Active Pest Solutions’ Associate Certified Entomologist

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Active Pest Solutions is pleased to announce that its Sales and Service Manager, Ryan Frawley, has achieved certification from the Entomological Society of America as an Associate Certified Entomologist.

This prestigious qualification is only open to people who have been in the pest control industry for a minimum of five years. It requires a rigorous course of study on both pest biology and control methods, as well as pesticide safety.

Here at Active Pest Solutions, we pride ourselves on our staff’s experience and commitment to continued learning in the ever-evolving pest control industry. We congratulate Ryan on this latest step in his career. When you consider that Ryan is only the third person in Canada to achieve this qualification, you can imagine how proud we are!

You can read more about the ACE qualification here.

So if you have a question about bugs and pests in Calgary or Edmonton, Ryan’s the guy to talk to!

Alberta Grasshopper Pest Infestation 2015; Agricultural Disaster Management

grashopperThe grasshopper is an insect that can cause total devastation when an infestation comes through a city or municipality. The grasshopper is a land insect that has a large and powerful set of back legs that can have them jumping quite high to get away from predators. Although some countries find these jumping pests a nutritious meal, most people in Canada see them as a predator to our meals. This is because of the effect that they have on our crops.

Travelling Grasshoppers

During the hot summer months the grasshopper is in the more mobile adult phase and they will travel in a hungry swarm from one area to the next. The amount of heat and the lack of rain in some areas of Canada such as Edmonton have led to a major problem with crop production. The amount of crops that are surviving this year such as grain, hay, pasture and canola, are not a good yield to begin with considering the extremely dry soil conditions. And now to top it all off, the invasion of a very aggressive insect is making matters much worse. The grasshopper is thriving in the dry climate environment that Canada is currently experiencing, especially with the ready food source supply of local agricultural crops.

Grasshopper Pest Control

Local farmers are at their wits end and say that they can’t do anything to stop them. They say that the grasshoppers are starting at one crop and after they devour it, they continue over to the next crop. Some experts believe that we have not seen the worst of the infestation and that the buildup of these grasshoppers can lead to years of devastation. Local residents are even starting to see them on the roads and in the towns nearby. If the dry weather continues, it is expected that the large buildup of grasshoppers will continue.

Agricultural Disaster Management

grain cropYellowhead County and Westlock County recently joined the growing list of Alberta municipalities where the devastation has become so bad because of the heat and lack of rain that they have now called for the situation to be classified as an Agricultural Disaster. This increases awareness and draws attention to the consequences that extreme heat, lack of moisture and pest infestations has on crop producers. The government will also now offer more assistance to crop growers and farmers. Agricultural pest control should help alleviate these grasshopper pests and local farmers are hoping this will be enough to rid them of these aggressive insects.

Avoiding Summer Pests

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities with family and friends; like hiking, camping, playing at the park and swimming etc. Unfortunately, summer also provides an excellent environment for thousands of species of insects to thrive and multiply, which often times can put a damper on the fun summer activities that you have planned. No one wants to be bit or stung by mosquitoes, ants and black legged ticks while out hiking or camping, but the fact is that many pests thrive in the summer. These pests aren’t just annoying – they can transmit dangerous diseases too!

Mosquito Prevention

mosquitoMosquitoes are at the top of the list when it comes to summer time nuisances. Mosquitoes are attracted to light, heat and humidity and more than anything else; your blood. Mosquitoes are extremely annoying as they buzz around you in the backyard while you are trying to relax. Unfortunately simply swatting your hand at these pesky insects will not eliminate their presence. Not only are mosquito bites overly irritating, but they can also pose serious health risks to you and your family. Mosquitoes are infamous for transmitting potentially fatal diseases to humans like yellow fever and malaria. To avoid mosquitoes and prevent them from gathering around your yard and home, one of the best things you can do is eliminate any standing water. This is water that is usually collected in containers after a rain fall or from a sprinkler system. Turn empty containers upside down or throw them away to prevent water from puddling up. This will help keep mosquitoes at bay.

Getting Rid of Black Legged Ticks

black legged tickBlack legged ticks can transmit Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Infected ticks used to only be found in a few spots in the southern most part of Canada, near Windsor, Ontario but black legged ticks can now be found in a number of provinces. Ticks latch on to people and animals for a blood meal. This is when they transfer harmful bacteria; when the tick has been feeding for around 36 to 48 hours. Ticks can be hard to spot so it’s important to check for ticks after being outdoors in grassy areas. If you do find a tick attached to your skin, remove it carefully by pulling it straight out with tweezers. You want to pull out all of the tick, not just its body!

Getting Rid of Ants

ant nest in homeAnts are another insect that seem to thrive during the summer time. Ants are excellent scavengers and will try every way possible to gain access into your home. This task is usually not very difficult, being that ants can fit their bodies through the tiniest cracks and crevices that lead to the inside of your home. Once an ant has gained access into your home, they will immediately begin searching for a food source; normally your kitchen cupboard. Ants travel in large numbers and leave a scented trail that the other ants in their colony can quickly trace and follow from their newly found food source. Ants can build a nest quickly within the walls of your home and can be difficult to get rid of once they have established a healthy colony. The best way to get rid of ants is to call a professional like Active Pest.

If you are experiencing difficulties this summer with irritating and annoying pests such as ants and ticks, contact Active Pest Solutions for the absolute highest quality of pest control service available.

50,000 honeybees removed from house

A house in Ontario had 50,000 honey bees removed from it recently.

And while that sounds like a lot, honey bee colonies can be bigger, with up to 100,000 bees!

At Active Pest Solutions, we don’t deal with honey bees. Bumble bees? Sure, we can help with that. Wasps? Absolutely. But honey bees are far too important as pollinators, and their numbers are crashing worldwide. We need honeybees to pollinate the food we eat, so we won’t kill honeybees. Unlike the exterminator mentioned in the news story, we will never take someone’s money to do something as unethical as kill honeybees – especially since, as the story shows, it doesn’t work anyway.

Instead, we refer honey bee problems to a local beekeeper who can remove the bees without harming them, and without damaging someone’s home. If you have honey bees, you can contact him here.

For more on the news story out of Ontario, click here.

Bees vs Wasps: What’s the Difference?

You may not want to get too close to bees or wasps. But once you’ve learned the difference, it’s quite easy to tell them apart. Bees – both honeybees and bumble bees – have a furry appearance and a round body. Wasps and hornets do not appear furry, and have a more slender, cylindrical body. Wasps and hornets are far more aggressive than bees. Although bees can and do sting, they will only do so as a last defence, since the bee will die from stinging. I’ve never been stung by a bee, but I get multiple wasp stings every year.

 

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee

Honeybee

Honeybee

Bald-faced Hornet

Bald-faced Hornet

Wasp

Wasp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aggressiveness

Bee

Less aggressive compared to wasps. Honey bees die after they sting someone. Other bees can sting multiple times.

Wasp

More aggressive compared to bees. Wasps can sting multiple targets.

Feeding habits Pollinators Predators
Identification Long and fat, dangling legs, two pairs of wings, often brightly colored. Long and thin, dangling legs, two pairs of wings, often brightly colored.
Characteristics Non-aggressive, don’t usually prey on other insects. Wasps vary greatly among the more than 100,000 species. Some are wingless, some dig in the ground, but nearly all prey on or parasitize pest insects.
Meaning Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. The term wasp is typically defined as any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor ant . Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitizes it.
Social or Solitary? Social Can be social or solitary, depending on the species.
Order Hymenoptera Hymenoptera
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Class Insecta Insecta
Suborder Apocrita Apocrita
Phylum Arthropoda Arthropoda
Hives Bees live in geometric wax hives. Wasps live in papery nests.
Physical characteristics Hairy body and legs Smooth body and legs
Legs Flat and wide Round and waxy
Abdomen and thorax Round Cylindrical

 

 

Commercial Cockroach Control

An office setting should be a place of professionalism, productivity and cleanliness. The last thing one of your clients wants to see is a cockroach crawling across their shoe while discussing potential business with you. Business owners know the importance of a positive first impression, and having a roach problem in the office will do just the opposite. When roaches are crawling around the work area of your office, your employees are more likely to be worried about a roach crawling up their leg instead of attending to their task at hand. An office that is experiencing a roach problem could also be experiencing a cleanliness issue. Roaches tend to gather around garbage, food that has been left out and unclean areas.

Break Room Roach Prevention Tips

cockroaches on plateOne of the best ways to prevent roaches from coming into your office is to keep it clean. The office break room is a major source of attractiveness for roaches. Garbage that does not make it to the trash can, half eaten food containers left open, dirty dishes left in the sink for long amounts of time and even something as simple as crumbs left on the break room floor will attract roaches into your office. Roaches will find any ounce of food and tell their friends about it too. Roaches tend to hide out behind cabinets, the refrigerator and under tables. Once roaches feel they have a reliable food source, such as a break room, they will settle down quickly and begin to rapidly grow their numbers. It is important to clean thoroughly in every area of the break room to help prevent the presence of roaches in your office.

Roaches in the Warehouse

Another popular area for roaches to gather is in the warehouse. Paper and cardboard provide a perfect type of refuge for roaches to nest in. Conducting regular warehouse inspections will help manage any roach problem your office is dealing with.

Professional Cockroach Control

cockroach infestationA common mistake that business owners make is attempting to get rid of the roaches with an off-the-shelf solution that promises to eliminate the presence of roaches. Unfortunately, these solutions are not effective and will not eliminate the roach problem in your office. The best and most effective way to tackle a roach infestation and to keep them away permanently is to hire a professional. Active Pest Solutions will eliminate the presence of roaches from your work area and continue to keep them away with regular roach management treatments. Contact Active Pest Solutions today for the best commercial and residential roach control and general pest control available.

Ants and More Ants

Every summer brings ants, but not like this.

Maybe it’s the long dry spell we had, but it seems like both Edmonton and Calgary are exploding with ants right now. It’s all we can do to keep up. Good for us, not so good for Alberta homeowners.

With the current heatwave, we’re starting to see flying ants. Various ant species produce winged reproductives at a certain time of the year. Carpenter ants are usually the first to do so in the spring. But now we’re seeing other species of ants do the same. On a hot day with no wind, you’ll see swarms of flying ants take to the air. A lot of people don’t realise that these are ants, and not flies. Some people don’t even realise they have an ant problem until they start seeing winged ants in their home!

After a long day of controlling ants, I decided to go see a movie last week. Guess what trailer came on first?

And the movie comes out on my birthday too. Am I…am I Ant man?!