Are pests scaring you out of your home this Halloween? Are there things that go bump in the roof at night? The experts at Rentokil are a pest’s worst nightmare.
Halloween is this weekend and, after a temporary hiatus caused by stricter lockdown levels last year, this American holiday seems to be back to its position of ever increasing prominence on the South African calendar. Halloween is the one night of the year when we take it upon ourselves to scare one another, whether it’s by covering yourself from head to toe in fake blood or decorating your home to be the scariest in the neighbourhood.
But for some people there’s nothing as scary as the thought of pests invading in their home. The scratching noises of unidentified things in the roof, the scuttle of something behind the fridge, something sucking your blood in bed while you sleep; these are enough to scare the daylights out of them.
The experts at Rentokil are made of sterner stuff, and this year for Halloween, they’re turning the tables on pests. Rentokil’s trained and skilled technicians are a pest’s worst nightmare, and are easily able to identify what’s making those noises in your roof!
Things that go bump in the roof…
We’ve found that the most likely culprits for spooky, unsettling noises in the roof are the following three roof pests, in order of likelihood:
The two most common rat species in SA are the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). If you are hearing noises in your roof, it’s most likely to be the black rat – they are even referred to as “roof rats” most of the time!
Black rats can be found in coastal towns and in many urban environments across South Africa. They are incredibly agile and very good climbers – hence being referred to as roof rats! The really worrying part is that black rats produce 5–10 young per litter, and have between 3–6 litters a year. It only takes between 12–16 weeks from birth for them to reach sexual maturity, at which point they can start mating – leading to a population explosion in your roof before you know it! You can read more about rodents in one of most popular blogs ever: Myth busting: rat and mouse repellents.
Bird in your roof are almost as likely as rodents, and as much of a problem. Pest birds (such as pigeons and starlings) will cause damage to your property by dislodging roof tiles, blocking guttering, building nests and leaving droppings that corrode building material.
Pest birds also carry fleas, mites, ticks, lice and other biting insects which can spread diseases. You can read more about which diseases they spread here.
Now we know that the idea of bats in the roof plays directly into our Halloween theme, but in actual fact, bats are the least scary of these three roof-dwelling pests. And they aren’t actually pests at all. For the most part, these gentle, secretive, flying mammals go about their business of keeping insects and mosquitoes under control.
It’s important to note that bats are a protected species in South Africa, and it is illegal to harm them. This is the one time we urge you NOT to call a pest control company to remove bats from your home. Rather contact one of the Wildlife centres listed in this blog on bats if you feel that the bats are a problem. The best would simply be to let them stay, and enjoy the fact that they eat mosquitoes!
Never fear, Rentokil is near
Nothing should scare a pest bird or rodent more than watching a Rentokil pest controller arrive on the scene. Over 50 years’ experience in the field has given our Rentokil technicians a scary reputation with these and other pests. Turn the tables on roof pests this Halloween with the experts in pest control.
Every Rentokil technician has the skills, and knowledge, required to successfully manage a pest problem, offering you the best advice on how to get rid of roof pests, as well as the correct course of treatment for your home or business.