SpiderSpring has sprung and the arachnid world is coming out of its sleepy hibernation sites or emerging from the egg sacs laid last year. All spiders are venomous but most spiders are harmless to humans. 93% of consumers fear insects and arachnids, and are the public’s 3rd most common fear behind heights and public speaking*. (*Cited by Army Community Service)

Over 2,000 people report being bitten by a black widow every year. Most of these people will recover within 24 hours after receiving medical treatment and many people who are bitten by a black widow will develop very few symptoms, if the spider does not inject its venom. Male spiders produce the toxins to help with their own hunting, but they make such a diluted version that they’re not harmful to most people. Black Widows are not especially aggressive spiders, and they will rarely bite humans unless startled or otherwise threatened.

There are very few incursions of the dangerous spiders to man in Canada, but it can happen via imported goods, fruits, vegetables from other countries that the more dangerous spiders can live in. It is important to inspect your fruits and vegetables or any imported item for non-native spiders. Proper identification by an expert in spiders should be done if you are unsure of the species. Spiders are grouped by their eye patterns and there are many unique patterns to see. Each type belongs to a specific spider family.

Spider control in your home or yard can be done and is guaranteed for the entire summer. It’s important to call Poulin’s Pest Control so the pest management professional can use our unique treatment options, then seal up any potential issues for spiders to get into or remain in your home and lastly, to clean any webbing or habitat that may be conducive for spiders staying in your yard. This way your arachnid problem can be removed with no presence of web and non-web making spiders.

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As the snow melts away in western Canada and the signs of spring are appearing, so are thirteen-lined ground squirrels and pocket gophers. The 13 stripped Richardson ground squirrel can easily be identified by its thirteen stripes on its back and its golden brown fur. The pocket gopher has no stripes and is golden brown in colour. These rodents enjoy high valued grassy grounds and their holes can cause injuries to people who walk in parks, sports fields, and off-site areas. These rodents can be identified by the type of mound or no mound of dirt they make. For the thirteen-lined ground squirrels, its burrow is a near flat hole to the ground is indicative of their presence. The pocket gopher will make a mound of dirt while they excavate their burrow chambers. They also will have an emergency exit hole a few feet away from the primary burrow.

To control these rodents there are several options to consider. If the burrows are at least 5 metres away from any foundation or the building foot print, you can purchase an over the counter product called Giant Destroyer®. This product looks like a little piece of dynamite which is lit with a wick and then placed into the burrows chamber and covered with dirt. The Giant Destroyer® will release enough sulfur dioxide gas into the burrow to rid your location of these pests. Both species of ground squirrel will be quickly eradicated using this domestic product that is available at Poulin’s retail stores.

Another method of ground squirrel or pocket gopher control is using baits that are registered for their control. If the holes are 5 metres or less to the house foundation, this method should be used as there would be no movement of potentially dangerous gases coming into the home. These commercially labelled products are only available to the licenced pesticide professionals at Poulin’s. Our professionals will survey your location for the openings that ground squirrels and gophers create, bait will be placed directly into the burrow and the hole or mound is covered with soil. Once the rodent has eaten enough Poulin’s brand bait product the rodents will die within its burrow making the chances of secondary poisoning of pets and other species, zero. Our Pest Management Professionals will return within 24 hours to make sure no additional burrows have been cleaned out or another new burrow has been dug.

Please do not use water hoses to fill up burrows or do not use non-registered products to control these rodents. Call the pros at Poulin’s so you don’t flood or foul your home.

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vole problems calgaryAs the temperatures are starting to rise and the snow is melting, you may be seeing many grass laden tunnels appearing in your grass. This year’s vole population will likely be very high due to the heavy amounts of snow received in Manitoba and other certain parts of western Canada. Voles look like a house mouse but have small eyes, a shorter tail, small ears and a rounded snout whereas a house mouse has large eyes, long tail, larger ears and a pointed snout. The vole has a dark brown coat with a greyish belly and in the winter its belly usually turns white whereas the house mouse has a brownish, or grey fur coat. Positive identification of the pest is key so the proper pest management strategy can be implemented. Improper identification can lead to incorrect techniques and control options being attempted and no control occurring. Providing pictures of the damage, examples of the animal, its droppings, or any other evidence will provide the Pest Management Professional the ability to determine your pest problem and the best methodology to rectify it.

Voles feed on roots, succulent plants, and grasses through the winter and make many weaving tunnels throughout your lawn. The evidence is very apparent once the snow recedes to reveal these snaking tunnels. Calling in a Poulin’s Pest Management Professional to inspect, recommend and provide a treatment program with commercially registered rodenticides for controlling voles is always the best solution as the individuals are trained in baiting and have access to commercially labelled products that homeowners do not have access to purchase. As the homeowner, please only use domestically registered products that have a PCP# on it. The next step is to confirm on the label under the ‘Pests Controlled” section, that the product is registered for the control of voles. If voles are not on the rodenticide label do not use it as a control product. With any registered bait, one of the best management practices to control voles is to place the bait in the small round burrows that are usually along deck and fence edges, placing bait along the tunnels of grass created by the voles is another effective option. Please note that this method assumes that no animals, people or children will have access to the baits and snap traps. Baits and snap traps must be placed vertically to the tunnels, with the snap trap feeding bowl in the tunnel. This method will also increase the overall success of controlling voles in your backyard.

For best results, contact Poulin’s Pest Control at 1-888-768-5467. Our trained experts will know the products needed for your situation and the critical locations to where traps are necessary.

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German Cockroach - both sidesCockroaches have been on this planet for hundreds of millions of years and are expected to be here way after the human race has left. Fossil evidence shows early forms of cockroach present in the record from approximately 280-320 million years ago! Here are five interesting facts that you didn’t know about the cockroach.

  1. Cockroaches are nature’s perfectly adaptable pest, they can even survive with its head being cut off for up to 7 days.
  2. What actually causes a headless roach to die? Water loss, as it has no way in ingest water into its gut and circulatory system.
  3. How can it survive without a head? Cockroaches are not like humans as their brain is actually along its back in little neural packs that allow the roach to adapt to not having a head.
  4. Why wouldn’t a headless roach bleed to death? Well, because of the cockroaches ‘skin’, which is not like our skin, it can close the wound that was created and seal it up, therefore saving any water in its system until it dies of water loss approximately 7 days later.
  5. But what about food? A cockroach can live without food for approximately 30 days, depending on conditions. That means that if it’s getting water at reasonable intervals, and its warm and comfortable, then the cockroach can survive easily until a food source can be found.

Did you know that cockroaches spend approximately 75% of their time in very small and tight cracks and dark crevasses? That’s why if you walk into your kitchen or bathroom and turn on the light, the cockroaches will quickly scatter back into their hiding spots. It’s important to see where they go because you can determine their hiding spots or harbourage areas.

As a Pest Management Professional, this kind of information will help us destroy the cockroach problem in your home. We follow procedures and policies that will rid your home of these pests quickly and effectively using an integrated pest management program. This program includes making your home unhospitable to cockroaches by removing any food, water, or other sources of materials which allow cockroaches to spread. This includes the use of vacuums to remove as many cockroaches as possible before either a gel bait treatment or a chemical treatment occurs. This way any remaining cockroaches will be exposed to the non-allergenic gel bait or to the permethrin based chemical treatments. A Poulin’s professional will return as soon as 7-10 days to follow up and re-treat or re-bait your home to quickly remove the cockroach problem. Remember this, cockroaches can literally get into anything as long as there is a water and food source and its room temperature.

To find out more about our integrated pest management program give us a call at 888-768-5467 or find a location near you and visit us in store.

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how to kill bed bugs

QUESTION: How do I know if I have bed bugs?

ANSWER: Are tiny bugs crawling on your bed and keeping you up at night? Do these bugs that have six legs, a small apple shape and bodies smaller than 6mm? Do you smell crushed coriander or do you see rusty brown blood spots on your skin or bedding? Do you see discarded skins of previous molted bugs in and around your bed and baseboards? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have bed bugs! Bed bugs are true bugs that have a 3-segmented part beak and two tubes that inject saliva and an anticoagulant to draw up your blood directly into its waiting gut. They have a scent gland and 4-segmented antennae. Click here to see what a bed bug looks like.

One adult female bed bug can lay 2-5 eggs per day. In 10 – 14 days those eggs will hatch into baby bed bugs, called nymphs, which are only about 1.5mm in size and yellowish white in color. Those nymphs must find a blood meal, preferably a human one, within 24 hours or it will likely die. Bed bugs go through 5 nymphal developmental stages, called instars, and molt between each one until they reach the adult stage where they are sexually reproductive. An adult bed bug, depending on conditions, can survive in your home for approximately 3 months with a host present. If the host leaves, all stages will go into a semi-hibernation state and wait for a warm-blooded host to return so they can continue producing more bed bugs to feed on you.

Treat any bed bugs found with an appropriately labelled pesticide. Mattress and box spring encasements should be used. Depending on size of infestations found, multiple treatments may be needed. Treat night stands, stuffed furniture, baseboards, floorboards, behind loose wallpaper, light switches, door and window frames, conduits, wall voids, attics and other enclosed places with properly labelled residual insecticide. Use insecticide dust in wall voids and under carpet seams. Vacuums are a great way to physically remove bed bugs from an area. Be sure to vacuum cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. Also, when finished vacuuming, treat the vacuum hose and throw away the vacuum bag.

It’s important to bring a sample of any suspected bed bugs to our experts at Poulin’s Pest Control. Positive identification of these blood feeding nuisance pests is critical to rid your home of these pests. Please do not be ashamed or embarrassed as anyone can get bed bugs, they do not discriminate and are great hitch hikers on almost any item or person. Know what to look for and call us to set up a program to eradicate them from your home.

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