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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Treating Drywood Termites in Your Home

Posted by on Mar 29th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Treating Drywood Termites in Your Home

Drywood termites are a nuisance you don’t want to tolerate in your home because they are very destructive. These types of termites can completely destroy your furniture and other wooden structures and items in your home. Unfortunately, you may not easily identify the infestation of these termites until they reach the exterior of your wooden structures.  Drywood treatment options target either the entire affected structure/house or a particular area, furniture or wooden material that is infested. Therefore, depending on the type of the infestation (whole structure or spot), here are treatment options you should consider. Whole Structure Treatment Fumigation This is an effective way of killing termites and may sometimes take even 2 or 3 days to achieve the treatment goals. This type of treatment is more efficient because it takes care of the infested parts, both visible and invisible. For this treatment, your house, shed, or any other infested structure is first covered with gas-tight tarps. A poisonous gas is then released into the structure to kill the termites. However, remember that the gases used may not only be poisonous to the termites, but also to plants, animals, and even humans. For this reason, make sure the structure is vacated during the fumigation. If it’s your house, ensure that all food items are removed during the treatment. Heat Treatment Heat treatment is another termite treatment option for the entire structure. Vinyl or polyethylene sheets are used to cover the structure. The structure is then heated to a given temperature by inserting temperature probes (which are connected to a heater outside) in the structure. The high temperature then kills the termites. The benefit of using heat treatment over fumigation is that the structure will have to be evacuated for only a couple of hours as opposed to days. However, the high temperatures used can damage heat-sensitive items within the structure, such as electric cables and outlets, and plastics. Spot/Localised Treatment Electrocution In this method, a handgun that has a low current energy but high voltage is passed over the infested wood slowly to electrocute the termites. Cold Treatment Cold treatment method involves pumping of cold liquid nitrogen into the hard-to-reach spots such as voids in the walls. The liquid nitrogen then freezes the termites to death. Pesticide Injection Unlike cold treatment that is ideal for hard-to-reach places, injection of pesticide is suitable for the easily accessible spots. This method involves drilling small holes on the surface of your infested wood material and then injecting the pesticide into these holes. However, you would not want to drill the holes on expensive or antique furniture, and as such, other options such as borate treatment would work well. This treatment simply involves spraying a foam of borate over the infested...

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2 Products Under $5 For Removing A Slug Infestation

Posted by on Jan 25th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Products Under $5 For Removing A Slug Infestation

Often, you may not know that your home has a slug problem. This is because the slugs will usually come out of hiding at night to feed. During the day, slugs will hide in small crevices; whether that is under your floorboards, in a crack, or even under your oven. Because of this, it is hard to see them unless it is at night. As the slugs move across your floor, they release a slimy mucus. This is, of course, not ideal, as they can leave a dirty sludge across your floor. Because they are so well hidden, you might think they are hard to kill. However, there are a few techniques and products that you can use to protect your home from slugs. Thankfully, these products are incredibly simple and cheap, which will have your home slug-free in no time.    Salt Salt is the king of slug removal. This is because it is incredibly effective and it is a cheap solution. To remove your slug infestation with salt, you can follow two different procedures. The first procedure involves using raw salt. Scatter the salt across the edges of the floor in the infected room. The goal is to block all entrances that the slugs may take to enter. It is recommended that you do this during the day when the slugs are in hiding as it will block their route to your room. Another method is to mix the salt with water to create a liquid solution. It is best to mix this solution in a basket. At night, when the slugs roam in your living space, you can catch and place them in this solution; this will kill them quickly.  Salt is incredibly effective because it absorbs water. This is why it is so effective when applied to the moist layer of a slug. Beer Yes, slugs don’t mind a beer. Jokes aside, beer is another effective product for solving a slug problem in your home. The trick here is to fill up a container with a small amount of beer. It is important that you only add a small amount so that the slugs can’t actually reach the beverage. Because it is unreachable, the slugs will be desperate for a sip of the beer, which will cause them to fall into the container. This is called a beer trap. There you have it. To handle your slug infestation, all it takes is a few simple and cheap products that you can purchase for under $5. If these don’t work, consider calling pest...

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3 of the Most Common Pests Found in Australian Businesses

Posted by on Jan 22nd, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 of the Most Common Pests Found in Australian Businesses

A pest infestation in your workplace is bad for business. Whether you have rats, ants, cockroaches or moths, you’ll need to call in the professionals to sort the problem and fast. Here’s a skin-crawling list of some of the country’s most common critters that love to hang out in offices and commercial properties. 1. Cockroaches There are 400 cockroach species native to Australia. Often attracted to dark, damp spaces, cockroaches sometimes produce a repugnant odor (you’ll know it when you smell it) and can be a right pain to get rid of once they’ve broken into your commercial building. They can also carry disease and germs — a big no-no if you have staff working in your office. Get rid of cockroaches by telling your staff to seal food containers and keep desk surfaces clean. Take out rubbish regularly and use bins with a lid to stop them coming back. If all else fails, calling pest control is the only sensible option. These professionals use equipment like bait powder and glue strips to eliminate cockroach nests from your building.  2. Rats Rats carry disease and can be a terrifying sight for employees working on your premises. Enticed by rubbish and food that’s been left in your building, rodents are hard to get rid of once they’ve moved in. They can also contaminate food, leave droppings on work surfaces and desks, and cause damage. Discover where the rats are coming from and seal any openings in walls or piping to prevent rodents from entering your building. If you need to take further action, pest control can lay down traps or poison to quickly solve the issue. Here’s a fact that will send a shiver down your spine: Australian rats can have eight or more children at a time after a pregnancy that lasts only 22 days.   3. Wasps Wasps can be more a nuisance for your employees. They have a vicious bite as well! The English Wasp and German Wasp are two of the most widespread species in Australia, although the Papernest Wasp — and their enormous nests — are commonly found in businesses across the country. Like other pests, wasps can be difficult to get rid of. Keep the area clean and encourage staff to dispose of food and rubbish properly. If the problem persists, a pest control expert can quickly solve the problem so you can get back to...

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Why Won’t Some Cats Catch Mice?

Posted by on Oct 14th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Won’t Some Cats Catch Mice?

If a mouse ventures into your home, you may well expect your pet cat to deal with it. After all, cats are naturally supposed to catch mice. This doesn’t work with every cat, however. Although some cats are natural hunters that will track down and kill any mouse that sets foot on their territory, others may show no interest in mice at all and may even be a little scared of them. Perhaps most irritatingly, some cats will use their hunting skills to catch mice really effectively, before playing with them for a while and then letting them go again. Some Cats Don’t Have Hunting Instincts or Skills If your cat won’t chase a mouse, it may simply not be interested in hunting; it may also lack the skills needed to catch prey. In some cases, this may down to its breed. According to the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals, cat breeds that have been domesticated for many generations may have lost some of their natural hunting instincts, while breeds that have been kept as pets more recently, such as Siamese cats, may retain more of a killer instinct. Also, some cats don’t hunt because of their early experiences as kittens. Typically, a cat’s mother teaches her kittens how to use their natural hunting instincts. If a mother cat doesn’t teach her kittens how to catch prey, or if they are taken away from their mother too early, cats may never fully develop the ability to hunt effectively. Use Your Cat’s Scent to Deter Mice Even if your cat is a useless mouse killer, it can still help you deter mice from coming into your home. Mice can identify a cat’s scent and will naturally avoid it. If you have a problem with mice in areas of your house where your cat doesn’t normally go, it’s worth encouraging the cat to hang around in those rooms for a while. It will naturally spread its scent around, which may be enough to convince some mice to stay away. If your cat’s scent doesn’t stop mice from running riot in your home, or if they continue to live in hard to access areas, such as under floors or in your wall spaces, consider consulting a pest control specialist from a company like Statewide Pest Control. Make sure to tell the company that you have a cat, so that it can recommend a safe solution that will not harm your...

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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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