Pest Control News

Monday, 27 July 2020

What To Do About Wasps?

What To Do About Wasps?

During the summer months, you probably enjoy nothing more than eating outside- be it going for a picnic, having a BBQ, or just dining alfresco in your garden. However, we doubt that you would want to share that time and space with all of mother nature’s wonderful insects, especially not wasps! Not only are they aggravating but can also be pretty dangerous if a swarm stings you.

In the UK there are many different species of wasps, but you are most likely to encounter the common wasp or German wasp. Both are similar in size and colouring, bright yellow with black markings with 6 yellow legs. Their bodies tend to look smooth and shiny. 

The queen will begin laying eggs in April/May and will continue to do so until the warm summer weather begins to change. Wasps struggle to survive in the colder months and will go into hibernation. Those that do survive begin the cycle of building a small nest at the beginning of Spring, which will grow and expand throughout the summer months. The first lot of eggs laid by the queen are workers, who are responsible for building and maintaining the nest. As the queen continues to lay eggs, the larvae must be fed. They typically feed on other small insects like caterpillars and aphids, brought to the colony by worker wasps. Adult wasps do not eat other insects but live off of nectar and other sugary secretions produced by the larvae.

Wasp nests can be found in a variety of locations in and around your home. Loft spaces, wall cavities, chimneys, sheds, garages, trees…just to name a few. If left undisturbed throughout the summer months, the colony can reach a considerable size, hundreds if not thousands of wasps! 

Wasps are actually very important for our ecosystem…. although they are good pollinators, they are not a good as bees for that. They are, however, little pest controllers in their own right. The adult wasps will kill/immobilise prey like flies, spiders and other insects to feed to their larvae in the nest. Wasps are responsible for removing large amount of these other pests from our environment and we most certainly need them to continue what they do. 

If a wasp colony has taken a liking to a location that you do not wish to share, then we strongly advise that you call for a professional to deal with your wasp nest problem. Wasps become very aggressive if they feel threatened or their nest is in danger and they will sting you repeatedly. Not only this, if they feel the danger is too great, they are able to signal to other wasps of this imminent danger and they will swarm you and you will be stung MANY times by multiple wasps. Some people have extremely adverse reactions to insect stings, and wasp stings are no exception. Under all circumstances, we really must advise calling us to deal with the problem. We have all the correct protective equipment, as well as the skills required to effectively deal with the problem!

Do not hesitate to give us a call today!

Friday, 10 July 2020

Black Garden Ants

Black Garden Ants

There are thousands of different species of ant across the world. In the UK, we have around 50 different species. Everyone is familiar with what an ant ‘looks like’, however very few people know that there are so many different types. The most common species you are likely to come across is the Black Garden Ant.

Black garden ants, as their name suggests, are black or dark brown in colouring. Worker ants are around 4mm in length and queens can be a large as 15mm in length. They have 6 legs and 2 antennae. They are quick moving and resilient. They have jaws to attack predators or defend their nest, although their jaw is not strong enough to pierce human skin. They are more likely to run away from you.

Workers are responsible for maintaining and building the nest, as well as foraging for food and looking after the larvae once the eggs hatch. The queen’s only role is to produce as many eggs as possible. Males are not typically produced until later on in the summer season so they can mate. Their life span is pretty short, as after mating, the males will die.

Ant typically enjoy warm climates; this is why we do not have many species in the UK that can survive the outside elements. Though the garden ant is the hardiest of our native species, they will typically nest where there is the most sunshine during the summer days. You are likely to find ants nests in your garden, under paving slabs, under decking, and sometimes even under your grass. Colonies can reach up to 15000 workers if left undisturbed in a prime location, and a good consistent source of food.

Food is extremely important to ant colonies, not only to keep the worker force strong, but also to maintain the queen so she is able to lay as many eggs as possible. Worker ants are great at foraging for new and exciting food sources. They are able to leave prominent trails for other worker ants to follow in order to gather as much food as possible for the colony. Ants are not particularly fussy in terms of what they eat; insects, dead ants, high protein foods. They also have a sweet tooth. They prefer sweetness, so nectar and fruits are top picks. 

For the summer months, there is nothing better than having your windows and doors open to enjoy the warm weather. But it is important to be mindful that this invites ants into your home. This is why it is good practice to make sure to mop and clean up any spills as soon as they happen, keep kitchen sides and floors clean and tidy too. Make sure to clean out your bin regularly and throw away any old or rotting fruit.

Don’t suffer in silence. If you think you have an ant problem, please give us a call today!

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01233 210782

Canterbury & Whitstable
01227 389563

01304 508334

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01303 201493

01474 878927

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