Absence of Body Or Alien Invasion?

Absence of Body Or Alien Invasion?

big wasp nest on house

Scary? Yes!

Is it a Halloween prop or a science fiction horror film of alien invasion?

Is it arriving through a bend in space, And Materializing in front of your eyes?



But this is very much an earth bound phenomenon, even though winged beings with multi-faceted eyes and antennae on their heads does sound “out there”.

This is a wasp nest.  Yup!   A big one. And you can be sure it extends in up and under the shingle siding. You can see at least four shingle joints filled with the hive ‘paper’.

Even the window screening has been pulped and papered. Odds are there is a hole in the screen. This one is likely bigger than it looks, and it looks big.


Combating this ‘invasion’ successfully will require preparation and planning. 

If you’ve ever seen a wasp nest that has been disturbed you’ll have some idea how fast that “mouth” will spit out angry stinging wasps.

A big nest means there will be a lot of them and even though you know that, there’s always more than you think!

They have it good here and they don’t want to go.  So this is an invasion. They don’t want to share! But you need’em gone!

 Clocking this guy on the chin isn’t going to work.

1.     Smart homeowners will call in the pros. Easy, safe and practical.

2.     The adventuresome will buy the canned chemicals at the reno store. Buy more than two, follow all instructions, have a plan B, and be prepared to run like hell.

3.     The foolish will consider water blasting. This will certainly damage the nest considerably, you will get stung – repeatedly, and the wasps will still be there..

4.     The insane would consider fire. It could be successful. There are too many risks to list. The nest will be gone. But maybe the house too. And the wasps may not…

So be smart get a professional ‘exorcism’. Don’t let this demon haunt you. You can only apply so much calamine lotion. And it will still hurt.



What is better than presence of mind in a bad situation?…..Absence of body. 

Better to pay to be elsewhere.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

YUCK Cockroaches!!!!

In the Montreal area cockroaches are relatively rarely encountered in residential inspections. They can be more common in some types of commercial buildings though, and to say they are rarely encountered does not mean that they are not found.

For those who have to deal with the problem they will appreciate the eradication, control and abatement measures listed towards the end of this article.

This article is written and presented by a colleague (Brian Halliday), fellow InterNACHI member and associate here on AR (Active Rain). Please leave your comments directly on his blog. Thank you.

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly encountered household pests. Homeowners and inspectors can learn about ways to eliminate these insects and the conditions that encourage their infestation.


Cockroaches have a broad, flattened body and a relatively small head that covers their mandibles and other mouthparts. They have six legs, large ocelli (simple eyes), and a pair of long, flexible antennae. Although winged, they are not adept fliers. The best-known varieties are the American cockroach (1.2 inches long), the German and Asian cockroaches (0.59 inches long), the Oriental cockroach (0.98 inches long), and the brown-banded cockroach (0.55 inches long).

Facts and Figures

The world’s heaviest cockroach is the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, which can weigh more than 30 grams and reach 3½ inches in length.

While cockroaches could withstand six to 15 times as much radiation exposure as humans, the popular belief that they will “inherit the Earth” in the wake of nuclear war is largely undeserved; other insects, such as fruit flies, have even better resistance against radiation than cockroaches.

Some species of cockroaches can survive for months without food and subsist on nothing but the glue on the back of a postage stamp, and even their own feces. Experiments have revealed that they can go without air for 45 minutes and recover after being submerged under water for half an hour.

Cockroaches are prolific breeders and can produce several thousand offspring in a year, once they become established in a home. They are normally introduced on clothing, shopping bags and furniture, and they can also simply wander in from the outdoors.

Cockroaches are known to spread diseases such as salmonella, food poisoning and dysentery, primarily through contact with their feces and defensive secretions. They also transport dangerous microbes, a particular problem in hospitals. Their skin, which is discarded through periodic molting, can become airborne and trigger severe asthmatic reactions in prone individuals. Incredibly, cockroaches have even been found to be second only to house dust as the worst allergen affecting people, according to the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. Besides these physical ailments, cockroaches emit an unpleasant odor during swarming and mating, and they can keep a building’s occupants awake at night with their incessant hissing and, in the case of some cockroach species, chirping.

InterNACHI inspectors should not be surprised to find evidence of cockroaches in messy buildings, as the insects thrive in dirty environments.

No buildings are completely immune to cockroach infestation, however, as they will be attracted to even the smallest amounts of food deposits. They prefer to feed on decaying grease, sugar and other organic matter, as well as inanimate, starchy food sources such as glue, wallpaper and even book bindings. Pepper-like specs in kitchen cupboards are an indication of cockroach infestation, as is the observation of adult cockroaches or their egg sacs in hard-to-reach locations, such as cracks and crevices in kitchen cabinets, drains, and behind dishwashers and refrigerators. The entire kitchen area should be inspected, especially under sinks, in cabinet hinge areas, drawers, refrigeration gaskets, dishwashers, stoves and other cooking appliances. Also check crawlspaces, bathrooms and other dark, moist areas where food sources may be present.

Tips that inspectors can pass on to homeowners:

Place boric acid in areas of cockroach activity. Boric acid can maintain an infestation once under control, but pyrethrin should be used first and the whole structure bug-bombed.

Pyrethrin should be used first, and after the population is under control place boric acid wherever needed.

Place bait stations containing hydramethylnon or fipronil in areas of termite activity. At night, homeowners can sneak into the kitchen and turn on the lights. If cockroaches scurry for cover, observe where they run and position traps accordingly.

Keep all food in sealed containers, use trash cans that have tight-fitting lids, and do not leave pet food out overnight.

Clean the kitchen regularly, and wipe moisture from the kitchen sink before going to bed at night.

Vacuum frequently.

Repair dripping taps and leaky pipes, broken roof tiles, and any other condition that might allow moisture to enter areas where cockroaches can establish harborage.

Seal off all entry points into the house, such as cracks around baseboards, pipes, windows, cabinets, doors and crevices in bathrooms with copper mesh or steel wool and caulk or putty.

Keep lights on at night. Although it will consume additional electricity, cockroaches will avoid lit areas. For the same reason, restaurant owners sometimes leave lights on around dumpsters.

If cockroach infestation persists, contact a qualified exterminator.

In summary, cockroaches are hardy, disease-carrying household pests that can be controlled by maintaining a clean home and eliminating sources of moisture intrusion. As we all don’t want to admit that they are there……They Are! Hopefully these helpful tips will keep them outside only.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Know what you are looking at? Easy, Read the signs, Follow them!

Know what you are looking at?  Easy, Read the signs, Follow them!


DO you know?

Well there’s a couple of my foot prints there in the attic floor insulation.

But there’s more. A lot more. All over the place.

They aren’t individual tracks like mine. No, they are pathways for much smaller feet.

And here they are roads well traveled. They are more compressed and well defined. These two around the stud in particular.

That’s because this is the only direct route to the other side of this wall, to the addition section of the home.

But fainter, less traveled paths are visible too.

In fact they are everywhere.

b And here, on the other ‘side’ of the wall, they are just as abundant.

The route around the chimney is well traveled too, as I’m sure this area is toasty warm, in season.

Oh! Didn’t I mention that!

This is the off season for these itinerant travellers.

Travellers, well I should say foragers.

They come here only to seek food and shelter in the cold season.

Now in the summertime they are out doors, feeding and doing there thing, mostly at night as they are nocturnal.

But they can be found by day if you keep an eye out for them.

But if you really want to see them, lots of them, well just come back here in the fall.

It’ll be like a convention!

What are they? You might have guessed by now. They have several names that generally depend upon where you meet them.

They are most commonly known as field mice, but if you encountered them in the space over your head you would be talking about ‘mice in the attic‘.

Here it’s a lot of mice in the attic. They’ve been coming here for a long time,(they have reservations!). And they know how to get here. They have easy access.


So if you want to be sure that your seasonal guests have invitations, you want your inspector to have the experience to read the signs and know what has been going on, even when it’s not happening now.

So when you are looking at, or investing, in a home or property you want your inspector to be able to correctly ‘read the signs‘.

For the Montreal or the surrounding area you know who to call.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post