Know your Enemy!

Not all creatures can be considered as pests, in fact, most insects are beneficial to our well-being.


In this article we will be giving an overview of two common species which are commonly mistaken as enemies!



Bees

There are about 20,000 different species of bees in the world. Bees live in colonies that contain the queen bee, the worker bee and the drone. The worker bee and the queen bee are both female, but only the queen bee can reproduce. All drones are male. Worker bees clean the hive, collecting pollen and nectar to feed the colony and they take care of the offspring. The drone’s only job is to mate with the queen. The queen’s only job is to lay eggs.


Bees see all colours except the colour red and their sense of smell help them find the flowers they need to collect pollen. Not only is pollen a food source for bees, but also some of the pollen is dropped in flight, resulting in cross pollination. The relationship between the plant and the insect is called symbiosis.


Why won't a pest controller treat against bees?

The Health and Safety Executive’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme refers to bees as “beneficial invertebrates” and should be protected where possible.


As a part of a responsible pest management industry, we’ve pledged to educate customers on the benefits of bees as pollinators, their behaviour and their life-cycle – before taking any lethal action.


The bee species around your property are very important and beneficial. They do not ordinarily exhibit aggressive behaviour towards humans, therefore leaving them to fulfill their seasonal cycle benefits the ecosystem around your home or premises.


What to do while bees are active:

  • Keep your distance

  • On warm days bees will be more active – this is completely normal, so don’t panic

  • Enjoy them – bees are fascinating, watch them work from a safe distance

  • If you have any children, it is always a great idea to educate them on the benefit of bees

Shrews

Shrews, known in Maltese as il-gurdien ta’ geddumu twil (loosely translated as the “long-chinned mouse”), are mammals, commonly found in agricultural land. Different to rodents, shrews are smaller, and possess a furrier tail. Their noses are pointed, and they have small eyes and ears.


Although its external appearance is generally that of a long-nosed mouse, a shrew is not a rodent, as mice are. Shrews have sharp, spike-like teeth, not the familiar gnawing front incisor teeth of rodents.


Why won't a pest controller treat against shrews?

The common shrew is very widespread, and in Malta we have seen an increase of the specie in the past years. Shrews are protected species and should not be trapped. Entry points should be located and sealed to prevent future ingress.


By knowing which insects are classified as pests, we can improve our targeting mechanism, ensuring the welfare of all beneficial organisms , while attaining better results.


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