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bed bugs of fleas on the sheets

Know Your Pest: Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

Bed bugs and fleas look very similar, so it’s easy to get them confused. Knowing whether you have bed bugs or fleas will help you to identify the infestation and get it treated more quickly. Although controlling fleas is a bit easier than bed bugs.

Whether you have bed bugs or fleas, both pest problems can be dealt with more effectively if you hire a professional pest controller.

Here are the differences between the two so you can differentiate which type you have.

Bed Bugs or Fleas – Identifying Them By How They Look

The first difference you will notice whether you have bed bugs or fleas is that they don’t look the same. Bed bugs are oval, flat and have a reddish-brown colour to their skin. They’re around 5mm long and will seem bigger and bit darker if they’ve recently fed.

Dog considering fleas

Fleas on the other hand are much smaller, measuring in at 2-3 mm long. They also have dark bodies though. You can usually tell if you have bed bugs or fleas by looking at the legs. Fleas have much longer legs that they use to jump long distances.

Spotting Fleas and Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are generally harder to notice than a flea because they don’t make their presence known until you are asleep. The most telling sign of bed bugs will be dark, blood coloured spots on your bedding. Fleas will be found in your pets fur, which can be checked using a flea comb. Or hopping around In your carpeting.

Where Will You Find Them?

The other difference we are going to look at is the living habits to tell whether you have bed bugs or fleas. A bed bug will live where you like to sleep or nap. The clue is really in the name. They choose to live here because we release carbon dioxide as we sleep, which is what attracts bed bugs in the first place. The most common spots you will find them around your home is around the bed, under your mattress, in furniture or even in the electrical outlets in your bedroom.

Cat Lying on Carpet

Unlike a bed bug – which only feed on humans – a flea will almost exclusively live on furry animals like your pets. Their habitat is usually within hair or carpets and rugs. But remember, although they live in your animals fur, they will lay their eggs literally everywhere. This can be up to 50 eggs a day, which is the last thing you want in your bed or sofa.

The first step in treating any pest infestation is calling professional pest controllers. Bed bug or flea infestations can both be hard to treat if they have reached high numbers. In this case you should call on Diamond Pest Control for help.

rats need winter pest control

Winter Pest Control Should Be Tackled Early

The temperature in and around London continues to drop as winter sets in. You may already have many methods in place to keep the cold out, and keep your home nice and snuggly warm. But you may not yet have considered winter pest control.

Before the really chilly weather starts, you should be protecting your home against more than just the below freezing temperatures.

Winter pest control is a necessity. There are many creatures out there that are starting to find warm and secure places where they can hide out from the icy conditions. Although they were more active outdoors in the summertime, these animals are now planning their winter retreat.

What Are the Most Common Winter Pests In London

While you are unlikely to have a problem with certain insects that die out at this time of year, it’s the rodents you really need to be aware of.

london in winter

The most common winter pests you potentially have to deal with in the UK therefore, are:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels

Winter Pest Control – How To Keep Them Out

To help protect your home, we have outlined some winter pest control tips and suggestions for the three different kinds of rodents noted above.

Squirrels

They may be one of the darlings of the rodent world, and they are amazing to watch when you visit a nature reserve, see them in the wild or at a local park. However, squirrels can cause real problems if they nest in your home. Squirrels have a constant need and desire, for instance, to gnaw at everything and anything, which can lead to property damage and can even cause power shortages and fires if they attack your electrical cables and wiring.

Squirrels have a constant need and desire, for instance, to gnaw at everything and anything, which can lead to property damage and can even cause power shortages and fires if they attack your electrical cables and wiring.

squirrel in a tree

As squirrels often look to enter homes via the chimney or roof and attic space, you can make sure any unused chimney pots are covered with a cap to prevent access. Also, ensure there are no overhanging branches or sections of trees against your roof. Finally, fix and seal any entry points going into and out of your home.

Mice and Rats

Mice and rats just want somewhere warm where they can find food and water. If it wasn’t for the various diseases and bacteria they carry, and damage to our property they cause, we might even welcome mice in.

The best pest proofing method for dealing with rats and mice, is to make it as hard as you can for them to enter your home. Fix, seal or repair any cracks or holes where they could access your home, just as you would for tackling squirrels.

Additionally, you might want to make it as uninviting an environment as possible. You can do this by running a very hygienic household. Clean up after you’ve made food and had a meal. Keep opened ingredients in sealed containers. And make sure your bins have lids that tightly shut.

Mice and rats need food and water to survive, and will be less interested in your property if they can’t readily get any of those things.

pesticides and brexit

What Could Happen With Pesticides and Brexit?

It’s very easy to think of pest control when it comes to pesticides and Brexit as something that will only affect farmers.

But when it comes to pesticides and Brexit, it could get more complicated.

The way we choose to start governing our pesticides after we leave the EU, could have profound impacts on UK pest control. This could affect UK citizens as well as the environment around us.

Pesticides and Brexit – The Regulations

The EU regulations on pesticides and pest control are some of the strongest in the entire world. They protect our health and our environment too. With Brexit looming over our heads, the UK has a the possibility of a making this situation into a great shift towards change. Green lobbyists are suggesting that the government could use Brexit as an opportunity instead to create an even more rigorous regulatory system for pesticides.

pesticides sprayed on field

There are two ways (at least) it could go. On one hand, we could choose to take the road of echoing what the EU standards are currently. Or, as environmental groups are urging, we could surpass the existing guidelines to make even stricter rules. When it comes to pesticides and Brexit, we could be using this opportunity to reform our pest control laws in this country. Being able to change the rules surrounding pesticides allows for healthier and safer pest control measures to be used.

On the other side of this issue with pesticides and Brexit, the government could start introducing chemicals into the environment that work out more harmful to us and the ecosystem. There could be a risk if the UK enters trade deal negotiations with the USA. This could mean the UK being pressured to bring its pesticide standards to align more with those typical to the USA.

Possibilities And Proposals

Brexit is likely to cause the biggest shake-up of the British legislation in our lifetime. It is deemed to present both potential dangers and opportunities for the UK.

pest control technician

When it comes to pest control, environmental academics are advising that the UK have a new body within the government that will support and help Integrated pest management techniques make it into the pest control market. Funding research and development to come up with new and innovative ways of controlling pests is also being suggested as a way to support that initiative.

Whatever the outcome of Brexit, the team at Diamond Pest Control will continue to keep abreast with up-to-date methods and techniques. We will continue to bring you the safest yet most effective pesticides where they are needed. Our commitment is not only to beating London pests, but also to keep our customers and the environment as protected as possible.

cockroach allergy image

What Causes Cockroach Allergy?

Almost nobody we speak to can stand the idea of being infested with cockroach. Not only are they unsightly, unhygienic and just all round icky, they can also cause a cockroach allergy in some people. Family members who are particularly prone to allergies or who have asthma can be triggered by the presence of cockroaches.

What is a Cockroach Allergy?

Simply coming into contact with saliva, faeces or shed skin of a cockroach can all trigger a cockroach allergy. These body parts contain a protein that is an allergen for many people. The waste a cockroach produces – and even dead insects – can set off a cockroach allergy that can prove very dangerous to the sufferer. With the diseases they spread, and the allergic reactions they case, there isn’t any safe way to have cockroaches in your home.

The Symptoms of Cockroach Allergy

Unfortunately, if you don’t know the signs and symptoms of a cockroach allergy, you may be blind to the fact that the problem exists. It can cause severe attacks, yet often goes undiagnosed.

boy sneezing

Symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Coughing
  • A stuffy and runny nose

If you or someone who lives in your home has asthma, cockroaches can cause an even more serious problem. The symptoms in this case are:

  • Wheezing during breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness or experiencing pain in the chest
  • Not sleeping because of wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath

Roach Rash

The most common cockroach allergy, however, is something that is referred to as roach rash. This rash is an inflammation of the skin that itches and also stops your skin from healing as well. It can become a chronic problem if the source – the presence of cockroaches – is not eliminated.

woman scratching roach allergy

Similar to dust mites, cockroaches produce antigens that instigate these allergic reactions. The way these antigens work is that they disturb your skin’s natural barrier. Normally, this barrier protects the skin from irritants and other environmental factors. Within 3 hours of coming into contact with cockroach allergens, the skin’s inflammatory response results in a distressing rash.

Roach rashes are much more common in children, so having these pests in your home can have serious health consequences for them. The rash can be very persistent and incredibly itchy, causing a lot of discomfort.

Stopping Cockroach Allergies

The only way you are going to stop the allergic reactions to a cockroach is to call a trusted pest control professional to your home. Finding a pest controller like Diamond who is trained in the extermination of cockroaches can prevent your family from experiencing pest allergies.

If you know you have cockroaches in your home, it’s important to act quickly. We will find the source of the problem and remove the cockroach infestation thoroughly. You can give our team a call and ask for advice. You should also remember to consult a doctor or other medical professional if someone in your home has an allergy.

repelling rats from garden sheds

Repelling Rats From Garden Sheds

Our sheds make the ideal storage space for all our home and garden maintenance tools. We also use them as a place to keep unwanted items or things we don’t use that often too. But, there’s something else a shed is very useful for. It makes a wonderful shelter for rats. In this post, we are going to give you some top tips on repelling rats from garden sheds.

Repelling Rats From Garden Sheds – Making The Shed Unappealing

The first tip in our guide on repelling rats from garden sheds, is to make your shed almost impossible to get into. Seal up any gaps and cracks larger than a penny. You should also check for other entry points around the doors and windows. Rats want to be able to find food and water sources with ease. If you have either of these available in your shed, eliminate them immediately.

Remove The Clutter

Rodents will love to use all of that stuff you have stored in the shed as nesting materials, making quite a cosy home for themselves. So the next step in repelling rats from garden sheds is to have a good declutter.

rat in a london garden shed

Not having anywhere to hide in your shed means that the rat may find the garden inhospitable enough to move elsewhere. This is true even if there is a lot of food available for them.

Set Some Traps

Live, snap and electrocution traps will all help in repelling rats from garden sheds. There are both humane and lethal types of traps that are very effective at keeping all types of rodents away. All you need to do is make sure the shed is as inhospitable as possible.

Protect Your Bins

An open bin means an easy food source for a rat. If your bins are stored anywhere near the shed, then you are providing food and shelter.

sealed bin deters rats

Both of these will entice the rats to stay. Keeping bins properly shut stops that available food source and discourages any more rats from infesting your shed.

Get Professional Help

If your rat problem in the shed has become too much to handle, it may be time to call in the experts. A professional pest controller like Diamond can help to rid your shed of any rodent infestation you are currently experiencing. We will also assist in the prevention of future infestations, makes a wonderful shelter for rats. In this post, we are going to give you some top tips on repelling rats from garden sheds. and stopping rat problems from happening altogether.

do wasps hibernate in houses

Do Wasps Hibernate In Houses?

We’re currently having some of the warmer days of autumn. So, it’s no surprise that we, as pest controllers, get a lot of people asking do wasps hibernate in houses. This is because they sometimes see a large wasp flying around their home at this time of year.

Certain select wasps are starting to hibernate right now, getting ready to sleep the days away until spring.

It’s a little known fact that not all wasps hibernate. It’s actually only the queen that will look for somewhere to spend the winter. Any other wasps simply die off instead of trying to fight the cold.

Why Do Wasps Hibernate in Houses in Autumn?

So, do wasps hibernate in houses? Well, the queens will certainly try to. You don’t need to worry about any of the worker wasps being a pest. But, come spring, the queen will emerge. And once she emerges, she will begin to build a nest. Unbeknown to you, she will lay eggs in this nest, and that’s when you get the beginnings a wasp control problem on your hands. It’s especially important to be vigilant if you have had a problem with wasps in the past.

a garden shed

The ideal location for a hibernating queen will be your attic or shed. Both of these places are warm, sheltered and provide access to nesting materials and food when the queen wakes up.

Now that you know the answer to the question do wasps hibernate in houses, we are going to give you some tips on stopping them from spending the winter in your home.

Wasp Hibernation Prevention in Your Home

After a queen has found the perfect spot in your home to bed down for the cold season, it’s very unlikely you will be able to spot her again. So, in this instance, the prevention of the problem is absolutely more effective than dealing with a wasps nest in the spring.

wasp nest in london shed

Your first step is to stay alert. If you have experienced wasp problems in the past, it may very well be the case that the queen will return to somewhere she knows is safe. There may be easy access to your loft or shed that you don’t know about. Always keep up the maintenance around your home to stop a wasp in her tracks.

Do you need help with identifying a queen wasp? Or perhaps you have found a wasp nest. You can call Diamond at any time of the year and our friendly staff will be there to assist you in any way they can.

cleaning supplies

Cleaning After Bed Bug Fumigation

Dealing with bed bugs is never nice. So the last thing you want to do is have to deal with them a second time around.

Knowing what to do after bed bug treatment can help the extermination process be more effective long term.

In this post, we are going to cover the steps you should take with cleaning after bed bug fumigation is complete.

Wait Before Cleaning After Bed Bug Fumigation

Before you jump straight into cleaning after bed bug fumigation, it is important to know how long you should wait. Speak to your pest control technician for guidance on how long to delay before starting your clean up. In any case, more severe infestations can take several sessions to treat. 

It is recommended to avoid steaming or shampooing carpets and soft furnishings immediately after bed bug treatment. You can vacuum, however. Just make sure to keep emptying the hoover after use and discard the contents outside in a sealed, air tight bag.

cleaning after bed bug fumigation

The things you can and should focus on immediately cleaning after a bed bug fumigation treatment are any surfaces you use regularly. Especially those used for food preparation and consumption.  This could include your kitchen worktops, the dining table and the oven. Wipe everything down with warm water and soap.

Once It’s Time To Start On Cleaning

Start by wiping down and wiping over anything that can’t go in the wash. Some items can be rinsed with hot water if they can tolerate it. Focus in on heat, so that any remaining bugs are killed.

The next step when cleaning after bed bug fumigation, is that if it’s soft and you can pick it up, it needs to be put in the washing machine. Here’s how you can rid fabric items around your home of any remaining bed bugs.

washing machine kills bed bugs
  • Clothes, cushions, pillows, bed sheets – anything that is soft needs to be put into your washing machine on the highest temperature allowed.
  • Once everything has been washed, proceed to tumble drying it on a high heat setting. The minimum drying time should be set at two hours if the fabric can tolerate it. The heat permeates the material and kills any bed bugs that may still be lurking there.
  • Items that can’t be washed like delicate clothing, upholstery and draperies still have to be cleaned. To do this, employ the help of a steamer. This allows you to still use heat to kill and stray bed bugs.
  • When it is time to do so, you can steam clean your rugs and carpets as well.

As long as you follow these steps, your home should remain bed bug free. However, if you do see signs of the bed bug infestation persisting, make sure to get in touch with your pest exterminator without delay.

squirrel in the grass

How To Deter Squirrels: UK Tips

The sight of squirrels frolicking and playing in the local park is quite fun. But seeing them running around your garden and home is different. Grey squirrels are considered a pest – and with good reason. The only effective way to get rid of squirrels once they are a problem is by hiring a professional. However, you can take measures to deter them from your UK home before they become a problem.

If you are looking for tips on how to deter squirrels in the UK, you’ve come to right place.

How to Deter Squirrels from Your Loft

Squirrels can cause a lot of problems in your property if they are allowed entry into your loft. As well as causing structural damage, they can also cause problems with the electricity in your home by gnawing at wiring.

roof on a london terrace

To stop this from happening, some handy ways to deter them from entering your loft in the first place include:

  • Making it difficult for them to get onto your roof

You can do this by ensuring all shrubs and trees are placed at least 5 to 8-feet away from your home. Why that distance? That’s how far the crafty little rodents can jump. If they can’t easily get onto your roof, they can’t easily get into the loft.

  • Making it difficult for them to access your loft

Okay, the above suggestion is all well and good. But what if they can get onto your roof? You can still stop them in their tracks. Regularly check your home for holes and cracks and go about filling any you find.

How to Deter Squirrels From Your Garden

This is actually a lot harder than deterring them from your loft and roof. Grey squirrels are known for their persistence, stubbornness and perseverance.

squirrel in a tree

However, if you are wondering how to deter squirrels and are determined enough, try the following:

  • Remove all food sources

The chances are that squirrels are visiting your garden because they’ve discovered a food source. So, the simple answer would be to remove all food sources. However, we understand that taking away all insects, fungi, vegetables, fruit and nuts from the average domestic garden is not very practical. You could limit the food available, though. For instance, if you feed birds, use special feeders that have been squirrel proofed. You could also cover veg and fruit patches with wire mesh cages.

  • Plant the things squirrels don’t like

There are a plethora of classically beautiful plants that squirrels won’t touch. Some of these are snowdrops, allium, hyacinth and daffodils.

  • Sprinkle some chilli pepper

Along with the plants mentioned above, another thing squirrel don’t like is spicy hot flavours. So, try sprinkling chilli pepper around susceptible plants to ward squirrels off.

happy halloween

Halloween: Don’t Attract Pumpkin Pests

The clocks have gone back, and we are very much in the heart of autumn. The days are starting to draw in. Leaves are already changing colour and falling from the trees. Most exciting of all, though, is that Halloween is almost upon us.

If you have kids, you are likely to be carving your pumpkin to make a spooky Halloween lantern.

However, just as the children are looking forward to some free snacks, pumpkin pests are waiting in the wings for their own Halloween treat. From rats and mice, flies or even squirrels, there are lots of pests who will happily munch away on your pumpkin carcass. Whether you’ve Jack-o-Lanterned it up or not!

pumpkin pests in october

So, how can you enjoy your pumpkin in all its sweet richness while keeping pumpkin pests at bay? We’ve put together a guide of some handy tips to help.

Don’t Start Carving Until You’re Ready to Use It

It can be quite exciting, especially if you dress up to celebrate the festivities, to turn that large orange vegetable into a magical light as soon as possible. However, your best defence against pumpkin pests is holding off until you are ready to to use the lantern before opening up the pumpkin. As long as it’s not rotting and kept in the appropriate conditions, the fruit flies should remain at bay.

Be Thorough When Gutting It

When it does come time to gut it out, make sure you do as thorough job as you can. The more pulp you remove, the longer the pumpkin will last before mould and pumpkin pests set in.

Extra Protection Against Pumpkin Pests

Whether you intend on keeping your creations outside or elsewhere, there are further things you can do to the carcass to keep it pest-free.

vinegar to deter pumpkin pests

Some people have found using a combination of vinegar and lemon juice to be effective at warding off unwanted pumpkin devourers.

  • Sprinkle a little vinegar around the pumpkin and the smell will put off even the most stubborn of rodents and squirrels.
  • Coating the pumpkin exterior in lemon juice before you set your knife to it, will slow down the browning process which leads to mould, rot and insect pumpkin pests.

By following the above tips, this will help avoid the problems of unpleasant pumpkin pests trying to get their filthy paws and mouths on your delicious and fun autumnal treat. Happy Halloween!

how fast do cockroaches spread

How Fast Do Cockroaches Spread?

Whether you are suffering from a cockroach infestation, or are looking to avoid it happening to you, you may be wondering how fast do cockroaches spread?

There are many myths and legends surrounding cockroaches. Such as, they could survive a nuclear blast; they have no natural predators; and they only enter dirty homes.

While those claims are all false, one thing that is true about them, is that they can breed and spread like wildfire.

Is One Cockroach a Sign You’ve Got an Infestation?

If you spot a solitary cockroach scuttling across your floor, does that mean you have a full on invasion? Not exactly. While we’re not suggesting you just welcome your creepy house guest with open arms and introduce him to your neighbours, one cockroach isn’t necessarily a problem. Yet. It is still time to be proactive. Because, when cockroaches start to mate, then you and your household are really in trouble!

cockroaches in london home

So, just keep your house clean and there’s no need to worry about cockroaches, right? Wrong! If only it were the case that only dirty homes attracted cockroaches. Our job as pest control professionals would be a lot easier!

Just How Fast Do Cockroaches Spread?

So, to the question at hand. Exactly how fast do cockroaches spread? Well, if cockroaches get into your property, they can reproduce at staggering rates. Just two cockroaches can reproduce around 400,000 babies over the course of a year. That is, if they have the optimum conditions.

If that number is making you a little itchy under the skin, that’s only part of the problem. Consider the fact that roaches grow to their full adult size in just over a month. It’s easy to see how just one or two cockroaches can turn into a full-blown infestation in record time

Cockroaches are certainly more likely to take up residency in dirty houses. That much is true. However, cockroaches will make themselves at home anywhere there is food, a water source and shelter.

How They Gain Entry and Spread

Cockroaches can sneak in through the smallest opening. Any kind of hole or crack in your house presents an entry point for them. However, that’s just one way in.

cracks are easy access

Roaches-are crafty little insects. They have even been known to hitch a ride into people’s homes. Whether it’s hijacking a shopping bag, or if you inadvertently stand on roach eggs and they become imbedded in the sole of your shoes, there are plenty of ways the cheeky cockroach can get into your home.

If your home is completely clean and tidy, they are far less likely to be interested. However, if it’s clean and tidy, but there are standing water or food sources, they are not going to pass on any opportunity.

Try and avoid finding out the hard way how fast do cockroaches spread. At the first signs of trouble, when you spot that lone cockroach – that should be your wakeup call to action. Contact a professional like Diamond Pest Control before that one becomes a hundred or even thousands.

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