Checked your trees today?

Well, they’re here – spongy ldd gypsy moth caterpillars are up in the leaves eating as of this week. Jessa and I are a little annoyed that they have reached the leaves before we managed to get everyone that wanted a spray for them done – darn rain!!

We’ve been able to do a few things this weekend, but nowhere near as many as we could have if the weather would have just cooperated!! SO annoying!! But it did mean that we were able to spend some time troubleshooting around squirrels and mice at one home in Tiny. I was pretty darn proud of myself at that one – usually it’s Jessa that finds things but this time I did it!! I found a mouse nest mostly by smell. And then I topped that off by – just as we were about to leave – noticing a (very) split beam that answered the question of how the heck the squirrels got in. Yay me!!

Solving mysteries is a fun part of this gig.

Anyway, just today we saw caterpillars eating in the leaves in Victoria Harbour, Bracebridge, Midland, and Tiny – basically every place we went whether it was about those or not. Was very satisfying to stop by some of the trees we sprayed proactively. No holes in the leaves, no caterpillars…. just as we wanted.

Too late for proactive now – we’ll have to switch to spraying up into the leaves as well as just ’round the trunks – but still able to make a huge difference in how much damage they’ll do and how much (or how little) mess you’ll have to deal with.

We’re pretty booked up right now, and the weatherman is STILL not cooperating too well!! But we are most definitely trying to get to everyone that is outstanding right now. Next weekend is Robin’s Point – if you’re here to sign up for that, there’s a link in the menu bar at the top or you can click right here: Robin’s Point Form.

If you need help with your spongy moths though – or with any other pests you didn’t bring into the world yourself, please do give us a call and we will do our very best to get there and solve it for you just as soon as we can.

Lauralee

Spring 2022

Another year already! Time flies when you’re having fun.

And I have been having rather more fun than I expected to when I took on this pest control gig. I always did like a challenge. And problem-solving. And learning.

So, in spite of the fact that I’m way too old to be crawling under houses or climbing ladders, I do it anyway (only when Jessa isn’t around to do it for me, of course)!!  Don’t know what I’m going to do when she quits on me – now that she’s fully licensed, too, she doesn’t need me for anything, really. Well, except for answering the phone, booking the jobs, ordering the supplies, and paying for everything. Okay, so she ~might~ need me for a bit longer! But it would definitely make a lot more sense for her to be finding bed bug jobs in Oshawa and/or Durham Region and skip the drive.

Anyway …. since Jessa is only available weekends, and working just weekends isn’t going to work for much longer, I’m going to have to find a weekday helper as well. Possibly more than one if the LDD moth caterpillars stick around. Which they likely will, although I think that this should be the end of it for a few years.  Lots and lots of eggs out there, just waiting for the warmer weather….. but this year we’ll be ready for them. And, hopefully, the virus that eventually wipes them out will be that much more prevalent.

In the meantime, though, if you are concerned about the caterpillars, and want to protect your trees, we can help with that – and the earlier the better. If we treat your tree trunks early in the spring, before or just as the leaves are coming in, we can use far less product in a more targeted way, and solve the problem before it starts.

And that is the way we prefer to do pest control around here: the environmentally responsible way.

We’ve already got quite a large number of jobs lining up for early spring – if you are interested in being added to our schedule, the sooner you contact me the better. I’ll try to get a sign up form added here in the next few days – but in the meantime, feel free to email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or text/call me at 705-534-7863 and I’ll pencil you in.

Not sure whether you’re going to need treatment? Have a look at any trees in your area. Do they have eggs sacs? What about your home or cottage? Some areas that we’ve seen have an alarming number.  If you’re able to reach and remove them, there’s still time to do that – but otherwise, we are happy to help.

Ants and mice and critters, oh my!

It’s a very odd year. Still the normal stuff for this time of year – spider sprays and carpenter ants, mostly. A LOT of carpenter ants.

But we are also still getting so many calls for other pests – pests that aren’t usually a problem until fall. Mice are the biggest; we have had about 3x as many calls that include mice infestations as we normally would by this time of year. I guess conditions were good for overwintering this year, and maybe even for having increased numbers of litters.

We’re also getting a lot more wasp calls than usual; those seem to be mostly in Tay and Muskoka – and apparently Victoria Harbour as well, as I seem to have some of my own! I’d better call an exterminator, eh?

Even though we’re pretty busy right now, we’re still getting to most things within a few days, so if you have pest problems anywhere in Tay, Tiny, Midland, Penetanguishene and/or surrounding areas, give us a call at 705-534-7863, or drop us an email at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

And just so you know, the guys are all aware of the actions they need to take to keep everybody safe, and are traveling with masks, gloves and sanitizer to be used as needed.

Phone is fixed

Well, the Bell tech that was supposed to contact us between 8 am and noon today never did, BUT on the plus side, the phone is indeed fixed.

So if you have any pest problems (that you didn’t bring into the world yourself, that is!) feel free to call, email or use the quote form and we will be happy to help.

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!