The Truth About Pests in Urban Neighbourhoods


Residential neighbourhoods, especially in more urban environments, create perfect habitats for several pest species.  A lot of people think that the pest species were there first, and that our development of that land has displaced them, or taken away their homes.  While this may be true for some larger animals such as bears, wolves, birds of prey, beavers, or heard animals, it's actually the opposite for most smaller species that go on to become urban pests.  Most of the pest species we deal with, thrive in urban environments.  Our development and use of the land has created abundant shelter and food while also reducing the access for natural predators of those species.  As a result, urban development has actually caused an increase in pest populations.  Mice, voles, skunks, pigeons, squirrels, and raccoons all do so well in urban environments that their populations will continue to increase exponentially as long as they continue to find adequate opportunities for food and shelter.  Invasive species of insects such as cockroaches and bedbugs also thrive in urban centres as people’s homes provide the exact food and shelter they need to excel.

There are a wide variety of pests that can cause problems in and around your home, but regardless of the pest, the problem created by the pest is going to fall into one or more of the following areas:  Nuisance Problem, Health Concern, and/or Property Damage.

Nuisance Problems

The level of nuisance created by a pest will depend on an individual’s personal feelings and tolerance level towards that pest.  Some people have very high tolerance levels towards a pest, and other people will have little to no tolerance level for that same pest. Some people may have different tolerance levels towards different types of pests.  Nuisance pest problems often get dismissed by people.  A lot of people think that nuisance pest problems should be ignored or left alone because there is no harm being done.   However, nuisance pest problems are often a sign or symptom of an imbalance in the local eco-system, and can be indications of a much larger issue that may need to be dealt with.  When dealing with a nuisance pest problem, it is always a good idea to have your home, yard or neighbourhood checked out by a professional.  Social issues can also arise from nuisance pest problems. This can occur when someone has a very different tolerance level for a pest than their neighbour does.  Or, when a neighbour attracts mice to the neighbourhood by feeding birds, or having a cluttered back yard, or someone attracts skunks or raccoons to a neighbourhood by leaving garbage out.  

Health Concerns

Unfortunately, there are a multitude of health concerns to be aware of when it comes to urban pests.  Health concerns that may affect you, your children and/or your pets.  Obvious concerns would be things like wasp/bee allergies, animal bites, porcupine quills, and skunk spraying.  Less obvious concerns would be the vast amount of bacteria, parasites and viruses that can be carried or transmitted through various animals and/or the feces and urine they leave behind.   Any animal droppings, nesting or denning sites, or dead animals should be treated as bio-hazard for clean up and removal, and whenever possible, a professional should be brought in to take care of the clean up and sanitation.

Property Damage

Insects and wildlife can each cause vast amounts of damage if left unchecked.  I’ve seen a family of mice destroy a vintage mustang that was in storage. The mice found their way into the engine where they chewed wires, filters, hoses and more. Then they found their way into the cab where they nested in the seats and glove box, chewed floor mats and upholstery; I’ve seen a house destroyed by fire that was determined to have been started in the attic where a squirrel had been chewing on some wires; I’ve seen pavement ants destroy a brick patio, and I’ve seen carpenter ants collapse a second story deck.  These are all extreme cases, but pests can create costly repair and clean up bills even in cases far less extreme.  Proper clean up and sanitation after a mouse infestation can cost thousands of dollars. Removing insulation, clean up, sanitizing, re-insulating, and roof repairs after having pigeons living in your attic for 2 years can cost tens of thousands of dollars and in most cases, these costs are not covered by insurance.

Pest Prevention & Consulting Services

At Lavellan we believe that awareness and prevention are the best protection against most pests.  

Most of the work that we do involves reacting to pest situations that have developed.  A lot of these situations could have easily been prevented if only the tenants or home owners knew what to do, or what kinds of things they should be watching out for.  Pest prevention is not something most people think about.  Most people would rather not think about pests at all. But, taking the time and investing a little money towards prevention, can save a lot of money later when reacting to pest problems or repairing pest damage.

Lavellan provides year ‘round consulting services aimed at pest prevention.  We can provide pest prevention consultations and assessments for your current home or yard, your new home or yard, your landscaping or renovation project, your new home build, design and architectural projects, and more.

Assessments & Inspections


More comprehensive inspections are rarely required in order to assess the general problem and come up with a quote.  In the event that a more detailed or comprehensive inspection is required or requested, we do offer such inspections, but additional charges would apply. The price for these types of inspections varies according to the types of equipment, the number of investigators, and the amount of time required to perform the inspection properly and safely.  Examples of these types of inspections would be an inspection of an attic or other restricted space, inspection of the roof-top, or a full and detailed inspection of the house or yard for a pest prevention assessment.


We are able to give you a quote over the phone for most common pest issues based on a bit of information about your house, property, and the severity of the problem.  If we are unable to give you a quote over the phone, then we are happy to arrange for one of our investigators to visit your home to do a free, cursory inspection and provide you with a quote.

Free, cursory inspections are very basic, and only include a general visual assessment of the layout of the home or yard, along with some basic details about the general environment, community factors, and any extraneous circumstances that may exist.