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Training in Termite Treatment, Detection & Prevention

Ant Alates of all species including Termites leave the nest after rain and around a full moon and fly off looking to set up a new colony.

Termite Detection is a very specialised field and requires a lot of training and experience to become qualified. Despite all of our Inspectors being qualified in Termite Detection we still undertake training sessions with all of the technicians to ensure their knowledge is up to date and to allow them to learn from each other.

Always check that the technician doing your Termite Inspection, Termite Treatment or Termite Barrier is a Licenced Pest Controller with the relevant Insurances in place. We have all of this paperwork available to show our customers at any time they request it.

In January this year all of our technicians attended a property for training. What made this a perfect training example was the three different species of termites found within the home, coupled with the multiple entry points, the extensive damage and the fact that this Cypress Frame Pole Home with a Termite Barrier in place hadn’t had their termite problem detected before we were called in to do a PRE SALE inspection for the customer.

The “technician” (from another company) who installed the barrier at this property 3 years earlier had done a very cheap cash job for the homeowner. We suspect he had watered down the chemical involved in the Chemical Termite Prevention Barrier Significantly! Added to that issue the homeowner had built in underneath their pole home without adding any physical barrier in place around the poles. This allowed the Subterranean Termites to come up through the walls right from underneath the home without detection. Then without an Annual Termite Inspection of the property there was no trained professional checking to see if the barrier was still intact.

When you are buying a property it is vital that you have a Pre Purchase inspection Carried out…. But we also recommend our customers who are selling their property have a Pre Sale inspection carried out. This will identify all of the issues your purchaser will see on their report… but before they’ve had an inspection done. This allows you to fix any issues and repair anything necessary to give you the best chance at selling your property.

Ongoing training is vital to our operations to ensure we provide the best service to our customers. We are always researching new techniques, technologies and scientific data and have even been involved in field work with the providers of the products we use. This video we filmed with Bayer Australia is a perfect example of our partnership with industry leaders to provide information and training.

If you would like to see some more of our informational videos then head over to Youtube and view the Stevie Redback Pest Control Pty Ltd Channel.

Or Call our office on 1300 665 665 and one of our friendly team will be happy to answer your questions.

Rodent time again!

Common Rat found on post at a customers home in Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Its that time of year again when Rodents are at their most active in and around our homes. Of course Rodents are an issue all year round but during the colder months we tend to be more aware of them as they head into our homes/workplaces looking for a warm place to start a family…

Rodents spread disease and it is really important that they are kept away from our homes and most crucially our food preparation/storage areas. So what can you do? There are a few things to know about Rats and Mice to ensure you adequately protect your home.

  • They are Prolific Breeders
  • They love dark damp places with lots of debris
  • Once they find a home they are reluctant to leave as other Rats will attack them coming into their territory
  • They fit through really small spaces!! Mice fit through 6-7mm and Rats 20mm
  • They are mistrustful of changes in their environment and can take a while to take a bait or approach a trap
  • They do alot of damage inside a home and can ruin wiring, insulation and even plasterboard.
  • Predators and “scents” won’t chase them out.
  • They spread disease.. and we’re not just talking the “Plague”
Rodent Burrows

The most effective form of treatment is prevention! Keeping them out of your home is key! Once they gain entry it can take a long time to get the problem under control. So block up entry points to your home. Expanding insulation foam is best as it ensures the whole area is blocked. Wire Mesh is the next best thing if it is an area that needs ventilation. Steel Wool can also be used to pack out a hole around a pipe. Limit their access to your roof. Trim back overhanging branches and foliage that provide a bridge into your home. Install a special “guard” around the power lines coming into your home so they can’t walk along the line straight into your roof. (These are available from most hardware stores)

Perfect Rat breeding ground!

Limit the areas they can nest in and around your home by removing all debris and clutter. Minimise the things they can use for nesting such as fabric and paper and cardboard as they will tear this up into small pieces and create a warm environment for their babies who need to be kept warm while mum and dad are out foraging for food. Choose the type of roof insulation for your home with this in mind as wool insulation and spray in particles create a great nesting environment. The rolls of insulation have less loose debris that can be used for nesting.

Ensure there isn’t any water source for rats or mice to drink from. This includes fixing dripping taps, repairing plumbing leaks, removing containers of water and ensuring there isn’t alot of water siting in pot plant saucers.

Limit food sources. Make sure that their options for food are minimal! Put all of the food in your pantry in glass jars or very heavy duty plastic as rats will eat through plastic eventually. You do need to be more careful with glass in your home as opposed to plastic which doesn’t shatter when you drop it.. If your home isn’t very hospitable to them when they do their initial recon they may not choose it as the perfect place to live…. maybe bothering that neighbour you don’t like.

There are a list of natural deterrents listed on the internet but once you have a mouse or rat they usually won’t leave because you introduce these deterrents to the environment. These are better thought of as one weapon in your “deterrent” plan. I have had some success with peppermint tea bags discarded around problem areas and peppermint essential oil sprayed around… You could plant some plants that are said to be deterrents such as: Mint, Sweet Pea, Lavender, Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, Catnip, Camphor Plant, Elderberry. Having a cat or dog that is a good mouse hunter isn’t usually a deterrent in and of itself as they are used to sharing their environment with a predator.. which is why they find small inaccessible areas to set up house.. your ceiling or walls are their favourites.

Deter them from your home by Limiting Food and water, Blocking Entry using Natural Deterrents and having a good hunting Pet.

What can you do once they move in?

Once Rodents have moved in you will need to attack the problem on multiple fronts. Block off access points to food. Ensure there is no pet food left out or other food sources available to them. Set up traps and Baits in areas they travel or close to their nest if yo know where that is. Place the baits and traps inside a box with a clear entry and exit so that they feel safe to enter this space. Make this area really attractive by putting a little bit of an alternative food source loose in this area and put a small shallow container with water in it. It may take a while for them to trust this new thing in their environment. If you are using baits the rodent will go looking for water after it has consumed the bait and providing the water source will hopefully mean the dying rodent will die there where you can easily access the dead body for removal. Otherwise if they crawl in between your walls and die you will have an awful smell to deal with.

Be really careful if using poisons!

If handling baits be aware that rodenticides are extremely dangerous. Don’t be blase! Wear disposable gloves when placing baits and removing dead bodies! Make sure the baits are not accessible to other creatures. It is imperative that small children, our natural wildlife or your pets aren’t poisoned too! Baits should be placed inside lock boxes. The dead rodent is also a danger to other creatures as the poison remains active for several days. It can take several days from ingestion of poison to death making the slower rodent more likely to be captured by predators.

If you are suspicious your pet may have accidentally ingested poison this site is a great resource for information:

What does your Pest Control Expert do?

Our technicians will assess the level of problem you are experiencing and give you their best advice on methods of attack. We would usually install bait stations that are not accessible by children or pets in areas frequented or commonly travelled by the pest. These baits will only be consumed if there are no more palatable and previously trusted food sources available.. so just laying out baits isn’t enough.. you also need to remove other food sources. A full rodent program can be instigated if the issue is a large infestation. This will involve monitoring and re baiting regularly.

If you are in the Greater Brisbane Area Call 1300 665 665 if you’d like our advice.

The Importance of a Pest Inspection before moving into a new home..

Moving home can be extremely stressful; packing your life up and relocating to your new dream house takes a lot of time, energy and money. The last thing you want is to discover that you have a cockroach infestation hidden in the walls, or wasps in your roof. A pre-purchasing inspection could save you a significant amount of strife later on.

Check before you buy

Have the inspection carried out before buying, as you never know what kind of beasts are sneaking around. It’s entirely possible that the previous owners were completely unaware of an infestation, so it’s always best to check. If there are any creatures present in your potential new home, you will be able to either reconsider or deal with the infestation before damage is done to the house.

Don’t overpay

It is also true that conducting an inspection before buying may alter the price of the property. If the seller is aware that you may need to pay for repairs and pest removal, they will likely give you a much more generous price on your new home.

Prepare your budget

If you know there is an infestation before moving house, you can prepare financially for the cost of removal. This means you can consider this in your overall moving budget – there will be no nasty financial surprises after making yourself at home!

Know what you’re buying

Some infestations are far more difficult to get rid of than others and can exist due to the surrounding area. You should be fully aware if you are purchasing more than you can handle and if this pest problem is going to be a recurring one.

Hire a professional

You could try to do the inspection yourself, but it is very likely that you will miss important clues and signs of pests. In the long term, it will likely save you a good deal of money to hire a professional initially.

This article was written in conjunction with Sydney office removalist Hire A Mover

Merry Christmas

Steve & Melinda and the team at Stevie Redback would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year.

The coming year (2020) see’s us celebrating our 21st Birthday. Twenty One Years in business.. what a milestone. I think the whole team is proud of the business Steve and Melinda have built, especially when you look at business statistics that estimate that 30% of new businesses fail in the first 2 years and by the 5yr mark 50% have failed. Only 44% of new businesses are still in operation at the 10 year mark.

The idea of creating a business that is focused on clients and doing a great job at a fair price has been at the core of our business since its inception and continues to drive how we do business.

With our 21st Birthday on the horizon the business is set to expand some more with new staff joining us in the New Year and many new projects on the horizon.

We would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have been with us over the years, many since inception and we look forward to seeing you all again in the new year.

If you would like a quote on any Pre Construction Termite Proofing, Post Construction Termite Proofing, Termite Treatments, Termite Barriers or Pest Control please don’t hesitate to call our office on 1300 665 665.

PLEASE NOTE: Our office will close at 3pm on Friday the 20th December 2019 and reopen 8:00 Monday the 6th January 2020. 

Pigeons, the messengers in WWI & WWII

On this Anzac Day I decided to focus on an animal that was once a hero and now is not… During World War I and World War II keeping up the breeding numbers of pigeons was vital. Sadly today pigeons are not as useful as they once were. In fact today they are a nuisance in many instances. Now we often get calls from customers needing us to provide bird proofing solutions to protect their solar panels from Pigeons and other birds. In some cases we have had to relocate pigeons that won’t be deterred from a property. But once upon a time Pigeons were a vital tool of warfare. Pigeons were used to carry messages during WWI and WWII when radio communications were not as reliable or even patchy in some areas.

Before radio communications were invented pigeons were used as a means of communicating vital information from the battlefield (which is constantly moving to the stationary headquarters.

During World War II England and it’s allies used pigeons for many purposes…Such as communicating with individuals behind enemy lines including the Belgium Spy, Josef Raskin. It is estimated that they used 250,000 homing pigeons during the four years of the war from 1944 – 48. The US Army Signal Corps  used 600 pigeons in France alone.

The UK maintained their  Pigeon Section or Air Ministry during World War II and for a while thereafter. A Commitete was formed to make decisions about the uses of pigeons in military contexts with the head of the committee, Lea Rayner reporting that pigeons could be trained to deliver small explosives or even bioweapons to precise targets. Thankfully neither of these suggestions was taken up by the committee. In 1948 the UK military decommissioned its Air Ministry Division, stating that pigeons were of no further use.

During the war, owners of messenger pigeons could draw a special allowance of corn and seed, for their birds. As soon as the war ended this was cancelled and anyone keeping pigeons had to draw on their own personal rationed corn and seed to also feed their pigeons.  However, MI5, the UK security service was still concerned about enemy forces using pigeons for nefarious purposes. Up until 1950, MI5 ensured that 100 birds were maintained by a civilian pigeon fancier so that they were prepared with countermeasures if it should be necessary. The Swiss army didn’t disbanded their Pigeon section until 1996.

Pigeons have been a tool for human communication for a long time!

Carrier Pigeons have also been used as a communication tool outside of war with the 6th century king of Persia “Cyrus” using them to communicate quickly across various parts of his empire. Julius Caesar also used pigeons to communicate across the vast Roman Empire.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 – 71 the besieged residents of Paris used carrier pigeons to transmit messages outside the city. More than 1 million letters were transported in this way during the siege from as far away as London. The attacking Prussian Army countered by employing hawks to hunt the pigeons. The French military used balloons to transport the homing pigeons past the enemy lines. (As Pigeons can only fly home… so you need to take them to your secondary location and they will fly the message home.. hence the name “homing pigeons”)

In the lead up to World War I pigeons were considered to be a vital tool in military strategy and planning…. And so they were put to work. Many pigeons died during this time in service of their country of origin and today they are commemorated on a plaque at the war memorial. The plaque celebrates all of the animals that have served in some capacity during war. This includes horses, dogs, donkeys and camels as well as the humble pigeon. The highest possible decoration for valor, the Dickin Medal was awarded to 32 pigeons, including GI Joe a pigeon from the United States Army’s Pigeon Service and to Paddy the Irish Pigeon for service during World War II.

Pigeons were not only important to the Army and Airforce but also to the Navy. In fact they were considered an essential element of naval aviation communication and when the United States commissioned its first Aircraft Carrier the USS Langley in March 1922 the ship included a pigeon house on the stern of the ship.

Today Pigeons aren’t a tool of war but their contribution has not been forgotten.

In October this year the staff at the Australian War Memorial started to notice the disappearance of poppies from the tomb of the unknown soldier. On investigation it was discovered that a broody pigeon was building a nest against one of the stained glass windows of the War Memorial, with the poppys she was stealing. Out of respect for their service the caretakers at the memorial have left the Poppy Nest in place.

A Pest to Suburbia

Now pigeons are considered a pest in suburbian environments causing damage to solar panels, security cameras and other property. If you would like us to quote on Bird Proofing your Solar Panels to ensure nesting Pigeons don’t make a mess of your panels give us a call on 1300 665 665.

A Bee Hive in the Wall!

On Friday the 1st October Stevie Redback Pest and Termite Control were asked to attend a bee infestation within a bedroom.

The Hive that was discovered in this bedroom wall was 6 months old. Our Operations Manager, Allan Holland attended the site and involved our local aparist.

Everyone should be informed and educated that the spraying/poisoning of bees will cause you more problems due to the decomposition and resulting invasion of a treated hive. A poisoned hive will cause a disgusting mess of runny melting honey and honeycomb and bees and eggs etc and then the maggots and other creatures that will be attracted to the resulting mess will bring their own issues to the mix. This runny gooey mess will ruin your floors, walls and any furniture or fittings in the vicinity.

The pictures depicted here show a perfect hive removal and relocation process. Where ever possible a hive should be saved not killed. There is a worldwide decline in bee populations which we at Stevie Redback are passionate about stemming. Did you know Bees were recently declared the most important creature on earth? (see this article at The Science Times if you’d like more info: )

For any advice or questions on appropriate pest management including non chemical pest rectification call Stevie Redback Pest & Termite Control