Gone Fishing

The boat finally made it into the water!

Haven’t got much use out of it since – out for a bit with the grandkids, and then yesterday we managed a day off to go fishing. Gone fishing

One of us caught some very nice bass 🙂

And one of us caught some ….well, they would have made good bait if that were legal but since it’s not….

With all the island calls he’s been doing lately, maybe he should start taking his rod along, get some practice in so that he can keep up.

Still lots of carpenter ant calls coming in – and surprisingly, for this time of year, still lots of mice too. And of course we’re still doing spider sprays – for those of you who are doing the seasonal thing, he’ll be back out to do your second spray in a couple of weeks – unless, of course, you start to see webs forming before then, in which case, just let me know and I’ll move it up.

You can always reach us through email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or give us a call at 705-534-7863.

 

 

Rainy days & spider sprays

Darn rain!!!

Got Ross’ calendar filled and then some – and the bleeping rain just messed that all up.

Truth is that it doesn’t actually have to bring everything to a standstill; rain doesn’t actually wash the product we use away once it’s set (about 20 minutes) …. so he COULD still spray and as long as it doesn’t pour immediately afterwards, it would work just fine.

BUT, we have discovered, people just don’t believe that 🙂

And since we want our customers to be happy and believe, yeah, we delay or reschedule exterior spider sprays on rainy days.

Fortunately for today, we had some carpenter ants and wasps we could move into the freed up space…. we’ll try again for sprays tomorrow if the weather cooperates…. weather network isn’t exactly being encouraging though!

If there’s anything Ross can help you with, give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com …. we’re pretty busy this time of year but we will fit you in one way or another. And yes, weekend appointments are available for you cottagers.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management is something that a lot of pest control companies use in their daily operations, however not everyone is aware of what it is, so I want to explain it a bit so you can get an understanding of it and how it can benefit you.

 

IPM is an effective and environmentally responsible approach to pest management that integrates pesticides and herbicides into the management system and incorporates a combination of common-sense practices. It uses current and comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment.

 

This information, in combination with pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible harm to people, property and the environment.

 

IPM is not a single pest control method, but as series of evaluations, decisions and controls.

 

As stated on Wikipedia, IPM focuses on the following:

 

1. Proper identification of pest – What is it? Cases of mistaken identity may result in ineffective actions. If plant damage due to over-watering are mistaken for fungal infection, spray costs can be incurred, and the plant is no better off.

 

 

2. Learn pest and host life cycle and biology. At the time you see a pest, it may be too late to do much about it except maybe spray with a pesticide[citation needed]. Often, there is another stage of the life cycle that is susceptible to preventative actions. For example, weeds reproducing from last year’s seed can be prevented with mulches. Also, learning what a pest needs to survive allows you to remove these.

 

3. Monitor or sample environment for pest population – How many are here? Preventative actions must be taken at the correct time if they are to be effective. For this reason, once the pest is correctly identified, monitoring must begin before it becomes a problem. For example, in school cafeterias where roaches may be expected to appear, sticky traps are set out before school starts. Traps are checked at regular intervals so populations can be monitored and controlled before they get out of hand. Some factors to consider and monitor include: Is the pest present/absent? What is the distribution – all over or only in certain spots? Is the pest population increasing, decreasing or remaining constant?

 

4. Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) – How many are too many? In some cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Soybeans are quite tolerant of defoliation, so if there are a few caterpillars in the field and their population is not increasing dramatically, there is not necessarily any action necessary. Conversely, there is a point at which action must be taken to control cost. For the farmer, that point is the one at which the cost of damage by the pest is more than the cost of control. This is an economic threshold. Tolerance of pests varies also by whether or not they are a health hazard (low tolerance) or merely a cosmetic damage (high tolerance in a non-commercial situation).

 

Different sites may also have varying requirements based on specific areas. White clover may be perfectly acceptable on the sides of a tee box on a golf course, but unacceptable in the fairway where it could cause confusion in the field of play.

 

5. Choose an appropriate combination of management tactics For any pest situation, there will be several options to consider. Options include, mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls include picking pests off plants, or using netting or other material to exclude pests such as birds from grapes or rodents from structures. Cultural controls include keeping an area free of conducive conditions by removing or storing waste properly, removing diseased areas of plants properly. Biological controls can be support either through conservation of natural predators or augmentation of natural predators.

 

It’s important to know that not all pest control companies that claim to follow IPM actually do. Cottage Country Pest Control is environmentally responsible, and we do follow IPM. Always.

 

We firmly believe that IPM is the way to go and that when done properly it can be the most effective approach to getting rid of pests in your home. If you have any questions or you want to book an appointment please call 705-534-7863 or email us today.

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.

Gearing up for another year

Well, it’s almost that time again …

soon the snow will melt and the bugs will be back…

and Ross at Cottage Country Pest Control will still be there to solve all of your pest problems using the most environmentally responsible integrated pest management processes & products available.

Spiders, bedbugs, mice & rats, carpenter ants, cockroaches, wasps & bees, fleas …whatever your issue, Ross will be happy to help. And yes, we do deal with the occasional racoon, squirrel or other rodents as well. Oh, and he does bird & bat remediation & exclusion also.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com for any pest problems at your home, cottage or business in Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, Muskoka…. we’re situated in Victoria Harbour, but cover a fairly wide area –  and yes, he does island calls too!

Fully licensed & insured.

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.