Episode 1 The Ladykillers: Pest Detectives


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Episode 1

Series following four female pest controllers. A family facing the nightly terror of a bed-bug infestation calls in Imogen, who takes a scientific approach to pest control.


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There could be unwelcome intruders...

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It's a little one. It's all right, it's only a little one. It's OK.

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..in your home right now.

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We knew that they were here.

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See all the blotches.

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It makes me feel horrible.

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Oh!

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They're the most despicable creatures that you could imagine.

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Britain has 18 million feral pigeons.

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Moth infestations have shot up by 75%.

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They're coming out of the towels.

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And rats are growing immune to poisons.

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No word of a lie, probably 20 to 25 rats

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on that grass in the middle of the night.

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-BUZZING

-The pests are coming.

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There's no doubt about it, we've got an infestation.

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On the front line...

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We are at war with pests.

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..four women are leading the fight.

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Gone!

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I said, "I'm a rat-catcher."

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Well, he nearly choked on his pint.

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Working in a man's world, they're a force to be reckoned with.

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Just pop it on over my face and you won't hear me again, OK?

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I haven't had a rat escape my clutches yet.

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Armed with specialist cameras for a close-up view of the enemy,

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they use all their guile to solve each mystery.

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Every case is like a detective story.

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Who are you going to call?

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It's time to start the eviction.

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We feel we've not slept properly for days since we've seen them.

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You're permanently itching,

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permanently paranoid there's something there.

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Life feels it's upside down at the moment.

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My husband describes it as coming home to the house of horrors.

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Charlotte is battling an infestation of bedbugs.

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It's the latest case for Ladykiller Imogen.

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I've got two degrees -

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BSc from Manchester, MSc from Imperial.

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In order to really understand the pest,

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you have to think like the pest.

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So I've come to investigate the bedbug problem at this property.

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If you don't find every individual, you're going to be trapped.

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You're going to have to treat the house over and over again.

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The house has already had one pesticide treatment,

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but now the bugs are biting back.

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This has been a temporary bed for both myself and my husband.

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Well, that's terrifying. If you haven't been able to sleep in your own bed

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-because the bedbugs are biting you, that's appalling!

-Yeah.

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I'll just show you where it is.

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Imogen wants to know how bad the infestation has become.

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Bedbugs are most active at night, while we sleep.

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I'm going to be looking for anywhere

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where the little bedbugs can hide.

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And we should be able to see them with the naked eye, like this.

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Tends to be around the bed, the mattress, the frame.

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They tend to go... Bedbugs like to be close to the host,

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extract some blood, so that they can develop to the next stage,

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the next stage of their life cycle.

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The bedbug's total lifespan is around ten months.

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They live on human blood,

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and are attracted by our breath.

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Bedbug dirt here, can you see here?

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-It looks like black ink.

-Bedbug poo.

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-That's our blood, then, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-Oozing out.

-Yeah.

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-Would there be anything under there?

-There's one there.

-Oh!

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That's a fully grown bedbug,

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which is a nice dark colour.

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It's probably quite well-fed.

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It's just confirmed my worst fears that we've got them.

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They come to clean houses, they come to dirty houses,

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they're indiscriminate. They'll happily come to the rich, the poor,

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the aged, the young. They don't mind,

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they're happy to eat blood from anybody.

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One, two, three.

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There's one.

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There's one.

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There's one.

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There's one - can you see that alive one there?

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Alive one there, going into the crevice there.

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You see the dirt here, there's another one here.

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Does it make you feel worse or better?

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In some respects I was expecting you to find a lot more.

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Bedbugs are wingless insects.

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They're carried on clothing or luggage,

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and can be picked up in any public place.

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I presume the bedbugs came in on a handbag or a gym bag,

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if you travel by Tube or underground.

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And it's just unfortunate they've come into Charlotte's house, really.

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Imogen takes a forensic approach to pest control -

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any chance to study her subject is not to be missed.

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So, in order for you to actually get a proper view of what I found,

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I've linked up this camera to the computer.

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-Can you look on the screen?

-Oh, it's horrible.

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In people's beds... There's one running there, look.

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-Shows you how fast they move, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

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Where's he gone? There. One is actually jumping

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on top of the other, and I think he's actually trying

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to have sex with her. She's trying to escape.

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Actually, I think she's failed to escape, poor thing.

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How many eggs would that female bedbug produce?

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Well, in her lifetime, probably as many as 200.

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-I suspect that we've only found a few of your bedbugs.

-Mm.

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Bedbugs can travel around the house,

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hidden in the tiny gaps in furniture,

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skirting boards and plugs.

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There may be more in the rest of the flat.

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Rather than wasting my time turning over all the furniture,

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I should get in a pest controller

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who's faster, smarter and quicker than me, and happens to be male.

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Come on, then, Alfie, let's go to work.

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-So we'll start in this room.

-OK.

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Alfie the dog is incredible,

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and he's been trained to sniff out bedbugs.

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This way, Alf.

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The female bug emits a pheromone to attract males,

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which Alfie's sensitive nose can pinpoint in seconds.

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So that room is clear.

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With a well-trained dog like Alfie,

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Imogen can check the entire house in a matter of minutes.

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-HE BARKS

-This way.

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Definitely bedbugs in here, because he alerted.

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-Good boy, good boy.

-Yes, good boy.

-Come here!

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Claire is Alfie's handler. They work wonderfully together.

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See, he loves it.

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We start training them from a puppy

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and then you train them on the scent.

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Come on, then, Alfie.

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And then you can fine-tune that and make the scent as small as you want.

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Driven from her own bedroom,

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Charlotte's been sleeping on the sofa bed in the lounge.

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Alfie, let's go this way.

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Good boy.

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This side.

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HE BARKS

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That, where he's stopped now, that will be an alert.

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Show me. If you look, I can't move him away.

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-Yes.

-He won't come with me.

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He stopped here in his alert,

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on the sofa where Charlotte and her husband have been sleeping.

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I'm not sure where we're going to sleep tonight.

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Something we've got to think about.

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Probably somewhere else, a different location.

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In you go. Come on, then, in you go.

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Well, Charlotte's already had

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a traditional chemical insecticide treatment.

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It hasn't worked. It's happening over and over again,

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and actually it's a waste of time doing chemical spray treatment.

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We need to find out what works

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and why the chemical sprays aren't working.

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Imogen needs to find a more effective solution

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to rid Charlotte of a problem that's spreading through her whole house.

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I'd like to take some advice from experts

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and come back to Charlotte on the problem

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and suggest a solution for her.

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They've eaten my shed floor.

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They've eaten my hammock cushions

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and all the inside foam.

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By day, Cheryl runs a hair salon from her home.

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Well, they're not little tiny things.

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Big as cats.

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I suppose it depends how big your cat is.

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By night, she's plagued by terrors.

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At one point, probably 20 to 25 rats

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on that grass in the middle of the night.

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I love rat jobs. All mine are rural,

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but I've been called to one more in the city.

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It's in the back garden so it should be nice and simple.

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Self-confessed country girl Deborah

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has a no-nonsense approach to pest control.

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To me, I like to do things right, I like to do things well.

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I don't like letting everybody down.

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If only all god's creatures were this easy to control.

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I mean, they've even started eating my wheelie bin.

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Right here, that's their teeth mark.

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Nice.

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I just come in hoping that I can make a difference.

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How long have you been seeing rats here?

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At least 11 years.

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-That's a long time.

-Mm.

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Cheryl's husband Jim has tried to keep track of the intruders.

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Sometimes they'll come out and they sort of scoot back in,

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-and you're never quite sure it's the same one.

-Yep.

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-Have you noticed any holes or...

-Not holes.

-No.

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-..droppings anywhere?

-No.

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I see you have a convenient rat hole under the shed, there.

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Bit of a labyrinth, you might say, underneath.

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Rats are nocturnal.

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By using infrared cameras,

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Deborah aims to reveal their nightly routine.

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-These are the images that we got from it, and they're quite good.

-Oh.

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-Oh!

-Here he comes.

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Oh, my word!

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The UK has a population of over ten million rats.

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But 95% of rats in the world

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-will only live a year.

-I don't know why I'm freaked about them, really,

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but it's not nice knowing that they can come up to your back door

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and then they could be in your house.

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But I don't like them.

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Most people have phobias about something.

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Rats carry a whole host of diseases,

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including salmonella and E. coli.

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Until she finds where they're living,

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Deborah is powerless to keep them away.

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Right, let's check the shed out.

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This is the most common place for them to be living.

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I would suggest that any men in Britain keep their shed

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as tidy as they can, keep things off the floor.

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Oh, we've got a dead rat.

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It's very dead, there's no way anybody's going to revive that one.

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I did find a dead rat in the shed,

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which I have removed. He's very mummified.

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-Eugh, God!

-Oh, my goodness me.

-That's awful.

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That's awful. It looks like a stuffed one.

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Yes, he's very mummified. He's been dead a long time.

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I don't think they're living in your garden.

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It's not just us, definitely. There are other places and houses

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along here that are having a similar problem, if not a lot, lot worse.

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Finding the source is the only way to stop the rats.

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Deborah's investigation is only just beginning.

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BUZZING

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Oh!

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Hope they've gone for this afternoon.

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Jan, who lives in Woodborough - really nice lady -

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she's got an issue with wasps in her garden.

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But she has informed me that she's got a garden party this afternoon.

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Ladykiller Angela has been a pest controller for 12 years.

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I'm like the third emergency service as far as I can see at the moment.

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Oh, they're very active again.

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I've got to try and get rid of this wasp nest within the timescale.

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of four, three o'clock this afternoon,

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which is quite worrying to me.

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Oooh.

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It's 1.20pm, so the pressure's on.

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On Angela's pest control patch, Jan is one of her regulars.

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-Hello, Jan!

-Oh, hi, Angela! How are you?

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-I'm all right, thank you.

-Oh, I'm pleased it's you who's come.

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It was unexpected the first time she came,

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cos you don't think of a female pest controller.

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I had mice in the garage, two wasps' nests,

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and then last year she came out

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when I had an infestation of wasps on my broad beans.

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They're up there.

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The UK has six species of wasp.

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Like bees, the nest is reliant on one egg-laying queen.

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-Look at them now.

-I know, it's cos the sun's out

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-so they've woke up. That's what it is.

-Oh.

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The wasps will defend their queen at all costs.

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I'll go and get kitted up and get on with this,

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because otherwise I'm going to get behind, aren't I?

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The way I describe a wasp sting is like falling in nettles naked.

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It proper hurts, and I mean hurts.

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The wasp's sting contains a pheromone

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that makes nearby wasps more aggressive.

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It's the only pest I enjoy killing,

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and I have no remorse in getting rid of it.

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Cos after you've been stung, you just hate them more.

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Well, the clock is ticking.

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It's just one hour until the arrival

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of the ladies of the Woodborough Cancer Research Committee.

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This is a trigger-like gun on the end

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and then I'm just going to put that into the entrance of the nest,

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and then I'm going to fire powder in which contains a bendiocarb,

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which will play havoc with their nervous system.

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In!

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Well, they come out white when they're covered in the insecticide

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so you know you've hit.

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The toxic powder works its way through the whole nest.

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They ain't happy, are they?

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They're not happy. Oh, dear.

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Do you want a hand moving chairs, and that?

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Please, if you wouldn't mind.

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We've got about half an hour or so before they arrive.

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All right. I don't like pressure, though.

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When you get nice people out in the public, to me,

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I actually like doing this job because I don't mind

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helping them out with the extra bits like putting the tables out.

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That's probably why I get on with some of my customers better.

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She's very caring, and she goes that little bit more.

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I'm melting in here today.

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I don't how I manage to be a size 16. I should be a size 10!

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Right, job done. I think they will be calmed down.

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I just arrived in time for when the ladies arrive for the tea

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so I'm quite chuffed about that, to be honest.

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Thank goodness these wasps have gone and we can now enjoy the tea party!

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The committee have made some cakes.

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-Have they?

-Yes.

-What, Victoria sponge?

-Victoria sponge.

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Nothing like a cream tea, is there?

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-ALL:

-Cheers!

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This is going to be a really difficult job.

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There are so many houses here.

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In Southampton, Cheryl's and Jim's back garden has become a rat run.

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Deborah is on the case.

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The rats could be coming from anywhere

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and I need to find that source where they're coming from.

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I'm going to need to talk to all the neighbours.

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The suburban rat likes to nest in overgrown or derelict ground

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from where it can scout for food in our gardens and bins.

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-Hello!

-I set traps, and I caught nine in a week.

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-That's a lot.

-Yeah, it is a lot, yes. Yeah, two within an hour.

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You don't mind if I have a look in the shed and just...?

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Not at all, no, no, no.

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We've got a perfect thoroughfare down here

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where the rats can just run down the back of all the gardens.

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It's a nice little run down here for them.

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But I need to find the garden that they're living in.

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Hello, my name's Deborah. Have you noticed anything at all?

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Yes, we have. That's where we find where most of them are coming from.

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OK. How regularly are you seeing the rats?

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Oh, every week, you see them.

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OK, and you're still seeing them at the moment?

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Oh, yes, yeah, they're still around.

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From what she's saying, I think we're getting closer

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to the source of the rats.

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I can smell them but I can't see anything.

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Verdict?

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I don't think we've found the source of the problem.

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The bungalow directly at the back of us

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that you can see there, it's certainly something that

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I know when his mates were here we've often thought, possibly...

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It could be a prime place. It might not be.

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That house there looks like it could be a very possible one.

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It's got a very untidy front garden,

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where everybody else's is very smart and trimmed.

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There's lots of places where they can hide in the front here

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so it would be interesting to see if the back is the same as the front.

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I don't think anybody is in.

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I'd be very interested to get in there and have a look around.

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I'm going to keep trying

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and we'll see if we can get into that garden.

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It's wet and smooth!

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Lovely, isn't it?

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They'll sit on the roof and wait and watch,

0:19:010:19:04

and as soon as you put the food out, they just come down.

0:19:040:19:07

We don't really want to harm them

0:19:130:19:15

but we've got to do something about it.

0:19:150:19:17

I hate to think anything is going to get the better of me.

0:19:190:19:22

Ladykiller Janet has been called to Newcastle

0:19:220:19:26

by the keepers of a city farm facing an aerial assault.

0:19:260:19:30

Pigeons are scavengers. They'll eat more or les anything that

0:19:300:19:33

they can get their little beaks on.

0:19:330:19:36

Pigeons are my pet hate.

0:19:360:19:38

I can see already you've got a few pest issues.

0:19:380:19:40

This is a pigeon problem.

0:19:400:19:41

Obviously feeding chickens wheat, it does attract pigeons.

0:19:410:19:47

Andrea and Rich have been battling the birds

0:19:470:19:50

since the farm first opened.

0:19:500:19:52

It's got to the point now, there's that many pigeons, they're not

0:19:520:19:55

bothered about the chickens and they will start coming down.

0:19:550:19:57

I think there's about 50-plus.

0:19:570:19:59

They are ingressing in, and quite cheeky about it.

0:19:590:20:02

But they're becoming less and less fazed of humans.

0:20:020:20:05

They don't even need to go to the city centre now for food

0:20:050:20:08

because they've got such a good source here!

0:20:080:20:11

And it's cost us quite a bit of money to actually

0:20:110:20:14

pay for the seeds and...

0:20:140:20:15

Yeah, because obviously you're not just feeding your chickens.

0:20:150:20:18

-That's it.

-You're feeding this pigeon population.

0:20:180:20:21

Janet has a hunch that there's more to this problem.

0:20:210:20:25

I mean, I like grubbing around because I were a grubby kid.

0:20:260:20:29

She's seen signs that that the farm has another uninvited guest.

0:20:290:20:33

It's like doing your detective work,

0:20:330:20:35

just to, you know, sort out what the problem is and everything.

0:20:350:20:39

Oh.

0:20:400:20:42

A-ha!

0:20:420:20:43

More rat droppings.

0:20:430:20:45

Look at that. That is fresh.

0:20:450:20:47

So that tells me they're quite active underneath this floor.

0:20:470:20:51

It's just an ideal situation for them

0:20:510:20:54

because they've got somewhere to live and a source of food nearby.

0:20:540:20:58

And the rats are not vegetarians.

0:20:590:21:01

-There was a hole...

-Yeah.

0:21:030:21:05

-In this door.

-Yeah, OK.

0:21:050:21:07

And it had been chewed to over three times the size overnight.

0:21:070:21:10

Right, OK.

0:21:100:21:11

Now, I had ducklings in here.

0:21:110:21:15

In the morning, there was three in there and there was no sign of them,

0:21:150:21:18

not even feathers.

0:21:180:21:20

Right, OK.

0:21:200:21:21

So it's an area that needs monitoring, really.

0:21:220:21:25

If you put food in for them inside overnight, to keep the pigeons off,

0:21:250:21:29

then you've got the rats. And vice-versa so...

0:21:290:21:33

Yeah, you've got a dual problem that's going on, haven't you?

0:21:330:21:36

To see what the rats are really up to at night,

0:21:370:21:39

Janet has installed surveillance cameras in the chicken coop.

0:21:390:21:43

I think you'll find it quite interesting

0:21:430:21:45

to see what's been going on.

0:21:450:21:47

COCKEREL CROWS

0:21:470:21:49

They look so cute!

0:22:060:22:07

Yeah.

0:22:070:22:09

They're all starting to appear now.

0:22:090:22:11

Yeah.

0:22:110:22:12

The infestation is really bad.

0:22:120:22:16

And even though sometimes rodenticides are unpleasant to use,

0:22:160:22:20

it may be that's the way forward.

0:22:200:22:23

I prefer a slightly more organic way than poisoning the rats.

0:22:230:22:26

The farm promotes looking after animals

0:22:260:22:28

-and we don't like to hurt any kind of animals.

-No.

0:22:280:22:31

It's just working out now the best way to do it.

0:22:310:22:36

Janet can only offer advice.

0:22:360:22:38

The decision on a treatment rests with the farm.

0:22:380:22:41

We like to be green but, you know, rats, they are vermin

0:22:410:22:45

and, as much as they are a problem,

0:22:450:22:47

I want it to be done quickly and humanely as possible.

0:22:470:22:51

Poison is effective, but some consider it inhumane.

0:22:510:22:54

While the debate goes on, the problem goes untreated.

0:22:540:22:57

The problem is quite bad.

0:22:570:22:59

I think it's got out of hand

0:22:590:23:01

and it will take quite a while to control it.

0:23:010:23:04

Oh, look - beautiful view!

0:23:110:23:12

Her bedbug job in south London has led Imogen to travel to Wales.

0:23:140:23:19

I've come to Tintern in Monmouthshire

0:23:200:23:22

to meet an expert in bedbug behaviour and management.

0:23:220:23:27

Charlotte's definitely got bedbugs in her bedroom and her living room.

0:23:290:23:33

She's already had an insecticidal spray treatment

0:23:330:23:37

and the bedbugs returned.

0:23:370:23:39

They're persistent little creatures.

0:23:390:23:41

Hopefully he'll have the answers for me.

0:23:410:23:43

Oh, wow! Is it safe to come in without protective clothing?

0:23:450:23:49

Hey, it is, yeah, it's fairly safe, yeah.

0:23:490:23:52

Dr Richard Naylor has been studying live bedbugs for over 15 years.

0:23:560:24:01

He might just have some answers for Imogen.

0:24:040:24:06

They can't live without feeding.

0:24:080:24:10

I have to feed them myself. In fact,

0:24:100:24:12

I have to feed some now, so I can show you how I do it.

0:24:120:24:14

Oh, OK. That will be interesting.

0:24:140:24:16

As you can see here, some pots of bugs.

0:24:160:24:18

They're really packed in. There's a couple of hundred.

0:24:180:24:21

And I just strap them to my arms.

0:24:210:24:23

These pots have a fine mesh on the bottom

0:24:230:24:26

so the bugs can't escape. They can feed through the mesh.

0:24:260:24:28

I've fed tens and thousands of them

0:24:280:24:30

-and my immune system has stopped responding.

-Stopped responding!

0:24:300:24:34

Bedbugs find blood vessels under the skin

0:24:360:24:38

with their long, piercing mouth-part.

0:24:380:24:41

Pressure from the vessel fills the insect with blood

0:24:430:24:46

in around four minutes.

0:24:460:24:48

You are experimenting on yourself?

0:24:520:24:54

After 15 years of doing it, it feels completely normal.

0:24:540:24:57

Do you think you'll be partially bedbug by the time they've...?

0:24:580:25:01

Perhaps so, yeah!

0:25:010:25:02

They look like they're really feeding well there.

0:25:040:25:07

OK, they look like they're about done now.

0:25:070:25:09

As you can see, it's left my arm looking a little bit red.

0:25:090:25:11

So in my work in north London, I've been having a frequent problem

0:25:190:25:22

in call-backs. Why do you think I'm failing?

0:25:220:25:27

-Are you using an insecticide?

-Yes.

0:25:270:25:29

Well, what we are seeing is the insecticides resistance

0:25:290:25:33

is becoming a really big problem.

0:25:330:25:35

I set up a little experiment.

0:25:370:25:38

I'm just going to put ten bedbugs into each of these dishes

0:25:380:25:41

and these dishes are all lined with filter paper

0:25:410:25:43

which has been treated with an insecticide.

0:25:430:25:46

One dish holds modern-day bedbugs.

0:25:460:25:48

The other, a colony bred in isolation since the 1960s.

0:25:480:25:53

So what I expect to see tomorrow is that these will have died, and if

0:25:530:25:56

these haven't died then I know there is a problem with my experiment

0:25:560:25:59

and then the question is, have the newly-collected bugs died, or not?

0:25:590:26:02

-Hello!

-Oh, good morning Imogen. Come in.

0:26:140:26:16

I'm just taking a look at our experiment.

0:26:160:26:18

The insecticide is a neurotoxin so it affects their nervous system

0:26:180:26:22

and it tends to paralyse them.

0:26:220:26:24

And I'm happy to say that they look very sick today.

0:26:240:26:27

They're either dead or dying, for the most part.

0:26:270:26:30

But not so with the modern-day bedbug colony.

0:26:300:26:33

They're actually very happy.

0:26:340:26:35

They're running around. They'd live on here indefinitely, I think.

0:26:350:26:38

So this is the same formula of insecticide that I use.

0:26:380:26:43

-That's right.

-And they're still alive.

-They are, yeah.

0:26:430:26:46

So that's why I feel I've been doing a job

0:26:460:26:50

that's been a failure, a waste of time. That's really depressing.

0:26:500:26:55

So the insecticides don't work. What is the hope for the future?

0:26:550:27:00

People are already using heat treatments, steam and vacuuming,

0:27:000:27:04

and these kind of, kind of physical treatment options

0:27:040:27:08

are impossible for bugs to evolve resistance to.

0:27:080:27:11

The experiment used one kind of pesticide. Although new ones

0:27:130:27:17

are being developed, this time Imogen's mind is made up.

0:27:170:27:20

Well, I feel quite depressed by my meeting today.

0:27:200:27:24

Therefore, with Charlotte's bedbug problem,

0:27:240:27:27

I'm going to go back to Clare, who manages Alfie the dog,

0:27:270:27:30

and ask her to arrange a heat treatment.

0:27:300:27:33

-Has he become a dad?

-Yeah, he's got eight pups now.

0:27:380:27:40

I want to keep one, but my husband won't let me.

0:27:400:27:43

-You need to keep one.

-I might say to him,

0:27:430:27:46

if you don't let me keep a pup, we need to have another baby, then!

0:27:460:27:50

That's a good idea!

0:27:500:27:52

Angela's joined Janet in Newcastle to call on Rich at the city farm,

0:27:520:27:57

where the rat infestation is now a far bigger concern

0:27:570:28:00

than the pigeons.

0:28:000:28:01

I think Rich, I think he comes from farming stock, by the sounds of it.

0:28:010:28:06

-So he knows what the craic is, then.

-Yeah, he does.

0:28:060:28:08

But he doesn't like things to be killed.

0:28:080:28:11

As much as I don't like rats,

0:28:140:28:15

I don't particularly want to poison them.

0:28:150:28:18

I would rather it was done quickly and humanely.

0:28:190:28:23

Rats that eat poison die of internal bleeding over several days.

0:28:230:28:27

Janet and Angela know it's an unpopular option at the farm.

0:28:270:28:31

I do kind of get this.

0:28:320:28:34

But it's vermin and they've got to understand that,

0:28:340:28:36

at the end of the day, that vermin can carry disease as well

0:28:360:28:39

for their animals. That's it.

0:28:390:28:42

Sited between a river and a railway line

0:28:420:28:44

the farm is the perfect spot for rats,

0:28:440:28:47

providing food, water and a warm place to stay.

0:28:470:28:51

And then here, this is where t'compost heap starts.

0:28:510:28:54

And you can see where they're running through.

0:28:570:29:00

-He's having a good root round up there.

-Yeah.

0:29:000:29:03

-Oh, my God.

-Oh, look.

0:29:030:29:05

-It's all underneath here!

-Yeah.

0:29:050:29:08

-They've had a takeaway, look.

-Yeah!

0:29:080:29:10

The rat problem is still as bad. We caught one yesterday.

0:29:120:29:15

-Oh, Jesus. Rats' nest. JANET!

-What?

0:29:170:29:21

We've got a rats' nest here love.

0:29:210:29:23

Working dog Alfie can smell rats long before anyone sees them.

0:29:230:29:28

He's trained to catch and kill them.

0:29:280:29:30

He's having a good dig there.

0:29:300:29:32

Whoa! Whoa!

0:29:320:29:33

Good lad! Ooh, good lad!

0:29:330:29:35

I told you there was one there! He doesn't lie!

0:29:350:29:38

We'll go and get a bag for this one.

0:29:400:29:42

-That one rat there, and how rapidly that could have bred.

-Exactly.

0:29:420:29:45

And how quickly just that one's gone.

0:29:450:29:48

One pair of rats can produce a colony of over 2,000 in one year.

0:29:480:29:53

They've just been allowed to take over too much, haven't they?

0:29:530:29:55

Yeah. Because of the fact that they don't really like

0:29:550:29:58

using rodenticide, but you can't let it get like this.

0:29:580:30:01

It's a public area, is this.

0:30:010:30:02

-It's the only way to gain control back.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:30:020:30:05

Rodenticide is proven to be effective against large populations of rats.

0:30:050:30:10

For Janet, this is the only solution.

0:30:100:30:13

-Hiya! You OK?

-All right?

0:30:130:30:16

The population size is so bad,

0:30:160:30:18

-I mean, we've seen lots of evidence today, haven't we?

-Yeah.

-Right, OK.

0:30:180:30:21

They've got that area there, which is

0:30:210:30:24

so, you know, nice for them, it's like a four-star hotel.

0:30:240:30:27

The population you've got at the moment,

0:30:270:30:29

-it's not at an acceptable level, is it?

-No, not really.

0:30:290:30:33

We need to use rodenticide,

0:30:330:30:34

because it's really your only solution to the problem.

0:30:340:30:37

I know it's not what you want to hear.

0:30:370:30:39

I mean, I'm not 100% on it,

0:30:390:30:41

but if it needs to be done, then that's the route we'll have to take.

0:30:410:30:44

We don't like putting pesticides down anywhere.

0:30:480:30:50

We don't like using chemicals on the farm,

0:30:500:30:52

but, at the same time, we've got to manage this problem.

0:30:520:30:55

This is mainly what I use for rats.

0:30:550:30:58

So what I'm going to do is load it up with block bait.

0:30:580:31:01

This is a lockable station. That stops other species getting in.

0:31:010:31:06

She's the expert at the end of the day.

0:31:080:31:10

And if that's the only way, then that will have to be the way.

0:31:100:31:14

Come out, girls, come on, come on, come on.

0:31:140:31:15

It is a bit of tough love, you know?

0:31:150:31:17

And it's the only option that we've got to get it under control.

0:31:170:31:21

Oi, monkey! Go away!

0:31:210:31:25

We're on the same wavelength.

0:31:250:31:27

We both had similar backgrounds.

0:31:270:31:29

Angie worked with her father on a farm, you know,

0:31:290:31:31

I worked with my dad.

0:31:310:31:33

Most people like looking through, you know, clothes catalogues!

0:31:330:31:36

But I don't, I actually get excited

0:31:360:31:38

looking through a pest control catalogue!

0:31:380:31:40

And we just rub off along each other nicely.

0:31:400:31:43

-Are we on it?

-Yeah, we're on. Job's a good 'un.

0:31:430:31:46

One, two, three, lift!

0:31:510:31:53

Well, today, having taken advice from one of my heroes

0:31:550:31:59

in the bedbug world, we're going to do a heat treatment.

0:31:590:32:01

We're going to raise the temperature within Charlotte's flat

0:32:010:32:05

up to 60 degrees.

0:32:050:32:06

Claire has offered to show me

0:32:080:32:09

exactly how they do the treatment, so I can learn.

0:32:090:32:12

I can learn how to do it.

0:32:120:32:13

-Rotate that.

-Yeah.

0:32:130:32:15

And this is where the air will come out from.

0:32:150:32:18

Every insect will have a thermal death point.

0:32:180:32:20

Bedbugs is 46 degrees Celsius.

0:32:200:32:22

Treatment will work, as long as you get up to

0:32:220:32:24

the temperature that kills them.

0:32:240:32:26

The customers have had to leave the premises.

0:32:280:32:31

Oh, wow, look at that!

0:32:360:32:38

What a set-up!

0:32:380:32:40

-This is the boiler.

-Yeah.

0:32:400:32:41

And the boiler will heat up the hot water,

0:32:410:32:44

push it through these pipes that will go up into the house,

0:32:440:32:46

and then that will heat up the radiators.

0:32:460:32:48

Should have brought my gardening gloves with me to put on.

0:32:490:32:53

Break my fingernails.

0:32:530:32:55

Heave-ho!

0:32:550:32:56

It's seen as more of a male role, because it is physically demanding.

0:32:560:33:00

Good thing I did all that rowing at university!

0:33:000:33:04

Turn it up there, that's it.

0:33:040:33:05

There we go!

0:33:050:33:06

Each room in turn is sealed, to contain the heat.

0:33:080:33:12

They're not a bad pest, they're just the pest that feeds from blood.

0:33:120:33:16

Because they come into your bed and they invade your privacy,

0:33:160:33:19

and your bed is where you relax,

0:33:190:33:21

it makes you feel really uncomfortable.

0:33:210:33:23

It's your personal space, and, yeah,

0:33:230:33:25

-you feel... people will feel actually filthy, don't they?

-Yeah.

0:33:250:33:28

They feel contaminated in some way.

0:33:280:33:31

Now it's a wait, as the house is heated to a temperature

0:33:310:33:35

that's fatal to bedbugs, and kills them wherever they're hiding.

0:33:350:33:40

This is worse than steam, this heat.

0:33:400:33:44

This is...permeates every pore, doesn't it?

0:33:440:33:47

It's dry heat.

0:33:470:33:49

Yeah. It's really unpleasant.

0:33:490:33:50

They must be really resilient, these bedbugs.

0:33:500:33:53

I mean, it just proves what a hard individual they are to get rid of.

0:33:530:33:57

Women like Imogen and Claire make up just 6%

0:33:570:34:00

of the UK's pest control workforce.

0:34:000:34:03

Fresh air!

0:34:030:34:04

I'm sure you get it, when you're going in the...

0:34:060:34:08

you're slightly less capable, because you're female.

0:34:080:34:11

It's not that people say things, I wouldn't say.

0:34:110:34:14

It's just sort of a certain look they give.

0:34:140:34:16

They're a bit surprised when a woman turns up at the door.

0:34:160:34:19

"Do you really know about the pests?" sort of thing, yeah.

0:34:190:34:21

For the treatment to be fully effective,

0:34:230:34:25

the house is heated overnight.

0:34:250:34:27

-Ready to go in?

-Yep, let's go!

-OK.

0:34:310:34:34

Well, wonderfully,

0:34:350:34:37

we're at the end of 24 hours of heating this property.

0:34:370:34:41

So the only thing living in here now is us.

0:34:430:34:45

Just! Thank goodness!

0:34:450:34:47

Imogen is now hoping that these south London squatters

0:34:480:34:51

have had their eviction notice served.

0:34:510:34:53

Yeah, the beauty of this treatment is, every stage of the life cycle

0:34:560:35:01

will have been exterminated.

0:35:010:35:03

I'm happy to be home.

0:35:030:35:05

I'm not looking forward to making the bed up and all those jobs,

0:35:050:35:08

but it's been a success.

0:35:080:35:10

I feel tired, hot, relieved to be at the end of these bedbugs.

0:35:100:35:16

I mean, extreme pests call for extreme measures.

0:35:160:35:20

See you, then. Mind the bedbugs don't bite!

0:35:200:35:22

Part of the bedtime routine after you've had a wash,

0:35:380:35:42

cleaned your teeth, got your nightwear on...

0:35:420:35:47

..and then I go on the moth hunt.

0:35:500:35:52

There's one on the wardrobe.

0:35:520:35:54

Ann has been suffering

0:35:540:35:55

with an unwanted house guest for four months.

0:35:550:35:58

I've never been obsessive about things like this...

0:35:580:36:03

Right, these are some moths that I've caught.

0:36:030:36:06

..and I actually feel that I'm getting a bit obsessive.

0:36:060:36:10

And then just down from it is one of the larvae.

0:36:100:36:14

Pest controller Angela is on the case.

0:36:180:36:22

I'm not sure of the extent of the damage that's been done yet,

0:36:220:36:25

so we'll have to have a look at the level of infestation we're looking at.

0:36:250:36:28

My little friend is just about to scarper

0:36:280:36:33

but I've got him!

0:36:330:36:35

Textile moth is quite a popular pest now in the UK.

0:36:360:36:40

It's quite persistent as well, if left untreated.

0:36:400:36:44

They've had a right little munch at that, as well.

0:36:440:36:48

And once the damage is done, it's done.

0:36:480:36:50

Baby wipes are great.

0:36:520:36:53

Over the past five years,

0:36:570:36:59

the number of pest control calls to deal with moths has risen by 75%.

0:36:590:37:04

-Ann?

-Hello, yes!

0:37:090:37:11

-I'm Ange.

-How do you do?

-Nice to meet you!

0:37:110:37:13

-Hi! Please come in.

-Thank you.

0:37:130:37:16

Adult moths love the dark.

0:37:160:37:18

It's here they lay batches of up to 100 eggs.

0:37:180:37:22

Oh, yeah, they've had a really good munch down there, haven't they?

0:37:220:37:25

The hatched larvae feed on natural fibres.

0:37:250:37:29

See, summat people don't do on a regular basis

0:37:290:37:31

is obviously pull the bed out, which I do,

0:37:310:37:34

and I can't be bothered because it's hard work, isn't it?

0:37:340:37:36

But you can see all the damage.

0:37:360:37:38

It's the silk wrapped up with the carpet fibres all mixed in.

0:37:420:37:45

It's actually the stage where they go into a pupa,

0:37:450:37:48

and that's when the moth, you see them emerging.

0:37:480:37:51

By the time that happens, the damage is done.

0:37:510:37:53

Oh, God, the carpet's gone!

0:37:550:37:57

It's threadbare, innit? Definitely.

0:37:570:37:59

Yeah. You just start to think, "Where are they?

0:37:590:38:02

"Where are they coming from? How am I going to get rid of them?"

0:38:020:38:05

And you almost go into, like, panic mode.

0:38:050:38:08

Yeah, I understand totally.

0:38:080:38:10

Angela has come armed with a specialist camera

0:38:100:38:12

to put Ann's obsession under the microscope.

0:38:120:38:15

That's what's in your carpet.

0:38:170:38:19

You're joking!

0:38:210:38:22

No!

0:38:220:38:23

-What, is that on the bed, then?

-That's...Yeah.

0:38:240:38:27

Oh, Ange!

0:38:320:38:33

I'm sorry to deliver this,

0:38:330:38:35

but obviously you've got a pretty big moth problem.

0:38:350:38:37

Oh, that's what they actually look like. Oh, no!

0:38:370:38:42

Like out of a horror film!

0:38:420:38:43

I actually feel quite traumatised by it.

0:38:450:38:47

-It's not a problem, don't worry. I'll get rid of the problem.

-Oh, thanks!

0:38:470:38:51

That's what you've got to remember, I will get rid of this problem!

0:38:510:38:55

It's an infestation, and you just think, well,

0:38:550:38:58

how many other people have got it, and just don't even realise?

0:38:580:39:02

What's going on here? I can't even dress myself today.

0:39:020:39:05

Ann is asked to leave, while Angela treats the house with insecticide.

0:39:050:39:10

It's a bendiocarb.

0:39:100:39:11

It basically messes with the nervous system of the insect.

0:39:110:39:15

The affected moth is unable to reproduce

0:39:150:39:19

and the infestation is contained.

0:39:190:39:22

This insect can hide anywhere, in cracks and crevices.

0:39:220:39:25

Angela concentrates the treatment in places

0:39:260:39:29

usually missed when vacuuming.

0:39:290:39:32

This is where moth larvae, when left undisturbed, can get to work,

0:39:320:39:36

with devastating results.

0:39:360:39:39

Well, I'll give Ann a ring,

0:39:410:39:42

and then arrange to come back in about ten days' time.

0:39:420:39:45

Hiya!

0:39:500:39:51

-Hello, Ange, how are you? Come in!

-I'm all right, thank you.

0:39:510:39:54

Right then, how have the moths been?

0:39:550:39:58

One was back last night!

0:39:580:40:00

It was up there.

0:40:000:40:02

And this wardrobe, you can shift it.

0:40:020:40:05

It looks like a permanent one to me, I thought it was fitted.

0:40:050:40:08

Yeah. But you can shift it.

0:40:080:40:10

Well, there was a lot down there, initially,

0:40:120:40:16

but there doesn't look like there's anything like...

0:40:160:40:19

You see, I'm chuffed to bits, I am, at the moment.

0:40:190:40:21

I really am. This is where it was horrendous.

0:40:210:40:25

-Anything?

-No.

-No! Yay!

0:40:250:40:27

This was a really bad room for them, I noticed that.

0:40:290:40:31

And especially around the bed area, it was really...

0:40:310:40:34

I was really upset at what damage they'd done to your poor carpet.

0:40:340:40:37

So, you know.

0:40:370:40:38

The next step is to do another treatment on the property,

0:40:380:40:41

but as far as I'm concerned, we've pretty much nailed it.

0:40:410:40:44

Absolutely delighted. I mean, I think Angela's done a fabulous job.

0:40:460:40:51

It became HER problem, not my problem any more.

0:40:510:40:54

I mean, it's just...Something so small can do so much damage!

0:40:540:41:02

DIALLING TONE

0:41:110:41:14

-Hiya, Dad, it's only me.

-Oh, hello, Janet.

0:41:140:41:16

Janet needs help to work out how to protect

0:41:160:41:19

a Newcastle city farm from attack by pigeons.

0:41:190:41:22

-I've rung you, cos I need to run a bit of stuff by you.

-Right.

0:41:220:41:26

She's seeking advice from one person who knows more than her.

0:41:260:41:30

It's good advice from him.

0:41:300:41:32

What he's said is to actually put a net over.

0:41:320:41:37

Janet worked with her father for 27 years, until his recent retirement.

0:41:370:41:42

I always get good advice off my dad,

0:41:430:41:45

because it's like second nature to him.

0:41:450:41:49

So I'm glad that I've rung him.

0:41:490:41:51

When things get busy, Jim's still on hand to help.

0:41:520:41:56

Cos everybody keeps asking about you, you see.

0:41:590:42:01

And they keep saying, "How's your dad doing," you know?

0:42:010:42:05

And I think they think you've dropped off t'planet, sort of thing.

0:42:050:42:09

It does me dad good to come out on site.

0:42:090:42:11

He don't want to do a long day,

0:42:110:42:13

so I tend to take him more to the local work what we have.

0:42:130:42:16

And he enjoys it as well.

0:42:160:42:18

-There, that's yours.

-Ta.

0:42:180:42:21

I told her, when she wanted to go into pest control,

0:42:210:42:24

I says, "Come on, then. I'll show you how to do it."

0:42:240:42:27

All right, over here to t'office.

0:42:270:42:30

I mean, we rub off on each other really, really well,

0:42:300:42:32

cos we've spent so many years working together.

0:42:320:42:34

So there were that one that went there, and there's one at the door.

0:42:340:42:38

Funnily enough, once they saw what we were doing,

0:42:380:42:42

they thought she were getting better than me.

0:42:420:42:46

It's just been like old times, we've had a really, really good morning.

0:42:460:42:50

This is where I got a bucket of piss thrown on me!

0:42:520:42:55

I really do miss working with me dad because of the relationship

0:42:560:43:00

what we had together, and we work well together.

0:43:000:43:03

Are you proud of Janet?

0:43:030:43:05

Always have been. Since she were born.

0:43:050:43:09

Definite.

0:43:090:43:10

-Hi, Keith!

-Hi, Janet.

-Nice to meet you, finally!

0:43:170:43:21

At the city farm, Janet's taken dad Jim's advice, and called

0:43:210:43:26

a local father-and-son team

0:43:260:43:27

to install a net above the chicken coop.

0:43:270:43:29

Let me get up here.

0:43:290:43:31

What we'll do, we'll see if we can get it

0:43:320:43:34

-straighter over the top of this.

-Right.

0:43:340:43:36

What I'm looking at

0:43:360:43:37

is how these pigeons are watching what we're doing.

0:43:370:43:40

Think it'll definitely solve the pigeon problem.

0:43:420:43:44

They will try to find their ways in,

0:43:440:43:46

but I think they'll find it pretty difficult.

0:43:460:43:48

-That's looking good, though.

-Yeah!

-Yeah!

0:43:480:43:51

-I mean, the pigeons are hungry already.

-They are.

0:43:510:43:54

Well, they've been watching.

0:43:540:43:56

Working with Keith today, I've had a really, really good day.

0:43:560:43:59

I can't wait to tell me dad about him, actually,

0:43:590:44:02

and say I've been working with a man today that, you know,

0:44:020:44:05

reminds me of you, when me and you used to work together.

0:44:050:44:08

Hello?

0:44:080:44:10

Hi, Andrea! You all right? Yeah?

0:44:100:44:12

It's like being in a little tent!

0:44:120:44:13

-I know! What do you think?

-It's great!

0:44:130:44:16

It's definitely going to solve the problem.

0:44:160:44:18

Yeah, well, I think so, because I've been watching 'em

0:44:180:44:20

and they are very bemused about it, cos they're now wondering

0:44:200:44:24

how they're going to get some food tonight.

0:44:240:44:26

They've come down, and they're looking and thinking

0:44:260:44:29

"Hmm, what we are going to do, what are we going to do?"

0:44:290:44:31

So, yeah, I'm really, really pleased with it.

0:44:310:44:33

When Janet told us about the netting, I just thought,

0:44:330:44:36

"Well, what a simple idea." I wish we'd thought of it before, really.

0:44:360:44:39

Because, you know, we don't want to hurt the pigeons, we don't want

0:44:390:44:42

to do anything that's going to, you know, cause them any stress.

0:44:420:44:45

Job well done.

0:44:450:44:47

People think that pest control is all about killing things.

0:44:470:44:50

But, as you can see, there's lots of other methods.

0:44:500:44:53

The last time I was here, there was one garden that I couldn't get into,

0:44:590:45:02

and it looked very unkempt.

0:45:020:45:05

In a Southampton suburb,

0:45:050:45:07

residents are being plagued by rats,

0:45:070:45:09

and Ladykiller Deborah is right on their tails.

0:45:090:45:13

I'm coming back, today, to see

0:45:130:45:14

if I can get in there and have a chat to the homeowner.

0:45:140:45:18

With any luck, I can get in and have a look around the garden,

0:45:180:45:21

because I think it could be the source of the problem.

0:45:210:45:24

Not sure if I heard something.

0:45:290:45:31

-Hello!

-Hello!

0:45:380:45:40

-Hello, my name's Deborah.

-Deborah.

0:45:400:45:42

-I'm a pest controller.

-Nice to meet you.

0:45:420:45:44

I'm just in the area. I've been called out by one of

0:45:440:45:46

your neighbours, because they've got a problem with rats in their garden,

0:45:460:45:50

and I'm just going round all the neighbours, just to see.

0:45:500:45:53

I want to find the source of the problem,

0:45:530:45:55

and I just wondered whether you'd allow me to have a look

0:45:550:45:57

in your garden, and just see if there's anything in your garden

0:45:570:46:00

-that might shed some light on it.

-OK, yeah.

0:46:000:46:04

-OK.

-Thank you very much.

0:46:040:46:05

OK, you're quite overgrown here.

0:46:150:46:17

OK.

0:46:170:46:18

Is that window permanently open?

0:46:210:46:23

No. Well, during the summer it is, yes. Both of them.

0:46:230:46:25

OK. Because it would be nothing for a rat to run up here,

0:46:250:46:28

-and go in through there.

-Really?

-Yep.

0:46:280:46:31

No problem at all.

0:46:310:46:33

If you want to go in and have a scrabble around, feel free.

0:46:330:46:36

Rod's been living here with his wife for the last 38 years.

0:46:370:46:41

Looking at this, you should have a huge rat problem in here.

0:46:430:46:47

-But I can't smell anything.

-No.

0:46:470:46:50

I can't see any evidence.

0:46:500:46:52

Truth of the matter is, if you can't cope with it,

0:46:520:46:55

you don't cope with it.

0:46:550:46:57

And so I just shut it off. I don't see it.

0:46:570:47:00

Obviously, I fall over the rubbish.

0:47:000:47:02

-Have you ever had any rat activity in the rest of the house?

-No.

0:47:020:47:05

-No.

-OK.

0:47:050:47:06

All this, all of this is this year's growth.

0:47:090:47:11

None of it's earlier.

0:47:110:47:13

The garden got on top of you a bit this year.

0:47:130:47:16

Well...both I and the wife have had illness.

0:47:160:47:21

I had what you might call an episode while cutting down the trees.

0:47:210:47:24

So I thought, "I'd better go and see the quack."

0:47:240:47:26

He shocked me and said he thought I had a heart attack.

0:47:260:47:29

Dear, oh, dear, it don't half cut you down to size.

0:47:290:47:32

Got a lot of clatter in here, but, um...

0:47:340:47:36

-All good stuff!

-OK!

0:47:360:47:38

-HE LAUGHS

-I trust you!

0:47:380:47:40

It might look like clutter to a lady, but it's all good stuff!

0:47:400:47:45

This is a good, solid shed, though. It's made from shiplap.

0:47:450:47:47

-It's not like this other thing, which is featheredge.

-Mm-hmm.

0:47:470:47:51

That's fine.

0:47:510:47:53

Now this one'll be more interesting, won't it?

0:47:530:47:55

You're not going to get in there, are you?

0:47:580:48:00

It absolutely stinks of rat activity.

0:48:060:48:10

-Oh.

-There's droppings all over the place.

0:48:100:48:13

You've got a lovely piece of insulation in here,

0:48:130:48:15

which I think they're quite enjoying.

0:48:150:48:17

-Insulation?

-And that, as you can see, has been quite nicely chewed.

0:48:170:48:20

Yeah, yeah, well, mice tend to do that sort of thing as well.

0:48:200:48:24

-Yeah, that's a little bit bigger than mouse, though.

-OK!

0:48:240:48:27

It's quite possible there's rats in there.

0:48:290:48:31

I just want to see if we can help this guy to clear up this problem.

0:48:330:48:37

If there are any rats in here, they're going to run

0:48:380:48:41

straight down into everybody else's gardens,

0:48:410:48:43

so they're going to have more of a problem before we can improve it.

0:48:430:48:46

We've got a lot of work to do in here.

0:48:460:48:48

How would you feel about us coming in

0:48:500:48:52

and cutting all this back down for you?

0:48:520:48:55

I can't. So I suspect you can't.

0:48:550:48:58

OK.

0:48:590:49:00

-Is it something we could try and...

-We'll see.

0:49:000:49:03

At the moment, he's a little bit apprehensive. He doesn't know me.

0:49:040:49:08

So, let's keep our fingers crossed,

0:49:080:49:10

and with any luck he'll let me come back.

0:49:100:49:12

We'll get some skips in and really clear this place up,

0:49:120:49:15

because this is the source, and without dealing with the source,

0:49:150:49:18

everybody else is still going to have a problem.

0:49:180:49:21

-What's he doing?

-He's wedging me in.

0:49:270:49:29

Pissing men drivers. All the same.

0:49:290:49:32

Selfish.

0:49:320:49:33

A month ago, Angela and Janet

0:49:340:49:36

put down rat poison at the Newcastle city farm.

0:49:360:49:39

Today, Phase Two of their campaign.

0:49:390:49:41

And you're ready for action, aren't you, Alfie?

0:49:410:49:44

You know something's kicking off today, yeah?

0:49:440:49:47

And he looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth!

0:49:470:49:50

What we're going to do is move the compost heap today.

0:49:510:49:55

It is giving them a really good source for cover,

0:49:550:49:57

and obviously there's food in there as well.

0:49:570:50:00

We think the rats are living in there

0:50:000:50:02

and hopping across over to the farm.

0:50:020:50:05

By moving it, we're going to disturb them.

0:50:060:50:09

Angela's dog Alfie is trained to catch

0:50:110:50:14

and kill the rats that run away.

0:50:140:50:15

He's going to smell nice tonight again, isn't he?

0:50:150:50:17

He's going to have his work cut out today.

0:50:170:50:19

We could lose some today because it's just such an area

0:50:190:50:22

that they can bolt to, but we'll just have to see how he reacts.

0:50:220:50:25

The compost heap is thought to house hundreds of rats.

0:50:280:50:31

I tell you what, Janet, it don't smell healthy up here. Jesus!

0:50:370:50:41

See, I think they're going to be on the top, aren't they?

0:50:450:50:47

I - what they'll do is, rats always do it, I've noticed on most

0:50:470:50:50

rat jobs where I've moved stuff, is they sit to the last.

0:50:500:50:54

They really do.

0:50:540:50:56

I should have bought a deckchair and just sat down and waited.

0:51:000:51:03

He's not as bothered as what he was last time here.

0:51:100:51:13

Nowhere near. Me and Janet put them rat boxes here,

0:51:130:51:16

and I'm sure that they would've kicked in and done the job.

0:51:160:51:21

-To be honest.

-How's it going?

0:51:210:51:23

I reckon you've bleeding nailed 'em with the bloody poison.

0:51:230:51:26

The rodenticide has worked even faster than Janet

0:51:270:51:31

and Angela could have hoped.

0:51:310:51:33

I said to Richie, if we don't move it,

0:51:330:51:35

it's just going to get absolutely hammered in winter with rats,

0:51:350:51:38

because it's warm.

0:51:380:51:39

I tell you what we've noticed today, we've not had much rat activity.

0:51:430:51:48

-No, no.

-At all, have we?

-It's definitely dropped off.

0:51:480:51:50

Yeah. I've only seen one since you were last here.

0:51:500:51:53

-Right. So that's good.

-And that was down on the water on the...

0:51:530:51:57

-I can live with them, them living down there, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:51:570:52:01

I'm really, really chuffed with the result

0:52:010:52:03

that we've had from this place. It's, you know, more visually

0:52:030:52:06

seeing them running during the daytime, like they were doing.

0:52:060:52:10

So Richie's happy and that's all that matters, at the end of the day.

0:52:100:52:13

The work that they have done, I mean, it's a vast improvement

0:52:130:52:16

from what it was.

0:52:160:52:17

And we've always tried to control a little bit,

0:52:170:52:20

but, you know, sometimes you need experts in.

0:52:200:52:22

So, it's been good.

0:52:220:52:24

You never know what's going to happen with pest control,

0:52:240:52:27

but with the treatments that we've been using,

0:52:270:52:29

we've been really successful, so this is it.

0:52:290:52:31

Every day is different, every job's different as well,

0:52:310:52:35

and this has been a good one, and a really, really good result.

0:52:350:52:38

Do you know Rod, who's at the back there?

0:52:460:52:48

No. No, I don't.

0:52:480:52:49

In Southampton, Deborah's updating Cheryl

0:52:510:52:54

on her ongoing rat investigation.

0:52:540:52:56

How often do you get together with your neighbours

0:52:560:52:58

-or talk to your neighbours?

-We don't, really.

0:52:580:53:00

We're all busy working, you know.

0:53:000:53:02

Deborah suspects the rats have made a home in Rod's garden.

0:53:050:53:08

-Morning, Rod!

-Morning.

0:53:080:53:10

The good news is that he's now agreed to let her clear it up.

0:53:100:53:14

-How are you this morning?

-A bit bleary-eyed.

0:53:140:53:17

Ready for a clear-up?

0:53:170:53:19

That would be good.

0:53:190:53:21

I was acutely aware that I may have caused all my neighbours

0:53:210:53:25

these problems with the rodents.

0:53:250:53:27

I was embarrassed at the thought that that is what had happened.

0:53:270:53:30

It's going to be a very big day, today.

0:53:300:53:32

I've hired in three gardeners to come in and help.

0:53:320:53:35

But there's so much to do,

0:53:350:53:37

we're going to be lucky to get it all done.

0:53:370:53:39

Rod, how do you feel about us getting rid of the glass?

0:53:410:53:44

-It's a lot of glass.

-Yeah, I know.

-Very heavy.

0:53:440:53:47

Very difficult, so, you know.

0:53:470:53:49

There's some serious rat faeces in there.

0:53:490:53:52

Jesus.

0:53:520:53:54

Rats contaminate everything they touch.

0:53:540:53:56

Half of them carry the fatal Weil's disease.

0:53:560:53:59

What did you want to keep the football for?

0:53:590:54:02

-Kids to play with.

-OK, I want you to bear in mind...

0:54:020:54:05

-Yeah?

-Rats continuously urinate.

0:54:050:54:07

-Uh...

-While they're urinating,

0:54:070:54:09

they are walking and they've got a long tail.

0:54:090:54:11

That urine will get wiped onto the football.

0:54:110:54:13

Can you see all those brown marks? That's what that is.

0:54:130:54:16

Enough said! Bin.

0:54:160:54:18

So, all of these bags of books.

0:54:210:54:23

-You're saving that, are you?

-Yep.

0:54:230:54:25

If you're using them, they have been urinated all over.

0:54:250:54:27

Smell it.

0:54:270:54:28

My nose isn't so good.

0:54:290:54:31

Good luck.

0:54:330:54:35

Do you think it's got nasties in there?

0:54:350:54:36

I wouldn't. I Really wouldn't.

0:54:360:54:38

-Well done.

-I take your advice.

0:54:400:54:41

With plenty still to do,

0:54:430:54:45

one of Rod's neighbours, Dave,

0:54:450:54:47

has offered to help out.

0:54:470:54:49

-How'd you do?

-Oh! You live over the back somewhere?

0:54:490:54:51

I live...the house with the roof windows in.

0:54:510:54:55

Oh, right! Right.

0:54:550:54:57

We've lived here 35 years,

0:54:570:54:59

and I've never seen him, let alone met him before.

0:54:590:55:01

That's pretty shattering, really, because he's only just there,

0:55:010:55:04

isn't he, just over that fence.

0:55:040:55:06

Yes, it's nice to meet Rod,

0:55:070:55:09

and I was only too pleased that we could help him...

0:55:090:55:12

sort the problem out.

0:55:120:55:14

Cheryl and her son Nathaniel are also lending a hand.

0:55:140:55:17

Have you met Rod?

0:55:170:55:19

-No, I haven't. Pleased to meet you.

-Hi.

0:55:190:55:22

Hi, I'm her son, Nathaniel.

0:55:220:55:23

-Dave's the name, or Brucie.

-Thank you.

0:55:230:55:27

I live in that house there with the roof windows in.

0:55:270:55:29

Oh, hello, Dave. Yeah, I'm your neighbour.

0:55:290:55:31

-You're my neighbour? Which side?

-Down that way.

0:55:310:55:34

-Oh, you're from the bank.

-I am, yeah.

0:55:340:55:36

-Pleased to meet you.

-Pleased to meet you, after all these years.

0:55:360:55:39

Eugh. I've got a body!

0:55:390:55:40

-Oh!

-Oh, well done!

0:55:420:55:44

Right in the bottom of the shed, there.

0:55:440:55:46

And I've also found where they were coming into your shed.

0:55:480:55:51

There's a lovely little hole in the corner here,

0:55:510:55:53

where they've chewed up through the bottom.

0:55:530:55:55

So, actually, if we could remove this shed, it'd be even better

0:55:550:55:58

because they're all probably living underneath it.

0:55:580:56:02

This will save you a job later.

0:56:020:56:04

Fall!

0:56:060:56:08

Guys, we're going to move this pagoda down.

0:56:080:56:10

-Which way are we going to go?

-What are we actually...

-Up, I think.

0:56:100:56:14

Yeah, I don't think this one's going to come up.

0:56:140:56:16

The thing I really like is that the neighbours have come together,

0:56:160:56:19

none of these guys even knew each other before.

0:56:190:56:21

They're all now chatting and they've got a communal problem.

0:56:210:56:24

It's going to be so much easier to deal with.

0:56:240:56:26

Two, six. Heave!

0:56:260:56:28

Whey!

0:56:280:56:30

Teamwork!

0:56:300:56:32

It's the modern way, isn't it?

0:56:320:56:34

When I lived in a village when I was younger, everybody knew everybody.

0:56:340:56:37

These days, we lock ourselves in our own little boxes

0:56:370:56:40

and never get to know the people next door, really.

0:56:400:56:43

-CHEERING

-Yeah, some of the neighbours I wouldn't even know

0:56:430:56:45

if I passed them in the street. I wouldn't.

0:56:450:56:48

Sincerely, I wouldn't. I know one now.

0:56:480:56:50

Looks a bit clearer, doesn't it?

0:56:520:56:54

It looks a bit different, doesn't it?

0:56:540:56:56

It's now a big open space,

0:56:560:56:57

so rats won't want to run across here quite so much.

0:56:570:57:00

I think we've gone a long way to sort of clearing up

0:57:000:57:02

the source of the problem here.

0:57:020:57:04

It's made me tired just watching you.

0:57:040:57:06

You know, I just take one look at it before I think,

0:57:080:57:11

"I can't do that," you know. Walk away.

0:57:110:57:13

Leave it. Forget it.

0:57:130:57:15

It's very easy to forget problems.

0:57:150:57:17

I think we'll actually clear this problem up,

0:57:170:57:19

and it's never been cleared before.

0:57:190:57:21

So I think by doing this, it'll get sorted.

0:57:210:57:24

Well, it's true what they say, isn't it?

0:57:240:57:26

If you want a job done, get a woman at it,

0:57:260:57:28

cos she's a brill, she is a brill girl.

0:57:280:57:30

These damn moths.

0:58:040:58:06

They have been driving me to distraction.

0:58:060:58:09

This is quite serious.

0:58:090:58:11

-Oh, my goodness me.

-That's a lot of rats, Will.

0:58:110:58:14

I hate the thought of them running up your trouser legs, ugh.

0:58:140:58:17

-Good lad, get on it!

-They just make my skin crawl.

0:58:170:58:19

We have something in our belfry.

0:58:190:58:21

They're most certainly honey bees.

0:58:210:58:23

I've never actually removed a bee colony before, so, uh,

0:58:230:58:26

let's see how it goes.

0:58:260:58:27

Series following four female pest controllers as they do battle with Britain's most common household pests. Infestations of bed bugs, rats, clothes moths and more are making life a misery in homes across the UK. The ladykillers use specialist cameras to provide a scary close-up of the pests for the homeowners and to help find the best way to get rid of these unwelcome intruders.

A family facing the nightly terror of a bed-bug infestation calls in Imogen, who takes a scientific approach to pest control. Her research reveals what is making the modern bed bug a tougher menace to control than ever before, and she comes up with an ingenious solution to rid the long-suffering family of their parasitic intruders.

Elsewhere a case of rats in a smart suburban street leads Deborah on a hunt to find whose garden is harbouring the pests, with surprising results. And a city farm has double trouble with pigeons and rats.