Summer is here and so are the bugs!

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Summer is here and so are the bugs!

The insect kingdom will be in full swing. What you need to know to keep your family and pets safe.

It may not totally feel like it yet but summer is official here. The weather has certainly been very interesting this year. The winter was not very cold or relatively long, and spring has been one of the wettest we have seen in some time. This all brings an exciting time of year… if you’re an exterminator that is. For the home and business owner this is going to be a frustrating time. We will all be dealing with an onslaught of insects over the next few months.

Let’s start with the wet spring and the notorious blood-sucking pests. The dampness has caused an increase of mosquito activity in the area. There are currently 80 types of species in Canada, with about 50 living in Ontario. Yes, and they all bite, well the females any way. They need the blood meal to produce eggs and keep the cycle going. Based on the various species we have day and night time feeders. This normally starts in June to September, but this year it started in late April and early May. Its going to be hard to escape these blood suckers!

Control of mosquitoes and other biting flies were started primarily because the pests are a nuisance beyond what is acceptable; health concerns such as Zika, West Nile and anaphylactic shock. This is secondary due to financial loss of farm livestock being stressed and not feeding properly. Additional information from Health Canada regarding mosquitoes can be found at;

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/pest-control-tips/mosquitoes.html

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Mosquito

The major control methods with the use of insecticides are; larvicide applied to surface water, adulticide through air by Ultra Low Volume or thermal fogging application. The use of repellents applied directly to human and livestock skin is still one of the best methods of protection. The treatment for water or land using any insecticides must be done by a licenced Mosquito/Biting Flies Exterminator. There are some natural products that technicians can apply, however if you are getting a treatment please ensure that individual is fully licenced. Even natural products, such as a garlic spray, can be harmful to non-targeted vegetation, animals or people with allergies.

The best preventative practice is to remove all standing water near your home. Mosquitos will lay eggs in anything from a puddle in the driveway, to children’s swimming pools, outdoor toys, poorly drained eaves you name it. The eggs hatch into a larvae stage in two to four days and in a few weeks the adults are flying.

If you can’t keep the standing water under control, then the next best thing is to use a good repelant and protect yourself from bites. If you have a cottage or are in a rural area, consult a licensed exterminator to see what can be done to help control the population of these annoying pests. Bug zappers and smoke coils can help, but a large oscillating fan out on the deck may give you more relief as the air turbulence disrupts their flight paths.

Ticks are another blood-sucking insect that are normally not an issue but this year there have been warnings issued by the Ontario government. Ticks are blood-sucking parasites of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The abundance of deer mice, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons and white-tail deer in suburban and urban areas has spread ticks to these habitats. Pet owners should also be cautious when walking their dogs in long grasses and bushes. Not only necessary for ticks on the pet, but for the person as they can bring them into a car or home on pant legs. Always wear light clothing and make sure that you are covered. A good repellent will also help keep these arachnids off you. The most common in this area is the Brown Dog Tick, fortunately not a carrier of Lyme disease. This disease is transmitted to people who receive a bite from an infected Deer Tick nymph. Not all Deer Ticks carry Lyme disease which affects the heart, joints and nervous system of humans. There are several areas in Ontario that are known for having populations of Deer Ticks. Currently, there have not been any reports of Lyme disease in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. For more information about where disease carrying ticks have been found in Ontario please see;

https://www.ontario.ca/page/lyme-disease

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Deer Tick

The other insects that that have started their season earlier are spiders, wasps, ants, earwigs, sow bugs, fleas, crickets, beetles and millipedes just to mention a few. Yes, it is going to be an interesting summer and I will post more articles that will probable make you itchy as you read them.

If you have any questions about insects inhabiting your structure you can check our web site at www.safeguard247.ca or send a picture to our email at info@safeguard247.ca for more information.  You may also click the "Ask the Exterminator" button below and submit your question there.

Stan Stasko

Licenced Exterminator

Structural, Termite, Mosquito/Biting Flies