Summer pests are moving in

The Germans are coming - cockroaches, that is - as well as a few other little mouths around the house you don't want to feed.

The Germans are coming - cockroaches, that is - as well as a few other little mouths around the house you don't want to feed.

Rattus rattus: Largest of the pests around our homes, rats have been making their presence felt in perfect breeding weather, along with mice, flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes and now earwigs. File picture
GERMAN WASP: File picture

THE mild winter, and a hot summer with patchy rain, has created the perfect environment for pests to breed. So if you are sick of the flies this summer, you are not alone.

The usual spike in calls to deal with flies, cockroaches and spiders is in full swing with pest control companies around town experiencing a busy season.

Absolute Pest Control owner Cherie Redman said flies and paper wasps have topped their list for 2016 but rat complaints had also increased.

“There’s a big fly issue this year and we’ve had quite a few calls about fleas in rental properties too.”

If those mosquitoes are starting to bug you, the best solution is a citronella candle placed somewhere safe to keep them at bay.

German cockroaches have continued to be a problem too. They are the small, light brown ones and people often mistake them for baby “Gisborne cockroaches”.

Mrs Redman’s advice is never to buy any electrical appliance that is not new.

“German cockroaches travel in the warmth of electrical appliances. They are always around fridges, and they breed. They are dirty and hard to get rid of – even pest bombs just encourage them to move on.

“We can get rid of them but it is a much more intensive problem and more expensive because of the product and time involved.”

An employee from hardware store Bunnings said the summer bug season had been pretty bad this year, with most pest-control items selling fast.

East Coast Pest and Property Ltd co-owner Shauna Ratapu said it was a “normal” influx of calls to deal with summer pests and she thought flies were much worse last summer.

“There was a period when they were really bad last year and people were also finding that no matter what they did, the flies weren’t budging. We’ve changed our approach this year and feel like we are on top of things.”

Stomp ‘em Out Pest Control owner Malcolm Deans has had noticed an increase in calls about earwigs, the small insects normally found around garden areas. They live in soil and plant matter and are not harmful to humans but are regarded as an unpleasant insect because of the pincers at the end of their abdomen.

THE mild winter, and a hot summer with patchy rain, has created the perfect environment for pests to breed. So if you are sick of the flies this summer, you are not alone.

The usual spike in calls to deal with flies, cockroaches and spiders is in full swing with pest control companies around town experiencing a busy season.

Absolute Pest Control owner Cherie Redman said flies and paper wasps have topped their list for 2016 but rat complaints had also increased.

“There’s a big fly issue this year and we’ve had quite a few calls about fleas in rental properties too.”

If those mosquitoes are starting to bug you, the best solution is a citronella candle placed somewhere safe to keep them at bay.

German cockroaches have continued to be a problem too. They are the small, light brown ones and people often mistake them for baby “Gisborne cockroaches”.

Mrs Redman’s advice is never to buy any electrical appliance that is not new.

“German cockroaches travel in the warmth of electrical appliances. They are always around fridges, and they breed. They are dirty and hard to get rid of – even pest bombs just encourage them to move on.

“We can get rid of them but it is a much more intensive problem and more expensive because of the product and time involved.”

An employee from hardware store Bunnings said the summer bug season had been pretty bad this year, with most pest-control items selling fast.

East Coast Pest and Property Ltd co-owner Shauna Ratapu said it was a “normal” influx of calls to deal with summer pests and she thought flies were much worse last summer.

“There was a period when they were really bad last year and people were also finding that no matter what they did, the flies weren’t budging. We’ve changed our approach this year and feel like we are on top of things.”

Stomp ‘em Out Pest Control owner Malcolm Deans has had noticed an increase in calls about earwigs, the small insects normally found around garden areas. They live in soil and plant matter and are not harmful to humans but are regarded as an unpleasant insect because of the pincers at the end of their abdomen.

Keeping pest free

• Ants – Ants send out a scout to look for food and when food is identified (for example, sugar on the bench) the whole group of ants will come for it. Make sure you wipe down all residues on tables and benches with a hot cloth. Bait is best applied by the nest and takes effect almost instantly. Remember to keep the poison away from children.

Wasps – From November to May, wasps can be troublesome, particularly if you have a wasp nest near your premises. Wasps can be dangerous if you are allergic to the stings as anaphylactic shock from a sting can result in serious and potentially fatal swelling. If you notice large numbers of wasps in the area it is likely that there is a wasp nest nearby that should be destroyed. It is best to call a professional for this.

• Cockroaches – If found inside, use insect spray to get rid of visible insects. An auto spray can also be used, but remember to use minimally because of toxicity. A female cockroach can lay 12 to 40 eggs at a time with some eggs taking months to hatch.

• Rats – Rats feast on food scraps left out with the rubbish. To stop them, use snap traps or bait. However, there is a downside to bait, which is that the rat can die in a hole or in the wall which can leave a bad smell.

• Flies – Flies are very persistent and annoying in the summer. The colder your house or office, the fewer flies you will have. So if you can, use the air conditioning to keep your home cool, rather than opening the windows and door.

• Mosquitoes – Also attracted to heat, so using the air conditioning is a good idea. It’s important to find the source of mosquitoes around your office — look for drains and culverts and get rid of any still pools of water around the area. Gutters are the most likely places.

• Spiders – Look for spider webs and remove them. Spiders are attracted to food left out too, so make sure you put it away.

• Birds – Remove nests in the guttering and other high places. Spikes and netting are useful purchases for prevention.

• Bed Bugs – Bed bugs peak in summer and there is little that can be done to prevent them, as people are carriers. More appear as a result of the peak travel season.

• Fleas – Fleas are found in carpet, so vacuum frequently and use a hot wash on the carpet. Chemical spray can work but be careful of eggs left in the carpet and a second cycle of fleas.

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