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Q 700  I was wondering what to do if u have a problem with fruit flies....besides keeping food away from them, are there any other things i could do to get rid of them. thank you. Stacy; Ontario

Try to find where they are laying eggs.  It will almost always be near a food source: kitchen garbage, compost buckets, empty soda pop and beer cans or bottles, wine making equipment, spilled food under appliances.  Clean up or eliminate these things and you may stop the cycle. 
Q 699  I have been infested with thrips (identified by greenhouse).  They started out in my roses (31) and then the gladioli, the wave petunias, and seems like my whole garden.  What do I need to do to be rid of these insects?  I get varying suggestion of which none have worked.  Can you please give me some advice, I AM DESPERATE!!!!  I have removed 5 shopping bags of blooms and buds and destroyed them.  I have now pulled all of the glads and wave petunias and destroyed them.  Help! Myrt Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, 
We are not gardeners so your question would be better directed to a garden pest web site.  One of the best in Canada is "Laters".  http://www.laters.com/insects/thrips.htm
Q 698  Carpenter ants and sawdust were found in the heaves of a deck. The rotten wood was removed and Pest control is coming to fumigate tomorrow. We are not sure yet if the problem is limited to the outside area....If the problem has spread to the house what then??? Are there any government agencies that would provide support in this situation??? Would normal house insurance cover such a problem???
Is there anyone we should contact?? Thanks! Mike; Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Carpenter ants will not establish a permanent nest where they might freeze in winter.  If they are in the deck structure they could be in the house behind the deck hanger joist or in the wall where it is warm.  An experienced professional should be able to determine this and solve the problem. This is not a problem that insurance will cover and there is no government aid available to our knowledge.  In some parts of Canada carpenter ants are a pretty common problem with up to 50% of  homes effected. 
Q 697 I have a satellite or parent carpenter ant colony in my house. A few months ago we have noticed carpenter ants in the house, in one instance 30-50 foraging for food around the garbage bin in the kitchen. Since then, I have treated inside the house with a white dust ant killer, and we have seen few since then, only 3-5 per week (in the house). However, recently I have discovered how they enter the house through cracks in the exterior brick siding. There are many ants entering and leaving the house, however I do not anymore see them inside. I believe their nest is somewhere inside the walls, and they are foraging for food mainly outside. Now the question: Can I use the ADVANCE Carpenter ant bait or a similar product to eliminate the nest? Adrian, Ottawa, Ontario
Your are right.  The ants nesting in your home forage for food inside in the early spring then  when the weather turns warmer and there is food available they send workers outside to forage.  Killing worker carpenter ants outside of the nest will have little or no effect on the nest. Carpenter ants may eat some of the poison baits on the market and some may actually die, but I have not had any success eliminating satellite or parent nests using them. ADVANCE apparently is effective at killing some species of foraging carpenter ants but it is not registered for use in Canada therefore it is not legal to use.  We will follow up with more information on this product if it becomes available and we have an opportunity to try it. If you have one satellite nest there are probably others. The more you learn about these ants, the more likely you are to call a professional with carpenter ant experience.
Q 696  On the main floor of our home , beside the door way to the bedroom and in the hallway along the wall, which is an outside wall, there is a fine pile of what appears to be a dirty gritty substance, similar to a pile of dirt on the carpet. In the wall, right in the corner behind the door, is a hole. I can't see any insects that are visible in this substance. I have vacuumed it up and in time it reappears. Could this be termites? Ants? I don't see any. Bev; 
Kyle, Sask.
Likely ants, especially if it is damp in that area.  Excess vegetation or soil touching the exterior siding will encourage ants to move into the floor system or wall cavities.
Q 695   My parent's recently bought a house which is infested with fleas. My children and I have to visit with them for a week in the near future. Although they are taking the necessary steps to deal with the infestation I'm worried that the fleas or their eggs can be transported back to my own house inside my suitcase or on our clothes or personal items. Is it in any way possible to transport fleas from one house to another, and if so what are the precautions I can take to reduce the risk? Anne, Valleyfield, Quebec
It is not likely you will transport fleas back to your home but you could take the precaution of laundering all clothing in hot water.  The important thing for your parents to do is purchase proper flea control products for cats or dogs from a veterinarian.  If there are no pets, have the home treated by a professional.
Q 694  How do you get rid of red ants? I was told Borax or boric acid works well to kill ants. I was wondering if you know what stores sell this product. Thanks, Nitasha; Calgary.
Boric acid works well for some ants if you are persistent and patient. Mixing the right quantity with an attractant is critical.  Many commercial ant baits (poisons) use boric acid as the active ingredient and they are not expensive. They will not work for carpenter ants. 
Q 693  I found a little hole on the siding of my house and notice that bees coming in and out. I think there is a bee hive inside the siding. How can I get rid of it? Sam, Coquitlam, B.C.
Bees and wasps will nest in wall cavities.  Injecting a pesticide (aerosol wasp killer) into the hole at night will probably kill them.  Dead insects in wall cavities may attract other insects such as carpet beetles.
Q 692  We have flying ants. I think, but they have a very fine and long tail. can you help me identify it. Laura; Burlington, Ontario
Flying ants are reproductive males or females (future queens) At this time of year (August) they are not likely carpenter ants.  If they are inside your home you should have them identified by a professional.  Killing the ants out of the nest will not solve your problem.
Q 691  We have small gray moths everywhere in our home & can't seem to get rid of them. They are in our food cabinets & cocooning which worms drop out of these cocoons. Every time you kill one, there are still a lot formed around our vaulted ceilings & areas we can't reach. We don't want to use chemicals if at all possible. Please help....Janie; Mesquite, TX USA
You definitely have a stored food pest, probably Indian Meal Moths.  Throw out all dry food they may have infested. Clean your cupboards thoroughly and have a professional apply a light crack and crevice pesticide treatment.   See this page for more information on Indian Meal Moths   

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Q 690  last summer we moved in our new house we had a bat problem.  In the first 8 hours we were in we had 5 live bats in the primary living quarter. A exterminator came over a removed one dead bat from our attic. The sellers of the home had hung sticky papers from the ceiling of the attic.  Our problem is a very bad smelling odor that is faintly lingering in our sons bedroom which the attic trap door is in his closet. This odor is so very bad that when it's been raining and is hot and humid we have to remove our 3 year old son from his room as this smell is so putrid and we are afraid of his health. We do wonder if this could be linked to the bats  being in the attic we don't think there is any bat left but what is this smell in this room ? can you please help? Lisa; Trenton, Ontario
Bat droppings can be a real problem in attics and there is a health risk. You will find information about cleaning up after bats on our Bat web page.
Q 689  Last night we had a bat in the house. It kept flying in circles and we opened the door and it either flew away or is somewhere in the house. (The flying went on for about 15 Minutes and I did not see it fly through the door)
We have 2 Kittens and they were quite excited (I locked them in the bedroom). My question is: Do I have to worry that the bat attacks the Kittens? and also how do I get the Bat out of the house (if it is still there)
Any advise would be very appreciated. Thanks in advance. George; Newmarket, Ontario
Bats will not attack your kittens.  If you find a bat roosting, put on a pair of heavy gloves, throw a towel over it and release it outside.  See the information above.
Q 688  Are there any circumstances (for e.g. health concerns) under which a pest control company can destroy bats in the attic?  Name withheld by request. British Columbia.
No.  Bats are a protected species in British Columbia.  Mechanical exclusion is the best way to eliminate the problem.  More information on  Bat web page.
Q 687  We have problems with bats entering our house. in the last 2 weeks we have had 6 that we have had to remove. How can I get rid of them? Theresa,  Madoc, Ontario
See the above answers
Q 686  Well we had a bat colony about 100, in different parts of the attic but it seems i have locked them out {using the one way screen door method. Now the problem is the guano odour. How can I neutralize it?
See "cleaning up after bats" on the bat page
Q 685  I am looking for a company who can safely clean out an attic of squirrel and mouse droppings and old insulation. There are squirrels and mice in the attic and the wall of the cottage. In order to help alleviate this problem I would like to start over in the attic (over 60 years old !) and put in new insulation and then a floor over it to avoid this happening again. I understand squirrel and mouse droppings are dangerous and should be dealt with by a professional. Do you have any suggestions as to either the specific name of companies I can contact or the type of companies I can contact. Pest control companies do not clean attics I have been told. I need help. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Judy. Shawville, Quebec
Some pest professionals do clean up problems created by pests.  Contact the local professionals and ask them to refer you to someone who will do the job properly.
Q 684  I have what I believe to be are fleas (they are very small and jump) that come up the drain in my bathtub. We live in a mobile home. We are also on a septic field. We do not have any pets. I have tried Raid and a Drain cleaner. They seem to just keep coming back. I would like some suggestions to get rid of them. Thank you.  Debbie;  East Kootenays, B.C.
I don't think your problem is fleas.  They don't breed in drains and there is no food source (blood) for them there.
You may have phorid flies.  See our Phorid Fly web page.  The surface insecticide spray will not have much effect but a foaming drain cleaner might. Unfortunately drain cleaners are hard on septic tanks.  Try to catch a few in a pill bottle and show them to your local pest professional (directory of professionals in the East Kootenays)
Q 683  My wife and I built a new home, and moved in 8 months ago. For the last four weeks, we've notice a scratching sound in our bedroom that appears to be coming from the south wall. At first we thought it was mice, so we had a professional pest control company come to our home and place pesticides in our attic. The noise is still present today. The noise is present only in our bedroom and in most cases the scratching occurs at night. Next to our new home is a lot filled that is undeveloped. (Large trees, broken and dried branches etc.) Ironically our bedroom faces the open lot. Perhaps, ants or termites have made there why underneath shingles and are now in the walls. It quite annoying. Any suggestions? Al. Southfield.
Carpenter ants can be quite noisy in the right conditions.  When they are chewing it sounds like pouring milk on rice crispies cereal. Have a good look outside for any activity, especially at dusk.  If you spot any ants you should probably have a professional do an inspection.  Read more about carpenter ants.
Q 682  Could you pls tell me what the best way is to get rid of Indian Meal Moths in your home. I have cleaned everything, put everything in containers, but every spring seem to have them in our crawlspace. Have used the hanging traps only. Haven't used an insect spray yet. Purchased an insect bomb today called Dr. Doom, and am wondering just how often I should use this for this type of problem. I wasn't sure if I should use one every two weeks or just what to do. I am having a heck of a time getting rid of these pests. We hadn't noticed any since October of last year. Checked the trap in the crawlspace til January, and there weren't any in there. Just the other night we had one flying in the living room which I couldn't believe. I then went downstairs to find the trap in the crawlspace had about a dozen in it. Just infuriated. I don't know whether to try the insect bomb, or just give up and have the entire house fumigated. This is the third year we have had them. Any advice you could give us as soon as possible would be much appreciated. Thks for your attention to this matter.  Sincerely, Darlene. Coquitlam
Food pests often arrive with bird seed and they also like dog and cat dry food. You must find the food source they are using and get rid of it.   If you use the insect bomb.  Follow the directions and leave the home for at least 6 hours, then ventilate well.   A professional may save you a lot of grief and expense. Throwing away food every year can get expensive.   Coquitlam pest professionals                        More about stored food pests
Q 681  We are having a serious problems with the small white worms and then the small moths in our kitchen cupboards. What can we do to get rid of them? Are they in the wood? Do we have to throw out all our food and get an exterminator or can we exterminate them on our own?  Cathy.  Vancouver
Your problem is similar to the question above.  Carefully examine all your dry food looking for the worms (larva). Clean the cupboards thoroughly and have a professional come in to apply a residual insecticide in the cracks and crevices.

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Use the directory to find a pest professional near you

Q 680  For the last year I have been having a problem with tiny black flying insects gathering in the basement of my house. These insects are found on the walls of the kitchen, bathroom, living room and cold cellar and on the windows. Also these bugs are not just a seasonal problem they are visible all year through. They are silent insects with somewhat transparent wings and do not fly far distances and are very slow.
Please should anyone be able to help me identify these annoying little bugs please let me know. Suzy; Toronto,
Proper identification should be done before trying any treatment. Take samples to a university entomology department of local pest professional.      Toronto professionals.
Q 679  I found a large(1 1/2") beetle in my kitchen sink tonight. It is black and if held under a bright light it almost looks like it has a dark cherry colouring on its back. It has two antennae that are about 1/4" long and at the end it looks like a ball, but when you look close you see 3 pieces like a fan. The body is long and thick and square. Long thick legs that look hairy almost.4 tiny black pincers at the mouth and sometimes a reddish brown looking tongue seems to be in and out. At least1/2"thick body. Antennae curl under to mouth when bothered in bug container. What is it? B.H.; Walkerton, Ontario
 
Q 678  I am having a problem with mice digging under my house foundation and gaining access to my basement. At the moment I have been keeping an regular schedule checking for holes. My question is, is there anything to deter the mice from digging under my house??  Laura. Strasbourg, Sask.
Try to determine what food source is attracting them and eliminate it. Use poison bait in the basement to clean out the existing population.  Follow the directions on the label carefully.   Don't feed the birds.  See our rodent page.
Q 677 I have a budgie and recently I have found two or three flies that constantly come into the cage. They disturb my bird from sleeping and they are making me angry. Is there any common household concoction such as eggs or vinegar that will destroy them? Thank you!  Lilly.  Calgary, Alberta
DO NOT USE ANY PESTICIDES near birds!!  You would likely kill them. Birds are extremely sensitive to pesticides.
You will have to clean the cage more frequently and screen the flies out.  You could consider making a screen cover for the cage until fly season ends. See the answers below.
Q 676  how can i get rid of houseflies.  Kevin
Eliminate their food source.  Practice good hygiene.  Screen them out.  Many food processing plants hire professionals to determine what type of fly is present and apply the appropriate control methods. Using pesticides is often the last option. New fly lights will attract and kill most flies in a restricted area but can only be effective if the above methods are also used.
Q 675  how do i get rid of maggots?  Doug.  Windsor, Ontario
Flies lay eggs on or near a food source.  The eggs develop into maggots. Eliminate the flies as described in the above answer.
Q 674  What types of rats are not allowed in Alberta??, there are fancy rats (siamese, blue, albino) are they not allowed in Alberta either??
Norway Rats are the problem. Pet rats and those used for medical research should not cause any problems as long as they are always in captivity.
Q 673  I have researched all I can on termites, I have spent countless hours on the internet gathering information. I believe very strongly that our home is severely infested. Everything I gathered off the internet about termites damage and habits are happening in our house. I think that the structure of our home is causing alot of difficulty to confirming what I think. We have had 4 pest control companies come, all 4 said no. This whole situation has radically gotten out of control. I am moving out and divorcing my husband of 15 years because of it. I am exhausted from trying to prove termites to my husband. The damage is visible, I probably notice it because I am home 24-7, and I have an obsession on noticing every detail. This problem is led people to think that i am crazy, and it is completely destroying my life. PLEASE HELP. Kathy
Sorry Kathy.  We are not marriage counselors.  If 4 pest professionals say you don't have termites perhaps the problem is something else.  If you keep calling professionals eventually you may find one that will take your money whether or not you have a termite problem.
Q 672  How can i get rid of aphids on my garden plants. Sonia. Fernie, B.C.
Sorry we are not gardeners.  Try a good gardening web site like LATERS
Q 671  I am living in a highrise building, on the last floor. It's a very well kept building. I have bats coming in my apartment at night and flying all over the place and leaving little presents. Last year one came in, but I never found it. I phoned a pest control place and they told me to be very careful removing the poo, to use a mask and gloves.
Last night, two bats came in and flew all over the place especially in my room and this morning I found them in the bathtub. I opened the lights and played loud music and I did capture them and released them outside. My question, how can I find where they come in ? Every windows and screens are properly sealed. This is very upsetting. I lived in the country for 27 years and never even seen a bat. Now I live in Ottawa, in a high rise a well populated area and bats come in my condo.... Please help me. I have a hard time sleeping after those visits. Mimi. Gloucester-Ottawa
There must be a vent or opening that is not screened. Have your building manager do an inspection or call a professional.

Use the directory to find a pest professional near you

Q 670  I have hundreds of wasps who are crawling under the wood soffit, into the eaves, and they may have made a nest or are living in the sawdust? What I would like to know, is how can we get rid of them? We can't seal the cracks up, because I know they will eat themselves into the house. Do you have any solution how to get them out of the eaves? Thank you. Jenny. Winnipeg.
You will have to inject an insecticide into the crack or hole they are entering. Do this at night when they are all in the nest.  If the nest is not near the entry point in the soffit  you may have to call a pest professional who could inject an expanding insecticide foam.  Professionals used to use a dust in these circumstances but it is no longer available in Canada.     Directory of Canadian Pest Professionals
Q 669  All the houses within about a two block radius of ours have a terrible problem with small, red ants that bite. We've always thought that they were fire ants but we're not sure. The bite is pretty painful and there are literally millions of these ants in our yard alone. They do not build mounds above the ground and we've never seen them in the house. At one time, we used to spray Diazinon each summer and it would kill them. But they would always come back because all the surrounding properties also have them. Halifax now has a ban on all pesticides and these ants are preventing us from using our well-loved yard. What can we do? Do you know anything about broadcasting MaxForce Ant Bait? Sue. Halifax, NS

With a major reduction in the use of pesticides, there seems to be a considerable increase in the number of ants invading our space. To properly deal with ants, the species should be identified.  There are different treatments for many species.  Regarding the use of pesticides in Halifax, I am not sure what alternatives there are for this problem.  I suggest you contact Mr. Don McCarthy at Braemar Pest Control.  As past president of the Canadian Pest Management Association, he may know of a solution that is legal to use in your area.  This web page has his contact information:  Braemar 
If this does not help you, complain to your city council.
  I don't think Max-Force Ant Bait is registered for legal use in Canada at this time.

Q 668  Are there any poisonous or toxic caterpillars on Vancouver Island, or more specifically Victoria? And if yes, what do they look like and what is the reaction? Dan. Victoria, B.C.
 
Q 667  Can you help me identify these creatures in my fireplace? In the family room of our house, there is a wood burning fireplace and for the past two summers (since we moved in), I have been finding these bugs in the family room - they are about 1/4 inch long, medium brown, roundish in shape and they fly. Quite clumsey really. As soon as they fly at the wall they fall down dead. Last summer I suspected they were coming out of the fire place and tonight i confirmed this as one flew right at me from that direction. I then could see another inside the glass. I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old who spend a lot of time playing on the floor in this room and since I've already found about 5 of these dead, i don't want my 7 month old picking one up and munching on it. I have walnut stip floors so they are hard to spot. Thanks in advance - Candice. Newmarket, Ontario
 
Q666  How do I get rid of moths in my open clothes closet? I can't seem to find the source but there are many of them and they are constantly flying out of there. I don't want to use moth balls, and assume cedar chips wouldn't be that effective as this is not a closed space. Can you help me?? Thanks. Lynne; Vancouver, BC
Clothes moths can be controlled by a variety of methods, including periodic dry cleaning or laundering, proper storage, freezing, heating, or fumigating with dry ice, trapping, or using an insecticide. If humidity can be kept low inside buildings, an environment that is not suitable for clothes moth development will be created. Building construction that is free of many tiny cracks and crevices also contributes to fewer clothes moth problems. Good housekeeping practices are also important. Although most people can control clothes moth problems themselves, some infestations are best handled by a pest control applicator who has the equipment, materials, and experience necessary to deal with a difficult control job.  To read more about some of these solutions go to this University of California web site.   http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7435.html
Q 665   Found a super huge, (2" long) beetle type bug on the driveway today. greyish/brown in color with very leathery looking armour. he sported pincers like a crab and had big round eyes. he actually looks like the bug in photo#36. Does anyone know what he might be?
Lesley. Grand River, Prince Edward Island
There is now an identification and description of this Giant Water Beetle on "What is this pest" page
Q 664  Every spring we have large black ants that get into the house. It hasn't been a lot, and after putting ant traps around, they seem to go away.
This year, they don't seem to be going away. Every day we kill a half dozen ants, mostly in our family room area - sometimes upstairs in the master bathroom.
Tonight I was sitting out on our deck and saw many ants crawling in and around the cedar siding. What should we do to be sure they aren't destructive ants such as carpenter ants?  Dianne
Save a few specimens in a pill bottle and have them identified by a pest professional. Ant traps or poison won't work for carpenter ants. You may just get rid of the symptoms but not the real problem.  Before your make the problem more difficult to solve read more on: Carpenter ant pages.
Q 663  Does the queen carpenter ant look like a white larva? Avona; Kelowna, B.C.
No. Carpenter ant queens are larger than all the other ants in a nest. Before they mate they have wings.  See the pictures and read all about them on our Carpenter ant pages.
Q 662  My son noticed white specs all over his head board, and once he tried to wipe it off they began to move they are tiny white bugs about as big as a pencil tip and they look like dust. Andrea; Irvington NJ
It is difficult to say what the "white specs" may be but you may wish to read about head lice for a description. A good source of information is the Toronto Health Department web site:    http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/health/hl_index.htm 
Q 661  How do you make the "attractant" for the wasp trap? Is there a certain recipe for this? Thanking you in advance, Denise
Almost any sweet smelling liquid will work. Soda pop, beer, fruit drinks.  Raw fish is also good.  Make 2 or 3 traps  and try different things until you find one that works best.   ( Make your own wasp traps )

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Q 660  I have a black ants of various sizes in my kitchen (about 6-10 every day) and I believe they are foraging carpenter ants as there have been no "flying" ants in the house which leads me to believe that they are coming in from outside. I read at one website that making a mixture of molasses, sugar and active yeast can be used to control ants (the claim is they can't handle the gas the yeast produces in them). Has anyone had any success with this approach?  John; Etobicoke (Toronto)
We have heard of many home recipes for carpenter ant poison. I am not aware of any that are effective.  Try it.  If it works patent it right away.  You will be an instant millionaire.  Thousands of scientists have been trying for years to find the right formula for a  bait that is effective on most species of carpenter ants.
I am sure they have tried every ingredient found in the kitchen cupboard as well as some very sophisticated pesticides.  Less than 10% of the ants in a nest will ever leave to forage for food. You may get lucky and kill a few but the surviving 90% still in the nest will send out more workers to a new food source. Some of the home remedies I have seen worked because they were spread out like pancake syrup and the ants got stuck and drowned. 
Q 659  On the side of my house this summer and I have noticed that I have thousands and thousands of tiny holes covering a large portion of my yard. They are the size of a pencil point. I do not see any bugs or insects coming out of any of the holes. I have no idea what it is. I never use that side of my yard, it is just bare dirt. Is this ants maybe? Please help, I would like to stop whatever it is causing this.  Roxanne; Eugene, Oregon
There are numerous beneficial insects. Many of them aerate the soil stimulating better growth.  If you have not seen what is making the holes, they are probably not a pests. Why do you want to get rid of them?
Q 658  We seem to have a manifestation of Pill Bugs in our basement. They seem to have reached the 2nd and 3rd floor. Our son working in pest control sprayed the 2 first floors to no avail. Aside form keeping the basement dry what other means are there to ride ourselves of this pest. Thank you in advance for your reply.  Alliston
Spraying pesticides is not a long term solution.  Pill bugs breath through gills and can not survive in dry conditions.
If your home is damp enough to support the survival of Pill bugs, you could have other problems including mould growth.
This is not a healthy condition. Simple solution: reduce the moisture level.  Start with the basement.
Q 657  We have just discovered pharaoh ants in our kitchen cupboard. We are the original owners of our home, and consider ourselves very clean...however our kids left butter in a closed container on the bottom shelf of our cupboard and when we opened up the cupboard one morning, there were literally thousands smothered all over the container. We threw everything out that was accessible to the ants, washed the cabinets and left them empty for a few days. My husband read on the internet to put cinnamon in the cupboard. (which seemed like it worked, but I don't believe it did). I think we have now stressed the colonly(ies), because they're back! Help! We know we need to use a baiting system of some sort. Should we seek professional pest controllers or are we able to do it ourselves??? Is there something on the market in Canada that is effective in treating these disgusting little pests?? L.K. Newmarket, Ontario
Pharaoh ants are one of the most persistent and difficult ants to control. They are a serious pest in hospitals, dormitories and apartments.  Pharaoh's Ants are a health risk because they can infect foodstuffs with a range of diseases such as food poisoning, dysentery, typhoid and polio.  They are small (1.5 to 2 mm) and yellow or pale reddish-brown. Pharaoh ants adapt well to nesting indoors spreading their colonies throughout a building.  When disturbed they readily split into smaller colonies.  Pharaoh ants like a wide range of food, which includes syrups, jellies, grease, cake, and pet foods.  Pharaoh's Ants like warm damp conditions with a ready supply of food. They breed in colonies which can contain many thousands of ants.  However, only 10% of the colony are out feeding and if they are sprayed with normal insecticide, they will feel threatened and will break up into smaller colonies and spread around a building. A queen ant lays around 350 eggs a week which take a week to hatch and are fully developed within a month. Infestations therefore need to be treated promptly and effectively.
A good poison bait  works by slowly killing the ants so that they die off naturally.  It works for up to two months and must not be cleaned away until all the ants are dead. Using ant bait requires patience. You must be persistent using just the right amount of the right bait in the right places.  It may require a number of bait placements over a period of weeks. Max-Force ant bait is expected to be back on the market in Canada any day now.  A professional might be a good choice to help you get rid of the majority of these ants.  Make sure he has pharaoh ant experience.  If he starts spraying anything fire him.
Q 656  Do human head lice transfer to dogs? Shirley. Qualicum, B.C.

According to the Toronto department of health: Human head lice can not survive on other animals for more than 3 days.  There is a considerable amount of helpful information on this web site.:   http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/health/hl_index.htm 

Q  655.  I have a black ants of various sizes in my kitchen (about 6-10 every day) and I believe they are foraging carpenter ants as there have been no "flying" ants in the house which leads me to believe that they are coming in from outside. I read at one website that making a mixture of molasses, sugar and active yeast can be used to control ants (the claim is they can't handle the gas the yeast produces in them). Has anyone had any success with this approach?
John, Etobicoke (Toronto)
 
Q 654   I have an infestation of winged carpenter ants in my house at present, and am looking for advice on how to find their nest.  Everything I read says to follow the ants, but mine seem to materialize out of thin air, flying to the windows in my living room, where they make their way up to the top of the windows and then fall down to the bottom and simply start walking up again. Some sites say ant baits are useless for carpenter ants, other sites specifically recommend them.  I'm located 3.5 hours north of Thunder Bay, and, SADLY, there are no local pest control outfits.  :-(  HELP!      Thank you,   Rebecca
 
Q 653  HOW CAN I KEEP PIGEONS OUT OF MY BIRDFEEDERS.  David.  Lorain, Ohio
Bird feeders attract birds (and rodents) Pigeons are birds (Some people call them flying rats).   A true environmentalist thinks feeding wild birds is altering the natural instinctive feeding habits that could eventually effect their health or their migratory patterns.  It is a selfish practice to provide entertainment for humans. Most birds can do quite well without our help.
Q 652  We just discovered a lot of bees moved in, under our patio steps. How do we get rid of them, with out harming our 1 year old grandson?  JoAnne. Calgary
If you can see the nest, you could try spraying a wasp bomb into the entrance at night.  Get someone you don't like to hold a flashlight.  If you don't like running in the dark from a swarm of bees, call a professional. Cal-Rid Exterminators in Calgary will be glad to help you.
Q 651  We recently bought a cottage infested with mice and their feces, we are going to renovate and have removed all of the walls and the infected insulation. Being a cottage they can get in almost anywhere and I was wondering what the best way to re-insulate to deter the rascals would be. Is there a spray they dislike also should we use Styrofoam rigid or pink battan. We have a large advantage at this moment because the walls are gone. Please help us with our problem.
Thank you. John.  Tichbourne Ontario
Plug all the holes around wiring and plumbing with steel wool.  Be sure there are no entry points into the wall cavities larger than a thick pen. If you keep the mice out, it doesn't matter which type of insulation you use.
Q 650  We have a nest of snakes at our back door, it is becoming a problem going in and out of the house, they are the garden snake, there seems to be quite a few of them about(12 to 16 inches), my question is how do we get RID OF THEM, they have nested under a concrete block which is our walkway, we noticed them last year but this year they seem to have multiplied. Help!!  Lois.   Nova Scotia.
My wife says  "we don't do snakes" so I can appreciate the fear some people have about them, even the harmless garden variety we have in Canada.  These snakes are probably eating a number of other pests (insects, slugs) in the walkway.
You could plug the holes they are hiding in, or find a youngster that has not learned to fear them and have him (her) catch them and take them to your garden.  Glue boards will catch snakes but it would be a shame to kill them.
Q 649  On the subject of Carpenter Ants (outdoors), we had a small garden next to the back wall of the house surrounded by 8 x 8 pressure treated wood. Recently we noted a large number of black ant activity in the area. After some poking and tearing at the wood we realized a real problem. Many, many ants!! The interior of the timbers were fully channeled and once we cut it with a recriprocating saw literally " thousands" came out of the wood. The cut timber complete with ants, larvae (and lots of it) was bagged in heavy black garbage bags, securely tied and subsequently disposed of. Diatomaceous earth was sprinkled over the area the timbers once were and the majority of the problem looked solved. It has now been about a week and have again noted somewhat limited activity. The diatomaceous earth is still present along the patio stones and the concrete foundation, however this is where we are now seeing more activity. Any thoughts???? We have a new "wood" deck being constructed and don't want to loose it to this menace. Could they have a satellite under the patio stones in the crushed stone???
Your comments would be most welcomed and thanks for having this very informative site.
Wayne.  Markham, Ontario
Carpenter ants are temperature sensitive. Because they were nesting so close to your house it is quite possible they may have established other satellite nests in the your home. The diatomaceous earth may discourage them from entering your home but will not eliminate any nests already established. They are not likely to be nesting under the patio stones unless there are tree roots or other wood buried there.  They will not establish permanent satellite nests where it freezes.
Try this tip:  go out in the evening after a hot day, just as it is getting dark. Get down on your knees and using a flashlight try to follow or track any ants you see.  If you are persistent you will find the entry point for another ant nest.  The actual nest may still be some distance away if it is in your home, perhaps as far away as the roof system.  There is usually more than one nest. Finding carpenter ant nests takes a lot of practice, experience and patience.  Whatever you do, don't spray pesticides that will destroy the evidence, and don't waste your money on "ant traps" or the little bottles of "ant poison". Most entomologists will tell you to hire a professional.   More carpenter ant information.
Q 648  Can you tell me if the common house mice feces are harmful if swept up by humans.
Thank you.  Carol.  Halifax, Nova Scotia
Rodents of any kind may carry around many problems that could be hazardous to human health.  Before you clean up mice feces, spray the area with a mild ( 10 to 1) solution of bleach and water, then damp mop rather than sweeping or using a vacuum cleaner. Remember, there is a lot of urine that is not visible.  Take some of the same precautions that are suggested on the Hantavirus page.
Q 647  The pest: GOPHERS. We live in a mobile home, so it has no basement. We have gophers digging under our house. I have heard they will eat wires, insulation and anything else. How to we stop them from digging under the house? We closed the holes with dirt, wood, and rocks but they keep digging them out or around them. Please help me and put my mind at ease. Thank you.  Roxanne.  Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Many years ago as a young and innocent kid on the prairies, we used to flood gophers out by pouring water down one hole and occasionally we would catch one in a trap trying to escape out another hole.  Some my friends collected a bounty of 5 cents for every tail they turned in. I thought the traps were too cruel, and still do.  There are probably more efficient humane traps available now.  Talk to some  local farmers, or pest professionals.  Barry at Dominion Crown Pest Control in Edmonton or Keith at Cal-Rid Exterminators in Calgary should be able to help you.
   Good Luck.    Larry.  An ex prairie chicken.
Q 646  What is the most effective way to eliminate SKUNK odour on dogs?  Angela.  London, Ontario
The solution we hear most often is wash the dog with tomato juice.  You may have to do it more than once.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ELIMINATE SKUNK ODOUR FROM YOUR ANIMAL !!!
I AM A DOG OWNER AND HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM VARIOUS TIMES. IT IS BEST TO TREAT THE SPRAYED AREA A.S.A.P, BEFORE THE OILY SPRAY GETS DEEP INTO THE HAIR. SPRAY A CLOTH WITH "WINDEX" OR ANY OTHER OIL BREAKING FORMULA AND WIPE THE SPRAYED AREA AS MANY TIMES AS NEED BE. AFTER THIS WASH THE ANIMAL WITH A REGULAR ANIMAL SHAMPOO TO WASH OFF ANY EXCESS "WINDEX". YOU MAY HAVE TO WASH 2-3 TIMES BUT I TRIED IT AND IT DOES WORK, TOMATO JUICE DOES NOT!  Randy.  London.
       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is the solution professional trappers use:
Mix a half liter of peroxide  (from the drug store) with half a cup of baking soda and a little dish detergent.
Wash the dog with this solution then rinse well.  It may bleach the dog fur.
 
Q 645  I recently traveled back to Canada from Sydney and am covered in little red bites that are very itchy. I have heard that hostels often have problems with bed bugs and was wondering what a bed bug bite would look like and how to treat these bites.   Elizabeth
Bed bugs seem to be a growing problem throughout the world, probably because of increased international travel.  These insects may be hitching rides from one hotel to another. Hostels do not get the same care and attention between guests as most hotel rooms so they are more likely to have favorable breeding conditions for bed bugs.  Click here  for a number of links to good bed bug information on the web.
Q 644   I live in a mobile home and I have noticed that I have found a large number of ants in my home. I know that everyone gets them when the hot weather comes but I have noticed a lot of them. I kill around 15-20 a night. I noticed though that they do go away when the weather cools down, but I cant help to wonder if maybe I have a nest somewhere. I was also curious if they can live in the floor. Julie.  Port Hardy
You are describing typical symptoms for carpenter ants. They very often establish satellite nests in the floors, walls and ceilings of mobile homes.  On hot days workers are sent out to gather moisture and food, often just as the sun is setting.  Killing these workers will not solve your problem. Finding nests in the enclosed floor system can be a real challenge, even for a professional.  The ceiling of mobile homes presents another problem because there is no way to access it for an inspection.  This is not a job you should attempt yourself.  Find a professional that has had experience treating carpenter ants in mobile homes. Check the pest professional directory.
Q 643  I was edging my lawn and when I was pulling the grass away there was major ants. Little tiny red ones and a whole bunch of rice looking things, I assume are like eggs or something. How can a get rid of them...there's a lot!
Deb.  Medicine Hat, Alberta
Why do you want to get rid of them?  Are they causing a problem?  Some ants are beneficial insects.  Have the ant identified at a local garden shop or pest professional and ask if it is considered a lawn pest. 
Q 642  We live in a Condo and have flower boxes. For eight years we did not have a problem. This year was the worst. Small black bees moved into the dirt in the boxes. We could not sit on the deck or open the door they would follow us inside. We had to get rid of the flowers and boxes. For days they kept looking for them. We had even placed garlic in the boxes. Is there a way to keep them out. I love flowers but can't tolerate the bees. When the boxes were gone they did sting when we had to spray. Please answer me! Other residents here do not seem to have a problem.   Bernadette
Bees and flowers are a pretty common thing in nature.  Some wild bees make solitary nesting holes in soil.  They are very good pollinators and seldom sting if they are left alone.  Many experienced gardeners would welcome these insects.  You have removed their nesting site so they will likely move to a welcome environment.
Q 641 There are concerns at a work site around the issue of mice. Are there any potential health risk factors around contracting Hanta Virus? Karen.  Fort McMurray, Alberta.
The chances of contacting Hantavirus are very slim, but if there is a risk, proper precautions should be taken.
The virus is carried by mice and spreads when they urinate in dusty places.  If you disturb the dust the virus can become airborne and can infect the lungs of anyone breathing it.   Read all the details on the
Hantavirus page

Top of page

Q 640  I recently moved into a beautiful apartment in a heritage home only to find out there is a problem with mice in the building. I have only found droppings in my kitchen. Do you have any suggestions for eliminating the mice in my apartment and controlling the problem in the future? I have a dog and am therefore hesitant to use a poison. I tried stuffing all the holes I could find with steel wool but it hasn't helped. I found a site that suggested using a powdered fox urine product. Does that really work? Thank-you!  Kyla.  Halifax, Nova Scotia
Most heritage buildings  have been rewired and re-plumbed resulting in numerous holes and passageways for mice to travel in walls.  They can travel from basements up through every floor to attics.  Your landlord should have someone use procedures that will eliminate them below the living spaces in the home.  Keep looking for entry points in your apartment and seal them with steel wool.  See our rodent page for more tips.
Q 630  I have had a problem each spring for the last 2 years with a beetle-like bug. It is solid black, very small, but visible to the eye, a small abdomen and smaller head, no pinchers. They arrive in the spring and are usually gone by fall. But each year they seem to be getting a little worse. They seem to be mostly on the ceilings and sometimes on the walls, but never on the floors. They're very hard shelled. Would you know what these were and how to get rid of them? Thanks you. Judi. Halifax County, Nova Scotia.
If you take one to a local pest professional they will be able to identify and suggest a solution to eliminate them.
Halifax pest professionals are shown on this
directory page
Q 629  How do you get rid of the urine smell that is saturated in pine cupboards from house mice?  Leomar. Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
The smell may be coming from the space under the cupboards.  Mice get into this space following plumbing to the kitchen sink, or wiring. They may even die there.   You may have to cut holes in the kick board and clean it out.   The cupboards should be sprayed with diluted bleach.  A coating of paint primer and finish coat may be necessary.
Q 628   Home remedy to rid tiny ants from getting into flour sugar and even into a peanut butter jar with lid on.  Grace.  Houston.
There are hundreds of home remedies but we are not aware of any that work better than products available at your garden store.   Commercial ant killers are inexpensive and a tiny bit goes a long way.  Read the label.
Q 627  We have ants in our home and were looking for a home remedy to get rid of them, Can you help us? Thanks
Dawn.  Cranbrook, B.C
If you have ants visible inside your home at this time of year (May) they are likely carpenter ants.  There is no home remedy to get rid of them. Anything you do may just scatter the nests and make it more difficult to solve the problem. I suggest you call the local pest professional.  He is in the  pest pro directory.

Use the directory to find a pest professional near you

Q 626 We have an awful lot of ants on our property, all of them a sort of red and black color combination, some small(4-5mm)and others that are larger(.5cm or better). What can we do to get rid of them? We've already tried all or most of the retail products and have had only minimal and temporary success. Please send response as soon as is possible, this phenomenon is threatening to over-run the place.  Most sincerely, and frustratingly yours; Ghisele.
Edmonton
Some of these ants may be beneficial.   Read about the various species and control methods on the Ants page
Q 625      I was recently bitten by a spider, (last night) and the bite turned out to look just like how if bitten by the brown recluse would look like. I remember seeing the spider earlier, it looks a little darker in color and it moved fast and stayed low to the ground. My symptoms are dizziness, small headache, and sore arms, and legs, the bite itself did not hurt much I just felt a small sting when it bite. It is now in the stage of being a red pink splotch on my arm...is there any risk of me getting worse?
This question should be directed at a medical professional. It is difficult to advise you about the type of spider with the brief description you have provided. Raelle.   Edmonton
Q 624   Once a year we seem to feel these bugs when we are sleeping at night. I have read about bed bugs and because we never see any bugs or have any brown spots on our bed I don't think it is bed bugs. We travel once a year to sandy destinations and I was wondering if it could be some sort of a sand bug of a tropical bug. We find that if we keep the air conditioner on for a few days and keep the room very cold they go away but they also eventually return later in the year or the next year. Again we've never seen a bug or been able to get one because we think that they maybe lighter in colour or very very small. I would thank you for any feed back at all. Andrea.  Toronto.
 
Q 623   I need help/advice with a pest I believe to be a carpet beetle. I find them attached to clothing& under the baseboards. I sweep/mop/vacuum constantly. I wash clothes frequently and I instruct my family not to leave clothing etc... on the floor. But I keep finding them! They ruin the clothing and I want to get rid of them...what can I do????? Vern.   Toronto
Keep vacuuming constantly to eliminate those that keep hatching.  You may need to have a professional treat the home.
Q 622  I have bed bugs and need to get rid of them. What is the most effective method and where can I buy the product? Thanks.  David.   Toronto
Most common crawling insect sprays will kill them but you will have to find them all and this is almost impossible.  A professional would use something with a residual effect that will eliminate the bugs that move into the treated area at night. 
Q 621  I have had a very small moth invading my home, they are literally freaking me out - even my Parrot is paranoid about them now!!. They seem to come out at in the evenings, I have killed every one that I have seen, still more come, I have searched, sprayed every nook and cranny of my living room and kitchen, now I am finding dead moths in my food cupboards, and horrors of horrors what looks like maggots crawling up my kitchen walls, sprays do not seem to be affective, I have cleared out my cupboards and thrown a lot of food items away unopened packages as well, I now go after this maggot with the vacuum pipe, what is happening and how do I please get rid of these Moths that seem to have the ability to multiply however many I kill?, and are those horrible crawling white maggots to do with this darned Moth....pleeeeeease help....thanks from Geri and her grateful Parrot "Beau".
Geri.  Coquitlam.
Your description indicates you have Indian Meal Moths and you should tell Beau he may be the cause.   These insects are often imported into homes with bird feed which has not been treated for human consumption. You may be able to treat the Parrot feed by freezing it for a few days.   There is a good description and pictures on the
Indian Meal Moth page.
Q 620  I discovered ants in our kitchen.  We purchased ant traps but this does not seem to help much. Now I found a carpenter ant and would like to know if I can purchase something safe to eliminate this problem.  
GISELA.  Mississauga, Ontario.
Same answer as # 617 below.
At this time of year [May] the appearance of large black ants is an indication there is a carpenter ant problem. Don't waste your money on ant traps. They will not work.  If you spray pesticides you may scatter or spit up the nests. Have a look at our carpenter ant pages.  Read all you can about them and eventually you will realize it will cost you less in the end to hire a professional. 
See the directory of pest professionals in Ontario.
Q 619  I have a problem with millipede looking insects and I would like to know what I can use to get rid of them. They are in and around my house by the thousands. They only come out at night and early morning and they are driving me crazy trying to kill them and not being able to succeed. Please can you tell me what I can use to rid my yard and house of these creepy crawling insects.  Ron.
What kind of problems are these creatures causing? Why do you want to kill them? If they are damaging your garden consult a gardening professional.   Try this web site:  Later's Monthly Garden Calendar
Q 618  Can we still purchase the "no pest strip" put out by Shell Oil?   Patti;  Aldergrove, B.C.
No.  This is  another product that was probably abused by consumers who did not read the label and follow the directions. As a result it may have caused some health problems and was removed from the market.
Q 617  We have black ants in our place quite a lot bigger then the small red ones. We never had them before and have no idea where they are coming from. Have tried ant traps but they seem to be staying away from them any ideas please. Faye;  Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
At this time of year [May] the appearance of large black ants is an indication there is a carpenter ant problem. Don't waste your money on ant traps. They will not work.  If you spray pesticides you may scatter or spit up the nests. Have a look at our carpenter ant pages.  Read all you can about them and eventually you will realize it will cost you less in the end to hire a professional. 
See the directory for a professional on P.E.I.
Q 616 Otters are feeding and nesting under house. House is stinking of dead clams and other otter food found in the San Juan Islands.  What can I do to make the crawl space of the house undesirable to the otters?
Eric.  Anacortes, Washington.
This is the answer we gave to a B.C. resident with the same problem.  Washington State wildlife laws may be different.
Otters are a protected fur bearing animal in B.C. and they must not be harmed in any way.  Trapping and relocating seldom works because they will travel a long distance to return, or others may move in.  You must block them out with very secure screening or sheet in the perimeter of the cabin. Your local animal control officer may be able to help get them out. Once removed you may wish to spread lime under the cabin to help control the terrible odor.
Pest management professionals can only help you if they have a trappers license and permit.  Very few do because it is difficult to find a place to take the animal.  Wildlife artist Robert Bateman has a good solution.  He built a small shelter for them between his home and the beach.  They use it to give birth and raise pups then leave.
Q 615  What is a clover mite and how can I get rid of them.  Randy.  Nanaimo
We have published some clover mite information on this page:  Clover Mites
Q 614  What is this spider? It looks like the common little jumping spider only bigger with the back half solid red and front half and legs black or dark brown. Is it poisonous?  Jean,  Victoria, B.C.
Without a picture it is pretty difficult to identify your spider. Could it be a clover mite?  See the answer above.
Q 613  Please advise the professional/service in our area (central Oakville) who can trap and remove the raccoons in a nest on our property. Many thanks, Mary.
There is an animal control pest professional listed on the Ontario page of the directory.  Wild Things Wildlife Control  may be able to help or refer you to another reliable professional.  
Q 612  Black squirrels continually climb up the side of my house to an upstairs bathroom window. They are chewing on the wooden window frames to the point where there is little left of the frame. I have another home in Oakville and they also did the same to a window (bathroom, too ) in that home, including driving branches through the screen. How do I keep them away from my windows ? Is there a reason that they are attracted to a bathroom window ? Is it because the blinds are always closed and they appear different?  DON.  Oakville, Ontario
The best control for squirrels is trapping,  but it could be difficult near a second floor window. 
 
Q 611 How can I get rid of fruit flies? I've tried bleach in the drains but they seem to be multiplying.
Pat.  Baltimore
Find the breeding site.  It will be near a source of food:  compost bucket under the sink?, garbage can?  decaying fruit or vegetables in or near the home, Empty soda or beer containers?  There are fruit fly glue boards that will attract them but they may just keep multiplying at the food source.
Q 610 We have just noticed some beaver damage on our cedar trees down by the lake. I understand that protecting the trees with wire is seldom successful. I am wondering about some form of repellant that won't hurt our dog. I have heard of a type of non-drying glue called 4-THE-BIRDS which is supposed to be effective but this was in the States. Does anybody out there have any ideas for saving our trees? URGENT reply requested! Please include supplier information for products. Thanks! Judy.  Nanaimo, B.C.
Mechanical protection is probably the best control, other than trapping and removing the beavers. Some bird repellant products contain an ingredient that burns the feet of birds.  I don't think there are any available in Canada.  This is not the right solution.      Coastal Pest Management in Nanaimo may be able to help. The owner has many years of broad pest control experience. www.coastpest.com
Q 609  We have just bought a house in Mississauga. And when I went to inspect the house with the inspector he said that their is mice. I want to know how to get rid of the mice problem its seems to be around the fire place area in the basement and in the kitchen. I want to know if this is a big issue I am not sure what to do. Fill the cracks or get pest control to fix it.  Tony.  Mississauga Ontario
Please do not fill any holes until you are sure all activity has stopped. If the mice are trapped in the walls there is no telling what kind of damage they may do (e.g. chew electrical wires, make new holes etc.). Without knowing the history of mice in the house, it would very difficult to determine the number of mice that are in the house now. Especially if the house was vacant for an extended amount of time. So a top to bottom inspection would be the first thing to do. Check out this page  http://www.liphatech.com/rf_inspection.html  for rodent control tips or call a professional.   Stuart.  Liphatech Canada
                                       ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Have a look at the RODENT page for the basic steps to control mice, or call a professional.
Q 608 We live on an acreage South of Calgary and have just discovered in the middle of a group of small Willow trees, a nasty looking ants nest. The nest has a grass wall, and is a very high mound. The ants are about 1cm long, red, and green at the end, what are these ants and should we get rid of them?  Kim.  DeWinton, Alberta
These are probably thatching ants which are usually considered a beneficial insect.  If they are not bothering you, leave them alone.
Q 607 Last six months, I saw some ticks on the bed, behind the headboard. Usually they come out from the hidden place in the night and suck blood. I try to clean them. I use different spray ( that is found in the home depot) to control them. But it goes in vain. Can you please help me? Milo.  Montreal, Quebec.
You probably have bed bugs.  They are very difficult to get rid of. We have published links to some good information on university web sites.  Read everything you can before you use any more pesticides. Bed Bug Page   We will try to add more information to this page in the near future.
Q 606 I have bees in my hood exhaust vent (over the burners in the kitchen). I think I hear them in the attic. How do I get rid of them, other than an exterminator? I have allergies to bees. If I do need professional help for this, any recommendations in my area?  Bill.   Arcadia, California
If you have allergies to bee or wasp stings, you should not risk dealing with them yourself.  Call a professional.  This web site refers only to Canadian Pest Professionals.  Hire a member of the National Pest Management Association.
Q 605  Can you tell me if there is an electronic rat deterrent  on the market which works and can be used outside in the garden and is also safe to use where there is a dog that uses the garden?  The reason I ask is that I have a guide dog which has to have access to the garden.  I have contacted a number of companies and all have said that there products would affect the dog.  I believe this because that most work at a frequency of about 50 KHz or there abouts and a dogs hearing also extends to about 45Khz. At the moment I am using specific designed boxes and rat poison. Hope you can advise. Derek.  Thanks
None of the electronic devices will be effective, especially outdoors.  I suggest you continue with the poison in proper bait stations or purchase the new style of rat traps that fit inside secure boxes.  These are made by BELL
  (  http://www.belllabs.com/ ) and and Liphatech (  http://www.liphatech.com/ )  They are available from Pest Control Suppliers. 
Q 604  We have just purchased acreage  south of Salmon Arm on the Salmon River & have discovered a very large (top is approx 18-24" across) ant hill. The bodies of the ants are red & black. Front portion red, back 1/2 is black. They are quite large ants. We don't know what, if anything we should be about them. Our grandchildren have access to the area & we are planning to bring in live-stock, chickens, sheep, horses. If we do anything at all about them, we also have a concern regarding what we use as the hill is within 20/30' of the river. Appreciate any info, thanks.  Bobbi.   Salmon Arm, B.C. 
These are thatching ants.  They are considered a beneficial insect but they can bite and  be quite a pest if they wander into homes or on decks.  The ant hills often extend underground more than they protrude above ground.  It would not be environmentally right to saturate the nest with anything that could contaminate the river. I suggest leaving it alone unless it becomes a real problem.
Q 603  We live in a basement-entry home. My teenage daughter has her bedroom in the basement, and it seems that she is subject to visits from spiders. This really bothers her...what can I do to deter or keep these arachnids from going into her bedroom?  Teresa;  Langley, B.C.
Spiders eat insects.  You may have a problem with sow bugs, ants or something else that is attracting the spiders. Try to identify and eliminate that problem.  Encourage your daughter to vacuum her room frequently, especially in the corners and along baseboards.  If parts of the basement are not finished vacuum all the spider webs.
Q 602   We just moved in and are finding a centipede type bug they are beige and have several legs on both sides and seem to be growing bigger as it gets warmer they can cling to walls -we have a dirt crawl space and i believe they are breeding under there where it is dark and cool - how do I get rid of them without putting toxic chemicals in my crawlspace and what are they.  Dave.  Sutton, Ontario
House centipedes love damp locations.  Try to ventilate the crawlspace, put a plastic vapor barrier on the ground to reduce the humidity.
Q 601  Is there a household product to help rid of hornets on our porch.  Arin.  Robinson, Texas
Try attracting them away with a wasp trap.  If you know where the nest is use a waspblaster (aerosol spray can)
Q 600  Home remedy to get rid of household ants. I can't find the source since there is no trail but it seems to appear on the carpeting. The ants attack my cat's food but not the dog's food. Irene.
Most home remedies are not as effective as commercial products.  A $2 bottle of "ant poison" may be effective on some ants and should last about 5 years.  You need very little.   Don't waste your time or money if they are carpenter ants.  Call a professional.
Q 599  I have a cottage near  north of Barry in Ontario Canada. Something has chewed right through the exterior cedar siding, right through the plywood underneath and thru the interior pine siding, and into the interior in several places, the diameter of the holes very to slightly smaller than a golf ball to similar in size to a golf ball.  I think I saw a glimpse of the pest early one morning and it looked like a chipmunk ? I thought chipmunks just lived under ground?  Its made one big mess and a lot of damage. What do you think it is and what can I do to get rid of it. I keep plugging the holes with foam but new ones keep appearing? Please help its wrecking the place ...signed frustrated Glen;  Baysville, Ontario
Rats will chew through almost anything if they smell food.  Woodpeckers can make pretty big holes in a home if there are insects in the walls.  If you have chipmunks, traps will probably be the answer.
Q 598  Do the electronic pest devices get rid of cat and dog fleas.  Mathew;  Warwickshire, UK
  NO
Q 597  We have carpenter ants. We want to get a pest control company to come in and take care of the problem, but we do not want to pay for un-needed services. What MUST be done to get rid of ants in the walls (one side of house) we have seen a small maybe 5" pile of sawdust in one room, and numerous ants on the same side of house, kitchen, laundry room, 2 bathrooms. We have a 2200 square foot home. One exterminator said he needed to drill holes in my walls. Another said he did not need to do that. Another said something else, who do I believe? HELP! Thanks Kemah;  Greenfield
    Choosing a pest management professional can be difficult. As you have discovered, different companies have different approaches and possibly different treatment goals. You may wish to ask prospective pest management professionals the reasons behind their recommendations. You may find this information helpful in making a decision.
    The key to effective carpenter ant control is to locate the ants' nests and eliminate them. There may be more than one nest. Queen carpenter ants lay their eggs in damp locations. If the nest in your house is in a dry location it is probably satellite colony used as a "nursery" - a place for the ants to raise young brought into that location from the place where they were hatched. Eliminating a satellite nest in your home will probably not be too difficult, if you know where it is. You do, however, need to get at the nest and one of the ways of doing that is to drill small holes into the area and then injecting an appropriate insecticide through the holes into the nest. Eliminating a satellite nest may not solve your carpenter ant problem because the ants could move back into your home from the parent nest (the one in a damp location where egg-laying occurs). There could even be several satellite colonies in your home but you have only noticed one of them.  Good luck in making your decision.  For more help visit our web site.
Bob Lucy

PES Professional Ecological  Services Ltd., Victoria, B.C.       http://www.pestvictoria.com/index.htm
Q 596  We have thousands of bugs that have taken up residency on the outside of our house. I assumed they were stink bugs, but I'm not so sure looking at the pictures. They do smell when you stomp on them. They are brown with yellow/orange wings and they spend most of there time pooping on the walls of the house. Could these be Box Elder bugs or are they just a different species of Stink bugs and how do I get rid of them? Mary;  Sorrento B.C.
Stink bugs and box elder bugs should be controlled during their feeding stage in the summer months. They do not breed in homes. Stinks bugs will feed on vegetation like tomato plants in your garden.  Box Elders spend most of the summer under the bark of maple and box elder trees.  More information.
Q 595  I have wild bees around my globe cedars. They come every spring. They have burrowed nests in the soil beneath the cedars and I would like to get rid of them. Can you give me some suggestions to eliminate them?  Marnie.  : Moncton, New Brunswick
Wild bees are such a beneficial pollinator it would be a shame to kill them unless they are a definite hazard. They seldom sting unless provoked.
Q 594  Is there more than one type of Sow bug? If so how are they different and are their diets different?
Alex.  Toronto
Sow bugs and pill bugs are very similar but I believe there is only one species of each.  More information.
Q 593 We put down sod last year and the soil had a high manure content. We now are experiencing a great number of what we believe are "leather Jackets" festering in the grass. How can we get rid of these pests?
You would probably be wise to consult a lawn care specialist or garden shop.  Many of the pesticides used to control landscape and garden insects are no longer available in Canada. If you use an insecticide be sure to read the label and follow directions precisely.
Q 592  I don't have a photo to send but I'm still hoping you may be able to help. I have an insect in my home that I thought was called a carpenter. Newfoundlanders also refer to them as "wood lice" as they were associated with wood and when people brought wood into their homes to burn, they thought these insects came in with it. They are an oval shape and dark in color and have quite a few legs. Their under side is light in color. I believe they also like damp places. If anyone knows the insect I'm referring to and has any suggestions on how to get rid of them, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.  Heather.  Newfoundland.
You have sow bugs.  Read about them on our sow bug and pill bug pages
Q 591 My daughter believes that she has been bitten by a spider. This has left three or four small red spots much like a small pimple. However under one there is a growing lump - 36 hours. Are there any poisonous spiders in our area? She saw four spiders in our dry finished basement that morning, all the same type. She has just came home from university so her bedroom has not been used much over the last few months. Thanks for your reply.  Tammy.  Grand Manan, New Brunswick, Canada
Spiders inject a venom when they bite.  They can have mild or very serious effects on humans, depending on the type of spider.

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Q 590  How can we stop river otters from living under our ocean front cabin.  Anne.  Courtenay, British Columbia
Otters are a protected fur bearing animal in B.C. and they must not be harmed in any way.  Trapping and relocating seldom works because they will travel a long distance to return, or others may move in.  You must block them out with very secure screening or sheet in the perimeter of the cabin. Your local animal control officer may be able to help get them out. Once removed you may wish to spread lime under the cabin to help control the terrible odor.
Pest management professionals can only help you if they have a trappers license and permit.  Very few do because it is difficult to find a place to take the animal.  Wildlife artist Robert Bateman has a good solution.  He built a small shelter for them between his home and the beach.  They use it to give birth and raise pups then leave.
Q 589  What is the most effective chemical for carpenter ants.  Every year I get them back.  Today I saw them walking around in my house.  Every year I have the perimeter of my house sprayed and the inside.  They continually come back.  Jean
The solution is not just using pesticides. Almost any insecticide will kill the ants you see.  The problem is very few ants leave the nest. (less than 10%)  Spraying pesticides could result in those in the nest moving to new locations, thus doubling or tripling the problem.  If pesticides are used they must have a long residual effect and be injected into the nests.  There are almost no residual pesticides available to unlicensed consumers.  You will save yourself a lot of grief , illness from pesticide exposure and money by calling a professional with carpenter ant experience. Many pests can be controlled by consumers.  Carpenter ants should be left to the pros.   www.nobugs.ca
Q 588  What kind of pesticides can I use to eliminate Sow Bugs? Sean.  Middleburgh
Pesticides are not the right solution. Almost any insecticide will kill the ones you see but more will return if you do not change the environment they like.  Sow bugs and pill bugs are crustaceans that breath through gills.  The can only survive in moist conditions.  See the sow bug pages for solutions. 
Q587  I have used Boric Acid when we lived in the south to control pests (cockroaches) and wondered if Boric Acid will control PILL BUGS. Eagerly awaiting your response. Karen
Boric acid is a pretty safe and effective thing to use to control some insects and it may work for pill bugs but it is not the right solution.  See the answer to the question above.
Q 586  I have discovered signs of an insect pest boring into the exterior pressure treated posts of my house porch. The first indication was noted in the fall, and recently an increased evidence in middle of April. I have noted a number of small holes approximately the size of a pencil lead. Around the holes are small light coloured specs stuck to the exterior of the post. I have not noted any activity of insects at these holes. I have taped a plastic bag over a cluster of the holes to see if I could capture what may be entering/exiting the holes. Any idea what may be causing this? The house is newly constructed.  Bill;  Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
It sounds like you have powder post beetles. The holes are made when the beetle exits the wood.  They do not usually lay eggs on treated or painted wood when they emerge. For more information see the Powder Post Beetle page.
Q 585  How do we stop a woodpecker from pecking at our roof?  Lorraine.  Taunton, Massachusetts
During mating season, woodpeckers will peck on things that make a loud sound, usually a hollow tree.  You could also have insects in the roof that are a food source for the bird. If the roof is damaged you should have a professional inspect it.
Q 584  I wondered what type of bug I found in my cats water dish. It was brownish with approximately 6 legs but with two large lobster/crab like pinchers for legs at the front of the bug. It was approx. 5mm by 5mm including legs and body. Sorry I threw him out ASAP and didn't get a picture.  Gina;  London, Ontario
  Picture from "What is this pest" page                                          

 If it looks like this it could be a Pseudoscorpion according to Sam Bryks, an entomologist in Toronto. There is a good description on picture #8 on the What is this pest page

Q 583 April 2003, we have noticed a infestation of tiny larva like bugs on our home. The outer shell is about the size of a grain of rice and the color is gray/brown. There is a tiny centipede like creature that partially emerges and crawls around. So far I haven't seen him totally out of his little shell. We have found at least a hundred hanging by one end on the siding of our home. They hang only by one end of their shell and are higher up on the home. I would like to know what this is and the most effective way to get rid of them.  Andrea;  Edmonton

casemaking clothes moth larvaThe Casemaking clothes moth larva has a strange habit of spinning a silken case and carrying it around wherever it goes. It is found worldwide but is more common in climates warmer than Edmonton.  The adult moths are a golden brown color and measure 3/8 to 3/4 inch wingtip to wingtip.  More information on this University of Kentucky web site.

Q 582  How do I get rid of sow bugs (silver fish)? They are in my vents and around my windows? Kathrine; Regina.
See Q 580 below
Q 581  I have these little gray bugs that come out of the base of the floor and carpet. they are oval in shape, and rather flat. they also have very little legs with small antennas. i keep killing them but I'd to know what they are. I have searched endlessly over the net but no luck. I do know that i have not seen them nor are they your typical bugs found on any of the web sites. they do not seem harmful like bed bugs (yuck). please help shed some light on my freaky friends!!! Leslie; Timmins, Ontario
See Q 580 below

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Q 580  Sow bugs started showing up in my basement about 4 years ago. they start in the spring and end in Winter. They have increased in numbers and are now showing up, upstairs. I have cut a piece of the downstairs wall out and I can see them on the cement wall. The walls are insulated and dry. They must have gotten in from a crack in the wall as they are outside as well. I have cleaned up the area around the house but still cannot get rid of the bugs. I kill around 10 a day... Will they breed inside the walls. When they die in winter do they lay eggs and do the eggs survive the cold only to hatch in the spring. I use sow bug spray in the crevices and baseboards but they just keep on coming. Do I need a exterminator or do I need to tear all my walls down to find the problem... Looking forward to some kind of reply.....  William in Edmonton
Most homes are much drier in the winter and sow bugs can not breath in dry air. Did you install a vapor barrier on the basement walls? Sow bugs and pill bugs are one of the oldest  know living creatures. They will burrow into warmer places to survive the winter. Spraying pesticides will provide a temporary solution but they will always return if the conditions are favorable (damp).  See the sow bug, pill bug and centipede pages.
Q 579  We have been infested with Powderpost beetles from a garden bench brought in from Canadian Tire. What is the best solution for getting rid of them?  Pat ;  Crystal Beach, Ontario
Keep it well painted or varnished.  The adult beetles will not lay eggs on a finished surface. Do not store the bench in a damp location over the winter. See the powder post beetle page.
Q 578  How can we get rid of pigeons roosting on our roof and getting in our attic? Barbara.  Roseville.
Netting over the openings will keep them out of the attic. Strips of bird spikes will discourage them from roosting on the roof. There are pictures of various bird deterrents on this web page. http://www.integratedpestsupplies.com/Products/bird_control_supplies.htm
Q 577  I have pigeons coming to my balcony - 15th floor in condo high rise. I have attached silver spirals but they got used to them. I have attached cd's to string and that worked for awhile and then the pigeons got used to them. They are pooping and nesting on my balcony and I don't know what to do. I do need to get rid of them and also to keep them away with the least amount of cost. Any suggestions would be very helpful.  Judy.  Edmonton.
1. Make sure there is no food available on your balcony. (pet food?)  2. There is bird control netting available that is almost invisible.  You could put some up until the pigeons move on to one of your neighbors.  You should be able to get this netting through an Edmonton pest professional like Dominion Crown Pest Control.  See the directory.
Q 576  Our Church embroidered kneelers are being eaten by a small bug that looks like a flax seed. So far only the blue wool in being eaten. What is it and how do we get rid of it? Will putting the kneelers in a freezer do the trick? Alex .  Almonte, Ontario
Have a look at the pictures on our new Carpet Beetle page. This could be your problem.  Freezing is suggested as one method of killing the larvae but there are other suggestions you should also follow.
Q 575.  Each Spring our dormant cluster flies rear their ugly heads...millions of heads. They seem to hang out in our attic. Is there anything we can do to control this annual outbreak?  Peter.  River John, Nova Scotia.
If done at the right time of the year, cluster flies can be controlled by spraying or fogging the attic. If may take 2 treatments.  This will have to be done by a professional.  Nova Scotia professionals. When the flies emerge they will go lay eggs on worms in the soil. They like manure. 
Q 574.  My minivan was infested with some rodents or squirrels whereby some wiring and insulation had been chewed up, causing the minivan unable to start. Please advise on how to prevent such infestation in future. Thank you.  Sue.  Richmond, B.C.
The rat population in Richmond is higher than usual this year because of the very mild winter.  Try to eliminate any food sources in the area.  You may have to use traps in protective outdoor stations. They are quite expensive. It might be better to call a professional.  Richmond Professionals.
Q 573. We have sow bugs very bad. Our house is split level and the room they seem to be coming from is not at ground level yet if we roll back the carpet in the one room the floor is covered. We have had an exterminator in and everyday I vacuum up the bugs yet they keep coming. We removed all the debris from around the house the previous owners had somewhat of a compost happening beside the house). Is there anything else we can do, they are moving into other rooms including my baby's room.  Tricia.  Moose Jaw, Sask.
Sow/Pill bugs breath through gills. They can only survive in damp conditions. Read the tips on these pages to help reduce moisture levels.  Sow Bugs Getting rid of sow bugsPill bugs, sow bugs and centipedes.  Spraying pesticides will provide only a temporary solution.
Q 572 We have bats in our attic. Would it help to keep the light on every night in the attic so that they would start looking for new 'dark' dwellings?  Peter Whaley, River John, Nova Scotia
We have recently added more links on our Bat page  to some informative web sites specializing in bats.  One of them may have the answer to your question.  If not, Braemar Pest Control in Nova Scotia will probably be pleased to offer some advice. E-mail Randy.  He really understands bats. Contact info.
Q 571  How many mice does it take before it becomes an infestation? Addam. Nanaimo, B.C.
One pair of mice could multiply to to a family of 300 in 6 months. The population is usually governed by the amount of food available. Some people would consider 2 mice an infestation.  Rodent page

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Q 570   We have many stink bugs outside around our house and they often get in the house. These bugs seem to be able to live on air and stay alive all winter. How can we get rid of them? They are fairly harmless, I know, but they are really gross. Bette,  Enderby, B.C.
Stink bugs overwinter in protected areas such as fence rows, under dead weeds, ground cover, or stones, and in the bark of orchard and other trees. They become active during the first warm days of spring. They may be seen as early as bloom through shuck-fall.  Adults are strong fliers and will readily move between weeds and other alternate hosts, and peaches. Ground cover practices that eliminate seed heads and broadleaf weeds help minimize stink bug populations.
Q 569 I am doing a research project on pill and sow bugs, and when i find these organisms in nature ( under a rock etc..) they seem to only be in groups of five to ten. So, my question then is, do pill and sow bugs live a colonial lifestyle, or is there a frequent amount of space between one another involved with their optimal environment?  Tash.  Mission, B.C.
I think they are independent of each other but populations can be quite large in a favorable environment.
Q 568  I live in a 40 year old house in Aurora, Ontario. The bugs are about a 1/4 inch long, black, with a distinctive yellow marking on their back. They have wings but rarely fly, when they do fly, they look like a lady bug. Thy are usually on the ground, and move very slowly. Most of the time I see them they are already dead. It started with a few in the basement, near the main water shut off, where there seems to be a lot of moisture, but now the basement is full of them, and we are now finding them in various places upstairs. My first thought was that they might be sow bugs, but I am not sure...can anyone help. Thanks, John.  Aurora, Ontario.
Check the pictures on these pages:  sow bugs carpet beetles
Q 567  I have this Mice/Rat problem, chewing up the insulation on my scooter M/Cycle and indoor computers. The rats found a way in and is costing me and I'm sure many others a fortune in grounded wiring as they enjoy chewing wire insulations! Since Bobcat/Fox urine will not be too convincing on a small object like a large scooter, I thought maybe a shed untreated snakeskin in the glove compartment may work? Has anyone had any experience on this or is the advertised Rat-repellent made of this anyway? No entry patch/trap options available here...Maybe Dr. T's Naphthalene/Sulphur Outdoor type solutions, there may not be a good non-biohazaedous repellent for rats/mice.I heard that mothballs/spearmint/peppermint was good deterrent for some people's houses and their vehicles as in hiding it in the vehicle and around the tire areas. This rat/mice is always a problem in cold weather and the rats/mice migrate from a warm engine to the other. My main concern, is to REPEL the varmints, not to attract/ bait/ exterminate...at this point!   .Bob; Vancouver.
Repelling rodents is usually only temporary. Once they get used to the repellant they usually come back for the food and shelter that is available. Good traps in protective outdoor stations could solve you problem but you should first find their food source and eliminate it.
Q 566  I have a bug here that I found in my sweater and it bite me. I have seen them mostly on the trees outside but I do not know what they are and weather or not I should worry about defending against them. Its mostly grey kind of a flat back with what looks to be very short wings but I do not believe they are functional. They crawl very slowly. But he bites and stings a lot. The back is sort of a grey biege with a few dark brown spots on the edges of both sides. Can you tell me from that what he is or can I some how send you the picture of it that I took. Thanks.
Sharon ;  Burlington Ontario
If you or a friend has a digital camera or scanner, you could e-mail a digital picture  for identification on our : "what is this pest?" page
Q 565  Are ants known to predate on pill bugs and sow bugs?  Are there any other predators of pill bugs and sow bugs besides spiders?  Ellen;
I personally have never seen ants attack sow or pill bugs but my chickens would scratch around the yard continuously looking for them. There must be other birds that eat them. Larry C.  British Columbia.
Q 564  How can I get rid or kill Sow or pill bugs. Thank you. Antoine;  Arichat, Nova Scotia.
You will find all your answers on our sow and pill bug pages.
Q 563  About a week ago I woke up to have my foot swollen to the point that I thought my toes were going to blow up.  I could see under my ankle where  I got bit.  The paid was unbearable for about 4 days. On the 5th day when I could start walking again I got bit on my other foot in the same place.  I need to know what kind of spider this is.     Steve;  Vancouver
 
Q 562  Are there health risks by having bats in your attic?  Brad;  Aurora, Ontario
Most Bats in Canada are very beneficial predators of insects so there is some value in having them near your home but their droppings in an attic can cause some problems. This university web site describes one disease that can result from a build up of bat and bird droppings.  http://www.ehs.iastate.edu/admin/newsspecials.asp?
Q 561. All winter long there have been box elder bugs roaming our house. We live in a raised ranch and have found them on both levels. They are very sluggish but we are killing one every other day. Where are they coming from, and how do we get rid of them. In previous years in very early fall maybe 3-5 would get into the house and that was it. Thank you.  Michele.
They are likely emerging from the walls around window or door frames, baseboards, light switches or power outlets.
Box elder bugs are not harmful to your home.  They found their way into your walls through cracks or crevices outside. The warmth inside has attracted them.  There is some good information on our
Box Elder page.

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Q 560.  In the past year we purchased a 3 season cottage on a lake that appears to have a bug problem. I think that the bugs are beetles. I've looked on the internet - and found that they look very similar to Powderpost beetle except that they are MUCH bigger. These are about .5 inch to .75 inch long. They appear mostly in the bathroom area and seem to come up from below the structure (no foundation) - they seem quite weak except in hot weather. Once in the house the turn over and die. In the heat of the summer they do make it to the kitchen. I'm quite worried about hygiene since these bugs seem to be hanging around the septic system...  We have a very old septic system (30years) that is still basically functional.  How do I get rid of these bugs - ??  I collected two in the summer and can provide a picture if you wish. These dead bug bodies stink!!  Katherine;  Quebec
 
Q559 We have been noticing flying ants in our house. They are coming to the lamp in the living room. I cant figure out where they are coming from or why. I need to know what to do and can they do damage as the same as termites? Please help.  Anna; Homosassa, Florida
It is difficult to say what type of ant you have in that part of the country at this time of year (March).  In some warmer parts of Canada, reproductive carpenter ants with wings have been emerging in late February and early March.  Carpenter ants can cause serious structural damage in a home.  You should be able to find a pest professional that can identify them and provide advice. See our carpenter ant pages.
Q558  I have flying ants coming through my foundation, I do not have a basement. I sprayed in cracks i have found and now they are coming out in different areas. Its cold out they must like the warmth under my foundation and now they are coming out. what should I do? Todd.  Pa.
See the answer to Q 559 above. These ants are probably living in your floor system.
Q557  Our niece and nephew live in Dutton Ontario and have a flying and crawling bug. It is 1/2" long, red body, black wings with an orangy yellowy stripe near the bottom of the wings. It has six legs, and long antennae. They have been coming up the registers in their home.  Ruth.
Have a look at the pictures on this page:  Box Elder bugs
Q 556  We are starting a commercial greenhouse operation. We would like to keep it as organic/natural as possible. To this end, is there a natural predator outlet/distributor here in BC.,Ca.? Something for mites, and white flies. Thanks, Scott
This web site lists a number of links to the information you need, especially "The Bug Lady"  I hope you find what you are looking for. http://nanaimo.ark.com/~cberube/links.htm
Q 555  How to get pet urine smell out of carpet and subfloor below? I would prefer a home remedy. Cheri.  Hamilton
You may purchase some odor absorbing dust to sprinkle on the carpet then vacuum it up the next day, but you will probably have to lift the carpet to clean the underlay and sub floor.
Q 554  My wife and I recently moved into a 40 year old Semi-detached house in Aurora, Ontario. Our basement in pretty drafty and cold and partially finished. I have notices these small bugs down there. Never upstairs...only in the basement. They are about a quarter of an inch, black with a small colour marking. They look like a potato bug, but smaller and darker in colour. They do not fly, they are always on the ground near the walls and 90% of the time they are dead and on their backs. The few times they have not been dead, they move incredibly slow. They are also not everywhere in the basement, but mostly just in one room. Is there any chance someone would know what these are and how I can get rid of them. Thank you, John.  Aurora, Ontario
Have a look at our sow bug page.  It sounds like this is your problem.
Q 553  I bought a condo in August, 2002 and this month I found there were rats in my unit, also I found there were holes in hidden places. I wonder if it's my responsibility to distinguish the rats or it's condo management's. Your help will be highly appreciated.  Xia;  Toronto
This is probably a matter that your strata council will have to decide. If the previous owners were not clean people and they attracted the rats this would not be the fault of the other unit owners.  You may have bought the problem.
Q 552  In an attic bedroom, on a cotton scarf, I found what I think is a larvae of some kind. It is 1cm in length, red-brown, slightly tapered and widest at the head. It has approximately 8 segments with a tiny hair protruding from both sides of each segment. It has six functional legs which are very small and contained to the top 1/3 of the body, closest to the head. There are no antenae, but there is a long tail composed of 6 long and barely noticeable hairs. I have a lot of clothing stored here, should I be concerned?  Christina.    Toronto.
 
Q 551  We have had mice problems before, but one of my old room-mates laid traps, and the problem was solved for a few months. The clattering chewing noises stopped in the stove, and in the rest of the apartment. But now, there's one, young, very visible mouse. The little guy's all over the place, and there is only one, I'm pretty sure, because he just doesn't have a clue how to stay hidden. He walks right into our company, and then realizes it, and run away, but just a bit. What I want to know is, where do I get humane traps? I hate the sharp noise of something being killed, and I think a forgotten mouse body is more of a health hazard than a live mouse. and I still think they are darned cute, even though one of them bit me in my sleep.   Bests, Sarah ,   Montreal
             oh, it is also presently the dead of winter, so he didn't just wander in from outside; i think probably from upstairs, when we had our doors open. Or the pipes.
Once bitten, twice shy.  I'm surprised at your tolerance for these disease carrying rodents that do not belong in anyone's home. Some pest management professionals and hardware stores sell live traps.  Remember mice are cannibals.  If you catch 3 mice you may only see two and a half. The survivors are often so stressed they often die after being released.  The survivors will not do well in territory that belongs to other rodents and some will travel a mile to come back to your home.

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Q 550 Hi, I lived in my current apartment for 10 years. Since last year, I saw ants appearing in my kitchen countertop. I called in Pest Control Professional and they confirmed the ants were pharaoh ants. They applied gel bait and the problem seemed to be under control. Last week, about the time the gel bait dried up, I saw ants again, not only on the countertop but I noticed them on the kitchen floor. Maybe they were on the floor too previously but I may not be paying too much attention.
I heard that MaxForce bait station is pretty effective. Where can I get those? Also, I am planning to replace my kitchen floor. Will it likely that I will find a nest underneath the floor?
Do you think if I am sticking with professionals, will it take several follow-ups, i.e. I have to get them to come in every 6 months or so to reapply the gel bait before I can eliminate it? The problem is we cannot locate the nest or where the ants are coming from now.
Our property manager also indicated nobody on my floor reported any problems with ants. Is it possible that the ants are coming from my neighbour? Thanks for your help.   Sam.  Scarborough Ontario
Pharaoh ants are extremely difficult to eliminate in a multiple family dwelling.  When treated and eliminated in one residence they will probably seek food in another.  Some of the new ant baits work well. Some don't.
You may be able to purchase a good one from a local pest management professional. Check the
directory

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Q 549  Our house seems to be infested with mice and we have decided to move. I am terrified of packing some mice to take with us and would like to know if there is anything to put in the boxes to deter the mice from going in. Thanks.  Heidi;  Hamilton, Ontario.
As you pack each box make sure it is well sealed with tape. Moth balls may discourage them but the contents of the boxes will pick up the  smell. 
Q 548  I have a problem with HUGE anthills near my garden. They're about 10 inches high and have a circumference of about 2 feet. The ants resemble carpenter ants and have a taste for the seeds that I plant. What can I do to get rid of them?  Jonathon.  Lorne, New Brunswick.
These are thatching ant hills. Under most circumstances, thatching ants should be considered beneficial, since they are fierce predators of other insects. However, when they occur in lawns, rockeries, picnic areas and other areas of human habitation, they can become a severe annoyance.   There are some good control tips near the bottom of  this  Ants page.
Q 547  Started noticing ants around the house about 3 weeks ago. They are mostly black with a reddish middle section. I am not sure where they are coming from... I have set out traps all over and so far they just avoid the traps. I have watched them go over to the trap and then run the other way... LOL .I am concerned about damage as I don't know what kind of ants they are... Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.  Judson;  Kitchener, Ontario.,
Ants will not emerge from their nests in cold weather.  Carpenter ants living in the warm walls or ceiling of a home may think it's spring and time to gather food.  You'll find descriptions and helpful information on the carpenter ant pages.  You may be wise to call a local professional for a positive identification and estimate to solve your problem. 

Q 546  In one of my bathrooms, I am consistently seeing little black bugs crawling in the sink. Although they are all small, some are tiny.  Usually, there are about 5 to 6 in number. When I attempt to mash them with my finger they simply try to crawl away; they do not jump.  Note that I am only seeing them in this one bathroom sink. Could you please give some advice?  Attached are a couple images.  I think they are ants.     Jack

It's hard to tell from your photo but it does look like an ant.  Don't spray pesticides. Some ant colonies will split up when pesticides sprays are used. If you have them identified by a pest professional they should be able to tell you if an ant bait will work.
Q 544  I am a Michigan dentist with a box elder problem.  My landlord has caulked and closed weep holes... and we a still getting 2-5 bugs per day in our operatories.  It is now February.  Over the last few years we usually have a week in the spring and fall were they present a problem.  I am losing my mind.  Not really but?  Please any suggestions or links would be helpful. Sincerely, Steve
I was in my dentist's chair today.  Bugs on the ceiling might have been a pleasant distraction from the grinding in my mouth, but perhaps others might not think so.  Except for the risk of contamination and patient fears, they are not doing any harm. You should not use pesticides (I doubt that you would want to).  You will have to find the entry points and caulk them tightly.  During the summer entry points outside should be caulked to prevent a
re-occurrence next year.  Check the Box Elder page for more information and some good links.
Q 543  Me and my girlfriend just moved into a new apartment and noticed little red ants in the kitchen and in one of the bedrooms, I can't find were there coming from and we have placed ant traps everywhere which seems not to be working. please help, thanks.    Richard   Mississauga, Ontario
See answer to Q 537.  
Q 542  How do you locate the source of a dead mouse in the house. How long will it take the odor to subside? What harmful health issues are related to dead mouse?
The odor from a dead mouse usually dissipates in less than a week as it dehydrates. Mice can carry a number of health related problems.  Fleas, lice, ticks and other parasites.  Dead mice may attract others. Deer mice can carry the Hantavirus.  Check the rodent page for more information.
Q 541  Hello, I wonder if you can help me. I live in an apartment in Toronto (on the 6th floor). About 6 months ago I started to see a kind of bug I've never seen before. It looks like a brown grasshopper and it both runs and hops along the floor. It appears to come out of a cupboard I rarely use and makes it's way along the (wood) floor until it reaches the outer wall when it goes under the radiator. I don't know if it's getting out somewhere there. I have seen them in my living room mostly, but they have gone into the bathroom and bedroom cupboard. Could you please help me to identify this pest and, more importantly, how can I get rid of them?! Many thanks, Liz.    Toronto
Save one in a pill bottle and show your landlord.  My guess with this little information would be cockroaches.
I now have a picture of the little varmint.  Sorry it's blurred but this was as close as I could get.  I was afraid of it jumping on me.  I noticed it had yellow or beige vertical stripes on it's back.  Many thanks again for your help.   ~Liz 
The blurry picture could be a cockroach.  Sorry we can not be sure with this picture.
****************
The Picture in #541 looks to be a cricket as I have many around my house, They sneak in the house through the fireplace or crack under the door.

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Q 540   I live in by North Bay Ontario out in the country. About 2 weeks ago we started noticing ants in our home all throughout the day. These ants we thought were just black ants. They are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and all black. Then today we caught a mouse in a mouse trap. And in a maximum of 9 hours these ants had literally chewed a piece of the mouse out. We were hoping that you could tell us what type of ant would eat a dead mouse and how do we get rid of them. Thanking you in advance,  Rachel Roberts.  North Bay
Most Ants like protein in the early spring and carbohydrates later in the season. Your dead mouse provided an ideal spring banquet.  They may be carpenter ants that start emerging in homes as early as January if that is where they are nesting. (Homes are warm.  They think it is spring)  Have them positively identified and ask a professional for an estimate to control them.  It will probably save you money to use a professional for carpenter ants.
Q 539  I have these very small black, flying bugs. Found them in the food closet at home. Cleaned out closet, with chemicals. It seems that they like cereal, sugar, etc. Can you please tell me what these could be and how to get rid of them.  Jennifer.  Coquitlam
 

Q 538  We moved into our home about 8 months ago.  The home is only 1 year old.  We have encountered a specific insect about 10 times since we have been here. The insect does not move when we try and pick it up to dispose of it. The first few times I hit it with a magazine and then picked it up with a paper towel. There was a horrible odor coming from the light green residue left behind. The insect itself is about 1 1/2 inches long and looks a lot like a Boxelder but I don't think it is one. I will try and get a picture of it and post it with my question. Thanks.  Colin.  Ottawa.
Boxelder bugs are not that large but they do emit a foul odor when attacked. Send a picture if you can.
Q 537  I need help before I go crazy from bats in my old house. I own a beautiful 80+ year old home and have bats occasionally that appear out of nowhere. We can sometimes hear them in the walls upstairs. I known they are beneficial, but I don't like them. We've had them ever since the previous owner put up a bat house to attract them as the neighbors also get them occasionally.
The previous owner may have tried to persuade the bats to leave the attic and roost in the bat house.  The best way to control them is find the entry points and screen them out.   See the Bat page   for some tips.     
Q 536  How long does it typically take for ant baits to work? We bought the house in October, and small ants are showing up now, in Feb during the coldest period of time of the season. I think they're foraging for food. I put baits out and am leaving them alone.   Caroline.
Using baits to control ants requires a lot of patience. Different baits work differently for different ants and at different times of the year.  Try to have the ants identified by a local professional.  They may be able to sell you the appropriate type of bait.  If they are carpenter ants, baits will probably not work.
Q 535  I keep finding these very, very tiny, black flying little bugs near my windows (inside) and in my kitchen. They get in the rice, flour, pasta, end up in my pots while I cook, in my drinking glasses while I am eating dinner, and I cannot figure out where they are coming from. They are so tiny that when they land in my food, like soup, all you see is a little black dot, you have to really look at it to see that it is a bug. Please give me any suggestions on how I can get rid of them. Thank you sooooo much, any information will be greatly appreciated.   Marisa
 
Q 534  What is the best way to control/eliminate starlings that are congregating at a college campus? We have approximately 300-500 starlings gathering in several locations near campus residence halls and buildings. We have thought about using Avitrol.   John.   Vincennes, Indiana
In  parts of Canada, Avitrol can only be applied by a licensed pest management professional under special permit. I suggest you check with a local professional regarding the regulations in your area. He may have a better suggestion.
Q 533 What do box elder bugs eat?    Tommy.  Pocatello
In the summer they normally feed on the leaves, flowers and seed pods of boxelder tree or silver maple.
All of this information and much more is available on the
Box Elder Bugs page.
Q 532  I am having a problem with what I believe is a Paper Wasp in my house attic.  It looks similar to the picture you show as # 30. (What is this pest? page) Most of the Yellowjacket traps do not work with this pest, and I was wondering what trap I should use to get rid of them. Can you please help?         Thank you,  Brett C
The only live Yellowjacket wasps you will see at this time of year (March) are overwintering queens.
Once they leave the nest they will not return and it will become dormant forever. Wasp traps should not be placed in an attic. They will attract wasps from outside. You should try to find the entry point they used last summer and screen it off.
Q 531  Can you spray pesticides [Ficam-D] two days in a row in the same sleeping room? what are the regulations governing exterminators in this regard?
Regulations regarding use of all pesticides registered in Canada are printed on the label. Sometimes the information can be quite detailed and extensive and is in a booklet form attached to the container.  Ficam D is a pesticide dust that is applied in locations where there will be no human or animal contact. (wall cavities, cracks etc). If it is done correctly as stated on the label, it could be applied daily in the same general area but would not need to be applied in exactly the same locations because it has an good residual effect.  This is an excellent product that is registered for use in Canada, but unfortunately is currently not available.

Use the directory to find a pest professional near you

Q 530  How can I destroy moles in the garden?     Alan.  Toronto.
See the answer to Q 528 below.
Q 529  larva/caterpillar - White, segmented, one and a half centimeter, tapered at both ends, with a brown head. Mostly found along edge of ceiling.   Bill.   Woodstock,  Ontario.
They are likely the larva of a stored food product pest.  There are a number with with white or light colored bodies and brown heads.  If they are near stored food, look for moths or beetles in dry foods. This web site has some good, safe control advice: http://www.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/cis.htm
Q 528  We live in the Upper Peninsula, it is unusually cold and no snow. We have only a crawl space under our house. We have caught 5 critters on sticky traps so far and are not sure what they are. We haven't noticed any tunnels in our yard and we have had our share of the "Japanese beetles" in the last couple years. The critters we caught have a short tail, long pointy face and are almost black in color. Do we have voles, or moles? How do we tell the difference? This is the first year we have seen them.    Mary.   Florence
There are pictures, descriptions and links to good information on the Wildlife Pests page.  These mammals are often confused because they both spend most of their time underground. 
Q 527  My boyfriend is presently in Australia where he was staying at a hostel that has bed bugs, he noticed them because he was getting bites at night, he left that place immediately and is now staying in a hotel. Can bed bugs travel on his body, hair, shoes, in his luggage? he said that he has went through all his luggage and found no more bugs, I am worried he is going to bring them home with him, what can I do to prevent this? I was thinking of leaving all his luggage in the garage for awhile, what do you think? he is returning home this Wednesday January 22, 2003. Please help, thanks! Jennifer.   Oakville, Ontario
Jennifer -  In all likelihood, the boyfriend will bring them home. The best defense is to leave everything but the freezables in the suitcase. Get him to strip at the door and put the clothes and the whole suitcase in garbage bags. Then put the bags in the freezer or bury them in the snowbank for thirty days. That will kill the creatures and give the eggs time to hatch and die as well. These creatures are very hardy and persistent. I hope I have been of help.
Barry Jones.  Dominion Crown Pest Control ,  Alberta
There seems to be a resurgence of bed bug problems in the past year.  They travel well in personal luggage so hotels have to be particularly on the alert. If the garage is not heated, freezing temperatures may eliminate a potential problem.  All clothing should be laundered in hot water.  This link may help.
Q 526  Last year there was an infestation of a beetle that I've never seen before. these beetles were a tad bit smaller than a Japanese beetle but were the same shape and had the spots on the outer edge of their shells. They were tan in color, and had veracious appetites. They ate almost any plant they could get to, including tomatoes ,and my apples from my tree. i can't seem to find any source to identify them. is it possible that they are a juvenile form of the Japanese beetle?  Marnie.   Eau Claire
 
Q 525 Is there such a thing as a black and white centipede. My daughter was bitten by something at school she says it looked like a centipede but that it was black and white her finger is very swollen. I hope you can answer my question. Thank you .   Teresa.  Phoenix
Yes there are black and White centipedes. I could not find a reference to the one I was looking for, so I can't give you a name. You encountered a outside centipede and they are generally poisonous, compared to the house centipede which is not. Their venom is used the same as spiders to paralyze their prey. You should consult your doctor and have the wound looked at, in case of a toxic reaction, which can be serious in some cases. I hope I have been of some help. Barry Jones.  Dominion Crown Pest Control.  Edmonton

Q 524  We have discovered that we have bats in our attic and the noise at times drives us crazy. Aren't bats supposed to be "hibernating" in winter? Also, how do we get rid of these pests? Is there any kind of pesticide or something that we can give them to put them to sleep permanently? We figure once we have gotten rid of them we will make sure that we make our attic batproof. Thanks for replying!  Ron.  Aylmer, Ontario
I sympathize with you. I have bats in my attic and they can be quite noisy. I like them, so I tolerate the noise. I clean up the droppings regularly. They keep my insect problem at a minimum. The man to contact for your problem is Randy Hobbs. He has Braemar Pest Control Services in New Brunswick. You can contact him at 1-800-561-1817 or e-mail him at bugman@nbnet.nb.ca. He can give you an idea of how to treat the problem. Some provinces have a clause in your insurance package that covers bat control and proofing. Tell Randy that Barry Jones from Dominion Crown Pest Control in Alberta referred you.  I hope I have been of help.    www.dcpcs@primus.ca
Because they are hibernating, it would be difficult to get them all out and block the entrances.  Pesticides are not the answer.  You may find the answer on one of the many good links on our Bats page.
Q 523  IT STINKS IN HERE !! HELP !!  I used 1"x3" rat/mouse bars. Something got it from one side of the kitchen to the other, and now it is gone.   I cannot locate the exact position of the stink except to the back wall area of one side of the basement. We do have pipes that go through the top of the wall to back add-on (house built 1912). The pipes lead through a area at the top of the wall by the beams, and through about a 1 Foot hole. We cannot see though this area. We think this may be where the smell is coming from. I do not think it is the pipes, because this started 2-3 days after my mouse/rat bait travelled across the kitchen.  It takes about 6 weeks for the smell from a rotting animal??? I wonder about health issues and company !! It is also very unpleasant throughout the whole house.   This area is inaccessible, it is only about 1 Foot round hole at top of basement wall that pipes go through.  The  whole house smells quite bad. Any suggestions.   We cannot access this are without a Foundation Professional, and it is very cold out for foundation work.    Janet.  Cambridge.
Ventilation is usually the best solution for this type of problem.  If you can not reach the dead animal, try to speed up the dehydration process by blowing fresh air into the cavity with fans.  Mice will usually dehydrate in a few days. Rats could take a few weeks.
Q 522  We have an awful smell coming from our air ducts--we are sure something has crawled up there and died (a mouse perhaps), it has been more than a week and the smell has been horrible. We have not been able to find any traces under the house as far as what it is or where--we assume we need to just give it time to decay--in the meantime, what in the world can we do to get rid of the smell? We've tried odor eliminators, air sprays--nothing is working. We've also tried putting baking soda in some of the vents and closing off others--nothing is working. It's horrible--HELP!!!  Alana
Your best solution would be to call a professional vent cleaning service.  They have huge vacuum cleaners that should suck up the smelly problem.
There's a product out called TKO Orange, it is a natural product made from oranges. Soak cold air intake filter with this product and the smell will go through your vents. It will naturally eliminate the odor. Get The Animal Removed!! Any Questions e-mail me:  dcpcs@primus.ca   Barry Jones;  Dominion Crown Pest Control, Alberta.
Q 521  Just after Xmas we have noticed we have Carpenter Ants. We did have a real Xmas tree which we quickly tossed outside but there still seems to be ants in the Kitchen area. We are killing 5 -10 a day in the area. We put down some ant baits which we bought at the grocery store but watched as these ants walked by them. Would these ants have "rode in" on the Xmas tree and how can we get rid of them. We have a 7 1/2 mth old baby who is just about ready to start crawling so we must be very careful with the method we use. Thank you,  Barb,  Ottawa.
It is highly unlikely the ants came into your home on a healthy young tree. There is likely a satellite nest in your kitchen walls, floor or ceiling. Proper carpenter ant control should not result in any pesticides on your floor surfaces.
Before you waste any more money on ant baits or poisons have a pest management professional look at the situation and give you an estimate to get them under control. Read more about Carpenter Ants.
Q 520  How fast do cockroaches reproduce and lets say 4 example I have 10 roaches in 1 month how many offspring would be produce. My description of what I've seen around the building I work in They're small and light in colour and dam ugly.   Shawn.  Sarnia, Ontario
The female will have up to forty babies at one time. Some species will mate only once and they will remain pregnant for the rest of their lives. Adults will live for an average of eight to fifteen months. Cockroaches reproduce on an average of four times per year.   Read more on the cockroach page.
Q 519  We have moth flying around our apartment when we open up a closet door, how do we get rid of them?
Robin.  Oshawa, Ontario.
Your answer is the same as Q 518.   You should probably launder or dry clean all clothing in the closet.
Q 518  How do you get rid of moths that eat wool sweaters ?  Ted
Clothes moths can be controlled by a variety of methods, including periodic dry cleaning or laundering, proper storage, freezing, heating, trapping, or using an insecticide. If humidity can be kept low inside buildings, an environment that is not suitable for clothes moth development will be created. Good housekeeping practices are also important. Although most people can control clothes moth problems themselves, some infestations are best handled by a pest control applicator who has the equipment, materials, and experience necessary to deal with a difficult control job.
Q 517  What eats sow bugs or pill bugs in nature? Thank you.   Heidi.  Lansdale
Spiders.  I have had many requests to spray pesticides to eliminate spiders.  An inspection often reveals the high spider population is a result of a good food source: sow or pill bugs. Correcting the high humidity environment will often eliminate both of these pests.   Read more on sow and pill bug pages.
Q 515  I back on to a large ravine. This year I noticed a lot of tunneling throughout my backyard and my surrounding neighbours yards.  I have heard these may be moles or voles. How do I tell the difference and how do I control them?  John.  Pickering, Ontario
 
Q 515  I am having a problems with the smell in the house from rat urine. How do you get smell out and what do i use to clean also have that smell in dresser.  Elizabeth.
First make sure you have eliminated the rats and closed off all entry points. Ventilate your crawl space if there is one under the house.  You can also spread lime in the crawlspace.   Spray any surfaces where you suspect urine with a mild bleach solution or Lysol.   There are also odor absorbing products available.  Check this suppliers web site. Integrated Pest Supplies.   Look for odor control.
Q 514  My uncle is furious. Today he woke up and found that a large hole had appeared on the armpit of his favorite sweater. He put on another one and went to work, yet while we were having dinner he looked at his armpit and found that another hole had appeared on yet another dark woolen sweater! Despite our laughing at his reaction, we are very concerned about his sweaters, as we find it difficult to believe that any larvae may have eaten the second sweater while he was working. this has happened to him before with sweaters, but it hasn't happened with clothes from other members of the family (even when stored in the same cupboard). any help would be most appreciated.  Agustin.  Geneva, Switzerland.
You may have a carpet beetle problem.  They are attracted to items with food stains and human perspiration. This web page should help you.
Q 513  My family and I are being bitten by some type of insect or mite. But, strangely, the bite patterns are somewhat like a spider, but the bite about 2cm. across have one straight mark... and then one angled mark ( '` ) and sometimes there is several bites or marks looking like scratches. They are sometimes very itchy and slow healing, they even sometimes swell into a bump that resembles a wart if I keep scratching them. We are very miserable. Do you have any idea what makes this kind of bite?  Cynthia.     Poplarville
A bite 2 cm. across is very large for an insect!  If you mean 2 puncture marks about 2 mm. apart they could be from a spider.   Perhaps a spider expert will have the answer.
Q 512  how can i control cocoroches and mouses in appartrment. Thanks to help me.  Kahn.  Toronto
See these pages:  cockroaches.        rodents
Q 511  I just moved from a basement suite where I noticed tiny things that looked like dirt, but once you picked them up they felt very hard and looked almost like tiny droppings. They almost look like a grain of rice but black. I have also found a few worm-like critters that are very small as well. They seem to be light colored with stripes across the back and many red legs or hair? I have asked everyone I know what they are and no one seems to be able to tell me. If anyone could help me out on this that would be great as I have recently moved into a brand new home and it seems as though I have brought some of these things with me so it would be nice to identify them and be able to deal with them.  Naomi.  Surrey. B.C.
If the insects look like this, they are house centipedes.  You can see better pictures and more information on our "what is this pest" page. 
The small black things that look like black rice or dirt could be dry mouse feces.
Click on the picture to enlarge.
The small black hard things, you found sound like mouse droppings. If they moved they are a type of scavenger beetle. The insect that you also found sounds like a larder beetle or a carpet beetle larvae. If the creature had lines across the back, was hairy looking and had bristles at the back end. It was a carpet or furniture carpet beetle. If it looked like a black slug or worm, you probably have larder beetles. Both of these creatures, get into storage boxes, food products and furniture and can be transferred anywhere. A residual insecticide spray can usually eliminate the problem. In extreme cases dusting behind the baseboards will do the trick. Any questions send me an e-mail:
Barry Jones;  dcpcs@primus.ca          Dominion Crown Pest Control
Q 510  I live in an apartment building and we are having a serious problem with farrow ants. The apartment manager says there's nothing they really can do to get rid of the problem. They give us these little red ant houses to put all around the house. Unfortunately they are not working. The ants are in the normal places: kitchen and bathrooms, but now they are spreading into our rooms, dresser draws, closets, and beds. Please tell me how can I get rid of these ants. No matter how many ant baits I have down they seem to find an alternative route around them. They come in mass numbers. Please help!!!!   Daya.  Dallas
    Pharoah ants are very persistent. I am in the pest control field and here is what you need to do. The baits are the only thing that will eliminate the ants. You cant spray the ants because it will divide the colony and in time increase the problem. Problems occur in apartments because you may be using baits and the tenant next to you spraying dividing the colony. Use the baits to your advantage wherever you see the ants double up on the baits do not spray or interfere with them in anyway. Do not leave food around in the kitchen what you need to do is make the baits the only food source for the ants. If they have a choice of sugar from a empty coke can as a example they will choose that over the bait. you must be patient ants will not clear up right away.Michael Kelly.  Shamrock Pest Control.  Mesquite.  Mpkelly98@aol.com
Q 509  I have tiny weevils in cooking flour and dried oats. What other items in my cupboard could be harbouring weevils, i.e. what else should I throw away? How can I prevent them in future?  Val.  Bath, UK
     Grain weevils develop inside whole grains such as rice or bird seed. I suspect, therefore that the insects you find are not weevils but another type of grain beetle.
    Grain beetles of various types can feed on a large variety of dried plant products. These include milled cereal products, cocoa, legumes, spices, dried fruits, nuts, tobacco, bread, crackers and dried pet food.
    To help prevent future problems, keep susceptible foods in tightly sealed containers. Clean up spilled food promptly. Buy only small quantities of foods that are not used often. Check food packages carefully to be sure you are not bringing insects home from the store. Be especially cautious with bulk foods. As an added precaution, some people freeze susceptible foods to kill any insects in them before storing the foods. Large quantities of susceptible foods that will not be used promptly can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.   Bob Lucy.  Professional Ecological Services, Victoria
www.PestVictoria.com                 services@pestvictoria.com
Q 508  On the outside of our house, I have found a small spider with a bright red back. What kind of spider is this, and is it harmful?  Linda.  Nanoose Bay, B.C.
 
Q 507  The condo that I live in has silverfish. It is surprising since it is a new building (only 2 years old). In my condo I have tried to calk all cracks in the kitchen where the silverfish are found, but I continue to see about 2-4 silverfish per day. Can you tell me if this number is to be considered an infestation? It seems like a lot to me, but my neighbours do not seem concerned. Thanks in advance for your response.  Janice.  Vancouver, B.C.
Your problem does not sound too serious but because silverfish have a long life span you may want to control the situation now.  This pest professional has some good advice on their web site.  Professional Ecological Services.
Q 506  The electronic pest control device I bought has low and high frequency waves . Which one is for repelling mice? Roaches? How do I set it if I want to get rid of mice first?
It makes no difference.  Neither setting will work.  It's just another gimmick to scam the public.  Read some of the stories on this page.
Q 505  Our cat was trapped under a recent neighbors tenting/fumigation. There appears to be evidence that a nearby water hose was used by the mechanics to chase the cat out from under the structure. We are being told by this company that an attempt was probably made, but that they would still go forward with their work in spite of any animal that may be harmed, since workers must be paid and their bills must paid as well! We would be interested in your comments...Is this the profile of a professional contractor? We hardly think so. Thank you in advance,  Nick;   Florida
We know little about fumigation because it is not done to homes in Canada.  I understand casual laborers are sometimes employed in the preparation work for tenting.   They may not have the same professional attitude as the qualified technicians and management.  Of course there are always 2 sides to every story. If you can not obtain a satisfactory answer from the pest control company management, you may wish to contact the Florida Pest Control Association. 
Q 504  I have used Raid Ant spray on the ants that were coming in through my closet and now my closet smells horrible and I cannot get rid of it! I have tried going over the spots I sprayed with windex, putting baking soda in the shelf in the closet, hanging fabric softeners to absorb the smell and it has been airing out for 4 days with my windows fully open. Nothing has decreased the smell. Can you help? I cannot put back any of my clothes in my closet with a horrible smell like this!  Cathy;  Los Angeles
Did you read the label on the can of Raid?  Most pesticide problems are caused by consumers who ignore the label instructions and use far too much of the product. Keep sprinkling baking soda and vacuuming it up or call a pest professional who also does odor control.  They will get rid of the ants properly and may be able to get rid of the smell you created.
Q 503  Can I place an ant trap (containing pesticides) in my pantry with food?  Brandy
Most ant traps are actually feeding stations that contain a pesticide (usually borax).  The ants were in the pantry because of another source of food.  If they go in the ant station and remove some of the pesticide they could then contaminate other food.  There will be a statement on the ant trap saying "Read the label before using."
Q 502  I currently have a one year rental agreement that I would like to break because of mouse infestation. I have had the health inspector come and the mice are still there. Do I have the right to break my lease do to this infestation?  Bonita;  Grande Prairie, Alberta
I guess it depends on what your lease says, and what the Landlord / Tennant laws are in Alberta.  A mouse infestation should be good grounds to break the lease if the landlord has not  made an effort to correct the problem.
Q 501  In the past few days I have killed about 20 - 30 bugs in my kitchen. I'm having trouble identifying them and figuring out how to get rid of them. They vary in size - from about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. They are generally dark brown/grey with lighter yellow/grey spots. They aren't round spots, rather their backs have approximately 7 horizontal stripes and 3 vertical stripes, and the squares formed by the stripes are the yellow/grey color. They have two long antennae which are each bent in a v-shape. They have many legs - 14 or so - when viewed from the top their legs give the appearance of fringe around the body of the bug. Can you help me out?   
Jennifer ;  Saskatoon.
 
Q 500  Is there a solvent to free mice after they have been caught in a glue trap? How can they be separated from it without hurting the mouse?  Andrea;  Doylestown
Cooking oil can be used to release animals (cats and dogs) from glue boards but it is unlikely a mouse would survive.  Mice will often go into shock and die on the glue board or later if they are released.  Releasing trapped mice is not a good practice.  Read this story.
Q 499  Where can I purchase humane mouse traps in Toronto? As I've read in the Q & A I've encountered the same electronic mouse repellent scam. How can a company manufacture a product that doesn't produce what is says it can. It's like the old traveling scam artist who sells the secret potion and claims that his/her product could cure every ailment. There's a sucker born every minute. Manufacturers who continue to pray on heartful souls. Janice,  Toronto
Read the Three R's of rodent control on this page.  Eliminate the Reason they are there (food).  Eliminate the Route they are taking to enter your living space.   If this fails,  eliminate the Rodent.   This does not mean catching it and letting it go so it can return again. Sorry you had to learn the hard way about the electronic pest  device scam.  The humane solution for mice is instant dispatch (snap traps)  or  one of the new poison baits.
Q 498  I heard that pouring bleach around your house keeps mice away. Is that true?
It's a new one for me.  Bleach has a terrible smell and mice have very sensitive noses. It makes sense that bleach could repel them but the experts say if a mouse wants  into your house, the bleach will not stop it.
Q 497  I think we have post powder beetles in our kitchen counters, how do we get rid of these grosse little critters? Grace; Port Hardy, B.C.
Are you sure it is not just sawdust from the wooden drawer guides falling down into your pots and pans. ( That is what is happening at my house. If you do have powder post beetles you should be able to see round holes about the size of a round toothpick in the counter top, probably on the bottom side.  Most countertops are made with plywood or some type of composition board which is not too attractive for these beetles.
Q 496  In regards to powder post beetles found in a piece of old furniture is it possible to leave this piece in 30 degree weather for a few day to kill bugs/larvae without using sprays. Beth
30 degrees Fahrenheit is probably not cold enough. Have your read the information on the Powder Post beetle page?
Q 495  My daughter has new tenants living in her home. They now are overloaded with "COCKROACHES". They are friends, and this makes it very hard. She told the couple before they moved in, to make sure they spray everything. They said they would. Well, we found out they didn't. Now her brand new home is overrun. What is the best thing she can do to rid her of this? They have children and pets (my daughter), so she must be very careful what she does because of health reasons. Is there any natural remedy??? Thank you very much for taking the time to read this message... Sharline...; Toronto
 
Q 494    I live in a low-rise apartment building on the top floor. Lately I have been noticing narrow beige bugs crawling on my bathroom floor. When I go to squish them...they are pretty quick to get away. Today I noticed they are coming from a crack between the wall and the tile floor, underneath the base heater. I tried spraying bug spray, and am going to buy some bathroom caulking. but curious to know what kind of bug it might be and how to get rid of them. Shannon; Bradford, Ontario
Have a look at the house centipede photos on the "What is this Pest" page
Q 493  I have recently noticed a mouse in my house. So What I did was set a few traps. Then a few days latter I notice a few more. So this time we used some sticky boards. It seems that they have had a family because we've caught about 6 more. How do we get rid of these pest? Should I be calling in a professional? How many mice do they usually have. Help!!! Sam; Toronto
If you caught 6 or more mice there are probably many more. One female can give birth to 10 every month. A professional could eliminate the problem now and will suggest ways to prevent future infestationsl
Q 492   I am looking for specific information on Pharoh Ants with respect to treatment and control.
            Thank you .Margi; London Ontario
 
Q 491  Last fall we had a problem with mice but with poison and sealing up the holes they vanished. Now once again with the cool weather I spotted a tiny mouse the size of a loonie. It jumped into the vent in the bathroom. We have now once again put out poison and plugged any holes. How else can they be getting in. Is it true that if you see one there are many many more.  Deanna,  Winnipeg, Manitoba
If a mouse can squeeze it's head through an opening, the rest of it's body will fit through. They seldom live alone. One male and female pair can produce an offspring of 10 every month.  More info on the rodent page.
Q 489  Are sowbugs what Newfoundlanders call carpenters. They look alike in pictures.  Kim.   St. John's, Newfoundland.
Newfoundlanders have an interesting and entertaining language of their own.  They have names for things that many of us have never heard of.   If they look like sow bugs or pill bugs, that's probably what they are.  There is nothing else with this appearance.
Q 488  Can you help me to identify a pest which is the size of a pin head, jumps, burrows, and is found where birds nest. These bugs came in to contact with family members who were stripping the asphalt from the roof in order to install a new roof. The only thing short of an exterminator that has been able to kill them is a diluted bleach solution. I understand these are found also in chicken coups...Please help!!!  Lynn.   Las Vegas
Lice are common parasites on birds and are very common in chicken houses. A weak bleach solution will kill many small insects but it is not recommended to use as an insecticide.
Q 487  Is it safe to keep mothballs in the kitchen cabinets where food is stored? We apparently are having a moth problem and put mothballs in our pantry for a couple of days? Is our food still edible?  Michele
Common chemicals used for moth balls are naphthalene, p-dichlorobenzene, and camphor. They give off a vapor which repels insects.  These products are not very harmful to humans unless swallowed but inhalation of the vapors over a long period of time can be harmful.  Many foods will absorb the odor of moth balls.  Not a pleasant smell for food.   The moths in the food cupboards probably came from larvae crawling around in some of the dry food.  You should check everything that is still sealed for leaks and throw out open packages of flower, crackers, pasta etc. then clean the cupboards very thoroughly. It may also be wise to have a pest professional apply a suitable pesticide in a proper way that will not contaminate your food.
Q 486  HI, I was just wondering if there is a type of spider that lives in Mexico or I guess anywhere, that they use humans as a host for there egg laying babies?  Thanks, Sara.    Regina, Sask.
A common spider in the southern states and Mexico is the Brown Recluse Spider, very small, very venomous. the venom causes necrosis of the skin (essentially rotting) and leaves open sores or ulcers on the affected area. Seek medical treatment from a doctor. If the affected area looks more like a rash it could be scabies which are common everywhere and can be cleared up with a special soap and thorough laundering of everything you own in hot water.Steve.  Deep River, Ontario
Q 485  There are small fly-like bugs in our home. They don't make a noise. They are like house flies but smaller. They are mostly in the kitchen and bathroom. We live in the country and have a septic bed. We have lived there for almost 7 years and have not seen these types of bugs before. We also have a sump pump in our basement. Up to this year, before the really dry summer, our sump pump use to run a lot. Now it hardly runs at all. I am not sure if this has anything to do with these bugs, but we would like to find a "cure". Also, I have young grandchildren living and visiting often, so we can't use anything that might be harmful to them. Thanks!
Vicki;   Ariss, Ontario
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Q 484  Has anyone identified the spider in #23 yet? ( see pest photo page) I found one behind my garage tonight (in Brantford Ontario) and have spent the last 2 hours on line trying to find it. I found only 1 other photo and it was incorrectly labeled as an Orb Weaver. It does have a similar web, but it is most definitely a different spider. The one I found was about 2 cm. but when it felt threatened, it curled up into a ball about 1 cm. (like in the photo).  The shape of the spider was very much like a black widow. It was shiny, black, a bit hairy and had white speckles on its back as well as faint white stripes down its sides. Its belly reminded me of a beetle. The legs were fairly thick; there were six long ones in the front (the very front ones being the longest) and two shorter ones on the rear end. I am very curious to know what type of spider this is and if it can in any way be harmful to humans; mainly children. Amy  - Ontario Canada
 
Q 483  How do you get rid of pill bugs/ roly-poly bugs in your home?  Lynn.  Cookeville
This question has been asked many times.  The best solutions can be found on our sow bug pages
Q 482  Is the ultrasonic pest chaser dangerous to people's health? Does it emit any sort of harmful radiation? Are there any studies done on this? Where can I read more? Thank you.  Julie.  Brooklyn.
No.  They emit a high frequency sound that humans can not hear.  They may drive your dog crazy.  There are many more questions about these devices on this page.
Q 481 We live on a canyon and in the fall and spring we have lots of box elder bugs. We do not have any box elder trees on our property. There are hundreds of box elder bugs on the south/west exposure of our home. Is there anything that we can do (sprays, etc.) that will make them leave?  Jeanne
Have a look at the answer to # 477 and 478 below.
Q 480  I'm looking for a household device that will get rid of household spiders. any advice!  Some friends that stay with me have a phobia of them.  Thanks.   Alan.   Edinburgh, Scotland
If you are thinking about an electronic pest device, don't waste your money.  The best device is a vacuum cleaner. Suck up all the cobwebs, eggs  and dust in areas where they may breed and hunt for food  (basement, attic, closets, etc) Keep the humidity level as low as possible to reduce the population of other insects, a food source for spiders. If that fails, call a professional.
Q 479   How can I get rid of silverfish in an environmentally safe way. I am moving from a 100-year old heritage house which is completely infested with them, and I have found lots in my storage boxes. Can I effectively spray my boxes before I move, so I don't take any with me to my new place? Cher.  SFU,  B.C.
All the little tunnels in cardboard cartons provide a safe place for these shy critters to hide, and the glue might be a good food source for them along with your books and papers inside.  You could try putting the boxes in large garbage bags and spray a little insecticide in them, then seal.  You may also have some success putting the boxes in a freezer for 24 hours. When you re-locate make sure you put the contents in a very dry location and get rid of the boxes as soon as possible. Better yet, don't take the boxes to your new home.
Q 478  What is the best way to get rid of box elder bugs? The safest way? etc.   Bob
Check the link on the next question for some great information on Box Elder bugs.
Q 477  This may be weird but, since the summer has gotten into the bye bye gear i seem to have these fly size bugs all over the front and back of the house when it is not to hot or cold out. They kinda look like flies but have red backs and wings. Is it the color of the siding that attracts them? They seem to be on the house only if the temp is right. How can i kill them other than with a swatter? Is there something i can spray on the concrete on the sides of the house? Could not find any pics of them so do not know what they are. Thanks for your help.  Ken in Calgary.
If they look like this, they are Box Elder bugs.  Click here for more information.

 

Q 476  What does a stink bug smell like? How do you get rid of the odor?  Maureen
Stink bugs:  Do You have the answer?  Please share it.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Q 475  I just completed a new Cedar shake roof. In the process of installing the cedar shake we noticed and sampled termite like beetles which were in amongst the rough cut cedar shake. They are just under 1MM, mohaghany brown body, lighter brown head with small pincers . Our roofing supply house says, its impossible to have termites in cedar. Are they correct or could we have inadvertently injected termites into our home with the new roof?  Ken.  Claremont, California
Termite experts please send us your opinion.

 

Q 474  Can body lice infest and apartment building.  Angelle.  Toronto
Infestation with body lice is uncommon. They tend to infest people in extreme states of poverty or personal neglect. Particularly when clothing is not changed or regular washing is not undertaken. The eggs of body lice are laid and glued to cloth fibers instead of hair, and the lice feed off the skin. Regular hot washing of clothes and bathing has lead to a decrease in incidence of body lice but during wartime and in some undeveloped countries the condition can still occur. Body lice in the past have been responsible for spreading diseases such as typhus. However because of the decline in numbers of people infested with body lice this is no longer a significant problem. Similar insecticides used in the treatment of head lice are used in the treatment of body lice. Hot washing of clothes and bathing should be emphasized.
Q 473.  I live in Parksville on Vancouver Island. I have a huge ant hill in my lilac tree about 3 feet from the side of my house. I have known it is there for about a year but I don't want to hurt the lilac tree as it is more than 22 years old. I just checked on it the other day and it is about 2 1/2 feet high! It is on the side of the house where there are no windows and the yard is not used. I pulled some of it down with a garden fork, it seems to be like a dry peat moss material and thousands of ants! I worry that they are so close to my house, too. They are just small ants, not carpenter ants. What should I do?  Sincerely,  Anne

These are thatching ants.  We have added some useful information about them on our Ants page.

Thatching Ants (also called field ants) are large and have a red head and middle, and a black tail-end. They commonly nest in rocky areas, tree stumps and in large mounds in fields. Sometimes they will nest inside houses. They do not do any damage but their presence can be annoying and they do bite. This ant is a valuable predator so should be controlled only when they are nesting indoors or frequently-used areas outside.
This information comes from the Professional Ecological Services website, a Victoria B.C. pest professional service. They have some good basic information on many other ants.   www.PestVictoria.com

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Q470  What are the pros and cons of using insecticide to control the West Nile Virus?  Miss.,  Ontario
Your opinion is welcome
Q 469  I have worms in my house - is that possible - I have never heard of it. They are about 3 inches long and black in color.  Dianne.  Edmonton, Alberta
 
Q 468  Do roaches cause failure in electric equipment such as computers, printers, tvs, etc?  John.  San Antonio.
I recall reading a story once about where the term "computer bug" originated.  Apparently when when one of those original room size IBM machines broke down, they dug inside and found a bug had caused a short circuit. I think it was a cockroach.  I wonder if computer viruses started when someone sneezed into their desktop computer fan!!
Q 467   How do you get rid of centipedes in your home?  Darlene,  Hamilton, Ontario.
I don't have centipedes in my home but enough people do so we have published a new page all about them and their cousins; millipedes, pill bugs and sow bugs.   Check out this new page.
Q 466  have a bug in my house that is driving me crazy.  I think we have located where this fly is coming from.  I noticed that there were many of them sitting on top of our drain cover in the laundry room.  My husband removed the cover and there were hundreds of them buzzing around the inside of the pipe.  We poured hot water down the drain and covered the drain with plastic. They are a black, small fly with almost transparent wings.  They are in the shower, in the toilet bowl, on damp clothes in the laundry room, stuck to walls in our rec room downstairs.  When I crush them, they turn to black powder. Can you tell me what they are?  Could it be possible that they are coming from other drain areas such as laundry tubs, downstairs shower drain, downstairs bathroom sink? They are very easy to catch and kill as they don't move very fast, but they leave a black mark every time I crush one.   Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time. Verna
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Q 465  On a clean cotton t-shirt, I found a cluster of tiny poppy seed like balls. They were strongly attached and when I scraped them off there was a slight pink stain (blood?) and I noticed that several had extended an arm (?) and were moving. The t-shirt had been washed a week ago. They were the size of the period on the page. Can you tell me what they are and whether I need to use some type of control product.  Gina,  Ottawa
 
Q 464  We have a woodpile that has pin like holes in the bark. When we scrape the bark off, there is no penetration into the wood. There are occasional lines between the wood and the bark. Have not been able to see any bugs. Not quite sure what to look for since the holes are so small. We have noticed very fine sawdust beneath pieces of wood. Some pieces of wood have 50+ pinholes. We do not want to bring into the garage/house. The wood pile is also located next to a wood fence and near mature trees. We are trying to determine what is causing these holes, how we can treat it and if we can still burn the wood safely in our fireplace after treatment. If it is not safe to treat and burn, how do we dispose? Thanks. Grant, Burlington
My guess is that the holes were created by a bark beetle. These insects live just under the bark of dead and dying trees. You do not have to treat the wood as the insects will not move from it into milled lumber (the wood of your house or fence). Go ahead and burn the wood as planned. 
Bob Lucy,  PES Professional Ecological Services Ltd.  www.PestVictoria.com
Q 463 I know that with fleas you have to kill them by squeezing them between you nails. We seem to be overrun with a pest that is a little smaller than a flea, looks like a flea, bites like a flea, hops like a flea but you can kill it by rubbing it between your fingers. My dad used to call them Sand Mites, when I was small. He then sprayed around outside (he said they only come after we have had a hot dry season like now) and then treat the inside of the house. What are these? How to get rid of them?  Deb.  Freelton, Ontario
 
Q 462  I read up on sow bugs and seem to have a problem. Our well is on our property and we noticed a smell in the water. When I looked in the well the inside rings were covered with sow bugs. They were falling in the water and, I assume, creating the odour. As well our patio was covered with them last evening. We have always noticed them but have become concerned lately due to the numbers and water situation. Any suggestions as to how to safely rid them around our well.  Svein.  Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Keeping them away from your well would be a difficult task. They like moisture.  I would concentrate on sealing the well head to keep them out.  You certainly do not want to use any pesticides near a well.

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Q 461   Hi, Great sight ! What do pill bugs and sow bugs eat? Thanks,  Dave
We get so many questions about sow and pill bugs we have added another page of information about them as well as their relatives, millipedes and centipedes.  Sow and pill bugs usually eat decaying plant matter but will also chew on tender new shoots.   See the other interesting facts here.
Q 460  Our county is positive for west nile virus and in the last few days we have discovered dead birds and three dead squirrels inside of our fenced backyard. I have not heard anything about small animals getting infected - oops , just heard about the dog - but the local animal control people seem rather low key about this . We haven't seen a squirrel kill like this before and it seems that others in our part of town have this too. Am I a west nile phobic or could there be something to this. Mike, Davenport, Iowa
You have good reason to be concerned about animals but the risk is quite low for humans. On the other hand, there have been hundreds of human cases and a number of deaths this year. Birds are  most commonly  diagnosed with the disease but many other animals have been infected. The virus continues to spread so rapidly in the U.S. and Canada that is impossible to keep up with the latest statistics.  The most reliable source of information is the Center for Disease Control.  This is their web page regarding the West Nile Virus.  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/    
Links to Canadian sources of information can be found on our West Nile page
Q 458  My brother lives in  a residential Mississauga neighbourhood.  There is a creature of some sort living in a  back yard  tree about 20 ft tall.  This creature makes a very loud almost chirping sound at night. When he shakes the tree quite hard the sound temporarily stops but then continues shortly afterwards. He has used a flashlight but can't see anything in the tree.  This sound is so loud it can be heard around the neighbourhood. We are positive that it isn't a cricket because the sound is quite different. If you have an idea as to what this might it would be greatly appreciated.  Karen,  Mississuaga, Ontario
My guess would be a chipmunk.  Their high pitched chirping can be quite loud and annoying but it is hard to identify creatures by the description of a sound they make.  Anyone else have an answer?
Q 457  A family member has had a problem with "bed bug" infestation. The home is a basement home (old timer). Several failed attempts(4)have been made by spraying by a pest control company. The house is now virtually empty of furniture and clothing.  I would like to recommend a more aggressive technique. (ie. I have seen structures completely "tented in" and interior wall sections opened prior to fumigation. It is now urgent to ensure the pest is eliminated and done quickly.  Please advise. Thank you. Toronto, Ontario
Tenting and fumigation of homes is a very rare treatment in Canada. ( example: wood boring insects in a heritage home) It is also very expensive.  If the home is vacant, conventional treatment by a pest professional should be effective.  It is important to vacuum very thoroughly all areas of the home, especially cracks and crevices along baseboards etc.  Our Insect page has a link to a bed bug page which should help you understand this pest. 
Q 456  I am a middle school teacher and my students have brought me a huge worm/catipillar with eight spikes growing from its upper body and small black spikes growing from its lower body down to the end of its tail. I suspect it is some type of grub but have not had any luck identifying what kind of beetle it has come from. Any suggestions?  Darby,  Scott County, Tn.

If your caterpillar looks like this, it is a Hickory Horned Devil. You can read more about them by using the link on our insect page
Click on the picture to enlarge it, then use your back arrow to return here.

Q 453  We have just noticed that honey bees have gone thru a small hole in our exterior house wall to make a big hive inside the wall and now the wall in the house is soft and we are worried . how can we get ride of the bees as they are increasing day by day. any , idea's , recommended product to use and precautions.  Natasha, Vancouver.
If the nest is near the entry hole you may have success using a wasp aerosol spraying it into the hole at night when all of the bees are inside. Insecticide dusts usually work better but at this time I don't think there are any available to Canadian consumers. Plug the hole when you know the nest is no longer active. The dampness should dissipate over a period of time.
Q 452  Since this past summer I have noticed these extremely tiny brown winged pests all around my apartment. At first I thought they were kitchen pest, they can fly, but once they hit the floor or walls they can only crawl. So tiny you can barely notice them. They are diving me crazy, please help me identify what they are and how to eliminate them from my home.  Sasha,  Scarborough, Ontario.
You may have a type of flour beetle. Over the years we've learned that stray bits of crunchy cat food under the fridge or stove will eventually hatch these tiny brown beetles. Check all your dry goods, and it might be time to check under the appliances.   Deb.  Port Coquitlam, B.C.
 
Q 450  What type of pesticide should I use to eliminate sow bugs?  Jean,  Halifax, Nova Scotia.
If the sow bugs are outside, they are not much of a problem. If they are inside, reduce the moisture problem.  Our Sow Bug web page has more information.

Q 449 We have had a large and seemingly growing number of fruit flies in our home for at least two months. We cannot identify a source of food that they are feeding on. How can we rid the home of them without using chemicals. And- what chemical treatment would you recommend if need be?  Diane,  Ellsworth, Maine U.S.
There is a glue board available that attracts fruit flies. It smells like bananas. They are made by Catchmaster and should be available from some local pest professionals or a good hardware store.
Q 448  I have sow bugs or pill bugs that have taken up home in the base of a mature locust tree. Should I chisel out the whole area or can I spray it with something that will kill the bugs. Thank you.  Roger,  Wheaton 
Why do you want to kill the sow bugs?  They are not causing a problem. They have taken up residence in a location that is wet.  If  you want to save the tree and it has some wet rotting wood at the base, you should talk to a tree specialist at a local garden shop. 
Q 447  I am acceptable to mosquito bites therefore I use a protection. My mother is 72 and said she is NOT acceptable so my question is: Should she be worried about catching the West Nile Virus or not? I think maybe she should but have no idea how to tell her so. Any info would be appreciated. THANKS!  Chuck,  Mesquite, Texas
The chance of humans getting West Nile Virus are extremely low, but it might be a good idea to use an insect repellant when in an area where mosquitoes are active.  We have a good article on insect repellants on this page.
Q 446  We have a bat in our basement, you say the best way to get rid of bats is to screen them out, but what do you do when it is already in your basement, is there anything I can do to get rid of it, I don't see any droppings either,,so what do you think that means ,,it is driving us crazy,,other than getting an exterminator in ,,thank you ,,
Daniel,  Latrobe
The bat will leave to find food every evening. Close the entry point after dark.
Q 445  We have added a basement to a home on the Ocean that has been exposed underneath for the past 20 years . The owners insulated the floor joist cavities & installed plywood to hold the insulation up . When we removed the plywood & insulation we noticed Rats have been living there for a long time . My question is how do we get rid of the Urine smell from the wood? Powell River, B.C.
You could try spraying the exposed wood with a mild solution of bleach and water then use an odor absorbing product before you close up the cavities.  A product called "Formulair Odor Neutralizer" is available as a block, liquid, oil, gel and mist.  Ask the folks at Integrated Pest Supplies which one would work best in your situation.
If your problem still persists you can contact our Powell River office at 604-414-8094 and speak to Mark Murray about the problem. He would be more than happy to come out and have a look and determine if just deodorizing is the answer.. Sometimes it is necessary to remove all the existing insulation installing new pieces.
Randy Standish.  Public Pest Control.    Standish@island.net
Q 444  Mouse have been killed with poison, extreme smell, can't remove mice between basement and upstairs. No way to reach them, is there a way to remove the smell without removing the mice.  Maryann,  Saskatoon, Sask.
The smell of 2 or 3 dead mice will usually dissipate in a few days. You could try the product mentioned in the answer to question 445 above.
Q 443  I am bothered by millipedes and live in a condo. I imagine they are in the mulch. It was recommended I keep mulch away from foundation. I am not allowed to do this as it keeps moisture in the plantings. Do you have any recommendations as to what I could use to discourage this pest?  Evelyn
Damp or wet mulch will encourage insects, especially if it is not kept below the level of the building siding or stucco. Ask your condo association to seriously consider the damage that might result from this condition. All pest control professionals will suggest keeping mulch levels low around foundations.
Q 442  We live on a lake. Otter have decided that they like our boathouse. As much as it is a treat to see the mammals, they deficate all over everything in the boathouse. The smell is over powering. We wash it off with a hose daily but I think they liked a clean bathroom! I am not keen swimming immediately afterward either. One neighbour has been using a scaled down version of the common cattle electric fence to keep them out. That works but makes getting in and out of boats awkward.  Dave,  Bracebridge, Ontario
In British Columbia, otters are a protected animal resulting in control methods that are exclusion only.  A modified electric fence may be your best line of defense if you can't block them out any other way.  I have heard of otters totally destroying boat interiors.  You may get some information from the Ontario Provincial Department that deals with wildlife.
Q 441  We moved to Creston about 10 years ago and had never seen Cedar bugs before. It seems they invade the outside of our house as soon as some farmer starts burning his fields. They are commonly called 'Stink-bugs) and are of a BROWN color and about 1 inch long. We have vacuumed them by the thousands and they just keep coming. What kind of spray can we use to get rid of them? We also have to seal the fireplace glassdoor with plastic to keep them out. Thank you, Wolf,  Creston B.C.
 

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Q 440  I have either a squirrel or a raccoon in my ceiling. Apparently it came down the chimney. When is the best time to go up on the roof to seal the opening. The chimney is not live.  Thanks, Wil.  Toronto
With a good flashlight you should be able to see if there is a raccoon present. It will likely try to escape the way it got in.   If it is a squirrel, a live trap will probably work.  Whatever it is, make sure you get it out before you seal the entry point.
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. can u give me the name of the spray and the cost. please let me know A.S.A.P.  thanks.  I. Kahn.  Vancouver
Are you sure they are sow bugs.  Sow bugs do not move very fast and turning on a light doesn't usually bother them that much. Read the information on our sow bug page Pesticide sprays are not a permanent solution to this problem. 
Q 438  We recently bought a house and found some dead mice in the crawl spaces and feces around the appliances. We are looking for professionals to come and clean up this problem. I have called a few places and they don't specialize in clean ups, can you please tell me who I can call. Thanks.  Jag.  Vancouver
Give Canadian Pest Control  or Care Pest Control a call.  They will solve your problem or steer you in the right direction.  You will find their phone numbers and web addresses in our directory on the Lower Mainland page.
Q 437  We recently were given 2 kittens, both infested with fleas. We also have 2 dogs and now everyone is scratching. We can treat the animals quite easily with the many effective products now out, but our problem is our house! Our carpets are FULL of fleas. We have used 2 sprays to no avail. When you sit on the couch, or even walk across the carpet it is not uncommon to find a dozen or more leaping onto your legs. My husbands ankles are a mess with bites (an allergy to them maybe?). We are at wits end and need advice. I am afraid if we get an exterminator in our pets will just re-infest our carpets again. We moved to BC last fall and never had this problem where we lived before. Please help!   Vickie;   Rosedale, British Columbia
You must first treat the pets and you would be wise to have the house treated by a professional. (This will probably cost less than trying to do it yourself with expensive sprays.)  Be careful with the kittens. Talk to a vet about which product to use.
Q 436 We have quite a few bugs that look exactly like a silverfish but are a fairly bright rust colour. They range from tiny to what I would call large - about 1.5 inches long. They behave a lot like silverfish in that I find them on the walls in the evening and they scurry VERY fast. I've mostly found them in and around clothing, such as laundry to be done. What on earth are they? As I said, they're very much like a silverfish, but red in colour and not seeming to be attracted to damp areas that much.
Sounds like firebrats.  Check the answer to question  #435 below
Q 435  What is the best thing to use to get rid of silverfish. I would prefer something that would not have to have the family move out for a few days if possible.  Allan.  Vancouver
You will find some very good answers on the web site for Professional Ecological ServicesThey have an excellent page on silverfish and firebrats.
Q 434  I have recently rented an apartment where the previous tenants were evicted. While cleaning out the fridge, I noticed that it is FULL of mouse droppings, as well as a few larger, round droppings. What sort of animal would make the larger droppings? I have bleached out the fridge twice, but there are still feces in the bottom where the motor is that cannot be cleaned out - Should the fridge be replaced? Although it is disgusting - it is a health hazard? Help!   Jennifer.  Toronto
The larger droppings may be from rats but you will seldom see both in the same location. Mice leave when the rats arrive.  You should spray the motor area with bleach and water before cleaning out the feces. See our Hantavirus page for instructions for rodent cleanup.
Q 433  I actually wrote question #425 about the wasps nest under the very low deck. my husband took apart the deck.. we were very lucky the wasps weren't very aggressive. He sprinkled a lot of stuff called sevin. was highly recommended by the professionals in our area. he also sprayed off yard and deck spray. there were quit a few wasps on the ground that appeared to be dead, but the next day all the ones on the ground were gone. there hasn't been any activity maybe like 1 or 2 flying around. it's been 2 days since he did this could our problem be solved?
Cindy,  Manitoba
Sevin is very toxic to wasps and bees. It takes very little to eliminate a nest.  The dead wasps may have been eaten by birds or carried off by ants.  Hopefully this does not cause an environmental problem
Q 432  We found feces in the cupboard and it looks like chocolate sprinkles. Is this from a mouse?
Al.  Parksville, B.C.
Chocolate Sprinkles!  Yes that is a good description of the appearance of mouse feces.  If you look closer, you will notice that one end is pointed and the other end round.  If they crush easily into a powder, they are old.  Crude but useful information.
Q 431  Who in Toronto, Ontario offers a one time service of removing dead rodents from an establishment, at an affordable price.  Jason.  Toronto.
It does not take much skill to remove a dead rodent if you know where it is.  If it is in a wall cavity, then you should hire someone skilled in cutting open the wall and making the repairs.  Some pest professionals offer this service. Check the Toronto page in our directory.

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Q 430  We recently had an incident, where something climbed under the hood of our car and within a 3 day period had made a nest of grass clipping and had eaten through the main computer wires of the car as well as the antennae wires. Any thoughts on what it probably is mice?? squirrels?? and a safe way to get rid of them?
Thanks.  Beth.  Plainfield Ontario
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Q 429  Any idea where I can find drawings to build a live pigeon trap? I have searched the internet, with no luck. I have several to build and hate to pay what is asked for a commercial trap. I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide me.  Jason.  Texas
 
Q 428  Sounds weird but I was attacked by a snake while clearing weeds from under my cedar hedge. It was 2-3 ft. in length reddish brown in colour and lived in the ground as I found a 2-3 in. hole in circumference in the general vicinity where it happened. I realize this doesn't come under the heading of pest control but I am unable to locate anyone that could help me to identify this species. As I'm still breathing one can assume it was not poisonous. Anyway I am curious, and would appreciate any help you could offer or point me in the right direction. Appreciate your help Dale.  Roches Point, Ontario
 
Q 427  Who is responsible for the removal of rodents? My mother lives at xxx xxxxx Ave East in Toronto on the third floor and has been infested with mice for several months now.  Lynn.  Toronto.
This is usually the landlord's responsibility, but tenants often attract rodents with poor housekeeping and improper garbage disposal. 
Q 426  I have had 3 bats in my house over the course of the last three weeks. I'm going out of my mind with this problem and don't know where to start to resolve it. Or How!! Who can I call in my area to help me? I know these creatures can get in very small places, but I don't know where to look. Is there someone that would come and do a free house inspection for me or professionally know exactly where to look and get rid of these critters for me.  I have 2 dogs as well and am worried about them and rabies, not to mention the health threat to myself.  PLEASE HELP ASAP.  Thank You.  Eileen.  Pierrefonds, Quebec
The best way to control bats is to screen them out.  Some pest professionals offer this service.  Contact one listed in our directory
Q 425  I have a very low deck (can barely see under it) I have a wasps nest under there. I have 2 small children and a dog. my dog is constantly getting stung they hang around the deck all day. I can't see the nest but know it's there. sprays don't work that well because they just all come flying out and go back. help ! How do I get rid of them?  Cindy,  Manitoba
I am called out to deal with wasp nests every day at this time of year.  Your situation can be a tough one, but most professionals have a long wand that can reach into tight locations to apply an appropriate pesticide.  Check the directory to find one in your area.
Q 424  Recently I discovered several small worms in my home. They are light brown in colour with fine hair covering the body. They also have a white belly. In addition, I have also found small beetles that are two-toned brown. I believe that the worms may be the larval stage of the beetle. I have been all over the web to try and identify these pests. IF you could give me a little information on how to get rid of these pests and some preventative measures for future reference. Thanking you in advance.  Heather.  Williams Lake, B.C.
This is the answer to a similar question (#364) and it probably applies to your situation.
What you have are the larvae of a type of dermestid beetle, probably a black or variegated carpet beetle.
These critters are very hardy (see the image ID section), and feed on almost any kind of organic matter. Best thing is to check all your cereal type products, get rid of any that are infested, and thoroughly clean your kitchen. These are the most common fabric pests as well.. They love to eat cotton..
Vacuum key areas like the sofa, or if you have pets, where dry pet food might be spilled. It only takes a very small amount to support these critters. Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation
 
Q 423  I observed a bat in June hunting between 12 noon and 2pm everyday for a week, why was it out during the day? I figure it was a large brown bat, it was the size of a robin
 
Q 422  A woodpecker is destroying the cedar shingles on our home. The woodpecker's coloring is white and blue. How do we get rid of it?  John.  Guilford, CT
The woodpecker may be trying to feed on insects it hears in the walls of your home, probably carpenter ants or termites. There is no other reason to peck on the shingles except during mating season when the sound may attract a mate. You should probably call a professional for an inspection.
Q 421  We have just had premature triplets, and we want to safeguard our house from pests. How will the pest control chemicals affect our small girls, and what products are the best to use around infants?
Kris.  Canton, Georgia.
You have good reason to be concerned about pest control chemicals.  Your premature triplets may have very sensitive  or weak immune systems.  If you have pest problems be sure to deal with a professional that diligently follows an integrated pest management program.  You do not want chemicals used until all other resources have been used, and then only in limited quantities for specifically targeted pests.  The days of "spray for everything just in case they are here" are gone.  If you want good references, talk to the Georgia pest control association.

Q 420  I've read the sow bug page and although I read moisture to be the reason for a sow bug problem I don't think I have a moisture problem. What  I do have is centipedes and sow bugs coming into all rooms. Our basement was flooded 6 years ago when a city water main broke. The main basement area was re-carpeted but there is one bedroom that the carpet was dried and left in. there is an under the stairs storage area with boxes etc. All the walls are finished so I don't have access to any cracks that might exist. I have taken out vegetation by the house. I have used borax and sugar with some degree of success. Is there anything I can use to keep them out of the basement? Looking forward to any suggestions. Sheila,  Moose Jaw, Sask.
The fact that you have centipedes as well as sow bugs is clear evidence that there is a high moisture problem.  Because sow bugs breathe through gills, they can not survive in a dry environment. If you check the sow bug page again, you will see why borax and sugar is not going to be effective.  You may have to consider purchasing a de-humidifier if the problem is bothersome.
Q 419  Where can I purchase traps for Pharaoh Ants?  Peter.  Ottawa, Ontario.
There are a number of products that are mistakenly called "ant traps" that should be labeled ant bait stations.
These so called traps do not catch ants.  They are safe containers that contain ant poison.  Ant baits (poison) work well for some species but not all.  You may be able to purchase a suitable product from a local pest professional.
You can also order ant baits from Integrated Pest Supplies, listed on our
suppliers page. No matter what product you use, you will have to be patient and persistent.  Pharaoh ants can be difficult to control.
Q 418  I have found many brown, tiny, short worms on my carpet & in my flour. Can you please tell me what they are?& possibly how I can get rid of them?  Thanks-   Rita.  Calgary, Alberta
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Q 417  My neighbours talked of this chewing noise they hear at night (between 2 -5 or so in the morning. They said that it sounds like something chewing on wood, if they turn a light on or talk then it stops, they think maybe its a bat. From what I have read and remember from when we had rats that's what I think it is. What do you think it would be? If it is a rat, is there something else to do other then use rat poison? I remember when a rat died in the walls or our house it was really bad smelling for some time.  Denise.  Cambridge, Ontario
My guess would be rats. They will follow plumbing, wiring and other channels through the walls from basements and crawlspaces up to attics.  To avoid  rats dying in a wall cavity, use traps in the basement/crawl space. For more tips see our Rodent page.
Q 416  I would like to purchase an electronic pest control device, which do you recommend? Do i need just the device that has the ultrasonic or do you need the electromagnetic option as well? I have a small child and would like to rid my home of pests in the safest, and most economical manner.  Jeaux.  Tuskegee
We do not place much faith in these devices, especially the electromagnetic units.  The ultrasonic units may have some effect on rodents for a short time, but can not be depended on for total control. If you read the fine print on the packaging it likely says "this device works well in conjunction with conventional pest control methods."
Read more opinions on this subject, on this page:  Electronic Pest devices.
Q 415  What is the best way to remove skunk odor from a dog. I do not want to buy any products from a vet. There must be a home remedy that would work. I have been using tomato juice but is there anything else?  thanks in advance.  Harry.  Ontario
Tomato juice-- I've only used this once (luckily, the only incident to date) but it did the job.  Use it just like shampoo (work it in, rinse it out then repeat).  Using regular shampoo following the tomato juice will reduce the chance that your blood hound is mistaken for a Bloody Mary ;-)
Conrad Berube, Sr. Pest Management Officer,
B.C.Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I heard colgate toothpaste is good to get the skunk smell out of a dog. just the regular paste.  Amy;  Vancouver, B.C.
Q 414  We have bats in our house in the attic, and want to know how to get rid of them. Jo.  Interior B.C.
The best way to control bats is to screen them out. There are  some tips and links to good control methods on our BATS page.
Q 413  I live in Michigan and am having the same black bug in picture #16 invade my house. What is the darn thing and how do I get rid of it????  
 This in reference to #16 on What is this pest?: photos page.  Have a look at the answers posted
Q 412  Is there a cure to give to your dog if it gets bit by the west nile virus?  Charles.  Skokie
The Centre for Disease Control (USA) web site has posted the following information:
Q.  How many types of animals have been found to be infected with West Nile virus?  
A.   Although the vast majority of infections have been identified in birds, WN virus has been shown to infect horses, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits.
Q. Can West Nile virus cause illness in dogs or cats?
A. There is a published report of West Nile virus isolated from a dog in southern Africa (Botswana) in 1982.  West Nile virus has been isolated from several dead cats in 1999 and 2000. A serosurvey of dogs and cats in the epidemic area showed a low infection rate.
To view more questions and answers about the west nile virus go to this CDC web site:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/q&a.htm
Q 411  One pest control expert says baits will start to work 1-2 weeks . I'm concerned with pulmonary condition , CHEMICALS and fumes affect me for hours /ASTHMA LIKE days.  Is bait the way to go.  Nest of  Carpenter ants is 2 feet from my bedroom window.  Some were inside but we hope and think they are in an upper deck with sawdust dropping down.   Thanks.  Al.  Hunt, N.Y.
I have never had good results using bait for carpenter ants.  An experienced professional could inject a residual insecticide dust into the nest areas.  (There may be more than one nest.)  The dust has no fumes or odor.
Larry Cross.  P.C.S. Gulf Islands.
Q 410  My aunt recently sprayed RAID roach spray in her family's hair due to lice. What are the possible side effects they'll  encounter?  Madeline.  Kaibeto, AZ
Stupid.  Stupid. Stupid.  This is the kind of incident that provides ammunition to the "anti-pesticide" movement.
People who abuse pesticides are worse than people who abuse drugs or alcohol. It is illegal to use a pesticide for any purpose or in any way that is not described on the label.   It is absolutely imperative that pesticide labels be read and adhered to.  When used according to directions, pesticides are generally considered safe. The quotes below are taken directly from 2 pesticide labels.

Raid House and Garden Spray
" Harmful if absorbed through skin...avoid contact with skin, eyes and clothing... remove pets and birds before using...this product is toxic to fish."
Raid Yard Guard
" Kills flies, mosquitoes, gnats, moths, wasps and ants...harmful if absorbed through skin or inhaled...call Poison Control Center if swallowed...get medical attention and wash with soap and water if on skin...toxic to fish...do not contaminate water."
The question of harmful effects could best be answered by a medical professional.
Yeesh. The family members should visit their doctor immediately, and have liver and kidney function tests. Pesticides can cause cumulative nerve damage as well, and even blindness may result from excessive absorption of toxins through the skin. Somebody please send Auntie some "Mr. Yucky" face stickers.   Deb.  Port Coquitlam.

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Q 409 Are Root Weevil making themselves known this season--I've had two calls in two days, 10-- miles apart
Ray.  Pest Control Contractors,  Bellville, Ontario.
 
Q 408  We have been fighting an invasion of ants for 2 weeks+ now they have ranged from small to smaller, in fact, the latest ones are almost microscopic in size. Our weapon has been an ant poison that we place in their path and is supposed to be carried to the nest and eliminate the colony. We seem to get rid of one lot only to have another one take its place. What can I do?  Fred.  Oshawa, Ontario.
The selection of ant bait (poison) available in Canada is very limited.  Some of them are not very effective.  Using bait to control ants is a slow process.  Only a few ants leave the nest to gather food and it may take some time for all of the ants in a nest to be effected by the poison. Place only a small amount of bait along the route they are traveling then observe them carefully to see if they are actually eating the bait and returning to a nest.  Replenish the bait daily.  Proper identification of the ants may help to find a more detailed and specific control method.
Q 407 We have discovered carpenter ants in our "mudroom" - can we effectively get rid of them without them moving into the main house?  David.  Erin Township/Acton
Have you read the information on our Carpenter ant pages
Trying to treat them yourself may result in the ants scattering and moving into the main house.  Ask a professional for an estimate and description of the treatment program.
Q 406  I have an ant problem on my patio. At first I thought it was because I was attracting them with empty bottles but I have removed the empties from my patio. The ants began as small red ants and are now changing into larger black and red ants with the middle portion of their body being red. I've tried ant traps, sprays and nothing seems to be getting rid of them. Will I need an exterminator?   Shirley.  Langley, B.C.
It sounds like you may have thatching ants and Vicinus carpenter ants (rusty red mid section).  Find a comfortable chair, sit and watch where they are coming from and where they are going.  If some of the larger ones are entering your home, you should probably contact a professional.  (Directory of professionals in Langley area)  See the answer to question 407 above.
Q 405  I'm going crazy and it shows when I ask for help. Over the past few years there has been beetles getting into our house. They are about 3/8 to 1/2 long and black. I don't know where they are coming from but they are beginning to be numerous. They seem to accumulate in the bathroom especially the tub and hamper or anything they can get behind. I don't know what they are but the only good thing about it is we don't have to feed our cat. Can someone please help?  Dallas.  Estevan, Saskatchewan
 
Q 404  There's this type of beetle that has popped up in my yard just around last year but now there are tons. At first I thought they were box elder beetles but then I noticed they were different, they are all black except a reddish-orange arrow on their back pointing towards they're head. Could you help me identify them?
Noelle.  Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
 
Q 403  I've noticed a strange little creature ......This bug kind of look's like a Beetle (the shape) I'm pretty sure it flies and carry's leaves and it has Orange Strips. I've looked everywhere to find a picture and a name. Can you please help me??   Jean.   Torbay, Newfoundland.
 
Q 402  What type of ants are indigenous to Nova Scotia? I purchased a house last year and within the first week (middle of August 2001) noticed a number of small black ants in my kitchen. They were near my garbage can which is about 10 feet away from any food, water, etc. I bought some poison and just kept killing any new ants that I saw. I noticed several more daily near my pantry. The pantry is right next to a door that they seem to crawling under and into my house. Outside the door is a pressure treated deck. Beneath the deck is my outside water tap. There is some wood (not a lot) under there. Obviously moist because of the water tap. After reading this site I am definitely going to remove the wood tonight. The ants are small (1/8 of an inch) and I have never seen a winged ant. The ants have shown up again--one year since the first sighting! They are also in the same places as last year. There were 43 in my kitchen this morning. I would like to know what ants live in my province. I would like to think that these are not carpenter ants as I had a problem in my last house that cost thousands to fix.  I have not seen any saw dust or large ants. Knowing that it is hard to answer based on an internet description does it sound like these are just another type of ant searching for food in the humid weather?    Mike.  Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
There may be a hundred species of ants in Nova Scotia.  The ones you describe are too small to be carpenter ants.
They are searching for food and moisture.  Ant poison may work.   Take a sample to a local professional for identification. They may be able to sell you a good ant bait or suggest other control measures.
(Braemar Pest Control has an office in your area)
Q 401   We have found ants living in the wood beam in our house we think they are carpenter ants but the middle section of the ant is not black it is a dark brown or reddish color...other than that that they look exactly like carpenter ants.....is this a stage they go through or is it a different species? they are 5/8 inch long. and my husband said they were nesting under a pair of boots i had left on the lawn but then when he looked further he saw that eggs were dropping from the beam attached to our deck upstairs...the wood is not wet but it is very old from a 150 year old schoolhouse the house is well maintained and not damp and moldy. should we remove the part of the beam where they seemed to have bored into ..it is cantilevered into the rest of the beam which runs the length of the house. inside..    Mike.   Castile, N.Y.
There are many species of carpenter ants. Some have a rusty red thorax (mid section)  Carpenter ants do not change color or size after they hatch from the pupae stage. Satellite carpenter ant nests are often located in dry areas of a home.  There are usually enough workers to go out to gather moisture.   I would be concerned if they are in a deck beam that is cantilevered from inside the house. There could be serious structural damage.   You would be wise to have a professional inspect the situation.
Q 400    I am from Texas need help. We have drain flies in our shower drain, no tub in this bathroom, hubbie is pest control lolololo and brought home some of their stuff , did not work, so we went to Lowe's and they said ammonia or grind up some lemons and put in drain and if that did not work we had a break in the drain line, Lordy I hate to think of that, sooooo what do you think?? we get about 4 flies every morning and I smash we my fingers dead lolololol any help would be appreciated.  thanks   Linda
Please read the answer to question 396 below.

Q 399  I have what I believe is food pests. Brought into the home through a bag of coconut. I have thrown out all the food that was in this cupboard, and only have a few sealed containers left in it, but these bugs are still coming. I have used Raid for house and it works, for the moment but the evening the bugs are back but mainly dead. How can I stop this once and for all? Thank you.  Sharon .  Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Food pests can be very persistent. I wonder if you just haven't waited long enough for your control efforts to work.

If you are sure that all possible food sources have been eliminated and that you have done a thorough cleaning of the area, I suggest that you wait another 10 days before deciding that your control effort has not worked. This will give the insects time to come out of their various hiding places and be killed by the Raid. The fact that most insects you find are dead is an indication that the spray is working.

If you decide to reapply the Raid, please be sure to follow all safety instructions on the can. Keep in mind that the spray will be most effective if directed into places the insects are hiding. Try to keep the spray off surfaces where food or food handling materials are kept. Never spray near food, pots, pans, dishes or utensils.

Have you checked all surrounding cupboards? I have seen numerous instances of food pest infestations showing up in different cupboards from the place in which they originated. In one such instance, the true source of the infestation was a package of pancake mix that had fallen out of sight behind a cupboard partition but the beetles were being found about 2 metres away in a cupboard that did not contain food.     Bob Lucy. 
PES Professional Ecological Services Ltd.
      
 services@pestvictoria.com        www.pestvictoria.com

Q 398  how do you get rid of ants in my apartment?  New Liskeard, Ontario
The treatment depends on the type of ant. If you send us a picture or detailed description we will try to identify it and make some suggestions.  You could also take a sample to a local pest professional to identify.  Have you read the information on our ANTS page?
Q 397  Hi, There are a lot of sand wasps (or digger bees?..) on my yard. What you can recommend against them ? Thank you !  Eugene.  South Slocan, BC
If these are ground nesting wild bees, they may not be much of a pest.  In fact they are very beneficial.
Read about them on our
Bee page.
Q 396  We have had numerous bugs resembling a fruit fly or small black fly for approximately the last month. Initially thought they were black flies, as we live in a heavily wooded area . However, our black fly season seems to have ended and we still have these bugs, The majority of them are in a small bathroom. We also stored the fresh cob bedding for our lovebirds and pine bedding for our guinea pig in the shower stall. The bugs do not seem to bite. We have sprayed the room numerous times with household Raid and have managed to eradicate the ones in the room at the time. Within a short time, there are live ones again. We vacuumed the floor and wall vent, as well as removing baseboards and drawers to look for holes possibly chewed by squirrels or mice. We did find a considerable amount of mice droppings in the fan when we cleaned it. ( common to our rural area) We flushed the drains this evening as a last resort with Drano in case we have a a small rodent dead in our septic system.  Aside from drilling a hole into the walls and having an exterminator come in, we are at a loss. Sorry for the rather lengthy explanation, however these bugs are bugging me! Help!   Judy.  Port Sydney, Ontario
The first step in eliminating your fly problem is to have the flies properly identified. There are many types of small black flies. Knowing the type will give you clues about where to look for the source of them. Once you know the source, you can take appropriate steps to eliminate the flies.
I wonder if you might have a dain fly of some sort. These flies often breed in the accumulated organic debris found in drains. You may be able to determine if your drains are the source of the flies by taping clear plastic bags over the drain holes. If flies accumulate inside the bags, you will know that you need to thoroughly clean your drains. I doubt that the Draino you used will adequately clean the drains. You will need to physically scrub them with a brush. A professional pest control service may be able to apply a special foam to your drains that contains bacteria that "eat" the sludge the flies breed in.  Bob Lucy. 
PES Professional Ecological Services Ltd.       
 services@pestvictoria.com        www.pestvictoria.com
 
Q 395  Is there any way to discourage deer that are eating all my shrubs and plants. They have eaten all my roses. It is almost impossible to fence my 5 acre property.
The label on a product called ROPELL talks about repelling  deer, as well as beaver.
Ray from Pest Control Contractors,  Belleville, Ont.  bugs@ihorizons.net
Q 394  I have ear wigs in my house in Hamilton and they are all over the place...how can I get rid of them? I live next to a hydro tower field w/ trees and I can't uproot any trees. Is there anything I can put down in my house that will ward them away?
See answer to Q #367 below
Q 393  We have a fairly large bees nest in our back garden and would like to know the safest way of eliminating the nest.  Lynda.  Qualicum Beach, B.C.
Are you sure they are not wasps?  If you must remove bees, try a "wasp blaster" spray. Do it at dusk when they are all in the nest.  Plan your escape route. Be careful.  You could also call a professional listed in our directory on the Vancouver Island page.
Q 392  I had recently put a bird feeder in my backyard and about 2 weeds later notice what appeared to be a rat. I read up on it and found out that feeders do bring rats. I've only seen the one rat but on 2 separate occasions. Does this mean we have or will have an infestation? If I don't put the feeder out anymore will go away? (I was putting the feeder out only when I was outside to make sure the squirrels didn't knock it down). We have an ivy wall in our yard which I read they can live in. Sharon.  Long Island, NY
You may have seen only one rat but there are likely more. They do not live alone.  If there is one pair, male and female, there will be 10 babies in less than a month, and 10 more a month later. If you eliminate the bird feeder they may go away after they have consumed all the spilled feed on the ground.  Ivy provides good shelter for rats.
Q 391  i just found a small rice-like worm on my cat's tail for the second time....i havent been able to find anything on the internet...help!  Danny.  Toronto.
This is really a question for your vet.  Your cat likely has a tape worm.  You can obtain a pill from the vet that will get rid of all types of worms in a cat.  This should be done regularly if your cat is a hunter.

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 Q 390  I need help to identify a certain bug, it is not indigenous to the area. It looks like it may belong to the wasp family but it kills wasps and bees. it looks like a huge mosquito no stinger and not aggressive. Matt.  Vermillion N.D.
 
 Q 389  Where can I buy a raccoon trap in Nova Scotia? Thank you very much, Sam ;   Nova Scotia
Contact  Braemar Pest Control or  Nuisance Wildlife Control Ltd.  You will find them both listed in our directory on this page.
Q 388  What product is best for ridding the smell of cat urine in cement   Brian;  Stratford, Ontario
You should try a product called Formulair.  It is available in solid block, liquid and gel formulations and may be obtained from Integrated Pest Supplies.  Tammy or Dave will advise which one will work best for this situation.      Visit their web site then click on "Odor Control".  Nice people to deal with.
Q 387 Does "Raid" offer a fumigator to rid rats or mice/a mouse of my home?
Fumigation is not a solution for rodents. Use traps, poison or glue boards, after you have eliminated their food source and blocked off the entry points.  There are many good tips on our rodent page.
Q 386 We have a horrible case of pahro ants living in our walls. They trail in massive numbers to the dogs food and other sources of food. I have had a pest control company come out four times in the last 30 days to no avail. They spray and then leave. I have read that pharo ants need to take poison back to their colony in order to kill the whole colony. I recently have made up a mixture of crushed dog food and borax powder which the ants have been feasting on very nicely. My question is how long will it take before I can see results. I can't take this much longer as they seem to be 9in every room of my house. Any suggestions or advice would be great!  Shel;   Irvine
If you have managed a mixture they like, that is great. However, the mixture you describe sounds like ground up pet food and borax (boric acid). This may not work as the ants pick up small granules of the pet food and may not even ingest any boric acid. It is possible you are just feeding them. One of the very best bait products is Impact or Maxforce for ants. The key to control of Pharaoh ants is to have them feeding and take back the toxin to the colony, but the toxin should not kill the worker feeding on it too quickly.

One of the most popular home made mixes is using Apple Mint Jelly with boric acid. The concentration is probably available on the net somewhere, but it is not that high. Put the bait on cardboard (shiny cardboard is best as it doesn't absorb as easily). There are also small plastic baiters available. Be careful that this is out of reach of pets and small children. MY recommendation is that it is better to buy the Maxforce/Impact baits.. safer, ready to use. A professional treatment can be costly. better to invest $40 - $50 on the baits. Some people will prefer to have a professional handle this from start to finish, but if you choose that route, make sure you get a decent warranty. One year is a good warranty for a good job well done. Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation  
 

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Q 385  We have a large, wrap around front porch on our house and the lizards are becoming a problem. They are the regular green lizards that are so common in the southern USA. What can I use to make them stay off the porch. Why keep them off my porch? My wife is terrified of them. Please help!!!  Alton ;   Greensboro, AL
 
Q 384 I recently noticed my spruce trees are dying. On close inspection I found masses of small green worms with shiny black heads. Some have stripes on their sides also. I have been unable to identify these pests and would also like to know the best way to treat this problem. I live on a farm and have many of these trees. Thank you.
Melanie.  Foxwarren, Manitoba
 
Q 383  My husband and I were moving things and a fairly sized insect (about an inch long) with a lot of legs started to run away. My husband squished it but it still kept moving like normal and it definately was not a centapede, it was bigger. It was kinda' dark so I couldn't really tell you the colour of it. I don't know where it came from and I have never seen anything like this before. My husband did and he said he killed it. We live in an apartment and haven't had any problems before. Do you know what it could be? WE kinda' need to know by Thursday cause were moving and will be off the internet.  Stratford, Ontario.
It is pretty hard to identify something that is: " -about an inch long,  -lots of legs, -kinda dark, -not a centipede."
More detail would be helpful. Sorry.
Q 382 We are in the process of purchasing a house and we have found out that it has powder post beetles. We were told that the house may have to be jacked up and the sill plates in one area need to be replaced and some other things. My question is that if this house is fumigated and the bad parts are fixed will we be guaranteed not to have any further problems and if some things are damaged by these bugs does that mean other things could be damaged and just not noticed by the inspector. We really love this house but should we just say no because of these bugs? Thanks.  Julie.  
Fumigation will not eliminate powder post beetles.  Spraying the new sill plates and other structural framing with "Tim-Bor" will discourage re-infestation of the new wood.  This is a job for a professional because the product is only sold to licensed applicators in Canada. For more information read the "Powder Post Beetle" page
Q 381 Yesterday, when tidying up my recreation room, I saw what appeared to be a piece of white fluff on my couch, with some white powdery residue around it. When I went to brush it off of the couch, much to my surprise, a small, white, powdery spider creeped down in between the couch cushions. Do you know what type of spider this might be -- I have never seen it before?
 

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Q 380   I recently saw bees coming and going regularly from a crack between a patio stone and the floor of my garden shed. I pulled the stone away and watched as they flew in and out of the underside of my shed. I'm pretty sure their bumble bees, or some type of wild bee, cause their not very aggressive, that is until you step into the shed, the they start coming out. I have two small children and the yard just isn't big enough to avoid the shed. I read about some stuff called Delta Dust on a web site, but I'm not sure if it's legal in Canada. They also mentioned Fenvalerate pellets, same concern. If these are illegal in Canada, can you recommend something that isn't. Thanks.   Shane.   Ottawa, Ontario
If the bees must go try using a "wasp blaster".  This is an aerosol that will spray a stream up to 10 feet.

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Q 379 We purchased a house recently that appears to have a bad infestation of carpet beetle. We have now remove all the carpets and installed hardwood and tiles throughout. The beetles are still here and now we are seeing a lot of what appears to be the larvae; crawling the floors and in the sinks and falling from the ceilings. Is there a chemical to assist us in getting rid of these pests or what do you suggest?  Ric.  DraytonValley, Alberta
Check the answer to #317 below.
Q 378  Where can I BUY Ladybugs for pest control?  Ross.  Surrey, B.C.
In Ontario, you can buy Ladybugs at Loblaws, check your local Loblaws affiliate. Or you could try gardensalive.com, they have a great website for ecologically positive pest controls.  Gina,  Ottawa
Q 377  I have a problem with what I believe is maple beetles(?). Have you heard of such a thing, and if so any suggestions.  Thanks.   Jason.   Alberta.
Maple beetles are also know as Box Elder BugsWe have a web page with some good information and links on
Box Elder Bugs
Q 376 We are about to buy and home and we are concerned that there may be some type of mole on the basement walls. The walls are damp and the seller never use the basement. What types of mole are there? I'm looking for info on basement moles.  Vanessa
I think the answer to Question 352 below will help.

Q 375  I just bought a house, and I realize the exterior walls of the house are living nests of leafcutting bees. They make their nests in the holes between the cedar siding. They are not aggressive, and I know they are beneficial to my outdoor plants, but I fear they will do damage to the house walls. What is the best way to dispatch them? Also, I read on an American site about a cypermethrin treatment for walls infested with leafcutting bees, but it is illegal in Canada. Is there a Canadian equivalent to cypermethrin?  Marc.  Caraquet, New Brunswick
Leafcutting bees will not damage your home. Instead of using an insecticide to kill them, would it be possible to block the holes in which they nest so they cannot use those holes?

Insecticides will, at best, provide control for a season. After that, if the site is still suitable for nesting, the bees will probably be back. Blocking every possible nesting hole will be tedious, but so will treating every possible nesting hole with insecticide. I have successfully blocked many bee holes with copper mesh ("Stuf-fit") but you may be able to block holes with caulk or other building products.  Bob Lucy.  PES Professional Ecological Services Ltd. services@pestvictoria.com        www.pestvictoria.com

Cypermethrin is available in Canada under the label "Demon" but it is a commercial product that can only be used by licensed professionals. 
Q 374  I'M having problems with moths in my furnish room, and part of my basement. There seem to be two kinds, one dark brown and a smaller light tan color. Is there anything that I can use to get rid of them. We used mothballs it nearly killed me but not the moths. Cleaned and vacuumed everything, got rid of my wool carpet. seems we get from 4 and sometimes 20 a day. Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you. Effie.  Toronto.
Cloths moths attack wool or materials with a wool blend.  They will also attack items soiled with beverages, urine, soil and sweat. Frequent cleaning will discourage them.  Store clothing in an insect free environment. See the link to Cloths moths at the bottom of the insect page.
Q 373  We just got back from a 1 week vacation and this morning we found an unpleasant surprise. All over a stand and aquarium and part of a leather sofa that sit near the back door and sit under the air conditioner that we turned on last, there were small little white specks that looked like dust at first and then we noticed that they moved. They look like small little mites, maybe plant mites as we have many plants, only problem with that is that there are no mites on the plants. They are just on the wooden stand, glass tank and some plastic things and half the leather couch. we cleaned them all this morning but they are not all gone. we used soap and at first an mild ammonia solution. do you have any idea what they might be and how we may control them.  Lars.   Toronto
The combination of the aquarium, air conditioner and leather couch is suggestive of a kind of mite that is like "cheese" mites. Lacking an actual picture of these critters (which is pretty hard to get as they are so small), we can only give some reasonable guesses. If they move fairly slowly, probably are mites. You should check the sofa to make sure that some of the leather has not been damaged by the moisture. These mites may feed on the mould that is there. What you are doing is the right thing, but you also have to ensure that the leather dries out if it is in fact moisture damaged. Other than that... ??? You might also check any fish food near the aquarium that might have got wet..  Good luck...  Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Q 372  I'm trying to identify a spider I found by my sons crib. Description of the spider; tan legs with red stripes, upper body-red, big eyes, mouth has pincher like claws. Lower body smaller than upper body and is tan in color. If you can help me find out what it is I would appreciate it. Thank You.  Louann.   Longmont
Identifying spiders by description is usually very very difficult.. unless perhaps you find someone who is specialized in this area. Spiders are very common in homes. Most of them are completely harmless to people.. The only species that is really of high risk is the Brown Recluse Spider. There are some black widows in southern Ontario, but these are fairly uncommon, and as they are web builders, usually out of harm's way. Brown recluse can cause serious injuries. The Brown recluse can be identified by a characteristic violin or fiddle shape on top of its cephalothorax (the front part). Again, these are not that common and we don't hear of too many cases. (in fact, in more than 20 years of pest control work in Toronto area, I have never heard of a case yet). The best control for spiders in general, is to clean house well. Vacuuming is great!!!! If you see a small spider.. just "mush" it with a piece of paper.. End of story..

You can have more spiders depending on conditions outside of the house such as porch lights left on at night, or located near fields, or trees, or a river, pond etc.. These conditions are good for a variety of insects that spiders feed on, and as a result you get the spiders there. Exterior sparying has been used as a common treatment in rural/cottage areas, but really, as most are harmless, and accidental visitors, best to reduce conditons of attraction (turn off outside lights when not needed), keep windows screened, don't overwater flower beds..  Hope this helps a bit. Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Q 371  How far from the nest will carpenter ants carry the sawdust (i.e. the wood they excavate)? I found a carpenter ant nest in my basement a couple of months ago while doing renovations. I immediately called an exterminator who came the next day to spray. The good thing is that since I found the nest and we were therefore able to properly kill all the ants in the nest and destroy it (since I was replacing the wall anyways). Since then, I haven't seen any more live ants inside the house (I still see them all the time outside and dead ones still show up once in a while in the basement). As I now continue with my renovations, I am finding more piles of sawdust in areas which are over 10 feet away from where the nest was. Some of these piles of sawdust also have ant body parts in them. Would this be a sign that there are other nests in the areas where I am finding the other piles of sawdust? Or would these just be spoils from the original nest that I found?  Marco.  Ottawa, Ontario.
To keep their nest clean, carpenter ants drop the excavated sawdust out the most convenient place; into a wall cavity, cracks around door and window moldings, plumbing and wiring holes. They may carry it some distance in the groves of a tongue and groove ceiling.   It is very common for carpenter ants to establish a number of satellite nests in a home once they discover the warmth.  I seldom find just one nest. I have treated homes with up to 15 nests  and sometimes with 2 different species of carpenter ants.  Follow the ants outside to see if they are entering your home.  They are more active at night.    Read more about Carpenter ants.  
Larry Cross.   P.C.S. Gulf Islands.    www.nobugs.ca
Q 370  Like question 357, I have a serious problem with red ants at our cottage near Calabogie--the property is thick with them and it's actually dangerous for the kids to be left unattended. This year they have invaded the cottage itself. The top two thirds of the ant is dark red and the bottom third is black. Help! Thanks.
This is a terrific web-site, by the way...     Steve.  Carleton Place, Ontario
The ants sound to me like thatching ants. These ants will build mounds of evergreen needles and other small debris in which to raise their young. Often the mounds are build around a decaying stump, tree root or rock cavity.

When the ants build nests indoors, they will usually accumulate the same sort of debris in wall voids and attic spaces. In my experience, nests in buildings are usually associated with outdoor nests. In addition to eliminating the ants living indoors, it is necessary to find and eliminate the outdoor nest or the ants will reinvade the home.

I know of one case where people were able to get indoor nesting ants to move outdoors by providing a damp area in a suitable spot outdoors. Killing the ants is, however the usual control method. This can sometimes be done indoors with a vacuum cleaner but also frequently involves the use of insecticides. I don't like to advise on what insecticides to use without seeing the situation, but our company often uses a product called "Drione" to control ants in wall cavities and attics.

When controlling ants in outdoor nests, you do not need much insecticide but you do need to distribute it to all parts of the nest. To do this you will need to dig up the nest. Protect yourself from bites when digging. These ants will bite to defend their nest.

One final consideration. These ants are considered to be very beneficial to the forest environment. They eat a lot of insects that would otherwise harm the trees.  Bob Lucy.  PES Professional Ecological Services Ltd. services@pestvictoria.com        www.pestvictoria.com

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Q 369  Hello, Happy Canada Day... I have 2 questions...
(1). To control carpenter ants is gel sufficient or does one require SPRAY as well to control the flying (reproductive)phase?
(2).I DESPERATELY need to find a reputable (i.e. HONEST) pest control service for: carpenter ants, spiders, centipedes, and (i think) white flies  (a small green flying thing that likes plants) I cannot find any sort of info site/directory for pest control and the better business bureau in Toronto is out of service so I cannot ask them about certain companies before hiring them. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
(1) Do not be concerned about controlling reproductive carpenter ants in your home.  The males will all die after  mating.  The future queens will not established a new nest unless they find wet wood they can burrow into. (You should not have any wet wood in your home) Effective control requires finding the nests where the workers may be actively causing structural damage. These nests are satellites of the main colony which is likely located outside in wet wood. There are no queens laying eggs in your house. I have not experienced any success using bait gels to control either of the 2 species of carpenter ants found on the west coast.  Randomly spraying ants outside the nest is also not effective. A residual insecticide injected into the nesting areas is the best control solution. More about Carpenter Ants.
(2) There are a number of reputable pest professionals in the Toronto area. The Better Business Bureau will only be able to let you know which businesses have had complaints filed against them.  I suggest you deal with a member of the Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario.  Contact Mr. Michael Goldman, president of the association.  His business, Purity Pest Control is listed in our directory on the Ontario and Toronto pages.
Q 368  I was attempting to remove my garden hose around 7:30pm, temperature at the time was humid and still warm. As I looked down a saw a black hairy spider that had two small white dots on it's back and one larger white dot. What spider name specie is this? Is it dangerous/poisonous? Please let me know - with appreciation - Patricia.  Guelph, Ontario
Don't let "Arachnophobia" or the newest nature horror movie with spiders - raise your "spines" or cause you to jump out of the web in fright. Most spiders in Canada are harmless to people. If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. The only two species that can cause problems are the black widow and the brown recluse. The black widow has one of the most toxic venoms known (much more toxic than cobra venom), but the amounts it produces are so tiny that the risk to an adult is usually fairly low. The risk to a child could be higher There is a fatality rate of about 2 - 5%. The brown recluse bite can cause a nasty necrotic wound that won't heal, but fortunately this does not happen very often in most areas. Having given you the bad news, the good news is that other spiders are really not dangerous.
Here is an info web site for the brown recluse. http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef631.htm
and for the black widow.. http://ipmwww.ncsu.edu:8150/AG369/notes/black_widow_spider.html
Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Q 367  Our basement is crawling with earwigs. How do I get rid of them safely but effectively. Thanks
Ruth.  Restoule, Ontario
Earwigs will die in a dry environment. Eliminate the damp environment around the outside perimeter of your home.  Cut back unnecessary vegetation, rake away leaves and other debris.  A perimeter spray with a residual insecticide around the base of your home will help if the other conditions are corrected first. 
Q 366  We Have found Ants in our dishwasher. We tried to spray them with bug/ant spray and they will not stay out. The dishwasher is brand new, so the seal is fine. We were wondering if you had any suggestions on what you could put in the dishwasher to keep them out for good. We also tried to wash them out and keep dishes out until the last minute. this did not work either. the ants liked the CLEAN dishwasher just the same. Do you have any ideas????  Bobbi Jo.
The ants are using the dishwasher as a source of moisture. Take a sample to a local pest professional for identification. This will help determine where they may be nesting. Track the ones that leave the dishwasher to the possible nest.  Carpenter ants are commonly found in dishwashers. Do not use pesticides in your dishwasher. Some ants can be controlled with bait. (not carpenters). Read "Getting rid of Carpenter ants".

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Q 365  Every other evening  over the last week, I've been able to hear scratching noises in the attic of my house. My first thought was that it was mice. I've had mice in my basement last fall but I successfully managed to get rid of them and I also found the hole where I believe they had entered the house and plugged it with steel wool (it was around one of the basement windows). I have not seen any evidence of mice anywhere in the house since then. After hearing the scratches in the attic, my first thought was that mice had found their way in again, but I couldn't figure out why they would go to the attic. Since I don't really have access to the attic (it's a semi-bungalow so the attic space is only about 2 feet high and full of blown insulation), I set up snap traps in the rest of the house, hoping to catch the mice while they looked for food and water. Whenever I've lived somewhere with mice, I've always been able to catch them quite easily using snap traps, usually within a couple of days. It's been a week now and I haven't caught anything, but the scratching in the attic is still there . Yesterday, I thought that maybe it wasn't a mouse but maybe a bat in the attic. I is there a way of telling whether it's a mouse or a bat in my attic from the behavior (without sticking my head in there and hoping to get a glimpse of what it is)? Do bats scratch at the wood? What is most probable? A mouse or a bat?   Marco.  Ottawa.
Mice will often follow plumbing vent stacks which go through all levels in a home from the basement through the roof.  They can also climb trees, vines, etc and enter attic vents. Try putting bait blocks in the basement and monitor them for chewing,. They must come down for food and water at some time.  Bats don't usually make scratching noises.
Q 364  I have recently found a centipede like insect in my cupboards. It only has 6 legs, fussy and has 2 things (like an earwig at the tail end. I have found shells in the past in my containers but this is the first time I see a live one. It is about 4-5 times bigger than the shell. I do have a camera but there is no way to submit a picture through this. I need to know what it is and what I can do to get rid of this! Please help!  Tammy.  Sudbury, Ontario
What you have are the larvae of a type of dermestid beetle, probably a black or variegated carpet beetle.
These critters are very hardy (see the image ID section), and feed on almost any kind of organic matter. Best thing is to check all your cereal type products, get rid of any that are infested, and thoroughly clean your kitchen. These are the most common fabric pests as well.. They love to eat cotton..
Vacuum key areas like the sofa, or if you have pets, where dry pet food might be spilled. It only takes a very small amount to support these critters. Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation
 
Q 363  I have a family of skunks ( 5 in all ) that have made their den under my shed in the backyard. How do I get rid of them. Who do I call? SPCA???  Irene.   Montreal
The best way to get rid of skunks is to build them out of their "homes" that they have created at your expense in being disturbed. SPCA's don't usually come to handle this, though some may supply you with traps on a temporary basis, however, if the reason they found a good home on our property remains, it is a good chance you will have others take their place.
Trapping is not easy, and you have to take them at some considerable distance or they will be back. I don't recommend trapping. the best solution is to have the points of their "harborage" identified and locked out.
Hire a good wildlife management firm. There are lots of fly-by-night firms. Ask for a one year warranty that will provide support if the skunks manage to try to re-occupy and they WILL try if the nest location was good for their needs.
As for references, and call the references before you commit to this work. The costs can vary from $250 and up. good luck. This does require a professional moral firm. Sam Bryks.   Toronto Community Housing Corporation
 
Q 362  Glue boards claim that one can humanely release the rodent using vegetable oil to soften the glue. I wonder how well mice, etc. really survive the experience. First they usually appear quite stressed/exhausted & starved by the time they're found. Then, perhaps I'm just clumsy, but it seems like I drown them in veg-oil before the damn glue releases. I know a few I've tried to release have not survived and I have doubts about others. Also, they seem to catch more spiders than mice. Assuming one has a problem with killing the pests (would rather let nature & the neighbourhood cats do the job), are these glue boards all that humane and is there a trick to releasing them unharmed?
Glue boards are not intended to be used as a catch and release device.  You would use the cooking oil to remove the board from your cat, dog or a child. Most mice will probably die of shock after being caught in a glue board. It is probably better to drown rodents caught on a board, than trying to release them. Read the answer to the next question.
Q 361  A question about releasing live-trapped mice & other rodents. It's often said that unless you release them miles from your home they'll find their way right back to it. Is this true? Ie. do they have that good a sense of direction? How far would they normally travel? Would it be different for urban vs. rural situations? Would a released mouse not simply settle down in the first suitable location  it found or would it be motivated to return to the one it had been recently evicted from?  John.  Halifax, N.S.
Mice and rats stake out their territory just like a dog. with their urine. They will always try to return "home" and have an amazing sense of direction. Read this story and you will probably quit catching and releasing mice.

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Q 360  Our 1961 built home has been completely renovated. Bathrooms, kitchen, hardwood floors, carpeting and windows have all been replaced. Our home is dry and clean. There is no black mould and all cracks at moldings are sealed with Silicone 2 and latex caulking. We continue to find silver fish in both the bathroom and kitchen areas.  Our basement is four feet in the ground and three and a half feet above ground.  Is there any way to rid our house of this disgusting insect?   Tom.  Abbotsford, B.C.
Silverfish are often found in homes with high humidity levels.
Do your best to reduce the humidity by using bathroom fans, stove hood vents and keeping some windows slightly open. You can read more about them on this web site: Canadian Pest Control, Vancouver
 http://canadianpest.com/silverfish.htm    or give Sue a call at Chilliwack Pest Control
Q 359   We have been invaded by little black ants. This morning, I had about 20 of them crawling on the kitchen counter. My fiance is at his wits end with trying to get rid of them. I know that they like moisture and come out during humid/hot weather. Is there any way to get rid of them permanently on our own, or should we seek help from an expert. I don't want to use anything too toxic as we have a month old kitten running about.  Cindy.  Coquitlam, B.C.
Ant bait (poison) may solve your problem if they are not carpenter ants.  Take a sample to a local pest professional for identification. They may have a product you can buy and apply yourself.  Spraying an insecticide will not effect the nest.  The directory page of pest professionals in Coquitlam.
Q 358  There seem to be a lot of mice this year, who think my home is theirs. We have tried wooden traps and sticky traps. They work, but the more we catch the more I see. We have plugged up holes and checked the foundation for cracks. I cannot afford a professional pest controller and I do not believe that my house is infested. However, I have a phobia of mice and so there is a huge problem. I heard of an old wise tale that if you catch a mouse live and burn a patch of its fur and release it outside that no more mice will come into your home. Can this possibly be true?? The alternative is a cat, but there are allergies in the home. I am willing to try any old wise tales to get rid of these horrible little creatures in my home.. Thanks.    Angela.  Bowmanville, Ontario
Rodent populations are usually directly related to the amount of food available.  Do you feed the birds? Are you careful with your garbage. Check your food storage and use tight containers for dry cereals, etc.    Please don't torture these little creatures.  Getting a cat is a wiser more humane choice.
Q 357  The pest: RED ANTS. We have a family cottage and the ants started to appear by the dock two years ago. Since then, their numbers are staggering, and they have tails of 100 and 200 yards in length, one trail up to the cottage were they have started to appear inside. These ants are very aggressive. They attack and sting anything coming near them. How do I get rid of them?  Ian.  Pickering, Ontario
See the answer to question 370 above.
Q 356    I sometimes find teeny, fast, very squashable bugs in my books...and recently I've been finding them in rolls of toilet paper! What are they, where do they come from, and what can I do about them? Are they disease carriers? They range from smaller than a hyphen to REALLY small! Thanks for any help. Mary,  Nantucket, MA
It sounds like you have Psocids, commonly  called book lice.  They are often found in association with damp books whose starch sizing and glues readily support mould growth, the primary food source of most psocids.  Lowering and keeping the humidity lever in your home below 50% will eventually kill them.  To read more, click on the book lice link on the insect page.

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Q 355   We live on the river and every spring and summer there are hundreds of bees hovering above the ground. I have notices several holes in the ground that are about the size of a pencil hole. These bees have not ever stung us and do not angry easily but I am wanting to exterminate them, due to the fact that we have to walk back and forth through them every day to get to the river. Is there some sort of pesticide that I can spray on them, or do I need to spray on the ground in the evening when they have gone into their nests? It would not be possible for me to spray into each hole, there are too many to even begin to count. Please let me know the best way to exterminate these bees. Thanks, Lori. Hunt, Texas
These are one of the many common species of wild bees.  They are seldom a serious pest problem.
Read about them on our bee page.
The above advice is really the best. The real likelihood of your ever getting rid of these is almost zero. And if they don't bother you, then the best thing to do is live and let live. We sometimes do get carried away with the need to eliminate anything and everything that might bother us. I, for one, love to see bumblebees and other species so long as their nest location does not create a "significant" threat to people. Then it is a matter of the real risk and not the perceived risk which may in fact be almost zero.
Sam Bryks,  Manager, Pest Control MTHC,  Toronto. email: sam.bryks@mthc.on.ca 

Q 354  Hi. Would you have any suggestions for me? I am trying to find out  what kind of snake this is living in my backyard...  I live in the Toronto area and these things are a big pain... We  have kids in the area and a pool so we really want to get rid of  them.  Could you help my find out what kind of snake this is and any ideas  to make them relocate?   Thanks.  Mike,                     Click on picture for a closer view.

I am not a snake-expert, but from the image I had a look at a few web sites on snakes in Ontario, and this looks like it is most likely an Eastern Fox Snake.. This snake is not very common in the Toronto area and I would hazard a guess that your home is near a ravine or borders some established parkland that has not been overly developed (rare in Toronto). It is amazing the extent of alarm that can be produced by even the most harmless tiny snakes. This is perhaps because of fear in relation to poisonous snakes as well as the tendency there is to relate snakes to the fictional serpent in Genesis. There one poisonous snake in all of Ontario and it is nearly extinct (the Massassauga Rattler). The Eastern Fox snake is a predator of small rodents and therefore it is better to have a few of those around, rather than the rodents they devour. The snakes are more at risk than your children. They won't be in your yard too much in exposed areas though they may be attracted to the pool. I would ensure that if you have any window wells, to have these covered with a plastic canopy as these are sometimes the doom of snakes (they fall in and can't get out). Snakes actually will fall into basements through open windows sometimes.. either because they got stuck in a window well, or in my guess, because the dark of the basement seems like a hiding place to them and they make the error of probing it and then falling in. Mind you, I have never heard of this type of snake being found in a basement.
Here is an website from Environment Canada with information on this snake. http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/Species/English/SearchDetail.cfm?SpeciesID=587 
The only other snake it might be is the Eastern Hognose Snake. This species plays dead and is also harmless but from the image it looks more like hte Eastern Fox Snake.. Good luck..
Enjoy the opportunity to see nature close up and let the snakes do their good thing for your neighborhood in getting rid of a few rodents (no charge for the service).
Sam.Bryks@torontohousing.ca  ;        Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Hi, I have worked with several different types of snakes and I am fairly sure that I know what is causing your problem. What you have is a common ratsnake. They are non venomous and generally non-aggressive. As long as u and your children don't bother it it will not strike. If u do encounter it move away but don't worry, it will only strike if it is an "s" position. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any reptile questions: EOBlader13@aol.com
Q353  I have 2 kids and 2 dogs and I think that we have a carpenter ant problem. Any suggestions on a treatment that is effective as well as safe? KATHY. Michigan, USA
Effective carpenter ant control is difficult without the use of a residual insecticide, but an experienced pest professional  does not need to put any chemicals where your children or dogs health is at risk.  Call some local professionals and ask them what I.P.M. (integrated pest management) techniques they use to control carpenter ants.   See our featured carpenter ant pages.
Q 352  I have a mole in my basement. I am not sure how he got in, but my two 14 year old cats are not up to catching it and I want it gone from the basement, but I don't want to kill it. How do I entice the little critter from getting out and moving to a better place? Heidi. Orleans, Ontario
There are a number of ways of catching rodents live. I wonder if it is indeed a mole. The term is sometimes used in a rather generic sense. Moles are burrowing mammals that dig just under surface of lawns and other areas.. They feed on insects in particular, and sometimes they do eat one another ( male moles are very intolerant of one another, and will fight to the death sometimes, winner eat loser). There is a species of mouse called Vole or meadow mouse.. which is quite a bit larger than your usual housemouse type.
There are small live traps sold in hardware stores which work in a mouse going inside and tipping the trap closed, but these may be too small for a vole. You could buy a full size automatic mouse trap (these cost around $35 each) and it would most likely do the trick if your wish is to catch the critter live and let it go to its fate at some distance from your house. Otherwise, a good quality snap trap might be a reasonable and inexpensive option. (making sure your cats and children are out of the area). Good luck..
Sam.Bryks@torontohousing.ca   ;        Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Q 351  Is their a home remedy to get rid of ants in the lawn. I had sod laid two yrs ago.. and now I have two ant nests.. I've tried to rid the problem by digging the ant nest up. but perhaps I didn't dig in a large enough diameter around the nest. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you, Peter Brooker. Grand Bay-Westfield, N.B.
There are many types of ants that could be nesting in your lawn.  They might be considered beneficial.  Take a sample to a local pest professional and have it identified.  The proper ant bait may solve your problem without putting pesticides into the earth.

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Q 350  I have a problem with rabbits. They seem to be getting in between the fence posts and they are eating my garden from under me!! I've blocked up the area where they seem to be getting in but they still get in some how. They are eating my newly sprouted veggies and flowers. Is there a natural way I can deter them from the yard? I'm an animal lover and I don't want to hurt them (I have a dog and 3 budgies) but they are driving me batty. Please help. Thanks, Michelle. Brampton, Ontario
Rabbits are quite capable of digging under fences. Be sure your fence has no holes.  Roll out some chicken wire on the ground next to the fence to discourage them from burrowing under it. 
Q 349 I have a squirrel(s) eating the wood all around my windows on the second floor. I've used Cayenne pepper & Critter Ridder on two sided tape on the den window frame - he just moved to another window & almost ate through this one. Only the metal screw ends of the crank handle stopped him. To make matters worse - today a raccoon began sleeping there. So far I've turned the hose on it 5 times but he just waits on the roof top for an hour or so then comes right back. What is happening here and how do I stop it? We've never had pest problems before in the last 15 yrs. The squirrels are also effecting the bird population & feeding. Do I need someone to trap both critters? What is the approximate cost for this? Can I have them destroyed? I'm presently waiting behind the blinds with a pole at the edge of the windowsill and when he comes back I'm going to give him a good shove. The fall won't kill him but it might discourage for awhile! Help! Diana. Mississauga, Ontario
Does your home look like Noah's Ark? Just joking.  This is not an easy place to set traps. You will have to find out how they are getting up to the second floor and try to block that route.  A professional could probably trap them at ground level. Read the answer to Q 341 below.
Q 348  I recently had walnut wood that was infested with powder post beetles taken to a millwork shop and put in a dryer at 140 degrees for four days. Is that enough to kill the beetles?  Eric.    Easton
That should be enough to kill them.
Q347  Help ! I have chipmunks digging up my corn, sunflower seeds , and eat half of the tomatoes , and even dig up my potatoes! We bought a live trap and thought there was only three but find out there are plenty, My husband takes them a mile away, and lets them go, but there seems to be no end to them. Can you help???  Adele.  Barry's Bay, Ontario.
The population of most pests is directly related to the amount of food available.  For example, someone in your neighborhood  feeding the birds all winter, will result in an increase in the rodent population.  Your garden is just a new source of food.  Keep trapping them and try releasing further than one mile. Mice are capable of finding their way back in 24 hours when released 1/2 mile away. Chipmunks may travel further.
Q 346  How do you get rid of maple bugs or maple bug eggs? They are crawling all over the outside of our house and I want to get rid of the eggs so they won't hatch!!! please help me!!! they are driving me insane!!! 
Jamie.  Taber , Alberta
Maple bugs are also known as  Box elder Bugs.  You will find information and a link to another great web page on  our Box Elder page.

Q 345  How do I get rid of clothes moths and what type of material do they attack.  Moe.  Halifax N.S.
Cloths moths attack wool or materials with a wool blend.  They will also attack items soiled with beverages, urine, soil and sweat. Frequent cleaning will discourage them.  Store clothing in an insect free environment. See the link to Cloths moths at the bottom of the insect page.
Q 344 I have a problem with bird's nest's. I take them down and 2 day's later the bird's have built new ones.
Is there something I can do to prevent the bird's from building nest's? Mary.  Ellicot City.
Staple some fish net (garden netting) in the area they are nesting.  Some pest professionals will do this for you.
Q 343  A co-worker of mine is having a terrible time with two very stubborn ducks (I believe they are mallards). They originally showed up prior to the pool being opened. Now even with the pool opened (with clorine) they still insist on making it their private "pond" and are continually pecking at their patio doors and even stay guard at their front door. The mess they leave behind is becoming a real problem. Any suggestions? She's about to resort to a pellet gun!  Louise.  Toronto.
Loud noises, or just clapping your hands will generally scare them off but you have to be persistent. They may have a nest on the property.  Try to find and eliminate it. The local wildlife centre may help you re-locate them.
Q 342   How can I keep spiders out of my home,  Margaret.  Oxfordshire.
Spiders eat other insects.  Determine what is attracting them to your home and eliminate that reason.  Check the spider webs to see what they are eating.  Reduce the moisture levels, especially in crawl spaces if you have them.
Q 341  Raccoons are nesting under our deck and have torn out all of our insulation under the house. It has been replaced, but unfortunately, our contractor was unable to trap any of them even using two traps. We know they are still here, because we see their foot prints all over our deck. We are afraid they will come back and destroy the new insulation. Short of putting in a $2,000 wire raccoon barrier, what can we do? Thanks.  Faye.  Charleston
If you can't fence them out you will have to trap them.  Call a local pest professional that does wild animal trapping. Your building contractor might not have the experience to do it properly.
Trapping may only be a very temporary solution. If there are raccoons in the neighbourhood, then the ones that have been trapped will surely be replaced by others. In conversation with one of the most respected Wildlife Removal Professionals in North America, Mr. Brad Gates of AAA Wildlife Control, I am informed that the best solution really is to build them out as well as making sure that they can't get at any food resources such as garbage. The cost of screening them out may seem like a lot now, but you may find that the trapping costs could be as much as 1/3 of that cost. So, it is a matter of whether you want to spend $300 three times over the next three years or $1000 once over the next ten years. A good firm will give you a warranty for their work to keep raccoons out. Good luck.    Sam Bryks,  Manager, Pest Control MTHC,  Toronto. email: sam.bryks@mthc.on.ca 

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Q 340  I have a bee hive under the floor of my yard shed. I am concerned if I make to much impact on the floor with the lawn mower etc. that they may swarm. Do I have anything to worry about. I don't want to exterminate them if I don't have to. Larry.  Langley, B.C.
Bees will try to protect their nest if they think it is being threatened. No one likes to kill bees, not even professionals but sometimes they can be a real pest and it is difficult to move them from a locations that is not easily accesible.  A bee keeper may offer a solution
Q 339  My dad has a garden and he is finding his beans and tomato plants have been cut or chew off. more and more each day He has a mouse trap and has caught a mice or 2 but he seen the animal and to me sound more like a mole . How can he save the rest of his plants from these pets. All suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks.... John
Port Colborne Ontario
Are you sure this is not an insect problem?  We are not gardeners so you may wish to ask at a local garden shop.  If your problem is mice, you could place some bait stations in the garden.  You don't want birds or other animals eating mouse poison. A few glue boards at the base of some of the plants may catch the pest so you know what you are dealing with.
It sounds kinda like Cutworms. If the plants appear to have been sliced right along the ground, its usually cutworms. They are actually a kind of moth caterpillar. The book "Carrots Love Tomatoes" by Loiuse Riotte (McKenzie publishing, 1990) offers some advice on how to identify and repel cutworms, including sheathing individual plants with cardboard that extends 2-3 inches above and below the soil, and adding oak leaves to any mulch.   Nina.   Calgary, Alberta.
Q 338  What insect would eat through a box and styrofoam?  Ronnie,  Rich Creek.
Carpenter ants will chew through cardboard and styrofoam to create a satellite nest if other conditions are favorable.
Q 337  We have a huge number of tiny red bugs on the north side of our house. They are concentrated mostly along the base of the siding and are a problem as they get in around the lower windows of our bilevel. They are also a real problem in the porch, where they are thick on the floor, around the doors and windows and any cracks. We sprayed with Raid for Crawling Insects, and each day the porch floor and sidewalk are covered with what looks like red sand, but is dead bugs (we have been calling them spider mites, but I don't know if that is what they are). They are tiny, less that 1 mm long. This is the third year that these pests have appeared in the early summer, and each year the problem seems worse. We have been fighting them for two weeks already this summer, and don't seem to be making headway. What can we do to control them?  Ron.   Edmonton,  Alberta
What you describe certainly does sound like spider mites. These tiny mites (not insects) live on plants. They are so small that they can easily walk through most screens. This is not a common structural pest, but I would suggest you look at the plants that are outside your house to see if there is a particular source of the mites. There are problably some very good websites within information on these. Here is one with pretty good stuff ....     
                      http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2012.html  
As is the case in most pest control situations, if you can find the source, then you can find a way to get rid of the pest. Good luck... Sam Bryks,  Manager, Pest Control MTHC,  Toronto. email: sam.bryks@mthc.on.ca 
Q 336  I have had a carpenter ant problem in my house for a couple of years. Nothing major til today. I found about 75 winged ants around a window in my upstairs bedroom. I never have seen anything like this before. Has anyone else? I also recently replaced the roof to my house a year and a half ago. There was water damage so it was a nice moist place. These winged ants are small, not large. Any info on this activity or how to resolve would be great. Thank You.  Jim.  Rochester
These winged ants are reproductive carpenter ant males that have been pushed out of a nest by the workers. They are smaller than the winged female reproductives (future queens) which will emerge later when conditions a right. The water damaged area may have attracted carpenter ants originally but once the satellite nest is established they can easily survive in dry conditions. Workers will leave the nest to gather moisture. For more information see our featured carpenter ant pages.

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Q 335  I have recently noticed a small pile of saw dust in one of the beams on my back deck. I live in a woodsy area on the Sunshine Coast. I have noticed large black ants and also small gray little beetles in the area. It doesn't sound like termites are very common in this particular area. I'm wondering if the ants or beetles are the ones boring into the wood? Patrick.  Sechelt, B.C.
You likely have carpenter ants boring into the wood. The beetles are likely harmless sow bugs that like to live in wet wood. A professional in your area may offer a free inspection and estimate. You will find a list of professionals for the Sunshine Coast in our directory.
Q 334 I think I have sow bugs. I was just wondering, since they appear to come from outside, how do they sustain life and continue to invade during the winter?  Joe.  Medicine Hat, Alberta.
These bugs (they are crustaceans not insects) survived the ice age so they are pretty capable of living through most weather conditions but they must have moisture to breath through their gills. They may be living at the base of you walls, next to the damp concrete. Have you looked at our sowbugs/pillbugs page
Q 333 My mother has only recently noticed some droppings in her home. She has lived there over 40 years and has never had any rodent problem. She found some dropping in a dresser drawer in a bedroom on the second floor. The same drawer contained a bag and what appeared to be shredded clothing which we quickly removed and disposed. We also found some droppings in the lower cupboards of her kitchen, however, no droppings whatsoever in the upper cupboards where food is stored. There was no damage to any food packages. There do not appear to be any other visable droppings in the house except these areas. We have placed bait sticks in the kitchen cupboards and drawers and set traps in the bedroom. There has been nothing in the trap, however, a few of the bait sticks are completely gone from the cupboards but there were no further droppings. Do the mice eat the whole bait stick at one sitting? I assume they do not carry the bait stick off somewhere else to consume later. What happens when they die of the poison? Do you find them? Do they die within your walls? Do they smell? As we noticed this quickly and acted fast we are hoping we are dealing with only a few mice. Please advise asap. Thank you.   Dee.  Mississauga
Mice will carry away food and store it for a rainy day.  When a few mice die in the walls or ceiling of a home there is seldom an odor problem. The bait sticks will attract mice so I suggest you place them in the basement or crawl space, not in the cupboards where you don't want them. Plug the holes around all plumbing with steel wool.  for more information about controlling mice see the rodent page.

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Q 332 We have a rather large bee hive wedged behind our tool shed. These are thumb nail-sized bumble bees. The problem is that we want to replace the shed and save the bees too. Is there any way this can be done? By the way, I find this page very helpful and well laid out. Good for you! Lorraine
Bumble bees are usually not much of a problem if left alone.  If their nest is disturbed they can be very aggressive. The nests are often hard to get at but if visible they can be sprayed with a wasp aerosol. ( Do it at night) You may have to delay replacing the shed if you want to save the bees.
                    Thank you for the compliment about our web site. Please tell your friends about it. .
Q 331  We are trying to get rid of carpenter ants. We recently got a dog and want to use a " solution" that will not harm our dog. Please advise. Thanks.  Gail.  Elmhurst,  Il.
You should probably hire a local professional.  Carpenter ants are too difficult for the average homeowner to control. A certified professional will not do anything that will harm your dog.  See our page "choosing the right professional"
Q 330  We have these large black furry Bees about 2 cm long and kind of round with a little yellow behind their head. They are burrowing perfectly round holes in our pressure treated wood. They seem to hang around all afternoon being very picky about where they start to dig. What are they and should we be concerned? 
Ron.  Burlington, Ontario
Sounds like carpenter bees.  Read the answers to the questions below.

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Q 329 Are carpenter bees much of a problem in Southwestern Ontario? Thank You. Judy.  London, Ontario
We are getting lots of e-mail about carpenter bees from people in Ontario so there must be quite a few of them this year. The holes they make can be quite unsightly on a home.  More information.
Q 328 We have discovered carpenter bees in our back garden. They are making holes in the eves of our wooden garden shed. We have tried spraying them with RAID and SWAT. We can't find where their nest is. Our neighbour has a woodpile near our fence. However, they seem to be flying in various directions. Is there a specific product we should be using. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Eleri.  Stratford, Ontario.
The holes they make are the nests. See the link in the answer to the question below.
Q 327 Carpenter Bees, I live in an apartment building and they are at the edge of my ceiling on my belcony. How do I get my landlord to take care of them? And what is the fastest way for me to take care of them, where it won't cost to much for me if the landlord won't do anything. Thanks for helping me. Denise.  Niagara Falls, Ontario

Spray a tiny amount of insecticide into the holes they bore.  There are some other good tips on the carpenter bee link, insects page. You will also find some identification information.

Q 326   Carpenter Ants   We have carpenter ants along the side of our house between the wood siding and the concrete foundation. They are also often seen on our wood deck. We recently sprayed with Diazinon and very soon afterward we found a number of ants in the house. They were not seen in the house prior to the spraying. Is this normal?  Karen.  Coquitlam, B.C.
Killing carpenter ants is easy. Almost any pesticide spray will kill the ones you see.  The ones you don't see are the ones to be concerned about.  Less than 10% of the ants in a nest will leave.  When you sprayed the ants outside the nest, those still in the nest were disturbed and started moving to new locations.  Some of them went into your living space. Others scattered to establish new nests.  I often hear customers say "I killed all the ants every year but there seems to be more of them in new locations now".   The only way to eliminate carpenter ants in a home is to find all of the nests and treat them with a residual pesticide, or tear the house apart and suck them up with a vacuum cleaner.  You will find many pages of information on this web site about "do it yourself pest control" but Carpenter ants are best dealt with by a professional.  If you choose one that has a lot of experience he will know the  common locations of most nests. He will see problems in your home that encourage this pest and suggest corrective measures.  He will use pesticides only available to professionals that have studied their proper use.  He will not fumigate. His primary concern will be the safety of you and your home.  Most of his time will be spent inspecting all accessible areas of your home because there may be a number of nests. 
Your home is the most valuable asset you likely have.  If maintained it will grow in value.  The cost of treating it for carpenter ants will likely be less than a set of tires for your car.  Where should you invest your money?
Larry Cross.    P.C.S. Gulf Islands.   Salt Spring Island, B.C.           Pest professionals in Greater Vancouver

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Q 325  Carpenter ants.
We began removing some old carpeting and underpad in the attic of our cottage in early May, and found two or three areas with what I believe to be Carpenter Ants. A few were larger and had wings, and there were "tunnels" between the floor boards in these areas, so I vacuumed up the visible ants where possible. When I covered the space over with a small piece of carpet, left it for a few minutes, and then removed it, I found a few more ants. After returning a week later, there is no visible indication that there are more ants, but I know better. Any advice on finding locations in the attic area, what signs inside should I look for (and outside, but it is in the country, with lots of old trees, rotted wood, which I could never remove all of ). Short of having a professional come in, what else can be done. Kerry / Toronto
Keep vacuuming. During the summer, foraging workers will leave the nests to gather food. This often happens at night, especially after a hot day. Go out with a flashlight and try to follow any ants crawling towards and into the cottage. Crawl under the building and pull down all the insulation looking for nests. Do the same in the attic lifting all the insulation.  Be sure to wear a hepa filter respirator. Look for signs of frass ( junk thrown out of the nests by the ants). Check the spider webs to see what they are eating. Do not spray insecticides on any ants outside the nests.  (see the question above.)  If you do all of this and more you may have some success, but to be sure the problem is eliminated, call a professional.   Pest Professionals in Ontario
Q 324  Chipmunks.  We have recently moved into a farm house on five acres of lawn, gardens & pond. We are surrounded by farmers' fields growing alfalfa and other crops. We are new to country life and have noticed dozens of chipmunks and squirrels who have made their home around our house. There are chipmunk holes around the lawn and in the foundation of our stone house. I'm sure our bird feeders don't help the situation. Of course we do not want our gardens, or building structures to be damaged. How can we best manage this situation and coexist with these creatures? Or should we attempt to rid ourselves of them? HELP!  Marna.  Campbellford, Ontario
 
Q 323  In a book/novel I read, the characters lived in a commune and supported their lifestyle by growing wine grapes. To organically keep the deer and such from grazing on the vines they sprayed cayenne pepper on them, (the powder mixed with water I guess?) will this work with jack rabbits, rats, etc., and will it harm any veggies growing in my garden? Thanks in advance if you can email an answer or an alternative. Brent
A mixture of rotten eggs and water, painted or sprayed on vegetation will discourage deer for a while.  I'm not sure about the cayenne pepper but it should not hurt to try it.
Q 322  I AM LOOKING FOR A STRONG CONSONTRATE OF ROACH SPRAY. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I CAN OBTAIN THIS FROM YOU.
The trend in roach control has been away from the use of strong pesticide sprays.  Most professionals now use roach bait. This web site is not affiliated with any business selling pesticides.  You may be able to obtains some bait from a professional in your area.   Find one in our directory of professionals.
Q 321 My daughter has had a few strange looking bites over the last few days. The first one (and she's only had one) is on the base of her thumb and had a large water blister on it. Over the course of a few days, it went from looking like a mosquito bite to a water blister, to red and flamey which progressed up her arm. I took her to the hospital worried that it might spread further, but they didn't give me an answer and prescribed a few different things for it. It now just looks like a hardened blister.  Second, she woke up this morning with 6 little bites. 2 at the end of her toe and 4 at the ends of 4 fingers. They are whitish with a little red mark in the center, but are hardly swollen at all.   Dawn.  Hawkestone, ON
 

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Q 320  Can you tell the difference between a male and female Pill Bug?
Sorry.  This is not something  pest professionals would be too concerned about because it has no relevance to controlling them.  Some pest control businesses have an entomologist on staff that might take an interest in sow bugs sex.
Q 319  Please provide an organic method to control pill/sow bugs in my vegetable garden. Thank you,
Try sprinkling diatomaceous earth between the plants. We do not normally deal with garden pests, but this solution seems to help in structures.  Have a look at our sow bug page.
Q 318  What does a North American cockroach look like? Maureen. MA.

The adult American Cockroach is approximately 1.5 inches long. American cockroach
American cockroaches are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.

Q 317  We have noticed recently small worm like (maggot like) bugs crawling across carpeted areas. They are approx 1 cm in length and are beige colored with many hairlike legs. Any ideas what these are and how to get rid of them? Joyce,  Calgary, Alberta.
What you are describing sounds like carpet beetle larvae. These critters feed on organic fibres as well as any other kind of organic material they can find - such as hair, and scraps of food that might be found in a sofa (bits of chips, etc... ). They can do a fair bit of damage to clothing or to carpets. The best control for these insects is a thorough vacuuming. When they become adults (small black beetles) they will lay eggs for the next generation. These are tough creatures and can be resistant to insecticide (some of them actually survive fumigation in food plants if the fumigant does penetrate where they are hiding).. If you do a very thorough vacuuming, this will solve most of the problem. You may wish to launder clothing as well.. of course it depends on where they are breeding.. good luck... Sam Bryks,  Manager, Pest Control MTHC,  Toronto. email: sam.bryks@mthc.on.ca 
Q 316   I have been finding very little hard, round not even a inch long. Look like worms in my dogs bed. They fill crisp like they are not a live. What might this be? Please respond soon as I am very worried.The color is yellowish. Thank You, Yours Truly,  Judith
I think you would be wise to take samples to a vet. They do not sound like a common household pest.
Q 315  We live in the Hamilton area and we find more and more lady bugs crawling on our walls and windows inside our house everyday. we just get rid of a batch and their is the same amount back the next day. I know they are not harmful but really we don't want to live with tons of them in our house. can you suggest what we can do to get rid of them? where are they coming from? our windows all have screens so they are definitely coming in from elsewhere. will they stop coming in eventually and die off. I would rather they stay outdoors. please help.   Carol,  Hamilton , Ontario
Asian lady beetles have been a real pest in Ontario recently. See the answer to the question below.
Q 314  My house has been invaded by ladybugs, is there any thing I can do to get rid of them and keep them from coming back? I have a two year old and two cats so it has to be safe for them.  Dan
These beetles will leave the comfort of your home for the summer but may return next fall.  They are likely Asian lady beetles.  Check the ladybug page for links to some excellent information.
Q 313  We moved into a our house two months ago and the previous owners had two dogs with long hair. I have steamed cleaned all our carpets and have carefully cleaned all floor and wall areas. We are now all experiencing bites and a feeling of itchiness all over our bodies. We can't seem to see the little beasts that are attacking us. We are thinking fleas but we can't see any. The bites look very much like mosquito bites and itch the same. Any suggestions as to what they are and how to get rid of them. Thanks!  Monica.  Scarborough, Ontario
Steam cleaning will not eliminate a flea problem. Fleas can hibernate in the pupae stage for months. When they emerge they will be looking for a blood meal.  Placing a number of insect glue traps around the home may help you determine what insects are present.  A local pest professional will identify them and suggest the best treatment method.  Click here for Scarborough professionals directory.
Q 312  We had 2 raccoons in our attic. A company was hired to remove all insulation from attic. Before new insulation was put in, our contractor found jammed insulation between all the slopping ceiling rafters and all the soffits had to be removed to get rid of the jammed insulation. My question: was damage done by raccoons or manmade?  Noella.  Bracebridge, Ontario
It is unlikely that the raccoons jammed the insulation between ALL the rafters.  This is a common mistake made by inexperienced insulators.
Q 311  I live in a multi-unit apartment building. I had a bad infestation of bed bugs which I discovered about 3 months ago. The landlord treated this as an isolated case and only my unit was treated. I think the bugs are back. Should the landlord be treating the entire building at once? Also, where do bed bugs come from (I don't have second-hand furniture nor second hand bedding)? Will I have to fumigate every three months or so?  Shannon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Adjoining apartments should probably be inspected and treated if required. Bird nests on the building are a common source of bed bugs. Read more by clicking the bed bug link on the insects page. or talk to one of the professionals listed in the directory.

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Q 310  What is the best way to trap mice. Robert.  Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, Great Britain
The good old fashioned Victor mouse trap is hard to beat.  Peanut butter is a good bait.  Place a number of traps where droppings are found with the trigger end close to the wall or a vertical surface.
Q 309  We just moved into a new home and an inspector informed us that there are carpenter ants outside (possibly originating from the neighbor's yard). I have read your website on carpenter ants and most of it relates to the problems associated with carpenter ants within the home. How do we get rid of them if they are outdoors? Are there serious problems associated with them being outside, assuming we take all the precautions to ensure there is no rotting wood in our surroundings? Also, if we were a little "environment-conscientious" and a little weary on calling in a pesticide professional, is there anything we can do on our own to eliminate the problem, i.e. environmentally-safe solutions? Thanx, Manuela ,  Oshawa, Ontario
Integrated pest management (as practiced by most professionals) includes inspections to find the reasons for pest problems, entry points and consultation regarding prevention. Pesticides are only used when other methods will not work.  Carpenter ants are an important part of nature.  They turn old wood into compost and are not a problem outside your home. If they start turning your home into compost, a good professional can eliminate them using pesticides in an environmentally  safe manner.  Tips on doing it yourself are included on the carpenter ant page but they are the most difficult household pest there is to deal with.
Q 308  Hi. I have two indoor cats who found a new toy this weekend - a (now dead) mouse. In all my years in my home, I had never seen a mouse or evidence of one - do I need an exterminator? We checked every corner of the home and found no evidence of mice droppings but we set traps and poison bait nevertheless. Is it possible that this was a freak occurrence or should we be following up on this? Thank you!  Suzanne,  Toronto, Ontario
Cats often bring mice into homes. This may be a one time occurrence but keep the traps set and inspect food sources (cat food) regularly for mouse droppings.
Q 307  We frequently find small black spiders in our basement. is there any way we can get rid of them? prefer not to use strong chemicals as we have bedrooms in the basement. Jane. Moosomin, Sask. Canada
A vacuum cleaner is one of the best not toxic pest elimination tools. Use a long wand to reach into all the cracks and crevices sucking up all the eggs and adults.  Repeat the process every few weeks and the spider population will be reduced considerably. High humidity encourages insects to invade your living space. Spiders eat insects.
Q 306  Our home each year around this time is inundated by what appears to be some sort of house fly on the exterior.  We live on the water and wonder if there is some type of treatment for the exterior which is a) effective b) does not require daily application.   Tom.  Parksville, B.C.
You likely have cluster flies that have over-wintered in your home and emerge in the spring to start a new life cycle.  Spraying the exterior of your home in the spring would be like closing the barn door after the horse has left. Some professionals will spray exterior entry points in the fall but they should also treat the attic if you have one.  One treatment seldom eliminates them. Read more about them on this page.
Q 305  How long does it take a Norway Rat to decompose in a house wall? What does one decomposing smell like? What product is the most effective in eliminating the smell?  Sharon.  Maple Ridge, B.C.
The smell will persist for 2 or 3 weeks, depending on the temperature, humidity and ventilation in the area.
There is an excellent odor absorbing product available from Integrated Pest Supplies in New Westminster.
Check their web site for:  Products: odor control.
Q 304  We have a large number of Sparrows in our warehouse. We are a processor/Manufacturer with organic certification. We are having a very hard time to get rid of these sparrows from our warehouse. We have to be very careful what we use do to the organic aspect. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can get rid of this problem. We have tried hanging owls, cats. This doesn't seem to help very much. We do have the doors open from time to time to load or unload product, but is there some way to stop them from getting in and getting rid of them once they are in. Would greatly appreciate any advice or help that you can give us.  Rhonda
There are a number of bird control devices available including loading door exclusion curtains but you would probably save a lot of time, frustrations and money by calling someone who has experience installing bird exclusion devices. The manufacturers hold training seminars for pest professionals in many cities.
Check the directory for a professional in your area.
Q 303 I have these insects appear in the bathroom sink. Not that many but i never seen them before. The bug is silver, about 4mm wide and about 1cm long. It has a smooth looking body and seems to have no legs . It slithers along pretty fast. Thanks.  Brent.  Langley, B.C.
These are called silverfish.  They do have legs, but it looks like they are swimming. 
Read more about them on the silverfish link at the bottom of the insects page 
Q 302  We have recently bought a 43 year old post and beam home that is infested with carpenter ants. The day we took possession we were given 10 years of documentation on actions taken by a local pest control company. After a year of living with ants we switched pest control companies and are still finding no success in dealing with these ants. We were swarmed by wing reproductives throughout the spring and now are living with a constant drip of ants from the ceiling from numerous locations. HELP???? What can we do? We have two small children (4 and 6) and are concerned about the continual exterminations ... we are being treated every 30 days or so. What is the safety of the compounds (Ficam D and Prelude Permethin)? I understand that Ficam has been taken off the market in the USA. What is the status in Canada? If there is a nest in our ceiling, what are the odds in finding and removing this nest by reroofing? What can we do? We are desperate.   Tricia.  North Vancouver, B.C.
The ants in your home moved in from an overcrowded nest outside. The queen(s) in that nest are still laying eggs and the nest is still overcrowded, so the ants will continue to move their young to new satellite nests. They are temperature sensitive so your home is attractive.  You must eliminate all routes that make easy access for the ants. It is unlikely you will be able to find all the queens and all the "mother" nests around your home. Ficam D and Prelude are good residual insecticides. They are safe to use if they are applied properly by a professional. It is not uncommon to treat some homes every 3 to 6 years and sometimes it may take to or 3 treatments in that year to eliminate all the satellite nests.  It is better to apply a little pesticide in the problem areas than to inject pesticides everywhere. It's a process of elimination.
Be sure to read the information on the carpenter ant pages.
Q 301I am considering purchasing a fixer up home - a 45 year old post and beam on the north shore. The property disclosure statement indicates that the home is infested with carpenter ants (interior and exterior) What is the likelihood that this problem can be eradicated?  Murray.  Vancouver, B.C.
Carpenter ants are a common pest in many North and West Vancouver homes. Post and beam homes can sustain serious structural damage from carpenter ants. They often have tongue and groove wood ceilings with poor ventilation in the roof structure, especially if the original cedar shakes have been replaced with asphalt shingles. The insulation is often styrofoam and the ants find it very easy to chew. If the ants are also in the walls they sometimes attack the ends of the purlins. (roof support beams) You should definitely have the home inspected by a pest control professional that has considerable experience with carpenter ants. They can be eliminated but you should also try to determine why they have established satellite nests in the home and correct those problems. The pest professionals listed in the directory on this page will be qualified to help you.  They will give you a cost estimate.
Good luck.    Larry Cross. P.C.S. Gulf Islands.   www.nobugs.ca 

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