Bug Blog

What you need to know about Wasps

We have dozens of different types of wasps in Delta, some so small, you don’t even see them. Most are both pollinators and predators of pest bugs. Common wasps, including the paper wasp, yellow jackets and bald-faced hornet, yet it’s the yellow jackets that scavenge on our food and garbage. Wasps create a new colony each spring and never reuse the old nest. The nests are made of chewed wood fiber mixed with saliva. They can sting with their small barbs repeatedly, in defense of their nests and it’s usually the yellow jackets or hornets. A wasp’s sting is painful (trust me I know) and some people are allergic. Wasps are also edible insects and are being touted for their high-protein and low fat. Samurai wasps are now being used to fight the invasive stink bugs, the wasps lay their eggs inside stink bug eggs.

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


Pocket Gophers

Pocket gophers are medium-sized rodents ranging from about 15 to 35 cm in length. Their fur varies in color from black to brown to nearly white and is very soft. The pocket gopher got their name from the fur-lined pouches outside its mouth used to transport food. They are efficient tunnelers, making their way under your garden and lawn using its short neck and large claws on the front paws.  A unique aspect of the pocket gophers burrow is the horseshoe-shaped mound at the surface. They feed on weeds, grasses, crops, garden plants, plant roots, bulbs, tubers such as potatoes and underground plant stems. Their predators include coyotes, foxes, skunks, bobcats, weasels and hawks, owls and eagles. Young gophers look like smaller versions of adults. Signs of an infestation are burrowing under your landscaping.

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



Do Squirrels actually cause damage?

Is a squirrel, a fuzzy tailed rat, nobody knows. Squirrels cause the most damage in commercial tree seed and seedling orchards by debarking branches and eating tree cones and seeds. In Delta, they normally cause marginal damage to trees and seeds, but can completely damage destroy electrical wires, short out transformers and chew holes in a home’s siding, fascia, soffit and tearing up insolation, any of which can cost thousands to fix. When a squirrel gets into an electrical equipment room of a building they can cause widespread damage to the heating and air conditioning system. Although rare, they can cause damage to lawns by digging holes to burry nuts. They do more damage to the bark and twigs of landscaping trees and bushes from chewing. A habit that irks bird lovers is the damage they do to bird feeders while getting to and eating birdseed. Squirrels in a home attic may create altogether different problem by affecting the chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Squirrel activity in an attic space can generate noises that often cause nervousness and worry for the homeowner. Most tree squirrels are active in the daytime and less active in the evening but nighttime activities can cause noise that interferes with the occupant’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.

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



The ants are coming 2 x 2

The time of year, ant control is an essential when living with food indoors or outdoors. Scientists suggest that there are one million ants for every human on earth. Some ants flourish near moisture, others are enticed to food and water but all ants can enter through small crack or hole in your building’s foundation, walls, windows or doors. Keep plants and shrubs under control and away from the structure. Gutters and downspouts need to be kept clean. Check for plumbing and structure leaks as all holes, cracks and crevices in the structure have to be sealed to keep the ants out. Mounds of dirt and standing water should also be eliminated. If ant infestations are a yearly nightmare, it is strongly recommended to get a recurring service to spray the exterior along the foundation. Having a picnic? Place all picnic tables legs into a half cup of water and the ants will fall into the water and drown.

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


Humans can sniff-out truffles

Our social and emotional states are influenced by our sense of smell. There apparently is no evidence that humans have an inferior sense of smell to that of most animals like rats, mice and dogs. As the human brain developed over time to become larger, the olfactory bulb grew proportionally. The statement that humans can only detect around 10,000 different odors is not founded in science rather science fiction. It is now believed that we should be able to detect up to a trillion different odors. Rats have a larger number of olfactory receptors than humans but that doesn’t inevitably mean that they can smell any better. The human olfactory system is made of an enormous number of neurons which is similar to that of a rat or dog. Rats and mice have genes that code for some 1,000 different receptors that are activated by odors while humans only have about 400, but again this speciously doesn’t make rodents better sniffers.

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



Parasitic Wasps Sniffs with Its Butt

The parasitic wasp uses its ovipositor, located on their abdomen, to locate and then inject its eggs next to the larvae of a preferred another wasp deep within a fig (not a fruit but an inverted bunch of flowers). When the fig gives off a perfume that attracts pollinating wasps, the wasp will lay her eggs in the tiny flowers. The parasitic wasp bores into the fig with its ovipositor (reinforced with zinc) seeking a specific wasps galls (eggs) to insert its own eggs next too. The parasitic wasp’s ovipositor has olfactory sense receptor that detects a specific developing larvae carbon dioxide gas. The boring takes about an hour and her eggs need to be laid accurately because her progeny have to eat as soon as they hatch and are not able to hunt for their gall-bound hosts themselves. Wasps use their ovipositors to smell outside figs too.

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



Sowbugs aka woodlouse or pill bugs

Sowbugs are not actually bugs but crustaceans like lobsters and shrimp. They are flat, oval, about 1 cm long with 14 legs and two pair of antennae. Sowbugs have gills which need constant moisture, so they spend most of their time in damp places. They are primarily nocturnal, and eat decaying leaf litter and vegetable matter. They may also feed on the tips of young plants, so can be considered pests, but they also help the environment by breaking up decaying plant matter and help speed up the recycling of the nutrients they contain. Sowbugs usually come into homes through ground-level doors, sliding glass doors and windows seeking damp, humid environments. The best way to prevent sowbugs is eliminating their hiding places are to create an area next to the home that is free of mulch and soil. Make sure exterior doors close tightly, replace weather stripping around doors and windows. Crawlspace vents need to be open for ventilation and to reduce moisture build-up. Sometimes chemical control is needed to help eliminate infestations.

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


The Gollynipper or Mosquitoes

What has antlers and sucks blood? A moose-quito! In Delta the risk of getting an illness or serious health effects from mosquito bites is very low, although West Nile virus is still out there. Mosquitoes bites, as we know, cause itchiness and irritation, thankfully only the female mosquitoes feed on blood to produce eggs. They grow in still or very slow-moving water laying up to 400 eggs on the surface of the water. The life cycle from egg to adult can take less than 2 weeks if the temperature is between 21° and 28°C. Predators that kill off the larvae include: fish, frogs, beetles, dragonflies, water bugs and birds. To help prevent mosquitoes breeding you can remove standing water and use mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicides include products like bacillus thuringiensis or bacillus sphaericus, these insecticides kill the larvae. Methoprene or novaluron will help to prevent the larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes. Devices designed to repel or trap and kill mosquitoes include: lanterns, coils, sprays, bug zappers, and electronic mosquito repellers that emit a high-frequency sound.

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


Blurring the lines for male insects

Sex chemicals blur male insects into looking for love in all the erroneous places. Each pheromone only targets a single pest species. That leaves helpful pollinators like bees and slayers such as ladybugs uninjured.  Some farmers are now turning to the green substitute of pheromones, the alluring chemicals female insects use to attract males. By spraying pheromones into the air in orchards and vineyards, farmers can confuse male insects into thinking that females are calling from all directions. The males go looking for love in all the wrong places, while the females wait defenselessly. Pheromones have a number of advantages. Insecticides don’t just kill pests, but also beneficial insects such as pollinators and pest-eating predators. Pheromones, on the other hand, are accurately targeted, because each insect species has its own chemically divergent pheromone.  A given pheromone can target just the single insect species that’s causing damage while not affecting any other moth around or any other insect for that matter: nor do pheromones affect any other organisms. They can be used by both organic and conventional growers.

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