In the chillier months, pest control in the UK is still crucial. You might wonder why pests are still a concern when temperatures drop, but not all pests hibernate or die off. And the pests that don’t disappear, seek warmth too, possibly wanting to shelter in and around your home.
With modern heating methods and insulated buildings, some pests have the potential to thrive all year round.
You can start by sealing potential entry points. Inspect your home for any gaps or cracks – these might be used as doorways by pests. If you find an infestation, it’s likely been there longer than you realise and will need to call in the professionals.
Outdoor maintenance matters too. Trim branches near your home to eliminate potential bridges for pests. Also, store firewood away from your house to deter pests from nesting.
In the UK spiders pose no threat to humans. Only a handful bite, and it’s usually nothing more than a red mark. However, many people really don’t like spiders’ appearance and may instinctively kill them. The problem is that spiders are a natural pest control, targeting insects that invade homes.
Searching for a mate, spiders tend to come out of hiding in the autumn. However, a large infestation can be a problem and even cause worry among those in the property.
On the other hand, flies seek shelter during colder months, thriving in the warmth of our homes. Unlike spiders, flies can transmit infectious diseases and can just be really annoying, making them unwelcome guests. Though less common outdoors in winter, indoors, their numbers can quickly multiply.
Cockroaches reproduce very fast and are one of the fastest-spreading household pests. It literally only takes a single female and a single male roach for an infestation to occur. Approximately one week after mating, female roaches lay eggs in a hard case called an ootheca. The number of ootheca a female produces varies by species. For example, American cockroaches can lay one ootheca per month (two at their reproductive peak) for ten months. Each ootheca carries around 16 eggs. The ootheca of a German cockroach can contain as many as 50 eggs.
Pests like cockroaches and flies become particularly challenging in service-industry businesses such as restaurants and hospitals. Known for spreading diseases and contributing to unclean environments, they can be especially harmful in these settings. Taking preventive measures, even when it’s colder, can help control their presence and maintain a hygienic space.
If you have a cockroach problem, call in the professionals quickly. In commercial settings, your business could depend on it.
Mice are highly adaptable creatures, adjusting their behaviour to their surroundings. In colder months, they often invade property because of a lack of natural food sources. If you keep items like cereal and biscuits out on your countertops, check for holes before you eat, as mice will quickly find accessible food. The toaster, with all those crumbs, is heaven to mice.
While people may be more tolerant of mice compared to rats, they carry similar diseases, but mice are more likely to transmit them. Mice are bold and curious which brings them into close contact with food, utensils and the surfaces you use every day. This can lead to potential contamination with their faeces and is again a particular problem in service-based industries.
But mice also pose threats beyond the obvious health hazards.
Their persistence in gnawing can damage your property and rodents chewing through wiring has caused house fires. Humane traps are available, but releasing mice requires careful consideration to prevent their return.
Both mice and rats can be highly destructive, gnawing through wires and materials, compromising the integrity of walls and plumbing systems in your home.
Rats are highly intelligent and adaptable. They are among the planet's most successful animals, making control a challenge and requiring professional assistance.
In Britain, the two common rat species are the Black Rat and the slightly larger Brown Rat. Rat’s teeth are stronger than human teeth and can chew through brick, concrete or even half-inch thick sheet metal.
Fortunately, most rat issues occur outdoors.
Rats may dig burrows in earth, compost heaps, or under sheds. Their choice of den is often linked to the amount of shelter or a food/water source. For example, bird feeding areas, compost heaps and other animal droppings attract rats. Unfortunately, kitchens provide good food sources for rats too and lofts can provide good shelter. Signs of rats include vegetation loss, smear marks, footprints and packed-down earth.
If rats do infiltrate buildings, you might hear them in wall cavities or roof spaces. What’s more, rats are nocturnal, so daytime sightings might indicate a larger problem. Getting professional pest control services, especially in colder months, is highly recommended.
When temperatures drop queen wasps and hornets seek shelter in homes, lofts, and garages for a kind of hibernation.
Your attic or shed becomes an ideal location for the new nest, where the queen waits out the cold months. Then as temperatures rise, she starts crafting the initial combs from chewed wood and laying eggs to start a new colony.
If it’s your loft, you could have a wasp nest emerge the following autumn.
Despite their cuteness and energy, squirrels can become a nuisance. They are known for persistent gnawing and they can display aggression if disturbed.
In the UK, the dominance of grey squirrels means laws exist to try to stem their numbers. For example, it’s illegal to release a trapped grey squirrel into the wild. Technically speaking if you accidentally trap a grey squirrel in your garage or shed, you’re breaking the law when you free it.
But the law also requires they are humanely destroyed.
Red squirrels are fully protected.
Because of the above legalities, dealing with a squirrel infestation should be handled by professionals with the proper training in humane destruction and the legalities of squirrel control.
A drop in temperature doesn’t mean a drop in the chances of an infestation. Bugs and pests will seek the shelter of a warm home, where there is often a food source and water too.
Even during the colder months, keep an eye out for the signs of potential infestations. If you’re sealing cracks and crevices, make sure not to seal the problem inside as it could make the problem worse.
If you discover an infestation, call the professionals.
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