Happy New Year and welcome to the new look deBugged. I have plenty of pesky pest tales to share with you and I look forward to hearing your stories too. I am from a golf and leisure background where pest control is big business but that’s another story.
I’ve been with Rentokil a couple of months now and am quickly learning my pest ABC. As part of my induction I took a visit to Rentokil’s shiny new laboratories in the heart of West Sussex. In order to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with insects the R&D guys study them day and night. I toured an ant farm where the insects were having a thoroughly good time making their nest, foraging for honey – the dish of the day – and ensuring the queen was safe and comfortable. Ants are fascinating to watch and have long been a source of inspiration for many a bored child or executive. It’s easy to build your own ant hotel from a couple of pieces of glass and wood, or you can buy kits.
Next on the tour was a hot room with a nasty pong of fishing tackle. Live specimens were displayed in jars, rather like a sweetshop. Huge Madagascan cockroaches basked in the tropical heat next to jumping German cockroaches and moths. Matt the Entomologist and I got rather excited when I spotted a beetle which frequents my drawing room. I was however, less than excited to discover the tiny brown pest was a carpet beetle which had been nibbling my ancient carpet. I thought the flooring was just worn and threadbare. The good doctor prescribed some insecticide which should prevent the carpet from resembling something put through a shredder.
Testing that day was fly killers. The test goes thus: release 100 flies into the den. Count how many are attracted to the flashy fluorescent lights and how many stick to the glue board behind. Repeat six times on every product in the market. And in case you’re wondering I can smugly announce the winner is Rentokil Luminos 4. And I’m not just saying that because Rentokil’s wages are paying for new carpeting in my home. We really do test every product in the market and we even invite our competitor’s to witness the fly clouds.
But concerning the nasty, black, flying, germ-spreaders October-March is the season for cluster flies. They lay their eggs in soil which are then taken to the surface by earthworms where they emerge from lavae beneath protective fallen leaves. The newborns then look for somewhere warm to pass the winter, such as a toasty velux window.
So, next time you kick through a pile of leaves in the park make sure you have your wellies on and take care to leave them outside your home.