Top tips for a pest-free summer

Summer is coming and for many of us that means the chance to spend more time outdoors. Who doesn’t love a picnic or barbecue on a beautiful hot sunny day?

However, there’s also the possibility of pests where there’s food. So, whether you are a business with al fresco dining or a family looking to keep your home and garden pest-free, here are my five top tips for an undisturbed summer.

1.Keep outside areas clean

Obviously, I know it is tempting to think that you are outside and so it doesn’t really matter if you throw an unwanted sandwich crust into the flower bed or leave crumbs on a table at the end of the day. After all, something will deal with them. But that’s the problem, they don’t magically disappear, and food is one of the three things pests require – food, water and shelter. Wherever you consume food will instantly tempt a whole range of pests – rats, mice, ants, pigeons, flies, the list goes on….

I’ve written before about good housekeeping but it is important to remember that what counts inside also works outside. Keeping your garden clean and tidy is your first line of defence against pests. Clean spills and remove bits of food immediately and, when you are finished, make sure the whole area is left clear.

If you don’t, just remember Trafalgar Square’s problem with pigeons a few years ago. The pigeons weren’t hassling tourists for the fun of it, they knew they could get a free meal. In the end, the GLA solved the problem by buying all the pigeon food, and the next ten years supply, and the pigeons quickly went.

Don’t become known among the pigeon or rat fraternity as an easy target, make sure you clean outside areas and remember, out of sight, out of mind isn’t a sensible strategy for your garden. You may find it difficult to reach a piece of food that has fallen under your decking, but a pest won’t.

2. Remove stagnant water

Pests of all kinds need water and even the smallest puddle can provide a breeding ground for mosquitos. Empty any containers around your property and, if you have a paddling pool, make sure the water is changed regularly.

3. Make waste inaccessible

Q: How do pests know your garden might provide an easy meal? A: The scent coming from rubbish and, especially, food waste.

Make sure your rubbish is deposited in robust bins with heavy lids and position them as far away from buildings as possible. They should be cleaned and sanitised regularly, with special attention paid to removing food debris like grease and fat. If you use large commercial bins, then it is vital to ensure the plug at the bottom is replaced after cleaning to stop pests entering from below.

Personally, I hose my bins on the grass. That way, the water isn’t wasted.

4. Inside affects outside

As I write this, it is another cold and grey day and I am seriously contemplating putting the heating back on but, summer is just around the corner and we will all have our windows and doors open far more frequently in the coming month. Employing good housekeeping practises inside will also help outside. For example, ants entering your home to find food, such as the sugar you spilled while making a cup of tea.

By opening doors and windows, you are giving outside pests access to food. The answer is to make sure all surfaces inside stay clean and food is stored in airtight containers.

5. Get everyone involved

A bit of a cheat this one but, if you can get everyone in your home or office involved, it will help you to enjoy a pest-free summer. After all, many hands make light work.

I know it can be difficult to get others involved, especially children who don’t seem capable of cleaning up after themselves at any time. However, if they see you doing it and you try to encourage them it can only have positive effects. Either they will help, or they will somewhere in the back of their mind be watching a positive role model that may, hopefully, lead to a lifetime of good pest control habits.

Whether you are a homeowner or a business, the arrival of summer is an opportunity for us to use our outside spaces. Follow my top tips and you will ensure it remains a pest-free summer.

We have the expertise to deal with a wide range of pest problems quickly, safely, and discreetly. If you have a problem, call us on 020 8430 4133 or email here.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay