TOP TIPS: Avoid inviting rats into your house for Christmas
Homeowners are being warned of the increased risk of rats inside during colder weather as we approach Christmas.
Rentokil, Ireland’s leading pest control provider, has issued the warning to home and business owners to be aware of the top threats from rodents during the winter period.
The pest control provider believes that callouts for rats and mice will rise sharply in the coming weeks as these pests continue to move indoors to seek shelter from the cold weather.
Dublin was the county that accounted for the most callouts for rodents in November this year, accounting for 15% of all callouts. Galway (14%), Meath (9%) Cork (7%) and Kerry (5%) are the next counties most affected by the pests
Vacant buildings will offer rodents a warm, sheltered environment during the winter where they will be undisturbed by human activity and predators.
Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant with Rentokil said: “As the temperature continues to drop during the winter period, many rodents will move indoors in search of food and shelter. We would advise home and business owners to practice some simple steps which will help to protect their premises from rodent activity such as carefully storing food, keeping your property tidy and sealing any cracks in premises.”
In addition to rodents, a number of pest insects will also begin to move indoors at winter time. There are a number of important key areas of pest control for the public to be aware of during the festive season:
- Open boxes of decorations outside and inspect them for any signs of insects or rodents. When finished with them, wrap them in plastic for next year.
- Inspect your tree: Both real and artificial Christmas trees can be nesting grounds for spiders, ants, fleas and a host of other pest insects. Ensure to shake your tree vigorously outdoors so that any insects or their eggs are shaken loose.
- Avoid using edible treats such as gingerbread men, chocolate coins, and candy canes as Christmas tree decorations.
- Ensure sweets, chocolate and other edibles used to fill Christmas stockings are sealed or wrapped in plastic or metal.
- Clean up all Christmas dinner leftovers, food debris, and spillages to prevent a potential food source to rodents and insects.
- Keep foodstuffs in metal or glass containers with tight fitting lids and put outdoor rubbish bags in metal bins with securely fitted lids to stop pest insects or rodents from feeding on the contents.
- Dispose of any clutter in the form of Christmas gift wrapping and packaging, to limit potential hiding places for pests.
Rentokil is advising businesses to explore unmanned, non-toxic pest control solutions, such as PestConnect, a digital solution which provides 24-hour protection from rodents. Through a system of infrared sensors, it detects and then captures or humanely kills rodents using automatically deployed bait stations and traps. Unmanned devices like PestConnect do not require human interaction and send updates and reports to users online.
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