Archive for April, 2009
Pest control in Manchester, Cheshire & Lancashire Spring 2009
Pest Control in Manchester, Lancashire & Cheshire has seen a lively start in the spring of 2009.
Pest controllers throughout the region were kept busy with the usual city centre rodent problems throughout the winter with rats having free reign in many areas of course, but the relatively early and warm spring has seen ant infestation reports a month earlier than usual.
The wet summers of 2007 & 2008 were not to the liking of the hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, ants & bees) but 2009 looks like being a busy year for ant infestation work.
Frequently ants nest under the floors of houses and inside cavity walls causing a large number of foraging ants to visit kitchens & food cupboards.
However it is at mating time when they can be most distressing as they produce winged queens and males which then mate in flight.
The emergence of several thousand of these ‘flying ants’ inside houses can by traumatic indeed.
A relatively new pest has been especially troublesome this year, the Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci).
It was rare for pest controllers in Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire to encounter these pests until recent times but they seemed to arrive from nowhere in 2008 and already this spring has seen reports of varied carpet beetle in unprecedented numbers.
Having a similar life cycle to moths their larvae, known as ‘woolly bears’ can eat natural fibres and can do substantial damage to carpets and natural fabrics. They can be a difficult and persistent pest.
Bed bugs are continuing their resurgence in the Manchester area, frequently arriving as unwanted guests in the suitcases of returning holiday makers.
Often the first reaction of unfortunates who realise that they are infested with these blood-sucking insects is to destroy the old beds and buy new.
This is a costly mistake as despite their name bed bugs do not just live in beds and in an infested room will be found anywhere within about fifteen feet of the bed, in cupboards, drawers etc, even in electrical sockets and the new beds are quickly re-infested.
Many people confuse bed bugs with dust mite which are not visible to the naked eye.
They dine exclusively on blood which they take form their sleeping victims. People often associate bed bugs with dirty conditions but nothing could be further from the truth, they don’t require dirt, they dine on you!
The treatment which is guaranteed for three years, extendable indefinitely by a low cost re-treatment every three years can be carried out in most homes subject to free site survey
Contact Harrier Pest Prevention for details on 0800 019 8382
That concludes this article entitled Pest control in Manchester, Cheshire & Lancashire Spring 2009
We destroy wasps’ nests at a fixed fee of £29.50 (except postocdes L, CW & CH £39.50) 7 days per week
Free Phone 0800 019 8382
Pest Control in Manchester Wasp or Bee?
Pest Control in Manchester Wasp or Bee? – as a pest controller covering Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire it has become obvious that there is a great deal of confusion, especially in people under forty between wasps and bees and even between honeybees and bumblebees.
Perhaps in these heath and safety obsessed days schools no longer have the summertime nature rambles of my youth and that is a great pity.
At a distance it is possible to the untrained eye to confuse wasps and honeybees but bumblebees should never be in doubt.
A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor ant but in terms of common understanding we are dealing in North West Britain with just three species which we term wasps, The Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris), The German Wasp (Vespula germanica) and the relative newcomer termed the ‘Euro Wasp’ (Dolichovespula media).
The biology of wasps and bees is very different.
In the late autumn a wasps’ nest dies out completely and is never re-used. The workers and males die but the newly produced queens hibernate for the winter before waking in the spring to start nest building.
At the first sign of warmer weather the young queens emerge from hibernation and commence nest building, mixing rotten wood with saliva to make ‘wasp paper’ with which to construct the nest.
She will lay 15 – 20 eggs in cells inside the nest and tend these until the first workers emerge to take over the nest building process.
Any reports of wasps’ nests prior to June, and certainly any in late April or May will always turn out to be a bee species of which there are many.
Wasp nest building continues throughout the summer and in the autumn the nest produces immature queens and males which then mate. A single wasps’ nest may produce over 2000 new queens.
The bee which makes the honey unsurprisingly is the honeybee (Apis mellifera) but a staggering number of people confuse the honeybee with the bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
The honeybee has an altogether different lifecycle to the wasp, the entire colony surviving the winter, and hence are seen much earlier in the year.
A feature of the honeybee is the way in which new colonies are formed. In late spring and throughout the summer the colony will produce new queens which split or ‘bud’ from the old colony taking several thousand worker bees with them; these are called swarms and can actually be heard in flight.
This causes alarm in many people who will then ring a pest control company and declare that a ‘wasps’ nest’ has just arrived.
Clearly we know immediately that we are dealing with a bee swarm and can often point them in the direction of a beekeeper who may be able to remove the swarm unharmed.
Contrary to urban myth, and indeed the web sites of many local councils, honeybees are not a protected species in Britain and there are circumstances where there is no alternative other than to destroy a colony.
Frequently they establish a colony or ‘hive’ in a chimney stack and where this is venting a gas fire this is clearly dangerous and it is often necessary to destroy the colony.
After destroying the colony the owner of the property has a legal and moral duty to have any honeycomb removed from the stack as if it is left in place it will be robbed out by wild or commercial hive bees, resulting in the death of those colonies.
A responsible pest controller will not destroy a colony unless arrangements to remove the honeycomb are in place.
The bumblebee has a lifecycle similar to a wasp in that only the new Queens survive the winter and start new nests in spring. A bumblebees’ nest is an insignificant affair, now where near as intricate as a wasps’ nest and rarely contains more than 300 workers at most whereas a honeybee colony or wasps’ nest may have upwards of ten thousand inhabitants.
Another common myth is that bees can only sting once and whilst this is true of the honeybee, the bumblebee like a wasp, can sting multiple times.
Bumblebees are however extremely placid and will only ever sting as a last resort and therefore it should rarely be necessary to destroy a bumblebee nest.
That concludes this article entitled – Pest Control in Manchester Wasp or Bee?