Tag Archives: pest control norfolk

Today I am at the City Hall in Norwich

27 Mar

Our Norwich location today is The City Hall. This is an Art Deco building which completed in 1938. One of the buildings demolished was that of James Smith, who set up his shoe making business on the site in 1792, this later developed into Startrite.

Norwich City Hall

My post today on ipatter is all about flies. You can read it here.

Pest Control Norwich website – Click here.

 

Bird Free Gel – An innovative bird control system

31 Dec

An innovative bird control system, that is quick, easy to use and is very effective. Bird Free keeps all pest birds off structures without harming them, whilst maintaining the aesthetics of the structure.

This year we have installed many bird proofing systems and 2014 looks like we will continue to be very busy helping companies protect their buildings. The Bird Free Gel system is a great innovation that is installed on flat areas, pitched roofs and angled surfaces. Birds see ultraviolet light so Bird Free appears to them as fire, keeping them well away.

May we take this opportunity in wishing everyone a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

What makes a good Pest Control Technician

12 Aug

Jon Blake

Having worked in various roles in pest control from technician, fumigator, supervisor, surveyor and now Managing Director of Abate Pest Management, Jon Blake has a pretty good idea of what makes a good technician. In this post he will explain what makes a good technician.

Pest control technicians come across people who think they could do the job. Usually it is when somebody sees a pest controller checking bait boxes in a store, warehouse, factory etc. It has always been assumed that a pest control technician’s job is easy and you often hear “I could do that, have you any jobs mate?” When this is asked you can draw your own conclusions by summing up the person who asked the question.  Would you trust them with looking after your pint let alone anything else!

The industry has been far too under valued for decades and the role of a technician is not seen as a very responsible professional job. I have seen pest controllers and companies come and go who have tried the industry and not grasped how difficult it is. Many people do not realise just how vital pest control is throughout the world and that it plays a key part of everyday life to help protect human life and the environment. (It’s the human race which imbalances nature!)

It has taken a long time to build up the right team of professional staff at Abate, which has taken years of passing on skills and training which is vital for the integrity of the business and pest control as a whole.

Pest TechnicianI see a good technician is someone who turns up looking clean and tidy, the van is well organised and clean, arrives on time and presents themselves and the company in a professional manner. The first impression in any walk of life is the one you will remember, particularly with a new client. A good technician will need to be very good at organisational skills, booking in appointments, re-planning when work is postponed, avoid wasted journeys and time; be flexible with working hours and constraints, adapt under sometimes immense pressure when several jobs are passed on in one day yet work around what has already been organised and booked in; being able to deal with the general public, stressed and scared clients, concerned clients and people in high power job roles.

People will assume that they know best and I would like to agree when I can. As a pest control technician you will have to deal with the very difficult position when you have to advise or inform a client why they have a certain pest or issue and that what they are doing or not doing is why they have a problem.

The client from time to time will ask if you could approach the treatment in a way which is unsafe, illegal or against company policy. This really brings out the integrity of a technician to be able to deal with the situation and advise the correct solution which may not always be what the client wants to hear but the right way. A good technician will produce a positive outcome from what can be a potentially very difficult and confrontational situation. It can take a very strong character to tell an owner of their business that their premises are dirty and need cleaning or that they need to immediately stop doing something which has encouraged pests and if they don’t the problem will only worsen.

bird proofingNot everybody is suited to working on their own and can find once they are out on the road after training it is very daunting and which is why a team of staff will always be better to help and support those difficult times and situations when they arise as they will. Being reliable is paramount in my book and if you make an appointment you stick to it. If for any reason you are running late inform the client, do not let them guess as they are expecting you and in many cases you are like a hero. Customers will let you down and that is something you will have to deal with from time to time but keeping your resolve and acting professionally will always come up trumps.

Pest control over the last decade has changed immensely. A technician will need all the skills already mentioned above and is a big bonus if they are also technically minded. I have been fortunate enough to be taught and learnt many technical skills which I have passed on in training can help, set a good technician above others. This comes in to play when dealing with specialist bird proofing and installing various proofing methods.

Diplomacy and professionalism is key when applying pest control at any level. A technician on many occasions will be asked (have we got rats mate?) They would need to determine who that person is asking the question. It could be a sub contractor, member of public or staff who has asked. The professional answer should be “no, carrying out a routine service visit to ensure you do not encounter any”, or along these lines. You will need to deal with hysteria and emotions from clients and treat these encounters in the most diplomatic and professional manner.

The technical knowledge and sheer diversity of this industry has always astounded anyone who enters this career path and to date I have not met a true professional pest controller who does not love the challenges that they may face from day to day.

So, as you can see, the skills you will need are not just a bait checker or rat man these days but a lot more skills required such as, qualifications, awareness of 20+ legislation acts, the law, etc.

If we can help you with Pest Control in Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire then please call us on 0800 980 9767 or 01953 603390 or visit our pest control website.

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]

To ‘Cull or not to Cull’ that is the question?

14 Jun

The ‘badger cull’ debate rages on and on,

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

The Government says, “this is the right thing to do”.

Those who are opposed says, “it’s barbaric and cruel”.

There are two sides of a coin, between what is right,

Farmers, Government and Activists fight.

It can’t go on, we must stop the spread,

Either way you see it, ‘animals end up dead’.

There are no easy answers…..

….. and no easy choices,

So many opinions, so many voices.

So the debate continues to divide,

Where do YOU stand?

What is YOUR side?

“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