Pest Control

I.   Pest Control Problems

Problems with insects and rodents on the uptown campus and the Primate Center campus should be reported to the Facilities Services department for that particular campus.  However, pest control on the health science center campus (TUHSC) is handled by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) Pest Control Technician Paul "Bugman" Hammothe. (See Section II for a listing of specific buildings where pest control services are handled by OEHS.)

Paul can be contacted directly at 988-7378 (988-PEST) or you can call the OEHS main office at 988-5486 to speak to an attendant.  When reporting pest control concerns, please provide the following information:

  • Location of the problem (building, room number)
  • Contact person's name and phone number
  • Nature of the problem (type of bug).  

II. TUHSC Pest Control Information

General pest control services include crack and crevice treatment, area spraying, dusting and baiting. Rodent traps (glue boards) are used inside buildings and bait stations are used in exterior locations (rat holes).  Treatment does NOT include termite control.  

TUHSC facilities* included in the OEHS Pest Control program include the following:

  • School of Medicine (1430 Tulane Ave.)
  • Tidewater Building (1440 Canal St.)
  • JBJ/Center for Bioenvironmental Research (1324 Tulane Ave.)
  • Deming Pavilion (204 S. Saratoga) 
  • Elks Place-including Kidopolis Day Care Center (127 Elks Pl.)
  • Environmental Medicine (1700 Perdido St.)
  • Murphy Building (131 S. Robertson St.)
  • Women’s Center (143/147 S. Liberty St.)

*Additional information on the treatment areas and frequency of pest control services can be provided upon request

An IT is needed for pest control services in the following areas:  ($75/hr, two hour minimum)

  • 1555 Poydras St. (Tulane tenant spaces only) 
  • Hebert Center
  • TUHSC Satellite Clinics
  • Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC)

III.     Sanitation and Pest Control

Good sanitation is a critical component of pest control. Pest control efforts are ineffective without good sanitation practices.  The following practices should be implemented to help control pests:

  1. Store materials at least 6 inches off of the floor.
  2. Keep areas clean - especially break areas and pantries where food is present.
  3. Keep countertops, areas under or behind equipment and appliances, and the interiors of drawers and cabinets clean and free of food particles.
  4. Properly store food in sealed containers.
  5. Wipe up food and beverage spills immediately.
  6. Keep garbage containers clean.  Keep large waste containers covered.
  7. Seal penetrations in the building envelope so outside pests can't enter the building.
  8. Repair or report leaks to deprive insects and rodents of a source of water.

IV.  General Household Pests


German Cockroach 

(1/2" to 5/8") This roach, with two dark stripes running from front to back, is found throughout the world, thriving wherever man lives, eating the same foods, sharing the same habitats. It is commonly found in restaurants, kitchens and stores where food, moisture and harborage are abundant. Populations build rapidly from egg capsules being produced about every 20-25 days. Each capsule contains about 35 eggs, the young maturing in about 100 days. German roaches contaminate food, leave stains, create foul odors and carry disease organisms. They hide during the day, closely packed in small cracks and crevices near food and water.

Brown Banded Cockroach 

(1/2" to 5/8") Easily recognized by alternating light and dark bands across  its back. About the same size as the German roach, but not as dependent on moisture, it can be found anywhere in the structure. The Brown Banded roach doesn't multiply as fast as the German, but it is considered harder to control because of being scattered all over the structure. It shows a preference for warmer areas over 80 degrees F. Often found high on walls in picture frames, behind molding, near appliance motors, in light switches, closets and furniture.

American Cockroach 

(1-3/8" to 2-1/8") One of the group commonly referred to  as "Palmetto Bugs", the American roach is the largest of the roaches infesting homes. It has reddish brown wings and is a good flyer. American roaches often invade from sewer systems and heavily mulched areas. The female attaches the egg capsule, containing 15-18 eggs, in high areas in garages, closets, utility rooms and fireplaces. Found nearly anywhere in the house, American roaches contaminate food, carry disease, damage book bindings, fabrics and wallpaper.

Australian Cockroach 

(1-1/4" to 1-1/2") This is a large reddish brown to dark brown roach with yellow bars on the front edge of its forewing. They are good flyers, entering homes through windows, doors, soffits and gables, especially where moisture problems exist. They breed and live in moist, decaying vegetation outdoors. This is another of the roaches referred to as "Palmetto Bugs".

Smokey Brown Cockroach 

(1" to 1-1/4") The smokey brown roach is uniform in color, typically brownish black and very shiny. They are good flyers and are attracted to lights at night. Found in warm, dark, moist areas such as treeholes, ivies, mulch, woodpiles and soffits/eaves of attics with moisture problems, they are very mobile. The smokey brown roach has the reputation of being the most difficult to control because it is so active and has many habitat preferences. Very thorough methods and persistence are required for effective control.

Florida Woods Cockroach 

(1-1/2" to 1-3/4") This roach is often called the "stinking cockroach" because of the foul smelling fluid it produces to protect it from predators. It is dark reddish brown to black, and commonly found in leaf mulch, wood piles and under rotting logs. Houses with wood shingles and shade trees will support large populations of this species, also often called a Palmetto Bug.


(1/3" to 1/2") These slender, wingless insects are common in homes. They are shiny and silver or pearl-gray in color with three long tail-like appendages and two long antennae. They may cause damage by eating foods, cloth or other items high in protein, sugar or starch. They eat cereals, moist wheat flour, paper on which there is glue or paste, sizing in paper and bookbindings, starch in clothes and linens. They will breed in bookcases, storage boxes and linen closets. They thrive in moist hot areas from the attic to the crawl space.



(1/32" to 1/16") Fleas are small, hard-bodied, wingless insects with a flattened body and legs adapted for jumping on to a host. The cat flea, most commonly encountered in Florida, seeks mammals for the blood meal needed to sustain them. They can be a direct health hazard, transmitting disease and tapeworm. Humans are often attacked when other food sources aren't available. Their bite leaves a red, itchy spot on the skin. Their saliva is irritating to the host, causing dermatitis and hair loss in allergic animals.



(1/4" to 1/3") Of the tick found in Florida, the Brown Dog tick is the most troublesome. The tick is an eight-legged relative of the spider. It must feed three time before hiding and producing up to 3000 eggs in a crack or crevice. The tick can live without food for up to 200 days, waiting for a host, usually a dog, to supply a blood meal. Many serious diseases can be transmitted through ticks: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, typhus, Lyme Disease, relapsing tick fever and other disorders.


Black Widow 

(1-1/2" long) Of the four species found in Florida, the Southern Black Widow is the most widespread. It is glossy black with a red hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. The female is much larger and more distinctly marked than the male. It makes a strong, sticky irregular web in protected areas where prey is likely to wander in and be trapped. Foundations, vents, shrubs and wood piles at ground level are common habitats. Their highly poisonous venom can cause concern for small children and older or infirm persons. Medical attention should be sought if bitten.

Brown Recluse Spider 

(1-1/4" to 1-1/2") The brown recluse is a brownish spider with a distinctive violin-shaped mark behind its eyes, which has earned it the name "fiddle-backed" spider. It is found in undisturbed areas such as sheds, garages and dark closets. Garments left hanging for some time are favorite spots. Their bite causes a severe systemic reaction and an ulcerous sore which requires extensive medical attention.------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clothes Moth 

(up to 1/2") These are small yellowish or brownish moths. Larvae spin a silken tube or case which they drag with them to protect them from the environment and their natural enemies. Eggs are laid on products the larva will consume such as: wool, feathers, fur, hair, animal and fish meals and milk powders. Adults do not feed on fabrics, only the larva damage household goods. They are not attracted to light, preferring dark, protected areas.


Bed Bug

(up to 1/4")                                                                               
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown, with oval, flattened bodies.  They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches.  Bed bugs do not fly, but can move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces.  Female bed bugs lay their eggs in secluded areas, depositing up to five a day and 500 during a lifetime. The eggs are tiny, whitish, and hard to see without magnification (individual eggs are about the size of a dust spec).  Bed bugs are active mainly at night.  During the daytime, they prefer to hide close to where people sleep.  They feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak through which they withdraw blood.   Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in their bodies, transmission to humans is highly unlikely.


Fly (Life Cycle)

(1/8 to 1/4" long)                                                                                              
Mature house fly larvae or maggots are spindle shaped and creamy white.  Female house flies lay their eggs singly but in clusters of 75 to 150 eggs in a variety of moist, rotting, fermenting, organic matter including animal manure, accumulated grass clippings, garbage, spilled animal feed, and soil contaminated with any of the above items.  A female may lay more than 500 eggs in a lifetime.  The eggs hatch within a day, and the young larvae burrow into the breeding medium and complete development in three days to several weeks depending on the temperature and quality of food materials.  Under optimum conditions, house flies can complete their entire life cycles in less than seven days.



(1/32 - 7/16")
Fungus gnats are slender to robust, long-legged and mosquito-like.  They are usually black, brown or yellowish.  The dark winged fungus gnat has smoke colored wings, and the other fungus gnats have spots on their wings.  The larvae are inconspicuous although they have well developed heads, 11 to 12 body segments, and a ventral bottom lobe on their last abdominal segment.  Little is known about the biologyof either family.  The dark winged fungus gnats molt four times as a larva.  The other fungus gnats lay their eggs directly on larval food.  The eggs hatch in a few days, and the larvae molt five times in six to eight days.  They pupate in the ground and the adults emerge in three days.


V.     Outdoor Pests


Carpenter Ant 

(1/4" to 1/2") These large ants usually nest outdoors in stumps and logs in contact with the soil and in dead tree limbs and cavities. The Florida Carpenter Ant has a black abdomen and red head and thorax. They also can nest in homes in wood damaged by termites, fungi and moisture. They forage widely for food crumbs and insects as well as honeydew produced by sap-sucking insects which attack landscape plants. Although they don't eat wood, the galleries they excavate can be quite extensive.

Pharaoh Ant 

(1/12" to 1/16") These small red to yellowish ants can be found trailing anywhere within a structure. They can nest in wall voids, cabinets, boxes of food and any other accessible crevices and spaces. They are known to invade sick rooms and feed on blood plasma and wound dressings. Their colonies have multiple queens and can split into small groups, spreading very rapidly. In sub-tropical areas pharaoh ants readily nest outside in leaf debris found on or near structures. Re-invasion of the structure can occur throughout warm parts of the year.


Red Imported Fire Ant 

(1/8" to 1/4") Usually a reddish brown color, fire ants live in colonies of up to 200,000 individuals. Their mounds can be two feet high and three feet across with as many as 50 colonies per acre. The red imported fire ant causes damage difficult to measure in dollars. It's painful, burning sting results in pustules that take up to 10 days to heal. Some people are extremely allergic to the sting, needing fast medical attention to deal with the toxin.



(3/4" to 1-1/2") Earwigs were named by a superstition that the insect would crawl purposely in the ears of sleeping people. More easily recognized by its forceps-like tail appendage, the earwig is a major garden pest, as well as an annoying household pest. It is one of the few insects that takes care of its young. Earwigs feed on green plants, and other vegetation, and do little damage indoors. The pinch of their forceps is neither painful nor poisonous, but does an effective "scare" job.


House Cricket 

(3/4") The tan house cricket is found in warm, damp, dark places such as shrubs, grass, basements or crawl spaces. Active mostly at night,they will eat almost anything they can chew from rugs to drapes, and they usually enter a building from harborage right outside.



A caterpillar is the larval stage of butterflies and moths. This stage usually lasts from about two weeks to a month. Its primary function is to eat and grow in preparation for pupating. More aggressive self-defense measures are taken by hairy caterpillars. These caterpillars have spiny bristles or long fine hair-like setae with detachable tips that will irritate by lodging in the skin or mucous membranes. No really effective home first aid treatments for caterpillar stings are available. See a physician if severe reactions occur.



All mosquitoes pass through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The number of days from egg to adult varies with species and temperature. Under ideal conditions, some mosquitoes can complete their cycle of development from egg to adult in less than a week. Female mosquitoes are blood feeders and may live for more than a month. They generally require a blood meal before laying eggs. Mosquitoes rely on various cues to find potential hosts on which to feed. Heat, movement, exhaled carbon dioxide, and body scent allow hungry mosquitoes to home in on their prey from long and short distances. Some mosquito species feed on humans; many feed on wild and domestic birds and mammals.  They are the onlyknown means of transmission of the causal agents of malaria, yellow fever, some type of encephalitis, dengue, and filariasis.



The adult house mouse ranges in size from 5-8in/127-206mm long in total length.  The height of the skull only measures 1/4in./6mm, enabling the mouse to gain entry through small openings to buildings since once the skull penetrates a crack or crevice, the rest of the mouse's flexible body can follow.  House mouse prefer to nest in dark secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance, and in areas where nesting materials, such as paper, cardboard, attic insulation, cotton, etc., are readily available. 



The Norway Rat is also known as the house rat, brown rat wharf rat, sewer rat and water rat.  The Norway rat is the largest of the commensal rodents.  The head and body are seven to ten inches long and the tail is an additional six to eight inches.  It has a stocky body and weighs seven to 18 ounces.  Adults are sexually mature in two to five months.  Females produce three to six litters per year, each averaging seven to eight young.  Adults live from six to twelve months.  They have poor sight but keen senses of smell, taste, hearing, and touch.  The rats easily enter buildings through 1/2-inch and larger gaps.  In buildings they prefer to nest in the lower levels of the building, e.g., crawlspace, basement, loading dock and sewers.  They prefer foods such as meat, fish, and cereals and require a separate nonfood water source.

OEHS, 1430 Tulane Ave., TW-16, New Orleans, LA 70112   |   504-988-5486   |