Termites in Ontario

Did you think termites where a southern US problem? Or a US problem, at least?

They are, of course. But guess what? Termites are not limited to the US. Or even to southern parts of Ontario.

Termite damage; wood with ridges and holes throughout

Image taken of termite damaged wood in Tiny Township; summer 2023

We have termites, too. And it stands to reason that we will have more.

Winter weather – deep freezing – tends to push them down deeper underground. And/or kill at least some of them, which helps keep them in some semblance of control.

Guess what we haven’t had consistently this year? Or last year? Or – well, you know….

It doesn’t take a lot in terms of warmer temperatures to allow things to change. Ticks, for example, were not so long ago, barely on the radar here. Now? They’re ubiquitous. More ticks more places (we can help with that too, btw).

Same thing happened with carpenter ants. And it did not take long at all for them to spread from Tiny Township to the rest of us.

Want to guess where ‘our’ termites are already? You got it – they’re already in Tiny.

Have been for quite some time, actually – but they are spreading.

They’re spreading out from Toronto, Guelph, and Tiny – at a minimum.

How long will they take to become a ‘common’ issue? Beats me!!

But why wait?

There are things we can do to reduce the likelihood that you’re ever going to be caught off guard with an infestation. And guess what?! While it’s not exactly free to set things up to monitor your property, it’s not going to break the bank, either.

More on that later – got to go feed the sick people (Ross & my mom both have a miserable cold).

 

 

 

2023 is almost over!

And personally, I’m good with that!

2023 wasn’t all bad – but wow, the last few months have been a drag!! First pneumonia, then a broken wrist – sure doesn’t make this pest control stuff easy.

Fortunately, this time of year is pretty slow. Rats, mice, unidentified furry objects (UFOs – most of which turn out to be mice)… It’s been slow for bedbugs and roaches which I might have pouted about, but seeing as how I’m still working one-handed weeks after I fell down went boom because the first CAA guy couldn’t be bothered pulling my car out for me, that’s probably for the best.

Got a big long list of things I want to get done before the 2024 season hits full swing. Need to do up some information materials, especially about skitter sprays and termites.

Hoping to really grow the mosquito management part of the business. Not so much because I need more to do but because one of my goals this year is to take business away from those who would spray Dragnet every few weeks. MY way of managing mosquitos & ticks costs about the same as the other guys’ – but it doesn’t kill pollinators….caterpillars…. aquatic life…. the environment….anything! (well, okay; I do kill mosquito larvae if need be – but that’s it)

People, pets, and pollinator safe effective mosquito management!! What more could one want?!

For termites, not so much hoping for growth as I am to continue learning more about them, and helping you to keep them out of your home or cottage. They are here – at least in Tiny Township, and just as ticks are expanding North, it’s reasonable to expect that termites will continue to spread throughout our region as well.

So far, I’ve only seen them in Tiny. But the carpenter ants started there too, and now we’re seeing them everywhere. The biggest difference between carpenter ants and termites is the speed with which they can damage a home – BUT there is a pretty easy – and free – way to make sure it never comes to that. More on that next time – for now, Dick van Dyke’s 98th birthday celebration show is over, my wrist is aching, and it’s bedtime.

Happy New Year!

Got mice? Or rats?

rat

This would be the season – rats and mice don’t mind living outdoors when it’s nice out. It’s now, when the weather is starting to cool off, that they start looking for nice warm places to hang out for the winter. You do not want your place to be one of those winter refuges!

Prevention is the first step. If you have holes that they can use to get in, you will want to block those. If you’ve had any construction or renovations done, it’s a really good idea to have another look, even if you’ve never had a problem before! Contractors and builders are very knowledgeable about a lot of things, but pest control is rarely top of mind, and they will sometimes inadvertently leave vulnerabilities.

One thing that sets Cottage Country Pest Control apart from many of the other pest control companies is that we are persistent in our quest for solutions to your rodent problems. We’ll keep looking & blocking access points for as long as it takes, or as long as you’re willing to put up with us. We have cameras (motion-sensored; thermal; endoscopic), glow in the dark baits, and UV lights that help us to figure out exactly what is going on where, and how to fix it. We don’t do maintenance contracts.

Of course we’ll come back regularly if needed – but our preference is to solve the problem so that we won’t be. Nobody should have to cohabitate with mice or rats running freely throughout their living space, business, or restaurant.

Placing bait stations and/or traps is part of an Integrated Pest Management program – but is not, on its own, enough.

If you have mice, rats or other small rodents hanging out in your living space, give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to help.

well, this is not fun!

I will get out and back to working – and teaching – but in meantime I’m hanging out in a private room at Midland hospital after several days in the ER waiting to be moved. So apparently the after contractor inspections, termites, and other assorted jobs will have to wait a bit.

Pneumonia is no joke! By the time Ross brought me in, I was pretty much incapable of stringing any words together. Also of too many other things.

Poor Ross….. he’s been taking care of my mom, me, Kali the diabetic dog ; has his hands full.

I’m irked that I’m now so useless, too! Finally decided to advertise, ordered postcards and delivered fifty. Only 950 to go. Yay! I’m being sarcastic there, just so we’re clear. .

I really want to focus on skitters….like as in take jobs away from companies that are using Dragnet every time it kills way more things than mosquitos🦟🦟🦟🦟. In fact they don’t hang out on foliage anywhere near as much as the pollinators, caterpillars, other bugs do. And they’ll tell you it’s fine for the birds. .sure it is – but by poisoning their food sources you’ll have to feed them (and THAT can lead to rats and other problems.)

There is a solution! check out Willd Birds Unlimited hot pepper options. My birds and I love them. Other critters not so much.

They’ll also, I hear, spray right upto the water’s edge, which is a huge nono. The label is clear; pyretherins are terrible for Aquatic life.

I spray to the waters edge too… but no pyretherins at all. I live on Georgian Bay and I have heron, swans, ducks, and an occasional otter hanging around….. and visitors that love to fish and…. there are SO many reasons to take the protection of our water seriously.

That’s why I like the garlic concentrate I use. Don’t love smelling it all summer! It does sneak its scent everywhere. But mosquitoes hate it. Ticks, too!. I do have my mosquito license, so I generally keep on top of any standing water…. if it can be dumped great , otherwise I can treat it. But mostly just spraying garlic regularly, paying attention to the weather (often needs to be done again after it rains)

I limited the number I did quite a bit the last two years, but the plan is to take summers off from teaching, and do pest control full time for the season. Maybe even find time for some kayaking again!

Anyway., the postcards need to go out somehow so will have to see what the deal is with the post office, or find a helper, I guess

And in the meantime I need to get off supplementalary oxygen and iv meds and seriously insulin, even! Blood sugars went crazy … just what I needed!

Got another (much better!) xray done today, Hopefully won’t be too long

And another summer’s in the books….

And what a busy summer it was!

Kept trying to keep things reasonable – work weekends only (& do the skitter sprays during the week) BUT it just never seems to work out that way.

Thinking that next summer I might just skip the whole teaching thing and focus on pest control full time.

Partly that’s because doing both is just too darn hectic. But even more, it’s because it irks me that so many pollinators are dying unnecessarily.

So – instead of bitching about it, I’m thinking to DO something about it – to spend some time and energy marketing pest control the way I think it should be done.

We can control your mosquitoes and ticks without causing harm to people, pets, water, or pollinators!!

And since it’ll cause me a lot less stress if I can be sure I’m going to have enough work to keep me going and to hire a helper or two, I figure now is the time for marketing the services I intent to offer. I’ll be wandering the streets – hopefully with the older two grandkids and/or other helpers and doing some marketing.

And anyone that signs up for the mailing list by emailing me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com or calling 705-534-7863 will lock in 2023 prices.

No commitment, no deposit required.

If you concerned that I’m going to spam you with email, I can safely promise I don’t and won’t do that. Up until now, I’ve stuck to one email a year. Thinking to double that now, with taking the summers off – but still – that’s only 2 emails per year. And absolutely no sharing of emails either.

So – – – ? What have you got to lose? A millisecond off your time to lock inn 2023 pricing just in case you decide you want your family, renters, and guests to enjoy the outdoors without the constant annoying whines.

Mosquitoes & Ticks

Yes, we can help with these. For ticks, we use two spray treatments /summer, and a bunch of tick tubes, which are biodegradable cardboard tubes that contain treated cotton attractive to mice for making their nests nice & comfy. The bedding doesn’t contain enough pesticide to hurt the mice, but it is not nice to the ticks that often hang out in their nests.

Mosquito treatment is quite a lot move involved, however – at least when it is done using IPM, which means in such a way to be effective while also protecting the environment. In most cases, the two tick sprays are really all the pesticides we use. We spray the home /cottage if needed for spiders at the same time – and aside from that, we skip the poison, and instead use a product that repels mosquitos (and many other annoyances) without causing even a little bit of harm to your environment. It can even be used (legally) on waterfront properties, which other products cannot (they harm aquatic life, and spraying in such a way as to allow the spray to drift OR to run off into the lake is not okay – and if caught, subject to significant fines. )

Additionally, because I do have my mosquito (& landscaping) pesticide licenses in addition to structural, I am able to also use other products (to manage standing water) where warranted – but mostly, we try to avoid standing water wherever possible (that means I can be a bit of a nag, actually!!)

Anyway – the lawns I treat aren’t dead zones – there are still enough bugs to attract the birds and frogs and toads and turtles.

Do we guarantee that you’ll never see a mosquito? Nope – neither we nor any other company can. But a noticeable reduction, most definitely. And as an added bonus, because you’ll have a fully licensed IPM pest control technician visiting every couple of weeks, other issues get caught/treated before they become a big enough problem to cost you extra money 🙂

If you’d like a quote re: treating your cottage or home for (almost) all the pests that pester you through the summer, why not send an email to ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or text or call me at 705.534.7863. I teach on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this summer, and of course can’t answer during class. And I spend a lot of time driving and only have hands-free set up in one of our three cars right now – but if you leave a message, I will get back to you asap.

Wow – I did a terrible job including place names in this one! Bad SEO – but 7 minutes late leaving to pick up Noah already so it’ll have to do. Hope your day is as much fun as mine is going to be and if you were here to look for info about the car, I’m sorry that I’m out of time – I will do my best to get that added this evening though. Or this weekend at least.



The good old days

Well, it was almost like the good old days. One out of our typical area call, and we actually managed to get it all done pretty much as planned – so better, mostly – than some of the days we’ve had in previous years.

Yesterday was the first day of this year that we’ve had a full slate of bookings. Down to Woodbridge, one in Tiny (which isn’t, in case you didn’t know), up to Port Severn for a few, then the locals in Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll. Still mostly rodents, but that won’t last much longer. And it’s mostly mice again, not rats, which is a positive thing (for you, not us, necessarily, but oh well. No one should have to live with rats in their home or cottage!!!)

This weekend we were mostly dealing with mice, but two skunks, as well… they’re a pain in the butt! Especially when most of the issues are skunks that are just wandering through and around in your area. They cover a lot of ground in their travels so may wander through a property frequently, but not actually den there. And of course, the more time they’re there, the higher the likelihood of a mishap, especially if there are dogs also in the area.

While we can trap and remove, unless we fix the things attracting the skunks – or other critters – to an area, they’ll be back. Not necessarily the same critter(s) – but if it was perfect for one, it’s also going to be perfect for someone – or something – else to move into. So, that tends to be our focus wherever possible: convincing the critters that ‘this’ is not a desirable place to hang out. Humanely, of course!

Anyway, much as I like to go on and on about not much in particular, it’s back to school tomorrow and one of us hasn’t finished her homework!! Need to get some assignment details fleshed out and posted so that my almost-ready-to-graduate(!!) students can work on them independently while they’re out on placement(!!). And to make the flood of emails asking for more details about this, that, and the other thing stop already.

Have a lovely spring, and do call or text us at (705)534-7863, or send email to ccpestcontrol@gmail.com; we’re happy to help solve what’s bugging you. Environmentally responsible, local pest control – and hey! We work weekends!

Lauralee

BZZZZZ!

What? Too early?!

I’m already thinking about mosquitoes, ticks, spiders and all that fun stuff – aren’t you?

Ok, well, I suppose it is a ~bit~ early. But I’m picking up my new-to-me car tomorrow and I’ve been thinking about what I want the wrap design to say.

I’m thinking to focus on things we take pride in:

That seems like a lot to incorporate into a car wrap – but it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to actually doing pest control.

It means that we kill less, not more. The goal of IPM is to monitor and manage pests using the most effective and lowest risk option. For Cottage Country Pest Control that means we do things such as

  • Find it We follow the pee. Also poop, footprints and any other clues we can find to determine where your critters are getting in (& out). Refilling bait stations and signing one up for regular servicing is the opposite of IPM and I don’t like it.
  • Solve it We don’t actually care that the board of health is okay with rats in restaurants as long as there is evidence (bait stations) that they’re trying. Gross!!! – dead rats near my food doesn’t really appeal much more than live ones, thanks.
  • Prevent it When we spot something likely to be a problem in the future, we’ll let you know… and make sure you know what can be done about it.
  • Protect it. When we have choices to make, our goal is always the most environmentally responsible and humane solution. Most pests aren’t actually pests unless they are in the wrong place, and being in the wrong place doesn’t need to be a death sentence (bedbugs, spongey moth caterpillars, and roaches excepted).

Following IPM guidelines is not, actually, all that good for business sometimes. When you’re doing it right, you often manage yourself out of jobs. But it is good for everything that makes Tay, Tiny, Simcoe, Muskoka, and beyond such a great place to visit – and for those of us who are really, really lucky – to live.

Happy 2023!

Hope you had a great holiday season, and that this year is wonderful.

At the very least, I’m hoping Covid is less of a concern! Both my mom and Ross managed to get it over the holidays. Ross is feeling better – mostly. Ma, not so much. *sigh* Fun times!

We got our issues with Google business sorted out, so we’re back on the map and in search, which makes me happy. Whole thing was ridiculous!! And of course, they, like many others, are still using Covid as the reason for poor customer service. Getting annoyed with that whole song.

So, none of that here 🙂 We have much better reasons for delays! Not really – we try to minimize those. New semester, though, so I am in classes a couple of days a week. But even so, if you don’t get me, please do leave a message and I will get back to you. Or text (same number) and I’ll likely be even quicker.

We’re always happy to help solve your pest problems responsibly – it’s what we do.

ratAnd we do it well too. Probably too well sometimes – apparently the way to be successful in pest control is NOT to solve problems! We should, we’re told, just sign people up for regular visits.

Refill the bait stations, but leave the holes so that you still have to live with rodents and poop?! That’s rude!! Especially when we’ve learned some really effective ways to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.. We would much rather build our business by solving your problems so well that when you get a chance, you’ll refer others our way.

Anyway … I need to be shutting up and moving on to the work I need to be doing this evening … haven’t yet up written up the note I promised my new first year class. My bad! 

If you have pest problems, please do give us a call or text us at 705-534-7863 and we’ll be happy to help.

And drive safe!!

 

Of course we are still here!

But Google has disappeared us. I am not amused.

I’m still going back and forth with them, but for the time being, I can’t get a single blessed customer support person that can, apparently, see reason. They just keep telling me that we don’t qualify to be on the map. Which is fine by me!! I’m not TRYING to be on the map, I’m trying to show up in Google search. That’s all.

They say that businesses that go to customer’s homes can appear in Search, which is all I’m trying to do, but apparently, that’s not something they comprehend. I wound up in the Map side of things and all they are concerned about is making sure we don’t appear on the map. Round and round in SO FRUSTRATING circles we go.

I never thought I’d hate Google the way I do right now.

But anyway, we are still here, and available to solve your pest problems in Barrie, Orillia, Elmvale, Tiny, Tay, Port McNicoll, Severn, Gravenhurst, Parry Sound, Oro, and so on and so on….

These days that’s mostly mice, rats, and bedbugs, but still some carpenter ants around. Apparently, they are making some adjustments to their behaviour these days, perhaps as a result of climate change? I’m sure there will be research reports on it sometime soon.

If you’re looking for environmentally responsible pest control, give us a call or text 705.534.7863. Or you can still reach us via ccpestcontrol@gmail.com because apparently, we do exist there.