Insects

Some insects, especially when found in large quantities, can be harmful. It is important to learn to live with them and limit their spread to prevent inconveniences.

Emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer was first detected in Vaudreuil-Dorion in the summer of 2015. The entire City is now at high risk of being affected.

The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an Asian beetle whose presence was confirmed in North America in 2002 (Detroit and Windsor) and in Carignan, Quebec, in 2008. The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has been experiencing heavy infestations which began around the summer of 2018.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • No risk to citizens
  • Ash trees that are infested will die after a few years

Life cycle

  • Insects emerge in late May/early June
  • They feed and breed from June to August
  • Larvae develop from September to May

Host

For the moment, the emerald ash borer only attacks ash trees.

There are three species of ash on the territory: white ash (Fraxinus americana), red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and black ash (Fraxinus nigra).

  • Leaves composed of 5 to 7 leaflets
  • Opposing branches
  • Fairly thick bark, with hard ridges forming a diamond pattern

Signs of infestation

Signs become visible three to four years after infestation begins. Death of the tree usually occurs in less than seven years.

  • Defoliation of the crown followed by the entire tree
  • Presence of whitish patches on the trunk (resembling bleach stains)
  • D-shaped exit holes formed by adults (if any holes are found at eye level, the rest of the tree is likely dead, since infestation starts at the top)
  • Presence of S-shaped larval pathways between the bark and the trunk
  • Many tree suckers (new branches) at the base of the trunk

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Treatment

  • Healthy ash trees or those only slightly affected by the emerald ash borer can be treated on a preventative basis with a botanical pesticide called TreeAzin®. The City provides a subsidy for the application of this treatment in the form of a refund totaling 50% of the associated costs, up to a maximum of $200 per tree (maximum of two ash trees per year per residence). For a list of contractors who offer TreeAzin® treatment, please visit the BioForest website.
  • Treatment with Treeazin® is most effective when carried out in early June and when the tree is not showing any signs of infestation.
  • During periods of heavy infestation, as is the case in Vaudreuil-Dorion, treatment of ash trees with TreeAzin® is recommended two years out of three.
  • Contractors who provide the treatment must hold a registration certificate issued by the City for the application of low-impact pesticides.

Tree removal

  • If the tree is heavily affected, treatment will not be effective therefore the tree should be cut down before it becomes weak and dangerous, but also to limit the risk of infestation.
  • A tree-felling permit is required and can be obtained (free of charge) from City Hall.
  • The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has set up a new subsidy program for the cutting of private ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer. The subsidy allows for a 50% refund of the costs associated with cutting ash trees located on private properties in residential areas, up to a maximum of $400 per address per year. More details will follow on the subsidy, including eligibility criteria and required documents.

Helpful Tips

  • Avoid moving firewood from one city or region to another when camping or staying at a cottage. This is the main cause of propagation.
  • Plant a variety of different species of trees to avoid future propagation.

The City's actions

In the summer of 2014, the City carried out an inventory of public ash trees.

Work has already begun on public land where ash trees in declining health are cut down and replaced with other species while some of the healthy trees are treated to protect them from the emerald ash borer.

In 2015, the City adopted an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan, which has since been updated as the situation evolves.

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Ladybug and Asian Lady Beetle

Ladybugs are common insects in Quebec. Asian lady beetles are native to Asia and were introduced into the United States in 1988. They have since been observed in Quebec, particularly in the fall, when they are found in large quantities on houses.

Risks

  • No risk to homes. However, they are annoying because they try to get inside.
  • No risk to citizens (except if a person is allergic to a substance they produce – which is rare).
  • When threatened, they can secrete a foul-smelling orange deposit that can leave stains.

Life cycle

  •  Adults come out and mate in spring
  • During the summer, the insects reproduce, and larvae grow into adults
  • Adults gather in October to find a safe place to hibernate for the winter
  • They produce two generations a year in Quebec

Host

  • Gardens, fields and crops
  • Leafy plants and evergreens
  • Factors that favor the presence of the insect
  • Warm fall season that appeals to the newest generation
  • Global warming

Signs of infestation

  • Presence of insects in large quantities underneath leaves or on buildings

Treatment

  • If they find their way into your home, the best way to eliminate them is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up and then empty the bag quickly.
  • No intervention required outdoors.

Helpful Tips

  • Seal cracks in doors, windows, screens and foundations
  • Cover air vents with screen mesh and avoid leaving doors and windows open in the fall

Ressources

Coccinelle asiatique - Espace pour la vie

 

European chafer and Cockchafer (white grub)

The cockchafer is a native species from Quebec, unlike its European cousin. Along with the Japanese beetle, cockchafers are responsible for the damage caused by white grubs. The presence of a few white grubs on your property is perfectly normal. However, in significant numbers, they can cause considerable damage to your lawn. Raised patches of brownish yellow grass during spring or fall is a sign of white grub infestation.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • No risk to citizens
  • Damage to the lawn (caused by larvae directly or animals digging to eat the larvae)

Life cycle

  • Larvae appear in April and May
  • Larvae transform into adults in May and June
  • Adults emerge in late June, early July
  • Egg laying and larva development occurs in late August to October
  • Downward migration and wintering of larvae occurs from October to March/April
  • One generation of European chafers per year and one generation of cockchafers every  three years.

Host

  • Larvae enjoy turf grass such as Kentucky bluegrass
  • Factors that favor the presence of the insect
  • Hot and humid days/nights
  • Short grass or wet lawns favorable to egg laying
  • Lawns composed mainly of grasses (white grubs like fibrous roots)
  • Lawns treated with synthetic pesticides (they affect the natural enemies of white grubs)

Symptoms

  • Lawn damage caused by skunks or raccoons (holes that are created when they are foraging for white grubs).
  • Presence of more than 10 to 20 white grubs when a hole is dug with a shovel (0.1m2). If less than 10-20 white grubs are found, it is not an infestation.
  • Dead grass that comes off in patches (the insects eat the roots).
  • Infestations usually recur every three years.

Treatment

  • Adults can be removed manually or with the help of a small vacuum cleaner.
  • Treatment with nematodes in early September, when the larvae are the smallest, is very effective if well done. Nematodes are purchased out of a refrigerator. They will live for about 30 minutes in the water. Separate the package if you are unable to water your entire lawn in 30 minutes. The lawn must be watered within 10 days of application. A watering permit can be obtained from the Permit and Inspection Division. The use of nematodes can be carried out in the spring, but the results are less impressive as the larvae have already grown too large.
  • The use of a treatment using Btg (Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae) is also effective when it is well executed, i.e. from the moment eggs are laid around mid-July and early August. The product should be applied to a damp lawn, but watering is not recommended afterwards.

Critical times

  • Wait until the end of May before repairing the lawn.
  • If you use nematodes, the treatment will be at its most effective in the fall. Don't forget to request your watering permit from the Permit and Inspection Division.
  • If you use Btg, the treatment will be at its most effective if applied during the egg laying phase, around mid-July and early August.

Helpful tips

  • Preventive treatments are useless.
  • Wait until the end of May before repairing grass damaged by skunks or raccoons.
  • Keep your grass long, 7 to 10 cm high.
  •  Diversify your lawn with other species besides grasses (such as clover, etc) and add endophytes (larvae do not like them).
  • Avoid watering the grass in July and August (egg laying phase), as watering will attract females.
  • Repair the damaged lawn in late May, early June, when pupae will not be eaten by skunks or raccoons.
  • Water the lawn deeply, but not too often or for long periods of time to encourage optimal growth.
  • Keep lighting to a minimum at night, as it attracts adults.
  • Make your lawn an Eco friendly lawn.

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Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are small insects common to Quebec. Females can pierce (sting) the skin in order to extract blood. Males do not sting.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • ·Possible transmission of West Nile virus disease in Quebec
  • Reaction to sting causing unpleasant itching
  • No risk to plants

Life cycle

  • Varies according to species
  • Eggs hatch in the spring when pools of water form due to melting snow
  • Eggs are laid in stagnant water during the summer
  • Eggs remain dormant beneath the snow during the winter

Host

  • Humans and animals
  • Factors that favor the presence of the insect
  • Pools of cold water during spring (stagnant water)

Treatment

  • An insecticide such as Bti can be useful but the product must be applied on a large scale and it presents a risk to ecosystems.
  • The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion does not apply pesticides on its territory for mosquito control.

Helpful tips

  • Avoid the presence of stagnant water on your property, including bird baths, watering cans, etc…
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and avoid using perfume.
  • Use natural repellents (e.g. ,essential oil-based products with citronella,  lemongrass, lavender or geranium) or products that contain DEET.

Ressources

Moustiques | Espace pour la vie

Maple bugs and boxelder beetles

Maple bugs, which were first recorded in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and western Ontario, have now been present in Quebec for several years.

Risks

  • No risk to homes, but are a nuisance because they try to get in
  • No risk to citizens

Life cycle

  • Adults emerge in the spring
  • New adults appear at the beginning of August
  • Adults gather in the sun in large numbers during fall
  • They hibernate in dry and protected places such as buildings or attics

Host

  • Maple or boxelder trees
  • Several other shrubs and trees
  •  Factors that favor the presence of the insect
  •  Presence of maple or boxelder trees
  • Cold, dry climate

Symptoms and signs of infestation

  • Presence of insects in large quantities underneath leaves or on buildings

Treatment

  • Application of insecticidal soaps on young bugs (by citizens without a permit or by a contractor certified by the City).
  • Application of stronger pesticides containing carbaryl or chlorpyrifos, which requires a special permit that must be obtained from the Permit and Inspection Division.
  • If the insects make their way into your home, the best way to remove them is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck them and then empty the bag.

Critical times

  • Treatment with insecticidal soap is most effective when carried out as soon as the eggs hatch and when the bugs are still young.

Helpful tips

  • You can discourage insects from gathering by removing leaves, stones, and debris around homes.
  • Seal cracks in foundations, doors, windows, screens, etc…

Ressources

Chinch bugs

Chinch bugs are common in Eastern Canada, especially in Quebec.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • No risk to citizens
  • Dead grass: larvae and adults suck the sap (piercing-sucking pest), which prevents it from circulating

Life cycle

  • Adults emerge and mate very early in spring
  • Damage caused by nymphs becomes visible in early July
  • Adults look for winter hiding places towards the end of summer. During winter, they like to shelter beneath hedges, in flowerbeds, in tall grass bordering lawns or in your lawn’s thatch if it’s dense enough.
  • There is one generation a year.

Host

  • Perennial grasses (Kentucky bluegrass), fine fescue and ryegrass (typical of golf turf)

Factors that favor the presence of the insect

  • Sandy, dry, compacted soil with a steep slope or in full sun
  • Lawns with thatch accumulations exceeding 13 mm
  • Lawns that are not very well maintained, cut too short or over-fertilized
  • Lawns with more than 50% ryegrass and/or fescue (mainly composed of grasses)
  • Very dry summer
  • Little or no watering

Symptoms and signs of infestation

  • Presence of insects in grass or on buildings
  • Grass blades come out easily without the roots, which occurs because insects suck the sap from the crown and stem without touching the root.

Treatment

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to trap them
  • Apply soapy water/Trounce
  • Nematode treatment can be used
  • DeltaGard, End-All or other strong pesticides can be used with a special permit from the Permit and Inspection Division
  • Late interventions on adults are not recommended. It is better to repair the damage and remain vigilant the following season.

Critical times

  • Preventive treatments are useless (no treatment required before the appearance of damage confirming the presence of the insect)
  • Treatment with insecticidal soap is most effective when carried out as soon as the eggs hatch and when the bugs are still young (before the end of summer).

Helpful tips

  • Ensure good irrigation
  • Foster diversity in your lawn and endophytes
  • Aerate the soil and dethatch
  • Provide balanced fertilization
  • Cut grass long, 7 to 10 cm high

Ressources

Punaise velue - Espace pour la vie

Japanese beetle (white grubs)

Japanese beetles accidentally arrived in the United States in 1916. Since then, this insect has spread widely and has become common in Quebec. Along with European chafers and cockchafers, Japanese beetles are responsible for the damage caused by white grubs. The presence of a few white grubs on your land is perfectly normal. However, in significant numbers, they can cause considerable damage to your lawn. Raised patches of brownish yellow grass during spring or fall is a sign of white grub infestation.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • No risk to citizens
  • Damage to the lawn (caused by larvae directly or animals digging to eat the larvae)
  • Damage to plant leaves when adults feed (can kill garden plants or herbs for example)

Life cycle

  • Larvae appear in April and May
  • Adults emerge from late June to mid-July
  • Eggs are laid in August and larvae hatch in September
  • Larvae feed and damage appears from September to October

Host

  • Mainly perennial grasses (Kentucky bluegrass)

Factors that favor the presence of the insect

  • Days and nights that are hot and humid
  • Short grass or wet lawns (frequent watering) favorable to egg laying
  • Lawns composed mainly of grasses (white grubs like fibrous roots)
  • Lawns treated with synthetic pesticides (they affect the natural enemies of white grubs)
  • Lawns fertilized with synthetic fertilizers and a lot of nitrogen (favors foliage at the expense of roots)

Symptoms and signs of infestation

  • Lawn damage caused by skunks or raccoons (holes that are created when they are foraging for white grubs) confirms the presence of white grubs, but not an infestation.
  • Presence of more than 10 to 20 white grubs when a hole is dug with a shovel (0.1m2). If less than 10-20 white grubs are found, it is not an infestation.
  • Dead grass that comes off in patches because the insects eat the roots.
  • Infestations usually recur every three years.

Treatment

  • Adults can be removed manually or with the help of a small vacuum cleaner.
  • Treatment with nematodes in early September, when the larvae are the smallest, is very effective if well done. Nematodes are purchased out of a refrigerator. They will live for about 30 minutes in the water. Separate the package if you are unable to water your entire lawn in 30 minutes. The lawn must be watered within 10 days of application. A watering permit can be obtained from the Permit and Inspection Division. The use of nematodes can be carried out in the spring, but the results are less impressive as the larvae have already grown too large.
  • The use of a treatment using Btg (Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae) is also effective when it is well executed, i.e. from the moment eggs are laid around mid-July and early August. The product should be applied to a damp lawn, but watering is not recommended afterwards.

Critical times

  • Wait until the end of May before repairing the lawn.
  • If you use nematodes, the treatment will be at its most effective in the fall. Don't forget to request your watering permit from the Permit and Inspection Division.
  • If you use Btg, the treatment will be at its most effective if applied during the egg laying phase, around mid-July and early August.
  • Treatment with insecticidal soap is most effective when it is carried out as soon as the eggs hatch and when the bugs are still young (before the end of summer).

Helpful tips

  • Preventive treatments are useless.
  • Wait until the end of May before repairing grass damaged by skunks or raccoons.
  • Keep your grass long, 7 to 10 cm high.
  • Diversify your lawn with other species besides grasses (such as clover, etc.) and add endophytes (larvae do not like them).
  • Avoid watering the grass in July and August (egg laying phase), as watering will attract females.
  • Repair the damaged lawn in late May, early June, when pupae will not be eaten by skunks or raccoons.
  • Water the lawn deeply, but not too often or for long periods of time to encourage optimal growth.
  • ·Keep lighting to a minimum at night, as it attracts adults.
  • Make your lawn an Eco friendly lawn.

Ressources

Gypsy moth (caterpillar)

The gypsy moth is a small butterfly native to Eurasia. The insect has continued to spread across North America since it was first introduced. It can be especially harmful and disruptive when it is in the caterpillar stage.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • No risk to citizens
  • No risk to trees unless infestation occurs repeatedly over several years, because although the caterpillars can defoliate a large part of the tree, which can weaken it,  (without leaves, photosynthesis cannot occur), the tree should recover.

Life cycle

  • Eggs hatch in the spring when the buds come out
  • Caterpillars feed from mid-April to early July (as they mature, they tend to feed more and more at night)
  • Adults (butterflies) appear towards the end of July
  • One generation per year.

Host

  • All trees, hardwood and softwood
  • They are especially fond of oak, poplar and birch
  • Factors that favor the presence of the insect
  • Milder winters are suitable to this insect (long periods of cold weather (-20oC) sometimes manage to kill exposed eggs)

Symptoms and signs of infestation

  • The presence of egg masses, which can be observed on trunks, bark, outdoor furniture or buildings are tell-tale signs of the level of infestation. The larger they are, the more likely the populations are stable or growing.
  • Infestations are cyclical, occurring approximately every 7 to 10 years.

Treatment

  • Remove the egg masses with a knife and place them in a solution of hot water and bleach.
  • Collect nymphs and caterpillars by hand and crush them while wearing gloves.
  • Trap the caterpillars by using rope to tie a strip of burlap around the trunk of a tree. Fold the top part over the bottom part and wait until the end of the day to collect the caterpillars caught in the middle.
  • Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki), is a biological insecticide that can be used safely and without any risk.
  • At the end of the cold season, dormant oil spray, combined with calcium sulfide, may be used as a winter treatment to spray on trees to suffocate eggs before they hatch.

Critical times

  • Pesticides are especially effective when used on young caterpillars (mid-April to mid-May).

Helpful tips

  • Inspect structures and furniture in the fall to destroy egg masses.
  • Wear gloves when handling caterpillars, since they can cause hives in some people.

Ressource

Spongieuse - Espace pour la vie

Tick and black-legged tick (Lyme disease)

Lyme disease can be spread through the bite of an infected tick. In the Montérégie region, the number of infected people is gradually increasing. In 2010, only four cases of Lyme disease were confirmed in the region, while more than 100 cases were reported in 2017. Tick populations have now become established in the area. They are mainly found in forests, woodlands and tall grasses.

Risks

  • No risk to homes
  • Risk of transmission of Lyme disease if bitten by a black-legged tick
  • No risk to plants

Life cycle

  • Eggs are laid in spring
  • Larvae feed on small animals, such as a rodents
  • Larvae will overwinter until the following spring when they become nymphs
  • Nymphs become adults in late summer and overwinter until the following spring

Host

  • All stages (larvae, nymphs and adults) feed on the blood of animals or humans.
  • They are primarily found on animals, and they are especially fond of the white-tailed deer.
  • Humans are accidental hosts. They can attach to humans from an animal or a plant.
  • Ticks are usually found in damp areas such as forests, woodlands, tall grass, gardens, landscapes and piles of dead leaves.

Factors that favor the presence the insect

  • Winters that have become milder than before are favorable to the presence of ticks.

Signs and symptoms of infestation

  • The Montérégie region, especially the western part, is already experiencing heavy infestation. More and more citizens are seeking medical assistance every year after being bitten by ticks. 

Treatment

  • The bite is generally painless and usually goes unnoticed.
  • If a tick is found on the body of a person or animal, it can be removed using fine-tipped tweezers or tweezers especially designed for tick removal. It is a good idea to keep the tick in a closed container and consult a health professional.
  • If you develop any of the following symptoms, you should call Info-Santé by dialing 811 or consult a doctor: redness that has a diameter of 5 cm or more, redness that has persisted for more than 48 hours, if you think you have one or more symptoms of Lyme disease in the days, weeks or months after participating in an outdoor activity that may have exposed you to ticks.

Critical times

The chances of contracting the disease are low if the tick remains attached to the skin for less than 24 hours. This is why it is strongly suggested to properly examine your body for the presence of ticks (measuring 1-3 mm before they feed) following any outdoor activity.

Helpful tips

  • Wear clothing that covers the skin.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET (20-30%) or Icaridin (10% to 20%)
  • Stay on the trails
  • You can draw a circle with a marker around the red patch resulting from a tick bite and take a picture. This will allow you to see if the redness spreads.

Ressources

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