Happy Canada Day

Hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend wherever you happen to be. From calls so far it sounds like a lot of people are going to be at the cottage all this week.

Ross’ calendar is already starting to fill up, so if you do happen to run into pest problems that you’ll need help with, might want to call or email us sooner, rather than later. No need to wait until Monday; we are here all weekend. Well, except I’m taking grandkids to the zoo tomorrow (yes, I know how dumb that is – it’s the zoo’s fault, as they clearly didn’t take the long weekend into consideration when they rescheduled the members only event they have on today and tomorrow!)

Sure are getting lots and lots of carpenter ant calls, still. But not termites, so far – so if you happen to spot piles of sawdust-like material, and or ants with wings, not to worry. In every single case so far this year, they’ve been carpenter ants. They do the same sort of damage as termites, but they are a LOT slower at it, and they’re easier to treat. Ross has lots & lots of practice doing it and will be happy to solve your carpenter ant problem.

So, in other words, it could be worse! So – even if you’ve arrived at your cottage and found unwelcome visitors, give us a call and then get on with enjoying your time off 🙂

 

Not just killing things

I joke sometimes that Ross kills things; I do everything else – but the truth is that a lot of what he does as an exterminator – especially one that believes strongly in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) who has been green since long before it became a ~thing~ – a lot of what Ross actually does involves NOT killing things.

Bats, raccoons, skunks, squirrels & chipmunks, for example – when dealing with these sorts of issues, the focus is on humane removal, exclusion, and prevention. No killing. Fortunately, Ross has years of construction experience on top of his exterminator’s license; that’s part of the reason he is really good at figuring out what’s causing the problem(s) and how to fix it – for real. And he tells people, too!  And let’s them handle it themselves so that it’s cheaper, even.

Similarly, when dealing with birds, our preference is always for actually solving the pigeon-300x200problem. We could, in some situations, use poisons which kill birds. But why the heck would we want to? If you are offering birds a great location, as soon as you take out the current inhabitants, new ones will just move in anyway.  IPM offers a far better approach – figure out why they’re coming and fix that. Existing birds will leave, and others won’t take their places. Win, win.

Of course, bedbugs and other assorted wee pests that can cause damage to people or property must die, and we’re okay with that.

No matter what sort of pest problem you have, if you are in & around Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, Port Severn, Parry Sound, Muskoka, Ross will be happy to help you with it. Just give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can fill out our handy-dandy quote form (which I need get around to modifying a bit one of these days!)

 

White nose syndrome

White Nose Syndrome is a disease named for the distintive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats. It is a poorly understood disease that has been associated with the deaths of more than 5.5 million bats within North America.

 

The first known case of White Nose Syndrome (or WNS)  was in Schoharie County, New York cave back in 2006. Since that time the disease has rapidly spread and as of 2010 was found all over the United States and into Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The first known case of WNS in Ontario was in March 2010.

 

Since being discovered research has been done and in late 2011 it was shown that the syndrome appears to be caused by a fungas called Geomyces destructans. Unfortunately, despite knowing the cause of WNS, there is still no known treatment or means of prevention. Researchers do have a good idea how how the fungus is spread and that is bat-to-bat transmission. In a lab experiment it was shown that direct physical contact was needed in order for the fungus to be spread, however it is also know that the fungus is a cold-loving fungus that grows in cold temperatures of below 20 C and that it will grow on bats while they are hibernating in caves and mines. So this means that not only can bats get the disease just by hibernating, they can also pass it to each other through direct contact.

Bat displaying White Nose Syndrome

 

As a result of this the mortality rate of some species affected by WNS is estimated at at about 95%. In fact, a once common species of bat (the little brown myotis) has in recent years suffered a major population collapse and is headed towards being at risk for a rapid extinction in the Northeastern United States. Should the population continue to decline as it has been, this species of bat could become extinct within 20 years.

 

Currently, there are 9 hibernating bat species confirmed to have the infection and Big Brown Bats, Northern long-eared bats, Tri-colored bats, Eastern small-footed bats and the Indiana bat have also suffered major mortality. In fact, many of these 9 species are listed on the United States endangered species list.

 

In Canada, caves infected with WNS are displaying a 90-100% bat mortality rate and according to a Department of Environmental Conservation survey, there is a 93% decline of Little Brown Bats in 23 caves.

 

So how is White Nose Syndrome killing the bats? Well bats infected with WNS have been known to display odd behaviour such as waking up from hibernation every 3-4 days as opposed to every 12-20 days and are flying outside during the day. The fungus also damages the connective tissues, muscles and skin of the bats while also disrupting their physiological functions. The bats wake up dehydrated and hungry during the cold winters when there are no insects to eat and unfortunately, about 90% of the bats affected perish due to starvation.

 

The impact that WNS is having and with continue to have is serious. Not only are many bat species facing the possibility of extinction, but because bats are the primary predators of night-flying insects and an individual bat can thousands of insects every night, with such a large number of bats dying there are more and more insects being uneaten, which could lead to crop damage. Insect-eating bats are crucial to a healthy ecosystem and bats play a crucial role in maintaining an ecological balance, which is why researchers are spending so much time trying to find a treatment or cure.

Mice, rats, raccoons, bats? Fall Special

As we move towards winter it is a great time to think about ensuring that your home or cottage is safe, secure, and free of pests. Bats are heading off to their winter habitats, so now is the time to clean up after them, and ensure that they can’t return.

mice-150x150And mice and other rodents will soon be looking for winter homes. You do NOT want to be their winter host, as they can do an alarming amount of damage in a very short time. Squirrels are especially problematic: in addition to spoiling food and leaving droppings wherever they happen to be, they are prone to chewing wiring & other objects as well.

Call Cottage Country Pest Control at 705-534-7863, or email us, to book your fall pest control maintenance service. Services include:

  • thorough inspection
  • rodent-proofing & exclusion
  • bat removal, clean up & exclusion
  • bait stations & product

Winter cottage maintenance services also available.