Pest Control News

Monday, 5 August 2019

Holiday Season - Be Bed Bug Aware!

Holiday Season - Be Bed Bug Aware!

The summer holidays are well and truly upon us now, but unfortunately pests do not seem to get the memo. Some of you may be packing your suitcases to jet off abroad or some of you may be enjoying the great (yet sometimes unpredictable) weather here in the UK. Either way, you are not exempt from dealing with a potential bed bug problem!

Although bed bugs are not necessarily considered a seasonal pest (like wasps for example), there is a fluctuation in calls to us about them in the summer months. This could be for a multitude of reasons, but one may be the coming and going from hotels or staying with friends. 

Bed bugs are capable travellers and will happily make themselves at home in a suitable location. They are very small and sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye but typical a typical hot spot for a bed bug infestation is the bedroom. They require food and warmth to survive and a little moisture. They can lay their eggs in many different locations such as; mattress seams, joints of bed frames, sofa seams and other soft furnishings. One thing they do need is a blood meal. This is why the most likely location is on or around your mattress. Although bed bug bites do not hurt at the time, they can cause swelling, itchiness and redness. Not pleasant. 

Here are a couple of things to look out for;
-blood spots on your sheets
-bites to your skin
-egg cases
-small, flat oval shaped, brownish coloured insects
Bed bugs can reproduce very quickly if their environment is right so dealing with an infestation can be very tricky. 

If you think you have a bed bug infestation, please give us a call. We can deal with the problem quickly and effectively!

Monday, 29 July 2019

Pests to look out for this Summer

Pests to look out for this Summer

Below we have put together a small list of common pests that may be a problem this summer.

Flies
As the weather warms up, you may notice more flies around. This is due to their activity and reproductivity levels increasing in warmer climates. They are attracted to strong smelling food sources, and ones that we as humans really are not fans of. Such as animal faeces and rotting food. They will eat and lay eggs on these sources. With warm weather, comes stronger smells. This is why it is important to make sure any bins containing waste are sealed and cleaned regularly. 

Ants
Ants are at the height of their activity in the summer months. A colony will be pretty well established at this time of year and will be continuing to grow. An ant’s nest is likely to be underground, so it is good practice to follow the work ants back to the entrance of the nest to establish its location. This may be under patio slabs or in the grass in the garden to name a few. The worker ants will be out of the nest looking for food sources. They love sweet sugary food such as nectar and soft fruits. They will also find anything sugary in the home if their nest is close enough. This is why we suggest making sure to clean up any spillages and making sure your kitchen is cleaned regularly. 

Bees & Wasps
Like ants, bees and wasps nests are at their largest and most active during this time of year. They are more prevalent in the summer months due to this and can become a problem. Nesting locations can vary but can include; trees, abandoned rodents nests, sheds and attics. Both bees and wasps can become aggressive when protecting their nests, so it is always advised to seek advice from a professional pest controller. Unlike bees, wasps are able to sting multiple times and will do so if they feel threatened. 

Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are the top pest for the summer months. In the summer, they complete their life cycle quicker than in the colder months. This is why there seems to be more around in the summer. They are most active in the early evening, looking for blood meals. You usually do not know that you have been bitten until it is too late. Males are drawn to nectar to feed. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Wasps are here!

Wasps are here!

Wasp season is well underway now. They love the warmer weather just like us. As we enjoy the sunshine, having picnics, ice creams, and BBQ’s, wasps will also like to join the party. It is always good to be prepared so here are some facts and interesting information about wasps.

·     In the UK, there are over 20,000 different species of wasps-the German wasp and Common wasp are the species you are most likely to come into contact with

·     They have bright yellow and black stripes on their tail ends, black thorax and yellow legs

·     They are social insects-they live in a colony and all members have a specific job role

·     They will tend to nest in trees, lofts, sheds and have been known to nest in the ground in abandoned rodent nests

·     Their nest is constructed by the queen initially with chewed up wood pulp and saliva. Once the queen begins to lay eggs, the colony take over the building and maintenance of the nest as well as looking after the young that the queen continues to produce

·     Wasps can fly much faster than you can run!

·     They are able to sting multiple times. This is because they do not lose their stinger like bees

·     Wasps, like our beloved bees are very important to our ecosystem. They are great pollinators

·     They tend to eat flies, caterpillars and aphids. At the end of the summer, they are more drawn to sugary food sources which will see them through the winter

·     If a wasp feels threatened, it can emit a pheromone that signals to other wasps that there is danger and help is required

·     It is best practice to not swipe at a wasp, this may be construed as an attack and you will be stung!


 If you find a wasp nest in or around your home, please call in a professional to assess and deal with the situation. We are fully trained and qualified to make sure the problem is dealt with properly. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Bees- Friend or Foe?

Bees

We have been inundated with calls about bees so far this season. Some bees may look like wasps, however due to the weather not being as warm as it has been in previous years, the wasp season does not seem to have ‘kicked off’ yet. 

If you are seeing nests or swarms in or around your home, we implore you to consider if they are truly a pest problem. We say this as most pest controllers don’t like to treat bees. They are so important to our ecosystem and their pollination of flowers is imperative. Bees usually will not opt to harm a human, however they will do so if they feel threatened or to protect their colony. 

The most typical species of bees you are likely to come across are honey bee and bumble bees. Honey bees are typically mating now which in turn will create a new queen. Once this queen is established, then the old queen will swarm and move on to create a new colony. Nesting sites of bees can vary depending on species, some nest is wall cavities, lofts, old rodent nests, trees etc. 

When you see a large swarm of bees, they are usually resting whist protecting their queens. The swarm itself can look quite intimidating however, if you leave them alone, they will eventually move on after a couple of days. 

It is suggested, where possible, to leave bees to their own devices. They will not nest in the same location twice, so if you are able to live with your bee friends then there is no need to contact a pest controller. If however if the bees are causing concern or a health risk (as some people are highly allergic to bee stings), they we would suggest calling in a professional to have a look and offer some advice about the best course of action to take.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Different types of bees found in the UK

Different types of bees

There are a number of different species of bee in the United Kingdom. The appearance, behaviour and nesting preferences are all dependent on the species. They come in all shapes and sizes as well as different colours. Below you will find a list of just some of the bees you may encounter during this particular time of year. 

Bumble Bees
This is one of the most social species of bee. They nest in colonies varying in size and work together to maintain this. 

Early bumblebee
This bumble bee is the smallest in the UK. You will see them around gardens and in the trees. They tend to live in deserted burrows and are usually seen between March and June. 
They have yellow and black bands across their bodies with an orange tail. 

Tree bumblebee
The tree bumble bee, as the name suggests can be found nesting in trees. They like to nest high up. You will usually see them between March and July. They are mainly ginger in colour with a white tail and black abdomen.

Honey bees
There is actually only one species of honey bee in the UK and most of them live in hives kept by beekeepers. You will see them buzzing around between March and October. They usually have yellow and black stripes and have less of the ‘fluffy’ appearance compared to the bumble bee. 

Solitary bees

Carder bee
These bees are predominantly brown in colour with yellow spots along their abdomen. They can vary in colour depending on the amount of sunlight they have been exposed to. They prefer to nest in high locations like trees. Carder bees can be seen between May and July. 

Leafcutter bees
Leafcutter bees are true to their name, cutting leaves to create a nice lining for the females’ eggs. These bees are usually seen between May and August. Nesting preference is away from the ground, but close enough to collect pollen and nectar to feed their young.

Mining bee
The mining bee can usually be seen between March and July. They nest in the ground and can be found in many different habitats, most commonly on grassy slopes. They are an orange colour on the top and have black abdomens. They also have the ‘fluffy’ appearance.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Spring Pests Are Here!

Spring Pests Are Here!

Spring is the time for most pests to begin to emerge. This is usually due to most of them searching for a mate. Even if love is in the air, the last thing you want to deal with is a pest problem. 

Below are some common pest problems that we receive calls about during the spring months;

Cockroaches and Bed Bugs
Cockroaches love warmer weather conditions which is why it is likely you may begin to see them around. They are always on the search for food and water sources. They are extremely adaptable which makes them difficult to treat. They have been around for millions of years and can be very resourceful in residential and commercial locations. They will eat pretty much anything, including each other if necessary. They can go without food for about a month but will only survive without water for a week.
Bed Bugs are also more prevalent during this time of year. This could be for a number of reasons, they like most pests are ready to find a mate. However, more reports of bed bugs are made due to the school holidays and travelling. If you pick up bed bugs in a hotel for example and they survive the journey, they will thoroughly enjoy the lovely environment of your nice warm home.  

Pigeons
Pigeons are on the lookout for a mate at this time of the year. And they are not quiet about it either! Another issue with birds is their poop. They actually harbour a number of diseases in themselves but also their droppings. This can cause serious health issues if not dealt with and handled correctly by a professional. 

Clothes Moths
It is the time to start getting out the Spring/Summer wardrobe as the weather starts to warm up. If you find holes in your clothes, that means you have a moth problem! It is not actually the adult moths that make these holes but rather the larvae. It is most likely that they would have been present when the clothes where packed away, which is why it is suggested that clothes are washed on a high heat, dried and placed in sealed containers to best combat these pests.

Bees and Wasps
You will see many insects beginning to emerge now. It is mating season after all. Bees and wasps are also beginning to search for food sources. Whilst bees are attracted to pollen and nectar, wasps like anything sweet! Both these insects can sting you so if you do come across them, it is best practice to leave them be if possible. They will become aggressive if they feel you are a threat to them or their nest. 

If you think you have any of these pest problems mentioned above, please do not hesitate to give us a call!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Death Watch Beetles

Death Watch Beetles

The Death Watch Beetle is not as scary as it sounds. It is believed that the name originated from these beetles commonly being found in churches and hospitals years ago. Although superstitious people believed it was because they were an ‘ill omen’ it was more likely due to the construction of buildings years ago. More specifically the wood used in these buildings. The Death Watch Beetle is a wood boring beetle and can be placed under the umbrella term ‘woodworm’. This is due to their boring tunnels in wooden structures as they eat. 

Death Watch Beetles are native to the United Kingdom and are most likely to be found in hardwood- building timbers or furniture. They are not partial to softwood furnishings which is lucky really as most newly built houses use softwood in the structure. The adult beetles are around 7mm in size and a mottled brownish grey in colour. They are able to fly but do not tend to.

These seasonal pests will start to make an appearance between the months of April and September as the weather begins to warm up. They make their appearance for one reason only, to mate. In order to attract a mate, they will bang their heads against the wooden structure to make a tapping or clicking sound. Once they have found a mate, they will search for a suitable location to lay their eggs. This location must have a decent level of moisture to ensure their eggs survive as well as somewhere where their eggs will not be disturbed. The female can lay up to 70 eggs at a time. When the eggs hatch, the grubs tunnel down in to the wood structure to feed. Interestingly, grubs can live up to 10 years inside the timber, it is after this they will emerge as grown beetles in search for a mate. 

Any signs of the Death Beetle are similar to those of the woodworm. The tunnels created by the grubs will create holes visible in the surface of the wood and the production of frass (digested wood sawdust) will be a tell-tale sign that you have an active infestation. Don’t forget to listen out for the tapping too, another sure sign that you have an active infestation. 

If you think you may have a Death Beetle infestation, we strongly recommend that you give a professional pest controller a call. We will be able to offer you advice and best course of treatment to rid you of these pests and make sure that they do not come back!