Pests Frequently Asked Questions
We have provided an user friendly guide to help aid understand of what Insect pest may be present in your home.
Insects are divided into various groups of beetles, flies, moths, cockroaches, fleas and bed bugs.
Rats and Mice gnaw through wire, wood, soft concrete, plastic and even mild steel. To avoid rodents causing extensive damage to your home, call us now!
Just like most people, we understand and respect that you might have a phobia of mice or rats residing in your home. Don’t be alarmed they will not touch humans. Take the stress and worry out of it, leave it up to us to deal with the issue .
If you see a rat or a mouse in your home or business property, it’s unlikely to be alone. Rats can cause damage, spread disease and breed quickly. Act Fast!
How do I know if I have a rat problem?
Rats usually come out at night, so it’s unlikely you’ll see them during the day. Even so, there are a number of ways to know if you have rats in your home or business:
Rat droppings are dark brown and the size of a grain of rice. They are commonly found in concentrated places, making them easy to spot.
Rats’ teeth don’t stop growing and they gnaw on objects to file them down. Look out for bite marks on anything from wood to concrete.
Rats are nocturnal and if they are in parts of your house, such as the walls or under the floorboards, you may hear them moving around.
If you suspect you have rats, you can test by sprinkling some flour and checking the next day for footprints in the floor.
As mice present a health risk as well as a general inconvenience in terms of causing damage to your property, we aim to completely resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Even a small mouse infestation can be so distressing, it is vital you get a professional Pest Control expert to deal with your problem. This way you can be rid of your mouse problem quickly. DIY methods of mice extermination is not recommended and talking from experience can actually make the problem become worse.
Insect pests are often encountered in domestic and commercial premises with varying degrees of importance.
In domestic situations they can be a mild recurring nuisance turning up unexpectedly in larders or beds. At their worst they can bite human or pet hosts, damage clothing or incurring structural damage.
In commercial situations they can cause damage to finished goods, contaminate foodstuffs and result in closure from environmental health authorities. Loss of business and reputation may follow.
There is a considerable number of common household and food pest insect species.
Specimen collection and identification is an important factor for our pest control technicians to effectively treat the pests.
Flies are mainly a summer pest in the form of houseflies and bluebottles.
However other smaller species can be a nuisance all year round indoors.
Bluebottle adults lay eggs on meat in all forms from fresh steak to poisoned rodents. The larvae develop quicker in warmer conditions and once fully fed wander away from food source to look for a suitable place to change into the adult form. This migration can confuse finding the food source and eliminating it. One mouse body can produce 70 adult bluebottles.
Fungus flies develop on decaying vegetable material – leaves in gutters, overwatered pot plants, green waste bins and compost heaps. Their larvae break down the decaying matter which is good but the resulting adults are attracted to lights and enter through open windows and doors.
Drain flies or Owl midges are found in association with blocked sewers, drains and sink overflows.
Fruit flies develop on both fresh and over ripe fruit and vegetables. The adults are attracted to fermenting scents and can contaminate beers, wines, fruit juices and vinegar.
Common House flies are associated with human activity and food of all sorts. From excrement to cream buns – nothing is safe. The adult fly is capable of transmitting a wide range of pathogens. Its potential for fast breeding makes it the commonest insect pest affecting humans. It is attracted to cooking smells and enters kitchen in search of suitable food and potential breeding sites. Summer is the worst season and doors and windows are left open for ventilation and permits easy access. Fly screens will help to keep flies out.
Lesser house flies are more associated with damp decaying animal and vegetable material. They are found in large numbers in association with intensive animal rearing units and composting sites.
Drone flies resemble bees and as adults feed on flowering plants. Their larvae – rat tailed maggots – develop in waste polluted water (cess pits, slurry tanks) and water butts containing rotting leaves.
Mosquitoes also develop in water butts, ponds and any still water situations.
In autumn blood sucking midges are also out in the garden looking for food at dusk.
Moths are common within the household infesting and damaging our food and fabrics.
Food moths include flour moths, warehouse moths and meal moths. It is the feeding of their larvae or caterpillars that cause the damage as the adults do not feed. The eggs are laid on the food and the larvae spin up silk webbing for protection and causing further contamination to food products (dried fruit, nuts, cereals and chocolate confectionery) with their excrement.
The larvae can develop over 2-3 years entering a hibernation state in adverse storage conditions.
Fabric moths are clothes moths species whose larvae can digest natural fabrics such as wool, cotton and silks. Curtains, carpets and clothing all are susceptible to attack and detection is not always immediate. Infestations are usually found under furniture or clothing that has been left undisturbed for a long time. Only when adult moths are observed on walls is the infestation realized. By then the damage is done.
Pheromone traps using the female sex scent can give early warning to initiate control measures.
Common household species include the brown house moth and the white shouldered house moth both of which are general scavengers feeding on food crumbs, carpet underlay and even old rodenticide bait. They do not usually reach pest proportions.
There are many garden moths that come indoors attracted to light but they plant feeders and not interested in our food or fabrics.
Cockroaches depend on our food and shelter to survive.
There are two main species found in our homes – oriental and German cockroaches. They are generally nocturnal scavengers and hid away in cracks and crevices in flooring, under kitchen appliances and behind kickboards. A nasty surprise awaits if the lights are turned on in the middle of the night.
The oriental cockroach female deposits her egg capsule away from light as soon as it is formed. It acts like a time bomb as the young cockroaches hatch out 3-4 weeks later.
The German cockroach female carries her egg capsule until it is just about to hatch.
These two different strategies require different treatment regimens. A number of repeat treatments will be required to deal with late emerging young of the Oriental cockroach whereas the German cockroach should be dealt with in two residual treatments. Monitoring the infestations after treatment is always recommended to ensure there is no further invasion from outside the treated area.
Identification of the flea species is an important feature of control.
For example an indoor infestation of fleas could be mistakenly attributed to the family cat or worse the neighbour’s. At certain times of the year bird fleas are the most prevalent species and can hitch a lift on pets, humans and even laundry on the line. Treating the innocent cat or dog will not achieve control of resident fleas in the nest in the trees or roof space.
Old abandoned nests will contain developing life stages of fleas – eggs, larvae and pupae- all destined to seek a warm blooded host. Birds coming down to feed in the garden will preen themselves and may rid themselves of a few fleas on to the grass.
Fleas are found breeding in nest situations- in pet bedding or bird nest. The larval stages feed on the blood excrement of the adults and exist in the shelter of the host ‘nest’. Once fully fed and developed they migrate away to pupate in cracks and crevices in flooring – between or under floor boards. This makes control very difficult to achieve with just one treatment. Monitoring with adhesive traps to indicate adult emergence gives a better timing for a second treatment.
Beetles form the largest group of insects and it follows that they form the bulk of pest species.
Spider beetles are general scavengers but will attack any stored food products from dog biscuits to quality chocolate confectionery. Their larval stages can bore through paper, cellophane and aluminium wrappers to reach the food source. The adults cannot fly but can move around in search of food sources to lay eggs in. Bird nests and even old rodenticides are quite acceptable breeding grounds. Often a problem may arise in the roof space and the adults follow electric cabling or water pipes throughout the house.
Larder beetles require a high protein diet and are found in association with dried rodent or bird bodies that may be located in cavity walls or under flooring. (A recent rodenticide treatment may result in both bluebottle flies and larder beetles.)
Carpet Beetle– Yes really there are carpet beetle. It is Related to the larder beetle that attacks furs and woollen fabrics. Carpet under lay may be a hidden source of food.
Ground beetles are garden inhabitants that accidently enter households in search of prey.
Grain weevils are normally a pest on farm stores feeding on barley and wheat. Today they can be found in wild bird food that is becoming more common in our efforts to attract wild life into our gardens. (this has other side effects that will be mentioned later). They also attack dried pasta products of all forms. Rice weevils attack whole rice grains and as their larvae are white and feeding internally the infestation may not be noticed prior to cooking.
Wood boring weevil species are very similar to grain weevils but feed on timber already attacked by dry rots. Not a serious pest as they breed slowly but an indicator of wood rots.
Woodworm beetles are probably the most feared beetle to be encountered. However the adults are only encountered during the summer months as they emerge from their tunnels to seek mates. Active infestations will display powdered wood dust beside the exit holes. Their larval development is quite variable as it depends on quality of wood and ambient temperature conditions. The adults are often found on window sills attracted to outside light. They fly quite readily in warm conditions and can be brought into houses in gathered firewood or infested furniture.
Biscuit beetles resemble woodworm adults but are smaller and can be found throughout the year as they feed on any cereal based products. Often found in forgotten bags of cereals or dog meal.
Plaster beetles are found in damp conditions where they feed on moulds and fungi that develop on plaster walls and damaged wood. Elimination of leaks and dampness will stop the life cycle by removing the conditions and food source.
Fungus beetles also feed on moulds developing in damp dark conditions.
Bed bugs are possibly the most feared parasitic species encountered in the household or hotels. They can appear apparently overnight but an infestation takes time to build up.
Eggs are laid at the rate of 4 per day per female. After hatching development from small nymphs to mature adults can take from four weeks to several months depending on availability of food (blood) and ambient temperature. These insects are active at temperatures above 13oC. All stages feed on blood and usually attack humans while sleeping. They are attracted to hosts by body heat and the carbon dioxide breathed out. Bites on exposed skin are easily spotted. There may be specks of dried blood observed on walls and bedding.
Bed bugs will normally hide away during daylight hours behind wallpaper, skirting boards and around the fabric of the bed. Eggs are cemented in small batches to the surface of furnishings and in crevices. As the young bed bugs develop they cast off their old skins and these cause concern as they suggest a very high population, Bed bugs cannot fly nor do they transmit any human disease. However their discovery causes both mental anguish and physical discomfort.
Bed bugs can be transmitted during hotel stays, from infested furniture, bedding and even luggage storage centres.
Control requires careful isolation and disposal of infested materials to prevent spread. Residual insecticide treatment will have to be repeated to control hatching eggs and concealed individuals. Monitoring with adhesive traps will evaluate the effect of control measures and any concealed nymphs that need further treatment.