It’s Not All Daffodils! A Quick Guide to Spring Pest Control in Your Building

It seems like it took forever to get here, but long warm days are on their way! Springtime feels like a fresh start for many of us as we begin looking forward to sunny days outdoors with friends and family – but as daffodils and crocuses pop up and cheerfully remind us that better days are ahead, the entire natural world around us is preparing to burst with renewed life at every turn. This season of fresh beginnings isn’t just for the flowers, either; it applies to the entire kingdom of wildlife just outside our doors.  

As the world turns green, what can you and your condo building do to ensure the critters of the world don’t become pests in our homes this season?  

Things Owners and Condo Boards Can Do in Spring to Manage Pests

1. Do a Spring Inspection

Lindsey Macloed at Catalyst Condo Management is your ‘go to’ for all things related to pest control in your own unit, as well as everywhere on the common property. While condo boards commonly perform inspections in the fall and spring to check for property damage and deterioration, Lindsey reminds us not to forget pest control issues that can also arise in our favourite season.  

While inspecting the grounds around the exterior of a condo building, look for disruptions to the soil that might indicate voles & moles have come out of hibernation. These pests are unlikely candidates for a home invasion anywhere indoors, but their disruptions to soil in outdoor areas can become a safety concern as the season progresses. For example, grassy areas on the common property are often used for recreational activities, providing the opportunity for unstable ground to cause personal injury when stepped upon.  

Soil disruptions can also indicate a growing ant colony. These little pests can create unstable soil as well but are far more likely to venture indoors to see what can be found. Dealing with ants in the spring before they become a problem can prevent personal injury, nuisance, and property damage.  

2. Watch Out for Birds in Your Dryer Vents

Spying your first robin of the season is often exciting in spring – just like crocuses and daffodils, they’re signs from the natural world that summer is inevitable and well on its way. As migratory birds return and begin nesting, opportunities abound for them to make homes for their young in places they’re not meant to be.

Lindsey at Catalyst tells us that bird infestations in dryer vents are far more common than you might expect, and much messier than you might think. Since dryer vents are technically inside individual units, responsibility for dealing with an infestation of this kind usually lies solely with the unit owner. Nevertheless, Lindsey suggests owners should contact Catalyst immediately if they hear chirping coming from their dryer vent or from the stove hood vent. They can help you arrange to have the problem corrected, and even help you figure out where responsibility lies according to your building’s bylaws.  

Specially designed ‘bird blockers’ are already installed over the vents on a majority of condo buildings managed by Catalyst, but not all. Compared to the costs involved in cleaning and repairing vents infested by birds over time, the cost of installing bird blockers is relatively minor. Whether or not to install these blockers is entirely up to your condo board, so if you think your building could benefit from them, bring it up at your next condo meeting and be proactive at budgeting for these items!  

3. Report Woodpeckers and Wasp/Hornet Nests Immediately!

Lindsey tells us that some of spring’s beautiful creatures are more destructive than others. Woodpeckers need to be dealt with as quickly as possible by pest control professionals. These persistent creatures sometimes choose to do their ‘pecking’ on wooden buildings instead of focussing on a favourite tree. Once progress has been made, woodpeckers return to the scene of the crime insistently, and can cause considerable damage to a building’s exterior over time.  

Wasp and hornet nests need to be dealt with quickly as well and should also be reported to Catalyst immediately. Nests that have been attached to the sides of buildings can cause damage, especially if the insects have burrowed their nest into an opening on the building’s exterior. More importantly, these insects are highly territorial and often defend their space with painful attacks. Let’s not forget that stinging attacks from wasps and hornets often provoke allergic reactions that can prove deadly in a matter of minutes. So, reporting an infestation of wasps or hornets on the common property might even save a life!  

Spring and summer are joyful times! With a little preparation in spring, we can make sure our condos and common areas are free from damage and danger that can arise with a change of seasons. Remember to contact Lindsey at Catalyst Condo Management if you have any questions about pest control in your unit or building!