Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Invasion of the Stinging Kind!

Whether it is cyclic or due to global warming, the winter just gone has been pretty half pie. Fantastic for an early flush in the flower garden, but not so good for us when it comes to those stinging, harassing, pesky wasps!

Let me tell you why...

The life cycle of the wasp involves the need for the next generations’ queens to hibernate during the winter months. With our short winter being borderline to a sham, our hibernating queens have made it through easy enough and are now starting to emerge with intent to start a family. The problem is that they are almost 2 months too early! With the surviving nests already at early summer numbers, this only means one thing; it’s going to be a big summer for wasps.

Food attractions

Wasps do a great job of keeping the insect population down but everything is fair game to them, including the monarch caterpillars on your swan plants. To protect your monarch caterpillars, once you feel there are enough caterpillars on the plant you can cover the plant with an old net curtain, tying it off at the bottom so no wasps can get in. Take off the cover when they are in their chrysalis.

Wasps are on the hunt for the bugs and grubs in your garden, meat in your sandwich or fish bait 1km offshore, yes they harass us fishermen too. They are also after honeydew and will travel over 1km from their nest when searching for food. This also makes it hard when we get called out to a property where there is no nest located.


So what can be done to reduce the numbers of wasps in the situation there is no nest in sight?

Wasps are attracted to the honeydew found on our giant aphids. These aphids live on those high sap producing trees, such as the willow tree. As you look into a willow you will see wasps bouncing around the leaves and then flying off in different directions. The solution to this is to eliminate the wasp’s food source, the aphids. Contact your local garden store for safe and effective ways to put an end to the aphids.

When to treat a nest yourself

Now for the inevitable, wasp nests and what to do about them! If the nest is visible, by being under the eaves or on the fence etc, then it is more than likely to be an Asian paper wasp nest. These are usually handled quite easily and can be shoved off and squashed due to their small size. We don’t 
recommend do it yourself remedies, especially in the situation where you are unsure of the nest size.
Nests under the ground or in the roof cavity can be hard to decipher the size. This is when it can get dangerous. Our technicians are fully trained and equipped to deal with worst case scenarios. Nothing is too big or too small for us!

Small paper wasp nest.
Large nest found in ceiling cavity, about the size of a beach ball!!

As a foot note, I would like to remind you that wasps are a dangerous pest when they feel threatened and they will defend the hive aggressively. Attempting to eliminate a wasp nest without gauging its size correctly or not using the proper protection or products could result in serious injury.

If you have any questions about wasps, you can call our team at Bug King on 0800 54 64 54 to discuss it further.

Have a happy and safe summer from your local pesties.

Jonathan – Bug King Pest Control.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Is the cat in the roof? Is it a ghost? The wind? Nope, it’s just those pesky rodents having a party in my roof again!

Not only are you feeling the cold, but so are a lot of the winter pests. Rodents look for warm shelter during this time of year, unfortunately this can mean inside your roof cavity, walls, sub-floor and even throughout the internal of your home!

Mice are a lot smaller then rats, this means it doesn’t take a big gap for them to get into your home. Both mice and rats can use tree branches and power lines to gain access into your home. They are also quite the athlete and can jump over 1 metre.

Fast Facts!
·         Mice and rat tails can grow as long as their body!
·         They can carry diseases, such as Salmonella!
·         Age expectancy is between 6 and 36 months. During their life span they can have up to 6 litters of 6-10 babies!
·         A mouse will eat 15-20 times a day, this means they won’t travel too far from nests.
·         You may even find them having a swim in your swimming pool, as they are excellent swimmers!

 A lot of our customers don’t realise they have cracks or holes around the house, until they notice rodent droppings or see a sneaky mouse running from the TV unit to under the couch! They aren’t the most ideal flat mate either, leaving droppings, urinating on insulation (which causes a horrible stench), gnawing through wiring and pipe work and keeping you awake at night running from one side of the roof cavity to the other at 2am in the morning!

Visit the rodent section on Bug Kings website for more information on where and why mice and rats are found in the home

Most of our customers call to inform us there is a noise in the roof and there is a family of rodents living in there. While most of the time this is the case, it can also be birds on the roof outside too! Birds will also make noises which will seem like its coming from inside the roof cavity. The way to decipher if it is birds or rodents is by the time of day the noises are occurring. If it is early morning as the sun is rising and during the day, there is a chance it could be birds. If it is late at night and early morning while it is still dark, the problem is definitely rodents.

Bug King also offers rodent control for commercial properties. See  for more information.

If you would like proofing advice or help to keep rodents out and away from the home, get in touch with Bug King to help give you some peace of mind. We are always happy to help.