Is it possible to keep your home free of rats, mice, moths and ants without killing them? And which ones should you get rid of – and which should you learn to live with?
They turned up in shifts, all through the course of lockdown: mice, ants, weevils, moths, a fox and, on one unhappy occasion, a magpie in the kitchen. I have been obliged to show the door to all manner of wildlife, with varying degrees of success. The magpie was eager to leave. The ants less so. The moths are still with us.
It’s easy to get angry with household pests, and sometimes – on encountering a particularly rapacious mouse, say – it’s possible to wish them great harm. But most people, I suspect, would rather be as humane as possible when getting rid of invaders. And even when kindness can’t stop you killing things, squeamishness often will. Unfortunately, many pest control products still associate effectiveness with lethality. The ant trap I bought says it “destroys ants and their nests!” I really just wanted them off the worktop. Is it possible to keep your home pest-free using only humane, nonlethal means?