Prevention is better than cure when it comes to pests this festive season. Unwelcome guests such as flies, ants, cockroaches and rats can put your family’s health at risk over the holiday period. Although getting rid of pests may seem simple when browsing the pesticide aisle of your local supermarket, one needs a trained eye and expert knowledge in pest behaviour to really get to the root of the problem.
The first line of defence against pests such as rodents, cockroaches and flies is adequate proofing of one’s home. Prevent pests from gaining easy access by sealing cracks and holes around utility pipes that enter the premises; rats have been known to fit through holes of less than 1cm diameter, so it is important to seal even the smallest holes. Seal entry points around windows and doors using sealant or caulking to plug the holes and fit bristle strip around doors. Think of this as a bit of holiday D-I-Y.
Pests come indoors in search of food and harbourage, so it is important not to attract them with easily accessible food sources or with nesting materials like old newspapers and boxes. Make sure you recycle all the Christmas wrapping paper and gift boxes as soon as possible, rather than leaving them lying around as cosy nesting material.
Keep your kitchen spotlessly clean, and always cover all food, especially in the run-up to a big Christmas meal when multiple dishes might be being prepared and served. Christmas lunch is something I’m sure you want to share only with your family, so make sure that there are no spills, crumbs or debris in the kitchen or under your appliances that might attract pests. No-one wants ants marching over the Christmas pudding, or flies landing on the gammon.
Keep rubbish (food waste and packaging) in sealed bins, making sure that lids fit tightly and are kept closed. Dispose of rubbish regularly and wash out rubbish bins after collection to prevent flies from breeding at the bottom. Fly eggs usually hatch into maggots within 12 – 24 hours, but this cycle is faster in summer, so make sure you clean the bin thoroughly and keep it as far away from an entry door as possible.
Also, avoid standing water in gardens – such as in watering cans and water features – as this attracts mosquitoes and flies. Ensure that drains are kept clear and running and that gutters and drainage pipes are not blocked.
Whilst prevention is always better than cure, there may be occasions when one has to resort to pesticides and there are many D-I-Y pest control products available to get rid of pests in low-risk areas. It is, however, essential to follow the instructions carefully for safe and effective use, especially with children or pets on the premises.
Whilst D-I-Y pest control products can deal with smaller pest problems, a professional pest control service will be required for larger or multiple infestations. Rentokil pest control technicians are trained in a wide variety of pest control methods and their expert knowledge means more efficiently targeted pest control.
Rentokil uses an integrated approach to pest control, based on the biology of the specific pest. The use of pesticides is restricted and only used when absolutely necessary. The pesticides used by Rentokil are all approved by the local Department of Agriculture and our International Technical Director in the UK; hence they are bio-degradable and target specific, which means they are more effective and have minimal to no secondary effects.
For a safe and pest-free Christmas holiday, residential customers are able to book and pay for residential pest control services directly through Rentokil’s Customer Care Centre, where a dedicated agent will book, confirm and accept payment for services immediately.
For a more information on residential pest control solutions from Rentokil or to arrange a free pest control survey, contact Rentokil Initial on 0800 77 77 88 or visit our website: http://www.rentokil.co.za/residential-customers/index.html