Reducing the chance of pests in your new home

Close up of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) or simply RIFA ** Note: Shallow depth of field

The last thing you want to discover when you move into your new home is that the fabric of the building is riddled with pests. You can reduce the chance of pests inhabiting your new home by taking some simple precautions.

Before and after moving

Ideally, you should start before you actually move into your new home. Have a look around when the rooms are empty, keeping an eye out for holes that could be potential entry points for pests. If you spot any holes or gaps, such as around door frames and window frames on the outside of your home and pipes on the inside, seal these up with a suitable sealant.

You could also take the opportunity of empty rooms to clean every nook and cranny of your new property. You could do this yourself with standard domestic cleaning equipment, such as a vacuum cleaner and anti-bacterial cloths, but you will get a much deeper clean if you hire a professional team to carry out an intensive clean with industrial-strength equipment.

Once you have moved in, reducing the chance of pests in your new home is really a matter of regular and routine maintenance. If you have soft furnishings, such as curtains, rugs and fabric seating, clean these regularly, perhaps every six months, to keep them dirt-free. If you have leather chairs and sofas, give them a wipe with a leather cleanser. Keep your floors clean by using a steam mop rather than a fabric mop and bucket, but if using the latter, ensure you include a capful of disinfectant in the bucket with the cleaning liquid to disinfect the floor surfaces.

It goes without saying that bed linen and clothing should be washed often, but if you have pets, you may forget about their beds. If your cat or dog has a basket, wash the cushion or blanket at least once a week. Pets are notorious for bringing pests into the home, such as fleas, which can then infect you and your family. Keep your pets flea-free by using a flea treatment such as the sprays made by Bob Martin. Worms can make your pet’s life a misery, causing stomach upsets and unpleasant faeces that you need to clean up. Combat worms in the same way as fleas by regularly using a wormer. Carrying out flea and worming treatments on a regular basis will help keep your pets in the best of health and reduce the chance of pests in your home.

Having pet food around on the floor may mean that larger pests become attracted to your home. Both mice and rats carry diseases that can be extremely harmful to humans, so try not to leave pet food, especially wet food, out for too long, and keep an eye out for packets in cupboards that suddenly have holes appearing in them. This could be a sign that rodents have been nibbling.

Inventions and greater knowledge of how diseases spread means that we can arm ourselves against pests in the home. Keep your new home pest-free by following these simple tips.

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