Series following four female pest controllers. In a year when clothes moths infestations are escalating, Imogen is called to one of the worst cases she has seen.
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There could be unwelcome intruders...
-It's all right. It's only a little one.
..in your home right now.
You see all the blotches?
It makes me feel horrible!
There're the most despicable creatures that you could imagine.
Britain has 18 million feral pigeons.
Moth infestations have shot up by 75%.
They're coming out of the towels.
And rats are growing immune to poisons.
No word of a lie, probably 20 to 25 rats on that grass
in the middle of the night.
The pests are coming.
There's no doubt about it. We've got an infestation.
On the front line...
We are at war with pests.
..four women are leading the fight.
I said I'm a rat-catcher.
Well, he nearly choked on his pint!
Working in a man's world, they're a force to be reckoned with.
Just pop it on over my face and you won't hear me again, OK?
I haven't had a rat escape my clutches yet.
Armed with specialist cameras for a close-up view of the enemy...
This is good for us to see.
..they use all their guile to solve each mystery.
Every case is like a detective story.
Who are you going to call?
It's time to start the eviction.
I really do not like rats.
I hate the thought of them running up my trouser legs. Eugh!
I think I'd cry my eyes out if that happened.
Dirty, horrible things, aren't they?
Go and have a look at this shed...
Not keen on that.
Farmer Will is facing his worst nightmare,
a barn infested with rats.
Lady-killer Angela is already on the case.
Will doesn't like rats, full stop.
He's absolutely terrified of them.
Some men are like that.
And, obviously, women are as well. It's not just men.
Some people tell me it's the tails.
And some people say it's the way they move.
Eugh! That's as far as I'm going in there.
Not keen on that. Not at all.
It doesn't really bother me.
I was brought up like my brother and like my dad.
They just treated you
like you were no different from any of the other lads.
-Are you all right with this?
Angela examines the evidence, in search of a solution for Will.
Let's have a look...
Oh, dear! Oh, look at the gnawing!
Oh, my God! It's like dinner on a plate.
How long's it been like this?
-Couple of months, I suppose.
-And that's it?
-They've done this in this time?
You've got straw bales,
which are providing nesting material for the rats,
which is absolutely ideal.
Then we've got food source. Obviously, potatoes.
They've got everything they want.
A pile of potatoes left over from last year's crop
attracted a few rats.
From there, the population spiralled.
-This is the worst bit.
-Suck it in. Suck it in.
In their new home, Will's uninvited guests are thriving.
Smells ratty, as well.
Is water readily available on site, as well?
There's a tap that drips at the top.
Have you caught them licking underneath?
Yeah. Every time you walk in, a couple will run down the side.
-Look at where they've been going in and out.
They're still steaming, some of the droppings.
I'm a little upset, to be honest, because it's true as it goes,
when a pest controller rolls up, there's never any rats to see.
But looking at the evidence that we've got here,
I'm surprised there's not, to be honest.
I think what we'll do is probably set up some cameras
so we can see what they're doing.
I imagine it's like a party in here at night.
Rats are nocturnal.
So, Angela's night-vision cameras
should reveal the true extent of the scourge.
Are you ready for this?
Yeah. Let's see how many we've got.
-Can you see all the eyes, look?
Look at them!
That's a lot of rats, Will.
And how many of those are pregnant?
I would say there's a good 50 to 100 rats here.
-Did you think there was that many?
-No, not that many.
They make my skin crawl. Just...
I'm nervous standing here now, to be honest.
If I don't get rid of them, they will destroy our livelihood.
I wouldn't like to think how bad it could get, to be honest.
Rats in the wild live for up to 18 months.
In a single year, one breeding pair can produce a colony of 2,000.
-I'll probably set up traps and stuff and get bait boxes in place.
I'm looking forward to doing this.
-I'm glad you are...
-Are you all right with that?
..because I'm not.
-You know, I get excited. You don't look that enthusiastic.
I'm not great, but I'll have to just man up a bit, won't I?
-I'll hold your hand. You'll be all right.
They're so tiny.
You can see it and you know what it is.
You can see them...
..on the towels, look.
Flying away now. It's on the bathroom carpet.
Why don't they just attack the tea towels or something like that?
Actor and writer Geoffrey, his dog Coco
and all of his prized possessions
are at the mercy of a moth infestation.
But help is on its way.
I'm a scientist by training.
I suppose you could say I've got a passion for insects.
I have many more calls to do moths
than either mice, rats, bedbugs.
For lady-killer Imogen, this is a routine investigation.
One in every ten British homes has trouble with moths.
These damn moths!
They have been driving me to distraction.
Pests can probably smell me coming
because I smell of all the other pests I've already killed.
Hi. Pest control.
DOOR ENTRY BUZZES Thank you!
They're often on the roof part, you know?
Yeah. I just saw one flying then.
I hate the feeling that something's flying around while I'm asleep
and possibly crawling on my head.
I can't see any here.
-One, two, three!
-Yeah, it's quite heavy.
-There we go.
-Oh, my goodness!
So, you can see here...
-Look at these holes...
-..in the carpet here.
-There's something white here. Is that anything to...
That could be eggs.
-Because the eggs are white and sticky...
..and these are all the caterpillars here.
-Oh, my goodness!
Can you see it wriggling?
I would never have imagined
-that these were actually living creatures.
It's really quite frightening.
-Can you see that it's got a darker head, a whiter body?
So, that's how you recognise the caterpillar of the clothes moth.
This is the moth poo.
-Can you see?
-I just thought, oh, it's just dust.
Where the legs of furniture
-and the bits where your vacuum cleaner would miss...
..is where they would lay their eggs.
The adults that you've got flying around
are breeding and laying eggs
and it's the eggs that then develop
into the terribly destructive caterpillar.
They're the most despicable creatures that you could imagine.
-Oh, look. You see? This is one.
-Oh, yes, there's one there.
-That's alive, look.
I mean, I'm just horrified. This has happened very recently.
-Oh, it's for a morning coat for a wedding.
Oh, my goodness!
-See? There we go...
-They're alive, aren't they?
They obviously like whatever this is made of.
They like to eat fibres that are based on animal material.
So, things like wool, cashmeres.
The more precious, the better.
Until some funds come in,
it looks like having to be the charity shops
to replenish my, er...
..my depleted wardrobe.
But never mind.
Moths usually breed once a year in the warmth of summer.
But in our centrally-heated homes,
they can reproduce three to four times more often.
All those are eggs.
This is the part of the job that's interesting.
You know, investigating where is it living,
where is it breeding, where is its food source?
There's a moth just flying right underneath you.
It's on your jumper now.
They're coming out of the towels.
I don't want to have to do loads of cleaning and dusting myself.
I want to be able to go away and come back to a comfortable home.
This is quite serious.
A small London flat, it's like an oasis for moths.
Imogen's specialist cameras
give them a close-up view of what's made a home
in Geoffrey's rugs and carpets.
Oh, my... Oh, God!
Oh, my goodness me!
How many do you think there are?
Oh, I think you've got a fair population of moths
living in your house.
Oh, my goodness me.
And, presumably, they're eating?
It's just like the hungry caterpillar.
"I ate one Chinese rug.
"Two cashmere jumpers.
"Three very smart waistcoats."
-And it goes on.
Now I'm blooming horrified.
The devastation that these little creatures cause,
it's amazing, considering their size.
I mean, if they were an army,
they would wreak havoc wherever they invaded.
I'm on my way now to do a pigeon job at a castle in Northumberland.
What it is with pigeons,
sometimes they're not such a cut-and-dried job to do.
They're so crafty.
I love doing this job.
My dad had me gassing rabbits at sort of seven years old.
It's just my life.
Every new job is a challenge, really.
You know, it's just doing your bit of detective work.
Lady-killer Janet's latest case is at Barmoor Castle.
This ancient building has been plagued by pigeons for 15 years...
..despite the efforts of mother and son owners, Ann and Jamie.
Three times a year, I'll go round and I'll have a look at everything,
make sure the windows are boarded up,
there's no holes they can get in.
The thing what we need to do is have a walk round and investigate.
Ann and her late-husband bought Barmoor in 1979,
creating a caravan park in the 12-acre estate.
The whole ethos of the park is about caring for the wildlife.
And, you know, we've planted hundreds of trees to feed the birds.
So, it's ironic
that we now have to look at a solution
to the pigeon problem within the castle.
Ann and Jamie plan to restore the derelict castle.
But the health risk presented by the pigeons has put the work on hold.
This is the central tower.
But this is where the pigeons seem to home in to.
It was originally a peel tower from the 1100s.
The ultimate aim was to do something to the building
but, before we can start work, we'll have to clear these pigeons.
So, this is the main sort of area
where I have problems with the pigeons.
It's the top floor and I suppose you can call it the pigeon penthouse.
-Are all the windows sealed on this level?
There's two main front rooms here
and I think that's where the main nests are.
They are the whole way around the top of the building.
-You can see the pigeon guano...
..that's built up on the ledges there.
Pigeons can transmit 60 human diseases through their droppings,
known as guano.
Including a potentially deadly form of pneumonia.
This is one of the jobs that most of us dislike.
And most builders would refuse to come in and do work.
If I could get rid of one pest for good,
it would be pigeons.
I just... I just can't do with them, me.
People don't realise the damage that they do cause.
If people were more aware,
I think they'd look at them in a different light.
Feral pigeons choose to nest on or in buildings,
where they thrive due to the lack of natural predators.
The main problem at Barmoor is in the peel tower.
But Jamie's also spotted pigeons in the opposite side of the castle.
-This is what room?
-The haunted room.
-Not right good with ghosts, me.
Are you not?
No, I'm not.
I've just had a look at the open loft hatch
and there's a pigeon peeping out at me.
Jamie's sure he's sealed up every window and hole
in the 62-room castle.
And the building's historic status
means little more can be done to keep pigeons out.
Is the castle a listed building?
-Yeah, it's a list two-star.
So, it's fairly well-restricted as to what we can do with it, you know?
Yeah, yeah. You've done a good job yourself
in going around and sealing up as much as you could.
But you have to look at a building and think,
can I put spikes on?
Can I put netting on?
You know, can I put bird feed gel on?
But a building like this...
-No, that's just it.
Janet must now find a way to rid the castle of its resident pigeons.
And she has very few options left.
-The best way forward would be to do a culling exercise.
I had hoped for a humane way of dealing with this.
-We could put the traps in, but it's a very lengthy, lengthy process.
And, at the end of the day,
they're still going to have to be eradicated,
even if they're in the trap.
And with a culling exercise, it's done as quickly as possible.
"Culling" or killing the pigeons is a last resort.
But even so, it doesn't sit well with Ann.
I feel uncomfortable about killing anything,
but then, I've got to think of the future of the building.
And we have to solve the problem of the pigeons
before we can allow workmen to go in.
Oooh... What are you looking at?
In North London, mum of three, Imogen,
has battled pest infestations for 20 years.
My eldest child finds it appalling
that I'm a pest controller.
With two science degrees to her name,
she's well-suited to the job.
Being a female pest controller
is just the same as being a male pest controller.
Anything a man can do, a woman can do possibly better.
These are what we're going to use today.
An insect growth regulator.
Mini smoke generators.
Geoffrey's infestation is far greater
than either he or I had imagined.
It's a fairly comprehensive treatment that's needed.
Across Britain, moth infestations are on the rise.
Powerful pesticides, that once kept them in check, are now banned.
So, Imogen has her work cut out.
Actor Geoffrey's flat is riddled with them.
My first professional role was playing the part of Puss
in the pantomime Puss In Boots,
which we did in Dartford.
One of the problems I've had with the moths,
I found them behind the photographs
and in my books.
Well, it isn't cluttered, exactly,
but I'm not into minimalism at all.
If I was, I'd probably buy one of those awful places in the Barbican.
Hello! How are you, Coco?
I'm just getting ready to take him out.
Are you going to go for a walk while I do the work?
So, the plan is,
I'm going to spray throughout the flat with an insecticide
-and an insect growth regulator.
And then I'll set off smoke bombs.
And then I'll leave.
-Is that OK?
-That sounds OK.
When Geoffrey first noticed the telltale holes in his upholstery,
he had one prime suspect.
I thought he must have been having a nibble at the carpet.
And then I said, "Coco, have you been doing this?"
And I said, "That's not very nice, is it?"
Well, he doesn't understand, of course.
And then the moth situation reared its ugly head
and Coco has been completely exonerated of blame.
Well, see you later, then. Come on, Coco...
There's a good boy.
I'm going to spray on the carpets,
and the one on top on both sides,
because we had found quite a problem in here, didn't we?
Recent legislation limits the pesticides Imogen can use.
she has devised a combination of treatments to attack the moths.
The chemical will be composed of carbonate insecticide
mixed with an insect growth regulator.
It prevents an insect developing in the way that it ought to.
It's like having a child.
The baby can't become a toddler,
the toddler can't become an infant,
the infant can't become a fully-grown child
and then you can't get a teenager, so that's wonderful!
The smoke bombs create a cloud of insecticide
that targets the mature adult moths.
SMOKE ALARM BEEPS
SHE TURNS OFF THE SMOKE ALARM
In a few hours, the fumes will subside,
so Imogen can return to finish the job.
Moths are hard to kill because, if one leaves a single viable egg,
you can quite soon have a new population.
I've come back to put moth pheromone detectors in place.
It releases a female pheromone, so the male moths are attracted to it.
The pheromone traps lure in the adult males,
which then get stuck to the glue pads inside.
They'll also give Imogen an indication
of how many moths are left.
This has been a nightmare with the moths.
I'm a little bit concerned that, because there's so many,
you know, getting rid of them could be a bigger problem
than, perhaps, I realised.
We shall just have to wait and see.
The plan of action is to put the rat traps down
and see what we can catch tonight.
On a Nottinghamshire farm,
Ange is going into battle with a 100-strong pack of rats.
It's just because of the rat urine. To protect my hands, obviously.
I've been doing it 12 years now
and I'm not about to get a disease now, I'll tell you that.
Rats contaminate everything they touch
through their droppings, urine and hair.
And half of the UK's ten million rats
carry the deadly Weil's disease.
They don't look very big traps when you see how big the rats are,
but they're very, very effective.
They're called T-rexes because of that...
Might put some chocolate flavours on,
give them a bit of dessert tonight, I think.
Right, I'm going to put this on this ledge.
So, when Rodney comes along, snatch!
Let's put one here. See, they're comfortable down here.
They've chewed all this up, as well.
There you go.
Look at the size of them droppings there.
With traps, you should really check them every day.
You've got to make sure it's humanely destroyed. That's what matters.
Just put that there...
Let's see what we get.
It may be tricky because there's still a good food source in here
and they're so used to it
and all they know is potato and grain at the moment.
But let's see if they can get lured in by a bit of chocolate.
-Watch the road.
-Stop telling me how to drive!
-Lots of room, look.
-Stop telling me how to drive!
Watch me van, and all.
Never mind "watch me van." It's my van!
We don't often tell people that we're mother and son.
I've told him he hasn't to call me Mum at work, he's to call me Janet.
Are you going to go left? Be quicker if you go left...
Are you telling me which way to go again?
Yeah. Instead of taking the scenic route, yeah.
-I thought we'd go around by the lake.
-No, no, no, go left.
I have a lot of fun at work and it's mainly down to working with me mum,
but we can wind each other up quite easily, really.
I told you we should have gone left, you know?
Janet took on her son Tim as her work partner eight years ago.
And they're still together.
I'm dead proud of our Tim, really.
We both know how each other works and we rub along nicely.
Tonight, they have their sights set on Barmoor Castle's pigeons.
To help with the cull,
Janet's called in fellow lady-killer Angela,
who has experience with guns.
I tell you what, Janet, it's getting darker.
Well, they've shown me this haunted room.
-Oh, I know, I know.
Why did you tell me that?
I'll be pooing me pants now!
Shooting the pigeons is the only option left
to ensure the castle is safe,
so that renovation work can begin.
Ange is a good shot. Tim is a good shot.
Two hands are better than one.
I know Ann's not comfortable about shooting,
so I've asked her to just keep out of the way.
There's droppings everywhere.
They're all hiding.
Just shine it round here a minute.
We get better results with doing the cull at night-time,
mainly because the pigeons are a bit more complacent.
I've got one.
Didn't hit that at all.
Bag it, Janet.
There's one just here. Look, right behind you.
There's one... There's two there, look.
Yeah, on that ledge.
-Do you want me on it?
-You take that, yeah.
What we use is a .22 air rifle, which is what is recommended.
Angela's gun-mounted light has a red filter,
which is less visible to pigeons
and less likely to startle them into hiding.
They're so bloody devious.
We've got quite a few. I think ten or 12.
The team leaves the peel tower
to investigate the opposite side of the castle.
Is that the haunted room?
I ain't going in there. You can forget it!
I don't get paid enough!
Is this the loft?
Yeah, this is where...
I came out of this room and, as I looked up,
a pigeon stuck it's head out.
-I think that's tomorrow's job.
It's too dangerous to go up into the loft in the dark.
I'll go back in in the morning and check that area out.
I'm back at Barmoor.
I particularly want to go up into the loft space of the haunted room.
Janet suspects there could be pigeons in the loft.
Then, Tim and Janet spot a hole.
The position of the hole makes it almost impossible to reach.
But if Barmoor Castle is to be pigeon-free, it needs to be sealed.
My customers are all detached houses in the middle of nowhere,
which makes my job very pleasurable.
Recently, the most common thing I've been doing is wasp nests.
They're coming in thick and fast.
has been battling pests in the South of England for 12 years.
And summer is wasp season.
-I hear you have a wasp nest.
They've taken over the owl box.
-That's an impressive nest.
-Do you know how long it's been there?
I only noticed it, literally, three days ago.
OK. I'm going to treat the nest with a powder.
It doesn't kill them instantly, but it will make them very angry.
As soon as my little nozzle goes anywhere near that nest
you've got about 30 seconds
and they will attack whatever they find.
The powder contains an insecticide,
which coats the wasps and kills them in a few hours.
I'm getting out of the way before they get even more angry.
That's the skylight.
-And they're going in and out there?
You've got a few thousand wasps in there.
-Fingers crossed, we'll get it in one go.
I like to do things right. I don't like to fail.
Anyone that says a woman can't do pest control,
I'd say I'm living proof that they can.
I love animals and I'm much more of an animal-lover
than I am wanting to go out and terminate them.
Deborah's kept horses for 17 years.
I think every animal has a reason for being on the planet,
but when they come into contact with humans' houses or property
and humans can't live with them, then they have to go.
Back to work now.
I've just been called up to a church.
They've got something buzzing in their belfry.
I suspect it's possibly going to be wasps or bees.
If it is bees, it will be a very big job,
a very long job,
but it will be very interesting.
We have something in our belfry. I don't think it's bats.
The problem is we need to have it reroofed
and we've discovered that there is some infestation in there,
whether it's wasps, bees or something flying.
So, we need to get rid of whatever it is,
basically, so that we can do the reroofing.
And we don't want people being stung.
Can you show me where they are?
Well, they are actually
up in the top of the bell tower above the bells.
That's a very active nest.
Right... Let's see what we can see.
They're most certainly honeybees.
They're very small, brown, quite fluffy.
Whereas wasps would be much more yellow and black.
Honeybees are not protected but there are limited numbers of them now,
so we don't destroy them, unless we absolutely have to.
So, I'm going to need to call in beekeepers to come and help.
Bees have a vital role in our food chain as a pollinator,
improving the yield of crops.
Moving them is a complex, highly-specialised process.
I'm a little apprehensive.
I've never actually removed a bee colony before.
So, let's see how it goes.
It's time to have a look at some of the rat traps.
Oh, dear... Got one in here, look.
Angela suspects that Will's barn could house as many as 100 rats.
Yesterday's traps have only made a small inroad.
Well, we got seven or eight rats out,
but it's got to the point now where I'm not catching as many.
If you've used trapping methods before and they know what they are,
they will avoid a rat trap.
So, the best way of getting rid of these rats on this site
will be the dogs.
If you think, a dog's jaw is like a backbreaker trap.
As soon as the rat pops out, the dog's on it -
snap, bang! Done with.
Far swifter than poison,
this is Angela's preferred way to kill the rats.
Her dog Alfie is a trusted workmate.
And today, he's joined by Will's dog, Jinx.
I am terrified! I am not looking forward to this.
I normally stand well out of the way.
Don't grab hold of me.
I won't grab hold of you. I will run!
He doesn't seem very happy about it.
But, hopefully, he'll stick with me and doesn't run out the building
and leave me with it all to do on me own.
Knowing that rats can jump and climb,
Will had been too terrified to clear out the barn on his own.
Eurgh! This is horrible, this is!
I've tucked my socks into my trackies,
because I don't want them running up my legs.
It's just when they come near you,
I just think they're going to run at me, you know what I mean?
We're actually trapped in here now!
I know that!
Don't you think I already realised that?!
There's no backing out.
It's come through your side, Will!
Here! Here! Here, Jinx! Here! Here! Here!
Where did it go?
Back down there in one of them there.
-Here, Jinx! Here! Here!
Get it, Jinx! Get on it! Good girl, get on it!
Eh, we've had the first one!
Get ready, because they are behind there.
Oh, no, this is horrible, this is!
They're going to come my way!
Whoa! Whoa! Go on!
Here! Here, Jinx! Here! Here!
Good lad! Good lad! Get on it!
Yes, good boy! Good boy!
Ah, don't push them towards me!
Shake the bale where that wet patch is. I saw something move.
I knew I'd seen one.
Get it! Get it!
There's one there!
Get it! Get it!
-There's ten round there.
12, 13, 14... That's 15 rats.
-And I've already caught nine rats.
And I've got a feeling there's quite a lot of rats in this bit.
Why are you up there? Get down!
Oh, my God, the size of that one!
Here! It's behind you!
Good boy, Boo-boo. Bring it to Mummy!
We've had a successful day.
I'd say we've cleared plenty of rats out. Nearly 40.
So, I'm quite chuffed with that job.
We're going to have a continuous baiting plan
around this area of the building,
because it's always going to be a food source.
Make sure that, obviously, it doesn't re-infest to that level again.
Will's surprised me on how he coped with it.
He coped with it really well.
Happy about that. Not got to go in there worrying about...
..rats running across my feet.
Hopefully, that'll be the last of them.
I can start using it again now and get ready for next year.
In this truck. Good boy.
Oh, he's tired.
Come on. Up... Oh!
Good boy. On your bed.
Hi, it's Imogen.
Imogen's calling on Geoffrey for a progress report
on his war against the clothes moths.
-Have you seen less moths actually flying around?
Let's go and look at all the monitors,
see how many are trapped in each one.
-This is the way we can see exactly how many are remaining...
..and whether we need to do something else to pick up the remnants.
A lot of moths in the traps
will mean the population is still thriving.
Have you seen many in your bedroom?
Not a significant number, no.
Oh, that's very good,
-because, actually, the bedroom was quite badly infested.
One, two, three, four, five, six.
-There's nothing dead here.
And there were about seven or eight moths in here.
Yeah. There's none. Absolutely none at all.
Oh, Imogen... You're letting me down.
You're not putting them as tidily as they were.
-Oh, I'm sorry!
-It's all right, I'll do it later.
Last of all, Imogen checks Geoffrey's upstairs office.
So, this area wasn't sprayed with the insecticide
and the insect growth regulator.
We only did the smoke bomb.
Because of the computer and the work surfaces
and there was lots of stuff up here,
I didn't want to spray with an insecticide.
I have noticed a few moths have been up here.
Shown us that there's much more activity up here, which I expected.
I think what I should do is I should vacuum everywhere up here
that I can reach.
And then I might use a fogger up here,
which is an insecticide, which is actually organic,
so that you're not actually going to be poisoned by it.
Little droplets coming out...
It should be just making things wet.
I've got a larder of things that I could use against clothes moths
and I'm not sure any of them is successful on their own.
If this doesn't do it, I don't know what will.
Judging by what Imogen's done today,
I've just got to remain hopeful that
we'll see the end of the moth problem.
The only thing that I am really conscious of now
is that, since the initial treatment,
I've been talking to various people, as one does, in the local area
and it seems these clothes moths
are pretty prevalent around here at the moment.
Look at these... I found my vintage sunglasses.
I had them on the other day.
You've had my glasses on?
They're vintage, these are. They're good, aren't they?
We're back at Barmoor today.
We've got a cherry picker on site.
At first, the castle was thought to be all sealed off to the pigeons.
But last time, Janet and Tim found a small hole in the loft
where they were still getting in.
Now Janet is wondering how secure the castle really is.
-See that one there?
-Yeah. Where it's been bricked up.
They're there now. They're there! There! Look, look, look!
It's just come waddling out.
They're sneaky. Little tinkers.
There's a hole to the side, to the left
and there's a hole at the top.
Janet suspects that this could be another unsealed hole.
Pigeons can squeeze through gaps as small as five inches.
Can we check this window halfway down?
This is that window that we thought
-where they were getting in at the side, isn't it?
And, look, there's no holes in there.
You know what I mean? It's sealed up, yeah.
This was a false alarm.
But that still leaves one hole into the loft to be properly sealed off.
Oh, look at that.
Perfect for them.
So, we need to get a good bit of mesh in there.
It's quite a strong mesh. It'll fit compacted into the hole.
So, that's going right in.
That should hold them out, that.
The cherry picker gives Janet and Tim a chance
to check for any more gaps.
-It's in good nick, isn't it?
The roof, it is sealed.
-There's nowt, is there?
All of these are well-sealed.
Just have a look at this one.
I just want to get my hand in and see what I can see.
That'll do, mate.
No, yeah, you're right. It's just blocked off.
After a painstaking search,
it seems the castle could finally be pigeon-proof.
But Janet knows that you can never be too sure.
We think they were getting in across that loft space,
above the haunted room,
because there's no loft hatch on.
We think they're dropping down
and walking into the peel tower that way.
So, you've sealed that off now, Janet?
Well, we've sealed it off from the outside area.
-We've put the mesh in.
The best thing to do is to watch.
-And this is what I want you to do now.
Once we leave, I'd like you to go in and see if there is any inside.
-The next couple of days is going to be the real test, isn't it?
Looks like a good-sized swarm.
One of the most active ones I've seen.
Deborah's called in beekeepers Steve and Dave.
They'll show her how to move the honeybee colony
that's taken hold in the church belfry.
What's the worst that could happen up there?
If you smell lemon or banana smell,
that is a clear sign the colony is getting agitated
and its always best then to back off.
Well, I'm quite happy just to keep still
and keep calm at this stage, anyway.
Maybe, if they're seriously buzzing around me, that might change
and I shall just back off gracefully.
The first job is to establish the size of the colony.
There's a significant amount of bees just in this area here.
How many nests do you think there may be?
We believe there's up to four.
In just a few months,
four hives could become home to over 200,000 bees.
To move them, the beekeepers must expose the whole colony.
Oh, look at that!
That's pretty impressive.
The colony is pretty much contained in that area there.
Deborah's specialist cameras
allow her a close-up view of the hard-working bees.
In a colony, you would have several thousand worker bees,
which are all female.
You'd have a few hundred drone bees, which are males.
And one queen bee.
The bees' regimented society is centred on a queen,
who lays all of the eggs.
She also emits pheromones that control the whole colony.
Without her, there's no hive.
If we can find the queen, all the bees will follow wherever she goes.
We try to save as much of this brood comb as we can.
What is a brood?
It's where they lay their eggs, which then hatch into larvae.
-Bit like a maternity wing.
Try not to cut any deeper than about an inch
because there could be another layer behind here.
The bees are buzzing around us, but they're not attacking us.
And considering we are really attacking their home,
that's very impressive.
Oh, there's the queen. She's there.
Oh, I see her.
Take her gently...
So, I'm going to put her into this thing here.
-And there we have a queen.
The plan is to transplant the colony into a new hive...
That pops in next to that.
..so that the bees can be moved to where they will no longer be a pest.
This is the beehive in here.
And this contraption on the top and the bottom
allows us to use a Hoover to suck up the bees
as if you were doing your normal housework.
And the bees will end up inside, in there, totally unharmed.
Let's suck it and see!
I can feel them going up the tube.
So, even though the Hoover is coming down on to them,
they're not trying to fly away from it.
How many bees do you think are in this colony?
Perhaps 15, 20,000.
These two new hives are larger still.
That's an awful lot of bees!
This is huge.
Are you ready, Deborah, to get started on this one?
Yes, I think so. As ready as I'm ever going to be!
It's a lot harder than it looks. It's very tough.
It feels like a rubbery sensation.
Trying very hard not to flatten the bees.
Not bad for a first effort!
I feel absolutely shattered at the moment.
It's a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be.
This is the bee colony
that we rescued from this side of the building.
And they're going to sit in the shade for a bit
before they get taken to their new home.
If the bees survive the move, and the queen carries on laying,
the beekeepers will have a new colony to tend.
Back at Barmoor today.
I've spoke to Ann and she's told me
there's some pigeons back in the peel tower, much to my annoyance.
We've been round and round and round the castle...
..and I can't find any more holes.
When I checked the building, my heart sank
when I counted at least four or five of them.
I know I felt really uncomfortable about having to address this issue.
Now I'm getting angry.
I can't believe they're back!
OK, it's about... Oh, gosh!
All right, just give it a chance to settle.
-And I can hear another one.
-There's another one, so that's three.
I just want to check in those two side rooms.
Oh, hang on, hang on...
-Oh, my goodness! Janet!
-There's a load.
There's about eight.
That's what pest control's like.
You'll sort of think, "Right, I've got on top of that now,
"I know where I'm up to."
And then, suddenly, something, you know, unexpected happens
and you think,
"What's happened here now?"
But Ann's been watching closely.
She suspects the pigeons of finding yet another new way in.
That wire up there looked as if it had been pulled out.
Oh, it does, you know.
I think what we need to do is get some better meshing there.
It's quite possible that's where they've been coming in and out of.
Pigeons are known to be highly intelligent.
They're one of the very few birds species
who can recognise themselves in a mirror.
Janet sets up a surveillance camera
to see if they have found a way through the maze of mesh.
You've got to give pigeons some sort of credit.
They're very resilient.
If they want to get in somewhere,
they'll try their hardest to get in.
But my mum does not like being beaten.
It doesn't matter what job it is,
if she feels as though she's being beaten, she will not be happy.
Re-sealing this new hole with tougher mesh,
Tim and Janet are leaving nothing to chance.
It is good and it is a bit more solid and resilient.
They're not getting through that now. Not even super pigeons.
It's really, really secure.
Janet plans to catch the remaining pigeons in live traps,
to see if these are the last few in the castle.
I'm going to pre-bait around the trap
and inside the trap.
And then drop the bars down.
So, the pigeons can go in...
..but they can't come back out.
And we're going to scrape up some pigeon guano
and sort of throw that in, as well,
just so that the pigeons feel a little bit more at home
in their own guano!
It is last chance saloon, really.
The secret is their way in and out.
If they still have a way in and out now.
Maybe they haven't.
Maybe these are the last ones.
Faced with a recent surge in British moth infestations,
historic houses need to be on constant guard
to protect their collections.
English Heritage employs a consultant entomologist
to advise them on keeping pests at bay.
So, this is where Imogen can keep up-to-date
with the latest expertise.
Around 15 years ago, webbing clothes moths were not that common
because some of the insecticides we were using...
Do you remember the Dichlorvos, Vapona?
-You hung it up as a vapour strip.
It's been banned now for 12 years.
And many of the other chemicals, which were used as mothballs,
are no longer legally allowed to be used.
Obviously, we don't want to treat
-historic collections or materials with pesticides.
So, the most important thing is good housekeeping.
What we basically do is take the curtains down,
give them a good clean, check them at the same time.
To clean this curtain properly,
would you do just the one side or both sides?
-We do both sides.
Constant vacuuming removes moth larvae.
Around here, moth prevention, it seems, is 99% cleaning.
A lot of people put rugs on top of carpets
and the problem is this is where the insect pests are going to go,
where it's dark, undisturbed.
You'll have a build-up of dirt, debris underneath there -
hair, human skin, food, possibly.
And that is providing that insect pest with everything it needs.
So that is why it's so important to move these items
and give them a thorough good clean underneath.
My customer, Geoffrey, actually had moths throughout his flat.
So, I've vacuumed everywhere, done an insecticidal spray,
-then did a pemethrin smoke bomb.
I'd love to know what you think I should do now.
Well, you've been doing all right things.
But, if he wants to get rid of his moths,
he's got to do more hoovering, do it more regularly.
People who have moths in their clothes,
then, the best way of dealing with that
is to put them in the freezer.
Can they put them in their own domestic freezers?
Yes. Two weeks in a plastic bag will kill everything.
Imogen's eager to pass on the expertise to Geoffrey
and to see if her treatments have worked.
Hi, Geoffrey. How have your moths been?
It has been a whole lot better.
Would it be OK if I check the traps?
Oh, yes. By all means, yeah.
-Yeah, it is one.
That's really good, yeah.
We've got this population under control now, I hope.
But what one needs to do,
and you need to do this yourself,
is to vacuum really well.
Rather than just flicking the vacuum cleaner around occasionally,
you need to have a regular system of vacuuming everywhere.
Underneath the furniture, both sides of the carpet.
Any clothes, about which you are worried,
you must put in the freezer for two weeks,
carefully wrapped up in plastic.
And that will kill the moths or the larvae?
That should kill the eggs and the larvae, yes.
I shall be much more vigilant than I was.
There's no way it's ever going to happen again, if I can help it.
Home-bought treatments can also be a deterrent.
Herbs like lavender can mask the smell of fabric that attracts moths.
One of my failings...
I haven't been doing enough of it.
I think this has been a really interesting job.
I certainly think that
if Geoffrey hadn't done something about his moths now,
every piece of his clothing and every carpet would have been decimated.
It has been a learning curve for me.
And I'm now able to actually say
that I can be on top of this situation.
I'm here to see how my bees are doing
after we rescued them from the bell tower.
It's quite strange being up here on a shopping centre.
You wouldn't expect to find bees in a place like this.
More and more people are keeping bees on their roofs.
We've kept these for five years.
And, actually, they survive really well
in a town centre, an urban environment.
For honeybees to settle in a new home,
it's vital the queen is healthy and laying.
So, where's our bee colony?
It's right over the back there, in isolation,
so we can just establish absolutely that there's no disease
before we introduce them too close to our own bees.
Oh, gosh, look! There's hundreds of them.
They don't even look that concerned that they've been moved.
No, they're lovely bees.
We can see eggs in here,
which would indicate the queen is alive and well and doing her job.
Now, if you touch the bees with the back of your hand
they will gently move.
And that way, we can make sure the queen's not snuggled in underneath.
-Can you see her? I can.
Oh, yes, I can! She's down on the right-hand side.
We have a nice, healthy queen. A nice healthy colony.
We've seen eggs in there.
A lot of my job is actually having to terminate pests
for one reason or another
and it's really lovely to have been able to rescue one for a change.
This just makes it worth it, doesn't it?
All right, girlies. Just be quiet.
It's a big moment for Janet.
If there are still only eight pigeons in the castle,
it means she has finally cracked the case,
seven weeks after her first visit.
There's two in that one.
There's two in there.
Check them side rooms.
I can see the back end of one.
How many's that?
I've got one, two, three, four.
-And that's all I can see.
-What a result.
We're quite confident that the pigeons that are in are sealed in.
They're not going in and out.
Let's sort these out first,
then we can concentrate on any others.
So, what we're going to do is cull,
in as quick a time as we possibly can.
Barmoor Castle's last pigeons are humanely destroyed.
Feral pigeons are classed as vermin,
so, once trapped, it's illegal to release them back into the wild.
And that was all of them for me.
Yep, that's what I reckon.
-Right. Hi there.
Yeah, yeah. Everything's fine.
-So, we've had a good day today.
You can see with my beaming smile.
I think we've sealed up every hole.
So, I think now that it's job done.
But I would like you to go in the castle at least once a week,
just to make sure they're out.
We are so grateful for the work that you've done.
An old boss used to say to me,
"If you want a job done, bring in a woman and a busy woman."
And you've just lived up to that.
So, thank you so much.
Oh, no, you're more than welcome, Ann.
I have loved me time here, actually. It's been a pleasure.
See you soon.
It's been lovely. Thank you.
I do feel that we've actually sealed up everywhere
and we've solved the problem.
But knowing how crafty pigeons are,
at some point, you know,
they may find another way in.
You see? There's a whole colony.
It make me feel horrible!
I know we only did this a few weeks back.
I think there's probably a few hundred rats here.
I'm used to this and it's a grim reality.
Some people just don't like the thought of anything being killed.
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.
In a year when clothes moths infestations are escalating, Imogen is called to one of the worst cases she's seen. Using her scientific background, she discovers what's making them so hard to kill off and finds the best practical tips and solutions for dealing with a problem that's found in one in every ten homes.
Plain-speaking Angela and her dog Alfie are on the case when a pack of rats moves into a terrified famer's barn in Nottinghamshire, and Janet eventually gets the better of some very determined pigeons who have made home in a historic haunted castle on a Northumberland caravan park.
And in the home counties, Deborah is called in by the local vicar when a colony of honeybees moves into the church steeple.