Image: Marlow sofa, £454.30, M&S
An influx of bugs and beasties is inevitable at this time of year, but follow our tips to help prevent an invasion…
- You may feel that opening windows and air vents will encourage pests inside the house but they love a warm and humid atmosphere so won’t want to stay in a house that is dry and well-ventilated. Fit mesh covers over air vents, rather than covering them completely.
- Nobody likes having a fly buzzing around the house, and it’s not surprising when you consider their unsavoury habits, and the fact that they can lay up to 600 eggs in a day. Keep food covered, and always clear up dog mess from the garden. If you have patio doors open during warm weather then consider fitting a fly screen or curtain.
- Ants, like many other pests will always set up home where food is readily available to them, so always cover food, especially if it is out, and seal any open food packets. Sweep up any crumbs and clean spills that are on work surfaces, or the floor, even outside, especially when close to the house. If you can’t locate an ant nest then use an insecticide on the ants that you do find, such as Rentokil Ant Killer Gel, which will then be carried by them back to the nest.
- With cats and dogs coming in and out of the house, keeping fleas out can be a problem. Keep them at bay by vacuuming regularly and washing pet bedding weekly, at a high temperature. Regularly treat your pets with flea treatments and spoil them daily with a flea comb.
- Take action even if you spot one rogue mouse – it’s likely to be in company. If setting traps lay them with a nutty chocolate spread, they prefer it to cheese. Seal holes around pipework and eaves to prevent them from becoming house guests, and cover vents with wire mesh, and if you have gaps under external doors then fit a brush strip. Sweep up any mess under bird feeders, and clear away fallen fruit.
- They may look cute, but foxes can cause havoc in gardens. Make sure you keep bin bags in sealed bins until collection day, don’t leave scraps of food for them, or put cooked food on the compost heap, and finally, don’t leave pet food out in the garden.
- If you find that you have an infestation make your local authority your first port of call. If they can help they may be cheaper than a privately-owned company. Visit www.gov.uk/report-pest-problem.