New look for Cottage Country Pest Control

CCPC heron 2We’ve got a new logo!

Finally took it to someone that has a whole lot more artistic ability than I do – Darryl at Midland Copy Shoppe Print & Design Services – and our new banner is what we ended up with.

Plus he provided us with a solo heron that we can use for Ross’ avatar and so on, and another design that will work better on clothes and hats and so on. All for a very reasonable price; wish we’d done it at a lot sooner!

 

 

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders (Latrodectus mactans) is a highly venomous species of spider that is a native species to the United States. Canada and Mexico. The Northern Black Widow spider can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. They are rare to find, but they generally like to hang out around trash piles, sheds, under rocks, wood piles, etc. Anyplace that is dark and a little damp is a great place for them to hide.

Female black widow spiders are known for their distinctive black and red colouring and their sometimes habit of eating the males after they mate. The mature female black widow spider is usually around 1.5 inches long and about .25 inches in diameter. They are shiny black with a red mark in the shape of an hourglass on the ventral (under)side of their abdomen, which is very round. The sizing of the female black widows can vary especially in egg-carrying or gravid females. The abdomen diameter in a gravid female can be more than 0.5 inches.

Mature male black widow spiders are very different in appearance to the females. Males are much smaller than females with their bodies at less than 1/4 inch. Their colouring is usually black but often they take have a similar appearance to that of juvenile black widow spiders. Juveniles have a distinctly different appearance then the females (and some males) in that their abdomens are greyish to black in colour with white stripes running across them spotted with orange or yellow.

Black Widows will typically prey on a variety of insects, but they will also sometimes feed on woodlice, diplopods, chilopods and even other aracnids. When their prey gets entangled in their web, the black widow will wrap the prey securely with web and then bite and envenom the prey. The venom takes up to 10 minutes to work and then digestive enzymes will be injected into the wound of the prey. After that the black widow will carry their prey back to their retreat where they will feed.

Despite being known as highly venomous spider, there is not much to worry about. In an article here Antonia Guidotti, an entomology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, says while black widow sightings make headlines, Ontario is not exactly undergoing a scourge of the famed eight-legged arachnids.”The black widow is very rarely encountered. Most of us, even entomologists, haven’t seen a black widow in the wild in Ontario. Most of you are never going to see one. And the risk if you come across one is very small,” she assures.Guidotti says even if one should have the misfortune of encountering a black widow, the spiders present a much smaller danger that we’ve been led to believe.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada. In Canada they are known to live southeast Ontario and southern parts of Quebec. They are typically light to medium brown but can range in colour from cream to dark brown or blackish gray.

Brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse spiders are relatively small and are usually between 6-20 mm however they can grow larger. They have no obvious colouration patterns on their abdomens or legs and their legs also lack spines and their abdomens are covered in a fine short hair that gives the appearance of soft fur. Unlike many other species of spiders, brown recluse spiders only have six eyes instead of eight. Their eyes are arranged in pairs with one median pair and two lateral pairs.

Adult brown recluse spiders live for about 1-2 years and in their lifetime an adult brown recluse will produce several egg sacs over a period of 2-3 months from May to July with each sac holding about 50 eggs. The eggs will then hatch in about a month and the spiderlings will reach adulthood in about a year.

Brown recluse spiders are resilient spiders and they can tolerate up to 6 months of extreme drought and scarce food.

They will build irregular webs that frequently include a shelter the consists of disorderly threads and they will also usually build their webs in places such as woodpiles, sheds, garages, cellars and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed.

If you are seeing spiders of any sort – and more importantly webs – on your home, cottage, storefront, or signs, give Cottage Country Pest Control a call at (705)534-7863 or email us Ross will be happy to help.

Spiders & Spider Sprays

General Info

Spiders that are commonly found in Canadian homes include house spiders, wolf spiders, cellar spiders, fishing spiders and, much more infrequently, black widow spiders. These spiders are usually found in corners of rooms, closets, boxes, dark crevices, basements, garages, and gardens. There are only a few species in Canada are that considered to be health threats.

While spiders may creep some people out, they are actually beneficial to have around when it comes to controlling other insects and pests in garden and homes since they will feed on other insects and spiders.

One of the most common misconceptions about spiders is that they are classified as insects. This is not true—they are arachnids and are closely related to mites, ticks and scorpions.

Spiders have 2 body parts—the cephalothorax and the abdomen—8 legs and generally 6-8 eyes. The average life span of a spider is usually between 1-2 years however, some can live up to 5 years and in extreme cases up to 20 years.

Life Cycles and Habits

Spiders lay eggs in a silken egg sac that is often ball-shaped and is either hidden in a web, carried by the female or affixed to a surface. Each egg sac can house up to several hundred eggs (aka. Several hundred baby spiders). Spiders will shed their skin (aka molt) usually between 4 – 12 times before they reach maturity as they are growing.

All spiders produce silk, which is secreted as a liquid through the spinneret e and hardens with air contact. This silk is used for a variety of purposes such as making the egg sacs, capturing and holding prey, making shelters or retreats and for transferring sperm during mating.

Spiders are predators when it comes to insects and other spiders. They will typically feed on live prey by producing a venom that is poisonous to the prey. This venom is injected into the prey through their hollow fangs to immobilize the prey so they can begin the digestion process.

Because spiders can only ingest liquid, they will either inject or regurgitate digestive fluids into their prey and then they will suck in the digested liquid food.

Spiders also have a number of tactics for capturing their prey. Some species will use webbing to catch their prey, while active hunters will hunt down their prey.

How to Get Rid of Spiders (or at least evict them from your home)

So, you want to get rid of your spiders? Well the simplest method to controlling the population of spiders inside your home is to reduce the population of insects within your home, so the spiders will seek out a more dependable food source outside. Control of spiders is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves multiple tactics, such as preventive measures, exclusion, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites.

Cottage Country Pest Control can help with this. We can come in and use a pyrethrum-based spray to eliminate the spiders from your home (both inside and outside) and also on docks, boats, garages, sheds, etc to help the outside of your home or cottage look cleaner. We also have the option available to use other environmentally conscious methods as well if that is your preference. We recommend that you book your spider spray as soon as you start seeing an excessive amount of spiders in your home, but the best time is around May since that is usually when they start showing up more (it really depends on the conditions). We also recommend booking a spider spray for early spring so that spiders don’t have the chance to make their webs in the first place.

Contact us through email or 705-534-7863 to book your spider spray.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management is something that a lot of pest control companies use in their daily operations, however not everyone is aware of what it is, so I want to explain it a bit so you can get an understanding of it and how it can benefit you.

 

IPM is an effective and environmentally responsible approach to pest management that integrates pesticides and herbicides into the management system and incorporates a combination of common-sense practices. It uses current and comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment.

 

This information, in combination with pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible harm to people, property and the environment.

 

IPM is not a single pest control method, but as series of evaluations, decisions and controls.

 

As stated on Wikipedia, IPM focuses on the following:

 

1. Proper identification of pest – What is it? Cases of mistaken identity may result in ineffective actions. If plant damage due to over-watering are mistaken for fungal infection, spray costs can be incurred, and the plant is no better off.

 

 

2. Learn pest and host life cycle and biology. At the time you see a pest, it may be too late to do much about it except maybe spray with a pesticide[citation needed]. Often, there is another stage of the life cycle that is susceptible to preventative actions. For example, weeds reproducing from last year’s seed can be prevented with mulches. Also, learning what a pest needs to survive allows you to remove these.

 

3. Monitor or sample environment for pest population – How many are here? Preventative actions must be taken at the correct time if they are to be effective. For this reason, once the pest is correctly identified, monitoring must begin before it becomes a problem. For example, in school cafeterias where roaches may be expected to appear, sticky traps are set out before school starts. Traps are checked at regular intervals so populations can be monitored and controlled before they get out of hand. Some factors to consider and monitor include: Is the pest present/absent? What is the distribution – all over or only in certain spots? Is the pest population increasing, decreasing or remaining constant?

 

4. Establish action threshold (economic, health or aesthetic) – How many are too many? In some cases, a certain number of pests can be tolerated. Soybeans are quite tolerant of defoliation, so if there are a few caterpillars in the field and their population is not increasing dramatically, there is not necessarily any action necessary. Conversely, there is a point at which action must be taken to control cost. For the farmer, that point is the one at which the cost of damage by the pest is more than the cost of control. This is an economic threshold. Tolerance of pests varies also by whether or not they are a health hazard (low tolerance) or merely a cosmetic damage (high tolerance in a non-commercial situation).

 

Different sites may also have varying requirements based on specific areas. White clover may be perfectly acceptable on the sides of a tee box on a golf course, but unacceptable in the fairway where it could cause confusion in the field of play.

 

5. Choose an appropriate combination of management tactics For any pest situation, there will be several options to consider. Options include, mechanical or physical control, cultural controls, biological controls and chemical controls. Mechanical or physical controls include picking pests off plants, or using netting or other material to exclude pests such as birds from grapes or rodents from structures. Cultural controls include keeping an area free of conducive conditions by removing or storing waste properly, removing diseased areas of plants properly. Biological controls can be support either through conservation of natural predators or augmentation of natural predators.

 

It’s important to know that not all pest control companies that claim to follow IPM actually do. Cottage Country Pest Control is environmentally responsible, and we do follow IPM. Always.

 

We firmly believe that IPM is the way to go and that when done properly it can be the most effective approach to getting rid of pests in your home. If you have any questions or you want to book an appointment please call 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a rather large species of ant (they are generally about .25 to 1 inch) and are indigenous to many parts of the world. They are a particular problem in this area of Ontario – with Balm Beach being the clear leader in our service area.

 

They reside both indoors and outdoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood and will build two different types of nest. The first is the main nest; this is where the queen will go to lay eggs and in order for her to do so, it must be a moist, decaying wood source that must remain moist in order for the eggs and young larvae to survive. The main nest will almost always be located outside in places such as rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timbers.

 

The second type of nest is the satellite nest. Carpenter ants will make satellite nest where they care for older larvae and pupae that can tolerate drier conditions. These satellite nests are often located in wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation found in attics or crawl spaces and can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Generally, any nest found in a home will be a satellite nest.

 

Each year, carpenter ants become active in the spring (March-April) and remain so through early fall (September-October). A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive individuals in springtime. The reproductives have wings and, like winged termites, are commonly known as “swarmers.” The swarmers’ purpose is to mate and, in the chase of females, to fly to a new location, lay eggs and establish a new colony. In winter, most carpenter ant colonies become dormant, although indoor nests may show some continued activity.

 

Carpenter ants, while building their nests do not eat the wood but rather tunnel through it, which is why when investigating to see whether or not you have carpenter ants, it’s important to look for piles of a sawdust-like material called frass.

 

Controlling and eliminating carpenter ants can be done and the best prevention is to maintain dry conditions, so that they are unable to find moist and decaying wood to nest in. Remember, anyplace that wood comes in contact with soil, could potentially become infested with carpenter ants.

 

Reducing woodpiles around and in your home or cottage can help to prevent infestations and damage.

 

The key to controlling any infestation is to find where the queen is laying eggs (the main nest). This will require a thorough inspection and an effort to follow foraging ants back to their nest. It is recommended that if you see 10-12 ants (or more) in your home during the evening then it is worth investigating.

 

Thoroughly inspect (or hire a professional like Cottage Country Pest Control) all crawl spaces, attics, porches, etc for signs on nesting such as the mounds of loose shavings or the frass beneath a crack in the wall or eavespace.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us to ask a question or to book your appointment.

Spider sprays & rain

… because, of course, the skies just opened.

If you had your spray done today though, not to worry …. first of all, it only needs about half an hour between the spray and the rain for the rain to have minimal/no effect….  and all but the last one or two trailers he did this afternoon had more than that….

but he’ll be back again in the next day or two to finish up with others anyway, so will do some touching up just to be sure.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse SpiderThe Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is also known as the violin spider or a fiddleback because of the violin-shaped markings they often have on their thorax. They are known to live in United States of America, Mexico and Canada.

Check out our blog post about brown recluse spiders here.

If you have carpenter ants, spiders, or any other pests (well except for the ones you brought into the world yourself), give us a call at (705) 534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we will solve it.

Serving Victoria Harbour, Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Muskoka, Tiny, Tay and Simcoe County as well – and pretty much anyplace in and around these areas. Island and weekend calls, no problem.