If you own a holiday home, whether it’s a large villa on the Portuguese coastline or a small bungalow close to a traditional English seaside resort, you should be doing all you can to ensure you never have a problem with unwanted guests of the rodent, insect or bird varieties. It isn’t always easy to keep pests away from the property, of course, but there are certain steps you can take to minimise the risks. Here are four which will help you in this never-ending quest.
Clean, clean and clean again!
It may seem a rather obvious statement, but pests are not particularly fond of clean environments. If you want to avoid issues with everything from the smallest ants to the largest pigeons, you need to make sure the property is as clean and sterile as it can possibly be. This is especially true if the home is likely to remain unoccupied for any long periods of time, such as through the winter months. A thorough cleanse from top to bottom should be your top priority at this time.
Don’t leave them any food
Without a food source for sustenance, no pests are likely to be even remotely interested in your holiday home. Whenever food or drink spillages occur, you need to make sure they are dealt with immediately. Even a few small bread crumbs can be an extravagant meal for insects, and there is nothing cockroaches like more than a pool of spilt sugary soft drink, especially if it’s under a kitchen appliance where it’s warm and dark. Fast, effective clean-ups should be the order of the day.
Always use the local experts
In any given holiday region, there will be local pest controllers who can be contracted to help your home remain trouble-free. A regular visit every month or so is a good idea, because it will nip any problems in the bud before they ever lead to infestations. Many pests multiply exceptionally quickly, and because of this they could become a major issue in no time at all. By engaging a little specialist help, you will be able to ensure your property is fit to be rented out to friends, relatives and paying guests.
Talk to the neighbours
One of the best ways to avoid any involvement in major infestations is to remain in contact with neighbours and fellow owners. If you get to hear about even the smallest of problems, you will be able to safeguard your property in advance. If rodents gain access to an empty dwelling and then manage to settle there, the chances are they will be looking at neighbouring homes as well. Therefore, communication with other people could prove to be your most decisive line of defence.
David Showell is from the UK and has stayed in several holiday homes around Europe, including one particularly disastrous property in Portugal.