Pest Control News

Monday, 14 November 2016

Would You Rent a Home with a Pest Problem?

Would You Rent a Home with a Pest Problem?

A recent report from Shelter found that 40% of rented properties in England do not reach acceptable standards. As well as mould and damp, there was also mention of pest problems, such as silver fish.
Sometimes, disrepair at a property – either owned or rented – can lead to problem with pests. But who is responsible for pest control at private and social housing rented properties?
What is a pest?
There is no legal definition of what pest or vermin is. But they are generally thought to include rodents, such as rats and mice, cockroaches, ants, fleas, mites and bedbugs.
Who is responsible for dealing with a pest infestation?
Working out who is responsible for dealing with a pest problem depends on several factors, including;
  • Whether there is any mention of pest control and responsibilities in the tenancy agreement
  • Whether your home has a pest infestation before you moved in
  • If the problem is caused or made worse by the property being in a poor state of repair
  • Whether you have contributed to pest infestation by doing or not doing something
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to work out who is responsible which can add to a tenant’s distress when they realise they have a pest problem. An Environmental Health Officer from your local council may be able to help. They can identify the pest and the source of problem, which usually reveals who is responsible for dealing with the problem. 
Social housing tenants
Local authority tenants or those living in social housing complexes should contact their local housing department or call the social housing group to whom you pay rent. 
They will often be clear about what pest problems they will take responsibility for. For example, rodent infestations can be a problem in many areas and considering the danger to human health, most local authorities and social housing providers will act quickly.
In some cases, where there is a pest problem in the house – such as fleas or mites – you may have to contribute to the cost of treatment. In the cases of some vermin, such as cockroaches, the local authority will also act quickly as allowing such an infestation to continue can lead a bigger and costlier problems in the longer term. 
Private tenants
Unfortunately, not all landlords take their responsibilities seriously, leaving tenants to live in properties that are in disrepair. If you rented your property through a letting agent, contact them for advice relating to pest control issues. 
Can a local, professional pest control company help?
Yes, we can!
Before we act on any infestation, we will always check what the problem is and the extent of it. We also realise that as a tenant, you have concerns about who will pay the bill. We may be able to offer advice on this too. 
ALWAYS get the problem dealt with!

Sharing your home with any pest is unpleasant but when the pest could make you ill, it is a huge concern – and it must be dealt with.

Friday, 4 November 2016

The Top 10 House Home Pests

The Top 10 House Pests

Pests are everywhere and most of the time, we live quite happily alongside insects in the garden, birds and rodents. Providing they don’t encroach on our living space, everything is just fine. 
Do you know which are the most common pests in the UK?

#1 Mice
In top spot, we have mice. Unlike other rodents, many people find mice cute but they can still cause damage by gnawing everything in sight, as well as leaving droppings all over the place too. Mice are active all year round and in winter, they will often seek safe and warm refuge in our homes. Cute they may be but you will need to deal with the problem. Talk to us!
#2 Moths
You may not have expected the Common Clothes Moth in the number two spot but moths are a real nuisance in the home. They lay sticky eggs on natural fibres and when the larvae emerge, they chew the fibres before flying off. The perfectly round holes they leave is costly damage in carpets, sofas, clothes etc. 
#3 Rats
The Brown Rat is very common in the UK, with many people noticing the signs of infestation such as droppings, teeth marks and so on. Very elusive, you are unlikely to see one unless they are confident there are no predators around. A pest controller can deal quickly and effectively with a rat problem so don’t waste time setting traps or laying poison as shop bought remedies are rarely effective. 
#4 Bedbugs
Bedbug infestations are a real problem because we are travelling more, hence bringing them home from holiday or business trips, and people being unaware how to treat an infestation properly. As well as chemical treatment, there needs to be deep cleaning too.
#5 Wasps
With a nasty sting in their tail, wasps can be a real nuisance when they decide to make their nest close to your home or business. A large nest can have 25,000 wasps in it and can be found in lofts, wall cavities, trees, bushes and underground. ALWAYS get help with a wasp problem. 
#6 Flies (of all kinds)
Half way through and at number six we have flies. From fruit flies to blue bottles, flies spread germs and bacteria as they hop from ‘animal waste’ to uncovered food on your kitchen worktop. They congregate where there is rotting protein, so animal carcasses or rotting fruit, that type of thing. Find the source and get rid of it, and the fly problem goes with it. 
#7 Ants
Not a health issue, but at number 7 in our top 10 list, are ants. They scurry about looking for food and when they find it, bring the rest of the colony with it.  Common in spring and summer, they die back in autumn and winter. 
#8 Spiders
For people with a fear of spiders, autumn can be a testing time as spider come into the home to escape the autumnal rain and wind. They are beneficial, easting flies but not a welcome visitor when you are finding several BIG spiders in the house…
#9 Cockroaches
Cockroaches will either like the cool of the basement or the heat of the kitchen. Like rats and mice, a cockroach infestation is one for a professional pest controller. 
#10 Woodworm

And finally, woodworm (it’s actually a beetle) live in wooden things, from wood trusses to furniture. Although not necessarily rampant, there is a noted increase in woodworm calls because people are upcycling and recycling furniture, effectively introducing woodworm into their homes. If you buy second-hand furniture, check for the tell-tale pin prick holes. 

Does Winter Mean No Pests?

Does Winter Mean No Pests?
Pests are a nuisance. From fleas in the carpets to rats in the garage, there seems to be no end of pests that try and share our homes with us. 
And why not? Our homes are safe from predators, they are warm and humid, they are great places to nest and there is usually a source of food close by too. 
However, many people are under the impression that all pests die off in winter. In other words, as soon as the cold comes, pests can’t cope and simply fade away until the warmth of spring returns. This is not quite the case, however. 
Outside bugs
Cold is not favoured by many common pests. For some insects, the cold spells immediate death. This is because they have smaller bodies that cannot retain heat well and when the cold strikes, their body temperature drops, and they are unable to cope.
This is why insects like ants will not be seen here in the UK from the autumn onwards. They will only emerge from their underground tunnels when they can feel the warmth of spring.
So, what does happen to insects over winter?
It varies from one species to another;
  • Die away – many insect colonies will die away leaving a ‘mated female’ behind to hibernate. The queen wasp is a prime example. It sleeps and slumbers its way through winter, waking with the first rays of spring sunshine. It will then find somewhere safe to start building a nest. Once it does this, it lays the fertilised eggs it has looked after all winter. At first, she’ll be busy flying off for food for these tiny young but once they reach a certain maturity, they will do all the running around whilst the queen wasp lays more eggs. 
  • Leave young behind – in other cases, the adults in the last throes of summer will leave their young (usually protected in eggs etc.) before they succumb to the end of their life-cycle. These young, safely cocooned over winter, will emerge in the spring. Their parents have been very thoughtful however, and placed them right in the middle of a delicious supply of food. Caterpillars on the underside of cabbage leaves will leave a lot of damage in their wake as they emerge into moths or butterflies. 
How can I stop bugs becoming a problem in spring?
Of all the infestations, having your home or garden invaded by insects is possibly the most unpleasant of problems. 
There are some things you can do to stop insects becoming a nuisance;
  • De-flea and worm pets – fleas can still be a problem in winter, so make sure you stay on top of flea treatments for both cats and dogs (see your vet for the latest, effective treatments).
  • Keep the outside tidy – leaves, general rubbish, rotting wood and so on can all be attractive places for some less-pleasant insects to hide or spend the winter. Get rid of this rubbish and compose leaves for leaf mulch.
  • Check outbuildings – greenhouses, sheds and garages are all places that the mated female wasp will enjoy the winter in. They often look ‘dead’ as they just lay on a window ledge but in fact, they are sleeping. Remove carefully as they can still sting.

Think you have a pest problem? Call us and we can keep you bug-free this winter.