What should you do if you see signs of pest infestation?
Whether you own or rent a property, signs of pest infestation can be extremely upsetting as we tend to associate these pesky pests with dirty and unhygienic premises. That certainly is not necessarily the case, but nonetheless, it is important to keep a close eye on any signs of pest infestation and deal with the problem as soon as possible to ensure the problem does not get out of control. Before we look at what should you do if you see signs of pest infestation, the most important thing to do is accept that although the situation is not pleasant, the types of pest infestations we will be discussing are far more common than you probably realise.
Do not take a pest infestation personally and, although it may seem easier said than done, do try not to allow yourself to feel any sense of shame or inadequacy.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common types of pest infestations and the steps you can take to deal with the issue and ensure the infestation does not get out of control.
What to do if you see signs of mice or rats
Yes, we did say rats. Unfortunately, this is a problem that has become far more common during the pandemic. Why? Rats normally tend to stay quite close to their covert which will normally be near good sources of food. They are predominantly nocturnal, so half-eaten takeaways, rubbish sacks stacked on pavements, and restaurant food waste areas are their typical food hunting grounds. But while we have been on lockdown life has not been so easy and their habits have changed. According to the British Pest Control Association, by October 2020, their members had noticed an 80% increase in rat activity.
So, after your first noticed signs of rodent infestation, whether mice or rats, you may be wondering what to do now? Here are our recommendations on what to do:
- Stay calm: If you realise a mouse or a rat entered your home probably the first thing is to stay calm. Not good news, but it doesn’t mean you should panic. Instead, think it through first and remember that rats in particular are very intelligent creatures and will seek out food more efficiently than any other creature on earth.
- Inspect: The next step is to try and find the entry points. Search through your property and look in every corner of your house. Even rats can squeeze through a ¾ inch diameter hole, and obviously a small mouse needs even less space! The most likely access points are cracks in walls, vents, gaps around windows, holes in the roof, chimneys.
- Place traps: After you have determined the rodent access points and pathways to where you have evidenced signs of pest infestation, set traps with bait. There are now plenty of options for humane rodent traps.
- Block entry points: Ensure you block any possible entry points, as discussed, and also entry points for cupboards etc. If you have dealt with a pest infestation but not blocked the points where they have entered your house, you can be fairly certain that the problem is likely to re-occur.
- Call a professional: If you’re unable to solve the issue of mice or rats in your house on your own, we do recommend that you contact a professional rodent control company They will find other hiding places that you’ve probably overlooked. Removing a rat from your attic, for example, will require a thorough inspection of your property. An expert will use the most effective treatment techniques against mice and rats and ensure all access points are blocked.
What to do if you see signs of bed bugs
Bed bugs are often considered the second-worst pests after rodents that can infest your home. They are really tiny and, usually, you can barely spot them before the first bite. They are bloodthirsty creatures that are very hard to get rid of.
Signs of bedbugs include itchy red bites, spots of blood on bedding, or small brown spots on bedding or furniture.
But it is a misconception that filth attracts bed bugs. All they want is human flesh to feed on. They easily find their way into a new home by attaching themselves to people or getting caught in objects such as suitcases, bags, and clothes. Once they find a host, they are quick to establish a new colony and extremely hard to get rid of. So, what can you do if you see signs of such infestation?
- Firstly, the itchiness can be extremely unpleasant, the NHS stress that bed bugs do not usually cause other health problems.
- Think of others and if you have an infestation in furniture or mattresses and be careful when getting rid of these possessions. Ideally, cover them in plastic first and ensure they are being collected for appropriate disposal, not reuse. The first thing you should do is contact a pest management professional. Next, take precautions that will limit further infestation.
- Don’t sleep in another room before you have dealt with the problem because all you will do is spread the problem to another room.
- Wash sheets, linen, and clothes and wash them on a long cycle of at least 45°C
- Vacuuming can help lower the bed bug population, but you should use a dedicated vacuum cleaner and double bag the waste bag before disposing of it outside.
- Steam can be an effective treatment for killer bed bugs, but you would need a commercial steamer to reach a high enough temperature, so this is rarely an option for householders.
- If the above actions do not get rid of the infestation, hire a professional bed bug control service that has the appropriate equipment to deal with the problem effectively and efficiently.
What to do if you see signs of cockroaches
Once again, we tend to associate cockroaches with dirty homes, but it is not the case. They need moisture to survive and their search for water can bring them into the cleanest of homes, which is why they are often found in bathrooms and kitchens. And they love places that are dark and undisturbed and will eat just about anything – even stored books or stacks of cardboard!
Unfortunately, unlike bed bugs, cockroaches are associated with a wide range of health problems including asthma and allergy-related conditions, and can also carry and spread diseases, so if you see signs of a pest infestation you should deal with the problem as quickly as possible.
What are the first things you must do after you are aware of a cockroach presence in your house?
- Make sure to locate their hiding places.
- Clean the kitchen thoroughly including floors, countertops, table, inside the kitchen cabinets and ensure food, even those last few crumbs, are always wiped away.
- There are products available to get rid of cockroaches, but contacting a professional cockroach exterminator may be the best option to ensure the safe and permanent removal of these nasty creatures.
In conclusion, if you spot signs of infestation you should take steps to deal with it straight away, but if you are struggling to eradicate the problem yourself, call in a professional company before the infestation gets out of control.