Pest Control Specialists dealing with Ants, Bed Bugs, Bees, Birds, Bird & Pigeon Proofing, Cockroaches, Fleas, Flies, Foxes, Glis Glis, Mice, Mites, Plaster Beetles, Moles, Moths, Beetles, Rabbits, Rats, Squirrels, Wasps

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Mice carry the same diseases as rats. People die form Wiels disease every year but some people regard mice as acceptable. They are not, they are vermin, a health hazard and as with rats they can chew through wires and can be the cause of fires and electrical short circuits. I have been to several mouse jobs where mice have chewed through dishwasher pipes and caused floods. I have seen many incidences of mice causing burglar and fire alarms to go off.

Mice feeding in a kitchen

Mice feeding in a kitchen

Mice in Domestic Properties

They will come into buildings for refuge and/or food. Once into the structure of the building they may go into the loft, feeding on insects, seeds or any organic matter. From there they may follow the routes of pipes and cables and emerge into areas where they can become a much larger problem, in a kitchen for example. When mice come across an ample food source (a kitchen will have crumbs, fat deposits etc which will be enough even before they start on the stored food) they start breeding and the territories of the families of mice decreases as they don’t have to forage very far.
mouse
Mice in Restuarants

If an EHO does an inspection and finds evidence of rodents in food preparation or storage areas then the premises is likely to be shut down, such is the seriousness of the health threat mice pose. Restaurants and Take Aways are often in blocks of buildings meaning that they may enter from further away than the actual premises infested. They may have come in through open doors (doors in a commercial kitchen should be screened).
mouse
Treatment

PEST UK offer domestic and commercial premises either one off treatments or pest control contracts at very reasonable rates. See the main web site @ www.pestuk.com for details.
Mouse
BPCA Pest Control Contract Advice
BPCA Information

At PEST UK we constantly get calls relating to Cockroach Removal.

Commercial Cockroach Removal

CockroachPeople ask  us to remove or get rid of cockroaches in commercial premises such as restaurants and commercial kitchens as well as domestic properties. In the case of commercial premises it is mainly (but not exclusively) kitchens that are in large buildings,  or businesses dealing in 2nd hand kitchen appliances. The reason for this is that the cockroach infestation may have spread from a neighbouring property or been introduced inside 2nd hand freezers, fridges, cookers or other kitchen appliances. The main cockroach pest in the UK which in PEST UK’s catchment area is the German Cockroach which accounts for over 95% of the cockroach problems we deal with. This cockroach likes to live in temperatures of over 90C which is why they like to live in or near fridge and freezer motors, cookers and the such like.

Domestic Cockroach Removal

20111110_120157695In these situations cockroaches are usually restricted to rooms with fridges or freezer in. In houses made up of bed sits or multiple occupancy this may be many rooms in a house. The same problem applies as commercial premises, there may be spread from a neighbouring attached property.

Treatment

cockroach-jpgPrior to treatment it is important that the premises is clean and grease free. The PEST UK technician will then apply a special bait that is harmless to humans and other mammals but has a domino effect when poisoning cockroaches. Once a cockroach has eaten the bait and died then another cockroach will eat the dead cockroach and also die. This happens four times. While the cockroaches are dyeing (it can take a few days) any cockroaches that eat the poisoned cockroach droppings will also die. After laying the poison cockroach bait the PEST UK technician will make another visit in two to three weeks to lay pheromone cockroach monitoring traps. These will be left down so the occupier can see if there is another outbreak in the future.

BPCA info on Cockroaches

Today I carried out a quote for a pest control contract at a Council Recycling Plant run by a private company. Rats were everywhere, the evidence pointed to thousands. The building was relatively new but rats were inside the cavity and the electrical cables under the weigh bridge had been damaged by rats chewing through them.
Rat_High_Res_tn
The existing pest control contractor had just lost control. I thought to myself that I would never want PEST UK to run a contract like this. If we can’t do a job properly for the right price then we won’t do it. None of the ‘tricky’ hard to access, dirty, difficult to get into places where the rats were actually living were baited. No advice on proofing, stock rotation or hygiene had been given. The site was ringed by dozens of rat boxes which most were not checked and were empty but the main issue with them is that they were 90% in the wrong place. OK, rats were taking bait from these boxes but only the periphery of the infestation and probably only young, old or sick less dominant rats that were expelled from the main food area by the dominant rats.
Rat
The basic principle for any rat treatments are food source, harbourage and habits. Control will be difficult if the food source cannot be removed. If this is not possible (as in this case) then making the rat poison easier to get to and more attractive than the original food source is required at a minimum. Changes to the environment such as blocking holes, fixing doors ext in fact anything that makes rats more uncomfortable traveling from their living area to the food makes baiting easier. A massive problem occurs when the rats are living next to or in the food source. Containment may be the best case scenario result in these situations.
SONY DSC
For this site we have quoted, first for four weekly visits to reduce the infestation followed by a maintenance pest control contract with fortnightly visits.
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BPCA Pest Control Contracts

A Pest Control Franchise can cost anything from £20 000.00 to £80 000.00. This will often cover a van, training and equipment. There will also be an annual or monthly fee to cover the ‘licence’ or franchise fee. This will pay the company and for advertising, typically maintenance of the main or regional web site, Ad Words (probably Google and/or Bing. There is no guarantee of earnings and a lot depends on the Franchisee selling or getting a lot of their own work. After all this has been paid for then actual earnings can be quite small. In my opinion many Franchises are not designed as a long term investment but just to earn the Franchise company a lot of money. As soon as the person running the Franchisees bust or gives up then the company can re sell the Franchise again!
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PEST UK technicians work in a similar way, they form their own Limited Company and earn a percentage of the work supplied to them. Typical earnings are between £35 000.00 to £50 000.00. The only expenses the PEST UK technician has to pay is for their own van (PEST UK pay for it to be sign written), phone, ladder and torch. There are no licensing fee to pay. PEST UK will also pay for the technicians PROMPT/BASIS membership and all training. The technicians have to be naturally motivated. People who have to be ‘encouraged’ to work hard are not suited as a PEST UK Pest Control Technician. The percentage of the money paid to the pest control technician is generally 50% but this is increased to 75% where the technician has brought work to PEST UK. This means that the people who create the wealth get the benefit and the more successful the company is the richer the technicians get. This also benefits the customer as the technician is actually responsible for any guarantees on that particular job. If the job isn’t done well then the technician has to fix it at no costs. The way PEST UK works benefits everyone.
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Queen Wasps are often mistaken for hornets as they are much larger than ‘normal’ worker wasps which are commonly seen during the Summer months. Wasps in lofts are not usually a major problem, although it is not unknown but fairly unusual for Queen Hornets hibernate in lofts. Lofts are actually not good places for Queen Wasps to hibernate in. The reason is that especially when Winters are mild the temperature in lofts is greater than the natural hibernation sites outside which would be under trees bark or any natural cavity tucked away from the weather, dampness and predators such as mice which will eat hibernating Queens. As well as higher fluctuating temperatures (when the central heating goes on and off) they can be disturbed by artificial light. It is not just temperature that effects hibernating Queen Wasps, daylight length also indicates to the Queen Wasps when to come out of hibernation and these two factors combined don’t make lofts an ideal place to hibernate. Saying that though loft spaces are dry so although not ideal they do work and are frequently used.
German Wasp
Any treatment for Queen Wasps in an attic space is much more difficult than treating a nest in the Summer. For a start all the Queen Wasps are acting individually instead of as ‘a nest’. All the Queens will be hibernating as individuals and have no contact or behave as if in a nest as there are no active nests in the Winter.
Wasp PEST UK
Treatment

Treatment may involve applying a residual insecticide and/or applying an insecticide fog. Treatments of Queen Wasps will reduce but may not eliminate the problem. As the metabolism of hibernating Queens or Queens emerging from hibernation and/or low temperatures means that wasps will take longer to absorb any insecticides and so take longer to die so dining wasps may be seen some time after treatment.
Wasp Control from PestUK

Removing Squirrels from Lofts and Gardens

Lofts

squrrel deadSquirrels are territorial and there will be a dominant male accompanied by a female and possibly young, depending on the time of year. The squirrels will treat a loft space the same as they would a drey (a drey is the name for a squirrels nest which is made of twigs and normally situated in trees) and there will be several dreys within the squirrels territory. The size of the squirrel’s territory is depends on food supply, if food is abundant the the territory will be smaller. Once inside a loft a drey will be constructed, this may be of loft insulation or whatever material s available, it won’t be as ‘thick’ as a twig and leaf drew constructed in a tree as inside a loft will be warmer and protected from the weather. This new drey will then be visited by the squirrel farm periodically, more often in colder weather and breeding the season.

Getting Rid of the Squirrels from the Loft

Squirrel caught in trap First any blocking of holes or proofing must be done AFTER the present Squirrel family has been eliminated. Attempting this before elimination can result in squirrels damaging the roof as the try to get in. PEST UK do this using a combination of traps and/or poisons. It can take several visits. PEST UK offer a guaranteed treatment for squirrels. Not many pest control companies guarantee squirrels as they are difficult to treat, most just charge per visit.

Squirrel Proofing in Lofts

Prices for proofing lofts involving Grey Squirrels start from £65.00 + VAT. It depends how high the areas that need work on are. (Proofing for squirrels normally is done externally while rats & mice usually internally.) It also depends on what needs to be done. The PEST UK technician in all cases can supply quotes for any proofing work.
Grey Squirrel killed in a Kania

Getting Rid of the Squirrels in a Garden

First priority is reducing any food supply (bird feed). The only way now is trapping. poison was allowed to be used but this is shortly being withdrawn. Poison bait in domestic situations gave poor results anyway and in most cases PEST UK would use external trapping to eliminate a squirrel population. Although we guarantee to catch squirrels complete elimination may not be possible as the territory may in time be re occupied by another family but the may take some time.
PEST UK will charge per visit in the case of external trapping. Electronic scarers used inside or outside do not work. Don’t waste your money!
Grey SquirrelGrey Squirrel Feeding on spilt bird food
Squirrels BPCA

In a lot of cases blocking & tracing the rodents entry into a building externally is not possible so proofing internally is the answer. This (proofing internally) is the only practical solution in most cases involving flats, terraced, semi detached houses or properties where the entry points may be undetected, sub terrenean or beyond control (ie in large terrace or building). Here proofing may have been carried out from the inside. This involves blocking holes, cracks and gaps in individual rooms to prevent rodents from entering that particular room or rooms.

Mice feeding in a kitchen

Mice feeding in a kitchen

A large proportion of our rat and Mouse jobs at PEST UK are associated with flats, terraced and semi detached houses. This means that in a lot of these types of dwellings control just by using rodenticides may be short lived and re infestation is likely to occur. How long before (or if) the dwelling is re infested depends on individual circumstances but unless the external access points are found and dealt with then re infestation is likely. In an ideal world the whole of the building (as well as sewers and utility pipes, cables & conduits) should be inspected for breaches and fixed. As in a lot of cases this is not possible then proofing individual rooms from the inside may be the only option. Rats and mice may travel some distance undetected through cavity walls, soffits and loft spaces before either coming to an area where they are seen, they are heard or evidence (droppings, smells or damage) is noted. They may be entering a row of terraced houses several properties away from where they are actually appearing. The route into a building may be sub terrain. In many cases blocking access points externally is not possible so proofing individual houses or rooms is the answer. If an area is boxed off (which is normal in modern bathrooms and
kitchens) then holes and gaps around pipes are often left open by builders as they are not seen but which allow access by rodents.
Rat
Kitchens, lofts and bathrooms are the rooms with the most utilities in (kitchens have food as well) so these are the rooms in a dwelling that rodents will have easiest access to once they are in the structure of the building.

Prices For Rat & Mouse Proofing
Mice can get through a 1cm gap. Proofing for rodents needs to be carried out by some one who understands rodents & their behaviour. To do this properly is time consuming and costly.
Typical prices for complete rodent proofing in a kitchen
Kitchen 3-5 Units £500.00 + VAT
Kitchen 5-10 Units £700.00 + VAT
House Mouse
Lofts
Prices range from £1000.00 + VAT to £1400.00 + VAT depending on size.
Proofing Air bricks for Rats & Mice
The older style air bricks allow mice to squeeze through the gaps while the newer plastic ones (see picture) can be gnawed through by rats. We can fit air brick covers to these to solve the mouse problem if this is the access point.

Sometimes there is more than one entry point and only by proofing many different areas will a solution be reached.
Plastic Air Brick Damaged by Rats
Prices For Grey Squirrel Proofing
Any proofing for Squirrels should be done AFTER the present family of squirrels have been eliminated. If done before then they will do damage trying to get back into their home. Unless there are existing holes squirrels coming across a roof will not try to access the loft as they don’t know its there. Squirrel infestations are usually dealt with using a combination of a special rodenticide poison and traps.

This is an air brick cover that will stop rats, mice & even slugs gaining access to the cavity wall of a building via the air bricks

This is an air brick cover that will stop rats, mice & even slugs gaining access to the cavity wall of a building via the air bricks

Prices for Grey Squirrel Proofing in Lofts
Prices for proofing lofts involving Grey Squirrels start from £65.00 + VAT. It depends how high the areas that need work on are. (Proofing for squirrels normally is done externally while rats & mice usually internally.) It also depends on what needs to be done. The PEST UK technician in all cases can supply quotes for any proofing work.
Grey Squirrel Feeding on spilt bird food
Its worth mentioning that in some cases proofing may not prevent rodents accessing a property as they could be getting in via a sewer breach or exposed pipe work. The access point is not always accessible or easily identified as well. We advice you to visit our ‘Rat Problems & Sewers’ page for more information on how to stop Rats and Mice getting into Kitchen & Bathroom.
Rats BPCA Advice
Mice BPCA

Recently I posted a Blog about PEST UK’s Donation to Operation Smile UK. It was PEST UK’s intention to donate 1% of annual profit (or £400.00, whichever was greater) to Operation Smile. We have sent our yearly donation for £732.24. Last year we only sent them £400.00 as our profits were down but fortunately for PEST UK and for Operation Smile UK we made more profit last year leading to an increase in donation. Anyway, to prove that we actually have given Operation Smile UK £732.24 I have included a letter from them dated 19 December 2014. As I have mentioned before most of the charities (both large and small) were just not interested in receiving donations from us. We did insist on using a logo to demonstrate that we give 1% of our annual profits to charity and so that if customers choose to use us in preference to another company because we give a percentage of our profits to a charity) then they can see which one and a link to their web site so they can learn about the charity in more detail. It was partly a commercial decision by us at PEST UK to give to a charity but also we like to feel that we are at least sharing our commercial success with those less fortunate in the world. All the time we get bombarded by sales people who represent (or say they represent) charities with worthwhile causes (especially after a natural or man made disaster) asking for money. We now feel less guilty about turning these down as we already give to a charity on a regular basis. One of the problems I find with the charity sales people is that a lot of them work on a commission basis so some of the money given is not going to the charity at all. Another issue is that some of these charities may be bogus as was discovered recently in some of the recycling companies who claimed to be charitable companies recycling old clothes for charities but were in fact not.

 

Recently at PEST UK we have had several problems with rats & mice in kitchens where the rodents gained access soon after either a new kitchen was fitted or an extension was put on. In the case of the kitchen fitting the fitters had either bodged a new sewer connection (so leaving gaps in the sewer system that let rats access the structure of the building and then into the kitchen itself) or by not filling the gaps around pipes and cables, especially in areas that are boxed off and not seen. With extensions it is often the case where the new connection to the sewer has not been fitted properly leaving gaps for rats to burrow out of the sewer either directly into the building or exiting into the garden. Another problem we have seen with sewers is that multipoint connections have been fitted but the ‘blanks’ (where there are no connections entering the sewer, are not capped off which leaves the same result: an area where rats can burrow out of the sewer system.
mice-and-food
These types of problems will not be solved by baiting alone. Baiting will often need to be done to establish where and how the problem originates from. In some cases the problem can only be sorted out with a sewer camera survey, extensive proofing to the kitchen, fitting of one or more sewer valves or a combination of all four.
Sewer Valve in place
PEST UK can offer all, we have a ‘Snake’ Camera which offers a basic camera survey as well as the fitting of one way sewer valves and we have in our employ an expert at rodent proofing buildings. If you look at the main PEST UK website there are sections on ‘Rat & Mouse Proofing’ and ‘Rats Problems in Sewers’ which go into these problems in more detail.
mouse
Rats BPCA Advice
BPCA About Mice
BPCA Pest Control Contracts

Last year we decided to donate 1% of our profit (or £400.00, whichever was greater) to a Charity. We chose Operation SmileUK which helps fix cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities for children (& adults) around the globe. Last year (December 2013) we gave Operation Smile UK a cheque for £400.00, this year PEST UK had a successful year (apart from the wasp season in July and August, although the wasp demand in the Autumn and early Winter was high) and the Operation Smile UK PEST UK Donation for 2014 was £732.24. We’ve just posted the cheque.
Operation Smile Logo PEST UK
We decided to choose a charity to donate to that had a broad appeal to our customers, was not religious and didn’t offend anyone. Another reason is that as a company and as an individual you are constantly bombarded with requests to support different causes and for us the most worrying aspect of these requests is 1. Are they genuine. There is a lot of fraud and crime in charity appeals and 2. Is all the money going to the charity or is a percentage of it going to the salesperson or telesales person/company.
Operation Smile (PEST UK)
We are not denying that as a company we may benefit as some (not all) people will choose a company that does give to charity rather than a company that does not. This probably doesn’t make too much of a difference.

Operation Smile UK also was a charity that didn’t mind it’s logo being used by a ‘small’ company. Save The Children, Oxfam, Barnardos, UNICEF, Cancer Research UK would not allow their logo to be used (we use the Smile Uk logo on our website). One charity demanded we donate a minimum of £50 000.00 and another said ‘Boots would not like it if other companies used our logo’. I do feel that most of these ‘major; charities have got this wrong and they would make much more money and shame larger companies like Boots to donate a higher percentage of their profits to charity if they had the competition and donations from the many thousands of small companies in the UK.

Apart from the fact that Operation Smile were happy to receive our donations, they do some fantastic work around the world restoring confidence and giving children a second chance . Read more about their work here

 

Businesses:
A Pest Control Contract is not expensive. Not only will it protect the health and safety of your employees, it will also protect your reputation. Most prosecutions happen to smaller companies. Remove the worry and leave pest control in the hands of experts.

Domestic:
If you are regularly experiencing pest problems, maybe a Pest Control Contract is better. That peace-of-mind knowing that there is an expert team just a phone call away!

Take a look at our Pest Control Contract page, or call us now on 0800-026-0308

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