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Preparing for a winter pest invasion
Weather forecasters have warned of a chillier than average winter, with the bleak prediction that "impressively cold temperatures" will blast parts of the UK.
The advice comes after senior risk meteorologist Jim Dale from British Weather Services told the Huffington Post UK that: "Britain is not expected to have a mild winter.”
The North and East of the UK is expected to be particularly badly hit, but even London should brace itself for snow, the forecasting service warned. Temperatures could drop as low to -18C in parts of Scotland.
As temperatures start to drop, mice in particular start to look for warm harbourages where they can overwinter. And while they are inside, the rodents will spend their time chewing on everything and anything, including electrical wiring - which can cause fires or loss of power. They will also shred paper and material and spread their droppings everywhere.
Paul Bates, Managing Director of Cleankill Environmental Services, said: “A mouse can get in through a gap the width of a pencil, so the first place to check is that your outside doors fit properly. If there is a gap, make sure you fit a bristle-strip draft excluder to the base.”
Pest controllers advise taking a number of other steps to keep out unwelcome visitors including:
1) Checking around the outside wall to make sure that any air bricks are intact – the larger Victorian airbricks often have gaps large enough to allow mice in. Fine mesh panels can be fitted over the airbricks to stop unwelcome visitors entering.
2) Removing kick plates from the bottom of kitchen units, cleaning out any food debris that may have collected beneath them and checking for any signs of mouse droppings. With a single mouse producing up to 80 droppings per day, they will be easy to see. If you do find droppings, clean them up so that you can spot any new ones.
3) Go under the stair cupboard and have a clear out. Quite often, the gas pipes and other services come through the floorboards under the stairs and these cupboards become storage ‘glory holes’ for all manner of rubbish and provide an undisturbed area for mice to overwinter.
4) A quick check of loft spaces is recommended before winter sets in. Both rats and squirrels can climb the outside walls and get into lofts through damaged soffits and fascia board. They can then make nice, warm harbourages in the loft insulation and will happily chew their way through paper and cardboard boxes containing valuable family heirlooms and Christmas decorations. If you see a squirrel going into the loft, take action quickly before you have a family of squirrels or, when they start gnawing through the joists, you will have a very expensive repair job which insurance companies are unlikely to pay out for, unless you have specific pest infestation cover.
“If all practical proofing measures have been carried out - and no building whether new or old can be made totally rodent proof - and you still get mice rats or squirrels entering, then it is time to contact a professional pest control company – preferably a member of the British Pest Control Association such as Cleankill. Make sure that you get an agreed price for a course of treatments first – and any treatment against mice should be a minimum of three visits. This should include one to lay the bait, one to check on progress and increase baiting as necessary, and one to remove the bait at the end of the treatment,” Paul added.
Cleankill is a specialist provider of bird control services to retail, commercial and industrial properties throughout the UK. The company deals with ‘distress’
Cleankill has been solving pest problems for commercial and domestic customers for more than 15 years. Using the most up-to-date pest-control techniques and technology, the company keeps its customers pest free and makes sure it is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to the use of pesticides and non-toxic pest control methodology.
As an Investor in People, all Cleankill’s staff are highly trained and offer an exceptionally fast and efficient level of service. The company is a proud member of the British Pest Control Association, as well as being approved to ISO9001 and ISO14001. Cleankill is also fully accredited to the Safecontractor, Exor, Constructionline and Achilles Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme and aims to be recognised as a market leader for innovation and new pest control techniques. For further information go to www.cleankill.co.uk or call 0800 056 5477. You can follow Cleankill on Twitter or Facebook
For further information or interview requests concerning Cleankill, contact Suzi Christie at Blueberry PR on 01435 830031 or e-mail suzi@blueberry-