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The volume of questions submitted is much greater than we are able to publish on this page.

We do not send personal replies.
We have selected questions that we feel are of interest to most of our web site visitors.

Answers published on these pages are strictly the opinion of those submitting them.
Some pest management professionals may have different solutions or opinions.

See Disclaimer Notice

South African Bark beetle

From Johannesburg South Africa: Where can I get predators of Checker Beetle to eat Bark Beetle or what can I spray for Bark Beetle?

The use of checkered beetles (Cleridae) for bark beetle control may not be particularly effective, and I will have to do some digging to see if there is any commercial source for them as control agents (I’m doubtful at this point). Also, control measures will depend to some degree on the particular species of bark beetle involved. For some, the only recommendation is the cutting down and destruction of infested trees.

Miniature moths in Northern Ontario

From Ramore Ontario: On Sept 19,2017, in Ramore Ontario, P0K 1R0 the skies were filled with millions of miniature moths. If you would inhale you were certain to swallow a few. Yes there were lots! They would land on us. When we went into the house they would come in. They survived the winter indoors and outdoors also. Are they clothes eating moths, are they destructive? They are about ¼ inch long (or less), 1/8 inch long when wings are closed. They are a silver color with darker edging. As soon as you touch them they turn to dust/powdery smudge.

These do not look like clothes moths, but I hesitate to attempt a specific i.d. as tiny moths such as these are for the most part, very difficult to identify; several families often are lumped together under the rubric “microlepidoptera.” see Family Elachistidae (Grass Miner Moths) | Butterflies and Moths of North America for an example.

Spring Time Flies

From Langham Sask: What are the common springtime flies in our house? Every time this season, these flies are the first for a few weeks and then we do not see them until same time next year. Our house is clean, it is -5C outside, some are outside and some in our house. Where do they hid in the house for 10 months to appear every March?
Thank you for the reply.

My best guess would be that these most likely are cluster flies. These are not filth flies like house flies; their larvae feed on earthworms. These flies usually enter buildings or other shelter during the autumn, and then emerge from their hiding places with the return of warm weather in the spring. Click here for more detailed information.

Unknown Worm

From Edmonton, Alberta: I was away for two weeks and when I came home noticed two tiny worm like bugs on my white bed sheet, and after removing them I found a third smaller worm. I looked up carpet beetle larvae and they did not match the images (they lacked rings and instead were a uniform dark brown/rust color). They moved like an injured inch worm. I squished them in toilet paper and threw them in the toilet before I thought to take a picture. I’m not from Alberta so not familiar with what is and what is not normal for this time of year. Any ideas?

Silverfish Advice

From Camrose: I have had a silverfish infestation in my apartment since the day I moved in 3 months ago. The exterminators have been here twice and I have sprayed Raid in between times. I continue finding them.

My question, are the little white pieces of fuzz that are the same shape as they are that I am picking up off of the carpet the young ones?? I have been picking up these little pieces of fuzz with my fingers thinking it was odd shaped lint and why would lint always look about the same. PLEASE PLEASE HELP. I am an old woman and have not had to deal with this before.

Grain Weevil

How to get rid of grain weevil, found them near dry beans ? They are about 3 mm long, found some live and dead ones. Thank you, waiting for your advice. Anita

I suggest placing any beans or other seeds that are infested or suspected to be infested in a deep freezer (at least -18°C) for a week and then discard them. In the future, keep all dry food products that are susceptible to insect infestation either in a refrigerator or in sealable plastic, glass, or metal containers.

Poison to kill raccoons

Hi I had a question about pesticides available for farmers. We have a land in Northern Ontario and was wondering if Cyanide or other strong poisons can be available to farmers to get rid of some raccoons in our land. Thank you for your time. Kian.

Poisoning wildlife is a dangerous control method that is illegal in many parts of Canada. Killing non target animals and secondary predator poisoning could result in serious legal problems. Poisoning animals is very cruel and unacceptable by most organizations like the SPCA and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Please, please, please do not use poison to solve your problem.
More information:

clothes moth

How to get rid of clothes moths


Hi, this is Michelle from just north of Grande Prairie, Alberta. We have been fighting these moths from late September and on. There are holes in clothes (including the kids’ clothes) and I have found larva on knit socks and in balls of wool yarn.  The larva are brown with little hairs coming out one side.   Can you tell me what this is and what I can expect their eggs and cocoons to look like? How can I eradicate them?  Thanks, Michelle

Adult clothes moths lay almost invisible eggs on wool, fur, silk and feathers and other items of animal origin. The eggs develop into larva that feed on the items and cause damage. The adult moths do not feed. You should empty your closets and areas infested. Laundering will kill the larva but many items cannot be washed in hot water and dried. Freezing will slow down the damage but will probably not kill the eggs and larva. If you don’t hire a professional, spraying pesticides is not a simple solution. Read the tips we have published here:

Get rid of boxelder bugs

4641  How do you get rid of Boxelder bugs? How much would it cost to get rid of them? HELP!!

Boxelder bugs can be a real nuisance but fortunately they are harmless to humans and cause no damage to structures. Getting rid of them can be almost impossible unless the host boxelder tree is removed.  See this page for more information on how to deal with the problem: .

Cluster fly pesticides

Can I bring Lamdastar ultra cap9.7 and / or Cypermethrin in from the US to spray these cluster flies with that have taken over my mobile home I use for a hunt camp and getaway.I am in Ontario close to US border so would just drive down and pick up if it is legal to do so..Can not get an answer at your 800 number..Harry

Health Canada:

“All pesticides imported into Canada must meet Canadian standards, i.e., be regulated under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), and bear the Canadian label.”

There are a number of products available in Canada that will kill cluster flies. Basic aerosol sprays with the active ingredient Pyrethrum will work if they come in contact with the flies. Many professionals use a fogger to penetrate all areas in attics with pyrethrum.  If numerous flies are entering the living areas of the home, attempt to locate the openings where the insects gain access. Typically, flies will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Seal these openings with caulk or other suitable materials to prevent the insects from crawling out.

4640 Carpenter ants in condominium

4640  Good day!   I live in a condominium building partly covered with wood. A very knowledgeable handyman came to fix the bottom framework of one window because it was cracked. We discovered the problem of big black ants eating the wood under my window. For a whole day, we sprayed with ant killer foam Ant Bgon Max. They were killed but of course the problem has not been solved. The handyman diagnostic was : 1. The drywall is mushy, wet and soft (decomposed) 2. The fiberglass insulation it was moist, and brown colour (compare it with fiberglass insulation on the right side of window where the frame is removed). 3. The wood (both the frame and bottom part of window is mushy and with a little bit nail pressure can be removed) Most important is that the source of water entering to that place of your window should be addressed first and be fixed. I am still waiting from the property management to fix the problem. Winter will come soon ! Any advice from your part would help a lot. You will understand I don’t want my apartment to be fumigated except if you did it locally for the window. However it would not solve the problem of the cause of the infiltration of water being fixed. I since heard a second apartment in our building had also the same problem. 1. Would you recommend the whole building to be fumigated ? 2. If not, what are the consequences for the future of our building ? Many thanks, Marie France  Toffin

You have described a typical carpenter ant problem.   You should have an experienced pest professional inspect the building and treat all infected areas.  In most cases the solution is to inject a pesticide into the suspected nests from the outside.  Nests in window areas are often in the header (above the window trim) as well as the side framing and sill.  Of course the water problem should be repaired after the inspection and before the ant treatment. The professional should speak to the building manager.

Get rid of fleas.

flea1What is the best way to get rid of fleas if no pets are in the home no more ?

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum thoroughly, daily for 2 weeks.   For more tips visit:

Bed Bug

How to get rid of bed bugs.

We have an infestation of bed bugs. How do we get rid of them? We have removed mattress and box spring out of our son’s room. Now what?
The biggest challenge in dealing with bed bugs is finding them. They can hide in numerous places besides beds.  Inexperienced home owners often spend more money trying unsuccessfully to eradicate bed bugs than it would cost to hire a pest professional that guarantees success. Read more.


Drain Flies in shower

In one of my washrooms we have flies that keep flying out from the drain after we take a shower I have tried bicarbonate soda and white vinegar for five days and nothing changed. Please advise what can I do this is a nuisance and we are unable to use the shower.

Drain flies (also known as humpback flies and Phorid flies) lay eggs in drains. The eggs hatch and the larva feed on scum in the pipes.   To eliminate them, the entire interior of the pipe must be treated with a foaming insecticide.  This will contact all the eggs and larva.  It is important to never let the water in the p-trap evaporate and dry out.  A well equipped pest professional will have a foaming machine and the right product to take care of this.


Carpenter ant

Get rid of carpenter ants

How do you get rid of Carpenter ants at the cottage?  Denis.  Georgetown, Ont.

We have published a vast amount of identification and control information on this web page:

bed bug

Pesticide risk to infant?

4635   Hi, One of the apartments in the house I live in has bedbugs and the landlord is going to either spray just the basement apartment or possibly the whole house. I have a 9 month old baby and was wondering what we should do if this treatment happens? Can these chemicals be harmful to my infant and what precautions should I take? We live right above the basement apartment on the first floor so I am worried that even if they spray just the basement that toxins can make there way into our place. Will we need to be out of the house for a while and for how long? Thanks, Lorna

If your landlord is going to spray pesticides himself you should be very concerned.
Pest control professionals must be certified to apply pesticides.  They must take a course and pass an exam.
There are regulations that a professional must follow including notification to any persons that could be at risk from pesticide use.
You will probably have to vacate your suite for 1 day.
If there are bedbugs in one apartment they often find their way into other units that should be inspected.
Just spraying pesticides is not proper control for bed bugs.
Read more:


Tent caterpillar control

Trying to find a way to get rid of tent-nest’s How do I do it?

The natural, soil dwelling bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt-kurstaki (BTK) is particularly effective on inch worms of all types. Use easily applied spray to hit worms and protect the leaves at the first signs of damage. BTK sprays do not harm honey bees or birds and are safe for use around pets and children.

Electronic pest repellers

4633  Good morning.   I volunteer at a Scout camp and we have many Cheery Trees, BUT the Cubs and Scouts can not get to the fruit as the Animals get there first.  Where can I obtain an Electronic repellent to hang in the trees?  Thank you.  Paul

Don’t waste your money.  There is no unbiased scientific evidence that electronic pest repelling devices work effectively to control pest animals.  Blocking metal collars around the trunk of the trees may be more effective.


Still has bed bugs

4632    I have bed bugs, after the exterminator came in, we still have them. But killed off the basic population of them. What can we do?

Getting rid of bed bugs is a process that usually takes more than one treatment.   The most important step is a very thorough inspection but even a professional may have trouble finding all the bug’s hiding places.  Heat treatment may be effective but not always.  When the bugs feel the heat they may find a way to escape to a cooler location. The pest professional who did the treatment probably expects to do more treatment.
For a better understanding see this web page:  

Best Pesticide for bed bugs?

Hi, I found couple of bed bugs recently and would like to know the recommended pesticides from pest control. Thanks, Laxmi.

Just spraying pesticides is not the solution.  Read the suggestions for proper control that we have published on this web page:


Marmots on pool deck

Hi there: We have moved into a new house and have just discovered that we have a serious marmot problem. We have seen them in our yard and not been concerned, but now we have discovered that our lower deck – and it is a large one surrounding a pool – is absolutely covered in poop droppings, so many droppings that you cannot walk freely on the deck. We have lots of grandchildren who live locally and will be coming here many times during the summer, I see that marmots can carry ticks that lead to Lyme Disease. We know all about that problem as we have a granddaughter from Kelowna who we have had to send to the States to be treated for Lyme Disease which she contracted here in BC, and so are really concerned about this problem. I see I can buy a Blackbox Gopher Trap that will trap and kill gophers – will it work for marmots?? And I can buy an animal cgge trap that will trap marmots but not kill. How do I kill the marmots that I catch in the cage?? Where do I get whatever you recommend? Thanks for your advice. Trevor , Lake Country, B.C.

Trapping in a live trap or kill trap is probably your best solution.  Gopher traps may be too small.   If you use live traps you will need a permit to transport wildlife to a new location.   It is difficult to attract marmots into a trap so you would have to place them along their normal travel paths.   On Vancouver Island Marmots were almost extinct so I believe they are now a protected species.   Some control suggestions here:
You may also try calling a licensed professional in your area:

Landlord won’t deal with Bed bugs

4630   My son had to move from one apartment to another. He bought a used couch  and checked it out real good before bringing it to his old place. They had it for two months. all was good. We move him to his new apartment. He had to clean it before he moved in. after a few weeks his girlfriend was getting bit. His 8 month old daughter and himself were not bitten. He checked the bed, which is brand new and it had bedbugs. They saved them. Girlfriend takes Daughter to moms and my son asked the landlord to do something. They gave him a bag and vacuum cleaner. he never had any issues before. They were even visiting us just after move in with no issues either. After he cleaned the whole place as much as he could  the girls came home and she gets bit again from the couch this time. Why does the landlord not want to help? This building is in a group of them on Mornington Ave in London. It’s really dirty, but it’s the only place a one income can go. any help would be appreciated .

We do not like to offer advice on what could be a legal issue.   Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy task for amateurs.  The landlord should probably hire a pest professional service to eliminate the problem.  If there is no cooperation you could report the issue to the local health department and a government landlord-tenant agency.

Carpet beetle control.

My building had issues with carpet beetles. Wondering if they can live on jewlery. We have seen some in my unit. And second question, does thirty minutes of drying on high heat kill all stages of the black carpet beetle?

There is no reason for carpet beetles to live on jewellery.  Thirty minutes on high heat in a dryer should kill almost any living creature.  Read more:

Biting Midges (No-see-ums)

Hi I am really impressed with your website! Can you point me to more information on biting midges if they are something which could be found in our house on Salt Spring Island in April? Thanks very much,  Ann

During my 20 + years of pest control service on Salt Spring Island, I was never asked to deal with biting midges (no-see-ums).  I live on 5acres of wooded property with ponds and have never been bothered with midges. If you suspect you have a midge problem please try to capture a few and send us a close-up, in-focus photo for identification.  They are very, very small so you would probably need a camera with a macro lens.
Larry Cross.  Webmanager, Pest Control Canada.

Too many spiders!

Hello, I have found [so far…] about 10 spiders – huge black ones in a new 5 month old house. Mostly in the basement and the garage. I spray RAID but unfortunately it doesn’t help. I am afraid they could be dangerous. The house is in Welland, On.  Any suggestion, advice ? Should I contact the builder of the house ? I would really appreciate your help. Thank you, Maria

New homes are notorious for a high humidity problem as the building materials dry out over a long period of time. (1 or 2 years depending on conditions). This moist environment encourages insects to inhabit the space, especially in basements, crawl spaces and any areas with poor ventilation.  Spiders eat insects.  To eliminate spiders, eliminate their food source.  Improve the ventilation by opening windows when practical, use bathroom and kitchen fans.  You certainly cannot blame the contractor for 10 spiders in your home. You could call a pest professional to inspect and treat areas that are infested with insects.  The most common pest in high humidity homes is sow bugs.  Read more about control tips:

Rodents and holes in foundation.

I live in a complex where there is a rat infestation each year. Each year this problem is dealt with however it hasn’t been done so yet this year, there are huge holes in the foundation that havent gone fully through the foundation. there are kids in the area and as an assistant superintendant of the complex who has notified the higher ups I was wondering if there is a spasific type of rat or mouse that would cause this damage and what would be the proper fix to have this looked after. I don’t want my tenants getting sick from this. Thank you.  April

Huge holes in the foundation of an apartment building is a more serious problem than rodents.  You should call a building inspector.
You will not likely have both rats and mice.  Rats will not tolerate competition for food.   A pest control professional could inspect the property to determine what kind of problem you have and take corrective action. 

D-Fense SC Insecticide

I am having Carpet beetle issue in my home, and I found on web “D-Fense SC Insecticide” spray is quite effective to get rid of Carpet Beetles, please let me know if “D-Fense SC Insecticide” is approved in Canada to use. Thanks,

This product is not listed on the Health Canada registered pesticides list.  There may be other products with the same active ingredient (Deltamethrin) but they would likely be  restricted to licenced pest control businesses.   Many products with this active ingredient have been taken off the market in Canada.
You can search for any pesticide registered in Canada at this web site:

Box Elder bug problem

I have been killing two to six box elder bugs inside my home all winter long, and I don’t agree that they do not breed indoors because I occasionally find very small and young ones. This past fall was the worst I have ever seen – the two sunny sides of my house were covered with them and it went on for close to two months. One so-called pest control expert said they would only be a nuisance outdoors for a week or two, but he was greatly mistaken, and now they’re inside apparently in significant numbers. I believe they are becoming more adaptable, and given their potentially vast numbers, the government needs to come up with a safe way to get rid of them. Same goes for Carpenter Ants, now that the gov’t has banned all pesticides that actually work to kill off a colony, other solutions need to be devised. Alan

Please read the information on our web page for a better understanding of these insects.   Box elder bugs 
Adult box elders do not lay eggs inside a building because there is no food for the nymphs to eat  (leaves, seeds, flowers)  When they gather in large numbers on the sunny walls of a building, they can be eliminated by spraying with a 4% soap and water solution.  Pesticides are not needed.   To prevent their entry into a building, all cracks, crevices and window frames should be caulked. They are not considered a serious enough pest to require government action.  They are harmless to humans and dwellings.
Carpenter ants are a serious pest that should be dealt with by a licensed professional that has access to effective registered pest control products.  Some provincial and municipal governments have restricted the use of pesticides to reduce abuse and health hazards. 

Recurring cockroach problem

Dear sir, At my house, there are lots of cockroaches. Size about 0.1 cm to 1 cm. It start seen from last year April/May. I talked with a pesticides Co. They checked and used pest control. At that time, they killed a lot. After few days, it showed again. Company came again and used pest control. In three months, 3 times pest control had been used. Everything went back to normal even more. They said , they can’t use more powerful kit. I don’t know, how to get rid of these cockroaches. Please advise me the solution. We have children at home. Waiting for your suggestions.

The most common reason for cockroach problems is poor sanitation. Insecticides and poison bait can not be effective if there is a food source for them.   Read more:

Bed Bugs next door!

If the apartment next door has bed bugs – and my bedroom is through the wall should I be getting my apartment sprayed etc?

Most bed bug control professionals have been trained to inspect for all possible hiding places and entry points. In apartment buildings and hotels this often includes inspection of adjoining rooms. (Each side, behind, above and below.) This requires the cooperation of all occupants and the building management.  You should welcome an inspection and control measures if bed bugs are found in your unit.

Sea Otters destroying golf turf

Hello, Any advice for sea otter control, capture or management?  They are destroying large areas of turf on the golf course. HELP!!   Paul Robertson, Links Superintendent, VICTORIA GOLF CLUB.

The Sea Otter is protected by the Marine Mammal Regulations in the federal Fisheries Act. These regulations make it an offence to kill, harm, or harass marine mammals. The species is also listed as Threatened under the British Columbia Wildlife Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, capture, harass, or trade this species, or to destroy its habitat.

We were not aware that sea otters would forage for food on land.  They normally forage in the water and on the beaches.  Raccoons and skunks will tear up turf to feed on grubs.  Sea otters can be a serious problem when they nest under sea side cottages and homes.  The only legal solution is to block their entry with fencing. Some boat owners have used an electric fence to keep them off their boats.  An electric fence around the golf course or on the path used by the animals may help but golfers and environmentalists may not approve.   We have tried unsuccessfully to get suggestions from the BC Ministry of Environment Wildlife branch.  Perhaps a visit in person to their offices would be more effective.  Please let us know if you solve this problem.

Dormant wasp nests

Hi, I have a quick question relating to an old wasps nest that I’m hoping you can help me with. I live close to Gatineau Quebec. Late July / early August last year I noticed what seemed to be a large number of wasps heading towards the underhang of my roof and disappearing. After watching for a while, I started to think that there was likely some sort of nest in my attic.  As the wasps weren’t disturbing anything, I felt it wise just to leave the nest alone and deal with it in the winter. Before I go up to the attic and try to see if the old nest is there I was hoping that you could help me by answering a few questions: a) My understanding is that wasps do not stay in the old nest over the winter. Even the queen apparently goes somewhere else. Thus, is there any benefit at all of removing this old nest if the nest if effectively dead? Is there an increased likelihood that the wasps will end up back in my attic next year if I keep the nest there? Or alternatively, would the old nest somehow deter new wasps from taking up residence in my attic? b) Depending on your answer to the questions above, if the nest should be removed, is there any real problem with me doing this myself during the winter or should I be looking for a professional? c) If I need a professional, is there someone that you can recommend? Thanks for your help 🙂 Tom

Most wasp nests are deserted in the fall and will never be occupied again. The nests are harmless but the environment may be attractive so a new nest could be built in the attic. If the wasps are mud daubers the larva will develop in the mud nest over winter and transform into wasps that will emerge in the spring.  Mud daubers are non aggressive and seldom sting so they are considered almost harmless.  There is no benefit in removing their nests. If you want a professional to remove the nests you can find one in your area in our directory of pest professionals.

mouse bait station

Humane rodent poison

What would be the most ethical form on small mice control for a corporation? I work at a retail grocery chain that uses those little houses with poison inside – I see the mice convulse and I hear them cry out for 30-60 min after ingestion. A co-worker told me they could pay more to include fluoride in the mix to sedate them too – although I wondered if that actually reduces their pain or merely for our observations sake. Does that really make the mice suffer less? Does it speed up the process? What options exist? Are the price gaps significant between the less and most human options? Thanks very much. Shan. Victoria, BC.

Rodent bait in use today is formulated to euthanize them in a very humane way. After ingestion the rodents become lethargic and unconscious. There is no pain and they do not squeal or cry out.   What you are hearing are not mice.

rats chewing and scratching

There is something clawing through my floors just under my trim I have put up traps and poison for rats but no luck I have no idea what it is but the holes get bigger very night.

The most common pests that make a clawing or chewing noise in a home are rats. They can chew holes through wood to gain access to a food source they smell.  If your efforts to trap them have failed, you should probably call a pest professional to do an inspection and find out where the rats are gaining entry to your home. Most people think catching rats is a simple process but there are a lot of little tricks that an experienced professional will apply be to successful.  Paying a professional will cost less than repairing chewed electrical wire or plumbing pipes.  Read more about getting rid of rodents.

Large spiders in home

I have caught 4 fairly large spiders in my home, I know they are not easy to identify unless under a scope however these are hunters and ground hunting spiders, their about the size of a loonies and toonie (Canadian), their dark brown and or light ish brown… I have laid sticky catch master things every where and have caught one each day for 4 days. That’s a spider a night. I’m led to think I have a infestation? I have sprayed spider killer stuff, spider repellent, plus those catchers, and they keep still popping up and their massive! Should I get in a professional?

Thank you for submitting  your question.  Rather than publishing misleading or incorrect information, we do not attempt to identify spiders based on a written description.  Please send a photo as an attachment and we will publish it on the “What is this pest”  web page.    We may have already published a photo of a pest similar to yours.  Remember:  humans are not a food source for spiders.  They eat insects and if you have a lot insects, spiders will be attracted to your home.   A pest professional could do a thorough inspection and get rid of whatever is causing your problem.

Fruit fly infestation

4615   I have no fruits or vegetables left outside. My condo is infested with what may be fruit flies but I am not sure. Please help me as I don’t know what to do or what these bugs are and I am very concerned. Currently I am catching these bugs using apple cider vinegar which these bugs are attracted to. These bugs have brown body with black stripes with a red face. They kinda resemble a pomace fly but I want to be certain. Do u know what else they could possibly be?

Rather than publishing misleading or incorrect information we do not attempt to identify pests based on description. You could send us a photo or check this page for identification and control suggestions.

Infested with cigarette beetles

4614    I am infested with cigarette beetles in my Canadian home. My local exterminator sent a specimen off to Montreal for identification and the result came back as a cigarette beetle. After some time, I found the source (banana plant) and eliminated it. How can I get rid of the existing beetles and their egg?. Please help….

You should check all possible food sources for larva and throw out anything suspected to be infested.  Sealed boxes (cake mix) could be infested even tho there is no visible entry point.   More Information: Penn State University

4613 Ant hill nest

We bought a house last year and found we have carpenter ants outsized all over the place. We think we finally located the parent hill. A giant three foot ant hill hidden in the brush. Your site says to physically remove it? How do i do that ? Do I use any thing to kill them off when they start to swarm out?

Carpenter ants build nests by burrowing into wood. They do not build ant hills.   Thatching ants build ant hills.  There are some control suggestions on this web page:  Thatching ants can be considered beneficial because they kill other garden insects pests. 

Small fly problem

4612    I have a small fly problem that a renter is saying is coming from the sinks and Windows. There was no flies there before he moved in and now has a fly problem, what can these flies be and how does a person get rid of them? The flies are constant but not many maybe 3 – 5.
The right control solution will depend on the species of fly.  (there are many small fly species).  Send us a well focused, well lit close up photo for identification and control suggestions.  We will publish the photo and our response on this web page:    One common small species found in homes are Phorid flies.  See photos and information here:

Weevils eat fabric

4611  Do grain weevils eat fabric such as carpets or fabric on furniture? 

Weevils will readily feed on cotton fabric found in furniture and clothing. Since they love dried flowers and plants, decorative ornaments found in the home such are wreathes and dried flower arrangements can harbor and feed local populations. It is not uncommon to find them living in or on Christmas ornaments, dried flower collections and stored clothing. Furthermore, adults love apples, pears, grapes and other fruits found in and around homes.

Ants in apartment

4610  Small red/brown ants in my apartment. There are, other people in the building also have them. I’m certain there is a nest but i haven’t found it yet. I just want to know if getting an exterminator is worth it? Since they’re in this building. Also. Are they harmful to people? Thanks.

You should definitely have a pest professional do an inspection to determine what species of ants you have and the severity of the problem.  Different species of ants are treated differently.  If tenants have been spraying insecticides, the ant colonies could bud (split into new colonies) and invade new areas in the building.  The longer you wait to deal with the problem the more difficult it will be.

Get rid of spider mites

4609  How do you get rid of teeny tiny red spider (?) mites on my window and window ledge?

These tiny creatures can be difficult to see and difficult to control. Carefully examine your house plants for an infestation. You may need a magnifying glass to see them on the bottom of leaves. Isolate any infested plants to prevent spreading to other plants. Use hot pepper spray. Combine one teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot sauce, one quart of warm water, and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Spray on the bottom of leaves, keeping it away from your face, and shaking frequently to prevent ingredients from settling.


Get rid of boxelder bugs

We have box elder bugs on the exterior wall. But we found a tree on the side of our house, which looks like box elder tree. Is it possible, to identify the tree and help us to deal with the bugs. Sulo
Control or exclusion must be done in the summer and fall.  Caulking windows and doors, and repairing window and door screens will prevent bugs from entering a home. If you decide you would like to spray for control, one home remedy is to use a 3-4% mix of water and soap (by volume) that can be sprayed directly on the insects. Remember however that soaps only kill on contact.  In extreme cases have a pest control professional apply a residual insecticide to exterior walls in the fall where the bugs are congregating – this will tend to discourage them from landing. Insecticides are not very effective after the weather turns cold.    Read more about boxelder bugs and box elder trees.

Barn siding

I am planning to use in my house. I have removed the boards from the barn and there were signs of termites there. I pressure washed the boards, sun dried them for 3 days, steam cleaned the boards and sprayed the boards with Otho Home Defense, not the Max version multiple times. Does anyone have any other suggestions for treatment before I install them?

It looks like you have taken more than enough precautions to eliminate a termite problem.  They probably would not have survived being moved into the dry interior environment.   I hope you did not destroy the natural look of the barn boards.

Rats: Size does matter.

G’day. I noticed I had rats in my crawl space. I put out poison bait blocks. Anyway I found 2 dead rats. One was bigger, and one was smaller. I was wondering if this was a male, and a female, or a mother, and a baby. Because if it was a mother, and a baby there must be more dead babies around that I haven’t located. What do you think? 

Size is relative. Males (bucks) are generally larger than females (does) and of course young rats are smaller. A female will typically give birth to 8 to 10 babies and will be sexually active in less than a week. If there is sufficient food available, all offspring may stay close to their birthplace. If you killed one baby, chances are there may be 8 or 9 brothers and sisters in the same location. Hopefully they are not dying in your walls or other inaccessible locations. If you use too much bait you will attract rats to your crawlspace. Traps can be very effective if they are used properly. Don’t waste money on electronic devices. You should first determine what food you have provided that attracted them and where are the entry points.  Read more about rodent control.

Rats in Canada

I found a rat with no hair on its tail, body colour was Grey, in my house a few years ago an just read how we only have the Bushy tailed rats and the one I found was about 16 Inches in body length, lower jaw teeth about 3/4 inch long and the tail was about 9 Inches, could this be from rising temperature over years causing them to come up to a more Northern country.  Stanley,  Ottawa.

You have described what is probably a Norway Rat. They arrived in North America with the first ships from Europe that touched our shores.  They are common in all areas where there are humans, unintentionally feeding them. Their migration has nothing to do with climate change although the reproduction and survival rate could be affected in colder climates. Read more about rodents.

Poison bait stations indoors.

4604  I have five poison bait stations for mice placed around the outside of the cottage. Should I bring any inside the cottage over the winter?

Mouse bait stations are designed to attract mice.  You do not want to attract them indoors.  If mice are poisoned indoors they will likely die indoors creating another problem.   Properly placed mouse traps can be very effective.   More info.

How to get rid of mouse in apartment

4603    From time to time I spot a small (dark grey) mouse in my apartment. I also see mouse droppings around the apartment sometimes. How can I get rid of them and prevent them from coming to the apartment again. I have set a few mouse traps but haven’t had any luck with them except once. Please help.   E.M.

You should look for all potential entry points and block them off.  There are a few tricks to using mouse traps effectively.
Read more about mouse control here:  

If you are not successful you could contact a Richmond professional for help: 

gel applicator

Imidacloprid Gel

What are the harmful health side effects of a pest control gel containing Imidacloprid? Our building is trying to rid a build up of pests & is opting this gel as a pest control alternative to Boric acid dust spray & DRIONE® INSECTICIDE DUST. Which is less toxic? Thank you Lada

Pesticides in a gel formulation are generally considered safer and more effective because an exact amount can be placed in the exact location where it will be effective. This can be more difficult  with dust formulations.  If gels are applied according to label directions by a licensed professional and all precautions are followed there will be no risk to humans or pets. In Canada the targeted pest must be listed on the label of the registered pesticide used for control. Imidacloprid is highly toxic to bees but gels are applied indoors where there are no bees. The active ingredients in Drione dust are pyrethrin, piperonyl butoxide, and amorphous silica. Boric acid is mistakenly considered a safe pesticide but it can be highly toxic if ingested or inhaled. The manufactures’ safety data sheets (MSDS) should be used to determine the toxicity of all pesticides.