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.

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.

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.

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.

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 🙂

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.

Happy Canada Day

Where are you all!? It’s so quiet on the lake in front of our house… usually the Canada Day long weekend is much busier than this…. maybe people didn’t get Monday off so it’s not really a long weekend?

Today is the first day of bass season in this part of Georgian Bay… Ross relocated a skunk this morning, then went out and threw his line in. We’ve caught bunches of bass lately and had to let them go because the season wasn’t open yet – so wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had to wait for one today. But no – one cast, line hit the water and the first largemouth bass of the season was on the line.

I haven’t fished yet… went kayaking around the bottom of Hogg’s Bay instead… we’ll go out in the boat in a bit though. It’s nice to have a weekend (mostly) off for a change – at least so far…. Ross is pretty much booked up for the next week, but only had the skunk to deal with this weekend so far. Bonus!

But if you do discover pest problems while you’re up at the cottage this lovely Canada Day weekend, do give us a call at 705-534-7863… or better yet, email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com – that way it’ll go through to my phone even if you happen to catch us out on the boat.

And do have a great Canada Day long weekend.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter antsWell, we’ve pretty much finished up the first round of spider sprays – did we miss you? We’re sorry! Give us a call or drop us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will certainly get that done for you – but mostly what we’re dealing with right now are carpenter ants. They are all through cottage country these days – we’re getting calls from all over Simcoe, Tiny & Tay, Port Severn & Honey Harbour. Tiny still seems to be the most impacted though.

Carpenter ants are, of course, the big ants – and they can do an awful lot of damage, although fortunately they are much slower about it than termites. There are a number of ways to tell that you have them – seeing them, of course… but also you might find piles of a sawdust like material (sometimes coloured, if they’re tunneling through insulation). And if they are really bad, you might hear them as well, crunching in the walls. You do NOT want them crunching through your walls!

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to solve your carpenter ant problem by making sure that both the main and satellite nests are eradicated.

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.