During a normal February apart from our commercial contracts, which we attend to for 52 weeks of the year, most of our work is call-outs to deal with rodents, Rats and Mice. Where rats are concerned most of the jobs we will receive will be by customers having sleepless nights, with the rats chewing items or scratching in the roof above their beds. This is followed by numerous calls for rats in the garden feeding on bird food.
Where mice are concerned, calls are for mice in the kitchen cupboards, followed by again mice playing havoc in the roof cavity.
This month has also thrown up some out of season jobs. A property was attended to who had a severe infestation of Cockroaches for a number of years which had increased to the point that they had got into the structures of the wall cavity and had infested neighbours flats via the pipes and drainage systems emerging in kitchen and bathroom areas. The top flat was so infested that everything that I picked up, boxes, hoover, cushions or any item where they could hide, saw masses of cockroaches dive to their next hiding place. We treated 3 flats and have set up a programme of treatments, which may need to carry out for a 12-month period to control an infestation of this magnitude.
Squirrels have put in an early appearance looking for nest sights, in both cases the squirrel had gained access to the roof cavity and apart from sounding like a heard of elephants in the loft, had been chewing joists and wiring in the loft in both instances. We trapped the squirrels and removed them off site.
Pharaoh Ants showed up in one house and lots of colonies were found around the house. This may start as one colony with somebody wrongly trying to treat, which disperses them into forming satellite colonies. These need to be treated with a none repellent insecticidal gel food source which the worker ants take back to the nest which is then fed on inside the colony slowly working through the colony without alarming it. Several visits were needed re-topping up the bait points.
We have also been busy trapping Moles for local farms, before the grass starts growing with 78 caught on one farm. It is important for the farmer to have this done for several reasons, such as the soil pushed up may get into the silage which in turn can cause listeria in cows which may prove fatal and stones thrown up damaging machinery.
After we get through the month of March and into April more of our work should turn to Insects and less Rodent Control but you never know what’s around the corner!