Abbey Pest Control

Posts tagged “Reading”

We have been receiving a number of calls from customers regarding wasps recently. 
 
Although wasps are currently out and about, it is very early in the season and most of our call outs at the moment turn out to be bees, primarily masonary bees. 
 
As you can see from the picture there is a difference, masonary bees (left) are a solitary bee although you may see many grouped together. 
With the persistent wind and rain affecting Berkshire over the past two weeks, we thought we would take the time to do a short blog on how the weather can affect certain pests. With storm Ciara and storm Dennis battering Reading, causing flooding in Arborfield, Wokingham, Theale, Swallowfield and surrounding areas these conditions can encourage rodents into your home or business; much like us rodents don’t like being out in the cold and wet weather and if they can find a way inside you may be sharing your home will some very unwelcome guests. 
 
Rodents like rats and mice will use lower level entry points, such as a broken or missing airbrick to get underneath a garage door. We are currently dealing with a property where rats have gained access through a small gap under the garage door and have built a nest underneath the homeowners nice, warm boiler which unfortunately is also in the garage. This has led to them exploring their new surroundings and finding access inside the house following the network of pipes leading from the boiler; with the weather being cold and wet this is a perfect environment for them to set up a nest, they had access to grass seeds and other plant material to feed on while having a lovely warm area in which to nest in. 
Drain proofing in Charvil
With plenty of rodent jobs keeping us busy here at Abbey Pest Control we thought we’d do a quick blog on how you to spot signs of rodent activity within your home or business. 
 
One of the first signs a customer notices are unusual sounds around the home, usually in the walls, ceiling voids or in the loft. These distinctive scratching sounds are a common indicator that you may have rats, mice or squirrels in your home. Sometimes the sounds can be attributable to birds, particularly in the loft, which is why it’s important to fully survey all sites and correctly identify the type of pest before beginning a treatment plan. 
 
Another indicator of a rodent infestation is the presence of faeces or droppings; these will be found in the same places the noises are being heard. Mice usually leave droppings scattered around on the same routes they use to traverse your home whilst rats tend to favour specific areas to leave their droppings. With a single rat capable of producing up to 40 droppings in a single night these preferred locations can begin to emit a rather unpleasant odour. 
Signs of rat activity in Reading
We are starting to receive enquiries about noises in lofts around Lower Earley, Central Reading and Caversham that have turned out to be squirrels creating a nuisance in our customers lofts. August is one of the 2 ideal breeding times for squirrels and many of their young are now six weeks old and getting ready to leave the nest. 
 
As squirrels will make their nests out of the installation in the loft areas by tearing up strips of it to burrow inside, they can create significant mess and damage within the roof space of the home. Their nests can often be found down into the eves of the roof or even in the facia and soffits themselves. 
With the recent heatwave around Reading followed by mild and very wet weather; we are seeing an increase in customers reporting flea infestations. This type of weather provides ideal breeding conditions for fleas to thrive, especially in vast fields and open areas such as Langley Mead in Shinfield or Dinton Pastures in Woodley. 
 
As an animal lover myself I always ensure both my cat and dog are up to date with their flea treatments using a spot-on flea treatment which is very easy to apply and will help in the fight against these pests. Frontline no longer appears to be effective in this area and I have found Advantage treatments to be far more effective at keeping fleas at bay. 
At Abbey Pest Control we are mostly dealing with wasp nests removals as we reach the height of the busy wasp season, however we are still finding rodents are making a nuisance of themselves in some homes across Berkshire. 
 
With growing populations of rats, mice and grey squirrels around Berkshire and the surrounding areas there are still plenty of rodents looking for homes and food. 
 
We are currently dealing with a number of rodent jobs, from a grey squirrel building itself a new nest in a loft in Lower Earley to rats gaining entry into a kitchen from a burrow under a patio in central Reading. 
Here at Abbey Pest Control we have had several calls over the passed few weeks about carpet beetles. Carpet beetles are similar to carpet moths in that their larvae will feed upon carpets, clothing and furniture and are a real nuisance around Reading and Berkshire. 
 
Carpet beetles are about 1.7mm – 3.5mm with a roundish body, they have a white, brown and yellow pattern over their body (see photo). 
Carpet Beetles in Reading
A collection of rodents caught on our motion cameras, no footage of any rodents being caught in traps. 
These videos have been taken from all over the Reading and Berkshire area and also includes a couple of surprise guests at the end. 
With the surprise taste of Spring we had here Berkshire in February, we have seen some Queen wasps emerging from hibernation a little earlier than usual, these Queen wasps will be looking for suitable nesting sites for the upcoming warmer summer months. 
 
Wasps can start on building their nests as early as March so now is the time you may start noticing some wasps around your home, especially within the loft or around the roof of your property. Some nests may not become active enough to notice until the end of May or early June and due to the warmer weather, we have been having here in the UK, along with the very mild winters, wasps can now remain active as far into the season as December. 
Wasp nest in Shinfield, Reading, Wokingham, Newbury and Thatcham
When it comes to pest control there are 2 different methods that a pest controller can use to eradicate a rat, mouse or squirrel infestation: toxic and non-toxic. The toxic method is the use of poisons to kill off the rodents in or around a building, the toxic approach can sometimes be a quick solution but also comes with the most risk, these risks can be: 
 
- Rats or mice dying within wall cavities and underneath floors. This can lead to maggots, flies and unpleasant smells as the rodent may be inaccessible. These smells and side effects can last a few weeks and create a nuisance for the home or business owner. 
 
- Poisoned rodents can also die outside or within reach of other animals. This can risk poisoning a non-target animal, mainly birds of prey, foxes or even domestic pets. Any toxic treatment carried out by a pest control technician needs to be monitored regularly to look for carcases, especially if the treatment is external as the rodents need to be disposed of appropriately. 
Rats in Shinfield, Reading, Wokingham, Newbury and Thatcham
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