Unfortunately, we aren’t the only mammals who like to cosy up warm indoors during the winter months.
When the weather starts to turn, pests of all shapes and sizes venture inside to seek refuge from the elements – and unless you want to end up sharing your home with them later in the year, now is the time to act.
So we spoke to one of our top pest control experts – Josh Simpson from King Pest Control – to discover what you can do today to keep your home free from pests this winter.
Watch out for mice and rats this winter
“Rodents are the main issue in colder months, as insect activity reduces at a rapid rate,” says Josh. “Mice are pushed in due to the harsh weather conditions outside, but they will be found all year round once present.”
It’s not just the cold that drives animals indoors in winter, either. Josh says that snow and heavy downpours can also cause flooding and force even the largest rodents to abandon their usual homes.
“Rat infestations, nine times out of 10, tend to come from drainage faults,” he explains. “We see a surge of rat jobs after heavy rain due to the rats being pushed out of drains for safe harbourage.”
Block entry points to keep the rodents at bay
The key to keeping your house rodent-free is to find and block all holes they might use to enter your home – such as cracks in doors and windows, and any openings caused by recent plumbing or electrical works.
But, because many rodents can flatten their out skeletons to fit through even the tiniest gaps, it takes an experienced eye to survey a property and identify all possible access points.
“Mice are capable of gaining access through holes as little as 5mm,” Josh explains. “So we advise you to always get a professional to step in and block the holes.”
What to do if you spot an “unwanted visitor”
If you do discover signs of unwanted guests, it can be tempting to try and deal with them using ‘over the counter’ traps. But, Josh warns that attempting to resolve the problem by yourself can have unintended consequences.
“Contact professionals immediately,” he advises. “Mice and rats are dangerous animals and a risk to health due to the diseases they carry.”
“Dealing with infestations can be dangerous to non-target species if poison or traps are not laid in a correct way,” he adds. “Poisoning or trapping certain species of mammal can land you in prison, so it’s always best to leave it to someone who knows what they are doing.”
The easy way to keep your home pest-free this winter
With thousands of registered pest control experts throughout the UK, protecting your home against pests like mice and rats is easy with Bark.
“The most rewarding thing about my job is our ability to help people when they are in desperate need of help,” says Josh. “Also, being able to solve problems which other pest controllers can’t fix is very rewarding.”
Place your Bark today and we’ll do all the legwork to get you quotes from recommended local pest controllers like King Pest Control fast and free.