Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me!

cluster flyIt’s that time of year and flies are coming out of the woodwork…literally.  In cottage country the most common fly we see is the Cluster Fly

Cluster Flies are about 8 to 10 mm (.31 to .39 inches) long. They are dark grey, with black and silver (non-metallic) checkered stomachs. You can tell them apart from house flies in a couple of different ways:

  • their wings overlap when they are at rest.
  • they are larger, darker and slower-moving
  • tend to “cluster” in groups
  • give off a sickly-sweet odour when disturbed.

They are most commonly found in houses that are surrounded by large lawns or open parks.  Cluster flies hibernate in wall voids, attics, closets, and empty rooms. They tend to leave stains on walls and curtains and if they die in areas that can not be accessed – can attract other pests like larder beetles which will feed on the dead flies and then work their way through the rest of your home.

If you have a problem – it will present itself in the most obvious way as the days become warmer and the flies become more active.  You will see them gathering in windows or around well lit areas.

Prevention and control can be an arduous task as these little pests can access your house through the tiniest places.  Give Ross a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com  – and he’ll be happy to give you a hand.

Don’t let the Bed Bugs bite…

A common saying between parents and their children…but a not so funny situation if you have them.

Bedbugs are tiny little bugs with no wings that feed on the blood of humans and their pets at night.  These mini vampires can live as long as a year and half without feeding and are very difficult to get rid of because of this.  In addition their size and flat shape allow them to hide behind wallpaper and in tiny little places that are hard to reach.

Bedbug bites may take up to 14 days to appear and are normally found around the face,chest arms and legs – but can appear anywhere on the body.  Most people do not have severe reactions and an antihistamine and/or antibiotic creams usually do the job.  Should you have more than an itchy bite – please seek medical care.

If your are a DIY kind of person…because we always try to provide a DIY option – trying to get rid of these little bloodsuckers is a nightmare akin to cockroach control and after looking at the suggested process – you won’t be saving any money and the rate of failure is high.

DIY Steps to checking to see if you have a problem – Health Canada has an excellent step by step set of instructions  http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/product-safety-securite-produits/pest-control-products-produits-antiparasitaires/pesticides/tips-conseils/bedbugs-punaises-prevent-prevenir-eng.php

If you believe you may have a bedbug problem – please just give us a call  705-534-7863 or send us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com Ross is always happy to help solve your pest control problems.

 

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.

Spring ahead

2012-03-17 07.56.32Did you remember to change your clocks forward? And the batteries in your smoke detector?

The lake in font of our place still looks more ice than water, but it’s definitely on it’s way toward thawing. Won’t be long and it’ll be time to get the docks out! We try to do that early, because once the spiders and carpenter ants come back, Ross has several weeks of way too busy to get much of anything else but pest control done.

If the docks are in before then, he can head out for a bit of fishing in the evenings when he gets home, at least. And of course, I’m looking forward to an extended season for kayaking.

It will be interesting to see how the mild winter impacts the pests. We’ve already seen a huge increase in squirrel calls this year – and it was the first year since we’ve been doing pest control where we’ve had calls for carpenter ants right through the winter!  It seems they managed more activity given the mild temperatures – which may mean more & more active colonies this spring. We shall see.

But not to worry – we are here to help!  Just give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. There’s also a quote form you can use – which reminds me, I need to tweak that some.

We cover a fairly wide are that includes Severn, Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, & most of Muskoka and we are happy to offer environmentally responsible pest control at your convenience.

Raccoons vs fishing

ross bass2Well, we thought we might get out in the boat to go fishing today – and we might yet … but first, Ross is running around dealing with raccoons in places they don’t belong. Lots of raccoons, chipmunks and squirrels this season. And bats seem to be starting to make a comeback too… which is a very good thing, actually.

In any case, no fishing for now – he’s got raccoons in Port McNicoll, Brechin, and Gravenhurst – so suppose I might as well head out for a kayak and we’ll try again later… or tomorrow… or whenever 🙂

Joys of living & working in cottage country – such a short season that we have to do the work when it presents itself and fit our own cottage adventures in wherever we can.

But we don’t mind…we know that we are truly blessed to be here all the time…so we’re happy to help you enjoy your visits by solving your pest problems quickly with a minimum of fuss while you’re here.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to help you with your pests.

 

HELP! Banquet Happening In My Garage … & I’m Not Invited! Raccoon!

They're only adorable in cartoons!!

They’re only adorable in cartoons!!

Don’t you wish raccoons were the adorable cute and cuddly creatures you see in cartoons like in Disney’s “Pocahontas”? But yeah, nope. There’s a reason they are classified as pests. And this is true even if you live in Victoria Harbour, where nature is abundant.

When you actually get close up to them (not that you ever should), they can actually be quite vicious and bold, surprisingly. Never mind the diseases that they carry.

One of the first signs that you need help because you have a raccoon problem is that you might notice that there is damage to the actual structure of your house (like around the attic). This is caused by the raccoon trying to dig its way into your house. Seriously!

Basically, their main goal is to get to your trash cans, and feast on what you consider to be garbage… anything from leftover food, to eggs, old pet-food…you name it.

And when you walk into your garage the next morning, and find things overturned with garbage strewn everywhere… chances are there was a secret raccoon party the night before (rather than a garbage-specific burglar).      alg-resize-raccoon-jpg

One of the things you can do to make the situation a little better is use garbage cans made of hard plastic and/or metal. You should make sure they have tight-fitting lids, straps or clamps to keep them shut. You should also tie them to a support or in some kind of a rack structure, so that they can’t be tipped over.

Raccoons also tend to like chimneys, which of course ALSO means they can fall right through them and …dum dum DUM… into your house. NOT a likely pleasant experience.

Instead of having to go out and buy all sorts of expensive contraptions to keep them from getting into your chimneys, or having to consider trying to kill them (which really can’t be pleasant, especially if you have kids or grandchildren who could be around), or coming into direct contact with them (they CAN be pretty snarly and vicious), your best bet is to get help from Cottage Country Pest-Control. Just give us a call, and have Ross come around, or call to get a quote!

Cottage Country Pest Control uses humane methods (trapping and relocating), and does all the dirty work for you, so that you can throw your garbage out at night, then go to bed without wondering if there is a banquet happening in your garage!

So, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

– Ammario R.

Weekends

It’s a sunny Saturday morning and Ross just left to head up to a carpenter ant job in Honey Harbour…then he’ll come back through and head to the other side of our region, over to Tiny Township. And yes, it is a lovely sunny Saturday and we do have family coming for a visit and the boat is not yet in – that’s what happens when you offer pest control services in cottage country. You work weekends 🙂

And weekdays too, of course…. but the busy season is so short, you do what you have to do. Sure wish the bed bugs would wait until the spiders and carpenter ants and squirrels slow down again, but no such luck.

If you’ve discovered pest problems in your home or cottage, do give us a call at (705)534-7863 or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to stop by and solve them for you.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.