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.

Winter is on its way

Personally, I do not approve. Especially this year, when the garage is so full there isn’t any room for my poor car. It is going to have to stay out in the driveway and be cold and covered with yuck!

Hopefully we’ll get it sorted by the time I have to start driving in to school again. That won’t be until January, so …. it could happen.

It’s unlikely. We have a lot of ~stuff~ in need of new places to be. But it could.

Anyway – we have time to worry about that. For now I’m just worrying about getting what absolutely has to be done, done. My mom’s stuff is arriving early in November, and we need to have the rest of our stuff out of the area we’ve renovated for her. Most of my ~stuff~ is up in my office (aka the attic) or at my store (still not open but I have plenty of inventory). Ross’s, on the other hand, is still in there. All of his glass and supplies currently have no place to be, and all the tools he’s been using are all over the place. So chances are, all of that will go out to the garage. I don’t think my zoom-zoom is going to get in there any time soon.

Oh well. These days I drive the SUV a whole lot more than my own car, anyway. It is a lot better at getting in and out of the places some of you guys have your cottages. There are some very steep and/or narrow and/or muddy roads throughout our area. But you know that already.

Anyway, as you might expect at this time of year, most of what we are dealing with is rodents. We don’t do raccoons or skunks for the most part; Jessa and I don’t have the experience for that and Ross isn’t into coaching us. So – rats, mice and squirrels.

Lots of rats, mice, and squirrels. Thank goodness for toys. Ross was better at being able to just spot where things were getting in and out than I am – but I am way better at collecting toys than he is. We’ve added a bunch of toys to our toolkit to help us to figure out where critters are getting in.

Of course, we can still just treat the problem …. in some places where it’s just not practical (or cost effective) to find and seal up every access point, we can use traps or bait, and come back as needed. But our preference (unlike some of the other companies) is always to prevent and solve your pest problems – managing is a last resort.

Still got one more set of assignments to mark so I guess I’ll have to leave showing you Jessa’s nifty bedbug shot till next time. There you go – something to look forward to!

In the meantime, if you have mice, rats, squirrels, or unidentified furry critters in your home, cottage or business in Tiny, Tay, Simcoe or Muskoka, you can reach us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, or by calling 705-534-7863. Jessa has her own M – F business in Oshawa and I teach 3 days a week and do the gramma thing the other two, so we work almost entirely weekends right now, though, just so you know.

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!

Oopsie!

So I was showing someone our site today and noticed that I hadn’t updated since last October. My bad!! Let’s not mention that to Ross, k?

Funny thing is though, that even though I haven’t been doing much (okay, anything at all) he’s still had probably the busiest winter yet. Bedbugs, roaches and mice, oh my. And we’re seeing more rat calls as well for some reason. Rats are a PITA – way too smart… but I digress.

snowshoe pigPoor guy hasn’t even had much time for working on stained glass so far … did do a snowshoe pig though! (Doesn’t everyone need a snowshoe pig? No? Just Sue then!)  And he just finished a snowshoe old, except it’s  not yet in its snowshoe.

ANYWAY, in spite of the fact that Ross is now officially entitled to all the senior discounts, he’s still going, and we are still here to solve all your pest control problems in Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, Muskoka and beyond.

It’s a little early to be booking yet, but won’t be long before we’re gearing up for spring so here I am babbling about not much of anything so that you’ll know we are in fact still here, and so that all the search engine bots will also know it. Time for me to start posting regularly again, whether I actually have anything interesting to write about or not!

Thanks for stopping by, and if you are looking for help with a pest of some sort, do feel free to drop us an email or give us a call at 705-534-7863.  We look forward to hearing from you. Unless it’s a rat problem. We’ll still solve it for you, but we don’t actually look forward to those ones much!

Crazy weather for bugs!

Gotta love this heat!  STILL getting calls about spiders; pretty late in the season for that! Just realized something too – this is the first year in a while that we haven’t had any calls for either brown recluse or black widow spiders in Penetanguishene. That is most assuredly a good thing.

Anyway, carpenter ants seem to be slowing down now which is another good thing. They started early this year, so we did lots & lots of them all throughout Tiny, Tay, Muskoka and Simcoe.

And still only the one termite call – which has responded very well to treatment, thank goodness.

This heat can’t last TOO much longer though! Soon it will be time to book Ross to come out and refill/replace mouse baits, and/or to tackle any bat problems. Sure wish someone would call up for some bat houses sooner rather than later !! He’s left them sitting right where I planted morning glories; just happened to notice a few determined little flowers poking up from behind the blasted thing. THEY need to move!  Wouldn’t you like a nice seasoned bat house? I’m sure you would 🙂

If you are calling us this time of year, please do leave a message if need be and either Ross or I will get back to you as soon as we’re able…. my teaching schedule this semester is NOT ideal – have to drive down to Barrie 4 days each week for 2 or 3 hours each day. They can and will do better when I whine – but I save that for the Winter semester when I really REALLY don’t want to drive 2 hours for a 2 hour class every darn day. If I take what I’m given in the Fall semester, usually get what I want in Winter. Here’s hoping!   It does mean that I’m often not here to answer the phone right away though – but Ross will check & return messages if/when he stops in, and if he doesn’t, I will get to them as soon as I get home.

 

 

And we’re back

Had a great time at NoFishIn Lake, as Ross has taken to calling Lake Nosbonsing, where we were. Disappointed in his quest for walleye yet again! Didn’t see much of anything worth keeping, actually. The only fish that made it to the very nicely outfitted cleaning shack at Birch Hill Camp was a nice-sized bass which “I could have caught at home.” Maybe – but t’wasn’t him that caught the one up there; it was his daughter.

She out-fished us all; more of the little guys, including four too small pike in the same outing that she got the bass, and the only one worth cleaning. Clearly the champ.

Me, I think when you’re going to lakes you’ve never been to, a fish-finder is pretty much a necessity. We have two that came with the boat but neither works. Thinking to buy Ross one for his birthday next month but he wants one that is really really SIMPLE and easy to use and I have yet to find anything that straight forward. They all have multiple bells, whistles, etc – and he doesn’t WANT that; he wants to be able to use it all by his own self, darn it!!

View from our cabin at Birch Hill Camp, Nosbosing Lake. That’s Ross with his two grandkids – they went down in the pouring rain to make sure my kayak was secured.

Anyway, we did have a good week – but OMG I was happy to get back home to my own bed and even more importantly, a bathroom with a tub, a fully functional toilet, and a door that closes properly and does not have little boys opening it at will! Next time we’re looking for a cottage to rent I am SO going to remember to ask what kind of bathrooms they provide, and if there are locks on the door. Bad enough we paid so much to rent a cottage that is further away from the water (and with a lesser view, also) than our home is – shouldn’t have to give up privacy, too. Or is that just me?

 

 

 

So – now we’re back and will get back to work and

View from our front yard. 7-June-17 sunset. We are a ~little~ spoiled.

everything caught up within the next few days. Keep waiting on carpenter ants to slow down, but they don’t seem inclined to do that, especially in Tiny and Tay. Starting to get a whole lot more wasp calls this week – fall must be on its way.

And bat calls too!! Happy to hear that the bats are coming back … hopefully a good sign that perhaps the white nose fungus that has been decimating Ontario bat populations is waning? Once can only hope! But we have started seeing them outside our own home in Victoria Harbour, and we have received quite a number of inquiries about them already this year, so finger’s crossed.

Got pests? Other than the ones you brought into the world yourself? Give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

Happy Canada Day

Hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend wherever you happen to be. From calls so far it sounds like a lot of people are going to be at the cottage all this week.

Ross’ calendar is already starting to fill up, so if you do happen to run into pest problems that you’ll need help with, might want to call or email us sooner, rather than later. No need to wait until Monday; we are here all weekend. Well, except I’m taking grandkids to the zoo tomorrow (yes, I know how dumb that is – it’s the zoo’s fault, as they clearly didn’t take the long weekend into consideration when they rescheduled the members only event they have on today and tomorrow!)

Sure are getting lots and lots of carpenter ant calls, still. But not termites, so far – so if you happen to spot piles of sawdust-like material, and or ants with wings, not to worry. In every single case so far this year, they’ve been carpenter ants. They do the same sort of damage as termites, but they are a LOT slower at it, and they’re easier to treat. Ross has lots & lots of practice doing it and will be happy to solve your carpenter ant problem.

So, in other words, it could be worse! So – even if you’ve arrived at your cottage and found unwelcome visitors, give us a call and then get on with enjoying your time off 🙂

 

Maybe I’m working him too hard?

Or maybe I just need to buy him a whole case of hats?

Poor Ross!  I’ve been keeping him hopping lately. He did get a day off – well, sort of off. He got to stay home and work on getting the dock in this weekend – does that count? I think he’d probably say no, but hey, we had helpers! And beer! And food! So that counts, right?

And the dock is – mostly – in; just a few floating bits to more into place and secure. He’ll soon be able to start fishing off the end of it. When he gets home. After lots of long days spent driving all over cottage country 🙂

Have been able to do a lot better scheduling than in some previous years, though. Today, for example, he was in Tiny. All over Tiny, but hey – at least all in that one general area. Tomorrow, weather permitting, he’ll be heading up to Gravenhurst area, I hope. And in between times, got lots of Tay Township, Midland & Penetanguishene area calls to get done.

Sure miss his helper though! He needs one to keep track of his hat(s), if nothing else!

Anyway, even though we’re crazy busy right now, I’m always happy to add more to his calendar – give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

A new one on us: ermine!

I did not know that we had ermine in Central Ontario. Guess you learn something every day.

This little guy managed to find it’s way into a house in the Shelburne area  – and stayed for 3 days before getting the food he was after and taking off.

We’ve actually seen quite a few bigger critters around Hogg’s Bay this winter. Coyotes walking along the edges of the lake; almost always two together. A fox that comes right up into our yard to play with our dogs! And marten (or otters, maybe)? Have heard there’s a fisher around as well, although haven’t seen it. Have yet to see an ermine though – but since I guess their coats turn white for the winter, I probably never will. Unless one decides to come visit our house!

 

Not just killing things

I joke sometimes that Ross kills things; I do everything else – but the truth is that a lot of what he does as an exterminator – especially one that believes strongly in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) who has been green since long before it became a ~thing~ – a lot of what Ross actually does involves NOT killing things.

Bats, raccoons, skunks, squirrels & chipmunks, for example – when dealing with these sorts of issues, the focus is on humane removal, exclusion, and prevention. No killing. Fortunately, Ross has years of construction experience on top of his exterminator’s license; that’s part of the reason he is really good at figuring out what’s causing the problem(s) and how to fix it – for real. And he tells people, too!  And let’s them handle it themselves so that it’s cheaper, even.

Similarly, when dealing with birds, our preference is always for actually solving the pigeon-300x200problem. We could, in some situations, use poisons which kill birds. But why the heck would we want to? If you are offering birds a great location, as soon as you take out the current inhabitants, new ones will just move in anyway.  IPM offers a far better approach – figure out why they’re coming and fix that. Existing birds will leave, and others won’t take their places. Win, win.

Of course, bedbugs and other assorted wee pests that can cause damage to people or property must die, and we’re okay with that.

No matter what sort of pest problem you have, if you are in & around Tiny, Tay, Simcoe, Port Severn, Parry Sound, Muskoka, Ross will be happy to help you with it. Just give us a call at 705-534-7863 or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can fill out our handy-dandy quote form (which I need get around to modifying a bit one of these days!)