Last Updated Feb 1, 2018 · Written by Craig Gibson
If you have household pests, you want to get rid of them, fast!
The best and safest way to get rid of pests is to hire a professional pest control service. They have the expertise, training and licences to carry out this sort of work.
This article will help you identify the most common household pests you are likely to encounter, and how much it will cost to get rid of them.
Cockroaches - one of the most common, and despised household pests.
Household pests come in all shapes and sizes - from diminutive bed bugs and termites to ‘cute’ furry possums and the widely reviled cockroach.
Here are ten of the likeliest your are likely to encounters in Australia:
Ants: ants often infest a food source, typically in your kitchen or pantry while nesting under paving, in roofing and your walls.
Bed bugs: bed bugs are wingless parasites that feed on your blood, producing bites and welts that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Bees: bees are most dangerous when they swarm trying to find a new nesting location, and some people are allergic to their sting.
Birds: birds often nest in roofs and guttering, defacing and damaging your home. They can also carry lice and diseases which can cause health problems for your and your family.
Cockroaches: these insects are notoriously pervasive, especially in in warm, humid conditions. If not managed, cockroaches can quickly infest your entire property.
Rodents: rats and mice not only carry a variety of diseases, including fleas and lice - they can also cause structural damage especially by chewing.
Possums: a fairly common visitor to ceiling cavities and roofs, possums can cause structural damage as well as keep you up all night.
Snakes: snakes can be a real concern especially in urban areas that border bushland, where some species can pose a risk to humans and pets.
Spiders: most spiders are harmless, however a handful - red back and funnel web spiders - are poisonous enough to be of serious concern, and should be removed from your home.
Termites: termites, otherwise know as white ants, these insects can cause significant structural damage to any timber element of your home. Treatments include temporary chemical applications as well as structural, physical barriers.
Pests such as mosquitoes can take up residence in your garden.
Read: How to Manage Termites, Ants and Other Pests in Your Home
Many homeowners are wary of strong chemicals that could harm pets, children or the whole family. Some pest control services advertise themselves as ‘green’, ‘eco’ or pet/family friendly. This could mean a few things. They could use chemicals that have no, or a low impact, on the environment or humans. It could also mean that they trap or capture a pest before removing it from your property - as opposed to exterminating it.
Before you sign up with a pest control agent, be sure to check what they include as part of their service.
Be as thorough as possible in describing the type or types of pests you have and the extent of the problem. If there are access problems, mention those, too. This way you will get more accurate initial quotes.
If you’re hiring an exterminator to remove termites, ensure their treatment plan is compliant with Australian Standard AS 3660. Also check if the work comes with a warranty. Most reputable services will offer a money-back guarantee.
Anyone who provides a pest control service needs to be qualified and licensed to work in your home
Rob Roffey of Double R Pest Management advises homeowners to be wary of going for the lowest quote, “There are a lot of shonky operators out there who will charge next to nothing, and some people get conned by this. The sad thing is we then get called into fix their mess!”
Pest controllers are regulated and licensed on a local state/territory basis. Each have different licensing requirements, so you need to check with your local regulator where you live. If trainees are conducting any work they must be supervised by a licenced pest management technician.
Make sure your service professional is licenced and able to produce references. Choose the service you think will do the best job.
The cost of hiring a pest control service depends on a number of factors, some of which include:
While there are variables, you may be able to roughly calculate the cost of pest control. While it might be possible to spend as little as $100 for a quick one-off treatment from a local pest control expert, prices are usually higher for a reputable service.
Some costs you might encounter for pest control include:
Typical termite damage to floorboards.
If you live in a high-risk termite area, your home is likely to require termite protection and treatment, including regular termite inspections, monitoring and baiting. If you are building in a termite zone you should also consider adding a pre-construction barrier to your timber-framed home.
Termite control of an isolated area could range from $180 - $225. If you need a more comprehensive termite barrier around your home - which is installed during the construction phase, the cost could be as much as $3000. Expect to pay in the region of $250 for a pre-purchase pest inspection, and $300-$600 for a combined building and pest inspection.
Possums are usually captured and relocated.
#hiptip: Ensuring your roof and ceiling cavity is secure is the best way to prevent possums from becoming a pest
Possum removal typically involves capture (trap) and removal of the possum from your home as well as any roof repairs required. This ensures that there is no entry point for the possum into your roof cavity - the most common place that possum’s take up residence.
Expect possum removal to cost in the region of $225. This price is for a single level house with a tiled roof and includes a 12 month guarantee (Sydney). This cost will vary depending on access to your roof, how many possums need to be removed as well as how many access points need to be closed by the technician.
It is worth noting that possums are a protected species, so are not allowed to be relocated outside of their home territory. Maintaining and repairing your roof is therefore crucial, to prevent them coming back to your property.
The best way of finding out the cost of pest control is to get quotes from local pest controllers. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.
* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide.