Significant rise in call-outs for rodents, cockroaches and flies in 2019
Ireland pest control provider Rentokil is advising homeowners to take necessary precautions to avoid infestations from pests commonly found at Christmas time, such as rodents, cockroaches and cluster flies.
Rentokil has experienced an 18% increase in fly call-outs, a 42% increase in cockroach call-outs and an 83% increase in call-outs for rodents between January – November 2019, when compared to the same period last year.
Rodents move indoors at winter time to escape the cold, and are attracted to the light, warmth and stockpiles of food commonly found in homes during the festive season.
Cockroaches leave traces of their saliva, faeces and body parts in the space they occupy. These traces contain proteins which act as allergens and can cause blocked sinuses, ear and sinus infections, irritation around the nose and eyes, and a persistent cough. During the winter months, it is easy to mistake these symptoms for a cold or flu, particularly as cockroaches can be difficult to detect.
Cluster flies are not typically active during the winter months and will normally hibernate during this period. However, when a home’s heating is turned up and Christmas lights are installed, this can cause them to wake prematurely, as they believe that spring has arrived.
These three pests can usually be found in the dark, undisturbed areas of a home such as the attics or cupboards where Christmas trees and decorations are typically stored.
Top tips to pest proof your home this Christmas
Inspect your tree: Both real and artificial Christmas trees can be nesting grounds for pests. Shake your tree vigorously outdoors so that any insects or their eggs are shaken loose.
Ensure to clear all food and liquid debris and spillage around the home. Ensure that all leftovers are cleared from the table. Remove pet food and litter trays before nightfall.
Open boxes of decorations outside and inspect them for any signs of bugs or rodents. When finished with them, wrap them in plastic for next year.
Ensure to remove old stacks of newspapers, old cardboard boxes and general clutter from around the premises.
Check on electric cables and Christmas lights as rodents chew on these cables, which poses a risk of a fire hazard.
Ensure to keep key areas sealed such as cracks in walls, around skirting boards, behind electrical sockets, under kitchen sinks and bathroom cabinets. Keep all door and windows shut.