Preventing rats

At PestOz, we’re regularly giving advice on preventing rats. They have a nasty habit of finding their way inside!

If you’re suffering from a rat problem, your first step is to make it difficult for them to enter your home or premises. Rats look around skirting boards, behind fridges, behind cupboards and inside cupboards for holes. When preventing rats, those holes need to be closed up!

We advise using chicken mesh scrunched up and forced into holes. For an even better solution, spray the chicken mesh with foam hole sealer. This can be bought from any hardware store.

Rats love the kitchen. They are attracted to food left in bins or on countertops and will climb under even the smallest space beneath the kitchen door to find it. Try to get into the habit of emptying bins before going to bed and closing the kitchen door at night. You can also use a metal strip on the bottom of your kitchen doors to close off any space that rats might find to crawl through.

If you know of a primary location that rats enter your home or premises, we can set traps or place bait at these locations.

When in doubt, give us a ring for a free consultation! Let’s tackle this pest together!

Heat Waves and Pests

Sydney has suffered some soaring temperatures of late, and the phones at PestOz are running hot. This begs the question – is there any relationship between heat waves and pests?

While us humans do everything we can to stay cool and hydrated in the heat, heat waves and pests are a match made in heaven. Many insects including spiders, mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, ants and stinging insects thrive in the heat. These insects are cold blooded meaning that the increase in heat helps them to develop at a greater rate. Many of these insects hibernate during winter and use the summer months to feed and breed. And when temperatures soar to even greater heights; you guessed it – more breeding, and more pests.

Eventually these pests seek shelter from the extreme weather indoors, leading to increased sitings and increased calls to local pest controllers.

Some prime examples include:

  • Cockroaches – a prime example of the relationship between heat waves and pests. Roaches breed in the summer as the climate helps them to thrive. Despite this, they seek moisture and prefer dark shady places over the summer sun, leading them to look for moisture and shelter under sinks and basements.
  • In the case of spiders, they also venture indoors looking for dark places to hide. Once those places get too warm, for example, the attic, they’ll venture out and look for cooler spots downstairs.
  • Extreme heat can help to rapidly mature mosquito breeding. And the rain that typically comes after a heatwave is welcomed by mosquitos who use the catchments in buckets, wheel barrows and other containers as places to breed.

You can’t control the weather but there are some things you can do to avoid a pest infestation during the summer months when heat waves are common.

  • Keep your house as tidy as possible, removing any potential sources of food or shelter, such as dirty dishes in the sink, spills or crumbs on counter tops.
  • Avoid using compact fluorescent bulbs around your home – these are the ones that attract the most mozzies.
  • Use fans – mozzies aren’t strong against a current.
  • Try to keep grass and bushes at a distance from your walls.
  • Replace window screens regularly.
  • Be on top of your waste removal.
  • Make sure your food is stored in sealed containers.
  • Be on top of moisture prone and damp areas as well as places where water tends to accumulate from rain around the house.
  • Have regular preventative pest control treatments by contacting PestOz.

How frequently should I schedule pest control?

The presence of pests is horribly frightening for so many of us, yet regular pest control services are an often neglected area of property maintenance. Clients often call us after seeing an increased amount of a particular pest around, or after realising it’s been years since their last pest inspection! So how frequently should you schedule pest control?

 

Residential Pest Control
Regular pest control visits ensure that you and your loved ones are kept safe from pests – safe from the fright of encountering a rat or roach, safe from them chewing through important wires or furniture and safe from accidentally ingesting their droppings in your food. 

Our advice is to schedule pest control once a year, preferably just before the Summer months when more pests like to come out to play.  If you have a heavy infestation of pests, your applications may need to be closer together to ensure you get your problem under control and can then go back to undertaking preventative pest control measures.

 

Restaurants and cafes
The Food Standards Code requires food businesses to take all practicable measures to prevent pests entering the food premises and eradicate and prevent the harbourage of pests on the food premises. To avoid the chance of failing your food safety inspection, we recommend scheduling pest control treatments every 6-12 weeks.

 

Supermarkets and food stores
Like restaurants and cafes, supermarkets and grocery stories must comply with the food standards code. We also recommend scheduling treatments at 6-12 week intervals. It’s an extremely necessary measure against having to throw away a lot of otherwise perfect produce.

Hotels
Like restaurants and cafes, hotels must also comply with the food standards code. Our scheduling advice differs depending on the size of the hotel. For example, PestOz typically recommends 6 weekly treatments for hotels with an active food and drink premises, while smaller and quieter hotels might be advised to have 6 monthly treatments.

Strata
Individual tenants are responsible for eradicating pests if the problem occurs after they moved in. If the property was not in a safe and hygienic condition when the tenant moved in, they might be able to argue that the owner is responsible for the infestation. PestOz recommends that landlords schedule pest control services at least once a year and before the arrival of new tenants.

The body corporate is responsible for providing pest control for all public areas of a building. PestOz recommends scheduling yearly pest control treatments.

Warehouses and factories
Non food related warehouses and factories typically schedule quarterly pest control treatments.

Retail stores
Non food retail stores typically schedule their pest control treatments every 6 months. We conduct these treatments outside of retail opening hours so your customers won’t be affected.

It’s important to remember there is no hard and fast rule or law about when to schedule pest control treatments. Our advice is based on experience and is governed by whether there is an active pest problem or history of pests in your premises.

If you’re prone to forget scheduling pest control for your home or business, why not book your next pest control service when your service specialist pays you this year’s visit? You may find you need a call back sooner than this but we hope our service was effective enough for this not to be the case.