Ontario Pest Control Guide

You live in Ontario for its natural beauty, access to outdoor excursions and rich regional culture. You didn’t expect to put down roots here and find creepy, crawly pests also taking up residence alongside you.

Even if you haven’t been woken up in the middle of the night by something small yet mighty scurrying across your floor, you should still be in-the-know about what to expect. Knowledge is key to taking proactive control of your property and safely eliminating the critters.

Want to make sure your home is secure, but unsure what to look for or where to even begin your search? That’s where this Ontario Pest Control Guide comes in.

Today, we’re sharing some of the most common pests in this region and how you can keep your home safeguarded against them.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

Ants

You might think they all look the same, but the reality is that there are more than 12,000 different species of ants in the world. Of those, 186 call Canada home.

What They Look Like

If the pest you’ve spotted has six legs and two antennas, it’s likely an ant.

One of the most common types of ants in Ontario is the thief ant. These are normally brown in colour and are less than 1 millimetre long. While these are miniscule, you may also notice black carpenter ants, which can grow up to 13 millimetres long. While none of these species poses any real health threat to humans, carpenter ants are so named because they can build their nests inside the wood of your home, leading to structural damage over time.

Where You’ll Find Them

Have you ever seen an anthill? Turns out, these serve a very real purpose to ant colonies. As a species, they tend to congregate near their food source, often creating complex underground colonies. As such, you may find their nest by your driveway or sidewalk.

If they manage to make their way inside your home, likely lured by a few dropped crumbs near your doorstep, they’ll tend to group up near any warm, damp spot. Popular hangouts include surfaces around and inside your kitchen cabinets and your heating systems.

How to Control Them

If you notice an ant infestation in your home that does not go away, contact your local pest control provider immediately. Moving forward, be sure to keep all food in airtight containers to avoid tempting them. Also make sure to keep your home’s surfaces clean wiped down, clean and put away your dirty dishes and vacuum regularly.

Cockroaches

The most common cockroach species found in Canada is the German cockroach. These oft-feared pests are nocturnal, meaning that you might not even know you have an infestation.

What They Look Like

Fully mature, they can grow to be 1/2-inch to 5/8-inch long. You’ll know one when you see one from the shield-shaped segment right behind its head, distinguishable by two dark parallel bars. Their bodies can range in color from light brown to almost black. Their translucent wings, which are rarely used, are another feature that sets them apart.

Adult German cockroaches can live up to 200 days, with females producing up to eight egg capsules during their lifetime. Inside each of these capsules is around 40 eggs, which will hatch into 1/8-long German cockroach nymphs.

Where You’ll Find Them

Check your kitchens and bathrooms, first. In addition to shelter, German cockroaches prefer easy and quick access to food and water. They normally enter your home via another vessel, such as a grocery bag, moving box, or even infested appliances. When they settle in, they’ll claim the cracks and crevices in your home as their makeshift harbourage.

If you know your house is home to cockroaches, you might hear heightened activity and movement at night, as this is when they’ll sneak out of their shelters to find something to eat and drink.

How to Control Them

Start by eliminating any areas in your home where food and water are sitting out. This is important because one of the greatest risks that cockroaches present is contamination and the spread of disease.

While they don’t bite and generally leave your structural foundation alone, they can defecate or spread bacteria from their past surroundings on your kitchen countertops or bathroom floor. If you come into contact with these surfaces, or eat contaminated food, you could experience adverse side effects.

In addition to storing away food, you can also perform a thorough vacuuming of any areas in which you suspect there may be a cockroach infestation. Doing so can help destroy the cockroach eggs and eliminate baby cockroach nymphs.

Bed Bugs

It’s no secret that bed bugs can keep you up at night, but some of the reasons why may surprise you. Studies reveal that, in addition to the physical turmoil it causes, a bed bug infestation can also take an emotional toll on sufferers, leading to anxiety, depression and social withdrawal.

What They Look Like

Bed bugs can grow up to 5 millimetres long in full adulthood. These rusty brown parasites begin flat and wingless, with an oval-shaped body. As they feed on their hosts, their bodies become longer and more rotund. Their colour also momentarily flushes from brown to red after feeding.

Though they typically only live around six months, some bed bugs live for around five years and can survive with only a few feedings per year. A typical female will lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.

Where You’ll Find Them

As their name suggests, bed bugs live primarily in and around your bedding, mattress and box spring. Yet, if you do a once-over in these areas and come up empty-handed, don’t consider yourself out of the woods just yet. They may also be hiding in nearby spots to take shelter.

Check the electrical outlets, baseboards, picture frames and other nooks and crannies in your bedroom. Why are they congregating around your bed? It’s simple: You’re their meal, and you retreat to this same spot every night. They know where they can find food and don’t have to go off in pursuit of it.

How to Control Them

While bed bug bites rarely pose any true health concern, they can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable for those affected by them. Without the help of a pest control professional, however, sufferers can rarely find relief. Thus, it’s important to keep your home as guarded against these pests to the greatest extent possible.

Bed bugs are highly transferable, meaning they can attach to one surface and remain on it, even as it moves around. Thus, any time you purchase a piece of furniture or home decor that’s been previously used, double-check it for any signs of an infestation. Specifically, look for blood stains, rust-colored spots, skin shells or a musty odour emitting from the item. You should also triple-check all hotel room bedding, as the last thing you want to bring home from a trip is a maddening case of bed bugs. Back at home, cover your mattress and box spring with a protective plastic cover to maximize sanitation.

Fleas

Sometimes, the tiniest pests pack the strongest punches. Coming in at only 1/8-inch long, fleas fit this bill. Yet, though they’re hardly visible, they can jump up to six inches tall. This explains why they’re always going after your ankles!

What They Look Like

Fleas, which are red-brown to black in colour, are laterally flattened and without wings. Their mouthparts include mechanisms for both piercing and sucking.

Every time a blood meal occurs, a female flea lays around six eggs. This amounts to around 600 eggs in her lifetime. Her preferred area for laying those eggs? On you, your pets or your home surfaces.

Where You’ll Find Them

Dog and cat fleas are normally found on these animals. Yet, fleas can also feed on humans and other animals, as well.

Look for them inside your pets’ fur, paying close attention to the neck and groin areas. If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your home, try walking across your rug or carpet with white socks. If any of the pests are present, you’ll see them on your socks and can take further action.

What you’re looking for are the fleas themselves (which can be tossed into warm soapy water and later thrown away) as well as flea dirt, which looks like coffee grounds.

How to Control Them

Whether you’ve confirmed your home has fleas or you simply want to take measures to prevent them, cleanliness is key. Vacuum your carpets to remove not only food material, but also flea larvae and pupae. When you’re finished, quickly seal and discard the vacuum bag to prevent re-infesting your home.

Then, wash all of your pet’s bedding in warm, soapy water. This includes all crate blankets, dog beds, cat scratch towers, and more.

House Mice

There are myriad species of mice, but the one you’ll see the most often in Ontario is the house mouse. You may also field mice or deer mice around your home.

What They Look Like

Put simply, a house mouse fits the original description of a mouse. It’s light grey or brown with a 3-inch to 4-inch body (and tail the same length). It weighs, at most, one ounce.

You might recognize a mouse by its pointed nose and oversized ears, though their eyes and bodies are more small-scale. Don’t let their statue fool you, however, as an adult mouse can jump up to 12 inches high!

Its body can reach almost eight inches long, weighing in at a maximum of around 30 grams, though it’s capable of flattening its body to fit under crevices as narrow as 1/4-inch. Concerning the next generation, female house mice lay around eight litters per year.

Where You’ll Find Them

House mice love to congregate in dark areas that are secluded, as in your attic, basement and inside your baseboards. They’ve become adapted and seasoned to different climates, topographies and more, meaning they’re just as home in bustling NYC as they are out in a Nebraska farmhouse or in a city near Ontario. They’re also nocturnal, making most of their moves at night.

That said, keep your eyes out for them both at home and as you travel around Ontario. Especially check your garage, barn, and shed (common avenues of harbourage) to make sure you aren’t allowing them to thrive. Though they can forage in an area up to 20 feet across, most prefer to keep their circle of radius much smaller, remaining with four to five feat of their hiding spot.

How to Control Them

If a house mouse comes into contact with your food or surfaces, its feces can spread disease. This can lead to a host of medical concerns, including Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and salmonella.

Your first and most important course of action should be to completely seal all of the areas around your home. Remember, mice don’t require much room to squeeze in, so go ahead and caulk even the tiniest openings, including weatherstripping around your doors and windows. Seal your garbage can as well, making sure to keep the lid closed as tightly as possible.

Call an Ontario Pest Control Professional Today

Finding an unwanted pest in or around your property is stressful and disheartening enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about figuring out the best way to get rid of it.

Though the list above is far from exhaustive, it reveals the top five most common pests you can expect to find in this region. If you live near this area, we’d love to be your go-to Ontario pest control resource.

Our team of experienced experts is well-versed in safe, humane and effective pest removal. Save yourself the time, headache and money of attempting a DIY remedy. Instead, trust us to take care of the legwork for you, so you can get back to enjoying your property.

Choose one of locations below and contact us today to request a free quote, learn more about the services we can provide, and reclaim that peace of mind you deserve.

hand holding cockroach in kitchen