Dealing With Insects In Your Leisure Home
Dealing with insects in your leisure home can be an issue in the late summer, especially with the heat we are experiencing in the UK. Leisure homes are as vulnerable as any home to infestation and sometimes, because of being located near water or beneath overhanging trees, the problem can be more acute. This guide is designed to help you to deal with insects in your leisure home.
Clean and declutter your leisure home
This is possibly the most important element in all pest control. A clean and clear home offers much less sustenance to insects. Insects like somewhere safe to hide and breed and a cluttered environment offers more opportunities for this than a clear one. Also, it is easier for you to find any invasion of unwanted insects and you can deal with it quickly if floors and surfaces are decluttered and clean.
Maintaining a clean home is important for many reasons. Ants, which are notoriously hard to block from entering, do nevertheless tend to move on to more rewarding locations if they find no food in your home. The aim is to make your leisure home a desert for them as much as possible, so it is good to remember that ants and other insects can live off the tiniest crumbs left on a surface. If you keep food off surfaces as much as possible and store it in sealed containers and cupboards where you can, this will go a long way in preventing insect infestation and other pests.
Some pests, like bedbugs for instance, prefer clean surroundings and require special measures to help prevent them, like bed leg monitors and mattress covers. However, you should find regular cleaning, changing of bed linen and turning of mattresses will help you with early detection and treatment should you be unfortunate to get a case of bedbugs.
Build barriers against insect intruders
Flying insects are the most common pest to cause a problem in leisure homes during the summer. If your home is pitched near water or overhanging trees, this can be a bigger problem than for others. There is nothing anyone can do to stop flying insects completely, but some measures will greatly reduce the nuisance and any harm they can cause.
Mesh secondary double glazing and secondary doors are a good addition to keep the flying bugs out. Also, you may want to check and replace where necessary, your door sweeps and other seals as they may become corroded or be eaten through by ants and other pests.
You can find many devices on the market designed to attract and kill flying insects. One or two of these immediately outside your leisure home can reduce annoyances significantly.
Think about lighting
Be aware that your lights at night will attract many bugs. It’s a good idea to adopt the rule; lights on, doors and windows shut (or at least secondary mesh shut in the heat of summer). Doors open, lights off.
Natural insect repellents
You may also want to use nature against nature to prevent insects getting into your leisure home. A number of plants can assist in this. Marigolds are well known to repel bugs as is citronella, (a common ingredient in mosquito repellent), lavender, rosemary, basil, mint and nasturtiums. If you place a selection of these plants both indoors and outside around your leisure home, you may find this helps keep away and control insect populations.
Dealing with insects in your leisure: ants
Next to flying bugs, ants are the biggest home invaders. Although they are not harmful as such, in that they don’t carry disease or bite, they are a big nuisance.
You can discourage ants with a few mint plants around the door or in the kitchen. They do not like strong odours. They are also put off by lemon and peppermint oil if you use them in a spray on your surfaces or around points where ants are entering. You could also try blocking cracks and holes with talcum powder, which they really don’t like and some suggest that a line of chalk or coffee grounds will also get them to turn back.
If you have a serious and persistent ant problem, you may want to trace them back to their nest somewhere outside. Having done this, you can again use lemon spray and peel or white vinegar (which is fatal to ants undiluted) around the entrances to the nest. Ants will do whatever they can to avoid citrus and it also destroys the scent trails they use to follow each other to food.
If you really need to wipe out the whole nest, then there are some more drastic measures you can take. The first and most direct is to take a spade and lop off the top of the nest exposing the tunnels and chambers and then pour a kettle full of boiling water onto the nest. This should kill all the ants and the queen.
Another, less strenuous option if you need to rid your home of an ants’ nest entirely, is to mix some sugar and boric acid (3-parts sugar to one-part boric acid) and squirt a few drops outside the entrances to the nest. Ants love sugary substances and will take some of this back to their queen. The boric acid is fatal to the ants and with the queen dead, the whole nest should die out quite quickly.
Keeping wasps at bay
The method of deploying nature’s own methods against pests has been taken to an ingenious level with the ‘Waspinator’ or artificial wasps’ nest. It cleverly mimics a rival wasp nest and so deters exploring wasps from encroaching on its territory. It can be hung under a canopy or from a tree to protect your leisure home.
There are many bug-killing devices out there which, though effective can leave a lot of dead wasps stuck to fly sheets or lying in catch trays. This clever device avoids all of that insect carnage.
If you do find a wasp nest on your pitch, it may be a good idea to seek out professional help in order to remove it.
Pets and other visitors
If you have pets or are visited by pet owners, you will be aware that of course they can be carriers of multiple bugs.
Unfortunately, as in the case of bedbugs or fleas for example, insects can be unwittingly introduced into your leisure home. Awareness is all you can ask for reasonably to prevent pests being introduced.
Evict insects from your leisure home
If the measures you implement fail, which they sometimes will, you may want to call in professionals from a reputable, accredited pest control company, who will be able to deal with the insect infestation in your leisure home. They will also be able to advise and help with further prevention.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions if you use traps or chemicals to clear out unwanted insects from your home. Be particularly careful to avoid causing harm to pets or wildlife, such as birds or hedgehogs – they can actually help to keep insect populations down.
That said, a clean leisure home should stay largely pest-free. A good cleaning regime is the single most important thing to aid in pest control in your leisure home.
We hope you have found this a helpful guide to dealing with insects in your leisure home. It is not exhaustive but general principles apply. You may need to take different measures for specific pests, such as wasps, for instance. If in doubt, always consult a professional.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday lodges, holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday chalets and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.