Advanced Bed Bug Detection!

The benefits of bed bug detection dogs has been well established and with the increased bed bug presence in Toronto the demand for this service is increasing.  Bed bug detection dogs have a 98% success rate at identifying areas infested with bed bugs vs. 30-50% success rate for human inspection.  Since the dogs are trained to alert bed bug activity based on scent, they can identify bed bugs which may be hiding inside the wall or deep inside furniture.  Bed bug detection dogs are able to detect a single bed bug allowing for infestations to be detected in the early stages reducing pest control treatment cost and pesticide application.

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Cleaning mouse droppings… a safety concern?

A customer from Pickering called today to ask if any professional pest control companies offer cleaning of mouse droppings after the mice have been exterminated.  To my knowledge no pest control company in the Toronto area offers this service.  This customer was disgusted by the idea of cleaning the mess left after the mice were exterminated.  She was not really aware of the potential health risks from the droppings and was surprised to hear the preferred cleaning procedure.  Mice – especially deer mice, can carry a viral disease called Hantavirus.  The mice themselves don’t appear to get sick from the virus but if they are affected they will excrete the virus in their droppings and urine.  For humans, the risk of contracting Hantavirus pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) occurs through inhaling air contaminated with the virus.  This usually occurs when the droppings are disturbed by sweeping with a broom or by vacuuming.  Where possible wet the area with water and a household cleaning detergent (many people use bleach), this will keep the dust from being stirred-up into the air.  Most cases of Hantavirus occur in May, likely due to spring cleaning and the re-opening of cottages and trailers.  Fortunately Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is not common, in Canada we typically only have about 3 cases per year. It is a very serious virus with a high mortality rate of 36%.  I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to die as a result of a mouse infestation.

  • Clean mouse droppings regularly, fresh droppings are more “moist” and not as likely to crumble and become airborne.
  • Where possible get the droppings wet, use a damp cloth to wipe up or spray with a mixture of detergent and water.  Wet mouse dropping stick well to paper towels!
  • When opening cottages and trailers in the spring open windows and allow fresh air in for about an hour, with all humans remaining outside.

It can’t be emphasized enough that HPS is a rare illness and the risk of contracting it is very low.  We are at a far greater risk of dying in an accident on the way to the cottage than contracting HPS once there.  But, if you have been in an area that’s contaminated with mouse dropping and you later develop flu-like symptoms or have trouble breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

M.D. Pest Control provides professional extermination services for: Ajax, Etobicoke, Scarborough, Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, North York, Oshawa, Pickering, and Whitby.

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Pest Control Oshawa

Many professional exterminators operating in Oshawa and Durham region are based in Toronto, often servicing the Durham region when business is slower and their technicians have time to travel out to Oshawa and Durham region.  When busy we often find these same companies placing their customers in Oshawa and Durham in a waiting cue as it is less convenient for their technicians to service our area.  Our office at M.D. Pest Control is based in Oshawa and we hire professional licensed exterminators who live in and service our communities.  Because our service technicians live in your community the response times are shorter and we have less travel costs associated with servicing your home or business.  Support your local business and keep our community strong and vibrant.  M.D. Pest Control is licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, we are fully insured and covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).  For complete extermination of ants, carpenter ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, earwigs, mice, rats, spiders, wasps in or around your home call M.D. Pest Control @ 905-391-3987.

Pest Control Oshawa

Exterminator Oshawa

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Spring thaw and ants.

What most people don’t realize is that for most ant colonies winter is just a time to lay low… literally.  Most ant colonies will overwinter underground below the frost.  In Ants : Carpenter Ants : Pest Control Torontothe downtown core of large cities like Toronto the ground will not even freeze in the winter due to the density of the homes and buildings.  Ant colonies once established will exist for many many years, possibly decades.  Since the ants never really go that far away it is not uncommon even during winter months to have ant activity.  A “heat wave” which melts the snow can trigger ants back to the surface.  This is part due to the water now running into the ground and possibly flooding their colony (this also occurs for mice and rats which are living in burrows in the ground).  Ants can appear in large numbers and very quicklyinside the homes and businesses of Toronto and the GTA.  In the spring the thaw is the first signal for the ants to migrate back to the surface.  When ants infest your home or business there are two options for treatment.  Bait although quite safe is generally too slow acting for most situations.  Control of ants using bait will take  4-6 weeks at best, even longer for larger more established colonies.  Many homeowners find it difficult to wait for the baiting program to be effective.  The use of residual insecticide is often the preferred method of extermination.  It is much quicker with results from immediate to a few days.  It is a little inconvenient in that most individuals must remain out of the treated area for 4 hours… but then again ants in your kitchen is also inconvenient.  No one is immune to ants, last spring I had ants invade my kitchen.  When my wife called her exact words were “why do I have ants in my kitchen I am married to an exterminator!”.  I proceeded to ask her if she would like to book an appointment.  She was not amused and feeling the pressure of her glare through the phone made arrangements to exterminate them the following day.  I was impressed with how quickly the population went from 0 to 100′s.  Customers would often describe this taking place in their own house, but to experience it was quite unpleasant.  So in closing… don’t feel bad or ashamed if ants invade you home can happen to anyone.

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Should you buy bed bug encasements or not?

I just heard a commercial on the radio for bed bug encasements on a radio station in Toronto.  It implies that by simply covering your mattress with their covers you will “get back at the bed bugs and end your sleepless nights”.  This is wonderful news to anyone battling a bed bug infestation.  Unfortunately, a bed bug infestation is much more complex, involving more than just the mattress and box spring.  Bed bug encasements have been a useful tool in the control of bed bug infestations.  This is particularly true in cases of heavily infested mattresses where the staining of the bed bug droppings will make future inspections difficult.  I find the real advantage of a bed bug encasement is the fresh clean white appearance of the mattress and box spring.  All the previous staining is covered and if any activity remains it will be quickly noticed and further treatment can be performed.  The thought of simply trapping live bed bugs inside the encasement and hoping that it remains intact until all insects have died is foolish.  We always heat treat the mattress and box spring to exterminate all eggs and insects before encasing the bed.  Mattress encasements are optional, most customers do not end up purchasing them and we do not really push their sale.  Yes… they do make our future inspections easier but it is better to spend your money on a complete integrated treatment than on a mattress cover which in the end will not cure your problem.  If you choose to encase your mattress check the label closely most encasements are certified bed bug proof it is always good to be sure.  M.D. Pest Control can also supply mattress encasements for you, guaranteed and certified bed bug proof!  Remember a mattress encasement is a tool you can use, a professional exterminator can provide a complete tool box.

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Scratching in the attic!

We have been receiving lots of calls from homeowners with scratching sounds in the attic.  It was particularly busy over the weekend as the temperatures in Toronto and Southern Ontario were well below seasonal it was -18C this morning.  As for what is making those noises and keeping you up… well it is usually mice.  In some cases a mouse infestation can take place inside the attic and walls of a house with very little or no evidence of droppings inside the house.  As a result most homeowners suspect they are having a squirrel or other wildlife control issue.  Generally mice are nocturnal, more active during the night and are quiet during the day.  Squirrels on the other hand are on the same schedule as us and join us at bedtime so they do not keep us awake.  At times when the noises are only heard in early evening (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.) or mid-morning (6 a.m. – 8 a.m.) it can be difficult to say for certain.

Here is a trick you can perform to help determine if it is squirrels or mice.  Place a plate of whole shell peanuts in the attic just inside the attic opening (if you want you could add a little bit of peanut butter to the plate as well as the strong smell will attract any rodent).  Check the plate the following day.  If it is mice they will chew through the shell eat the peanut but leave the shell.  If it is squirrels the plate will be clean, often hiding the entire peanut and shell somewhere else in the attic.

For mice extermination in Toronto call us at M.D. Pest Control 416-951-3987.  At M.D. Pest Control Toronto mice infestations are treated by baiting the infested area to exterminate all mice already inside the structure and by performing an exterior inspection to identify potential rodent entry points.  In most cases we can seal these entry hole and keep the mice out of your house now and for years to come.

For Wildlife Control in Toronto I recommend SWAT Wildlife Removal or 416-792-5181.  They will provide a comprehensive assessment of your situation, humanely remove the animals and secure your home so they can’t get back in.

Stop the scratching in the walls and ceiling and get back to sleep again!  For a professional mice exterminator in Toronto call M.D. Pest Control.

Posted in Mice/Rats | 1 Comment

Bed bugs in apartment buildings

A bed bug infestation in an apartment building can be difficult to manage.  Most property managers do not like to advertise to tenants that there is a bed bug problem in their building.  In addition some tenants do not report a bed bug issue to building management.  In multi-dwelling situations it is critical to treat the building as a whole. Often after addressing a bed bug infestation in one apartment the pest control professionals find a unit which was not reported and was likely the source of issues in surrounding units.  The infestation may not have originally started in this unit but due to the lack of action by the tenant it grows to an alarming level.  The media often shows this in buildings in Toronto, due to the density of apartments and condos.  These picture show the extent to which a population can grow.  They were taken at an apartment building in Oshawa, but unfortunately similar cases can be found in any city.

Click to enlarge

As I often express to building tenants and managers a little bit of awareness in the building is a good thing.  If tenants know they are not alone they are more likely to come forward before such extremes are reached.  There is no shame in having bed bugs, it may be uncomfortable to admit to others but in time it will come to light.  Bed bugs multiply rapidly and you will need a professional pest control service to exterminate them.  Call M.D. Pest Control at 416-951-3987 or 905-391-3987.

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Carpenter Ants in January??

Yes, it is possible to have an ant problem in January.  A customer in Whitby had called last week shocked to be seeing 40-50 carpenter ants per day in his house.  “But it’s freezing outside, how is this possible?”, he asked.  A carpenter ant colony located inside a building is quite unaware of the exterior temperature.  If you are seeing ants in the winter months the nest must be located within or under the structure.  This is sometimes helpful to pest control professionals as we do not need to be concerned with exterior sources such as old fences, decks, trees, trees stumps, or landscaping wood.  Carpenter ants generally are found nesting in water damaged wood as it is softer and easier to excavate.  Carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they hollow it out to build their nest.  Infestations of carpenter ants can be challenging even for experienced exterminators.  We use a residual spray treatment and a machine called and Actisol to exterminate carpenter ants.  Bait formulations for carpenter ants are available but are much slower acting and control can be difficult as carpenter ants do not have a strong pheromone trail leading to food sources.  The good news… Carpenter ants do damage very slowly to our homes and structures.  The bad news…  Some colonies remain undetected for years as carpenter ants are nocturnal with almost all their activity taking place at night.  If you have a carpenter ant problem in your home or any pest control issue we would be happy to help.

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Bed bugs… Not the End of the World!

Bed bugs… Not the end of the world it just feels like it!!

A customer had once joked “It feels like I have been diagnosed with a sexual disease but without the sex!”  A common feeling among those who find themselves battling this troublesome little pest.  With all the media attention lately surrounding the increase in bed bugs in Toronto, its easy to find yourself feeling doomed.  After all a news story is not as exiting if they show the cases of people who had their problems easily fixed.  They always seem to portray the person with the most severe reaction to the bites.  Yes, different people react differently to a bed bug bite.  Some people do not react at all, not good for television ratings or newspaper sales.  It is also common to hear stories of several treatments by professional pest control companies.  The story does not have any shock value if it was fixed easily.   The reality is many companies do a poor job of treating bed bugs in Toronto.  Several companies are popping-up and taking advantage of the resurgence of bed bugs.  Do your research, how long have they been in business? Are they a licensed? How experienced is the technician who will be doing the work?  What treatment method do they use?  Is there a guarantee? And remember if the price seems too good to be true it probably is!  A bed bug treatment for a three bedroom house performed by M.D. Pest Control typically costs about $1200, some companies are as low as $500.  This is due to the type of treatment performed, and as with almost everything you get what you pay for!

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