Maintaining a Pest-free Outside Space

Summer 2018 is proving to be a decent one in the UK, which means now is the time to be in your garden and enjoying everything there is to enjoy about your outdoor space while you can.    

Of course, that becomes far more difficult if your garden is going through a pest problem. Did you know that, in London, more than 100 rodent complaints are made every day? Although this is just one city, pests are still an issue for many homeowners. But luckily, there are easy techniques you can employ to prevent, handle and sort out a pest problem before it gets out of control.

So, how can this be done? Check out this gardening guide below and discover the ways that you can keep your outdoor space free of unwanted critters in 2018.

Maintaining a pest-free outside space

Is your garden unappealing to critters? 

We spend hours and plenty of cash in the UK ensuring that are gardens look fantastic. From new plants to the latest lawnmower, we all want our gardens to look pristine — even the envy of our neighbours. However, making it appealing is the last thing you want if you want to avoid pests. Rats and mice will scout out places before deciding on where to settle down, so try and make your decking as uninhabitable as possible.

Enjoy dining al fresco? We all do. However, this can cause an issue when it comes to preventing an infestation. If you eat food outside, make sure you scrub and clean all surfaces, patio sections and decking areas — and place all paper plates or empty food packets in a tightly-tied bag before putting it in a bin. Remember; rats, mice and hedgehogs will also eat birdfeed, so make sure to opt for a birdfeeder that isn’t placed on the floor or a table and put it away from your decking.

Keep lawns trim and neat. Also ensure that shrubs and bushes are cut right back — otherwise, you’ll create a shelter for rats, mice and other critters. If your main pest problem is birds, movement is a great deterrent. Try hanging something that moves — like a wind chime or wind spinner — to help prevent birds from making a mess on your decking.  

Have you sealed up your wood spaces? 

Wood decking and furniture looks wonderful in gardens; however, woodworm can occur and be difficult to get rid of if not caught early. There are three kinds of woodworm in the UK. The common furniture beetle is usually what people mean when they say ‘woodworm’, but the house longhorn and deathwatch beetles are far more destructive — although thankfully rarer.

We can’t predict or stop the weather, but there are steps you can take to stop your wood tables, chairs and decking suffering an infestation of woodworm. For example, have you thought about investing in a waterproof cover. Sealing your wood with varnish is an excellent preventative method, too. Doing this will create a barrier that stops female wood-boring beetles from laying eggs in the pores of the wood.

Another scenario is that you already have a feeling that woodworm is in your decking or furniture and need help with what to do next. Small holes across your decking and furnishings may mean woodworm — these are usually in a cluster and often about 1mm wide. Although this is treatable, you first need to identify which type of woodworm is doing the damage, so it might be worth seeking professional advice. Common furniture beetle problems can be treated yourself using products that you can buy online. However, if the culprits are house longhorn or deathwatch beetles, you may need to treat by injection.

Maintaining a pest-free outside space

Can animals still get into sheltered areas? 

Decking is great for socialising or simply relaxing on a warm day with a drink in hand. However, unwanted animals seem to like this garden feature too. So, what can you do to stop your decking becoming a hotel for rats, mice and other pests? Pests won’t be able to make a home under your decking boards if they can’t get in to begin with, so investing in extra materials to create a barrier is worth it for people who take pride in their gardens. But remember; rodents have a knack of getting through tiny gaps, so ensure your decking is sealed to prevent an infestation.

Not sure how to construct a barrier around your decking that looks decent and does the job? It’s simple. Just use wood, mesh or chicken wire and run it along the entire edge of your decking between the boards and the ground, if you want to ensure critters can’t make a home under your decking. Worried that this will ruin your decking’s aesthetic appeal? Don’t be. You can install a wooden trellis and simply have the mesh running behind it — it looks much better. Place potted plants or plant flowers around the area to make it look even nicer!

Have you considered catching the problem? 

Of course, the above aren’t the only ways to prevent an infestation. Non-lethal traps or scent repellents are great solutions for dealing with a pest problem. Rodents hate the smell of hot spices, peppermint and garlic? So, why not place a peppermint tree around the edges of your decking or sprinkle cayenne around potential entry points? Of course, there are also plenty of commercial rat and mice repellents you can buy that will work to keep pests at bay.

Sweet foods are very effective in luring mice to your humane trap — keep this in mind the next time you go for the cheese. Place these around your decking and make sure to release the rodent at least one mile from your home once caught. If you prefer, buy an ultrasonic pest repellent. Compact and discreet, these devices are ideal for placing by your decking and emit high-frequency sound waves that rodents can’t stand — and we can’t hear.

Ensure your garden stays looking great with these quick and simple preventative measures.

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