Thursday, May 24, 2012

Black Widow Spider

Yesterday, I mentioned that it is very rare to see a black widow spider in Ontario. If you know where to look you might be able to find them, but it's rare. But wouldn't you know that just hours after posting the blog, I got a text message that Ross had gotten a call about a black widow spider in Penetanguishene. Ross went out and did his thing and brought the dead spider home and here's the picture that shows the dead spider.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spider & Sprays: A Revisit

Like yesterday's revisit on carpenter ants, today's post will be a quick revisit of spiders and spider sprays.
Click here to read the last post we did on spiders and spider sprays. Like mentioned before spiders are not actually insects, but instead are classified as arachnids. There are a number of different species of spiders found in Canada such as house spiders, wolf spiders, cellar spiders and fishing spiders.
It is also possible, but very rare to see black widow spiders or brown recluse in Ontario.
Spiders prefer dark areas so will most often be found in the corners of rooms, in closets, dark cracks and crevices, basements, garages, gardens, etc. Yes spiders can be creepy, but they are definitely beneficial to the environment because they will eat other insects and even other spiders.
When laying eggs, the females will lay them in egg sacs with each sac carrying up to several hundred eggs.
Controlling the spider population in and around your home is "easily" done by reducing the number of insects in and around your home. Using IPM is the best way to effectively control spiders (and other pests).
If you have any questions or concerns Call Cottage Country Pest Control at (705)534-7864 or email us at to book an appointment--and remember - it's almost always better and CHEAPER to deal with pest control problems when they are small.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Carpenter Ants: A Revisit

Because of the mild winter we had, carpenter ants are back sooner and stronger than ever. We've done posts on carpenter ants before, which you can read here and here, however given the number of people who are having issues with them now, I think it's time for a little revisit. I won't go into as much detail as the previous posts, but hopefully you can find out a bit of information. Carpenter ants are a large species of ants (not just in their numbers but in their actual size). They general range in size from .25 to 1 inch and can be found worldwide. They have two types of nests, however they can have multiple of the second type. The first is their main nest and the second is the satellite nest. The main nest has to be somewhere damp, preferably in a moist and decaying wood source as this is the best location for the eggs and young. A main nest will be located outside, while the satellite nest will usually but not always be found inside a home. This is because it will be drier which is best for the larvae and pupae. The best places to look for a main nest include rotting trees/stumps or decaying landscape timber while the best places to look for a satellite nest inside include wall voids, eaves, ceilings or under insulation such as in attics or crawl spaces and they can also be found in roof gutters and in downspouts. Carpenter ants, while building their nests do not eat the wood but rather tunnel through it, which is why when investigating to see whether or not you have carpenter ants, it's important to look for piles of a sawdust-like material called frass. Controlling and eliminating carpenter ants can be done and the best prevention is to maintain dry conditions, so that they are unable to find moist and decaying wood to nest in. Remember, anyplace that wood comes in contact with soil, could potentially become infested with carpenter ants. The key to controlling any infestation is to find where the queen is laying eggs (the main nest). This will require a thorough inspection and an effort to follow foraging ants back to their nest. It is recommended that if you see 10-12 ants (or more) in your home during the evening then it is worth investigating. If a carpenter ant infestation treated quickly, carpenter ants are rarely responsible for any serious structural damage to houses and buildings. However, these ants could cause serious damage if they continue undiscovered for an extended period. It is advisable to seek professional help in containing a carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to grow again when surviving members begin to nest again, which is where Cottage Country Pest Control comes in. If you know you have a carpenter ant problem, think you have an infestation or have any pest problems call us at 705-524-7863 or email us at today.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Wait?

Have been hearing that some of the bigger pest control companies that come up to this area are now booking well into June....

Cottage Country Pest Control is happy to help you with your pest problems when you have them - and when it is convenient for you. This week, Ross has been working until 7 pm or later pretty much every day (poor guy drops off his helper and comes home thinking he's going fishing only to be packed off again) ... but people's problems are being solved quickly and efficiently.

We're doing a lot of spider sprays right now, but also seeing a higher than usual incidence of carpenter ants in Balm Beach (as usual) but now also in Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll, Wyvale and .... well, basically, all over cottage country.  Lots of winged colonies on the prowl looking for new homes, too.

If you have a pest problem - or if you aren't sure but think you might have - drop us an email, or call us at 705-534-7863. The pike will thank you.

Phorid Flies: Part 2

Phorid flies generally breed in a number of locations such as in dung, on fungi, in decaying plant matter or in drain pipes. Phorid flies most commonly feed on decaying matter and can often be found around moist and decaying matter and decaying plants, but they can be found anywhere in your home and because they love unsanitary conditions they may transport various disease-causing organisms to your food.

Phorid flies are found worldwide but there is a greater number of species found in the tropics.

Their lifecycle consists of egg, larvae, pupae, adult. They will develop from an egg and go through both the larave and pupal stage to become adults in approximately 25 days although it can vary from 14-37 days depending on the species. A female phorid fly can lay anywhere from 1 to 100 eggs at a time and in their lifetime can lay up to 750 eggs.

After the eggs have been laid, the larvae will begin to emerge within a day, and they will feed from 8-16 days before they pupate.

We cover a broad area - Tiny & Tay townships, Simcoe, Muskoka and beyond. We're also available at your convenience - weekend service available at no extra charge, and we do island calls.

For more information or to book an appointment, call us at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Phorid Flies

This is the first of two posts about Phorid Flies.

Phoridae is a family of small and hump-back flies that are known to commonly resemble fruit flies. They can be identified (and distinguished) from a fruit fly by the specific way of escape--they run quickly across the surface they are on, instead of flying. It is this behaviour that also gives them their alternate name "scuttle flies".

There are approximately 4,000 species of phorid flies in 230 genera. The most well-known species is the Megaselia scalaris or the "coffin fly"

Phorid flies are small at only about 1/2-6 mm in length and when they are viewed from the side they have a visible hump. Their colouring ranges from black or brown to yellowish.

Phorid flies are classified into six subfamilies:

  • Phorinae
  • Aenigmatiinae
  • Metopininae
  • Alamirinae
  • Termitoxeniinae
  • Thaumatoxeninae

However, in 1992 Alamirinae was abolished when it was shown that they were the "missing" males if the Termitoxeniinae family, which until then was known to only be females.

We cover a broad area - Tiny & Tay townships, Simcoe, Muskoka and beyond. We're also available at your convenience - weekend service available at no extra charge, and we do island calls.

For more information or to book and appointment, call us at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cottage Country - Let the season begin

So... how's the fishing where you are?

We're on Georgian Bay - Hog's Bay to be specific - and so far this season, Ross is off to a great start.

He was all over the place yesterday - worked at 10+ hour day solving people's carpenter ant problems and spraying homes & cottages for spiders....    Actually, the spray is not so much for the spiders as it is the webs, which can make an unsightly mess, especially if you happen to be anywhere near water, where the spiders most like to hang out.

He still managed to get in an hour or so of fishing though.  We've had no luck at all yet when we go out in the boat.... but fishing off the dock in the evening has been amazing this year!  I'm getting very good at cleaning pike - am even learning how to remove the y-bones thanks to youTube and practice.  So far I haven't managed to catch a single blessed one.... all I've caught is a big old ugly dog fish.... but Ross is making up for it.   Last night he caught what he says is probably his biggest bass ever.... had to put that one back though, since its too early for bass.   Right after that he landed a 29" pike though. Fish & chips for dinner - have to eat some so that we - well, really, he -  can go catch more :)

Got a cottage country pest problem?    We can't fish ALL the time - so drop us an email at or give us a call at 705-534-7863 and I'll be happy to send Ross off in your direction.

We cover a broad area - Tiny & Tay townships, Simcoe, Muskoka and beyond. We're also available at your convenience - weekend service available at no extra charge. And we do islands - your boat or ours.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Small Flies: Drosophilidae

The Drosophilidae is a diverse family of flies that includes fruit flies. The best known species of the  Drosophilidae is the Drosophilia Melanogaster within the genus Drosophilia. It is this species that is used extensively for studies concerning genetics, development, physiology, ecology and behaviour.

These fruit flies have very short lifespans and similar to what is seen in other species, they show a historical influence to temperature. Several genes have been identified that could be manipulated in order to extend their lifespans.

Identifying the Drosophilidae can be done through the incomplete subcoastal vein, two breaks in the coastal vein and a small anal cell in the wing. They also have convergent postcellar bristles; generally three frontal bristles on each side of the head with two facing back and one facing front.

The family is subdivided in two subfamilies, the Drosophilinae and the Steganinae. These two subfamilies do not contain a single morphological character that distinguishes them, however the combination of their characteristics is enough to name each species into the correct subfamily.

If you have any questions or to book an appointment call us at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Upcoming Trade Show

On Sunday June 3, from 11-3 Cottage Country Pest Control will be at Georgian Bay Community Life Show in Honey Harbour as part of the Just Add Water Festival.

If you are in the area, come find our table! We'll have lots of information about CCPC, various pests and more.

For more information about the Just Add Water Festival.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Let the spraying begin

So... the new season is off to a very busy start!

Because of the mild winter, not as many insects died off this year, and we are seeing very high numbers of spiders, flies, ants and other assorted pests already. And unfortunately, the bed bugs haven't gone anywhere, so we're still seeing those as well.

Ross has already got a very busy week scheduled, with multiple jobs booked in Victoria Harbour, Balm Beach, and a couple of island calls (sure hope the boat repair goes as planned!) -  and next week is starting to fill up as well....

so if you're thinking about calling to arrange to have your home or cottage sprayed for spiders before they start making a mess with their webs, now is a good time.

Call Cottage Country Pest Control at (705)534-7864 or email us at to arrange to have your pests controlled....

and remember - it's almost always better and CHEAPER to deal with pest control problems when they are small.


Small Flies: Tephritidae

Tephritidae fruit fly

Tephritidae (fruit flies) are one of two fly families that is commonly referred to as "fruit flies". Tephritidae however, does not include the common fruit fly. There are almost 5,000 described species of the tephritidae fruit flies that are categorized in almost 500 genera.

The subfamilies of tephritidae are:
Blepharoneurinae (5 genera and 34 species)
Dacinae (41 genera and 1,066 species)
Phytalmiinae (95 genera and 331 species)
Tachiniscinae (8 genera and 18 species)
Tephritinae (211 genera and 1,859 species)
Trypetinae (118 genera and 1,012 species)

The fruit flies in the tephritidae family are sometimes referred to as peacock flies because of their elaborate and colourful markings.

They are also considered to be of major importance when it comes to agriculture, with both positive and negative impacts. Some of the negative effects include a variety of species that can cause damage to fruit and other plants. An example of this is the Bactrocera, which is part of the Dacinae subfamily. The bactrocera has worldwide notoriety because of the destruction it has on agriculture.

On a positive note, some fruit flies are used as agents of biological control, for reducing the population of various pest species.

Most of the fruit flies in this family lay their eggs in plant tissues because this is where the larvae will be able to easily find food when they are born. Adult flies have a short lifespan and some species will only live for a week or less. However, fruit flies are able to reproduce quickly and in large numbers (given the opportunity a fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time), which means that getting a fruit fly infestation under control can be tricky.

If you have any questions or to book an appointment call us at 705-534-7863 or email us today.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trapping: Part 2

After some delay, we're finally wrapping up the posts about trapping.

Today's post is about education, licensing and legislation.

In order for trappers to qualify for the license, they MUST successfully complete the Fur Harvest, Fur Management and Conservation Course. This course is administered by the ministry and emphasizes safe and humane trapping, survival, good pelt penetration and sustainable management practices.

Trapping Licenses

Every trapper is required to purchase a license that must be renewed yearly. Every license has a unique number used to identify the trapper and where they trap. This information is used to help monitor animal populations and for setting season and harvest quotas.

Open Seasons

Trappers are only allowed to trap during open seasons which were established in the early 1900's in order to prevent harvesting during times when pelts were considered not "prime" and also to avoid harvesting when young were dependent on their parents.

Harvest Quotas

A harvest quota defines the maximum number of animals a licensed trapper is allowed to harvest. Annual quotas are set for any species that may be affected by either over or under harvesting.


Trappers are considered to be the front line of monitoring in regards to Ontario's furbearers and their habits. They provide vital information on wildlife through scientific studies and mandatory year-end harvest reports.

Legislation (*Verbatim from legislation*)
  • The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act  (S.O. 1997 c 41) provides the legislative framework for the management and protection of furbearers in Ontario. It includes a List of Furbearers of Ontario (twenty-two species of furbearers and their habitats are found throughout the province).  These are defined under Schedule 1 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, S.O. 1997 and O. Reg. 669/98. 
  • The Crown Forest Sustainability Act indirectly provides for the habitat needs of most furbearers in crown forests.
  • The Provincial Policy Statement for the Protection of Natural Heritage Features (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 1997) was issued under the Planning Act.  The Provincial Policy Statement provides for the protection of significant wildlife habitat as well as other natural heritage features (e.g. wetlands, forests, endangered/ threatened species habitat, corridors) on lands within organized municipalities in the province.  The majority of lands in the area covered by the Planning Act are privately owned.
  • The Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards directs the testing and certification of trapping systems used in Ontario.  The Fur Institute of Canada coordinates trap testing activities on behalf of Canada's provinces and territories.  Canadian trappers employ the most up-to-date and humane trapping devices available.
 To contact Cottage Country Pest Control call us at 705-534-7863 or email us today.