Keeping Pests Out of the Kitchen: A Pest Control Blog

Buzz Off! 4 Tips for Preventing Bee Infestations in Your Home

Posted by on Sep 19th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buzz Off! 4 Tips for Preventing Bee Infestations in Your Home

Australia is home to over 1,500 different species of bees, and according to Australian Geographic, many of these are deadlier than the country’s widely-feared spider population. Local councils across Australia rightly recommend that homeowners engage licensed pest controllers to remove bee hives. However, as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and there are a number of steps that households can take to prevent bees from taking hold on their properties. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your home bee-free. 1. Prevent physical access One way to prevent bees from nesting in and around your home is to seal off access points so swarms searching for a new home have no way to enter. Bees can settle in trees, roofs, cracks in walls and all manner of other sites, and you can use a caulking gun or metal screen to block access to these. Sheds are also a common nesting site, so be sure to keep your shed door shut at all times.  Bees can pass through holes less than one centimetre in diameter, however, so if using this technique, it is important to be thorough in identifying all potential pathways.  2. Remove opportunities for shelter Bees are creative creatures, and if they are unable to find an established structure to nest in, they have been known to inhabit household clutter that may be left around the yard. You can remove opportunities for bees to shelter in your yard by clearing away unused items, such as clay pots, old appliances or lawnmowers. 3. Keep them thirsty Like humans, bees need water to survive, and by restricting the insects’ access to water sources, you can reduce the chance of a swarm settling on your property. Open water sources, such as swimming pools, should be covered when not in use, and adding vinegar to standing water (such as bird baths) can act as a pesticide. 4. Be careful with sugars and syrups During the summer and autumn months, when flowers are less plentiful, bees become opportunistic creatures and look for other sources of sweetness when nectar is not in easy reach. Ensure that spilled sugar or syrup is cleaned up immediately, especially from December to June. Use plastic bin liners for your household rubbish to prevent bees feeding off your trash, and if you have fruit trees, clear away any overripe fruit as soon as possible. It is important to remove access to sugar and syrup as soon as they are discovered, as should a stray bee locate a potential source of food, they may alert their swarm and attract others. Bees are an unwelcome presence in many Australian homes, and once they have established a presence, a licensed pest controller should be contacted to remove them. However, it is possible to reduce the chances of a swarm settling in your home by following these simple...

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Bird Mite Bites Irritating Your Sensitive Skin? The Pigeons Have To Go!

Posted by on Jun 21st, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bird Mite Bites Irritating Your Sensitive Skin? The Pigeons Have To Go!

While there are no official statistics regarding sensitive skin in Australia, it is estimated that approximately half of this country’s females have a skin sensitivity issue. You already know that some environmental factors can affect your skin, but as someone who has recently started having a new skin flare, it is time to look for the culprit. One skin irritation factor you may not have previously considered is pigeons. So, before you put up with too much more scratching, these are the facts you need to know. Pigeon Nests And Bird Mites Some parts of Australia have a problem with pigeon control because the birds are attracted to residential areas where people are feeding them. When pigeons choose to start nesting on your property, bird mites come along for the ride. The big problem with bird mites is they will feed on human skin when their bird hosts are not around. A bird mite bite is not a huge deal in itself, but the itching and swelling of your skin that a bite brings can be very irritating to sensitive skin. Additionally, when scratching your mite bites, you risk secondary infection if dirt or bacteria gets into the bite site. Removing The Problem When bird mites are making your skin itch, it’s time to remove the root of the problem which is the pigeon nest. You many need to look in a number of places around your property to locate the nest. As a starting point, check the following common nesting places: in the chimney if you have one or under the roof eaves if you don’t in the space between your ceiling and the roof trusses under the porch awning beneath your window ledges. Once you have located the pigeon nest, call a bird removal expert to remove it from your property for you. While you could attempt to do this yourself, removal of the birds nest will disturb the mites currently living near the nest. This could lead to a mite feeding fest if you are not properly protected. Once the nest has been removed, you will also need the area to be treated with a pesticide to kill any bird mites that remain. Now that you know what could be causing your current skin irritation, it is time to locate the pigeon nest which is behind this nuisance. The sooner you evict the pigeon from your home, the sooner your skin can return to a calm, irritation-free...

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How To Identify Subterranean Termites

Posted by on Sep 16th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Identify Subterranean Termites

An important item on your routine annual home maintenance schedule should be a termite inspection that should carried out by your local pest control contractor like Expect the Best Pty Ltd.  In between inspections, you should keep an eye out for signs of termite presence too.  Different species of termites leave different evidence of their presence, and it can be helpful to the pest controller if you can identify which species may be present, as they are all treated in slightly different ways.  Here’s how to tell if you have subterranean termites on your property. Signs of subterranean termites An invasion by subterranean termites usually occurs when the weather warms up and there’s a period of heavy rainfall.  The rain triggers the ‘swarming’ of sexually mature, winged male and female termites from an already established colony, taking flight to seek a new location in which to establish a new base. Swarming subterranean termites should not be mistaken for flying ants.  Termite swarmers are smaller than ants and have four wings of equal size.  Flying ants have two large front wings and two smaller ones behind.  Following swarming, termites shed their wings.  You may notice piles of shed wings on the windowsills inside and outside of your home; they look rather like fish scales.  Look carefully at the wings.  If they’re all the same size, they are probably from termite swarmers. Subterranean termites rarely venture out into the open, but if you actually spot any moving around, they’re pretty easy to distinguish from other innocent creepy-crawlies.  The insects are about larger than common ants and are cream-coloured, often with a brown head.  Soldier termites are a little larger with obvious brown mandibles. Subterranean termite habits As their name suggests, subterranean termites establish their colonies underground and are consequently very difficult to detect.  The structures are made of a network of tunnels and chambers which the insects build from mud and saliva.  The presence of a colony is often only given away when the insects come above ground in search of food (wood).  You probably won’t see the actual termites, but you may spot the tunnels they construct in which to move around.  Look for tiny tubes of mud on the walls or foundations of your home – this is a sure sign of a subterranean termite infestation.   Subterranean termites eat the cellulose material contained in wood.  Look out for obvious signs of damage to wood in and around your home including floorboards, skirting boards, furniture and even books.  You might notice small piles of tiny brown pellets around your home.  These are termite faeces; a sure sign that you may have an infestation. In conclusion Make sure you have your home inspected for termites every year by a professional.  In between inspections, be vigilant and report any signs of a subterranean termite infestation immediately to your local pest control...

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Termite Detection, Management and Treatment Techniques for Hotel Owners

Posted by on Sep 10th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Termite Detection, Management and Treatment Techniques for Hotel Owners

Dealing with a termite infestation can be a delicate matter if you are a hotel owner. Luckily, with the right tips you can effectively remove the termites, keep them away from your property and protect your hotel’s image. Keep these tips in mind: 1. Monitor your hotel property for termite activity on a regular basis If termites penetrate your hotel undetected, they can do a lot of damage. Unchecked, they can cause severe structural damage as they snack on your floor joists, wall frames and other wooden elements of your building. Make sure that your outside maintenance crew monitors your property for termite activity on a regular basis. Ideally, they should walk the perimeter of the building looking for tubes of mud along its foundation or along exterior walls. It is especially important to monitor areas where your landscaping design has a lot of foliage along your walls — those plants can serve as conduits for termites. 2. Respond immediately to guest concerns Another clue that you have a termite infestation is the presence of a winged termite in your property. If a guest sees one of these creatures, go into damage control mode immediately. Comp the guest’s room and offer other freebies to help soothe the guest’s concerns. Also, assure them you are working to control the situation. The alternative could be noisy complaining on social media sites or posting bad reviews, and that can be devastating to your hotel’s image or brand. 3. Avoid spot treatment As soon as you detect termite damage, contact pest removal specialists immediately. When weighing your options, consider avoiding spot control. That only addresses pockets of infestation and doesn’t thoroughly remove all termite activity. 4. Use termite bait discreetly Although you want to be open about your pest control methods with anyone who asks — you certainly don’t want to be deceptive or evasive — you also want to be discreet to call as little attention as possible to your infestation. Most termite treatments include applying a liquid termicide to the area around your hotel and laying baits near those areas as well. Schedule these applications for times when your hotel tends to be slow, or consider closing for a week. 5. Insist on a guarantee If even small pockets are missed during the termite treatment, termites may reappear. So that you don’t have to pay for these issues, insist upon a quality guarantee before hiring a pest control company....

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5 Ways to Deter Rabbits from Your Garden Without Traps or Poisons

Posted by on Jul 31st, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways to Deter Rabbits from Your Garden Without Traps or Poisons

If you live in a semi-rural area, you may have problems with wild rabbits invading your garden and nibbling on your veggies and plants. Cute they may be, but they’re also a non-native pest that can wreak havoc on your carefully-tended plot. If you have a serious rabbit infestation problem, your local pest controller will deal with it for you. However, a few unwanted visitors can be sent packing by using a combination of the following ideas—with no traps or poisons. Cages and windmills Placing chicken-wire cages over your veggies is a very effective way of keeping the rabbits out. Most good garden centres or DIY stores stock them in areas where rabbits are a problem for gardeners, and you can reuse them every year. As a first line of defence, position kids’ windmills around the edge of the cages. The movement and sound of the bright foil sails can frighten off any bunnies that might contemplate a tunnelling raid. Human hair Rabbits are prey animals and the scent of a ‘predator’ is usually enough to scare them off. Ask your local hairdresser for a bag of sweepings from the salon floor. Scatter the hair around your plants or veg, and the rabbits will quickly decide to find a meal elsewhere. Chilli spray Rabbits hate the hot, bitter flavour of chillies. Take half a dozen of the hottest chilli peppers you can find and pop them in a blender with two cups of hot water. Put the resultant fire-water to the side for a day to steep. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth, and then add it to a litre of water. Decant the finished liquid into a spray bottle and liberally dose your vulnerable plants. Repeat the process every couple of weeks or following heavy rain. Although this can be a bit labour-intensive if you have a large garden, it’s an extremely effective rabbit deterrent. Ivory soap Ivory soap can be bought cheaply online and is extremely effective at keeping rabbits away from your plants. Cut a bar up into small pieces and either sprinkle it around the plants, or place it on old yoghurt pot lids if you don’t want the soap to get into your soil. Moth balls The strong, pungent smell of moth balls works as a very effective rabbit deterrent. Simply sprinkle a handful around your plants, and the bunnies will soon hop off in search of a fresher-smelling foraging patch. All these methods are great at keep wild rabbits out of your garden without resorting to traps and poisons. However, if things get out of hand and you’re faced with an infestation, give your local pest control company a call for advice on how to permanently banish the...

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Where to check for pests in your restaurant

Posted by on Jul 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Where to check for pests in your restaurant

You may think you’ve been keeping your restaurant spotlessly clean and will never have an infestation – but pests like cockroaches, rats and flies can still flourish in overlooked or hard-to-reach areas. Remember, a single rat can get a whole business closed down, so it’s vital that any infestation is stopped well before it gets underway. If you have the slightest suspicion that pests are entering your restaurant, here’s where to look first. In the gaps between equipment A good kitchen shouldn’t have spaces between ovens and worktops, or between fridges and dishwashers, or ideally between anything. Tiny spaces are hard to clean, and so food that falls down there just gets left there — for the pests. A good kitchen worker should clean up all spillages as soon as they happen, but that’s no good if the spill is in an area that just can’t be reached by the cleaning equipment. Make sure your kitchen is free of gaps, and the pests will have no small spaces to find food in. In the dumpsters and dustbins Pests love dark, smelly places like dumpsters. Therefore, it’s vital that they get cleaned as much as possible, as unpleasant a job as that sounds. Hire a good cleaning company to properly clean all waste collection areas and make them a less hospitable place for pests. In bags of flour Many restaurants have stored their large bags away but forgotten to check they were properly sealed — and suffered the ramifications later. Weevils love flour, and although they’re not poisonous, they’re still downright disgusting. If you open a bag of flour and find weevils in there, throw it away immediately, clean the room thoroughly and make sure that all flour is stored in an airtight container from then on. In rat traps People think they’re being diligent by setting up rat traps around their restaurant. But rat traps are no use if the rat inside isn’t disposed of quickly! Once it dies, it will attract more pests eager to feed on it. To prevent turning your rat problem into an all-over pest problem, make sure traps are checked as often as possible and the animal inside removed. Understandably, many people don’t like doing this, so you should hire a pest control service to make sure it’s done properly. In the cleaning equipment itself Ironically, some insects really like the warm fibres found inside mops. This means that every time a floor is cleaned with the infested mop, the problem just gets worse! To avoid this happening, replace mops as often as possible, and hang them up to dry instead of leaving them in their buckets overnight. Make sure the whole cleaning equipment cupboard is cleaned out regularly too — pests can get into them as easily as they can get into any other room. Remember, if you have any trouble, call a pest control company like Promaster Group so they can handle the current issue and give you detailed advice about how to avoid any infestations in the...

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3 Reasons You Need To Order A Building and Pest Inspection On a New Home

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons You Need To Order A Building and Pest Inspection On a New Home

New home buyers often believe that they don’t need to order a building and pest inspection, but that is a big mistake. Because a new construction does not guarantee that there are not problems with the way the house was built, or that there aren’t termites or other pests who have invaded the house during the building process. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t forego a building and pest inspection on your brand new home: Building Inspectors Are Worried About Codes — Although building inspectors are required by law to inspect every new home, these professionals are not looking for structural defects; they are more concerned that your contractor followed the proper building code in your locality. So because a building inspection is not focused on the quality of workmanship, defects or problems are often overlooked. There is a huge difference between a code-approved house and a quality-built house. The only way to ensure that your home is free of pests and that the plumbing, wiring and roofing were properly installed is to order a building and pest inspection. You Will Pay For Big Repairs After Your Warranty Expires — Most home builders only offer a one-year warranty on labor, so if you forego a building and pest inspection, you will have to pay for any repairs that crop up after the warranty expires. That could really add up if the repairs involve faulty pipe work or faulty wiring or a roof that wasn’t installed correctly and is leaking into your home. Avoid all these costly repairs by ordering a building and pest inspection that can reveal these types of issues at an early stage. It Could Compromise Your Ability to Sell Your Home — If you don’t order a building and pest inspection, and years down the road, you decide to sell your home, a new inspection ordered by potential buyers may reveal problems that you could have caught with a new home inspection. And if there are serious issues with the construction of your house, the potential buyers may decide that they won’t buy the house at all, or that they will only make an offer if you deduct the cost of repairs from your asking price. Either way, you are going to be on the losing end of the deal, so why take this risk? Spend a few hundred dollars now, to possibly save thousands in the future. To learn more, contact a company like Inspect...

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Deterring Termites from a Rental Property: Four Tips for Landlords

Posted by on Jun 22nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Deterring Termites from a Rental Property: Four Tips for Landlords

Keeping termites out of any home can be challenging, but keeping them out of a rental property that you don’t see on a daily basis can be even more challenging. If you want to keep termites out of a home you own to rent out, check out these ideas. They will help keep your investment property termite free: 1. Make sure all external wood is treated or painted Treated or painted wood naturally deters termites. If you are adding a deck to your rental property, make sure to use treated wood. If it already has a deck, paint and seal the wood at least once a year, and consider buying small pieces of concrete that you can put under wooden deck supports to break up the connection between the wood and the ground, making it harder for termites to infest your property. 2. Keep excess water away from your property While you are at the rental property doing your annual inspection of your deck and the property in general, look at the water situation. Termites need water, as well as wood, to thrive. Ideally, you want to ensure all of your gutters and downspouts are working properly to take water away from your property, and you want to ensure the property has no leaks. Give your tenants a few tips on deterring termites, and advise them to not to leave any containers in the yard that could fill with stagnant water and harbour termites. 3. Keep open lines of communication with your tenants A yearly walk through of your rental unit and its yard can help a lot in terms of keeping termites away, but during the days and months you cannot be at your property, you need your tenants to keep an eye on it for you. You need an open line of communication so your tenants tell you about leaks or report issues (such as finding termite droppings) when they happen. If your tenants are scared of you, they won’t call you. It’s not their property, and if it falls down from termite damage, they will just go rent a new one. To keep open lines of communication, you need to respect your tenants. If you are always dropping over unannounced, yelling at them for small grievances or doing anything untoward, you indirectly put your property at risk. If you cannot maintain a healthy line of communication between your tenants, consider terminating their lease and getting new tenants. 4. Create landscaping that is easy to manage and naturally anti-termite The landscaping you have around your home can also affect whether or not termites are attracted to your property. Ideally, you don’t want wood mulch around your home. Instead, use rubber mulch. Also, make sure your landscaping is easy for your tenants to manage. If lots of weeds or debris build up around the perimetre of the home, that can harbour termites. If your tenants cannot handle the landscaping, hire a crew to do it for you. Otherwise, contact a termite control company....

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The Redback Spider: What it Is & How to Get Treat Spider Bites

Posted by on Jun 15th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Redback Spider: What it Is & How to Get Treat Spider Bites

Many people are afraid of spiders. In the case of the Redback spider this fear is justified, and this arachnid is one you really don’t want to find in or around your home. Here’s what you need to know about this unwelcome house-guest including what to do should you or a member of your family be bitten. Identification & habitat This spider is easily identified. The body of an adult is 1cm long and shiny black with a yellowish-orange or red marking shaped like an hourglass on the underside of its abdomen.  The Redback spider likes to set up home in piles of rubble, in wood stores or tucked away in dark corners in your garden shed or garage. Inside your house, the spider prefers quiet areas full of clutter like basements, attics or the crawl space beneath your decking. It’s important to be vigilant when moving around in areas that are likely to harbour this dangerous arachnid. When working in your garden or rummaging through piles of undisturbed clutter in little-used areas of your home, wear thick gloves and make sure the area is well-lit so that you can see any creepy-crawlies clearly.  The bite The first thing to remember is that although many people are bitten every year by Redback spiders, the bites are accidental. The spider will not hunt you down in dead of night and deliberately bite you. If the perpetrator is unseen by the victim, it’s not always obvious that a spider bite has occurred. The victim will feel intense pain at the site of the bite and tiny fang marks may be visible. The victim will quickly begin to feel sick and experience stomach pains. Muscular numbness will occur together with profuse sweating, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Excessive amounts of saliva may be produced. The Redback spider’s bite is highly venomous and often fatal, especially if the victim is a child or elderly person. Fortunately, very effective anti-venom is carried in all hospitals across Australia. First aid If you think someone has been bitten by a Redback spider, keep them calm and avoid all unnecessary movement.  The more the victim moves around, the faster their heart and circulation will work, pumping the spider’s venom around their body; keep them still if possible. Reassure the victim that anti-venom is available and they will be fine. Take a pressure bandage and apply it firmly to the limb that has been bitten.  Wrap the entire limb firmly. Compressing the affected tissue in this way will stem the flow of venom along the limb. Now apply a splint to the affected limb using a second bandage to hold it in place. Restricting muscle movement will reduce blood flow along the limb and inhibit the speed that the spider’s venom enters the vital organs. Call an ambulance immediately. Do not transport the victim to hospital yourself; keep them immobile until help arrives. Keep vigilant in areas of your home and outside space where Redback spiders may be found. If you think you may have a spider infestation problem or are unsure of the species, contact a professional pest control company likeEconomic Pest Control. They will be able to identify the species of spider and get rid of it safely for...

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How to Kill Off a Termite Colony

Posted by on Jun 8th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Kill Off a Termite Colony

Termites pose a serious problem for some homeowners. If left unchecked, a colony can inflict a devastating amount of damage to a property’s structure. Many people who have had experience of a termite infestation will tell you that the only option is to call a professional pest control company; no home made remedies are fully effective. While this is a bit of a blanket statement, there is some truth in it. You must deal with the termite problem as the professionals would; that it, deal with the termite colony. This article details the procedure of poisoning a termite colony, if you have never done so before. Gather Necessary Equipment You will need some old cans, such as coffee cans, and a tool to punch or make small holes in the lids of the cans. You will also need  some small strips or squares of cardboard. You should have a spade or a hand trowel available, and should also have purchased your termite poison. The poison you need to use is a biological poison, or one that delays the illness until the termites have returned to the colony. Soak the Cardboard Make up a batch of the poison as recommended by the instructions. Poisons of this type (biological) are very dangerous, so work slowly and follow all the guidelines. Once you have allowed the cardboard to soak in the poison for several minutes, you can remove them and correctly dispose of the poison. Wear gloves as you transfer the soaked sections of cardboard into the coffee tins. A good amount to place is three soaked pieces of cardboard into one coffee tin, and use three or four coffee tins in total. Pierce Holes At the top of the tins, make a large amount of small holes. Use a tool to punch holes into the lid, allowing the termites to get in and out of the tins. This will also allow you to monitor the progress of the termites as the process continues. Once ready, grab the spade and head to the area of the colony. Bury the Cans Bury the cans, at lid level, in the ground. You can bury them side by side or on top of each other. The aim is to provide easy food for the termite to eat and then return to the colony. You can place a piece of soaked cardboard under the cans, or on top of them to act as bait too. After about a week, check the cans to see if there are many termites present. If so, refill the cans with soaked cardboard; the more cardboard soaked in poison that you can get them to eat means higher chances of the whole colony becoming poisoned. If only a few termites are present, bury the cans at another location close to the colony. With about three months, most—if not all—of the colony should be dead. For further tips or assistance, contact resources like Ranger Pest...

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