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.

Weather permitting

*sigh*   Yet another full day on the calendar stymied by weather.

Yesterday was rain; today is even worse – lots of wind.

Although some will spray even so, Ross won’t. Not because he wouldn’t like to –  it’s frustrating to have so many people waiting for service and not be able to get to them.

But “environmentally responsible” is not just a phrase we throw around because it’s ‘in’ … it is something we actually happen to believe in.

If you can’t control where the spray winds up, you don’t spray.

Ah well… tomorrow’s another day 🙂

And in the meantime, there’s some carpenter ant work he can do. And errands to run.

Pests not covered …

Pets can be pests too - but they're much cuter :)

Pets can be pests too – but they’re much cuter 🙂

Was surprised to read that damage by pests is not typically covered under home insurance in this CBC article 6 big home insurance misconceptions.

Not because I thought they would be – but because I would never have thought that they might be in the first place! Doesn’t seem, to me, as if it even needed saying.

In most cases, if pests have got to the point where they have actually caused that much damage, it is because a relatively small problem was left untreated and allowed to grow to the point where the damage caused far outweighs the amount it would have cost to deal with it.

Of course,  a determined rodent or two can make short work of whatever takes their fancy, as I learned when my new chinchillas got access to a bit of window frame for a very short time (stupid cover fell down; oops! It’s a good thing they are cute).  And we have seen significant amounts of damage caused by a few hungry woodpeckers in search of carpenter ants once or twice. Distressing – but highly unlikely to ever be covered by insurance. I wouldn’t have even thought to ask, actually.

Pretty sure insurance companies expect that we keep the rodents out (or in cages if they happen to be cute!), and deal with carpenter ant problems long before the woodpeckers show up.

It is always cheaper to prevent a problem than to solve one, or to intervene when it’s small rather than waiting until it gets big – and Ross at Cottage Country Pest Control is always happy to help you to save time, money & aggravation. Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

Kids, Kritters & Pest Control

Lauralee is beyond cranky!Seriously irked right now.

It’s one thing to let us know you have kids and/or kritters …. we appreciate that, as sometimes, albeit rarely, it does affect the options Ross might choose to use. And we definitely want to know if anyone is or might be expecting, or seriously ill, also. When that is the case, he will often take and/or suggest extra precautions just to be on the even safer side.

But that’s really all you need to do, okay?

A big part of the reason for calling an exterminator in the first place is so that you get the benefit of someone that knows what he’s doing to help you. He did the training, passed the test, got his license …. and he keeps up to date with what is going on in the industry.

More importantly, he actually believes that the environment is important, and that one should do things right. He’s been ‘green’ since long before it was popular; long before most of us ever gave it a moment’s thought. And he actually believes in Integrated Pest Management even when that means less money coming in – and sometimes it does.

We don’t oversell. We don’t string people along and sign them up for more sprays/treatments than they need. We don’t mask problems, we solve them. And we don’t do anything that will harm you, your kids & kritters, or the environment. Not ever.

The Integrated Pest Management approach means that we determine the requirements of your pest problem(s), and the least potentially damaging methods to treat it. The products we use are as safe as they can possibly be, and every effort is made to ensure that anyone/anything that is not supposed to have access to them from getting anywhere near them.

And we won’t use anything at your home, cottage, or business that we won’t use on our own – and yes, we do have pets, as a matter of fact…and grandchildren as well.

We’ve had insurance since day one and not a single claim. Seriously, how long would we be in business if he ran around doing things that would harm anyone? Not very!

Please do let us know whatever we need to know, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

But please, please, please… if you really feel the need to go on and on about how important it is that I make SURE ….   and if you just can’t refrain from using that talking-to-a-moron voice… call someone else.

If, on the other hand, you want reliable, environmentally responsible pest control solutions for your pest problems, give us a call at 705-534-7863.

 

 

 

Wanderings

Ross new volvoIsn’t it pretty? Ross picked up his new-to-him vehicle yesterday… spent some time this morning (between phone calls and my pestering him about invoices & so on) figuring out how he wanted to set everything up in it…. but eventually had to quit playing and get off to work.  He’s doing several spider sprays here in Victoria Harbour today, then tomorrow he’s off to Muskoka for a few more. Those ones are for people who have had carpenter ants in the past …. the carpenter ant problems are solved, but following up with spider sprays in subsequent years just makes sense.

Even though we call it a spider spray, the spray that we use is effective on most insects – and it lasts for several weeks – so it helps to keep carpenter ants – and ladybugs – and mosquitos – and …well, you get the idea – on the outside of your home or cottage, where they belong.

And that, of course, is the main thing… we wouldn’t want to kill off all the insects, even if we could…. they are an important part of the food chain! But keeping them outside of your home, cottage or business just makes sense.

 

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a rather large species of ant (they are generally about .25 to 1 inch) and are indigenous to many parts of the world. They are a particular problem in this area of Ontario – with Balm Beach being the clear leader in our service area.

 

They reside both indoors and outdoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood and will build two different types of nest. The first is the main nest; this is where the queen will go to lay eggs and in order for her to do so, it must be a moist, decaying wood source that must remain moist in order for the eggs and young larvae to survive. The main nest will almost always be located outside in places such as rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timbers.

 

The second type of nest is the satellite nest. Carpenter ants will make satellite nest where they care for older larvae and pupae that can tolerate drier conditions. These satellite nests are often located in wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation found in attics or crawl spaces and can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Generally, any nest found in a home will be a satellite nest.

 

Each year, carpenter ants become active in the spring (March-April) and remain so through early fall (September-October). A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive individuals in springtime. The reproductives have wings and, like winged termites, are commonly known as “swarmers.” The swarmers’ purpose is to mate and, in the chase of females, to fly to a new location, lay eggs and establish a new colony. In winter, most carpenter ant colonies become dormant, although indoor nests may show some continued activity.

 

Carpenter ants, while building their nests do not eat the wood but rather tunnel through it, which is why when investigating to see whether or not you have carpenter ants, it’s important to look for piles of a sawdust-like material called frass.

 

Controlling and eliminating carpenter ants can be done and the best prevention is to maintain dry conditions, so that they are unable to find moist and decaying wood to nest in. Remember, anyplace that wood comes in contact with soil, could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

 

Reducing woodpiles around and in your home or cottage can help to prevent infestations and damage.

 

The key to controlling any infestation is to find where the queen is laying eggs (the main nest). This will require a thorough inspection and an effort to follow foraging ants back to their nest. It is recommended that if you see 10-12 ants (or more) in your home during the evening then it is worth investigating.

 

Thoroughly inspect (or hire a professional like Cottage Country Pest Control) all crawl spaces, attics, porches, etc for signs on nesting such as the mounds of loose shavings or the frass beneath a crack in the wall or eavespace.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us to ask a question or to book your appointment.

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.

Spider sprays & rain

… because, of course, the skies just opened.

If you had your spray done today though, not to worry …. first of all, it only needs about half an hour between the spray and the rain for the rain to have minimal/no effect….  and all but the last one or two trailers he did this afternoon had more than that….

but he’ll be back again in the next day or two to finish up with others anyway, so will do some touching up just to be sure.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management or IPM is an effective and environmentally responsible approach to pest management that integrates pesticides and herbicides into the management system and incorporates a combination of common-sense practices. It uses current and comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment.

To read more about IPM check out our blog post “Integrated Pest Management“.

If you have carpenter ants, spiders, or any other pests (well except for the ones you brought into the world yourself), give us a call at (705) 534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will solve it.

Serving Victoria Harbour, Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Muskoka, Tiny, Tay and Simcoe County as well – and pretty much anyplace in and around these areas. Island and weekend calls, no problem.