Everything you need to know about finding a Pest Control Expert
Pest control is an essential component of home maintenance. Employing pest control services will ensure that your home is safe from pests that could pose a threat to the health and comfort of your family. Read on for more information about pest control.
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Home Pest Control
- Termites (also known as white ants) enter the home through hairline cracks in concrete slabs, through cavity walls, and through areas near plumbing and electrical conduits. They can also enter through the soil. If your home has a chemical barrier around it through the soil to deter termites, the soil will need to be re-treated every five to ten years. For more, see termite pest control. Also see our home pest control articles about termite protection and termite bait.
- Rodents (rats and mice) can be a serious health hazard, as they carry lice, fleas and diseases. They can also cause considerable damage to buildings by chewing electrical wiring and other structures. Also see rodent control.
- Cockroaches, like rodents, can carry diseases such as the polio virus as well as cause problems for allergy sufferers. They tend to thrive in warm, humid conditions and can quickly infest the home. See cockroaches pest control for more info.
- Fleas are common household pests that feed on warm-blooded animals and humans. They often enter the home via a pet and will lay eggs in the carpet. See flea pest control for flea treatment tips.
- Bed bugs are wingless parasites that tend to build their homes in bedding and furniture. Like fleas, they feed on human blood and are often brought into the home via clothing or luggage or via pets. Bed bug bites look like irritated welts and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Find out more about bed bugs pest control.
- Silverfish are small, flat insects that reside in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. While they do not pose a health hazard, they can cause significant damage, feeding on paper, wallpaper and clothing. See silverfish control for more information.
- Ants are a highly invasive pest found within the home. They tend to infest kitchen, feeding on scraps of food, and nest under paving, in roofing and within building walls. Find out more about ants pest control.
Pests Outside the Home
- Wasps are an aggressive pest with a painful and potentially harmful sting. The sting venom can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and to pets. Wasps tend to build nests around the home in wall cavities and wood piles. They can also build nests underground (see wasp removal)
- Spiders are a common household pest which are attracted to buildings where food and refuge is in abundance. They tend to build webs around the home or garden. While many species are harmless, some spiders such as the red back and funnel web spider are potentially dangerous with a venomous bite (see spider control)
- Snakes can be found around the home, and although they will usually avoid contact with humans, some species can be potentially dangerous. Native snakes are protected, so if you come across a snake on your property, contact a pest control expert to catch and release it in a safe area. See snake removal for more information.
- Rabbits are a very common pest in rural areas and can cause widespread damage to gardens, crops and vegetable patches. They breed at an exceptionally fast rate, and tend to burrow extensively, resulting in soil erosion. See rabbit control for more information
- Possums tend to reside in ceilings, chimneys and building eaves, causing noise and structure damage to the home and garden. If they take up residence in your roof, their droppings can stain the ceiling. See possum pest control.
- Birds can be a nuisance around the home during breeding time, when they search for a suitable nesting site. They tend to nest in roofs and guttering, making considerable noise and defacing the property with droppings. Birds can also carry lice and diseases, and as such can cause health problems in humans. Find out more about bird control.
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Pest Control Treatments
Pest control in Australia involves using pesticides that are sprayed both inside and outside the home. This surface treatment should last for around a year before reapplication is required. Ideally, pest control professionals will use pesticides with the lowest amount of toxicity required to complete the job.
Pest control specialists will often install insect traps, such as mosquito or fly traps, as a preventative measure. When a pest control treatment is applied, in most cases (90%) you will not need to leave the home. However, animals should be kept off treated surfaces for thirty minutes, or until the surfaces are completely dry.
Selecting Pest Controllers
When selecting your pest controller in Australia, there are some things to consider. Firstly, they should be fully licensed and carry the appropriate insurances. Also find out if they have a license to use pesticides. Ask if they use non toxic or low toxic treatments wherever possible. If they are carrying out a termite inspection, the inspection and subsequent treatment plans should be compliant with Australian Standard AS 3660. This standard relates to termite treatment and says that a full inspection must be carried out before any treatment is begun. As always, you should ask for a written quote before any work is done. Ideally, this quote will be free of charge and obligation free. Finally, ask what warranty your pest controllers provide and what it covers.
If you are looking to buy a new home, consider hiring a pest inspector to carry out a pest inspection.
Tips on Keeping Your Home Pest Free
The best way to keep your home pest free is to keep your home as clean and as free of clutter as possible. Bins should be emptied regularly and outdoor bins should be fitted with sturdy lids. Never leave food out in the open. Cockroaches need water to survive, so try to avoid leaving sources of water for them. Make sure that the lawn is kept short and that you do not have stacks of wood or other piles of debris on the ground. To avoid vermin infestations, keep food and pet food in strong containers that rats and mice cannot chew through (also see vermin control).
How Much Does Pest Control Cost?
Expect to pay in the region of a $100 per hour for pest control services. The size of your property and the type of pest you have will ultimately determine the cost involved. Expect a flat fee quote after giving the service an approximate size of your home or premises.