| Environmental Columns

Info line for horticultural issues

Do you have problems with harmful species, such as insect pests, unwanted animals, and invasive plants?

A phone line service is available from June to August to answer your questions about various horticultural issues.

The solutions offered will respect the environment, wildlife, and plant life.

The info line for horticultural issues can give you advice about the best practices regarding:

  • harmful species, such as carpenter ants, white grubs, chinch bugs, ticks, sand wasps, and slugs;
  • invasive exotic species such as Japanese beetles, buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, and Asian lady beetles;
  • unwanted plant species such as poison ivy and ragweed;
  • small animals, such as skunks and groundhogs.

Carpenter ants

During the summer, carpenter ants venture outside to reproduce and discover new sites. To limit their spread, get rid of any rotten or infested wood near your home.

Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles can eat the leaves of over 250 plant species. To get rid of these beetles, drop them into soapy water. You can also attract birds, which prey on these insects, by installing bird feeders.


This weed is easy to recognize with its fern-like foliage that resembles carrot leaves. Pull your ragweed as soon as it appears by pulling near the base of the plant to uproot it. This will prevent it from flowering and producing pollen, which causes allergies in a large part of the population.

Asian lady beetles

Asian lady beetles are efficient predators of aphids and small insects that attack plants. However, this species from Korea, China, and Japan has not adapted to winters in Quebec and seeks shelter in the fall. Seal openings and cracks in the exterior cladding of your home and around doors and windows. If Asian lady beetles have already made their way inside, catch them with a vacuum cleaner and place the bag in the freezer for a few hours before throwing the bag out.

Poison ivy

This woody plant comes in a variety of forms: shrubs, trailing vines, and climbing vines. Its glossy leaves are always made up of three leaflets (small leaves) that can cause a painful allergic reaction. The leaves are reddish in the spring, dark green in the summer, and colourful in the fall (yellow, orange, and red). Dead plants can also cause allergic reactions. If you think you have poison ivy, contact us.


Groundhogs are rodents that love to feast on your vegetable garden or the trunk of some trees. Despite the trouble it can cause, the groundhog is a legally protected species. To get groundhogs away from your property, sprinkle your plants with pepper or cayenne pepper and repeat after every downpour. If a groundhog has settled under your balcony, you can pour water into its burrow to chase it away, without flooding the burrow. You must then block the entrance with a wire mesh buried 30 centimetres underground.


Call 514-630-1230 or write to tp@pointe-claire.ca starting on June 1 to get answers to your questions.