Wasp Sting Remedies:

Wasp Sting

Wasp Sting

There is nothing more disturbing, more frustrating, than having a picnic and having to deal with these nasty critters of which nature has created for a very special purpose. This purpose, unfortunately, has found a nasty way of interrupting our casual lives by being present at our most casual, open air activities. Picnics, as much as we adore them, can often be interrupted by this hard working little creature. They love our sweets, they love our aromatic foods, and the picnic as a whole, cannot truly be authentic without the presence of a wasp, bee, or any variety of stinger-carrying, kamaskaske insect. The WASP, as casual as it also may be, can inflict one nasty sting, and here we try to explore how to deal with this, what measures we can take to treat these stings, holistically, medicinally, and otherwise. Yes they hurt, but there are several remedies to alleviate the problem, if not avoid it altogether.

WHAT IS A WASP STING?

For millions of years evolution and natural selection have been producing stinging insects, stinging arthropods, snakes; you name it. We are all afraid of them, instinctively. For good reason these creatures are here. The animal and insect kingdom is rife with competition for survival. This is why we have the wasp, in all it’s terrifying glory, and it is here to stay. Let’s discuss the methods we have to alleviate the suffering of such a wasp sting. A sting is the insertion of the hind end “needle” which enters the skin of its victim; in this case, let’s say our arm for instance. The stinger becomes dislodged from the wasp’s hind end, and it is inserted into our skin. The sting comes from the wasp’s venom. The swelling is a response from our body. In rare cases, an allergic individual may have a much stronger reaction to this wasp venom than others. These are common, found all over the word, and found especially at our cottage retreats, summer homes, and playgrounds. There are commercial products, and more natural products as well, for the more homeopathic minded. Let’s first look at the common, off the shelf remedies and what they do, and how to use them effectively.

PATENT REMEDIES, OFF THE SHELF PRODUCTS FOR STINGS

The most common response is the use of a score of ant histamines; which cause a slowing of the swelling, but mostly alleviate the itchiness and pain/discomfort following the wasp sting. These come is a multitude of “flavours” and can be found at any pharmacy and advice at the pharmacy is freely given as to which may be the most helpful. Another item, which has seen a very popular growth in the past 10 or so years, is called the “epi-pen” As kids, we even had an old fashioned wonder we used called “Ozonol”

NATRUAL REMEDIES YOU MIGHT USE

WASP!

WASP!

Remove the stinger; sometimes scraping with a fin edged item such as a credit card works well. Applying ice to reduce swelling is also a very effective way of keeping it from growing and getting more painful.

Of course, it’s always better to avoid getting stung in the first place! If you have problems with wasps nests, Ross at Cottage Country Pest Control can help. Drop us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, call us at 705.534.7863, or request a quote.

We cover a fairly wide area of Central Ontario, including Tiny Township, Tay Township, Muskoka, Simcoe County, Severn & Honey Harbour – and even way up there past Parry Sound to Sprucedale.

Powder Beetles

Powderpost-Beetle  Powder Beetles (otherwise known as “Powderpost Beetles”) are similar in appearance, at first glance, to a cockroach. They are not as dark, or shiny in appearance, but in size, they are a pretty good match. This beetle, in the woodboring family which consists of many differing varieties, is from the family (Latin) of Bostrichoidea. They are responsible for mainly attacking deciduous trees, and their larvae appear as small white, and ‘C-shaped’.

You can be sure you have an infestation if you find holes in your trees, with trails of powder, or dust, as this is the result of their burrowing. These beetles are: Reddish to brown in colour, have six legs, 1/8 to ¼ inch in size, they do have antennae, and are found throughout the U.S and Canada alike. They do have a liking for hardwoods, and can be found (in the midst of an attack) on hardwood floors as they are thin and lay eggs within cracks found, leaving a powdery substance to cover the larvae. It has been often claimed by official sources that these beetle are only second to termites in their possible destructiveness.

How to control, or get rid of these pests

 Although some deciduous trees are immune, most are not. The common treatments used consist of wood preservatives, and a pest control substance called “Boron”. The wood preservatives used for deciduous trees are fairly common, and have been in use for several years. They are not difficult to find. It is advised, in all cases of pest control, to consult with your local Pest Control company in order to have any treatment applied. Deciduous trees have been preserved when having limbs removed, and having a coating of various combinations of tar substances, to seal off the fresh cuts. This can be very effective at blocking that vulnerable area. These beetles must be found by vigilant inspection of hardwood inspections, especially in vacation properties which may not be inhabited full year. I am referring to cottages, or summer residences. The first measure of control is:

 

REDUCING MOISTURE & PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT:

Central heating, vapour barriers, and proper ventilation is an excellent start at prevention of infestations

Do not store valuable items in sheds, or barns, or improperly sheltered attacks, this is a common source for these beetles to accumulate

Items such as unfinished furniture (un-painted, non-varnished etc) may be treated with a substance known as Tim-bor or Boracare

Contact your nearest Professional Pest Control Center for consultation. This is always the very best option. These Beetles are clever, and the tools required to rid them of the destruction caused, the burrowing, and the destruction of your furniture, hardwood floors, and deciduous trees requires the eyes, and tools of the pros. They can be eradicated, fully, if one is diligent at identifying them, and then calling your pest Control specialists to eradicate the issue!

If you think you may have powder post beetles in your home or cottage, give us a call at 705.534.7863. Or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. We will be happy to help you solve your problems.

Rats With Wings (Pigeons)

Pigeon
Pigeons, birds, rats-with-wings. Call them what you will. It doesn’t change the  fact that, unless you are feeding them for twopence in downtown London (like in “Mary Poppins”), those are definitely not creatures that you would want around.

Pigeons are persistent birds and will take over areas by covering them with their  waste, destroying whole areas of landscaping, pooping on buildings, cars,
sidewalks, benches, etc. You name it, they will destroy it somehow.
As if that is not bad enough, pigeons are associated with over sixty diseases:
bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal. Humans can contract everything from
Histoplasmosis to Salmonella from pigeons. You don’t want pigeons or their poop
anywhere near you or your family.

So, unless you want poop-covered property and the myriads of health-risks these
birds bring, you should get rid of them if they start frequenting your neck of the
woods.

Because pigeons are creatures of habit and they multiply/reproduce very quickly,
you should get rid of them as soon as they arrive (or as soon as you notice them –
and believe me you WILL notice them).

Even though they can be found nearly anywhere (especially in urban settings), they
tend to favour comfortable sunny places that are safe from predators and the
elements with plenty of food and water available. Pigeons also like high places
because they are able to keep a close watch on things and spot predators.

Their nests are built of twigs but quickly become so full of pigeon poop that they
look like a big pile of it with some twigs in it.

When the babies are first born/hatched, they are the color of pigeon-poop, too,
and are perfectly camouflaged in the nest when they are still.

Pigeons access buildings through broken windows or missing vents or other small
opening. Roofs and gutters are some of the most common places to find the little
beasts -err .. creatures. Gutters are dish-shaped and provide great nesting sites
that securely hold the nests. Of course, those nests block the gutters and flood
when it rains, but, pof course, that’s now YOUR problem – not the pigeon’s
problem. Pigeon poop is absolute hell on roofs, so just because the pigeons “are
all the way up on the roof” does not mean that you are safe from their
destruction.

Pigeons nest and roost on and in houses because it gives them a good view of
nearby feeding areas or because they have gained access to the interior of the
building and made your attic their home

Pigeons are very social and welcome new birds. The more the merrier as far as
they are concerned. Very quickly the noise and constant clean-up associated with
pigeons is more than enough reason to have them excluded from your property.

Do not attempt to relocate pigeons, as birds removed even hundreds of miles from a
place they consider home will beat you back to it. It is best to deter them
through repellents, disturb their nest sites and exclude them from roosting areas.
When necessary, lethal methods are used to get rid of these “flying rats” and end
their destructive habits, which cause millions of dollars of damage nationwide
every year.
A temporary solution is to place anti-perching spikes along flat surfaces and wherever pigeons are seen to roost.

Left uncontrolled, damage costs run into thousands of dollars per building in
cleanup and repairs. Pigeon waste damages stone and metal surfaces, including
automobiles. If your building is infested, your neighbors will be affected and
will not be happy about pigeon poop in their swimming pool. Whole neighborhoods
often band together to get rid of pigeons. When people buy a building they want a
home or office, not a pigeon coop.

So, the instant you spot pigeons or suspect in ANY way that you are dealing with a
pigeon problem, you should give us a call IMMEDIATELY, as the longer you wait, the
much worse the problem is apt to become.
Call us at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.
Or you can Get a Quote.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. WASPS!

cleanbevswasG     I’m not sure what it is that caused this. It could be my Mom passing on her irrational terror of wasps to me while growing up. Maybe it is the fact that they emit that buzzing sound. Maybe it’s their menacing look. I don’t know. All I know is that I am positively TERRIFIED of them. I saw a wasp enter my living room through an open window, and I ran to the bedroom and locked myself in there until someone had gotten rid of it.

Because of this, I honestly think that taking precautions against those nasty pests is one of the most important things you can do once the weather has warmed and it is bug season once again.

To many people, the terms “wasp” and “bee” are used interchangeably and indiscriminately when referring to any winged, flying small insect with a sting that emits a buzzing sound. They are definitely not the same, though.

A wasp-nest!

A wasp-nest!

If you spot a slim, narrow-waisted, hairless and almost-shiny intruder with legs that are cylinder-shaped .. you have yourself a wasp.
Bees, on the other hand, are much rounder and more “hairy”, and because they are pollinators, they have flat hind legs that are used for collecting and moving around pollen.

For wasps, late June is actually the best time of year to control them and avoid running into future problems because of them. This is because the queen would have already established her colony by then, but the nest would still be small.
Although, a smaller nest DOES mean the nest would be harder to find.

If you do spot an exposed/visible nest, you should definitely call us right away. Although it is not advised, you could attempt to get rid of it yourself.

If you do decide to give it a shot yourself, the best time to do so would be at night, as the wasps as less active then.
Make sure you plan your escape route in advance (just in case), and do not stand directly under the nest, as you might end up with a face full of pesticide leaking back out after you have sprayed it. Spray “wasp and hornet” aerosol spray directly
into the entrance of the nest, following the instructions on the bottle.
The problem with doing it yourself, though, is that it is potentially dangerous and it does not always produce successful results.

Wasps never reuse old nests, so if you see any nests in the winter, then those are from the previous summer. Since its former inhabitants have either long left the nest or died inside it, you can dispose of it yourself safely.

"There was a bee/wasp in my car."

When it comes to CONCEALED wasps’ nests (i.e: nests that are in places where you can’t see them, like in spaces and cracks behind walls ..etc), where the only way you would even really know that there is a nest there would be observing wasps continuously flying in and out of the crack, a “do-it-yourself” approach to getting rid of the nest is definitely inadvisable. Sprays do not work well on hidden nests, and it is definitely much more dangerous as the risk of being injured or stung increases significantly, unless you are a professional.

Wasps (especially the Yellowjacket kind) are attracted to sweet scents, sweet foods/drink, perfume and hairspray. This is why you should always throw your trash out in properly seal-able containers and empty them frequently, make sure to put lids on pop drinks, and never use makeshift “wasp-traps” (which use sweet juice/pop as bait) closer than 50 feet to human activity, as all you would be doing then is attracting the wasps closer to you and increasing the possibility of getting stung.

If you are stung, apply cold water or ice to the area, lie down and lower the stung arm or leg. Abstain from consuming alcohol.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention, as you may be allergic: Hives, swelling of the entire limb, joint pain, wheezing, loss of consciousness.

So, if you are anything like me when it comes to wasps, getting it taken care of right now will allow you to enjoy the summer more, knowing that you have done everything you can to prevent wasp-related …. incidents.
So, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and have Ross come check it out (unlike myself, HE has no irrational fear of them).
Or you can Get a Quote.

Mites

Predatory Mite!

Predatory Mite!

Well, it is officially summer! With that comes sunshine, kayaking, fishing, fun … and pests, pests, pests!

If you happen to be a pet-owner, (anything from birds to rats to cats and  dogs), a potential problem you should watch for is … infestation by  mites!

Mites are arachnids (they have FOUR pairs of legs and two main body segments).  Even though they are not always immediately harmful to animals, some of them  (depending on species) also happen to be parasites, requiring a host to feed off  of.

Mites actually vary in appearance, size and appearance based on their particular
species, which also determines which animal/species they prefer as a host.
This is why there exist cat-mites, dog-mites, bird-mites, bat-mites, rat-mites …
you name it; if it is a pet, chances are there is a mite that goes with it.

Their actual life-cycle starts off in egg-form, and they develop through larval
and pupal phases, until they reach full maturity.

Mites are extremely tiny and almost impossible to spot without some kind of
magnification. Sometimes, though, if they scurry across a surface that is plain
and light enough, due to their reddish colour they CAN be spotted.

Mites like to stick with their (animal) “hosts”, and feed off them, but in the
absence of their preferred host, they will bite people.

Interestingly enough, mites tend to live in their animal host’s nest, and come out
periodically specifically to feed, and then go back into hiding in the nest.

Others actually prefer living literally just underneath the skin of their host
animal. It really varies, according to species, host …etc.

Usually, the tell-tale sign of mites is extremely itchy and red papules that form
close together on your skin as a rash. Mites tend to bite in areas where your
clothing would rub on your skin.

The best way to prevent/control mites is to ensure that you deal with infestations by pest that can carry them promptly. If you have issues with birds, mice, or other pests, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and have Ross come check it out.

Or you can Get a Quote..

Invasion Of The Carpenter Ants ! Eeeep!

Carpenter Ants don’t do that, wise guy!

If you live in cottage country ( as in Simcoe County, Tay or Tiny Townships, or Muskoka), trees and forests are never too far away, and you are likely not a stranger to a myriad of types of pests.
This also means that you are very likely to encounter the the six legs, smooth/round upper thorax, 1 – 3 inch length, black (with varying hues of red or yellow) colour and “elbow-shaped” antennae of the carpenter ant!

Yes, these ants (which are said to be some of the largest in North America) are true to their name, and do love to chew through wood. But, there’s definitely a catch! They are not interested in actually consuming the wood for sustenance. Rather, they like to hollow out wooden structures, so they can establish their colonies in there. This is one reason you should NEVER leave woodpiles (after “carpentering” ..get it?) anywhere near your home or building structure.

Carpenter Ants

  Carpenter Ants

Since they don’t actually eat the wood, carpenter ants will feed on other insects like smaller ants, spiders, cockroaches, dead bees, fleas (yup, they’re predators), and food debris from humans. So, be sure to not leave crumbs lying around!

They rarely actually bite humans (unless they feel that their nest is being threatened and needs to be defended), but in the rare case that they do, they have powerful “jaws” which can tear through human flesh and spray it with formic acid, which gives off a burning sensation.

Carpenter ants do come in various shapes and sizes (some are bigger, smaller… some have little wings, even), but they shouldn’t be mistaken for termites, as carpenter ants not only have narrower waists with front wings that are longer than hind wings, but they are actually much slower when it comes to chewing through the wood.

Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

      Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

However, that is not a “better” thing, necessarily. Their slower pace actually means it usually takes a little longer for you to notice that you have them. But, you really SHOULD check for them, regularly, because the amount of damage they are actually capable of doing over time is horrendous and expensive. They will weaken any wooden structure, and – left along long enough, – that can often lead to very dangerous accidents and collapses, resulting in very costly repairs.

If you happen to spot a carpenter ant that is relatively large (regardless of whether it is winged or without wings), you most likely have a well-established colony there. Another tell-tale sign is observing curious-looking little piles of wood shavings. Don’t forget, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they just tunnel through it to make their nest, and so they discard the wood-shavings which usually end up at the entrance to the hole with the tunnel containing their nest! Incidentally, those wood-shavings (called “frass”) also contain their excrement (hey, at least give them some credit for good housekeeping)!

Get To Know Them!

As if that’s not bad enough, once they’ve managed to actually tunnel through into your house or cottage, you can actually hear them in there, if there’s enough of them! Add to that the fact they attract woodpeckers … and yeah, that’s yet another headache you probably would rather not have to deal with.

Besides not leaving food crumbs of any kind lying around indoors, some good precautionary measures would be to prune or trim overhanging trees so that they are not touching your house/cottage.
Also make sure your gutters and always clean.
Since carpenter ants use pheromones to track their own whereabouts away from their nest, these pests have no problem entering people’s homes through cracks and looking for food – usually proteins and carbohydrates, like meat, sugar, honey …etc.
The best thing to do  is to call for professional help.

The best thing to do as soon as you’ve spotted any of the aforementioned signs would be to immediately call for professional help, because the longer you put it off, the greater the damage those carpenter ants will do to the structure/house/cottage

So, give us a call, and have Ross come by. Or, just call to get a quote!

For immediate help, call Cottage Country Pest Control at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

 

HELP! Banquet Happening In My Garage … & I’m Not Invited! Raccoon!

They're only adorable in cartoons!!

They’re only adorable in cartoons!!

Don’t you wish raccoons were the adorable cute and cuddly creatures you see in cartoons like in Disney’s “Pocahontas”? But yeah, nope. There’s a reason they are classified as pests. And this is true even if you live in Victoria Harbour, where nature is abundant.

When you actually get close up to them (not that you ever should), they can actually be quite vicious and bold, surprisingly. Never mind the diseases that they carry.

One of the first signs that you need help because you have a raccoon problem is that you might notice that there is damage to the actual structure of your house (like around the attic). This is caused by the raccoon trying to dig its way into your house. Seriously!

Basically, their main goal is to get to your trash cans, and feast on what you consider to be garbage… anything from leftover food, to eggs, old pet-food…you name it.

And when you walk into your garage the next morning, and find things overturned with garbage strewn everywhere… chances are there was a secret raccoon party the night before (rather than a garbage-specific burglar).      alg-resize-raccoon-jpg

One of the things you can do to make the situation a little better is use garbage cans made of hard plastic and/or metal. You should make sure they have tight-fitting lids, straps or clamps to keep them shut. You should also tie them to a support or in some kind of a rack structure, so that they can’t be tipped over.

Raccoons also tend to like chimneys, which of course ALSO means they can fall right through them and …dum dum DUM… into your house. NOT a likely pleasant experience.

Instead of having to go out and buy all sorts of expensive contraptions to keep them from getting into your chimneys, or having to consider trying to kill them (which really can’t be pleasant, especially if you have kids or grandchildren who could be around), or coming into direct contact with them (they CAN be pretty snarly and vicious), your best bet is to get help from Cottage Country Pest-Control. Just give us a call, and have Ross come around, or call to get a quote!

Cottage Country Pest Control uses humane methods (trapping and relocating), and does all the dirty work for you, so that you can throw your garbage out at night, then go to bed without wondering if there is a banquet happening in your garage!

So, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

– Ammario R.

Bedbugs, Bedbugs, Bedbugs …

bedbug-150x150It sounds like the plot of a horror movie; you wake up, and start noticing little  bits of blood (or reddish specks) on your bed-sheets. As you puzzle over your  discovery, you suddenly notice little bite-marks on your arms and legs. And lucky you, you might be the only one in your household that is actually getting bit.

Unless you know anything about bed-bugs, what follows probably WILL resemble a  horror movie scene: you start to scream hysterically and back away from your bed,  grabbing a knife with your hair all frazzled…. okay, maybe not THAT dramatic.

But, seriously, discovering that you have bed bugs can be like a really bad horror
movie.

You might think that picking up your pillows and blankies and moving out to the
couch will be a solution, at least for the short term – uh … nope, guess what
you just infested your couch with? Going to stay at a friend’s? Do you like that
friend? Want to keep them?

Over the counter bug spray? Well, it can help – but unlike professional products,
you actually have to hit each and every bug with it – by the time you’ve done
that, you’ll likely have created a pretty darn toxic environment, and probably
spent more money than good pest control will cost you too. And you’ll have to keep
doing it – and your laundry in really hot water – for weeks because bedbugs are
really good at hiding. They are tiny, so very difficult to ever really spot, and
they cleverly hide in nooks and crannies until night-time (usually just before
dawn), when they come out to feed. And their saliva apparently contains an
anasthetic, which they inject into you to make their bites intially painless, and
then they feast on your blood. As a result, their colour is a reddish-brown.
Shudder!

If you think that you might have bedbugs, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call  and Ross will be happy to help you. You can reach them at 705.534.7863 or by email  at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or of course you can always use the Get a Quote  option, which is on the tab up there.
– Ammario R.