While we may be happy to share our home with some animals, there are certain creatures that are less welcome. Such animals are typically referred to as pests because they can cause damage, create noise, contaminate food or bite/sting.
Keeping out these pests can be important for your comfort and safety. Below are just 7 of the most common household pests and how to get rid of them.
Rodents such as mice and rats can cause a lot of damage to a home, nibbling furniture and even chewing through wires. They can also make your home smell and will likely contaminate any food they get their whiskers on (which could make you ill).
Rodents are attracted to crumbs and food spillages and will typically enter through cracks and gaps in walls. By cleaning up food debri and sealing up all cracks around your home, you may be able to keep out the majority of rodents. If you already have an infestation, you may want to consider laying some traps. In most cases, it’s worth hiring professionals such as these Terminix pest control specialists to get rid of rodents. Getting pet cats or dogs could also help to scare away rodents.
Cockroaches are typically attracted to warm and moist areas of homes. These creepy-crawlies can carry bacteria and can contaminate any food you may have in your home, so you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as you find them.
Like rodents, you can keep away cockroaches by sealing up cracks and keeping your home free of any food debris. Patching up any leaks can also prevent cockroaches being attracted into your home. There are pesticides and sticky traps that you can buy that are effective at getting rid of cockroaches. Many pest control services will also deal with cockroaches.
Ants are typically drawn to sugary foods and will quickly swarm upon these foods. Certain ants like red ants can also cause a nasty bite. This is why it’s worth getting rid of ants.
Always keep sugary foods sealed to prevent ants from getting into them. If you notice a trail of ants entering your home, try to find the entrance and seal it up or spray it with a pesticide (as this Healthline guide explains, there are also many organic solutions you can use against ants such as vinegar). If you have a big ant problem, it could be worth trying to locate the nest with the help of a pest control service.
Termites love to infest wood, often preferring dark and shady areas of your home. They can quickly destroy a wooden joist or an item of wooden furniture unless you take action to get rid of them.
You can buy specialist insecticides to help get rid of termites. It’s also possible to lay baits and traps for them using cardboard. If a piece of wooden furniture is infested with termites, you may be able to get rid of them by taking it outside and exposing it to direct sunlight. To get rid of a large termite nest, your best option is often to look into pest control.
Wasps are dormant for much of the year, but can become a nuisance in the summer months when they are thirsty – this is when they tend to gravitate towards food and drink.
There are a few different ways to ward off wasps. Some people find that fake wasps nests are effective. You can also lay wasp traps around your backyard. If you have a nest in your backyard or home, it is best to leave a professional to deal with it.
Mosquitoes typically don’t nest in homes (they usually nest in still water), however they can enter homes in swarms and become a nuisance. On top of leaving a nasty bite, some can carry disease, so it’s worth taking measures to ward them off.
Mosquito nets and bug screens are a common way of keeping out mosquitoes. Strong scents like peppermint and citronella can also keep away mosquitoes – you can use candles and air purifiers to release these scents.
Pigeons are sometimes referred to as ‘flying rats’ and it’s easy to see why. They cause a lot of mess – if a pigeon nests in your attic, you’re likely to get pigeon poop and feathers everywhere. They also like to nest in chimneys and on windowsills.
If you don’t want pigeons nesting in and around your home, there are various measures you can take. This includes placing bird spikes on windows, blocking chimneys and making sure that there are no holes in your attic for birds to get in.