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Pest Control FAQ

Bed Bugs Q&A

  1. What are bed bugs and what do they do?

Bed bugs are small, oval parasites that feed on human blood. Aptly named, bed bugs live around the seams of mattresses and headboards. However, these pests can also live in small, dark spaces; this includes the back of furniture, a chest of drawers and even a crack in the wall. The reddish-brown insect measures at around 5mm in length and can leave bites all over the body, in which can cause great irritation, escalating when scratched.

  1. How can I tell if I have a bed bug infestation?

There are a few tell-tale signs of identifying a bed bug infestation in your home, including the following:

  • Bites. If you are regularly finding yourself covered with small, red marks and they swell or itch when scratched, it is likely you have a bed bug infestation, as these pests feed on sedentary or sleeping humans.
  • Checking your mattress and headboard. It is important to check your mattress, headboard and bed frames thoroughly for signs of both the small, black bugs and their eggs. Bed bugs often leave behind small, black traces in which can be identified as faeces, or sometimes rust-coloured stains are left on mattress tags and seams. 
  • Sweet odours. When there is a large colony of bed bugs, they will tend to emit a sickly sweet almond smell. Bed bugs produce these chemicals in which help them to communicate, thus leaving an odour. It is important to note however, that not everyone will be able to notice the smell, and a sweet odour is dependent on a particularly large infestation present.
  • Eggs and exoskeletons. Bed bugs have an outer shell that they shed and leave behind. If you see shell-like remains on your mattress, this can be a strong indication you are suffering from a bed bug infestation. There can also be eggs present in which female bed bugs lay in small crevices. These appear to be white and oval shaped, and can be difficult to spot considering bed bugs measure at approximately 5-7 millimetres.
  • Black marks around your home. If you have noticed the appearance of black marks and dirt on skirting boards, flooring, walls, and around the seams of mattresses and headboards in your property, this is a sure sign that you may have a bed bug infestation that needs the attention of an expert pest controller.
  1. How can I prepare the premises to ensure treatment is completely effective?

If you have arranged for a pest controller to visit and treat the infested premises, you should ensure that the infested room(s) are cleared of any clutter, such as furniture. Soft furnishings should also be removed and washed at the highest possible temperature, in order for the treatment to be more effective and ensure the infestation is no longer present.

  1. How can bed bugs be treated?

It is advised that bed bugs are to be treated by a trained pest controller. This is because vacuuming alone will not remove the pests. Initially, a pest controller will assess the severity of the bed bug infestation, noting the areas in the household or commercial property that will need to be treated. After this, a water-based insecticide spray will be used to eradicate the infestation, bed bugs can contaminate an entire property so it is important that as much of the area possible is treated.

  1. Why is it important to treat bed bugs immediately?

It is important when a bed bug infestation is discovered in a household or commercial property, that they are treated as soon as possible. This is because bed bugs can spread throughout your home rapidly, and what may initially have been an infestation in one room can potentially spread throughout the entire premises, proving to be more costly and difficult to eliminate.

  1. When is the best time to treat bed bugs?

Ideally, a bed bug infestation should be treated in the morning. This is because it is more likely that the insecticide will settle, as well as minimising any risk of inhalation of the spray.

  1. How long will the premises need to be vacated for after treatment?

It is important that the treated premises is vacated for at least four hours after the treatment. This is because bed bugs can contaminate an entire property, therefore it is very important that as much of the area as possible is treated.

  1. Are there some individuals likely to suffer a greater risk from the treatment than others?

Yes, those that are pregnant, have babies or young children or even those with breathing difficulties such as asthma, will be at a greater risk from the treatment, although the pest controller will advise these customers on how long they should vacate the premises for.

Fleas Q&A

  1. What are fleas and what do they do?

Fleas are parasitic insects that feed on blood. Measuring at approximately 1-3mm in length and reddish brown to black in colour; they have six long legs which enable them to jump great distances, leaving bites on humans and other mammals, including household pets. Their bodies are flat without wings and completely covered in hair, allowing for quick movement and the ability to root themselves to the host with ease.

  1. What is the life cycle of a flea?

Measuring at just 0.5mm, fleas start their life as eggs living on your pets hair coat, hatching within 2-5 days. After hatching, these eggs then begin to form a larvae, beginning life at around 1-2mm long. Larvae feed off flea dirt and debris in the environment, and are hardly seen. Larvae eventually spin cocoons within the carpet fibres for pupation. Pupae can lie dormant for up to 12 months before re-emerging and infesting your household pet. They are stimulated to emerge as adult fleas from components such as vibration, an increase in temperature or carbon dioxide. Most commonly, fleas emerge from 1-4 weeks, and can begin feeding within hours of finding a cat or dog. However, the flea can only survive a short time without feeding if it is dislodged from its host.

  1. How can I tell if I have a flea infestation?

Some of the most effective ways to identify a flea infestation in your home or commercial property can include:

  • Experiencing numerous flea bites. These are generally below the waist but in severe circumstances can be all over the body.
  • Checking your pets for any flea bites on the skin and noticing any eggs present.
  • Identifying small, reddish-black bugs around your household or commercial property.
  1. Why is it important that a professional pest controller is used to treat an infestation?

It is important that a pest controller treats an infestation to ensure that the pest problem is fully eradicated, and to prevent any further infestation. A fully trained, professional pest controller will have full training and expertise in the handling of pesticides and extermination of pests, and will be able to assess the infested property, to ensure the best steps are taken for the pest problem to be completely resolved quickly and efficiently.

  1. What are the different types of fleas?  

There are many different types of fleas that exist around the world, although there are three that most commonly found in the UK:

Cat fleas – Cat fleas measure at approximately 3mm long. They are often unable to determine whether a host is suitable until they have bitten them. If the household pet for example, is deemed unsuitable, the flea will soon drop off and look for a new host.

Dog Fleas – Dog fleas measure between 1-4mm long. Although they are named dog fleas, these pests also feed on cats, and have been known to bite humans.

Human Fleas – Human fleas measure between 1-4mm long. These pests have been known to bite anywhere on the body and crawl all over the skin, resulting in itchiness.

  1. How do I know if my household pet is carrying fleas?

It is important to regularly check your household pets for fleas to avoid an infestation. A strong indication that your pet is carrying fleas can include spotting any flea bites or eggs on the skin, additionally if your pet seems to be scratching more than usual, this can be a sign they are suffering from fleas. Household pets can carry these pests even in the most spotless of homes, therefore it is important to notice the signs and apply flea medication regularly.

  1. What diseases can fleas transmit to my household pet?

There are a number of diseases in which fleas can transmit to your household pet, with many causing serious health issues. Just some of the diseases fleas can cause include:

  • Haemobartonellosis – This is a disease that affects the red blood cells in household pets, causing anemia in cats. Other symptoms of this disease include a loss of appetite and dramatic weight loss.
  • Plague – If a flea has previously bitten an infected animal, and proceeds to bite your pet, this can spread the plague and result in symptoms such as a fever and even sudden death.
  • Tapeworms – Tapeworms can be spread to your pet if a flea that is carrying tapeworm eggs is eaten. The tapeworm eggs will then hatch and attach itself to your pets intestines, resulting in great irritation, vomiting and weight loss.
  • Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) – Owners in particular can be at risk from this type of disease, as fleas transmit CSD from one cat to another. Humans can get CSD when infected flea faeces is transmitted from the pet to the owner through a bite, lick or scratch.
  1. How can I prepare the premises to ensure the fleas are treated effectively?

In order for the flea infestation to be treated completely and effectively, it is firstly important to consider if you own any household pets and ensure they are treated with a flea medication prior to the pest controller tending to the infestation. This is to eliminate any possibilities of further infestation and to ensure your household pet is not carrying and spreading fleas in your home. It is additionally important that the infested rooms are cleared of any clutter such as furniture, as well as soft furnishings being removed and washed at the highest possible temperature in order to kill any pests infesting furnishings.

  1. What time of year are fleas most active?

Fleas prefer the warmer weather, therefore are very prominent during the summer. However, fleas can also infest during winter when homes have central heating on, therefore it is important to take precaution and use flea medication on your household pets all year round, and if an infestation is discovered, treatment should be carried out by a pest controller immediately. Only when the temperature is consistently below zero can flea prevention be stopped.

Bees & Wasps Q&A

  1. What are the differences between bees and wasps?

In regards to their appearance, there are many ways to physically tell bees and wasps apart from one another. Bees are generally large and fluffy insects, with their hairy bodies making it ideal for holding on to pollen as it is carried from one area to another. Wasps bodies in comparison are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting, as although they still feed on nectar and pollen, they additionally hunt insects, flies and even caterpillars in order to feed their young. One of the main differences between bees and wasps is that wasps can become aggressive or agitated when they feel their nest may be under threat. However in comparison, honey bees are generally gentle creatures, in which are too busy working to worry about harming others.

  1. How can I tell if I have a problem with bees or wasps?

There are a few ways to tell if you have bees or wasps lurking in your home, from checking your attic or loft for a wasps nest, to the dark and dry corners of your property, as wasps prefer to build their nests here, with bees able to build their nests anywhere. Alternatively, if you notice structural damage to your property such as holes in the walls and damaged mortar between bricks, it is likely that you are suffering from a masonry bee infestation. These bees drill into the brick work to create cavities in order to build their nests.

  1. How are bees and wasps treated?

Wasps can be treated by a fully certified pest controller with a powder based insecticide. The powder is initially ‘fogged’ into the entrance of the nest, in turn causing the wasps to then transfer this treatment deep into the nest and feeding it to the queen; this will kill the entire nest. Generally treatment is not given to honey or bumble bees, as the preferred method of dealing with these bees is via the local bee keeping association. However, treatment may be given to masonry bees without any prior contact, as they can potentially cause structural damage such as holes in the walls or damaged mortar between bricks, therefore should be dealt with immediately.

This can however be dependent on:

  • The environment they are inhabiting
  • If the local Bee Keeping Association has been contacted prior to the treatment
  • Being able to destroy the queen in order to kill the entire nest
  • Treatment requiring more than one visit
  1. What are the different types of bees?

There are three different species of bees that may cause customers to contact us:

  • Honey bees have a fluffy head with a smooth body. They are black and yellow-orange in colour and may build their nests anywhere.
  • Bumble bees are the largest of the bee species. Fluffy all over, black with yellow bands and may their build nests anywhere.
  • Masonry bees are the smallest of the bee species and are black and orange in colour. These bees drill into brick work to create cavities to build nests, potentially causing structural damage and considered to be a pest to your property.
  1. Are wasps nests dangerous?

The wasps nest itself is not dangerous, however, if a wasp feels that its nest may be under threat, they will more than likely to try and warn you off by stinging you. It is suggested that if you do come into contact with a wasp, you should never try and harm them, especially if you are allergic to a wasps sting, as the results could be fatal. The temper of the wasp nest is determined by the queen. If she is particularly aggressive, this behaviour will be passed onto her offspring and the entire nest in turn will become very aggressive and will sting any ‘intruder’ multiple times if needed, simply to protect their nest.

  1. Why do I need to contact my local bee keeping association before I can have wasps or bees removed?

The local Bee Keeping Association should be contacted prior to any treatment as they may be able to remove the pest whilst preserving its life.

  1. What is the British Beekeepers Association and what do they do?

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) was founded in 1874, representing the interests of 24,000 amateur beekeeper members and the 3 billion honey bees they care for when pollination activity reaches its peak. Throughout England, there are over 66 local area associations who serve their local community with support and education in the importance of bee preservation.

The British Bee Keeping Association can offer help and advice for dealing with both bees and wasps. However, beekeepers are unable to remove any of the following:

  • Wasps
  • Bumble Bees
  • Solitary Bees
  • Hornets

If you suspect you may have a swarm of honey bees, The British Bee Keeping Association provide further information on their website to determine if it is a honey bee problem in particular. This is because there are many insects which look remotely similar to honey bees, often not causing any problems and unable to be treated by the swarm collectors; beekeepers are only able to provide assistance in the case of honey bee swarms. After confirming that you have a honey bee swarm, simply enter your postcode and the most local swarm collectors will be sourced to resolve your problem.

  1. Why is it necessary to wait at least 24 hours after discovering a bees or wasps nest to have it treated?

It is normally suggested that the customer should wait at least 24 hours before contacting a pest controller about a bees or wasps nest as generally they tend to move on during this time period. If they are still prominent after 24 hours, then it is suggested that the customer contacts the British Bee Keeping Association first, and then a pest controller after this.

Moths Q&A

  1. What are moths and what do they do?

Moths are butterfly-like insects which vary in colour and size. Small, dark headed maggot-like larvae may also be seen. Often feeding on fine, natural textiles such as cashmere and silk, moths have extremely good taste in quality materials and can ruin clothing completely if left untreated, causing a ragged appearance and multiple holes.

  1. What types of moths are there?

There are commonly two types of moth that may require pest control treatment:

  1.  

Clothes Moths

Clothes moths infest clothing, carpets, and other materials in your home. They most frequently occur in knitwear such as wool, cashmere or angora, as well as other natural fabrics such as silk and leather garments. Clothes moths hold three different forms, from their tiny 5mm eggs, to the moth larvae growing as they develop. Once adult form, clothes moths are usually around 1.5mm long. Although easier to spot in flight, due to their size they are able to fit into tight crevices in your wardrobe.

  1.  

Cereal Moths

Cereal moths infest cereals and cereal-based products. These moths can be present in dry foods such as flour, cereals, grains, pasta and nuts but often go unnoticed until they become abundant.

  1. How can I tell if I have a moth problem?

One of the most effective ways of identifying if you have a moth problem would be to check your wardrobe for signs of a moth infestation. Indications can include checking to see if your clothes appear ragged or have holes in. Maggot-like larvae may also be seen in clothing, as larvae is the main cause of holes in your clothing due to them feeding on fabrics.However, a moth infestation does not just stop at your wardrobe. It is important that woollen carpets, sofas, cushions and curtains are also examined as clothes moths will feed on these fine, natural fabrics.

  1. How can moths be treated?

Moth infestations can be treated by a professional pest controller by using a water based insecticide in which is fogged throughout the infested area. It is important to note that any cereal-based products must initially be disposed of and any fabric or materials should be washed at the highest temperature possible, this is to ensure that there will be no further infestation. In order for moths to be treated completely and effectively, a fully qualified pest controller should be called.

  1. How can I prevent moths from infesting in my home?

There are many easy and effective solutions to prevent moths from infesting your wardrobe, including:

  • Cleaning out your wardrobe regularly. This includes both your wardrobe itself and your clothing. Firstly, it is recommended that all clothing is removed from your wardrobe, throwing out clothing that is old and unworn. This stops moths being attracted to the dust and dirt normally found on older, vintage items for example. By shaking out your clothing and exposing it to sunlight season to season, moths are deterred from visiting. After you have organised the contents, you will need to make sure your wardrobe itself is clean and dust-free.
  • Using scents in your home. There are a few scents in particular in which can deter moths from infestation. Lavender has been found to be a popular and effective budget friendly method of deterring moth infestation. Similar to moth balls, lavender bags can be easily stored with clothing in your wardrobe, with the natural aromas acting as a repellent to moths. Although, lavender aroma is also a chemical compound, so if a more natural approach is preferred, conkers can also be an effective method. Used by fashion designer Giles Deacon, it is said that the brown skins on conkers contain a specific compound named triterpenoid saponin that warns off the pests.
  • Storing garments properly. As the seasons change and we approach the warmer months, there may be clothing less appropriate for the warmer weather that could be stored away. This is not only effective in navigating the contents of your wardrobe, but stops moths from attacking your knitwear unnoticed. It is important that clothes are thoroughly cleaned before storing away, with airtight containers or vacuum packs both acting as an effective storage method.
  • Vacuuming regularly. Although referenced to as clothing moths, they are also attracted to carpets and furnishings around your home. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly vacuum, focusing on the edges of your carpets and underneath wardrobes and tables as these are places that can often be forgotten, yet are a manna to moths.
  • Freezing clothes. If you have already begun to notice larvae and moth eggs, these can be killed off by wrapping delicate garments such as silk and wool in plastic and freezing them for at least 12 hours. This is an effective way of removing all signs of moth infestation for dedlicate clothing that cannot be washed at a high temperature.
  1. What can I do if I have tried to prevent moths and still have an infestation?

If you have taken precautions to prevent moths from infesting your home and still have an infestation, call in a fully trained pest controller. They will ensure that the moth infestation is treated quickly and efficiently, causing as little disturbance as possible and from this, preventing further infestation through effective treatment.

Rodent Q&A

  1. What are rodents?

Rodents are mammals commonly characterized by their continuously growing incisors. There are three types of rodent that are subject to pest control:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  1. How can I tell if I have a mice or rat problem?

Rats thrive on familiarity, and once they have moved into your home it won’t be long until their friends turn up uninvited to join them. The thought of rats or mice living in your kitchen for instance can be unbearable. There are a few ways to tell if you have mice or rats lurking in your home, including:

  • Signs of infestation including droppings (around the size of a grain of rice)
  • Shredded paper/material
  • Strong smell of urine
  • Noises at night
  • Smear marks on skirting boards
  1. What is the difference between mice and rats?

Rats are much larger than mice, averaging at approximately 9-11 inches long, with their thick tail shorter than their bodies, as opposed to mice which have thinner tails the same length if not longer than the size of their body. Rats also weigh a lot more than mice due to the difference in size; at around just 6 weeks, a rat is already around 100 grams, over double the weight of an adult mouse.

  1. What types of mice are there?

There are commonly two different types of mice:

House Mouse – Dusty grey in colour, these mice have a small head and slender body and are known to have excellent vision, smell, hearing and touch. These pests are highly adaptable to homes and indoor buildings, they only need a small space to be able to enter a building, therefore they often have access to many places and infest in large volumes.

Deer Mouse – Also referred to as a field mouse, these mice are reddish to golden brown in colour with white feet and chest. These pests have a small head and body, yet are larger in size than a house mouse. Deer mouse feast on seeds, grains and fruit and often aggravate farmers as a result of them infiltrating storage grains. These rodents are well-known carriers of the deadly Hantavirus which has been known to cause numerous deaths, therefore pose serious health threats for humans and household pets.

  1. What types of rats are there?

There are commonly three different types of rats:

Norway Rats – These rats can also be named brown or sewer rats, and can be identified by their grey-brown bodies. Norway rats have small ears and eyes and their tales are shorter than their body length. These rats are a lot larger than other rat species; they burrow in gardens and fields, beneath rubbish or building foundations. Shredded paper and cloth is used to line their nests as they prefer fibrous materials.

Roof Rats – Also referred to as black rats, these rats are superb climbers that tend to live above ground. Wild roof rats inhabit shrubs and trees, yet in a domestic environment will seek secure, elevated places such as an attic or cabinet. Roof rats can enter homes through trees that are close to windows and prefer warmer climates.

  • – These types of rodent are known to be fond of shiny objects, and are often referred to as ’packrats.’ Woodrats gnaw on trees, furniture, paper and even mattress bedding. Because of this, they are known to cause serious problems for homeowners and farmers.
  1. When are rats most active?

Rats are nocturnal creatures, therefore they are most active at night. Because of this, an infestation can develop some time before a rat is even seen. If resources such as food and water are scare however, they will become more active during the day.

  1. How can rodents be treated?

Rodents can be treated with numerous techniques, although this can be dependent on:

  • The environment in which they are inhabiting
  • Domestic circumstances, such as any children on site or domestic pets
  • The size or extent of the infestation

Rats are intelligent creatures, and quickly wise up to any traps or poisons being used. Not only this, but rats circumvent many traps through communicating with one another. It will take two visits from a professional pest controller to treat rodent infestations, as initially the pest controller will need to attend site to access the work required, trapping squirrels or, in the case of rats and mice, using bait or sticky boards. Our controllers will also make sure to give tips on combating further infestation, making sure your pest problem is a thing of the past. Our controllers will return afterwards to remove any remaining baits, boards or traps, and any dead bodies.

  1. How can I prevent mice and rats from infesting in my home?

To prevent your home from rodent infestation, you will firstly need to survey your garden, noting the following:

  • Making sure all shrubbery and trees are cut to ensure they are a good distance from your home.
  • Removing any plants or trees in which grow fruit or vegetables.
  • Ceasing any food put out for birds or pet food.
  • Checking your vents, windows and roof, noticing any areas in your home where a gap may feasibly widen.
  1. Do rats only live in unclean environments?

Rats are often associated with living in dirty, poor conditions such as sewers, although this doesn’t necessarily mean your garden isn’t an ideal environment, or even your home. Rats can find shelter underneath your shed and even bury themselves in compost heaps. Rats themselves are far from dirty, as they spend a lot of time trying to keep themselves clean, washing themselves regularly and incessantly.

  1. What diseases do rodents carry and are they dangerous?

There are different diseases in which mice carry to rats, depending on the environment in which they are exposed. Some of the diseases are dangerous and can lead to serious health hazards.

Some of the diseases mice are known to carry include:

Salmonella bacteria: The Salmonella bacteria (Salmonellosis) causes a gastrointestinal infection and can infect both animals and humans. Usually the infection will last 4-7 days and in some more serious cases, those infected may need to be hospitalised. In extreme cases, Salmonella has been known to lead to death, though generally this is in patients subject to a higher risk such as the elderly, infants and those with low immunity.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV): Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis is a virus caused by rodents, and creates neurological disease in humans. Those infected can become symptomatic from 8-14 days. Symptoms have two phases, the first phase is less serious and can range from: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, malaise, vomiting, joint and testicular pain.

Not everyone suffers from the second phase of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, but if they do it is often following a few days of recovery.  However, the second phase’s symptoms are much more serious than in phase one and can include Meningitis symptoms of which are: high-fever, stiff neck, headache, vomiting and a rash that does not disappear when pressed by glass.

Some of the diseases in which rats are known to carry are very similar to mice, however their strain of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis can be more likely to develop into the following health problems:

Weil’s disease: Weil’s disease is a severe form of the bacterial infection Leptospirosis, where the bacteria infects other organs. Weil’s disease only develops in around 10% of Leptospirosis cases.  A secondary infection develops after the flu-like symptoms and a brief recovery time. Symptoms can differ depending on the organ infected;

  • : fever, high temperature, nausea, vomiting, confused mental state, drowsiness, aggression, seizures, loss of motor control and aversion to lights.

Liver, Kidney, Heart: Jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, swollen ankles, feet and hands, swelling of the liver, decreased urine, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat.

Lungs: High fever, shortness of breath and coughing up blood.

Ants Q&A

  1. What type of ants are there and what do they do?

There are two specific species of ants that are subject to pest control in the UK, these include:

Garden Ants also known as the common black ant, are black or red in colour and measure at approximately 7mm in length. These ants can be found all over Europe and in some parts of North America and Asia. These ants rarely cause damage to plants, however they do feed on sugary foods and can be a nuisance when a colony invade your home looking for food.

Pharaoh Ants are distinctively red in colour and much smaller in size than garden ants, averaging at around 3.5mm in length. Pharaoh ants live in colonies that can vary in size, although colonies are made up of several queens, in which the worker ants bring food back to the nest to feed the queen and larvae. They prefer to nest in hidden and well-protected areas, eating all types of food but especially sweets. As a result, they are considered to be a pest due to their ability to survive sufficiently in indoor areas and contaminate foods by the diseases they carry.

  1. How do I know if I have a problem with ants?

Depending on the severity of the ant infestation, signs can include the sheer amount you will see along surfaces in your home or garden, as well as discovering an ants nest. Signs of a garden ants nest can be spotting mounds of earth, this will be the entrance of the ants nest.

  1. How long do ants live for?

This is dependent on the species of ants, however most adult ant workers live for less than a year as adults. The Pharaoh ant only lives for just a few weeks. Queens of both these species live less than a whole year, although colonies of both species of ant are constantly producing new broods of queens, males and workers.

  1. What do ants eat?

Ants generally are attracted to foods that are high in sugar and greases. They will eat almost anything apart from solid foods, as all foods must be liquids. Ants also need a lot of water in order to survive, especially during a drought.

  1. How can ants be treated?

Both species of ant can be treated in the same way. This is done by a fully certified pest controller from using a powder based insecticide and spreading this across the entrance of the ants nest and surrounding areas. The worker ants then proceed to carry this down through the nest, in turn killing the queen and other nests within the colony. It is important that ants are treated by a fully trained pest controller, as pharaoh ants may carry disease organisms and cause contamination of food and sterile materials. Infestations can become very widespread which is why it is important to ensure that all of the ants are treated correctly to ensure further infestation does not occur.

Cluster fly Q&A

  1. What are cluster flies and what do they do?

Cluster flies are flies that inhabit properties during the summer months in order for them to hibernate, in turn ‘clustering’ together in a large volume and consequently becoming an irritant in the household. Cluster flies pose no threat to humans, as unlike other flies, they do not lay their eggs on human food. Cluster flies have also been known to emit a sweet, sickly odour which can be unpleasant in the home. It has been found however, that although these flies are of no consequence during many parts of the year when they live outside, when they do reach hibernation and head for your home, if left untreated, they will tend to return to that property year after year.

  1. How can I prevent cluster flies from hibernating in my home?

There are not many effective methods in regards to preventing cluster flies from entering your home itself. Controlling flies inside a loft or attic however can be relatively simple, by using an insecticide or vacuuming may deter the pests, but to ensure further infestation does not occur the following year, it is suggested that a professional pest controller is called to assess the environment and prevent the pests from returning in the future.

  1. How can cluster flies be treated?

The characteristic ball of flies has to be established for at least 7 days until it can be treated; only after this amount of time will the insecticide affect the entire fly population. The pest controller will ‘fog’ an insecticide upon the cluster of flies. Once all of the flies have been destroyed, the bodies can easily be removed and disposed of by using a vacuum cleaner.

However, it should be noted that:

  • The only type of fly that is treated by our pest controllers is the cluster fly.
  • The problem can be eradicated by finding the decomposing substance and disposing of it appropriately.
  • After this, the area can be fully treated with a strong disinfectant, for example, bleach.
  • Flies have to be established for at least 7 days before they can be treated by a pest controller.
  1. What do cluster flies eat?

A female cluster fly will purposely lay her eggs in soil in the late summer or early autumn, so that when these eggs hatch, the fly offspring can attach themselves to the earthworms and proceed to eat them up.

  1. What are the different types of flies?

Black Flies – These flies are often found in humid, wooden regions most commonly in the summer months. They are known to be most active around sunset and can act as severe pests to hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. They do not live indoors however, and thrive mainly in all kinds of flowing water. Another important factor in which can lead flies to be a nuisance include  the fact that adult black flies are commonly known to bite exposed skin, such as the face.

Cluster Flies – Also referred to as attic flies, these types of fly are a household pest that measure from 8 to 10 millimetres in length. Cluster flies seek warm locations in order to hibernate during the colder months, and are capable of crawling through small openings. The term ‘cluster fly’ derives from their ability to cluster together in large volumes around windows and other secluded parts of a property.

Deer Flies – Deer flies range in size, the smallest being a quarter of an inch. They have clear wings, with dark bands and some with yellow and black striping. These types of pest are persistant blood feeders, although the male deer fly will feed on pollen and nectar from plants. Deer flies can feed on a variety of mammals including huans, household pets, livestock and deer.

Face Flies – Adult face flies closely resemble house flies in regards to appearance. Measuring at 6-8mm in length and with four dark stripes across their grey toned thorax, face flies are cattle pests in the warmer months. These flies prefer to migrate into the walls, attics and ceilings. These flies do not bite, although their feeding habits make them troubling to cattle, feeding on secretions from the eyes and nose of large animals.

Carpet Beetles Q&A

  1. What are carpet beetles and what do they do?

The carpet beetle consists of two life forms in which are both subject to pest control, the adult beetle and the larvae. They are both a major pest of textiles, living within the felt of the carpet, often eating back into the underlay. Carpet beetles are often transferred by birds, on occasion being dropped through a chimney and consequently infesting the floor below. 

Adult carpet beetles have small, round bodies that are approximately 2-4mm in size with a brown, mottled colour. Adults generally seek egg-laying sites and are often seen in spring.

The larvae (also known as the Woolly Bear), is 4-5mm in length with a striped hair-covered body, often rolling up into a ball when disturbed. As they grow, they malt, leaving old cast-off skins behind.

  1. How do I know if I have a carpet beetle problem?

There are a few tell-tale signs to determine whether you are suffering from a carpet beetle infestation, including:

  • Well-defined holes along the seams of fabric.
  • Identifying old, cast-off skins from the larvae.
  • Slow movement of beetles, rolling over when touched.
  • The larvae generally has brown bands running across the body.
  • Coming in a range of colours, generally a palette of grey, black and brown patterns.
  1. How can a carpet beetle infestation be treated?

Carpet beetles can be treated quickly and efficiently by a pest controller, by using a water-based insecticide to fog throughout the infected area. The carpet should ideally be removed and disposed of, this is because by keeping infested garments, the risk of being unable to stop the infestation is significantly increased. Only after this should the floor be treated. Once this has settled a new carpet can then be laid.

Cockroach Q&A

  1. What are cockroaches and what do they do?

There are two types of cockroaches treated by our controllers:

German cockroaches are light brown in colour with a wing base, and are approximately 1.5cm in length. These types of cockroaches are usually found in warm, moist environments, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Oriental cockroaches are smooth with a black coloured body. They have no wing base and measure at approximately 2.5cm. Oriental cockroaches are often found in terraced housing, infecting entire blocks of properties as the move throughout the beams and rafters.

Although there are many differences in the two cockroaches that are treated by our controllers, infestation from them can be unsightly and should be treated efficiently by a pest control professional to ensure they do not return.

  1. What is the difference between a German cockroach and an oriental cockroach?

German cockroaches have wings, although are smaller and a lot lighter in colour than oriental cockroaches. While German cockroaches are usually found in warm, moist environments such as kitchens and bathrooms, the oriental cockroach is often found in terraced housing, infesting entire blocks of properties as they move throughout the beams and rafters.

  1. How can I tell if I have a cockroach infestation?

There are a few ways to tell if you have cockroaches lurking in your home, noting that the German cockroach has a body with a winged base and the oriental does not, it is important to understand that they can leave damage and infection in a household, with many German cockroaches often spotted in a warmer and more moist environment such as a bathroom, whereas the Oriental cockroach can often be seen moving throughout the beams and rafters in the household.

  1. How can cockroaches be treated?

Cockroach infestations are treated with a water-based insecticide. The treatment is sprayed around the infected area by the controller, and a sticky paste may be applied into drinking straws around the area. Cockroaches ingest the bait and consequently, begin to die. However, the bodies should not be removed from the site immediately, as the remaining cockroaches will feed on the dead bodies and ingest the poison as a result. After this, an insect detector device will then be used to determine whether any infestation remains. If no activity is recorded by the detector, any remaining dead bodies can then be removed and disposed of.

However, it should be noted that:

  • In the instance of an oriental cockroach infestation, it is strongly advised that adjoining properties are also treated.
  • There are two types of cockroach treated by our controllers.
  • An insect detector device is needed to ensure that no infestation remains, only then can the remaining dead bodies be removed and disposed of.
  1. Do cockroaches fly?

Many species of cockroaches have wings but not all are good at flying. There are several species in which use their wings to glide from higher altitudes to lower surfaces, with a number of other species capable of flying short distances. German cockroaches in particular have fully developed wings, but they do not fly. Equally, oriental cockroaches do not have a winged base in order to fly, and prefer to move through the beams and rafters in a property, infecting entire blocks.

  • Do cockroaches bite?
    • Cockroaches are not likely to bite living humans, except in extreme cases of infestation where the population of cockroaches are large and food becomes limited. The main reason is because cockroaches are omnivores, this means that they will eat just about anything. If a cockroach does bite, they are more likely to bite the following:
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Fingernails
  • Eyelashes
  1. What is the life cycle of the German & Oriental cockroach?

The German cockroach has three life stages typical of insects with an incomplete metamorphosis: The egg, nymph and the adult. The typical life cycle of a German cockroach is completed in approximately 100 days, however factors are dependent on this, including: temperature, nutritional status and strain differences.

Egg – The eggs are carried in an egg case by the female just before hatch occurs, this is called the ootheca. A typical egg case contains between 30-40 eggs and has the appearance of a small, brown purse-shaped capsule. Measuring at about 8mm long, when the eggs have hatched the nymphal stage will begin.

Nymph – Nymphs are dark brown to black in colour, with distinct, dark parallel bands. At this stage, nymphs do not have wings, although at room temperature they can complete development in approximately 60 days.

Adult – An adult is 10-15mm long, and like the nymph, continues to have two distinct parallel bands running through the length of the pronotum. The male cockroach can be distinguished by the appearance of a thin, slender body; The female has a more stout appearance, with their entire abdomen covered by tegmina.

The life cycle of the Oriental cockroach

Oriental cockroaches have a somewhat seasonal development cycle. They often develop at a quicker pace during the rainiest parts of the year. Adult population reaches its peak in late spring or early summer and in comparison slows by late summer and early autumn.

A female oriental cockroach can produce on average eight egg capsules per lifetime. Each of these egg capsules contain approximately 16 eggs. These eggs then develop into nymphs, in which go through seven stages before becoming adults, taking around one year to develop. Once developed into an adult, the life span can vary from 34-180 days.

Silverfish Q&A

  1. What are Silver fish and what do they do?

Silver fish are a teardrop shaped insect varying in colour from white to brown grey with some blue-ish silver tones. They have two long antennas on their head and three very prominent ‘tails’ at the end. Measuring at around 12-19mm in length and with quick movement, these household pests are known for surviving in almost any environment. They prefer dark, damp areas and female silver fish can lay between 2-20 eggs at a time. Silver fish are a year round problem that feed on carbohydrates, including linen, book bindings, cellulose and dead insects; once they find a sufficient source of food they will remain in the same area.

  1. How can I tell if I have a Silver fish problem?

There are a few ways of identifying if you have a silver fish infestation in your property. If you have noticed some of the following signs, it could mean you need an infestation treated by an expert pest controller:

  • Finding exoskeletons (Silver fish malt throughout their lives).
  • Noticing irregular shaped holes in fabrics or wallpaper, the latter is a strong indication as they like to eat the glue.
  • Finding yellow stains on fabric, especially in dark and humid climates.
  1. How can a silver fish infestation be treated?

Silver fish infestations can be treated by a pest controller by using a water-based insecticide. The controller will carefully examine the entire premises and determine the level of infestation to ensure there isn’t any other pests present. Silver fish can contaminate an entire property, therefore treatment may have to be carried out across the premises.

  1. What are the differences between silver fish and bed bugs?

Although they both have some similarities, there are actually many differences between silver fish and bed bugs, including their:

  • Appearance
  • Habitat
  • Motive

Silver fish look very different and are much larger than bed bugs, with their habitat generally in damp, dry atmospheres such as an attic as opposed to a bedroom. They do not bite, instead feast on carbohydrates, mould and fungi.

Mole Q&A

  1. What are moles and what do they do?

Moles are burrowing mammals measuring at approximately 12-15cm in length, with a dark, brown-black fur covered body. These mammals are virtually blind and live underground, manoeuvring through and creating a network of tunnels. Consequently, they are known to leave mounds of earth on the surface, although are mainly considered as a pest if they cause damage to the property itself.

  1. How can I tell if I have a mole problem?

One of the most effective ways of identifying if you have a mole problem can include checking your soil and lawn for their tunnels as they should appear as raised swellings; moles prefer moist soil and are generally most active in the spring or autumn. Another way to confirm that you have a mole that should be treated by a fully trained pest controller includes checking your soil for the presence of other pests, such as an oversupply of bugs. This is because moles generally make themselves at home in a garden to the extent of plants being an easy access for other pests.

  1. How can moles be treated?

There are two ways of treating moles, including:

Gas – Toxic gas is released from a canister into the mole hill, in which the mole will inhale. This method is not always the most effective as the gas may escape through the earth or even evaporate before it is inhaled.

Guillotine trap – A tube-like device is inserted into the mole hill and is released as the mole passes through, resulting in the mole being asphyxiated or decapitated.

  1. If I have more than one mole hill does this mean I have more than one mole?

Not necessarily, the number of mole hills does not reflect on the number of moles. It is likely that if you have a small garden, only one mole has caused the damage.

Birds Q&A

  1. What are feral pigeons and what do they do?

Feral pigeons are considered to be a big pest problem due to their ability to deface buildings, increasing the cost of maintenance. Weighing at approximately 9-13 ounces, feral pigeons generally have pale grey wings with a dark tip. Usually feeding on grain, seeds and scraps, these birds adopt ledges on buildings and other structures in our towns or cities, and can be a pest as a result of their ability to deface stonework, for example.

  1. How can I tell if I have a bird problem?

To successfully determine whether you have a bird problem, you should note the amount of pigeons around your premises and consider if they are causing defacement to your building from their droppings, as this can also contribute to carrying and spreading diseases to people and livestock.

  1. How can feral pigeons be treated?

Feral pigeons can be treated by a professional pest controller laying bird proofing spikes or netting. This prevents the birds landing in a specific area, often useful around a roof or building ledge. However, it is important to note that the controller cannot treat any type of pest problem where a bird has nested, has eggs or live young in the nest

  1. What types of birds can be treated by a pest controller?

Feral pigeons are the only type of bird that is subject to pest control treatment. This is due to their ability to deface stonework as a result of adopting ledges on buildings and other structures in our towns or cities, whilst contributing to carrying and spreading diseases to people and livestock.

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