Household pests can include anything from annoying moths, filthy cockroaches and rodents to destructive termites. Living under the same roof as these pests can negatively impact your health and cause damage to your propertyi. Pest inspections and ongoing pest management are therefore an important part of maintaining quality home living.
Hiring a building and pest inspection specialist to examine a new home is an important precaution for the prospective home owner. By being well aware of any defects in the building as well as current and past pest infestations, you can make a decision on whether to proceed with the purchase. And if you do proceed, you will be ready to tackle any identified problems before they become too difficult to rectify. Companies now even offer inspections using leading edge technology such as thermal imaging with devices like Termatrac that use a technique similar to radar to detect pestsii.
Building inspection and pest control services are offered in most residential areas, with some even specialising in environmentally friendly pest exterminating solutions. Don't let pests scurry over your property; stop them before it's too late.
Often pests can be more destructive than imaginable. The white ant, or termite, is an example of how destructive pests can be.
According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), there are over 350 species of termites in Australia, of which 20 can damage timber in housesiii. If termite damage is found in the home, do not take things into your own hands as this may exacerbate the problem. Termite infestations often require the help of a licensed termite exterminator. Make sure you have regular inspections on all accessible timber and potential termite entry points.
Natural non-toxic home remedies
Some short-term methods may prevent pests from multiplying in your home before aid arrives. One good way to help keep your living quarters free of pest infestations is to make sure that your home is regularly cleaned and clutter free.
Kitchens are infamous trouble spots. If you often find your home infested with ants, cockroaches or pantry-moths, you need to make sure food is kept out of their reach. Your kitchen stove, oven and benches should be cleaned after use and food transferred to sealed containers. Cupboards and shelves should also be wiped regularly. By doing so, you are effectively cutting off the food supply for these annoying critters.
Cockroaches love damp, wet places and are often found near toilets and under sinks. Make sure you fix leaking taps and keep your home environment as clean as possible, as these creatures like to feed on scraps. Seal all cracks and crevices around your home to reduce their shelter and access points, leaving them exposed to you and your choice of weapon. Try to identify the source of infestation and place sticky glues in high activity areas to catch them in action.
Dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity and can most commonly be found in beds, clothing and stuffed animals. Make sure you vacuum your mattresses and pillows and wash bedding at a temperature higher that 55 degrees Celsius. If possible, replace carpet with tile or timber flooring. The installation of an air conditioner can keep humidity down and reduce the number of dust mites.
Be mindful that these natural remedies are only useful to help reduce the likelihood of an infestation. If problems persist and pest activities are ongoing, you should consult professional pest control services to stop these unwanted home invaders.
Protect your home
Take charge and protect the health of your family and the value of your home from the outset by performing pest inspections both prior to purchasing your new home and at regular intervals after you move in. If you haven't already done so, it's never too late to consult a specialist.
i Department of Health and Aging, Australian Government, Why are termites a problem in Australia?, http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/termite-protection.htm~termite-protection-whyproblem.htm
ii Pest Police, http://www.pestpolice.com.au/technology-used.html, AusInspect, http://www.ausinspect.com.au/
iii CSIRO, 2005, Monitoring termites and wood borers in the home, http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/Termites.aspx