Get rid of any creepy-crawlies and critters that have taken up residence in your home
Prevent pest infestations by following these tips
Summer is a prime time for pesky uninvited house guests to move in. As the weather heats up, hordes of bugs and rodents come out of hiding and make your home theirs.
And an infestation can be an embarrassment when the pests make unexpected visits while you’re entertaining over the holiday season.
Deterring them from entering your home and preventing them taking hold is the best defence.
Knowing your adversaries and their weak points is the first step in protecting your home from becoming their permanent residence.
Eradicating a mice infestation can be tricky, as they’re often only active at night and nest in your walls and roof space.
While it’s hard to pin down the exact number roaming your home, persistence is a key factor in addressing the problem.
There is a variety of removal solutions, including classic snap traps, radar rodent repellers, poisoned bait or, for the soft-hearted, cage traps to catch them alive.
Set up your chosen method on pathways the mice use, which can be identified by their droppings, and by entry points in the walls. Or lay traps near food sources like a dog bowl, keeping your pet safely away.
It’s also a good idea to place traps next to vertical surfaces, such as skirting boards, as they prefer to travel close to walls or furniture.
Use multiple traps to fix the infestation quickly and repair any damaged seals and doors to prevent a second infestation in the future.
Having these common household pests move in can pose a health risk to your family, not to mention the smelly urine trails they leave behind.
Rats chew through food packaging and electrical wiring, increasing the risk of a household fire starting.
Prevention is the best protection, so block any potential entry points to your home, clear leaf litter and debris from the garden and keep rubbish bins firmly closed. Trim branches away from the roof and install wire mesh over compost bin vents.
If they’ve already settled in, get rid of them easily by using poisoned baits, removing nests or setting out traps for a pet-safe solution.
To prevent rats in the yard clear leaf litter and debris from the garden and keep rubbish bins firmly closed. Image: Thinkstock
Hiding in wall cavities, subfloors, or roofing during the day, these nocturnal lurkers carry disease, and their discarded skin can trigger an attack in asthma sufferers.
To hinder their march around your home, dispose of scraps and keep food in sealed containers to limit their access and wipe down sinks in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas, as they need water to survive.
There’s a range of products on the market to wipe out cockroaches.
These include baits containing poison, which they carry back to the nest, sticky traps, aerosols that let you kill them on sight and bombs that give up to three months of protection.
Roaches need water to survive so deter them by wiping down sinks in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Image: Thinkstock
Controlling an ant infestation in your home can be tricky as ants can detect common insecticides, avoiding sprayed areas, and nests are often in walls or under the house.
To solve an ant problem, use an insecticide formulated to target the queen, and remove access to water and sources of food such as dead insects or scraps.
Rapidly reproducing in warm weather, flies feed on faeces and garbage before spreading bacteria where they land.
To keep your home free of flies this summer, put kitchen scraps in a bin with a fitted lid, add sawdust to your compost pile, fit windows with flyscreens and try sticky paper traps or low-toxicity sprays.