Common Pests on the Sunshine Coast

find out more about what's bugging you

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are the most significant pest we deal with and can cause serious damage to homes and structures. Usually the first indication of an ant infestation is the presence of workers and/or winged ants indoors during the early spring. As temperatures increase ants seem to disappear as they leave to forage outside, however the nests are still active within the building. Every situation is different, therefore we provide a thorough inspection to determine how best to solve each problem before we proceed with treatment. We strictly adhere to modern Integrated Pest Management techniques and our focus is always on the resolution of existing problems and prevention of any further activity. Annual exterior perimeter treatments provide excellent protection and are essentially non-toxic. Please call us for more information.

Termites, A Growing Problem

Western Subterranean Termites are a definite problem on the Sunshine Coast and activity has increased significantly over the last decade. Termites are the most prolific wood-destroying organism and can do incredible damage in a relatively short period of time.

Most often, termites enter structures along the inside walls and generally there is little or no outward evidence of activity. It takes skill and experience to properly diagnose and treat a termite problem, as every situation is unique. At Kendel Pest Services we use a system developed to monitor termite activity using traps. We strictly adhere to modern Integrated Pest Management and will only treat a termite problem if we are sure it is necessary.

We offer comprehensive inspections and consultations and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Termite Facts:

  • most of the time there is no outward evidence of activity, even in a heavy infestation
  • termite colonies number in the millions of individuals and can be as large as a city block in size
  • termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage each year in North America and most insurance policies do not cover termite damage

Damage is cumulative and the longer a termite infestation is left untreated, the greater the damage to your investment.

Rodents

Rats are some of the most damaging rodents on the Sunshine Coast. They consume and contaminate food, damage structures and property, and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals, including humans. Rats survive and thrive in a wide range of climates and conditions; they can be found in and around homes and other structures, farms, gardens, and open fields.

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Identifying the Rat

People do not often see rats, but signs of their presence are easy to detect. In British Columbia the most troublesome rats are two introduced species: the roof (ship) rat and the Norway (sewer) rat. It is important to know which species of rat is present in order to place traps or baits in the most effective locations.

Biology of Common Rodent Pests

Norway (brown rat/sewer rat) and roof rats (black rat/ship rat) have litter sizes of six to 12 young, but up to 22 pups have been recorded. The gestation period ranges from 21 to 25 days, with a female typically producing three to six litters in her lifetime. Under the right conditions, females may give birth every 24 to 28 days. Juvenile rats become sexually mature at about three months, with most living six months to a year.

House mice are one of the most difficult rodents to control due there small size, which enables them to enter openings as small as ¼ inch and also because of their incredible breeding potential. Under ideal conditions, a house mouse may live two years or more, and can breed throughout the year. A female has a gestation period of 18 to 21 days, and produces a litter ranging from two to 13 mice. A long-lived female may produce six to 10 litters.

The deer mouse, commonly misidentified as a “white footed deer mouse” or “field mouse”, is indigenous to this area and can be found throughout most of North America. Their lifespan is 60 days to 2 years in the wild with the average lifespan of just under a year. The young will reach sexual maturity at 7 to 8 weeks and females will have litters of 3 to 5 young approximately 2 to 4 times per year. This mouse is linked to the pulmonary disease HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome). Deer mice should not be tolerated in homes under any circumstances. Extreme caution should be taken when dealing with deer mice and their aftermath.

Raccoons

Kendel Pest Services provides the following services for raccoons and skunks:

  • Consultation and advice
  • Repairs and animal proofing
  • Clean-up and disinfection of contaminated areas
  • Animal fencing and screens

Raccoons are a common indigenous mammal on the Sunshine Coast and throughout much of British Columbia. Raccoons are wildlife and should be respected in the same way other wild animals are. Though very cute and sometimes appearing to be playful and friendly, raccoons are wild animals and are therefore unpredictable, and should never be fed or touched. Raccoons can and will bite if cornered or harassed or if they perceive a threat to themselves or their young. Raccoons are also potential carriers of many diseases and parasites so great care should be taken to clean up areas inhabited or frequented by these animals.  Clean-up of areas contaminated by any animals should be done following WCB or Health Canada guidelines and by a professional pest control or restoration company.

In terms of raccoon control we have always recommended exclusion as the only viable long term option to prevent activity within structures. Common sense and environmental changes to your yard or garden will go a long way to prevent raccoons from becoming pests outside your home as well.  Some helpful tips to deter raccoons are on the SPCA website.

Excellent information on raccoon biology and prevention can be found at the Ministry of Environment website.

Skunks

Skunks (western spotted and striped) are another common animal which can become a pest in and around homes and structures in many parts of British Columbia. This animal is usually a pest in the fall and winter months when they move indoors to escape the elements. We find skunks inhabiting basements, sheds, crawlspaces and attics. The first indications you may have a skunk are noises and the telltale skunk odour. If you’ve smelled it once, you will never forget it. Skunks should not be tolerated inside homes under any circumstances as they can be quite destructive and have many of the same health risks associated with them as other animals. Though beneficial in many ways, skunks can not usually be tolerated outside in the yard due to their propensity for “scenting off” when startled, causing ongoing odour problems.

Long term control of these animals is best achieved by way of exclusion. Removal of attractants, such as pet food and water, and fencing or securing poultry houses and gardens will also reduce activity.

Excellent information on Canada’s skunks can be found on the Hinterland Who’s Who website. The BC SPCA has excellent tips for how to manage conflicts with Skunks.