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…