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

 

 

Finishing up his down-time project

2016-04-05 10.42.52What Ross gets up to during the off season…. little bit of cross country skiing, whole lot of stained glass.

Busier than usual this winter, so didn’t get as many stained glass pieces done.

Lots of mice, and even some carpenter ants this winter, every time it warmed up a bit.

Could be a very busy spring!!

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.

Invasion Of The Carpenter Ants ! Eeeep!

Carpenter Ants don’t do that, wise guy!

If you live in cottage country ( as in Simcoe County, Tay or Tiny Townships, or Muskoka), trees and forests are never too far away, and you are likely not a stranger to a myriad of types of pests.
This also means that you are very likely to encounter the the six legs, smooth/round upper thorax, 1 – 3 inch length, black (with varying hues of red or yellow) colour and “elbow-shaped” antennae of the carpenter ant!

Yes, these ants (which are said to be some of the largest in North America) are true to their name, and do love to chew through wood. But, there’s definitely a catch! They are not interested in actually consuming the wood for sustenance. Rather, they like to hollow out wooden structures, so they can establish their colonies in there. This is one reason you should NEVER leave woodpiles (after “carpentering” ..get it?) anywhere near your home or building structure.

Carpenter Ants

  Carpenter Ants

Since they don’t actually eat the wood, carpenter ants will feed on other insects like smaller ants, spiders, cockroaches, dead bees, fleas (yup, they’re predators), and food debris from humans. So, be sure to not leave crumbs lying around!

They rarely actually bite humans (unless they feel that their nest is being threatened and needs to be defended), but in the rare case that they do, they have powerful “jaws” which can tear through human flesh and spray it with formic acid, which gives off a burning sensation.

Carpenter ants do come in various shapes and sizes (some are bigger, smaller… some have little wings, even), but they shouldn’t be mistaken for termites, as carpenter ants not only have narrower waists with front wings that are longer than hind wings, but they are actually much slower when it comes to chewing through the wood.

Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

      Carpenter Ant VS. Termite

However, that is not a “better” thing, necessarily. Their slower pace actually means it usually takes a little longer for you to notice that you have them. But, you really SHOULD check for them, regularly, because the amount of damage they are actually capable of doing over time is horrendous and expensive. They will weaken any wooden structure, and – left along long enough, – that can often lead to very dangerous accidents and collapses, resulting in very costly repairs.

If you happen to spot a carpenter ant that is relatively large (regardless of whether it is winged or without wings), you most likely have a well-established colony there. Another tell-tale sign is observing curious-looking little piles of wood shavings. Don’t forget, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they just tunnel through it to make their nest, and so they discard the wood-shavings which usually end up at the entrance to the hole with the tunnel containing their nest! Incidentally, those wood-shavings (called “frass”) also contain their excrement (hey, at least give them some credit for good housekeeping)!

Get To Know Them!

As if that’s not bad enough, once they’ve managed to actually tunnel through into your house or cottage, you can actually hear them in there, if there’s enough of them! Add to that the fact they attract woodpeckers … and yeah, that’s yet another headache you probably would rather not have to deal with.

Besides not leaving food crumbs of any kind lying around indoors, some good precautionary measures would be to prune or trim overhanging trees so that they are not touching your house/cottage.
Also make sure your gutters and always clean.
Since carpenter ants use pheromones to track their own whereabouts away from their nest, these pests have no problem entering people’s homes through cracks and looking for food – usually proteins and carbohydrates, like meat, sugar, honey …etc.
The best thing to do  is to call for professional help.

The best thing to do as soon as you’ve spotted any of the aforementioned signs would be to immediately call for professional help, because the longer you put it off, the greater the damage those carpenter ants will do to the structure/house/cottage

So, give us a call, and have Ross come by. Or, just call to get a quote!

For immediate help, call Cottage Country Pest Control at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can Get a Quote.

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

Carpenter Ants With Their Queen!

 

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.

Spring!!

ruth and the boys skiingIt’s a happy time of year for pest control …winter is pretty darn boring, although we took up cross country skiing this year, so it was a bit less so this time round. But once the weather starts to warm up and the critters start to get moving and make more critters, we start getting much busier.

Right now, it’s mostly small pests that people are dealing with – lots of calls about squirrels (& chipmunks) getting into places they don’t belong. If you have such a problem, you should definitely get on top of it asap – once there are babies things become a lot more complicated and expensive. Ross can help you get – and more importantly – keep them out.

Next up will be skunks and raccoons – it’s a good idea to have a look around your property and make sure that you haven’t inadvertently provided them with a welcoming atmosphere. Raccoons will, when given the opportunity, take up residence in odd places, especially in the spring when they’re looking for safe places to have their families.

And then, of course, after the snow melts, we’ll be back into doing exterior sprays and carpenter ants and all that fun stuff. I’m looking forward to it – it means that I get the house to myself and can watch my stupid judge shows (as he calls them) a lot more.

Have a happy and pest-free spring – but if you do find yourself dealing with any pest problems, do give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help solve them 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.

Closing the cottage

As you are thinking about closing up your cottage for the season, don’t forget to make sure you seal things thoroughly. Mice can fit through surprisingly tiny openings.

You can also reduce the likelihood of unwelcome guests by making sure that there are no sources of food or water for them.

If you’ve had problems with mice, you might also consider leaving bait stations for any that do manage to get in.

It’s also a good idea to make sure outbuildings and boats, if any, are secured against raccoons, and that you’ve dealt with any damp wood or leaks.

 

 

 

 

 

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.