Saturday, 13 February 2016

Blazing A Trail In Pest Control

Blazing A Trail In Pest Control

Almost every pest control business has a website — but I challenge you to find one that gives you advice on how to solve pest problems (and I don't just mean sell products and tell you how to use them).

I started working in the pest control industry as WaspKill UK, almost ten years ago. Working for myself from day one meant I wasn’t subject to the hidden rules of the industry or the industry way of doing things.

I came from a medical and teaching background, meaning I handled pest problems differently to other people in my industry.

I always had a desire to solve pest problems and not just treat them. In essence I wanted to find the cure, the solve.

All too often I would come across a customer who had been through two or three pest control companies to solve a problem, and they were so distrusting of me after the negative experiences with others that it was upsetting. Even now the temptation to just walk away from some customers is very strong.

I wanted to go home at the end of the day and know I had done something well, that what I did mattered. I wanted to know I had made a difference and not just a sale. It truly hurt in my first few years of the business when I was unable to solve pest problems for people, at the level I wanted and that they were expecting!

Doing Things Better Than The Rest

As time progressed I searched for better ways of doing things, for quicker ways of solving things and I did indeed succeed.

Remember, treatments keep making money but can tarnish your reputation, damage the environment and our wildlife, whereas solutions deliver the real value for money, drive recommendations, and respect the wider environment.

"Solutions grow your business in a more sustainable way, delight your customers and nourish your reputation."

The world is crying out for a better way of managing pests, a better way of helping customers and I think I have discovered the answer.

Pest Control Described Medically

OK so it's hardly rocket science, but it all comes down to education. The trouble is that the traditional method of dealing with pests is outdated and confuses customers.

So let's look at rodent control in buildings as an example.The Traditional Rodent Control Model:

Bait, Stink, Flies, Repeat!

The New Rodent Control Model:

History, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Exclusion & Treatment, Cured!

When discussing a problem with a customer I quickly gain: a history (what's happened), assess the signs (what is seen), the symptoms (what you can't see), make a diagnosis (your conclusions), carry out remediation to exclude rodents, and eliminate any rodents trapped inside. The result = problem cured.

Most people understand this logic, and they find it easy to understand why they have the problem, along with the processes required to solve it.

Over the last decade I’ve lost count of the number of customers, particularly with rodent control problems, who feel let down by other pest control operators who offered a pest control service, but not a pest elimination service, and there is a very big difference.

So do consumers need better advice and if so where can they get it — who can they trust?

Do Pest Control Customers Always Need Professional Help?

If we can help customers better understand the “reasons” they have pests, we can advise them how to take immediate action to bring pests under control and we can then step in when required to ensure safe and rapid elimination.

With information still locked within the industry, consumers are fighting a losing battle in the war on pests. History has shown that innovation will evolve no matter what we try to do to stop it.

When The Internet Is Wrong

The advent of digital media means people can access huge amounts of information about pests, but far too often this is written by people with no professional connection or hands on experience of the pests they are discussing. This wastes time, money and hands the advantage back to the pests!

Discovering advice that solves is the holy grail for consumers and if we can be as much of a tutor as we are technicians and salespeople, then pest control will become safer, more effective and more humane as a result.

Consumers need solutions, but in most cases are so bombarded with information to the contrary, that solutions no longer make sense.Worse still, many consumers believe what they read online more than the pest professional they employ to help them and there is always a well meaning relative or friend who thinks they can do it cheaper or better!!!

As an example of the misinformation around: 80% of my customers have never made a connection between rats in their homes and a sewer fault, with around 50% who don’t believe me when I tell them it’s a drain related problem.

Only once we have CCTV imagery do customers finally start to make the connection and trust us. This contrasts against 80-90% of all rat problems inside buildings being related to faulty drains.

If drain related rat infestations are so common, why in 2016 do people still not realise this problem is so common? Misinformation, Misinformation, Misinformation.

The internet is a guide, your relatives and friends are a guide, a pest professional who only sells a treatment is a guide, a pest control professional who sells a treatment, advice and wants to solve your problem is the one person you really need.

Asking lots of questions when booking can help you discover those that know their stuff compared to those that are simply firing away at a well honed but shallow script.

Why Do We Still Rely On Pesticides?

The use of pesticides for the sake of it, for the benefit of profit, is completely unregulated (the law has no teeth — yet!) and harms the environment.

Knowledge is key to developing a better understanding of pest activity and good housekeeping can often solve a pest problem just as surely as pesticides and fake, useless, repellents and plug in devices will.

If we can teach people how to solve pest problems effectively then we will reduce pest problems and pesticide use by default, worldwide! Now that's a big claim, but I believe it's accurate and common sense, especially in relation to our homes.

Change is coming to the pest control industry, more and more people like myself are coming, and the industry and the wider world will never be the same again because we came this way.

Join the revolution, be the difference that makes the difference — your children might just thank you for it.

The Bristol Rat Company — Solutions in an industry full of treatments.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


Why Do Rat Holes Suddenly Appear?

Simple reasons for rat burrows around your home.

We see this two or three times a month. The usual story is that: 
"The hole (usually only one) suddenly appeared one day and at first we simply backfilled it, but it continued to re-appear and continued to get bigger. At first we thought it was a mouse, but now we think it is a rat. How much does it cost to put down poison and get rid of the problem?"
This is a licence to print money! So most customers think that the rats are the problem and that poison will solve it. Sadly the solution and reasons for your rat activity is often more costly and complex than you think.

Why Do These Rodent Holes Appear?

  • The main sewer has collapsed
  • The main soil pipe into the house has broken
  • The rest bend at the base of the soil stack has failed
  • The inspection chamber wall has been breached
  • The benching in the inspection chamber has been damaged
  • The drains have been badly installed
  • Your neighbour has rats and they have burrowed under your floor
  • Your neighbours rats have burrowed through your wall
  • and this list goes on and on!
Notice that the image above shows no excavation around the top of the hole, demonstrating that the rats have dug up from below. So where did the soil go? It gets displaced back into the drains where it is flushed through and away.

Should I Fill The Rat Hole?

The danger with filling holes like this, especially with loose cement or concrete is that you can easily block damaged pipes below and that means big repair bills that you will not be insured for!

What Can You Do?

The first step is to get the hole inspected. Check your buildings insurance for drain cover and monitor the hole to see if it gets larger or more holes appear around it. Filling the hole with tissue paper or leaves is a good way to test if things are actively going in and out without risking blocking a drain below.

How Can Our Bristol Rat Control Service Help You?

We regularly get called to customers who would like the issue inspected. We are equipped with drain CCTV cameras and can help you approach your insurance with accurate information regarding the problem. If you are not covered for repair through your insurance we can put you in touch with drain specialists with experience in rodent matters and finally we can help eliminate any rodents left behind, following remediation.

For more information, why not book an inspection? Call 0117 303 5181.

The Bristol Rat Company with WaspKill UK Pest Control in Bristol.

Written by  pest specialist Simon Berenyi.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Wasps Nest In Shed

Wasps Nest In Your Garden Shed?

wasps in garden shed
Common Wasps Nesting in a Garden Shed

Why wasps nest in sheds

Wasps are common visitors to sheds in Bristol, especially later in the year when queen wasps are preparing to hibernate. Overwintering queen wasps find garden sheds irresistible hibernation sites, perfect for a new nest in the spring.

The common wasp (Vespula vulgaris - pictured) and the german wasp (Vespula germanica) are the most common species of wasps you're likely to encounter in a garden shed and unfortunately they also build the largest nests!

Wasps like sheds because they are so easy to enter, rarely disturbed and warm quickly in sunlight - perfect for a developing brood of wasps.

How dangerous are wasps nests in sheds?

A wasps nest in your shed will start off discreetly because only the queen is building the nest.

After about a month she will see her first brood of eight to sixteen daughter wasps hatch and begin helping her build the nest.

For wasps nests smaller than an apple, a can of wasp killer spray will quickly dispatch the colony, but three months in and a wasp nest in July could contain over 3000 wasps!

The real danger presents itself when the nest is built close to a door, like the nest pictured.

As the nest structure grows, the wasps will eventually build and attach the nest to the shed door, so when you open it, you could split the nest and they will swarm you!

Although most nests are attached to the the sheds ceiling, the wasps habit of building nests inside things is another reason sheds can be so challenging.

People often store old chests of drawers or boxes - perfect for wasps to nest in - offering yet another layer of protective insulation and concealment!

Nests within boxes etc make control even more dangerous and hazardous because they see you before you see them and this is a situation you are unlikely to conquer safely without professional help.

How long are the wasps active?

Most wasp nests in sheds begin in April or slightly later depending on the temperature. Because these  are outdoors, nests have usually matured and become inactive by the beginning of November.

Wasps nesting in a house have a much easier start to life because they are warmer so usually start building nests slightly earlier and these nests grow to be the very largest we see and remain active until late December.

By contrast, the nests found in garden sheds rarely exceed the size of a large football, but can be very difficult to locate without getting stung. This is why we always wear professional protective clothing.

How to get rid of wasps in your shed

If you would like to take advantage of our Bristol wasp control service then we would be delighted to help you. You can contact us by visiting our Bristol pest control website.

WaspKill UK with Simon Berenyi

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Get Rid Of Blow Flies

How do you get rid of blow flies

What Are Blue Blow flies?

get rid of blue bottle flies
Blue Bottle Flies In Your Home?

Blow flies are commonly seen as the large and small flies that are often referred to as green bottles,  blue bottles or by Bristolians as meat flies!

These flies are regularly seen in our homes, quickly locating protein based foods of animal origin on which the flies lay their eggs.

The Blow Flies Life Cycle

Within a matter of hours the eggs start hatching and the larvae we call maggots begin to feed on the rotting tissues.

Within a just a few days (optimum conditions) these maggots can mature, before pupating and finally hatching together in their hundreds or even thousands.

This sudden emergence of large flies can be extremely upsetting, and because some of the pupae will take longer to develop than others, these flies can persist for many weeks.

What Can Be Done To Eliminate Blue Bottle & Green Bottle Flies?

Because blowflies often take a number of weeks to hatch from their pupae, numbers will gradually increase from just a few flies appearing each day to hundreds, before finally tailing off to zero.

Fumigation is a common and effective option when very large numbers are present, but for smaller infestations of blow flies is pointless as the chemical used is only effective whilst it's in the air and that's normally for no more than about an hour.

Because of this, the best option is very often, just a can of fly spray, which you can buy in the supermarket, before vacuuming up the dead bodies.

The chemical free option is to use sticky fly traps or quite simply open windows and flick the blow flies out a couple of times a day with a hand brush.

Whatever you decide, we are always here to help you.

Simply call our Bristol fly control team: 0117 303 5181.

WaspKill UK Pest Control with Simon Berenyi

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Rats Problems Under Your Shed?

Why Are Rats Under Your Shed?

rats under shed
Bristol Rat Control 0117 303 5181

Rats are among the most noticeable rodents in our gardens, not least because they are among the largest.

Our Bristol rat control service is regularly called upon to investigate rat problems in people's gardens which are usually a result of a few common factors.

5 Common Reasons Your Garden Shed Has Rats

  1. Feeding birds with loose or mixed feed - Bird feeders are commonly associated with rats because so much feed gets spilt onto the floor. This can be reduced simply by ensuring that each feeder contains only one kind of seed. When using mixed seed in bird feeders, the birds will peck out the seed they don't like, depositing it on the floor and eat only those seeds it prefers.
  2. Animal feed available from pets like rabbits and chickens - The smell of food etc in feeding bowls is of great encouragement to foraging rats and mice. It is also very common for enclosures to be built using chicken wire that is large enough to allow mice and juvenile rats to pass through into the animal enclosures uninhibited.
  3. Compost bins that are well stocked and lack a solid base - Compost bins offer rats a place to nest that is heated by its decomposing contents all year round and has a regular supply of food available fresh from your kitchen. Starchy foods like potatoes are a popular meal for an overwintering rat. Most compost bins don't have a base in them, so we need to create one that the rats can't penetrate. This is a simple process and can be done with patio slabs and some wire mesh. 
  4. Damaged drains and drain inspection covers - Faulty drains and especially faulty inspection chamber covers allow rats to reach the surface and your garden unhindered. The sudden appearance or presence of holes near to, or next to drain covers is ideal for rodents to surface into your garden.
  5. Large quantities of stored or abandoned rubbish/waste - Rats are quite vulnerable to the effects of low food supply and harsh winter conditions, but where there is shelter (your shed) they can thrive in the most extreme conditions. Any time large deposits of waste are left sitting around for long periods, rats will exploit this waste for the purposes of feeding and breeding. 
With any food reservoir there will be a propensity for rodents to make a home near by. Your drains are a food reservoir and what we put down there in the form of faeces etc, is all the food they need. 

Remember that rats do not have a sense of taste, but do possess an excellent sense of smell.

Rats rarely establish themselves under sheds without a good source of food close by. for this important reason you must always look for "Why They Are There".

Sometimes the cause will be a simple one that is easy to identify, and in other situations it can prove very difficult.

How To Prevent Rats Under Your Garden Shed

Some simple steps can ensure that you never have a rat problem under your shed. The measures that will help you get rid of rats include:
  1. Site your shed on a solid concrete base (they can't dig through this).
  2. Surround your shed with a 12 inch wide and six inch deep layer of pea shingle/gravel.
  3. Raise the base up five inches by placing the base on wooden beams or bricks
  4. Solve the original source.
It sounds simple and, well actually it is. But what's the wildcard reasons for your problem that will be a far tougher nut to crack?

in many cases this will be down to your neighbours! The other reason can be your proximity to natural reservoirs of activity like waterways (rivers, streams and canals) and bodies of water (lakes, ponds and ditches).

Whatever the reason we are always delighted to help you solve it or work around it. Contact Bristol Pest Control on 0117 303 5181.

WaspKill UK Pest Control with Simon Berenyi

Monday, 20 October 2014

Removing Honey Bees From a Chimney


Sometimes you just have to get up there with them! Honey Bees are often difficult to access and require specialist access.

honey bees remove from chimney
When trying to eliminate honey bees from your chimney, it can be as simple as lighting a fire beneath them or asking a professional pest controller to eliminate them.

The best option is always to ask a beekeeper to remove them, and to make sure they don't simply destroy them. Sadley we have encountered a growing number of bee keepers who eliminated honey bees they claimed to have saved for our customers!

How Do We Get To The Bees?

The problem you will quickly encounter is how to get to them. If you live in a brick or stone built property, removal can be very difficult, especially at height. It's easy to dislodge chimney pots etc whilst trying to remove bees.

Chimney pots can fall straight through a roof and even kill people below, so before you do anything get professional advice, on the options available to you, and keep things safe.

Cherry pickers like the one we used in the image above are a simple way to get close to the bees, but scaffolding is best – that’s if the scaffolders are happy to get that close to the bees or have the protective clothing to make the process safe.

Will The Honey Bees Become Aggressive?

In our experience the bees very rarely become aggressive whilst you are working around them, but you cannot take that chance when working at height.

Your other option is to drill or knock through the wall into the chimney cavity – but this still won’t make life easy to get at the the bees.

The truth of the matter remains that honey bees in chimneys are generally viewed as non-viable. In other words, if they are causing a problem, then elimination rather than removal is often the only safe option.

Lethal Bee Control or a Bee Keeper?

We recommend that you contact a beekeeper in the first instance who will likely give you an honest answer on the question of removal, but is likely to side step the question of all out elimination of the honey bees.

If the beekeeper is unable to safely remove the colony, or provide a solution, then its time to leave them alone or if you still feel elimination is the best option, call a professional pest control company to destroy the bees for you.

All is not lost though – even at this late stage the pest control expert may know of a removal method that the bee keeper doesn’t and still save the colony – it all comes down to experience and sometimes a little luck.

Please let us know your experiences – what works for you and what does not. Get more help from our Bristol pest control team on 0117 303 5181.

WaspKill UK Pest Control with Simon Berenyi