We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for our commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety.
Tortoise Attacked by Rat
The owner had put her tortoise ‘Mrs T’ in the garden shed to hibernate, where it was attacked by the rat. She found Mrs T on the lawn with injuries to her two front legs.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for rats to attack tortoises. Back in 2013 130-year-old Thomas, Britain’s oldest tortoise, died following a rat attack.
Rats & Mice
Pest controllers will no doubt be kept busy this winter with mice and rat populations on the increase and colder, wetter weather leading the rodents to search for warm and safe nesting places.
For information about rat control and mice control please click on the image below: Rodent control Colchester
Cockroaches Stay Put
Research has shown that once established, cockroaches like to stay within their own colonies and in the same geographic locations.
For information about controlling cockroaches please click on the image below: Cockroach control Ipswich
Wasp nest in a bed
Many pest professionals are reporting a better wasp season in 2014, although with some regional variation. Few will have come across such an enormous nest as the one pictured. It was discovered by a pest control technician in Hampshire. The wasps had completely taken over a single bed in a spare room.
For some information about wasp nest removal and wasp control please click image below: Wasp nest Ipswich
Attack of the fleas
According to the Daily Mail, experts are warning that warmer weather is causing an ‘explosion’ of fleas in homes. They reported that;
- Scientists from the British Pest Control Association are predicting an ‘explosion’ of flea activity in UK homes over the next few weeks
- Milder winters have seen flea populations swell
- Around 95% of fleas lie dormant in soft furnishings before hatching
- They can transmit diseases to pets and humans
- Under the right conditions, one flea can turn into 125,000 of the parasites within eight weeks, and it can bite a pet 400 times in a day
For some information about flea control please click image below: Flea control Ipswich
Surely everyone, except Pest Controllers, will be rejoicing over one strange side-effect of this summer – the lack of wasps. Although July is still early for wasps (they usually come out in force in August and September when there is plenty of fruit on the ground), there are still remarkably few around, which may be down to a delayed breeding season caused by dampness earlier in the year. When they do appear it can be in vast numbers. The largest wasps’ nests contain up to 10,000 workers, while a single common wasp queen can lay 50,000 eggs.
The BBC has commissioned a new TV series which will follow female pest controllers as they visit homes and businesses across the UK to deal with pest infestations. Can you help identify any pest problems that ‘The Ladykillers’ can tackle? If so please contact us with details!
Removal of wasp nests
Pest control news, the magazine for the pest control industry, has become aware of a number of cases of wasp nests being a significant source of other insect activity. Pest controllers would usually remove abandoned bird nests as they are a common source of insect activity in roof spaces. It is now being recommended that treated wasp nests should also be removed as an addition to normal pest control services.
For more information about wasp nest removal please click image below: Wasp Nest Removal Ipswich
Super Rats on TV
ITVs ‘Tonight’ programme will this Thursday 26th June 2014 run an episode with Super Rats on the agenda. Rather than the size of the rats, the emphasis will be on genetic mutation and rodenticide resistance.
For more information on rat control click here
Boost for Bee Health
New plans to help beekeepers protect their hives from pests and diseases to reduce bee population losses have been unveiled. Defra has outlined proposals which will help beekeepers to identify and manage pests such as the potentially devastating Varroa mite, considered the single greatest problem for beekeepers.
Advice on beekeeping can be found on the National Bee Unit’s BeeBase website which also contains a database which links apiarists with other nearby beekeepers to help track pests and disease that might be a problem in the area.
Click here for more information about living with bees
Hantavirus in the UK
Hantavirus is a risk to public health because it is the only rodent-borne disease in the UK that can be inhaled.
Following the report of Hantavirus in a male patient in Yorkshire in 2012, and the identification of the virus in rat populations on his farm, Public Health England (PHE) has been conducting further research in the region. In light of their findings they have now extended their research across the UK in order to identify how prevalent and widespread Hantaviruses are in the UK.
Click here for more information about rat control
BBC 4 broadcast an excellent programme exploring the amazing anatomy of insects and how that has led to their incredible success. It is available on BBC iPlayer until 5th May.
The programme was presented by Dr James Logan and Brendan Dunphy who revealed the extraordinary hidden world of insects by carrying out a complete insect dissection. Cutting-edge imaging technology showed the beauty and precision of the natural engineering inside even the simplest insects. Stripping back the layers, they uncovered ingenious body systems and finely-tuned senses – a bug body plan that is the hidden blueprint behind the ‘global domination’ of insects.
They also discovered how science is now using the secrets of insect anatomy to inspire technology that could save human lives.
For more information please click Insect Control Ipswich
Pest Control Measures in Schools
Schools should have policies on pest control containing the following control measures:
- Stop pests getting in with well-fitted doors, covered drains, fly screens or bird-netting;
- Look out for the evidence of the presence of pests including droppings, chew-marks on carpets and wiring, insect droppings and nests;
- A named member of staff should take on the role of pest control monitoring and liaise with the local authority environmental health officer;
- Adequate cleaning measures should be in place to avoid build up of animal and bird droppings which can be harmful to health.
Click here for more information on Pest Control in schools.
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Squirrels in schools:
Grey squirrels were introduced in this country during the 19th century; they now occupy most of the mainland of England and Wales. They are resident in woodland as well as urban parks and gardens.
The main threat from squirrels is that they enter roof spaces and chew woodwork, strip insulation from wiring and water pipes and drown in open water tanks causing contamination.
Professional vermin control contractors should be employed to deal with squirrels. Preventative measures should also be taken such as blocking gaps and entry holes with wire mesh and ensuring frequent inspection of roof spaces.
Click here for more information about squirrel control Ipswich
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Cockroaches in schools:
There are two types of cockroach found in the UK; the Oriental cockroach and the German cockroach. Cockroaches will feed on almost anything from food to faecal matter. They are commonly found in kitchens and heating systems. They prefer warm moist conditions and they reproduce rapidly; a German cockroach can produce up to 240 eggs per month.
They can spread bacteria and usually indicate that food preparation areas are not clean. Germs can be spread from the body of a cockroach from their droppings. They can carry dysentery, gastro-enteritis, typhoid and food poisoning organisms. Contamination occurs when the cockroaches come into contact with foodstuffs.
Click here for more information about cockroach control Ipswich
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Pigeon Control in schools:
Descended originally from the Wild Rock Dove (a cliff-face dweller) pigeons have adapted to urban environments and lack natural predators.
Pigeons can carry psittacosis which can cause respiratory illnesses and flu-like symptoms if humans are exposed to infected birds.
Local authorities are empowered to control and destroy pigeons if they pose a threat to public health. Other measures can be taken to prevent pigeons nesting such as wires on window sills and netting across open pathways and courtyards.
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Ants in schools:
The commonest species of ant is the black garden ant. A highly organised and social insect, a colony will nest and include worker ants which are attracted to sweet food stuffs.
Ants may cause contamination of food stuffs and preparation areas. Limited measures can be taken by facilities staff but professional pest control contractors should be brought in if large numbers of ants nests are found.
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Fleas in schools:
Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm-blooded animals. The females lay their eggs close to or on the infested animal. Wall-to-wall carpeting and soft furnishings also provide a relatively undisturbed environment for fleas to develop.
Fleas are not thought to transmit any serious illness to humans. Although not all people are affected by flea bites, they can cause severe irritation.
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Rats in schools:
Common rats live in any situation that provides food, water and shelter. The common rat is the most widespread of its species and is widely found in urban and rural areas. In homes they will live in loft spaces, wall cavities, cellars or under floorboards. In gardens they will burrow into compost heaps and grassy banks or under sheds. They are also commonly found living in sewer systems.
Their favourite foods are cereal products, although they will eat almost anything that humans eat.
Rats can transmit diseases to humans including Salmonellosis (food poisoning) and Weils disease.
Rats will eat or contaminate food intended for humans. It is estimated that up to 5% of food produced world-wide is lost as a result of rodent activity.
Rats can cause damage to buildings and other structures by gnawing and burrowing.
Vermin and Pest Control in Schools
Mice in schools:
House mice are considered amongst the most troublesome and economically damaging rodents in the UK. They nest in the ground or in any protected location in nests constructed of shredded fibrous materials such as paper. A female mouse produces 5-10 litters per year, averaging 5 mice per litter.
Mice contaminate food with their urine, droppings and hair and amongst the diseases they may transmit to humans are salmonellosis (food poisoning), ricket-sialpox and lympocytic choriomeningitis.
Mice also chew cables and wiring and this can cause short-circuiting and increase fire hazard.
Bumper year for mice and rat infestations
As winter approaches and rodents look to migrate indoors, thoughts typically turn to rats. However, mice can be a much more persistent pest and have become a somewhat forgotten problem. Mice are less visible, less obvious and deemed not to be as dirty or damaging as rats. Although, with one mouse able to produce over 30,000 droppings and 0.75 litres of urine a year, we shouldn’t forget mice pose a real threat to public health and hygiene.
Source: PPC73 November 2013
Pest Controllers in Ipswich – Fire!
Ipswich firefighters were stood down after a suspected blaze turned out to be a flat being fumigated by a team of Ipswich pest controllers.
Crews from Ipswich’s Princes Street and Colchester Road stations were called to a property in Wherstead Road, Ipswich, where members of the public reported seeing what they believed to be smoke from a fire.
Five fire engines turned up to find that it was a false alarm and that the Ipswich flat was being treated for a pest infestation with fumigation.
Source: East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich (July 2011)
Rat Problems Ipswich
Brown rats opportunistic behaviour helped the species to spread quickly.
Rats in Ipswich
Brown rats are among the most invasive mammals in Europe, according to a wide-ranging assessment.
Swiss researchers found that the creatures, along with sika deer and muskrats, were having the greatest ecological and economic impact.
The team considered a range of measurements, including the threats to native species and how widely the alien species had become established.
The findings have been published in the journal Conservation Biology.
Rat Control Ipswich
Brown rat: Brown rats are the scourge of many a farm and town. They are one of the most serious mammalian pests on the planet, spoiling grain and carrying disease, yet they remain one of the most successful. The secret of the brown rat’s success lies in its opportunistic way of life and extraordinary ability to reproduce, with a pair multiplying to 200 in just one year. They are also expert jumpers, climbers and swimmers to boot. Living in dark damp sewers and rubbish dumps does nothing for their reputation. Originating from Asia, brown rats rapidly colonised Europe in the early 18th century.
Scientific name: Rattus norvegicus
Common names: Brown Norway rat, Common rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat, Sewer rat, Wharf rat.
Poisonous False Widow Spiders Spreading Across UK
The noble false widow – Britain’s most venomous spider – is spreading across the UK with reports of sightings in London, Wales, Norfolk and Birmingham.
False Widow Spiders (Steatoda nobilis) are no bigger than a 20p piece but they have the worst bite out of every spider species in the UK.
They have a dark, shiny body with pale markings and cream band on their abdomen and are usually found in outbuildings.
They tend to be more commonly found in southern England and experts believe they arrived from the Canary Islands more than 100 years ago. It is thought they are now spreading further across the country due to climate change. There is growing concern as the number of victims rises.
A schoolboy was bitten in his sleep. He said he got a headache, his arm swelled up and he felt faint. “My arm went red raw and it was a burning sensation. And a pus blister formed on my arm” he said.
Experts say a bite from a noble false widow can cause serious allergic reactions, but they should not be confused with the much more venomous black widow spider. They only bite when provoked and tend to cause humans a bee sting type reaction, but some people can react far worse to it.
Rodent Fur ‘in Mexican Ketchup’
Brazilian health officials have banned a batch of Mexico-made Heinz ketchup after detecting traces of rodent fur.
Source: BBC News
Rat hitches a lift with frog
An man was surprised when he witnessed a frog rescue a rat who was stranded on debris in the middle of a pond in India. The frog swam over and allowed the rat to climb aboard his back before taking him to safety.
Source: The Mirror
For more stories like this go to Pest Control Blog
Plagues of Rats
A recently published report has warned that 15% of local authorities have discontinued their pest control services, and that this number is set to rise ‘considerably’.
The BPCA Chief Executive, Simon Forrester, told of fears of a big rise in rodent populations. ‘When councils stop providing a service either the local population do nothing, then the problem increases, or they will try and go down the DIY route. We are hearing of lots more cases where people are trying to tackle the problem themselves and setting lofts on fire or putting all sorts of stuff on their garden’.
In August experts blamed the long winter and glorious summer for a late wasp invasion, with a swarm blamed for almost killing a cocker spaniel that when into anaphylactic shock in Scotland. The BPCA said treatments for wasps in 2012 went up almost 7%.
Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use
Anticoagulant rodenticides used to kill rats and mice have been detected in many of our top predator wildlife species. Recent scientific research has shown that they now occur in over 80% of our barn owls who feed mainly on mice and rats. Other rodent-eating species such as kestrels, long eared owls, kites, buzzards as well as pine martens, stoats and foxes are all vulnerable too.
While pests such as mice and rats which can contaminate food and carry disease must be controlled, the rodenticide industry has recognised the need to protect and enhance wildlife. Poor pest control practice has a negative effect on wildlife.
The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) has been initiated to ensure that rodenticides are used correctly and in ways that minimise the exposure of wildlife.
Source: Pest Control News
UK Rat and Pest Call-out Hotspots
A new study by the BPCA has found that South Wales is a UK hotspot for rats and other pest call-outs. For rat problems, eight of the top 12 call-out rates were in South Wales.
Figures also showed more treatments were carried out per person in Wales than in any other part of the UK.
The City of London took the top spot per head of population.
Birmingham came top of the call-out table for rats, with 25.22 requests to deal with problems per 1000 residents.
Source: BBC News
We have seen a surge in hornet sightings around Ipswich, Woodbridge, Colchester and surrounding areas over the last couple of weeks. Let us know if you have seen any.
Following the death of Jonathan Peck on 15th September, the Board of Directors of Killgerm Group Ltd have met and unanimously agreed to confirm Peter Kitson as Chairman of the Board. In addition to his new responsibilities, Peter remains as Group Finance Director.
Commenting on the appointment, Peter said “It is with mixed feelings that I take on this role, on the one hand great sadness at the loss of our leader, Jonathan Peck, on the other great pride at the faith placed in me by Jonathan and the Board to take the helm and carry the Killgerm Group forward to even greater things. I gave a promise that the direction and ethos of the company will not change and I intend to fulfil this promise to best of my ability with the support of the great team we have here.”
Wasp Nests Still Active
Unusually for the time of year we are still receiving requests for wasp nest removals and wasp nest treatments in the Ipswich area. Today we are treating a wasps nest in Little Bealings, near Woodbridge.
Loss to Pest Control Industry
The news that Jonathan Peck lost his battle with cancer on Sunday 16 September was received by both the staff team and Executive Board with great sadness. There’s little we can tell you about Jonathan that you probably don’t already know, either first hand or just from being part of the pest control community – his professionalism, his passion for the industry and his vision and drive.
Copyright 2013 British Pest Control Association
What is the difference between a flea and a wolf?
One howls on the prairie and the other prowls on the hairy!
What is a flea?
Fleas are the insects forming the order Siphonaptera. They are wingless, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds.
Wasp nest news
So far this season we have had wasp nests on roofs, wasp nests in eaves, wasp nests behind soffits, wasp nests in lofts, wasp nests in porches, wasp nests above windows, wasp nests in walls, wasp nests in ceilings, wasps eating ceilings, wasp nests underground, wasp nests in shrubs, wasp nests in clematis, wasp nests in sheds and many cases of mistaken identity (eg; bees nest in bird box, bees nest in garden shed). Wasp nests removals have taken place all over Ipswich, Harkstead, Holbrook, Chelmondiston, Woolverstone, Shotley, Erwarton, Brantham, Stutton, East Bergholt, Dedham, Manningtree, Kesgrave, Rushmere, Martlesham and Woodbridge. We have also carried out wasp nest treatments in Nacton, Barham, Claydon, Bentley, Copdock, Washbrook, Great Blakenham, Ashbocking, Falkenham, Trimley, Felixstowe, Bramford, Burgh, Grundisburgh and Otley.
And we are off – wasps nests across Suffolk
Today we have dealt with wasp nests in and around Ipswich, Needham Market, Nacton, Fressingfield (near Eye) and Melton (near Woodbridge). Strangely no wasps nests on the Essex side of the border as yet.
Wasps nest, Ipswich
And another wasp nest in Ipswich!
So wasp season has arrived. We have this evening removed another wasp nest, this time from a cottage in Harkstead, Ipswich. Despite suspicions that it may be another false alarm of the bumble bee nest variety, upon inspection it really was wasps. The wasp nest, which was relatively small due to the late start of the wasp season, has now been safely treated and removed.
Wasps Nest, Ipswich.
First Wasp Nest in Ipswich!
Finally – we have today received a genuine wasp nest enquiry from a customer in Capel St Mary, between Ipswich and Colchester. After many false starts (bees, the usual prelude to wasp nest season) Mrs D will today have a wasp nest in her loft treated and removed by Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions.
How many more to follow?
Wasp nest, Ipswich
Waiting for Wasps in Ipswich, Manningtree and Colchester
For the British public 2012 was the year of the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics. However, pest controllers remember that cool, wet summer when the number of wasp nest treatments fell by up to 90%.
Now, the big question is ‘Will the wasp population recover in 2013?’. Only time will tell, but whether we treat 5 or 500 wasp nests we still need to follow good practice.
More information about our wasp nest services can be found on our Pest Control Blog
Wasp Nest Removal Ipswich
We have still had no requests to remove wasp nests from homes or businesses in Essex and Suffolk so far this year. The weather is improving so perhaps you will be the first? If you require a wasp nest removal in Ipswich, Colchester, Manningtree or surrounding areas of Essex or Suffolk give us a call.
Wasp Nest News
Still no new wasp nests reported in Essex or Suffolk so far this year. A couple of dead wasp nests have been removed from homes and gardens in Ipswich and Colchester, but it seems like the wasp season is going to be late again this year. To all our customers in Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Manningtree, Stowmarket, Clacton and beyond – please keep us posted!
Image: Wasp Nest in Roof
Wasp Nest News
Has anybody in Essex or Suffolk found their first wasp nest of the season yet? We are waiting to hear from our customers in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, Manningtree, Clacton, Colchester and beyond. First person to request a wasp nest removal via this newsfeed will get 10% off their wasp nest removal, so keep us posted!
Let us know where and when you spot your first wasp of the season. Will it be in Ipswich, Manningtree, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Colchester? Essex or Suffolk first? The game is on!
Invasion of Rats
Freezing weather conditions have led to an increase in rats entering homes in Ipswich, it has emerged.
Ipswich Borough Council says it noticed a 32% increase in requests for help in ridding the rodents in the first week of 2009 compared to the first week of 2008.
The council says because of the cold weather, rats are looking for food sources as well as warm places to live.
Steve Rock, environmental protection manager, said “Rats have been on the move, people have seen them more and reported them and therefore we have the increase. But it does not mean the population of rats has suddenly exploded, it just means that they are moving around more. They are seeking places inside and they are looking for more food and being a bit more innovative in where they are looking.”
A council spokesman added; “We recognise that many people will have had extra waste to dispose of over the Christmas period and it would be helpful if residents could ensure that any food waste is kept in lidded bins.” If householders in and around Ipswich think they have a problem with rats, get professional help.
Evening Star, 12.1.09
Wasp Nest Ipswich
Animal control officer attacked by wasps
A senior animal control officer in New Zealand needed medical treatment after being stung by wasps dozens of times.
The incident happened last week after about three wasp nests were disturbed while a group of 19 stray cows were being led to a safe area.
As the officers and cows walked casually down a track “all of a sudden wasps came from everywhere”.
One of the officers, walking behind the cows, was badly attacked and received “dozens” of stings.
The officer called to her colleagues for assistance. They were stung as well but not as badly.
“Paramedics came and assessed all three of them.”
The female victim received medical treatment and the three officers were sent home to recover.
Extra council staff later manned the track and advised anyone using the track about the danger until all three wasp nests were exterminated.
By David Haxton of the Kapiti News
We are now proud RVM (Recommended, Vetted & Monitored) members of checkatrade.com. Members are interviewed and vetted via trade and customer references, then through public comment are monitored for quality workmanship and service. An up to date appraisal of Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions Ltd can be obtained via 0800 028 2294.
Wasp season around corner?
How many wasp nests will we be clearing this summer around Essex & Suffolk?
2012 saw an exceptionally quiet wasp season due to extreme weather conditions.
The majority of nests cleared were in the Ipswich area, closely followed by Colchester, Felixstowe and Beccles/Leiston. In Suffolk, Stowmarket suffered fewer wasp nests. In Essex, Bishops Stortford and Basildon had the least wasp nests.
We were also called out to deal with Hornet nests and attended to treat wasp problems that turned out to be bees.
Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions on Facebook
You can now find us on Facebook as E.S.Pest.Solutions.
Please visit and ‘like’ our page for interesting information, stories and competitions.
The Problem with Rats
Rats – a rising problem
Main Culprit – The Norway Rat
Health Problems – Contamination & wastage, damage to properties and materials
Evidence sows that the rat population in the UK has been steadily increasing. Almost all the rats found in rural areas are Norway AKA Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus). This is in spite of the fact that they are not always brown and they have no particular affinity with Norway.
We had moth problems in our property in Fressingfield, near Eye, Suffolk Treatment operator arrived at the agreed to time. Very professional gave great instructions as to what to expect and the timing to complete the treatment. All aspects of the treatment were and carried out with care and speed. Would we use the company again………..Absolutely.
Barry Dixon, Fressingfield, Eye, Suffolk
Arachnophobic Pest Controller faces Black Widow Spider
A pest-control expert had to confront his arachnophobia to remove a venomous female black widow spider and her eggs from a local business in East Anglia. Staff called pest controllers for help saying they had trapped “a nasty looking spider” under a glass tumbler. The spider was removed and about 100 spiderlings later hatched.
The Pest Control Officer said: “I really don’t like spiders so I was a bit shaky.” and added “She was quite actively crawling round the glass and I had to coax her into one of our insect jars while making sure not to get bitten. The egg sac only hatched this morning – I turned around and saw black widow spiders crawling around the container.”
The arachnophobic Pest Control Officer tattooed a spider on his arm as form of self-help therapy. He said “The tattoo was my own way of dealing with them as it’s not good for a grown man to scream at a spider.”
It is thought the spider hitched a ride in a shipping container from Texas. A pesticide was used to kill any other spiders at the location.
The female black widow spider is about 1.5in (38mm) long and can live up to three years in the wild.
BBC News Nov 2012
Bed Bug Battle Continues
Bed bugs have been the single most talked about pest for many years, yet from the technical presentations made during the USA’s flagship event PestWorld last Autumn we still have a great deal to learn about them.
From his own practical experience Dr Stephen Kells, from the University of Minnesota, noted that certain items used by people proved attractive to bed bugs. In particular, items which had had at least eight hours of human contact encouraged the bed bugs to move towards them and hide.
Examples quoted were shoes and the armpits of clothing. This behaviour raises the likelihood of bed bugs hitching a ride to form new colonies elsewhere – maybe part of the answer to their rapid spread.
It also poses the question as to how householders should deal with dirty laundry – the common habit of lobbing clothes all over the bedroom is heaven-sent for bed bug spread. Placing worn items in sealed bags is therefore recommended.
Source: Pest Magazine, Jan & Feb 2013
Difficult to predict 2013 Wasp Season
Wasp population levels in 2012 were at their lowest since WaspBane bagan monitoring wasp populations in 2001. Gales followed by cold and wet conditions lead to high numbers of queen mating failures. It is hoped that the number of surviving queens will improve helping to restore wasp population numbers in 2013, but generally speaking there is an expectation of another low wasp season.
Wasp Watch 2013
Revised Bed Bug Code Released
Following extensive consultation with all interested parties, version two of the European Code of Practice (ECoPv2) for bed bug management has been released by the Bedbug Foundation. This follows the intial launch of version one back in May 2011.
Mole Catcher UK
You can now find Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions on Mole Catcher UK.
We can stop those pesky moles destroying lawns, paddocks and fields in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Manningtree, Colchester, Stowmarket and beyond so don’t hesitate to contact us.
Bed Bugs Love Midnight Snacks
Bed Bugs – how they got here, how they can be eradicated and how to prevent them.
What Do They Do?
At night, they come out to feed. And they feed on us; they eat skin and blood. The bugs don’t carry diseases, but people who are highly sensitive to them will get rashes. The combination of darkness and a quiet host – say a person sleeping in bed, or in a chair – is what stirs the bed bugs into activity. In the daytime, they hide, usually near the bed.
How Did Bed Bugs Get Here?
Bed bugs were common in the UK years ago, but years of spraying – and even overspraying – pesticides such as DDT eradicated them. However, they’re now making a comeback, brought back unawares by an increasing number of overseas travellers to a nation that’s banned DDT and cut back on the use of other pesticides.
How Do They Travel From Home To Home?
Among the biggest ways bed bugs travel is in mattresses or chairs – such as when a homeowner or tenant puts out an infested piece of furniture in the rubbish for bulk pickup, and someone else sees it and takes it home. They can also be transported on clothes and in bags and suitcases.
How Is An Infested Home Treated?
Eradication is difficult and almost impossible by chemical means. A combination of spray insecticides as well as steam needs to be used in order to get the highest success rate.
In the most stubborn cases, your Pest Control Company may resort to putting all of a home’s contents in a chamber – a rented trailer – and pump in the gases and steam. It also means that while the furniture is gone, pest control technicians can hit the rest of the building with the insecticides. Vacuuming also keeps them down.
How Do You Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Your Home?
Never buy a used mattress; that’s an invitation to disaster. Buy a mattress that still has the new tags and seals on it. And be nervous about buying a used upholstered chair. In addition, when travelling to hotels, carefully inspect the room and bed for signs of bed bugs before unpacking your bag.
How Can You Find Them?
Everybody should do their own inspections – mattresses, chairs, cushions. They like to hide in or near the bed, and possibly in or near a chair. Look in the tiny spaces, say in the fold at the edge of a mattress, or between a cushion and the piping around it. Also look for the bed bugs themselves or look for little brown specks; that’s their droppings. Check the draperies and the carpeting.
‘Thank you so much for sorting out our recent rat problem. I can’t believe how wonderful it is not to hear the rat gnawing, scratching and running around in the loft at night.
I know this rat problem was a bit of a difficult one to solve, but we would like to thank you for your determination and professionalism throughout your visits and ridding us of the rat.’
Mr & Mrs K, Chelmondiston, near Ipswich, Suffolk.
Rats blamed for massive fire
It is thought rats are to blame for a huge fire that destroyed three coaches and three minibuses at a coach company operations centre.
The land is said to be owned by a farmer who rents plots out to businesses and individuals.
The fire destroyed six out of the 11 vehicles on the Barfoot and Sons plot at around 17.45 on Saturday, and residents said they saw 40ft flames after hearing an ‘explosion’. There was initial concern that smoke from the fire would be blown across to the M27 motorway, but fire-fighters managed to get it under control, and remained at the site for about four hours.
Steve Barfoot, director of the family coach and minibus hire firm, told the Daily Mail: “If it’s down to rodents, it is frustrating such a small animal caused so much damage and devastation.”
Our house in Claydon near Ipswich had a wasp’s nest in the eve’s of the house and there were hundreds of wasps! We called Essex & Suffolk pest solutions and they came and gave a prompt, friendly and efficient service and most importantly dealt with the nest. Would recommend highly and definitely use again in the future.
With a five-year-old and a toddler running the gauntlet of an angry-looking late-Summer wasps’ nest over the front door we had to take action. Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions could not have been more efficient or helpful. We also learned more than we ever thought there was to learn about the pesky wasps. Many thanks!
John Fairhall, Holbrook, near Ipswich, Suffolk.
Did you know?
- Alberta, Canada prides itself on being free of brown rats, following an aggressive 50-year pest-control programme.
- The Province claims to have saved an estimated $1bn in property damage, livestock losses, human suffering and healthcare, as well as lost and contaminated food.
- Possession of an unlicensed rat is punishable by fine or jail sentence; only zoos, hospitals and research labs are allowed to keep caged rats.
Very prompt in attending and dealing with a wasps nest over my kitchen window Sept 2012. Friendly and helpful, with clear advice given on what to do after their visit. I was impressed by their approach and the service I received. Would recommend to anyone and everyone I know.
Claire Crosbie, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Are you never more than 6ft away from a rat?
The old adage has it that we’re never more than six feet away from a rat – but how was this worked out, and is it true?
It’s a saying that seems almost deliberately contrived to get a reaction, but isn’t’t exactly clear where the adage comes from.
It may derive from the form Ministry of Agriculture, suggests rodent expert Prof Rob Smith from the University of Huddersfield. They circulated many public health announcements to promote hygiene in homes.
It is also associated with another commonly quoted statistic, that the population of rats outnumbers the population of humans.
‘This statistic is ritually used in news stories about rats and has been for more than 100 years’, says Robert Sullivan author of Rats: A Year with New York’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants.
The one rat per person rule seems to come from a 1909 book entitled The Rat Problem by WR Boelter. In it he conducted a survey where he asked people in the English countryside whether it was reasonable to say that there was one rat per acre of land.
‘In the end he made an educated guess’ says Sullivan. ‘There were 40 million cultivated acres of land in England at the time so he concluded there were 40 million rats. It just happened that the population of the UK in 1909 was also about 40 million.’
So just how many rats are there in the UK?
Dr Dave Cowan, leader of the wildlife programme at the Food and Environment Research Agency, has analysed previous studies to try to estimate a total population.
‘Rats are almost completely commensal in Britain, (meaning) they’re associated with human activities. That gives us a start because we only really need to think about how many rats there might be living in close proximity to ourselves’.
‘It’s pretty rare that rats are inside our dwellings. Less than half a per cent of dwellings have rats’ he says.
In those cases ‘it would be just a couple of rats’.
A better figure to take is the number of dwellings that have rats outside, in the garden or driveway or compost heap and so on, Cowan suggests. ‘Around 3% of our dwellings have rats present outside. We can come up with a figure of 1.5 million rats in total in Britain in or around our homes’.
The next place they are likely to live is in commercial premises like warehouses, factories and shops.
‘There are about 1.8 million commercial premises in Britain. A survey suggested around 5% of those commercial premises had rats present. Again, each presence was a relatively small number of animals. The total estimate for the number of rats in and around commercial premises is around 200,000’.
Then we have the place most of us associate with rats – the sewers.
‘This is a bit tricky to estimate’ says Cowan. ‘There is an estimate of 16,000 square kilometres of sewers in Britain. And around 5% of the sewers have rats present.’
‘In the 1950s people were allowed to go down and count rats in the sewers. From that work we had an estimate of around 2,000 rats per square kilometre of sewer’.
If you multiply those two figures you get a figure of around 1.6 million rats in sewers, and a total of 3.3 million rats in urban environments.
‘That’s the streetwise, urban rats – between 3 and 3.5 million in total’ says Cowan.
But then there’s also rats in rural habitats. ‘That is mainly reflecting rats in and around agricultural buildings, on farms, where they have got lots of food and shelter’ says Cowan.
‘There are around 200,000 agricultural premises in Britain. Various surveys suggest that around 40% of those premises will have rats present. We actually have pretty good census data for the average numbers of rats on each of those farms where rats are present’.
The figure works out to be about 90 rats per farm. Do the multiplication and you get an estimate of about seven million rural rats. This would give you a total estimate of 10.5 million rats in the UK.
Given the human population is around 60 million, we actually outnumber rats by six to one.
The maths for working out the average distance to a rat is a bit rough and ready because rodents are not evenly spread.
It makes sense to discount all the rats on farms, because the phrase is most often used about cities. That leaves us with about 3.1 million urban rats.
Urban areas in the UK cover around 16,000 square kilometres. If we distribute the rats evenly across the urban areas, which is clearly unlikely but necessary for the calculation, each rat has a rather spacious 5,000 square metres to roam around in.
Assuming you’re standing at a given spot in an urban area you would be at most 164ft (50m) away from a rat.
Saying you’re always 164ft away from a rat doesn’t have quite as much of a fear factor as 6ft away, but it’s much more of a realistic estimate.
By Charlotte Pritchard, BBC News
Rat in Operating Theatre
Operations at a hospital were cancelled after a rat was found in an operating theatre. Pest controllers were called into the hospital and as a result, about 40 operations had to be cancelled.
‘Eradicate the problem’ – Director of Operations at the hospital said she was shocked to learn evidence of a rodent had been found in an operating theatre. She said ‘As soon as we became aware of this fact the following morning, we immediately took steps to thoroughly clean the area and called in external pest control experts to eradicate the problem’.
Rats can spread salmonella and carry the potentially fatal Weil’s disease. BBC News 6 November 2012
It’s Cluster Fly Season!
Cluster flies are one of the most annoying flies found in homes during the cool seasons. They can also be pests in office buildings especially the upper floors. Cluster flies are larger than house flies.
The habits of cluster flies are also very different from other common domestic flies. Immature stages develop as a parasite of earthworms. Eggs are laid in soil, and the maggots enter and feed on earthworms. Cluster flies do not feed on garbage or animal manure.
In late summer, cluster flies seek overwintering shelter and fly to buildings in the afternoons and rest on sun exposed areas. As the sun sets, the flies seek out cracks and other openings into the building and move to the upper floors and loft. When temperatures are cool cluster flies remain dormant, but on sunny, warm days in the autumn and winter these flies become active. It may seem that they are invading the house from outside, but outside temperatures are too cold.
A Mouse in your House?
Autumn is prime time for mouse encounters. It’s getting cold outside, so in they come where it’s not only warm and toasty, but there’s also a 24-hour buffet being served.
While voles and shrews can wander in, too, it’s less likely. Voles are more interested in vandalising trees and shrubs outside. And shrews need to devour three times their body weight a day, which for us would be like wolfing down a couple hundred large pepperoni pizzas. So unless your house is well stocked with the kinds of things they like – slugs, spiders, anything dead or alive (including each other) – they don’t stick around long.
Mostly, it’s the Mus musculus, or the common house mouse you’ll be dealing with. And are they ever grateful. You give them food and shelter; they give you chocolate sprinkles in your silverware drawer. However, it’s what you can’t see that’s even more revolting – they lack bladder control. And they “go” constantly, whizzing their way across floors, counters and cutting boards.
Mole Populations Soar Across Britain
Mole populations are soaring across Britain and the explosion in numbers has left traditional molecatchers struggling to keep up. Experts say exact numbers for Britain’s moles are difficult to calculate but the most recent estimate is 33 million. However, pest controllers say the number could be as high as 40 million.
Molecatchers are reporting a growing number of call-outs, as despairing gardeners try to get rid of the pests.
The increase is being attributed to the combined effects of a ban on the use of strychnine, a popular DIY extermination method, and the foot and mouth epidemic, which prevented pest controllers and molecatchers from travelling to rural areas for months and left mole populations free to expand unchecked.
A local molecatcher has been inundated with requests from farmers and gardeners. “It’s seven days a week – it’s been completely crazy.”
Bernard Hogarth called in a trapper when a paddock he owns was invaded. “I levelled the ground and planted the grass and then, all of a sudden, these little eruptions started to appear. And soon they weren’t so little. Now there are around 25 molehills and some of them are a foot high.”
Farmer Roy Lunn said moles were a threat to his farm. “The fields are a mess. It’s not good for farm machinery and all the soil they throw up ruins good hay,” he said. “We’ve always had moles but this year has been different; our molecatcher got 85 in one go.”
David Wembridge, of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, said “I know gardeners may be upset if their lawns are disturbed but moles can be useful too. They are insectivores and their diet could include such common nasties as cockchafer larvae and wire worms which can do an awful lot of damage to plants.”
Before the 2006 ban on strychnine the Government estimates more than 3,000 farmers and landowners would have poisoned the moles themselves. Now they must choose between pest control or leaving the moles to it.
Are cat flea infestations increasing? Your views sought:
Is there any truth in media reports of a cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) epidemic this summer and, if cat flea infestations are increasing, what’s the cause? We’d like your help to answer these and other flea-related questions.
BBC Radio 4’s consumer programme You and Yours has been flooded with reports of cat flea infestations following its broadcast on this topic last month. Articles have also appeared in the national press and on the BBC News website, with some of the pest control forums taking up the story too.
Some are putting the increase down to two mild, wet summers which, combined with well insulated houses and relatively mild winters, have allowed populations to thrive. Others suggest that it’s the rise of online sales of flea treatment products which has meant that pet owners now often bypass vets and the advice that they can give on tackling flea problems. Yet others are putting the increase down to a rise in resistance to some of the most commonly applied treatments?
Dr Tim Nuttall, veterinary dermatologist at the University of Liverpool, has no doubt that fleas have been increasing, at least over the past five years and particularly over the last two. He says that while resistance is an inevitable part of evolution, the current problem largely appears to be pet owners not properly applying treatments.
So what is going on? Not that long ago, flea treatments were a significant part of a pest controller’s workload, but, with the introduction of spot-on veterinary medicine products, like Frontline, the amount of flea work being done has declined. Is it now on the rise again? We’d like to know if you’ve seen any increase in the incidence of fleas and whether you’ve experienced any problems in treating them. Please add your comments at the bottom of this newsfeed.
Bed bugs feature on BBC Radio 4 programme:
The problems with bed bugs once again hit the national headlines during a 12 minute slot on this leading UK consumer radio programme.
In the piece the whole topic of bed bugs got a good airing – one the professional pest control industry would be pleased with. For example, at the very end Dr James Logan from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) was asked if householders could deal with an infestation of bed bugs themselves. He firmly said this was a job for the professionals.
The programme interviewed the following:
- Mike Flynn, a Pest Controller from Preston. He described the problem and took the reporter (John Neal) to an infested house to see the problem at first-hand;
- Iain Turner from the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) who explained how some people were sensitive to bites, as he is, whereas others are not;
- Dr James Logan from LSHTM who detailed the reported 30% rise of infestations in London and the medical significance of this pest;
- Toby Fountain from Sheffield University who described some of the work he is currently undertaking regarding bed bug DNA fingerprinting.
Wasps washed out?
There has been a fraction of wasp nests around Essex and Suffolk this year leading to a drop in demand to around 10% of those treated last year.
The mild weather of the very early spring period encouraged Queen wasps to emerge early from hibernation. This followed by a very wet and cold April and May had a detrimental effect on the Queen wasps that had commenced their nest building, and may also have affected many Queen wasps still in their hibernation cocoons. The consequence has been that the wasp population in terms of the number of wasp nests has been very small this summer.
We have found that the majority of wasp nests we have treated this year have been attached to houses, as opposed to in the ground, which can only be put down to the wetter weather.
Most wasp treatments that we have carried out this summer have been around inland areas such as Ipswich, Colchester, Manningtree, Stowmarket and Witham with fewer in more coastal regions such as Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Harwich and Clacton.
We have also noticed that the majority of the wasp population this summer seem to be made up of the European wasp variety, also known as the German wasp (vespula germanica) as opposed to the Common wasp (vespula vulgaris).
However, it’s not all bad for Pest Controllers as the humid periods of more recent months have lead to a huge increase in the flea population. Fleas seem to be everywhere, from Chelmsford and Braintree to Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and beyond.
They were really helpful and friendly when I rang and dealt with my problem ever so quickly. I would definitely use them again.