Catch-it London Pest Control Blog

What Queen Wasps Get Up To In Winter


We’ve finally seen the stinging back of wasps now for this year. But it does beg the question, where do the queen wasps go during the winter. We know only the workers die, but what is it they actually do during the cooler months? And when do the rest of the wasps die off? 

From the beginning of September, queen wasps are starting their preparations for winter. A fertilised female wasp will start to prepare herself to hibernate. The queen wasp will go somewhere quiet and sheltered to have a nice long sleep. 

This is why so many of us find wasps in our homes during this time of year. A queen wasp wants somewhere to stay that they will be protected for the entire winter season. However, most of these queen wasps will still die. For every 4,500 queen wasps out there in the UK, only 2 will survive. This is because we kill them, and also predators hunt them for food as well. Warm winters are also contributing to more wasp deaths each year. 

You would think that a harsh winter would be bad for a queen wasp, but that is far from true. Mild or warm winters encourage queen wasps to come out of hibernation early, leading them to find there’s no nectar available yet. With the longer, colder winters, the queens stay asleep until the flowers start to produce the nectar they need to sustain themselves. 

Out of the places in your house, the conservatory is the most popular place a queen wasp would want to take as it’s hibernation place. Conservatories offer lots of cracks and crevices that are perfect for hibernation. This is why you must make sure that all areas of your home are sealed against pests before the winter comes. No one wants a pest infestation for Christmas! And it’s always best to find out what a queen wasp looks like to readily identify a problem. 

Once the queen wasps come out of hibernation, they will be aggressive and searching for somewhere to build their nests. This is a prominent time for wasps, and if you see any on your property you should call in the pest controllers to deal with the problem. Catch-it offer emergency wasp control for any queen wasps or wasps nest you may find in the future. 

Which Sneaky Tricks Repel Foxes?


Foxes are beautiful, but controversial animals. Some of us see them as a menacing pest that we want nowhere near our homes. Others of us see them as part of the rural and urban landscape, which wouldn’t be the same without them. 

Regardless of which way you feel about foxes, they can do a lot of damage. Foxes make a lot of noise in the night, foul on our lawns, dig up our plants and rummage through our bins. Some foxes even opt to live under the garden shed. Especially with winter pests on the rise, now is the time to be extra vigilant about fox infestations. 

There are a few different tricks you can use to repel foxes in your garden. 

• Using chemicals – There are several chemical fox repellent products available over the counter that help to deter foxes. These work by confusing the foxes sense of smell and taste. However, be warned that these are also affective against your pets and other wildlife, so should be avoided if you are a pet owner. Remember chemicals can be toxic to people too.

• Fox ornaments – Getting a highly detailed, life size fox ornament will work to repel foxes. You may also want to use other ornaments such as cats or dogs, because a fox is less likely to visit these gardens. 

• Remove available food sources – Do not leave any pet food outside, and bird seed should be put into containers and cleaned up regularly. As well as this, use fertilisers that don’t contain any animal products so the foxes don’t go digging up your flowers in search of food. 

• Block all entrances – Making sure you fix all of your fencing so there aren’t any holes that a fox could easily slink through. You can block all of the holes around your garden to stop any foxes gaining access. 

London foxes are on the rise again in the colder months. That’s why Catch-it are here to help you with any fox control problems you may encounter in the UK. For more information on fox prevention, or other pest control treatments, get in touch with our team today. 

Pest Proofing Your Garden The Right Way


Most gardeners are worried about insects attacking and ruining all the plants. But there are other pests that can get in your garden and create a whole lot of havoc too. Rodents such as mice and rats, foxes and the need for squirrel pest control can also be a problem in your garden. 

So obviously there are more pests out there that you want to keep out. To be able to pest proof your garden the right way for you, you have to find out what’s attracting the pests into your garden in the first place. Once you know what they’re attracted to, you can change the habitat so it will discourage them from moving onto your turf. 

Here are some ways you can effectively pest proof your garden the right way. 

• Remove their shelter – Pests want three things – food, water and shelter. Removing wood piles, tall grass and debris makes sure a pest has nowhere to hide in your garden. If you have any piles of wood, make sure to move it every so often and keep it as far away from the house as possible. 

• Eliminate their food source – Bird feeders can be a massive attraction for pests. If you are having a problem with pests in your garden, try taking down the bird feeders for a few weeks. Don’t put any sort of bird seed on the ground. Make sure it’s always in a feeder, and that it doesn’t spill when you refill it. 

• Keep your bins clean – If you have your bins in your garden, you must make sure to keep them clean. Washing them down with a hose and some soap once a week makes sure there’s no leftover food that might be a big attraction for. Flies are a problem in particular. 

• Seal entrances – Mice and other pests can squeeze through the tiniest gaps imaginable. It’s important to check your garden, including in your shed, for any holes that a pest could use as an easy access route. 

• Fencing – It’s best to do fence repairs at least once a year so no pests can get through holes or gaps. If pests are burrowing underneath your fence, you can bury cloth in the ground to stop them from gaining access. 

The Problem With Feral Pigeons In London


If you live in London or have been there to visit the famous landmarks, you will know how many pigeons litter the streets. You can’t go anywhere in our capital city without seeing a feral London pigeon. They can cause chaos for home and business owners by making a mess of the inside and outside of your property. 

With all the ruckus that feral pigeons cause in London, they have caught quite a bad rap. In fact, in 2000 the seed sellers in Trafalgar Square were banned to help discourage pigeons. But there was some pigeon-loving animal activists who fought against this, and snuck food in to the square so the birds would continue to receive food.

This is just one of the many battles people fight with pigeons in London on a daily basis. Some people argue that the feral pigeon population in London is too large, whilst others argue that you should be able feed the pigeons around London because that’s what has been done for hundreds of years. 

Even today, London is still battling the problem with feral pigeons. Pest control methods such as hawks being released over the parks to scare the pigeons are being used. For many this would seem cruel, whilst for others it’s more a case of good riddance. But no matter how many pest control methods are used, London will never be feral pigeon free because of the food they will always be able to find somewhere. 

Now just because you have to put up with seeing feral pigeons around London, it doesn’t mean you have to endure a pigeon control problem in your home or business. Having pigeons nesting in your loft space or roof will turn into a nightmare of a corrosive and smelly nature. Pigeons carry diseases too, which can be transmitted to you, your family and your pets. 

When you have a pigeon control problem, your best option will be to call a humane pigeon control pest controller. You don’t want them to destroy your property, but remember that pigeons have been a London trademark for many years. They even served our country in two world wars, and are a huge part of London’s heritage. So if you do have a pigeon control problem, show them some love by looking for a pest controller who will take care of the issue ethically and humanely. 

8 Methods Of Hotel Pest Control


The summer season is now behind us, but it’s time to look forward to the busiest time of the year for most hotels across the world. In the tourism season, a hotels business increases, and it’s often the most important time of the year for hotels to generate a profit. 

Discovering a pest control problem in your hotel is awful for guests and staff alike. Having a pest control issue in your hotel can be very damaging to your businesses reputation. So here are our 8 methods of pest control you can use in your hotel. 

1. During the peak season, you don’t want any sort of pest control problem to make an appearance. Pests can infest laundry rooms, lifts and hallways, not just guest rooms in a hotel. Having a commercial pest control contract in place with Catch-it can help you to stay pest free all year round. 

2. No matter how loyal your guests are or how many times they’ve stayed at your hotel, if they see a pest that will be enough to make sure they don’t visit again. Protect your guest relations and reputation with a commercial pest control contract. 

3. You don’t want to spend the whole of the busy season worrying about a pest control problem happening. You need to make sure your business has a great plan in place for any signs of pest control problems in your hotel. 

4. Keep everything as clean as possible. Pests can make your hotel very unsanitary, so you need to make sure you have a clean and hygienic environment for your guests to enjoy. 

5. The peak tourism season is usually the warmest weather wise. Warm weather can increase the number of pest infestations that happen. Be more vigilant during the warm weather to make sure pests don’t infest your hotel. 

6. Keep your hotel properly maintained and repaired at all times to avoid pest control problems. Even the smallest holes in your structure can let pests in, causing an infestation. 

7. Train your staff properly in the right signs to look out for and what to do when it comes to a pest control problem in your hotel. 

8. Keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of pest infestations. Remember that hotels are most prone to bed bugs, so educate yourself and your staff on the signs of bed bugs. 

The Science Behind Moths’ Attraction To Light


Some insects like cockroaches are actually repelled by light. But then on the other hand, we have moths who are always attracted to light. So what’s the science behind a moths attraction to light? 

There’s a common phrase that says like a moth to a flame, but why moths are so attracted to light still remains a mystery to us. Here are some theories of why moths could be attracted to light. 

Using Light To Navigate 
Some moths actually migrate, and the sky at night can give them a clue to which way they’re meant to go. But because there’s so much artificial light around, it throws off the moths navigational system and they get very confused. 

Moths use the light from distant objects to navigate around. So artificial lights confuse them and they become continually drawn towards them. 

This theory seems to make sense, but there are a few flaws with it. Remember that artificial light has been around for thousands of years in the form of fire. So wouldn’t natural selection have weeded out this behaviour of moths, to increase their chances of survival? Some scientists have completely debunked this theory, and think there are other reasons why a moth is attracted to light. 

Attraction To Infrared Spectrum 
The infrared spectrum emitted by candle light has been shown to be the same as the one emitted by female moth’s pheromones. This means when a male moth sees candle light, they may be mistaking it for a female to mate with and dive straight into the flame.
This theory is also flawed, because the moths are actually more attracted to the ultraviolet radiations in artificial light. 

So all in all, the reason why moths are so attracted to light still remains a mystery. If you or someone you know is having a problem with a moth infestation in the London area, call in Catch-it Pest Control today for moth fumigation services. 

Pests That Attack Your Bins And How To Stop Them


Cleaning your bin is never one of the most loved chores around the home. But making sure your outdoor bin area is clean and tidy could go a long way in preventing pests. There are numerous pests that can attack your bins if you give them the chance to. 

Common pests that will attack your bins are foxes, squirrels, insects and rodents. Your bin is a great source of food for any sort of pest. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure your bin doesn’t become a hot spot for pests

• Keep your bins clean – It’s not a task that you will look forward to, but if you clean your bin on a regular basis, the less arduous it will be. Remember to disinfect your bin, and rinse it out afterwards to stop pest infestations. 
• Securely tie your bin bags – All rubbish should be put into a durable bin bag and tied securely at the top. If you don’t tie your bin bags tightly, waste can fall out which will attract pests. 
• Empty all containers – Most of the containers you put into your bins will probably have contained food. If you clean these properly before you put them in the bin, you can prevent a pest control problem. 
• Secure the lid – Your bin should have a tight fitting lid so that no pests can get into it. Check your bin for damage on a regular basis to make sure no flies or maggots can get in there. 
• Prepare your rubbish – Taking the time to prepare your rubbish before you put it outside will help you avoid pest infestations. Wash out all of your containers and double bag discarded meat and fish to stop pests from attacking your bins. 
• Cut down on your waste – Can you reuse any of your boxes, or maybe you could start a compost pile. The less waste you have, the less chance you will have of experience a pest infestation in your bins. 

Following these steps will help you to keep your bin clean and pest free. For more pest control advice and prevention tips, call Catch-it Pest Control today. 

How Far Can A Rat Swim And Jump?


No matter how little you think of a rat and how horrible they are, you should never underestimate their abilities. Every homeowner should know just what a rat can do, so that you can effectively get rid of them if you ever suffer from a pest infestation. 

Rats can jump 36” into the air, or 0.9m from a flat surface. They can also stretch to reach around 13” or 33cm from a flat surface too. Rats are normally the last ones to evacuate a sinking ship, but they are able to dive and can swim underwater for up to 30 seconds. If they are in open water, they can also swim as far as ½ a mile or 0.8km. These swimming abilities allow them to swim upwards through waste pipes and into toilets, which is how they get into our home plumbing

Here are some other facts about rats that you might want to know as a homeowner. 
• A rat can squeeze itself through an opening as small as 1/2”. That’s about 1.3cm, which leaves your property very susceptible to rats being able to enter. 
• Rats can walk along horizontal wires with ease. Some can even climb vertical wires. 
• Rats can crawl up the inside of vertical pipes as small as 1.5” or 3.8cm in diameter. This means our drains and pipes are very much at risk for a rat to be able to enter our home. 
• Some rats can climb up the outside of vertical pipes that have a diameter of 7.6cm or 3”. 
• If your plumbing or electrical pipes and wires are within 3” or 7.6cm of your properties walls, a rat can easily climb up them with room to spare. 
• Rats have front teeth that are continuously growing, which is why they need to gnaw on hard surfaces to keep them down. They will attack lots of different materials from wood to glass. And if you ever receive a rat bite, it will definitely come sharp! 

So all in all, a rats abilities are pretty incredible. But even with these super rat abilities, we can still get rid of a rat control problem for you. Do you have a rat infestation in your London home or business? Visit our contact us page for more information on how we can help you. 

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