Bug Blog

Raccoon – Procyon Lotor – Dumpster Diver

Procyon lotor or the raccoon is well known for its nocturnal exploits specifically its love affair with garbage cans. Most home owners are forced to take protective measures so their garbage isn’t scattered nightly. In fact, this single event has made it into many movies and has earned it both our indignation and fondness. The smell of food coming from human garbage, compost, and recycling is irresistible to raccoons. But, it is possible to prevent raccoons from getting into garbage cans. Keep your garbage inside until the morning of pick-up day, organic waste can be kept in a freezer to reduce smells. If garbage cans must be kept outside, store them in a shed or garage, or build a wooden lock-box with a padlock to hold the cans. Bungee cords can keep bins closed, but make sure to take them off the morning of garbage pickup. Raccoons can get into garbage cans by tipping them over and knocking open the lids. Bins with handles can be hung from a wall with a bicycle hook or a bungee cord.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky


Head Lice

Misconceptions, along with the burden of head lice itself, can lead to great discomfort, anxiety and embarrassment for those affected. Often, individuals feel embarrassed just talking about the condition, not realizing that having head lice is not an indicator of poor hygiene. The need for education and awareness regarding the condition and treatment options is paramount.
The survey results indicated:

low-income families are more likely to contract head lice.
poor hygiene is a factor in the spread of an infestation.
men are significantly more likely to believe poor hygiene is a contributing factor
head lice can be contracted by lice “jumping” from person to person.
Head lice are the most prevalent parasitic infection in Canada, which most frequently affect children between three and 12 years old; however it doesn’t discriminate with age. Fortunately, head lice can be treated easily and don’t need to be a source of social embarrassment or panic.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky



 Mouse Repellents – Myths?

There are plenty of myths surrounding which mouse control methods work the best to help drive out your unwelcome house pest. The common natural mouse repellent or home remedies include: cheese, peppermint, moth balls, ultrasonic sound waves, but do they actually work?
Mothballs Keep Mice Away – No, mothballs are thought to be a DIY mouse control method because it contains naphthalene. It’s thought that by placing mothballs where mice are seen that it will get rid of the problem. The amount of naphthalene found in mothballs is a small dosage. It’s enough to deter moths and other insects, but for mice, this is no problem.
Peppermint Oil – No, mice can live in sewers so peppermint oil is a dream compared! Most gases and fumes rises and mice are quite small and stay close to the ground, so peppermint oil does not repelled mice.
Ultrasonic devices – If there isn’t a plug point close to where the rodent activity is in your home then the device will be unsuccessful. Ultrasonic mouse repellers may work in the short term until the mouse learns to avoid the area or adapts to the background noise.
Cheese – Mice aren’t really that obsessive about cheese but will eat it, they apparently won’t go out of their way to snack on it. Mice really really like peanut butter, so that would be your best bet in attracting them!

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky


Rodents Long-Term Care Facilities

Well now we are locked down into full fall mode: short days, rain and gloom. So that also means that rodents are looking for long-term care facilities, so it’s time to think about the factors that can put your assets at risk of infestation and take the bull by the horns or rat by the tail and keep rodents out. Rodents carry diseases which are spread in their urine, saliva and feces. To get ahead of a rodent infestation, you can develop your own Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program with non-chemical techniques with including exclusion, maintenance and sanitation to prevent issues. Here are the three rodents that we have in Delta.
Norway rat: Norway rats live near buildings and burrow underground beneath foundations, decks and sheds. They live outdoors during the day and like to be inside a building during the night.
Roof rat: Roof rats are generally found in attics, ceiling, walls and trees. Similar to the Norway rat, they live outdoors during the day and like to infiltrate buildings through cracks, gaps and holes in roof and siding of your house and sheds.
House mouse: House mice usually get into a home or business through an open door. They usually hang around the kitchen looking for food and can be found behind or in stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and kitchen cabinets.
Winter is coming; don’t let rodents use your home or business as their long-term care facility.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky



Where Do All the Ants Go?

Where do all those ants go in the winter? Just like the leaves falling in late autumn, ants seemingly disappear (or do they). Short of calling it hibernation, they will enter a dormant stage in which they lay low, feeding off the fats, carbohydrates and proteins they stored. Ants consume large amounts of food in late summer and early fall to put on fat, thereby allowing them to go without much sustenance through the winter months. Ants are masters of overwintering, when cold air hits their body temperatures drop radically and their movements become lethargic. If their current nest isn’t adequate, they will then seek out warmer places, such as deep soil, under logs or in the bark of trees. Many species overwinter by gathering together to maintain body heat, especially around the queen, ensuring future generations. If they are still living in their nests, they will close down the entrance and traffic ceases. When warmer weather returns in the spring, the ants will become active again and worker ants will leave the nest in search of food. To eliminate the chance of a colony overwintering in your walls, contact a professional to have the perimeter of your house treated to kill ants on contact.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky


Fungus in Ants’ Clothing

Carpenter ants are very active this time of the year setting up satellite nests in people’s homes so they can over winter their eggs. With so many shows about zombies out there now, I thought that this one would be fitting. I came across an interesting article about carpenter ants that get infected by a fungus, which in turn become zombie ants and then have no control over its body. Influenced by the parasite, an infected ant leaves its nest and goes to the forest floor which is more suitable for fungal development. After the zombiefied ant finds the underside of a leaf, it attaches itself by biting into the foliage. Once the ant anchors itself to the leaf, the fungus continues to cultivate and grow inside the ant eventually penetrating through the head and releasing its fungal spores. Within a couple weeks, the fungus has completed its cycle and waits for the next ant. When the fungus enters the ant, it controls the actions of the ant by penetrating and surrounding muscle fibers throughout the ant’s body. The Zombie ant becomes part insect and part fungus. Once the fungus is satisfied with its location the brain is turned into a fungal gel and the spores leave through the head.

Gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky



Put your foot down on Silverfish

Silverfish are nocturnal and secretive. The extent of an infestation may go on for long periods of time, allowing for very large populations. They reproduce very quickly and have destructive feeding habits, ruining paper books, clothing and wallpaper. Their preferred environment is damp areas mainly around the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, attic and basement. Silverfish nymphs (babies) develop quicker in areas that are humid therefore preventing an infestation can be as simple as controlling humidity in your house. Open vents in crawl spaces and seal baseboards with caulking. Because silverfish eat an assortment of foods, rigorous housekeeping may help stop an infestation. Sticky traps and pesticides sold in retail stores will only kill individual insects and usually cannot stop an entire infestation. Dealing with a silverfish infestation requires treatment of both adult silverfish and their shelter. Silverfish infestations usually require professional treatment.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky



Ladybugs Invade Your House!

Half way through fall and most of the leaves have fallen, the snow is flying and the local ski mountains are opening up. As much as we love our nice comfortable warm houses so do ladybugs. Asian Lady Beetles or ladybugs are not native to the B.C. and populations of the bug have exploded throughout the lower mainland as well as the Pacific Northwest. These insects prefer our warm houses to the cold outdoors and will mass around light-colored buildings, by the dozens. Asian lady bugs emanate a bitter, smelly odour after being handled or crushed and can stain house hold furnishings with a yellowy liquid they produce from their legs. Also, they do bite and some people might be allergic to them. So, here are a few suggestions to keep these ladies outdoors (of course this works for most insects as well). Seal all cracks and crevices in your house with silicon latex, including where cable wires, phone lines, and other wires and pipes run into your house. Repair or replace windows screens, repair door sweeps and inspect garage door’s bottom rubber seals. Also consider having your house sprayed with insecticide. If any do get inside merely vacuum them up and change the bag regularly to avoid a persistent stink.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky


Rodents Like to Whistle a Tune

Rodents like rats and mice use (USVs) to communicate similar to the edge-tone mechanism used in a police whistle. Rodents are the only species that produces a whistling sound similar to human whistling. A combination of “imaging technology” and “tissue staining” was used to produce a 3-dimensional image that shows the structures that make up the site of sound production in a rodent’s larynx; which is approximately the size of a pinhead. Because of the size of the rodent’s larynx is so small it has not been well studied or understood. The ultrasonic vocalizations found in rodents work in the same fashion as a whistle or flute. An airstream is directed against a sharp edge causing the connecting air column within a tube into regular pulsations, producing sound. In the case of rodents, an air sac-like nook works as a resonator that magnifies the sound. USVs are also studied to help investigate people with autism spectrum disorders.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky



Pests, when to except them!

Just like the leaves turning colours and falling off the trees in fall, pests also have a preferred time they like to infest our homes. It doesn’t matter the time of year; there is always one kind of pest eager to invade your personal space. Fortunately, they are creatures of habit and we know when they are getting ready to assault your property. In the fall the weather gets colder, a couple of pests will try to get indoors for heat, shelter and food. Common fall pests include spiders, stink bugs, flies, fleas and bed bugs. Also depending on the weather, rodents and wasps can be active during the first couple months of fall. Then when winter comes the pests that are seeking warmth and food include mice, rats and squirrels. Also we find that all the travelling during the holiday season can help the spread of bed bugs, fleas and cockroaches. When spring cracks through the ice, there are a handful of pests which like to become an annoyance around your home. These include ants, flies, stinging insects, moths, cockroaches, domestic birds and of course the return of skunks, squirrels and raccoons. If spring remains cold, rats and mice might still be an issue. Finally, summer brings the longer warm days and another handful of pests that also enjoy the summer months. Common summer pests include mosquitoes, stinging insects, ants, flies and moths. Also with the increase in summer vacations and travel the spread of bed bugs continue.

gogreenpestcontrol.ca Ladner Tsawwassen Delta B.C. Randy Bilesky