Tag Archives: norwich

Pest Control in Norwich

22 Mar

Next week we get out and about and look at different sites throughout Norwich. Here is a sneak peak of me on top of Norwich Castle. 

Image

Pest control Norwich

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

The confusing issue of seagulls

9 Jan

Seagulls – what on earth could be confusing about a seagull?  Aren’t they just big birds by the sea that make an awful lot of noise and when heard, take you right back to your childhood days spent by the seaside?  Yes, there is that, but did you know that Herring gulls are on the RSPB red status list as being in decline and that the Lesser Black-backed gull is on the amber list?  And now I have told you, you are probably thinking ‘so what?’.  So what indeed.  Seaside residents are reporting that the number of gulls is increasing and they cause havoc amongst the residents, make a terrible mess and noise and some seagulls are poking their beaks into black rubbish bags, spreading the rubbish around and we all know what that attracts….oh yes, rats!

Culling is out of the question due to the RSPB status, so one enterprising council has come up with the idea of a fine.  A fine of anything up to £2500 for feeding the gulls.  Quite how this will be policed could be interesting and challenging, but all the same, Aldeburgh in Suffolk is now a now gull zone.  So, forget about Mary Poppins feeding the birds as this could land you with a whopper of a New Year present of an eye-watering £2500 fine.

There is a serious side to all of this and the National Pest Technician’s Association is keeping a keen eye on this as it is felt that the ‘green’ issues are taking precedent over looking after the public’ health- we will be watching this carefully.

Note: References Daily Telegraph 24 October 2011 and Today’s Technician January 2012

Bird Proofing Norfolk

New Year and 2012

4 Jan

A quick few words to wish everyone a very happy New Year and to say that I hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas time that was rodent-free!

Our living-room looked as if a bomb had hit it on Christmas morning and we still have chocolates and biscuits in the office to tempt us!  Diet and exercise are definitely on the agenda particularly as I intend a rowing challenge for Charity this year in support of Wymondham Star Throwers; more about that another time.

Please don’t forget to dispose of all the mountain of rubbish we have at this time of year responsibly; rats love all the left-overs and birds and wildlife hate paper and sellotape.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Sniffles, snuffles and house mites

14 Nov

Yes, it’s the season of snuffles, sniffles and coughs and of course, the most important of all (to me anyway), man-flu!

But, did you know that your snuffles may not be due to a cold, but due to a little pest, the house mite – here are some fabulous house mite facts:-

Unwanted bedmates: dust mite facts

* House dust mites measure between 0.4mm in length and up to 0.02mm in width

* The average life cycle of a dust mite is up to 20 days for a male, and 70 for a female

* Dust mites are one of the most common triggers of asthma

* A female can lay 60 to 100 eggs in the five weeks her life

* Prevention includes washing bedding at 60C, steam-cleaning carpets and curtains and replacing pillows annually, and mattresses every 8 to 10 years

And now for your delectation is a picture…

Bet you are enjoying this one!

Now, to really turn your stomach – the bit that makes us all sneezy is inhaling their……..poo, yes indeed, their poo.  So, we could all be mistaking our man-flu for something a little more sinister and are failing to treat the underlying cause.

A spokesperson for Allergy UK, said: “The home was somewhere we escape to but for millions is has become the trigger of allergies. Now runny nose and sneezing are in fact the most common indicators of a house dust-mite allergy, so the nation is not treating the root of the problem, just the symptoms.”

So take another look at the delightful picture above and maybe your runny nose is not just due to a seasonal cold.

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

Badger culling – again

5 Sep

Hello

Yes, I’m back on to the subject of badger culling again.

I watched an episode of Countryside last night (Sunday) and they re-visited the issue of badger culling to eradicate bovine TB .  As you can see from this article in The Telegraph earlier this year, it brings out extreme views as Adam Henson, a Countryfile reporter was targeted by animal rights activists and extremists despite keeping his opinion  neutral.

I am not going to give an opinion as to whether it is the right or wrong thing to do, but here is an extract of the argument taken from Countryside Magazine and I would welcome your comments…

BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT

For:

  • Badgers can and do carry bovine TB and can pass it on to cattle.
  • A scientific review carried out in 1997 by Professor John Krebs concluded that there was “compelling” evidence for badger-to-cow TB transmission.
  • The existing regime of testing and removal has failed to halt the rise in cases. While infected badgers are on a farm, cattle are at risk.
  • The cost of compensating farmers for the removal of TB reactors keeps growing.
  • Leading scientists, including former government advisor Sir David King, say it would have a significant effect on reducing TB in cattle.

Against:

  • A cull makes scapegoats of badgers, while not addressing the main problem – cow-to-cow transmission. Between the mid-1930s and mid-1960s, testing and removal of infected cattle pushed national infection rates down from around four in 10 to less than one in 1,000.
  • Many believe culling thousands of animals that are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 would be unethical.
  • Improvements to the way cattle are tested and practical measures to keep cattle and badgers apart (such as electric fences around farm buildings) would cut infection rates.

This is an updated article which originally appeared in issue 16 of Countryfile Magazine (January 2009)

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.

Rats, pests and the Galapagos Islands

6 Jul

I recently read a very interesting article by Bell Laboratories in The Bell Report about rats at the Galapagos Islands.  Bell Laboratories were recently awarded the Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment award for developing a bait used to eradicate invasive rats on the Galapagos Islands.

So many people assume that pest control is all about rat and mole catching and miss that pest control very much supports wildlife and the environment.

The Galapagos project was run by the Galapagos National Park Service with assistance from California-based Island Conservation, the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  Bell Laboraties developed a bait that would withstand the rigors of aerial application yet breaks down into inert components reasonably quickly.  A helicopter was equipped with a bait spreader basket that broadcast ten tons of a pelleted bait on several small islands and islets in the archipelago.  This was the first large-scale rat eradication project ever conducted on oceanic islands in South America and over the next 20 to 25 years, the project aims to eliminate invasive Norway rats, roof rats and house mice from this most delicate of ecosystems.

So, if you think that pest control is all about a man with his trouser bottoms tied up with string carrying a ferret, then maybe it’s time to think again!