Pest Control At Home: How To Ensure You're Within The Law

I'm not ashamed to admit that we've had to deal with our fair share of pests in the last few years. In fact we are currently battling a particularly tough team of ants who have invaded our conservatory and we just can't get rid of no matter what we try. Last year, a swarm of bees decided to make their nest in our loft which was a complete nightmare, especially as our loft hatch is in the boys' room and they kept getting invaded bless them! 

It is a horrible feeling when you discover pests in your home but, on top of knowing that they are there, you then need to try and get rid of them. During their residency they can cause stress and hygiene issues, not to mention the damage that they can do to your property. So, you want to evict them as soon as possible. But how do you do this and, more importantly, how do you do this while ensuring you are within the law? 

This may sound silly – how are you going to break the law while trying to evict an army of ants from your home? But it isn’t just ants that are pests and you may not be thinking straight when you discover them, particularly if you struggle to get rid of them. Did you know you can be fined or imprisoned if you cause unnecessary harm to any animal? 

So, firstly, you may want to pass the job onto a professional – this will take it out of your hands, therefore reducing the stress, guaranteeing it is done quickly and efficiently and ensuring it is done within the law. 

This could mean calling your local council to find out if they provide pest control services – which you may find are free of charge or hire a pest controller. 

If you contact your council they will assess your case on an individual basis and may be able to:

  • Advise on treatment 
  • Take legal action where the landowner, landlord or those responsible don’t address a pest problem
  • Give you details of how to find a reliable pest control contractor who can help 

If you choose to control the pests yourself then, according to the government website, you can:
  • Only trap or kill permitted animals 
  • Only use permitted methods to kill animals
  • Only use poison to kill the pest it’s intended for – this will be written on the packaging
  • Only use traps that have been approved for use with the species you want to control – you must follow the instructions for use 

You can’t use:
  • Self-locking snares
  • Bows and crossbows
  • Explosives (other than legal ammunition for a licensed firearm)
  • Live birds or animals, known as ‘live decoys’, to attract pests (unless you have a license) 

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) lists what you can use to control specific pests. You should get advice if you don’t know which animals you are permitted to trap or kill and if you want to know how to use control methods, such as traps and poison, correctly. 

You must also ensure other animals are protected from the traps or poison you put down for pests. It is an offence to disturb, damage, destroy or prevent access to any places a species uses for shelter, protection or breeding. 

If you are worried that you might end up breaking the law and/or would rather get rid of pests in a more humane way, then there are plenty of options available to you. 

Take a look at the traps from Victor Pest, for example. While you will find snap and electric traps here, you will also find live traps. These are easy to set and bait and can catch around 30 mice at once. You don’t even have to see or touch them, but you will be able to get rid of them without killing them. 

Let me know if you have any tips for how I can get rid of our ant problem. 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.


  1. Oh I remember when I was a child attracting ants by being reckless with sugar in the kitchen, it wasn't too bad as ant powder got rid of them x

  2. This is really helpful. Ants start coming in the house a little later in the year for us. We have cats this year though so I can't use our same old method!


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