Pest Control News

Monday, 27 March 2017

Spring Time Pests – What to Look Out For

Spring Time Pests – What to Look Out For

Isn’t spring the best of seasons? After the dull, grey winter that seems to have stretched for months, it seems that overnight the trees, the shrubs and everything else in the garden starts to awaken from their slumber.
As the tips of new green, spring growth push their way through the soil, other things start to stir: pests.
Mated female wasps will start to look for somewhere to build their nests, eggs hatch, larvae are formed and this can mean one thing for the homeowner: a pest infestation.
Spring is a good time to take a good look around, and check for any tiny critters that could possibly become a bigger problem in the coming months.
Here are four common pests to look for and what to do about them…

#1 The Garden Ant

The ant is tiny and will only re-appear when the temperature has risen so when you spot an ant or two, you know that spring has arrived.
In most cases, ants don’t cause us any problems and in the garden, are a valuable part of the food chain for other bugs and birds.
However, if they have made their colony uncomfortably close to your home, you might need to get rid. A kettle of boiling water or ant powder does the trick. But, when they nest in walls or hard to reach places, you will need our help.

#2 Flies

Remerging after the cold of winter, flies love high-protein, organic food stuff, like rotting ‘flesh’ (e.g. a chicken carcass) and, worse still, dog and cat poop.
A concentration of flies in and around an area means that there is something they are feeding on. Find it and get rid of it (or call us). Make sure the area is scrubbed and disinfected as flies carry salmonella and other unpleasant bacteria.

#3 Cockroaches

Cockroaches are attracted to our homes – one type to the humidity of the kitchen and the other to the coolness of the cellar and basement. Particularly hardy, a cockroach will last months without water and food. Good hygiene in the kitchen is essential: brush and mop the floor, wipe up spills etc. If you spot a cockroach, you must call us as they spread harmful bacteria which, if ingested, leads to illness.

#4 Snails and Slugs

The bane of every gardener’s life. You spend your time caring and nurturing your prized dahlias or your show-winning cucumbers, only to find that the snail and/or slug have devoured them.
Snails and slugs, however, are a valuable food source for hedgehogs, birds, ground beetles, frogs and so on so try natural remedies rather than poisoning with pellets. If you do use, pellets, remove the slug and snail carcasses so that non-target species are not harmed.

Spot a pest? Concerned? Call us – we offer great advice!

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Biscuit Beetle – Do You Know What They Are?


The Biscuit Beetle – Do You Know What They Are?

There are all kinds of insects and tiny little critters that can invade our homes, sometimes without us noticing.
We often realise the signs of some of the more common insects, such as woodworm, carpet beetles and moths but there is another insect that is incredibly common in UK homes: The Biscuit Beetle.

What is a Biscuit Beetle?

Also known as a Drugstore Beetle, it is found worldwide but prefers a temperate climate like we have here in the UK.
It is common throughout the UK, especially in food storage and retailing premises. They are often encountered in domestic properties too.

What Do They Look Like?

They are small reddish-brown insects, around 3mm in length. If they are in your home, you will find them in stored foods in cupboards and larders.
They are closely related to the common woodworm or furniture beetle and are often mistaken for it. Similar in appearance, the problem with mis-diagnosis is that treatment for both pests are different. Thus, you may treat for woodworm only to find that you still have a problem after treatment.

What Are Biscuit Beetles Attracted to?

As the name suggests, Biscuit Beetles are attracted to flour, biscuits, cake mixes, cereals, spices and soup powders. However, they are a hardy pest and can survive on poisonous substances such as strychnine, belladonna and aconite, which is why the American’s call it the Drugstore Beetle.
This beetle has also been known to penetrate tin foil and lead, and eaten their way through a shelf of books too.

The Lifecycle

Their larvae, which is white, is very small, difficult to see but when they hatch, they are quite active. They feed and grow for around two months, depending on the temperature. The larvae pupate into cocoons, usually within a food material such as a batch of flour.
The adults hatch around two week later and this is where the confusion between this beetle and the woodworm occurs, as the emerging adult leaves small holes and frass in the material, much like the woodworm leaves in wood.
As soon as they emerge, the adults mate. Adult Biscuit Beetles can fly but do not feed. Their life cycle is short, living four weeks at the most.

How to get Rid of Biscuit Beetles

You may need the help of a professional pest controller as the source of the problem will need to be located. It is usually a food source, such as a batch of flour. Throw the infested food and make sure you wash containers, shelving and cupboard thoroughly to be rid of eggs.
These beetles can often find their way into the home through old birds’ nest in eaves and in gutters etc. thus, if you keep finding a new infestation, a pest controller may be needed to empty nests and so on from your property.
The Biscuit Beetle in not dangerous or hazardous and, in most cases, is simply a nuisance that leads to food wastage.

Although common, it is not usual for a home to be infested with them time and again. If you think there is a bigger problem to deal with, please call us.

Monday, 6 March 2017

When Should I Call a Pest Controller?


When Should I Call a Pest Controller?

You wake in the night to scurrying sounds downstairs. With a tennis racket as a make-shift weapon, you take tentative steps to deal with the intruder. What you find is not an axe-wielding burglar but a group of cute looking mice, nibbling on the left over roast potatoes you left on the work top.
Startled by the light and your intrusion, they scarper but not before snatching another tasty morsel of yesterday’s roast potatoes.
You return to bed but you are determined to rid your home of the pest once and for all. You consider taking in a stray cat from the local animal shelter as you peruse the aisles of the local DIY store for mouse-traps and poison.

You Take a Bold Step

Placing traps at the back of cupboards, you seal holes and lay poison. And then you wait.
Only to find the next morning that the bait has not been taken, no traps are sprung and the mice have left little droppings all over the worktop.
You have failed in your bold step. With something akin to panic, you pick up the phone to call your local, friendly expert pest controller.
But, you may think, should you have called us earlier? Should you call a pest controller as soon as you spot a pest or, should you try and deal with it yourself?

What You MUST Consider

The Pest

What is the pest? Some pests are a nuisance but benign. They may make you itch, they may be an irritant but they are not a danger to your health. Carpet beetles and moths would fall into this category. They have chewed a hole in your favourite cashmere woolly jumper but they are not going to kill you with a nasty sting or spread bacteria.
Other pests are more than a nuisance. They are dangerous. Cockroaches spread nasty bacterium that can make you ill, as do rats and mice which are, by the way, perpetually incontinent, urinating and pooping as they scurry along your worktop.

The Location

Inside the house is a definite no-no, even if it is a troop of garden nontoxic ants nicking your jam or swarm of faeces-loving flies.
Your home should be a pest-free zone.
Outside is slightly different because, after all, this is the place where most pests would normally live. Thus, a scurrying family of field mice in the garden doesn’t necessarily equate to an invasion but you may see a rat or two and think you don’t want them getting any closer.

The Hazards and Dangers

Some pests and a swarm of them present massive threats – threat to life, the possibility of you being injured and so on.
A wasp nest hanging from a tree close to your back door is not conducive to being poked with a broom handle. An angry nest of wasps looking for the assailant – YOU! – will not be a pleasant experience.

The answer to the question is this – call us when you feel unsure what the pest is, if the pest is posing a threat, if the pest is in or close to your home. Our services are effective – much better than putting poison in your kitchen cupboards – and affordable,