Pest Control News

Monday, 20 January 2020

Noises In Your Loft? It Could Be Grey Squirrels

Grey Squirrels


It is that time of year again where we need to start talking about squirrels. Although we typically think of squirrels as pests in the springtime, they are also prevalent in the winter. This is because they, like most pests, look to find shelter from the cold, wet weather. Hear scratching or rustling in your loft? Chances are, it could be squirrels!

Squirrels may indeed look cute, but actually they are extremely destructive. Not only to items in and around your home, but also to the environment. Grey squirrels are not native to the UK and they pose a great risk to our red squirrel population. They strip trees of their bark, ultimately causing them to die. Grey squirrels will also raid birds’ nests to eat their eggs.

Grey squirrels are just smaller that a 30cm ruler. As you would expect, they are predominantly grey in colour with a white underbelly. Their tails are long and furry (although not a fluffy as our red squirrels) and can vary in colours; from grey, orange, black and white. They typically will build their nests in trees, in a hole or in branches against the trunk. They like to be high up. 

If you do hear that rustling in your loft, then squirrels may have managed to gain access to your home. They could have done this in many ways. If there is ivy growing up the side of your property or dense foliage from trees and bushes, these provide great step ladders to your roof space. As mentioned earlier, grey squirrels are destructive, and this is not limited to just the outside world. If they are able to gain access, they will tear up insulation, strip electrical wires and chew on any available wood. If that wasn’t bad enough, they are really noisy! Chances are they will disrupt your sleep as they are typically most active during the early hours of the morning. 

Prevention is better than a cure, so if you think you have any potential entry points in your roof, then may we suggest getting in touch with us today. We can offer advice and our services to help you be squirrel free this winter. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

SOS Pest Control would like to wish all our customers, old and new, a very Happy New Year! We are so grateful for your business and look forward to another great year ahead in 2020.

CALL US NOW ON :
ASHFORD
01233 210782

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01227 389563

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01622 829269

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Friday, 27 December 2019

Bedbugs

Bedbugs

What they look like

·      Brown in colour and have flat bodies and oval shape. 
·      No larger than 5mm when fully grown adults. 
·      They cannot fly but they can move very quickly.

What they eat 

Human and animal blood

Where to find them

·      Bedbugs do not like the light
·      Typically nocturnal and will tend to bite you when you are sleeping
·      Bedbugs tend to reside in is in your mattress, in seams and even the bedframe 
·      They like dark and undisturbed locations and can be found all over the house

How to proof against them

·      Keep your home clean and tidy, removing clutter 
·      Make sure any second-hand furniture or mattresses are inspected and cleaned before being bought into your home
·      Regularly hoovering under the bed frame 
·      Hoovering under sofas, bookshelves, sideboard units as these are preferred undisturbed locations for bedbugs to be hiding in
·      Remember to empty out the hoover often and do so outside of your property to get rid of any bugs.


If you think you have a bedbug problem, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have the knowledge and ability to treat the problem successfully.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Seasonal Pest Problems

Seasonal Pest Problems

The month of December is always a busy time of year. Buying Christmas presents and food shopping, parties and putting up the tree. Most of us tend to store our winter clothes and Christmas decorations in the loft, garage or shed, only to be dug out in December (or November for you early birds) which gives pests the prime opportunity to make nice little nests as the weather turns colder before then. Below are some of the pests you are most likely to see during the festive season. 

Rats
You are most likely to hear rats scratching around as they make their nests. They have exceptionally strong teeth which means they are able to chew through a variety of materials. So the plastic boxes with your clothes stored in or the cardboard box that you store your Christmas tree in are easily accessible to them. Rats need access to water to survive as well as food. Typically, you will find them in the shed or garage as they have access to water sources through drains outside. They will venture indoors in search for food and also warmth.

Mice
Mice tend to be most active at night-time. They are extremely inquisitive and enjoy exploring their surroundings. Interestingly, they are able to survive for long periods of time on little water and food. They are smaller in size compared to rats. However, like rats, if left to their own devices, they can not only cause considerable damage, but can reproduce very quickly. They will chew through plastic, cardboard, bags etc to further explore their immediate surroundings or to create soft nesting by shredding cardboard and paper. Mice are good climbers so they can easily make their way between floors in your home.

Fleas
Fleas are a nightmare if they are able to make themselves at home in your house. They can be transported into your home through many different ways; pets’ fur, infested second-hand furniture, and even plants. If you find an adult flea, chances are there are many flea eggs in and around your home. Fleas are able to reproduce rapidly and can cause distress if they are able to feed on blood. Although their bites do not hurt, they do become itchy. So if your pet is scratching more often, or you are finding little red bites on your skin, you could have a flea problem. 

Like all other pests; the warmth, food sources and water our human homes can provide are very inviting. 

Remember, help is at hand, no matter what time of year!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Clothes Moths

Clothes Moths

As we move into autumn and start getting out the woolly jumpers and big warm coats, you may notice some holes in your much-loved clothes. Interestingly, it is not the adult moths that make holes in your clothes, it is the moth larvae. 

The life cycle of the moth

·      Eggs- Female moths will lay around 100 eggs in a lifetime. These eggs are laid on a food source so once they hatch, they are able to feed immediately.
·      Larvae- This stage of development is the most destructive. It is the larvae that munch their way through clothes and bedding.
·      Pupa- This is the cocoon stage. Typically, it will last around 20 days but this is dependent on the environment and the warmth.
·      Adults- Adult moths do not feed, their only interest is mating before they die.


What they look like

Due to the different stages of development, moths can look very different. Moth eggs are small in size and typically a milky white colour. The larvae are more maggot/caterpillar-like in appearance, in size and and the same colour as eggs. The adult moth is typically brown/yellow in colouring and is small in size, roughly 10mm including wingspan. 


What they eat

Moth larvae will eat a variety of fabrics from carpets, curtains, soft furnishings and clothes. A favourite food fibre is wool. They will also feed on human hair and pet hair. Whilst eating, they also produce silk threads. These could be confused with cobwebs produced by spiders, so it is always best to check for other signs of infestations. 


Signs of Moths

·      Holes in stored garments or sheets
·      Patches in carpets
·      Damage to soft furnishing including holes
·      A distinct smell


Where to find them

Moths will lay their eggs in a multitude of locations as long as there is a food source nearby and may even lay their eggs onto the food source. Favourite spots can include but are not limited to; stored clothing and bedding in wardrobes and under beds, stored carpet rolls in the loft, fabrics stored in rarely visited locations. As long as there is warmth and food, moths will continue to breed throughout the year.


How to prevent them

One really important way you can prevent moths infesting your home is regular deep cleaning. Pulling out all furniture, hoovering and dusting behind and underneath. When storing seasonal clothes and sheets, make sure they are cleaned before packing away, and done so in plastic containers with lids. Once you remove them again, it is best practice to give them another wash before putting them in your wardrobe or sheets on the bed. If you suspect a particular garment may have come into contact with moths, then freezing the garment will kill any moth eggs, larvae or adults. The same goes for excessive heat. Washing clothes and bedding at high temperatures is also a way to kill stages of moth development.


If you think that you have a moth problem, please give us a call. We can help!

Friday, 8 November 2019

Cockroach Problem?

Cockroach Problem?


Cockroaches can be a real problem if they are left to their own devices. The chances of actually seeing cockroaches is small. This is because they are typically nocturnal pests and they can move pretty quickly. You are more likely to see signs of an infestation. Such signs can include;

·      Shed skins
·      Droppings
·      An unpleasant smell

The German Cockroach is a typical species we would expect to see in the UK. They are brown and dark brown in colouring, with 6 legs and long antennae. Cockroaches can be found everywhere. They are extremely resilient pests and can live off very little water. Cockroaches eat just about anything, including each other if necessary. They are able to travel some distance to a food source from a preferred nesting site, so they are not always easy to locate. 


Helpful tips on how to get rid of cockroaches

They enjoy warm and wet locations, so the kitchen and bathrooms are the perfect places for these pests to set up camp in your home.
  • Keep surfaces and the floor clean and tidy, removing any food sources from the sides
  • Clean up any spillages
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Remove any leftover pet food and water over night
  • Empty your bins regularly
  • Remove any standing water in buckets or sinks
  • Clean sinks, drains and pipes regularly
  • Repair any damaged pipes and check them regularly
  • If you find any cracks or other potential entrances, seal these quickly

If you think you might have a problem with cockroaches, please contact us today. We will complete a survey and make sure we leave your home pest free!

Friday, 25 October 2019

Rats and Mice In The Garden

Rats and Mice In The Garden
As the weather begins to get colder and we are more likely to sit inside with the fire on, it is easy to forget about garden maintenance. But keeping an eye on your garden and making sure it is well maintained throughout the winter is a key component to help towards preventing rodent problems. 
At this time of year, rats and mice are looking for suitable nesting locations with a good food source. So as you can imagine, your nice warm home with cupboards full of food is a great option. Due to their inquisitive nature, mice especially will explore great distances for better nesting opportunities or better food sources. If your garden is inviting to these pests, then it will not be long before they are trying to enter your home.
There are lots of treatment, proofing and prevention options available and we can help by offering advice and working with you to find the best course of action to help keep your home rodent free. But, there are some things you can do to protect your home to help prevent the onset of a rodent infestation. The best place to start is your garden. 
Below you will find some tips on how best to keep your garden from being inviting to rats and mice:
·      Check Drains- build up in blocked drains is something that would definitely attract rats. Unlike mice, rats can usually be found near a water source as it is imperative for their survival. Make sure to have a look and remove any blockages like fallen leaves etc from your drains. 
·      Rubbish Bins- it is good practice to keep your rubbish bins away from your home where possible. It is key to make sure all food waste is disposed of in black bin liners and placed in a sturdy, sealed rubbish bin. This will help deter rats and mice as they will not be able to sniff out the food waste as easily or gain access easily. 
·      Bird Feeders- rats and mice are always on the hunt for food sources and bird feeders are an easy target. It is left unattended for long period of times and birds are likely to drop food on the ground whilst using the feeder. This is great for rodents and they will be able to climb the post to the bird table/feeder too. We suggest removing the bird feeder completely, however if that is not an option, they we suggest purchasing a feeder that does not allow excess seeds to be distributed when in use.
·      Compost Heap- if you have an open compost heap in your garden, you are most likely to attract rats and mice. The decomposing food sources will emit an odour that rats and mice will be drawn to. To have a compost heap far away from your home entrance is suggested and also to have a closed top container as this will help reduce the smell and make access harder for rodents. 
·      Clear Clutter- clutter is a great invitation to rodents. They like to build nests in quiet, secluded locations like sheds and garages whilst are typically left unattended for longer periods of time. If they are able to gain access inside, then they are pretty destructive. Rats in particular can chew through a multitude of materials from cardboard to wood and even steel. Clearing clutter from your garden gives rodents less options and opportunity to make a nest. It is good practice to also make sure trees and hedges are pruned regularly as these can offer shelter.
If you see droppings, holes in shed corners, bite marks or hear scratching or rustling then you may have a rodent problem. Please do not hesitate to give us a call, we can most certainly help by getting rid of the problem and help you with proofing strategies to help keep your home and garden rodent free!