German Cockroaches

German cockroach on keyboard

German cockroaches like your electronics

Although relatively small in size (approx. 12-16 mm), German Cockroaches can cause an enormous impact in both domestic and commercial situations. Not only are they unsightly to have around your premises (causing stress or anxiety), they also create unhealthy and unsanitary environments in food and food preparation areas.

German Cockroaches are heavily associated with contaminating food and food handling utensils. Their presence is often portrayed by their droppings, empty egg cases, cast-off skins and regurgitation marks (vomit).

German cockroach (pic. courtesy Jon Augier, Museum Victoria)

German cockroach (pic. courtesy Jon Augier, Museum Victoria)

In conjunction with such unsanitary conditions, German Cockroaches have been implicated in carrying disease competent organisms (bacteria, pathogens). Many of these organisms are carried on the legs and body of German Cockroaches.

Because of their rapid breeding lifecycle, German Cockroaches have the ability to populate areas in a short period of time (just a few weeks). German Cockroaches feed on various foods to survive. They conceal themselves extremely well in a wide range areas, like cracks and crevices, but especially around warm and moist environments.

German Cockroaches are at home concealing themselves in and around electrical appliances (i.e. microwave ovens, dishwashers, televisions, refrigerators).

If you suspect you may have a problem with German cockroaches, or any other unwanted pest, call the experts at Amalgamated Pest Control. We can devise a solution specifically tailored to your requirements, and remove those unwanted pests for you.

Call 13 19 61 today!

 

Avoid pests in your home while away on holidays!

As many of us are packing up the family and hitting the road for some well-earned time away, we will inevitably be leaving our home for a period of time. While we’re away, what is to stop the pests moving in?

Here are our Top Tips on how to deter pests from your home these holidays while you’re away.

1. Ants

Store food in sealed containers

Store food in sealed containers

  • Make sure all foods are sealed in air tight containers.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
  • Do not leave dirty laundry in rooms or on the laundry floor.
  • Only feed pets with enough food for immediate consumption. Do not overfeed pets with food in the morning. If they don’t eat it all, ants will definitely be attracted to it.
  • Ensure all tree and shrub branches/palms/ foliage do not make contact with the external house walls or roof structure. This often provides an ideal opportunity for ants to gain access into the building.
  • Remove items away from external walls (e.g. firewood) building supplies, pipes, hoses. This deters concealed access by ants but is also quite relevant for subterranean termites.
  • Ensure all water taps are firmly turned-off as excess water and dampness attracts a multitude of pests (e.g. ants, flies, termites).

 

2. Bed Bugs

Protectabed mattress covering

Protectabed mattress covering

  • Install bed mattress covers (e.g. Protecta-Bed covers) on your bed mattress as this will exclude the opportunity for Bed Bugs to conceal themselves around the folds and seams. Speak to your local Amalgamated Branch about Protecta-Bed covers
  • Sadly, fold out sofas are notorious harbourage areas for Bed Bugs as they conceal themselves in and around all the cracks and crevices within.
  • Check the bed, bed base and bed mattress – Particularly the mattress folds and seams for any sign of blood spotting or staining (SEE PHOTO).

 

3. Flies (Maggots)

Blowflies

Blowflies

  • Keep all foods sealed in air tight containers.
  • Rinse out and wash all rubbish bins including waste receptacles or before re-lining them for ease of rubbish removal (Even the wheelie bins).
  • Do not overload the rubbish bin days before collection with perishables (e.g. seafood remnants). Store these few items in a freezer unit and dispose of on the day of rubbish collection.
  • Regularly remove all dog droppings and clean out the kitty litter trays.
  • Only feed pets with enough food for immediate consumption. Do not overfeed pets with food in the morning. If they don’t eat it all many fly species will soon locate it and deposit eggs/larvae into it.

 

4. Mosquitoes

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink can attract all sorts of insects

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink can attract all sorts of insects

  • Avoid strongly scented perfumes or toiletries, as the smell can attract insects. Seal and put these away carefully before you leave.
  • Ensure there are no pools of water outside, or areas where rain can accumulate.  Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so remove the possibility.

5. Ticks/Fleas

  • Check everybody (adults, children & pets), including shoes and clothing when leaving risk areas (e.g. Bushland /long grassy areas). Ticks/Fleas are ideally suited to hitching a ride on the host.
  • Pay careful attention and brush yourself off before going into the home.
  • Regular vacuuming of floor areas will keep the flea population controlled.
  • Protect your animal pets (dogs, cats) by keeping their Tick and Flea program/treatments up to date – Keep it marked on a calendar or set it on your phone alarm for easy reminders.
  • Keep your animal pets (dog, cats) bedding area regularly cleaned and treated (for further information consult with your pest management technician).
Come back to a pest free home!

Come back to a pest free home!


 

Follow these simple tips and you won’t be confronted with an avoidable pest problem when returning home these holidays.

 

Enjoy your break!

 

Avoid hitch-hikers this holiday season!

Over the next few weeks, many of us will be packing up the family and hitting the road for some well-earned time away. While bringing home souvenirs from your trip is all part of the fun, quite often you may pick up some unwanted guests on your travels, and unknowingly bring them home with you too.

Here are our Top Tips on how to avoid pests coming home with you this holiday season.

1. Ants
Ants On Food

  • Keep all foods sealed in air tight containers.
  • Avoid attracting ants to your camping area and personal belongings by storing food items in a separate area.
  • Use a broom, dust pan and brush to sweep out the caravan, camper trailer prior to heading home.

Insects like ants are ideal hitch-hikers. Migrating ants such as Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) have been able to infest soils, potted plants and hay bales, before being transported away from the area. Once ‘off-loaded’ at the new area, they can quickly establish a new colony.

 

2.  Bed Bugs

Do you really think your suitcase couldn't pick up bed bugs?

Do you really think your suitcase couldn’t pick up bed bugs?

  • When travelling with suitcases – DO NOT PUT SUITCASES ON BEDS!! This provides an ideal opportunity for Bed Bugs to enter the suitcase. If necessary, place suitcases in the rooms wardrobe.
  • Do NOT store your suitcase under the bed, as this allows Bed Bugs easy access to enter the suitcase. If necessary, place suitcases in the room’s wardrobe.
  • Check fold out sofa beds for Bed Bugs, as these insects conceal themselves well in and around all the cracks and crevices within.
  • Check the bed, bed base and bed mattress – particularly the mattress folds and seams – for any sign of blood spotting, staining, eggs or bugs (see photo below). Discretely notify reception of any pest problems you may find.
Bed bugs found in the corner of a mattress

This is what you’re looking for – bed bugs in the corner of a mattress

 

3.  Flies (Maggots)

  • Keep all foods sealed in air tight containers.
  • Regular rubbish removal (daily) from around campsite areas will deter fly presence and persistent activity.

 

A reaction to mozzie bites after a brief walk at dusk

A reaction to mozzie bites after a brief walk at dusk

4.  Mosquitoes

  • Reduce your exposure time by modifying your outdoor activities
  • Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Peak mosquito activity around dusk (4 – 6 pm). Some mosquitoes prefer to attack outdoors while a few species will bite indoors, primarily biting human hosts.
  • Use personal repellents in situations where high risk of mosquito activity is expected, use of personal repellents will provide protection against these biting insect pests. Many travel medicine experts recommend repellents containing DEET.

 

5.  Ticks/Fleas

You can still enjoy the great outdoors!

You can still enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Check everybody (adults/children/pets) including shoes and clothing when leaving high risk areas (e.g. Bushland / long grassed areas). Ticks/Fleas are ideally suited to hitching a ride on a host.
  • Pay careful attention and brush yourself off before you get into your vehicle.
  • Use personal repellents in areas of high risks and exposure to Ticks/Fleas is possible, use of personal repellents will provide protection against biting insect pests.

 

Follow these tips and you are much less likely to bring home those unwanted guests these holidays.

 

Happy travels!

 

PEST CONTROL TIPS FOR WINTER

Well winter is finally upon us, (sorry to those who live in colder climates, but it only got really cold for the first time this winter where I live).

While things may slow down for some pests in ‘pest world’ not so with many other.

Winter Pests

During winter we get increased threats from rodents. But our favourite ‘general pests’ still hang around. Termites keep munching, cockroaches keep on creeping and ants keep on crawling.

This year there a new mosquito on the loose that is a spreader of chronic disease – and this mosquito doesn’t mind the colder weather. You might even discover that some of the favourite winter woollies that you pull out of storage may have been damaged by some ‘pest’ as well. (Nothing much you can do about that now – but there are things to do before you store the winter stuff away next spring).

Winter Pest Checklist

Here’s a checklist of things to do this winter to keep you pest problems to a minimum:

Tidy the Clutter:

  • Discover all the ‘hidden stuff’ you forgot you had – and re-stow it or throw it! If you have a lot of stuff – then its important to re-inspect/move it on a regular basis to discourage rats and mice from setting up an undetected camp.
  • Remove Cardboard and Fabric. If you need a box – think of things other than cardboard. Plastic or metal containers are much better. This can discourage rodents and cockroaches.

General Storage:

  • If you’re storing something a rodent would like – then put it in a sealed box or container that they can’t get in to.

Remove any food source:

  • Don’t encourage rodents to stay by giving them an easy meal. (for example, don’t leave uneaten pet food lying around). Ants are also attracted to left over food.
  • Seal of entry points into the building. Especially for rodents you need to seal up any holes with small gauge mesh or similar material that a rodent cannot gnaw through, and seal the bottoms of doors with automatic weather seals or weather strips. A rat can gain entry through a hole as small as 12 mm in diameter and a mouse only needs a hole no larger than 6 mm in diameter. Don’t just look down – Look up. Often rodents get in via the roof, eaves or other less obvious entry points.

Rodent Traps:

  • You can use snap traps to catch the odd rogue rat or mouse (But don’t use cheese as the bait – its really doesn’t work that well – things like peanut butter or cotton wool are much more effective).

Inspect your home for any containers that hold water:

  • This is really for mosquitoes. Make sure that water containers are emptied. This includes pot plant reservoirs. Make sure that water tanks are screened. Any container that holds water (where levels rise and fall) will encourage mosquitoes to breed. Keep an eye out for drains that hold puddles, car tyres and old buckets that everyone forgets about. Clean up the garden and make sure there is nothing around the house that holds permanent water that will rise and fall.

Screen your home:

  • Make sure that all your windows and doors are properly screened so that you have a safe retreat from these mosquitoes and cockroaches.

Eaves and Walls:

  • Check your eaves and brickwork for wasp nests and spiders. Wasps can be prevalent even during winter.

Bins:

  • Keep bins away from the immediate vicinity of the home. Keep them as clean as possible and wash them out regularly. Keep bins well sealed. They are a great breeding environment for flies and can encourage rodents.

Trees and Foliage:

  • Foliage against the house can create a highway for ants, rodents, spiders and termites. Make sure that bushes and shrubs are kept well away from the walls. Trim off any tree branches that overhang the roof and gutters, (yet another highway for ants and rodents).

Still concerned?

If you believe or suspect that you have a winter pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control for further advice.

1300 383 160

Practical Pest Control Tips for Summer

SUMMER PESTS CHECKLIST

With summer well under way, there are a number of things we can do around our home to minimise the impact of pests in our lives.

Pest control tips for your pets:

  • Fleas treatments:
    Make sure that your furry family members are all up to date with fleas treatments. If you’re not sure ask your local vet for advice.
  • Lawns:
    Keep you lawns cut short and make sure that you keep long grass back from the fence lines to avoid tick problems around your place.
  • Pet bedding:
    Wash pet bedding in hot water on a regular basis to keep fleas under control.
  • Tick checks:
    If you walk your pet, make sure you check them for ticks every time to come back (especially if you been wandering through bush or longer grass.
  • Pet Bowls:
    Don’t leave uneaten food in pet bowls. This encourages ants and rodents to hang around and maybe move in!

Pest control tips around the house and garden:

  • Eaves and Walls:
    Check eaves and brickwork for wasp nests and spiders. Be particularly cautious of redbacks. Make sure there are not large gaps (6mm or more) in the eaves leading up into the roof void – leaving a highway for rodents to find a new home.
  • Doorways and Windows:
    Make sure doors are well sealed to keep rodents out (not just the rainy weather). Pay special attention to garage doors and sheds – then commonly don’t close up all that well and rodents love these areas.
  • Bins:
    Keep bins away from the immediate vicinity of the home. Keep them as clean as possible and wash them out regularly. Keep them well sealed. They are source of flies and can encourage rodents.
  • Trees and Foliage:
    Foliage against the house can create a highway for ants, rodents, spiders and termites. Make sure that bushes and shrubs are kept well away from the walls. Trim off any tree branches that overhang the roof and gutters.
  • Swings, outdoor furniture and fence lines:
    Look out for redbacks. If you discover them you can attempt to remove them yourself (don’t get bitten) and take down the webs and egg sacks. If you’re not sure – call us for help.
  • Standing water and water containers:
    Make sure that water containers are emptied. This includes pot plant reservoirs. Any container that holds water (where levels rise and fall) will encourage mosquitoes to breed. Keep an eye out for drains that hold puddles, car tyres and old buckets that everyone forgets about.
  • Screens:
    Make sure that your home is properly screened. This will keep invasion from cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes to minimal levels since they all love to fly inside to explore and find new ‘digs’.

Got more pest control questions or need some help?

Call us today   1300 383 160

Summer is Here – Watch Out for Redback Spiders

Summer Pest Control – Redback Spiders

Redback Spider Control

As we move into the warmer months of the year, one pest that will be commonly found across all areas of Australia is the Redback Spider.

The pictures shown here were taken at a home recently, where our technician counted over 20 females around the home.

If left untreated that’s potentially many more spiders in a couple of month’s time.

Redback Characteristics

Redback Spiders are easily identified due to their distinctive body colours and shape.

They are usually black with a distinct orange or red stripe on the upper side of their abdomen and on the lower side is usually an orange or red hourglass shaped mark.

Some females can be a fawn colour. The size of a female can be 12mm-15mm and larger females can easily span a 50 cent coin.

Males differ from the female in both size and colour. Males are much smaller and are rarely seen. They are brown and usually have white markings.

Where are Redbacks found?

Redback spider - messy home

Redback spiders are commonly found living in close proximity to human habitation and tend to favour outdoor areas.

They generally construct a strong untidy web close to the ground with the spider usually hiding in a sheltered are at the top or corner of the web and wait for insects or small lizards to stumble into their webs.

They favour dry places around buildings, under outdoor furniture, toys that may have been sitting outside for periods of time, stored/cluttered items, pot plants and the like.

Redback Spiders can also be commonly found in sheds amongst stored items like boxes and other clutter, and garages.

A common belief is that they will always be found at ground level however they can also be found within roof voids and gutters. Some of the biggest Redback spiders I have seen have been in guttering of homes. Be aware of this when getting leaves out of gutters. Wear gloves.

A common belief is that they will always be found at ground level however they can also be found within roof voids and gutters.

How to get rid of Redbacks

Successful treatment for Redback Spiders will rely on a good inspection.

As these spiders are very good at exploiting many different areas around your home, identifying areas where they are prior to treatment is essential.

Like all webbing spiders our treatment will rely on direct contact with the spider or its web. Seeking out all areas externally and treating accordingly is the first step.

Other areas that will need to be treated for this spider are roof spaces and wall cavities. When a good infestation is present externally they will often be found in weep holes and roof voids.

A lot of insects enter these areas so it is a great place for Redback Spiders to construct webs. If sub-floors are present at your home they will also be treated. I have seen sub-floors literally full of Redback Spiders.

A female only needs to mate once after that can produce eggs for up to 2 years laying new batches of eggs every 3 weeks or so, we need to make sure that all spiders living around the home are treated properly in order to protect you and your home from these spiders.

We will conduct an inspection of the property to identify where these spiders are hiding, this will typically include areas such as:

  • External walls.
  • Behind gutter down pipes.
  • Window and door frames.
  • Pergola and carport roofs.
  • Garden beds.
  • Bin areas.
  • Fences.

Other areas that are commonly a danger for small children’s hands and pets will include:

  • Children’s toys.
  • Trampolines.
  • Swing sets, slides.
  • Outdoor furniture.
  • Dog kennels.

This type of pest control treatment typically takes around 1.5 hours to complete.

What to do if you are bitten by a Redback Spider

If you or a member of your family suffers a Redback spider bite, follow the DRABCD action plan and perform basic First Aid steps.

If severe pain occurs, call 000 for an ambulance immediately.

Top Tips

  • Remove all webs from structures, under eaves and backyard equipment such as swings, trampolines.
  • Store children’s toys in one location, preferably off the ground – always take care when handling toys after storage.
  • Don’t leave shoes on the ground outside doorways – if you have to, hit them together on against a wall before fitting to your feet

Still concerned?

If you would like more information on how to manage Redback spider control at your property, call Amalgamated Pest Control.

1300 383 160