Pests include a variety of insects some of which benefit us in more obvious way than others - avoid kiling them unnecesarily.
Black in colour, ants are harmless but if you want rid of them use ant powder. Ants like anything sweet so ensure work surfaces are clean and free of sugar or preserves. Keep cupboard doors closed. Buy ant powder from any supermarket and like talcum powder just 'puff' it onto the line of entry to your house. Entry is via cracks in plaster and brick or under door thresholds, air bricks or windows. House ants will not attack or bite humans. During the hottest days of summer the queen ants develop wings and can fly for a short distance for a limited time. This can make ants appear frightening and intrusive. At night the Queens assisted by drones are escorted back into the nest until the sun returns.
If rodents reach your loft they can gnaw through your electric cable short circuiting the wiring. Once upon a time they would be electrocuted in the process. Nowadays the system would be isolated leaving the rat alive to continue gnawing!
If you do not want them; do not invite them. Leaving your fragrant rubbish outside the house and not contained in a wheelie bin is an invitation to a banquet. They will accept and not leave when you ask them to. Squirrels are also rodents but do not often constitute a threat. If you feed the squirrels in your garden ensure the food is not within reach of other less desireable rodents - they cannot distinguish the food left for their cousins, they assume it is for them. An innocent saucer of milk or food for a stray cat or hedgehog will also be appreciated by RATS who will return for more!
Not strictly pests but they can contribute to problems when foraging for food in bins. As well as tugging out meat they will inadvertently withdraw plastic bags which when caught be the wind will become dispersed into the neighbourhood - causing complaints against students. The solution is to always ensure that food waste is placed inside a black sack and in turn in the wheelie bin. Upon departure most students empty their fridges and freezers into waste sacks. If placed alongside a solid bin this is an invitation to every creature within smelling distance to attend the feast of a lifetime. As the meat thaws it provides precisely the freshness of food even humans would salivate for. Ensure it is tightly wrapped in a sack and placed in the wheelie bin. If necessary decant non food out of the bin to make room for rotting food inside the bin.
Flies lay eggs in wheelie bins. The rubbish is a source of nutrition for the larvae. Then the maggots develop into more flies etc. Now you know why the City Council insist upon you closing your bin lids! It is not just red tape its is necessary to prevent a fly infestation in your garden. During the summer they like to enter your house so if you do not want flies to continually infest your house do not continue to invite them. If a nearby animal or bird has died this is likely to result in an intolerable infestation of flies, which is why such things should be reported or removed quickly.
Wasps are generally considered pests and are likely to sting. A member of the ant family they like anything sweet so ensure work surfaces are clean and free of sugar or preserves. If a nest appears outside your window under the eaves keep your window closed and call the landlords or the city Council. The removal of the nest is a job for a professional. Do not attempt this yourself! If you are stung TCP will relieve the swelling. Try and remove the sting carefully so as not to press the small sac of poison into your bloodstream more than necessary.
Just keep out of their way and leave them alone and they are unlikely to bother you. Currently bee colonies are in decline so it is very important not to kill any. Some bees are aggressive but this is exceptional. Most are docile when temperatures drop and without them your dinner plate would be almost empty. The process of pollination benefits everyone - do not kill them!
These are seldom harmful and are likely to gobble up flies which spread diseases. Leave them alone. Proverbs 30:28 Spiders are found in kings' palaces. I.e. they are everywhere and unavoidable so accept them for the friends they are! Spiders tend to die during August. Should this happen, following summer cleaning, then new tenants may arrive to find upturned bodies on laminate floors. Screams of "disgusting" by aracnophobiacs are understandable. A dustpan and brush is all that is needed to eradicate these pests.
Pets attract fleas (which is why Leydon Lettings prohibit most pets). They live in carpets and fabrics.
Bed bugs arrive in your home by invitation only - you inadventently bring them in on your clothes and if left undetected can infest a bed or settee in a short time. One meal from your body will leave the bug so full it can survive a couple of months before eating.
Birds can carry mites. These are parasites with only a 7 day life-span and can leave you with nasty bites. Normally they live on the blood of birds and can kill their smaller hosts. Their life-span though only 7 days is spent eating! Usually the mites only seek non-human nutrition, however, if their host has already died and you are nearby - look out! These bird mites are only a pin prick in diameter and are transferred from the bird to humans when in sufficient proximity e.g. a nest under the eaves or in the loft or in a tree close to a house etc. Eradication is best enabled by professionals. Dead birds and animals attract rodents and flies leading to further infestations.
Normally mould is prevented by adequate heating and ventilation. Most people breathe a pint of water into the room overnight. The condensate attracts spores forming black or green mould. To avoid condensation, open windows daily for a while and ensure circulation of air. Keep your room moderately warm.
Occasionally you may come across something you have not seen or heard of before. If this is an infestation, report it to the local authorities e.g. Canterbury City Council and if you are able to provide a specimen it will be sent to a lab for analysis and then reported if it is a problem. Do not simply ignore it.
In the garden slugs are expected. A silver trail on the ground betrays the presence of slugs. Indoors they are unwelcome trespassers even though they are completely harmless. Inside they can indicate the presence of excessive moisture - depending on weather conditions. Period properties are more prone to such visitations than modern houses due to the suspended floor construction. Where there is a cavity there is more likely to be a creature.
Slugs are nocturnal foraging for food at night. They enjoy plants and some animal remains. Block their entrance to your home where posible. If all else fails sprinkle salt on the floor where the trails are most evident- this dehydrates slugs (remember those biology lessons on osmosis?)leaving a wormlike crust to sweep up in the morning until none remain.
Slug pellets are specifically designed to kill slugs but if you have pets, slug pellets can be harmful (unlike salt). Garden hedgehogs eat slugs. Encouraging hedgehogs with a saucer of milk will also invite rodents. Cold properties are more attractive to slugs than warm houses. Keep doors closed and heating on in cold weather. If there is foliage outside doors and windows, cut it back. This acts as a bridge for slug entry inside. Ensure window and door cills have adequate drip fillets on the underside as this too can exacerbate the problem of moisture. Balance warmth and ventilation to avoid mould.