Solved! The 7 Most Common Pest Problems in Toronto

Solved! The 7 Most Common Pest Problems in Toronto

Need quick solutions to unpleasant pest problems? We have them!

In this guide, we list the most common pest problems in Toronto and how to effectively deal with them. We focused on featuring home remedies with solutions that you can easily find at home.

Additionally, we opted for more natural solutions rather than those that use too many toxic (dangerous to humans and pets, anyway) chemicals or commercial pesticides. Read on to find out what these tricks are:

Bed Bugs

Unfortunately for Torontonians, the city bears notoriety for being the bed bug capital of Canada. With high cases of infestation in the city, it’s only wise to take preventive measures before it balloons to pure chaos.

Apart from general stress and anxiety, bed bugs can cause serious harm to your family. You might start seeing blisters on your skin and experience severe itching that keeps you up at night.

Signs That You Have Bed Bug Infestation:

  • Bloodstains on your pillowcases and bed sheets
  • Signs of bug excrement on mattresses, sheets, walls, and pieces of clothing.
  • Strong musty order and eggshells on common hiding spots
  • Red and itchy bed bug bites

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Bed Bugs:

  • Vacuum surfaces where bed bugs tend to hide and do a full-on clean, starting from thorough carpet cleaning to furniture and beddings. When you dispose of the vacuum bag, stay as far away as possible from your home.
  • Grind up packets of silica gel and spread them around the areas where bed bugs hide. If you have pets or kids at home, use baking soda instead to achieve the same effect.
  • Spread diatomaceous earth on cracks and crevices around your home. Never use it on your mattresses, though, as it can be harmful to the lungs.
  • Opt for herbal remedies ranging from tea tree oil to peppermint leaves and black walnut tea. Simply put these items on the infected areas without using insecticide.

Ants

The arrival of spring and summer seasons in Toronto is the go-signal that ants need to get out of hiding. They naturally infest the house looking for food, although they’re more commonly found in the kitchen and outdoor areas.

In general, ants don’t cause grave harm to people unless they’re of a specific species. They do carry diseases, though, as it’s likely that they’ll carry bacteria inside your home while transporting their food.

Signs That You Have Ant Infestation:

  • Large formation of ants condensed in one specific area
  • Sawdust trails inside and outside the house, usually near window ledges and wooden beams
  • Crumbling wooden structures and hollow wooden beams

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Ants:

  • Use a combination of glass cleaner and liquid detergent to erase the pheromone trails of ants. Spray it where ants congregate and wipe it down slightly, leaving a light residue.
  • Use white vinegar for hard surfaces such as kitchen countertops and floors. The formula should be a 1:1 ratio between water and vinegar. Mind that this isn’t advisable if your countertop or floor is made of acid-sensitive materials, like marble – the vinegar will literally corrode it.
  • For ants outside your home, use coffee grounds to repel them with the smell. Simply sprinkle them around to drive the pests away.
  • Remove junk from your yard and prune any growing branches from your shrubs and trees. Make sure that these growths don’t touch your exterior walls and windows.

Cockroaches

Being excellent crawlers, cockroaches are often hard to catch inside a home. In most cases, they stay inside crevices and other hidden locations, often during nighttime or humid seasons.

A single cockroach is a walking wave of serious potential diseases, with risks of food contamination and other threats. They can cause allergies or lead to diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.

Signs That You Have a Cockroach Infestation:

  • Grainy droppings found in areas where cockroaches travel around
  • Appearance of molted brownish cockroach skins 
  • Damage on food packages and unpleasant odor similar to must

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Cockroaches:

  • Never leave dirty dishes in your sink. Make sure your dishwasher is running at all times to help you with this.
  • Make a spray out of peppermint oil and saltwater. Do continuous applications of infected areas until you start seeing improvements.
  • Create a cockroach trap using borax and one tablespoon of sugar mixed in a bowl. Make sure that the bowl is disposable to avoid it being used again – and make sure this is in a space that kids and pets can’t reach.
  • Dispose of garbage inside your home and never leave them unattended. It’s advisable to change bags every week or daily depending on the waste you produce.
Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Cockroaches

Raccoons

As a Torontonian, you probably have a love-hate relationship with raccoons. They’re cute and all that but they’re pesky scavengers that can wreak havoc when startled or irritated. 

What you don’t want to happen is to attract them to your attic because they carry a wide range of diseases. They excrete roundworm eggs, spread leptospirosis through their urine, and infect rabies if they bite.

Signs That You Have a Racoon Problem:

  • Appearance of raccoon footprints (about four inches long)
  • Droppings and scratch marks at the base of trees
  • Toppled garbage cans or shuffling noises around your home 

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Raccoons:

  • Mix hot pepper sauce with a gallon of water and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Spray it on the affected areas to act as a “taste repellant”.
  • Use ammonia to repel raccoons living under patios or in the garden. Don’t forget to change them regularly!
  • Create simple DIY traps to trick raccoons. Use food such as tuna fish and marshmallows to attract them into the trap, then look for a humane animal control service to release them or take them to a different area.
  • Always clean your yard and get rid of dirt immediately. Keep your trash cans closed too or better yet, bring them inside once night comes.

Rodents

Rats and mice are some of the smallest yet most life-threatening pests in Toronto. The city has high records of rodent infestation too, so rats are truly a menace to its citizens.

Rodents can increase the risk of getting diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. They also damage personal belongings, which is a large threat to homeowners.

Signs That You Have a Rodent Problem:

  • Trails of rodent droppings inside cupboards or around food items
  • Strong stale smell around hidden areas
  • Existence of nesting materials (e.g. shredded paper)

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Rodents:

  • Inspect your home from top to bottom to see where the rodents are coming from. Then, proceed to seal the gaps you find in both the exterior and interior walls.
  • Get crushed peppers and sprinkle them around holes and openings. This is a natural deterrent that you can try indoors.
  • For the exterior of your home, you can sprinkle black pepper, cayenne pepper, or peppermint oil. Apply a generous amount on the ground and foundation structures.
  • Clean every corner of your home thoroughly. If you find it tough to deal with the cleaning alone, you can always hire cleaning services to help out.

Houseflies

Houseflies are everywhere, from the top of garbage cans to the ceilings and floors of your home. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), houseflies carry 65 diseases, including food poisoning, typhoid fever, cholera, and salmonellosis

Signs That You Have a House Fly Infestation:

  • Regular sightings of houseflies inside and outside your home
  • Clusters of houseflies on light and water
  • Breeding flies around food or piles of garbage

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Houseflies:

  • Commit to regular yard maintenance to minimize the risk of houseflies. For instance, you can hire an arborist to cut down your trees or simply trim your branches.
  • Mix apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a glass and cover with plastic wrap. Poke holes into the wrap so it can act as a trap.
  • Plant a couple of herbs and flowers to repel house flies away. Some of the ones you can use are bay leaves, marigold, bay leaves, and lavender.
  • Hang stick traps throat your house to catch houseflies. Remove once full.

Wasps 

Dealing with wasps and hornets can be a tricky thing to do without professional help. It’s more advisable to contact professionals like pest control experts to eradicate the issue since wasps can sting pretty badly.

Signs That You Have a Wasp Infestation:

  • Sightings of flying insects around your house 
  • Noticeable signs of chewing on the exterior of your home
  • Visible wasp nests in your property (constructed from either mud or chewed wood

Quick and Affordable Home Remedies for Wasps:

  • Create a mixture that suffocates wasps out of mint, apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel. Place in a spray bottle and apply in infested areas.
  • Mix essential oils including citronella oil, peppermint, and lemongrass with water and vinegar. Spray the solution generously on the wasp nest’s entry points.
  • If the nest is hanging loosely in the roof or attic of your house, get a cloth bag, wrap the nest, and seal it. Submerge the wrap in a bowl of water to drown the wasps.
  • Use dish soap and hot water to pour inside the openings of the wasp nest. Don’t forget to wear protective gear when doing this remedy.

Solving pest problems also solves issues that plague your home with anxiety and frustration. With these simple home remedies, you can deal with these issues without breaking the bank or going through serious trouble.