Alongside our service to help with your pest issues we like to educate our customers in ways to stop them from happening again. Please look up your problem and it will help us to help you.
There are two species of rat in Britain, Rattus Norvegicus which is commonly known as the Brown Rat or Common Rat. The Rattus Rattus, referred to as the Black Rat or Ship Rat is now rarely found in the UK.
The Brown Rat is the larger of the rats in Britain, often weighing over half a kilo and measuring about 23cm, without counting the tail. It has a blunt muzzle, small hair-covered ears and a tail that is shorter than its body. The Black Rat weighs half as much and is shorter. It has a pointed muzzle, large, almost hairless ears, a more slender body and a long thin tail that is longer than its body.
Rats have well-developed senses of smell taste and touch. They have an acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and is especially sensitive to any sudden noise. Both species breed rapidly and become sexually mature in about three months. Each female may produce from 3 to 12 litters of between six and eight young in a year. Rats need to gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They damage woodwork, plastic, bricks and lead pipes, and will strip insulation from electrical cables.
Rats carry many nasty diseases which they can spread to humans, normally through their urine, including; Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease, Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii and Hantavirus.
Rats can inflict an enormous amount of structural damage. They can cause severe fires by gnawing away the insulation around electrical cables, floods by puncturing pipes and even death by chewing through gas pipes. The insurance sector has estimated that rodent damage to wiring is responsible for 25% of all electrical fires in buildings.
Property owners have a legal obligation under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep premises rodent free, or, if rodents pose a threat to health or property, to report infestations to the local authority.
Rats are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly; this combination can make rat control a difficult task for the untrained individual. For any rat infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company. They are trained in rat control and will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.
The House Mouse is found in buildings as they seek the warmth and shelter for nesting sites and food. The House Mouse body length ranges between 60-90mm, and the tail can add 100mm. They weigh less than 25g, and their fur colour varies between light brown and grey.
House Mice have an acute sense of hearing, frequently using ultrasound to communicate, and is especially sensitive to any sudden noise. Their presence is usually detected from their dark-coloured droppings or damage to stored foods in the larder, packaging or woodwork.
Mice are erratic, sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item. They do not need free water to drink as they generally obtain sufficient moisture from their diet. Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything.
House Mice have been known to spread some nasty diseases to humans such as Salmonella, Listeria, which can cause food poisoning.
These nibbling nuisances have a compulsive need to gnaw to keep their incisor teeth worn down to a constant length. Electric cables, water and gas pipes, packaging and woodwork, may all be seriously damaged by mice – many instances of electrical fires and floods have been attributed to them.
It is important to get rid of mice quickly, as House Mice are adaptable, highly mobile and breed rapidly – this combination can make mouse control a difficult task for the untrained individual. For any mouse infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company. They are trained in mouse control and will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.
Cockroaches are distinguished by their very long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid, jerky walk. The adult German Cockroach is a light yellowy/brown and is 10 to 15mm long. The Oriental Cockroach is dark brown/black and is 20 to 24mm long. Immature stages of Cockroach, look exactly like adults, just on a smaller scale.
There are two main species of cockroach in Britain, Oriental and German Cockroaches.
The German Cockroach carries its egg case until the 30 or more nymphs are ready to hatch. The Oriental Cockroach deposits its 13mm long egg capsule on packaging, sacking or in suitable dark crevices before the 16 to 18 nymphs hatch around 12 weeks later. They grow in stages, from nymphs to maturity in 6 to 12 months for the Oriental Cockroach, and 6 to 12 weeks for the German Cockroach.
Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors in the British climate but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings e.g. hospitals, bakeries, hotels and restaurant kitchens, and blocks of flats. They cluster around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in humid areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.
Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter and food for consumption. They also require access to water and will be generally found in inaccessible harbourages, close to water and food. Cockroaches can survive for several months without food, but will not live for more than a few days without water.
When foraging for food and water, Cockroaches can contaminate food, utensils, and preparation surfaces as they go. They taint food with an obnoxious smell and can be vectors of disease, capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other bacteria.
Control of cockroaches is seldom easy because of the difficulty of getting the insecticide to the insect. The insecticide, ideally, should have sufficient persistence to kill the nymphs hatching later from un-hatched egg capsules.
For any Cockroach infestation, we would always recommend contacting a professional pest control company. They are trained in cockroach control and will have access to a range of professional use insecticides which are not available to the public.
Queen wasps emerge and start working on new nests in the Spring, as the weather gets warmer. By the Summer months, wasp nests are working overtime, with up to 300 eggs being produced every day and up to 5,000 adults feeding grubs and building the nest structure.
In the UK you’re most likely to come across (Vespula vulgaris) and German Wasps (Vespula germanica). Both species are yellow and black striped, and have painful stings that can cause allergic reactions.
Wasp nests’ come in many different shapes and sizes. They’re amazing pieces of architecture that can contain up to 5,000 wasps during peak activity in late Summer. They build their nest using chewed wood and saliva to make a papier mache material. The nest material is durable, lightweight and surprisingly waterproof.
In early Spring, you might encounter a wasps’ nest the size of a golf ball. This would suggest it contains only the solitary queen wasp and maybe a few workers. As the Summer goes on, a wasps’ nest can contain thousands of wasps and easily get to the size of a beachball, if left to grow.
The queen wasp is larger than normal wasps (about 20mm). She hibernates over winter, making a nest in the spring in which to lay her eggs. She feeds the grubs on insects until they develop into worker wasps, three to four weeks later. Workers, all sterile females, forage for over a mile in search of food.
At the end of the year when the colder air arrives, and fruit starts to perish quickly, wasps start to starve or die of the cold. The adult worker wasps start to die off, and the new queen wasps go into hibernation and emerge in the spring to initiate the process again, building completely brand new nests.
One nest may produce 3,000-8,000 wasps in a year.
When wasps are causing a nuisance or endangering human health, we may have to destroy a wasps’ nest.
Treating a wasp nest can be very dangerous. Wasps inside the nest will feel threatened and often become aggressive. This could cause them to sting you and others as they defend their nest resulting in multiple stings. Unlike bees, wasps do not die after one sting, they can, and will, sting you quite a few times!
To keep yourself and your family safe, we’d always recommend the use of a professional pest controller.
A professional pest controller has the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use insecticides which are not available to the public. They’ll also have the appropriate protective equipment to avoid getting a nasty sting. A pest controller will normally apply an insecticide near the entrance of the nest. The wasps then bring the chemical into the nest. After a couple of days the wasps will die from the dose of the pesticide.
The commonest species that invades houses is the Black Garden Ant, which is actually very dark brown. All ants have the main divisions of the body (head, thorax, abdomen) distinctly separated by very narrow waists and have a sharp elbow joint in their antennae. They are highly organised social insects. It is the foraging worker ants that invade buildings in search of food. These are from 3 to 5mm in length and are attracted to sweet foodstuffs which they take back to the nest to feed to the larvae and queen.
First, find the nest entrances. These are indicated by small piles of earth pellets or can be located by watching the ants moving back and forth from nest to food. Pouring a kettle of boiling water over the nest site is a first-aid measure.
Some products cause the workers to destroy their own nests, for example, sugar based liquid bait. The workers are attracted to the bait and carry the insecticide back to the larvae and queen. Some centrally heated blocks of flats may be troubled by the much smaller tropical Pharaoh’s Ant, which prefers protein to sweet foods and has multiple – and often inaccessible – nests within the building structure.
Ghost Ants are becoming more common in heated buildings. These are a similar size to Pharaoh’s ants and is pale coloured with a dark thorax and head. Control must be left to professional operators.
If Ants are becoming a problem use a trained professional pest controller.
This common pest once associated with unhygienic surroundings is prevalent due to a number of reasons, including increased travel, the use of second-hand furniture, and suspected tolerance to some pesticides. These bugs still occur with regularity, particularly in multi-occupancy buildings with rapid resident turnover, for example, hostels, hotels, holiday camps and blocks of flats.
Adult Bed bugs resemble a small brown disc, measuring up to 6mm in length. It is wingless but the legs are well developed and it can crawl up most vertical surfaces. Their elongated eggs are cemented in cracks or crevices close to the hosts (which for Bed bugs are humans). The early stages of the Bed bug (nymphs) are tiny making them hard to detect with the naked eye.
Bed bugs can usually be introduced to your property as they attach to luggage, bags, and clothing. Bed bugs may also be introduced through second-hand beds, furniture, and possessions.
Bed bugs can also travel from one room to another in search of food, or, after mating. Sometimes this may be a neighbouring property which then can create new infestations throughout multi-occupied premises.
Mainly active at night Bed bugs hide in crevices in the bed, surrounding furniture, and also behind skirting boards, under loose wallpaper, behind pictures and even in plug sockets to name a few.
Bed bug bites cause red, irritating marks/ lumps. Not everyone reacts to the bites, however, some people develop a more severe skin reaction and can experience disturbed sleep.
Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases. However, they can cause irritation and distress. Bed bugs can also ruin an organisation’s reputation. If clients and customers experience a Bed bug infestation in the premises you manage, they are likely to complain and request a refund, report on your company negatively and be unlikely to want to do business with you again.
It’s impossible to prevent a Bed bug infestation as they are generally spread through bad luck. However there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting an infestation: Before staying or moving into accommodation, make sure you check for signs of Bed bugs.
Avoid taking any second-hand bedroom furniture without checking it thoroughly. If you have stayed in an infested room, upon arriving home, immediately check your luggage and clothing for bugs. If you find Bed bugs, to remove the bugs and eggs your luggage, clothing and bedding there are a few things you can do. Either; wash everything at a ‘hot’ (60°C) temperature setting; tumbled dry at a ‘hot setting for at least 30 minutes; dry clean everything; or place everything into a bag and then in the deep freezer for at least 3 days.
For a suspected Bed bug infestation, we strongly recommend you act immediately by contacting a professional pest control company.
Self-treatment of a Bed bug infestation is unlikely to be successful. Failed treatments will occur if the accurate knowledge of the Bed bug is absent. A trained professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use products and equipment which are not available to the public.
The larvae (known as “woolly bears”) of these small, oval beetles have outstripped the clothes moths as the major British textile pest. The Variegated Carpet Beetle is 2 to 4mm long, like a small, mottled brown, grey and cream ladybird. The related Fur Beetle is black with one spot on each wing case, and there is a rarer Black Carpet Beetle.
The adult Carpet Beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden flowers but lays its eggs in old birds’ nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings. It is the larvae from these eggs that do the damage. They feed on feathers, fur, hair, or wool and tend to wander along the pipes from roofs into airing cupboards – which house the clothes and blankets which constitute the food.
Check the loft and eaves for old birds’ nests or dead birds and remove them. Vacuum clean all fluff and debris from airing cupboards, shelves, floorboards, carpets and upholstery. Lift carpets and underlay and clean floor and carpet thoroughly.
An insecticide is needed to deal with woolly bears and affected items should be sprayed or dusted with a product labelled for carpet beetle control. Treat between floorboards, under carpets and underfelts and into crevices where fluff may collect and attract the insects.
Consider using a professional company as these pests can cause significant damage.
A cigar-shaped, silver-grey, wingless insect about 12mm long, found in damp areas commonly in kitchens and bathrooms. Nocturnal in habit, but often trapped in baths, basins or chinaware as it cannot climb the smooth surfaces. Moves quickly and has three long bristles at the tail end.
Occasionally damages paper but feeds on residues of starchy substances such as glues, wallpaper paste and carbohydrate food debris. It may indicate damp conditions which need attention.
A closely related species, the Firebrat, is flatter and speckled, without the metallic appearance, and favours hot, dry situations, but can still be destroyed in the same way as its cousin.
Correct any persistent dampness. Spray harbourages with a household insecticide or insect powder labelled for control of silverfish.
If Silverfish are a problem use a trained professional pest controller.
The most common species of Flea is the Cat Flea, known for readily biting humans. The Bird Flea are next in importance, followed by the rare Dog Fleas, although other species may become temporarily attached to dogs. Finally, there are Human Fleas which are extremely rare.
Adult fleas are small (averages 2mm in size) wingless insects, with flattened and red-brown, with backwardly directed spines and legs designed for jumping.
All adult Fleas are parasitic, living on warm-blooded animals. The females lay their eggs after feeding on the infested animal. Female Fleas can live up to two years, during which time they can lay up to 1000 eggs. The eggs drop onto the floor and the animal’s bedding – they can’t lay viable eggs in the absence of the host animal blood meal. After several days the eggs will develop into larvae. When fully grown the larvae spin well camouflaged silken cocoons. When fully developed the adult waits within this until it detects the vibrations caused by a potential host. Only then does it emerge. The complete life cycle takes about a month in the summer.
In the UK there is little evidence that Fleas spread disease. However, Flea bites can cause intense irritation around the central bright red spot. Different people react differently to a bite, both regarding the degree of reaction and time taken to react.
or a Flea infestation, we strongly recommend you contact a professional pest control company. A trained professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use insecticides which are not available to the public.
Before an insecticide treatment, clear as much floor space as possible to ensure that treatment is as thorough as possible. Vacuuming all areas helps to remove any debris, eggs, larvae and adult fleas. The vibration of the vacuum cleaner also stimulates adults to hatch from their cocoon stage. Remember to remove the waste collection compartment/bag, from the vacuum cleaner, and dispose of it in an outside bin as you may have collected eggs, larvae and adult fleas while vacuuming.
The standard treatment for infested premises is the application of a residual insecticide, either as a liquid spray or powder. The insecticide is applied to all floor surfaces. Ensure you do not vacuum or wash for at least two weeks (or longer if possible), or you’ll be in danger of eliminating the residual insecticide which will lead to a failed treatment.