< Explore Buildings Insurance

Protect your home from pests

How to keep rats, mice and insects away

Having pests in the home is a common problem, particularly in older properties. But more than just causing a nuisance, some pests can be a hazard to your health.

Keeping pests away in the first place is much better than having to control an infestation. That’s why we’ve put together some tips on how to keep your house pest-free.

Keeping rats and mice away

Not only are rats carriers of diseases (such as Salmonella and Listeria), they can also wreak havoc on woodwork, plastic, bricks and pipes.

Rodents like to hide in dark, warm gaps in your home such as roof spaces, wall cavities or under floorboards. While in gardens, they often burrow into grassy banks or under sheds.

To help keep rats away:

  • Block up entry points such as gaps around pipes and under sheds. Rats only need a space of 15mm to wriggle through (for mice, it’s just 5mm)
  • Keep gardens, yards and balconies clean and tidy, with no piles of debris for rats to nest in
  • Check your drain covers are in a good state of repair
  • Keep food and household waste in closed, air-tight containers
  • Don’t leave big piles of food out on bird feeders 

Keeping cockroaches away

Cockroaches tend to prefer areas around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings, such as blocks of flats. They cluster around pipes, stoves and sinks – especially in humid areas – often only coming out at night.

To keep cockroaches out of your home:

  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes and utensils in the sink
  • Keep bins covered and clean, emptying them regularly
  • Regularly clean underneath and on top of your refrigerator 
  • Seal gaps around doors, windows and where utility lines enter your home
  • Repair any leaks beneath or around your sinks, as this is a potential water source for cockroaches

Call the experts

These are just a few simple things to help prevent pests. But if you think you might have a more serious pest problem, it’s always best to call in the experts. Professional pest control companies are trained to deal with these issues safely and also have access to chemicals that aren’t available on general sale.

Looking for Buildings Insurance?

Visit our Buildings Insurance page to see full details of the cover we offer.

Home articles

Take a look at our latest news and guides. 

Contact us

Still need help? Give us a call.

0800 068 5984

Monday to Friday: 8:00 20:00

Saturday: 8:30 17:00

Sunday: 10:00 16:00

1 For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored and will be saved for a minimum of five years. Calls to 0800 numbers from UK landlines and mobiles are free.