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Why control Rodents? There are a few issues to consider if you discover a mouse or rat infestation:
In the UK there are two types of rat which have a tendency to cause problems for homes and businesses – brown (common) rats and black rats. Although black rats (Rattus rattus) are more rare, they are excellent climbers and tend not to burrow. Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) are more common, spend their time burrowing outside and can also be found in sewers. Rats are persistent animals and once they gain access to your property, they can spread bacteria, diseases and cause a lot of damage.
Although you may not have seen any rats, you may have heard scratching noises or found some small dark brown droppings. There may also be greasy rub marks on smooth surfaces, rat holes where they have created shelter, rat nests made from soft materials or footprints in dusty areas. Rats are mainly active at night so it’s possible that you may never actually see them.
There are a few issues to consider if you discover a rat infestation:
In the UK there are many species of mice but only a few are considered as pests and are therefore subject to control. The main species you may encounter in your home, garden or business are:
Field mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) rarely go into houses but will find sheds and barns during the winter. They have a passion for fruit and vegetables so are a particular threat to farms and small holdings.
House mice (Mus domesticus) are active all year round and often be found making themselves comfortable within your home or business premises.
Yellow necked field mice (Apodemus flavicollis) are mostly found in rural areas, however, they’re also well known to cause a fire risk by chewing through electrical wiring.
How do you know if you have a problem?
Cockroach faeces can cause respiratory allergies such as sneezing and exacerbate asthma symptoms, and can also transmit E Coli.
Cockroaches can contaminate by picking up bacteria from drains or waste areas and transferring this from their body to utensils, food and sterile goods. The presence of cockroaches in premises may result in enforcement action by the Local Authority. This will impact on food premises leading to loss of business and reputation with customers.
There are many species of cockroach. A few species such as the Oriental, German and American cockroaches have colonised urban areas and are therefore considered serious pests. All cockroaches are nocturnal and require access to water.
Bed bugs (Cimex Lectularius) are around 4 to 5mm long, red or brown in colour, oval in shape and do not have wings. Usually found in bedrooms, bed bugs feed on our blood through our skin. They are also attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide from our breath. Their habit is to travel via clothes, luggage or furniture and easily move through properties using wall or floor cavities. Bed bug bites cause red, irritating marks on our skin and some people can experience severe allergic reactions. They can also cause sleep disturbance and damage to business reputations, especially for hotels and other accommodation providers.
If you notice dark or black stains on a bed mattress, linen or surrounding area, these could be bed bug excrement. There may be an unpleasant sweet smell, small dark blood spots (‘faecal pellets’) or you may even see actual live bugs. Although individual bed bug bites may not be very noticeable to begin with, they can continue to occur in rows along the skin as the insects travel along blood vessels to feed.
There are a few issues to consider if you discover an infestation:
The most prevalent species that invades properties is the black garden ant, which is actually very dark brown. They are highly organised social insects and 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 the larvae and queen.
If you see lots of ants inside your house or business premises, then you will know that you have a problem. If you find them in your kitchen, then the infestation must be dealt with quickly to avoid contamination. Outside, you may see small piles of earth around holes in soil, in the cracks between paving slabs and at the base of walls which indicate entry and exit points to the ants’ nest.
There are a few issues to consider if you discover an infestation:
Here in the UK, wasps are mainly classed as common wasps (Vespula vulgaris) or German wasps (Vespula germanica). Both are yellow and black striped and are known for their painful stings which can cause allergic and sometimes dangerous reactions. Often seen as an aggressive insect, the wasp will only attack when threatened but it tends to emit a distress pheromone which can make other members of its colony highly defensive and more prone to sting. When wasps are causing problems in a public area or are endangering human health, it may be necessary to prepare for wasp nest removal.
If you see a large number of wasps in and around your house, garden or office, there’s probably a wasp nest nearby. Queen wasps emerge from hibernation in the Spring and start working on a new wasp nest, which is made from chewed wood and saliva. She is joined by hundreds of “worker” wasps who continue to build the wasp nest and by the Summer, 300 eggs can be produced daily with up to 5,000 adults feeding grubs and maintaining the wasp nest. Wasps are likely to make their nests in sheltered spots so you’re likely to find them under trees, in bushes, in wall cavities, under eaves or in your shed or garage. They are at their peak in August and September when their work in the wasp nest is done and they start to become a nuisance!
There are a few issues to consider if you discover a wasp nest:
The cat flea causes the most problems for British home owners and if an animal is not around or there are a lot of fleas, they resort to biting humans, usually around the ankles and legs.
Once fleas have established themselves within a home, animals will need to be carefully treated as well as the home itself by a flea control technician. Off the shelf aerosol products are not normally effective.
Grey squirrels are considered pests and are part of the rodent family. The grey squirrel is a non-native species in the UK and is responsible for the decline of red squirrels.
The front incisors of grey squirrels are always growing and require constant filing, and this is achieved via gnawing. Unfortunately, they do not discriminate as to the material they chew. Naturally, this can cause problems especially if they are living in a roof space where wires (a fire hazard) or the structure can be damaged.
Flour beetles can be found in the household and can grow to large infestations living off food in furniture, cracks and crevices in cupboards.
Biscuit beetles can affect storage businesses, food preparation businesses which need to store foods and households. The biscuit beetle can get into any packaged foods being stored which are not completely sealed and tend to favour cereals, grains and other stored food products.
Adult larvae will bore their way through packaging or food to emerge. If you think a packaged product may be infested with biscuit beetle larvae, you need to make steps to remove this infestation.
All too often, flies are tolerated in our homes, properties and businesses. However, all species of fly will feed by vomiting saliva onto food surfaces and then sucking up the resulting liquid. In the course of doing so, the fly contaminates food with bacteria from its feet and gut. This increases the likelihood of food poisoning.
If you suspect that you have a pest infestation and need professional pest control in London, call us now.
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