Pest Facts

Bald Faced Hornet

The length of worker hornets is 12-18mm and it's colour is black and white.  The bald-faced hornet builds a large grey soccer ball sized paper nest with a single entrance, off-centre, at the tip.  Usually the nest is suspended between branches of a tree but can also attach itself to exteriors of homes. These wasps can become aggressive if the nest is disturbed but will tolerate human approach.

Bed Bugs

Adults are about 4.5mm in length and they are reddish brown in colour.  Nymphs and adults are wingless.  Bed bugs are small, flat, oval bloodsucking insects that infest the sleeping quarters of humans and other animals. If feeding is undisturbed, a full grown bed bug becomes engorged with blood in 3-5 minutes.  It then crawls to a hiding place where it remains for several days digesting its meal before emerging and seeking another meal of blood. Under normal conditions, mature bed bugs may live four months to a year or more.  After mating and having a meal of blood, the female deposits from 10-50 eggs in irregular masses, until 200 or more have been laid. Hatching occurs within 6-10 days. Under favourable conditions, the period from egg hatching to egg laying for a bed bug may take up to 2 months.  Generally, there are 3-4 generations a year.

Carpenter Ants

Workers are 6-13mm with the queen being 25mm or more.  They are reddish-brown or black in colour. They have large mandibles, rounded thorax, single node and cone hairs on tips of the abdomen. In buildings they make their nests in moist or humid areas.  For example, moist rotted wood, in damp locations behind baseboards, fireplaces, window frames and various insulating materials.

Cluster Flies

The adult cluster fly is 3-6mm in length and dark grey in colour with yellow hairs at the side of the thorax. Cluster flies resemble house flies, however, they are easily distinguished by their sluggish behaviour and by wings that overlap when at rest.  They derive their name from their habit of entering a house from August to September and clustering together to overwinter. The adult fly lays its eggs in soil. After hatching in 3-4 days, the larvae penetrate earthworms on which they feed.

Fruit Flies

Adult fruit flies are 2-4mm although the larvae can be up to 5mm. It is yellow or brown coloured with black or red eyes. They breed rapidly in decaying vegetables, fermenting fruit, beer, wine, vinegar, cider or any organic matter.  The life cycle can be completed in 7 days. They are a nuisance fly but are non-biting.

Mice

The average mouse weighs 15 grams and is about 6.8 inches in length including the tail. Their colour is brownish-grey with a brown abdomen. The house mouse reaches maturity in 6 weeks and has a life span of about one year. Within her lifetime, a female can have 8 litters of 6 babies each. Most mice drop between 50-60 droppings a night. Mice are nocturnal and are nibblers, eating erratically. They require little water and about 3 grams of dry food each day.  The house mouse travels in a limited range of approximately 12 metres circle or within one or two rooms of the house. It has very good hearing and touch receptors, but very poor eyesight.

Raccoons

Raccoons weigh about 12-48 pounds with a length of 24-38 inches.  Their tail is 8-16 inches long and are bushy with 4-6 alternating black and brown rings and have a black mask on their face. They have long canine teeth. The raccoon is a highly intelligent carnivore belonging to the family Procyonidae and is related to bears and to the Giant panda.  Generally it is active only at night, and may become a nuisance in suburban areas when it raids garbage cans for food.  It has few natural enemies expect for the bobcat, fox and coyote. A single litter per year, in the spring, averages 4 babies. Gestation period is 63 days. 

Rats

The overall length of a rat is 12-18 inches and they weigh 200-400 grams.  They vary in colour from brown to grey with a grey or white belly.  Their front paws have four toes and their rear paws have five toes. They drop between 40-145 droppings a day.  They have small, poor eyesight and are colour blind. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 months.  Females usually produce 4-7 litters per year with each litter being about 5-12 babies. Rats have minimal control of their bladder and cannot vomit. Any rodenticide they swallow cannot be voided from their stomach.  The average lifespan of a rat is about 1 year.

Spiders

Spiders have 8 legs and their bodies have two main sections, a cephalothorax and abdomen, joined by a slender waist. Despite appearances, spiders are not insects, but are classified as Arachnida.  Most of the spiders in the home become active only at night and usually remain unnoticed in cool, dark corners.  They very rarely bite unless molested. With a rich food supply, spiders multiply very rapidly.  Spiders also multiply in large numbers along waterways. Cottages, homes or buildings close to rivers and lakes are often heavily infested with spiders.  The large numbers of aquatic insects such as caddisflies and midges, attract and support various spider species.

Squirrels

Squirrels weigh about 400-700 grams and are 17-20 inches in length.  They have excellent eyesight with a rounded snout and short ears. They have four toes in the front and five in the back. Squirrels use woodpecker holes or other cavities or hollow spaces, such as attics, as winter or summer dens. They can create a fire hazard by introducing combustible materials in the form of nesting materials into dwellings. Like rats and mice, squirrels can also carry parasites such as fleas, mites and ticks. They are also capable of inflicting a painful bite. 

Yellow Jacket Wasps

The length of worker wasps is 12-18mm and their colour is black and yellow. The yellow jacket is the most frequent pest species and also makes the largest nests with a possibility of more than 3,000 wasps per colony. In spring, a new colony is established by the queen. The actual nest has many layers that is surrounded by paper, which is made from wood fibres.