Bug Xterminator | General Pests
15470
page,page-id-15470,page-template-default,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-10.0,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive

General Pests

Ants

Most ant species are highly developed social insects that live in permanent colony nests, which depending on the species, may be in the soil, in timber, under pavers, and in the wall cavities or roof void spaces of homes and other buildings.

Every home is vulnerable: Ants may travel large distances in search of food. Even the cleanest of homes can provide a ready food source for ants which once found can invade in large numbers, such that professional help is required.

A nuisance pest: A few ant species can inflict painful bites, most are a nuisance pest when they infest pantries, kitchens and BBQ areas in large numbers.

Summer time is particularly problematic as the ants are out in force, building up their numbers and searching incessantly for food to be stored in their colony nest to enable their survival during the colder winter months.

white-footed-ant

White Footed House Ant

Biology: Colonies of white-footed house ants often contain many satellite nesting sites spread over a wide area.

Strength in numbers: The entire brood may contain several million workers and numerous reproductive queens. White-footed house ants have a preference for sweet tasting food, such as sugar, soft drinks and the like.

Nesting sites: their nests are commonly found outdoors, in the ground or above ground in trees, in buildings, such as, in wall cavities, roof voids, architraves and fireplaces. They are known to get into and short-circuit air conditioners.

coastal-brown-ant

Coastal Brown Ant

Identification: The Common coastal brown ant is often confused with the Argentine Ant.

Coastal brown workers are approximately 2 to 3 mm in length.

Nesting sites: Coastal brown ants prefer to build their nests in wall cavities, garden beds and sub-floor areas.

carpenter-ant

Carpenter Ant

Identification: Carpenter ants vary in colour from black to dark brown to an brownish orange. The carpenter ant workers are 6 to 12 mm in length.

Biology: Carpenter ants often enter buildings to nest and forage. They excavate their nests in wood (hence the name “carpenter” ants), creating smooth tunnels and galleries.

The colonies of some species of Carpenter ants, may exceed 100,000 workers, with multiple queens and satellite nesting sites. Most species are smaller and require many years to reach maturity. They can travel long distances in search of food.

Nesting sites: they most often build their nests outside, in moist wood, soil, wigs and branches, but some species will readily infest timbers in buildings.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches belong to the insect order Blattodea of which there are approximately 4,000 species worldwide and 400 species native to Australia. Native species vary in appearance, habitat and feeding habits. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you consider our role as pest managers) for us, there are a number of introduced pest species here also. All species are

thought to have originated in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa around 300 million years ago.

They range in size from just a couple of millimetres in length right up to an enormous 70 millimetres in the case of the Giant Burrowing Cockroach

(Macropanesthia rhinoceros) from northern Queensland.

No matter the size, they are based on a similar body plan:

  • Oval shaped body which is dorso-ventrally compressed,
  • Two pairs of membranous wings when present, with the forewings more sclerotised than the hind wings,
  • The thorax protected by a large plate, the pronotum, which extends over the head,
  • Strong chewing mouthparts,
  • Compound eyes,
  • Long whip-like antennae and,
  • Prominent leaf shaped cerci at the tip of the abdomen.

Rats and Mice

Rodents often cause electrical fires in buildings by gnawing through plastic covered electrical wires and junction boxes, as rodents must constantly gnaw on hard objects to cut back their constantly growing incisor teeth.

Plus, they live in the most unsanitary places and are carriers of serious health risks to human health e.g. Liptospirosis, from their droppings and constant incontinence (They use urine trails to find their way in the dark).

Rodents live and breed in drains, under concrete, in sub floors, garbage refuse areas, kitchens, roof voids, under ground nests and other areas where a potential food and moisture source is available.

Rodents often become a serious problem in winter months when they seek food and warmth inside buildings. They may suddenly appear in large numbers when excavation work disturbs their in ground nesting areas, or their food source is changed, e.g. rats feeding in a school premises may enter adjoining properties during school holidays.

It is important to identify conducive conditions that have enabled a rodent problem to exist, and then implement corrective measures.

These measures include harbourage reduction, improved sanitation practices and rodent proofing.

Red-Back Spiders

Venom toxicity: The Red-Back spider can inflict a painful bite which can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. An effective anti-venom was developed in 1956. About 250 people receive the anti-venom each year.

Nerve poison: Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, as the poison attacks the nervous system. Systemic envenomisation usually results in headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pyrexia, hypertension and in severe cases, paralysis.

Spider Identification: -The red-back spider size varies greatly. The male can be tiny, with the abdomen of the female growing to the size of a large pea. Red-back spiders do NOT always have a “red” marking.

Habitat: The red-back spider prefers dry habitats; is often found in out-houses, letter-boxes, underside of seats, in rubbish, such as empty cans, in the sub-floor and other dark areas. Electric lights attract their prey, such as moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

Black House Spider

Venom toxicity: The bite of the Black House Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Some people report severe pain around the bite site, heavy sweating, muscular pains, vomiting, headaches and giddiness.

In any case if bitten by a Black-house spider, immediate first aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought.

Spider Identification: The adult Black House spider spins a lacy, messy web and are up to 15 mm in body length and of a dark brown to black velvet textured appearance.

Habitat: The Black House spider and prefers dry habitat areas and secluded locations, and is commonly found in window framing, under eaves, gutters, in brickwork, sheds, toilets and among rocks and bark. Electric lights attract their main food source of moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

White Tail Spider

Venom toxicity: The bite of a white-tail spider may cause nausea and burning pain followed by swelling and itchiness around the site of the bite. In some rare but dramatic cases, a severe allergic reaction, blistering or ulceration of the skin, similar to gangrene, has apparently been caused by a white-tail spider bite.

Habitat: -The white-tail spider prefers cool moist locations and is commonly found in garden mulch areas. In summer, it often wanders into buildings, particularly bathrooms, to escape the heat.

silverfish

Silverfish

Characteristics
These fast running insects have become common inhabitants of manmade dwellings and are often found in dark sheltered areas about the home. Silverfish are usually less than 20 millimetres in length and silvery-grey in colour. They appear similar to bristletails (Archaeognatha) but can be distinguished by the following features:

Acrotelsella devriesiana
  • Soft, elongate body tapering towards the abdomen and covered with silvery-grey scales
  • Wingless
  • Long antennae
  • 3 long abdominal cerci of similar length with the outer 2 pointing away from the body

Acrotelsella devriesiana belongs to the LEPISMATIDAE family of silverfish which contains 5 cosmopolitan species that are household pests. A.devriesiana though, is generally found in the southern and central parts of Australia under bark, rocks and leaf litter.

Life Cycle
Most silverfish reproduce sexually with the male depositing a sperm packet on the substrate, which is picked up by the female. Depending on the species the female may lay eggs only when she moults or she may lay eggs singularly throughout her whole life. The young develop over a series of moults and may take up to 3 months to reach maturity. Silverfish will continue to moult throughout their lives and individuals may live for up to 4 years. The nymphs of silverfish resemble adults but are generally smaller in size.

Feeding
Most native species of silverfish are nocturnal herbivores feeding on a variety of vegetable matter. The best-known domestic species of silverfish that are common in most houses feed predominantly on paper products and fabric found around the home. Some species are omnivorous.

Habitat
Silverfish occur in a wide variety of habitats both natural and manmade. Native species are generally found living under the bark of trees, under rocks, in rotten logs and among leaf litter. Some species have been found to live exclusively in caves while others have been discovered inhabiting the nests of ants and termites. Most species found in homes are introduced and usually dwell in dark, rarely disturbed places such

Bed-Bugs

With the increase of travel by Australians Bedbugs are becoming a major pest problem as they are difficult to detect and control. Bedbugs are small nocturnal insects of the family Cimicidae that live by hematophagy. They feed on blood, mostly from people but are also known to feed on bats or other warm-blooded animals including rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, birds, bats and pets. A mature bed bug is an oval-bodied insect, brown to red-brown in color, wingless and flattened top to bottom. The females are normally longer and wider than the males. Unfed bugs are 6mm to 9.5mm long and the upper surface of the body has a crinkled appearance. A bug that has recently fed is engorged with blood, dull red in color, and the body is elongated and swollen. Eggs are white and are about 0.8mm long. Newly hatched bugs are nearly colorless.

Detection

Bedbugs are very flat, which allows them to hide in tiny crevices. A crack wide enough to fit the edge of a credit card can harbor bedbugs (even in the ceiling). In the daytime, they tend to stay out of the light, preferring to remain hidden in such places as mattress seams, mattress interiors, bed frames, nearby furniture, carpeting, baseboards, inner walls and tiny wood holes. Hiding places can often be discovered by keeping an eye out for black or brown spots of dried insect excrement on surfaces on which the bed bugs rest. Eggs, eggshells and cast skins may also be found in resting places. In an early infestation, bed bugs are likely to be found only about the seams, tufts or folds of mattresses but later they spread to crevices in the bedsteads. In severe infestation they may be found behind baseboards, window and door casings, pictures and picture frames, in furniture, loosened wallpaper,r and the like.

Fleas

Fleas are a parasite which feed on the blood of warm blooded animals, including humans, dogs and cats.

Fleas pierce the skin; inject an anti-coagulant chemical into the bloodstream of the host to prevent blood clotting.

When fleas suck the blood from their host, some of the blood passes directly through their rectum in order to lay their eggs.

A flea bite can cause acute irritation, infection and transfer of other parasites, including tapeworms.

The flea larva is a small “grub” that lives in carpet, in cracks or joins of timber flooring and in soil areas. A readily accessible supply of organic matter, such as shed skin flakes from humans, is essential for it’s development. This is the critical point in the life cycle of the flea in which to attack it for maximum control effect on the infestation.

Fleas often enter a building on dogs and cats, and are commonly deposited in carpeted areas, in the garden, yard and under the building, particularly shaded sandy soil ares, on the southern side of the building (shaded areas).

In ideal hot humid weather, flea eggs may take only a few weeks to hatch in large numbers. In cooler times of the year, the flea eggs may lay dormant in carpets and sub floor areas for more than 12 months before hatching – generally during hot humid weather and all of a sudden, sometimes in plague proportions.

Stored Product Pests

The beetles and moths that infest stored grains and other such products cause severe losses, both directly and indirectly. Problems they may create include the following:

  • Direct damage where the kernels are hollowed or otherwise damaged.
  • Contamination of the stored products with live or dead insects (at all stages of growth), cast skins and droppings.
  • Damage to wooden structures and various types of wooden packaging.
  • Moulding and caking of stored product.

Some Major Pests of Stored Foods

Lessor Grain Borer

Capable of infesting small grains. It will attack whole grain, but development is more rapid in damaged material.

Rice Weevil

Common weevil attacks small grains including wheat, oats, barley, rice, and sorghum.

Saw Toothed Grain Beetle

Infests a wide range of commodities including grains, stock feeds, prepared cereal products and dried fruits.

Indian Meal Moth

Widely distributed pest which attacks a wide range of commodities including oilseeds, nuts, dried fruits, flour, bran and grain.