Pest Control News

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Pests in the Home – A Sobering Overview

Pests in the Home – A Sobering Overview

In hundreds and thousands of homes across Kent, homeowners and tenants are sharing it with a pest. They don’t care who you are, how much money you do or don’t have in your bank account or where you live, if the conditions are right, a pest of some kind will move in.
The British Pest Control Association produce an annual report of the call-outs and type of work that local authority pest control officers are responding to. Their latest report from 2015/16 makes for interesting reading, especially as the pest control services on offer from councils is dwindling as budgets are cut.

And so, with councils only responding to certain calls for help, it seems that the pest control companies are becoming increasingly popular. But what does this mean for you? What can you do about pest in or around your home?

Are pests becoming more of a problem?

Pests, from rats to bugs, can become an issue when the conditions are either in their favour or are unfavourable, pushing them from their normal habitats to find new ones;

·      Weather changes and flooding mean rats leave sewers and seek shelter elsewhere

·      Overheating our homes also makes them attractive to pests

·      Overflowing rubbish and recycle bins are an attractive food source for pests

·      Reducing services such as emptying bins weekly to fortnightly and now three-weekly in many counties is easy-pickings for pests

Understanding Pests

The best way to prevent and deal with pests is to understand them, something that we have been doing through training and experience for many years.

For example, the cockroach is a nocturnal scavenger with three distinct lifecycle phases: egg, nymph and adult. Eating almost anything, maintaining a hygienic environment is the best method of defence against cockroaches but when they do strike, treatment needs to effectively hit them at the ‘right’ stage of their lifecycle.

Mice too, will nibble at almost anything and can squeeze through a tiny gap of 6mm but will only travel three metres from their nest, a good indication that a mouse in your kitchen is nesting close by.

Or what about the bedbug? Laying up to 500 eggs over a two-month period, these tiny specks are difficult to spot, let alone get rid of.

What does this all mean?

It means that we may be unknowingly sharing our home with a pest or two. What it doesn’t mean is that you start laying poison ‘just in case’ you are besieged by a mouse or that you should invest in expensive but relatively ineffective over-the-counter pest control solutions.
But, as a homeowner or tenant, landlord or business owner, it pays to be aware of the ‘symptoms’ of a pest problem at home and have the problem dealt with by a professional pest control company.

Seeing the pest is rare – you’ll see the tail end of the cockroach (or is it?) scuttling under the fridge at night or you may spot a dropping or two that indicates a mouse in the cellar (or is it?). Instead, do this:

·      Smell – some pests leave a tell-tale smell to a room, such as the musty ‘odd’ smell of bedbugs or an unpleasant smell of rat urine. You may not know what ‘that smell’ is, but it is a strong indicator to us.

·      Listen – what can you hear? Can you hear scrabbling feet in the attic or small, chirping noises?

·      Touch – some insects, such as bed bugs, bite, feeding on our blood as we sleep, leaving a series of bites on the torso. Fleas also enjoy a blood meal, leaving itchy lumps around ankles and wrists.

·      See – what can you see? Shredded cardboard and other materials, along with gnawing marks on wood etc. are a sign on a pest with gnawing and shredding habits, from the common brown rat to the smallest of mice – but it can mean squirrels too.

Pests are a nuisance and it may be that you are sharing your home with one or two. Is it time to call us?