Time Flies

Yikes! Has it really been that long since I updated this blog? My bad!!

Wonder if we’d have been even more busy this fall if I had – but since we had a far busier than normal fall anyway, not going to worry about it too much. Things are slow now, which is generally a good thing … the only time we ever have a busy January – February is when there are lots of bed bug infestations, and nobody wants those!

Bedbugs, mice & fleas are really about all we have going right now – and not many of those, so Ross is getting time to work on his stained glass. He did his first snowshoe this week; turned out well. And found a new home already which is always a good thing – we’re kind of running out of windows!

We’re still around if you encounter any pest control problems – give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help.

And, of course, Happy New Year to you and yours.

 

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.

31-July

Looking for pest control help today?

Please consider emailing us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or using the quote form rather than calling; I’ve got class this morning, then heading to Brampton for lunch with my mom, and Ross will be out solving people’s pest problems all day…so no one around to handle the phones.

I will respond as quickly as possible to emails though (just not while I’m actually driving!)

Thanks
Lauralee

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are at it again. Each year they become active in Spring and remain active until early Fall. It is in early Spring that mature carpenter ant colonies will release reproductive individuals into the world.

All reproductives have wings and are commonly refered to as “swarmers”. It is their purpose to mate, lay eggs in a new location and establish a new colony. During the winter months, outdoor colonies will become dormant however some indoor colonies can continue to show activity.

Carpenter ants are generally about .25 to 1 inch in size and are indigenous to many parts of the world. Like their size, they can cause large amounts of damage if not treated. There are a few ways to find out if you have carpenter ants, the first of course being seeing them. You may also see piles of a sawdust like material called frass. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood but instead tunnel through it which causes the frass. You may also begin to see some damage if left untreated for a long period of time.

Some ways to reduce your chances of getting carpenter ants include maintaining dry conditions-they prefer moist wood to nest in-so if they can’t find it either in or around your home, they won’t stick around. And remember, any place that wood comes in contact with soil, it could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

If, and when you do get a carpenter ant problem (or any other pest problem), give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us. We are happy to answer any questions and book an appointment at your convenience.

Spring!!

ruth and the boys skiingIt’s a happy time of year for pest control …winter is pretty darn boring, although we took up cross country skiing this year, so it was a bit less so this time round. But once the weather starts to warm up and the critters start to get moving and make more critters, we start getting much busier.

Right now, it’s mostly small pests that people are dealing with – lots of calls about squirrels (& chipmunks) getting into places they don’t belong. If you have such a problem, you should definitely get on top of it asap – once there are babies things become a lot more complicated and expensive. Ross can help you get – and more importantly – keep them out.

Next up will be skunks and raccoons – it’s a good idea to have a look around your property and make sure that you haven’t inadvertently provided them with a welcoming atmosphere. Raccoons will, when given the opportunity, take up residence in odd places, especially in the spring when they’re looking for safe places to have their families.

And then, of course, after the snow melts, we’ll be back into doing exterior sprays and carpenter ants and all that fun stuff. I’m looking forward to it – it means that I get the house to myself and can watch my stupid judge shows (as he calls them) a lot more.

Have a happy and pest-free spring – but if you do find yourself dealing with any pest problems, do give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help solve them for you.

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.

 

 

 

Wasps

Wasp

Paper wasps are one of the most commonly observed wasps in Canada and they are named for their habit of making paper nests. This species is dusty yellow to dark brown or black in colour and have little to no hair. Paper wasps are generally between 1.9 and 2.5 cm and  have slender, needle-thin waists with oval eyes and long antenna and like both bald-face hornets and European hornets they have 2 legs that hang visibly when flying and they have no pollen baskets.

Paper wasps are considered to be gentle, however if they or their wasps are threatened or disturbed they will become agressive and can sting their victim repeatedly by retracting their stinger. They are mainly predatory and will hunt small insects for food and to feed to t heir young.

Their nests consist of open hexagonal cells built using paper–which is wood fibers mixed with the wasps’ saliva. They can collect the wood fiber from various sources such as dead wood, wooden structures and plant stems. Their nests hang down horizantally in protect spaces such as attics, eaves or can be found in soil cavities and they will rarely exceed the size of an outstretched hand with populations of  between 15-200.

Wasps will drink nectar occasionally, but they do it in order to get quick energy when hunting smaller insects and they will also use flowers as a hunting ground, since smaller insects are attracted to the flowers. Wasps are beneficial in gardens and the environment because of their predatory nature.

Wasps (and bees and hornets) are not necessarily a pest you want hanging around to closely to your home since many people do have allergies to them. Cottage Country Pest Control can come in and using IPM methods we can help make your environment safer for you and your family.

To book an appointment or for more information email or call us at 705-534-7863.

Hornets

Today, is part 2 of a 3-part series on Bees, Hornets and Wasps.

European hornet

The first type of hornet I’ll be writing about is the European Hornet (Vespa crabro). This species is black and dark with yellow, they have deeply indented eyes (think c-shaped) with reddish-orange wings and their petiolate abdomen is brown striped with yellow and some hair. This species also has hair on their thorax. They can be as big as 3.5 cm and like the honeybee and bumblebee they have a gentle disposition. This means they won’t sting unless they provoked, stepped on or grabbed. They will however get defensive when their hives are threatened and they can become aggressive when it comes to food sources.

In male European hornets the males  have abdomens that have 7 segments and the females have 6 and the male antenna have 13 segments and the female antenna have 12.

European hornets, unlike honeybees and bumblebees, will eat insects and they are also attracted to lights at night. Their nests are large paper nests and can be found in hollow trees that have sheltered positions.

Bald-face hornet

Bald-face Hornet or (Dolichovespula maculata) is also known as the white-faced hornet and the white-tailed hornet. Technically, this species belongs to the genus of wasps called yellowjackets but because they lack any yellow colour is it called a hornet. They are black with white ivory markings and can be up to 1.9 cm. They also have 2 visible legs that hang when they are in flight and they lack pollen baskets. Similar to the European hornets, the Bald-face hornet also eats other insects.

This species of hornet is found throughout North America including parts of Canada, the Rocky Mountains, the Western Coast of the United States and most of the Eastern United States.

Bald-faced hornets are known for their large football-shaped nests, which they build in the Spring for raising their young. There have been some known cases, where they have built their nests as big as 3-feet tall.

They are also extremely protective of their nests and  will sting repeatedly if the nest is physically disturbed. They are more aggressive than both yellowjackets and other member of the Vespa genus. When this species stings, they are able to retract their stinger and stinging their victim won’t kill them.

Basically, you don’t really want hornets hanging around your home especially if you or someone in your family is allergic to their stings, so Cottage Country Pest Control can come in and using IPM methods we can help make your environment safer for you and your family.

To book an appointment or for more information email or call us at 705-534-7863.

Bees, hornets & wasps…oh my!

Today’s post is the first of another 3-part series all about bees, hornets and wasps. First up: Bees

Honeybee

There are over 1000 native species of bees in Canada, but the honeybee is not one of the native species. Honeybees were originally from Eurasia where they have been a domesticated species for centuries. All the “wild” honeybees we have in Canada are from colonies that escaped from domesticated hives.

Bees are able to live year-round and their hives are self-sufficient as long as the colony is able to collect enough nectar and pollen during the summer. They have been able to adapt to the Canadian climate and to life in our forests and woods since they have the ability to generate their own heat in order to warm their hives in the colder months.

Honeybee population has unfortunately been in decline due to two types of parasitic mites that have infested many hives in the past few decades. Wild honeybees in Eastern Canada have been nearly exterminated by these parasites and the infestation has spread to a large number of domestic hives. These losses, in addition to the loss of wild habitat, the effects of pesticides in and around agricultural operations and the transmission on other bacterial diseases from hive to hive mean that the numbers are continuing to decline rapidly.

Honeybees are amber to brown in colour with alternating black stripes. They are furry (with short hair) and are approximately 1.3 cm. They eat nectar from flowers and when they sting (which they won’t do unless provoked as they are considered gentle) it will kill them. Honeybees live in large colonies in flat wax-based honeycomb hives that hang vertically.

Bumblebees lived in the wild for thousands of years before people started capturing them in order to domesticate them. Unlike honeybees who have short tongues, bumblebees have long tongues which means they are able to pollinate a larger variety of flowers.

Bumblebee

In the late 1880’s, researchers began to think about using bumblebees to their advantage when it came to agricultural matters. In 1885 and again in 1905, hundreds of bumblebees were captured and introduced into New Zealand in order to try and improve the production of red clover seed.

In Canada, the bumblebee was first used commercially in 1990 as a tomato pollinator. Throughout the world there are 5 species of bumblebee that are commercially reared. In North America only 2 are used commercially–the Bombus impatiens and Bombus occidentalis. The B. impatiens species is very successful in being used as greenhouse crop pollinators and recent studies have shown that “only 7 to 15 colonies are needed per hectare of greenhouse tomatoes, which is equal to approxiately 2000 bee trips per hectare, per day”.

Bumblebees are yellow with black stripes and are furry, but with long hair. They are considerably larger than a honeybee at 2.5 cm but like the honeybee they also eat nectar from flowers and their stings will kill them also. They too are considered gentle and will not sting unless provoked in someway. Bumblebees can be found living in the soil in small cavities.

Yes, honeybees and bumblebees are beneficial to the environment and agriculturally but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want them building hives around your home or cottage. Especially if you or someone in your family is allergic to their stings, so Cottage Country Pest Control can come in and using IPM methods we can help make your environment safer for you and your family.

To book an appointment or for more information email or call us at 705-534-7863.