Bug Blog

Fire ants and You

Most people think of fire ants as a mere annoyance but there is so much more to them. They can use their bodies to build rafts and bridges, fly hundreds of meters in the air to mate, and dig massive tunnels for the colony. Fire ants use their jaws to bite or latch onto your skin, then inject venom into your skin with their stinger. Symptoms of the bite/sting can range from discomfort and itching to 1% of the population that have hypersensitive responses. Reproductive male and female fire ants have wings, used to fly up in the nuptial dance; the mated females lose their wings and try to set up a new colony, the male’s just die. Their tunnels can go as deep as 6 meters below ground. This is one reason why most insecticides are useless in their effect on the ant nest. Some pesticides merely build a surface obstruction that force ants to relocate the nest and rarely does it actually kill the colony or queen.

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


Beekeepers Rejoice!

This Saturday, August 19th is World Honey Bee Day (previously known as Honey Bee Awareness Day), bee keepers across the country join in a national effort to help safeguard declining honey bee population. Bee enthusiasts are celebrating honey bees but also promoting their involvement in sustainable farming. Bees play a vast role in our everyday lives and the pollination of our crops, it is said every third bite of food is a result of honey bees. In recent years, there has been a staggering drop in the population of honey bees; do to the loss of habitat, world climate change, parasites and farming pesticide use. Go Green Pest Control has been building a registry that brings beekeepers and homeowners together in an effort to protect honey bee swarms, three times this summer alone. We have had continued success in relocating honey bee swarms to new locations, using local beekeepers that help protect both public safety and the bees (honey bees and bumblebees). Bee swarming happens when a queen bee leaves an overpopulated colony, she will take thousands of worker bees with her and travel from a tree to a home or bee hive to barn or shed. So on Saturday, bee lovers everywhere decorate their gardens with lavender, borage and marjoram, the bee’s knees in pollinator lures.

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


The Puget Sound Garter Snake

At this time of year our garter snakes can be found along streams, rivers, and lakes, marshes, and wet meadows. They spend their days basking in sun yet always prepared to dive under water to avoid predators.  They use the position of the sun to orient themselves, and to be able to find their way back to the hibernacula (a place to overwinter) in the fall. They hunt mostly during the day, but occasionally are seen hunting at night.  The Garter snake active period also changes with the season. They eat slugs, frogs, toads, tadpoles, and insects but if the opportunity arises, they will eat birds, fish, and other reptiles. They also have the ability to eat prey that is toxic to other predators.  They can eat both the deadly Rough-skinned Newt and the toxic Bufo Toad.  Although the snakes can consume these toxic preys, the poison does temporally slow down the Garter’s movements. The young snakes eat earthworms until they learn to capture the more aggressive prey. Their defence mechanism includes releasing a foul blend of musk and feces from a hole at the base of the tail. If the stench doesn’t put off the aggressor, then they will flatten their heads and try to bite.

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


The birds and the Queen Bees

Queen bumblebees exposed to thiamethoxam, a commonly used insecticide, are less likely to lay eggs or build colonies, which according to researchers could lead to extinction. Thiamethoxam or the name brand Syngenta is a broad-spectrum insecticide, which means it is absorbed quickly by plants and transported to all of its parts, including pollen, where it acts to deter insect feeding, including bees and bumblebees. Then the insect (bee) absorb it in its stomach after feeding, or through direct contact. Thiamethoxam can greatly affect how many eggs are laid by queen bees. Researchers found queen bees were less likely to feed, and their eggs developed more slowly after just a two-week exposure to thiamethoxam. Bee lifespan shortened by exposure to neonicotinoids.

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


Flying Ants – the Nuptial Flight

There is a lot of different ant species in Delta but the best known is the carpenter ant. Most people think flying ants are a unique species, but almost all species of ants send out winged breeders in mating season. This is what they call the nuptial flight, when the ants take to the skies to mate. Moisture content and atmospheric temperature need to be perfect before they fly; this is why we often see flying ants this time of summer every year. Each ant species has its own requirements before they take to the skies, so the same ant species in different areas will fly at different times. Ant colonies produce and send out both male and female ants with wings. Only colonies that are well established with plenty of food will produce the princess ants. Larger in size, the females are all considered young queens, each looking to start their own colony. The nuptial flight begins when the females fly up and away from the males, in a game of catch, only the fastest and most fit male will get to breed. It’s a game of numbers, as only one in a million females will likely start a new colony. Of course nature has a way of keeping the population in check, as birds and offer insects wait for the swarms of ants to make a quick meal.

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


The battle of the Ants

Now that fire ants are showing up in Delta’s lawns and gardens, it won’t be long before they show up inside homes. Ants outside are an irritation, but if they get inside your home, that can become quite the problem. Since we have had a long string of hot and dry weeks, all insects are seeking out water inside your house, including ants. So where are you going to find them: bathrooms, kitchens and furnace rooms are where the water is, and food. I have listed numerous more eco-friendly ways to dispirit or kill ants in and outside of your home. Orange, lime and lemon oils are used to fend off ants. Vital oils like pine, mint, lavender and juniper can also be useful. If you google it, you can find out what the proportions to mix with water. Of course there is the old stand-by borax, mixed with simple sugar, jam or honey and placed small containers around the kitchen, bathroom and furnace (boiler room). When ants consume the borax bait, it affects their digestive system and gradually kills them. This slow kill allows time for the worker ants to consume the bait and return to the nest to share with the colony and queen. Diatomaceous earth can also be used alone any path the ants are taking. Once diatomaceous earth gets on their exoskeleton, it compromises their waxy coating so that their intestines turn into teeny tiny ant jerky. If all fails, call in an ant control specialist.

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




Mice Mice Mice, Why all the Mice

Why are there so many mice out there now? I don’t know, but this summer should be called “the summer of the mice”.  Usually, the house mouse makes its home in farmers’ fields, grassy fields and forests. They usually build nests in areas that are dark and protected with available food around i.e. your kitchen. Now mice are like rabbits, their population can explode in matter of weeks and turn your house into Swiss cheese. House mice are known for three things, their ability to chew on a wide variety of stuff, and to urinate and defecate everywhere they go. The best control for house mice indoors is to use snap traps and sticky pads. But how many do you use? Lots of traps and pads will ensure that you get the little vermin, and quickly. Mice are not that intelligent, compared to rats, they don’t realize that those traps and sticky pads are their destiny. And, those electric ultra-sonic retail gismos don’t work, save your money!   

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



Summer Fun – Red Ants, Wasps, Hornets and Bees

Sand, surf, sun, swimming, picnics, camping and little pesky stinging pests! Who can take the fun out of a beautiful summer day faster than a sting from a bee, wasps, hornet or a red ant? Almost everyone has been stung by one of these insects at least once in their lives and almost 1% of Canadians are allergic to these insects which can be lethal. Here are a few tips on how to avoid them. When it comes to bees, stay clear of wild or commercial hives. Most commercial hives are quite visible in coloured boxes and are often grouped in open fields. If you have even seen a swarm of bees, you certainly will know the sound and appearance, best to run and hide. When hiking, stay clear of old tree stumps and rock fissures as stinging insects like to make them their homes. Wasp and hornets are attracted to sweet and savory smells of picnics, scented soaps and perfumes. Wasp nests are found in trees and building structures but they can also be found in the ground or nesting in old cars and trucks. Insect repellent should be applied to all exposed skin areas, but be warned some sprays contain flammable components, so avoid flames and fires.


Tsawwassen Sun Festival – Go Green Pest Control Float

The 45th annual Tsawwassen Sun Festival Aug 7 2017

The B.C. Day long weekend festival, Rotary Parade ran down 56th Street at 11 a.m.

Go Green Pest Control entered with one of their vehicles and the award winning 2017 soapbox derby cart, the RAT ROD

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