Well winter is finally upon us and while things may slow down for some pests in ‘pest world’ not so with many other.
During winter we get increased threats from rodents, but our favourite ‘general pests’ are still active. 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 clothes away before 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.
- 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 sources:
- 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.
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 far 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.
- 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.
If you believe or suspect that you have a winter pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Cairns for further advice.
1300 639 136
Many Cairns locals ask us during this time of year if pests will start to disappear now that summers over. Pests will start to reduce in numbers as the weather cools down and the optimal temperatures for maximum breeding and activity have reduced. This however doesn’t mean that your property will be pest free from now until next spring.
Generally temperatures inside homes are much warmer in the cooler months than outside and there is food and water available in and around the home. This being the case what usually tends to happen is many pests will seek out homes for these reasons. Nice warm shelter in which to live and breed, very good accessibility to food sources and access to water is also available.
Common Autumn Pests
The most common pests that will look to move inside are rodents such as rats and mice. The home is an ideal place for these pests. Roof voids can be full of insulation which is an ideal warm nesting material which they can burrow into to make their nests. Many believe that cooler months such as late autumn – winter is rat season. Rats actually breed heavily all year round, the cooler months however they much prefer, as we would, to get inside and out of the cold. Obviously once they are in the roof they can have easy access to your food and garbage. Once inside your property rats and mice can cause a lot of damage. They consistently gnaw; they have too to keep their teeth from growing too long. They’ll gnaw on anything. Many fires are started by rats gnawing on wires. Diseases are another big problem and it’s not just rats. Mice carry as many diseases as rats and potentially spread very easily.
What other pests are active in autumn?
Cockroaches will still remain a problem especially German Cockroaches. Their environment is your kitchen therefore they will continue to breed just as fast as in summer and due to their rapid lifecycle can become a big problem very quickly. They rely on humans for survival; we provide them with the shelter, food and water that they need. Amalgamated pest control offers 12 months Service Warranty on all species of cockroach including German Cockroaches meaning you never have to deal with these pests again.
How can I reduce autumn pests?
Some of the things that any home owner can do which will help reduce the chance of these and other pests getting into your home this autumn and winter are quite simple:
. Reduce access to food. All pests need food. Keep food sealed, clean up spills straight away, clean up food crumbs get rid of food scraps into tightly sealed garbage bins and ensure bins, especially outside, don’t let your bin become so full that you can’t close it. Rats have an especially keen sense of smell and will smell garbage from a long way away.
. Reduce excess water. If you have any leaking plumbing or pooling water around the home have them repaired. Water accumulating in sinks, showers and baths don’t’ help either ensure you wipe them dry. Pests actively seek water for survival.
. Keep them out. Keeping out some pests can be done. To keep rodents out keep trees close to the home trimmed away from the roof. Make sure your roofing is in good condition, broken tiles and the like can allow rodents to slip in cracks and gain access. Gutters can be protected with a rodent resistant mesh covering. Any gaps/holes in the external wall such as where pipes enter or weep holes are present should be protected also with a rodent resistant material.
Some pests can’t be kept out with physical materials. Cockroaches, ants and spiders will always find a way into just about any home. A professional pest treatment will stop these insects living and breeding in the areas such as roof voids, sub-floors, wall cavities many internal areas of the home and Amalgamated Pest Control will give you a 12 month service warranty on these three pests which allows you too live all year around with no worries.
Contact Amalgamated Pest Control Cairns for a pest management solution for your property. We are professionals at what we do and can give you the best advice on how to keep the autumn pests and winter pests out of your home and away from your family.
(07) 4444 4315
With the recent warmer weather and rain periods on the coast, we are experiencing a large increase in calls from customers seeing swarms of flying ant-like insects, swarming under lights inside and outside homes. These are in fact termites attempting to find a home and colonise for the season ahead.
Recently we conducted a service at a home in Edmonton where our concerned customer described a swarm of flying insects coming from the roof void and into the home through ceiling down lights. Our customer tried to spray these pests with a supermarket spray which was completely ineffective. The next morning hundreds of these pests had fallen dead on the floor, as you can see, ants were feasting on their prey quickly.
We have also received calls from concerned customers across Cairns and the beach areas.
These termites are Alate’, (pronounced as AA Late), a termite reproductive. Seasonal conditions (i.e. humidity) will provide an ideal opportunity for these reproductives to ‘swarm on colonising flights’ from termite colonies in the environment. This recent rainfall will provide additional specimens for clients to collect.
Where they’re found, how they get in?
These termites are attracted to lights and will swarm around light fittings, internal and external.
How to treat these termites?
It’s always a concern when termites are found at a home and quick action is key to stopping these pests. In this instance our customer immediately arrange a termite inspection of their property to ensure these termites had not established themselves.
What does a timber pest inspection include?
In conjunction with inspecting for timber pests, we are also assessing the environmental conditions in and around your home that make your premises more susceptible to attack from timber pests. Conducive environmental conditions play a major role in encouraging timber pests onto your property. Many home owners would not realise the relationship of the environment around the home and timber pest activity. The environment plays a major role in timber pest attack.
What’s the difference between a termite inspection and termite check?
As mentioned, a termite inspection or timber pest inspection is a comprehensive inspection for signs of timber pest activity and environmental factors that could increase the chance of these pests entering your home. A termite check typically does not cover these aspects and often includes a brief look around your home with little attention to underlying factors. Always ask your pest control technician what an inspection will include.
Top DIY Tips:
By following these simple DIY tips, you can reduce the chance of termites damaging your property:
- Garden beds – don’t let vines and weeds over grow.
- Timber storage – don’t store timber pieces or objects beside the house.
- Bricks and pavers – don’t stack bricks, pavers or concrete blocks beside the house.
- Dispose of garden waste and building materials at your local council’s public waste and recycling centre, (check waste type accepted).
- An annual termite inspection by a qualified pest control technician will ensure that the risk to your home is managed and controlled.
If you believe or suspect that you have a termite pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Cairns for further advice.