Spring is coming

woodpecker hole in houseReally it is!!

I sure will be happy when the ice on the lake breaks up and I can get my kayak out! Not teaching this summer, nor working at the group home (long story there!) so unless something changes, will be here most of the time to take people’s calls. Well, when I’m not out on the lake anyway.

It could be worse though! The year I moved to Barrie we had a horrible snow storm on April 3 – and some jerk stole my shovel right out of my yard. I wasn’t amused.

Anyway, even though the weather is not cooperating, seems like the critters know that spring is coming. We’ve already been getting calls about critters where they don’t belong, and carpenter ants. Lots and lots of carpenter ants. We actually had several calls about them over the winter, too – every time the weather warmed up even a little, the ants would get busy.

Did you know that the ants you see are generally only a very small percentage? And that, while they don’t actually eat your wood or your insulation, they do damage it by tunneling through it to build their nests.

First sign people usually notice is a few ants…eventually, things progress to ‘raining’ sawdust (or insulation/building foam dust) – that’s called frazz. After that, things can get so bad one can hear them in the walls. And if you ignore all that long enough…? The woodpeckers come!! Woodpeckers love carpenter ants – whether they are in trees, or buildings. Fortunately most people get on top of the problem before that happens – but it does happen!

Early intervention saves the structural integrity of your home or cottage!

No matter where you are in Simcoe, Muskoka, Tiny, or Tay, or even beyond, and we will be happy to help you to solve your pest problems – or better yet, prevent them!

Our phone number is 705.534.7863, or you can email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lauralee

Summer Tradition

Well, we’re back from our cottage week.

And yes, we do live in a cottage year round – doesn’t matter, it is still a treat to get away for a week or so each summer. This year we rented on Kasshabog Lake, where friends of ours live (& coincidentally, manage absentee owners’ rental cottages). So lots of back and forth.

Ross’ daughter and her family joined us for a few days; my kids showed up for one, and a good time was had by all. Including the fish.

Because, for the third? fourth? cottage week in a row, now, no fishies to bring home with us. Of course, with all the company, Ross didn’t have as much time for fishing as he always hopes for – but he did get out there some, and came home fishless yet again!

At least we’re consistent 🙂

Anyway, we’re back and he’s ready to get to work again. This time of year it tends to be wasps and/or mice, but it’s not too late to get your carpenter ants treated as well.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com . As always this year, email is more likely to get an immediate response – I can deal with those while I’m at work. For now, anyway … I guess it’s almost time for school again and then I will have a few blocks where I can’t respond… but things usually slow quite a bit up here once school starts again anyway.

Have a lovely last little bit of summer.

Crazy weather for bugs!

Gotta love this heat!  STILL getting calls about spiders; pretty late in the season for that! Just realized something too – this is the first year in a while that we haven’t had any calls for either brown recluse or black widow spiders in Penetanguishene. That is most assuredly a good thing.

Anyway, carpenter ants seem to be slowing down now which is another good thing. They started early this year, so we did lots & lots of them all throughout Tiny, Tay, Muskoka and Simcoe.

And still only the one termite call – which has responded very well to treatment, thank goodness.

This heat can’t last TOO much longer though! Soon it will be time to book Ross to come out and refill/replace mouse baits, and/or to tackle any bat problems. Sure wish someone would call up for some bat houses sooner rather than later !! He’s left them sitting right where I planted morning glories; just happened to notice a few determined little flowers poking up from behind the blasted thing. THEY need to move!  Wouldn’t you like a nice seasoned bat house? I’m sure you would 🙂

If you are calling us this time of year, please do leave a message if need be and either Ross or I will get back to you as soon as we’re able…. my teaching schedule this semester is NOT ideal – have to drive down to Barrie 4 days each week for 2 or 3 hours each day. They can and will do better when I whine – but I save that for the Winter semester when I really REALLY don’t want to drive 2 hours for a 2 hour class every darn day. If I take what I’m given in the Fall semester, usually get what I want in Winter. Here’s hoping!   It does mean that I’m often not here to answer the phone right away though – but Ross will check & return messages if/when he stops in, and if he doesn’t, I will get to them as soon as I get home.

 

 

And we’re off…. and running, that is

I finished work Friday – well, aside from dealing with ~I don’t like my mark~ emails!

It’s like y’all knew that – today has been hopping with lots of little-critter issues – and even better (depending on one’s perspective), the rest of the week is starting to fill up as well. Works for me – got lots of Judge Judy episodes to catch up on! Joking – I have plenty of other things to keep me busy in between your phone calls and emails.

Got pests? As long as they’re not the ones you brought into the world, give us a call and I’ll be happy to send Ross over to fix them for you: 705-534-7863. Or you can email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or use the handy-dandy quote form up there…whatever works.

Apparently a full day’s work means ~someone~ is hungry enough to start cooking his own dinner …. guess I’d best get moving.

Spring in Cottage Country!

Victoria Harbour ON

Kali and Aswell help He build docks

The lake is open, the ice is gone, and Ross has already started mucking around with pieces of dock. Some of it suffered damage and is going to need quite a bit of repair, apparently.  Trying to get that done before he gets so busy he doesn’t have time to do it.

We are already starting to get a fair number of calls and emails though – carpenter ants, already – and people wanting to know when we’ll start spraying for spiders. The answer to that is pretty weather dependent but every time I ask Ross, he says probably “mid-May”

I’ve started a folder for people who want to be among the first to be sprayed already though – so if you already know you’re going to want him, feel free to give me a call (705-534-7863) or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I will be happy to add you.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Have a great spring 🙂

Lauralee

It’s about that crunch the morning after….

Image

It’s a beautiful morning in cottage country…you grab your coffee, eyes not quite open, and step out on the deck in your bare feet…and  “crunch” .  You just crushed a small but gooey number of the zillion shadflies that have magically appeared overnight and glued themselves to every square foot of your deck, your comfy chairs, your windows and your siding.

Since shadflies are attracted to light, there are a couple of things you can do to help keep them away from your house:

  • Try changing the colour of your bulbs from white to yellow, or even move your outdoor lights away from your cottage so that they won’t cling to your deck, windows and siding.
  • Close your curtains or pull your blinds after dark to prevent them from being attracted to the lights and gathering around your windows.
  • Insect light traps that use UV light may help to keep them away from the cottage.

The best way to clean them up – a broom and a dust pan.

Another alternative is to give Ross a call at  705.534.7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com – he can help with the crunch.

Rats With Wings (Pigeons)

Pigeon
Pigeons, birds, rats-with-wings. Call them what you will. It doesn’t change the  fact that, unless you are feeding them for twopence in downtown London (like in “Mary Poppins”), those are definitely not creatures that you would want around.

Pigeons are persistent birds and will take over areas by covering them with their  waste, destroying whole areas of landscaping, pooping on buildings, cars,
sidewalks, benches, etc. You name it, they will destroy it somehow.
As if that is not bad enough, pigeons are associated with over sixty diseases:
bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal. Humans can contract everything from
Histoplasmosis to Salmonella from pigeons. You don’t want pigeons or their poop
anywhere near you or your family.

So, unless you want poop-covered property and the myriads of health-risks these
birds bring, you should get rid of them if they start frequenting your neck of the
woods.

Because pigeons are creatures of habit and they multiply/reproduce very quickly,
you should get rid of them as soon as they arrive (or as soon as you notice them –
and believe me you WILL notice them).

Even though they can be found nearly anywhere (especially in urban settings), they
tend to favour comfortable sunny places that are safe from predators and the
elements with plenty of food and water available. Pigeons also like high places
because they are able to keep a close watch on things and spot predators.

Their nests are built of twigs but quickly become so full of pigeon poop that they
look like a big pile of it with some twigs in it.

When the babies are first born/hatched, they are the color of pigeon-poop, too,
and are perfectly camouflaged in the nest when they are still.

Pigeons access buildings through broken windows or missing vents or other small
opening. Roofs and gutters are some of the most common places to find the little
beasts -err .. creatures. Gutters are dish-shaped and provide great nesting sites
that securely hold the nests. Of course, those nests block the gutters and flood
when it rains, but, pof course, that’s now YOUR problem – not the pigeon’s
problem. Pigeon poop is absolute hell on roofs, so just because the pigeons “are
all the way up on the roof” does not mean that you are safe from their
destruction.

Pigeons nest and roost on and in houses because it gives them a good view of
nearby feeding areas or because they have gained access to the interior of the
building and made your attic their home

Pigeons are very social and welcome new birds. The more the merrier as far as
they are concerned. Very quickly the noise and constant clean-up associated with
pigeons is more than enough reason to have them excluded from your property.

Do not attempt to relocate pigeons, as birds removed even hundreds of miles from a
place they consider home will beat you back to it. It is best to deter them
through repellents, disturb their nest sites and exclude them from roosting areas.
When necessary, lethal methods are used to get rid of these “flying rats” and end
their destructive habits, which cause millions of dollars of damage nationwide
every year.
A temporary solution is to place anti-perching spikes along flat surfaces and wherever pigeons are seen to roost.

Left uncontrolled, damage costs run into thousands of dollars per building in
cleanup and repairs. Pigeon waste damages stone and metal surfaces, including
automobiles. If your building is infested, your neighbors will be affected and
will not be happy about pigeon poop in their swimming pool. Whole neighborhoods
often band together to get rid of pigeons. When people buy a building they want a
home or office, not a pigeon coop.

So, the instant you spot pigeons or suspect in ANY way that you are dealing with a
pigeon problem, you should give us a call IMMEDIATELY, as the longer you wait, the
much worse the problem is apt to become.
Call us at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.
Or you can Get a Quote.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are at it again. Each year they become active in Spring and remain active until early Fall. It is in early Spring that mature carpenter ant colonies will release reproductive individuals into the world.

All reproductives have wings and are commonly refered to as “swarmers”. It is their purpose to mate, lay eggs in a new location and establish a new colony. During the winter months, outdoor colonies will become dormant however some indoor colonies can continue to show activity.

Carpenter ants are generally about .25 to 1 inch in size and are indigenous to many parts of the world. Like their size, they can cause large amounts of damage if not treated. There are a few ways to find out if you have carpenter ants, the first of course being seeing them. You may also see piles of a sawdust like material called frass. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood but instead tunnel through it which causes the frass. You may also begin to see some damage if left untreated for a long period of time.

Some ways to reduce your chances of getting carpenter ants include maintaining dry conditions-they prefer moist wood to nest in-so if they can’t find it either in or around your home, they won’t stick around. And remember, any place that wood comes in contact with soil, it could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

If, and when you do get a carpenter ant problem (or any other pest problem), give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us. We are happy to answer any questions and book an appointment at your convenience.

New look for Cottage Country Pest Control

CCPC heron 2We’ve got a new logo!

Finally took it to someone that has a whole lot more artistic ability than I do – Darryl at Midland Copy Shoppe Print & Design Services – and our new banner is what we ended up with.

Plus he provided us with a solo heron that we can use for Ross’ avatar and so on, and another design that will work better on clothes and hats and so on. All for a very reasonable price; wish we’d done it at a lot sooner!

 

 

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States. Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They are rare to find, but they generally like to hang out around trash piles, sheds, under rocks, wood piles, etc. Anyplace that is dark and a little damp is a great place for them to hide.

Female black widow spiders are known for their distinctive black and red colouring and their sometimes habit of eating the males after they mate. The mature female black widow spider is usually around 1.5 inches long and about .25 inches in diameter. They are shiny black with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the ventral (under)side of their abdomen, which is very round. The sizing of the female black widows can vary especially in egg-carrying or gravid females. The abdomen diameter in a gravid female can be more than 0.5 inches.

Mature male black widow spiders are very different in appearance to the females. Males are much smaller than females with their bodies at less than 1/4 inch. Their colouring is usually black but often they take have a similar appearance to that of juvenile black widow spiders. Juveniles have a distinctly different appearance then the females (and some males) in that their abdomens are greyish to black in colour with white stripes running across them spotted with orange or yellow.

Black Widows will typically prey on a variety of insects, but they will also sometimes feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and even other aracnids. When their prey gets entangled in their web, the black widow will wrap the prey securely with web and then bite and envenom the prey. The venom takes up to 10 minutes to work and then digestive enzymes will be injected into the wound of the prey. After that the black widow will carry their prey back to their retreat where they will feed.

Despite being known as highly venomous spider, there is not much to worry about. In an article here Antonia Guidotti, an entomology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, says while black widow sightings make headlines, Ontario is not exactly undergoing a scourge of the famed eight-legged arachnids.”The black widow is very rarely encountered. Most of us, even entomologists, haven’t seen a black widow in the wild in Ontario. Most of you are never going to see one. And the risk if you come across one is very small,” she assures.Guidotti says even if one should have the misfortune of encountering a black widow, the spiders present a much smaller danger that we’ve been led to believe.