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Barron Pest Control

All pests eliminated humanely and discreetly.

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Wasps go Wild in Wells

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM Comments comments (24)
Wasp nest, Wells, treated by Barron Pest Control  Wells, the Cathedral City, on the Southern side of the Mendips appears to be a bit of a wasp hot spot this year. Amongst random calls for wasps Wells is at the moment top of my league for wasp activity. Sometimes the call for the nest which the client has found isn't the only nest on site and after having a good look and observing the wasp "traffic" I have found as many as six at one property.
Wasp nest, Wells, treated by Barron Pest Control Nest sites have ranged from compost bins, bird boxes, conifer & laurel bushes to garden sheds, rockeries, roof spaces and one particular one in the extract pipe of a gentleman's cooker.
 As the summer progresses the nests will become larger, with more angry inhabitants and the potential to cause some nasty stings. Late summer wasp nests can be home to 5 to 10,000  individual wasps and dealing with these can be potentially quite a risky proposition - best to be carried out by someone with the right gear.

Wasps

Posted on July 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (25)
Wasp nest, garden shed, Midsomer Norton treated by Barron Pest Control With the hot, dry conditions of the past few weeks the" buzzy, bitey" insects seem to have flourished. The calls for "wasps", which were really bumble bees have stopped & now the wasp calls really are for wasps.
Wasp nest, stone wall, Axbridge, treated by Barron Pest Control After the prolonged wet weather of last summer and the artic blast through the spring I wasn't hopeful of seeing very many wasps, however quite a number appear to have survived the extreme conditions judging by the number of enquiries we've had for nest treatments.
Wasp nest, summer house, Bath, treated by Barron Pest Control  Any queens which survived the winter would have emerged from hibernation when the weather warmed up in the spring and having already beenimpregnated by a male wasp in the autumn of last year, set about starting a new nest for this year. Suitable sites are almost anywhere not exposed to the elements such as garden sheds, bird boxes, roof spaces, evergreen ornamental shrubs, the voids behind fascia boards, under floors (where access is gained via air bricks), hollow trees, rockeries etc, etc.
Wasp nest, bird box, Radstock, treated by Barron Pest Control The queen will start off the nest, which is initially golf ball sized and have a first batch of larvae which she brings to adulthood, after this these new adult wasps take on the role of providers by preying on caterpillars, aphids and other insects on which to feed the growing numbers of grubs in the nest. In return the adult wasps feed on the waste secretions of the grubs.
 All the while the nest will be growing in size to accommodate the growing numbers of larvae and wasps, indeed a big, end of season nest could be home to as many as 10,000 individual stinging insects and not a good idea to attempt DIY treatments, without the proper kit.
 Another insect which seems to be very active this year is the horse fly. I'm not sure what their role is "in the grand scheme of things" but this summer they've succeeded in annoying me immensely, I've lost count of the number of times I've been bitten whilst working and come up in itching, throbbing, red lumps, but I suppose it's a small price to pay for the glorious sunshine of the last few weeks ........ this time last year I was treating wasp nests in full wet weather gear and having the treatment kit block up because it was wet.
 

Badgers

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (17)
I've had lots of calls this year from folk who have had their lawns ripped up overnight. The culprit is invariably our stripey friend Mr Brock, looking for earthworms, leather jackets, chafer grubs and the like. When the client hears badgers are responsible their reaction is usually : "Well you can shoot them now."
Somerset Badger Whatever the client may want, after having his "billiard table" lawn trashed in the early hours, WE CANNOT SHOOT BADGERS.
 The cull areas are in The Forest of Dean and West Somerset, under licence, certainly not countrywide and willy nilly.
 It is still an offence to harm badgers or their setts either willfully or unintentionally. The only legal method of keeping badgers from sensitive areas such as lawns or vegetable patches is by fencing them out either with a weldmesh or "pig wire" type fence, buried sufficiently deeply, to stop them getting underneath or by using an electric stock fence ( and even then I know someone who installed one, only for the badgers to learn that if they ran at it at speed they could get through it without getting a shock).
 Lawns vunerable to attack can be treated with an insecticide to kill the grubs in the turf, thereby removing the reason for the excavations but this usually only sends them next door.
 If you have problems with badgers, and alot of people have, the simple answer is : there's not a lot can be done about it.
 Indeed "the Badger Issue" is costing the country millions each year, their population has exploded in recent years here in the West Country, hedgehog numbers have plummeted in areas where badgers are prevalent due to predation, iconic ground nesting birds such as sky larks, lapwings, partridges etc don't stand a chance of hatching any eggs, let alone fledging chicks where there are hungry badgers ready to snaffle up the most well hidden of nests, leverets, young rabbits, even bumble bees and wasps nests all fall prey to the ever hungry army of stripey predators..... and thats without touching on the cattle issue.
Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly rare. If badgers are a problem in your garden the only answer is to exclude them, culling can only happen in the cull areas.

Wasps at Glastonbury

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (35)
Hurrah!!!  First call this year yesterday for wasps. Not so good was the address of the property - right in the middle of the Somerset village of Pilton, home of the Glastonbury Festival and with the festival opening yesterday to the public I was very dubious about the journey - I could be stuck in traffic for most of the day. However, the client was panic stricken as the insects had chewed a hole in the ceiling of a utility room, had exited the nest into the room & were ready to take on all comers. The iminent arrival of a house full of festival going guests and the fact the wasps were attacking the two resident labradors made for an interesting morning.
 The journey through the festival traffic wasn't as bad as it could have been - with local knowledge of the back lanes I was soon in amongst what looked like an army of refugees on the move, all heading in the same direction.
 The wasps were duly dealt with, the nest (the size of a large grapefruit) was removed and the ceiling patched up - panic over & everyone off to enjoy the delights of the Glastonbury Festival, except yours truly, I had an appointment with some gulls on a factory roof.
 I did another wasp nest today, not as dramatic, a run of the mill nest behind a facsia board, so be aware all you weekend barbequers ...... there's wasps about !!

Is Spring Here?

Posted on April 14, 2013 at 10:22 AM Comments comments (22)
While walking the dogs this morning I spotted the very welcome sight of not one, not two but three freshly arrived swallows swooping over a local pasture, a sure sign that at last the weather should wam up. ( I've no idea what they'll eat though as insect life seems very thin on the ground).
2 moles in 1 trap ... not uncommon in spring. In the world of pests moles have been very active locally, the males have been moving around and in the main have been easy enough to bring to book with mating on their minds rather than worring about any metal objects placed in their tunnels. At this time of year double catches in the "Duffus" or "Half Barrel Traps" are not uncommon.
Adult rat in a Fenn trap Rats have already had their first litters of youngsters and these are now big enough to begin making nuisances of themselves. The youngsters are usually quite naive and can be readily caught using traps, adult rats however display what is known as "Neophobia" and will avoid anything new in their immediate area for up to two weeks, so a mixture of anti coagulant bait and traps is often required to bring rat infestations under control.
Young rabbits can cause problems for gardeners.Cage traps can be useful for rabbits1 I always stress to clients that winter is the time for serious rabbit control, any does taken in the winter will save having to deal with perhaps 3 or 4 litters of five or six young during the summer. Doe rabbits will often leave a warren to have their young in a quiet spot, like under a garden shed, and once they areweaned leave them to their own devices and go off and mate again. These youngsters then begin to run amock in newly planted and freshly sprouting gardens and gardeners, much like Mr. Magregor in The Tale of Peter Rabbit are usually none to pleased. These "bunnies" can be caught in cage traps, Fenn or Springer Mk 6 traps (placed in the burrows or a purpose built tunnel) or bolted into nets using ferrets. Standard 2" mesh purse nets are useless for this as the small rabbits hop straight through the mesh, I have had to knit some 1" mesh "specials" for use where young rabbits are driving clients to distraction.
Squirrels fall victim to Fenn traps too. This time last year squirrels were an issue for lots of people and though I've had several to deal with in people's lofts, there doesn't seem to be so many about, maybe the extreme wet summer last year put paid to alot of them.
 Another "pest" which didn't do well in the monsoon last year was the wasp, I didn't treat very many nests and I've not seen many queens about yet this year, which is good for picknickers and barbequers but not what pest controllers want to hear.
 Likewise bumble bees appear scarce, the weather has been exceptionally cold but there should be some around now, hopefully plenty survived the winter, though locally they have a formidable foe in the huge numbers of badgers to contend with, I lost count last year of the bumble bee nests I found which had been dug out by badgers.
 Hopefully soon the sun will be out and all the "buzzy things", "crawly wigs" and everthing else will get get going.
 
 
 
 
This chap obviously had "other things" on his mind.

Mendip Moles go Mad

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM Comments comments (20)
When the recent snow and frost thawed out lots of people locally found that Mr Mole had been hard at work under the insulating blanket of snow. Calls came thick and fast from irate gardeners, farmers, sports field owners and the like, all with "mole issues."
Mendip Moles SomersetLabour of Mendip Moles The prolonged wet summer last year appears to have been good for the mole population and I think many more young moles than in a dry summer have made it to adulthood. This means that almost every field across the Mendips are currently covered in mounds of excavated earth and criss crossed with mazes of tunnels.
Given the right conditions, it is possible for a single mole to tunnel 100 yards in 24 hrs and I recently read in a pest publication that during hard winter conditions a mole needs a network of 200 yards of tunnels to find enough food to sustain itself. The mole's diet consists of earthworms, grubs and other crawly wigs which fall into the network of tunnels which the mole greedily snaffles up on its never ending hunt for food. I recently trapped several areas of farmland, just after the severe frosts, there were good numbers of moles in these pastures and in all areas I had moles caught in traps which had a second mole come along the tunnel behind it and eat its dead counterpart's hind quarters....... I wonder what mole burgers or maybe mole kebabs might be like.
Somerset Moles 

Snow

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 5:23 PM Comments comments (13)
 Last week, before the blizzard, I had been busy with problem moles, mainly in client's gardens but one lot in a graveyard and another lot in some pasture land, the snow fell and within a few hours all my traps and markers were buried under a 6" blanket of snow which has been added to through the week. I have been unable to check the traps for over a week now but hopefully with the insulating blanket of snow over the ground the moles will have been busy near the surface and I'll have a few to pick up this week when the thaw finally comes.
Rabbit tracks in the snow. The good thing about the covering of snow was that it made it easy to see tracks of any pest species visiting gardens, chicken coops, compost bins etc. The star shaped footprints of rats are easily spotted going through the wire of a hen coop with snowy ground, as are the tracks made by rabbits, foxes and any other nocturnal visitors which we may not usually be aware of.
Bella  The fall of snow and freezing conditions made it difficult for everyday pest activities such as mole trapping and the checking of bait boxes but it was ideal to get out and sort out a few rabbits with the ferrets. Any doe rabbits removed at this time of year will obviously be prevented from breeding, thereby stopping the production of three or four litters of up to five or six youngsters in each later in the year... a definite case of "a stitch in time saves nine" as my Mum used to say.
Ferrets, rabbits and  Next week should see the thaw and I should have a full compliment of mole traps in the ground in an attempt to apprehend as many moles as possible before they manage to come together and multiply. 

Rats & More Rats

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (17)
  The torrential rains in the period before Christmas seemed to have driven hordes of rats and mice into people's properties to escape the rising flood waters and perhaps join in the festivities.
Rat in trap. Somerset I was kept busy with numerous calls for reports of noises at night in lofts, under floors, in garages, sheds, compost bins, kitchens, bathrooms .... in fact anywhere that was warm, dry and had a food supply, be it bird food, stored vegetables, or even chocolate Christmas decorations.
 A rodent treatment is usually at least a three visit programme, the first visit to survey the site, lay any bait or traps and carry out a Risk Assessment etc, second visit to check and replenish any consumed bait and remove any carcasses from site, then third, fourth or perhaps even fifth visits until rodent activity is no longer observed. After this the bait & traps should be removed from site and any proofing work carried out to prevent re-infestation.
Large rat. Somerset Sometimes a single rat or mouse can be apprehended quite quickly with the use of traps but if an infestation is quite severe the use of anti coagulant bait will get the problem sorted, if the culprits can be persuaded to take the bait, which would usually mean restricting access to any available food supply on site.
 I caught this specimen over the Christmas period in a Mk 6 Fenn trap, set in a purpose built tunnel in a client's garden. It measured 18" nose to tail .... not the kind of guest you want for Christmas

Christmas Message

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM Comments comments (42)
Write your post here.
Trev opens his gift.Barron Pest Control Wishes all clients, past and present a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous & Pest Free New Year.






Barron Pest Control staff.

Barron Pest Control staff enjoy this year's Christmas party.






Barron Pest Control


All the excitement proved too much for this tired reveller.

New Appointment at Barron Pest Control

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 7:21 PM Comments comments (11)
Bella, new recruit at Barron Pest Control
Write your post here.
Kerry & Bella, ready for a fresh challenge.Barron Pest Control is pleased to announce the recent appointment of "Bella". Bella has joined the operation as a trainee and will be shadowing Kerry for a period to pick up tricks of the trade & experience in day to day pest control (such as which is most comfy ..... front seat of the truck or back? and which clients give biscuits with cups of coffee). We wish Bella every success with her training and hope she has a long and fulfilling employment with us.

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