Our New Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Castle Pest Control Services website

We have to say a very big thank you to Sean at One Ten Media for designing and producing  the new site, it is a pleasure working with such a professional talented and enthusiastic local business we would highly recommend.

Wasp Control Norfolk

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website dedicated to provide information on wasp and hornet control in Norfolk this summer. You can access the wasp control norfolk website by clicking here

Grey squirrels

Their scientific name is Sciurus carolinensis.
They were introduced from USA /Canada to approximately 30 sites in England, Scotland and Wales from 1876–1930.

Grey squirrels do not appear to be susceptible to Squirrelpox virus, but may carry and transmit it.

Grey squirrels eat seeds, buds, flowers, shoots, nuts, berries and fruit from many trees and shrubs. They also eat fungi and insects, and occasionally birds’ eggs and fledglings. They will will stip bark from trees during the summer months.

They store nuts in the ground in the autumn, but do not remember where they store them. They rely on scent to find them.

The male and female are usually called a buck and doe, they can also be right- or left-handed!

Squirrels moult their coat twice a year, once after winter and then in the late summer before the weather gets colder again.

They do not have ear tufts, they can live to 5-7 years of age, they also have four fingers and five toes.

The upper fur is mainly grey with mid-brown along the upper back, and chestnut over the flanks, limbs and feet. Their underside is white. The tail hairs are grey, banded with brown and black and a white fringe.

Their body is 24–26cm long and their tail is 19-24cm in length, and weigh 450-650g.

Squirrels live high in trees in a nest made from twigs, leaves and moss. This is called a drey. More recently they have taken to living and nesting in loft spaces, where they can cause considerable damage.

The drey may be in a hole in the tree or set against the trunk and branches.

Pregnancy lasts 44 days and their young are called kittens.

Kittens are born with their eyes closed, without teeth and with no hair. After about seven weeks they look just like small versions of their parents and are ready to leave the drey.

There are generally 2 litters a year (rarely 3), with 3–7 kittens in each litter

Average densities in broadleaf areas are approximately 8-18 grey squirrels per hectare, and 0.1-1 per hectare in coniferous areas.

They do not hibernate over winter, but may be less active when weather conditions are bad.

They can hang upside down, and swim.

The Law
It is a criminal offence to re-release a captured grey squirrel back into the wild!

Pest and predator control is an integral part of conservation and wildlife management. It is necessary to reduce predation and damage to acceptable levels, particularly at vulnerable times of the year such as the nesting season. It is the responsibility of all those involved in pest and predator control to ensure their methods are legal, humane and carried out with sensitivity and respect for other countryside users.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 11 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 Article 12 it is illegal to:

* set in position any trap calculated to cause bodily injury to any wild animal included in Schedule 6.

Schedule 6 includes, badger*, pine marten*, otter*, red squirrel*, wild cat*, polecat and hedgehog.

*Note: pine marten, otter, red squirrel and wild cat are also listed in Schedule 5 of the Act and the Order and are therefore fully protected. The badger and its sett are also protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Wild cat and polecat are excluded from the Order.

* Under Section 11, if any person (e.g. an employer) knowingly causes or permits an act, which is unlawful, then he shall also be guilty of an offence.

The wild cat (Felis sylvestris) is totally protected and must not be confused with the domestic cat (Felis catus).

Under the Pest Act 1954 Section 8 and the Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) Act 1972 Article 21, it is an offence, in respect of any animal, to use or permit the use of:

* an unapproved spring trap (e.g. a gin trap which is a form of spring trap with toothed jaws, banned in 1958).

* an approved trap in unapproved circumstances (e.g. a Fenn trap placed on a pole to catch birds of prey).

* to sell, offer for sale or possess any spring trap for such an unlawful purpose.

The trouble with bed bugs

A property infested with bedbugs may be classified as being “in a verminous condition” under the Public Health Act 1936. Owners of these premises may be obliged to have them disinfested.

Although bedbugs are not regarded as disease carriers their blood feeding can cause severe irritation in some people, resulting in loss of sleep, lack of energy and listlessness, particularly in children.

The bite of a bedbug often gives rise to a hard, whitish swelling which is different from a flea bite which leaves a dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area. People react differently to bites, some gaining immunity.

The excrement of a bedbug gives a characteristic speckled appearance to their harbourages. They also have stink glands which confer a distinctive and unpleasant almond like smell in infected rooms.

The thought of being preyed on by bedbugs is normally sufficient to make most people take immediate action for some form of control.

Description
The adult bedbug is a flat, oval shaped insect approximately 5 mm long, reddish-brown in colour becoming purple after feeding. They are nocturnal insects which feed at night.

Distribution
Bedbugs are unable to fly, they either crawl or are passively transported in clothing, luggage, furniture, books or other objects used as harbourage. They are able to survive many months without feeding which increases their chances of surviving long periods of transportation or storage.

Any household can become infested with bedbugs but it is more likely that an infestation will occur in premises with low standards of hygiene. Bed bugs may be associated with poor, overcrowded and unhygienic conditions.

Infestations of bedbugs found in domestic premises usually occur in the bedrooms. Both adult and juveniles live together hiding in cracks and crevices most of the time. They normally come out at night usually just before dawn to feed on the blood of their sleeping hosts.

Bedbugs will normally hide close to where the host sleeps e.g. in the frame of the bed or mattress, in furniture, behind the skirting board or wallpaper or anywhere that provides a dark harbourage during the daylight hours.

In the UK bedbugs reach peak numbers towards early autumn when all stages in their life cycle will be present. Activities decrease with the onset of cold weather, egg laying ceases and the development of the juveniles slow down. Bedbugs over winter mainly as adults unless in adequately heated premises.

Life Cycle
Bedbug eggs are cemented to the surface of the harbourage, often in large numbers. Temperature and the availability of food have a profound effect on egg production and under ideal conditions can be almost continuous, at a rate of about three per day.

The eggs hatch to produce a nymph just over 1 mm long and like all nymphal stages appear similar to the adults apart from size and colour. The nymph requires one full blood meal before moulting to the next stage. Development from egg to adult and the duration of adult life varies according to temperature and the availability of food. At 18 – 20oc nymphs feed about every ten days and the adults weekly.

If necessary both can survive long periods without food. In unheated rooms where the temperature drops below 13oc in the winter, egg laying and feeding stops and the population declines as eggs and young nymphs die.

Control
In all infestations an attempt should be made to determine the source of the infestation, so that proper control measures can be taken. The inspection would highlight the extent of the infestation since the measures necessary for control would depend on whether the infestation is established and widely distributed throughout the premises, or recently introduced and likely to be more localised.

Control measures would have to be thorough and directed at all the harbourages.

Practical Advice
Good house-keeping is essential.

It is unwise to attempt to try and treat an infestation yourself. if in any doubt please contact Castle Pest Control Services.

Does it rain on the wealthy

Whilst driving back in the pouring rain from a pest control job in Swaffham earlier I was amazed to see a new top of the range Mercedes-Benz convertible pass me in the opposite direction with the top down, the couple in the car looked happy to have the roof down in the rain!

This got me wondering, does it rain on the wealthy, are they immune from the wet, or was it possible the very expensive German cars roof was stuck down.

I have no idea as to the reason, but before we dismiss the Mercedes-Benz going wrong think off this.
Less than half a mile from passing the Mercedes I spotted a very nice Porsche on the side of the road with the bonnet up and a RAC man scratching his head.

So maybe it does rain on the wealthy!

There is no disrespect meant to the wealthy or nice German cars manufacturers, its just the rambling thoughts of a Norfolk pestie driving between jobs.

The Trouble with Cockroaches

Cockroaches as pests pose many health hazards to people. They also cause the destruction of tangible assets and can be damaging to human health too.

Cockroaches have been called many things, but other common aliases include: water bugs, croton bugs, or palmetto bugs.

They have the propensity to damage fabrics, book bindings and food. This is largely down to the fact that they excrete an oily liquid which is not only dirty and filthy, but it carries an odour, which is offensive to the nose and can contaminate food articles.

Aside from unpleasant odours, cockroaches also excrete an ink like liquid, which is called a pellet, that adds another filthy smell to the already nauseating odour.

The most disconcerting thing about cockroaches is that they cannot be killed with a stone or by crushing them underfoot.

Instead, cockroach control must be carried out by using various pesticides, in the form of chemicals or gels. However, these alone are unlikely to be 100% effective against this pest menace, and therefore a integrated pest management program is required.

The best pest control is that which is non-toxic, and there are plenty of environmentally friendly tips and tricks to kill these pests when they come indoors. Cockroaches like to be up high, so if you make or purchase baits for them, place them on top of cupboards rather than underneath.

Diatomaceous earth is one good pest control for cockroaches. After they eat it, they will seek water all the more, so you may see more cockroaches for a few weeks after putting it out. But it will certainly kill them within 48 hours of eating it.

If cockroaches are a problem in your house, vacuum everything thoroughly and dispose of the bag in a sealed container. This helps to remove the eggs. Wash floor and cupboards with a strong soap solution. Spraying cockroaches with soapy water will kill them; you can also discourage them by leaving bay leaves, garlic or cucumber slices or catnip around.

Beer-soaked bread left in an open jar is also said to get rid of cockroaches.
If home remedies don’t work, try spraying all around cupboards and crevices with a surface spray, using one that is least toxic to humans.

DIY pest control against cockroaches can often be ineffective, so if your efforts fail, the best way to rid yourselves of a cockroach menace is to call Castle Pest Control Services we provide a complete cockroach control service, with the necessary equipment, pest control products and experience to eradicate your cockroach infestation.

Mice, rats, fleas – infestations in West End theatres are “running out of control”

A comprehensive survey by performers’ union Equity lifts the lid on West End back-stages
Equity has conducted the most authoritative ever survey of working conditions in West End theatres . . . and the findings have shocked even hardened West Enders.

Three-quarters of actors and stage managers report regular infestations – which include mice, rats and fleas. One reported: “Our floors have been eaten by mice and they leave their faeces.” Another added: “Mice, mice, mice.

Quite often there is an unpleasant smell which usually turns out to be a dead one!”. A third commented: “We see and hear mice.

They eat through food packaging and even through one of the girl’s warm-up tops”. And perhaps most stomach-churning of all was: “I had tiny bite marks on my lipstick recently when I left the lid off.”
Equity General Secretary Christine Payne commented: “I knew it was bad out there, but I am really shocked by this! These findings mean that tonight, over 600 actors and stage managers will go to work knowing that they will probably see and smell vermin, both living and decomposing, in their work-place.

“I accept that many West End theatres are old and difficult buildings to manage, but this is running out of control. These appalling conditions must come to an end. I want to thank all those West End actors and stage management who took part in this survey. Their union will be working with them to make sure that effective action is taken.”

The survey has been completed by nearly 350 performers and stage managers in 24 different theatres, many of them featuring world-famous shows. The survey was circulated in February Equity to around 850 actors and stage managers.

Apart from infestations, the survey revealed theatres with many of the usual ups and downs of large and complex performance spaces. Some were overcrowded backstage, but most were not. Everybody had proper access to a dressing table and mirror, backstages were mostly clean and tidy and by-and-large the working temperature was not a source of complaint.

But the survey has highlighted some clear areas for action. Stage management reported that in only half of theatres there is a clean area for preparing the food and drink that actors have to consume on stage.

The following 24 theatres were involved in the survey: Adelphi, Aldwych, Apollo, Apollo Victoria, Cambridge, Criterion, Dominion, Fortune, Garrick, Her Majesty’s, London Palladium, Lyceum Theatre, New London, Old Vic, Palace, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Playhouse, Prince Edward’s, Prince of Wales, Queen’s, Savoy, Shaftesbury, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Victoria Palace.

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