Coming to spoil your day?

Angry Wasps – Why?

As we enjoy the last of a summer’s sun in the back garden, we often seem to get bothered by wasps more and more and they seem intent on dive-bombing glasses of drinks – both soft and alcoholic drinks. Why does this happen and why now?

It isn’t our imagination; it does happen and it occurs more and more frequently as late Summer turns into Autumn, and there are a few reasons why it happens, although one of those reasons is mainly responsible. When worker wasps take back small insects to feed to the wasp larvae back in the nest, they are actually rewarded for their efforts by the larva they are feeding in the form of a regurgitated sweet honey-like substance. Wasps do not make honey like honey bees but this highly sweet substance is as close as they get. For many weeks this cycle of feeding larva and being rewarded with a sweet liquid continues and it isn’t hard to imagine any living creature developing a rather sweet tooth in response to this regular meal. The problems for us living near a wasp nest is that once the last lot of larva have turned into wasps, the workers are rather abruptly cut off from their favourite meal and basically start suffering a kind of withdrawl syndrome. If we were to ask a person to suddenly stop eating any and all sugary foods, you can bet there would be unpleasant side-effects and it would be reasonable to assume the person might go through a period of constantly thinking about sweet foods!

With this in mind, it is understandable that when these wasps are suddenly cut off from their source, they are going to go looking for a substitute elsewhere… This often will be a back garden or patio area where people are enjoying some warm weather and sunshine. Most alcoholic drinks have a fair amount of sugar in them and of course the kids’ fizzy drinks are also loaded with sugar. This is just irresistible to any wasps around. They can detect the sugar content in the air around a glass of cola and they will head straight to the glass to get their sugar fix. Wasps are often to be found in and around bins and recycling areas which contain empty wine bottles etc. Just the residue on the inside of an empty bottle is more than enough to satisfy the cravings of a wasp.

While these wasps are out and about searching for some sugar, they are likely to be ill-tempered and we know that wasps are pretty quick to sting at the best of times, let alone when they are starving of the food that has sustained them for months. Wasps are more likely to sting as they inevitably come into contact with the humans that will be around, holding, pouring and clearing away what to a wasp must be butter-mountain sized amounts of sweet liquid!

 

What to do?

If you find yourself battling wasps in and around Aberdeenshire, and you know you have a wasp nest on your property, it might now be the time to get it taken care of professionally. Some people can live with a nest nearby if it doesn’t directly impact their day-to-day life and wasps do have their part to play in our ecosystem, however, having a number of angry wasps spoiling an afternoon outside is not fun and for those unlucky enough to be allergic to wasps stings, it is a clear cut case of safety first….get it treated!

If there isn’t actually a nest on your property, but you are still bothered by wasps, what can you do?

There are a number of commercially available and DIY wasp traps that can be useful in cutting down the numbers of wasps around. They mostly are based on the principle of having a very sweet liquid bait which either draws them into a one-way trap,  or actually drowns the wasps itself. The best solution for troublesome wasps is obviously to get the nest itself treated but wasp traps can help reduce wasp numbers on your property and also hopefully provide a lure to tempt wasps in and away from our drinks and food.

We would always recommend using a professional pest control technician to treat an actual nest, rather than attempting to do so yourself. The professional technician will have all the right personal protective equipment – coveralls to limit personal insecticide exposure, a bee-keeper’s hat or full-body suit to prevent stings, leather gauntlets to protect the hands, a respirator mask to prevent inhalation and safety goggles to prevent exposure to the eyes. Believe me when I say that wasps are capable of stinging through several layers of clothing! They have even been known to penetrate a bee-keeper suit so just imagine how bad it could be to be attacked by multiple wasps without wearing all the gear! Professionals also have access to a range of products and application equipment not available to the public. Add to all this the  valuable experience of dealing with countless previous nests, the professional can safely take care of a problem nest, provide reassurance to customers and also a wealth of knowledge that just cannot be found elsewhere.

If we are lucky enough to enjoy an Indian Summer this year in the North-East, it need not be spoiled by ravenous wasps – but if they appear, you know what can be done!

Gordon Mackay

Aberkil

Technical and Sales

01224 692152

A Clothes Moth

Invasion

The U.K is experiencing record numbers of Clothes Moths due to the mild winter and early spring; call-outs for pest controllers to treat for moths more than doubled between February and March of this year! My colleagues round the country agree that this is a bumper year for moths and this unfortunately can mean problems for households everywhere. Although a little cooler than down south, up here in Aberdeenshire, we do not escape the menacing jaws of the moth larva, intent on ruining someone’s day.

Moths spend the cold winter months as pupae, waiting for the longer, warmer days to encourage them out of hiding to breed and it is just one stage of the moth life cycle that causes most of the problems for the likes of you and I. It is the larval stage of moths that cause damage to clothes, carpets and other items made of natural products. The moth larvae eat natural fibres such as cotton and wool and this is what can turn a favourite garment into something that looks like it was worn by Steptoe & Son, or a new wool carpet into something that looks worn from years of use! Not a pleasant thing to discover as my customers can attest to.

Treatment

People may try to control a moth infestation by themselves and although this is possible, often they find that while they may have had some effect on the numbers of adult moths they see around the property, it is a tall order to really get on top of all the moth eggs, larva and adults that may be hiding around in all sorts of nooks and crannies. If you don’t manage to kill them all off, you can find your infestation returning pretty quickly and things getting out of control. The financial cost of moth damage can easily surpass the cost of a professional pest control treatment, so it can make financial sense to take the stress out of getting rid of these destructive pests.

Aberkil has carried out a number of moth treatments lately, one of which was a very large job involving multiple buildings and individual properties and often with cases like this, there was a lot of cross-infestation with the moths spreading from one building to another and for the residents it was getting out of hand and actually quite unpleasant dealing with the destruction of carpets, rugs and clothes. I have another couple of moth treatment jobs over the coming days and it seems likely we will be getting more calls very soon at this rate.

When you call in a professional to deal with a moth infestation, they will come and carry out an inspection to confirm the species and the extent of the problem. At this stage the pest technician can offer helpful advice on what the customer can do to help protect their valuable property from future moth problems, and also what they can do to help the technician maximise the benefits from a professional treatment.

Aberkil will vacuum the places likely to harbour moth eggs before applying a residual insecticide (long-lasting active ingredient) coupled with an ‘I.G.R’ which is an ‘insect growth regulator,’ basically a chemical that prevents insects reaching the adult stage that allows them to breed. Finally, a ‘space-spray’ is applied in all rooms and this is a fine mist of insecticide that billows out of a special machine and this produces a ‘knockdown’ effect that reaches into every corner and hiding place available. The whole process takes a few hours and for a further 4 hours afterwards, people and pets are required to be out of the property, to allow time for the space-spray mist to settle down out of the air.

Before a treatment for moths, customers can help themselves and us as professionals, by clearing away excess clutter from rooms and affected areas and this allows the technician to get the insecticide where it needs to go. With insecticide applications, it’s never a question of slapping large quantities down – on the contrary, it is how and where it is applied that matters, and in addition to that, we are legally obligated to follow the manufacturers instructions on dilution rates etc. We only use approved products that comply with all the relevant legislation and good industry Health and Safety practice.

 

Gordon Mackay,

Sales and Technical,

Aberkil.

Wasp protection

Wasp eradication

Unfortunately I read each year that someone has died due to being stung by a wasp. The Sun newspaper reports today that Katrina Heaton could have died if a Doctor had not been passing by the area. Katrina had been carrying an EpiPen but was in a remote location and went in to shock, she was rushed to hospital and her life was saved.

At Aberkil we get a couple of calls a season with the caller pleading with us to get round to their property as quick as possible as they are allergic to wasp stings, if we can we make this a priority call out in order to eradicate the wasp nest.

Do not under estimate the danger of  a wasp sting, many people find out the hard way and this is usually caused by trying to tackle the nest themselves.

The photograph shows the protection that an Aberkil operator would wear when tackling a wasp infestation.

 

Image of a wasp

Keep Away From Wasps

I have just been reading an article about a family getting attacked by wasps, the poor dog is in a bad way and the family have ended up with a large bill. This happened down by a river bank where the wasps will make a nest in the embankment and they can be easily knocked.If you do come across one , best to keep well away from them and do not get too curious. Wasps in the ground are the most dangerous to tackle as any vibration will make them come at you.

Here is a post http://bit.ly/29YQ9Ed to the full article and it provides a link to help the family with the vet bill.

 

Keep safe

Peter Stewart

Aberkil

Aberkil’s week

That is the end of another busy week at Aberkil, we have dealt with mice, rats, gulls, pigeons. The wasps have started to come in too. there is one insect that appeared and that is the varied carpet beetle, we have only dealt with them twice her at aberkil, it is actually a beautiful creature.

We have a cluster fly job booked in for next week, some new contracts to protect premises against rodents coming in to cause damage etc. We have full scaring programs running and have been using our new bird gel on a few places.

If you have a pest problem, be sure to give us a call.

The phone rang today with regards to bedbugs and since the summer holidays are coming I thought that I would remind about the importance of checking your accommodation wherever you go in the world. Hotels etc are very much aware of the situation regarding bedbugs and will check for them, however accommodation can be  infested very quickly with new guest coming and going. Below are some tips before going on your travels:

  1. Seal your suitcase with suitable materiel, you can get this done at an airport if you wish.
  2. On arrival in your room do not unpack
  3. Pull back the sheets and look for fecal marks on ridge of mattress
  4. Check the bedhead again look for any fecal marks or insects
  5. If you do see anything, report it immediately
  6. If you are happy enough unpack and seal your suitcase once more
  7. Enjoy your holiday

Let’s face nobody likes to talk about this subject, however  over the years I have met many people who have had an added extra to their holiday when they come home. Here is a link to let you know what we are up against.

http://bbc.in/1T3nDjJ

Pigeons under solar panels

The phone has been ringing lately regarding pigeons getting under solar panels, this can be a real problem as we had one lady where the company refused to come back and deal with a problem she was having with the panels, it was a catch 22, get rid of the birds and we will come back, she had no choice but to get us in to remove the pigeons and seal the panels.

Birds are very sheltered under the panels and this is an ideal area for them to breed. This can cause a lot of pigeon mess in the area and it may build causing a a smell and even insects to appear in the home. they may also damage any of the parts underneath the panels and invalidate the warranty.

So what can we do for you as pest controllers, the good news is that something can be done, Aberkil can mesh off the area to prevent access by the pigeons without any harm to the birds. If you need help to prevent pigeons getting under your solar panels just call

 

Call 01224 692152

I was reading some news last week about a wasp nest that decided to set up home on an instrument panel of a plane of all places, I just hope it was not in mid air at the time.

It reminded me me of some of the strange places I had seen wasp nests during my time in pest control. the first one I remember was a call out to the Royal Mail where a nest was inside the actual post box , seemingly the postman is still running. Another day we had a call to deal with a massive roll of cable that was going offshore, as soon as the crane moved it there was pandemonium as all the roughy toughy riggers ran for their lives.

My online pest control  friends have let me know of some of the strange places they have seen them, here is a small list:

Inside a curtain in an O.A.P Home

Toilet ceiling, that was in use

On bird netting

The last one that I will mention is an outdoor playhouse, this can be a very dangerous situation, unfortunately it is usually children who find them first. My advice to parents is to check the inside of these houses on a weekly basis, check all around the corners, roof and behind doors. You may choose to tackle this yourself using a spray or dust from a hardware store, however I would suggest using a local pest control service.

Please take care around wasp nests and treat them with respect as they can be nasty if you upset them.

 

Aberkil

01224 692152

We are getting our kit ready here at Aberkil for the wasp season, that’s making sure the pumps are working and having a good supply of dust etc. The operators are getting their PPE ready which consists of head and face protection, gloves and beekeeper suit.
this made me search the internet to see what was happening in other areas of the country and according to the Express and Star firefighters were sent to a premises In Walsall to deal with a fire that had been caused by someone trying to smoke them out.

Over the years people have phoned and asked me how to get rid of wasps, after the call some decide that they are going to try to do the job for themselves and in their words “,I am going to smoke em out”. here is a thought, would your insurance cover you?, is it worth the risk for the sake of a few pounds.
Do not phone the fire brigade , phone us first.

01224 692152

I think I have Bedbugs

These are words that I have heard many times over the years, “I think I have bedbugs” , the majority of the time they surprised to hear that they do not have them. Once  have interrogated them about the size of the supposed bites, if they have seen insects or blood on the sheets, if they answer no to all of these questions, the chances are is that they do not have bedbugs.

Once I have established that you have bedbugs, you then have a bit of work ahead of you. In order to gain control of the bedbug situation, you need to do the following:

Strip the beds

Wash all sheets etc at 60 degrees

Empty all cupboards and drawers etc

Once you have done this we will come in and vacuum all the bedding and cracks and crevices etc

We will then apply a professional insecticide to bedbug harbourages and walking surfaces. dust will also be used n some circumstances.

Aberkil will make another treatment a few weeks after with an alternative insecticide in case of resistance.

A bedbug treatment is usually successful after a 6 week period. Most of the insects will be eliminated after the initial treatment.