Pest Control Hertfordshire

Taking the Sting out of Pest Control!

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Do it yourself pest control?

For many people the thought of calling out a professional to deal with a potential pest issue might convey spending money unnecessarily. So can you solve the problem without employing a professional?

For those of you who think a DIY approach might be a viable option each month we will be looking at a different target species and comparing notes – DIY v’s professional?

This month we are looking at bed bugs

To most of us it’s just a few bugs – right? A quick look on the internet and most links would either suggest buying insecticide product XYZ or similar and having a good spray around the bed or maybe even just discarding the bed altogether? Job done!

If only it really was that simple. The first objective is to investigate how you managed to get bed bugs in the first place. This could be from purchase of second hand furniture or books, a recent stay in a hotel or guest house or even from having a relative or friend to stay? Tracking the route in is vital if the problem is to be avoided in the future.

The next issue is bed bugs can set up home almost anywhere in the infested room migrating back and forth to the host for a blood meal. They also lay plenty of eggs in the process. To make matters worse these highly mobile, flat insects like to hide in cracks and crevices making the process of trying to find them even more difficult.

But surely, if I use plenty of product XYZ that will sort it out anyway? In most cases I’m afraid not.With the health & safety brigade hot on the heels of anything amateur that could potentially cause harm all such products now have seriously watered down actives. Where a professional product might contain 10% of a suitable insecticide its amateur use equivalent might only contain a 0.2% concentration or less.

Now consider that even qualified technicians can still struggle to gain control of bed bugs under certain circumstances using professional products so what chance would the amateur have? That’s even assuming the DIY home owner adopts a good ‘search and treat’ technique!

Even the manufacturers of many non-professional brands have jumped on the band waggon by emphasising their product as being ‘target specific’ when in the past the same item might simply have been called ‘Crawling insect’ spray. The list of target insects, active and application etc. on the label still remains the same with the exception of whatever species has been chosen to appear in bold on the front of the can.

We are also influenced by the big brand names with most of them having prices to match but in effect all you really get for the extra cost is usually nothing more than a name. R***ok*l probably market some very good products but if you search carefully on the DIY supermarket shelves you stand a good chance of finding exactly the same active ingredients by a different manufacturer at a fraction of the cost.

I have come across so many cases where members of the public have spent a small fortune on the DIY process and failed. It is only afterwards they discover that for a fraction more I can conduct a professional treatment with a full guarantee.  Sometimes it seems a ‘no brainer’!

DIY or professional treatment? – You decide?  Next month we look at cockroaches.

Keep rats and mice at bay!

Rats and mice do not cohabit for one very simple reason – rats eat mice!
We will therefore look at each species separately for the most obvious things to avoid.


  • Did you know…Over 70% of indoor rat infestations involve a family pet? Usually cats and dogs! Cat & dog food has an irresistible smell to rodents and especially rats which can pick up on its aroma at more than 20 metres! So to be on the safe side always store dry pet food in airtight containers (stores in smells and keeps food fresh) and never leave uneaten food out in bowls for pets to pick at.
  • Avoid excessive bird feeding and always clear away any remaining, uneaten food before nightfall.
  • Ensure all food waste is stored away securely. Always store rubbish in a secure lidded bins rather than exposed bin bags lying in the open.
  • Keep gardens clean and tidy and avoid accumulations of weeds, overgrown shrubs and piles of wood, clutter and suitable water catchments.
  • Compost heaps are a huge draw for rats so ensure they are mounted on a concrete base and reinforced with wire to the lower third.
  • Decking can provide a suitable harbourage for rats and especially if factors similar to those above are close by. Check decking regularly for signs of gaps and holes approximately 50 – 90 mm across which appear to be well used.
  • Don’t abuse the drains! With 98% of all rat infestations originating from the drainage system we need to be mindful of what we pour down the sink or put through the toilets. No fat, oils, sanitary towels, condoms, so called “flushable wipes”, disposable nappies, cotton buds etc. Human waste and toilet paper only through toilets – please! No food through the sink.


  • Mice hate cold damp environments which is why they invade buildings and homes even more during the colder months.
  • Contrary to popular belief mice can only get through a 5 mm gap NOT a 5 mm hole.
  • Check external door thresholds and close these off if a gap of more than 5 mm exists.
  • Check the outside of the building and close off all suitable rodent entry points.
  • Do not use expanding foam as a means to close off rodent holes. It’s like using a chocolate fireguard!
  • Don’t make life easy for them! Mice only require up to 4 grains of rice per day to survive so clear all food spillages in the home and store ALL boxed or bagged food stuffs in airtight containers in upper cupboards. Remember! If rodents can’t smell it . . . they won’t challenge the building to get to it!
  • Ensure ALL food waste is secured in lidded bins either inside or outside the building.
  • Pet food is a HUGE draw to rodents. Don’t be tempted to leave uneaten cat and dog food in bowls around the house.
  • Mice view anything larger than them as a predator so forget the adage that if you have cats you won’t get mice! I have seen mice pinch food from a cat bowl while the feline sleeps not more than five feet away!
  • Close off all viable rodent entry points in floors and walls to ALL rooms.

We specialise in rodent proofing repairs to make mouse and rat problems a thing of the past – permanently! Call David today on 0800 118 21 01