Tips for keeping out pests

Freddie Parker on 26 April 2023
A mouse

Nobody wants a home full of bugs or rats, here’s what you can do to prevent this.

House shares and halls can get gross. And gross will eventually give way to pests. Having pests in your student house can go from a cute harmless little mouse, who lives in your cupboard, to your house being slowly overthrown by bugs. No one wants that. It can harm the structure, your health and even your wallet if your landlord makes you pay. So here are a few tips on keeping your home pest free.

Content warning: mention/pictures of bugs/insects.

Keep food away

Crumbs and food left on surfaces and floors are a pests' best friend, make sure to clean up any leftover food and seal away any unfinished food into containers. This also includes regularly vacuuming any crumbs that find their way onto your floor.

Keep your home dry

Humidity and wet areas tend to attract pests like mosquitoes and termites. Wipe down any wet surfaces, if the problem persists invest in a dehumidifier to help control your pest problems. Mould can form on wet surfaces, thus attracting annoying fungus gnats.

Keep your home clean

Keep your surfaces and floors as clean as you can. Cleaning regularly will help eliminate any current or future pest problems. Regularly sanitise your drains too to prevent bugs taking up residence there.

Seal entrances

Look for any small cracks or holes in your walls and behind furniture. Seal faulty windows and doors to keep out as many pests as possible. Most pests use small holes and faults in your home to travel through, so look thoroughly.

Properly dispose of rubbish

When disposing of your rubbish, it’s important to make sure it’s disposed of in a confined container, leaving no room for small creatures to squeeze through. Don’t leave full bin bags anywhere indoors for too long and always close the lid to your green bins.

What are the signs you might have pests?

Knowing what to look for to catch the problem is key to keeping your house pest free. Look out for nesting places, animal droppings and chewn through items like clothes and furniture, get control of the situation as early on as you can. On top of that it’s important to know what attracts different types of pests, here is a brief list of the most common pests and where they can be found in your home:

Flies - found on rubbish and discarded food. Keep your surfaces clean and food free.

A fly

Mice - found in sheltered areas, usually holes in walls and cupboards. Look out for crumbs and animal droppings.

Ants - attracted to warm and damp locations, usually found in plants and under surfaces. Clean up sugary spills as soon as they happen.


Spiders - usually found on ceilings and walls.

Silverfish - may be seen coming in or out of the walls. Alert the landlord or letting agent immediately as there’s likely an infestation.

A silverfish

Bed bugs - can cause strange bite marks or even be seen at night. You’ll need an exterminator to properly remove an infestation.

Natural pest repellants

Lavender and Basil plants - helps keep mosquitoes away.

Dish soap, baking soda, vinegar mixture - deters ants.

Neem oil - insect repellent. Makes it harder for pests to grow in numbers.

Citronella candles - can keep many insects away.

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Freddie Parker
Freddie Parker on 26 April 2023