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.

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.

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

Great weather for pest control…

Not so great for pest control companies! This year has been a real challenge. Lots & Lots of people want outside sprays … some people to keep their home &/ cottage looking nice and clean and free of webs and some because the only good spider is most definitely a dead spider.

But with the windy, wet and generally dreary days we’ve mostly been having there just aren’t that many good days for spraying!

Can’t spray when it’s too windy – can’t control the spray well enough to be sure it’s only going where you want it to and not where you don’t. Especially near water; most of the products we use are highly unlikely to damage anything on land, but aquatic life just can’t…. And anyway, it’s illegal and we’re kind of sticklers about that. Partly because we don’t want to pay fines, but also because we care a great deal about our environment. We would miss our heron if it stopped showing up!

We also can’t spray when it’s raining. …. sort of. We actually CAN spray while it’s raining….but so few people believe us about that that we have pretty much given up on trying it for the most part.

Ross would never spray in a typhoon, or even just in torrential downpours. But light rains like we’ve had this spring really aren’t problematic at all. We use water, after all, to mix the product 🙂 Once the product is on the walls, it’s not going to go anywhere because of the rain. What causes it to break down over time is direct sunlight!

Which means there’s not much to worry about this year! At least not so far 🙁

I can’t believe that my summer is halfway over! It can’t have gone by so quickly; I haven’t even been kayaking yet!! I’ve accepted a 7 week contract at Georgian College so will be juggling between Ross’s calendar and so on, and that. Which means that there may be a bit of a delay in returning your phone calls. For the fastest response, please do use email if at all possible. Thanks!

Lauralee

Spring is coming

woodpecker hole in houseReally it is!!

I sure will be happy when the ice on the lake breaks up and I can get my kayak out! Not teaching this summer, nor working at the group home (long story there!) so unless something changes, will be here most of the time to take people’s calls. Well, when I’m not out on the lake anyway.

It could be worse though! The year I moved to Barrie we had a horrible snow storm on April 3 – and some jerk stole my shovel right out of my yard. I wasn’t amused.

Anyway, even though the weather is not cooperating, seems like the critters know that spring is coming. We’ve already been getting calls about critters where they don’t belong, and carpenter ants. Lots and lots of carpenter ants. We actually had several calls about them over the winter, too – every time the weather warmed up even a little, the ants would get busy.

Did you know that the ants you see are generally only a very small percentage? And that, while they don’t actually eat your wood or your insulation, they do damage it by tunneling through it to build their nests.

First sign people usually notice is a few ants…eventually, things progress to ‘raining’ sawdust (or insulation/building foam dust) – that’s called frazz. After that, things can get so bad one can hear them in the walls. And if you ignore all that long enough…? The woodpeckers come!! Woodpeckers love carpenter ants – whether they are in trees, or buildings. Fortunately most people get on top of the problem before that happens – but it does happen!

Early intervention saves the structural integrity of your home or cottage!

No matter where you are in Simcoe, Muskoka, Tiny, or Tay, or even beyond, and we will be happy to help you to solve your pest problems – or better yet, prevent them!

Our phone number is 705.534.7863, or you can email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lauralee

Carpenter ants!

Carpenter antsMy goodness, have we ever become inundated with carpenter ants. We are getting SO many calls from throughout Tay and Tiny Townships. They started early this year, and so many of them, we’ve been having a hard time keeping enough product in stock to treat them.

Could be worse though – from what I’ve been reading, some areas are starting to see increasing numbers of termites. We have never had a single call for those – and would rather like to keep it that way!  While both carpenter ants and termites can do a great deal of damage to a home or cottage, termites tend to do it faster – we can do without that!

Just because they’re slower, doesn’t mean you should ignore carpenter ants though! In addition to the structural damage they can do, and the very annoying noise they can make if you leave them untreated long enough, you just might find your cottage poked full of holes. Woodpeckers just love carpenter ants – and they can and will do a lot of

Woodpeckers are ~cute~ …sometimes!

damage very quickly once they discover them.

And of course, just like most everything else, it’s usually easier – and cheaper – to solve problems when they’re small. Do you suspect you have carpenter ants? Ross will be happy to help you with those – before the woodpeckers show up 🙂

Give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Or you can click on the quote form up there and get a guesstimate that way, too.

Have a great day!

Lauralee

 

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!)

 

Spider Sprays

spider chartWell, one way that this spring is different already is that we are getting calls about spraying homes and cottages for spiders much sooner than usual. Still a little early to start spraying, but certainly happy to provide estimates and add you to our list of places to be done when conditions are right.

Even though the treatment is typically called a spider spray, and the primary benefit is that no spiders = no web mess so everything stays much cleaner, the product used does also affect other insects as well. Because of that, and because it offers residual protection for several weeks, it can also help to keep other bugs on the outside where they belong. In our area – Tiny, Tay, Muskoka, Simcoe, Huronia – carpenter ants are becoming so common that an extra layer of protection is definitely a bonus!

As annoying as they can be, we need insects – but outside is clearly better!

For spider sprays or any other pest problems, give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com and Ross will be happy to help.