Pest Control News

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Feeding Wildlife or Encouraging Pests?

Feeding Wildlife or Encouraging Pests?

Caring for nature over winter feels like the right thing to do. Or is it encouraging pests, storing up problems for the future?

Many people choose to feed the birds or leave out dog food for hedgehogs or the local urban fox. Other people feel that this is encouraging vermin and pests, storing up problems for the future.

Nature groups, including the RSPB, encourage us to feed garden birds and create ideal nesting sites for all kinds of bugs and insects. And yet, these birds and bugs could be the prey of larger animals and rodents, many of which are considered vermin and pests.
How do we balance looking after nature without creating the perfect environment attractive to pests?

It’s a tough balancing act, but it can be done.

#1 Bird seed, not food scraps

Feeding scraps of food has never been a great idea. Larger pieces of food attract larger birds such as seagulls, that are now deemed to be a nuisance. To attract garden birds to your garden, you need to feed them the appropriate seeds.

Pet shops and some supermarkets will sell generic birds seed although, for some garden birds such as robins, sunflower hearts and other high-energy foods are a good idea.
Bird seed doesn’t attract seagulls, but you still may get crows and pigeons on the bird table, or an intrepid squirrel on the nuts.

#2 Bird tables, not on the ground

Throwing scraps of food on the ground is not only inviting larger birds but rats, mice and other pests to partake in the daily feeding ritual.

In winter, most animals and birds, pests or otherwise, struggle to find enough food. And that means when there is an opportunity to feast, they will take it.

If you are feeding the birds this winter, spread bird seed either on a bird table or use the many hanging feeders and other contraptions you can buy. These feeding devices are made for garden birds and thus, rats and mice, along with seagulls and pigeons find them difficult to ‘use’ or perch on.

#3 Don’t declare open season!

Feed garden birds within limits. In other words, a handful of seed on a bird table each morning is enough to encourage the right birds into the garden. Birds are tenacious creatures and will find other sources of food such a berries and insects – the seed they find in your garden is an added bonus.

Being overly generous can be akin to declaring open season for all kinds of pests! If there is abundant food available throughout the day, pests will come. Feed in moderation.

#4 Be alert for pests – especially rats and mice

Rats and mice will be in your garden, it’s just that either you don’t see them or they are so few that you don’t notice them. If you start to see signs – well-trodden paths in the grass, for example, or holes appearing in fences, or you actually catch sight of one – call a pest control expert.

But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage wildlife into your garden. But do so responsibly and in the right way, and enjoy the wonder of nature.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Rat & Mice Winter Pest Control

Winter Pests: Rats & Mice

The shorter daylight hours, the chilly temperatures and the endless rain and grey skies perfectly sum up the winter months here in the UK. There are clear, crisp days with bright blue skies and winter sun and, when these days dawn, we should take advantage of them.
But in recent years, the winters have thrown tumultuous weather in our direction. From howling gales to torrential rain, people have been flooded out of homes and communities. The clear up takes weeks and getting back into your home can take months of restorative work.

But when there are floods, there are health concerns too. From sewage in people’s homes and belongings to pests becoming a nuisance. Of all the pests that cause problems in winter, rats and mice are possibly two of the most common. But why?

»     Forced Out of Their Natural Habitat

Flooding, endless rain, storm damage… you name it, what the winter weather throws at us, is also thrown at wildlife. All kinds of animals and rodents are displaced from their natural habitat, including mice and rats.

»     Scarce Food Supply

Just as our crops can be damaged by weather, so too is the natural food source of rodents and animals. And that means hungry pests will go in search of another food source – and that can mean the rubbish in your bin and the food scraps in your compost.

»     The Perfect Nesting Site

Frankly, a garage, shed, cellar or even the wall cavity of your home is warmer and safer than a nesting site in the wild. Few predators will have the courage to ‘attack’ in a place inhabited by humans and even though rodents don’t seek our company, they have sufficient resources and abilities to mainly avoid us, even when they are nesting right under our nose…

Prevention – Always Better (and Cheaper!) Than Cure

As the winter weather closes in, act to keep pests at bay, especially rodents;
·      Seal holes and other entrance points into cavities and small spaces in sheds, garages and so on.

·      Don’t be tempted to lay poison ‘just in case’. There is research that shows rats and mice become accustomed to it and simply change their direction of travel to avoid it. In the meantime, a non-target species nibbles at it and dies. The cycle continues with birds eating a poisoned carcass and dying from secondary poisoning.

·      Some people lay rat or mouse traps as they know they have problems in winter with rodents. As a pest control company, we offer value for money long-term service contracts that would be more cost-effective and efficient.

·      If prevention measures fail – make sure bins are sealed, holes sealed, stored food stuffs effectively stored – and you see or hear evidence of rodents, the only thing you should do is call a professional pest control company that specialises in rodent extermination and control. Anything else is a waste of time, effort and money.

Rats and mice are not just a winter pest – they can be a nuisance all year round – but the conditions of winter force many pests and vermin to seek shelter too close for comfort.

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