Carpenter AntAs summer is upon us the chances of you seeing the presence of ants in your home increases as the temperatures go up. Carpenter ants do not use wood as their food source, they create tunnels for their homes and brood rearing. Carpenter ants prefer to tunnel through wet or moist wood in your home or deck or fence posts that can be exposed and water damaged. Once the initial home is built carpenter ants can extend the tunnels into undamaged wood potentially causing structural damage if inside the home or severely weakening posts of decks or fence lines. Carpenter ants prefer to feed on other insects, plant and vegetable matter and like other ant species will put aphids into slavery to milk them of their sweet honeydew which aphids release like a sticky sap. Inside homes if fruits become decayed they will be very attracted to that as a potential food source.

Carpenter ant colonies can bud out into new colonies but they are always able to return to the main colony as workers forage for food sources. What is amazing is the queen can live anywhere from 10-15 years in a healthy, food rich environment and produce over 50-70,000 new young over her lifetime. A carpenter ant colony won’t produce a new queen for a new colony until the currently colony has established itself for at least 3-6 years and have approximately 2,000 workers. In those colonies there is a reproductive winged new queen, reproductive winged males and 3 varying sizes of drone workers which range from 6 millimetres to 25 millimetres.

It’s important to recognize carpenter ants telltale signs of their presence in the little piles of sawdust they produce through the crewing creation of their tunnels, the ants themselves (smooth thorax, one node as basic ID characteristics), winged swarmer’s, known water damaged wood, and the actual chewing noises behind walls or in wall voids. They have a distinctive chewing noise and that will assist you in finding the nest(s). Control is key removing decaying/moisture affected wood or vegetation near the foundation, change the humidity in the home if it’s too high, keep a barrier from your house that does not include plants, or other conducive wood to prevent entrance into homes, or decks or fence posts. Determining where the primary nest or satellite nests are located.

Calling the professionals at Poulin’s will help rid your home of these structural damaging pests. Only Poulin’s will recommend the best treatments, licensed and trained pest management professionals, only using registered ant control products, protocols and solutions for your home or business that may be affected by carpenter ants.

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Sowbugs Sow BugsWhat just moved out of the corner of your eye…? A small, flat, grey/black bug that maybe looks like a tiny armadillo? This is likely a sow bug!

Sow bugs are actually crustaceans, which have segmented body plates, 7 pairs of legs and they can roll up into a ball when disturbed or touched. Sow bugs are a nuisance only and do not transmit any diseases, bite or get into food or stored products.

The conditions that are conducive for their propagation include moisture and generally dark, hidden areas in basements and crawl spaces. To control sow bugs, it’s important to note that moisture and humidity levels are reduced as drier conditions make it far more difficult for them to survive.

Use of a dehumidifier in combination with good, tight doors and seals and removal of harbourage areas around the home, such as rocks, debris, wood ties, long grasses to reduce the amount of potential habitat and moisture conditions. Sow bugs feed on moss, and other decaying organic matter.

Are there are any cracks in the foundation, foundation joints or gaps or windows in your home where sow bugs can gain entry? Sealing them off by using caulking or other exclusion option will reduce the chance of sow bugs entering the home.

If sow bugs cannot be excluded or moisture levels in the home or crawl space can’t be reduced, then there are registered chemical products available in Canada. Make sure that the product you choose has sow bugs on the label or you may be posing more harm to you or others by using a non-registered chemical product. Please note that treating sow bugs with chemical products will only temporarily reduce adult numbers, the moist issues must be addressed to completely eradicate a sow bug issue.

For more information and advice regarding sow bugs, feel free to give us a call on our toll-free number 1-888-768-5467.

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pigeon control

Now that the snow has melted away, you may be noticing piles of pigeon droppings in locations around your home or business. In the winter, pigeons may have built nests under your eaves or were roosting on ledges or roof peaks leaving behind very acidic droppings that can discolour or even deface various types of building materials. The common pigeon will mate several times a year producing anywhere from 3 – 8 eggs per brood. You can see that in a very short time, pigeon numbers can grow into a problem very quickly.

When pigeon feces are in large piles they can harbour some human health issues and diseases. Proper disinfection and cleanup is key in protecting your and your customer’s health and safety! These ‘flying rats’ can also carry fleas, ticks, and mites – depending on the location of their roosting or nesting area this can get into air and ventilation systems exposing yourself, your family or employees to potentially dangerous issues.

Here are five methods you have available to make sure pigeons don’t become a problem at your home or place of work:

1. Bird Netting – Install bird netting to prevent pigeons, and other birds or even bats from perching and nesting on your building. Netting is both effective and humane!

2. Bird Spiking – Install bird spikes on common landing surfaces such as ledges, window sills, rooves, and chimneys. Bird spikes will deter pigeons from landing on your building.

3. Noise Making or Visual Distraction Devices – You will need to be in an area that will allow these types of control options! (Usually not suitable for urban areas)

4. Trapping – Trapping is an option but is location specific and it’s a long-term option in removing pigeons from a site. Trapping is most effective if the birds are destroyed and not released; otherwise, they may return home or create problems elsewhere.

5. Baiting – A baiting program can be implemented in certain locations that will scare or deter birds from being in that area or location.

It’s important that the location be inspected to determine the best option or options to remove, exclude or treat an area so the pigeons are no longer able to use the area and cause any additional damage or health risks. Contact the professionals at Poulin’s to determine the best clean up and removal of pest pigeons.

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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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Gopher

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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