Pest Control News

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

October Pests

October Pest Problems
A new month could mean the emergence of some new pests to be on the lookout for. As the weather begins to get colder, pests are looking for warm environments and your home is the perfect place. 
Spiders
Most people are horrified when they find a spider in their personal space. Well buckle up! We are entering the prime time for spider season. As the nights draw in, the temperature drops and they will enter your home for warmth. This is also the time of year where the males are out looking for females. You may notice an increase in these creepy crawlies in the corner of the ceilings or behind bookcases, where it is dark and mainly undisturbed. There are a number of high street products that you can buy to deter spiders and even kill them. It is common knowledge that spiders are not a fan of mint. Best practice is to treat windowsills and door frames to deter them from entering your home. 
Squirrels
Squirrels in your home can not only cause some damage but are very noisy. Typically, they will find a way into your loft space through broken roof tiles or any holes in the structure of the roof. Squirrels are destructive by chewing through insulation, wires, and anything you have stored in your attic. They do this in order to make nests. If they find a suitable place to nest for the colder months, they may return time and time again if their access points are not restricted or blocked. You will most certainly hear them, and it is important to be mindful that they can cause structural damage too by chewing through timber. 
Rats/Mice
Rats and mice are very resourceful and are quick to adapt to their surroundings. If they are able to gain access to your home, you are most likely to hear them scratching around in wall cavities or in the attic. They will chew through a multitude of materials to gain access or to make a nest. Rats and mice are able to squeeze through the smallest of gaps so checking your home for any access points and proofing these are key at this time of year. Mice in particular are very curious, although they tend to explore during the night, they will venture considerable distances to explore better nesting locations or food sources. It is important to remember that rats and mice are both carriers of diseases and can make humans very unwell if they come into contact with them. Both rats and mice will cause considerable damage as they gnaw through materials and if left then the damage could be structural. 

If you think you have any of these unwanted pests in your home, then please give us a call, we can help get you pest free for good!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Winged Pests

Winged Pests

Wasps
There are many different species of wasps in the UK; the most commonly sighted being the German Wasp. Most species of wasps are social, they will build a nest in a new location every spring using a multitude of materials. Colonies can reach up to 5000 wasps and can be found in places like attics, sheds and even inside walls. The choice of location to nest is usually based on the protective qualities of the space. At this particular time of year, most of the work is done for a wasp. The queen has stopped producing young and may have even left the colony in search of a good place to hibernate over the winter. The worker wasps no longer need to care for the eggs and larvae in the nest, so tend to spend most of their time searching for something sweet. They are basically waiting to die at this point, and the nectar of a rotting apple for example is just what they want. They tend to become much more aggressive at this point; chasing, dive bombing and stinging to get that sweet treat. 

Hornets
Although technically a species of wasp, the hornet sting is much more painful. They are considered as aggressive as wasps, but due to their larger size, they may appear more scary! If their size was not enough to put you off, they tend to attack in numbers in order to get food sources. They are dangerous to the honey bee specifically. The honey bee is a favourite meal and a hornet will actually stake out a honey bee hive for the opportune moment to attack. Their nests are typically located off the floor in trees. 

Flies
Cluster flies can be a real problem this time of year. As the season begins to change, they are looking to find good nesting locations. A preferred location is loft space, they are not bothered much there, it is warm and can even have access to sunlight if there are gaps in the roof. Although the cluster fly is not considered to post a health risk, we would not recommend leaving an infestation untreated. They can become rather a nuisance buzzing around. There are many different species of fly in the UK, around 7000 to be more precise. All their nesting and eating habits depend on the species however typically humans will come into contact with bluebottles, house flies, crane fly, and fruit fly to name a few. Flies typically enter the home through open doors and windows and are governed by their search for food sources. 


If you have any problems with the winged pests above, please do get in touch today. We can help eradicate the issue quickly and professionally!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Fleas

Fleas

We have had quite a few enquiries recently about flea infestations. Flea problems can be very tricky to deal with. This is because we tend to treat the adults as we can see these (although even the adults can be tricky to spot) but fleas reproduce very quickly. Here are some facts about fleas;

·     Fleas are actually parasites; they live of mammals and birds. Adult fleas only eat blood meals. Which is why living on their food host is perfect for them. 

·     They are typically small in size, no bigger than 3mm long when fully grown adults. Adult fleas have flat bodies, this makes moving through fur and feathers easier. 

·     They are reddish brown in colour and have long back legs. These legs are extremely strong. Fleas can actually jump really high, far higher than what their size should allow for. This skill means they can jump from host to host easily and efficiently. 

·     Adults will only consume fresh blood.

·     Female fleas can lay over 1000 eggs in a lifetime depending on the species of flea. 

·     Adult fleas typically live for approximately 2 months. However, if the environment is right, they can live for much longer. 

·     Fleas lay white eggs, these eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae are worm like in appearance and white in colour. They feed off of adult flea waste and dead skin cells. 

·     In an infestation of fleas, adults only make up about 5 % of the population. That means just dealing with the adult fleas you can see is no good. The eggs produced by fleas can make up 50% of the population!




Flea infestations are very hard to treat by yourself. It is strongly advised that you contact a professional pest controller. We can help identify and treat the infestation successfully and get rid of these pests once and for all!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Bird Proofing-Why Do We Do It?

Bird Proofing-Why Do We Do It?

Birds can become a real issue if they decide to nest in or around your home or business. Pigeons and Gulls are regular offenders and can create excessive noise problems. Pigeons for example tend to live in flocks of at least 50 members, so a small problem can become a very big problem quickly. 

Aside from being a noise nuisance, bird infestations come with a whole host of extra problems. 
·     Guano/Droppings/Bird Poo
Not only is it unsightly, it is also considered a health hazard. Birds are capable of spreading a number of diseases, including but not limited to E. Coli and Salmonella. If you have a large bird infestation, their droppings could also cause slip hazards if they are fouling on regularly used walkways for example. 

·     Building Damage
Birds will nest in many different locations. Some favourites include; guttering, chimneys, balconies, roof spaces and ledges. Pigeons for example only need to find the smallest of gaps or a broken roof tile in order to nest comfortably. Their nests in guttering can cause blockages and even breakages. 

·     Insect infestations
Birds can carry a number of insects in their feathers including mites and fleas. These insects are also attracted to their nesting sites due to the shelter, warmth and food sources they can supply. 


Bird infestations can cause some serious disruption. This is why we offer a selection of proofing solutions. Deterring birds from nesting and roosting is a great way of keeping your home or business pest free. If you think you may have a bird infestation, give us a call. We can come and inspect the area, offer advice and supply the best proofing solution for you. 

Monday, 5 August 2019

Holiday Season - Be Bed Bug Aware!

Holiday Season - Be Bed Bug Aware!

The summer holidays are well and truly upon us now, but unfortunately pests do not seem to get the memo. Some of you may be packing your suitcases to jet off abroad or some of you may be enjoying the great (yet sometimes unpredictable) weather here in the UK. Either way, you are not exempt from dealing with a potential bed bug problem!

Although bed bugs are not necessarily considered a seasonal pest (like wasps for example), there is a fluctuation in calls to us about them in the summer months. This could be for a multitude of reasons, but one may be the coming and going from hotels or staying with friends. 

Bed bugs are capable travellers and will happily make themselves at home in a suitable location. They are very small and sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye but typical a typical hot spot for a bed bug infestation is the bedroom. They require food and warmth to survive and a little moisture. They can lay their eggs in many different locations such as; mattress seams, joints of bed frames, sofa seams and other soft furnishings. One thing they do need is a blood meal. This is why the most likely location is on or around your mattress. Although bed bug bites do not hurt at the time, they can cause swelling, itchiness and redness. Not pleasant. 

Here are a couple of things to look out for;
-blood spots on your sheets
-bites to your skin
-egg cases
-small, flat oval shaped, brownish coloured insects
Bed bugs can reproduce very quickly if their environment is right so dealing with an infestation can be very tricky. 

If you think you have a bed bug infestation, please give us a call. We can deal with the problem quickly and effectively!

Monday, 29 July 2019

Pests to look out for this Summer

Pests to look out for this Summer

Below we have put together a small list of common pests that may be a problem this summer.

Flies
As the weather warms up, you may notice more flies around. This is due to their activity and reproductivity levels increasing in warmer climates. They are attracted to strong smelling food sources, and ones that we as humans really are not fans of. Such as animal faeces and rotting food. They will eat and lay eggs on these sources. With warm weather, comes stronger smells. This is why it is important to make sure any bins containing waste are sealed and cleaned regularly. 

Ants
Ants are at the height of their activity in the summer months. A colony will be pretty well established at this time of year and will be continuing to grow. An ant’s nest is likely to be underground, so it is good practice to follow the work ants back to the entrance of the nest to establish its location. This may be under patio slabs or in the grass in the garden to name a few. The worker ants will be out of the nest looking for food sources. They love sweet sugary food such as nectar and soft fruits. They will also find anything sugary in the home if their nest is close enough. This is why we suggest making sure to clean up any spillages and making sure your kitchen is cleaned regularly. 

Bees & Wasps
Like ants, bees and wasps nests are at their largest and most active during this time of year. They are more prevalent in the summer months due to this and can become a problem. Nesting locations can vary but can include; trees, abandoned rodents nests, sheds and attics. Both bees and wasps can become aggressive when protecting their nests, so it is always advised to seek advice from a professional pest controller. Unlike bees, wasps are able to sting multiple times and will do so if they feel threatened. 

Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are the top pest for the summer months. In the summer, they complete their life cycle quicker than in the colder months. This is why there seems to be more around in the summer. They are most active in the early evening, looking for blood meals. You usually do not know that you have been bitten until it is too late. Males are drawn to nectar to feed. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Wasps are here!

Wasps are here!

Wasp season is well underway now. They love the warmer weather just like us. As we enjoy the sunshine, having picnics, ice creams, and BBQ’s, wasps will also like to join the party. It is always good to be prepared so here are some facts and interesting information about wasps.

·     In the UK, there are over 20,000 different species of wasps-the German wasp and Common wasp are the species you are most likely to come into contact with

·     They have bright yellow and black stripes on their tail ends, black thorax and yellow legs

·     They are social insects-they live in a colony and all members have a specific job role

·     They will tend to nest in trees, lofts, sheds and have been known to nest in the ground in abandoned rodent nests

·     Their nest is constructed by the queen initially with chewed up wood pulp and saliva. Once the queen begins to lay eggs, the colony take over the building and maintenance of the nest as well as looking after the young that the queen continues to produce

·     Wasps can fly much faster than you can run!

·     They are able to sting multiple times. This is because they do not lose their stinger like bees

·     Wasps, like our beloved bees are very important to our ecosystem. They are great pollinators

·     They tend to eat flies, caterpillars and aphids. At the end of the summer, they are more drawn to sugary food sources which will see them through the winter

·     If a wasp feels threatened, it can emit a pheromone that signals to other wasps that there is danger and help is required

·     It is best practice to not swipe at a wasp, this may be construed as an attack and you will be stung!


 If you find a wasp nest in or around your home, please call in a professional to assess and deal with the situation. We are fully trained and qualified to make sure the problem is dealt with properly. 

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Bees- Friend or Foe?

Bees

We have been inundated with calls about bees so far this season. Some bees may look like wasps, however due to the weather not being as warm as it has been in previous years, the wasp season does not seem to have ‘kicked off’ yet. 

If you are seeing nests or swarms in or around your home, we implore you to consider if they are truly a pest problem. We say this as most pest controllers don’t like to treat bees. They are so important to our ecosystem and their pollination of flowers is imperative. Bees usually will not opt to harm a human, however they will do so if they feel threatened or to protect their colony. 

The most typical species of bees you are likely to come across are honey bee and bumble bees. Honey bees are typically mating now which in turn will create a new queen. Once this queen is established, then the old queen will swarm and move on to create a new colony. Nesting sites of bees can vary depending on species, some nest is wall cavities, lofts, old rodent nests, trees etc. 

When you see a large swarm of bees, they are usually resting whist protecting their queens. The swarm itself can look quite intimidating however, if you leave them alone, they will eventually move on after a couple of days. 

It is suggested, where possible, to leave bees to their own devices. They will not nest in the same location twice, so if you are able to live with your bee friends then there is no need to contact a pest controller. If however if the bees are causing concern or a health risk (as some people are highly allergic to bee stings), they we would suggest calling in a professional to have a look and offer some advice about the best course of action to take.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Different types of bees found in the UK

Different types of bees

There are a number of different species of bee in the United Kingdom. The appearance, behaviour and nesting preferences are all dependent on the species. They come in all shapes and sizes as well as different colours. Below you will find a list of just some of the bees you may encounter during this particular time of year. 

Bumble Bees
This is one of the most social species of bee. They nest in colonies varying in size and work together to maintain this. 

Early bumblebee
This bumble bee is the smallest in the UK. You will see them around gardens and in the trees. They tend to live in deserted burrows and are usually seen between March and June. 
They have yellow and black bands across their bodies with an orange tail. 

Tree bumblebee
The tree bumble bee, as the name suggests can be found nesting in trees. They like to nest high up. You will usually see them between March and July. They are mainly ginger in colour with a white tail and black abdomen.

Honey bees
There is actually only one species of honey bee in the UK and most of them live in hives kept by beekeepers. You will see them buzzing around between March and October. They usually have yellow and black stripes and have less of the ‘fluffy’ appearance compared to the bumble bee. 

Solitary bees

Carder bee
These bees are predominantly brown in colour with yellow spots along their abdomen. They can vary in colour depending on the amount of sunlight they have been exposed to. They prefer to nest in high locations like trees. Carder bees can be seen between May and July. 

Leafcutter bees
Leafcutter bees are true to their name, cutting leaves to create a nice lining for the females’ eggs. These bees are usually seen between May and August. Nesting preference is away from the ground, but close enough to collect pollen and nectar to feed their young.

Mining bee
The mining bee can usually be seen between March and July. They nest in the ground and can be found in many different habitats, most commonly on grassy slopes. They are an orange colour on the top and have black abdomens. They also have the ‘fluffy’ appearance.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Spring Pests Are Here!

Spring Pests Are Here!

Spring is the time for most pests to begin to emerge. This is usually due to most of them searching for a mate. Even if love is in the air, the last thing you want to deal with is a pest problem. 

Below are some common pest problems that we receive calls about during the spring months;

Cockroaches and Bed Bugs
Cockroaches love warmer weather conditions which is why it is likely you may begin to see them around. They are always on the search for food and water sources. They are extremely adaptable which makes them difficult to treat. They have been around for millions of years and can be very resourceful in residential and commercial locations. They will eat pretty much anything, including each other if necessary. They can go without food for about a month but will only survive without water for a week.
Bed Bugs are also more prevalent during this time of year. This could be for a number of reasons, they like most pests are ready to find a mate. However, more reports of bed bugs are made due to the school holidays and travelling. If you pick up bed bugs in a hotel for example and they survive the journey, they will thoroughly enjoy the lovely environment of your nice warm home.  

Pigeons
Pigeons are on the lookout for a mate at this time of the year. And they are not quiet about it either! Another issue with birds is their poop. They actually harbour a number of diseases in themselves but also their droppings. This can cause serious health issues if not dealt with and handled correctly by a professional. 

Clothes Moths
It is the time to start getting out the Spring/Summer wardrobe as the weather starts to warm up. If you find holes in your clothes, that means you have a moth problem! It is not actually the adult moths that make these holes but rather the larvae. It is most likely that they would have been present when the clothes where packed away, which is why it is suggested that clothes are washed on a high heat, dried and placed in sealed containers to best combat these pests.

Bees and Wasps
You will see many insects beginning to emerge now. It is mating season after all. Bees and wasps are also beginning to search for food sources. Whilst bees are attracted to pollen and nectar, wasps like anything sweet! Both these insects can sting you so if you do come across them, it is best practice to leave them be if possible. They will become aggressive if they feel you are a threat to them or their nest. 

If you think you have any of these pest problems mentioned above, please do not hesitate to give us a call!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Death Watch Beetles

Death Watch Beetles

The Death Watch Beetle is not as scary as it sounds. It is believed that the name originated from these beetles commonly being found in churches and hospitals years ago. Although superstitious people believed it was because they were an ‘ill omen’ it was more likely due to the construction of buildings years ago. More specifically the wood used in these buildings. The Death Watch Beetle is a wood boring beetle and can be placed under the umbrella term ‘woodworm’. This is due to their boring tunnels in wooden structures as they eat. 

Death Watch Beetles are native to the United Kingdom and are most likely to be found in hardwood- building timbers or furniture. They are not partial to softwood furnishings which is lucky really as most newly built houses use softwood in the structure. The adult beetles are around 7mm in size and a mottled brownish grey in colour. They are able to fly but do not tend to.

These seasonal pests will start to make an appearance between the months of April and September as the weather begins to warm up. They make their appearance for one reason only, to mate. In order to attract a mate, they will bang their heads against the wooden structure to make a tapping or clicking sound. Once they have found a mate, they will search for a suitable location to lay their eggs. This location must have a decent level of moisture to ensure their eggs survive as well as somewhere where their eggs will not be disturbed. The female can lay up to 70 eggs at a time. When the eggs hatch, the grubs tunnel down in to the wood structure to feed. Interestingly, grubs can live up to 10 years inside the timber, it is after this they will emerge as grown beetles in search for a mate. 

Any signs of the Death Beetle are similar to those of the woodworm. The tunnels created by the grubs will create holes visible in the surface of the wood and the production of frass (digested wood sawdust) will be a tell-tale sign that you have an active infestation. Don’t forget to listen out for the tapping too, another sure sign that you have an active infestation. 

If you think you may have a Death Beetle infestation, we strongly recommend that you give a professional pest controller a call. We will be able to offer you advice and best course of treatment to rid you of these pests and make sure that they do not come back!

Monday, 29 April 2019

House Flies

House Flies
Flies tend to be a pest most of the year, but as Spring arrives it is likely that you will see more and more of them beginning to emerge. They tend to be most active during the daytime and they can be found all over the house, mainly on walls, ceilings and floors. 
They are attracted to food. Simple as that. They do not usually tend to fly far from the location where they were born. They are especially attracted to animal waste, garbage and human food. Especially as the weather warms up, the smell emitted from these sources can worsen, which is great news for flies! House flies do not have teeth so they can only consume food as liquids. Their preference is of course food sources that are already in the liquid form, however they are able to consume solid foods by breaking them down through regurgitation. 
Due to the type of food sources house flies eat, they are considered a dangerous pest. They carry a vast number of diseases and readily transfer these onto anything they touch or feed on. 
So what should you be looking out for? House flies tend to be dark gray in colour, have black stripes and are oval in shape. They have six legs and antennae. If you get close enough, you will see that they are slightly hairy and have one pair of wings. They also have large red eyes.
House flies tend to have a short life span, usually 15-25 days but this does not mean that they cannot reproduce quickly. The female house fly can lay up to 100 eggs at one given time, and she can do so at least 5 times in her life. 
If you think you may have a house fly infestation, then please do get in touch with us, we can most certainly help you to be fly free!

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Black Garden Ants

Garden Ants

As the warmer weather arrives, garden ants will begin to emerge. They are on the search for food. The size of these ant nests can vary from 100s of ants to many 1000s of ants, depending on how long the nest has been there and how many queens there are in the colony. Multiple queens in a colony is dependent on the species of the ant. 

A nest of ants is most likely to be found in your garden; in soil, under stones, in rotten wood, under roots or in the sand under paving slabs. Most of the time, ants are happy to live outside however they will enter a home in search for food, particularly sugary foods. 

In the UK, you are most likely to see Black Garden Ants. These are;
Þ    Small, around 3mm in size
Þ    A dark glossy black in colouring
Þ    Female worker ants do not have wings
Þ    Male ants do have wings
Þ    They have 6 legs and 2 antennae


Ants are very curious and will go on the search over large distances to find food sources. Typically, outside they will eat rotting fruits and nectar for the sugary content, but they are also known to eat some insects too. They actually farm aphids due to the honeydew that they produce which is a favourite source of food. If food sources are getting low, black ants will begin to look further afield from their nest. In doing so, the female worker ants are able to communicate to each other by emitting a pheromone trail which is why you will see them walking in a ‘follow the leader’ formation. 

They are likely to gain access into your home through gaps under doors and window seals, as well as using pipes sometimes. They are most likely to be found in the kitchen as there are food sources readily available to them although they can also be found in bathrooms as well. 

Tips to avoid ants entering your home;
Þ    Clean up always
-Keeping your kitchen clean from any food debris is key as well as any drinks spillages. Regular cleaning of kitchen counters, flooring, under fridges and cookers can really help. 
Þ    Keep food items sealed
-Keeping any food items in sealed containers is best practice to keep these pests away.
Þ    Dry conditions are best
-Ants like moisture, so removing any spillages in the kitchen can help. Also checking for any dampness around the home, especially in the bathroom.
Þ    Pick up pet food from the floor
-Although not a usual food source for ants, they can be attracted to pet food so we suggest removing your pets food from the floor once they have finished eating rather than leaving it out all day or all night.
Þ    Inspect your garden
-We suggest keeping an eye out for any ant trails near your doors or windows. It is likely that you have an ants nest nearby in the garden. By following the trail of ants, you will likely be able to locate the nest. 

If you are having problems with ants and think you may require some help, please give us a call. We can offer advice and our services to make sure you are pest free!
Call us now on :

Ashford
01233 210782

Canterbury & Whitstable
01227 389563

Dover
01304 508334

Folkstone & Hythe
01303 201493

Gravesend
01474 878927

Maidstone
01622 829269

Medway
01634 799188

Swale
01795 883217

Tunbridge Wells
01892 731230

Tonbridge & Sevenoaks
01732 590169

Mobile
07879 473298