I’m often asked by customers across Lancashire and the Northwest, indeed not just customers as many people just phone for advice, for ways in which they can help proof their home or tips on keeping your home pest free. Most of the advice I can give is just simple common sense but somethings people just don’t even think about, indeed why would they, as pests are often not something we think about until we have a problem. The majority of the steps people can easily take are simple and straight forward and simply involve removing one or more of the requirements that pests look for when they move into or around our home. Pests like all living things require a few staple requirements to live and breed, the first being shelter. This can come in the form of undergrowth for rats to burrow or maybe piles of clothes or pet bedding under which flea larvae can develop, enjoying the darkness and warmth. The second is food and nourishment, reducing access to waste food is probably the number one way in which we can reduce the incidence of pest infestations. Most of us think we are quite clean and tidy around the home but pests are experts at finding tidy amounts of nourishment from the most unlikely of places. Rats have been known to exist on blocks of soap or even the things we flush down our sewers, ants can feed on the smallest amounts of crumbs, a smear of fat or jam and bed bugs feed off a food source we cant hide from them- our blood!
Keeping homes pest free.
So what can we do to help ourselves, simple small steps that will help to keep our homes and gardens pest free? without spending a fortune or living in a paranoid state in fear of invisible pests!
- Clear all out of control undergrowth, where possible, in gardens. This is especially important where it is up against the sides of the walls of your home. Similarly clear all piles of rubbish or junk, piles of old timber or piles of grass cuttings. Grass cuttings have a tendency to get hot in the center so not only does it give perfect cover put piles have a built in central heating system, perfect for rats.
- Be careful with bird tables and bird feeding stations. Site them on a solid flag base rather than grass so you can sweep up any seeds or feed that falls to the floor. Bird feed, especially fat balls are like high energy rat attractors and are often the cause of attracting rats to your garden.
- Make sure drains are in good order and grid covers are in place. Many rat infestations originate in sewers. Also make sure covers on air vents are secure and in good condition.
- Be careful with DIY ant control, certain species of ant will not be killed with over the counter ant sprays and powders, the application of which will cause the nest to break up and spread, forming new nests.
- When returning from holidays or stays in hotels place all your clothes on a long hot wash to make sure no bedbugs have hitched a ride. This simple step could help protect you from an infestation, bedbugs will be the next big pest problem on a global scale, I will try to discuss them further in my next blog.
- Keep cats and dogs well treated for fleas. Also make sure that their bedding is put on a long hot wash on a regular basis.