Whether you live in the city or country, one of the things you will have to deal with is pests. Many species of ants, termites, rodents, snakes, birds, and other animals like to live close to humans because of the easy availability of food and also because of security. Although they may have their uses at times, most are a source of trouble. Pests can damage properties worth millions of dollars. There have been instances of entire houses being chewed hollow by termites, and fields being picked clean of crops by birds and larvae.
If you live in or have recently moved to Canada, the pests you are most likely to encounter are termites, ants, bedbugs, fleas, flies, moths, cockroaches, wasps, beetles, opossums, raccoons, rodents, snakes, spiders, squirrels, skunks, and birds. So, which of these are the most destructive in Canada?
- The most destructive: Termites
In terms of damage to property, termites may be the most destructive pests in Canada. Every year, they damage properties worth millions of dollars. These ground-dwelling insects live in a huge colony of several million individuals. A termite colony usually makes its home inside trees and the walls and floors of houses. They are hard to detect because they rarely come out of their home. It is estimated that nearly a quarter of the homes in Canada fall prey to termites.
- First Runners-up: Rats and Mice
After termites, rats and mice are the most destructive. These voracious creatures can eat as much as 10 percent of their own body weight every day. Then, they produce an enormous amount of droppings and urine, which can cause multiple health problems. In addition, they carry diseases, such as rabies, which can be fatal to people if not treated immediately.
- Second Runners-up: Ants
The third most destructive pests in Canada are ants. They are also the most difficult to eliminate. These industrious creatures live in colonies of millions of individuals. Although most ant colonies make their nests in trees and underground, some are known to live in the cavities in the walls, floors, and ceilings of houses. They can usually be seen foraging for food in or around the kitchen sink and table.
- Fourth most destructive: Raccoons
Raccoons are tree dwellers, but urban expansion has deprived them of their natural habitat. As a result, they often take to living in the roofs and cavities of homes in cities. In Canada, these cute little mammals are protected by law. However, they are treated as pests because of the damage they cause to properties and electrical equipment, and because of the health problems their droppings and urine can cause.
- Fifth most destructive: Birds
Birds are possibly the fifth most destructive pests in Canada. Among them, pigeons, house sparrows, starlings, woodpeckers, Canada geese, and gulls are the most invasive. Pigeons congregate in large numbers and produce an enormous amount of waste. Starlings steal the food of livestock. Woodpeckers cause structural damage. Gulls can cause fecal contamination. Canada geese destroy plants.
Traditional methods of pest control include spraying chemicals, poisoning, burning, hunting, and trapping. But, these methods are harmful to humans, as well as the environment. They are also considered inhumane and unethical. The new environmental-friendly pest control involves harmless methods, such as nontoxic insecticides for insects, such as ants and termites, accumulative anticoagulant baits for rodents, and a humane approach to keeping away animals, such as opossums.