A Common Misconception About Pests In Autumn

Now that the warm weather is coming to an end and Autumn is here, we have shifted gears to ensure that our clients are safe from the kinds of pests which are prevalent at this time of year.What we have realised after speaking with our clients, is that there is a bit of a misconception that with the warm weather disappearing, so will the pests around their homes.As the temperature drops, pests (much like most of us humans) want a warm and cosy place to spend the cold autumn and winter months, looking for a place they can nest, find food and have access to water.So, here is the bad news – our homes can be the perfect place for some of these undesirable houseguests.
So what kind of pests do we need to look out for?

Rats and Mice
Rodents love to be warm and cosy in the colder months, and in the search for their comfortable new home, they find that the cavities in our walls and ceilings, along with other areas of our homes, are the perfect places for them to nest and ride out the Autumn and Winter months.

Why are rats and mice so dangerous?
Rodent droppings have been known to cause asthmatic attacks in children, and they can transmit tape worms, Lassa Fever, Salmonella, Leprosy and Typhoid to people via scratches, bites and contaminated food.
Mice and rats in our homes can also cause damage by gnawing through timbers, electrical cables,furnishings and other materials, as well as contaminating foods and food preparation surfaces.

How do you know if you have a rodent problem?
Generally speaking, residential home owners will either see a rat or mouse running around their home or they will notice rodent droppings or gnawed food packets on the shelves or the floor of the pantry. It’s fair to say that when you see a mouse or a rat in your home you can be pretty sure that there many more in the close vicinity.
You might also see rat and mice droppings in the attic when you are fixing tiles, in the garage when you park your car, in the garden shed or even in the living areas, pantry and kitchen of your home.

What to do if you have rats and mice in your home?
You can put down rat or mouse traps and bait, but these can be harmful and even deadly to pets and young children. Some of these baits look very attractive to both young toddlers and to pets, so you must be very careful where you place them around your home. It is always safer to call us to deal with the infestation, rather than go it alone and risk harming your children or pets.

Termites (or White Ants)
Termites (or white ants) are nasty pests and can get out of control very quickly. If left untreated,they can devastate your home or commercial building, reducing its value and preventing a sale until the termite infestation has been treated and the damage fixed.

How do you know if you have termites?
At first glance, termites look very similar to ants, but tend to be pale in colour, which is why they are often called white ants. The signs of a termite problem are often found when you start to renovate a building and you remove the plaster board or gyprock to find mud tracks or mud tunnels constructed by the termites. You might also find timber that sounds hollow or ‘papery’, because the termites have eaten the inside of the timber.

Why are termites such a problem?
Termites can often go unnoticed or undetected, especially if it has been a long time since an inspection has been carried out. The damage that can be done to your house or commercial property, as well as personal properly inside your house like books or important files in a commercial building, can be far more expensive to try to repair than if you have an inspection and treatment carried out on a regular basis.

What should I do if there are termites?
Do not try and fix the problem yourself, because you can make it even worse. If you can actually see the termites, then pick a few up and keep them safe in a container of alcohol, so that we can ID the species when we perform a termite inspection. Your best strategy is to call us and we will manage the termite problem for you.

Cockroaches
Cockroaches are not just an annoying problem, scuttling across our floors and along the shelves in the pantry, but they can also create serious health issues. Sydney is known to have a large cockroach problem, whether you live in the city or outer suburbs, and no matter how clean you keep your
home and its surroundings, it can be very difficult to eradicate cockroaches. German cockroaches can especially become a problem in the Autumn and Winter months, as while they are hiding in the dark small corners in your homes, they are breeding and multiplying at an enormous rate.

Why are cockroaches so dangerous?
The antigens in the droppings of cockroaches can not only trigger attacks in people who suffer from asthma, but they also spread bacteria over uncovered food, food preparation surfaces and floors in your home, as they scuttle around your home.With young children in your family, especially at an age when they are crawling around on the floor, cockroaches can be a serious health problem in your home.

How do you know if you a cockroach problem?
There is nothing quite like turning the light on at 2am in the morning and seeing cockroaches scuttling around your floors and surfaces trying to get out of the light! Without a doubt, you know that you have a cockroach problem when you see at least one cockroach in your home. If you see more than one, then the situation is becoming rapidly worse and more than two, then you know you have a cockroach infestation.

What should I do if I see cockroaches around the house?
If you ignore the situation, cockroaches can get completely out of hand in your home. To prevent the problem becoming any worse, you need to remove all debris and rubbish from your yard, as cockroaches like to nest in these areas. Don’t leave any food out overnight and don’t leave dirty
dishes in the sink, because this will attract them.Make sure you don’t leave open food packets and containers in the pantry, as cockroaches will walk
all over these and nibble away at the contents, and don’t stack old newspapers and magazines in the garage, because cockroaches like dark places. Instead either recycle them or if you must keep them, pack them into sealed containers. Obviously, you can’t pack everything in containers in your home,but being vigilant and aware, will go a long way to keeping cockroaches at bay.

As we all know, cockroaches are very resilient and many of the over-the- counter treatments for cockroaches don’t really fix the problem, particularly in the long term. You can put down baits, but cockroaches tend to have built up a resilience to these chemicals and killing one cockroach, doesn’t
really resolve the problem.

The best solution is to call us and we can quickly and safely put an end to your cockroach infestation with a tailored cockroach eradication treatment plan.

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