Knowing why a home becomes infested plays a critical part in the successful eradication and, importantly, preventing a re-infestation.
Human homes can make the perfect environment for a whole host of pests. Many of them are just seeking what we look for in a home, comfort, warmth, a source of food and drink, and a dry roof over their heads.
And with much of the natural habitat of many common household pests disappearing, our homes are becoming more appealing as potential living and breeding sites.
This guide lists the main reasons for and the main perpetrators of household pest infestations.
What attracts pests to our homes?
As we already touched on, pests are attracted to our homes for many of the same reasons that we are:
Dry and warm
Many infestations are seasonal. When the winter comes, and the weather changes for the worst, pests look for a comfortable place to overwinter. There are no more comfortable places than our homes.
Attics, basements, wall cavities, and under floors, all make perfect habitats for pests of all types.
Shrink yourself down to mouse or rat-sized, and suddenly your ultra-secure home is an open house. Small cracks, sewer & drain pipes, ventilators, all offer easy access to our homes.
Good pest control companies will be able to identify the potential entry points and make sure your home is as secure at the mouse and rat size as it is at the human size!
Ample source of food and water
Mostly this is food, as many pests, including mice, can survive with very little or no water. However, rats do require regular water, and our homes offer this in abundance.
The main attraction is food, though. Our homes offer an extensive cornucopia of food for pests. Our cupboards and larders are crammed full of food packed in cardboard boxes or plastics, which offer no resistance to the gnawing of rats and mice.
Bins are another great source of food for all types of pests, as are even the most minuscule of crumbs. Then there are unwashed dishes in the sink; once again, this is fair game for household pests.
In a nutshell, our homes are a 5-star dining experience for all types of pests.
Our attics and basements tend to be crammed with cardboard boxes full of bric-a-brac. Rats and Mice love this! Not only have you supplied them with a warm and dry home crammed full of food. But they also have plenty of building material to get on with what rodents do best – Breed!
Homes and buildings offer pests of all types relative safety from the harshness of the elements and predators that lurk in the big wide world. This means that more young survive from each litter and go on to create the next generations of pests.
Common types of pests that infest homes
These are the most common reasons that pests infest our homes. Now let’s take a look at the most common types of pests that invade homes in Ireland.
Rats are probably one of the most feared types of infestations. And without meaning to scaremonger, this fear is at least somewhat justified.
Rats have a history as disease carriers, and although we won’t suffer bubonic plague outbreaks of biblical proportions again, the threat of disease is ever-present where rats are concerned. Common diseases carried by rats include Weil’s disease, E. coli, salmonella, and even TB.
Like their larger brethren, mice are more than just a nuisance if they infest your home. They also carry numerous health threats.
Perhaps the most significant risk that mice pose is the threat of hantavirus infections. These can cause serious illnesses, and although some of the more serious forms are relatively rare in Ireland, it is still possible to contract severe and life-changing illnesses.
Most of the threat comes from the faeces, saliva, or urine from infected rodents, and these are plentiful in any size of infestation.
Although not known as disease carriers or to carry any other major threats, an ant infestation can still be a major nuisance. In Ireland, the main perpetrator is the black ant. In summer months, these manifest themselves by sprouting wings, and great numbers of them take to the air.
The winged ants are either sexually mature queens or reproductive males. They take to the air looking to mate and establish new colonies, and our homes can provide the perfect habitat.
Cockroaches are one of the most unpleasant types of infestation, particularly if you are squeamish!
When the lights are turned out is when the cockroaches come out to play. Turning the light on in the middle of the night can throw up some very unpleasant surprises. As well as being a nuisance and a quickly spreading threat, cockroach infestations can also bring diseases with them, including salmonella and dysentery.
Bed bugs are easily spread from bed to bed and can even be carried into your home from hotel stays or returning from holidays. These little critters feed on human blood, and their bites can be painful.
Eradication isn’t easy once they are established, and the process is best left to professional pest control services in Dublin.
If you live in a household with pets, then fleas are far more likely to become a problem. Although humans are not prone to flea infestations, once in the home, they can lurk in our carpets, bedding, and soft furnishing, where they will take opportunistic bites at any exposed flesh.
While there are commercial solutions available, if the infestation is well established, then a professional solution will be required.
These are just a few of the main pests that invade our homes; others include:
A pest infestation can happen to any home; quick identification of the type of threat and fast action to eradicate are both essential to ensure that the infestation doesn’t spread out of control.