This Summer season has seen an unusually high spike in insect populations. This is due to the perfect breeding conditions. It has been really warm all year with last winter presenting fairly mild conditions thus extending the breeding season. The La Nina weather pattern has also brought wet and warm conditions to our shores. These wet and warm weather conditions have been great for breeding patterns of many insects.
In our homes this has meant we are seeing more and more creatures invading our spaces. Cockroaches and Spiders in particular have been an issue around my home and customers are mentioning similar issues. Ants are also an issue inside homes due to the rain. Rain always drives them into my home. I used to think my grandma was a weather psychic with her ability to predict rain, until I found out it was the ants all over the kitchen bench that was the predictor for future rain periods.
So what can we do to keep our homes free of pests? Pest Control is about keeping the pests out of our homes. You cannot completley irradicate all pests as they play an important role in the eco system. What you can do is keep them out of your home. There are five key steps to take to achieve this. 1. Minimise Food Sources. 2. Minimise access to water. 3. Block Access to your home 4. Keep your home clean and tidy 5. Regular Pest Control
Be vigiliant and aware for any changes around your home: Seed shells, shredded paper (Likely mice) piles of dirt or ant bodies usually means ants are moving in. Act quickly whenever you notice something!
Keep foliage and trees trimmed back from your property to minimise access points for creatures. Dispose of debris such as leaf litter as this provides food and shelter for many insects. Make sure your compost bin is far from the house and fork it over regularly to ensure Rodents aren’t breeding in the warm environment.
Go around your home and block any entry points with silicone or expanda foam or with physical methods such as aviary wire. Ask a handymand for advice if you are unsure of the best method.
Keep your grass short and weeds down because fleas, ticks and ants love to hide in long grass.
Dispose of all standing water! This is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes but also provides water for other insects and rodents. After any rainfall do a walk around your yard and look for where the water has collected, flower posts, buckets, toys etc. If you have a pond add fish that feed on mosquito larvae and install a pump if you can to keep the water moving.
Inside your home keep your home clean and clutter free. Consider spills and splashes from dropped drinks etc and clean thoroughly as the splash on the kickboards is an ideal food source for cockroaches and ants. Wipe your stove and benchtops down regularly. Oil and fat is a great source of food for pests. This means meticulous cleaning of your oven, grill, stove, sandwich maker and bar-b-que will help in minimising food sources for pests. Inside your pantry keep food in sealed containers and wipe out the pantry shelves regularly. Its also a good idea to wipe the outside of bottles and containers before placing them back in the cupboard. In the bathroom keep on top of water leaks and spills.
When bringing in items to your home open boxes outside and leave the box outside as German Cockroaches can be spread this way.. especially in whitegoods boxes. If bringing secondhand clothing or blankets into your home take them straight to your laundry and wash throughougly as Silverfish are commonly spread this way.
You can use your garden as your fist line of defense. When choosing plants consider plants that bugs dislike, or ones that draw in natural predators such as birds. This is called integrated pest management. For instance Mint, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Geraniums, Mint, Pennyroyal, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Citonella and Lavender .
You can also use essential oils to assist in your mission to keep the pests out of your home. Wiping down your window sills with clove oil or eucalyptus oil. Spraying diluted peppermint oil around doors, windows and in and around areas that rodents will set up house will help to keep their numbers down.
The final weapon in your arsenal is Pest Control. The products available on the market now have undergone extensive research and are designed to be targeted and when dealing with social creatures like cockroaches or ants are slower to act so that they are shared and therefore irradicate more than just the few you can see. Your Stevie Redback Technician will target his treatment options to the areas that the creatures eat, sleep, breed and move. The knowledge of the different creatures habits and movements that the technicians study is so valuable in choosing where to place their treatments. The knowledge of how the different chemicals work and interact with each other is also considered when applying treatments with placement also taking into consideration the construction of your home and possible entry points.
If you are choosing to perform your own pest control you will not be able to judge where to place treatments for longest term success so you may need to re-treat sooner. It is also adviseable that you follow any directions carefully! When miximing and applying treatments our technicinas are suitably attired in the correct PPE. So make sure you are wearing gloves, goggles and mixing in a well ventilated space. Before mixing any chemicals it is adviseable that you read the First Aid Information so that you know what to do if you do have an accident. Because after you have chemical in your eye is not when you will be able to read the instructions carefully. Be safe and careful.
One of the most common questions we get asked is “Are the treatments safe for my children and Pets”. Because of the extensive testing that the products undergo we can easily answer “YES!”. Our Operations Manager has prepared an explanatory video to answer this question which you can watch on Youtube (https://youtu.be/siB0QKZTzqo)
We recommend an Annual Pest Control to a Residential Dwelling for Cockroaches and Silverfish. You may wish to increase the treatment schedule for Spiders and Ants as the efficacy of treatments is around three months due to the nature of these creatures. If you would like to make a booking for Pest Control