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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 17 May 2022

Rodents, cockroaches and cluster flies: How to keep your house clear of winter’s top pests this Christmas

The three most common Christmas pests can usually be found in the dark, undisturbed areas of your home.

Image: Shutterstock/Oleksandr Lysenko

AS CHRISTMAS FAST approaches, people are being warned to watch out for unwanted visitors in their homes this festive season. 

Pest control provider Rentokil has issued advice for people pest-proofing their homes this Christmas after seeing an 18% increase in fly callouts, a 42% increase in cockroach callouts and an 83% increase in rodent callouts between January and November. 

The three most common Christmas pests can usually be found in the dark, undisturbed areas of your home, like attics or cupboards.

Rentokil has issued tips to avoid pest-infestations this Christmas:

  • Inspect your tree: Real and artificial Christmas trees can be nesting grounds for pests. Shake your tree outdoors so that any insects or their eggs are shaken out.
  • Clear all food and liquid debris and spillage in your home. Make sure all leftovers are cleared from the table and remove pet food and litter trays before going to bed.
  • Open boxes of decorations outside and inspect them for any signs of bugs or rodents.
  • Remove old stacks of newspapers and old cardboard boxes from your house.
  • Check electric cables and Christmas lights. Rodents can chew cables poses a risk of fire hazard.
  • Keep key areas sealed such as cracks in walls, skirting boards, electrical sockets, under kitchen sinks and bathroom cabinets. Keep all doors and windows shut.

Rodents move indoors during the winter. Attracted to the light, warmth and food, they’re often found in homes over Christmas. 

Cockroaches, meanwhile, can leave traces of their saliva, faeces, and body parts in the space they occupy.

These contain proteins which act as allergens and can cause blocked sinuses, ear and sinus infections, irritation around the nose and eyes, and a persistent cough – which can be mistaken for common cold or flu symptoms. 

Cluster flies – though normally hibernating during wintertime – can wake to home heating being turned up.

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