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Pest Control

Chafer Beetle

Any area is home to many different kinds of animals, including bugs or rodents. Unfortunately, some of these pests can be annoying for people or could be harmful to the landscape.

See below to learn what to do if you encounter any of the following pests in your home or garden, and then review Surrey's pesticide use bylaw details before applying any harsh chemicals to the problem.

Pests on City Trees

The City of Surrey manages pests on City-planted street trees using Integrated Pest Management Principles. By using this approach, Surrey decreases risk to people and the environment and minimizes pesticide use.

If your City-planted street tree has any of the pests featured in the photo gallery below, do not apply pesticides to your City-planted street tree. If the problem persists or seems extreme, call us at 604-501-5050 to have an arborist assess the tree.

Common Pests

Pests aren't limited to Surrey's street trees. They can be found anywhere in your neighbourhood, including your yard. Some of the most common pests in yards and gardens include:


Aphids are the most common pest in Surrey. Aphids are tiny green bugs that sit on the undersides of the leaves, eating the sap. Their waste is known as “honeydew,” and you might notice it in the summer as a sticky film on your car or on the sidewalk.

Honeydew is not harmful to people or property, and the aphids won't cause any health problems for the tree. In fact, aphids are an important part of Surrey’s ecosystem. They provide food for other animals and beneficial insects like ladybugs.


Cankerworms are small caterpillars, often called inchworms, that feed on the leaves of a variety of broadleaf trees in the late spring. As the feeding continues, only the leaf's larger veins and midribs will remain. Major outbreaks of cankerworms can defoliate entire trees.

Tent Caterpillars

Newly hatched tent caterpillars build a large tent out of silk in the joint of trees that lose their leaves in the fall. They remain in this tent, emerging only to feed. Large outbreaks of this caterpillar can destroy entire trees or shrubs.

Leaf Skeletonizer

Leaf skeletonizer caterpillars feed on the lower surface of oak leaves leaving only the veins and giving the leaf a lace-like appearance. Larvae and pupae in white cocoons in heavily infested trees may become a nuisance in buildings, cars and other objects in and around your home.


Heavy infestations of scale insects can cause tree leaves to turn yellow to light green and may cause stunted growth of the leaves. The insects will appear on the under side of leaves around cottony masses.

Wasps and Hornets

Many species of wasps and hornets will build a round, paper-like nest in trees. Nests that are visible and near human activity can be a problem. If there is a concern about stings, the nest should be removed. Nests are active between June and September. Honeybees, on the other hand, are important pollinators and should not be harmed.

Chafer Beetles

An invasive turf pest, Chafer Beetles typically live in soil. The beetle's wormlike larvae do the most damage by feeding heavily on grass roots, creating visible patches of dead and dying turf. Natural predators such as raccoons and crows help reduce their population, but their digging for the larvae can leave quite a mess.

Minimize chafer beetle infestations by keeping your lawn healthy lawn with dense roots. Alternatively, instead of grass, consider a ground cover that remains green year-round, is drought resistant and requires little or no mowing.

Using nematodes to combat Chafer Beetle infestations

Nematodes are a natural way to treat lawns infested with European chafer beetles and can easily be applied to your lawn. For the treatment to be successful, we recommend Surrey residents apply nematodes in July and August for best results. Extra watering will be required. To water outside the permitted watering times in the summer, residents must apply for a special sprinkling permit.

Visit the second floor of the Engineering Department at City Hall and bring with you either a receipt of nematode purchase or an invoice from a company showing nematode treatment service at your address.

Rats and Mice

Contact the right agency as soon as you notice a rat or mouse problem. Signs of rats or mice include droppings, tracks and footprints, runs or burrows, and sounds. Rats can cause health concerns, so it's important to do something right away.

Note that Surrey Animal Control only handles domestic (pet) rat and mice issues.

Who to Contact

  • If you have an issue with domestic rats or mice, call 604-591-4370.
  • If you see rats and nice on your property, contact a wildlife control agency or certified pest management company.
  • If you see rats and mice on city property, use our Report a problem online service.
  • To report rats and mice near or in restaurants, grocery stores or places with food, contact the Vancouver Coastal Health at 604-736-2033.

There are many different things you can do to prevent rats and mice from becoming a problem. Keeping clean, removing sources of food for mice, and blocking holes are the best ways to prevent rat and mice infestations on your property.


Surrey's Nuisance Mosquito Control Program, which is managed by Metro Vancouver, helps regulate mosquito populations to tolerable levels using environmentally friendly integrated pest management techniques to reduce nuisance mosquito populations. This program mainly targets the control of floodwater mosquitoes that can emerge in large numbers in the spring and early summer.

Mosquito habitats may be identified through targeted routine monitoring and responses to citizen concerns. Monitoring occurs during the mosquito season (generally May through September) by qualified contractor mosquito technicians.

Control of Mosquito Larvae

If larvae numbers become too high, population management is done using bacterial Bacillus larvicides that are are highly specific and will not affect humans, pets, birds, fish and other non-target organisms. Larvicides are regulated substances in Canada. The larvicides used for mosquito control in Surrey are VectoBac and Vectolex.

The mosquito control contractor for the Nuisance Mosquito Control Program is Culex Environmental. To report areas of potential concern regarding mosquitoes, call the Culex Mosquito Hotline at 604-872-1912.

For more information on pests, please review our Pesticide-use Bylaw.

For more information on tree management in Surrey, visit our Trees section.

Photos of Common Yard and Garden Pests

Related Content


Find details on Surrey's Pesticide Bylaw, and see how the bylaw applies to you and your land.

Invasive Plants

Find out about invasive plants in Surrey and alternatives for your garden.