PEST BLOG

Pest Blog

by steven light 14 Sep, 2017
The garden ant (black ant)
So today’s blog is coming quite late in the season but still has an importance.
Let’s talk some facts. The black garden ant also known as Lasius Niger to most pest technicians and ant keeping hobbyists are a common summer home invader. The workers are 3-4mm in length on average and these are generally what you see invading your homes. The queens are 9-10 mm on average and the only times you will see these are when the nuptial flights happen (winged females and males take to a mating flight) during the summer months of June until late August depending on where you live as it's different throughout the UK and is not set in stone and it can also happen on multiple days. This nuptial flight will normally take place before or after a storm and all the local nests of that species will fly at the same time. Mating between the future queens and the males will occur in flight. If you see a large black ant walking the pavement without wings, then this is considered a fertile queen and a possible future pest issue, the male only has one objective in life and that’s to mate with a queen, once this is accomplished he will die as his job is done.

The queen will then find a suitable location to dig down and seal herself in until the next spring. In this time they will lay eggs which will develop into nantics (the first workers for the queen) to get a founding stage for a future colony. It is possible the numbers in this colony can reach the 10,000 ants mark. To stop ants you only need to stop the queen, it is believed that things like boiling water over an ant nest will sort the problem but the chance of the single queen succumbing to that is slim, although it will destroy a lot of the workers. You have to remember that UK ants are adapted to our weather and climate which can include flooding so do you think this will work? It will in the short term and on the odd occasion it may possibly solve the issue. If ants are invading your home they are either trying to expand territory or have found a source of food. If it’s a food source then it’s generally a house keeping issue, and a good clean will sort that problem out. For territory expansion, i would call a professional as that’s a different matter altogether.

So then back to the story, my eldest son has just became fascinated in nature and insects and shown a big interest in ants in particular along with an interest in pest control so what to do???
What did I do? I caught some mated lasius niger queens, I joined some facebook groups for advice and that was just the beginning. From this, I now own two different species of ant, the two lots of black ant (for my son) and a red ant colony for myself (due to the bite/sting they can inflict). I bought a couple of nests and out worlds and I’m now helping my son understand how ants live, work and their care needs for survival i.e. nest hydration, food, water and general maintenance, along with respect for animals of all species and being able to view the ants in a semi wild state. if he ever gets bored of them they can be put outside and released legally due to being a native insect.
As I have already mentioned I currently have two nests/out worlds. I brought my red ants or Myrmica Rubra as they are known along with an acrylic formicarium (ant farm) from www.britishants.com and it’s a great little starter formicarium that I shouldn’t have to upgrade for a while yet as only one of the nesting chambers is full. I also have a nest and Outworld combo (starter kit) from www.antworlds.com awaiting my Lasius Niger (black garden ant) to get to a larger enough size where I can move them from an ant-worlds queen founding chamber.
To find videos I have made with my son and to see how these ant farms (formicarium's) look then why not check out my personal Youtube channel HERE which will occasionally also contain my other animals or pests. 
Hope you enjoyed this blog let us know what you think.
by steven light 11 Sep, 2017

It’s a system that can save you time and money, by this I mean it checks your traps instead of you driving out to check your taps. Unless you must put fresh bait in the trap it will notify you when it activates.

by steven light 04 Sep, 2017

At Shire pest solutions we have always been interested in joining a trade association but as with all things its cost and what do you get, and then looking at what you don’t need from them.

There are two that you here about and they are the BPCA and NPTA both representing small and large company’s but they can be confusing to which one you want to belong to as it comes down to cost and what do you get from being a member.

Information below was taken from both the BPCA & NPTA Websites

by steven light 18 Aug, 2017
So we embarked on a new job, rabbit control by shooting at night . It's not everyone's cup of tea so for that I'm sorry but, it's about many more factors than just killing rabbits . a local golf course has an oversized rabbit population and needs help to lower the numbers.
The rabbits are causing damage to the greens by digging and the unsightly view of large amounts of rabbit droppings.
by steven light 11 Aug, 2017
This is an update from our Pestex 2017 blog
by steven light 10 Aug, 2017
Recently as you may or may not know a new type of trap has been released onto the pest market. This trap is the A24 rat trap. Along with this has come some bad press and this will be something I will expand on. I am not involved with the makers of this trap in any way apart from following the progress.

So what is the bad press surrounding this trap?
Do you know, or is it second-hand knowledge?
by steven light 04 Aug, 2017
Contains/Active:  0.0025 % difenacoum & 0.0025 % bromadiolone
Area of Use:In and around buildings, in Open areas, in Waste dumps
Target Species: Rats & Mice

This is a 15g sachet with two ingredients  that we all know but put into one bait, it has said that it has a great kill rate and can be tracked due to its fluorescent technology. They claim the formulation improves acceptance of the bait by rodents.
I can say that within hours of placing this bait down in a loft it was being picked up by the rats see the video below and taken away, i will try and fix the bait and see what happens.

I will update this blog when i have data on how fast i got control of our rodent problem in this loft, but so far its looking good. 
by steven light 19 Jul, 2017
A really bad leatherjacket attack on your lawn would have meant it would have to be entirely replaced in the past … which could cost Hundreds to thousands depending on your lawn size.
But not now as we can treat and save your nice lawn and protect it in the future with ongoing treatments.
by steven light 13 Jul, 2017
So today we put the new trap monitoring system we are testing to a more serious test. We started to push the distance boundaries and We had the person who came up with the idea (that is now the new trap monitor) along to watch, help, observe and learn from us as pest controllers as we are learning about the technology and best use from him. at the same time, we are gathering very important data which will be used to update the hardware or software of the product, before releasing it to the industry.
by steven light 29 Jun, 2017
Ok, folks, we are still getting called out and seeing posts on social media about this very subject. But instead of being whitetails and wood bees it's now come down to wasp and honeybees.

This may sound like something we keep going on about but it's also a very important subject.
So here is a quick and simple guide;
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