Bed bugs and ants can be a serious problem in the home, but particularly in hotels and hostels that have a high turnover of visitors. Bed bugs usually hide in cracks and crevices during the day (e.g. bedframes, mattresses, skirting boards, behind wallpaper), and come out at night to feed on their favorite host – humans. Each bed bug feeds on average every 2 weeks, and so an infestation will not always be noticeable until their numbers have multiplied and the feeding frequency increases. By this stage, dozens of bed bugs are likely to be present, and usually they will have spread to other rooms in the house, particularly if bags, bedding, or clothing items are moved between rooms.
In order to successfully treat for bed bugs, all potential harbourages need to be inspected carefully, and dismantled if possible. In some cases infested furniture may need to be removed/replaced. Note: to avoid re-infesting a property, do not replace furniture until the property has been fully treated by ant sprays and confirmed as clear.
Bed bugs are extremely distressing to anyone who is being bitten by them, as their bites can be very painful, itchy and unsightly.
Bed bugs can seriously damage the reputation of hotels and hostels, as they have a bad public image of soridness and uncleanliness.
Due to the difficulty in eradicating bed bugs, a minimum course of 3 treatments is recommended, and to ensure success, the whole property needs to be treated.
Cockroaches hide away during the day in cracks and crevices and come out at night. They spread disease such as Dysentery, Gastroenteritis, Salmonella and Typhoid by contaminating food, food preparation surfaces and plates and cutlery etc.
The main two types of cockroaches are the German cockroach (brown and small – 17mm) and the Oriental cockroach (black and large – 25mm).
The Oriental cockroach is extremely resilient , as it lays ootheca (egg cases) which can lay dorment for months (versus the German cockroach whose eggs hatch out much faster). As all ootheca are impenetrable to pesticides; it is extremely difficult to completely eradicate the Oriental cockroach, as live young can hatch out months after the adults have been treated and killed. So in order to keep the Oriental cockroach numbers down, regular treatments are essential (usually 4 times a year as a minimum). Some parts of London have a particularly bad problem with the Oriental cockroach.
German cockroaches can usually be successfully treated with a course of 3 treatments, approximately 2 weeks apart.
Fleas can be a real nuisance in a home or business, especially if their host (usually a pet, or other mammal) no-longer resides in the premises, as the fleas quickly find a new source of food – usually the humans occupants. Their presence and bites can be very distressing for all concerned, and medical attention may be required if the bites become infected.
To treat for fleas, a minimum of 2 treatments is required to ensure that both the adults and any young fleas, hatching from eggs after the 1st treatment, are destroyed.
Flies are notorious for spreading disease by contaminating food and food preparation surfaces. Infestations can develop very quickly, as they are able to lay eggs and multiply extremely quickly, as they can complete a life cycle within maggots can become flies within 4 – 7 days. Flies can contaminate food, hereby causing food poisoning such as salmonella and e-coli, but even milder forms of gastroentroitis.
We tend to use preventative techniques. i.e. Fly screens and Fly catching equipment, to prevent flies from being a problem. However, in the case of a major fly problem, we are able to treat immediately by first removing the source of the infestation (where accessible), and spraying the infected area.
There are two main species of ants that commonly cause problems in London. The main one is the common black garden ant, which makes its way into homes and commercial premises causing a nuisance as they forage for food , particularly sweet foods. Garden ants are 3-4 mm long, with the queen being much larger, at about 10mm.
To control garden ants requires a minimum of 2 treatments, as after the first treatment, young ants can hatch out of eggs, and so the 2nd treatment is essential to destroy the remaining young ants before they reproduce.
Pharaohs ants are tiny ants, only 2mm long and yellow in color, which are of tropical origin. It is believed they arrived into the UK from North Africa during the war, when the soldiers returned wounded, with pharaohs ants in their clothing and bandages. This may explain why several hospitals suffer from persistent infestations. They live primarily indoors, and are notoriously difficult to eradicate, as spraying with conventional insecticides actually exacerbates the problem, as pharaohs ants will split up and create several new colonies if their nest is sprayed. i.e. In contrast to garden ants, pharaohs worker ants have the ability to create a new queen if they cannot return to their original nest.
To control pharaohs ants requires a minimum of 3 treatments, as baiting with an insect growth regulator is necessary to prevent the ants from reproducing.
Mice & Rats
Rodents are a major pest throughout the UK. They spread disease and cause damage wherever they inhabit. Both rats and mice need to gnaw constantly, in order to keep their teeth filed, and so the damage they can cause to woodwork, wiring and furniture can be very expensive. As many houses and business premises are not well sealed against rodents, we perform a two-part process of sealing small gaps and holes, while also providing regular treatments against rodents to bring your current infestation under control. To treat for mice and rats requires a course of 3 – 4 treatments over a period of 4 – 6 weeks.
Pigeons can be a real nuisance, as they can damage and deface buildings making them look dirty and shabby. Their fouling also carries diseases such as Ornithosis ( a viral disease similar to “flu”) and Salmonella bacteria. Prevention via the use of netting and/or fine metal spikes, or wires, is often the most reliable means of deterring pigeons from your buildings.
The textile moth can be very costly by damaging a wide range of natural fibres in your home/business. Unfortunately, they particularly like to eat the most expensive fine woollen/silk garments – so your most expensive suits and cashmere sweaters, are usually the first to be attacked. Carpets, woollen jumpers, blankets, feathered items, furs and silk can all be severely damaged/destroyed.
Due to the nature of moths and their ability to hide in clothing and furniture, it is not always possible to completely eradicate a moth infestation, as it can be difficult and extremely time consuming to remove and wash/dry-clean all clothing and soft furnishings. We therefore visit your property to ascertain the level of infestation, and discuss what can realistically be moved/cleaned to help us to treat with a high level of success.
A minimum course of at least 2 treatments is usually required to kill off the majority of the moths, and their young. Although, in the case of a severe infestation, a 3rd treatment may be required to control any residual moths. To help monitor the level of an infestation, pheromone monitor traps (as shown on the left) can be used to catch stray moths, or detect for new infestations.
Wasps are a major problem in the summer months. Wasps build a new nest each year at the start of summer. Each wasps’ nest contains a queen, a king and hundreds of worker wasps, who work throughout the summer to make the nest bigger and bigger. It is important to destroy the nest as early as possible to prevent it getting too big, so that a major wasp problem does not develop.
Our technicians are able to quickly kill the nest, and where necessary, they can use long extension poles to treat the nest without the need of ladders. In a small number of cases, a ladder or other access equipment may be required to get close to inaccessible nests; but we will discuss possible access problems with you at the time of your order.