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How to Deal with Common Household Pests in Canada

A complete guide to managing and eradicating common pests in your home including prevention techniques and sustainable solutions.
By · May 13, 2024
How to Deal with Common Household Pests in Canada

Certain pests are widespread across Canada, and at times they will try to move into your home or garden. While their ability to evolve and survive almost any condition is commendable, sharing a home with pests is unpleasant and unhygienic.

Common household pests in Canada include:

  • Ants

  • Aphids

  • Bats

  • Bedbugs

  • Blacklegged ticks (from deer)

  • Carpenter ants

  • Centipedes

  • Millipedes

  • Sowbugs

  • Pillbugs

  • Clustering flies

  • Cockroaches

  • Earwigs

  • Fleas

  • Gypsy moths

  • Moles and voles

  • Mosquitoes

  • Rats and mice

  • Silverfish and

  • firebrats

  • Spiders

  • Tent caterpillars

  • Wasps

  • White pine weevils

  • White grubs

Luckily, many of these types of pest invasions can be prevented or can be treated using natural and ethical DIY measures. Sometimes you will have to call a professional to come and deal with the infestation. Keep reading to find out the best hacks for dealing with common household pests in Canada.

How to prevent common pests

The easiest way to deal with pest invasions is to prevent the invasions from happening at all. There are a few ways in which you can deter and prevent bugs and other creatures from entering your home. These techniques include:

  • Keeping a clean, tide house: Ants love food crumbs, and cockroaches and rodents love to hide under clothing and objects. Unfortunately spiders will seek shelter and move in no matter how clean you keep your home. Regardless of the relentless spiders, keeping your house clean, tidy and hygienic is a great way to minimise the temptations for pests to move in and make themselves at home.

  • Seal entry points: Caulk or expandable foam can both be used to seal small holes in your walls or floors in order to prevent pests from entering your home. It’s also important to regularly check for water damage or rot as these can become holes for pests to enter.

  • Block access routes: Use grids, screens or nets to block entry through doors and windows. Using a drain cover will prevent spiders from entering your home through pipes.

  • Proper food storage: Food can be stored in plastic bins and containers. Glass jars are also excellent food storage. Containers and jars can be pulled from your recycling bin and used to store food, instead of buying new receptacles. You can also keep fruit flies away by using a special net that goes over your fruit bowl. Additionally, make sure that your indoor compost container has a decent seal.

  • Responsible waste management: Indoor garbage bins should always have a lid. Outdoor trash cans should be cleaned and disinfected regularly and outdoor garbage bins must always have the lid on. If you live in a rural area with lots of bears, purchase secure garbage bins. Make sure to harvest your fruit trees as soon as they are ready. Bears love fruit!

  • Proper fencing: Good quality fencing is important especially in rural areas for keeping wildlife out of your yard and/or garden. A good fence will deter deer, coyotes, skunks and even bears. Deer can jump high and clear fairly tall fences, so make sure your deer proof fence is 2.5m tall or higher. Deer are skittish around sudden movement. Hanging recycled ribbon or fabric scraps from your garden fence will deter deer as the movement of the scraps in the wind are enough to alarm the deer.

READ: The Ultimate Home Maintenance Tasks Checklist For Every Season

Sustainable solutions for household pests

It’s 2024 and it's our responsibility as humans to tread lightly and make daily choices that support the health of the planet. For pest control, this means trying out different natural options until you find one that is effective for your pest problems.

Natural Repellants

Essential oils are an effective way to repel bugs in your home. These oils can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser or made into a spray by mixing water, a bit of white vinegar and the oils in a spray bottle and applied to areas of your home. The wonderful aromas of many of these oils provides the added bonus of your home smelling incredible!

The following oils can be used in a diffuser or sprayed around the house or yard:

  • Citronella - spray citronella on the bug screens in your windows and doors to keep bugs away when you need to open them

  • Thyme

  • Lemon Eucalyptus

  • Dill - spray your floors and doorways with dill to repel cockroaches

  • Cinnamon

  • Lavender

  • Peppermint

Houseplants also attract pests. To keep them at bay, simply make a spray out of water and a few drops of thyme essential oil and spray the mixture directly on to your plants.

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Hot tip! Place dried lavender flowers or pouches in your drawers and closets to keep out moths.

Live traps

Live traps are the most ethical way to deal with rodents in your home. Live traps can be found at your local hardware stores. Common-used live traps include:

  • Box traps

  • Multi-catch traps

  • Tube traps

  • Bucket traps

  • Collapsible traps

Peanut butter or sunflower seeds are excellent baits for rodents. Always make sure to check your traps regularly and release captured rodents outside, far away from your home.

Chemical Pesticides and Professional Services

Sometimes, such as in the case of bedbugs, a pest problem can get out of control and chemical pesticides must be used. Your best bet is to call a professional service provider to apply the treatment as the chemicals can be dangerous if not used properly. If you have a severe pest infestation or recurring problems, it's imperative that you contact a professional to protect your health and the wellbeing of your home.

Signs that you may have a pest infestation

There are some telltale signs that indicate a pest problem in your home:

  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are easy to miss as they are usually quite small. Disinfect areas rodent droppings with hydrogen peroxide or bleach as the droppings contain harmful microbes that can make you sick.

  • Grease and dirt: Pests bring oils and dirt with them as they travel along floors, walls, pipes and wires. If you see unusual grime in your home, it could be an indicator of pests.

  • Smells: Some pest smells such as rodent urine and cedar bugs have a strong odour. These odours indicate an infestation.

  • Sounds: There is nothing worse than being kept awake at night by the sounds of rodents scurrying around in walls, cupboards or floors. If you hear this obvious sound, time to set some live traps!

  • Fabric damage: Some pests chew through fabric. You may spot damage to curtains, furniture upholstery or clothing in your home.

  • Nests: Rodents make nests out of anything they can find to shred. Newspaper and cardboard are common materials. Nests are usually found in tiny, dark hidden spaces including behind (or in) appliances and furniture.

  • Gnaw marks: Rodents have a favourite hobby: chewing things. If you see tiny teeth marks, it’s probably a mouse or rat.

It’s important to take proactive measures to protect your home and family from potentially harmful pest-related consequences. If you suspect a pest infestation or are dealing with established infestations that are driving you crazy, keep calm and call a professional. Help is on the way!

READ: Pros and Cons of Living in Rural Canada

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