They say prevention is better than a cure, and this is also true when it comes to insects and other creatures that invade your home and garden. Whether it’s germ-spreading cockroaches or other bugs like spiders and ants, you want to reduce the chances of them entering your property.
There are also safety and other considerations you need to be aware of with DIY pest control. These tips and tricks are simple, can be done by yourself at home and won’t cost you a bomb. Ready to get rolling?
Reduce opportunities for pest invasions
It sounds simple, but a rubber doorstop is an affordable way to prevent creepy crawlies and other vermin from entering your home.
Also keep an eye on vegetation that touches your walls. By allowing vegetation to grow against the wall edges of your house you are inadvertently contributing to a possible pest infestation. The foliage forms a bridge that spiders, cockroaches, termites and ants will use as a super highway to enter your property. Snakes can also gain access easily if you have trees that overhang your roof or touch guttering.
You may think it is convenient to locate your veggie garden close to your house, but it can cause a pest issue if it is near the wall edge of your home. Your plants require daily watering, which is a huge attraction for moisture-seeking termites. Your garden may also touch the weep holes in the brickwork. This can give termites an easy way to enter your property leading to damage to your home. Make sure carefully consider where you locate your vegetable patch.
Don’t be fooled by eco-friendly promises
Being offered eco-friendly pest control solutions may just be an unnecessary gimmick you are being thrown to get your business or purchase. Pest control has come a long way and no suppliers or products contain organophosphate chemicals these days. They were notorious for being toxic, causing poisoning and emitting strong smells. All products used in modern pest control are non-toxic and odor free and designed to be safe to use in environments where diners, children and the aged could be exposed to them.
Dosages used for pest control are also much lower than they used to be (a pesticide may form less than 0.4% of the actual product for example), are also weaker, and are designed to only effect the insects they are targeting.
Keep things safe
It’s crucial you know how to store pest control products you have around the house or are planning to purchase. From fly spray to rat and cockroach baits, there are safety measures you need to put in place to protect children and pets. Storing them high (out of reach) or in a locked cupboard is a safe solution.
If you are using pest control products, or have someone performing the treatment in your home, it may be safer to leave the house while it is being performed. It’s not crucial, but can make it easier for your service provider to perform the task and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Doing it DIY?
If you are tackling pest control yourself you need to consider some of the choices you make and their implications. Rodent baits, for example, can be bought at most shops. Because they contain low dosages of active ingredients compared to professional solutions, they may take up to a week to kill the rodent that eats the bait after it has been ingested. The pest becomes weak and confused in this time, which makes it easy for your pets to catch them. Dogs and cats can die as a result of this “second kill” phenomenon.
Wall mount pest control products are another popular solution. You need to be aware that your family and pets can be exposed to this product through the air they breathe. Because wall mounts project pesticides into the air they are less safe than products applied in a fine mist directly onto surfaces, which is the service offered by pest control services.
Catch the problem early to save money
Being aware of the presence of pests before it becomes an undetected invasion can prevent expensive damage to your property. Having pest and termite inspections regularly can assist with this. Termite damage in particular can be hugely costly if it’s left unchecked for years.
How experts beat pests
If you have a pest invasion or problem, pest control services can assist you. Here are some of the common culprits, and how you can seek help
Pest control companies no longer apply pesticides to beehives to kill them. Environmental law protects bees, so a professional beekeeper will need to be called on if you have an invasion. They will place a box containing a queen outside of your property, which will attract the bees, allowing the beekeeper to move the bees without harming them.
Placing mothballs in your drawers or cupboards can deter silverfish, but they tend to breed in the roof vents. A professional service will use a dusting machine to penetrate the roof and wall cavities and eliminate the problem for good.
Sometimes entire homes have to be demolished as a result of devastating termite damage, so it’s best to get a professional service to get a termite infestation under control. You can prevent things getting out of hand by scheduling regular termite inspections. You may think a physical termite barrier will cover you if you live in a newer property (these usually offer a 20- or 50-year guarantee), but the guarantees are only valid if you undergo annual termite inspections. Because 70% of Australian homes have inadequate termite protection, annual inspections are crucial for most families.
You can also do your bit to prevent an infestation by doing the following:
- Install a termite baiting system or a chemical full perimeter barrier designed to suit the way your house has been constructed (i.e. a flat block with a flat slab or a sloping block; or a raised home).
- Cover weep holes and remove vegetation that touches property walls.
- Consult a professional pest control technician when you lay concrete, renovate bathrooms, build decks or add extensions.
- Get rid of wood or furniture that you are storing under the house or elsewhere in the home.
- Repair piping and hot water systems and see to any faults in your plumbing. Vulnerable areas are those with high moisture such as the edges of your home.
The underside of eaves of houses is a popular spot for both mud building and nest building wasps to squat. You cannot prevent them from entering your property, but as you see them building a nest it is important to do something to get rid of them – although it’s not an easy task. You can try using a DIY product called “Wasp Freeze” but you are at risk of being stung. Having first sealed the house, pest control service will spray the nest and remove the nest.
The winter months are common for rodent invasions, although you can experience this issue at any time of year. To prevent them entering your property in the first place scout out potential entry points and seal them. Garage doors that leave a gap, doorstops, holes, spaces in brickwork or floor seams all pose risks.
Baiting regularly is a solution, but it’s recommended that plastic baiting stations that are weatherproof and lockable are installed. For an average home around two or three under the house or around it is a safe way to effectively prevent the infestation of rodents.
Your only option is to relocate them as possums are a protected species and need to be removed by a licensed professional. If you have this issue you can also call your local wildlife center as many offer possum relocation services for free.
Bird spikes can prevent the nesting of birds, as can placing netting in cavities and on the underside of roof structures. They are commonly used on storage sheds, balconies and verandas to prevent birds from occupying them.
Learn more about the different types of common household pests here https://www.pest-ex.com.au/pests/