The Good Guys: Beneficial Insects In Your Garden

A number of insects in the garden provide several benefits including pollination of plants, eating insects that may harm the garden and breaking down decaying matter.

Around 80% of all flowering plants depend on insects and birds to help them transfer pollen. Bees are well known for helping to pollinate flowers. Butterflies, moths, wasps and other beetles also help with pollination. Some insects will gravitate toward certain types of plants. Bees typically congregate around open flowers with accessible nectar, usually with colours of blue, purple, white, and yellow. They cannot see red.

Fennel, dill and parsley are good pollen rich plants that will attract beneficial insects to your garden. Dandelions are also a good source of food and shelter for many beneficial insects.

Ground beetles, parasitic wasps, syrphid flies, tachinid flies and ladybugs all help keep other pest populations down. Some insects such as wasps and flies lay their eggs on other bugs and the larva feed off of them. Other insects such as ladybugs are predatory and are on the hunt in your garden. Ladybugs feed on small insects, aphids, mealy bugs and mites. Both the larva and the adults feed on other pests. Lacewings feed on other aphids, helping to reduce aphids in the garden. Assassin beetles feed on all other insects in the garden. Ground beetle larva feed on root maggots, slugs and worms that may harm your garden. Although they are not insects, earthworms are also highly beneficial in gardens as they aerate and enrich the soil.

There are many bugs in the garden that are helping to keep your plants healthy. So the next time you see a ladybug, beetle or worm, make sure to thank them for the wonderful job they are doing.

Question Of The Day: Do Wasps and Hornets Sting Or Bite?

Do Wasps and Hornets Sting Or Bite?

This is an age-old question and the answer may shock you. Firstly the answer depends on the sex of the wasp: male wasps do not sting, they lack the equipment. Wasps only attack humans as a means of defense hence male wasps will bite while female wasps have stingers and inject venom when they are defending themselves. Generally wasps only bite prey as they are carnivorous insects.

Hornets on the other hand do typically do both, even at the same time. Hornets are generally more aggressive than wasps and leave both a more painful bite and a more painful sting. The reason for this is that their sting contains a higher concentration of the chemical acetylcholine than traditional wasps.

Question Of The Day: How Can I Prevent Wasps?

Wasps and hornets are some of the biggest concerns for parents and teachers as the spring turns into summer. These flying pests build their nests in shrubs, trees, gardens, and even between the concrete sidewalk blocks. The first step in preventing these pests is to eliminate areas that will harbour them. Shrubs and bushes should be clipped and maintained so that a nest can be easily seen. The next step is to avoid leaving food items outside that can attract wasps and hornets including sugary drinks and food. Another important element is to be aware of your surroundings. As an outdoor pest wasps and hornets may just be flying by you, but if there is a great number of them, or they seem to congregate around a certain area for a long period of time, or if you see them flying in and out of a specific hole, that may indicate that there is a nest there. It is important with wasps and hornets to treat the nest as early as possible to keep it from getting too big or from sprouting other colonies. Let’s all try to make our homes a little less wasp friendly and keep the sting out of summer.

The Summertime Blues – Pest Control Prevention

This summer several pests are trying to enter your home. Our goal here at Advantage is to keep our customers’ pest free this summer. Allowing you to have a great summer, full of sunshine and fresh air without the bugs!

 

Carpenter ants are wood boring insects that build their home in wooden structures such as; decks, patios, gazebos, and the foundations and roofs of homes. Colonies can be very large with over 10,000 ants inside. Only about 10% of the nest ever leaves, so often the homeowner has no idea how bad the problem really is. There can often be several satellite nests within one home. Carpenter Ants can be very destructive and cause a lot of damage to the foundation and to the home.

 

Wasps and hornets often become trapped inside the walls of homes when a nest on the outside is sealed thus trapping the insect inside the walls. The only option for this insect is for it to come out, inside your home. Any wasp or hornet nest should be thoroughly treated, and only once it has been completely eliminated can the hole be sealed up. We often recommend waiting until the end of fall to seal up any wasp nest holes. Wasps will not use the same nest again so once the nest is eliminated so is the problem.

 

The birds have returned! Sometimes birds think that eves troughs, chimneys, decks or roofs are good places to build homes. Humans sometimes have different ideas. It can be difficult to deal with birds as they may have laid eggs or have babies in those nests. When a nest is already present it is often beneficial to have it taken care of by a professional. There are also several preventative measures that you can take. We carry both bird spikes and sticky repellent to minimise the areas that birds can nest. It is also beneficial to minimise the amount of food that they can access at your home thus making your home unappealing to the birds.

 

These are just three of the most common pests to afflict our customers in the summer time. As the season draws nearer we encourage all of our customers to help in making the homes less pest friendly. It is also a great time to consider a home protection plan, which allows you access within 24 hours access to a pest control professional for over 15 of the most common household pests.

 

Give us a call at 416 – 840 – 4040 or at 1 – 877 – 504 – BUGS

Question Of The Day: What’s the best way to get rid of a wasps nest?

Wasps nests can be tricky depending on the location. If you can see the nest then it makes it much easier to be eliminated. There are three main options: dust, foam and spray. Dust is a residual powder that is often pumped into a nest via the entrance hole contaminating it. This is very effective in eliminating the stragglers as well as the current occupants of the nest. Foam is used normally on visible nests. It enters and expands in the nest killing everything inside of it. Spray is used on nests and on landing areas for wasps. This is the most common treatment method for non-visible nests and for hard to reach nests. As a homeowner you can buy products for wasp control including sprays and foams. However many homeowners prefer to have a guaranteed service call to ensure elimination by a professional. Our specialists are ready and available to help you with your wasp problem. Call 416-840-4040 or 1-877-504-BUGS.

Question of the Day: Do wasps/hornets return to a nest that was built the year before?

 

The short answer is no. Wasps and hornets do not reuse nests. Once a nest has been treated and its occupants killed, they will not return in subsequent years. However if there is somewhere nearby that is conducive to wasps, they may built a nest very close to the old one.

It is best to remove the nest once you are sure all wasps inside including returning foragers have died. Foraging or soldier wasps who return to an “attacked” nest may trying to rebuild it. Most pest control professionals use a residual chemical to allow the treatment of these stragglers upon their return to the nest. It is best to give it a few days before removing the nest.

Pest Product Spotlight: Konk House & Garden Bug Killer

konkhgKonk House & Garden bug killer is a great asset for anyone with a garden. It is water-based and approved for use on your vegetable garden. This means bye-bye vegetable eating insects and hello fresh garden vegetables for you to enjoy. This product is so versatile that it can also be used within the home for a plethora of unwelcome insect guests, including bed bugs. To top it off it is safe to use on your pet, and in your pet’s belongings like bedding for flea control. This means when your dog gets fleas you no longer need to make an appointment and wait in line to take him into the groomers to be dipped. You can treat your pet safely and effectively at home, along with all its belongings so it doesn’t get re-infested from its own bedding. The can has been designed to spray in any position, even upside down so that you can make the most of your treatment and use it exactly where and when you need to use it.

Targeted pests include:

Flies, mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, biting midges, flying moths, cockroaches, ants, spiders, silverfish, crickets, centipedes, carpet beetles, bed bugs, fleas, brown dog ticks, exposed thripes, leaf-hoppers, spotted mites, lacebugs, aphids, caterpillars, climbing cutworms, Japanese beetles, Mexican beetles, mealy bugs, soft brown scale, tent caterpillars, canker worms, and  garden webworms.

Guarantee:

Pyrethrins………………………….025%

Piperonyl Butoxide……………1.25%

Net weight 400g  $24.95

Pest Spotlight: Wasps

Its that time of year again. Though April started off cool, this is the time of year when wasps start building their nests. These pesky flying insects will reach their height in mid-July, all the way through August.

There are two types of wasps: solitary and colonial. Solitary wasps are very beneficial to nature and usually do not interfere with human existence. The primary problem with wasps is when their nests are built too close to human occupancy. Wasps can burrow in-between cement slabs, nest inside a wall, waspevestrough or in back yard trees. When the wasps feel their home is being threatened, the soldier wasps will attempt to defend its home. Unfortunately that can mean painful and sometimes life threatening stings to the unsuspecting human. We offer wasp services for both commercial and residential locations.

Please call us today at 416-840-4040 or 1-877-504-BUGS.

We also offer products for the treatment of infestations. Please see our product page: http://www.pestservices.ca/productsByType.aspx?ca=4

Characteristics of Wasps

    Two pairs of wings

  • An ovipositor, or stinger (only present in females because it derives from the ovipositor, a female sex organ).
  • Few or no thickened hairs (in contrast to bees)
  • Almost all wasps are terrestrial; only a few specialized parasitic groups are aquatic.
  • Predators or parasitoids, mostly feeding on other terrestrial insects.

Pest Product Spotlight: Pro Pyrodust

Pyrodust
For control of all crawling insects.

Pro Pyrodust

This product is made from an African flower, Chrysanthemum cineraraefollium. Its manufacturers boast that it has a very low mammalian toxicity. It is effective against crawling insects including ants, bed bugs, beetles, boxelder bugs,  cockroachesearwigs, and silverfish. This product is great for treating beds, coaches and other areas not treatable by liquid insecticide.

http://www.pestservices.ca/products.aspx?pid=19

Pest Control Toronto
www.pestservices.ca