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Note: The volume of questions is much greater than we are able to post on this page.
We have selected questions that we feel are of interest to most of our web site visitors.
Answers published on these pages are strictly the opinion of those submitting them. 
Some pest management professionals may have a different solution or opinion.

Q1100  I have house spiders that are black with a small body, short legs and it almost looks like it has an extra leg on one side near the back, and it jumps......what type of spider is this???? Julie. Creston, BC.
Have a look at the photos on this page: "What is this pest"  You may see one similar to yours.
Q1099  I have been finding one or two of what appear to be some type of larvae on top of my dresser. They appear in the same area, and I have no idea where they are coming from. The are cream in color and are about 1/8" in length. Can you tell me what they are? I am not seeing any other insects in my home. Mary. Ohio
There are many larva that fit your description.  Have a pest professional identify it and suggest the appropriate treatment.
Q1098  We have thousands of cluster flies in our cedar home on the lake. how can we get rid of them, and how are they getting into the house? Is there a pesticide we could use? Elfie, Peterborough Ontario
There are many pesticides that will control cluster flies.  The secret is which one to use, where, when and how to apply it.  Very few homeowners are able to achieve maximum control of these pests resulting in a growing populations every year.  The best solution is to call a professional with the right equipment and experience.  One of the best in Canada is Dr. Bug, at Urban Pest Control in Ontario. Check out his information on this page:  Dr. Bug.
Q1097  I need some information on Clover Mites!  Ashley.
  There is a good article on this page:  Clover Mites     
Q1096  Does Having Silver fish mean you have termites?  Patrick.  San Diego
There is no relationship between the two other than the fact that they both like moist conditions.
Q1095  how do you get rid of maple bugs??   Gavin.  Salmon Arm, B.C.
Once they have entered the cracks and crevices in a home it is difficult to get rid of them.  They will all leave in the spring but some may find their way into the interior of the home. Tree spraying in the early summer will have a positive result. Read more about maple bugs (box elder bugs)
Q1094   Is it safe at all for young children to play with Pill bugs? Can you please show a diagram of a pill bug's body? I would like to show my preschool students what a pill bug looks like. I would like for them to see id the pill bugs have organs. thanks!  Liz.
Pill bugs should not cause any health problems for children.  There is a good line drawing on our Pill Bug, Sow Bug, Centipede page
Q1093  Lately I have noticed numerous scratches or small bites on my ankles and feet. Along with excessive itchiness. I was wondering if it can be caused by fleas or bedbugs. I live in an apt. complex and there are a lot of pets around. Thanks.  Arnie
Fleas will feed on the blood of any mammal that is convenient including human ankles.
Q1092  How do I trap a squirrel that has taken over the basement? We currently have a mid sized trap but he/she is too quick for the door once released.  He apparently shimmied down our chimney into the basement fireplace after arriving there a week before and ran out the front door after the first week's visit.  Please help me...  Sincerely,   Scratchy the squirrel's newfound ma
Squirrel traps are quite effective. Be sure you are using the right size trap.  You should also have a screen installed on our chimney.
Q1092  Are pill bugs herbivores?
Yes.  See next answer.
Q1091  How long do pill bugs normally live? Donelle.
You will find that answer and many more on our Pill Bug, Sow Bug and Centipede pages

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Q1090  What are centipedes, where do they come from, do they bite, if they do is their bite dangerous to pets or humans, how does one control them?  Betty.
Have a look at this page for your answers:  Pill Bug, Sow Bug and Centipede pages
Q1089  In Mid-September I cleaned away caulk and rotted wood from the bottom of my garage door jambs where the wood frame meets the concrete slab. I left the area exposed to dry out before I restore the frames. In early October a swarm of winged insects began climbing up the door frame from one of the rotted areas. Also there is a sandy substance inside the garage near this area. From what I have read this is the wrong time of year for termite aletes, also I have not seen tubes anywhere around our house or garage. Could they be termites anyway? They are only around one of the four door jambs, but could we have a much larger hidden problem?  Dave.  Newcastle, Ontario
The winged insects were probably reproductive ants. Some species swarm in late summer. They probably migrated into the wood frame when it was wet and rotting.  Just to be safe, you should have a specimen identified by a professionals.
Q1088  We have woodpeckers making holes in the wood siding on the North side of our house. The wood appears to be soft and somewhat damaged. What can we do to keep them away once we repair the siding? Rejane.  Kansas City.
Before you repair the siding, have a professional inspect for insects in your walls.  Woodpeckers don't make holes just for the fun of it.  They are trying to get at a food source.
Q1087  We live in the country and in the past year or so, our white vinyl siding has been covered with thousands of small black dots. I've been told that this may be the result of flies. What can I do to clean the siding? I've been trying bug and tar remover, fantastic, soap and hot water, a pressure washer, and even scraping with a rasor blade won't remove them. Kathleen.  Red Deer, Alberta
This is not a pest question so we are reluctant to give you advice.  Some cleaners can damage vinyl siding. You should talk to someone who sells the product.   There is some information on this web site.
Q1086  how is the male tiggy hog distinguished from the female tiggy hog.
In Britain, sow bugs, rolly polly bugs and pill bugs are called tiggy hogs. We have not found any good information on sex identification.  One entomologist states it is extremely difficult to tell. Most pest professionals don't care.  We do know the female carries her new born around in a pouch on her underside.
Q1085  What is the best insecticide for getting rid of bedbugs inside a house in one bedroom. It looks like they came in from a sleeping bag used in a log cabin in the Tetons. We have washed and vacuumed all of the bedding and bed structures in the one room where they were found. Elaine.  Steamboat Springs.
What insecticide you use is not as important as where you use it. Bed bugs are very skilled at hiding so you must spend a lot of intense searching with a flashlight before you spray anything.  Double sided sticky tape around the legs or base of a bed can be quite effective in catching them. Thorough vacuuming of the mattress,  box spring, carpeting and base boards will also help. Most insecticide sprays will kill bed bugs on contact, but you will need a residual product to spray suspected hiding places. If you call a professional, make sure they have bed bug experience. They are tough to deal with and some professionals  are reluctant to guarantee success on the first service call.  You will find links to some good information on the Bed Bug Page.
Q1084  We have a large population of Box Elder bugs in the fall. I have a neighbor who swears her adult son is ill due to the Box Elder bugs. So much so that she is trying to get our city to cut these trees down. Is there any truth to this rumor?????? Thanks,
Tree Lovers. Elgin, IL. USA
We are not aware of any human illnesses caused by box elder bugs.  Read more on the Box Elder Bug page.
Q1083  Is there a system where the pest control people use a vactor style vacuum truck to remove gophers and relocate them to a different area?  James.  Kamloops BC.
We are not aware of any such service.  It does not sound very practical or humane.
Q1082   Is there any household chemicals that i can mix together to spray on box elder bugs to get rid of them.  Missy
You could spray them with a soap and water solution when they are resting on the side if your house.  An insecticide spray should only be applied to trees when they are present earlier in the summer.   See the answer to the next question. #1081
Q1081  Please provide us with either an organic, and/or chemical method for dealing with the Pine Seed Bugs? This area is totally infested with them and although I have never heard of anyone being bit by one of them, they are extremely annoying. Thank you for your help. Heather. Chase, BC
The pine seed bug is a typical accidental invader, similar to the better known attic flies, Asian lady beetle and boxelder bug. The adults wander into houses by mistake in the fall of the year. They are attracted to the exposed south sides of houses where they bask in the warmth of the late summer sunlight. After sunset, they crawl into wall voids and attics through cracks and gaps in the siding, foundation and eaves, or around windows. Like other invaders, they do not bite, sting, feed, carry diseases or otherwise cause harm to people, pets, the house or its contents. They cannot reproduce inside the house, as egg laying and development are restricted to the host plants during the summer months.  Control is the same as for other accidental invaders. Seal cracks and gaps to prevent entry. Pine seed bugs already indoors need only be picked or swept up and discarded as they appear. Spraying the house in winter or spring is of little benefit.
Q1080  I live in UAE. Since 1 year i shifted to a new place. I live in central AC. For some reason my clothes in the cupboard are having some white colour fungus. Its happening on most of my clothes. I am really worried. Please answer as soon as possible.
Teena. United Arab Emirates
Q1079  We have found these little pests in two areas of our home. One large group of them was where our neighbors flood resulted in wood trim rotting on the corner of the common wall and the other is behind our sink on the counter top (that is also rotten fibrewood). They seem similar to fruit flies..(we have no fruit for to attract the fruit flies tho) ..but only some have wings and they have tiny dark bodies. They are getting more active (it seems) at night. They love my clean dishes....resulting in my having to put damp dishes in our cupboards to keep them off. Seems to me they like moisture. Sorry there isn't a pic. Teri. Calgary Alberta
Phorid flies are small like fruit flies.  They like a wet environment and are often found in sink, tub and floor drains. See the Phorid fly page
Q1078  I have so many fruit flies, they are in our bathroom, our bedroom, our freezer, fridge, kitchen everywhere I turn they are there. They have been around for probably 3 weeks I have put out a fruit fly bottle catcher but that doesn't seem to work. Is there anything I can do because they are getting worse and they are ending up in my food when I cook. I have no food out anywhere. Thank You.
Kristy.  Vancouver Island, BC.
Fruit flies lay their eggs in or very close to their food source. This could be a bag of onions, empty pop or beer cans, or small food scraps under the fridge.  Do a very thorough inspection on your hands and knees with a flashlight or hire a professional to do it for you.  They multiply rapidly and can spread to many food sources in the home. 
Q1077   How do you get rid of all pill bugs so they go away forever.  Cynthia.   Berkley.
Pill bugs have been on earth much long than humans so I don't think we can make them go away forever.  You can control them in your living space by changing the damp environment they prefer.  See the sow bug, pill bug pages.
Q1076    I love your site. I have spent several hours here. Anyway, my question concerns identification of a house pest. I have found rodent feces in the kitchen and pantry but I noticed several pieces of dog food in my shoes and in a closet among some coats. Also I found a few cookies moved and partially gnawed. Can you tell from this if the rodent is rat, mouse or squirrel. I heard movement in the walls early am and sometimes at night. Thanks.   Ginny.  Phila. PA
It is most likely a mouse problem.  Mice eat small quantities of food at the source. They pack it away in their cheeks to hide or store and eat later. Rats usually just eat right at the source of food. If you use traps, try baiting them with a little dog food. Be sure to put your dog food bowls away at night.
Q1075   i have maggots in my kitchen under the floor how do i get rid of them please.  Crystal
Maggots are the larva of flies.  Get rid of any food source that may be attracting them.  Poor hygiene is usually the cause of fly problems. 
Q1074  Chipmunks have made their way into our crawl space. We've poured cement and put screen overtop of the setting concrete. They dig beside to get in. Help. What can we do? Carol. Petersfield, Manitoba (north of Winnipeg)
You could try trapping them but the best solution is to block the entry points.  It is difficult to give advice without seeing your situation.
Q1073  Recently I noticed hundreds of Fly's against a window in my garage. There were all attracted to the window. I used a "raid" type of spray and killed them all. However every couple of days they come back and to top it off they end up dying (probably from the residue of the spray) ending up all over the ground again and again. The window is clean and so is the garage, I don't know what to do to keep them away from the window.  Sal. Caladon East.
Could be cluster flies.  They are entering the garage to spend the winter. See the answer to Q1063
Q1072  Every fall and winter we get flies in the house that buzz around lights etc. We don't know where they are coming from, someone identified them as shingle flies. How can I control them or get rid of them? Bernice. Charlottetown, PEI
Cluster flies will sometimes crawl under shingles to enter attics where they will spend the winter.   See Q1063
Q1071   Noticed brown spots in the lawn , grass dying on these spots that look like tunnels -at the entrance is a hole the size of a golf ball..some sort of underground tunnel that is killing the grass where it goes..not a straight line path of the tunnel zig zag patterns..all around the piles of dirt anywhere in the lawn..piles of dirt near the house where the shrubs are located. Is this from chipmunks or moles? how to get rid of them? thank you. Marilou. Hermitage, Pa. USA
You probably have moles.  Check the wildlife page for information and links  to help.

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Q1070  A friend of mine has just inherited quiet a lot of antique furniture, some from the 18th century, in England. He is going to have them shipped to Canada but just called me and one of the pieces has woodworm in it. Is there someone in the Lower Mainland of BC that can treat this worm when the furniture arrives? If not, is there a way that the furniture can be treated by my friend. Thank you for any help you can give me. Roxane . Abbotsford, BC
It is difficult to tell if the beetle larva are still active in old furniture unless there are signs of new exit holes.  The adult beetles will not lay eggs on a finished surface but they will near the joints or any cracks.  It is possible to have the furniture treated in a pressurized chamber but the process is quite expensive.  This service is available in Seattle. Borate products applied to the surface of unfinished wood will usually break the reproductive cycle but larva under the surface can remain active for years. 
Q1069  How can I eliminate termites in a condo with something nontoxic to parrots? Sodium Borate is toxic.  Carey.  San Diego.
There are baits available for termite control that can be quite effective if applied properly and in the right locations. A local pest professional should be able to tell you what is available and offer this service.
Q1068   What can you spray on the house to prevent Box Elder bugs from landing and staying on the walls??? We spray soap & water which kills on contact, but we want a solution that keeps them from landing. These trees are our neighbors, so we can't cut them down. Mary. Janesville
You would have to spray a good residual insecticide, concentrating on all the potential entry points such as around window and door  frames, under soffits, etc. The best solution is to spray the trees before the adult bugs leave, or earlier when the larva are active.
Q1067  Can i purchase a gallon of chemical i can put in my fogging machine i brought that sprays for bugs for fleas and ticks, i have 4 dogs and i keep them in a kennel i built in a big garage and i got hold of a cat who i got rid of that had a lot of fleas? Edward A. Dorchester, Ma
You may be able to buy it but you would be crazy to use it.  Do you know how to mix pesticides for use in a fogging machine?  Do you know how to adjust the machine for the right droplet size?  Do you know how long the fogger should run?  Fogging will not have much effect on fleas and ticks.   Consult a veterinarian about the fleas and ticks on your dogs.  Consult a pest professional about treating the kennel.   Get rid of the fogger.
Q1066   Having read the comments re: electronic pest devices.  It seems to me that the most ardent voices saying they don't work are people in the pest control industry, being a cynic (to these devices and the views) could it be that the industry is trying to protect its lively hood by saying these don't work??? After all No pests in the home - No call outs = No business..... Just a thought (on the other side of the fence - if they are so effective, why don't housebuilders incorporate the technology into new house builds ???)   Mr. Cynic.  London.
The best information we have comes from Dr. Bobby Corrigan, a rodentologist who does consultation work around the world for governments and corporations. He says electronic devices are not effective in controlling mice and rats. If they worked he would recommend their use, especially in sensitive areas where poison can not be used.   Government officials are continually charging people for fraudulent advertising.  Read about this recent case here: 
Q1065  If an individual buys a Mosquito Misting system from outside of Canada, can they put the insecticide into the system themselves (if the insecticide is sold with the system to them and they are putting it on there own home)? Also, do you have to have a license in Canada to sell Mosquito Misting Systems with insecticide? What about selling the systems without insecticide (and the insecticide is shipped to the purchaser from outside of Canada by a licensed professional in the US)? Thank you for answering my questions.  Robert
It is absolutely imperative that any pesticide sold or used in Canada must have a Canadian registration number. It is illegal to ship to Canada or to import into Canada any insecticide that does not meet Canadian standards and have a registration number.
Q1064  I have a horrible problem with ants in my apartment and they are through the entire building. They are in my food, my clothes, in the keyboard...basically everywhere that I look. i am sick of it. Baiting hasn't worked and there have been several people who have had failed attempts at exterminating. Is there anything that you suggest to myself or for the apartment owners in general? Melissa. London
You should first have the ants properly identified.  If they are Pharaoh ants it could take months eliminating them with bait in an apartment building, especially if anyone has sprayed an insecticide which splits up the nests.  A successful baiting program will require the experience of a professional.  Read more about pharaoh ants.       Find an Ontario pest professional in the directory, 
Q1063  We are currently experiencing an infestation of flies. (September) During the summer months we experienced very little numbers of flies and/or mosquitoes. Since the weather is cooler they are adhering to the outside vinyl siding of our 100 year old house. The house was completely renovated with new roof, drywall, floors, electricity and plumbing.
     There are cows in the lower pastures, however, the farmer who owns these animals has double the number at his own home 4 km from our property, he also has a working barn, a manure pile and numerous bales of hay. There are no flies on his house or inside of the house.
     We have sprayed over the counter bug repellent in the bathroom but they keep reappearing. We are unable to identify or locate any possible breeding grounds. It is becoming nerve wracking, every day the sun in shinning on the house they are out in hordes and by night we are finding them dead on the floors. We would appreciate your help in ridding ourselves of these pests, it is really getting out of control. Thank you.  Nancy. Rossway, Digby County, NS.
The problem is likely cluster flies. They enter structures in the fall in order to try and over winter. Once inside, while it is cold they remain dormant. Unfortunately on sunny days, even in winter, they will become active and end up coming out inside the house. They are often found at windows because the light from outside is attracting them. Late fall and early spring are when the flies tend to be most numerous in homes.  Dr. Bug has some good information on his web site:
You may need some professional help.  See the directory of pest professionals in Nova Scotia
Q1062  Something is digging up my front lawn. It is being done at night or early morning before we are up. There are not any holes just clumps of sod pulled away from lawn. They are either small patches or long scratches pulling sod away. Every morning there is a new section dug up. Donna. Landing, NJ
Raccoons and skunks will pull up sod in search of grubs.  
Q1061  Do harvester ant bites have any side effects on humans ? Alberto
In her new book, Ants at Work, Deborah Gordon translates an Aztec description of the red harvester ant: "It is the worst one to bite, if it bites the foot the effect extends to the groin; if it bites the hand, it extends to the armpit; it swells."

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Q1060  Both last year and this year we seem to be inundated with European crane flies in August. Is there anything I can do to prevent damage to my lawn? Claudia. Bolton, Ontario
Some municipalities prohibit the use of insecticides for cosmetic purposes (lawns). European crane flies lay eggs in lawns that develop into a larva called leather jackets.  It is this larva that should be controlled.  Many of the pesticides used for lawns are no longer available in Canada.  A local garden shop may be able to suggest alternative methods of control.
Q1059  Where can I buy flea bombs, or flea foggers?? Ne suggestions would greatly be appreciated! Natalie. Keswick, Ontario
They are not likely available in Canada, and if they are, I would not recommend using them because:
1. They pose a potential health hazard to home occupants.  2.  Many homes have been damaged by explosions and fires as a result of "insect bombs". 3.They are not very effective and you may have to spend more money to use a different method.  4. It would probably cost less to have a professional do the treatment properly and safely.
Q1058   We have flies in the house, now is not that bad but in the spring is the worst, please help..........Nadine, Aylmer, Quebec
It sounds like you have cluster flies.  Dr. Bug has some good information on his web site:
Q1057  Hello, i have a problem with skunks living under my mobile home. I have tried moth balls and ammonia and they just come back. What can i do to get rid of them without paying someone to do it? Dave. Grand Rapids, Mi
The best solution to most wild animal problems is to close off the entry points. Metal roofing embedded in the ground makes excellent skirting for a mobile home.
Q1056  I just noticed a nest on the side of my house, about 8 feet above ground, that appears to be made out of mud with a opening about the size of a pencil eraser. The nest is about 2 inches in diameter. can you identify the likely pest? Helen. Annapolis, Maryland 
This is probably a mud-dauber wasp nest.  Mud daubers are black and yellow, thread-waisted, solitary wasps that build a hard mud nest, usually on ceilings and walls, attended by a single female wasp. They are not social wasps but may be confused with them. They do not defend their nests and rarely sting. During winter, you can safely remove the nests without spraying.
Q1055  Just yesterday (9/19) a contractor was working on my dormers and needed to spray a Bee and Wasp killer spray on the side after encountering a nest. The spray, since he was on the roof, got onto the roof shingles and is now stained. Does this stain go away or how do you clean it? There is no warning on the spray can about staining. Kevin. Walpole
I am a pest management professional.  If I tried to do carpentry work for a customer I would probably make mistakes and cause some serious problems. The insecticide should have been sprayed into the nest, not all over the shingles.  The insecticide used probably contained petroleum products that soapy water should wash away.   J.D.  Toronto.
Q1054  Our house is surrounded by woods in the back with lots of shade. We have plenty of spiders and spider webs. How can we get rid of them naturally? So far they are not in the house. Claudia. Meriden, CT USA
Mother nature has a wonderful way of keeping things in balance. Spiders are predators of insects. Your cool shady back yard is a desireable place for insects to breed and live.   You will regret killing the spiders when you start seeing an huge population increase of  insects in your yard, some of them very undesireable. 
Q1053    I saw pictures of springtails on your website. I am positive I have these at my house. They started coming out right after we had water in our basement. They are small and jump about like fleas. They don't live very long and seem to be drawn to the damp items in my laundry room. How can I prevent them from coming in and what can I do to get rid of them. Thanks much. Jennifer. Wolf Mount, PA
See the answer to #1051 below.
Q1052    I just bought a home that is 7yrs old. I have seen silver fish and centipedes. I have had the house professionally treated but was told that silver fish are impossible to get rid of. What can I do? Naomi. Richmond, B.C.
See the answer to #1051 below.
Q1051  I live in a condo. We have silverfish in the building. I have read about ways in which I can keep them to a minimum in my unit but I was wondering if buildings are ever fumigated to rid it of these pests. Lately I have been finding more and more.
Thanks. Heather. North Bay, Ontario
Fumigation for insect control in residential buildings is a very rare service in Canada.  Controlling silverfish in multiple family buildings can be a never ending task.  Older buildings with high humidity and poor vapor barriers seem to be more troublesome.  If the building managers will not hire a professional to inspect, make recommendations and treat the problem, try to keep the humidity in your unit as low as possible.

Q  1050   In response to the claims that electronic pest control devices are effective against insects and rodents, check out the following link regarding one manufacturer's products in the USA: 
James.   Winnipeg, Manitoba
Thanks James.  The unbiased information on the web site linked above, should be good warning to anyone thinking about buying one of these silly devices.
Q1049   Surprised a skunk and it sprayed into our air exchanger. Now house smells inside not outside. Are there any ways to eliminate the odor. Mary. Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia               
The air exchanger parts will have to be washed with a neutralizing solution.  Here is one you can make yourself:
Skunk Odor Neutralizer
1 Quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (best if fresh)
1/4 Cup Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 Tsp. Liquid Dish Detergent
- Mix well (do not shake) and use immediately!!
- Completely saturate pet's fur with the mixture.
- Wait 5 minutes before rinsing with plain water.
- Repeat procedure if necessary.
DO NOT cap and store this mixture!! It releases oxygen once it is mixed and will burst the container!
Do not get mixture on your clothing, it may cause "bleaching". This mixture may bleach or lighten hair / fur.
Avoid getting in pet's eyes (and yours)!
Q1048  We recently found some larvae of some insect on our comforter that had been on the floor due to heat. They were very tiny in a cluster and were opaque or whitish with black. I had to hold the cloth up close to realize they were larvae and moving. I also found a cluster of eggs on another piece of fabric in the same area, it almost looked like black pepper flakes, but they were eggs, and did not come off easily. They had been flattened somehow. Any clue as to what they might be?? We did kill a large moth in the same area.  Debbie.  Cambridge, Ontario.
You could have clothes moths larva.  See the pictures, description and control suggestions on this page:  Clothes Moths
Q1047  I have a basketball size Bald Faced Hornets nest in my apple tree. The nest is active and i was wondering if there was a way to get ride of it without calling in a company to remove it. Thank you.  Rory.
You can purchase an aerosol can that will spray a stream of insecticide about 10 feet. Read and follow the label directions.  Be sure you spray directly into the entry hole.  Wear protective clothing. Do it at night. Be prepared to make a fast exit. If you are allergic to stings call a professional.  Wash any apples you pick as they will likely have a little pesticide on them.
Q1046  How many sting does it take to get an allergic reaction?  Zac.  Calgary, Alberta
Everyone can react differently to stings.  One common fact: the more frequently you get stung, the greater the reaction.  Read more on this page:  Bee Wasp and Hornet stings.
Q1045  Yesterday we noticed little, tiny ants on our kitchen counter. The counter is just beside our back door. The ants seem to travel vertically up the corner from the counter to the upper (corner) cupboard. The ants are so tiny, at first I could hardly see them. Are they babies? We put cucumber peels down yesterday and bought ant traps today. I have 3 of them just about a metre apart. It's difficult to see where the nest is (if there is one) because of the location (corner cupboard. We can't access the lower section as the dishwasher prevents access to that area. What can we do to eliminate them? We live in a park model mobile home. Norma. Wasaga Beach, Ontario
They may be pharaoh ants.  Spraying pesticides will make the problem worse.  Have them properly identified by a professional.  Read more about pharaoh ants on this page.
Q1044  I do not have a picture of this pest but, I'm being over run with them.  They remind me of a very large mosquito that do not bite. They seem to mate tail to tail, they resemble a shad fly but are not. There characteristics are 5-6 legs 1 set of wings long body similar to that of a shad fly.  Large ones can have a sitting span of about 3-4 inches just legs, not body. They live in my grass and shrubs during the day, and fly around at night.  they do not bite, but as I said earlier they look like a cross between a very large mosquito and a shad fly.  Any ideas of what they can be?  Penny Ann
You have crane flies (sometimes called daddy long legs).  They have emerged from the larva called "leatherjackets" in your lawn. The adults are harmless but they will lay eggs to start another cycle of larva that could make a real mess of your lawn.  Because of the limited pest products available in Canada, you may wish to contact a lawn care specialist for some control suggestions.  See photo #180 and more information on the "What is this pest" page
Q1043  How do you tell the difference between male/female pill bugs? It's for a school science project. -Sarah.  Ohio
Apparently only pill bugs can tell the difference. There are no visible differences except when the female is carrying young in a pouch on the underside.
Q1042  We have noticed that we have mice droppings on our wood pile. Is it safe to still burn this wood in our indoor fireplace, or is it is no longer safe?   Denise.  Seattle, Washington.
It is safe to burn.  Be careful moving the wood.  Do not breath any dust that may become airborn. There may be a very slight risk of Hantavirus. Read about Hantavirus
None of them are GOOD.  Some may have a slight effect.  Most of them are a total waste of money. Read the comments from others on this page.

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Q1040  I have a wasps nest hanging from our third story eavestrough. I cannot reach it to spray with wasp killer. Is there any other way to get rid of it? Will the wasps die naturally in the late fall? If so will they build another nest in the same area next year? If I need a professional how much should it cost?  Rebecca.  Ottawa, Ontario
Some pest professionals use a long wand to apply an insecticide into high nests. The wasps will die naturally in the fall.  Only some of the fertilized queens will survive over the winter.  Wasps never return to an old nest but will often build a new on close to the old one.
The cost of hiring a professional can vary widely depending on the difficulty in reaching the nest. Phone one or two and ask for an estimate.
Q1039  For the last two weeks the entire town has billions of small flying insects swarming everywhere, thick hordes which resemble walking into a dust storm. They attach themselves to skin and clothes and are now coming indoors. They are the size of a fruit fly however have lime green rounded bodies and long, narrow, clear wings which taper back from the body. A black dot is visible which must be the eyes. Lyne. Wilkie, Saskatchewan
Q1038  I have taken pictures of a nest i found in a tree at the back of where i work in Scarborough .. the bees or wasps .. im not sure what they are, were black and white .. very much like a wasp .. and i have been trying to find online what kind they are.. but can not seem to find anything similar to what they are online aside from wasps .. but these were fuzzy like bees but looked like wasps .. i was wondering if you could help me ... the nest looked identical to that of a Paper Wasp's nest... but its not a paper wasp according to the pictures of the paper wasps i found online ... thank you .. Kimmi
It is probably a bald faced hornet nest.  There are photos and a description on our wasp and hornet control page.  You are welcome to send a photo for our "What is this pest" page.
Q1037  Is there any natural way to deter bats from coming to your home at night. Outside our front door we have this two storey porch which is not enclosed and a bat or two seem to come every night and the droppings are on my porch in the morning. We see them sitting there at night in the top four corners of our overhang. Is there any scent which will deter them from coming. Anne. Oakville, Ontario
You could try hanging some fine bird control netting to stop them from getting to the roosting area. This netting can be almost invisible and is easy to staple into place.  Check our bat page
Q1036  I have been seeing a strange bug in my house. It's about an inch long, very skinny, black, and moves very quickly. I haven't been able to identify it, any ideas as to what it might be?  Pamela.  St. John's, Newfoundland.
It may be a centipede.  Have a look at the information on this page:  sow bugs-pill bugs-centipedes
Q1035  This is absolutely the best web site on the internet for practical pest information. I especially like your "What is this pest" picture pages.  Why do you give priority to questions from Canadians.  I live in the USA and think we have many of the same pest problems that you do in Canada.  Abraham J.  Miami, Florida.
Thank you for your compliments.  When I first started this web site there were no good web sites that were dedicated to pest problems in Canada.  There are still none that offer diversified and comprehensive but practical pest control help.  There were many focused on pest problems in the USA.  Because of the growth in the size and content of this web site we are now attracting millions of visitors world wide. We welcome input and questions from anyone and will publish those questions of interest to our Canadian visitors.  We have some expansion plans for the fall to address the specific interests of our American friends.  Please keep coming back and watch for the announcements.
Thank you for your support.   Larry Cross.
  Webmanager@Pest Control
Q1034  A great website - hats off -
I know I'm not a Canadian, but I am soooo curious about what these very very small bugs I have are. The are greenish/greyish - kind of blend in w/ everything. They are an average about 1 mm. Their size does not deviate much. I found them in the kitchen, living inside a cabinet, but my food was not infested, that I could tell. They die extremely easy, and are so small that they can just go wherever they want. I tried to take photos, but they I just could not get a good one because they were so small. I encountered maybe a couple hundred when I found the main pool of them. Cant seem to find anything like this on the site.   Thank You! - Jeff Z
You may find a photo with the identification on this page:  "What is this pest".
Q1033  The other day, I noticed a cluster of tiny black and white or clear larvae that seemed to be hatching on my comforter, which had fallen on the carpet. At first glance I thought it was tiny burrs from the dog, but when I held it up close I could see they looked like tiny worms, sort of opaque with black and they were moving around!!! We sprayed the room with Raid and washed all the bedding in hot water and used the dryer. The next day I noticed another batch of what looked like tiny black eggs, (they were squished on the edge of material in the same vicinity) about the size of ground pepper. Any idea what they could be or how to control them, after extensively trying to id them via the internet I have come up empty. Debbie.  Cambridge, Ontario
Q1032  How can I get rid of bats that are in my attic and the walls? Katrina. Denison
The best way to get rid of bats is exclude them by closing off their entry points. This can be a bit tricky so you may want to call a professional that is experienced in bat exclusion.   See the Bat page
Q1031  I have black squirrels entering my home by eating through screens on my external doors and windows. Is there such a thing as a squirrel-proof screen? Louise. Ottawa, Ontario
Most window and door screens are now made of nylon.  Replacing them with wire screening should make it a little more difficult for the squirrels to chew.
Q1030  I recently discovered there were small reddish brown worms coming out of stuffed animals in my home. What are they, what caused them, and how do I get rid of and prevent them from coming back? Christine. Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
You should try to have one of the larva (worms) identified to help determine it's source.  Put the stuffed animals in a plastic bag and freeze them for a few days.  This will solve the existing problem but there may be another source in your home.  Talk to a professional and tell them where you got these animals and where they have been stored.
Q1029  We recently purchased lakefront property and are plagued with what are called "fish flies" - more so in the month of August. Although they are harmless, and seem to deter the mosquitoes, they are a nuisance and leave quite a sticky mess on the windows and ledges. This residue is very hard to remove - takes much soaking and scrubbing. Is there a way to deter these "fish flies" from coming around? Any suggestions on how to remove this sticky residue without ruining the paint and overextending muscles from scrubbing? Dawn. Buena Vista, Saskatchewan
Fish flies are also known as May flies.  The first appearance of fish flies means the water quality is good. May flies are gill breathers and very sensitive to low oxygen in the water. Low oxygen usually means some sort of enrichment, such as sewage. The fish flies emerge from the bottom of lakes where they have spent up to two years maturing. They will mate in the air during a ritual called a swarm.  After mating, the male fish fly quickly dies. Females land on the water surface where they lay eggs before dying. The eggs drop to the lake bottom, become larvae and two years later the cycle is repeated.  To keep the swarms away turn off your lights. Fish flies, like many flying insects, are attracted to street, traffic and porch lights.
Q1028  I'm being invaded with box elder bugs. I have a box elder tree but I don't own the property. The owners refuse to do anything about it. Is there a way to kill off the tree so they will have no choice.. Also, I didn't have them last year. Do they usually come back every year or can it happen every other?
We will certainly not suggest any method to kill the tree.  Some effective control can be done by spraying the tree at the right time of year. A local garden shop should be able to tell you when to have it done in your area.  Box elder bugs are not usually much of a pest in the summer but can be a real nuisance when they leave the tree in the fall.  More about box elder bugs
Q1027  Every summer, as it gets warm, tiny insects appear in our bathroom. More than 20 surround the tub ledges, inside the tub, and around the sink everyday. They are gray and vary in size, all relatively small (smaller than an ant). They have antennas with strips on the back. They have the ability to jump, and after household pesticide use (store bought), they seem to come back stronger. It seems that they crawl into the tap and even appear when the bathroom is unused for a long period of time (i.e. 2 months) What type of insect could this be? How could they be rid of? Thank you.   Michelle.  Toronto.
When it gets dry in the summer, insects will seek out any source of water. Some of them find it in our bathrooms, especially under enclosed bath tubs and shower stall bases. Ants and Phorid flies are common in damp areas.  Control can often be achieved just by repairing any leak problems around tubs and showers.  If you need more help contact a professional in Toronto
Q1026  I work in a meat slaughter facility and we use a spray called C plus C Poulins for killing flies. I was wondering if you have any video tapes on pesticide safety and application equipment & Techniques we could purchase? This would be gratefully appreciated & any contacts I could get these videos from? Thanks Pat .   Alberta
The pesticide you are using sounds like a private labeled product from Poulin's Pest Control.  The label will state the exact contents in the container and there will be specific instructions on it's use.  There are very strict laws regarding the use of pesticides in food processing plants.  This should only be done by a certified applicator. It is not something you can learn by watching a few video tapes. The Alberta Ministry of Environment can provide more specific information.
Q1025  We have cedar siding on our house. We also have a problem with woodpeckers digging holes into the shakes/shingles. What can we do to deter these fine feathered friends?   Peter.
They are pecking away at the wood trying to reach insects they can hear, likely carpenter ants or wood boring beetles. You should have a pest professional do a thorough inspection.
Q1024   I have been finding very small reddish brown flat beetles in my carpet. i cannot find a picture or a proper description any where of them can you please tell what they might be and if they bite.  Sherry.  Nova Scotia.
Collect a few samples and have them properly identified by a pest professional.  Braemar Pest Control should be able to tell what it is and offer suggestions to eliminate them.
Q1023   Wasps (yellow jackets?) seem to be eating the stain off our wood patio furniture. We can't eat outside because they are constantly all over the set. They seem to be scraping the finish off right to the wood and the whole set is turning from the stain color to streaks of white wood. How do I prevent this?  Michael.  Montreal, Quebec.
Wasps gather bits of wood which they turn into paper to construct their nests.  They usually choose unpainted items like old fences. It unusual for them to remove paint.   A fresh coat of stain or paint will discourage them. 
Q1022  We live on a ranch and have a problem with moles. They seem to have preference for our lawn. Can you recommend a good solution for getting rid of them.  Anthony.  Langley.  B.C.
There are no registered poison baits available to consumers in Canada. Fumigation may relocate them but it is not usually effective.  The best methods is trapping but it requires some skill and knowledge of these pests.  There are some very skilled pest professionals who deal with moles in the Fraser Valley.  Ask  your local farm supply for some references.
Q1021 Will a velvet ant sting have the same affect as a bee sting.  Tamera.  Crown Point
The sting of the velvet ant or cow killer can be severe enough to make someone think that it could kill a cow! Hence, the name "Cow Killer Ant" came to be. (They do not, however, kill cows.) In most cases, these insects are not generally considered as pests. They can occasionally invade residences, schools and other buildings in large numbers. When left alone, no harm is done. But if a child (or adult) tries to play with this insect or accidentally steps on one, the resulting sting will remind the offending human how this insect got its name.  See  photo #131 with more information on the "What is this pest" page.

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Q1020  I am finding little brown worm like bugs around my condo (everywhere). They are about an inch long (maybe shorter), they have a white belly with about 100 legs (hair-like) and a black head with antenna?  What are these little critters?  Kathryn.  Abbotsford, BC.
Centipedes and millipedes are prevalent in well watered gardens and landscape areas in the hot dry months. 
More information about sow bugs, pill bugs, centipedes and millipedes   Have a look at the photos on this page:  "what is this pest"
Q1019   We have been infested with "beer bugs". What are they and how can we control them?  Ken.  St. Marys, Ontario
Beer Bugs:  We have had a number of questions about beer bugs from people in Ontario.  This is either a new creature on earth or someone has renamed an insect that probably drowned in his glass of beer.   The only reference we can find for "beer bugs" is this mobile fashioned from used beer cans. They do look like bugs but we don't think this is the information you are looking for.  Sorry. If you send us a digital picture we will publish it on our  page. Someone may recognize it and be able to provide the proper name.
"Beer bug" is a common term for a little, beetle-like insect that infests campgrounds and back yards all across Ontario. They are black, hard-shelled, and have small, yellow to yellowish-brown spots on their backs. They fly and, in some cases, bite! They are quite small - measuring less than 1/4" each. As soon as you touch them, the drop and "play dead".   I, too, came here to find an answer to this problem. It seems like we have been overrun with them this year. I've actually seen swarms of them - completely covering screen doors and gazebo awnings. I never remember an infestation such as this. Can anyone help with a deterrent for these annoying little creatures? Tracy.  Ingersol, Ontario.
Q1018  I found a lot of white worms in my garage especially inside garbage bin. They are about 1cm long. I don't know what it is. Can someone teach me how to kill them?  Yee.  Mississauga, Ontario.
Flies are likely laying eggs in the garbage bin.  These develop into maggots that look like white worms.  The garbage bin should be thoroughly cleaned with a bleach and water solution.  You may have to have it steam cleaned if it is large.
Q1017   How to get rid of skunks without killing them or hurting other animals like dogs and cats.  Louise.  Green Field Park, Quebec
If the skunks are not bothering you, just leave them alone. If they are nesting under your home or decks you will have to block them out.  They can also be trapped and re-located.  Read the answers to questions #998  and #1001 below.
Q1016  I have an acreage just outside Edmonton and am wondering the best way to kill ant hills in the open fields. The ants look red. Marco.  Edmonton.
Why do you want to kill these ants?   If they are thatching ants they are considered quite beneficial predators of undesirable insects and are actually protected in some parts of the world. Read about controlling  thatching ants on this page .
Q1015  I have seen a insect the other day that looked like an ant, and I am not sure of what kind it might be. It looked all hairy and red, and it was really big. My dad says they are Cow killers, but I saw a picture of a cow killer and the picture showed red and black. This of what I saw was all red. Can you tell me what I saw and provide a picture or tell me where to look it up at?  Sincerely, Christina.   Haines City
Have a look at picture #131 on our "What is this pest" page. See answer to next question.
Q1014  Is there such a thing as a cow killer wasp or is someone trying to fool me?  If they do exist, how dangerous are they and where do they live?  What do they look like?  Josh.  Toronto, Ontario.
Yes. The common name, "cow killer," is thought to describe the painful sting these insects can inflict to man and animals, although it is doubtful that many cows are actually stung. They are predators of ground nesting bees.  See picture #131 on our "What is this pest" page.  There is also a link to more information about this interesting wasp.
Q1013  How can I get rid of in-ground yellowjacket nest. I have tried spraying ,but it made no difference. Is there something that foraging bees can take back to infest the nest?  Ann.  Crofton, B.C.
It is very difficult to kill a wasp colony by feeding them poison.  Aerosol sprays do not penetrate ground nests very well and they have little residual effect.  Some pest professionals may have an insecticide dust that can be injected to effectively reach workers in the nest, the queen, and any workers that return after foraging. You could try pouring boiling water into the nest at night but be prepared to make a fast exit. Read more about controlling wasps.
Q1012  For last 2 weeks we discovered some carpenter Ants in our Kitchen area. first we only saw 5-6 ants everyday and I sprayed some Ant Killer powder but didn't help. We noticed that they were on our Cupboards. So we cleaned all the cupboards and made sure there is no open food left but still we see ants there every day. This morning we saw almost 20 ants close to our sink. How can we get rid of them and do they bite? Thanks!  John.  Maple Ridge, B.C.
Killing carpenter ants outside the mother or satellite nests will have no effect on the colony.  In fact it just makes the task more difficult.
The nests must be located and eliminated.  This is a task that most homeowners will  find quite difficult.  Read all about carpenter ants on our featured pages and you will probably realize it this is a job for professionals.  It may cost less than trying to do it yourself and failing to locate all the nests in your home. Consider it an investment in the future value of the property
Directory of pest professionals in Vancouver and the lower mainland.
Q1011  Great website! Very helpful! I have a question regarding the sow/pill bugs. We moved into our house about a year ago. I have been finding pill/sow bugs everywhere along the sides of the carpet in our downstairs living areas and also underneath cabinets and our couch. I understand that to have these bugs we are dealing with a moisture problem in our home. However, the bugs that I find are all dead - I hardly ever see a live one. Could it be that they die inside the house because there is not enough moisture after coming from another place in the house/vents/outside mulch that does contain a lot of moisture or do they just have a short life span? Should we lift up the carpet to see if that might be the problem? I would like to deal with the source of the problem and see where they are coming from and where the moisture is most severe. I appreciate your feedback! A.L. IN 
Thank you for the compliments.   The sow bugs are dying because they have left the moist environment where they could breath through their gills.  The finished walls inside the concrete basement walls are likely trapping moisture.  It takes about a year for a new house to dry out, especially basements. You should probably talk to a contractor to correct the situation.
Q1010  Help! Our house seems to be contaminated with ants. They appear quite small and are of a reddish-brown colour. We traced them back to a very small crack between the foundation of the house and the concrete slab in the basement. So far we have only investigated the undeveloped areas of our basement however we have seen signs of them in the developed areas as well primarily where floor meets wall. We have been very careful about foodstuffs in the basement and we don't understand what "draws" them into the basement. Can anybody offer us any advise as to how to handle this problem?  Bob.  Devon, Alberta
It is important to properly identify the species of ant before any treatment is done.  (See the answer to #1006 below)  A local pest professional should be able to help.  They will also be able to advise you whether the ants should be treated with baits, pesticide sprays or just modifying the environment.     See our directory of Alberta Pest Professionals.
Q1009  I am in earwig hell! I apologize for my bluntness, but I am surrounded! Please, someone, is there anyone who can tell me how to get these thing eliminated from my home? PLEASE!  Dee.  Toronto, Ontario
It sounds like you may be in Earwig Heaven.  They love a dark, damp environment with decaying plant matter. Practice sanitary conditions around your home by removing leaf litter, stacks of firewood, decaying matter and other items which attract earwigs.  They are easy to trap. Apply a drop of oil or peanut butter onto a section of newspaper. Roll it up and place in the problem area. Earwigs will collect in the paper. Drown them in a bucket of hot water. Environment Canada has some good earwig control information on this web page.
Q1008  How do I get bumble bees out of my house siding? Every time we block where they are getting in they find a new entrance. Help, I am desperate.  Thank You.  Judy
The nest could be some distance away from the entry hole so it is difficult to apply an insecticide.  Some pest professionals have a dust that can be injected. It will penetrate better than an aerosol spray and has a better residual effect.  The only dusts registered for wasp or be control in Canada can only be sold to certified applicators.
Q1007  We have bats in our unused fireplace chimney. Thank goodness the damper is closed so they are not getting into the house. How do we get rid of these animals? Hillary
You will have to put a screen over the chimney flu after they leave at night to go hunting for food.  More about bats
Q1006  Question regarding Pharaoh Ants.  I have been fighting for a year now, and still going. I thought I had won for the last 2 months, but now noticed they reappeared. A few month ago I caught the 3 Mother Ants, and I basically took them on a piece of paper and either killed it or threw it outside. Is this the right thing to do or should I leave the mother ants alone even if they are obviously transferring to another place in the house? Danny.  Toronto, Ontario
Pharaoh ant control requires persistence and patience. If you have used any insecticide sprays, the problem will be even more difficult because the colonies bud (split up). An extensive baiting program, combined with exclusion and sanitary practices, is the best way to manage pharaoh ant populations.  Be sure to distinguish pharaoh ants from thief ants which are similar looking but not as easy to control with baits.  See our Pharaoh Ant web page.
Q1005  I purchased an oriental wool & silk carpet last November. Within the past few weeks I have discovered a few small, flat, white diamond-shaped bugs around the area. Some are dead, others are "pulsating" in the center. Do you know what they are? I have looked at pictures of moths, but they are all triangular-shaped, not diamond-shaped. Please advise. Also, if I need to use camphor, I am concerned that it might be toxic to my two cats. Thank you.  Deborah
Q1004  I have a three storey Victorian brick home and just in the last two weeks pigeons have started landing (and staying) on the evestroughing. This is especially true on top of the downspout where it leaves the roof and angles down - they tend to sit there at night. I have never had a pigeon problem and don't know why this would have started all of a sudden. I have been spraying them with a garden hose when I see them but they continue to return. Should they be trapped or should I have the gutters spiked? Thanks for your opinion
Jeff.  Toronto
Someone else had your problem and they probably installed spikes or netting.  The pigeons have decided to make your home their new home.  If you install devices to deter them they will move on.
Q1003  They are going to tent our buildings for termites. What are the toxic effects on clothing, bedding, dishes, paperwork, computers, etc? They want to do five buildings in tandem. Should it be spread out?  We are worried about returning to permantly toxic homes.
David.  Florida
Tenting and fumigation of residential buildings is not allowed in Canada except under special circumstances with a permit. (heritage building etc.)  so most Canadian pest professionals are not familiar with this method of control. As a tenant you have a legal right to have answers to all your questions.  The company doing the fumigation will likely be pleased to provide the information you want. If you have a problem contact the Florida Pest Management Association.
Q1002  We have a pest they are called "Earwigs' i don't know if that's there real name of not. Someone had told me to use dish-liquid diluted in water and spray around the outside of your house. they say it works but i was just wondering how you diluted this mixture? or do you have any other suggestions?  Debbie. Charlottetown , P.E.I.
Dish soap mixed with water is a good control solution for many garden pest insects.  Dilute about 10 parts water to 1 part soap.  See the answer to #1009 above.
Q1001  We had a skunk that decided to make our home his home. One morning the sensor light went off and startled him and he sprayed the front of our house on the front porch, which is cement. I have tried bleach with lemon juice, tomato juice and ketchup to no avail. Please help. It is embarrassing when company comes over.  Dianne.  Wheatley, Ontario
Mix 1 liter of hydrogen peroxide with half a cup of baking soda and a little dish soap.  Spray the area.  Let it soak then rinse off.  You may have to do this twice.

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Q1000   From reading your site information, I am quite sure we have carpenter ants nesting in our roof. Just now we are overrun with the flying ones - and definitely use the "squish" other than the "follow" suggestion. The suspicious area is above the roof beam - ( we have an open-beam home with cedar 2X6 ceiling, topped by styrofoam and then asphalt shingles.) There are little puffs of light-colored material showing between some of the planks, where they meet the beam. Also the new winged ants seem to fall from that area on occasion.
Are they chewing holes in the styrofoam? in the cedar? in the fir beam?  Obviously there is no attic to for us crawl into and seek out the nest. We hope we do not have to tear off shingles and insulation to reach it.  My question: is there something we could literally inject into those cracks where the boards meet the beam? Would a borax solution work? We have plenty of used syringes, because a family member is diabetic. Is this feasible??  Marilylle.  Ferintosh, Alberta
The carpenter ants are chewing galleries in the styrofoam, and possibly the 2x6 cedar.  They may also cause damage in the ends of some of the beams.  Injecting a residual insecticide into the cavities through small drilled holes will reduce or eliminate the problem.  If you value your home, it would be wise to hire a professional who has the experience, proper insecticides and application equipment.  Borax will not work.
Read more about Carpenter ants.
Q999  My wife was doing some yard work on the weekend and was attacked by several ants.  These ants were hard to brush off and their bites burned and made her skin red. The next morning she had over 40 blisters on her leg.  Is there a possibility that we have fire ants this far north?  I have looked at these ants under a microscope and they all have a stinger.  Also when my wife went to the doctors to see what had bit her they could not explain the bites.  What kind of ants could these be and are my kids in danger?   Dave.   Windsor, Ontario
Stings from ants often closely resemble those of wasps and bees, although with less tissue destruction and less severity. Harvester ants inject venom containing a hemolysin. This sting frequently creates a redness area surrounding the sting site. Some species of field ants bite with the mandible and spray an acidic toxin into the wound without injecting venom.  Ant stings cause generalized reactions less often than stings from wasps and bees. Fire ants fiercely guard their territory and attack intruders in large numbers, inflicting thousands of stings and bites to victims unable to escape. Fire ant venom is 95% alkaloid, which is unique among ants. A fire ant typically bites with its mandibles, then swivels its abdomen and stings repeatedly in an arc about the bite site. Their stings develop into sterile pustules and then rupture, leaving crusted wounds that may become infected secondarily. Fire ants are found in South and North America in areas where mean high temperatures are 15°C or higher.   We have not seen any reports of fire ants in southern Ontario, but have heard stories of other Ontario residents who were attacked by ants similar to your wife's experience.
Q998  We have a small back yard behind our townhouse. A skunk family has taken up residence under our porch. Moments ago we saw a mother and one young. I am no sure how many there are and am concerned for not only my wife any myself but for several grand children who visit almost daily. What are my options to get rid of them? Sure would appreciate any help you can give. Tom. Aurora, Ontario
Except for their odor, skunks are no worse to have around than feral cats.  To discourage them from nesting under decks and porches put a bright light in the area.  When they leave, block them out with wire fencing or screen.   Here are some interesting web sites with good information about skunks.         Neutralize Skunk Spray:
Living with skunks:
Q997  I have large holes being dug in my back yard by a wild animal. There are multiple holes in the yard- near one another- as if it is an elaborate tunnel. How do I know what animal is digging these-- and how do I get rid of it? I see rabbits frequently in the back yard- any chance these are rabbit holes?  Sean
The natural habitat for rabbits are burrows. Use traps to control them. Contact your municipal animal control department for instructions on what to do with the trapped rabbits. Releasing them some distance away may cause serious problems for someone else, especially if they are carrying any disease.
Q996  We have a brownish bug that looks like a flea, but does not act like a flea. It does not jump or fly. It simply walks around my bathtub in my master bathroom. The XXXXXXXX (business name removed) man did not know what they were, but sprayed and so far some die and some live. I usually find at least 15-20 dead in the tub and 5-10 alive. But I want to know what they are and why they are haunting me. Please help and Thank you!  Trisha
It is surprising that a technician from such a large organization would spray an insect that he did not first identify properly. Pesticides can only be used legally for the pests listed on the label.  His actions were very unprofessional.  Take a sample of the insect to the manager of the business you dealt with and have it properly identified. Spraying pesticides may not be the appropriate treatment.
Q995  I wanted to start a termite and pest control company. I need to know how to get started and what other licenses I need. other than 7a 7b Core. Also can I run this type of business out of my home. Bill.  Sicklerville,  New Jersey
Canadian regulations are much different than in most of the States.  To be sure you meet all the legal licensing requirements and follow good ethical business practices, you should contact the New Jersey Pest Management Association. (
You should also consider working for an existing business to gain practical experience. Anyone can spray pesticides. Controlling pests with minimum use of pesticides is the objective of well trained and experienced pest management professionals.
Q994   We have a wasp nest in our attic. They seem to be eating at the ceiling as the drywall is very thin in about a 4" diameter and we can hear them hitting the ceiling. We have identified the entrance to the attic from the outside and are going to spray a foam spray at that entrance tonight around 10 p.m. Will this effectively deal with the wasps? Should we repeat every day until we see no more come out? Will they eventually come through the ceiling if nothing works?  Thanks, anxious in Delta.  Lynn
P.S. The pest control company can't come for 1 week as they are so busy.
The wasps may be chewing the drywall paper backing and some of the gypsum to make their nest. The first thing you should do is tape something on the ceiling to prevent them from coming through into your home. A piece of aluminum foil may work.  Spraying insecticide foam into the entry point will only work if it reaches the nest, and even then it may not kill many of the workers or the queen.  Going into the attic to spray the nest directly could be dangerous. Injecting a pesticide through a small hole in the ceiling may be safer.  Some aerosols come with a small straw.  Wear protective clothing and close all the doors to the room where the nest is located.  You may find a professional that can come sooner.  Contact a few listed in our directory on this page.      
This business offers good service in your area: A-Target Pest Servies.
Q993  We have recently build a new house in the Okanagan in B.C. and we have little black fly-like insects flying around and annoying us.  They look very similar to fruit flies but they are completely black and don't have translucent wings.  I know we have found these on plants before but I am not sure what they are called.  They are on all 3 levels of the house, loft, main floor and basement.  It almost looks like you are seeing a little black speck in your line of vision they are that small.  Sorry I have no picture for you.  Can you help me identify this pest and how can I get rid of them?  Many thanks for your help.  Judy
Black flies are a common household word in northern Canada. For some reason they seem to be a common pest in many southern regions this summer.  The ministry of Agriculture has a good web page of basic information.  Black flies (Simuliidae)
Q992   What is the best type of poison seed to use to kill mice, and how much to they have to consume before it takes effect? Paula. Calgary, Alberta
Hi Paula, unfortunately seed (or pellet) bait is not the best choice when dealing with mice. They tend to hoard it instead of eating it. So you will go though a lot of bait and not kill many. You are best to go with block or meal bait. By securing the block bait you force the mice to eat it where it is and being that meal baits are mostly powder they again eat it where it is. Using either of these two formats also insures that the unused bait can be collected when the problem has been resolved. The amount need to kill a mouse depends on the active ingredient and the size of the mouse. It can range from 136g of bait for a 20g mouse to as low as 0.16g for the same mouse.
Stuart.    Canadian Representative, Liphatech (rodent bait manufacturer).
Q991  I have pets with fleas. The pets have been treated and I was wondering how much it would cost to have a small 2 bedroom home to be fumigated?  Alex.  London, Ontario.
Many changes have been made in the methods used for flea control in the past few years.  Veterinarians are using great products to treat animals, some pesticides previously used are no longer available, and pest professionals have adapted using a variety of treatment techniques in homes.  I suggest you contact 2 or 3 professionals and ask what products they will use, will they treat the whole house, and what is their guarantee? All of them should use an insect growth regulator (IGR) like "Precor" and an adulticide.  You can help in the process by vacuuming every square inch of the floors, especially along the baseboard cracks and under the cushions on upholstered furniture. 
Directory of pest professionals in Ontario.

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Q990  It may sound weird to you, but I need to know where I can find damp-wood termites (Zootermopsis) in the Vancouver area. I am doing research on certain termite gut protozoa, for which I need to collect several hundreds of termites. I tried in some Vancouver west side forests (pacific spirit park) but I found almost nothing. Are you aware of reports about abundant damp wood termites in Vancouver (Vancouver or north shore areas)?. Thanks a lot.   Claudio.  UBC, Vancouver.
Dampwood termites may be a little more difficult to find at this time of year (July) because, as the name suggests,  they will only live in damp wood.  I would try a wooded area on the north shore.  You will have to dig deep into a wet decaying log or stump.  Fortunately these termites are seldom a pest in homes unless there is decaying wood. 
#989   Our dog ate an ant trap that the exterminations put out, will it hurt him and should I get him to a vet right away.  Mary
 As a precaution it would be wise to take the dog to a vet and take another one of the ant bait stations with you so he knows what ingredient the dog ate.
#988.  I have read the other questions and answers about millipedes on this site, however, my problem is very specific. We recently installed an inground pool and within the past 2 weeks are greeted each morning with literally thousands of millipedes in and around the pool area, many dead thankfully. I would like to try and eliminate this problem as they also have entered the house on occasion. I spread Sevin (brown powder version) around the pool area, which killed many, but each morning we spend an hour cleaning the area. PLEASE ADVISE !  Chris.
You should be very careful about using pesticides where people will be walking with bare wet feet.  Read the non toxic control suggestions on this page:  Sow bugs, centipedes and millipedes.
Q987  I have bats in my house. How can I get rid of them? I try to find where they are or by where they came in but I can't.
Paule.  Oka, Quebec.  
See the answers to #986 and #984.  You may wish to contact a professional in Quebec
Q986   Is there any type of remedy for getting rid of bats? does garlic get rid of bats?    Lisa.    York
If garlic worked, some of our ethnic neighborhoods would never have a bat problem.  The only real solution is to screen them out.
There are some good tips on our
Bat page.     
Q985  How can I get rid of Indian Meal Moths?  April
You will find all the information you need on our Indianmeal moths page.
Q984   We completely rebuilt our house last year after a fire. As we had had bat problems in the past, we were very careful to seal any possible entry points. This evening, 3 bats found a way in that we cannot determine. How can I keep them from coming back?  Cindy
Go into the attic and look for light sources that may indicate an entry point or go outside at dusk and watch for them to leave. The will go out every night to gather food. Read more on the  Bat page.
Q983   We have an infestation of very small (less than 3 mm long) orange/brown beetles? We believe they started in our chinchilla food stored in the garage or in the garbage/recyclables. They don't fly and don't bite. they have moved into the house and are crawling up the walls and appear to like folds in fabric i.e. bedding. What are they and how do we get rid of them?   Frank.  Barrie, Ontario
Q982  What is the most effective, fastest and least toxic way to get rid of mice. Krisztina, East York, Ontario
1. Eliminate the food source that is attracting them. 2.Block off the entry points they use to enter your living space.  3. Use a number of traps, placed along the routes they are traveling  or Call a professional.  Read more on the Rodent page.

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Q981  I was recently bitten by three very tiny red ants, maybe 3mm each, in a forested area. The bites became very painful almost immediately and became red and swollen. Any one know what these are and how dangerous they can be? Richard. Vaughan, Ontario
Ant bites can be painful but are usually not as dangerous as wasp or bee stings unless you have a severe allergic reaction. Although we do not have fire ants in Canada (thank God) there are a number of other ants with stingers.  Velvet ant females are very capable stingers and should be handled with care. Some sting so painfully that they are referred to as "cow killers" in the southern States.
Q980  I have looked up a number of websites for info on eliminating small brown bat dropping odor from our cabin attic. the bats have been moved out and locked out. can't get rid of smell from stains in wall even after cleaning droppings out of attic. smell is worse when cabin warms from fireplace. please help, the smell is annoying. Mel. Sault Ste Marie
Cleaning up attics after bats can be a huge job. Some professionals remove and discard all the insulation then spray with a disinfectant (bleach and water.)  You may be able to rent an ozone generator and run it for a few days in the attic. Be sure to wear a good respirator when you are in the attic. Read more on the Bat page
Q979  Garter snakes are in my house other than sticky traps how do i get rid of them. My wife will put up a for sale sign up on the first sight of one.  Justin.  Kingston, Ontario.
Garter snakes seldom venture indoors because there is very little for them to eat. Cats will sometimes bring them in to show off.  If you can't find and seal off the entry points, I hope you get a good offer on your home.  Glue board traps might be a better choice
Q978  I have a bees nest that is in the wall of my house. The bees have an appearance like a bumble bee but the back end is black. They have a yellow fuzziness similar to a bumble bee and the size is similar. We don't know how to exterminate the nest except that we have been killing bees one by one as they make their way back to the nest. Initially they were entering around an outside light fixture that was missing a screw on the phlange and they would enter through that hole or to the side of the light fixture. We siliconed the areas sealing off the entry. Now they are getting to the nest through the aluminum covered eves where they can squeeze in. Is there something we can treat them with that bees entering the nest would come into contact with and would be potent enough to kill the others in the nest in the wall when the bees return to the nest?  Carrie.  Woodstock, Ontario
The best solution would be to inject an insecticide dust into the area but there are no effective dust products available in Canada that are labeled to control wasps and hornets. Some professionals may still have a product called "Ficam" that is legal to use, but is no longer being distributed.
Contact some pest professionals in your area of Ontario.
Q977 I believe i have a couple skunks living under my house in a crawl space, i have seen them, i know i have to board up area that they get in but i am trying to find a way to get them out first. any ideas on how to get them to leave? Peter.  Winthrop.
You could try making a one way door out of some wire fencing on a wood frame.  They could push it open to get out but not be able to get back in.  A pest professional that specializes in wild animal trapping will know a few tricks to eliminate your problem without the risk of skunk odor driving you out of the house.
Q976  I have a 4 year old home to which the outside is vinyl siding and at the top there are those tiny holes which are covered with netting. For the past to summers I have heard buzzing and scratching in the ceiling of my bathroom which is upstairs and this year the buzzing and scratching are getting louder. My husband has been looking to see if there is a way for them to have gotten in thought the netting but he can't seem to see where they may have gotten in. My concern is I don't know what type of bee it is and I'm not sure if they'll be able to come all the way through the drywall into the house. Any information you can give me I would really appreciate. I have 3 children 6, 2 and 2 months so it makes me nervous. Thank you very much for your time.  Robin.  Auburn, Washington.
You should try to find the entry point and determine if they are bees or wasps.  I have seen yellowjacket wasps burrow through a drywall ceiling, but it is a rare situation.  They will chew the paper backing on the drywall to build their nests. A professional could probably inject an insecticide to get rid of them.  Read more about wasps.
Q975  Dear Sirs,  I hope it would be possible to get an answer to the following question: I have a wooden statuette bought in Thailand. It seems to be invaded by termites, as some powdered wood appear onto the table underneath the statuette. Will freezing of the statuette down to minus 20 degrees C, be adequate for killing these termites? Kjell. Oslo, Norway
There is obviously some species of wood boring insect in the statuette, likely a beetle.  Freezing should kill it.  Wrap it tightly in plastic so it does not absorb too much moisture
Q974  We purchased our home last summer and have had some spider problems so a few weeks ago I had the exterior of the house sprayed for spiders and ants (ants were not in the house only outside). We have an 18 month old grandson living with us and I did not want to expose him to chemicals. About a week after the house was sprayed, I noticed some fine wood particles on the wood around the window on our landing to the second floor. I did some exploring online and am convinced that we have carpenter ants. I have not found evidence of carpenter ants anywhere else in the house but I do know we have all sorts of bugs, ants spiders and beetles living in the wood mulch around our home so I am wondering if spraying outside may have caused the carpenter ants to relocate into the front wall? What do you recommend as far as treatment? I have ordered new windows that are to be installed in a few weeks and am thinking that we could treat the interior of the wall when the old window is removed.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!  Thank you,  Mary
It is doubtful the perimeter spray caused the ants to move into the walls.  They have probably been there for some time if you are seeing sawdust.
Having the walls treated when the windows are removed is good timing. Call a professional in plenty of time to schedule the treatment. They should also do a full inspection to locate any other possible ant nests. 
Q973  I live in a 3rd floor apartment in a building right next to the Bow River in Calgary. I've lived here for 6 years and every summer my balcony is taken over by clouds of small black moths. They only come out in the evenings and there are THOUSANDS of them. It makes my balcony unusable all summer. For some reason, this year they seem to be worse than other years. Can someone tell me the proper name for these moths and suggest a way to discourage them from coming to my balcony.  Candace.  Calgary
Q972 Months ago, I found moths in my house - in most rooms. I looked everywhere and could not find the source. When I moved, I thought I might have left them behind, since I was so careful when I packed. I checked EVERYTHING! A few weeks after the move, they are back! I can't seem to find a photo on the internet. They are about 1 cm long, dark brown with a horizontal white strip across their wings near the head. Their body is long and narrow, as are the wings. I see them either flying around, or sitting on the wall. I have looked through grains, cereal, (everything in my kitchen), dryer lint, cat litter, and I just can't seem to find where they are coming from. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks very much.  Brianne.  Ottawa.

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Q971  A third of my backyard is a huge ant hill with one entrance about 2 inches in diameter. How should I treat such a large area ? Will pouring boiling water on the individual ant hills help? The is one in a flower bed that I accidentally dug up and it was full of larvae. Would boiling water work on that?   Mary.  Calgary, Alberta
Not all ants are harmful. Ant hills are usually built by Thatching ants.  In some parts of the world these ants are considered beneficial and are a protected species. (They eat other bad insects).  If they become a real nuisance you could try pouring boiling water on the nest but you may have to repeat the process a number of times,   Read more about Thatching ants.
Q970  We built a large log home in the woods in the mountains above Salt Lake City. We visit the cabin about once a month. Every time we visit the floors are covered with dead flies, moths, and beetles. Not to mention the live ones flying around. My question is how are these insects getting in and what can we do to help get rid of them. My husband says that we just have to learn to live with them since this cabin is in the woods. I spend several hours each visit just cleaning up bugs. Can you help??? For information, the cabin is made from 10inch pine logs with Swedish cope. Thanks, Ruth
Every man's dream is to own a log home in the woods.  Unfortunately your husband is right. You will have to learn to live with at least some of the insects.  You can reduce some of the problem by eliminating vegetation close to the home, make sure there is no wood to soil contact and be sure there is good ventilation in any attic cavities or crawl spaces.  Keeping the humidity level low will discourage insect breeding inside. Because log homes are continually shrinking and settling new cracks and entry points will have to be caulked at least once a year. 
Q969  We found ants about 1/4"long, black with wings in our RV trailer parked in northern Wisconsin.
Are these carpenter ants and do they bite? Will ant dust kill them? Thank you.   Katy
They are too small to be reproductive carpenter ants (with wings).  Ant dust will probably kill them but ant bait may work on the species you have and it is usually safer.  Try to have the ant identified.
Q968.  I have bugs on my vegetables in my garden. The beans are ready to pick in 2 weeks. The tomatoes are about ready. I bought some 50% seven dust. How long do I wait to spray.  Kathy.
We don't usually post garden questions but this one causes some concern.  All gardens have bugs.  Some of them are beneficial insects. Before using any insecticide, identify the insect to determine if it is a pest. If you must use a pesticide read the label carefully.  It will tell you the "days before harvest" application information.
Q967  How can you tell the difference between small black ants (about 1-2mm)and the saw toothed grain beetle?
Erika.  Collingwood.
The 3 body parts of an ant (head, thorax and abdomen) are distinctly divided with a thin waist.  Saw toothed grain beetles have teeth on each side of their body just behind the head. See the pictures on the Stored food pests page.
Q966  I have several flying ants in my bedroom, they are small & black with clear wings. When it rains my closet often gets very damp could this be the cause? These bugs seems to come out of no where last night there were none this morning they are all on my closet wall, on the floor in my bedroom & crawling on my clothes. I have gone from seeing a few to hundreds of them. I remember seeing them a couple of years ago & I purchased a fogger & they disappeared. How can I get rid of them for good & what causes them. Please help very desperate! I will be selling my home soon & do not want the new buyers to have this problem. Thanks.  Nickey.  Washington, DC.
Because they are small they are not likely carpenter ants. Winged ants are reproductive males and females (future queens)
You may be able to control them with a good quality ant bait properly placed, but a better solution would be to call a professional. You may be able to identify them using the information and drawings on our Ants page.
Q965  Each spring for the last few years, we have been plagued with large black ants, some with wings and some without, in our "lanai" or glass/screen back porch. We have noticed quite a bit and I mean quite, of the styrofoam coming down like a blizzard at times from the ceiling. We spray and many die but now it is "snowing styrofoam" in this room again. Is there a way to permanently get rid of this problem short of tearing the roof off the room and replacing it?  Marie.  Cleveland.
You definitely have carpenter ants. They love to chew through styrofoam. Killing the ants outside the nest will have no effect.  Less than 10% leave the nest.  Call a pest management professional.  In the end it will cost you less to have the problem treated properly and stop the destruction of your home. See our carpenter ant pages
Q 964  I have a small greenhouse in which I grow tomatoes and peppers. There is a very tiny black insect (beetle ?) eating very tiny holes in the leaves. Could you tell me what this is and what to use to eradicate it. Thank you. Sharon.  Sooke, BC
We are not gardeners so you will probably get better advice from a good garden shop.  Take a sample of the beetle with you.
Q 963  I have a problem with flying ants for the second year in a row. They come unannounced and in large quantities. They seem to be somewhat contained to the kitchen area (I have a "wood room" underneath for our woodstove. How do I stop them?? Can I be bringing them in on our stove wood??? Do I need pest control??? They seem to last one day only when they come out. Tracy. Williamstown, Ontario
There are many species of ants. Some are harmful, some are beneficial insects and some are just a nuisance.  Ant bait (poison) will control many ants but not carpenter ants.  Have the ants identified by a pest professional and ask him for advice, or send us that information for some tips.
You may be able to identify them using the information and drawings on our Ants page.
Q962  Over the past week there appears to be tons and tons of ants around the outside of my home. They are in groups of thousands, I can get rid of them, and not hurt the dog or flowers, and the other bushes around the home.  Karon.   West Allis, Wisconsin
See the answer to the question above (#963)

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Q960  The sparrows that nested on my porch light have returned this year. I do not want the mess again. I have tried tying a garbage bag around the top part of the light but they have started building a nest on that. What can I do to deter them?  Sherri.  New Dundee, Ontario.
Try hanging some fine garden or fish netting over the light.  This will encourage them to go elsewhere.
Q959  We are having a serious problem with bugs on our balcony for the second year in a row. We face south west, on the 14th floor, and these bugs are everywhere! They cling to the roof of the balcony, and the screen door. They have clear coloured wings, bodies are black, and about 3-4 mm long. I thought they might be from the garden, but I haven't planted the new garden yet. There's nothing out there. The only way we can get rid of them now is to light a torch. And help would be much appreciated. They are a big nuisance!  Tara.  Toronto, Ontario
Your description could fit a number of flying insects. Perhaps one of your neighbours has a food source for these insects out on their balcony. Put one in a pill bottle and have it identified by a pest professional.  They should be able to offer some advice. Toronto pest professionals.
Q958  Last year, for the 1st time, we had ants in our  house - the tiny little black ants you see outside.  This year the same thing - only a LOT more. We have an apartment in  the basement & it was crawling with them. The apartment had a few last  year as well. My family room & kitchen (along the patio door area)  seemed to be the worst.  We sprayed all the along the patio doors & baseboards & don't seem to  be getting any more in the house - 1 or 2 here & there.  When I checked out back on the patio (interlock) there seems to be an awful lot of them. I have purchased powder for outdoor use & am constantly searching for ant hills & putting it around the base of the house. Is this normal or is this a bad year for ants? Is there an easier way to control them? Is it possible to have the outside of the house & the interlocking patio sprayed? If so is there
a rough estimate for cost?    Debbi.  Burlington, Ontario.
Spraying the right pesticide around the perimeter of your house will kill ants and any other insects that come in contact with it.  A better solution may be to use a quality ant bait.  Ask a good garden shop certified pesticide dispenser for a suggestion or call a pest management professional.  
Burlington Pest Professionals   
If you use pesticides, read and follow the label directions.
Q957  How do you build a live trap for magpies that doesn't require using a live bird for a decoy. Apparently there is on that can be bulit and uses dog food as bait.  Murray.  The Pas, Manitoba.
Q956  I have what i now know is Larder Beetles in my home, they seem to be in every room and are becoming quite a pain. How do you get them in the first place how can i get rid of them.  Shawna.  Nova Scotia
This beetle is a member of the carpet beetle family Dermestidae; however, the larder beetle can feed on a great variety of materials-not just carpets. They will feed on any stored animal or plant products, such as insect, bird, and mammal specimens, cured meats, cheese, tobacco, dried fish meal, even non-food items such as leather. Identifying and eliminating the food source is the first step in controlling these pests. Larder beetles found in and around the kitchen may be infesting stored food. Larvae or adults found in an upstairs room or attic may be infesting a dead animal. Consider all the possibilities for food when looking for an in-house infestation site. Applying aerosol chemicals in areas where larvae are found may provide some control. However, larvae do travel when they are full grown and the place they are sighted may be far from the actual food source! Read more about carpet beetles for more control information.
Q955  I need help!!! I have spoken to some pest management companies And they do not know how to help. I have an infestation of Rove Beetles (as identified by the Entomology Dept. University of Guelph) in my not yet year old (July 2)house. I first found my lovely friends in late July 2003 and didn't pay too much attention. Now I find them in waves of 5 to 10 a day and then none for about a week. These would be great to have outside, but how do I get rid of them inside?????? Lisa. Cole Harbour Nova Scotia
Rove beetle is the common name  given to a number of species of beetles.  Most of them are scavengers that eat decaying matter and are not usually found in homes.  There is some good technical information on this web site:  and some suggestions for control on this web site: 

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Q954  We have recently moved into a new barn. It is infested with spiders and of course their webs. Is there anything we can do to eliminate this problem or at least get it under control.  Cathy.   Alberta
If it is infested with spiders there must be a good food source for them.  Spiders eat insects.  Look in and under their webs to determine what they are eating then try to eliminate those insects.  You may find it easier to call a professional in Alberta.
Q953  Hi:  I came home from a 5 week course to pick up a book that had been lying beside the bed and place it on the bed. 4 or 5 little worms that moved really fast fell from the book onto the bed. They totally creeped me out!!! I have since seen some on the bathroom tiles and this morning when I picked up my laptop bag from the bedroom carpet, one fell onto the bed. Where are they coming from. They are blackish, move pretty fast and are very tiny. We live on the last floor of a flat, have no animals and have carpeted bedrooms. Are they the lavae of some insect?
The one in the bathroom had some tiny ones behind in - like babies. They really gross me out!! Please help.  Mogi.  Durban, South Africa
Sorry Mogi.  This does not sound like a pest that we are familiar with in Canada. If you see more of them and can send a picture we will post it on our "What is this pest"  web page.   Someone may recognize it.
Q952 Over the May 24 weekend, I was at my cottage. One day I woke up and noticed some bug bites near the bottom of my stomach. A week later, they are feeling and looking much worse. I suspect it was a spider. I have 15 bites very close in proximity (most likely in less than a one inch diameter in each direction). They are redish-purple and are very irritated. I am wondering what they could have been from. Thank-you.
Megan.  Waterloo, Ontario
They are likely spider bites which can be serious, depending on the type of spider.  If the symptoms continue you would be wise to seek medical attention.
Q951  How do we deal with an infestation of caterpillars?  Ruth.  Thornhill, Ontario
There are many types of caterpillars and the method of getting rid of them can vary.  Tent caterpillars are quite predominant in western Canada this year.  If this is what you have there is some very good information on this Washington State University web site.
Q950  I have a ant problem...I have no idea where there coming from, I can never find an ant trail. I did at one time think I had them when I lifted a patio stone over and I sprayed them with raid plus all the grass around the area. Then went away for about 3-4 days and then my cat was sitting by the garbage can and there it was. I killed it but when I moved the can there was about 10-15 more then over by the cats dishes there were more. The ones I missed went under the cabinet. On the other side is my dishwasher could they be in there? I have noticed them under my window ledge also.... I'm having one xxxx of a problem trying to get rid of them plus find where they're coming from in the first place.. They come and then they will disappear and then come back. Any suggestions??  I need help......Thanks Theresa, Barrie, Ontario
You could have carpenter ants and the nests can be very difficult to find.  This is one pest that should be taken care of by a professional. 
Pest Professionals in Barrie
Q949  i have gold ants all over my back yard how can i get rid of them?  Cindi.  Timmins, Ontario
We are not familiar with any species of ant called "gold ants".  Collect a few samples and have them correctly identified by a pest professional or garden shop.  There are different ways to treat each ant species. 
Q948  I moved into a older home in March it is now May and there is a birds nest in my vent but also seems as though birds and/or bats are getting in through torn shingles and rotten roof board. I am planning on replacing the roof in approximately three weeks. 2 layers of shingles to come off and replacing rotten boards. When the roof is replaced will all the banging going on scare the birds out or do I have to worry about them being trapped in the attic. Also do I have to worry about the birds returning next year and if so what should I do. Help the constant chirping is driving me crazy.  Laurianne.  Toronto.
Replacing the roof will probably encourage the birds to move away.  Have the roofers put screens on the vents to prevent re-entry.
Q947 I have a number of ant hills on my lawn around my home. I have lived here for 10 years and managed to ignore them in the hopes that they would in turn ignore my house.  So far so good but am I inviting a pest problem to get out of hand by not doing anything? One such hill has expropriated a flower bed. I have dug it out and am about to apply Diatomaceous Earth to the cavity before filling it in with new soil. Is this activity likely to work, or cause them to move the nest or worse yet to move indoors?  Garry.  Edmonton, Alberta
It sounds like you have thatching ants.  They seldom move into homes.  Diatomaceous earth is a very safe insect control product but it may not eliminate a large ant colony.  Read more about thatching ant on this page.
Q946 We live in a Triplex and we are in the middle floor we found out that we had bed bugs after about 2-3months of my son getting bit and my daughter but not our youngest. They have been here within 1 month after being sprayed twice.  Does the spay work or should we ask for another company to come in? These people guaranteed it for 6-12months and we don't notice something then within about 2 weeks we see things again, I don't know if they could be coming in from the other apts as they haven't gotten sprayed we are not sure what to do anymore. Does the spray kill the eggs for just the live ones?? Can you help us? Thanks.  Robyn.  Toronto.
Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of because of their ability to hide  for long periods without eating. Some pest professionals are reluctant to guarantee total elimination.  Before you call the professional to come back, thoroughly vacuum the room a number of times paying special attention to cracks along the baseboards.  Take the bed apart and vacuum all the seams, tufts and any cavities.  This may reduce the bed bug population and some of the eggs.
Q945  My pine tree has lines of holes through the bark. Some vertical, some horizontal. what pest do you think .The tree is still growing and looks fine.   Ron.  Maple Ridge, B.C.
A woodpecker has probably made the holes trying to get at some insects under the bark.
Q944  Hi.  About two weeks ago I noticed a hole a little bigger than a pencil eraser under my desk with little wood shavings inside it.  Last week I noticed carpenter ants on my desk (only a few) and they're multiplying.  I live in Toronto and I need something to get rid of these things.  What product would you recommend?  I've been to the garden supply store and several hardware stores that sell ant traps but no one knows how to get rid of them.  Terri.     Toronto
Ant traps and liquid poisons available to consumers have no effect on carpenter ants (although they do help control some other ant species. Any entomologist who is very familiar with carpenter ants will advise you to let a pest professional take care of them. Total elimination requires finding the nests and they may be some distance from the hole under your desk. Read more about carpenter ants.
Directory of pest profesionals in Toronto
Q943  Just a few days ago we started to tear down an old extension connected to our house. As we took down the ceiling we discovered a large hornets nest in between the eavestrough. Now we are wondering how to safely take it down and if there are any laws that protect this species. I read by law in Germany you are not allowed to remove or destroy the nest. I am not sure the same laws apply here in Quebec. My father wants to take it down himself but we are not sure whether or not there are any hornets in the nest. It is Victoria Day weekend the city of Brossard is not open for information until next Tuesday.  Please help, we want to take down this thing without getting hurt.
Sincerely, Lois.   Ville de Brossard,  Quebec.
The process of tearing down the extension should have disturbed any hornets that may be in the nest.  It is likely an old nest and wasps or hornets do not return to a nest once they leave it in the spring.  I don't think there are any laws in Canada about protecting hornet  or wasp nests.
Q942  We just moved into our house and we're having a problem with a red-winged blackbird. Every time we go outside it flies at our heads and makes a loud almost hissing sound. It has landed on the dog a couple of times so she's now reluctant to go out. I think there's a nest in a tree on our property and the bird is protective, however we're becoming prisoners in our own house! Thanks for any suggestions.
Rose.  Kingsville, Ontario.
Q941  I will be hunting in this area in June. I would like to know what type of biting insects there are that I need to be concerned about. What precautions are recommended?  Jason.   Miramichi, New Brunswick

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Q940 I have two different types of ants I must deal with. The first is the real problem one. They are very small and reddish brown, and by the hundreds. They make little mounds and they are all over the lawn. They seem to prefer dry soil though. When I put a spade in the soil, there seems to so many that the soil moves. How do I get rid of them, my area does not allow pesticide use, please help. The other is black ants. They are more localized to one or two spots and have larger mounds, same question for these.  Chris.  Orleans, Ontario.
There may be other insects in your lawn that are a food source for the ants. Try to improve the health of your lawn with fertilizers and water.  If this does not work, you will just have to accept the opinion of your local government that using pesticides is not necessary.
Q939 Me and my fiancé are looking at 15 acres in the country. There are a lot of trees and tall grass from years of neglect. The problem is that when we go and try to walk the ground, I come back to the truck and have at least 10 seed ticks on me. I was wondering if there is anything that we can do now that will keep the ticks off of us when we walk the land, and in the future to kill all the ticks that are living there. I love the property, but I hate the fact that I cant even step out of the truck without getting eaten alive.  Thank you.  Bethany
Seed ticks are the larval stage of any tick.
To prevent tick bites in tick-infested areas, take the following precautions:
When in the woods, walk on cleared trails. Avoid walking through tall grass and low brush in wooded areas.
Wear light-colored clothing covering both the arms and legs.
Tuck pant legs into socks.
Treat clothing and skin with tick repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET), or use the pesticide permethrin on clothing (but not skin).
Thoroughly check yourself, children and pets for ticks after spending time in tick-infested areas. Remember to check the scalp. If one tick is found, check for more.
Q938   I have bees that are living in the ground. They look like honey bees. They are destroying my lawn. If I spray their hole they just seem to dig up a new one. What can I do to get rid of them for good. It seems that I have this problem yearly.  Cynthia.
These wild bees are considered beneficial. They seldom sting. The holes they make are probably good for aerating your lawn.  It would seem a shame to kill them. Spraying pesticides may also kill other beneficial insects.
Q937  I have a mouse problem. We moved in Nov 2003 and my cat has killed as many as 5 baby mice. I believe that there are adult mice lurking in my fully detached, bungalow with no basement.  I am looking for a mouse poison that is able to kill these mice. I have hard of anti coagulant  that rots their blood and kills them from the inside out and keeps working on their bodies to help disintegrate them.  Any suggestions.  Paula
Most rodent baits on the market today are anti coagulants. When consumed, the rodent develops internal bleeding and dies painlessly. A good hardware store or garden shop should have a certified pesticide dispenser on staff that can advise you what is available in your area and what is the most appropriate product to use.  Be sure to ask for one that does not cause any secondary poisoning.
Q936  How do I get rid of chinch bugs with out using chemicals or is chemicals the only way.  Sid.  Sydney Mines.
Chinch bugs prefer poorly tended lawns with compacted soils, accumulations of thatch, a lack of moisture or an excess of nitrogen.  Proper lawn maintenance will discourage infestations and improve tolerance to damage. Some helpful practices include the following: aerating the lawn in the spring to reduce soil compaction;  removing thick layers of thatch (organic debris on the surface of the soil) in the fall, while keeping in mind that some thatch may be desirable to prevent winterkill in cold regions;  not over fertilizing, since this will encourage greater insect activity;  using water-insoluble or slow-release nitrogen fertilizers;  watering the lawn thoroughly but infrequently during the summer;  not cutting the grass too short — a length of 6–7.5 cm (2.5–3O) will help avoid stressing the grass; and  adding agricultural limestone to soil with a pH below 6.5
Q935  We continue to get bats in our attic, we have caught and killed many and have found where they are getting in. do not like the dirty things, and was wondering why they keep entering the same place. and what can we do to prevent them from coming in??? We are not interested in a bat house, just getting rid of them.  Lois.  Nebraska.
If you know where they are getting in, the simple solutions is to screen over the entrance.  You can install a one way door so they can get out but can't enter the attic.
Q934  When moving a box spring and mattress from my brothers house yesterday we noticed 8-10 beetle type bugs on the boxspring. the box spring was stored in a dark basement without heat and there is a turtle tank in the basement also. the bug is approx. 1/4" long, oval shape looks like split down back where wings open up. shiny black leathery back. nose has a pointy tip. 6 legs, reddish color to legs. antennae two 1/16th", the fly fairly well. tried to get photo but could not get detail, too tiny.  Sue
You may find a photo and the proper identification on the "What is this pest" page
Q933  Our pet hamster has infested our son's bedroom and caused bites and rashes on him. We have had the small bugs tested and they came up with either fowl mite or rodent mite. That's when we tested the hamster with water and found many mites on him.  I want to bomb his room but cannot find a product in a local store, like Home Depot, that lists mites specifically on the label. Can you please tell me what ingredient would effectively get rid of these mites so that I may use it in the house?  I have 2 cats and realize that I would have to evacuate our house regardless of what product we use.  I have seen Raid, Real Kill and Hot shot brands on the shelf.  Can you advise me?  Janet
This is a bothersome group of mites that parasitize poultry, wild birds, and rodents. When their normal host is not present they may also bite humans, causing discomfort and sometimes skin irritations. Fortunately, they do not reproduce on human blood, rarely transmit diseases or otherwise cause a health hazard to people. If you are concerned out your son's health, you will not "bomb" his room with an insecticide.  You should remove the hamster from the room and talk to a veterinarian about treating it.  The easiest method to control bird or rodent mites that have entered your home is to physically remove them with a vacuum cleaner or wipe them up with a moist cloth.  If this is not successful spray a small amount of pesticide along baseboards, around window frames and any other cracks and crevices where they may be hiding.  Be sure the insecticide is labeled for mite control.  Caution: Read all product directions very carefully before buying insecticides and again before applying.
Q932  We recently found a pill bug in my classroom. My students were fascinated by it and even more so, when we noticed some little white spots on the underside of it. After looking up the information, I found out that the white things were babies. We looked at them under a microscope and of course, my students were enthralled by how small they were and how transparent they were. However, our question is this... what happens to the female pill bug after it gives birth? Because the one we had found was dead. Do they die after they give birth?  Gloria
Eggs are carried under the female's abdomen until they hatch.  Because they are crustaceans that breath through gills, they can not survive in dry conditions. For some unknown reason Pill Bugs often wander into dry areas and die.  Read more on the Pill Bug page.
Q931  I have a pine tree at my back door not far from the entrance of our my office. Hornets have infested the tree during the day and I am afraid that some of my clients, patients, and I will get stung if I can't get rid of them. What would you suggest as a control? Thanks Sim.  Oxford, Nova Scotia.
If the hornets are just foraging in the pine tree they are not likely to attack anyone unless provoked.  If there is a hornets nest in the tree they may feel threatened and will try to protect it by stinging intruders.  Try to find the nest and call a professional to get rid of it.
Q930  It's common to see red ants all over San Antonio. The normal fire ants that is. But this morning I found one crawling in my living room that has raised my curiosity. It was larger then a fire ant and had a white band around it's abdomen. I have no clue as to what kind of ant this is. Anyone else know? Thanks.  Joe.  San Antonio, Texas
The species identification key on our Ant page may help you. Ants have 2 stomachs in their abdomen. One to carry food back to the colony. The abdomen is like an accordion.  When the stomachs are full it stretches and lines appear around it. This may be the might line you are seeing.
Q929 I have an approximate area 12 by 6 feet that looks like a huge ant colony in my front lawn and it is wrecking the grass. What do I do to get rid of it before it wrecks my whole lawn and all my gardens. We recently had the lawn rolled and aerated, will this help at all. I have a lot of kids around and I need something that will not be toxic to them. I have a beautiful front lawn and garden area, I don't want it wrecked. Sarah F
Cambridge, Ontario. 
Ants don't eat grass.  They may be in that area foraging for food which could be other insects that are eating the roots of your grass. A well maintained lawn is resistant to insect damage but sometimes pesticides are needed. If insecticides can not be used, you may have to live with a sick looking lawn. A lawn care professional could probably suggest a solution that would not be toxic to your children.  
Q928  Hi - for the last 2 weeks there are suddenly many fuzzy black and orange caterpillars in our neighbourhood. They move fairly quickly and like to climb up the side of the houses. They are about 1 cm wide by about 6 to 7 cm long. We live close to the ocean. They don't look like monarch butterfly larvae and there is no milkweed around. Any thoughts?  Sue.  White Rock B.C.
     The western tent caterpillar  is easily recognized by it's orange and black markings. This species spins tents on the tips of branches. The eggs hatch in early spring just as the new buds break in April or May. The young larvae begin feeding in groups. The larvae of both species molt (shed their skins) four times during their 5- to 6-week growing period. As the caterpillars mature, they begin to feed in small groups or singly. Just before they spin their cocoons in mid-June, they crawl about looking for a protected place in plants or on structures to attach their cocoons. The adult moths emerge in approximately 7 to 10 days. The moths are stout-bodied and light brown. They often fly in clusters around street or porch lights on summer evenings. After the moths mate, the females lay 100 to 350 eggs in a froth-covered band around small twigs or branches of host trees. The eggs mature in 3 weeks but do not hatch until the following spring.
      Tent caterpillars are primarily a nuisance. They do not transmit diseases to humans, do not bite, and are not poisonous. During years when large numbers of these caterpillars hatch, they can cause slippery roads and walks when they leave the trees. Benefits of a caterpillar outbreak can be numerous in a natural setting. While caterpillars are distasteful to most birds, some birds feed on them. When alders and other trees are defoliated, the shrubs and trees below receive increased sunlight, giving some of them a boost in growth. The eaten leaves pass through the caterpillar's body and emerge as little pellets which can break down easily, returning nutrients to the forest floor. Pupae provide nutritious meals for small mammals, and moths are eaten by birds and bats.
Washington State University Home See this excellent web page for more information.
Q927  Are Black widows Poisonous in B.C.?  Marina.  Kamloops, BC
Yes, like most spiders they carry a venom to inject when they bite to kill their prey.  See question #909 below.
Q926 The bug is brown color, is very ugly, I'm told it's a burrowing insect comes out when it starts to get sunny and warm.[ loves the heat] they call it a cedar bug it gives off a cedar smell. When squashed it has a very strong smell of cedar. Lots on the lake shores. I go to Kootenay Lake and there's a lot there. Thank you if you can identify this bug I'll know the next step to take. Richard.  Nelson, B.C.
It could be a western conifer seed bug.  There is a picture of it on our "what is this pest" page
Q925  My brother has a cabin on Mayne Island, BC and thinks an otter has gotten under it or is storing food under it. How can he get rid of the otter and the terrible smell?  Gina.  Mayne Island, BC
Otters are a protected animal in B.C. You can not harm them.  The best solution is to close their entry points with strong wire fencing. Make sure they are out during the day. Be sure there are no babies.  There may be some food but the odor from their feces is almost unbearable. It will have to be cleaned out.  Spread lime under the cabin to absorb odor.
Q924  Bats in the attic old farm house strong ammonia smell on second floor afraid to go in attic . How dangerous is odor ? How hard to get rid of bats? Do you think attic Area would be condemned? Bats have been there at least 15 years.  Ted.  Yahk, BC
Bat droppings can be a considerable health risk.  You should first block off their entry points.  More information and clean up suggestions can be found on the is page:  Bats
Q923  A mouse or rat has died in the wall of my store. Is there any way to get rid of the smell without ripping down the wall. Thanks
Mark.  BC.
If you can narrow down the exact wall cavity it is in, it is not too difficult to cut a hole in the drywall and remove it.  You could also try an odor absorbing product called Formulaire.  More information on this web page:
Q922   My mother-in-law is having problems with the upstairs of her house finding Ladybugs - what does she use to get rid of them.
Marg.  Stratford, Ontario
The best tool is your vacuum cleaner.  These insects would rather be outside but unfortunately ended up inside after spending the winter somewhere in your walls or other cavities.  Read about them on our Lady bug page to prevent a re-occurrence next year.
Q921  How do you get rid of crickets from in your house? Having a bearded dragon for a pet whose daily diet includes live crickets eventually leads to some of the crickets escaping and making a new home for themselves in my home where I don't want them. The boys have been catching them as we find them but I am afraid we won't find ALL of them.   Barbara.  Edmonton, B.C.

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Q920   How effective is the device called "Mosquito Magnet" and associated models work? Do you have any information on the pros and cons? Is it safe to leave it running un-supervised over several weeks?  Rosanna.  Shuswap, B.C.
The opinions we have heard from entomologists generally do not support the effectiveness of these devices.  They do attract and kill many mosquitoes but not enough to justify the cost and operating expenses.  The most favorable control is killing or preventing the larval stage. Here is a university web site with more information.
Q919   I am seeing clusters of big ants with wings trying to get into my roof.  They have just appeared under the roof overhang in 3 different locations.  How can I find the nest where they came from so I can get rid of it before more come to invade my home. John H.  Courtenay B.C.
The ants you are seeing are not trying to enter your home.  They are leaving nests in your home.  These are reproductive carpenter ants that swarm on warm days at this time of year (April-May) Once they mate, the females will seek a wet piece of wood to burrow into and start a new nest.  Likely in the roots of an old stump, landscape ties or the siding of homes that are under wet soil. The reproductive ants represent a very small percentage of the ant population in the nests they have left.  These nests are likely in the attic or walls.  See getting rid of carpenter ants. If you want professional help see the directory of professionals in Courtenay.
Q918  I found a very creepy, pretty large in size bug in my back yard. I found it dead so I put in a plastic and paper bag so I can show my bug guy. I was wondering if you could give me a site where I can see pictures of weird insects to find out what it is. THANK YOU !! Kristen
Check out our "what is this pest" page.  There are some pretty weird photos sent in by web visitors.
Q917  Last year i had seen a few small flying insects and was not sure about them. I later found damage to a wool pant in my closet...holes.
Since then i did a good vacuuming and put some good sweaters in a plastic container with moth balls and sealed with tape. I have not noticed any further items of clothing damaged. I put moth balls in my two clothes closets and sprayed them with a insect spray i bought. I did not see any flying ones for a few months and then have seen a couple again. I understand the flying ones are the males. So does this mean that i have a problem if i have seen the odd one flying around. I read about moth traps with the sticky glue. Where can i buy them. What do you recommend i do. Do i need to call in a pest control company or is there something i can buy myself that will help.  Mark.  Toronto
It is the larva of clothes moths that cause damage. The adult stage (flying moths) indicate there are larva present.  You are doing some of the right things to control them.  Make sure all of your stored clothing is clean. The larva prefer soiled items. You can try freezing suspected clothing in plastic bags. Insect glue traps are available from some pest management professionals.  Ontario pest professionals.
Q916  My sister bought me a wooden giraffe last year March from South Africa/ Zimbabwe area. Made from wood of the Baobab Tree. Last week I noticed a fine sawdust all around the giraffe. we also seem to have suddenly got a swarm of these waspy- hornet-beetle looking insects in the house the past week. They look like a powder beetle, but have light yellowy-brown stripes on them. Nobody seems to know what they are. I suspect a South African Wood Borer, but am unable to find someone to identify! HELP!!! I don't want these things eating my house!!! How long do they take to lay their eggs? Thanks for ANY info!  Mandy 
There are many species of wood boring beetles around the world. The larva can survive for a long time before it exits as an adult beetle. To kill the larva you may try freezing the carving for a few days.  If it is too large, check around for a commercial freezer.  Ask your friendly grocer. Be sure to seal it in a plastic bag.  Pesticides applied to the surface will not penetrate deep enough to have an effect.
Q915  I have silk worm nests in a few of my trees. How can I get rid of them?
You may have tent caterpillars.  Silk worms are not common.  Fruit bearing trees should be sprayed during the dormant season to prevent insect infestations in the spring. Once the caterpillars get established they are difficult to control.  Some people burn them using a propane torch on a long pole. They can also be pruned out if caught early enough.  Your local garden supply may have some better advice.
Q914  You have a VERY informative website. Thank you! For the first time in my 55 years, I've discovered a small carpenter ant colony (a satellite colony I presume) in the speaker of my shelf stereo unit in my living room. I live in Southern California in the San Gabriel area.
Last night, after opening up the speaker, and removing the foam rubber insulation, I sprayed the colony (about 150 ants) and scooped up the ants and pupa/larva/eggs into a jar so I could inspect them, study them. After closer inspection, I realized how "tiny" the eggs are. Since the foam insulation inside the speaker is white in color, I am almost positive that there are still MANY MANY more of these tiny eggs still embedded in the foam. My question is, will these eggs (the ones possibly remaining on/in the foam insulation) still mature? If so, how do you recommend that I rid the insulation of the left-over eggs? I was going to simply wash with hot soapy water and let the foam air dry for a few days.
I hope this isn't a naive question, but I'm a 'first-timer' when it comes to dealing with carpenter ants and I want to be sure I've eradicated them from the speaker. I'm going to check the other speaker tonight. Thank you in advance for your advice.
If any of the eggs survive, they will die in the larva stage because they need to be fed by an adult. Washing and drying the foam will reduce the chance of an odor from decaying protein.
Q913  I have searched high and low for information on some insects I have found in the wetland/swamp on my property.
The insect is hidden in a strip of cut leaves about 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch long. When I pulled the leaves off the insect I discovered what looks like some sort of larvae, but the head section had feet. As I am using a dialup connection, loading pages with insect images is very slow. I am not sure if its an actual insect, or the stages on the way to being something else, which makes it even more difficult to identify. Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.  Mathew.  Caledon, Ontario.
I think you have discovered the fascinating leaf cutter bee.  They roll up pieces of leaf into a tube about the size of a cigarette.  They lay an egg, stuff in some food, plug it, then lay another egg and can keep the process going until they produce quite a long tube.
Q912  I have made a few of the hornet traps from your site. The instructions say to add "attractant," but they don't say what to use as an attractant? I have both wasps, hornets & yellowjackets.  What do you suggest?  David.    Dayton OH.
Try anything sweet with a strong fragrance. [fresh soda pop] or a piece of raw fish.
Q911  We had a water leak in a bathroom and found carpenter ants living in the damaged wood. We sprayed pesticide and thought we got rid of them, we didn't see any (dead or alive) after about 1 week of spraying. It has been about 1 month now and we are starting to see some "healthy" ants on occasion. How do we get rid of them for good? Rebecca.    Indianapolis
Spraying pesticides on carpenter ants outside their nest will have little effect on the 90% that never leave the nest.  Use your vacuum cleaner. If you keep spraying they may move the nest making it difficult to find.  More info on the carpenter ant pages.
Q910  I have a mouse (or maybe mice) in my backyard. There are a couple of holes and a trail through the grass, saw one this morning that was small and grey. Would like to have them removed without harm is this possible? I have 2 cats so don't want to use poison. Kathy.  Brampton, Ont.
You may be feeding your cats too much.  Cats are one of the best mouse control solutions available.  Other outdoor mouse control methods can be difficult.  You could put mouse bait (poison) in cat and child proof bait stations but this could result in attracting more mice.  The bait smells like a great food source for a mouse. Traps are another option if you have the time to monitor and re-set every day.  You would have to place the traps in places the cats can not access. More info on the Rodent page
Q909  Do you know of any actual deaths as a result of Black Widow spider bites in BC? Are there any statistics available as to numbers of reported bites, illnesses etc? Thanks. Howard.  Kamloops, B.C.
Here is a quote from the Provincial Museum of Alberta web site:
"Although Black Widows have a notorious reputation, it is largely undeserved. They are very timid spiders that will do everything they can to avoid confrontation. There has never been a recorded death from a Black Widow bite in Alberta, and the last death in North America north of Mexico was over ten years ago."
Q908  We just found a strange spider sitting on our patio furniture. (Yikes) It is black and furry about 1/4" and has a reddish color on it's lower body with a black patterned stripe in the middle of it. It's legs look striped and it has 2 little fangs and black beady eyes. It doesn't look like a black widow with the thin legs - it is more tarantula shaped. Any idea what it is? We've never seen one like it before. We also noticed one that looks very similar to the "hobo" spider. Do you know where I can find more info on BC Spiders and how to get rid of them? Appreciate some info.
Carla.  Quesnel B.C.
Our spider page has a few photos of common spiders found in Canada and links to many other web sites with photos and descriptions.
Q907  How does one get rid of mealworms in kitchen cabinets....I would like to use natural remedies.  KF.
Mealworms are not really worms at all but are the larval form of the darkling beetle. Controlling mealworms requires carefully inspecting all cereal foods, discarding the infested material, repackaging all dry foods in air tight containers, and cleaning kitchen cabinets. Vacuum  thoroughly first then wash with soapy water. Make sure all cracks and crevices are clean. If unsuccessful you may have to call a professional to carefully apply an appropriate insecticide. 
Q906  I've heard scuttling about half a dozen times in the ceiling of the lower level of our side split home. I haven't seen any animals or droppings. I'm assuming it's mice, but it was very loud one evening so thought it could be something larger. I haven't heard anything for the past week. Is it possible they have just left? What action should I take?  Linda.  London, Ontario
Rodents will follow plumbing from the basement or crawl space up through all levels in a home. Try to plug the holes around these pipes where they go through the floor at the lowest level.  Look for droppings to determine what type of rodent you have then use traps in the basement/crawl space.  If you use poison be sure to follow the label directions.  Ontario Pest Professionals
Q905  Is it legal to shoot pigeons if they become a problem in my resident? It's in the balcony area of my apartment (rented).
Can you also refer me to the common laws regarding this matter? Sincerely,  JL.  Windsor, Ontario.
It is illegal to discharge a firearm in a residential area.  Have your landlord call a professional to deal with the problem in a legal way.
Ontario Pest Professionals
Q904  Lately I've been seeing a lot of bugs around the house, especially in the sink and the tub. They don't look like sow bugs, they are smaller and black. They crunch when you step on them. What are they and how do I get rid of them?  Angela,    Antigonish,  Nova Scotia
It's difficult to identify this insect by your description.  Put a few in a pill bottle and have them identified by a pest professional. Braemar pest control probably has a representative in your area.   Braemar web site.
Q903  I have done it all to try to rid my porch of millipedes. I've cut my lawn short, used various sprays, closed up cracks and hiding places. Is there any other solution to killing these pest? I'm afraid one might enter my home.  Andrea.  Dayton
If they are not getting into your home there is no problem.  Sometimes we just have to live with nature outdoors.  Spraying pesticides may be killing beneficial insects.
Q902  Over the last couple of years we have noticed an increase in bees on our patio area.  This is not occurring while food is out, it mainly happens when I am sitting in a chair sunbathing.   Is there anything I can do to detour their presents from a space that use to be mine ? I live in a suburb of Chicago.  Carol.  Chicago
As a pest professional,  I am reluctant to kill bees.  If they are orchard mason bees you could try building them a place to nest. Bees are very beneficial and seldom sting if they are not disturbed.  Read more about bees.  Many city residents never get to enjoy the benefits of wild bees. 
Q901  I've found this bee-like critter hovering around the eaves of my wooden porch. It is ALL black, about an inch, inch and a quarter long, thick fuzzy legs, bald shiny abdomen. It is alone, but it has these tiny yellowish substances clinging to its hind legs not unlike a pollen bee but it is more granular. I thought it might be a carpenter bee, but the picture I was able to find of a carpenter bee is only black on the abdomen and this guy is black from tip to tail, wings too. What am I dealing with?  Sandra. 
It is probably too large to be an Orchard Bee.  Check some of the links and information on our wasp and bees page

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