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Working from home and spending more time at home generally has become the reality of the lockdown for many.

For Cleankill Pest Control this has resulted in an increase in calls from residential premises as people are spotting furry intruders and insects that would often go unnoticed.

Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates says the mental health implications of having an infestation during lockdown when you can’t leave your home can be quite serious for some and affect the ability to focus on work.

He explains: “It’s bad enough having a pest problem during normal times, but usually people can get out of the house or go off to work and can escape the problem. The lockdown has resulted in an increase in calls from residential premises to Cleankill as people are spotting furry intruders and insects that would often go unnoticed.

“Hearing constant scratching or pests running about in your roof space is really stressful along with the worry of not knowing what damage they are doing and whether they are gnawing through cables. Rats are also appear- ing in people’s gardens especially in urban properties as there is less food being discarded in the streets. This means the rats are having to explore new territories to find food.”

As well as rodents, people have been calling about clothes moths which they might not otherwise have spotted if they weren’t in their homes 24 hours a day. People are also finding time to tidy cupboards and loft spaces and uncovering textile moth problems that have been hidden.

It’s also the time when pigeons and gulls are starting to arrive and nest on balconies or enter roof spaces, presenting a health risk to residents who are forced to spend more time in their own outside spaces during lockdown.

Squirrels are starting to breed and are expert at gnawing through soffits and fascias and accessing lofts where they will nest while potentially damaging wiring and rafters.

There has been an increase in calls about stored products infestations as people try to use up old ingredients at the back of cupboards, or sort through packets of dried goods only to be horrified to find the contents inside moving on its own.

Cleankill recommends using a professional pest control company to tackle problems particularly where rats, mice, birds or squirrels are concerned.

“Rats and squirrels can be quite aggressive and getting rid of the creatures requires a lot of knowledge and expertise. A trained professional should be able to get rid of the problem safely, humanely and quickly. But if you buy off the shelf products it is hard to know without training the correct dosage or the best location to use them in. You could also endanger children, pets and wildlife. It’s also more likely that the problem will return and cause further stress,” Paul said.

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