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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q.: Rat identification?

A.: APPEARANCE The brown rat weighs 100 - 500 grams. It’s upperparts are dark brown becoming lighter brown to grey or even white on the under parts.  The tail is shorter than the head and body and the head and face are quite blunt in appearance.

LIFE CYCLE The life expectancy of a wild rat is approximately 12 - 18 months in which time the female will typically breed between 5 and 7 times, with an average litter size of between 8 and 10 young.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending more on the availability of food and harbourage than on weather conditions.

HABITAT Rats can and will live in any situation, which provides food, water and shelter. Rats are found in both urban and rural areas. In the domestic home they will live in lofts, wall cavities, cellars and under floors. In the gardens they will burrow into grassy banks, compost heaps, under sheds. Rats are often found in drainage and sewer systems.

FEEDING HABITS Rats feeding in warehouses and grain stores will cause immense damage due to the quantities consumed, and contamination by faeces and urine.
In domestic properties contamination and possible introduction of micro organisms which can cause food poisoning make this rodent a major public health pest. Both species are most active at night but may be seen in search of food and water during daylight hours.

Rats gnaw and can chew through most things including cables, pipes and timber. The most worrying aspect is the gnawing of electrical cables with the obvious potential risk of fire.

SIGNS OF INFESTATION Signs of droppings and urine. Rat droppings (sausage shaped approx. 1 -2 cm long)
Dark smears and rub marks
Footprints and tail drags in dusty areas
Gnaw marks on wood, i.e. doors & skirting boards
A distinctive, musky odour
Rat smears - grease marks from the body of a rat as it repeatedly brushes up against objects.
Damaged stock and damage to the fabric of premises.
Rat nesting materials — shredded insulation, cardboard, wood, plastics etc.
Distinctive smell - rats will leave behind an ammonia-like smell, that is particularly strong in enclosed areas.

CONTROL Rat’s carry a number of diseases such as salmonellosis (food poisoning), Hantavirus and Weil’s disease, which can cause serious illness, for this reason rats need to be controlled.

  • Damage to stock and buildings. Rat’s sharp teeth can gnaw through cables, plastic, wooden doors and even mild steel.
  • Contamination of foodstuffs and goods. On the underside of a rat, wet fur soaked in urine can transmit bacteria and viruses to work surfaces, table tops or anywhere that a rat has climbed or touched.

Business Consequences of a Rat Infestation

  • Damage — to goods, foodstuffs and your health and hygiene reputation. Any rat control problems will have a negative effect on a Scores on the Doors food hygiene rating.
  • Alarm — immediate loss of customer and employee trust.
  • Cost — can be considerable. Temporary business closure may be necessary.

Legal — failure to comply with legislation, including Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and Food Safety Act (1990).

 

Q.: Mice menace?

A.: HOUSE MOUSE - Mus Musculus

FIELD MOUSE - Apodemus Sylvaticus

OCCURRENCE

British homes, offices, shops and public buildings are regularly host to the two common species of mice; the long tailed field mouse which enters buildings usually to escape autumnal farming practices and the ensuing winter weather, and the house mouse which as its name suggests is very keen to establish in our own built environment. They follow all the pipe work and only need approx. 5mm gap to get through (pencil size),

and when comfortable, breed at an astonishing rate. You won't just have one.

APPEARANCE

A house mouse is between 75mm and 100mm long with a tail of similar length. The fur is usually a grey/brown top coat with light grey under parts with large ears are large and both the hind and fore feet are small. The eyes are small and bright and are good for detecting movement, not detail or colour.

An adult mouse of both species may weigh up to 30g (1oz). The field mouse differs from the house mouse in colour being a nutty brown on its upper parts and creamy white on the under parts.

LIFE CYCLE

Mice become sexually mature at 6 – 8 weeks. Mice are capable of breeding throughout the year but the availability of food always limits the timing and number of litters. The average litter size 4 – 8 when comfortable, breed at an astonishing rate

FEEDING HABITS

A healthy mouse needs to consume about 10% of its own body weight daily to maintain good breeding conditions. Mice are sporadic feeders and can eat almost anything eating small quantities from many sources usually at night. They contaminate food with urine and droppings. Mice carry germs and bacteria

Mice have a very limited feeding range sometimes of only a few square metres and have the ability to sustain themselves on the moisture derived from their food, often taking little or no water directly.

SIGNS OF INFESTATION

The presence of a mouse in a building is often first noticed by an actual sighting which might only be a fleeting glimpse due to its speed and agility. Even where minor infestations exist, large quantities of droppings will be evident and a musty urine smell will be apparent due to mice being incontinent.

Smear marks from grease on the mouse's coat will be noticed on regularly trafficked routes being particularly noticeable on light coloured surfaces.
Mice are usually nocturnal
• Mouse droppings (thin, spindle shaped approx. 5mm long).
• Mouse smears - grease marks from the mouse body as it is repeatedly brushed up against objects.
• Damaged stock and damage to the fabric of premises.
• Mouse nesting materials — shredded insulation, cardboard, paper, wood, plastics etc...
• Distinctive smell - a mouse leaves an ammonia-like smell, that is particularly strong in enclosed areas.

DAMAGING EFFECTS

Mice need to gnaw on hard materials to limit the growth of its teeth.

Damage may therefore occur to packaging and foodstuffs The sporadic nature of its feeding causes widespread damage and loss of whole commodities due to urine and faecal contamination. Damage to skirting boards and other property fixtures might occur although the most worrying aspect is the gnawing of electrical cables with the obvious potential risk of fire.

• Mice are known to spread infections such as Salmonella, Hantavirus and Weil's disease.
• Damage to stock and buildings. A mouse has sharp teeth and can gnaw through cables, plastic and wooden doors.
• Contamination of foodstuffs and goods. On the underside of a mouse, the wet fur soaked in urine can transmit bacteria and viruses to work surfaces, table tops or anywhere the mouse has climbed.
• At the first signs of an issue it is important that a mouse control programme is put in place.

CONTROL

Mice can be considered a serious public health pest particularly when associated with food preparation for human consumption. Mice damage packaging rendering goods unsaleable; they eat and contaminate food, and have the potential to carry food poisoning bacteria.

Q.: Mole Problems?

A.: Moles in the Garden

Mole removal is a common requirement by many of our clients across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
The mole population across the UK is on the increase. As pest control and mole removal experts with over 15 years experience, we are confident that we have the solution to your mole removal problem. We ONLY use humane mole control methods and work 7 days a week. If you have a mole problem, and want to benefit from our mole removal service, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your mole removal problem, and supply a no obligation quote.
Moles - Catching Moles is a specialist skill. Don't put petrol, creosote, bleach or any other chemicals in the ground. It won't kill the mole, they will just go and dig more tunnels in your lawn and besides it's not good for the environment.

Don't waste your money on moth balls, smoke tablets or probes that emit sonic waves through the earth. They don't work, if they did you would not find a mole at the side of busy roads, for example.

Don't try and flood them out, they are great swimmers and will come back when the water has gone. But not before, they have dug more tunnels in your garden.

Q.: Fluffy Bunnies?

A.: Rabbits  - primarily feed on grass and leafy plants such as your garden or farm crops. They damage young trees, they are most active during dusk and dawn. And if undisturbed they will be out during the day, they are breeders, having up to 12 young per litter with several litters per year. They live in burrows which can have hundreds of individuals
Rabbits can actually carry some of the following dangerous diseases amongst them:

Myxomatosis - Only affects Rabbits - Cause flu-like symptoms and death.

VHD - Viral Hemorrhagic Disease - Passed from rabbit to rabbit by their own breath.

Q.: Arent squirrels timid woodland creatures ?

A.:Grey Squirrels - can cause very serious damage to your home or business. Through gnawing of electrical cables, building structures and other vulnerable materials, such as loft insulation when searching for food and nesting material. They will happily inhabit roof spaces (lofts etc). You will hear scratching noises, disturbed insulation or see droppings often mistaken for rat droppings. Squirrels can and will bite if frightened.

Q.: How dangerous are wasps?

A.: Wasps - Adult worker wasps are between 15 and 20mm long. They have the characteristic black and yellow patterning to the abdomen and have a black head and thorax. Wasps are colonial insects living in social groups. Over winter the queen makes her nest so it is ready to be established in spring. It continues to grow, the nest along with it, throughout the summer period. Wasps can cause harm when presented in a large numbers and locate near to humans. They can inflict painful, dangerous stings, especially to those with allergies. They can be controlled with electric insect control units or other treatments involve applying liquid insecticides, aerosols or dusts around the entrance of the nest

Q.: Are ants hazardous?

A.: Ants - Common black, Pharaoh's, Argentine, Ghost, Red ant are the most typical found type in this country. They tend to feed on glucose (sugary foods), so good hygiene is best practiced to avoid them, but some are capable of eating meat, and dead and living insects. They tend to be treated successfully with either residual sprays, granular or gel baits (best placed where ants are foraging at nest entrances or between cracks and crevices).
Ants
Small Creatures with Big Ideas
Danger Signs
• Live insects.
• Ant pathways in and out of your premises.
• Small heaps of earth or dirt indicating nest sites.
Potential Harm
Ants on the premises can:
• Infest and contaminate foodstuffs.
• Contaminate sterile areas.
• Invade hospitals.
Business Consequences
• Loss — contaminated food and other products will have to be thrown away.
• Fear — hospital patients can be alarmed by the appearance of ants.
• Reputation — compromised health and hygiene can lead to lost trading revenue.
Steps To Take
• Identify the species — you’ll require professional help here.
• Proof access points against Garden Ants.
• Deploy Luminos Units against Roger’s Ant.
• Set up regular ant control inspection visits by qualified technicians.

Q.: Isn't it just cats and dogs that get fleas?

A.: Fleas - can cause great irritation to their victims by inflicting many bites. They are not significant vectors (biting) of human disease, apart from the plague and murine typus, which though these days are mercifully rare but occasionally do occur in remote areas.

Q.: Bedbugs, are they still around?

A.: Bedbugs - The role of bedbugs as disease vectors (transferring disease through a bite) is not clear, however because of their tendency to build up in large numbers there is always the possibility that they can cause anaemia if a vast number of blood meals are taken from their victims.
We are currently experiencing one of the worst bed bug infestations since the 1940's. As more and more people travel around the world and to various hotels the more bed bugs are transferred back to our homes and vice a versa.

Q.: Dust mites, are they really that harmful?

A.: Dust mites have been implicated in causing dermatitis, rhinitis, respiratory tract irritation and intestinal upsets. They are also implicated in the cause and spread of asthma and other respiratory complaints. The mites tend to be more abundant in beds than anywhere else in the house and easily become airborne, this means that they can be inhaled. Control/eradication of the pest include drying of the environment and vacuum cleaning. Acaricides may be used on the fabric of the building, skirting boards, floor boards, etc. Fabrics should be treated with a non-staining formula and bedding should be washed on a hot cycle
The varied carpet beetle and the museum beetle are the most commonly found by pest controllers. The adult beetle tend to be about 3mm in length with a speckled appearance. The larvae is dependent of a good food source to survive and humid conditions. They can be more destructive than the cloths moth to woollen materials, furs, leather and carpets. Damage can also occur on furniture where material is used. Occasionally stored food products can be attacked. Treatment consists of identifying the extent of the infestation and then treatment of the affected areas with a residual insecticide.

Q.: What are the signs and treatment for Cockroach infestation ?

A.: Cockroaches - are similar to that of flies in how they transport and transmit disease to humans. Their preference is to live in warm, humid, temerature controlled conditions such as hospitals and kitchens. They have also been know, where they live near humans, to eat human faecal matter and infected material. They are extremely mobile animals and can easily crawl from sewers and drains through to broken taps and pipework. This illustrates their massive potential as spreaders of pathogens (disease) to humans. It has been proven that when controlled the risk of gastro-entric disease is greatly reduced or curtailed. It has also been indicated that cockroaches, and some other insects/mites, may be responsible for allergies in human’s i.e. asthmatic problems and urticating rashes. If this is the case then removal of the creature just isn't enough, the whole infested area needs to be thoroughly cleaned and any dead insect also removed.

Cockroach droppings (or faecal pellets) which are black/dark brown in colour, cylindrical & less than 2mm long. These are produced when water is scarce. If water is readily available liquid excreta or smear marks are produced these are brown and irregular in shape
• Live cockroaches searching for food at night
• Dead adults or nymphs, egg cases (oothecae) and cast nymphal skins
Potential Harm
A cockroach infestation on your premises can:
• Lead to the spread of diseases, as a cockroach can carry disease organisms such as Salmonella (food poisoning) and Escherichia coli (Gastro-enteritis) which can be spread through saliva and excreta
• Contaminate foodstuffs
• Damage goods, leather, books, packaging, plastics, pictures etc — a cockroach will eat almost anything

Q.: What are 'Silverfish'

A.: They are a very primitive looking creature and are a very ancient insect. Humidity is a key part in their survival especially at the nymphal stages. They are nocturnal in habitat and hide during the day therefore infestations can go unnoticed for considerable periods. Damage can appear to wallpaper, wallpaper paste, textiles and occasionally to books store in damp areas. Treatment involves removing any infested commodities and then the application of residual insecticide to cracks, crevices, floorboards, skirting boards etc.

Staff Qualifications

RSPH - Level 2 Certificate in Pest management
Certificate Number 00001463 500/879/X.

City & Guilds - Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control
Accreditation Number 600/2124/X.

Deer Management Qualifications - Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1
Certificate No 13905

Deer Management Qualifications - Deer Stalking Certificate Level 2
Certificate No 13905

Wildlife Aware Certificate WA/136

Wildlife Aware Accreditation

Training as follows

Commercial Development and Practical Trapping of Moles

Professional membership as follows

NPTA - National Pest Technicians association membership No 1844
BASIS PROMPT register - Pest control Registered No PC/1333