Generally people across the country live in properties that are not entirely pest proof and they do not encounter problems with pests. |
Foxes are unlikely to enter your house because they are normally wary of humans, however other pests may enter a property in search of food and shelter where proofing is not adequate.
Whilst it is unlikely that a building can ever be entirely pest-proof, the following tips will reduce the risk of infestation and help tackle pests as early as possible where you encounter a problem;
* The roof should be well maintained to prevent pest access to the loft space. For example, check for slipped tiles. * Rodent entry to rainwater down pipes from the ground can be prevented by the use of a back inlet gully. You can stop rats from accessing the roof via the inside of the rain water pipe or soil vent pipes by fitting a wire balloon guard to the top of the pipe. * Ensure gutters are free flowing and water tanks/barrels are covered. * Gullys can be fitted with a protective covering such as a grate. * Your drains should be in a good condition and free of defects such as cracks, and the opening to the drain from the public sewer should have a cover to prevent rats gaining access to your property's drainage system. * Ensure the lid to any inspection chamber (manhole) is securely fitted and in a good condition. * Don't put fats, oil and grease down your drains to reduce the likelihood of blockages. * Seal off any disused water supplies and be aware of and rectify any roof leaks or rising damp. * Where there are airbricks they should be protected by a stainless steel mesh (to 4mm mesh size), or ensure openings smaller than 5mm. * Cables, pipes and ducting passing in to or out of a property should be tightly fitting to prevent insects crawling through. Likewise, ductwork, trunking and service pipes can offer easy access to all parts of a building unless they are closely built or the openings are sealed. * Internal walls should prevent movement of rodents between sections of the building. This should be extended to the sub floor and loft areas. Gaps behind and below skirting boards, fitted cupboard units, and panels provide harbourage for mice, cockroaches and other crawling insects. Skirting should be removed and the gaps filled by extending the plaster to the floor, or by stuffing wire wool in the holes. * Any gaps at the bottom of external doors should be no more than 5mm.
* Don't let your garden become overgrown, and clear away leaves, especially during autumn when leaf fall is high. * Overhanging branches might provide squirrels with easy access to buildings, so it is best to cut them back, especially where squirrels are a problem. * Keep garages, greenhouses and shed doors closed, and prevent access to areas under sheds. * The area under timber decking provides pests, particularly rats, and foxes with an ideal location to make a home, and food can be dropped between the boards which rats will feed off. Decking should be carefully constructed, and access to the area below should always be possible to allow baiting in the event of an infestation. * Good fencing or planting prickly plants around the garden will help deter foxes. * Piles of rocks, dry stone walls and poorly constructed decking will provide harbourage for rats. * Climbing plants, particularly those that have grown out of control, can provide a place for birds and rodents to nest, so you may wish to cut them back and check them from time to time.
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