5 cottage pests that damage your property

Getting rid of cottage pests is about more than avoiding pesky black flies and mosquitos. Without the right tools in your arsenal, your pristine cottage property could be at risk. Here are five ways pests can damage your property—and how to stop them.

Nothing spoils a dinner party like seeing a flash of fur scamper across the kitchen floor. House mice usually range from two to three inches in length and can squeeze through holes the size of a dime, which means they can scurry into cracks you might not know even existed. Active year-round, mice like to gnaw on everything from stored food to fabrics, floorboards, furnishings and electrical wires and cables, leaving urine and feces in their wake. If you spot a mouse or any of their droppings, you need to take action immediately. Lay mousetraps around your home in the places you’ve found droppings, and pack any space between the flooring and walls with dryer sheets or steel wool. And if you suspect you’re facing an infestation, call the pros to handle it.

Carpenter ants
Although carpenter ants are commonly found outdoors in sheds, tree trunks, and firewood, these pests can wreak havoc in your cottage too. Indoors, carpenter ants build their colonies in water-damaged or rotting structural wood. They chew on wood to expand their colonies, meaning they can be as destructive as termites if left to their own devices. Since carpenter ants are attracted to moisture, search for leaks in your roof, gutters, floors, and the decks around your home. Also remove any shrubs or limbs that could be infested from touching the cottage—this is how the ants can gain entrance—and be sure to check any firewood before bringing it indoors.

Bed bugs
Although bed bugs are a serious issue in cities, they can infest cottage country too. Unfortunately, it’s hard to prevent bed bugs from entering your cottage—unless you want to search your guests’ belongings before they enter, which we definitely do not recommend! If you’re noticing little red bumps on your body, or rust-coloured smears of dried blood on your mattress, pillowcases, or sheets, you should take immediate action. Wash all clothing and bedding in hot water, spray (following label directions and ensuring you hit the bugs directly) with a special bug killer like Raid Earthblends® Multi-Bug Killer, and vacuum any cracks where the pests could be hiding. Bed bugs in the home can be a tiring, traumatizing experience, so be sure to act swiftly before the infestation spreads beyond the bedroom, or contact a professional to help.

These furry creatures will enter your home through any means necessary: through a chimney, unscreened vents, holes in exterior walls, or even an open patio door! They’re also known to chomp through cables, electrical wires, wood, roof shingles, drywall, and duct systems. If squirrels are infiltrating your home, it’s best to call a professional to safely remove them.

Eating up to 1,200 mosquitoes every hour, brown bats are a cottager’s best friend. That is, of course, until they start living in your home. Bats like quiet, warm places to sleep during the day, which means cottage attics are the perfect accommodations. Bats can spread diseases to family members and make a mess of their sleeping quarters, so it’s important to move them out if you’re facing an infestation. At dusk, wait outside and see where the bats are exiting and entering your cottage. Then seal up all those areas and install a one-way exit door. Before you kick them out, however, be sure to build a couple of bat boxes for them to relocate to. Also keep in mind timing: baby bats are born in the spring and cannot fly until July, so wait until August when they can escape at night.