Tag Archives: fleas

Do Rats hibernate during the Winter?

You might think that pest control work quietens down during the winter, because quite a few nuisance animals and insects go into hibernation.

But lots of household pests, including rats and mice, remain active all year round. The longer and colder winter nights make your home, garden and workplace more attractive to these rodents, who are always looking for food, and for somewhere warm and dry to nest.

Wasps and other insect pests might become almost invisible during the winter months, but they’re simply dormant and will be back next spring. Colder weather gives you a chance to deal with holes and gaps where they may have nested this year, helping prevent their return.

Pest control during the winter months

Taking action to prevent rats and other pests is as important during the winter as at any other time of year. The most basic precautions include not leaving any food outdoors overnight, and keeping food preparation and storage areas clean and tidy.

Leftover pet food or food spillages, indoors or out, are hugely attractive to rats and mice looking for something to eat.

Another simple pest control task is to tidy up your garden or other outdoor area. Piles of wood or dry leaves can quickly become comfortable homes for rodents. Compost bins are particularly popular, especially if you put food scraps into them.

Outbuildings, such as sheds and children’s playhouses, can also become places of safety for rats and mice. Here they can live undisturbed for weeks at a time, protected from the extremes of the British winter climate. Make it part of your winter routine to check these buildings, and to fill any obvious cracks or gaps through which rodents could get in.

Indoor pests thrive during the winter

Fleas, moths and bedbugs are common indoor pests that don’t pay much attention to what the weather’s doing outside. Whatever the time of year, they continue breeding and spreading themselves around your home or workplace.

The cooler temperatures slow down their reproduction, but our centrally-heated buildings protect them from the cold. Because they live off us and our pets, fleas and bedbugs have more opportunity to spread during the winter, as we spend more time indoors.

Cockroaches, the scourge of many kitchens, also continue to be active during the winter months. In the event that they find themselves short of food, they can, like many pests, survive for a long time on virtually nothing.

Many people think that because pests are not seen so often during the winter, they are less of a problem. Some even believe that rats and mice do hibernate. But experienced pest controllers know that winter is as busy a time of year as any, and that it’s also a good time to act to prevent more serious pest issues from occurring in the spring.

How to prepare the house for Flea Fumigation

Flea problems are more common than you might imagine, particularly in homes shared with cats or dogs. Your pet only has to brush against an infected animal for fleas to hop from one fur coat to another, giving you a pest control problem.

While minor Flea Infestations can be solved by treatment of the affected area or pet, if your home seems to be teeming with fleas, fumigation is the best solution.

To get the most effective results, it’s important to know how to prepare the house for flea fumigation.

If you are moving into a new property where the previous residents had pets, you may want to consider fumigating before moving in. Whether you do it yourself or employ a pest control expert, it will be easier to carry out when the property is empty.

Preparing your house for flea fumigation

If your pets are likely to be carrying fleas, these must be dealt with before any fumigation is carried out. Use all appropriate flea treatments and perform regular checks to ensure the problem has been effectively dealt with. Change or clean pet bedding regularly.

With your pets cleaned up, you can focus on preparing the house by carrying out thorough vacuuming of all carpets and hard surfaces. Take care to vacuum right to the edge of floors, as flea eggs often fall into crevices in skirting boards. Empty the vacuum cleaner immediately after each clean.

All rugs should be taken outdoors and beaten and, if possible, washed.

Make arrangements for alternative accommodation for yourself and your pets on the day of the fumigation. It will take several hours for the entire process to be completed.

If you are conducting the fumigation yourself, read all the instructions of the products carefully some days before you use them, in order that you can be fully prepared. When a pest control expert is involved, seek clear instructions in advance and take care to follow these.

Some of the chemicals used in the fumigation process could be harmful to your pets, so do all you can to ensure their safety.

On the day of flea fumigation

There are a number of different products which tackle serious flea pest control problems. Sprays can be applied to carpets, killing fleas hidden in the fibres and leaving a residue which inhibits their return for several weeks.

An alternative to spray is the flea bomb, which sounds more dramatic than it is. The flea bomb is a device which fills the air with a fine spray of pesticide, which disperses across a room over a few hours.

These fumigation techniques can be combined for maximum effect, but both require you to be absent from your home for several hours. Upon return, you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions about cleaning surfaces, for your own safety and also to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to prepare the house for flea fumigation, talk to a pest control expert. Eradicating fleas can be a time-consuming and frustrating process if not conducted correctly, and you’ll want to do all you can to reduce disruption and inconvenience in your home.

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What to do after Flea Extermination

Even when your premises have undergone a thorough Fleas Extermination process, there is no guarantee that the pests will not be back. Fleas are particularly hardy pests, with the capacity to remain dormant for years before reviving when they sense potential food sources nearby.

Where pest control measures have entirely eliminated the flea population, preventing their return means identifying and closing their routes into your premises. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as fleas are often spread by being carried in the fur of dogs or cats.

However, there are measures you can take to reduce the chances of flea problems reoccurring.

Pest control actions after flea extermination

There are several different types of flea but all have common characteristics. In particular, they all feed on the blood of different types of animal, and spread by laying eggs which often fall from the host.

This means it is just as important to deal with flea eggs as it is to tackle the adult fleas. The eggs will fall from the host, usually a cat or dog, at any point during the day. A high proportion is found in their bedding, but a number will be spread across the rest of the area they move in, such as your home or workplace.

These eggs are invisible to the naked eye. To remove them before they have a chance to hatch you should:

  • Where possible, put animal bedding on hard surfaces.
  • Regularly wash pet bedding, ideally each week and at high temperature.
  • Vacuum soft furnishings which the animals come into contact with.
  • Groom your pet while it stands on a hard floor or even a white sheet, where dislodged fleas and their eggs will be visible.

Be alert to the signs of a flea problem

While fleas can spread diseases, the main problem they cause is skin irritation in the host animal. This is usually a cat or dog, but can occasionally be a human.

The irritation is due to the flea bites. These become itchy, causing the host considerable discomfort. A clue that your cat or dog may be carrying fleas is regular scratching of the same part of the body, often in an irritated manner.

Small children are at a higher risk of being bitten by fleas, as they have much more contact with floor surfaces. Some could be allergic to flea bites, giving them an itchy rash on their skin.

If you are a pet owner, there will always be a chance of a flea problem reoccurring. Even if you keep your own pets scrupulously clean, they could pick up fleas through contact with other animals, or from animals visiting your home or place of work.

The best way to stop fleas from becoming a problem is to know what to do after flea extermination, and to take consistent pest control and prevention measures.

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Passionate Pests and Reproducing Rodents

One of the distinctive features of pests is their ability to reproduce. We thought it only fair that as it’s Valentine’s Day we should do a little research into the love lives of the creatures we’re commonly called to deal with.

Brown rats – There’s no shortage of sex in the city among these ubiquitous rodents. When they’re not rummaging through rubbish and scurrying around sewers, they’re probably hard at work creating the next generation. The average female Rat can turn out a brood of up to 14 ugly babies in just three weeks.

Wasps – Frustration might be high for the black and yellow scourge of the summer picnic, because in their world sex is a pastime reserved for royalty. The queen only equips selected males with what they need to pursue the relatively small number of females.

Cockroaches – An intimate dinner for two isn’t quite the same if you’re sharing a table with one of these closet romantics. Unseen by us they can engage in complex courtship rituals involving bold posturing and making distinctive sounds by rubbing their body parts together.

Fleas – Apparently the male flea is supremely well-endowed and his equipment also includes two antennae with what look like sink plungers on the end. It’s thought these help him to hang on to the female because when she jumps it’s with a rate of acceleration equivalent to a space rocket lifting off.

Bedbugs – A life between the sheets hasn’t made the average male Bedbug very discerning. They’ll try to mate with any bedbug smaller than themselves, which causes predictable problems. Once they’ve caught up with a female, she’ll lay around 3-4 eggs per day.

Lovebugs – Okay, we don’t come across these in London, but we couldn’t resist including them. Lovebugs, or honeymoon flies, are found in the southern United States where they are, at certain times of year, a pest. They’re also, as their name implies, intensely amorous. When they mate the couple remain bonded together for days, even flying while entwined.

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Pest Control Takes on Invisible Threats

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter a cockroach in your home or at work, it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget. These ugly brown beasties have got ‘pest’ stamped all over them.

Unfortunately not all household nasties are so easy to spot. Take Bedbugs, for example. Infestations of these night time nibblers are on the increase and pose a particular problem in the hospitality industry.

Customers paying for a night in a hotel or bed and breakfast probably won’t realise that they’re sharing a bed with the blood sucking mites, which can grow to about 6mm in length. But they’ll know the following morning, when the bites start to itch, and that’s when the complaints will begin.

We regularly deal with bedbug problems across the London area. As with all our work, it’s handled quickly and discreetly.

Another micro pest that adores people and their pets is the humble Flea. The British passion for wall to wall carpeting in centrally heated houses has created the ideal environment for fleas to multiply. While the human flea is relatively rare these days, cat fleas and dog fleas are a regular problem for animal lovers.

The adult fleas cling onto their living hosts but their eggs are laid in carpets, cracks and crevices around the home, where they lie unnoticed. We’re used to dealing with flea problems in both domestic and commercial premises.

Yet another hard-to-spot pest is woodworm. We’re all familiar with the clusters of tiny holes in old timber which mark the exit holes of these wood boring creatures. What we often don’t see, until too late, is the damage they’re doing to the wooden beams in our homes.

Older buildings are particularly at risk from a variety of different wood boring beetles, all of which have a taste for seasoned timber. The name ‘woodworm’ describes the larval stage, when tiny grubs carve networks of tunnels in the wood, sometimes for years. Eventually they emerge as beetles, creating the trademark woodworm holes, and then lay the eggs which become the next generation.

Prevention is better than the cure with woodworm, but often by the time we’re called in, significant damage has been done.

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