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q 1700  I have an infestation of bedbugs and have had a pest control company come in but now they seem to be in my cloths even though I washed every thing in hot water. What else can I do?! Joan, Victoria, BC.
Because bedbugs can hide in the smallest crack and hibernate for up to a year without food (a blood meal) they can be very difficult to locate and eliminate. Most pest management professionals expect it will take more than one service call to eliminate the problem.  You should wash your clothes again and store them in sealed plastic bags until the bed bug problem is eliminated. See How to get rid of bedbugs
q1699  We have recently discovered that we have some black carpenter ants in our attic. We have removed everything from  the attic and vacuum it every day with a 13 amps vacuum cleaner. Will this process help. My husband and I would like to solve this problem ourselves as we do not wish to go into any expense if we can avoid it. your response to this matter will be very much appreciated.  Rashida.  Scarborough, Ont. Vacuuming up ants that leave their nests may reduce the problem slightly, but only about 5% of the nest population will ever leave the nest. Hiring a professional now will likely cost much less than repairing the structural damage carpenter ants can cause. Read more about getting rid ofcarpenter ants
q1698 I live in a rental townhouse and we have a serious mice problem. The rental agency hires a mice exterminator and he put some poison in the kitchen cupboards and in the basement. It that all that can be done? I filled the gaps in between the walls and piping with steel wool and some expanding foam. When do mice problem become health hazard? (I have a child with allergies and asthma). Who can I contact to get some help?
Mice carry a number of diseases and can always be a health hazard, especially to crawling children.  Poison must attract rodents to work so it is not a good idea to put it where you don't want the mice.  It should be placed in bait stations in the basement.  Ask your landlord to make your living space mouse proof.  Steel wool around the pipes will help but there may be other entry points.  Read more about mice
q 1697  As a new horse owner I am concerned about Blister beetle poison but cannot find information that tells me if they are a problem in my area. How can I find out where they are common in Ontario?
There are four species of blister bugs that can cause serious problems for horses. This web page has pictures and information:
According to the university of Florida one species of blister bugs can be found in Quebec and Ontario. More information on this web site:
q 1696  I recently used a dust pesticide to control carpenter ants in my home. I am now reacting to the dust, skin rash, mouth and gums swelling. I need to get rid of the dust that's airborne in my home. I called a couple of professional home cleaning companies, but I would like to do something quick, while I wait for them to come out and provide an estimate. Any ideas?
DID YOU READ THE LABEL?  Insecticide dusts should never be applied where they can become airborne or come in contact with humans or animals. You may be able to rent a vacuum cleaners with a hepa filter but it is probably better to let a professional do the job.  Your reaction to the pesticide is evidence that you should stay away from it.
q 1695  Hello. I have a wasp nest in an outside wall. They've gotten through a crack that I want to seal. I would like to get them out without killing them and seal the hole. Is this possible. If I need professional help will they have to be killed? How much will this cost.  Steve.  London, Ontario.
The wasps will leave in the fall then you can seal up the crack. If you seal it before they leave you may provide a food source to attract other insects.
q 1694  I have encountered similar situation as Q 439 (My question is about Sow bugs. I have a lot in my basement and they keep coming at night time. When i turn on the light they run everywhere and hide in the carpet. I have seen them outside before too. Do u have any tips to get rid of them, or have any kind of spray to kill them.). If this is not Sow bug, then what could it be?  Bee.  Shanghai.
Sow bugs can not run fast and are not bothered by light.  Send a photo and we will try to identify.
q 1693  I have something up in my unfinished 3rd floor. I have never seen them, all I see is their droppings which are always in the same spot and are the size of rice and black. My home is nearly new and everything is tight, it's all brick with vinyl overhangs. The largest hole is for the vents at about 0.125 inch in diameter. I have no leaks in the roofing. I am thinking that they are Leeches because outside my front door I have found the same droppings and know that they came from Leeches because I have killed many in the area. Only thing, why would a leech want to live in a dry & hot 3rd floor attic area and it doesn't make sense. BTW I have put traps up there just in case it is a mouse but the trap is never touched so I do not believe it is a mouse and it is not Bats either. This is really puzzling me since I never see anything up there.  Wallace.  Windsor, Ont.
Are you sure it's not bats?  Your description indicates that is the problem. Gather up some of the droppings and have a professional that does bat control look at them.
q 1692  I have a critter that digs up my lawn late at night. It digs holes in the turf and uproots small patches of grass, leaving a mess. This is not a rodent who digs tunnels. It's all just at the surface. I know I have skunks in the neighborhood, and thought it might be one, though I'm not sure.  Amy.  Portland
Skunks will pull up turf in search of grubs and insects in the grass roots. Have a lawncare professional inspect the lawn for harmful insects and treat if necessary.
q 1691  I have Voles in my yard and have been fighting them for almost two years. I have used Mouse traps with pieces of sliced tomatoes in them and Have caught about ten that way. I have also used the sticky plates used for mice and have caught about five that way. We have put garlic down the holes and crushed them up we have also put sheets of Bounty in the holes. They seem to move around and go next door once in a while but always returning to my yard. The yard is about 13,000 sq. feet long and the house is just two years old. I guess we have cut the heard down by 18 but there are still some around I would like to get rid of all of them. If anybody has the same experience with voles please let me know.  Troy. McDonald Pa.
q 1690  I have a lot of pill bugs that come up my sump pump in the basement. I had sprayed my basement for spiders, so I find the pill bugs dead all along the perimeter of the basement. I tried putting netting over the sump pump opening and then putting the lid on top, but they still seem to get through. What can I do to get rid of them? Thanks!
You will have to seal the sump with a proper lid and caulking.  Sow bugs seem to find damp locations no matter how much we try to keep them outside.
q 1689  i have a problem with farrow ants and i would like some advise on how to get rid of them as i can not sleep properly knowing they are here. they seem to have been here before i moved in . i have a cat and they won't leave his food alone and i never had this problem before moving here. any suggestions as i am fed up? thank you. jen   Oshawa, Ont.
Pharaoh ants are difficult to eliminate, especially in a multiple residence building where tenants or building staff have sprayed pesticides.  This usually causes the nests to bud (split up) and move to new locations.
the Pharaoh Ant Page   A professional can provide a control program using a suitable bait. It may take months to  eliminate them entirely.
q 1688  How do you get rid of pharo ants?
See the answer to the question above.
q 1087  i have over 100 bats in my attic . how can i get ride of them   Kevin.  Sterling Mass.
See the bat page for a solution
q 1686   sub terranian termites is there a non chemical solution, what about these borate based products (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate for example) ?  Robin
Borate based solutions are considered chemicals and many are registered as a pesticides.  There are a number of of new products registered in the US for termite control that pose no risk to humans or the environment when used according to label directions. 
q 1085  For about two weeks now i've been seeing small holes in the grass they, are as big as a 50 cent coin and about half an inch the holes are spreding more across the ground what could this be?
Rita.  Fort Worth, TX.
q 1684  I have a couch out side and mice found a new home. how do I get rid of them? so I can move the couch inside.  Nylene
Turn it upside down, take off the cloth dust cover and the mice will probably leave.
Q1683  Just would like to know when earwigs were first discovered on PEI and the best way to control them with using natural products. Thanks.  John.  Charlottetown,  P.E.I.
The earwig was recorded first in the United States at Newport, Rhode Island in 1911 (Jones 1917). Jones (1917) reported a small colony from Seattle, Washington in 1915. Later evidence indicated that it first invaded North America somewhere on the west coast in the early 1900s. Eventually it became widespread in the New England and Middle Atlantic states and throughout most of the western states, especially where there is abundant rainfall or irrigation to provide moisture and food. It became the dominant species of earwig in most of these areas.
Q1682  I see bees flying out of a crack between the foundation of my garage and my driveway. I've tried sprays, but can't seem to get the foam into the angle of the hole. Do the bees fly away by fall? Could I seal the hole with some type of sealant? Would that kill them and block the hole for future years.  Dotty.  Ottawa, Ontario.
The nest will be dormant when the cold weather arrives and the surviving queens will not go back to an old nest  in the spring. If they are a serious problem not, a pest professional has the equipment and experience to inject a suitable product into the nest to kill the occupants.
Q1681  I have ground bees in my lawn. What do they do and how can I get rid of them. They burrow along my drive way and sidewalk. Will they sting? Joe Astute. Omaha, Ne.
If they are wild bees they are not very aggressive and seldom sting.  If they are wasps, they could be a serious stinging problem.  See the difference: Wasps, Hornets and bees
Q1680  In my tent as I was cleaning to go home I found a small black snake with a yellow ring around its neck. This was in a wooded area in the Gatineau hills in August 2006. What is it??? Paul. Belleville, Ontario
Q1679  We have a minor cockroach problem in our condo. The previous owners had the gel put down, we've been hearing a lot about these "bug bombs" but have been unable to find them for households in Canada, are they banned here? also does boric acid really work for killing roaches? Leticia, Scarborough, Ontario
There are too many health risks using bug bombs. I doubt you will find any for sale in Canada.  The best and safest control method is using gel, but in small quantities frequently.  It has to be placed properly in the right locations. ( Bug bombs have caused serious explosions that have destroyed homes.)
Q1678  We had rats in our basement. It took a few weeks to eliminate them with poison. How can we eliminate the smell of their urine which soaked into the dirt floor?
Try spreading lime over the dirt.  It is often used for other mammal odors and pit toilets.
Q1677  Could you please advise me if bites from carpenter/wood ants are dangerous?
Regards, C. Hawkswell
No. Carpenter ants have very strong mandibles capable of tearing slivers of wood out of a tree or construction wood. These mandibles are capable of pinching tender skin, but seldom enough to draw blood and they have no venom.
Q1676  I know this site is for Canadians, but something is eating my screens (which are suppose to be bug proof ) and I don't know what it is or how to stop it. Do you have any suggestions? Rhonda. Kansas
Rodents will frequently chew holes in nylon screens.  We are not aware of any insects that could damage window screens.
Q1675  What is the best way to get rid of bedbugs?  Sherri.  Surrey, BC
See the suggestions on this web page:  Get rid of bedbugs,,
Q1674  Hello, I would like to know where I can get a cockroach gel in Canada. I hear that they are very effective. The names of some of these gels are Scuttle Cockroach Gel, Premise Cockroach Gel, and Max Force Bait Gel.  I'm hoping that there are some shops in Canada that sell these products. Al.  Scarborough, Ont.
How you use a pest control product is just as important as what you use.  Where to put it, how much, how often.  What other control measures should be taken? These questions can all be answered by a pest professional in your area. They may sell you the products and offer suggestions, but you may be better off hiring them to do a good inspection, then suggest environmental modifications before applying the gel.
Directory of  Ontario pest professionals..
Q1673  I have a few bats in the attic. Other than exclusion, are there any products you can buy that will make them leave and not come back? Someone recently told me Camphor oil might work?
Very few repellants have a lasting effect on animals.  If your attic is constructed properly it should be ventilated reducing the effect of any strong smelling product. Moth balls are also used to repel bats and rodents but we are not aware of any success as a result of their use.  Read more about bat control...
Skunks are relatively easy to trap. The problem is relocating them once they are in the trap.  Most wildlife control professionals cover the trap with a tarp.  Read more about skunk control...
Q1671  We live in a semi-detached house. Raccoons are entering through a hole in our neighbour's attic and have come through the wall and are now in our attic above our bedroom. Our neighbour is of Asian decent and does not speak a word of English. We are not sure what language he does speak. His house is already in a state of disrepair, and I am not sure if he even cares about the raccoon problem. Is there a branch of the City of Toronto that will help us communicate with him and what if he refuses to fix the hole?
Sorry we don't get involved with legal matters. One solutions would be to screen off your portion of the attic and let the raccoons cause problems in the neighbours portion.  You could also have a professional trap them in your attic.  Read more about raccoon control..
Q1670  is shake-away any good to get rid of squirrels in walls of cottage? do you sell it?
This web site does not sell anything!!  We are not familiar with "shake away".  If you have squirrels in your walls you should locate the entry points and screen them off.
Q1669  How do I get rid of lizards in my yard near my pond?
You may regret getting rid of them.  Lizards have a  voracious appetite for insects.  They can make a big difference in the population of insect pests in your yard.
Q1668  I had a major problem with moles burrowing throughout my lawn and I couldn't walk but a few feet before I was stumbling on their tunnels which were everywhere. I heard that if you spread powder detergent over the infected area you can rid yourself of these cute little varmints. I did this in the winter and again in the spring and the moles have left my lawn. Because I didn't sprinkle the detergent in the back of my property, they have congregated there. This fall I plan to do both the front and back of my property and I'm willing to bet you the moles move on to someone else's property, sorry. Who would have thought that such a simple thing would work.
This sounds like an unusual solution but if it works, keep it up.  Let us know how you make out in the back yard.
Q1677 I went away on holiday for 2 months a window was left open and now i have pigeons and eggs how do i get rid of them please help. 
You could start by installing a screen on the window.  You can discard the eggs and close the window when the pigeons are outside. Pretty simple !
Q1676  My Elm Tree has Ants and Hornets its killing the tree how can I get rid of them and save my tree.
Ants and hornets do not normally kill trees.  They are probably foraging for other insects on the tree as a food source.  Have a closer look and try to find what insect they are after  then take appropriate action to eliminate that pest.
Q1675  How do I get rid of fleas that are coming from my drainpipes. 
Fleas do not come from drainpipes unless there is a food source (blood) available to them near the drain pipes.  You may have a rodents  with fleas that are traveling along plumbing pipes in your home. To control fleas see our Fleas web page.
Q1674  How can we get rid of lots of flying gnats in our entire 4th floor office? The building has a wide open atrium from the 1st floor. Also an exterminator has supposedly sprayed / cleaned all the drains and pipes in the entire building but we still have tons of gnats. Does the plug-in fly web fly trap really work?
Janet.  Cambridge, Massachusetts
 Electric fly lights can be quite effective but it sounds like your situation would require quite a few.  The lights attract flying insects with a ultraviolet light. The lights contain large glue boards to trap the insect. If there are numerous plants in the atrium they should be checked as a breeding source for these flying pests.
Please Help:  I live in the basement level of a triplex in Toronto York-Weston.  My home is infested.  I have sent my cat away to live elsewhere but soon I will have to move as well.  Countless tiny black bugs less than 1mm long are infesting my home and attacking my feet and ankles and lower legs.  They cannot be easily squashed.  They leap great distances but they do not fly.  They ignore ordinary bug repellant.   I am going on my sixth maddening week.  At first they caused mild itching but this has since escalated to burning and open sores.  I have sprayed and powdered several times following the instructions on the can or bottle and on your website.  I have used flea powder, RAID Indoor Green spray, and Raid indoor crawling insect spray.  I then vacuum thoroughly and throw away the bag.  I have shampooed the upholstery and vacuumed the carpets.  These products and procedures abate the attacks for short periods but then they come back in larger numbers.  It is affecting my sleep, and my health and my job.  I am presently out of money, as I have spent almost 200 dollars on pesticides, vacuum bags, and steam cleaning, so I cannot afford professional services for the rest of this month.  I need your advice or assistance as soon as possible.  Can you please recommend a source of professional grade bug spray.  Can you possibly exterminate on account? Also we have recently discovered a serious and massive mold problem in my daughters bedroom following a leak from a neighbours apartment.  Aside from the obvious health issues associated with mold spores, could this be the cause of the pests?  My landlord seems unconcerned.  
Richard,  Toronto Ontario
 Unfortunately this is a story we have heard many times.  A little bit of flea control over a period of time will usually give the fleas an opportunity to start a new cycle.  You have probably spent more that it would cost to have a professional do the job properly using an insect growth regulator along with an adulticide. It's not just the chemical that matters.  Applying it properly in the right places is very important.  Your landlord should be helping you out.  Mold is another problem that your landlord should be concerned about. 
Q1672  We have tones of what may be sowbugs/pillbugs outside our basement door and flies. So if the door is opened a bunch of flies come in. At our basement door there is a sump pump covered by a tightly sealed hatch - which based on reading this website is the source of the problem. Is there a way to minimize this problem - particularly the flies? Are the flies eating the sowbugs which is attracting them to this area or is this caused by something different? Suggestions welcome!  Cheryl.  Vancouver, BC.
The flies may be there for the same reason the sowbugs are there; plenty of moisture. They are not eating the sowbugs.  Depending on the species of fly, they may be breeding in the sump pump cavity. During hot dry spells in the summer, many insects will seek out sources of water. 
Q1671 Can I purchase clerid beetles to help prevent my pines from attack of the Rocky mountain pine beetle?
Mary. Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
You may be able to locate a source by contacting your state department of forestry (or the equivalent government agency)  They should encourage anyone who tries to help control these beetles.
Q1670  For some time now, I have had a problem with a skunk on my apartment patio. I leave my patio door open for air (no alternative) so I suppose it is sniffling about. But, the smell wakes me (5 a.m.) and, when I stir, the skunk must get startled and squirt. This morning it has been very bad. I am afraid the smell will never leave the patio!
A screen door to your patio should keep it out.  To remove the smell try using the skunk odor solution recipe on the skunks page.
Q1669  Is there a home remedy to get rid of fruit flies?  Nancy.  Kansas City Missouri.
It is very important to eliminate the breeding site of fruit flies. They multiply so rapidly that most control  solutions will not work unless you stop the breeding process.  You can construct a trap by placing a funnel (rolled from a sheet of notebook paper) into a jar which is then baited with a few ounces of cider vinegar. Place the jar trap(s) wherever fruit flies are seen. This simple but effective trap will soon catch many adult flies which can then be killed or released outdoors.  Fruit flies are sometimes mistaken for Phorid Flies.  You can see the difference on this fly identification page.
Q1668  We have dock spiders living within the floating dock at our cottage. We simply avoid each other most of the time. They've taken to climbing into our kayaks which is very unsettling. We plan to cover this dock with outdoor carpet and wonder if this will help deter them from living at our location?  Marlene.  Noelville, Ontario.
The carpet may reduce the number you see on top of the dock but it will also provide more shelter and perhaps improve their breeding environment.
Q1667  my neighbour and i have found small amounts of round debris seems to be brick mortar and also wood mulch from the ground on our eastern exposed stone window ledges. the whatever it is (we don't ever see it) seems to be going in the vent hole in the vinyl windows. What can this be?  Any info would be helpful. Thanking You . Roslyne. Barrie, Ontario
The most likely cause is ants carrying the debris up from ground level.  Go out after sunset with a flashlight and you may see them.  Collect a few for identification.  To identify, see our Ants web page.
Q1666  I have a family of beige/brown marked snakes residing in my fish pond. They lay at the bottom (underwater) and sun themselves. I have seen our black snakes (I think they are garters) but have never seen the pond ones before - are they poisonous and do we have poisonous snakes on the sunshine coast?
My fish are disappearing so are they eating my fish? If so, how do I get rid of them - I'm terrified of snakes.
Karen.  Madeira Park, BC.
We are not familiar with any poisonous snakes on the coast of British Columbia.  If you can get some good photos and send them to the Vancouver aquarium, they should be able to identify the species.
Vancouver aquarium web site.
Q1665  We have purchased a property that is infested with red ants - we are told that St. Andrew's is known for red ant problems. We have about an acre of them. What can we do to eliminate the - we cannot even walk our property this summer without getting stung. Andrya. St. Andrew's, New Brunswick
See the answer to #1657.
Q1664  HI,  I'm not positive this is the insect flying around in my backyard.  Firstly, the flying insect is black and about 1 1/2" to 2" long, and its wings are similar to a dragonfly showing thin phosphorous blue wings.  Most of the time from 6:00 pm to dusk two are flying around in circles trying to find a opening in the concrete steps or under the house's siding in the back yard.  I filled all the holes and openings with wire wool so I don't see any openings, but they have been persistent for the last 3 days.  Are these flying insects Carpenter Ants, if so, what can I do? Thanks for your help.  Patricia
They are definitely not carpenter ants.  If you send a photo we may be able to identify them.
See "What is this  pest"
Q1663  just wondering i know someone that has cockroaches and i was just curious if by going over to there house and walking around where they have been is it possible that the eggs could stick to me and come home and hatch? Im kinda scared here your help would be great thanks  Hazel.  London, Ontario
Cockroaches lay their eggs in a sack.  German cockroaches carry this egg case around until the eggs hatch. Brown banded cockroaches glue egg sacks in their hiding place.  There is very little chance that you could carry eggs home.
Q1662  i have black ants on my newly planted peach tree. i planted in in the spring and already has about 5 peaches on it but found black ants on it what can i do that is safe for my fruit tree.  patricia.
The ants are likely foraging for other insects, or honeydew produced by aphids. They should not harm the tree.  If there are aphids you should wash them off with a garden hose.
Q1661   I notice most questions regarding pill bugs relate to having them come inside. My problem relates to them eating the leaves of my hostas and actually killing the smaller new plants. The soil is just LOADED with them everywhere I look. Is there anything I can put on the plants or in the soil to kill them? I am just sick about the damage they are doing to my flowers.   Cindy
Pill bugs and sow bugs will produce more compost than earth worms.  They are beneficial in the soil but they will eat very tender or decaying vegetation or very ripe fruit like strawberries.  Diatomaceous earth around the base of plants may help.
Q1660  We bought some barn beams from someone dismantling an old barn and left them outside on the ground over the winter and spring.  Now that they're installed in our kitchen, supporting the ceiling, we've discovered bugs living in them and boring holes in them. They're not winged and look sort of like little tanks. Any suggestions? The beams have been installed for about two weeks. Do we have to fumigate the house? Spray Raid into the holes? The house dates from the late 19th century and has plenty more of these types of beams upstairs in the ceilings. HELP. Thanks. Anne, South West Margaree, Nova Scotia
Spraying an insecticide into the holes would be like closing the barn door after the horse has left.  Powder post beetle larva will tunnel through wood for up to 10 years then pupate near the wood surface. The adult beetle then chews through the surface to leave, mate, lay eggs and start the cycle over again.  Stopping this cycle may take years because the larva will keep tunneling toward the surface to pupate.  Beetles will not lay eggs on a smooth painted finish. You could sand, fill and paint the beams, or have a professional spray them periodically with a borate solution such as "Tim-Bor".  This may not eliminate the problem but it should reduce the beetle population.  See "Powder Post Bettles"
Q1659   how do i find and kill ants we have may of them. Looks like carpenter ants.  Louise.  Vancouver.
There is a lot of helpful information on our carpenter ant pages.
Q1658  Hi....I live in Kelowna BC and we discovered an unusual spider's nest.  Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of them.  Didn't realize what is was until we broke them open.  Inside a plywood trailer were two clay "nests" one with a small hole at the bottom.  One nest was about 2" long by 1" wide and the other was about 3" long by 2" wide.  When we broke open the clay we discovered spiders inside.  They were in in small compartments all in a row with their legs straight back.  The larger nest had a couple maggots??  or egg sacks?? which were moving.  The rest of the spiders were dead.  It was the most unusual thing we have ever seen.  Any information you can pass along would be great.
    Mud dauber wasps make clay nests with a number of side by side cells.  After eggs are laid, a food source is placed inside the cell for the future larva to feed on. The food could be a dead spider.  More information

click photo to enlarge

Q1657  Help! We have a large ant hill on our child care center playground, and not so friendly ants! I was hoping to find a natural/organic way of deterring or exterminating them if necessary in view of our clientele and our licensing restrictions regarding pesticides. Is there some great secret out there - like using vinegar, dish detergent, etc.??? I really need to avoid the expense of an exterminating service at this time, although as professionals, I am sure they would have the answers. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Toni.  Seattle Washington. 
  By avoiding the expense of a certified, experienced, licensed and insured professional you may be risking a lawsuit. Some "home remedies" may cause health problems for children.  It sounds like you have Thatching ants.  Small colonies of Thatching ants can sometimes be eliminated with baits. Often a combination of bait types works best. Repeated bait applications are usually needed to eliminate the colony.  Boric acid and diatomaceous earth are relatively safe pesticides if applied cautiously and conservatively.  These can also be applied to cracks and crevices used by the ants as travel routes into problem areas.  Thatching ant nests can also be eliminated using spot treatments of nests with residual insecticides registered for ant control. There is no need to apply residual insecticides to large areas outdoors. More information about ants
The Washington State Department of Ecology has control information on this web site: 
Q1656  I have found one mature bedbug in My home following the visit of a person who I know lives in an infested apartment. I would like to try treating the bedrooms myself before I call in professional help. i would like to know where to get Champion multipurpose insect and like killer which I understand with repeated sprayings can solve what I hope is a minor problem. thanks.  Alice
We are not familiar with Champion multipurpose insect killer but if it is readily available over the counter it is not likely a residual insecticide and would not work properly.  Also: if "bedbugs" are not listed on the label, it would be illegal to use it to control bedbugs.  Once again, it is more important to know how and where to use pest control products than what to use.   Most professionals will tell you the most expensive bed bug service work is usually in homes where residents have tried to eliminate the problem themselves, resulting in the problem spreading to other areas. 
Q1655  I have a small problem with a pest. I'm not entirely sure that this is the pest that keeps on biting me at night. But I have caught a few of them. My only problem is that i have no way of identifying this bug. Would you be able to tell me where i could go to find out what kind of a pest this is and whether or not this is the one biting me at night?  Anna.  Toronto.
  There are 1000 pest photos on "What is this pest" pages.  One of them should match your bug.  Also: check the photos on the bed bugs pages.
Q1654   I have a groundhog that is under my two concrete stoops. He has dug a tunnel under the one and has a nice home under my rear one. I want him gone and to fill in the holes. What can I do? I am going to call pest control and see if they will remove him. If not what else can I do. Please help. Bryan
Trapping is the best solution.  If you can't do it yourself, call a professional.
Q1653  We are absolutely infested in earwigs. We always have a problem but this year it is worse than ever. My Husband has put out Diazinon spray and granules which we have had left over from before they took it off the market. It is not doing any good , he has also tried to use another insect product. Not sure what it was but it came highly recommended and it did not work. We had some very overgrown bushes in front of our house that we took out because they were burrowed around the roots of them so we thought if we took them out at the first of spring we would stop them. We are not the only people with this problem. Everyone on the street is complaining. My daughter had 3 of them in her bed and that is sickening. Please is there some miracle home remedy that we can try? I have had enough!!!!!!! Please HELP!!!!!!!! Thank you for your help.  Lindy
It is always better to try methods that do not require the use of pesticides.  To discourage them from entering your home, rake away mulch and leaves from the foundation.  Try trapping them in rolls of newspaper or traps make out of plastic tubs in the ground.  there are more practical suggestions on this web site:
Q1652  I have bats living under the vinyl siding of my house - I know how they are getting in - a small piece by the roof was installed incorrectly. I can fix that but I have no desire to kill them by trapping them inside and I certainly don't want dead bats under my siding either. I had the same problem a year or so ago in another part of my house and I think I scared them away with a powerwasher - however, that does not seem to be working this time. What can I do to drive them out and keep them away so that I can fix the siding? Please help - Thanks.  Marc
They will likely leave every night at dusk to hunt for food. 
Q1651  We recently moved into a new home, in a new subdivision, very near Lake Ontario in Stoney Creek. There are tons of spiders, and new spider webs appear every day even though I knock them down. Some are huge. The spiders seem to have large humps on them and the webs are quite sticky. I have been noticing black spots on my my porch and railings which resemble black paint drops. It wipes off the plastic railing easily, but is hard to get off the concrete. Any ideas what this is and how can I discourage the spiders. Thanks.  Sue
Spiders eat insects.  If there are large numbers of spiders there must be a good food source for them.  Try to determine what insect they are preying on and eliminate them.  If you continue to remove the webs daily the spiders will be encouraged to move.
Q1650  We just got a new high school and were doing an experiment to see what's the best way to get rid of bees and wasps without using any pesticides or trying to kill them. I really need your help. Please and Thank You!  Monique
Wasp nests can be removed by placing a plastic bag over it when they are all inside at night.  This could be dangerous.   Talk to a local bee keeper about relocating a colony.
Q1649  We have a pest problem in our sand box in the backyard. I was told that they are sand fleas. They fly and bite us. There are hundreds flying close to the ground. I have a four year old son and I would like to know a way to get rid of them. It is a big sand box with a swing set it is impossible to move it. Is there anything out there that can get rid or minimize them without harming my sons health?. Justine, Sudbury, Ontario
Q1648  What kind of bug eats insulation in an attic. I am inquiring for a friend and all I know is it is a smaller size bug with wings. Thanks,  Diane
We are not aware of any insect that eats insulation.  Carpenter ants will burrow through styrofoam insulation making galleries for their nest.
Q1647  How do I keep orb spiders off my deck? My kids and I play there, and they make huge webs. I'm sure they are eating something, and I have read they are not dangerous but they are ugly and big. I just want them off my deck and patio furniture. Help! Rejeanne.  Calgary.
If you keep sweeping away or vacuuming the webs they may get discouraged and try to find their prey in another location.  Try to determine what insect is attracting them and get rid of that problem.
Q1646  I am having a problem with what I believe is predatory running mites in my bathroom. I have cleaned and sprayed the room with raid but they keep coming back. How do I get rid of them for good????  Angela. Edmonton.
Here is a web site that may help identify your pest and control the problem. .  Check you house plants for signs of these mites.  Because they are in the bathroom, your problem may be psocids.  Check the photos on this page: psocids
Q1645  It is now May and we moved here in November. Since the nice weather and windows open, all of a sudden I have been getting what seems to be bites. They are itchy and when first scratched they look sort of like hives, sometimes mosquito bites (white circle and red all around) then they turn into a big red swollen circle. One comes, goes away, then another one comes. I'm really not sure if it is caused by insects. But, I have found apx. 6 what looks to be carpet beetles in the last month. My question is do carpet beetles bite?
Carpet beetles are not known to cause this problem.  You could have a bed bug problem.  Check the photos on this web page:  How to get rid of bedbugs.
Q1644  I have a large infestation of ants( the little black kind, they tend to bite when you stir up their area) particularly in my front yard. The have doubled each year and are now coming in to the basement.. Please how do I get rid of these??  Monica.  Calgary
Different species of ants require different control methods.  Have the ants identified then you will be able to find out whether bait or an insecticide spray is the corret control method.  One of the professionals in our directory should be able to help you.  Alberta pest professionals.
Q1643  I have something that is burrowing from my front garden to under my concrete porch. We had a problem with it last spring and thought we had solved it by blocking the hole it had created with steel plates that we buried quite deep. After that we didn't have any more holes in our garden or anywhere else that we could see. This spring when I was cleaning up the garden, I took away the steel plates thinking that the creature was gone and within a few days I had a large hole in that exact same spot leading under my porch. I don't want to trap it and I can't put any poisons in the garden as I have young children. What else can I do to get rid of this thing? If I had to guess what it was I'd say a mole, the hole is too large for a mouse and too small for a rat or possum.  Mary.  Niagara Falls.
If the hole is too large for a mouse it is likely a rat.  Traps or poison properly placed in a protective bait station will prevent your children from being harmed.  If you don't have the knowledge to do this properly, call a professional.   Ontario pest professionals.
Q1642  We have a federally-registered fish plant and are looking for a list of suppliers and/or their electronic insect killers. The parts for the ones we currently use are extremely pricey, and maybe that's just the way it is, but we'd like to shop around a bit. We don't necessarily need someone to service them i.e. we don't need a service, we want the equipment, but we are having a hard time finding anything.  Debbie
What type of devices do you have?  The older type that use ultraviolet light to attract flying insects and kills them with a high voltage charge are not recommended in food processing areas. There is a danger of insect parts falling into the food or processing machinery.  Most models on the market today use glue boards in the light fixture to trap the pests.  Ultraviolet lamps are expensive.
Q1642   I own a 4 unit income property. I am curious about whether the tenant or landlord would be responsible for taking care of an ant problem in a basement apartment. The tenant does have a cat, so there is cat food on the floor which does attract them.  Shawn.  Etobicoke, Ontario.
We do not give legal advice.  Most landlords are more concerned about maintaining their building and pest control is part of maintenance.  If the problem is carpenter ants the cat food did not attract them but it may be a food source for an nest that is present in the structure.  If you spray pesticides you will be responsible for any negative consequences. Pesticide use is not usually covered by liability insurance.  Call a professional.
Q1641  I found hundreds of red spider mites on the window sill of my bay window. It's a very sunny and warm location. There were a few on the outside of the window, but most are inside. I vacuumed up most of them, but more continue to appear. How do I get rid of them?
They may have migrated from an indoor plant.  Set outside and spray it with an insecticide soap.  For more advice talk to a garden shop.
Q1640  I want to know how to get rid of carpenter bees in my basement is there anything other than chemical I can use to eliminate them thank you.  muguette
You may want to investigate your problem a little further as it seems unlikely that you have carpenter bees in your basement, send a picture and/or more information on your problem.  Jay.
Q1639  I have little tiny ants around my kitchen sink and counter tops. Also around the shower in the bathroom. Ant spray only kills what are already there. What can I do?  Marge.
Killing ants outside their nest seldom has an effect on the colony.  If you can not locate the nest you should use a quality ant bait. A local pest professional may sell you some or offer other advice depending on the species of ant.
Q1638  This spring and last, as the snow melts, we are finding tunnels all over our lawn caused by voles during the winter. What can we do in the fall to prevent this from happening in the winter, and also what is the proper way to repair it in the spring. Thank you for any help. Nancy. Haliburton, Ontario
A continuous baiting or trapping program in late summer and fall will reduce the population.  Be sure to use proper bait stations and protected traps.  You should be able to re-seed the trails in the grass.
Q1637  We have a small bird who seems to have made a nest well inside a vent for a fan from a second floor bathroom. What should we do to get her to move out?  Joan.  Halifax.
You will have to remove the vent cover and pull out the nest using a long pole with a hook on the end.  If you leave it there it will clog the vent.
Q1636  hi what type of bug or worm would be eating my concrete foundation im finding tunnels through the concrete I cant for the life of me figure it out  thanks john.
We are not away of any insect that can chew through concrete.  Rats can chew through very poor crumbling concrete.
Q1635  I have a mouse infestation within my walls and have not yet determined how they get in. A US-site  has a plug-in product named "Dual Technology Electronic Repeller: Ultrasonic & Electromagnetic" which claims to rid mice within walls. Would this work? I really wish to use a no-kill method if at all possible. Many thanks!! Lois.  Pierrefonds, Quebec.
Electromagnetic devices are totally useless, in fact the manufacturers should be charged with fraud.  Ultrasonic devices will only discourage rodents that are directly in front of the sound waves which travel in straight lines like light waves.  Rodents have no problem finding "shadows' where there are no ultrasonic waves.  Live trapping and relocating mice can be cruel.  They are cannibals.  They are territorial and may not survive when moved.
We bought a "humane" trap, caught a mouse, released it into the garden, reset it and forgot to look again for a while. Yep, when we finally remembered we looked again and we had another mouse, but this one was dead. So we got ourselves an ultrasonic device and left it in the kitchen on the worktop stupidly thinking we were protected. My wife a few days ago noticed some shredded sponge under the sink and reset the trap. This time we checked and sure enough we had another one, which we released into the wild several miles away. So, we placed the ultrasonic device actually into the under sink cupboard and reset the trap. Couldn't believe it when just now the trap started banging again as it rocked back and forth with its new occupant. It's sitting outside in our garden right now, awaiting morning when it will join its brother or cousin in the woods next to the canal. Can't believe we fell for the marketing spiel. All these things do is waste electricity! John UK 
Q1634  Re: ultrasonic pest control devices--is it possible that the pest control professionals DO NOT want the consumer to discover how EFFECTIVE the devices are because if the consumer did discover how effective these devices were, the professionals would be out of business?  My wife refuses to come back home because she saw a mouse. I need the ultrasonics to work to save my marriage!  Cynical in NYC.
If pest management professionals used these devices, they would be considered incompetent and not properly informed about rodents.  If they were effective every professional would be selling them and installing them where they would be most effective. 
Q1633  i have two questions. the first being, that i caught a mouse in a snap trap and killed it. my room mate got rid of the carcass but left the trap. i re-baited the trap. a new mouse showed a week later. it would not touch the trap or the other two new traps i set. my question is can the mouse sense an old kill from a used trap and there fore tell danger?  my second question is can mice climb door frames and the average wall? I've been told they can climb anything. i have a over active phobia and am going crazy over these creatures. thanks for your help.------bubba.  Vancouver.
The smell of mice attracts other mice. Do not clean traps that  have caught mice.  Mice can climb almost any rough surface.
Q1632  I've been living in my apartment for two years with no problem of pests whatsoever. Recently my boyfriend moved in with me and it's been about a month that he's been there. About two weeks into living together, he's discovered a few patches of red bumps on his arms and back that are very itchy. He's gone to the doctor but they don't know what it is. My question, as we've exhausted the doctor, is can bed bugs choose who they do and don't bite??? I mean, can we be sleeping in the same bed and only he be affected by them? I have no marks at all on me but he's got quite a few. Please let me know!! Much appreciated!
Tasha.  Edmonton
A small infestation of Bed bugs may feed only on the nearest person to their hiding spots.  Some people have no reaction to bed bugs while others can have a severe reaction.
Q1631  what is the best way to remove the odor of a dead rat from your home?
Find and remove the dead rat.  They often die in a wall cavity where there is plumbing and sometimes under bath tubs.  If you cant find it, then purchase an odor absorbing product and ventilate the area with a fan.
Q1630  We have recently build a home at a nearby lake and we are having a problem with woodpeckers. They have pecked approx. 30 holes into the cedar siding. This happened last spring and again this spring. They seemed to have chosen the same area on the outside of the house. Our house is not finished inside ( no insulation or drywall). We have tried plastic owls, hanging crows made of tar paper and coat hangers and other strips of foil. no luck. Someone told us that since our home is hollow the birds are pecking the siding this would make a loud sound and ideal for a mating call. Help!  Karen.  Vancouver
Woodpeckers use hollow trees to send out mating calls in the spring.  Your unfinished home is an ideal sounding board.  You may have to hang some fish net to temporarily discourage them.  Be aware woodpeckers will also make holes in the siding of homes if they hear insects (carpenter ants) in the walls.
Q1629  How can you tell the difference between a male and female pill bug? This is for a school project. Thank You.  Jon.
On the underside, females have leaf-like growths at base of some legs. These brood pouches hold developing eggs and embryos. The first two appendages on the male abdomen are modified as elongated copulatory organs. These characteristics are very difficult for most people to see.
Q1628  My friends who live in a rural setting are being plagued with she thinks is a milk snake. It has been right in her house. Is there anything at all that will prevent this. She does not live near a farm. It is actually an old school house without a basement, only a crawl space, It seems to come up through or around pipes that go to the outside, ie..washing machine.  Mary.  Ayton, Ontario.
Milk snakes are predators of small rodents and other snakes. There is probably a mouse problem in the crawl space. The best solution is to plug the entry holes with steel wool.
Q1627  Is it possible for cockroaches to make a home in articles of clothing that are hanging in a closet? Is it likely?  How do they get at book bindings?  Jimmy
It is not likely to find cockroaches in clothing.  If books are near a food source they may provide a hiding place.
Q1626  We have a backyard pool that's become the sitz bath of some large mammal - raccoon or possum probably. It wouldn't be as bad but it's chosen to poop on the steps IN our pool. It's hell on the chlorine levels not to mention deadly infectious. How can we get rid of this problem?  Sylvia.  West Palm Beach, Fl.
We are not familiar with wildlife in your location.  You should consult a local pest professional who offers trapping services.
Q1625  I have discovered carpet beetles living in my bedroom. I have noticed that they seem to like my dresser drawers and corners of my room, they are more prevalent since i removed my carpet a few years ago. At first I thought these bugs were mealworms, however now i realize they are carpet beetles. I noticed they like to hide along my baseboards, in dresser drawers and corners. I would like to like to know if there are any non toxic, remedies i can use to remove these pests. I have two cats who love hiding under my captains bed and i am afraid to use harsh chemicals because of them. I have also noticed that even after leaving my dresser drawers empty of cloths for the past year they are still entering these spaces. How can i stop them from entering these drawers? while being able to make use of my dresser and captains bed drawers? I find these bugs annoying as i can no longer use my dressers for clothes. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Laura.  Scarborough.
There are many species of carpet beetles.  Some of them may like the cat hair under your beds but there are many other food sources that can make control very difficult.  Check all of your dry foods including the cat food, vacuum thoroughly and frequently especially under furniture and along baseboards.  You will probably require the services of a professional but your preparation could speed up the elimination process.
Read more about
carpet beetles.
Q1624  I have been dealing with a bedbug infestation. I have been doing all the suggested treatment, which has helped but my problem is they keep appearing in my shower and I can not find any way to get rid of them. How do they hide in my shower? And what do I use to get rid of them?  Julie
There is no explanation why they would hide in your shower.  The latest reports we have seen suggest that inexperienced people trying to get rid of bedbugs usually make the task more difficult for professionals. If you do nothing, the professional has a much better chance of locating their hiding places.
Q1623  We seem to have a lot of sow bugs in our basement. Now I am finding them upstairs. Can they go through the heating ducts? Do they bite? And I guess the last question other than how do I get rid of them is do they lay eggs in my carpet or how do they reproduce? I look forward to hearing your answers.
Karen.  Regina, Sask.
Sow bugs can travel almost anywhere they want to go but they usually stay in moist locations.  They will only reproduce in damp locations.  Read more about sow bugs and pill bugs.
Q1622  Two months ago, I had a new carpet installed, and shortly after that, I started seeing these big black ants (one or two a day). About a week ago, I bought ant traps, and now I'm only seeing smaller versions of the big ants (3-4 a day, but now I'm looking for them. Before I simply ran into them, thus the higher count perhaps). Will the traps take care of the problem? How long should I wait? When will I need to call a professional? Can you recommend a reputable pest control specialist in the Markham Ontario area? Thanks. Jo.
Big black ants indoors at this time of year (March) will be carpenter ants. New carpeting gives off a gas that probably disturbed a nest in the floor or lower walls. This can also happen when painting. Ant traps are a waste of money.  Over the counter ant poison is also ineffective. You should call a professional right away while the evidence is visible.  There are many pests that homeowners can deal with themselves.  Carpenter ants should be left to the professionals.  If you spray pesticides the nests may break up and scatter.
(See the directory of pest professionals in Ontario)      Read more about carpenter ants
Q1621  Purchased a wooden carving in Cuba. Arrived at 4:30 AM, carving was checked for termite holes. Later that day took it apart and checked it again. Found a hole in base. Base is now in ziplock bag in freezer. Should I be concerned? Can I treat the base with something just to be sure termites don't crawl out.  Julien.  Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
It is more likely the insects are powder post beetles.  Freezing for a few days should solve the problem.
Q1620  We have a problem with mice having gotten into the insulation in our gas stove. We've opened it up and vacuumed out all the droppings, but can still smell remnants of mouse smell. The problem is critical as whenever we turn the oven on the odour is way stronger than my cooking. Is there someway we can neutralize this smell, or anyone else who found a good solution?  Jo.  Toronto
This is a fairly common problem with no easy solution.  Odor absorbing products may help but you may have to ask an appliance repair shop for a solution.
Q1619  Something is digging very small (1-2 inch) holes in the middle of my yard. Not near foundations, decks but right in the lawn. What could it be? Voles, bees, wasps?  Noel
 Have a look at our moles page.  You might recognize the symptoms.
Q1618  how long do sowbugs or pillbugs live? Bobbi. Saanichton B.C
They can live up to 5 years but about 2 years is normal.
Q1617  I think I have post beetles in a bureau I recently purchased at an auction. How can I get rid of them and can they stay in clothes that were in the bureau? Karen
Q1615  Thinking I have squirrels nesting inside my chimney. I thought of smoking them out but am afraid the babies may not get out and die inside the chimney. Its March now. Should I wait a few months and then smoke them out hoping the whole family will escape?......another plan of attack?  Don.  Surrey, BC.
Q1614  i live in a 1 bedroom apt. in los angeles, california, my apt. in so horribly infested with cockroaches(german cockroaches).the onsite apt manager is trying to say that all of the roaches are due to my apt. being dirty,ive done some research,and have read that, this is a false but common thing that a landlord will try to do. what legal recourses should i take to rectify this problem.  Cheryl
Unsanitary conditions will certainly encourage cockroaches.  If you are keeping your apartment clean, they may be migrating from another apartment.  You could talk to the city health department if you think you are not at fault.
Q1613  We have Canada geese that come up to our house from the water at our property edge. They are very messy. How can we discourage them from coming onto our property? I've heard that sprinkling grape flavored Kool-Aid will deter them because they don't like the smell of grapes. True? Other suggestions?
Thanks.  Carole.  Indiana.
There are some products registered for Canada Geese control available in the USA.  They may only be available to licensed pest management professionals.  Give one or 2 of them a call.  I don't have much faith in the grape Kool Aid but it won't cost much to try it.
Q1612  This is my second spring in my new home and outside in the front yard I have these small mounds of dirt with a hole in the middle of the mound. It resemble the ant hills, however the dirt is actually around the hole, it seems as though the hole is in the ground. I don't think that it is ants and this is the second time time seeing them. What could it be? Should I worry? as there any damage to be done to my home or my health from this type insect? I don't recall anything unusual from them last year, but I would like to make sure that if there is something to be done about it that I can. If you are able to identify it, what insect is causing this, due to I haven't seen any and what treatment should I be using?
Because you do not indicate the size of the dirt mounds or the hole there are many possible answers including moles, voles, rats, gophers, ants, beetles, wild ground nesting bees.  If you can send a photo we will post it on the "What is this pest" web page.
Q1611  I need the recipe for homemade aphid repellant or insecticide.
Aphids can be easily controlled by spraying  plants with a mild solution of soap and water. You may have to repeat the process but it is very inexpensive, easy and eliminates use of pesticides.
Q1610  I have had brown marmorated stink bug in my back yard for the last 3 years it has gotten unbearable in the fall. The smell from them when you rake the leaves or just sit in the back yard. I need to know how to get rid of them.  I have neighbours that have black walnut trees and there is others around my property is that what they are feeding off of.  signed Stinky in St Catharines....
This species is considered a serious crop pest and it is spreading across the Us and northward into Canada.  You would be wise to check with local garden shops for an insecticide registered for this pest.  It should be applied at the correct time of their life cycle and not just prior to harvesting of any food crop.  A  gardening expert should have the right information for your location.   There is some good information on this web site:
Q1609  The back of our house faces south and is very hot in the summer. In about a 3 foot square area beside our patio I have some form of very small ants. They bite, but I wouldn't call them red in colour. They are under flag stones and in the soil around them. This is basically a dry area in summer. Every time I dig in the garden in that area I get bit. There are a lot of them. How do I get rid of them? Is there a chemical I can use? I thought last winter might kill them but it didn't and I expect them to be back this summer. Help! Jo-Anne. Georgetown, Ontario.
Take a few specimens to a local pest professional.  They should be able to identify them and suggest a control method using bait or a residual insecticide.  DR. BUG serves your area.
Q1608  We had a mice problem. We used bait to get rid of them, but now they have died in our heat ducts and the fumes have taken over our house. Other then an annoyance, can the fumes in any way hurt us or our 6 mo. son? Thank you in advance.  Tara.
The fumes should not be a health problem but flies, maggots and other parasites relating to the mice could present some health problems..  You could have the ducts professionally cleaned.
Q1607  How do I get rid of the smell of a decaying mouse that is trapped under my cabinet?  Libby.  North Carolina.
There is not much you can do unless you are willing to tear apart the cabinet.  If there i9s an unfinished basement below, there may be a hole for plumbing and you may be able to fish it out with a piece of wire.
Odor absorbing products may help.
Q1606  I have squirlls or chipmunks in my ceiling. How do I get them out? Thay are munching on something in the walls you can hear them I am afraid they are gona eat through a wire and cause a fire. We have one little portion near drop celling open and they are coming from that place. How can I ensure there is no babies inside before locking that spot. Can you help? Sangita. Etobicoke.
Install a one way wire mesh door on their entry point or have them professionally trapped and removed.  You may have to go into the attic to find their nesting spot and any babies.  If this is not appealing, call a professional.   See the directory of Pest professionals in greater Toronto.
Q1605  Hello , your site has been very helpful in identifying 2 bugs I found in my house. I have identified them as assassin bugs from the pictures posted from your site. Why are they in my house (3/04/06) in the winter and how do I get rid of them, if their is more?  Sam.  Buffalo, NY.
   Your home is a nice warm place for them to spend the winter.  They will leave in spring.  You should try to control them during the summer while they are multiplying in nearby vegetation.  Talk to a good garden supply house.
Q1604  I too am finding the bugs in photos 336, 345, and 382. I live in an apartment building in Barrie, ON. When I look them up in photos that they are supposed to be..dermestid beetle larvae, black carpet beetle larvae.....they are not that dark in color. They are light brown with darker rings around their bodies. They also have hairs (whiskers) coming out of their bums. I have had PCO come in and spray twice and they are still coming back....I would really like to know what these things are. I am finding them on the tile floor and in my linens.   Please help me find a way to get rid of them.  Dawn.
Your description indicates carpet beetle larva.  Before you spray any more pesticides, try to find their source.  It may not be your carpets.  They also consume other dead insects and have been found in bird nests attached to homes, animal fur items and articles made from leather or other animal skin.
Q1603   Every morning I find between 20 to 40 Pillbugs in my swimming pool. They settle down at the bottom of the pool and stain the pool wall. Is there a product that would rid of them.  Werner
If you have a concrete or tile pool deck you could try putting a border around it made of well drained crushed or round rock.  Sow and pill bugs do not like dry areas and this may discourage them from crossing onto  the pool deck and pool.
Q1602  we just bought a house and apparently there was a rat problem in it. The home inspector said it was only a minor problem in the attic, basement and kitchen. Bait was placed and apparently the pests were eliminated before we moved in. Problem is, I now believe the problem in the kitchen to have been there for some time. When you open the cupboards under the sink, the stench of feces (or urine) is unbearable. My brother had a pet rat growing up, and the smell is unmistakable. It is also very heavy when we run the dishwasher. I have cleaned everything I can reach, but still the smell persists. Is there something I can do to eliminate the stench without ripping out all the cupboards in our kitchen?  Sabrina.  Victoria, BC.
You could cut a small hole in the bottom of the cupboards, vacuum out the cavity and inject some odor absorbing dust.  Vacuum again after a few days.  Be sure to also put expansion foam in any gaps where plumbing enters the cabinet.
Q1601  What can I purchase in the store to get rid of bed bugs.
There is no magic pesticide that will get rid of bedbugs.  Finding where they hide and lay eggs is the difficult part of bedbug control.  Many pest professionals admit it may take 2 or 3 inspections and applications of a residual insecticide to solve the problem.  Do not spray pesticides on your bedding or mattress.
Q1600  I have some carpenter ants that are coming in the by our kitchen window. We have a 3 season sunroom that is attach to the kitchen. We had this problem for a while now. I am trying to get some help. We had one company that use for the inside the following:
Inside: Boric acid powder combine with drione powder. They make little holes in the borders and they spay the powder. Then they use liquid per matrin pyrithione on the baseboards.
Outside of the house they spray with liquid prelude. They do this in the spring and 2 more time throughout the year.
Another company use Boric acid powder. They take off the light switches and they spray the dust. Then they spray a liquid prelude along the borders. For the outside they use granular baiting for the ants.
Another company is the same as the second company the only difference is that use boric acid powder with drione powder.
The last company use the following:
Inside they use Ficam powder (i think that is the name). Then they spray the borders with prelude liquid.
Outside of the house they spray the house with prelude liquid. They do it 3 times in the year.
I was wondering what company offers the best to deal with the carpenter ants.
Thanks,  Ivan,   Rosemere,  Quebec.
There is a lot more to carpenter ant control than just applying pesticides.  The inspection process and application methods are more important than the type of pesticide used.  If the professional does not inspect properly to locate all the satellite nests, applying pesticides in other locations will not solve the problem.  Choose the company that you feel has the most experienced technicians.  Be sure to deal with a business that is a member of  the Quebec Pest Management Association.  You will find a list of members on this web page:
Q1599  Hello I'm moving into a new apartment, and I noticed a couple of dead cockroaches when I went to view the place. Now should I get a pest guy to exterminate the bugs before I move in or is there a way for them to seal the apartment, so no cockroaches enters the apartment from other places? Jeffrey. Scarborough
Why were the cockroaches dead and visible?  Talk to the landlord about recent treatments?  Was the apartment sprayed or was bait used? What other areas of the building were treated? If there is a cockroach problem in nearby units, you can expect the problem to eventually spread. Keep your unit spotlessly clean to discourage them. Seal all cracks and gaps around plumbing.
Q1598  Hi wonder if you could advise we bought a property 4 years ago and was given a clearance that the house was bora free and now 4 years later we are getting told that the whole roof needs replacing as the beams have been eaten throw in your experience does that sound possible the house also has the plastic underlay between beams and roof tiles. obviously we will not hold you to anything and also realize that you need to see the roof for yourself before giving a answer but does it at all sound possible thanks.  Wendy.  South Africa.
I assume you are referring to termite damage. The damage from termites can take place quite rapidly depending on environmental conditions.  Because we are not familiar with the species of termites, climatic conditions, building practices and codes, any information we offer could be misleading.  I suggest you contact the South Africa Pest Control Association for a more informed opinion. You will find a list of contacts on this web site:
Q1597  my mother has the carpet beetles in her home. she gets a rash from their shedding skin. she has gotten a new bed and had house cleaners out and had the carpet cleaned. they are still making her itch. she's 80 years old and she is miserable. please help and let us know what she can do. would it help if she bought new carpet. please help.  Thelma.
Before you do anything, have a professional identify the pest to be sure it is carpet beetles.  Paying a professional to treat the problem would likely cost considerably less than buying a new carpet.
Q1596  Since we moved into our home 1.5 years ago I have seen large black ants. For the past year and a bit, it was maybe one per two weeks, and almost exclusively in the summertime. So I figured they had come in from outside.  Now I am seeing at least 2-4 per day, maybe up to 8. They are getting more aggressive, going on countertops, couch, rugs and other things they had always avoided. I've tried to follow them but they go in circles for hours and I have not been able to locate where they enter or leave from.  Today I saw one with wings. It was a bit more of a brownish color than the rest, which are dark black.  I am under the belief these are carpenter ants, and the increased quantity indicates I have a nest somewhere in the house. Would you agree, and is this something I should be able to handle myself, or do I call in the professionals at once.  Thank you kindly.  Albert
You are probably right.  Seeing winged ants indoors at this time of year (February) is a good indication there is at least one carpenter ant satellite nest in you home, and likely more than one.  Finding the nests and treating them with a residual insecticide requires considerable experience.  Most homeowners make the mistake of spraying ants outside the nest resulting in the nests moving or scattering. Call a professional.

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Q1595  My apartment is filthy with pharaoh ants. We have been infested since December 2004. I was looking into moving but I am fearful of bringing the pest with me to my new residence. What can be done in order to best improve my chances of not bringing these ants with me? Would moving in mid-winter work or do they just go dormant for the time being? A baiting system was put into my apartment back in April 2005 and since they have done random treatments for only the tenants who complain. This, needless to say, has done nothing. At this point they are EVERYWHERE. I have put out Boric Acid baiting treatments myself which have been relatively futile in reducing the overall numbers.  Ken.  Mississauga, Ontario.
It can take many months to control pharaoh ants in a multiple residence building.  Even longer if any tenant has sprayed pesticides. To prevent transporting them to your new home, you will have to inspect everything as you pack.  Be very thorough examining any food items as you pack them. Freezing should kill any adults.  Eggs and larva can not survive without adults to feed them. 
Pest professionals in
Q1594  we have a bed bug problem in our room, we have informed our landlord on the problem , and he has said that within 36 hours a pesticide person will be here, it has infested our bed badly and other possible areas . on top of that just learned that was a problem in one of the apartments on our floor 4 to 5 months ago .. the apartment that was affected on our floor was a tenant that moved floors a while ago and that floor was infested with same thing .. my question is how come the landlord did not inform us of a problem like this and also who can i hold responsible for the cleaning of all my clothes and possible bed, if not replacement of a new bed ....  please i would like to get an answer to this , i live in Ottawa Ontario Canada , and as i don't know the laws on who is responsible... Jason
We avoid expressing our opinion on legal matters but we know some hotels have been sued by guests after being bit by bedbugs.  Bedbugs can easily travel from one suite to another in a multiple residence building.  Getting rid of the bed may have no effect.  There are many other places these insects can hide. If your landlord does not use the services of an experienced pest professional, the bed bugs could move around the building for some time. Read more about bedbugs.
Q1593  Where can we find some one to tent and fumigate out boat for termites, or can we do this ourselves?  Mary.  Vancouver.
You can not fumigate the boat yourself.  In fact fumigation requires a special license in BC and most Pest Control Professionals do not have this license.  Spot treatment for your problem may be more appropriate and there are a number of companies that can do this for you.  See  the directory of Vancouver pest professionals.
Q1592  How do i get rid of of those nasty house centipedes?  Cassandra
House centipedes, like spiders are predators on other insects so they can be beneficial.  They prefer a dark, damp environment. Read about centipede control
Q1591  can soaking a spider bite with Epson salt help? Margaret.
You should ask your doctor.
Q1590   Does pigeon poop cause any short/long term disease?  If so what kinds?  Pigeon poop was cleaned from our school, just above the Kindergarten classroom, above ceiling and 3.5 inches of pigeon poop was cleaned off.  Marie.  Alberta.
There are numerous diseases in humans that can be related to transmission by birds.  The most notable is histoplasmosis which can be fatal.  For more detail see this web site: Bird diseases
Q1589  Can powder post beetles bite humans? If so, what kind of damage can they do?
They may be capable of pinching but have no interest in biting humans even if they could.
Q1588  How do you get rid of the smell of a dead mouse in the house.
One dead mouse will usually dehydrate in a few days and not cause much of an odor problem.  If there are numerous dead mice in one location you will have to find and remove them  It may involve cutting open a wall.
Q1587  I hope that you can help me. We live in Alabama.  We had some mice (we only saw two)  My husband put poison out because I did not think that I could handle seeing a dead little mouse in a trap.  All of the food got eaten.  We think that they died in our fire place.  It is a closed in gas fire place.  I think that they are right above it with a vent (that is how they got into our living quarters.)  There is no way to get to that area unless we tear down tile and rip out the fire place.  Is there anything that we can use to slide in the little slits to make the mice decay faster?  We do not have any flies or maggots there...just dead animal smell coming from the small vents.  Will the mice eventually decay all of the way and leave no smell?  Thank you.  Sheri
You will have to open up the furnace and remove them.  This may be a job for a gas furnace repair man.   See the question above.
Q1586  Recently we developed engine problems in our car --it is parked every evening in an open garage at our farm home. Mechanics determined that much of the wiring had been eaten away by mice (or rats).  The repair and replacement bill was a little over $1,400.00.  How in the world can we stop this problem from recurring?  Can you recommend a bait or spray or trap or whatever that will help?  Joe
It sounds like you have a serious rodent problem.  This is common on farms where there is grain storage or feed for livestock. You should probably have professional look at the situation, and do some control measures.  It may be an ongoing process but could save you another $1400.  Glue boards around the tires plus properly placed traps and bait should work.  Try to eliminate access the the food that is attracting them.
Q1586  If the mice problem is eliminated, is there any way to prevent them from returning? Is there a method of keeping them out forever?  Alice.  Calgary. 
Yes.  Eliminate the reason they were attracted (food of some kind) and the entry points. See more tips on our mice page.
Q1585  We have found some dead mice and birds in the house due to our two cats, but now we have some kind of tiny black bugs that are all over everything. Counters, walls, front door, desk, they are real bad on a bag of bird feed....they don't jump, they don't seem to bite, and we have found the floor covered with died ones so they seem easy to kill. They are very tiny, dark color, six legs, and antennas of some kind. Please help me figure out what this things are so I can rid of them!!!   Robbie
You could have carpet beetles because of the dead birds and mice or stored food beetles that arrived with the wild bird seed.  Check out the pictures for identification or take a close-up photo and send it for our "What is this pest" page.
Q1584 There are holes in the ground in my yard.  I have some by my shed and garage. I haven't seen anything, but there are holes. I have seen a few field mouse around but not that many.
I live out in the country behind a golf course and a farmers field, I thought the field mouse might be doing this. I would like to know what is causing the holes. And how can i get rid of this problem.  The holes are driving me nuts.  The holes are about an 1 1/2"-2 1/2" in dia.  There seems to be more in the winter then in the summer. In the summer i had a few but i filled them up and they didn't come back, till now.  Jim.
Your description of the problem indicates moles.  Very few amateurs are successful getting rid of them.  Read about them n the MOLES web page
Q1583  I know we have moles. Big mounds of clay with a crater. But we also have lots of 2 to 3 inch holes in the lawn, apart from the mole mounds, that look like made with an oversized broomstick. I called a pest control guy and he said (over the phone0 that they are not voles. What are they? And how can I get rid of them? We go in the yard with appropriate shoes but it would be easy for guests to twist and ankle when wearing dress shoes. Thanks for your help.
Jane.  Langley, BC.
Moles are common in your area in the Fraser Valley.  See the answer to the question above.  You may want to contact Holey Moley Mole Control for help.  They service your area.
Q1582  hi i live in Montréal and just got treated for cockroaches and they sprayed everything in my kitchen including dishes food and spices. i received a 2 day notice from my manager that they were coming but never mentioned removing anything from my cupboards is there any chemical that they could use that isn't hazardous to my cat or myself thank you. Ashley.
If this is true, your landlord obviously did not hire a licensed pest management professional. They could both end up in jail if charged by the provincial ministry of environment.  A certified technician would definitely not spray dishes, food and spices.  Many professionals now use bait instead of spraying.  People like this should be reported to the authorities before someone gets sick.
Q1581 We have a horrible problem with "stink bugs" (I identified by picture). They are very prevalent in our 3-seasons room and in our basement. They personally gross me out. I have killed literally hundreds of them since fall began. Now, 3 months into it, I am sick of these yucky, pesky bugs and want them GONE no matter what it takes!!! Help!!!  Becki
It's the wrong time to deal with them  (February)  Control measures should be taken when they are breeding outdoors in the summer.  To prevent the problem next winter, caulk all the cracks and crevies around the exterior of your home and make sure any vents are well screened.  In the mean time, keep your vacuum cleaner handy.
Q1580  We have had skunks for numerous years living under a front concrete stoop. We NEED to get rid of them as the spraying at various times is now being detected in our basement. We've tried mothballs, loud music, lights, etc. Any ideas to get them out and keep them out?  Mary.
I think it's time to call a professional pest control company that is licensed to trap skunks.
Q1579  My friend's dog was sprayed by a skunk last night. Whole house, clothes, carpet and all stink. Who can I call to come and clean this house and its contents professionally in Grand Rapids, Michigan? Thank you. ASAP    Richard. 
See the deodorizing recipe on the skunks page.
Q1578  I have been experiencing the same things that #question 1468 has been living with. You told her it was delutional. I dont know how its delutional if it is irritating your skin like bite sensations. I have these things mostly on my clothes ALL THE TIME. I started to add vinager to my rinse cycle and it helped for a little while, but now they are back. Could this really be all in my head? Ive shown these things to others and they say its just lint and such, but I will look at it with a magnifying glass and I can see something else also. It has been making my life very very bad. I am 47 and have never had any kind of delutions nor does that run in my family. and these things? also put holes in my clothes, and anything new I bring home to wear, they seem to attack it right away and worst. But Ive never seen anything move. help in identifying or tell me I really am crazy. Because I cant live with whatever or ? anymore. thank you.  Coleen.
We try to avoid commenting on medical problems.  If you have shown "these things" to others then you should take some to your doctor so he can have them examined in a lab.
Q1578   Why in the middle of -20 temperatures outside in middle winter months do I see several sowbugs crawling along on my basement floor. There is absolutely no vegetation inside my basement, perhaps the finished basement may have some moisture trapped between the drywall and insulations, but where is there food for sowbugs. Why do I see them at this time of year. Bob in Winnipeg.
The trapped moisture behind the drywall may be sufficient for their environmental needs.  The moisture will also promote mold grown and wood decay which is a food source for sow bugs.
Q1577  Are clothes moths prevalent in Calgary? Would a developed basement closet with an avg temperature of 17 degrees Celsius be better than a 2nd level closet with an avg temp of 24 degrees Celsius?  Jim.
Clothes moths are common in most populated areas of Canada.  A cool closet is probably better than a warm one but 17 degrees C. will still be quite comfortable for them to breed if there is a food source. ( wool)
Q1576  Do you know how to get rid of squirrels in my attic. Any . .electronic devises on the market that will drive them out or is there a chemical solution. Gary. Owen Sound, Ontario
There is no simple solution.  Electronic devices are not reliable.  Find the entry point and block it off after you have trapped or chased out those inside.
Q1575  I have two questions. I've been seeing fruit flies in my room and in the bathroom but I don't have any food or garbage or anything that I know of that would attract them. Why are they there and how do I get rid of them. I've also seen what looks like a pseudoscorpion but the arms are not as long. Is it the same thing? Ginette.  Timmons, Ontario.
Are you sure they are not Phorid flies (also known as humpback and sewer flies) They as similar in size but breed in wet locations like sink and bath tub drains.  Read more about  Phorid flies
If they are fruit flies, check all stored food including bags of onions and potatoes.  One apple core under the fridge is a good breeding sight.
Q1574  Looking for a solution to get rid of house ants. I am unable to say what kind but they are black & they bite. Hope you can help me. thank you.  Fran.  Saskatchewan.
We are not aware of black ants in Saskatchewan that bite. Take some samples to a pest professional for positive identification.  Most smaller ants can be controlled indoors with a good quality ant bait.
Q1573  What should be mixed in water & sprayed on mice borrows to get rid of them from my garage ? These mice came on bird food, which I've cleared since & washed my garage well after to remove all the smell of mice, they maybe 5-6 very small mice who live into the cracks around the side floors ? But no mice in the house . Please Please help, as I've tried traps, glue traps & presently trying poison, which is slowly helping, but I'm scared they'll reproduce faster than my poison food to act, Please help ? Ana. Mississauga, On. Canada.
 Be patient.  If you are using them properly, the traps and poison will eliminate the mice.  You should also try to block their entry points.  Spraying pesticides for mouse control is not an option you should try.  Read more about mouse control.
Q1572  i have book lice in my kitchen and have done everything that we can do to get rid of them except pesticides, they came in a packet of lentils. and have spread , is there any safe way of getting rid of them I am desperate thank Anita,  Aurora, Ontario.
Book lice or Psocids  are normally found in damp locations where they feed on microscopic mold.  You should get rid of any food that may be damp and supporting mold growth.  You should also reduce the moisture or high humidity where you store food. More Psocid information.
Q1571  Hi , Last weak I saw a Powderpost beetle in my bed and after that every day I found a  number of them in my room. I want to know how I can get ride of them . Thank you.  Ardy.  Iran.
Look for traces of flour-like sawdust on any wood in the room.  There may be holes about the size of a round toothpick. Read the information on our Powderpost beetle page for control tips.
Q1570  I have just had over $10,000 damage to the cabin in my motor cruiser, moored riverside. All upholstery, wall linings and carpets chewed. It looks as if a bomb had hit the boat) Their are also gnawing teeth marks in the woodwork.  Can wild mink cause this sort of damage?  It looks as if some creature was pilling up nesting material.  Thanks for your help.  Dr. Robert P.   England.
The damage to your boat as described is similar to that caused by otters on the west coast of Canada.  Otters and Mink do not gnaw or do not gather nesting material like rats.  A family of rats could cause this kind of devastation if left undisturbed.
Q1569   I live in the country, and upstairs in my house is a whole load of those orange ladybugs, i just want them gone, i think the keep multiplying. They are even in my kids bedrooms, i have noticed the go towards the light too, i just want to know if there is any way of getting rid of them, and little methods i could use, other then a fly trap sticky paper Thank You. Laurie. MOORETOWN Ontario.
See Ladybeetles
Q1568  Can a Dock Spider get in through the sump pump and how do you get rid of it?
A spider passing through a sump pump is not likely to survive.  Most sump pumps expel the water into a drain pipe or outdoors.
Q1567  Hello I have been reading your answers on carpenter ant problems. We have a wood basement and are bombarded by ants all of the sudden, it's late Jan and not sure what to do. We are not sure where they are coming from. We also have children and a dog. I have tried malathion on the outside of the foundation and it worked for years, but I'm not sure what or where to go from here. Please help!!!  Karen.  Regina, Sask.
If carpenter ants are emerging at this time of year, you have at least one well established satellite nest in your home.  The wood basement should cause some concern if the ants are chewing any of the structural components.  My best advice:  have a professional do an inspection.
Q1566  I have several mounds of dirt in my back yard. I've lived here for forty years and have never had this before. A local park, not to far from where I live, has the same problem.  Bob. Iowa.
Moles are tunneling under the turf pushing the dirt to the surface.  More about moles. 
Q1565  How do I get rid of rice bugs in my dry rice.  Kathy
Follow the same procedure as in the question below.
Q1564  how can i get rid of Indian meal moths in my kitchen cupboard? they are getting in my cereal, noodles, grains, etc.   Sarah.
You should probably throw out all of the dry foods in your home including what you think are sealed packages. You could try freezing them for a few days (in plastic bags). These insects have an amazing ability to get into food sources.  Clean your cupboards thoroughly with a strong disinfecting cleaner, paying attention to the cracks and crevices.  You may have to call a professional to apply a residual insecticide.  It would cost less than throwing out your food again. Read more about food infesting insects.  and
Indian Meal Moths
Q1563  what kind of damage can pharaoh ants do to your stuff your apartment and to mother's who have children?  Melissa.  Lachine, Quebec.
Pharaoh ants can be a health risk in homes, apartments and health facilities.  see the details on our pharaoh ant page.
Q1562   After reading your article on sow bugs I believe that is what we have. My husband calls them carpenter ants (he is from Newfoundland!) We live in a ground floor condo, which is built on a concrete pad. We find the beetles in the track of the patio door and in the heating vents, but I haven't seen them anywhere else. Does it seem like they are sow bugs and do you have any idea how we can get rid of them. We have a small flower bed by the side of the patio, but all vegetation is cleared immediately. 
Other Newfoundlanders have referred to sow bugs as carpenter ants. (This is wrong of course.  No offence intended to our Newfoundland cousins)  They will be attracted to the patio door track because of the condensation that runs down windows and gathers in the track.  Read more about sow bugs.
Q1561 I am trying to find a natural way to get rid of spiders we have a lot in the house and I am allergic to spider bites. last time woke up in hospital from tree spider. so I want to get rid of them naturally. also ants and ant mounds out side. thank you very much.  Mary
A natural way is to vacuum up all the spider webs and nests under the home frequently.  Try to determine what insect is their food source and eliminate them.
Q1560  The other day i looked under my wardrobe and found that there was hundreds of little things that looked like maggots they are the same size but look too skinny to be maggots and they don't move. what do you think they are?  Sophie. 
They could a number of things.  Under the wardrobe may be a good place for clothes moth larva.
Send us a photo.  We'll add it to the "
What is this Pest" page.
Q1559  I have been invaded with sewer flies and have tried many things to rid the home of them without any results. Is there a non toxic spray I can use in the house around animals that is safe to you. I have been putting gel down the drains with little results for weeks. The flies are all still fairly small. My 2 daughters have also been infested with them as well and they live a distance from me. Please any advice. I have seen the pictures and know it is the drain fly or moth.  Carol.  Chatham, Ontario.
 Phorid flies, also known as drain flies, sewer flies and humpback flies are usually found around a wet location.  They will lay eggs and multiply rapidly is such places as refrigerator drip trays as well as in drains.  Finding that location is critical for control.  Spraying pesticides elsewhere will have little effect.  Most professionals use a foam generator to eliminate them in drains.  Read more about how to control Phorid flies.  

You may wish to look at a fact sheet on these insects as well. An example can be found at:
Q1558   I have found several pill bugs in my home- both upper and lower level of the house. I just had the carpeting replaced about 1 month ago could this be the cause of them, could they have come in the carpeting? If not how do I get rid of them in the house - where could they be coming from? Linda. Thornhill, Ontario. 
The pill bugs were likely present in the walls or floor of your home before you installed the new carpet. New carpet will "gas off" fumes for some time and this may have affected the bugs enough they left their normal environment. You will have to take measures to reduce the humid air in your home so it does not penetrate the walls. Also, correct any conditions around the exterior that may be contributing to excess moisture. For more tips see: Sow bugs and pill bugs.
Q1557  1st, I love this site!!! 2nd, Does Winnipeg have Brown Recluses? (as a habitat-not "hitch-hiking") Thanks!  Mary Ann.  Winnipeg.
According to  entomologist Robb Bennett, of the BC Ministry of Forests, the brown recluse has never been recorded in British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada. Any exception to this would be accidental importation.
Q1556  We have just moved to a lovely rural town. The trouble is that our new home is seriously infested with 'Asian multicoloured lady beetles' (which look quite similar to lady bugs but actually can pinch you) We've tried spraying insecticides and vacuuming as they appear but cannot seem to keep on top of the problem no matter how frequently we spray. Does anyone have any suggestions to help us? Thanks .  Barb.  Russell, Ontario.
Vacuuming is the most practical solution to eliminate those you see.  Unfortunately there are probably thousands more in the walls or ceiling of your home. Spraying pesticides daily is not recommended. They will leave in the spring and probably return next fall unless you take measures to block their entry points.  Read more about Asian Lady Beetles.
Q1555  I recently had my home sprayed for fleas, and am wondering how toxic the chemicals are along the baseboards and seams where the PCO sprayed. It has turned into a powder and was advised not to clean it up until 14 days or so. I have a baby under 1 year old and want to know if there are any dangers in the chemical you use? 
It really depends what product was used. Customers are usually advised not to have any skin contact with the treated area for a minimum of 24 hours.  You should contact the service company and ask for the specific names of the products used and speak to the manager about your concerns.
Q1554  i am renting and we have mice, what is the landlords obligations and do i have the right to bill him for someone to come in and clean?  Lorianne.  Alberta.
We can not offer legal advice, but I guess it depends on what your renal agreement or lease says, what is attracting the mice and the condition of the building.  If, for example, you are feeding wild birds, you are attracting rodents.
Q1553  How do i get rid of pigeons, someone in the area is breeding them and they come to my home and make a mess.  Sam.
The best way is using mechanical devices such as spike strips and netting.  See this web page for some ideas:
Q1552  I have roaches and we have had the house sprayed twice and they are still around so what i want to know is how can i get rid of these pests without breaking the bank?
Many pest professionals now use bait to control cockroaches.  It takes longer but in the long run is more effective if proper sanitation practices are also applied.  Without sanitation, you will live with cockroaches forever.
Q1551 We live in rural PA with a field behind our home. My daughters bedroom seems to continually attract stink bugs. One night she had 8 in her room. What steps can we take to rid of these unwelcome pests.  Susan.
Stink bugs are probably spending the winter in the walls or attic/ceiling of your daughters bedroom.  The time to take action is next summer before they move in again.  Calk all exterior cracks in the siding, around windows, and soffits.  When you see them resting on the exterior walls (in the fall) spray them with soapy water.
Q1550  I was told by a clothing boutique owner here in Fla. that I do not have to use moth balls to protect wool clothing - that they only exist "up north" - is this true? I assume they can be anywhere, especially since I moved to Fla. from Penna. 1 year ago.  Eileen.
I suspect that information is wrong but we are not totally familiar with insect populations in Florida.  For more information check this University of Florida web page :
Information about clothes moths in this web site
Q1549  how do i get rid of silverfish that will not harm people or pets.  Nora.  Florida. 
If  pesticide label directions are followed there should be no risk to people or pets.  For other suggestions see our silverfish page.
Q1548  Does 7-Up work to kill house mice?  David.  Portland. Or.
NO.  Neither does Alka Seltzer.  Mice drink very little fluids.  They get enough moisture out of the food they eat. Stick with a good quality mouse bait.
Q1547  Is it possible to fumigate the home to rid ourselves of house mice? We are in a semi and cannot seem to coordinate with the neighbor enough to deal with the problem properly. Obviously we would have to evacuate the home and so would the neighbor...  Kim.  Toronto.
Fumigation is not practiced in living quarters in Canada, and it is not the right way to get rid of mice.  Follow the suggestions on our mice page.  Eliminate the reason they are there, seal up entry points, use traps or bait to clean them out. 
Q1546  I have a mouse problem in my house. Have any electronic pest control devices been test by reputable test agencies, ie. consumers, CSA, or other organization with positive results? Terry.  Ottawa.
NO. These devices are not considered of any value by any rodentologist or any professional who has studied mice extensively.  Read more about electronic pest devices  We have never seen any scientific evidence to the contrary.
Q1545  Is it illegal to put mothballs in your garden? My neighbour has done this; and I know it's to keep cats out. But, I'm afraid an animal or a child will think it's candy and eat one.
It is not likely any animal or child would enjoy the taste of a mothball.  The gas given off by mothballs soon dissipates outdoors and the wet weather you have in your area would soon make them a useless deterrent to cats or any other animal.
Q1544  How do you keep neighborhood cats out of gardens? I have two cats that do not go outdoors; but the neighbors let theirs out and I'm constantly finding cat dung in/near my flowers.
Help!!!  Elizabeth.  Elmira.
There are some repellants available at garden centers but most of them work for only a short period of time.  It may be enough to discourage them until they find another spot to do their business.
Q1543  I live in a dorm and I have been trying to deal with a bed bug problem for several months now, but nothing has seemed to get rid of them. I have dreds and I was wondering if they could be in my hair?  Ada.  New York.
They will not be laying eggs or breeding in your hair.  Finding their hiding places is very difficult because the are nocturnal and can survive with out a blood meal for months.  An experienced professional can probably solve the problem but it may take some time in a multiple unit dwelling.
See:  How to get rid of bedbugs.
Q1542  We just moved into our newly built home. We do not have a basement or crawlspace, we are on a slab. We have an ant problem. We also have two inside cats that we don't want to take any chance in hurting with chemicals. What can we do right now in the winter to get rid of these ants, or are we stuck until warmer weather and outside treatments? Please help!  Shauna.  Ohio
  The first thing to do is have the ant species identified by a professional. Many ants can be controlled using a good quality bait. If done properly there will be no risk to your cats. Talk to a pest professional.
Q1541  What kind of bugs live in sheet rock? I noticed many tiny little holes in two exterior walls.
When I pealed off the texture, the insects have created channels in which they moved. I haven't seen any bugs, larvae or nests.   Dotti.  Fort Worth
Carpenter ants will sometimes chew holes in sheet rock but they prefer wood.  A professional with a boroscope could drill small holes and check the wall cavities for other damage and the cause.
Q1540  I just noticed a line of blister like deposits on one wall, which is covered by wallpaper. There were about 10 of them in a straight line about a foot long. I washed them off and now have holes in the wallboard the size of the deposit. I felt along the wall in this area and you cannot see anything because of the wallpaper, but it feels like the wallboard is deteriorated in places in about a 3 foot area. What could this be and how can I treat it?  Carrol.  Evansville.
See the answer to the question above. (#1540)
Q1539  Hello, I purchased a home this summer. Prior to closing I had a termite/insect inspection in late March, 2005. After moving in I discovered an entire exterior wall had been eaten away at by the ants and needed to be rebuilt. I discovered this in early September. The inspection company is contending that it is not at fault and that the ants must have done their damage after the inspection. How quickly do carpenter ants generally destroy wood? Over the summer I noticed a few ants on the deck next to the wall, but never an alarming number of them. Is it possible that they were present at the time of inspection? How about probable? Thanks for your advice.  Fabian.  Narberth, PA.
Carpenter ants would certainly not chew away an entire wall in 5 months.  The damage they cause is often not noticed until the ants themselves become obvious entering and leaving the nests, or traces of sawdust and frass appear. Ants with wings in the nest is an indication the nest has been there for 3 to 5 years minimum.  More Carpenter ant information
Q1538  All my cashmere sweaters hanging in the same closet have small holes. I found small (1/16th inch) caterpillars crawling on them. Dark at both ends, lighter in the middle. Can you suggest a course of action to get rid of them?  Thank you, Jerry.  San Diego
Read the control suggestion on this page about clothes moths.
Q1537  there is something living in my attic it has chewed a hole in my ceiling beside my ceiling fan it scratches the ceiling but we only hear it at night we have a trap up there but its not even touching it please help!  Donna.  virginia.
It sounds like you have rats.  The best place to look for problems and entry points is in the basement or crawl space. For control tips see our rodent page.
Q1536  I have a fowl smell coming from an outlet in my bathroom, and its been there for about 3 weeks, it smells like a dead animal.  Dina.  San Jose, Ca.
There is likely a dead rodent in the wall.  They follow plumbing pipes and wiring then often end up in bathrooms walls.  It is a good idea to get rid of dead rodents so insects are not attracted.  You will have to cut a hole, fish it out and make the repairs.  I once found 8 electrocuted mice in a wall cavity because they had chewed insulation off the wiring to a light switch.
Q1534  Hi,  I have a serious problem with what we call harvester termites. They are approx 10-12mm long and 3-4mm wide (excl wings) creamy clear with dark brown stripes. They appear to fly about when it rains, land and build tunnels into the grownd. The problem is this, they are able to strip a square meter of grass in a day, resulting in a unbecomming patchy lawn effect. I have tried just about anything I could think of as well as what our local experts have recommended. Any advice would be appreciated! Gail. Johannesburg, South Africa
The Harvester termite is much different than most species we deal with in North America so we are not very familiar with control methods.  Some suggestions we have heard of: 1) No Control. 2) Flood the area with water and keep it wet for a week or two.  3) Have a local professional spray the lawn with a suitable pesticide.  4) Use a bait, applying it at the end of summer when termites start foraging for dry grass, usually in April or after first winter frost. (Africa). Apply while termites are actively foraging, from mid-morning onwards. An example of such bait can be found on this web page.
Q1533  We have a problem with roaches in our school buses. Obviously we can't use pesticides because of the children. Any suggestions. Thanks!  Cynthia.  Galveston, Texas. 
There must be a food source on the buses.  We have found mice living in school buses eating crumbs and leftover bits of lunch discarded by the children.  Obviously a thorough and frequent cleaning will eliminate the problem.  If not, a local professional may be able to place bait in safe locations.
Q1532  What steps are needed to start up your own pest control company. Art. Woodbridge
You must obtain certification to apply pesticides in the province you plan to work.  You must obtain a service license and liability insurance.  Without experience working for a licensed professional, it will be very difficult to obtain insurance.
Q1531  Can electronic devices eradicate flour moths in a large bakery, or what other measures could be taken, is fumigation the only answer. Thank you. Debbie. Vaughan, Ontario
No.  The best device is a vacuum cleaner. All traces of flour should be cleaned up in, under and around equipment as well as throughout the building.  Stored ingredients should be in insect proof  containers or rooms.  It would be well worth the cost to have a pest professional who specializes in food production facilities work with you and suggest remedies. A health inspector may not beas easy to deal with.  See our directory of pest professionals in Ontario.
Q1530  After a recent addition to my sister's home, we have seen a number of black spiders varying in size.  While raking leaves in the yard, I noticed many of them around the outside wall of the house. But at various times, we are finding them thru out the house. We have a number of pets so cannot use anything chemical that may be hazardous to them. Is there a basic home remedy that can be used or what is our best step outside of exterminators, which have been tried in the past, with little result? The home is cleaned very regularly and are cautious about food storage. Marsha. Cleveland, Ms. 
Having an exterminator get rid of the spiders once will not keep them away forever. Leaves, mulch and excess vegetation near the house provide an good habitat for many insects which are a food source for spiders.  Inside, you don't need pesticides.  Use a vacuum cleaner to remove webs in the basement or crawl space.  Make sure these areas have enough ventilation to keep them dry.
Q1529  My husband needs to do some drain work in our crawl space. There are lots of miscellaneous spiders etc. down there, and I would like to set off some sort of NON-TOXIC bug bomb before he starts. Can you recommend a safe-for-people/animal insect killer for that application?  Laura
Anything that kills insects could also be a health risk for humans, even so called "home remedy" solutions. Pyrethrin sprays are a relatively low risk insecticide but precautions must still be taken. Read the label.  A vacuum cleaner is certainly not toxic but if the hantavirus is present it can pass right through a vacuum bag.
Q1528  Will sub zero temperatures kill a cockroach. My mother in law has them and I am leery if I bring in Christmas presents home they will be in there... Leilani
Cockroaches can survive if subjected to freezing temperatures slowly but they will die if shocked with below freezing conditions.
Q1527  How do you get rid of rats in your car without it being harmful to the dogs that are always around it?
I don't have rats in my car!  If I did, I would block off their entry point and set traps inside.
Q1526  We had lots of These bees also made nest along the top of ledges. The were the paper type. Someone sprayed some kind of pesticide where they seen the bees entering. I'm just wondering if it didn't kill all the bee's do the hibernate in the winter and come back out in the spring? We will fill in all the cracks in the spring to eliminate this problem. But I just need to know if we should go into the attic to find all there nests? Nicole. 
Bees do not make paper nests.  They are wasps or hornet nests and they will be vacated in the fall  and never used again.
Q1525  An opossum got into our screened-in porch and by the time we got it out it left a strong odor behind. It is an urine-like smell. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the smell? Karen. Delhi, Iowa USA. 
Cleaning the area with a mild solution of bleach and water may work.  You could also try using the skunk odor neutralizing formula but be careful, it may bleach fabrics, carpets, etc.
Q1524  We keep finding acorns around the house in shoes, in drawers, and most recently in upstairs bed 14 of them to be exact. No droppings of any kind? any ideas??  Bill.  Brighton, MI.
I once had a cat that stole nuts out of a bowl and hid them all over the house.  Your problem is likely mice.   Read our control suggestions on the mice page
Q1523  Where can i order 100 box elder bugs along with male and female box elder plants for my science fair experiment?  Sam.   Elizabeth, CO
The entomology department at Colorado State University may be able to help you.
Q1522  What is the best "natural" way to exterminate silverfish? Debbie. Adelaide Australia
Q1521  Could you please advice how can I kill the mouses that live between drywalls inside of wall of my home. I hear all day how they move. May be can I use some spray that I pulverize throw hole? Thank you very much. Isay. Detroit, MI.
The mice are crawling up from lower levels in the house.  That is where you should use bait or traps.  Follow the suggestions on our mice page.
Q1520  I just want to thank you so much for your website. I had a bedbug infestation last year and am still traumatized and so when I saw some bugs I had a panic attack BUT, thanks to your website, I now know that they were just beetle larvae. I have a bed bug related question that maybe you could help with. I had bedbugs in an old building I lived in. I moved and I put all of my belongings in a garage-style storage unit in upstate new york for 14 months. Before I moved, I inspected everything for bugs/nymphs and saw nothing. What are the chances that anything is still alive or waiting to "re-animate?" The average temp. here for January and February is 25 degrees F. Thanks again, Ember.
It is likely bedbugs and their eggs would not survive freezing temperatures for that period of time.
Q1519  We recently had an infestation of bed bugs in our condo unit. We informed our condo management company about the issue and they dismissed it as an isolated incident that didn't affect the building. While this aggravated us, my wife suffered terribly from the infestation, having severe welts all over her body (even on her eyelid), so we had an exterminator come in twice, and threw out our sofa and bed. Now, two weeks later, my wife woke up this morning with new bites on her leg. We suspect other units are affected, as several mattresses have been thrown out over the past few weeks. With a condo (owned) building, what is the responsibility of the board and management company to deal with this problem? Why bother getting an exterminator for our unit if all the adjacent units won't do anything about the problem? We'd really like to know how to fight this problem.  Brian.  Calgary
When treating multiple dwellings or hotels for bed bugs, most professionals will want to inspect all adjoining units (each side, behind, above and below). Because adults can survive for a year after getting a blood meal they can be difficult to find.  It may take a number of treatments.  Ask your neighbours if they would be willing to have one professional inspect all the units.
Q1518  What is the maximum temperature that a cockroach can resist and for how long? Luis. Phoenix, Arizona.
There are varying opinions about using heat to treat cockroaches.  It is agreed the temperature must be at least 115 degrees F.  Maintaining this for 45 minutes will flush them out so they can be vacuumed up.  It may take several hours for the heat to penetrate hiding places to kill the eggs. See these web sites for more information:     
Q1517  Since having a new roof put on I am plagued with cluster flies in my kitchen and bathroom. HELP! How can I get rid of them? It is driving me crazy.  Gail.
The flies are likely hibernating under the insulation in your ceiling. Replacing the roof disturbed them enough to emerge into your living space. Having your attic fogged by a professional would give you some temporary relief.
Q1516  Somewhere I read that to get rid of woodbugs, you feed them corn meal. They love it but they can't break it down or excrete it so they die. Is this true or have I just been feeding the little buggers their favorite food?  Sharon,  Duncan, BC.
Sow bugs (wood bugs) will not eat corn meal unless it was very wet.  Their diet consists of decaying or very tender vegetable matter
Q1515  My home has become infested with brown Asian stinkbugs. I find them everywhere and especially attached to clothing. I have had this problem since summer. I had my mulberry tree cut back and added a new deck and new roof this summer. Apparently all this renovation disturbed their nests, but now I cannot get rid of them. Can you help??
These insects should be controlled during the summer when they are visible on outdoor plants.  You should also try to caulk cracks, crevices and gaps around windows and doors to prevent entry in the fall.  See this web site for more information. 
Q1514  If you have wooden shelves that are just stained and they were in a storage closet and they have mice droppings and urine on them. This person lives in the country and they could be deer, field or just house mice. Is there a way to clean them or should they be thrown away? Susie
Spray them lightly with a solution of bleach and water them wipe with a damp sponge. This will kill any viruses.  Read about Hantavirus
Q1513  My father in Tampa Fla. is infested with bed bugs. He was turned down by six exterminators so is trying self help. Buying a new vacuum cleaner today, he was told that moth balls in the bag would kill the bed bugs and he would not have to throw out bag. Is this true and can he use the moth balls elsewhere? Thank you Denise. 
Moth balls give off a gas that is toxic to many insects in a confined area. These fumes would have to penetrate all the hiding places for the bed bugs to be effective.  This would not be possible.
Have your father contact the Florida Pest Management Association who may be able to suggest a qualified business to solve the problem.
Q1512  My husband has several bites on his arm- I have changed the sheets and have sprayed in the bedroom- but he has still got bitten, could you please tell me if there is something that I can spray on the bed and pillows in case there is something in them?  Susan
Don't spray pesticides on your bedding. Your problem sounds like bed bugs, but even if it is something else you will benefit by reading the tips on this page:  Get rid of Bedbugs.
Q1511  I believe I have a dead mouse in my heat ducts under my house. Beings it is winter every time my heat comes on the smell comes up through my vents and its terrible almost to the point it makes me sick. Is there any way I can get rid of this odor fast?  Karen.
The best solution is to call a commercial furnace and vent cleaning service.  They use huge vacuum cleaners that will remove mice along with a considerable amount of accumulated dust.
Q1510  I am expecting a newborn baby within days. I contacted my apartment maintenance team because I had mice. I believe they may have fumigated the entire apartment and I'm worried everything may be contaminated. Is this something I want to bring a newborn baby around? I also have a small dog.
Fumigation is not a method used to control mice in residential structures.  If a licensed professional is doing the work you can rest assured they will take every precaution to protect the health of residents and pets.  Find out who is doing the work them give them a call to ease your mind.   More about mouse control.
Q1509  I would like to buy a pest chaser and would like to use it in my car. I live in Ottawa. Can you please guide me about its availability in Ottawa. Is it possible to buy and get it shipped from somewhere if it is not available.  Can you guide me through some of the links where they are available and if I could buy online ?  Thanks.  Viji
  We do not endorse any of the electronic devices to control pests, especially those that claim to repel insects or work on an electromagnetic effect.  These devices in general are a total waste of money.
Q1508  In the last couple of months I have found sow/pill bugs dead on the carpet in my living room. And recently I found a lot (six) dead bugs behind the sofa and another six or so along the exterior wall. I don't have an obvious dampness problem. The meter reads 50 and the doors have a good seal. Where could they be coming from? Pat. Vancouver.
The bugs are emerging from a damp location (the walls or under the floor) into your dry living space.  They die because they can not breath in a dry environment.  More about sow bugs
Q1507  The apartment I recently moved in has been treated for Pharaoh ants (I haven't seen one since I moved in, over a month ago, but apparently, units near mine have seen them and management has treated the whole area). The pest control company drilled 2 holes in the lower kitchen cabinets and one in the bathroom cabinet. I think they should have been right on the edge, but they are approx. 3-5 inches from the edge. My question is, can I cover the holes? I want to put my stuff back in place but don't want to place it on top of the holes. I'd like to cover the hole with Poly filla. As a matter of fact I am planning on covering every single hole, opening, crack I see under the cabinets, near plumbing, etc. My dad did over at his apartment and we have never seen any insects. Any thoughts? Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it!!!
Controlling Pharaoh ants is a process, not a one time event.  In some buildings it may take months of repeat treatments to eliminate this pest.  I suggest you leave the holes open until you have spoken to the professional doing the service work.   More about Pharaoh ants
Q1506   My son captured a mouse from the shop at his work place. He used a Hav-A-Heart trap. I want to let the mouse go in the backyard (I have a large one, with woods), where he will have a chance to live for awhile. My question is, it is winter here and I'm not sure if it is too late for him to make a home; should I wait until spring to let him go, or let him go now?
If you read about all the health related problems caused by mice you will soon realize they should never be kept in  human living space. More about mice
Q 1505  I was stung on my toe by an ant almost a year ago. I still have the scarring. It still look like a small red blister. Can you carry the scarring of an ant bite for life?  Annie.  Jacksonville.
Sorry Annie. We do not give medical advice.  Try to find out what kind of ant stung you before you talk to your doctor.
Q 1504  What types of numbers of insect must be noticed in our traps before we start spraying and also how multiple sprayers should we use? Thanks for the help. Jesse
Spraying pesticides is not always the right way to control some insects.  In fact it may do more harm than good.  You must first identify the insects and then seek professional advice.
Read about
integrated pest management.
Q 1503  My apartment is infested with cockroaches and we have had the place sprayed once and put traps down but to no avail. We keep our place really clean and all of the food is sealed. I am nervous about having to spray again and what effect the spray has on me. I think they may be coming from another apartment that is infested but I am not sure. What do you suggest I do or ask my landlord to do?  Thanks,  Daryl
Ask your landlord to have a professional inspect apartments adjacent to yours and start a baiting program. Spraying pesticides will often drive cockroaches into another part of the building.
Q1502  I love birds BUT SPARROWS ARE TAKING OVER MY BIRDFEEDERS. They eat any seeds I put out. They are so aggressive they scare all other birds away. They continue to come to the feeders until all the seeds are gone. They even eat the thistle in the sox for finch - they are so aggressive they make holes in the sox. Please offer advice so I can enjoy all kinds of birds. Mary. Wellesley, MA USA
True environmentalists do not feed wild birds.  Professional pest controllers always discourage wild bird feeding.  Rats and mice love wild bird seed.   You may get better information on a web site that specializes in wild bird information.  Try this one: 
Q1501  Can I get MaxForce Ant Bait station in Toronto? I lived in multi-dwelling building and we have pharaoh ants. Our building initially provided us with MaxForce Ant Bait station and it seemed to work okay at least for my unit.  Now they are no longer providing the ant bait stations. Instead they suggest us to use boric acid mix with sugar/water or honey.  From what I read, I understand that ants look for different things at different times. Sometimes it's protean (fat/grease), sometimes sugar, and occasionally carbohydrate. As I understand it MaxForce contains all three. I am willing to get MaxForce ant bait station myself but not sure where to get it. Anyone can let me know when I can find it in Toronto? Most of the links I found is in US and will not ship to Canada. Thanks.
  If your landlord is serious about getting rid of this serious pest, he should forget about boric acid mixed with sugar.  For total success, every tenant in the building will have to cooperate and it is not likely they will all follow the proper procedure.  A professional should be called in.  If you insist in controlling the problem in your own suite, phone Gardex Chemicals in Toronto.  They don't sell directly to the public but will be able to tell you where to purchase Max Force ant bait.
Here are some tips:
-If you place any pesticide in a public space (hallway) you could be held liable for any negative effects.  You may even break the law.
-Place each bait station indoors immediately next to ant trails or close to areas where ants are numerous.
-For normal infestations, you should use 3 bait stations in an average sized room. For heavier infestations, you will need additional bait stations in each room.
-Replace all bait stations every 3 months for continuous control of ants.
-Caution should be taken to ensure bait stations are not placed in such a manner that they could be dislodged into sensitive areas i.e., food processing equipment, packaging, aquaria, pet cages and areas frequented by small children.  
More about Pharaoh ants


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