Mice, rats, ants and moths: how to treat common household pests humanely

2021-12-14 10:10:26 By : Mr. Tend Manager

Sign up to receive alerts from the Irish Times

Just click "Allow Notification" on the message displayed on the browser to activate them.

We will send you a quick reminder in the future in case you change your mind.

For rodents, the only real solution is prevention-poisoning is not only cruel but also ineffective. Photo: iStock

Soon, the entire ant colony will enter your kitchen. Photo: iStock

Even if you have a wasp nest in your attic, you don't necessarily need to take action. Photo: iStock

Even for professionals, the humane elimination of cockroaches is a daunting task. Photo: iStock

Natural deterrents such as lavender can effectively fight moths. Photo: iStock

If you need to keep the fox away from your garden, then lay a barbed band on top of the surrounding fence and walls. Photo: iStock

Bathe your dog regularly to help fight fleas. Photo: iStock

During the entire blockade, they appeared in shifts: mice, ants, weevils, moths, and a fox. On an unpleasant occasion, there was also a magpie in the kitchen. I had to show the door to all kinds of wild animals, and achieved varying degrees of success. The magpie was anxious to leave. There are fewer ants. The moth is still with us.

It's easy to get angry with pests in the house, and sometimes—for example, when you encounter a particularly greedy rat—may wish them to be greatly harmed. But I suspect that most people would rather be as humane as possible when getting rid of an intruder. Even if kindness cannot prevent you from killing, squeamishness will often prevent you from killing. Unfortunately, many pest control products still associate effectiveness with lethality. The ant trap I bought said it "destroyed ants and their nests!" I really just want them to leave the workbench. Is it possible to use only humane, non-lethal means to keep your home pest-free?

The first thing I must understand about humane pest control is that the people who promote it don't like the term pests. Both rodents and insects are wild animals and play an important role in our ecosystem.

"Usually, people call them pests, but they have the same right to live on this planet as we do," said Laura-Lisa Hellwig, event manager of Viva!, a vegetarian charity.

"Some of them have been here much longer than us. Really, we should find a way to live together peacefully, rather than eradicate or brutally kill some of them."

Well, the first step is to check if you can simply coexist with your potential pest.

"When people see, you know, there is a honeycomb in the gutter on the side of their house, the first thing they think of is:'We need to find a way to control it,'" said Kevin Newell, founder of Humane Wildlife Solutions, a pioneering non-lethal wildlife control company based in Scotland. He was talking to me over the phone about the peeping of the recently rescued little black-backed seagulls, who temporarily lived in his office before being resettled in a wildlife sanctuary.

Newell's answer to the hive is simple: leave it.

"Nine out of ten. They are bumblebees. You can leave them. They won't cause you any harm."

Newell said that even where intervention is needed, humanitarian methods are often more effective than lethal methods, which rarely solve the root cause of the problem. Well, here is a guide to escort all kinds of pests out of your premises in the most polite way possible.

For rodents, the only real solution is prevention-poisoning is not only cruel but also ineffective, especially for rats.

"If you poison them, they will eat a little bit, then walk away to see if it is safe, and only come back if it is safe," Hellwig said.

It may even make the problem worse. Commonly used poisons are designed to attract rodents, and rats can develop significant tolerance to them. Newell cited the example of a Scottish supermarket, where traditional exterminators have been regularly replenishing poison traps for six years. Between the two supplements, the rat will eat all the poison and then start eating the inventory again. Newell tracked down a broken vent at their entry point, blocked it, and the problem was permanently resolved.

To protect your house from rodents, you need to do the same thing: find out where they enter, and then seal it. It's that simple, and unfortunately, it's that difficult. An adult mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a small coin. If you live in an apartment, you may not be able to access their external entry points, so you need to fence your house from the inside. Look for feces and work backwards. Check the gaps between the heating and water pipes and the walls and floors. According to Hellwig, it is a good idea to stuff steel wool into cracks and holes because mice cannot chew it.

If you have rodents that need to be caught in your house, please use a humane trap with enough space inside.

"When you want to trap these animals, the best way is to place the trap exactly where they get their food," Newell said. "Then use the food they are interested in. If you imagine they are in your cereal cabinet and they are just eating Weetabix, there is a reason: they like that. So if you remove Weetabix, crush it and Put them in real-time traps, and you will most likely catch them the first night."

If you don’t know what your mouse likes, Newell recommends Nutella as a bait: “They like a combination of chocolate and nuts.”

Check the traps last thing in the evening and first thing in the morning to make sure the trapped rats are not stressed or dehydrated.

Online advice on releasing caught rats is confusing: some suggestions recommend taking them at least two miles away to prevent them from returning, while some animal charities claim that the rat may not survive unless it is released within 50 meters of the trapped place .

Newell said that if a released rat is left close to natural water, food and shelter, it will be fine at this time of the year.

"These are three main things," he said. "Ideally, the river bank or the old railway line."

The invasion proceeds like this: a small ant will enter your house through a small crack. If she finds some sugar, she will take it back to her lair and then leave along the same route. The next day, she will return according to her own scent trajectory. The more frequently she embarked on this journey, the stronger her scent, until other ants began to follow suit. Soon, the entire colony will enter your kitchen list file.

Find their entry point and wait for night to fall.

"Because the ants will enter their nests at night - they will not come out to forage at night," Newell said. "You just need a simple Polyfilla or something to plug the hole."

Rinse the surrounding area with hot water mixed with lemon juice or vinegar.

"If you keep it clean and wipe the entire area, you will basically remove their odor traces and bring them back to the first stage. Then, if you make sure, on the same night, clean the kitchen floor to an inch of its life. And there is no food there, even if the ants come in again, when she can't find anything, she will just retreat, just as there is no food for them to eat."

The Hornets are fine for most of the year.

"Only in the two months of summer, the females will start looking for food. This is our picnic. So that's why they approach us," Hellwig said.

Even if you have a wasp nest in your attic, you don't necessarily need to take action.

"If you don't use it, you can leave them," Newell said. "If you like your garden, they are one of the best gardener friends you can have. They eat all the insects that usually destroy plants."

Leaving themselves, they will live out their own cycle and die. Sometimes the hives need to be removed, especially if your family members are allergic to wasps. But you should not approach the wasp nest alone-even the carbon dioxide you exhale can trigger their defenses.

Newell often removes and relocates the nest without harming any wasps. He went in at night wearing a mask and put the nest in a large plastic container. Then he found a tree or an old stone wall where the wasp could calmly adapt to the new environment.

"This is how I would do it, not how I would advise people to do it," he said. It is best to find a professional.

"Cockroaches like damp floors, or anything that is very damp," Hellwig said, "so keep the space dry so they are not attracted."

They are particularly interested in leaking pipes, which may be the real source of your problem. Poisoning cockroaches is usually not that effective—they are very resilient—but eradicating them humanely is a difficult task, even for professionals.

Newell said: "This is a case of trying to catch as many people as possible from the home by hand, and then deep clean the area where they live." "Make sure that all gaps between the walls and the floor are sealed. It’s also a good idea to prevent re-entry."

Newell said: "I have found some ways to remove fleas from cats and dogs in the house without harming and catching all fleas," although his method is still a trade secret.

"It includes water and bowls," he said. "I won't say what the magical ingredient is, because we are still experimenting. But from early research, it seems to be able to catch live fleas, so they cannot escape. This is entirely due to gravity and water and fleas. Reaction."

He said, for you and me, the secret is to bath your dog or cat regularly, and often use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum carpets and dog beds to remove flea eggs. Remember that flea eggs can still hatch in a vacuum bag, so you It needs to be emptied somewhere outside.

Newell has a short answer to solve this problem-spiders, especially harvesters, also known as Daddy Long Legs.

"If you have a few of them kicking, keep them by your side, because, yes, they are very slender, but they are not terrible. They will keep your house away from psyllids, silverfish and other creepy things. People may not want reptiles."

If you feel the need to relocate a particular insect — or, if you must, a spider — there is a humane catcher on the market, but nothing is more effective than glass and a card: trap the object under the glass and slide The card between the edge and the wall, and then bring the package to the nearest window.

According to Hellwig, peaceful coexistence is your best choice.

"Foxes are protected by the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, so if you cause any harm to them, you may be fined," he said.

Newell said that most of the calls he receives about foxes are from people who are worried about their cat, but it is likely that when you notice a fox, he and your cat have already arrived at the residence.

"You can almost be sure that they coexist, and they are very good at it," he said. If foxes have the habit of digging your new plants—just like they often dig mine—usually because of fertilizer; its smell makes them believe there is something to eat. If you need to keep the fox away from your garden, then lay a barbed band on top of the surrounding fence and walls. Ultrasonic insect repellent may also be effective.

Don't listen to anyone saying that they can humanely trap a fox and release it for you in the country. Newell said that when they fall into a new area, they rarely survive.

"It's also illegal," he added. "If you have an animal under your control, you are responsible for ensuring that that animal is safe. We know that foxes are not safe in this situation."

Natural deterrents can effectively fight moths. Hellwig recommends lavender, mint, thyme and rosemary, whether dried or in essential oils, but it takes time to humanely eradicate the moth problem. The larvae eat your clothes, but you need to catch the adults.

"When they show up, they will immediately look for a spouse," Newell said. "If there are no adults to reproduce, the population of these moths will cease."

But please note: this method requires persistence.

"I was in a Buddhist temple where their prayer mats and prayer blankets were ravaged by moths," Newell said. "They have a cycle, between 2 and 4 weeks, so I go back every other day to catch moths. We caught the moths and put them outside until no more moths appeared. A few weeks later , We recommend that they clean all carpets and prayer mats. It solves this problem."

This non-lethal discipline is even more impressive when you discover the price of a new Tibetan prayer mat. -Guardian

Take5: Aspen Timeshare, Bahamas Waterfront, St Julien le Chatel and Peloponnese House

Irish Times products and services

Sorry, USERNAME, we were unable to process your last payment. Please update your payment details to continue to enjoy your subscription to The Irish Times.