Tag Archives: kitchen

Tony’s Tales – Rats in the Kitchen

Tony Halliday, our boss, has spent years on the front line of pest control in London. His tales of strange situations and even stranger customers would fill volumes. He’s allowed us to record some of the skirmishes he’s experienced in his battle against vermin in Southwark and beyond.

A lot of Tony’s pest control stories feature Rats. These unsavory rodents breed in the old London sewers, making their burrows in the cracks and crevices of decaying Victorian brickwork and broken pipes.

Not surprisingly, rats often turn up in kitchens. They’re always hungry and always looking for food. In older houses, often those which have not been so well looked after, there are plenty of gaps and holes through which the rats can slip in.

On one call-out in Southwark, Tony and his mate were met by a burly South American bloke who didn’t speak a word of English. Tony tried to explain why they were there and the South American responded by waving his arms around and firing off a torrent of words in a foreign language.

Eventually the South American seemed to calm down and led Tony through to the kitchen, a ramshackle affair that had seen much better days. There, on top of the washing machine, peering out from under the worktop, was a rat.

Despite his size, the South American refused to enter the room and simply pointed from the doorway. Tony and his mate knew that they had to get rid of the rat and take measures to protect against other vermin.

Catching a rat is relatively easy using modern pest control measures, such as sticky boards. Unfortunately, this encounter was before Tony’s team had such equipment. So he was forced to hunt the rat down to catch and dispatch it.

This particular rat had a strong sense of self-preservation and did not want to be caught. It quickly disappeared, leaving Tony and his mate to begin a cupboard by cupboard search. They removed kickboards and emptied cupboards as they methodically closed in on the creature.

Looking into one cupboard, Tony thought he heard a noise from the back. He grabbed his torch, put his head in the cupboard, and found himself literally face-to-face with the rat, which was hiding in a saucepan.

For the rat, it was almost a case of out of the frying pan into the fire. Tony dealt with the rodent quickly and efficiently. The South American, despite being unable to speak a word of English, understood that the job had been done and was effusive in his gratitude to the pest controllers.

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Tiny Ants Can Pose Huge Pest Control Problem

Does the sight of a solitary ant marching across your floor or counter top have you anxiously glancing around to see whether it’s alone?

Because it should. If no others are visible, it’s probably a lone explorer. But if there’s company, the ants are probably helping themselves from a food source in your premises. It’s time to take some pest control action.

Ants don’t wander about aimlessly. They’re highly focused hunter-gatherers engaged on a remorseless search for resources to take back to the nest. They have no respect for property: your home, office, favourite restaurant or doctor’s surgery are all under continual siege by these tiny insects.

An ant infestation is more than an annoyance

Having a trail of ants marching across your kitchen floor is not just unsightly, it can also be unhygienic.

If your little visitors are garden or black ants, the most common variety in Britain, they probably pose the smallest health risk. But you should still take pest control measures to be rid of them. And you ought to find out what food they’re helping themselves to.

The ants may simply be harvesting crumbs from dirty floors and surfaces or they could have found a route into food stores and containers. It only requires one tiny hole for them to gain entry and once food is discovered, they leave an invisible trail for their comrades to follow.

Other types of ant, such as the Pharaoh ant, are more likely to transfer germs from place to place within buildings. This exotically named variety is a foreign invader, preferring to nest in warm places, usually within buildings. Not only do they pose a health risk, they’re also notoriously difficult to get rid of.

How to protect your premises from ants

The ant’s ability to pass through the tiniest cracks and gaps means it’s almost impossible to stop them from entering your home or office. The most effective way of keeping them at a distance is to avoid doing anything to attract their interest.

Storing food in clean cupboards and containers and promptly clearing away spillages and splashes reduces the chance of ants wanting to explore indoors. If they can’t sense food nearby they’ll probably stay away.

Should you have an ant problem, off the shelf products can be effective if used correctly, as long as the food sources which attracted them are removed. But if the ants keep coming back or if you think that you’ve been visited by Pharaoh’s ants, it’s time to call in a professional pest controller.

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