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Barron Pest Control

All pests eliminated humanely and discreetly.

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Rats Everywhere

Posted on January 4, 2016 at 3:43 AM Comments comments (56)
Snare caught rat Stratton on the FosseSnare caught rat Stratton on the FosseSnare caught rat Stratton on the Fosse
8th December and today I treated the biggest wasp nest I've seen this year, the worker wasps were still bringing food into the nest and to say it was "active" would be an understatement, in the weak December sunshine they were really busy. What's going on with the weather? Last week while treating rats in Evercreech I saw daffodils out in full bloom and the local rooks are busy spring cleaning their nests.
 Summer slipped seamlessly into Autumn and I was kept busy with wasps, moles and more rats than ever before. This year they seem to be everywhere - gardens, lofts, sheds, garages, anywhere there are poultry, stables, compost bins, sewers, under floors, in walls, up drain pipes, you name it and they'll have been there,no where seems safe from them this winter. We had an Autumn invasion in the hen run, the Fenn traps accounted for 5 or 6 in quick succession but I could tell from the fresh droppings and footprints in the mud of the run that at least one was evading the permanently sited traps. This rat had two well defined runs so I set a Fenn trap on each run buried in the soil & covered with weld mesh tunnels. After a couple of days I'd not caught it but rain overnight had left more mud in the pen and I could see from the tracks in the dirt that the culprit had changed his route to avoid my carefully sited traps. I can only assume that this rat had turned up with the others, seen his relatives get caught and learnt to avoid the metal devices placed strategically in the hen run.
 The crafty rodent's new route took it straight acoss the middle of the pen so after the hens had gone to roost I set a "whip" snare on the clearly defined run, this was about 5.00pm as it was getting dark, at 8.00pm when I went to feed the dogs I shone my torch across the pen and was pleased to find the rat dead, suspended from the whippy stick.

Rampant Rats in Radstock

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 9:01 PM Comments comments (61)
Moles aplenty on the Mendips
Have neglected lately to post any recent "Pest Adventures" as Barron Pest Control strived through the Winter and early Spring to combat what seemed like a never ending supply of moles and rats.
 With the very welcome Spring sunshine and no rain now for several weeks the torrent of mole jobs appears to have dried up for now, soon to be replaced by calls for "wasps" which are really either Tree Bumble Bees or Masonary Bees.
Rampant Rats Radstock Rats were in abundance through the Winter and we had several calls to litters of youngsters in December, helped, no doubt, by the unusually mild weather. Infestations of rats can usually be quickly and safely dealt with by using anti-coagulant baits but I often set Fenn traps as well as a kind of "belt & braces" approach and if rats are caught in the traps then I have carcasses to present to the clients. The specimen pictured was caught in a garden near Radstock, it measured eighteen and a half inches or 47cm nose to tail and was one of several "big buggers" taken over the winter. I photographed it alongside one it's normal sized brethren just to get an idea of how big it actually was.
Weasel caught in a mole trap With moles they don't seem to vary much in size, the males are usually slightly bigger than the females and the "Mendip Moles", I think, are a bit on the scrawny side compared to ones from, say, more fertile ground towards the Levels or Wiltshire. I did have one "friendly fire" incident mole trapping recently when I pulled a sprung trap from the ground, expecting a mole, only to find I'd caught a weasel, unfortunately it was stone dead and I had no chance of reviving it like I was able to do with one last summer.
 With the transition from Spring to Summer the emphasis will change from mainly mammal pests to mainly insect ones, most of them buzz, bite or sting with varying degrees of ferocity and if we get a nice long Summer there's sure to be lots them about. 

Golden Mole

Posted on October 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM Comments comments (151)
Mole trapping Somerset by Barron Pest ControlThis year Barron Pest Control had a steady stream of mole work all through the summer, even in the drier months of high summer the moles managed to come into conflict with people especially if lawns & plants were being watered continuously causing un-naturally damp conditions - worms need damp and what attracts worms will in turn attract moles.
 As soon as the weather changed and we got some rain, the moles came out to play big time and we got calls from distraught gardeners, farmers, cricket clubs, golf clubs, pubs and even a cemetary.
 One particular mole in Coleford took 3 weeks to bring to book but in the main most problem moles were dealt with within 2 or 3 days of the traps being set. Indeed on another job in a farmer's garden near Wells I'd set several traps on a ravaged lawn, reached into the bucket for another trap and the trap I'd set seconds before went off, thinking I'd set it too finely, I pulled the trap out of the run to find Mr Mole already dead in the trap I'd only just set. I knocked on the kitchen door to show the client, who, with some colourful language, told me that he'd been after that mole for 6 months and that I'd caught it in 6 seconds. ( I hope he told all his mates !!)
Mole damage to a Somerset lawn, cured by Barron Pest Control A first for me was a "Friendly Fire" incident on a job next to the Glastonbury Festival site, I pulled a sprung trap from a mole run fully expecting yet another dead mole but there held firmly around its neck by the catch loop of the trap was a weasel, it couldn't have been in the trap long as it was still alive, although it wasn't overly active at first. I released the unfortunate mustelid from the trap and at first thought the worst, but, after giving its chest a rub and blowing several times into it's mouth, it appeared to come back to life and scampered off into the long grass, apparently none the worse for its ordeal (and without biting me!!) ... I do hope it survived.
 Last weekend I was checking traps at a site near Stratton on the Fosse, I'd already pulled out traps with half a dozen or so moles when I pulled out a trap which held an apricot coloured or "Golden Mole". Animals like this are quite rare, indeed some say one in 100,00, but I did catch one several years ago not too far from the same location and I have heard of at least 2 others over the years, so perhaps its a sort of local mutant strain.
The  With the colder weather coming the moles will need to dig ever more extensive tunnel systems to sustain their voracious appetites and this is bound to get them into trouble with all types of land owners ..... I might have to invest in some more traps for this winter.

Wasps, Wells & Warminster, Rats in Radstock, Mice in Midsomer Norton, Hornets in Horrington, Moles all over Mendip

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 6:36 PM Comments comments (36)
It's been a little while since I've posted anything here, looking back in my diary the mild spring weather carried on and I was kept busy with a steady stream of rats, mice, squirrels and moles. 
Wasp Nest Ubley With the warmer days insects became evident and "Pest of the Month" for late May was the Tree Bumble Bee. I lost count of the number of calls I got for these, largely harmless insects. They are a new species to Britain, first recorded in Wiltshire around 15 years ago but judging by the numbers seen this year they are here to stay. I talked most folk out of having them treated, several nests were re-located to the end of our garden, some, unfortunately, the clients insisted on having destroyed.
 I treated the first "proper" wasp nest of the summer on June 11th, the nest had been constructed in the control panel of a gentleman's hot tub and each time the hot tub was turned on the wasps came out to play - not nice.
 Early one morning in July a distraught lady rang with a story that is everyone's worst nightmare, her son had got up in the night to use the loo and there frolicking in the toilet bowl was "Ratty", a panic ensued and the adventurous rodent disappeared back down the pipe. On lifting several manhole covers I found plenty of evidence of rat activity and after chatting to the neighbours found that there had been an on going rodent problem for several years. The sewers of three properties were baited over a couple of weeks until bait take ceased and then a "Non-Return" type valve fitted in the sewer main so that waste material could flow downstream but no unwelcome visitors could venture up through the drains - hopefully problem permanently solved.
Hornets, much bigger than wasps, more venom.Hornets, exiting nest site. Most years I get called to deal with one or two hornets nests, this year, however hornets have been in abundance. One particular nest the insects were to-ing and fro-ing from an overflow pipe sticking out of a wall at high level, the nest was constructed inside a redundant water tank in the attic, all around the ball valve. I sprayed it with insectide and retreated to a safe part of the roof, while the tank sounded like it was going to take off.
 We are now at the end of summer and some of the wasp nests I've treated lately have been truly enormous. The wasps have had a good summer and the nests are now at their maximum density, one I removed recently was 34" across and weighed 12lb when I took it out of the client's roofspace after treatment. Nests like this are home to 1000's of wasps and treatment needs the correct equipment to be carried out safely, not like the one I was called to at the weekend where a chap had attempted to treat a huge nest with a can of "Raid" and a hosepipe - the wasps were highly agitated and I didn't treat them until the next day when they'd calmed down.
 Rats and mice are starting to come indoors now and I think this year Cluster Flies will be problematic.
Treated wasp nest.Monster wasp nest, Ubley

Rats & Moles

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM Comments comments (52)
Giant Rat in SomersetWith the torrential rain of the winter months Barron Pest Control was kept quite busy dealing with a succession of rat infestations, which had been driven into people's  houses by the rising flood waters. One of the last ones brought to book was a big, old buck rat that had come in from the rain and taken refuge in a small industrial unit in a local business park. He had a ready supply of food in the bin area just outside, plus he had taken to raiding a bag of sheep food which was stored inside the unit. It fell to a strategically placed Fenn Mk 4 trap and measured just over 18" nose to tail (not the kind of thing you'd want scratching & gnawing it's way around your attic at night!)
Spring Moles, taken by Barron Pest ControlLabour of Moles, taken from Somerset farmland by Barron Pest Control Since the rain stopped moles appear to have become a problem, although I was catching a few during the monsoon months, now the weather has settled down I think they have come out of the drier hedge banks and wooded areas and back into the pastures and grass lands which were previously flooded. This time of year the moles are thinking about mating and "double catches" are not uncommon in Duffus or "barrel type" mole traps.
Cluster Flies, loft near Bath, Barron Pest Control Bumble bees and honey bees have been active on recent sunny days and I've no doubt queen wasps will be waking up from their winter snooze too. While checking a loft the other day, after the client had heard "noises" I came across 1000's of Cluster flies, these too will soon be on the move back outside to breed and (hopefully) raise the next generation of pests for us to deal with.

Rats Vorsprung Durch Technik

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (33)
Rat in RubbishThe incessant, torrential rain we've had here in Somerset since Christmas has driven lots of rats to seek shelter from the elements indoors. Mainly clients have rung reporting being woken during the night by the sound of scratching and gnawing coming from the loft or attic and, on inspection, there will be the tell-tale musty smell of rat, plus evidence of gnawing to cables, insulation etc and the inevitable droppings. Several applications of a suitable anti coagulant bait are usually required to put an end to Ratty's nocturnal disturbance. Then (and only then), measures should be taken to prevent any further rodent ingress, as a rat trapped in a loft or roofspace could do untold damage to pipes, cables or the fabric of the building in a desperate quest for food, water or freedom.
 Rats quite often will access roof spaces by climbing up the inside of rainwater downpipes, especially if the pipes are connected straight into the sewers or drains, this can be remedied by putting something in the pipe which will allow the water to drain away but not give the rat access.
 Other recent "rat attacks" have included compost bins, sheds, stables, poultry houses, a guinea pig hutch, aviaries .... and two German cars, an Audi & a Volkswagen.
Rat & Recycling BinA distraught lady rang to say that over a couple of weeks both her family cars had broken down and on taking them for repair the wiring looms on both had been gnawed by a rat or rats, causing pounds worth of damage. Near to where the cars had been parked were the dustbins, the food recycling bin had a damaged lid and Ratty, who had taken up residence in the flower border in a rockery, was popping out to the bin for food, carrying it up under the nice, warm conveniently parked car and eating it, then having a munch on the wires for afters. A strategiically placed Fenn trap brought this particular miscreant to book.
 Hopefully the rain will stop soon and I can get out of musty lofts and attics and catch a few moles, if they've survived the winter washout.
 

Christmas Message

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 8:03 PM Comments comments (34)
Festive Pests Barron Pest ControlBarron Pest Control wishes all clients past, present and future a peaceful and "Pest Free" Christmas and a Prosperous New Year !!!

Halloween

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 5:07 AM Comments comments (41)
Halloween is the traditional time of year for "Ghosties, ghoulies, long-legged beasties ........ and things that go bump in the night."
Barron Pest ControlIt is also the time of year when rodents are on the move to take up their winter quarters in warm sheds, garages, out buildings, lofts and attics. Things going "bump in the night" or the sound of scratching, scuttling and gnawing can usually be attributed to one or other of our common rodent species, either the Brown Rat or, locally the Wood Mouse.
 Both can usually be brought to book fairly quickly with either anti coagulant bait or traps depending on site conditions, followed up by proofing work to prevent any re-infestation. Proofing work should only be carried out after the infestation is cleared so that there is no danger of a rat being blocked into, for instance, a loft space or wall cavity, and then doing untold damage to wiring or pipework in a quest for water or freedom.
 
  Happy Halloween ........ Don't have nightmares.

Cage Traps

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (57)
I had a call recently from a lady who had seen a rat in her garden, she looked on a well known internet auction site and got herself a cage trap, which she baited & placed near to where the rat had been seen.
Rat in trap, Radstock Lo and behold, a day or two later she checked on the trap and there inside, frantically chewing at the bars of the cage, was the offending rat. Now the lady had a dilema, what was she going to do with her captive? The instructions which came with the trap only mentioned liberating the captive animal and she didn't want to pass her problem on to any one else or have Ratty return home, once released. This was where I came in.
Humane despatch of rat in trap by Barron Pest Control I arrived on site and humanely dispatched the rat using a "trap comb"( to confine the rodent at one end of the cage) and an air pistol - job done, quickly and humanely as possible.
Crosman Air Pistol &  Most garden centres and agricultural stores have cage traps on sale, but I have looked since this recent occurance and none of the instructions which I could see made any mention of current UK trapping legislation. For example, it is an offence to release either grey squirrels or mink, as they are "non native" to the UK, cage traps should be checked at least once a day, preferably more often,
captives which have to be killed should either be shot with an appropriate weapon or run out of the cage into a sack and clubbed.
Captive squirrels must be dealt with humanelyDrowning IS NOT a recognised method of despatch, indeed there was a recent case where a chap was catching squirrels in his garden then drowning them in a water butt, a neighbour reported him and the RSPCA brought a case against him which resulted in a hefty fine.
 Spearing the captive with a garden fork, or anthing else, would also contravine current legislation and could, rightly, result in court procedings.
 If you are carrying out DIY pest control make sure you have the means to deal with captive animals quickly and humanely, causing as little suffering to the captives as possible ........  or get someone in who can.

Autumn Pest Control - Cluster Flies

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM Comments comments (52)
 With the days getting shorter and the nights longer & colder the Natural World begins to shut down for the Winter. Rats and mice, perhaps displaced by harvesting activities begin coming into warmer buildings to survive the winter, their activity often going un noticed until droppings or gnawing have caused damage or spoiled foodstuffs.
 The pest of the moment however is the Cluster Fly. After several nice sunny days of late the phone has been red hot with people troubled with plagues of flies.
 During the summer months these flies are of no consequence and the adults live harmlessly out of doors, feeding on pollen and nectar, however when the weather cools they seek shelter in nooks and crannies in houses and other buildings and as the temperature drops they will look for more protection and frequently  form huge clustering masses in lofts and roofspaces.
 These large masses of flies are not considered a health risk, as they aren't associated with manure or rotting flesh like bluebottles or house flies would be, as they do not breed indoors they aren't indicative of poor hygiene. Large accumulations can though, produce a sickly smell.
  Control of Cluster Flies can be very difficult, it's not possible to control the larval stage as they are parasitic on earthworms, sealing entry points around an entire building is usually impossible, or at best very difficult. Vacuum cleaners can be the best method of getting rid of adult flies around windows and sealing around window frames can help to prevent access.
 Once the flies are inside an attic or loft accessable clusters can be vacuumed up or an insecticidal space spray or "smoke bomb" used to quickly kill any exposed flies, however these treatments are only effective for those flies present on the day and care must be taken to ensure there is no risk of fire, no danger of triggering smoke alarms and no bats present.
  Unfortunately, for anyone who is bothered by cluster flies they do seem to favour the same buildings year after year. Houses that face south and are light coloured outside (painted white, magnolia or yellow, or locally, Bath Stone), seem to be particularly to their liking,
however, as I mentioned before they aren't a health risk, just a (sometimes severe) nuisance and no matter how horrible looking the infestation is, they are unlikely to pose a threat to your health or well being.
 
 

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