How to prevent pest infestations

Mice and rats are a burden many farms have to deal with. They cause damage to crops, spread disease and chew through equipment.

As well as being time consuming and costly to deal with, the use of pesticides and poisons may be undesirable due to the further risk of damage to livestock.

Prevention is always preferable to extermination, and there are several easy ways to ensure you never have to encounter a pest infestation.

Regular maintenance

It is easier to discourage pests than to get rid of them, and the best way to achieve this is by regular maintenance of your property.

Rodents shelter in dark, enclosed areas so regularly clear away old pallets, equipment and stacks of rubbish.

Cut back any overgrown vegetation to open up the outside areas. Rubbish, especially organic waste, should be disposed of regularly to remove any potential food sources.

Rodents can squeeze into the smallest of places, so check your property for any potential entrances and block them.

Seal holes in walls and drainage pipes with steel wool. Permanent filler is better than expendable filler as persistent rodents can chew through it.

If you have an open loft or ongoing construction, remove any top shelves or platforms that rodents could use to access areas they could not otherwise reach.

Attract natural predators

Try attracting natural predators to your property to further deter them. Provide owls with a place to nest and roost by placing a nesting box nearby.

Owls, especially screech owls, will make for an efficient method of pest control by preying on any rodents that stray on to your property. Cats and dogs can also act as a natural, effective deterrent.

Traps and repellents

There are specialised preventive methods of pest control available, such as ultrasonic repellents. These emit high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, that distress rodents.

They also emit sound waves that mimic the sound of a dominant male, discouraging other rodents from invading a territory. The ultrasound does not travel between walls so multiple devices should be set up.

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