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 🙂

 

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.

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.

Spider Sprays

spider chartWell, one way that this spring is different already is that we are getting calls about spraying homes and cottages for spiders much sooner than usual. Still a little early to start spraying, but certainly happy to provide estimates and add you to our list of places to be done when conditions are right.

Even though the treatment is typically called a spider spray, and the primary benefit is that no spiders = no web mess so everything stays much cleaner, the product used does also affect other insects as well. Because of that, and because it offers residual protection for several weeks, it can also help to keep other bugs on the outside where they belong. In our area – Tiny, Tay, Muskoka, Simcoe, Huronia – carpenter ants are becoming so common that an extra layer of protection is definitely a bonus!

As annoying as they can be, we need insects – but outside is clearly better!

For spider sprays or any other pest problems, give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to help.

Spider spray

spider chartAn exterior spray is most commonly called a spider spray – and it does, in fact, get rid of the spiders, and more importantly, the webs that they like to ~decorate~ your home or cottage with.

The closer you are to water, the more likely spiders are to choose your property for their canvas.

As an added benefit, an exterior spray helps to reduce the likelihood of infestation by other insects. If you have carpenter ants, it won’t solve the problem … once they are inside your structure, they should be properly treated with bait to ensure that they are eradicated and cannot further damage your wood. But if you have so far managed to keep them out, a spray may help to keep it that way.

Since carpenter ants are becoming an increasingly ubiquitous problem throughout Tay, Tiny, Simcoe, Muskoka and beyond, an extra layer of protection is a very good thing.

Here are a few quick facts about Cottage Country Pest Control’s exterior sprays:

  • Each time Ross visits your property, he does a site inspection; if he sees any issues, or things you can do to avoid pest problems in the future, he will let you know. There is no additional charge for this service.
  • You don’t need to be home when he comes (unless you are having problems indoors). Just close windows, and remove any pets dishes from outside, and you’re good to go.
  • Weather matters – but probably not the way you think. It is wind that is the primary concern when spraying rather than the possibility of rain. While Ross doesn’t spray when it is raining, if it rains later in the day after a spray, it rarely matters. Once the product is set, it’s set – rain won’t break it down. Sun, on the other hand….
  • The spray has a residual effect, and lasts for several weeks depending on how much sun we get. The less sun, the longer it lasts. For most properties in our area, two treatments/season is plenty – although if you are phobic about spiders, you may prefer an extra.
  • Discounts are available for flexibility, multiple properties (in the same area), or for pre-purchasing for the season.

To arrange your spider spray, or any other service, give us a call at 705.534.7863, email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or try out my nifty new form here: Get a Quote.

Bug Bites: Part 1

This post will show you some pictures of different bug bites….while they ca n give you an idea of what bit you, it’s important to know that some people react differently to different bites and if you aren’t sure about the bite(s) or if you start having any unusual reactions GO SEE A DOCTOR!

Mosquito bite

Mosquito bites

Bed bug bites

Bed bug bites

Flea bites

Flea bites

Flea bites (dog) this is an example of excessive flea bites

Spider bite (unknown species of spider)

Spider bite (unknown species of spider)

Please remember these are not meant to diagnose anything. They are just examples of the bites and reactions commonly found with these types of pests. Also, if you have any of these pests in and around your home, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Busy days

Well, the season started off slow – but now we’re hopping…. today Ross and Carly, his new helper, are out on the islands up near Honey Harbour with Big Red Works; lots of others appointments booked for the next while as well…BUT not to worry, we can and will fit you in somewhere!

Still seeing lots and lots of carpenter ants in this area; even if you don’t have a problem with them now … or especially if, really! …. we highly recommend that you consider an exterior spider spray. Not only does it keep your home or cottage free of spiders and their webs, it also to prevent carpenter ants and other insects from getting in. Given that we know that there are carpenter ants all through Tiny, Tay, Muskoka and Simcoe, it is a really good idea!  As long as they stay outside where they belong, they don’t cause a problem.

The one pest we’re not hearing much about lately is bedbugs, which is a definite improvement…. hope it stays that way – at least until the carpenter ants, spider sprays and all the other pests we deal with this time of year settle down. In any case, if we haven’t yet contacted you this year, I apologize – please do give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll get Ross out there at a time that works for you.

Lauralee

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States. Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They are rare to find, but they generally like to hang out around trash piles, sheds, under rocks, wood piles, etc. Anyplace that is dark and a little damp is a great place for them to hide.

Female black widow spiders are known for their distinctive black and red colouring and their sometimes habit of eating the males after they mate. The mature female black widow spider is usually around 1.5 inches long and about .25 inches in diameter. They are shiny black with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the ventral (under)side of their abdomen, which is very round. The sizing of the female black widows can vary especially in egg-carrying or gravid females. The abdomen diameter in a gravid female can be more than 0.5 inches.

Mature male black widow spiders are very different in appearance to the females. Males are much smaller than females with their bodies at less than 1/4 inch. Their colouring is usually black but often they take have a similar appearance to that of juvenile black widow spiders. Juveniles have a distinctly different appearance then the females (and some males) in that their abdomens are greyish to black in colour with white stripes running across them spotted with orange or yellow.

Black Widows will typically prey on a variety of insects, but they will also sometimes feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and even other aracnids. When their prey gets entangled in their web, the black widow will wrap the prey securely with web and then bite and envenom the prey. The venom takes up to 10 minutes to work and then digestive enzymes will be injected into the wound of the prey. After that the black widow will carry their prey back to their retreat where they will feed.

Despite being known as highly venomous spider, there is not much to worry about. In an article here Antonia Guidotti, an entomology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, says while black widow sightings make headlines, Ontario is not exactly undergoing a scourge of the famed eight-legged arachnids.”The black widow is very rarely encountered. Most of us, even entomologists, haven’t seen a black widow in the wild in Ontario. Most of you are never going to see one. And the risk if you come across one is very small,” she assures.Guidotti says even if one should have the misfortune of encountering a black widow, the spiders present a much smaller danger that we’ve been led to believe.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada. In Canada they are known to live southeast Ontario and southern parts of Quebec. They are typically light to medium brown but can range in colour from cream to dark brown or blackish gray.

Brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse spiders are relatively small and are usually between 6-20 mm however they can grow larger. They have no obvious colouration patterns on their abdomens or legs and their legs also lack spines and their abdomens are covered in a fine short hair that gives the appearance of soft fur. Unlike many other species of spiders, brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight. Their eyes are arranged in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.

Adult brown recluse spiders live for about 1-2 years and in their lifetime an adult brown recluse will produce several egg sacs over a period of 2-3 months from May to July with each sac holding about 50 eggs. The eggs will then hatch in about a month and the spiderlings will reach adulthood in about a year.

Brown recluse spiders are resilient spiders and they can tolerate up to 6 months of extreme drought and scarce food.

They will build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter the consists of disorderly threads and they will also usually build their webs in places such as woodpiles, sheds, garages, cellars and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed.

If you are seeing spiders of any sort – and more importantly webs – on your home, cottage, storefront, or signs, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at (705)534-7863 or email us Ross will be happy to help.