6 most common pests in toronto

6 Most Common Pests in Toronto

Pest control in Toronto becomes more critical around spring or summer as the weather gets even warmer. During these seasons there is always an influx of bedbugs, cockroaches, wasps, rodents, ants and more. However, seeking professional Pest Control Toronto service help long before a pest infestation occurs is essential.

Pests get into your homes using cracks and any opening in your vent, basement or attic. This guide provides details on the six most common pests in Toronto, health risks and how to get rid of pests in Toronto.

Bed Bugs

Toronto has a known reputation for being the bed bug capital of Canada due to the level of bed bugs infestation in the city. Bed bugs (Cimexlectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on human and animal blood. They are usually small insects, measuring about 1.5 mm to 6 mm with a brown-red colour. Bed bugs possess an oval-shaped and flat body surface. This makes it easier for bugs to hide in the seams of mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and more. On the other hand, they thrive better at night when a person is sleeping.

One can easily transport bed bugs to the home from public places like hotels, airports, hospitals, and more. The most natural means of transportation include clothing, furniture, luggage, boxes, beddings, etc. Bed bugs reproduce quickly. But it takes five to eight weeks for a bed bug to reach adulthood and cause an infestation.

Health Implications of Bed Bugs

Though bedbugs do not spread diseases to humans, their bites could result in allergies, skin infections and other health risks to Toronto residents. Frequent disturbance from beg bug bites at night can cause anxiety and stress. While some persons are not allergic to bed bug bites, others might experience hives, blisters or severe itching.

While sleeping at night, a person could be bitten by more than one-bed bug. And these bites could occur around the arm, neck, face, or hands; areas that are typically exposed.

How to Keep Bed bugs away

  • Place luggage on higher surfaces like tables and off the floor when in public places or hotels.
  • Seek professional pest control service assistance to deal with bed bugs
  • Use bed bug spray instead of insecticide spray as they do not work on bed bugs.
  • When purchasing second-hand items like furniture always check properly for bed bugs before bringing them into your homes.
  • Remove any birds nests close to your home as they could serve as breeding grounds for bed bugs.
  • Wear thick clothing when going to bed as bed bugs find it easier to bite an exposed body.


Cockroaches are one of the most common pests in Toronto. Cockroaches usually prefer living in hidden locations like crevices, harbingers, and more. Once in the home, cockroaches go for a moist and serene place. They hide under the sink, in the attic, basement, under the bathtub, etc.

Cockroaches possess six legs, two antennae, and two wings. In terms of length, a cockroach measures approximately 1.3 to 1.6 centimetres. Because cockroaches go through simple metamorphosis, the baby and adult cockroaches possess the same features. The only difference between adult and baby cockroaches is the size. Their life-cycle is from the egg to nymph and then the adult stage.

A single female cockroach can reproduce as many as forty babies per birth. Female cockroaches usually reproduce about four times per year. An adult cockroach has a lifespan of eight months to one year and three months.

Being adaptable and rapidly reproducing insects, cockroaches have been around for about 350 million years. They have a two-central nervous system; one in the head and another in the tail. Cockroaches can survive for up to a month without food but can rarely go past a week without water.

Cockroaches are excellent crawlers. They come out more at night to avoid coming in contact with humans and because they are nocturnal insects. Leftovers on the sink spill on the floor, exposed garbage cans, dirty dishes all serve as food sources for cockroaches.

Though they love starchy foods; cockroaches feed on anything. Cockroaches can eat bookbinding, glue, shoe, paint, wallpaper, grease, etc.

Commonly found cockroaches in Toronto include the German cockroach (Blatella Germanica), the American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana), and the Oriental cockroaches.

Health Implications of Cockroaches in Your Home 

Cockroaches carry bacteria and other pathogens on their bodies. As they crawl within the home, on plates and more, cockroaches can cause health issues for Toronto residents. Their excreta or saliva, in contact with humans, can cause food poisoning and allergies. Other likely ailments caused by cockroaches include:

  • Asthma
  • Cockroaches are disease vectors; causing dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, leprosy, and plague.
  • Viruses-like the poliomyelitis
  • Allergies like respiratory problems, dermatitis, swollen eyelids, and itching.

How to Keep Cockroaches Away from your Home

  • Seek the help of a professional pest control company today
  • Keep all hidden areas (pantry or kitchen cabinet) clean
  • Keep all cockroach-prone areas dry, including basement, storage areas, and more.
  • Eliminate water spills on the floor, sink or bathtub area
  • Do not keep leftovers or cooked meals exposed
  • Remove dirty laundry
  • Keep all uncooked food items in tightly sealed bags or containers
  • Vacuum infected spaces.
  • Disinfect your clothes using a washer and dryer


During the summer and spring season in Toronto, ants come out in their groves from their hiding places. Common types of ants found in Toronto include the Carpenter ant (Camponotus), pharaohs ants (Monomorium pharaonis), pavement ants (Tetramoriumaespitum) and fire ants (Myrmica Rubra).

Some ants possess wings, others are wingless. Smaller ants measure approximately 1/6th to 1/32 inches. Bigger ants like the Carpenter ant are about 13 millimetres or ½ inch long. You will find different colours of ants including black, red, brown, or red ants with most having stripes.

Ants reside more outside the home. They, however, are attracted to the house in search of food, water, and warmth. Common ants found in the home include the Carpenter, pharaoh and pavement ants. Pavement ants, for instance, are fond of wreaking your lawns, pathways, gardens and indoors. Carpenter ants cause structural damage, creating sawdust out of your furniture like cabinets and other wood objects.

Foods that can attract ants to your home include starchy, sugary and protein foods, animal, and plant matters. Body care products, leftovers, and garbage cans also attract ants into your homes. Their usual entry points could include tiny cracks, openings around your vents, insulation systems, doors, and windows.

Health Implications of Ants

Just like some other species, the black ant’s bite could be painful. When some species bite, they leave poisonous substances called formic acid in your bloodstream. The venomous sting might not pose a significant danger to humans or pets except itching. However, a single bite from ants like fire ants can result in allergic reactions requiring a visit to a doctor.

Ants could, however, make a person prone to diseases. They carry bacteria when they crawl through bacteria-infected areas. When ants come in contact with food, they contaminate them. Common illnesses associated with ants include Salmonella, streptococcus, E. coli, staphylococcus, and other bacterial infections.

How to Prevent or Get Rid of Ants in your Home

  • Speak with a professional pest control company for lasting solutions
  • Keep garbage in tightly sealed bags or containers
  • Remove all pet or leftover foods.
  • Keep your home clean, clear out damp or moist areas
  • Eliminate water sources
  • Repair entry points, cracks, crevices, and others
  • Look around your yard, plants, and shrubs for signs of ant infestation to get rid of an ant nest.

House Fly in Toronto

The Housefly (Musca domestic) belongs to a broader family of flies and of the order of Diptera. Houseflies are approximately 3 to 9 mm long with two sets of wings. The first pair of wings help for flying. The second pair of wings helps in gaining balance. The housefly has two specially-fitted antennas for smelling food from away.

You see houseflies mostly during the day. They usually perch on ceilings, walls, or floors when indoors. They stay on trees, garbage bins, and compost heaps when outdoors.

Houseflies do not chew their foods; they possess sponging mouthpart used to liquefy solid food for consumption. Their straw-like tongue helps the housefly to suck up the food. Houseflies are attracted to smelly foods, rotting meat, human and animal feces, leftovers, garbage, and carcass.

The male housefly is usually smaller than the female housefly. Female houseflies prefer laying their eggs on feces or garbage. A single female housefly produces 350 to 900 eggs in their lifetime. It takes barely six days for the eggs to hatch and move from baby to adult housefly. A female housefly can lay her eggs five to six times in batches of approximately 100 eggs per round. Adult houseflies, however, do not live for more than 15 to 25 days.

Health Implications of Houseflies

Houseflies are non-biting insects; therefore, they cannot bite humans. Houseflies are, however, disease-carrying insects. The housefly’s stomach contains bacteria that can make you prone to sicknesses. The World Health Organization lists at least 65 diseases transmitted by houseflies. Some transmittable diseases include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Dysentery
  • Cholera
  • Salmonellosis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Tuberculosis

How to Keep Houseflies Away from your House

  • Do not leave food exposed
  • Clean kitchen surfaces daily to remove spills and debris
  • Use disinfectants to keep surfaces bacteria-free
  • Seal entry points with fly screens
  • Speak with a professional pest control company for help today

Rodents in Toronto

Rats and mice are fast becoming a public menace. Toronto is one of the most rat-infested cities in Ontario. Rodents are some of the most common mammals and herbivores found in Toronto. The average adult rodent measure 20 to 25 cm long and weigh 0.5 to 1.2 lbs. Some of the most common rodents in Toronto and environs include the Norway rats, roof rats, house and deer mice. Rodents usually come in light to dark shades of brown or grey. Some of them also have a whitetail or feet (deer mouse) in addition to the brown or grey furs. Some species of rodents have small ears with others possessing larger ears, like the house mouse.

House mice stay closer to urban centers, but deer mouse lives in buildings close to woodlands or fields. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) prefer burrowing at ground level, building perimeters and crawl spaces. Roof rats are excellent climbers and prefer living on trees, roofs, attic, rafters, vegetation, vines, etc.

Rats and mice get into your home in search of food and warmth. Their meal is not a complicated one as they eat almost anything. Rodents eat bread, starchy foods, eggs, insects, leftovers, uncooked food, plants, trees, and grass when in or outdoor.

Norway rats, however, are omnivorous animals also with a flesh-eating diet. They feed on mostly carbohydrates and protein-rich foods like livestock feed, meat, fish, fresh fruits, cereal grains, nuts, etc. Those that leave outside the home may feed on mice, small reptiles, amphibians, dead animals or other animal foods.

Rats always look for a dark area with less traffic to hide in your home. Being nocturnal animals, rats usually come out to search for food when everyone is asleep.

Signs of rats in the home include their chattering, hissing or squeaking sound at night. Rat droppings and urine can also help confirm there is a rat in your home. Yellowish urine patches and scratches around the entry point or nesting area serve as evidence that there is a rat in the house.

Health Implication of Rodents in Toronto

There have been recorded cases of diseases caused by contact with rats. An example is the life-threatening case of rat-bite fever with over 200 deaths, particularly in North America. Also, it was a case of a male and female who contracted diseases after coming in contact with rats in Ontario.

However, rat droppings are significantly different from those of a mouse. However, they all result in dire health consequences for humans. Some rodent-induced health disease includes:


  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) (Respiratory infection)
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
  • Murine typhus
  • Tularemia
  • Bubonic plague
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Weil’s disease
  • Trichinosis (Research on Trichinosis)


Other symptoms include:

  • Muscle, stomach and body aches
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Cough

How to Prevent or Get Rid of Rodents in Your House 

To effectively get rid of rodents in your home, you need first to be sure of the type of infestation. The pest control measure to adopt would be slightly different if it is a mouse or rat infestation you are experiencing. Preventive measures:

  • Seek professional Wildlife Removal Company Help
  • Close all entry points
  • Store garbage in rodent-proof cans
  • Eliminate all clutter in and outside the home
  • Remove all food sources
  • Clean out infested areas following strict guidelines

Wasps in Toronto

Toronto Wasps are stinging insects and will sting at the slightest provocation. Wasps are predominant in Toronto during the spring or summer months. During the colder seasons, wasps make every effort to secure warmer places to hide, and that includes your home.

Wasp belongs to the same Aculeata division and Hymenoptera order as bees and ants. Nevertheless, unlike bees, a wasp is a more aggressive stinger. The average wasp measures 1 mm to 35 mm in length. The types of wasps in Toronto include:


Hornets are the largest species of wasps available in Toronto. They share a striking resemblance with the yellow jacket. The hornet has an average length of 2 inches and comes as yellow and black or black and white colour. Their preferred habitat is living in trees or your attic.

Paper wasp

Paper wasps are usually about ½ to ¾ inches long. They build a papery nest and feed on insects. Paper wasps will sting once they feel under threat. Pain from paper wasps sting is usually mild. Paper wasps could, however, sting multiple times. You can easily differentiate a paper wasp from others using their reddish black or brown with yellow or orange colour band.

The paper wasps build small nests of about a few inches using papery materials. They are however valuable in the fields as they eat up insects. However, their nest around the home poses a danger to humans. The best locations to find wasp nests within the home include the sewage pipe, shingles under the roof or in the attic.


The yellow and black markings constitute a significant feature of Yellow-jackets. They are aggressive and can repeatedly sting when in contact with humans. Locations to find the yellow jacket in the home include the garage, sheds, etc. Outdoors, you can find yellow jackets on shrubs and trees.

Yellow-jackets build small nests the size of a baseball or golf ball. They are swift but small insects, measuring about half an inch. Some classes of food Yellow Jackets feed on include sugary substances and protein-rich foods like meat.

Mud daubers

Mud daubers are usually dark-coloured wasps, black or brown with yellow bands. Mud daubers are solitary insects and make use of mud in building their nest. One of their dominant meals includes feeding on spiders. They are mid-sized insects measuring about 1 inch long and are less aggressive.

Health Implications of Wasps to Humans 

Wasps will typically attack their victims if they feel threatened. Hence, you need to be cautious if you sight wasp in your home or yard. Also, because wasp moves in swarms, a single attack can occur with more than one wasp stinging the victim. This can lead to severe pain, itchiness, redness, swelling, or even sores if not appropriately handled.

How to Keep Wasp Away from your House

  • Always seek professional pest control service help to avoid wasp sting
  • Seal off all wasp entry points into the home
  • Repair windows, doors, vinyl siding, attic, and other access routes into the house.
  • Keep the garbage can close tight to prevent wasp visits.

Most of the common pests found in Toronto are manageable with proper pest control or wildlife removal programs in place. Toronto plays home to varieties of pests due to its luxurious subtropical and forest covers which serve the nation’s economic interest. Therefore, to remain pest free always work with a professional pest management company like Pest Control Toronto.

6 most common pests in toronto infographic