Pest Control Melbourne
The A to Z of Pests in Melbourne. Part 4.
Part four in our series of short articles on pests in Melbourne consists of two quintessential Aussie pests, and one that has become notorious around the world. Remember, Ben’s Bees specialises in dealing with problem bees or wasps in the entire Melbourne area, and you can call us at any time.
Bush Flies are as Australian as vegemite; they are similar in appearance to House Flies but a little smaller, and are persistently attracted to the sweat, tears (or moisture around eyes, due to the salt content), saliva and faeces of humans. They just won’t quit! However, bush flies are more than just a nuisance, as they can also transmit eye infections and disease.
There are a number of other species of flies that can also become a pest around the Melbourne home, including House Flies, Blow Flies (or Bluebottles), and large striped Flesh Flies. All flies share a common life cycle, with larvae or maggots developing in moist organic material such as decaying food or vegetable matter, excrement or dead animals. Adult flies also feed upon organic matter, and in the process transmit diseases such as salmonellosis, trachoma and hepatitis A.
Although flies can travel a considerable distance, if they become a pest around your home, this often signifies that a suitable breeding site is nearby. Given appropriate conditions, flies can breed extremely rapidly. You should remove organic waste including food scraps, pet faeces and rubbish and ensure drains are clear. Prevent access to rubbish bins, compost bins and septic tanks; place food in sealed containers and check fly screens to ensure flies are not able to enter your home.
Victoria is also home to a number of species of mosquitos, as any Melbourne resident can attest! Mosquito larvae require still or stagnant water in which to develop, and mosquitos will quickly proliferate after heavy rains, particularly in warmer weather.
Adult male mosquitos feed on nectar, whereas females must consume the blood of humans or other animals to provide protein to complete the development of their eggs. Mosquitos are responsible for spreading many serious diseases; in Victoria, they are the vectors for transmission of Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus. Both of these debilitating conditions can persist for prolonged periods and have similar symptoms that include joint pain and inflammation, fatigue, rashes and swollen lymph nodes. More than 300 Victorians were diagnosed with Ross River Virus in 2016. The virus is most prevalent in the north of the state, and incidence is rare around Melbourne, however precautions should be taken to avoid being bitten, particularly at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active.
You should wear long, loose clothing outdoors and use repellent, especially on exposed skin. Around the home, remove rubbish and other items in which rainwater could collect, ensure that swimming pools are chlorinated, and that ponds are stocked with fish. Check fly screens, and use knock down sprays, coils and vaporising devices to combat any mosquitos that do gain entry to your dwelling.
Pigeons (and other introduced birdlife!).
In the early 2000s, Melbourne City Council unveiled an innovative structure costing $70,000 that was designed to rid the city of pest Feral Pigeons. Located in Batman Park on the banks of the Yarra River, this metal structure, resembling a space rocket, was in fact supposed to represent an irresistible nesting place for pigeons; whose reproductive cycle would then be broken by replacing eggs with plastic dummies. Unfortunately, the ’rocket’ never took off, being dismantled in early 2015, and Feral Pigeon droppings continue to eat away at the facades of Melbourne’s historic buildings.
The Feral Pigeon derives from domesticated Rock Doves, which naturally nested in cliff faces. Hence Feral Pigeons have become a major headache in cities around the world, where they commonly roost on the window ledges of buildings. Pest pigeons are difficult to shift, as they are creatures of habit. Aside from their acidic droppings, they carry a number of parasites, and are also capable of spreading disease to humans, although this is rare. Various control methods are employed with limited success, including poisons and trapping, as well as deterrents such as nets and spikes.
In the early days of settlement, a number of exotic species of birdlife destined to become pests were deliberately introduced into Victoria, in an attempt to make the landscape more familiar to colonists. The Victorian Acclimatisation Society, founded in 1861, was directly responsible for the introduction of Indian Mynas and many other species from its facility in Parkville – now the site of the Melbourne Zoo.
For Bee and wasp rescue in Melbourne call Ben on 0437077792