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