Pest Control in Australia – Treatments, Prevention Tips, FAQ

It’s a great feeling to know that your family and home is protected from pests. After all, your home is your castle and you don’t want any unwanted visitors. A professional pest control treatment gives you a pest-free home and that all important peace of mind.

With a professional pest treatment you are buying expertise and guaranteed results, but it’s a lot more than that…

Pest Control technician carrying out a pest control treatment

Why choose a professional pest treatment?

A pest professional will use their knowledge and specialist products (not available in supermarkets) to eliminate the problem and provide lasting protection.

In most situations pest managers will offer a warranty period with any pest treatment, during which they will come back and do a spot treatment for free if the problem flares up.

A trained pest professional will know which products to use and how to apply them to ensure they are safe for your family and pets and have minimal impact on the environment.

No need to spend time at the shops deciding what to buy and carrying out the treatment. Organise the pest professional to come at a time convenient to you, allowing you to focus on other activities.

Although some people compare the price of supermarket products with the price of a professional pest control treatment, it ignores the value of a professional treatment and the guarantee and peace of mind that it comes with. That said, by the time you have added product cost to the time taken to buy and apply the product (and often to carry out a re-treatment), the DIYers often end up spending more money anyway.

The Professional “Pest Spray”

When people talk about needing a “Pest Spray”, to a pest manager this means you are after a general pest control treatment to keep your home free from a range of common pests, typically spiders, cockroaches and ants.

Typically the pest manager will treat the following areas:

  • Exterior of the building and any outdoor entertaining areas
  • (Outbuildings, play equipment, fences if requested)
  • Roof void
  • Sub-floor (if present)
  • Inside the house
  • Treatments normally cover the key crawling pests such as spiders, large cockroaches and ants. Some companies will include additional pests as part of their standard treatment.
  • If there is a significant pest infestation, the pest company may charge an additional fee.
  • There may also be an additional charge for any specific pest problem which requires a specialist pest treatment.
  • A spray treatment will typically last 3-6 months, depending on the product used.
  • However, your home can remain pest free for much longer as the treatment will have eliminated the pests and they can take some time to re-invade. This is why some pest control companies will offer a warranty or service free period of up to a year.
  • Many pest managers will offer a “Service Free Period”, which means if the pests come back during the Service Free Period they will come around and do a spot treatment for free.
  • The duration of the Service Free Period will vary between pest control companies and there will be some conditions attached.
  • Pest managers will also provide a list of preventative actions you should take to ensure the performance of the treatment and ensure your home keeps pest free for longer.

Specialist Pest Control treatments

Some pests will require a specialist treatment – German cockroaches, fleas, mosquitoes and rodents, being common pests requiring a specific treatment using specialist products.

These treatments can be either a stand alone treatment or combined with a general pest treatment.

By combining services you can save a significant amount of money.

A common combination is a general pest spray + annual termite inspection. This combination ensures you protect both your family and home from pests.

Most pest control companies offer commercial pest control services as well as residential pest control.

Although annual pest treatments may be appropriate for some businesses, other businesses, especially in the hospitality and food management industries, will require regular service plans, often quarterly or monthly.

Quality pest control companies will also provide the appropriate documentation and help you set up the necessary systems to protect your business from pests and comply with any associated regulations.

Pest Prevention Tips

There are a range of pest prevention tips that will minimise the chances of pests becoming established in your home or business. They fall into three main areas:

As pests generally come in from outside there are a number of tips to make the perimeter of your home less attractive to pests.

  • Ideally remove garden beds around the building – the combination of plants, mulch and water make them a hotspot for many pests, including termites. Use plants in pots instead.

If you decide to have gardens around the perimeter of the building

  • Keep plants well pruned and away from the house. Trim back any over-hanging branches
  • Avoid or minimise watering the garden beds
  • Use a non-organic mulch such as pebbles
  • Avoid using manure or blood and bone fertilisers in the garden bed

With most pest entering the building from outside, every effort should be made to eliminate the obvious entry points:

  • Ensure all screen protectors on doors and windows are in good order and well fitting
  • Fill in any cracks around doors, windows and pipework
  • Protect weepholes with metal weephole screens (don’t fill them in!)
  • If you are susceptible to rodents or possums entering the roof or sub-floor, all potential entry points should be blocked with suitable rodent proof material
  • Keep the perimeter of the home, roof void and sub-floor clear of stored goods and rubbish. These create an ideal environment for pests and allow termites to enter the building without being noticed.
  • If you must store goods in these areas, store the goods in sealed plastic containers (pests love cardboard boxes) and store them off the ground.
  • Ensure all rubbish is placed in sealed bags, places in solid bids with well-fitting lids and stored away from the building
  • Do not leave pet food out
  • Do not leave dirty dishes, spilt food and food waste laying around
  • Make sure the cooker, oven, grill, dishwasher, toaster, microwave and fridge are cleaned regularly (including underneath) to remove any food residues
  • Store food in sealed plastic containers
  • Make sure there are no leaks from dripping taps, pipework or gutters
  • Eliminate any pools of standing water (potential mosquito breeding sites)
  • Regularly vacuum all rooms, especially around the edges and under heavy furniture

To prevent termites attacking your home there are a number of specific termite prevention tips

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

Generally speaking the products professionals used are very different to those available to the general public. Professionals use concentrated products which they then dilute before spraying and use a range of specialist products for different pests.

Generally speaking, no. Once the pest manager has diluted the concentrate, much of the same application rules that apply to supermarket products, apply to professional pest products. Of course, by using a professional pest manager you can be assured that the products are being applied correctly and accurately, thus minimising any risks to your family, pets and the environment.

Pest managers are professionals. Before carrying out any treatment they will speak to you about any concerns you may have and carry out a risk assessment at your property. This will then determine what treatment and products are suitable for your situation.

The products the pest managers decide to use will be suitable to use around your family and pets. Generally speaking, with any spray product it will be necessary for people and pets to be kept clear of the area whilst spraying and remain clear until the treatment has dried. But as soon as it’s dry, children and pets can re-enter without concern.

Old-fashioned pest control products used to have a strong smell (due to the solvents used). Modern pest control products will have only a mild odour and some are odourless. Note, the smell of the product does not have any correlation with its strength of performance or toxicity.

We’ve prepared a checklist to help you choose a pest control company.

Pest Control in the major cities

Sydney has a full range of pests. Cockroaches (of course as it’s NSW), ants and spiders (home of the Sydney funnel web) are common, mosquitoes are a common summer pest and rodents become an increasing problem during the cooler months. Termites are a problem year round for home owners.

For details on the main pests found in Sydney and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Sydney page.

Melbourne has seasonal weather and so has a true “pest season” during the warmer months, when spider and insect populations explode. As well as all the normal pests Melbourne also has the dangerous European wasp. Termite are a problem across Melbourne, although they do slow down a bit during the colder winter months. These cooler months form the rodent season, when rats and mice come inside looking for warmth and shelter.

For details on the main pests found in Melbourne and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Melbourne page.

Brisbane has a sub-tropical climate which means year round warm temperatures and plenty of rain – just the conditions pests love! Termites are a serious threat to home owners and can cause significant damage in as little as 6 months. Of course, there are a full range of nuisance pests including spiders, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes and also biting midges. Rodents become more of an problem during the cooler months.

For details on the main pests found in Brisbane and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Brisbane page.

Perth has a year round warm climate, which is great for pests, but it is a lot dryer than the Eastern states, so the mix of pests is a bit different. Mosquitoes and biting midges are generally less of an issue in Perth. However, many of the main pests are the same – termites, spiders, cockroaches and ants still cause lots of problems and are a concern for homeowners and businesses.

For details on the main pests found in Perth and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Perth page.


Adelaide has generally warm temperatures and a long hot summer. Although the lower rainfall may make mosquito problems less common, all the other pests love the Adelaide climate! So homeowners and businesses need to be on the look out for termites, spiders, cockroaches, ants and flies in particular. 

For details on the main pests found in Adelaide and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Adelaide page.

Canberra has a dry climate, with hot summers and cooler winters, sometimes dropping below freezing at night.

Spiders and crawling insects are the main pest problems during the warmer months, with European wasps becoming an increasing problem in late summer and Autumn. Winter is rodent season, as rats and mice come indoors in search of warmth.

For homeowners, the threat of termite attack is a year round problem that needs to be carefully managed.

For details on the main pests found in Canberra and the key pest treatments, go to our Pest Control Canberra page.

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