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!

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.

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.

Summertime, summertime…

…and things are starting to slow down just a little bit. I just looked at my course calendar and discovered that next week is Study Week already!!! Time flies when you’re getting old!

Things are starting to slow down a bit for pest control now – mostly because people are waiting to see what happens with the dratted gypsy moth caterpillars, I think. If they’re almost done being caterpillars, might not be worth spending the money to kill the rotten things, right?

Which it could be, if it’s only the caterpillars you’re trying to eliminate (or at least reduce the numbers). Me, I’m leaning towards it still being worth doing because every dead caterpillar is one less to participate in the next part of their life cycle. And because the residual that is left behind after we spray is effective against the moths as well, so that means, presumably, they will go someplace else to lay their eggs, which means that there will be less to start with next spring. In theory!

SO – we can treat for gypsy moth caterpillars. For most places in our coverage area, that will cost about $225 (plus HST) – if you have a lot of trees in the immediate vicinity that you need done, it may cost more. If you are considering it, here are some things you should know:

The product we use is one that can also be used for spider sprays – we tend not to do that because it can leave more of a film on windows than our regularly preferred option, which dries clear. Of course, we generally try not to hit windows any more than necessary, but it happens. This one, however, includes gypsy moths and their caterpillars on the label, so it is a better option right now.

According to the label, the product provides residual protection for up to 90 days BUT the bigger they are the longer it takes. SO even after spraying, you will likely still see caterpillars, just not as many.

We do not have a helicopter! Or a magic wand, either. We spray as high as we can safely spray given our equipment and the situation. There are a number of things that impact how broadly and how high we can treat, including weather conditions, proximity to water, and how reasonable – or not – your neighbours are. We’ll do our best to solve your pest control problem(s) but not at risk of harm to the fish/water or to people (no matter how miserable) or pets.

If you’ve got tree-eating caterpillars, carpenter ants, bedbugs, spiders, mice or rats, give us a call at 705-534-7863. Or better yet, email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com, and I’ll get back to you even faster.

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.

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!

And….we’re off….

Georgian Bay sunsetNot off as in on holiday, but off as in we are getting a pretty full on stream of calls finally. Slow start to this season – not a bad thing, actually. Full days, but not packed & running full tilt is clearly better for old guys. Not that Ross is getting old, or anything! (But he is)

Has a helper most of the time this year; Matt & Ross worked together way back when they started in pest control (for someone else). Matt went off and did other things for several years, but he was available this summer, so we grabbed him. Always easier to have two anyway – but mostly, Ross needed someone to keep track of his hat and his phone!

Bit of a pain juggling everything with me working at the College and not here to answer the phone. Email works; I still get to that right away – but phone messages, not so much! I keep thinking that I should check them periodically from work but … yeah… that usually doesn’t happen; sorry!

Anyway …. coffee’s almost done and time I was making lunch and heading off to work…. ooh… or ordering some fancy new stylus pens and THEN heading off to work.

Have a lovely and pest-free day – but if not exactly pest-free, yep, we are still here and Ross will be happy to take care of your carpenter ants, spider webs, mice, bedbugs, and/or whatever else for you 🙂

Give us a call at 705-534-7863 (or if urgent, call or text me at 705.647.2567), or email us at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com . And now I’m really off to work!

Another New Year

And here’s hoping it’s a happy one all ’round.

We are still here – unlike what this blog would seem to show. My bad! Got a whole lot more hours at my second job than I anticipated. Finished there this month though, so I’m back to just teaching. And this, of course. Ross is supposed to be back to doing his glass work by this time of year, but moving his workshop downstairs turned into a pretty big renovation so I don’t think he’s made a single cut yet!

Still working though, of course, even though he’s getting somewhat crankier about crawlspaces and climbing up on rooftops….  in other words, he’d prefer if y’all could just have bedbugs  instead of mice! But yes, he will still deal with mice, bats, and other assorted critters …. just means I have to listen to more grumbling, is all.

If you have pest problems you would like solved, feel free to give us a call at 705.534.7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com …. Mondays & Fridays are my teaching days, so responses may take a bit longer … but otherwise I’ll get back to you asap.

Lauralee

And so it begins…

Even though I have yet to send my annual email  (my bad – BUT I got through a condensed semester with all my marks done & submitted early AND got my gall bladder out last week, so…. yeah… )  I’ll get there!

But it was a beautiful day and a whole bunch of people decided the time was right even without that. Lots of phone calls and emails today. I THINK I have everything sorted so that Ross can deal with things while I work at the group home tomorrow. We shall see 🙂 I might need to print off calendar pages for him… hmmm ….

Anyway, we are here and we are getting sorted so please do feel free to give us a call at 705-534-7863, or email me at ccpestcontrol@gmail.com. Oh, and we’d love it if you followed us on Facebook as well, if you do that Facebooking thing 🙂

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.