Carpenter ants!

Carpenter antsMy goodness, have we ever become inundated with carpenter ants. We are getting SO many calls from throughout Tay and Tiny Townships. They started early this year, and so many of them, we’ve been having a hard time keeping enough product in stock to treat them.

Could be worse though – from what I’ve been reading, some areas are starting to see increasing numbers of termites. We have never had a single call for those – and would rather like to keep it that way!  While both carpenter ants and termites can do a great deal of damage to a home or cottage, termites tend to do it faster – we can do without that!

Just because they’re slower, doesn’t mean you should ignore carpenter ants though! In addition to the structural damage they can do, and the very annoying noise they can make if you leave them untreated long enough, you just might find your cottage poked full of holes. Woodpeckers just love carpenter ants – and they can and will do a lot of

Woodpeckers are ~cute~ …sometimes!

damage very quickly once they discover them.

And of course, just like most everything else, it’s usually easier – and cheaper – to solve problems when they’re small. Do you suspect you have carpenter ants? Ross will be happy to help you with those – before the woodpeckers show up 🙂

Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can click on the quote form up there and get a guesstimate that way, too.

Have a great day!

Lauralee

 

It’s about that crunch the morning after….

Image

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.

 

HELP! Banquet Happening In My Garage … & I’m Not Invited! Raccoon!

They're only adorable in cartoons!!

They’re only adorable in cartoons!!

Don’t you wish raccoons were the adorable cute and cuddly creatures you see in cartoons like in Disney’s “Pocahontas”? But yeah, nope. There’s a reason they are classified as pests. And this is true even if you live in Victoria Harbour, where nature is abundant.

When you actually get close up to them (not that you ever should), they can actually be quite vicious and bold, surprisingly. Never mind the diseases that they carry.

One of the first signs that you need help because you have a raccoon problem is that you might notice that there is damage to the actual structure of your house (like around the attic). This is caused by the raccoon trying to dig its way into your house. Seriously!

Basically, their main goal is to get to your trash cans, and feast on what you consider to be garbage… anything from leftover food, to eggs, old pet-food…you name it.

And when you walk into your garage the next morning, and find things overturned with garbage strewn everywhere… chances are there was a secret raccoon party the night before (rather than a garbage-specific burglar).      alg-resize-raccoon-jpg

One of the things you can do to make the situation a little better is use garbage cans made of hard plastic and/or metal. You should make sure they have tight-fitting lids, straps or clamps to keep them shut. You should also tie them to a support or in some kind of a rack structure, so that they can’t be tipped over.

Raccoons also tend to like chimneys, which of course ALSO means they can fall right through them and …dum dum DUM… into your house. NOT a likely pleasant experience.

Instead of having to go out and buy all sorts of expensive contraptions to keep them from getting into your chimneys, or having to consider trying to kill them (which really can’t be pleasant, especially if you have kids or grandchildren who could be around), or coming into direct contact with them (they CAN be pretty snarly and vicious), your best bet is to get help from Cottage Country Pest-Control. Just give us a call, and have Ross come around, or call to get a quote!

Cottage Country Pest Control uses humane methods (trapping and relocating), and does all the dirty work for you, so that you can throw your garbage out at night, then go to bed without wondering if there is a banquet happening in your garage!

So, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

– Ammario R.

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.

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.

German Roaches

Cockroaches have been around for an estimated 4 million years and  there are well over 3,500 species of roaches worldwide, but the most common cockroach in Canada is the German Cockroach (Blattella germanica).

Appearance

The German roach is about 1.3 to 1.6 cm long and has a flattened oval body with long spiny legs. They are tan or light brown colour with 2 dark parallel streaks that run from their heads and down to the base of their wings. Despite having wings, German roaches are unable to sustain flight.

Habitat

German roaches can be found in any part of your home, but they usually prefer a damp environment such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements,etc. Anyplace they can find food, which for them is not hard, and warmth they will be happy to settle in there. These roaches will eat just about anything–from food stuff, paper, cloth, glue from book bindings, etc, so they really can be comfortably anywhere.

 

It’s very common for people to not realize they have cockroaches until the infestation is very bad because German roaches are really only active during the night, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not you have an infestation without doing some detective work.

 

Life Cycle

A female German cockroach will carry an egg capsule containing approximately 40 eggs, which she will then drop just before they hatch. A female can produce up to 8 egg cases a year.

The development of German roaches from egg to adult will take 3-4 months and they will live up to about a year.

The egg case that is carried by females is a tiny, brown purse-shaped capsule that can be seen protruding from the posterior end of the female and is about 8 mm long, 3 mm high and 2 mm wide.

 

The second (and third) stage in their life cycle is Nymph. This stage begins with the eggs hatching and at this stage (in the beginning) they are dark brown or black in colour with the distinct parallel bands running down their bodies. At this stage, German roaches do not have wings yet. It is also at this stage, that German roaches will molt. They will do this a number of times (the most commonly reported number is 6, but it can vary) and it is at this stage they are called an instar.

 

The last stage in their life cycle is as adults, which as we already stated means they are about 1.3 to 1.6 cm long and has a flattened oval body with long spiny legs. They are tan or light brown colour with 2 dark parallel streaks that run from their heads and down to the base of their wings.

 

Did you know that an infestation is generally comprised of 80% nymphs and 20% adults?

 

German cockroaches are also considered to be a public health concern because they have been known to carry Salmonella bacteria,which it has been shown can remain in their feces for several years. German roaches (and many other species of roaches) have been known to also cause allergies in people that can result in skin rashes, asthma and other reactions. Allergies are primarily caused by their feces, saliva and eggs.

 

German roaches can also carry bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and other bacterial pathogens that can make you or your family sick through contaminated food. This is because, once those bacteria and pathogens are in the cockroach they can remain in their digestive system for a month or more. Once that happens, if their feces is anywhere near say your food or utensils, it can get into your system and make you sick.

 

Prevention

 

Little can be done to prevent an infestation from occuring, however by practicing good sanitation and by eliminating accessible food sources for them you can help minimize the risk or extent of an infestation. It’s important to know that roaches and their eggs can enter your home through furniture, food items, empty beer and pop bottles/cans, shipping cartons, boxes, etc. Once they are in your home they can travel quite easily and they have easy access to a food source they will breed and cause an infestation that can reach numbers in the thousands.

 

So what can Cottage Country Pest Control do? Well, by practicing IPM (which if you are not familiar with, you can read about here) we can approach the infestation and find the best way to solve the problem using environmentally responsible and people-friendly ways.

 

Contact Cottage Country Pest Control through email or call us at 705-534-7863 to book and appointment or to find out more information.