Pest Control Brisbane

At Sun dry Carpet Steam Cleaning & Pest Control Services we offer a different array of pest control services in Brisbane.

All our chemicals are registered and licensed and can be applied in your household in the presence of people and pets.

The chemicals are odourless and are applied according to licensing requirements.

We offer the following:
  1. Pest Treatment – Vacating Tenants
  • Treat for cockroaches internally & flea treatment – from $88
  • 3 month warranty
  1. Full Annual Treatment – Home Owners
  • Treat for cockies silverfish spiders and ants
  • Treat internally / eaves outside / inside roof cavity – from $154
  • Full 12 month service warranty
  • We do a very thorough treatment and use high quality residual insecticides for long lasting action.

General Pest Information

Learn about cockroaches and recommended pest control methods
  • Cockroaches
  • Silverfish
  • Redbacks
  • Bedbugs
  • Fleas
  • Rats & Mice
  • Carpet Beetles

Cockroaches are obnoxious pests

Cockroaches carry diseases such as salmonella, dysentery, gastroenteritis and other stomach complaint organisms. Cockroaches adulterate food and spread pathogenic organisms with their faeces and defensive secretions.

Asthmatic reactions: Cockroaches must moult regularly throughout their life-cycle. The discarded skin becomes airborne and can cause severe asthmatic reactions, particularly to children, the elderly and people with bronchial ailments.

The cockroach begins as an egg: The female produces an egg sac which she carries or deposits in a safe place. The young cockroach or “nymph” will undergo a series of moults, shedding it’s external skeleton, as it grows to adulthood. The entire life cycle may extend to a few months depending on the species and environmental factors, such as, access to food and moisture, adequate shelter and warm temperatures.

Even the cleanest homes get’em: Cockroach pests and their eggs are spread throughout the community in food and other packaging. Although sanitation and hygiene are important deterrants, even the cleanest homes become infested with cockroaches due to minute deposits of grease, sugar and other food deposits in difficult to get at places, such as, in drains, behind refrigerators and dishwashers, inside cracks and crevices in kitchen cupboards.

Omnivorous by nature: Cockroaches will eat almost any organic matter no matter how rancid. Once inside the home, they will seek out food scraps, unsealed food containers, sugar and grease deposits, pet food, rancid meat, glue and even book bindings. YUCK…they eat each others faeces, to feed the young “nymphs” and extract all nourishment from an organic food source. If you see a clump of pepper-like specs in your kitchen cupboards, it is likely cockroach faeces marking their courtship and nearby nesting territory.

Nocturnal feeders: Cockroaches rest during daylight hours in dark warm secure harborages in your home, such as, in wall cavities, the subfloor, roof void, cracks and crevices in the kitchen and bathroom, electrical appliances and foodstuffs. They will emerge from these harborages in the still of the night. Cockroaches have an array of acute sensory and survival instincts. If you see cockroaches in your home during the day, you have a serious problem.

Rapid breeding cycle: If left unchecked a cockroach infestation can rapidly expand it’s numbers in a few weeks or months to become major risk to health and safety.

Professional pest control: cockroaches

Modern science has the answer: These days, the professional pest controller has access to cockroach bait technologies. The modern technology cockroach baits is designed as a palatable food source for cockroaches which has a delayed lethal effect. The bait is readily transferred and fed to other cockroaches. The male cockroach is the primary food gatherer. The female eats his faeces as a food source and passes it onto the young nympths – spreading the bait throughout the entire population.

Safety first: The modern cockroaches baits are formulated as a gel and is of ultra low hazard to people, dogs, cats and other mammals. Applied as small blobs in kitchen cupboards and other likely and observed cockroach habitat areas away from human contact, the gel-bait is highly attractive to cockroaches and provides effective control, usually for many months. The gel baits are highly effective against german cockroaches.

Permethrin dust application is recommended for use in wall cavities, roof voids and some subfloor areas. This dust has excellent floatation properties to enable it to be applied directly into such hard to get at areas where cockroaches congregate and breed. Considered essential for severe infestations. The Permethrin dust is modelled on the natural extract of pyrethrum plant and is less toxic than common salt to humans.

A liquid insecticidal spray is often required in some areas to gain effective control, such as interior skirting boards, sheds, garages, fencelines, garbage refuse areas, around top of drains and immediate external perimeter of buildings.

What the home owner can do

Inspection: First, inspect the entire kitchen area, under sinks, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, microwave oven, other cooking appliances, bathroom cabinets, draws, basement and subfloor crawlspace (if any) for likely high activity and harborage areas. Look for cockroaches, alive or dead, their faeces and egg sacs.

Identification: Place “sticky” glue traps in any likely high activity areas. At night sneak into the kitchen, turn on the lights and observe any cockroach activity. Observe where they scurry to. Place your sticky traps near these areas to collect and identify the species and the source of infestation.

Food, shelter and water: We all need it, so do cockroaches. Make your home unfit for cockroaches, where possible, take away their food, water and restrict shelter and access points into the kitchen and they will almost certainly move somewhere else.

Starve them out: Keep all food in sealed containers. Particularly at night, do not leave food scraps exposed in the kitchen or waste storage areas. Thoroughly clean all benches and food preperation areas, particularly between counters and appliances. Regularly vacuum accessible likely harbourage and high acivity areas, carpets, drapes, furniture, kitchen and bathroom cupboards in order to remove cockroach eggs and food deposits.

Cockroaches need water: Cockroaches will thrive in damp subfloor crawl space areas, near leaking taps, etc. Ensure adequate drainage and ventilation. Regularly check and fix any plumbing problems, broken roof tiles, etc that may allow or cause moisture agress to potential cockroach harborage areas. Wipe kitchen sink of moisture before retiring or going out at night. Turn off leaking taps.

Reduce shelter and access points: Seal all cracks and crevices in bathroom, pantry and kitchen cupboards. Store all cardboard boxes and the like above ground level. Cockroaches do not like drafty exposed areas, nor bright lights. A good reason why some restaurants keep lights on at night around their dumpster waste bins.

Cockroach species identification

Correct identification is essential: There are several cockroach pest species that infest domestic and commercial premises. The identification of each species is neccessary to best determine likely harborage areas and an effective pest control program in Brisbane

German cockroach – Blatella germanica

German Roach 4Identification: The body of an adult german cockroach is about 1/2 inch in length. Biege to light brown in color, with two dark stripes on back of head.

World best traveller? The German cockroach is the most widely transported insect pest in the world. Infestations occur even in Alaska and other cold climates in larger installations with central heating or around machinery that produces heat.

In warmer climates, it is commonly found in homes, apartments, restaurants, food processing plants, supermarkets and warehouses. Their eggs arrive in food containers, cartons, fridges, stoves and other appliances or materials brought into a building.

Habitat: German cockroaches are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. German cockroach infestations usually occur in bathrooms and kitchens. They like to hide-out during the day in tight secure places.

Daytime harborage areas are usually near a food and moisture source, such as, inside wall cavities, behind baseboards, cracks and crevices in pantry, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, and under electrical, heating and cooking appliances.

Rapid breeding cycle: The German cockroach is the most prolific breeder among all cockroaches. The female German cockroach lives up to 6 months. She carries an egg capsule containing 30 to 40 eggs. Development from egg to adult can occur in 45 days, during which they moult 6 times.

Major problems: The German cockroach will breed rapidly throughout the year, but favours a humid environment of around 80F or warmer. An small initial infestation can become a major problem in a few months.

American cockroach – Periplaneta americana

downloadIdentification: The largest of the cockroach pest species, the body of an adult American cockroach or “water bug” is 1.5 to 2 inches in length. Color: reddish brown, with a yellowish band behind the head.

Habitat: Preferred daytime habitat locations include the subfloor, basement, in sewers and other warm, dark, moist locations. They avoid cold areas but will thrive outdoors in temperatures above 80F. Indoors they often congregate around hot water pipes, fridge motors, boilers and other heating appliances. The American cockroach will feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female life span up to 1.5 years; incubation period of eggs 6 to 8 weeks; in ideal conditions they quickly reach plague proportions.

Oriental cockroach — Blatta orientalis

oriental-cockroachIdentification: The body of an adult oriental cockroach is about 1 inch in length. Dark brown to black in color.

Habitat: Most often found in dark basements or cellars, but can also climb garbage shutes, sewer and water pipes to the upper floors in high rise buildings. Oriental cockroaches prefer to feed on starchy foods.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female lives up to 2 years; deposits up to 18 egg-sacs in lifetime; each eggsac contains 16 eggs; incubation period is 1 to 2 months; development period is 12 months, undergoing 7 moults.

An infestation will rapidly expand in ideal conditions, particularly during the warm summer months with temperatures regularly above 80F.

Australian cockroach — Periplanta australasiae

urlIdentification: the Australian cockroach is reddish brown and looks similar to American cockroach but is smaller at 1.25 inches (35mm) in body length. The Australian cockroach has`yellow strips on the outer edge of the front wings. A world-wide species that prefers a vegetarian diet. It is known to eat holes in clothing and even book covers.

Habitat: Generally prevalent in areas where winters are relatively mild. However, in colder climates they are prevalent in greenhouses and near large heating apparatus, air-conditioners or other equipment emitting heat constantly. They are opportunistic fliers and will infest anywhere adequate heat, humidity and food supply is available. Prime areas of interest are often pet food bowls and food waste storage areas.

Rapid breeding cycle: The female lives up to 6 months; incubation period of eggs 40 days. An infestation can rapidly expand in ideal conditions, particularly during the warmer climates when temperatures are regularly above 80F. Chronic household infestations usually emanate from the roof void, attic or sub-floor areas of the building.

Silverfish can be Real Pests

Silverfish are a starch feeder they damage (eat) paper, fabrics, glues and other organic materials. They may also damage silk and some synthetic fabrics, but they usually avoid woollens.

Silverfish live in Your Home

Habitat: Silverfish habit underused areas, such as roof spaces, storage rooms, basements, wall cavities, and bookcases but may roam widely throughout a building. Silverfish prefer to live in dark quiet places and are most active during the still of night.url

Sinks, toilets & bathtubs: People often find silverfish in their home in sinks, toilets and bathtubs because they have fallen in and become trapped while seeking moisture.

Infestations: Silverfish infestations can start when their eggs, nymphs (young ones), or adults are brought into the home in infested cardboard boxes, cartons, furniture or similar items.

Silverfish Control

Inspection: We recommended a thorough inspection first be carried out by the pest control Brisbane professional to determine likely and observed habitat locations, the extent of the infestation and control methods neccessary.

Treatment: The roof void and wall cavities should be treated with a synthetic pyrethroid dust using specialised “dust blower” equipment. Other areas, such as basements, storage rooms and the like can be treated with a synthetic pyrethroid spray.

Redback Spiders – Latrodectus hasselti

Redback Spiders are found throughout Australia. They are common in disturbed and urban areas. They belong to the Family Theridiidae, which is found worldwide. The notorious Black Widow Spider ( Latrodectus sp ) of the United States is a close relative of the Redback Spider, and only differs in appearance by the absence of a red dorsal stripe. Other species of Latrodectus occur in the Africa Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Europe and North and South America.

Habitat and Biology

Webs consist of a tangled, funnel-like upper retreat area from which vertical, sticky catching threads run to ground attachments. The Redback Spider favours proximity to human habitation, with webs being built in dry, sheltered sites, such as among rocks, in logs, shrubs, junk-piles, sheds, or toilets. Redback Spiders are less common in winter months. Daddy-long-legs Spiders and White-tailed Spiders are known to catch and kill Redback Spiders.

Insects are the usual prey of Redback Spiders, but they are capable of capturing quite large animals, such as male trapdoor spiders, king crickets and small lizards, if they become entangled in the web. Prey-stealing is also common, with large females taking stored food items from others’ webs.

Identification
Arachnology

 

 

Female Red back with egg sacs. Photo: M Gray © Australian Museum.

identify-red-back-spider--800x800

Juvenile female Red back Spider. Photo: M Gray © Australian Museum.

Female Redback Spiders are black (occasionally brownish) with an obvious orange to red longitudinal stripe on the upper abdomen, with the red stripe sometimes being broken, and an “hourglass” shaped red/orange spot on the underside of the abdomen. Juveniles have additional white markings on the abdomen. Females have a body about the size of a large pea (1cm long) and slender legs.

The males are only about 3-4 mm long and its red markings are often less distinct. The body is light brown with white markings on the upper side of the abdomen, and a pale hour-glass marking on the underside.

Spiders commonly mistaken for Redbacks include their close relatives, the Cupboard Spider ( Steatoda sp ), the Grey House Spider (Achaearanea tepidariorum ) and other members of the Family Theridiidae. Many of these spiders have a similar life history and habits to the Redback Spider.

Habits, Mating and Reproduction

Male Redback Spiders do not produce a web, but may be found on the fringe of a female’s web, especially during the summer mating season. The male has to make overtures to the female to discover whether she is ready to mate, which can prove fatal if she mistakes him for prey. It has been found that in order to occupy the female’s attention during mating, the male spider offers her his abdomen by standing on his head and ‘somersaulting’ his abdomen towards her mouthparts. The female begins to squirt digestive juices onto the male’s abdomen while the first palp is inserted. If he is not too weak, he will manage to withdraw, and then insert the second palp. She will continue to ‘digest’ his abdomen. Most males do not survive this process, which seems to be unique to Latrodectus hasselti .

Once the female has mated, she can store sperm and use it over a period of up to two years to lay several batches of eggs. She spends much time producing up to ten round egg sacs (1cm diameter), which are white, weathering to brown over time. Each egg sac contains approximately 250 eggs and only one to three weeks need to pass before more eggs can be laid. These sacs are suspended within the web. Sometimes small ichneumonid wasps parasitise them, puncturing each sac with tiny holes. When the tiny pale-green spiderlings hatch, they disperse by ballooning to another suitable nest site.

Females mature on average in about four months. The smaller male matures on average in about 90 days. Females may live for two to three years, whereas males only live for about six or seven months.

Toxicity

Redback bites occur frequently, particularly over the summer months. More than 250 cases receive antivenom each year, with several milder envenomations probably going unreported. Only the female bite is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and have caused deaths. However, since Redback Spiders rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web, and because of their small jaws many bites are ineffective. The venom acts directly on the nerves, resulting in release and subsequent depletion of neurotransmitters.

Common early symptoms are pain (which can become severe), sweating (always including local sweating at bite site), muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting. Antivenom is available. No deaths have occurred since its introduction.

First Aid

Apply an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. Do not apply a pressure bandage (venom movement is slow and pressure worsens pain). Collect the spider for positive identification. Seek medical attention  St John Ambulance Emergency First Aid pages

The scourge of tourist accommodation

In Australia, bedbugs are most commonly found in budget accommodation where there is a turn-over of tourists, especially backpackers. They are transported with the people’s luggage and clothing but not on the person. They may also be found in a building if they are brought in infested second-hand furniture.

Many people believe there is an upsurge in their numbers. This may be due to

  • more travel by people likely to carry them
  • less insecticidal treatment in bedrooms
  • a lack of identification of symptoms by accommodation management, allowing numbers to balloon before treatment
  • a lack of understanding of required treatment by Pest Managers

Bedbugs pass through an egg and five nymphal stages to become an adult. The nymphs and adults leave their harbourage to feed every 2-3 days. They feed for only 3-5 minutes in the hours prior to dawn and return to their harbourage. Their presence can be detected by the bites, dots of blood on the sheets, a sickly sweet odour and inspection of potential harbourages, looking for dried blood deposits around cracks in the bed, bedhead, bedside furniture and mattress.

Nymphs can survive a couple of months, adults more than a year, without a blood meal. A check of the life cycle shows it may be more than a month after someone left their bedbugs behind before complaints are received.

CEz7hfdUEAE1Dwrbed-bug-on-hand_2592x1944bedbug-bites

Some people react to the bite of bedbugs. Before the bedbug sucks blood, it injects saliva, containing an anticoagulant, into the host. The irritancy is caused by the body’s reaction to the saliva.

BEDBUG MANAGEMENT INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

The aim of the treatment by your Pest Manager is simple. All harbourages must be located, treated and eliminated. It is the implementation that is difficult and may need your assistance. The Pest Manager will locate all potential harbourages within 2-3m of the bed. A harbourage is any crack that you can slide the corner of a piece of paper into – because bedbugs are paper-thin.

Typically harbourages include:

  • bed linen – needs to be laundered
  • mattress – wrap in black plastic and place in the hot sun
  • bedhead – screw off the wall, treat behind, replace, seal edges
  • furniture – take apart, treat, re-assemble, seal gaps.
  • wall coverings – check for cracks in wallpaper
  • curtains and hangings – check curtain rails also, may need to remove and clean
  • skirting – treat and seal
  • flooring – if timber tongue-in-groove, eliminate cracks.

Items, such as bedheads, should be removed if possible because bedbugs are gregarious (many live together) and the crack between the wall and the bedhead may be the entrance to a large void and many bedbugs. Pest Managers have special nozzles to treat into cracks where it is not possible to expose the void inside.

It is not possible to know if someone is a ‘bedbug carrier’. Premises such as backpackers should be inspected regularly for signs of infestation to avoid the costs and inconvenience associated with complaints of bedbug attacks

Solution only with understanding

You have called us because you have a flea problem. Please take a few minutes to read this brochure so you can better understand how best results may be achieved.

The life cycle of the flea is similar to that of a moth – egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon) and adult. A newly hatched adult flea is unfed, small, black and aggressive – some people mistakenly refer to these as ground or sand fleas. After they have had a blood meal, fleas lighten in colour and become larger. For every flea on your pet there may be hundreds waiting to hatch!

Sometimes flea treatments appear to be ineffective as small black fleas are seen after the treatment. This is because the pupae are quite resistant to chemicals. Fleas continue to hatch because insecticides cannot penetrate the flea pupal case. Ten fleas can potentially reproduce to 250,000 in only 30 days!

The solution for successful flea control is: treatment of the pet and the pet’s environment

(if necessary in and outside the house) along with some patience.

COURTESY OF SUNDRY PEST CONTROL BRISBANE
Flea Life Cycle

Life_Cycle_Cat_Flea

Fleas lay eggs on the pet when the host is resting. The white eggs fall off the pet onto the carpet, soil etc. Small blind larvae emerge from the eggs. These larvae move away from the light, burrowing down into the carpet, cracks in floorboards or into the soil. They feed on protein, such as flea droppings of partly digested blood. They moult three times before forming a pupa. The larva changes into the adult in the pupa. The pupa is sticky, so it binds its surrounds to itself, becoming invisible.

In summer, a flea may be ready to hatch from the pupa about 7-14 days after it is formed, however they can remain dormant for up to 18 months. Hatching of the flea from the pupa is triggered by nearby movement, predominantly during warm, moist weather conditions.

After feeding on the host, the engorged female flea is ready to mate and lay eggs – about 24 hours after hatching. She is capable of laying up to 500 eggs (27 per day) over a lifetime which may span several weeks.

A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT MUST INCLUDE ALL AREAS FREQUENTED BY THE PET

•  Indoors – remove toys, clothes etc from the floor. Some insecticides will affect fish. Cover the fish tank and turn off the filter prior to treatment. Remove pets from the area to be treated – return them only after the treatment has dried.

•  Treat the pet(s) – advice may be sought from your Veterinarian. The use of soaps or shampoos may reduce the residual action of the treatment.

•  Be patient. Even if everything has been done correctly, you will still see newly hatched fleas, usually for several weeks . Do not leave flea infested areas undisturbed – movement hatches fleas.

•  Do not vacuum for at least seven days after treatment. Place the vacuuming in a bag and put in the bin.

•  Leave your pet in the flea infested areas – it will attract the fleas. If the pet is removed from the infested area, fleas will continue to hatch for about six weeks with normal ‘human’ activity. Retreat your pet regularly according to the label of the on-animal flea product.

EXPECTATION : Fleas will be seen when an area is newly disturbed – such as when people get up in the morning or go outside – but not later in the day in that area. If the treatments are working, fleas will hatch, contact the treated surface (carpet, soil – treated by our company, or pet – treated with on-animal product) and die within a few hours. FLEA CONTROL – HELPFUL HINTS

•  Treat your pets as soon as you can. You will get better results if all flea treatments – environmental and on-animal – are done around the same time.

•  DO NOT AVOID FLEA INFESTED AREAS AFTER THE TREATMENT – YOU WILL REDUCE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TREATMENT – especially remember the spare room, shed or places where the pet likes to rest.

•  If you remove the pet, flea problems may appear to be worse – as you become the only potential host.

•  It is best to treat before the numbers build up. There is no need to go through the discomfort of flea bites.

•  Entering vacant houses will stimulate any fleas waiting to hatch. This is especially a problem with vacant rental and holiday houses.

•  If you are going on holidays, have a friend stomp through the house/yard several times while you are away, especially on the day of your return – the fleas will hatch and die on the treated surfaces before you return. (You will owe your friend big time)

In domestic situations

Rodents are the most common mammals in the world, both in numbers and in species. Australia has more than 60 species of native rodents. These natives rarely invade homes but some do cause problems in agriculture. There are also three introduced rodents:

Rattus norvegicus the sewer or brown rat

Rattus rattus the roof or black rat

Mus musculus the house mouse.

It is the introduced rodents that cause problems in urban areas.

These are known as commensal rodents – those that live with or near people and depend on humans for at least part of their food or shelter. They are often attracted to houses for food and shelter as the weather cools in autumn/winter.

Rodents prominent incisor teeth grow continuously. ‘Rodent’ is derived from the Latin ‘rodere’ which means ‘to gnaw’. Gnawing is a natural and necessary survival behaviour of the rat and mouse. Rats and mice enjoy gnawing wires – a potential cause of fires in houses.

Rodents contaminate our environment with their urine and droppings and by spreading disease. Rodents are known to be vectors of over fifty disease organisms including the causes of plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus and food poisoning.

Rodent species

SEWER RAT Rattus norvegicus

Originated in Central Asia. Large, aggressive, adaptable and sly.

ROOF RAT Rattus rattus

A native of the forests of equatorial Southeast Asia. It was the most common rat in urban areas in Europe during the outbreaks of plague.

HOUSE MOUSE Mus musculus

Believed to have originated in Central Asia. Mice adapted to structures associated with the storage and transport of grain, with their provision of shelter, warmth and food.

Sewer Rat

Roof Rat

House Mouse

Snout

Blunt

Pointed

Pointed

Ears

Small

Large

Large

Tail / body

Shorter

Longer

Body-length

Droppings

18mm  Sausage-like

12mm Pointed

4mm Pointed

Weight (g)

340 – 460

150 – 250

13 – 30

Intake /day (g)

15 – 30

10 – 20

2 – 4

Food preference

Garbage

Fruit, nuts

Grains

Offspring / year

20

20

40 – 60

Gestation (days)

22

23

18 – 21

Litter size

4 – 10

4 – 8

5 – 6

Lifespan (mths)

5 – 12

5 – 18

12 – 24

Home range (m)

8 – 30

8 – 30+

2 – 10

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CORRECTLY IDENTIFY THE SPECIES SO EFFECTIVE CONTROL PROGRAMMES CAN BE DESIGNED TO SUIT THE BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS OF THAT SPECIES.

ACCESS TO FOOD AND SHELTER, POOR HYGIENE, INCORRECT PLACEMENT OF TRAPS AND BAITS AND CHOICE OF INAPPROPRIATE ACTIVE AND FORMULATION OF BAITS WILL RESULT IN A SLOWER OR EVEN INEFFECTIVE CONTROL.

CONTROL

INSPECTION

To determine the species, the extent and severity of the problem, the location of harbourages and areas of activity and appropriate control strategies.

HYGIENE

Mow the lawn, eliminate clutter, debris, rubbish and access to pet food (metal containers and take in at night). Limiting food, water and shelter makes it harder for the rodent to survive and increases the effectiveness of control strategies.

PROOFING

Keep them out! This may be simple or not practical – a mouse can get through a hole the size of the tip of your little finger, a rat requires the size of the tip of your thumb. The main areas of entry are doors, overhanging branches, vents and penetrations for plumbing and electricals.

TRAPPING

There are a variety of traps including curiosity traps, sticky boards and snap traps. The placement of these devices is critical to their success.

BAITING

This is the most common method used by Pest Managers and by the general public – the differences are that Pest Managers know which active ingredients and formulations are most suitable for the situation at hand and they will often integrate other actions listed above, depending on what they find in the inspection.

The baits used in urban areas are anticoagulant rodenticides. These reduce the ability of the blood to clot causing internal haemorrhage. Death occurs from four days after commencement of feeding. Baits must be kept out of reach of children and pets. If a non-target animal feeds on the bait, take the animal and a sample of the bait to a veterinarian. If the animal shows signs of poisoning, the vet will administer an antidote.

HELPFUL HINTS
  • Some properties are invaded in autumn every year as rats and mice seek shelter in cooler weather. Others may be invaded when nearby areas are developed. If you are aware of a potential influx, contact your Pest Manager to introduce a programme before the event.
  • Pet food is a major attraction for rodents. Ensure that all pet food is never left outside overnight and by storing in metal containers.
  • The house should be inspected for potential entry points, concentrating on gaps in the wall, such as weep holes, doors and windows and penetrations for plumbing and electrical services.
  • Trim all tree branches away from the house. Remove ivy and trellises from the walls.
  • Do not store timber or debris adjacent to the house.
  • Repair leaky taps and remove other water sources.
  • Rodents develop territories and have a social hierarchy. Not all will have equal access to baits. The most dominant and aggressive individuals tend to be the oldest and largest male members of the colony. Treatment programmes must be designed to control the colony, rather than a few individuals.
  • An adult house mouse produces 50 to 100 droppings and up to 3,000 micro-droplets of urine per day, a rat about 40 to 50 droppings per day or 15,000droppings and over 10 litres of urine per year.
  • Rodents may die in inaccessible places such as wall cavities. Odours from dead mice are seldom a problem but rats, because of their larger body mass may cause an odour. Your Pest Manager may be able to find and remove the carcass or apply odour absorbing products.

Carpet beetles are small insect pests that cause damage by feeding on a variety of animal based material in homes and other buildings.

Description

Adult carpet beetles are small with compact, rounded, oval bodies.

Their legs and head are not obvious and are often hidden under the body.

The variegated carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) and furniture carpet beetle (Anthrenus flavipes) are 2-3 millimetres long and mottled yellow, white and black.

The black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor) is larger, ranging from 3-5 millimetres, more elongate and black with brownish legs.

The Australian carpet beetle (Anthrenocerus australis) is 2-3 millimetres long and dark with light markings.

Of the four species, only the Australian carpet beetle is native.

Carpet beetle larvae move slowly and are 4-7 millimetres long, depending on the species.

They are brown in colour and covered in bristles. As the larvae grow they moult, leaving cast brown skins.

Life history

Carpet beetles are widely distributed and can be found inside homes and other buildings where food is available.

Adult carpet beetles lay eggs near food sources and larvae feed, often for more than six months, on the surface or inside the material.

After a pupal period of typically two to three weeks, the adult beetles emerge in spring or summer.

Adult carpet beetles feed on nectar or pollen and the larvae feed on animal products.Adult Anthrenus feed outdoors on nectar and pollen, and are sometimes found on the inside of windows as they try to fly outside.

The complete life cycle of the carpet beetle takes nine to twelve months.

Pest status and management

Carpet beetle larvae feed on dry materials of animal origin such as:

  • wool
  • fur
  • silk
  • felt
  • dried meat
  • carcasses

Variegated and black carpet beetles are the most widespread and damaging species, although the others can be locally destructive.

Carpet beetle may frequently damage:

  • carpets
  • rugs
  • underfelt
  • wall hangings
  • clothing
  • wool insulation
  • insect collections.

If an infested article is transportable, remove and disinfest by heat or cold treatment. Leave it in the sun wrapped in black plastic, or deep-freeze it for two weeks.

Preventive measures are important.

Vacuum carpets, rugs, soft furnishings and upholstery frequently and thoroughly.

Pay particular attention to low-traffic areas of carpets such as edges and under furniture.

Washing and steam-cleaning where appropriate, is effective.

When susceptible clothes will be unused for an extended period (for example, woollens over summer) clean them well and store in sealed plastic bags.

Possible obscure sources of infestation should be identified and either removed or disinfested.

These include:

  • ceiling or pipe insulation
  • animal carcasses
  • birds’ nests
  • pet bedding

Chemicals registered for carpet beetle control include:

  • dusts
  • surface sprays
  • space-sprays.

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