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A pest infestation can be damaging to both your property and your health, so it’s essential to know how to treat one. Here you’ll find a list of common household pests and the measures you can take to prevent them.
Our comprehensive guide will also help you to work out whether to manage an infestation yourself or hire a professional. Read on for what you need to know, including potential pest control prices in the UK.
Common Types of Household Pests
When dealing with a pest problem, these are the most common types of household creatures you might encounter.
Nobody likes an ant invasion, whether they’re marching single file across your kitchen floor, or having an anthill party in your back garden. Aside from getting everywhere, they can be prone to biting, which isn’t pleasant for your child if they sit on a nest.
These tiny creatures are very difficult to spot due to their size. They feed on exposed areas of skin while you sleep, and the bites can cause an allergic reaction. They’re also very difficult to get rid of and will undoubtedly need professional treatment.
There are certain guidelines which you should adhere to when managing a swarm of bees. Bees will generally only sting if they feel threatened. Wasps and hornets can deliver a painful sting to unsuspecting children, and all three may cause anaphylactic shock if any member of your family is allergic.
Well-known for carrying disease, cockroaches are pretty disgusting creatures. Popular in urban areas, they love to hide in clutter and are attracted to bacteria. They can live for a week without a head and can survive underwater for 30 minutes. Don’t try to get rid of this one yourself!
A flea infestation can be difficult to eradicate, thanks to its strong life-cycle. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get rid of them, though it will take time and consistent effort.
Mice and Rats
Rodents love to chew through everything (furniture, walls, skirting boards), as well as spread disease and leave evidential droppings everywhere they’ve been. They can also squeeze through surprisingly small gaps, can get into your cupboards and eat your food, and could cause a fire if they gnaw through an electrical cable.
If your lawn is your pride and joy, you won’t appreciate a mole making mounds all over your garden. They eat insects, not your plants, and they aerate the soil. Other than causing havoc, they’re harmless, so I’d recommend looking at some more humane methods of evicting these small furry creatures.
While it’s nice to have a couple of country-garden visitors pleading for nuts, squirrels can cause damage to your home and garden and can be a nuisance in towns and cities. Like mice and rats, they’re rodents. They’ll chew through your woodwork, guttering and whatever else takes their fancy.
These wood-boring beetles thrive in damp wood and if left untreated, can cause structural damage. Please read our guide on treating woodworm for more information.
Preventative Measures You Can Take
Plug Any Gaps, Crevices or Holes
Creepy crawlies and pests can squeeze themselves through the smallest crevices or gaps into your home, so it’s important to monitor your home for any obvious entry points. Ensure your windows are sealed and there are no holes within skirting boards and floors.
Keep it Clean
The majority of household pests are attracted to dirt and mess. Even a few stray crumbs can attract cockroaches, and mice would have a field day in your cluttered cupboard under the stairs. So de-clutter and clean-up to keep the critters away.
Get Rid of Rubbish
This goes for the outside of your home, as well as the inside. To prevent termite infestation, you should dispose of or move woodpiles approximately 25 feet away from the house. Rodents will be attracted to any leftover produce, so ensure your bins are emptied regularly.
Common Types of Pest Control Treatments
There are measures you can take to help eradicate a problem before turning to harsh treatments such as traps, poisons and fumigation.
Remove the Source
Find the nest and remove it, if possible. Mice nesting in a pile of rubbish in your shed can be easily evicted by clearing up and being careful how you store your items in the future. Keep your house clean to discourage ants and other insects. They’ll go wherever they can find food and natural habitat.
Cats and certain dog breeds are well-renowned for being avid mice-catchers, so if you don’t already have a hunter in your home, you might consider pets to get rid of your pests!
Traps and Poisons
There are a number of poisons and traps available on the market, some more humane than others. While these methods might not sit well with you, they can be effective (when managed correctly) if the natural methods above don’t work. Some pest control specialists may simply trap the animal (a mouse, for example) and then release it elsewhere.
If you’re willing to try some of the traps or poisons available from your local DIY store, bear in mind that some are more effective than others. Check product reviews before proceeding with your purchase to avoid unnecessary expense. For severe infestations, it may be best to call in an exterminator. You can view these potential prices below.
If your chosen exterminator will be using pesticides, check that the chemicals they use conform with the regulation Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 1994 and Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986, to ensure they abide by government legislation.
Fumigation is an expensive – but effective – solution for severe infestations such as fleas, cockroaches, bedbugs and woodworm.
As toxic gases are used to cover every inch of your home, the treatment should be performed by a qualified professional and your property will need to be vacant during the process. Once treated, there will be a ventilation period. The technician will monitor the toxicity levels and let you know when you can return.
Hiring a Professional
You can see that it is possible to try and manage an infestation yourself. But, bear in mind that UK government regulations state you can be fined or imprisoned if you cause unnecessary harm to an animal.
In some situations, it may be a better choice to hire a professional.
A professional pest controller will have access to stronger, more powerful chemicals than the domestic products available from your local DIY store. They’ll also be fully trained in using them and experienced in which pest control methods work and which don’t.
The cost of a professional pest control treatment will depend on a number of factors including the size of your house, your location, how many rooms need to be treated and the level of infestation.
The following costs have been derived from various sources on the web and show the price range based on the data gathered.
|Pest Type||Pest Type||Cost Range|
|Ants||Spray treatment to last 6 – 8 weeks||£50 – £100|
|Bedbugs||Spray treatment||£135 – £300|
|Cockroaches||Treatment for 2 – 3 bedroomed house||£45 – £180|
|Fleas||Spray treatment to last 6 – 8 weeks||£80 – £150|
|Moles||Two treatments||£70 – £125|
|Rodents (Mice and Rats)||Two visits||£75 – £190|
|Squirrels||Two visits, plus squirrel-proofing||£75 – £175|
|Wasps||Spray and removal of the nest||Approx. £55|
Sources: Homeadviceguide.com, householdquotes.co.uk, jobprices.co.uk and priceyourjob.co.uk.
As previously mentioned, you should ensure you follow government guidelines if you’re considering dealing with the problem yourself. Check permissions and limitations, and if in doubt, contact a knowledgeable, registered professional. Ask for recommendations and request at least three quotations. You can visit Rated People to find a qualified, trusted professional.
Have you ever had a problem with pests? Let us know in the comments below.