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Do you think cockroaches are only likely to trouble you on holiday? You might want to think again…

cockroachesSurprising as it may seem cockroaches can be a problem in the United Kingdom. There is no doubting these infamous insects prefer a more temperate climate but some hardy species of the cockroach family are happy to tough it out in the colder reaches of Europe.

There are two main types of cockroach found in England – the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach.

While the sight and sound of an intrusion of cockroaches is certainly responsible for the general dislike and fear they are greeted with it is their capability to spread disease that people should be most concerned about.

These insects feed on just about anything, shedding their skins and spreading droppings as they go. As such the risk of contamination is high – and their very presence can trigger allergies and asthma.

Where do cockroaches live?

The Oriental cockroach can withstand outside temperatures so there is a chance this could be found in refuse area, but otherwise cockroaches generally head for shelter.

Areas with moisture are particularly popular such as kitchens, bathrooms and pipe work as well as basements.

Once they have found a place to make their homes cockroaches can multiply quickly, laying eggs that can produce up to 50 cockroaches in a short time. This is why cockroaches are seen as such as serious pest.

Signs to look out for:

  • Smell – cockroaches cause an unpleasant smell
  • Droppings – these look like ground coffee or can be cylindrical
  • Shed skin

As cockroaches thrive in such large numbers of you spot one, it is likely there are more so the first step is to try to spot more.

In the unfortunate event of discovering cockroaches in your property call in pest control experts immediately as the problem will only get worse.

Protect yourself

To keep cockroaches out of your property it is wise to keep your house clean and in good repair. As applies to all household pests, be vigilant when dealing with food scraps and make sure they are promptly cleared up and thrown away into a closed container.

Make sure small entrance to the home such as broken brickwork, tiles or seals are repaired and keep kitchen areas clean – including floors.

If you are concerned you might have a cockroach infestation at your property get in touch with Pest Busters today.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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Good neighbours can make all the difference when it comes to a happy home – but what if your neighbours are pests? Yes we mean real pests –what if sitting on the other side of the garden fence is a colony of rats, a wasp’s nest or an out of control insect infestation?

mouse in hole in wall

Obviously if the concern is in your own home dealing with a pest problem is far more straightforward and can be dealt with on your terms.  The best choice in the event of a serious infestation is to call in pest control experts, however, if the problem is at your neighbour’s home that is not something you can force them to do.

Check they know there is a pest problem

So where does that leave you? Hopefully your neighbour will also not want to share their home with pests so it is best to raise the issue with them politely. Let them know that you have spotted rats in their garden, or are concerned there could be a wasp’s nest.

In the case of rats it could be that a lone rat has been spotted in the garden looking for food. However, if multiple rats have been spotted there is a good chance they are making their home in the garden.

There is every chance that if your neighbour is aware of the problem they have already taken advice, if they were not aware, hopefully once the issue is flagged up they will call in pest control experts.

Time to call in the council

However, some neighbours can be awkward about domestic issues. If you meet with resistance and are absolutely sure your neighbour has a rat problem that is not being dealt with you need to contact your local authority, which should send an environmental health officer to inspect.

This also applies to wasps nests, although this may need to be in a position where it is considered a danger to people.

In the case of rats coming into your home when you believe the source of the infestation to be a neighbour, this also needs to be dealt with by the home owner as regardless of what measures you take, if you fail to tackle the source of the pest problem it will persist.

If you have any concerns about a pest problem contact Pest Busters today.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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Many household pests are attracted by dirt – more specifically food waste – so a good way to keep bugs at bay is by blitzing the house with a new year super clean.

wasp spray

While most people don’t relish the thought of cleaning the house, it is essential to maintain a certain standard of living. The key is to keep on top of things by getting into a few good daily habits – then making it a once-a-year mission to complete a ‘deep clean’.

Here are our top tips for a new year clean to keep pests out:

 

Make a clean kitchen a top priority

Kitchens hold a big attraction for household pests with all that food being stored, crumbs left on the floor, a water supply and the potential for damp. Use the new year to get rid of unwanted food and to wipe down the inside of cupboards used for storage.

Make sure the cooker and microwave are spick and span and free of food debris then tackle the floor. Vacuum around corners, into crevices and behind bins to get rid of any dropped food then thoroughly mop the area.

Use the opportunity to check the seals on your sinks are in good working order and will not allow access for any pests and fix any leaks – damp areas are havens for some pests.

Floor any potential pests

Carpets can be a great hiding pace for food crumbs and household pests. While the floors probably get vacuumed regularly this is the time to leave no stone unturned.

Pull the furniture out, vacuum behind the TV and use attachments to target dust and mites that might be hiding out by skirting boards or on curtains.

Flush out bathroom germs

Like the kitchen, bathrooms have the potential to provide a damp haven for pests. Clear out under the sink and give every surface a thorough clean then double check for leaks or broken seals.

Blitz the bedroom

No-one wants to think of bugs visiting their bedrooms so keeping the area scrupulously clean is the way forward.

Sort out unwanted clothes and secure anything that will not be used for sometime in a sealed bag to avoid carpet beetles. Clear out under the bed and vacuum thoroughly then give the mattress the same treatment to send any undesirables on their way.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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insect eating foodTiny bugs sharing our Christmas treats? It’s not something that we like to think about but it could be a problem all the same as insects can infest stored food.

Being aware of the problem and knowing how to spot the signs of stored product insects is the first line of defence – and will hopefully help you to keep those Christmas treats all to yourself.

Being alert to the signs of stored product insects will allow you to take early action and nip the problem in the bud before the insect infestation spreads.

What insects are found in stored food?

In the United Kingdom stored product insects are generally beetles weevils, silver fish and moths.

Most of the insects are minute with beetles and weevils measuring around 3-4mm, flour mites are just 0.5mm, while moths can be up to 9mm.

These little critters are brought into warehouses, factories and bakeries inside bags of grain and flour.

However, they can also be found in products such as nuts and dried fruit.

They can be a serious problem if found in a commercial operation as infected produce will need to be thrown away. Business owners will also need to thoroughly clean the area – and apply insecticide to ensure the insects have been removed – this should be done by a professional pest control firm.

Within the house stored product insects cause similar problems albeit on a much smaller scale. At the sight of a brown fleck moving in your flour, holes in packing, damaged food or silken webbing in the kitchen it is time act – and quickly.

The faster the response to stored product insect infestations the easier the situation will be to manage and to contain the amount food affected.

What to do

Remove all affected food – this could be sugar, flour, breakfast cereals, dried meat and dried fruit. Follow up by comprehensively cleaning the entire cupboard, including cracks and joins. Make sure the kitchen is as clean as possible.

A pest control company will be able to ensure the removal of insects and can treat the affected area.

For advice on tackling insect infestations contact Pest Busters.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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Carpet beetles – they sounds like pretty serious invaders, but if you are picturing substantial shiny black visitors think again.

carpet

Measuring just 3mm – these textile-loving insects are miniscule and coloured white and black.

On account of their tiny stature, they are also incredibly difficult to spot.

Should you be unlucky enough to suffer an infestation of carpet beetles it is far more likely that you will notice the signs of your unwelcome visitors before you manage to spot a carpet beetle itself.

These small insects make their way into homes through unsealed entrances – think drafty window seals, open doors and settle down to work eating away at (more than likely) your soft furnishings.

A common household pest

Fans of natural fibres, carpet beetles feast on textiles for the protein keratin and are a common household pest.

Adult carpet beetles are mainly active through the summer from May to August when they will lay their eggs – usually under skirting boards, in wardrobes and under furniture.

When these eggs become larvae they will hide away, munching away on whatever textile is at hand – be that your carpet, furniture or stored blankets or clothing.

Tell-tale signs that carpet beetles have made themselves at home in your house include holes left in materials, faeces, and shed skins. They can also cause skin irritation similar to that caused by bed bugs.

Take action

The best way to avoid an infestation is to pack clothes away carefully in air tight bags and to maintain a clean home – vacuuming regularly.

Should you discover an infestation, vacuuming the area thoroughly will help. However, carpet beetles can be very difficult to get rid of so consider calling a pest control expert in who can treat the area with insecticide.

If you are concerned you may have a problem with carpet beetles contact Pest Busters.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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wood

Make no mistake about woodworm, it is a pest – and you will certainly know they’ve been making themselves at home thanks to their destructive nature.

Woodworm are actually beetle larvae, and as they make their way towards becoming a fully-fledged beetle they spend a lot of time munching through wooden structures.

Seemingly attracted to damp wood, beetles lay their eggs on the wood and as these form into larvae they feed on the material.

Once having found a good damp wooden base, beetles will perpetuate the cycle as the new adults choose the same spot to lay their eggs, which go on to cause more destruction.

Signs of woodworm

So how do you know you have a woodworm problem?

  • Giveaway holes bored into the wood
  • Fine dust around the holes
  • Beetles around the area
  • Crumbling edges of the wooden item
  • Dead beetles in the area

Taking action as soon as possible after spotting the signs of a woodworm infestation is vital as the effects of them boring through the wood can weaken structures.

One problem with woodworm is that the infestation can often not be seen if the exit holes are not visible.

How to get rid of woodworm

The most commonly used method of getting rid of woodworm is to spray the affected area with an insecticide. This will need to be done by an expert, who will thoroughly check the affected area to see the extent of the infestation and whether it is still active.

Treatment with insecticide is quick and effective, however if there is an underlying reason for the woodworm infestation, such as damp, this will need to be fixed to avoid the problem happening again.

If you are concerned that you may have woodworm at your property, or would like more advice about insect control, please contact Pest Busters for advice.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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fruit fly

The fruit fly – it spreads its wings far and wide inhabiting all the continents of the world, being a pest wherever it goes. The big problem with fruit flies is their astounding capability to infest buildings – be it a home, restaurant or business. Almost microscopic at 3mm long, fruit flies are drawn to over-ripe fruit and vegetables that might be found in kitchens or dustbins.

While fruit flies are not directly harmful to humans, they will visit unclean areas and can carry dangerous bacteria, which they can then leave behind.

The very worst thing about fruit flies is their stomach-churning capacity to multiply.  The females lay their eggs on fermenting fruit and vegetables, then within just 24 hours they can hatch into maggots. This is certainly not a scenario you want in your kitchen or workplace.

What can be done to get rid or fruit flies and to stop them visiting in the first place?

The best way to avoid fruit flies paying a visit is to avoiding leaving overripe fruit and vegetables out – they also like alcohol so keep the bottle stop in!

Keeping the kitchen area clean and bins emptied should also help to discourage them. In the event that you do suffer from an infestation, throw away any food that may have attracted the fruit flies and give the area a thorough clean.

There are home-made remedies for attracting fruit flies away from food but, certainly in the case of a business, specialist fly deterrents should be put in place to prevent a future problem.

Fly papers that catch insects, and fly-curtain doors are a great way to start. Larger premises may want to look at screening and electric units as a solution. Just a few simple steps should keep this pest at bay – and keep your fruit and veg safe.

For more advice on dealing with fruit flies contact Pest Busters.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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The thought of having 10,000 wasps living on your doorstep is a terrifying prospect. But should wasps choose to make their nest on your property this is the reality some homeowners could face.

wasp spray

Wasps can make their nests in a number of areas around the home such as cavity walls, lofts, garden sheds and garages.

Starting off small, the queen wasp will soon set to work stripping wood and repurposing it to enlarge her kingdom. These nests can grow to the size of a football – if not larger – accommodating thousands of wasps.

Throughout the summer the number of wasps continues to grow as well as the nest, which is built up by worker wasps which take over from the queen while she concentrates on laying hundreds of eggs every day.

The presence of just one wasp is enough to send some people in to a panic, but what would you do faced with thousands of them? The first thing is keep calm and call for help.

 

Why do wasps’ nests pose a danger?

Pest control options can take the sting out of your wasp’s nest problem quickly and efficiently by taking a few simple measures, so don’t live in fear of a menace on your doorstep, take action today.

As a rule wasps only sting when they feel threatened, the problem is when they do feel under attack they release a chemical that alerts other wasps to the danger, which then join the attack.

Disturbing a wasps’ nest is particularly hazardous as it will release multitudes of angry wasps. Wasps can sting multiple times and being stung by more than one is certainly an unpleasant experience, the most worrying factor though is the possibility of anaphylaxis from a wasp sting.

 

Leave getting rid of a wasp’s nest to the experts

For these reasons wasp’s nest removal is best left to the experts. Unlike bees, which are an endangered species, pest control is the best way to tackle a wasps’ nest.

Pest Busters will target the wasps inside the nest, making the area safe once again, and giving you peace of mind that your home – and your children – are safe from the threat of wasps.

Pest Busters have extensive experience of removing wasps’ nests, so don’t leave yourself in danger a moment longer than necessary – contact us today for expert advice.

 


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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The humble bee has found itself at the centre of global concerns about the future of the environment. So concerned are experts about the demise of bees that they predict their loss could spell disaster for the food chain due to their important roles as pollinators.

bee

So why, when bees are such an important part of the natural world, are they being targeted on the doorsteps of homes around the country as a pest?

Yes, no-one can overlook the fact, that as wonderful as they are to the world of nature, bees can sting. And with invasions of angry wasps driving fear into the hearts of children everywhere, it is inevitable that the buzzing of the significantly less angry bumble bee, or honey bee, will also cause alarm for youngsters. And no family wants their child frightened to go outside.

Bees – best left well alone

But is destroying their home, or, even worse, killing bees the best course of action to take? We would say definitely not.

So, what is the solution – should bees make themselves at home on your property? If at all possible bees should be left well alone.

Although a swarm of bees can be an intimidating sight, bees are unlikely to sting unless provoked. Obviously, this is not always the case, and should a bee head your way the best advice is to stay as still as possible until it flies away.

Bees cannot usually be moved, and herein lies the problem as the only remaining solution is to use a chemical to destroy the nest. This course of action is devastating when calls are being made to protect bees at all costs.

Short-term stays help to take the sting out of bees’ nests

Bees only set up home for a relatively short period of time – usually just two months. Bumbles bees often live underground in holes, but can inhabit sheds or compost heaps. They usually keep themselves to themselves and live in relatively small numbers with nests often not containing more than 100 bumble bees.

Honey bees, however, can make their homes in walls, trees and lofts, but the real problem is the numbers in which they nest with as many as 40,000 bees in a colony. Like bumble bees, honey bees should be left alone where possible, but if they pose a threat to public health it might be that a chemical solution is the only alternative.

The best solution all round is if we allow bees to be a friend to our garden. Plant bee-friendly plants and craft a bee hotel for solitary bees and help to protect the vital role these hard-workers do to bring harmony to nature.

For more advice on what to do regarding bees’ nests contact Pest Busters.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk

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Everyone hopes for good weather but when we experience a heat wave it’s not long before we start to flock back indoors to welcome the cooler shade. And insects are no different.

Rising temperatures pave the way for heightened activity

As insects are cold blooded they thrive in warmer weather. Mild springs can lead to an increased population due to insects breeding earlier in the year and more frequently thereby reducing the time between generations.

wasp spray

Even though insects prefer warmer weather they can adapt to cope in a heat wave just like humans. Their first instinct is to find a shadier spot to cool off. Where better than inside our homes in a quiet nook or cranky?

Insects seek out such spaces as a way to evade extreme environmental changes – to reach a more acceptable equilibrium if you will.

You may not realise insects have commandeered your corners because the hot weather can cause them to become dormant during the daytime.

5 tips to stop insects invading your home during a heat wave

Although you may never completely prevent insects from entering your home, there are a few simple steps to take to avoid becoming the next bug guesthouse during the hotter seasons.

  1. Remove standing water and clean up any tracked water immediately that may drip inside from outdoor kiddies pools or sprinklers
  2. Clean all living spaces even though you may not feel like dusting and vacuuming during the heat
  3. Dispose of unwanted food immediately and rinse food source containers in preparation for recycling
  4. Wash up as soon as you’ve finished eating and don’t leave unclean dishes in the dishwasher for too long before running a cycle
  5. Seal any food and liquid containers and refrigerate where possible
  6. Dust away cobwebs

In a nutshell, never leave food and liquid lying around or left open and therefore prone to insect infestation. It can only take between eight to 20 hours for maggots to appear!

Don’t leave things to chance

It should be easy to cope with changing behaviours and to keep insect pests in the home at bay during a heat wave. If you feel as though you have a serious problem, for whatever reason, call the Pest Busters team on 0800 035 1000 today.


Pest Busters (Birmingham)

Highfield Farm, Middle Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX
0121 695 9076
www.pest-busters.co.uk