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.

Wasps & hornets

wasp2
Having a really bad year for wasps all through cottage country this year… has been an issue all summer, but now as we’re heading to fall, just crazy!

And yes we treat them – but before you call us (or any pest control company) you should know that we can’t do magic!

We can treat existing wasp problems. Any wasps that happen to be there when Ross is will wind up dead.

We can use products that provide residual protection as well – so that the wasps that are out and about at the time will die if/when they return

Most often, we try to leave the nest in place – this is for two reasons:

  1. so that the wasps that come back get dead too, and
  2. because new wasps looking for a place to build are less likely to choose a spot that, as far as they know, is already occupied

The residual products, and the (dead/vacant) nests can help to prevent new infestations …. but unfortunately, not 100% and not forever. If there are a lot of wasps in your area, you will quite likely continue to see some wasps even after we’ve been there. If they land in the right place, they’ll die – but if they don’t, well….

So – if you’ve got a wasp, bee, or hornet problem, yes, we can help – but just so we’re clear, we can take care of your existing wasps only. We can not, do not, and will not guarantee that new wasps won’t show up at some point in the future.

Which is not to say that we won’t come back if need be – we do, as much as possible – but we tend to do those follow ups informally; he stops by if/when he’s in the area. BUT you should know that this is done as a courtesy (and because he really prefers to ~win~) not because of any guarantee. And sorry, but the further away you are, the better the chance that you’re likely to have to wait a bit for one of those courtesy (aka free) drop by’s.

If you’d like your existing wasp problem dealt with, please do feel free to give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

 

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.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. WASPS!

cleanbevswasG     I’m not sure what it is that caused this. It could be my Mom passing on her irrational terror of wasps to me while growing up. Maybe it is the fact that they emit that buzzing sound. Maybe it’s their menacing look. I don’t know. All I know is that I am positively TERRIFIED of them. I saw a wasp enter my living room through an open window, and I ran to the bedroom and locked myself in there until someone had gotten rid of it.

Because of this, I honestly think that taking precautions against those nasty pests is one of the most important things you can do once the weather has warmed and it is bug season once again.

To many people, the terms “wasp” and “bee” are used interchangeably and indiscriminately when referring to any winged, flying small insect with a sting that emits a buzzing sound. They are definitely not the same, though.

A wasp-nest!

A wasp-nest!

If you spot a slim, narrow-waisted, hairless and almost-shiny intruder with legs that are cylinder-shaped .. you have yourself a wasp.
Bees, on the other hand, are much rounder and more “hairy”, and because they are pollinators, they have flat hind legs that are used for collecting and moving around pollen.

For wasps, late June is actually the best time of year to control them and avoid running into future problems because of them. This is because the queen would have already established her colony by then, but the nest would still be small.
Although, a smaller nest DOES mean the nest would be harder to find.

If you do spot an exposed/visible nest, you should definitely call us right away. Although it is not advised, you could attempt to get rid of it yourself.

If you do decide to give it a shot yourself, the best time to do so would be at night, as the wasps as less active then.
Make sure you plan your escape route in advance (just in case), and do not stand directly under the nest, as you might end up with a face full of pesticide leaking back out after you have sprayed it. Spray “wasp and hornet” aerosol spray directly
into the entrance of the nest, following the instructions on the bottle.
The problem with doing it yourself, though, is that it is potentially dangerous and it does not always produce successful results.

Wasps never reuse old nests, so if you see any nests in the winter, then those are from the previous summer. Since its former inhabitants have either long left the nest or died inside it, you can dispose of it yourself safely.

"There was a bee/wasp in my car."

When it comes to CONCEALED wasps’ nests (i.e: nests that are in places where you can’t see them, like in spaces and cracks behind walls ..etc), where the only way you would even really know that there is a nest there would be observing wasps continuously flying in and out of the crack, a “do-it-yourself” approach to getting rid of the nest is definitely inadvisable. Sprays do not work well on hidden nests, and it is definitely much more dangerous as the risk of being injured or stung increases significantly, unless you are a professional.

Wasps (especially the Yellowjacket kind) are attracted to sweet scents, sweet foods/drink, perfume and hairspray. This is why you should always throw your trash out in properly seal-able containers and empty them frequently, make sure to put lids on pop drinks, and never use makeshift “wasp-traps” (which use sweet juice/pop as bait) closer than 50 feet to human activity, as all you would be doing then is attracting the wasps closer to you and increasing the possibility of getting stung.

If you are stung, apply cold water or ice to the area, lie down and lower the stung arm or leg. Abstain from consuming alcohol.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention, as you may be allergic: Hives, swelling of the entire limb, joint pain, wheezing, loss of consciousness.

So, if you are anything like me when it comes to wasps, getting it taken care of right now will allow you to enjoy the summer more, knowing that you have done everything you can to prevent wasp-related …. incidents.
So, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and have Ross come check it out (unlike myself, HE has no irrational fear of them).
Or you can Get a Quote.

Wasps & Hornet season

wasp2Still dealing with lots & lots of carpenter ants these days – but now the hornets & wasps are demanding their bit of attention too. They are obnoxious this year!!!!

Part of the problem, for us, is that many people wait to call about them… by the time they give up on trying to solve the problem themselves using whatever over the counter product they can buy, the wasps are well and truly burrowed in, and they are a royal pain in the posterior. Used to be in almost every case we got called for, one treatment would do it… but this year, some of the infestations are so bad, we’re having to go back. That is not a good thing!

We haven’t yet raised our prices for them, but if this keeps up we’re going to have to!

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.

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.

Bug bites: Part 2

Today’s post is the second part to the one yesterday about bug bites. Like yesterday, this post will show you some pictures of different bug bites….while they can 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!

Bee sting

Wasp sting

Tick bite

Horse fly bite

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Bees, Hornets & Wasps…Oh My!

Bees, wasps and hornets are not always well-liked, and it is totally understandable, but there are some benefits to having them around. Do you know what the benefits are or the differences between the species and their hives?

Click the following links to read all about them!

Bees

Wasps

Hornets

Here’s a blog post we did that includes a link to an interesting story about why you shouldn’t always wait to call a pest control business if you have a problem.

Another interesting blog post from last summer about a weird wasp nest encountered by Ross…“Weird Wasp Nest”

If you have any questions or concerns please give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today. We are always happy to help you to solve your pest problems.

We are based in Victoria Harbour, but cover Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Muskoka, Tiny, Tay and Simcoe County as well.