Are Pesticides Safe? A Response to ‘Phosphine pesticide used to kill bedbugs causes Fort McMurray baby’s death’

Bed Bug on Skin

Sad News and a Wake Up Call for Canadians

You may have heard some very sad national news earlier this week about a mother in Alberta who while trying to kill bedbugs with illegally imported pesticide accidentally poisoned her 5 children, killing her 8-month old baby and leaving her other 4 hospitalized children in critical condition. You can read CBC’s coverage of this story here: Mother using phosphine pesticide to kill bed bugs causes Fort McMurray baby’s death

*Update February 27, 2015: The second youngest child in this family, a 2-year-old boy, has also died due to exposure to the highly toxic phosphine tablets.

This is an extremely unfortunate situation. As a team member of Advantage Pest Control Inc. I feel obliged to comment on this, although it is a truly difficult subject to discuss.

Government Regulations Serve a Purpose

What I would first like to emphasize is the importance of learning from this so that similar mistakes are avoided in the future. Most importantly to note, pesticides, especially potent ones such as phosphine gas and other strictly regulated chemicals, are not to be handled carelessly, and government regulations of their use are not to be taken lightly. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada and the Ministry of the Environment (in Ontario) regulate such chemicals so that they do not cause harm to people, animals or the environment. Therefore following these regulations is not an option, it is the law. Such laws have been put in place in order to protect everyone after all, and a lack of knowledge and research on such matters can prove deadly, as demonstrated in this recent occurrence in Alberta.

In this particular case, the use and application of phosphine legally requires a licensed fumigation professional. This is important. Under Ontario’s Pesticide Licensing System, not all exterminator licenses cover fumigation.

Therefore, I sincerely urge everyone to do their research when it comes to any kind of pesticide.

The Best Pest Control Solution

Alongside your research, the best solution to a pest problem is hiring a reputable pest control company to take care of it. A reputable company will have highly experienced technicians who are fully licensed exterminators. They will handle all chemicals safely and in accordance with government regulations.

Here at Advantage especially, our number one priority is to offer quality pest control that is safe for everybody. The first thing our technicians ask when they arrive at a customer’s home is, “do you have any kids or pets?” Safety is extremely important to us. For example, when treating mice and ants, even without kids or pets, we always place bait stations in safe and inaccessible places around the home. In fact we always practice careful consideration of the environment and specific conditions with all pests.

On the opposite end of the quality spectrum, cheap costs can result in some very unfortunate incidents as many already know. It is usually more of a waste of money to hire a cheap exterminator whose credentials are questionable anyhow, as results are usually reflective of the service cost. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Therefore hiring a qualified pest control professional is the best way to go.

What about those who cannot afford professional pest control services?

Be Smart, Be Safe, Educate Yourself

If hiring a professional is not within your budget, make sure you educate yourself on any and all DIY pest control products you wish to use before using or even purchasing them. Do your research. Make sure any pesticides or non-chemical products you use are legally available to the public, and make sure you carefully read and follow all label instructions exactly as written. Do not take a risk when it comes to your health and well-being, as well as that of your family, pets, neighbours, and environment. Life is too precious to be wasted due to a lack of awareness. Therefore, ask questions, educate yourself and pass on this message to others.

We Are Here To Help Everyone

On our part, our pest control specialists here at Advantage are always willing and happy to answer any questions you may have or offer any advice you may need regarding pest control, even if you do not purchase any products or services from us. We are a family-owned company and so we care about you and your family.

So if you ever have any questions regarding any pest issues, please do not hesitate to call us at 416-840-4040

or email us at

Our specialists are available to speak to you every day from 8am to 8pm ET.

Together, let’s help prevent incidents such as these from happening again and help pest control be practiced as safely as possible in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada, and eventually around the world.




Advantage Pest Control Inc. © 2015


Please also read: Health Canada Warns Canadians Not to Use Unregistered Bedbug Control Products


The Christmas Mouse

For everyone celebrating, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Advantage Pest Control team!

Here’s a little something festive we found!

Christmas Rodent
Christmas Rodent

 The Christmas Mouse (Song by Erick Traplin)

One early Christmas Eve, before Santa came,
A mouse snuck out of his little hole and licked a candy cane.

Before he could escape, he heard the sound of little hooves,
It was Santa’s little reindeer, prancing on the roof.

Down the chimney Santa came and stood before the mouse,
And asked him if he was the owner of the house.

The mouse was very pleased and held himself up tall,
Said, “I am the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.”

And I scurry “round by night, looking for a bite,
A little scrap of food, to take home to my wife,

Who lives with me inside the wall, with my children all
Oh, I am the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.

Well, Santa laughed so hard, a tear fell from his eye,
To see a mouse so proud, and not the least bit shy.

He said I can’t recall, meeting one so brave and small,
As the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.

Santa wiped a joyful tear from his twinkling eye,
Then Santa asked the mouse, with what he could supply.

A fire truck, a tricycle, or a big red ball,
Anything at all for the mouse inside the wall.

Oh, it would be so nice, if I could have a slice,
A little piece of pie, to take home to my wife.

Who lives with me inside the wall, with my children all.
Said the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.

Santa reached inside his pack, brought out a pie so small,
That it would even fit, within the mouse’s tiny paw.

And every time you took a bite, it came back to its all,
And gave it to the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.

Then Santa quickly filled the stockings hanging in a row,
And with a merry Christmas, up the chimney he did go.

The mouse then sang a song, as he ran off down the hall.
Sang, I am the little mouse, who lives inside the wall

And I scurry ’round by night, looking for a bite,
A little scrap of food, to take home to my wife,

Who lives with me inside the wall, with my children all.
Oh, I am the little mouse, who lives inside the wall.
Oh, I am the little mouse, who lives inside the wall

Copyright 1993 by Erick Traplin. All rights reserved.


Now of course that’s sweet in a Christmas song, but no one wants to celebrate Christmas with a mouse in their house!

If you need mice control services anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area or surrounding cities, call us at 416-840-4040 to speak to a specialist today!

Mention you follow our blog when booking and receive a special 9% holiday discount!


P.S. Have you read our recent blog post about mice control?

If not, we highly recommend it: Mice Control is More than Just Extermination


Mice Toronto – A Division of Advantage Pest Control Inc. © 2014

Holiday Pest Humour At Its Best

Do you follow us on Twitter?

If you do you would have seen this very fitting Christmas card we retweeted yesterday!

Holiday pest humour is the best 😀

Happy Holiday season everybody! May it be mice-free!


Do you need mice control services? Call us at 416-840-4040 or email us at to speak to a rodent control specialist today!

Mice Toronto – A Division of Advantage Pest Control Inc. © 2014

Top Five Reasons to Hire a Professional Pest Control Specialist


  1. Many services are in labour intensive or deal with locations that are not easily accessed such as wildlife and bed bugs.
  2. Some pests are extremely difficult to deal with without prior experience knowledge and equipment including termites and bedbugs.
  3. Professionals are able to use stronger chemicals than a homeowner can use because they are licensed and mitigated by the Ministry of the Environment.
  4. Pest control professionals are experienced and knowledgeable about the behaviours locations and treatments of different pests providing a higher success rate.
  5. Many professional services come with guaranteed results so you can be sure to eliminate your pest problem.

If you need pest control services or advice for a pest control problem, please call us at 416-840-4040 or at 1-877-504-BUGS

Spring Checklist For Homeowners

Protect yourself this spring from invading pests.

  1. Check all the windows in your home. If there are any screens with tears, they should be replaced or repaired as even a small tear is enough for ants and other insects to crawl or fly through.
  2. Inspect the outside of your home. Make note of any cracks or holes along the foundation, window frames or door frames. You should seal off or repair any holes that aren’t supposed to be there.
  3. You should trim back any tree branches, limbs, or shrubbery touching the house. Greenery naturally harbours insects, you do not want to invite the m in by creating easy access.
  4. Remove any moist or decaying wood. Get rid of any sticks or fallen tree branches. These are perfect spouts of Carpenter Ants and Termites to live.
  5. Spring cleaning! Pull out all appliances and clean thoroughly behind them. Oils and food debris are a common attractant to pests.
  6. Take out the trash! Garbage that just sits there attracts many, many pests like ants, earwigs, flies, and cockroaches. Make sue you toss is out on a regular basis and always use tight fitting lids and sealable trash bins so that the pets can’t find it and the racoons can’t get in.
  7. Keep any and all open food products in sealable airtight containers. This det5ers ants, cockroaches, mice, and Indian meal moths.
  8. Never leave food spills or crumbs sitting. Clean them up straight away as open food, especially decaying food attracts many pests.
  9. Organize and de-clutter. If you don’t need it or it’s broken get rid of it. More stuff means more items that pests can hide in and make their home in.

Pest Control Toronto

title=”Pest Control Toronto”>Pest Control Toronto

If you are looking to treat a current infestation or to prevent future infestations contact Advantage Pest Control. They have a wide service area across the GTA including Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton, North York, Richmond Hill and Pickering.