What to Know About the Best Bird Deterrents

Two pigeons in winter

Birds can be a nuisance anywhere. From a small balcony in a flat to a large roof in a commercial building, the problems that pigeons, seagulls and other nesting birds can inflict can cause lasting damage to outdoor areas. However, there are various bird control systems and bird deterrent technologies that can help control birds in different areas.

Effective pest control for bird problems is important for the following reasons:

  • Improving building cleanliness
  • Reducing noise
  • Raising health standards
  • Preventing structural damage

Depending on the nature of your problem, you may require bird deterrents in some or more of the following common areas:

  • Roofs, including flat roofs
  • Gutters
  • Window sills
  • Gardens

It can be frustrating trying to figure out the best bird deterrent for a certain area, but our role as pest controllers means we can help you to understand the most suitable options. 

Here we will explain the best bird deterrents for different settings. For a professional bird deterrent solution in the Midlands region of the UK, please feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote.

Bird Deterrents for Roofs

Pigeons on a tiled roof

Pigeon problems can easily develop on a pitched or flat roof, as all roof spaces are normally free from any human activity. When it comes to a roof space there are many effective ways to stop birds from nesting or perching. 

Good bird deterrents for flat roof and pitched roof areas include the following:

  • Bird spikes: Spikes are a good option as there is a low chance that people will be walking on a roof space. Bird spikes are effective bird repellers and will make it less likely that birds nests and droppings will ever become a problem.
  • Visual deterrents: Using bird scarers such as vulture effigies is a smart way to trick birds into thinking a predator is nearby, and as roofs are usually large open spaces you can easily cover a big area with just one visual deterrent.

Solar panels are ideal spaces for birds to build a nest. While solar power is worthwhile, placing bird spikes around them can help prevent birds from nesting underneath. Protective guards and netting are also good options for solar panels on the roof.

Bird Deterrents for Gutters

Guttering can provide an ideal perch for a bird. Another major source of frustration is how gutters can allow a bird to nest on the underside of the roof space. Poorly functioning gutters can also cause sections to become dry and offer a convenient nest-building area.

The best bird deterrents for gutters include the following:

  • Gutter spikes: You can install specialist bird spike systems specifically for gutters. These small spikes will provide enough of a deterrent for birds while still allowing water to drain freely through the gutter system.
  • Gutter guards: Placing gutter guards within an existing guttering system will stop birds as well as any leaves or other debris from gathering there. Gutter guards are great as they provide more than one advantage for your gutters.

It is very important to install gutter technologies that deter birds because of the potential structural damage they can do to a roof. Gutter systems that function poorly because of birds will also cause a greater risk of water damage to a building.

Best Deterrents for Window Sills

Anti-pigeon netting

Window ledges are almost irresistible to birds, they are practically begging to be perched upon – but the good news is that you will probably not have to deal with any of the problems that result from nests. However, the droppings and noise on window sills mean birds require proper control.

Ideal bird deterrents for window sills include the following:

  • Bird spikes: If your windows ledge is on a higher floor it is possible to add bird spikes to the sill. These are not visually invasive as they are usually very thin, with transparent options also available. 
  • Bird netting: For particularly problematic windows you can block the entrance to the entire ledge with netting. Netting on a window might detract from the view, but it is a cost-effective and reliable way to block the entire frame and – at a distance it can appear invisible

Your window sills can also lose their bird-appeal with a well-placed ultrasonic device, which emits sounds at high-frequencies to deter birds – that humans cannot hear. Some ultrasonic sound devices are solar-powered and require minimal maintenance.

Best Deterrents for Gardens

Gardens are a haven for many different types of birds, from the odd feral pigeon to gangs of trawling seagulls. In either case, gardens may require protection from birds to keep plants and soil healthy or to improve your quality of life. 

Useful bird deterrents for a garden include the following:

  • Visual deterrents: Solutions like bird netting are often impractical for large outdoor spaces, but visual deterrents can scare pigeons, gulls and other birds from a long distance. Trying decoy birds that resemble predators can help a lot. Orange balls, which resemble eyes to birds, can also be useful.
  • Ultrasonic sound: Another solution for a larger area is ultrasonic sound devices. You need to carefully position the ultrasonic sound devices in any problem areas for them to work, which will help teach birds to avoid the garden.

Gardens often offer a food source for birds, which can make them attractive environments. Trees, fences and sheds also offer nesting areas, so be sure to check them for signs of birds. If initially visual deterrents do not work, very bold visual deterrents are available featuring flashing lights and sounds for extra effect.

Other Options for Bird Control

Sometimes there is no level of a deterrent that is enough to prevent problems. Poor and inadequate bird deterrents can be ineffective, reasons include damage such as holes in bird netting or loose gutter guards, in which case the bird problem will continue.

Other options for effective bird control include the following:

  • Bird trapping: The birds are lured into traps with food when using this technique. You will trap birds over a set period, with regular visits to the traps being necessary.
  • Bird shooting: Culling pests such as birds is possible with the help of an expert marksman qualified in pest control. Shooting and collecting dead birds is a fast and effective method of removal, but not a deterrent.

Alternative bird control may not be a necessary step, and deterrents can also help to reduce the populations of pigeons causing an issue – and potentially make it more manageable. Due to legal and animal welfare requirements, the above options in this section are something that only pest control professionals can provide.

The Best Bird Deterrents Explained

No matter what the scale of your bird problem, suitable bird control technologies are essential for effective pest control. Spikes, netting, ultrasonic sound systems and visual deterrents can all make excellent anti-bird systems for many situations.

The best choice of bird deterrent depends on where you are putting them, but the above are the best options for roofs, gutters, window sills and gardens. If you require a professional solution in the Midlands of the UK please feel free to contact us.

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    How to Stop Pigeons in Different Situations

    Birds

    Wood pigeons and other types of birds can cause a number of problems that can disturb you and even damage commercial and domestic properties. When it comes to deterring pigeons, not feeding the birds is the first crucial point. There are many ways to stop pigeon problems from occurring in certain circumstances.

    Birds cause the following problems so it is important to stop them:

    • Health issues: Thanks to the bacteria in pigeon poop (guano) you might get very sick from pigeons. Pigeon poop can also affect soil, so it is an issue for gardens and pets too.
    • Fire risks: When birds roost on the roof they can build flammable nests, and small or hidden pigeon nests may remain even after you have got rid of pigeons. Stopping pigeons promotes better fire safety.
    • Aesthetic damage: Pigeon guano can cause severe damage to properties if left to seep into the walls.

    We provide a wide variety of pest control solutions, so we are experts on how to stop pigeons from nesting, perching or otherwise disrupting daily life. We are happy to share our knowledge with you and if you require a professional pigeon control solution in the Midlands of the UK please feel free to contact us.

    How to Stop Pigeons Landing on My Roof

    Pigeons love a flat roof or pitched roof alike. Large groups of birds can easily perch on any part of the roof space. The reason pigeons like roof spaces, in particular, is because they offer a safe space that is free from predators and human activity.

    You can stop pigeons from landing on your roof by using the following strategies:

    • Decoys: Fake birds look real to other birds, which can easily help you to stop pigeons from landing on a roof. Using decoys that resemble falcons, owls and other predatory birds will make your roof look much less alluring to a pigeon. Also, you can usually place them so that they are invisible from the ground.
    • Ultrasonic sound devices: Though it is easily possible to scare pigeons with decoys, ultrasonic sound devices can deter pigeons in a way that is invisible to birds. By putting out certain frequencies or sounds, which humans cannot hear, you can create a deterrent for your roof. They require a proper placement to work, but once installed they are low maintenance.

    While there may be subtle opportunities for reducing the appeal of your roof, sometimes you might require a more rugged solution such as bird spikes – which will also prevent pigeons from landing on a roof. Spike strips are very effective

    How to Stop Pigeons Roosting or Nesting on My Roof

    Common nesting points include the appealing corners of a roof, which make ideal spaces for roosting thanks to their warmth and being shielded from the weather. Drains, gutters and soffits or fascias are also common roosting spots.

    The following methods can help to stop pigeons from roosting or nesting on your roof:

    • Pigeon netting: Using nets is an ideal way to cover a large area, which makes it perfect for larger commercial or industrial roof spaces. Bird netting effectively blocks many types of birds and will prevent them from nesting or roosting on roof spaces. You can cover vertical, flat or diagonal spaces by using roof netting so it is a versatile pigeon control strategy.
    • Bird spikes: You can position spike strips on the edges of gutters, around the sides of solar panels and within any outside roof space that might be an alluring nesting space. Bird spikes are harmless to birds and are virtually invisible from the ground, which makes them ideal for larger houses and reliably prevents nesting pigeons or other birds from damaging a roof.

    Nesting pigeons can cause serious issues to the structure of a roof, and the more pigeons that nest the larger the problems of pigeon poop and the associated health risks become. You can also try decoys to prevent nesting on smaller roofs.

    How to Stop Pigeons From Cooing

    Window sills make an ideal perching spot for pigeons, and while they may not poop directly on a sill or nest in the area they can cause noise-disruption from their incessant cooing. Ruined sleep from lively pigeons is a common complaint.

    The following bird control strategies can help stop pigeons from cooing:

    • Ultrasonic sound devices: One drawback of using ultrasonic sound devices for bird control is that they require very precise placement. As window sills are a small space it is an ideal opportunity to try out a highly-targeted pigeon deterrent. Ultrasonic sound devices are easy to place on a window sill and will cover the entire area with ease.
    • Pigeon repellent gels: You can buy small pots containing gels that are easily placed on a window sill and can stop them from perching, getting comfortable and cooing. These gels manipulate the birds’ vision, causing the gel pots to resemble fire. Many are available with adhesive or magnetic undersides, so you can affix them anywhere that pigeon cooing is disruptive.

    Cooing pigeons can be particularly annoying in the warmer months when pigeons breed, and it often occurs at all hours of the day. If you have a birdbath or feeder near a window sill, consider removing it or placing it further away from the building.

    How to Stop Pigeons From Flying into Windows

    Spekled Pigeon Or Feral Pigeon (columba Guinea) On A Rock

    Birds can often accidentally fly into windows, and window collisions can be dangerous if a bird hits glass windows with sufficient force. Wood pigeons can gain quite a bit of weight when they have a good food source, so they can easily break windows.

    You can try the following methods to stop pigeons from flying into a window:

    • Bird netting: If you can stop pigeons from coming near a window they are much less likely to fly into it. Bird netting can prevent access to the entire window frame, so it removes the opportunity for nesting or perching at the same time. The only drawback is for larger windows, such as balcony windows or patio doors, where netting can prevent easy use by humans.
    • Removing plants, feeders and birdbaths: Pigeons can be attracted to windows due to nearby food sources or birdbaths. Unfortunately, the reflections from windows can confuse birds, causing them to think of plants and vegetation in the reflections as a safe space to land. Moving plants, trimming hedges and otherwise reducing any window reflections can help.

    You can stop pigeons from coming into contact with a window without obstructing your view, bird netting creates a visual effect that still allows easy viewing and natural light to enter a room. In many cases, an occasional window collision can still occur but bird control methods can greatly reduce this risk.

    How to Get Rid of Pigeons Anywhere

    With the right solution, you can stop pigeons from nesting or roosting, perching, pooping and cooing in any situation. In some cases, you may require a professional solution, but once you have got rid of pigeons in any residential, commercial or industrial setting you can make use of preventative strategies.

    As experts in pest control, we are well-placed to provide these excellent tips, which can effectively help to stop pigeons. You can use our professional services for a solution to pigeon problems and a variety of other pests in the Midlands region of the UK. Feel free to get in touch with us today for a free quote.

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      The Difference Between Wasps Nests And Bees Swarms

      The Queen wasp begins to build her nest in the spring. Sometimes adverse weather conditions and extended cold weather can delay many processes in nature. For example the wintry conditions and temperatures that have occurred well into spring 2013 have, we feel, delayed nature so many natural phenomena are running perhaps a month behind.

      The Queen Wasp strips wood from trees by herself in the absence of workers at this early stage. The ‘chewed’ cardboard like substance is used to create the nest. As a general rule of thumb nests are often seen in the UK from May onwards.

      Identifying a wasp nest

      The video below gives an indication of what a wasps’ nest looks like. If you see creatures swarming then these are more likely to be bees – as bees swarm, wasps do not. The video will help you to identify whether you have discovered a wasps nest.

      By early July you can expect wasps’ nests to be cricket ball sized, by late July it can be more like a bowling ball size.

      Where am I likely to find a wasps’ nest?

      Many nests are found in loft spaces, wall cavities, accessed by airbricks and garden sheds. Care should be taken when opening up children’s wendy houses and children’s garden sheds and ‘houses’, as wasps nests may be located in them too. You may also find nests have been built in garden walls, or underground in rabbit burrows or other underground mammals’ dwellings.

      German wasps that are prevalent in the UK often build nests in trees, hedgerows and bushes. You may also find wasps are drawn to certain trees in your garden if it gives out a sweet, sticky sap (the type that makes a mess on your car!) later in the summer. As wasps natural prey (spiders, insects etc.) dwindle in numbers late in summer they are drawn to sticky sap as an alternative.

      Some properties are just more suitable for wasps’ nests than others and so may have reoccurring problems.

      Identifying bees swarming

      The following video shows bees swarming in a garden in the West Midlands. If you have had a swarm recurring then it could be that you have a bee colony resident within your home. Alternatively you may have a honeycomb within your property that is attracting a swarm of bees to it. Contact us and we can work with you and local bee keepers to ensure a swarm is collected and relocated safely.

      Once you feel you have a wasps nest or bees swarm in your garden or property please call us on 0121 443 1111 for help 7 days a wee

      How Long Does a Wasp Nest Last?

      Wasp Nests On Their Way

      When Spring is around the corner, our gardens have to face the arrival of several insects, the most common being wasps. Unlike bees, wasps are aggressive insects that can cause serious harm if they feel their nest is threatened. Wasps begin building their nests at the start of spring (mid-April time), when the weather starts to get warmer.

      How Long Does a Wasp Nest Last?

      Wasps are warm-weather insects, they build their nests in the spring and the start of summer.

      In most cases, wasp nests can last as long as three to four months – assuming they aren’t attacked by predators or that the queen moves. As soon as the temperature begins to drop, wasp numbers will follow suit. However, it is very possible that a nest can last all summer.

      Important point: If wasp nests are not addressed and treated, it’s very unlikely they will disappear on their own. Once a colony is formed, the worker wasps will defend their nest at all costs.

      Where Do Wasps Nest?

      Wasps are able to nest anywhere providing the structure they choose can support the weight of the nest. They tend to choose locations that are high up and hidden from predators.

      As long as the location provides a suitable breeding and feeding round for their colony and queen, they can nest anywhere.

      A common misconception is that wasps only nest high up in trees. However, wasps are known to nest in the following areas:

      • Garden sheds and childrens’ playhouses
      • Lofts, basements and attic areas
      • Gutters and roof linings
      • Cracks, gaps and fissures in walls

      Don’t be surprised if you find wasps nesting in other areas. As stated previously, wasps will build their nests anywhere that provides a safe and secure breeding ground for their colony.

      Look out for nests in bushes, tree stumps and even holes in the ground.

      How Long Do Wasps Live?

      Wasp lifespans vary depending on the type of wasp. Social, worker wasps (females) have an average lifespan of 12-22 days. However, drones (males) live slightly longer, and queens can live up to one year (as they hibernate).

      When Do Wasps Die Off?

      Fortunately, the number of wasps and wasp activity will begin to fall as soon as the weather starts to cool. You can expect wasp numbers to decline rapidly near the end of September. There are a few reasons for their decline in numbers, including:

      Cold weather – the biggest cause; kills off the males due to harsh temperature and lack of food.

      Nests become unusable – once summer ends, wasp nests are evacuated as new nests are built the following summer.

      Queen wasps are left exposed – without the nest and the workers, the queens are left exposed to predators. Spiders commonly wipe out any remaining queens as summer ends.

      Queens tricked by warm winters – if the temperature remains warm during the colder months, this can trick the queen into coming out in search of food. This usually ends with the queen dying of starvation.

      Do Wasps Return to the Same Nest?

      Once the wasp season has passed, they will abandon the nest and the queen will go into hibernation. However, this is not to say that wasps won’t nest in the same area. Wasps take kindly to areas that provide shelter and seclusion from the elements, so don’t be surprised if they return to build a new nest in the same location.

      Come spring, the queen will begin hatching worker wasps. She will spend the rest of her life in the nest laying eggs. As the wasp season comes to an end (early autumn), the queen will lay her final eggs, which will grow into queens for next year.

      The Dangers of Removing a Wasp Nest

      While the nest itself is not dangerous, the wasp colony inside can present a threat to you, especially if you anger or disturb the nest.

      If you come into contact with a wasp nest and you are stung, a pheromone in the venom will alert other wasps and will also cause them to become more aggressive.

      While one wasp sting won’t cause too much harm, if you are attacked by a swarm, it can be life-threatening. Stings to the face, chest and neck are best avoided due to the swelling and subsequent constrictions to muscles.

      Important note: If you suffer from anaphylaxis, under no circumstances should you attempt to remove a wasp nest. If you are stung by a wasp, it is essential you receive immediate medical treatment. Anaphylaxis can be fatal if it is not treated swiftly.

      Removing a Wasp Nest

      There are several articles online that talk about the best DIY techniques to remove wasp nests. However, these techniques are not guaranteed to work, and you run the risk of injuring yourself in the process.

      Removing a wasp nest is not an easy task and it can be extremely dangerous, especially if you have no experience and are attempting it alone. If you are considering DIY removal, be sure to wear protective clothing and research the safest methods.

      What to Do After Removal

      After a nest is safely removed, we will leave it in its natural location. We do this for a few reasons; firstly, wasps will not return to and old nesting site. If we remove the nest, wasps may create a new nest as they have already built a nest in this location before.

      If any wasps do attempt to inhabit an old nest that has been treated, they will not survive inside for long. It’s not uncommon for a treated nest to ward off and even kill other nests close by due to the repellents we use in our treatments. If the wasps do enter an old, treated nest and return to their new nest, they will likely infect it.

      Wasp Nest Removal

      At AMES, our wasp technicians have the experience and tools to remove any wasp nest from any property. Our technicians have over 30 years’ experience and undertake wasp nest removal tasks regularly.

      Opting for a pest control service eliminates the risk to your health and safety and ensures swift, effective nest removal.

      Pest Droppings Identification Guide

      Finding pest droppings in your property is never a good sign. Not only are they unsightly, but they can signify a bigger problem: a pest infestation.

      Once you have discovered the droppings, the first thing you will want to do is identify what kind of droppings they are so that the correct measures can be taken. While a pest control expert will be able to identify the pest by their droppings, if you know what to look out for, it could save you time, money and effort. Knowing how to identify the pest via its droppings will speed up the process and ultimately mean that  a faster removal from your property.

      Discovering Pest Droppings

      Once you discover droppings in or around your property, there’s an extremely high chance you have a nearby pest infestation. Of course, some pests cause more issues than others, so it’s important that you identify the pest quickly to ensure the infestation doesn’t worsen.

      So, how do you tell the difference between one pest dropping and another? Let’s take a look at some of the most common pest droppings you’re likely to find in and around your property.


      Mouse Droppings

      Arguably the most common droppings found in and around your property, mouse droppings come in the form of pellets. They are fairly easy to spot because, while small, mouse pellets are usually found in groups. In fact, mice are known for depositing around 50 droppings on a daily basis!

      Colour and Size:

      Mouse droppings are usually black or brown and, as stated before, resemble a pellet. Their sizes range between 1/8 to ¼ inch, which is an important piece of information to remember as knowing the difference between a mouse dropping and a rat dropping is essential.

      Location:

      Mouse droppings are commonly found in areas where they explore. They’re inquisitive animals, so their droppings will be scattered around the property, usually in corners or dark places, such as behind fridges, cupboards and under beds. This is why it’s important to clean up any leftover food, because this is exactly what attracts mice in the first place.

      Dangerous?

      No, just unsightly!

      What to do?

      Capturing the mouse or mice is essential, as they’re known for breeding at alarming rates. We’d recommend laying out some humane mouse traps and, upon capture, releasing them into the wild. However, if the problem is more serious and the infestation is large, we’d strongly recommend contacting a pest control company. At AMES Group, we specialise in mouse infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


      Rat Droppings

      Rat droppings share some similarities with mouse droppings; however, their dropping rate is far higher than other pests. On average, a rat will leave 25,000 droppings every year! This is because rats leave droppings as they move.

      Colour and Size:

      In most cases, rat droppings are between ¾ inches long and ¼ inches thick. Their shape depends on the species of rat but for the most part, they’re pellet-shaped, similar to mouse droppings only bigger.

      Location:

      Unlike mice, rat droppings aren’t found in groups because they defecate on the move. The droppings are similar in shape to mouse droppings, though slightly larger.

      Dangerous?

      Rat droppings can be very dangerous if they’re not cleaned. The droppings can carry a host of diseases, and if they’re found in a warehouse, they may have come into contact with food and drink and this can lead to serious illness, especially if the droppings have come into contact with food and drink.

      What to do?

      Rat droppings can be very dangerous, especially if they come into direct contact with humans. They can carry multiple diseases that can cause serious problems if they’re not swiftly addressed. Contacting a pest control expert is safer than attempting to address the problem yourself. While the droppings can be hoovered and cleaned, the dust formed by the droppings is dangerous, especially if direct inhaled. At AMES Group, we specialise in rat infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


      Squirrel Droppings

      Squirrels are another common pest we find ourselves dealing with. While they aren’t as invasive or dangerous as rats, they do still present a threat to our properties. Red squirrels are far less invasive and rarer than grey squirrels, which is why we’ll be focusing on the grey squirrel.

      Colour and Size:

      Squirrel droppings can be identified by their round, cylindrical shape. They’re usually around 3/8 inches long and can easily be identified by their unique smell. This is because the squirrel’s diet is not as diverse as other pests. Their droppings are usually light brown in colour and are generally found in clusters wherever they have been feeding. Bird feeders are common areas where you’ll find droppings, mainly because they’re trying to steal the food.

      Location:

      The most common area you’re likely to find squirrel droppings is around bird feeders or below trees. It’s incredibly rare that you’ll find droppings inside a property unless it’s a shed or somewhere with easy access to food.

      Dangerous?

      Squirrels can carry a host of diseases, which is why their droppings are best left avoided and left to a pest control expert.

      What to do?

      Grey squirrels are an invasive species and you’d be wise to have them safely removed from your property as soon as possible. Their droppings are also dangerous, which is another reason why they should be dealt with swiftly. At AMES Group, we specialise in squirrel infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


      Cockroach Droppings

      Cockroaches are arguably the least desirable pest, as not only are they unsightly but they’re notoriously difficult to eradicate. Although they are smaller than the rest of the pests on this list, their droppings are still very noticeable.

      Colour and Size:

      Cockroach droppings are easy to spot, they’re the size of small grains of rice and they’re usually dark or brown in colour. They’re also pellet-shaped and their size depends on the size of the cockroach, but generally speaking they’re about half the size of a grain of rice.

      Location:

      Cockroach droppings are very small but because they’re found in clusters, they’re easy to spot. They are usually found in corners of rooms, under beds, floorboards and sometimes even cupboards and shelves.

      Dangerous?

      Cockroach droppings can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma. This makes the droppings dangerous and we’d highly recommend that you contact a pest control expert to remove the droppings and eradicate the presence of cockroaches.

      What to do?

      Cockroaches are one of the most unsightly and difficult to remove pests in the world. We’d highly recommend that you contact a professional pest control service to remove these insects. Being notoriously difficult to kill, standard pesticides may have little to no effect on them. At AMES Group, we specialise in cockroach infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


      Pigeon Droppings

      Pigeons are responsible for a multitude of problems, notably their droppings. Pigeons are one of the most common bird species in the UK and, because many of them take up residence in our cities and industrial areas, their droppings become a major problem.

      Colour and Size:

      Pigeon poos range in colour, mainly white and black depending on their diet. The size again, ranges but they’re usually between ½ an inch to an inch long.

      Location:

      Pigeons are native to our cities, so their droppings are usually located where they nest. They are particularly fond of balconies, air conditioning units and anywhere up high. Their droppings can be found anywhere as they’re constantly on the move, the droppings are also notoriously difficult to remove.

      Dangerous?

      Yes, pigeon droppings are highly acidic and will have no trouble eroding certain surfaces, namely cars exteriors, statues and anything metallic. Attempting to remove pigeon droppings using conventional DIY methods will prove very difficult due to their acidity. This is why a pest control expert will be required to ensure safe and effective removal is carried out.

      What to do?

      Pigeon droppings, while unsightly and dangerous, can be easily removed by a pest control expert. If your property has been affected by pigeon droppings, you will need to contact a professional because it’s likely that they will also advise deterring the pigeons as well. Pigeons have an in-built homing system, so while you can’t remove them, you can help stop them from returning using tools such as pigeon spikes, pigeon netting and sonar systems.


      Seagull Droppings

      In a similar sense to pigeons, seagulls are also known to dominate urban areas which results in a frequent need to clean their droppings. Their droppings aren’t as dangerous as pigeon droppings, but they do harbour nasty bacteria and will also damage property upon contact.

      Colour and Size:

      Seagull droppings are predominantly white in colour and usually very sticky. Due to their frequent flying, their excrement is usually splattered and therefore their size cannot accurately be measured. However, they are usually between an inch and an inch and a half long.

      Location:

      Similar to pigeons, seagull droppings are located along their flight path. As they drop from the sky, their location can vary, but they usually take up residence along coast lines and urban areas.

      Dangerous?

      While seagull droppings are not as acidic as pigeon droppings, they do still carry bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Additionally, their droppings will stain if left on a surface for too long. It’s advised that as soon as you notice seagull droppings, you clean them from your property.

      What to do?

      Seagull droppings can be easily cleaned but it’s important this is done swiftly to ensure no staining or property damage follows. Additionally, because their droppings may contain antibiotic resistance bacteria, it’s advised that the droppings are removed carefully.


      If you have come into contact with any of the above pests or their droppings, it’s strongly recommended that you contact a professional pest control company. Pest infestations can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage if they are left untreated and their droppings can also cause a host of issues, some even fatal. Hopefully this guide can help both identify and safely rid pest droppings from your property.

      The Seven Sickening Pests Found in Food

      Every entomophobe’s worst nightmare is finding out that the one thing you hate the most can actually appear in something you love –  like cake!

      Pests in Food: A Genuine Problem?

      What gets into our food, how does it happen and is it safe!

      We are talking about the millions of people that unintentionally ingest insects every day without knowing it. It’s important to both highlight and address the concerns ‘buzzing’ around this topic.

      Have you ever caught yourself unintentionally swallowing a fly? Or looked into your drink in the summer only to find a bug has landed in it? There are many questions surrounding what goes into our food, and I think is an issue that has a global resonance.

      Recent Parasite Discovered in Sushi

      Only recently, the BBC discovered a parasite that had found its way inside of a 32-year-old man’s stomach (gut lining). This was the result of anisakiasis, a disease brought on by ingesting a parasite form sushi (most commonly) which then resides and lives within the stomach wall or intestine of humans.

      This happens when people consume undercooked or raw fish or squid where infected larvae may be living. The team who eventually removed the parasite from the man stated:

      “The patient’s symptoms resolved immediately” and despite this issue being more common in Japan, doctors warned that anisakiasis “has been increasingly recognised in western countries.”

      While it’s uncommon that you would contract anisakiasis, the best way to ensure you don’t contract it is to ensure you remove the guts of the fish, then freeze it for at least four to five days and cook it thoroughly before eating.

      Granted, this is one of the more serious and rare cases of pests getting into our food. However, it goes to show that such serious cases do occur, and we’d be wise to educate ourselves on what other pests can sneak into our food sources.

      Common Pests Found in Food

      As grim as it is, this is something that definitely needs to be addressed, not to put you off your food, but to simply address the potential danger (if any) of eating these insects.

      1. Thrips

      Thrips are commonly found feeding on plants within greenhouses and indoor/outdoor gardens. Thrips damage plants by sucking the nutrients out of them, turning them pale meaning they wither and eventually die. The most common foods they dominate are vegetables, namely asparagus, celery and cabbage.

      1. Mites

      The most common of the mite family is the flour mite, and unfortunately, these are the ones that reside within our food products. Cereals, dried vegetables, corn, fruit and cheese are also common foods they dominate. If you find yourself severely infested with mites, you’ll be able to tell by the brownish tint over the commodity named “mite dust.” Additionally, if you crush the mites, they emanate a sort of ‘minty’ odour, though this is not advised.

      1. Aphids

      These pesky bugs are capable of destroying a bouquet of flowers in no time at all, and they’ll do the same to your frozen vegetables if they aren’t stopped. Spinach, broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are their preferred food sources. The best way to rid your food (in order to safely eat it) is to submerge the food in cold water for around ten minutes. Once this has been completed, drain the food, rinse, and dry it.

      1. Fruit Flies

      Mainly attracted to yeast, these flies basically flock to anything that is overripe, as well as mushrooms. Usually, the fruit fly will attack and puncture the skin of overripe fruit and vegetables in order to feed and lay their eggs.

      1. Maggots

      Maggots aren’t exactly known to be the fussiest of insects, in fact, they’ll eat pretty much anything. Their diet ranges from dead animals and foods to pet foods and leftovers.

      1. Corn Ear Worms

      Dubbed the most devastating pest of corn in the U.S., the corn ear worm eats through vegetation and farm foods like there’s no tomorrow. Adult earworm moths are usually light to dark brown in colour and have devilish green eyes. The larvae are around one to two inches in length and vary in colour depending on their life stage. They’re usually found in the U.S., so we’re pretty safe in the UK. They usually dominate agricultural sites, such as gardens, fields and pretty much anywhere where tomatoes and cotton grow.

      1. Caterpillars

      Caterpillars are fairly uncommon to find in your food (in contrast to the rest of the above). Caterpillars are most commonly found feasting on vegetables, spinach, lettuce and cabbage being their preferred snacks. Sometimes there may not be a caterpillar present, but you can always check by searching for larval fragments that will be dotted around the food.

      An Expert’s Advice

      Alan Read of Complete Pest Management has reassured people that eating such insects is mostly harmless and not uncommon:

      “People won’t want to know this, but they’ll find that bugs – specifically spiders – are unintentionally digested by humans around three to five times every year!”

      As many would assume, ingesting these bugs is mostly harmless, but it’s still good to hear it from a certified specialist! Now, more importantly, let’s look at the ways we can put a stop to them getting into our food in the first place.

      How to Stop Pests Infesting Your Food

      Purchasing small quantities of dried food which would be eaten in a short period of time. This is quite an obvious statement, but if you leave food to go off, or stale, this becomes the perfect settlement for unwanted pests.

      Inspect packages before purchasing.

      Be clean! Ensure that the area where you’ve just made your food is cleaned as soon as possible. Flies and other common scavenger pests are prone to flocking to food remains.

      Keep your food storage areas clean and secure. Pests have a funny way of getting into places they’re not supposed to. Ensuring all your food is safely locked away, and there are no gaps or fissures they can infiltrate, will definitely help secure your foods.

      Use containers! If you find that you have some leftover food from your previous meals, it is essential that you store them in suitable container as soon as you can. Leaving food uncovered, even in the fridge, will not deter pests from making it their new home.

      Washing areas with detergents, ammonia, or bleach will not prevent insect infestation. There is no evidence that proves that placing bay leaves or sticks of spearmint gum in a cupboard will prevent or deter stored food insect pests.

      Hopefully this guide has awakened you to the horrors of how pests can infiltrate our food supplies. While the vast majority of insects found in our food are virtually harmless, it’s still good to know what exactly does get into our food and knowing the best ways to prevent this from happening!

      The Lethal Harlequin Ladybird

      Here at Ames Pest Control, we know all there is to know about pest problems and solutions.

      One of the most common pests in the UK is the Harlequin Ladybird. This pest is difficult to control and isn’t just destroying our homes but is also devouring other insects and ladybird species. This pest is one that needs to be dealt with and quickly.

      What is a Harlequin Ladybird and Where Does It Come From?

      The Harlequin Ladybird began life in Japan but has since wandered far from its exotic homeland. The Harlequin Ladybird was introduced as a biological control for aphids around the world. Consequently, it is now found in gardens and greenhouses throughout the world. The species was not deliberately introduced to Britain, but it became established in 2004 and has since become a rapidly spreading population of ladybird, wiping out anything in its path. The Harlequin Ladybird can now be found in numerous locations, including but not limited to: Asia, North America and the United Kingdom. If you spot a Harlequin Ladybird, you can report it to the UK Ladybird Survey, which aims to record all the ladybirds in the UK.

      The Biology of the Harlequin Ladybird

      Harlequin ladybirds spend winter in large groups in sheltered places, including in the inside of buildings. In Spring, the adults will emerge, disperse, mate and lay eggs. Usually, the Harlequin Ladybirds lay their eggs on aphid infested plants. The larvae then feed on the aphids and other insects before pupating after two or three weeks. It takes the Harlequin Ladybird around one month, in warm weather, to become an adult that can lay eggs. Therefore, there can be several generations of Harlequin Ladybirds born every year.

      What Do Harlequin Ladybirds Look Like?

      Harlequin Ladybirds have similar features to many other ladybirds and it can be difficult to distinguish between species. Harlequin ladybirds are 8-10mm in length and vary in colour and markings, but are most commonly black with red spots or orange with black spots.

      Do Harlequin Ladybirds Bite?

      The Harlequin Ladybird will bite humans when hungry, leaving behind an itchy bump but, unless an allergic reaction occurs, humans are not badly affected. Harlequin Ladybirds tend to bite more often during the winter when food is scarce.

      Danger to Other Species

      So, what effect do Harlequin Ladybirds have on other species? Well, the reality is bleak. In the UK, there are 46 species of ladybird and, unfortunately, the harlequin has already wiped out around 30% of the country’s ladybird population.

      As with many other ladybirds, Harlequin Ladybirds primarily feed on aphids and hence are considered to be a useful addition to any garden. However, the Harlequin Ladybird’s tastes are not limited to aphids. This ladybird will also feed on many other insects, including other ladybirds, eggs, larvae of butterflies, moths, and insects. The Harlequin is also cannibalistic, eating its own kind as well.

      Harlequin Ladybird Larvae

      Harlequin Ladybird larvae are black and orange, reaching up to about 1cm (1/2 inch) in length. They also feed on aphids and other insects. Ladybird larvae generally have elongated body shapes, and most are black or dark grey. Some have yellow or orange markings, and some have hairs or spikes. The harlequin larvae are characterised by having two orange stripes and being spikey.

      Harlequin Ladybirds in Buildings

      Like many species of ladybird, the harlequin tends to overwinter in groups inside buildings, which can cause some concern. There is no danger associated with the presence of these ladybirds, although they can exude a clear yellow liquid which may cause some staining to furnishings. Unfortunately, it is not possible to discourage the ladybirds from entering buildings and they will either need to be captured and removed or tolerated.

      How to Control Harlequin Ladybirds

      There are no means of controlling Harlequin Ladybirds, since any actions taken against them would also be harmful to native aphid predators and other insects. In addition, they are now so well-established and abundant that destroying a few in one area will not make any difference to their overall numbers. The now common Harlequin Ladybird is often confused with some of our native ladybirds so, again, they’re impossible to control. When found in buildings the ladybirds can be tolerated or captured and released out of doors.

      Call Us Today

      If you have an infestation of Harlequin Ladybirds in your home or garden, please do not hesitate to call us. Harlequin Ladybirds are notoriously difficult to get rid of and so must be dealt with by professionals. Here at Ames Pest Control, our team are highly trained to deal with all infestations you face.  If you think you have an infestation of Harlequin Ladybirds, even if you’re not sure, please do not hesitate to call us today and we will send out a professional to fix the problem for you.

      The Definitive Guide to UK Ants

      One quadrillion ants litter the UK. Yes, that’s more than 10,000,000,000,000,000! Meaning, there are more than one million ants per person!

      Ants are notorious pests, invading homes and gardens throughout the UK. Let’s jump into the world of these tunnel-dwelling, nest-building creatures and find out a bit more about them.

      This Article Lists the Following Ants: 

      • The Black Garden Ant
      • Roger’s Ant
      • Pharaoh’s Ant
      • Ghost Ant
      • Pavement Ant

      The Four Ant Subfamilies 

      There are four prominent ant subfamilies that live in Britain:  

      • Dolichoderinae
      • Formicinae
      • Myrmicinae
      • Ponerine

      These subfamilies do not all originate from the UK, some have travelled from far away countries and tropical climates to make their home in British households and gardens. 

      Dolichoderinae  

      The Dolichoderinae is a subfamily of ants that presents a great diversity of ant species throughout the world. Most species of Dolichoderinae are general predators or scavengers but they do not possess a sting. They do, however, have a chemical defensive compound which they produce from their anal glad – this defence mechanism is unique to this subfamily and is a source of unpleasant odours the ants produce when they are threatened, crushed or otherwise disturbed.  

      Formicinae  

      This subfamily of ants has very reduced stings and enlarged venom reservoirs which produce formic acid. Many feed on nectar, while others are general scavengers, foraging on the ground or in vegetation. The Formicinae ants build particularly large nests, with hundreds and thousands of workers burrowing away. The workers are especially active and extremely fast moving – many defend their nests vigorously and attack intruders with their large mandibles and formic acid sprays.  

      Myrmicinae 

      The Myrmicinae subfamily of ants is commonly found in your back garden, and once they have made their home they aren’t going far. These ants retain a functional sting and their nests are permanent, often found in rotting wood, soil, in trees or under stones. The colonies are generally small, although some species have giant nests with thousands of workers.  

      Ponerine 

      Ponerine is a subfamily of ants with about 1,600 species, including Dinoponera Gigantean – one of the world’s largest species of ants. This species of ant is most easily identified from other subfamilies by a constricted abdomen and they are a rare example of stinging ants.  

      Popular Ants Found in British Homes and Gardens  

      Ant infestations are common in the UK and many people discover ant nests in their gardens during the summer months. Often, unless they are accessing your home or causing considerable damage to your garden, people leave them to their own devices. However, ant infestations pose a surprisingly significant health risk to humans and pets.  

      If you discover any of the ants mentioned in this article inside your home, contact Ames Pest Control immediately so that we can send a technician to your property to diagnose the extent of the problem and assess the appropriate cause of action.  

      For now, let’s look at the most common ants found in British homes and gardens.  

      The Black Garden Ant 

      The Black Garden Ant is a common ant species found in British gardens, often turning up in homes during the warmer summer months. The Black Garden Ant is a Formicinae ant, an abundant species in Europe. You can find their nests outdoors and they can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around the nest exit holes.  

      Appearance  

      The Black Garden Ant is, as the name suggests, black in colour. The workers measure in at 4-5mm long, while the queen ants are 15mm long.  

      Characteristics  

      These ants do not sting, so there is no need to worry about that. However, they are famous for swarming during their mating flights. The queens and reproductive males take to the skies during hot and humid summer days to mate.  

      The queen ants overwinter in soil and lay their eggs in the warmth of late spring. Once the larvae hatch 3-4 weeks later, they feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands before the worker ants arrive to take over their care. The worker ants have their work cut out for them as they care for the larvae, build the nest and forage for food. The Black Garden Ant enjoys a varied diet ranging from fresh, sugary fruit to insects, dead or alive.  

      Roger’s Ant  

      Little is known about the lifestyle of the Roger’s Ant; however, they are very common in the UK. The Roger’s Ant is a reddish-brown colour and workers measure in at 2mm long. These ants sting but are rarely seen outdoors. The workers forage randomly, without any established structure or pattern and lay no trails. Roger Ants tend to swarm year-round and their nests are found in crevices around drains and behind broken wall tiles.  

      Pharaoh’s Ant  

      Pharaoh Ants are from the Formicinae subfamily and are notorious indoor pests, but can easily go unnoticed due to their small size. The Pharaoh Ants are a tropical species and tend to enjoy the comfort and warmth of the indoor climate. They are notoriously difficult pests to control.  

      Appearance  

      The working Pharaoh Ants are 2-3mm long, black and winged, while the queens are 3.5-6mm long, dark red in colour and winged. Pharaoh Ants are well-known for their black eyes.  

      Characteristics  

      Pharaoh Ants live in multi-queen colonies. Each queen ant can produce up to 3500 eggs in its lifetime. Pharaoh Ants lose their wings soon after mating and their colonies can range from a few dozen to 300,000 individuals. Pharaoh Ants tend to swarm at any time of the year. In fact, the winged adults fly so irregularly that they are rarely seen. Pharaoh Ants feed on any food available indoors, such as high proteins in leftover meats, fats, blood, and dead insects.  

      Ghost Ant  

      Ghost Ants are from the Formicinae family and are named for a reason – because of their pale/translucent legs and abdomen. Ghost Ants are attracted to high moisture areas and can commonly be found in kitchen and bathroom cabinets, where warmth and food is in abundance.  

      Ghost Ants are an especially invasive ant species in Europe, occupying roughly the same areas as Pharaoh Ants, including houses, hospitals, public buildings, greenhouses and zoos. Ghost Ants are famous for the coconut like odour they release when crushed.  

      Appearance  

      The Ghost Ant, as mentioned above, is translucent in appearance. The pale colour of its legs and abdomen make it difficult to see, allowing it to go practically unnoticed by predators. The ants measure in at 1.6mm and have dark heads and thoraxes.  

      Characteristics  

      Ghost Ants have polygyne colonies (multiple queens in a single colony) with their individual nests containing between an astonishing 100 and 1,000 workers. One colony can consist of multiple nests which readily exchange workers. Ghost Ants are used to living in close quarters and, therefore, are not usually aggressive to each other when they originate from the same area.  

      Pavement Ant  

      The Pavement Ant loves the indoors, nesting inside the insulation within walls and under the floors. Pavement Ants can also dwell in the underside of logs, pavement blocks, stones and bricks. They feed on almost anything humans eat – they even eat pet food! They are often spotted entering homes in search of food, usually during the night. They forage for food for their colonies and commonly set up trails to food sources from their nests – this is an effective way to discover where they live.  

      Pavement Ants earned their name because they nest in cracks in driveways and under pavements, piling the resulting dirt into a mound on top of the ground – a sight, I’m sure, many of us have seen before.  

      Appearance  

      Pavement Ants are characterised by their brown/black bodies, pale legs and antennae and they measure 2.5-3mm in length.  

      Characteristics  

      Pavement Ants are a notorious nuisance, when large groups infest a kitchen or garden patio. They are a nuisance when invading homes in large groups and they are known to sting and bite.  

      Contact Ames Pest Control Today  

      If you discover ants in your property and they are excessive in their numbers, overrunning your home, call AMES Pest Control today. We have years of experience helping customers rid their homes of pests. Ants are one of the most notorious pests that litter Britain and they can be difficult to get rid of without the help of a professional. So, what are you waiting for? Call AMES today!

      Spot Bed Bug Bites Symptoms Signs

      The 7 Sickening Pests Found in Food

      Every entomophobe’s worst nightmare is finding out that the one thing you hate the most can actually appear in something you love, like cake. I myself must admit that at some point, I have eaten an insect, not out of choice but simply due to the fact that they’re sometimes unavoidable!

      Pests in Food: A Genuine Problem?

      This realisation prompted me to look into what gets into our food, how it happens and if it’s safe!

      I’m talking about the millions of people that unintentionally ingest insects every day without knowing it, and I think it’s important to both highlight and address the concerns buzzing around this topic.

      Have you ever caught yourself unintentionally swallowing a fly? Or looked into your drink in the summer only to find a bug has landed in it? The first thing I think of is, is it safe to consume? Are there any rare risks that I should be aware of? There are many questions surrounding what goes into our food, and I think is an issue that has a global resonance.

      Recent Parasite Discovered in Sushi

      Only recently, the BBC discovered a parasite that had found its way inside of a 32-year-old man’s stomach (gut lining). This was the result of anisakiasis, a disease brought on by ingesting a parasite form sushi (most commonly) which then resides and lives within the stomach wall or intestine of humans.

      This happens when people consume undercooked or raw fish or squid where infected larvae may be living. The team who eventually removed the parasite from the man stated:

      “The patient’s symptoms resolved immediately” and despite this issue being more common in Japan, doctors warned that anisakiasis “has been increasingly recognised in Western countries.”

      While it’s uncommon that you would contract anisakiasis, the best way to ensure you don’t contract it is to ensure you remove the guts of the fish, then freeze it for at least 4/5 days and cook it thoroughly before eating.

      Granted, this is one of the more serious and rare cases of pests getting into your food. However, it goes to show that such serious cases do occur, and we’d be wise to educate ourselves on what other pests can sneak into our foods.

      Common Pests Found in Food

      As grim as it is, this is something that definitely needs to be addressed, not to put you off your food, but to simply address the potential dangerous (if any) of eating these insects.

      1. Thrips

      Thrips are commonly found feeding on plantations within greenhouses and indoor/outdoor gardens. Thrips damage plantation by sucking the nutrients out of them, turning them pale, withered and eventually die. The most common foods they dominate are vegetables, namely asparagus, celery and cabbage.

      1. Mites

      The most common of the mite family is the flour mite, and unfortunately, these are the ones that reside within our food products. Cereals, dried vegetables, corn, fruit and cheese are also common foods they dominate. If you find yourself severely infested with mites, you’ll be able to tell by the brownish tint over the commodity named “mite dust.” Additionally, if you crush the mites, they emanate a sort of ‘minty’ odour, though, this is not advised.

      1. Aphids

      These pesky bugs are capable of destroying a bouquet of flowers in no time at all, and they’ll do the same to your frozen vegetables if they aren’t stopped. Spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are their preferred food sources. The best way to rid your food (in order to safely eat it) is to submerge the food in cold water for around ten minutes. Once this has been completed, drain the food, rinse, and dry it.

      1. Fruit Flies

      Mainly attracted to yeast, these flies basically flock to anything that is overripe, as well as mushrooms. Usually, the fruit fly will attack and puncture the skin of overripe fruit and vegetables in order to feed and lay their eggs.

      1. Maggots

      Maggots aren’t exactly known to be the fussiest of insects, in fact, they’ll eat pretty much anything. Their diet ranges from dead animals and foods to pet foods and leftovers.

      1. Corn Ear Worms
        corn ear worms

      Dubbed the most devastating pest of corn in the U.S., the corn ear worm eats through vegetation and farm foods like there’s no tomorrow. Adult earworm moths are usually light to dark brown in colour, and have devilish green eyes. The larvae are around 1-2 inches in length and vary in colour depending on their instar stage. They’re usually found in the U.S., so we’re pretty safe in the UK. They usually dominate agricultural sites, such as gardens, fields and pretty much anywhere where tomatoes and cotton grow.

      1. Caterpillars

      Caterpillars are fairly uncommon to find in your food (in contrast to the rest of the above) though, you still won’t exactly be thrilled to see one in your food. Caterpillars are most commonly found feasting on vegetables, spinach, lettuce and cabbage being their preferred snack. Sometimes there may not be a caterpillar present, but you can always check by searching for larval fragments that will be dotted around the food.

      An Expert’s Advice

      Alan Read of Complete Pest Management has reassured people that eating such insects is mostly harmless and not uncommon:

      “People won’t want to know this, but they’ll find that bugs – specifically spiders – are unintentionally digested by humans around 3-5 times every year!”

      As many would assume, ingesting these bugs is mostly harmless, but it’s still good to hear it from a certified specialist! Now, more importantly, let’s look at the ways we can put a stop to them getting into our food in the first place.

      How to Stop Pests Infesting Your Food

      Purchasing small quantities of dried food which logically would be eaten in a short period of time. This is quit an obvious statement, but if you leave food to go off, or stale, this becomes the perfect settlement for unwanted pests.

      Inspect packages before purchasing. This is described in more detail below, specifically in regards to weevils.

      Be clean! Ensure that the area where you’ve just made your food is cleaned as soon as possible. Flies and other common scavenger pests are prone to flocking to food remains.

      Keep your food storage areas clean and secure. Pests have a funny way of getting into places where they’re not supposed to. Ensuring all your food is safely locked away and there are no gaps or fissures they can infiltrate will definitely help secure your foods.

      Use containers! If you find that you have some leftover food from your previous meals, it is essential that you store them in suitable container as soon as you can. Leaving food uncovered, even in the fridge, will not guarantee pests from making it their new home.

      Washing areas with detergents, ammonia, or bleach will not prevent insect infestation. There is no evidence that proves that placing bay leaves or sticks of spearmint gum in a cupboard will prevent or deter stored food insect pests.

      Hopefully this guide has awakened you to the horrors of how pests can infiltrate our food supplies. While the vast majority of insects found in our food are virtually harmless, it’s still good to know what exactly does get into our food, and knowing the best ways to prevent this from happening!

      Pests That Damage Your Lawn

      Insects love your lawn, but if you aren’t careful they can cause a lot of damage that can be expensive to repair. Lawns can become vulnerable to pests and diseases for many reasons, and here at Ames Pest Control we would encourage you that prevention is always better than cure. We hope this article will help you learn how to detect and treat these destructive pests.

      Armyworms 

      Armyworms are most common in cool, moist weather conditions and they love spending their time on a well-cared for lawn. Armyworms and cutworms are both moth larvae. They are light green to greenish brown caterpillars that often look greasy. These pests feed on grass leaves and, when increased in number, they can move en masse across your lawn leaving no greenery untouched. In fact, the name Armyworm comes from their behaviour of marching across a lawn, like soldiers, leaving a trail of devastation behind them. Armyworms can be particularly frustrating for farmers who find the pests damaging their grass and reducing the amount good pasture available for their animals to graze on.

      Treatment

      Ridding your garden of armyworms can be a time-consuming task; however, your garden will thank you for it. We recommend you look for larvae and signs of damage beginning in early spring. Caterpillars will often be found feeding on the undersides of leaves on new growth. Handpick the worms you discover and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Another effective method is to spray all infected plants and areas of your lawn with a soapy water solution to deter the armyworms from causing any further damage.

      Aphids

      Aphids are a big problem all over the world but particularly in the United Kingdom. Visual examination is the best way to confirm their presence. Typically, you can find aphids feeding on new, tender plant growth. You can tell if your garden is infested by these unwanted garden visitors if you notice any distorted new growth on your plants, such as curled or hardened leaves. Aphids also secrete honeydew which causes leaves to become sticky and the result is a black mould that eventually engulfs entire plants.

      But, fear not, aphid infestations do not have to take over your garden. In fact, the truth is that aphids are one of the simplest pests to control. What’s more, once you treat the aphid problem, the unsightly black mould will go away completely.

      Treatment

      There are many insects in nature that help rid your garden of these pests, such as wasps, lacewing larva and ladybirds. However, a quick-fix solution is insecticidal soap which can be found in most well-stocked garden centres.

      White Grubs

      White grubs are the larvae of scarab or chafer beetles. These pests feed on grass roots, causing the lawn to turn brown and patchy. If dead sections of the grass can be pulled up like a piece of carpet, you probably have grubs. Most species of grubs have a one-year life cycle and lay their eggs during the summer months. When temperatures begin to fall, the grubs go underground to keep warm. Once the weather starts warming again, the grubs return to feed upon the grass roots once again. White grubs cause problems for plants by severing their root systems, making it impossible for the plants to draw enough water from the soil.

      Treatment

      There are a variety of pest control products available that will help you treat the problem. However, give us a call to determine the best product for your area, lawn variety and specific pest problem so that we can advise you on the best approach.

      Birds

      Birds can be wonderful guests to our homes and gardens. A variety of birds visiting your garden daily is a great sign you have done something right. However, while birds foraging on your lawns is natural, they can become a pest when they begin digging and making a mess.

      Flocks of birds visiting your lawn regularly can be a telling sign that you have a pest problem. Birds tend to flock to lawns in large numbers if there is a huge number of bugs to feed on. They can be helpful in removing pests, but their behaviour can become destructive when pests are in abundance.

      Treatment

      Dealing with your bug problem quickly will ease the amount of bird damage and get your lawn back to the calm and collected ecosystem it was before.

      Moles

      Moles are notorious for digging up your lawn and tunnelling their way underground in search for worms and grubs. Unfortunately, all of this tunnelling leads to the creation of mole hills where the soil is deposited on the surface of the lawn. Mole hills can cause your lawn to be unsightly, making it difficult to mow and creating bare soil for weeds to germinate in. Moles in your lawn are probably the most destructive pest your lawn could ever have. The good news is, moles only visit lawns that are health. So, you can take heart in the knowledge you have been doing a good job of caring for your soil.

      Treatment

      The difficulty with moles is they are notoriously tough to discourage. If you catch one, another will move in to replace it. If you have a mole infestation in your garden, give us a call to have the problem dealt with effectively. The sooner we are called out to deal with the issue, the less damage they are likely to do.

      Leatherjackets

      Leatherjackets are named because of the colour and texture of their skin. This pest is an eating machine! A singular leatherjacket is no threat to a lawn but in large numbers, they can do untold damage. Leatherjackets are the larvae of the Crane Fly and are definitely not a friend of your lawn. Fully-grown, these pests can typically reach 4 cm in length. They live in the soil just beneath the grass and merrily eat away at the grass roots and stems.

      Treatment

      As Leatherjackets live in the soil for one year, they are easily controlled with an approved Insecticide application. It is common for the larvae to work their way up to the surface of the lawn after insecticide application. Once they are on the surface they can simply be swept up.

      Conclusion

      Your lawn can successfully support a variety of insects and wildlife without any damage. However, there comes a point where pests can override the health of your lawn, causing obvious damage and this is when you need to take action. We hope you have found the above list helpful. As with anything, preventative measures can be taken. However, if you already have a pest problem that is painfully apparent and you don’t know what to do, please give us a call. Our professional team here at AMES would be more than happy to help you rid your home and garden of pests.