Tenants are responsible for the removal of pest infestations within their homes or garden unless there is clear evidence that the pests have arisen because the Assocation has failed or neglected to fulfill its responsibility as Landlord (for example if a squirrel builds a nest in a roofspace because there are holes/gaps that need to be filled)
Where a Tenant does not deal with an infestation and as a consequence neighbouring properties become infested due to the tenants neglect, the Association will eradicate the problem and costs associated with this will be dealt with as a rechargeable repair.
Below is a guide and advice on how to deal with some of the most common household pests (it should be noted that some species may be protected).
Mice will move in to properties where they can get shelter, food and water. They normally move into dead spaces where they will not be disturbed. They are extremely good climbers with exceptionally sharp teeth.
They can do significant damage to building materials and have caused fire by chewing through cables. They use the same pathways and can be detected by the appearance of smear marks where their fur rubs against surfaces. They also leave fresh droppings or gnaw marks.
Rats are a hazard to public health as they can transmit a number of potentially fatal diseases as well as bacteria, viruses and parasites. They will scavenge discarded food as well as scavenging in drains and sewers. They burrow into soil, compost heaps and under sheds etc. They can squeeze into small openings and have very sharp teeth.
They are generally difficult to spot due to their nocturnal nature and the sighting of a rat by day can indicate a significant infestation. Signs of an infestation consist of droppings, gnaw marks, runs and smear marks.
Birds & Squirrels
Birds and Squirrels can occasionally take up residence in roof spaces. You may only realise that you have birds or squirrels in your house if you see or hear them in the eaves or roofspace.
Bats are a protected species. They are a flying nocturnal mammal. They eat insects and hibernate during the winter. They can get into buildings through very small space.
Residents must not attempt to remove/eradicate bats themselves. Please contact the Association’s Technical Team if you think you have bats.
These are flying; stinging insects and are active from spring through to autumn. They collect food when out to feed others back at their nest. Wasps particularly like fruit such as apples, pears and plums. They often build nests in the eaves of buildings, roof spaces and chimneys.
The presence of wasps can be detected by the sound they make and by the appearance of a nest (it usually looks like a small bee hive). They should be dealt with as soon as possible as the nest can vary in size from 5 to 5000 wasps.
Bees are flying, stinging insects active from February to October. They seldom sting unless provoked and live in small colonies of up to 150 insects. Residents may become aware of bees by the buzzing sound they make and the presence of a small hive.
Cockroaches are an insect with large antennae and 2 pairs of wings. They can give off an unpleasant odour which can give people an allergic skin reaction. They like warm humid conditions where they have a source of food and shelter.
They are nocturnal and spend the day behind sinks and at the back of cupboards. Cockroaches are attracted to dirty kitchens so good hygiene is essential. You will probably hear them walking over surfaces but you are more likely to see them.
There are at least 41 varieties of ants in the UK. They generally nest out of doors but enter homes through small gaps in search of sweet foods. Black ants are the most common ants that enter the house and the main reason for this is that they are looking for food.
Fleas are tiny parasites that live off warm blooded animals. There are various species that live off different animals (e.g. cat fleas, dog fleas). There has been an increase in numbers in recent years due to pet owners neglecting to clean their pets bedding properly. An infestation of fleas in the home will lead to bites to the legs of residents, generally below the knee.
Earwigs, Woodlice & Silverfish
Earwigs are dark brown about 14mm long, have wings but never fly and are normally active at night. These infestations are caused by vegetation close to entrances and can be prevented by good housekeeping. They are naturally occurring and most people are not even aware of their presence.
Woodlice are slate grey in colour and have 7 pairs of legs. They are a crustacean.
Silverfish are a slender shiny wingless insect about 10mm long and have 3 bristles at the end of their body.
These 3 insects all prefer moist damp places.
Slugs & Snails
Slugs and snails feed on a variety of plants and decaying matter. They move by a muscular foot which secrete mucus to allow the animal to slide along. This later dries out and leaves the tell tale silvery trail. They are most active at night or on cloudy/wet days. They hibernate during winter.