With beautiful summer weather comes high temperatures that can last well into the evening. As a result, many will leave their windows and patio doors open to cool things off. However, this can invite a myriad of different pests to take up residence indoors including ants, moths, and mice.
Mike Kennish has been an exterminator for 30 years and works at Pest Scene Investigation. He said it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to pests in your home.
“There are lots of silly little things to do to control pests,” Kennish said. “But you need to think holistically and pay attention to the outside of the house too.”
Kennish recommended dedicating time at least once a month for a general inspection. People should check all the rooms in their home and walk around the outside of the residence too, he said.
It’s important to enter all rooms in your home every once in awhile because undisturbed spaces can attract pests, Kennish said. Clothing moths, for example, often hitch a ride on thrift store finds or find their way in through an open window. The infestation can be tough to spot as the moths prefer dark spaces like closets and drawers, but they can still cause a lot of damage.
“People are so busy with their lives that they often wait a long time to react to a pest problem,” Kennish said. By then, he said the problem will have grown and is harder to manage.
Most pesticides aren’t available for people to buy in stores anymore due to regulations and even the professionals have fewer options when it comes to chemicals.
“We have to know other problem solving methods,” Kennish said.
The first step, he said, is to identify the problem and then physically disturb the area. Next, it’s important to clean the space or affected items, set out traps, and discard what can’t be saved.
Exterminators also need to understand the life cycle and habits of the pest in question so that they can help people get rid of what’s attracting the pests. Usually, that’s moisture, food, and heat, Kennish said.
“That’s what life needs,” he explained, referencing his middle school biology class. “Most pests live with man as we provide what life needs.”
Currently, the main pest in Greater Victoria is mice, Kennish said.
“They’re so clever and reproduce so fast.”
Pests find the island very welcoming, Kennish said. Many of them don’t naturally live here but are brought in with people and things like cargo and landscaping materials. People are often bringing the problems into their own homes, he explained.
While not all pests are a problem Kennish said everyone has a different tolerance.
“Too many of anything means you should call a professional — that includes relatives,” he said with a laugh. “I always say, ‘we deal with anything up to six feet [tall]’.”