Pests of the Season -
Rat problems in Britain are almost always due to the brown or common rat, Rattus norvegicus; the black rat, Rattus rattus, being virtually extinct now. Traditionally associated with farms, sewers and refuse tips, the brown rat population has increased markedly
in recent years and is now a frequent pest of domestic dwellings and business premises, especially those containing food or feedstuffs.
As well as fouling with their urine and droppings, and causing damage to foodstuffs in the house, there is a danger of rats damaging wires or pipes in the loft or walls, which could lead to fires or floods.
In businesses involved in food manufacture, storage or sale, damage to stock from rats can cost thousands of pounds. The greatest danger to people is the potential infection with Weils Disease (Leptospirosis), which is carried by rats and excreted in their urine. Although such infection is not common, the disease can be fatal.
Rat control is very much a job for the professional pest controller and involves
a comprehensive baiting programme using poisoned bait. The nature of the bait and
its active ingredient being tailored to the specific infestation. In domestic premises,
this will normally involve an initial thorough inspection and baiting, and follow-
Mouse infestations are usually due to the house mouse, Mus domesticus, although occasionally
due to the wood or field mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, or the yellow-
by finding the (rice grain-
Although the occasional mouse can be caught in a trap, effective eradication requires a comprehensive baiting with suitable poisoned bait.
Treatment by a properly qualified pest controller will ensure this work is done safely and effectively, and that any repairs needed to prevent further entry can be recommended to the clients and carried out for them if required.
Slightly larger than houseflies, clusterflies will invade buildings in large numbers in the autumn to hibernate in dark areas such as lofts,
gaining entry through gaps between the tiles. From here some may find their way
into bedrooms attracted through the ceiling around ceiling lights. Usually treatment
involves a combination of surface and space insecticide spray of the loft plus space
treatment of rooms as necessary. Proofing the building to prevent re-