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Avoiding Pest Infestations

Many  problems and pest
infestations are easily avoided rather than treating them once they’ve become
well and truly established, it is surprisingly simple to help give yourself the
edge when it comes to doing it.
Stay on Top of Repairs
Protecting yourself from pest infestations is no more demanding than
doing a bit of routine maintenance to keep your home in good repair. Cracks in
the masonry, gaps under the doors or holes in the roof can all roll out the
welcome mat to unwanted guests, and once they’re in, they likely to want to
stay – and bring their friends!
So if you don’t really want to be inviting everything from rodents to
silverfish, fill those cracks and fix those gaps as quickly as they appear.
Remove and Seal all Food
When it comes to their creature comforts, pests are pretty similar to
people, which is probably why they seem to love living alongside us – which
means that something to eat is even higher up the list of ‘must-haves’ than a
place to stay!
The trick is to avoid making it too easy for them to find themselves a
free meal. Tidying food away and cleaning up after you’ve eaten are obvious
tips to keep your food to yourself, but it’s not just about the crumbs from
your table. Don’t forget that some pests eat rather odd – and often seemingly
unsavoury – things, so make sure you keep your rubbish properly covered, moths
out of your wardrobes and tidy away any pet food – and droppings – before they
attract any unwelcome attention from ravenous rats or hungry houseflies.
Keep it Clean!
Most pests thrive in secret. Give them a quiet, undisturbed corner, with
somewhere to hide away from human sight and they’ll happily get on with the
business of being a pest entirely unbeknownst to you, until it’s too late and
one or two have multiplied into hordes!
The solution is obvious – keep things tidy and cut down on anything that
provides these nuisance species with places to lurk. You don’t have to get all
obsessional about it, or turn into a candidate for the next re-make of the
Stepford Wives, but a bit of a basic de-clutter can work wonders. It’s a good
tip for the greenhouse or garden shed too and could help you avoid a whole
range of problems, ranging from mice to botrytis and a whole lot in between!
They say cleanliness is next to Godliness; well, that may or may not be
true – but it certainly is a long way along the road to pest-less-ness.
Know what to look for
You often see the signs of a pest long before you see the thing itself,
so one of the best ways to avoid a minor nuisance turning into a major
infestation is to be able to recognise the tell-tale symptoms early. It would
be an impossible undertaking to try to learn the warning signs for every single
pest that you could ever encounter, but it really is well worth getting to know
them for the most common ones.
For gardeners, for example, it’s a good idea to be able to recognise the
early wilting caused by aphids, or the pattern that leaf-miners leave behind
them, while knowing the unmistakable look of a flea bite is a must for pet
owners! Whatever you keep, grow or collect, if there’s a particular pest that’s
likely to cause a problem, learning what to look for can make all the
difference in the long run.
Be Aware
Avoiding pest problems can sometimes seem like an unending battle, and
in many ways it is; there’s a vast reservoir of beasts, bugs and other assorted
bothersome blighters in the world and sooner or later, one or two of them are
almost guaranteed to turn up on your doorstep. The bottom line is that you
always need to keep your guard up – so stay vigilant.
With a bit of luck, if you follow these few, simple preventative
measures, you may never be bothered by anything more serious than an errant
mosquito or a few wasps at your BBQ, but if you do happen to spot something
worse developing – act and act quickly. The real trick to all this is to stop a
small pest problem turning into a bigger one!
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