Tag Archives: pest control services

What Makes Ants Great Navigators?

Let’s be honest: we should really be glad that ants are a little lacking in the size department, because there’s just not much else we humans are superior in.

Sure, we’ve done great things throughout history. We’ve built some pretty amazing buildings and established a countless number of civilizations. But ants have done all that, without relying on petty tools and machinery. In fact, they’ve built massive societies and underground megalopolises with their own two… mandibles.

So, it’s not too far-fetched to say that anything we can do, ants can do better. Just look at our existence within a greater perspective, and you’ll start to get it. They’re more coordinated, hardworking, and powerful than us. And to add insult to injury, latest research indicates that they also make better navigators, too.

Ants Have Two Navigational Strategies

Imagine getting to a restaurant you’ve found on Yelp, without the help of Google Maps, or even road signs. Now imagine doing it while going backwards.

It may sound like an impossible feat, but for ants, it’s a trivial task, both forwards and in rewind.

This is thanks to their incredible ability to separate the direction they’re going from what they’re seeing! Ants can travel far away from their nests and easily find their way back, regardless of whatever obstacle that may come in their path.

But how is that so, you ask? Researchers from the University of Edinburgh asked the same question and sought answers by planting a bunch of barriers around a desert ant nest to create a maze. They made sure the barriers didn’t impede the view of the ants and gave them some time to get used to their surroundings.

The researchers discovered that the ants relied on two navigational strategies to route their way home:

1. Following Their Visual Memories

Here’s the deal: ants change their walking orientation depending on the size of food they have to carry. So, when the ants encountered the smaller bits of cookie that the researchers laid out on the trail, they walked forward. And when they encountered the larger bits, they dragged them while walking backward.

It turns out that the ants relied on their view and visual cues to navigate back to their nest. For one, the forward-walking ants constantly adjusted their course by analyzing their surrounding scenery, without stopping in-between!

Backward-walking ants, however, did things a little differently. They made occasional stops to rotate around the spot while carrying the food, and hastily corrected their direction based on the visual information that they absorbed.

And if the cookie pieces were too large to lug around, the ants dropped the food altogether, walking a few steps forward, peeking around, and orientating themselves before pulling once more.

Regardless, the way the ants match their progress against their memories of their visual surroundings shows that their mental capacity is far more complex than we give them credit for. Truly remarkable cognition and planning, which we humans often find ourselves lacking in in the convenience of today’s digital age!

2. Stargazing

However, the researchers weren’t fully convinced that was the only thing these versatile ants relied on to navigate. Based on the way the ants’ visual memories worked, the researchers believed a simple peel forward would not be enough for backward-walking ants to properly navigate.

So get this: the researchers determined that the ants are also capable of navigating using the stars. In other words, they’re able to find their way by referring to the position of the sun in the sky.

The researchers confirmed this by making the ants walk through a funnel, which denied them the visual cues of their surrounding environment.

As they expected, the funnel proved to be incapable of outsmarting the super-bugs. Every time the ants were forced into the funnel, they immediately came back out, looked skyward, and effortlessly re-oriented themselves. They actually noted the location of the sun in the sky to reframe their visual memory of their route!

Ants Are Not To Be Underestimated

While their brains may be less than the size of a pinhead, ants are way smarter than we give them credit for. They can clear navigational challenges that we humans would have trouble with – much more than we’d like to admit!

So next time you find yourself hopelessly lost in a new city or town, keep calm and just relax. C’mon – if small, insignificant, pip-squeak ants can do it, so can you… right?

No pressure.

Ants are extremely clever pests that also happen to be one of the most common household pests in the world! But fear not – Terminix Canada is here to help. We’ve provided superior pest management services all over Canada for over 90 years!

For more information regarding our pest management and pest control services, or how to prevent ant infestations, bed bugs, and more, call us at 1-888-801-6348!

Terminix’s Bed Bugs Dos and Don’ts

This probably goes without saying, but the last thing you’d ever want to do in a zombie outbreak is to pretend like you know what you’re doing. Because the chances are, you’re not going to make things any better, regardless of what your intentions may be.

Bed bugs are a little bit like zombies. Not only can they also survive for lengthy periods of time without feeding (18 months!), but they also feast on humans and can multiply rapidly.

There are many courses of action that may seem logical to you in the heat of the moment. You might even come to believe that you’re capable of single-handedly winning against the overwhelming horde of bed bugs living in your home. You might dream of valiantly driving them away from your abode, graciously winning your family’s praises for your cunning wit and valour. But we assure you, you’ll most likely be doing the very opposite.

Bed bugs are known to be extremely resilient and devilishly crafty. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that you must always keep in mind when you’re confronting these little bloodsuckers!

Bed Bugs Warning Signs  

The best time to deal with any infestation is before it actually happens. Don’t let bed bugs catch you off guard! A single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. But if you find and eliminate the source early on (aka, her), you can stop her from breeding and increasing her followers.

Here are some signs that you should look out for:

1. Bed Bug Spots

If you have bed bugs, you’d normally see small, dark spots on furniture, walls and flooring near their hiding spots. They’re composed of your undigested blood that the bed bugs had to excrete. Gross!

2. Bed Bug Exoskeletons

These annoying pests molt five times in their lifetime.  They molt and grow in size with every life stage from instar nymph, to full adult.  You might find their empty shells in the crevices and corners of your home.

3. Musty Scent

Individually, they probably won’t smell of anything. But when huge groups of them are clustered together, you’ll most likely detect a distinctly musty-sweet odour wafting in the air. What, you can’t recognize a bed bug infestation when it hits you right in the nose?

Don’t Use A Bed Bug Fogger

Where do we even begin with this one?

A bed bug fogger, also known as the bug bomb, sounds like a quick and easy solution to exterminate those nasty suckers from your home in one clean sweep, right? WRONG!

Foggers use an aerosol propellant to disperse its contents through the air, which settles onto open surfaces. However, bed bugs tend to hide when they aren’t feeding. And guess what? They tend to hide in spots the foggers don’t reach.

Not only are the foggers ineffective, they’ll cause the bed bugs to scatter and dig deeper into the nooks and crannies of your home to get away from the source of the chemicals. Ultimately, this means a more settled in, hard-to-reach pest infestation.

Foggers also contain a very low concentration of pesticide, which means that they’ll likely fail at killing the bed bugs they DO reach. And the bad news doesn’t stop there. The low-level exposure to pesticides actually helps the little buggers to develop immunity – and they’ll only continue to get stronger as time passes. You’ll actually be making them harder to kill!

Do Protect Your Bed With A Mattress Encasement

If you encase your mattress and box springs, you can trap the bed bugs inside and keep them from gorging on your blood. They’ll be unable to feed and eventually starve to death.

Furthermore, bed bugs will be very easy to spot and remove, since they can only scuttle around the white surface of the encasement. Mattress encasements are easily one of the best ways to prevent these bloodsuckers from making your home theirs! Just make sure you install them properly and get a handle on how they should be maintained. Remember that the encasements should stay on for at least a year.

Don’t Dispose Of Your Bed

We can’t stress this enough. It’s very common for people to assume that they have to get rid of their beds and textiles once their homes are infested with bed bugs.

No, no, and no. Doing so will do more harm than good:

  1. Hauling that infested mattress could spread the infestation even further throughout your home.
  1. You’ll be giving the remaining bed bugs a chance to throw another housewarming party on the new mattress that you’ll be bringing in.
  1. Your hard-earned money will be spent for no reason.

Do Eliminate Any Clutter In Your Home

Bed bugs are great at hide-n-seek. Giving them a playing field will only make it worse! Try to reduce clutter and organize your personal possessions as much as you can.

In particular, don’t store anything under your bed, and keep the floors neat and tidy. If you’ve got any piles of laundry, newspapers, magazines, shoes and toys lying around, you better clear them out. They give bed bugs millions of hiding spots, and bed bug treatment will become close to impossible!

And if you need to dispose of any items, make sure you seal them tightly in plastic bags before tossing them in the outdoor trash.

Don’t Escape To A Friend Or Relative’s Home

You don’t want to be doing this since bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers. They’d definitely be more than happy to tag along and settle into your friend’s humble residence too. Furthermore, bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding, so escape just isn’t an option.

Do Call A Licensed Exterminator

This is THE way to go for a complete extermination. There’s only so much you can do alone! Remember, the best and safest bed bug treatments can only be performed by an experienced team of professionals. Foggers and other pesticides come with a list of health risks and other dangers that you don’t want to be dealing with! Licensed exterminators can provide effective heat treatment options, which require specialized equipment and expertise.

Save yourself the trouble and let us take care of your bed bug problems! Terminix Canada has provided superior bed bug extermination services all over Canada for over 90 years. Our chemical and steam bed bug treatments will get rid of your unwanted visitors once and for all.

For more information regarding our pest control services, call us at 1-888-801-6348!

10 Nightmare-ish Facts About Bed Bugs

Canada is known to be a country that gets very, very cold winters in many of its provinces and territories. Naturally, these harsh conditions turn our beds into fortresses of solitude. We bundle ourselves in warm and toasty blankets, shielded from the frigid Fahrenheit plaguing the winter months.

Sadly, we have some bad news for our bed-loving brethren. Winter doesn’t slow bed bugs down. They actually like cozying up in your bed as much as you do, and your one safe space may not be so safe after all.

Here’s what you need to know about the foul beasts who dare to sully our sleep.

Bed Bug Fact #1 – They Are Worthy Of Night Terrors

There’s a reason why your parents told you not to let the bed bugs bite. It wasn’t simply platitude, but a genuine cry of concern. These harbingers of horror love the darkness, and are mostly active during the night time, feeding fruitfully whilst you slumber.

Bed Bug Fact #2 – They Have A Keen Fashion Sense

Bed bugs will happily harbour in your Hilfiger jeans and Helly Hansen jacket. Most bed bug infestations occur after people come back from vacation, having picked up an unwanted passenger in their clothing or in your luggage during their trip. This is how bed bugs are capable of traveling such long distances!

Bed Bug Fact #3 – They Fear Nothing

There’s an ongoing myth that bed bugs are scared of light, but it’s completely unfounded. It’s true that they prefer the dark, but they will still bite when the lights are on. The heat and carbon dioxide emitted from our bodies are far too appetizing for bed bugs to resist.

Bed Bug Fact #4 – They Feed Off Chaos

One of the best bed bug prevention methods is decluttering. If your house belongs on Hoarders, you are primed for a bed bug infestation. They love using clutter as hiding spots.

So, it’s time to let go of your 25-year-old collection of 2L pop bottles. Come on, you weren’t going to reuse them!

Bed Bug Fact #5 – They Wouldn’t Thrive In The Arctic

While bed bugs can adapt under duress, there’s a limit to their durability. Scientists discovered that adult bed bugs can’t survive below -25°C. Having said that, we still can’t suggest taking your infested mattress on a scenic drive up north on any given January afternoon. We love the creativity though.

 Bed Bug Fact #6 – They Wouldn’t Do Well In The Desert Either

Extremely cold temperatures are proven to kill bed bugs, but they also can’t survive on the opposite side of the thermometer.  Bed bugs that are exposed to 48°C or higher will die in a mere 20 minutes.  Don’t pack your bags moving to the hottest parts of the world just yet.  There are easier ways utilizing heat to prevent bed bugs besides setting up a shack in Death Valley.  The use of steam is a tried and proven method to roast away both bed bugs and their eggs.

Bed Bug Fact #7 – They Have A Culinary Curiosity

Bed bugs are low maintenance when it comes to living accommodations, not limiting themselves to your mattress, clothing, or other furniture. They’ll happily inhabit your kitchen appliances as well. Given their preference of heat and darkness, a recently turned-off oven is as luxurious as a stay at the Ritz Carlton.

Bed Bug Fact #8 – They Are (Disgusting) Creatures Of Habit

The feeding patterns of bed bugs are about as predictable as your life has become in lockdown. And their choice to live under our mattress is a mere crime of convenience. Bed bugs will nest as near to food sources (e.g. humans) as possible, feasting on their blood for up to 10 minutes at a time.

Bed Bug Fact #9 – They Are Dedicated To The Cause

Bed bugs have a passion for feeding, and they’ll slog it out just for one bite if they have to. While their preference is to live under a mattress in the name of limited effort, these menaces will travel up to 30 metres to feed. When your average height is 5-6mm, 30 meters is quite the commute‚ especially in this weather!

Bed Bug Fact #10 – They Have Child-Bearing Hips

A female bed bug lays about 200 to 500 eggs over her lifetime, which results in 1 to 5 new bed bugs a day. If you don’t keep a watch on cracks and crevices where bed bugs and their eggs could hide, you might find yourself sucked dry in the middle of the night!

Think about those stats and then apply it to your hypothetically infested mattress and bed frame. This should be enough motivation keep an eye out for any warning signs of bed bug infestations!

Your home could be a breeding ground for pests such as bed bugs during the winter months, and you must remain vigilant, keeping an eye out for any warning signs of a bed bug problem. Or you can always hire a professional pest control company, such as Terminix Canada, for expert bed bug detection and extermination

If your home has been overrun by a bed bug infestation, Terminix Canada provides environmentally friendly pest and bed bug removal, control, and prevention services throughout Canada. With over 90 years of experience, our team of pest control experts efficiently and effectively eliminates bed bug infestations and prevents them from coming back.

Are Bed Bug Infestations Harder To Eliminate Now More Than Ever?

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a bed bug infestation in your home, you know how difficult those buggers are to eradicate for good.

And according to a study in the Journal of Economic Entomology, the bed bug battle isn’t going to get any easier.

Researchers from Purdue University have learned today’s bed bugs are developing strong resistances to two of the most common insecticides used in pest management.

Bed bugs, who’ve been around since the days of dinosaurs, had already been showing exceptional forbearance to several other insecticides. This includes the regularly used, and usually effective, deltamethrin. The limited success of the chemical is one of the key factors to the rise of bed bug infestations over the past decade, particularly in large metropolitans.

Now, they’re rapidly building immunities to deltamethrin’s next best alternatives, bifenthrin and chlorfenapyr.

The Study On Bed Bug Infestations And Immunity

In 2015, the University of Kentucky conducted a survey which found that 68% of pest management professionals consider bed bugs the most difficult pest to control.

Some think it’s because bed bugs are wily, small and harbor in the dark spaces of your home. However, that’s not what makes a bed bug infestation so difficult to kill. Their insecticide resistances are.

The concerns of their growing immunities aren’t new, says lead author of this new study, Ameya Gondhalekar, research assistant professor at Purdue’s Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management.

The longer you use any product for the control of a particular pest, the more resistance issues you are going to have, he says.

For Gondhalekar’s study, his Purdue University research team collected 10 unique bed bug populations from across America. These populations came from Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. These populations were exposed to different chemicals for a week.

In this study the researchers discovered a reduced susceptibility to bifenthrin in half of the bed bugs groups. As a result, over 25% of the bed bugs survived. Three of the populations displayed reduced susceptibility to chlorfenapyr.

Using Bifenthrin And Chlorfenapyr On Bed Bug Infestations

Similar to deltamethrin, bifenthrin is a pyrethroid (an organic compound common in today’s pest control tactics) that targets a bug’s nervous system. Chlorfenapyr is more sci-fi, attacking the mitochondria of cells. The latter is regularly employed by pest control professionals and exterminators. The former is an over-the-counter product that comes in sprays, granules, and aerosols.

Gondhalekar does note that these two chemicals still have relative effectiveness in combatting some bed bug populations. In order to keep these chemicals useful and not allow bed bugs to gain immunity, we must use these insecticides sparingly.

Pairing bifenthrin or chlorfenapyr with non-chemical pest control techniques, for example, will keep the powerful insecticides relevant for years. They can be coupled with heat, steam, or silica gels, for example.

Utilizing pesticides for pest management, however, is easy and cheap. And it’s that accessibility that’s created overuse of chemicals like bifenthrin and chlorfenapyr. This is what has allowed beg bug generations to slowly become impervious to them.

People from academia have been promoting the use of integrative approaches for years, but the cost of non-chemical methods can be prohibitive, Gondhalekar explained.

There is a plethora of research that shows that if insecticides are integrated with addition control measures, effective bed-bug control can be successful. These additional measures are vacuuming, steam or heat, mattress encasements, traps and desiccant dusts.

The Problem With Bed Bug Infestations

While these household pests aren’t dangerous or life-threatening, they are annoying. Their bites can cause itching, allergic reactions, and restless nights. Large bed bug infestations are extremely difficult to fully eradicate. This often leads to additional expenses, stress and social isolation.

Perhaps the best form of pest control against the little bloodsuckers is prevention. There are many things you can do to help keep your home a bed bug-free space. Such things include vacuuming often, springing for an insect-proof mattress casing and being cautious with your luggage when travelling.

If you’re frequently monitoring for bed bugs, then you won’t have the issue of them multiplying into large numbers, Gondhalekar says. It’s much easier to manage the problem early, when it’s just 5 or 10 bed bugs, rather than hundreds.

Are you currently losing the battle with a bed bug infestation on your home turf?

Terminix Canada utilizes bed bug heat treatments to effectively control & exterminate bed bug populations of any size and severity. It’s the superior solution to getting rid of bed bugs. We use safe, non-toxic products to penetrate wall cavities, mattresses, and other hard to reach places.

4 Common Household Pests To Fend Off During The Winter

When the temperature drops below zero and the earth is veiled in white, we can all agree that nothing quite beats the feeling of basking in the warmth of your sanctuary.

Unfortunately, we’re probably not the only ones who feel that way. It just so happens that your sanctuary also happens to be… theirs.

Prepare yourself for uninvited guests, because wintertime isn’t a pest-free time. If you thought the cold would send the pests away to some distant land far beyond your home, like say, Mexico, think again. They don’t just fly south during the winter, nor do they all just drop dead and magically re-appear again during the summer. Pests need shelter too, you know! And your home probably looks awfully inviting when everywhere else looks and feels cold and unappealing.

Here are some of the common pests that could be eyeing up your home in the cold months, followed by a few tips on how to prevent them from invading.

Household Pest #1: House Mice

House mice absolutely love moving into your humble abode during the winter. They tend to nest in dark, secluded areas of your residence, such as your attic or your basement. The warmth, shelter from the snow, and abundance of food your home provides makes it their number one getaway spot for the cold season.

House mice may be cute and tiny, but they can deliver some serious property damage. They’re capable of chewing through drywall and wires with ease. They’re also potential carriers of several diseases like Salmonella and tape worms, so you probably don’t want to be sharing your space and food with these pipsqueaks.

Keep an eye out for tiny droppings, gnaw marks, and rummaged food. Also, try to seal any cracks and openings on the outside of your home with caulk or steel wool.

And while this may be easier said than done, do your best to keep your basement and attic clutter-free! Playing hide n’ seek with these annoying little rodents is no way to spend your cozy time indoors!

Household Pest #2: Cockroaches

Come on now, let’s be honest – did you really think a bit of snow would stop these creepy crawlies from scuttling into your home? We mean, they HAVE existed for approximately 350 million years, fending off the worst that Mother Nature (and humans) could throw at them! They’ve survived the Ice Age, and all kinds of other catastrophic disasters. In essence, they’re one of the most common pests found throughout the world, and there’s very little that can shake them away.

Cockroaches can squirm through the smallest openings and crawl through impossibly tiny gaps around doors and windows. Being the wily hitch-hikers that they are, cockroaches will most likely be entering your sanctuary by latching onto second-hand items and groceries you bring in from outside. And since they love small areas that are within an antenna-reach of food and moisture, once they’ve settled in, they’re in it for the long haul.

Pay close attention to activities around your kitchen and bathroom, because that’s likely where they’ll be. Keep your counters and floors clean, and free of food scraps – especially under your sinks and appliances!

Household Pest #3: Bed Bugs

Speaking of hitch-hikers…

During the winter months, it’s common for people to travel around more often. This especially holds true in Canada, where winters can be quite cold and unbearable for many.

Unfortunately, that means bed bugs will be cashing in on those frequent flyer miles as well. They’re world-class hitch-hikers that spread by latching onto clothing, luggage, purses, and people.

Check under the sheets and mattresses for bed bugs and dark blood spots. And when you get back from a trip, make sure you clean your clothes and luggage very thoroughly. Before you even bring them into the house, clean and sanitize your luggage and belongings in the garage, otherwise you just might wake up to some unwanted guests in your bed.

Household Pest #4: Box Elder Bugs

These overwintering pests probably won’t find your home to be an ideal living environment. But even so, it’s a thousand times better than being outside in the freezing cold where they’d turn into popsicles!

Box elder bugs tend to gather on exterior walls of dwellings, attics, or wall voids during the fall, where they’ll congregate and multiply their numbers. And once winter comes, the warm and cozy atmosphere of your home makes it hard for them to resist scuttling into your living space. That’s why the winter season’s the prime infestation time for these annoying pests!

In order to prevent them from breaching your fortress of solitude, try to seal any exterior cracks and crevices. Look out for any nearby box elder or maple trees, which they tend to reside in. And try to keep tree branches trimmed so that they don’t touch or come near the structure of your home.

Extermination Isn’t Easy

Once you spot any of these pests inside your home, don’t rely on do-it-yourself sprays and traps to get rid of them. While you may be able to get rid of a large number of them using Band-Aid solutions, there’s a strong chance they’ll return in droves if proper, precautionary measures aren’t taken to keep them out for good.

Your best bet is getting the professionals involved for a truly permanent and effective extermination!

Terminix Canada has provided superior pest management services all over Canada for over 90 years. If you’re having an issue with these winter household pests, or any other pest control problems, we specialize in fast and environmentally-friendly pest control services. For more information regarding our pest management and control services, or how to prevent bed bugs, get in touch today!

Pest Control – A Brief History

Ever heard of the Black Plague? You know, one of the most devastating pandemics resulting in the death of approximately 75 to 200 million people in Europe?

Or how about Phylloxera? Did you know that in the late 1800s a little creature called Phylloxera travelled all the way from the United States to France? Phylloxera had no effect on grapevines in America, because they were resistant. However, when these tiny little insects made their way to France, they were able to devastate the French wine industry.

Doesn’t Sound At All Like The Pest Infestations You’re Used To Seeing, Do They?

Pests have been around long before humans. And let’s face it – they’ll probably be around long after. Ever since mankind first decided to settle down, build shelter, and grow crops, we’ve been looking for ways to keep these pesky freeloaders out of our lives!

Sure, we’ve gotten quite good at pest control, but our high level of expertise didn’t come easy! We’re talking about thousands of years of learning and embarrassing trial-and-error that led to the pest control methods we use today.

To honour this human achievement, let’s take a walk through the history of pest-busting, from ‘pest’ to present.

Ancient Pest Control

The earliest record of pest control is a sad one.

Before 2500 BC, our forefathers probably didn’t understand what it meant to put up a front. When they came around to brainstorming a method of pest management, what they settled on wasn’t exactly… managing anything.

What the earliest farmers did was rather lucrative: they planted a ridiculous excess of crops so that once the pests had their fill, there would be enough left over for themselves.

Oh, well. Points for critical thinking, right?

The Dawn Of Pest Control

Things got a little better from there. In 2500 BC, mankind finally grew a backbone and began to take arms, hunting those ruthless pests gnawing away at the product of their hard work and dedication.

Ancient Sumerians were the first. They used sulfur compounds to kill the insects that would feed on their crops!

The Emergence Of Phenology

It’s around 1500 BC that civilizations began to realize that there’s a whole science to pest control.

Some Chinese civilizations came to develop and understand the basic workings of phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal phenomena. They would experiment with crop rotations to account for sporadic ecological events, such as dry seasons and pest swarms.

It’s an impressive turnaround, considering mankind used to let these same pests walk all over them.

You Say You Want A Revolution

As people began to understand more and more about pest infestations, more control experiments began to occur. Individuals in China would take their phenological studies further by using botanical insecticides as fungicides for seed treatments.

And it wasn’t just China! Almost every ancient society began to develop more complex pest control practices. By 1200 BC, Romans would use hellebore to kill mice, rats, and insects, while Egyptian and Chinese societies would use herbs and oils to either repel or kill crop-destroying pests.

It was absolutely imperative for pest management to advance for mankind to develop as communities. After all, pest control was really a matter of life and death back then. A single bad harvest could’ve led to an utter annihilation of a village and its people!

Early Breakthroughs In Pest Control

The evolution of extermination didn’t stop there. Ancient developments were taken and refined into more effective pest control solutions.

Fast forward to the 1750’s, and scientists began to experiment with various natural ingredients (derris and pyrethrum) to make botanical insecticides!

Pest Control Gone Too Far

Unfortunately, the sudden spur of research and development led to some severe consequences to public health and the environment.

It turns out science went a little too far, too soon. In 1829, arsenic and other harmful chemicals were used for means of pest control. And of course, no one had any idea just how harmful they were.

At least, not until a decade later, as officials finally started recognizing the dangers of this pest control method.

By 1929, almost 30 million pounds of arsenate were spread across the United States’ fields and orchards. Crops were so plastered with the toxic chemical that they began to poison human consumers! That’s right – what was originally developed to kill pests ended up coming around to kill us.

The Pest Control Industry Emerges

It was after such devastating events that people realized pest control required trained professionals. After all, if there’s one thing the arsenic incident has taught us, putting pesticides in the hands of amateurs can be disastrous!

And so, in order to meet the demand for experts specialized in driving away pests without hurting the environment and its people, the pest control industry got off to a flying start.

This led to the passage of several laws dedicated to make the practice of pest control safer followed after.

For instance, in 1927 Canada begun regulating the importation and sale of pesticides through the federal Act to Regular the Sale and Inspection of Agricultural Economic Poisons. In 1939 this Act was replaced by the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and other various regulations.

These Acts are in place to regulate the pest control industry and ensure it’s doing its job while taking the environment and its inhabitants into consideration.

Pest Control Today

It’s thanks to a long history of development that the pest control industry is where it’s at today.

Thankfully, our arsenic days are long behind us. The philosophy of “integrated pest management”, which is a broad-based approach that cultivates pest-removing practices without using invasive and potentially dangerous chemicals, is the mindset today.

As a result, pest control has ‘gone green’, which is a natural consequence of the experience’s mankind has gained over years of experimentation. Nowadays, pest exterminators pride themselves on non-chemical methods of control, such as freeze and heat-based treatments.

The Future Of Pest Control Is Buzzing

And guess what? It’s not done yet!

Pest control studies are on-going. As the industry continues to learn and develop new technologies and biological breakthroughs, who knows what the pest control scene will look like a hundred years from now?

Maybe one day, our predecessors will look back to our age and laugh at our modern pest management techniques – just like how we now laugh at our reckless use of arsenic solutions in the past.

Regardless of how much the industry will continue to change, some things will always stay the same.

For one, Terminix Canada has been providing clever and innovative pest control methods for over 90 years! We’re true sticklers to integrated pest management techniques, specializing in fast & organic pest control services.

8 Tips For Rodent Prevention This Holiday Season

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
All the creatures were stirring, led by a mouse;
The pest-filled stockings were hung by the chimney to air,
In hopes that Terminix soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of cockroaches danced in their heads”

Christmas isn’t the same when you’re welcoming more guests than your in-laws. But unlike your in-laws, by employing these rodent prevention tricks, you can make sure your holiday season is pest-free.

We’ll help you deck the halls with pest-free holly, so your home is warm and festive for your family for the holidays, but cold and frigid for unwanted pest guests.

If You’re Bringing In A Tree, Check It Twice.

Santa double checks his naughty and nice list every year, and you should do the same with your Christmas tree.

The easiest way for insects and their eggs to breach your home is taking a ride on your Christmas tree, straight into your living room.

Rouse and remove the hidden bugs that could be cocooning their eggs in the boughs of the tree, giving your tree a good shake and once-over before bringing it into the house. Spiders, moths, and mites are the likeliest unwanted Christmas ornaments you’ll find littering your tree, so look out for webs, cocoons, and egg sacs especially.

When the holidays have ended and it’s time to dispose of your tree, make sure to clean up any remains thoroughly with a vacuum to remove pine needles, insect eggs or anything else that might’ve been left behind by the tree.

Storing Your Artificial Tree

If you opt for an artificial tree over a live one, the way you choose to store it matters in order to ensure proper rodent prevention. Instead of keeping it in its original cardboard box, switch to a tree bag to stop rodents from chewing through the box and destroying the tree.

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Clean Your Ornaments Before Packing Away

Even if you think you’ve gotten rid of all possible pests or eggs before bringing your tree in, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to packing away your cherished Christmas ornaments. As you take your ornaments off the tree, inspect them for any possible pest activity such as spider webs, mouse droppings, or chew marks. Even if you don’t see any pest remains, it’s a good idea to give your ornaments a quick wipe down with a damp cloth or duster. Not only will these ensure any remains have been cleaned up, it’ll also leave your ornaments dust-free for next year.

Clean Up Thoroughly After Hosting

Everyone knows to wash the cutlery and dishes after dinner, but it’s also very important to wash any linens such as tablecloths or napkins before returning them to their drawers for proper rodent prevention. Spills, crumbs, or other food leftovers are exactly what rodents and insects go looking for. Don’t help out these pests by leaving a smelly trail for them to follow, right into your drawers.

Inspect Your Firewood

Sitting in front of a roaring, crackling fire with a cup of hot chocolate is an ideal Christmas setting.

But that firewood can bring more into your home than warmth and comfort, namely, household pests that are notorious tunnelers. Ants, termites, wood-boring beetles, and carpenter ants regularly refuge in stacks of firewood, especially if it’s somewhat damp, or piled onto the ground.

To keep your firewood pest-free:

  • Examine and clean any firewood you’re bringing into the house
  • Shake the logs, to remove any clingy insects on the bark
  • Bring inside just enough firewood, which should be used immediately
  • Stack firewood on elevated surfaces and away from your house; dry wood is less inviting to tunneling pests

Open Decoration Boxes Outdoors

Insects appreciate the confines of dark, undisturbed locations to do whatever it is insects do in solitude.

So, there’s arguably no better place for insects to colonize than those decoration boxes that go virtually untouched for 11 months a year.

The chances of a pest infestation only intensify when the holiday boxes are stored in a humid, quiet setting, like your basement, crawlspace, or attic. It’s not uncommon to find mice, rodents, and other household pests in your box of ornaments.

To ensure you’re not opening a can of worms, or a box of bugs, take the decoration boxes outside, and inspect them for live pests, dead pests, droppings, bite marks, and any other pest damage. Wipe everything down, and you’re ready to deck the halls of your home with Christmas cheer!

How To Store Your Christmas Decorations In The Off-Season

While opening your decoration boxes outside is always a good idea to ensure any pests that managed to sneak in stay out of your home, you can do more to ensure pest-free decorations in the off-season.

Mice and rats can sneak into the boxes, destroying your decorations and leaving their waste behind to contaminate your holiday cheer. In order to aid in rodent prevention, choose your storage bins wisely. Cardboard boxes or paper bags are no match for rodents trying to dig their way in. Instead, opt for plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids to keep these pests out. As a bonus, these bins will prevent moisture from seeping in, preventing water damage or mold from ruining your decorations.

Check On Your Stored Items Periodically

It’s always a good idea to peek in on your stored items a few times a year. Not just to check for any proof of pests, but also to ensure there’s been no water damage or leaks. Keeping your space tightly secured by repairing any cracks in your foundation, floors or walls will help to keep both pests and water out, keeping your decorations and other memories safely stored.

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Our advice should reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation during the holiday season, keeping your family safe and worry-free.

If you notice any pest activity or waste left behind in your attic, basement, crawlspace or garage, we can help. Don’t hesitate to call Terminix Canada to handle your pest problems in a humane and responsible way.

But if your pest infestation is already in your home for the holidays, contact the professional exterminators at Terminix Canada today. We’re experts at ruining pests’ holidays!