Fly away: how to spot an insect infestation

Bugging out? Here are some tips for stopping an insect infestation and options on how to get rid of it.

Fly away: how to spot an insect infestation

Left unattended, a few little bugs can soon become an infestation that can cause a lot of damage to your health and property. It’s important that when you see bugs, you understand what they are and what to do about them.

For each type of infestation there's a set course of action that will get rid of the problem. Your pest control officer (PCO) can advise you on the way to get the bugs out — and keep them out.

Cockroaches, termites, bedbugs and others all leave their markings. Here’s what you need to know to spot them quickly in order to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Many good pest controllers offer a service where you can email them a picture of the bug. They will then identify it to inform you on the best way to become bug-free. There is no commitment, and you can ask more than one to ensure accuracy of information. Remember: bugs don’t just wander into your home for lunch. If you see them, it’s probably because they’ve built a nest in your home.

Tips on spotting an insect infestation

Cockroaches live in dark, damp and dirty locations. They often hide beneath an oven or dishwasher and they only come out at night. If you see one or two cockroaches during the day, it could be because the nest is full and they can’t squeeze in. People often know they have a problem when they turn the kitchen lights on and surprise them in the middle of the night. You can usually spot their feces at the back of cupboards and near the cracks that they crawled through.

Bedbugs usually live in bedding where they can hide and prey on you while you’re sleeping. They live off your blood. They like to stay close to their feeding areas and that’s why you’ll often find them in the seams of a mattress. They leave behind tiny reddish-brown feces that look like dried blood. Their bites can cause small, itchy lumps, but more than half of people who have been bitten show no reaction.

Termites,carpenter ants and other wood-eating insects can cause great damage to your property. They don’t normally like our cold, Canadian climate. Still, more than 20 per cent of us live in a climate that's a little warmer and susceptible to infestation. You can often spot these critters by looking at the tracks they leave, or by their discarded wings.

Research your local PCO online

Each city and town will have its own problems with insects. It’s a good idea to check your PCO website as it can be a mine of information. Local pest controllers will have knowledge on which pesticides work and where the insects have built up their immunity. For instance, most bedbugs in large cities are now immune to pesticides and the only way to get rid of them is to steam their nest.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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