Pests You Can Expect To Find Now That It Is Colder

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Posted on: 11 January 2017 by Andre Smith

Shockingly, it’s been reported that up to 120 million rats could invade British homes this winter and it’s pretty nasty to discover you have a rodent on the loose where you eat and sleep.

When temperatures plummet the risk of finding a pest in your home can increase. The cold weather attracts spiders, ants, cockroaches and particularly mice and rats. These rodents are not big fans of the cold and will come into your house seeking warmth, shelter and food. Shockingly, it’s been reported that up to 120 million rats could invade British homes this winter and it’s pretty nasty to discover you have a rodent on the loose where you eat and sleep.

Both mice and rats can get into a building through small holes in the structure and you might not even know you’ve got one until you hear strange rustlings at night, find droppings, or discover signs of wires or furniture having been chewed. The experts at Victor Pest say that another sign of a rat infestation could be a strong musty smell and if you have a cat or a dog they may excitedly sniff or probe areas where mice or rats are present by scratching or making unusual sounds.

Dangers: As well as causing damage to your home, pests have been known to spread some nasty diseases to humans. Mice and rats can both spread Salmonella and Listeria, which are associated with food poisoning, besides a number of other horrible bacteria. Cockroaches can leave dangerous bacteria as they forage for food and water, contaminating food, utensils and preparation surfaces.

What to do if you spot a pest: It’s common to panic if you find a mouse or rat in your home but there are plenty of ways to deal with an invasion. Traditional snap traps are available for both mice and rats, alongside electronic traps which administer a high voltage shock to humanely kill rodents in seconds. Alternatively, you could use a live trap which traps a mouse or rat without killing it. Another method is to use an ultrasonic repellent. These work by emitting high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to people and non-rodent pets but are effective at repelling rodents from protected areas such as the kitchen, garage, attic or basement.

Pest-proofing your home: As pests can get into the home through even the smallest of spaces, be sure to check all openings are secure, especially around windows, doors and pipe outlets. Inspect the seals around your window frames and check loose mortar around the foundation of your home. Fill any holes or cracks measuring more than 65mm (bear in mind that rodents are able to gnaw through concrete). Double check pipes leading into the kitchen and bathroom to ensure there are no small spaces to let heat out and pests in.

Sanitation: Ensure surfaces are kept clean in the kitchen and don’t leave food out as this can attract ants, cockroaches and rodents. Also, avoid keeping pet bowls outside as these attract pests. Cockroaches are fond of pet food, and are keen on anything that is fermenting. If kept inside then ensure the food bowls are emptied and cleaned regularly. Keep all food in secure containers but be aware that mice and rats will make an attempt to nibble through most packaging.

With a bit of preparation and by following these steps, hopefully you can avoid any nasty surprises in your home this winter - and know what to do if you do get an unexpected visitor.

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Andre Smith

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