Pest Control News

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!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

October Pests

October Pest Problems
A new month could mean the emergence of some new pests to be on the lookout for. As the weather begins to get colder, pests are looking for warm environments and your home is the perfect place. 
Spiders
Most people are horrified when they find a spider in their personal space. Well buckle up! We are entering the prime time for spider season. As the nights draw in, the temperature drops and they will enter your home for warmth. This is also the time of year where the males are out looking for females. You may notice an increase in these creepy crawlies in the corner of the ceilings or behind bookcases, where it is dark and mainly undisturbed. There are a number of high street products that you can buy to deter spiders and even kill them. It is common knowledge that spiders are not a fan of mint. Best practice is to treat windowsills and door frames to deter them from entering your home. 
Squirrels
Squirrels in your home can not only cause some damage but are very noisy. Typically, they will find a way into your loft space through broken roof tiles or any holes in the structure of the roof. Squirrels are destructive by chewing through insulation, wires, and anything you have stored in your attic. They do this in order to make nests. If they find a suitable place to nest for the colder months, they may return time and time again if their access points are not restricted or blocked. You will most certainly hear them, and it is important to be mindful that they can cause structural damage too by chewing through timber. 
Rats/Mice
Rats and mice are very resourceful and are quick to adapt to their surroundings. If they are able to gain access to your home, you are most likely to hear them scratching around in wall cavities or in the attic. They will chew through a multitude of materials to gain access or to make a nest. Rats and mice are able to squeeze through the smallest of gaps so checking your home for any access points and proofing these are key at this time of year. Mice in particular are very curious, although they tend to explore during the night, they will venture considerable distances to explore better nesting locations or food sources. It is important to remember that rats and mice are both carriers of diseases and can make humans very unwell if they come into contact with them. Both rats and mice will cause considerable damage as they gnaw through materials and if left then the damage could be structural. 

If you think you have any of these unwanted pests in your home, then please give us a call, we can help get you pest free for good!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Winged Pests

Winged Pests

Wasps
There are many different species of wasps in the UK; the most commonly sighted being the German Wasp. Most species of wasps are social, they will build a nest in a new location every spring using a multitude of materials. Colonies can reach up to 5000 wasps and can be found in places like attics, sheds and even inside walls. The choice of location to nest is usually based on the protective qualities of the space. At this particular time of year, most of the work is done for a wasp. The queen has stopped producing young and may have even left the colony in search of a good place to hibernate over the winter. The worker wasps no longer need to care for the eggs and larvae in the nest, so tend to spend most of their time searching for something sweet. They are basically waiting to die at this point, and the nectar of a rotting apple for example is just what they want. They tend to become much more aggressive at this point; chasing, dive bombing and stinging to get that sweet treat. 

Hornets
Although technically a species of wasp, the hornet sting is much more painful. They are considered as aggressive as wasps, but due to their larger size, they may appear more scary! If their size was not enough to put you off, they tend to attack in numbers in order to get food sources. They are dangerous to the honey bee specifically. The honey bee is a favourite meal and a hornet will actually stake out a honey bee hive for the opportune moment to attack. Their nests are typically located off the floor in trees. 

Flies
Cluster flies can be a real problem this time of year. As the season begins to change, they are looking to find good nesting locations. A preferred location is loft space, they are not bothered much there, it is warm and can even have access to sunlight if there are gaps in the roof. Although the cluster fly is not considered to post a health risk, we would not recommend leaving an infestation untreated. They can become rather a nuisance buzzing around. There are many different species of fly in the UK, around 7000 to be more precise. All their nesting and eating habits depend on the species however typically humans will come into contact with bluebottles, house flies, crane fly, and fruit fly to name a few. Flies typically enter the home through open doors and windows and are governed by their search for food sources. 


If you have any problems with the winged pests above, please do get in touch today. We can help eradicate the issue quickly and professionally!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Fleas

Fleas

We have had quite a few enquiries recently about flea infestations. Flea problems can be very tricky to deal with. This is because we tend to treat the adults as we can see these (although even the adults can be tricky to spot) but fleas reproduce very quickly. Here are some facts about fleas;

·     Fleas are actually parasites; they live of mammals and birds. Adult fleas only eat blood meals. Which is why living on their food host is perfect for them. 

·     They are typically small in size, no bigger than 3mm long when fully grown adults. Adult fleas have flat bodies, this makes moving through fur and feathers easier. 

·     They are reddish brown in colour and have long back legs. These legs are extremely strong. Fleas can actually jump really high, far higher than what their size should allow for. This skill means they can jump from host to host easily and efficiently. 

·     Adults will only consume fresh blood.

·     Female fleas can lay over 1000 eggs in a lifetime depending on the species of flea. 

·     Adult fleas typically live for approximately 2 months. However, if the environment is right, they can live for much longer. 

·     Fleas lay white eggs, these eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae are worm like in appearance and white in colour. They feed off of adult flea waste and dead skin cells. 

·     In an infestation of fleas, adults only make up about 5 % of the population. That means just dealing with the adult fleas you can see is no good. The eggs produced by fleas can make up 50% of the population!




Flea infestations are very hard to treat by yourself. It is strongly advised that you contact a professional pest controller. We can help identify and treat the infestation successfully and get rid of these pests once and for all!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Bird Proofing-Why Do We Do It?

Bird Proofing-Why Do We Do It?

Birds can become a real issue if they decide to nest in or around your home or business. Pigeons and Gulls are regular offenders and can create excessive noise problems. Pigeons for example tend to live in flocks of at least 50 members, so a small problem can become a very big problem quickly. 

Aside from being a noise nuisance, bird infestations come with a whole host of extra problems. 
·     Guano/Droppings/Bird Poo
Not only is it unsightly, it is also considered a health hazard. Birds are capable of spreading a number of diseases, including but not limited to E. Coli and Salmonella. If you have a large bird infestation, their droppings could also cause slip hazards if they are fouling on regularly used walkways for example. 

·     Building Damage
Birds will nest in many different locations. Some favourites include; guttering, chimneys, balconies, roof spaces and ledges. Pigeons for example only need to find the smallest of gaps or a broken roof tile in order to nest comfortably. Their nests in guttering can cause blockages and even breakages. 

·     Insect infestations
Birds can carry a number of insects in their feathers including mites and fleas. These insects are also attracted to their nesting sites due to the shelter, warmth and food sources they can supply. 


Bird infestations can cause some serious disruption. This is why we offer a selection of proofing solutions. Deterring birds from nesting and roosting is a great way of keeping your home or business pest free. If you think you may have a bird infestation, give us a call. We can come and inspect the area, offer advice and supply the best proofing solution for you.