Is your backyard prone to mosquitoes during the warmer weather?
Are you constantly looking for solutions to protect yourself, your children and pets from mosquito bites?
Have you ever said, I don’t know where these Mosquito bites are coming from?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, then you should keep reading!
No one would knowingly plan to create a mosquito haven in their backyards however if you have ANY still/standing water in your hard then it is almost certain that mosquitoes are breeding there.
To allow mosquitoes to continue to breed around your home is a bad idea. Firstly, they can really make your outdoor time miserable but most importantly they are known for spreading serious life-threatening diseases.
What Diseases are spread by Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are responsible for the spread and transmission of:
West Nile Virus
Ross River Virus
What do Mosquitoes look like?
Mosquitoes have a pair of scaled wings with a pair of halteres. They have slender bodies with long legs. Their size can often vary depending on the species, however mosquitoes are usually no bigger than 15 mm in length and weigh less than 2.5 mg.
These thin-bodied flies are also capable of delivering painful and itchy bites that can have you running indoors.
How do you limit mosquito breeding grounds around your home?
Pay attention to the following areas when eliminating potential breeding grounds
Other containers where rain water has collected.
These containers should be Emptied so mosquitoes don’t have the opportunity to breed in the standing water.
Remove the following items from around your yard that may collect water:
Pots and pans
Anything else that could collect water
Pet bowls should be emptied & changed a few times a week
Replace the water in any bird baths weekly
Cover vehicles and boats with tarps to prevent water accumulation
Swimming pools should be kept in good condition
Empty kids blow up swimming pools when not in use
It is important to remember that by paying close attention to possible breeding areas around your home can decrease the number of mosquitoes you may encounter.
Remember that even if you do limit the breeding zones in your yards this does not guarantee you will be safe from mosquito bites. It is essential that you take additional care when heading outdoors. – More on this subject will follow in the next post.
Preventing the spread of mosquitoes is much more effective than trying to manage them.
With this in mind home owners should realise that in spring when the temperature rises the young male and female swarmers leave their nests in large groups in search of a site to set up home.
The female releases an odour known as a mating pheromone to entice male termites. When a male finds a female they break off their wings that symbolises that they are a couple. The most compelling evidence of this is when customers call informing us they have located discarded wings in areas around their house.
The newly joined couple need to seek out a location to start their nest, where they will become the king and queen of the new colony.
What do Termite Swarmers Look Like?
Termite alates or swarmers can look like flying ants. There is a simple way to determine if the flying ants you are seeing are termites or flying ants, and this is simply by how many body sections there are.
As can be seen in the image below – Termite alates have 2 body sections while standard flying ants have 3.
Differences in appearance and behaviour between ants and termites:
Termites have a straight waist, ants have a pinched waist.
Ants have bent antennae, termites have straight antennae,
Termites wings are the same length, ants have wings of different length.
Flying ants do not shed their wings.
In the event that you have seen flying ants or have found discarded wings, you may have identified termites in your property.
To bust a common misconception, winter is a major pest season. Just because you can’t see flies flying, you can’t feel mosquitoes biting & you are not disturbed by the site of cockroaches or spiders does not mean your home is free from pests.
When the temperature drops outside, especially overnight and early morning in Sydney, the bugs and rodents get cold and worried, so they will begin to seek shelter from the harsh external temperatures.
Your home becomes their winter sanctuary since it is warm & full of food, which is perfect for pests.
What does overwintering mean?
The term overwintering simply means to survive the winter. Overwintering pests are the pests that are seeking warmth to either survive the colder months or the pests that enter a period of hibernation.
It is common to see pests during winter that are moving into a higher traffic living area. The areas that attract the most sunlight or become the warmer areas in your home are common places that pests during winter are seen.
The insects that hibernate are more than likely to stay hidden during the colder months, but once the weather starts to warm up spring comes around these bugs will begin to emerge.
The dangers of waiting until pests emerge in the warmer months, is the level of infestation where a small issue could have been resolved quickly instead of dealing with a full-blown infestation which could put your families’ health at risk and cause damage to your home and belongings.
What are some Common winter pests – Winter Pest Control Sydney
Rats & mice like us seek warmth and comfort during the colder months in Sydney. Many homes opt to light a wood fire to warm their homes and rodents can easily cosy up to the many possible hiding places in your home.
As rats and mice make their nests inside wall cavities, roof voids and other warm dry places spotting their nests may be difficult.
Most people realise they have a rodent issue either by seeing their droppings, actually seeing the rat or mouse or seeing the destruction they have left behind in their travels.
The damage that rats and mice can cause go beyond just getting into your food, as their teeth grow throughout their life they need to gnaw (chew on things to keep their teeth short). As rats and mice are not picky with what they choose to chew on and have been known to chew on items such as timber, cladding and electrical wiring, which increases the risk of fires.
Termites or also commonly known as white ants do not hibernate during winter. They remain active all year round and can cause serious damage to your home.
German cockroaches are a serious problem across Australia, and as they need easy access to water and food their preferred residence is your beloved kitchen!
As they have a sneaky nature they can often go unnoticed as they do prefer to venture out at night when all the lights are off and they are able to find many hiding places.
Winter is an important time for cockroaches as this is when they breed. At the start of winter, the sight of one or two cockroaches may not be alarming to some by spring or summer you may have a full-blown infestation on your hands.
Termites are one of the most dreaded pest problem a homeowner can encounter as the damage alone caused by these wood destroying insects can be expensive.
They are social creatures and work by the thousands to ensure the growth and survival of their colony.
In saying this, it is very important that homeowners are educated in the signs of termites, what termite damage looks like and the appropriate actions to take should you discover termites.
Termite Control Sydney Areas– What are the signs of termites?
The most common signs that your home or property is infested with termites are:
The reproductive winged termites take flight from the colony to find a mate and form a new colony. Swarms can happen inside or outside the home depending on where the colony is.
Finding discarded wings is a great indicator that there is a termite colony nearby.
Are about the size of a pencil, if you see mud tubes around your property there is a good chance these are the tubes that termites are using to travel to and from the colony. Mud tubes prevent termites from exposure to the light and air.
Termites work by chewing wood from the inside out so wood damage can often be harder to find.
If your wood structures appear weakened, have small cracks or holes, or sounds hollow it is possible that termites are to blame.
Damage to the wooden structures of your home are the biggest threat of termites.
They can destroy the structural integrity of the home, leaving structures weakened and even deteriorated.
Do termites bite?
Termites do not bite or cause harm to humans in any way, however, they will leave you with a huge repair bill if you do not have the problem eradicated as soon as possible.
While termites may be difficult to detect, they are treatable.
Termite Inspections in Sydney
Annual termite inspections are recommended by Australian Standards.
For more information on termite inspections please follow the links below
Termites are social insects, living together in groups which are known as colonies. A single colony can range from just a few termites to millions of termites and each one of these colonies contain various castes or “social status.”
Termite castes include The Queen, The King, soldiers, workers, reproducers and immature termites.
The largest termite in the colony ranging in length from 60-80 cm. In each colony there is only one queen. The queen is a female termite and her role is solely to lay eggs. It is know that she can lay over 1000 eggs per day.
She lives in a chamber known as the nuptial chamber and produces a pheromone that plays a major role in maintaining the integration and the size of the termite colony.
Smaller in size than the queen, the termite king is an adult termite that has the capability to reproduce. His major role is to occasionally mate and fertilise the queen.
Just like the Queen, there is only 1 king termite in each colony.
The solider is distinguished by its appearance, they have no wings, have a dark – large head, stout and powerful mandibles.
The termite soldier accounts for 5-8% of the colonies population and its role is to protect and defend their colony from invasion.
The worker can also be distinguished by its appearance, they have no wings and their bodies are small and soft, usually measuring 6-8 cm in length & most species of worker termites do not have eyes.
80-90% of any termite colony are workers and these are usually the type of termite you would find in a termite infested wood item.
Their primary function is to look after eggs and the termite nymphs, search for food, feed and clean the their nest mates.
The reproducers are both female and male that have reproduction capabilities and their role is to reproduce. They may later on become kings and queens.
The reproducers have darker bodies (yellow, brown or black) which makes them stand out from the rest.
A termite reproducer has two pairs of equal-size wings which are longer than its body. However after a flight, their wings fall off, and the reproducers start to form new colonies.
A Physical Termite Barrier is installed as a termite and moisture barrier under or around the perimeter of the slab and around pipe penetrations.
The barrier prevents subterranean termites from entering your property.
A physical termite barrier offers long-lasting protection for your property, without the need to continually top it up with additional chemicals.
Pest Control Today has 2 options for physical termite barriers, HomeGuard and term-Seal.
Information about these products:
Our termite protection methods are in accordance to Australian Standard AS 3660.1 – 2000 Termite Management New Building Work & AS 3660.2 – 2000 Termite Management in and Around Existing Buildings.
“The HomeGuard Precision Termite Management System is a range of building products that are homogenously impregnated with Bifenthrin, a leading termiticide.
The sheeting products are a patented single layer, extruded polymer that provides termite protection for the design life of the building when installed according to the label.
The HomeGuard Precision Termite Management System combines the benefits of both physical and chemical protection to deter termites from gaining concealed access to a building.”
What are the benefits of using HomeGuard?
Effective – Scientifically proven to block, repel and kill subterranean termites
Proven – Registered with the APVMA, BCA and the SGBC.
Convenient – Easy to install during construction, keeping the building on time and on budget.
Flexible – A ‘one stop’ range of products that can be adapted to suit all structural situations.
Enduring – Designed to last for the design life of the building or 50 years, whichever is first.
Eco-Friendly Non-scheduled, non-hazardous, non-toxic and non-invasive so it’s safe for on-site workers and occupants alike
“TERM-seal Termite Management Systems provide superior protection against Termites, and moisture protection.
Bifenthrin is an active control agent which repels and kills Termites but is safe for humans, animals and the environment when installed.
Our unique patented technology incorporates this control agent in the manufacturing process of our products, which results in products with all the benefits of chemical protection without any residual, environmental or dermatological impact.
Our products have been rigorously tested by independent Australian bodies, are CodeMark certified, comply with all Australian state and territory standards, are APVMA registered and have been awarded the future friendly stamp under Cert-Mark certification.”
What are the benefits of using Term-seal?
Integration and flexibility for all construction methods
Combined Termite / moisture protection
One installation, no COSTLY re-treatments
Complies with standard AS3660.1.2000
Fully compliant with standard A.S./N.Z.S.4347.6 Damp-Coursing
CodeMark Certified & APVMA registered
No chemical residue: safe for your employees, your client and the environment
Australian owned, designed and manufactured
Installed nationally by trained accredited installers
Whether you need to comply with council regulations to get your ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ or just want to secure your home or building against future termite attack, Pest Control Today can take care of all your pre-construction termite needs to protect your project, whether it’s an extension, renovation or new home, on a concrete slab, bearers or joist.
Certificate of Occupancy
Your local council must pass the property for a Certificate of Occupancy upon completion of its construction therefore, it is important you ensure the structure is protected during the construction phase with a sufficient termite barrier.
Under the Building Regulations, all new homes must be fitted with a termite management system or be built with termite resistant structural materials such as a physical barrier.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Termites also known as white ants are small and a similar in size to ants. Due to their size and similarities to ants this can often lead to confusion. Knowing the difference between these two pests is a good starting point for identification.
Termites are secretive in nature which makes detection difficult to an untrained eye. Hence why people are more likely to spot the signs of termite damage rather than live termites.
Correct identification ensures the most effective treatment. Allowing home or business owners to choose appropriate prevention steps.
Sydney Termite Inspections – Pest Control today have listed 5 reasons you could be due for a termite inspection.
Are you buying a new home?
Pre-Purchase termite inspections Sydney
Purchasing a new home or commercial property, it’s important to know as much as possible about the hidden conditions of the property.
A pre-purchase inspection by a qualified timber pest inspector can assist in identifying existing termite damage, current termite infestation and if the property falls into a high-risk category for termite invasion.
Was your last inspection conducted over 6 – 12 months ago?
*6 Months in high risk areas
Annual termite inspection Sydney – If the last termite inspection was conducted over 12 months ago (or 6 months ago in high risk areas). Even if your property was found clear, it is now time to get another inspection done.
Even if the last inspection showed the property was clear of termites, do not let this give you a false sense of security as termites can attack at any time.
In Australia, termites present a real threat to homes and businesses and even if there are no visible signs of termite damage don’t wait until there is!
Are you seeing signs of a termite infestation?
Active Termite inspections Sydney – Evidence of mud tunnels, discarded wings and other signs of termite damage can be worrying. Any found evidence of possible termite damage one should not hesitate to contact a professional termite specialist.
Pest Control Today uses specialised tools n conjunction with our visible inspections to assess the extent of the termite damage and design a treatment plan specific to your needs. The sooner treatment is started the less damage the termites can continue to cause.
My neighbour has termites, does that mean I have them too?
Peace of mind termite inspections Sydney – Contrary to a common myth that termites will escape one property and run to another when treatments start, it is still highly recommended a termite inspection is conducted.
Usually, if a neighbouring property has an active termite infestation the conditions in the area suit termites.
Prevention is always better than a cure!
Do you have a termite prevention system or have had a termite treatment conducted?
Termite Monitoring System Sydney – If your home has had termite prevention installed, such as Home-Guard or Term-Seal or you have had a termite treatment completed in the past, ongoing inspections are required to ensure the warranty is maintained. The recommended time frame for your termite inspection will be specified in the paperwork.
Is it time for your home to have a termite inspection?
Contact your friendly Pest Control Today staff to schedule your appointment.
Termites cause more damage to Australian homes than fires, storms and earthquakes, as termites eat wood from the inside out, by the time it is detected termite damage can be substantial.
Annual termite inspections on your residential or commercial property by a qualified timber pest technician is highly recommended.
Even though annual inspections are not going to prevent your home from getting termites it reduces the risk of major termite damage being done to your home. Like most things early detection is the key as a developed infestation could be more expensive to treat!
By Australian standards it is recommended that termite inspections are conducted annually
Why do I need a termite inspection?
Termite inspections are the first step required to assess if a property has evidence of termites or other timber pests such as borers and if activity is found what steps need to be taken to manage the problem
Termite inspections are a vital part of all termite management programs.
As previously mentioned termite inspections should comply with the Australian Standard AS3660 recommendation that a termite inspection is completed annually.
Things do change around your property from year to year that might have encouraged a termite attack.
Termite Inspections are required on building structures however sometimes trees, retaining walls or other items can have timber pest activity. If this is the case we would also not just recommend having the infested items inspected but also the building structures inspected
Please Note: termite inspections will not eradicate existing termite activity or provide any future protection from further attack.
What areas are checked with termite inspections?
Accessible internal and external areas of your property
Sub floor area if accessible
External areas extending up to 30 metres or the boundary line of your property.
Inspection of termite-friendly areas
What equipment is used?
Termite inspections are performed using industry-best equipment including:
Termatrac (a movement detection device based on microwave technology)
Access to additional advanced technology like thermal imaging cameras & termite sniffer dog is also available.
Pest Control Today technicians are Termatrac certified
The Termatrac device gives us the ability to perform non-invasive inspections including identifying high risk termite areas.
The Termatrac allows the inspector to accurately detect, confirm and track the presence of termites locate nests, mud-leads and entry points.
This enables us to provide you with a more detailed report and allows us to treat your home more cost effectively.
With the aid of the termatrac we can access areas of your home that without this technology would not be possible. These areas include inside wall cavities and sub-floors without the need to cut traps and entry points.
The 3-in-1 functionality makes the Termatrac T3i the best available tool for Pest Control Professionals.
How long does a termite inspection take?
Pest Control Todays’ termite inspection process typically takes 1-2 hours.
Termite Inspection Reports
At the completion of the inspection you will be issued with a written termite inspection report. This report is designed to give you an idea of your properties termite exposure and/or damage status.
The report will document if there was any visual evidence of a timber pest, a summary of the pests identified, if your property is at risk of a timber pest invasion.
It will also provide you with recommendations for improving the environment around your home. If activity was found where it was found, recommended treatment guide & advice on how to protect your home.
Each property, building and location is different, a customised management solution should be designed to suit your specific needs.
We would love to find out more on how we may be able to help you.
Termites also known as white ants are small and a similar in size to ants. Due to their size and similarities to ants this can often lead to confusion. Knowing the differences between these two pests is a good starting point for identification.
Termites are secretive in nature which makes their detection difficult to an untrained eye. Most people would be more likely to spot the signs of termite damage rather than the actual termites.
Correct identification ensures the most effective treatment methods are used and allows you the home or business owner to choose appropriate prevention steps to try and avoid termite infestations in the future.
What Do Termites Look Like?
Do termites really look like ants?
Termite Pest Control Sydney
Termite alates or swarmers can look like flying ants. There is a simple way to determine if the flying ants you are seeing are termites or flying ants, and this is simply by how many body sections there are. As seen in the image below – Termite alates have 2 body sections while standard flying ants have 3.
Here’s how to establish the general differences in appearance and behaviour between ants and termites:
Termites have a straight waist, ants have a pinched waist.
Straight antennae, ants have bent antennae.
Their wings are the same length, ants have wings of different length.
NOTE: Flying ants do not shed their wings. If you have seen flying ants in your property and have found discarded wings,chances are you have identified termites in your property.
Termite Pest Control Sydney – How can termite damage be identified?
Rather than just looking at the areas where visible damage has been identified, Pest Control Today confirms termite infestations with a visual inspection and the use of a termatrac system.
When checking your property whether it be your residential home or business there are some points that could assist you in identifying possible termite activity.
Subterranean termites begin their feeding process from the ground up and enter a building through the sub-structure. Houses that are built on concrete slabs can still be affected if the slab has cracked and allowed an opening from the soil through the slab to the house.
Houses that have an open access sun floor or crawl space are at a great risk of termite infestations. This area should be checked for evidence of wood damage and/or mud tubes.
This species of termite damages the wood by developing hollow tunnels known as galleries which run along the wood grain.
Drywood termites usually enter the building near the roof line or in areas where wood has been exposed. Attics and roof cavities should be checked for wood that has been damaged. You may see tiny holes in the wood with collected frass nearby. Probing the wood can also expose galleries
I have found termites, what do I do?
Finding termites in your home can be distressing, however Pest Control Today recommends firstly that you stay calm and call a professional. Do not disturb any termite workings, mud trails, leads of galleries and we ask that you do not spray the area with any insecticides as it can be make treatment harder.
How are termites treated?
Not all building structures are the same Pest Control Today will offer you a program designed to suit your properties needs.
There are 2 ways to treat termites, baiting/dusting or direct chemical treatment. Sometimes a combination of both treatments will be required or recommend.
Baiting or Dusting
is conducted by placing bait stations in specific areas around your home which are baited using a non-chemical bait that contains an active ingredient which the termites eat and carry back to the colony where they share it amongst other termites in the nest.
is completed using Termidor Dust which is a non-repellent which is very similar to the material used in the bait systems. Small holes are made into the infested timber or directly on termite trails. The fine dust is applied directly to the termites and the holes are then covered which prevents any dust escaping and to also reduce the risk of the termites being disturbed.
NOTE: Termite dusting & baiting does not provide protection to the building from future termite infestations.
Termite Soil Treatment
Preferred option by many pest controllers however its use does depend on the construction type of your property. The treatment is applied to soil areas where the building is in contact with:
Concrete slab perimeters
External wall perimeters.
If there is a distance greater than 400mm between the soil and the timbers in the floor, the subfloor would also be trenched and treated, however it is preferred that the entire sub floor area is treated which increases the coverage area in the subfloor which in then increases the chance of the termites encountering the chemical.
Drilling & Injection of chemical to the concrete perimeters occur approximately at 20-30cm intervals. The drilled holes are then re concreted on completion
The areas that may need to be drilled and injected can include:
External Perimeter Walls
What types of soil treatments are there for termites?
There are 2 main types of soil treatment available, the repellent and the non-repellent.
This type of termiticide works by creating a barrier around the house which create a no-go zone for termites. For this treatment to be effective it needs to be applied in an unbroken method around the foundations. This method is often difficult to achieve simply because of the construction and design of your property or if there Is concrete against the house.
This type of termiticide works as termites are unable to detect the area that has been treated and will not avoid the treated area. When termites pass through the chemical in the treated area they become in contact with it, return to the nest and pass it amongst the other termites in the colony.
Pest Control Today Recommendations
Disturb any termite workings, leads, galleries.
Spray termite infested area with any chemical.
Plant trees or plants close to the house.
Add mulch or any type of bark to the gardens too close to the property.
Cover weep holes in brickwork.
Allow soil to build up over the edge of the slabs.
Place plastic or newspaper on gardens.
Allow moisture or dampness to build up in the sub floor as poor sub-floor drainage will attract termites.
If you notice or worried about possible termite activity do not hesitate to seek professional assistance.
You should check the following areas on a regular basis
Timber frames inside the home
Blistered paint on the walls
Bulging or rippled walls
Timber joints or gyp-rock walls for mud packing
Foundation walls, piers and edges of concrete slabs for termite mud galleries
Stored timber or cardboard that is contact with the ground in the sub-floor
Timber stored alongside the house & kept as far away from the house as possible
Common misconceptions about termites
Myth: Termite damage can be easily seen
Fact: As termites eat wood from the inside out a new termite infestation would not have any visual signs that can be easily seen. By the time damage is noticed on the outside of the wood, extensive damage could have already occurred.
Myth: Termites are more active during spring and summer
Fact: Termites are active all year round.
Myth: Preventing termites is hard
Fact:Termite prevention is a matter of common sense and regular home maintenance such as
Keeping gutters clean of debris
Removing dead trees and their stumps
Removing fallen branches
Keeping timber and firewood off the ground and away from your home.
Fixing water leaks in and around your home
Having your home inspected annually by a timber pest expert. Click here to read more about termite inspections.