How to Stop Pests from Entering Your Home

How to Stop Pests from Entering Your Home

Prevention is much easier than elimination, so knowing how to stop pests from entering your home is vital.

Once pests like rats, mice, flies and cockroaches break in, they will breed, which means you end up with an infestation. Nobody wants to share their home with pests because they lead to poor hygiene and spread diseases and bacteria. 

Understanding that pests are seeking shelter, food, and water allows you to focus on keeping them out and removing food and water sources which will attract them. 

In this guide, we will share our top tips for stopping pests from entering your home.

How to Stop Pests from Entering Your Home

10 Top Tips for Stopping Pests from entering your home

With colder months on their way, Good Housekeeping advises that now is the prime time to prevent pests looking for warm shelter from entering your home.

Follow these simple tips to keep pests out all year round.

  1. Check your doors

A locked door may keep out unwanted intruders, but pests only need a small gap to squeeze through. 

Doors often have a gap at the bottom which will not only let in draughts but could be a way for insects or small rodents to get in. You can buy a nylon sweep to fit along the bottom of doors to protect your entrances.

You can also fit a weather shield or door seal around the sides and top of your doors to close unwanted gaps.

Leaving a back door open is an invitation to pests. You will bring flies inside in the summer unless you install a fly screen or curtain.

  1. Check your Windows

Of course, opening your windows is necessary to provide ventilation, especially on a hot summer day. However, you do not want to encourage flies.

You can use blinds or curtains to discourage flies, but it would be even better to fit a separate mesh fly screen to keep them out, especially in your kitchen.

  1. Maintain your Garden

Your garden may be the source of many pests, especially vermin like rats and mice. If they are attracted to building a nest in your garden, they may enter your property to seek food or shelter in the winter.

One way to discourage pests is to clear away garden waste piles and dispose of them. Rats will make nests in piles of leaves. 

They also love building nests under wooden decking, so check for holes and entry points around the edges.

Your vegetable patch could be a food source for mice and rats, and your bird table or feeder is another invitation to dinner for unwelcome guests. If you are one of those people who like to feed hedgehogs, it may be that rats are also popping out at night to have a feast.

Check these areas for signs of vermin activity and consider making changes or using wire netting over your produce to protect it from pests. Choose squirrel-proof bird feeders and clear away any seed that drops to the ground.

A low-level water fountain may provide a water source for pests as well as garden birds.

  1. Look inside Your Shed

Mice love to build nests in compost bags and warm corners in sheds. If you have an infestation, there is always a chance they will enter your home looking for food.

You can discourage them by ensuring all bags are sealed, and there is no material lying around they can use for nests. Bird and pet food should be packed in chew-proof containers.

  1. Repair Exterior Cracks

It’s not just tiny insects that can fit through a crack. Rats have impressive skeletons that allow them to contort through the smallest spaces.

According to How Stuff Works, tiny mice can squeeze through a gap that a pencil can fit in. Yes really.

It is worth examining your home’s exterior walls to note any cracks. They often appear in the mortar between bricks or at the edges of crumbling bricks. You may also have gaps around windows or rotten wood frames.

Use an exterior sealant to fill small gaps or foam sealant for larger holes. Replace any rotten wood and replace broken guttering of fascias.

  1. Seal Around Pipe and Cable Feeds

Ensure that you seal around any places where you have made a hole to feed a wire, cable or pipe.

When a contractor like a broadband worker has to drill a hole to lay cable, they often use sealant to fill the gap around the wire, but it is worth checking yourself.

You can fill more significant gaps with steel wire before using sealant to deter mice from chewing through.

  1. Cover Roof Vents and Chimneys

Some holes are meant to be there for ventilation and safety, so how can you stop pests from using them as an entrance?

The best way to protect vents and chimneys is to install a fine wire mesh. This should keep squirrels, rats, mice and pigeons out of your loft space.

  1. Make your home less appealing

Pests are less likely to break in if no food or water is laid out for them.

Keep your kitchen surfaces clean, and put food away promptly in cupboards in sealed containers. You should always wipe up crumbs from your dining table, and if you have kids who eat in their bedrooms, they must clear away plates, crumbs and packets.

Don’t forget pet bowls. After they have eaten, clear away leftovers, or you will provide a rat-sized snack.

Fix leaking taps to ensure you do not have a water source available.

One of the main problems is clutter. You could be unwittingly leaving around nesting material and hiding places for vermin. Rats and mice can breed quickly and cause an infestation before you have discovered their hiding place.

  1. Look After Your Rubbish

Inside your home, you should ensure you have a lidded bin for all food waste. Food waste left in open waste bins throughout the house is an invitation for pests.

Outside bins should be sealed properly and kept clean from spills that attract pests. Don’t leave bags of waste lying around, as vermin will chew through, and flies will be drawn to the smell.

Compost bins are great for the environment but ensure you have a lid and wire to keep unwanted pests out.

  1. Pigeon Proof your Roof

Once pigeons have found a place to roost, you risk them making a nest in your rafters. If pigeons are a problem, you can put netting or spikes around your roof to keep them away. 

If you are concerned about pests entering your home, please get in touch with us at EWS Group. Our trained technicians will be happy to help remove pests and install preventative methods to keep them away.

Why Pests are Coming into Your Home

Why Pests are Coming into Your Home

Discovering pests on your property is hardly good news. You may think you have been unlucky, but the truth is that there are some common reasons why pests are coming into your home.

It isn’t all bad news. Understanding what attracts pests into your home is the first step to preventing an infestation.

In this guide, we will explore why pests are coming into your home and show you some easy ways to prevent them from entering your house in the future.

Why Pests are Coming into Your Home
Small pests are drawn to food sources, this could be a contributing factor as to why they might be in your home.

Four Reasons Why Pests are Coming into Your Home

There are four primary causes of pests coming into your home. If you can tackle these issues successfully, you will have more luck in preventing pest infestations.

  1. Home Maintenance
  2. Food
  3. Water
  4. Clutter

Let’s explore these four areas in more detail so you can ensure you have done as much as you can to eliminate the chance of pests entering your house. If you already have some unwelcome pests in your home, don’t hesitate to call us at EWS Group for advice.

  1. Home Maintenance

Your home may be your castle, but to pests, it is a chance to shelter from the elements. 

Good Housekeeping suggests that the older your house, the more chance you have of discovering cracks, gaps, chips and other signs of wear and tear. If you find an opening, the chances are that a rat or mouse will see it first.

Even tiny holes are a problem, as rodents can squeeze into the smallest spaces. Rats have a unique ability to contort their skeleton to fit into surprisingly little holes.

It is best to create a routine where you check out your home twice a year to look for any new problems. Please focus on the exterior walls and examine them for vulnerabilities.

When you find a crack or gap, it is relatively easy to use a sealant or filler to ensure it becomes unpenetrable. For larger holes, choose foam filler but first use steel wool to fill the gap and prevent rats and mice from chewing through the sealant.

Any rotten wooden window frames should be replaced. 

You should take extra care around the rafters as gaps here can allow pests to enter your attic space, and they may stay undiscovered for some time. The longer pests live in your home, the more they will breed, and your infestation will grow,

Remember that the time you take to keep your home in good repair will be far less time-consuming than trying to get rid of unwanted pests.

  1. Food

Pests constantly seek new food supplies as they need sustenance to survive, especially if they have a family to feed. Removing food sources is vital to discourage them from entering your home.

Deprive pests of food, and they won’t be attracted to your property.

First of all, don’t allow your kitchen cupboards to be a larder for rats and mice. They can squeeze into gaps under doors to access your food, so you must ensure that all food is stored securely in bags with clips and sealed containers.

Next, you must practise good hygiene by clearing crumbs and wiping spillages. Tackle your kitchen worktops and your dining table.

Load your dishwasher straight away and close the door. Wash up dishes immediately rather than leaving them stacked by the sink to invite unwelcome visitors to feed from your dinner remains.

Scrape all unwanted leftovers into a lidded bin so pests cannot access your food waste, and empty your bins regularly.

If you have teens, it may be time for a stern word about plates and cups left in bedrooms. The threat of an unwanted rat might just deter a reluctant family member from being lazy.

Finally, ensure your outside bins are sealed, and your rubbish is bagged inside securely. It is worth cleaning the outside of bins to deter pests from hanging around.

  1. Water

Water is essential for the majority of pests to survive. Some pests, like cockroaches, are even drawn to humidity and moisture as it keeps their bodies from drying out.

If your home suffers from condensation, consider using a dehumidifier to dry out the room. Wipe away the condensation that appears on windows.

It is essential to deal with leaks or dripping taps as puddles of water can provide a water source for pests. Don’t delay calling out a plumber, or you may have a bigger problem to deal with.

If you can eliminate water sources, any unwelcome pests will be forced to leave.

  1. Clutter

Dealing with clutter is much more than making your home look like an Instagram photo.

Piles of papers, clothing, bedding or toys make great hiding places for pests, and pests do like to stay hidden. The last thing you want to do is create a haven that makes pests feel safe and secure for moving about your house.

Clutter also provides nesting material for mice and rats. They are expert nest builders who can transport mess to the perfect spot to build a nest, not just for themselves but for their growing family.

Keeping your home clean and tidy makes it less attractive to most pests. It also means you will quickly spot signs of an infestation and be better positioned to do something about it.

What to do if pests get into your home?

It can be distressing to find pests have got into your home. You may feel violated, disgusted or scared. 

You needn’t blame yourself for a pest infestation. Pests are clever creatures that can find ways to break in despite all your best efforts to keep them out.

Don’t panic. The most sensible thing you can do is call out the professionals. At EWS Group, we have fully trained technicians who are up to date on the latest techniques to eliminate pests and help prevent them from returning.

We will work with you to get rid of pests quickly and safely. Our services are always discrete and efficient.

How to Keep Flies Out of the House

There is nothing more irritating than a fly in your house. Not only are they annoying, but they also carry germs and risk your health.

Like most pests, prevention is better than cure when it comes to knowing how to keep flies out of the house.

In this guide, we will share the best ways to keep flies out of your home.

How to Prevent Flies from Entering Your Home

The British Pest Control Association (BCPA) advises limiting a fly’s access to food and water to discourage them from coming into your home.

Although house flies have a relatively short lifespan, they can reproduce rapidly, which can quickly lead to an infestation. 

If you think you have an infestation, do not hesitate to call a professional pest control company like EWS Group, as they will be able to take care of the problem efficiently.

Our Top Tips for Avoiding a Fly Infestation

Here are our top tips for preventing flies from coming into your home or garden:

  • Keep food waste covered securely in a lidded bin, as food sources attract flies. 
  • Ensure your outdoor bins are kept closed and away from doors and windows.
  • Wipe up any spillages from surfaces in the kitchen immediately.
  • Store all food in secure boxes and jars.
  • Clear away plates after eating to discourage flies from feeding off the remnants on your dishes.
  • Either keep doors and windows closed or use fly screens to keep flies out.
  • In the evening, keep windows closed, especially if there is a light source to attract flies.
  • Clear up pet faeces in the garden, as they will attract flies.
  • Remove dead flies, as they are a food source for other pests.
  • Put bleach down drains or plug holes that are attracting flies
How to Get Rid of House Flies

You can buy plenty of over-the-counter sprays and electronic zappers to exterminate flies. However, if you want to avoid using toxic chemicals, you can try some more natural products.

  • Eucalyptus oil is a good deterrent and can be added to cloths hung near doors and windows.
  • Flies dislike mint, so place mint plants on your window sills in pots.
  • Orange peel in a dish is an excellent way to discourage flies.
  • Citronella is an excellent product for keeping flies and other insects away. Light a citronella candle to keep them away from you when you sit outside in the evening.
  • Choose cut flowers and plants that repel flies. Marigolds, lavender, bay leaves and catnip are perfect choices.

It’s worth using ideas to keep flies away from your garden, too, as they are more likely to enter your home if your garden is welcoming. Growing nasturtiums, basil and lavender plants is an excellent way to discourage flies.

How to Make a Homemade Fly Trap

You can buy fly traps for the garden that contain chemicals which attract flies. In your home, you can make homemade traps.

MedicineNet suggests that flies are attracted to certain scents.

Place some apple cider vinegar and sugar in a shallow dish with some fruit-scented washing-up liquid. Cover the dish with clingfilm and pierce holes in the surface for flies to enter the trap.

Flies will be attracted to the sugar and scent and enter the trap but cannot escape. They will fall into the liquid and drown.

Can House Flies be Dangerous?

Flies should really come with a public health warning. For such a small creature, they unquestionably pose plenty of risks to human health.

The problem is that flies feed by vomiting their saliva onto your food. They then walk around in their vomit and suction up the resulting liquid.

The regurgitating process transfers the bacteria from their gut onto your food, transmitting all kinds of diseases, from food poisoning to cholera.

So, while each fly is merrily buzzing between different surfaces, it spreads some severe bacteria and pathogens.

The health risks from flies include: 

  • Salmonella with symptoms such as diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
  • Dysentery with symptoms ranging from mild abdominal discomfort to cramps and diarrhoea.
  • E.coli  is a bacteria which can cause food poisoning. 
  • Worm infections, such as roundworms and flatworms, are caused by the transferral of eggs into food.
  • Maggot infestations, the eggs laid by flies, can cause bacterial poisoning.
How to Deal with a Large Number of Flies in Your Home

House flies are a more significant problem in the summer when the weather is warm. They can enter your home more easily when windows are open and through tiny cracks in walls or doors.

You may notice many flies gathering in your home and even find a maggot infestation in your bins.

As soon as you suspect you have a problem, please take action to remove any food sources attracting them.

Seal up your bins and keep your worktops clear. It is best to sanitise your surfaces regularly to remove any residues the flies are attracted to.

In fact, thoroughly cleaning your home, under and around appliances such as cookers and fridges, may help remove the food sources that are attracting the flies.

House flies love rotting food and pet faeces, while fruit flies love ripe fruit and sweet substances like alcohol and fizzy drinks.

Can flies lay eggs in my home?

House flies look for damp, warm places to lay their eggs. The bad news is that eggs hatch in just 24 hours.

Common places for fly eggs are rubbish bins, decaying garden waste and faeces.

Life Cycle of a Fly

A fly’s lifespan is pretty short, lasting between 15 and 30 days. There are four stages to their life cycle.

Fly Eggs – Once flies have mated, the female lays eggs which the male fertilises. A fully matured female fly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.

Fly Larvae – You will know this stage better as a maggot. They look like small pale worms and stay close to their food source. They feed on waste, faeces and animal corpses. Each larva will shed its skin three times before reaching the next stage in its lifecycle.

Fly Pupae – The pupa stage is where the fly is dormant and is cocooned in a shell. It will grow its wings, legs and antennae before breaking out as a fully grown adult fly.

To reduce the risk of flies laying eggs, ensure your rubbish and garden waste are adequately sealed, clear up pet waste quickly, and dispose of it securely.

How to Stop Slugs Coming into the House

Gardeners are used to dealing with the problem of slugs outside as they are a common garden pest that likes to eat leafy vegetation. But what about how to stop slugs from coming into the house?

In damp weather, you are more likely to spot slugs, and if you find a slimy trail in your home, you might just have an unwelcome visitor.

Keeping slugs out is difficult because these slippery creatures are invertebrates with no skeleton, so they can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps.

In this guide, we will examine how to stop slugs from coming into the house.

Why do slugs come inside?

stop slugs from entering your home

Like most pests, slugs venture inside to seek warmth, shade, and protection.

According to experts at The Royal Horticultural Society, the most likely slug you will find indoors in the UK is the Yellow Cellar Slug ‘Limacus Flavus’. It is up to 13cm in length and is slim framed with a distinctive yellow, green or light brown body.

This slug usually survives on mould or algae but will resort to pet food or food compost if hungry.

It might be hard to spot a slug as they are nocturnal creatures and will usually be out of sight during the day. They often hide in vents or drains.

You are more likely to spot them via mucousy trails on the floor or other surfaces.

How to Get Rid of Slugs in the House

To eliminate slugs, you will need to find out how they are getting into your property. One way to do this is to use a torch to illuminate a slug trail and follow it to its entry point.

It is worth noting first that slug pellets have been banned in the UK because of the risk to other wildlife and pets. 

Next, you want to block their entrance. You can use a draught excluder for gaps under doorways or filler for holes in walls. Slugs can get in even tiny cracks, so ensure you fill them all well.

You will have more of a problem if they are using a vent, as you will be unable to block the route in.

Fortunately, some alternative methods can discourage slugs from entering your home.

Copper Tape

Gardeners have been using copper tape around their plant pots for years because it gives off a small charge when touched by slugs. It causes no harm, but slugs do not like it and usually stay away.

You could protect vents and other necessary openings with copper tape.


Salt has also been used for years by experienced gardeners. It works by rapidly dehydrating the slugs causing a quick death. 

Dr Gordon Port from Science Focus refers to salt as “kryptonite for slugs”.

One problem with using salt is that it needs to be on a dry surface and away from soil that will be contaminated.

Deal with Damp

As slugs are drawn to damp, dark places, it is sensible to ensure that any dampness in your home is dealt with promptly. 

It would be best if you wiped away any condensation on windows to discourage slugs from entering.

Encourage Predators

What better way to keep slugs away than to let nature take of them?

There are many natural predators for slugs, including birds, frogs and hedgehogs. 

You can encourage birds into your garden by providing food and water. A bird table or hanging feeders make attractive additions to your garden.

A wildlife-friendly pond will encourage frogs, who are also rather fond of slugs. 

Another creature that loves some slugs is a hedgehog. You can install a hedgehog house and create hedgehog holes in your fence to encourage their passage through your garden.

Keeping on top of your slug population in your garden by creating biodiversity will reduce the risk of slugs coming inside.

Slug Traps

You can buy friendly slug traps that lure slugs in with a beer or sugary liquids but make it difficult for them to escape. Once trapped, you can release the slugs away from your garden.

You can create homemade versions, but it is more likely that the slugs will drown. You simply pour beer into an empty container until it is half full and place it where you know slugs have been.

Sheep Wool Pellets

Wool pellets are organic pellets that deter slugs without causing any harm. They work by absorbing water and swelling. Slugs are irritated by the wool fibres and will stay away.

They can be used safely to block entry points. 

Rough Surfaces

Slugs have soft, delicate skin, so they prefer smooth surfaces. 

You can create a rough surface with eggshells or garden cuttings to discourage slugs from entering.

Scented Plants

You can discourage slugs by using plants near your doorways that give off a scent that repels slugs.

Examples of scented plants are astrantia, wormwood, rue, fennel, anise and rosemary.

Check your Windows and Doors

It is worth surveying your windows and doors to see if any need resealing. Even tiny gaps that have appeared could be inviting to slugs seeking shelter.

Diatomaceous Earth (silicon dioxide)

Diatomaceous Earth is a soft silica-based rock with a sharp feel due to fossilised algae particles.

It dries out protective oils on many insects and acts as a pesticide. Slugs do not like the feel of the substance and will not cross it.

One difficulty is that the diatomaceous earth must be dry to act as a deterrent, and it can irritate humans if breathed in. 

Are slugs harmful?

Slugs are a problem for gardeners and farmers due to the damage they cause to crops and plants. But are slugs actually harmful?

Despite their creepy looks, slugs are not poisonous. If slugs crawl across your skin, you may experience irritation from their radula, which they use as suction as they move.

Whilst slugs are not toxic, they can carry parasites that can cause harm to humans or pets if ingested. A common slug infection is a lungworm which can cause brain or spinal damage if swallowed.

If you have a pest control problem, get in touch with us at EWS Group for advice and to create a plan to eliminate and prevent pests from your home or business. We are experts in pest control and fauna management using the latest Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods.

How to tell how many rats are in your house

How to Tell How Many Rats are in Your House

Nobody wants rats in their home. Even a single rat is enough to make most people shudder, but the truth is that if you have rats, you are unlikely to only have one.

Rats are clever creatures that can squeeze into the tiniest of gaps, and once they have made themselves at home, they will breed. 

Before you call out professional pest control, it can be helpful to know how many rats are in your house.

In this guide, we will help you to identify how many rats are in your house and explain the signs that you have a rat infestation.

Signs of a Rat Infestation in your House

Several things indicate the presence of rats in your home. 

  • Droppings
  • Smell of urine
  • Gnawed or damaged food packaging
  • Nests made with shredded material
  • Chewed wires, pipes, insulation or cardboard
  • Sounds of scurrying, especially late at night
  • Seeing a rat
  • Pets behaving oddly and pawing in corners

Now, you may have strong suspicions that you have rats, but you will need to look more closely to calculate the possible number and size of the infestation.

How to Tell How Many Rats are in Your House

Examine the Droppings

Droppings are an excellent way of finding out about your unwelcome visitors.

Real Homes explained the differences between mice and rat droppings. Tiny droppings are more likely to be left by mice. 

Rat droppings are typically between 1 and 2 cm in size and resemble brown jellybeans or a grain of rice. Adult rats leave larger droppings.

If you see a mixture of big and small droppings, this could indicate a larger rat population of different ages.

A large number of smaller droppings could indicate that the rats have been breeding and you have many babies.

The more droppings you find, the more rats you will have in your home.

How often have you seen rats?

You may be lucky to have only a minor infestation if you haven’t seen any rats. Small rat populations will more likely evade humans when they move about at night.

It is possible to eradicate a minimal infestation with traps and bait if you act quickly but be warned that the population will continue to grow until all the rats have been removed.

On the other hand, if you have seen rats on more than one occasion at night or during the day, you could have a much larger infestation.

Rats that have been unable to keep out of your way are a sign of severe infestation. In this instance, it is vital to seek help quickly from a professional pest controller, as the population will continue to grow unless action is taken. 

Look for a Rat Nest

Rats like to make their home away from humans in nooks and crannies where they feel protected.

Your best chance of finding their nest is to explore the areas in your home that are most left undisturbed.

Often you will find rats in your loft or inside cavity walls. Evidence of a nest will include shredded paper, leaves and soft materials such as insulation.

As well as a nest, rats create runs that they use to seek food and water. They make these runs through your walls, electrics, and pipes.

Rats can access minimal gaps; you may find evidence of their runs with gnaw marks on your walls, under doors and on the carpet.

As well as bite marks, you may see scratches and oily smears from their fur.

Following runs or discovering a nest will give you a good idea of the population’s size. 

Should you be worried about being attacked if you find a rat’s nest? Although the BBC reported a story about a girl in France being attacked by rats, they usually steer clear of human contact and will only attack if under threat.

Do not disturb a rat nest without professional help. Rats carry diseases which can be passed on through urine, faeces and bites, so it is best to leave them alone and get a pest controller to tackle the infestation.

How do I tackle a rat infestation in my house?

Once you have gathered information about how many rats are in your house, you can make a plan.

You can try laying down some traps and bait if you believe you have a tiny rat population. It is crucial to observe what happens to look for evidence that you have been successful.

If after a few weeks you still have rats, it is advisable to contact a professional pest controller who will be able to use the latest rodenticides to ensure that the rats are eliminated.

Pest control professionals are the only ones who can tackle a large infestation successfully. It requires technicians who have the knowledge and experience to carry out a thorough assessment and put in place a pest control plan that will be fast and effective.

If you think you have rats in your house, do not hesitate to contact us at EWS Group. Our fully trained technicians are specialists in pest control who offer a discrete service to remove and control pests using the latest IPM (Integrated Pest Management) methods.

How to Keep Pigeons off Your Roof 

How to Keep Pigeons off Your Roof

Many people love to see pigeons and consider them welcome wildlife, but pigeons are a pest to others.

You may suffer from excess bird droppings on your vehicles or outdoor space. You may even have a problem where pigeons put off customers and ruin your business

As well as causing potential harm to public health, pigeons can also cause damage to roof tiles, solar panels and brickwork.

If pigeons have become a nuisance, you will want to know how to keep them off your roof. This post will share some ideas from our pest control technicians about pigeon-proofing your roof and property.

Methods of Keeping Pigeons off Your Roof

Here are some ideas that might make your roof unappealing to pigeons and keep them away. 

If you are suffering a significant infestation or have no luck keeping pigeons off your roof, it might be best to call one of our trained technicians to help you solve the problem.

Pigeon Scarers

Don’t worry: these are not harmful to pigeons. They are lightweight bird of prey silhouettes that you can place in spots where pigeons like to roost.

The RSPB advises that they should initially scare away pigeons from the places you install them but be aware that after a while, pigeons will get used to them and then may return.

Reflective Materials

When sunlight hits a reflective material, it creates a bright prism-like shine that negatively affects pigeons’ eyesight.

You can purchase reflective tape, discs or windmills at a low cost that will discourage pigeons from settling. You place the products on areas attractive to pigeons, such as guttering, ledges and eaves.

You can even keep pigeons away by using old CDs. They are a perfect, no-cost solution that you can use by suspending them close to your target areas.

Sloped Metal Sheathing

Pigeons are attracted to flat surfaces and will choose ledges for roosting. You can cover these attractive flat surfaces with a sloping sheet of metal.

If pigeons can’t roost, they will hopefully find somewhere else to land.

Natural Repellants

You must understand that birds, like much wildlife, are protected under UK Law and cannot be poisoned or have their nests disturbed. 

Fortunately, some natural ingredients can be used to discourage pigeons from your roof.

You can place a ball or container with fragrant spices such as chilli powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper or cinnamon on your roof. The scent may help to keep pigeons away from the area.

Bird Netting and Mesh

You can buy netting that can be installed to seal off openings in your roof that could make an ideal roosting spot for pigeons.Getting the correct tension is crucial to avoid harming any birds. You may want assistance from a registered pest controller to ensure the work is carried out effectively and safely.

Pigeon Spikes

Pigeon spikes are metal spikes that can be installed across your roof or on top of fence panels to discourage pigeons from roosting.

They do not cause harm but should be uncomfortable for pigeon landings and help keep them away.

What else can you do to discourage pigeons from your roof?

  • Inspect your property for places that attract pigeons. Pigeons are drawn to chimneys, ledges, vents, gutters, gaps and solar panels.
  • Once you have identified potential pigeon roosting spots, you can use a deterrent to discourage them from staying.
  • Pigeons, like most pests, are attracted by food. Ensure that your rubbish is in a lidded bin and that bags are secured tightly.
  • Keep your outside space tidy and clean.
  • Feeding the birds is a lovely thing to do, but bird food will attract pigeons. Choose feeders that prevent larger birds from accessing the food. Squirrel-proof feeders may work.
  • Bird tables will attract pigeons, so avoid them where possible.
  • Many people also leave out food for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Remember that any food left outside may also attract pigeons (and rats!).

Do I need a pest controller to keep pigeons off my roof?

A small pigeon problem can quickly become a more significant issue if not addressed effectively.

It is worth trying out some ideas yourself to see if you can eliminate the problem of pigeons roosting on your roof, but if this fails, it may be best to contact professionals.

At EWS Group, we specialise in fauna management, as we have the experience and knowledge required to solve problems with wildlife effectively and protect them within the law.

You should not underestimate the damage that can be caused to your property or premises if pigeons are allowed to roost on your roof. The cost of repairs or loss of business can far outweigh any cost of pest control.

If you are worried about pigeons on your roof, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at EWS Group to see how our trained pest control technicians can help you.

How to get rid of mice UK

How to get rid of mice UK

You may think mice are cute, but that does not mean you want to share your home or premises with them.  

Some mice are indeed bred as pets, but wild ones that infest homes and commercial properties are considered pests in the UK.

Two species of these small rodents are found here. In this post, we will explore why it is essential to get rid of mice and look at the best ways to keep them out of your home or business.

Why we need to get rid of mice

Mice can be a nuisance to public health and cause serious harm to the environment and people.

They will leave a trail of urine, droppings and used bedding everywhere they go that could spread diseases like Salmonella and Listeria.

Since they will be on the lookout for food, you will find dirt and bacteria traces in your kitchen, your surfaces and your cupboards.

As well as being a health hazard, mice cause plenty of damage to your property. Their sharp teeth are kept short by constantly gnawing at cables, woodwork and pipes.

Keeping Business Premises Mice Free

UK laws ensure businesses keep mice and other rodents out of their premises to protect public health.

Property and landowners must report infestations to their local authority under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.

The food sector has additional responsibilities set out in the  Food Safety Act 1990.

Enforcement notices, fines and a criminal record could be incurred if the law is not followed.

Of course, it’s not just about the law. Reputational damage can seriously affect a business if word gets out that there is a mice problem. 

What mice live in the UK?

Two types of mice native to the UK can become a pest.

  • House Mice
  • Field Mice

The most common mice found in your home will be House mice because they live in close proximity to humans. On the other hand, field mice prefer to nest outdoors unless it is particularly cold.

Where do mice build their nests?

House mice rely on our structures for warmth and shelter. They often choose roof spaces, wall cavities, sheds and basements to build their nests and breed.

Be warned. Mice can squeeze into the smallest of gaps to enter a building. They also have excellent climbing skills.

Field mice prefer to create burrows, build nests out of the grass, or find shelter amid rocks and crevices. They aim to avoid predators such as cats, rats and foxes.

How can I tell I have mice?

It’s a good idea to be familiar with the signs of a mice infestation so you can act quickly to get rid of them before they breed.

Look out for:

Droppings – They are usually black and the size of a grain of rice. Each mouse leaves around 80 droppings a day, so you won’t be able to miss them. 

Urine smell – A strong ammonia smell could indicate the presence of mice.

Grey Smears – Mice will leave smears from the oils in their fur around your property.

Signs of a nest – Nests are usually found in your loft, airing cupboard or even under a floorboard.

Damage – Damage to food containers, gnaw marks on your skirting boards (just like the Tom and Jerry cartoons), chewed carpets, newspapers, cables and pipes.

Mice can be visible all year round. In winter, field mice may come inside to get warm. They like garages and sheds but will seek out food as it becomes scarce in the colder weather.

Preventing Mice Infestations

Prevention is much easier than eliminating, so think about ways to stop them from becoming a nuisance in your property.

  • Keep your building well maintained by filling any gaps that could provide access for hungry mice. Wire wool should be pushed inside holes before covering with filler to ensure mice can’t chew through.
  • Keep your premises tidy to remove potential nesting sites. Cut back any areas outside that are overgrown.
  • Seal up waste bins as they make an alluring food source for mice.
  • Ensure that all food is kept in sealed containers.
  • Wipe up spillages immediately.
  • Attach door strips if the gap under your doors is more than 4mm.

How to Get Rid of Mice

You might be tempted to attempt to get rid of mice by yourself using products you can buy in DIY stores. Just remember that mice breed rapidly, and they are highly elusive creatures. 

While you take your time searching out the best ways to get rid of them, they are having babies and becoming a bigger problem.

A professional pest control company will have trained professionals who can use their knowledge and experience to ensure that your mouse problem is eliminated safely and quickly.

There are several methods of pest control that are effective in getting rid of mice.

Poisons –Those available to the public are restricted. Many large mouse populations in urban areas have grown resistant to the pesticides you can buy over the counter. A professional firm will have access to more effective rodenticides. 

Traps – Traps must be placed carefully to ensure the safety of pets and children.

Bait –You can buy break-back traps that you place tempting treats inside to attract mice, such as chocolate and peanut butter. Cheese is less compelling to mice, despite what you might think.

Getting rid of carcasses – It isn’t pleasant to think about, but if you eliminate mice, you will end up with dead ones. It is vital to dispose of the bodies carefully and quickly. Where poison has been used, the bodies will pose a threat to pets and other wildlife.

Professional pest controllers will take an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to deal with your infestation.

They have monitoring equipment to confirm access points into your property, estimate the infestation’s size and track the mouse to its nest. They will use this information to establish a proofing strategy using traps, rodenticides or both.

If you suspect you have a problem with mice and want help to get rid of them, get in touch with us at EWS Group. We offer professional pest control services for domestic and commercial properties. Our qualified technicians use IPM to ensure they provide a safe and effective service.

What are the Three Methods of Pest Control

What are the Three Methods of Pest Control?

Pest infestations can be embarrassing, inconvenient and devastating, particularly for any businesses in the food industry. 

Fortunately, rigorous legislation ensures that businesses install preventative measures and carry out regular pest control to avoid major problems. 

Pest control should be carried out by qualified professionals with extensive training and experience in dealing with pests of all types in both domestic and commercial premises. This article explores the role of pest control companies, their three methods of pest control, and how well they work.

Bird mess left after nesting

What does a pest control company do?

Pest controllers are trained to find and install innovative solutions to remove infestations or control them to keep the environment safe from contamination and the spread of disease. Codes of practices in the sector regulate the equipment and methods that can be lawfully used for pest control in the UK.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a practical and environmentally friendly approach to pest management. IPM programs use up-to-date detailed information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment.Local authorities can inspect premises to ensure they are pest-free and legally require a business to take immediate action under The Public Health Act 1961. It is, therefore, crucial to seek the help and support of a reputable pest control company if you suspect you have a pest problem.

A pest control company will clear all debris and deep clean the area

What kind of pests need to be controlled?

Pests generally fall into three main categories. The type of pest will determine the rules and regulations that govern how they can be controlled and influence the decisions made by pest controllers when establishing a plan.

  • Insects

Insect infestations are a common pest in both domestic and commercial premises. Their small stature often goes unnoticed until an infestation is significant and can be hard to remove.

Problematic insect pests include ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, wasps and bees.

  • Rodents

When pest control is mentioned, most people’s first thought is rats, although mice also present a major problem. A challenge with rodents is that they breed fast, and their population can increase rapidly.

Rodents are a problem in domestic properties and the food sector as they are drawn to premises where food is readily available. The damage and spread of disease can lead to a significant public health problem.

  • Birds and Others

Birds and other wildlife may not be as threatening, but an infestation can still cause damage and even health issues. 

Pigeons and seagulls are the most common bird pests, but other wildlife such as foxes can also present severe issues when present in large numbers. 

This type of pest control is known as Fauna Management and is highly specialised as most wildlife is subject to animal protection laws meaning they cannot be harmed or disturbed.

It is vital to seek professional advice to ensure that you can get control of the problems without harming the animals that cause them.

Three Methods of Pest Control

Pest control involves a wide variety of strategies that typically fall into three main types of pest management.

1. Physical

Physical pest control is the process of trapping and exterminating or removal of pests to eliminate them from an environment. 

Physical pest proofing involves establishing physical barriers to prevent pests from entering or returning to a site. 

Examples include removing or destroying nests, setting traps, blocking holes, entrances and less common methods such as controlling the temperature of an environment. Techniques such as field burning and planting a trap crop are popular in farming.


  • No harmful chemicals that may impact the environment.
  • It remains effective as resistance is not an issue. 


  • Trapping and killing animals is considered inhumane by many, and there are animal welfare and protection issues that have to be considered.
  • The effectiveness of physical control can be limited for large infestations, and it will be a time-consuming operation. 
  • Pests may not be prevented from returning to premises.
2. Chemical

Chemical pest control is widespread and is often used to control weed infestations and stop crop diseases.

Pesticides poison and kill any pest that consumes or is exposed to them. They are often combined with traps put out where pests are roaming. 

Only qualified pest control technicians are permitted to use many chemical pesticides, as these substances are often harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment. 

Fogging is an ultra-low volume (ULV) chemical method to fight insect infestations. Fumigation involves sealing off premises and filling them with gas to eliminate all presence of a pest. 


  • It is highly effective with quick results.
  • Economical
  • Low chemical percentage pesticides can be used by those without qualifications. 


  • Chemicals can be extremely toxic and cause severe issues to pets, humans or wildlife. 
  • Can cause contamination to groundwater and affect the environment negatively. 
  • Possible resistance can be developed by pests making them harder to control. 
3. Biological

Biological methods are the oldest type of pest control and management. They involve making natural changes to the environment without pesticides or physical harm.

It can mean using natural organisms to reduce or eliminate a pest. Sometimes this consists of the introduction of a known natural predator

In agriculture, examples are ladybirds being introduced to eliminate aphids or where microorganisms might be introduced to protect a host species. 

Modern biological methods in premises include treatments with low oxygen, heat and a combination of vacuum technology and MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging).


  • It is extremely environmentally friendly and can boost wildlife habitats and ecological systems.
  • It is often a long-term solution. 
  • Low cost and easy-to-manage method.


  • Not very reliable as results are unpredictable.
  • Not particularly fast and will not usually completely eliminate a pest problem.
  • Can upset the natural balance of the environment by altering the food chain and creating a different infestation. 

If you require help with a pest infestation or advice on preventing pests, get in touch with us at EWS Group. We are pest control specialists using the IPM approach, ready to work with you to control your pest problem professionally and discretely. We also offer prevention advice to prevent future damage and disruption.

Can you remove a birds nest?

Can You Remove A Birds Nest?

There are strict regulations in place in the UK to protect birds and their nests. The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 details when you can legally move a nest.

Of course, in the UK, we love our birds, but there are times when a nest causes damage to a building or structure. When a large group of birds have built nests, they can damage and inconvenience homeowners and business proprietors.

In this guide, we will answer your questions regarding the law and nest removal and consider some ways you can prevent birds from becoming a nuisance on your property.

Pigeon eggs found near guttering

Why can’t I remove or destroy a bird’s nest?

Disturbing a nest in use could lead to the death or injury of wild birds or their babies. Occasionally, birds abandon their nest, eggs or young ones if disturbed.

For this reason, the law prevents anyone from moving or damaging nests while they are being built or when they are being used. Only a few exceptions to this ruling can be applied under license.

What happens if I break the law regarding bird nests?

Many people are unfamiliar with the law covering removal or damage to bird nests and the protection given to birds, their eggs and their young.

There is a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment for anyone found guilty of breaking the law, even if the damage is caused by irresponsible building work, tree surgery or hedge cutting rather than a deliberate attempt to remove them. Those prosecuted also risk an unlimited fine for every bird, egg or nest affected.

To avoid becoming a lawbreaker, it would be best to avoid carrying out any work that poses a risk to birds during the nesting season. 

Remember, other wildlife species are also protected, such as roosting bats.

Can I remove a nest that is no longer being used?

Once a nest has been entirely abandoned, you can remove some nests. There are some exceptions regarding birds that are known to reuse their nests. For up-to-date details on these birds, check here

Beware of birds with more than one brood in a season, as they will not abandon the nest until they have finished breeding.

You could also consider leaving the nest in place if it is not causing you any harm, as it can benefit the birds. Many birds use old nests for roosting outside of the breeding season.

Some birds like to reuse their old nests in the next season. Some breeds will use other birds’ nests for their use.There are regulations for clearing out your nesting boxes too. You are only permitted to remove unhatched eggs between 1st September and 31st January, which must be disposed of safely.

What damage can bird nests do?

Pathway covered in Pigeon Guano

There are some reasons why you might wish to discourage birds from nesting in your buildings.

Excessive bird droppings

As well as looking unsightly, excessive bird droppings can cause damage to your building. 

The uric acid in the droppings can affect stone, paint and metal. Historical buildings are particularly vulnerable to costly damage. 

Businesses may lose custom if bird droppings cause a nuisance.

Damage to Solar Panels and Air Conditioning

Roof-based solar panels are attractive to roosting pigeons, which can damage the panels’ wires or the roof itself. Air conditioning units mounted on walls can be damaged by droppings and present a health hazard to engineers who maintain them.

Cars and Vehicles

Parking around offices and retail parks can be impacted by roosting pigeons or seagulls. Their droppings will attack the paintwork on the vehicles and can cause permanent damage.

Food Contamination

Birds entering production areas can contaminate food, create waste, and cause health and safety issues.

Drainage and Ventilation Systems

Pigeons and starlings like to build their nests under the eaves of roofs. Their nests can block the guttering and downpipes, leading to drainage issues. 

Nests can also obstruct ventilation, such as chimneys or ducts.

Fire Risk

Nesting material can be highly flammable, and an excess can lead to fire outbreaks.

How can I stop birds from building nests on my property?

It is essential to think about prevention methods before the nesting season. In the UK, the nesting season is from 1st February to the end of August. It is best to carry out prevention methods during the winter.

You may be able to install some measures yourself. Still, if you have a potentially more significant problem, getting support from a Pest Control Company is best. 

They can advise you on the best removal methods and establish a successful legal prevention system.

There are two main prevention methods for discouraging birds from nesting or roosting.

Anti-Perch System

You can install anti-perch devices such as spikes to deter birds from nesting. Angled spikes make it challenging for birds to land, but they do not cause any harm to the birds.

When installed by a professional and inspected regularly, they are the most humane and effective deterrent method.

Bird Netting and Mesh

Netting is a safe, long-term solution for keeping birds away from specific areas.

If installed professionally, the correct tension and size can be fitted to reduce any risk of trapping birds.

Netting works well under solar panels, around chimney stacks and under eaves to deter birds from nesting.

Other Deterrent Ideas

If you want to discourage particular birds, such as pigeons, from nesting in your buildings, you can carry out some simple prevention ideas to discourage them from your outdoor space or garden.

  • Choose squirrel-proof bird feeders that are too small for pigeons to perch on. 
  • Remove moss and plants from gutters that could be used as nesting material.
  • Place anti-perch spikes on your fences to discourage the larger birds from stopping.

If you have a problem with bird nests or roosting, please get in touch with EWS Group today. We have extensive experience in successful fauna management. Our specialist knowledge helps us plan legal, humane methods of prevention and removal without causing harm to wildlife.

How to Scare Away Pigeons But Not Other Birds

Many people encourage birds into their gardens as they are a source of joy and an essential part of our environment.

However, while many of us appreciate birds, pigeons are one species we do not want to encourage. Pigeons are considered a pest as they can cause much damage and annoyance.

One of the difficulties in preventing pigeons from taking over is that you do not want to scare away other birds.

This article will explore the methods you can use to scare away pigeons but not other birds.

Why are pigeons considered a pest?

A pigeon infestation can be very destructive to your home, garden or business, particularly as they tend to stay in large groups of up to 30 birds.

Droppings – Pigeon droppings are problematic because when you have a group of pigeons, they will leave unsightly marks that are difficult to remove from buildings, roofs, patios, driveways and paths. Droppings are costly for businesses to remove and can affect customer appeal.

Health Risks – Pigeons are more disease-ridden than rats, so their droppings pose a risk to those who come into contact with them. Mites are also attracted to their droppings which will cause itching in humans.

Plant Damage – Keen gardeners will be disappointed if pigeons spend time in their garden as they feed on a variety of plant life by pecking at leaves and tearing them off. They will also gravitate to vegetable patches and strip leaves from fruit trees.

Drainage Issues – Pigeons carry a large amount of debris and litter to build nests. They often drop items that end up blocking drains.

Noise – Pigeons in large groups can create a considerable amount of noise that can disturb you at night or affect employees and customers.

Damage to Reputation – Pigeons are known to swoop down when people eat outside and can even be aggressive if they need to protect their young. Customers may avoid businesses with a significant pigeon problem as they will feel uncomfortable or even scared.

How to deter pigeons from your garden

If pigeons have become a pest, you will be looking for ways to keep them away without affecting other bird species.

It is possible to use some creative ideas to do this.

Choose Pigeon Proof Bird Boxes

Pigeons seek to build nests in areas that offer some degree of protection as their nests are fragile and need extra security. They often choose eaves, attics, roofs and bridges to provide additional shelter.

It is understandable then that if you install open bird boxes in your garden, pigeons will take the easy option and nest there. Instead, choose small entrance bird boxes that will allow wild birds like its and sparrows to nest but exclude pigeons.

Feed the Birds Carefully

Many households in the UK enjoy feeding the birds to encourage British garden birds to their garden. They are fascinating to watch and provide an environmentally friendly way to rid your garden of unwanted bugs and pests that attack plants.

Pigeons are attracted to bird feeders and will drive away other garden birds as they force their way to the front.

You can discourage pigeons by choosing food they don’t like, such as wheat-free food and feed mixes that are rich in seeds. Pigeons also dislike peanuts and mealworms.

Squirrel-proof bird feeders are ideal for deterring pigeons as the small perches are not big enough for larger birds.

It is always best to clear up dropped bird seeds as they will be easy for pigeons to eat from the ground. It is also attractive as a food source to other pests like rats.

Pigeon Proof your Bird Table

Many people choose a bird table over a feeder as it allows you to watch the birds easily and can make an attractive feature in the garden. Unfortunately, a bird table is a magnet for pigeons who can quickly swoop down and help themselves to a banquet.

If you have a pigeon problem, it is probably best to avoid bird tables or choose small ones that deter the larger birds. Protecting your table with chicken wire and creating a small opening for other garden birds is also possible.

How to Prevent Pigeons from Roosting

Although you may not mind the odd pigeon visitor, you will likely want to avoid them nesting in your home, garden or business.

There are some ways you can prevent pigeons from building a nest.

Bird Netting

Pigeons choose sheltered areas to build their nests, so you can use bird netting to block access to your roofs, solar panels, eaves, and even shed roofs.

Mesh is a humane way to keep pigeons out as it should deter them from trying to enter the spaces that appeal to them as nesting opportunities. However, you should check netting regularly to ensure no birds have become trapped.

Tidy Up

Pigeons use all sorts of twigs and debris to build their nests, so ensure you do not create a ready supply of nesting material for them by tidying your garden regularly.

Leaf piles are particularly inviting as nest material, so it is best to compost fallen leaves or put them with your garden waste.

Bird Spikes

Bird spikes can be placed in areas where pigeons might roost. They are relatively cheap to buy and do not cause harm to pigeons.

The spikes come in a strip that can be placed on fence panels, roofs, near solar panels, or sheds. They prevent large birds like pigeons from getting a foothold on a surface and stop them from setting up a home.

Use a Professional Pest Control Company

If pigeons have become a nuisance to you and your property or premises, it is worth calling the professionals.

Pest control firms have plenty of experience in removing pigeons and setting up prevention measures that will keep them away in the future.

They will also understand the law regarding bird removal and following humane methods.

As a householder or business owner, you must remember that it is your responsibility to follow the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 when carrying out or using a company to do pigeon-proofing.

It is against the law to:

  • Kill or injure any wild bird without following licensing regulations
  • Harm pigeon eggs
  • Disturb occupied nests

If you want some advice on deterring pigeons from your home or business and want some solutions to prevent pigeons from nesting, get in touch with us at EWS. We have extensive experience in pigeon-proofing homes and businesses, and we will work with you to find a humane solution that puts an end to your problem.