Discovering a pest infestation in your home can induce panic – the health and safety of your family is at risk, and your belongings may be contaminated. You might think you can deal with the problem on your own, but the issue could be worse than you expected.
The damage that mice, rats, termites, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches and flies inflict can be much worse than just gnawing holes in your cereal boxes. They can destroy the wiring, woodwork, pipes, and even brickwork in your home to cause devastating structural damage which could leave you paying out thousands in repair work.
If pest damage and infestations get to critical levels, it may even decrease the value of your home and make it very difficult to sell if you ever want to. They can also make you and your family very ill. To reduce these risks, we’ve collected some ways to detect, deal with, control and prevent pest problems.
Contact Pest Control
The first thing you should do upon discovering a pest infestation is call pest control like Terminix – even if it initially looks like a mild problem, your home may be infested in areas you can’t immediately see, like inside the walls.. If you have noticed two or three rats or mice running around in the last week, it’s likely that they have a nest somewhere and simply putting down a few traps will not eliminate the problem. These pests are both loud and unhygienic so should be dealt with immediately.
Contact a professional pest control company in your area such as Smooth Quotes, for advice and a quote on dealing with your pest problem. They will administer the best effective treatments to rid your house of the pests and give you expert advice on how to stop their return.
Contact Your Insurance
In some cases, your home insurance might cover the cost of your pest damage. You will need to check though: not all damage will be covered. If structural problems occur it will usually be covered by your policy, but if your expensive items are damaged, this may not.
In the US, it is particularly hard to get insurance which covers termite destruction, and the problem causes a reported $5billion in damage to property every year according to the National Pest Management Association. Termites hate sunlight and love moisture, so check all the dark damp corners of your basement and bathrooms for signs of termite debris.
Check your home and contents insurance contract for its stance on pests, and upgrade your policy if necessary. Be aware that if you suffer from an existing pest problem or have had an infestation in the past, it will be hard to find adequate insurance as some may refuse to cover you.
Take Preventative Measures
• Note that pest problems are more likely to occur at different times of the year. Winter is likely to cause mouse and rat infestations as they look for shelter from the cold and build nests in warm houses. Summer will bring ants, wasps, woodworms and moths. There are chemical treatments you can buy for around the home, usually in spray and powder form, to deter pests from settling.
• Ensure your house is fully pest-repellent, starting from its exterior. Ensure your roof tiles are all undamaged and intact, as this provides a perfect gateway for the entrance of pests.
• Treat all your exposed timber with repellent, especially in the attic, to deter infestations. Beware of keeping stored belongings in carboard boxes: many pests love to hide in or feed on cardboard.
• Regularly check the back of your cupboards and pantries where food is stored for signs of nibbling, gnawing and droppings, to detect problems early on.
• Seal off any holes in your doors and cracks in walls which could provide an entrance from outside.
• Keep a lid on your bins at all times, and all food kept in containers. Clean your kitchen regularly to remove any food particles.
• Immediately fix leaky pipes or areas of damp, as there are plenty of pests which are attracted to moisture.
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