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Pest control is important for many homeowners and businesses over the winter period, owing to the number of pests seeking shelter from the cold. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most common pests and how pest inspection professionals deal with them.

You may be forgiven for thinking that pests are only a nuisance in the more humid summer months, but that’s not the case. During the winter months, pests become a real problem for homeowners across the UK too.

It’s at this time of year when many pests seek the safety of our homes, whether that’s under our floorboards, up in our attics, down in the basement, or tucked away in wall cavities. 

These common pests are prevalent during the winter months because they find it easier to access your home when leaves have fallen from trees and shrubs, windows are less likely to be left open, and humid indoor air makes it easier for them to survive.

So in order to help you keep these unwanted visitors from making themselves at home in your house this winter, we’ve listed some of the UK’s most common winter pests below, with expert insight from Quickil, one of the UK’s leading pest control companies.

The most common winter pests in the UK

Rats

Rats are one of the most common winter pests in the UK. They can cause significant damage to your home. Fortunately for us, they will avoid contact with humans as much as possible, so it’s very unlikely you will see them.

However, come night time, you may hear them scurrying around under your floorboards or, more commonly, in your attic. Because they’re so adept at hiding, you may not even notice you have a rat infestation until it’s too late. 

As soon as you notice a rat infestation, it’s crucial that you hire a professional pest inspector to get it sorted. Rats often chew through wires, so you could have some serious fire safety issues on your hands if you leave it too late.

Also, rats tend to carry a number of diseases. It’s not uncommon for rats to drown in water tanks and contaminate a home’s entire water supply.

Signs of a rat infestation include droppings, scratch marks on furniture or skirting boards, a strange damp odour, and burrows close to your home.

Cockroaches

Although cockroaches are more commonly associated with warm, tropical climates like Asia, they can still be found in the UK. Sure, they’re not as common as some of the other pests on this list, but they can still be a nuisance for any home or business for that matter.

Cockroaches are attracted to warmth, so if they manage to find their way into your property over winter they can very quickly multiply, causing a number of problems. Aside from the ick factor of having legions of cockroaches skitting about in your kitchen or bathroom, they pose a significant risk for businesses, especially those in the service industry.

A pest infestation at a hotel or restaurant can severely impact that business’s reputation. Consumer reviews and brand reputation help service-industry businesses stay competitive, so an outbreak of cockroaches can be harmful.

The signs of cockroaches include droppings, shed skin and an unusual smell, so be mindful and ensure you contact a professional if you notice any of the signs.

Mice

Just like rats, mice will enter people’s homes or business premises looking for a warm, secure place to nest. In homes, that could be in the attic, where they make use of the loft insulation to build a suitable area to nest and raise their young.

Mice, just like rats, are commonly heard at night when everything is quiet, scratching around as they search for food and shelter. Mice typically make their way inside to avoid the cold, so ensure any holes or gaps around your property are sealed off, especially round windows and doors. 

To be on the lookout for signs of an infestation of mice, stay vigilant – they often gnaw through food containers, leave small droppings and scratch marks on wooden beams, skirting boards and gaps or cracks.

Spiders

In the UK, spiders are relatively harmless, so you don’t have to be concerned about injury. However, for some people, the very idea of a spider scuttling about sends shivers down their spine. Although they’re quite common throughout the year, especially in the summer, they are still a persistent pest in winter, too.

They’ll enter a property looking for shelter and begin to lay eggs when they’re satisfied with their new home. Spiders can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, so if you don’t act quick you could be soon overrun with the pesky critters.

Other than spotting one, the most obvious sign of a spider infestation is cobwebs, especially if they appear more frequently than usual. To prevent an infestation, remove any dead insects you see and keep the property free of clutter – they like to hide out and stay away from people.

How to conduct a thorough Pest Inspection

Although there are plenty of telltale signs, conducting a thorough pest inspection is best left to the professionals. Quickil has been helping businesses and homeowners remove unwanted pests for over thirty years, so they know their stuff when it comes to pest control and prevention.

Using pest inspection software and state-of-the-art techniques, Quickil follows a four-step process when it comes to pest prevention and pest control, so they can make sure they’ve covered all the bases.

Assessment: Collect any information from the client and conduct a thorough pest inspection to plan the system of control they’re likely to use.

Control: Implement a range of pest control methods depending on the nature of the infestation or the type of pest. 

Prevention: Consulting the client so they can help prevent any future infestations, or conduct remedial work to ensure entry points are blocked.

Support: Provide expert support and advice throughout all stages of pest control with follow-up pest inspection reports issued physically and digitally.

Now you know the most common UK pests to keep an eye out for this winter, remember to stay vigilant. If you spot any of the telltale signs or you’re concerned about the impact of pests in your home or business, consult a professional pest inspector as soon as possible.