Hints And Tips

As we enter into warmer weather and  our pets are venturing outdoors more, it is advisable to comb and check your pet regularly to ensure they are not bringing any unwanted visitors home with them.

The sooner you discover fleas on your animal the quicker you can eradicate the infestation, therefore causing as little distress to both you and your pet.

If you do discover fleas, take your animal to the vet who will administer an appropriate treatment and contact the Pest Control who will treat your property accordingly.

Treating one without the other is futile and can result in great expense.

During hot summer nights people like nothing more than cooking and eating from a BBQ.

Just remember this Al Fresco Dining experience can bring added interest from unwanted pests to your premises. The remnants of the packaging and left over burgers, sausages, chicken or kebabs is also attractive to rats, cats, foxes and seagulls.

Make sure you dispose of your waste appropriately and minimise the risk of inviting other animals round for a BBQ.

Other Insects

If you experience an infestation of insects and are unsure as to what they are then  call the Pest Control Team for an assessment visit

One of our experienced, fully trained Pest Control Officers will come to your property and carry out a full and thorough survey to determine what the insects are.

If the insects you have a problem with are ones we treat – Fleas, Bed bugs or Cockroaches we will treat them for you. The cost of the Assessment Visit is deducted from the cost of treatment.

Current Charges

However  it may not be possible to treat your property at this time if preparation of the room is required to ensure the treatment is successful. The Officer will give you full information and guidance about what you can do to increase the efficiency of the treatment.

What if the insects are not ones we treat?

If the insect is not in the above list the Officer will tell you what they are and where they might have come from.

He will give you advice and guidance about what you can do to get rid of them yourself, and how to stop them coming back.

 

 

Cockroaches

There are two main species of Cockroach within Sefton – the German (Blattella germanica) and Oriental (Blatta orientalis), although at least one American Cockroach has been imported into the Borough.

  • Oriental cockroaches (18-30mm) – can cope with cooler, damp conditions and are more common scuttling about in basements or drains. If conditions are tolerable they can survive outside in areas such as rubbish tips. They are not as agile as German cockroaches, but can climb a surface such as rough brickwork.
  • German cockroaches (11-16mm) – need warmth and humidity to survive, so are likely to be found in and around bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. They are also good climbers, scaling smooth surfaces like glass and polished metal with ease; due to sticky pads on their feet.
  • American cockroaches (38-40mm) – although not native to the UK they have been known to be brought in via freight or luggage. Major difference of the American cockroach to Oriental and German cockroach is its ability to fly.

It may be easier to spot the signs of cockroach activity than the insects themselves. They are mostly nocturnal, hiding in cracks and crevices during the day to come out to feed at night. Cockroaches are attracted to all types of food in your home, and will eat virtually anything from food, paper to plastic packaging and animal waste (such as hamster and rabbit droppings).

There are a few signs which indicate cockroach activity

  1. An established cockroach infestation produces a lingering and unpleasant odour that taints items they contact.
  2. If little water is available cockroaches will produce brown/black cylindrical droppings, approx. 2mm long.

Current Charges

If you suspect a cockroach infestation you can take advantage of our assessment service where by one of our Officers will attend. They will carry out an investigation into your concerns and if necessary lay some traps for confirmation. If it is confirmed that you have cockroaches they will give advice about preparing the room for treatment and request you book a visit for treatment. The cost of this assessment visit £31 is taken from the cost of treatment.

Fleas

Fleas are a common problem within households with pets, the majority of fleas are either cat fleas or dog fleas. They are the most common external parasite of dogs and cats and it is likely that every cat and dog will suffer an infestation at some point in their lives.

These insects prefer a temperature between 65 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 27 Celsius) which would have made them a seasonal pest before the wide spread use of centrally heated houses.

Fleas live on pets, mammals, in carpets, in sofas as well as other household furnishings. In a typical room, 5 % of the fleas will be found on pets, 10 % flea cocoons in the carpets, 35 % flea larvae and 50% flea eggs, also in the carpets.

The Flea life cycle is similar to the butterfly life cycle.
Fleas lay eggs that turn in to grub-like larvae. The larvae then develop into pupae and settle inside a cocoon. They wait for a host to start their life and suck blood.

Fleas in all stages should be killed to rid your house of them completely.
Resistive pupae and larvae grow on to become adult fleas in a few weeks even though the adult fleas are killed. Fleas should be removed from all stages in their life cycle.

Adult fleas are tiny (about 1 – 2.5 mm in length, depending on the species), their bodies are thin and flat for better movement through an animal’s fur. They have mouth parts which are used to extract the host’s blood and depending on whether they have fed or not, they appear from yellowish to dark brown in colour.

 

Signs to look out for are:

Checking your pet should be the first thing on your list to determining if you have a flea problem. Excessive scratching, reddened skin, loss of hair and the presence of live fleas on the head and neck areas, which are most targeted, are all signs of flea infestation. Sometimes you might not find an actual flea on your pet’s coat, but you might find other signs of their presence like flea dirt or eggs. Flea larvae and pupae are found in and around areas where pets are spending time active or sleeping. Other signs of flea infestation include flea bites – most commonly on legs and arms resulting in red itchy spots – these occur in cases of large flea infestations.

Are fleas a health hazard?

Fleas are mostly just annoying biting pests of both humans and animals, severe cases of infested animals often result in dermatitis. Catching a virus or disease because of cat, dog or human fleas is highly unlikely. Flea bites are predominately found on humans around ankles and feet or if bitten at night in bed, around the mid-rift.

If you suspect a flea infestation you can take advantage of our assessment service where by one of our Officers will attend. They will carry out an investigation into your concerns and if necessary lay some traps for confirmation. If it is confirmed that you have fleas they will give advice about preparing the room for treatment and request you book a visit for treatment. The cost of this assessment visit £31 is taken from the cost of treatment.

If the Officer can treat at the time of the assessment visit he will request that you call the Contact Centre to pay the outstanding amount (this is dependent upon the size of your house).

Current Charges

Treatment

Once sufficient preparation has taken place, the vast majority of clutter has been removed from affected area, our Officer can spray the floor and any soft furnishings with the necessary product.

We have numerous insecticides at our disposal, all of which act in a similar way.

The product is diluted within water which makes it easier to distribute within the rooms. Once the water has dried out the remaining product remains in place. As long as this is not  damaged or removed by vacuuming or cleaning the active ingredient will continue to kill the fleas and any of the young once they hatch from eggs already laid in the carpet.

Bed Bugs in your house

Bedbugs are small blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds. They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood.

The adults are flat oval in shape about 5-6 mm long, the nymphs go through 5 stages before getting to the adult stage, and maturity. Before each shedding they require a blood meal.

Before a feed they are brownish in colour but take on a darker red/brown colour with the blood, with a feed there bodies also swell in size.

Bed bugs are not dangerous, and do not transmit diseases, however, some people can react to their bites and it can be stressful to experience. Severe infestations can cause sleep deprivation and anaemia.

Most bed bug bites are initially painless but can become itchy welts, which are sometimes wrongly attributed to other insects. Unlike flea bites which are usually around the ankles bed bugs will bite any skin exposed whilst asleep.

Signs of infestation (apart from bites) include blood spots on bedding, dark rusty looking spots of excrement on beds and surfaces where they have crawled after feeding. Evidence of hatching and moulting (skin shells and egg cases) in areas where they have/are hiding. The adult emits a strong musty smell, which is more apparent after you have left the room and returned.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation you can take advantage of our assessment service where by one of our Officers will attend. They will carry out an investigation into your concerns and if necessary lay some traps for confirmation. If it is confirmed that you have bed bugs they will give advice about preparing the room for treatment and request you book a visit for treatment. The cost of this assessment visit £31 is taken from the cost of treatment.

Bed bugs can be removed without intervention from a pest control expert, however it can be difficult and time consuming without access to insecticide and heat treatment equipment.

 

Current Charges

 

 

Rats inside or outside your home

There are two species of rat which commonly inhabit Northern Europe – the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the Black Rat (Rattus rattus). All treatments within Sefton have been for the Brown Rat.

 

Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their visible size difference, they can grow up to 40 cm in length and commonly between 350 – 500g in weight. Their thick brown/grey fur can make them seem bigger especially in the winter.

Their preferred habitat is underground, which has lead them to make extensive use of the sewers as network of tunnels to utilize and occupy. Due to their ability to tunnel they can easily use defects to leave the sewers and access the outside world in a search for food, nesting sites or shelter and warmth.

Rats regularly transmit salmonella, due to their contact with sewers and its contents, and Leptospirosis (Weils Disease) which is a bacterial infection passed through the urine of rats. They also can potentially support many parasites which can also be zoonotic (harmful to humans).

Being rodents, they have powerful incisor’s that they need to keep ‘at a manageable length’ by regular gnawing, which can result in them causing a lot of damage in a property if untreated. Like mice they are predominantly nocturnal however due to their size they are less likely to go unnoticed within a building unless it is unoccupied.

Given advantageous circumstances (plenty of food and water with no predators) they can breed all year long and numbers can expand rapidly. They will generally have about 7 young in a litter and can reproduce between 3 and 6 times per year.  Each surviving pup can reach sexual maturity with 3 months.

Unlike a lot of animals, as a group, they will help look after sick and injured members of the group.

Of course humans and rats have lived side by side for centuries despite our best efforts to eradicate them. This is because of their adaptability and ability to profit from our excesses and to take advantage where ever possible.

Access into properties is usually through a defect which will require repair, however the condition of the outside of you premises will either encourage or discourage rodents into the vicinity.

Carefully consider what you want to store close to your house, and ask yourself these questions.

  1. Will it attract either rats or mice?
  2. Does it contain a food source?
  3. Will it create a safe environment or shelter for them once they locate it?

 

 

Current Charges

 

Mice inside your home

Mice invade homes in search of food and shelter. They are small rodents with a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail. The most frequent mouse species is the common house mouse and in some locations, field mice are common.

They are predominantly nocturnal and quick to breed so your mouse problem could develop rapidly even before you are aware of it.  If no action is taken, to remove activity, it is likely that the mice will also being to occupy neighbouring properties. They are able to use the space under your floorboards to travel from one house to another. They are inquisitive and agile with a flexible skeleton which enables them to get through the smallest of gaps.

Mice can easily squeeze through gaps left from pipework and cabling for washing machines and dryers etc and inhabit the rear of these and other kitchen appliances. Nests have been found next to the motors of fridge and freezers for extra warmth.

Mice can also get inside through damaged or missing air bricks and vents, in newer properties this can give them access to cavity walls which can lead to free run through out the house.

They are habitual ‘carriers of disease’ – Salmonella and Hantavirus are both caused by mice through their biology and habit. They may also carry fleas and ticks which can bring about other infections.  Mice are virtually incontinent and their urine smells strongly of ammonia which is a regular indication of an active infestation (before any animals are sighted).

Another problem associated with having mice inside your property is the damage that they cause, they will shred items such as tissues, newspapers, polythene bags and fabric for lining nests. They damage packaging whilst getting into food products, predominantly grains and cereals, however they will eat pretty much anything available to them in your cupboards.

 

 

Of course humans and rodents have lived side by side for centuries despite our best efforts to eradicate them.

This is because of their adaptability and ability to profit from our excesses and to take advantage where ever possible.

Being rodents, they have powerful incisor’s that they need to keep ‘at a manageable length’ by regular gnawing.

This means they can cause a lot of damage, and in certain circumstances, cause electrical failure or fires chewing through cables.

Access into properties is usually through a defect which will require repair, however the condition of the outside of your premises will either encourage or discourage rodents into the vicinity.

Carefully consider what you want to store close to your house, and ask yourself these questions.

  1. Will it attract either rats or mice?
  2. Does it contain a food source?
  3. Will it create a safe environment or shelter for them once they locate it?

 

Current Charges