In addition to being annoying to have around, household pests can pose a serious threat to your family’s health if they’re not dealt with expeditiously. In this post, we shall be looking at common household pests in New Zealand, how you can identify the different kinds of pest infestations, prevention and how you can control them.
How to get rid of birds
Birds are beautiful creatures when they are in their natural habitats but can quickly become a problem when they invade your home. Their droppings can corrode metals, stone and paint while their nests can clog roof drainage and ventilations. And that’s not all, birds also make a lot of noise and could spread diseases to humans through inhalation or ingestion of their droppings.
Identifying a bird problem
A bird infestation is pretty easy to identify. In addition to the birds, other signs include nests, droppings and bird noises.
Birds, like most pests, come to your home in search of food and water. Ensure that your property is food free to avoid attracting birds and other pests. Cover your garbage cans and clean up any food that is dropped in your yard.
Installing a fishing line or a thin steel wire a few inches above and along your roof’s apex will deter birds from perching and roosting there. It’s simple effective and easy to install. This, however, will not prevent birds from invading the rest of your property.
How to get rid of cats
Cats as pests? It’s hard to believe that this cute and cuddly creatures can be classified as pests but wait until they invade your property. They turn your yard into their litter box, dig up lawns and gardens and can agitate your own pet making it uncomfortable in its own home. Intruding cats can also bring other pests such as fleas and ticks into your home.
How to identify a cat problem
You will know you have a stray cat problem when you see a strange cat hanging around a couple of times or when you often find cat litter and dug up soil in your yard.
Cats come into your property in search of food and shelter. Cover all areas that provide shelter to stray cats such as beneath porches and decks and remove all food sources to keep your property cat free.
Natural scents such as citronella, lavender, garlic and citrus spray can be used to deter cats from coming into your property. These are however not 100% effective, for better results you should use professional products.
We recommend the following cat control products:
How to get rid of dogs
Dogs can cause quite a bit of a headache when they show up on your property. They dig around your lawn and garden, and defecate there leaving you with a very unpleasant mess to clean up. In addition, stray dogs can also cause distress to your own pet when they show up at your home.
How you know you have a dog problem
Finding a strange dog hanging out around your home, dog poo, paw marks and dug up soil, could indicate a dog intrusion. Check to see if this happens again or was a one-time event.
Keep your property free of food and water that could attract animals to your house.
Putting up a fence around your property can help keep dogs and other wandering animals out. This is a bit expensive, though, a cheaper option would be to use a professional dog control product.
We recommend the following dog control products:
How to get rid of possums
They might seem cute but these animals can cause a lot of disturbance when they invade your property. In addition to the noise they make, possums could also bring other pests such as fleas and ticks to your home.
Signs of a possum infestation
Possums usually hide under decks, in the basement and attic. Noises coming from these areas could indicate a possum infestation. Investigate any strange noises to confirm an infestation.
Possums will get into your home through holes and openings in walls. Inspect your house and cover all holes and cracks that could be used as entry points. Screen low windows and decks to prevent possums from getting under them. Possums are also good climbers so trim tree branches so that they are at least 10ft from your roof.
Spraying a solution of one cup molasses, a liter of water and a splash of dish washing detergent on your leafy plants will help prevent possums from munching on them. Possums dislike this taste and will leave your property if there is nothing to eat.
We recommend the following possum control products:
How to get rid of rodents
Rodents are one of the most dangerous pests that could invade your house in terms of the damage they cause. Rodents gnaw on furniture, fabrics and virtually anything they come across. Rodents are also known to transmit diseases to humans.
How to identify a rodent infestation
Because rodents are nocturnal, seeing them is quite difficult. This means that you will have to rely on other signs to identify a rodent infestation. Some of the signs you should look for include tracks and grease marks along walls, damaged property, holes on walls, as well as noises coming from your attic, walls and beneath the floor.
Rodents come into your home for two reasons; food and shelter. Maintaining a clean house and keeping your food in secure containers – preferably ones made from metal or glass – will ensure that rats have no reason to stick around. Also, inspect your house and seal all holes that rodents can use to enter. Remember, rodents can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces.
For a natural homemade rodent control solution, put a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them where the pests have constructed their nest. Rodents find this smell very unpleasant.
We recommend the following rodent control products:
How to get rid of flies
Flies are very irritating, they buzz and hover around creating great discomfort. And because of their indiscriminate feeding behaviour, flies can also contaminate food as they jump from one food source to the other.
Identifying a fly infestation
Fly infestations are quite conspicuous and hard to miss. The flies will swarm around making it very easy to identify them.
Keeping your place clean will help prevent a fly infestation. Clean food related messes and spills immediately, keep your dishes clean and cover your garbage bins.
Flies often find entry into your home through open doors and windows, keeping them shut will deny them entry. This might, however, be hard to do during hot weather which is when fly populations are at their highest.
We recommend the following fly control products:
How to get rid of cockroaches
In addition to being an eyesore, cockroaches also present a significant health hazard. They can contaminate food as they move from one food source to another and their droppings (which contain tropomyosin) could trigger allergic reactions and asthma in humans.
How to identify a roach infestation
Signs of a cockroach infestation include cast skin, egg cases, a foul musty smell coming from their dwellings and cockroach droppings.
Cockroaches are most at home in dirty, cluttered places. Keep your house clean and tidy to discourage cockroach infestations. Do your dishes before going to bed, vacuum your house often (especially the kitchen) and keep your bins covered.
Cockroaches are some of the most resilient creatures on earth which makes controlling them a bit of a problem. With the right products, however, control can be done quickly and effectively.
We recommend the following cockroach control products:
Pestrol Cockroach Pads
This chemical free cockroach control solution uses adhesive to trap these troublesome pests. Just place a couple around the house and check them after a week or so. Once it’s full, just toss it out with your trash.
How to get rid of silverfish
These are small silver to gunmetal coloured insects that feed on dextrin in adhesives, sugar, starches and other carbohydrates. They will damage your photos, books, carpets and clothes made from natural fabrics such as wool, cotton and silk.
Identifying a silverfish infestation
Silverfish are unique insects that can be easily identified by their silvery body and fish-like movements. They have a carrot like shape that narrows from the head to the tail terminating with three tail-like appendages at the rear. Other than spotting the actual insects, you might encounter these signs: damaged books, photos and fabrics.
Silverfish usually get into your house through holes in your walls. Inspect your house and cover them. Also, install door sweeps to protect the space below doors. Clearing leaves and other damp materials near your home will also reduce the chances of an infestation.
Although silverfish can survive in a variety of environments, they prefer living in areas with high humidity. Using dehumidifiers will make conditions less favourable for them to thrive.
We recommend the following silverfish control products:
How to get rid of mosquitos
Mosquitoes will keep you up at night with their painful bites and the sharp, irritating noise they produce as they fly around. Additionally, mosquitoes are dangerous disease vectors transmitting diseases such as Dengue fever, Filariasis, the West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever.
Identifying a mosquito infestation
Mosquitoes can be identified by their most prominent features which are a narrow body, long thin legs and a prominent mouthpart known as the proboscis.
Other than blood, mosquitos also feed on plant sap. Clear all overgrown vegetation and mow your lawn regularly to deny mosquitoes food and shelter near your home. They also require water to breed and draining nearby stagnant water will help control their population.
Keep doors and windows that are not screened shut at night when mosquitoes are most active to prevent them from coming into your house.
We recommend the following mosquito control products:
Pestrol Outdoor Dominator:
For those times when you have an outdoor event like a barbecue, the Pestrol Outdoor Dominator comes in handy for keeping mosquitoes out of your hair. This device uses heat and carbon dioxide (the things that attract mosquitoes to their prey) to attract mosquitoes before sucking them into a secure chamber using a powerful fan. It’s quiet and effective.
How to get rid of moths
Other than being a major nuisance, moths will cause damage to your stored food and clothes. Whether they invade your closet or pantry, the damage they’ll cause if not controlled fast will be substantial.
Adult moths are highly attracted to light and will be seen flying around lighting fixtures. They resemble butterflies in physic but lack the brilliant colours worn by their close relatives.
Moths can be brought into the house hidden in clothes, furniture and food so inspect these items before you bring them into your house. Switching off outdoor lights when they are not in use will help reduce the number of months around your home.
Using lavender will help extrude moths from your home. This method is however not effective on larvae which are the most destructive.
We recommend the following moth control products:
Pestrol Premium Dispenser
For complete moth control including the elimination of moth larvae, you can rely on the Pestrol Premium Dispenser. This device emits a fine mist of pyrethrin that diffuses in the air killing all insects in range. And because it is made using natural ingredients, this product is completely safe for your family.
How to get rid of spiders
Spiders spin their webs all over the house causing a mess that takes a lot of time and effort to clean up. Although most home invading spiders are not venomous, a lot of people are very scared of them which is reason enough to want them gone as soon as possible.
Identifying a spider problem
A spider infestation is very easy to detect, you’ll either encounter the eight-legged creatures crawling around or see the numerous webs they spin.
Cover cracks and holes on walls that may provide entry to spiders and screen all the vents. Keeping unscreened doors and windows closed will also help.
You can keep spiders away from your property using eucalyptus sprigs. Strong spices can also be sprinkled around your home to repel these pests.
We recommend the following spider control products:
For those spiders that have been able to penetrate your defences, the Spider Catcher will help you get rid of them safely. It has bristles that close on one end of a long arm and a trigger on the other helping you capture spiders in high places.
How to get rid of wasps
Wasps sting painfully resulting in swelling around the affected part and uncomfortable irritation to the skin. For some people, though, the allergic reactions might be severe and lead to fatal symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Identifying a wasp problem
Wasps are active during the day and can be seen flying around your property. All wasp species share some common characteristics which include a pinched waist (known as a petiole) and a pointed lower abdomen.
Seal all holes, cracks and crevices that wasps can use to get into your home. Keeping your doors and windows shut if they are not screened will also help keep wasps out.
Wasps are very territorial creatures that will not settle in an area with another colony. A fake wasp nest will give the illusion of another colony. Crumple a brown grocery bag and hang it outside your house to keep wasps away.
We recommend the following wasp control products:
Pestrol Outdoor Dominator
Wasps will be attracted to it and trapped inside once they get in.