Protecting your home against pest invasion

Pest infestation is never pleasant, but if you detect evidence of unwanted visitors in your home, there are methods to remove them quickly and efficiently.

Maintaining cleanliness inside and blocking pest entry from the outside is a good start.

Pest removal specialists advise that regular maintenance can be your first and lasting safeguard against rodents, termites, wasps and other creepy crawlies.

Declutter for detection

This includes clearing clutter and storing items in plastic or metal containers (rather than cardboard), and disposing of rubbish properly.

The common element for pest hiding spots is that they are a place of warmth, close to a food source, and are also out of sight.

Consider the garage, attic, at the back of a pantry or behind cupboards, under furniture or white goods and under sinks.

Pest removal specialists will tell you that the thing to remember about pests is that most don’t discriminate when it comes to picking a home for invasion. The vast majority of pests are just as common in clean houses as they are in dirty ones and the only difference is that neat and tidy properties are easier to treat and protect.

Ants usually come into your home looking for food or water, particularly if they have nested in or near your property.

Attracted by almost any foodstuff in your home, they usually enter through a tiny crack and, if successful in their search, leave a pheromone trail for their colony colleagues to follow.

Controlling an ant infestation can be difficult, but preventative measures can include immediately cleaning spills, sealing cracks, cleaning gutters, and storing your food in vacuum-tight containers.

Spiders can largely be harmless or extremely problematic, depending on the species.

To err on the side of caution, vacuum any webs you find in and around your property and shake out any towels or clothes that may have been hung outside.

Forward-thinking approach

Prevention is always better than cure, so taking a proactive approach is better than stumbling unexpectedly on a nasty surprise.

If you don’t, the issues can vary.

For example, Rentokil says one in four homes will have termites in their lifetime. The CSIRO says it could be as high as one in three.

On average, termites (commonly known as white ants) cause thousands of dollars in damage. This is worse still if the damage is not covered by home insurance policies.

If you suspect you have unwanted visitors in your home, determine what is the problem by making a positive identification through tell-tale signs such as droppings in the kitchen or unpleasant odours, such as rotten fruit or a musty, oily smell.

Then arrange for a reputable pest control firm to inspect the problem and devise the best plan of attack.

The problem with bugs and rodents is that they breed at an alarming rate, so even a small number can very quickly turn into something much bigger.

Fumigation should be a last resort, employed only if pest invasion persists despite personal measures to thwart or deter its occurrence.

Preventative measures

  • Ensure that all food is firmly sealed.
  • Use soapy water to clean any spills on benchtops and floors.
  • Clear all mess from floors, including any furniture. The fewer the hiding places, the better.
  • Monitor your pets’ cleanliness regularly to avoid the spread.