Elim­i­nat­ing ver­min and creepy crawlies

Waitaki Herald - - ADVERTISING FEATURE -

As the weather turns colder, un­wanted guests may try to en­croach on your warm and invit­ing living spa­ces. Rats, mice and spi­ders find the warmth, food op­por­tu­ni­ties and mul­ti­tude of safe hid­ing places ir­re­sistible and be­fore you know it you and your home could be play­ing host to large ex­tended fam­i­lies of th­ese un­wel­come in­trud­ers.

Rats and mice There are three types of rat in New Zealand, the most com­mon be­ing the Nor­we­gian rat (sewer rat). We also have the ship rat and the kiore rat (which is rare).

There are two types of mice – the field mouse and the house mouse.

Rats and mice make short work of chew­ing through wiring and food pack­ag­ing, caus­ing an­noy­ing and po­ten­tially ex­pen­sive prob­lems with your ap­pli­ances and house­hold elec­tric­ity sup­ply, and con­tam­i­nat­ing our food and sur­faces with all man­ner of bac­te­ria and dis­eases.

Ver­min like to nest in old news­pa­pers, cup­boards, spare rooms, in­su­la­tion, base­ments and be­hind the oven or fridge – any­where that is warm and quiet. Out­side you’ll find mice and rats in piles of rub­bish, old cars, build­ing ma­te­ri­als or over­grown gar­dens. Trees that over­hang eaves can let rats into your ceil­ing space – the ship rat likes to nest in your in­su­la­tion.

Need­ing only a very small hole to get into your house, rats and mice can climb ver­ti­cal sur­faces, gnaw through walls and squeeze in through gaps around win­dows or doors.

To get rid of ver­min, they need to be at­tacked on three fronts. Places they would be likely to nest need to be cleaned up, they need to be kept out of the house, and they need to be elim­i­nated with poi­sons or traps.

Seal holes around pipes with metal or ce­ment, or if there are gaps in­side fill with a fill­ing prod­uct avail­able from your lo­cal hard­ware store. Make sure doors and win­dows fit tightly and put in fine wire mesh across holes into base­ments.

Poi­son baits are an ef­fec­tive form of rat con­trol although they are also highly poi­sonous to hu­mans as well. When lay­ing bait, pro­tect chil­dren and pets by us­ing a box or piece of pipe for the bait sta­tion. Al­ways use gloves and wash your hands af­ter han­dling dead ver­min or work­ing with baits or traps.

The old say­ing ‘‘where there is one, there is usu­ally more’’ is usu­ally TRUE and as pro­lific breed­ers, you need to get on top of the prob­lem early. If, in a few weeks, the ver­min have not been elim­i­nated with the above meth­ods, it would be wise to call in a pro­fes­sional early – be­fore the in­fes­ta­tion reaches un­con­trol­lable lev­els.

Spi­ders Love them or loathe them, it is a fact of life that we share our homes with spi­ders.

Their abil­ity to squeeze their way into your home through the small­est crack or gap means you are ex­tremely un­likely to have a home free of spi­ders, and cer­tainly not for long.

There are how­ever, ways to ef­fec­tively limit the pop­u­la­tion. Reg­u­larly re­mov­ing spi­der webs and spot spray­ing as you see them may help, but a bet­ter op­tion may be a spi­der or bug bomb which you can set off when you plan to be away from home for a num­ber of hours as well as us­ing a resid­ual sur­face spray.

It may also be worth con­sid­er­ing spray­ing around the out­side of the house, con­cen­trat­ing on the eaves and bases of walls.

There are a large num­ber of prod­ucts avail­able to help with spi­der prob­lems, or you can call in a pro­fes­sional who will take care of the prob­lem for you.

Cats prove their prac­ti­cal worth when it comes to help­ing con­trol rats and mice around the house.

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