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A question? An answer!

1.     Are there dangerous spiders in Quebec?

When handled gently, spiders do not usually attack humans. If a spider bites us, we should not worry because even though its venom can paralyze or kill small animals, it will only cause a temporary distress or pain. In the United States, only a few species are considered dangerous: the black widow and some tarantulas.

2.     When you see wasps, should you run or stand still?

When a wasp is attracted by a drink or a meal and it comes to bother us, we must remain calm to avoid getting bitten. When we see a nest though, it is best to keep a distance because some wasps are aggressive. If they go on the attack, it is better to leave quickly! However, bees and bumblebees tolerate human presence. We must still avoid sudden movements and let them do their thing.

3.     Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs do not sting or bite, and they have never pierced any ear. Their long claws, too weak to inflict injury on us, are used to intimidate their opponents. They spend the day in the dark, sometimes crowded by hundreds under a stone and they only exit at night. They feed on plant debris, sometimes vegetable plants, and they get rid of unwanted noxious insects. Their name comes from a belief that they slip into the sleepers’ ears but this is fortunately a legend.

4.     Does the presence of insects in a house is a sign of uncleanliness?

It is true that dusty carpets and dirty clothes attract larder beetles and mites but a clean house can also harbor insects. We unknowingly provide food for insects: dogs and cats food bowls are the delight of cockroaches; leaky flour and cereal containers allow access to flour worms and other food commodities insects. On the other hand, a very damp house promotes the proliferation of insects that deteriorate wood and paper.

5.     Can insects survive to chemical insecticides?

Within each animal population, some individuals are more resistant than others. The disappearance of their weaker counterparts gives them an advantage: they breed within themselves and give birth to offspring less susceptible to insecticides. In agriculture, there are more than 400 insect species that quietly adapted to our poisons. The continued use and abuse of high doses of insecticides has helped to create very resistant "super-bugs".

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