Pest Control News

Friday, 7 February 2020

Rats & Mice in Your Home? We Can Help!

Rats & Mice in Your Home? We Can Help!

Rodents can be a problem all year round. Typically, we receive the most calls and enquiries to deal with rats and mice between the months of November – February. Both rats and mice can cause some considerable damage if left unattended, not to mention the health implications that come along with a rodent infestation due to the diseases they carry. 

Firstly, it is important to differentiate between rats and mice. Rats are typically larger than mice, in length and weight. An adult mouse is likely to have a smaller head and smaller feet than a baby rat. Rats have long, hairless tails whereas mice have shorter, more hairy tails. The colouring of both rats and mice is similar although some rats can look black in colour to the eye. 

Things to look out for
Secondly, it is important to look for sure signs that you may have a rodent problem. These can include but are not limited to;

·      Hearing noises?
o   Rats and mice will rip up materials like insulation and cardboard to make nests. Mice in particular are very curious so will venture throughout your home to find food and new nesting spots so you may hear them in the wall cavities, under floorboards or even in the loft. Both rats and mice will scratch and gnaw too which can be noisy!
·      Droppings?
o   Droppings are a sure sign that you have an infestation. Rat droppings are typically constrained to one particular location-once they have made a nest and have made themselves at home, they very rarely look to move to a different location. Mice however, as mentioned above, like to roam and find new locations to nest and feed, so their droppings are more likely to be spread out in many different locations. 
·      Gnaw marks?
o   In order to enter your home, rats and mice are able to gnaw their way through a multitude of materials to gain access. Brick, metal, wood, plastic…they are able to get through pretty much anything. 

How to stop them entering your home

Proofing against rats and mice is very important, we are pretty sure you would rather make your house rodent proof than have to deal with an actual infestation. Here are some tips about what you can do;

·      Regularly check the outside of your home for any holes or potential entry points around waste pipes or vents etc. If there is a gap larger than half an inch, then it is highly recommended to block these to deter mice from entering (they are able to squeeze through the smallest of gaps).
·      Check the roof for loose tiles.
·      Check seals around windows and doors, any holes should be filled.
·      Make sure to keep your garden well maintained, even during the winter months as overgrown shrubs and grass can offer shelter to rats and mice. Also, it is important to keep trees and bushes trimmed and away from windows and doors, as they can act as a steppingstone, so to speak, for rats and mice to climb and gain access to your property. 
·      Remove any pet food from the floor once your pet has finished as the smell will attract rats and mice.
·      Be sure to place all food waste in a bin with a tight lid away from any doors to your house to avoid attracting rats and mice and make sure to clean it regularly. 
·      Be mindful of any ‘easy access’ points such as waste pipes attached to the side of the house and guttering as rats and mice will use these to climb.


If you think you may have a rat or mouse problem in your home, we are on hand to help! Whether you need us to deal with an infestation or if you would like to proof your home against these pests, please give us a call. 

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

CANTERBURY & WHITSTABLE
01227 389563

DOVER
01304 508334

FOLKESTONE & HYTHE
01303 201493

GRAVESEND
01474 878927

MAIDSTONE
01622 829269

MEDWAY
01634 799188

SWALE
01795 883217

TUNBRIDGE WELLS
01892 731230

TONBRIDGE & SEVENOAKS
01732 590169

MOBILE
07879 473298

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!