Riviera Pest & Falconry covers all aspects of pest control in both domestic and commercial properties in Devon.
See our list of services below.
Commercial & Residential
Pests have the potential to contaminate the workplace, spread disease, damage products, foodstuffs and property. On top of this they can ruin a good reputation and with todays exacting health and safety standards it is critical that measures are put in place to prevent a pest infestation from starting. Rodents will gnaw almost anything to keep their teeth short and can easily damage wood, plastic and other soft materials. On top of this damaged electrical wiring has the potential to start major fires. Insects can cause major damage to a business infrastructure. Food products can be decimated and contamination can wipe out whole stocks. Birds can be a real issue in commercial properties. Apart from the damage they cause during nesting season their droppings can spread disease and unsightly to look at. Birds nests also have a tendency to encourage pest insects to take up residence with the problems they bring.
Riviera Pest and Falconry Services have a proven system that prevents pests establishing themselves and causing future problems. Annual contracts can be tailored to meet the requirements of your business and give you the peace of mind that pest won’t be an issue in your business.
Here at Riviera Pest and Falconry Services we have specially trained Birds of Prey to aid us in removing troublesome Gulls, Corvids and Pigeons. The beauty of this method is that it is non-lethal and the presence of the Hawk is enough to scatter offending birds. We have had great success at moving on pest birds at retail parks and football grounds specifically. Our handler flies the hawks or falcons through the affected area a number of times over a prolonged period, teaching the local bird population that the area is unsafe for them and encouraging them to find somewhere else to nest and feed. The droppings of nuisance birds, like gulls and pigeons, can spread diseases e.g. Ornithosis, E.Coli and Salmonella. Their droppings are extremely hard to clean and cause damage to buildings, vehicles, entrances and pavements, which can become slippery and hazardous. Gulls in particular are extremely noisy, causing disruption to workforce and neighbours, they can also become aggressive during the breeding season and known to attack people and pets.
Falconry is not a direct method alone in removing the issue of problematic birds. In most scenarios proofing/netting work may be required to provide a permanent solution to the fouling and noise.
There are a number of species of Ants in the UK with the Black Garden Ant being the most common. Ants will enter properties in search of food and will carry it back to the food store in the nest. In doing so they will leave behind a Pheromone to act as a marker to other Ants. Nests will generally be in the garden but can also be found deep in the foundations or cavities of buildings so are inaccessible. The Queen will always remain in the nest and continually lay eggs to expand the colony. She can live for up to 15 years so colonies can become extremely large if not controlled. A number of times a year new Queens and Drones (male Ant)d emerge which are winged. These will swarm in the air to mate and is a common sight during the summer. The Drones will die after mating and the Queens will land, lose their wings and start to set up their own colony.
TREATMENT: Controlling Ants can be a difficult process as the Queen can be deep underground and it is her that needs to be eradicated to gain control. Ant powders/sprays will kill Ants above ground but have little effect in killing the nest and in a lot of cases can have a detrimental effect as colonies can become stressed and split.
Carpet Beetle Control
If you are finding damage to your carpets then its likely you have a Carpet Beetle infestation. Although carpets are the main area you find them they can also be found in clothes and other textiles that have the natural protein Keratin in it like Wool, Feathers, Curtains and a lot of clothing. The adult Carpet Variegated Carpet Beetle is approx 3-4mm long and has a varigated colouring across its body. It can be found outside in gardens and feeds on pollen and nectar of garden flowers. It lays its eggs in fabric or material found in buildings, it also frequently lays eggs in old birds nests in the lofts of buildings. It is the larvae from these eggs that do the damage. They feed on feathers, fur, hair, or wool and will migrate from roofs into household rooms and so attact the fabrics within. The larvae are small (approx 4mm), covered in brown hairs, and generally roll up when disturbed. As they grow, they moult – and the old cast-off skins may be the first sign of infestation. Adults are often
seen in April, May and June, seeking egg-laying sites; and the grubs are most active in October before they hibernate. Carpet Beetles don’t bite but the hairs on the larvae can inflict a rash if touched.
TREATMENT: a thorough survey to find the nest site and a spray treatment with a suitable insecticide approved for Carpet Beetles. Interim treatment consists of regular vacuuming.
There are over 2000 species of Moths in the UK and all are harmless apart from a few species that are regarded as pests due to the damage they cause. This pest also seeks out the Keratin in natural materials and damage to carpets, soft furnishings and clothing can be expensive. The first thing most people notice is the damage caused to clothes, fabrics or carpets but there are other
indicators of a moth infestation:
- Small maggot like larvae
- Silken cases in which the moth larvae live
- Pupae (silk cocoons) from which larvae emerge as adult moths
- Adult moths that are often crawling rather than flying
TREATMENT: A proactive approach to regular cleaning/vacuuming will reduce the risk of an infestation but if you are finding damage especially in dark secluded areas and under furniture then the infestation has already taken hold. Professional treatment will consist of a spray treatment or fumigation to eradicate the
problem. Monitoring for future problems with Pheromone traps is another approach to containing them.
Fleas are a common pest in the Uk and are not just a problem for pet owners. Fleas also live on other animals like Hedgehogs, Foxes and Squirrels. The main issue with Fleas is the fact they are blood feeders and so bite their hosts for blood to feed on. This can cause irritaion and rashes and not a pleasant situation to be in. There are 3 main species of Flea in the UK with Cat Fleas the most prevelant although it is not unusual to have Dog Fleas. Cat Fleas will live off most animals and the likely pest you will experience on pets in the home. Adult Cat fleas are approximately 2mm in length, wingless and have flattened bodies (enabling them to move easily through fur) and vary in colour from grey to dark brown. A female Flea can live up to 2 years and lay over 1000 eggs in her lifetime. Once a female Flea has taken a blood feed it instigates an egg laying session which can result in around 40 eggs being laid in a day. These eggs are loose and can fall off hosts onto carpets/furnishings etc. Eggs will hatch after around 2 weeks (dependant on conditions) into small larvae which are around 5mm in length. The larvae go through a number of moults until they pupate after around 3 weeks. The pupae normally emerge in around 2-3 weeks and are stimulated by vibration but can lay dormant for up to a year if no hosts are present.
TREATMENT: Due to the life cycle of the Flea a residual insecticide is used which will stay active for a number of weeks. This is the most effective means to eradicate an infestation. Shop bought remedies (sprays and bombs) are not very effective as they have little residual component. Treatment takes around an hour to complete and re-entry into the property is usually achieved within 4 hours.
Stored Product insect Control
SPI is a genetic term for a large group of insects that eat or damage foodstuffs and making them unfit for use. This group is mainly made up from common species of Beetles, Weevils and Moths. Tell-tale signs of an infestation will be sightings of the insects in cupboards where the products are stored or flying around the vicinity. Removing the insects will almost certainly not resolve the problem as other stages of life (eggs, larvae etc) will also be present and not easy to find.
TREATMENT: Control of SPI’s can be very difficult and it is highly recommended that the advice of an experienced pest control company is sought.
Flies are our most common insect and pose a serious threat to humans, pets and livestock. They spread diseases, contaminate food and some can bite. Flies can be a nuisance when buzzing around your home or business but if you see flies in large numbers you could be facing an infestation which will require professional assistance.
TREATMENT: Putting off regular cleaning and maintenance of these areas may attract the pests and offer them a place to feed and develop. These pests are a nuisance because they infest in large numbers. Once inside, drain flies may plug pipes and spread bacteria from the filth they live in, possibly contaminating food in the process. These pests, even though they live in filth, are not known to spread any disease to humans.
Wasp & hornet Control
Wasps and Hornets share similar life cycles so the info below relates to both. During spring a queen Wasp emerges from hibernation and starts the task of starting the nest for the coming season. She will gather building materials usually consisting of wood from the local area, mixing it with saliva and will build a small nest about the size of a golf ball. In this nest will be around a dozen cells in which she will lay a single egg in each. Her role at this point is to nurture these eggs until they finally emerge as Wasps. These Wasps are workers and now take over the role of builders to enlarge the nest while the queen now solely lays eggs in the new cells being built. These eggs will continue to hatch into female workers and add to the current workforce. Around late summer the eggs start to hatch into Drones (males) and new Queens. These will mate and where the Drones die after mating the Queens will eventually leave the nest to find a place to hibernate for the winter before emerging to start the process over again. A worker Wasp usually only lives around 3 weeks while the Queen will live for around a year. Wasps can be aggressive insects and usually only attack when threatened. Once a Wasp has decided to attack then it will leave behind a pheromone that signals any nearby wasps to attack as well so things can get out of hand quickly. Wasps do not have a barb on their stings, unlike Bees, and can sting multiple times. Many people react to Wasp stings and, on the rare occasion, have known to be fatal. This reaction (Anaphylaxis) is serious and will require medical aid and possibly even a 999 call.
TREATMENT: Wasp nests are only treated if there is a danger to public health or safety. Wherever possible we will treat and remove the nest but this is not always possible as nests can be in accessible areas. In this case, entry points will get treated and usually the nest is dead by the following morning.
Cockroaches in your home or business can be very distressing. Cockroaches are known carriers of diseases such as Salmonella, Dysentery & Gastro-enteritis, exposure to this pest also poses significant health risks. Increases in eczema and asthma have even been linked to cockroach droppings. They breed quickly and can get out of control before you know it. There are thousands of Cockroaches worldwide but 2 main species dominate the UK.
- Oriental cockroaches: thrive in damp environments and can be found in drains and around your outside bins. They are a uniform dark brown or black in colour, adult Oriental cockroaches are approximately 20 – 30mm in length.
- German cockroaches: live in high humidity areas and can be found around warm areas of the home including your bathroom and kitchen. German cockroaches are easily identifiable by 2
dark stripes across their thorax. Adults grow to approximately 12 – 15mm in length.
TREATMENT: Initial treatment consists of a thorough survey to find out the extent of the infestation together with locating all the hiding places they may frequent. Glue traps are a good means to monitor an infestation but shouldn’t be used as a control method. Gel baits are the main control method as they are highly palatable to Cockroaches and being cannabalistic the insecticide can be ingested by the eating of dead Cockroaches. Spray treatments can also be used if the situation arises but due to the location of hiding places can be less effective.
The House Mouse is our most common small rodent and can be found in a wide variety of
establishments where humans frequent. They are approximately 70-90mm long (not including tail) with the tail being roughly the same length again. The fur is a light brown/grey colour uniformly over its whole body. They have big eyes and ears together with a pointed snout. They only live around a year due to predation but can live up to 3 years. The Field mouse (or Wood Mouse) is another species of mouse that can come indoors but usually prefers outbuildings/sheds etc to live in. They are of similar size but have a light grey underside and larger feet than the Hose Mouse and so are excellent jumpers.
Signs To Watch Out For:
- Droppings – small and dark (rice grain size), scattered randomly, can be found inside cupboards
or lofts in substantial numbers.
- Scratching – Usually at night when they are most active. Noises under floorboards, in false
ceilings, basements, lofts and wall cavities.
- Nests – Usually made up of chewed materials found in the area. Lofts are a favourite location due to an abundance of insulating materials, suspended ceilings, cavity walls, under floorboards. Can often be found inside the back of fridges/freezers also.
- Visual Sightings – Mice running around during the daytime can often indicate a substantial infestation.
- Strong smell – Mice urinate frequently and has a noticeably strong ammonia-like smell.
TREATMENT: There are a number of methods available to control Mice but it is important to try and find their entry points to prevent further infestations. Professional pest controllers will use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to tackling Mice in your home.
There are 2 main species of Rats here in the UK. The Brown Rat (Norwegian or Common Rat) is the larger of the rats in the UK measuring about 20-24cm, without counting the tail. It has a blunt nose, small hair-covered ears and a tail that is shorter than its body. The Black Rat (or Ship Rat) is shorter, has a pointed nose, large, almost hairless ears, a more slender body and a long thin tail that is longer than its body.
The Black Rat is far less common than the Norwegian Rat but can be found at some of our ports. Female Rats can reproduce every 6 weeks and have a litter of around 8-10 pups. The pups can mature in around 3 months and have a gestation period of around 3 weeks. Female Rats are able to mate soon after giving birth so its easy to see how quickly an infestation can take hold.
Rats can carry many nasty diseases, which can spread to humans, normally through rats’ urine or body coming into contact with food preparation areas. These include:
- Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease)
- Toxoplasma gondii
Signs of a rat infestation:
One of the most common signs of rats is their droppings, which are dark and pellet-shaped and around 1-2cm in length. These can be clustered in certain areas, as rats often create latrine areas. Chewed materials especially on food packaging are another clear sign of a Rat infestation. Rats will often use wall cavities to get about so noises in the walls/loft will almost certainly indicate a number of Rats in the property. Visual sightings are common and usually a clear indication of a substantial infestation.
TREATMENT: Treatment consists of a thorough initial survey to try and ascertain the reason they are present and identify how they are getting into the property. There are a number of ways to treat an infestation but the survey will go a long way in determining the method used. If Rodenticide is used then great care is taken to prevent children and pets from getting access to it and reducing the effect of any secondary poisoning.
Grey Squirrels are another pest that can cause serious damage to properties. They are also responsible for serious damage to our forests and the impact they have on our wildlife. They chew rafters and electrical wiring in lofts as well as using the insulation to make Dreys (Nests). They are very noisy when inside especially in the hours leading up to daybreak. Grey Squirrels have a silver-grey coat with a white underside and a brownish face. They moult their coat twice a year – once after winter and then in the late summer before the weather gets colder again. They average around 25cm in length, with a very bushy tail almost the same length of the body. They have a pointed nose with long whiskers, big eyes and small ears. Grey Squirrels usually have two litters a year, in early spring and summer and typically have three to seven kittens. Pregnancy (gestation) lasts roughly 44 days, with the young weaned at seven weeks and ready to leave the Drey at 10 weeks old. Kittens are born with closed eyes, no teeth and no hair. After about seven weeks they look like small versions of their parents and are ready to leave the Drey. Female squirrels can live up to five years, with male squirrels averaging around two-three years.
TREATMENT: Proofing is the desired method to stopping them from gaining access to properties. Unfortunately, they often have to be dispatched as being a non-native species it is illegal for anyone in the UK to release a Squirrel back into the wild. If trapping is done then only authorised humane traps are used.