Crazy weather for bugs!

Gotta love this heat!  STILL getting calls about spiders; pretty late in the season for that! Just realized something too – this is the first year in a while that we haven’t had any calls for either brown recluse or black widow spiders in Penetanguishene. That is most assuredly a good thing.

Anyway, carpenter ants seem to be slowing down now which is another good thing. They started early this year, so we did lots & lots of them all throughout Tiny, Tay, Muskoka and Simcoe.

And still only the one termite call – which has responded very well to treatment, thank goodness.

This heat can’t last TOO much longer though! Soon it will be time to book Ross to come out and refill/replace mouse baits, and/or to tackle any bat problems. Sure wish someone would call up for some bat houses sooner rather than later !! He’s left them sitting right where I planted morning glories; just happened to notice a few determined little flowers poking up from behind the blasted thing. THEY need to move!  Wouldn’t you like a nice seasoned bat house? I’m sure you would 🙂

If you are calling us this time of year, please do leave a message if need be and either Ross or I will get back to you as soon as we’re able…. my teaching schedule this semester is NOT ideal – have to drive down to Barrie 4 days each week for 2 or 3 hours each day. They can and will do better when I whine – but I save that for the Winter semester when I really REALLY don’t want to drive 2 hours for a 2 hour class every darn day. If I take what I’m given in the Fall semester, usually get what I want in Winter. Here’s hoping!   It does mean that I’m often not here to answer the phone right away though – but Ross will check & return messages if/when he stops in, and if he doesn’t, I will get to them as soon as I get home.

 

 

And we’re back

Had a great time at NoFishIn Lake, as Ross has taken to calling Lake Nosbonsing, where we were. Disappointed in his quest for walleye yet again! Didn’t see much of anything worth keeping, actually. The only fish that made it to the very nicely outfitted cleaning shack at Birch Hill Camp was a nice-sized bass which “I could have caught at home.” Maybe – but t’wasn’t him that caught the one up there; it was his daughter.

She out-fished us all; more of the little guys, including four too small pike in the same outing that she got the bass, and the only one worth cleaning. Clearly the champ.

Me, I think when you’re going to lakes you’ve never been to, a fish-finder is pretty much a necessity. We have two that came with the boat but neither works. Thinking to buy Ross one for his birthday next month but he wants one that is really really SIMPLE and easy to use and I have yet to find anything that straight forward. They all have multiple bells, whistles, etc – and he doesn’t WANT that; he wants to be able to use it all by his own self, darn it!!

View from our cabin at Birch Hill Camp, Nosbosing Lake. That’s Ross with his two grandkids – they went down in the pouring rain to make sure my kayak was secured.

Anyway, we did have a good week – but OMG I was happy to get back home to my own bed and even more importantly, a bathroom with a tub, a fully functional toilet, and a door that closes properly and does not have little boys opening it at will! Next time we’re looking for a cottage to rent I am SO going to remember to ask what kind of bathrooms they provide, and if there are locks on the door. Bad enough we paid so much to rent a cottage that is further away from the water (and with a lesser view, also) than our home is – shouldn’t have to give up privacy, too. Or is that just me?

 

 

 

So – now we’re back and will get back to work and

View from our front yard. 7-June-17 sunset. We are a ~little~ spoiled.

everything caught up within the next few days. Keep waiting on carpenter ants to slow down, but they don’t seem inclined to do that, especially in Tiny and Tay. Starting to get a whole lot more wasp calls this week – fall must be on its way.

And bat calls too!! Happy to hear that the bats are coming back … hopefully a good sign that perhaps the white nose fungus that has been decimating Ontario bat populations is waning? Once can only hope! But we have started seeing them outside our own home in Victoria Harbour, and we have received quite a number of inquiries about them already this year, so finger’s crossed.

Got pests? Other than the ones you brought into the world yourself? Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

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 🙂

 

Carpenter ants!

Carpenter antsMy goodness, have we ever become inundated with carpenter ants. We are getting SO many calls from throughout Tay and Tiny Townships. They started early this year, and so many of them, we’ve been having a hard time keeping enough product in stock to treat them.

Could be worse though – from what I’ve been reading, some areas are starting to see increasing numbers of termites. We have never had a single call for those – and would rather like to keep it that way!  While both carpenter ants and termites can do a great deal of damage to a home or cottage, termites tend to do it faster – we can do without that!

Just because they’re slower, doesn’t mean you should ignore carpenter ants though! In addition to the structural damage they can do, and the very annoying noise they can make if you leave them untreated long enough, you just might find your cottage poked full of holes. Woodpeckers just love carpenter ants – and they can and will do a lot of

Woodpeckers are ~cute~ …sometimes!

damage very quickly once they discover them.

And of course, just like most everything else, it’s usually easier – and cheaper – to solve problems when they’re small. Do you suspect you have carpenter ants? Ross will be happy to help you with those – before the woodpeckers show up 🙂

Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can click on the quote form up there and get a guesstimate that way, too.

Have a great day!

Lauralee

 

Maybe I’m working him too hard?

Or maybe I just need to buy him a whole case of hats?

Poor Ross!  I’ve been keeping him hopping lately. He did get a day off – well, sort of off. He got to stay home and work on getting the dock in this weekend – does that count? I think he’d probably say no, but hey, we had helpers! And beer! And food! So that counts, right?

And the dock is – mostly – in; just a few floating bits to more into place and secure. He’ll soon be able to start fishing off the end of it. When he gets home. After lots of long days spent driving all over cottage country 🙂

Have been able to do a lot better scheduling than in some previous years, though. Today, for example, he was in Tiny. All over Tiny, but hey – at least all in that one general area. Tomorrow, weather permitting, he’ll be heading up to Gravenhurst area, I hope. And in between times, got lots of Tay Township, Midland & Penetanguishene area calls to get done.

Sure miss his helper though! He needs one to keep track of his hat(s), if nothing else!

Anyway, even though we’re crazy busy right now, I’m always happy to add more to his calendar – give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

Rain!

Carpenter antsFinally some rain!

Works for me – although we’ve got 3 jobs this morning that it rather complicates, but oh well …stuff happens 🙂  If need be he’ll do the inside part today and go back and do the outside when it stops. But complications aside, sure would be nice to get enough rain to get some fire bans lifted, wouldn’t it?

And I’m happy that I can skip watering my tomatoes for a change. Picked my first three yesterday – well, not really – have picked and tossed lots of ugly black flat bottomed ones already – but finally (after adding calcium as one of our tenants insisted I needed to) got some nice non-ucky tomatoes.

Still getting lots of calls about carpenter ants in Tay, Tiny, Severn and beyond. Still lots of people discovering that they have them, or more like, giving up on the trying to fix it themselves with over the counter products and calling for help, now. The majority of the products you can buy are so mild (thanks to government regulations) that for carpenter ants, they really don’t do the job, unfortunately. Professional products, too, are strictly controlled by government regulations – but at least we’re allowed to buy stuff that actually works, thank goodness.

We’re also hearing back from some of the carpenter ant jobs we did earlier this year, which is absolutely expected. There’s almost always a “bloom” about four weeks after treatment. For the first few weeks, you see lots more dead ants, less live ones – and then at about four weeks, the nests are decimated, the queens are dead, and all of a sudden a whole lot of really dumb ants start showing up. People get worried that “it didn’t work” … but in almost every case, it is the exact opposite – the bloom is the indication that it DID work!

There are always many more times the number of ants in the nests than you’re seeing – when the nests die, all of a sudden there’s a flood of the little buggers that don’t know what to do without their queen and out they come. And they’re dazed and confused and do dumb things, too. In one case, they exited en mass and marched into our customer’s pool! – but usually they’re nowhere near that organized about it.

It can be a ~little~ distressing to see so many more all of a sudden. We get that, and  we will come back if need be, honest 🙂

But in most cases, if we can convince you to wait just a little bit longer, you’ll find that you no longer need us to come back, because it really is over and the problem is solved.

Ants are fascinating; I wish we didn’t need to kill so many of them – but since they do so much damage to homes & cottages if left unchecked, it must be so.

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!)

 

Mouse in the house? Bats in the Belfry? Spiders in the Shower?

In our neck of the woods pests are INEVITABLE especially when you don’t live here all year round.  There are two ways people deal with this problem – WHEN it happens – or BEFORE it happens.

What do WHEN it happens – bees, wasps, shadflies, bed bugs, fleas, spiders, mice, bats or ants – what ever it is, YOU got them!!!  Give Ross a call and we’ll come and solve the problem.

Calling Ross BEFORE it happens, is an alternative solution that has many different upsides.  At Cottage Country Pest control, we use what’s called Integrated Pest Management systems to effectively control and eliminate the pests that are specific to your environment before they become a problem.

We believe that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure – especially when it comes to your homes, families and pets.  A preventative (non-reactive) approach to caring for your property will you give peace of mind knowing that:

  1.  You won’t have any surprises when arrive for the weekend with guests in tow and
  2.  We’ve used an environmentally friendly approach to dealing with the problems – so you and your family are not exposed to unnecessary chemicals.

How our service works:

  • Inspection – to find out what, where and why
  • Sanitation Recommendations – to eliminate pest food and havens
  • Exclusion – Keep pests out by screening and sealing
  • Cultural Controls – to change what people do that create the pest problems
  • Biological Controls – attack pests where they live with biological measures
  • Judicious use of Pest Control Materials on an as needed basis rather than liberally applying as is done in the case of an emergency
  • Education – if you understand the causes of the problem, you can prevent it from happening.
  • Communication – We make sure you know what’s being done, when it’s being done and why it’s being done.

Whether you are a WHEN it happens or a BEFORE it happens kind of person, know that the problem is INEVITABLE and we can help.  Give us a call 705.534.7863 or send us an email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

Still busy

Usually things slow down enough by this time of year that Ross would have the docks all in, and be back to doing his stained glass. This year, not so much. Still getting lots of mice calls, squirrels in attics, a few carpenter ant calls and – most distressingly – altogether too many bedbugs.

No one wants bedbugs! But they are definitely in the area. Midland, Penentanguishene, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst –  they seem to be spreading.

Unexplained bites are often the first sign of bedbug infestation – not everyone reacts the same way though, so it is quite possible that one person will have them and another won’t. Or no one will – but that doesn’t mean that everything is clear. You really should get in the habit of checking along seams and corners of your mattresses and other furniture every time you change the sheets. Dark or rust-coloured spots are often the most visible indicator and should be further investigated.

If you are concerned about bedbugs, do give us a call sooner rather than later. Remember that the longer you ignore the problem, the bigger (and more expensive) it is likely to get. And ….. ick!

Ross is always happy to help solve your pest control problems. Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I will fit you in.

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!