Dealing With Domestic Pests

Today, domestic pests should not prove an enduring problem. You can buy from chemists and hardware stores a wide range of effective pesticides, to deal with most infestations, provided you read carefully the directions on the pack. If you do find you have a pest attack which seems outside your control, contact the Environmental Health Department.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Chemicals available for pest control come as aerosols, powders , and baits. Take safety precautions in all cases. Read all directions carefully, and store out of reach of children and animals. Keep products in their own containers: do not transfer to those which have held food or drink. Get rid of excess products by washing them down the drain with plenty of water. Always wash your hands after use, and wash away any splashes on the skin. When using aerosols, do not breath the vapour, and do not spray food, working surfaces or utensils. Keep the room well ventilated. NOTE: excess products should not be washed down the drain if there is a septic tank, as to do so would destroy the bacteria.

CONTROLLING MEASURES

Ants

Trace black ants back to their nest, and pour boiling water over entrance hole. Then puff insecticidal dust containing lindane or carbaryl into hole but do not use near food. Baits are also available, and aerosols for spraying skirting etc. Treat red ants with jelly baits.

Bedbugs

Wingless brown flat insects which feed on human blood. Spray all haunts with an aerosol insecticide containing malathion, lindane or pyrethrum.

Booklice

Tiny, soft-bodied, off-white insects that run over furniture and paper. Ventilate and dry affected areas and items as well as you can and heat to as high a temperature as possible. Then spray with an aerosol for crawling insects.

Carpet beetles

Small golden brown ‘wooly bear’ insects which lurk in airing cupboards, lofts, carpet felt, etc. and even- tually turn into small mottled oval beetles. Spray affected areas with an aerosol marketed especially for treatment of this pest; protect other clothes and furnishings with crystals sold for mothproofing.

Cockroaches

Black insects which love warm moist places around pipes, cookers, boilers and sinks. Use an insecticide spray for crawling insects and sprinkle their haunts with a powder containing carbaryl or lindane. If the problem still persists, contact your Environmental Health Department.

Earwigs

On the whole, these cause no real damage to a house; dust woodwork with an insecticidal powder, or use an aerosol for crawling insects.

Fleas

Treat pets with flea powder or with a spray from your vet or pet shop. Always buy a spray especially intended for your type of pet: do not use sprays for one type of animal on another, as you could make your pet ill. Follow directions carefully and avoid spraying in your pet’s eyes in particular. Treat your home with a suitable powder or aerosol at the same time. Burn infected animal bedding, and use a cardboard box and newspapers renewed nightly until the infestation is cured. Vacuum often and thoroughly to remove eggs, which can lurk in any kind of crevice: e.g. down sides of upholstery, and in edges of carpets and skirtings.

Flies

Keep your kitchen and any other part of your home where food is stored meticulously clean. Never leave food uncovered, and throw away all waste immediately, wrapped in newspaper. Scrape plates clean and put to soak, and throw away empty tins and bottles. Make sure that your refuse bin has a tight-fitting lid, and use an insecticidal spray during summer. Use an insecticidal powder in your dustbin. Kill the insects with an aerosol spray, or use fly strips that give off a slow-release fly-killing vapour.

Mice

The signs are small dark droppings around food, plus scratching noises at night. They contaminate food and carry food poisoning. Buy from your chemist or hardware store one of the rodenticides designed specifically for killing mice; these send mice to sleep and they die painlessly without waking up. But take care that you keep these poisons away from your toddlers and pets.

Mosquitoes

Use an aerosol to give immediate clearance; a drop of paraffin in a water-butt, for example, will stop larvae developing into adults.

Moths

Keep clothes clean: moths prefer soiled fabrics. They do not like synthetics, preferring wool, but will feed off the wool in fibre mixtures. Store clean woollens in sealed polythene bags or closely wrapped in newspaper, in cool rooms. Add moth repellent sachets, discs or tablets. Protect wool upholstery with repellents down the sides and backs. Hang repellents in cupboards and wardrobes. Clean wool carpets regularly, and twice a year spray edges of fitted carpets and areas under furniture with a good moth proofing aerosol.

Rats

You can buy rat bait poisons from your chemist or hardware store, or you can contact your local Environmental Health Officer who will come and deal with the problem free of charge.

Silver fish

A wingless silver-grey insect about I cm long which does very little actual harm. Use an aerosol or puffer pack for crawling insects.

Woodworm

This is the grub of the furniture beetle. Look for the tell-tale signs in old furniture and woodwork: a series of little holes slightly larger than a pin head. If the holes are very fresh, you may see a little wood powder as well. Treat small infestations in furniture with a branded woodworm-killing fluid, used exactly according to directions on the can. Remember that woodworm in furniture could soon spread to the surrounding timbers of your house. If you do see signs of woodworm in the house timbers, it is advisable to call in a specialist timber firm who will survey the damage free of charge, and estimate for professional eradication under guarantee. 168 m a

Dealing With Domestic Pests

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