Monthly Archives: September 2020

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What to do if you spot mouse droppings in the garage or shed

By |September 27th, 2020|

As summer is coming to an end and the weather starts to cool down, rodents like mice are likely to start making their way into outbuildings such as garages and sheds.

One of the most obvious signs this has happened is spotting mouse droppings. So what should you do if this happens?

Look out for other signs

If you have an active mouse infestation, there are a number of signs that will confirm your suspicions.

• Unusual odours (similar to urine or a damp, musky smell)
• Holes in materials that weren’t there before
• Rodent nests
• Scratching noises, especially at night
• Gnaw marks on furniture or tracks on the floor

Try to eliminate the problem quickly

It might be tempting to delay calling pest control as the mice aren’t actually in your home. Rodents can be just as problematic in garages and sheds as they can be inside however. They can build nests in wall insulation, chew through electrical wires, expose you to potential health problems and they are of course highly unsanitary. What’s more, it’s only a matter of time before they do make their way into your nice, warm house.

Seal any holes

Mice can fit through very small holes so do a thorough search of your garage and shed. Patching compound or wood plus caulk can be used to seal up any holes bigger than ¼ of an inch. Fitting a bristle or brush to the bottom of any doors can also help prevent mice squeezing through small gaps.

Avoid using a poison 

Spraying a repellent or laying down poison is often people’s first thought when they spot the signs of a mouse infestation. We don’t recommend this for a number of reasons however.

If you have young children or pets, they may come into contact with the poison and ingest it themselves. Even if the mouse does eat the poison and dies, you don’t want your pet to eat it because it could poison them too.

The Campaign for the Responsible Use (CRRU) of rodenticides also means that there’s a particular way these chemicals must be used in order to minimise their exposure to wildlife and other non-target animals. You can find out more about this by visiting their website where it explains why you should always use a professional pest controller when dealing with chemicals.

Remove any food sources

If you use the garage or shed to store pet food, bird feed or supplies for yourself, ensure they’re well protected. Tightly sealed in a metal container is the ideal solution because mice can chew through plastic and cardboard.

If mice infestations are a common problem for you, it’s a good idea to stop storing food supplies in outbuildings because it’s simply encouraging them to return.

Call pest control

The best thing to do if you spot mouse droppings in your garage or shed is to call pest control on 053 9420224 or complete our online enquiry form.

Here at Prokill we offer a free, no obligation audit where we can determine whether or not there is an outbreak and the extent of it. Should you wish to proceed with our services, our qualified technicians will be able to effectively remove any rodents as well as instal the appropriate proofing systems to avoid future outbreaks.

How do you get rid of mice at work?

By |September 25th, 2020|

The last thing any business wants to face is a rodent infestation. As well as being incredibly unsettling for your employees, if word gets out, it could also be disastrous to your reputation.

Whether you’re running an office for your staff or your business is customer focused (such as a shop or restaurant for example), below we explain how to get rid of mice at work.

Encourage employees to be vigilant
Food is the quickest and easiest way to encourage a mouse infestation. When you have multiple employees on site all day however, it can be incredibly difficult to manage this.

Ask your staff to observe the following good practices which will help to get rid of mice:

  • Bring and store all food in a tightly sealed container
  • Clear out cupboards regularly and wipe away any food debris
  • Clear up spills immediately
  • Wipe down all surfaces at the end of the day
  • Clean up any crumbs dropped on desks, in keyboards and on the floor
  • Don’t leave cakes, cookies or any other shared food out overnight
  • Keep food in the kitchen rather than in desk drawers

Store rubbish securely
Businesses generate a lot of rubbish on a daily basis which is very appealing to mice. General rubbish provides lots of good hiding places and food rubbish is a nice easy meal for rodents.

Ensure that kitchen bins are emptied and taken outside on a daily basis. Once outside, store any rubbish in a secure bin with a tight fitting lid so mice can’t get inside. If possible, also try to store the bins as far away from any doors as you can.

Eliminate water sources
Mice will also look for a water source as this is crucial to survival. Remind everyone to wipe up any spills immediately and at the end of the day, also try to ensure that all taps and sinks have been dried.

If you have any leaking taps or pipes (whether it’s inside or outside), get them repaired as quickly as possible.

Check for potential entry points
Mice can fit through holes as small as a quarter of an inch so it’s worth taking the time to do a thorough inspection of your premises. If you notice any holes or cracks in the building, seal them up with concrete, mortar, steel wool or metal flashing.

Call Prokill
If your business has a mouse infestation, we highly recommend that you call a professional pest controller as soon as possible. Not only is this for the sake of your employees and reputation, depending on which industry you’re in, it may even be a legal obligation.

As well as helping to identify and contaminate problems quickly and successfully, we also offer ongoing services which helps to prevent issues occurring in the first place.

Pest+ is the ideal solution for commercial properties and includes an initial risk assessment, a free pest control risk survey, regular checks on lures and netting, detailed reports, free call-outs and more.

PestAdvanced caters for the ever-changing needs of the food and pharmaceutical industries and includes risk assessments, internal baiting, fly count analysis, annual reviews, detailed reports and much more.

To book in for your free, no obligation quote or pest control audit, please get in touch with Prokill today.

What to do if you’re worried about rats in your garden

By |September 18th, 2020|

Rats in the garden is a common problem for anyone living in a house. With plenty of places to hide and rubbish bins providing a great food source, it’s no surprise that these rodents are happy to make themselves at home here.

It’s important to get a potential problem with rats seen to quickly if you suspect you have rats in the garden. With autumn just around the corner, the temperature will start dropping and food supplies will become scarce. This means that before long, these pests will start making their way into your home.

Below we discuss the signs that you may have rats in your garden and what to do about it.

Signs of rats in the garden
It’s a good idea to spend 10-15 minutes checking your garden for signs of rats on a regular basis. Look out for:

• Rat droppings. These are distinct and resemble a large grain of rice (about 9-14mm) and are dark brown in colour. Rats can produce up to 40 droppings in just one night so you’re likely to notice it in large volumes
• Bite marks. Rats have a strong bite and can chew through things such as plastic, wood, lead, aluminium and even cement. If you notice bite marks around bins, in hoses, furniture, sheds or anywhere else around the garden, it’s likely to be rats
• Nests. You’re likely to find rat nests in areas that are dry and hidden from predators so you may need to search a bit harder for this one. They’re attracted to clutter and easy food sources so these are the high risk areas of your garden
• Footprints. Rats are very active so it’s inevitable they’re going to leave footprints. A good way to test this is to sprinkle flour or anything with a similar texture and wait to see if there are any fresh prints
• Burrows. Rats are more likely to dig burrows in proximity to compost bins, sheds, the garage and under shelters and decking
• Increased pet activity. Cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell and hearing than we do so they may pick up on rats before you. If your pet is putting its nose inside crevices for longer and more often than usual or they’re suddenly constantly on the hunt for something, it could be rats
• You can smell ammonia. If you have a very large rat infestation in your garden, you will probably be able to smell it

What to do if you have rats in the garden
There are a number of ways you can encourage rats to move on and prevent them coming back in future.

Remove potential food sources
Pests are drawn to easy food sources so make it as difficult as possible for them to get food from your garden.

• Ensure bin bags are securely fastened and are kept preferably in a metal bin
• Don’t feed your pet outside. If you do, ensure it’s cleared away as soon as they’ve finished
• If you eat outside, clean away any debris immediately and wipe down source
• Don’t leave food out for birds or squirrels
• Remove fallen fruits from the ground
• If possible, remove any water sources

Keep your garden clean
Rats like to keep hidden so any clutter will provide shelter for them.

• Trim bushes, cut the grass and remove weeds regularly
• Rake leaves regularly and don’t leave them in a pile on the ground
• Inspect children’s toys regularly
• Keep your shed clean because rats can easily gnaw their way inside
• If you keep garden furniture covered, check it regularly

Get planting
There are a number of plants that deter rats so try to incorporate a couple of these into your garden design.

• Lavender
• Daffodils
• Marigolds
• Garlic
• Black pepper
• Cayenne
• Sage
• Oregano

Call a local pest controller
If you suspect you have a rat infestation in your garden, you should always call a local pest controller. They will be able to diagnose the problem and how severe it is, safely remove any unwanted pests and show you how to prevent them coming back.

If you need help with a rat infestation, please get in touch with Prokill and our experts will be on hand to help.

Autumn pests – what to look out for….

By |September 13th, 2020|

With autumn upon us, it’s that time of year when pests start making their way out of the cold and into our nice, warm homes.

Which unwanted visitors are we likely to see lurking around our homes as we transition into winter and what are the signs you should be looking out for? Below we cover everything you need to know about autumn pests.

Autumn pests in the Ireland

Common pests in homes at this time of year include:

Wasps

The feeding habits of wasps mean they’re more likely to come into contact with people at this time of year. A diet of ripening fruit can also make them drunk and more aggressive than normal.

Signs of wasps include:

• If you have a wasp infestation, you’re likely to see them flying around your home or in the garden in larger numbers than usual
• Certain species of wasps build their nests by chewing wood. You may notice holes or tunnels in wooden surfaces on the exterior of your home
• You see a wasp nest. Always call a pest controller if you spot a wasp nest and don’t try to remove it yourself

Bed bugs

With many people returning from their summer holidays, bed bugs brought back in suitcases can be a common problem at this time of year.

Common signs of bed bugs include:

• If you look closely, you may be able to see them. An adult is 4-5mm in length, reddish-brown in colour, has a flattened, oval body and does not have wings
• You have bites on your body. These are typically found in a pattern of rows or as a cluster. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite and they may be very itchy
• There are small dark stains on your bed sheets
• You notice a sweet/sickly scent that you can’t explain

Spiders

While spider numbers peak in the summer, as the weather gets colder they move into buildings for light and warmth. This means that despite the fact that there are actually fewer of them, we’re more likely to notice them in the autumn.

Signs of a spider infestation:

• Spider webs around the home
• You see them – as well as webs, spiders can often be found in burrows and crevices
• Some species are attracted to moist environments so check around pipes, sinks, baths, showers, basements, walls, sheds and other damp locations

Cluster flies

Depending on the temperature, cluster flies tend to appear in homes and buildings from late September onwards. Because they come inside to hibernate, it can be hard to spot that they’re there. They’re often found under felt in attics and around heating and ventilation pipes.

Fleas

Flea populations peak in autumn and people returning home from holidays can also cause an increase in numbers.

Signs of a flea infestation include:

• You may be able to see them on curtains, carpets and furniture
• Your pet is scratching a lot or you can see them in their fur
• You’re getting bitten. Flea bites are usually located on the lower legs and feet and are characterised by red spots surrounded by red halos. You may experience hives, a rash or swelling around the bite

Rodents

Just like with other pests, rodent numbers aren’t particularly higher during autumn. They’re simply seeking shelter from the cooler and often wetter weather. As food supplies become increasingly scarce outside, the likes of rats and mice are more likely to make their way into homes and buildings.

Signs of a rodent infestation include:

• Droppings
• Unusual odours (similar to urine or a damp, musky smell)
• Holes in materials that weren’t there before
• Nests
• Scratching noises, especially at night
• Gnaw marks on furniture or tracks on the floor
• Footprints
• If your pet is putting its nose inside crevices for longer and more often than usual or they’re suddenly constantly on the hunt for something, it could be because you have rodents in the house

If you think you have a pest problem, please get in touch with us at Prokill and we can book you in for a free, no obligation pest control audit.

How to get Rid of Cockroaches

By |September 4th, 2020|

Although cockroach infestations aren’t as common as they are in some countries, there are three common cockroach species native to us. In the right conditions, cockroaches can make their way into homes, restaurants and commercial and industrial premises.

Often associated with dirty places, this isn’t necessarily the case. Yes, dirt equals food and plenty of places to hide but cockroaches are commonly introduced to buildings through the transportation of goods and equipment. This means that anyone can be vulnerable to an infestation regardless of how clean your premises are.

How do you get rid of cockroaches if you find yourself faced with a dreaded infestation?

Find where cockroaches are hiding

You won’t be able to fully eliminate the infestation unless you find out where these pests are hiding. Cockroaches are nocturnal, and they prefer to live and feed in the dark. This means it could be months before you even realise you have a problem.

Dark, moist locations are popular hiding places. Check:

  • Behind refrigerators, sinks and stoves
  • Underfloor drains
  • Inside motors and major appliances such as fridges and water heaters

Cockroaches have an impressive ability to flatten their bodies which means they’re often found in some obscure places including:

  • Beneath rubber mats
  • Behind wallpaper
  • Inside wall cracks

Some other common places to find cockroaches hiding include:

  • Ceilings
  • Areas where pipes come into your home, around washers and dryers, behind damp cabinets, around exposed pipes and in walls and floors where there may be condensation
  • Furniture such as sofas
  • Cardboard boxes

Eliminate food sources

Eliminating any potential food sources inside and around your home is one of the most effective ways of getting cockroaches to move on sharpish.

  • Clean kitchen appliances regularly because cockroaches happily live off grease and food spills
  • Empty cabinets and give them a thorough clean – crumbs are a great source of food
  • Vacuum regularly – when we’re preparing and eating food, it’s very easy to drop crumbs
  • Wipe down kitchen countertops every night
  • Don’t leave pet food out overnight
  • Store any leftover food in a sealed container
  • Make sure all rubbish is stored in a bin with a tight-fitting lid

Block off entry points

Cockroaches can crawl through even the smallest of spaces so it’s important to seal off a potential entry point. This can include cracks in walls, gaps in doors, between walls and countertops, underneath doors and in between floorboards.

Fix leaks

Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and water. Even if you have a small leak, try to fix it as soon as possible and don’t let water stand in your sink or over-water indoor plants. Providing cockroaches have a water source, they can survive months without food which is why they’re drawn to water so much.

Call pest control

The safest, quickest and most effective way to eliminate a cockroach infestation is to call a local pest controller. They will also be able to provide you with advice that will prevent infestations occurring in the future. To book in for your free pest control audit by getting in touch with us today either via our online form or by calling us on 053 9420224.