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Rabbits and Mole work.
We have had lots of rabbit control, both gassing and shooting them recently. If there are burrows concentrated in one or a few areas then gassing may well be the best and most efficient form of control. There are many restictions in place regarding gassing but it is perfectly safe as long as the rules are followed. People have generally been surprised at the result in that the problem has gone for some time. It is true that if other rabbits are around then the warren will be recolonised in time, usually about 7-8 months but then they can be wiped out again. It is certainly a good way of keeping the numbers down without costing too much.
News about Trapping Squirrels.
If you trap a grey squirrel in your garden, it must be killed in a humane manner. A man was convicted for cruelty for drowning a trapped squirrel. The Forestry Commision recommend putting a hessian sack over the opening end of the cage then letting the squirrel into the sack and clubbing it with a hard heay blow to the head. This is not as easy as it sounds. We have found the best method is to shoot the animal in the head with an air rifle. Be very careful if you do this and if you are not sure, call in a professional.
Rat and Mouse Baiting.
There has been a lot of debate about secondary poisoning. It has been decided that much of this has been caused by DIY baiting where bait has been left in the relative open where other animals and birds can get at it. The outcome of all this is news that outlets like DIY shops and garden shops will be restricted to selling proper bait boxes already loaded with bait which should go a long way to preventing other creatures from eating the bait. We recently heard a case where a man put rat bait over and down a mole hill and run hoping to kill the mole. Moles eat worms and the like, not rat bait. This is a classic case where secondary poisoning is likely.
The larva of the carpet moth feeds on woollen carpets particularly under heavy and seldom moved furniture. If you have woollen carpets it is a good idea to move large and heavy furniture fairly regularly so as not to give them time to get established. A sign of these pests are small off white silken tubes about a centimetre long. The larvae live in this tube until they pupate into the moth and the tube is discarded. Many of these tubes may be found behind and under heavy furniture and this is a sure sign of an infestation.
Bed Bugs usually bite in small clusters. They will bite any part of the body which is outside the bed clothes but often go for the arms, neck and shoulders as they like to feed in areas of high carbon dioxide which is what we breathe out. They can live for about 18 months without a feed but normally feed once a week if a body is regularly present. Bed Bugs are a huge problem in many American cities and travellers are bringing them into the UK in their luggage. They are now becoming common again here. We have done more Bed Bug eradication jobs than Flea eradication jobs recently. Flea bites may appear on the arms legs and around the waist and are usually a single bite a few inches apart whereas bed bug bites are different.
Foxes now have their cubs and while they remain in the country, this is fine. In the urban gardens, however, it is another matter. Whilst they look cute, they soon start to dig holes in lawns and play in flower beds flattening your well tended flower garden in a very short time. They will defecate on the lawn and in the borders and if children get this on their shoes or clothing and bring it into the house there will be a terrible pong. It is common for a vixen to have her young in a den under an old shed or similar structure. If you have a problem with this sort of situation,give us a call, we are well equipped to deal with it.
We have had several squirrel trapping jobs recently and have caught many squirrels in roof spaces. We have found varying degrees of damage. In one loft we found that the squirrel has eaten through a lot of the roof timbers thus weakenig the roof to a certain extent. In another roof they had eaten through electric cables and plastic water pipes. There is a great liklihood of fire or flood where these animals are concerned.
We have dealt with several cases where cats in particular have brought fleas into the house. Fleas will infest the house in a fairly short time with eggs hatching out in as little as 6 days in the summer. Recently they were on the furniture and hiding between block flooring. It was interesting seeing them float up dead when we sprayed. We have expereienced cat and dog fleas plus fleas from birds and other mammals recently. We have had two instances over the past fortnight where people moving into property were bitten by fleas left by the last occupants. This was most distressing for them fortunately one treatment was all it took to deal with this problem. Please be dubious about the claims by people selling DIY products fo flea control. They are seldom residual enough to cope with more than one treatment. They may well kill the fleas present but will not deal with eggs which hatch out later. Don’t wast your money. Call in a reputable professional who will use a proven residual insecticide which will last long enough to kill what is there and which will arrive hatching from eggs in up to 2 or 3 weeks time in colder weather. Heat will certainly make them more active and people often witness increased activity when they switch on the heating in winter.
Young moles have now branched out to find their own territory and adult pairs are splitting up. People are finding the downside of this action with an explosion of mole activity everywhere. We have mole trapping jobs on at Tetbury, Cleeve Hill, Beckford, Charlton Kings, Taynton and Upleadon, Tewkesbury and Stroud. More are coming in every week. We will have to get even more traps at this rate and we have about 600. It’s coming to the end of January 2012, and mole trapping jobs are coming in at a pace. We have traps out at Chaceley, Guiting Power, Ruardean, Charlton Kings and more to do on a Golf course and at Frampton On Severn. Due to the fact that the ground is not frozen, the moles are making the most of the opportunity to feed. Activity is on the increase everywhere.
Cluster flies lay eggs in grass and the larvae burrow down to find earthworms. They get inside the worm and eat away at it from the inside then they leave the worm and pupate back into the fly. These are the flies that invade your home in the late autumn and early winter. They do not feed on anything in your home, they are merely sheltering, waiting until the weather gets milder and the worms come near to the surface of the soil again so that when they lay eggs, they will hatch fairly soon and can find the food they need. When they try to get through windows, it is fairly easy to prevent this. If they are in the loft, a fumigant can be used to kill and drive them out. The times they come into dwellings is usually between October and March.
Cockroach infeststions should be dealt with as soon as possible or the insects will quickly migrate to neighbouring properties. New products are now available to make treatment easier than it used to be. Gone are the days when 4 or more visits needed to be made to treat for cockroaches. Most treatments now take one or occasionally two visits and this is only to top up bait stations. They are fairly easy to deal with provided the correct products and copious quantities are used.
We have a new product now for use in bird proofing. It is an optical gel which, when applied to surfaces where birds perch, causes them to see flames and abort landing. This gel is guaranteed for two years and has been in use in some places for as long as four years continuously. It has to be installed correctly but should prove less costly than spikes as the installation time will be shorter. This installation is far less visible and unsightly as spikes. Situated above 8 feet it will be invisible from the ground.
Now is the time to deal with the reduction of rabbit populations. They can be seen easier when the vegetation is at it’s lowest level. People have been surprised at how effectively we control them with shooting or gassing and it only takes a few visits.
These insects favour damp conditions and the best form of control, if possible is to dry the place out. If this is not possible, it is not much good making the situation wetter by using insecticidal sprays. Dry insecticides and other methods must be employed. They are easy to deal with if you know how they live and have the right equipment. Don’t be put off by people saying that they will never get rid of them. It is easy to do just that if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, many pest controlleres never come across them and have no idea how to treat them. We do. On our list of testimonials, there is a recent one on this subject