Pest Identification

Our wide range of services are suited to both Residential & Commercial Premises

Wasps

 

waspLarge, buzzing insects with yellow and black striped, waisted bodies, which are 10-15mm long, and carry a painful sting.They generally build their nests inside something, like a loft, garden shed, inside an air brick, inside a tree or even in the ground. Basically they build their nests anywhere that they find suitable and where it is
protected from the elements and will be undisturbed. They build
their nest using chewed wood and saliva to make a papier mache material.
The nest material is strong, lightweight and waterproof.The Queen wasp is larger than normal wasps (about 20mm) and 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, provide the food. They tend to eat other insects. However at their peak in August and September with the youngsters reared, the workers turn to sweet food, this is when they becomes a nuisance. At the end of the year when the temperature drops, and the fruit starts to perish the wasps start to starve as food becomes increasingly hard to find. The adult worker wasps start to die off and the new queen wasps go into hibernation, and emerge in the spring to start the process again, building completely brand new nests. One nest may produce 30,000 wasps in a year.
They tend to eat other insects. However at their peak in August and September with the youngsters reared, the workers turn to the sweet food they prefer and become a nuisance wherever this is available.

Rats & Mice

Rats

brown-ratThere are two species of Rat in Britain,
The Brown Rat which is the larger of the two.
It has a blunt muzzle, small hair-covered ears and a tail that is shorter than its body. The Black Rat which is smaller has a pointed muzzle, large, nearly hairless ears, and a more slender body and a long thin tail that is longer than its body.
They need to continuously gnaw to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. They will cause damage to woodwork, plastic, bricks and lead pipes, and can strip insulation from electrical cables.
They also carry many diseases which they can spread to humans, normally through their urine. including; Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease, Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii and Hantavirus all of which have serious health implications

Signs of a Rat activity
Common rat droppings are capsule-shaped, (tapered at both ends), black and up to 12mm long. Fresh droppings will be soft and moist. Smear marks – These are dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils in their fur.
Nests – can be found indoors
Gnawing – Found in carpets, furniture, food cupboards etc Burrows – Rats can build complex tunnel systems, which often extend deep into the ground. Entrance holes 70-120mm in diameter will be seen in grassy banks, under tree roots and at the edge of paving or drain cover surrounds.
Runs – Rats follow the same routes when moving around and often leave trails through grass and low vegetation.

Ways to Help Prevent
• Keep any food sources away from rodents especially dry goods such as grains & cereals
• Waste food and other household waste should be placed in plastic bags, sealed, and properly disposed of in dustbins which have proper fitting lids, and are emptied and cleaned regularly and are sited away from the entrances to buildings.
• Avoid leaving cardboard objects as they can chew them to make their nest.
• Check for points of entry & seal off openings to your home and eliminate their likely food sources

 

Mice

House MouseThere are 2 species of Mice in Britain.
House Mice are found in buildings as they seek the
warmth and shelter for nesting sites and food. They are 6cms to 9cms long with a tail of up to a further 10cms long, their colour varies between light brown and grey. The Field Mice tend to move indoors in the winter, they have a longer tail than the House Mouse and are brown with a white underside.
House Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as 5mm but mouse holes are normally 20-30mm. House Mice are mainly nocturnal, they often build nests inside houses, in places such as roof spaces, under floors or in wall cavities. The can cause damage to materials such as wood, carpets, paper, pipe cables and furniture. They need to continuously gnaw to keep
their constantly growing incisor teeth worn down. Mice are sporadic feeders, nibbling at many sources of food rather than taking repeated meals from any one item, They mainly feed on stored foods such as cereal.

Signs of a mouse activity
Mice droppings – Droppings are often black, rod shaped and 3- 6mm long. Fresh droppings will be soft and moist.
Smear marks – These are dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils in mouse fur.
Nests – can be found indoors
Gnawing – Found in carpets, furniture, food cupboards etc

Flies

fliesThere are numerous species of fly in the UK of which a small group have the ability to bite, transfer disease and contaminate. These include the House Fly, Blow Fly, Stable Fly, Flesh Fly, Mosquito & Midges.
They are usually found in large numbers close to accessible food sources – typically fresh or decaying organic matter or stagnating water. Flies are a nuisance but also pose a health risk.
The Cluster Fly and Fruit Fly are more problematic due to their presence in high volume which can be more alarming and annoying than posing a health risk

 

Ways to Help Prevent

• Good hygiene is critical in the successful control of flies
• Proper disposal of waste food and other materials on which the flies can lay eggs is a priority. Food should be covered or kept in suitable containers.
• Waste food and other household waste should be placed in plastic bags, sealed, and properly disposed of in dustbins which have proper fitting lids, and are emptied and cleaned regularly and are sited away from the entrances to buildings.

 

Cockroaches

 

german-cockroachThere are two main species in Britain, the Oriental and German Cockroach. They are distinguished by their very
long whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid, jerky walk.
The German Cockroach is a light yellowy/brown and is 10 to 15mm long and carries its egg case, until the 30 or more nymphs are ready to hatch. Growth rate for nymphs to maturity is 6 to 12 weeks.
The Oriental Cockroach is dark brown/black and is 20 to 24mm long and 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 growth rate for nymphs to maturity in 6 to 12 months.
In the British climate Cockroaches are rarely able to survive out of doors, 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 gather in clusters around pipes, stoves, and sinks, especially in humid areas, and will often remain hidden during the day.
They 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.They taint food with an obnoxious smell and are capable of carrying the organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other bacteria.

Ways to Help Prevent
• Leaky sinks and standing water in your home could draw cockroaches inside.
• Do not leave dirty dishes and utensils in the sink. Roaches entering from plumbing systems will find these first.
• Clean surfaces to remove any food residue.
• Uncovered food is an invitation for cockroaches
• On top and beneath the refrigerator is warm and attracts cockroaches. Make sure these areas are cleaned regularly
• Make sure your waste bin is closed and clean, and emptied regularly

Bed Bugs

bedbugBed bugs need to feed on the blood of a human host. They live in crevices in the bed, surrounding furniture, behind skirting boards, under loose wall-paper, behind pictures
and even in plug sockets. Bed bugs may be introduced through second-hand beds, furniture and possessions, they can also be carried in to a property on luggage, bags and clothing.

 

Signs of Bed Bug Activity

  • The bite is often a hard, whitish swelling.
  • Heavily infested rooms may carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell which is given off by the bed bugs’ “stink glands”.
  • “Blood spotting” on bed linen may also indicate activity as the fully fed bugs excrete excess water before returning to their narrow crevices.

Ways to Help Prevent
• Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
• Wash and dry bed linens on the hottest temperature that the material will allow.
• Closely inspect any second-hand items before bringing it in your home.
• Inspect your home after moving, holidays, or overnight guests.

 

Fleas

FleaThe most common species of Flea is the Cat Flea, and is known to bite humans. The next most common is the Bird Flea, then comes the rare Dog Fleas, although other species may can be temporarily attached to dogs and finally Human Fleas which are
extremely rare. All adult Fleas are parasitic and feed on warm-blooded humans & 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 animal bedding. After several days the eggs will develop into larvae they live in the nest of the host and feed on skin, feathers and, most importantly, the blood-rich faeces of the adult flea.When fully grown the larvae spin 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.

Signs of Flea Infestation

Pets constantly scratching may be the first sign, which can be confirmed either by seeing fleas or flea droppings in the coat of your pet.
These signs are easily spotted in light coloured animals by brushing back the hair.
In dark coated breeds it may be better to comb the animal over a sheet of paper to highlight any flea droppings as they fall.
In humans, flea bites usually around ankles and legs can produce an irritating and allergic reaction. The typical symptom of a flea bite is a small red spot about 5mm in diameter.

If there is an active infestation, you may see Fleas jumping in your carpet and furniture.

Ways to Help Prevent

• Pet bedding should be kept clean & washed in hot soapy water
• Any cats and dogs should be treated for fleas with a veterinary product recommended for this purpose
• Vacuum cleaning may assist treatments by physically removing all stages from floors and furnishings but the bag contents should be quickly disposed of in an outside bin.

Stored Product Insects

Stored Product Insects, in most cases are very small insects which infest products like grain, flour, cheese, chocolate. Food factories, bakeries, supermarkets, suppliers, farmers, breeders, etc. are the main target areas for SPI’s.
Some of the most common are

Biscuit Beetle

Biscuit Beetles live very close to their chosen food source
e.g. cereal, grain and seed based food supplies. Infestations usually occur because the food source has been contaminated before arriving in your home.

Confused Flour Beetle

Adult beetle, red-brown in colour and about 3-4 mm in length. They feed on grain products e.g. flour and cereals. They can Also be found in products such as spices, shelled nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, beans and other similar types of product.
Infestations in the home are often caused from contaminated flour products

Grain Weevil

Adult grain weevil is 2.5 – 5 mm in length & dark brown-black in
Colour. The larvae develop inside whole grain kernels, There is normally no external evidence that the larvae have been eating and growing inside the seed until the adult weevil chews through the seed coat and emerges as a Grain weevil. They are associated with all kinds of cereals and are commonly found infesting wheat, barley.

Rice Weevil

Adult rice weevil is 2.5 – 3.5mm in length. & brown to black in colour and have four faint red-brown spots on the back of the abdomen. They have hard-shelled bodies that looks to be pitted. They are associated with stored food products such as wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, and corn.
Usually found in grain storage facilities or processing plants.

Indian Meal Moth

The adult moth has a wingspan of about 20 mm. Two-thirds of
the top wings are reddish brown and one third is light greyish brown. The head and thorax are also reddish brown and the lower wings are Grey. Infestations are often found in domestic kitchens, commonly
found in cracked grain, flour, dried fruits, shelled nuts, raisins, dried apple, peanuts, chocolate, powdered milk, bird seed, biscuits, bread meal, cereals, corn meal, corn starch, cookies, crackers, dry dog and cat food, flour, garden seeds, and red peppers. Both larvae & adult moth can be a pest in the kitchen.

Beetles

Carpet Beetle

Carpet-BeetleAdult beetles. 1.5 to 4 mm in length, variable, brown or black and
mottled with yellow or white marks in colour. Similar in shape to
a small ladybird.
Varied Carpet beetles are a common pest in museums and homes,
the adult Carpet Beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden Flowers

wooly-bearIt is the larvae known as ‘woolly bears that causes damage.
They feed on feathers, fur, hair, woollen fabrics, carpets and clothes, even wool/synthetic mixtures, but do not attack pure synthetic fibres.

Fur Beetles

furbeetleAlso known as the two spot carpet beetle, the fur beetle causes damage to products such as furs, skins, textiles, grain.
Larvae, also known as ‘woolly bears’ are up to 12 mm in length brown in colour, they have a banded appearance, with three bunches of golden hairs, arranged in pairs on their last abdominal segment, they avoid the light, and when disturbed appear to be dead.

Larder Beetle

larder-beetleThe Larder beetle is a common pest of hides and other animal products including dried and cured meats, cheese, feathers, hair, skin and especially dog or cat food.
Adults, 7-9 mm in length, oval-shaped body. Black with a light coloured band between the wings

Ants

Argentine Ant

argentine-antThe Queen ants are 4 to 6 mm long and there is usually more than one in a colony. The workers about 2 mm long, and light to dark brown in colour. They are a non-native ‘tropical ant’
species which only survives in the UK within the warmth of buildings Argentine ants are aggressive, often eliminating other types of ants in the same area.

Black Garden Ant

garden_antGarden Ants usually nest outdoors in lawns, flower beds, beneath paving stones and at the base of walls.
A black garden ant worker is between 3-5mm long and, despite its name, is dark brown in colour. The black garden ant queen is around 15mm long and has mid-brown colouring.
Premises are usually invaded by worker ants foraging for food, especially sweet foods.

Ghost Ant

GHOST-ANTThe ghost ant is a very tiny ant, 1.5-2 mm long pale and almost transparent abdomen and legs, with a darker head and thorax. They are a non-native ‘tropical ant’ species Ghost ants are highly adaptable in their nesting habits and can be found in spaces between walls, cupboards, folded clothing, or in the soil of potted plants. Indoors they are mainly found in the kitchen and bathroom

Pharoah Ant

pharaoh-antThe Queen is 5 mm long &workers are only 2mm long, and both are yellow in colour with darker markings on the abdomen.
Known for being a major indoor nuisance pest, especially in hospitals Pharaoh’s ants may carry disease organisms and they will contaminate wounds and sterile materials,which is especially important in hospital environments.

Ways to Help Prevent
Outside
• Mulch, shrubs and trees should be at least a foot away from the exterior home walls to prevent ants from crawling onto your home from branches or leaves.
• Dead and dry vegetation is often where you’ll find ant colonies. Clear any old vegetation from backyard and other outdoor areas immediately.
• Seal gaps and cracks around doors and windows.
Inside
• Keep all food stored in glass, plastic or adequately sealed containers with airtight lids in order to keep ants out.
• Ants will often find food crumbs below the refrigerator. Make sure these areas are cleaned regularly.
• Make sure your waste bin is closed and clean, and emptied regularly

Bird Control

pigeonBirds carry a variety of diseases such as Ornithosis, Listeria and Ecoli that can be transmitted to humans from both the droppings & the birds themselves.
Small particles from dry pigeon droppings can become airborne, and can lead to respiratory problems such as psittacosis.

Also bird droppings are acidic and can corrode/erode metals, stonework and brickwork.

The nesting materials that birds use can block guttering, chimneys, and flues. With the potential to cause issues with carbon monoxide and damage to buildings as a result of overflowing water from blocked gutters.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds, their nests and eggs. However, specific exemptions permit certain species to be controlled by particular methods for specific reasons. This exemption is given in the way of a licence issued by Natural England (other authorities apply to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) called the General licence. General licences are issued to allow certain actions to be carried out that would otherwise be illegal under the legislation, without the need for people to apply for a specific licence.
However, the law only allows competent people such as professional pest controllers to deal with certain species that are widely accepted to be pests. You should always consult with a professional before you consider any form of bird control measures, as the list of birds that are considered pests can change on a regular basis, and even pest species must be dealt with humanely, or you may be prosecuted.

Squirrels

Grey Squirrels

SquirrelThe Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is a native of North America. It was first released in the UK in 1876 and has now spread across most of the country.

Their normal habitat is woodlands,urban parks and gardens.
They are a destructive pest causing serious damage to
trees through stripping bark, to predating nests of songbirds
and has driven our native red squirrel from 90% of the British mainland. Unless the advance of grey squirrels is checked, red squirrels will shortly become extinct on mainland Britain and Ireland.
They frequently enter domestic roof spaces.
Once indoors they strip the insulation from electrical wiring and water pipes, tear up fibreglass insulation and chew woodwork.
It has also been known for them to drown in water tanks.

Grey squirrels have limited legal protection and can be controlled all year
round by a variety of methods including shooting, trapping and
poisoning. It is an offence under section 14 of the Wildlife and
Countryside Act (1981) to introduce and release grey squirrels into the
wild. Under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 any person
responsible for a squirrel trap, would only be responsible for any animal
caught by it but not its offspring still in the wild. Under the act, it is an
offence to cause unnecessary suffering to a kept animal (this includes
live caught animals).

Mole Trapping / Control

Moles

molesMoles are small mammals that are industrious diggers

and that can create 20 metres of tunnel a day. There are large

chambers within the tunnel system which are lined with dry grass

and then used for nesting during periods of rest.They leave characteristic mounds of earth on the surface as they excavate these tunnels.

Moles tunnels are in reality “worm traps”, the mole sensing when a worm falls into the tunnel and quickly running along to kill and eat it

they feed mainly on earthworms, but they also eat a variety of other invertebrates, including snakes and lizards.

They inhabit deciduous woodland, grassland and farmland – wherever the soil is deep enough for tunnelling.

General Tips for Prevention of Insect Infestations

Here are some helpful prevention and protection tips to keep invaders out and control the problem before it starts. Areas with food, water and dark spaces to hide are ideal environments for cockroaches and ants to live.

 

General

 

• Store all food in airtight containers insects will not have anything to eat.
• Rinse all empty food and beverage containers.
• Seal all exterior openings and cracks
• Clean surfaces to remove any food residue.
• Do not leave dirty dishes and utensils in the sink.
• Keep vegetation from touching the outside of the home or building.
• Sweep or vacuum the kitchen floor regularly to reduce food particles and crumbs.

Kitchen

 

• Keep the waste bins closed, clean, and emptied regularly.
• Ants and cockroaches tend to gather beneath the baseboards and underneath the stove, so be sure to clean this area regularly and keep it crumb and liquid free.
• On top and beneath the refrigerator is warm and attracts insects. Clean these areas regularly
• Ants and cockroaches tend to gather and hide near water, so be sure to repair any leaks beneath the sink, and on the sink top, immediately.
• All drawers, shelves and cabinets should be cleaned regularly and damage should be repaired immediately to ensure insects aren’t hiding here
• Keep the waste bin closed, clean and emptied regularly.

Bathroom

 

• Keep the waste bin closed, clean and emptied regularly.
• Ants and cockroaches like moisture, so areas like the sink (on top and below), behind the toilet, and near the tub should be regularly inspected for leaks and condensation. Any cracks should be sealed right away.
• Keep wet towels and toothbrushes out of drawers and cabinets so that it does not attract insects.

Living Room

 

• Insects like Ants and cockroaches like warm places and may gather behind television sets or other electronics. Regularly check these areas.
• Food often collects in and around sofas and chairs. Be sure to keep these areas clean and check them often for pests.
• Insects can hide in firewood. Be sure to inspect all firewood for insects before bringing it into your home.