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June 2022

Avishock installation

Abseiling & Pest Control

Abseiling!  We always thought this specialism was better suited to sub-contractors as it is so skilled and difficult / expensive to bring in-house.

But with the number of abseiling jobs increasing year on year, we made the decision to train our own team of abseilers. So led by Rafal Brymer (Head of the Bird Division) our brave bird technicians, Marcin Stolarek and James Craig started their training.  The intensive training took 5 full days and a 120 hours on the ropes.

We spoke to Marcin about his new skill:

How long was the training for?

I spent 5 full days on the training, both theory and practical. I spent round 120 hours on the ropes.

Do you get scared?

Sometimes and I am not scared of heights. If you are afraid of heights then it is a very scary job.

What do you find most difficult?

The job requires a lot of physical strength as you can see by the pictures. I don’t have to go to the gym anymore though.

What do you like the most about abseiling?

Hanging on the ropes 30 m above the ground and looking from the down.

So far our team have carried out a number of abseiling jobs. Our largest, most complicated abseiling job was for a hospital in Surrey. The hospital was undergoing re- cladding which meant that the old bird wire needed to be replaced in order to manage the local pigeon population. In total the team spent 240 hours on the work.

Check out out Bird Control specialist site for more information here or contact us and speak to one of our expert team on 0208 355 3443.

Fruit Fly vs Drain Fly

Preventing fruit flies and drain flies

Every month we receive a number of calls from restaurants and bars for help in preventing fruit flies and drain flies.

Preventing fruit flies is relatively straight forward and you shouldn’t need a pest controller to carry out a treatment for you. We could only carry out a knockdown treatment which would deal with the immediate problem but it is not a long-term solution. Fruit flies and drain flies aren’t particularly attracted to UV light either like other types of flies so EFK (electronic fly killers) are less effective in dealing with these types of fly.

The only long-term solution for these flies is to remove the breeding sites through cleaning.

Preventing Drain flies also known as Filter flies.

These tiny flies are very often found hovering by drains and stagnant water. The first job is to remove the breeding ground as they breed in the organic matter found in drains, grease, food and general sludge. Keeping drains free of this material will prevent drain flies breeding. It is important to remove stagnant and still water from anywhere where it is pooling.

Preventing Fruit flies

Fruit flies and drain flies are often confused with each other as they are similar sizes. Fruit flies have bright red eyes so if you catch one and look under a magnifying glass you will be able to tell.

As with drain flies, fruit flies can easily be dealt with by removing the breeding grounds. In this case it will be fermenting fruit, juice or wine.

In order to locate the breeding site, look for moisture, decaying or fermenting fruit or debris and warmth.

Some common breeding to check are:

  1. The bottom of refuse bins.
  2. The area where empty bottles of juice or fizzy cans are stored prior to recycling.
  3. Under food preparation areas or the gaps in-between worktops.
  4. Standing water under fridges or ice machines.
  5. In between or under damaged floor tiles.
  6. Do not leave damp mop heads facing down in the bucket in a warm store cupboard or speak to your cleaning team if you have commercial cleaners. Turn the mops upside down and make sure there is enough air for them to dry out properly.
  7. Fruit left out which is starting to ferment.

Once you have found the breeding site, it is just a matter of cleaning it thoroughly. Stagnant / still water, warmth and organic matter are all these insects need to breed.

Remove the environment and you will remove the problem.

rat control London

Signs of Mice in Your Home

Do you have mice in your home? Look out for these signs of mice and be in control of your home.

Mice tend to come out when it is quiet resulting in them being more active at night. They live for around 12 months, are pregnant for only 3 weeks and a single pair can be responsible for producing hundreds of mice within one year. As they produce around eighty droppings in a day and urinate wherever they run they can soon contaminate a large area. Like rats, they have teeth that continually grow and need to gnaw to wear these down in size resulting in a lot of damage.

1. Droppings
You are likely to see dark brown droppings, approximately the size of a grain of rice. A mouse can leave up to 80 droppings a day so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of droppings. Places to check are under kitchen kick plates, in the cupboards under the sink, and in corners.

2. Smear marks
These marks are harder to identify if you are not sure what you are looking for. Smear marks are a build-up of grease, hair and body fat which a mouse will leave as they travel around. They look like dirty smears and are normally signs of a heavy or prolonged infestation.

3. Damage
Rodents have to continually chew to keep the size of their incisors down to a manageable size. This means they will chew through packaging, wood, plaster, and cables. This chewing can be a serious risk as chewing cables has resulted in fires.

4. Noise
You may hear rustling noises in the walls, under the floors or in the ceilings. Once in a property mice will travel around the building looking for food and nesting materials. They quite often use the pipework for water and gas as a run. This enables them to travel under flooring and above in ceiling voids.

5. Nests
Mice use easy-to-shred materials such as cardboard, paper and tissue to make their nests. The nests will be un-disturbed areas so if you are having a spring clear-out and come across a pile of shredded paper it could be mice.

If you think you have these signs of mice in your home then call a professional pest control company. Although you can do it yourself, a professional pest control company will help you identify the entry points to prevent re-occurrences in the future.

rats in library

Preventing mice by proofing

The best way of preventing mice is to stop them from entering the building in the first place. Mice can get through extraordinarily small holes, some not much bigger than the width of a pen. Mouse proofing is a quick and effective way to stop mice entering the building.

So how can you stop them from coming in?

The trick is to understand how mice move around a building and what is likely to attract them. Preventing mice will help reduce the risk of damage to your building.

The first thing to do is to check the outside of the building. Air vents and holes in brickwork can all be access points.  Mice can climb rough brickwork so even if the hole is above ground level there is a risk that it could be used. Block broken vents with vent covers or mesh. If using mesh make sure it is small gauge mesh.

If you are in a block or a terrace of buildings it may be that the mice are entering your building via another building in the same block.

Mice are likely to be drawn to areas where food is available. To proof these areas will mean removing kickboards and potentially appliances. Mice usually travel via the holes made for the pipework. Pipework will normally travel through the entire building and sometimes connects to other buildings. In these cases block proofing will become necessary.

If you have large holes you will probably need a builder to work in conjunction with a pest control company for the pest result. Smaller holes can be filled by your pest control company. It is better to use a specialist as they will have access to specialist materials. Mice can easily chew through expanding foam so this on its own is not usually good enough.

Mouse proofing is not as expensive as you may think and will go a long way to keep pests out. If you don’t proof then you are likely to have reoccurring problems.

For free advice on proofing contact the proofing team on 02083553443.

Pigeon Control London

Pigeon problems ? We can help humanely

Pigeon problems can be very challenging to resolve. Pigeons and Gulls in particular can easily displace to other areas of a building. As well as this, the latest Wild Birds and Netting Guidance issued by RSPCA puts the responsibility on all building managers or owners of properties with netting to set up a system to regularly check for trapped birds. Legal action using The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be used if birds are getting entangled in broken or poorly-installed netting. Humane pigeon control can be carried out using our specialist systems and expertise.

It is vital to take into account bird behaviour as well as the building type, so the specialist contractor should spend time identifying the species and very importantly, looking at
how the birds are using the areas in the vicinity. Individual areas are then classified into types of ‘pressure’ depending on the behaviour of the birds. Interestingly a building may have several individual areas with different pressures.

High and Medium Pressure Locations

High-pressure locations are night roosting and nesting areas. These areas are very important to birds and are likely to be in sheltered areas. Birds will be persistent in trying to return to these places so extensive proofing will be required. Alternative locations will suffer significantly from displacement.

Medium pressure locations are feeding and loafing areas. Loafing areas are where birds rest or sunbathe during the day and are normally south-facing sunny ledges and roofs. Nearby areas are likely to suffer from displacement and well-designed proofing will be needed to ensure that the birds cannot access these areas again. Light pressure locations are ‘look out’ places and some loafing areas; simple proofing will suffice here and displacement is unlikely to be a significant problem.


Once the building has been classified by pressure type, we then look at the various bird control options. Due to the variety of options, it is very important to match the proposed solution to the type of building, bird species and type of pressure. Buildings very often have a combination of products installed. We classify products into those that physically prevent the birds from landing on the building such as netting, spikes and bird wire, and those that alter birds’ behaviour:

Avishock is an electric track, that is low profile and emits a low electric shock when a bird tries to land on the track. No harm is caused to the bird however they associate
the ledge with danger and will displace elsewhere.
Bio-acoustics; these can be handheld, vehicle-mounted or permanently mounted depending on the area. Bio-acoustic systems emit distress calls specific to the target species, which means they associate the area with danger.
• Lasers can also be handheld or mounted. Birds recognise the constantly moving bright laser beam as a physical threat.
• Eagle-eye is a fairly new product that is eco-friendly. Birds are irritated by the reflected light beams which flash at different angles from the unit, which rotates.
Falconry relies on a bird of prey, usually a Harris Hawk, which is flown on a regular basis to establish a territory that the birds will then avoid.

All of these products are good solutions but only if deployed in the right situation taking into account the building, the bird species and their behaviour. Get it wrong and it can be very costly. Humane pigeon control is available, contact us to discuss your site further.

Bird Free Gel

Bird Free Gel – It’s magic !

We first discovered Bird Free gel in 2012, it was a product new to the market in 2011. We were sceptical at first and it took a lot of persuading and evidence before we really bought into the benefits of the gel.

But once we got it, we really got it.

2016 was our busiest year so far, and we laid 7050 pots of Bird Free gel. Quite often we will combine Bird Free gel with other bird control methods to give the best possible solution to our customers. It’s very important to lay the gel according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pots which are laid in incorrect formations or too far apart from each other will not have the desired effect.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bird Free gel, it’s an optical gel using UV in a way which creates an optical illusion which looks like fire to bird species. As well as creating the optical illusion of fire. Birds are also repelled by the smell and the stickiness of the product. Dominant birds will continue to try and land on the building for a few days. However even the dominant birds will move on once they smell and touch the gel.

Through our work, we discovered the gel is particularly effective on feral pigeons and gulls. Interestingly it didn’t affect the Harris Hawk which carried out some falconry work recently. No harm is caused to the birds and the gel pots are visually more aesthetically pleasing than spiking or bird wire.

Contact us to find out more about how this product can help you.

FM pest control

Heard of cable bugs ? Help my office has fleas ! or does it ?

We get calls on a regular basis for offices where people are being bitten by insects. Or are they? Quite often the problem is not fleas or other biting insects but ‘cable bugs’. Although cable bugs are very common they are not widely known which is why most people automatically think of fleas.

What are cable bugs?

The name is a bit of a misnomer as there are no ‘bugs’ involved. Basically, static electricity causes the sensation of bites and can also cause red marks which can be mistaken for bites.

When called out for fleas or reports of biting insects in an office the most important thing to do is to rule out fleas or other biting insects. Identification is key to a speedy resolution. Repeated insecticide treatments will not solve a static electricity problem long-term and may cause skin irritation.

In pest control, we do not spray as a ‘precaution’ anymore. Now we need to have evidence that there are fleas present in the office.
If the investigation finds no evidence of fleas then it is more than likely to be a problem with static electricity.

What can I do if my office has cable bugs?

Firstly reassure your staff that they are not imagining things because they aren’t. Tell them that the ‘bites’ are being caused by static electricity. Women can be more affected because of the nylon in tights and also if they wear sandals.

The carpets can be treated with an anti-static spray and this may need to be done on a semi-regular basis to keep the static levels low.

Purchase anti-static mats to sit under the desk chairs.

Low humidity in an office can cause static so try to increase the humidity in your office by using humidifiers. Some plants like a weeping fig or the peace lily can also increase humidity in an office.

For further advice call 0208 355 3443.

masonry bee

Bees or wasps ?

At this time of the year we regularly get calls into the office asking for treatments for bees nests, wasps nest and hornets. It’s important to know if its bees or wasps we are dealing with.

Calls for bees nests at this time of the year normally turn out to be honey bee swarms. These swarms are commonly confused with a bees nest because they contain a large number of bees sitting in one spot for a few hours to a few days.

Bee keepers

We want to protect important pollinators like honey bees as much as possible and we can normally arrange for a bee keeper to come and collect the swarm. Honey bee swarms are not usually aggressive and will normally fly off after a couple of days.

For more information about honey bee swarms visit the The British Bee Keepers Association’s website which has lots of useful information including a list of bee keepers who are willing to collect swarms.

Queen wasps are commonly seen at this time of year looking for nesting sites. Queen wasps are larger than normal wasps and are sometimes confused with hornets because of their size. Wasps nests become a problem in the late summer/ autumn months and it is very unlikely that you will find a wasps nest this early in the season. If you are seeing a number of large wasps in April/May then it is almost certainly Queen wasps.

Another common sight at this time of year are solitary bees, typically Masonary bees or Miner bees although there are many different varieties. These bees are non aggressive and will only sting if you pick them up or stand on them. Miner bees are likely to be on the ground so watch out for these. They will disappear in a few weeks. Tell tale signs of these bees are single holes in the ground or soft brickwork.

If you see bees please try to leave them alone, they are very important to the environment. If you are not sure which species you have or are worried please call 020 8355 3443. One of our trained staff will be able to help you.


Bed bug treatment – what you need to know

I once read a newspaper article showing people are still being misinformed about how to eradicate bed bug infestations, which got me thinking about this morning’s topic – what do people need to know about a good bed bug treatment? For the purposes of this article, I am talking about insecticide treatments.

What should you know about an effective insecticide bed bug treatment?

Bed bugs generally hide in cracks and crevices and come out (normally at night) to feed on the host (us or sometimes pets). They are attracted by carbon dioxide and warmth. When we treat a room with insecticide we know that the insecticide will not reach all of the bed bugs and that is why it is important that a person sleeps in the room. Their body warmth and breathing draw the bed bugs out where they then come into contact with the insecticide.

So short-term pain for long-term gain.

It is important to remember that bed bugs are not known to cause disease although sleeping knowing there is an infestation is unpleasant.
The alternative is a heat treatment which should kill the bed bugs immediately. They can try and escape sometimes and it isn’t affordable for everyone.

You also need to know that if you treat for bed bugs and leave the property empty for a few months as in this case, it is very unlikely to work. The bed bugs will sit in their cracks and crevices for up to a year. As soon as the family move back in they will come out to feed attracted by the CO2 in their breath and body heat.
By then the residual effect of any previous insecticide would no longer be active.

And they are back to square 1.

It is not necessary to throw away furniture normally. Although bed bugs will normally live in and around the bed area, in bad infestations they will be found behind pictures, trunking, and wallpaper. I have seen them behind wall cladding which all had to be taken down. The video shows bed bugs hidden behind a coat rack.

This particular hotel could have thrown away all of the furniture in the room and replaced it with new and it would not have made a difference.

Things to remember for a bed bug treatment using insecticide:

• You have to sleep in the room for the insecticide to be truly effective.
• It will require a minimum of two treatments approx. 3-4 weeks apart. This is so any newly hatched nymphs come into contact with the insecticide.
• You MUST do the room prep before treatment.
• Do not hoover the room for 7-10 days after each treatment.
• Washing clothing and linen at 60c will kill bed bugs.

If you don’t want to do the above then you should consider paying the additional cost for heat treatments.

Working together with your pest controller will help clear the infestation in the quickest possible time. Contact us for more information.

bedbug control London

Understanding Bedbugs!

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects which feed solely on blood.

Although bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) prefer feeding on humans, they will also bite other warm-blooded animals.

Bed bugs are found all over the world and in the last few decades have become a major problem in the UK private rental and hospitality sectors.

These insects are extremely adaptable and their resilience means they are responsible for causing many sleepless nights for guests, tenants and homeowners.

Signs include irritating bites, stains on sheets, and egg cases. Although not known to carry disease, the irritation and distress they cause is enough to make them a significant problem.

They are active nocturnally and live in small cracks and crevices. At night they find us via the carbon dioxide we emit when sleeping.

A female bed bug will produce between 1- 7 eggs per day for about 10 days after a single blood meal. She will then have to feed again to produce more eggs. It generally takes a month or two for the life cycle to complete from egg to full-grown bed bug. Eggs can be laid singly or in groups and a wandering female can lay an egg anywhere in a room.

Once the bed bug has had a blood feed it will return to a crack and crevice to find harbourage.

As they have expanded from the feed they sometimes cannot fit back into the crevice they had been in.  To fit into the gap they will expel a black liquid. This is haemoglobin and waste blood from the feed, the iron in the blood creates the black spotting effect.

This spotting can sometimes be the first indicator of bed bug activity.

Where to look for bed bugs?

Places to look if you think you might have bed bugs.

  • Bed frame
  • Seams of the mattresses
  • Curtains
  • Under the carpets
  • Behind switches
  • Along skirting boards

If you do find evidence then call a pest control company that will be able to treat the infestation quickly for you. 020 8355 3443

bed bug locations in bedroom

Are you a Managing Agent or Housing Association with a block problem?

We can help you if you have a block problem whether it is Mice, Rats, Pharaoh Ants or Cockroaches. Our experienced teams can offer block treatments to deal with your pest problems.

Recent successful jobs include a 160 flat block treatment for cockroaches and a mouse block treatment for two blocks of 70 flats each in Lambeth, London. We also help managing agents with pharaoh ant treatments.

But why are so many block treatments unsuccessful and expensive? And how do our teams manage to be successful where other pest control companies aren’t?

The answer lies in access.

We plan our work so that we access as many flats as possible in one go. This means a team of highly skilled technicians working together to organise access into the properties. We aim for a 90% access rate.

This is then repeated two or three times over the next 30 – 60 days depending on the level of infestation within the block. This process has been very successful for us regardless of the type of pest.

Common pests requiring block treatments

Mice tend to be the most common pests in blocks. Once in a block they can easily move around from flat to flat using the pipes and electrical conduits as highways. They can easily enter from outside through uncovered vents and bin rooms.

Rats are usually attracted to overflowing refuse and can be a sign of a drain problem. Drain surveys are often required to find the source of the infestation along with an upgraded refuse service.

Pharaoh ants – these hardy pests are common in warm blocks with central heating. Quite often tenants will make the infestation worse by trying to self-treat. Self-treating with DIY ant insecticides cause the nest to ‘bud’ as they have multiple Queens. The workers send messages back to the Queens who then create satellite nests.

Cockroaches – generally blocks suffer with problems related to German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica). These are normally found hidden in fridge motor housing, sinks, and refuse areas.

Stop wasting money on unsuccessful block treatments – talk to the experts

If you have a block problem contact Beaver on 020 8355 3443 or e-mail office@beaverpest.co.uk and one of our helpful friendly team will arrange for a free site survey with a specialist surveyor.

clothes moth removal

Clothes Moths – Spotted damage to your carpets, furniture or clothing ?

You could have textile pests, Clothes Moths or Carpet Beetle. The most common textile pests are either the Common Clothes Moth (Tineola bisselliella) or Varied Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus verbasci.)

Common Clothes Moth

Common Cothes Moths are a silvery/golden looking moth about 5-6 mm long. Female Clothes Moths tend not to fly and are normally be found in dark corners looking for sites to lay eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae which is the life cycle stage which causes damage to your carpets, furniture or clothing. The larvae grow to about 8mm long and will happily eat anything that contains natural fibres. The larval stage can take a couple of months to a few months depending on the amount of natural fibre available and how warm the temperature is.
If you see a clothes moth on the wall it is likely to be a male as the females normally run or hop along the floors. It also means that you could already have a larval infestation taking place so check carpets, furniture or clothing for signs of damage. Typical damage will show as holes in clothing or carpets looking threadbare in areas.

Varied Carpet Beetle

As with the Common Clothes Moth it is the larvae of the Varied Carpet Beetle which cause the most damage. Adults are generally seen in April, May & June looking for nesting sites. In October the larvae is normally at its most destructive phase so this is the time to look out for holes in carpets, furniture and clothing.
Carpet Beetle larvae love natural fibres so any carpets, furniture or clothing with a high wool content will be at risk. They will also eat fur, hair and feathers.
The larvae is small, about 4mm, covered with brown hairs and will roll up when disturbed. They do not bite but the hairs can cause a rash in some people.
Hoover thoroughly all furniture, carpets, cupboards which contain natural fibres especially in corners and behind furniture.

If you have noticed clothes moths damage, our expert team can deal with textile pests professionally. Call Beaver Pest Control 0208 355 3443.

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