Working in the pest control business is an interesting career option, but like all jobs it can have highs and lows, the old adage never work with children or animals can be very true sometimes.
Part of the role as a Field Biologist is to be a trouble shooter; if the tech can’t work out where pests are getting in then they ask us to come in as a fresh pair of eyes.
One of the technicians asked me to help him in a shop which was having problems with flies in their lower ground store room. The place was situated in sunny Southend – the Essex resort famous for having the longest pleasure pier in the world and also where numerous Eastenders characters go for a holiday.
After searching around we found lots of Bluebottles flying around (these like to eat and lay eggs on fresh dead things); but no dead animals were found inside. We then ventured on the roof to try to find an entry point plus see if there was any fresh animal carcasses here which may be attracting them; we found only some gull nests.
I don’t know if you know about or have seen Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) but they are big, weigh between 2.2- 2.8 lbs dependant on their sex, have pointed beaks and are fiercely protective to their young. They dissuade things going near their nests by dive bombing their foes and also fouling on the intruder; needless to say myself and the colleague were very careful not to go near the nests and were lucky that we did not witness this behavior first hand.
However, we concluded that that the flies must be getting in via air duct on the roof and the droppings and dead animals were an attractant; the only way to do this is to clear all of these things up. As I said earlier, this job can have highs and lows; the high bit will be if we crack the problem with the flies by clearing the roof; the low (but not for me) will be for the poor technician who will not only be cleaning the foul and dead animals up but will have to deal with the Herring Gulls of Southend at the same time.
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