Pests are nasty, disease bringing, furniture gnawing, money absorbing, beasts. They are found anywhere and everywhere around the globe and with so many different critters and creepy crawlies, there is always one perfectly suited to your home. Besides keeping your home neat and tidy, what can be done to keep them away?
1. Stop the Pests From Getting Inside
Starting with air bricks and chimneys, while they are an absolute necessity as part of your home, they are perfect entry points for pests such as mice and cockroaches. Do not attempt to cover the gaps by filling them in. Instead place a steel mesh over them, it allows for regular airflow, yet denies pests access to the building.
Similar to this, you’ll also want to seal any cracks that might have appeared in the brickwork of the structure as, even if they are high up, mice and rats can climb and gain access through them. Points at which pipes, such as water or gas, enter the house also often have a small gap around them as the entry point is usually slightly larger than the pipe itself. Using sealant or expanding foam is the perfect answer to this: It will block the entrance without causing any disruption to the piping. A mouse only needs a hole the size of a ballpoint pen to find its way in and other critters are even smaller, so do yourself a favor and get these holes closed!
2. Encourage the Natural Order
What keeps the balance of nature? What stops one creature becoming too prevalent? The yin and yang of Mother Earth: predator and prey. Encourage birds to come into your garden with birdbaths and feeders. A pet, such as a cat, is also a great addition to the team of predators protecting your home. But, remember a cat is for life, not just for catching mice. However, with these animals about, you are less likely to be dealing with mice trying to enter your home. The very presence of their predators is enough to ward them off.
3. Don’t Make It Easy for Them
Overhanging trees are essentially a welcome sign to pests. Anything from insects to squirrels can scurry along the branches and onto the roof of your house. From the roof, it is far easier to find access points, or they might simply just set up shop there. If you have a tree near your home, make sure the branches do not hang over or touch the property, get them trimmed back regularly and you should avoid such problems. You don’t want to be removing a squirrel or a raccoon once they become settled up there; they become incredibly violent and territorial.
4. Keep Your Walls Clear
Termites, ants, cockroaches, flies, fleas, spiders—you can name whatever horrible little critter you like, they all like damp and dark places. Things like stacked wood and logs, leaves, compost and mulch and building materials are all things you are likely to leave piled up by the side of the house, but don’t. It is very dark inside these stacks and the damp sets in, making it the perfect environment for bugs. These places become a haven for this kind of life, as you will know if you’ve ever gone to collect some wood for the fire and run into a mound of insects under the logs.
This is not an issue in nature and is to be encouraged in some areas to help the biodiversity. However, putting it against the walls of your house helps pests become one with the building. They might nibble their way through into the wall cavities; they might find holes and get inside; or they might simply just decide to make a home in the cracks between the brickwork. Anyway you put it: It is not what you want around your home. If you're going to stack items like this, do it away from your house. Keep the foundations clean and dry and you’ll keep the pests away.
5. Remain Vigilant
Going around, sealing holes and moving logs away from the house is all well and good, but one year down the line you might have some home repairs done or your old shed could be lying in pieces next to the house; now we’re back to square one. If you don’t stay on the ball, the pests will get in. Keep up a routine of pest prevention. Always keep an eye out for new cracks in the walls or moisture around the foundations. Remember to pick up the bird-feed to keep predators coming back and don’t forget to make sure the mesh that you put on airflow entrances are still in place.
EBS Ltd are urban pest and bird control specialists who have been operating in London since 2003. The company was founded, and is run, by Jeff Nelson a pest control expert with over 20 years industry experience.