Pests in your home are a significant threat to the safety of your family. Don’t let these unwelcome guests become permanent residents in your house. Insects and rodents may be invisible to you, but many times leave evidence of an invasion.
Ants are social insects that live in nests. The nests vary in size depending on the age and the species of ant. Nests are generally found in the ground, in wood or under rocks, although ants can also nest in walls, fireplaces, under paths and in buildings. Ants are a very successful insect group with over 1200 species occurring in Australia. All species can be beneficial to the environment. Some eat insect pests such as termites, their nests improve the soil, they quickly recycle nutrients back into the soil and they are food for a wide range of native birds, reptiles and other animals. More on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ants
Cockroaches rest during daylight hours in dark, warm secure harbourages in your home, such as, in wall cavities, the subfloor, roof void, cracks and crevices in the kitchen and bathroom, in electrical appliances and in foodstuffs. They will emerge from these harbourages during the quiet period of the night. Cockroaches have an array of acute sensory and survival instincts. If you see cockroaches in your home during the day, you have a serious problem. If left unchecked a cockroach infestation can rapidly expand it’s numbers in a few weeks or months to become a major risk to health and safety. If you find cockroaches in your home – contact a pest control professional to eradicate the infestation before it gets out of hand. To lessen the likelihood of reinfestation, you should regularly inspect the kitchen area, under sinks, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave oven, other cooking appliances, bathroom cabinets, drawers, basement and subfloor and roof cavity areas.
German cockroaches are the most widely transported insect pest in the world. Their eggs arrive in food containers, cartons, fridges, stoves etc. or materials brought into a building. German cockroach infestations usually occur in bathrooms and kitchens. They like to hide-out during the day in tight secure places. Their daytime harbourage areas are usually near a food and moisture source, such as, inside wall cavities, behind baseboards, in cracks and crevices in pantry, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, and under electrical, heating and cooking appliances. German cockroaches are the most prolific breeder among all cockroaches. Female German cockroaches live up to 6 months. More on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockroaches
Anobium borer, also called Furniture Beetles or Anobium punctatum, often cause severe damage to pine flooring timbers – particularly in older houses with damp flooring timbers and poor ventilation or moisture control problems in subfloor area. In moderate infestations, the application of a registered insecticide to the underside of the flooring on an annual basis over a 3 year period of the life cycle of the Anobium borer is recommended. More on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_furniture_beetle
Apart from several types of indigenous Australian spiders whose bites are often dangerous and occasionally life-threatening, most are relatively harmless. However, they sometimes bite humans who encroach on their habitat. Any spider bite should receive medical attention as blood poisoning or an infection could possibly result.
Black House Spiders
The Black House Spider (Badumna insignis) is a dark robust spider, with the female (up to 18mm) being larger than the male (about 9mm). The carapace and legs are dark brown to black, and the abdomen is charcoal grey with a dorsal pattern of white markings. The webs of Black House Spiders have a ‘funnel-like’ shape, which is sometimes misunderstood as a Funnel-web Spider web. However, the two spiders are not at all similar in appearance, size or life history. Black House Spiders are timid animals and bites from them are infrequent. The bite may be quite painful and cause local swelling. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating and giddiness are occasionally recorded. In a few cases skin lesions (Necrotising Arachnidism) have developed after multiple bites.
White-tailed Spiders have a dark reddish to grey, cigar-shaped body (males about 12 mm, females up to 18 mm long) and dark orange-brown banded legs. The grey dorsal abdomen bears two pairs of faint white spots (less distinct in adults) with a white spot at the tip. Their bites can cause severe skin ulceration in humans, if bitten by a white tailed spider you should seek medical attention.
Huntsman Spiders are found living under loose bark on trees, in crevices on rock walls and in logs, under rocks and slabs of bark on the ground, and on foliage. Dozens of the social huntsman species, Delena cancerides, can be seen sitting together under bark on dead trees and stumps (notably wattles) but they can also be found on the ground under rocks and bark slabs. Badge Huntsman Spiders are often found on foliage but some woodland species are burrow builders, with and without trapdoors. Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard. These genera are generally widely distributed throughout Australia, although Heteropoda is absent from most of Southeastern Australia. Tasmania has only a few Huntsman species, notably Delena cancerides and Neosparassus spp. Huntsman spider bites usually result only in transient local pain and swelling. However, some Badge Huntsman spider bites have caused prolonged pain, inflammation, headache, vomiting and irregular pulse rate.
Female Redback Spiders are black (occasionally brownish) with an obvious orange to red longitudinal stripe on the upper abdomen, with the red stripe sometimes being broken, and an “hourglass” shaped red/orange spot on the underside of the abdomen. Juveniles have additional white markings on the abdomen. Females have a body about the size of a large pea (1cm long) and slender legs. The males are only about 3-4 mm long and its red markings are often less distinct. The body is light brown with white markings on the upper side of the abdomen, and a pale hour-glass marking on the underside. If bitten by a redback spider you should seek medical attention.
Rodents, Rats and Mice
Rats and mice successfully co-habit with humans sharing their food and shelter, eating whatever food they can. Rodents contaminate more food than they eat and in so doing, many diseases are transmitted. In conjunction with the rat flea, rats were responsible for the deaths of 25 million Europeans from the Bubonic Plague. Being basically social animals, rats and mice live in groups, in nests constructed of any soft materials available (eg paper, fabrics, insulation). Out of doors they may nest in burrows adjacent to waterways, under buildings and so on, in trees and vines, in garbage dumps, rubbish heaps and other places where food and shelter are within reasonable range. Indoors they may construct nests in wall cavities, in roof voids, under floors and even within stored foods.
Termites can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your property. Insurance does not cover termite damage, which is why it is imperative to take matters into your hands and protect your property from termites today!
- Termites weaken the structure of your home and can cost you thousands of dollars worth of damage
- In Australia termites can cause millions of dollars worth of structural damage
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 properties in Australia will have termite activity at some stage throughout its lifetime
Steps to Solving Your Termite Problem
If you suspect you have live termites it is very important NOT to disturb them. Contact 4 Seasons Pest Services for a free no obligation termite consultation on 02 4955 8861 or send us an enquiry.
The most effective defence against termites is prevention.
Our termite experts can recommend an appropriate termite management program to not only rid your home of these destructive pests, but more importantly, to ensure that your home remains protected from future attack.
An attitude that always takes the environment into consideration gives us the ability to take care of any termite issue with a minimum of pesticide used, but 100% effectiveness. Which means a safer, positive result for you and your family. To find out more about our termite inspections, please call us on 02 4955 8861
Types of Treatments
Exterra’s Unique Termite Interception Zone
Exterra Baiting systems concentrate termites into a bait station and then feed the termites a bait – a palatable food containing an active ingredient. The termites collect the bait, return it the colony, and so spread the active ingredient throughout the colony.
With other termite bait systems, a termite can blindly pass between the small termite monitoring stations. Exterra is unique in stopping this through FOCUS Termite Attractant which draws the termites into the large Exterra Stations instead of your home. Exterra is as effective as it is environmentally friendly. So effective that it doesn’t just keep termite colonies out of your home, it will eliminate them completely!
A chemical soil barrier can be applied under and/or around the house as a preventative, this would include digging trenches around piers and foundation walls, filling them with chemical and refilling the soil. Termiticide treatments work on the principal of soil that is in contact with the foundation or support piers of the dwelling is chemically treated to form a barrier, or zone, in which impedes in ingress of termites. This type of treatment involves direct flood treating a horizontal soil surface or drilling holes through the concrete abutting the external (and sometimes internal) walls of the house at a required distance (usually 300mm) apart and injecting a liquid Termiticide under the slab. Any soil against the external walls is vertically treated by trenching or probing the soil to 50mm past the top of the foundations and then back filling the soil with the liquid Termiticide to create a treated zone.
Chemicals can be applied to the infested area inside the house. This can include liquid formulations or dusts. Liquid formulations are similar to those used in chemical soil barriers.
Termidor termite dust can be applied as stand alone treatments, or as part of a combined approach. A small amount of dust can be applied, containing a chemical active ingredient, into the wood or area infested by termites (often called the ‘termite workings’).
The dust settles onto the termites, which then carry the dust back to the nest. The termites clean themselves of the dust and ingest the active ingredient. Grooming is a social activity so the active ingredient is spread throughout the colony.If enough active ingredient is ingested, then it is possible to eliminate the colony.
If you are worried that your home may be infested by termites, it is extremely important that you DO NOT disturb them, and don’t panic! Call 4 Seasons Pest Services and we will take control of your termite problem.
Some preventative methods to protect your home from timber pests:
- Minimise moisture in the soil beneath and next to buildings, as subterranean termites are attracted by moisture and humidity.
- Keep building timbers and sub floor dry and well ventilated. Moisture in walls can encourage termites to move upwards, so any leaks or plumbing faults should always be repaired.
- Vegetation including foliage which grows on or close to buildings can prevent the escape of moisture from walls and soil, impede airflow through ventilators and make inspection of the buildings exterior difficult or impossible.
- Don’t attract termites with woodpiles stored directly on soil nearby the house or other buildings. Similarly, don’t store timber or other cellulose-containing materials such as cardboard and paper directly on soil underneath or next to buildings.
- Some form of barrier against termites should be installed in new buildings.
- Replace previously damaged or susceptible timber with timber that’s more termite resistant.
- Create access points for regular inspections.