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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.

Do pigeons deserve their bad reputation?

By |December 22nd, 2020|

Known by many as ‘rats with wings’, pigeons are one of the most unloved birds around. While some of us simply don’t like their presence because of their reputation for being dirty, others have a genuine phobia of them (peristerophobia).

Do pigeons really deserve their bad reputation however?

They carry more diseases than rats

Did you know that pigeons are the most unhygienic and messy of all the birds and they carry more harmful diseases to humans than rats do? One of the reasons for this is because they nest on their droppings which naturally, attracts mites. As a result, nearly all pigeons carry bird mite – a tiny insect which feeds off the bird and can cause humans to itch and scratch.

Bird fouling attracts insects

Pigeon fouling and nest materials also provide a home for many other insects including clothes moths, carpet beetle, fleas, flies and mealworm beetle which is why it can be such a nuisance to have them loitering around your home or business premises.

They can damage buildings

The uric acid present in pigeon faeces is highly corrosive and can cause extensive damage to metals and other materials it sits on for long periods of time. Furthermore, debris from flocks of pigeons often build up, backing up gutters and drains which can cause flooding and roof damage.

Nesting materials have also been known to cause faults in machinery, especially rooftop air conditioning units which are a prime nesting spot for these birds.

Pigeon droppings can cause accidents

Pigeon droppings can be slippery when wet, causing a slip hazard. This can be particularly problematic for the elderly and if you’re a business owner, you could be held accountable for any injuries sustained on your premises.

The bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in pigeon droppings can also cause a number of serious diseases including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and many more.

Clean-up costs can be high

Whether a pigeon problem is affecting your home or business premises, the presence of bird droppings and nesting materials can be messy, unsightly and dangerous. If you don’t want to put people off entering your premises or don’t want to risk damage being caused to your home or building, it’s important for regular cleaning to take place.

This often requires hiring a professional because they have all the proper cleaning products and can access areas which are difficult to reach. If you have a serious pigeon problem, you may have to do this on a regular basis which can become incredibly costly.

If your home or business is suffering from a pigeon infestation, Prokill can help to eliminate the problem by implementing preventative measures such as protective netting and spike systems. We can create a bird-proofing solution that is ideal for your business and its needs.

For more information about our pigeon control services, please feel free to contact your local Prokill expert online or give us a call on 053 9420224 and we will be more than happy to help.

Common Winter Pest Problems

By |November 22nd, 2020|

People often think that pests are less of a problem during the winter months. While we’re unlikely to see wasps flying around or ants crawling over our food, pests are still an issue at this time of year for a number of reasons.

Firstly, there are several troublesome creatures which are still active during the colder months. Secondly, it’s not uncommon for pests to make their way into our homes during the autumn and then hibernate in a quiet corner until spring.

Below we highlight common winter pest problems so you know what to look out for.

Moles

Moles are a nuisance for any gardener. As well as destroying your beautiful lawn and flowerbeds, they don’t hibernate and are therefore active all year round.

You’re more likely to notice moles in winter due to the fact that they work closer to the surface at this time of year. Prokill uses licensed fumigants in accordance to CRRU regulations to effectively control outbreaks.

Think you might have a mole infestation? Here are the signs to look out for and what you can do about it.

Squirrels

While many of us enjoy seeing squirrels while we’re out walking, they can be a nuisance because they like to build nests in warm places such as lofts and chimneys. When they gain access to your house, they can then chew through water pipes and electric cables, causing significant damage and potentially even fires.

There are two types of squirrel in the UK – the native red squirrel and the grey squirrel. Neither hibernate during winter because they don’t have the capacity to store the energy they would need to do so.

Find out what the signs of a squirrel infestation are and how to eradicate the problem quickly and effectively.

Foxes

Not only do you get foxes in winter, they’re at their most vocal at this time of year. While their loud screams can be alarming, they’re simply making these noises because it’s their mating season.

As well as hearing them, you’re also more likely to see a fox during winter because they become braver as they struggle to find their own food. They’re more likely to head to urban areas during the colder months as they search for food and shelter. These creatures are particularly drawn to gardens, compost heaps, bird tables and garden buildings. Find out more about foxes and how to prevent them making your home theirs.

Rabbits

Rabbits are active all year-round and you’re actually more likely to notice them during winter. Like most other creatures at this time, they’re in desperate search of food as supplies become increasingly scarce in nature.

If you have a nice food supply in your garden, rabbits are likely to make themselves at home. They will also be on the lookout for somewhere warm, dry and safe to shelter so you may spot them hiding under thick bushes and trees, by solid fences and anything else potential predators can’t see through.

Find out more about rabbits and how to prevent an infestation.

Rodents

Rats and mice are unfortunately a common winter pest. It’s cold outside which means that their food supply is drying up and they want to head inside where it’s warm and there’s plenty for them to eat.

Although they’re often portrayed as brazen animals, rodents will generally try to avoid human contact. You’re most likely to find them hidden in dark, undisturbed places such as the loft, garage, shed, under floorboards, inside walls and underneath furniture or inside cupboards that aren’t used very often.

Rats and mice can be very destructive and their numbers multiply rapidly so it’s important to deal with infestations quickly.

If you’re concerned that you may have a winter pest infestation, please don’t hesitate to contact us for your free, no obligation quote.

How to deal with winter rodent infestations

By |November 14th, 2020|

There’s good news and bad news about rodents during the winter months. The good news is that as the temperature starts to cool, it signifies the end of their breeding season. The bad news however, is that as the colder air draws in and food supplies dry up, rodents will do anything they can to make their way into our homes, out buildings and office premises.

While they usually make their way back outside once spring arrives, it’s highly unlikely that you want to share your living or workspace with rodents in the meantime. Below we share everything you need to know about dealing with winter infestations.

What are the signs of a rodent infestation?

It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of rats and mice. By keeping on top of this, you can catch rodent infestations before they spiral out of control.

• Droppings
• An unusual odour (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 or skirting boards
• Footprints. You can test this by sprinkling flour or talcum powder in the areas you think they’re frequenting. It’s better to do this at night because rodents are more likely to venture out when nobody is around
• 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

How to keep rodents out of your home

The best way to prevent rats and mice entering your home is to make it as difficult as possible for them. Keep windows and doors closed, fill any potential entry points no matter how small they are and trim branches that hang over your roof. Rats are surprisingly good climbers and can make their way inside through the roof.

It’s also worth checking the less obvious entry points such as behind kitchen cabinets, gaps between windows and doors and around vents and pipes. If you do notice gaps, make sure they’re filled or blocked off.

If you have a cat flap, ensure it’s one where only your pet can gain access through a special collar.

Don’t make your home an inviting place for unwanted guests. If there’s an easy food supply, you can guarantee rodents will do everything they can to get inside. Remove food sources by storing products in containers rather than packets which are easy to get into, make sure rubbish is secured in bins with a tight-fitting lid, clean up food spills immediately and hoover regularly.

Few of us are keen gardeners during the winter months but an unkempt garden can lure rodents in. Make sure toys and furniture are stored away, leaves are raked up and thrown away and overgrown bushes are trimmed because they can provide shelter. If you keep firewood, store it away from your home because rodents can hide in there and then make their way inside when the opportunity arises.

For further information about dealing with winter rodent infestations or to book in for a free, no obligation pest control audit, get in touch with Prokill today.

How to Deal with Unwanted Wildlife

By |October 13th, 2020|

We’re all familiar with the risk of rodents, bugs, insects and other pests invading our properties but what happens when something a little more unexpected makes themselves at home?

Wildlife such as foxes, moles, rabbits and squirrels will very rarely find their way inside but it’s not uncommon for them to be found in gardens and other outdoor areas. While they may be cuter than your typical pest, wildlife can cause a lot of damage around properties, attract other pests and it can also be a worry if you have pets.

So, what can you do when these creatures become a nuisance to your home or business premises?

Know the legislation

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) means that there are strict rules when it comes to applying rodenticides outside. This is because they can be highly toxic and need to be used correctly to ensure that wildlife and other non-target animals like pets are kept safe.

Please don’t try to use rodenticides outside. If you have a problem with wildlife in a domestic or business premises, please contact a professional pest controller. You can find out how Prokill adheres to CRRU rules on our website.

Dealing with a mole infestation

Mole problems can be difficult to deal with because they live underground. Repellents, poisons and fumigants are all popular options but as we mentioned above, please leave this to the professionals.

Moles prefer to live in areas where the soil stays moist so if you want them to move on quickly, you could try improving the drainage on your property.

Dealing with a squirrel infestation

It’s not uncommon to see squirrels and while the odd one here or there isn’t a problem, big numbers of them can cause a lot of damage. Squirrels can also become problematic if one manages to get in through the loft because they can chew through walls, timber, cables and electrical wiring.

Some top tips for getting rid of a squirrel infestation include:

• Remove any food sources such as bird feed, rubbish and pet food
• Use gutter guards and cover downspouts so they can’t enter buildings through the roof and facia boards
• Trim tree branches which hang over the roof
• Seal entry points and cracks in walls
• Remove any firewood being stored against the building

Dealing with a fox infestation

Foxes are seen as pests because they scavenge any food they can, they cause damage to gardens and landscapes and for anyone who keeps chickens or rabbits in their garden, it can be a worry.

Some effective ways to deal with a fox problem include:

• Eliminate whatever is attracting foxes to your property. This could be rubbish, an easily accessible chicken coop or nice warm shelter
• Spray a non-toxic chemical such as Scoot, Wash Off and Get Off, Stay Off or Get Off My Garden. Please always follow instructions even when using non-toxic chemicals
• Don’t leave ground-floor windows and doors open, especially after dark. Foxes may make their way inside for food
• Store rubbish in secure metal bins
• Keep outside areas free of clutter
• Extend your fence above and/or below ground. You may need planning permission for this

Dealing with a rabbit infestation

Rabbits may seem harmless, but they can cause plenty of damage to gardens. Some top tips for getting rid of rabbits include:

• Rabbits will only live in areas that provide cover from predators. If you have low-growing shrubs, brush piles, tall grass, a shed or other structure, this will be very appealing to them
• Fill your garden with plants that rabbits don’t like to eat such as geranium, marigold, Mexican sunflower, bleeding hearts, daffodils, forget-me-nots, ginger, hyacinth, lavender, peony and rhododendron
• Add barrier fencing to protect plants
• Water scarecrows, fake snakes and owls, aluminium pie pans and ultrasonic devices can help scare off rabbits

The best thing to do when faced with a wildlife infestation is to call a professional pest controller. Prokill specialises in wildlife control for both domestic and business premises. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for further information or to book in for a free, no obligation audit.