Pest Control News

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!

Monday, 29 June 2020

Top 5 Summer Pests

Top 5 Summer Pests


We are currently going through a heatwave set to continue over the next few weeks with high temperatures which means that summer pests are well and truly out and about. 

There are many different pests that emerge when the weather gets warmer. Below we have picked the top 5 that you are most likely to see at the moment;

Ants- will enter your home through open doors and windows like most other pests. Ants in particular are foraging for food and are attracted to sweet food sources. Kitchens are the most likely place to see ants. Interestingly, they leave a trail to communicate with others in the colony where good food sources can be found. 


Wasps- may have nests in many different locations-under decking, in the ground, in trees, in a roof or even a wall cavity…if you are finding wasps in your home the chances are there is a nest nearby. Wasps are pretty likely to sting you, so we highly recommend calling in a professional if you have a nest that needs removing. 


Flies- houseflies and bluebottle flies are just two of many different types. Both are common during the summer months, finding food sources and locations to lay their eggs. Bins are a prime location for flies, so it is good practice to keep your bins cleaned on a regular basis and keep lids tightly closed. Make sure that bags are tied tightly and if possible, kept in the shade. Flies can transfer all sorts of bacteria so keeping your home fly free is very important.


Moths- with the heat that we have been experiencing in the UK recently, it may have accelerated the reproductive cycle of clothes moths. It is not the adult moths that cause damage (although they can be annoying flickering by the ceiling light) but the larvae. Once they hatch, the larvae feed on clothing, curtains and bedding. This in turn damages items by the holes they create. If you see more than 5 adult moths in the home, then you may have a moth infestation.


Hornets- although they can look like wasps, they are typically bigger in size. They also are more brown/reddish in colouring compared to the bright yellow and black of the wasp. Due to their larger size, the sting of a hornet is typically much more painful because of the amount of venom they can release. Interestingly, hornets are less aggressive than wasps and will only attack if they feel their nest is in danger.



Remember, we are always on hand to help with any pest problems. Just give us a call!

Monday, 8 June 2020

The Differences Between Bees & Wasps (& Hornets)

The Differences Between Bees & Wasps (& Hornets)

Most of us across the UK have been enjoying some of the most beautiful weather over the past few weeks. Such warm and dry weather means that insects such as bees and wasps can be seen out and about more and more. Spring marks the time where the queen bees and wasps look for a suitable nesting place in order to begin laying eggs.

There are thousands of different species of wasps and bees. The most common species of bee to be confused with the typical wasp is the honeybee.

·      Both are of similar size, with the wasp sometimes being a little larger
·      Wasps tend to have yellow legs, whereas honeybees’ legs are brown
·      Bees have lots of tiny hairs on their bodies which makes them look ‘fluffy’ whereas wasps have smooth bodies
·      Wasps’ colourings are typically bright yellow and black compared to bees which tend to be yellow/orange and black/brown
·      Honeybees and wasps both will sting you if they feel threatened
·      Honeybees will die after stinging you due to their stinger detaching from their bodies
·      Wasps are able to sting people multiple times and are considered to be aggressive

Another stinging insect to be on the lookout for is the hornet. Hornets can be much larger in size compared to bees and wasps, some growing to over 5cm in length. Their colourings are different too, they tend to have very little black on their bodies and a range of browns, reds, oranges and yellows that make up their markings. Their legs tend to be a reddish brown in colour too.


We always suggest calling in a professional if you think you have a bee/wasp/hornet issue. They can become very aggressive if they feel threatened, or if they think their nest is under attack. They will sting you to protect themselves which can cause some serious health issues. We make sure to wear all the correct protective equipment and are able to deal with the issue efficiently and effectively every time. 

Friday, 29 May 2020

Bees

Bees

Bees are very important to our ecosystem and this is the time of year that you could see a lot more of them. The queens are starting to wake up and are going on the search for pollen, nectar and a safe location to start building a hive. Bees really are wonderful, from doing a waggle dance to inform other members of the hive where the best flowers are, to their big bodies and little wings which make them look like they should not be able to fly, to their production of delicious honey. Bees are key, and we must do our best to look after them. We will always look to rehome a bee nest with local beekeepers wherever possible. Interestingly, there are a few different types of bees in the UK; the Honeybee, Carpenter Bee and Bumble Bee. 


Honeybee
Honeybees are super sociable and can live in huge numbers. A honeybee hive can survive for many years and are typically located in trees or lofts. Honeybees can be confused with wasps as they look the most similar. However, honeybees tend to have a fluffy looking middle and brown legs, compared to the smooth body of the wasp and their yellow legs. Honeybees can and will sting you, although they would only do so if they feel threatened. If you are stung by a honeybee, they will die afterwards due to their stinger detaching from their bodies. They are usually yellow/orange/brown in colouring.

Carpenter Bee
Carpenter Bees solitary bees. They will typically source a good nesting location in wooden objects by burrowing down creating holes to form a suitable nesting ground and lay their eggs. Unlike other bee species, these bees will birth, look after and feed their young themselves before they are old enough to leave the hive. Interestingly, carpenter bees are used for commercial pollination now due to them being so good at it. 

Bumble Bee
The bumble bee is the easiest species of bee to recognise. They have large round bodies that tend to look fluffy. They are the typical yellow and black striped colours and are a very sociable species. They tend to build their hives underground, however they have been known to build nests in loft spaces and underground. Unlike the honeybee, if a bumble bee stings you, it can do so more than once. 

Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between bees and wasps, so please feel free to give us a call. We can most certainly help and offer advice. 

Friday, 8 May 2020

Coronavirus & Pest Control

Coronavirus & Pest Control


Not sure if our customers are aware, but pest controllers have now been added to the list of key workers provided by the government. 

For us, we are business as usual but with a few adjustments. Our priority is, and always has been, the health and safety of our staff and our customers. In order to keep everyone safe, we are ensuring that our team have the appropriate personal protective equipment to be able to complete their jobs efficiently and effectively. In some circumstances, we appreciate that some individuals may be shielding and/or self-isolating, and we will treat each enquiry and job individually in order to agree the best course of action for everyone. 

We also understand that circumstances change, and we will do our very best to be flexible with timings and bookings as the month of May goes on. 

Please, if you have a pest problem, do give us a call. We can most certainly help you and make sure you and your home/business remain pest free for the foreseeable future.