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).

 

 

 

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Quick fly by

Yep, we’re up and running, albeit in a Ross-less way … he’s still around and occasionally even answers the phone, and he’s telling us all what to do and how to do it, but not going out on calls these days.

As you probably know, the weather has been particularly not cooperative … not rain so much, but wind, at least along the water, which is, of course, where people need spider sprays most. But we’re starting to book them – tentatively, weather permitting – so do give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com.

And now I’m off to spend the day with my grandson. Tuesday is my favourite day of the week! Have a good one 🙂

Lauralee

More questions & answers

So, if Ross is retired, who is taking over?

Many of you will have met Matt last season – he’s still with us, and in the long run, the hope is that he’ll take over all aspects of the business so that I can retire too. But we’re not quite there yet, so hi … I’m Lauralee, and I am currently studying for the licensing exams – was scheduled to take them on 16-April but got email today that they’ve been canceled (thank the good Lord!! That was way too fast given that the three books just arrived yesterday!).

I’m not actually likely to be DOING much of the actual spraying and so on but until Matt and Jessa get their licenses and enough training in all aspects to not need me any more, I expect I’ll be hanging around a fair bit. Jessa is my youngest – she works M – F in Oshawa, so is only available to us on weekends, but she wants to learn and get licensed so that she’ll have more options with which to make a living. She’s an ECE, mostly, and loves operating her home day care – but that, especially given that she’s single, has serious limitations.

So… when you call, you’ll get either Ross, myself or Matt; email is almost always me, and if/when you book you’ll get either Matt or Jessa.

All of us have been or are learning from the master, though, so you can expect the same environmentally responsible pest control solutions as ever. We’re looking forward to getting busy. Well, Matt & Jessa are – me, I still have a semester to finish, exams to study for, and so on… so I can wait a week or three yet!

By the time this ’emergency brake’ thing ends, we’ll be ready to go full steam ahead – and in the meantime, we are here and will make time to help you with any pressing problems.

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!