tubes look like small, pencil-like dirt tunnels, which are located at the base of your home. They are made out of small pieces of soil and wood. 
  • Very hollowed/damaged wood – One thing for sure: termites are very hungry. They will do just about anything to eat wood. Some people often see ‘sawdust’ by the base of their wood or gaps between the wood where they have been eating. 
  • Droppings or Pellets – Like other pests, one of the easiest ways to discover an infestation is by finding droppings. Drywood termites usually leave behind small, wood-colored pellets. 
  • Discarded wings – You may discover wings left behind near a closed window or door. After the termite’s swarm, they will shed their wings.

 

Pick up Loose Wood

Termites love wood, moisture, and soil. Make sure you are picking up loose pieces of wood which touch the ground. Leaving wood within snacking distance is a huge target for termites. Make sure to remove all wood, lumber, mulch, plants, paper, etc. from around your home’s foundation. If you have wood touching the ground and your home, you should try to create some distance by keeping them at least 20 feet from your home.

 

Reduce Moisture

Make sure you eliminate any water leaks or moisture buildup from your residence. Remember, termites love moisture. Try to fix leaking AC units, faucets, gutters, and water pipes. Also, try to keep all sprinkler heads pointed away from your home’s foundation. You don’t want any standing pools of water touching the exterior of your home.


 Preventative maintenance can go a long way when it comes to termites. One of the best prevention methods for termites is receiving regular (typically annual) termite inspections from a qualified expert. The Bug Man offers two main termite removal and prevention services: a baiting system treatment called Sentricon as well as Termidor, a chemical barrier treatment. Both treatments are proven to defend and remove any type of termite. 

Do you have any termites invading your home or are interested in a preventative maintenance plan? Request an in-home estimate today before it’s too late! Please contact The Bug Man for all your termite needs at (225) 923-2847 or visit our contact page.

Insulation in Your Attic and Why It’s Important

Insulation in Attic Blog

By its very nature, the attic is a place to put the things you don’t want to worry about. Whether it’s holiday decorations, family keepsakes or seasonal clothes, when you put something in your attic, you expect it to stay there safe and sound. However, without proper inspection or installation of insulation, your valuables are much more likely to suffer damage from leaks, mold and, of course, invading animals. Without insulation, there’s a good chance that you’re losing some of your hard-earned holiday shopping money due to persistent drafts. 

Now, along with our expertise in handling pest problems, The Bug Man offers insulation inspection and installation. Here are just a few reasons why it’s so important to keep your attic in top condition:

 

Temperature Control

While insulation is a natural solution to keeping out the cold, it’s also an excellent way to keep in the cool air during the summer. Well-installed, high-quality insulation reigns in your A/C systems from going overboard on heat and cooling production.

In the winter, your heater runs in a way that automatically fills any detected cold space with warm air. This means that, without attic insulation, cold air is constantly slipping in, which keeps your heater running and keeps increasing your utility bill. The same goes for the summertime, as your air-conditioner fights to keep the hot air outside.

 

Rodent Infestations

Have you recently been smelling an odor accumulating in your home? Or how about hearing things in your attic? You most likely have a rodent infestation. With an inspection and/or repairs, you can avoid dealing with the side effects of a poorly insulated attic. During and following the cold winter months, you may come across the presence or remains of a rodent colony that made a comfortable home in your attic. A good attic cleaning by a certified individual will remove any droppings or deceased rodents from your attic to protect your family against infectious viruses.

 

Holes or Cracks

Did you know that over time, the wood exposure in your attic can create holes or cracks? Although this may not sound like a big deal, these small openings can allow outside air to get into your attic and significantly increase your energy bill. The prevalence of holes and cracks can also be the entranceway of small bugs. A skilled insulator would be able to detect where the outside air is coming from and seal all of those areas.

 


 

Sticking to a thorough cleaning and air sealing of your attic insulation, your attic should be safe from any future threat. Proper attic insulation and restoration may be able to save you a lot of money in the long run. Contact The Bug Man today about an insulation inspection for your attic before a problem arises.