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.

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!

We were back – but now guess what?!

Got it in one – we are taking off again.

Well, assuming we can get everything done that needs doing 🙂  Got some bedbugs that must die, rats that need a new home, and on and on it goes.

Bedbugs seem to be picking up this month- let’s hope THAT is a short-lived aberration! Nobody wants bedbugs! Ever! We’ve also had our very first ever case of termites! Hundreds & hundreds of carpenter ants over the past few years – but not one termite to be seen. Until this week. Also not a positive development! Interesting that the one and only case we’ve seen is in Tiny – that’s where the carpenter ants seemed to start from, also!

But not to worry – Ross just ~loves~ to help people solve their pest problems, whether they are common or rare. For quickest response over the next week or so, email is your best bet …my dog sitter is great, but he isn’t up for doing the phone thing, so I’ll have to call home to get messages. Which I will do my best to do – but if you CAN email, please do!

Or if you prefer, you can always use the chat function on our Facebook page – that works too 🙂 And as an added bonus, you can like our page while you’re there because, you know, it will not do to have my kid’s Facebook page getting more likes than ours just cuz her pictures are ever so much cuter than ours.

Oh, one last thing – if you happen to be over in the Kawarthas/Peterborough area, we no longer cover that region. Not sure why we’ve all of a sudden started turning up in your search results but we sold our Peterborough property several years ago and I haven’t included any of those place names in my tags in forever!

Beekeeping

bees in hiveWell, I don’t know that I’m interested enough to spend money to set up hives – but did attend a beekeeping course this weekend. Mostly, I was hoping to get more information so that I’d be better able to help people that call about swarms of honey bees. We do get a fair number of calls about bees each year…. and have yet to find a beekeeper in the area that wants anything to do with them.

Fortunately, only some of them actually turn out to actually be bees – except in the case of swarms. Wasps of any variety, we have no qualms about treating, but with so much in the media about bees dying and how that will impact pollination and food production, we’d hate to harm any more than absolutely necessary.

Interestingly, one of the very first things I learned about bees is that they don’t actually belong here! Bees are imports; they don’t like Canadian weather. But they do so much good for food production that it’s worth it to continue to help them to survive here. And clearly, if’s very possible to do so, if one knows what one is doing (and is willing to invest the time & money to do things properly). And it can be a profitable enterprise as well.

I did not, however, learn a whole lot about dealing with swarms! Which wasn’t at all surprising, as it was an introductory course meant for potential beekeepers, not really for me. He did talk about when and how they happen though, and that, in combination with further research, has given me rather more to go on. Think I’d want to do a whole lot more learning before we would actually feel qualified to DO anything though.

And of course, there’s little/no point to collecting a swarm unless one has a place to relocate them to. Suppose we could purchase a hive and supplies and hope for a swarm call to come along – but that seems like a fairly big investment for something that may or may not happen.

Anyway, we shall see. For now, though, we shall continue on as we have been, which is to identify the pest, and figure out the best way to handle it. In most cases, a bee swarm really isn’t near as big a problem as people tend to think. They are in search of a new & suitable home, and as long as you’re not providing them with that, they will soon move along.