Pest Advice Blog

Port Elgin 2016 Winners

Truly Nolen in Port Elgin, Ontario is a 2016 winner of the Owen Sound Chamber Business Excellence Award in the Skilled Trades Category and a winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite Pest Control Company in Saugeen Shores.

2016 AWARD
2016 winners of the Owen Sound Chamber Business Excellence Awards in the Skilled Trades Category

Reader’s choice award for Favorite Pest Control Company in Saugeen Shores

What’s the difference between a wasp and a hornet?


When there are yellow and black insects buzzing around your property it can be scary. Also, it’s difficult to determine what kind of infestation you might have. To properly remove any insects problems it’s important to figure out exactly what you’re dealing with.


A wasp can be identified as any insect considered a Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita. The most common type of wasp is a yellow jacket. They are in the Vespidae family and are eurosocial where they live in a bg nest with an egg-laying queen and non-reproducing workers. Wasps first appeared as a fossil in the Jurassic period.

There are two common types of wasps.

The social wasp constructs a nest using wood pulp , mud, plant secretions and secretions from the wasps themselves. Many materials are collected and constructed into a honeycomb pattern, often surrounded by a protective layer. Locations of nest vary from specie to specie. Yellow jackets prefer to nest in trees and shrubs. Other wasps like to nest in cavities in the ground, spaces under homes, wall cavities or in lofts. Social wasps all live together in the nest.

The solitary wasp forages alone after mating. It only builds a nest for the benefit of its own offspring. Some solitary wasps might nest in small groups, but each wasp is responsible for caring for its offspring. Also, they might build communal nests and each insect will have their own cell. Most adult solitary wasps spend their time preparing nests and foraging for food.

Paper Wasp


It’s kind of confusing because hornets are actually considered wasps. They’re the largest of the eurosocial wasp and look similar to yellow jackets. The most obvious difference in appearance is a large top margin of the head and a rounded abdomen behind the waist. A hornet is considered a social wasp, so they build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Many build their nests in trees and shrubs, but can be found in other cavities. Hornets are known as aggressive insects especially when threatened.

In the spring a female hornet known as the queen selects a place to begin building a nest. She builds cells arranged in horizontal layers named combs. She lays an egg in each cell. After about a week the egg hatches and the larvae undergoes its five stages. The first generation of workers will take over the duties of the queen. Once the nest is complete the queen begins to produce reproductive hornets and the process begins again.

The main difference between hornets and wasps.

The best way to tell the difference between hornets and wasps is by colony size. A wasp colony tends to be smaller with fewer than 100 individuals. Hornet colonies are much larger. It’s quite difficult to tell the difference between the insects by appearance. Their nest shape and placement is another good indicator.

Wasps build nests that are open and suspended from solid objects in protected area such as an eaves or covered porch. Hornets build large fully enclosed nests on trees or in shrubs. Both wasps and hornets will become aggressive if they feel their home is threatened. 

Get rid of wasps in Hamilton.

Wasps and hornets can be dangerous especially for people with allergies or young children. If you see a lot of wasps around your property there’s probably a nest nearby. A the first sign of any problem contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

How firewood can bring pests into your home.


Many people use fireplaces to heat their home in the winter. This involves bringing wood in from the outdoors. It’s quite simple for pests to hitchhike on a piece of wood and find their way into your home. Many creatures live in and feed on wood.

How to know if your firewood is infested.

There are two major pests that can be found in firewood those that feed on wood and those who infest wood for shelter. Many insects will find shelter under the bark or in hollow logs. Different types of beetles, overwintering wasps and wood cockroaches can all be found in logs. They become more active after your home warms them up. The best thing to do is get rid of them as quick as possible. A single insect might not lead to infestation, but if they have time to develop a colony your might have bigger problems.

Pests that eat wood can be a huge problem for homeowners. Once brought inside they can find their way into the walls or floors. Once inside they will eat away at wooden structures. This can cause major structural problems for your home. Termites and carpenter ants are often confused for each other. But, both are equally bad for your home.

How to avoid pests hitching on firewood.

Don’t stack firewood in or close to house. Pests can easily make their way into your home if they’re given an avenue to get in. Wood-boring insects can easily tunnel from wood to wood. If logs are touching wood in your home then you’re making it easy for pests to get in.

Keep firewood away from trees. They might easily take of the living trees in your yard and kill them.

Stack firewood off the ground. You want to keep the wood as dry as possible. Moisture attracts a lot of pests you don’t want around your home. Placing it on bricks, concrete blocks or grate can give some space so they attract insects.

Cover firewood when not being used. In the summer or spring you should cover firewood preventing creatures from overwintering when the weather cools in the fall. Stacking freshly cut wood in the sun will get rid of any pests.

Use the oldest wood first. The longer it sits outside the bigger possibility pests might be living in the logs. Restack the wood periodically. This will disturb pests and prevent infestations from building up.

Use only local firewood. This way you know what types of insects could be found on the wood. You don’t want to introduce random insects in your yard. Insects might also crawl out and breed in new areas.

Inspect each log before bringing it inside. If you can spot pests early on you can control the surface insects from getting into your home. Try your best to inspect them for signs of infestation. Shake them and knock them together.

Burn wood after bringing it inside. Don’t let it sit in your house. This will give insects more opportunity to travel from the log to your home. Keep wood in a cool place. When the logs warm up creatures will start to come out of their winter slumbers. Only bring in what you think you’re going to burn.

Pest control Burlington

With the colder weather homeowners are spending more time around the fireplace. But, bring logs indoors gives an opportunity for insects a chance to make your home their home. At the first sign of infestation contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

How a proper home inspection can solve a carpenter ant problem.


Carpenter ants are an insect that can do major structural damage to your home. They’re known for extracting large segments of wood to build their nests. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. The remove wood in the form of shavings to construct large galleries to house colonies. These nests can weaken wooden structures. If carpenter ants have gained access to your home they could be carving large segments of wood out of your walls, floor and ceiling.

Carpenter ants love moisture.

You will likely find carpenter ants in areas where moisture has built up. At first sighting it’s important to contact a pest control professional as well as someone who specializes in roofing or tree trimming. Carpenter ant control starts with determining where the moisture is inside your home. It could be leaking from the roof. Clogged gutters can have moisture build up and soften the material around the eaves. Water could be getting in through here. Keep an eye out for discolouration in the ceiling.

Fixing the source of the moisture can help control the ant problem. Reducing the moisture takes away the soft wood carpenter ants look for. Many pest control professionals have simple prevention strategies to help eliminate resident ant colonies. You should always begin by fixing the leak, then removing any insect problems. Not fixing the water problem will just be inviting to more carpenter ants.

Identifying carpenter ants.

Colour: Red, black or a similar shade.
Shape: Segments with oval abdomen and boxy thin thorax. Their tops have a smooth and even curve.
Size: Approximately ⅜’ to ½’.
Wing: Most workers do not have wings, but some males drones have them.

Where do I find carpenter ants?

Mostly in or around moist wooden structures. It’s possible to find the ants in these areas:

        • Carpets
        • Patios and foundations.
        • Areas with vegetation.
        • Floors


Carpenter ants are difficult to spot.

Apart from their size, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between carpenter ants and other species. Although there are a few signs that appear if you have a larger infestation. Sometimes you can spot workers foraging for food. Seeing swarmers can be a sign of larger problems. Winged carpenter ants develop once the colony is mature and it’s time to search for new locations. Carpenter ants also leave a lot of debris outside holes made in the wood. Rough wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants can indicate a larger nest. There might also be times you can hear ants rustling behind walls or in the structures.

Pest control Ancaster

Regular pest control for carpenter ants is usually a good idea. Most of the time they can build mature colonies behind walls without homeowners even knowing. If you discover moisture in your house take a quick check of the area for carpenter ant damage. If you find anything that looks like it could be a problem contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

Rats or mice

Rats or mice? It seems like a difficult question. But, the difference may be more obvious than you think. The size of the rodent is the biggest give away to the species. It’s helpful in preventing infestations if you know the difference between rats and mice.

gray rat


Rats are typically distinguishable from mice by their size. The best known species of rats are the black rat and brown rat. This group is typically known as the Old World rats or true rats originating in Asia. Rats are essentially opportunistic survivors. They will eat anything or do anything that best fits their surroundings.

Rats typically live with or near humans. This makes rats commensal. A class of relationships between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it. Rats survive off developed areas because of the food sources and shelter provided by human development.

House Mouse


A much smaller rodent with a pointed snout, small round ears, a body length tail and a high breeding rate. The most common species is a house mouse. They will invade homes looking for food and shelter. Mice are commonly pests because of the damage they can cause house and their spreading of disease through their parasites and feces.

Mice are nocturnal and discovering any mice living in your home can be difficult. They make up for their poor vision with a keen sense of hearing and rely on their sense of smell to find food. Mice usually nest in attics, basements and other safe and warm parts of the home. They’re likely in an area where they have access to pipes, wires and vents. Mice can easily move through the walls to every part of the house.


A house mouse may measure between 12 to 20 cm in length and weigh approximately 12 to 30 grams. They are more white, brown or grey in colour. Mice have triangular snouts with long whiskers. Also, they feature large floppy ears and long, thin hairy tails.

Rats are larger rodents with long tails that are commonly hairless and scaly. They might grow as along as 40 cm and weigh considerably more than mice. Their fur is white, gray, brown or black and are often soiled leaving grease marks on touched surfaces.

Signs of rats or mice.

      • Droppings found around food packages, in drawers and cupboards or under the sink.
      • Strewn nesting materials such as dry fibers, shredded paper or cardboard.
      • Signs of chewing on food packages.
      • Holes chewed in walls and floors to create entry points.
      • Stales smells coming from hidden areas.

      Rodent prevention

      The best rodent control strategy is to prevent them from even entering your home in the first place. Mice and rats can get into your home through a variety of ways. But, at the end of the day they’re just looking for warm shelter and reliable food sources. You can help prevent infestation by sealing outside entry points. Make sure there are no holes leading to the outside. Remove food sources. Place pantry foods in a glass sealable container. Keep garbage areas clean. Get rid of clutter and other messes.

      Oakville pest control

      Rodent infestations can quickly get out of control whether you have rats or mice. If you find any clues as to a rodent infestation make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

How year round pest control can help protect your home.


Regular inspections of your home can help reduce large infestation. Make sure to spend some time every season pest proofing your home. The most important thing to keep in mind is to reduce holes in outside walls and roofs. Pests can easily make their way into your home to find warmth or food. Understanding insect behaviour is another way of controlling pest problems. It can help you understand the type of infestation and how to properly remove the issue.


During the spring insects are trying to increase their populations. Common pest control strategies is to focus on material application that reduces reproduction. A pest control professional uses a treatment the is designed to eliminate a colony while establishing long-term protection. Some things to do in spring would be:

      • Remove spider webs
      • Apply dust treatment to exterior entry points.
      • Treat lively areas and insects hot spots.
      • Power treat along foundation.
      • Leave bait for ants, crickets and roaches.
      • Apply treatment to reduce ant reproduction.


Summer always sees the highest populations of insects. Insects can move faster in the summer, they’re less afraid of predators. Pest control professionals treat the landscape and harborage areas where insects live. Fast acting products are essential in dealing with the large population of insects. Professionals recommend:

        • Remove spider webs and apply repellent.
        • Treat exterior hotspots.
        • Power treat paved surfaces and landscapes including walk ways.
        • Spread products in thick grass, mulch, rock beds, decorative and similar areas.
        • Apply granular baits to minimize insect reproduction.


Young insects are reaching maturity and many populations are starting to think about winter. They begin building up their reserves and actively start looking for harborage. Insects are more vulnerable to predators. They begin to slow down. Pest control professionals establish a barrier around your home by applying materials in pathways that insects will use to access the building. They would start sealing entry points around windows and door frames. Here’s some fall pest control recommendations:
Remove spider webs.

        • Apply treatment to exterior entry points.
        • Locate and treat potential harborage sites and food sources.
        • Seal cracks and crevices where insects may gain entry.
        • Spread granules in thick grass, mulch, rock beds, decorative bark and similar areas.
        • Place rodent monitoring stations.


During the colder months insects hide and reserve energy so they can increase chances of surviving. Your home is the perfect place for insects to hide. Pest control professionals focus on eradicating insects that are in your home. It’s best to establish a long-term approach by using naturally occurring products to protect the interior of the home. This is what you should do during the winter:

            • Wipe webs inside.
            • Apply material inside cracks and crevices.
            • Dust treatment in attic and crawl spaces.
            • Place ant and roach bait stations under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
            • Place insect monitoring stations in critical areas.
            • Apply material outside around doors, windows and eaves.

Pest control Dundas

Although many of these things are possible for you to accomplish on your own, it’s recommended hire a professional to diligently apply these steps. If you discover any hints of insect infestation contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

Top tips for preventing pest infestation.

Truly Nolen

The best pest control method is prevention. Stopping the pests from even wanting to enter your home is the best way of reducing infestation. It’s important to keep pests in mind when looking around your house. Large infestations can be costly to fix. Take steps to secure your property and regularly check for points of entry.

Preventing pests outside

You can start prevention of pest infestation by reducing attractions on the outside of your home. Most of the time, pests are looking for a reliable food source. They will go anywhere in search of easy access to food. One of the most common sources of infestation is garbage. Although it’s a garbage area, it’s important to keep it clean. Spilled trash can make it simple for pests to have a snack. Rinse out food containers before throwing them away. Place food waste in a tightly sealed trash can. Keep the area tidy and pick up any spilled garbage.

Make sure to regularly check the outside of your home for small cracks or holes where pests can easily make their way into your house. During different weather conditions your home can change. Holes and crack can develop by extreme weather or not properly treated materials. Close all exterior openings and cracks with a good silicone caulk. Closing these holes is one of the best ways to prevent infestation.

Keep plants, trees and other vegetation trimmed and away from the side of the house. A lot of the time plants have seeds and other food items that make an easy snack for pests. Also, some pests might live in plants. This is alright, but it’s important to keep it away from the house. Properly trim plants and remove dead branches or leaves. Plants that are close to the house can be easy access points for pests especially insects.

Preventing pests inside your home.

When you’ve completed pest proofing the outside of your home there are a few steps you can take to properly control insect or rodents becoming a problem in your home. The kitchen is a prime location for pests to go. There’s plenty of food sources for them. Keep the area around the stove clean. While cooking, food can fall down the cracks. Regularly pull out appliances and give the area a proper clean. Store all your food in a resealable container. Especially things like nuts or grains. Repair any leaks under the sink. Keep the kitchen clean.

Ants and cockroaches like moisture. The bathroom is a common location for them to congregate. Make sure theres no leaks from sinks, toilets or shower heads. Seal any cracks right away. Keep the garbage tidy and closed. Don’t not put wet towels or toothbrushes in drawers and cabinets. These can attract insects.

Warm areas are other spots insects enjoy. Your living room has a lot of warm places such as behind the television or other electronics. The sofa is a popular place for snacking. Crumbs and other food items can easily fall between the cracks of the sofa. Keep these areas vacuumed. A fireplace can be another spot insects can hide. They stow away in firwood. Inspect freewood before bringing it into the house.

Mississauga pest control

Large pest infestations can cause significant damage to your home. It’s best to cut out problems as soon as you discover any hints of pests. If you find clues to pest living in your home make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.


The life cycle of a carpenter ant.


Carpenter ants build nests inside wood. They construct galleries where the wood has been chewed out. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. They remove it to make their colonies. Commonly carpenter ants are identifiable by the small piles of shavings found outside their nests. Carpenter ants prefer dead or damp wood, so places like decks are favourite hiding spots for them. They are are a nuisance to homeowners because carpenter ants can cause significant structural damage to wooden buildings.

The life of a carpenter ant begins with the nuptial flight.

Occurring in late spring or early summer, the carpenter ant’s nuptial flight is dependent on the seasonal weather. They will take a mating flight. Male carpenter ants, or swarmer, mate with winged females. After mating, females shed their wings and males die.

After, the female ants search for a new site to build their colonies. The queen will often seek small cracks in wooden structures. She will enter this space and lay her first batch of eggs. The queen stays in her chamber until the first batch of eggs becomes adult workers. Fat revers and wing muscles provide the queen with nourishment. Food is given to the young by the queen’s salivary glands up until the workers are capable of foraging. The queen will be the main caregiver for the first brood of carpenter ants. After that the initial brood will look after the growth of new generations.

A larger and stable colony takes about 3 to 6 years to develop.

A carpenter ant will live between 6 to 12 weeks from egg to adult. Cold weather can contribute to making the development time longer. It can add about 10 months. Queens only have one role. To lay eggs. As soon as workers mature they take on responsibilities of the colony. They will forage for food, tend to eggs, larvae and pupae, and excavate galleries to grow the nest. There are two types of workers. Major workers act as soldiers and protect the colony. Minor workers forage for food and take care of the young.

After about two years the queen starts to produce males and females who begin to leave and start other colonies. Usually in a carpenter ant colony there i only one queen. Once the males and females leave their first colonies the process begins over again.


Signs of a carpenter ant infestation.

      • Damage to woods that are damp, old or decaying. So, your inner walls and structure work in your home are prime targets.
      • Finding small piles of wood shavings around large carpenter ant colonies. Finding ‘frass’ is a major indicator of larger infestations.
      • Carpenter ants make a creeking or tapping noise in wood. Listen for these sounds.
      • Spotting carpenter ants. Winged ants means there are major problems.
      • Carpenter ants are nocturnal. Spotting them by flashlight.
      • Carpenter ants travel far to forage. You might have to follow them quite fa to find the nest.

Carpenter ant prevention.

The best way to stop carpenter ants is by sealing entry points into your home. Don’t give them access to your wooden structures. Walk around the outside of your home and make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed. Ants can easily enter through tiny holes in the outer walls of your home. Stop the problem before it even begins.

Merrickville carpenter ant removal.

There are many different species of ants. Determining the type of ant can be difficult. If you find an evidence of carpenter ants, make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

What is Halifax doing to combat rats?

gray rat

Downtown Halifax has a rat problem. There are multiple reasons this might be occurring. Maybe it’s the mild winter weather. Or the commotion caused by excessive downtown construction. Halifax is a port town so they have always had problems with rats. The tons of moving ships from all over the world carrying different materials and objects. It’s simple for rats to stow away in large ships.

It appears to be larger than a couple of rat holes in the wall. People are actually avoiding downtown and restaurants are feeling the brunt of it. It’s not good for businesses, tourism or anyone’s health. People are afraid. Especially tourists. It’s not as if rats are dangerous, but they can startle people or given the impression of unsanitary surroundings. It’s not very becoming of one of Canada’s major cities.

Professionals predict to be about 40 to 50 rats per square Halifax city block.

The city has been taking steps to try and control the problem. The municipality has been setting traps in major rat hotspots such as Victoria Park, the Central Library and Grafton Park. However, these traps are are struggling to deal with the numbers of rats around Halifax. Other ideas are being explored such as the dry ice technique. An approach taken by many U.S. cities. The premise is to drop dry ice into rat nests and smoke out the inhabitants.

How rats can affect your business.

Restaurants offer the top three needs for rats: food, water and shelter. Rats are common pests in the hospitality industry. They can really affect the reputation of your restaurant. Online reviews and blogs can fly around the web and soon enough your business can be drowning in negativity. When the weather gets cold rats are looking for a cozy place to hideout. Rats eat anything. So, left over food makes perfect meal for rodents.

Rat infestation communicates an unsanitary environment to others, which can be a huge negative to restaurants. Also, dirty kitchens and dining areas can result in certain shutdowns and costly rodent removal. Rats can also threaten food safety. They can cause damage to your property by gnawing wires and other soft materials. Also, they contaminate food areas with droppings.

Prevention is much less costly than removal.

Regularly check outdoor walls and roof for entry points or materials than can be manipulated by eager rats. Holes in foundation, soffit and shingles can be an invitation for rats to easily gain access. Make sure all these areas are properly sealed off. Use wire screen to block off areas rats can get in. A tough material will make it difficult for rats to chew their way in. They can chew and climb almost anything.

Keep areas clean. Especially in restaurants make sure nothing goes overlooked. Properly sanitize all surfaces and clean all crumbs. Any small pieces of food can be a reason for rats to start building nests and living in your restaurant. It sounds simple, but in a restaurant lots of things can go unnoticed. There’s food everywhere.

Signs of rat infestation

      • Rat droppings. Dark brown pellets like a grain of rice.
      • Bite marks. Rats chew on everything especially things made of plastic and wood.
      • Rub marks. Grease and dirt on their bodies leaves smudges.
      • Scratching noises. You may hear scratching sounds of rts scurrying or climbing.
      • Rat holes. Rats often build elaborate nests and burrows.
      • Rat nests. Some materials will be strewn around the area.
      • Footprints. Rat foot marks in dust and dirt.

Halifax rat control.

If any of the tons of rats in Halifax start to live in your building make sure to determine the level of the infestation. Learn as much as you can and contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.


What are citronella ants?

Citronella ants look like ants, but the workers are yellow and 4 mm long. Queens are about 8 mm long. The ants have a strong lemon smell when crushed that gives them their name citronella ant. The nest under soil, in logs and rocks, and landscape timbers. As for your property they also nest beside foundations and inside crawlspaces. Citronella ants make mounds of soil while digging galleries. Often they nest under slabs and porches. Sometimes they will push soil up through a crack and homeowners mistake this as a sign of termite damage.

Citronella ants often build nests in wood that has already been damaged by termites or fungus. In your home the ants nest in areas with lots of moisture. If you discover a significant amount of citronella ants it might be a sign that moisture is a problem. Finding the moisture should be a top priority.

Why moisture is bad for your home.

Too much moisture in your home can lead to a collection of issues for your health. Bacteria grows in moisture. Bacterial colonies grow on damp organic matter such as wooden boards. Higher moisture can increase mouse and cockroach allergens into the the air. And these pests flourish in damp environment. Dust mites thrive in damp and warm environments. Dust allergies are quite common. Worse of all mold can make you severely sick when spores are inhaled from contaminated air.

Citronella ants reproduction.

A queen will produce new workers, winged males and females called swarmers. All of this takes place in their nest. The winged ants fly out the nest and mate. Males die soon after mating and mated females move-on find new colonies as the queen.

Signs of infestation

Lots and lots of ants especially foraging workers and swarms of winged reproductives are the most likely sign of an infestation. Also, see the earth moved from cracks in concrete could be another sign. Often citronella ants become a pain when winged ants leave the colonies to try and mate. Winged ants emerge through a crack in slab or basement can be very bad for the homeowner. Most of the time these ants will not damage anything. And a vacuum cleaner is the most effective way to remove the ants.

The life of a Citronella ant.

There’s little known about the inner working of these colonies. The ants are believed to spend most of their time collecting honeydew they excrete. They usually do not forage for other foods. Nests are found in open woods, pastures and fallow fields, gardens, lawns and next to house foundations. Swarms can occur in and around homes at any time of the year. Most commonly it occurs in mid-summer to late summer.

Goderich ant removal.

Citronella ants might not do much damage to your home, but they can become a nuisance due to their pure numbers. If you have a mass amount of yellow ants on your property contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

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