Archives for July 2014
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 Newcastle for further advice.
(02) 4488 4019
Recently we were called to a property in Charlestown for what the occupant thought was a bed bug infestation. On closer inspection we determined that the pest in question was Carpet Beetle. The occupant of the home was pleased for two reasons, 1. Bed bug treatments can be expensive and they cause levels of discomfort for obvious reasons and 2, They had an answer for why the carpets were being damaged. To the untrained person there may be some similarities between the two pests. There are however, significant differences between the life cycle stages and damage caused which is why it is crucial to ensure that you contact a professional pest manager to ensure the correct pest is identified and the correct treatment method is formulated.
Carpet Beetle Characteristics
Carpet beetles are quite a significant pest and can cause a lot of damage to carpets and other similar materials. You can see from the photos taken at the site the amount of damage caused to the carpet at this home.
These insects have a preference for materials of animal origin and can attack a wide range of materials. They can feed on wool, clothes, fabrics, felts, silk, fibre type insulation material even dried insects and animal carcasses.
Infestations can lead to significant damage. Signs that confirm this pest’s activity range from sightings of damaged materials, sand-like larval droppings, bristly caste skins and live larvae. The pictures taken from our customer’s property show some clear evidence of their presence. Sometimes the presence of crawling and flying adult beetles can indicate infestation.
- Vacuuming or cleaning carpets, rugs, soft furnishings and upholstered furniture should be done regularly and thoroughly. When vacuuming you need to pay attention to carpet edges adjacent to skirting boards and areas that are covered with furniture. If these areas are neglected, as they often are then dust, hair, skin, pet fur and the like will accumulate and these areas are often the sites of infestation.
- Cut flowers pose an issue and is a very common way that carpet beetle enter the home. If you are bringing cut flowers in, inspect them to ensure that they do not harbour any carpet beetles.
- Before storing clothes that are out of season ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and stored in a tight plastic bag prior to storage.
- Exclude rodents and birds from your property. These insects are commonly found within bird nests and on rat carcasses.
How to get rid of Carpet Beetles
Prior to treatment we will ask you to ensure that furniture is moved so the areas underneath can be inspected. Vacuuming is extremely important prior to treatment, this process removes different lifecycle stages ensuring more effective control. It is important if vacuuming an infestation that you appropriately discard the contents of the vacuum as to not cause re-infestation.
Inspection is key, we will inspect all possible areas of infestation. Some may be obvious as pictured above, and some areas less obvious. Missing the less obvious may cause issues and service calls. It is also necessary to inspect the roof void. Insulation materials can be infested by carpet beetle we have seen many cases first-hand where roof voids completely infested with these pests.
Once all feeding areas are fully identified, a number of insecticides can be used such as surface sprays, space sprays and dusts depending on the area being treated. Chemicals must be used carefully to ensure they make contact with the insect.
If you need help with Carpet Beetles or any other pest issue, contact Amalgamated Pest Control Newcastle for a Guaranteed Gone solution.