We hate to reel out that oft quoted statistic, but we’re going to do it anyway; you’re never more than six feet away from a rat in London. This should reassure, rather than shock, you. Because although there’s certainly still stigma attached to a house with visiting rodents or a cockroach infestation, it is actually surprisingly common, and it some cases, unavoidable. Should this happen to you (you’re here, we’re assuming it has), then there are a few key considerations before you go nuclear. These are those; our 4 IDEAL tips for dealing with pests.
DEFINE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEST AND NUISANCE
Defining a ‘pest’ can be tricky. We all find Boris Johnsons’ presence intensely irritating. That said, we’re not within our rights to eliminate him. The same goes for certain animals and insects you might consider a pest; sometimes a nuisance is a more apt description, and your approach to dealing with them depends on this definition somewhat. For instance, though a single spider may be stalking your shower, you’re going to waste everyone’s time calling in the pest experts to take it out.
A fairer definition includes cockroaches, bed bugs, pigeons, rats and even bats. When seeking commercial pest control services, first discuss if your problem actually needs exterminating. There are companies who specialise in a particular pest, so investigate this too.
CHECK IF THE COUNCIL IS RESPONSIBLE
Good news; your landlord or the council may well be responsible for dealing with your pest problem. If you’re renting, your landlord should sort out pest control if repairs are needed to stop the pests getting in or an infestation makes your home difficult or unsafe to live in. You may incur responsibility if your actions and routines encourage pests to visit, but more of that later.
You should contact the council first, prior to professional services, should your pests be rats or mice, pigeons, a swarm of wasps, fleas and many others. A more definitive list exists here. It’s unlikely your council will help you deal with foxes, rabbits and squirrels, and their assistance may take some time. In which case…
HIRE A COMPANY WITH SEVERAL SERVICES INCLUDED
Sometimes it’s necessary to call in the professionals, and the best ones often offer several services; the extermination itself, aftercare, and advice on future prevention should come as standard. These extra services will provide you a better long-term solution and make sure that the pest does not come back. So, it’s prudent to hire a company that also includes wildlife management, fumigations and rodent extermination and prevention since you never know exactly what is happening underground or in the nooks and crannies of your home.
PREVENTION, NOT CURE
Prevention is better than cure; a maxim that has never been truer than when discussing pest control. So, if you don’t want a rat sharing your kitchen or an infestation of cockroaches, it’s best practice to live cleanly and consciously from the get go. Because once the problem has started, it’s pretty hard to remove. It’s vital you keep your kitchen clean, surfaces wiped and food stored correctly in the appropriate air tight containers. Take your garbage out regularly, though don’t leave particularly fragrant foods in the trash, outdoors, overnight. Fix all leaky pipes, under door drafts and keep things dry; pests thrive in wet and warmth.