cluster flyAt first, the cluster fly and the housefly appear to have many similarities, but there are actually many differences between the two. There are many differences between cluster flies and house flies.

  • SIZE AND COLOR: Cluster flies are larger than house flies at approximately 7mm long compared to the 3-6mm length of a house fly.  The body of a cluster fly will be black with a silver checkered pattern.  House flies are dark grey with four narrow black stripes down their bodies.
  • WINGS AND FLIGHT: Cluster flies will fly at a much slower and less frantic rate than a house fly.  Cluster fly wings will overlap while at rest, house flies have wings that remain separate.
  • BEHAVIOR: Cluster flies will cluster together.  They are commonly found clustered around windows, in attics, they will be found in sunny spaces. They like unused places, such as attics.  Cluster flies are attracted to warmth and light and you will find them gathered by windows.
  • HABITS: Cluster flies live outdoors, they mainly appear in the spring and fall.  They can be found overwintering inside homes and buildings.  Cluster flies come into homes in the late summer and fall months to find a place to hibernate.  House flies on the other hand will come into your home to search for food and water.
  • DISEASES: Cluster flies are not known to transmit diseases or damage structures, and do not reproduce after coming into a home.  House flies are known to carry a lot of diseases because of their habits of landing and feeding on garbage and poop.  Cluster files don’t lay eggs on food or garbage, they will instead choose earthworm burrows.

The first thing you will want to consider when trying to keep flies out of your home or business is exclusion and sanitation.  This involves the removal or elimination of the larval developmental sites. This may include emptying and cleaning garbage receptacles. Ensure garbage receptacles have tight fitting closures and store away from doors and windows.  Seal any cracks or crevices along doors and windows, vents, and along the roof.  Patch any damaged screens.

At Poulin’s Pest Control, we’re experts in elimination of pest problems.  If you want to take care of the problem yourself, we carry a number of products to assist with many pest problems, and if you need our help, our technicians are standing by.  Remember – there’s no foolin’ with Poulin.

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Rick and Lincoln - BlogRichard Vilness recently celebrated his five-year anniversary with Poulin’s Pest Control!  Ricky works at our Saskatoon, Saskatchewan branch as a Heat Technician.  Ricky started working with Poulin’s after a friend of his was taking part in a summer school program, he was most interested in the unique aspect of pest control and how the day-to-day would be different at each job site.  When Ricky is not at Poulin’s he can be found working on the motors of boats and various vehicles, working hard on some welding projects, and spending quality time with his family.

Over the years Ricky has gained experience and knowledge and has become an expert in his field, the trust that is gained from recurring clients is something that he considers one of his greatest successes.  Ricky prides himself in knowing that his customers are happy and feel satisfied with the work he does for them and that they can be confident that their pest problems will be gone once he shows up!

Ricky said that one of his most memorable moments while working with Poulin’s was when he was tasked to go into a mine shaft and collect six baby raccoons and trap the mother.  This process went over the course of two days and in the end the family of raccoons was released to a wildlife rehabilitation facility near North Battleford, Saskatoon.

When asked what he enjoys most about working at Poulin’s, he replied “the job is always changing, the atmosphere with co-workers, and it means a lot to me when a company treats you like family.”

Thank you, Richard, for all your hard work!

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tales from the techOne morning my co-worker, offered me one of his jobs because he was having a busy day.  He said it was an easy flea job that shouldn’t take too much time.

The homeowners had a cat with a bad case of fleas.  The job was to go in and spray the carpets and furniture, and get at all the cracks and crevices with a residual.  What you need to know about fleas is that a female flea can lay about 40 eggs per day, so an infestation can get out of hand fast without proper treatment.

I got to the job site and entered the basement.  Unfortunately, I was not aware that the homeowner’s cat had died two weeks earlier.  The fleas that I was going to be dealing with were sitting on the ground, starving to death.  They are literally waiting for a bloodmeal to arrive… any blood meal!  I walked in and thousands of fleas jumped to me like a magnet!  When I came out of the basement you couldn’t see the yellow in my shirt, it was COVERED.  I pulled up my pant leg and the fleas were all crawling in my leg hairs!

I had to rush home and strip in the yard.  I had my neighbours come out and spray my body down with bug spray.  When I got back to work the next day, I made sure to personally thank him for the “easy flea job”.  He swears he had no idea.  This was the worst I have ever experienced.

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Wasp NestAs summer moves into August a very busy pest has been growing its nest size slowly over the months of June and July. As the flowers and other natural food sources start to disappear, the move from the natural sugars and nectars from these food sources dry up and the need for proteins and carbohydrates increase. This is where the yellow jackets and the black and white wasps become more aggressive in finding alternative food sources. These alternatives include your soft drinks, meats, vegetables and any type of food that you may have been cooking in your backyard. Wasps do not have a barb on their stinger so when they come in to get a piece of your steak, if they are scared they will start stinging you many times and release a pheromone to make other wasps in the area come and sting you as well. It’s important to stay calm when wasps are flying around you as any fast movements may set off the alarm pheromone and make you a target to be stung.

We have many the counter products that can be used to treat wasp nests. Only use products that are registered for the control of wasps because using a pesticide to kill a pest that is not on label is against the law and you may be putting yourself and bystanders at risk of an improper application of insecticide.  Using a liquid or foam spray will provide a direct and instant kill on contact.

The first thing you will need to do is find the nest.  Wasp nests range in colour from light to dark grey and can range in size from a teacup, to a small baseball or even larger than a basketball.  Some nests can be found in walls, cracks in walls, and even in the ground. Watch the nest during the day and find where the wasps are entering and exiting, the entrance hole will be near the bottom of the nest.  The best time to treat a wasp nest is either early in the morning or late evening when most wasps are inside and resting.  If the nest is hidden, the entrances must be dusted with an appropriately label insecticide dust. This method takes several hours in order for the nest to be killed. The wasps will clean each other off, as they are social insects, and the dust kills the entire nest.

You will need to keep an eye on the wasps that are tasked with protecting the nest, if they sense a presence these wasps will come out to investigate.  You can spray any wasps outside of the nest with insecticide when you are approaching.  If you need a ladder to reach the nest, ensure that it is well secured before attempting to spray a wasp nest.

When treating the nest with a foam spay, shake the can before using and make sure the wind is at your back so you don’t get any spray blown on you.  Begin by spraying inside the bottom hole of the wasp nest.  You can spray the entrance hole from up to 6 – 8 feet away with this product, so you don’t have to get too close.  Continue spraying until the opening of the nest is completely covered with insecticide foam.

The foam spray comes with an extension tube that can be attached to the nozzle.  Use this tube and poke into the nest to get the spray inside.  You will want to spray into several spots around the nest.  When attaching the tube, point the actuator button away from your face.

After a few minutes, the nest will be ready to be knocked down and disposed of.  After removing the nest, you may see several eggs inside that were getting ready to hatch!

At Poulin’s we are trained to remove wasp nests during the day when control is much more difficult, but successful.  If you need assistance in removing a wasp nest visit any of our stores across western Canada or call us to speak with one of our experts toll-free at 1-888-768-5467.

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tales from the techI was in charge of training our new technician, who had been working with our company for only about two weeks so far.  She had just finished the in-class training program and today was going to be her first day out on a job.  She was looking forward to putting what she learned into practice and seeing a real job site.  Our first call of the day was to an apartment building in a nice, quiet neighbourhood that was having a problem with bed bugs.  I explained the things that she can expect when entering a job site.  Sometimes a home can be messy or have no prep work done, sometimes people can be very particular about moving their items or furniture, but I didn’t think that I would have to warn her about this…

We planned to start our inspection in the basement but I needed a door code from the building manager to gain access.  I asked my new coworker to get the code while I waited downstairs.  A few moments later she came back with a stone-cold look on her face.  “Nope.” Was all she said.

I was wondering what the heck happened so I went to investigate… and then I saw it.  Right in the middle of the hallway stood a very large, naked man.  He turned to face me when he heard me walk up, “Hey.” He said as he continued brushing his teeth, naked, in the hallway…

Well, that’s one way to start out your new job!

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