We Said More Pests Coming To The UK

Doesn’t it feel good to say I told you so! Well, it kind of does, but it doesn’t if you know what I mean. In particular, it doesn’t when it comes to one of the broadsheets agreeing with pest predictions we made a while ago….

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph recently 9 alien insects are heading this way due to climate change. We said something similar about one of them (the asian tiger mosquito) heading for our shores in a press release that was issued to the International PR team in April called: “Native Asian pests begin to take hold in European countries, Tiger Mosquito and Palm Weevil emerge at the top of Rentokil’s watch list of pests to monitor” . It was prepared as a result of interviews with Rentokil experts across markets, and although there were several other future pest nominations we chose to highlight these two specifically.

palm_shootThe EU has recognised that the red palm weevil is a particular problem in Portugal whilst currently reviewing plant laws that have existed since 1977 (the legislation prevents new pests and plant diseases from entering into the EU or, if outbreaks nevertheless occur, to eradicate them rapidly and effectively). This pest has even resulted in the appointment of a Professor of Palm Weevil-ology (?) at King Saud University. Palm weevils cause problems because once they have infested a palm, they will destroy the complicated stem structure (see picture), which weakens the palm and eventually the palm will die. It can affect ornamental as well as wild palms so no prettily planted hotel driveway is safe!

The Asian tiger mosquito causes problems because it can survive in the smallest amount of water. Unlike “normal” mosquitoes which need a nice riverbank to deposit their eggs, this is a cheap-accomodation hunting mosquito that can use water found in abandoned old car tyres or tin cans on a rubbish tip. So they can reproduce very easily and very fast!

Further proof that our experts know their stuff is the a climate change press release issued last year which covered other pests expected to become more common in the UK such as termites, the oak processionary moth (with specialised treatments) and mosquitoes too.

oak_processionary_mothWhat’s so scary about a moth? Well the oak processionary moth is a bit different to other moths. It is fairly harmless, but it’s the caterpillar (with a distinctive single stripe down its back) which needs careful handling. Actually, avoid handling the caterpillar or its nest if you can – unless you know what you’re doing. The caterpillar is covered in tiny hairs which contain a defensive toxin. These can cause severe allergic reactions if they come into contact with people and pets – so please be careful!

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