Birds: Damage

Any type of bird can become a pest–it just depends on their behaviour and activity on your property. You can read the past post on birds and the post on birds and diseases. Some of the major concerns when it comes to birds as pests is Canadian geese and their droppings and smaller birds building their nests on roofs/in chimneys and gutters.

 

Figuring out if you have a problem with Canadian geese is a relatively easy thing to do–especially if you live on the water in places such as Victoria Harbour, Midland, Penetanguishene, etc. If you have an excessive number of geese visiting your yards and docks and are noticing a lot of geese excrement, then it can be classified as a pest problem.

 

When it comes to smaller birds being a problem, it can be more difficult to discover the problem. How often does someone climb their roof to check for bird nests? Do you normally check your chimney for signs of bird nests? Probably not, so unless you notice signs of damage or hear the bird(s), you may not know there is a problem until it’s a bigger (and more expensive problem to deal with).

 

So what should you look for if you suspect there may be some birds building a nest in or around your roof or chimney? Nesting materials for one–this can vary depending on the species, but generally the birds that may become pests for the areas we cover will use materials such as grass clippings, small sticks and mud. If they can find bits of cloth they may use that as well. Also you can listen for sounds of birds in your roof or chimney. Can you hear chirping or scratching sounds? Finally, another good way to discover if you have a bird problem is to take a look around for their droppings. Is there an excessive amount around the ground of your home?

 

If you think you have a bird problem (or any other pest) or you know you do, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Birds: Diseases

Today’s post is a follow up to yesterday’s post about Birds, however it will be about diseases that can be caused by birds and also HOW they can be transmitted to humans from birds.

 

There are over 60 known transmittable diseases that can be passed to humans from birds and their droppings.

 

These diseases can typically be broken down into categories:

  • Bacterial-examples include: salmonella, paratyphoid, vibriosis and listeriosis
  • Viral- examples include: encephalitis, meningitis and newcastle’s Disease
  • Fungal- examples include: histoplasmosis, candidasis and blastomycosis
  • Protozoal- examples include: toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis and American Typansomiasis

There are 4 ways that birds can pass disease to humans. The first 2 ways are through food and water contaminated with bird feces. This can occur when birds defecate into food and water sources and it does not necessarily have to be direct contact. Food and water sources may be contaminated through airborne particles that are transferred through the air and settle into the sources.

 

The third way is inhalation of fecal dust. This can happen when dried feces becomes airborne microscopic particles that can contain fungi and/or bacterial that when inhaled by humans can cause illness.

 

The fourth way is through direct contact. This is when fecal dust or actual droppings comes in contact with an open sore or wound. If this occurs, it must be cleaned properly and treated, because if left untreated it could potentially lead to Sepsis, which is an infection of blood.

 

Over the rest of the bird series, we’ll be covering some of the more common diseases specifically, so check back for that information.

 

If you are having a problem with birds at your home, cottage or even business/workplace in Midland, Honey Harbour, Port McNicoll, or any other area of our coverage area, contact us at 705-534-7863 or email us today. We are fully trained in bird control methods and IPM. We are also fully licensed to handle other pest control issues.

Birds

Today’s post will be the first of many about birds-why they are problems, the diseases caused by birds, spotting a bird problem/damage and control methods.

 

Birds can be great to have around, because most species will eat insects and bugs that can be a nuisance to you and your home. However, birds can easily become a nuisance themselves by making your home and property dirty looking (thanks to their droppings, feathers, nesting materials, etc), they can cause dozens of health problems through their droppings and nesting materials and it can be expensive to solve a bird problem if you leave it.

 

Bird droppings are very acidic and can “eat away” at tar-based roof materials and even the protective coating and paint on cars. In regards to roof damage, if birds are left to continue using the roof for their droppings, over time it can cause leaking to the roof which can be costly to repair.

 

Some of the damage caused by nests includes when they are build in gutters and drain spouts on houses and cottages. If left long-term, the nests can cause drainage problems which again can be costly to repair.

 

A major problem caused by bird nests is when they are built in chimneys and other ventilation systems. This can lead to not only diseases being spread through the system but can also block airflow, which can be extremely dangerous as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

If you are having a problem with birds at your home, cottage or even business/workplace in Midland, Honey Harbour, Port McNicoll, or any other area of our coverage area, contact us at 705-534-7863 or email us today. We are fully trained in bird control methods and IPM. We are also fully licensed to handle other pest control issues.

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.

Birds

Birds can be pretty to look at and they can be useful as a natural pest control, but they do have their downsides as well. Not only can birds cause damage to property they can also transmit diseases to humans–not so nice, right?

You can read about birds here

You can read about birds and diseases here

AND

You can read about birds and damage here

Cottage Country Pest Control is happy to provide environmentally pest control services in Central Ontario. Give us a call at 707-534-7863, or send us an email

Landlords & Tenants

Are you a landlord or a renter? Have you considered who would be responsible for any major pest control work that might need to be done in a rental property?

Well, for more information check out our blog post “Landlords and Tenants: Who is Responsible for Pest Control Costs?”

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today if you have any questions or concerns.