Public warned of top three pests to protect against this Christmas

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Public warned of top three pests to look out for this Christmas

Public warned of top three pests to look out for this Christmas

A pest control provider is advising homeowners to take necessary precautions to avoid infestations from three pests commonly found at Christmas time: Rodents, cockroaches and cluster flies.

Rentokil has experienced an 18% increase in fly callouts, a 42% increase in cockroach callouts and an 83% increase in callouts for rodents between January – November 2019, when compared to the same period last year.

Rodents move indoors at wintertime 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.

Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil said: “Rentokil is warning home and business owners to be aware of pests which are most active during the festive season. In order to ensure that your holiday is not spoiled by the presence of cockroaches, rodents or cluster flies, there are simple steps the public can take to guard against them:

Six 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 and old cardboard boxes and general clutter from around the premises.

Check on electric cables and Christmas lights as rodent 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.