Bug Blog

Next up – Bed Bug Anti-Histamines   

We all know by now that bed bugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread disease but they do feed on our blood, cause us rashes and allergic reactions. Now it has been discovered that bed bug feces contains a chemical that dawdles after the insects have been eradicated and these chemicals -histamines may cause allergic reactions in form of rashes and breathing difficulties. In fact, the histamine levels can remain high for 6 months after the bed bugs have been treated. A study found higher levels of histamine in the apartments that have been treated for bed bugs can be over 21 times higher than histamine levels that did not experience bed bug issues. This might change the way we view bed bugs and how we deal with infestations in the future.

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



The fire ants are coming

Now that we have fire ants in our community, it’s time to learn how to keep them under control this coming spring through summer. Two things, first accept the fact that it is doubtful that you will ever get rid of them and you should understand what steps are required to keep them at bay. It’s all about timing, applying the proper insecticide at the best time; May-June and September-October. The two approaches are bait treatment and direct mound treatment. The best effective controlling program is a two-step process using both treatments. Bait treatment allows foraging ants to pick up the bait and take it back to the nest to feed the colony. Direct mound treatment uses an insecticide which is applied directly on the mound. The baits and mound insecticides are very hard to find in local garden center, so you might want to consider a professional, you can contact me at gogreenpestcontrol.ca @gmail.com, if you do it yourself be sure you read all directions on the product’s label.

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



Valentines – Love Is In the Air for Skunks

I’ve had several reports of people seeing skunks out after it gets dark and that sweet smell of friendly skunks. Skunks are now out and about because it’s mating season right up to the end of March. They are nocturnal and don’t cover much territory, apparently in a radius of about 4 meters. Prior to coming out to mate, they have spent the last few months snuggling up in their dens (they don’t actually hibernate) – sometimes in groups, although they are not sociable animals the rest of the year. Their dens can be under decks, sheds, houses, wood plies, hollowed out logs or abandoned dens. The males are the ones that will travel kilometers in search of love. The real stink happens when a male tries to court female that is not “in the mood.” When this occurs, the female skunk will fire out an aroma to drive way the intended suitor.  As it turns out, skunks don’t like their smell either and rarely actually spray each other, as the spray contains sulphuric acid, which can cause temporary blindness. Like valentines, the skunk romance only lasts a short time.

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


Seoul Virus Found in Pet Rats

Seoul virus is a type of Hantavirus found in Norway rats, one of the most common varieties of rats here in Delta (85 % Norway and 15% roof rats). The virus does not cause symptoms in the rats but it if we contract it; infections develop within two weeks (or up to 8 weeks) after exposure to the virus. Not everyone infected with Seoul virus will have symptoms. Initial symptoms begin with extreme headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea, blurred vision, low blood pressure, acute shock, vascular leakage, and acute kidney failure. There is no specific treatment for Seoul virus infection but careful management hydration and electrolytes are necessary. This is important for owners of pet rats to be aware of the risk for Seoul virus infection and one simple step of washing hands after handling rodents and before preparing food is very important. Doctors in Canada have seen cases of Seoul virus infection in humans who contracted the virus from their pet rats. The outbreak spread from ratteries (places where rats are bred sales) to homes where the pet rats were kept.

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


Rodent Fun Facts – For a Change

Ok, rodents are smart; believe me I know too well. When most people think of rodents, you may think of mice and rats but there are actually 1,500 types of rodents, including voles, moles, groundhogs, porcupines, muskrats and squirrels – just to mention a few. Although they are all naturally wild animals, some have become domesticated and are kept as pets such as rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, hedgehogs and chipmunks. Rodents aren’t usually dangerous but they do carry diseases and can make a mess of your house. All rodents have two front teeth that are continually growing and are naturally yellow (not due to lack of brushing). Rodents gnaw on wood, plastic, bark, etc. to keep their teeth short and sharp. Most rodents only eat plants, nuts and seeds while others are meat eaters that enjoy insects, frogs, birds and anything they can get their paws on. Rodent’s life span can vary depending on their environment, from 9 months to 4 years in the wild. In general, rodents produce a lot of offspring because life can be very challenging – predators are everywhere.

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



Rodents are taking advantage of our wet temperate weather.

We all like to get outside when the weather warms up (even in the rain), and mice and rats are no different. The pest control business usually slows down to a crawl this time of year when we go through cycles of freezing temperatures. This year is a little different because the rodents aren’t being slowed down by cold temperatures and fluctuations in weather. Since the beginning of 2018, we have experience record setting rains with little freezing so the rats and mice are very active, Go Green P C’s phone is ringing more often than it did this time last year. When rodents get inside a house, they can make a home for themselves just about anywhere that has a food, water source and a safe harbourage. Mice really like the kitchen, appliances make convenient and cozy hiding places. There’s always a room under the dishwasher (think warm water pipes), behind the stove and refrigerator (warm compressor). Mice and rats are attracted by food (dried products and most pantry items), pet food, and anything that’s edible around the home. Mice need very little food to survive and can get water from most food they eat. Rats need about 200 millilitres of water a day, which they need to get from outdoors unless there is a leaky pipe or a pets water bowl around. Rats aren’t picky eaters either; they will eat everything from plant fertilizer to dog feces, so keep your yard clean or you maybe inadvertently feeding rats.

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



 Relocating Raccoons

These unwelcome guests will shelter in chimneys, attics, garages, under decks, porches and under hot tubs. They usually breed in the end of January into February. Raccoons do not form bonding relationships but pair only to mate. Babies are born between April & July. Typically, a sow (raccoon mother) will have 2-3 dens already secured before she first gives birth. Therefore she will move from one “den” site to another with her young in tow. You will need to get the mother out before you begin the exclusion process. When the mother realizes that her kids are in danger she usually will begin to move them within 24 hours. You need to be absolutely sure that all the raccoons are out attic before you exclude it. The raccoon will likely try and get back in your attic at one point so wiring or boarding up the entry point is crucial. Also, repairing the damage to its original constructed method is good. Usually where raccoons find entry points it is either worn or damaged areas, or gaps in construction – and yes i’ve done brand new homes. You can lawfully live trap and relocate raccoons without a permit and if you can, take them out to Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley. If the process becomes too daunting or you just don’t want to deal with a mamma bear (raccoon) you can get a hold of me at gogreenpestcontrol.ca@gmail.com, the sooner you can deal with these bandits the better for all.

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



Vaping damages DNA and more – found in mice!

Nicotine used in e-cigarette vapour is not as risk-free as originally thought, although vaping is considered less harmful to overall human health than smoking tobacco. Recent studies with mice have shown that vaping actually does cause considerable damage; although these results don’t necessary directly translate to the same risks in humans. A new study has shown that e-cigarette smoke damages DNA in the heart, lungs and bladder in mice. It was discovered that nicotine in the e-cigarette vapour made cells less able to repair DNA damage, possibly contributing to lung and bladder cancer, and heart disease. Vaping also damages key blood vessels in the heart in a similar way to normal cigarettes. Claims that vaping causes cancer, at this point, is still considered a false alarm or fake news. Many vapers are ex-smokers using e-cigarettes to quit smoking and vaping is still considered than harmful then smoking.

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



Rats – I help you because you helped me

Rats exhibit supportive behaviour just like us humans. It was discovered that rats are more motivated to participate in grooming with another rat if food was received from it and vice versa. They were found to groom willing food-suppliers more often than those rats that did not share food. As a result, the groomers then received even more food for their efforts. “I help you because you helped me” is the decision rule of direct reciprocity, which was found in those rats that shared food and received grooming as a reward. Reciprocal trading is not limited to large-brained species as shown by bees running their hive or ants in a colony. Until recently, it was thought that the amount of brain power required to do this kind of interaction was over taxing their abilities and unlikely to happen.

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



Do Groundhogs really have a Crystal Ball?  

Groundhogs a.k.a. woodchucks, land beavers or whistle-pigs, are large rodents known for their destructive burrowing habits.  Groundhog Day is a tradition celebrated here in Canada on February 2 each year. Groundhogs emerge from their burrows and if they see a shadow due to clear weather, they will retreat to their den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if they don’t, due to cloudiness, spring season will arrive early. This year it’s up in the air, but most of the groundhogs have predicted the extra 6 weeks. Here are a few odd ball facts about groundchucks or woodhogs:

1) The tradition began in Germany when hedgehogs or woodchucks predicted the weather.

2) According to the Groundhog Club’s, the most popular groundhog “Phil” is never wrong – fake news- his accuracy is less than 39 per cent.

3) One forecast takes place in Gobbler’s Knob. Knob is an old word for a hill; Gobblers refers to turkeys.

4) First became popular in Canada in 1956 when groundhog Wiarton Willie started his early February weather predictions.

5) Shubenacadie Sam is reportedly the first groundhog in this country to stick its head out on Groundhog Day.

6) Other groundhogs include: Van Island Violet in B.C., Gary the Groundhog in Ontario, Brandon Bob in Manitoba and Balzac Billy in Alberta.

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