F.A.Q PEST CONTROL INFORMATION
1. How can I tell if my house has mice?
The easiest way to tell if your home has a mouse is by the small droppings you will see around. Mice can leave up to 36,000 droppings per year! You may also hear scratching or scuffling sounds between walls, appliances or in cupboards Chewed food packages and building materials are other way to check if mice have started living in your home.
2. What can I do to make sure I don’t get an infestation of mice in my house?
- Cover vents with metal mesh screening and use metal weather-stripping and flashing
- Patch cracks in the foundation with concrete filler
- Use steel wool around pipes prior to sealing
- Keep your house and property free of clutter so there are less places for rodents to set up home
- Make sure to have secure lids on garbage cans
- Make sure compost only contains acceptable materials, and that it is well maintained and away from the house
- Eliminate water sources (like leaky taps, sweating pipes, and open drains)
- Store dry goods and pet food in plastic, glass, or metal containers so they are not an easily accessible food supply
- Keep kitchens and pantries/food storage areas clean.
3. I’ve seen bed bugs in just one room; can you treat just that room?
No. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding. They do not come out every night and are rarely seen during the day. You probably have not seen all of them. With bed bugs, success demands thoroughness.
4. I’ve seen one mouse, is it likely that there more?
Probably. Mice are gregarious, typically living in family groups of 7 to 20. Mice have small territories ranging up to a maximum of 30 feet in any direction from their nesting site. Each mouse produces, on average, 70 droppings and 3000 micro-droplets of urine every 24 hours. One or two traps from the hardware store is usually not enough to solve most mouse problems.
5. I’ve heard a noise in my attic. What is it?
It depends. What time do you hear it?
Noise at Night – This usually means rats. Roof rats are the most common cause of night noises in your attic. If the noise is in your crawlspace or basement, it is likely a Norway rat. Very loud noises could mean a raccoon has moved in. Sometimes raccoon’s can go unnoticed if your attic is highly insulated. Rarely, a noise at night may indicate the presence of bats.
Noise during the Day – Both squirrels and birds are active throughout the day. They generally leave in the morning, return occasionally throughout the day and return for the evening. Have a look outside your home (look at the roof and soffit areas) early in the morning and again at dusk and try to spot the entry areas.
Insects can occasionally make enough noise in a home to be noticed. A large wasp or hornet nest in a wall or ceiling space will make enough noise to be heard inside when it’s quiet during the day. Established carpenter ant nests also make enough noise to be heard during the day but especially at night (as they are more active at night). The noise is often described as crackling or like crinkling paper.
6. Will carpenter ants eat my house?
No. Carpenter ants excavate galleries in the wood for their nests but they do not eat wood. However, they are a serious structural pest that must be dealt with properly as they damage and weaken structures.
Termites eat wood. The Western Subterranean Termite is prevalent. These termites consume wood, build mud tubes connecting their food and nesting areas and are considered a very serious structural pest. Pacific Dampwood termites are very common throughout the West Coast but only damage wet or decaying wood. They usually occur outside and are typically not a serious structural pest.
7. Are winged ants carpenter ants?
Maybe. Winged ants are the reproductive phase in all ant species, not just carpenter ants. The presence of winged ants indicates that colonies are mature and attempting to expand. Mating flights of these winged ants (called swarms) usually do not result in the establishment of successful new colonies. Most winged ants die within hours of leaving their nest.
If you see “big black winged ants” on the West Coast, they are likely carpenter ants. Camponotus modoc is the largest and most prevalent carpenter ant species in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. The winged female of this species is the largest winged ant we encounter. However, size and color are not definitive. There are 10 different species of carpenter ants and many others here on the West Coast. Carpenter ants are polymorphic (they have 3 sizes of workers and 2 sizes of reproductives), they are a variety of colors and can often resemble many other ant species.
8. I’ve plugged a hole that wasps were flying in and out of. Now what?
Plugging the entry hole will not solve the problem. The wasps will try to find another way out, which may be into your living space.
If the hole is on the outside of your structure, and it is safe to do so, unplug it. If it is unsafe to unplug or you are not comfortable doing this, wait for our technician to arrive. If the hole is on the inside and was plugged to keep wasps from coming in your living space, do not unplug this. Some nests will break through interior walls or ceilings as they enlarge late in the season (usually late August/September). This can be dangerous. Close off the room and call us immediately.
9. What safety precautions are necessary or are taken when providing service?
We practice Integrated Pest Management and for many services, no special precautions are requied on your part. Our technicians follow appropriate safety precautions as legislated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Workers Compensation Board (WCB).
When vacating your home is necessary, we require vacating times longer than Health Canada recommends, adding an extra margin of safety. When pesticides are required, we use the least toxic materials and application methods that will be effective against your specific target pest.