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!

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

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.

Happy 2023!

Hope you had a great holiday season, and that this year is wonderful.

At the very least, I’m hoping Covid is less of a concern! Both my mom and Ross managed to get it over the holidays. Ross is feeling better – mostly. Ma, not so much. *sigh* Fun times!

We got our issues with Google business sorted out, so we’re back on the map and in search, which makes me happy. Whole thing was ridiculous!! And of course, they, like many others, are still using Covid as the reason for poor customer service. Getting annoyed with that whole song.

So, none of that here 🙂 We have much better reasons for delays! Not really – we try to minimize those. New semester, though, so I am in classes a couple of days a week. But even so, if you don’t get me, please do leave a message and I will get back to you. Or text (same number) and I’ll likely be even quicker.

We’re always happy to help solve your pest problems responsibly – it’s what we do.

ratAnd we do it well too. Probably too well sometimes – apparently the way to be successful in pest control is NOT to solve problems! We should, we’re told, just sign people up for regular visits.

Refill the bait stations, but leave the holes so that you still have to live with rodents and poop?! That’s rude!! Especially when we’ve learned some really effective ways to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it.. We would much rather build our business by solving your problems so well that when you get a chance, you’ll refer others our way.

Anyway … I need to be shutting up and moving on to the work I need to be doing this evening … haven’t yet up written up the note I promised my new first year class. My bad! 

If you have pest problems, please do give us a call or text us at 705-534-7863 and we’ll be happy to help.

And drive safe!!

 

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.

Checked your trees today?

Well, they’re here – spongy ldd gypsy moth caterpillars are up in the leaves eating as of this week. Jessa and I are a little annoyed that they have reached the leaves before we managed to get everyone that wanted a spray for them done – darn rain!!

We’ve been able to do a few things this weekend, but nowhere near as many as we could have if the weather would have just cooperated!! SO annoying!! But it did mean that we were able to spend some time troubleshooting around squirrels and mice at one home in Tiny. I was pretty darn proud of myself at that one – usually it’s Jessa that finds things but this time I did it!! I found a mouse nest mostly by smell. And then I topped that off by – just as we were about to leave – noticing a (very) split beam that answered the question of how the heck the squirrels got in. Yay me!!

Solving mysteries is a fun part of this gig.

Anyway, just today we saw caterpillars eating in the leaves in Victoria Harbour, Bracebridge, Midland, and Tiny – basically every place we went whether it was about those or not. Was very satisfying to stop by some of the trees we sprayed proactively. No holes in the leaves, no caterpillars…. just as we wanted.

Too late for proactive now – we’ll have to switch to spraying up into the leaves as well as just ’round the trunks – but still able to make a huge difference in how much damage they’ll do and how much (or how little) mess you’ll have to deal with.

We’re pretty booked up right now, and the weatherman is STILL not cooperating too well!! But we are most definitely trying to get to everyone that is outstanding right now. Next weekend is Robin’s Point – if you’re here to sign up for that, there’s a link in the menu bar at the top or you can click right here: Robin’s Point Form.

If you need help with your spongy moths though – or with any other pests you didn’t bring into the world yourself, please do give us a call and we will do our very best to get there and solve it for you just as soon as we can.

Lauralee

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.