Have you had a house full of unwanted guests so far this summer? No, we don’t mean your relatives – we’re talking pests! If so, keep the nasties out with these tips.
Pests are well ... a huge pest at any time of year. However, during the summer months they're particularly infuriating. The humidity and high temperatures provide the perfect environment for them to reproduce rapidly which can lead to infestations. Here are the main culprits you need to watch this season with tips on how to keep them out of your home.
These creepy crawlies thrive during the summer heat and invade homes looking for water, crumbs and shelter. As cockroaches crawl through decaying matter and bacteria, they can spread disease such as salmonella. To keep them out:
- Seal cracks and block holes with sealant. Particularly check the backs of kitchen and bathroom cabinets for cracks and around the bathtub.
- Clean behind appliances such as toaster and in cupboards, as this eliminates crumbs.
- Declutter – cockroaches like to lay eggs in all sorts of places, so the less stuff you have, the less potential nesting sites.
- Take your trash out immediately – don't let food scraps fester in your kitchen for long.
- Use a bait or get rid of them rather than a surface spray which is less effective.
With more than 1300 species of ant scurrying around at any time, we've sorry to say that populations for these already prolific critters positively balloon over summer. They frequently venture indoors during this time looking for extra food, potentially contaminating things they come into contact with. To keep them out:
- Store all food in containers with tight lids.
- Wipe down benches thoroughly whenever you can.
- Remove pets' food straight after they feed and clean their dishes.
- Keep garbage bin lids tightly covered.
- Make sure any outdoor eating and barbecue areas are thoroughly clean.
Mozzie populations are at their highest in summer when temperatures peak. Depending on where you live, certain mosquitoes can spread serious diseases. At best they're still annoying and their bites can be very painful. To keep them out:
- Get rid of any stagnang water around your yards – empty watering cans and wipe up puddles as they will use these pools as breeding areas.
- Keep grass clipped and clear overgrown vegetation to eliminate shelter and food – the main diet for mosquitoes is actually plant sap.
- Close all unscreened doors and windows particularly at night and in the lead up to night time as mosquitoes are most active when it's dark.
- Screen the openings to fixtures such as vents and chimneys.
Flies multiple fast – and even faster in summer. Their love of feeding on anything and everything makes them a real health hazard as the chance of them spreading germs as they jump from one food to the next is really high. To keep them out:
- Keep unscreened windows and doors shut. Install a flyscreen if your door doesn't have one if you want a breeze.
- Clean up pet faeces straight away.
- Don't leave dirty dishes sitting out for long – wash them as soon as possible.
- Don't leave food exposed without a cover, particularly if you're eating in your outdoor area. Cover meat and salads with cellophane or a tea towel.
- Clean up any food messes straight away.
Pets like people, often gravitate more to outdoor areas in summer time. However, extra time outdoors can also expose your pet more to fleas which will then enter your home along with your furry friend. Not only do fleas spread disease, they also love to leave painful bites on people, particularly around the legs. To keep them out:
- Make sure your pet regularly has medicated flea treatments.
- Wash pets often with flea shampoo.
- Vacuum your home frequently to pick up fleas and their eggs.
- Tidy up the backyard, mow lawns regularly and clear bushes as these provide great hiding spots for fleas to jump on unwitting hosts.
- Always keep feral animals, stray cats and other wildlife off your property as they can have fleas on their bodies.
- If you already have a flea infestation, call a professional pest exterminator to get rid of them.
See if you qualify. To get a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow with State Custodians,