Warren’s World – Summer Time Good and Bad

What a last couple of months we’ve had. June started off fantastic then tailed off to wind and rain, in fact Christmas day last year was warmer than June 29th. From a pest controllers point of view, the hotter the better, most pests need 22 degrees for a week to ten days to really get going with breeding and hatching.

The wasps started building their nests in late June and during July and August we start to see them get bigger. In June I actually went to a ladies house who had a small wasps nest in a bedroom drawer.

There’s been an increase in cockroaches and ants but the biggest problem has been a massive explosion of rats in the last couple of months, I can’t recall a busier June with our long tailed friends. I put this down to the mild winter and bins not getting emptied as often as in previous years, in my opinion two weeks is too long at this time of year. As well as rats, cats and foxes are attracted to the smell of the bins and can easily tip the bin over which results in waste food all over the pavement, which in turn brings it’s own problems.

Leeds town centre, especially in the low lying areas near the river has had a few real rodent problems. Some of the waterside flats are having to put bin liners on the ground because there’s not enough bins to go round, which is basically the same as setting a three course meal with silver service out for them!

It’s not all bad news in summer, it’s been great for Sparrows, especially house sparrows nesting in the eves and roofs of older properties. If they’re not causing any damage leave them be, they’re only nesting to have their chicks and once they fledge then they move on leaving an empty nest. So come August when I know they’ll have flown away, I’ll come and get rid of the nest and seal the hole up. I’ll also spray round to get rid of bird lice and mites which are attracted to the nest and look for somewhere else to feed once the birds have flown.

They say one swallow doesn’t make a summer but I recently read a report of swallows remaining in the South of England last winter. Swallows live on flies and the fact they haven’t felt the need to migrate and there were also enough flies about last winter to keep them fed speaks volumes about our ever changing climate.

I live in Leeds 14 and due to the woodland in Swarcliffe/ Whinmoor, there’s a lot of wild life you might not realise is there. There’s two Tawny Owl’s who have made it their habitat and the Red Kites are breeding like mad, I hear they are even naming some new streets after them.

I recently watched a Sparrow Hawk catch a smaller bird over the woodland in Swarcliffe. He then did a bit of an aerial display before passing the dead bird to the female who in turn took it back to the nest to feed their young. Who needs Springwatch when it happens in your own back garden?

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