Pest Control News

Monday, 28 August 2017

Wasps in Summer

Summer Pests: Sluggish Wasps

As August draws to a close, the sun can still shine brightly in September but there is a noticeable change in the temperature. Evenings can be a little chilly as the leaves on the trees start to turn into the glorious shades of autumn.
But there is one pest that causes problems – the wasp. All summer you have avoided the buzzing insect and the sting in its tail but now, with the change in temperature, wasps become sluggish. But why? And why is this a problem?

What Happens to Wasps in Winter?

There are no wasps in winter. With the cooler temperatures of autumn and winter, the wasp colony dies out, leaving only mated queens to hibernate through the winter, waking refreshed in spring to build another nest.

Wasps become sluggish because…

If the wasp is male or an unmated female, they cannot survive the colder temperatures of winter. And it is the cold that makes them sluggish and makes them ‘droop’ or drop.

The exact time death cannot be pinpointed…

Because it depends on the temperature. It is the cooler autumnal temperatures that signal the end for the wasp nest and its occupants. Some years, we have had fine, warm weather well into October and the occasional wasp can be seen buzzing around. But if the temperatures tumble in September, the wasps will die sooner.

Wasps don’t just drop out of the sky…

But they are disorientated and this means they can be more prone to being irritated quicker. Hence, some people believe that wasps stings are more commonplace in September when wasps are sluggish.

Mated queen wasp survival rates are low…

The mated queen looks for a safe place to hibernate over winter. Typically, they look larger than other ‘normal’ wasps. They may look dead but they are, in fact, dead. You may find one on a shed windowsill, for example, or on the floor or in piles of stored materials. But spiders and other insects will prey on them and thus, the survival rate for mate queen wasps is low.

Wasps don’t return to an empty nest…

Wasps are an industrious community and the whole point of their existence from spring to late summer is to build a strong colony and nest, with a mated queen at its heart. Empty nests can be removed or left in situ until they rot away as wasps don’t return. But always make sure that the wasp nest is actually empty as a dozy wasp can and still sting.

Wasps can be dealt with quickly and safely…

But only by a qualified pest control technician who understand how and why wasps react the way that they do when humans and/or pets stray too near their nest. No matter where the nest is, we can deal with it.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fly Pest Control - The Summer Horsefly

Summer Pest: The Horsefly

You may have noticed a cluster of stories in local and national papers and websites about people having reactions to horsefly bites. One American website carried a headline that said, “Horseflies Causing Chaos in the UK!” but is the horsefly causing chaos? Are their numbers bigger this year than previous summers? Is the horsefly the summer pest of 2017?

The Horsefly: What is it?

Delivering a painful bite that can cause an unpleasant localised skin reaction, the horsefly is commonly found around horse, stables, cattle, cattle sheds and tall, long grass.
Cows and horses can have reactions to horsefly bites too, with itchy, swollen lumps at the bite site. For humans, the effect is no less pleasant with some people having such a serious reaction, they sought medical help from their local A&E department.
According to the NHS website, a horsefly bites will leave the skin red and raised, with people also commonly experiencing a raised rash, dizziness, wheezing, weakness and other parts of the body becoming swollen. As well as applying a cold press and ensuring the wound area is clean, the NHS suggests that calling 111 for advice is beneficial too. Reaction to bites to the face can be more severe thus, seek medical help if this happens to you.

Why are Horsefly Bites Painful?

If you are unfamiliar with horseflies, they are a winged insect that is larger than the common housefly and dark in colour.
Horseflies feed on blood, opting to feed on any mammal they can get a satisfying meal from, Dogs, cattle, horses and humans all make for a great meal.
They are attracted to dark colours, or so experts say, and carbon dioxide which is why you may find you swat away a horsefly or two when you run or walk in the summer months. They are also vengeful flies and have been known to pursue a human, horse, cow or dog if the initial blood meal wasn’t satisfying.
And despite the horrendous reaction their bites can cause humans, unlike the wasp when it has used its sting, the horsefly doesn’t have the good manners to die after biting someone or something.

Have Horseflies Been More a Problem This Year?

Looking at the news headlines of local and national papers from across the country it would seem so. The reactions people have had from a horsefly bite have been serious and painful but thankfully, not fatal.
The weather plays a major part in some pests being more of a problem than others at certain times of the year. Possibly the mix of heat, followed by periods of rain and humidity are the right conditions for horseflies to breed.
Warm weather reduces the incubation times of eggs and fly larvae and so this contributes to a quicker and more rampant breeding season, hence more horseflies looking for more blood meals and more people reporting painful looking reactions to the horsefly bite.

If you can, avoid the horsefly. But if you are bitten, try not to itch the bite as this can cause further problems with infection. Apply a cold compress and if necessary, seek medical help.

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