Pest Control – Leave it to the Professionals!

As a professional pest controller, I’m sure you expect me to say, “leave it to the professionals,” after all, it is in my best interest. However, that’s not why I’m saying it. Pest control should be left to the professionals because it really isn’t a job for an amateur. Here’s why…


At the start of April, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was contacted by a member of the public in Edinburgh when they heard a terrible wailing sound. Upon further inspection, they found a fox cub stuck to a glue trap. Releasing the creature took several hours and a combination of fairy liquid, vegetable oil and soapy water but, even so, his skin and fur were damaged.

The story of ‘Sticky’, as the fox cub was christened, demonstrates an important fact about pest control – it should only be done by the professionals!

Obviously, we don’t know all the facts about this story. Some reports say the glue trap was supplied by a pest control company, although others suggest the positioning of the trap was actually done by the customer and not a professional technician. Either way, there is no defence for creating a situation where a fox cub is made to suffer in this way.

Glue traps are typically used to trap rodents and other vermin and they should never be positioned in a way where they might trap other vertebrates. Naturally enough, this has renewed the call for a ban on glue traps and, sure enough, Defra’s recently released Action Plan for Animal Welfare includes a proposal to restrict the use of glue traps.

As industry professionals, we naturally support Defra’s aims with regards to animal welfare, but it is an important truth to acknowledge that glue traps are an essential tool for our trade. They should be used only in the right circumstance but, as BPCA Chief Executive Ian Andrew states, “when all else fails or time is critical to protect human life…they’re the last line of defence for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Professional vs DIY

Like the other hot topic in the industry at the moment – rodenticides – the key factors that must be considered are: who is using these products and what training do they have?

In a recent opinion piece on the Professional Pest Controller website, it was stated, “Pest control is not just a case of killing rats in your garden, it’s the skill to not kill everything else in the garden too which is what sets the cost and value of a pest management professional apart from the DIY ‘enthusiast’.”

As professional pest control technicians, when we visit a site with a rodent problem our first thought is not, how much bait can I lay? Instead, we look at the complete picture: the environment; where rodents enter and exit a property; where they may be nesting; what attracts them to the property (food?); who else uses the affected areas (pets, children?); and what other wildlife may be impacted by our treatments.

As a company with considerable experience in dealing with pests in urban, semi-urban and rural environments, we have a range of options available to us. Each of them has their place but not all of them can be used at every property. The ultimate goal is to remove the problem without negatively impacting anything, or anyone, else.

For the DIY ‘enthusiast’, the goal is to eradicate the problem. The logic often goes something like this: pests equal poison. Since most people fail to read the instructions on the rodenticide, they will then either put too little, hoping to save money or protect the environment, or too much – the blitzkrieg approach. In the first case, there won’t be enough to kill and that leads to rodents building up resistance to the rodenticide. The second approach may well kill the rat or mouse, but it could also kill other animals or, if it is not removed after use, potentially pollute the environment.

For some rodent problems, there is no quick fix solution. To successfully remove the pests, and then ensure they remain removed, takes a considered preventive pest control strategy. Over time, a professional pest control technician will adapt this strategy to ensure it remains optimal. An amateur will not think in these terms.

If you’ve seen the images coming from New South Wales, Australia, which is currently experiencing a plague of rodents, you can see why pest control isn’t something that can be ignored. Pest control is a serious business that takes skill and training. Simply having the tools, whether it’s a glue trap or a box of bait, isn’t enough to do the job safely and effectively.

London Network for Pest Solutions has the expertise to deal with your rodent problems quickly, safely, and discreetly. If you have a problem, call us on 020 8430 4133 or email here.

Image: Andreas N from Pixabay