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Mice

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Mice

How do I recognize a mouse?

Mice are common in all parts of Canada. They are a dusky grey in colour and measure overall from 65 to 90mm (4 1/2 to 6″) with large ears and long tails.

Do mice cause damage?

Yes. Mice cause extensive damage to houses, granaries, restaurants, bakeries – any place food is handled or stored. They will gnaw through wood to gain entrance into buildings. In constructing their nests mice will destroy fabrics and leather goods and can cause fires by chewing through the insulation on electrical wires.

Are mice hazardous to humans?

Yes. Mice contaminate food with their droppings and urine. They spread such diseases as salmonella bacteria (food poisoning), leptospirea (jaundice) and typhus. As well, they carry parasites such as fleas, roundworms and mites. A bite inflicted by a mouse should receive prompt medical attention.

When are mice most common?

Mice are year-round pests. Activity and indoor migration increases as weather gets cooler.

When am I most likely to see mice?

Mice become active primarily during the evenings’ and remain so until the middle of the night If food is scarce or the infestation is large, they will be active during daylight hours.

Where do mice build nests?

Mice nest in any safe location close to food, preferring the spaces in double walls, between ceilings and floors and closed in areas around counters. Noises made by their running, gnawing and scratching will provide clues to their actual location.

How can I tell if I have an infestation of mice?

There are several ways that mice make their presence known. Mouse droppings near available food is the most common indication. Gnawed holes in bags and boxes containing food or garbage is also a sign of mouse activity.

What are their breeding habits? Do mice multiply quickly?

The average lifespan of a mouse is 18 months. The young are born about 19 days after breeding and mature rapidly. A single female may have as many as eight litters per year, averaging five to six young each. By three months the young are independent and capable of reproduction.

Do mice die off in cold months?

No. Mice can survive outdoors during the winter under certain conditions, but generally invade buildings when the weather turns cold.

What can I do to prevent an infestation of mice?

Since the contributing factor to a mouse infestation is the presence of food, good house keeping is essential. This includes the proper storage of foods in sealed jars or tins, in addition all refuse should be stored in containers with tight fitting lids. Seal all openings to the out side, especially around doors and windows.

If I have an infestation of mice, what can I do to eliminate them?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products developed for the control of pests such as mice. Depending on the severity of the infestation a single control measure may not be effective and an integrated program conducted by a PCO professional will be required.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.

Pigeons

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Pigeons

How do I know if I have pigeons?

If you have a pigeon problem, you will be able to easily identify them by sight as they are active during the day. They are noisy and will leave droppings.

Do pigeons pose a health hazard?

Pigeons can carry diseases and parasites which are easily passed on to humans.

Can they cause damage?

Pigeon droppings and nesting materials can cause serious damage to buildings and vehicles. For example nests can block drainage and ventilation systems and their acidic droppings can damage automobile paint and even roof shingles causing leaks. Pigeons may also cause structural damage to buildings in an attempt to gain entry.

How can I prevent pigeons?

Visual deterrents such as replicas of owls and hawks can be effective but usually only temporarily as pigeons adapt quickly. Regularly changing the type of repellent is the best solution. Make sure your home is free of any food source for them.

How can I get rid of pigeons?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products developed for the control of pests such as pigeons. They can also help you prevent future invasions by offering professional pigeon exclusion options.

Grain Beetle

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Grain Beetle

How do I recognize a sawtoothed grain beetle?

The sawtoothed grain beetle is one of the most widespread of all stored product pests. This slender, flattened reddish-brown beetle measures two to three mm(1/10″) in length and gets its name from the presence of six tooth like projections on its thorax (middle section). There are numerous other stored product pests that closely resemble the sawtoothed grain beetle and whose life history and habitat are very similar. For this reason, this Pest Alert addresses stored product pests under the term “grain beetle”.

Do grain beetles cause damage?

Yes. From the point-of-view of the manufacturer of food products, such as flour, rice, meal, cereals, sugar, macaroni, dried meats, coffee and tobacco, the presence of grain beetles renders these goods unpalatable and unsalable. As well, an infestation will create conditions suitable for the growth of destructive moulds. In the home, an unchecked infestation can spread to other packaged foods and to foods debris on shelves.

Are grain beetles hazardous to humans?

No. The presence of grain beetles does not constitute a health hazard.

When are grain beetles most common?

Grain beetles favour high temperatures and high humidity, and are therefore more active during summer months.

Where do you find grain beetles?

Because they infest a wide variety of products that are of plant and animal origin, grain beetles can originate at the manufacturing, storage or retail levels.

What are their breeding habits? Do grain beetles multiply quickly?

The female grain beetle lays from 45 to 285 eggs per year, either singly or in small batches. Eggs hatch in three to 10 days and mature in approximately 50 days. Since an adult grain beetle can live up to three years under ideal conditions,an infestation can number in the hundreds of thousands.

Can weather conditions affect the size of a grain beetle infestation?

Yes. Given the ideal conditions of moisture and heat, breeding increases dramatically.

Can I do anything to prevent an infestation of grain beetles?

Yes. Regular inspection of stored products and immediate disposal of suspected sources of infested goods, together with good housekeeping methods will minimize the incidence of a grain beetle infestation. Proper ventilation of dried foodstuffs is essential to reduce humid conditions favourable for the growth of a grain beetle infestation.

If I have an infestation of grain beetles, what can I do to eliminate them?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products and kits specially formulated for the control of grain beetles. Due to the rapid breeding ability of these insects, and their proximity to food and food preparation surfaces, a single control method may not be effective and an integrated program conducted by a PCO professional will be required.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.

Fleas

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Fleas

How do I recognize a flea?

Fleas are common external parasites of man, animals and birds. Fleas are small, black to brownish-black, wingless Insects with stout legs used for jumping and crawling. Fleas measure one to four mm (1/8″).

Where do you find fleas?

Fleas are parasites, feeding on blood. They are found on the host (dog, cat, man, etc) and drop off into cracks when they are finished feeding.

Are fleas hazardous to humans?

Yes. Due to their numbers and world-wide distribution, fleas are a serious health hazard. They have been known to transmit diseases including the bubonic plague which was transmitted to humans from fleas living on rats. Since the reaction to a flea bite is allergic in nature, itching can be intense. Secondary infections can be caused by scratching, especially in children. The presence of a flea infestation should not be tolerated.

What causes fleas to bite?

Fleas feed on blood and are attracted by the host’s carbon dioxide and body heat. In the case of humans, flea bites can be numerous because of interrupted feedings.

What causes a flea infestation?

Fleas hop from host to host, so even a brief encounter can cause you or your pet to become a host. Stray animals sleeping on porches or window sills can start an infestation. Once they enter the home, fleas spread rapidly.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The female flea lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime. Eggs arc laid loosely on the host and drop or are shaken off on to floors, carpets, bedding or other sheltered spots. Eggs hatch in about 10 days and become adults in one to three months. A flea Infestation can number in the thousands.

Do fleas die off in cold months?

Yes. Outdoor, infestations die off,however once established inside the home, fleas are active year-round.

Can do anything to prevent a flea infestation?

Yes. The use of a quality flea shampoo on your pet during the peak summer season will help prevent an infestation.

If I have a flea infestation, what can be done to eliminate them?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products and kits specially formulated for the control of fleas, including shampoos. Please use extreme caution when applying treatments to animals. Flea control can be a difficult and time consuming project. For fast, effective results, call PCO.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.

Earwigs

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Earwigs

How do I recognize an earwig?

The most common earwig in Canada is the European Earwig. It is easily identifiable by forcep-like appendages at the base of the abdomen. The flat, elongated body measures 12 to 26 mm (1/2″ to 3/4″). Males are larger than females. Colour ranges from reddish to dark brown.

Do earwigs cause damage?

Yes. Outdoors, earwigs are a real threat to plants, feeding on the roots of flowers, vegetables and shrubs. Indoors, they are more of a pest and will eventually die out.

When are earwigs most common?

During the warm summer months, particularly June,July and August.

When am I most likely to see earwigs?

Earwigs are nocturnal and are most active at night.

Where do you find earwigs?

Earwigs prefer a dark, moist habitat beneath stones, boards, sidewalks and debris. In the home they crawl under rugs, cushions, base boards and dark, damp crevices, especially in basements.

Are earwigs hazardous to humans?

No. Their forceps may look dangerous, but will inflict nothing more than a slight pinch. These forceps are used for defence and courtship and will not harm man.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The female earwig lays broods of300 eggs, twice a year, which hatch in about three months. Eggs are laid in small batches two to three inches beneath the soil. The female guards the eggs and newly hatched young until the first molt, when they leave the nest Since they multiply fairly quickly, an infestation can number in the thousands.

Do earwigs die off in cold months?

No. Earwigs hibernate during the winter, either as adults or eggs and sometimes tunnel as deep as six feet below the soil surface to escape the cold. For this reason, if an earwig problem is left unchecked, they will return next season in increased numbers.

Can weather conditions affect the size of an earwig infestation?

Yes. Since they prefer dampness, a moist spring will encourage larger numbers of earwigs out doors. For this reason, if the summer months are dry, earwigs will enter homes and buildings in search of moisture.

Can I do anything to prevent an earwig infestation on my property?

Yes. Since earwigs like moist, dark places, try to eliminate debris around your property, such as grass cuttings, mulch patches and wood heaps.

If I have an infestation of earwigs, what can be done to eliminate them?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products and kits specially formulated for the control of earwigs. Due to the nature of earwigs control can be difficult and a PCO professional should be consulted for thorough results.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.

Cockroaches

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Cockroaches

How do I recognize a cockroach?

The most common cockroach in Canada is the German Cockroach. It has a flattened oval body with long spiny legs and measures 15 mm (3/4″) when fully grown. Both male and female are winged. Colour is light brown with two dark brown stripes running lengthwise on the thorax (middle section).

Do cockroaches cause damage?

No. The presence of cockroaches is not normally associated with damage to buildings or vegetation.

Are cockroaches hazardous to humans?

Yes. Cockroaches are second only to house flies in spreading disease. Because of their movements through various habitats, including refuse heaps and sewers. They are capable of transmitting diseases to man, including salmonella bacteria (food poisoning), polio and many forms of viruses.

What attracts cockroaches?

Cockroaches are attracted to food, water, warmth and shelter. They will eat anything and are particularly attracted to starchy foodstuffs.

When are cockroaches most common?

Cockroaches are active year-round.

When am I most likely to see cockroaches?

Cockroaches are nocturnal and are most active at night. Any sudden light will cause them to scurry for shelter.

Are cockroaches only found under unclean conditions?

No. They can be found under the cleanest conditions, wherever food and warmth are butcher shops, multi-unit residences and homes. Their habitat is around sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators, in drains and cracks.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The female cockroach carries an egg capsule containing approximately 40 eggs which she drops prior to hatching. Development from eggs to adults lakes three to four months and cockroaches live up to a year. The female may produce up to eight egg cases in her lifetime. An infestation of cockroaches can number in the thousands.

Do cockroaches die off in cold months?

No. These hardy and very adaptable insects are primarily indoor pests and infestations are not affected by outside temperature.

Can I do anything to prevent a cockroach infestation?

Although little can be done to prevent an infestation, the practice of good sanitation and the elimination of accessible food are ways to minimize the extent of the infestation. Careful inspection of produce or packages entering the home can help to prevent cockroaches from establishing themselves in your building.

If I have an infestation of cockroaches, what can be done to eliminate them?

The elimination of cockroaches is a difficult and time consuming project. Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has several products developed for the control of pests such as the cockroach. Due to the nature of cockroaches, control is a process requiring intensive product knowledge and a professional may need to be consulted for complete elimination.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.

Bedbugs

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Bedbugs

They’re back!

Although they had almost disappeared in the early 1950’s, bedbugs are back in most large cities on the planet. Bedbug infestations have been reported in homes, apartment buildings as well as in hotels, motels, health institutions, shelters, student and senior citizens residences, etc.

What causes bedbugs to spread?

  • Greater movement of individuals (moving, tourism)
  • Use of second-hand objects (sale and exchange of used furniture and clothing).
  • Lack of knowledge about bedbugs has led to the implementation of ineffective extermination methods.

What do bedbugs look like?

The scientific name for bedbugs is Cimex lectularius. A bedbug is a flat, oval-shaped, brownish and wingless insect 4 to 7 millimetres long. The female is rounder and the male longer.

How do bedbugs feed?

Bedbugs feed at night, exclusively on human blood. They feed every 3 to 7 days. They are attracted by vibrations, heat, odours and carbon dioxide (C02) released by an individual. At the beginning of an infestation, bedbugs usually feed on only one person in the household.

What is a bedbug’s life cycle?

Female adults lay 2 to 5 eggs a day, or between 300 to 500 eggs over their lifetime. There are three main stages of development in the bedbug’s life cycle:

  • Egg: White, one millimetre long, hatches in 10 to 14 days. The eggs are deposited in clusters in a variety of locations (cracks and crevices, inside walls, etc.).
  • Nymph: Looks like an adult insect, but smaller. Same as adults, nymphs feed on blood, but are more vulnerable if they don’t feed. Nymphs turn into adults in about one month.
  • Adult: Life span is about 5 months, if it feeds regularly. However, adults can survive in a dormant state for over a year, if they don’t feed.

How do bedbugs move around?

Bedbugs are often transported from place to place in objects in which they are hiding. For example, they can use bags, suitcases, backpacks, clothing, mattresses, furniture, bedding, laptop computers, or even wheelchairs as hiding places and means of transportation. Bedbugs are wingless, and therefore can only get around on their own by walking. This is why they don’t usually move far from beds. If they are very numerous, some bedbugs will migrate by walking to other rooms (the living room, for instance), or even to adjacent apartments.

Where do they live?

Especially in bedrooms, where they feed on the blood of people who are sleeping. Bedbugs avoid light and hide mostly in the following places:

  • along the seams of mattresses;
  • in box springs and bed frames;
  • in cracks and crevices in walls, floors and furniture;
  • behind pictures on walls;
  • along baseboards;
  • inside electrical outlets.

They can also live in any object that provides a dark, narrow space where they can easily hide. A crack wide enough to fit the edge of a credit card can harbour bedbugs.

How do we detected them?

The first clue that there are bedbugs in a home are bites on the skin. Bedbugs bite especially the arms, but all body parts exposed during the night are likely to get bitten. Bites, or lesions, are often clustered in groups of 3 or 4 and look like mosquito bites. They disappear within two weeks. Bedbug bites can cause intense itching. Creams and allergy medications can be used to relieve itching. Scratching lesions can result in skin infections and leave scars.

What other health problems can they cause?

Sleep disturbances

Itching caused by repeated bites during the night can cause sleep disturbances, fatigue and anxiety, and greatly reduce the quality of life of people who are the victims of bedbug infestations.

Social isolation

Individuals struggling with bedbug infestations can feel ashamed and become socially isolated. Consequently, they might hesitate to talk to people who could help them with this problem, thus delaying necessary interventions, which gives bedbugs time to spread further.

Prevention methods

  • Find out more about bedbugs so you can detect them more easily:
  • Watch for bites on the skin, black spots along mattress seams, and blood on sheets and pillows.
  • Notify the owner or person in charge of insect control of the presence of bedbugs as quickly as possible.
  • Regularly vacuum all rooms, mattresses and box springs, especially along the seams, folds and bed frames.
  • Avoid, if possible, rugs, carpets and wallpaper, since these provide hiding places for bedbugs.
  •  Remove clutter (objects and furniture) from apartments and common areas.

What are the most effective control methods?

Several methods have been tried to get rid of bedbugs. One solution that is often considered is the application of insecticides, which should only be done by qualified pest controllers to minimize potential health impacts. In all cases, the participation of everyone affected by the infestation (building occupants and owners, pest controllers) is required to solve the problem.

THE OCCUPANT OF THE HOME OR THE APARTMENT

What should he do?

  • Tell the owner as soon as possible that there are bedbugs.
  • Avoid trying to solve the problem himself.
  • Never spray insecticides on people and mattresses, because this could be harmful to health.
  • Avoid moving infested objects or furniture into common areas of the building.
  • Never leave infested mattresses or furniture out on the street. Most objects can be treated. Those that can’t be treated should be made unusable to prevent other people from using them and spreading bedbugs elsewhere.
  • Allow inspection and control in all rooms of the apartment. Get the apartment ready for the pest controller
  • Reduce clutter in rooms to limit the number of hiding places.
  • Put clothing and bedding in hermetically sealed bags. Empty the bags directly into the washing machine, and wash in hot water, then let them dry into the dryer for at lest 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Clean clothes and bedding must be kept in different hermetically sealed bags until there are no more bedbugs in the apartment.
  • Vacuum twice a week. Seal the vacuum cleaner bag and throw it in the garbage outside the building. If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, empty the contents into a hermetically sealed bag which should immediately be placed in the garbage outside the building. The vacuum container must be cleaned out after each use, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Avoid bringing new furniture or mattresses into the house before the bedbugs have been completely eliminated.

Safety and prevention instructions to the occupant

  • People and pets should leave the apartment when insecticide is being applied.
  • They can return 6 hours after application and wait at least 48 hours before walking bare foot on treated surfaces.
  • Pregnant women should wait at least 24 hours before returning to the apartment and 48 hours before walking barefoot on treated surfaces.
  • Air out the premises after the treatment is applied.
  • It is highly recommended to repeat the treatment within one month of the first application, because currently approved insecticides (permethrin and cyfluthrin) don’t kill the eggs. A second treatment ensures that newly hatched insects are also eliminated and that the initial treatment was effective.
  • Make sure bedbugs have been eliminated: It is recommended to go back for a follow-up visit 2 to 4 weeks after each insecticide application. If eradication is not complete, identify the causes and implement the appropriate measures to eliminate bedbugs effectively.

Pharaoh Ants

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Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants have become a serious nuisance pest in hospitals, rest homes, apartment dwellings, hotels, grocery stores, food establishments and other buildings. They feed on a wide variety of foods including jellies, honey, shortening, peanut butter, corn syrup, fruit juices, baked goods, soft drinks, greases, dead insects and even shoe polish. Also, these ants gnaw holes in silk, rayon and rubber goods. In hospitals, foraging ants have been found in surgical wounds, I.V. glucose solutions, sealed packs of sterile dressing, soft drinks, water in flower displays and water pitchers. These ants are capable of mechanically transmitting diseases and contaminating sterile materials. Some feel Staphylococcus and Psuedomonas infections, occurring from time to time in hospitals, are associated with these ants.

Identification

Pharaoh workers are very small (about 1/16-inch long), light yellow to reddish brown in color with the abdomen (hind portion of body) somewhat darker. There is no stinger. The petiole (narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen) has two nodes and the thorax has no spines. Eyes are well-developed. The antennal segments end in a distinct club with three progressively longer segments. This is in contrast to the thief ant’s two-segmented club.

Life Cycle and Habits

Female Pharaoh ants can lay 400 or more eggs in her lifetime. Most lay 10 to 12 eggs per batch in the early days of egg production and only four to seven eggs per batch later. At 80°F and 80 percent relative humidity, eggs hatch in five to seven days. The larval period is 18 to 19 days, prepupal period three days and pupal period nine days. About four more days are required to produce sexual female and male forms. The entire life cycle takes about 38 to 45 days depending on temperature and relative humidity. Unlike most ants, they breed continuously throughout the year in heated buildings and mating occurs in the nest. A single queen can produce many hundreds of workers in a few months. Mature colonies contain several queens, winged males, sterile females or workers, eggs, larvae, prepupae and pupae growing toas large as 300,000 or more members. Periodically a queen, together with a few workers carrying immatures (eggs, larvae and pupae), leaves the nest and sets up a new colony elsewhere, quickly spreading an infestation. This behavior pattern is known as “satelliting,” “fractionating” or “budding” where part of the colony migrates to a new location rather than by single females dispersing after a reproductive swarm. Budding may occur due to overcrowding, seasonal changes in the building’s central heating and cooling system or application of a repellent pesticide. Nests are often so small it can be contained in a thimble, located between sheets of paper, in clothing or laundry, furniture, foods, etc. Nests usually occur in wall voids, under floors, behind baseboards, in trash containers, under stones, in cement or stone wall voids, in linens, light fixtures, etc. They prefer dark, warm areas near hot water pipes and heating tapes, in bathrooms, kitchens, intensive care units, operating rooms, etc. They are “trail-making” ants and often are found foraging in drains, toilets, washbasins, bedpans and other unsanitary sites as well as in sealed packs of sterile dressing, intravenous drip systems, on surgical wounds, food and medical equipment.

Control Measures

Pharaoh ants are usually much harder to control than other ants because of their ability to disperse. There may be dozens or hundreds of colonies in a single hospital and when a few colonies are missed during control, populations will quickly rebound. About 90 percent of the colony remains hidden in the nest so even if 10 percent of the colony is killed by a residual pesticide, the remaining reservoir of ants is enormous. Conventional contact pesticide applications especially repellent products such as pyrethrins may spread infestations to new areas with multiple colonies blossoming within the structure. These ants will avoid certain pesticides. Control is difficult and often long term (months to years), depending on the building size, wall voids, etc., especially in hospitals and food plants. Complete cooperation from the property manager and residents is essential for a successful control program.

Inspection

Carefully examine the building inside and outside from the roof to the basement, finding the ant distribution, population size and food sources. Locate ant trails, following them to where feeding occurs. A single stream of ants moving in one direction may indicate colony movement, not foraging. Mark the established feeding trail with a sticker and date. Trails with many ants coming and going indicate a large colony. Pre-baiting (dilute honey or peanut butter on three-by-five cards) helps to identify “hot spots,” but with experience one will already know where such places are located. In the winter, these ants tend to concentrate near and around heat, whereas in the spring and summer they move to the outside walls and distribute themselves throughout the building. Carefully check areas with moisture such as pipes, faucets, air conditioners, refrigerators, drains, leaking roofs, etc.

Prevention

When insecticides are prohibited around high-tech equipment and in health areas, use sticky tapes, double-faced adhesive tapes and masking tape (glue side out) wrapped around objects as barriers. Use a ring of petroleum jelly, non-hardening glues, sticky dust mats or glue boards under equipment legs. Seal cracks and voids with caulking compound after applying low residual repellent insecticides such as chlorpyrifos (Dursban) or Diazinon.

Insecticides

In areas of active colonies, treat walls and ceiling voids through cracks and crevices with non-repellent boric acid dust and make bait placements. Keep the ants in the area long enough to get the slow-acting toxicants to the main colony where the workers, larvae and queens are poisoned. (A delayed action stomach poison is recommended.) Repellent insecticides, such as pyrethrins, will move the colonies, spreading them further throughout the building.

Research has shown that it is best to use bait placement only where active ant trails are found. This assures feeding since some ants have not been able to find the bait when only one inch away from the bait stations. Intersect the ant trail with bait on a cotton swab taken from the station to ensure instant feeding. Bait preference may change during the season due to changing needs of the developing colonies. An effective bait is a 99 percent boric acid formulation mixed at a 5 percent concentration by weight in mint apple jelly (about two level tablespoons of powdered boric acid per 10 ounces of mint apple jelly). Another bait is 2 percent boric acid and 98 percent light corn syrup. A commercial bait called methoprene (Pharorid) is marketed for use by pest control operators in a bait that consists of liver, honey and sponge cake. It is often difficult to use the bait ants prefer; as ants feed on one compound, another compound placed less than 1/4-inch away will be ignored until the ants spill over into the second bait. Boric acid and methoprene baits work slowly, sometimes taking 15 to 40 weeks or more before ant eradication. A bait, containing hydramethylon (same as in Maxforce roach bait stations) gives quicker results, 2 to 35 days, according to certain pest control operators.

Bait stations may include jumbo size plastic drinking straw sections, medicine (pill) dispensing cups, plastic vial caps and/or drafting (masking) tape. Placement can be made on the rear lip of kitchen counters, at plumbing pipe-wall junctions, on window sills, behind wall electrical outlets, above door frames, etc., in less accessible areas of pets or young children. There may be increased or new ant feeding activity during the early part of the baiting program. No other pesticides, heavy-duty cleaners, or paints should be used during the baiting periods to discourage ant feeding.

Applications of bendiocarb (Ream), which is odorless, can give fast eradication of Pharaoh ants if treatments are thorough. Ficam 76 percent WP and 91 percent dust are labelled for licensed commercial and pest control operators. The bait products most recommended for Pharaoh ant control include: boric acid plus mint apple jelly (Drax), hydramethylnon (Maxforce), methoprene (Pharorid), bendiocarb (Ficam), propoxur(Baygon)and sulfluramid (Pro-Control). After bait stations are placed, one will see ants trailing to and from these bait stations. Do not spray or disturb the ants or bait stations. Ants must be allowed to carry the bait back into their nest where the active ingredient in the bait will eliminate the colony. Usually, Pharaoh ant control is best achieved by a licensed pest control operator or applicator who is trained, experienced and has the proper equipment. Before using an insecticide, always read the label, follow directions and safety precautions.

Carpenter Ants

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Carpenter Ants

How do I recognize a carpenter ant?

The carpenter ant is a large member of the ant family, measuring three to 12 mm (1/8″ to 1/4″). Colour is either black or black with red. Antennae are elbowed and they have large heads with strong mandibles (jaws) used for chewing. Reproductive forms are winged.

Do carpenter ants cause damage?

Yes. Because carpenter ants tunnel in wood to build their colonies, an infestation can cause serious structural damage if left unchecked.

When are carpenter ants most common?

You are most likely to see swarms of winged (reproductive) carpenter ants in May and June, as this is their mating season.

Where am I most likely to find carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants prefer moist areas and may construct their nests anywhere in the home including walls, ceilings, attics, doors, sills, shingles and insulation. Carpenter ants are most active during the night when they forage for food.

Are carpenter ants hazardous to humans?

Yes. Since carpenter ants are attracted to foods such as honey, jelly, fruit and meat, they can carry disease germs from one area to another. Although they do not sting, they can inflict bites.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

Carpenter ants are social insects, living in colonies. Within the colony winged reproductives are not produced until the colony is established, which takes about two to three years. After mating the winged reproductives leave the colony to establish new ones. Once established, an average colony contains 2,000 to 3,000 carpenter ants.

Do weather conditions affect the size of a carpenter ant infestation?

Yes. Warm, moist weather presents ideal conditions for carpenter ant colonies to establish themselves.

How can I tell if I have a carpenter ant infestation on my property?

The presence of worker ants in your home is one of the first indications of an establishing carpenter ant colony. Check all areas where you suspect moisture. The presence of chewed wood similar to sawdust is an indication of an active nest. Any flying insect in the home is cause for concern and a professional in pest control should be consulted.

What can I do to prevent an infestation of carpenter ants?

The elimination of moist conditions by providing good ventilation and isolating wood from any direct contact with the soil will aid in carpenter ant prevention. Foods should be kept in sealed containers and areas where food is stored kept free of spillage or crumbs. Eliminate old lumber, logs and stumps from around your property and do not store firewood inside die building. In the case of new construction only properly treated lumber should be used.

If I have an infestation of carpenter ants, what can I do to eliminate them?

Both the detection and elimination of carpenter ants is a difficult and lengthy process. It is recommended that a PCO professional trained to eliminate pests such as carpenter ants be contacted for thorough results.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.