In the News

See infestation that could plague Canadian homes this spring

While most people are looking forward to warmer temperatures and spring blossom, Saskatoon resident Tammi Hanowski fears her home will once again be plagued by caterpillars. Hanowski was one of several Canadians who experienced a near-biblical swarm of forest tent caterpillars last May. "It was probably a week of this massive infestation," the Saskatchewanian told The Weather Network. "We're talking probably tens of thousands of caterpillars that were just everywhere."

Feb. 26, 2018

Ground shifting cracks let in critters: pest expert

Ground shifting from extremely dry soil could be making it easier for pests like mice and bugs, like maple bugs, to invade your house this fall. Shawn Sherwood with Poulins Pest Control explained the challenge facing homeowners as the season changes. “It’s been very dry and that means that most of the homes in the city have moved — well, in the country for that matter — and that opens up all kinds of little openings,” Sherwood said.

Sept. 30, 2017

CJME Radio

Ladybeetles Being Noticed For Their Bite This Summer

Poulin Pest Control director of operations Taz Stuart says in the fall the Asian ladybeetles will start to overwinter and may find their way into a garage, shed, or home. "There are a couple things [you can do when they're in your home]. You can get a contact insecticide to treat them with or the old fashion way, you can get a vacuum and suck them up. You don't really want them inside in winter, if they do have to die over winter, they will start to smell. [To avoid them entering your home] make sure your windows, doors, any cracks or crevices are sealed up."

Sept. 16, 2017

Steinbach Online

Ladybug that bites appearing in Manitoba

"They look like a ladybug, and at this time of year they're coming in from the crops and the fields, and now looking for a place to stay over the winter and hibernate," Stuart said. And with cooler temperatures, Stuart said people can expect to see a buildup of the pests around cracks, crevices, door frames and windowsills. Stuart works for Poulin's Pest Control, and said he noticed a spike last October in people reaching out about the insects. "Previous to 2016, you really wouldn't see a lot of Asian lady beetles around here," Stuart said

Sept. 13, 2017

'It's waspmagedden': Entomologist calls wasp season one of the largest in years

A little pest is making the final few weeks of summer challenging for some Manitobans. “We’ve had a 50 per cent call increase,” Taz Stuart, Entomologist with Poulins Pest Control said. “To put it politely, it’s waspmagedden out there.” Three people have died in Manitoba this year from anaphylactic reaction to wasp stings according to Acting Chief Medical Examiner, John Younes. Below are the number of people who died from wasp stings in previous years.

Sept. 11, 2017

Complications of wasp stings kill 3 in Manitoba this summer

The city's former top entomologist says Winnipeggers should take precautions around wasps after Manitoba's chief medical examiner confirmed three people have died of complications from or reactions to wasp stings in the province so far this summer. Taz Stuart, who now works at Poulin's Pest Control, said the company has seen a 35 per cent jump in calls for wasp nest removal this year over last summer's numbers. "Wasps have had a banner year," said Stuart. "They are a beneficial insect but it's this time of year when they're looking for those carbohydrates, those sugary substances that people may [have] in their backyards or out.

Sept. 7, 2017

West Nile virus still a risk, Manitoba entomologist warns

Dry weather has helped to keep nuisance mosquitoes at bay in Brandon this summer, but a Manitoba entomologist warns the risk of contracting West Nile virus remains. "No water does equal no mosquitoes, but the concern is the mosquito that carries West Nile virus, called Culex tarsalis — that mosquito loves these kinds of conditions," said Taz Stuart, entomologist for Poulin’s Pest Control. Manitoba Health tracks Culex tarsalis trap counts by health region, and Prairie Mountain Health is leading the province.

Aug. 17, 2017

Amphipods may be sea creature that feasted on Australian teenager's legs

Are they found in Canada? Beach-goers in Canada probably don’t have to worry about this happening to them, according to Taz Stuart, an entomologist for Poulin’s Pest Control Services in Winnipeg. “I’ve never heard of this happening in Canada,” he said. Stuary said the amphipods in Australia would be similar to sand fleas in Canada, which could be found on most beaches. “Sand fleas only cause minor biting and itching,” he said.

Aug. 8, 2017

Of mice and mosquitoes: Lyme disease, West Nile risks up

Winnipeg has enjoyed a summer of blissfully low mosquito numbers so far, but that doesn't mean all pests have vanished. The hot, dry weather has kept mosquito trap counts down, but rodent populations are unusually high, according to Taz Stuart, director of technical operations and entomologist for Poulin's Pest Control Services. "We've never had so many calls for mice. We're in a banner year for rodents," he said. "And that's why other diseases, like Lyme disease, and black legged ticks are on the rise too. Because that's one of their first hosts they feed on, is the mice population."

Aug. 7, 2017

Winnipeg has second-most bed bugs among Canadian cities

A national pest control company says Winnipeg has the second most bed bugs in Canada. Only Toronto has more, according to Orkin, which based its list on how many service calls it gets for bed bugs. Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control told 680 CJOB if you do have bed bugs, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. “An adult female, she’ll lay her eggs, 3-5 per day. If you have an original breeding pair of two, in as little as six months you could have about 1,500 bed bugs in a unit.”

Aug. 1, 2017

Wasp stings responsible for three deaths in Manitoba

The city's former entomologist is urging Winnipeggers to take precautions after three Manitobans died this summer after being stung by wasps. The three deaths, including at least one in Winnipeg, were rare, said Taz Stuart, now the entomologist and director of technical operations at Poulin's Pest Control. "You'd need to look at the data from the Chief Medical Examiner, but it is unusual, for sure," Stuart said. Numbers released Thursday by Manitoba's Chief Medical Examiner's Office showed three deaths from complications related to wasp stings, all of them in July.

July 9, 2017

Bunny boom wreaks garden havoc in Winnipeg

"As a child, I don't remember ever seeing bunnies around the neighbourhood," she said. "It's only like the last decade that I'm really seeing them around. The last five years, the population is booming out of control." Taz Stuart of Poulin's Pest Control said the company is also seeing a spike in the number of calls about bunnies. "We don't track rabbit calls, but I estimate we're receiving five to seven calls a day. "They're hard to catch," he said. "They're damn smart."

July 3, 2017

Raccoon population in Winnipeg thriving

The raccoons are coming, the raccoons are coming. Thanks to a mild, bountiful winter and an abundance of foodstuffs, water and shelter, Winnipeg's raccoons have been thriving during the first half of 2017. "This year is definitely a banner year for raccoons," said Taz Stuart, director of technologies for Poulin's Pest Control Services. In all of 2016, Poulin's caught a total of 105 raccoons across the city. This year, they've trapped 84, and there's still more than six months to go, Stuart said.

June 21, 2017

What the flock? Gulls take over lawns, hoover up scourge of Winnipeg worms

Winnipeg is in the midst of its worst elm spanworm invasion in 20 years, the city's insect control branch says. The city expects the invasion to last another two to three weeks. Elm spanworms that evade the gulls will morph into pale white moths this August, while cankerworms will turn into grey moths. Taz Stuart with pest-control company Poulin's said last week that forest tent caterpillars will take on a golden-brown colour in their moth phase in July.

June 20, 2017

Winnipeg experiences 'year of the caterpillar' as 3 worm species wriggle across treetops

Elm spanworms are larger than cankerworms and can be identified by their orange heads and grippy, pincer-like feet. They also produce large volumes of black excrement that's bigger than cankerworm droppings but not as large as forest-tent caterpillar pellets. "When they're sitting there digesting the leaf meal that they've eaten, they're pooping it out and that'll sit on your car, sit on your sidewalks, on the roads, and if it rains like it has over the last couple of days, it can be a slippery mess," said Taz Stuart, technical operations director at pest-control company Poulin's.

June 16, 2017

Massive caterpillar infestation swarms home

As for Hanowski, as of Saturday morning, it seems an end to her ordeal is in sight. Pest control company Poulin's responded to one of Hanowski's Facebook videos offering to take care of the problem and asking her to get in touch with the company's Saskatoon branch. It looks like Hanowski took them up on their offer, as a crew arrived at her house Saturday morning to spray the area. Still, the prolonged infestation took its toll on her property. "You can see that there are no leaves left on her trees, these caterpillars have demolished them all," Poulin's wrote on Facebook Saturday.

June 3, 2017

St. Lazare plagued by so many caterpillars they're burying them in pails

Taz Stuart, former city of Winnipeg entomologist and current director of technical operations at Poulin's Pest Control Services, said the caterpillars are at the top of their 10- to 13-year peak in Manitoba. "We're probably in it or on the latter side of it, so you should start seeing numbers decrease over the next couple years," Stuart said. Saskatchewan is also seeing a massive infestation of forest tent caterpillars.

June 2, 2017

Tent caterpillars invade North Battleford

However, the city is encouraging residents to use a product containing Bacillus Thuringiensis Kurstaki (BTK) to safely kill the tent caterpillars on their property. This product can be purchased at local hardware stores and will not harm other insects or damage trees or plants. In their news release, the city also cites Poulin’s Pest Control Service which suggests homeowners can use different types of pesticides, but great care should be taken when spraying with these products.

June 1, 2017

News Optimist

Dissecting insecticide: What you need to know about Winnipeg's new mosquito killer

Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin's Pest Control Services in Winnipeg, said while pyrethroids are rooted in natural products and malathion is synthetic, both have shown similar effectiveness in killing mosquitoes. "It will kill mosquitoes, of course, it just depends on conditions. That's key. Any product that is designed to kill, will kill," he said.

May 22, 2017

Regina expecting an increase of Cankerworms, other insects

Shawn Sherwood, branch manager of Poulin’s Pest Control in Regina, echoed that statement. “When we have a really mild winter, they tend to see less winter mortality in these insects,” Sherwood said. Sherwood said people are seeing more maple bugs out this time of the year because there isn’t any foliage on the trees quite yet. He also said another pest has made its first appearance for the year. “The first wood tick arrived in my office today.” He said the ticks aren’t usually seen until May.

April 13, 2017

650 CKOM

A lumpy lawn after the snow melts could mean you've got voles

Exterminator says the vermin could be poisoned, trapped or hunted by predators such as birds or cats. Areas which have had a lot of snow this winter will likely see more damage from the little brown rodents, according to Shawn Sherwood of Poulin's Pest Control in Regina.

April 3, 2017

See infestation that could plague Canadian homes this spring

"We kind of vaccuumed them up with the shop vac, but then an hour later there would just be double the amount," Hanowski said. "There was one corner of our house where they just seemed to want to migrate to. There was a video of me kind of sweeping through them with my boot, and honestly it was probably a good six inches deep." Eventually the family contacted Poulin's Pest Control Services. The company sprayed the Hanowski property for about five hours with an insecticide. "As spring is coming we're just like ugh, I hope this doesn't happen again," said the Saskatoon resident. "I think probably in the next month or something we'll probably take a walk out to the trees and see if there's anything that we need to do. We don't want to think about it, but I think we kind of have to."

March 26, 2017

Manitoba insurers alter policies after millions lost in rat damage

Manitoba Public Insurance was hit with a $35 million bill for rodent damage between 2012- 2015. Last year alone, the cost spiked to almost $15 million. A Winnipeg media outlet says it's learned Manitoba Public Insurance has changed its rodent claim policy to help the Crown company save $6 million a year. CTV News says documents it's obtained show that as of March 1 this year, trapping of mice, rats and other pests in vehicles can now be done by exterminators.

March 23, 2017

Gnawing costs force Manitoba Public Insurance to change rodent claim policy

A Winnipeg media outlet says it's learned Manitoba Public Insurance has changed its rodent claim policy to help the Crown company save $6 million a year. CTV News says documents it's obtained show that as of March 1 this year, trapping of mice, rats and other pests in vehicles can now be done by exterminators. As well, not all vehicles will be disassembled to rid them of rodent messes, and air quality tests will no longer be required.

March 23, 2017

MPI changes rodent claim policy, expects to save millions

CTV News has learned about major changes to Manitoba Public Insurance's rodent claim policy, which came into effect March 1. The auto insurer said it expects to save $6 million a year. Documents obtained by CTV News, show trapping can now be done by an exterminator, not all vehicles will be disassembled, and air quality tests will no longer be required. The new policy is a blow to companies who perform remediation and restoration work on damaged vehicles.

March 22, 2017

A lumpy lawn after the snow melts could mean you've got voles

A familiar rodent is raising its tiny head in Saskatchewan this spring. The Meadow vole looks a lot like house mouse, but it has a shorter tail, a rounded head and smaller ears. Areas which have had a lot of snow this winter will likely see more damage from the little brown rodents, according to Shawn Sherwood of Poulin's Pest Control in Regina.

March 4, 2017

Bedbugs, cockroaches beware of the Bug Dusters

When there’s something strange crawling in your house, who are you going to call? Bug Dusters! In Winnipeg that happens to be a team of teenagers. The group of 10 have invented a bedbug and cockroach exterminating hovercraft. They hope it blows away the competition at the upcoming Dare to Discover Program put on each year by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. The hovercraft was designed and manufactured at Windsor Park Collegiate, and it was created in the likeness of the iconic Ghostbusters wagon.

Dec. 8, 2016

Warm weather means more mice: pest experts

While the warm weather has given Winnipeggers an excuse to get outside, local exterminators say it’s also giving pests a chance to get inside. Lincoln Poulin of Poulin’s Pest Control said they have received twice the amount of calls for mice they would usually get this time of year.

Nov. 13, 2016

Rodents basking in unusually warm Winnipeg weather

WINNIPEG – The unseasonable warm weather has given rodents more time to get into Winnipeg homes. The extended period of above-seasonal temperatures has given mice, vols and rats several more weeks of ideal conditions. “It is a very banner year for rodents,” said Taz Stuart, director of technical operations for Poulin’s Pest Control.

Nov. 11, 2016

Maple bugs taking over Regina

Maple Bugs seem to be invading Regina households. The insects, also known as Boxelder beetles, are making their way into homes in order to find warmth as the weather gets cooler. “The reason that you’re seeing so many of them now is because they pop out in large swarms on the sunny part of the day,” Shawn Sherwood with Poulin’s Pest Control said. “At night when it gets cold, because insects are exothermic, they try finding their way into your house and when they do they fly around and are generally very irritating.”

Oct. 19, 2016

CJME Radio

Cockroaches invading Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg entomologist says cockroaches could soon become the city’s number one pest. Taz Stuart, with Poulin’s Pest Control, told Global News there is a spike in the number of cockroaches being found in apartments across the city. The entomologist said the pests are like bed bugs in the way they spread, with one female producing up to 100,000 roaches in less than a year.

Sept. 28, 2016

Bed bugs stay away: Manitoba's dorm room prevention tactics

WINNIPEG — Dorm room living means living in close quarters with people from all over the world. According to the University of Manitoba, 600 new residents are moving in to start the new school year. People from as far as Nigeria, and as close as Winnipeg.

Sept. 21, 2016

'They're strong biters': Mosquitoes with painful bite hatching early

WINNIPEG — The fight against the bite is on and in full force. Heavy storms and rain are bringing more mosquitoes out and there are more still to come. “Those mosquitoes are now emerging. From egg, to larvae to adult in as little as four to seven days where as normally it’s about two weeks when conditions are normal,” said Taz Stuart, pest control specialist at Poulin’s Pest Control Services. “Right now, because of all the weather systems that have come through, you have lots of rain in those very intense storms.”

Aug. 19, 2016

Wasps in full flight during August in Winnipeg, says bug expert

WINNIPEG — You’ve likely been swatting them away while all summer while hanging out at the cabin or on a restaurant patio. They’re about to get worse. Bug experts and exterminators in Winnipeg are getting called to over a dozen wasp nest removals and infestations per day in August. Taz Stuart, an entomologist, said August is often when pest control and residents notice an influx in wasps.

Aug. 18, 2016

This Stings! Wasp Season Underway In Manitoba

WINNIPEG – The only way to get rid of wasps is to destroy their nest. That from Poulin’s Pest Control’s Taz Stuart, as we get into wasp season in southern Manitoba. Stuart warns that if you try to use mosquito spray to fight off wasps, it won’t do much. “Deet will give you a little bit of repellency, but there’s really nothing there. If they want to come in and sting you, they will.” Stuart adds that if you’re out on the deck with sugary drinks or other food wasps might like, it only takes one to find you.

Aug. 9, 2016

iNews880

Experts say vacuums best way to deal with maple bugs

If you are having any issues with maple bugs, the City of Regina wants you to know that you do have options. Russell Eirich is the manager of pest control and says residents have a number of tools available to them.

Aug. 9, 2016

650 CKOM

Higher bug infestations a problem in post-wildfire Fort McMurray

Some Fort McMurray residents whose homes were spared from the Alberta wildfire are now dealing with another kind of problem; bug and pest infestations. Upon returning in early June, Mary Villemure quickly realized her home wasn’t exactly as she’d left it. “I got out of the shower and I used the towel that I had taken out of my closet and hung up before I got into the shower. When I got out there was a beetle on the towel,” she said. “I’ve never seen something like that in the house before.”

June 22, 2016

Fort McMurray Today

Winnipeg ends war on forest tent caterpillars

The City of Winnipeg has ended its combat with the caterpillar. The Winnipeg insect control branch concluded the forest tent caterpillar control program on Tuesday. The caterpillars have stopped feeding so the spraying no longer works, the city said in a release.

June 7, 2016

5 things to know about forest tent caterpillars

Forest tent caterpillars are munching their way through Winnipeg, feeding on the leafy canopy of trees. Forest tent caterpillars typically infest the city once every 10 to 15 years, but when an infestation hits, it can last two to three years. City crews started spraying against the caterpillars two weeks ago.

May 31, 2016

Early mosquito egg-laying raises West Nile virus concern, entomologists say

Early egg-laying by one of the mosquito species known to carry West Nile virus suggests the possibility of a summer outbreak of the disease in southern Manitoba, entomologists say. University of Winnipeg entomologist Rob Anderson says he's observed "early and significant" egg-laying activity by Culex restuans, a mosquito that feeds entirely on birds and is known to transmit West Nile virus among feathered creatures. Anderson says this is important because West Nile virus must be present in the bird population before another mosquito species, Culex tarsalis, can transmit the infectious disease to people.

May 26, 2016

Police station infested with albino rats

Officers at the Winnipeg Police District 3 station have unwanted visitors to the Hartford Avenue facility, but they are too small to slap on the handcuffs. WPS Superintendent Bruce Ormistion confirmed there were reports of rats at the West Kildonan station. A pest control company subsequently set traps and five of the creatures have been caught. Ormiston told CBC News the rats were comparable to white lab rats and were less susceptible to carrying disease or viruses.

April 26, 2016

Carpenter ants flying to work early in Calgary

Balmy weather has carpenter ants taking early flights, says a local entomologist and pest control experts. The big, wood-chewing ants have become the talk of pest-averse Calgarians, say those at several extermination outfits contacted by Postmedia. Calls from Calgary bugged by the insects are piling up, said Pam Cowdery of Canex Pest Control Ltd. “I had three calls yesterday,” she said.

April 21, 2016

Weird winter has brought rodent boom

My wife and I were out with another couple for an after-dinner drink at a well-appointed downtown cocktail lounge the other night when an uninvited guest made an uninvited appearance. "Eek, a mouse!’ Later, when I thought about it, that rodent on the run was the pest-threat equivalent of a canary in coal mine. So this week I called Poulin’s Pest Control Services and Orkin Canada, two of the city’s leading pest control companies, to see if what we saw is what we’re getting in numbers larger than normal.

April 4, 2016

Home-care worker issues bedbug alert

Every morning, Terry gowns up, donning a yellow gauze sheet with arm holes, blue booties and latex gloves, as if she’s walking into a hospital room with an infectious patient. She may change two times before noon, depending on her schedule. After work, she strips down, throws her clothes into a plastic bag she dumps in the washer and hits the shower. She changes shoes before going from one place to another. After 14 years on the front lines as a home-care worker with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Terry spoke up Friday to say she’s had enough of the war against bedbugs in the city.

April 2, 2016

Manitoba Housing suites 'infested' with cockroaches, residents say

Residents at a Manitoba Housing complex say their units have been infested with cockroaches for months — something Manitoba Housing says is related to some tenants refusing to comply with pest removal efforts. Joe Schrader lives in a one bedroom suite in an apartment on Kennedy Street run by Manitoba Housing. Much to his chagrin, he's been forced to share his place with thousands of unwanted guests over the past five months. "They crawl on your chest, your face, in your bed, on your blanket," Schrader said, adding the building also has a bedbug problem.

Nov. 20, 2015

Senior battles Lions Club of Winnipeg over bed bugs

A Winnipeg senior is fed up with her landlord after a bed bug infestation that has dragged on for eight months despite five fumigations. "It's really gotten to me," said Anne Brown, who lives at Lion's Place on Portage Avenue. Brown has had to leave her apartment for each fumigation and has suffered bed bug bites as well as damaged property. She lost her clothes, a winter coat and a quilt. "My granddaughters brought me [a] blanket to keep grandma warm," said Brown. In her bedroom, sticky tape has been put down to catch bed bugs who survived the fumigation. Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin's Pest Control said five to 10 treatments isn't unheard of – especially in bigger buildings.

Aug. 31, 2015

Termite infestation confirmed in Winnipeg home

For the first time in almost a decade, termites have been found in at least one Winnipeg home. Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin's Pest Control Services, confirmed to CBC News that a well-established subterranean termite colony was found this week in a home in the city's St. Boniface area. The former City of Winnipeg entomologist said a termite infestation is hard to miss, as a colony is capable of consuming half a kilogram of wood each day. What's not known, Stuart said, is where the termites came from.

Aug. 21, 2015

Spiders spinning more webs

WINNIPEG — If there are more mosquitoes, wasps and other flying insects plaguing Manitoba this summer – there are also more spider webs waiting to catch them. “We are seeing more incidents of those large webbings on decks,” said Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin’s Pest Control. He said Poulin’s is getting a lot more calls about spider infestations in and around Winnipeg than they did last year. “Based on completed spider jobs we are more than double than last year at this time,” Stuart said. “Twenty-six in 2014, versus 59 to yesterday’s date. This does not include requests for information.”

Aug. 13, 2015

10 tips for waging war on wasps

Wasps are putting a sting into summer for people in Saskatchewan. Sean Sherwood from Poulin's Pest Control in Regina says it's been a busy year for wasps because of the mild winter and spring. "There's a lot more of them than there were last year. We had a nice even spring that didn't wipe out all the juvenile queens," said Sherwood. "There are lots of nests out there." He shared some tips with callers who phoned CBC Saskatchewan's Blue Sky.

Aug. 12, 2015

Winnipeg abuzz with wasp complaints, exterminator says

It isn't unusual to encounter mini mobs of yellow jackets buzzing around Winnipeg patios in the summer, but the swarms of wasps seem to be here sooner than usual — and in greater numbers — this year. Taz Stuart, an entomologist with Poulin's Pest Control Services, said the extermination company has received about 500 calls from people with wasp problems so far this year. That almost doubles the amount of complaints they received last year and makes up the majority of their current pest calls. "We have seen a large increase," said Stuart. "If you are looking at the overall call volume, we are almost two-thirds of the way there and we are only in early August. So that number will be rather large this year."

Aug. 10, 2015

Wasp control calls nearly double normal volume

WINNIPEG — People trying to enjoy the great outdoors these days have likely noticed a pest trying to take over their patio paradise. Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control says the company has received nearly double the normal call volume this season from residents wanting to tackle an increasingly problematic wasp issue. “For 2014 this time there were about 275 [calls] and we’ll easily break 500 nests treated today,” said Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control.

Aug. 10, 2015

Bug invation poses woes for Winnipeg restaurant patio

A bug invasion on a Winnipeg patio created major problems for Earls Polo Park Manager Shyla Goertzen and her staff. "Unfortunately, everyone's creeping and crawling away from their tables," said Goertzen. Tent caterpillars began dropping by the outdoor seating area earlier this week while munching on an item not featured on the restaurant's menu - leaves. The problem got so bad that on Thursday night Goertzen stopped seating people outside. "Unfortunately, (we) had to close down yesterday because they literally just swarmed everywhere." The creepy crawlers came from some nearby trees located just outside the patio but Goertzen said a lot of customers still wanted to sit outside. “And we're like, ‘OK, you can but there's caterpillars.’"

May 22, 2015

City's annual mosquito fight takes full flight

HEAVY precipitation over the long weekend has created the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, says the city's bug man, Ken Nawolsky. The newly hatched mosquitoes are expected to appear in the next seven to 10 days, particularly in the Assiniboia and Charleswood areas. With the forecast looking sunny and rain-free for the next week, the city is hopeful it can manage the number that become adult mosquitoes. "This is a very significant rainfall that we had," the superintendent of insect control said Tuesday. (Environment Canada reported 36.4 millimetres fell on Winnipeg Saturday through Monday.) "So we are putting all of our resources into this, our crews are working 16-hour days, our helicopters are flying."

May 20, 2015

Vermin infestation turns family van into rat rod

It started with some torn napkins. It ended four months and $9,462.63 later. Suffrin' succotash! Where's Sylvester when you need him? We first noticed the sign of mice in August. We thought we had it covered, but by Sept. 5, our Toyota Sienna was on the business end of an F-250 tow truck headed for the insurance compound. In the process, the claim opened my eyes to a $3-million industry involving 12 repair shops specially certified for rodent removal. For some shops, cleaning up after Mickey and friends is all they do. "We're seeing a bit of an increase over the past number of years, which tells us the rodent population is growing," said Manitoba Public Insurance spokesman Brian Smiley. "On average, it's 1,200 to 1,500 claims per year from a number of years ago, where we would have had about 500."

April 10, 2015

This stings: wasps worse this year

If it seems like you’ve been noticing more wasps outside than usual this summer, you’re not crazy. They are out earlier and in bigger numbers than most years. Taz Stuart from Poulin’s Pest Control says they’ve taken twice as many calls about nests than this time last year. “We’re at about 500 calls for actually going out and treating nests,” he says. “It is earlier this year and it is noticable.” And there’s more bad news.

April 10, 2015

680 CJOB

Winnipeg plans to gas problem gophers with 'Giant Destroyer'

Winnipeg's hole-burrowing Richardson's ground squirrels are up against a new enemy this summer - 'The Giant Destroyer.' The City of Winnipeg has been forced to change tactics in its ground war against Richardson's ground squirrels. Last spring, a pet dog ingested some poison used to combat the gophers, prompting the city to rethink how to control the population.

April 1, 2015

Potential link to cancer raises concerns over chemical used to kill mosquitoes

With spring barely upon us, a favourite Winnipeg summertime debate has already flared up. A recent report by the World Health Organization links the city’s preferred mosquito-killing chemical with certain types of cancer. The report by WHO’s International Research Agency for Cancer says malathion could contribute to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer.

Feb. 25, 2015

Bed bug treatment best handled by a professional

Getting rid of bed bugs is a vicious cycle and can be extra stressful for apartment tenants. “We are dealing with a tenant, a landlord, a property management person and quite literally a lot of times they will all stand in a circle and point at one another and say, ‘It’s your fault. You have to pay for the process,” Murray Davison with Poulin’s Pest Control in Saskatoon said.

Feb. 25, 2015

650 CKOM

Mice invasion! Wheels' columnist's van gets stripped

It started with some torn napkins. It ended four months and $9,462.63 later. Suffrin’ succotash! Where’s Sylvester when you need him? We first noticed the sign of mice in August. We thought we had it covered but, by Sept. 5, our van was on the business end of an F-250 tow truck headed for the insurance compound. As I reported back when it first happened, our insurance company basically threw a hazmat blanket over the Sienna.

Jan. 5, 2015

The Chronicle Herald

Mice moving indoors in Sask.

Fall weather means mice are looking for warm place to nest. If you don't want a mouse in your house, pest control experts say you should check for holes and cracks. Sean Sherwood from Poulin's Pest Control in Regina said the rodents can sneak into a hole the size of your pinky finger. "People will look at a hole that small and go, "Ain't no way a mouse is getting in there,'" Sherwood said. "I've got news for you: he's in there in a heartbeat and you can't underestimate how small a hole they can get into. It really is that easy for them."

Oct. 26, 2013

Mice wreak havoc on Winnipeg lawns Pest expert says long winter lets vermin flourish

Some Winnipeggers are coping with chewed up lawns after an extra-long winter gave voles more time to get comfortable. Don Poulin with Poulin’s Pest Control said Warelis and other Winnipeggers can thank the long winter for the extra lawn damage. He said more voles could have survived the long winter by burrowing into snow packs. “They’ll move in and then they’ll get comfortable,” said Poulin. “With the snow, no natural predators can get at them.” He said there isn’t a lot homeowners can do at this point, adding lawns need to be treated in the fall before the snow falls to make a big impact.

May 13, 2013

Beware of wasps at this time of year

The signs of changing seasons are everywhere in September, even the insect world. Wasps are busily getting ready for winter, but their preparations come at a cost to humans. Nauman Nisar, with Poulin’s Pest Control, says there is more wasp activity at this time of year. That's because they are getting ready for the winter, and that means finding new places to live. "The reason during this time of the year is because the queens are trying to make new nests and find new areas so they are scavenging." And Nisar says if you get in the way of that activity you can expect a hostile reaction. “If they think that you are in their territory than yes, you will get stung."

Sept. 15, 2012

City reports hundreds of calls requesting bedbug inspections last year

The city has released its latest report on calls requesting bedbug inspections made to 311. Poulin's Pest Control said it's getting more calls than ever. Not because there are more bedbugs but because more people are being proactive. "The infestations we are seeing are smaller, and we are doing a lot more bedbug monitoring, so we have places calling us in to do inspections," said Lincoln Poulin of Poulin's Pest Control.

May 24, 2012

Deer, rodents thriving due to warm weather

If you've been enjoying the city's unseasonably mild temperatures, you're not the only one. The balmy weather has meant a number of Manitoba's wildlife species are thriving, but not everyone is pleased about it. Wildlife experts say depleted deer populations are seeing improvement. Last year's harsh winter claimed a higher number of deer than usual, especially young deer. "Every once in awhile we get mice, but we've never seen them like this year," said David Lane of Poulin's Pest Control. The lack of snow has sent mice indoors in search of warmth, and Poulin's has seen a uptick in business. "Rodents at this time of year don't have that insulation to keep them warm with that snow pack and are just having to move in looking for new places to live," Lane said.

Feb. 20, 2012

Vole invasion

Vole holes are starting to pop up in Calgary yards as spring arrives and the little pests are running rampant through several neighbourhoods. Pest control companies are hopping with vole complaints. "They cause a lot of damage. The problem with voles is they eat grass, roots, bark off trees that kind of thing. Usually in the winter time when snow is covered over top of the ground they'll get in and start looking for vegetation to eat," said Paul Ziesman from Poulin's Pest Control. Ziesman suggests bait or mechanical traps to get rid of the voles and adds all parts of the city are having problems with them. Pest control experts say the best time to deal with an infestation of voles is in the fall.

May 13, 2011

Experts offer advice for guarding against bedbugs

Experts say the problem of bedbugs could get a lot worse before it gets better. Poulin's Pest Control has seen them behind wallpaper and on leather couches, among other spots. "I dealt with one individual who was in a cast from the leg down and the bedbugs were in the cast," said Lincoln Poulin, from Poulin's Pest Control. He says bedbugs will adapt to any conditions and it has nothing to do with cleanliness. "The biggest thing sanitation does is in the cleaner facilities, they detect them earlier so you get rid of them early," said Poulin.

Feb. 17, 2011

Giveaway weekend risks spreading bedbugs

This weekend there will be free couches, free tables and free dressers lining the streets of Winnipeg, but some say all of the free furniture could also mean some people take home free bedbugs as well. Lincoln Poulin, of Poulin's Pest Control, says Winnipeg's bedbug problem is growing. "If people are giving a way infested things that have bedbugs, and someone brings that material home, chances are very high that they'll get bedbugs home with them," Poulin says. He suggests that anyone picking up used furniture should give it a thorough examination before taking it home.

Sept. 10, 2010

Rat population booming in Manitoba

The term "ah rats" has just taken on a whole new meaning. It seems southern Manitoba is being overrun with the pests. Poulin's Pest Control says it tends to happen in four year cycles. "People get all involved in rat control, saying were going to clean out the yard make sure there is no shelter no food and then things go well, and then I'm not going to do this program, I'm not going to put this bait out," said Don Poulin of Poulin's Pest Control. But the problem is that the rats just move next door, making it the neighbour's problem. Poulin says that is what has happened in Altona.

Nov. 14, 2008

Bed bugs a growing problem in large Canadian cities

WINNIPEG - Bed bugs are no longer just the stuff of bedtime rhymes with the blood-sucking critters increasingly becoming a problem in large Canadian cities. Several years ago, Winnipeg exterminator Lincoln Poulin said he'd get one or two calls a year about bed bugs. These days, his Western Canada pest control chain gets an average of 10 calls a day. "These insects are literally everywhere," he said. "I've treated moving vans for them." Bed bugs are hearty creatures, living up to a year without food in cold climates, which makes them tough to get rid of, Poulin said. You can't just close off a room or shut down a summer camp and expect them to die off on their own, he said. The longer the bugs live in your bedroom, the harder it is to get rid of them, Poulin said. Washing clothes right away after returning from a trip and vacuuming out the suitcase can help kill bed bugs before they settle in, but Poulin said very few people tend to do that. "Bed bugs are so tiny, people have a hard time seeing them," he said. "They bring them home and they don't even realize it."

Sept. 14, 2008

Bed bugs biting all over Winnipeg

They come out at night and suck your blood; and they're growing in numbers. While they may be small, when they bite, they can leave big red welts all over your body. They are bed bugs -- and Winnipeg exterminators say there is an unprecedented infestation in our city. "Since 2003, we've noticed a dramatic increase. I mean calls up 700 percent!" Lincoln Poulin, of Poulin's Pest Control, told CTV News. Poulin says the calls are coming in from all parts of the city, from rental apartments, to expensive condos and houses. Many hotels are also reportedly battling the bugs. Poulin says the problem is being imported.

Aug. 28, 2008