Tourists invade beaches, earwigs invade homes - InfoNews

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Tourists invade beaches, earwigs invade homes

Pest control companies, like Orkin, are called out to deal with wasps and their nests. This wasp was part of a larger group inside the base of a church wall.
July 20, 2013 - 9:28 AM

PENTICTON - The only time an earwig took up residence in an ear was in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In the movie Khan, played by Ricardo Montalban, watched an earwig-like insect slither into the ear of one screaming Lieutenant Chekov, played by Walter Koenig.

Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops and Kelowna residents don't have to worry about that scene playing out in real life though they might be concerned about earwigs rushing into their homes to escape the heat.

"Earwigs need a very high moisture content," Kelowna Orkin Pest Control manager Rob Wiebe said. "With all that rain in June, they go pretty good, but when the moisture dries up they head indoors." Millipedes and wood lice will do the same.

Wiebe explained earwigs are outdoor scavenger insects. They only come inside a when it's hot outside but this only grants them a few more days of life as the air is still too dry and there is little or no food for them to eat. "They are not going to survive too long. That's their lot in life."

Wiebe and Orkin's Penticton technician, Harold Helgerson, get calls at this time of year for earwigs and wasps. Helgerson said earwigs prefer older homes and if the lawn grows up to the home's walls it's an open invitation. Once earwigs are inside the home it's best to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them.

A termite or carpenter ant invasion is much more serious. "Ants do come and invade our houses," Wiebe said. They can be more more than a nuisance as carpenter ants will excavate the wood and are "pretty much a year round pest."

The ants gather food for their nest and queen and as the nest grows more workers are produced. Eventually, the queen will send lone ants to forage for new food sources. This ant will lay a pheromone or chemical trail for other ants to follow. Soon enough ants will start building a satellite colony inside the home.

Wiebe said ants can also be driven indoors, sometimes temporarily, when there is heavy rain or flooding.

Wasps are an interesting insect. They behave much like ants Wiebe said. He is starting to get calls to deal with wasp nests which will grow to the size of basketballs come September. Helgerson treated a few wasp nests this past week. 

When it comes to bees though it's a different story. Helgerson said Orkin is about pest control not about pest eradication. Bees are crucial to plant growth as they carry pollen from plant to plant. He recently helped save about 5,000 bees from destruction.

Orkin and other pest control companies deal with not only insects, but also mice, rats and even odour control. One pest that's nearly impossible to kill or drive away are fruit flies. Helgerson said the best method to keeping them away is to not leave fruit out.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1


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