Tag Archives: blog

Bird proofing gutter boxes at Jarrolds Norwich

8 Apr

Last month we were working at Jarrolds Norwich, bird proofing their gutter boxes. They had noticed that pigeons were nesting behind the gutter boxes and called us in. We cleared away the nesting material and then manufactured and fitted bespoke metal plates and spikes to the gutter boxes. If this problem had been left untreated they could have caused serious flood damage due to blocking the gutter and down pipe.

Rain gutters have always been a problem bird area and bird proofing gutter boxes is an important job as over time pigeon and seagull nests and droppings block gutters and down pipes. If this happens the resulting overflowing rain water leads to timber decay, broken rendering, ruined decoration and, in some cases, structural damage. The resulting repair work can be costly.

bird proofing gutter boxes in norwich

There is a wide range of bird proofing systems on the market today and with our expertise we can recommend the best method to control your bird pest problems. From netting, post-and-wire systems, spikes or gel systems to the Avishock system. This is an RSPB approved product that educates birds via a harmless electric shock – in the same way that electric fences manage cattle – to stop them landing and nesting on ledges, roofs and other locations on your property. This is particularly useful for Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings and other sites where some conventional bird proofing methods are not allowed. We can also offer the latest laser bird proofing technology.

The standard of our work is extremely high. We are proud to be one of only a few companies in the country who have achieved National Pest Technician Association (NPTA) gold accreditation. Meaning all our facilities, procedures and training practices have been fully audited and accredited.  Our team has over 55 years combined experience in bird proofing, and the services we offer include in-depth site audits and risk assessments.  We have also achieved CSCS cards, enabling us to work on construction sites where there are often bird proofing issues. We are also IPAF certified for working at heights.

If you have a bird pest problem and would like further information, please call us for free on 0800 980 9609 or call us on 01953 603390. You’ll also find some useful information at http://www.abateltd.co.uk/interior/bird_control

Business networking works for us!

31 Oct

I wonder how many Pest Control companies attend business networking meetings.  My guess is, not many – well I haven’t come across any more in this area of the country.  Why is that?  Many of my clients and potential clients also attend these meetings and they have been invaluable in referring business to people out of the networks, forming alliances with members such as Estate and Letting agents and also finding trusted suppliers.

I’m a member of three membership networks, 4Networking, Norfolk Business Club and BNI Morning Glory and they all work in different ways for me.  BNI is purely a referral and support network, 4Networking is Passport membership and I can attend any group across the UK and Norfolk Business Club has valuable speakers that have a wealth of knowledge to share that I would never have known about, or had to pay a very high cost to access.

The key to making membership a success is that it’s vital to engage with other members, don’t sell as people will buy from people the know and trust and most importantly, turn up for every meeting and treat it as part of your working day.

If you haven’t tried networking and think ‘it’s just not for me’, well my suggestion is to take another look at it – it’s not all cuff-links, suit and tie and the old boy network any more – it can also be fun!

Row the Channel (and back) – yes I will!

11 Oct

I may be a pest controller but that is not the whole picture!  I have spoken before about The Star Throwers in Wymondham and that I have been supporting the charity for some time now and next year I will be facing my biggest challenge yet.

I will be rowing the English Channel and back, non-stop on a concept 2 rowing machine – that’s approximately 44 miles! Last year I managed 26 miles so this is a huge challenge and I will do it!

First task is to lose weight…..to keep up to date with my progress, look out for my regular blog and Twitter updates.

If you would like to sponsor/support me, here’s a little more about the charity itself:-

The Star Throwers in Wymondham was founded by Dr Henry Mannings and is run entirely by volunteers who work not only to support people who are affected by cancer, but also those who are at particular risk of developing cancer. The charity provides advice for patients, friends and family, offering additional support from that which can be obtained through hospitals.
To find out more about The Star Throwers, you can visit their website at http://www.starthrowers.org.uk/ or alternatively call them on 01953 423304

Mr Fox and his not so friendly diseases

8 Aug

Hello again!

I thought I would continue the theme of talking about a different animal each week and about the current issues, particularly health issues, that are emerging.  I hope you are not eating your breakfast or lunch whilst reading this as some of what I am about to say is not very pretty.

‘Today’s Technician’ magazine published by the National Pest Technicians Association published a very interesting report last month about the diseases that foxes carry that may have lethal consequences for working dogs and in extreme cases, humans too.  Because of the explosion across Europe of the red fox population, a disease carried by foxes that is capable of killing hundreds of people a year may be brought to Britain.  Why?  It’s a direct result of the EU lifting restrictions on animal movements.

I really don’t want to sound like a scaremonger but at conference recently, Vic Simpson of the Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre in Truro outlined the threat posed by Alveolar echinococcosis (AE).  It’s caused by infection with a small tapeworm found in foxes and dogs.  They slowly multiply, typically growing for 10 – 15 years before diagnosis.  By this time, the liver is so badly and extensively damaged that more than 90% of patients die.  I must stress at this point, that this is very very rare in humans, but it can be transmitted to humans through water contamination and food ingestion OR by handling dogs or foxes that have picked up eggs in their fur.

The current situation in the UK is that so far, no disease has been reported and any dogs taken to Europe must be treated with a wormer 48 hours prior to their return.  The EU is pressing the UK from imposing any controls on animal movement and worming requirement Derogation expires in December 2011 which means, anyone coming into the UK from the EU can bring their dog, cat, etc…into the country untreated.

As with any parasite, once it is here, it is here forever.  Clearly, we will not be seeing any cases for at least 15 years but the question is, should we have a fox disease surveillance programme in place now in readiness, particularly with the rapid expansion of the fox population.  This is a question that only the government perhaps can answer.



With thanks to Today’s Technician (July addition) and Vic Simpson of the Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre in Truro.

They buzz don’t they? Are they wasps or bees?

16 Jul

There are alot of bees and wasps around now so I thought I would write about bees and the way they differ from wasps.  I would firstly like to say thank you to the NPTA quarterly journal of the The National Pest Technician’s Association for the links within this blog.

The first thing I will say, is how important bees are to our planet – without bees, there is no crop pollination, and I do not need to add what could happen without crops.  We really should do everything that we can to avoid killing any.

There are many types of bees in the UK and this is a fantastic link with an enormous amount of information about solitary bees.  Bumble bees are a different matter again and here is another link with some fascinating information.  Most bees are not aggressive unless they are severely provoked.

And then we come to the feral honey bees – swarms can simply be removed by contacting a pest controller who should not be carrying out any treatments on these, but simply moving them to a bee-keeper.  In fact, the act of carrying out any treatment could land you in court with not only a hefty fine, but also a custodial sentence.

So my final plea is…when you see a bee, don’t just kill it as it is such a precious insect. Instead grow to love and value it for the hugely important role it has in sustaining our wonderful planet.

How my little girl melted my heart…

24 Jun

Hello again

This week I’m sharing a really personal experience that happened just last weekend.  We have two young children and we are always showing them how things grow and why they grow – currently we have a fabulous crop of potatoes which are perfect just steamed and served with a little butter and sea salt.

Out of the blue, my 7-year old daughter asked if she could sell some at the gate, so she set up a table, wrote a sign, bagged up the potatoes and priced them at 50p a bag and then sat on a little stool in front of the house just waiting for passers-by.  There she remained for an hour and a half and sold 8 bags.  Initially, my little entrepreneur wanted to keep the money herself but she changed her mind.  She has heard me speak many times about Wymondham Star Throwers, a cancer support charity, that I actively fund-raise for continually and decided that she wanted to give the money to the charity instead.  I had to hold back my tears.  My young daughter is not only a budding entrepreneur, but she already understands the meaning of charity too….she melted my heart.


The power of social media – even in pest management!

4 Jun

Well what a week it has been and as the title says, mostly due to the power of social media. Last week I blogged, tweeted and pattered about our amazing contract managing the bird control at St George’s Chapel in Gt Yarmouth, a listed building and all the challenges that it presented with dealing with English Heritage, RSPB and architects to name a few.  Following on from that blog, the phones have been ringing of the hook from all areas of the UK including Surrey, Lancashire and Essex.  We have also been contacted by a major regional building company to speak to them about future contracts too; the power of social media!

At first I was generally sceptical about blogs and Twitter as it was something that was out of my comfort zone, but since using it consistently and regularly and engaging with others for a bit of chit-chat, my profile has risen considerably and the added bonus is of course, is that it’s free! 

So taking off my ‘grumpy old man’ head, I am a convert, albeit a fairly recent one and I intend to continue using social media for the foreseeable future to entertain, advise and engage with and meet other people.