Avoiding Unwanted Pests in Your Home When the Weather Changes

Friday, 28 October 2016

Autumn is well and truly upon us now. Orange, red and yellow leaves are tumbling from the trees and temperatures have begun to drop as the days get shorter. We might be slowing down, choosing to spend our evenings and weekends tucked up inside, sipping on hot chocolate and enjoying watching the world go by. However, for many animals and insects, autumn is one of their busiest times of year.

Look out for uninvited guests

Bats, dormice and hedgehogs are getting ready for hibernation so they’ll be trying to build up their fat stores by eating lots of fruit, nuts and insects. They’ll be looking for somewhere to stay until spring too so might try to become uninvited tenants in your home.

BatsUnwanted Pests in your Garden

Bats need to hibernate somewhere cool that will stay at a constant temperature. If there’s a gap in your roof tiles they might squeeze inside and hide behind boarding in your loft, or they might decide to call your garden shed home for the winter. They mightn’t eat wood and wires (like a mouse or rat would) but they’ll leave plenty of droppings.

Once a bat (or bats) take up residence you shouldn’t try to wake them or shine a torch in their direction as they’re a protected species. This is why prevention is so important. Why not take a walk around your property and garden this weekend to check there are no small holes that could tempt bats inside?

If you do find you get bats, call the Bat Conservation Trust and ask them to send you a free copy of their Living with Bats booklet.


If you have a pile of logs in your shed or garage, you might find that a dormouse or two decides it’s the perfect place to build a nest. Dormice, like other types of mice, are attracted to warm places with an abundance of food. You should fit metal grates to your drains and vents, seal any holes around your pipework and trim back hedges and trees so there are less places for them to hide. You don’t want one finding its way into your kitchen and making a nest under your floorboards or behind your fridge.


Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals so if you leave your shed or garage door open when it’s dusk, a passing hedgehog might decide to take a look. If they decide to build a nest and you don’t discover them until they’re hibernating, it’s important you leave them where they are unless you feel they’re underweight or injured.


There are two types of butterflies that will hibernate in homes if they can over winter – the small tortoiseshell and the peacock butterfly. They are so tiny that you probably won’t notice them unless they get woken up by the heat from your central heating come December or January. If this happens, catch them if you can and move them to a cooler room (e.g. your garage) so they can hibernate safely again. If you release them into your garden they’ll probably die because they won’t be able to feed.

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