Pest Control News

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wasp Removal Services Across Kent

Summer Pests Part 1 – Facing the Wrath of Wasps

The wasp, feared in case it should release its venom-containing sting. They always seem aggressive, always seem to be looking for someone or something to sting. They vibrating buzz gives them a reputation for being a formidable insect.
And this is certainly the case when you discover a nest of hundreds, possibly thousands of wasps within close range of your home. Playing in the garden becomes less pleasurable or the time you had put aside to relax in your garden thwarted, as you use the latest best-selling paperback to swat these buzzing creatures away.
But, are wasps really all that bad…?

The Low Down on Wasps

There are over 30,000 identified species of wasp but thankfully, very few are found in the UK. The bad news is that even those the majority of wasps are solitary and non-stinging varieties, we do have stinging varieties in the UK.
We are used to wasps being yellow and black striped, nature’s warning to avoid them - humans as well as other insects and animals.
In fact, wasps come in all colours, including yellow and brown, metallic blue, and bright red. The rule is simple – the more brightly coloured, the more likely they are to have a sting in their tail.
All wasps, irrespective of their species, build nests, secrete a waxy substance that is the main building material. They also chew wood to create the pulp substances used to create their familiar, papery abodes.
The 30,000+ species can be divided into two sub-groups: social and solitary.

Solitary Wasps

The largest sub-group as the name suggests, these species of wasps do not form colonies. They include some of the largest wasp species too, such as the formidable cicada killer. If they have a sting, it is to catch and kill their pray unlike social wasps that use their sting as a form of defence.
We do have solitary wasps in the UK, complete with yellow and black striped bodies and a sting in their tail. On the whole, they are rarely a nuisance, avoiding contact with humans and other animals as far as possible.

Social Wasps

These wasps build colonies and include the wasps that we know here in the UK, the hornets and the yellow jackets for example.
Social wasp nests start from scratch each year, with the mated female fertilised the previous summer and then hibernating in a sheltered spot over the winter. In the warmth of spring, she emerges, builds a small nest and rears a small brood of female workers.
These workers then take over the building of the nest whilst the queen lays more and more eggs. By later summer, a colony can reach 5,000 wasps all of whom, along with the queen die off in winter. Only fertilised females will survive to start the complete process again.

Do We Need Wasps?

It is often said that wasps have no use to humans and yet, their huge species group should tell us different.
Wasps prey on other insects, and have become adept at preying on those insects that eat or damage food crops. Although it is tempting to swot a wasp when they come into the house, maybe we should consider that in the bigger picture, they do perform some good deeds.
That said, you don’t have to share your home, outbuildings or garden with a colony of thousands of wasps. They certainly don’t feel a social creature when they sting you to defend their territory.

The safest and best course of action is to give us a call…

Friday, 12 May 2017

SOS Garden Maintenance Services in Kent

Summer Garden Maintenance – Getting the Essentials Done!

Have you noticed how with light spring rain followed by an afternoon of warm spring sunshine leads to your garden all of a sudden springing back into life?
It is lovely to see but within days, your garden can take on the appearance of being a wilderness. Great for encouraging wildlife into your garden, it is not so great for when you are short of time but want your garden looking great.
That’s why you need our garden maintenance service. But what is it that we do, and why is this great news for keeping pests at bay?

Regular Maintenance Tasks

There are some tasks that are not only essential but need to be a regular feature in your weekly gardening schedule.
Mowing the lawn, for example, should be done weekly. It should also be aerated to prevent compaction of the roots, scrapped to get rid of moss and watered regularly. To keep it lush and green, always weed it and give it a feed with a high-quality fertiliser every now and then. You may also need to re-seed patches too.
The biggest mistake made with lawns is cutting them too short, especially when the weather is dry. The root system of grass is not large thus, when the top layer of moisture in the soil evaporates, it soon looks parched. Thus, when the weather promises a dry run of weather, take it easy on the lawn.

The Meadow Look

In recent years, gardeners are being encouraged to leave a part of their garden ‘wild’. That is leave the grasses longer, the nettles unpicked and plenty of wild flowers. The idea is to attract wildlife, from buzzing bees to garden-friendly insects and garden birds.
BUT, the meadow look can hide many other animals that are a nuisance. Rodents are best not encouraged although a family of field mice can be cute. Rats, however, are not. Long growth provides cover for rats and some other pesky pests – if you notice a problem, our team can help.

Annual Maintenance Tasks

Trees and shrubs add so much to a garden. Depending on their species, they can year-round colour and will also make great nesting sites for all kinds of garden birds.
However, they need to be kept in shape, not just that they look great but also to maintain their health and vigour. If a shrub or tree is allowed to grow too straggly, it becomes weak, leading to damage in winter storms.
Pruning most shrubs and some trees should happen in the warmer months of spring and summer. This prevents cold and frosty nights from penetrating the shrub, a problem that can lead to part or all of it dying.
Hedges are fantastic for privacy screening your garden and property but again, can become a nuisance when they have a growth spurt. If your hedges back onto a public highway or path, if you don’t keep them trim and in shape, you may face the wrath of the local council.

Need help? Our expert and experienced garden maintenance team are the people to call!