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Make Pest-Proofing a Priority in the New Year

When compiling your New Year’s resolutions this January,  J&J Exterminating, in partnership with the National Pest Management Association, recommends adding pest-proofing the home to the top of your list. Although pests might not be the first thing that comes to mind when making resolutions, ensuring your home is ready for winter can save you a lot of money, and stress, over the course of the year.   

While the types of pests you might see around your home vary by season, there are always critters close by looking for food and shelter. Many homeowners don’t think about infestations until one has taken hold, when in reality, there are a few easy steps they can take to properly secure their home from pests all year long.

To help keep your family protected from pests like cockroaches and rodents this J&J Exterminating recommends adding the following activities to your list of New Year resolutions:

  • Store holiday decorations properly: Opt for plastic containers with tight-fitting lids to keep pests from infesting decor while in storage.
  • Keep your kitchen clean: Wipe down counters after cooking to clear them of crumbs and food debris. Dispose of garbage regularly and store food in airtight containers to prevent pest entry. 
  • Seal gaps in windows and doors: Install door sweeps and seal any gaps on exterior doors. Be sure to also seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  • Properly store firewood: Keep it at least 20 feet away from the home and five feet off of the ground to avoid attracting pests.
  • Manicure your yard: Remove any dead bushes, branches and fallen leaves from the yard that could act as shelter for rodents, ticks and other pests.
  • Eliminate moisture build-up: Repair leaking faucets or pipes and divert water away from the house with functioning downspouts and gutters to eliminate moisture, as this can attract pests.

For more information about how to schedule a pest inspection, visit

How The Vegetation Commonly Found Around Louisiana Homes Contributes To Indoor Spider And Centipede Issues

The common house centipede originates from Mexico, but this species has become well distributed throughout the United States. House centipedes are very common indoor pests, and they are able to reproduce within homes, which allows their indoor numbers to become substantial in some cases. Unlike a few other centipede species in the US, the house centipede does not generally bite humans, and infestations are regarded as being nothing more than a nuisance. However, house centipedes are difficult to eliminate and remove from houses due to their astonishingly fast movements, and their unpleasant appearance does not make them well tolerated within homes.

The presence of both house centipedes and spiders within a home is considered beneficial due to their habit of preying on insect pests. Naturally, houses that contain a large number of insects also tend to see a large number of spiders and house centipedes. Unfortunately, the ivy vines that grow on and around many Louisiana homes ultimately attract large numbers of insect pests, which in turn, attracts large numbers of house centipedes and spiders.

Ivy vines grow on homes where moisture content is high indoors and in the soil surrounding foundations. Ivy vines around windows, door frames, attic vents, and crawl spaces invite creepy-crawlies directly into homes. Since homes covered in ivy vines provide pests with an ideal environment, removing ivy vines will reduce the number of insects, arachnids and centipedes encountered indoors. In addition to ivy, thick layers of mulch, leaf litter and overgrown vegetation around foundations provide the perfect conditions for centipede development. Spiders and house centipedes thrive in dank basements, so removing vegetation or debris that may be blocking basement or crawl space vents will allow for better ventilation. If spider and house centipede issues persist despite making the above changes around a home, insecticide applications around the perimeter of a home can prevent pest intrusions.

Do you frequently find house centipedes within your home?

Why Formosan Subterranean Termite Swarmers Are More Likely Than Native Subterranean Termite Swarmers To Establish New Colonies In Household Wood Components

Subterranean termites dwell in the soil below the ground surface where worker termites leave their nest to gather food sources to sustain their colony. Termites will eat any material that contains cellulose, which is a fibrous organic material that can be found in all forms of vegetation, including cactuses, trees, weeds, and crop plants. Most termite species only feed on the cellulose contained within dead plant matter, which is not hard to come by below the ground where subterranean termites feed on twigs, decaying stems and leaves, dead roots, tree stumps, and dead portions of trees. Naturally, subterranean termites frequently encounter the foundation of houses where tree roots, wooden posts, and wood scraps leftover from past residential construction projects are particularly abundant. Once these pests stumble upon a foundation, they build and travel through protective mud tubes that squeeze through cracks in concrete slabs and foundations where it connects to indoor structural wood.

Drywood termites, on the other hand, solely inhabit dead wood, such as decayed logs, fallen tree branches, and dead trees. This is convenient for drywood termites, as they never have to forage for wood scraps due to inhabiting their food source. However, each year winged reproductive termites swarm out of their colony nest in order to locate dead wood sources where they establish new colonies. Unfortunately, these dead wood sources sometimes include wood siding on houses, lumber beneath shingles, and they frequently establish colonies within the indoor structural wood by flying through attic vents.

While only reproductive swarmers (alates) from drywood termite colonies can establish structural infestations, subterranean termites can access structural wood as alates or foraging workers, but the latter is the norm. Swarming alates from Formosan subterranean termite colonies are more likely than native subterranean termite alates to establish structural infestations. This is because only Formosan termite alates swarm around artificial light sources such as street lights, porch lights, and indoor lights, where they are likely to make contact with a home’s exterior or interior wood sources. Formosan termite swarms occur only at night, and they emerge from colonies as early as April and last until July.

Have you ever witnessed a termite swarm during the nighttime hours?

Mosquitoes Caused A Yellow Fever Outbreak That Killed 5,000 People During The USA’s Early Years

When it comes to mosquito-borne disease threats, modern Americans have lived through outbreaks of the Zika virus and the west Nile virus. Other well known mosquito-borne diseases, like malaria and dengue fever, still cause millions of deaths every year. However, a vast majority of the deaths that result from mosquito-borne disease infections occur within impoverished regions of the world where medical resources are limited or lacking. Considering the current situation concerning vector-borne disease fatalities in the world, it may surprise some people to learn that disease-carrying mosquitoes have killed thousands of Americans. While numerous mosquito-borne disease epidemics have claimed thousands, or possibly millions of American lives since the early days of Colonialism in North America, the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 is one of the most significant in terms of its disastrous consequences.

The yellow fever virus is, of course, spread and transmitted to humans and numerous animals by mosquitoes. During the year of 1690, the first well-documented yellow fever epidemic occurred in early America, but it was the outbreak that occurred in the nation’s former Capital in 1793 that resulted in a particularly high amount of fatalities. During the late summer of that year, the former Capital of the United States, Philadelphia, received thousands of refugees who had been escaping a yellow fever outbreak in their native Caribbean territory. Unfortunately, within a few weeks, many native Philadelphians contracted the virus, and by October, 100 people were dying from the virus daily. The victims of the virus were so numerous that the local government in Philadelphia ultimately collapsed due to the epidemic’s strain on public services and the economy. The Federal Government, also in Philadelphia at the time, responded to the crisis by simply evacuating the city, but this did little to nothing to control the virus’ spread. Luckily, a cold front eliminated the diseased mosquitoes from the city, which resulted in only 20 deaths per day over much of the fall season. By the time the crisis ended, 5,000 people died from the virus in and around Philadelphia.  Today, a vaccine prevents people from falling ill to yellow fever. Despite the wide availability of this vaccine, 20,000 people continue to die from yellow fever every year around the world.

Do you take measures to prevent mosquito bites while visiting regions where mosquito-borne disease is relatively common?


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J & J Exterminating, Inc.

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Lafayette, La 70503
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J&J Exterminating, Inc.