Summer is well under way, and while you can’t rely on the weather to be on your side, one thing you can count on is pests. Everything from wasps and rodents. And with the changeable weather that we get in the UK, the number of call-outs for pest control rises.
Recently, Aviva warned that the recent unsettled weather could cause an influx of wasps into UK homes this summer. The insurer reported that nearly 13,000 wasp infestations were dealt with by pest control services between April and October of 2020.
Most standard home insurance policies don’t cover pest infestations or the damage caused to your property. The thought process is that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to keep the property at a high standard of care and upkeep. But there is good news. It’s simple to keep creepy crawlies and other pests outside. Even better, is that humane methods are often more effective than most lethal means.
The first thing to do is not give a reason for pests to enter your home (or stick around if they do). Things like making sure food/rubbish isn’t left out, keeping counters and surfaces clean and clear, and regular sweeping, mopping or hoovering of floors. It may seem like basic common sense, but the steps can really help in deterring pests from entering your happy place.
As we have seen recently, fresh air in your home has many health benefits. Not only does good ventilation stop the spread of viruses and germs, but opening windows to allow in fresh air can prevent bugs from breeding. Insect screens over open windows will keep bugs out while still letting air in. If you would rather not have the hassle of taking a screen down each time you want to close the window, then look at a natural repellent. Mix a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution in a bottle and spray around the window frame.
Our four legged friends
This one is for pet owners. Our four-legged friends can often lead to nasties being brought into the house. Make sure that your cat and dogs receive a course of flea treatment. Keep the bedding and soft toys clean and regularly clean and tidy.
The other four legged “friends”
Uninvited furry friends can be a nuisance (and scary for some), but there are steps you can take to make sure they have no reason to stick around. Much like the first point, good hygiene around the home is key. Make sure that food sources aren't easily accessible, including pet food that isn't left out. If you do have a mouse problem, then try to find their point of entry and block it up. If you still have issues, then there are a number of products like humain traps, Ultrasonic plug in repellers and oil sprays. A little tip: mice hate the scent of peppermint, so a couple of drops on some tissue in areas that they have been can stop them returning.
Friends with wings
These can be a little more tricky and may require a professional to get rid of them effectively. However, there are a number of measures you can take to deter wasps from setting up home in or around your property. Citronella is great for deterring wasps and other bugs from disturbing you when sitting outside, and comes in either candle, oil or incense form (they also smell great). Caring out regular maintenance and ensuring that any cracks or holes are blocked to stop uninvited guests.
You may have seen on social media posts claiming that a brown paper bag hung out will act as a decoy nest and deter wasps from the area. Personally, we’ve tried this and it works for a few days, but then the typical British weather turns it all into a wet, pulpy mass.
As mentioned previously, most standard home insurance policies don’t cover pest infections, so getting adequest cover is advisable. Speak with your insurer or a broker about the options available to you. You can always give us a call and our helpful team of Insurance Specialists will help you get the very best cover at a price you’ll love.