Rats and mice

18 Oct

As the weather starts to get colder this time of year is when animals like mice and rats start to become more of a problem to homeowners.


As the autumn progresses into the winter months these pests can becoming an increasing problem. They both present a serious threat to health and property. Mice enter houses looking for food, water and shelter and rats are seen more frequently in gardens.

Rats carry and transmit a number of serious diseases and mice contaminate everything they come into contact with as they constantly urinate. As well as the potential health issues, rodents can cause damage to furnishings, internal structures, insulation and wiring. Chewing wiring is a particular problem – it can lead to fires and be expensive to repair.

Because of their biology they can present a challenge to control and if you suspect that you have either in or around your home you should call in the professionals to ensure you deal with the problem quickly and effectively. Rodents reproduce rapidly meaning a rodent problem can quickly escalate into a major infestation. Rodents also don’t hibernate during the winter actively seeking warmth and quickly begin reproducing. So it pays to be vigilant.

Signs you have a rodent problem

Rats (and mice) are most active during the night therefore it is often easier to spot the signs of a rat infestation than the actual animal.

  • Droppings – rat droppings are dark brown, about 12mm long and often tapered at one end, Mice droppings are about half the size and thinner.
  • You may find dirty marks where grease and dirt on their bodies has left dirty black marks along well travelled routes.
  • Rats are agile climbers and often found in lofts so you might hear scratching noises at night.
  • Rats dig extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting, so look out for holes.
  • Rats will shred whatever material is available to them such as loft insulation, cardboard and other soft items to make nests.
  • Rodents need to gnaw continuously to keep their incisor teeth short. So watch out for teeth marks.its-time-for-mice-to-move-in

If you have heard scratching noises or spotted any of the signs above, you could potentially have a rodent infestation. It’s important to act quickly to make sure any potential infestation doesn’t spread any further.

Keep rodents away

Preventing the problems rodents cause can be easier than trying to control an infestation. Here are few simple steps that could save you from the problems rodents can cause:

  • Rodents will be attracted to your property if they can detect potential food sources.
  • Don’t throw scraps of food outside.
  • Fewer waste bin collections are increasing the likelihood of more rats. Make sure that all food waste is securely wrapped and stored in the appropriate bin at all times.
  • Repair any small holes in brickwork and holes in outside walls, floorboards or skirting boards.
  • Tidy up cupboards and remove any potential nesting material.

Rat control for businesses

It’s not just homeowners that can face rodent problems at this time of year. Any business can also face a rat problem. For some businesses though, like those who serve or handle food, a rat infestation can have major health and safety implications. Rodents can also present a serious fire risk to a company by gnawing through cables.

Call in the professionals

If you are in any doubt as to whether you have a rodent problem, call in the professionals. Don’t give the pests a chance to breed and become a major infestation.

Only a professional rodent control programme can provide reassuring protection from the risk of rats and mice on your premises. With our many years of experience we have an in-depth knowledge of rats and mice and how to deal with them.

If you think you have a rodent infestation please call Abate Pest Management now on 0800 980 9609 speak to our experts about our fast, effective rodent control treatments. You can also visit our website for more information.

Gulls attacking staff and visitors and their nests causing water ingress in Lowestoft

30 Sep

We were asked to help an off-shore wind company who were having real problems with gulls attacking staff and visitors at their business in Lowestoft.


The nests which had been built on their guttering were causing water ingress by blocking the flow of rain water. Abate Pest Management installed bird proof netting on 7 roofs to stop the problem from occurring.

When birds build their nests in rain gutters or roof corners on buildings, a blockage can often occur, causing accumulation of standing water (usually rain water); this can also cause roof collapse. You can find that the water may seep through the walls in your building and could cause higher issues such as damp and rotting.

When birds nest in gutters, multiple problems can arise. Their nesting materials and feathers can lead to bigger issues and their nests often contain many insects which can lead to secondary infestations and the noise of cooing or cries from baby birds can become a nuisance.

There are many proofing methods on the market today to choose from, but before you think about purchasing any, we recommend your site should be professionally assessed in order to select the most appropriate system for your needs.

We recommend a netting method to stop the gulls from nesting in the guttering and attacking people, as it’s the most effective deterrent for nesting problems. Bird netting systems that screen off problems areas can be 100% successful when installed correctly. Nets come in different sizes and to suit different type of birds. They also come in a range of colours to suit your buildings masonry.

Not only do you have to consider nesting of birds but you also have to think about the problem of their droppings. Bird droppings are unpleasant and are infested with disease-causing organisms which can also act as a slip hazard.

At Abate Pest Management we have over 70 years of combined experience in solving your bird issues. We understand that there are all kinds of legal requirements and standards when it comes to solving particular problems. With our experience and knowledge, we make sure that you remain in compliance with all terms stipulated by your BRC Auditors. We take a look at what is required and tailor our services to meet your individual needs.

If you are having troubles with any type of birds and are trying to find a solution to stop your problem, call Abate Pest Management today for free advice on the best method to choose. Our skilled technicians cover the whole of East Anglia, providing a rapid, friendly and discreet response to a broad-ranging client base. You can also visit our website for more information on our services.

3-day netting project on potato farm in North Norfolk

30 Sep

Abate Pest Management were asked to help a potato farm in North Norfolk to bird proof their new extension. The farm had invested in a new extension on the side of an existing building which also had a canopy added to it.

The farm was manufacturing their food products underneath the canopy, so needed a bird proofing method to stop the birds from nesting and consequently stop their droppings. Pigeon guano is highly infested by disease-causing organisms and can cause slip hazards and structural damage to buildings.

Not only is there a high issue with the pigeon guano, but when birds nest in buildings the nests are often contained with insects which can lead to secondary infestation.

We recommended bird netting. Netting systems that screen off problems areas can be 100% successful when installed correctly. Nets come in different sizes to suit different bird types and also come in a range of colours to suit your buildings masonry, so it’s important to pick the correct one.

Netting is one of the most versatile solutions for bird control problems. It provides a discreet yet effective barrier from all nuisance birds without harming them. Netting is also the most cost effective solution for large open areas.

At Abate Pest Management we have over 70 years of combined experience in solving you bird issues. With our experience and knowledge, we make sure that you remain in compliance with all terms stipulated by your BRC Auditors. We take a look at what is required and tailor our services to meet your individual needs.

If you are trying to find a solution to a bird problem, call Abate Pest Management today for free advice or visit our website for more information. Our skilled technicians cover the whole of East Anglia, providing a rapid, friendly and discreet response to a broad-ranging client base.

How to get rid of flies

29 Aug

There are over 110,000 species of flies in the world and over 7,000 in the UK. They are considered pests because of the range of diseases they can spread from gastroenteritis and dysentery to Salmonella and E. coli.


Left untreated a few flies can quickly turn into a hazardous problem – especially for restaurants and kitchens. What starts off as a seemingly innocuous situation can rapidly turn into a full blown infestation.

Calling in a professional pest management company is the best way to ensure that flies are completely eradicated from any commercial or domestic premises.

At Abate we have a range of treatments we can use to make sure we clear your home or commercial premises quickly and discreetly.  From fly screens, to electronic fly killers (EFKs), to sprays and glue boards. We will inspect your site, discuss the issues we find and agree with you on the best solution for your fly problem whether this be fly screens or fly control units.

This month we were called in to install fly screens in a school kitchen in Newport, Essex. We can make and fit made-to-measure fly screens for any window or door. These keep the flies out while still letting the fresh air in.  All our insect screens for windows have mitred corners and a flat smooth face that make them unobtrusive and easy to clean.

We also have a range of EFKs suitable for use in different locations. Some are designed for public areas – such as restaurants, bars, hotels, retail shops where fly control needs to be hidden from view, others are more suitable for problems areas which the public don’t access – such as kitchens.

This month saw us carrying out servicing and maintenance on some EFKs for a company in the Innovation Centre in Cambridge. The work included changing the glue boards in their units.

At Abate not only can we install fly control units we also service and maintain them. We will regularly change the glue boards and lamps in the EFKs and, if you are in the food production or packaging sector, we can also carry out fly counts. Monitoring and recording both the number and species of fly caught to enable quick identification of any regular pest issues.

If you would like help or advice with a fly problem in your home or business, contact the Abate team on 0800 9809797 or check out the pest control website.

Squirrels: pests or cute wildlife?

26 Aug

Keeping rodents under control is vitally important in any commercial or domestic premises. While we all appreciate the problems rats and mice can cause, many people are less aware that squirrels can cause significant damage and health problems if they get into buildings.


Squirrels may enter buildings looking for food and shelter and when this happens they can cause a great amount of damage to products and to the fabric and structure of buildings. In rare cases, they can also pose a health hazard to humans. They particularly like loft areas in commercial and domestic buildings where they chew through wires, make a lot of noise, set off alarms and build nests out of the loft insulation.

It is important to call in the professionals to deal with any squirrel problems. It is against the law to release a Grey Squirrel into the wild so a professional approach is always advised. Red Squirrels are protected under the Wildlife and Conservation Act 1981 so it is important that managing wildlife such as squirrels should be left to the professionals. Not only can we ensure the current problem is eradicated meeting all legal guidelines and protections we can also ensure that all possible measures are taken to avoid a repeat of the problem occurring in the future.

Our team has been helping Cambridge County Council sort out a squirrel problem they have recently had in one of their care buildings. The squirrels had been nesting in the roof, using the loft insulation material and chewing through cables. We removed the nests, created and installed a bespoke metal mesh to fit onto all the guttering to prevent re-infestation.

We have a range of live cage traps, baits and proofing methods we can employ. Not only can we sort out the problem with the existing squirrels we can ensure your premises is effectively proofed against the pests returning and gaining access. We will check any traps on a daily basis and will check for entry points to ensure the squirrels are not able to get back into the premises.

Abate Pest Management is an ISO registered company which means we can meet the administrative demands of large businesses including an advanced service for food grade premises, packaging and pharmaceuticals that meet Soil Association, BRC and TFMS specifications.

If you would like help or advice with a squirrel problem in your home or business, contact the Abate team on 0800 9809797. We have a range of traps, baits and proofing measures we can use. Alternatively, visit our website.

Are you selling or buying a house? Did your survey detect suspected wood boring pests?

27 Jul

Could your property be at risk of damage due to wood boring insects? When it comes to the damage caused by woodworm within our properties it typically depends on the type of wood boring beetle that is attacking the timber. At Abate we provide a full and detailed report and estimate service for house purchases and also for our various remedial and building projects from design to completion.


We are all guilty of not caring for our property from time to time, however identifying property problems are not very easy if you don’t know what to look out for. There are many small signs to help you identify emerging property problems both externally and internally. Identifying issues and acting upon them early means that the treatment is going to be more cost effective in the long run.

Not all woodworm leave the same signs but here are a few key signs of a woodworm infestation:

  • Bore dust – (frass) Caused by emerging adult beetles, usually visible below the infested timber.
  • Fresh exit holes – There will be evidence of old emergence/exit holes at one or several locations on any exposed beams and timbers.
  • Tunnels in wood – Around the corners or edges to roof joists or floorboards.
  • Dead beetles – Usually found near the infested timber or around nearby windowsills.
  • Adult beetles – These will tend to emerge from timbers between May and October.
  • Woodworm larvae – Usually a creamy-white colour and curved in shape.

How much damage can woodworm cause?

Depending on the density of the timber and the age of the building, there might not be a great deal of immediate structural damage but if the active areas are left untreated they will become weaker over several years. Adult woodworm will only live for a few weeks, emerging from new fresh holes and often leave a powder on the ground called frass. They will mate and lay eggs back into the emerged holes and the whole cycle/process starts again. They have at least a 2-year life cycle but usually no more than 5 years. Ultimately the amount of harm caused by woodworm will depend on the species of beetle and the type of wood.

What treatment would we recommend?

If you are in any doubt about the presence of woodworm in your home, then a woodworm survey from a professionally qualified woodworm surveyor will be able to identify this using their experience and specialist equipment. Our surveyors will perform a detailed woodworm survey before recommending any treatments. With years of experience and qualifications, our surveyors are the best in the business when it comes to diagnosing a property problem and creating a bespoke treatment plan for your property.

During any treatment stage it is important that correctly trained and skilled staff are used who have the knowledge in specialist timber treatments. This would include wearing the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), safety clothing, facemasks etc.

The whole dwelling would be guaranteed by us for 20 years and also underwritten by an insurance company via (SBG) Specialist Building Guarantee. Abate Pest Management can provide solutions for property issues for a range of customer types, including private and public housing, commercial properties, heritage sites and listed buildings.

If you would like to have a timber survey and report for wood boring insects, please contact the Abate team on 01953 603390 or visit our Woodworm services website.

The Zika Virus – Here Are The Facts

25 Jul

Everyone knows how annoying and painful mosquitoes can be. If you’ve heard about the Zika virus and are wondering what it is and whether you are at risk, you’re not alone. The first human case of a Zika infected disease was detected in Nigeria in 1954 but since then there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands since. However in May 2015 it was reported in Brazil and since then it has spread rapidly.


What is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection spread to people primarily through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. They are found throughout the Americas except for Canada and Chile where it is too cold for them to survive. If they drink the blood of an infected person they can then infect subsequent people they bite.

Although the symptoms are quite mild lasting up to a week, if the Zika virus is caught during pregnancy it can cause a serious birth defects. Zika doesn’t naturally occur in the UK but if you have travelled to areas that do have Zika, such as the Caribbean or the Pacific islands, in the last 6-8 months then we recommend you talk to your doctor about your travel. To diagnose Zika, your doctor will ask you about recent travel and any symptoms you might be experiencing. They might collect blood or urine samples to test for Zika or similar viruses.

What are the symptoms of the Zika?

  • Mild fever.
  • Conjunctivitis (red, sore eyes).
  • Headache.
  • Joint pain.
  • A rash.

How do people get infected with Zika?

The Zika virus is often spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, but it can also be sexually transmitted by men infected with Zika to both female and male partners. If your male partner has or had Zika, or travelled to an area where Zika is spreading, condom use is advised for at least six months.

Here are some facts about mosquitos in the UK:

  • They can develop from eggs to adults in just six to ten days.
  • They are found close to still water, where their larvae feed and develop.
  • They seem to be attracted to dark colours.
  • Mosquitoes will normally bite you at dawn or dusk.

The team at Abate have over 70 years of combined experience in solving a multitude of pest problems. We specialise in providing targeted solutions for a number of pest types with tailored services depending on the severity and environment of the infestation. Our skilled technicians can help with both commercial and domestic pest problems across the whole of East Anglia.

Are you facing a mosquito problem in your home or at your business premises? For your free site audit, why not call our team on 08009 809767. We are more than happy to answer and questions or queries you may have. You can also visit our website for more information on our products and services.