Tag Archives: pest control services

How to get rid of raccoons

Raccoons can be entertaining to watch from a distance, but quickly become a nuisance when they invade your property. These animals are known for digging through trash, ruining gardens, damaging homes and even spreading diseases. They can also be quite aggressive, especially if they have young ones around. Read on to learn how to quickly identify if you have a raccoon problem, how to keep raccoons away from your property and how to get rid of raccoons that have already moved in. 

This Article Will Answer: 

Is a Raccoon a Rodent?
No raccoons are not rodents. They are more closely related to carnivores such as dogs, cats and bears.  

Signs of a Raccoon Problem: 

If you notice raccoons frequently in and around your property it’s a good idea to put some deterrents in place to dissuade them from getting comfortable. However, raccoons are not always so conspicuous as they are primarily active at night and are adept at hiding. The following signs can help you determine if you have a raccoon problem.

  • Evidence of feeding: Knocked-over trash cans, compost that has been rummaged through, damage to your lawn or garden, and disturbed pet food bowls or bird feeders are all common signs of raccoons feeding on your property. Other pests (such as rats, mice, squirrels etc…) are also attracted to these food sources but raccoons are especially strong and have nimble fingers allowing them to make bigger messes.  
  • Droppings: Raccoon droppings look similar to those of a small dog. An accumulation of droppings and urine in one location is a sign that there is a nest nearby. 
  • Strange noises: Raccoons make a variety of noises such as mewing and growling that can sometimes be heard by homeowners at night. You may also hear skittering on your roof or in the attic. 
  • Dens: In nature, raccoons build their home in tree hollows, abandoned groundhog dens or small caves. However, in urban environments, they are drawn to the shelter of attics, sheds, chimneys, crawl spaces and under porches. They often disrupt the insulation, chew through wires, and leave feces and food around where they are nesting. 

Regardless of the signs, it’s important to address the raccoon problem promptly to prevent further damage. If prevention is not effective you’ll need to look into raccoon removal. 

Raccoon in trash

Where are Raccoons from?
The common raccoon is native to North America however, their ability to thrive alongside humans in cities has caused their populations to multiply in size.

How to Keep Raccoons Away

To keep persistent raccoons away from your home you’ll need to make your property as uninviting as possible. Raccoons need food, water and shelter to thrive – eliminating their access to these essentials will deter them from your home. 

  • Secure trash cans: To raccoons, a trash can is a delicious buffet! Securing your trash can is essential to keeping raccoons away however, it can be difficult since raccoons are very smart and have dexterous hands. First, make sure the lid fits snuggly on your bin. You can also keep your bins in a secure shed or use straps, ropes or chains to secure the lid. 
  • Seal off entry points: Inspect your home for any potential entry points, such as holes in the roof, broken windows, or chimneys. Seal these openings with heavy-duty materials to prevent raccoons from entering. 
  • Trim trees and bushes: Raccoons often climb trees and use overhanging branches to access roofs and attics. Trimming trees and bushes near your home not only reduces the risk of raccoons entering but also rats, squirrels and other pests! 
  • Pets & Birds: Pet food and birdfeeders are also attractive food sources to raccoons, so it’s best to not leave these out unattended. Also keep an eye on water bowls for pets, bird baths and garden ponds as raccoons could be using these to drink water.

By taking these steps, you can help keep raccoons away from your home and reduce the risk of damage and health problems.

Raccoon screaching

Are raccoons dangerous?

While they are not typically aggressive, raccoons can become defensive when they feel threatened or cornered, and they may attack if they feel their young are in danger. Additionally, raccoons can carry a variety of diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to humans and pets through contact with their urine or feces or through bites and scratches. 

Do raccoons have rabies?
Raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats are the most common carriers of rabies however human rabies cases are incredibly rare. What is of larger concern is the roundworm that can be spread through raccoon droppings to both humans and pets. 

How to get rid of raccoons

If raccoons have already entered your home, it’s best to hire a professional wildlife control expert to remove them safely and humanely. We do not suggest that untrained homeowners attempt raccoon removal by themselves.

Expert raccoon removal near me

Are you in need of raccoon removal services? Terminix Canada has you covered! We offer expert pest & wildlife control services for both residential and commercial properties with locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to get rid of your raccoon problem for good!

Which Bug is in My Cupboard? Identifying Canadian Pantry Pests


There are many different types of insects that can get into your pantry and feed on your dry foods. The most common pantry insects in Canada are moths, beetles and weevils and they are more of a nuisance than a hazard. 

They can’t bite or sting, they can’t cause structural damage to your home, and they are not toxic even if accidentally ingested. The biggest threat they pose is causing your food to mould and spoil and they can be a headache to get rid of. Pantry bugs are also not a sign of poor housekeeping; they typically trojan-horse their way into the home inside dry goods. After reading this article you will be able to identify which Canadian pantry pest is infesting your kitchen and how to get rid of them. 

Prevention Tip:
Clean all surfaces in the kitchen and pantry regularly and clean hard-to-reach areas that accumulate crumbs a couple of times a year. 

Pantry moth

Pantry Moths

Moths are often the easiest pantry pest to identify as the adults conspicuously fly around. In Canada, the most common moth that infests kitchens is the Indianmeal moth which is slightly smaller than the size of a penny and is brown with occasional tints of red or grey. They are also sometimes called flour moths or grain moths. 

It is not, however, the adult moths that eat your food. In fact, once they are fully grown they do not eat at all and only live for a couple of weeks with the sole purpose of reproducing. Rather, it is the moth larvae that munch on your food. After hatching from their eggs the larvae grow to be 1-2 cm long and take on a whitish colour. They produce a silk webbing that covers the surface of whatever food they are feeding on. This webbing is often one of the earliest signs of pantry moths but it is often overlooked as homeowners assume it belongs to spiders and not moths. 

Prevention Tip:
Inspect dry goods at the grocery store and never purchase items with broken packaging. 

Confused flour beetle

Pantry Beetles

The most common Canadian pantry beetle is the confused flour beetle, as the name suggests these insects love flour and often lay their eggs through rips and holes in flour bags. They can less commonly be found in dried grains, fruits, nuts, and spices. The infested grains will soon turn a greyish colour and will mould much easier. 

They have hard outer shells, as is characteristic of beetles, a rusty colour and are about half a centimetre long, they are often mistaken for the almost identical saw-toothed grain beetle. Their small slender bodies allow them to easily infiltrate packaging. The adults can live for up to 3 years with the females producing approximately 2 eggs every day. The eggs can also lay dormant in food for 3 months before hatching if the environment is not ideal.

Prevention Tip:
Use air-tight containers to store dry goods, this way if one jar is infested you only have to pitch the one jar and not the entire pantry.

Rice weevil

Pantry Weevils

Weevils are technically a type of beetle but have an odd long nose that gives them a distinct appearance. The adults are dark in colour and generally smaller than half a centimetre long. You won’t see their larva as they grow inside of the grains and only emerge once fully grown. 

Weevils are attracted to different grains depending on the species, the most common include rice weevils, maize weevils, and granary weevils. Grains infested by weevils become sticky over time and this added moisture encourages the grain to sprout and mould. 

Prevention Tip:
Avoid storing large quantities of grain and only buy what you need for 2-3 months at a time. If you must keep a stockpile, keep the temperature low or even store your grain in a freezer.

Vacuuming pantry

How to Get Rid of Pantry Pests

  1. Dispose of all infested items. Make sure to use an outdoor garbage can as leaving them in your kitchen trash can be counter-productive and allow the insects to spread. Don’t forget to inspect your pet’s kibble as well. 
  2. Inspect all unaffected products. Any pantry items you intend to keep need to be thoroughly inspected even non-food items and jars. Beetles especially will hide in any small crack they can including under cans, in cardboard folds and under shelf liners. 
  3. Clean thoroughly. Vacuum the entire area paying special attention to corners and cracks. Make sure to dispose of the vacuum bag in the outside bin as well when you’re done. 
  4. Apply pesticide treatment. The area should then be treated with a pesticide to ensure the lifecycle is broken. Make sure all food is sealed away while the pesticide treatment is in process. You can do this yourself or call on a pest control professional if you are unsure of how to safely and effectively apply the product. 

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

How to safely clean up mouse poop


Mice are often hard to spot as they are nocturnal and like to stay hidden. However, a single mouse produces between 50 and 75 pellet-shaped droppings (aka poop) every day! Although disgusting this means that droppings are a good indicator of an infestation. It’s very important to follow proper safety precautions whenever you may be in close contact with mice, their nests, their droppings or urine as mice are known to carry and transmit disease – read on to learn how. 

Canadian Mice 

There are many species of mice but the most common mice that cause problems for homeowners in Canada are the house mouse and the deer mouse. The house mouse is found throughout southern Canada including in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Unlike deer mice which mainly invade homes in the fall when temperatures start to drop, house mice enter homes year-round. Deer mice are found throughout every province and territory in Canada except for Newfoundland and Nunavut, however they are more common rurally as they thrive in grasslands and forests. 

How to Identify Mouse Droppings?

It can be difficult to tell mouse droppings from rat droppings or those of other pests but the size is really the key indicator. Mouse droppings or pellets resemble dark grains of rice about 3 to 6 mm in length whereas rat droppings are larger, around 12 mm in length. The colour will change depending on how old they are, over time the pellets dry and transition from a shiny black colour to a chalky brown. 

Mouse droppings

Are Mouse Droppings Toxic?

The droppings of deer mice have been known to cause a serious lung disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) when inhaled. Although cases are rare it still warrants precaution as it has a 40% mortality rate. Hantavirus can also be spread through their urine and through any food contaminated by mice. This is why it’s so important to take proper safety precautions when cleaning mouse droppings. 

How to Clean up Mouse Droppings

What you’ll need: 

  • Rubber or disposable gloves
  • N95 mask
  • Garbage bags 
  • Paper towels 
  • Diluted bleach or disinfectant in a spray bottle 
  • Long pants & long sleeve shirt

Step 1 – Protect yourself 

Never touch mouse droppings with your bare hands and avoid breathing in the same area. 

As discussed above mouse pellets can carry diseases that can be transferred in a variety of ways including becoming air born. To protect yourself, rubber or disposable gloves and an N95 respirator should be worn when cleaning up mouse droppings, as well as long pants and a long sleeve shirt. 

Step 2 – Air Out 

If possible, open surrounding doors and windows at least 30 minutes before cleaning so that the area is well-ventilated. However, if the wind could blow in and move the droppings around do not proceed with this step. Additionally, make sure that pets and children have no access to the area for the entirety of the cleaning. 

Step 3 – Soak

Do not sweep or vacuum up droppings! These will both promote pathogens becoming air born. Instead, dampen the dropping and surrounding area with a diluted bleach solution (one part bleach and 9 parts water) or an appropriate household disinfectant making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the bleach or disinfectant sit for at least 5 minutes before continuing. 

Step 4 – Wipe & Remove 

Wipe up the dropping with a bleach-dampened paper towel and immediately place them in a garbage bag. After all the droppings have been removed tie the garbage bag up securely and dispose of it in an outdoor bin that is emptied regularly.

Step 5 – Disinfect the Area

Clean the area thoroughly with diluted bleach or disinfectant. Make sure to disinfect your gloves as well before removing them and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after.

Step 6 – Monitor

You will want to reinspect the area where you cleaned up the droppings regularly. If droppings reappear it’s a strong sign of an infestation

Mouse chewing wire

If you are dealing with a heavy accumulation of mouse droppings the situation becomes more hazardous and it is best to contact a pest control specialist like Terminix to keep you and your family safe. The same goes for if you feel unsure about any of the steps outlined above – don’t risk it, call in a trusted professional. 

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services for both residential and commercial properties. We have local pest control experts at locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

The Greater Toronto area including Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Scarborough and Oshawa has become a hotspot of bed bug activity and cases have only risen since the COVID-19 pandemic started. People started opting to visit each other in their homes instead of public spaces, bringing the unwanted hitchhikers along with them.

Toronto area homeowners who suspect they may have bed bugs should act quickly to identify the problem and determine if they need to call a pest control service to complete a bed bug removal treatment. Bed bug infestations grow notoriously fast and treating a smaller infestation is significantly easier than a large one. Unfortunately the less conspicuous nature of smaller infestations makes them harder to identify. In this article we will go through the key indicators of an infestation and walk you through how to do your own mattress check to determine if you are sharing your sleeping quarters with bed bugs.

Can bed bugs fly?

No – bed bugs cannot fly nor can they jump. Phew! They are also quite slow maxing out their speed at about 3 to 4 feet per minute. This is likely why most bed bugs don’t stray more than 30 feet from where they are feeding.

What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are very good at staying hidden and come out to feed only when you are resting. This is why actually seeing a bed bug isn’t the most reliable way to tell if there’s an infestation. It is also easy to mistake them for carpet beetles or other insects. If you have already noticed a creepy crawly around your home look for these key traits to know if it may be a bed bug.

  • 2 – 5 mm long depending on the age
  • Flat oval shaped body
  • Adults have consistent reddish brown colour
  • Young nymphs are either colourless or a light yellow colour all over
Bed bug


Look for uniform colouration all over the body. Many other beetles, including carpet beetles have speckled patterns on their backs.

Carpet Beetle
Carpet Beetle – Source: Udo Schmidt – Anthrenus verbasci

What do bed bug bites look like?

Contrary to what you may think, noticing red bites on your skin is not a concrete sign of bed bugs. Small red bumps could be caused by other insects such as mosquitos, or be related to eczema or hives. The reason their bites are so hard to identify is because everybody’s body reacts to them differently and on some people they are not visible at all. This is why the best way to tell if you have bed bugs is a mattress inspection.

Can I starve out bed bugs?

Bed bugs can live for months without a blood meal and in some laboratory experiments they have survived over a year without eating! Trying to starve out bed bugs is not an effective solution to an infestation.

How to check for bed bugs?

To perform a bed bug mattress check you’ll want to use a flashlight and a rigid flat tool such as a credit card or paint scraper to help pry open and illuminate small cracks. Bed bugs like to hide in very small spaces and this is where you will find the clearest evidence of them. Bed bugs are primarily found in mattresses and in the cushions of furniture that is used frequently. Start your search there and then expand to other common hiding spots as listed below.

Common Bed Bug Hiding Spots:

  • Seams and tags of mattresses
  • Seams and joints of upholstered furniture
  • Between pillows
  • Between carpeting and the walls
  • In the folds of curtains
  • Around the the edge of the ceiling especially in the corners
  • Around electrical sockets
Bug bed mattress inspection

As you do your search look for the following:

  • Blood stains
  • Black feces spots
  • Eggs & Molted skins

Blood Stains

Small reddish brown blood splotches are created when a bed bug gets crushed, usually from someone sitting or lying down on it. Look for them on your sheets and mattress especially.

Feces spots

Black spots about the size of a pen tip are a sign of bed bug feces. They also bleed like a marker would on fabric. Look for them everywhere in your search on your sheets and mattress and in all the crevices in which bed bugs might hide.

Eggs & Molted skins

Eggs are also roughly the size of the tip of a pen (1mm) and pale yellow in colour. You may find them whole or crushed as they are molted and discarded when a bed bug matures. Look for these in all the bed bug hiding spots listed above.

Common bed bug signs

If you do spot some of these signs it’s time to contact your local pest control experts. They will be able to confirm whether you have bed bugs or not and work with you to find a solution that fits your situation. Bed bugs are notoriously hard to control and an infestation can grow rapidly so time is of the essence.

Terminix uses safe & non-toxic bed bug treatments to effectively eliminate bed bug populations of any size and severity. We offer expert pest control services across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

How to Dine Wasp Free this Summer?

Canada is home to hundreds of species of wasps that are most active from April through September. Unfortunately, this coincides with perfect patio seasons leaving many homeowners annoyed with these uninvited guests. Read on to discover our best tips on how to dine wasp free this summer!


  • How to identify wasps 
  • Risks wasps pose to your family and home
  • How to prevent wasps 
  • How to treat a wasp nest

What are wasps?

The most common Canadian pest wasps are hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps, all of which sport distinctive yellow and black patterns on their bodies. They can be easily distinguished from bees, just remember: bees are fat and fuzzy and wasps are skinny and smooth. 

Most wasps are social creatures and live in nests with hundreds or even thousands of individuals, the appearance of such nests changes depending on the species. Some wasps prefer to nest out in the open creating football-shaped hanging nests attached to tree branches, railings or eves. Single-layer nests where the honeycomb shapes are exposed are also common near vents and soffits of the home. Other species prefer to be more secretive and build in protected areas such as tree hollows or wall cavities. 

Tip: Wear shoes when walking in the garden! Some solitary wasps such as mud daubers build their homes in the ground and may attack if provoked.

When are wasps a problem?

Wasps are beneficial to have around as they feed on other smaller insects, however when they get too comfortable near your home they can also pose a great threat. Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly and are especially dangerous to those who are allergic, even proving fatal at times. They are also very territorial, making a nest near your home very hazardous. If there is no nest on your property but wasps are still intruding on your outdoor summer fun try out the tips below to ward off the unwanted guests. 

How to safely remove a wasp nest

Wasp nest removal is very dangerous and it is not recommended that homeowners attempt it themselves. The safest and most effective option is to call in a pest control company. This is not only because of the risks of a wasp attack but also because their nests are often located in hard-to-reach locations sometimes requiring ladders. 

If you do proceed with removing a wasp nest yourself you will need full protective gear, these hard-to-reach locations mean a quick escape is often impossible. As for the treatment, there are two main methods: homemade soapy water or store-bought pesticide spray. Soapy water is a great low-cost option that is effective if the whole nest can be drenched easily, whereas pesticide spray can be more convenient for hard-to-reach locations. Either method should be used around dusk when wasps are the least active and will likely take several days to completely resolve your issue.

How to prevent wasps

Close Holes

Wasps are attracted to safe spaces where they can hide or build a nest. At the beginning of the season clear any clutter on and around your outdoor dining area and close up any holes that you can in the side of your home, shed or deck. 

Avoid Wood

Certain wasps use wood to build their nests and so will return to sources of wood again and again. It’s best to avoid patio furniture and decks made of wood but often that is not a viable option. In these cases, staining or painting wood acts as a good deterrent against wasps and other pesky insects. 


The number one thing that attracts wasps to your summer BBQ is sweet smells: the caramelizing ribs on the grill, a freshly opened can of soda, the perfume of your guests or the flowers in your garden. Wasps, like many insects, have an extremely keen sense of smell and can pick up on even trace amounts of foods and other odours. After dining make sure to clean up thoroughly, sweep up any fallen food and wash any spills with soap and water.

Pet food can also attract wasps so make sure not to leave pet bowls out on the porch. 


In the same way that food attracts wasps so does the smell of garbage. If possible keep garbage bins away from the patio area, if not make sure to secure them with strong lids to keep the smell in. 

Yard waste can also attract wasps as it rots, so make sure that your yard is clear. 

Grow Wasp Repelling Plants

Flowers and fruit trees are beautiful but give off a sweet smell that not only attracts wasps but also bees and other insects. Instead, decorate with plants that naturally repel wasps such as citronella, spearmint, pennyroyal, thyme, sage, lemongrass, clove or eucalyptus. The oils produced by these plants repel wasps and, as a bonus, many of these plants are delicious herbs that can brighten any summer dish. 

Tip: Wormwood is another effective wasp-repelling plant however can be poisonous in small bodies so is not recommended if there are children or pets around. 

Essential Oils 

Instead of gardening, some of these plant oils can also be bought in stores. Eucalyptus and mint essential oils are commonly sold online and in health food stores. Simply combine some oil and water in a spray bottle and treat areas where you often see wasps. There are also wasp repellants that can be bought from home improvement retailers for the same use. 

Avoid perfume 

Perfumes often give off sweet smells that attract wasps so avoid wearing them when you plan to dine outdoors. This also goes for strongly scented soaps, shampoos or lotions. Instead, try wearing a dab of the above-mentioned oils, which double as a wasp repellant. 


Wasp traps contain a sweet liquid that lures wasps through a hole that they then cannot leave through. These traps should be placed off to the side of an outdoor dining area so that wasps are attracted to the trap and not your family’s dinner. Wasp traps can be quite effective when placed properly but make sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets. 

If you’re still having issues with wasps in and around your dining area it is possible you have a nest on your property that you are not aware of. A pest control expert will be able to safely locate and remove any wasp nests in and around your home. 

Terminix exterminators use the safest and most effective methods to rid your home of wasps for good. We offer expert pest control services across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

The Risks of Bird Feeders 

Backyard bird feeders can attract beautiful birds and help us feel closer to nature, a rare opportunity for those of us who live in cities. However, bird feeders can also be harmful to both humans and birds if not properly cared for. It is important to understand how to minimize these risks if you want to use a bird feeder.

Bird Diseases

Bird feeders often attract many different bird species which can be exciting to see but turns them into hotspots of bird disease. Birds primarily interact with individuals of the same species and spread disease between each other, however a larger issue arises when diseases are spread between species. When a bird comes in contact with a pathogen it is not familiar with its immune system doesn’t know how to properly respond and it becomes very ill. A disease introduced from a different species can quickly decimate a bird population. 

It’s important to clean your bird feeders regularly to stop this; once every two weeks is recommended. Feeders can be washed with hot soapy water, a dilute bleach solution or even placed in the dishwasher. The number of different bird feeders you use should also be limited so that fewer species are forced to interact with each other. 

TIP: You can easily clean your birdfeeder in the dishwasher! Just make sure to disassemble the feeder so the soap can get into all the little crevices. 

Many people put bird feeders out in the hopes of helping wild birds find food, but biologists suggest that disease transmission is a larger risk to bird populations than food availability. Some studies have even found that bird feeders end up providing food mainly to invasive birds and help them outcompete native bird species.

Currently, highly pathogenic bird flu is on the rise in Canada, this disease affects many different species of bird and has no cure. You can check the Government of Canada website to see if bird feeders are safe for use in your area. 

Something you can do to help our flying friends is to report sick or dead wild birds to the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC). However, be careful not to handle the birds, although bird flu does not usually affect humans there are some rare cases where humans have been infected. 

Human Diseases

Birds carry a multitude of diseases on their bodies and in their feces that cause harm to humans. It is especially hazardous to hang out near a large number of bird droppings, such as those often found under bird feeders. Many of the diseases birds transmit are airborne and can infect people simply by being close by. Some insects also parasitize birds and are found living in their droppings such as mites, which can bite humans, and mealworms, which can cause illness if accidentally ingested. — Learn more about common diseases transmitted by birds. 

Bird droppings around feeders should be regularly removed however, make sure to follow proper safety precautions! Gloves and a dust respirator should always be worn, the bird droppings should be sprayed with soapy water before the cleanup to ensure no dust forms, and all waste should be double-bagged. When all the droppings are gone spray the area with a 10% bleach solution as well as any surfaces and tools touched in the process. Please note that immune-compromised individuals should never attempt to clean up bird droppings. 


Did you know? Backyard bird feeders are one of the biggest causes of residential rat infestations! Unfortunately, it’s not only birds that enjoy feasting on seeds. Learn more about birds

Bird feeders can attract unwanted pests such as squirrels, rats and raccoons especially when seeds fall on the ground under the feeder. To prevent these rodents from getting too comfortable near your home, be sure to sweep up fallen seeds regularly. If they discover a good food source in your backyard they will be tempted to move in nearby.

Nearby Nests

Bird feeders encourage birds to nest nearby, this may be exciting if a songbird nests in your tree, but less so if a pigeon builds a nest in your AC unit. Birds such as pigeons, starlings and house sparrows are often considered pest birds as they are not native to Canada but thrive in urban environments allowing their populations to grow out of control. They also cause a lot of damage to buildings by nesting in homes and dropping acidic feces that corrode roofing. These pest birds also generally do not come alone, many harbour insects such as bed bugs and mites in their coats or nests. —Learn more about these common pest birds and how to exclude them from your home humanly.

There are too few opportunities to connect with nature in cities and bird feeders can be a great way to do this however, they are not without risk and are best used in moderation. Consider putting your bird feeder out a couple of days or a week at a time and paying closer attention to it during that time. Too often bird feeders are neglected and not cleaned properly which ultimately does more harm to birds than good. 

Additionally, this will discourage pests from taking up residence in and around your home. If you do find rodents or birds moving into your home it’s time to put the bird feeder away and call on pest control experts. 

Deterring Insect Infestations 

Lastly, it’s not just birds and wildlife that are attracted to your bird seed.

Grain pests, such as indian meal moths, weevils, and a host of stored food product beetles will also be attracted to the seeds and grains found in your bird seed materials. This counts for the feed outside, as well as the feed that you have stored inside your shed, garage, or house.

Proper bird seed storage is strongly advised such as a sturdy sealed container. Storing bird seed in areas away from the home to avoid introducing a potential infestation into the house is a good idea, but remember that mice and racoons can chew through plastic and a metal container might be a better option.  

Terminix Canada offers expert bird pest control services across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to learn how we can help.

Which Canadian Ant is Invading your Home?

Canada is home to hundreds of species of ants most of which are relatively harmless or even beneficial. Ants help gardens thrive by tunnelling into the soil bringing oxygen and essential nutrients with them. Some species even consume other pests such as the young of silverfish or moths! However, they can become a problem when they set up nests in and around your house, causing damage to your home, spoiling food, and spreading diseases. Read more about ants.

Correctly identifying the species of ant infesting your house is imperative to their successful removal. As a Canadian homeowner, the ants you’re most likely to come into contact with include carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, pavement ants, and fire ants. Read on to learn how to identify these ant species and how to eliminate each one. 

Carpenter Ant

The two main types of carpenter ants in Canada are red carpenter ants and black carpenter ants. Red carpenter ants have a reddish-brown upper body but are otherwise black, whereas the black carpenter ants are black all over. They are the largest of Canadian pest ants ranging from 6 to 25 mm in length, about the size of a sunflower seed. They are often confused with termites due to their size however, it is easy to tell the difference as carpenter ants have a very slim waist and bent antenna, whereas termites have thick waists and straight antenna. 

Carpenter ants are attracted to damp or decaying wood in which they build their colonies.  If they make their way into your home they can cause serious structural damage. They like to keep their tunnels very clean and are constantly sweeping out any debris, luckily this creates some very conspicuous sawdust piles. The sawdust piles may also contain the bodies of smaller insects that the carpenter ants have consumed. During mating season, late spring and summer, you will likely also see flying ants, these are reproductive males and females looking to breed with each other. 

If you suspect carpenter ants have invaded your home, call a pest control company immediately to prevent any further structural damage. Additionally, don’t disturb any sawdust piles you find before your appointment as inspectors will use them to locate the nest and remove the colony. 

Fun Fact

The giant Amazonian ant is a contender for the largest ant in the world at a whopping 4 cm in length! Twice the size of our Canadian carpenter ants!

Pharaoh Ant

The Pharaoh ant is likely native to Africa and can only nest outside in warm climates.  Despite this, it has made its way all around the world and lives in heated buildings globally. Pharaoh Ants are small roughly 2 mm in length and have a yellowish-brown to red bottom with a darker body. You won’t see these ants flying around; the queens are the only ones in the colony to grow wings but they cannot fly and lose their wings after mating. 

The small size of the Pharaoh ant allows it to get into just about anything, scientific researchers even have a hard time keeping them out of their sanitary labs! They can get into food packaging contaminating it with the microbes they carry on their bodies, they have even been known to transmit pathogens such as Salmonella and Streptococcus. This is why it is so important to keep an eye out for these tiny pests especially in and around the kitchen, in the pantry and by pet food bowls. 

Pharaoh ants nest in odd places: between layers of paper or linens, in trash, or even in appliances and electrical outlets. This makes extermination tricky, instead of combing every crack of the home for nests, baits are typically used to treat pharaoh ants. When the Pharaoh ants come out to forage they grab pieces of the bait thinking it is food and bring it back to their nests poisoning the entire colony. However, it is imperative to select the right bait for your situation! If the wrong bait is used it will stress the ants out before they all die and the nest will scatter, creating multiple satellite colonies and further complicating your issue. 

Pharaoh ant vs Pavement ant
AntWeb. Version 8.76.4. California Academy of Science, online at https://www.antweb.org.

Pavement Ant

Pavement ants are not native to Canada and were introduced to North America from Europe in the 19th century. They are similar in size to Pharaoh ants, roughly 2 mm in length, but are darker in colour with pale brown to black bodies. You may be able to see their stingers, but don’t worry they are not used to attack but rather to leave trails of pheromones for their fellow ants. During the mating season, you will likely see some pavement ants taking flight as they like to congregate in swarms to do the deed.

They are not generally found living in the home but often along the outside walls of the home, in garages, along garden walkways or on patios.  They prefer to nest in soil devoid of vegetation which has made them particularly suited to life in urban environments, so look for mounds of displaced solid near the outside of the home or paved areas. However, they will be drawn to forage in the warmth of the home during the cold winter months. Here they can become a hazard as they can get into pet and human food and contaminate it with microbes on their bodies. Pest control professionals can follow ant trails and dirt mounds to trace pavement ants back to their nest and exterminate the colony. 

Fire ant & Fire ant hill
AntWeb. Version 8.76.4. California Academy of Science, online at https://www.antweb.org.

Fire Ants

While less common in urban areas if you own a property in a rural region of Canada you may come into contact with these infamous insects. Fire ants are 2 – 5 mm in length and reddish-brown in colour. If you take a close look you’ll discover a dark stinger but you really shouldn’t get that close because these ants are aggressive and will defend their turf vigorously! They will bite and inject a painful sting on any person or animal that gets too close to their colony, which looks like a dome-shaped mound of sand. Pay special attention in dry fields as fire ants thrive in the sun and if you see one make sure you do not disturb it. 

A fire ant nest close to your home or near a path often walked should be dealt with as soon as possible. The silver lining is that once you’ve found a fire ant nest you are not likely to forget where it is, and exterminators can come in and deal with the issue efficiently. 


Keep a close eye on children and pets if you have fire ants on your property. It’s also a good practice to always wear closed-toed footwear and socks in case you accidentally stumble across a colony.

If you’re still unsure which ant is invading your home, start by calling a professional pest control company who will be able to identify your ant problem and recommend an effective control option.

Terminix Canada offers expert pest control services across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today for residential ant removal or commercial ant removal.