New Zealand Summer Pests
Like autumn and raking leaves, summer seems to go together with pests. And just like clockwork, summertime is nigh, which makes it the perfect time to start preparing for those nasty intruders. Research actually shows that about 67 percent of homeowners are more concerned about pest infestations during summer.
Most pests reproduce during this time of year because of the higher temperatures experienced. As a result, pest population’s balloon and they seem to be everywhere you look. This makes pest infestations quite common during this time of year.
Because pests are irritating, can damage property, and may even spread diseases, control measures need to be taken as soon as possible. But even better than controlling them is prevention. Keep the pests out of your property and you won’t have to worry about getting rid of them.
Some of the pests you should expect to encounter this summer include:
Mosquitoes love summer – maybe even more than humans do. These blood sucker’s population will quadruple during this season due to the favourable breeding conditions. If you don’t protect yourself against these pests in summer, you’ll be in for very long nights.
Mosquitoes not only bite painfully but also fly noisily which could make it quite difficult to sleep at night. Their bites could also prove fatal as mosquitoes are known to spread diseases. These pests are a problem both indoors and outdoors. Mosquito infestations can be prevented by:
- Draining all stagnant water around your property to reduce breeding places.
- Clearing overgrown vegetation such as grass and bushes.
- Keeping your doors and windows shut at night if they are not screened.
They might come in a variety of species, but all cockroaches have one thing in common; they can survive in the toughest of environments. Roaches are so tough that they can survive without their head for several weeks!
The kind of cockroach you are most likely to encounter is the Gisborne cockroach. Originally from Australia, this critter is dark red-brown in colour with distinctive white bands.
Cockroaches do breed fast, so if you happen to see one in your property, take quick action to prevent a full blown infestation. To keep them out during this “peak” season, take the following precautions:
- Clean up messes especially food related ones.
- Vacuum and/sweep your house regularly especially the kitchen.
- Avoid clutter.
Cover your garbage cans.
These flies are quite common in summer. They will bother you both inside and outside. Because of their indiscriminate feeding habits, flies – in addition to being a nuisance – can transport disease-causing microorganisms on their hairy bodies contaminating your food as they feed on it. They are known to transmit typhoid, dysentery poliomyelitis, cholera, viral hepatitis among other diseases.
Flies reproduce rapidly with a female fly being able to lay about 9,000 eggs within its lifetime. This means that a fly problem can escalate quickly in just a few days. Take the following precautions this summer:
- Clear drink and food messes immediately.
- Keep all food covered.
- Cover bins especially those with food waste.
- Keep windows and doors shut if they are not screened.
The most invasive species of them is the Argentine ant which is common around the Wellington region with a few patches around Hutt Valley. They’ll usually build their nests around potted plants, rubbish bins, garden mulch and other similar spots that have food available. Nests are usually underground with ants coming out in large numbers to scavenge for food.
They are generally harmless, that is unless they bite. They destroy food by getting into it and making it inedible or by contaminating it with germs they collect as they move from one place to another. Ants don’t have a strict diet but will usually feed on dead decaying matter.
To keep these pests out of your hair, ensure you:
- Avoid leaving your dirty dishes in the sink.
- Vacuum and sweep your house regularly.
- Clean up after your pet by taking away their food and drink once they are done.
- Cover your bins.
- Keep your food in sealed containers.
Mice and rats will move into your property if there is food available. Rats will cause damage to your property by gnawing on wires, furniture, fabrics and generally anything within their reach.
Rodents can also introduce pests such as fleas into your home.
These pests breed fast and will colonise your property in just a few weeks making control that much difficult. To keep rodents out of your home. Make sure to:
- Check and seal cracks and openings around your house that could provide entry.
- Keep all food in containers preferably ones made from glass or metal.
- Cover your bins.
- Clean your house regularly.
These are most likely to be encountered outdoors. They might not spread any diseases, but they do sting painfully. Their sting could also have adverse effects on a smaller group of the population who could suffer an anaphylactic shock as a result.
Wasps and Hornets
Common types of wasps include the social wasp, the German wasp and the Asian paper wasp. Wasps can be differentiated from bees by their less hairy bodies and well-defined waist. To keep wasps away, you should:
- Keep sweet beverages and alcohol in closed containers.
- Keep your doors and windows closed if they aren’t screened.
- Cover potential entry points such as cracks and vents with mesh and caulk.
Problems associated with birds include noise, especially if they are nesting inside or close to your property; and poop. Birds will defecate on property including buildings, footpaths, vehicles and anything else around them. Other than being unsightly, their poop is acidic and will corrode surfaces leading to expensive damages.Birds usually make their nests during spring and raise young ones during summer. They might look beautiful and majestic, but birds can be a major pain when they invade your property.
Outside humane bird repellers can be used to keep birds off your property. To prevent them from nesting inside your house, you should cover or screen gaps that can provide them entry such as vents and chimneys.
These animals will cause headaches when they invade your property, literally. They will make a lot of noise as they go about their business and will also cause damage to your property. In addition, possums are capable of spreading diseases to humans and pets, and introducing other pests to your property.
Possums usually nest under decks, in attics and other easy to access areas. To prevent a possum infestation, you’ll need to:
- Trim branches close to your roof as possums could use them to enter your house.
- Protect your decks with screens.
- Cover openings that they could use to get in.
Pest infestations might be rampant during this time of year, but with these measures and our range of pest control products and deterrents, you can successfully keep them at bay.
We stock products for both indoor and outdoor pest control to ensure your entire property is protected from these stubborn intruders. Our solutions are easy to use, humane, and very effective.