Pests

FOOD PESTS

Pests of food commence causing problems at the site of production on farms and there is continual exposure through silos, mills, food processing and manufacturing plants, storage facilities, bakeries, shops, restaurants and homes.

Specialised protection and control processes are usually required at each site.

Following the purchase of variety of stored food types, pests can be bought into the home within infested products.

Many foods used in the home have their origin in various grains, such as maize, wheat, oats and rice and these may be attacked by many different food pests. Because many pests of grain such as rice pass most of their life cycles within the individual grains, their presence is often not detected until the adults emerge.

The most often encountered pests of stored products are beetles, moths and their larvae. Some of the insects which infest food are the drugstore beetle, cigarette beetle, lesser grain borer, rice weevil, granary weevil; hide beetle, sawtooth grain beetle, yellow-mealworm, (Angoumois) grain moth, and Mediterranean flour moth and Indian meal moth.

When seeking more information on the habits and control of stored product pests, the identification of the insect is an important first step. Correct identification often leads to the source of the infestation which may be in a different food in a different location. The life cycle of a moth is usually around 3 months and shorter during summer, consequently infestation can occur several times in one season.

FOOD MOTHS – What to do

The infestation of stored food, particularly grain products, is often due to the larvae of moths. These are usually detected by the presence of web-like material which bonds together the food and the faecal material of the larvae. When such an infestation occurs, the food should be discarded. Larvae are able to penetrate some thin plastic containers and packaging by chewing through the seal or the surface of the material.

Store all susceptible foods in quality, well sealed containers or keep in the freezer e.g. flour keeps very well in the freezer.

Call the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

FLIES

Due to their unsavoury habits, flies spread disease such as food poisoning, dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid fever and various internal parasites. Some fly species, such as biting midges and March flies, have piercing and sucking mouthparts and inject saliva which also causes skin irritations.

MANAGEMENT

The most effective form of fly management involves the proper disposal of garbage. This will slowly reduce the fly population by depriving them of breeding sites.
Trapping, surface treatments, adhesive flypaper and electric fly traps which electrocute flies are all effective in reducing fly populations. Wire mesh screening of doors and windows is effective, and ultraviolet electric fly “zappers “are often used particularly in areas where people gather for parties and entertainment, and for commercial premises. There are also several types of chemical management measures that are available.

Call the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

LAWN PESTS

Lawn grubs are a common problem in South East Queensland from November to May. They are easily treatable if required and early detection and prevention is the simplest method.

There are two main types of lawn grubs to look out for.

Armyworm

They are like a caterpillar usually brown to dull grey with black stripes on their body, size from 10mm to 30mm long, they are mostly active at night, feeding on the leaf blades of your lawn. They can devastate an entire lawn in 2-3 nights.

Sod Webworm

These are commonly confused with cut worm, however both are treated the same and look very similar. They are transparent, but you can see the green materials they are eating so they can appear greenish. They are smaller than the army worm in size about 10mm-25mm; they are also active at night. The adult moth will lay eggs in flight; hatching should take place in 5-7 days time.

DETECTION

Patches of brown or thinning turf – may suggest there is grubs present, however you need to use at last one of the methods below to be sure.

PREVENTION

This is the best way to mange lawn grubs. Over fertilized lawns are prone to frequent attacks so fertilize your lawn correctly. Avoid fertilizing during summer months (Jan-Feb); fertilize for growth not a deep green colour.

Keep the eaves around the home free from moth’s eggs, remove with a broom or mop. Remember insecticides can kill lawn grubs and all other natural predators, the lawn grub will recover first, this may cause you to spray until nature (winter or extended cold weather) takes over again – only spray if necessary. Outdoor lights or street lights within close proximity to lush lawns to will attract moths, hence lawn grubs, and these areas will be a likely starting point.

Contact the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

PESTS OF FABRIC

CLOTHES MOTHS

Not all moths are pests of fabrics. The case making moth (Tinea pellionella) and the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) attack materials mainly of animal origins such as woollens, felts and furs. These two moth species generally occur in the more humid coastal regions, where their larvae can do extensive damage to carpets and clothing.

CONTROL

Clothing affected by clothes moths can be sterilised by washing or wrapping in black plastic and exposing to hot sun for at least three hours. Where clothes moths attack floor coverings it is important when completing a chemical application to give special attention to the edges and behind furniture for these are their favoured sites for breeding, as very little disturbance occurs.

CARPET BEETLE

Carpet beetles are small with compact, rounded, oval bodies. Their legs and head are not obvious and are often hidden under the body.

The Australian carpet beetle (Anthrenocerus australis) is 2-3 millimetres long and dark with light markings. Of the four species of carpet beetle, only the Australian carpet beetle is native. Carpet beetle larvae move slowly and are 4-7 millimetres long, depending on the species and are brown in colour and covered in bristles. As the larvae grow they moult, leaving cast brown skins.

Carpet beetles are widely distributed and can be found inside homes and other buildings where food is available. Adult carpet beetles lay eggs near food sources and larvae feed, often for more than 6 months, on the surface or inside the material. After a pupal period of typically 2-3 weeks, the adult beetles emerge in spring or summer.

Adult carpet beetles feed on nectar or pollen and the larvae feed on animal products. The complete life cycle of the carpet beetle takes 9 to 12 months.

PESTS STATUS AND MANAGEMENT

Carpet beetle larvae feed on dry materials of animal origin such as: wool, fur, silk, felt, dried meat and carcasses.

Variegated and black carpet beetles are the most widespread and damaging species, although the others can be locally destructive. Carpet beetle may frequently damage: carpets, rugs, underfelts, wall hangings, clothing, wool insulation and insect collections. If an infested article is transportable, remove and disinfest by heat or cold treatment. Leave it in the sun wrapped in black plastic, or deep freeze it for 2 weeks.

CONTROL

Vacuum carpets, rugs, soft furnishings and upholstery frequently and thoroughly. Pay particular attention to low traffic areas of carpets such as edges and under furniture. Washing and steam cleaning where appropriate, is effective. When susceptible clothes will be unused for an extended period (for example woollens over the summer period) clean them well and store in a sealed plastic bags – vacuum bags are best.

Possible obscure sources of infestation should be identified and either removed or disinfested.

BOOKLICE

Booklice are known as ‘psocids’. They are very small insects about 1-2mm long and feed on moulds which occur in various foods, particularly where the humidity is high. Because of their size booklice are difficult to detect unless they are present in large numbers.

CONTROL

The reduction in humidity by improved ventilation is the most effective control measure in the long term. Air-conditioned buildings have a comparatively dry atmosphere which is not conducive to the development of mould, which is required for booklice.

Call the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options for the treatment of fabric pests and to arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

MITES

Mites are tiny creatures about 1 – 2 mm long, which favour moist conditions. For this reason mites are seldom encountered in air-conditioned buildings. Mites occur on food, particularly in moist situations, but more commonly it is the mites of birds and other animals which cause temporary irritation to humans. Those mites which occur on food have a type of chewing mouthpart, while those which occur on animals and plants have piercing and sucking mouthparts.

MITES WHAT TO DO

Where mites are located in a birds nest in a roof void or similar situation call the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concerns.

Chemical control of dust mites is mostly unreliable and the house holder should vacuum thoroughly and repeatedly. Dry cleaning and laundering of clothing and bedding also complements vacuuming. Contents of the vacuum cleaner bag should be heat treated in the sun, after being sealed in a black garbage type bag after each use and not left in the vacuum cleaner. Once the heat treatment has been completed discard the garbage bag and its contents.

Call the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to discuss your options and arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

LICE

Head, body and crab lice are widely distributed throughout the world. When they infest humans the condition is known as ‘pediculosis’. In Australia the head louse and crab louse are of common occurrence, but the body louse is seldom encountered.

LICE WHAT TO DO

When suspected louse infestations are detected it is important that the cause be identified, usually by a medical professional. Treatment usually involves lotions, washes and aerosols – whichever is appropriate for the particular infestation.
Once treatment has achieved control, high standards of personal hygiene, particularly in schools, should reduce the chances of
re – infestation’s.

FIRE ANT

A serious new ant pest in Queensland

James Planck Animal and Plant Health Service Brisbane.

What is it?

Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta, is a serious exotic species of ant which has been detected for the first time in Australia, in Brisbane at the port (Fishermans Island) and at Richlands a south western suburb. The ant is a serious public nuisance and a pest of agriculture in South America and the United States.

Why is it a problem?

The ants will aggressively attack when their mound is disturbed and their bite induces a painful, fiery sensation, similar to a wasp or bee sting. It is predominately a public nuisance, but in the United States it is considered to be a significant economic pest of agriculture as a result of its prevalence in orchards, crops and pastures, and its seed harvesting habits. It is also known to attack small farm animals. Its mounds also damage farm machinery, hinder mowing operations, and reduce land values in heavily infested areas. Conversely, since the fire ant’s primary diet includes insects, ticks and other small invertebrates, they can also be beneficial.

What does it look like?

Fire ants look very much like ordinary house or garden ants and vary in sizes from2-6mm in length and are golden to reddish-brown in colour. Fire ant nests appear as dome shaped mounds that may be up to 40cm high. Mounds are often found in open areas such as lawns, pastures, along roadsides and unused crop-land, but rarely occur in frequently cultivated areas. This species could easily be confused with the common coastal brown ant, but can be distinguished by its aggressive behaviour.

How does it spread?

Fire ants spread naturally through flights of queens at the rate of 8 to 20km per year. Queens also spread by crawling, drifting down stream on logs, or travelling aboard machinery, cars, trucks or trains. An entire ant colony or nest can relocate through shipments of nursery stock or soil from an infested area. It could be expected to inhabit most areas of Queensland except very dry western parts of the State. It could spread to warm humid areas in other States.

What can I do?

The extent of spread of the ant in Queensland is currently unknown. DPI needs your help to find where it is. If you think that you have seen the ant, do not disturb it call the DPI Call Centre on 13 25 23.
Further information is available on DPI website.

TIMBER PEST INSPECTIONS AND PRE PURCHASE INSPECTIONS

Termite inspections are not restricted to those people purchasing a property but should be considered by every home owner every 12 months or more often in a high risk area or if the construction design of the property classifies it as a high termite risk structure.

Before you buy a house anywhere in Australia, you should have a Timber Pest Inspection and Report prepared to assure you that the property does not have potential to be infested or is not currently infested by termites or other timber pests as so many are. The purpose of the Pre Purchase Timber Pest Inspection and Report is to assist you, the purchaser, to identify and understand any timber pest concerns that were observed at time of inspection.

The pr purchase timber pest inspection must be undertaken in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4349.3 which is the nationally accepted standard for timber pest inspections and reports.

Our pre purchase timber pest inspection shall consist of a non-invasive inspection of the property for timber pests in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4349.3.

The inspection will include an assessment of each of the following areas, as is required of the standard:

We are fully licensed, Qld Health plus QBSA, and insured pest management organisation providing termite and timber pest inspections, termite treatments and a full range of pest management options for our residential and commercial clients within our area of operations.

BORERS

Damage to houses by wood boring insects is significantly less in Australia than that caused by termites. The identification of the cause of the damage is an essential first step for house holders in deciding the appropriate control measures, if any are required.

In many situations treatment or replacement is not required as the insects are no longer present and the damage has not affected the structural strength of the timber.
Three of the more common species of borer are:

Pinhole Borer, Powder post beetle and Furniture beetle.

PINHOLE BORER

  1. They will attack both hardwood and pine timbers.
  2. Hole made by the parent beetle may extend deeply into the wood and the areas surrounding them are often stained a dark colour.
  3. The larvae feed on the fungus, and do not eat the wood, hence there is no excavation of the timber and no dust is produced.
  4. High moisture content of the wood is essential for fungal growth. Once the moisture is gone and the timber is dry, all activity by this insect will cease.

POWDERPOST BEETLE

  1. Pine timbers are resistant to this beetle.
  2. Attack only occurs in the sapwood of hardwoods. The heartwood area of the timber is not susceptible.
  3. Hardwoods must contain starch to be infested. Many hardwoods do not contain enough starch for this insect to infest.
  4. Infestation and reinfestation will usually occur in dry timber.
  5. The adult beetle usually lays its eggs in the open pores of timber. Attack may not be evident until the beetles emerge from round holes 1.5mm to 2mm in diameter. A fine flour like dust may also be ejected, hence the name.
  6. Reinfestation will continue to occur until the sapwood of the timber is completely destroyed.
  7. Flooring and joinery timber which has been infested usually requires replacement. Attack which has occurred on structural timber is usually confined to the sapwood edges of the timber, so replacement or treatment is seldom required.

FURNITURE BEETLE

  1. This beetle attacks mostly pine timbers.
  2. Because of their slow life cycle, infestations may not be detected in houses until 20years have passed.
  3. Furniture beetle attack usually does not occur in dry inland areas of Australia.
  4. Chemical treatment of infested timber seldom achieves complete eradication.
  5. This beetle favours the pine flooring rather than roofing timbers because of the moisture and the lower temperatures.
  6. Pre-treated pine wood, usually CCA is resistant to furniture beetle infestation.
  7. White Cypress Pine and most hardwoods are not susceptible to the furniture beetle.

Contact the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest management Services to discuss your options and arrange a convenient time for a technician to address your concern/s.

Contact the professionals at Outback Pest Control Pest Management Services to do regular inspections. This will also help detect termite activity and allow us to do prompt and proper treatment.

More assistance? Contact us

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