Common Pests In The Calgary Area

common pests calgary

While Calgary is no home for giant venomous spiders or toads showing up in your toilet, there are still several common pests that can cause many problems. As we enter the winter months, keep in mind that pests can still enter your home. This guide will help you know which common pests to look out for, which areas of your home they may invade, and when to call pest control services in Calgary.

Bed Bugs

These tiny insects feed on the blood of animals and people. As their name states, they are typically found in your bed. If you wake up with itchy bites, a skin rash, or blister, inspect your sheets and pillowcase. You’re looking for bloodstains, bedbug fecal spots, or eggshells. Bed bugs are visible to the human eye, and it is advised to inspect your clothing, furniture, pillows, or other fabric items if you suspect a bed bug problem.

Ants

One common breed of ant is the pharaoh ant. You can find them in your home or garden because they are attracted to food. In particular sugary foods, compost containers, oils or greasy residue, and other foods left out. This is one of the easiest ways to attract this pest into your home. They are not aggressive but can quickly become a problem if they find a way inside. Ant baits are generally low in toxicity to other animals and an effective way to eliminate nests. But if the problem persists, it’s best to call a professional pest control company.

common pests calgary

Fleas

If you live with a pet, the chances of coming across a flea problem will rise because this pest feeds on blood. Fleas can carry and pass along diseases and can produce more than 20 trillion offspring a year — all the more reason to take care of this problem as quickly as possible. Fleas tend to bite humans around the feet and ankles and leave tiny raised dots on your pet’s skin. If your pet has fleas, wash them with hot soapy water, and clean their bedding. Other ways you can get rid of fleas, their eggs and larvae are to vacuum carpets, clean baseboards near sleeping quarters, and clean around doors and window-frames.

Mosquitos

Everyone knows the annoyance of mosquitos. The swarm that follows you outside and the tiny buzzing you hear when in your home are some of the many reasons people despise this common pest. These tiny pests breed in pools, birdbaths, or storm drains and hide in weeds, tall grass, or bushes. Unfortunately, mosquitos are resilient pests that can carry potentially life-threatening diseases like West Nile, but that doesn’t mean they’re untreatable. 

 

A pest control professional will use a mosquito control solution around your home and backyard that continues working for up to 21 days. If you prefer an all-natural solution, your property will have to be serviced every 14 days. Having your backyard treated by a professional is an excellent option for those who enjoy spending time outside or plan on hosting an outdoor event.

common pests calgary

Mice

The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in Calgary. They have a pointed snout, long hairy tail, and large rounded ears. The problem with the house mouse is that they breed rapidly and are most often found indoors. In the winter months, house mice find warm indoor spaces with access to food such as homes and restaurants attractive. House mice can enter your property through tiny holes and bring fleas, ticks, mites, and lice inside. While you can set up traps, it best to contact pest control services in Calgary before the infestation spreads.

Squirrels

These rodents aren’t harmful and can be cute from a distance, but they cause many problems to your property. One example is they can ruin your garden and invade your home. Squirrels typically get in through small gaps and can chew through walls and rip up insulation. While making their nest, they can create a safety hazard by chewing on wires. 

 

Many people discover a squirrel problem because of the foul smell from their urine and droppings. To prevent squirrels, remove food supplies such as bird feeders, trim branches and trees near the roof of your home, and ensure openings to your home are sealed shut. As the weather becomes colder, squirrels will be looking to seek shelter in your walls or attic. If this becomes a problem, contact a pest control service in Calgary. They will have the tools to effectively remove squirrels that may be in hard to reach places.

Gophers

The pocket gopher, and the Richardson’s ground gopher, commonly known as the gopher, are rodent pests that can cause many problems to your yard and garden. Pocket gophers live in underground tunnels and feed on the roots of trees and shrubs. If you see mounds pop up in your garden, it is a telltale sign you have a pocket gopher problem. Pocket gopher-specific traps and fumigants or poison baits can be purchased at select retail outlets or pest control companies.

common pests calgary

The Richardson’s ground gopher will also damage your garden by burrowing. Both the gopher and pocket gopher do not hibernate, which leaves them an opportunity to damage your property throughout the winter months. Stepping into a gopher hole can cause injury to you or your pet, which is why the City of Calgary recognizes the gopher as a pest.

 

While you can buy traps, chemicals, and baits, sometimes the problem is too large, dangerous, or persistent to get done on your own. Do not attempt to get rid of hazardous pests yourself. Instead, call pest control services in Calgary like Martin’s Pest Control. We will come equipped with the proper tools and products to safely and effectively remove the pest.

 

Do you live in the Calgary or Airdrie area and need pest control, or wondering about common pests in Calgary? Our professional Calgary exterminators are ready to serve you. Contact us today to receive a free quote.

Using Mother Nature For Pest Control

pest infestation on plant

For thousands of years, Mother Nature has used her own form of natural pest control to deal with insects, critters and other pests. This is otherwise known as biologics. The food chain protects the Earth from over population of pests and other animals. Amazingly, before humanity stepped in, this system seemed to keep the balance of nature in check. Biologic control is a method of dealing with pests by introducing predators, pathogens, or parasites to an area to control or eradicate pests. 

 

An old, familiar saying is that one must know their enemies. The best way to do that is to do a little research. A Bugs 101 course at the University of Alberta might help you understand the different kinds of insect life, and how to deal with them.

 

Biologic Pest Control

In biologic pest control, you must pay careful attention to the numbers and the type of biologic used. Otherwise, things will become unbalanced. It is a bit like the depressing children’s song of ‘The Old Lady That Swallowed the Fly.’ She continues to swallow predator after predator to deal with the chain reaction to deal with her actions. Eventually this results in her death. 

 

using biologics to control aphids

If you are considering biologics, it is a good idea to consult with a certified pest control professional before undertaking any treatment plan. They can advise you on proper application and the monitoring process needed. You can also speak to them about handling the process for you.

 

It is tricky magic to use biologics for control. Some of the predators eat more than one type of insect, and you don’t want to create an overpopulation, or to lose all the useful garden insects. 

 

One of the easiest ways to use biologics is to encourage some of the good predators to stick around. 

Environmental Population Control

Environmental control can modify whether the good predators stick around. Steps you can take to ensure they stay is begin by cleaning out areas of debris where pests flourish. Encourage the breeding of insects like ladybugs to keep aphid populations down. By providing fall and winter leaf cover, ladybugs have a warm place to hibernate and emerge in the spring. Other examples of natural predators are spiders, lacewings, praying mantis, and parasitic wasp varieties. 

Ladybug's and their use in biologics

There are biologic companies that alter and develop different biologics to eliminate and control pests or weeds. They farm them in captivity for delivery and release on large areas. One example is the predatory wasp development for use against whitefly in greenhouse settings. Or Stem-weevil, which attacks thistle in crops. 

 

Some agricultural sectors are asking for more support in bringing new biologics to the country and advocating for assistance in investigations of new strains developed in Canada. The University of California has released a good overview of biologics and how to manage pests in gardens and landscapes.

 

Can Biologics Be Applied To Animal Pests?

Nature has given animals an excellent instinct to sniff out food supplies. So pest companies are using dogs to sniff out termites and bed bugs. Dealing with unwanted birds, mice, and gophers can be as easy as bringing in cats, hawks and barn owls. Populations of animals are usually controlled by altering their environment or allowing predator populations to increase. Think gophers vs. coyotes. 

 

mountain gopher and using biologics to control them

While biologics have not been used much for controlling animal pests, they are being used to treat human diseases. In a weird flip, we may find success with human guinea pigs that will lead to uses in animal populations.

 

Why Use Biologics When Pesticides Work?

The move away from pesticides stems mainly from the toxicity to humans and animals when chemicals enter the environment. Additionally, pesticides developed years ago are not meeting today’s strict standards. With new research, the direct effects pesticides have on the environment is becoming more apparent.

A recent lawsuit regarding glyphosate in RoundUp claims it causes cancer in humans. This news has people looking twice at what is in their garden sheds. Pesticides require more specialized handling and regulation, but farmers support keeping pesticides for use in large areas because they are the most effective way to keep crops healthy and increase yields. They hold that with proper regulation, education and certifications for pesticide application, individuals can use pesticides safely.

 

If you want more information on biologics or have other pest control questions or issues call us at Martin’s Pest Control. Our Calgary & Airdrie pest control company can help you deal with any of your garden pests! 

Combatting Voles In Your Yard

combatting voles in your yard

Now that spring has sprung and the snow has melted off your lawn, you’re probably wondering why it looks like a tiny tunneller has ransacked it. Well, as you may have guessed, you have a vole problem. Though prominently abundant in the prairies, they also pose a considerable challenge to Calgary yards.

Nevertheless, if you’re having trouble combatting voles in your yard these varmints can be impeded and stopped when taken care of properly. At Martin’s Pest Control, we know precisely how to get the job done.

Identification

Voles are coming out, we offer vole control

Voles are often mistaken for mice as they have a very similar appearance. They are small brown-grey varmints with black beady eyes. Though these creatures may look similar to the house mouse, they are stockier in build with stubby legs, ears, and tail.

Voles are also often confused for moles as well because of their underground nature. In fact, voles are more similarly related to the muskrat.

Knowing the difference can help in catching the culprit that’s causing your yard problems.

The Big Issue

Voles are known for tunneling, which is where the problems start. When they tunnel, they damage the root systems in your yard causing most plant life to die. They also eat the vegetation in your yard, which does significant damage to your landscaping when they dig for bulbs and root vegetables.

These varmints are known for tunneling and leaving haphazard tracks through your yard, since they live, breed, and store their food underground. They will gnaw at the roots of trees and shrubs, eating your gardens, in turn causing you thousands in damages to your yard.

They Are Sneaky
Combatting voles

Voles are quite sneaky though. Many times they are never seen by the homeowner. In fact, most homeowners don’t realize they have a vole problem until spring arrives. This is because voles cause the most damage during the winter months when the ground is too frozen to tunnel deeper down. Voles stay close under the surface of the snow using it as insulation.

Not only is the snow insulation for them to survive the harsh weather but it’s also the perfect cloak to cover up any mischief happening to your landscaping.

Stopping Them In Their Tracks

Stopping voles is not an easy job. They are primarily outdoor pests. They don’t sneak into your house through cracks or live in the shed. This makes it tricky to track them down when there are fewer entry points or core corners to trap them in.

Traps
vole trap

The best way to catch a vole is by setting up a live cage vole trap where you can see high activity in your yard. The tunnels, AKA “runways”, are well defined and close to the surface and typically around two inches wide. The larger the runway indicates a spot of constant traffic, which is would be a prime location to set a trap.

Voles typically don’t stray too far from their burrows. Since voles breed so frequently as well, having 5-10 litters per year that yield 3-6 babies. Since those numbers add up quick it’s best to set up between 12-24 traps to even begin making a dent on the population.

Blackhole traps are also very useful in that they go in a pre-existing vole hole in the ground and go undetected by the vole. Upon re-entering their dwelling, they will become trapped.

Bait

When setting out traps it is a good idea to bait them. You want to coax the voles into entering. It is best to bait in the trap in and around its perimeter.

The best bait to use on voles is:

  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Small nuts/seeds
vole bait peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Bread and butter crumbs
  • Gumdrops
trail mix vole bait
Poison
poison control for pests to combat voles
Warning: poison bait and traps are potentially threatening to pets, children, and other wildlife. Use with caution and care. 

You can also poison the vole bait to kill them off at the source. You may want to set up rodenticide bait stations near the tunnel entrances and higher traffic areas. Be sure to continue refilling them for 5-10 days or until you begin to see no more signs of voles, indicating they are dead.

Top 3 most effective vole poisons:

  • Motomco Tomcat All-Weather Bait Chunx
  • JT Eaton Bait Block
  • Sweeny’s Mole and Gopher Poison Peanuts

Vole Prevention & Repellant

vole

The best solution to the problem is to prevent them altogether, no need for traps if they never enter your yard. So, if you hear they have moved into your neighbour’s yard, you’re just being cautious, or have dealt with these pesky critters before you know it’s best to stop it before it happens and get some form of deterrent.

Repellants

Choose a repellent that has the active ingredient capsaicin in it, the intense heat will draw the voles far away from your yard. You can use granular repellent and sprinkle it around the perimeter of your yard. But, if you have ample space to cover, the liquid works better.

Thiram is another useful deterrent, though it is typically a fungicide for your plants and crops it will also rid the voles. The sulfur smell deters them, and if ingested, can cause issues over time, eradicating them.

The Harm Free Method

Home Remedies
combatting voles

If you prefer not to harm the animal or use harsh chemicals, or poisons you can instead make your own repellant. Using ingredients such as eggs, red pepper sauce or any hot sauce, garlic, and other pungent ingredients to spray around your yard can work.

Another non-toxic repellant to use is a predator’s urine. The voles are very off put by the scent and won’t approach for fear of being low on the food chain. Fox, wolf, or coyote urine can be purchased at trapper supply stores, online, or even yard stores like Home Depot.

Landscaping
combatting voles

Another thing that will stop voles from entering your property is by weeding, keeping the lawn mowed, and having little to no dense ground coverage. It also may be useful to consider fencing off your gardens.

You can even use fence wiring 6 inches underground to wrap around plants such as seedlings and bushes or shrubs. This ensures the voles can’t gnaw at their root systems. If the Voles have no food sources, they will be ready to leave you alone.

Getting rid of these varmints, voles especially can be a hassle, but if you find yourself struggling to do it yourself, we can help.

Contact Martin’s Pest Control. We specialize in pest management; including vole control, deterrent, and vole infestations. Our professionals can inspect your property to know where the voles are living to get to the source of the issue so they can be removed safely and stay gone.

Martin’s Pest Control is a family owned and locally operated Calgary business. We believe in providing exceptional customer service while building trust and offering peace of mind. Our professional Calgary exterminators are Alberta licensed and receive on-going training.

How To Buy & Store Pesticides At Home

storing pesticide

The best way homeowners can control pests around their homes is to be knowledgeable about the various insects and animals who like to invite themselves in. Once you know the commons pests in your area, remove the things that might tempt them to move in.

Benjamin Franklin said, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ This axiom is especially true for pests around your home.

Tips For Pest Prevention:

  • Keep Plants & Lawns Healthy & Watered To Prevent Pest Infestations.
  • Eliminate Debris From Areas Inside & Outside The Home.
  • Keep Things Clean Inside The Home.
  • Remember To Store Food In Sealed Containers.
  • Check Pets Weekly & Take Care Of Their Coat.

But What Happens When Prevention Methods Don't Work?

pest research

The immediate response is to go to the hardware store and purchase something that will catch or kill pests. Homeowners need to take a second to do some research before grabbing those keys.

Gather some information about pesticide products for home use and the pest you are looking to control. You can use that information to purchase the right product.

Here Are A Few Things To Consider:

Pest Description

Many species of insects look alike, and some are beneficial and not a pest. If you capture one and take it with you, the employee certified for pesticide sales will help you with identification, or you can snap a picture and send it to a knowledgeable pest removal company for identification.

Where Is It Located?

Is the pest in outside areas where pets and children play? Do you need special equipment to reach and apply the product? Does it prefer a particular plant or food source?

pests
What Are Its Life Stages & Breeding Time?

The life stage is important as sometimes the product has to be applied to the larvae instead of the mature insect. The breeding turn around time will tell you the frequency of the application needed to eliminate the evil spawn.

What Are The Season & Weather Considerations Involved?

Some pests like moist conditions and others have a particular season where pesticide application is most effective. Knowing this information will help you find the right treatment for your problem.

Should I Be Worried About Using Pesticides?

There are regulations in place to protect consumers using pesticides, provided they follow the proper application and storage methods for pesticide use.

Health Canada certifies what pesticides are healthy and safe for use in Canada. They give the product an EPA number that confirms approval for use in Canada. The EPA number should be on the label of the products you buy.

Grey Areas

Some people may purchase products over the internet, and not all products used in the USA are allowed here. There are about 250 products restricted from use in Canada. One common product is neem oil. Some gardeners feel that neem oil is effective in repelling garden pests.

Province to Province

Each province has the authority to regulate and prohibit the use of pesticides in their areas.

Alberta is one of two provinces in Canada that does not legislate or ban pesticides. It does have rules about the sales, handling, and use of pesticides in the province. Pesticide application courses are leading to certifications for anyone providing a service or selling pesticides in Alberta.

Certified To Do The Job

It is good to check if the technician applying pesticides in your area is certified. Multi-family dwellings, daycares, nursing homes, and hospitals require a certified pesticide operator to use pesticides in those locations. The hardware stores are also required to have one employee with pesticide certification, and they may be a resource if you have questions about the products they carry.
Talking to a professional technician from a reputable company like Martin’s Pest Control can also guide you to some safe products to buy.

Read The Label

In the store, pay attention to the labeling because warnings are there for a purpose.

Many of the products have ingredients that, if not used and stored correctly, can be a danger to yourself, family, pets, and neighbours. For example, some rodenticides have ingredients that cause copious bleeding because they stop blood from clotting. Oddly enough, one product used to kill mice and rats developed into a substance used to treat human illnesses.
This development does not mean all products are safe!

When looking at the product label, pay special attention to words like danger, warning, and caution. Caution is less harmful than those items labeled with a warning. Danger means they are poisonous and harmful to contact. If these words are on the label, it signifies some ingredients need special application procedures and storage considerations.

poison bottle

Types Of Pesticides

There are many types of products to buy, so your research comes in handy to identify the right product for your situation.

spraying pesticide
  • Disinfectants & Germicides-Used To Clean Areas & Eliminate Bacteria Left Behind By The Pests.
  • Fungicides-Used Remove Mildew & Fungal Spores.
  • Herbicides-Used On Invasive Plants To Remove Diseased Stumps & Plant Diseases.
  • Insecticides-Kill Or Repel Insects, Mites & Ticks.
  • Rodenticides-To Repel, Trap & Kill Rodents.
  • Wood Treatments & Preservatives. These Deal With Insects & Fungi In Wood.

Information Breakdown

There are thick manuals and websites with a breakdown of what is in the different types of pesticides.

It is the smart homeowner that takes precautions. There are about 6,000 cases of pesticide poisonings in Canada each year. It is wise to be careful and take the time to read the instructions before applying. Using the suggested breathing mask, application tank, gloves, disposable overalls will help protect you during application.

Know The Dangers
Educate your family about any dangers associated with the use of the pesticide. Keep pets inside or place them in their carry cage until it is safe to let them out. Place protective barriers so they cannot get into toxic traps.

If someone needs help after exposure to pesticides, call the Alberta poison control centre at 1-800-332-1414. They will ask you the patient’s name, gender, weight, if they have eaten anything, the amount swallowed, exposure time, and details from the container or label.

Educate your family about any dangers associated with the use of the pesticide. Keep pets inside or place them in their carry cage until it is safe to let them out. Place protective barriers so they cannot get into toxic traps.

If someone needs help after exposure to pesticides, call the Alberta poison control centre at 1-800-332-1414. They will ask you the patient’s name, gender, weight, if they have eaten anything, the amount swallowed, exposure time, and details from the container or label.

Storage Of Pesticides

locked shed

The safe storage of pesticide products is one area where homeowners are often negligent. Try to buy only as much as you need and use it up—secure pesticides out of the reach of children. Lock them in a cabinet or shed. Some of the pesticides can be flammable, so don’t store them close to furnaces, or BBQs.

Do not pour remnants down the drain or store where they might contaminate water supplies. Don’t store near food or animal feed. Place used containers in the hazardous waste bin, not in your household garbage.

Here are a couple of free downloads on homeowners pesticide use:
The EPA Citizens Guide To Pest Control and Pesticide Safety &
What Gardeners Should Know About Pesticides

If you want more information, or to have someone to come to your home and handle the pest problems, give Martins Pest Control a call. We’re here to take care of what bugs you.

Preventing Pests Inside Your Home

fly at a window sill pests

Welcome In The New Year Knowing Your Home Is Pest Protected

Holiday entertaining can be enticing for pests as well as humans. Leftover food, garbage, crumbs, clutter, piles of wrappings and boxes are a draw for pests to enter your home. With the New Year on the horizon, it is a good time to go through a pest protection checklist. The list will also let you check for any maintenance issues to put on the to-do list.

Prep For Pest Hide & Seek

Do a little reading on the potential pests that could become a problem. Identify their habits to deter or eliminate them, then when you find a problem, you will be confident in how to deal with the pest infestation. You can also check out this handy guide for some pests you might encounter on your checklist rounds.

Gather a clipboard, pencil, pest prevention caulking, quick-dry putty, steel wool, screwdriver, flashlight, and insecticide dust to begin your hunt. Look for cracks and conditions that might encourage pests to flourish.

You will be looking for small holes or areas they can enter the house. Also, check for conditions like moist, dark areas or current evidence of pests already in the home. You can choose to immediately fix any problem areas or make notes to attend to the various areas promptly.

Areas To Inspect

Windows & Doors

Check for any holes in screens or gaps in weather stripping that would allow pests into your home. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil diameter. If you can see the light or feel air coming through mouldings, seal these areas with a good latex sealant.

Fix small holes in screens by pushing metal fibres back together and sealing with a dab of clear nail polish. Sometimes the screen will pop from the frame. A screen roller can be used to push the screen back into the frame again. Repair cracks in the window with latex sealant or quick-dry putty.

Door sweeps can wear out and need replacing. Repairs here can also keep drafts out in winter. Weather stripping around the door jamb can become damaged, so look for areas where cracking or pieces are missing.

An area people often overlook is their garage doors. Make sure the bottom rubber has not come off, and the weather stripping around the door is still in good condition.

Under Sinks & Appliances

Insects like to set up shop in damp conditions. Check for any leaks that need repair and seal off any problem areas. If the basement is too moist, consider using a dehumidifier in damp areas. Pesticide dust can be applied to some of the areas to keep the insects away from them.

Vents & Holes To The Exterior Of The House

You may have installed some new fixtures or media conduits in preparation for the holidays, but forgot to pest-proof the holes surrounding wires and pipes. Pest preventive foam caulking is perfect to use in these instances. Again, larger holes can be covered with a small mesh screen for vents that need to be left open. They can also be stuffed with steel wool and sealed with caulking for those that don’t.

prevent pests with a clean home

Cluttered Areas

A good house clean after Christmas not only prepares you for a good start to the New Year, it also helps deter any pests taking root. Make sure children haven’t hidden dishes under beds or couches.

Give a good vacuum to eating areas. Make sure all your foodstuffs are back in the pest-proof containers. While baking those Christmas goodies, you might have overlooked putting them back in those containers.

If you find articles infested with insects, isolate the item in a sealed bag and remove it from the house. Some people think bugs are killed by putting materials outdoors in freezing weather.

A study showed that a minimum of 80 hours in -16 degree weather was needed to kill bed bugs in all stages; however, some larvae survived -20 degree weather. If the item can be treated or thrown out, it would be a better way of eliminating the pests.

Empty room garbage bins, seal the final garbage bag, and take it out to the disposal area. Move the containers away from the house’s foundation. If you keep bins in the garage until garbage day, make sure the garbage can seal is good, and the lid fits tight. Take paper and boxes to the recycling centre.

Outside Surfaces

Look for holes in the siding and along the bottom and top of the walls. These are areas where mice or even squirrels might enter. Give a quick check to the roof to make sure shingles are in place, and there is no substructure damage. 

Caulk any holes and schedule repair time for more significant problems. 

Use quick-drying parge cement or an outdoor sealant for sidewalk and foundation cracks. Remove any debris against the walls of the home to deter pest nests.

See this useful checklist and information about pests from the Smithsonian Museum Conservatory Education Department. 

 

 

If you are still in hectic holiday mode, give Martin’s Pest Control a call. We can do a comprehensive inspection of your home. 

How To Hire The Right Pest Control Company

Matrin's Pest Control owner Bill Martin

Start With Research

When hiring a Calgary pest control company, you want to make sure you get one that cares about you and your problem. The first step you should always take is doing research. Start by checking their online presence, reading reviews and even making a few phone calls.

Licencing, certifications, and safety insurance measures, along with warranties, are the types of business points to list and consider in your decision-making process.

Make An Action Plan

After you have your information analyzed, a good choice should stand out from the others. At this point, you should be feeling confident that your choice will bring a solution to your pest problem. Make the call to your chosen pest control company.

Ask for a written contract for services, fees, and guarantees. Discuss the services requested and set a date for service. Ask about preparation in the home before their visit. Also, find out what they do to get the home back to normal after treatment. Make sure you discuss what happens if the pest problems reoccur.

Some companies will come back and re-treat for free, and others will charge you again for multiple treatments. If the company is resistant to provide this, reconsider your choice, and go to the next quality pest control choice on your list.

Set Realistic Goals

Sometimes you expect the pests to magically disappear and never be seen again after a pest control treatment plan. Mother Nature has an odd sense of humour and often makes sure things don’t always go as we expect. You will probably have a few stragglers for a few weeks after treatment, but if pests are still active, call the company back and make sure they honour the extermination warranty outlined in your contract.

Or you may assume that the pest control operator will clean everything up when he leaves. In your question session, make sure you find out how effective each treatment is and what to expect at its conclusion. Some companies require you to arrange for pre and post-treatment preparation and cleanup. 

Review How Effective You Think The Company Was

Once the pests are gone, review the entire process and consider if it resolved your concerns, or whether you could have improved on any areas. Save the number of a great service provider in your phone for your household services index.

You may even want to post a compliment on their website. Conversely, don’t be afraid to post negative comments for terrible service on websites and register your problem with the Better Business Bureau. Reputable services will always put customers first and strive to problem solve disagreements.

Remember, you are in control and have the right to excellent service under your contract terms, for the money paid to any pest control service.

 

If you need help with a pest or insect problem, reach out to Martin’s Pest Control today. Also check out our other blogs for more useful tips, including pest control for homeowners. 

Pest Control For Homeowners

pest problems bank vole

Problem-Solving Help For Pest Issues

When you have a problem, you don’t usually want someone taking over and telling you what to do. You want a helping party to listen and support your decision-making processes, leaving you in control of the situation. After all, this problem is your problem, not theirs.
There are problem-solving formulas that can be followed to find good solutions.
Can these formulas be used to deal with a home pest problem? Absolutely.

Steps to reach pest control solutions:

Accepting You Have A Pest Problem

Most people are very good at looking the other way or denying they have a situation until it becomes serious. You may have noticed a few bugs in the basement, or ants in your cupboards and thought, oh they will go away in the winter. When you find they didn’t, and now you are seeing them everywhere, it is time to accept that you may have a pest problem.

Remove Emotion & Anxiety From Your Problem-Solving

People often get anxious or frantic when they encounter a problem they don’t know how to solve. It can prevent you from focusing on the problem and finding reasoned, logical solutions.

If you have called one of Calgary’s best pest control specialists, like Martin’s Pest Control, their staff will listen while you tell them about your pest problems and your emotions related to those problems. They will give you information to help you lower your anxiety so that you can find solutions to your problems.

Ask For Help

For many people, pride or shyness prevents them from seeking help for their problems. Sometimes they feel they will be judged or forced into actions they don’t want to take. A reputable pest control company will not judge you for your housekeeping skills or blame you for having pest problems.

They will offer you information and leave the decision up to you on the action you would like to take. They’ll also offer advice on steps that can help reduce the reoccurrence of pest problems. So the first step is to phone a professional pest control company and talk about your homeowner pest infestation.

Gather Information

This step will help you calm down and consider the facts around your pest problem and identify steps you can choose to make an action plan. Look up local pest control near me on the internet. Call each one.

The pest control professional that takes your call will ask a lot of questions to get a complete picture of the problem. Often they will ask you to send in a picture of the pests or will offer to come out and identify them. Additionally, they can give you the info on them if you aren’t even sure what pest you have.

Then they will outline the various options open to you to deal with the pests. If indeed you only have a minor pest problem, they can tell you what products to buy at a store and how to use it. For more severe issues, they will suggest having a pest infestation officer come out and treat the problem. They will also tell you about the cost of the service.

Choose A Pest Control Company

Ask for written or email information you covered with the pest control professional and review it before making a decision. You may want to break it down into categories.

For example, list several pest control companies you have contacted and compare prices, effectiveness, time needed, green pest control practices, and health protection methods. Remember, you don’t have to contract the first one you contact.

You have the control here to make an action plan that fits your needs. Do not be pressured by a company to sign up right away. You want to do your research and see if there are complaints against them or good reviews that will support their service records. 

 

If you need help with a pest or insect problem, reach out to Martin’s Pest Control today. Also check out our other blogs for more useful tips, including how to hire the right company for your pest concerns. 

How Is Pest Control Helpful

pest control

Halloween features pictures of creepy crawlies entering homes and businesses. Well, there is actual creepy crawlies that do try to enter your home when October temperatures drop. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do about them.

That is where a professional pest control company like Martin’s Pest Control can help homeowners. We are familiar with the pests that are native to the area and what their habits are. We know where to locate them in the home, and understand the proper chemicals and methods of eliminating the pests.

In the Calgary area, there are some insects that homeowners commonly find invading their homes or businesses in fall. Some are beneficial, some don’t do much harm, and some will cause problems. Below is a look at common insects that make their way into a home and why you should have them removed.

Ladybugs & Common Insects

Ladybugs often hibernate under leaf cover outside for the winter, or they are attracted to the light and warmth of homes and make their way inside. They excrete a pheromone that signals their friends to stop by, too. Ladybugs are great predators of aphids. If you have just a few, catch them in a jar and put them back outside. Asian ladybugs have been making their way across Canada, and they can be more of a concern as they can bite, so precaution should be taken when catching them, or call a professional pest control expert to deal with the problem.

Boxelder bugs that collect around maple and elder trees can make their way under siding for the winter, and on warm days you might find them active on the south side of your homes. They sometimes make their way into homes through cracks and light sockets. They are black and red but with a long oval body and wings.

It is not recommended to kill them in the walls as they attract beetles that feed on their carcasses. If they get in the house, vacuum them out and dispose of the vacuum bag outside. They are not harmful, but if they are in the house, you may want to call an exterminator to consult what to do.

Flies, The Nuisance Of Every Home

Flies are a pest that enters homes in the fall, as well. They leave spots on walls, mirrors, windows, and their loud buzzing can keep you awake. Flies are attracted to the lights and are generally a nuisance. Furthermore, they carry disease, so they should be eliminated as soon as possible. They lay eggs in warm moist areas and can lay up to 500 eggs that hatch in 12-24 hours. When temperatures are colder, they become sluggish, and a fly swatter can usually kill small numbers. Large infestations should be dealt with by a professional pest control company, who will have the correct pesticides and methods to eliminate them. Rural areas often have large populations of flies that can invade barns, animal shelters, and garages.

There are other types of flies like fruit flies and fungus gnats that feed on organic matter. They also can be challenging to remove from home environments. Keeping foodstuffs in containers and cooking soil before repotting indoor plants can be helpful. Put about a 2lb of soil in a plastic bag in the microwave. Heat on high for two to five minutes; take the soil bag out of the microwave, seal the bag, and let it completely cool before repotting plants.

Spiders

Some people think spiders come in from the cold in the fall; however, arachnologists say they are probably brought into houses or are on the move because October is prime mating season for spiders. They eliminate many pests and are good for the environment. Some people leave them inside, to do that near the doorway and in basement shadows. However, there is a chance they can get into clothes and bedding. Their bites can be severe, so catching them and putting them outside is a better idea. Though they aren’t really found in the Calgary area, wolf spiders and black widow spiders do have poisonous bites. If you think you’ve seen one in your home, have an expert identify and catch then for you.

Bees & Wasps

Wasp Control Tips

Some homeowners have found that bees and wasps winter in their attics and between walls. Colin Butler of CBC news reported on Ontario homeowners that had 100,000 bees in their home this September.

With bee populations decreasing, relocation of the bees is important, and beekeepers and pest control professionals can help address those problems. Less frequently, wasps nest in homes, and professionals should deal with removal. Both will sting if disturbed. There are 800 types of bees in Canada, and some are mistaken for wasps. By consulting a licensed pest control company, homeowners can be sure of the proper removal procedures and safety precautions to clear their homes of bees and wasps.

How do these insects get into your home?

Some insects are attracted to house lights and fly through open windows or doors; others enter through vents, cracks, or holes in siding. They can also get in under doors with no weather strips. Homeowners can deter them by sealing holes where they could enter, apply good weather-stripping around doors and windows and calking window, door jambs and baseboards.

How to deter insects from coming in during the fall?

Check firewood, stored boxes and plants brought in from the garden for pests. Submerging a plant in water for several minutes, then allowing the water to drain through, can help eliminate pests from potted plants.

If you have a pest you want to get rid of, give Martin’s Pest Control a call. We can assess your home, find the likely entrance point, and take steps to keep pests out of your house. 

Ants And How To Prevent Them

Carpenter Ant Ants

When you’re having a picnic, you expect a few ants to show up as uninvited guests, but if they make a home on your property that is something different altogether.

Did you know there are 93 different types of ants in Alberta? The most common are the pavement ant, pharaoh ant, and carpenter ant.

You can recognize pavement ants by the little craters they make in between the cracks on the sidewalk. They also set up colonies in your lawn or garden.

While they loosen up the soil and eat a few things around the yard, a large colony takes over an area and can limit your use of it. Stepping in the mounds can send the swarms scurrying over feet and sometimes they will bite. There are hardware store ant sprays, but because the underground colony is wide-ranging, it may not kill them all. A professional pest control company will have the tools to contain the ants and will follow up afterward to make sure the treatment eliminates the problem.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are two-toned red and black and make those little convoy lines straight to the food source. They like warm places and forage the house for food. If they get into your home or business through cracks or sills, they are challenging to get rid of.

They are fast, prolific breeders, so home remedies often won’t be able to get rid of your ant problem. A pest control company, however, will be able to find the nest and help you get your home or business ant-free again.

Carpenter Ants

We used to think carpenter ants were only in B.C., where there is lots of wet weather and decaying wood for them to set up shop. However, they have now infiltrated Alberta. Carpenter ants are a larger size, black, with a triangular head. They like rotting wood and will enter homes through any deteriorating wood. Once established in a wall or pillar, over time, they will cause a lot of damage. It is best to get them treated professionally by an exterminator as soon as you see them. A pest control company will have the right remedy to permeate those areas and allow you to fix the damage.

Prevent A Problem Before It Starts

One of the best ways to prevent an ant problem is to stop it before it starts. One way to do that is by hiring a pest control company that will come into your home to provide an evaluation. They will be able to point out problem areas and will tell you what to do to keep those industrious ants and other pests away.

At Martin’s Pest Control, we offer such solutions to the Calgary area. We offer annual preventive packages so that you can rest easy and you can enjoy your home and garden.

Don’t Let Wasps Ruin Your Summer Entertaining

Wasp Control Tips

Ah summer, the perfect time to fire up the BBQ and invite guests over for dinner. All is going well until those darn wasps show up and want their piece of the steak.

Wasps are drawn to protein and sugar, so your BBQ creations are like an invitation to them. While your first impulse is to swat them away, experts say that is a mistake. Swatting at them will cause the wasp to go into fight mode. Furthermore, it exudes a pheromone that signals its buddies to join the fight. That’s why it usually starts with one, and then a whole group shows up.

DIY Wasp Control Strategies

There are various wasp control methods. One is a yellowjacket trap that use sugar water to attract them and traps or drowns them so they can’t get out. Some people put up the paper bags that look like a wasps nest, which signal the wasp it is in someone else’s territory. Some say cut up cucumber deters them, as they don’t like the smell.

If you trap some and they reappear again, you likely have a nest around somewhere.

There are several types of wasps found in Alberta, including yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps. Some wasps live alone while others live in a colony with a queen. They all make paper-like nests. The nest may be a small cone shape for a single wasp or a large paper nest for a colony. The clever fellas hide nests underground, under decks, front steps, and porch roofs. Some will even build in house walls and attics. You may need to call in a professional pest exterminator to locate the nests, especially if they are hidden or hard to get at.

Removing A Wasp Nest Is Best Left To The Pros

There are methods to remove the nests, but it is best left to a professional pest control company. They have the right tools, sprays, and experience to eliminate the problem without anyone getting hurt. The extermination technicians will also come back to check that the issue is resolved.

Wasps can become a real safety hazard if disturbed. These pests will swarm and sting. Wasps retain their stingers after they sting, so often you can get multiple stings from just one wasp.

What To Do If You’re Stung

Many people will experience swelling and itching if stung. It is best to clean the sting site as soon as you can. Ice packs and antihistamines can be helpful to reduce the swelling. Anti-itch cream can also be applied. Some people are allergic to wasp stings and should have an epi-pen handy in summer outdoor situations. For extreme circumstances or for those with who suffer a serious allergic reaction, it is best to call or go to emergency services.

Wasps Aren’t All Bad

Wasps are really beneficial in the garden. They eat other bugs that cause harm to plants. Sometimes people confuse bees with wasps. To protect the dwindling bee population, a professional pest exterminator will first identify the pest. If it is bees, the company will arrange for the removal and