Spiders, Wasps and Insects
There are hundreds of different spider, wasp and insect species found throughout Alberta. Proper pest identification is a crucial step in determining the right solution for eradicating these pests from your home or business.
Accurate pest identification also helps us ensure beneficial species are not harmed.
Your pest management specialist will determine when a pesticide application will be most effective, given the insects’ biological characteristics, current phase of their life-cycle, present habitat and behaviour.
Some of the most common spiders, wasps and insects in Alberta include:
There are numerous species of spiders found in Alberta. Some of the more common species found in and around the Edmonton area include the grass spider and over two dozen different varieties of orb weavers.
Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) is common among people; their cobwebs can prevent you from enjoying your home and business and are considered unsightly.
There are numerous types of bees, wasps and hornets found in Alberta. The most common are:
- Honeybees – These bees are beneficial, as they pollinate our fruits and vegetables and must be relocated. Honeybees will swarm to form a mass on tree branches and in or along structures. If you are unsure as to whether or not the bees in or around your property are honeybees, do not harm the bees. Contact us to make a proper identification.
- Carpenter Bees – These bees can be highly destructive. Carpenter bees have a large barbed stinger that has been adapted in order to allow them to drill holes into organic material such as wood in order to nest. They can cause significant damage to gazebos, decks, fences, etc.
- Wasps and Hornets – Alberta is also home to a variety of wasps and hornets, including yellowjackets and paper wasps. Wasps and hornets come in a variety of colours and markings. They build their nests in the ground, in trees, or along structures. Wasps are highly protective of their territories and will sting and/or bite when they feel they or their habitat is being threatened. This is especially concerning when people are allergic to their stings, which can cause the individual to go into anaphylactic shock.
Three types of ants are considered pests in Alberta:
- Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants are not just a nuisance, these large black ants can cause structural damage to your home, garage or business, as they will chew through wood build nests. You can usually tell if you have a carpenter ant problem by visually seeing these pests or the frass (wood shavings) they leave behind when boring through wood. In the spring females will have wings permitting them to fly.
- Black Ants – These ants are black in colour, similar to the carpenter ant but they are noticeably smaller. These ants prefer areas that are free of vegetation and grass cover, such as in and around gravel driveways, inter-locking brick patios, rock flower beds, etc.
- Pharaoh Ants – These ants are very tiny. They have a dark-coloured body with an orange- or yellow-coloured head and thorax. These ants are active year-round in homes, businesses, healthcare facilities and food processing plants.
There are three types of cockroaches commonly found in Alberta: the German cockroach, Brown-banded cockroach and occasionally the American cockroach.
German cockroaches are tan to brown in colour and have two dark strips that run across the length of the insect’s body. They’re approximately 12-20 mm in length.
Brown-banded cockroaches are generally the same in appearance but are smaller in size.
The American cockroach is much larger than both these species, roughly 35mm or more in length.
Cockroaches inhabit a variety of establishments, but are typically found in moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. They feed on a variety of organic materials, including: food, cloth, glue bindings, and wallpaper.
These pests carry a variety of pathogens which can be spread to humans, including salmonella disease
Cockroaches typically do not like being exposed to light and will seek shelter in cracks and crevices, making them difficult to eliminate.
They are also one of the most adaptable species of insects on the planet. They pose an issue for pest management specialists, as they are known to build-up resistance to commercial-grade pesticides.
Bedbugs are small (about the size of an apple seed), red tick-like insects that have become an ever-increasing problem over the past decade. They were virtually eradicated from North America prior to the banning of DDT in Canada and the US.
Increased travel due to the advent of globalization has brought about a resurgence of these prolific hitch-hikers. Every major city centre in Canada has been experiencing an increased volume of bedbug activity.
They can be found in hotels, on public transit, in healthcare facilities, in business offices, and in homes. Once bedbugs are introduced into a home, they can be difficult to eliminate.
Bedbugs feed off the blood of humans and other mammals, such as dogs and cats. Despite ingesting blood, they are not known to transmit disease.
These pests reproduce quickly and people generally will not realize they have a problem until it has become a major infestation.
Some individuals may not know that they have a bedbug problem because these bugs hide during the day in cracks and crevices near their host.
Bedbug bites affect people differently; some people experience severe rashes or bruising, others may notice small bite marks on their bodies; while 70% of people will exhibit no symptoms at all, which also explains why some people will not realize they have a problem until it becomes an infestation.
Bedbugs will inhabit and infest any indoor area, regardless of its condition. They can thrive in well-kept and tidy homes just as easily as those that are not.
It is important that you have a professional take care of your bedbug problems, as adult bedbugs can live in wall voids without breeding for over a year.
Strategic Pest Solutions can also help you eliminate a variety of other insects from in and around your home or business, including:
- clover mites
- boxelder beetles
- carpet beetles
- stored product pests
- centipedes and millipedes
- silverfish, firebrats and springtails
- sowbugs and pill bugs