Spring has sprung and the “joys of spring” replace winter drowsiness. But humans are not the only ones who are feeling joyful. Household pests are also ready to enjoy their prime breeding season – and they’ll be looking for new homes. Lee Maddocks, a pest control expert on Australia’s Gold Coast shares his tips for making sure they don’t choose yours!
Watch out for Wood
Termites are a massive problem for Australian homeowners. With spring, termites swarm in search of new homes. Wood is an obvious target, says Mr Maddocks: “If you’re building new decking or fences, make sure you’re using treated timber. Ideally, you shouldn’t store large amounts of firewood or leave dead wood around the place. If you do need to store wood, keep it as far from your house as you can and don’t let it rest on the ground.”
Moisture is also attractive to termites. To reduce your termite welcome, a little maintenance may be in order. Leaking pipes are a no-no, and mulch, though good for the garden, shouldn’t touch the building. “Anything that’s perpetually damp is termite-friendly,” he warns. “Don’t forget to look beyond ground level. Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged with winter’s fallen leaves.”
The Problem With Cardboard
Many people are inclined to forget that cardboard is a lot like wood as far as termites are concerned, but they’re not the only bugs who will actively feed on cardboard boxes. Mr Maddocks reminds us that cockroaches love cardboard too, and so do crickets. “Cardboard boxes may look like a good storage solution, but plastic storage containers are much less pest friendly,” he advises.
Close the Gaps
Closing chinks that let insects, including termites, mosquitoes, and flies into the home will make for a more comfortable summer. “Screens on doors and windows are an old-fashioned but effective way to protect a home against pests, but they aren’t the only entry points,” says Mr Maddocks. “Pests will take advantage of gaps and cracks anywhere on the building and that includes the roof. While you’re at it, check ventilation bricks to ensure that there’s mesh to keep insects out.”
Mind the Mess
Most people know that leaving food or crumbs around the place encourages pests, but summer is much less forgiving than winter, so it’s not the time to take any chances. Pet food will attract certain insects too, and Maddocks advises sticking to fixed feeding times and removing any left-overs soon afterward.
As for garbage, make sure that all bins seal properly, avoid overfilling them, and ensure they’re emptied regularly. “A sealed bin will prevent flies from getting in, but if they already laid eggs on food scraps, you’ll still get a binful of maggots.”
Solving Summer Mosquito Problems
Lights that attract insects and then zap them to death have been around for a long time, but Mr Maddocks warns that they’re better at attracting and killing beneficial insects than they are at killing mosquitoes.
“The University of Florida conducted a study to see how these devices work, and the results were discouraging,” he says. “In one night, a bug zapper light attracted and killed over 10,000 insects – but when entomologists checked the remains, they only found eight mosquitoes in the whole lot.”
“My advice is to get rid of standing water anywhere and everywhere around your home. There’ll still be mosquitoes around, but there will be fewer of them, and by wearing insect repellent at night-time barbeques, you’ll get adequate protection. When indoors, insect screens should keep mosquitoes out.”
Don’t Forget Your Pest Inspections
Although spring’s insect pests are annoying, few have the potential for harm that goes with a termite infestation. Australian homes often end up with termite problems because we have an ideal environment for termites.
Homeowners should get a professional pest inspection every 12 to 24 months. If pests are already present, no amount of well-intentioned spring maintenance is going to solve the problem. While they’re checking for termites, professional pest control operatives can look for signs of other pests and they will be able to point out any factors that make a home vulnerable. “You don’t need to fear pests if you take all the necessary precautions,” says Mr Maddocks.
For more information on all things pest control and ridding your home of unwanted guest including bedbugs or to learn more about how Richards Pest Control can keep your home properly maintained, visit the Best Pest Control In Gold Coast & Tweed | Richards Pest Control or call Lee and his team for a no obligation quotation on (07) 5533 9512.