Pests by Season
Rodents and Homes.
At PESTUK we know this time of year can lead to an increase of rat and mice activity within homes. The colder weather can make our homes an inviting destination for Rats and Mice. People are also more likely to feed birds in the cold weather which can attract rats and mice to this delicious extra source of protein, which can then nest nearby.
Signs of Rats and Mice in your home
Signs of rodent activity can include late night movement heard through the ceiling, the smell of urine, droppings and gnawing of cables, pipes and beams. They will mostly nest in the loft and use cavities for movement in and about the house.
With the drop in temperatures, rats and mice enter homes to nest in lofts tearing up insulation, under floorboards or in wall cavities. They can gain access to the kitchen and other parts of the home. You may see them during the day but they usually are active at night. Rats and Mice both carry diseases and can damage your home with their constant gnawing. This can even lead to fires from the chewing of electrical cables.
With a steady access to food rodents can easily begin to nest and can begin breeding rapidly in your home. Rodents prefer grain based foods but will happily eat almost anything.
Our technicians can visit your property and can assess for points of entry, food sources and possible nesting areas and can lay poison bait to humanely deal with the rodents.
Now is the ant ‘season’. Ants are well out of hibernation and the population of the nests is expanding, and now is the time people start encountering ant problems.
The majority of problems encountered in domestic situations are the common garden or black ant. These ants generally live outside or around the foundations of houses and other buildings. They usually forage outside but occasionally come inside, especially in early Spring when the outside temperatures are low and later when food sources are located inside. The ants lay pheromone trails which are indicators as to where food or water sources are. These trails are hard to eradicate and are followed by others from many different nests. People often think that what they are seeing come from one nest and once the nest is located and dealt with then the problem will be solved. This is rarely the case.
These are from the tropics that have colonised buildings in the UK. They behave differently and ‘normal’ insecticide treatments can actually make the situation worse. Pest Control Ants involving these is difficult and need an expert solution.
These rarely come into buildings. Their usual habitat is the floor of pine forests. Red wood ants get their name from their red and brown-black colouring and most species live in woodland habitats. Wood Ants are considered endangered and a lot of work is being done to conserve the species.
Control of Ants
PESTUK offer a guaranteed treatment (inside areas only) for all types of ants. The tropical variety may require several treatments ranging over months or even years. External treatments will reduce the population but will recover. External treatments are often used when garden ant populations peak or just get too high, treatments in these cases are useful and depending on circumstances, may take several weeks or months for the problem to return.
More Information on Ants by PESTUK
PESTUK may use an insecticide spray or powder treatment, a baiting program or a combination, depending on the type of ants and the circumstances.
Pest Control Ants: To book a pest control treatment or for free advice on any pest control problems then please call us at PESTUK: 0330 100 2811 (local rate) or 0800 026 0308 (free from land lines & some mobiles).
PESTUK cover a wide area of England including Berkshire (Reading, Newbury, Windsor & Maidenhead), Middlesex, (Harrow, Hounslow, Ealing, Feltham, Uxbridge, Northwood, Ruislip, West Drayton) Surrey, (Guildford, Egham, Woking, Camberley Oxfordshire (Henley, Wallingford, Didcot), Hampshire (Basingstoke, Aldershot, Winchester Andover, Whitchurch), Buckinghamshire, (Amersham, Beaconsfield, High Wycombe, Burnham, Gerrards Cross Farnham Common). & West London.
Will the extremely warm Winter of 2015/2016 affect the 2016 wasp nest season? Do wasps & warm winters
It is often assumed (wrongly in my opinion) that very cold weather will kill hibernating Queen Wasps. The reason I don’t believe this is that the same species of wasps we have in the South of England are also in Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe. That said cold weather in late or early spring may have an effect. The worst time for Wasps in regard to very cold weather is in the Spring. If the weather is mild enough, it could lead to early emergence from hibernation by the Queens, and they will lay eggs. If there is then a heavy frost, it will kill the eggs and any grubs that may have hatched (these are not designed to hibernate as the Queen Wasps are). If the cold weather starts early in the Winter then this may prevent the Queen wasps from feeding and building up reserves to survive the Winter in hibernation. The worst enemy regarding the weather is severe fluctuations in temperature.
Queen wasps can be a nuisance in domestic situations as they emerge from hibernation, either at the correct time (March/April) or any time before this when they can be affected by artificial light and/or heat generated by a house.
PEST UK can treat Queen wasps by applying a residual insecticide to the areas where they are coming from. Typically this may be in the loft or other dark cavities that suit queen wasps to hibernate.
If you want a wasp pest control treatment for Queen Wasps or free advice then please call us at PEST UK: 0330 100 2811 (local rate) or 0800 026 0308 (free from land lines & some mobiles).
PEST UK cover a wide area of England including Berkshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire & West London.
BPCA – Wasps
Squirrels Pest Control Autumn
At PEST UK there has been a marked increase in the enquiries regarding pest problems with Grey Squirrels. The main complaint we get with squirrels is when they get into lofts. Squirrels are definitely the noises rodent pest in the UK. They are much louder than rats or mice. Not only do they make a loud noise but they are extremely destructive, chewing cables and pipes, fouling and ripping up loft insulation. The reason for the increase in calls regarding squirrels is that as the weather gets colder they are investigating warmer places to stay. A family of squirrels may have several Dreys (nests) within their territory and they will move from one to another and lohftspaces are treated the same as other dreys they may be occupied by the family of squirrels to take advantage of a food source in the area or more likely in the Autumn looking for a warmer drew to spend the colder autumn months and Winter.
Squirrels Pest Control Autumn
A smaller proportion of squirrel pest control problems are external. this is where although the squirrels are not entering a building they can do great damage to gardens, trees or by robbing bird feeding stations.
Squirrels Pest Control Autumn 2015
PEST UK offer guaranteed treatments for squirrels (most companies will charge per visit, which can lead to great expense where as PEST UK charge a one off inclusive fee) for squirrel infestations inside buildings. Inside we use either trapping, poison or a combination of the two.
External squirrel problems can be dealt with only by trapping. At PEST UK we use fen traps in highly secure metal boxes. fen traps are a very powerful trap that kills the squirrels.
If you require advice on squirrels or need a guaranteed treatment then please call 0330 100 2811 (local rate) or 0800 026 0308 (free phone from landlines & some mobiles). Alternatively you can e-mail us. Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
At PEST UK we often treat active wasp nests in December. Can cold kill wasps? Not usually, it is usually old age. In fact cold weather can actually extend a wasp’s life, not kill wasps. In colder weather the metabolism of the wasp slows down so they are not doing as much which extends their life. Like putting something in the fridge. A worker wasp in the Summer lives 6-7 weeks but later due to lack of daylight hours coupled with cold weather this can be doubled. An example of cold effecting another insect is the Cluster Fly. A hibernating fly can live 4-6 months where as an active cluster fly in the Summer may only live a matter of weeks.
Is a nest worth treating in cold weather?
More people get stung in the Autumn and early Winter than in the Summer. The reason for this is that the worker wasps are dozen and find it harder to get away and are more likely to crawl into places where they come into contact with people (in clothes or beds for example. In the Autumn the worker wasps are also more likely to be feeding on fruit which brings them into contact with people again. In early Summer the workers concentrate on collecting caterpillars, flies and other insects to feed the new grubs in the wasp nest.
If you require a wasp nest treatment (often called wasp nest removal, burt actually only a treatment) or just advice about cold then please call us at PEST UK on 0330 100 2811 (local rate from landlines & mobiles) or 0800 026 0308 (freephone from landlines & some mobiles).
The PEST UK receptionist (all the staff of PEST UK are fully trained in pest control) can book up an appointment or give advice.
From Mobiles & Tablets (iPads) You can request a a call back request. These are responded to the same way as e mail. If you load up the PEST UK website (www.pestuk.com) on a tablet or mobile then the mobile site loads up automatically.
You can also e mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some people like to leave a wasp nest alone as they don’t like killing other creatures. In some cases this may be possible but if the nest is in a house it is not something I would recommend as they can be a danger and every year there are deaths due to wasp stings, either single or multiple. Multiple wasp stings occur often in loft spaces when a nest is disturbed, a light is on and escape is often hindered by the cramped conditions in loft spaces. Another common instance is when some one is cutting a hedge with a powered hedge cutter. The noise of the hedge cutter disguises any noise angry wasps may make and the first notice the person gets is when the wasps start stinging. The vibration of the hedge cutter agitates the wasps in the nest putting them on the offensive. Mankind is probably responsible for an artificially high number of wasp nests due to buildings. In a completely natural situation where man is not present the vast majority of the country would be covered with trees. One of the limiting factors of wasp nest population is the number of suitable nesting sites. Natural sites would include hollow trees, rodent holes, caves and other dry cavities. There would be a limit to the availability of such cavities, not so now where man has erected millions of buildings with lofts, cavity walls and other ideal nest sites.
Do wasps do any good?
The answer to this is actually yes. From may to mid August worker wasps kill insects but mainly caterpillars and flies to feed to the growing grubs in the wasp nest that are either going to turn into either another batch of workers or new Queens and Drones. This changes however once the fruit ripens and the production of new wasp forms ceases 9mid August but sooner for the wasps that nest outside as their life cycle ends sooner) and the wasps change their diet to the ripening fruit.
If you do decide to have your wasp nest treated then PEST UK offer a same day service at very reasonable rates 7 days a week in Harrow, Guildford, Reading, High Wycombe, Newbury, bracknell, Hungerford, Feltham, Camberley, Farnham, Basingstoke, Alton, Hounslow, Watford and many other places.
For advice or a pest control treatment please phone PEST UK on 0330 100 2811. Alec Minter
BPCA Information & Advice
Removing Wasp or Bee swarms or nests in a chimney can be difficult. Most pest control companies will not tackle these difficult jobs, it can be dangerous, more expensive to insure and takes 2 people with long ladders and roof ladders. In the case of bee swarms it may be that they can be treated using an insecticide smoke from the bottom of the chimney. If the swarm has only recently moved into the chimney this is often successful but we always warn the customer that treatment from the bottom of a chimney is not always successful and some times the only way is to get close from the top to apply the insecticide. We always look at re locating bees but once they enter a chimney this is virtually impossible. If tackled from the top it may be possible to net the top of the chimney to prevent re infestation and cross contamination. This is not possible if there are any gas appliances venting into the chimney.
Regulations do say that a non residual insecticide be used (if removal is not possible) and that treatment should not be carried out near other bee hives and the entrance be blocked. Unfortunately the gas regulations will supersede these as what do you do if gas appliances are venting into the chimney? It is against the law to net such a chimney or block the flue (entrance to the bees nest) in any way and peoples lives come above bees. In these cases PEST UK will carry out an assessment and in most cases treat the bees. Wasp nests are rarely successfully treated from the bottom of a chimney. The reason for this is that where as a bees nest and the bees have a nest that is ‘open’ (it is not enclosed but relies in the cavity itself for protection) a wasp nest has a skin of paper mache type construction that gives some protection against insecticide smokes and small amounts of insecticides. We often recommend that customers try the cheaper treatment from the bottom for a newly arrived bee swarm but rarely for a wasp nest.
Prices for Removing Wasps or Bees in a Chimney
Current price for a chimney treatment is £50.00 + VAT for a one man smoke or insecticide treatment done from the bottom of the chimney or £135.00 + VAT for a 2 man ladder and roof ladder job. In some cases it may be even dearer if a Cherry Picker is required.
For advice or a pest control treatment please phone PEST UK on 0330 100 2811. Alec Minter
Pigeon Netting is the best way to cover large areas that need protecting from Pigeons and Seagulls. These birds can cause damage and foul areas with droppings and in the case of pigeons, their droppings can spread Psittacosis which can be fatal to humans. Because of these factors it is essential that areas that have a build up of pigeon guano that come into contact with humans are protected. A typical area that fits this criteria are plant rooms on top of large office type buildings. These is ideal for pigeons and seagull, it is high up and provides an ideal environment for nesting and roosting at night.
Installing Pigeon & Seagull Netting will prevent pigeons and seagulls getting to these areas. At PEST UK we have a team of technicians whose expertise is installing bird nets as well as other pigeon preventative systems such pigeon spikes and seagull spikes as well as the new ‘fire gel’ which has been very successful.
Above is a picture of a bird net that Richard Pellen and his team installed in Uxbridge earlier last month (November 2014).
Pigeon nets are suspended on a taut wire framework. First this frame is installed. It must be anchored correctly at any straining points at the corners and angles where there will be pressure. Guides are fixed about 1 metre apart between the anchor points and once this framework is secure and tight, the pigeon net is then clipped onto the frame. Net ‘windows’ may be installed into the net to allow access for maintenance on lights or other equipment. A badly installed net can lead to birds being caught up and trapped. A properly installed net using the right type of fixings and materials will last many, many years although regular checks and maintenance are essential to maintain this.
We are still treating wasps nests in late November (29/11/14) and have wasp jobs booked for December. Wasps in December are not unusual but the volume of of wasps nests we are treating and have enquiries about is unprecedented. This is probably due to the warm weather in October, November and forecasted for the first week in December. There are problems with treating wasp nests at this time of year. A colleague of mine treated a wasp nest at one of my pest control contracts, I had to visit the contract on a scheduled visit a few days later. The nest that was treated seemed to be dead fro th outside, ie there were no wasps flying in and out of the nest from the outside. The person who treated the nest had treated the nest from the outside by injecting the entrance of the nest with a biodegradable insecticide dust (called Ficam D) under pressure. This dust circulated around the nest and killed the occupants but when I inspected the nest from the loft (where I could see this large nest from the loft) there were dozens of Queen wasps on the outside of the nest. The reason for this is that the Queens are due to leave the nest once the nest naturally dies out in the Winter so after an insecticide treatment at the time that nests normally naturally die out they start to leave where as if the nest had been treated a few weeks earlier there instinct would have made them go back into the nest and come into contact with the insecticide and die. If wasps are are a problem at this time of year then it is beneficial to do a fogging and /or a residual insecticide treatment to a wide area rather than just the nest itself (if the nest is still active).
Understanding the habits and lifecycle of wasps is important if they are to be treated successfully.
Like Bumble Bees, Honey Bees have been making a come back in the past few years. The increase has not been as dramatic as the increase in Bumble Bee nests but they have been increasing. This may be down to the increase in people keeping Honey Bees.
The way new nests are formed is different to that of wasps or Bumble Bees. With Honey Bees the hive will split after the workers produce a new Queen. It is thought they do this when they decide there original Queen needs replacing. Either the new Queen or the old existing Queen then takes a percentage of the hive and leaves in a massive swarm. They then hang in a bush or tree and send scouts out to find a suitable cavity to start a nest. This process normally takes (dependant on weather) about 4 days. Cold or wet weather may prolong this time. While they in the hanging stage a bee keeper can come and collect them and put them in a proper bee hive. The scouts find a cavity then communicate with the Queen and once satisfied she leads the swarm to a cavity where they start a nest. In some cases the Queen may decide that the cavity chosen is not suitable so will move some where else.
The pictures attached so Rick Pellen attempting to remove a Honey Bee swarm from a chimney. This is difficult and in this case Rick had to destroy the swarm with a non residual insecticide to prevent contamination to other bees. If left in a chimney the bees can block the chimney with dire consequences if the chimney has gas appliances venting into it. They will also cause liquids from the nest (including honey) to drip down the chimney or if in a loft stain and/or rot the ceiling. Wasps and other bees may attempt to rob the nest as well as insect and mite parasites feeding on the honey and honeycomb.
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.
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