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Natural Life

We share the environs of Pike Lake with many other types of life. This page provides some helpful tips about living with our natural world. 

Be Tick Smart: Lyme Disease is in Ontario
Ticks don't keep their distance!

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are found around Pike Lake. These black-legged

ticks (also known as deer ticks) attach to birds which migrate from place to place,

bringing this health risk. While Lyme disease is easily treated when detected early,

it can have serious and permanent health consequences if left untreated.

Ticks can affect your pets as well as yourself.

 

April 29, 2021 The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority has just released a document

with information regarding ticks on the rise and some tips on how to avoid a tick bite.  

You can link to the full article here

Below is some information from the Government of Ontario website. For lots of other great info click here.

 

How to avoid getting a tick bite:

  • Cover up - wear light coloured clothing, (so it's easier to see ticks), closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, tucked into your socks;

  • Use insect repellent - one that says "DEET" or "icaridin" on it and put on your clothes and exposed skin, reading labels for directions on use; 

  • Put clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes before washing - to kill any ticks which might be on them; 

  • Check yourself and your children after being outdoors - look behind your knees, on your head, in your belly button, in your groin area, in your underarm area, on the back of your body using a mirror;

  • Shower as soon as you can to wash off any ticks;

  • Check your pets for ticks - check your pet's skin and remove any ticks. Ask your veterinarian about options to keep ticks off your pets. 

  • Maintain your property - keep grass mowed short; trim bushes and tree branches to let sunshine in; create a one meter border of gravel or wood chips; remove leaf litter, brush and weed at the edge of the lawn; move children's play equipment away from wooded areas and consider placing on wood chip or mulch foundation.

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Lymantria Dispar Moth Invasion

 

 

 

 

 

June 10 L. Dispar Moth 2021 Update Zoom Webinar 

The Ontario Woodlot Association provided a 2021 update on L Dispar Moths (formerly known as Gypsy Moths) on Thursday June 10th. 7:00 - 8:30 pm.  If/when the webinar is available it will be posted here for your information.   

May 2021 Update: Yes, the L. Dispar Moths are definitely coming back this spring.

Unfortunately they returned to our lake area last summer and were very prevalent.  Given their presence last year they will most likely be around in large numbers this spring.

 

The "European Gypsy moths", now referred to as L. Dispar Moths, were here in the early eighties and caused much destruction. In those days, the Minister of Natural Resource and Forestry sprayed far and wide throughout the province, but that was then; now they don’t spray for insects except in managed forests and it has been that way since 1992.

 

L. Dispar Moths are a whole different kind of moth. Once they mate, the female moth can produce thousands of eggs that can eventually turn into caterpillars. These caterpillars will feast on your trees. Their favorite tree is an oak tree but they really aren’t fussy or that particular, as they have been known to feed on more than 300 species of deciduous and coniferous trees.  Since the land surrounding our lake is populated with thousands of white pines, you should inspect them. A healthy deciduous tree, like an oak, may survive a season or two of having all its leaves eaten away, but the white pine will most likely not survive if all its needles are eaten.

 

The L.Dispar Moth large caterpillars generally migrate each day from the leaves of your trees, down the branches and the trunk, to nest in shaded spots on the tree or even on the ground. Then back up they go the next day, eating away more leaves or needles.

 

I inspected all my trees last fall looking for egg masses. I found some and scraped the eggs off of trees, fence posts, firewood and my dock. Since I live here year round, I decided to give it a second look this spring and to my surprise, I found more. Apparently I didn’t do a very good job of searching them out last fall. So the morale of this story is, better give it a second look. 

 

I know many of you have opted for aerial spraying which is very wise of you, if you had many sighting of egg masses on your property this past fall. For those of you who haven’t arranged for spraying, I would recommend having a second look around and scrape off any egg masses. Deposit them in a bucket of water with some dish detergent, bleach if you have it, and let them sit for a couple of days and the eggs will be destroyed. Don’t forget to spray the scraped portion of your tree with horticultural dormant oil. If that isn’t available, you can use mineral oil which will do the job just as well. So if you should be up at the cottage, check your trees as the eggs will hatch sometime this month. For more information on what to look and how to handle these pesky little creatures please read the information sheet on the L Dispar Moths, produced and supplied to us by Lanark County. You can link to it here.  

 

John Murphy

Vice-President

Pike Lake Community Association

 

 

 

 

 

The Regional Forest Health Network has also provided updated information on the L. Dispar Moths - L. Dispar Moth and the summer of 2021- what to expect, and what to do. You can find their information by clicking here.

 

 

February 16 update: 

A webinar regarding the 2020 L. Dispar Moth Invasion in Eastern Ontario was held on February 3rd, as part of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest Winter Woodlot Conference series. The speaker is Erin Boysen, from New Leaf Forest Services. You can find the link for the webinar here

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Don't invite bears to the cottage

As you can see from this picture, we have some furry friends around Pike Lake. According to Bear Wise, most problems between black bear and humans occur when bears are attracted by the smell of and rewarded with an easy meal. When bears pick up a scent with their keen noses, they will investigate it. If they are rewarded with feasts of garbage, pet food or bird food, they will return.

 

Some ways to reduce the risk from the Government of Ontario website:

  • store garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and store in a bear proof location, take garbage to the dump often;

  • fill bird feeders only through the winter months; offer bird natural alternatives in spring and summer (e.g. flowers, nesting boxes, fresh water);

  • when grilling burn off food residue and wash the barbecue grill right away;

  • plant non-fruit bearing trees and shrubs or pick all ripe and fallen fruit from any fruit trees and shrubs on your property; 

  • do not leave pet food outdoors, in screened-in areas or porches. 

 

For lots more information, click here.

This photo taken October 2019 by Linden Davidson, near Pike Lake.