Pest Types Controlled & Covered By PestBoff

Wasps : Wasps tend only to cause a problem towards the latter end of the year, because in the spring and early summer they are busy building. Wasps will never inhabit last year’s nest.

The only member of the nest to survive the winter will be the queen. She will start alone in the spring and produce a golf ball size nest. She will lay eggs that will be sterile females (workers). It is these who will enlarge the nest. Later males and new queens will hatch and mate. Having fulfilled their task the males and sterile females are the wasps that cause the public problems. All except the queens will die off in the winter.

Cure :  I can treat the nest directly if it is visible. If not visible then I treat the entrance holes in the building.

Prevention :  It is very difficult to prevent a queen taking up residence in your loft and unfortunately once a nest has been built, others may well follow in later years.

Hornets : The European Hornet is close relative of the wasp but slightly larger. It is more orange in colour with less stripes. It is generally less aggressive than the Wasp.

However if provoked the sting is worse. Unlike Wasps, Hornet nests remain active at night.

Cure :  I can treat the nest directly if it is visible. If not visible then I treat the entrance holes in the building.

Prevention :  It is very difficult to prevent a queen taking up residence in your loft and unfortunately once a nest has been built, others may well follow in later years.

Mice : Shrews, Dormice, Voles, Field mice, baby rats, House mice all get confused. The most common house invader is quite often the Wood/Field mouse and Vole rather than the House mouse. (a mouse will have relatively large ears compared to a rat, and this is often emphasised in cartoons)

Have to gnaw constantly to keep front teeth in check (teeth never stop growing) This has obvious implications where electrical wiring is present.

 

New litter approx. every 3 weeks. Sexually mature in about 6 weeks. Stay in localised groups.  Forage tiny amounts in many places. Tend to more of a problem in houses in the winter.  Can usually obtain sufficient water from their food source. Mice can climb.

 

Cure :  SnapTrapping (saturation) this removes bodies and therefore smell. Next best is poison, which is effective and with special mummifying formulas reduces smell. Baiting has to be done in a structured way or it will not work and can even make the problem worse, if done incorrectly. Live cage trapping the problem with this is you then have a live animal to deal with.

Lastly glue boards. These are the least humane, but can be very effective if immediate results are required ie in a restaurant/hotel.

Prevention : Seal up every single tiny entry point around the building. A mouse can enter where you can slide a pencil! Electrical Ultrasonic repellents. I have attended many a job where these are present and clearly are having no effect. If you are in doubt, buy one and see for yourself.

Rats : Baby rats can be confused with mice, but rats have much smaller ears relative to body, large heads and proportionally shorter tails. There is only one main wild species the brown rat.

Habits : Have to gnaw constantly to keep front teeth in check (teeth never stop growing) this has obvious implications where electrical wiring is present. New litter approx every 4 weeks. Sexually mature in about 6 weeks. Wider range of foraging. Eat more food in one place. Must have access to water.

Among many diseases rats can carry the most well known is Weils disease (leptospirosis), which can be fatal. Afraid of changes to environment. Rats can climb.

 

Cure : Rats are much more wary than mice and take longer to get used to any change in environment. They will not take bait immediately until they trust the source. Baiting has to be done in a structured way or it will not work and can even make the problem worse, if done incorrectly. Trapping (either with snap traps or glue boards) only worthwhile if one rogue rat in a building, otherwise poison best method. Don’t use a glue board unless you are prepared to deal with a half stuck panicking rat!

Prevention : They must have food water and harbourage. Remove one of these and you vastly reduce the probability. Harbourage can be drains, compost heaps, decking, burrows in flower beds. Water can be ponds, streams, any surface water laying in buckets etc. Food is usually waste bird feeding, but also compost.

Ants : These have many species, but the two most commonly encountered in UK are the Black or Garden and the Pharaoh ant. Black ants are about 5mm long and dark in colour. They live mostly outside, but can invade and will provide a chain to a food source (normally sweet). Pharaoh ants are light in colour and about 2mm long. They behave differently to black ants in that they invade internal structures and less likely to form chains.

Cure : Black ants are easier to treat. You can spray, use powder or bait them. Pharaoh ants must never be sprayed or powdered. They have the capability to produce many queens if under threat, so you will just spread the infestation, not cure it. They have to be baited.

Prevention : Little you can do to prevent ants, especially if you have light sandy soil outside. Best not to leave sweet substances lying around during the summer.

Cockroaches : There are a few factors contributing to why these are not very endearing creatures. They move very fast, exist in large numbers, feed on detritus and each other, are extremely hard to eradicate once established and they can out stare you if they do decide not to run.

There are 2 main species of concern in UK the Oriental and the German. One stays fairly localised in steamy kitchen environments and the other can spread throughout the fabric of a building.

Habits : Love dark moist environment, preferably warm. Can exist with little food. Try to avoid light. So will run if you switch on a light.

Cure : Mixture of baiting and other methods.

Prevention : In the west these tend to be brought in, in the form of eggs in certain foodstuffs. Rice for example bought in bulk.

Flies : The most common people think of is the common house fly. Two other common ones are the lesser house fly (smaller) and the cluster fly. The Cluster Fly is characterised by, yes appearing in clusters by the window, also the wings overlap when closed.

Habits : The house fly is mainly feeding on detritus. However the Cluster Fly larva lives inside the earthworm during the summer and emerges as an adult to look for overwinter habitat, usually in lofts. So cluster flies will be obvious in spring and autumn, especially if there are green areas around. Once you have cluster infestation they will tend to return the following year.

Cure : House flies, either spray or sticky strips. Most effective is fly unit with ultra violet. (this does not work well with the lesser house fly) Cluster flies the loft space can be surface treated, smoked or have a fly unit fitted.

Prevention : House flies, don’t leave rubbish around. Cluster flies close up all possible entry points in the loft space

Moths :  These can be quickly divided into meal moths and clothes moth for ease of treatment. Meal moths as the name implies will be found around old food, so will be restricted to kitchens etc. Clothes moth can be carpets, clothes and any natural fibre. Be very careful when installing natural wool insulation.

Habits : The adult on the wing, which is the stage that is most apparent does no damage at all. It is the larvae that do the damage and need to be treated.

Cure : This will involve thorough cleaning, vacuuming and removal of any old food (meal moth) followed by spray treatments.

Rabbits There is only one species of wild rabbit and everyone is aware of how fast they can breed.

Habits: Rabbits congregate in colonies. They can devastate areas of planting. They are especially harmful to young trees, as they can strip the bark, thus killing the young tree. They will feed mostly at night only visible in the day if they consider it safe. They can travel a few hundred yards to feed, but normally feed around the burrow.

 

Cure : Well, there is trapping, snaring, gassing, long netting, shooting, ferreting, fencing. Trapping is not very effective, unless using a drop trap. Snaring is rather inhumane. Netting and ferreting require more labour. Gassing can be quite effective, but now require 2 qualified people. Shooting can be very effective in the short term, as rabbits are not scared off when one is shot.

Prevention : The only fool proof method is to fence them out.

Fleas  These are incredibly powerful creatures for their tiny size.

They are easily seen with the naked eye, but soon disappear as they hop away. There is the Cat, Dog and Human flea. By far the most predominant is the cat flea. They are not notable disease carriers at the moment, but back in the middle ages it was the rat flea that carried bubonic plague.

In modern offices with carpets where static electricity is common, simulated flea bites can occur on ankles. These are not fleas but simply static shocks, but are often blamed on fleas.

Habits: They are parasitic on mammals. They are easily transferred from one animal to another. Cat fleas can live temporarily on other animals and will bite humans. Fleas can live in carpets for long periods without food. They go into a stasis/dormancy. It appears that they have gone, but immediately a new host arrives, and / or the temperature rises, they re-emerge and start to multiply.

 

Cure : Must treat both the carpets and the animals present at the same time. Good idea to raise the temp in rooms and use a spray treatment.

Prevention : Keep your pet treated.

Squirrels  Grey squirrels are easily recognised. Extremely tough little animals and very aggressive if cornered. If you trap one do not get your hands anywhere near.

Habits : Steal food from bird tables as everyone knows. However it is their nesting habits that cause the real problems. They often have a liking for loft spaces and will destroy many items in the loft including wiring.

 

Cure : Trapping is very successful. They can be very successfully trapped in lofts.

Prevention : To avoid loft problems, check there are no trees where the squirrel can jump across to the house and check any external entrance holes to the loft.

I carry out pest & vermin control along with treating infestations of Rats, Mice, Wasps, Ants, Rabbits, Squirrels, Cockroaches and Flies in New Abbey, Dumfries,  Cargenbridge, Kirkbean, Southerness,  Islesteps, Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas,  Kippford, Portling, Rockcliffe, Colvend, Haugh of Urr, Gelston, Palnackie, Beeswing, Southwick, Caulkerbush

North Corbelly Cottage, New Abbey, Dumfries, DG2 8DH


T: 07900 418887
E: russell@pestboff.co.uk

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