RG Construction

More rain, more unwanted visitors

With record rainfall comes more house pests. Here’s how to keep them out
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Do you live West, but have centipedes crawling around your house? Have you noticed see-through “ants” scurrying around your cupboards? Have rats become an indoor instead of an outdoor problem? All of this could be because of Bermuda’s record rainfall.

Justin Tavares is operations manager at Bermuda Pest Control and he shared his advice on how to keep

these persistent pest problems under control.

Like humans, insects, bugs and rodents don’t like to get wet, so when it’s cold, damp and miserable

outside, your house provides inviting shelter. The best way to stop this, he began, is to keep them out in

the first place: “Make sure that doors and windows are sealed properly. Make sure there are no cracks

or crevices that pests can get through.”

He admitted this isn’t always easy, especially for old Bermuda stone homes, but weather bars for doors

and caulking for windows are effective and, if they are still coming in, he said turn off the lights and look

for light coming through from outside. If you see it, seal it.

Rats and mice will also leave point of entry signs such as droppings and rub marks. Follow them, find the

entry point and seal it. After that, if they are still in your house, he recommended “good, old-fashioned

snap-traps”. Some clients ask for poison, but he wouldn’t recommend that for indoor rodents as it must be kept away from people and pets.

West Enders complaining about centipedes are another regular and, while they aren’t new to that end of the island, he said: “They’re making themselves a lot more known.”

This is a direct result of the weather.

“The more rain we have, the more ideal the breeding conditions. They don’t breed inside. They are just

outside. But the more rain we have, the more of the ground is damp. We’ve got wet soil, leaf litter

that’s fallen: it’s just ideal conditions for centipedes.”

These conditions are also perfect for American cockroaches, but they’re not new, no matter where on the island you live.

There’s not much you can do about centipedes, unfortunately, except prevention.

“They’re not technically insects. A lot of insecticides don’t work,” said Mr Tavares. “The best method of keeping them out is getting rid of the available breeding space. Clean up leaf litter. Make sure doors and

windows are sealed properly. Make sure there’s no cracks or crevices they can sneak into.”

Other damp-loving insects for which prevention is the best cure, are psocids, also known as booklice or

barklice, and fungus mites. Psocids are about the size of an ant, but clearer, with larger behinds.

“We get a lot of calls about them, saying ‘I’ve got this weird, clear ant that’s running around in my

cabinets,” he explained. “Just from that we know it’s not an ant.”

While you can spray for them, it won’t fix the long-term problem.

Because they are attracted to damp, moist environments, he advised running a dehumidifier and drying out the area. Then, they will go away on their own.

As well as sealing and drying your house, and cleaning away leaf litter, one final act of prevention

is to create at least a two-foot gap between plants and foliage, and your house. Then, if you have sprayed around the outside, a branch or leaf can’t become an ant or cockroach highway into your home.

“Exclusion is the biggest part of treating the pests that love to sneak in when the rain starts coming

down,” said Mr Tavares.

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