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Are the contents of your wardrobe under attack?

23 Nov

The common clothes moth

Summer 2016 provided the ideal conditions for the breeding of moths. Millions of homes in the UK are, therefore, likely to have moth larvae hiding away somewhere. As the weather gets colder people will be reaching for their winter woollies and may well find that moth larvae have had a field day chomping through their precious clothes. It’s the larvae that will munch through your best woollies – the moths themselves don’t eat fabric.  And it’s not just clothes the larvae eat. They will munch holes in any natural fibres: carpets, clothes, fabric, even leather.  The damage these pests create can be very costly.

It is this time of year that we generally start to receive calls about moth-related problems and after such favourable breeding conditions this summer and a mild autumn we expect this year to be no different.

At Abate Pest Management we have a range of professional treatments we can use to eradicate your moth problem quickly and effectively. We don’t recommend the use of moth balls containing paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene as there is evidence to suggest these may be toxic to young children.

Tips to help reduce moth larvae in your home

At the same time as calling in the professionals there are also some actions you can take to reduce the number of damage causing moth larvae in your home.

1.    Areas that are not regularly reached by the vacuum cleaner are the most likely places for the larvae to be found. Deep cleaning should be carried out in infested rooms, paying particular attention to wall/floor junctions, carpet edges and soft furnishings.  Change the bag in your vacuum often – this will help remove larvae and eggs from your property.

2.    Wash all fabric in the affected area – moth larvae will also munch through soft furnishings, towels, linens, curtains etc. Any infested clothing should be washed on as hot a temperature as possible to kill eggs and larvae.  Alternatively, any small items not suitable for washing or dry cleaning can be placed in an air-tight bag and stored in a freezer for 3 days to kill all life stages.

3.    Clean and wash furniture – wardrobes, cupboards and drawers should be checked and cleaned. As well as the underside of furniture as larvae sometimes pupate on these surfaces. Pay particular attention to cracks and crevices where eggs might be hiding.

4.    Clean any bags or containers – such as suitcases as eggs and larvae might be hiding there.

These pests not only affect homes but can be a major setback for clothing or soft furnishing manufacturing and storage facilities, museums and shops. Having a favourite jumper damaged by moth larvae is one thing, having a warehouse full of expensive designer garments damaged is a large financial problem – especially if contaminated stock has also infected a customer’s premises.

It’s important to take action as soon as you notice signs of a moth infestation. Call Abate Pest Management if you need to get rid of moths from your property.

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Asian Hornets found in the UK

22 Nov Asian Hornet

The Asian Hornet has been found on UK soil. The first confirmed sighting was back in September in the Tetbury area of Gloucester and in October another sighting was confirmed by Defra in North Somerset.

They are a similar size to the native European Hornet at around 3cm long but have a much darker colouring. However, they are more vicious than other types of hornet and carry a much larger amount of potent venom.  A handful of people in France, where they are thought to have been introduced in a shipment of pottery from China in 2004, have died from anaphylactic shock following being stung by the insect. But the main threat these non-native species pose is to bees in the UK. An Asian Hornet can devour up to 50 honey bees every day.

The Asian Hornet is a notifiable species so if you think you’ve seen one then you must contact the GB Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS). If you think you’ve spotted one, email details of the location and a photograph to send an email   alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk or you can submit details online and let them deal with it. An active hornets’ nest should not be provoked or disturbed. They will set up a surveillance zone around the sighting. Local bee inspectors will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests which will then be destroyed and hornets killed.

Because of the danger they pose to bee colonies and potentially other native species it is important that any possible sightings are dealt with quickly and by experts. At the moment pest control companies are not allowed to treat Asian Hornets and all cases must go through the NNSS.

Find out more about the Asian Hornet.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

As the weather gets warmer, look out for moth damage

14 Apr

While most of us welcome the warmer spring days, the rise in temperatures brings unwelcome visitors to our homes and businesses – the moth.

As the days get warmer, we pack away our winter woollies and our wardrobes become the focus of attack by these harmless looking insects. At Abate we regularly see an increase in the number of call outs we receive to deal with moth problems at this time of year.

Moths can get into properties via infested items such as carpets, rugs, second-hand furniture and clothing.  They may also migrate from birds’ nests in the roof space where they can feed on feathers.

Carpet beetle pest control

The Common and Case-Bearing Clothes Moth are the two main species likely to be found infesting domestic dwellings in the UK.  Tapestry Moth are occasionally encountered – usually in cooler, older buildings with a higher humidity level.  But it’s not the moths that are responsible for causing the damage, but the larvae.

It can be very difficult to pinpoint the source of an infestation due to their elusive nature. Moths prefer warm, dark conditions such as in drawers, cupboards and under furniture. Anything made from natural textiles is at risk. Clothes Moth have been found breeding on the hammer felts in pianos!

The female Clothes Moth lays 40-50 eggs over 2-3 weeks. These then hatch in 4-10 days. By the time you see the adult moths flying around it may be too late to stop an infestation.

Moths produce irregular holes in garments while the Case-bearing Clothes Moth produces a more regular hole pattern.

Control methods

Areas that are not regularly accessed by the vacuum cleaner are the most likely places to harbour moth larvae.

Drawers and cupboards should be checked and cleaned. Also check the underside of furniture as larvae sometimes pupate on these surfaces. Furs and stuffed animals are also vulnerable to attack.  Deep cleaning should be carried out in infested rooms, paying particular attention to wall/floor junctions, carpet edges and soft furnishings.  Any infested clothing should be washed on as hot a temperature as possible to kill eggs and larvae.  Alternatively, any small items not suitable for washing / dry cleaning can be placed in an air-tight bag and stored in a freezer for 3 days to kill all life stages.

Any infested areas should be sprayed with insecticide although bear in mind that eggs and pupae are difficult to kill and a repeat treatment may be necessary.  Abate do not recommend the use of moth balls containing paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene as there is evidence to suggest these may be toxic to young children.

If you have a problem with moths and would like further information, please call us for free on 0800 980 9609 or call 01953 603390.  You can find all our moth pest control products available to purchase in our online shop at http://www.abateltd.co.uk/product.asp?page_id=33&prodCat=1

How can I get rid of cluster flies from my house?

8 Nov

We are often asked the question ‘How to get rid of cluster flies from my house’ as this can be a real problem at this time of year in autumn as the temperatures start to fall.

Cluster flies migrate into roof spaces and subsequently into living quarters in the autumn where they become a nuisance pest to inhabitants. They are not generally considered to be carriers of disease although having several hundred flies dying in the bedroom is not considered very hygienic.

Adults are up to 10mm in length with a wingspan of up to 20mm. The thorax is a dark grey / olive in colour and covered in golden hairs. The abdomen has a chequered pattern. When at rest, the wings usually overlap each other over the abdomen.

Flies enter buildings in autumn, via gaps in window frames (Old sash windows tend to be a good harbourage where flies will hide in the sash runs and pulley holes), and on roofs. Problems usually arise when heating is turned on and flies enter rooms through gaps under skirting boards, holes in the ceiling etc. As they are parasitic to earth worms, buildings surrounded by large expanses of grassland tend to suffer more than town houses. It is not uncommon for several thousand flies to infest roof voids or unused attic rooms.

Adult female flies lay eggs in the entrances to earthworm burrows. Hatching larvae enter under the skin of the worm when it emerges and feed on the worm until they are ready to pupate. They then leave to worm to pupate in the soil before emerging as an adult.

So how do I get rid of Cluster flies from my house?

ULV treatment or ‘Misting’ and insecticidal smoke bomb treatment are particularly effective at knocking down flies in roof spaces. Note: If using smoke bombs it is advisable to contact the local fire brigade to inform them of your intentions, in order to avoid a false call-out. It is always important to check for bat habitation in roof spaces as this can restrict treatment due to protection laws. Windows can be treated with residual insecticides. Locating and proofing entry holes in rooms may also alleviate the problem.15 years

Would you like to take up a cluster fly control service with Abate Pest Management? For further advice contact the Abate team on 0800 9809767 or check out the Pest Control website today.

 

Made to measure fly screens for windows and doors

20 Aug

Did you know that Abate Pest Management can make and fit made-to-measure fly screens for windows and doors for your house or workplace?

We have a full range of fly screens that can be custom made to fit any window or door whether large or small.  All our insect screens for windows have mitred corners and a flat smooth face that make them unobtrusive and easy to clean.

Our fly screen doors can be fitted over wooden, PVC and metal doors.

fly screen

Keep the flies out and let the fresh air in, comply with Health Regulations, reduce the risk of disease and enjoy a fly free zone.  

You can contact Abate Pest Management today on 01953 603390 or visit our fly screen page on our website to find out more.