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.

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.

Invasion Of The Carpenter Ants ! Eeeep!

Carpenter Ants don’t do that, wise guy!

If you live in cottage country ( as in Simcoe County, Tay or Tiny Townships, or Muskoka), trees and forests are never too far away, and you are likely not a stranger to a myriad of types of pests.
This also means that you are very likely to encounter the the six legs, smooth/round upper thorax, 1 – 3 inch length, black (with varying hues of red or yellow) colour and “elbow-shaped” antennae of the carpenter ant!

Yes, these ants (which are said to be some of the largest in North America) are true to their name, and do love to chew through wood. But, there’s definitely a catch! They are not interested in actually consuming the wood for sustenance. Rather, they like to hollow out wooden structures, so they can establish their colonies in there. This is one reason you should NEVER leave woodpiles (after “carpentering” ..get it?) anywhere near your home or building structure.

Carpenter Ants

  Carpenter Ants

Since they don’t actually eat the wood, carpenter ants will feed on other insects like smaller ants, spiders, cockroaches, dead bees, fleas (yup, they’re predators), and food debris from humans. So, be sure to not leave crumbs lying around!

They rarely actually bite humans (unless they feel that their nest is being threatened and needs to be defended), but in the rare case that they do, they have powerful “jaws” which can tear through human flesh and spray it with formic acid, which gives off a burning sensation.

Carpenter ants do come in various shapes and sizes (some are bigger, smaller… some have little wings, even), but they shouldn’t be mistaken for termites, as carpenter ants not only have narrower waists with front wings that are longer than hind wings, but they are actually much slower when it comes to chewing through the wood.

Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

      Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

However, that is not a “better” thing, necessarily. Their slower pace actually means it usually takes a little longer for you to notice that you have them. But, you really SHOULD check for them, regularly, because the amount of damage they are actually capable of doing over time is horrendous and expensive. They will weaken any wooden structure, and – left along long enough, – that can often lead to very dangerous accidents and collapses, resulting in very costly repairs.

If you happen to spot a carpenter ant that is relatively large (regardless of whether it is winged or without wings), you most likely have a well-established colony there. Another tell-tale sign is observing curious-looking little piles of wood shavings. Don’t forget, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they just tunnel through it to make their nest, and so they discard the wood-shavings which usually end up at the entrance to the hole with the tunnel containing their nest! Incidentally, those wood-shavings (called “frass”) also contain their excrement (hey, at least give them some credit for good housekeeping)!

Get To Know Them!

As if that’s not bad enough, once they’ve managed to actually tunnel through into your house or cottage, you can actually hear them in there, if there’s enough of them! Add to that the fact they attract woodpeckers … and yeah, that’s yet another headache you probably would rather not have to deal with.

Besides not leaving food crumbs of any kind lying around indoors, some good precautionary measures would be to prune or trim overhanging trees so that they are not touching your house/cottage.
Also make sure your gutters and always clean.
Since carpenter ants use pheromones to track their own whereabouts away from their nest, these pests have no problem entering people’s homes through cracks and looking for food – usually proteins and carbohydrates, like meat, sugar, honey …etc.
The best thing to do  is to call for professional help.

The best thing to do as soon as you’ve spotted any of the aforementioned signs would be to immediately call for professional help, because the longer you put it off, the greater the damage those carpenter ants will do to the structure/house/cottage

So, give us a call, and have Ross come by. Or, just call to get a quote!

For immediate help, call Cottage Country Pest Control at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

 

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.

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.

Just so’s you know :)

Most days we are able to get back to our customers pretty quickly, whether you call or email us.

But I am teaching a few courses again this summer, so please do bear with us if you’re calling on a Thursday (all day) or Friday morning….   we will get back to you as soon as we can – but especially on Thursdays, that might take a bit of time. Best bet, actually, for a quicker response, is to email… that I can answer during breaks or between classes 🙂

But either way, rest assured that we will get back to you, and I will get Ross out to solve your pest problems as quickly as I can arrange it.

Lauralee

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.

Wasps & Hornet season

wasp2Still dealing with lots & lots of carpenter ants these days – but now the hornets & wasps are demanding their bit of attention too. They are obnoxious this year!!!!

Part of the problem, for us, is that many people wait to call about them… by the time they give up on trying to solve the problem themselves using whatever over the counter product they can buy, the wasps are well and truly burrowed in, and they are a royal pain in the posterior. Used to be in almost every case we got called for, one treatment would do it… but this year, some of the infestations are so bad, we’re having to go back. That is not a good thing!

We haven’t yet raised our prices for them, but if this keeps up we’re going to have to!

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 🙂