Author - Andrew H

Keeping yourself rat free this winter

Well summer had to end eventually and I had to scrape the frost off my van windscreen this morning so what better time to talk about winter rat problems.

Its been a bumper year for insect pests with the hot dry days providing ideal conditions for them to thrive. But its not just insects that have loved the summer. Rats have had a good year too with good conditions allowing more rat offspring to survive, raising the base population level.

However, all good things must come to an end and as food availability declines and days get colder all those rats are going to need shelter, and your house could be as good a place as any. So what can you do to ensure you stay rat free this winter?

There has been a  bumper fruit crop this year and sometimes the fruit is left to go to waste. Below is a prime example of an apple tree heavy laden with fruit that has been allowed to fall to the ground and left to rot. This is a food source for rats and could prompt rats to set up shop in the garden. You should remove any unused fruit to remove the potential food source.

Apples left on the ground to rot

Its not just rats that run short of food in the winter. Birds suffer too and people love to give them a hand by feeding them. Good on you. We should help our birds survive the winter but not at the cost of allowing rats to set up shop in our gardens.

Its not just birds that can use this feeder

Bird feeders should be sited away from trees and bushes and a baffle of some sort or other should be fitted to the upright pole. This will stop rats climbing up to the bird feeders. They especially love fat balls due to the high energy content. Birds are also messy feeders and any spill of seed from the feeders should be caught or cleared up, otherwise you will find rats feeding around the base of the bird feeder.

If you can remove food sources from outside your home, rats are much less likely to frequent your garden. If they aren’t in your garden they wont find their way into your homes…. Unless they’re coming from the drains, but that’s for another time.



Carbon Footprint 2017/18

Well that was one heck of a busy summer. It was great to meet so many new customers and see returning customers again. Thank you all for choosing Greenway to help with your pest problems.

Due to how busy things have been this post is a little late but here is Septembers annual report for Carbon Emissions. This is the first full year report as last year was a six month report from company launch in April 2017 to September 2017. The main source of emissions comes from running a vehicle (no great surprise there) so this is an area where improvement is really needed.

I’ve been looking to purchase a fully electric vehicle but there are currently no electric vans with a decent enough range on a full charge. Battery charge time is always given as an optimal results but in reality this is rarely achieved (especially during a cold northern winter which is certainly on the way). There are some new vehicles coming on the market over the next few years that I will be keeping an eye on, as the battery charge capacity is stated to be increased to a point where an EV will be a viable choice for a service vehicle.

17 18 certificate

sep 17 – sep 18 report


Actions speak louder than words

Well it’s been a busy first year here at Greenway and we’re pleased to report that we are providing great pest control while sticking to our core beliefs.

Greenway Integrated Pest Management Ltd wants to prove that you can provide a great pest control service while reducing environmental impacts. That’s why we track and offset our carbon footprint through local tree planting, find new ways to reduce our waste and have committed ourselves to reducing chemical use wherever possible.

We can now announce, after one full year of commercial operation, that we solved over 90% of rat clearance jobs and over 95% of mouse clearance jobs without the use of Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs).

Our success rate of over 90% for rats and 95% for mice, without the use of SGARs will now be used as our company benchmarks for all future reporting years. We will always look for new and innovative ways to keep our use of SGARS to a minimum.

Just like we reveal our carbon footprint and how we plan to offset it each September; we will now report our annual SGAR use each April.

Great environmentally conscious pest control is possible. We really do love the environment and we want to prove that to you. After all, actions speak louder than words.


The battle against moth and mice in the Palace of Westminster

The title may sounds like a Harry Potter spin off but you take comfort in the fact that those in the Palace of Westminster have to but up with pests like the rest of us.

Sightings of mice have apparently become so frequent that one MP has brought her cat to the commons. The first six months of 2016 had 217 reported sightings for mice. There were also 1000 moth detections a month.

The MP was banned from bringing cats into the Palace due to concerns for animal welfare. I would assume the palace was also heavily baiting with rodenticides. It always amuses me how the welfare debate can go. On the one hand you can’t use cats to control mice as is it deemed cruel for the mouse to be hunted. On the other hand you can use chemicals to control mice, although it is rarely a quick death, but that’s ok because its a controlled chemical.

I wonder which the mouse would prefer?


Offsetting our carbon footprint

Since Greenway Integrated Pest Management Ltd started trading in April we’ve been looking at ways to reduce our environmental impact. We have been monitoring our energy use and today we can proudly use the carbon footprint logo in our media.

The first carbon offset that we have completed covers our activities from the start of April until the end of September. We only had six months worth of emissions to offset but, in future years, we will post our annual emissions and information on how we have offset them at the start of each October.

To offset our first six months of emissions we have donated money to fund the planting of trees in the North-East of England, both to trap the equivalent amount of carbon we have emitted and to provide habitat for a wide variety of insects, birds and mammals. You can find our six month report and our offset certificate below.

Greenway Integrated Pest Management Ltd really does care about our world and we hope we can be of assistance to you in the future.


News from the campaign for responsible rodenticide use

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) has reported that there was no significant change in rodenticide levels in Barn Owl liver residues in 2016.

CRRU only came into effect mid 2016, so new restrictions and practices have not had much time to take effect but at least there has been no increase in Barn Owls that have been found to have residual Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGAR’s) in their tissues.

Still, 78% of Barn Owls tested had residues of one or more SGAR’s which is over three quarters of all birds tested.
There is a lot of room for improvement but hopefully as we go forwards CRRU will start to see reductions of cases of residual SGARS being found in prey bird species.

Greenway, for one, will be doing all it can to help.


What something goes bump in the night it doesn’t have to be rats

In the UK, Starlings usually start to lay eggs, (4 to 6 in total), in mid-April with the eggs hatching 12 days after they are laid. When the young are around three weeks old they will fledge and are fed for another couple of weeks by the parents until they become fully independent. Starlings usually only raise one brood a year but if the first fledges early enough another set of eggs can sometimes be laid.

If you do have an issue with Starlings using your roof space to nest, you don’t have to put up with it. While the nest is in use you cannot interfere with it, (who would want to kill the young anyway?); but you can do something to stop it happening again next year once the young have fully fledged and the nest is no longer in use.

The owner of this house had a repeat issue with Starlings nesting in their eaves for several summers in a row. The birds were fouling down onto the conservatory and making a noise above the owners bedroom at night, much to their annoyance. When the house had been built, no eaves protection had been installed and there were gaps under the raised sections where the tiles overlap that the Starlings could fit under. If the roof had flat tiles such as slate, there wouldn’t have been an issue but the raised profile at the edges of the tiles left plenty of space for the birds to move through.

Pushing the tiles back reveals the end batten of the roof, and bird comb can be fixed in place. This simple yet effective device follows the rise and fall of the tile profile when the tiles are pulled back in place, blocking all gaps that would otherwise be open.

So there you have it. Just because you hear a bump in the night it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a rodent problem. We are coming to the end of the summer soon, sadly, but that means the Starlings will be moving off to their winter stomping grounds. If you have a problem with Starlings nesting in your roof give us a call. We have the perfect solution for you.


Quarterly inspections are they worth it

If you are a business in the food and drinks industry you probably have a contracted pest control service in place. It’s a very competitive market and in order to drive down prices further some companies offer a quarterly service where a pest control technician visits the site four times a year. Operating costs are obviously lower than the standard eight visits a year and this is what allows for a lower annual cost to the customer.

However, you might be paying for a pest control service and getting it for a very low price but are quarterly inspections worth paying for? I would argue that they are not, and I will explain why.

First, with quarterly inspections the pest control technician is not legally able to use rodenticide baits inside the clients business premises. Rodenticide baits have to be checked ‘frequently’, and checking rodenticide bait once every three months is not frequent enough.

Two other forms of monitoring are traps and non-toxic monitoring blocks. With traps, once a trap is set off it is useless until it is reset. Say the technician uses traps and an issue with mice arises at the premises. A mouse is caught in a trap by a rear doorway a week after the technicians visit. This area is no longer protected from mice as a trap can only catch once. Unless the staff at the business are monitoring the traps this area will stay unprotected for nearly three months until the technician returns for his next scheduled visit. Only then can he act and if you are relying on staff to check your traps what exactly are you paying your pest control company to do?

Another form of monitoring comes in the form of non-toxic blocks. These will essentially feed the mice until the blocks are checked and found to be eaten, at which point rodenticide poison or traps will be put in the boxes and checked weekly until the issue is resolved and any remedial proofing work is carried out to stop it happening again.
Quarterly inspections may seem like a tick in the box to some clients as it means they do officially have ‘pest control cover’ at their premises but can this pest control cover really be considered effective? Not only can rodenticide baits not be used inside the business premises but thorough visual inspections will be three months apart, meaning insect infestations can take hold without your knowledge. If a couple of hundred pounds means that much to your bank balance you might as well do it yourself in my opinion. You’ll be more likely to find that something is amiss before the pest control technician, who might not be on site for another three months.

What price do you put on your businesses reputation with your customers? The food and drinks industry is a very competitive place and it doesn’t take long for word of mouth to make or break a business. If you value your businesses’ reputation and are forward thinking enough to get a pest control service put in place, don’t just pay the lowest price possible for quarterly inspections. An infestation can easily take hold in three months and if it starts to impact on your reputation with your customers, calling out your pest control after the fact is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.


Fleas on your pet spot on flea treatments won’t guarantee a flea free home

So your pet has fleas? What next? You’ll probably go to the supermarket or pet shop and buy a spot on flea treatment, or go to a vet who will provide a similar treatment. You take your pet home and no more fleas… right? Wrong! Fleas don’t live on the animal. Fleas hop on the animal, feed and then hop off again and go hide somewhere safe. They need their own mini microclimate do that they don’t desiccate (dry out). They are generally found on carpeted areas where they can tuck in where the floor hits the skirting board or under furniture where it is dark and cool. A spot on flea treatment will kill fleas on your pet. It won’t clear the house of fleas. Of course, if you catch the problem early on and there are very few fleas present it may work, but don’t bank on it.

An effective flea treatment means that you have to treat the whole house. Nothing else with guarantee that your pet wont just ‘get fleas’ aka start scratching again as soon as the spot on treatment wears off. The fleas were always present, the spot on treatment was just keeping them at bay on your pet. An effective treatment for fleas involves a spot on treatment, yes, but combined with two whole house floor sprays with an effective insecticide. You need two treatments because the chemical wont kill the eggs. You need to give the house a good hoover, have the house sprayed once, not hoover for two weeks (so many parents with young children have looked at me aghast when I tell them this) and then hoover again after two weeks, followed by a second floor spray after any eggs have hatched out and no hovering again for two weeks. If you do this you should be pest free.

At Greenway Integrated Pest Management LTD, we’re so confident in this treatment pattern that if you aren’t flea free after two treatments coupled with a spot on treatment on your pets we’ll guarantee the work and any additional sprays will be free. You have to make sure to hoover all areas and leave all floor spaces clear when we treat but if you follow our guidelines, yes, the work is guaranteed….. except for on timber floors with a void underneath but that’s a different story.

And anyway, who wouldn’t want to be flea free as soon as possible? Unless of course your intention is to set up a travelling circus…