Once the warmer weather rolls around, and the cold winter makes space for springtime, ants also come out. That is why many Canadians have ant problems in March – most commonly, the carpenter ant, of the genus Camponotus, which consists of 1,000 species of carpenter ants.
It is that time of the year when pest control becomes increasingly important. Insects and vermin seek out the warm humidity of our homes, bringing along with them a variety of problems, ranging from damaging our belongings, to polluting air quality and spreading disease. Thankfully, much can be done to ensure that our homes, accommodation establishments, restaurants and food processing plants are sanitary, as unsanitary conditions provide the ideal habitat for pests in search of water, food and nesting sites, according to a recent article in the Food Magazine.
How often would you take the bus or train if you knew that the chance of sharing your seat with bed bugs, cockroaches, or fleas was pretty high?
An older study of London’s public transport found that the average train carriage can contain up to “1,000 cockroaches (living behind lighting panels, ceiling panels & under the door), up to 200 bedbugs (in seat fabric), and up to 200 fleas.” Buses are typically less infested by insect pests, with the average bus holding up to 500 cockroaches, up to 50 bed bugs, and up to 50 fleas.
Not even wild animals can say no to a safe place to hide and the promise of a meal inside trains and buses. Just earlier this month, a raccoon was found beneath a seat aboard a GO train at Union Station in Toronto. Luckily, the animal wasn’t aggressive, and the Burlington Animal Services was able to remove it shortly after passengers reported its presence on the train.
Wood-burning fireplaces are an excellent way to escape the blustery weather – after all, few things are more enticing than snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring log fire – but they also give pests a chance to find a way into your home.
Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and other animals can occasionally enter homes through chimneys in search of a denning site, where they can keep warm during winter and raise their babies until spring. To some of them, your uncapped chimney is indistinguishable from a hollow tree, and they have no idea there’s a human dwelling at the other side of it. Unlike hollow trees, however, the inside of your chimney is often damp and slippery, and some animals will likely get stuck inside.
Having a wild animal inside your chimney can be anything from a nuisance to a safety hazard.
When termites enter a home, it may seem like they’re getting in everywhere, including through the house’s foundation. This has led many homeowners to believe that the hordes of tiny, wriggling insects have the ability to tunnel through and digest concrete, a material that’s supposed to be pest-proof. Although there’s almost no truth to this fact, your house’s foundation can actually be an entryway for termites.
The termite species we have in Canada thrive on cellulose, the organic fibrous material naturally found in wood and plants. In their natural habitat, termites take their nutrients from dead or fallen trees, decaying stumps, and even grass, but in urban areas, where we clean up our landscapes, they must make do with whatever they find – and that’s often our homes and offices.
Most buildings today are built with concrete, and concrete holds no particular appeal to the termites in our country.