There is definitely something strange going on with our weather patterns here in the UK and we have just experienced the hottest ever July this year and much as I love the heat, I am now thinking about when I lived in Dallas, Texas and the other things that extreme heat bring with it — snakes, spiders, bugs and where pest control was a routine event for homeowners.
Should we now look at preventative pest control in the UK as a result of our weird temperature fluctuations?
That lovely little creature in the image above is a brown recluse spider, which can be found in the USA and especially in Texas where I lived for ten years. We were always vigilant when it came to looking out for these little creatures, especially with 3 young children at the time as their bites do have the capacity to prove fatal in some cases.
Here is a recent headline from one of our national newspapers:
BRITS are being left in excruciating agony because of life-threatening false widow spider bites, whose flesh-eating venom has left victims permanently disabled and even ended their lives.
Now headlines are here to sell newspapers and the media does love to add a little excitement to our lives, but is there actually something to it, or is it just sensationalism?
Living in the UK, I never gave much thought to spiders, but since returning from the US, just a few years ago, I started to hear a spider that really did give me the creeps as the name was similar to another spider in the US called a black widow and it was the first time I heard about a false widow here in the UK.
These spiders are sensationalized here in the UK and that is because we don’t really talk about them and to be fair, they have been here for a while, so why all of the fuss?
It is because there are more of them and we are hearing about people being bitten and the nasty experiences that go along with it. For me, the very fact that the name is similar to the spider above, whose bite is extremely dangerous, my levels of concern has certainly been raised.
As I said, pest control is routine in the US and I feel it will start to become more and more important here in the UK and we will start to think about prevention, rather than the cure, just as I did in the US.
Pests in the UK
Now that we have taken a look at spiders and the weather, let’s look at some of the most common pests we have to face here in the UK and here is a definitive list.
Reading through the list there is nothing shocking about any of them, except for the spiders, snakes and for me, bed bugs, but we are all familiar with those creatures, so although we are concerned about the false widow spider for example, until we have an experience with one or talk to someone who has, the concern levels will not be high.
The real concern for me and you have to remember I have lived in a very hot climate for many years, so I am probably a little more cautious than most, is the changing climate.
You can debate all you want about global warming, but for me, our summers and however long in duration are getting warmer and we are experiencing more dramatic weather changes, so I for one, am going to be more prepared about the issues of pest control.
If you want to take a look at pest control strategies, then take a look here at the British Pest Control Association website.
Don’t go DIY on pest control
One thing I did learn in Dallas, was not to try to do your own pest control.
It’s a tempting offer when you walk through all of the stores and see the kits you can buy to get rid of say scorpions, but you can end up doing more harm than good.
Now I have a personal experience with a scorpion as did my 9-year old son, some years back as we were both bitten and fortunately they were not the deadly ones and despite giving me a feeling of being slightly drunk, I recovered with no ill effects and amazingly, my young son had no ill effects whatsoever.
But the point here is that I needed specialist help and this is where I met James, our new and friendly “bug man” who now came out with an arsenal of equipment to dispose of these very deceptive creatures.
Scorpions have the ability to “play dead” and flatten themselves so it is easy to get caught.
Looking through the definitive list you can see that there are far more creatures to think about other than spiders and remember that rats are a big problem too.
Rats can pretty much chew through anything and can be the cause of serious damage to houses and let’s not forget that they are here in abundance.
There are also more and more examples of foxes wandering into people’s homes and in some cases biting people and not surprisingly as the nature of living in today’s world sees us pushing them out of the countryside into urban areas.
Then we have bees and wasps who although seem relatively harmless but can cause potentially fatal reactions from the stings — you know this of course, but what I am trying to tell you here is to get professional help. I’ve seen an example and again in Texas, where someone tried to remove a wasps nest and ended in the emergency room having been stung badly and they had no history of being allergic to being stung, but it was the multiple stinging that harmed them.
Pest control strategy
It seems funny to think of having to have a strategy for pest control, but if you think about it, then why not?
I have to keep coming back to Texas because I can give you an idea of how things work in a place where there are threats from pests, so we have two periods every year, where good old James would come out and spray the inside and exterior of the house.
Now I can hear you all talking about chemicals and the potential dangers, but you have to weigh that up against the real threat of having a creature in your house that could potentially kill you.
The entire house was sprayed inside and out, along with the main bushy areas outside and this gave us protection from all of those unwanted things that you did not want to meet anywhere in your life, let alone your house.
In the UK, we have a much-reduced risk compared to the US, but I believe, with the changes in weather, that things will start to be different as I pointed out earlier and it is logical to assume that as our climate changes, then we will see a change in the creatures that live in it.
I would look seriously at what could happen, rather than what we have here today. I don’t want to be accused of “scaremongering,” but I think that being prepared is a far better option than not. I recently heard of someone who was attacked by the only venomous snake we have here in the UK, an adder. The person was walking through a path in some woods and disturbed a snake that was probably hiding or even injured and got bitten.
The attack was not fatal, but the person suffered a lot of tissue damage during the process and remember, as we disturb the countryside, we will force these creatures to move out of their natural habitat.
In the US, there are many kinds of venomous snakes and you simply learn to respect and live with them — you have no choice and here in the UK, we rarely see them, but I believe we will see much more and thankfully, you don’t hear of many snakes appearing in the gardens of UK houses…not yet anyway.
So I would call up your local pest control operator and ask them what the current risks and threats are in your area to determine what type of pest control strategy you need to develop.
Remember you can always research the information before you call them and after they leave, but in all seriousness, I believe that pest control will become a highly in demand over the coming years here in the UK.
The ever-changing weather conditions will definitely change the dynamics of the creatures that live in them.
In the UK I believe we will see more and more venomous creatures in our environment simply because we are “heating up” and it will be a natural development.
I live in South Wales, having returned to my Mother’s homeland from the USA and here is an interesting article that I have found from Wales Online talking about 7 potentially dangerous creatures that can be found in the UK.
It is interesting reading and we have to be more vigilant than we have been to say the least.
Living in the US was an eyeopener for me and my family as we simply had to respect the fact that there were many creatures that live in close proximity to your house that could actually kill you, so you learn to respect that.
When my children came back to the UK, they were amazed as to the fact we could leave the doors and windows open and they could roll around outside on the grass without fear and also play in the woods.
Something they would not have dreamed of doing in the US.
And now we come to bed bugs…
By: Neil Franklin
One of the things that can make you feel uneasy inside your own home is to discover you have pest problems.
You not only have to think of where the cause of the problem is, but also check whether the issue has spread elsewhere around the house.
Here are easy tips to help you get rid of pests in your home;
The greatest way to keep pests away is to prevent them. I know, you might say you already have the pests. But preventative measures will help the problem from increasing, and eventually, remove the existing pests.
Rodents and unwanted bugs can be kept away from the house by repairing and keeping clean.
Unsightly elements that a house has like leaky pipes, old or unsealed garbage, as well as food residue, attract pests. They can also come to your home from overgrown plants, crack, firewood piles and debris nearby. First all, tidying up will assist in keeping pests out, and cleanup will make your house less hospitable to the current invaders.
Water and Vinegar Spray
If the problem is ants, try water and vinegar spray for them. Mix approximately one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. See where the ants enter the house by tracking them to find their trail. Spray where they enter from and along the door, windows and/or baseboards. Go to the trail and entirely spray it.
This process will kill the sprayed ants and also destroy their scent trail. Watch for more ants then spray wherever you sight one hang out. Sit for a while before you wipe out dead ants by use of cloth then repeat when more ants appear.
Repeat some few more times in the first week even if they do not turn up right away to keep them in control.
Is the vinegar not enough to have the job done? Make a homemade bait to keep away pests from your house. Instead of purchasing a costly trap, make sugar and borax mixture and keep in small containers. Put them in the paths of the ants and allow them to feast.
The ants will send the mixture back to their colony to share and kill more ants. This procedure will take a few days as some more ants come to take the mixture back to their place of hiding.
Depending on the type of ant and time of the year, the ants might be in need of fatty foods, therefore, a better bait could be peanut butter. When the sugar fix is not reacting, try a mixture of Borax with something oily or fatty.
You may be scratching your head if you are not an organic gardener. Diatomaceous earth is made up of phytoplankton fossilized remains in powder form. It is harmless to mammals, non-toxic but lethal to bugs. Other farmers feed their animals with it to keep off pests while some persons have it in their diet due to a variety of potential health benefits.
Sprinkle food-grade (not for swimming pools kind) diatomaceous earth in corners and baseboards – anywhere bugs stay. Use enough to have a good dusting but avoid piling up the powder as the bugs will crawl on top of it. It might take days to take effect but will eventually get rid of the bugs in your house.
It looks too simple but when you have small little gnats flying around your home, your plants might be the issue. Fungus gnats like moist soils and will gladly have babies in potted plants.
An easy path to do away with these small insects is to make your plants be dry completely on the surface then water them. This will cause the larva to die and prevent new gnats from maturing. Ensure there is good drainage for your plants and clean up the standing water. Not only is this technique a solution to gnat problem but also beneficial for your plants.
Check Where You Go
Pest can come in even when all the necessary precautions are taken inside a house. You might go to a store which has roach problems and carries them back in a bag. Bedbugs might have attached themselves to a suitcase in a hotel that you stayed at. You could also purchase yard-sale furniture which has termites or spiders. During winter your home could be a warm environment for pests to live in the cold days. These are called “occasional invaders”.
Inspect your body and belongings after going outside to ensure no pests sneak to your home. This way, you will be in a position to prevent them from going to places like your closet and bed. A quick shower immediately after coming back from rural areas can help get rid of ticks.
Take these steps to safely remove or prevent an infestation. Still, need some help?
It might then be time to reach out to a professional who knows clearly what to do like a pest control company.
Pest Exterminators in London offer the best pest control services to its clients. However, we are not the only pest control company existing in London.
Before hiring a company to take care of pest infestation, you need to look into a few things that will favour you as the client and also be environmentally friendly towards the pests you are getting rid of.
Getting professional help when it comes to pest control is definitely the best way to go if you do not wish to handle the business yourself.
A pest control expert knows the best methods to use and will also offer to advise on how to get rid of the infestation in the near future. However, things might get a little tricky if you have never hired professional help towards pest control since the service is offered by different companies all over London.
Below are things you need to consider before hiring a Pest Control Service
- Research – Get to learn about the various companies that are offering the same service and compare them to each other. Read the reviews and if possible, contact anyone who got their services recently and asks how they find them. Select the best and make a list. When it comes to comparison, you can use affordability rates, services offered and the expertise that come along with it. Comparing prices is one factor everyone majors in but do not forget “cheap is expensive”. Always make sure the list you are coming up with is of companies that are offering what you want and need. Affordability should be the last thing you look in to. Concentrate on the services offered as well as their experience.
- License and Certification – with the increased number of service providers in London, it is important to look into companies that have been given the license and certificate to offer their services. Make sure the company has the proper paperwork when it comes to pest control and the experience in terms of years together with the professional team on board. A license is offered to companies that offer pest control services in the right manner as well as hiring a team that understands the environment as well as the people who can be affected.
- Experience and Professionalism – Looking for the maximum experience of two to four years is the safest way to go. Why would you hire a company that is new to controlling pests, it is better to do it on your own then! Before hiring a pest control service, make sure you have hired professionals in the field. A company that has been in the business for more than two years gives one the confidant of knowing what they are doing. Professionals do not only get rid of pests but also offer the best solutions for preventing future infestations.
- Environment-friendly techniques – there are different ways of getting rid of pests and one of the best options is using pesticides. As much as pesticides do get rid of pests, they are harmful to human. Pest control service companies are aware of all methods that are best used in homes, offices or even industrial companies. They use the best-recommended option in getting rid of pests around you. Hiring a professional is not the same as you get off the counter solutions on pests. Experts will analyze the situation and come up with the best possible solutions for helping the client out with their problem.
- Best service – the best company in this business will ensure you get the guaranteed services. The company will ensure they have a 24/7 support team to answer your calls at any particular time, ensure an expert handles your request at the earliest to the best of their ability with the right methods and be able to do follow-ups after the service has been completed. Customer satisfaction is one of the main reasons the pest control service is in business.
- Resources – a pest control service company should have the right resources to carry out a job. You should not want to clean out your whole office and end up using your own resources to get the job done while a service company is on site. The right company will have a team in place together with the necessary resources needed to complete the job and satisfy the client. No job should be too big for a company to complete.
Conclusion Different companies offer the same service and it is important you weigh down on the best before hiring anyone.
Pest Exterminators do offer nothing but professional services to clients in and around London.
We have the necessary resources required to carry out work and satisfy the client. See more details https://www.pestcontrolinlondon.co.uk/
It’s best to know one’s opponents first before one gets to know how to beat them hence a few facts about cockroaches.
When most people think about cockroaches, the picture that comes to mind is that of a revolting large brown insect with long antennae that apparently hates light.
The sight of those long antennae on its head, sweeping this way and that, is certainly a sight that unnerves even the most hardened of people.
Some Facts about Cockroaches
Though the cockroach is a true insect, this revolting pest is not necessarily afraid of the light.
Its tendency to hide from light is due to a survival instinct that helps it to stay alive.
By hiding in narrow hard-to-reach crevices, this annoying pest avoids the attention of would-be predators and harm from humans.
It is a well-known fact that ‘roaches’, as they are more commonly known, do not favour encounters with rats or mice. In the event of such a meeting, the large brown insect becomes a sumptuous meal for the rodents.
The cockroach, or Cucaracha in Spanish, is a bonafide member of the class Insecta and is in fact related to termites.
It is one of the oldest insect species on the planet dating to the time of the dinosaurs. One might imagine that the ancestors of the common roach were large gustily looking insectoid creatures but this is not the case.
The ancestor and the modern-day roach have fairly the same size and form. Thus the cockroach has essentially not changed for thousands of years.
Cockroaches are able to survive in a wide range of environments from the tundra where the temperature can fall below -5 degrees celsius to hot desert areas with the temperature rising above 40 degrees celsius. This insect has a long lifespan living up to an entire year.
Finally, cockroaches are omnivorous and can eat almost anything including rotting fruit, wood, bread, paper, glue, leather, hair, cooked and dried meat and so forth. Furthermore, cockroaches can survive up to four weeks without food. Cockroaches are indeed a hardy insect.
Cockroaches can be found in many places around the house. However, encounters with this insect are usually rare during the day or when there is continuous lighting in the rooms.
This is primarily because domestic cockroaches are nocturnal creatures and hence tend to come out to feed at night. Furthermore, this insect tends to abhor light and will certainly scurry away from sight when the lights in a room are switched on.
This is why it is possible for cockroaches to thrive and infest your home and yet have the residents unaware of the true extent of the infestation.
There are a number of things someone can do to determine for certain whether there is a cockroach infestation in their home. Taking such action is prudent prior to calling an exterminator and thus incurring the subsequent cost. It is quite possible to personally deal with small infestations.
It is best to call an exterminator when one has evidence of an actual cockroach infestation of their home by roaches. One should start with the kitchen as this is the room in the house in which food is prepared. The following guidelines should be helpful
- Open kitchen drawers and empty their contents on a table. A sure sign of the presence of cockroaches is actually seeing actual insects in the drawers. An equally valid sign of an infestation is the presence of a considerable amount of the tiny black cockroach droppings. The accumulation of roach droppings is evidence of the prolonged presence of the insect in your home hence a greater period for them to breed and infest your house.
- Sweep under the cupboard and refrigerator. Be certain to get to those hard to reach areas even if it means moving the heavy fridge or cupboard from their usual location within the kitchen. Check the debris that has been swept into the open. Yet again, the presence of a considerable amount of the tiny black cockroach droppings is a sure sign of infestation.
- Using a brush, sweep those hard to reach shelves in the kitchen and put the swept up debris into a convenient receptacle. Then proceed to check the debris for the tiny black cockroach droppings that would indicate the presence of a cockroach infestation.
Once one has attained enough factual evidence to confirm the presence of a cockroach infestation in your home, it then becomes justified to call an exterminator to address the issue.
A large proportion of the exterminator’s efforts to eradicate the cockroach infestation would be focused on the kitchen, the prime food source. However, to eradicate roaches hidden in other rooms in the house, exterminators will work on other rooms including the sitting room, dining room and even bedrooms.
If you may have been concerned about how to getting rid of mice in your home or commercial properties in London, our mouse control specialists in London can help you tackle the issue with our emergency pest removal services.
Wasps come in 2 different versions, Hornets and Yellow Jackets.
Hornets are more aggressive than Yellow Jackets.
They are quite useful in the wild and in your garden because they eat flies and dead insects, and are natural pest control.
But as great as they are, wasps are an angry bunch and can become a nuisance if they nest too close to your home.
They are predatory by nature and are at their most aggressive near the end of the summer when it is hot.
The biggest threat is that the wasp nest gets disturbed and that they see you as a threat to their colony.
Wasps release a pheromone that alarms the rest of the colony to attack.
This can happen whenever a wasp feels threatened not just when they sting you.
Their other threat is wasps stinging people who are allergic.
So take precautions and don’t go too close to a wasps nest and try not to anger a wasp.
But Remember Don’t Swat a Wasp!
Swatting wasps is not a good idea because when a wasp is threatened, squished or attacked it will release a chemical pheromone that brings its buddies to come help it out.
The best thing to do is to walk away.
Preventing Wasps From Building a Nest
If you see a wasp in your home buzzing around, this may be a sign that their is a nest nearby.
So you may want to check around to see if you can find it.
You then also want to seal off any entry points that a wasp could use to get into your home.
This includes any unsealed vents, little gaps in doors and around your windows.
Hang a Fake Wasp Nest Up
Wasps are very territorial so they generally don’t like to build a nest too near to other wasps.
So this means if you hang a fake nest up outside your home or in your garden, wasps will make their nest further away.
You can get a fake wasp nest on eBay.
Clean Up Food Sources
Wasps like to eat flies so they like to eat meat, so make sure that you don’t leave any open food sources about.
This includes pet food cans, open bins, and any other food containers you may have.
However, in the late summer, they like sweet food with sugar in which is why you see them buzzing around your cans of pop.
So make sure to remove any sweet food sources.
Get a Wasp Trap
Wasp traps can be quite effective when used in early spring because the wasps flying about will be mostly Queens.
So if you get rid of them before they can build a nest then you will save yourself a lot of hassle later in the year.
Each Queen wasp could have upto 1000 wasps in her nest, so you can see that doing this one thing early in the year can make a big difference.
If you like you could make it yourself from a plastic bottle and some sugar water (just remember to empty it each day) – Click here for instructions.
Or you can buy a wasp trap from Amazon.
Use Peppermint Essential Oil
Wasps don’t like the smell of mint, and studies have shown that peppermint oil is a great repellent for wasps.
So you can get some peppermint oil or spearmint oil and put a few drops around your home and garden where wasps may build a nest.
This will stop wasps building nests in the same locations as the year before.
How To Remove a Wasp Nest
It is dangerous to remove a wasp nest and we recommend you find an experienced pest controller who has all the right tools to do the job.
If you are doing it yourself make sure you are not allergic and that you wear protective clothing.
Spray Soap and Water
Simply get a spray bottle and fill it with water and add a few tablespoons of fairy liquid.
Then in the evening or at night when the wasps are the most calm you will want to spray at the nest.
The way it works is the soap clogs the breathing so they die almost instantly.
If you have a larger nest you may want to use the garden hose again with some soap, just make sure to stand well back for your safety.
Call a Wasp Nest Removal Company
If you don’t want to tackle it yourself then you should call a wasp nest removal expert.
If you have a wasp problem in London then give us a call.
If you are outside of London then here are some of our friends
Stop That Pest
Aman Pest Control
Direct Pest Control
Are you looking for how to get rid of mice? –
We have made this infographic about mice pest control, you will see how.
Knowing where the mice came from is crucial to keeping them out and preventing them from coming back.
Mice Are Everywhere
Common house mice seem to be harmless, but they pose a big threat to homes and businesses.
Where do the mice hide?
House mice prefer undisturbed, warm dry places near food and water. Hiding place like kitchen cabinets, basements and garages are typical places they like to hide.
What are they looking for?
When mice make their way into your home or business, they are seeking shelter. Rodents will also scour your home in search of food and water.
Along the way, they will leave droppings and urine that can contaminate everything along their path.
How do mice get inside?
Mice can jump up to 12 inches. They are good climbers and can travel on surfaces like walls and pipes to enter the building.
The lifespan of house mice
House mice can live for over 1 year and sometimes up to 3 years in a house and they generally mate when they are 6 to 10 weeks old.
How do you keep mice out?
The most effective way to keep mice away from entering your home is to eliminate all possible entry point.
There are two primary mice extermination tactics which are baits and traps.
However, these strategies require special care when there are children and pets in your home.
You can reduce the mice population by keeping your pet food sealed in tight jars and keep tight-fitting lids on all your bins.
Remove clutter such as paper and cardboard because mice like to use these to build their nests.
Noticed any signs of mice?
If you have seen signs like droppings, gnaw marks then you may need to call a mouse control exterminator.