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Are rats nocturnal animals?

By |February 28th, 2021|

Many customers ask, ‘are rats nocturnal animals?’ The reason this is such a common question is because even if you’re in the unfortunate position of suffering a rat infestation, you’re still unlikely to see one roaming around your house or office during the day.

Rats are nocturnal which means they’re most active at night and during dawn and dusk. What’s more, even though they can be brazen at times, they will generally do everything they can to avoid human contact. Typically, they will wait until it’s very quiet before venturing out.

While it’s great news that these rodents are most likely to come out while you’re safely tucked up in bed, it can make spotting an infestation very difficult until significant damage has already been caused.

Some of the more common signs of a problem with rats include:

• Droppings
• Unusual odours (similar to urine or a damp, musky smell)
• Unexplained holes in materials
• Nests
• Scratching noises, especially at night
• Gnaw marks on furniture
• Greasy tracks on the floor or skirting boards
• Footprints (you can test this by laying down some flour at night)
• 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
• Electrical problems – rodents are well known for eating anything and everything, including electrical wires

If you need help eliminating a rat infestation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Prokill team via our online contact form.

How do I get rid of moles in my garden without killing them?

By |February 26th, 2021|

A common question we get asked is, ‘how do I get rid of moles in my garden without killing them?’

This can be tricky because there are a number of tales and theories about mole prevention but the reality is, many of them do more harm than good. What’s more, mole infestations should be dealt with in accordance to the relevant CRRU regulations.

If you think you have a mole problem, please contact a trusted pest controller who will be able to eradicate them safely, effectively and humanely. In the meantime, there are a number of tactics you can employ to encourage moles to move on by themselves.

• Remove their food supply by controlling earthworms and grubs
• Moles don’t like marigolds, daffodils or alliums so by adding some to your garden, you’ll be sure to see the back of them soon
• Moles and the insects they like to eat thrive in moist, shady soil. While you don’t want to completely dry the soil out, doing so just a little bit can have enough of an impact on the grub and earthworm population to encourage moles to go elsewhere
• If you want to protect specific plants from potential mole damage, dig a two to three-foot hole and line the sides and bottom with wire mesh. Fill the hole with soil and the plant so moles can’t get to them
• Invest in a sonic device which omits a sound which is audible to moles but not humans. The noise will make them move on quickly.

If all else fails and you need help getting rid of moles in your garden please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Prokill team via our online contact form

Why squirrels are a problem in winter

By |February 22nd, 2021|

While many of us love to see squirrels running around while we’re out and about, we’re not so keen on them loitering around our properties.

There’s very good reason for this too. If they manage to gain access to your roof (which is pretty easy for them as they can climb), they can wreak all kinds of havoc. From destroying plastic water piping and wiring systems to causing the collapse of entire ceilings, a squirrel infestation can be eye-wateringly costly.

Squirrels don’t store enough body fat to survive hibernation which is why we see them all year round. During the warmer months, they’re generally happy enjoying the great outdoors because the temperature is perfectly pleasant and food supplies are plentiful. Generally, they don’t tend to bother humans from spring until autumn.

Once the weather starts turning cold however, squirrels can become problematic. They need to find somewhere warm to nest which is why they often make their way onto roofs and into lofts. As well as providing somewhere warm to nest, it provides a safe place for them to begin their mating season which starts in January and finishes in April.

With food much harder to come by in the depths of winter, this is another reason why our homes become more inviting to pests. Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll find a squirrel sitting in your kitchen, there are many sources of food around your property.

Gutters are often full of acorns, pinecones and leaves at this time of year and ivy and tree branches can also provide a nice treat for hungry squirrels.

How can I prevent a squirrel infestation?

While it’s perfectly normal to see the odd squirrel in the garden, you don’t want them gaining access to your property. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prevent this from happening and spot the first signs of a squirrel problem.

The first step is to seal any potential entry points around your home, including small openings and cracks around doors and windows and even chimney openings. The great thing about doing this is that it will also help keep other winter pests away such as rodents and cockroaches.

Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of rubbish regularly. During winter, food supplies are limited for animals that don’t go into hibernation so if you have an easy supply to hand, you’re likely to attract all sorts of pests.

It can be difficult to keep squirrels away because they’re so good at climbing. Keep tree branches trimmed so they’re at least eight inches away from your roof. This will stop them jumping from trees onto your house and making their way into the loft.

Motion-activated lights, radio noise and ultrasonic sound producers can also help to deter squirrels and other unwanted pests such as rats. Do bear in mind however, this isn’t a good option if you have pets because the noise can cause them discomfort.

If you’re worried about squirrel or other pest infestations this winter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Prokill. As well as eliminating problems quickly and effectively, we can help you install the correct measures to prevent an infestation occurring in the first place.

Do coffee grounds keep moles away?

By |February 18th, 2021|

There are many theories surrounding mole prevention. While some are highly effective, others (such as putting down moth balls) are dangerous because they’re toxic to other wildlife.

In this blog, we answer the common question, ‘do coffee grounds keep moles away?’

Coffee grounds give off a strong odour which instantly repels moles. You can simply sprinkle fresh or brewed coffee grounds throughout the garden after making your morning pick-me-up.

You can repeat this daily until the moles are gone and then once every two weeks to stop them returning.

Avoid spreading coffee grounds around seeds or seedlings because it may inhibit germination and growth. It’s also a good idea to compost any coffee grounds before you add them to your soil.

Please remember that mole infestations should be dealt with in accordance to CRRU regulations to prevent causing harm to other wildlife. If this is something you need help with, please get in touch with your friendly local Prokill team.

What keeps foxes away from bins?

By |February 15th, 2021|

Foxes have become a common sight even in urbanised areas. Although they will generally stay out of our way, they can still be a nuisance. They might dig up flowers, foul in the garden, spread rubbish, create noise and go for small pets such as rabbits.

As with any pest, the main thing that’s likely to attract foxes is a readily available food source. This poses the important question – what keeps foxes away from bins?

If possible, create an enclosure for your bins. You could keep them inside a shed, greenhouse or build a fence around them so foxes can’t get to them.

Ensure you have a sturdy bin with a tightly fitted lid. Bin liners offer no protection and foxes can easily rip through them. A metal or wheelie bin is much harder for a fox to get into and by adding something heavy like a brick onto the lid, they will really struggle to open it.

If foxes getting into your bins is a common problem, it may be time to invest in a tamper-proof bin. As well as having a secure lid, they’re much harder to topple over.

Another great tip is to try and mask the smell of your rubbish so it doesn’t attract these pests in the first place. You can try using scented bin bags, multiple bin bags or spray a strong-smelling essential oil onto your bins. Foxes have a very powerful sense of smell so any strong scent will repel them.

If you have a problem with foxes around your home, please get in touch with Prokill and our expert team will be on hand to help.

Is scratching in walls signs of rats or mice?

By |February 10th, 2021|

If you’ve noticed scratching or other strange noises coming from what sounds like the inside of your walls, you may think you’re going crazy. Be rest assured however that it’s unlikely the case. Scratching in walls is actually a sign that you could have a rodent infestation. While this is preferable to going crazy of course, it’s still not ideal.

How do you know for sure you have a mouse or rat infestation however and it’s not simply a tree limb brushing against the house on a windy day or noisy neighbours?

Signs scratching in walls is a rodent infestation:
The sound is particularly noticeable at night (rodents are more likely to be active at this time because there’s less chance of humans being around)
You may notice droppings around your home
There are signs of chewing – they may have gnawed away at insulation, floorboards, furniture, food items or skirting boards
There’s a strange ammonia smell in your home

If you notice any of these signs, please call a local pest controller as soon as possible. Rodents can cause significant damage, especially if they’ve found their way between walls where there’s often electrical wiring.

How long will moles live in a garden?

By |February 4th, 2021|

Moles may be among one of the cuter pests, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t cause significant damage to your property.

While it’s unlikely they’ll ever make their way into your home, their underground tunnels can ruin your garden. If you’ve noticed mounds of excavated soil on your lawn or destroyed flowerbeds, it’s likely you have a mole infestation.

The question you’re likely to be asking is ‘how long will moles live in a garden?’

Moles live for an average of three years. Providing there’s a plentiful supply of food and they’re being left undisturbed, there’s no reason why they won’t stay put for most of their lives.

This means that how long a mole lives in your garden is entirely down to you. If you would rather your garden stays intact, there are a number of ways you can encourage these pests to move on.

Check your soil for other pests – problems are often caused by an oversupply of grubs and bugs.

If you want to protect specific plants, dig a two to three-foot hole and line the sides and bottom with wire mesh. Fill the hole with soil and the plant so moles won’t be able to get to them.

Invest in a sonic device -the noise will make moles want to move on pretty quickly.

Take away their food supply by controlling earthworm population.

Please note that you shouldn’t try to eliminate a mole infestation yourself. Prevention can only be undertaken by specifically trained pest control experts and is subject to site risk assessments and method statements.

Will a fox keep coming back?

By |February 1st, 2021|

If you’ve spotted one in your garden before, you’re probably wondering, will a fox keep coming back? How you can stop it from becoming a pest, no one wants a problem with foxes.

While there’s a chance it was just passing through, you’re likely to see foxes return time and time again if:
There’s a water source such as a pond, fountain, swimming pool, puddles or a pet’s water bowl.

There’s a food source such as bins, pet food or you’re feeding other wildlife such as birds or hedgehogs. Even natural fertilisers which contain bonemeal, blood or fish are guaranteed to attract foxes.

Your garden is messy and overgrown or has a shed or decking. All of these provide shelter and a safe place to hide.
You keep small animals such as birds, chickens, rabbits and Guinnea pigs in your garden.

You leave tools, shoes or toys outside overnight. Pups will use anything as a chew toy and adult foxes will defecate on them to mark their territory.

If you have a fox infestation, please get in touch with Prokill and we will eradicate the problem quickly, safely and effectively.

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.