Answering the phone at Cottage Country Pest Control

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Just so’s you know, Cottage Country Pest Control is basically just Ross & I…. run from our home in Victoria Harbour. We do a pretty good job of making sure our phone gets answered when we can BUT I do teach in Barrie on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so if you’re looking for a quicker response then, email is often the way to go.

And THIS weekend, May 13 – 15, I need to go help my kids move to their new place in Oshawa, so …. yeah…. email is, again, the most likely to get the quickest response.

Of course, you can always leave a message on the phone and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Lauralee
705-534-7863

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.

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.

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.

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.

Raccoons vs fishing

ross bass2Well, we thought we might get out in the boat to go fishing today – and we might yet … but first, Ross is running around dealing with raccoons in places they don’t belong. Lots of raccoons, chipmunks and squirrels this season. And bats seem to be starting to make a comeback too… which is a very good thing, actually.

In any case, no fishing for now – he’s got raccoons in Port McNicoll, Brechin, and Gravenhurst – so suppose I might as well head out for a kayak and we’ll try again later… or tomorrow… or whenever 🙂

Joys of living & working in cottage country – such a short season that we have to do the work when it presents itself and fit our own cottage adventures in wherever we can.

But we don’t mind…we know that we are truly blessed to be here all the time…so we’re happy to help you enjoy your visits by solving your pest problems quickly with a minimum of fuss while you’re here.

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to help you with your pests.

 

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.

Mites

Predatory Mite!

Predatory Mite!

Well, it is officially summer! With that comes sunshine, kayaking, fishing, fun … and pests, pests, pests!

If you happen to be a pet-owner, (anything from birds to rats to cats and  dogs), a potential problem you should watch for is … infestation by  mites!

Mites are arachnids (they have FOUR pairs of legs and two main body segments).  Even though they are not always immediately harmful to animals, some of them  (depending on species) also happen to be parasites, requiring a host to feed off  of.

Mites actually vary in appearance, size and appearance based on their particular
species, which also determines which animal/species they prefer as a host.
This is why there exist cat-mites, dog-mites, bird-mites, bat-mites, rat-mites …
you name it; if it is a pet, chances are there is a mite that goes with it.

Their actual life-cycle starts off in egg-form, and they develop through larval
and pupal phases, until they reach full maturity.

Mites are extremely tiny and almost impossible to spot without some kind of
magnification. Sometimes, though, if they scurry across a surface that is plain
and light enough, due to their reddish colour they CAN be spotted.

Mites like to stick with their (animal) “hosts”, and feed off them, but in the
absence of their preferred host, they will bite people.

Interestingly enough, mites tend to live in their animal host’s nest, and come out
periodically specifically to feed, and then go back into hiding in the nest.

Others actually prefer living literally just underneath the skin of their host
animal. It really varies, according to species, host …etc.

Usually, the tell-tale sign of mites is extremely itchy and red papules that form
close together on your skin as a rash. Mites tend to bite in areas where your
clothing would rub on your skin.

The best way to prevent/control mites is to ensure that you deal with infestations by pest that can carry them promptly. If you have issues with birds, mice, or other pests, give us a call at 705.534.7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and have Ross come check it out.

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.