Pest Control Blog

Pest Control Tips and Information



July 26th, 2017

ABC_Pest_0.jpgWhen ants infest a home or yard, they can be a real difficult issue to deal with. In some species of ant, the queen ant can have millions of babies over their short lifespan – making it easy for them to take over an area fairly quickly. Three of the main types of pests that homeowners may have to deal with are carpenter ants, field ants, and sugar ants. Each of these types of ant is unique and needs to be dealt with in a different way.

Carpenter ants, named because they build their nests in wood, can cause significant damage to a house. They range in size from about a quarter of an inch to about three quarters of an inch. Each colony of carpenter ant is established by a single fertilized queen, who starts a nest within a cavity of wood. Once established, the colony tunnels into surrounding wood and can cause significant structural damage. Many pest control experts consider carpenter ants to be of the most difficult pests to remove, and removal can take considerable time and multiple treatments. In order to remove carpenter ants, the main nest as well as all satellite nests of the colony need to be identified and eliminated.

Field ants often can be found nesting near the foundation of a building – often they make a mound of soil as they excavate under the ground. Field ants do not usually invade homes, but they will hunt for food on decks and porches. Field ants art known to bite and their bites can be painful. The best way to deal with keeping field ants away from your home is through prevention – keep much away from foundation to prevent nesting, keep firewood off the direct ground, and make sure exterior doors of the home close tightly to make sure field ants can’t get into the home when hunting for food.

 

Sugar ants are commonly seen in suburban areas, and prefer warm and humid climates. Sugar ants feed on nectar, sugary foods, and some small insects. When sugar ants locate a reliable source of food, such as from within a home, they can become a problem for a homeowner. Sugar ants are attracted to spills and stains, so it is important to clean these up immediately. Sugar ants may bite to defend themselves, but the bites are typically not painful.

 

To ensure proper removal of an already existing infestation of ants of any type, it is best to call a professional. However, in many cases preventing the issue in the first place if often a much easier option – clean up spills, and try not to create a yard environment that will encourage ants to nest.


June 27th, 2017

428276578-abcpest.jpgIf you are concerned that you may have a problem with moths in your home, it is important to plan ahead to avoid an infestation. Because adult moths do not have mouths, it is not them that are responsible to damage to fabrics within your home. Instead, it is the moth larvae that cause the damage.

Washing or dry cleaning fabrics that moths might be attracted to (such as natural fibres) before storage can reduce the likelihood of a moth infestation by removing any already existing larvae, and moth attractants such as hair and oils. Storing fabric items in air-tight storage bags or totes will help with protecting against moths.

One of the best ways to prevent moths infestations is to use a moth repellent, which use the moth’s highly developed sense of smell against them. Areas treated with moth repellent will inhibit the moths to use their sense of smell to communicate and detect food, so they will avoid those areas.

Another way to use the moth’s sense of smell against them is by using pheromone-based traps. These traps attract the moths by using a pheromone specific to the type of moth you are targeting – the moths then become stuck in the trap.

Moths thrive in humid environments. Therefore, keeping your home’s humidity low by using a dehumidifier will create an environment not ideal for a moth, and they should choose to avoid your home. Ideally, your home should be around fifty percent humidity to avoid moth contamination. Additionally, rigorous vacuuming can help to get rid of moth eggs and larvae within the home.

If you have an item of clothing or fabric which you believe has been infested by moths, you can use extreme temperature to get rid of them. Place the item in a freezer-safe plastic bag and leave in the freezer for four days. This should kill off any moth eggs and larvae within the garment.

When dealing with moths, it is best to take action immediately to prevent infestation within your home. Luckily, there are a number of methods to help you get rid of them and prevent future moths from entering.


May 30th, 2017

abcpest.jpgWith the warmer weather starting back up again, homeowners need to begin thinking about pest management once more in and around their homes. We have put together a list of pests to watch out for, and how to deal with them.

Ants are usually one of the first pests to show up in the spring, and usually signal a homeowner to remember to begin dealing with preventative measures for pest management. Typically, ants enter the home looking for moisture – and are very common to be found in homes with basements because of this. General insecticides are not very effective against ants, and may simply cause them to spread throughout the house. Ant bait can be effective, but needs to be placed in numerous areas in the home. Once the ground outside of the home is dry, it may also be beneficial to apply pesticides around the exterior of the home.

Spiders are seen throughout the year inside of homes in BC. Typically, spiders in the home are on the hunt for insects to eat. Over the counter insecticides are fairly effective in killing spiders, but there are some easier ways to keep them at bay. Placing mouse glue boards traps behind furniture or in unfinished areas of the home next to walls will capture many of the spiders in the home. Additionally, it is a good idea to try to knock down any cobwebs and spider webs you see in your home to discourage spiders from reproducing within the home.

While flies normally die off on their own within just a few days, there are a couple of options for preventing their entry in the first place. In the fall months, apply insecticides to the exterior of the home including around the windows and the eaves. If there seem to be a large number of flies suddenly within your home, it may be worthwhile to check the area around your home (or in your attic, basement, etc) for the potential of a dead rodent or bird where the flies may have been hatched and used as a food source.

Centipedes and millipedes tend to start showing up near the end of winter and early spring. Because they are usually living within concealed areas of the home, insecticides won’t be of much help. Fortunately, once spring rolls around most of these types of insects will leave your home on their own. In the warmer months, apply an exterior treatment of pesticides to help keep these pests outside of the home.

Thinking ahead about pest management will ensure the least amount of creepy-crawlies within your home for both the warm winter months, and will get ahead of the curve to avoid them coming in to roost for the winter and the subsequent spring. Now that it is starting to get warm out, it’s a good time to start planning!


April 24th, 2017

With springtime around the corner, homeowners are preparing for a season of sunshine, barbecues and (unfortunately) pests! Like many “spring cleaning” chores, getting rid of pests can seem like a daunting task, but there are a few ways to help reduce the likelihood of infestations to a home.

Initially, all pests enter the home from the outside. Preventing the likelihood of their entry is the first step to making sure that they don’t become a problem.

Plants and mulches should be kept at least three feet from the house. This is a simple way to help ward off rodents, and many types of insects that are attracted to flowers, leaves, and the moisture from mulch.

Pests often can enter a home through the tiny gaps around plumbing and pipes, window frABC_Pest.jpgames, attics and crawl spaces. To make sure that these areas don’t allow the pests in, make sure that all window screens are properly fitted and repair any tears immediately, replace old weatherstripping, and seal or caulk holes and cracks right away.

Some types of insects are attracted to stagnant water. To prevent these pests from accumulating near (or in) your home, repair roof leaks quickly. Check for issues with plumbing, and clear gutters of debris on a regular basis so that the water does not sit and become a drinking or breeding source for insects.

There are also a number of preventative measures we can take on the insides of our homes. These measures include keeping pet food and water off of the ground – elevated bowls will inhibit pests from being able to use them as a food or water source. Additionally, keeping areas such as garages and attics clear of clutter. Pests such as spiders and silverfish will often choose cluttered area and cardboard boxes to build their nests – to avoid having these pests in your home, reduce the amount of cardboard boxes in your home and try to keep clutter to a minimum.

To prevent a pest infestation of your home, being proactive can go a long way, and the Spring and Summer months are when the pressure of infestation is at its highest. If a pest has infested your home already, it may be time to contact a licensed professional before they cause damage.


March 28th, 2017

silverfish bugWhat are Silverfish?

Silverfish are about 1/2 inch long, with a uniform silvery color over the upper surface. Their bodies are long and slender, flattened. They can be found almost anywhere, but prefer damp, moderate temperatures found in basements, laundry rooms, and under sinks.

They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages, sheds and attics. But inside, silverfish are found just about anywhere that is dark and humid.

Habits of Silverfish

Proper treatment and control of silverfish requires understanding feeding behavior. They can roam some distance for food, but once they have found a food source, they remain close to it.

They feed on natural textiles, wallpaper pastes, books and paper. They also eat: dried beef, rolled oats, flour, paper, starch, cotton, silk, some synthetic fibers, sugar, dead insects, glue, paste, and linen. In damp basements or attics they can also feed on the surface molds.

Preventing Silverfish Infestation

Seeing a silverfish now and again is not cause for alarm and if you want to keep it that way, do the following:

  1. Don't leave piles of newspaper or mail around. Similarly, get rid of old cardboard boxes in the basement.
  2. Store off-season clothing in sealed bins somewhere dry.
  3. Vacuum regularly to pick up food crumbs and suck up any silverfish eggs.
  4. Keep dry food in containers with tightly sealed lids. 

Effective Control of Silverfish

Silverfish are nocturnal and very fast so often you may not realize a problem until it is serious. Silverfish infestations require professional treatment. Your local pest control expert will assess the situation in your home and detail the most effective solution.

At the first sign of a silverfish infestation, contact your local pest control professional.