'I'm going seven days a week': Southern Alberta pest control companies swamped with calls during hot, dry summer
Last summer was a busy one for Pamela MacLeod, a pest control specialist with nearly 15 years of experience, but this year is on another level.
"I was doing a lot last year. There was definitely an increase, but this year, I would say double," she said.
"I'm going seven days a week right now. Even this long weekend, I thought I'd take a day off, but nope. That's not happening."
Spiders seem to be more abundant compared to previous years but the real issue most people are facing has to do with ants and grasshoppers who thrive in the warm conditions.
When it comes to grasshoppers, local garden centres are being inundated with questions from people trying to find a way to keep their gardens safe from the hungry insects.
"Unfortunately for grasshoppers, there isn't much for pesticide spray," said Green Haven Garden Centre horticulturist Dustin Napper.
"But, you can use cultural controls such as crop covers or knitting over the plants just to keep the grasshoppers off as the pass through."
For ants, the dry weather this summer means handfuls of Lethbridge residents are seeing droves of ants venturing into their home in search of something to drink.
"It's because of water. There's just no water for them. We're really lacking it for our insects and our wildlife," said MacLeod.
Even if they don't get into the house, lawn care professionals are seeing the number of ant colonies in residential yards skyrocket.
"I definitely have been running over a lot of ant hills when I'm mowing. This year is definitely worse," said owner and operator of Welcome Home Property Care Suzette Peters.
"It makes the watering super inconsistent. These ant hills will dry out the whole area around them and it just becomes nasty little patches."
But this year, pest control companies are dealing with more than just insect-related calls.
MacLeod is also getting lots of calls for mice, which she said is incredibly rare for this time of year.
"Mice are showing up in people's homes in July for the same reasons. There's just not enough water," she said.
"All of these insects and rodents are suffering it seems. I even noticed that for gophers, I have not seen the same population that I usually see. They're staying closer to the river, and not around the farms."
Macleod says the bulk of the calls are from people living in newly developed neighbourhoods of west Lethbridge which for her, doesn't come as a surprise.
"People have to remember, that used to be [the rodents'] home. So when they say that these rodents have moved into their home... No, you've moved into their home. So they're just moving back in."
With the weather expected to remain toasty for the foreseeable future, pest control companies are buckling in for a couple more months of what has already been one of, if not the busiest summer on record.
Calgary Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
On the eve of the 44th federal election, the race between the Liberals and Conservatives remains very close, while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau maintains a slight advantage over Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole when it comes to preferred prime minister.
The federal election campaign entered its final hours with party leaders making last-minute appeals in whirlwind tours of swing ridings, all while still trying to convince voters to buy into their version of what this vote is all about.
On election day, CTVNews.ca has you covered every step of the way.
'The Crown' has won the best drama series Emmy Award, while Apple TV's 'Ted Lasso' took best comedy series honours.
Albertans needing proof they're vaccinated against COVID-19 were able to download cards from the province's website on Sunday, but almost right away some residents said they were easily able to edit them.
As COVID-19 cases in Alberta surge and health-care leaders call for military aid to help beleaguered hospital staff, some are worried the latest public health measures may not help curb the fourth wave.
Human remains discovered in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday are 'consistent with the description of' missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, FBI officials said in a news conference.
The idea of waning immunity has picked up steam in recent weeks, with some countries using it to justify rolling out third-dose COVID-19 vaccine boosters to their populations. But immunologists say the concept has been largely misunderstood.
Around half of surveyed Canadians say they support employers mandating COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for their employees, a new poll finds, with Canadians 55 and older being the most in favour.
Jerry Melvin, a resident of Hinton for 65 years, gently placed a teddy bear at a growing makeshift memorial outside an apartment complex in the community Sunday afternoon.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services hosted a weekend camp, hoping to inspire women to want to join the service and show them that they can.
Proof of vaccination: Social media video shows customer arguing with staff, other customers at B.C. restaurant
Social media video appears to show a woman arguing with staff and other customers at a B.C. restaurant about the province's proof of vaccination requirements, describing the enforcement as "tyranny."
As polls close across the country Monday evening and the vote tally begins, a handful of tight races in British Columbia could determine which party seizes power, or whether Canada will have a minority or majority government.
'Exhausted, overworked and facing brutal criticism': B.C. health authority appeals for patience, vaccination amid staffing crisis
A B.C. health authority is sounding the alarm about a staffing crisis in one one of its hospitals.
Two cases of the coronavirus have been detected at Victoria Chinatown Care Centre long-term care, according to Island Health.
Police in Nanaimo are investigating after a motorcycle was stolen "in broad daylight" at a mall in the city.
An Indigenous affordable housing project in the Comox Valley has gotten a funding boost from the regional district.
As the federal election winds down, experts say it's been an interesting campaign, and the results should be equally interesting Monday night as many across the Maritimes will be watching closely.
A case of COVID-19 has been linked to Northwood, the long-term care home in Halifax that was the epicentre of the virus during the first wave of the pandemic.
The Canadian Council of Imams says the Conservative candidate in Nova Scotia's Central Nova riding must resign because his apology for Islamophobic media posts was an insincere attempt at damage control.
An Ontario woman says Air Canada allowed her 11-year-old son to board an international flight without supervision and fly home alone.
With just days to go before Ontario's vaccine certificate program comes into effect there are some important things to know about how it will work.
Toronto police have identified the man killed when four suspects opened fire in Regent Park Saturday evening.
Rideau Transit Maintenance warns it could be at least a week before service resumes on the Confederation Line after a train derailment near Tremblay Station damaged the track infrastructure.
The University of Ottawa is mourning the death of Gee-Gees football player Francis Perron, who died shortly after the Gee-Gees first game of the season.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at what you need to know to cast a ballot in the 44th general election.
It's the moment we've all been waiting for — the polls for 2021's federal election will close Monday, Sept. 20.
Legault refuses to speak to media at CAQ leadership convention, boasts about nationalist credentials
Premier Francois Legault sees his government as a bulwark against radical elements in society, including all those who oppose health measures and vaccination against COVID-19.
As the federal party leaders make their final push to Canadian voters, new polling data suggests that the Liberals and the Conservatives are in a dead heat.
As Canadians prepare to head to the polls on Monday, a number of COVID-19 health and safety guidelines will change the way voters cast their ballots.
Police are investigating reports of female students possibly having their drinks spiked with an unknown substance at the University of Guelph.
A Waterloo man with cerebral palsy was celebrating Sunday, after he successfully completed the Terry Fox Run.
UPDATED | Sault officer in hospital, SIU investigates fatal police-involved shooting of 19-year-old man
The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is currently investigating a fatal police-involved shooting of a 19-year-old man in Sault Ste. Marie. Officials say an officer was shot after being called to a domestic situation early Sunday morning.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in West Parry Sound are warning of pills circulating in the area they say resemble Percocet.
In 1980, Fox set off on his run across Canada raising money for cancer research. Decades later, people are still walking and running for the cause.
As southern Manitoba grapples with low vaccination rates and adherence to public health orders, City of Winkler officials are warning conflict in the community is at an all-time high.
A house fire believed to have been caused by unattended cooking has left a St. Vital area home with fire, smoke and water damage.
A First Nation chief said the discovery of human remains at the St. Andrews Lock and Dam site in Lockport, Man. is further evidence of the dark history between Indigenous People and colonial policy.
Saskatchewan broke three records Sunday as it reported the highest number of daily new cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions to date.
Here’s a look at seven southern Saskatchewan federal ridings and their candidates for the 2021 federal election.
Millions of Canadians will cast a vote in the federal election on Monday. In Saskatoon voting is open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
A 25-year-old man was found dead after Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) responded to a call of a disturbance on Sunday.