Are you the type of person who loves to stain your own deck or put together your own furniture? Let’s face it, there are just some of us in the world who love to grab life by the horns, get our butts off of the couch, and say, “I can do that!”
When some people claim the title of a do-it-yourselfer, they really mean it. For some, that may even include pest control. Here are a few ways you can get the satisfaction of doing your own pest control, but also a few ways to tell when you really need to call for pest control services in Toronto.
Pests in Toronto
Toronto is a most excellent place to live. The nightlife is bumpin’ and the food is fantastic. It’s an absolutely fabulous Canadian metropolis with a lot to offer, and that includes a wide variety of urban Canadian wildlife. No moose or beavers here—we’re talking city pests that have the power to take over your property and take all of your lunch money. Here’s a who’s-who list of pests in Toronto.
- German Cockroaches – This is everyone’s favorite pest to hate. Cockroaches are just plain icky and they can bring disease and a gross factor to your home or business if you see one. German cockroaches are incredibly common in the greater Toronto area—you may see them as they scurry away like freaked-out vampires when you turn on the lights. They love warm, damp places like bathrooms and kitchens and come out and play at night while you sleep. Comforting, eh? German cockroaches get in through the tiniest cracks, and while you may be able to take care of some of the problem on your own, you may need to call a professional for cockroach control in Toronto.
- Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants are some of the most (and damaging) critters in the GTA. Carpenter ants are small creatures that get their jollies by burrowing their way through the wood in your home. They don’t eat through wood like termites, but rather they dig through wood to make their colony. These ants love rotting wood in nature, but in the city, they’ll take any damp wood they can get, which can lead to costly repairs to your home or business.
- Rodents – Rodents, and specifically mice and rats, love Toronto! And for good reason. Humans love cozy places, and so do rodents. Give them the right environment of a warm place to live and food and water, and they will be totally happy to shack up with you. Mice and rats share a lot of similarities, but they also have slightly different warning signs and behavioral difference that make treating the issue very different.
- Fleas – If you have a mammalian pet, you are at risk for fleas. And even if you don’t have a pet, you still have the possibility of getting fleas from mice or rats that decide to move in. Fleas are famous for spreading disease and can be difficult to eradicate from your home once you discover they are there.
- Flies – Files seems to be everywhere in the warmer months, and they can be annoying to deal with when you’re trying to prepare or set out food. Flies are gross and flies love gross things, which in a weird way makes some sense, but flies can put a damper on any summer activity. They do say that time flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like a banana…
- Mosquitos – Spring and summer are the high seasons for mosquitos, and they really love watery, marshy areas—they provide the perfect breeding ground. Mosquitos are annoying and seem to relish sucking the blood of their victims as they happily feast.
- Wasps – Wasps refer to a whole family of flying insects that have the power to inflict multiple stings, leading to painful welts, and possibly fatal allergic reactions. Wasps are either solitary or social, and sometimes their papery nests can get to the size of a basketball! It’s important to note that because wasps can be aggressive when faced with danger, you probably don’t want to handle your problem without a professional who is an expert in wasp control in Toronto.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Sometimes the best do-it-yourself pest control is to take preventative measures before you have a pest problem. There are a lot of things that you can do to protect your home from invaders.
- Clean Up – Pests love when things are untidy. Clutter gives them opportunity to hide and get comfortable, and leaving food out is an open invitation for pests to waltz right in and feast on your leftovers. Keep a tight lid on your trash cans and take the trash out regularly. Wipe down countertops and take care to store food tightly in sealed containers. If pests aren’t finding a good food source, they might be less willing to make themselves at home like an uninvited houseguest.
- Shut Down Entryways – Pests will take any opportunity to come in from the outside. That means cracks in the foundation, cracks in the walls, and holes in screen doors and windows. Pests can in through smaller spaces than you think, especially roaches and mice. Seal all of the possible entry points to prevent pests from getting in. Repair screens and consider putting door sweeps at the base of your doors. In short, make it more difficult for pests to get in.
- Trim Back Foliage – Pests love being outside, although maybe not quite as much as a well-equipped indoor location. That being said, if there is foliage or trees near the house, you may want to consider trimming everything back so that it’s not right against your house or business. If you have any dead wood in your yard, like a fallen tree, make sure you clear it away—carpenter ants adore rotting wood and will take delight in any opportunity to find their dream home.
- Move Firewood – If you keep firewood, it’s best to store it away from the building. There are a lot of pests that love a good wood pile, and keeping it right next to the house gives pests an easy way to get in.
- Fix Leaks – Moist places are terribly inviting to pests, as they’re comfortable and a good water source. Before you have a pest problem, inspect your pipes for leaks and have them repaired.
Do It Yourself!
Besides being proactive and getting ahead of the pests, there are some things you can do yourself to try and stop pests before they move in and invite all of their friends and family.
The first thing you need to do when it comes to DIY solutions is to identify what exactly the problem is. Once you identify who you’re dealing with, you can start delivering targeted weapons to eliminate them. Learn the signs of some of the more common Toronto pests, like mouse feces and cockroach droppings. Other signs could be buzzing in the walls, wasp nests, or bore holes in wood. Be diligent about checking areas where they may be damp wood, as that is a welcome mat for carpenter ants.
Once you’ve identified the culprit, you can begin to plan your attack. There are different ways to deal with each type of pest, though there are some basic categories of solutions.
- Traps – Traps are one of the most stereotypical solutions to deal with mice, (think cartoon characters and a wedge of Swiss cheese), and for good reason—they work fairly well. There are different types of traps, some of which can deal with larger rodents. Traps are less effective on colony creatures like roaches or ants, and traps don’t always eradicate the problem entirely.
- Bait – Poisoned bait is another DIY option, though it also has its downsides. The way bait works is that the target critter takes the bait back to the lair, where it is shared with the family, causing them all to die. Sometimes bait targets will carry the bait elsewhere, which could mean that your things, like your furniture, could get contaminated. Bait is also dangerous if you have curious children or pets, as eating the bait could prove extremely harmful.
- Insecticide – This is something you can do yourself, but it’s not highly recommended. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could negatively impact your pets and family while still not getting rid of your problem. Sometimes insecticide also needs multiple treatments in order to keep the insects away, and if you don’t know that you could still have a problem.
- Foliage While you don’t want an excess of foliage around your home, there are some plants that may be a natural deterrent. It’s well known that the citronella plant can help keep mosquitos at bay, and other plants may help repel other creatures.
- Natural Remedies – This is the area with the least amount of evidence indicating they work, but there are some natural remedies you can try and employ to get rid of pests. If you have mice, many people bring in a cat to help clear the area. If you insist on going the natural route, understand that you may need something more serious if the problem is bigger than you think.
Call a Professional
While there are some things that you can do yourself to help prevent and get rid of pests, the fact is, there are sometimes when you really do need professional help. You may think that because you’ve Googled, “how to show wasps who’s boss” that you know everything, but professionals know things that you don’t. They’re just smart like that. There are also times when a situation has become so severe that DIY methods just aren’t going to cut it. Here are a few reasons you should call for reinforcements.
- Better Equipment – A pest control expert is equipped with a badass van full of all sorts of cool gadgets. These exterminating toys aren’t just for fun—they do effective, efficient work and help make eradication go a lot faster than home remedies.
- Danger! – Pest control can be really dangerous. When you’re dealing with disease-carrying creatures or insects that deliver painful stings, you need to be careful. Exterminators know how to prepare for battle and have better equipment for staying safe while getting rid of that underground yellow jacket nest.
- Think Like a Pest – Good exterminators have years of experience not just getting rid of pests but thinking like pests. They understand pest behavior, which allows experts to plan and create long-term solutions to get rid of pests and keep them away.
- Multiple Solutions – Every problem has more than one solution for getting rid of a specific pest. In your DIY approach, you may only find one method, but the pros know which solution is the best to try first, and they also have backup solutions in case of a particularly stubborn problem.
- Pest Overload – Let’s say you see a wasp early in the season with a singular cell nest. That may be relatively easy to handle on your own, but what do you do when that nest has grown to the size of a basketball? One mouse is a small problem, but a mouse family can create an uncontrollable situation.
- A Job Fully-Done – Your DIY methods may seem like they are working, but it’s hard to tell if you’ve completely eliminated a problem. A professional knows how to tell if the pests are gone for good, and they can also do a follow-up visit to ensure that they haven’t come back.
- Faster Treatment – Do-it-yourself methods may work, but they can sometimes take days, or even weeks, to work. A visit from a local exterminator means you can expect prompt treatment. Some of their methods work faster and can affect a larger population than a lot of the DIY options.
There sure are things you can do yourself to help keep your home pest-free, but professionals are here for a reason. If the DIY approach isn’t working for you, give us a call at 647-708-7378 or contact us online. Calling a professional exterminator can be more effective at long-term pest control, which will save you valuable time better spent on fun DIY projects like building a birdhouse or painting that bookshelf.