What are the Three Methods of Pest Control

What are the Three Methods of Pest Control?

Pest infestations can be embarrassing, inconvenient and devastating, particularly for any businesses in the food industry. 

Fortunately, rigorous legislation ensures that businesses install preventative measures and carry out regular pest control to avoid major problems. 

Pest control should be carried out by qualified professionals with extensive training and experience in dealing with pests of all types in both domestic and commercial premises. This article explores the role of pest control companies, their three methods of pest control, and how well they work.

Bird mess left after nesting

What does a pest control company do?

Pest controllers are trained to find and install innovative solutions to remove infestations or control them to keep the environment safe from contamination and the spread of disease. Codes of practices in the sector regulate the equipment and methods that can be lawfully used for pest control in the UK.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a practical and environmentally friendly approach to pest management. IPM programs use up-to-date detailed information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment.Local authorities can inspect premises to ensure they are pest-free and legally require a business to take immediate action under The Public Health Act 1961. It is, therefore, crucial to seek the help and support of a reputable pest control company if you suspect you have a pest problem.

A pest control company will clear all debris and deep clean the area

What kind of pests need to be controlled?

Pests generally fall into three main categories. The type of pest will determine the rules and regulations that govern how they can be controlled and influence the decisions made by pest controllers when establishing a plan.

  • Insects

Insect infestations are a common pest in both domestic and commercial premises. Their small stature often goes unnoticed until an infestation is significant and can be hard to remove.

Problematic insect pests include ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, wasps and bees.

  • Rodents

When pest control is mentioned, most people’s first thought is rats, although mice also present a major problem. A challenge with rodents is that they breed fast, and their population can increase rapidly.

Rodents are a problem in domestic properties and the food sector as they are drawn to premises where food is readily available. The damage and spread of disease can lead to a significant public health problem.

  • Birds and Others

Birds and other wildlife may not be as threatening, but an infestation can still cause damage and even health issues. 

Pigeons and seagulls are the most common bird pests, but other wildlife such as foxes can also present severe issues when present in large numbers. 

This type of pest control is known as Fauna Management and is highly specialised as most wildlife is subject to animal protection laws meaning they cannot be harmed or disturbed.

It is vital to seek professional advice to ensure that you can get control of the problems without harming the animals that cause them.

Three Methods of Pest Control

Pest control involves a wide variety of strategies that typically fall into three main types of pest management.

1. Physical

Physical pest control is the process of trapping and exterminating or removal of pests to eliminate them from an environment. 

Physical pest proofing involves establishing physical barriers to prevent pests from entering or returning to a site. 

Examples include removing or destroying nests, setting traps, blocking holes, entrances and less common methods such as controlling the temperature of an environment. Techniques such as field burning and planting a trap crop are popular in farming.

Advantages

  • No harmful chemicals that may impact the environment.
  • It remains effective as resistance is not an issue. 

Disadvantages

  • Trapping and killing animals is considered inhumane by many, and there are animal welfare and protection issues that have to be considered.
  • The effectiveness of physical control can be limited for large infestations, and it will be a time-consuming operation. 
  • Pests may not be prevented from returning to premises.
2. Chemical

Chemical pest control is widespread and is often used to control weed infestations and stop crop diseases.

Pesticides poison and kill any pest that consumes or is exposed to them. They are often combined with traps put out where pests are roaming. 

Only qualified pest control technicians are permitted to use many chemical pesticides, as these substances are often harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment. 

Fogging is an ultra-low volume (ULV) chemical method to fight insect infestations. Fumigation involves sealing off premises and filling them with gas to eliminate all presence of a pest. 

Advantages

  • It is highly effective with quick results.
  • Economical
  • Low chemical percentage pesticides can be used by those without qualifications. 

Disadvantages

  • Chemicals can be extremely toxic and cause severe issues to pets, humans or wildlife. 
  • Can cause contamination to groundwater and affect the environment negatively. 
  • Possible resistance can be developed by pests making them harder to control. 
3. Biological

Biological methods are the oldest type of pest control and management. They involve making natural changes to the environment without pesticides or physical harm.

It can mean using natural organisms to reduce or eliminate a pest. Sometimes this consists of the introduction of a known natural predator

In agriculture, examples are ladybirds being introduced to eliminate aphids or where microorganisms might be introduced to protect a host species. 

Modern biological methods in premises include treatments with low oxygen, heat and a combination of vacuum technology and MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging).

Advantages

  • It is extremely environmentally friendly and can boost wildlife habitats and ecological systems.
  • It is often a long-term solution. 
  • Low cost and easy-to-manage method.

Disadvantages

  • Not very reliable as results are unpredictable.
  • Not particularly fast and will not usually completely eliminate a pest problem.
  • Can upset the natural balance of the environment by altering the food chain and creating a different infestation. 

If you require help with a pest infestation or advice on preventing pests, get in touch with us at EWS Group. We are pest control specialists using the IPM approach, ready to work with you to control your pest problem professionally and discretely. We also offer prevention advice to prevent future damage and disruption.

Can you remove a birds nest?

Can You Remove A Birds Nest?

There are strict regulations in place in the UK to protect birds and their nests. The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 details when you can legally move a nest.

Of course, in the UK, we love our birds, but there are times when a nest causes damage to a building or structure. When a large group of birds have built nests, they can damage and inconvenience homeowners and business proprietors.

In this guide, we will answer your questions regarding the law and nest removal and consider some ways you can prevent birds from becoming a nuisance on your property.

Pigeon eggs found near guttering

Why can’t I remove or destroy a bird’s nest?

Disturbing a nest in use could lead to the death or injury of wild birds or their babies. Occasionally, birds abandon their nest, eggs or young ones if disturbed.

For this reason, the law prevents anyone from moving or damaging nests while they are being built or when they are being used. Only a few exceptions to this ruling can be applied under license.

What happens if I break the law regarding bird nests?

Many people are unfamiliar with the law covering removal or damage to bird nests and the protection given to birds, their eggs and their young.

There is a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment for anyone found guilty of breaking the law, even if the damage is caused by irresponsible building work, tree surgery or hedge cutting rather than a deliberate attempt to remove them. Those prosecuted also risk an unlimited fine for every bird, egg or nest affected.

To avoid becoming a lawbreaker, it would be best to avoid carrying out any work that poses a risk to birds during the nesting season. 

Remember, other wildlife species are also protected, such as roosting bats.

Can I remove a nest that is no longer being used?

Once a nest has been entirely abandoned, you can remove some nests. There are some exceptions regarding birds that are known to reuse their nests. For up-to-date details on these birds, check here

Beware of birds with more than one brood in a season, as they will not abandon the nest until they have finished breeding.

You could also consider leaving the nest in place if it is not causing you any harm, as it can benefit the birds. Many birds use old nests for roosting outside of the breeding season.

Some birds like to reuse their old nests in the next season. Some breeds will use other birds’ nests for their use.There are regulations for clearing out your nesting boxes too. You are only permitted to remove unhatched eggs between 1st September and 31st January, which must be disposed of safely.

What damage can bird nests do?

Pathway covered in Pigeon Guano

There are some reasons why you might wish to discourage birds from nesting in your buildings.

Excessive bird droppings

As well as looking unsightly, excessive bird droppings can cause damage to your building. 

The uric acid in the droppings can affect stone, paint and metal. Historical buildings are particularly vulnerable to costly damage. 

Businesses may lose custom if bird droppings cause a nuisance.

Damage to Solar Panels and Air Conditioning

Roof-based solar panels are attractive to roosting pigeons, which can damage the panels’ wires or the roof itself. Air conditioning units mounted on walls can be damaged by droppings and present a health hazard to engineers who maintain them.

Cars and Vehicles

Parking around offices and retail parks can be impacted by roosting pigeons or seagulls. Their droppings will attack the paintwork on the vehicles and can cause permanent damage.

Food Contamination

Birds entering production areas can contaminate food, create waste, and cause health and safety issues.

Drainage and Ventilation Systems

Pigeons and starlings like to build their nests under the eaves of roofs. Their nests can block the guttering and downpipes, leading to drainage issues. 

Nests can also obstruct ventilation, such as chimneys or ducts.

Fire Risk

Nesting material can be highly flammable, and an excess can lead to fire outbreaks.

How can I stop birds from building nests on my property?

It is essential to think about prevention methods before the nesting season. In the UK, the nesting season is from 1st February to the end of August. It is best to carry out prevention methods during the winter.

You may be able to install some measures yourself. Still, if you have a potentially more significant problem, getting support from a Pest Control Company is best. 

They can advise you on the best removal methods and establish a successful legal prevention system.

There are two main prevention methods for discouraging birds from nesting or roosting.

Anti-Perch System

You can install anti-perch devices such as spikes to deter birds from nesting. Angled spikes make it challenging for birds to land, but they do not cause any harm to the birds.

When installed by a professional and inspected regularly, they are the most humane and effective deterrent method.

Bird Netting and Mesh

Netting is a safe, long-term solution for keeping birds away from specific areas.

If installed professionally, the correct tension and size can be fitted to reduce any risk of trapping birds.

Netting works well under solar panels, around chimney stacks and under eaves to deter birds from nesting.

Other Deterrent Ideas

If you want to discourage particular birds, such as pigeons, from nesting in your buildings, you can carry out some simple prevention ideas to discourage them from your outdoor space or garden.

  • Choose squirrel-proof bird feeders that are too small for pigeons to perch on. 
  • Remove moss and plants from gutters that could be used as nesting material.
  • Place anti-perch spikes on your fences to discourage the larger birds from stopping.

If you have a problem with bird nests or roosting, please get in touch with EWS Group today. We have extensive experience in successful fauna management. Our specialist knowledge helps us plan legal, humane methods of prevention and removal without causing harm to wildlife.