Well winter is finally upon us and while things may slow down for some pests in ‘pest world’ not so with many other.
During winter we get increased threats from rodents, but our favourite ‘general pests’ are still active. Termites keep munching, cockroaches keep on creeping and ants keep on crawling. This year there a new mosquito on the loose that is a spreader of chronic disease – and this mosquito doesn’t mind the colder weather. You might even discover that some of the favourite winter woollies that you pull out of storage may have been damaged by some ‘pest’ as well, nothing much you can do about that now – but there are things to do before you store the winter clothes away before next spring.
Winter Pest Checklist
Here’s a checklist of things to do this winter to keep you pest problems to a minimum:
Tidy the Clutter:
- Discover all the ‘hidden stuff’ you forgot you had – and re-stow it or throw it! If you have a lot of stuff – then its important to re-inspect/move it on a regular basis to discourage rats and mice from setting up an undetected camp.
- Remove Cardboard and Fabric. If you need a box – think of things other than cardboard. Plastic or metal containers are much better, this can discourage rodents and cockroaches.
- If you’re storing something a rodent would like – then put it in a sealed box or container that they can’t get in to.
Remove any food sources:
- Don’t encourage rodents to stay by giving them an easy meal. (for example, don’t leave uneaten pet food lying around). Ants are also attracted to left over food.
- Seal of entry points into the building. Especially for rodents you need to seal up any holes with small gauge mesh or similar material that a rodent cannot gnaw through, and seal the bottoms of doors with automatic weather seals or weather strips. A rat can gain entry through a hole as small as 12 mm in diameter and a mouse only needs a hole no larger than 6 mm in diameter. Don’t just look down – Look up. Often rodents get in via the roof, eaves or other less obvious entry points.
Rodent Traps: You can use snap traps to catch the odd rogue rat or mouse, but don’t use cheese as the bait – its really doesn’t work that well – things like peanut butter or cotton wool are far more effective. Inspect your home for any containers that hold water:
- This is really for mosquitoes. Make sure that water containers are emptied. This includes pot plant reservoirs. Make sure that water tanks are screened. Any container that holds water (where levels rise and fall) will encourage mosquitoes to breed. Keep an eye out for drains that hold puddles, car tyres and old buckets that everyone forgets about. Clean up the garden and make sure there is nothing around the house that holds permanent water that will rise and fall.
Screen your home:
- Make sure that all your windows and doors are properly screened so that you have a safe retreat from these mosquitoes and cockroaches.
Eaves and Walls: Check your eaves and brickwork for wasp nests and spiders. Wasps can be prevalent even during winter. Bins:
- Keep bins away from the immediate vicinity of the home. Keep them as clean as possible and wash them out regularly. Keep bins well sealed. They are a great breeding environment for flies and can encourage rodents.
Trees and Foliage:
- Foliage against the house can create a highway for ants, rodents, spiders and termites. Make sure that bushes and shrubs are kept well away from the walls. Trim off any tree branches that overhang the roof and gutters, yet another highway for ants and rodents.
If you believe or suspect that you have a winter pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Ballina for further advice.