Winter Ants Inside Your Home or Business Office

Carpenter Ants

Are you asking yourself “It’s winter, why am I seeing ants inside my house?”

It’s often mistakenly believed that if you’ve found ants inside during the winter it must mean they have come in to find shelter from the cold. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If you have ants inside your home or business this time of year, it undoubtedly means an ant colony has already established a nest inside your home or business building, usually somewhere inside the walls. The ones that are outside are in hibernation. In the spring and summer months it is possible to see ants who have a nest outside venture inside looking for sources of food. In the winter, however, this is definitely not the case. Since most houses and buildings are temperature controlled, ant colonies established inside the structure of a building do not hibernate. Thus, they need to continue looking for food somewhere, so they come inside if they have not done so already. Another reason you are seeing ants suddenly appearing now is because the humidity in your house has decreased and the ants are looking for moisture. All the heat that is being pumped throughout your home’s central heating system or from space heaters causes the air to become very dry and ants cannot survive well in that environment in the walls. Therefore they come out looking for sources of moisture and that’s when many homeowners see the little critters. This is why in the winter you will usually find ants near a bathtub or bathroom sink, in the kitchen sink, in the laundry room, and other areas where there is running water inside your home or business building. Especially for very cold days such as those Toronto and surrounding cities in Ontario have been having recently, this is quite common.

So if you’ve seen ants inside, please do not ignore the problem! It’s best to treat the issue as soon as you find out, before the infestation gets worse. With ants, if they are not managed, they just continue to grow their colonies and exponential damage will happen to the structure of your home. Also, it is important for the queen to be eliminated; otherwise the problem will not be resolved. If left untreated, some individuals may have multiple colonies with multiple queen ants established inside their homes or office buildings. This makes it much more difficult to eliminate an infestation. That is why going with professional service is so beneficial. Not only do licensed technicians use much more potent products than those available to the public, but highly qualified technicians have the knowledge and expertise to provide the most effective and efficient treatment. Although not all exterminators out there are equal, we here at Advantage Pest Control Inc. are committed to offering you the best service possible with our highly skilled and experienced pest control specialists. We also offer a 1 year guarantee when we service you for ants, so if you need additional service within 1 year of your treatment, we service you at no additional charge.

So do call us at 416-297-8010 or email us at info@pestservices.ca if you need any pest control services! Specialists are available to speak to you every day between 8am and 8pm!

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Question of the Day: How Do Cockroaches Breathe?

How do cockroaches breathe?

Cockroaches do not have lungs like humans and other mammals do. Cockroaches breathe through a system of tubes attached to their spiracles. Spiracles are small valves along a cockroach’s body that allows air into the trachea, much like gills do for a fish. This system of tubes is called the tracheae; thus cockroaches are not dependent upon a windpipe and mouth to breathe. The valves open to dispense when Co2 levels raise to a high enough level and allow for O2 to be let in. The tracheal system then brings the oxygen directly to the cells instead of filtering through lungs like we as humans do. This is why a cockroach can in fact breathe without its head.

Winter Pest Control – Preventing Mice Infestation

Now that it’s getting colder and the nights are getting longer mice are looking for a nice warm place to nest and make their home; guess whose home that may be? Yes you guessed it, your home. How can you prevent this? Well there are ways to prevent this from happing or at least eradicate the problem before it begins.  You have the option of baiting which is usually one of the fastest and the best ways to eliminate a rodent infestation. There are other methods used to catch rodents such as snap traps glue boards and live traps for those who do not feel comfortable with poison in their home. I say chase them out before they chase you out!

Now that the season is changing and the time is getting colder, it means customers are calling in for mice problems.  The winter season is when mice are looking for soft materials to nest in, warmth, food and water.  Your home or restaurant can provide all of these things.  So this explains why mice are now invading your homes and place of business.  To add to the list of reasons for mice invasions is the fact that construction where fields are being dug up disrupting the original nesting place for rodents, this forces them to find a new nesting place, your home.   So if you see a mouse, chances are the problem is bigger than the one you are seeing.  It’s more than likely you have a family of mice living in your home. If you suspect mice are living in your home by evidence of droppings, gnaw marks, urine odours, sounds of scratching or unusual sounds, I would recommend to first call ADVANTAGE PEST CONTROL to do a complete inspection and treat your home to control the mice.  The licensed technicians will inspect the exterior of the home for points of entry, inspect the interior of the home for mice activity and provide a service to eliminate the mice problem.  If you are a do it yourself kind of person, we have many products to purchase from our show room.  Products such as snap traps, glue boards, and bait to also help eliminate your rodent problems.

 

 

Question of the Day: Bed Bug Heat Remediation

Below one of our bed bug specialists have answered our top 3 questions about bed bugs.

1. Are pesticides the only way to get rid of bed bugs?

No, another option that works wonders is the chemical-free method called Thermal Remediation or Heat Remediation. This is what we like to call the “one shot deal”. How does it work? Well it involves bringing in a couple furnaces and getting them to heat up to a temperature of 120- 140 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature bed bugs will not be able to survive including their eggs. No waiting around for weeks and no continuous bites throughout the treatment process. This sounds pretty amazing to me.

2. So what causes a bed bug infestation? How do they get into our homes?

Well bed bugs can be brought into a home many different ways, some are never known for sure. Some examples include a friendly visit from a friend or family member or bringing in infested items like clothing or furniture, especially if they have already been used.  Garage sales are a big no-no. When apartment buildings get infested with bed bugs they can travel through cracks and crevices to and throughout your home. Even when you yourself visit an infested area like a hotel, another person’s home, the subway or even the movie theatre there is a chance of bringing home bed bugs. Since there are so many different ways to get bed bugs, and so many places for them to hide within your home, it is best to eradicate them all as soon as possible.

3. When do bed bugs come out?

Bed bugs are mainly active at night but not completely nocturnal. The best known bed bug is the common bed bug as it prefers to feed on human blood. The need for human blood is why it can cause so many problems for people. Bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, and have psychological effects on their human victims. Bed bug infestations have been on the rise as more homes are built, and more people travel or spend nights in other’s homes.

 

Do you have a question about bed bugs? Send us an email at info@pestservices.ca

Are you looking for pest control in Toronto or do you have an inquiry about a product or service like Heat Remediation or Bed Bug Elimination? Give us a call at 416-840-4040 or 1-877-504-BUGS!

 

Question Of The Day: What’s The Difference Between Centipedes and Millipedes?

Centipedes and millipedes share many similarities. Both are invertebrates; but not insects (they have more than six legs). Homeowners can often be confused as to which of these pests they actually have.

Physical characteristics between the two are ultimately simple. The house centipede is a yellow to light brown colour. Millipedes are usually darker brown to black in colour. The body of a millipede is rounded, and they often coil up when found. This is similar to other related invertebrates such as wow bugs or pill bugs. Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of legs (15 or 17 pairs for example) while millipedes have an even number of pairs of legs (16 or 18 pairs of legs). Centipedes have one pair of legs per segment and millipedes have two pairs.

The main diet of each invertebrate is very different. Centipedes are carnivores and utilize two poison claws behind their head to paralyze their meal. Mostly they feed off of small insects. Millipedes on the other hand feed on organic matter such as leaves, mulch, wood or other organic remains. Inside millipedes do not usually fair well as they need moisture and organic foods.

The dangers to humans from either pest are relatively minor. The centipede’s jaws are not able to penetrate human skin. A bite from a centipede may include localized swelling and pain that is consistent with other insect bites or a bee sting. There are no real dangers associated with millipedes. Please note that this article refers to common centipedes and millipedes found in Toronto and surrounding regions. It does not refer to other species of these invertebrates in tropical regions such as the Amazon.

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Question Of The Day: Do Earwigs Actually Crawl In Your Ear?

Fortunately this is just a common myth. Earwigs actually prefer dark and damp areas. It is more common to find other insects including cockroaches in a human ear then it is to find earwigs. If by chance you are laying in a dark and damp area and happen to have an earwigs crawl inside your ear not to worry there is no evidence of disease transmission or of any harm whatsoever to humans by earwigs.

Question Of The Day: Are There Any Edible Bugs?

Yes you read that right! Some of our readers have inquired about what the most edible and delectable bugs would be. While we specialize in removing and eliminating pests, world wide there are several cultures that traditionally eat bugs.

Termites are the second most eaten insect on Earth. This may surprise you but insects are high in protein and low in carbs which does make them an interesting meal idea. There are over 1400 edible insects known at this time. The process of eating bugs is also known as entomophagy.

Insects you should avoid would include brightly coloured insects. Similar to frogs and other amphibians brightly coloured insects generally indicate that they may be poisonous. You would probably want to avoid insects that bite as well such as flies ticks, mosquitoes and some types of worms. You should also stay away from hairy insects.

Some of the most commonly eaten insects include grasshoppers crickets and cockroaches, bees, ants and wasps, butterflies and moths, termites, beetles and dragonflies. Bon appetit!

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.