Well, I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. My rodent nightmare is starting to become a reality. Oh it is all too easy to dish out advice and spread your knowledge about how to rodent proof your home and employ the best methods of rat control & mouse control when you don’t have a problem. But then like many things in life, you never expect it to happen to you.
And that is where I find myself today. My local pest control technician is coming out to investigate my loft. He assured me if there are rats or mice up there, he will be able to smell them. Which is just as well, as being a rhinitis sufferer, my sense of smell is non-existent. Of course, he did suggest it could be squirrels, which wouldn’t be quite so bad.
In fact, that brings me onto the question, which pest (if you HAD to have one in your loft) would you prefer: bats, rats, mice or squirrels? Well, my husband and I both agreed, we would much prefer bats to rodents. Of course I know that in the UK they are legally protected and it is a criminal offence if you:
- Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat.
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats.
- Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time).
- Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat.
- Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost.
My living nightmare started two nights ago, when we first heard scurrying noises in the part of the loft, directly above our master bedroom. If you had to choose a nice sound to lull you to sleep, it is often dolphin music or something similar from mother nature, instead we had to contend with scratching noises and the pitter-patter of feet running in the loft void above our heads. It certainly was not calming!
Of course, my husband and I are now trying to work out how the pest – whatever it will turn out to be – gained access into our property in the first place.
Possible access points for pests:
1 – Air vents: we do have several air vents in the outside bricks of our house and we have never had them void-filled – ooops!
2 – Roof: we have never checked very closely to see if there are any small holes in the roof, which could provide access. My husband has been up there on the ladder to clear the gutters once a year but that is it. I smugly pointed out to him that actually a mouse can squeeze through a hole no bigger than a biro – as fascinating as this fact may be, it certainly did not help move our discussion along!
3 – Adjoining property: always easier to blame someone else for your problem, but the fact is even if you have defended your home against pests to a military standard, if your adjoining neighbour’s property has not done the same, pests could gain access to your home through theirs!
4 – Bird feeders – I have complained about this before. Our neighbour feeds the birds regularly but not just by leaving food on the bird table but also by throwing bread onto the grass – I know this can encourage the local vermin. Although not directly to blame for pests in my house, they certainly increase the potential risk factor!
So, I suppose the lesson here is not to become complacent. Just because I have been able to educate myself on common pests and pest control by working in this industry for the past four years, does not mean I should not practice what I preach.
Anyway, let’s see what my friendly exterminator finds in my loft later today. Will keep you posted folks!