Some minor pest control problems can be treated yourself and treatment, such as insecticides and rodenticides can be bought from most hardware stores, garden centres and DIY stores. If you do decide to treat the infestation yourself, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure animals, pets or children cannot get access to the treatment and that you do not contaminate food or damage your furnishings.
The best way to deal with pests is to ensure they cannot get into your property, which is possible in almost all cases. Even if you do not have a current pest problem, measures should be taken to ensure that pests cannot enter. All gaps should be sealed using a hard, gnaw resistant material. Cement, mortar, hard filler, brush strips and fine gauge wire mesh are the best examples of materials that should be used to seal gaps. Spray foam is often used to fill gaps because it is quick and easy to apply in an emergency, however foam should not be used as a long term solution as mice and rats can easily gnaw through it.
The most common ways that rodents can enter a home are:
Improved hygiene will discourage mice and rats by restricting their food:
The first step to controlling mice and rats is to find out where they are living and feeding, and their routes between these areas. Look for:
Try blocking any holes you find with newspaper and come back 24 hours later to see which holes have been re-opened. You can then permanently seal all access holes and routes.
Further advice relating to treatments for specific pests can be found under our Identifying Pests page.