Pest Control News

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Rats and poison immunity

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has issued a stark warning to home and business owners this winter that rats are becoming not only immune to over-the-counter, mass produced pelleted poisons but are becoming stronger and bigger too.

What can you do this winter to keep your property rat-free?

They have been dubbed in the popular press as ‘mutant rodents’, rats that are immune to poisons and are becoming alarmingly big and strong too. These super-rats have been seen in the cities rather than in towns or more rural locations, with residents fearing that their homes, as well as businesses could be under siege.

What are the solutions?

Fortunately, as BPCA went on to explain, there are solutions to dealing with this super-rat.
Some rats are still immune to the over-the-counter poisons but, as people are handling poison which can cause them harm, as well as pets and wildlife, the obvious solution is to get hold of an expert, professional pest controller.

The products available to buy are not as strong as the professional-grade materials and rodenticides that pest controllers can use. This is because to buy and use them, strict legislation needs to be adhered to and pest controllers are the right people to contact.
But, there are other practical preventative solutions that home and business owners can take.

Steps to keeping rats at bay, including giant rodents

With announcements that some local authorities are looking at monthly or three weekly bin collections, many homeowners are concerned that once again, they will be paying the price with increased vermin and pests in their gardens.

Laying poison in the open is not a safe or effective solution, understanding the habits of rodents can be fundamental in preventing an infestation:

·       Sheds, garages and outdoor buildings should be sealed as much as possible – rats can squeeze through a whole of 15mm.  Don’t forget to check vents and pipes for damage too.

·       Get gardening – overgrown gardens make perfect cover for rats and other pests to move around undetected. Cut back growth and keep it short.

·       Remove or block access to bins and compost bins too – in winter, like all animals and rodents, their natural food supply becomes short thus, they will look to other sources of food. Bins and compost bins etc., make perfect food sources for rats.

·       Get a cat – if you don’t have cat, and are not averse to getting one, research has shown that a cat around a property can be a great deterrent.

Rats in and around your property is unacceptable. They spread disease as well as cause a huge amount of damage. If you see one, there are others – call for pest control advice and treatment.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Winter-time pests: can you afford to relax?

Many people assume that pests are only really a problem in the warmer summer months. In some ways, this is true; food is plentiful and the breeding season usually starts in the warmer months of spring through to the golden days of autumn.
However, this does not mean that the winter months are barren months when it comes to pests.

·       Flies
Many people assume that flies and other insects like fleas and cockroaches for example, die out during the winter months, only to mysteriously re-emerge in the spring. The truth is they don’t die, but simply wait the cold months out somewhere warm – like your home.

There is however, a natural predator but the eight legged insect is by far the most feared and unpopular insect here in the UK. The spiders native to our shores are not venomous and so if you can, why not let it roam around, doing its thing and eating all those flies and other little critters?

·       Mice
Cute and cuddly in the pet shop, mice in the home can cause us many problems, from spreading disease to chewing everything in sight. With enough food around, mice can have a litter a month, not something you want to hear if you have mice in the garage or the basement.

Like many animals, mice like to have somewhere warm and cosy to live – just like us – and our homes make for perfect place.
As well as taking various preventative measures, you can also lay traps, including live ones so you can release the mice back to where they should be or you can also lay poison. However, with the latter, it is always preferable to get a professional pest controller to do this.

·       Rats
There is a saying that a human is no more than 6 feet away from a rat – or is it 10 feet? Needless to say, no one really knows how many rats are in the UK at any one time, or how close they are to us in terms of proximity.

Like mice, they enjoy the warmth and security of our homes, along with the abundance of food close-by – your bin is a great place for a meal for the rat. They spread disease, however, as they are constantly urinating, as well as a huge amount of damage. As winter sets in, be vigilant for rats.

·       Wasps
Commonly associated with summer, the winter months are when the mated queen buzzes around looking for somewhere warm and safe to hibernate. When the depths of winter have passed and spring arrives, these queens spring into action building a nest.

Make sure any damage to soffits, facia boards, sheds and so on is repaired to prevent them from entering. And, if you find what looks like a dead wasp, it may actually just be asleep. A dead wasp will be curled, but a hibernating wasp will be lying straight, as if it is having a rest
Winter is the time that many animals, insects and rodents hibernate but, they can still cause us a problem or two. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Is your home under siege from spiders?

The hot but wet summer has led to an invasion in some home that is unwelcome, but also for many people, simply terrifying. Spiders native to the UK are not venomous, but no less scary if you have a fear of them.

Unfortunately, the recent hot summer has meant the common house spider is now bigger than ever… and making its way up the garden path to the warm sanctuary of your home to see out the winter months.

Increasing in numbers and size

Experts are warning that after the long hot summer, matched by the mild autumnal temperatures we are all enjoying, the giant house spider is loving it too. House spiders, in spite of their name, enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors, especially sheds and undisturbed places in the garden.
Our homes, however, are the perfect place to mate and guess what? That mating season is now.
For anyone with a serious hatred or fear of spiders, the first few weeks of autumn must be their least favourite time of year with large house spiders making their way into homes to find their mate.
When temperatures are mild, there is more food available and thus, the spiders thrive. It is the male spider, however, that makes the first steps on the trek for love. Searching out female spiders to mate with, the male spider enters home through an open door or window. They are not, however, eating at this point, simply roaming around looking for a female mate becoming a little weaker with every step.

The bite – but it is not serious

The UK has no killer spiders but some of our native spiders so carry a venomous bite – however, before you start running for a spider-free hill, this does not mean they will attack at will. In fact, spiders here in Britain tend to be a peaceful bunch until they feel under attack which, in most cases will come from another spider or insect.
The common house spider can bite, if picked up by one of its leg etc. but rather than delivering a nasty bite that can paralyse or kill, will simply deliver a nip (which you may not feel) as a way of being released from your grip. Their ‘venom’ is too weak to cause us humans any issues.

Catching a spider

Spiders play an important role in our environment, including preying on smaller insects. Catching them indoors and relocating them to the garden is a sound ecological thing to do. Follow our 5-step plan:
      I.         Don’t panic
     II.         Place large glass over spider, taking care not to trap the legs. Use a thin piece of cardboard or something similar to trap spider in glass – release into garden
   III.         For a spider in the bath, coax it up on to a towel and then shake it off outside
   IV.         Or use a dust pan and brush and sweep it into the pan; as you walk outside tap the dustpan so that the spider doesn’t move
     V.         Coax it onto a long stick and then shake it off outside, then vacuum the old webs

Feel under siege? Why not call a pest controller?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Myths about fleas, your pet and your home...

Many pet owners believe that with the first frosts of winter, the flea population dies out. This is not the case and this perpetuating myth means that some pet owners are leaving their homes wide open to the flea becoming entrenched in the soft furnishings.
It may be winter, but your pet can still have a flea or two, but there are more flea myths…

#1 Treat the pet only

Spot a jumping flea on Fido or think you have spotted eggs on Misty? Identifying the flea is one thing, effective treatment of your pooch and feline friend is also important for their own comfort as much as anything else. But remember, the pet carries them in to the house and so treating the home is important too.

#2 There was only one or two…

… that you could see. Where there is one flea, there will be others. More importantly, there could be hundreds of eggs, all waiting to hatch out. Once they have done, it only takes the flea a few days to reach sexual maturity and start breeding themselves. You have been warned!

#3 My house is spotlessly clean and so fleas won’t live here

Where would you rather live – somewhere cold and inhospitable, or warm and dry? Unfortunately, no matter how clean your home is, it is the heat that is not only attractive to the flea, but also perfect for laying eggs and so on.

#4 My pets have flea collars and I use a spot on treatment for prevention

It sounds easy and simple but, there are concerns regarding the use of treatments. It is just as easy, for example, to overdose your pet and cause them to become ill or, worst case scenario, contribute to their death. Use the latest recommended treatments prescribed by your vet and steer clear of ‘easy’ solution offered over the counter.

#5 Once treated, the problem is solved

There are times when a pest can become deeply embedded in an area, both inside the home and within the immediate vicinity outside too. Some homeowners have found that even though they have treated pets and inside their homes, that the fleas do not seem to completely vanish.

#6 Calling a pest controller to deal with the issue is expensive

Dealing with a flea infestations is simple – when you know how. When you have in-depth knowledge of the four stages of the lifecycle of a flea, knowing what treatments to use at the right time is second nature. Understanding the length of this life cycle and when a deep clean is required, but also the length of time the treatment needs to work.

In fact, when you consider the advice you will also receive as part of this service, the price is even more cost-effective. And, we also guarantee our work.  
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