Pest Control News

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Tips for Pest-Free Refuse and Recycling Bins

Recycling and Pests

Recycling is proving to be a divisive issue. Although we all understand that need to reduce waste, we are unsure that reducing waste bin collection to three weeks – or four weeks in one Welsh county – is the right way forward.

Many people question whether such measures lead to increased fly-tipping or an increase in pests, such as flies and rats. With local councils cutting back on services, very few local authorities now offer free pest control for any pest other than rodents.

Recycling and less frequent bin collections are here to stay and until such time that we reduce consumption of plastic and waste less, how do you keep your recycling containers and bins pest-free?

Tips for Pest-Free Refuse and Recycling Bins

·      Undercover – there is a suggestion that keeping recycling containers and bins in a garage, shed or basement may be the key to keeping them pest-free. However, some experts share concerns that rather than doing just that, it may actually attract pests into your property.

·      Container material – most local authorities provide residents with recycling bins and containers. In most cases, these are suitable, heavy plastic containers but there are some design floors. The best type of container is one with a close-fitting tight light that locks into position preventing pests from gaining access to remnants of food or materials.

·      Wash your jars, tins, plastic bottles etc. – this doesn’t mean putting them through the dishwasher but rinsing out containers so that there are no remnants of food and liquid inside makes them far less attractive to pests. Leftover food can attract flies and wasps, as well as opportunistic rats and mice.

·      Recycling bags – some local authorities provide bags for some recycling or you may use these bags or cardboard boxes to contain bottles etc. that can’t fit into the main recycling boxes. This makes for a great short-term solution but can be attractive to pests. Use strong durable bags that you can seal close.

·      Regular pick-up – most local authorities pick up recycling containers weekly. But this can vary. The importance of regularly emptying recycling bins cannot be underestimated. At certain times of the year, some of your recycling habits will be more attractive. For example, a mouse or squirrel nesting in early spring will look for materials to create and line their nests. And all that lovely cardboard neatly piled for the recycling centre is perfect material!

·      Wash the bins and containers – you may have sealable lids and your recycling is picked up weekly, so why are still plagued by wasps and flies? Pests are attracted to the food and drink residue left in bins and containers. From sticky sweet jam to remnants of drinks that is weeks old, pests will be attracted to it. Disinfect your recycling containers and bins from time to time using an environmentally-friendly product. Or invest in one of the many regular bin cleaning services on offer.

Are you struggling to keep your recycling pest-free?


We may be able to help! It may be that the recycling containers and bin are the not the source of the problem, but something else. Why not give our team a call?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Pests & Food

Pests in Your Pasta?!

‘Stored food pests’ are tiny critters that find their way into the food items we store, from cereals to pasta and flour. Finding weevils in flour is more common than you think. What do they look like and what can you do about it?


The last thing you expect to find when you open your flour jar is for it to be moving. Weevils are more common in flour and grain than you think, as are flour beetles.

What is a Weevil?

Dark brown in colour, the weevil and the flour beetle have been around for millennia. In fact, most of our ancestors probably ate the weevil along with the dishes they made from the ‘weevil-infected’ flour and grain.
Today, we are not so keen. Small, hard to see, it is a tiny insect that has, over the years, learnt to adapt to modern human ways. With such a delicate mouth, surviving in a field of wheat would be nigh-on impossible for the weevil and so, finding its way into processed flour is the perfect solution.
Beetles are similar and, in the UK, the Confused Flour Beetle – yes, that is its real name! – is also more common than you think. Slightly reddish in colour, it is bigger than the weevil but no less annoying.
If weevils or flour beetles are in one pack of flour in your cupboard, they are likely to be in the other jars and packets too. Neither are injurious to human health and in most cases, you can successfully deal with a small, one-off infestation yourself.
The problems start when they keep returning. If this is the case, you’ll need to give the team at SOS Pest Control a call.

How Did They Get into Your Home?

Brace yourself – they were probably already in the flour! Flour and grains, like most foodstuffs, has a shelf life and that means as the flour ages, the weevils start to take shape.
And the warmer temperatures in our homes also help them. The warmer the flour, the more likely weevil activity is. This doesn’t mean popping your flour in the fridge but our ancestors, with their cool larders, had the right idea. Most tiny insects like weevils, won’t budge or develop in temperatures less than 15°c.

Weevils and Flour Beetles – an Infestation or Not?

Finding moving bits in your flour is unpleasant, but nothing to overly worry about. Unfortunately, it means throwing flour and other foodstuffs away which can make it expensive.
Clean jars and storage containers thoroughly – a hot wash in the dishwasher will do the trick – as will a thorough clean of all kitchen cupboards with hot, soapy water. Concentrate on crevices and joints in cupboards too.

When to Call Us

In most cases, a deep clean and a thorough sorting of the kitchen cupboards should do it. For commercial food businesses, it may be a good idea for our team to take a look and make sure there isn’t a bigger pest problem lurking beneath.
For the domestic customer, if it keeps happening, it may also suggest that there is a colony of bugs that need identifying and dealing with.

Our top tip – store all foods such as flour and grain in airtight containers.