Summertime, summertime…

…and things are starting to slow down just a little bit. I just looked at my course calendar and discovered that next week is Study Week already!!! Time flies when you’re getting old!

Things are starting to slow down a bit for pest control now – mostly because people are waiting to see what happens with the dratted gypsy moth caterpillars, I think. If they’re almost done being caterpillars, might not be worth spending the money to kill the rotten things, right?

Which it could be, if it’s only the caterpillars you’re trying to eliminate (or at least reduce the numbers). Me, I’m leaning towards it still being worth doing because every dead caterpillar is one less to participate in the next part of their life cycle. And because the residual that is left behind after we spray is effective against the moths as well, so that means, presumably, they will go someplace else to lay their eggs, which means that there will be less to start with next spring. In theory!

SO – we can treat for gypsy moth caterpillars. For most places in our coverage area, that will cost about $225 (plus HST) – if you have a lot of trees in the immediate vicinity that you need done, it may cost more. If you are considering it, here are some things you should know:

The product we use is one that can also be used for spider sprays – we tend not to do that because it can leave more of a film on windows than our regularly preferred option, which dries clear. Of course, we generally try not to hit windows any more than necessary, but it happens. This one, however, includes gypsy moths and their caterpillars on the label, so it is a better option right now.

According to the label, the product provides residual protection for up to 90 days BUT the bigger they are the longer it takes. SO even after spraying, you will likely still see caterpillars, just not as many.

We do not have a helicopter! Or a magic wand, either. We spray as high as we can safely spray given our equipment and the situation. There are a number of things that impact how broadly and how high we can treat, including weather conditions, proximity to water, and how reasonable – or not – your neighbours are. We’ll do our best to solve your pest control problem(s) but not at risk of harm to the fish/water or to people (no matter how miserable) or pets.

If you’ve got tree-eating caterpillars, carpenter ants, bedbugs, spiders, mice or rats, give us a call at 705-534-7863. Or better yet, email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and I’ll get back to you even faster.

Weather watch

So much unpredictability this season!

windThe weather is not cooperating! Or perhaps more accurately, the weatherman is not cooperating. IT would be ever so much easier to plan the guys’ days if we could believe whatever the weather people posted.

Supposed to rain but it doesn’t; not supposed to, but it does. And always, always, it seems, wind, wind, and more wind. Which is a pain. Actually, both wind and rain are a pain.

Wind, because it makes it too hard to control the direction and placement of the spray. Exterminators are responsible for controlling their product, and if it’s too windy to do that well, it’s too windy for spraying. There are minor variations, though; if you are on/near water, the amount of wind that can be tolerated becomes far less.

Rain is a pain also – but not for the reason you might think. Rain is a pain because it causes people to worry that the spray will be all “washed off” if it should happen to rain after it’s applied. Fortunately, rain doesn’t actually cause the micro-encapsulated product to break down. Once it’s on, it’s pretty much going to stay there until the light breaks it down.

We don’t typically spray DURING a rain, but that’s because most people won’t ~BELIEVE~ if we do and they’ll whine until they get a second spray.

Fun fact: Exterminators have to be able to do all kinds of nifty math to figure out how much product to add to how much water to get the most environmentally safe mix to give you the result you want. They even have to be able to calculate how much water or product they have to add to an existing amount in the sprayer to change it to make it a different application mix and all that fun stuff.

There is NO benefit to us to spray your place if we know the product is not going to work; why would we even do that?! Really, we don’t want to have to come back to do the job again. That would waste your time, energy & resources – & ours as well!

That is most assuredly not what we are about!

Time Flies

Yikes! Has it really been that long since I updated this blog? My bad!!

Wonder if we’d have been even more busy this fall if I had – but since we had a far busier than normal fall anyway, not going to worry about it too much. Things are slow now, which is generally a good thing … the only time we ever have a busy January – February is when there are lots of bed bug infestations, and nobody wants those!

Bedbugs, mice & fleas are really about all we have going right now – and not many of those, so Ross is getting time to work on his stained glass. He did his first snowshoe this week; turned out well. And found a new home already which is always a good thing – we’re kind of running out of windows!

We’re still around if you encounter any pest control problems – give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help.

And, of course, Happy New Year to you and yours.

 

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.

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.

31-July

Looking for pest control help today?

Please consider emailing us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or using the quote form rather than calling; I’ve got class this morning, then heading to Brampton for lunch with my mom, and Ross will be out solving people’s pest problems all day…so no one around to handle the phones.

I will respond as quickly as possible to emails though (just not while I’m actually driving!)

Thanks
Lauralee

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.

Kids, Kritters & Pest Control

Lauralee is beyond cranky!Seriously irked right now.

It’s one thing to let us know you have kids and/or kritters …. we appreciate that, as sometimes, albeit rarely, it does affect the options Ross might choose to use. And we definitely want to know if anyone is or might be expecting, or seriously ill, also. When that is the case, he will often take and/or suggest extra precautions just to be on the even safer side.

But that’s really all you need to do, okay?

A big part of the reason for calling an exterminator in the first place is so that you get the benefit of someone that knows what he’s doing to help you. He did the training, passed the test, got his license …. and he keeps up to date with what is going on in the industry.

More importantly, he actually believes that the environment is important, and that one should do things right. He’s been ‘green’ since long before it was popular; long before most of us ever gave it a moment’s thought. And he actually believes in Integrated Pest Management even when that means less money coming in – and sometimes it does.

We don’t oversell. We don’t string people along and sign them up for more sprays/treatments than they need. We don’t mask problems, we solve them. And we don’t do anything that will harm you, your kids & kritters, or the environment. Not ever.

The Integrated Pest Management approach means that we determine the requirements of your pest problem(s), and the least potentially damaging methods to treat it. The products we use are as safe as they can possibly be, and every effort is made to ensure that anyone/anything that is not supposed to have access to them from getting anywhere near them.

And we won’t use anything at your home, cottage, or business that we won’t use on our own – and yes, we do have pets, as a matter of fact…and grandchildren as well.

We’ve had insurance since day one and not a single claim. Seriously, how long would we be in business if he ran around doing things that would harm anyone? Not very!

Please do let us know whatever we need to know, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

But please, please, please… if you really feel the need to go on and on about how important it is that I make SURE ….   and if you just can’t refrain from using that talking-to-a-moron voice… call someone else.

If, on the other hand, you want reliable, environmentally responsible pest control solutions for your pest problems, give us a call at 705-534-7863.

 

 

 

Wasps

Wasp

Paper wasps are one of the most commonly observed wasps in Canada and they are named for their habit of making paper nests. This species is dusty yellow to dark brown or black in colour and have little to no hair. Paper wasps are generally between 1.9 and 2.5 cm and  have slender, needle-thin waists with oval eyes and long antenna and like both bald-face hornets and European hornets they have 2 legs that hang visibly when flying and they have no pollen baskets.

Paper wasps are considered to be gentle, however if they or their wasps are threatened or disturbed they will become agressive and can sting their victim repeatedly by retracting their stinger. They are mainly predatory and will hunt small insects for food and to feed to t heir young.

Their nests consist of open hexagonal cells built using paper–which is wood fibers mixed with the wasps’ saliva. They can collect the wood fiber from various sources such as dead wood, wooden structures and plant stems. Their nests hang down horizantally in protect spaces such as attics, eaves or can be found in soil cavities and they will rarely exceed the size of an outstretched hand with populations of  between 15-200.

Wasps will drink nectar occasionally, but they do it in order to get quick energy when hunting smaller insects and they will also use flowers as a hunting ground, since smaller insects are attracted to the flowers. Wasps are beneficial in gardens and the environment because of their predatory nature.

Wasps (and bees and hornets) are not necessarily a pest you want hanging around to closely to your home since many people do have allergies to them. Cottage Country Pest Control can come in and using IPM methods we can help make your environment safer for you and your family.

To book an appointment or for more information email or call us at 705-534-7863.