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Pest Control 101: 8 Most Common Pests in Winnipeg

Reading time: 6 minutes

Nestled along the scenic banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, Winnipeg's vibrant streets and bustling neighbourhoods make it a charming place to call home. However, amidst the city's beauty lies a hidden world of pests that often disrupt the peace and harmony of its residents.

These unwelcome intruders come in various shapes and sizes—from tiny insects to larger rodents—and they can really wreak havoc on your space. Let’s see what you’re up against and how you can protect your yard from their unwelcome presence.

1. Mosquitos

Mosquito bitting on human skin
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Mosquitoes are prevalent in Winnipeg, especially during the warmer months when the city's numerous water bodies become ideal breeding grounds for these pests.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, even in small quantities, making residential yards a potential site for mosquito populations to flourish. Beyond the discomfort, mosquitoes in Winnipeg can carry and transmit diseases, including the West Nile Virus, posing a public health risk during peak mosquito season.

Get rid of standing water around your property and adopt preventive measures to reduce mosquito breeding sites, minimizing the risks associated with these pests.

2. Wasps and Hornets

Wasp nest in the backyard

As summer wanes into late-season warmth, Winnipeg homes often become unwilling hosts to wasps and hornets. These insects pose severe sting risks. Their nests, typically found in eaves, behind sidings, or buried in lawns, can be a source of real danger.

When threatened, wasps and hornets can become aggressive and bite. The bites are particularly dangerous to those with allergies to their stings, which can be severe or even life-threatening. The proximity of nests to human activity increases the chance of unwanted encounters.

For safe removal, it's imperative to avoid DIY methods that can provoke these insects. Professional wasp and hornet control services are equipped with the right tools and protective gear to remove nests safely and effectively.

3. Cockroaches

Zoomed picture of a cockroach on a stone
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Cockroaches bring more than just a shudder of disgust to the average person. These hard-to-kill insects are known for their resilience, ability to survive in harsh conditions, and ability to evade many over-the-counter eradication attempts.

Their presence in your home is unpleasant and a significant health risk. Cockroaches can carry pathogens that lead to diseases such as salmonella, E. coli, and allergies in some individuals, particularly in children who are more susceptible to asthma triggered by cockroach allergens.

The difficulty in eliminating cockroaches stems from their quick breeding cycles and ability to hide in hard-to-reach areas of your home. This calls for professional pest control services to go beyond surface solutions, targeting cockroach hideouts and employing methods to prevent future infestations.

4. Ants

Ants walking on a branch
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Ant infestations can range from merely annoying to structurally damaging, with pavement ants and carpenter ants leading the charge. Ideally, you want to start treating your home for ants as soon as you see signs of an infestation.

Pavement ants earn their name by nesting in cracks in driveways and sidewalks, but they don't stop there. These small invaders often find their way into homes, drawn by the smallest crumbs and spills. To prevent their colonization, homeowners should seal entry points, maintain cleanliness to avoid attracting them with food residues and manage exterior vegetation that can serve as a bridge to the home.

Carpenter ants pose a more serious threat due to their habit of burrowing into wood to create their nests, potentially compromising the structural integrity of homes. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don't eat wood but remove it to build their nests.

Signs of a carpenter ant infestation include sawdust-like material (frass) around wooden structures, the sound of rustling within walls, and, most obviously, the sight of large, black ants within the home.

5. Bed Bugs

Zoomed picture of a bed bug
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The resurgence of bed bugs in urban areas, Winnipeg included, has become a growing concern over recent years. These elusive pests, notorious for their hitchhiking abilities, easily travel from place to place on clothing, luggage, and furniture. Once in, they hide in mattresses, bed frames, and even tiny crevices, emerging under the cover of night to feed.

Signs of a bed bug infestation include itchy, red bites in a line or cluster, tiny blood spots on bedding, and the presence of small, dark excrement spots. Another telltale sign is spotting the bugs themselves, although that’s usually a pipedream.

6. Spiders

Picture of a spider on a web by Buzz Boss

While the mere mention of spiders might send shivers down the spine of many, the population of these eight-legged creatures found in Winnipeg is mainly harmless. Most spiders found in homes are not interested in humans. They’re more interested in catching flies, mosquitoes, and other insects.

However, a few species can pose risks to humans. While dangerous spiders like the black widow are exceedingly rare, it's best to exercise caution if you encounter any spider you can't easily identify. The risk from most spiders comes from allergic reactions to their bites rather than venom toxicity. Symptoms of a spider bite can include localized pain, swelling, and, in rare cases, more severe reactions.

Despite these potential risks, spiders are beneficial and help keep populations of more troublesome pests in check. Professional spider control services can offer solutions that respect the ecological benefits of spiders while keeping the more unwelcome individuals at bay.

7. Mice

Mouse on a branch
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Mice are common in Winnipeg. These small rodents are adept at squeezing through the tiniest of gaps, making even the smallest opening a welcome invitation into the warmth and potential food sources your yard and home offer. Once inside, they can establish nests in hidden areas and reproduce quickly, creating a persistent problem for homeowners.

House mice droppings can contaminate food and surfaces and may carry pathogens that lead to diseases such as salmonella and hantavirus. Their constant gnawing can also damage wires, insulation, and even structural elements, potentially causing fire hazards or other structural issues.

Preventing an infestation involves sealing up entry points to your home, ensuring food is stored in rodent-proof containers, and maintaining cleanliness to reduce attractants. However, eradicating them often requires professional intervention once house mice have made themselves home. Pest control experts can offer targeted solutions for mice, from humane traps to baiting and exclusion strategies.

8. Rats

Rat walking in the dirt
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The rats found in Winnipeg are called “Norway rats,” and they’ve become all too familiar with urban environments. Their remarkable adaptability allows them to survive in sewers, basements, and the gardens of our homes. These rodents are opportunists, constantly on the lookout for food and shelter, making your yard and home perfect targets.

The Norway rat possesses strong teeth that can gnaw through wood, plastic, and even mild steel, damaging homes and infrastructure. Beyond physical damage, these rats are a health hazard, capable of spreading diseases such as leptospirosis and salmonellosis through their urine and droppings.

To get rid of rats, store food in rodent-proof containers and keep your yard clutter-free. Seal potential entry points—any small opening invites these persistent invaders. Regular inspections by professionals of the home’s exterior for cracks, holes, and gaps and installing rodent-proof measures are effective strategies to keep Norway rats at bay.

Buzz Boss worker spraying yard for pests

Secure Your Winnipeg Home with Buzz Boss

Awareness and proactive measures are your first line of defence against these common pests in your Winnipeg home. This is where Buzz Boss comes into play.

We encourage all Winnipeg homeowners to maintain regular pest control practices and consider the comprehensive protection that BuzzShield® Complete provides.

Book your service to enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your home is well-protected against the array of pests that want to invade your safe haven.

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