Rain!

Carpenter antsFinally some rain!

Works for me – although we’ve got 3 jobs this morning that it rather complicates, but oh well …stuff happens 🙂  If need be he’ll do the inside part today and go back and do the outside when it stops. But complications aside, sure would be nice to get enough rain to get some fire bans lifted, wouldn’t it?

And I’m happy that I can skip watering my tomatoes for a change. Picked my first three yesterday – well, not really – have picked and tossed lots of ugly black flat bottomed ones already – but finally (after adding calcium as one of our tenants insisted I needed to) got some nice non-ucky tomatoes.

Still getting lots of calls about carpenter ants in Tay, Tiny, Severn and beyond. Still lots of people discovering that they have them, or more like, giving up on the trying to fix it themselves with over the counter products and calling for help, now. The majority of the products you can buy are so mild (thanks to government regulations) that for carpenter ants, they really don’t do the job, unfortunately. Professional products, too, are strictly controlled by government regulations – but at least we’re allowed to buy stuff that actually works, thank goodness.

We’re also hearing back from some of the carpenter ant jobs we did earlier this year, which is absolutely expected. There’s almost always a “bloom” about four weeks after treatment. For the first few weeks, you see lots more dead ants, less live ones – and then at about four weeks, the nests are decimated, the queens are dead, and all of a sudden a whole lot of really dumb ants start showing up. People get worried that “it didn’t work” … but in almost every case, it is the exact opposite – the bloom is the indication that it DID work!

There are always many more times the number of ants in the nests than you’re seeing – when the nests die, all of a sudden there’s a flood of the little buggers that don’t know what to do without their queen and out they come. And they’re dazed and confused and do dumb things, too. In one case, they exited en mass and marched into our customer’s pool! – but usually they’re nowhere near that organized about it.

It can be a ~little~ distressing to see so many more all of a sudden. We get that, and  we will come back if need be, honest 🙂

But in most cases, if we can convince you to wait just a little bit longer, you’ll find that you no longer need us to come back, because it really is over and the problem is solved.

Ants are fascinating; I wish we didn’t need to kill so many of them – but since they do so much damage to homes & cottages if left unchecked, it must be so.

Pappy Days

Pappy DaysSo… Pappy’s still pretty busy most days – but he is finding a bit of time here and there to spend with the grandkids.

This week, we had them for Tuesday & Wednesday. I work Tuesday mornings, so Pappy & the boys got the Airhead tow thing blown up and ready for me to take them out on it in the afternoon while he was off killing things.

He had to work all day Wednesday too. I sure don’t envy him hanging out outside in this heat – even less so when he’s working in attics or crawlspaces. Or worst of all, on roofs.

I felt bad, honest – all day, while the kids and I hung around in the air conditioning watching Netflix and playing games and collecting PokĂ©mon.

Not ~quite~ sorry enough to stop booking him to keep going out to solve your pest problems though, of course!

Got ants? Or spiders? Or any other creepy crawlies you don’t like? Give me a call at 705-534-7863 or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I’ll send him your way.

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.

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