Pest Control Brisbane

Pest control 2017-07-11T12:16:47+00:00

Pest Control Services Brisbane

CommercialNo1 Pest Management takes pride in delivering a comprehensive “One Off Treatments” for RESIDENTIAL and “Program Treatments” for COMMERCIAL PREMISES; carried out by a QUALIFIED LICENCED TECHINAN WITH COMBINED EXPERIENCE OF 17 YEARS.

What is a Pest? It is ‘an organism that, at a given place and time, is undesirable’, nothing that the nature of the undesirability may be a direct threat to health or property (food, shelter etc.) or may be simply related to comfort or aesthetics.
No1 Pest Management has been expanding significantly in the past few years due to our Industry Bench Marking Treatments and Procedures focusing on:

  • Documented Technician’s discussion with Client-Expectations and Desires of Treatment
  • Inspection of Premises and Preparation of Treatment Areas
  • Identification of Pest Activity
  • Identification of possible causes and harborages
  • Solutions for specific pest problems
  • Safe, family friendly service for your home
  • Environmentally safe responsible use of Pest Treatments
  • Where possible no inconvenience to your family/home activity

Urban and Commercial Pests Management Includes:

  • Cockroaches
  • Silverfish
  • Wasps
  • Ants
  • Fleas
  • Carpet beetles
  • Bed Bugs
  • Rodents
  • Termites
  • Spiders
  • Stored Food Pests
  • Mosquitoes
  • Much More

Pest Applications Treatments-Internal and External:

No1 Pest Management offers a Family Pest Package for Residential Premises (treatment covering multiple pest) also Individual Pest Treatments, i.e Fleas/Cockroaches.

No1 Pest Management Commercial Premises; offers Specific Targeting Treatments for these and other pests, we also customize our packages to suit your property/individual needs and I would be glad to discuss and arrange for a FREE QUOTE about your Pest Management requirements with you today.

Both are leading services for pest management-due to our Licensed Technicians using a combination of both Chemical Treatments and Non-Application Treatments producing maximum management from pest with the support of you the Client and Staff.

Pest Management Premises This Year: Residential Housing/Office Blocks/ Entertainment Venues/ Retails Stores/Shopping Centre’s/ Health Practices/Hospitals/Restaurants/Schools and Local Council Premises.

PEST INFORMATION

Ants

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics

Adult:

  • 1.5-2.5mm long.
  • Colour varies from light yellowish brown to brown.
  • Large head in comparison to body size (soldier).
  • Thorax has one pair of spines.
  • Abdominal pedicel has 2 raised nodes.
  • Soldier has enlarged darkened head.
  • Chewing mouthparts.

Larvae (The young):

  • Whitish grub, narrower toward the head

Life Cycle
Complete metamorphosis (egg – larva – pupa – adult). Eggs are small and ovoid in shape. Larvae are fed by the adults. After several moults the larvae pupate.

There are 3 different castes of adults:

  1. Male: Winged. Function is to mate with female.
  2. Female: Winged until after mating. Largest in body size. This caste becomes the reproductive queen of the colony. Can live many years.
  3. Worker: Wingless, sterile. Act as nest-builders, foragers for food, feeding larvae, looking after eggs and defence of nest. Soldiers come from this caste. Normally live about 1 year.

Habitat
Nests mainly in soil and builds along pathways, in gardens, against walls, under houses and if in large enough numbers can cause damage to lawns. They prefer sunny, dry areas to nest but will nest above ground if soil is available. Can be found nesting in termite tracks. Have been known to invade external electrical appliances such as hot water systems.

Food
Preference is for fatty foods but will attack seeds, meats, insects, fruit, honeydew from aphids, sweet foods, fats and grease. Adults cannot ingest solid food particles but ingest liquids which are pressed out of food material. Larvae depend entirely on workers for food. Young larvae are fed in liquids, the older larvae are fed on small food particles which they can ingest. Adults will also feed on excretions from larvae.

Economic Impact / Nuisance
Small mounds from excavations near paths etc. can be considered unsightly. Trailing of ants can also be considered unsightly. Swarming can occur within a premises which can cause distress to the occupants. Invasion of kitchen areas and wet areas can also be a nuisance to occupants. Plants and seedlings can be damaged if infestation is bad. External electrical appliances such as hot water systems can be damaged and present a fire hazard because of short-circuits from high moisture levels. Can be vectors of disease organisms such as dysentery, smallpox and bacteria such as Salmonella.

Control
Being a social insect, concern for individuals is reduced. This is a major strength making control difficult. They are also small and extremely adaptable at establishing large colonies outside. Being a social insect is also a weakness since direct treatment of a nest will destroy the colony. Control measures can involve barrier treatments to try to keep ants away from their food and water source. The most successful form of treatment is to locate the nest itself and treat with an appropriate insecticide. A liquid insecticide which could flood tunnels and galleries and has a long residual life in soil would be preferable for both a barrier and nest treatment. Because they favour outdoor nesting sites, a perimeter treatment of the premises is often all that is needed. Another form of treatment is to exploit their foraging activities for food. Using baits, the food is taken back to the ant colony where it can target many more members including the queen.

Black Ant ( Ochetellus glaber )

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics
Adult:

  • 2.5-3.0mm long.
  • Black in colour.
  • Single flattened node on pedicel, distinct and erect.
  • Chewing mouthparts.

Larvae (The young):

  • Whitish grub, narrower toward the head.

Black Ant

Life Cycle

Complete metamorphosis (egg – larva – pupa – adult). Eggs are small and ovoid in shape. Larvae are fed by the adults. After several moults the larvae pupate. There are 3 different castes of adults:

  1. Male: Winged. Function is to mate with female.
  2. Female: Winged until after mating. Largest in body size. This caste become the reproductive queen of the colony. Can live many years.
  3. Worker: Wingless, sterile. Act as nest-builders, foragers for food, feeding larvae, looking after eggs and defence of nest.
    Soldiers come from this caste. Normally live about 1 year.

Habitat
Can nest outside against paths, in rockeries and other cracks and crevices. Will readily nest indoors. Nests have been found in between walls, ceilings, doors, fences and many more unusual places, but rarely do they nest in the soil. Adults will usually run in distinct trails which can assist in finding nests. Another sign for locating nests is the fall out of black droppings on floors, window sills and benches which indicate nests above or near the droppings.

Food
Preference is for sweet foods but will eat seeds, plants, fats and grease. Their need for moisture is the most common reason for invading kitchens, bathrooms or other sources of water in a premises. Adults cannot ingestsolid food particles but ingest liquids which are pressed out of food material. Larvae depend entirely on workers for food. Young larvae are fed in liquids, the older larvae are fed on small food particles which they can ingest. Adults will also feed on excretions from larvae.

Economic Impact / Nuisance
Trailing of ants can also be considered unsightly. Swarming can occur within a premises which can cause distress to the occupants. Invasion of kitchen areas and wet areas can also be a nuisance to occupants. Can be vectors of disease organisms such as dysentery, smallpox and bacteria such as Salmonella. The adult stage is considered the pest.

Control
Being a social insect, concern for individuals is reduced. This is a major strength making control difficult. They are also small and extremely adaptable at establishing smaller colonies within a house or building. However the entire colony lives to serve the queen reproductive. Should the queen die the colony will die also. This is a weakness which must be exploited. Control measures can involve barrier treatments to try to keep ants away from their food and water source. Since the individual is not important, these barriers can be breached at the sacrifice of many colony members should the need arise. Another form of treatment is to exploit their foraging activities for food. Using baits, the food is taken back to the ant colony where it can target many more members including the queen. Our licensed technicians can assist you with a flexible, tailored solution to meet your needs and prevent these pests from becoming a problem in your home or workplace. Please contact us to see how we can help you maintain an environment free of these and other pests.

General Information
Black AntAnts belong to a family of insects, which also contain the bees and wasps. Ants are, in fact, a group of small and highly specialized wasps, which have one of the most advanced forms of social life amongst the insects. They live in colonies that range in size from a few to hundreds of thousands of individuals and due to their ability to organize and administer a society leave humans far behind. A large colony of ants presents thousands of mouths to feed. Foraging is an important job, which is the duty of the workers. Although some ants favour certain foods, most are omnivorous, meaning they will eat a wide variety of substances including insects, honeydew, sweets, grease, oils, vegetables etc. Most ants carry food to the nest where they feed each other, the Queen and larva (the young). Of The many species of ants in Australia, only a small number have become pests of homes and offices.

Cockroaches are obnoxious pests

Cockroaches carry diseases such as salmonella, dysentery, gastroenteritis and other stomach complaint organisms. Cockroaches adulterate food and spread pathogenic organisms with their faeces and defensive secretions.

Asthmatic reactions: Cockroaches must moult regularly throughout their life-cycle. The discarded skin becomes airborne and can cause severe asthmatic reactions, particularly to children, the elderly and people with bronchial ailments.

The cockroach begins as an egg: The female produces an egg sac which she carries or deposits in a safe place. The young cockroach or “nymph” will undergo a series of moults, shedding it’s external skeleton, as it grows to adulthood. The entire life cycle may extend to a few months depending on the species and environmental factors, such as, access to food and moisture, adequate shelter and warm temperatures.

Professional pest control: cockroaches

Modern science has the answer: These days, the professional pest controller has access to cockroach bait technologies. The modern technology cockroach baits is designed as a palatable food source for cockroaches which has a delayed lethal effect. The bait is readily transferred and fed to other cockroaches. The male cockroach is the primary food gatherer. The female eats his faeces as a food source and passes it onto the young nympths – spreading the bait throughout the entire population.

Permethrin dust application is recommended for use in wall cavities, roof voids and some subfloor areas. This dust has excellent floatation properties to enable it to be applied directly into such hard to get at areas where cockroaches congregate and breed. Considered essential for severe infestations. The Permethrin dust is modelled on the natural extract of pyrethrum plant and is less toxic than common salt to humans.

A liquid insecticidal spray is often required in some areas to gain effective control, such as interior skirting boards, sheds, garages, fencelines, garbage refuse areas, around top of drains and immediate external perimeter of buildings.

What the home owner can do

Inspection: First, inspect the entire kitchen area, under sinks, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave oven, other cooking appliances, bathroom cabinets, draws, basement and subfloor crawlspace (if any) for likely high activity and harborage areas. Look for cockroaches, alive or dead, their faeces and egg sacs.

Starve them out: Keep all food in sealed containers. Particularly at night, do not leave food scraps exposed in the kitchen or waste storage areas. Thoroughly clean all benches and food preperation areas, particularly between counters and appliances. Regularly vacuum accessible likely harbourage and high acivity areas, carpets, drapes, furniture, kitchen and bathroom cupboards in order to remove cockroach eggs and food deposits.

Cockroaches need water: Cockroaches will thrive in damp subfloor crawl space areas, near leaking taps, etc. Ensure adequate drainage and ventilation. Regularly check and fix any plumbing problems, broken roof tiles, etc that may allow or cause moisture agress to potential cockroach harborage areas. Wipe kitchen sink of moisture before retiring or going out at night. Turn off leaking taps.

Reduce shelter and access points: Seal all cracks and crevices in bathroom, pantry and kitchen cupboards. Store all cardboard boxes and the like above ground level. Cockroaches do not like drafty exposed areas, nor bright lights. A good reason why some restaurants keep lights on at night around their dumpster waste bins.

Cockroach species identification

Correct identification is essential: There are several cockroach pest species that infest domestic and commercial premises. The identification of each species is neccessary to best determine likely harborage areas and an effective pest control program.

German cockroach – Blatella germanica

cockroachIdentification: The body of an adult german cockroach is about 1/2 inch in length. Biege to light brown in color, with two dark stripes on back of head.

World best traveller? The German cockroach is the most widely transported insect pest in the world. Infestations occur even in Alaska and other cold climates in larger installations with central heating or around machinery that produces heat.

In warmer climates, it is commonly found in homes, apartments, restaurants, food processing plants, supermarkets and warehouses. Their eggs arrive in food containers, cartons, fridges, stoves and other appliances or materials brought into a building.

Habitat: German cockroaches are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. German cockroach infestations usually occur in bathrooms and kitchens. They like to hide-out during the day in tight secure places.

Daytime harborage areas are usually near a food and moisture source, such as, inside wall cavities, behind baseboards, cracks and crevices in pantry, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, and under electrical, heating and cooking appliances.

Rapid breeding cycle: The German cockroach is the most prolific breeder among all cockroaches. The female German cockroach lives up to 6 months. She carries an egg capsule containing 30 to 40 eggs. Development from egg to adult can occur in 45 days, during which they moult 6 times.

Major problems: lThe German cockroach will breed rapidly throughout the year, but favours a humid environment of around 80F or warmer. An small initial infestation can become a major problem in a few months.

American cockroach – Periplaneta americana

cockroachIdentification: The largest of the cockroach pest species, the body of an adult American cockroach or “water bug” is 1.5 to 2 inches in length. Color: reddish brown, with a yellowish band behind the head.

Habitat: Preferred daytime habitat locations include the subfloor, basement, in sewers and other warm, dark, moist locations. They avoid cold areas but will thrive outdoors in temperatures above 80F. Indoors they often congregate around hot water pipes, fridge motors, boilers and other heating appliances. The American cockroach will feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female life span up to 1.5 years; incubation period of eggs 6 to 8 weeks; in ideal conditions they quickly reach plague proportions.

Oriental cockroach — Blatta orientalis

cockroachIdentification: The body of an adult oriental cockroach is about 1 inch in length. Dark brown to black in color.

Habitat: Most often found in dark basements or cellars, but can also climb garbage shutes, sewer and water pipes to the upper floors in highrise buildings. Oriental cockroaches prefer to feed on starchy foods.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female lives up to 2 years; deposits up to 18 egg-sacs in lifetime; each eggsac contains 16 eggs; incubation period is 1 to 2 months; development period is 12 months, undergoing 7 moults.

An infestation will rapidly expand in ideal conditions, particularly during the warm summer months with temperatures regularly above 80F.

Australian cockroach — Periplanta australasiae

cockroachIdentification: the Australian cockroach is reddish brown and looks similar to American cockroach but is smaller at 1.25 inches (35mm) in body length. The Australian cockroach has`yellow strips on the outer edge of the front wings. A world-wide species that prefers a vegetarian diet. It is known to eat holes in clothing and even book covers.

Habitat: Generally prevalent in areas where winters are relatively mild. However, in colder climates they are prevalent in greenhouses and near large heating appartus, air-conditioners or other equipment emitting heat constantly. They are opportunistic fliers and will infest anywhere adequate heat, humidity and food supply is available. Prime areas of interest are often pet food bowls and food waste storage areas.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female lives up to 6 months; incubation period of eggs 40 days. An infestation can rapidly expand in ideal conditions, particularly during the warmer climates when temperatures are regularly above 80F. Chronic household infestations usually eminate from the roof void, attic or sub-floor areas of the building.

Silverfish & Silverfish Control

Silverfish can be Real Pests

Silverfish are a starch feeder they damage (eat) paper, fabrics, glues and other organic materials. They may also damage silk and some synthetic fabrics, but they usually avoid woollens.

Silverfish live in Your Home

cockroachHabitat: Silverfish habit underused areas, such as roof spaces, storage rooms, basements, wall cavities, and bookcases but may roam widely throughout a building. Silverfish prefer to live in dark quiet places and are most active during the still of night.

Sinks, toilets & bathtubs: People often find silverfish in their home in sinks, toilets and bathtubs because they have fallen in and become trapped while seeking moisture.

Infestations: Silverfish infestations can start when their eggs, nymphs (young ones), or adults are brought into the home in infested cardboard boxes, cartons, furniture or similar items.

Silverfish Control

Inspection: We recommended a thorough inspection first be carried out by the pest control professional to determine likely and observed habitat locations, the extent of the infestation and control methods neccessary.

Treatment: The roof void and wall cavities should be treated with a synthetic pyrethroid dust using specialised “dust blower” equipment. Other areas, such as basements, storage rooms and the like can be treated with a synthetic pyrethroid spray.

Redback Spiders – Latrodectus hasselti

Redback Spiders are found throughout Australia. They are common in disturbed and urban areas. They belong to the Family Theridiidae, which is found worldwide. The notorious Black Widow Spider ( Latrodectus sp ) of the United States is a close relative of the Redback Spider, and only differs in appearance by the absence of a red dorsal stripe. Other species of Latrodectus occur in the Africa Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Europe and North and South America.

Habitat and Biology

Webs consist of a tangled, funnel-like upper retreat area from which vertical, sticky catching threads run to ground attachments. The Redback Spider favours proximity to human habitation, with webs being built in dry, sheltered sites, such as among rocks, in logs, shrubs, junk-piles, sheds, or toilets. Redback Spiders are less common in winter months. Daddy-long-legs Spiders and White-tailed Spiders are known to catch and kill Redback Spiders.

Insects are the usual prey of Redback Spiders, but they are capable of capturing quite large animals, such as male trapdoor spiders, king crickets and small lizards, if they become entangled in the web. Prey-stealing is also common, with large females taking stored food items from others’ webs.

Female Redback Spiders are black (occasionally brownish) with an obvious orange to red longitudinal stripe on the upper abdomen, with the red stripe sometimes being broken, and an “hourglass” shaped red/orange spot on the underside of the abdomen. Juveniles have additional white markings on the abdomen. Females have a body about the size of a large pea (1cm long) and slender legs.

Habits, Mating and Reproduction

Male Redback Spiders do not produce a web, but may be found on the fringe of a female’s web, especially during the summer mating season. The male has to make overtures to the female to discover whether she is ready to mate, which can prove fatal if she mistakes him for prey. It has been found that in order to occupy the female’s attention during mating, the male spider offers her his abdomen by standing on his head and ‘somersaulting’ his abdomen towards her mouthparts. The female begins to squirt digestive juices onto the male’s abdomen while the first palp is inserted. If he is not too weak, he will manage to withdraw, and then insert the second palp. She will continue to ‘digest’ his abdomen. Most males do not survive this process, which seems to be unique to Latrodectus hasselti .

Females mature on average in about four months. The smaller male matures on average in about 90 days. Females may live for two to three years, whereas males only live for about six or seven months.

Toxicity

Redback bites occur frequently, particularly over the summer months. More than 250 cases receive antivenom each year, with several milder envenomations probably going unreported. Only the female bite is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and have caused deaths. However, since Redback Spiders rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web, and because of their small jaws many bites are ineffective. The venom acts directly on the nerves, resulting in release and subsequent depletion of neurotransmitters.

Common early symptoms are pain (which can become severe), sweating (always including local sweating at bite site), muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting. Antivenom is available. No deaths have occurred since its introduction.

First Aid

Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage (venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain). Collect the spider for positive identification. Seek medical attention. St John Ambulance Emergency First Aid pages

Bedbugs

The scourge of tourist accommodation

In Australia, bedbugs are most commonly found in budget accommodation where there is a turn-over of tourists, especially backpackers. They are transported with the people’s luggage and clothing but not on the person. They may also be found in a building if they are brought in infested second-hand furniture.

Many people believe there is an upsurge in their numbers. This may be due to

  • more travel by people likely to carry them
  • less insecticidal treatment in bedrooms
  • a lack of identification of symptoms by accommodation management, allowing numbers to balloon before treatment
  • a lack of understanding of required treatment by Pest Managers
bed-bugbed-bugbed-bug

Some people react to the bite of bedbugs. Before the bedbug sucks blood, it injects saliva, containing an anticoagulant, into the host. The irritancy is caused by the body’s reaction to the saliva.

BEDBUG MANAGEMENT

INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

The aim of the treatment by your Pest Manager is simple. All harbourages must be located, treated and eliminated. It is the implementation that is difficult and may need your assistance. The Pest Manager will locate all potential harbourages within 2-3m of the bed. A harbourage is any crack that you can slide the corner of a piece of paper into – because bedbugs are paper-thin.

Typically harbourages include:

  • Bed linen – needs to be laundered
  • Mattress – wrap in black plastic and place in the hot sun
  • Bedhead – screw off the wall, treat behind, replace, seal edges
  • Furniture – take apart, treat, re-assemble, seal gaps.
  • Wall coverings – check for cracks in wallpaper
  • Curtains and hangings – check curtain rails also, may need to remove and clean
  • Skirting – treat and seal
  • Flooring – if timber tongue-in-groove, eliminate cracks.

Items, such as bedheads, should be removed if possible because bedbugs are gregarious (many live together) and the crack between the wall and the bedhead may be the entrance to a large void and many bedbugs. Pest Managers have special nozzles to treat into cracks where it is not possible to expose the void inside.

It is not possible to know if someone is a ‘bedbug carrier’. Premises such as backpackers should be inspected regularly for signs of infestation to avoid the costs and inconvenience associated with complaints of bedbug attacks.

Fleas

Solution only with understanding

You have called us because you have a flea problem. Please take a few minutes to read this brochure so you can better understand how best results may be achieved.

The life cycle of the flea is similar to that of a moth – egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) and adult. A newly hatched adult flea is unfed, small, black and aggressive – some people mistakenly refer to these as ground or sand fleas. After they have had a blood meal, fleas lighten in colour and become larger. For every flea on your pet there may be hundreds waiting to hatch!

Sometimes flea treatments appear to be ineffective as small black fleas are seen after the treatment. This is because the pupae are quite resistant to chemicals. Fleas continue to hatch because insecticides cannot penetrate the flea pupal case. Ten fleas can potentially reproduce to 250,000 in only 30 days!

Flea Life Cycle

Flea Life Cycle

Fleas lay eggs on the pet when the host is resting. The white eggs fall off the pet onto the carpet, soil etc. Small blind larvae emerge from the eggs. These larvae move away from the light, burrowing down into the carpet, cracks in floorboards or into the soil. They feed on protein, such as flea droppings of partly digested blood. They moult three times before forming a pupa. The larva changes into the adult in the pupa. The pupa is sticky, so it binds its surrounds to itself, becoming invisible.

In summer, a flea may be ready to hatch from the pupa about 7-14 days after it is formed, however they can remain dormant for up to 18 months. Hatching of the flea from the pupa is triggered by nearby movement, predominantly during warm, moist weather conditions.

After feeding on the host, the engorged female flea is ready to mate and lay eggs – about 24 hours after hatching. She is capable of laying up to 500 eggs (27 per day) over a lifetime which may span several weeks.

A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT MUST INCLUDE ALL AREAS FREQUENTED BY THE PET

  • Indoors – remove toys, clothes etc from the floor. Some insecticides will affect fish. Cover the fish tank and turn off the filter prior to treatment. Remove pets from the area to be treated – return them only after the treatment has dried.
  • Treat the pet(s) – advice may be sought from your Veterinarian. The use of soaps or shampoos may reduce the residual action of the treatment.
  • Be patient. Even if everything has been done correctly, you will still see newly hatched fleas, usually for several weeks . Do not leave flea infested areas undisturbed – movement hatches fleas.
  • Do not vacuum for at least seven days after treatment. Place the vacuuming in a bag and put in the bin.
  • Leave your pet in the flea infested areas – it will attract the fleas. If the pet is removed from the infested area, fleas will continue to hatch for about six weeks with normal ‘human’ activity. Retreat your pet regularly according to the label of the on-animal flea product.
  • EXPECTATION : Fleas will be seen when an area is newly disturbed – such as when people get up in the morning or go outside – but not later in the day in that area. If the treatments are working, fleas will hatch, contact the treated surface (carpet, soil – treated by our company, or pet – treated with on-animal product) and die within a few hours. FLEA CONTROL – HELPFUL HINTS
  • Treat your pets as soon as you can. You will get better results if all flea treatments – environmental and on-animal – are done around the same time.- treated by our company, or pet – treated with on-animal product) and die within a few hours. FLEA CONTROL – HELPFUL HINTS
  • DO NOT AVOID FLEA INFESTED AREAS AFTER THE TREATMENT – YOU WILL REDUCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TREATMENT – especially remember the spare room, shed or places where the pet likes to rest.
  • If you remove the pet, flea problems may appear to be worse – as you become the only potential host.
  • It is best to treat before the numbers build up. There is no need to go through the discomfort of flea bites.
  • Entering vacant houses will stimulate any fleas waiting to hatch. This is especially a problem with vacant rental and holiday houses.
  • If you are going on holidays, have a friend stomp through the house/yard several times while you are away, especially on the day of your return – the fleas will hatch and die on the treated surfaces before you return. (You will owe your friend big time.)

Rates & Mice

In domestic situations

Rodents are the most common mammals in the world, both in numbers and in species. Australia has more than 60 species of native rodents. These natives rarely invade homes but some do cause problems in agriculture. There are also three introduced rodents:

Rattus norvegicus the sewer or brown rat
Rattus rattus the roof or black rat
Mus musculus the house mouse.

It is the introduced rodents that cause problems in urban areas.

These are known as commensal rodents – those that live with or near people and depend on humans for at least part of their food or shelter. They are often attracted to houses for food and shelter as the weather cools in autumn/winter.

Rodents prominent incisor teeth grow continuously. ‘Rodent’ is derived from the Latin ‘rodere’ which means ‘to gnaw’. Gnawing is a natural and necessary survival behaviour of the rat and mouse. Rats and mice enjoy gnawing wires – a potential cause of fires in houses.

Rodents contaminate our environment with their urine and droppings and by spreading disease. Rodents are known to be vectors of over fifty disease organisms including the causes of plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus and food poisoning.

Rodent species

SEWER RAT Rattus norvegicus

Originated in Central Asia. Large, aggressive, adaptable and sly.

SEWER RAT Rattus norvegicus

A native of the forests of equatorial Southeast Asia. It was the most common rat in urban areas in Europe during the outbreaks of plague.

HOUSE MOUSE Mus musculus

Believed to have originated in Central Asia. Mice adapted to structures associated with the storage and transport of grain, with their provision of shelter, warmth and food.

Sewer Rat Roof Rat House Mouse
Snout Blunt Pointed Pointed
Ears Small Large Large
Tail / body Shorter Longer Body-length
Droppings 18mm Sausage-like 12mm Pointed 4mm Pointed
Weight (g) 340 – 460 150 – 250 13 – 30
Intake /day (g) 15 – 30 10 – 20 2 – 4
Food preference Garbage Fruit, nuts Grains
Offspring / year 20 20 40 – 60
Gestation (days) 22 23 18 – 21
Litter size 4 – 10 4 – 8 5 – 6
Lifespan (mths) 5 – 12 5 – 18 12 – 24
Home range (m) 8 – 30 8 – 30+ 2 – 10

INSPECTION

To determine the species, the extent and severity of the problem, the location of harbourages and areas of activity and appropriate control strategies.

HYGIENE

Mow the lawn, eliminate clutter, debris, rubbish and access to pet food (metal containers and take in at night). Limiting food, water and shelter makes it harder for the rodent to survive and increases the effectiveness of control strategies.

PROOFING

Keep them out! This may be simple or not practical – a mouse can get through a hole the size of the tip of your little finger, a rat requires the size of the tip of your thumb. The main areas of entry are doors, overhanging branches, vents and penetrations for plumbing and electricals.

TRAPPING

There are a variety of traps including curiosity traps, sticky boards and snap traps. The placement of these devices is critical to their success.

BAITING

This is the most common method used by Pest Managers and by the general public – the differences are that Pest Managers know which active ingredients and formulations are most suitable for the situation at hand and they will often integrate other actions listed above, depending on what they find in the inspection.

The baits used in urban areas are anticoagulant rodenticides. These reduce the ability of the blood to clot causing internal haemorrhage. Death occurs from four days after commencement of feeding. Baits must be kept out of reach of children and pets. If a non-target animal feeds on the bait, take the animal and a sample of the bait to a veterinarian. If the animal shows signs of poisoning, the vet will administer an antidote.

HELPFUL HINTS

  • Some properties are invaded in autumn every year as rats and mice seek shelter in cooler weather. Others may be invaded when nearby areas are developed. If you are aware of a potential influx, contact your Pest Manager to introduce a programme before the event.
  • Pet food is a major attraction for rodents. Ensure that all pet food is never left outside overnight and by storing in metal containers.
  • The house should be inspected for potential entry points, concentrating on gaps in the wall, such as weep holes, doors and windows and penetrations for plumbing and electrical services.
  • Trim all tree branches away from the house. Remove ivy and trellises from the walls.
  • Do not store timber or debris adjacent to the house.
  • Repair leaky taps and remove other water sources.
  • Rodents develop territories and have a social hierarchy. Not all will have equal access to baits. The most dominant and aggressive individuals tend to be the oldest and largest male members of the colony. Treatment programmes must be designed to control the colony, rather than a few individuals.
  • An adult house mouse produces 50 to 100 droppings and up to 3,000 micro-droplets of urine per day, a rat about 40 to 50 droppings per day or 15,000droppings and over 10 litres of urine per year.
  • Rodents may die in inaccessible places such as wall cavities. Odours from dead mice are seldom a problem but rats, because of their larger body mass may cause an odour. Your Pest Manager may be able to find and remove the carcass or apply odour absorbing products.