Pest Control News

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Pests in the Home – A Sobering Overview

Pests in the Home – A Sobering Overview

In hundreds and thousands of homes across Kent, homeowners and tenants are sharing it with a pest. They don’t care who you are, how much money you do or don’t have in your bank account or where you live, if the conditions are right, a pest of some kind will move in.
The British Pest Control Association produce an annual report of the call-outs and type of work that local authority pest control officers are responding to. Their latest report from 2015/16 makes for interesting reading, especially as the pest control services on offer from councils is dwindling as budgets are cut.

And so, with councils only responding to certain calls for help, it seems that the pest control companies are becoming increasingly popular. But what does this mean for you? What can you do about pest in or around your home?

Are pests becoming more of a problem?

Pests, from rats to bugs, can become an issue when the conditions are either in their favour or are unfavourable, pushing them from their normal habitats to find new ones;

·      Weather changes and flooding mean rats leave sewers and seek shelter elsewhere

·      Overheating our homes also makes them attractive to pests

·      Overflowing rubbish and recycle bins are an attractive food source for pests

·      Reducing services such as emptying bins weekly to fortnightly and now three-weekly in many counties is easy-pickings for pests

Understanding Pests

The best way to prevent and deal with pests is to understand them, something that we have been doing through training and experience for many years.

For example, the cockroach is a nocturnal scavenger with three distinct lifecycle phases: egg, nymph and adult. Eating almost anything, maintaining a hygienic environment is the best method of defence against cockroaches but when they do strike, treatment needs to effectively hit them at the ‘right’ stage of their lifecycle.

Mice too, will nibble at almost anything and can squeeze through a tiny gap of 6mm but will only travel three metres from their nest, a good indication that a mouse in your kitchen is nesting close by.

Or what about the bedbug? Laying up to 500 eggs over a two-month period, these tiny specks are difficult to spot, let alone get rid of.

What does this all mean?

It means that we may be unknowingly sharing our home with a pest or two. What it doesn’t mean is that you start laying poison ‘just in case’ you are besieged by a mouse or that you should invest in expensive but relatively ineffective over-the-counter pest control solutions.
But, as a homeowner or tenant, landlord or business owner, it pays to be aware of the ‘symptoms’ of a pest problem at home and have the problem dealt with by a professional pest control company.

Seeing the pest is rare – you’ll see the tail end of the cockroach (or is it?) scuttling under the fridge at night or you may spot a dropping or two that indicates a mouse in the cellar (or is it?). Instead, do this:

·      Smell – some pests leave a tell-tale smell to a room, such as the musty ‘odd’ smell of bedbugs or an unpleasant smell of rat urine. You may not know what ‘that smell’ is, but it is a strong indicator to us.

·      Listen – what can you hear? Can you hear scrabbling feet in the attic or small, chirping noises?

·      Touch – some insects, such as bed bugs, bite, feeding on our blood as we sleep, leaving a series of bites on the torso. Fleas also enjoy a blood meal, leaving itchy lumps around ankles and wrists.

·      See – what can you see? Shredded cardboard and other materials, along with gnawing marks on wood etc. are a sign on a pest with gnawing and shredding habits, from the common brown rat to the smallest of mice – but it can mean squirrels too.

Pests are a nuisance and it may be that you are sharing your home with one or two. Is it time to call us?

Monday, 26 February 2018

Parakeets in Kent

Parakeets in Kent?!

The Indian rose-ringed parakeet is the most northerly nesting parakeet you will find in the wild and in some areas of Kent, this colourful bird is proving a problem. In terms of pest control, what is the stance?


Providing an extra splash of colour to bird tables in Sheppey, Kent, the Indian rose-ringed parakeet is causing a bit of a flap. Exotic in appearance, you would think that as a nation of animal and bird lovers, we would welcome this pretty bird.

But there’s a problem. With 50,000 plus of these parakeets flying free, they are causing problems by devouring food crops.

How they came to be in the south of Britain remains slightly mysterious with three theories put forward to explain their mass appearance in the wild. One is that they fled the filming of The African Queen, the hit Humphrey Bogart film, at Shepperton Studios in 1951.

The other is that Jimmy Hendrix freed a breeding pair in London in the 1960s and then there is the theory of the Great Storm of 1987 decimated an aviary and released them into the wild.

Problematic Parakeets

Parakeets have strong beaks and when they enter loft spaces, they strip exposed beams and rafter. They are also a clever bird, finding their way in through air vents and the like.
With global warming contributing to our ever-increasing warm environment, the parakeets are in no hurry to leave. And this means that they can be problematic;

·      Damage to buildings – they chip away at the wood with their strong beaks, causing hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of damage.

·      A growing population – with an estimated 50,000 in the wild, this number looks sets to increase with weather that they see as favourable.

·      Crops and gardens – gardeners and farmers alike have noticed damaged caused by feeding parakeets.

·      Aggressive to other birds – there is a slowly growing body of research that suggests the ring-necked parakeet as it is sometimes known is aggressive too and responsible for the decline in some of our native birds.

·      Noisy – these birds are very noisy, especially when they are nesting on or around your property.

The Pest Control Solution

In 2010, Natural England classified this ringed-neck parakeet as an agricultural and horticultural pest. This, however, does not give carte blanche for people to start killing or trapping these birds.

A pest they may be, but they enjoy the legal protection afforded to wild birds in the UK. In other words, it is illegal to kill or to interfere with them except in exceptional circumstances.
We provide bird control solutions for all bird species, including the parakeet that has taken up residence in Kent. No matter who or why they became a common sight in our county, they cause a problem from time to time.

As well as parakeets, we can also help minimise the roosting of other birds on or around your property, including seagulls and pigeons.