There is a lot going on with the industry at the moment and there are exciting times ahead. However, being we are in the summer months where better to start by posting our first blog discussing summer pests.
As the height of summer approaches there is an expectation that we will have a sustained period of fine weather. But it is not just humans that enjoy the warmth and the sun.
Insects are temperature dependant, and the better the weather, the faster they breed, and when insects are breeding rapidly, they can become a real issue in no time at all. Some of the pests we may come into contact with in the summer will be more of a hindrance than a health risk. The common black ant, for example, can cause many concerns for customers and business owners, who can be confronted by vast numbers of the insects foraging for food. Garden ants are not inherently dirty, and are not known to transmit disease, but they may cross unsavoury and unclean areas when foraging, making them unacceptable to customers and homeowners.
Good hygiene practices will help to discourage ant activity and prevent the contamination of sweet food. But owing to the foraging nature of ants, nesting sites will often be many metres from the affected area, and thorough inspection and treatment by a professional pest control company is required to ensure complete eradication. If the nest is not found, treatments will simply discourage the ants for a short period of time and then the problem can return.
Bats and the bees
Not all pests are as apparently harmless as the garden ant. Wasps have a reputation as a nuisance, but the presence of nests inside or close to buildings can have serious consequences. Wasp stings can be painful and can be lethal for people who are allergic to the sting. Wasps’ habit of seeking out sweet products can also encourage them into open drinks cartons and cans. The result of a child being stung in the mouth can be catastrophic, and so every effort should be taken to minimise wasp activity around premises. Again, the key to eradication of wasps is treatment of the nest, and only a professional should tackle this pest as they will persistently defend a nesting site.
Bee activity also increases in the summer months, and nesting sites for the various species that inhabit the UK are often a source of concern for householders. But remember that bees carry out an incredibly important role as pollinators, and they are rarely aggressive, so if you have a colony, try to enjoy them rather than have them destroyed. All professional pest controllers will try to avoid controlling bees, but on the odd occasion where they are located in a dangerous area they can be dealt with. Where bees are controlled, it is essential that the nest is treated in a way that prevents other bees entering the treated nest, as this can lead to the contamination and death of other nests in the area. Always seek advice before considering any kind of treatment against bees.
Often in the summer months we tend to forget that rodents are pests, mainly because species such as rats are generally driven in to properties in the colder winter months. However, never forget that rodents are great opportunists, and if possible they will venture into properties to feed or to live, even in the warmer summer periods. In fact, some of the actions that we take in summer may indirectly encourage rodents and store up problems for the future.
Composting and compost heaps are useful additions to any garden, helping to recycle waste and feed the plants in the garden, and as we spend more time in the garden through summer, it is likely that we will increase our composting. But be aware that compost heaps retain warmth and are a rich supply of food, encouraging pests like rats in the winter months. If you have a compost heap, try to ensure that it is at the far end of the garden where pests are unlikely to move closer to the property. It can also be beneficial to have a layer of chicken wire beneath the compost to prevent rats burrowing into the pile.
When it comes to pests, remember it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you think you have a pest problem, or want to prevent problems before they occur, consult a specialist. By consulting a reputable company such as a BPCA member, you will avoid the risk of injury to yourself, your staff and your customers, and ensure that your business reputation remains intact. You will also avoid prosecution by ensuring pest species are dealt with legally and humanely, and that non-pest species such as honey bees and bats are not harmed by reckless treatments.