Pest Control Blog

Pest Control Tips and Information

March 31st, 2016

carpenter ants eradicationCarpenter ants are a common household pest in Vancouver. These pests damage wood by hollowing it out in order to nest. While they do not eat wood, large colonies can be destructive.

The size and color of carpenter ants vary considerably between species but they all have a smoothly-rounded thorax and one or two nodes.

Swarm and Mating Habits

Each year, carpenter ants become active in March and April and remain so through September and October.
A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive “swarmers” in springtime. The swarmers mate and the females establish a new colony. Their nests consist of smooth, clean tunnels and excavations in wood.

Carpenter Ant Eradication

Location and destruction of the parent nest is the best way to eradicate carpenter ants. Once located, the nest can be treated with insecticides that eliminate the queen and prevent reproduction.

Ant extermination in Vancouver requires eliminating first the parent nest then indoor satellite nests.  Re-infestation is possible if ants outside the structure return to the parent nest. For reliable control, nests must be treated directly. This may require drilling into voids in walls, doors, window frames, etc., to allow in insecticidal dust or to allow liquid insecticide to be injected into the nest.

After a series of exterminations, methods of sanitation can be employed to help prevent another invasion. Carpenter ants require wood and moisture, so reduce the availability of both.

  1. Eliminate stumps, logs and woodpiles or move them as far away from structures as possible.
  2. Seal cracks in the foundations, gaps around doors and windows, and spaces where utility lines penetrate.
  3. Address moisture problems caused by clogged gutters, leaky plumbing and faulty seals around chimneys, skylights, doors and windows.
  4. Also remove or cut back any overhanging tree branches to eliminate easy access for ants.

March 2nd, 2016

There are two seasons that are especially bad for pest problems. Spring is when all the pests hatch, have babies, reproduce like crazy, and fall is when they’re bunkering down for the cold season, hoping to emerge in spring to do it all over again. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take action during the winter. In fact, winter is a great time to make sure those pests don’t reemerge in spring by taking a few proactive measures. Depending on the types of pests, you can do a number of things to reduce the likelihood of a pest bloom come spring. 

Rodents are Nesting 

When the weather gets colder, rodents are going to look for cozy places to hide. That means eaves, attics, basements, garages, and roofs. Even a cold place, like the basement, is better than being out in the rain and snow. So winter is a good time to identify and expel rodents. You may not know where or how to get rid of squirrels in the attic or rats and mice in the walls, so pest control services will be your friend, even in winter. 

Hibernating Insects? 

Insects are going into their dormant phase, waiting for spring. While this means you may not realize they’re there, it also means they’re especially vulnerable. Ants, silverfish, termites, and cockroaches are hiding, slower, and avoiding activity. If you’ve had pests in the past, winter is a great time to have pest control come in and exterminate the insects that are dormant and invisible. 

A lot of pests are also happy to stay active during winter, if they can find a warm and comfortable place to live. If you’re worried that you’ve got pests moving in, get in touch with pest control experts so you can knock out the pests before they get out of control again in spring.

February 28th, 2016

Integrated pest management (IPM) starts with a thorough pest control plan. The goal is to reduce the number of pests through reducing their populations and the damage they cause. An IPM system is designed to cause as little damage to the environment as possible. 

Farmers often use this approach, and it can also be very beneficial to homeowners as well. It is very cost-efficient and a safer alternative to all of those chemical agents that you may not be willing to use around your home. 

An integrated pest management system uses a combination of biological, cultivation, and chemical methods which are applied in very specific sequences in accordance with a specific timeline. This system is a great way to reduce the amount of polluting substances used typically to deal with pests. 

An integrated pest management system encourages looking at environmental factors that affect the pest problem. Once you know what you are dealing with you can create conditions that become unfavorable for the pest. 

A pest can be a plant, bird or rodent, insects, ticks, snails, or viruses and bacteria. These all cause disease, or harm water systems, or animal life. They can significantly upset the balance of ecosystems. 

By beginning an IPM system you will begin to see the benefits with little risk to you or your property. That's because an IPM system encompasses controls. These include biological, cultural, mechanical / physical, and chemical controls to tackle any pest problem. 

You can take actions to keep pests from becoming a real problem. Proper monitoring and pest identification can help you decide if an integrated pest management solution is right for you. 

February 27th, 2016

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood.  The common bed beg prefers human blood and is found in warm houses usually near or inside beds and bedding.  Bed bug bites lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters and itchiness.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish brown, flattened, oval shaped and have no hind wings.  The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures.  These insects have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs giving them a banded appearance.  Adults grow to between 4 and 5 millimeters long and 1.5 to 3 millimeters wide.

An Increase in Bed Bug Infestations

There has been a resurgence of bed bug infestations in the western world since the 1980s when we began seeing these nasty bugs in increasing numbers.  The reasons for this resurgence are not clear but contributing factors seem to be increased resistance of the bed bugs to certain pesticides and increased international travel as well as a certain complacency with respect to being aware of bed bugs.

Vancouver is no exception to increasing infestations of bed bugs.  Signs of bed bug infestation include:

1)      Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.

2)      Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls.

3)      Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide.

4)      An offensive, musty odor from the bugs' scent glands.

5)      Experiencing the symptoms described above (itching, sores, etc.)

React to Bed Bugs With Professional Pest Management

If you think that you have a bed bug infestation call your local pest control professionals immediately.   Make sure that you engage qualified professionals in Vancouver to deal with this pest situation as soon as you notice any sign of their residence in your home or bed. The longer they are around, the more difficult they can be to get rid of. 

February 23rd, 2016

If you have the unfortunate need to call in pest control, you are likely already under a lot of stress. You will want to hire a pest control company who will do a professional job and get rid of those pests for good. If you need to find a company dealing with pest control in Vancouver, what should you look for?

Here are the top 10 questions to ask to be sure you are hiring the right pest control company.

  1. Do you have a license for pest control? If a pest control company is licensed, that means that they will be up to date on the latest techniques. In Vancouver, some pesticides require a license to be administered.
  2. Do you have insurance? This will protect you in the case of property damage as your current home insurance may not cover work done by third parties.
  3. Can I see some references? Testimonials and references will provide you with an insight as to the reputation of the company. Of course, you can also look for testimonials online as well.
  4. How long has your business been operating? Established companies will have extensive experience in pest control. Of course, newer companies can also provide a great service and discounts. But, it is always worth checking credentials.
  5. What pest control approach will you use? You should be informed as to the planned method to eradicate the pests. This could be bait, sprays, granules, and/or traps.
  6. Do you use harmful pesticides? Most of the time pests need to be controlled using toxic substances. This could impact any residents and pets on the property.
  7. Will the property have to be evacuated? Depending on the types of pest-control methods, it could be necessary to remove all persons and pets from the property.
  8. Do I have to sign a contract? Some companies offer a yearly contract for regular pest control, for example in a Strata. For single family dwellings, this usually isn't necessary.
  9. What do I do if pests return? Sometimes more than one treatment is necessary to completely get rid of pests. Most companies will have a period whereby they return for free within a specified period of time.
  10. Do you provide a money-back guarantee? You should know where you stand if you are not satisfied with the service.