COSTS

Bird Control and Prevention – How to get rid of birds?

Bird Control and Prevention – How to get rid of birds?

Effective bird control is extremely important in order to prevent a number of serious issues.  Pest birds carry many diseases which can be transmitted to humans, primarily through their foul (dried excrement can turn into powder which is harmful when inhaled and wet excrement can get into the human bloodstream through open wounds or poor hand hygiene). 49% of all feral pigeons carry disease and there are 60 different kinds of diseases carried by pigeons. 

Besides the health risks, bird deterrent measures are necessary as bird fouling is dangerous as a trip/slip hazard, it can be unsightly, and it also causes property damage due to its uric acid content which erodes surfaces. The birds themselves also inflict property damage through their nesting activity.

During nesting season some pest birds can be aggressive, such as gulls, and there’s a risk they will dive bomb people or even directly attack. Insects which inhabit stored products can be found in the bird’s nests and make their way into the property, e.g. flour weevils.

Pest birds can carry parasites/biting insects such as bird mites, fleas, ticks and even bedbugs which can result in a secondary pest infestation.

All birds in the UK are a protected species, however, control is possible on some types under general license. When dealing with birds, a preventative approach is recommended for conservation purposes.

 

The best and most long-lasting way to get rid of pest birds is to install proofing measures in the area to stop them being able to nest or roost there. There are a number of bird deterrents, all have their merits and also their disadvantages – the right one for a particular situation will depend on factors such as the building type, building location, the purpose of the building, the physical structures around the area to be addressed, bird species and numbers etc. 

The most common bird deterrent methods are:

Spikes

 

Bird spikes are narrow strips of material that contain a number of spikes. They are most commonly placed along eaves, window sills, roofs and walls, or wherever birds land near or on the property. They are particularly good for ledges and are cost effective. However, they are open to damage and birds/debris can get caught in them.

Bird free gel

 

Also known as ‘fire gel’, it is a relatively new method of bird control, first introduced in 2011. It appears to birds that there is a fire, making them avoid the area. Installed in small dishes, it is non-toxic, unobtrusive and low maintenance. This approach works for historical buildings where the appearance of the building needs to be maintained. However, the low-profile gel dishes need to be open to UV light e.g. sunlight, they can be affected by their environment (you wouldn’t necessarily want to install them somewhere which is particularly dusty as that could diminish their effectivity) and they only work for areas with milder bird issues.


Netting

 

Usually made of polyethylene, bird netting is an effective way of bird proofing buildings and other structures against pest bird species. It provides a discreet and impenetrable barrier that protects premises without harming the birds. Bird netting can be particularly effective for large open areas such as roofs and loading bays and provides a good long term solution, particularly when combined with a maintenance contract (several visits per year to check the condition of the netting). However, it can be expensive.



Mesh

 

Made of metal, bird mesh is long-lasting and sturdy. Usually fitted in areas which are exposed or vulnerable to regular human activity, the downside of mesh is that it prohibits access to that area so cannot be fitted where entry is required e.g. around pipes.



Bird scarers

Can be audio (emitting noises which make birds uncomfortable) or visual (such as scarecrows, hawk kites, dead birds and balloons).  These methods are less intrusive than others mentioned in this article, unfortunately this also means they can be less effective due to the birds becoming habituated to the stimulus. 

Hawking

 

This is the process of using predatory birds as a natural pest bird deterrent. Specially selected species (usually hawks – hence the name) are trained to deal with working in unnatural environments with distractions and dangers they would not usually encounter. This approach is based on the fact that many pest birds have a natural fear of predators, so their presence in the area encourages problem species to disperse. Although this is a environmentally-friendly way of controlling pest birds, it does need to be done regularly to be effective.


Lasers

A method which relies on pest birds being startled by the strong contrast between the ambient light and the laser beam. This technique is more successful during low light conditions and can be attuned to frequencies and wavelengths that individual bird species don’t like. However, safety concerns over the use of the beam at night are possible as it can be visible over a large distance and cause widespread disturbance to many species – some nations even have laws which prohibit the use of lasers over a certain power. It’s also expensive in comparison to some other bird pest control techniques.



Avishock

A track is laid on flat surfaces, when the bird comes into contact with the track it emits a small electric pulse which subsequently deters the bird from returning to the area. Often used alongside netting, wire and/or spikes on difficult to proof areas. This system is similar to the bird free gel in the sense that its low profile and visually subtle. It’s also weather-proof but only works for smaller flocks and requires mains electric to plug it into.



Although a common pest issue, rats pose a serious problem to both your property and your health; they can chew through furnishings and electrical cables, contaminate food sources and 50% of them carry the fatal Weils Disease plus other rodent-borne illnesses. They are also unhygienic, can create bad smells within your property and multiply at an alarming rate so it’s important to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible. 

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How much does loft insulation clearance cost?

How much does loft insulation clearance cost?

Not something you think about until you need it! However, there are multiple reasons why loft insulation may require clearance, such as:

  • To replace with better-quality insulation (which meets legal thickness guidelines and saves money on energy bills)
  • To replace old, damp insulation
  • To replace pest-infested insulation
  • To perform building work or repairs
  • To replace insulation that was installed incorrectly

 

Loft insulation clearance can be undertaken both by companies who focus exclusively on this product and also companies who provide it as part of another activity such as pest control, roofing and other home services such as window replacement, boiler repairs, and driveway repairs.

Pricing a loft insulation clearance can be challenging as there are many factors which will affect the cost. The size of loft will make a huge difference in terms of labour and materials required and the likely duration of the job, so it’s easy to see why it’ll be a pivotal influencer of the cost.

The type and quantity of insulation being removed and reinstated will affect the cost, along with the condition of the old insulation being extracted. The most common type of loft insulation is blanket insulation which costs roughly £5 per square metre.

The loft access, and whether any special equipment is required, must also be considered plus any extra services which might be necessary in conjunction such as electrical works, implementing loft access, installing loft boarding and fitting insulation around water pipes. All houses built before 2000 will also require an asbestos survey before loft insulation clearance can take place.

In addition to the above cost influencers, the price can be calculated in various different ways for example per sq m/sq ft, by time/amount of materials used or by quantity of waste disposed.

Due to the many variables involved in loft insulation clearance and replacement you can see why many companies are hesitant to provide a quote without having sight of the property. Below are several examples of what you might expect to experience when requesting a cost for loft insulation clearance and reinstatement on a 92m2 area, through both specialist loft clearance companies and through pest control companies:

Loft clearance and insulation companies:

LoftRite

West Sussex-based LoftRite offer a tiered pricing system on loft insulation clearance and replacement, including several optional services. The standard loft clearance involving the safe removal of old loft boards and unwanted stored items, followed by complete loft insulation removal and new insulation installation covering 92m2 would cost £4,241 (0% VAT).

LoftRite also suggested installing a 10m2 raised platform for storage at a cost of £1,250 (0% VAT) and a concertina loft ladder with converting pop up loft hatch to drop down loft trap door at a cost of £550 (0% VAT).

 

Surrey Home Insulation

A company specialising in insulating domestic properties, Surrey Home Insulation would cost based on a price per square foot, which would be £1-5 depending on how bad the condition of the existing insulation was, they would also add labour onto that which is charged at £300-£500 per day. Therefore, for a 92m2 loft the price could range from £1,590 – £5,950, based on the average job duration which is two days – it’s not clear exactly what is included for this price.

 

Terminix

A global organisation offering a complete Integrated Pest Management Service, Terminix will put you in touch with one of their surveyors in order to put together a quote, however, it’s likely they’ll wish to visit the property before they’ll commit to a price.

 

Total Pest Control

Total Pest Control, who cover the midlands down to the South coast, will recommend that their surveyor makes contact with the customer in the first instance. Their telephone operatives are not able to provide any costs over the phone. Via their surveyor, Total Pest Control said that it would cost £2,000 + VAT for removal and replacement of 92m2 of loft insulation, biocide spraying of the loft and disposal of the waste.

 

Pest UK

Providing pest control services for Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire & Hertfordshire, Surrey and London since 1985. Pest UK quoted £4,245 + VAT for skip hire, insulation removal, biocide spraying and replacement of insulation in a 92m2 loft.

 

JG Pest Control

A family-run pest control business covering London, The Midlands, North West and the South, JG were not able to offer any kind of ballpark figure for the clearance. They would charge a fee of £100 + VAT to conduct a survey of the loft area but this cost would be taken off the cost of the service, if the customer were to go ahead.

 

Contego

A company focussing on overall risk reduction, Contego will only do loft insulation clearance outside of a pest control treatment on rare occasions. When getting in touch with Contego you will be advised to send over an email including contact details and requirements, they will then send this information over to a surveyor to get in touch.  

 

Pestokill

The UK’s largest Independent pest controller, trading since 1985, Pestokill don’t advertise loft insulation clearance and replacement as a service on their website, however, they do perform it. They quoted £1,730 + VAT for the loft insulation clearance and replacement including skip hire, labour and spraying the 92m2 loft with biocide.



PGH Pest Prevention

Surrey-based but with franchise units across the UK, PGH Pest Prevention would usually quote loft clearance as an extension of another pest control treatment (e.g. rats, mice, wasp nests, birds, textile pests, woodworm, squirrels, cluster flies etc.) to help clear infestations permanently and to make the loft areas hygienic for clients to go into. However, they also offer it as a stand-alone service, if requested.

PGH Pest Prevention itemise three elements in their cost 1. Asbestos check (necessary on all buildings constructed pre-2000 although not mentioned by any other companies above), 2. Loft insulation removal and disposal and 3. Loft insulation reinstatement. The average PGH Pest Prevention cost for a loft insulation clearance and reinstatement, with an asbestos survey, decontamination spray and skip hire included, using blanket insulation is £3,685 + VAT.

 

The following pest control companies do not offer loft insulation removal and reinstatement:

  • Guildford Pest Control
  • Rentokil
  • Pestforce
  • Fantastic Pest Control
  • Able Group

Although a common pest issue, rats pose a serious problem to both your property and your health; they can chew through furnishings and electrical cables, contaminate food sources and 50% of them carry the fatal Weils Disease plus other rodent-borne illnesses. They are also unhygienic, can create bad smells within your property and multiply at an alarming rate so it’s important to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible. 

LEARNING CENTRE

Choose a topic below for a range of articles, images and videos on all things relating to pest control and prevention and of course PGH Pest Prevention.

How much does it cost to get rid of rats?

How much does it cost to get rid of rats?

rat control & removal

Although a common pest issue, rats pose a serious problem to both your property and your health; they can chew through furnishings and electrical cables, contaminate food sources and 50% of them carry the fatal Weils Disease plus other rodent-borne illnesses. They are also unhygienic, can create bad smells within your property and multiply at an alarming rate so it’s important to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible. 

The cost of getting rid of a rat colony can depend on many factors;

  1. The size of your property – larger properties with lots of outside space are likely to cost more to treat than smaller properties due to the increased time to survey them and put the traps/bait down, plus the greater amount of materials required during the course of the programme. The way this sliding cost scale is managed will vary from company to company – some may increase their price per bedroom whereas others will only charge more past a certain property size (usually determined by amount of bedrooms). Commercial properties and those with extensive grounds will also be priced differently – these costs will be bespoke. For simplicity, this article will focus on residential property rat treatment costs.

  2. The location of your property – this relates to the travel time to get to the appointment. Some companies will charge mileage if a customer’s property is over a certain distance away from their head office. It’s worth asking about this potential charge when booking a rat treatment programme.

  3. The size of your infestation – a serious infestation is likely to require more than the standard number of visits to get rid of the rats. Visits over and above what’s included in the original package booked will be charged extra, these extra charges will vary by pest controller so this is also something worth checking out.

  4. Location of the infestation within your property – most pest control companies will charge different prices for outside vs inside treatments, these prices will be company-specific but they should be able to explain to you what the prices are and the reasons for this. If the rats are inhabiting a hard to reach area, specialist equipment may be required to get to these places in order to treat the rats which can add cost.

  5. Time of the visit – some companies will offer an out of hours service for customer convenience. However, it’s important to note that if your visit is out of core business hours, it’s likely to be more expensive. Some providers will also charge a same-day call out premium.

  6. The pricing structure of the pest controller – some pest control companies will charge extra for materials, it’s advisable to ask whether materials are included when you receive a quote.

  7. If it’s a one off job or contract – generally ongoing pest control contracts will work out cheaper, per visit, than an ad-hoc treatment programme. For the sake of comparison, we will focus on ad-hoc treatments in this article. As a starter, most companies will offer a multiple stage treatment programme – these usually consist of two or three visits to your property. A contract is usually offered as an option if you are experiencing an ongoing rat problem.

  8. Whether proofing work is included – there are two elements to consider when getting rid of rats: 1. Treating the current issue and 2. Putting preventative measures in place to ensure the problem doesn’t return through proofing of the rat entry/exit points. Some pest controllers will include proofing in their treatment programmes, others won’t, but proofing is critical to ensure a long term solution to the problem.

We researched the cost to get rid of rats through some local, best-known and large pest control companies and the findings are below:

Pestforce

Covering most of the UK through their franchise network, Pestforce are one of the biggest pest control companies. They don’t have a price list online, however, we’re led to believe it costs £250 + VAT for a three visit external treatment including a survey of the area and baiting. This does not include any internal investigation and was for a programme which took place during working hours.

 

Rentokill

Also a nationwide firm, operating for 90 years and with 40 branches, Rentokil do not advertise prices online but research suggests it costs £400 + VAT for a “four week knock down program” to get rid of rats. This cost covers outside only and is related to a 3-bedroom semi-detached property although it’s not clear whether it includes proofing work.

There is no information about call out charges or out of hours works.

 

Fantastic Pest Control

A pest control franchise operating since 2012, Fantastic Pest Control offer various pricing options depending on property size and the intensity of the treatment. Prices start from £195 + VAT for a one bedroom property which includes “one major visit and one follow-up”. They also run a loyalty scheme called ‘Fantastic Club’ which entitles the customer to reduced prices. The highest price on website is for a three stage treatment in a three bedroom property at £290 + VAT.

The web page doesn’t detail if that treatment is outside, inside or both. However they do charge £50 extra for night jobs and minimum call out charges. Costs for properties larger than three bedrooms are individually tailored.

 

Catch-it Pest Control

London-based Catch-it Pest Control charge £310 + VAT for a two stage treatment within standard operating hours. This includes an internal and external assessment of the area, placing, checking and replenishment of bait stations and the blocking/sealing of potential entry points up to five inches wide (i.e. proofing). There’s no mention of how the size of the property might affect this price.

 

Contego

A company focussing on overall risk reduction, Contego charge between £180 – £300 + VAT for a three-part rodent riddance visit call out. They have a comprehensive cost piece on their website although it’s not clear how the size of the property or the call out time affects the price, also whether proofing work is included in that cost or not.

 

Countrywide Pest Control

A Surrey-based pest control firm, covering Guildford, Woking, Dorking, Weybridge, and Kingston. They charge £200 + VAT for a three-visit treatment including an area survey and putting bait down. It’s not specified whether the survey covers both inside and out and proofing work is not included. The property size is also not specified, and it’s unclear if there would be any extra charges for out of hours appointments.

 

PGH Pest Prevention

Also Surrey-based but with franchise units across the UK, PGH Pest Prevention offers a range of different treatment options, aiming to suit most budgets. An outside-only three visit treatment programme costs £225 + VAT. If it’s necessary to get rid of rats from both inside and outside a three-stage treatment costs £345 + VAT – this comes with a full survey and baiting of the drains. Any additional visits required after the first three will be at a cost of £86 + VAT per visit.

While a three stage treatment is recommended for maximum effect, if a pay-as-you-go option is preferred it costs £86 + VAT per visit, with a minimum of two visits covering both inside and out. However, this doesn’t include a survey or drain baiting which can make it likely that more follow-up treatments are required. This pay-as-you go option is aimed at those with smaller properties or those who don’t have an active infestation/aren’t sure if they have an active infestation.

If, for any reason, the visit takes more time than expected extra time is charged at £65 + VAT per hour. Overtime could be due to various reasons such as a larger infestation than is expected or a wider area to investigate and treat.

Charges are the same for all property sizes and types up to the four bedroom+ point – for a building of that size a free initial survey would be conducted and recommendations made prior to any treatment being carried out. If a property is outside of the business’ radius there may be an extra charge for mileage, this is assessed on a case by case basis.

There is a full price list on the website, all prices include materials and call out fees. A call out fee would only be charged in an instance where there is no work to be undertaken during the treatment visit, for example, if no activity is found by the technician the first time they go to site. There is a bank holiday/Sunday surcharge of £40 + VAT.

PGH Pest Prevention states that they specialise in preventative measures to ensure the problem does not come back and to reduce overall pesticide use and will therefore always offer customers a quote for additional proofing work. This quote will be bespoke to that specific client.

If your rat problem is in the sewers surrounding the property a CCTV survey costs £690 + VAT, and drain valves (which may be required as a result of the CCTV survey) cost £290 or £390 + VAT, depending on what size valve is necessary.   

 

Local councils

Most councils will offer pest control services to their residents, however these services will vary from council to council. Some provide a free control service for pests, other councils will simply provide advice or control for a fee.

Costs for a council rodent treatment vary quite widely across councils – some could be as cheap as £45 for two treatments (just baiting, no proofing work) and can go up to £134 for two treatments in central London.

 

The following pest control companies do not have any pricing on their website but ask visitors to either fill in a form or call to request a quote:

JG Pest Control
https://www.jgpestcontrol.co.uk/pest-control-prices/

Terminix
https://www.terminixuk.com/pest-control/rodent-control/

Pestokil
https://pestokill.co.uk/

Although a common pest issue, rats pose a serious problem to both your property and your health; they can chew through furnishings and electrical cables, contaminate food sources and 50% of them carry the fatal Weils Disease plus other rodent-borne illnesses. They are also unhygienic, can create bad smells within your property and multiply at an alarming rate so it’s important to get rid of rats as quickly and effectively as possible. 

LEARNING CENTRE

Choose a topic below for a range of articles, images and videos on all things relating to pest control and prevention and of course PGH Pest Prevention.