Beekeeping

bees in hiveWell, I don’t know that I’m interested enough to spend money to set up hives – but did attend a beekeeping course this weekend. Mostly, I was hoping to get more information so that I’d be better able to help people that call about swarms of honey bees. We do get a fair number of calls about bees each year…. and have yet to find a beekeeper in the area that wants anything to do with them.

Fortunately, only some of them actually turn out to actually be bees – except in the case of swarms. Wasps of any variety, we have no qualms about treating, but with so much in the media about bees dying and how that will impact pollination and food production, we’d hate to harm any more than absolutely necessary.

Interestingly, one of the very first things I learned about bees is that they don’t actually belong here! Bees are imports; they don’t like Canadian weather. But they do so much good for food production that it’s worth it to continue to help them to survive here. And clearly, if’s very possible to do so, if one knows what one is doing (and is willing to invest the time & money to do things properly). And it can be a profitable enterprise as well.

I did not, however, learn a whole lot about dealing with swarms! Which wasn’t at all surprising, as it was an introductory course meant for potential beekeepers, not really for me. He did talk about when and how they happen though, and that, in combination with further research, has given me rather more to go on. Think I’d want to do a whole lot more learning before we would actually feel qualified to DO anything though.

And of course, there’s little/no point to collecting a swarm unless one has a place to relocate them to. Suppose we could purchase a hive and supplies and hope for a swarm call to come along – but that seems like a fairly big investment for something that may or may not happen.

Anyway, we shall see. For now, though, we shall continue on as we have been, which is to identify the pest, and figure out the best way to handle it. In most cases, a bee swarm really isn’t near as big a problem as people tend to think. They are in search of a new & suitable home, and as long as you’re not providing them with that, they will soon move along.

 

And we’re off…. and running, that is

I finished work Friday – well, aside from dealing with ~I don’t like my mark~ emails!

It’s like y’all knew that – today has been hopping with lots of little-critter issues – and even better (depending on one’s perspective), the rest of the week is starting to fill up as well. Works for me – got lots of Judge Judy episodes to catch up on! Joking – I have plenty of other things to keep me busy in between your phone calls and emails.

Got pests? As long as they’re not the ones you brought into the world, give us a call and I’ll be happy to send Ross over to fix them for you: 705-534-7863. Or you can email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or use the handy-dandy quote form up there…whatever works.

Apparently a full day’s work means ~someone~ is hungry enough to start cooking his own dinner …. guess I’d best get moving.

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.

Don’t let the Bed Bugs bite…

A common saying between parents and their children…but a not so funny situation if you have them.

Bedbugs are tiny little bugs with no wings that feed on the blood of humans and their pets at night.  These mini vampires can live as long as a year and half without feeding and are very difficult to get rid of because of this.  In addition their size and flat shape allow them to hide behind wallpaper and in tiny little places that are hard to reach.

Bedbug bites may take up to 14 days to appear and are normally found around the face,chest arms and legs – but can appear anywhere on the body.  Most people do not have severe reactions and an antihistamine and/or antibiotic creams usually do the job.  Should you have more than an itchy bite – please seek medical care.

If your are a DIY kind of person…because we always try to provide a DIY option – trying to get rid of these little bloodsuckers is a nightmare akin to cockroach control and after looking at the suggested process – you won’t be saving any money and the rate of failure is high.

DIY Steps to checking to see if you have a problem – Health Canada has an excellent step by step set of instructions  http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/product-safety-securite-produits/pest-control-products-produits-antiparasitaires/pesticides/tips-conseils/bedbugs-punaises-prevent-prevenir-eng.php

If you believe you may have a bedbug problem – please just give us a call  705-534-7863 or send us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com Ross is always happy to help solve your pest control problems.

 

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.

Still busy

Usually things slow down enough by this time of year that Ross would have the docks all in, and be back to doing his stained glass. This year, not so much. Still getting lots of mice calls, squirrels in attics, a few carpenter ant calls and – most distressingly – altogether too many bedbugs.

No one wants bedbugs! But they are definitely in the area. Midland, Penentanguishene, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst –  they seem to be spreading.

Unexplained bites are often the first sign of bedbug infestation – not everyone reacts the same way though, so it is quite possible that one person will have them and another won’t. Or no one will – but that doesn’t mean that everything is clear. You really should get in the habit of checking along seams and corners of your mattresses and other furniture every time you change the sheets. Dark or rust-coloured spots are often the most visible indicator and should be further investigated.

If you are concerned about bedbugs, do give us a call sooner rather than later. Remember that the longer you ignore the problem, the bigger (and more expensive) it is likely to get. And ….. ick!

Ross is always happy to help solve your pest control problems. Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and I will fit you in.

Powder Beetles

Powderpost-Beetle  Powder Beetles (otherwise known as “Powderpost Beetles”) are similar in appearance, at first glance, to a cockroach. They are not as dark, or shiny in appearance, but in size, they are a pretty good match. This beetle, in the woodboring family which consists of many differing varieties, is from the family (Latin) of Bostrichoidea. They are responsible for mainly attacking deciduous trees, and their larvae appear as small white, and ‘C-shaped’.

You can be sure you have an infestation if you find holes in your trees, with trails of powder, or dust, as this is the result of their burrowing. These beetles are: Reddish to brown in colour, have six legs, 1/8 to ¼ inch in size, they do have antennae, and are found throughout the U.S and Canada alike. They do have a liking for hardwoods, and can be found (in the midst of an attack) on hardwood floors as they are thin and lay eggs within cracks found, leaving a powdery substance to cover the larvae. It has been often claimed by official sources that these beetle are only second to termites in their possible destructiveness.

How to control, or get rid of these pests

 Although some deciduous trees are immune, most are not. The common treatments used consist of wood preservatives, and a pest control substance called “Boron”. The wood preservatives used for deciduous trees are fairly common, and have been in use for several years. They are not difficult to find. It is advised, in all cases of pest control, to consult with your local Pest Control company in order to have any treatment applied. Deciduous trees have been preserved when having limbs removed, and having a coating of various combinations of tar substances, to seal off the fresh cuts. This can be very effective at blocking that vulnerable area. These beetles must be found by vigilant inspection of hardwood inspections, especially in vacation properties which may not be inhabited full year. I am referring to cottages, or summer residences. The first measure of control is:

 

REDUCING MOISTURE & PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT:

Central heating, vapour barriers, and proper ventilation is an excellent start at prevention of infestations

Do not store valuable items in sheds, or barns, or improperly sheltered attacks, this is a common source for these beetles to accumulate

Items such as unfinished furniture (un-painted, non-varnished etc) may be treated with a substance known as Tim-bor or Boracare

Contact your nearest Professional Pest Control Center for consultation. This is always the very best option. These Beetles are clever, and the tools required to rid them of the destruction caused, the burrowing, and the destruction of your furniture, hardwood floors, and deciduous trees requires the eyes, and tools of the pros. They can be eradicated, fully, if one is diligent at identifying them, and then calling your pest Control specialists to eradicate the issue!

If you think you may have powder post beetles in your home or cottage, give us a call at 705.534.7863. Or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. We will be happy to help you solve your problems.