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(604) 902-7417
We Specialize in Pest Control Services; Chimney and Duct Cleaning; Wood, Branch and Tree Removal; and, Fire Services.
"Sustainably Focused on YOUR Environment"

Critter Get Ritter

Sustainably Focused

Sustainability is protecting the environment, working well with others, and being excellent at what we do.

Innovators in eco-friendly business, customer satisfaction, and leadership.

Your convenience is our specialty including chemically free options.

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Greetings from the Sea to Sky and Chilcotins. Happy Labour Day!

Greetings from the Sea to Sky and Chilcotins. Happy Labour Day!

sheeba

 

Included are a few helpful and friendly reminders from Critter Get Ritter before your busy fall:

  • Get the wood appliances serviced, cleaned, repaired and installed before it gets too cold;
  • Preserve your firewood.  Keep it dry and stored away from house; and,
  • Keep the critters out.  Call us or set your traplines before our first snowfall(s).

If you could let us know if we can help out with any-thing that’d be great.  Thanks, Sincerely, Tristan Galbraith

(604) 902-7417 Critter Get Ritter

Perma Guard DE

Our Perma Guard Diatomaceous Earth has no expiration date!  It is already been fossilized as shell remains on the bottoms of fresh water lake beds thousands of years old.

Diatomaceous earth is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world.   Classified as a prehistoric algae, they are like the grass of the oceans, rivers and lakes and were fed upon by the oceans early grazers.  

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diatom2diatomDiatomaceous-Earth-Powder

RECOMMENDED DAILY RATES: Kittens – 1/2 teaspoon
Cats – 1 teaspoon
Puppies – 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Dogs under 35 lbs. – 1 teaspoon
Dogs over 35 lbs. – 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 100 lbs. – 2 tablespoons
Cattle, Dairy Cows, & Hogs – 2% of dry feed ration
Chickens – 5% in feed
Goats & Sheep – 2% in grain
Horses – 1/2 to 1 cup in daily ration
*Humans – 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons daily

Most dose by mixing food grade diatomaceous earth in a glass of water before bed or first thing in the morning, well before breakfast, to allow diatomaceous earth time to move through and absorb toxins from one’s digestive tract without interfering or absorbing nutrients from foods or liquids.

EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR LIVESTOCK, BARNS, COOPS, KENNELS, & LITTER BOXES:   

Use DE throughout the barn, coops, pastures, and grazing areas.  It keeps flies from laying eggs and developing.  It is excellent in the fowl coops – on the ground, in nesting/dusting boxes, brans and coops to prevent lice and mites.

Apply to kennel areas to help reduce odors, and especially if moist in the area to dry.

It will keep your kitty litter box dryer too

A small amount of food grade DE applied to livestock water keeps algae from growing on hot summer days.

Our Perma Guard is great for compost piles, to prevent breeding, control odors and keep the disease and toxins down!

HOME APPLICATIONS: 

If you are building a new home, or structure apply our DE on the inside of the walls, in the attic, and other areas.  Prevent any pesky critters from starting up.  Apply to baseboards, where floor meets wall, under appliances, inside cabinets and drawers, inside wall outlets, lightly in carpeting, and anywhere you might be having or at some point have an insect problem.

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YARD, GARDEN, & LANDSCAPE APPLICATIONS:  

DE’s minerals are great for the yard and gardens.  DE has a pH of 8.0 so alkalizes the soil.

OUTDOOR CRITTERS AFFECTED:   Ants, carpenter ants,  fire ants, caterpillars, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, cockroaches, snails, spiders, termites, scorpions, silver fish, lice, mites, flies, centipedes, earwigs, slugs, aphids, Japanese beetles (grub stage), bed bugs, fruit flies, beetles, tree borers, stink bugs, squash vine borers, thrips, loopers, and much more!

MINERALS: 

Perma Guard diatomaceous earth contains 15 trace minerals including: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc iron, phosphorus, selenium, and more

After a couple weeks use people constantly note shinier coats, better health, production, and even more positive attributes in their animals and self who are fed food grade diatomaceous earth regularly.

FLY CONTROL:   Sprinkle DE on livestock when flies are present. Dust barns, and coops, after animals have been through to reduce flies and breeding.  When you feed it to dogs, cats, and livestock it comes out in the manure and prevents flies from growing in the waste.

GRAIN STORAGE & PROTECTION:   Since it is “food grade”, makes no difference in taste or cooking quality, yet adds 15 trace minerals but will remove any bugs.

Suggested grain storage use:  1 cup of DE will protect 50 lb’s of grain — 5 cups.

DETOX & CLEANSING BENEFITS:   Food grade diatomaceous earth has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and more!  It detoxifies the body.

There are some features about Perma Guard that correspond with its ability as both a digestive aid, a colon cleanser and cholesterol reducer.  The honeycomb skeletal form of diatomaceous earth is found  to reveal a tendency to become filled and clogged with hard debris such as yucky intestinal scale.

NATURAL BENEFITS:                                                

·         Dehydrates internal & external worms and parasites;

·         Controls bugs:  fleas, flies, ants, bed bugs, ticks, mites, lice, aphids, silverfish, spring tails, etc.;

·         15 trace minerals – healthy & natural for animals, humans, plants, and soil;

·         No feed withdrawal for milk or feed animals;

·         Decreased disease and infection;

·         Decreased mortality;

·         Better feed conversion;

·         Helps detox heavy metals, e-coli, bacteria, viruses, etc.;

·         Promotes shinier coats, skin, nails, hair;

·         Digestive aid;

·         Colon cleanser;

·         Helps stop feces, dirt, and rock eating;

·         Better production;

·         Eliminates pests in stored grains;

·         Reduces odor;

·         Drying agent;

·         Reduces moisture content;

·         Anti-fungal properties – good for gardens & ponds;

·         Reduces overall stress;

·         Cost effective; and

·         DE means a reduction in vet bills, feed bills, and disease; and increase in health.

 1kg. / 2.2 lbs. $19.95

2kg. / 4.4lbs. $34.95

22.7kg. / 50 lbs. $74.95

Perma Guard DE is Health Canada, as well USDA, FDA & EPA approved.   Its the purest form worldwide, and a top seller.  Perma guard is not comparable to big box Home depot, Canadian tire or home hardware DE brands.  It dissolves in water in 30 seconds!  

Available USPS, Canada Post and Priority International.

Vermont Castings Intrepid II Classic Catalytic Wood Stove

intrepid 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great for cooking, and looking; and, uses one quarter the wood of a regular wood stove with less emissions!

Bordeaux enamel paint, Classic black and a number of other colour options are now available.

The enamel is actually about 20 pounds heavier and has a great iconic look that changes colour depending on the angle you look at it.  Woaha trippy!

Reasons You Need A Chimney Inspection & Sweep

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Toasty comfort on a chilly night after a day on the hill.  Many of our customers wanted more from there pest control and we knew where to start.

There are many reasons why you need a clean chimney. Due to chimney fires, each year, fire prevention experts say, lives are tragically lost and millions of dollars in property damage sustained that could have been prevented had the homeowner adhered to a simple maintenance schedule.

Here are a couple reasons to clean and inspect your chimney regularly:

1) Remove Blockages

Chimneys are warm environments that can provide excellent breeding grounds for small mammals.  Animals such as squirrels, raccoon’s and birds like the air that travels through the chimney because of its warmth, and shelter. As a result, they might create harbourages in chimneys that might end up clogging the system and creating big problems.  One of the byproducts of that crackling fire homeowners so enjoy is also that dark ugly creosote, and it is carried by smoke into the chimney. Some creosote coats the walls of the chimney, and if it becomes too thick it can catch fire.  People who clean their chimney at annually will reduce this problem, and pest control is our specialty so don’t worry too much about them critters.

Wood Burning Stove

2) Increase Efficiency

Ensuring fuel burns better and heats your home effectively, chimney sweeping removes unwanted odours that might result from accumulated debris and soot. Moreover, it prevents the acidic qualities of soot/creosote from damaging the fireplace that if left unattended will corrode and predispose many other problems.   Heavy creosote can even hinder the flow of carbon monoxide, a dangerous, odorless gas that is usually carried through the chimney and outside of the home.

Flames in the Attic

3) Peace of Mind

Here are also some warning signs homeowners should not ignore:

-Build-up of soot on the damper, chimney or fireplace walls;
-Smoke inside home when fires are burned; and
-Burning smell even when fireplace isn’t being used.

Contact our sales department for a chimney/fireplace inspection and clean (604) 902-7417

 

 

NGO’s Pest Protection and Leadership in Canada

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Pest Control Tips

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Prevention and deterrence are key to ensuring effective pest control and why we encourage our local regular inspection and a proactive and preventative programs.  Preparing your home prior to pest or wild-life invasion is the best way to avoid damage and inconveniences.  Critter Get Ritter is the only pest control company based and from Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish.  We also offer not only pest control inspection, but the chimney, vent, roof and fireplace inspection with installation available as well.  Now about the free tips!

  • Ensure your garbage container is secure;
  • Do not leave garbage outside;
  • Do not apply bone meal or fish fertilizer to your gardens;
  • Harvest gardens and fruit from trees when ripe; do not allow fruit to accumulate on the ground;
  • Take down bird-feeders in spring and summer, make sure there is no over-spill and use is monitored;
  • Keep yards clear of unnecessary clutter; and
  • Contact us (604) 902-741.

Lack of Canadian Identity in Pest Control & Similar Industries

 

 

Hon J Baird Canadian Identity Secured in the Global Social Fabric July 14page1

Hon J Baird Canadian Identity Secured in the Global Social Fabric July 14page2

Our Favorite Snack: Ants on a Log

A nutritious alternative here are some tips for Ants on a Log:

Ants on a log are a timeless classic that have recently been enhanced with advances in nut butters and chunky versionsdifferent flavors of chocolate (white, milk, dark), butterscotch and carmel chips; and, other topping technologies such as chocolate sauce, whip cream, butterscotch, honey and more.   Here is our favorite version with some nutritional information:

1) Cut large, organic, slightly under ripe Banana Into Flat Pieces.

Tips on Banana’s, the glycemic index and our health:

It is a myth that bananas should always be kept at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, where there is also less of a  risk of Fruit Flies laying eggs.  Although the skins will turn black in the refrigerator, the fruit will spoil less quickly, and under ripe banana’s have a lower glycemic Index due to the resistant starches our bodies lack the enzymes to digest.   This being said, although the sugar levels and glycemic indexes vary, all banana’s are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.  More here: http://www.glycemicindex.com/

2) Spread Chunky Almond Butter Evenly Over Banana Pieces.

3) Insert Dark Chocolate Chips. And:

4) Enjoy!!

 

http://crittergetritter.com


Pest Control Duality: Whistler Chimney & Services

http://whistlerchimney.com/

whistler-chimney

  • Chimney Sweeping & Inspection; 
  • Vent and Air Duct Services;
  • Emergency Services; and
  • Fireplaces.

Born and Bred in Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton British Columbia.  

A member of Critter Get Ritter, WETT BC, Whistler Chamber of Commerce and more!

 

We are “Sustainabily Focused On Your Environment.”

 

 

If you havent already contact us for more information

(604) 902-741

info@crittergetritter.com

 

Historic Identity Loss: PCO vs. Exterminator/Trapper Legislative Complaint’s

Critter Get Ritter

“Sustainably Focused on Your Environment.”

Tristan A. Galbraith
111 Whitewater Drive,
Whistler, BC V0N 1B0

March 10th, 2014

Honourable James Moore – Minister of Industry
2603 St. John’s St.
Port Moody, British Columbia
V3H 2B5

Dear Mr. Moore

Congratulations on your appointment into Harper’s cabinet and 28th ministry post after the last 2011 federal election. I truly admire you dignity and goodwill to represent our wonderful country and province combined with amplitude to voice your opinions and feelings given all of the challenges we keep facing. Your effective mandate efforts to serve the people of Canada currently and into the future is praised for time such as this. Canada has political representation with a trusted responsible leadership and proven track record they can applaud, trust and look up to. Thanks.

More than three few years ago, I began a small pest and wildlife control business called Critter Get Ritter with some rat traps, a cage and spray can in beautiful Whistler, BC. Since then we have evolved as the leader in pest and wildlife control; air quality control; chimney and vent sweeping, inspection and installation; trapping and fur trading; and gutter cleaning, roof snow shovelling and roof repairs. However it is very difficult attracting, recruiting, training and maintaining a suitable workforce that is required to grow the company as needed by the amount of work which is available in the field. Many of these problems are related to the terminology structural pest control, its designations, training and lack of cultural tradition. The wording pest control is too misleading, lacks technicalities and formalities, and is biased using a preeminent non historic vocabulary. Trapping and extermination uses more suitable wording and are greater culturally viable options for what it is we do, and what will attract others with suitable skills and interests into the fields.

300 years ago, before mining, forestry, oil and gas, maple syrup, pest control and every other Canadian industry, there were trappers. They formed our country over long rough winters and fur traded through the spring and summer seasons before another long rugged winter began. Together using the designation trapper and exterminator would provides a more accurate description of what it is we do rather then what is our current structural pest control title. It is easier for people to understand exterminator and trapper than it is structural pest control technician given its more significant history. Using proven historic vocabulary we will see increased willingness in the actively employed, being involved in something where they are learning, growing, developing as a society while they are interested; and most importantly productively contributing to our struggling economy.

Before structural pest control technicians (or managers), there were exterminators which is a more suitable title given our job, what is required structurally and is without increased formalities that are misleading for the public and customers. During the 1970s and 1980s exterminators worked and helped grown an advantageous industry that increased in growth more significantly than what is accustomed nowadays using the structural pest control designation. Given the pest control technician or management title, we are over-committing ourselves to either too many hours, a continuance or free service and often exuberant charges that can rival rebuilding or construction skilled trade costs. In turn, this title is attracting a low calibre of employee, more often than not, has a low interest, high cyclical turn around, and is to misleading as to what the job and Canadians are really about. Bringing back the extermination field and exterminator ensures Canada’s leadership at attracting productive, employable, and viable forms of industry that will shape and form our country and provinces more suitably. It has not changed that people contact us to perform a service inspection; we spray an insecticide, set traps and consult our professional opinion however the name is misleading, and is shocking and confusing to most.

Historically we are bug killers and trappers and this has worked better over the years, especially at attracting skilled talented employees and growing our industry. Simply look at the numbers. The BC Ministry of Environment, Health Canada, The PMRA, and the US EPA need to take the lead on these items, we would like to see change, and will do our best to encourage and grow out industry so the international attention and economic fuel it deserves are recognized.

As a committed entrepreneur, the quality of the ingredients makes the best flavor: a willingness to serve others, communicate and recognize my customers and communities so they can have their needs met by the best. Without leadership and action, hard-working staff of integrity and energy, such as myself, desiring to be an employer building a future may yield frustrations, and defeat. Canadians and the policies of the Conservative party believe in Small Business, James, can you recommend how we help build a more productive country? Critter Get Ritter can provide endless potential, but we demand an ability to locate and choose staff that has value to work, and enjoy our community in our wonderful nation of Canada, and province of British Columbia.

Thank you,
Sincerely,

Tristan Galbraith
Tristan Galbraith
(604) 902-741

Canadian Green Building Council Letter

Critter Get Ritter

PO Box 754,

Whistler, BC V0N 1B0

 

January 13th, 2014

 

Canadian Green Building Council

47 Clarence Street, Suite 202

Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9K1

 

Dear Sir/Madam:

 

Congratulations on developing and contributing to the conservation of our environment and your recent accomplishments including rapid cumulative growth during the past four years, as well as awarding the skilled local contractors over the major corporate big city contractors. It is also great that your organization and green building designations achieved great recognition when Vancouver achieved the ‘Best Green Building Policy’ in the world Greenest City 2020 Action Plan World GBC Government Leadership Awards. We commend your designated achievements and look forward to hearing more about the council in the future, nice work!

 

Our Canadian similarities are futile compared to the USA Green Building Council and LEED, including other international developing green building groups and UN associations. We know more could be done to develop an iconic vivid heritage that has ensured our survival during our country’s past 300 years during our growth and development. What is the Canadian Green Building Council doing differently to keep our iconic Canadian culture and heritage alive, functioning, conscientious, alert and unique in their own building and manufacturing practices? What is done differently that justifies your organizations current growth?

 

We seem misdirected moving away from the simple building materials, including those reused or derived more sustainably from forestry, and mining, especially where shut down and in operation during the past. It is an embarrassment that iconic Canadian building standards like wood and solid fuel burning; as well as cultural heritages and history of: fisheries and oceans; agriculture and farming; and trapping, hunting and fur trading are not mentioned on your website, reports, and certifications. It is sad and disappointing that more Canadian organizations, industries, and councils such as yours are not getting more involved in this, and that our future generations cannot wake up and not see what it might have been to be a Canadian a hundred years ago, or more. Too many are already experiencing what is not truly iconic or a part of our traditional heritage and culture and your organization is doing little to nothing about it.

 

What can be done to revert our great nation back to the international recognition it deserves, as a country of survivors and pioneers who thrived on survival and self-sufficiency in our cold and remote climates? Canada is not the source of “Arctic Cold” but of rich resources and independent spirit that can be built upon using the tenacity of natural materials, and continuance of organic skills and experiences. Historically we have achieved this and created our identity as a nation of haves, not dependant upon greater industrialization but our interdependent survival aptitudes.

 

As a committed, young, experienced entrepreneur and professional, the quality and type of the ingredients makes the best flavor: a willingness to serve others, communicate and recognize customers, communities, countries and those from overseas thus ensuring needs are met and exceeded by the preeminent. Without distinctive partisan leadership and action, including diligent and energetic staff desiring to lead and construct a truly Canadian Green Building Council your future may yield frustrations, and defeat. Your organization can provide endless potential, but we demand your ability to construct uniquely Canadian structures and identities derived from our heritage and culture thus truly enjoying our green iconic identity where communities can thrive and survive in there own natural environments. Survival through endurance bonds a unique prosperity others will only desire when we can build upon and share.

 

Thank you,

Regards,

Sincerely,

Tristan Galbraith

Critter Get Ritter

(604) 902-7417

-- 

Tristan Galbraith
Critter Get Ritter
(604) 902-7417

 

 

Green Building Council Jan 13th

Rat Facts

When you think of rats, what comes to mind? The fabled giant rats of New York City sewers? The leader of the teenage mutant turtles Splinter?   Your friends pet?  What-ever it may be, there are many types of rats: kangaroo rats, Norway rats, cotton rats, pack rats, wood rats, greater stick-nest rats, roof rats, naked mole rats and even the giant Mallomys rat. These fur laden critters are instrumental in helping researchers develop medical cures, and despite the fact that they are not considered as cute and cuddly as hamsters and gerbils, rats are affectionate, intelligent, friendly creatures. To learn some facts about the amazing animal that is the rat continue reading.

 

Rats are not very picky omnivores. They have poor vision, they’re colorblind, and they mostly rely on smell and whiskers to sense what is going on. They have some very strong teeth and can chew through wood, metal, even concrete. They’re also highly social, enjoying play and cuddling with other rats. They develop deep bonds with their rat pack, and if a member of the group becomes sick they will care for it. A lonely rat is an unhealthy rat. It will quickly develop uneasiness and depression.

 

Unlike dogs, rats enjoy chocolate, and it won’t hurt them. They love games and are as highly curious as cats.  They even enjoy snuggling up on your lap while you watch a movie or read a book.  While they chow down on Ritter and other types of chocolate bars, they do not have thumbs or canine teeth, and can be selective on what they eat.  From mating to hook-up rats will find mates quickly, and more often than not, get there freak on before you even know what’s happening, in as little as 2 seconds. They can go with out water longer than a camel, and fall 40 feet without being injured. In North American culture a rat is associated with dishonesty and cunning, but in other cultures, particularly Asian, they are viewed with favorable characteristics like honesty, hard work, intelligence and good luck. They’re not considered dirty or undesirable and are actually very clean. The Year of the Rat is the first year of the Chinese zodiac they are even an important part of eastern spirituality.

The rats of New York are infamous, from foot-long critters living in Central Park tree´s, attacking people, taking up residence in the rubble of 9/11, and popping up out of toilets.   They are associated with a disaster that claimed 1/3rd of the global population during the spread of the Bubonic Plague in medieval Europe.  Yet they have changed the course of history for the better. They exposed the squalor of Chinatown in San Francisco, driving rent strikes in the 1960s and there amazing memory, rapid learning ability, curiosity, hardiness and friendliness make them ideal for research and service to humans. They can sniff out land-mines, bombs and identify tuberculosis; they can be used in search and rescue however unfortunately for them, they’re also very tasty. Pets, medicine, helpers, and yes – dinner.

Whistler (604) 902-7417
Squamish (604) 849-5416
Vancouver (604) 364-7417
E-Mail: info@crittergetritter.com

 

Dryer Vent Cleaning

 


Who Needs Dryer Vent Cleaning??

Everyone´s dryer will run run more efficiently with yearly dryer vent cleaning, if you dryer vent is over ten feet long it becomes a very serious fire hazard if left unserviced. Do not fall victim to this the costs are too high!

Call Critter Get Ritter today.

You will be amazed at the difference a clean dryer vent can make.

1) Reduce your risk of a dryer fire.

2) Drastically lower your power bill.

3) Your dryer will last longer with less repairs.

4) Your clothes will dry faster with less lint left on them.

5) Clogged vents cause dryers to overheat.

6) We strive to commit to competitive pricing.

The process pays for itself

 

 

 

 

Sea to Sky Stinger & Buzzer: Bald Faced Hornet

A common wasp in the Sea to Sky is actually called a hornet. The bald faced hornet, dolichovespula maculata, or white wasp are seen North American wide, and are well-known for hanging paper nests and females’ defending them with repeated stings. These flying critters will attack aggressively with little provocation. A full size nest is usually 10 inches in diameter and they are most active in July, August and September.

wasp

As mentioned, the bald-faced hornet is actually in the genus of wasps called yellowjackets, but is not commonly called wasp in North America because it lacks the yellow colouring. In the British sense, it is not a ‘true hornet’ because it is not a member of the genus Vespa (which include the Asian giant hornet, and European hornet…)

2 foot nest’s have been seen in and around Whistler decks and trees, and we have heard of some approaching 3 feet already this summer. They are more aggressive than both wasps normally called yellowjackets and members of the vespa hornet genus, and it is not considered safe to approach the nest for observation purposes.

LIFE CYCLE
In the Winter wasp’s, and bald faced hornets die minus the queens, who hibernate underground, under logs or in hollow trees until the spring when things heat up. Every year, these queens are re-born, fertilized, and begin a new colony and nest area. Once nesting location is found, the queen begins building it, lays a first batch of eggs, and feeds this first group of larvae.

These quick developing larvae will soon become workers and assume the chore of expanding the nest — done by chewing up wood which is mixed with a starch in their saliva. This mixture is then spread with their mandibles and legs, drying into the paper-like substance that makes up the nest.

Workers guard the nest and feed on nectar, tree sap and fruit pulp. They also capture insects and arthropods, which are chewed up to be fed to the larvae.

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Like other social wasps, bald-faced hornets have a caste system:
Queen – Fertile female which starts colony and lays eggs.
Workers – Infertile females which do all work except laying eggs.
Drones – Males: have no stingers, and are born from unfertilized eggs.
New queens – Fertile females, each of which, once fertilized, may start its own nest in the spring.

Bald-faced hornets visit flowers, especially in late summer, and can be minor pollinators.

It is believed later in wasp season when fruit is falling off trees many of the wasp become intoxicated from the plants over abundance of sugar.

Bald-faced hornets on nest

The European Fire Ants

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The European fire ant, first recorded in North Vancouver in 2010, has since been confirmed in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton thus encouraging us to write this blog, keep the public informed and encourage there removal, prevention and thus there total eradication  It is believed this species is native to Europe and Asia but was first introduced to eastern North America around 1900 around in the Boston area and has since spread to thousands of areas where habitat reaches greatest potential.   This aggressive, swarming and biting small insect critter prefers our moist environment, making irrigated properties, gardens and moist wet areas on the West Coast an ideal place to become established.  Colonies can reach densities of up to four nests per square metre, hindering gardens, lawns and parks potentially unusable for normal activities even impacting agricultural crops where they may even displace native ants in their natural environment.

Here is a tip:

1) Make your property less favorable to fire ants, not moving soil, mulch or plants from infested areas; and

2) Contact a local professional.

 

 

Tristan Galbraith and Gary Bizzo Toronto Star Write Up

http://www.thestar.com/business/small_business/people/2013/02/12/simple-management-strategies-to-deal-with-the-four-types-of-smal.html  

Perma-Guard Food Grade Fossil Shell Flour Diatomaceous Earth

 

 

 

For utmost healthy living our brand of Perma-Guard Food Grade Fossil Shell Flour Diatomaceous Earth is superior being the highest quality available, greater than 99.5 percent amorphous silica and less than 1/2 percent crystalline silica jump starting your immune system as well as removing all the junk from your colon, respiratory tract, and even mind. The popularity of this product is the result of word-of-mouth testimonials from the most health conscious people worldwide who are enthusiastic and passionate enough to share the results, allow us to bring and distribute the product here to you here in British Columbia; and it has especially been gaining popularity since the past couple years of saving many of current and future disease. People, pets, and even some of the livestock we know are using this all natural product for a cleanse, detox, or most importantly healthy living habit with benefits unlike any-thing you will ever experience so read on, contact us today and exceed in improving life unimaginably this easy.

Food grade DE is the easiest and best way to flush the body’s digestive system and remove toxins as well as other parasites from the digestive tract, respiratory system. It can cleanse the digestive system due to its’ small size and shape and under a microscope looks similar to tiny shards of glass except not harmful. These tiny edges of DE scrape away bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, endotoxins, pesticide and drug residues, E-Coli, and heavy metals from walls the digestive tract, as well as insides and are especially helpful for elderly, construction and trades workers, or those in and around chemicals for long periods of time during life like most of us are.

A small amount of Diatomaceous Earth gets absorbed into the blood stream. As these cylinders move through out the body they clean and breakup buildups in the blood vessels and also the destroy bad fats. Everyone that we know that is taking Diatomaceous Earth has lowered their cholesterol by 40-50 points.  Some of the many other benefits include: stronger bones, teeth, and nails, improved skin health, improved joint health, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol, among many other things you will have a hard time finding any negative effects since previously it has been used heavily in storing grains, so don’t worry you are probably already eating lots of DE every time you eat any bread, pasta or other grain based food.

Contact today with your order or free sample!

0.5kg. / 1.1 lbs. $16.95
1kg. / 2.2 lbs. $19.95

2kg. / 4.4lbs. $34.95
22.7kg. / 50 lbs. $74.95

Please contact for custom sizes or larger orders. 

 

 

 

Bed Bugs found at two Vancouver Court Houses

For the second time since Christmas bed bugs have been found at two downtown Vancouver courthouses.

Around Christmas, bedbugs were found in a courtroom but fortunately not any other areas at the Community Court, which opened in 2008 testing new ways to reduce crime and improve public safety. Fortunately that facility was designed with mostly hard surfaces and the critters were relatively easy to exterminate.

Today at a nearby provincial courthouse at 222 Main St, one of the busiest of BCs 44 province wide, specialty inspections turned up pests in three different courtrooms, some public areas and even a barristers’ lounge. Upholstered furniture and carpeting means inspections are taking longer and is for indefinable these insidious pest’s are going to require huge amounts of labor to inspect, clean-up, heat, and/or chemically treat to exterminate and assure public safety.

Bed bugs are a recurring issue in some of the rundown single-room occupancy hotels, and boarding areas in this part of town and many of which are slated for renovation.

 

Contact us any-time for free bed bug inspections

Winter Reminder

Roof Snow Shoveling

Winter Reminder:  Get your roof shoveled off snow and ice to prevent water build up, run off and ice damming that can cause expensive roof repair, damage, and potential pest concerns.

 

 

 

Rodent Proofing

 

Pest Proofing Tips

Prevention is better than eradication. Some rodent proofing tips include:

  • Keep vegetation back at least 18” from the structure and cut back any overhanging tree branches within 3’ of the structure.
  • Eliminate or reduce harborage areas by de-cluttering, keeping items away from the sides of your home or business and remove fallen leaves.
  • To reduce or eliminate food sources, remove bird feeders (or prevent seed from falling to the ground), pick up any fallen fruit, and use rodent-proof garbage cans and compost bins.
  • Repair leaky taps or pipes.
  • Exclude holes in buildings with hardware cloth or wire mesh (with less than 1/4-inch openings).

 

 

info@crittergetritter.com, and  Whistler Cell (604) 902-7417

2 hour emergency response available
 

Mobile Winter Tire Changing Service from Comfort of Own Home

 

Critter Get Ritter is proud to announce an entirely new service.

 

We are offering at home, business, or where-ever winter change tire
service for your already mounted winter tires on rims. However, if your
tires are unmounted we can make arrangements. We are also excited to offer our current customers under contract a
20% discount on service.

 

Regarding the service, please feel free to contact us about scheduling,
and questions, or any further details having your tires changed.

 

Alberta Rats

Spotting a rat in Alberta is a rare and frightening occurrence. Since the 1950s, the province has boasted about its rat-free status, crediting an aggressive extermination program.

But the province’s famous “rat patrol” is stumped after rats were found in Calgary and Medicine Hat.

About 60 rats have been killed in a Medicine Hat landfill since a colony was discovered there last week. Six rodents were spotted in the city and another 16 emerged in the surrounding Cypress County.

Single Norway rat sightings have been reported in the area since spring.

On Friday, Calgary city officials said a resident found a dead rat near his property. The Animal and Bylaw Services Department suspects the rat was an escaped pet.

Agricultural fieldmen known as the “rat patrol” eliminate rats within a designated control zone 600 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide along the province’s eastern boundary.

Alberta says such measures have prevented an estimated $1 billion in damage that would have been caused by rats over the last five decades.

Bull snakes will be taken to the landfill where the rat colony was found so they can eat any remaining rodents. Traps and cameras have also been set up to track the vermin.

“They do carry disease. That’s another main reason they are on the pest list,” said Jason Storch, an agricultural fieldman in Cypress County. “They are a real nuisance.”

Animal control officials say one pair of rats can begin a chain of breeding that spawns up to 15,000 offspring a year.
info@crittergetritter.com

Bat Pictures

 

 

Check out these bat pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more local bat information and Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton sustainability check out our former blog http://crittergetritter.wordpress.com

 

 

Rodents...looking for a home to raise their family.

 

Wild life News: Black bear mauls man in Whistler hot tub

 

 

Bears are commonplace in Whistler, across fairways and under chairlifts over mountain bike trails the delight of tourists who’ve never seen such wild things, as well as locals, bears are seen quite commonly eating ants, berries and grass; grazing, and even sometimes passed out under a tree.

 

This Sundays occulter, when police responded to a call from a man saying: ¨he´d been sitting in a hot tub when a blow pushed him from his perch and he turned around, bleeding and confused, to find himself staring at a black bear…

 

Police quickly responded, and killed the bear saying it was a risk to the public: “In the case where the bear came close to a residence and injured someone who was sitting in a hot tub … in that case, it’s a little more serious, and for that reason the bear was destroyed,” Inspector Chris Doyle of B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service said on Monday.

 

The incident required 12 stitches to the lower mainland residents face where the bear was located 100meters away from the incicdent near the vilages popular Marketplace area and the man was alone and not eating anything when attacked.

 

The incident is slightly unusual because it does not involve the bear being surprised – as can happen in the backcountry when hikers stumble between a mother bear and her cubs – or “attractants” such as garbage or pet food. It is believed the hot tub or hot tub cover could have been giving off a sort of formic acid smell that attracted the bear. This is to be determined, and debatable however it is know bears are attracted to this bitter scent given off from dead, crushed, high protein ant that probably tastes quite good to them…

 

 

Conservation officers will perform a necropsy to try to determine what could have influenced the apparent healthy Males attack. The bear had not been previously tagged as one involved in conflicts with humans.

 

Biology professor at the University of Northern British Columbia Ken Otter, speculated that it could have been a case of mistaken identity.

 

“If you think about what the bear was seeing, he could have been seeing just a small object close to the ground,” Mr. Otter said, adding that bears prey on small mammals such as cats or groundhogs.

 

“It could have taken a swipe at it, thinking it was a small animal – and then when [the man] stood up and yelled at it, it probably realized its mistake and ran off,” Mr. Otter said.

 

On average, more than 800 black bears and 40 grizzly bears are killed each year in B.C. Most of those cases involve bears that get used to food sources such as garbage, backyard fruit trees or compost bins.

 

The No. 1 Horrifying Parasites: Emerald Jewel Wasp

 

Big and Black? Some Carpenter Ants Characteristics

 

“Big and black” are the two common most terms home and business owners use to describe Carpenter Ants, especially during the busy spring mating season this year.

 

Carpenter Ants find there ways around Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton´s forested areas by there heightened sense of sight and sense of smell, chemical tracks (pheromones) and even use visual reference marks. Causing great damage, these pesky riff-raff nibblers create pathways or congregate in similar areas digging galleries in wood, earth, insulation and other building material mostly due to heat provided from structures.  Isn´t that disturbing they congregate in areas that many of us call home or work?

 

After many years of study it is noticed, when looked at closely Carpenter Ants have hues of red, and brown and can congregate in the 50,000 range.



 

Carpenter Ants are also found behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under sub-floor insulation; and in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids; and are about 1/4″ to 3/4″ in length.

 

Contact us any time with your carpenter ant problems for an easy solution and protection against your home or business and be safe from future attacks today. (604) 849-5416 in Squamish and (604) 364-7417 in Vancouver or tristan@crittergetritter.com

 

 

 

More Grey/Black Squirrel; and Squirrel Versus Bird Pictures

 

Grey or Black Squirrels are a invasive species being sighted more and more often in Brackendale, Squamish and the Squamish Highlands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These fur-balls have even been sighted as far as the Whistler and Pemberton Valleys.

Never hesitate to contact us if you think you see a grey squirrel.

 

 

 

SEA TO SKY RACCOON

iStock_000003715740_Small

During dark, sometimes rainy and creepy nights, these masked furry faces wander our Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton communities. The Raccoon (or procyon lotor) are known as the original members of the procyonidae family that lived and are believed to have originated in Europe 25 million years ago.

They enjoy a healthy life span of about 16 years, with sizes ranging from a meager 8 to a healthy 20 pounds. Gestation often takes place in the spring and is about 65 days, with between 2 to 5 kits being born and nurtured there on.

Sadly, hunting and traffic are the most common forms of death here in the wilds of our Sea to Sky corridor but about five years ago there was also a mysterious disease that wiped out many out.

 

Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behaviour. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season. Like bears and other mammals, fathers are fended away by the mother because quite often, he will kill the kits, or young raccoons, so he can reproduce continuously.

 

Not only are there love for garbage and recycling a problem and commonality with bears, molecular analysis actually indicates a close relationship so please read on, and remember to lock and secure all garbage and recycling areas.

 

Territorial home range from 7.5 to 100 acres for females and 20 to 200 acres for males, hence lady raccoons are definitely home-bodies and not into relocating. Relocating or killing these critters should only be handled by professionals, and on the grounds of animal welfare doing so without is forbidden. Some experts have even challenged these arguments and give advice on feeding however it is our opinion that they belong in the wild, and do not make pets. Once they are no longer babies, around there first birthdays, they are active, and independent – and yes, if their natural independence is thwarted they will become very destructive and bite the hand that feeds them.

 

When raccoons create nests, they like a safe, protected, sheltered and warm place. They tear up soffits, attics, chimneys, foundations, and can cause extensive damage to gardens and homes. They can bite and scratch transmitting rabies, leptospirosis and other parasites such as the common flu.

 

If you have questions or information on raccoons and there sightings you can contact us anytime.  Thank you, Critter Get Ritter

Highlights from the Canadian Pest Management Associations Annual 2012 Conference

 
2012’s Canadian Pest Management Association’s conference was a great event and included speeches and presentations from leading bed bug researcher Dr. Dini Miller (Virginia Tech) and carpenter ant and ant entomologist Dr. Laurel Hansen (Spokane Falls CC).  Please check back over the next couple weeks for greater highlights and contact Tristan any-time for your Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton pest control needs.

 

Monster Flea that sucked blood of Jurassic dinosaurs

 

 

Fleas are a common Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton Pest Control Critter we deal with.  Usually associated with cats and dogs; spread at pet day cares; from mice, rats and other mammals; or from the microscopic larvae and pupae anywhere food is available, such as in animal fur, or any other forms or organic matter (fences, dead insects, vegetable matter).  It is common for the larvae and pupae, where a large portion of there life is spent, to wait over winter until they hatch when they sense a host is near.  They also avoid sunlight and like sand, cracks and crevices, and bedding.  Using non-toxic methods we can easily remove fleas, there eggs, larvae and pupae if you have a problem.

 

A few months ago, a major Flea find was discovered near Daohugou (Northeast China), that was a part of the  Middle Jurassic (176-161million years ago) and Lower Cretaceous period further confirming dinosaurs are not the only creepy critter in existence during prehistoric times.  The female fleas were a much larger size than today’s 5mm length, nearly 4x at 20mm while males were 15mm. Nature journal, who published the study shows the pesky vermin were not able to jump, however there remains show they were specially adapted to feed off there prey. Check it out below here:

 

 

Picture of fossils discovered (not to scale)

 

Picture of today’s common cat or dog flea flea under the 200x electron microscope

 

If you ever have flea questions or problems please do not hesitate to contact.  Using environmentally friendly pesticide free methods we can solve your flea problems in about 4 hours at a cost that is affordable to all.

 

Cool Critters! Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew

The Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi), known to Africans as the Black and Rufous Sengi, is one of 16 species of elephant shrew currently identified and alive in Africa today. It is the first of many articles included in our new ´cool critter´ series leading and supporting global and local environmental protection, sustainability and information on the help and encouragement of local and worldwide biodiversity while educating others. It eats insects and small mammals (especially the Black Rat) as well as vegetation which could lead to another critter get ritter cutting edge solution to sustainable forms of using bio-control for pest control…

Including its beautiful red, brown and black fur is quite a massive (11inch, 1-1.5lb) size difference compared to the local identified British Columbia Sea to Sky shrews and voles which really shouldn’t be confused at all since all the elephant shrews belong to different family or order.

Sea to Sky shrews or shrew voles (family Soricidae) are small mole like mammals classified in the order Soricomorpha who dont need to gnaw on things but have sharp, spike-like teeth, unlike the gnawing front incisor teeth that can cause pain on rodents and thus damage to strutures. Be sure to hit us up soon for more articles on cools critters, forms of bio-control pest control and other neat Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton pest control blog articles.

New Disease Found in House Mice

The common house mouse has found to spread another new significant disease. Currently still considered rare, Lymphocylic choriomeningitis (LCM) infection occurs when a human encounters the rodent’s urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting material. Little or no symptoms result in those with regularly functioning immune systems however those with weaker immune systems (the very old, or very young), will initially have flu-like symptoms, it can then progress to the symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis however most people do fully recover and about 1% die.
iStock_000013599735_ExtraSmall Studies have shown that about 5% of urban populations are infected and other rodents, such as hamsters and guinea pigs can become infected if exposed to the virus in pet stores or homes.

Although it is not known to transfer from one human to another, take precautions there are many rodents in the Sea to Sky, and more often than not there pooh, pee, saliva, and nesting material are not taken seriously. For no charge, at Critter Get Ritter we recommend contacting us if you have a question or want something looked at. Take the Center for Disease Control’s advice: If you have rodents in your home, do not touch or stirrup the droppings but call a professional to assist in there control.

Win Win: Door Trim, Exclusion & Rodent Entry + Green Sustainable Hydro Savings:

 

Doing your best to keep rodents and other small critters out of your structures while also using less energy, and money just became a lot easier. Critter Get Ritter Pest Control in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton has a special offer that using some special skills and tools can assure your home or business a better place (and hopefully special too):

Believe it or not small rodents can squish through tiny gaps as small as a pencil width often nibbling or chewing there way through just about anything. To stop dirty filthy and unsanitary rodents, we have thrived on hands on mechanical work such as installing door trim, re-aligning doors, and replacing trim on sliding screen doors.   Structural repair and work is often the foundation for any IPM (integrated pest management) program especially when your pest control technician is skilled in carpentry and handyman work.

 

Other critter problem areas can include areas on exterior buildings where gaps are left like between siding and panels, where foundations meet framing, slabs meet siding, soffits, roofs and so on. If you ever have questions about exclusion, rodents; and even bats, raccoons and squirrels, please contact us any time.

THE DOMESTIC PIGEON or Columba Livia

Pigeons are know to make the venture from there closet habitat in Vancouver to Squamish quite regularly and have even been seen in Whistler. Originally found in Europe circa middle ages, these winged old feather factories they like to get their height on in Toronto or New York style windowsills roofs, eves, steeples and other man made structures.

They mainly eat seeds and grains, even insects when provided intentionally, and believe it or not domestic cats are the main urban predators, but opossums, raccoons, foxes, weasels, and rats also eat pigeons (when they can access the nest).

A mother pigeon lives about 15years although this is debatable, and it is too long for most, urban areas can be 100% percent less (3 year average). She also will produce 4 to 5 broads a year, and if conditions exist the old eggs will have even left the nest before previous have even hatched. Yikes!

If you see a pigeon it is easy to contact us and we can give you more information on there removal.

Gray squirrels may look cute and harmless but they are responsible for driving the European red squirrel toward extinction.

Driving the equally adorable European red squirrel toward extinction in what some say 100 worst environmental offences. The U.K.’s gray squirrels not only sap resources from the native reds, but carry and spread squirrel pox—a disease that is decimating their red cousins. Yikes!

The problem of invasive alien species is not unique to the UK. From different alien plant species all over the Sea to Sky, to numerous grey squirrel sightings; biological invaders are flourishing worldwide, devastating native plants and animals in their wakes.

If anyone has sightings, or questions they can contact us or the invasive species council.

Empathetic rats


Research in Science suggests that rats are capable of a human characteristic: empathy. The study below tested response when a fellow rats was trapped, and they found that not only do they spend time and energy deliberately helping the trapped companions, but they would even share food after rescuing them.

Using a small square arena, with a cage in the center; rats were trapped, and sometimes not. When another 2nd rat was released, it would either wandered around of let his fellow rat go (Traps release mechanism eventually picked up in the 12 day study).

The rats were noticeably agitated when one was trapped, and tended to circle the center, dig, and call to the trapped; when the cage was empty, these behaviors were absent. Over the course of the experiment, the rats learned to open the cage, and became much faster at doing so. A extremely higher percentage that were inside the arena, with a trapped rat, opened the cage (23 out of 30); compared to the rats that were in the arena with an empty cage (5 out of 40). Clearly, these annoying little furballs are excited to open a cage when a fellow companion is stuck inside.

.::Interesting Fact::. During the 12 trials, female rats were more likely to open the cage than males were (100% vs. 70%).

Researchers then upped the ante with another 2nd trap filled with chocolate chips, (rats really like chocolate). Rats were as likely to open the cage with there companion, as they were to open the cage with the chocolate, suggesting that the motivation to free a trapped companion is about as strong as the motivation to eat the chocolate. Additionally, in more than half of the trials, the free rats shared the chocolate with the trapped rat after freeing it. The free rats actually ate fewer chocolate chips when there was another rat in the arena than they did when they were alone, indicating a willingness to share the bounty.

.::Interesting Fact::.We don’t know whether rats were trying to alleviate other rats distress, or to make themselves feel better about the whole situation…

Ladybugs

In pest control, it is not often we do not deal with lady bugs. These little crits increase controversy when the pesky omnivores is considered a great tool for aphids however after its NA introduction in 1916, the harlequin lady bug (Harmonia axyridis), has taken over North America as the most dominant species. It also reached the UK in 2004.

 

When eggs hatch, the ladybug larvae immediately begin to feed and by the end of its three-to-six-week life, it may eat 5,000 aphids. There are about 5,000 different species of these insects, and not all of them have the same appetites. A few ladybugs prey not on plant-eaters but on plants. The Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are destructive pests that prey upon the crops mentioned in their names.
“Dear Predator I taste awful.”

Their distinctive spots and colors are meant to make them unappealing to predators, and they can secrete a fluid from joints which gives them a foul taste. A threatened ladybug may both play dead and secrete the unappetizing substance to protect itself.

Squamish pest control services

What is pest control:

Pest Control is a service provided by a certified technician with proper equipment and in a suitable environment. There are a number of tools we use; and because of the seasonal environments we are constantly changing our focus on different pest’s, tools, chemicals and more. Included in this blog are current Squamish Pest’s, tips and there locations

Silverfish, Pill Bugs, and black rats in the: Highlands

Spiders, Ants, Mice, Rats, and Squirrels in: Valleycliffe

Raccoons and *Grey/Black Squirrels in Brakendale, and more.


* Invasive (non-native) Species

You can contact us anytime, enjoy this beautiful weather, and be sure to check back soon.

2012 Small Business BC Successful You Awards

After finishing last years small business bc awards in the top five  for best concept included below is the links to our 2012 nominations:

 

 

 

Please take 30 seconds; click on the links, give our profile a read and vote.  Thank you, Tristan
 

 

 

 

 

 

Funny Squirrel and River Otter Pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Fall Whistler Pest Control Services Blog

When you think about Whistler’s fall and winter season, the top things that come to mind are back-to-school; football, hockey and sports; leaves changing colours, cooler temperatures with eventual large dumps of snow; and, finally ski & snowboard shredding. What you don’t want to think about is that scratching noise in your attic or walls; spiders, and silverfish in bathrooms; camponotus modoc’s (carpenter ants) at work in your crawl space; bushy tailed wood rats peeing everywhere and much much more . Fall and Winter are actually one of the busiest times for Whistler Pest Control Services as many flock to the small resort town in search for partying, powder, friends, family, food, drink and many other great times, yet ignore prominent problems that are best dealt with asap.  This blog is a reminder of the things you don’t think about but allow Critter Get Ritter to, while also make Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton the top ski resort and back country destination in the world.  Unlike the spring and summer when pest control is typically a concern, remember humans are not the only critters enjoying the temperate cool and snowy conditions and that we can be contacted at your convenience anytime.

FLEA PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS


1) All Cats and dogs should be treated with a veterinarian prescribed flea treatment program.
2) Remove all items except furniture up and off the floor . Don’t forget about closet floors, under beds and shelving.
3) Place the items you’ve picked up off of the floors and place on top of beds, tables and counters, but not on couches or armchairs.
4) Moveable furniture, plants and any items that are up against a wall should be pulled away at least 6 inches.
5) Do your best to vacuum your floors the night before, immediately after the treatment and dispose the vacuum cleaner bag.
6) All people and pets must vacate their suite during the treatment and be out for a minimum of six
hours after completion of the job. Children under two years of age, expectant and nursing mothers
and people suffering from respiratory ailments are recommended to stay out at least twelve hours.
7) Fish tanks should have their air pumps unplugged, and a wet towel placed over the aquarium.
We will be using the following product(s): Dragnet (0.5% Permethrin; PCP #24175) Precor (1.2% Methoprene; PCP # 21573)

Opening windows will help to ventilate. Contact us anytime.

Critter Get Ritter Article on Dangerous Chemicals:

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons (Really Bad)

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons are man-made insecticides that the EPA (us) banned in the 1970’s and 1980’s when they were found to persist in the fatty tissue of animals. Chlorinated Hydrocarbons include: DDT, dicofol, heptachlor, endosulfan, chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, mirex, and pentachlorophenol. You can read more about them in our other articles. 🙂

Organophosphates  (Use very carefully)

Many organophosphates were discovered during ww2 as nerve agents. Most common current pest control uses include: in agricultural field, on fruits and vegetables; and for mosquito eradication. Dursban and Diazinon are two common organophosphate formulations we find and despite there residential use being banned in 2001, there are still a number of chemicals on store shelves using these in there formulations.

These chemicals kill insects by causing an irreversible inhibition of the cholinesterase enzyme in the nervous system. In simple terms it breaks down nerve communication and puts them into cardiac arrest. Mammals such as humans, dogs and cats also have cholinesterase enzymes, and could possibly be harmed by these chemicals.

Organophosphates are controversial and a concern to both scientists and regulators because they work by irreversibly blocking an enzyme that’s critical to nerve system function in both bugs and people. Many environmentalists would prefer to see them disappear. 

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable, all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. It is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from microscopic skeletal remains of unicellular algae-like plants called diatoms. These plants have been part of the earth’s ecology since prehistoric times and it is believed that 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite located and mined in a number of locations across the globe.

In Pest Control this fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate. Arthropods die as a result of the water deficiency, and in some cases the powder works against gastropods such as in the garden to defeat slugs however in moist or humid environments and the effects are hindered.

Pool grade Diatomaceous Earth is chemically treated and partially melted and consequently contains crystalline silica which can be a big respiratory hazard. Thus, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ONLY NATURAL DIATOMACEOUS EARTH BE USED FOR INSECT CONTROL. The non-crystalline silica is not as hazardous as the human body can dissolve it.

Using Diamaeceous earth for different insects can present different challanges for each, most notably, the length of time for it to start working and if used outside, humidity and moisture considerations. Please contact Critter Get Ritter anytime for how to apply Diatomeceous Earth correctly.

Canadian Scientists Help Research Bed Bugs That Spread Drug-Resistant Bacteria:

Residents of an impoverished area of Vancouver were infested with bed bugs carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria, said researchers today Wednesday May 11th, 2011, and warn doctors to watch out for the potential problem.

A letter in todays issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases reported that two types of drug-resistant bacteria were isolated from bedbugs found on three patients.
The resistant bacteria were methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), a less dangerous form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Christopher Lowe of the University of Toronto and medical microbiologist Marc Romney of Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital suggest bed bugs carrying MRSA could transmit the bacteria during a blood meal. Included is a citation to the full article which is being released in June, here:

“Because of the insect’s ability to compromise the skin integrity of its host, and the propensity for S. aureus to invade damaged skin, bedbugs may serve to amplify MRSA infections in impoverished urban communities,” Lowe and Romney write. The three patients lived in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which has high rates of homelessness, poverty, HIV/AIDS and injection drug use.

Similar to other cities worldwide, Vancouver has seen an alarming increase in bedbugs, particularly in Downtown Eastside, where 31 per cent of residents have reported infestations, the researchers said.

Likewise, MRSA is also a substantial problem in the neighbourhood, with nearly 55 per cent of skin and soft tissue infections in patients treated at St. Paul’s emergency department showing MRSA, the authors said.

In drug injection users with wound infections, an earlier study showed 43 per cent were colonized or infected with a community-acquired MRSA strain found outside of hospitals.

The study was small with just five bedbugs and very preliminary, but “it’s an intriguing finding” that needs to be further researched, said Romney.

Both resistant strains are often seen in hospitals, and experts have been far more concerned about nurses and other health-care workers spreading the bacteria than insects.

Given the high prevalence of MRSA in hotels and rooming houses in Downtown Eastside, the insects may act as “a hidden environmental reservoir for MRSA and may promote the spread of MRSA in impoverished and overcrowded communities,” the authors said.

So: This could be sticky but is it currently significant?

The authors point out that several research groups have tried in the past to link bedbugs and disease transmission (hepatitis) and failed. They certainly have not proven transmission in this case. But they also say that there is a density of these two organisms in the area where the men live that make it more likely that bedbugs could be involved in diseases pingponging through the neighborhood. First, there’s the high density of bedbug presence, in 31 percent of Downtown Eastside residents. Second, there’s the high prevalence of MRSA, in 58 percent of the skin infections in the St. Paul’s ER. And third, there’s the previously recorded and persistent presence of VRE in in-patients at St. Paul’s.

The US CDC believes that crowding, poor hygiene and skin disruption increase the likelihood of MRSA infection; crowding and poor hygiene are common in homelessness and shelter living, and bedbugs by definition disrupt the skin’s barrier by their bites. Meanwhile, in the ill and hospitalized, VRE frequently causes infections in disrupted skin, such as a surgical incision or a diabetic ulcer.

The authors have commented:

“…These insects may act as a hidden environmental reservoir for MRSA and may promote the spread of MRSA in impoverished and overcrowded communities. Bedbugs carrying MRSA and/or VRE may have the potential to act as vectors for transmission.”

To be clear: The victims here are also the ones who are likely to be most at risk. What this paper says, first of all, is that the substandard living conditions of being poor and homeless make those who are poor and homeless more likely to be vulnerable to yet more dangerous and difficult diseases. As with so many other health disparities in North American society, this is a social justice issue.

But if I am candid, it is also a reminder to the more-privileged rest of us that bedbugs have spread explosively, especially in poor communities, in a manner that is not completely understood, and that they pose a disease-transmission risk that is not yet well-defined.

We can assure you there will be more bed bugs to come and in the mean time I am going to check my box spring…

Sea to Sky Chipmunk: The Yellow Pine

The Yellow-Pine Chipmunk, or what some would call Neotamias Amoenus, is in the Sciuridae family.  It is found in both Canada, the USA and Sea to Sky where most of us live, work and play.  They are usually only found above 950 meters above sea level so if you see one around most house’s here, it is extremely rare.  950 meters above sea level is about 300meters above Whistler’s Main Gondola and about half way to Whistler Mountains mid station.  Most common sightings will be on Alpine hikes, or bike rides.  Good times!!

Yellow Pine Chipmunks length including tail is about 7 to 9 inches and weight for an adults is 1 to 2.5 lbs.  It has at least 10 different calls; one sounds like a robin’s chirp and another, among the most common, is a sharp, accented kwist.

The Yellow Pine Chipmunk mostly burrows and lives underground at about 7 to 21 inches.  The nests are commonly 1.5 to 3 feet long in an open area within the forest where there is usually one entrance, though there may also be short side openings.

Seeds are its most important food, and are eaten as they are available,  When pinecones open up in the fall, this chipmunk climbs trees to get the seeds. It also eats some insects and fungi.

Breeding is early spring with average litters of about 5.  It’s home range is usually only a few acres but depends on a number of factors most notably predators.  These critters are very shy around humans. In the fall the animal stuffs its cheek pouches with food to be stored in its burrows.  One food cache study contained 15 kinds of seeds, corn, and part of a bumblebee.

The species is currently healthy in large numbers. In Washington State individuals once observed this critter being active about seven months and hibernating five, waking to eat about every two weeks and emerging around April. This same study indicated a 97 percent survival rate.  Phenomenal for a mammal of this size!

The yellow pine is most commonly found in Brushy areas interspersed with herbaceous vegetation and open conifer stands; shrubs typically present include snowberry, chinquapin, mountain mahogany, antelope brush, currant, and buckbrush.  Depending on season, its colour ranges from really cool looking tawny hues to pinkish cinnamon. There are 5 distinct longitudinal dark stripes, that are evenly spaced and about equal in width. The Central 3 dark stripes extend to rump; lateral 2 only to mid-body.  In open forest where the sun casts sharp shadows, the well-defined stripes of the Yellow-pine Chipmunk offer protective colouration.


It is not known if these Critters are related to Alvin, Simon or Theodore though input is apprecitated.

Have a great Easter 2011!


Protected: Sugar Ants: Pavement, Argentine, and Pharaoh

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

How Much Pesticide Exposure Does the General Population Face?

A number of American Action Groups Such as the Pesticide Action Network have brought to our attention some astounding information on American Pesticide use.  Working on the Canadian side of the Border, I can assure you we are not much better!  Here we go:

Each year, an estimated 1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to American farms, forests, lawns and golf courses. More than 17,000 pesticide products are currently on the US market.

*Notice Washington State Usage:  This rate is large due to the large number of crops grown there, mostly apples  where it is the largest North American State or Provincial provider.

Pesticide applicators, farmers and farm workers, and communities near farms are often most at risk, but studies by the Centers for Disease Control show that all of us carry pesticides in our bodies. Golf courses use pesticides heavily, so do some schools and parks. Consumers also face pesticide exposure through food and water residues. For instance, atrazine is found in 94% of U.S. drinking water tested by the USDA.

Something we stand behind is Agroecology.  It is the science behind sustainable farming and this powerful approach combines scientific inquiry with place-based knowledge and experimentation, emphasizing approaches that are knowledge-intensive, low cost, ecologically sound and practical.  What can we call structural pest control, an industry that per capita (see below) was amongst the highest pesticide (insecticide) polluting industries ever?  Strucpestology.  Something we practice everyday and you heard it here first!

Home use of pesticides — which on a per acre basis outpaces use on farms by a ratio of 10 to 1 — puts families across the North America at unnecessary risk.

Much of this information is courtesy the PAN (Pesticide Action Network) and EPA (Environmentally Protection Agency) in the USA and is based on Agriculture being roughly 95% of the market and Structural is 5%.

 

 

 

Moths in your Clothing: Casemaking and Webbing Clothes Moth

Moths have stages when they look like a small caterpillar.  These are called there larva stage, and it is also when they damage items of animal origin such as: wool, fur, silk and feathers.  Moth larva also like dirty or older sometimes damaged clothing.

As an adult, these moths do not feed. They are rarely seen because like many other pests they tend to hide in the dark during daylight. The Indian meal moth, a common “pantry or stored product pest,” flies about during daylight, is often mistaken for one of these moths and should not be confused.

Casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella)

These common clothing Moths are a buff gray color, 1/4 inch long, wings fold over body, and each front wing has three indistinct darker spots of scales. The larva is creamy white with a brown head. It produces a silken tube-like case in which it lives and carries around for protection. The head and legs are exposed only during feeding and movement. This case is camouflaged with bits of the material on which the larva has been feeding. Larva is                    approximately 1/2-inch long at maturity.

 

 

 

*Casemaking Clothing Moth Larva Picture

 

 

 

 

 

Webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella)

These also common clothing moths are a uniform Buff Color, 1/4 inch long, mall tuft or red hair on top of head. The larva is whitish colored with a brown head. It produces a silk-lined “tunnel” as it eats through or on the surface of a fabric. The moth is approximately 1/2-inch long at maturity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Webbing Clothing Moth Larva Picture

 

 

 

 

Control measures  & Prevention

I.        Conduct a regular inspection program of all susceptible items at least once a year. Take all items out of closets and drawers, and vacuum closets and drawers thoroughly to remove lint on which larvae may feed.

II.        When making purchases, look for woolens and wool synthetic blends that have been treated by the manufacturer with a moth-resistant compound.

III.        Good housekeeping helps keep these pests out. In the home, clean often to prevent lint, dust or hair from accumulating. Regular vacuum cleaning of rugs, carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture, pet bedding, closets, cracks and crevices in floors, and areas inside and behind heaters, furnace air ducts and vents is important. Particularly susceptible are areas that are under furniture that is seldom moved and along baseboards where wool lint may accumulate. After using the vacuum, empty the bag because it may contain eggs or larvae.

IV.        Clean garments regularly. Thoroughly clean garments before storage. Clothes moths are attracted to articles soiled by food, beverages, perspiration and urine, rather than the clean wool itself. For furs, professional cleaning and cold storage is recommended.

V.        Store articles properly. Place clean articles in tight storage containers. Good plastic bags sealed after the clean item is placed inside should prevent clothes moth infestation as long as the bag remains without punctures or tears. Also using a storage containers with tight fitting lids and seal storage containers or cartons with a good quality tape. All seams and joints should be taped over. If garments are completely clean when placed in sealed containers, they should be safe from clothes moths.

VI.        Place garments in cold storage where temperatures remain below 30°F. Larvae are inactive at temperatures below 30°F. Many people assume that freezing temperatures will control these insects-not always so. Clothes moths have survived for long periods in unheated attics and barns in old furniture, clothing and blankets exposed to below-freezing temperatures. Although lower temperatures slow down or put a temporary halt to their activities, the clothes moths are usually not directly killed by them.

VII.        If you have infested articles, you can often rid them of larvae and eggs by brushing and sunning them, or by having them dry cleaned. Vigorous brushing outdoors in bright sunshine, particularly of areas around cuffs, collars and other hidden places, if done periodically, can be effective in destroying clothes moths. If pillows, mattresses, or upholstered furnishings are infested, you may want to have them treated by a professional pest control firm, or dispose of the infested articles.

VIII.     Moth proofing after cleaning or sunning can help prevent future infestations.   Infested cabinets or closets should be vacuumed thoroughly to remove any wool lint from between boards or in corners.

IX.       Cedar Blocks bought from a quality clothing store or made from a fresh higher quality cedar deter moths.  By placing in your drawers and cabinets these cedar blocks will deter moths.  If lower quality Cedar, every few months or so the blocks should be recut or replaced.  Cedar oils are also available.

X.        If in doubt call us, it’s free and it would be great to help out.

 

http://crittergetritter.com


2011 Small Business BC Successful You Awards Finalists

We are a Top Ten Finalist for Best Concept in the Successful You Awards.  Here is a link to the Critter Get Ritter Page on Small Business BC: http://bit.ly/gCyfZnor http://www.smallbusinessbc.ca/around-bc/critter-get-ritter-pest-and-wildlife-control

On Friday it was confirmed we did not make it to the top 5 however we are quite proud of Tristan, his vision, and accomplishments after a busy and productive first ten months of business.  We will continue to work with Leaders in the Community, Green Entrepreneurs and  Small Business BC.  Thank you everyone for your support!

http://crittergetritter.com

Biocontrol Agents: Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that live in the soil, and save agricultural farmers billions each year. There are 16 thousand common id’d species and if scientists had more money and time, most estimate that number would be closer to one million.  One species is known to live in vinegar (turbatrix aceti), another in German beer malts. Humans plays host to at least 50 species.  Not only in are  do they play a role in the the soil, and rotting vegetation with such dense numbers they occur in great variation.

These creatures are extremely diversity and flexible and many exist in a state of suspended animation (called cryptobiosis) in order to survive extreme conditions, such as dryness, heat or cold, returning to life when the environment becomes more favorable.

We are always looking to improve our eco-friendly green structural pest control practices, it would be great to enhance, and we have not overlooked the nematodes.  Experimental phorid fly treatments have been successful for trade for pints at the local pub and we are looking to expand.

Delusory parasitosis

Delusory parasitosis  is when a person describe sensations that feel like bugs worms, mites are biking, crawling or borrowing into under or over there skin.

In the past few years we have actually had a few cases of customers with this condition.  It most cases it was caused by certain chemicals in laundry detergents and in one case the bounty dryer sheets.

If you every have any questions, can’t get into a dermatologist or are not sure what the problem is, we are happy to offer an inspection and advice from our 5 years of treating bed bugs, and all sorts of different things that may cause this disease.

 

Bed Bugs & Your Health

Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease but are a pest of significant public health importance. They fit into a category of blood-sucking ectoparasites (external parasites) similar to head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis). Like head lice, bed bugs feed on the blood of humans but are not yet believed to transmit disease. What is significant is that other ectoparasites, such as body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis), are known to transmit several serious diseases. This being said, differences in the biology of the similar species of pests, such as body lice and head lice (or bed bugs) can greatly impact the ability of pests to transmit disease. The biggest issue with Bed bugs is there variety of negative physical health, mental health and economic consequences.   Most have mild to severe allergic reactions to the bites with effects ranging from no reaction to a small bite mark to, in very rare (less than .5%)cases, anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body reaction).  Some bite can also lead to secondary infections of the skin such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphanigitis.  Mental health of people living in infested home include greater anxiety, insomnia and other systemic reactions. Research on the public health effects of bed bugs has been very limited over the past several decades, largely due to the decline in bed bug populations in the latter half of this century.  Now that research is in full force (see Dr. Dini Miller Virgina Tech), and the media is all over what we like to call “Canadian insect paranoia”, we believe the potential for bed bugs to transmit diseases and their impact on public health is improving, and, more importantly there is always a professional to speak to a phone call away.

 

Bat bugs (Cimex Adjunctus)

Bat bugs (Cimex Adjunctus)

In the same family of as bedbugs (cimicidae), bat bugs are closely related but primarily feed on bats.

Some believe bed bugs descended from bat bugs. Cave man and bats lived in close proximity to each other and it’s when bats abandoned the cave that the bugs made the jump to humans.

Bat bugs are rare in the sea to sky (more common in midwest) but have been found in area’s w/ significant bats.  Otherwise microscopic examination is needed to distinguish them.

Like bed bugs, bat bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases and have a crazy form of reproduction. Males inseminate the female by piercing the female’s abdomen and depositing sperm directly into her bloodstream. In response to thistraumatic insemination, female bugs have evolved a spermalege, a paragenital structure on their abdomen that limits the damage by guiding the male’s sharp penile prong into a spongy area full of immune cells.

Controlling bat bugs requires humane elimination of any bats that are present in the home or building. This is accomplished by exclusion techniques also known as “building them out” (i.e., sealing entrance cracks and holes) and they cannot be killed. Vacuuming, steaming, residual spraying and a few other options can be used in area’s where the bats were roosting (shake tile and wood sidings, light fixtures, window casings, and other area’s) to help control any surviving bat

 

Bed BUG Life Cycle

More questions and comments this week included one on the bedbug life, there feeding cycle and a comment that bedbugs is two words.

1) Bed BUGS:

Merriam-Webster, Oxford and most online dictionaries list it as one, however careful review of entomology bring us this fact:

Bed bugs is TWO words – not one. The general rule for writing out common names of insects is as follows. If the insect name is a misnomer (e.g., the dragonfly is NOT a fly and neither is a damselfly), then the whole name is written as one word. If it is not a misnomer, then it is written as two words (e.g., house fly, which is a real fly). The bed bug is a “true” bug and therefore is two words.

There ya go bugsters!!

2) Bed BUG life:

Females can deposit 3 to 8 eggs at a time, they hatch in 4-12 days,  and lay 200-500 eggs in their lifetime

Feeding occurs every 5-10days and maturity is 35  to 48 days.  By feeding and in optimal conditions their lives are actually shorter with a total estimated lifespan of under 7months.

Please feel free to hit us up with any more questions/comments or concerns you may have and remember early detection is key: the adults are pretty large, odds of getting them are very low and increase slightly if you are travelling lots.  Most Whistler hotels and vacation rentals have preventative measures in place and if we are not already setup on a program there we are always happy to come take a look.

http://crittergetritter.com

 

More Bats

 

Here is a listing of every species of bat recorded in British Columbia (from Canadian Caver Website):

     

      • California Myotis (Myotis californicus).
      • Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum).
      • Western Long-eared Myotis (Myotis evotis).
      • Keen’s Long-eared Myotis (Myotis keenii).
      • Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus).
      • Northern Long-eared Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis).
      • Fringed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes)
      • Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans).
      • Yuma Myotis (Myotis yumanensis).
      • Western Red Bat (Lasiurus blossevillii).
      • Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus).
      • Silver-haired Bat 3 (Lasionycteris noctivagans).
      • Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus).
      • Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum).
      • Townsend’s Big-eared Bat (Coryorhinus townsendii).
      • Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus).

     

    This totals 17 of the 18 recorded in Canada north of the 49th.

     

    Whistler Sustainability: 2010 Pilot Bat Project Results

    Part of the Whistler 2010 sustainability report and the Whistler Naturalist’s information on Bats is included below:

    Bat distribution and diversity, as well as the structure of local bat communities are strongly influenced by environmental conditions,  prey and roost availability (Findley 1993, Humphrey 1975 and Kalko et al 1996), and resource competition (hussar 1976).  Latitude large determines bat species diversity (Willig and Selcer 1989).  For example one island in the Panama Canal is home to a total of 66.

    Dating back about 40 years ago to the rainbow lodge and our first ancestors here, there are historic records of at least 10 bat species from the Whitler area (Ricker undated).  The current status is unclear for a few reasons including:

    1) Development since list was created (much before a ski resort or thousands of homes were built), and;

    2) Bats are difficult to ID.  DNA is required for keens mytosis and a couple species require skull and bone identification.

    Whistler Bat List:

    • Townsend’s Big eared Bat  (Corynorhinus townsendii)   Blue*
    • Big Brown Bat  (Eptesicus fuscus)
    • HoaryBat (Lasiurus cinereus)
    • Silver hairedBat (Lasionycteris noctivagans
    • Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
    • Yuma Myotis (Myotis yumanensis)
    • Long legged Myotis (Myotis volans)
    • California Myotis (Myotis californicus)
    • Western Long eared Myotis (Myotis evotis)
    • Keen’s  Myotis (Myotis keenii)  Red**

    * Species at risk, and; ** Species Endangered

    More Whistler 2010 sustainability information on bats is available here:  http://www.whistler2010.com/cms-assets/documents/4763-627892.bioprojectprogress07.pdf page 46 ::)

     

    Bedbugs: Survey confirms expected.

    The “Bed Bugs in North America” survey offers a look at the North American bed bug resurgence:

    1. Those who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to the factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased travel and mobility which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs .

    2. Specifically in the USA Pests were encountered:

    -17 percent of respondents in the Northeast;

    -20 percent in the Midwest;

    -20 percent in the South; and

    -19 percent in the West.

    3. Most  believe that bed bug infestations are increasing.

    • 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels;
    • 52 percent on public transportation;
    • 49 percent in movie theatres;
    • 4 percent in retail stores;
    • 40 percent in medical facilities;
    • 36 percent in their own homes; and
    • 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes.

    The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.

    4. As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many  are modifying their behaviors:

    -27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip;

    -25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs;

    -17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip; and,

    -12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.

    • 16 percent inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes;
    • 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing; and
    • 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.

    5. Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home:

    • 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home; and,
    • 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.

    6. Despite widespread exposure to information, most  know little about bed bugs.

    • Nearly half incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease ;
    • 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households, and,
    • 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes.

    Highlighting the survey one in five has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has.

     

    Whistler Squirrels and Chipmunks

    Another winter and another influx of Squirrel calls.

     

    As requested by our customers included in this posting is some information on the smaller and often nuiscence whistler wildlife.

     

     

    1) Douglas Squirrels

    -These are the only squirrels you see running around Whistler;

    -Can start breeding as early as Feb but it is doubtful if it stays so cold here!;

    -Territory can be as large as 10,000 square meters although this is debatable.  We have dropped and marked squirrels in the Cheakamus demonstration forest and they have returned to as far as Nordic within a few days…

    -Preditors include martens and cats; and

    -Litters of around 4 in spring.

     

    The easiest way to keep these creatures away from your house is by keeping your yard tidy of pinecones and mulch while also ensuring branches are at least 3meters away from any part of house (including decks).

    2) Yellow-Pine Chipmunks

    -These are the only chipmunks you see running around Whistler (usually at higher 800-1300m elevations);

    -More to come!

     

    Big Black (Carpenter) ants in December? In the hundreds??

    Today we had a customer call in complaining he was seeing a lot of carpenter ants in his 40 year old Whistler home. Over 500 in one week to be exact.

    In Whistler this is not uncommon since we have so many houses designed around our wonderful forests and ecosystem where carpenter ants have roamed for thousands of years. Activity inside the home in December however is not that common and usually means that someone, somewhere nearby has effected one of the colonies main or satellite nests.

    Upon further inspection and pest identification we determined this species of carpenter ant was one of the most destructive and common in Whistler: The camponotus modoc.

    We also determined the neighbors had just renovated their home and the modoc’s probably sent out the signal they were under attack.

    Carpenter Ants are very unique creatures that require verified local knowledge and expertise and are most often considered  a big nuisance.  Later this week and over Christmas holidays it was surprising to see the number of calls we received for carpenter ants, especially with the camponotus modoc where colony sizes can easily be around 50,000!!!

    Once spring comes it will be easier to inspect these homes and find out the real problems (nest locations, neighbours houses, wood piles, trees, etc.).  In the evenings around 7-8pm when the temperature cools down, it starts to become dark and when predators such as birds are not around it is easiest to find nest locations provided you can find which ones have the food and are bringing back to nest…

    Much more on carpenter ants to come!!  It will be interesting to see how May-June 201, and the rest of the summer is.  The last cold winter we had like this a number of years ago was HORRIBLE for ants and if the past few weeks was any indication it will be another busy year.