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.

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.

Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me!

cluster flyIt’s that time of year and flies are coming out of the woodwork…literally.  In cottage country the most common fly we see is the Cluster Fly

Cluster Flies are about 8 to 10 mm (.31 to .39 inches) long. They are dark grey, with black and silver (non-metallic) checkered stomachs. You can tell them apart from house flies in a couple of different ways:

  • their wings overlap when they are at rest.
  • they are larger, darker and slower-moving
  • tend to “cluster” in groups
  • give off a sickly-sweet odour when disturbed.

They are most commonly found in houses that are surrounded by large lawns or open parks.  Cluster flies hibernate in wall voids, attics, closets, and empty rooms. They tend to leave stains on walls and curtains and if they die in areas that can not be accessed – can attract other pests like larder beetles which will feed on the dead flies and then work their way through the rest of your home.

If you have a problem – it will present itself in the most obvious way as the days become warmer and the flies become more active.  You will see them gathering in windows or around well lit areas.

Prevention and control can be an arduous task as these little pests can access your house through the tiniest places.  Give Ross a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com  – and he’ll be happy to give you a hand.

It’s about that crunch the morning after….

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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.

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.

Pharaoh Ants…have migrated to Canada

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Pharoh ants

Pharoh ant

These small yellowish golden brown coloured tiny creatures are now making themselves at home in our homes,office buildings,restaurants, homes and hospitals.  Thankfully they don’t bite but they do spread diseases such as salmonella, staphylococcus, and clostridium, which may cause botulism …..nasty nasty stuff.

Typically all ant colonies are difficult to control…but these guys don’t recognize the difference between one colony and another.  Pharaoh ants are known for creating their nests in exceptionally difficult places for even pest control specialist to access.  They will travel along wires and pipes inside the walls, building multiple nests between the studs and in the insulation, causing some structural damage and have been known to forage as far as 115ft beyond their nest for food.

If you see one – you have a problem.   Trying to control the problem yourself by spraying or baiting tends to make it worse because of the way they nest – it’s like they have their own system of building their plan B – when you start working your plan A.

Things you can do to help control the problem are

  • clean up right after food preparation
  • Make sure your garbage cans have tight lids
  • Rotate your foodstuffs – first -in, first out
  • Sweep floors and counters to ensure all crumbs are removed.

Things you can do to eliminate the problem – a problem that gets worse and harder to control the longer you wait – call in pest control.

For Pharaoh ants, spider sprays or any other pest problems, give us a call at , or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to help

 

 

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.

Spring ahead

2012-03-17 07.56.32Did you remember to change your clocks forward? And the batteries in your smoke detector?

The lake in font of our place still looks more ice than water, but it’s definitely on it’s way toward thawing. Won’t be long and it’ll be time to get the docks out! We try to do that early, because once the spiders and carpenter ants come back, Ross has several weeks of way too busy to get much of anything else but pest control done.

If the docks are in before then, he can head out for a bit of fishing in the evenings when he gets home, at least. And of course, I’m looking forward to an extended season for kayaking.

It will be interesting to see how the mild winter impacts the pests. We’ve already seen a huge increase in squirrel calls this year – and it was the first year since we’ve been doing pest control where we’ve had calls for carpenter ants right through the winter!  It seems they managed more activity given the mild temperatures – which may mean more & more active colonies this spring. We shall see.

But not to worry – we are here to help!  Just give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. There’s also a quote form you can use – which reminds me, I need to tweak that some.

We cover a fairly wide are that includes Severn, Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, & most of Muskoka and we are happy to offer environmentally responsible pest control at your convenience.

Winter weather fun

Well, it sure isn’t great weather for cross country skiing or anything! But the pests and critters seem to like it just fine. We are getting a lot more calls than we normally do here in cottage country Ontario in the winter. And not just for mice & bedbugs either!

There are a lot more small rodents around thanks to an extended feast the little rotters enjoyed this year. We’re getting calls for mice, squirrels, raccoons, and so on. Have had several calls re: flying squirrels lately, too. Cute little guys – but annoying as all heck when they take up residence in your attic.

It’s not just the rodents keeping us busy though. We’ve had quite a few re: carpenter ants and even spiders already. Don’t think we’ve ever had a carpenter ant call in January before.

If you have any sort of pest problem, feel free to give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help you with it.

Season’s Greetings

christmas mouseWishing you all the best of this holiday season.

And yes, in case you were wondering, we are still around and happy to solve your pest problems for you.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I will be happy to send Ross out to deal with your mice, squirrels, bedbugs, whatever….