Pest Control and Crayfish

Crayfish have invaded the UK

It’s not something I’ve ever come across before as a pestie, but a friend from a hunting forum invited me and the family for a morning crayfishing. We arrived with the kids in tow, having put up with them moaning all the way about being dragged from their Xbox’s.

Meeting Terry for the first time, we got the introductions out of the way, then headed over to the  river.  I had thoughts running through my mind on what to expect and how many would we catch. Terry used drop nets and sausage meat as a bait. We dropped six nets into the river close to the bank, which was 4ft deep.  Almost immediately we started lifting them again. Myself and the family couldn’t believe our eyes. There were crayfish large and small clinging to the bait. We chatted like old friends whilst we havested our catch, and I learnt it was only a case of applying to the environment agency for crayfish “tags” to attach to one’s nets, to keep within the law. We spent two hours on that first expedition, and not a murmur from the kids about games consoles. They thoroughly enjoyed it and were asking about our next trip, before this one had even finished.

I’ve since gone on to learn a lot more about the American Red Signal invasive species to Britain, and although it’s probably not on too many pest controllers list, it makes for a very enjoyable hobby, plus they taste out of this world. A local supermarket sells small cray tails at around £3 per 15, we caught over 100 in the first hour!
I now make my own drop nets and have imported a crayfish boiler from the states.  Everyone now wants an invitation to our summer bbq’s.


Written by Stephen Stubbs,  a night time pest controller sub-contracted to London Underground around seven years ago. Stephen comes from a construction background but after watching “life of grime” on the TV for a couple of years and thought what an interesting job it looked he switched to a career in pest control. He enjoys pest related hobbies, or things that are edible and carries shotgun and firearm certs.
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