Mosquito, Aphid and Leaf Miner

Hey, I live in Edmonton and have been trying to find a good concentrate to control my mosquito, aphid and leaf miner problems in my yard. Is there any product that you would suggest that is pet friendly?

Control of mosquitoes, aphids, and leaf miners: There is no one product that will provide safe control for all three types of insects mentioned here.

a. Mosquitoes – The best control is locating and eliminating larval sites – basically any container, natural or man-made, that will hold water for a week or more. There is currently only one pesticide product on the market licensed by the Pest Management and Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada for domestic or homeowner larviciding. Called Aquabac, it is a bacterial formulation very safe to use.  Click here for details. I do not know of any effective control for adult mosquitoes approved for homeowner use in Canada.

b. Aphids – If the affected plants are fairly sturdy, a strong stream of water from a garden hose may suffice to wash the aphids from the plants, killing some of them at least during the process. Otherwise, an application of an insecticidal soap or Neem oil should work; these are safe to use around pets.

 c. Leaf miners – I am not aware of any product in Canada labeled specifically for homeowner use against leafminers. You might try Neem oil or Spinosad if you can get it (currently undergoing registry review in Canada). Commercial greenhouse operations have used nematodes and parasitic wasps;  Click here for details.

Red Mite infestation

Hi, We have a severe Dermanyssus gallinae/Red Mite infestation. Will keeping our house between 70°F and a relative humidity of 35%-40% help decrease our red mite problem?

Dermanyssus gallinae/Red Mite infestation – Has the source of the infestation been identified? Control will be much easier if the source (such as an abandoned bird nest) can be identified and removed. The following was found at Click here : “If physicians suspect and/or confirm dermanyssosis in urban outbreaks, the following measures will achieve complete regression of the symptoms, and no evidence of mites or dermatitis will appear in the follow-up period: (i) patient showering extensively and washing their clothes at 60 °C; (ii) removal of the mite source (abandoned birds’ nest); (iii) intensive vacuum cleaning, removal of the vacuum bag which needs to be packed in a sealed plastic bag and thrown away outside in a contained bin; (iv) disinfestation of the infested areas using pyrethroids: (v) steam cleaning or washing of textiles (curtains, carpets, cushions) at 60 °C and then preferably dried with an automated laundry drier. Textiles which cannot be washed at 60 °C should be placed in a plastic bag for a day together with anti-moth balls releasing an acaricide product.”

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants: Hello, During the May and early June, I found 4 major and minor carpenter ants in the my kitchen. These were the times of the day found:
(1) ~7pm crawling from my basement stairs into my work room. Minor.
(2) ~6pm same area as the previous, near my back door. Minor.
(3) ~11:30am on my ceiling crawling away from my back door. Minor.
(4) 7am (but I found it stuck in a spider web at the bottom of my basement stairs). Major.
I should add that my basement stairs are directly in front of my backdoor. There is an old wooden shed at my neighbors house ~50 yards away. I’m not sure what is in it. My other neighbors have a pile of old tree branches ~30 yards away. I don’t hear clicking in my walls late at night. All 4 times, they were not carrying food. Where are these things coming from? I should add that the weather strip at the top of my door needs to be replaced. Thank you, Wally.

Carpenter ants – These ants usually only attack wood that already is unsound, especially from moisture. The customer should check all areas where moisture could come in contact with wood for signs of damage. These would not always be in the basement; several years ago, we had a small infestation in the roof over our back porch where a leak in the metal roofing had allowed water to enter and damage the wood. In the meantime, this is a good reference to consult: Click here


MILLIPEDEs: I have an infestation of millimetres around my garage and my house and they’re getting in my house I live in Newfoundland which is in Canada can you help.

Infestation of millimetres – I am assuming the customer means millipedes. These are nuisance pests that are not going to cause any real harm. It is nearly impossible to keep some from gaining entry indoors, but keeping indoor humidity levels as low as practical and eliminating sources of unnecessary moisture will discourage them from staying. For more suggestions, see Click here

Rat Exclusion

RATS: What is the best method for making sure a rat doesn’t come back. I’ve been seeing peppermint oil, steel wool and caulking? I’ve also been reading to keep pet food and water dishes away. I have a cat. The food being put away is ok.. but the water dish would be bad for my cats health. I’m worried he wouldn’t be drinking enough water and get a urinary tract infection. An exterminator was in my apartment, but didn’t find any structural damage. The rat got in somehow, so apparently now I have to find it myself. Any help would be very appreciated.

Rat Exclusion – Rat Exclusion – I suggest that the customer review this comprehensive publication: Click here

Dragon Insecticide

DRAGNET: Hi I’m looking to find out if you could help with some literature on the solution dragnet. I’m aware that the main chemical is permethrin, is there other chemicals in it and would there be any long term health concerns for children of used. Thanks in advance. Tom

Dragon Insecticide – According to the label, “This product contains petroleum distillate. Treat symptomatically for ingestion, skin and eye contact. DO NOT induce vomiting.” Click here 


SKUNK RELOCATION: Hi, I have a skunk(s) under my cabano in the back yard.I tried spraying the back yard with Chili peppers and cayenne powder, but it does not seem to get rid of the skunks. Please let me know if the skunk(s) could be trapped and released to wildlife. Thank you. MONTRÉAL.

We are certain about legal issues, but trapping and relocation of wildlife in general by homeowners usually is not recommended. The questioner might find this site helpful: “Common Skunk Problems” Click here


TALSTAR – Is Talstar legal in Canada?

  1. Bifenthrin, the active ingredient in Talstar is not registered in CanadaClick here
  2. “Can this product [Talstar] be shipped to Canada? DoMyOwn   Click here “Unfortunately, we do not ship to Canada at this time.  Many of our Canadian customers will have a product shipped to someone in the United States that they happen to know like a friend or family member, and then they forward it onto you in Canada. We do offer FREE shipping within the US. We apologize, but we are unaware of where you can get these products in Canada.”
  3. Starting April 18, 2018, you can no longer bring unregistered pesticides into Canada if they are not equivalent to those already registered in Canada for personal use in or around your home (i.e., Domestic Class products). An equivalent pesticide is one that has the same active ingredient in the same concentration. Click here
  4. In addition, you will no longer be allowed to purchase unregistered pesticides online and have them shipped to Canada. The purchaser of the product must bring it into Canada in person.


RATS – I heard rats in my attic a couple weeks ago. I had my landlord send an exterminator and he really seems to know what he is talking about, but what doesn’t make sense to me us that he doesn’t want to inspect my attic at all, set traps, or seal up any holes. He just blocked holes they could get into from all around the outside of my house and roof and set traps in garage and water heater room. My concern is: What if the rats are coming from holes connecting me and my neighbor’s attics? Then what he did would have solved nothing. Is what he is doing the right thing? Las Vegas.

The landlord should know whether or not there is any connectivity between the attic spaces of the apartment/condo units. If he/she does not know this, request an inspection to find out, and if there is indeed connectivity, the exterminator needs to come back and determine if additional control measures are needed.

Ceiling noise

CEILING NOISE – Hi, I was wondering if you can help me out about a problem I am having not sure what it is but I am hearing something in my living room ceiling no sounds just little scratches I am wondering what it could be and how it’s getting in there …Thanks. Burnt Islands

If there is crawl space/attic above the living room, check to see if there are any exterior openings (ventilation louvres, etc.) that could allow ‘visitors’ such as squirrels or other rodents entry. We had a similar problem in our house years ago, when squirrels gained entry to our attic via a ventilation port that had not been covered with a screen.

Seaweed flies

SEAWEED FLIES – House is located 20 meters from the sea. In late fall, during a spell of warm weather, we are infested by small (3/16 in.) slender flies that seem to breed in seaweed. They come out of seaweed in hoards when it is disturbed. Once inside they seek the windows. Difficult to kill, need to be squashed after the swat. Once the window is cleared, they reappear in no time. Never had them in the house in spring until this year. Result of egg laying? Petit-Rocher

These most likely are kelp flies (Diptera: Coelopidae). Their larvae feed on stranded and rotting seaweed, and they can become quite abundant. About all you can do is to keep all windows and doors tightly closed or screened.

Knitting wool

KNITTING WOOL – I have a big wooden box filled with knitting wool, which stands on the floor. The box is quite big, standing waist high. Last June we had an infestation of cockroaches. This was eradicated by a pest control firm. The cockroaches managed to crawl into the box, and killed there. I should very much like to use the wool. Is it safe for me to use the wool? Taking into account the cockroaches were killed there by pesticide and also the cockroaches may be breeding. Many thanks. Vaughan Ontario.

It probably is safe to use the wool, but to be sure, you need to find out exactly which chemical(s) were used to treat for the cockroaches. If it was a synthetic pyrethroid of some kind (the commonest ones used for this purpose), you’re OK as they have a very short residual life. If it was some other type, you will have to find out how long any residue persists in the environment.

Bed bugs

BED BUGS – How long bed bugs will survive in cold temperatures without blood availability. We have kept few things in a storage unit like mattresses and kitchen stuff from bed bugs affected house. It was there for more than 2 months under -10 temperature. Do you think the bed bugs could survive this..? Belleville.

If the temperature was -10 F, any bed bugs certainly would be killed. If it was -10 C, their death still would be very likely, but not 100% guaranteed.


SPIDERS – Hello, I find at least 5 spiders a day in my home. Sometimes up to a dozen. Should I be calling an exterminator? Sainte-anne-de-bellevue.

The only spider dangerous to humans that might occur in the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue area is the northern black widow, and those would be in their webs in dark, undisturbed places rather than wandering about. The spiders seen by the inquirer best may be left to go about their business of pest control.


Mouse – I’ve recently had a mouse problem in my home — I’ve clogged any hole I can find with steel wool, and my landlord planted blocks of turquoise poison. In the first two days, the mice ate two whole blocks, then on the third day, part of a third. This was last Wed-Fri. We are no 1 week later, and in some rooms, despite me blocking the holes I can see, I believe there are still mice eating away at the blocks of poison I’ve dropped there (they move overnight, I have picture proof of it). How long does it take for these blocks of poison to kill mice? And how are they not leaving any pee or poop to trace, but still chewing poison? Montréal


It may take four to six days for rodents to die once they have ingested a lethal dose. Also, just because the bait blocks have moved doesn’t necessarily mean that it was done by mice.


Clothing Moths

Clothing Moths – My house is infested with clothing moths. The golden ones who lay white eggs. Not casing . I m allergic to them and have a chronic immune illness. T m looking for the most effective, quickest treatment . The companies i ve called r giving me conflicting info and r not open to much info sharing. There s a treatment know as bombing ( i had the name of chemical and lost it.) i was hoping to get that and buy moth eating wasps to use and to give to my adult children just in case. Can you please , please tell me the name of the chemical that is called bombing. It s a mist not a liquid. Can you also tell me if my plan is the best one . The companies seem only to want to book an inspection but have told me that not all companies have same product and won’t tell me the products they carry. I don t mind paying for an inspection but i do mind paying for one if the company doesn’t have all the products and experience in exterminating clothing moths . Meanwhile, i ve been sicker in last 3 yrs and bedridden. I discovered them in rolled up pure wool rug . It was crawling in them and have obviously been there for at least 2 yrs is my guess. I have quite a few good pictures if u want them. Any info would be helpful. Please answer. Thank you. Denise. Ontario.


First off, I suggest that they use pheromone-baited traps specific for clothes moths to certain that is what they really have (we often see small moths flitting about our house, but have never seen a true clothes moth). Click here and Click here for examples. Use of an aerosol spray in conjunction with other control measures may be useful, but check the label to be sure that clothes moths are among the pests the spray is supposed to control. Click here for a very detailed fact sheet on clothes moth control.



Will the Roach Motel trap silver fish as well. Too many of them in my apartment, washroom floor and lower kitchen cupboard? Thanks, Bob. Vancouver


The silverfish question. A Roach Motel will trap any small creature (including silverfish) that ventures onto its sticky surface, but there is no substance in them that would attract silverfish. Thus, although they can be quite useful in monitoring silverfish activity, they do not constitute an effective control measure.


Bird mite

We’ve had an on going problem with suspected bird mites for 4 years. We recently inspected the exterior of our home and found bird feathers in our attic. We had a company completely remove, disinfectant and reinstall new insulation in the area where the suspected bird nest was found in hopes that this would solve our mite problem. This happened on December 10th. It is now January 4th and these mites are still returning. When can I expect the mite population to properly dissipate. If not, what can I do to properly identify this pest? Toronto.


The persistent bird mite problem – have the mites been identified to species? Most bird mites cannot thrive/persist on human blood, but there are exceptions, such as Dermanyssus gallinae. If this is what they have, eradication can be quite difficult – see Click here for details.



Hi, We are moving out of a place with a massive cockroach infestation. How do we safely clean kitchen gadgets, especially larger ones (e.g. microwave, instant pot, that sort of stuff) to ensure we don’t take any unintended passengers with us to the new place, please? The roaches like to hide in dark places, so are pretty likely to be in the internal parts of the device where we can’t easily look. Thank you so much! North York


Weather may be your friend here – if you have a place where it would be safe to leave your appliances outdoors or in an unheated room in freezing temperatures, you may be able to kill any roaches present. German cockroaches cannot tolerate exposure to temperatures colder than 14 F (-10 C) for more than an hour, or 10 hours at temperatures below 45 F (7 C). If you feel you must clean, use a mild detergent in warm water to clean all surfaces, but be sure to read the appliance manuals for any precautions. Also, if you do not need to move immediately, you could try setting out a few roach bait stations or ‘roach motels’ to see if you detect any activity. 


Bed Bugs

Will putting the bed outside when it’s -0 or lower kill the bugs. Edmonton


I’m assuming that this is referring to bed bugs. If so, that depends on which temperature scale is being used. If it is Celsius (C), the answer is no. If it is Fahrenheit (F) the answer is yes. Click here for detailed information.



WASP NEST IN ROOF. Sorry long message A few months ago end of July early August I noticed wasps getting into a space under my roof I told my landlord thinking he’d get a professional to see to it but nope he only plugged it up him self before making sure their was no nest and way would they be dead now and if not what do I do I am hearing like a humming/buzzing in my ceiling going from one end of my trailer to the other I also had a bees nest in my crawl space under my trailer that he sprayed and I haven’t seen any since I was stung a few times by a wasp and also by a carpenter bee I just noticed the buzzing wen everyone got quite I haven’t been home all day so I am not sure wen it started but is the humming or buzzing I hear wasps if so how do I get ride of them I feel like my landlord just put a quick fix on the problem without actually getting to the base of the problem. Summerside, Prince Edward Island


Wasp infestation in trailer ceiling – First, make sure that the buzzing sound is coming from insects and not some other source, such as an electrical problem. If it is indeed coming from wasps, with your landlord’s permission, make an opening into the space above the ceiling from the outside of the trailer large enough to insert a nozzle from an aerosol spray (preferably a synthetic pyrethroid) labeled for homeowner use (check label for any fire hazard warning – if none, spray out the contents and seal up the opening). If the buzzing persists after this or if you cannot get permission to apply the spray, you may have to let cold winter weather take care of the job. Normally, only the queen survives the winter, and if she remains sealed up in that space, she will be unable to establish a new colony. Just be sure that you go over the trailer very carefully to be certain that any potential entry places have been covered/sealed.


Bird mites

I’ve had a terrible rat mite problem for 3 years. I’ve lost access to my bedroom and my study room. I’ve had pest control come in to leave rat traps and spray for rat mites. I haven’t seen a rat in over 2 years, but after 3 months of pest control spray, the mites keep returning. What am I doing wrong? Why do the rat mites keep returning? Toronto


If rats have indeed been eliminated from your premises, your problem may not be rat mites, as these cannot complete their life cycle on humans alone. I suggest inspecting the exterior of the home and immediate surroundings for bird nests. Bird mites often are mistaken for rat mites, and like rat mites, these will invade homes and feed on humans in the absence of their usual hosts.


Cluster Flies

I live in LaPeche, Qc. My south facing outside wall is covered with Cluster flies and they are starting to come in through the basement windows. How do I get rid of them? They are all over the walls and I can’t reach those high on the walls. Is there a kind of insecticide powder I can put along the bottom of the walls and balcony?


Click here for a Government of Canada pub on their control. Any flies that gain entry can be knocked down with an aerosol spray and vacuumed up.


Bed Bugs

Hello! This will be a little long but I’m hoping someone could help. Two weeks ago my niece and brother in law were visiting and they stayed over night two nights she brought a backpack but it was only in the house for 10 mins ish like twice and they slept on our couch. Well apparently they have bed bugs and now I’m concerned we have them as well as soon as they left I vacuumed my couch and took all the cushions off and I have been doing this every few days since then I have not saw any bugs or any casings/ blood stains/ poop on the couch could it be too soon to notice any thing or are we out of the woods at this point?? Please help!! Hamilton


Bed Bugs: It is indeed too soon to tell whether or not you have uninvited guests, and you appear to have taken reasonable precautions. I suggest that you peruse the following document on bed bugs, about the best I’ve seen on the subject: Click here 


Flea control

I have a dog, I flea treated him but my room mate had cats that she did not treat. The infestation is bad. The room mate has since left with the cats, but my house is still infested. I never had this problem before until her cats arrived. I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. Also do not own a working vacuum. Hamilton, Ontario


You should consult with a licensed veterinarian for specific advice. Click here This site has some general recommendations that may be helpful.   I also highly recommend you obtain a good vacuum cleaner. 


Springtail control

Hi, Can you guys suggest an insecticide to get rid of springtails. I’ve had my home sprayed three times but with limited success. My home is not damp and is very clean. John H. CBS, Nefoundland


Chemical applications (usually pyrethroids) generally are not recommended for springtail control, as the effect is only temporary and applications usually must be repeated. Click here for some detailed suggestions. As you state that your home is not damp, there may be something else going on other than springtails, as they do require moist conditions in order to thrive.


Cockroach control

Hello, I hope you are well. I would like to know if cockroach spray/dust is safe for infants. I live in an apartment and they are spraying to get rid of cockroaches. I have a 1 month infant. They have said that we need to leave the apartment for 4 hours after they spray. I would like to know if it is safe for my infant to re-enter the apartment after 4 hours. Please let me know. Thanks. Mississauga, Ontario


It depends on the specific pesticide being applied. If it is a synthetic pyrethroid (commonly used in cockroach control), it probably would be prudent to wait a bit longer than four hours. A Canadian government web page on pesticide safety recommends waiting 12 hours unless specified otherwise on the pesticide label – Click here

‘Absolutely nuts’: Squirrels hid 200 walnuts under this SUV’s hood

‘Absolutely nuts’: Squirrels hid 200 walnuts under this SUV’s hood

Pharaoh ants

We have hundreds of tiny red ants coming out of a heat vent and baseboards. What can we use to get rid of them? Grande Prairie AB.


As you likely already know, ant control methods can be species-specific; what works well against one species may be completely ineffective against another one. That aside, if the ants are indeed tiny (less than 2 mm long), they may be Pharaoh ants, a species notoriously difficult to control. Click here for some advice 

Saskatoon spent $900K removing more than 619,430 kg of potentially damaging bird poop from Buckwold Bridge

Saskatoon spent $900K removing more than 619,430 kg of potentially damaging bird poop from Buckwold Bridge

Potato beetle control

We had a terrible infestation of potato bugs this year but could not find a product that would irradiate them. It seems the old products we used to buy are no longer available. Please tell me the name of a product that will work that I can buy for next year. East Selkirk.


Potato beetle control – I have had good success using a formulation containing Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis (Bt-t) bacteria. This targets the young larvae, so it should be applied every few days as soon as the eggs start to hatch. If you apply it too early, the bacteria won’t survive until the larvae emerge, so the treatment won’t work. Also, Bt-t is sensitive to UV rays, so you should spray late in the evening or on cloudy days. Also make sure that it won’t rain within 8 hours after you have sprayed. You can tell if the treatment is working because the larvae will turn black.