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Tackling Common Household Pests in the UK: Prevention and Control

Updated: Jun 20

Household pests are a nuisance that many of us have encountered. From tiny ants marching across the kitchen counter to mice scurrying through the loft, these unwelcome guests can cause damage and spread disease. Understanding how to prevent and deal with the most common household pests can help maintain a clean, safe, and comfortable home.


Swarm of ants on sugar

Ants


Identification

Ants are small insects that can invade homes in large numbers, particularly during the warmer months. They are often seen in kitchens, attracted by food residues.


Prevention

  • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal any cracks and crevices in walls, windows, and doors.

  • Cleanliness: Keep food stored in airtight containers and clean up spills and crumbs immediately.

  • Remove Attractants: Ensure bins are covered and emptied regularly.


Dealing with Ants

  • Natural Remedies: Sprinkle cinnamon, coffee grounds, or vinegar at entry points.

  • Commercial Baits: Worker ants carry ant bait back to the nest, effectively eliminating the colony.

  • Professional Help: If an infestation is severe, contact Stratton Pest Control. Our team employs safe and advanced techniques to eliminate ants from your home.



Rat inside house next to hole in the wall

Mice and Rats


Identification

Mice and rats are larger pests known for gnawing on wires, furniture, and food. They leave droppings and can spread diseases like Hantavirus and Leptospirosis.


Prevention

  • Seal Gaps: Block any holes or gaps in walls, floors, and foundations.

  • Food Storage: Store food in metal or glass containers with tight lids.

  • Declutter: Keep storage areas tidy and avoid piling up newspapers or cardboard.


Dealing with Mice and Rats



Cockroach on a window sill in a house

Cockroaches


Identification

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that hide in dark, moist places during the day. They can contaminate food and spread illnesses like Salmonella.


Prevention

  • Sanitation: Regularly clean kitchen surfaces, floors, and appliances.

  • Eliminate Water Sources: Fix leaking taps and pipes, and avoid leaving standing water.

  • Seal Cracks: Block any potential entry points.


Dealing with Cockroaches



Spider spinning a web on a brick wall

Spiders


Identification

While most spiders in the UK are harmless, their presence can be unsettling. Common species include the house spider and the cellar spider.


Prevention

  • Declutter: Reduce clutter to eliminate hiding spots.

  • Seal Entry Points: Close gaps and cracks in walls, windows, and doors.

  • Regular Cleaning: Vacuum regularly to remove webs and potential prey.


Dealing with Spiders

  • Natural Repellents: Essential oils like peppermint or citrus can deter spiders.

  • Manual Removal: Use a glass and a piece of paper to safely remove spiders.

  • Spider Traps: Glue traps can help monitor and reduce spider populations.

  • Professional Services: For larger infestations or for people with a fear of spiders, Stratton Pest Control are more than happy to help. Our team employs effective and comprehensive spider removals for your home.



Fruit flies swarming green sliced apples

Flies


Identification

Flies, such as houseflies and fruit flies, are common in households and can spread diseases.


Prevention

  • Waste Management: Keep bins covered and dispose of waste regularly.

  • Food Storage: Store food properly and clean up spills promptly.

  • Screen Doors and Windows: Install screens to keep flies out while allowing fresh air in.


Dealing with Flies

  • Fly Traps: Use flypaper, UV light traps, or commercial fly traps to catch flies.

  • Natural Remedies: Herbs like basil, mint, and lavender can repel flies.

  • Insecticides: Use sprays or foggers specifically designed for flies, following safety instructions.

  • Professional Services: For infestations that are more substantial, contact Stratton Pest Control. Our team deploy targeted treatments that focus on fly hotspots to remove and prevent fly infestations.



Silverfish on wooden log

Silverfish


Identification

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that thrive in damp, dark environments. They feed on paper, fabric, and starchy foods.


Prevention

  • Reduce Humidity: Use dehumidifiers and ensure good ventilation in damp areas like bathrooms and basements.

  • Seal Entry Points: Close off cracks and crevices in walls and floors.

  • Proper Storage: Store books, papers, and fabrics in sealed containers.


Dealing with Silverfish



Bed bug on fabric

Bed Bugs


Identification

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood, typically at night. Signs of an infestation include itchy bites, blood spots on bedding, and tiny dark faecal spots.


Prevention

  • Inspect Second-hand Items: Carefully examine second-hand furniture, bedding, and luggage for signs of bed bugs.

  • Regular Cleaning: Wash and dry bedding at high temperatures and vacuum mattresses and carpets regularly.

  • Protective Covers: Use bed bug-proof mattress and pillow covers.


Dealing with Bed Bugs



Woodlice swarm on wooden flooring

Woodlice


Identification

Woodlice are small, greyish crustaceans that prefer damp, decaying organic matter. They are usually harmless but can be a sign of excessive moisture in the home.


Prevention

  • Reduce Moisture: Improve ventilation and use dehumidifiers to reduce dampness.

  • Seal Entry Points: Close gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and foundations.

  • Remove Decaying Material: Clear away leaves, wood, and other organic debris near the house.


Dealing with Woodlice



Keeping household pests at bay involves a combination of preventive measures, cleanliness, and prompt action when an infestation occurs. Regular maintenance, proper storage of food and waste, and sealing potential entry points are crucial steps in preventing pests from making your home theirs. For severe infestations, professional pest control services are the most effective way to ensure a pest-free environment. By taking these steps, you can protect your home and family from the discomfort and potential health risks posed by common household pests.


Stratton Pest Control offer comprehensive pest removal services for all of the pests mentioned in this blog. If you have any pest problems in your home, contact Stratton Pest Control today!


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