Think of your worst pest nightmare then multiply it by a million. That was the fate that met one householder in Corby when they unintentionally let their loft become home to one of the largest wasp nests ever seen in the UK, as reported this week by the BBC. Not only was the nest over 3-foot wide, but it also came complete with an attached tunnel which was used by the wasps to enter and exit the property. You have to admire their resourcefulness. Luckily (for the pest exterminator that had the unenviable task of getting rid of it), the wasps had left their grand home 2 years previously, so the job in hand was slightly less hazardous than it could have been.
We suspect there was an element of this homeowner burying their head in the sand when it came to this particular pest control problem, so if you don’t want your loft to look like a scene from Alien, or your kitchen to become a mouse mecca or cockroach cavern, here are a few things you need to keep an eye and ear out for…
Your House Starts Humming
If your home is beginning to emit a few funny sounds that can’t be put down to creaky floorboards alone, then perhaps it’s time to investigate further. One of the more remarkable things about the wasp nest story is the homeowner’s obliviousness (or perhaps wilful ignorance) of what must have been a large amount of humming and buzzing come from their loft. Granted, it’s not something any of us would want to deal with head-on given the choice. However, if you do find your house is humming, you probably don’t need to call in the local exorcist, but rather the local pest exterminator.
Other sounds to listen out for include scratching from behind the sofa or the floorboards. Again, probably not ghosts.
It might be our first instinct to ignore a strange household smell and hope it goes away of its own accord, but this might not be the best path to take if said smell is a result of some unwelcome household visitors, and we’re not talking your annoying in-laws. If you have rodents living on your premises, you might be getting wafts of an ammonia-like scent every now and again (something that can’t be put down to your child’s slightly whiffy pet hamster), and a cockroach infestation might result in a slightly oily smell. So if you can’t find the source of that odd aroma that’s haunting your household, there’s a good chance it might be a not-so-friendly furry visitor.
Probably one of the least horrible things about having a pest problem is the fact that you rarely lay eyes on the things, but if you do find yourself spotting the odd cockroach or even a mouse during the day, this is a sign that your pest problem might be getting a bit out of hand.
No, your children haven’t taken to chewing the electric wire or taking small bites out of biscuit packets when you don’t let them have one. That would be the other type of small creature currently living in your home and costing you lots of money.
The dead giveaway and something you really can’t avoid, especially when they’re dotted over the kitchen counter after you come downstairs, bleary-eyed and looking for your morning coffee.
One definite sign of a different type of pest is waking up in the morning covered in tiny bites. Bedbugs are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and as well as the bites, you can detect them by the tiny dropping they leave on mattresses. However, they are tricky little blighters to get rid of, and as well as living in your mattress and on your bedding, they can also hide in all the nooks and crannies in your bed and the surrounding area.
If you think you might have a bedbug infestation, the best thing to do is call in a professional pest control expert, but in the first instance, gather up all you bedding and wash at 60 degrees centigrade then tumble dry at 30 degrees centigrade – this should kill all the bedbugs living on these items, but will not eliminate the problem entirely.
Although the chance of you cultivating a 3-foot wide wasp nest in your home is pretty tiny, it’s always best to act at the first sign of even a small pest problem. You can order good value pest control products using Argos voucher codes, Robert Dyas promo codes and B&Q discount vouchers if you don’t want to call in the experts just yet, but make sure you don’t ignore any pest issues or they’ll only become even more problematic in the long run.
By Anna Scott, 29th September 2016