Cottage Bugs: Insects and other creepy crawlies
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Over the past 25 years, Cottage Life magazine has answered many reader questions about cottage-country insects and spiders. From identifying giant mosquitoes and explaining spider behaviour to discouraging wasps and cluster flies, Cottage Bugs: Insects and other creepy-crawlies is a collection of the most intriguing questions and answers, providing practical advice to help you enjoy and, sometimes, endure these fascinating cottage critters.
that you can ascertain what these insects are from this description and from several squashed specimens on the enclosed piece of tape. —Andrea Smith, Mindemoya, Ont. Take heart; they’re not termites. After checking your minuscule specimens under a microscope, entomologist Bob Anderson at the Canadian Museum of Nature identified them as a type of springtail. Springtails exhibit a characteristic flea-like hopping motion, caused by a jumping apparatus on the abdomen. Springtails are not fleas
nothing to exterminate the rest of the colony, which happily continues to live between the foam and your pine roof boards. You don’t mention the exact size of the ants. If they are ¼" to ½" long, they could be carpenter ants, which also hollow out wood for a place to live; ultimately, the result could be severe structural damage to your cottage unless the colony is eradicated. A simple solution for both carpenter ants and smaller ants is to spread some drops of liquid ant bait across the path of
anything, Goulet says, make sure that the nest doesn’t belong to the giant European hornet (look for its reddish-brown head, shown in photo above), a non-native with a very nasty sting that has been spotted in Ontario in recent years. In this case, call in a pro. —May 2009 At our cottage on Gloucester Pool this August, we found hard clay mounds in the shape of bricks on the pedal of the pedal boat. When we broke the mud pieces off we discovered small cavities inside. Each cavity had a brown
we think we may have woodworms. How should we treat the wood to stop them? —Sepp Gmeiner, Toronto, Ont. “Woodworms” is a general term for the larvae of wood-boring beetles that attack pretty much any raw wood: lumber, flooring, furniture, tool handles, picture frames, wooden toys, fishing poles . . . you get the idea. There are a number of beetles that do this, and they have different life cycles and host preferences. Before you do anything, ideally you’d know (through expert help) the type
leak a lot of sap. If “popped,” they leak out yellow “pus.” What is this? —Liz Hollyer, Go Home Lake, Ont. Your oaks are infested with lecanium scale, a type of insect that sucks out the tree’s cell contents using a stylet, a hard, sharp anatomical instrument that works “like a drinking straw,” explains John McLaughlin of the Ontario Forest Research Institute. The bumps are the protective shells of the females. As the females mature, the shells get larger and larger. The “sap” is fluid