Following the latest announcement of the government enhancements surrounding COVID-19, Safeguard Pest Control want to reassure you that our full complement of services will continue to operate.
Safeguard will continue to take the necessary steps to protect our employees and our customers, whilst maintaining our high level of service and support.
Throughout the pandemic we have made many changes throughout the business to comply to the regular government updates and will continue to do so for all future enhancements. Our office remains fully operational, in line with government Covid-19 Secure guidelines. You can contact our team via the usual channels;
Our field based staff will continue to service our client base, as this task “absolutely cannot be done from home”. Each operative has received a dedicated toolbox talk on the necessary precautions, which they should take whilst in the field, as well as all operatives wearing the recommended appropriate PPE for the visit.
All routine visits, emergency call outs and surveys will be subject to a pre-visit COVID-19 questionnaire, followed by a dynamic risk assessment on arrival to the location by the operative. In most instances we imagine the visits will proceed.
Our work is important with regards to keeping the public safe. The servicing we provide helps to keep pests out of commercial buildings and residential homes, working to support our nation at this unprecedented time.
Pests can spread many diseases and the importance of the pest control industry to the nation as an essential service cannot be understated. As a nation, we absolutely cannot afford to have our medical facilities, schools, supermarkets, commercial buildings or homes uninhabitable.
Our number one priority is the protection and safety of our employees and our customers.
We wish you and your family all the very best and can assure you that we will help you wherever we can. We all have to work together, as this virus is deadly and doing the right thing is the only way to defeat it.
Please continue to follow the government guidelines to remain safe and healthy.
We thank all of you for your understanding during this extraordinary time.
There are hundreds of different types of pigeons and doves across the world, below we have named those varieties that rank among the most common and known to the UK. We’ll begin with the broader terminology and groupings for pigeons.
Name: King Pigeon
Size – Large
Weight – 900g+
Colour – Predominantly white
Wild? – No, bred for food
Lifespan – Varies, typically between 3 – 10 years depending on captivity conditions
Located – Southern Mexico and Central America
King pigeons are specifically bred for food for us to eat. They are one of the largest species of pigeon but they are very unlikely to fare well in the wild. King pigeons struggle to fly due to their size and genetic problems caused by excessive breeding. Most king pigeons are bought as pets, as they are very mild-mannered and easy to care for. They are not varied in colour, most of which are blue or white.
Name: Racing and Homing Pigeons
Size – Medium
Weight – 200-400g+
Colour – A variety, but typically blue, similar to wild pigeons
Wild? – Yes, but can be caught and trained for homing purposes
Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 15 years depending on environmental factors and breeding
Located – Columbia (originally) but can be bred almost anywhere
Homing pigeons are similar to domestic pigeons but have a homing ability. Originally derived from rock pigeons, homing and racing pigeons have an in-built homing system that allows them to travel or be taken great distances while being able to remember and return to their original residence. In terms of their colour, there’s not much variety – racing pigeons are simply domesticated pigeons bred and trained for racing.
Name: Fancy Pigeon
Size – Small to medium
Weight – 200-400g+
Colour – A wide variety
Wild? – No, they are bred for domestic use
Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 10 years
Located – Germany
As their names suggests, fancy pigeons are specialised breeds that are bred for several uses. Some people will breed fancy pigeons to showcase at competitions, others may simply breed them to sell or keep as extravagant pets. Fancy pigeons come in many varieties, including pouters, tumblers and owls. Fancy pigeons require high levels of personal upkeep to ensure their coats remain healthy.
Name: Feral Pigeon
Size – Small to medium
Weight – 300-500g+
Colour – Usually blue with a hint of purple
Wild? – Yes, derived from rock pigeons
Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 10 years depending on several environmental factors
Located – All over the UK
By far the most common type of pigeon, feral pigeons can be found throughout the UK, dominating many of our busiest towns and cities. Originally derived from rock and cliff pigeons, they have swiftly adapted to our urban way of living and thrive in our communities.
Despite not causing any immediate threat to our way of living, feral pigeons can cause a number of problems in larger numbers – not least health concerns. Crowding, pigeon droppings and hygiene are among the main concerns, problems that our team at AMES Group deal with on a daily basis.
Name: Band-tailed Pigeon
Size – Medium, longer than other pigeons
Weight – 400-600g+
Colour – Grey with a white band across the back of their head
Wild? – Yes
Lifespan – Typically between 5 – 12 years
Located – North America
This type of pigeon gets their name from their long, often grey banded tail. They’re slightly taller than the average feral pigeon and most have a distinguishable white band on the back of their neck. They typically live in forests and woodlands (much like wood pigeons) and are very rarely seen in urban environments (unlike feral pigeons). Their diet revolves around foods they forage in the woodlands; berries, nuts and small insects being core inclusions.
Suffering from Pigeon Problems?
If you find that pigeons are causing a problem in your home or commercial property, AMES Group can help. We specialise in providing humane pigeon removal and deterrent services across the UK. For all pigeon and problem bird-related issues, contact AMES Group today.
Pigeons are renowned as one of the most intelligent bird species on the planet. Pigeons can be trained to deliver messages, race for sport and even save lives at sea. They typically fall behind in the intelligence scale, however, to ravens and crows.
Where did pigeons originally come from?
Pigeons were originally found in Europe, North Africa and parts of Western Asia. Now, pigeons can be found across multiple continents and have a projected population of around 15 – 30 million in Europe.
Do pigeons have facial recognition qualities?
Pigeons, like crows, are thought to be able to remember faces, especially if they are harmed by that person. Like crows, pigeons seem able to remember different faces, regardless of whether the person changes their clothing.
How do pigeons find their way back onto my property?
Pigeons have an innate homing ability that allows them to retrace their flight path and return to their nest. Scientists believe this is because they can sense the Earth’s magnetic fields. No matter how much you shoo a pigeon, they will be able to find their way home. The only way you can successfully relocate a pigeon is through a structured process carried out by pest control experts.
Feral pigeons dominate most of our biggest towns, cities and urban areas and can not only become a nuisance regarding crowding, but they also carry a risk of transmitting and spreading diseases and viruses to humans.
Pigeons are capable of carrying harmful diseases in the same way as the common rat, which is why it’s important to safely rid and deter pigeons from entering your commercial or domestic property if you have a pigeon problem.
Can Pigeons Carry Diseases?
Yes, pigeons carry a number of diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans. Unlike most other birds, pigeons nest in their own faeces, which attracts mites and increases the transmittance of other diseases.
The different types of diseases pigeons carry have been detailed below:
E. coli. – this disease occurs when pigeon droppings find their way into our water or food sources, which become contaminated. When humans consume E Coli-contaminated food and water, it can result in nausea, fever and cramps.
St Louis encephalitis – when mosquitoes feed on the blood of an infected bird, they carry the pathogen that’s responsible for spreading St Louis encephalitis. While this disease won’t cause too much trouble to younger people, it can be particularly dangerous to adults over 60. Symptoms of St Louis encephalitis include drowsiness, fever and headaches.
Histoplasmosis – a respiratory disease that occurs when fungus grows inside pigeon droppings. If left untreated, histoplasmosis can be fatal.
Candidiasis – another respiratory disease that is caused by fungus infecting the droppings. This disease can affect any or a variety of areas, including the mouth, skin, respiratory system and intestines. This disease is thought to occur mainly, or at least have a greater presence, in women.
Salmonella – commonly referred to as “food poisoning”, salmonella occurs when infected droppings infect food. Transmission can be subtle, as when droppings turn to dust are blown into food and water sources.
Cryptococcosis – another disease caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. It can cause problems with the central nervous system if left untreated.
In addition to the above, pigeons are frequently exposed to other creatures and insects that can transmit diseases. These creatures are known as ectoparasites and can carry several human pathogens. The ectoparasites can hitch a ride on the pigeons and so come in contact with people. Although that sounds concerning, only about two-thirds will cause harm to our general health, with the rest causing minor problems, such as itching and scratching.
Ectoparasites that are associated with pigeons include:
Bed bugs – bed bugs are one of the most nuisance pests to deal with. They are capable of costing thousands of pounds worth of damage and are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Bed bugs are able to cause anaemia in some humans. Pigeons, starlings and some other small birds are known to carry bed bugs.
Chicken mites – capable of causing dermatitis and acariasis, both of which cause mild flaking of the skin. While it’s uncommon that chicken mites attack humans, they may do so if they come into close contact with them. This happens through contact with birds such as pigeons and house sparrows.
Yellow mealworms – although not found in the UK, yellow mealworms rank among the most common ectoparasites in the USA. They live inside pigeon nests and can find their way into our food.
West Nile virus – although not directly transmissible from birds to humans, if a human is bitten by a mosquito who has sucked the blood from an infected bird, they may get West Nile virus. Symptoms include fever, flu-like illness, aches and pains as well as fatigue. In some cases, this can last for up to a week or several months.
How Do Pigeons Spread Disease?
In almost all cases, pigeons transmit diseases to humans through faecal matter (dry droppings). While it’s very uncommon for us to come into direct contact with pigeon droppings and receive any disease or virus this way, droppings that have been left to dry out are where the problems begin. Dry droppings that are infected with bacteria can enter our airways when they’ve been left on windowsills, rooftops, cars and other areas we frequently come into contact with.
Droppings eventually turn into a powder form, which becomes easier to inhale. When inhaled, the pathogens can infect and cause disease in humans.
Are Pigeons the Most Disease-ridden Birds?
Yes, pigeons actually carry the highest number of diseases in comparison to any other bird species. Pigeons also carry more diseases than rats, with their droppings being one of the core causes of disease. They also carry bird mites, which are extremely common among all pigeons.
Do You Have a Pigeon Problem?
Pigeons are responsible for a number of potentially fatal diseases that can be transmitted to humans through poor hygiene and pest control problems. AMES Group provides fast, effective and certified bird control services to alleviate the threat of pigeon-based diseases. Contact our team today to get rid of pigeons and keep your property safe.
Pigeons are commonly found in urban areas and will nest in buildings, roofs, balconies and trees across our towns and cities. Finding a pigeon, or multiple pigeons, nesting in a building is very common but leaving them to continue nesting can cause a number of problems.
Below, we have outlined the most effective ways to get rid of all pigeon types, including wood pigeons, feral pigeons and other small wild birds from any commercial or domestic building.
1: Trapping and Relocating
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes
How long does it take? – anywhere up to one month to remove all pigeons from the building
Pigeon trapping is one of the most effective ways to get rid of pigeons in any domestic or commercial environment. Pigeons have a genetic homing instinct which can make them particularly hard to deter. However, our certified pest control technicians are able to employ a structured programme that can remove up to 70% of a pigeon community (which takes around 18 months to recover).
This trapping method creates disorientation within the pigeon community, as it focuses on removing dominant birds and relocating them elsewhere. In turn, this disperses the pigeon population and forces other pigeons to follow suit or simply disband. This technique is humanely performed by AMES Group and focuses on removing both pigeons, their nests and their eggs in a safe and controlled manner.
2: Bird and Egg Nest Removal
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes
How long does it take? – typically up to a week, depending on the number of nests
Egg nest removal is another effective way to get rid of pigeons, but this method must be carried out by trained pest control professionals. Removal of pigeons nests and eggs means they will be unable to raise their young in this environment and they are unlikely to return as they will deem this area unsuitable to raise young.
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes, but only outside of the building
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes
How long does it take? – immediate effect
Bird scarers can be an effective way to get rid of and deter pigeons from returning to almost any outdoor area. As their name suggests, bird scarers are designed to scare away problem birds such as pigeons, starlings, gulls and more. They can come in many forms, such as a large statue of an owl, or ones that are tied to an object and mimic the flight of a predatory bird. By replicating the physical presence and flight path of predator birds, bird scarers naturally deter pigeons from nesting in your garden.
4: Bird Spikes
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in buildings? – Yes
Can this method be used to get rid of pigeons in gardens? – Yes
How long does it take? – once applied, bird spikes will stop pigeons from returning to this location and deter others from nesting and perching
Bird spikes rank among the most common and effective ways to get rid of pigeons from any building. The spikes work by stopping pigeons from roosting, nesting and even perching on ledges and any targeted area around the building. They can be made of plastic or metal and come in strips that can be cut or bought to specified measurements. Bird spikes can be placed anywhere and they are very easy to install. You will first need to identify where the pigeons are, remove them via a certified pest control technician (or other means mentioned in this article) and then fix the spikes into the specified area.
Spikes essentially deter pigeons in a safe and humane manner. However, if the pigeon(s) have already nested, spikes won’t help unless you remove the nest and insert spikes in its place.
Ultrasonic pigeon deterrents are relatively new and their effectiveness is highly questioned in the pest control world. Although they may offer positive results in first instances, pigeons and other problem birds are able to quickly acclimate to the noise. While ultrasonic is used in larger-scale commercial areas such as airports (and with positive effects), they are not well-suited to smaller commercial and domestic environments.
6: Low-level Shock Strap Systems
Not as popular or tried and tested as other methods, these systems work similarly to bird spikes by not allowing the pigeons to nest or perch in certain areas. The straps give a very minor electric shock to the pigeon, alerting them that this is not a safe area to be.
7: Controlled Shooting
Bird shooting can only be carried out by trained professionals and in accordance with the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. AMES Group are certified to carry-out such controlled shootings if and when required.
8: Bird Netting
Bird netting is another popular method for deterring pigeons from nesting in both domestic and commercial environments. However, while it is effective at deterring birds, you will first need to get rid of the pigeons. Netting is commonly used in outdoor areas such as cafes and restaurants to stop birds from stealing food or generally disturbing the public (ideal for seaside cafes, bars and restaurants). Bird netting can also be used to stop pigeons from accessing and damaging crops in gardens.
For Commercial or Large-scale Pigeon Problems in the UK, Contact AMES Group Today
While the above methods for getting rid of pigeons may prove useful in certain scenarios, if you’re suffering from a severe infestation or crowding, you may require professional intervention. This is where AMES Group can help. We employ a range of pigeon deterrent methods that safely move and relocate pigeons without hurting them. These methods are typically fast, cost-effective and minimally invasive.
Contact our team, explain the specific problem you have and one of our pest control experts will be able to help.
Pigeons are wild birds that typically survive on a mixture of different foods. Whether they are wild or domesticated, all pigeons have roughly the same diet of seeds, small insects and even small lizards. As bird control specialists in the UK, we’re able to provide accurate and helpful information regarding pigeon diets and lifestyles. Below, we’ll explore some of their most common dietary foods and habits and what they can’t eat and shouldn’t be fed.
What Do Pigeons Eat?
Generally speaking, the pigeons that dominate our cities and urban environments will eat almost anything, from insects to leftover food we throw out. Wild pigeons will eat whatever nature throws their way. Again, this includes insects such as worms and ants, as well as seeds, fruits, berries and vegetables.
Despite originally living in coastal areas, forests, gardens and cliffed areas, these pigeons have now adapted to thrive in our settlements; specifically towns and cities.
A Closer Look At What Wild Pigeons Eat
Unlike urban pigeons, wild pigeons have access to a much healthier diet. Wild pigeons typically live in forests and coastal areas, so their diet depends entirely on what nature provides them with. The most common foods they will have access to include:
Grit (for digestion purposes)
And fresh water
Although wild pigeons are natural herbivores, it’s not uncommon for them to stray from their herbivorous diet if necessary. Pigeons will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough, which can see them eat insects, spiders and even lizards. Their diet also demands protein and fat to remain healthy, whether that’s from nuts, fruits or other animals. They do not have a “favourite food” but they enjoy eating seeds, nuts and vegetables more than anything else.
What Do Pigeons Eat in Urban Areas?
Pigeons have very successfully adapted to our urban environments and are able to nest, feed and thrive in our busiest towns and cities. However, when it comes to their diet and living situations, they aren’t as lucky as wild pigeons. Urban pigeons live on whatever they can find and their diet covers almost anything, including leftover food we throw away/drop. This includes:
Meat and fish
Confectionary (chocolates, sweets, etc.)
The reason these types of pigeons can eat what we eat is through decades of adaptation and evolution. It’s not uncommon to see pigeons scavenging from rubbish bins when they’re desperate for food. In most cases, this is very bad for them as they’re likely eating contaminated food that can be fatal.
Regardless of the type of pigeon, they all share very similar diets.
What Do Baby Pigeons Eat?
With baby and newborn pigeons, it’s important that their diet includes a high volume of protein in order to help with their early development. Adults do not require such high levels of protein, but macronutrients are crucial for baby and newborn pigeon muscle, tissue and physical development. If baby or newborn pigeons do not receive these nutrients and proteins, they can suffer from a protein deficiency.
Their diet from this age is based solely on milk produced by their parents. This is a special type of milk known as crop milk, which is secreted by both male and female pigeons. This unique feeding process lasts for no more than a week. If baby pigeons did not receive the essential nutrients from the crop milk they are unlikely to survive, and their digestive systems will not be able to develop to the point where they can eat what adult pigeons eat.
Baby Pigeon Diet – After One Week
After one week or sometimes less, baby pigeons will be able to eat other food alongside their staple crop milk. It’s only around the third week that baby pigeons no longer require crop milk and their digestive systems are able to digest adult pigeon food. Baby pigeons will only be able to digest crushed foods with the help of the crop milk provided by their parents (to help aid digestion).
Baby Pigeon Diet – After One Month
After a month has passed, baby pigeons will be able to safely consume other foods. However, in order for them to efficiently gather and consume food, they must first be able to safely leave their nests and fly.
Should I Be Concerned About What My Pigeon or Dove Eats?
As pigeons and doves (and stock doves) get older, their digestive systems are able to consume most foods without any problems. Obviously, urban pigeons are more likely to consume a wider variety of foods, some of which will be harmful (such as food sourced from rubbish bins etc.).
As stated above, pigeons and doves, whether they’re pet pigeons or not, require a healthy diet of seeds, fruits, nuts and vegetables in order to remain healthy.
What Can Pigeons Not Eat?
Aside from contaminated food they source from bins around our cities, there are certain foods that can cause harm to pigeons. Pigeons have a fairly complex digestive system which means certain foods are not able to properly digest in their systems. These include:
Food and drink that is high in sugar: pigeons can have bad reactions to sugary foods and drinks, and can even get diabetes from them.
Apples – apples themselves should cause no harm to pigeons. However, if they eat apple seeds (which contain cyanide), this can cause irritation in the gut.
Chocolate – another compound that causes harm to pigeons is theobromine, which is present in almost all chocolate.
Foods high in salt (or salt itself) – salty foods contain sodium, which pigeons and other birds have problems digesting.
Avocados – persin is a substance that is present in avocados and is toxic to pigeons.
Can Pigeons Eat Rice?
The notion that pigeons and other birds shouldn’t be fed rice is a myth. While it isn’t advised that you feed a pigeon rice as it bears no nutritional value, if a pigeon does eat rice, it won’t cause it any harm. Cooked or uncooked, rice is perfectly safe for pigeons to eat.
Pigeons Are Able to Eat Almost Anything
Rock pigeons, wood pigeons, homing pigeons and doves all share very similar diets. As long as they receive the correct nutrients during their adolescent years, they should develop well.
If you are experiencing any pigeon or bird-related issues, speak to one of our pest control experts today for further help and assistance.
For businesses looking to understand more about Legeionla regulations and their responsibilities as landlords and business owners, this article should serve as a helpful compliance guide.
There are a number of factors to address to ensure your businesses’ health and safety is compliant with HSE’s and ACOP L8’s guidelines. Below, we have included the core regulations to ensure the safety of your business and staff.
1a. Arranging a Legionella risk assessment
Arguably the most important step to ensuring your compliance with health and safety law guidelines, arranging a Legionella risk assessment is easy with AMES Group. Our process monitors the water flow and temperature of your water supplies and water systems to ensure they’re operating correctly and at the right temperatures. Our process typically involves:
Locating your hot and cold water systems and testing them
Surveying your water tanks and providing reports
Performing stagnation and water flow tests
Sourcing any potential aerosol threats
Our team offering helpful advice on conducting your own risk assessments
1b. The process
After arranging your Legionella risk assessment, an AMES Group surveyor will visit your property, identify key water sources (tanks, systems etc) and collect samples from these sources around the property. Then, they are sent to a UKAS-accredited testing station for further analysis. Your Legionella sampling results usually take around 2 – 3 weeks, and once we have received them, we will contact you and advise further action if necessary.
2. Understanding how to conduct a risk assessment
As long as Legionella regulations are followed, most landlords can conduct their own Legionella risk assessments. We have included a helpful guide on how to check each of your systems on our Legionella Testing article.
The most important factor is to appoint a competent, willing person from either within or outside your business to take responsibility for your Legionella regulations. The appointed person will have to identify the main water sources of the building and conduct the necessary control measures to alleviate the risk of Legionella bacteria to ensure the safety of the occupants.
3. Keeping records of your risk assessments
We strongly advise keeping hold of your Legionella risk assessment records for future reference, specifically when you are due another assessment. It’s also important in case your property is ever audited, records prove that a comprehensive assessment was carried out.
You may want to consider placing someone in charge of overseeing all Legionella-based responsibilities. The selected person should be trained to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment as well as being able to identify potential risks and threats associated with Legionella bacteria. This would include monitoring water temperature, identifying water tanks and systems throughout the property and ensuring all testing guidelines adhere to HSE’s Legionella regulations.
4. Getting trained or finding a certified engineer
Understanding the basics responsibilities for overseeing Legionella control can be achieved by most Landlords and does not require extensive training. In some cases, you may not want to place sole responsibility on someone from your business, especially if they don’t want to be trained. In this case, you can elect someone from outside your business who is trained in Legionella risk assessment.
The main Legionella regulations in the UK
While the HSE and ACOP L8 regulations are the benchmark to which all risk assessors adhere to, there are more specific codes of conduct that you may find useful. We’ve listed these information sources below:
Is your property compliant with Legionella regulations?
We understand that adhering to Legionella regulations may sound daunting, but there are only a few essential rules you need to follow to be compliant. However, if you don’t have the time or do not feel equipped to bear the responsibility of overseeing your property’s Legionella regulations, AMES Group can help.
We conduct hundreds of Legionella risk assessments every year,m ensuring properties are risk-free and safe from the threat of Legionnaires’ disease. If You would like to arrange a Legionella risk assessment, simply complete the contact form below and our team will get back to you swiftly to arrange a date that suits you.
Is a Legionella risk assessment a legal requirement?
What temperature should water be to prevent Legionella?
Hot water temperatures should remain above 60 degrees Celsius or higher, whereas cold water systems should remain below 20 degrees. If temperatures do not meet these criteria, Legionella bacteria has a platform and habitat to grow and multiply.
How often do legionella risk assessments need to be done?
We strongly advise that all properties have their water systems assessed for Legionella sampling and testing at least every two years. There is no ‘rule’ that states a landlord must conduct a risk assessment within a given time period, but landlords still have a legal requirement to control the risk of Legionella exposure.
How long do you need to keep Legionella records?
It’s advised that once your Legionella risk assessment is complete, you keep a record of your results for the next time you require an assessment. This could be anywhere between two and five years.
Legionella is a type of bacteria found in the Legionellaceae family and can be found in low amounts in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams. However, when Legionella bacteria finds its way into man-made hot and cold water systems, it can cause Legionnaires’ disease, which can become fatal for certain people and age groups.
Why are hot and cold water temperatures important?
Legionella, like other bacteria, requires certain habitats in order to survive and multiply. For Legionella to survive, water temperatures of between 20 and 45c must be met. If your hot and cold water tanks fall within these limits, it’s strong;y advised that you arrange a Legionella risk assessment with our team at AMES Group.
Below, we have outlined the systems you should check to control and reduce the risk of Legionella in all water system units.
Hot taps – How to check your water temperature
Temperature checks to identify the presence of Legionella can be conducted by anyone, and only requires a thermometer. However, landlords must know what to look out for when it comes to measuring the temperature of their hot and cold water systems.
Below is a simple step-by-step guide for identifying risks associated with Legionella:
Place the thermometer inside the hot water flow for approximately one minute
Record and read the temperature on the thermometer
A safe recording should read no less than 50c
If your recording is below 50c, it’s important you contact a Legionella risk assessor to conduct a survey of the property. This is a service we provide at AMES Group.
Cold taps – how to check your water temperature
In a similar concept to checking hot water tap temperatures, cold water taps should follow this format:
Place the thermometer into the cold water flow, this time for two minutes
Take a reading of the recorded temperature after two minutes
Water heaters/calorifiers – how to check your water temperature
It’s good practice to check the water flow and return temperatures at least once a month. Temperature probes can be used to safely monitor and record the temperature of calorifiers. If the outgoing water is less than 60c, this increases the risk of Legionella bacteria forming.
Air conditioning units – how to check your water temperature
In short, air conditioning units cannot cause Legionnaires’ disease, because the bacteria requires water to form and multiply. However, there are scenarios where air conditioning units can become infected with Legionella bacteria, these may include:
If your air conditioning unit functions off a water-based system of cooling a refrigerant and then becomes infected with Legionella bacteria.
If one of your water systems harbours Legionella bacteria, which then spreads to the air conditioning unit.
Maintaining your water systems and performing regular checks will alleviate the theta of Legionella being transferred through air conditioning units. If you discover that your water systems are contaminated and linked up to air conditioning units, please contact our engineers for advice and support.
Additional checks to ensure water temperature safety
We advise you take monthly water temperature and flow checks from your calorifier as well as checking your cold water temperature once every six months. You may find it helpful to keep records of your recorded temperatures, so that in the event of a risk assessment being carried out, we can reflect on this information and come up with solutions to fix the problem.
The risks of not checking water temperatures
The biggest threat associated with Legionella bacteria is Legionnaires’ disease. This type of disease can be fatal for some people, particularly those over 60 and those who suffer with compromised immune systems. If someone drinks or inhales water from a contaminated man-made water source, they are at risk of contracting the disease, and you may be held liable if your property’s health and safety regulations were not met.
For peace of mind and certified risk assessments
If you would prefer one of our certified engineers to conduct a full Legionella risk assessment at your commercial property, we’re here to help. Our risk assessments are designed to be fast, affordable and minimally-invasive to ensure we do not disturb your work environment. Once we have taken water samples from your systems, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your results to return. Once we have them we will contact you with results.
Book your legionella temperature test today and ensure the safety of yourself and your occupants.
Legionella, also known as Legionella pneumophila and Legionnaires disease, is a disease that affects the respiratory system (specifically the lungs) and is the product of bacteria that develops in water systems. Below we will be discussing what are Legionella symptoms and what to look out for.
AMES Group provides UK customers with comprehensive Legionella tests to ensure your commercial property and workplace’s water systems remain safe.
What is Legionella?
Legionella or Legionnaires’ disease is an infection that attacks the lungs and is often likened to different types of pneumonia.
People can catch Legionnaires’ disease through inhaling or ingesting drops of contaminated water from hot tubs, air conditioning units and other water tanks that regulate water temperature.
If people catch Legionnaires’ disease, it can become deadly, especially in older adult patients and adults suffering from respiratory issues.
Early Legionnaires’ symptoms can be compared to signs of pneumonia and include:
Consistent cough that doesn’t go away
Muscle aches and pains
Headaches and nausea
Confusion and sometimes disorientation
Legionnaires disease that is left untreated can lead to pneumonia, but this is rare. Regardless, if you have any of the above symptoms, they remain consistent and you have recently ingested contaminated water, you should arrange to see your doctor as soon as you can.
Where you contract Legionnaires’ disease
Legionella requires certain elements in order to survive and for bacteria to grow and multiply. For Legionella to grow, it requires the following:
Suitable habitat for growth – shower heads, hot tub jets, taps and hot water cylinders are prime examples for Legionella growth.
A food source – like with any bacteria, Legionella requires food to survive and this comes in the form of bacteria typically sourced from shower and hair care products.
Adequate temperature – one of the most important requirements Legeionella demands is the correct water temperature. Legionella thrives in temperatures between 20c to 45c. A Legionella test will ensure that your water tank temperature will not fall into this temperature zone.
Legionnaires’ disease and its relationship with Pneumonia
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are often associated with pneumonia, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
Pneumonia occurs approximately one to two days after being exposed to bacterial pneumonia, which leads to bacterial infection. Other types of pneumonia include:
Aspiration pneumonia – this occurs when you inhale foreign objects, including chemicals, smoke or even certain foods like peanuts. Aspiration pneumonia can also be contracted upon inhaling vomit.
Viral pneumonia – this is caused by a virus, which includes coronavirus (COVID-19). If you do develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, it’s essential you follow government public health guidelines regarding social distancing and isolation upon noticing symptoms.
Fungal pneumonia – a much rarer case of pneumonia which is rarely caught in the UK. It’s more likely to affect adults with weak immune systems.
There is also another type of Legionella called Legionella longbeachae, which is typically found in soil and compost. When someone contracts it, it can result in Pontiac fever – an acute respiratory disease that is nonfatal and does not include pneumonia.
Can children get Legionnaires’ disease?
Although children can contract Legionnaires disease, it is very rare, with usually very mild symptoms or they will display no symptoms at all. People at higher risk of contracting the disease are adults with compromised immune systems and those over 60.
Treatment for Legionnaires’ disease
Legionnaires’ disease can become fatal to adults who have weakened immune systems, are over 60 and/or suffer from respiratory issues. It’s important that if symptoms persist, you should arrange to see your doctor.
Treatment for Legionnaires disease typically includes:
A machine to help you breathe
Oxygen via a face mask
Your condition should start to improve as your treatment continues. If you are given a course of antibiotics, you may be asked to take them for approximately 1 – 3 weeks depending on the advice provided by your doctor.
A full recovery is expected through correct treatment, but you can expect to rest for around two weeks before feeling normal again.
How AMES Group can help prevent Legionella in the workplace
AMES Group offers comprehensive water sample and water testing services for customers around the UK. compliance with ACOP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations is essential to ensure the safety and welfare of your staff.
Our Legionella risk assessments
Our water sampling and water quality tests are conducted by our certified staff in a fast and efficient manner. Our Legionella disease control and prevention tests provide identification and assessment of the source of any Legionella risk. Upon completion, you will also be provided with a written scheme (course or action), to prevent and minimise the risk of Legionella within your property.
Prevention is better than a cure, book your risk assessment today
You can book a risk assessment test with AMES Group today to ensure your compliance with ACoP L8 or the Drinking Water Regulations and the safety of your workplace and staff. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are easily preventable and only require a short risk assessment that will remain valid for two years with AMES Group.
To lower the risk of Legionella outbreak and to protect your workplace and staff, book your risk assessment test today.
Mice love to eat seeds, bulbs and vegetables of various kinds from your garden. A mouse has plenty of cover from predators in a backyard and may make their bed in burrows or a shed. The signs of a mouse problem in the garden include bite marks on produce and holes in the soil where mice dig for food.
Mice in the garden can also spread disease. To get rid of mice in the garden you can practice a selection of techniques to shield the food sources a mouse will eat, remove or adjust potential places a mouse may make a bed and potentially use poison or traps. Poison is only usually necessary if there is a big problem.
While the tips we provide here will help, using a professional rodent control service is the most effective way of dealing with mice in your garden. For an affordable and long-lasting solution to a mouse problem in your backyard, you can contact us. We can assess the situation and provide the best outcome.
Signs of mice in a garden and why they like your backyard
There are many signs of mice and other rodents in your garden. The main signs are holes in the soil where mice dig to find food, such as near a seed, bulb or root vegetable. You can also find their beds underground, or possibly in a garden shed. Bite marks on vegetables and other plants are another sign of mice in your garden.
You may mistake the signs of field mice in your garden for a different type of rodent. There is a chance that water voles or bank voles are the cause of the damage in your backyard, but it is unlikely that rats or house mice will be the cause of your problems.
Field mice will choose an environment for one primary reason, which is a food source. Your garden can provide an abundance of food for mice, especially if you have extensive fruit and vegetable plants. Mice will find the natural cover of a garden another attractive aspect of your backyard.
3 practical tips on how to get rid of mice in the garden
It is relatively rare for field mice to become such a huge problem that there is an infestation, but you probably find the damage they cause fairly annoying. Mice can also spread disease in your garden from their urine and faeces. As a result, you will want to take preventative measures to stop backyard mice.
The following are some practical tips to help control the mice in your garden. By incorporating these tips into your gardening practices, you can ensure the problem of mice remains minimal:
1. Protect your plants
You probably do not wish to give in to the problem and simply remove all of your plants. However, you can take measures to protect your plants from mice, or at least minimise their impact and dissuade them from damaging plants.
You can try putting mesh wire over your plant pots outside, which will stop any hungry mouse from accessing them. Mice hate biting on metal, and they are not strong enough to bite through it in any case.
You can also help rodent-proof your backyard shed. A shed is a key area where a mouse can make its bed and they will access potting sheds for feeding purposes too. Try using steel wool at any potential access points.
2. Get rid of any possible nesting places
Mice prefer warm, dry little nooks and crannies to make their nests. It is important to regularly sweep areas that may be appealing for mice to make their beds in for signs of an existing nest.
Areas to look out for include log piles, which can provide a notable amount of shelter to a mouse. Another common area you will see mice make their beds is in the garden shed. Check all corners and take a look underneath the shed too.
Unfortunately, finding a bed is not the best sign as it means that mice are present and may have also spread. Look for holes in the ground too, as mice can burrow to make a bed and line it with leaves or other materials.
3. Try poison, traps or rat boxes
We see lots of rodents and control different types with certain methods, which gives you a lot of versatility when you choose our services. However, unless the problem is really bad, it may be milder to avoid poison for mice in a garden.
You can successfully apply rodenticide, particularly under sheds or decking, but this is not always necessary. Humane traps can help by capturing the mice and there are commercial mouse repellents and deterrents you can try too.
A rat box will also help with rats or other rodents. It contains poison and has a design that makes it work with rats and mice without interfering with any other larger animals or pets.
Mice control options for your garden
Having mice in the garden is irritating and they can cause damage to plants. Look for small holes and bite marks or signs of a nest. Protecting plants, removing places where mice make their beds and using more traditional forms of pest control are some potential ways to get rid of the issue.
If you want the most effective mice control in your garden you are going to need a professional service to ensure you use the right option. Trying to do it yourself can be a challenge, but hopefully these tips we discussed above will help you prevent any significant problems.
If you have a bigger problem and want to guarantee a long-lasting solution to the issue of mice in your garden, we recommend contacting us so we can assess the situation and take control of the problem. You can also view our blog for more tips and information on pest control.
Here at AMES Group, we take great pride in the decades of experience we have in the world of pest control, and we have dealt with a wide variety of pest problems during this time. This includes innumerable cases involving mice in walls, so we know exactly what to do when the rodents have made themselves comfortable in your space. This is even professional advice that we are willing to pass along when a customer needs our help.
We are traditionally a commercial pest control firm, but we will also carry out work on domestic properties if the problem is too large to be handled by non-professionals. We will always take your case into consideration, so contact us today if you suspect that you have a mouse problem somewhere in your property, but you need our expert help to clean them out.
Signs you may have mice in your walls
As nocturnal creatures, you’re unlikely to openly see mice during the day unless you have quite a large infestation. Instead, they will keep to the spaces in cavity walls, vents, suspended ceilings and other hidden areas, only venturing out at night or when your property is quiet to look for food.
If you suspect that mice live anywhere in your property, including in your walls, you will have to watch for a number of different signs to be certain:
Scratching sounds coming from walls, underneath floorboards, in attics, cellars or ceilings, especially at night
Chewed containers or boxes, or crumbs showing up in your cupboards
Droppings scattered randomly, inside cupboards, on kitchen countertops or along skirting boards
Buildups of urine combined with body grease, dirt and shed fur in piles (known as urine pillars)
Grease marks rubbed along skirting boards and walls, from where the mice have travelled
Tracks or footprints in dust or any other scattered substance, including flour or talcum powder
Nests or signs of nests, usually spotted by noticing buildups of shredded paper, cotton balls or other soft materials
A strong smell coming from any particular area where mice may hide
If you have a combination of any of these signs (especially a scratching sound), it is likely that you have a mouse or even multiple mice living somewhere in or around your property.
After this, you should start to find methods of removing them (whether via a home remedy or contacting a professional) and seeing about getting rid of the things that are attracting them to your home.
What could be attracting mice into your walls?
A mouse problem in your walls could be caused by a variety of different things that attract rodents into any commercial building, or even a domestic space such as a house or apartment:
Food sources provided by leaving crumbs and small pieces of food around
Not properly cleaning plates or by leaving food in unsealed containers
Water sources provided by leaving out uncovered pet bowls. Mice can also obtain water from their food, so you may be giving them both food and water simply by not cleaning away crumbs!
Letting the rubbish pile in your kitchen bin pile up and overflow
General untidiness in your interior, which provides mice with places to hide
Cracks and other openings in cavity walls
Odours that have been left behind by previous infestations
The warmth and safety provided by your interior space (this reason becomes prominent during the UK’s autumn and winter months, when the temperature is naturally colder and mice will look for a safe place to nest)
How to get rid of mice in your walls for good
You may have a number of home remedies and solutions available to you if you would like to try and get rid of mice from your business, house or apartment’s walls yourself, without any help from professionals:
Sealing up all possible holes and cracks which could become entrances to cavity walls and other spaces in your home
Cleaning up all possible food sources, not leaving behind any crumbs which mice might be attracted to
Storing all food you intend to eat properly, in sealed plastic or metal containers
Cleaning away all soft materials that a mouse could attempt to use as bedding (especially during the winter, when they will be looking for a warm place to make a nest)
Using a store-bought trap to catch the mice (these traps usually require bait to lure the mouse in)
Leaving out poison
Leaving cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper or cloves in areas where you have had problems with mice. These are said to naturally repel mice
Using a small amount of ammonia as a mouse repellent in places where they may hide (please keep these out of reach of pets and children)
When to contact the professionals
In some cases, an infestation may be too large or too severe for home remedies to have any affect. When this applies to your property, you will need to rely on a professional UK pest control firm to either trap, fumigate or otherwise remove the mice that live in your walls. This ensures that the work is carried out just as it should be, and will leave your property completely clear of any vermin that were present before.
Our professional services for mouse control
Here at AMES Group, we offer a myriad of services that are guaranteed to take care of any mice in your walls, whether you are looking to fumigate, bait or trap vermin found in your home or business. Everything we carry out will be meticulously planned beforehand, and offers the most humane levels of service. Once our work has been carried out, we can even offer you expert advice on what to do to keep your home rodent-free.
Just imagine being able to live and work without the worry of knowing there are mice in the walls, sleeping at night without any scratching sound to wake you up or finding chewed holes in your cupboards that have a trail of crumbs leading from them. You will be able to relax completely, and return to your normal routine without any hassle, whether it’s summer and there is plenty of food around or winter and your property is the warmest place around.
Our services for UK mouse control include:
Finding signs of large scale problems
Identifying holes and other points where mice may enter your property
Offering professional advice on what to do to keep mice from returning once removed
Providing a full guide on the most useful tools and products for pest prevention
Our service will always naturally begin with a survey to determine the size and severity of your pest infestation, which should take between half an hour to an hour, and can always be scheduled at a time which suits you best. Once this assessment has been completed, our trained and qualified technician will be able to come up with the most effective solution for clearing out your property.
Our team member called to your property may even be able to start work on removing the mice from your walls right away, but this depends on the severity of your mouse problem.
The treatments that might be used to clear your property include:
Mouse repellents ‒ these include ultrasonic devices and poison, if necessary. We may even fumigate the affected area
Bait traps ‒ these will be used to lure in and trap the mice, before they are humanely captured and transported elsewhere for a safe relocation
Odour Control ‒ this removes any smell which may be left after you have had an infestation of mice. This also helps to prevent more mice from being attracted into your property again
Proofing and prevention ‒ our team members will be ready and waiting to discuss easy, cost-effective methods of keeping mice away from your property after the treatment has been carried out
We must also note that removing mice from your property will require more than one visit, because of the pest control process required, as well as legal obligations.
You may also rest assured that each control procedure we carry out for properties invaded by mice will see a treatment based on a bespoke plan, so your space will always receive exactly the pest control it needs. This plan will then be carried out by a dedicated technician who is BPCA-certified. This keeps our work industry standard, so you know you are receiving the highest quality care for your property.
Clear your vents and walls and bring back your peace of mind
Contact our team at AMES Group today and we can ensure that the vents and walls of your property are kept mouse-free, at a time which will be quicker than attempting to tackle the work yourself and at greater levels of efficiency than home remedies. Whether you have any kind of infestation in your commercial building, or your house or apartment is showing signs of a huge number of rodents, such as the persistent sound of scratching throughout or large amounts of droppings, we can be there as soon as possible to take care of the problem.
Any mice we find in your walls or vents will be removed quickly and humanely, with thorough care on our part to ensure that the job is carried out to the highest levels of quality. We’ll bring these services to your property wherever you are in the Midlands.
What Attracts Mice into Your Home and How Can it Be Stopped?
With over 30 years of experience in pest control and in tackling vermin problems in properties, AMES Group is more than prepared to give advice on what attracts mice into your interior spaces. We have seen countless cases over the years, noting what has brought each case inside before we come up with the correct solution for removing the mice again. We can even provide free professional advice for our customers on how to stop mice from coming back inside.
Traditionally, we operate as a specialist commercial pest control company, but if you have a large scale problem with mice in a domestic property, we will be happy to take your case into consideration as well. Contact us today if you think there may be a mouse problem somewhere in or around your space and our team can ensure that the problem is taken care of quickly, efficiently and as soon as possible.
Why do you have mice in your house?
There are a number of different things which might attract mice into your home, including:
Small pieces of food and crumbs which haven’t been properly cleared away
Improperly sealed containers, either on food for humans or pet food
Overflowing rubbish bins
General mess around your property interior, which gives the mice a place to hide
Available water sources, such as pet water bowls
Long grass or tall weeds growing in your garden or yard, especially around your property’s foundations
Cracks and openings in walls
The warmth and shelter provided by an interior, especially in the colder autumn and winter months
Odours left behind by mice from previous infestations
Good nesting material within easy access, such as cotton, dental floss, old newspapers and feathers from pillows or quilts
What mice do when nesting in houses and apartments
Once mice have made their way into a house or an apartment, they will start to find a more permanent shelter and build a nest. This will usually be in a warm, isolated area, such as in walls, ceilings and attic spaces, with the most likely areas being located near to food sources, such as kitchens and dining rooms. Because of this, you may also find nests behind appliances and in cupboards.
The mice will also spend their time finding food around your home. Mice eat a range of different foods, and will be happy on anything from biscuit crumbs, to peanut butter, chocolate and chocolate spread, bacon, cereals, fruit and crisps.
Physical signs of a mouse problem
Mice are nocturnal, so catching them in your pantry during the day is unlikely, unless your infestation is rather severe. However, signs such as chewed boxes, half-eaten food and crumbs and droppings all determine whether you have a problem with mice.
Mouse droppings and urine in your interior will be a very blatant sign that you have an infestation. These will both build up over time if unmanaged, causing odour and other hygiene issues in your property.
You may also start to notice smeared marks and lines appearing along your skirting boards, which is a sign that mice are commonly using that path to travel back and forth in your home. The marks are made by grease coming off a mouse’s fur as they rub along the boards.
How one mouse becomes an infestation
With the combined knowledge that mice can live for up to a year in your home, female mice can be ready to mate again immediately after having a litter (usually between five and six pups) and only have a gestation period of between 19 and 21 days, you can understand why your home may quickly be overrun by a mouse infestation.
Do the mice keep coming back?
If you keep getting rid of mice around your property but they keep returning, it is likely that you haven’t gotten rid of the thing which is attracting them in the first place. There may be a number of different solutions to this.
How to prevent mice from entering your home
Just as there are a number of things which may attract mice into your home, there are also a number of things that you can do as a property owner to prevent them from coming in:
Storing food properly in plastic or metal containers
Regularly cleaning spaces which see a lot of food, especially under appliances and inside kitchen cupboards
Keeping your home tidy to prevent mice from hiding under clutter
Regularly weeding and tidying your garden or yard to give them fewer places to hide outside
Sealing up or covering holes, gaps and cracks in walls, vents and pipes
Fixing any damage in your roofing, including using wire mesh to seal up gaps
Setting out commercial traps and bait or poison to remove them from your home
If you do these and find that mice are still returning to your property, or you are worried that your infestation might be too large for a store-bought remedy to be effective, it will be time to call a professional pest control service to provide the thorough solution you need.
Our services for removing mice from your property
AMES Group provides a range of exceptional services for a number of homes and any businesses that have a mouse problem. From methodical but humane removal services, to providing effective rodent deterrents and repellents, we ensure that you can feel comfortable in your own space without having to listen to scratches in the walls or find droppings again. We will even offer you free, expert advice on what our customers can do to keep their properties pest-free in the future.
Our services for mouse control include:
Identifying signs of large scale mouse problems in houses, apartments, gardens or yards
Finding areas where a mouse may enter your property, providing advice and prevention methods that will keep mice away
Mouse nest removal
Essential mouse prevention methods
A comprehensive guide to the most useful mouse prevention tools and products
How our service works
We will begin by conducting a professional survey of your property and its surrounding area ‒ our work always starts by assessing the severity of your infestation. To do this, one of our trained and qualified technicians will come to your property and carry it out.
This work should take between half an hour and a full hour and will always be done at a time which is most convenient for you. You will never have to worry about our member of staff turning up when you are not available!
We will carry out our work using mouse control treatments that are specific to your needs ‒ every job we carry out for this type of work will be different, as mice can pose a variety of problems for properties. Once our team member has completed an assessment of the situation, they will be able to provide the solution that should see your property cleared. They may even be able to start work right away, but this will depend on the size and severity of the infestation.
The treatments we may use include:
Mouse-sized bait traps ‒ these use bait to lure the mice into a cage, perfect for humane capture, transport and relocation
Mouse repellents ‒ these include ultrasonic devices and poison, if necessary
Rodent Odour Control ‒ this treatment service helps to remove the bad smell which often accompanies large infestations of rats or mice
Proofing and prevention ‒ just imagine having gotten rid of a worryingly large mouse nest in your property and finally feeling settled again, only for the problem to start over when you hear more mice in your walls! This is where our team can step in and help, because once our technician has identified your infestation and the problem has been resolved, they will also be able to discuss easy, cost-effective methods that help to prevent further pest problems
It must be noted that mouse control for your property will require more than one visit, owing to the nature of the pest control required and additional legal obligations.
We are BPCA-certified
Any time we are called to take care of mice on a property, the job will be carried out by one of our BPCA-certified technicians. This guarantees industry-standard levels of service that will see your property clear, and ensures that all treatments we use adhere to and comply with standard British health and safety regulations.
Each of our team members also understand that every property they visit will have different issues with mice, so you can also be sure that the pest control solution and advice provided will be bespoke and specific to your property’s needs.
Free your home from unwanted rodent pests
Contact our specialist team at AMES Group today to have your home cleared completely of any mouse or mice, whether you live in a house or an apartment, or even need pest control services to take care of an infestation in your garden. Our emergency technicians can even come to your location right away if your problem needs taking care of as soon as possible. So, if you know that the issue in your home is too much to handle, we can deal with it to the professional standards you deserve.
You can rest assured that we’ll swiftly and humanely remove any mouse we find on your property, wherever you are based in our catchment area. We are proud to offer our services across any number of locations in the Midlands, so if your property is in need of our services, we will be there.