Pest Control News

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Silverfish Infestation and Information

Silverfish Infestation

Nocturnal, secretive and wingless, the carrot-shaped Silverfish has been on the planet for 400 million years. With fossilised remains being found, it makes this small silvery, scaled insect one of the first to have roamed the planet.
This, however, will be of little comfort if you are inundated with wriggling Silverfish in your kitchen or bathroom.

No impact on human health

First and foremost, despite their unwanted appearance in your bathroom or kitchen, Silverfish do no present a hazard to human health. Silverfish naturally live in damp, dark and dank places, such as under logs, in leaf litter and so on but, like so many other pests, our homes can provide the conditions that they seek - food and shelter.
In fact, spotting Silverfish in a property can be a sign of damp conditions, possibly hitherto undetected.

Protein rich diet

Silverfish search for protein, and they find it in many different places, one place being the glue and gum of book bindings, wallpaper and such like. As a result, every library across the country dread the day they see a Silverfish on its shelves as there will be damage.
On one hand, you could spot only one or two Silverfish but, what can be a common occurrence is that once you spot one, there can be a whole army of Silverfish hiding in cracks, crevices, behind peeling wallpaper, behind skirting boards etc.

Dealing with infestations

For you own peace of mind, as well as to prevent further damage, an infestation needs to be dealt with but, the miniscule nature of this silvery, scaled insect can mean that the measures taken need to be thorough. The good news is, a professional pest controller can deal with the issue relatively easily and quickly.
Once an infestation of Silverfish has been confirmed, the following action needs to be taken...
·      the reason why the infestation has occurred will need to be identified; in some cases it can mean that there is a leak in in the plumbing, or possible a damp issue within the fabric of the building
·      our habits may also need to change - for example, drying wet clothes inside or using a non-vented dryer can all contribute to creating the damp conditions that can attract Silverfish in to a home
·      the use of a de-humidifier may be called for in the property too to dry it out
·      Books and clothing can be frozen for 4 to 7 days as the extreme cold kills Silverfish and eggs

The Silverfish life cycle

There is no mating season for Silverfish - the male inset lays its sperm on a silk thread, which the female then simply walks over to fertilise her eggs. Laying 100 eggs or more over her lifetime, these almost too-small-to-see eggs will hatch, producing identical looking insects.
Living for 3 to 6 years, the Silverfish sheds and moults as it grows (another giveaway sign you have a Silverfish problem) and also leave excrement and small, yellow urine spots on books, paper and fabric; keeping damp areas, such as basements of a property free from paper based junk (piles of newspaper etc.) is one way of keeping Silverfish at bay

Heed the appearance of Silverfish as a sign of damp!

Although we are becoming less tolerant of pests in the home, their presence can also be a helpful indication that something is not right. Simply eradiating them but not dealing with any underlying damp issues, will mean that within a few weeks they simply re-appear.
Check everything from leaking plumbing, to guttering and other areas where damp could be seeping in to your property. Seal cracks and crevices too but, before if you believe you have Silverfish in your basement, kitchen or bathroom, call us for advice and cost-effective treatment options.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ant Infestation Information Kent

Ant Infestation Information

Ants, like Silverfish and the common moth, present very little hazard or danger to human health. That said, however, no one likes the idea of sharing their home with any welcome pest, harmless ant or otherwise.
As the warmer months of spring give way to the hotter temperatures of summer, you could find a colony of ants has taken up residence in the most inconvenient of places - your porch for example, or place so close to your property that before you know it, you have an orderly line of marching ants in your home on the search for sugar rich food.

The 2 types of ant in the UK

There are hundreds, if not thousands of different species and sub-species of ant. Some deliver a nasty sting, whilst others a paralysing bite. Fortunately, these types of ants are by no means common or present in the UK; the ones on our shores tend to be nothing more than a nuisance, but in big numbers.
However, there is one thing common to all ants, regardless of whether they are the gentle insects in the UK or not - they all seek and need warmth. When the cold British winter hits, ants retreat to the warmth of underground where they stay until spring. Popping their head out in December would mean instant death.
In the UK, the two common ants are the black or garden ant, and Pharaoh’s ant. Out of the two, Pharaoh’s ant is the one that scuttles about over food waste and so, hence when you see these marching across your work surfaces, you need to be rid as soon as possible.

·      The black or common garden ant

Two to 12mm in length, the worker ants tend to be on the small size, with only the queen ant reaching 12mm in length. The workers are lighter brown in colour, with the queen being a regal, dark brown. Nesting outdoors, garden ant colonies can often be found under patios, in garden walls and so.
They are constantly searching for supplies of food and water to feed the ever expanding colony. This search often takes them into domestic dwellings but, in the main, they require little control until they start to become a nuisance indoors.
In the colony there is only 1 queen that reproduces around 5,000 ants in her lifetime; not many people realise that this queen can live up to 12 years. From egg to ant takes 50 to 70 days.

·      Pharaoh’s Ant

These ants are smaller, with the workers being between 1.5mm and 2mm and a yellow/brown in colour. The queens tend to be larger, measuring anything from 3.6mm to 5mm in length, and are dark red in colour. Despite being winged insects, they do not fly and have three distinct parts that make up their body.
Enjoying warm, humid conditions, these ants have a habit of invading buildings, and can commonly be found in apartment blocks, hospitals, and food handling premises and so on.
These ants do not live in one large colony as such, but have ‘satellite’ colonies that foraging workers establish in order for the brood to mature and then search for food. With a lifecycle up to 45 days, these workers never stops foraging.
The queen is far more fertile in her early years, laying batches of eggs constantly through her lifetime but, as she ages, the amount of eggs laid per batch begin to decrease.

Although ants are not dangerous, you don’t want to share your home with them. In some cases, you may not be destroying the main nest but a professional pest controller, deft at understand the habits of ants will now exactly where to look.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Insect Information in Kent

Insect Information for Summer

As the warm months of spring give way to the hotter months of summer, we can all enjoy the heat and the sun but, with summer comes unwelcome and unwanted visitors. As we become less tolerant of sharing our home and outdoor space with pests, the professional pest controller is busier than ever, helping customers enjoy an insect-free summer…

Here is our quick guide to getting rid of the 10 most common summer-time pests;

·       Ants – with two species of ant in the UK, they are not so much a hazard to human health, more of an unpleasant nuisance in larger numbers. Some stay in the garden, others find their way in to the home looking for sugary foods.

·       Bees – not usually hated, but feared for the sting in their tail, sharing your home or garden with a swarm of bees is not a pleasant experience. Some swarms can be re-located rather than exterminated as bees are known to be great pollinators.

·       Bedbugs – an increasing problem as we travel more, both abroad and within the UK. Getting rid of bedbugs can be a long term programme involving through cleaning and application of heat.

·       Carpet beetles – leaving similar damage to the moth, it is imperative to get a diagnosis first before treatment is applied. Look out for woolly bears, the small caterpillar-like grubs in carets, as well as soft furnishings. They will also leave holes where they have eaten the carpet!

·       Cockroaches – one of the pests that do present HAZARDS TO HUMAN HEALTH! Spreading all kinds of bacteria, seeing one cockroach means there are others lurking. This is not a problem that will clear up on its own!

·       Fleas – carried in on pets and on us too, fleas can be a nuisance in the home. Biting us around the ankles and wrists is one sign you may have a flea problem, as well as a pet that keep scratching! As well as thorough cleaning, any pets will need treating as well as strong chemical treatment within the home (but don’t worry, it is safe!)

·       Moths – causing similar damage to the carpet beetle, such as holes in stored clothing, carpets and soft furnishings, moth pupae etc. will need to be eradicated in order to stop the damage from getting worse but, you need to know where to look…

·       Silverfish – a ‘helpful’ pest in that the appearance of the silverfish in a property can be indicative there is an issue with damp. Deal with the problem, and deal with the silverfish is the right course of action. Not hazardous to human health!

·       Spiders – feared by some, the spider is great for keeping our homes insect free but NOT if their numbers are becoming out of control. Weather can contribute to spiders seeking shelter in our homes but they can be dealt with; just call us!

·       Wasps – delivering a nasty sting which at worst can be fatal, at best deeply unpleasant and painful, NEVER tamper with wasp nest – ALWAYS CALL A PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROLLER!

·       Woodworm – again not hazardous to human health but, if left unchecked in a property, can seriously weaken supporting wooden structures. Not a worm, but a wood-boring beetle, treatment is relatively easy and cost-effective, if you get a professional pest control company on the job…

Bee Removal in Kent

Bees in Kent

Bees, like wasps, are yellow and black striped on their bodies – although some bees tend to be more orange and black – but the warning is the same: stay away, I have a sting in my tail.
Despite this rather unfortunate sting in the tail, bees tend to be looked on more favourably than the wasp, seen as aggressive and ‘useless’. The bee well known for being a great pollinator of plants and flowers, as well as the honey bee creating a delicious sugary substance that is delightful on toast, as well as having medicinal properties.
And bees certainly have magical qualities that make it much easier to understand why the bee is favoured…
·       They are the only insect in the world that makes a food we can eat
·       Honey has everything in it that we need, from vitamins to enzymes
·       1 honey bee will make half a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime
·       With only one queen bee keeping order of anything between 20 to 60,000 bees, colonies are well-ordered places
·       The queen bee can lay 1,500 eggs a day
·       Bees have been around 30 million years
·       And the venom of a 1,000 bees would be enough to be fatal to a human

Are bees protected in the UK?

Many people do believe that bees are protected or should be protected as they are fabulous pollinators, and essential for gardeners, farmers and so on. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 list protected species in the UK, but neither the honey bee, bumble bee nor any other species of bee is included under this act.
If you have bees in your garden, then consider yourself lucky but, if the colony is too close for comfort then it is time to act.

Can I deal with it myself?

Bees, like wasps, can deliver a nasty sting although they are loath to do so as in some cases it can spell the end of life for the bee. But there is another, hidden and sometimes fatal danger that lurks…
… some people can be allergic to bee stings but, until they are stung, will not know about it. This anaphylactic reaction can be fatal, unless emergency treatment is received as soon as possible. Some people know they are allergic to wasp and/or bee stings and carry an auto-injector pen containing adrenalin, but many other will not be aware that they are potentially allergic.
For this reason alone, do NOT attempt to deal with a bee colony or hive yourself! ALWAYS call a professional pest controller.

Not always exterminated

Unlike wasps, bees are not always exterminated; some swarms will be collected and taken to a local apiary. This is like a ‘bee nursery’ and means that the bees can go about their pollinating, but without encroaching on human ‘spaces’ too much!
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