Spring Pest Control: What to look for and how to stop them
With Spring just around the corner, and everyone looking forward to the warmer weather, it means that insects and other critters are rapidly procreating and preparing to become uninvited guests in your home!
Below we will go through the most common pests that we see in Spring, and we’ll also provide you with tips for reducing the activity levels of these pests. Keep in mind, that these tips are not a sure-fire way to keep these pests out, we do highly recommend giving us, Affordable Pest Control a ring to sort any issues with pests that you may have, but this will give you some help in the meantime.
Common Pests in Spring:
Ants: Ants are eusocial insects, which means they live in colonies with only some individuals capable of reproducing. In these colonies, there is usually a division of labour found, with different individuals taking on different roles within the colony such as foraging, or defence.
Ants are commonly found making themselves at home in kitchens. Kitchens provide easy access to water sources and food. Ants are never alone; they form a long line while marching through the home to find water and food sources. The smallest of crumbs from mealtimes, sticky residue from any liquid that’s been spilt, will be found by an army of ants. Making a concerted effort to keep the kitchen clean daily helps, but there are a few other things you can do to make the kitchen area less attractive:
- Start off in your pantry! Remove all items of food, and discard any item that is out of date, such as spices, flour etc. Give the shelving a good wipe down and lay down a fresh sheet of shelf paper.
- Next up, your appliances! Unplug and remove all appliances. Give those areas a good wipe down, and even a vacuum. You’d be surprised how many crumbs, dirt and dust end up behind these appliances.
- Finish off by giving the kitchen bench, cupboards, and floor a good scrub.
Here are some interesting facts about Ants:
- Ants can lift 10-50 times their body weight! Size does not matter in this instance.
- One ant species is exclusively female. Scientists are yet to find a male of the species M. smithii.
- Ants can become zombies. There is a species of fungus that infects ants and take control of their bodies!
- Ants are found (almost) everywhere on Earth. Everywhere, excluding Antarctica.
Cockroaches: Cockroaches are omnivores. This means cockroaches will eat anything they can process. Which is a lot! The most enticing things to cockroaches are any kind of food, organic waste, sewage, and any greasy trails. If cockroaches are unable to find any of the above, they will starve, and may take to going after any living prey, which means you!
You will most likely find cockroaches in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, dining/lounge room and garage. You will find that these areas provide the most access to food and water. Cockroaches often enter the home through drains and pipes, so be sure to pay attention to dark areas that have access to water, such as plumbing behind sinks, baths, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines. These areas provide moisture, and shelter so they make the perfect breeding ground for cockroaches.
Here are a few tips to help keep cockroaches to a minimum:
- Check your plumbing. Ensure you don’t have any leaking pipes or taps in your home. This reduces the chances of cockroaches finding any water that will keep them going.
- Kitchens – same as with ants, do a thorough clean out of your pantry, give the areas you keep appliances a good clean, and regularly wipe down benchtops, cupboards, and floors.
- Regularly throw rubbish bags into the rubbish bin outside of your house.
Here are a couple of interesting facts about Cockroaches:
- Cockroaches can live without their heads…for up to a week. This is because their body is made up of 3 different segments. These segments are the head, thorax and abdomen. Small holes within the other body segments allow them to breathe without their mouth.
- Cockroaches can hold their breath! Cockroaches who live in dryer climates hold their breath to retain water in their system.
- Cockroaches can run 50 times their body length in a second! Wow..they are fast!
Rodents: Like cockroaches, Rodents are omnivores. Omnivores will eat all kinds of food and products. In the wild, Rodents would most likely feast on plants and seeds, and this would satisfy them. However, as humans have such an abundance of food waste, rodents now have easy access to food. Pretty much anywhere, anytime.
Rodents really do try to keep away from humans, especially if they are seeking out comfort and resources in your home. There may be the odd occasion you’ll see the rodent making a quick dash across your living room floor, but aside from that, you’ll barely know they’re in the house. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t wreaking havoc in your home. Rodents can cause serious damage to homes and businesses. Rodents have incisors, their teeth continuously grow over their lifetime. Rodents have a constant need to gnaw their teeth to keep them trimmed. They can cause major damage to doors, skirting boards, books, food containers, upholstered pieces, cardboard storage boxes, and electrical wiring. Repairs bills on those will get very costly!
Here are some tips to help rodent activity in your home:
- Reducing the food and water available to rodents.
- Getting into all the cracks and crevices and cleaning out any crumbs that may be hidden in those spots.
- Storing any opened food items in your pantry in hardy glass or plastic containers.
- Avoid keeping any rubbish indoors.
Some interesting facts about rodents:
- Rats are vulnerable to peer pressure, just like humans! Scientific studies have shown that rodents will force themselves to eat food they dislike if they know one of their fellow rodents has eaten it first!
- Rodents can squeeze through openings as small as 13mm in diameter, which is about half an inch!
- Heads up, don’t try and flush a rodent down the toilet. They can hold their breath for a long time and tread water for as long as three days! Wow!
Spiders: Like the above pests, Spiders have been growing over the winter months preparing to emerge once the weather warms up. You’ll be starting to notice more spiders around your property. There are common household spiders such as Daddy Long Legs, Wolf Spiders, St Andrew’s Cross Spiders, Jumping Spider, Common House Spider etc These spiders aren’t a cause for concern. There are many venomous spiders that you need to be aware of in case you come face to face with one in your home! Venomous Spiders include but are not limited to: Sydney Funnel-Webb Spider, Other Funnel-Web Spider, Redback Spider, Trap Door Spider, White-tailed Spider, Australian Tarantula Spider, Huntsman Spider etc Bites by any of the above-listed spiders, and others can potentially be fatal.
While the common house spiders aren’t a worry and are great at keeping insects and bugs away, having them in your home and around your family can be undesirable, and as mentioned above, in some cases, dangerous. It’s best to take all precautions before welcoming them into your home.
Some tips to reduce spiders at home:
- Sweep away webs from home
- Keep house and garden tidy, regular sweeping and avoiding leaving any junk food lying around will make your property less attractive for web-building.
- Don’t leave shoes outside.
Some interesting facts about spiders:
- Most spiders have poor eyesight and rely on vibrations to examine their surroundings.
- The small and sensitive hairs on their bodies aren’t just for looks! The small hairs can detect movement, like their prey or predator.
Mosquitos: We Australians know all too well that familiar buzzing sound that comes from a Mosquito, while they’re trying to find a nice bit of skin to land on! These pests become active in the warmer months and seem to be seen more around dusk and dawn. However, depending on where you live, they may be out for most parts of the day.
There are estimated to be more than 300 different species of mosquito inhabiting Australia. Despite the number of species, there are only a select few that are a major problem for Australians. These are the ones who spread diseases. Diseases that are spread include but are not limited to Dengue Fever, Barmah Forest Virus, and Ross River Virus, among others. They also carry specific viruses that are harmful to animals including cows, dogs, and cats.
Mosquito prevention plays a pivotal role in effective mosquito control. Being able to get rid of mosquitoes permanently is not possible. This is because they are flying insects that can and do travel great distances to find their next feed. The best way to reduce these unwanted, annoying insects is to make your home as unattractive as possible.
Here are some tips to help with mosquito prevention:
- Remove any containers of stagnant water (buckets, wheelbarrows, drink bottles around the yard, plastic laying around on the ground which can pool water etc)
- Try to remove any items that could become moist and swampy, as this becomes the perfect area for mosquitos to lay their eggs.
- Ensuring your fly screens don’t have any rips or tears, as this will become an entry point for mosquitos.
Some interesting facts about Mosquitoes:
- The average lifespan of Mosquitoes is less than two months. Male mosquitoes usually only live for 3 – 5 days after mating. Female mosquitoes can live for up to 2 months.
- The lumps from mosquito bites are caused by saliva. When a mosquito bites you and sucks blood from your body, you are left with mosquito saliva in your body. This saliva causes a mild allergic reaction making it an itchy, red bump.
- It would take approximately 1.2 million mosquito bites to drain out all the blood from your body!
You may now be wondering about when the perfect time to have pest control done at your home is. Well, there is no perfect time to conduct pest control, but if we were to advise on what season is best for residential pest control, our recommendation would be Spring. Having pest control done in Spring gives you the opportunity to destroy any nests or colonies before their numbers grow. The treatment has less work to do, making it more effective and longer lasting.
Here are some general tips for pest control during spring:
- Vegetation around the exterior of your home – keep vegetation, such as gardens, bushes, shrubs, and overhanging trees, trimmed and tidy, as pests may use these as a bridge to enter your home.
- Insect doors and screens – have a look over, make sure these have been fitted correctly and aren’t damaged in any way. If damaged, have repaired as soon as possible.
- Have lawns mowed and weeds removed from the garden. This needs to be done regularly as pests seek shelter in long grass and weeds.
- Give the exterior and interior of your home a sweep, removing all cobwebs.
- Check all plumbing around your property, ensuring there are no leaky taps that are providing water for pests.
- Gutters – remove any leaves, sticks and other debris.
- Inspect roof tiles to ensure there aren’t any damaged ones. If you do find damage roof tiles, have these repaired/replaced and fill any gaps with roofing cement.
- Check around your home for cracks and crevices and any gaps. If these are found, have repairs carried out as soon as possible.
At some point in your life, pests mentioned above will make themselves at home in your home or business premises. Rather than using your valuable time to try and identify and then treat these pests, it’s best to call a professional, reliable, and trusted pest control company like us, Affordable Pest Control.
We recommend having a read of our website and then giving us a call. We look forward to working with you to develop an integrated pest management plan that works best for you and your home. While pests may not be your thing, they are ours and we would be all too happy to take care of any issues you are having.