Controlling pests in the family home and garden



In Gardening, House Stuff | |

They’re called pests for a reason, and nobody will ever admit to wanting creepy crawlies, creatures or critters living in their home and garden. Pests can, and do cause extensive damage to properties, and can bring all manner of diseases, irritants, fellow pests and allergic reactions with them – not to mention the stings, bites and rashes that they can deliver. If you’re worried by the thought of pests out in the open imagine them sharing your family home and garden. Suddenly the issue of pest control is a far more pressing one.

The pest control methods that you employ in your home and garden should be child and pet friendly, which will mean being a little more creative. However, it is entirely possible to deter pests from entering your property in the first place.

The home

Your home may be your palace, but it is also a tempting retreat for all manner of bugs, birds and beasties. Common pests in the home include mice and rats, fleas, cockroaches, bed bugs and dust mites, flies, bees and wasps, silverfish, ants, woodworm and moths, as well as spiders and birds, depending upon where, and when they’ve made their home. You might not be worried about an impending invasion by creatures you can barely see, but many pests can, and will cause damage to your property if you let them. Similarly, certain bugs, birds and rodents can carry diseases, or cause serious harm with their urine or faecal matter – not to mention allergies, irritation, nips and niggles. It’s safe to say that these kinds of pests can’t stay, but what can you do about them?

Pest prevention in the home

They say prevention is the best cure, and that’s certainly true in the case of pests; it’s far better to prevent their arrival altogether than to attempt to deal with them once they’ve established a base within your home. Some of the best ways to avoid pests include sealing gaps and holes, repairing torn screens, nets and weather stripping, using certain essential oils and herbs, regularly cleaning and dusting, laying or replacing insulation, keeping food and pet food stored securely and washing seasonal bedding before and after storage. You should also regularly empty your rubbish bin and pay attention to leaky plumbing, as well as treating your pets against fleas and worms on a regular basis. By removing sources of access, food, water and shelter you will greatly reduce a pest’s interest in your home.

The garden

Your garden is your haven; your retreat from the rest of the world and a place where your family can play, chill out and entertain. Imagine, then, that the marching of thousands of tiny feet has shattered your peace, or that you have to protect yourselves from aerial attacks by winged marauders. Pests will follow you out into the garden if they’re given half the chance. Common garden pests include mice and rats, wasps, flies, ants and moles, as well as some birds such as pigeons and gulls. They may live in your undergrowth or inhabit your shed or outbuildings. You might not always be able to see them, but these pests will certainly make their presence known eventually.

Pest prevention in the garden

We’ve spoken pretty extensively about pest prevention in our blog about the defence of your garden decking from insects, birds and mammals. Make your garden uninhabitable for pests such as rodents by removing rubbish and feeding birds away from the ground, as well as keeping hedges trimmed throughout the year. Block off your decking to prevent it from becoming a shelter, and seal the gaps and spaces that you might find in external brickwork; as the weather cools pests will begin to look for sources of warmth and food. Consider storing firewood away from your home, use wire cloches over plants, place baffles to deter squirrels and other rodents, mix coffee grounds into your soil and trim the plants that might grow against your home. In some cases, it may be necessary to lay humane traps. Release rodents at least a mile away from your home to reduce the chance of them returning.

Calling in the experts

It doesn’t matter how careful you are, sooner or later you may find that you’re sharing your home or garden with one, or more of these aforementioned pests. Don’t be disheartened. These things happen, and serve to remind us that we are surrounded by some pretty spectacular species of wildlife – and that many of these bugs and beasties inhabited the land long before we got here. However, we completely understand that you’re perhaps less than impressed with your house guests living rent-free – not to mention the damage that certain creepy crawlies and creatures can, and will do to your home.

Home remedies and preventative measures only work to a certain degree, and it will sometimes become necessary to call in the specialists. These kinds of firm have your best interests at heart, and will be well versed in all manner of pest control and prevention; listen carefully to their advice if you’d like to put an end to your pest problem for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of firms that handle pest control in London and further afield, but pay special attention to those with plenty of experience, green credentials and family values; your home matters, regardless of the pests lurking beneath its surface.

Seasonal pest control

It’s important to be mindful of the different kinds of pests that occur throughout the year. While some pests, including slugs, snails and spiders can appear regardless of the weather others might choose to invade your home as the temperature takes a dip. Rodents, cockroaches and fleas are particularly prevalent as autumn and winter arrive. Wasps, bees, flies and stinging insects, meanwhile, tend to arrive with the warmer months. Bed bugs might choose to snuggle close as the winter rolls around. The trick to controlling pests all year round is to understand what you’re up against as the seasons change and ensure that your home and garden are always defended against an invasion by any means.

The thought of sharing your home and garden with pests is an unpleasant one. However, since issues with bugs, birds and beasties are usually unavoidable it makes sense to familiarise yourself with methods of pest control and prevention that can be used throughout your home and garden. Whether you share your shed with a wasps’ nest, host a family of mice in your attic or accidently invite moths to stay for the winter there are a multitude of pet, and child-friendly ways to remove your unwanted house guests without mess or fuss. The chances are you won’t even notice they’re with you, but be reassured that most pests can be quickly, and easily dealt with by the professionals.

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