Expert Tips

Keep pests out this winter

In winter, but pests don’t stop being a pest just because of a change in the weather. In fact it's quite the opposite as they often look for a warm spot to nest during the winter season, so you could find your home being turned into a pest hotel. A regular, general pest inspection will help to spot any small problems before they turn into big ones.

Shhhh – is that a mouse I hear in my roof?

In winter, mice and rats seek out dark, warm spaces with access to food and water, which is why they are often spotted in kitchens. Even a teeny tiny gap into your home is like a ‘Welcome’ sign and once they’ve moved in, they can be really hard to get rid of. Rodents are nocturnal, so if you see one during the day it can mean you’ve got an infestation and need professional help.

The best course of action is to control any mice and rats in the early stages. Once they’ve settled in and start breeding, females can have five litters a year with an average of six to eight pups per litter – and that’s a big family!

There are things you can do to reduce the chance of a rodent infestation:

  • Check your home’s exterior for any holes
  • Trim away branches from your roof to prevent roof access
  • Make sure weather stripping and door seals are intact
  • Remove all food sources by keeping everything in sealed containers

Signs that you already have uninvited rodent guests include:

  • Scratching noises coming from the roof or dark, enclosed spaces
  • Mouse & rat droppings
  • Chewed items such as paper or packets in your store cupboard

There are many variations of rodent baits on the market, so you can try a DIY solution. If this doesn’t work, your local pest control expert can provide a baiting program specific to your home.

Keep up the termite checks

Just because you had a termite check before you bought your house, doesn’t mean that it is still clear of termites. It’s important to have your home checked on a regular basis because by the time you spot any signs of termites in or around your home, the damage has already been done.

Mouse hotel

Even a teeny tiny gap into your home is like a ‘welcome’ sign to rodents. And once they’ve moved in, they can be really hard to get rid of. Mice are nocturnal so if you see one during the day it can mean you’ve got an infestation and need professional help.

Ants in your pants

If you’re overrun with ants, you’re not alone – summer is a boomtime for these pesky little critters. They are looking for two things in your home – food and water. They are drawn to sugary and fatty foods so make sure you wipe up any spills and remove any water sources. If you have a serious ant problem then it's best to call your local pest control expert to deal with the problem.

Cockroach prevention

Cockroaches can survive quite a while without food, but they can only live for a week or so without water. To lower your risk of a cockroach infestation, eliminate as many water sources as you can – either inside or outside the home. For example, fix dripping taps and leaky pipes, and if you suspect you’ve already got an infestation, call a pest control professional.

Check outdoor furniture

Over winter, redback spiders can take up residence in the nooks and crannies of your outdoor furniture, so it’s important to have a good look around and vacuum away any spider webs before going back outside when the warmer weather returns.  If you’re not keen on spider hunting, call your local pest control expert to do it for you.

No entry for pests!

There are a few things you can do to prevent pests getting into your home. Inspect the exterior of your home and seal up any holes, cracks or openings which allow access from outside. Don’t leave mulch or wood chips close to your house as these provide an ideal shelter for pests. Also get rid of any uneaten pet food and make sure you call an expert at the first sign of any pests, before they get out of control.

Terminate the termites

Termites are silent destroyers and can cause major structural damage to your home. Keep a look out for timber which sounds hollow when tapped, timber floors which feel spongy, and new wall cracks. Hard-to-open windows and warped doors can also be a sign that termites have set up camp in your home. This is because they produce moisture when eating and tunnelling, causing the timber to swell and warp. The best thing to do is stay vigilant and have an annual pest inspection to keep them at bay.