Watch out for these pests in your home as winter takes hold in Montreal

Watch out for these pests in your home as winter takes hold in Montreal

Watch out for these pests in your home as winter takes hold in Montreal

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Pests, much like people, tend to head indoors when it’s cold out.

That happens early in Montreal, where temperatures drop faster than they do in some of Canada’s other large cities like Vancouver, said Sean Rollo, an entomologist with Orkin Canada. The extermination company has released a forecast of pests Canadians can expect to see this winter, and is reminding people there are measures to mitigate the risk.

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The forecast for 2023 — based on seasonal data that suggests pest populations grew and thrived during the hot, wet summer — includes: earwigs, rodents, boxelder bugs, stink bugs, cluster flies, cockroaches, European firebugs and wildlife, in no particular order.

The biggest concern is rodents, Rollo said.

“Typically, rodents are going to get in through just small openings, and they can be the size of your pinky finger,” he said. “What you’re looking for is any gaps around pipes or wires that lead into the house. There might be a seal under a door that’s not tight enough, especially around garages … So, you’re looking at things like that to make sure that the gaps are sealed tightly to prevent the rodents from getting inside.”

Rollo said homeowners tend to choose the wrong materials to seal entrances and is reminding them to make sure they’re making an appropriate choice, which will vary depending on what kind of area needs to be sealed.

“They’ll often seal … with an expanding foam or something like that, that rodents can chew right through,” he said. 

It can be a little trickier to seal areas where insects might be getting in since they’re smaller, Rollo said.

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“They’re coming in through cracks or gaps in siding or in sockets, and some of the more common spaces that they get into is around door and window frames, into sockets and into attics,” he said. 

Rollo added that bugs that come inside in the winter don’t usually cause any problems until the spring, when they’re trying to make their way back outside.

“You can imagine if there’s hundreds or even a thousands of these things trying to leave your attic, but they ended up taking the wrong route to get outside, and now they’re in your living space rather than going out the same way they came in,” he said. “It’s very concerning for some people to see hundreds of flies around in the windows in the kitchen.”

He said most of the insects that enter homes are “perfectly harmless, but it’s an annoyance because there’s so many of them.”

Since it’s difficult to seal all places insects could be coming in, Rollo said an alternative is making sure to clean the area well in the fall.

“They will often leave what’s called fecal spotting on the siding or on the area of the building where they congregate in the fall, and then they go into the building from there,” he said. “When they leave those marks on the walls, they’re actually leaving behind a little bit of a bread crumb for next year. And so getting that all cleaned off is a big help, and then usually, we do some sort of a treatment of the area as well to help repel them from that same space.”

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