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The patter of tiny feet in your loft


Homeowners and tenants across the country will be dreading the patter of tiny feet above their heads as rats, mice and squirrels take refuge from the cooler weather in loft spaces.

As they scratch, gnaw and rip items apart to make nesting materials, the rodents cause many sleepless nights. They also chew through electrical cables which can cause fires as well as cause structural damage, not to mention the urine and droppings they leave all over any precious possessions being stored in the attic.

Pest control experts such as Cleankill Pest Control Managing Director Paul Bates advise that now is the time to block up holes and gaps and stop the creatures taking up residence for the winter. He explains: “It’s so much better to take preventive action now if you’ve had a problem in the past as the rodents are likely to return. Many people will lay traps in their lofts had then have a continuous job of emptying them and re-setting them or re-filling bait trays. This method also means they will still hear the rodents above them, and sometimes traps going off, and the problem won’t go away.”

Professional pest controllers can survey a property and use their expert knowledge to spot entry points which they will block up. If there is any doubt about the type of rodent, companies such as Cleankill can use infra red cameras to identify them and look at the entry points and routes the rodents are using. Paul Bates added: “A mouse can get in through a gap the width of a pencil, so the first place to check is that your outside doors fit properly. If there is a gap, make sure you fit a bristle-strip draft excluder to the base.” He advises taking a number of other steps to keep out unwelcome visitors including:

1) Checking around the outside wall to make sure that any air bricks are intact – the larger Victorian airbricks often have gaps large enough to allow mice in. Fine mesh panels can be fitted over the airbricks to stop unwelcome visitors entering.

2) Removing kick plates from the bottom of kitchen units, cleaning out any food debris that may have collected beneath them and checking for any signs of mouse droppings. With a single mouse producing up to 80 droppings per day, they will be easy to see. If you do find droppings, clean them up so that you can spot any new ones.

3) Go under the stair cupboard and have a clear out. Quite often, the gas pipes and other services come through the floorboards under the stairs and these cupboards become storage ‘glory holes’ for all manner of rubbish and provide an undisturbed area for mice to overwinter.

4) A quick check of loft spaces is recommended before winter sets in.

Both rats and squirrels can climb the outside walls and get into lofts through damaged soffits and fascia board. They can then make nice, warm harbourages in the loft insulation and will happily chew their way through paper and cardboard boxes containing valuable family heirlooms and Christmas decorations. If you see a squirrel going into the loft, take action quickly before you have a family of squirrels or, when they start gnawing through the joists, you will have a very expensive repair job. “If all practical proofing measures have been carried out - and no building whether new or old can be made totally rodent proof - and you still get mice rats or squirrels entering, then it is time to contact a professional pest control company – preferably a member of the British Pest Control Association such as Cleankill. Make sure that you get an agreed price for a course of treatments first – and any treatment against mice should be a minimum of three visits. This should include one to lay the bait, one to check on progress and increase baiting as necessary, and one to remove the bait at the end of the treatment,” Paul added.

Cleankill has been solving pest problems for commercial and domestic customers since 2005. Using the most up-to-date pest-control techniques and technology, the company keeps its customers pest free and makes sure it is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to the use of pesticides and non-toxic pest control methodology. As an Investor in People, all Cleankill’s staff are highly trained and offer an exceptionally fast and efficient level of service. The company is a proud member of the British Pest Control Association, as well as being approved to ISO9001 and ISO14001. Cleankill is also fully accredited to the Altius Vendor Assessment, Safecontractor, Exor, Constructionline and Achilles Health and Safety accreditation schemes and aims to be recognised as a market leader for innovation and new pest control techniques. You can follow Cleankill on Twitter or Facebook


For further information or interview requests, contact Suzi Christie at Blueberry PR on 01435 830031 or e-mail