Warren’s World of Wildlife – Autumnal Change

I love this time of year, the Autumnal colours are beautiful; the spectacular sunsets, the way the stars seem to shimmer brighter at night and the way the morning mist lays heavy over grassland.  Crispy red-golden brown leaves carpet the ground, berries come to fruition and the seeds of change are everywhere to be seen. 

Some birds migrate, others arrive and animals begin to prepare forwinter. The blackberries have most likely all gone by now, but rose hips, hazelnuts and apples are ready to be picked and many animals take advantage of this harvest to build up their reserves for hibernation or migration.

On cold and frosty mornings spiders webs can look spectacular and you really start to notice how many are about spinning their webs on outbuildings, car mirrors, on plants and hanging baskets. In this country, spiders are harmless and if you’re not freaked out by them take the time to stop and look at the way the web is made which can be truly spectacular. And don’t forget the fruit of the horse chestnut tree which we see as a green, shiny, dimpled case, open it up and get ready for a game of conkers.

So that’s the good side of Autumn, the bad and ugly side are many animals are looking for a source of food and somewhere warm and dry and that could be any of our houses.

Normally associated with the summer months, ants can quickly storm your home and become a right problem, especially in kitchens. As always, prevention is better than cure – seal any cracks or holes around the foundations of your home. Don’t leave opened food lying about and clean your floors regularly. It might be a good time to cut any trees or bushes that are close to your house as well and if you have a wood burner, it’s best to keep firewood in an out building if possible.

Cockroaches are a bigger nightmare than ants. They will literally gobble up anything and they spread germs like it’s going out of fashion. They’re not so easy to spot as they are nocturnal but be on the look out for their droppings. Cockroaches can’t survive without water, so try and sort any minor leaks out and as with ants, keep the place clean.

Bedbugs can enter your house on clothing, bags and bedding. If you develop itches and rashes, it might be they’ve set up camp in your bed and they like to stay around their source of grub, which unfortunately is you. So the obvious advice is regular change of bedding, check the mattress and try not to put your personal belongings on the floor in public places and areas.

Rats and mice are on the look out for food, water and shelter at this time of the year as they look to get through the cold winter, nobody likes to have mice running about but rats are more of an ordeal. As well as gnawing through everything that’s knawable rodents can spread some serious diseases and introduce fleas into your home, they also breed on a six weekly cycle, so a problem ignored in the attic can soon turn into an infestation. The advice is the same, check any cracks or holes in the exterior of your house which could be used to gain entry. Keep the place clean, store food in air tight containers and remember  prevention is better than cure, so that’s why we’ve introduced our ‘Pest Proofing Survey.’ We will check your property, the loft, the drains etc, not just for mice and rat entry but just about everything else, right down to slugs entering through air bricks. And if it’s too late for prevention and you need cure, well, you know where we are.

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