Tag Archives: 10 Downing Street

A Pigeon’s Eye View of the Royal Wedding Procession

As William and Kate’s big day approaches, we decided to celebrate by taking a slightly different perspective on some of the sites they’ll pass during their horse-drawn trip from the Abbey to the Palace.

Westminster Abbey

Pigeons love medieval churches, particularly the soaring cathedrals with their towers and spires, wide ledges and cosy crevices. However, the birds aren’t particularly welcome on ecclesiastical property, either inside or out, despite making a number of appearances in the Bible.

In the thousand years since Westminster’s construction, pigeons have faced an increasing range of deterrents including rows of anti-roosting spikes, acres of netting, and a variety of Bird Scarers.

Whilst weddings are traditionally accompanied by symbols of good luck, measures will be taken to ensure that pigeons won’t be able to deposit their own sign of best wishes on the bride and groom.

Downing Street

Larry might be the latest and Humphrey the most well-known, but they’re simply some of the latest in a distinguished line of cats appointed as government pest controllers. The first Treasury mouser documented in history was owned by Cardinal Wolsey, who kept it by his side as Lord Chancellor, during the reign of Henry VIII.

The Cenotaph

As the wedding procession passes the focal point of national remembrance for fallen British servicemen, it’s good to recall that not all pigeons are thought of as pests. In fact, over 30 have been awarded the Dickin Medal for displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in support of military forces.

Horse Guards Parade

This royal parade ground is no stranger to spectator events, hosting the Trouping of the Colour, displays in honour of the Queen’s birthday and, in 2012, it’ll be transformed into an Olympic volley ball arena. But according to Westminster City Council pest control experts, the number of rats watching events is down on previous years.

Steve Harrison, Westminster’s director of premises management, recently said: “We pride ourselves on acting quickly and will continue our work to limit the number of rats and other vermin in the city.”

Buckingham Palace

Tight security at the royal residence hasn’t kept uninvited guests out of the royal kitchens. With pantries and larders groaning under enough goodies to serve up to 600 people at one sitting, it’s no surprise that rats and mice want a slice of Windsor pudding, pie, cake or even just a plain cracker.

A royal Rodent Problem occurred as recently as October last year. However, the only teeth nibbling at the delicacies of William and Kate’s wedding breakfast will be those of their chosen guests.

The rest of us will have to make do with street party fare, bank holiday barbecues or whatever else comes our way.

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Tips for DIY Pest Control

Last week saw feline Larry catapulted into the national headlines, when he was appointed ‘Mouser to the Cabinet’ and moved into 10 Downing Street. (Did you spot our awful pun? Sorry, couldn’t resist it.)

That set us thinking about what you could do, at home or at work, to deter common pests.

1. Get a cat. This seems an obvious place to start. If it’s good enough for David Cameron’s rat problems, it’s good enough for yours. But not any old cat will do. Larry has a ‘high chase-drive and hunting instinct’, according to Downing Street.

Of course, if your main pest problem isn’t rats or mice, but something like woodworm or wasps, a cat won’t be much use. But stroking it will help bring down your stress levels, which is always a good thing.

2. Tidy up after yourself. Many pests are attracted to mess, particularly if it includes things they can eat. Rodents, Cockroaches, pigeons, Flies and Fleas all thrive in dirty, untidy settings. The other really good thing about tidying up is that it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

3. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Your eyes are the best pest detectors we know of. Even if the vermin remain out of sight they often leave evidence you should spot – such as droppings, itchy bite marks, or small holes. If something suggests there’s a potential problem you should act quickly before it becomes more serious.

4. Deter rather than destroy. It’s better to keep pests away than to clean up after them. A good place to start is by stopping up any small holes that they might use to come inside your home or workplace. If birds, particularly Feral Pigeons, are a problem you could install anti-roosting Bird Spikes or Netting.

Some pests are put off by noise. If you think Rats or Mice might be snuggling down in your compost bins, give the sides a sharp whack with a stick when you pass – they don’t like noisy neighbours.

5. Call a professional. Yes, we know this isn’t strictly a DIY tip, but if there’s a problem you need help with, it’ll be you that needs to make the call!

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