Monthly Archives: January 2021

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The Unlikely Winter Pest – why am I seeing cockroaches?

By |January 30th, 2021|

Picture yourself in a tropical beach resort and although unpleasant, it may not be surprising to come across a cockroach or two. Seeing one in your home or business in the middle of winter in the UK can be somewhat of a shock however. Believe it or not, this isn’t all that uncommon and cockroaches are in fact one of our top winter pests.

Why exactly is this?
When the temperature drops, many cockroaches enter a hibernation-like state of dormancy called diapause. While in this inactive state, their metabolic rate slows and growth stops.

Cockroaches generally don’t like the cold at all however. This means that as soon as the temperature drops even slightly, they’ll start making their way inside. When in our nice warm homes with plenty of food and water nearby, these unwanted pests can remain active throughout the whole of winter. Unfortunately, this means that they also continue to reproduce.

How can I stop cockroaches getting into my home?

There are a number of tactics you can employ this winter to make your home less inviting to cockroaches.

Do a thorough clean
Seeing cockroaches doesn’t mean your home is dirty. Anyone can fall victim to a cockroach infestation but it is more likely to happen if there are potential food sources around.

Make sure you wash dishes or put them in the dishwasher as soon as you’ve finished eating, clean up crumbs and spills immediately, clean grease off the stove, keep food sealed in an airtight container and sweep, mop or vacuum on a regular basis.

Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight because doing so can attract pests.

It’s also a good idea to do a general declutter. The less stuff you have lying around, the fewer potential hiding places there are. Cockroaches love newspapers and cardboard so avoid storing or wrapping your belongings in these materials.

Seal any entry points
You may not have windows and doors open as much in January or February, but cockroaches can find other ways to get in. Thoroughly inspect your home for cracks and gaps. Don’t forget around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, lofts, vents and around holes used for utility and plumbing lines.

Caulk can be used to seal smaller holes while steel wool and foam is great for bigger gaps. If you need to seal vents and chimneys, you can do this using fine mesh wire.

Fix any leaks
Cockroaches need water and moisture to survive so standing water or excessive moisture caused by leaks can really attract these pests. Regularly inspect your plumbing and if you notice any issues, get them fixed as soon as possible.

Call a professional pest controller
Cockroaches are renowned for being able to withstand pretty much anything which means they can be difficult to get rid of. If you think you may have an infestation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Prokill and your friendly local technician will be on hand to help as soon as possible.

Dealing with Rodents in Winter

By |January 27th, 2021|

Unfortunately, rodents are a common problem all year round. You may be more likely to notice them in winter compared to summer however. This isn’t because there are more of them in January and February, it’s simply because they’re more likely to make their way indoors at this time of year.

Why are rodents a problem in winter?
Rats and mice remain active throughout the year. While the temperature is pleasant, they’re generally happy staying outdoors because there’s plenty of food and it’s easy to stay warm.

In the depths of winter however, survival is much harder. Common hiding places such as shrubs are no longer safe because leaves have fallen off, food supplies become increasingly scarce and they need protection from the cold.

Naturally, this makes homes, offices and buildings a very tempting prospect. Although they may be very brazen in their attempts to break in (rats can even climb walls), like any wild animal, rodents will do everything they can to avoid human contact. This means that unfortunately, we’re often unaware of their presence until we’re faced with a full-blown infestation.

How can I stop rodents getting into my home?
Prevention really is key when it comes to rodents. While their numbers can multiply quickly during breeding season, even just one can cause significant damage. As well as posing a risk to our health, they can destroy your property and even cause fires thanks to their tendency to chew through wires.

Remove any food sources
An easy food source is always going to be the biggest lure for any pest. Try to make it as difficult as possible for rats and mice to detect and find food. Do bear in mind that rodents will eat pretty much anything so it’s also a good idea to wipe down counters and hoover or mop floors regularly.

• Wipe up spills and crumbs immediately
• Hoover regularly
• Keep any open food items in a tightly sealed container
• Clean cupboards regularly
• Clean around, under and behind your fridge regularly
• Don’t leave food like fruit out on countertops
• Store rubbish in a bin with a lid which closes tightly
• Don’t leave pet food out for too long
• Check for leaky pipes and taps because this provides a source of water for rats
• Try to store bins, bird feeders and compost away from your home

Seal potential entry points
The most obvious reason for this is to prevent rodents getting inside in the first place. It is however, also important to stop them coming and going. Rats need a lot of water to survive which means they will often travel in and out of buildings.

Mice can be very small but even larger rats can fit into surprisingly small gaps (about half an inch), so it pays to be overly cautious. Some of the most common ways these rodents get into buildings include:

• Vents
• Doors
• Windows
• Walls
• Roofs (especially fascias and wherever an eave meets the roof)
• Plumbing stacks
• Air conditioning units
• Pipes
• Power line entry points

If you identify any potential entry points, fill them with cement, caulk, plaster or cover them with steel wool or sheet metal.

If the frames around your windows and doors are poorly sealed, buy some sealant to fill the gaps.

Call a professional pest controller
The best thing to do with any infestation is to call a professional pest controller. Here at Prokill, we can eliminate infestations quickly and effectively. What’s more, we can put in preventative measures to stop rodents making their way into your property in the first place, so if you think you may have an issue contact us today.

Pests you may encounter throughout the year.

By |January 26th, 2021|

From rodents, birds and wasps to foxes, squirrels and fleas, pests are unfortunately a common problem throughout the year. We do have some respite however because most pests are seasonal. So while you may be swatting flies all summer long, you won’t see them in winter.

Below we’ve put together a pest calendar so you know the signs to look out for depending on the month.

January and February
Fortunately, you’re not going to encounter many pests in the depths of winter because they’re either hibernating or can’t survive the cold months.

Rodents however are likely to be your biggest problem in January and February. With freezing cold temperatures and a scarce food supply outside, rats and mice will happily make their way into homes and offices.

While typically thought of as a summer pest, you may be surprised to see cockroaches in winter as well. With central heating systems providing a nice warm temperature, these highly undesirable pests can be found in buildings all year round.

March
As we approach spring and the temperature starts to rise, we will unfortunately see more pests both inside and out.

Nesting birds will be prevalent from now until around September. Although they’re not thought of as your typical pest, birds can be highly problematic. Their droppings can present a slip hazard as well as damage buildings. Although rare, they may attack if they think their hatchlings are in danger and their nesting materials can cause drain blockages as well as pose a fire risk.

This is also the time we’ll start to see insects re-emerge after their winter slumber, especially towards the end of the month.

Clothes moths tend to be the biggest problem in March so look out for damaged fabrics, webbing and cocoons. These can be hard to spot however because moths prefer dark, undisturbed areas such as cupboards which aren’t opened very frequently, lofts and basements.

April and May
The pests you’re likely to see in April and May will be very similar. By now we’re starting to see consistently warmer temperatures which attracts the likes of ants and house flies. We’re also likely to start to see the first signs of wasps and bees. Be on the lookout for nests so you can deal with them before they become fully active.

Other pests which remain a problem at this time of year include clothes moths, cockroaches, rats and mice.

June
While we may be delighted with the arrival of summer, this is unfortunately the time of year when insects are out in full force. We see a significant increase in the number of callouts for bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches and house flies at the beginning of summer.

Rats, wasps, mice and ants are still around in greater numbers but the good news is that clothes moth numbers finally begin to decline.

July
The pests you’re likely to encounter in July is very similar to June but this is the month where wasps and ants become unavoidable. You can try to prevent ants coming into your home by keeping it very clean. These insects are drawn to sugary substances in particular so it’s also a good idea to avoid keeping food on countertops.

August
Insect levels remain high, especially when it comes to ants and wasps. As always, you can expect to see rats and mice as well. On the bright side, house flies begin to die off in August.

September
As we edge closer to autumn, insect numbers start to decline. While you’re less likely to see ants, fleas and flies, wasp numbers remain high. September also sees the beginning of the dreaded spider season but the good news for those who are scared of them is that numbers will be relatively moderate for now.

As you’ve probably already guessed, rats, mice and cockroaches remain a pest problem in September.

October
While the vast majority of insects disappear altogether, you may still notice some wasps lingering around. As they become increasingly desperate for a sugary hit, they’re more likely to make their way inside.

We also return to that time of year when rodents start to make their way inside.

Spiders are the biggest problem in autumn. If the thought of them making their way into your home isn’t bad enough, one of the main reasons they do this is to breed so remain vigilant.

November
The good news is that wasps and all the other summer insects are no longer an issue at this time of year. Spider numbers are now at their peak however and rodent infestations become increasingly common as they make their way inside to enjoy the food and warmth. It’s not uncommon for birds to break into buildings either as they seek protection from the winter months.

December
While December is a fairly quiet month for pests, you can still find rodents and cockroaches inside. Anyone who’s scared of spiders can breathe a sigh of relief as their numbers start to decrease dramatically.

If you’re looking for year-round pest protection or think you may have an infestation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Prokill today.

There is a rat problem in my office….

By |January 22nd, 2021|

At this time of year, we often get customers asking; what do I do if there is a rat issue in my office?

At the first sign of infestation, we urge you to call your local pest controller so they can contain the problem before it spirals out of control.

Common signs of a rat infestation include:

• Droppings which are 1-2cm long
• Damage to food packaging, wood or plastic
• Shredded paper or cardboard
• Track marks on skirting boards and walls
• A strange, unexplained smell
• Scratching noises which can come from behind walls or under floorboards. You’re especially likely to notice this late at night

Rodents are a common problem during the winter months because just like us, they’re desperate to get out the cold. If you suspect you have an infestation, please get in touch with Prokill and a friendly member of your local team will be on hand to help.

You can also head to our rat pest control service page which includes further information including rat prevention tips and how to get rid of unwanted rodents.

How can I mouse proof my house?

By |January 18th, 2021|

It’s unlikely you want to be faced with a mouse in your home or office so below we share the top ways to avoid an unwanted mouse infestation.

How can I mouse proof my house?

• Clean regularly – the more clutter there is in your home, the easier it is for these creatures to go unnoticed as well as find food and nesting materials
• Keep outside areas clean – leaves and branches which have fallen on the floor are an inviting prospect for rodents because they offer warmth and a secure hiding spot
• Seal entry points – mice can squeeze through very small gaps so seal any cracks, holes and openings with steel wool or caulking. Don’t forget to check your roof for missing tiles or holes

For more proofing and prevention tips, get in touch with Prokill and our technicians will be happy to advise.

What smell will keep rats away?

By |January 12th, 2021|

There are a number of scents which are perfectly pleasant to humans but rats seem to hate.

This makes leaving certain scents around your home, office or business premises is a simple, low-cost and effective method to stop rats making themselves at home.

What smell will keep rats away? Scents which are well-known to repel rats include:

• Peppermint. You can put some peppermint oil on cotton wool balls and place them in corners of your home. Replace every few days to keep rats away
• Castor oil. You can soak cotton balls in the oil or just spread some where you suspect they are hiding.
• Citronella oil. Use the same method you would for peppermint and castor oil
• Rats have a highly developed sense of smell which means they don’t like strong odours such as crushed pepper and onions. Be careful leaving these items around the house if you have children and pets. Onions are toxic to dogs and can cause anaemia in cats so it’s safer to stick to the oils if you have pets around the home
• If you want to stop rats entering your garden, there are a number of plants known to repel them because of their smell. These include marigolds, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, onions, grape hyacinth, garlic, daffodils, oregano, sage, cayenne, black pepper and tomatoes

If you would like help rat-proofing your home or business premises, get in touch with Prokill and we’ll introduce you to your local pest controller. Contact us via our online form.

Do ultrasonic pest repellers work on mice?

By |January 7th, 2021|

A quick Google search will pull up no fewer than 34.8 million results for how to get rid of mice. It’s no wonder it can feel like a minefield knowing where to start.

One of the many pest-repellent methods that feature time and again is high-frequency sound. These devices emit noise at a frequency that humans can’t hear but rodents can. These frequencies are supposed to be tuned to just the right level to drive pests crazy, so they leave your home or business premises.

Do ultrasonic pest repellers work on mice however?
Research does show that pest behaviour can be affected by certain ultrasonic sounds when administered in a very specific way. This technology isn’t commercially available however so it’s not something you would be able to buy yourself.

Some readily available ultrasonic repellers have been known to have a short-term impact on mice. It’s possible that they will be able to deter mice which haven’t had a chance to establish themselves but for rodents which are settled with a supply of food and safe shelter, it’s unlikely the sound irritation will convince them to move on.

Another issue with these devices is that ultrasonic sound can be absorbed by furniture and other solid objects, creating dead spots where mice will be able to avoid the noise.

If you have a mouse infestation, the best thing you can do is call a local pest controller who will be able to eradicate the problem quickly and effectively.

How do you rat proof?

By |January 3rd, 2021|

One of the primary messages we communicate with our customers is the importance of prevention when it comes to pests.

While Prokill can ensure any infestations are terminated effectively, nobody wants to have to deal with rodents in their home or office in the first place.

This leads us to the all-important question; how do you prevent rats and therefore rat proof?

• Remove any food sources inside your home/office
• Remove food sources outside as well. This includes picking up any litter, storing rubbish in a secure bin and keeping bird feeders and compost away from the building
• Seal any openings bigger than half an inch because this can provide an entry point into your home or office. Pay attention to vents, doors, windows, walls, roofs, plumbing stacks, air conditioning units, pipes and power line entry points
• Don’t store firewood and logs near your home because this provides a nice shelter for rats
• Call a pest controller who will be able to discuss pest proofing tactics with you

If you would like to know more about how you can prevent a rat infestation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Prokill via our online form.