Pests we treat
Discover more about the types of pest we treat and the treatments we use.
Ants (inside only)
Ants are widespread but harmless. However, they can cause considerable nuisance if they get into houses.
Treatment can be successful on the first visit.
The first step is trying to locate where the ants are active. Once a clear pattern and pathway to and from the nest is established, then treatment can be quick and effective.
Although we recommend a revisit, many customers prefer to monitor the activity themselves.
Bedbugs feed on warm-blooded animals. Their preferred hosts are humans.
Bedbugs can infest even the cleanest of homes and an infestation does not mean a dirty home.
They feed at night and will often leave you with irritating bite marks. These are often seen in small specs of blood on sheets and pillows.
Treating bedbugs can be a long and tedious process but can be successful if done properly. We will visit to confirm evidence of bedbugs in the property before starting any treatment. We will need to confirm an active infestation before providing treatment.
We will investigate areas where infestations usually occur, looking for live bugs, egg and poo deposits. Areas include the bed frame, mattress, draws, wardrobes, curtains, picture frame, sofas or chairs and cracks and crevices.
To ensure effective and successful treatment, we need your help. Once we've identified a bedbug problem, you will need to make your home ready for the treatment. You must carry out the following:
Remove all clutter from areas requiring treatment
- Place all clothing items, curtains, bedding, throws and so on in rubbish bags. Seal them and empty into the washing machine. Dispose of these bags outside the premises as they may contain bedbugs
- It is important to wash items using hot water. Cold water will not kill bedbugs or their eggs
- Put all washed clothing - bedding, towels curtains, throws and so on - into a clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes on high heat. This will kill any bedbugs and eggs that are present
- Once washing and drying cycles are complete, place clean laundry in new clear rubbish bags and seal until treatment is complete
- Move all furniture in affected areas 12 to 18 inches away from walls. Floors and shelves of closets should also be clear. This will allow for proper vacuuming, better inspection and treatment. It may also be necessary to dismantle or remove some items of furniture before treatment.
Vacuum the following areas:
- Remove all drawers from chest of drawers, bedside tables and so on. This will allow for proper vacuuming, better inspection and treatment
- Check behind pictures or on other wall items. Vacuum if necessary
- Use the nozzle attachment on your vacuum to capture bedbugs and their eggs
- Inspect your mattress, paying attention to the folds, crevices and underside. These are locations where bedbugs like to hide
- Bed frames, inside dressers, cabinets and drawers
- Along skirting boards, outlets and perimeters of the room
- Cloth-covered furniture such as sofas. Pay attention to the seams and folds of cushions, surfaces where cushions sit, and underneath the piece of furniture
- Throws and rugs - tops and bottoms
- Around and under items that cannot be easily moved, such as stove and fridges
- Electronic items such as telephones, radios, clocks and computer components all contain tiny crevices where bedbugs can hide and lay eggs
- Windows and curtains/blinds. Raise or tie off items such as drapes or blinds so they are not near the floor
- Door casings and trim.
- Check hard-covered books, magazines, DVD boxes and papers to ensure no bedbugs are present and place items in rubbish bags
- Do not transfer any items to another room as this can spread the problem
- Remove mattresses from beds and stand upright against the wall.
On the day of treatment we will need access to your property. You will not be able to enter the property for up to four hours after treatment begins. We currently use a water-soluble chemical to treat bedbugs. This will dry over the fours hours to a fine powder. We recommend a deep vacuum of the property seven days after the treatment.
We'll arrange a follow-up visit for up to 14 days after the initial treatment. A second or third treatment may take place depending on the level of infestation. Or we may put in monitoring equipment to check for activity.
The two most common types of cockroaches to infest commercial and domestic properties in the UK are the:
- German cockroach
- Oriental cockroach
Cockroaches are a public health hazard as they feed on anything (omnivorous). They often feed in drains and waste storage areas. Diseases can then be picked up and transferred onto food products and surfaces. Infestations are often the result of broken drains or building defects.
Treating cockroaches can be a lengthy process. You must follow all hygiene measures closely to ensure treatment is effective.
Poison baiting works for all types of cockroaches.
Initially, you will need to:
- Keep all food preparation stations clean
- Keep all food products secure and out of reach from pests
- Take any food waste immediately to the outside bin
- Clean all cups, plates and cutlery immediately after eating/drinking
- Bin all food that has been contaminate
- Mop floors once a week.
Most infestations take place in the kitchen. Before any treatment, we will survey the kitchen. We will look for cockroach activity such as faecas, shell casings, eggs and live insects.
Once we confirm activity we will start treatment. This will include the use of bait stations with insecticide and monitoring pads. The monitoring pads enable us to track progress of activity. We will revisit after seven days.
A good sign that the problem is under control is when nymphs no longer get caught on the pads. This usually means the reproduction cycle has been interrupted. When treatment has finished, we will remove all equipment from the property.
Fleas lay eggs in bedding materials of pets or on the pets themselves.
Fleas are visible to the naked eye and are reddish in colour. Infestations can spread quickly, especially as a female can lay up to 50 eggs a day. Most eggs will fall off the pet and hatch wherever they are in the house, usually where the pet sleeps. Only a small number of the flea population in a house will be on the animal at a given time.
Treatment for fleas is usually simple. Fleas often lay their eggs on the floor in corners or behind radiators so there is no need to treat upholstery. Most infestations need one treatment. In some cases, a second treatment may be necessary.
We will inspect the property to establish if there is an infestation and the level of flea activity. We use several leading brands of flea treatment. These are not only effective but odourless, too.
To help us get rid of the fleas, you will need to do the following before we treat your home:
- Treat pets with a suitable vet-approved flea treatment. Please contact your vet for information.
- Vacuum all areas. This includes floors, upholstered furniture and where pets sleep or rest. This is to remove animal hair, organic debris, fleas, flea eggs and pupae
- Remove all toys, decorative items, cushions and other items from the floors. You will need to do this so that we can treat all areas of the floor
- Remove all items from under beds, on cupboard floors, and from under furniture. These are areas where fleas live and where we will need to treat
- Remove bag after vacuuming and dispose of it in a waste bin or plastic refuse bag outside.
You will need to make alternative arrangements and remove your pets from the property whilst the treatment is ongoing. Do not allow pets back into the house until the treatment has completely dried. You must not enter the property for up to four hours while the chemical sets and becomes safe. Do not vacuum for at least seven to 10 days after the treatment. This will give the treatment time to eliminate all stages of the flea infestation.
Remember, your help is essential to flea control. Although you may see a few fleas for a day or two after treatment, be patient. These fleas will be gone in a short time. If you continue to see fleas for seven days after treatment we may need to revisit and carry out another treatment.
Everyone has experienced having flies in their home. Flies do have the potential to spread germs and diseases. There are many species of fly you may find indoors but the most common are:
- house fly
- cluster fly
- fruit fly
If you maintain good hygiene standards and food isn't freely available then there should be no problems.
The treatment - cluster flies
Cluster flies are easy to treat on the first visit. They are easily identifiable by their swarming nature, most likely if you turn on a loft light or torch. The flies will naturally gather around the light source and begin to swarm.
Cluster flies may return to the same location year after year. To prevent the problem returning, ensure good hygiene. Keep your home tidy and clean. Remove food and drink spills, stagnant water, open rubbish bins and pet excrement.
Once we identify you have cluster flies, we will work out the best method of treatment.
You can remove a small infestation with a vacuum cleaner or an aerosol fly killer. For heavier infestations, we will consider the use of insecticidal fogs or smoke generators. If we use either of these, you should not enter the treated area for four hours. This will allow the insecticide to settle and become safe.
The house mouse and field mouse often invade houses, garages and out buildings. They seek a warm, safe environment with a local food source and can squeeze through openings as small as 6mm.
Mice eat and excrete on food, contaminating it for humans. They urinate on food surfaces, spreading organisms which can cause food poisoning, such as salmonella. They eat most types of food found in domestic kitchens, but prefer grains. Mice can cause fires by gnawing through electrical cables.
As mice are likely to take poison or step onto traps, treatment is usually straight forward.
Dependant on where the activity is in the property, droppings can sometimes be hard to find. For example, in a loft space the mice tend to run underneath the insulation on the ceiling boards. This means there may be no droppings visible above the insulation.
Before we start treatment we will need to investigate access points, activity and location.
Questions we may ask include:
- When did the noise/sighting first take place?
- What time of day/night does the noise start?
- Does the noise stay in one specific area?
- Have you found any droppings or signs of chewing inside the property?
- Have you been experiencing any smells?
- Have you used your own poison?
We will look for droppings, urine stains, smear marks and chewing.
Once we have found evidence of mice inside a property, we will plan the most appropriate treatment.
It may take up to three visits to control the infestation. The first visit will involve a consultation and set-up process. On the second visit - usually between seven and 14 days after the initial visit - we will check any equipment, such as bait or monitoring stations. The third visit should bring the treatment to a close. This should take place three to four weeks after the initial visit. During the final visit, we will remove all equipment, monitoring or bait stations.
Rats can spread disease such as salmonella (a type of food poisoning) and leptospirosis (Weil's disease). They can also cause damage to materials, foodstuffs and structures. The most common species in the UK is the common or brown rat. It is strong, can jump up to three metres and squeeze through a gap of less than 2.5cm.
Rats will seek out any environment that provides food, water and shelter. In homes they can live in loft spaces, wall cavities and cellar/sub floor areas. In gardens they are attracted by wild bird food, compost heaps, garden decking and collections of materials.
Although treatment for rats is straightforward, they are an intelligent species that learn quickly from their surroundings and life experiences.
Before we start treatment we will need to gather as much information as possible. Questions may include:
- When did the noise/sightings first take place?
- How often do you hear/see them?
- What time of day/night does the main activity take place?
- Have you found any droppings or signs of chewing inside the property?
- Have you experienced any strong smells?
- Do you or any neighbours feed the birds?
- If the rats have been seen outside, we may ask:
- How many do you see at one time?
- Do any neighbours have a pond?
- Do you throw any leftovers out to the birds?
Once we have all the information, we can plan the most appropriate treatment process.
For treatment outside, we will survey the area looking for burrows, signs of digging and flattened vegetation.
It may take up to three visits to control the infestation. The first visit will involve a consultation and set-up process. On the second visit - usually between seven and 14 days after the initial visit - we will check any equipment such as bait or monitoring stations. The third visit should bring the treatment to a close. This will be around three to four weeks after the initial visit. During the final visit, we will remove all equipment, monitoring or bait stations.
Grey squirrels are experts at gaining access to areas of our homes, such as loft spaces.
Good climbers, squirrels will often take advantage of fence lines or rows of conifers. To stop grey squirrels infesting your roof space you should seal up access routes using chicken wire. Ensure there are no young or adult squirrels in your loft space before carrying out proofing work or pest control treatment.
We will check your loft space for signs of squirrel activity. Squirrels will often chew loft insulation and stuff it into a corner. The nest may also have a large opening.
Other signs to look for is a strong smell of rodent urine. Squirrels like to scent mark around their home so you may get a strong musky or urine smell. They are also most active during the day. If you hear most of the noise during the day and a little in the early night then it is most likely to be squirrels.
The last things to look for is signs of chewing, fur and sightings of the squirrel itself.
Once we confirm squirrel activity, you will need to read and sign a disclaimer document about the equipment we will use. Once the bait trap has been set and is live you must not interfere with it or put your hands inside it. All treatments, and equipment used, are in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Wasps and hornets
Wasps are not considered a public health risk. But they can present a nuisance when a nest is in or around your home or garden. Wasps, like other insects, are beneficial to the environment as they eat other insect pests. Unless the location of the nest is causing a problem to you or other members of the public, we would avoid treatment. Wasps can sting and can pose a hazard if you disturb the nest. The elderly and those who suffer from anaphylactic shock are especially vulnerable. Treatment should be sought when the wasps pose a risk to residents or to the public.
As long as we can identify the nest and it's accessible, treatment should be straight forward. We will carry out treatment on the same day. Treatment of wasps nests is not always necessary or safe to do, and this is something we will assess when we visit.
A nest opening is usually visible by a regular presence/activity of wasps going to and from. In the early stages of the nest's life cycle it may take a little longer to find. If we can't find the nest entrance or access the nest then this may prevent or restrict treatment.
The insecticidal dust we use is toxic to aquatic life. You will need to cover any garden ponds that are nearby. Keep pets away from the treatment site, or indoors, for at least 24 hours. Contaminated wasps can leave the nest after treatment and it is unpredictable where they may die.
The type of chemical used will be dependant on whether the nest is inside or outside. Once we treat the nest it is common for the hive activity to increase and for the wasps to become more aggressive. You should avoid the area for the next four hours.
We will not remove the nest, as the wasps will never return. If you wish to you can safely remove the nest once you have established that it is dead. You can enclose the dead nest in a rubbish sack by dislodging or vacuuming the area. Ensure you empty the vacuum cleaner before using it around the home again.
Pests we don't treat
Find out how to deal with pests we don't treat.
It is an offence to kill or injure a badger, or to damage or interfere with a set unless you have a licence from a statutory authority.
Using a professional
Find out more about protection and licences on the Government website.
All bat species, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law. It’s an offence to disturb or destroy bats, or any place they’re living (roosting), even if it’s inside your home.
Using a professional
Contact the National Bat Helpline if you have any concerns and need advice. It can arrange for one of Natural England's volunteer bat roost visitors to inspect your property.
Although endangered, bees are not protected and can be treated. We recommend exploring all other avenues before considering eradication, though. Find out how to tell the difference between wasps, bees and hornets on the British Bee Keepers Association website.
Using a professional
If you suspect you have honey bees, then we would recommend you use a swarm collector from the British Bee Keepers Association.
We do not deal with fox control. The fox is not classed as vermin by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Find out more about living with urban foxes on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website.
We have no statutory powers or legal rights to eradicate foxes on private or other land. Anyone who harms a fox could face a jail sentence of up to six months and an unlimited fine.
Using a professional
The Fox Project is a charity that offers useful advice on deterring foxes from your home.
Glis Glis (Edible Dormouse)
Treatment for Glis Glis (Edible Dormouse) is a specialist problem. We do not offer treatment for this species.
Using a professional
You will need to ensure you are working with a company that has the knowledge, experience and correct licences. Find a specialist pest controller who can assist you with Glis Glis on the British Pest Control Association website.
The four most common types of snake found in Britain are:
- adder or viper
- grass snake
- smooth snake.
Slow worms can be mistaken for snakes but are in fact legless lizards.
It is illegal to kill, injure or sell any native British snake or lizard.
Using a professional
In the UK snakes are not dealt with as pests, as problems are not common and dealing with them requires particular skills.
Find out more about how to identify a snake on the RSPCA website.
Find out more about reptile protection surveys and licences in relation to planning applications on the Government website.
Silverfish are not considered a nuisance pest and are not a risk to human health. Adults are approximately 12mm long, slim and silver/grey in colour. Their abdomen is tapered at the end giving them a fish like appearance, hence their name.
Silverfish are usually found in moist or damp areas such as kitchens, but are also found in bathrooms, under floors and in basements.
If you suspect you have silverfish, then the best control methods are ones you can do yourself. Dispose of any stacks of paper (such as magazines and newspapers) or old clothing. Place any clothing or books you wish to save into a freezer (wrapped in plastic) for four to seven days. Ensure the plastic is left on until the items have thawed. The severe cold will kill the insects.
Sealing holes, cracks and gaps in affected rooms can help restrict their movements to other areas. Locate and identify why the room is damp/humid and take steps to remedy it.