Spring is here finally here and so it seems may be the pests!
With reports of mutant rats and vicious biting spiders dominating the news which pests do we really have to keep an eye out for now the longer days are upon us?
Whilst reports of super rats are on the rise, there is little evidence to suggest that the pictures in the media are a true representation of the size of the pest. Claims of four foot rats have been exaggerated with many experts claiming a more realistic measurement of two feet. Still large but nothing mutant there! Just a case of forced perspective due to camera angles and a case of scare mongering within the press. In fact it’s thought the super rat caught was in fact an escaped pet Gambian pouch rat!
However no one wants a rat problem let alone a supersize one so remember to remove excess rubbish and litter. Discard uneaten food from pets or wildlife e.g. birds, rabbits etc. They are attracted by food and so all food, both human and animal, should be kept in airtight containers.
Check your compost heap regularly as they are ideal supply for nesting materials Rats can pass through a hole only one to two centimetres keep your home and pipe work in good repair to prevent entry.
Mice too begin breed at this time of year too and are capable of reproducing themselves within 4 weeks of birth so keep a look out for signs of activity, scratching, droppings and strong smelling odour from their urine are the most common.
Cluster flies will begin to emerge from hibernation and the problem with this is numbers because when they invade they do it on mass. They tend to return to the same building year on year. Especially as the flies are attracted to lighter coloured buildings located in sunnier areas. Nuisance caused includes odour from pheromones they emit to attract other flies and staining from excrement.
Cluster flies are not the only flying insects to keep an eye out for moths, ladybirds and bees as this time of year too.
Seagulls pair up at this time of year so remember don’t feed gulls at home always dispose of rubbish and food waste properly to prevent them from scavenging from your bins
With 650 different breeds of spider in the UK the chances of seeing them scurrying along your kitchen floor are high however only 12 of these actually contain enough venom to cause you any harm. Spiders feast on bacteria-spreading flies so are not always a bad visitor to have! Unless they have travelled thousands of miles in a bunch of supermarket bananas as one unlucky shopper discovered recently after her son was bitten and hospitalised.
Don’t panic however the Giant House Spider is the largest in the UK and it mainly resides in sheds and gardens!
Taking steps to prevent a pest problem before it arises is our number 1 tip for spring.