Pests for Every Season

Every season has its own distinguishable characteristics. These conditions determine which kind of flora and fauna thrive at different times of the year. Some creatures do so well during a particular season that their population increases are regarded as “pest levels.” Identifying seasonal pests is a handy skill to prevent infestation.

Spring

Spring sees the reawakening of plant life after winter hibernation. Flowers, trees, and shrubs aren’t the only living things that regenerate in the warming months. With a moderate and moist environment (and renewed food supplies), spring is an ideal season for pests like:

Pests for Every Season

  • Ticks
  • Flies
  • Cankerworms
  • Mosquitoes
  • Ants

Summer

Insects love the heat of summer. They can also move faster during this season and evade predators. They can eat and breed — and multiply. Common summer insects include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Bed bugs
  • Wasps, bees, and hornets

Pests for Every Season

Fall

In the autumn months, most animals are preparing reserves and establishing nesting grounds for the winter. Small animals, however, are more vulnerable during this time and would likely choose a permanent fixture (e.g. gardens, homes, and other buildings) as their winter retreat. Pests that can become problems at this time are:

  • Rodents
  • Bats
  • Slugs and Snails
  • Stink Bugs
  • Birds

Winter

During the winter, most plants and animals slow down. Potential pests (or insect eggs) hide to survive until spring. With your home providing warmth and food, more potential pests would try to build their nesting ground indoors. The most common winter pests are:

  • Mice and rats
  • Raccoons
  • Firewood bugs
  • Termites
  • Cockroaches

Pests for Every Season

How to prevent possible infestation

1. Remove food sources. Clean food spills and crumbs, seal food containers, and properly dispose of food waste. With no food source, hungry pests are less likely to raid your pantry.

2. Dry out moist areas in your home. Moisture attracts pests like ants and flies.

3. Seal all openings. These include cracks in your walls, attic windows, and chimneys. Repair window screens and replace door seals. Pests (like rats and mice) can sneak into places with very small gaps.

4. Hire pest control and removal service experts. Some pests can’t be managed by simple home remedies, and you might end up worsening your pest problem. Professional pest controllers know how pests behave and know how to eliminate the problem.

Professional pest control and removal services are available all seasons. Call Pro-Pest today if you have seasonal pest problems: (416) 487-4179 or email us at info@pro-pest.ca.

Do Rodents Carry Germs

Rodents are survivors, making them top transmitters of human disease. They also reproduce quickly. One pair of rats can produce almost half a billion offspring in three years. They can swim for three days and pass through holes smaller than their bodies a handy ability for evasion and escape. They will eat almost anything (even their own waste) and carry germs responsible for several human illnesses. Managing rodent populations with a professional extermination/removal services helps control disease.

Germs carried by rodents:

Do Rodents Carry Germs

1. Hantavirus. Hantavirus is a life-threatening virus spread by rodents through urine and fecal droppings. While Hantavirus does not make rodents sick, it causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a severe and sometimes fatal respiratory disease. Without immediate treatment, HPS deaths can occur between 1-2 days after severe breathing problems begin.

2. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). LCMV causes a neurological disease called Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM). Humans contract LCM through exposure to fresh urine, fecal droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected rodents. Fever, pain, and nausea are the first signs of LCM, followed by confusion, mobility problems, and hallucinations.

3. Streptobacillus moniliformis. This pathogen is known for causing “rat bite fever,” a rare illness with symptoms including chills, fever, joint pain, and rashes. Although it can be treated with antibiotics, more severe complications may include abscesses in the brain or soft tissue; infection of heart valves; and inflammation of salivary glands, tendons, and the heart lining.

4. Leptospira. A virus responsible for Leptospirosis, this can be transmitted to humans and pets through rodent urine and waste. Signs and symptoms of Leptospirosis include high fever, chills, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rashes. Without antibiotic treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, and death.

5. Salmonella. Rodents carry Salmonella as a normal component in their bodies and can spread this bacteria through fecal droppings. Salmonella causes food poisoning, with frequent diarrhea and fever and painful stomach cramps.Do Rodents Carry Germs

Germs indirectly carried by rodents:

1. Borrelia burgdorferi. This is found on ticks that feed on rats. It causes Lyme disease, which begins with a “bulls-eye” type rash and progresses into severe headache, neck stiffness, additional rashes on other areas of the body, heart palpitations, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It is a very serious disease requiring lifelong medical treatment.

2. Rickettsial pathogens. This group of bacteria (found in fleas, lice, mites, and ticks that reside on rodents), is responsible for spreading typhus. There are two types of typhus: epidemic typhus, (spread by lice) and endemic typhus (transmitted by fleas). Epidemic typhus causes symptoms including: rashes on the body trunk, high fever, nausea, malaise, diarrhea, and vomiting. Epidemic typhus has similar but more severe symptoms, including bleeding into the skin, delirium, hypotension, and death.

3. Yersinia pestis. This is found in rat fleas and is the main cause for spreading plague, a deadly disease responsible for killing more than 200 million people around the world. Plague has flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle pain, weakness and headache. It can progress to nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Do Rodents Carry Germs

While medical advances made these illnesses easier to diagnose and treat, rodents continue to threaten humans and animals with spread of infection. Do not attempt to remove rodents from your property without help from professional pest control experts. Until then, control the rodents’ access to food and shelter to discourage them from nesting and spreading germs and disease.

Protect yourself from rodent-infested illnesses; call Pro-Pest. (416) 487-4179

What Damage Can Rats Do to Property3

Rats are sometimes viewed as tiny and terrible creatures of destruction, causing thousands of dollars in damage to properties. In 2017 CTV revealed that Canada’s rat population increased by 200 per cent over the previous year — potential for double the damage.

Understanding rats

What Damage Can Rats Do to Property

Rats are smart, furry rodents that feed on most anything and can survive in poor living conditions. Two rats common to North America are the Norway rat and roof rat. Both have different habits, and both have destructive capabilities:

  • The Norway rat builds elaborate tunnels and burrows at ground level, making them more difficult to track and remove. It thrives on damp, hidden areas like crawl spaces or garages.
  • The roof rat, on the other hand, is an agile climber that hides on trees and vines. It burrows in attics, rafters, or roofs of buildings.

Damage to property

  • Rats will chew on anything they deem useful to build a nesting ground. The options include electrical wires (especially the insulated ones, which can cause fires).
  • Rats like damp, dark, and hidden nooks, which sometimes make them difficult to locate (unless you hear scratching, clawing, and other odd noises).
  • Rats can destroy a kitchen pantry. Even sealed boxes and containers are vulnerable to their incisors. Stored, sealed food can be at risk.
  • Rats leave urine trails and fecal droppings which contaminate surfaces and can spread disease. These trails invite more rats to your property because the smells and markings have identified it as a “rat home.”

What Damage Can Rats Do to Property

Initial rat control

Sneaky as they are, rats are careful to avoid traps. To effectively capture them, call an experienced pest control company. In the meantime, try to make your house rodent-proof:

  • Seal any gaps and cracks they can use as a point of entry
  • Replace important parts of your home with strong materials such as stainless steel
  • Clean all dark, damp and cluttered spaces inside and outside your property

Hire a professional pest removal team to take care of rat problems before they get worse. Professionals understand the nature and behaviour of pests, allowing them to find the most effective solution available.

Have you noticed signs of rat infestation in your home? Call the Pro-Pest office at (416) 487-4179 for safe rat extermination.

Why Toronto is the Raccoon Capital of the World

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals known for their greyish fur, extremely dexterous front paws, and facial mask. They are tiny, intelligent animals that normally live in the wild — such as the lush tree-lined areas of the city of Toronto, Ontario.

In recent years these seemingly harmless animals began rapidly populating and have infiltrated Toronto urban life. In fact, the city had a reported 100,000 raccoons in 2017. Their “growth spurt” was so massive that many people refer to the city as the “raccoon Capital of the World.” Obviously, raccoons aren’t under threat of extinction anytime soon. Their growth is unchecked, and that is making some city dwellers uneasy. Several removal and regulatory measures have been taken to curb this potential population problem.

When did raccoons start invading Toronto?

Why Toronto is the Raccoon Capital of the World

The Toronto Star chronicles the first sightings of raccoon infestation back in 2002, when the city launched its “organics bin” program, which separates compostable waste in “green bins.” The bins, however, became attractive fodder for raccoons, which found them easy to open by tipping them. With ample food at their disposal, these furry creatures flocked into neighbourhoods and backyards.

Why the sudden population boom?

Raccoons are omnivores, feeding mostly on grubs, insects, small animals, eggs, fleshy fruits, nuts, and vegetables (like corn). They’ll eat just about anything they can find in the garbage. In 2015, a Toronto Staff Report revealed that unintended feeding of animals caused their population to increase. By failing to lock green bins and leaving food outside for domestic animals, residents were helping the raccoons thrive.

How is the City solving the problem?

In 2014, Toronto officials considered euthanizing raccoons as a form of population control, but more than half of the city’s residents voted against it. Upon realizing that the green bins — and the food they contain — have attracted more raccoons, the City created raccoon-resistant garbage bins with locks. These bins are also heavier and harder to tip over. Since this is a long-term solution, slowly cutting off the additional food supply, the City also recommends seeking professionals using raccoon removal services when needed.

Raccoon Trapped in a Cage

How can I remove the raccoons on my own?

For safety, it is best not to try to move a raccoon. Forcibly removing an animal from your property is likely considered legal or inhumane; they are still identified as wildlife. Leave the raccoon removal process to the experts, especially if the animals in question could be carriers of disease.

Are raccoons starting a ruckus on your property? Call Pro-Pest for effective and professional raccoon removal service. Call our hotline at (416) 487-4179 or email our support department at info@pro-pest.ca.

Halting Ant Infestation in Its Tracks

Ants are helpful to farms and serve a purpose; they’re natural predators and often feed on insects that can cause damage to the roots of plants. They also help pollinate flowers and distribute seeds. But when ants take over your indoor living space, it’s time to eradicate them. Ants can be destructive to property. Expert pest control companies will eliminate the ant nest, remove their food sources, and recommend barriers to prevent new ant infestations. Continue reading

Hard to Miss Symptoms of Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are tiny and freakishly flat. They can easily hide and nest in the vicinity of resting areas — beds and sofas are among their favorite haunts. These give them easy access to an idle and unwitting host they can feast on for hours. They can also travel unnoticed, often hitching a ride on belongings like luggage or used furniture acquired from a local garage sale.

As simple as a bed bug’s means of transportation might be, there are also a few simple and hard-to-miss signs they’ve chosen your mattress as a permanent bed and breakfast. Continue reading

Cap Your Chimney and Reap These Benefits

Many homes with chimneys have an open top, but this can create a problem for homeowners. An open chimney allows birds, squirrels, and raccoons to enter your house. If they fall into the opening, get trapped, and die inside, you’ll have to deal with pest control and suffer other costly difficulties. Also, when it rains or snows, moisture can damage your chimney, including its stainless steel liners, dampers, and mortars, welcoming the growth of mould and mildew. Continue reading

Pest-Proof Your Food Processing Facility or Restaurant

When it comes to food processing facilities and restaurants, it is very important to have a pest control plan in order. First, the facility should hire a professional pest control company that is fully bonded and insured. This will protect the food processing facility against liability. The technician who comes out to assess the pest problem should be able to provide identification, certification, and a license prior to touring the facility and searching for pests of any kind. Continue reading