Technical advice and treatments for nuisance pests

We can provide technical advice for a range of nuisance pests, such as:

Ants, bedbugs, birds, booklice (Psocids), brown tail moths, carpet beetles (Woolly Bears), cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, fox, grey squirrels, houseflies, larder beetles, mice, moles, mosquito, pigeons, rats, silverfish & firebrats, wasps, wood-boring beetles and woodlice.

We also provide treatment for rats, mice, fleas, wasps, cockroaches and bedbugs.

Arranging for a pest control treatment

To make an appointment for a Pest Control Operative to visit please contact us:

  • Email: customer.services@havant.gov.uk
  • Telephone: (023) 9244 6017
  • Visit: Customer Services reception in the atrium of the Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant PO9 2AX.

The appointment may be chargeable:

Carpet Beetles (Woolly Bears)

Carpet Beetles are one of the major pests of textiles. The adult beetle lives outdoors and feeds on pollen, it is the larval stage that feeds on natural textile fibres. They will feed on, and damage, woollen fabrics, carpets and clothes, even wool/synthetic mixtures, but do not attack pure synthetic fibres. The success of these beetles is attributed to central heating, giving more uniform temperatures, and the increased use of fitted carpets. Damage is often found when heavy furniture standing on wool mixture carpets is moved because the larvae like the dark space beneath where they can remain undisturbed.

What do carpet beetles and woolly bears look like?

The adults are about 2-4 mm long. The colour is variable, brown or black and mottled with yellow or white marks on the back. The larval stage has a characteristic banded appearance, 4-5mm long and covered in short bristles. The larva is known as a Woolly Bear.

What is their Life Cycle?

The adult female produces 20-100 eggs over a two week period. These are cream coloured and about 0.5 mm long. They are deposited in suitable crevices or stuck onto a potential larval feeding site. The eggs hatch in 2-4 weeks to the distinctive woolly bear. The mature larvae are 4-5 mm long and brown with tufts of hair, especially at the posterior end. The larvae avoid light and curl up when disturbed. The larval stage can last up to 10 months, depending on humidity, temperature and the availability of food. In general, soiled materials are preferred to clean ones. Larvae hibernate over winter and pupation occurs in the spring where the larvae have fed. Pupation lasts for 10-30 days then the adults emerge. Adults live for 2-6 weeks and can fly to the flowers on which they feed, and to search for egg laying sites.

How do you get rid of them?

These insects have a wandering habit that makes them difficult to control. Any pest control treatment must be carried out as part of a programme to remove their habitat. The first step is for you to find and remove the source of the infestation. This may be an old bird's nest, animal remains and wool based insulation, lagging or the debris that accumulates between floorboards. All sources of infestation should be removed and, if possible, burned. Regular checking and cleaning are also important. You can treat infestations yourself with a residual insecticide. When treating carpets and other furnishings, it is very important to carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing damage. However, thorough treatment is essential to ensure that all larvae are destroyed.

Havant Borough Council does not offer a treatment service for Carpet Beetles. Private Pest Control companies will offer a treatment service for Carpet Beetles and you can find more information from your local telephone directory.

Fleas

The three main common species are the cat, the dog and the human flea.

To guard against flea infestations pets should preferably be treated regularly with a spot-on treatment. Alternatively they should be regularly checked for fleas and treated if necessary with a flea spray or collar. Regular use of a flea comb is also very effective. Minor infestations should be treated following advice given below.

The Life Cycle of the Flea

The adult flea is about 2mm long and brownish in colour. Flea eggs are small, oval shaped and pearl white in colour and are laid indiscriminately in the fur of the host or in its bedding or resting material. The eggs hatch in about one week into white thread-like larvae. The larvae thrive in dark, humid places such as carpets and animal bedding.

After two to three weeks when they are fully-grown the larvae spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult usually emerges within seven weeks but can remain as a pupa throughout the winter, only emerging when triggered by the movement of a suitable host. The complete life cycle will normally last four weeks but may take longer at low temperatures.

All fleas live as parasites on warm-blooded animals and although they have a preferred host, both the cat and dog flea can also be found on and feed from other animals and humans. Fleas can also be found in the host's bedding. The flea population reaches its peak in September and is a particular problem in areas of high population density.

Fleas can be responsible for the transmission of parasitic worms such as the dog tapeworm so it is advisable to regularly worm your dog or cat.

Flea bites will be seen as tiny dark red sports surrounded by a reddened area. The bite will remain irritating for one to two days and in some cases may lead to hypersensitivity.

What you can do

By taking simple measures you may be able to prevent an infestation and control a minor flea infestation yourself:

  • Pets should preferably be treated regularly with a spot-on treatment.
  • Thoroughly clean all infested clothing and bedding.
  • Thoroughly clean the infested area by vacuuming carpet edges and soft furnishing and remove all accumulations which may act as a breeding site.
  • After vacuuming always throw the vacuum cleaner bag away or reinfestation will occur.
  • Check your pets regularly for fleas and treat if necessary with a flea spray or flea collar. Regular use of a flea comb is also very effective.

Havant Borough Council offers a disinfestation service where a trained operative is sent in to spray the house in question with insecticide

We can send a trained operative to spray your house with an insecticide that is not available to the general public. Once the property has been sprayed, any cats or dogs you have must be kept out of the property until the spray has dried completely, which takes about two to four hours depending upon temperature.

After the property has been treated the carpets must not be vacuumed for 14 days. This is to ensure that fleas hatching out from recently-laid eggs, will be destroyed by the insecticide. You will continue to see live fleas for at least 10 days until all the eggs have hatched out.

Any cats or dogs must be treated for fleas at the same time in order to prevent reinfestation. Do not treat the cat or dog in the garden or on the floor. Stand the cat or dog in a dry bath or sink so that any fleas falling into the bath or sink can be washed away.
Safety Precautions

If a child drops a toy onto the floor wash the toy before giving it back to the child.

If you have a baby, it is advisable to put down a blanket, or something similar, before you let it crawl on the floor.

Rats

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on owners and occupiers of property to keep their land free from rodents and a duty on the Council to ensure that owners and occupiers fulfil their duty.

If owners and occupiers fail in their obligations under the Act, formal action may be taken against them by the Council and/or they may be required to engage a private contractor.
Free service for Rat Control:

In order to assist owners and occupiers fulfil their duty to keep their property free of rats, we offer a rodent control service for rats in domestic, commercial and farm premises. However, in most circumstances charges will apply.

About rats

The most frequent type of rat is the common rat and this is mainly active at night.

Rats are a major hazard to health as they can spread diseases such as Weils Disease and can cause contamination and damage to foodstuffs. Through their gnawing habit they also cause considerable structural damage to woodwork, water pipes, electric cables and so on.

Rats breed at an alarming rate particularly in the spring and autumn. They need a nearby water source and are often found in and near sewers or drains.
Description

The adult common rat may weight from 10oz (300gm) and has brown fur on its back and grey underneath; its tail is shorter than its head and body.
Distribution

The common rat is the most abundant and widespread species and can be found anywhere that offers shelter and food - including sewers. They are efficient burrowers and favour compost heaps and the ground underneath hedges and sheds where they will dig shallow burrows and form nests with dry grass and leaves. In houses they will nest in wall cavities and beneath floorboards.
Life Cycle

The life expectancy of rats is around 18 months, during which time a female will typically breed five times. The average size of a litter is between seven and eight. Breeding occurs throughout the year but especially in Spring and Autumn.

What to look out for

There are some simple tell-tale signs to look out for that will reveal whether you have rats in your home:

  • Damage from gnawing and feeding such as tooth marks on packaging and wires.
  • Holes - rat holes about 80mm in diameter.
  • Greasy smears along walls, skirting boards and pipes from rodent fur.
  • Droppings - rat droppings are 15mm to 20mm long, and are usually grey or black in colour with a pointed end.
  • Flattened grass, plants and other vegetation where rats have created their own pathway.
  • Nests (sometimes found indoors, in lofts or under floorboards).
  • Scratching and gnawing sounds from the loft, under the floorboards and in wall cavities.

Control

You may need professional help in controlling colonies of rats. Their ability to burrow, climb and jump, and the speed with which they breed and form new colonies, make rats difficult to control.

The following points may help to prevent an infestation:

  • Make sure drainpipes are not broken, and drain inspection covers are in good condition.
  • If you feed birds, use a bird table or a hanging net, and ensure any food that falls to the ground is cleared away.
  • Don't leave food for other wildlife on the ground and clean up after rabbits, guinea pigs and other pets, making sure their cages are raised off the ground.
  • Don't put meat into compost heaps or compost bins or other non-fruit or vegetable waste onto open compost heaps - use a properly designed compost unit.
  • When building a compost heap or siting a compost bin, use strong small gauge wire mesh on the base or site them on a concrete base to stop rats digging underneath.
  • Secure outbuildings and sheds so that rats and mice cannot get inside.
  • Make sure gardens don't become overgrown, and don’t let rubbish build up outside (such as old carpets, timber, etc) as this will provide protection for rats.

In the event of infestation our Pest Control Officers will visit and survey the area to determine the most appropriate control measures, which may include the laying of poison baits along rat runs and in the drainage system.

The baits must be left undisturbed and will be examined by our officers when a revisit is made.

Safety

All pesticides are applied by our qualified and experienced staff to ensure the safety of the public and to minimise damage to the environment.