A Guide To Essex Pests And What You Can Do About Them

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How You Can Wage War On Unwanted House Guests Whether Insect Or Rodent

There is a lengthy list of potential pests that can invade the home, whether inside, outside or both. The chances of being affected by several of them at once are thankfully rare, but even one or two, from a mouse problem to a wasp nest, can be distressing, potentially damaging and dangerous. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and remove pests. So, what are the common pests and what can you do about them?

Rats

Perhaps the most distressing of pests as the implications of having rats in and around your property are serious; they can spread diseases and cause damage.

Prevention – rats thrive where there is a ready supply of food and water, so regularly clean up pet and bird food around the property.

Ensure rubbish bags are firmly secured, preferably housed inside a bin and disposed of regularly. Any other food kept outdoors – such as animal or pet food – should be stored securely and ideally above ground level.

Cure – if you think it’s only one or two rats, then using a commercially available trap or poison is worth a try. If you suspect an infestation, then call in pest control specialists who are used to dealing with rats in larger numbers.

Mice

Like rats, mice can spread disease and cause much damage through gnawing – and with their ability to pass through even tiny gaps can access almost anywhere in the home.

Prevention – as with rats, deny mice access to ‘easy’ food sources by clearing even small food debris away.

Blocking off entry points is the next priority such as sealing holes, perhaps putting wire mesh over vents and air bricks, and repairing any damage causing vulnerabilities such as holes in roof eaves.

Cure – as with rats, commercially available traps and poison are worth a try but you’re likely fighting a losing battle if you’re facing an infestation. In these cases, professional pest control is your best option.

Wasps

Annoying and potentially dangerous if you or other family members are allergic to their sting, wasps are most active in the summer months.

Prevention – wasps are attracted to areas where food is, so clear food debris away such as after eating outdoors and secure bin bags and outdoor rubbish bins.

Cure – it’s possible to remove a nest on your own, but if you do wearing full protective clothing including gloves and goggles is essential; only use proper spray specifically designed to treat wasp nests no matter how small.

If you don’t fancy removing the nest yourself then call in the experts.

Ants

It’s not thought ants carry diseases, but they’re an unpleasant and unwelcome visitor and there’s no telling where they might have been before marching across your worktop or entering a food cupboard.

Prevention – they’re attracted to food, especially sweet items like sugar and jam, so keeping the kitchen clean and clear of food spillages, and storing it securely, is key. Cracks and crevices are the entry points for ants, so seal them off if possible.

Cure – DIY products such as powders and gels are worth trying so long as you know exactly where the ants are coming through and the route they’re taking. This may be enough to see off a small ant episode, but a larger infestation would likely require professional help.

Moths

Generally harmless, but moths can pose a risk to your clothes and soft furnishings – and they can proliferate if allowed to lay eggs in your wardrobes or cupboards.

Prevention – use fly screens to stop them coming in through open windows and doors. Vacuuming regularly is helpful – especially in hidden areas such as under beds and furniture such as sofas.

Items you don’t use year round, such as some blankets, should be stored in sealed bags or containers. Always ensure clothes are cleaned before storing them.

Cure – the classic moth balls are still a viable option as are specific moth-related sprays, powders and glue traps. If you have a major infestation, a professional solution will be required as pest control experts will have the ability to properly treat your home to handle a larger-scale moth problem.

Cockroaches

A dangerous pest as they carry diseases such as salmonella and dysentery, cockroaches are very tough insects and breed rapidly.

Prevention – deny them food and water by keeping it securely stored; remove food debris from exposed surfaces, and rinse cans and bottles before throwing them in the recycling. Cockroaches thrive in untidy, cluttered environments so dispose of unused boxes and old piles of magazines and newspapers.

Cure – cockroaches are hard to get rid of as their ability to survive is legendary, but there are specific sprays, traps and powders you can try.

Due to their durability and fast breeding, you may be fighting a losing battle so professional cockroach pest control might be the answer. Ridding yourself of the infestation is only part of the cure – it’s also important to destroy any eggs they’ve laid, too.

Flies

Most households have the odd fly here and there, but larger numbers of them could spell problems as they carry disease and can contaminate food.

Prevention – denying them access through keeping windows and doors closed and fitting fly screens is a basic step as is covering food and clearing any food debris.

Cure – fly sprays can control limited numbers, and fly boxes and electronic fly traps are established remedies. Large numbers of flies point to a breeding area nearly, so professionals with the knowledge to investigate and deal with the issue should be sought.

Other pests

Bed bugs, carpet lice and spiders are but three other pests the householder may have to do battle with. If you do decide to tackle pests yourself and it involves using a substance or deterrent, always use the one appropriate to that particular pest. If in doubt as to whether you can deal with the uninvited visitors, use an expert.

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