Pest Control
Browse the latest pest control news, trends, market analysis, product innovations in the Australian Pest Control industry from pest control business owners, experts and associations on Top4 News.
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The bloodsucking critters causing havoc in your bedroom

The bloodsucking critters causing havoc in your bedroom | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Tiny little vampires that hide during the day to feast on your blood at night are spreading across Australia.

All over the world bedbugs are multiplying, leaving horrific red rashes, and infesting homes – and not many people know about it.

Pest control experts say the number of bedbug infestations in Australia is rising each year due to the increase in travel. March is peak bedbug season.

 

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Pest management technician Joe Gallagher at Amalgamated Pest Control said bedbugs can be found anywhere where there are lots of people.

 

“Bedbugs have been found on buses, they’ve been found in planes. When they infest apartments, they can infest the entire apartment if there’s not enough food for them in the bedroom,” Mr Gallagher said.

 

“They’ve been found in cinemas and any place where there is a high turnover of people.”

 

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Agencies join forces to provide wild dog trapper

Agencies join forces to provide wild dog trapper | Pest Control | Scoop.it

In response to the recent escalation of wild dog activity in the Gulmarrad area, North Coast Local Land Services has been working with local stakeholders to address this problem.

 

A coordinated response is being developed with Roads and Maritime Services, who now have a large holding in the area, and Clarence Valley Council to provide joint funding to employ a trapper.

 

North Coast Local Land Services is also seeking the help of local residents and the surrounding farming country. A major part of effective wild dog control is to have effective community engagement and people actively engaged in wild dog control in a proactive way.

 

 

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7 ways to spider-proof your house and garden

7 ways to spider-proof your house and garden | Pest Control | Scoop.it

With news of a serious increase in numbers of spiders, were bringing you proven methods for keeping the crawlies at bay.

 

Fun fact? Bees are more deadly than a lot spiders. Most spiders are harmless and are keeping your home free from other insects. Regardless, no one likes a spider hanging around the house — pun intended. Read the following to help keep your house and garden eight-legged critter free.

 

Regularly checking for and removing spider webs from about your house and garden prevents spiders from lurking about and reproducing. Insects are attracted to lights — spiders eat insects. Turn off lights in unused rooms to create a less-than-ideal environment for spiders. 

 

Many dogs and most cats will chase anything that moves — these energetic types can be good spider deterents. To prevent spiders from entering your house, apply an insecticide to the perimeters of your home. You can get these at a number of home and garden depots or alternatively you call in pest control who will do this for you.7 ways to spider-proof your house and garden

Top4's insight:

7 ways to spider-proof your house and garden:

 

• Remove webs 

• Oils & candles

• Fill in gaps

• Limit lighting

• Cats & dogs

• Apply insecticide

• Maintain a clean house

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Spray choice key to control earth mites 

Spray choice key to control earth mites  | Pest Control | Scoop.it

RECONSIDERING the need to spray and varying spray choices will help WA growers stem the spread of resistant red-legged earth mites across the State.

 

Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) entomologist Svetlana Micic warned Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates attendees that once the mites became resistant to sprays there was no going back. She recommends carefully considering the need to spray at all, alternative paddock management practices and careful spray choices as options.

 

Red-legged earth mites are a major pest of pastures, crops and vegetables in regions of Australia with cool wet winters and hot dry summers. The mites were accidentally introduced into Australia from the Cape region of South Africa in the early 1900s.

They are commonly controlled using pesticides, however, non-chemical options are becoming increasingly important due to evidence of resistance and concern about long-term sustainability.

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Coast under attack by termites

Coast under attack by termites | Pest Control | Scoop.it

TIMBER-munching critters have inundated the Gold Coast this summer with pest control owners saying this has been the busiest season in five years.

 

The humid weather has created an ideal environment for the creatures to colonise and breed and Accurate Pest Management owner Chris Sands said one in every three houses he inspected over summer had significant termite damage.

 

Mr Sands said he was treating up to 40 houses each week with the damage costing an average of $10,000.

 

“It’s really tough when there is a lot of damage to break the news to the homeowner. Sometimes it’s that bad that the house has to be demolished,” he said. Mr Sands said termites were attracted to damp, moist areas around and within houses.

 

Homeowners can take certain precautions to limit their risk of termite infestation. “People need to make sure they have adequate drainage away from the building and it is also important to keep gardens and foliage away from the house,” Mr Grisanti said.

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Consultation to examine who should pay for West Indian drywood termite treatment in Queensland

Consultation to examine who should pay for West Indian drywood termite treatment in Queensland | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Biosecurity Queensland asks the timber industry, construction companies and home owners to have a say on how a problem termite is managed in the state. 


The West Indian drywood termite is a serious pest in structural timbers and is particularly prolific in Brisbane, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Townsville and Rockhampton.


It is considered the world's most destructive drywood termite, and since the 1960s the State Government has paid for any infestations found in timber products or buildings to be treated.


Unlike the common subterranean termite, which if discovered in structures is the responsibility of property owners to eradicate, the drywood termite lives out its entire life inside the timber.


Property owners and other affected parties are encouraged to provide feedback on four funding options proposed by the State Government.


They include the Government organising and paying for treatment, as is currently the case, property owners organising and paying for treatment, or the phase-in of owner contributions or co-contributions for the treatment.


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New genetic strategy proposed for stopping cane toads

New genetic strategy proposed for stopping cane toads | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Scientists have suggested a new and potentially powerful tool for stopping the spread of invasive species such as the infamous cane toads (Rhinella marina).


The idea, called ‘genetic backburning’, involves taking a subset of the invasive species that is fitter but less effective at dispersing, and transporting them to the invasion front to out-compete the main population for food and habitat.


According to the researchers, genetic backburning could make it easier to stop the spread of invasive species, and they describe this strategy in a paper published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


“In the right circumstances, it can potentially be a powerful tool for halting invasions at natural chokepoints and natural landscape barriers,” says lead author of the study Dr Ben Phillips, an expert in ecology and dispersal evolution from the University of Melbourne.


“One of the ways that we could make invasion fronts easier to stop is actually to take some of those individuals from back in the [main population], the low dispersing individuals, and put them in front of the invasion front.”

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Cockroach season brings big business for pest controllers

Cockroach season brings big business for pest controllers | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Weeks of warm humid weather can only mean one thing - an explosion of scuttling horror through the kitchens of the Central Coast and Sydney.


Summer cockroach season is in full swing and pest controllers are being run off their feet.


Fumapest has been dealing with the dreaded ‘roaches of Sydney and the Central Coast since the 1960s and agreed it was a bumper season.


“Anytime you get 25 degrees at night and humid conditions our phones run red hot,” said Fumapest Managing Director Glenn Dubois.


“Controlling cockroaches is your bread and butter in pest control work - termites are your big ticket item - but cockroaches are right up there.

Top4's insight:

"Facts about cockroach"


Cockroaches eat almost any organic matter, they're looking for food scraps, unsealed food containers, grease deposits, rancid meat, glue and eve book bindings.

Even the cleanest homes get cockroaches due to food in difficult to get at places

They rest in warm and dark places during the day and begin to horrify people at night.

The morbid and irrational fear of cockroaches is called "Katsaridaphobia"

The commonly found cockroaches in homes in Australia are the German, Oriental and American varieties.

Coakroach can survive a nuclear explosion but they will still perish at high levels of radiation.

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‘Incorrect’ termites spray used on homes

‘Incorrect’ termites spray used on homes | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Pest control company involved has contracts with some of WA’s biggest home building businesses.


The termite control treatment used on thousands of new homes in WA is under scrutiny after the Health Department confirmed that a major pest control company applied the “incorrect” insecticide.


Registered to combat bugs and worms affecting farm crops and orchards, the insecticide was used to target the threat of termites across the State until November, when an industry insider blew the whistle.


The outcome was that users of this product were made aware of the incorrect usage of the product and have ceased this practice,” the department said.


It said the insecticide contained one of the active ingredients used to treat termites but “is not registered for termite control and should not be used for this purpose”.



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Pest control: Summer cockroaches

Pest control: Summer cockroaches | Pest Control | Scoop.it

IT'S one of the downsides of a Sydney summer - the cockroaches.


Sydney is home to several species, including the German, the American, the Australian cockroach (actually introduced) and native species.


German cockroaches are drawn to warm, humid spots such as kitchens and bathrooms and are often found in cupboards and in and under electrical appliances.


They eat almost anything whereas the Australian one is attracted to food left out and is often found around garbage or pet food bowls.

Native species are less likely to come indoors, according to the Australian Museum, and none of the 400-or-so native species is a serious pest.

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Sniffer dogs touted as solution to Cairns’ bed bug problem

Sniffer dogs touted as solution to Cairns’ bed bug problem | Pest Control | Scoop.it

SPECIALLY-trained sniffer dogs could be the solution to Cairns bed bug woes and at least one local pest control operator hopes that the idea will take hold.


Cairns Pest Control owner John O’Grady is preparing to train a nine-month-old beagle to hunt for the bloodsucking parasite that has been found in plague proportions at businesses and homes throughout the city.


“We hope to have the little boy up and running in three months,” he said.

“It’s a common scenario all over the world; there are quite a few sniffer dogs in America and Canada, and they also use them in the UK.

“You go for transportation – planes and buses – where people are likely to pick them up. The other way they get transported around is in hire vans.”

Mr O’Grady has recruited the help of a police dog trainer and is confident local businesses will see value in the service.


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How to get rid of cockroaches

How to get rid of cockroaches | Pest Control | Scoop.it

It’s one of the downsides of a Sydney summer – sure the weather is great, the beaches are lovely and Sydneysiders come out of their homes to party the night away. But so do the cockroaches. And, well, there can be quite a lot of them. And they fly.


Here are seven methods to deal with the ubiquitous Sydney roach.


  1. Bombs, sprays and baits
  2. The ‘Vegas Trap’
  3. The natural approach
  4. Borax and an onion
  5. Encourage an ecosystem
  6. Hit them with a shoe
  7. Hire a professional
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Queenslanders warned to watch for mozzies as Ross River virus rates rise

Queenslanders warned to watch for mozzies as Ross River virus rates rise | Pest Control | Scoop.it

The number of confirmed cases of Ross River virus rose in Queensland this year, and health workers are reminding the public to be aware of the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.


Much of the state is hoping for a good wet season to break the ongoing drought, but with wet conditions and standing water comes increased risk of diseases such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses.


Dr Margaret Young is director of Queensland Health's Wide Bay public health unit, and is a specialist in promoting health and preventing disease at a population-wide level.


Dr Young said there had been an increase in Ross River virus notifications across the state this year.

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Exterminator goes into battle with car-sized wasp nest

Exterminator goes into battle with car-sized wasp nest | Pest Control | Scoop.it

A MAN who has been wiping out wasp nests for 20 years has just dealt with the biggest he's ever seen - the size of a Mini car, hanging 7m off the ground in a Northland puriri tree.

 

The giant German wasp nest was on Department of Conservation land on Whangaruru Harbour's north head, about 1km from DoC's Puriri Bay Campsite. Pest control technician Brandon Smith, who destroyed the nest last week, said it possibly housed a million angry wasps.

 

Several large pieces had broken off at some stage and been recolonised, which meant Mr Smith had to tackle four big nests on the ground before he could move on to the main event.

 

It was found by a regular camper, a retired Northland man, who had noticed a lot of wasps in the area and followed their flight path until eventually he was led to the tree nest.

 

Mr Smith said there are usually about four nests near each other. Northland's volcanic rock, soil structure and abundance of foliage provided ideal living conditions for insects, including cockroaches and ants, he said.

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Hidden housemates: cockroaches

Hidden housemates: cockroaches | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Cockroaches are a very ancient group of insects. They have been around virtually unchanged in general appearance since the Carboniferous period, more than 300 million years ago.

 

Cockroaches are considered a pest because they can contaminate food and kitchen utensils with their frass (droppings), possibly spreading microbes and causing health problems. Some people may be allergic to cockroaches, or their byproducts, and many people dislike their appearance. Large infestations can result in an unpleasant smell.

 

 

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Community groups welcome government review of drones for aerial pest spray control

Community groups welcome government review of drones for aerial pest spray control | Pest Control | Scoop.it

West Australian legislation on drones needs to change so technology can be used in vital pest control, according to community groups.

 

Farmers and community members gathered for a drone pest spray demonstration on a property in Bridgetown last week. 

Drone operators used water to demonstrate how the technology could be used for precision spraying. It is currently illegal to use UAVs to spray herbicides because such use is prohibited by state legislation under the Aerial Spray Control Act. Landcare officer Cheryl Hammence said there was a lot of potential for the use of UAVs and drones in pest control.

 

Department of Agriculture and Food research officer Andrew Reeves said Aerial Spray Control Act legislation was not due for review until 2017. He said that if that legislation were to change, commercial operators could be hired to spray weed infestations.

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Big spend: fruit fly control costing orchards

Big spend: fruit fly control costing orchards | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Local orchadists have been forced to spend a a lot of money on new chemicals to prevent fruit flies after the chemical fenthion was banned.

 

A ban on fenthion, which the Betland family has used to control fruit fly for more than 50 years, came into effect this season.

It’s made this an expensive summer for local growers.

“With the old chemical, if I didn’t see (fruit fly) stings I didn’t spray,” Betland said.

 

“With the new products, I’ve got to use three or four of them and I’ve got to put them on as a preventative - I’ve got to spend a lot of money, this season probably seven-fold what I did the year before.

 

“If you grow fruit and vegetables that are prone to fruit fly attack in your home garden, you are responsible for ensuring that the pest is contained,” horticulture specialist Karen O’Malley said.

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Can nuclear technology help control virus-carrying mosquitoes?

Can nuclear technology help control virus-carrying mosquitoes? | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Mosquito bites make us itch, make us sick and can carry the Zika virus. The virus is linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil and has led the World Health Organisation to declare an international public health emergency.

 

So can the Zika virus-carrying mosquito be controlled? As Kerry Skyring reports, scientists at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Austria think they have the answer -- nuke the male mosquito.

 

They are breeding them then sterilising the males through nuclear radiation, ready for release into the wild. When females mate with these sterile males there will be no baby mossies. It feels a bit like a North Queensland holiday in this lab - hot and steamy.

 

Kostas Bourtzis heads the IAEA's Pest Control Laboratory and says early trials are promising. "A successful trial in Italy was one of the first ones and as we speak there are trials in China and in Mauritius and in Indonesia and more are planning for later this year in Singapore, in Thailand and in Brazil."

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Zika virus: Queensland health authorities spraying at second site

Zika virus: Queensland health authorities spraying at second site | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Queensland Health authorities are undertaking a second mosquito control response, after a Townsville resident returned to North Queensland with symptoms of Zika.


While all cases in Queensland - with this being the ninth case - have been imported, authorities have begun pest control spraying in areas where a positive case is returned where the mosquito which carries the virus, the Aedes aegypti, is also present.


The first of those cases occurred on Wednesday, when a Rockhampton fly-in fly-out worker returned from South America.  


Authorities began a similar response in Oonoonba in Townsville on Friday afternoon, after a recently travelled resident began showing symptoms of either Dengue Fever or Zika virus. Chances of infection in this case are thought to be quite low, with the person assuring authorities he was only in the area for a few days.


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Hazelnut mite widespread across Victoria and will be difficult to eradicate

Hazelnut mite widespread across Victoria and will be difficult to eradicate | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Victorian authorities say they cannot contain the hazelnut mite because it is so widespread and difficult to detect.


Hazelnut mite was found for the first time in Australiaat multiple properties in Victoria earlier this year.


The mite attacks trees, causing yellow and white spots on the leaves and reducing the vigour of the trees.


A wider search for the pest in 49 hazelnut plantations has found the mite on 16 properties across the state.


Authorities said eradication was unlikely to succeed, but they would undertake efforts to control the pest.


Victorian chief plant health officer Gabrielle Vivian-Smith said because the pest was so widespread and difficult to detect, it was not a good target for eradication.

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Why you should use nematodes as pest control

Why you should use nematodes as pest control | Pest Control | Scoop.it

It’s a familiar complaint and one not without foundation: the business of keeping on top of garden pests is increasingly fraught.


As scientists and Big Pharma (or should that be Big Farmer Pharma?) continue their high-profile spat about environmental protection vs agricultural pest control, we all become increasingly uneasy about using “safer” chemicals to conquer slugs and other garden-spoilers.


The ante has been upped in the past year or two about the need for environmentally friendly pest control and the benefits of biological or “natural” methods (already used in the horticulture industry and by organic gardeners).


Biological pest control involves safely harnessing the destructive power of nature’s assorted predators and parasites. Some of this we have always understood. There are plenty of visible flying, crawling, hopping predators that we can and do encourage into our gardens.

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Attack of the spider plague

Attack of the spider plague | Pest Control | Scoop.it

THEY'RE creepy and theyre crawly, and out in force in Knox.


Redbacks are normally found among rocks, logs, culverts, sheds, outdoor shelters and toilets.


Wantirna mum Natasha Hill contacted Knox Leader to warn others after she made the scary discovery of three redback spiders in three days.


Graeme Thomson, director of emergency medicine at the Angliss Hospital, said the recorded number of redback spider bite incidents this summer had been quite low, and there had not been a sizeable difference this season, compared to previous years.


But they have had patients who presented with a bite but did not see what had bitten them.


After a redback spider bite, it is common for there to be local pain and sweating. There might also be redness noted at the bite site within minutes, which can also increase in size.


Other features may include shivering, restlessness, muscle spasm, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other more severe symptoms.


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Buzz about natural fly insecticide

Buzz about natural fly insecticide | Pest Control | Scoop.it

The University of Queensland and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries researchers have developed a clean and safe insecticide to combat nuisance flies in cattle feedlots, using spores of a naturally occurring fungi.


UQ Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Senior Research Fellow Dr Peter James said flies were a nuisance for workers and could carry disease.

“The spores of a Queensland strain of the Metarhizium anisoplaie fungus have been developed as an ultra-low volume spray that attaches to the external surface of the fly or is ingested by the flies and kills them,” he said.


“The spray is very safe, has no effects on humans or animals, and is part of an integrated control approach to suppress fly populations.”

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Pest controllers flat out as bed bugs run rampant in Cairns

Pest controllers flat out as bed bugs run rampant in Cairns | Pest Control | Scoop.it

 WARM weather and a busy tourist season have given rise to record numbers of bed bugs in Cairns and its not just backpacker hostels counting the cost. 


High-end resorts have also been forced to call in pest control companies to carry out expensive treatments as clueless travellers transfer the bloodsucking parasite from their clothes and luggage into hotel rooms.


Amalgamated Pest Control Cairns is responding to about 20 outbreaks a week and plans to hire more specialised staff to tackle the growing problem.


“Jobs have doubled since the end of November,” said owner Robert Boneham.

“It’s everything from five-star hotels down to backpackers, houses, buses and even restaurants.

“I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and it’s the worst I’ve seen it for a while.”


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Hitchhiking cane toads: pest spotted in WA's south-west

Hitchhiking cane toads: pest spotted in WA's south-west | Pest Control | Scoop.it

Cane toad experts are warning people to be on the lookout for the invasive amphibians after an unconfirmed sighting of two toads in Western Australia's south-west.


The toad sighting in the town of Collie was reported on social media earlier this week, but no report was made to the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW), the agency responsible for controlling the pest's movement across the state.


The DPAW's cane toad initiative program leader Corrin Everitt said the toads had been known to hitch rides across the state on freight trucks.

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