Pest Advice Blog

Four species of pest that pose a risk to your health.

The one thing we’re mostly concerned about during pest infestation is our health. There are lots of viruses, diseases, parasite and bacteria that can be spread through being bitten by certain species. These are the most common transmitters that pose the biggest risk the your health.


Rats are commonly known as a species that spread disease. Where there are people there are generally rats. Urbanization has seen a denser population of rats and they are becoming a growing concerns. There are two species of rat mostly found in Canada, the Norway rat and black rat. Norway rats are usually the more dominant and aggressive specie.

Rats carry numerou types of zoonotic diseases, ones that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Leptospirosis is a known disease that is borne in rats and can affect individuals who come into contact with rat urine. Rats actually have human pathogens that simply soak up human-origin microbes. So, rats can carry human borne diseases and transmit them back to people.

The most obvious spreading of rat borne diseases to humans is by being bitten by the rodent. But, in some cases you might not even have to come into direct contact with rats at all. You might not even have to see a rat to be exposed. Most of rat borne diseases are spread through urine, droppings and fleas.


There are about 80 species of mosquito in Canada and most of them are harmless to humans. Most of them don’t even bite humans and only few feed on blood. However, the few that do bite humans are known to spread disease. Mosquito-borne diseases are growing and there could be many different species developing. It’s best to reduce contact with mosquitoes by applying repellent.

Less than 10 species of mosquito in Canada pose the greatest risk. Culex mosquitoes are the biggests spreaders of West Nile virus. The numbers of cases of West Nile has steadily grown since first being discovered in 2002. Zika is another virus borne in mosquitoes that poses a risk to humans.


Canada has about 40 species of ticks and not all are attracted to humans. Most ticks have a specific type of animals they will associate with. The ones that bite humans are known as generalists. Blacklegged ticks are the species most related to the transmission of Lyme disease. Millions of ticks are thought to be brought to Canada every year by being dropped by birds.

When the tick ingests the blood of a host the disease passes through it and is produced into its saliva, so when it bites something else those pathogens are transmitted to its next host. It’ recommended to reduce exposure to ticks and using repellent containing DEET. Ticks are usually found in long grass or shrubs. Wear long pants if you’re heading into an area that might have ticks.

Female blacklegged ticks are most active laying eggs in late spring. After the larvae develop into nymphs during summer, this is when people are generally most at risk of being bitten. Ticks are incredibly small and can go undetected on humans or it’s host for a while. Adult ticks are active until winter and wait to attach themselves to a host.

Hamilton pest control.

There are a lot more pests that can be dangerous to people. It’s important to not let any growing concerns get out of control. Always call a professional to remove any pest infestations. Contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

How to prevent tick bites

Ticks have become more of a threat to our health. The tick population is steadily increasing and there are many species that can bite people. Most ticks associate themselves with a single species of wildlife, but some ticks will attach themselves to humans. They’re very difficult to see. A tick might not get bigger than a poppy seed, so in some cases it takes them biting you to realize you might have a tick problem.

What type of tick is dangerous to people?

The blacklegged or deer tick is the most common species in Ontario that can harm human populations. This species of tick is the one most known for carrying Lyme disease. Ticks will spend their time in shady, moist areas amongst long grass. Although it might be rare to come across ticks in suburban or urban areas, those of us who enjoy camping or spending time outdoors increase the risk of coming into contact with a tick.

Preventing tick bites.

It’s recommended to wear long pant when walking through long grass. Also, wear an insect repellent containing DEET. Cover up as much as you can even though it might be hot. Also, was all your clothes after returning home from camping. Check your body for any potential ticks and shower to get rid of any that have not attached. However, the best way to avoid tick bites is to not go near areas that potentially have high tick populations.

How to remove ticks.

Do not burn them. It is a common method to try and burn ticks off skin or cover them with petroleum jelly. These techniques could make the tick bite your even more. Get rid of ticks on your skin as soon as you spot them. The best method is to firmly grasp the tick with a pair of tweezers. Pull the tick straight back without twisting.

Always educate your children of ticks.

Children always enough rolling around in long grass or playing in wooded areas. Teach your children about the risk of ticks. Let them know they should try and avoid shady areas and should play in short well groomed grass. Pack lots of light coloured and long sleeved clothing. Apply insect repellent when needed.

What do tick bites look like?

The earliest sign of a tick bite with Lyme disease is a large Bull’s Eye type of rash. It may take weeks for actual signs of Lyme disease to appear. Following a tick bite always searching for rashes in the following weeks. Eventually fevers, chills and extreme fatigue may set in. After removing ticks from your skin, save them and take them into your local public health unit.

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Ticks can latch onto clothing and skin making their way into your home. Once you have ticks it might be difficult to remove larger populations. If you discover ticks in or around your property make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.


What are weevils?

With summer weather comes a large variety of different bugs and insects that might be lingering around your home. Weevils are one of the most common bugs you might find in your garden. However, some insects might be difficult to identify and this could be essential to removing any infestations.

What are weevils?

Weevils are a type of beetle. The weevil belongs to the family Curculionidae, which has the most species of any other type of beetle. It’s estimated that there are over 1,000 species of Curculionidae in North America. Each weevil species looks a little different with a wide range of colours and body shapes. Commonly weevils are slender or oval-shaped. They also range in size from about 3 mm to over 10 mm in length.

Weevils usually are dark colours such as brown or black. Some species have scales or shiny hairs covering their bodies. Weevils are most identifiable by the shape of their head. Adult weevils have an elongated head that forms a snout. Their mouth is at the end of the snout and some weevils may have snouts as long as their body.

A weevil’s diet.

Weevils are generally vegetarian eating mostly plants. Some species can destroy crops and other large gardens. The cotton boll weevil and the black vine weevil are common in large parts of North America and feed on a variety of plants. For most homeowners, weevils are found in fields, gardens or orchards. Weevils may also attack stored grains and seeds. They can be very destructive and can be expensive to control.

Are weevils destructive or dangerous?

To people weevils are mostly not dangerous. They do not bite or carry any diseases. However, they can be pests to homeowners mainly through their destruction of gardens and seeds. Also, their high numbers during an infestation can make them a nuisance to people. Weevils can get into window sills and doors. Although there may be a lot of weevils, they do not do any major structural damage to buildings.

Weevil control and removal.

When on the outside of your home, it may be difficult to notice any large collections of weevils. However, when the insect finds its way into a building, homeowners may notice hundreds of weevils on walls and around windows. Initial removal is quite simple with just a quick vacuum. Make sure to empty the vacuum outside to prevent further infestation.

Like most insect control, the best way to prevent infestation is by sealing any holes or cracks around doors and windows. Weevils are quite small and can get through the tiniest cracks. Weevils live in large numbers so sometimes it can be difficult for homeowners to remove infestations themselves. Make sure to contact a professional if problems persist.

Pest control

Sometimes insects that live in large groups can be difficult to control especially if they make their way into your home. If you see many small dark bugs collecting in your window sills make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

Bugs that bite

An insect’s ability to bite is what makes them scary to lots of people. Nobody wants to be bitten by a bug. They usually result in itchiness, swelling or worse. Heading into summer it’s good to be aware of the types of bugs that can bite.

Mosquitoes and flies

Canada is becoming known for its mosquito populations. In the spring, mosquitoes and flies are born and can be a real nuisance especially when travelling north to cottage country. Although some mosquitoes may carry west nile or other diseases, most of the time these insects are more annoying with them buzzing and flying around your face. Also, mosquito and fly bites are itchy and can be quite irritating.

Mosquito and fly bites are small red blemishes on the skin. They are commonly itchy and can form into a bump when swollen. Female mosquitoes do most of the biting. They have a piercing mouthpart they use to extract your blood. For children and people with immune system disorders, mosquito and fly bites may be dangerous or look different than bites on adults.

Bees and Wasps

Lots of people are terrified of bees and wasps. However, they will only really bite if they are provoked or feel like they’re in danger. So most of the time when people are panicked and swatting at bees and wasps flying close to them is not the best approach to avoiding stings. Their bites can be very painful and result in significant swelling of the area.

Bee and wasps stings can be dangerous especially for people with allergies. It can affect their respiratory system and can be critical to individuals with severe allergies. Bites can be treated with ice packs to reduce swelling and itchy. Upon being stung, immediately remove and stingers left over. Taking allergy medication can also reduce any swelling or side effects from the bite. If you have an allergy or experience any problem breathing immediately seek medical attention.


There are many different species of spiders and every type may have different bites and severity of side effects. Some species of spider may even be poisonous and any expected bites from these should be properly treated by medical professionals. However, many spiders found in common Canadian homes will probably only leave small bites and can even go unnoticed by the victim.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are usually found in dirty or unsanitary bedrooms. They live on mattresses or in sheets waiting for a host to lay down. Bed bugs will feast on blood of people sleeping in infested rooms. A bite is a small red blemish that is itchy. You can see if there have been bed bugs if there are small blood spots on the sheets. You can also spot the small bugs in the seams of the mattress or other crevices around the bed.

Treating insect bites

Always begin treating insect bites by cleaning the wound. Remove any stingers or other insect parts that might have been left behind after the bug bite. Clean the bite using soap and water or alcohol wipes. Any swelling can be reduced with a cold compress. Swelling may take a few days or weeks to completely go away and itchiness will remain for several days. Itchiness can be controlled with antihistamine creams for bites and stings.

Seek medical attention if the swelling or pain is so bad it prevents you from everyday duties. Or if the swelling continues to worsen more than a day after the bite. Some bites may also become infected and need medication to properly treat the area.

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If you notice insects have taken over parts of your home, you may be hosting a larger insect infestation. These can be bad if insects bite individuals with health concerns. If insect populations become an issue in your building make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

How to properly clean a BBQ.

Most rodents and pests are attracted to the allure of food and all their smells. A barbeque is an outdoor space where we cook delicious foods on our grill. But, because it’s already outdoors, those smells are a lot stronger to rodents looking for a quick snack. A lot of BBQs are open around the bottom of the grill or have small holes where pests can crawl through in search for food. It’s important to properly clean your grill.

Always cover your BBQ.

Most BBQs come with covers when they’re new. These covers are always great to use as a first line of defense against pests. It covers any points of entry around the sides and tops of the grill. After your BBQ has cooled down from recent use, place the cover over the grill making sure it protects most of the area. Covers also protect BBQs from the elements like wind and rain.

Properly clean your BBQ.

After using the grill make sure to scrape off any food that might of gotten stuck or fallen. This is just regular maintenance of a barbeque. However, it’s good to do a thorough clean every month or so to make sure there is no food or grease that has fallen or been stuck to surfaces in the BBQ. Make sure to spot clean after use. Before every use make sure to turn the grill up to high so any excess grime can be easily scraped away.

Give the grates a good scrub with a BBQ brush.

This will remove any excess food that might have been left over from any recent cooking. Scrubbing has the best results when the grill is hot or warm when food particles might of softened. You should use a wire brush, especially if the grill is hot. BBQs even allow you to remove the grill so you can give them a good wash with soap and water. Just in this circumstance it’s be to make sure the grill is cool. Allow them to properly dry before using next.

Remove and wash the burner protectors.

Under the grill, the burner protectors are like sloped piece of iron designed to deflect fallen debris away from the hot area of the grill. Loose food can result in fire or strange smokes coming from the BBQ. When removing them, make sure the BBQ is off. Grease may have fallen onto this surface. Use a hot water and wire scrub to give them a good clean.

Wipe dirt from the burners.

Once the burner protectors are removed, you will be able to see all the loose food that has fallen below the grill. Scoop it out and throw it away. Make sure the area is not hot before handling any pieces. Wipe the area with soap warm water. Make sure to rinse all the soap and filth away before reassembling the BBQ.

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Leftover food from your BBQ is a prime target for most pests and insects. It’s easy for them to access. If you BBQ is close to you house, then you are attracting creatures that might want to live in your home. If you notice any signs of infestation make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

Opening the cottage and things to look out for.

Many of our cottages are in areas with high wildlife populations. The middle of the woods is the perfect tranquille place to enjoy some a relaxing weekend. However, there are lots of things to watch out for when spending time so close to mice, rats and insects. Upon your first cottage visit of the season you might notice rodents or insects living in the area to avoid the cold winter temperatures. Pest nests are the last thing you want to deal with when you’re trying to relax this summer.

Animal poo in cottage

This is one of the first signs there have been animals living in your vacant cottage. Mice and rats might have made the space their own, roaming the building at their own free will. Droppings are an easy identifier to if you have any sort of infestation concern. One or two small droppings might not be worth worrying too much about. But, large collections of feces could be a real concerns. This means there could be a nest nearby. Mouse droppings are small dark pellets resembling rice. If you find this you might want to have a closer look at the area and try to identify any problems.

Search for points of entry.

Pests can easily fit through tiny holes in exterior walls of your cottage. If you haven’t properly sealed every crack and hole, then you might have rodent problems. An entry point for rodents is easy to identify due to the worn edge or grease that mice and rats leave when brushing against objects. It’s best to try and fix these issues in the fall before closing the cottage for the winter. But, when you first get up there in the spring have a walk around. Look and see if there are any potential points of entry.

Things to consider checking when opening the cottage.

Look to make sure there hasn’t been any damage to the property. There could be fallen trees or power lines due to heavy snow or winds. They could have fallen through the roof of your cottage and made the area incredibly unsafe. Always check to make sure the area is safe before entering the cottage.

Make sure there isn’t anything blocking the chimney or electrical lines. Once you get the cottage started this may cause issues with air flow. A blocked chimney or electrical lines could cause a fire.

Make sure nothing has started to live under the deck. Have a look under the cottage. Sometimes larger pests might have built their nest down there. It’s best to remove any potential infestations.

Inspect in the cupboard and closets for mice droppings. Rodents can sneak into tight spaces and the might be running through cupboards in the kitchen to get food that might have fallen behind appliances.

Look at ceiling and walls for water leaks. Water damage to a building could be one of the worst things you can have. Once there’s moisture, mold can spread and it can do serious damage to your cottage.

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It’s never a good idea to take infestation removal into your own hands. Many things can go wrong with DIY wildlife removal. So, even up at the cottage if you discover signs of pest infestation contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

When do cockroaches come out?


As the weather gets warmer the prospect of cockroaches grows. Cockroaches generally prefer warmer moist climates. So, with humid summer temperatures, cockroaches can be a reality in your home.

Cockroaches are versatile.

Cockroaches will eat anything and survive in most climate. They’re commonly found near garbage cans as these are the easiest place to find food. Cockroaches can survive off very little water and can multiply really fast. Over the course of a summer your cockroach problem can easily change into an infestation.

Cockroaches can get into really tight spaces. They have the ability to flatten to ridiculous levels making it simple for them to crawl under doors and kitchen appliances. Also, cockroaches are nocturnal and seem to afraid of light. This is why we see them scurry after we turn on the light. In most circumstance cockroaches will come out at night.

Summer is cockroach season.

During colder months cockroaches will hide and build nests in walls or other warm places. There are many species of cockroach that are affected by the change in temperature. However, this might not make much of a difference in highly populated areas. New Yorkers can experience cockroaches at any time of the year.

The best way to prevent cockroaches is by keeping your house clean, especially the kitchen. Most of the time cockroaches are flocking into buildings in search for food. Your kitchen is the easiest place for them to find something to eat.

Cockroaches produce a bad odour when in larger numbers.

If one cockroach has found an abundance of food and water, it’s only a matter of time before others start to follow. Cockroaches will spend colder months in clusters behind baseboards and drawers, in cracks around cabinets and closets ad under the sink, stove or fridge.

Seeing cockroaches is another sign you may have an infestation. Spotting any insect visitors should lead to further investigation into where they might be hiding or getting in. It’s always best to keep areas of your home clean and it will prevent them from coming in numbers.

Identifying roach feces is important if you suspect a problem. Roach feces can vary depending on species, but most of them can be identified as tiny specks of pepper to brown stains to coffee grounds to oval pellets.

Finding roach eggs is nothing but bad news. If you find eggs or egg cases you can be dealing with a larger number of cockroaches in your building. Oblong brown casings can be seen soon after baby roaches are hatched. Sometimes you might even find untouched roach eggs stuck to hidden areas.

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Sometimes a cockroach infestation can be difficult to stop or identify. They do a lot of their activity in the cloak of darkness. But, if you discover any of the signs for cockroaches make sure to immediately contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

A rodent’s favourite part of your kitchen

Rodents like kitchens because it’s the pace in the house with the most food. Mice and rats will make nests that have easy access to the kitchen. It’s important to keep the area clean. But, the best rodent control method is to stop it from even starting and sealing any points of entry on outside of the building. Rodents have their eyes on your kitchen. Here’s some of their favourite items.

Loose food in the cupboards

Grains, rice and cereal are part of their diet. If you make it easy for mice to find a meal, then they will infest your house. Sometimes cupboards can be difficult to keep clean. Things may spill or fall over, but you can’t see it because it’s hidden by the cupboard doors. Soft materials are easy for rodents to chew through. Plastic, paper and other soft packaging can be gnawed and chewed on by rodents. It’s best to store loose food into a resealable container. Glass jars with screw lids are the most efficient way to properly store food.

Mouse droppings can easily contaminate your food supply. If mice are in your cupboards, then they’re probably leave droppings. These can soak into food and contaminate the area. This can make people living in the house sick and spread different diseases and parasites.

Crumbs on the floor

It’s easy to just wipe crumbs and other garbage onto the floor. You should regularly be sweeping the floor and mopping up any food spillage. Leaving crumbs and waste on the floor makes it’s way too easy for rodents to get a quick meal.

Crumbs can also lead to other problems with insects. Keeping a clean kitchen is important to pest control. Using all purpose sanitizer can be enough to clean surfaces and cupboards. A simple wipe with warm water and soap can also simply clean any area. Make sure to tidy up any dirty dishes after eating. These can leave stains and other messes behind. Keep it clean.

Garbage under the sink

Under the sink the a hotspot for rodent activity. Rats are attracted to the dark damp area and easy access to water. Mice follow pipes through the wall ending under the sink. But, the most appetizing thing about under the sink is the garbage. There can be a lot of food waste or containers that have food traces on. Rodents have no preference on where they get food from. Garbage will do just fine as well.

It’s recommended to purchase garbage containers with locking lids. This can make it difficult for rodents to access the garbage. Also, garbage containers made of softer materials can easily be manipulated and chewed through. Make sure to take food waste out immediately after tidying the kitchen. Any smells or easily accessible food will attract rodents to your kitchen.

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The kitchen is the most attractive place to a rodent. There are many easy sources for them to find food. If you discover rodents in the kitchen makes sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.


Businesses with rodent problems

Many businesses have different problems. Rodents are just a reality of most business. But, it’s important they maintain a clean environment and have regular inspections to make sure they’re up to code.

Restaurants, bars and cafe

Businesses that serve food have always been susceptible to rodent infestations. Although we don’t like to think of mice and rats in our favourite restaurants, rodents are inevitable to finding a way into kitchens. It’s up to the restaurant management to be on top of any potential rodent problems.

Areas storing food and garbage should be properly sealed off from the outside. If you allow space for rodents to enter, they will come and contaminate food supplies. There are several guidelines restaurant staff must follow in minimizing infestations. Every year restaurants undergo vigourous health and safety inspections. Each business must post their where customers can see it. Low scores might mean business have to close until they correct any issues.

Grocery Stores

Again, food, food, food. Rodents love warm safe places with an easy access to food. Grocery stores have the most food to offer for rodents to easily slip inside and make their home. Any size infestation can result in mass food contamination. Pests and rodents carry lots of various diseases and parasites that can spoil food items. 

Mouse droppings can seep and ooze through packaging and contaminate food. This can be a huge problem for grocery stores. Once contamination develops it can spread through different food items and can overcome the store.


Hotels are usually quite large buildings. They can be difficult to coordinate and make sure rodents cannot enter at any point. Hotels take a lot of cleaning. If some rooms are left untidy they can be an easy place for rodents to nest. The building can easily start to slip below a standard and when this happens rodent might find their way to the hotel.

Rodents are a sign of a dirty area. This can be one of the worst reputation for any hotel. Nobody will stay somewhere with negative reviews. Especially online reviews can severely harm business.


Schools are another place that is difficult to keep clean. There are many different people and children especially are normally untidy people. They might leave old pieces of rotten food in their locker or desk. These smells can attract rodents.

Not to mention all of the soft materials rodents can use to build nests. Paper and cardboard are the best materials for mouse and rat nests. As long as there’s a regular food supply, then there will always be rodents not too far away.

Farms, campsites and other outdoor business

Any sort of building that is close to a wooded area will attract wildlife. In the winter rodents will be looking for a warm place to hide. These outdoor buildings are easy for rodents to get into. Unfortunately this is a reality for these types of business. Being directly connected to the outdoors opens your doors to rodents and other wildlife to nest in that area.

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Rodents are mostly attracted to food. They will go anywhere that has an easy access to food. If you discover any evidence of rodent infestation make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.

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

Pest Advice Blog

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