Dealing with Nuisance Pests – Homeowners guide

Pests are a common problem amongst UK properties seen all too frequently by Chartered Surveyors of the propertysurveying.co.uk network. All kinds of pests can cause problems in your property, but your local council may well be able to provide you with a cost effective way of getting rid of them.

Every council varies in the pest control service it provides. Typically, councils will help you to get rid of some or all of the following:

  • rats
  • mice
  • wasps
  • fleas
  • cockroaches
  • bedbugs
  • carpet beetles
  • pigeons
  • ants

However, councils don’t usually help with the control of other animals, including feral pigeons, deer, foxes, rabbits, squirrels or moles.

Local councils have a responsibility under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 for the control of rodents in their areas. They also have powers to make sure people take all necessary steps to deal with pests in their property. To report pests or get advice, contact your local council’s environmental health department.

You can use the Direct.gov tool here to find the information you need to get in contact with your local council.

Identifying pest problems

The most common pest problems in UK properties are rats and mice. These are normally active at night so you might not see them during the day.

A key sign you have mice is finding nibbled food, packaging or other materials and small droppings. You may also find nests, which look like balls of material loosely woven together.

The most common sign of rats is droppings, along with evidence of gnawing, tracks, burrows and nests.

These pests carry a wide range of diseases which can be transferred to humans through contaminated food or surfaces. Rats, in particular, can carry Leptospirosis, a disease that can lead to Weil’s disease and can be fatal to humans. It is extremely important, therefore, to report infestations and get help.

 

For more information on controlling and preventing rat and mice infestations, click here.

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