The A to Z of Pests in Melbourne. Part 1.
Pest Control Melbourne
At Ben’s Bees, we specialise in the safe and speedy removal of bees and wasps that have become a pest. You may be surprised how many pests can be encountered in homes and commercial premises around suburban Melbourne. In this short series of articles, we hope to provide some tips on how to recognise an infestation, what to do, and how to avoid a reoccurrence. Remember that pest control can be difficult and often involves the use of chemicals. For your safety, and that of your family, we recommend that you contact an experienced pest controller, especially for serious pest problems. There are plenty available in the Melbourne area.
Australia is home to around 1,000 species of ants, several of which will regularly forage or construct nests in or around homes in Melbourne. Large numbers of ants can quickly be attracted to an appropriate food source such as sugary items, meat, fats and oils. They will also be drawn to water in dry conditions. Although they may build nests in human dwellings, ants do not normally cause any structural damage; merely utilising existing space. Brown Ants and Garden (or Black) Ants are often found foraging indoors, while Coastal Brown Ants are a common pest around suburban Melbourne. The Argentine Ant is a small introduced species that in rare cases can spread disease. Argentine Ants are more likely to be a problem in Melbourne homes during the winter months.
Preventative measures to ensure ants don’t become a nuisance in your home include checking possible entry points, keeping food in sealed containers, and maintaining appropriate hygiene. Although ants are unlikely to cause any serious problems, they can be difficult to control. When disturbed, ants may move their nest site, only to return quickly when lured again by food. Nests may also be difficult to locate or access, and it may be necessary to seek professional help.
Bed Bugs are small parasitic insects that feed entirely on human blood. Bed Bugs have been documented for thousands of years, but were almost completely eliminated in developed countries back in the 1940s and 1950s through effective use of insecticides. They have made a comeback over the last 30 years due to resistance to chemical sprays (resistant bed bugs have been shown to have developed a thicker outer skin, or cuticle) and increased international travel. Bed Bugs are now a serious problem in Melbourne’s inner suburbs and are easily spread through contact.
Bed Bugs are small, flat and oval in shape, and grow to a length of approximately 4mm. They are not easy to detect; although they will typically hide in the folds and seams of bedding, they can squeeze into any other small space. At night they emerge to feed while their victims are asleep. Bites are commonly unnoticed as Bed Bugs also possess a mild anaesthetic in their saliva. It can be a number of days before red (often itchy) welts appear, often on the arms or shoulders. You should also check for blood spots on your bedding. Although Bed Bugs can be infected with a variety of human pathogens, fortunately there is no evidence that they can spread disease. Nevertheless, the bites can cause rashes, allergic symptoms and psychological effects, with some people being quite traumatised by a Bed Bug infestation.
If you do suspect you have a Bed Bug problem, you should isolate the infected room. Because of Bed Bugs’ cryptic lifestyle and their resistance to pesticides, infestations are best treated by an experienced pest controller.
Bees In Melbourne.
Although you may move to a new house where a colony of bees is in already in residence, bees are most likely to become a problem when a swarm invades your property. In Melbourne, this usually occurs between September and December, but can happen during other periods of warmer weather.
Swarming allows bees to reproduce and take advantage of new territory and food sources. This takes place when the old queen leaves the hive, together with about half of the worker bees. Initially, the swarm will alight in a temporary location, from which scouts will seek out an appropriate site for a permanent home.
Honey bees are not generally aggressive when swarming, but if you encounter a swarm on your property, it is best to take some simple precautions. Do not approach the swarm, keep children and pets indoors, and wear appropriate footwear at all times when outdoors. Lastly, seek appropriate assistance at the earliest opportunity. Most swarms can be removed quickly and easily by an experienced beekeeper, or apiarist, however this can become far more tricky once the bees have decided on a permanent homesite. Ben’s Bees offers prompt and reliable swarm removal and services the entire Melbourne area and surrounds.