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Ideas for Council Departments Companies Budgets

Where Should You Allocate Your Budget?

With the environmental and ‘green’ services and products markets estimated to be worth billions, it is worth stopping and considering what is the best use of your budgets in this area.

Some of the service information below may assist you in the wise allocation of your departmental spend. Most of the services require relatively short lead times:

Graffiti Removal & Prevention:

Public environments can be greatly enhanced and encouraged with a graffiti removal program.

Costs can be greatly reduced in the future through the implementation of graffiti prevention coatings. These can be applied to a variety of surfaces. Graffiti prevention coatings make it a lot easier to keep your facilities graffiti-free.

For advice and information on graffiti removal services designed to meet with your department budget timeframes and schedules please call us on 0121 443 1111 .

Waste Clearance, Factory & Office Clearances:

Ensuring you have a safe, clean and clear environment for employees to function in, aids staff retention and improves efficiency.

Providing an uncluttered working environment ensures Health and Safety policies are not compromised due to awkward or hazardous working conditions.

Budgets can be put to good use by booking AMES factory, office or commercial property clearance and cleaning services.

More information is available by clicking these links on Factory Clearances, Office and Commercial Waste Collection and Commercial rubbish removal services.

Preventative Pest Control – Planning Ahead:

Preventing rodent, flea, bed bug and other pest problems can save large amounts of money in the long run.

Council departments and property management consultants can rest assured that budgets invested in AMES pest management and prevention programs will yield results, moving target sites as close as possible to a pest-free environment.

More information on AMES preventative pest control is available here.

Bird Control & Pigeon Control:

Birds including pigeons and seagulls can create a nuisance for commercial and public buildings, their inhabitants and visitors.

Bird droppings can be corrosive, fouled stairwells and similar areas can create health hazards.

Large bird populations can also be intimidating for those wishing to use your facilities.

Bird netting and bird spike installation is a sensible use of a facilities budget.

For more information on these services click here for general Bird Control, here for Bird Netting and Deterrents and here for Bird Spikes and Pigeon Control.

Deep Cleans and Washroom Cleaning:

Intensive deep cleans and washroom hygiene maintenance programs can be purchased to cater for all timeframes suitable for your department or council budget.

These services can be delivered now or over a pre-agreed schedule lasting weeks, months or over an annual contract.

Contact AMES

Find out more about our cleaning contracts or to sign up with AMES:

Call: 0121 443 1111 or click here to send us an online enquiry using our contact form.

Definitive List UK Spiders

The UK is home to over 750 million spiders in the UK, spanning across 650 different species, with three biting spiders and, fortunately, no poisonous or killer spiders.

We have provide a definitive guide on all spiders found in the UK to help readers identify theirs. You

*PLEASE NOTE:

Although AMES Group Ltd have been in the pest control business for over 30 years and have years of experience in dealing with spiders, we can’t take responsibility for information provided online when identifying your spider.

So, please take our advice at your own risk.

The Official List of UK Spiders

Common House Spider

A common house spider (Tegenaria gigantea)

The common house spider is labelled ‘common’ because it’s the most prevalent spider in the UK. You’ll see these little critters frequently throughout the year and they’re completely harmless. They can be identified by their dark brown colour and long legs. If you see one, don’t panic! You can be sure they will be more scared of you than your are of them and will do their best to stay out of your way!

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth spider (Agelena labyrinthica)

The Labyrinth Spider is larger than most. It can grow upwards of 18mm long. Found in Wales and England, amongst hedgerows and long grass, the Labyrinth Spider is most common between June and October. Surviving on a diet of small insects and flies, the spider get its name from catching insects in long funnel-shaped webs, which can become very thick.

The female won’t abandon her young until they are ready to leave the web. Once she dies, the young will eat her. This spider is not to be confused with the far more dangerous Funnel Web Spider.

Cucumber Spider

Araniella Cucurbitina

With a name like that, you’d imagine these are harmless, right?

Well, you’re right. This green spider is seen from April to October and is around 4mm-6mm long. Usually found in gardens, hanging from plants, the Cucumber Spider spends its time eating small insects. These spiders are native to the UK and may look mostly green but they have a small red dot above their spinners on their tail.

Cave Spider

Cave Spider

There are two types of this spider, the Meta Menardi and the Meta Bourneti.

These spiders are around 10-15mm long and are commonly found in the UK throughout the year.

Surviving on a diet of flies, woodlice and other small insects, this spider keeps itself to itself, hiding in caves, tunnels and places with little to no sunlight.

Their eggs are tear-shaped and hang upside down on a silk thread. The young spiders are attracted to sunlight at first, so they’ll seek to find somewhere new to populate. Adult spiders, however, tend to remain in darkness.

False Widow Spiders

These infamous arachnids were thought to have arrived in Devon around 1879 from the Canary Islands.

Coming in a 7-14mm shiny black body, with pale markings on their stomachs, these spiders feast on flies and other small insects. Their web formation is very scatty and their silk strands can be found all year round. The name, ‘False Widow’, comes from the fact that they’re often mistaken for the dangerous Black Widow spider. Though their bite isn’t nearly as deadly, they do come from the same arachnid family.

Green Huntsman Spider

Micrommata virescens

It’s not commonly known, but Britain has its own version of the infamously terrifying Huntsman Spider. Ours is known as the Green Huntsman. Luckily, this spider is very rare and is only a mere 15mm in comparison to the much larger and daunting 30cm figure of the Huntsman Spider.

The Green Huntsman gets its name from its hunting method; it camouflages itself within green shrubbery before pouncing on its prey of small insects. This spider can be found in woodland areas, parks and anywhere mossy and green.

Black Lace Weaver Spider

This spider is often found underneath stones and logs in British gardens throughout the year. It has a large, fat, round body with yellow and brown patches on its stomach. Measuring in at around 15mm, its eggs are diamond white and the females are usually found guarding them.

However, there are essentially two kinds, or, ‘versions’ – if it is found in a house it’s usually Amaurobius similis, if you find it outdoors, it’s likely to be Amaurobius fenestralis. The differentiation in the Latin names is because it was later discovered that there were two different species of Lace Webbed Spiders.

Jumping Spider

This eight-legged menace has 340 degree vision and is capable of leaping distances more than 40 times its own body length. They come in a range of colours, including brown with black markings. The picture conveys a bold red and black colour scheme. However, despite their scary appearance, these spiders are not poisonous.

Buzzing Spider

Found in many parts of the UK, these spiders are usually discovered in large numbers – especially around April and October.

Much like the Huntsman, they prefer to chase their prey rather than trap them in a web.

Running Crab Spider

When it comes to the Running Crab Spider, males and females are separated in appearance. The male spiders adopt a black body and heady, while the female spiders adopt a beige appearance.

These spiders are found in both England and Wales. They commonly reside in grassy areas and low growing vegetation. At 5mm, these spiders are small. They eat a meagre diet of insects and catch them by chasing them down and ensnaring them in a web.

Giant House Spider

Eratigena artica

Measuring at a whopping 120mm, this is the most common spider you’re likely to find in your house. They’re very fast over a short distance but rapidly run out of energy. These spiders build large sheet-like webs and are usually found in the darker corners of your house.

These spiders’ bites do contain venom, though you’ll be very glad to know that they do not usually pose a threat to humans.

Money Spider

These spiders are one of the most common groups in Britain, with thousands of species in it. These fall within the smaller spider category, coming in at 5mm long, they’re very easy to miss, unlike much larger spiders such as the Cardinal Spider.

They get their interesting name from fairy tales and folklore. People used to believe that if you got one of these spiders caught within your hair, it would bring you good look and fortune.

These spiders are harmless to humans and are not aggressive in nature.

Common Garden Spider / Cross Spider

Araneus diadematus

Many people are confused when they hear that garden spiders/cross spiders have varying colours and sometimes even shapes. This can make them hard to identify but nonetheless, it’s interesting to study their different body shapes and patterns!

The Common Garden Spider is found exactly where you’d expect, the garden! They’re fairly small and the females are often bigger than the males, with some reaching 6mm.

These spiders are seen more frequently between March and October and prefer to make nests in warm areas such as green houses. Their diet is a simple mix of flies and other small insects.

Yellow Sac Spider

Coming in with a body-length of around 1/4 inch for both males and females, this spider falls on the smaller side of common UK spiders. Many people believe this spider to be white or ‘see-through’ when in fact, it’s actually a pale yellow.

Their diet consists of other smaller spiders and tiny insects. They’re commonly found in damp garden areas, including mossy patches and leaf piles.

The most disturbing fact about this spider is that if food supplies are low, they will eat their own young!

Marbled Orb Weaver Spider

Marbled orb-weaver or Araneus marmoreus

These spiders are usually seen between May and October, usually residing in vegetation, damp, mossy areas and other woodland regions. They get their name from their ornate marbled pattern on their abdomen.

There are, however, two varieties of this spider. One is marbled all over, while the other has a cream or yellow-like patch. These spiders – though they may look strange – are common in the UK, coming in at 10-14mm.

Four Spot Weaver Spider

While female Four Spot Weavers can grow up to 15mm, males usually reach half that size (6-8mm). Though they are usually found in the summer months, they have been known to pop up around October and November.

Like other Weaver spiders, they’re usually found in vegetation, specifically long grass and/or bushes.

Although their distinctive pattern might make them seem somewhat rare, they’re actually very common. Their colours range from yellow, green, orange, red or brown. They’re easily identified by their four white spots on their abdomen, hence their name.

Tube Web Spider

Mainly found between June and October, the Tube Web Spider gets its name from the tube-like silk it spins. The entrance to the tube is usually encased by silk trip wires, which almost represent the spokes of a wheel. This alerts the spider to any nearby prey.

This is a nocturnal spider that prefers to settle within outside walls, wooden faces and other holes it can lay its eggs in. While they’re not dangerously venomous, their bite can pack a punch, so don’t mess around with one of these!

Sheetweb Spider

Coming in at a somewhat small size of 4-5mm, the Sheetweb Spider is usually found between May and October.

They’re usually found in low vegetation, but aren’t shy of finding their way into houses.

Sheetweb spiders (also called Hammock Spiders) are dark brown with variable white/pearl coloured markings (usually resembling a circle) around their abdomen.

Spiders on YouTube

There are many videos on YouTube that dive into the world of spiders, one of our favourites is Levkin’s 10 Most Common Spiders in the UK.

In his video, Levkin goes into detail about the types of spiders that are commonly found in the UK. Many of them pose no threat to humans, but we wouldn’t advise that you go poking around the gardens irritating them!

Honourable Mention

The Cardinal Spider

Cardinal spider, Tegenaria parietina

The Cardinal Spider will grow 20mm on average, which is daunting in itself. However, these spiders are not aggressive, nor are they dangerous. The name comes from the rumour that Cardinal Thomas Woolsey was terrified by this species at Hampton Court back in the 16th century.

Although thought to be harmless to humans, their size and generally sinister look grants them a bad reputation. Bites from these are rare and painless, so don’t worry!

That completes my list for the most common and well-known spiders in the UK. Are there any arachnids that I’ve missed? Maybe you’ve run into a couple of spiders not mentioned on this list, let us know in the comments below!

Do you have a spider or insect infestation?

pest control shrewsbury

Whether it’s spiders, ants, wasps or cockroaches, our certified pest control technicians have over 30 years’ experience in the pest control industry and provide fast, affordable and effective treatments for commercial properties.

Simply contact our pest control team today, explain your problem and our team will be on-hand to provide immediate solutions.

Fleas Flea Bites and Treatments

Introducing the Flea

Whilst not generally dangerous to humans, fleas do present serious problems elsewhere. Fleas are the number one cause of skin disease in pets and can cause problems ranging from simple itchiness to weeping sores, scaly skin and an unpleasant smell.

You will find that some dogs are actually allergic to flea bites and one bite can set off a horrible reaction. Fleas also have the ability to transmit tapeworms in both cats and dogs. They even bite humans!

Although we are a pest control company based in Birmingham, and offer a specialised flea control service, we think it’s our duty to inform the rest of the UK about the dangers of pests. With that in mind I hope you enjoy this article about fleas!

What is a Flea?

Fleas are tiny dark brown parasitic insects that infiltrate the hair and more importantly the skin of pets. What makes them quite impressive – though dangerous – is that they are able to jump over 150 times their size; that’s the equivalent of a human jumping over 300 metres.

It is this incredible jumping skill that allows them to hop from host to host and other parts of the environment.

Fleas are actually wingless, though their aforementioned jumping ability makes up for this. A flea’s diet is blood, with females consuming around 15 times their own body weight each day!

The blood that they are not able to digest is excreted from the flea and dries to form what is commonly known as ‘flea dirt’. Flea dirt becomes food for the larvae and is the most obvious way to identify an infestation.

Where do Fleas Come from?

Fleas thrive in damp, grassy areas including the areas underneath porch steps, along nearby ponds and even in the shade of bushes or trees. Animals such as raccoons, squirrels, rodents and feral cats are common carriers of fleas.

The scary fact is that it only takes a few tiny fleas to cause a massive infestation in your home. Even humans can bring fleas into a home as they have the ability to cling onto almost anything.

When pets are taken for a walk, to play in a park or run around the garden, they are always exposed to fleas. Visits to vets, kennels, car journeys and even trips to the groomer can expose your pet to fleas! It is therefore very important to keep an eye on your pet after you visit such places. It’s obvious to see when your pet has fleas, as they will be itching, scratching, biting and generally look to be in discomfort.

Once fleas have made contact with you, your pet, or your home, they can live virtually anywhere! Carpets, curtains, beds are places they love, but what they love most are your pets!

Why Should We Worry About Them?

Fleas can pose a serious problem for your pet’s health. Not only can fleas cause itching and minor discomfort, but they can also pose a serious threat if they’re left too long.

The minor risks fleas cause to pets are minor itching, scratching, biting and general restlessness.


Fleas are responsible for the most common veterinary dermatological condition: flea allergy dermatitis (DAT)


If severe, flea infestations have the ability to cause anaemia – smaller and/or younger pets are most susceptible to this. If an animal ingests fleas, they are likely to have transmitted tapeworms; a nasty infection for pets to have.

Some people believe that fleas do not pose a threat to their own health but fleas can be harmful and very discomforting for humans.

Allergic reactions are the most common. Symptoms are usually in the form of small, raised lesions named papules. These are usually red or purple and severity can vary depending on the host’s reaction to the bite.


Tapeworms; now these are nasty. For humans to get tapeworms, they have to literally ingest fleas. Again, children and younger people are more at risk.


Typhus – essentially a high fever. Symptoms include headaches, delirium and sometimes people have been known to come up in red rashes.


Plague – rodent fleas that can be carried by dogs/cats can be vectors of bubonic plague.

Is Their Bite Harmful?

In many species, fleas are generally a nuisance to their hosts. Most commonly, their bites cause itching sensations which in turn causes the host to attempt to remove the pest by scratching or biting.

Fleas are not simply a source of annoyance, however. Whilst their bites aren’t particularly harmful to humans, they can cause swelling and itching similar to a mosquito bite. Following this, the eczematous itchy skin disease (flea allergy dermatitis) is the most common disease in cats and dogs.

The bites can range in severity, some bites appear in clusters and can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks.

Fleas can even lead to hair loss as a result of frequent scratching and biting by the host. If the host is allergic to the bites, this can result very badly and cause anaemia in serious cases.

Knowing the Difference Between Fleas & Ticks

Fleas

Fleas are small, dark-coloured agile insects with two black mouth-parts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. This, combined with their very quick reproductive cycle, make them a difficult challenge to eliminate from the pet and the environment. In order to thoroughly understand how to treat and prevent their infestations from occurring, it’s important to first understand the lifecycle of the flea.

The flea lifecycle begins with the adult female flea acquiring a blood-meal from the pet and laying her eggs usually on the skin or hair of the pet. Adult fleas must feed on blood before they become capable of reproduction. The flea can consume as much as 15 times its weight in blood each day! Female fleas are capable of laying up to 40-50 eggs per day, these eggs will then fall off the pet onto the carpet, sofa, or any location the pet visits. These eggs are very small white spheres that will hatch into larvae in 2-14 days depending on the conditions. Flea larvae emerge from the eggs to feed on any available organic material, including faeces of other fleas, known as flea dirt.

Disgusting, right?

Flea larvae tend to avoid light and keep to dark places, such as cracks, crevices and bedding. If adequate supply of food is available, larvae will complete their development in 5-10 days and spin a silk-like cocoon in which they malt to the pupus stage. The final transformation to the adult flea occurs within the cocoon and the newly formed adult flea emerges when properly stimulated by heat, carbon dioxide and the environmental stimuli, all of which might indicate an available food source is in the area.

The entire cycle from egg to adult can take as little as two weeks, or as long as six months depending on environmental conditions. The adult flea is probably the only stage of the flea’s life cycle you’re likely to observe. The other stages are generally very difficult to see without magnification! Even spotting the adult flea requires a close and thorough examination of the skin. There are certain locations on the pet where fleas more commonly congregate. Focusing your search in these locations will increase your chance of finding fleas. The key locations on most dog and cats would be:

  • The tail area
  • Head and neck
  • Stomach

These areas should always be evaluated when assessing the pet for the presence of fleas. The faeces of adult fleas, or flea dirt, is often the first clue that fleas are present on the pet. These reddish-brown faeces often possess a characteristic curled appearance, or may occur as dirt-like specs. Passing a flea comb, or simply a fine-toothed comb through the hair of your pet will often trap fleas and flea dirt. This is arguably the simplest method to search for fleas.

The reason the cycle is important for you to know, is that developing an effective flea control programme involves more than just killing the adult fleas. It also involves interrupting their reproductive cycle at various stages, to alleviate future generations of fleas.

Ticks

Like fleas, ticks are bloodsucking parasites.  They attach themselves to their host and remain attached for an extended period of time, often several days. During this time, the tick will become engorged with blood. This extending feeding period makes the tick an ideal carrier for various blood-borne diseases. Common diseases transmitted by ticks include rocky mounted spotted fever, Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Only a small number of ticks carry these disease-causing organisms. When present, these diseases occur more commonly in certain areas of the country.

It is important for you to identity the specific tick-transmitted diseases that are common in your area. It is also important to recognise that some of the diseases ticks carry can also be spread to humans. A tick-infested environment will not only puts pets at risk, but also their owners.

How do I Remove a Tick?

Removing a tick from an animal should be done with care, and without squeezing the body of the tick whilst pulling it off. Careful handling reduces the chances of infusing infectious debris and organisms into the animal from the tick.

Grasping near the head of the tick where it has attached itself to the animal, and creating gentle pressure, will often be sufficient to initiate its release.


Gently pulling the tick straight out away from the skin is usually adequate.
Once the tick has released, clean the area thoroughly with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to help reduce the chances of infection.
Dispose the tick in a small jar of alcohol and save it if possible. This will help for identification of the tick to determine if infection has occurred.

You may sometimes notice two ticks attached to the skin and hair. These are mating ticks…The female ticks will become quite engorged with eggs and will often obscure the presence of the male ticks. As many as 8,000 eggs are contained in some engorged ticks. The female tick will detach herself from the dog or cat and return to her environment to lay her eggs. Most ticks infecting dogs or cats will need three hosts to complete their development.

Upon hatching, the young seed ticks will search for a source, such as a rodent for their first meal. The seed ticks will feed on their host for a few days and then drop off to malt into the nymph. After several weeks or months, the nymph will often climb to the tops of the grass or weeds and wait for a passing animal to hop onto. Once they have clenched onto an animal, they quickly set out to get their meal. They will feed for a few days or a week and then drop off again to malt to the adult stage.

The adult stage will then seek out a host on which to feed, because of the large number of eggs they lay in their environment, it becomes extremely important to control ticks. Not only on your pets, but also in the environment.

The Flea Lifecycle Explained

It is imperative that you understand the lifecycle of the flea to know how to effectively dispose of them and at what time to do so.

There are four main stages of the flea lifecycle:

Egg

Larvae

Pupae

Adult 

Depending on the temperature of the areas in which the fleas are living, their lifecycle can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. The flea’s favoured temperatures lie between 20-30 degrees and 70% humidity.

Eggs

Their lives begin when the adult female flea lays eggs after she’s drained all the blood she can from her host (your pet, for example). Blood is essential in order for the female to reproduce. These eggs are small, white objects, in fact they’re even smaller than a grain of sand! They reside in your pet’s fur in clusters of around 20.

The eggs will then fall off your pet as they traverse around the house/garden/park/beach etc. This is dangerous as it means the flees can drop off anywhere.

Eggs take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to develop and hatch when the environmental conditions are just right. If the temperature is too low and dry the eggs will take longer.

Larvae

The emerging larvae are blind and will therefore avoid light at all costs. They grow and develop over several weeks by eating flea dirt that the adults have left behind. They also eat other organic debris they find in the environment.

Pupae

This is essentially the cocoon stage. This is the last development stage before it evolves into an adult. The cocoon protects the pupae for several weeks before the adult flea emerges.

FUN FACT: If the environmental conditions are not right for the pupae to emerge, the cocoon is capable of protecting the pupae for months and in some cases, years.

The cocoons have a protective outer layer than helps them hide and protect themselves deep within carpets and sofas. Vacuuming will not be effective against these cocoons. The cocoons are also very resilient to chemicals!

The adult flea will not emerge until it’s 100% sure there is a host that it can jump onto. They detect this via vibrations, rising levels of carbon dioxide and temperature (body heat). There are many ways this is triggered, your pet walking by and people moving in the house will alert the flea to emerge from its cocoon and feed.

Adult

Once the flea has emerged from its cocoon, it will be looking for a food source, and soon. Once it has found its first host and gorged on it, it will then breed and begin laying eggs in the following few days. Females, however, cannot lay eggs until they have sourced a blood-meal.

Disgusting, right?

How Fleas Affect Your Pets

Every year, flea and tick problems with pets rank amount the highest issues in veterinary hospitals.

Both fleas and ticks are considered parasites that feed on the blood of their host and transmit a number of serious diseases. A parasite is any organism that lives on, or in an organism of another species. From the body of which it obtains nutriment without contributing to the well-being of that organism. Parasites can be grouped in two categories:

Internal parasites

External parasites

Internal parasites generally live within the host animal, one of the most commonly thought of internal parasites would be intestinal worms.

External parasites live and feed outside of the host, or in this case, the pet. It’s the job of the animal care-professional to understand these most common parasites. Learn how they’re diagnosed and help to rid the host animals of them whenever possible. As an animal care professional, it is also their job to educate the clients on the risks of these parasites, and what they can do at home to prevent their infestation.

Let’s begin with discussing the two most common external parasites.

How Does This Affect My Pet?

Due to the advances in pest control and the effectiveness of modern pesticides, treatment for your pet is usually all that is needed!

Here are some of your options:

PRODUCTS TO PROTECT YOUR PETS:

Spot on Treatments – this is arguably the simplest and most effective treatment on the market. Apply it once a month in order for it to take full effect. Some products do include worming/heartworm treatment as well as flea treatment.

Flea Shampoo – It kills fleas on your pet at the time of the bath. Though once rinse-off has no lasting effect on fleas.

Rinse and Sprays – Vary in effectiveness, many need to be used weekly, some more often if severe flea problems are present. Rinses must be applied to a clean, mainly dry coat at the correct concentration to fully effective.

Collars & Powders – These are helpful, though there are certainly more efficient treatments on the market!

REMEMBER! – Preventing new eggs is also vital to stopping them from recolonising. What many of the products on the market do is stop the female flea from breeding by essentially making them sterile.

The Environment Must Also Be Treated

This is probably the simplest way of making sure fleas do not colonise in your home. Simple tasks such as vacuuming (removing eggs and fleas) washing your pet’s bed/blanket (the higher temperature the better) and spraying your house, your pet’s kennels/sleeping area and garden with flea killer.

How to Get Rid of Mice Smells

If you have just evicted a mouse from your home, your work has only just begun. Now comes the task of cleaning up the remaining mess. In their absence, mice can leave lingering germs in their urine and faeces, including life-threatening illnesses such as hantavirus, leptospirosis and salmonellosis to name just a few.

Male mice have a terrible habit of using their urine to mark their territory. However, unlike other symptoms of infestation such as droppings and chewed holes, the unpleasant smell of urine tends to linger well after you eradicate the pests. Fear not, because in this article we will teach you how to get rid of those horrible mice smells for good. So, grab a pair of rubber gloves and disinfectant and read on for some all-important suggestions and safe clean-up procedures.

Get Your Gloves On

We know that you want to get your home clean and sparkling again as fast as possible, but it is important to take precautions when cleaning up after mice. Equip yourself with rubber or plastic gloves, a face mask and work goggles when removing mouse-related odours. This may seem a little over-the-top but you can never be too cautious when removing mouse-related odours and this equipment will also protect you from any harmful bacteria, fumes and potentially harsh chemical ingredients. Never try to clean mouse-tainted areas with your bare hands as you risk spreading disease.

Fresh Air

Whenever you are cleaning your home, it is important to increase airflow to help reduce the fumes building up during the cleaning process. Opening all of your windows and external vents is vital when ridding your house of mouse-odours as the fresh air will help to dissipate the smell, making it more bearable while you get rid of it completely.

Spray

Spray any droppings, urine, or nests leftover from your mouse with a strong disinfectant, being sure to soak everything thoroughly through. Place all debris in a sealed bag and then dispose of it outside the house. We recommend that you disinfect any areas where the mice have lingered to be sure that the germs are killed off completely. Be systematic and thorough. Clean any and all areas where you think the mouse has been active. Look under appliances and furnishings. You can never be too careful when ridding yourself of a mouse infestation.

Go Over-the-Top

Even though the surfaces in your home may look clean, it is extremely likely that a mouse has contaminated them. Mice urinate to claim their territory and they often track through their own urine and all around your house, carrying germs on the bottoms of their feet. If you discover they have been foraging in your kitchen, the likelihood is they have been skittering all over your counter tops and exploring your cabinets. Clean absolutely everything you think they could have possibly encountered, you do not want to risk sickness of any kind.

Top Tip: To avoid contamination as you make your way around the house, spray your gloves with disinfectant periodically, especially before handling clean surfaces such as doorknobs and cabinet handles.

Mop

Mop hard floors with a combination of household disinfectant, detergent and water to help reduce rodent odours and prep hard surfaces for the application of other odour-reducing products. Bio-enzymatic pet odour removers help break down the urine that causes the smell. If you do not own any pet odour remover, white distilled vinegar does the job just as well.

When mopping, use a disposable mop head and paper towels or sponges that you can discard afterwards. Be generous with disinfectant. Go the extra mile by shampooing and steam cleaning your carpets, upholstery and area rugs just to be sure that the house germs are completely gone.

Air Freshener

After disinfecting and cleaning like mad, your house will likely be overpowered by the smell of disinfectant. Keep your windows open to help circulate the air while you spray airborne odour eliminator in all rooms of your house. Unlike standard fragrance sprays, these sprays will remove the odour on contact rather than masking it, ridding your home of the smell of mice forever.

Disinfect Everything

After you have gathered everything up and disinfected everything in sight, it is time to get yourself cleaned up. Be sure to throw away your gloves, and wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water once you have finished cleaning. We would also recommend taking a hot shower and changing into clean clothes – washing your dirty clothes in hot water and detergent to kill any remaining bacteria.

Conclusion

If you would like further information on mice and how to prevent them, check out our article on mice prevention. If you have a mouse problem, please do not hesitate to call us. We would be more than happy to rid you of mice and help you live free from pests.

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Spiders

Whilst spiders do not cause damage to your home, as other pests are prone to doing, some of them are dangerous and their venom can cause severe reactions to children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

Spider Control at AMES

Here at AMES, we are pest control experts and we know that there are a definitive number of UK spiders, many of which you may discover in your home. If you do, it is worth trying some of the techniques below for getting rid of spiders. They may be a little bit weird, but they are also a little bit wonderful…because they work!

If, however, your home is taken over by a complete invasion of horrible spiders and their population is becoming increasingly problematic, please give us a call. We are here to deal with all your pest control needs and help make your life spider-free!

The Effect of Peppermint

This may seem like a rather relaxing start to my list when you are desperately scrolling the internet for solutions as spiders roam your walls. But do not fear, spiders hate essential oils – especially peppermint! Unlike the relaxing effect peppermint has on humans, it is hated by spiders and physically repels them.

Simply dab droplets of peppermint along pathways, in cracks and crevices around your home or, alternatively, mix it with water in a spray bottle and spritz your whole house. This has two benefits; it makes your house smell incredible and it forces the spiders to evacuate. 

Fight the Spiders with Vinegar

Vinegar is another version of the peppermint remedy. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of half white vinegar and half water before spraying it in all spider-laden areas of your home. However, be careful to avoid varnished surfaces as vinegar can ruin their appearance and your aim is to blitz the spiders, not every item of furniture.

To further the success of vinegar, place small open containers in dark corners around your home. The smell of vinegar alone will be enough to send the spiders scurrying for the door!

The Power of Cleaning

Cleaning your room is pretty important for keeping the spiders at bay.

You see, spiders like to hide in dark and dusty spots, where they can hide and plan their next scare. To prevent this, dust and clean in every corner and crevice of your home – on a regular basis! Keeping your house clean and decluttered will make it a pretty undesirable location for spiders and a pretty desirable one for your mother!

Protect the Exterior of Your House

The exterior of your home is often the perfect dwelling space for spiders and is one of the first places they choose to hide. Spiders often hide in exterior walls, long grass, rocks and compost or woodpiles. I would highly recommend heading outside, in full-body spider-protecting gear (of course) and clearing up the exterior of your home. Seriously, it will make an enormous difference to the spider populations in your home. It will also make your house look lovely – and who doesn’t want that?

Top Tip: Plant mint or lavender underneath or near your windows. The strong smell drives the spiders away.

Spiders Hate Citrus

I know it may seem odd, but spiders hate citrus. So, peel a citrus fruit and rub the peel along skirting boards, windowsills, bookshelves and anywhere else you suspect spiders may wander. Alternatively, if the thought of wiping fruit around your house isn’t appealing, you can use lemon-scented cleaners and furniture polish or be extra sophisticated and burn some fancy candles.

Live in the Dark

Okay, not exactly. But seriously, light attracts things – not spiders exactly but the little insects they feed on. So, if you want to avoid a whole hoard of insects, spiders and horrible creatures crawling out of the dark and towards the light in your windows, either switch them off or disguise the light by using opaque blinds, blackout curtains or shades. Seriously, you’re like a candle on a hill to insects and they come crawling out of the woodwork at night to creep towards your house.

Final Words

Just give these methods a try, you never know! Besides, if you were desperate enough to click on this article in the first place, it seems pointless to leave without giving at least one of the suggestions a go. Let us know in the comments below if you have any success!

How to Get Rid of Mice in 5 Simple Steps

How to Get Rid of Mice in 5 Simple Steps

Mice remain one of the most common rodent pests that inhabit the UK, and while they are mostly harmless, an infestation can cause severe disruption to both domestic and commercial properties. 

What are Mice?

There are six different mouse species currently inhabiting the UK, five of which are native. Their life expectancy is relatively short in the wild, averaging at about a year. However, the doormouse, which was introduced to the UK in 1902, can live up to five years in the wild.

Despite their being six species, they can all be characterised by their brown fur and soft white neck and belly. Their size ranges from 8 – 14cm and they can weigh anywhere between 18g to 24g.

get rid of mice

Where to find mice

Before we discuss the best ways to get rid of mice, it’s important to know the main areas where they reside. For example, if you buy mouse traps and are not sure where to place them, they will likely be ineffective.

The main reason mice infiltrate our properties in search of food, warmth and shelter. So, anywhere where they are able to source food and create a nest, they will stay. 

Common places you may find mice in residential properties include:

  • Kitchens 
  • Attics
  • Lofts 
  • Living rooms (behind TVs, sofas and floorboards)
  • Bedrooms (in ceilings, cupboards and under beds)
  • Gardens (check cracks, gaps and fissures in exterior walls for nests)

Common places to find mice in commercial properties:

  • Storage rooms (they are usually quiet, full of items and rarely visited)
  • Ceilings (among vents, pipelines and high-up crevices)
  • Within walls (check gaps, cracks and fissures)
  • Warehouses 

How to get rid of mice

  1. Locate their nest

The first step to getting rid of mice is finding where they are nesting. Mice are nocturnal creatures that rarely make an appearance in daylight. For this reason, it’s unlikely you will spot them. However, there are some telltale signs to lookout for, including:

Droppings – mouse droppings are usually grouped, so look out for droppings around your property. For more information on mouse droppings and how to identify them, please visit our mouse dropping identification page.

Scratch and gnaw marks – mice will typically gnaw on items of furniture in order to grind down their teeth. They will also scratch and gnaw at materials to obtain materials for their nest.

Pawprint marks – if the mice have inhabited a space or area that’s rarely visited, you may be able to find pawmarks in the dust.

  1. Decide on the best mouse trap
mouse trap

The most effective way to eliminate the presence of mice is laying traps. However, understanding how traps work and what trap is best for your mouse situation is essential. For example, some traps will instantly kill mice, whereas others will simply trap them for the purpose of relocation. 

Below, we have featured the most popular and effective mouse traps:

Bait traps – bait traps work by luring the mouse into the trap using a form of bait. Once inside, the mouse cannot escape. Bait traps come in many forms, but most utilise a hatch or lever that when activated, shuts the mouse inside with the bait for safe transportation and relocation. 

Snap traps – snap traps work by luring the mouse onto a platform that when applied with pressure, releases a snap trap (usually a metal bar) which instantly traps and kills the mouse. Snap traps are commonly used to humanely kill mice.

Live traps – similar to bait traps, live traps are designed to lure the mouse in via the traps unique design. They feature tight entrances that are appealing to mice (as they like squirming into small spaces) but once inside, the mouse cannot escape the same way it entered. Bait can be placed inside the trap to further encourage the mouse to inspect and engage.

Glue traps – glue traps have varying success rates and are not as common as the above traps. Sometimes, mice are strong enough to escape the traps, or at least drag it along with them. In this case, at least you would be able to hear them.

Note: If you are suffering with a larger infestation, traps may not be the most effective solution. Rodenticides are commonly used by mouse and pest control technicians when it comes to eliminating large numbers of mice. However, these are powerful deterrents and should only be used by qualified technicians in only certain situations. 

For more information on this, please contact our mouse experts today.

  1. Choose your mouse bait

The bait you choose to lure and trap the mice is an essential part of removing mice from your property. Not all baits will work which is why it’s important to choose one of the following when luring mice into traps:

  • Peanut butter – peanut butter is one of the most common mouse baits you can buy. It’s cheap and readily available to anyone, peanut butter is sweet and has a strong smell that mice will pick up on. Simply take one teaspoon of peanut butter and place it on the trap. 
  • Seeds – a mouse’s diet primarily consists of seeds, so this is an obvious choice. Although they do not have the same potency as sweeter foods, they are familiar to mice and therefore a good choice of bait.
  • Chocolate – again, a sweet and accessible form of bait, chocolate has a strong potency and works well with mice and other rodents.
  • Pet food – if you have cats and/or dogs, simply take a small bit of their food and place it on the trap.

Note: be sure that all traps are kept out of the way of pets and small children to ensure their safety.

  1. Remove them from the premises

Knowing how to effectively remove mice after they have been exterminated is important in order to deter future pests and keep your property hygienic. Removing dead mice from your home or property is a straightforward task but it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Ensure the trap has worked and the mouse is dead
  • Check the trap has worked properly and will not cause injury to yourself when removing the mouse
  • Transport the trap to an outside area away from your house, do not put the mouse in a bin
  • Wear gloves when removing the mouse from the trap in order to reduce the risk of transmitting bacteria
  • Clean the trap when you re-enter your property with disinfectant or follow the cleaning guide provided with the product
  1. Put future deterrents in place

Prevention is always better than a cure, which is why it’s important to ensure your property is properly protected to deter anymore mice from infiltrating. Simple changes such as filling in any gaps, cracks or fissures in exterior walls will block any potential transport routes for the mice. Other tips include:

  • Cleaning your garden regularly – messy gardens offer an almost perfect habitat for mice, so be sure to keep your garden clean.
  • Do not leave leftover food out – an obvious one but leaving food out will always attract pests, so be sure to clean up after cooking.
  • Seal bins outside – if your rubbish beans are not closed or properly sealed, this will attract a variety of pests, including mice, rats, wasps and foxes. 

How to get rid of mice in certain locations

Mice will nest anywhere they can find food, shelter and warmth. Below, we have listed the most common areas and ways to get rid of them.

  • How to get rid of mice in the kitchen

If mice are in your kitchen, locate their nest (or located signs of infestation) and place traps within these areas. Some mice may be nesting behind your oven as it is a warm and hidden place where they are unlikely to be seen.

Traps should be placed either behind the oven or in front of it.

  • How to get rid of mice in the bathroom

Mice rarely nest in bathrooms because they are often damp and clammy, which isn’t good for their nests. However, if they are in your bathroom (possibly in an airing cupboard), then be sure to locate the nest or have a rough idea of where they have been, and place traps in those areas.

  • How to get rid of mice in the living room

Mice prefer to nest behind televisions, under carpets and sometimes behind sofas. For this, place traps underneath furniture towards the middle, to ensure you don’t trap your feet or disrupt the trap when sitting.

Note: be sure to place traps away from children and pets.

  • How to get rid of mice in the ceiling/attic

Mice commonly build nests in ceilings because we rarely traverse that part of the home. You may hear scuttlings above which would indicate mouse activity. For this, place traps up in your attic as they will likely pass through here. Be sure to check on the trap every day to ensure the mouse has been caught and can then be responsibly disposed of. 

  • How to get rid of mice in the walls

Mice that are living within your walls are more difficult to eliminate. However, there are ways you can deter mice away from your home’s walls. Seal any entry points that the mouse may be using to enter the walls, this will either trap the mouse inside, or cut its entry back into the house. If the mouse has been successfully lead away from the house, seal the exterior wall to ensure it cannot return. 

  • How to get rid of mice naturally

Mice can be deterred and/or eliminated in many ways, but a “natural way” to get rid of mice would be to seal and fix any entry points in the house. This way, mice cannot enter your house and you will never have to deal with the threat of a mouse infestation in your house.

Suffering with a large mouse infestation? Call the experts!

If you discover a large infestation and would rather let the professionals take care of it, we are here to help. You can also find more information on mice on our mouse control page.

We also offer an emergency call-out service for both residential and commercial property infestations, simply click here to be put in touch with our emergency mice experts. 

Bed Bugs What They are and how to Dispose of Them

Imagine this…

You’ve just woken up; something smells musty and sweet. When you open your eyes your bed has a trail of malted insect shells, rust coloured stains and tiny smears of excrement.  

Bed bugs are one of nature’s most perfectly evolved human blood-sucking machines and if a couple of these get into your home, you’re going to know all about it.

Bed bugs are horrible creatures. Over 95% of single-family homes are reported to have bed bugs inside. Whilst they are very common, they aren’t exactly life-threatening. All you may receive from a bed bug is a small, red bump from a bite. Despite this not being a massive inconvenience, they are still an annoyance.

AMES has taken the time to identify what is a bed bug, what they are capable of and finally, how to get rid of them.

Bed Bug Advice from Dr James Logan

Dr James Logan is continuously trying to work out how to combat the growing bed bug problem. His lab is a host to thousands of them, and James knows all too well when the bed bugs bite.

When asked “what does the bite feel like” James responded:

“I felt a very, very slight nip!”

Bed bugs have piercing mouthparts, almost like a needle. They inject that into your skin to find the blood capillary and then they start feeding from the blood. When you’ve got bed bugs, you know you’ve got them. Your arm will come up in a big red, itchy lump and what your immune system is doing is reacting to the chemicals that are injected into your body in their saliva and it contains a cocktail of chemicals that basically act as an anticoagulant and also an anaesthetic. So, you can’t feel the bed bug feeding on you.

Just saying this makes me itchy.

We thought these little vampires were taken care of after we bombed them with DDT in the 1950s. But they’re back! DDT was outlawed in 1972 so we can’t just nuke them from orbit to be sure. The official name for these cretins is cimex lectularius and they’re parasites that feed off their sleeping host’s blood. The largest they get is only a quarter of an inch, and they’re flat so they’re easy to miss. They’re brownish and wingless with 6 shiny legs. They use their syringe-like mouthbeaks to pierce your skin and suck your blood.

Now unlike Dracula, these guys rarely wake their victims whilst feeding and can even take 3-10 minutes to gorge on your blood. While drinking, they release their own saliva into your broken skin, which can eventually cause an allergic reaction. Luckily, they don’t spread disease, but the bites can swell and itch.

Still, they probably won’t drain you dry. It takes 100,000 bed bugs feeding on your at least once a week to make you anaemic. Let’s also put one misconception to bed (no pun intended). Bed bugs aren’t a sign of poor hygiene, even immaculate mansions can get them. It only takes one to ride in and infect your whole home.

Here’s a short list of spots where they can conceal themselves:

  • Sofas
  • Backpacks
  • Bed frame cracks
  • Light switches
  • Wallpaper cracks
  • Televisions
  • Clocks
  • Phones
  • Curtains
  • Clothing
  • Towels
  • Pillows

Basically, anywhere dark and protected is up for grabs. One way to tell you’ve got them is from the coriander-like odour they release when they’re alarmed. The worst part is they can live up to a year without eating. So, even if you move into a vacant residence, they could still be there…

Waiting..

So, then how do we kill them? Like with any vampire, you should hire a professional. To successfully eradicate them sometimes takes up to four different treatments. Such as:

Dry ice sprays
Steam
Vacuuming
Fumigation
Insecticides

Sustained exposure to temperatures of 130 degrees will also kill them. Which is why you’ll need to wash all your linens and blast them inside a hot dryer.

Destroy them with heat, and a lot of it.

And remember what I said about messy clutter? Yeah, clear that up so they don’t have anywhere to hide in.

Now that we’ve gone through the specifics, we want to hear about your worst bed bug stories! Comment below and let us know!

The Three Common UK Beetles

The scientific name for beetles is Coleoptera and despite being quite rare in the UK (in contrast to ants, wasps, etc), they make up the world’s largest order of animals at 25%. 

Beetles are characterised by their sheathed wings, or ‘armoured’ layer, that surrounds the delicate wings beneath. Many beetles in the UK are harmless and serve a beneficial purpose for the environment, though there are some that have no natural enemies to control their population and this is when beetles become an issue. 

Beetles in the UK 

The UK plays host to the following beetles: 

  • Biscuit Beetles 
  • Carpet Beetles 
  • Death Watch Beetles 
  • Furniture Beetles (Woodworms) 
  • Ground Beetles 
  • Larder Beetles 
  • Longhorn Beetles 

However, many of these you will rarely come across during your day-to-day life, as the majority like to keep to themselves, residing in woodland areas and other mossy habitats. 

Biscuit Beetles, Carpet Beetles and Ground Beetles are the types of beetle we often find ourselves removing from properties, so it would be wise to first talk about these first. 

Biscuit Beetles 

Size: 3mm long 
Colour: Red/brown 
Found: Food cupboards 

One of the most common beetles not just in the UK but across the globe. 

Biscuit beetles are usually found in food cupboards, retail premises and domestic properties. These beetles are often confused with the Common Furniture Beetles (also known as Woodworms). If you have open packets of flour, biscuits, cakes, cereals or foods that are high in fibre or carbohydrates then it’s more likely that these beetles will infiltrate your food supplies. 

Stranger, however, these beetles will also feed on drugs such as strychnine, belladonna and aconite. In the U.S it’s known as the Drug Store Beetle because of its dependence on such substances! 

How to get rid of them 

The solution is simple, throw out any infested food! Wipe-down the surfaces and ensure that you have cleaned the area thoroughly. It might also be worth checking your property for any bird’s nests (garages, underneath roofs, outdoor ceilings etc) as these beetles thrive in nests. 

Carpet Beetles 

Size: 4mm long 
Colour: Brown/beige with black and white dots 
Found: Carpets, floorboards, curtains, anywhere with soft material 

Known as ‘woolly bears’ these little beetles have overtaken moths as the pest that devours the most items of clothing! 

Their appearance makes them look like a furry ladybird, though the red and black has been replaced by brown, white and black. The main sign of Carpet Beetle infestation is finding their cast-off skins strewn across your carpet/floor. 

How to get rid of them 

Lofts, attics and bird’s nests are where they’re typically found. Be sure to vacuum these areas thoroughly and open as many windows as possible to air-out the property. You’ll need an insecticide to efficiently rid any remains of these beetles. So, spray any areas where they thrive and ensure the carpets are cleaned thoroughly. 

Ground Beetles 

Size: 25mm 
Colour: Black, violet, brown 
Found: Homes, warm areas 

These beetles vary in colour, though they’re usually seen to be black. 

Growing up to 25mm makes them fall within the larger UK beetle category but they’re nothing to be afraid of. They’re likely to enter your property seeking warmth and comfort. They do not like cold atmospheres, so you won’t find them residing in mossy areas – unlike other beetles. They pose no threat to humans and it is very rare that you’ll find more than a couple in your property at any given time. 

How to get rid of them 

There is no real need to remove these beetles, as they pose no threat to humans and they don’t eat your food supplies. The only necessary action you should take is simply removing them in a safe manner from your property. 

Controlling Beetles 

In the UK, we’re lucky that beetles don’t pose a massive threat to our daily lives. Beetles in the UK are practically harmless, and they don’t tend to swarm in the way that ants, wasps, or other insects do. They’re independent insects that usually wind up in your home because they’re seeking shelter and/or food. 

Combating beetles is simple and doesn’t require too much effort. Although, if you do find yourself struggling to live with beetles, please do not hesitate to contact AMES Group here. Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer any queries or concerns you may have.