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.

Mites

Predatory Mite!

Predatory Mite!

Well, it is officially summer! With that comes sunshine, kayaking, fishing, fun … and pests, pests, pests!

If you happen to be a pet-owner, (anything from birds to rats to cats and  dogs), a potential problem you should watch for is … infestation by  mites!

Mites are arachnids (they have FOUR pairs of legs and two main body segments).  Even though they are not always immediately harmful to animals, some of them  (depending on species) also happen to be parasites, requiring a host to feed off  of.

Mites actually vary in appearance, size and appearance based on their particular
species, which also determines which animal/species they prefer as a host.
This is why there exist cat-mites, dog-mites, bird-mites, bat-mites, rat-mites …
you name it; if it is a pet, chances are there is a mite that goes with it.

Their actual life-cycle starts off in egg-form, and they develop through larval
and pupal phases, until they reach full maturity.

Mites are extremely tiny and almost impossible to spot without some kind of
magnification. Sometimes, though, if they scurry across a surface that is plain
and light enough, due to their reddish colour they CAN be spotted.

Mites like to stick with their (animal) “hosts”, and feed off them, but in the
absence of their preferred host, they will bite people.

Interestingly enough, mites tend to live in their animal host’s nest, and come out
periodically specifically to feed, and then go back into hiding in the nest.

Others actually prefer living literally just underneath the skin of their host
animal. It really varies, according to species, host …etc.

Usually, the tell-tale sign of mites is extremely itchy and red papules that form
close together on your skin as a rash. Mites tend to bite in areas where your
clothing would rub on your skin.

The best way to prevent/control mites is to ensure that you deal with infestations by pest that can carry them promptly. If you have issues with birds, mice, or other pests, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and have Ross come check it out.

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.

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.

Shrews

2015-01-30 14.59.50Shrews look like rodents but are actually not – and fortunately, since they can be vicious little pests and have been known to attack household pets, they don’t usually find their way into homes, at least not here in cottage country.

Never say never though – Ross was out dealing with his first ever shrew call today, right here in Victoria Harbour. And he brought home the evidence for me, wasn’t that nice of him?

If you have any sort of pest problems, give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to solve it for you.

Dear Spiders,

As a mature, well-educated, scientifically-minded and compassionate adults, I know that spiders are beneficial critters, beautiful, talented, dainty and deadly, largely to bugs which, lets face it, don’t appeal much to me. As exoskeletal creatures go, spiders rank at the top for me.

 

Logically.

 

Unfortunately, my response when unexpectedly faced with a spider is generally not driven by logic. So, in my best interest and yours (because, though talented and venomous, I have a weight advantage and am not afraid to use it), there are certain ground rules which, if you follow, will certain serve your life expectancy well.

 

As a good host, there are places in my house that are well suited for spider occupation, both because of low traffic, but also because one is less likely to scare the crap out of me and get reflexively killed. However, I must warn you that spiders that I recognize as deadly venomous will not get a chance to plead the fifth – and I know what you look like, so you’d best find a more congenial host.

 

For instance, my garage is fair game for any non-lethal spiders since I try not to go in there anywhere but the freezer and, if something else must be fetched, try to find someone else to do it. Also, the tops of my windows, which you’ll be pleased to know are never cleaned, are fair game as they are out of reach of most of my cats and my children and are generally covered by window treatments. As my house is frequently dark (and is not high on bugs) that might be a good hunting place anyway. If you are so adventurous as to take out a wasp (a creature I loathe inside my house), and I see evidence of such in your web, I will actively work to preserve your life. My son’s closet is another spot as he can’t open the door (because a very heavy bunkbed blocks it and the far corners of the high ceilings in my room are also fine as long as you have the good sense not to drop on me or my children. You can also amuse yourself in my cupboard with wine glasses since I bought them with my ex-husband in mind and never use them.

 

Places I would avoid involve the pantry, since it’s ill lit and I’m likely to freak out, on or around where my children sleep (which isn’t safe for you anyway), anywhere you’re likely to land on me or stationed in my bath or shower in such a way you land on me. The tiny spider that’s taken up residence in the corner of the shelf is welcome to stay (though the bath you took earlier may change your mind) as long as you don’t (a) grow to monstrous size, (b) turn out to be a baby recluse (since you’re definitely not a black widow), (c) move somewhere where you might be tempted to drop on me or (d) hatch a million microscopic spiders and take over the shower stall.

 

I’m hopeful, with this understanding, we can all learn to live in harmony.

 

Sincerely,

 

Stephanie Barr

Lauralee Proudfoot, I wonder if Ross would enjoy this.

Of course he would, and so did I; thanks for allowing us to share it here.

If you have pest issues of any sort, including, of course, spiders, please do email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or call us at 705-534-7863 and we’ll be happy to help you solve them.

Carpenter Ants on the rise

Carpenter antsAn article on the CBC site today talks about increasing numbers of carpenter ant infestations in Windsor, ON and Halifax, NS … no mention of here in cottage country Ontario but could have told them that we are definitely seeing a lot more calls for them here as well.

Used to be mostly Balm Beach that had them, with a few up Honey Harbour way as well… then last year, started to see them all over Tiny Township; here in Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll; up in the Parry Sound and Huntsville area…. and this year they seem to be everywhere we cover.

Not that we’re complaining, of course. Ross is happy to go to wherever the ants are and evict them for you.

You might be interested to know that there can be major differences in how pest control companies treat carpenter ants. Spraying kills only visible ants (generally about 10% of the population) and while it will provide some temporary relief from the aggravation of seeing ants wandering around, it allows the queen(s) to continue churning out new ants, and the ants that you are not seeing to continue to damage the structure of your home or cottage. You should be looking for a pest control company that is actually going to solve the problem, not just mask it – and that typically involves bait. Do be sure that when you are comparing quotes on carpenter ant treatment, you are actually comparing the cost of fixing the problem, not signing on for years of masking it.

If you think you might have carpenter ants (big ants, sometimes with wings; piles of sawdust-like material, which can be coloured if they’re tunneling through insulation; and or noises in your walls or ceilings) give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will fit you in.

Bug bites: Part 2

Today’s post is the second part to the one yesterday about bug bites. Like yesterday, this post will show you some pictures of different bug bites….while they can give you an idea of what bit you, it’s important to know that some people react differently to different bites and if you aren’t sure about the bite(s) or if you start having any unusual reactions GO SEE A DOCTOR!

Bee sting

Wasp sting

Tick bite

Horse fly bite

Please remember these are not meant to diagnose anything. They are just examples of the bites and reactions commonly found with these types of pests. Also, if you have any of these pests in and around your home, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bug Bites: Part 1

This post will show you some pictures of different bug bites….while they ca n give you an idea of what bit you, it’s important to know that some people react differently to different bites and if you aren’t sure about the bite(s) or if you start having any unusual reactions GO SEE A DOCTOR!

Mosquito bite

Mosquito bites

Bed bug bites

Bed bug bites

Flea bites

Flea bites

Flea bites (dog) this is an example of excessive flea bites

Spider bite (unknown species of spider)

Spider bite (unknown species of spider)

Please remember these are not meant to diagnose anything. They are just examples of the bites and reactions commonly found with these types of pests. Also, if you have any of these pests in and around your home, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Fleas

If you have a cat or a dog (or some combination) then you probably have dealt with fleas at some point or another.  The most common type of flea found in North America is the Cat flea (ctenocephalides felis) and despite its name can be found on dogs and humans. Another type of flea that is sometime found in North America is the Dog flea (ctenocephalides canis), though this one is more commonly found in Europe.

 Adult fleas are approximately 1/8-inch long and are dark in colour, ranging from brown to reddish-brown. Adult fleas are wingless but can jump large distances because of their 6 legs. They have thin and flat bodies and are covered in hair that helps root them into their hosts.

Life Cycle

 Fleas have 4 stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupae and adult as you can see in the life cycle diagram on the right.

 In order for an adult to lay eggs, she must have a good bloood meal before she can lay up to 40-50 eggs a day. A female will lay her eggs in a host’s fur, however the eggs will roll out in order to develop in carpets and baseboards. Once the eggs hatch, the larva will crawl into cracks and crevices looking for food. Larva are completely blind, however they are considered negatively phototaxic, which means they can sense light. Larva will primarily feed on dried blood in adult flea feces, but they will also eat shed skin, fur and feathers. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

 The next stage in the flea life cycle is pupae. After the flea reaches this stage, they can remain dormant for several months until the conditions are right for the adult flea to emerge. For them, the ideal conditions include pressure, vibrations, presence of carbon dioxide, correct temperature and humidity. When these are right, it means there’s a suitable host that the adult fleas can use as a food source.

 Adult fleas need an ideal food source, because they can’t survive for more than a few hours otherwise.

 Signs of A Flea Infestation

 Identifying whether or not you have a flea infestation is a relatively easy task. The difficult part comes when trying to get rid of the infestation. If your pet is excessively scratching, it would be a good idea to check his or her fur for signs of fleas. Some signs to look for (aside from the obvious excessive scratching) is reddened skin, flea dirt (which is not actually dirt, but dried blood) and another obvious sign: fleas!

 *Little tip: Found something in your pet’s fur that you think might be flea dirt? Put it on a piece of tissue or toilet paper and put a little bit of water on it. If it appears reddish, it’s flea dirt.*

 If you discover fleas on your pet(s), then you should contact your vet about treatment for the animals. That’s the easy part.

 How to Treat Fleas in Your Home

 Just confirming that your pet has fleas will unfortunately not confirm just how bad the infestation is, since adult fleas found on pets only comprise about 5% of the total flea population.  Treating a flea infestation take patience and time. By applying a spot treatment to your pet(s)’ fur, you will be able to fight the fleas found on your animal(s). However, to treat the fleas located in your home, you have 2 options: find a home remedy (which are NOT always effective or hire a professional, such as Cottage Country Pest Control to help rid your home of fleas.

 How to Treat Fleas on Humans (and no I’m not kidding!)

 Fleas can and will settle into a person’s hair (they can do this in less than 10 minutes). Fleas on a human head can cause soreness and itchiness. In order to treat the side effects, there are a few options such as anti-itch creams, antihistamines, hyrdocortison or calamine lotion.

 Because a flea has multiple stages in their life cycle, it can be difficult to wipe out an infestation with a short-term treatment. Treatments that only kill the adult fleas, will not work because as already noted, adults only make up a small portion of the population and larva can stay dormant for months.

 For a treatment to be successful, it needs to kill the fleas at all stages of their life cycle and be on-going for at least a few months to ensure that larva that have been dormant, will be killed when they emerge as adult fleas.

 Cottage Country Pest Control can help rid your home of fleas at all stages of their life cycle, using one or more of our treatments for fleas. For more information, pricing or to book your appointment contact us today.