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Job Vacancies

Title:                     Full-time Pest Control Technician
Salary:                  £19,000 per annum
Hours per week    40 hours

Hinton Pest Control Ltd is expanding operations and is looking to recruit 2 new Pest Control Technicians.

 The successful applicant will have:

  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience as a Pest Control Technician.
  • A valid full driving licence
  • A minimum qualification of BPCA/RSPH Level 2 in Pest Control or Pest Management

The candidate needs to have:

  • Individual motivation
  • Be able to work unsupervised
  • Good communication skills

It would be advantageous to the candidate if they:

  • Are experienced in bird proofing and wildlife management
  • Hold a valid open ticket firearms licences (shotgun/rifle)
  • Possess licensed firearms (shotgun/rifle)
  • Are qualified in the Use of Aluminum Phosphide

To apply, please send your CV via email to liz@hintonpestcontrol.co.uk

Closing Date:  Friday 5th May 2017

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Worcestershire firm hits European quality mark!

A WORCESTERSHIRE company has become one of the first in the country to achieve a new accreditation promoting professional standards in pest control. The European Standard for Pest Management Services acts as a demonstration of credentials and a benchmark of quality throughout Europe. Hinton Pest Control, based in the Vale of Evesham, this week became only the fourth company in the UK to achieve the standard.

Team HPC

Liz Davies, Managing Director of Hinton Pest Control, with Senior Pest Technician Tim Cubberley (left) and Technical Director Steven Blount (right).

Hinton Pest Control is a family-run business that provides pest control services across Worcestershire, South Warwickshire, The Cotswolds and North Gloucestershire. Liz Davies, Managing Director of Hinton Pest Control, is confident the accreditation, which is independently assessed, will help her team to stand out from the crowd. She said: “This certification delivers a real proof of quality, so the fact we’re among the first in the UK to be accredited is a real feather in our cap. We are a small family-run company which focuses on great customer service, but it’s very important for us to demonstrate our professional credentials & technical expertise and this provides independent proof of that.”

Mrs Davies, who has also been shortlisted in two categories at the Wonderful Worcestershire Women Awards 2016, added: “It was a lot of hard work to achieve the certification because the auditing process was a tough audit process that differentiates Hinton Pest Control from others; the standard is extremely difficult to achieve for a small business. But we’re members of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and they steered us in the right direction. We know it will be worth the effort in the end.”

The EN16636 Standard, and its accompanying certification scheme, was launched earlier this year by the Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA). It defines quality and best practice and acts as an assurance that member companies are fully qualified to deal with all species of both rodents and insects and experts on integrated pest management, the use of chemicals and health and safety issues. The Standard is the cornerstone of a strategy to portray a positive image of the pest control industry in terms of public health, food safety, environmental sustainability and economic significance.

Simon Forrester, Chief Executive of the BPCA, believes the move will deliver significant benefits for Hinton. He said: “We know of many pest controllers who are untrained and do not stay up-to-date with the latest products, techniques and legislation – and that’s something which can create big problems. But this award demonstrates that Hinton Pest Control is on a level playing field with the very best pest management companies in the world and businesses and individuals using their services can be totally confident of a thoroughly professional job.”

Mrs Davies is in the running for Female-Owned Business of the Year and Significant Achievement of the Year at the Wonderful Worcestershire Women Awards – an initiative to celebrate the business success of women throughout the county. The public vote is open until 26 February 2016 here http://wonderfulworcestershirewomen.co.uk/award-categories/ The winners will be announced in an event at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on Friday, April 29.

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Chickens & Rat Control

 

Image showing chickens feeding indoors

Chickens feeding indoors

Keeping chickens at home is becoming more popular; in fact, we have a small flock of chickens. The eggs are fresh and our children enjoy looking after them. However, owning a pest control company, we are aware that poultry husbandry can actively encourage rats that are opportunistic feeders, into the area. Rats will steal food, eggs & chicks, if they can get to them.

Further information can be found in Hinton Pest Control’s Chickens and Rat Control Leaflet 2015 

Recent studies in Canada indicate that rats can absorb disease agents from their local environment such as E. coli  The full article can be read here.

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Wonderful Worcestershire Women Awards 2016

Receiving nominee certificates

Liz Davies, short-listed for two awards

Our Managing Director, Liz Davies was recently nominated for two local awards: Female-Owned Business of the Year and Significant Achievement of the Year.   At the Wonderful Worcestershire Women Awards 2016 launch on 12 January, Liz was delighted to find out that she had been short-listed and selected to take part in a public vote in the next round of the awards.

Here is Liz’s short biography to support her nomination for these awards:

“I’m a woman living & working in Worcestershire who has previous experience of:
-  working in male-dominated industries,
-  being a full-time working mother,
-  volunteering in my community,
-  the security of a salaried role;  and yet I took that leap of faith with my own family business.

If I hadn’t tried, I would have always had regrets. I want to demonstrate to other women that it’s possible to juggle many facets of modern day life, love your family, build your business and serve your community whilst performing to the best of your abilities. You CAN make a difference.”

The team at Hinton Pest Control Ltd would love it if you showed your support for Liz & Hinton Pest Control Ltd in this next round by voting for her in both categories (Votes limited to one vote only in each category).

To take part in the public vote for all categories, click Public Vote for Wonderful Worcestershire Women Awards

Further details about #WWWAwards2016 can be found here Wonderful Worcestershire Women Website

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Pest Prevention Boost for Worcestershire Food Banks

Hinton Pest Control Ltd is owned by husband and wife team, Steven Blount and Liz Davies.  Hinton Pest Control adopted their own family values which are reflected in their dedication to customer care, service delivery & supporting local communities.  Click here to read about Hinton Pest Control’s pro bono work for local food banks across Worcestershire and The Cotswolds, as part of National Pest Prevention Week (Nov 9-14).

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Redditch Restaurant Fined for Mouse Infestation

A restaurant owner in Redditch which had a mouse infestation in a rear storeroom was fined £2,500 last week.  The offences related to a storeroom and included failing to ensure the premises were kept clean, failing to protect food against contamination and failing to have in place adequate procedures to control pests.  The full article can be viewed by clicking here

Hinton Pest Control Ltd undertakes commercial work for a variety of clients including businesses such as food retailers, hotels, airports, motoring, warehouses, offices, food distributors, seed merchants, manufacturers, farms, leisure facilities, retail markets etc.

Having an annual contract with regular routine pest control visits enables businesses to be proactive against rodents as a preventative measure, rather than reactive which could potentially damage your business reputation.

Whatever your primary business concern may be about pests e.g. food safety and hygiene, reputation, public health, accreditation schemes, protection of stored food or even cables in a server room, Hinton Pest Control Ltd can offer you a service level agreement that meets the needs of your business.  If your business would like a free site survey and a written pest control proposal, call us on 01386 41762 and we’ll be happy to help you.

 

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What Flying Insect Am I?

At this time of year, we are preparing ourselves for various insect seasons.  There are millions of species of insects and in the sunshine, they are all out and about doing their thing but only a handful of them become a pest which require pest control intervention.  An approximate timeline of these seasons may help you to identify which insect you have and their behaviour, which in itself can be reassuring.

Red Mason Bee

Red Mason Bee using an existing hole

March/April – We receive enquiries about solitary bee activity of which there are more than 200 recorded species.  They are individual bees that can appear in numbers.  These insects do not live in colonies, they will lay their eggs in an existing hole in a building and then they will backfill it with vegetation, leaving soon after.  As soon as the larvae emerge, they will eat their way out and as adults, they too will leave.  They do not sting.  Most Mason Bees nest in existing cavities which is why they take so easily to “bee hotels” that many people put up in their gardens.  The majority of ground nesting bees actually dig their own burrows, the spoil forms little soil “volcanos” around the burrow entrance in many cases.   If your lawn is affected in this way, just go over the soil with a stiff brush and spread it over the lawn.  This won’t cause a problem for the bees; they will find the revised entrance, clean out any soil that got pushed in to the burrow and carry on with things.  They will only be with you for a few weeks and then you won’t see them again until next year in March / April.  Hinton Pest Control Ltd does not provide pest control for solitary bees.

Bumble Bee | Hinton Pest Control

Bumblebee

April / May – We anticipate bumblebee enquiries.  Of the 250 known species, 25 are found in the UK but only 6 of these are a familiar sight in our gardens.  At Hinton Pest Control, we actively encourage people to live along side these beautiful and docile creatures who are temporary lodgers that do not cause any damage to a property.  They are social bees that have an average number of about 40-50 individuals in the colony.  Individuals will only sting as a last resort if they feel threatened and will die shortly afterwards.

 

Occasionally we relocate them if they have nested in a bird box but otherwise we leave them alone where possible.

Honey Bee | Hinton Pest Control

Honeybee

April/May/June – We anticipate honeybee enquiries.  We work closely with the Worcestershire Bee Keeper Association to collect displaced swarms but if they are in the fabric of the building, it is unlikely that a beekeeper can assist.  Honeybees can cause structural damage if they have been in situ for a while.  Typically, they will gather in a “cloud-like” formation close their entrance to the nest.  They are social bees that can be made up of thousands of individuals in the colony.  Individuals and other nearby individuals can sting if they feel threatened and will die shortly afterwards.  Honey Bees are tricky in pest control terms and although we offer no guarantee of accepting the work, we do try to problem solve for our clients.  A full survey is required before any treatment can be attempted.  Sometimes they are easily dealt with but sometimes it ends up as a two person job requiring a number of treatments plus the skills of builders to remove honeycomb & seal the treatment area.

 

Wasp | Hinton Pest Control

Vespula vulgaris

May/June/July/August/September – This is wasp/hornet season and all species of social wasp, they are treated as pests when they come into conflict with people.  These social wasps can contain a few hundred individuals (and sometimes a few thousand later on in the season) in the colony.  Wasps will sting and they can sting repeatedly but they don’t necessarily die.  Worker wasps die from starvation in the autumn/winter and new Queen Wasps go off to hibernate, leaving the nest empty.  The Queen Wasps will make a brand new nest in the spring and leave old nests uninhabited which will gradually crumble and disintegrate.   Hinton Pest Control Ltd routinely provides pest control treatment for nests where there is wasp activity.

Further Information about the above species can be found by clicking the following links:

Hinton Pest Control Ltd

Bumblebees:   http://hintonpestcontrol.co.uk/index.php/we-encourage-people-to-live-alongside-bumblees-where-possible/
Honeybee and Wasp Comparison:  http://hintonpestcontrol.co.uk/index.php/is-it-a-honeybee-or-a-wasp/
Hornets:  http://hintonpestcontrol.co.uk/index.php/hornet-sightings-create-a-buzz/

Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Bumblebee Identification:  http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/identification/

Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society

BWARS Beginners:  http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/beginners-bees-wasps-and-ants
BWARS Technical:  http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/bees-britain

Royal Entomological Society

General Insects:  http://www.royensoc.co.uk/insect_info/what_is_it.htm
Solitary Bees:  http://www.royensoc.co.uk/insect_info/what/solitary_bees.htm?hc_location=ufi
Bumblebees:  http://www.royensoc.co.uk/insect_info/what/bumblebees.htm

Worcestershire Bee Keepers Association
Honey Bees:  http://www.wbka.net/

Wild About Gardens
Solitary Bee Hotels:  http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/thingstodo/intwohours/build-a-bee-hotel.aspx

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Autumn: Treatment of Wasps’ Nests

Wasp | Hinton Pest Control

Vespula vulgaris

Thanks to the beautiful weather in September, we are still dealing with wasp enquiries in October.  This is not the ideal time of year to treat a wasps’ nest, so we thought an article to explain why would be useful.

As the nest reaches its maximum size towards the end of summer/beginning of autumn the queen will lay queen eggs and drone eggs.  Each nest will produce around 1000/1500 new queens.  Once these eggs have been laid, the existing queen will not lay any further eggs.  These eggs hatch out and when they have pupated they turn into virgin queens (substantially larger than worker wasps) and male drone wasps.  They leave the nest and navigate to special mating areas.  In most species of social wasp, the young queens mate in the vicinity of their home nest and do not travel like their male counterparts do.  The young queens will then hibernate for the winter once the other worker wasps and founder queen have started to die off.

The adult worker wasps that are left in the nest now have no food source.  This is when wasps can become a problem as they go looking for other food sources and often cross paths with humans.

When we treat a wasps’ nest, we rely on the help of the wasp itself to come into contact with the insecticidal dust taking it back into the nest.  The colony becomes contaminated and the nest dies.  Next seasons queens may leave their nest in late summer and not return to it, thus avoiding any pest control action which may then be taken against the nest.  When the weather cools, perhaps several weeks after they left the nest, these Queen Wasps might try to get into your house in order to hibernate.

If you decide to leave a wasps’ nest to its natural fate then as the weather gets colder and autumn arrives, food diminishes and the remaining adult wasps and old queens will die off due to starvation.  By winter most average size nests have died but occasionally a large nest will survive longer if enough food can be found.

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Hornet Sightings Create a Buzz

At this time of year, native European Hornets (Vespa crabro) are venturing out of hibernation and starting to build their nests.  Hornets appear very similar to common wasps, but are larger and coloured chestnut-brown (rather than black) and yellow. The largest of the British social wasps, they build papery nests in hollow trees, although hornet nests have been discovered in wall cavities and chimneys.

Largest native social wasp

Largest native social wasp

Recent media reports within the Midlands have reported on Asian Hornets (Vespa velutina) and/or Oriental Hornets (Vespa mandarina).  In actual fact, each of these reports has subsequently been identified as the European Hornet.

Hymettus Ltd is a registered charity that gives advice on the conservation of bees, wasps and ants within Great Britain and Ireland and they have some useful information sheets.

European Hornet Information Sheet

Asian Hornet Information Sheet

There is also an interesting article from the National History Museum that compares the three species and provides additional information Natural History Museum Article

“There have been no confirmed sightings of Asian hornets in the UK – they are smaller than our own native hornets and are no more dangerous” according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).  “We are aware of the potential impacts they could have on honey bees and have plans in place to eradicate them if they are identified.  In Great Britain we would not expect Asian hornets to establish outside southern parts of England and Wales due to colder weather.” Further information from DEFRA can be found here DEFRA/Beebase

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Is it a Honeybee or a Wasp?

We know that wasps have started building their nests but at this time of year, most of our enquiries turn out to be honeybees.  Identifying the insect correctly is very important in pest control terms.  If you are unsure of their visual differences, maybe this will help you?

Comparing the differences between a wasp and a honeybee

Comparing the differences between a wasp and a honeybee

At this time of year, honeybees can turn up out of nowhere.  Here is our initial advice regarding honeybees: If you notice a rugby ball shaped mass in a tree, bush or hedgerow, then contact a local beekeeper or search for someone who can collect your bees by clicking this link Search for a Swarm Collector  Try and contact someone as soon as possible and if time is kind to your local beekeeper, they will be happy to come and collect them.  Be aware, that the swarm can move off on its own accord at a moment’s notice, leaving as unexpectedly as they arrived.

Ready for collection

Ready for collection

If you have suddenly noticed a “cloud-like” formation of bees flying in and around your chimney, then this is clear honeybee behaviour.  The Queen sometimes becomes disorientated (due to weather) or requires a bigger environment for her colony and can fly off, with the rest of the colony following her.  In this instance, timing is critical as the Queen can take upto 72 hours before deciding whether she is going to stay or not.  If your chimney is a working chimney with either an open fire or wood/coal burner, then by lighting a fire & creating smoke for a few hours this may just be enough to discourage her and she will leave with the rest of the colony following.  If however, after 72 hours they are still there, the chances are she has entered the fabric of the building and a beekeeper will be unable to entice her out. If your chimney is non-working or has been blocked off, observe them for 48-72 hours and she may well move on, on her own accord. All bees are tremendously useful insects to our environment and honey bees have the additional skill of making honey. Honey Bees remain in their nests year round and will store their honey in their nest to feed the colony over winter.  If your bees have been with you longer than 72 hours, then we will be happy to do a site survey and advise you accordingly.