When you think of your home, you think of a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment that you work hard to maintain. And while it’s wonderful to host and entertain guests, you certainly don’t want those houseguests to be wild creatures who have taken up permanent residence in the home.
If you’ve never found signs of creatures living in your home, consider yourself lucky, but at the same time, it’s good to be aware of what the common pests are, the signs to look for and what to do about should you have a problem. Think of this as your guide to unwanted houseguests.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Mice
One of the most common pests that homeowners have to deal with in the UK is mice. Although they may look cute, that’s outdoors where they can’t damage your home or pose a health risk to you and your family. Mice are well-known for spreading disease plus they will chew, gnaw and bite through all kinds of things in your home. This includes electrical wiring, which can be extremely dangerous.
Some of the common signs that you have mice in your home include seeing mice droppings; food and food packaging that has been chewed on in cupboards; scratching sounds in the walls and/or ceiling, in particular, at night; finding a nest(s); spotting a mouse; or smelling something foul, which is usually their urine.
The moment you suspect a mouse problem, you need to get on it. Where there is one, there is likely many more. You can try to catch them yourself or call in a professional. The bigger the infestation, the harder it will be to get under control. Once you’ve gotten rid of the mice, be sure to take preventative measures so they don’t come back.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Rats
Rats are something no one wants to find in their home, but unfortunately, brown rats are quite common throughout the UK. The signs of rats living in your home are similar to that of mice, and just like mice, they can spread several diseases to occupants in the home. You don’t want to turn a blind eye to this problem; it needs to be dealt with immediately.
If you choose to get rid of them on your own, you can use rat bait and stations to catch them. Keep in mind there will typically be at least a few, so you want to be sure you give it enough time to catch them all. If you’re not having luck with the bait station, try switching up the bait you use and where the station is located.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Moths
While this infestation may not seem as gross as mice or rats, moths are far from welcome in the home. Moths are known for ruining clothing by laying eggs on it, which then transition to caterpillar larvae that will eat your clothing as well as other fabrics in the home, including carpets. It won’t take long before you’ve got a fair amount of expensive damage on your hands.
A good tip is to invest in products that repel moths, such as cedar hangers. You can also use anti-moth clothing storage bags and bins or non toxic clothes moth traps, make sure your clothing is clean when you put it away (moths will be attracted to body oil and sweat left on clothing), and make sure your closets have good ventilation since they prefer humid spots and vacuum regularly.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Cockroaches
On the list of undesirable pests to have in the home, the cockroach is among the worst, although they are quite rare in the UK. However, if you spot a cockroach, you’re bound to feel grossed out. They are active during the spring and summer months, so the best tip is to make sure they don’t have a way to get inside. This means sealing up cracks, gaps and holes in vents, pipes and walls. Make sure you also don’t leave food out, as this will attract them. Cockroaches also spread diseases, so you don’t want them lingering. Cockroach droppings have also been known to heighten asthma and eczema in people.
Cockroaches breed extremely fast, so you’re going to need to act as soon as you see them. The longer you wait, the more out of hand the infestation will grow. In terms of how to get rid of them, there are some products you can use and have success with. These include powders, traps, sprays and more. If the problem is especially large, or you want it dealt with quickly and efficiently, it’s probably best to call a professional in.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Bats
Unlike other pests you find in the home, bats are highly unlikely to cause damage or problems in the house; quite the opposite, in fact, as it can be beneficial to have them around since they eat so many insects, helping to control the population of mosquitoes, for example. They are a mammal, the only flying mammal in the world, and here in the UK, they are protected by the law. This means you won’t likely be able to rehome or remove them.
Some may choose to get a bat survey, using a service such as batsurveys.co.uk. A bat survey is planning permission focused, meaning it is primarily for those planning a development project. This will apply to sites that show evidence of bats living there. The good news is that bats don’t want to be near or around people, so your odds of encountering them in your home are slim to none. Don’t forget, they will sleep during the day, head out to forage for food during the evening hours and then during the cold winter months, they hibernate. These are likely the least worrisome of all the pests.
Creatures You May Find Living in Your Home – Getting Rid of Unwanted Guests
This is a small look at the many creatures that you may find living in your home, all of which are unwanted. Ignoring the problem is never wise and can lead to physical damage to the home and negative health consequences for everyone living in the house. Be aware of what signs to look for, and don’t hesitate to take action.