tanglefootIt’s that time of year again when spring cankerworms come out to wreak havoc on our lovely trees. Tree banding prevents the female cankerworms from laying their eggs in the crowns of the trees in the spring and fall seasons. Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier is a sticky, non-drying paste which is effective against gypsy moths, cankerworms, weevils, ants, caterpillars, moths, cutworms, black vine weevil, and other crawling insects trying to inhabit your trees. This is a natural product that is OMRI rated and certified for organic gardening, no pesticides or harmful chemicals are involved. As the insects climb up over the sticky material, they become trapped without escape.

To control the spring cankerworm, you must have bands on your trees by mid-March and/or reapply Tree Tanglefoot to any existing bands that were originally setup in the fall.

Tree Tanglefoot is oil-based and the oils will soak into the bark. Banding material eliminates staining of the tree and offers quick, complete removal of the sticky material. In addition, Tree Tanglefoot will remain sticky longer when applied on top of a surface resistant to oil. For rough bark trees it may be necessary to plug the gaps between the tree trunk and the banding, this can be done by using insulation or other materials.

Apply Tree Tanglefoot Insect barrier in a uniform fashion. It can be applied in a heavy or light coat. Heavy coats are approximately 3″ wide and 3/32″ thick. A heavy coat is used when the insects kept from the tree foliage are large or numerous, or when there is little time available to maintain the band. Light coats are 3″ wide and 1/16″ thick. A light coat is good as a general barrier against smaller or less numerous insects, or when the band can be maintained regularly.

Generally, Tree Tanglefoot will remain sticky and effective until it is covered with insects, dust or other debris. A build-up of debris or insects will create a bridge for other insects to cross. This debris requires removal and possible re-application in spots. If an area is unusually dusty or the surface of the barrier is stiffened, Tree Tanglefoot can be rubbed around to expose a new sticky layer beneath. Remove bands at end of season.

Tree bands should be secured at 5 feet above ground level. Ensure that the bands are tight around your trees so that cankerworms and other insects cannot crawl underneath the band and bypass the sticky paste.

We sell Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier in all of our eight stores across Western Canada. Visit a location near you in Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, or Vancouver and our staff members will help you get the information and products you need to protect your trees this spring.

 

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Siobhan and Karina

Siobhan and Karina, Winnipeg Branch

It is no surprise to learn that pest control is a male dominated field. Women and girls make up just over half of North America’s population, yet they occupy only 6% of the pest control industry. When thinking about women and pests the first picture that comes to mind is likely that of a lady standing on a chair screaming at the sight of a mouse, or a little girl running away from moths or wasps or mosquitoes or basically any other flying insect! This stereotype is not reality. Many young girls are very interested in learning about bugs and animals, their behaviours and habits, what they eat and what eats them. Unfortunately, due to gender roles, stereotypes, and a lack of representation these interests tend to die off more often than it does with boys.

Izabela and Bait Station

Izabela checking a bait station for activity

This International Women’s Day, we are going to #PressForProgress at Poulin’s Pest Control! We challenge these stereotypes and bias and encourage all women and non-binary individuals to do the same and pursue a career in pest control. “My favourite thing about being a pest control technician is the way it makes me feel. I love seeing my regulars and having small talk with them. And I especially love watching people smile when I tell them they are clear if their pest problems.” Says Karina, one of our female technicians in Winnipeg.

No previous experience is necessary, as we offer very thorough in class, field training, and testing to ensure that each Pest Management Professional is fully equipped with the knowledge and tools to perform the job properly. After classroom training is complete, new technicians are paired up with an experienced pest management professional for job shadowing and on-site training. We also cover the cost of testing for entry-level technicians to obtain their provincial applicators licensing and certifications.

Izabela and truck

Izabela – Vancouver Branch

Our Vancouver technician, Izabela, has been with Poulin’s for over eight years! This was her first job in the pest control industry and she said, “I like this job because it gives me a good balance of working alone and working with people, doing routine stuff and having new challenges, working inside and outside. I also like the fact that I help people solve problems and that there is always something new to learn.”

Do the women at Poulin’s, actually out there doing the job everyday recommend a career in pest control? “Absolutely! Obviously, it is a male dominated field, and we need more female representation. I often get comments about it being very uncommon to see a woman in pest control. People tend to be very surprised when the lady on the phone is, in fact, their technician and not a receptionist. It is a very rewarding career, and I believe not only that we as women are equally capable for the job, but that we also can excel in some areas comparatively.” Says Siobhan, a female technician at our Winnipeg branch. Izabela adds “I would recommend this job to other women because, though sometimes physically demanding and aesthetically questionable, it can be satisfying and financially rewarding. It is a way to break stereotypes and it’s fun to do something unusual.”

A career as a Pest Management Professional will be ideal for any woman out there who

Karina and Siobhan

Karina and Siobhan, Winnipeg Branch

loves learning new things and seeks a challenge! As Karina puts it, “Though it might not be glamorous and you occasionally get comments on how you can’t do the job as well as a man. You always get a kick out of proving the naysayers wrong!”

Anyone interested in pursuing a career in the pest control industry can send their resumes to hr@poulins.ca, we are an equal opportunity employer and all races, genders, religious beliefs, and LGBTQ identifying individuals are encouraged to apply. Having a diverse team of technicians only strengthens our knowledge and skill-set and all technicians are given the same opportunities to succeed in their careers.

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bed-bug-rendering-frontNo one wants to get bed bugs and a positive identification is crucial in order to protect yourself and your belongings from bed bugs. Always keep a sample of the insect pest and bring it to us at Poulins to identify and provide a treatment program. But sometimes people bring in samples to our office and a relieved to hear that it’s not a bed bug but another insect pest. Some examples that we get in our office include cockroach nymphs (eg. baby versions of cockroaches); the nymphs look segmented like a bed bug and its colour is similar to the rusty brown of a bed bug but they are not. Another common insect brought in are spider beetles. This small bloated abdomen looking insects resembles fed bed bugs because of their reddish-brown colouring. These pests are not blood feeders but a stored product pest. Book Lice is another insect pest that resemble bed bug nymphs (eg. baby versions of the adults) but they are not. Book Lice are feeders of dead insects, mould, fabric and do not feed on blood. Carpet beetle larvae are golden brown and are sometimes mistaken for bed bugs as well. These insects do not feed on blood either and look like a furry version of a bed bug. Carpet beetles fed on fabrics, carpets and certain types of clothing. Come see the pros at Poulins for all your insect identifications.

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Everyone has certain expectations when it comes to love, sex, or even Valentines Day. Some us like to keep it simple and low key, while others crave adventure and something more exciting. The same can be said about the insect world, though some of their excitement may be a bit more than we can handle. Here are your top five crazy and strange insect mating rituals.

BED BUGS

Bed Bug Traumatic_insemination - Rickard ignell

Baby bed bugs are created through a process called ‘traumatic insemination’. Male bed bugs pierce the abdomen of female bed bugs and inject sperm through the wound. Though a lot of the time the male bed bug will mistake another male for a female. Oops.

HONEY BEES

Honey Bees on Flower

The queen bee will venture out on a flight for the sole purpose of mating. Male drone bees will mount the queen mid-flight to inseminate their seed. Once finished the drone flies away but his endophallus remains stuck inside the queen causing the pelvis to be ripped open and resulting in his death. At least he died doing what he loves.

WATER STRIDERS

Water Striders Mating - Markus Gayda

If a female refuses a male water striders’ advances, the male will hold the female under water and tap the water’s surface causing ripples to attract predators. The female has to decide if she wants to be someone’s lunch or give in and mate with the male. Males will only stop attracting predators to the female if she gives in. Apparently, they haven’t heard the saying, ‘no means no’.

SOAPBERRY BUGS

Soapberry Bug2 - Judy Gallagher

Male Soapberry bugs heavily outnumber females, competition among males to find a mate is fierce. Males will take extreme measures to ensure their seed is passed on to the next generation. Males will stay connected to their female partners for up to 11 days as a way of guarding their mate from copulating with another male. Some males will even stay connected with the female until she is ready to lay her eggs. Being clingy pays off for these guys.

PRAYING MANTIS

Praying Mantis Mating - Oliver Koemmerling 

Female praying mantis’ lure males to them with attractive pheromones. Males approach and engage in a courtship dance, once a worthy mate is crowned he is allowed to mate with the female. During fertilization the female chews the head off her partner and cannibalizes his body for nutrients to feed her growing offspring. Delicious.

Mating is not all traumatic, murderous, and cannibalistic in the animal world though, on a lighter side, we do have a rodent that believes in true love…

PRAIRIE VOLES

Prairie Voles - Dr Zuoxin Wang 

Male and female prairie voles enter into lifelong pair bonds, they groom each other, cuddle, share a nest, and mate for life. These monogamous rodents have a bond that is beyond mating, and even when a female prairie vole dies, her male partner will not find a new mate. But, if you give a male prairie vole a taste of alcohol and he will be more likely the cheat on his partner. Females on the other hand are more likely to stick to their partners when drinking.

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Charles Henry TurnerIn honor of black history month, we wanted to pay tribute to Charles Henry Turner (1867 –1923) who was a trailblazer in entomology. His research was ground-breaking in the area of insect learning and behaviors. He was the first person to prove that insects can hear and distinguish pitch, that cockroaches can learn by trial and error, and that honeybees can see color. He was also the first African-American to receive a PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago.

Charles Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1867. After receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1907, Dr. Turner settled with teaching biology at various high schools and ended up relocating to St. Louis, Missouri to focus more on his research. Even with very little access to research and lab facilities, Dr. Turner was able to conduct experiments and was the first to prove that:

  • Insects could hear and distinguish pitch;
  • Insects have the ability to learn by trial and error and can modify their behavior based on past experience; and
  • Honeybees can identify certain colors, patterns and smells.

Throughout his 33-year career, Dr. Turner published over 70 research papers and was considered an expert in insect behavior patterns. Some of his papers included “Hunting Habits of an American Sand Wasp”, “Habits of Mound-Building Ants”, “Psychological Notes on the Gallery Spider”, and “Experiments on the Color Vision of the Honeybee”.

Charles Henry Turner was passionate about helping African Americans in his community gain access to educational and social services. He led a life committed to civil rights and was a leader of the civil rights movement in St. Louis. After his death in February of 1923, several schools in St. Louis have been named in his honor.

 

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