Wasp Control

Wasps are one of the most common pests we treat during the summer. There are a great number of species of wasp in the UK, many that are not as aggressive as the two most often encountered, the common wasp and the German wasp.

Though there is much debate as to whether wasps are “beneficial” or not, most of us are brought up from childhood to dislike wasps.

But are they a public health threat?

Well, yes.
A wasp sting can have a variety of reactions for us. Some people can have fairly mild symptoms, slight inflammation, brief pain and recover in no time. Others can have more severe symptoms, including an allergic reaction which can lead to anaphylactic shock.

However, a person who has only had mild reactions in the past isn’t necessarily not allergic and may have a very different reaction if stung again. The result of an allergic reaction to a wasp sting if not treated quickly can be fatal.

So why do they sting us?

Have you ever been minding your business in the garden and then felt under attack by a wasp buzzing around you?

The wasps in colonies all have different jobs within the hive. Some look after the nest structure, other predate and bring food usually flies, caterpillars, and other proteins back to feed the larvae, and some are guarding the nest like sentries outside.

If we disturb the nest accidentally these wasps can quickly feel threatened and become aggressive. They also communicate that threat very efficiently to the other wasps. They will then attack by stinging you.

There have been many cases of people being badly injured while attempting to treat or remove a wasp nest. Even an attempt to use flame to treat a wasp nest that lead to a house fire.
When dealing with wasps there can be unexpected consequences and it is always best to get a pest professional to come and carry out treatment.

Pest Control Rodent Myths

There are plenty of myths and old wives tales surrounding pest control, we thought we would explore the most common five we hear at AMS Pest Control and the truths behind them.

We live near fields, that’s where the rats are coming from.
Unfortunately, rats are more likely inhabiting the sewer system around your property they prefer to live alongside people as we provide all the necessary requirements for a thriving population of rats.

Mice love cheese.
Often depicted in cartoons we associate mice with cheese. However, mice prefer more sugary foods such as peanut butter.

Having a cat will keep my house free of pests.
Domestic cats usually only hunt for fun, they might catch a mouse or small garden bird occasionally, but they will not take on a rodent infestation of significant numbers or an insect problem.Mice and rats will occupy mostly inaccessible areas of the home, using the cavities between floors and walls to move around so cats are unlikely to be able to reach them.

Shop bought ultrasonic deterrents will scare away the rodents.
An ultrasonic deterrent may work initially but once the pests get comfortable with the sound they will come back. It is best to have a professional treatment to avoid having a long term issue.

DIY poison is cheaper and will work if I just use a bit more.
Domestically available rodenticide is too weak in chemical concentrate to be effective control of a rodent problem. Trapping will catch a few however they often breed far quicker than you will be able to trap them.

Asian Hornets

Usually nesting high in trees and man-made structures, but sometimes closer to the ground. They predate our beloved honey bees, other insects and also feed on fruit and flowers.
Some key identity features include:
  • entirely dark brown or black velvety body
  • abdomen black/brown, fourth segment yellow/orange
  • legs brown with yellow ends
  • queens up to 30mm and workers up to 25mm
There have been a number of sightings in the UK. It is extremely important that any possible sightings are correctly identified. The Asian Hornet is a non-native invasive species and must be dealt with by professionals and must be reported immediately.
Similar species are the European Hornet, Giant Woodwasp, Hornet Mimic Hoverfly and the Median Wasp.
Further information can be found at www.nonnativespecies.org/alerts/asian hornet.

Your Home & Pests

Any house can become host to unwanted pests, new, old, listed, large, small, even a boathouse. Here are some common property features and their associated pests.
  • chimneys, uncapped or with entry points can be susceptible to detritus feeders and scavengers, pigeons and other birds, insect nests such as bees and wasps.
  • lofts and roof spaces, provide undisturbed harbourage for mice, rats, squirrels and birds.
  • slipped roof tiles, can be access points for rodents and birds.
  • windows and doors with gaps of any size, allow access to cluster flies, harlequin ladybirds, woodlice and ants.
  • open water tanks offer a water source for rats and mice.
  • damp structural wood and wood furniture, wood borders and also mould.
  • wool carpet and wool rugs, loved by carpet beetles.
  • voids under floorboards can be occupied by clothes and house moths, carpet beetles, detritus feeders and scavengers, mice and rats.
  • damp plaster and wallpaper, offer habitat for fungus and plaster beetles, and silverfish.
  • leaking downpipe or blocked guttering, can encourage damp loving pests like fungus and plaster beetles and silverfish.
  • vegetation growing against the wall attracts rodents and birds.
  • stored food attracts many pests including flour beetles, rodents and ants.
  • bins, waste, and food scraps, provide an opportune food source for flies, birds and rodents.
  • basements and cellars can be host to damp loving insects, rats, mice, cockroaches and woodlice.
  • sheds are often occupied by rats and mice
  • chicken coops often attract rats, mice and poultry mites.
  • compost bins are a good food source and harborage for rats and mice.

Pest Control at Allotments

Ants can be a problem on allotments, they can damage root systems of plants, spoil a seating area you might have to take a welcome cup of tea, but they can also “farm” aphids on some fruit trees and crops.

Aphids, a common blight for many an allotmentee and keen gardener. Aphids are difficult to control and often require a chemical insecticide.

Slugs and snails, mostly active overnight these pests can decimate crops. They are tough to find and often the tell tale ravaged plants and slime trails are all people see. A good step is to encourage natural predators to the space.
Woodlice, not posing a threat to humans they only become an issue in large numbers, perhaps if they decide to find refuge on your beloved bench or shed. Keeping areas tidy of fallen leaves and rotten wood will help to prevent them.
Rats and mice. Food scraps in compost bins, seed and fresh crops, standing water in water troughs/butts, sheds and sites left unoccupied overnight. These things can all provide the perfect conditions and safe harbourage required for a thriving rodent population.
Moles, there are many passed down deterents for moles from generation to generation. These territorial mammals can often be considered a pest to allotment holders, gardeners and most of all golfers!
Rabbits, a small rabbit population can decimate crops and quickly grow to become a large population.

Non-Toxic Pest Control

There are several reasons why a non-toxic pest control method might be not only a good option but also required.

– The environment of the pest problem for example sharing the space with vulnerable people, pets or children, or simply it might just be a preference of the customer can lead to non-toxic measures being used.
– There may be high potential for non-target secondary poisoning. This is very important and a matter we at AMS are very diligent about.
– The risk of contaminating the food chain.
– Considering the environment and looking for alternatives and ways to future proof our activities.

Are there any options for rodent control?

Yes. There are several varieties of traps that we have the option of, this however is more labour intensive than a rodenticide treatment.

Are there any options for insect control?

Yes. Non-chemical treatments for flying and crawling insects, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, red mites, ants, moths and beetles. They are safe for us in a multitude of settings. With the added benefit that animals do not need to be removed for treatment. Heat steamers to control bedbugs are an option also, which are superheated to 180°C. There are also traps that are effective for cluster flies and harlequin ladybirds.

What about wasps?

Yes. There is a wasp trap available that is though not an instant solution like our wasp treatment dust but is a good chemical free alternative.
The CRRU (Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use) aims to protect wildlife through the rodenticide industry acting responsibly. A good reason to use non-toxic alternatives is to follow the guidance offered by the CRRU in order to mitigate the risk of non-target poisoning of mammals and birds.

Spring Pest Control

Rats are breeding well this spring due to the mild weather we have been having, an increase in population meaning problems can quickly get out of hand.
With the current situation, excess rubbish piling up and surplus food being stored is contributing to further population growth for rodents. 

Here are a couple of reasons why it is so important to treat a rodent problem.

  • Disease, rats can carry and transmit many diseases that affect humans. This is usually through urine or animal contact with food preparation.
  • Property Damage, rats are not too fussy about what they choose to gnaw on meaning the structure of your house, shed and garage can often fall victim to their need to constantly grind down their teeth.
  • Commercial pest control, companies have a legal requirement to keep their premises rodent-free, combine this with the reputation damage that can be caused by the nature of social media reviews for a rodent problem can come at a high price to any company.
Bugs will start waking up now too, meaning bed bugs and fleas will become active.
These small insects are often difficult to see but are often noticed by the evidence or symptoms they cause.
A common sign of bed bugs is small dark spots found on the bed frame or bed linen. A common initial symptom of fleas is your pet itching or biting themselves constantly.
It is important to correctly identify these insects before carrying out a treatment. It is also important to be vigilant if you notice any signs of insect infestations beginning as often these issues won’t go away on their own, we offer a wide range of treatment options to tackle the problem.

Pest identification – not sure if it is wasps or bees?

We offer a nest identification service. Bee populations are under great threat in the current environmental climate and it is the duty of all of us to protect them. Be aware of people who are willing to treat bees nests unnecessarily, we always try to preserve bees wherever possible.

Pest Control & COVID-19

Through these uncertain times it can be difficult for a lot of us to know what to do for the best and we must all take our part in minimising the risk of spreading the virus, at AMS Pest Control we decided that we would continue to offer our services. This was made possible after reviewing the governments guidelines and making alterations to the way we work. Although we are well equipped with PPE as part of our day to day working it made sense for us to add further precautions. This includes all new customers if you are showing signs/symptoms of Covid-19, or is known to have the virus then appointments will be rescheduled until it is safe to do so. Upon arrival we request that social distancing is maintained for both our safety and yours. Unfortunately this also means that we wont be accepting offers of a cup of tea either.

We feel that for people being asked to stay home it is necessary for you to be able to do that in a safe environment and pest free
Please call us for any further information or to book an appointment.

Pest Control In Schools

A pest problem in a school environment can be a concern for the school, people who work and learn there. Pests may cause damage to buildings and also health of people in the environment. AMS Pest Control Coventry can be flexible in our working hours and can arrange inspections and treatments out of school hours where required. We offer contract rates for schools so that those taking advantage of our Integrated Pest Management Programme will receive a discount compared to a reactive approach, making budgeting easier.

Common pests found in schools include

  • Ants, they are attracted to food sources commonly not disposed of properly.
  • Bees and Wasps, nests can be found in and around buildings but can be very problematic around young children, or in confined spaces such as classrooms.
  • Midges, often an issue in early summer but with the increasing wet weather this pest is becoming prolific.
  • Cockroaches, often found in food preparation areas they are known to increase in population rapidly.
  • Flies, an infestation in a classroom or storage void can cause many issues and lead to health risks.
  • Rodents, very common in urban areas rodents (rats, mice and squirrels) can all be found in close proximity to buildings where there is food and water sources available.

Common areas for pests

  • Cafe and kitchens, food and water sources attract pests, while appliances and cupboards provide safe harbourage.
  • Classrooms, untidy areas such as equipment storage and books can offer safe harbourage and breeding for pests.
  • Lockers, clutter and food can provide ideal habitat for many pests to breed and a valuable food source.
  • Changing rooms, if kept warm and poorly ventilated they provide ideal breeding conditions.
  • Bins, an abundant food source readily available for pests.
  • Guttering and ventilation points, provide easy access to buildings and allow passageways for pests to travel around the area.
  • Play areas and Sports fields, neglected and overgrown hedges and shrubs can provide safe harbourage for many pests

AMS Pest Control and our Integrated Pest Management Approach

We encourage an ongoing monitoring programme for school environments as this can help improve many factors such as, reducing use of pesticides and removing the conditions that are encouraging pests presence in the first place.

  • Minimise the risk
  • Disruption including rooms closed, health inspections of the kitchen area
  • Reduce risk to non-target species by surveying and monitoring area to select appropriate methods and treatment.
  • Proofing recommendations can be spotted readily to prevent infestation or reoccurrence.
  • Cost effective as pests are monitored before they get out of hand.
  • Limit damage, by tackling the problem early the risk of pest damage will be decreased.

Winter Pest Control

With the weather being colder, winter time means we get a restbite from bothersome insects such as wasps, ants and house flies. They are mostly dormant at this time of year. With outside temperature dropping however, it does mean that our warm, dry homes make a tempting prospect for other pests. Rats and mice, avoiding the cold, or perhaps burrows being flooded by the recent rain, make homes in our lofts, garages or roof voids. Scratching in the night, a couple of droppings around the house, or even some food going missing can all be indications of an unwanted guest!

Another unexpected result of our homes being so warm and cosy, can be that some insects just do not realise that it is winter! Our central heating means that Fleas for example, will happily continue to bother us throughout the winter. The comfortable temperatures allowing them to happily reproduce throughout the year. The same can be said for cockroaches, clothes moths, spiders and bed bugs. Our own creature comforts also provide comfort for for some of the less desirable creatures which make their way into our homes at this time of year.

At AMS Pest Control we are experienced and qualified to identify the issue, and have a solution no matter what your pest control problem. Please give us a call and we will be happy to help.