On Halloween, when the UK is awash with ghosts and ghoul’s, let’s look at the creepy crawlies and pests that can take up residence both inside and outside your home.
Whilst mice don’t cause any immediate harm, they breed really quickly which can cause hygiene problems within your home, they enjoy warmth and food which usually leads them into houses. Hiding in crevices and under floorboards out of immediate sight, it is rare that you will see a mouse but there are some notable signs to look out for – mice droppings are usually grouped and they love to dig up a carpet to use as a nest.
To help get rid of mice in your house, eliminate entry points, use mouse traps with the best bait, also ensure the traps are placed in the best areas.
Good sanitation won’t get rid of mice, but poor sanitation will attract them – or you could just buy a cat
Bedbugs are one of the most disruptive pests in your home and not detecting them can cause some serious problems including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Bed bugs can also lead to skin changes ranging from non-visible to prominent blisters.
Bed bugs commonly infest beds, carpets and sofas as well as curtains, although they are difficult to see they can leave smear marks and old skin shells around the places they choose to inhabit.
Cock roaches have simple needs, food, warmth, moisture and shelter, they are attracted to food that has been left out on work surfaces, dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs laying on the floor – although they like food they can survive for months without any! They are also attracted to moisture such as a leaky pipe under the kitchen sink or a wet bathmat and in cracks or gaps in the walls.
Cockroaches may spread a range of diseases, including salmonella, but they also harbour viruses. Easily identifiable with their oval shape and 3 inch bodies, they may have wings but do not always fly.
Some home remedies to kill cockroaches include baking soda and sugar, fabric softener, bay leaves, lemon peel and lemon juice
Pests outside can be just as annoying as those that reside within. If you have problems with birds, rats and wasps these need to be dealt with swiftly or they can cause severe problems to your property
Although wasps can be useful around the garden by consuming dead insects and eating flies, they can be a nuisance too – apart from their sting which can be a particular threat to those who have allergic reactions, their persistence can be irritating.
Once summer has slid into Autumn and the hedgerows are full of blackberries then wasps enjoy the fermented fruits causing them to appear almost drunk – wasps in autumn are sluggish and potentially more aggressive as they go in search of food
Wasps live in colonies that form self-contained communities, it is then that they can become particularly dangerous in your home – if you find wasps nest, call your landlord or pest control company to safely remove it
Unsightly and causing severe damage to your property it they are left untreated, not only do they breed rapidly but they are carriers of diseases which means they present a real health and safety problem.
Rats, like mice prefer to keep a low profile hiding in crevices, under floorboards and in gardens – they are most active at night, and it is often easier to spot the sign of a rat infestation than the rat itself
Signs that you may have a potential rat problem include, rat droppings, rub marks (grease and dirt on their bodies leaving smudges on surfaces), scratching noises, rat holes and nests and footprints. If you spot any of the signs then act quickly to ensure the infestation doesn’t spread further.
Ants can occupy both the interior and exterior of properties, on their own they aren’t particularly harmful but in numbers can cause hygiene issues as well as structural damage.
There are more than 12,000 species of ants all over the world, an ant can lift over 20 times its own body weight and when ants fight it is usually to the death.
If ants live outside the property they can nest in cracks and walls leading to structural damage and eventually infiltration into the property. These nests are tough to remove and require trained professionals if the nest is too big for filler to cover it.
Once ants are inside the house they will be looking for food, so ensure everything is sealed tight and call the professionals!
Again not a particularly harmful pest on their own, they don’t sting, bite or transmit any disease but in numbers they can cause structural damage. Woodlice love damp places, particularly woody areas. They are not known for residing in the interiors of properties, but if found inside it is sometimes a sign of damp, however in most cases they enter your home by accident and are found just wandering around the home.
Woodlice can also be found in exterior walls and can be identified by their small, grey oval shaped forms, being about 1 cm long and having a total of 14 legs!
Hopefully this Halloween guide has provided insight into a selection of the most creepy pests that can be found in your home, keep a look out for any noticeable pest signs so that you keep your property safe from harm all year around.
David Phillip Estate Agents offer and end to end property selling service and have local contacts who can offer expert help if your property does fall prey from one of the above. t: 01134 676 400 w: davidphillip.co.uk e: email@example.com your local independent estate agent for Bramhope, Adel, Cookridge, Otley and Pool-in-Wharfedale. Redefining estate agency. A: 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds