Tag Archives: norfolk pest control

Post and wire bird system Installed in North Norfolk

31 Dec

A post and wire bird system is a standard bird proofing device that is normally installed on  flat surfaces to stop birds perching and roosting.  The main benefit of a post and wire system is that it is virtually invisible when installed at height and viewed from ground level.

These photographs were taken from our bird proofing project at Wells Next the Sea, North Norfolk.

An English Country Garden

26 Jun

How many insects come and go
In a English country garden?
We’ll tell you now of some that I know
Those we miss you’ll surely pardon
Fireflies, moths, gnats and bees
Spiders climbing in the trees
Butterflies drift in the gentle breeze
There are snake, ants that sting
And other creepy things
In an English country garden.

We’ll tell you now…. there are some nasty things lurking in your garden.

Black fly and Greenfly

Black flies and Greenflies are sap-feeding insects, about 1-7mm long, who infest plants, especially on the shoot tips, flower buds and the underside of younger leaves. Aphid damage can result in stunted growth with curled or distorted leaves. Some aphids can transmit plant virus diseases when they move from one plant to another. Whitefly look similar to aphids but these small moths tend to fly when disturbed.
Aphids have many natural enemies, including ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and several parasitic wasps. Some of these are available for biological control on aphids in glasshouses.

Carrot fly

The carrot fly is a pest of gardens and farms, and mainly affects the crop of carrots, but can also attack parsnips, parsley, celeriac and celery. It is a member of the family Psilidae.

There are also similar flies which affect brassicas and onions. This causes rusty brown scars in the roots of carrots, making them unpalatable, and prone to secondary rot?
Slender creamy yellow maggots up to 9mm long can be found in tunnels, when the roots are cut through. The maggots are the larvae of the carrot fly.

Slugs & Snails

Slugs and snail target a wide range of vegetables; this will often damage seedlings and soft growths. Slugs are active throughout the year, unlike snails, which remain dormant during autumn and winter. Reproduction occurs mainly in autumn and spring, when clusters of round, yellowish-white eggs can be found under logs, stones and pots.
Slugs are so numerous in gardens that some damage is to be expected.

Potato slug damage

Holes in potato tubers and other root vegetables are caused by several pests but the worst of these is the slug. They make round holes in the skin, but much more extensive cavities inside the tubers.

Weevil

Vine weevil larvae are plump, white, legless grubs up to 10mm long with pale brown heads.
They feed on roots and also bore into tubers and succulent stem bases. Firstly causing wilting, this is then followed by the death of the plant. In a vegetable garden they are more than likely to attack plants such as: strawberries or plants growing in pots.
The adult beetles feed only on the foliage so causing less damage.

Caterpillars
Tend to leave holes of different sizes on the outer leaves of your plants. They tend to target common brassicases such as cabbages and radishes.

There are some main candidates’ for this:
· Large cabbage white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) yellow and black caterpillars.
· Small cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae ) velvety green caterpillars with a pale yellow stripe.
· Cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae – large caterpillars with colouring ranging from green to brown.

Even the ‘Tomato’ doesn’t escape from pests.

Tomatoes are very proned to attack by variety of insect pests from the time plants first emerge in the seed bed until harvest.
Aphids, flea beetles, leafminers, and spider mites threaten young plant-bed tomatoes. In the field, flea beetles, aphids, leafminers, stink bugs, and fruitworms cause minimal damage to the foliage. However, severe damage may result either from their feeding on the fruit or by spreading certain diseases.

Tomatoes in greenhouses have many of the same pests as field tomatoes. Tiny pests such as aphids, whiteflies, leafminers, and spider mites are more likely to infest greenhouse crops than beetles, grubs, or caterpillars. Occasionally moths enter through holes in screens or fans and lay eggs in the greenhouse. Even in screened greenhouses, armyworms, fruitworms, and loopers may be brought into the greenhouses on plants.

OTHER TOMATO PESTS

Pests that mine leaves or bore into fruits and/or buds

Tomato fruitworm – Early instars: cream colored or yellowish-green with few markings; later instars: green, reddish, or brown with pale stripes and scattered black spots; moderately hairy; up to 44 mm long; 3 pairs of legs, 5 pairs of prolegs; holes are chewed in fruits and buds

Tobacco budworm – This caterpillar is similar to the tomato fruitworm except mature worms are somewhat smaller and slightly more slender than tomato fruitworms; in addition, the microscopic spines on the skin of tobacco budworms are more slender, longer, and occur closer to the setae (hairs)

Tomato pinworm – Young yellowish-gray larva only a few millimeters long, making blotch mines in leaves; older yellow, green, or gray, purple-spotted larva up to 8 mm long, folding leaves and webbing them together, or boring into stems, buds, and fruit; fruits with pinholes and discolored blotches

Vegetable leafminer – Colorless to bright yellow maggot, up to 3 mm long, with pointed head; makes serpentine mines in leaves; each mine slightly enlarged at one end

Greenfly

Greenfly

Black Fly

Black Fly

Carrot Fly

Carrot Fly

Snail

Snail

Spider Mite

Weevil

Weevil

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

        

Firethorn Leaf Miner

Firethorn Leaf Miner

Slug

Slug

Ghostly Invasion

17 Jun

Invasion of the Ermine Moth Caterpillar

Ghostly images have formed around the ‘Bird Cherry Trees’ in Jesus Green Park, Cambridge. Is this a alien or supernatural occurrence?

NO: this is down to a creature that only measures less than 1” (2.5cm) in length. We are talking about the Ermine Moth Caterpillar. This has stripped the barks of the Bird Cherry Tree, and then leaving a ghostly white silk webbing structure.

Caterpillars in a Cambridge Park 3

[Picture from – BBC News Cambridge]

These native caterpillars have taken a liking to the avenue of bird cherry tree in this park.

Guy Belcher, nature conservation officer at the city council, said: “They strip the trees and it does look ghostly and very dramatic.

“However, the trees grow back and are fine. It’s a wonder of nature.”

He said it was likely there were hundreds of thousands of the pale, creamy-yellow caterpillars, each measuring just under 1in (2.5cm) in length.

 ‘Micro-moths’

Mr. Belcher continued by saying: “They are host-specific, and only like the bird cherry tree. The ones on Jesus Green have obviously proved favorable to them”.

“This year is obviously good for them, for whatever reason, and there’s a big infestation.”

The silk webs surrounding the trunks and branches were the “combined effort of many, many caterpillars”, he said.

“They form a protective web over the tree on which they’re feeding to try and protect themselves from birds and parasitic wasps.

“The caterpillars are actually a fantastic food source for other creatures in the park.”

Mr. Belcher said past infestations had been monitored and the trees were not harmed.

“It’s not damaging the tree, so we just let nature take its course,” he added.

He said the creatures were nearing the end of the caterpillar stage and would soon pupate into a “tiny micro-moth” – white with black spots – hence the name ermine moth.

[Sourced from News Cambridge]

Cambridge News:

An infestation of caterpillars has engulfed trees on Cambridge’s Jesus Green, covering them in a silvery web.

Commuters and residents have been taking pictures of the mysterious gossamer covering.

Tree experts have identified bird-cherry ermine moth caterpillars but have never seen such an extreme form of infestation before.

Student Debbie Cross, of Corona Road, West Chesterton,  has taken pictures of the webs which have intrigued her since she first saw them last week.

The 35-year-old said: “I think I was probably one of the first people to see this. They came in quickly overnight.

“From walking home the evening before and walking past next morning at 5am the trees were covered in what looked like cotton wool.

“It was quite alarming when I saw the trees. I thought it was spiders with webs.”

Some residents raised concern about the damage the caterpillars are doing to the trees lining a path near the public toilets.

Researcher Charlotte Tulinius, of Searle Street, Arbury, said: “I think it would be great if there was some biological warfare, like a green way of doing it.

“It would be too difficult to spray a whole park full of trees. It would be great if they could get beetles in to stop them or something.

“It would be sad if the trees were stripped but it is nature.”

Andrew Halstead, principal entomologist for the Royal Horticultural Society,  said the caterpillars may be a small ermine moth.

He said: “The feeding areas where the caterpillars eat are covered in silk webbing where they also live. You are seeing the full extent of the damage now as they feed; the next stage is they pupate into adult moths in July or August.

“The impact on the plant is quite a setback if it has been stripped but it will survive and re-grow.”

He said the moths are not harmful to humans.

Nature conservation officer Guy Belcher, of Cambridge City Council, assessed the infestation after being contacted by the News.

He said: “They are bird-cherry ermine moths which spin a silken web in trees and live in little colonies.  I have never seen anything like this before.”

CITtree

[Picture from – Cambridge News)

6563_Maarten_Jacobs_-_White_Ermine_-_77__decline_over_35_years

The White Ermine Moth [Spilosoma Lubricipede] [Maarten Jacobs]

“Well I’ll Bee Bug***ed”

13 Jun

For most of us the thought of eating anything with more than four legs (apart from sea food), or something that is smaller than your thumb, makes our stomachs turn inside out.

We would normally tend to kill those creepy crawly creatures that annoy us or that we feel repulsed by.

Of Course we are talking insects; bugs; spiders and all the other things that make us cringe.

But there are plenty of other countries around the world that regularly eat these things as a daily food source. The word we use for eating insects is: ENTOMOPHAGY. there are 36 countries in Africa, 29 in Asia, 23 in the Americas and 11 in Europe that partake in the consumption of eating insects etc.

A whole industry of bug harvesting and preparation are thriving in but America, and that’s good because the U.N. thinks bugs are the missing ingredients in the recipe called, “Not Letting People Starve”.

We are all used to popping down to the local take-a-way for an Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Kebab, Pizza or a portion of Fish ‘n’ Chips. But the U.N. wants to capture the passion of encouraging restaurants to create insect delicacies. So in the future we could see ourselves after a night out popping down to the local take-a-way for a cockroach burger, mealworm pizza or a portion of Wichetty Grub and Fries.

If we see changes in how restaurants prepare and serve new types of food, would we be tempted to try it?

Do some of us scoff at eating offal? Are we concerned for what goes into process foods? Which we know are mostly full of sugar, fat, E-numbers and god knows what else are in the ingredients.

We are creatures of habit. If something looks wrong or looks disgusting, we are very unlikely to even give it a try.

But do you know? We are already eating insects of a daily basis. The FDA already allows bits of bug parts and rat hairs in your food, though these are very minute amounts, they are still in there. So unless you are strictly organic, no-processed-foods at all people, you’ve been ingesting insect all along.

The Cochineal insect (pictured) lives in cacti.

cochineal_beetle

When it is ground up, they make an edible dye that has been used in everything from a well-known coffee to ice-cream.

So it’s not just a case of the above or roach legs that have accidently slipped in your peanut butter, it is also a fair possibility that you are already eating pulverized bugs that were knowingly included in your food.

So why don’t we take the bull by the horns (or should that be the ‘Hornworm’)

forkbug 

 Hornworm

 

and recognize what we have been eating all along. Then maybe we could take it one step further and look at the possibility of eating insects and maybe including them in our daily diet.

So if you are interested here is a list of insect you might want to consider:

  • Agave Worms
  • Ants (carpenter ants, leaf-cutter ants, honeypot ants and lemon ants).
  • Bamboo Worm
  • Bees
  • Centipedes
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Dragonflies
  • Dungbeetles
  • Earth worms
  • Fly Papae
  • Flying Ants
  • Grasshoppers
  • Honeypot Ants (pictured)  

Honeypot Ants

  • Hormworms
  • Jumilies (pictured)

jumiles

  • June Bug
  • Locusts
  • Louse
  • Mopane Worms
  • Midge Fies
  • Nsenenes
  • Pill-bugs
  • Sago Grubs
  • Silk Worms
  • Scorpions
  • Tarantulas
  • Termites
  • Wasps
  • Walking Sticks (pictured)

walkingstick31

  • Water Bugs
  • Wax Worms
  • Wichetty Grubs (pictured)

roastedwichetty1

  • Zaza-mushies

So…….. BON APPETITE

The debate badgers on…

6 Jun

On Wednesday the 5th of June, the commons debate on the call to drop the proposed pilot culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset over the summer were rejected by 299 votes to 250.

The government says that the spread of Bovine TB, which is known to be spread by badgers is costing farmers and the wider economy more than £500m.

Farmers and supporters of the cull have said that they have had enough and are at ‘their wits end’. Though others have questioned the true effectiveness and have called for alternatives.

It was reported that 28,00 cattle were destroyed last year due to the infection of Bovine TB.

The government has also said that, ‘Scientific Tests’, have demonstrated a link between infected badgers and cattle. They added that culling significantly reduces incidents of Bovine Tb.

But Animal Right activists are planning to take direct action to stop the slaughter of more than 5,000 badgers, who will be shot in the open without being first trapped in cages, (which is the current practice). They argue that vaccinating badgers would be a more effective approach and to them a more humane way to stop the spread of Bovine TB.

Conservative MP for The Cotswolds, Geoffrey Clinton-Brown has said, “badgers could become ‘vicious’ when caught in cages, and that it would be a non-starter to vaccinate a large number of TB ‘hotspots’.

But on the flip side, Labour MP for Derby North commented, “there was no scientific evidence to suggest that the culling of these animals would have the desired effect”.  ” In fact in contrast it would result in animals ‘dying in agony’ and further enraging public opinion.

Andrew George who is the Lib Dem MP for St Ives, has suggested that “ministers are willing to back a vaccination trial in Cornwall, which he said would cost around £2m”. He continued by saying, “surely this would be cheaper than having to police the ongoing demonstrations against the badger culls, and that animals welfare groups could contribute to some of the cost of the experiments”.

The head of the charity ‘Care for the Wild’, Philip Mansbridge has accused the government of “offering farmers false hope”. “Common sense shows that culling is simply a ‘no-win’ solution and that  the killing will go on and on, without a real dent being made in this devastating disease”.

So the battle rages on…..

Will there ever be a solution, that is practical, workable and productive for all concerned?

Are the government treading a dangerous line in solving this ongoing issue and the devastation, that is costing millions of pounds?

I can see this battle and debate for all those involved raging on and on, with no real outcome or solution reached that will please all sides.

So…. watch this space…. I am sure we haven’t heard the end of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cluster fly- what is it?

22 May

Flies, blue-bottles, house-flies – all common names, but do you know what a Cluster fly is?

Cluster flies are small flies that love roof spaces and living quarters.  They are found in the autumn months and although they are not disease carriers, it isn’t particularly pleasant to find hundreds in your bedroom.  They particularly like to get into homes through small spaces in the window when the heating is turned on – sash windows are their favourite entrance.

Cluster flies can inhabit roof-spaces in vast numbers – thousands at any one time.  It is fairly simple to eradicate them, but if there are bats in the attic, it is a little more problematic and will restrict the treatment methods.  If you think you have cluster flies and would like to speak to an expert about eradication, please contact us at Abate Pest Management Ltd in Norfolk on 0800 980 9767

Cluster flies are a little larger than house-flies – take a look at the pictures below…

 

220px-Pollenia-sp-Cluster-fly-20100718a

 

Single Cluster fly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group of Cluster flies on a window-sill

cluster_flies

Moth problems? Need pest control?

3 Apr

Have you ever had that awful moment when you pull a much loved item of clothing out of the wardrobe, only to discover it’s full of holes? We all know moths enjoy eating jumpers, but why? And what can be done to prevent them?

Clothes moth

Clothes moth

The moths that cause a problem in our clothes are not those you see fluttering around a lightbulb – the Common and Case-Bearing Clothes Moths prefer the dark. Your clothes are particularly at risk if they are made from natural fibres (moths love silk and wool), and if you’ve put them away without having cleaned them first.

To avoid an infestation of this pest, you have a few options. Firstly, the most important thing is to store clothes correctly – that is to make sure you have cleaned everything before storing, and ensure you regularly vacuum clean the wardrobe. Even just to shake out garments in a well aerated room once a month can help to keep moth numbers down. In the past people used moth balls, but these are highly toxic, smell overwhelmingly strongly and are no longer recommended as a means of treatment. In terms of natural detterants, cedar balls can be used, although adult moths often become immune to the smell.

If you have a significant moth problem, your best line of action will be to get your house fumigated by a pest control company. Have a look at http://www.abateltd.co.uk/interior/pestdirectorymoth to see how we can help you.