Carpenter ants!

Carpenter antsMy goodness, have we ever become inundated with carpenter ants. We are getting SO many calls from throughout Tay and Tiny Townships. They started early this year, and so many of them, we’ve been having a hard time keeping enough product in stock to treat them.

Could be worse though – from what I’ve been reading, some areas are starting to see increasing numbers of termites. We have never had a single call for those – and would rather like to keep it that way!  While both carpenter ants and termites can do a great deal of damage to a home or cottage, termites tend to do it faster – we can do without that!

Just because they’re slower, doesn’t mean you should ignore carpenter ants though! In addition to the structural damage they can do, and the very annoying noise they can make if you leave them untreated long enough, you just might find your cottage poked full of holes. Woodpeckers just love carpenter ants – and they can and will do a lot of

Woodpeckers are ~cute~ …sometimes!

damage very quickly once they discover them.

And of course, just like most everything else, it’s usually easier – and cheaper – to solve problems when they’re small. Do you suspect you have carpenter ants? Ross will be happy to help you with those – before the woodpeckers show up 🙂

Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can click on the quote form up there and get a guesstimate that way, too.

Have a great day!

Lauralee

 

Not just killing things

I joke sometimes that Ross kills things; I do everything else – but the truth is that a lot of what he does as an exterminator – especially one that believes strongly in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) who has been green since long before it became a ~thing~ – a lot of what Ross actually does involves NOT killing things.

Bats, raccoons, skunks, squirrels & chipmunks, for example – when dealing with these sorts of issues, the focus is on humane removal, exclusion, and prevention. No killing. Fortunately, Ross has years of construction experience on top of his exterminator’s license; that’s part of the reason he is really good at figuring out what’s causing the problem(s) and how to fix it – for real. And he tells people, too!  And let’s them handle it themselves so that it’s cheaper, even.

Similarly, when dealing with birds, our preference is always for actually solving the pigeon-300x200problem. We could, in some situations, use poisons which kill birds. But why the heck would we want to? If you are offering birds a great location, as soon as you take out the current inhabitants, new ones will just move in anyway.  IPM offers a far better approach – figure out why they’re coming and fix that. Existing birds will leave, and others won’t take their places. Win, win.

Of course, bedbugs and other assorted wee pests that can cause damage to people or property must die, and we’re okay with that.

No matter what sort of pest problem you have, if you are in & around Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, Port Severn, Parry Sound, Muskoka, Ross will be happy to help you with it. Just give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can fill out our handy-dandy quote form (which I need get around to modifying a bit one of these days!)

 

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.

Busy day!

Yikes… the carpenter ants are going crazy, seems like.

Got home from work today to answering machine full of messages and missed calls. The messages are great – I really appreciate it when people leave them. The missed calls, not so much!

Wish I could be here to take your call right away all the time… but on the other hand, I love teaching too, so….

Wednesdays & Thursdays, just for a few more weeks, I teach in Barrie – but I will get back to you as soon as I get home. Or, if you wish, try emailing me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I’ll call/email you on my next break 🙂 Ross just ~loves~ seeing new appointments pop up on his calendar even when he thinks I’m at work so he’s “safe” from surprises, honest 🙂

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.

 

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.