There is nothing more frustrating than having an uninvited guest over for dinner, specifically for a specially prepared festive feast. Our family’s merry meals always include a roast, potatoes, turkey, an assortment of vegetables as well as trifle pudding to top it all off. What really spoils such a fantastic feast is when someone (or should I say something else) shows up unannounced and suddenly you have to improvise!
An extra person I can still handle, but what if your specially cooked meal is “compromised”? By this, I mean what if Mr Rattus has decided to help himself to your Christmas pie, or if Madame cockroach and her entire family decided to enjoy your leg of lamb before you had the chance to serve them to your guests?
Pest prevention goes a long way towards keeping (invited) guests happy
Of course I’ve thought about all kinds of things that might spoil my delicious meal (me being a hypochondriac by nature) and having to share even the tiniest morsel of food – that took me hours to prepare – with a pest, definitely does not top the list of ways to spread festive cheer.
Below are pest prevention tips that will come in handy to ensure your Christmas meal remains unspoilt:
- Proof your home to form a first line of defence against pests such as rodents, cockroaches and flies. Seal cracks and crevices and even the smallest of holes whereby pests can gain entry to your home. Did you know that rats are capable of squeezing through holes of less than 1cm in diameter? As a further pest prevention tip, make sure that you seal entry points around windows and doors using sealant or caulking to plug the holes. Fitting bristle strip around doors will also help prevent entry into your home.
- Make sure not to leave any paper items around the home that can provide shelter. Pests – rodents especially, are particularly fond of using old magazines and boxes as nesting material. Make sure that you recycle Christmas wrapping paper and gift boxes before pests decide to use it as comfy nesting material.
- A very important pest prevention step is to make sure pests are not attracted indoors with easily accessible food sources. Be sure to keep kitchens spotlessly clean, and always cover all food, especially in the run up to a big festive feast when multiple dishes are in use. Clear away any leftover food and liquid spillages straightaway and also take care to clean food debris from underneath kitchen appliances.
- Avoid standing water in gardens such as water features and water buckets for instance, which attracts mosquitoes and flies. Clear away watering cans and ensure that drains are kept clear and running and that gutters and drainage pipes are not blocked.
- Keep rubbish in sealed bins, making sure that lids fit tightly and are kept closed. Dispose of rubbish regularly and in warm weather, take care to wash out rubbish bins to prevent flies from breeding at the bottom. Keep them as far away from doors as possible.
If you realise that somehow the sneaky pests have outsmarted you on all of the above (however these pest prevention tips should hold most off), you may have to resort to pesticides. There are many DIY pest control products available to get rid of pests in low-risk areas. Always be very cautious when using pesticides and follow the instructions on the label carefully for safe and effective use.
Always keep in mind that although DIY pest control products can help you deal with smaller pest problems, a professional pest control service will be required for larger or multiple infestations. At Rentokil we make use of pesticides only when necessary, and are approved by the local Department of Agriculture and our International Technical Director in the UK. All pesticides used in getting rid of pests are biodegradable and target-specific, meaning that there are no secondary effects, so should your pet for instance accidentally ingest this type of pesticide, it will have little to no effect.
If you do your due diligence this festive season by practicing the pest prevention tips listed above, it will go a long way in making sure you and your family have a merry and pest-free Christmas.
Let’s stick to the guest list!