Pest Control Melbourne
Pest Control Melbourne is influenced by the seasons and weather, with different pests being common at different times of the year. However, the termite risk is present all year round. Here’s all you need to know about pest control and the key pests in Melbourne.
Pest Control Melbourne - Popular pest treatments
A general “pest spray” once a year is generally good to keep spiders and most insect pests at bay for at least 6 months. However, if you time the treatment at the start of spring, it will probably keep your home pest free for up to a year.
The main part of the treatment is a pest spray around the exterior of the building and potential entry points to stop the pests coming in. The roof void and sub-floor (if you have one) will need to be treated (with insecticide dust) as well, as these are pest hot spots. They won’t always spray inside the house, it depends on your particular pest concerns.
For pest control in Melbourne, combining a pest treatment with your annual termite inspection is a good idea as you will often get a discount.
Although Victorian councils give “termite declared” designations for suburbs which are at high termite risk, the reality is that all of Melbourne are at risk of termite attack (termites don’t keep to a postcode!).
Annual termite inspections should be carried out for all homes in Melbourne. Not only will the inspection detect whether termites are active on your property (or worse still in your house), they will also spot termite damage and most importantly give you a list of actions you can take to make your home less attractive to termites.
Some termite inspectors will also use thermal imaging cameras or other termite detection devices. These can be very useful bits of equipment, but the skills of an experience termite professional are more important.
It’s also important to make sure that the inspector does a thorough inspection job. Typically a termite inspection should take 1.5 -2 hrs for a standard house, but it can take a lot longer for larger houses, especially if they have a sub-floor.
Termite inspection are a good “health check” for your property, but they don’t stop termite attacks. To protect your home from potential termite attack, it is important to have a termite management system installed around your home.
For long lasting protection from termites, buildings should have termite protection measures in place.
Although all new buildings should have termite protection incorporated into the construction during the build (irrespective of the “declared termite” designation), this is often insufficient to completely prevent a termite attack. That is why it is industry best practice for all buildings to install a termite management system around and under (if there is a sub-floor) your home.
The type of termite treatments will depend on the situation at the property and the construction of the building. Certainly in the inner city areas where the house are terraced or close together the treatment options are more limited.
Find a Pest Control Company in Melbourne
Not surprisingly there are a large number of pest control companies in Melbourne. Whether you want your local pest professional or want a larger company to help you out, there are lots of options to choose from.
It is important to choose an experienced pest professional you can trust. Always check to make sure they are licensed and insured to carry out the work being requested.
If you’re looking for a pest control company near you, click on our pest control company locator below to find pest companies providing the services you are looking for in your area.
Key Pests in Melbourne
Outdoors the main pest ant is the Argentine ant. These ants can grown into super colonies that can cover tens of square kilometres. Although they are normally a problem in gardens, they can find their way indoors looking for food and moisture.
Professional pest managers will generally use a combination of products to eliminate ant problems, typically a combination of sprays (to stop the ants coming inside) and baits (to actually kill the nest). Indoor ant problems can generally be completely eliminated.
However, controlling outdoor ant problems, especially Argentine ants is more difficult as new ants can always re-invade from surrounding areas. With severe outdoor ant problems regular treatments may be necessary to suppress the population.
Birds nesting in and around homes and businesses can cause a nuisance – not only do their droppings make a mess and damage buildings, but they carry diseases and parasites… and can make a lot of noise!
The main pest birds in Melbourne are pigeons, Indian mynas, starlings and sparrows. Apart from the noise and disease issues, birds can cause significant damage to solar panels with their corrosive droppings. Bird proofing and cleaning solar panels, by a pest professional is therefore a worthwhile investment.
There are two types of cockroach species, large cockroaches (such as the American and Australian cockroaches) which generally live outside, under houses, in drains and rubbish; and small cockroach species, such as the German cockroach which only lives inside, most commonly in kitchens.
Large cockroaches tend to be more of a problem during the warmer summer months. German cockroaches are a problem year round as they live indoors.
German cockroaches are more of a challenge to control as they are very small and can develop a number of small populations is small, hard to locate spots. Treatment will involve professional cockroach baits, insecticide dusts and sprays. In severe infestations, the pest manager may have to make more than one visit.
For large cockroach species, spraying areas exterior and potential entry points will stop the cockroaches entering. Roof voids and sib-floors are generally also treated with insecticide powder.
With cockroach problems, ensuring good housekeeping / hygiene is essential for eliminating and prevent cockroach infestations.
Fleas generally aren’t as much of a problem as they used to be as on-pet treatments are so effective. However, we all know how easy it can be to forget a pet treatment. Given a chances fleas will find a way into your home and before you know it, you have a flea infestation.
Fleas outbreak are more common in the summer months as the thrive in the warm, humid weather conditions. However, in the heated houses in Melbourne, they can be a problem in winter too! A professional flea treatment is always the best option as to completely eradicate the infestation, both indoor and outdoor areas need to be treated. The flea eggs, larvae and adults will be present in all your pet’s resting places and a professional pest manager will know just where to look!
There are two types of flies that cause problems for homeowners and businesses in Melbourne – filth flies (such as the house flies and bush fly) and the drain fly.
Housefly problems occurs if there is garbage, pet faeces or manure around for them to lay their eggs on – the maggots love any organic matter! So good hygiene around your property is key to eliminating any fly breeding spots and a pest spray from your local pest professional will leave a treatment on the surfaces where they land.
Drain flies are the small flies that you can find in bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. They typically feed on rotting fruit or vegetables or in the slime in drains. If you have a problem with these annoying flies try and find any rotting food and clean out the drains before calling your pest professional. Be thorough, they can breed in the smallest amount of food.
The house mouse is a common indoor pest in Melbourne. They particularly become a problem in the cooler months, when they come inside looking for warmth and shelter. Some of the outdoor Melbourne suburbs can be impacted if mouse plagues are hitting the rural areas. They carry diseases and parasites, which can be transferred when they urinate on surfaces and food.
Although it is tempting to use baits from supermarkets, they are very toxic to humans, pets and native wildlife like possums. As such, it is always best to pay a pest professional to carry out the treatment to ensure the baits are placed in the best locations to deliver results and prevent accidental ingestion. Pest Professionals will use lockable bait stations in most areas.
Mosquito problems in Melbourne tend to be concentrated in areas near tidal areas, rivers and lakes. Numbers tend to be higher in the warmer months when you can get a population explosion after periods of rain.
Key to keeping numbers down at your property is to eliminate mosquito breeding sites – areas of resting water – plants pots, drains, gutters, etc. However, if you have a persistent mosquito problem, pest professionals can fog your outdoor areas to treat surfaces where mosquitoes land and rest. Although no treatment can deliver 100% control of mosquitoes, these fogging treatments can reduce the mosquito number significantly to allow you to enjoy your outdoor areas for up to 3 months.
There are two pest rats in Melbourne, the roof rat (or black rat) and the larger sewer rat (or Norway rat). Rats typically live outdoors coming inside to find food, although roof rats in particular will take up residence inside homes. They carry diseases and parasites, which can be transferred when they urinate on surfaces and food.
It is always best to pay a pest professional to carry out the treatment to ensure the baits are placed in the best locations to deliver results and prevent accidental ingestion. Pest Professionals will use lockable bait stations in most areas. Just throwing bait into the roof void is unlikely to get the nest results and significant increases the risk of accidental poisoning of non-target animals.
Rats can also be difficult to control due to their intelligence and their neophobic behaviour – they are frightened of new things, which can make it hard for them to eat any bait. To eliminate a rat problem quickly using a rodent expert will get the quickest results.
Whereas spiders do help eliminate insect pests, the bites from these spiders are health threat to your family and pets and so a “spider spray” is a good option to protect your family.
Spiders can be split into two main groups: web-building spiders and running (or hunting spiders). The black house spider and redback spider and two common web-building spiders. Black house spiders create dense funnel shaped webs around windows and door frames and under eaves. Redbacks make messy fish net-like webs, often containing leaves, in dry cracks and crevices, and even in downlights.
Treatments for black house spiders and redbacks involve a “spider spray”, where the outside of the building, obvious webs and spider hiding places are sprayed. Sometimes insecticide dust may be blown into cracks and crevices. These treatments can be quite long lasting, typically 6 months or longer in protected areas.
Running spiders include the white-tail spider and huntsman. They don’t build webs but roam around hunting for prey. Keeping running spiders out of the home relies on them walking across treated surfaces. However, as they walk on the tips of the legs they don’t pick up much insecticide, so will sometimes still make it inside before dying. However, if you have had a spider spray or general pest treatment, it will eliminate other insects and web-building spiders which are the prey for the hunting spiders, making your home far less attractive as there is no food for them.
White tail and huntsman spiders generally only come inside to escape hot or wet weather or when looking for food. They normally rest under logs or under the bark of trees, so if you leave your clothes on the floor it’s just like home to white-tails and huntsman! (Also check between your bed sheets!).
Termites are major concern for homeowners in Melbourne causing millions of dollars of damage each year. There are several termite species in Melbourne. One of them, Coptotermes, is capable of causing significant damage in as little as 6 months.
Although making your home less attractive to termites is something all homeowners should do, termite inspections and termite treatments are jobs for trained, experienced, licensed and insured termite professionals.
In Melbourne, homeowners should book a professional termite inspections at least once a year and it is highly recommended that a termite protection system be installed around the perimeter of the home. These termite protection systems take the form of a treatment to the soil or the installation of termite bait stations around the building.
Wasps are only an occasional pest in Melbourne. However, the European wasp is present in Melbourne and therefore represents a significant health risk.
European wasps are very aggressive and the nests can grow to tens of thousands of individuals. Eliminating a European wasp nest is the job of a pest professional with the correct safety equipment and professional wasp products.
Weather in Melbourne and what it means for pests...
Unlike the northern parts of Australia, Melbourne has well defined seasons. Insects and spiders only really thrive in the warmer weather, so Melbourne has a “pest season” which runs from October to April.
Spiders appear first in spring. Ants reach their peak in summer and Autumn, which is also when wasp nests reach their maximum size.
The colder months brings the rodent season, as rats and mice make their way inside buildings to find shelter and warmth.
Although termites are more active in the warmer months, they can still keep eating and damaging your home in winter, especially in houses with heating. They tend to have their mating flight (when swarms of winged termites appear) on warm humid nights in spring and early summer.