Pest control tips – how to prevent pests invading your home
Keep your home free from pests by following our top tips on how to stop rodents, insects and other pests from getting into your home.
Pests can invade your home or garden at any time of the year, be it rodents, insects, squirrels or moles and once they’re in they can be difficult to shift. Pests can cause
untold damage to your home, your sanity and your health. Simon Lambert, who runs Harry Jackson
Pest Control in Worthing, says: “Often pest problems just happen, it’s not
necessarily a reflection of how clean your home is or where you live,” however there are some things you can do to prevent pests taking over your property, here are our top tips:
Keep your home tidy – rats, mice and cockroaches love clutter, so clear up to make sure that pests have nowhere to hide and breed. Regular dusting and vacuuming is
very important to get rid of dust mites who live in carpets and soft furnishings and can irritate asthma and eczema.
Block up holes and gaps – maintain the exterior of your home; make sure there are no holes or cracks around pipes which pests can squeeze in through. Vents can
be covered with wire meshing.
Don’t leave food out – use plastic containers in the kitchen and make sure food is sealed or put away properly.
Seal rubbish – storing rubbish in suitable containers is essential; foxes, insects, rats and mice all love to get inside bins and will keep on coming back for
more, causing a real mess along the way.
Ventilate your home – although homes should be properly insulated, they also need to be well ventilated to prevent damp and stop mites and
fleas from multiplying.
Cover compost – rats in particular love to burrow in compost, as do cockroaches, so make sure yours is placed in a container and doesn’t include food waste.
Trim branches and trees away from the home – insects and animals can get into your home via overhanging trees or bushes which come into contact with the exterior
walls. Make sure you trim regularly or hire a tree surgeon or
gardener to do it for you.
Use safe bird feeders – simply throwing bread crusts or food on your lawn for birds can attract foxes, rodents and other pests, so use properly designed bird
Fix leaky plumbing – damp can encourage some pests like silverfish which are normally found in kitchens, bathrooms and cellars, so plug up any leaks or hire a
plumber to do it for you.
Remove pet food and water at night – many nocturnal pests like rodents are attracted by a regular supply of food and water, so make sure that you remove any pet
food or water before you go to bed.
Keep your roof in good repair – broken, rotting or missing roof tiles can make your loft easy access for some pests like squirrels, so
maintain your roof properly all year round.
Hiring a pest control professional
If all else fails and you are unlucky enough to suffer from a pest infestation
in your home, call in the professionals immediately. “A professional will do a
survey first and should be able to give a ballpark figure of how much pest treatment will cost,” says Simon. “But be careful who you hire - there are a lot of cowboys out
there,” he adds. A good way to ensure that you hire a pest control expert
is to look
for one who is a member of an organisation like the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) or the National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA).