Happy 2023!

Hope you had a great holiday season, and that this year is wonderful.

At the very least, I’m hoping Covid is less of a concern! Both my mom and Ross managed to get it over the holidays. Ross is feeling better – mostly. Ma, not so much. *sigh* Fun times!

We got our issues with Google business sorted out, so we’re back on the map and in search, which makes me happy. Whole thing was ridiculous!! And of course, they, like many others, are still using Covid as the reason for poor customer service. Getting annoyed with that whole song.

So, none of that here 🙂 We have much better reasons for delays! Not really – we try to minimize those. New semester, though, so I am in classes a couple of days a week. But even so, if you don’t get me, please do leave a message and I will get back to you. Or text (same number) and I’ll likely be even quicker.

We’re always happy to help solve your pest problems responsibly – it’s what we do.

ratAnd we do it well too. Probably too well sometimes – apparently the way to be successful in pest control is NOT to solve problems! We should, we’re told, just sign people up for regular visits.

Refill the bait stations, but leave the holes so that you still have to live with rodents and poop?! That’s rude!! Especially when we’ve learned some really effective ways to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.. We would much rather build our business by solving your problems so well that when you get a chance, you’ll refer others our way.

Anyway … I need to be shutting up and moving on to the work I need to be doing this evening … haven’t yet up written up the note I promised my new first year class. My bad! 

If you have pest problems, please do give us a call or text us at 705-534-7863 and we’ll be happy to help.

And drive safe!!

 

Spring 2022

Another year already! Time flies when you’re having fun.

And I have been having rather more fun than I expected to when I took on this pest control gig. I always did like a challenge. And problem-solving. And learning.

So, in spite of the fact that I’m way too old to be crawling under houses or climbing ladders, I do it anyway (only when Jessa isn’t around to do it for me, of course)!!  Don’t know what I’m going to do when she quits on me – now that she’s fully licensed, too, she doesn’t need me for anything, really. Well, except for answering the phone, booking the jobs, ordering the supplies, and paying for everything. Okay, so she ~might~ need me for a bit longer! But it would definitely make a lot more sense for her to be finding bed bug jobs in Oshawa and/or Durham Region and skip the drive.

Anyway …. since Jessa is only available weekends, and working just weekends isn’t going to work for much longer, I’m going to have to find a weekday helper as well. Possibly more than one if the LDD moth caterpillars stick around. Which they likely will, although I think that this should be the end of it for a few years.  Lots and lots of eggs out there, just waiting for the warmer weather….. but this year we’ll be ready for them. And, hopefully, the virus that eventually wipes them out will be that much more prevalent.

In the meantime, though, if you are concerned about the caterpillars, and want to protect your trees, we can help with that – and the earlier the better. If we treat your tree trunks early in the spring, before or just as the leaves are coming in, we can use far less product in a more targeted way, and solve the problem before it starts.

And that is the way we prefer to do pest control around here: the environmentally responsible way.

We’ve already got quite a large number of jobs lining up for early spring – if you are interested in being added to our schedule, the sooner you contact me the better. I’ll try to get a sign up form added here in the next few days – but in the meantime, feel free to email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or text/call me at 705-534-7863 and I’ll pencil you in.

Not sure whether you’re going to need treatment? Have a look at any trees in your area. Do they have eggs sacs? What about your home or cottage? Some areas that we’ve seen have an alarming number.  If you’re able to reach and remove them, there’s still time to do that – but otherwise, we are happy to help.

Summertime, summertime…

…and things are starting to slow down just a little bit. I just looked at my course calendar and discovered that next week is Study Week already!!! Time flies when you’re getting old!

Things are starting to slow down a bit for pest control now – mostly because people are waiting to see what happens with the dratted gypsy moth caterpillars, I think. If they’re almost done being caterpillars, might not be worth spending the money to kill the rotten things, right?

Which it could be, if it’s only the caterpillars you’re trying to eliminate (or at least reduce the numbers). Me, I’m leaning towards it still being worth doing because every dead caterpillar is one less to participate in the next part of their life cycle. And because the residual that is left behind after we spray is effective against the moths as well, so that means, presumably, they will go someplace else to lay their eggs, which means that there will be less to start with next spring. In theory!

SO – we can treat for gypsy moth caterpillars. For most places in our coverage area, that will cost about $225 (plus HST) – if you have a lot of trees in the immediate vicinity that you need done, it may cost more. If you are considering it, here are some things you should know:

The product we use is one that can also be used for spider sprays – we tend not to do that because it can leave more of a film on windows than our regularly preferred option, which dries clear. Of course, we generally try not to hit windows any more than necessary, but it happens. This one, however, includes gypsy moths and their caterpillars on the label, so it is a better option right now.

According to the label, the product provides residual protection for up to 90 days BUT the bigger they are the longer it takes. SO even after spraying, you will likely still see caterpillars, just not as many.

We do not have a helicopter! Or a magic wand, either. We spray as high as we can safely spray given our equipment and the situation. There are a number of things that impact how broadly and how high we can treat, including weather conditions, proximity to water, and how reasonable – or not – your neighbours are. We’ll do our best to solve your pest control problem(s) but not at risk of harm to the fish/water or to people (no matter how miserable) or pets.

If you’ve got tree-eating caterpillars, carpenter ants, bedbugs, spiders, mice or rats, give us a call at 705-534-7863. Or better yet, email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and I’ll get back to you even faster.

Weather watch

So much unpredictability this season!

windThe weather is not cooperating! Or perhaps more accurately, the weatherman is not cooperating. IT would be ever so much easier to plan the guys’ days if we could believe whatever the weather people posted.

Supposed to rain but it doesn’t; not supposed to, but it does. And always, always, it seems, wind, wind, and more wind. Which is a pain. Actually, both wind and rain are a pain.

Wind, because it makes it too hard to control the direction and placement of the spray. Exterminators are responsible for controlling their product, and if it’s too windy to do that well, it’s too windy for spraying. There are minor variations, though; if you are on/near water, the amount of wind that can be tolerated becomes far less.

Rain is a pain also – but not for the reason you might think. Rain is a pain because it causes people to worry that the spray will be all “washed off” if it should happen to rain after it’s applied. Fortunately, rain doesn’t actually cause the micro-encapsulated product to break down. Once it’s on, it’s pretty much going to stay there until the light breaks it down.

We don’t typically spray DURING a rain, but that’s because most people won’t ~BELIEVE~ if we do and they’ll whine until they get a second spray.

Fun fact: Exterminators have to be able to do all kinds of nifty math to figure out how much product to add to how much water to get the most environmentally safe mix to give you the result you want. They even have to be able to calculate how much water or product they have to add to an existing amount in the sprayer to change it to make it a different application mix and all that fun stuff.

There is NO benefit to us to spray your place if we know the product is not going to work; why would we even do that?! Really, we don’t want to have to come back to do the job again. That would waste your time, energy & resources – & ours as well!

That is most assuredly not what we are about!

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.