Pest Control News

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Flea Treatment & Control

 Fleas

 

Flea infestations can be a real pain. One of the main issues with fleas is that due to their small size even as adults, their eggs and larvae are even harder to see. The chances being that if you see an adult flea, there are likely to be at least 10 eggs that you can’t see! Flea infestations can get out of hand very quickly as they are able to multiply rapidly. Plus them being quite difficult to see, it can seem very overwhelming dealing with this pest alone. 

 

But do not worry, SOS Pest Control can help! We have the knowledge, understanding and effective treatments to be able to deal with the problem quickly. 

 

Fleas can infest homes or offices. They are very good at hitching a ride on clothes and in bags so no warm environments are out of bounds. They will take comfort in carpets, sofas and curtains to name a few. It is important to keep any fabrics cleaned and areas hoovered on a regular basis. And remember, once you have hoovered, remove the bag and dispose of it immediately in order to take any potential fleas outside the building.

 

Fleas need food. This comes from the blood meals they enjoy from you or your pet. Their bites do not hurt at the time; however, they can cause redness, swelling and itching. Some people can have more adverse reactions to flea bites which can require treatment. These bites can really distress your pet too as they will constantly be scratching, trying to remove the adults and larvae from their fur. Adult fleas cannot fly, but they can however jump a considerable distance and height. This is how they are able to move from host to host.

 

A flea problem is nothing to be embarrassed about and please do not delay in calling us!

Monday, 28 September 2020

Autumn Pests- Time To Get Proofing

 Autumn Pests- Time To Get Proofing

 

As we enter in the Autumn season, days become shorter, the weather turns colder, and in typical UK spirit, the cloudy days get more regular. As this seasonal weather starts to come in, now is a great time to start looking at potential entry points for pests to gain access to your home, garage or shed. Pests do not really like the cold either, so they will be looking for warmth, shelter and a good food supply so naturally, your home is the perfect location. Some of the main pests that are likely to try and get into your home are birds, squirrels, rats and mice. Although there are many other pests that you may come across too! Below we look at two hotspots in the home;

 

Roof/Chimney

Pests such as birds and squirrels are likely to try and nest in your loft space. The area is warm and dry and easy to access. Birds come with a multitude of problems, their feathers and nests can be infected with mites, their droppings are not only unsightly but can be a heath hazard. Squirrels are extremely noisy, especially during the early hours of the morning. They are destructive too, tearing up insulation, cardboard and fabrics to make a nice comfy nest. 

 

What can you do?

-        Check roof for loose tiles or holes in the insulation

-       Make sure any nearby trees are pruned and kept away from the roof to keep access for squirrels to a minimum

-       Keep guttering clear from any debris

-       Put a cap on top of the chimney to stop birds trying to nest in there

 

Kitchen

Rats and mice can be a particular problem in the winter and your kitchen is a great place to stock up on food. They are not picky eaters either, so they will be sure to find something to their liking in your home. Mice by nature are far more inquisitive than rats so they will happily explore far and wide around the home. Rats are very destructive, being able to gnaw and chew their way through a variety of materials so no area is out of bounds. Any rat or mouse infestation can grow extremely quickly so if you one or evidence like droppings, it is highly suggested that you treat the problem quickly. Not only are they destructive, but rats and mice carry a lot of diseases that are harmful to humans. 

 

What can you do?

-       Make sure any pipe holes in the walls are sufficiently filled and proofing applied to those that run from outside to inside the property

-       Keep your kitchen clean and tidy from food spillages and debris

-       Make sure all foods are stored and secured in airtight containers

 

Whatever the pest, we are here to help. SOS Pest Control can deal with all sorts of pests and help you get your home proofed against them before winter comes. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Carpet Beetles

 Carpet Beetles

 

Carpet beetle adults are around in full force towards the end of the summer. They are looking for suitable locations to lay their eggs. These little beetles may only be small; however, they are able to cause some serious damage if left to thrive. 

 

 Life Cycle

 

The entire life cycle of a carpet beetle is typically a month. Carpet beetle eggs can take between 1-2 weeks to hatch once laid. As they feed, they grow and once they enter the beetle phase, they will live for about 2 weeks. Their main aim being reproduction and then laying eggs.

 

What do they look like?

 

Carpet beetle eggs are small in size and white or cream in colour. As soon as they hatch, they actually look like hairy caterpillars. They too are only small, with bristles all over their worm-like body and typically brown in colour. Adult carpet beetles can vary in colour, some are speckled browns, whites, oranges and black, whilst others are black all over. Regardless of their colourings, they are rounded in shape, with 6 legs and 2 antennae. Adults are also able to fly which means they can find access to numerous locations around the home. 

 

What do they eat?

 

It is the larvae that need to be within reach of food sources in order to grow into adults. The larvae will tend to eat any organic materials including but not limited to; carpets, wood, books and clothes. It is these larvae that will eat their way through these materials leaving unsightly holes in clothes and bald patches in your carpets. 

 

What can you do?

 

Having carpet beetles in your home is simply bad luck. They can fly in through open doors and windows, be carried in on flowers and even previously owned furniture. There are however a few things you can do to help reduce the likelihood they would like to stay;

·      Make sure to hoover and clean your home regularly

·      Check any flowers/furniture for signs of adult beetles

·      If you keep windows/doors open, perhaps invest in some nets or screens to help stop beetles entering your home

 

If you think you have carpet beetles in your home, you may be able to deal with the problem yourself. Using a hoover, you can thoroughly clean skirting boards and edges of carpets (they are a favourite location). 


What we would suggest however, is to give a professional a call, like SOS Pest Control. We will be able to investigate and advise on the extent of the infestation and offer you efficient solutions to the problem. Leaving you carpet beetle free!

Friday, 21 August 2020

Moths

Moths

Adult moths are around in abundance in the summer evenings. You are likely to see them fluttering around lights and resting on ceilings. Why they are so attracted to lights is not necessarily known, but they are rather annoying pests we have to deal with in the summer. 

It is not really the adult moths that we need to worry about, it is the larvae that hatch from the eggs they lay. Adult moths main aim is to reproduce. Once they have done that, the female moths look for a ideal location to lay their eggs. These locations are usually in materials such as stored clothing and bedding, or even soft furnishings. This is because once the eggs hatch, these materials make great food sources for the larvae. 

If you find small holes in your clothing or material items, then the chances are you have moths in your home. If you see more then 5 adults in your home, then the chances are that you have a moth infestation. 

Moth problems can be difficult to deal with, as it typically means going through all stored material items and wherever possible, washing them at high temperatures to kill any eggs or larvae. If the infestation is really bad, then give SOS Pest Control a call. Professionals can deal with the problem efficiently and effectively, using safe methods of eradication, and leaving you completely pest free. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Pesky Flies!

 Pesky Flies!

 

This week is set to be the hottest yet! And with such a scorcher of weekend coming up too, we thought it best to offer some information about flies.

 

With an increase in temperature, comes an increase in calls about dealing with fly problems. This is due to the heat speeding up the life cycle of the fly. In ideal conditions, the life cycle of eggs to maggots to flies can be completed in around 2 weeks. However, if the conditions are very warm, then this cycle can be completed in around 10 days!

 

Typical types of flies you are likely to encounter are houseflies and bluebottles. Houseflies are usually smaller than bluebottles, with brown striped bodies. Bluebottles get their name from their blue metallic colourings making them easy to distinguish from other flies. Bluebottles tend to have a loud buzz so you are definitely likely to know if you have a bluebottle around you. Houseflies are typically quieter flyers and tend to be found in larger groups. Bluebottles tend to invade the home in ones or twos. 

 

A fly’s main purpose of existing is to eat and reproduce. An interesting fact about flies is they are happy to eat and lay their eggs in the same location. Houseflies will lay their eggs in household rubbish bins or compost heaps, whereas bluebottles tend to prefer dead animals or meat as prime location to lay their eggs. Flies are not typically fussy eaters and will pretty much eat anything and everything. They are attracted to particularly potent smells such a decaying food or animal matter, which will attract flies from miles away if the source smell is strong enough. 

 

There are many things you can do as a homeowner to make sure that you are not bothered by flies this summer;

·      Keep food waste bins clean by disinfecting them regularly, in and outside the home

·      Make sure bin lids are tightly secured

·      Try to keep food and bins out of sunlight as heat can exacerbate decomposition of food matter

·      Keep wheelie bins away from doors and windows wherever possible

·      Use fly screens on ground floor doors and windows to stop flies entering your home

·      Make sure kitchen sides and floors are kept clean and tidy and free from food debris

 

Don’t forget, for any pest problems you may have, SOS Pest Control can help!

Monday, 27 July 2020

What To Do About Wasps?

What To Do About Wasps?


During the summer months, you probably enjoy nothing more than eating outside- be it going for a picnic, having a BBQ, or just dining alfresco in your garden. However, we doubt that you would want to share that time and space with all of mother nature’s wonderful insects, especially not wasps! Not only are they aggravating but can also be pretty dangerous if a swarm stings you.

In the UK there are many different species of wasps, but you are most likely to encounter the common wasp or German wasp. Both are similar in size and colouring, bright yellow with black markings with 6 yellow legs. Their bodies tend to look smooth and shiny. 

The queen will begin laying eggs in April/May and will continue to do so until the warm summer weather begins to change. Wasps struggle to survive in the colder months and will go into hibernation. Those that do survive begin the cycle of building a small nest at the beginning of Spring, which will grow and expand throughout the summer months. The first lot of eggs laid by the queen are workers, who are responsible for building and maintaining the nest. As the queen continues to lay eggs, the larvae must be fed. They typically feed on other small insects like caterpillars and aphids, brought to the colony by worker wasps. Adult wasps do not eat other insects but live off of nectar and other sugary secretions produced by the larvae.

Wasp nests can be found in a variety of locations in and around your home. Loft spaces, wall cavities, chimneys, sheds, garages, trees…just to name a few. If left undisturbed throughout the summer months, the colony can reach a considerable size, hundreds if not thousands of wasps! 

Wasps are actually very important for our ecosystem…. although they are good pollinators, they are not a good as bees for that. They are, however, little pest controllers in their own right. The adult wasps will kill/immobilise prey like flies, spiders and other insects to feed to their larvae in the nest. Wasps are responsible for removing large amount of these other pests from our environment and we most certainly need them to continue what they do. 

If a wasp colony has taken a liking to a location that you do not wish to share, then we strongly advise that you call for a professional to deal with your wasp nest problem. Wasps become very aggressive if they feel threatened or their nest is in danger and they will sting you repeatedly. Not only this, if they feel the danger is too great, they are able to signal to other wasps of this imminent danger and they will swarm you and you will be stung MANY times by multiple wasps. Some people have extremely adverse reactions to insect stings, and wasp stings are no exception. Under all circumstances, we really must advise calling us to deal with the problem. We have all the correct protective equipment, as well as the skills required to effectively deal with the problem!

Do not hesitate to give us a call today!

Friday, 10 July 2020

Black Garden Ants

Black Garden Ants


There are thousands of different species of ant across the world. In the UK, we have around 50 different species. Everyone is familiar with what an ant ‘looks like’, however very few people know that there are so many different types. The most common species you are likely to come across is the Black Garden Ant.

Black garden ants, as their name suggests, are black or dark brown in colouring. Worker ants are around 4mm in length and queens can be a large as 15mm in length. They have 6 legs and 2 antennae. They are quick moving and resilient. They have jaws to attack predators or defend their nest, although their jaw is not strong enough to pierce human skin. They are more likely to run away from you.

Workers are responsible for maintaining and building the nest, as well as foraging for food and looking after the larvae once the eggs hatch. The queen’s only role is to produce as many eggs as possible. Males are not typically produced until later on in the summer season so they can mate. Their life span is pretty short, as after mating, the males will die.

Ant typically enjoy warm climates; this is why we do not have many species in the UK that can survive the outside elements. Though the garden ant is the hardiest of our native species, they will typically nest where there is the most sunshine during the summer days. You are likely to find ants nests in your garden, under paving slabs, under decking, and sometimes even under your grass. Colonies can reach up to 15000 workers if left undisturbed in a prime location, and a good consistent source of food.

Food is extremely important to ant colonies, not only to keep the worker force strong, but also to maintain the queen so she is able to lay as many eggs as possible. Worker ants are great at foraging for new and exciting food sources. They are able to leave prominent trails for other worker ants to follow in order to gather as much food as possible for the colony. Ants are not particularly fussy in terms of what they eat; insects, dead ants, high protein foods. They also have a sweet tooth. They prefer sweetness, so nectar and fruits are top picks. 

For the summer months, there is nothing better than having your windows and doors open to enjoy the warm weather. But it is important to be mindful that this invites ants into your home. This is why it is good practice to make sure to mop and clean up any spills as soon as they happen, keep kitchen sides and floors clean and tidy too. Make sure to clean out your bin regularly and throw away any old or rotting fruit.

Don’t suffer in silence. If you think you have an ant problem, please give us a call today!

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