You dirty love rat
Posted on 12th February 2021 at 07:43
Lonely pest desperately seeking loving home.
Most of us have heard of the Love Bug, in this case I’m not referring to a Volkswagen but could you imagine a dating site for pests? Would you expect to see entries like, “Hungry bed bug with a GSOH seeks a non-smoker aged 30 to 40 with own home for lots of intimate nights in, plenty of cuddles and breakfast in bed”? Or what about “Fun loving female rat is looking for her Mr Right, in fact Mr Anything will do as I’m not fussy, wants to set up home and must love children as I’m planning on having hundreds of them? Allergic to cats” or even “Outgoing and bubbly pigeon seeks soul mate, must have lofty aspirations and a love of heights necessary, hobbies are cooing and billing. Sow the seeds of love with me, any seeds or even bread will do, this pigeon is looking for a love nest”.
I very much doubt that we’ll see this and as a business idea and it’s going to be as successful as the idea of fitting ashtrays to motorcycles but in essence it does really exist. Have you ever stopped to wonder what attracts pests and why people have problems like rat infestations, pigeons nesting and causing a nuisance and squirrels rattling around in the loft?
Roland Rat - be my Valentine
Modern dating sites have such weird names like Bumble, Tastebuds and Tinder and then there’s the more meaningful ones like Plenty of Fish but what would you call a dating site for pests?
I would think that Tastybugs would be an ideal name for a dating site for cockroaches; find your ideal kitchen online and find love inside. How about Rat – a – two – ey, an online dating site for single rats to hook up with another rat? Or Timber, rather than being online a physical dating agency for wood boring insects with branches all over the UK, and lastly, Wormly Delights, a site aimed at bringing lonesome moles together, maybe Specsavers could sponsor the TV adverts?
But in all honesty pests don’t need a dating site to find love, all pests need is a place to live and thrive and by their very nature, others of the same species will come along and then, they’ll get it on naturally enough!
Spread the Love
So what is it that we do that acts as a dating site for pests, what actions of ours give pests all they need to make out like a bunch of teenagers? In this blog we will take a love hearted look at our actions and the opportunities given to pests.
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Rats are about and ones just swam up the loo!
Do rats actually come up the toilet bowl? Oh yes they really do and this is more of a common occurrence than you would think, our household sewers are used by rats as a means of getting about quickly and without fear from predation. Almost every home in the country is connected to the mains drainage system and depending on the layout of that system, you’ve probably got rats within a few of your toilet bowl right now. Rats are extremely capable swimmers, and they can tread water for days on end without tiring so they can easily swim up a U bend and come out in the toilet bowl.
We’ve attended many jobs where a disused toilet has dried out in part of the building because, for some reason people stopped using it; one was a shop in Windsor that had used a small female toilet in the basement to store metal shelving in. All this metal work was extremely heavy, so no-one got around to moving it and the toilet gradually dried out allowing easy opportunities for rats to slip out and have a nose about. The basement was largely unused, so it was some time before they became aware that they had visitors.
We also attended a terraced house that had been vacant in Maidenhead for over ten years, again, dried out toilets allowed rats out from the sewers that ended up in the houses to either side. But the most shocking one was a house in Reading that had a loft conversion. A single rat climbed up two floors of modern plastic pipe and leapt out of the toilet one night and then couldn’t get back into the bowl. This rat ended up in the child’s bedroom where it spent the night and most of the next day before it was discovered.
So, rats inhabit the sewers and drains, there are things that we can do to keep rats at bay from these areas (apart from putting the toilet seat down fellas) and that is to ensure that outside drains and gully’s have their grids or leaf covers on. We find many situations where the rainwater coming off the roof from a property channels down into the drains; rats can and will climb up these and access the loft by squeezing under roof tiles. Likewise, broken manhole covers and brick or cement surrounds allow rats to easily climb up and out of the drains into the surrounding area, this really is an easy fix which could prevent a long running infestation.
Weevil weevil Rock You!
Ahh weevils and stored product insects, one of our easily treated pests as some food stuffs maybe contaminated with weevils and beetles. Dried products such as flour, cocoa powder, nuts, grains, cereals, and rice may all contain an insect that feeds on that product.
Its not uncommon but its really nothing to worry about, the biggest problem that we create is through the storage of such food stuffs. We should keep all of these items in airtight containers and that way, one contaminated bag of food won’t lead to everything becoming infested.
Remember, when in doubt always choose the lesser of two weevils.
If bedbugs were named for beds, who came up with the name Cockroaches?
Cockroaches aren’t really a funny subject, these almost indestructible insects spread germs and bacteria as they crawl around our kitchens and their feaces release toxic proteins into the atmosphere that lead to asthma. Cockroaches are a true pest and becoming increasingly common, not just in restaurants but in homes all across Reading and Berkshire.
Our ‘just in time’ supply network seems to be giving these insects greater opportunities to travel; products are manufactured in one country and on our shelves or actually in our homes within days. Another opportunity are recent changes to our shopping behaviour following the Covid-19 outbreak where more and more people buy in bulk and then store these products somewhere in the house.
Second hand purchases of kitchen equipment, whether they are commercial or domestic, carries risks that cockroaches will travel from one place to another. The success of cockroaches is attributed to the fact that the female cockroach lays her eggs in a protective case called an ootheca, this case has a sticky covering and maybe glued in place somewhere that’s not obvious and so missed on any cursory inspection. These egg cases, depending on the species of cockroach, may contain between 35 to 45 baby roaches; you now have your own colony of cockroaches ready to infest your property.
Another successful cockroach strategy is that they are slowly becoming resistant to the pesticides that we use to control them, research coming out of The United States of America is highlighting how difficult to exterminate they are, and the only solution is to throw a mix of chemicals at them with many repeated visits from the pest controller. This means that cockroach treatments are becoming more expensive and something that many people attempt to do themselves. I’ve attended households that had cockroaches in just about every room of the house to find that the owner is using fly spray and attempting to kill them off one by one; he was buying fly spray by the case and fighting a losing battle.
Cockroaches thrive on dirt and the best form of control is to get that kitchen as clean as possible, whether a domestic kitchen or an commercial one a deep clean of all surfaces; not just the ones you’re looking at but the undersides and the backs will remove grease and food debris which the roaches are feeding on.
Take out rubbish every night to deny them the food from the bin and empty out toasters; this means that the only food supply available will be the poisons applied by your pest controller and if they use as wide a range of active ingredients as possible you should be able to say goodbye to your cockroach problem – stop bugging me!
How do Church Mice introduce themselves? “We’d like to talk about Cheeses”
Mice can be a real problem and as cute as they are there is nothing funny about a mouse infestation in your house, hold your hand up in the air, mice can squeeze through a hole the size of your little finger. That’s around the same size as an empty pipe hole for 15mm pipe or an old drilled out hole that used to carry the aerial cable through the wall.
Mice are also fantastic climbers and will use any plants, tree limbs or bushes to get onto a roof and squeeze under a roof tile. Climbing plants like wisteria and ivy are frequently used by mice as a ladder to get into the interior of a house, due to their small size relatively low numbers of mice can and will go unnoticed for some time. Mice are not as destructive as their bigger rodent cousins, rats and squirrels but they will chew up soft furnishings to build nests so an unnoticed mouse infestation can cause considerable damage to stored goods in a loft.
Like all rodents, mice have sharp teeth and strong jaws, and we find that modern plastic air bricks are susceptible to gnawing damage and become an entry point for mice. One difference between mice and rats inside a property? If you have traps down or possible rodenticide (rat and mouse poison should only be used on House Mice – not field mice) mice will cover the bait with anything that they can find to hide it away from their friends.
Cutting back climbing vegetation is a good idea to prevent mice from getting inside, this also applies to rats as they also seem to enjoy climbing up plants and getting inside. Keep the surrounding area of your property litter, clutter and leaf free especially as we move into autumn and winter as mice (and rats) will gnaw through these air bricks and if they’re hidden from view then their often forgotten about until its too late.
Some species like pygmy shrews live in the leaf litter as they eat insects living in there, these are the UK’s smallest mammal and they can squeeze under poorly fitted door thresholds causing a nuisance of themselves.
With al rodents and especially mice its good housekeeping that will keep them out, prune, clear and remove should be the mantra when working in the garden, a few simple changes could prevent an infestation and the potential damage and costs that goes with it.
"No More Mister Mice Guy"
Local professional pest control throughout Reading, Wokingham and Woodley
Whatever your pest we can help, as a family run team of professional pest controllers serving the Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough and Henley areas we can provide a next day, occasionally same day, call out for all types of pests. From insects such as bed bugs and cockroaches to rodents: squirrels, rats and mice and even mole catching, if you’ve got a pest problem then we have the solution for you.
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