Worst Pest Problems in Southern Ontario Right Now

Advice

​In the past couple of years, bed bugs and carpenter ants have proven to be the worst pests creating problems for Toronto and area residents and business owners.  Canada's bed bug problem has been worsening since 2013 and they are multiplying in Canadian cities and communities across the country. According to Global news, pest control experts claim frequency of bed bug reports has shot up 20 per cent from 2013 to 2014 and it continues to happen currently at that rate.  These parasites are aggressive reproducing monsters; they continue to reach farther and wider.  And there is no indication that the spread and increase in incidents will slow down.

​Experts agree that the vermin have a strong foothold; and where they used to be found primarily in urban centers, they have grabbed a place in rural Canada and the United States.  Initially an urban problem, they've spread to rural, less-populated areas in recent years posing problems with tremendous discomfort and even illness. But is there a way of stopping the bed bugs from entering your home?  Is infestation inevitable?  We don’t believe it has to be that way.

Once in, bedbugs can be extremely difficult to eliminate since they usually hunt at night.  Bedbugs need blood to survive, hence their nasty bite which is essentially sharp fangs piercing the skin to allow them to begin feeding on the human host’s blood.  The blood of any warm blooded animal will do but we are talking about home invasion and home remedies.  It often isn’t until the morning that you realize you have been a victim of bed bug bites.

They are usually found near beds, hence their name, but can hide anywhere from bedsheets, mattresses, furniture and picture frames for some reason.  Probably because of the crevices between frame, glass and displayed art.  It is not difficult for a bed bug to zero in on its target.  They sense heat but they also follow carbon dioxide as a victim exhales.

So how do we prevent bed bug infestation in the first place?

The greatest talent of the bed bug is their ability to hitchhike on personal belongings. They easily travel from an infested location to a new home by hanging on to furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing. It’s scary to note that bed bugs usually feed every 6-10 days, but that they can survive several months without feeding if they need to.

​​Some precautions can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:​

  • Cushions are a favourite landing place, check frequently;
  • Luggage racks in your hotel room can host bed bugs, take a close look on arriving;
  • Second hand furniture like beds, clothing and couches should be examined for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home;
  • There are protective coverings for mattresses and box springs that encase them to protect against and eliminates the majority of hiding spots for the little beasts. The cover can make it easier to spot bugs and a high quality encasement will not tear easily, but check the encasement regularly for holes.
  • Clutter in your home makes for great hiding places for bed bugs. Clean accordingly.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
  • Be conscientious if you need to use shared laundry facilities. Use plastic bags to get your clothes to the facility and use a different one for the trip home if you have any inkling of an infestation. Fold your clothes at home as you empty directly into your bag from the dryer.  Remember that high heat from a dryer will kill bed bugs if your load can take it.
  • In a multi-family dwellings, be sure that door sweeps are installed which hinders movement and also baseboards should never have visible openings.


Bedbug treatment can sometimes be a difficult task but if you are vigilant, and are lucky enough to catch any parasitic visitors soon enough, you should have no problem dealing with their extermination quickly.  The first sign to indicate a bedbug infestation in your home if you have missed them coming in is a swollen area of skin which appears as a red spot, and has an itching sensation, much like a mosquito bite.  

When you undertake to eliminate bed bugs, you will need to get advice and you need to attack any rooms where people spend time at rest or sleep.

​CARPENTER ANTS

​Carpenter ant infestations need to be dealt with as soon as you suspect them in or around your home.  Unlike termites, they do not ‘eat’ wood, but they do tremendous damage to wood as they burrow for nesting.  They especially like the wood that has been softened by other insects or by wetness and humidity.

There are many reasons for increasing carpenter ant populations in the GTA, snowy winters and increased construction are a couple of them.  The ants get hungry, forage for food and often find themselves inside your home to get to the wood, insulation and stucco.

Carpenter ants can make their homes in trees and larger shrubbery so make sure you are not allowing tree branches and plants to touch your home.  Wooden framing that touches the soil can pose problems as well.

​Ways to deal with Carpenter Ants:

  • Inspect areas where high moisture is or where wood may be in contact with the soil.  Also, check areas where ventilation is poor, especially where structural lumber is exposed.
  • Look for a high concentration of ants in a particular area like under the kitchen sink or where you know ants should not be near drains or faucets.
  • Swarms of winged ants trying to beat it to the outdoors is a sure sign..
  • Piles of sawdust-like borings can’t be a good sign, and slit-like openings in woodwork are telltale.
  • An active colony inside your home will create a dry rustling noise that can be heard best at night.  Remember the trick we learned using a glass to listen in against the wall.
  • Use a wine glass or stethoscope to listen to the walls.


Cockroaches are almost as invasive as bed bugs and carpenter ants but we will discuss them later. Good luck on preventing any pest infestations in your home, a little diligence can make things pest free for you.

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