Most Common Pests That Invade Your Home in Winter & How to Manage Them

Most Common Pests That Invade Your Home in Winter & How to Manage Them

Winter is well and truly on its way.

Aside from the short days and chilly weather, there’s one thing a colder climate will bring to every Australian household: an abundance of bothersome pests. As insects and mammals seek refuge from the chill each year, they end up in our homes and wreak havoc along the way.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most prevalent pests in Australia in winter, including what to do about them.

Rodents

Don’t be fooled by their innocent demeanour—these pesky little rodents pose a serious threat to your home and will become particularly prevalent in the winter months. Both rats and mice reproduce at an alarming rate, with a single female capable of producing dozens of offspring over her short lifespan of around one year.

There is a difference between rats and mice even though both of these fall under the ‘rodents’ category. Rats tend to be larger in size with a more pointy face. They also chew in round, large and rougher circles.

Problems caused by rodents:

During the winter, rodents will invade your home in search of warmth, spreading diseases, carrying fleas and wrecking your property in the process. Aside from causing structural damage as they scratch, gnaw, and chew their way through wood, rodents can strip the coating off electrical wires, ruining your appliances and creating a potential fire hazard. Roof rats are particularly troublesome, as they may remain undetected while they wreak havoc on your rafters. Rodents pose a significant health issue, too, because they can contaminate food sources, disperse bacteria, and spread deadly diseases like the dreaded rat-bite fever.

How to spot signs of rats and mice:

Rodents are rather elusive, so don’t expect to see them settling into your home. Look for signs of activity such as tracks, gnaw marks, and droppings. Tracks are easiest to spot in dusty areas, so you might struggle to find them if you keep a clean house (try laying down talcum powder if need be). Their five-toed footprints are much more evident in the attic or the crawl space under the house. Rodent droppings look like dark little pellets; if they’re soft, that means they’re fresh. Gnaw marks will appear at ground level on wooden doors and joists, stretching out an inch or so.

How to get rid of rats and mice:

One of the most important steps in rodent control would be to cut the grass short and to also cut the trees, preventing them from touching the house/roof. The number one reason for rodents to come into your house is for shelter, followed by food and water. Denying them shelter would be an effective step towards rodent control.

Keep your kitchen clean so as not to attract these bothersome pests. Food scraps and garbage heaps are a big no-no. Clean out your pet food bowls and if necessary putting a few traps around as well. When these have been done, and you still suspect rodent infestation, get in touch with the experts at Positive Pet Solutions for rodent control in Melbourne. 

German Cockroaches

These disease-ridden pests make an unwelcome presence in almost all Australian homes. Several different species may roam your property at any given time, although the German Cockroach is the most ubiquitous of them all.

Problems caused by cockroaches:

Cockroaches tend to congregate inside during the winter and multiply at incredible speeds. Meanwhile, they spread all sorts of nasty pathogens like salmonella and Hepatitis A, so it’s essential to get on top of the problem before it spirals out of control.

How to spot signs of cockroaches:

Cockroaches are nocturnal, so they’ll be in hiding and hard to spot during the day. At night, however, you’ll likely notice them scurrying under the fridge when you turn the lights on. Cockroach secretions smell rather unpleasant as well, which makes them easier to identify.

How to get rid of cockroaches:

Keeping a clean kitchen is the best form of cockroach control. Wash your dishes immediately after use and avoid leaving food scraps lying around. Take your garbage out regularly and block off any cracks and crevices they might squeeze through. And keep a can of insect spray handy for when you do spot them scurrying around.

Termites

Termites are a pest in Australia throughout the year, and the problem doesn’t go away come wintertime. In fact, it could be a hidden danger for homeowners. When the temperature drops, termites may not be as active but they aren’t dormant. They need food to survive, even in colder weather. Though the signs of termites may not be as visible because they are feeding at a slower rate, there is still possibility that you have an infestation. It pays to be on the lookout for these destructive insects.

Problems caused by termites:

If left unchecked, these tiny insects could cause tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. Termites are the most expensive pest in Australia, causing over $700 million of damage to Aussie homes each year. They are active all year round but tend to head indoors in higher numbers when the mercury starts to dip.

How to spot signs of termites:

Termites are too small to spot and don’t smell or make any noise, so you’ll need to search for signs of infestation. Keep an eye out for cracks in the walls, sagging floors or ceilings, damaged decks or garden posts, and missing roof tiles that allow them to crawl in.

On top of your periodic reviews, it’s worth getting an annual inspection from a pest control company, who will detect hollowed-out wood, identify frass (termite droppings), and spot foundation damage before it becomes a disaster.

How to get rid of termites:

Chemical solutions—baits, liquid pesticides, wood treatments—can be effective at killing termites. These can be dangerous and difficult to properly apply, however, so it’s best to get a professional involved. Positive Pest Solutions are your best bet for termite control in Melbourne.

Ants

During winter and in colder conditions, ants tend to remain relatively dormant and not cause too many problems. However, increased ant activity can occur due to poor hygiene or when they locate a food source in the home.

Problems caused by ants:

Ants can contaminate food, spread bacteria, or administer a nasty bite. And with a thousands-strong colony to deal with, it can be challenging to keep an infestation under control.

How to spot signs of ants:

Ants are the least subtle of Australia’s major household pests. Once they’ve made themselves at home, you’ll see them everywhere—and that’s half the issue.

How to get rid of ants:

Having a chemical barrier around the house would be the best way to prevent ants from entering the house. It is best to also keep them out of the wall cavity to prevent further complications.

Putting food away and maintaining a clean, hygienic environment is an effective way to prevent ants from entering your home. Conventional insecticides offer some protection, although you may need a professional pest control service to put down baits and spray the perimeter. Positive Pest Solutions provide comprehensive and cost-effective ant control in Melbourne.

At Positive Pest Solutions, we are proud to offer an extensive range of services that include rats & rodent control, ant pest control, as well as termite inspection and treatment. Get in touch with our friendly and reliable team today and book an appointment for an obligation-free quote. Find out what our past clients have to say about us. We offer competitive price with quality services. Our general pest treatment only starts from $89.

Dangers & Health Threats of Rats & Rodents in Your Home And Business

Rats & rodents are major pests throughout Melbourne for many homes and businesses. It’s important to take great care and pay attention if you are faced with a rat infestation.

Anyone can suffer from an infestation of rats. There is an even higher chance of it occurring with winter on its way, as rodents seek shelter from the cold.

There are various serious dangers and health hazards that come with these common pests. It’s vital that if you are experiencing a rodent problem, to call your local pest control professionals before it escalates and gets out of hand.

Identifying Rodents

Damp, dark spaces around the home and areas that are rarely attended to can often be hotspots for pests. Mice and rats for example, could be residing in the attic, garage, laundry room, as well as basements. These areas are the perfect breeding ground for rodents, making them one of the first places you should clean and check for infestation.

The kitchen on the other hand, is a place we do actually visit on a daily basis but also where rats and rodents tend to get their snack on. The kitchen provides plenty of cracks and gaps that allow creatures to hideaway, as well as feast on wasted food.

Rodents are notorious for nibbling on almost anything, whether it’s food, wood or clothes, they are also highly adept at chewing through electric wiring. This is a huge worry as this can greatly increase the chance of an electric fire.

Rodents will usually crawl into homes through gutters and sewers, making them often draped in germs, fleas, ticks and other parasites. Besides sinking their gnashers on almost anything, rats are also known to urinate on everything, including food. This means absolutely anyone can be infected by coming in close contact with a rodent.

Rodent Facts

Rodents travel in packs. Meaning that if you’ve seen one in your home, there’s a high likelihood that an entire family of rodents is hiding somewhere. What’s more, rats reproduce at a rapid rate, with an average rat producing up to 12-13 young every few weeks.

Rodents are extremely agile and can enter any structure through the smallest of openings or gaps. Think of the size of a coin, and that’s how small of a gap a rodent can easily pass through. Their ability to climb also makes plenty of areas comfortable for them to reach and breed in.

As rodents get older and continue to develop and grow, their incisors also get larger, making chewing through wires, cables and small gaps even easier.

Diseases Spread by Rodents

Rodents can transmit several diseases. It’s vital not to underestimate the dangers and health threats of rats and rodents, as they can not only directly transmit diseases but also able to carry anything transmitted by parasites such as ticks and flies.

The diseases known to be spread by rodents include; Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, Rat-bite Fever, Salmonellosis and Tularemia.

Dangers & Health Hazards

Rodent droppings are a particularly dangerous by-product of having a rat infestation in your home. If you see a rat that isn’t your pet, then the wild rat will most likely be a triple-D threat. This means that they’re dirty, damaging and disease-ridden.

Ever since the black plague, the fear of disease spread by rodents has been a widespread and well-known fact, which is why coming across rodent droppings can be just as dangerous as having physical contact with them.

These are the dangers & health threats of rats & rodents in your home and business.

  • Food Contamination

Your kitchen or pantry makes for a highly attractive food supply. Rats and mice are known to chew through whatever’s necessary in order to reach sustenance. Usually, they’ll find a way to gnaw through the wood of your kitchen and cupboards without you knowing.

This damage can start way before you’ve even realised that you have an infestation in your home or business. Once inside, rats and mice will use this area as a buffet and chew through boxes and bags of food.

Any food that has been touched or eaten by these pests must always be thrown away as contamination will have definitely occurred.

  • Chewed Wires

Electrical wires can be found everywhere in offices and homes. These wires are a safety hazard if they have been damaged in any way.

Outer casing helps to keep these wires safe however, rodents are capable of chewing through wires and everything else in the search of food or a breeding ground.

The exposure of these wires can lead to severe disruptions to your equipment – or even worse – a fire.

What’s more, your smoke and security alarm equipment around the home or office could be damaged – presenting real and tangible dangers to your family and home.

  • They Also Enter Vehicles

The main concern for rodents is having them in your home. When it’s cold outside however, rodents that struggle to get into your home or office, will instead find it easier to chew their way into your garage and into your vehicle.

A warm place to stay is commonly the area underneath the bonnet of your car. Car engines can stay warm for a while, making it an ideal place for rodents to be attracted to.

Your car can be a great place to chew through materials and build a nest. If a rat has infested your vehicle, your car wiring is often damaged and – similar to your home and office – is a dangerous fire hazard.

  • They Destroy Homes & Businesses

A rodent infestation is a huge conundrum for many homeowners and landlords. They will eat your food, leave droppings and spread dangerous diseases. Rodents are also nocturnal, meaning that they’ll often run around when everyone’s asleep or not present.

Rodents can ultimately cause fires within your home and it’s not difficult to tell if you do have a rodent problem. Their ability to chew through almost anything means that if given enough time, they are capable of causing long lasting permanent damage to your home.

For businesses with a rat infestation, it can be a huge reputational risk if they are found to be living within your building. No one wants to shop or dine in a store where rats could possibly be breeding.

A single rat can rapidly become a health violation, which could lead to fines and even the possibility of a shutdown of your business.

Any pantries or store rooms where grocery items are involved, could increase the chances of rats feasting on a wide range of foods at night when the store is closed. Chewed electrical wires in your office building can be a dangerous prospect for all employees.

How to Stay Safe And Protect Yourself

When it comes to a rat and rodent problem, it’s important to act swiftly, safely and responsibly to get rid of them.

If you have a rodent infestation and need to clean up any droppings, it’s always a good idea to air out the room and wear a face mask to prevent you from breathing any dust particles that could be contaminated.

Be sure to always side with caution when protecting yourself from rats and rodents and call in professional pest control services to help you get rid of them.

If you’re looking for professional rat and rodent control in Melbourne, Positive Pest Solutions are proud to provide a wide range of services that includes rodent removal in Melbourne and rat control services in Melbourne.

Get in touch with our friendly and reliable team today to find out more about our full range of professional services in rodent control in Melbourne and to arrange a free onsite quote.

How Do You Know If You Have Rat or Mice in Your House?

Droppings on the floor, bite marks on fruits and gnaw marks on containers are some of the signs that you will need to look out for to determine whether rats and mice live in your house. Rats and mice can contaminate food, spreading disease and cause extensive damages to roof insulation, books, wires, electrical appliances, furniture and everything in between. They will chew away anything that gets in-between their teeth!

Mice Control

Habit and Habitats of Rats and Mice:

Mice and rats will live in safe and dry places that are close to food and water supply. That’s why we usually find rats and mice in ceilings and walls. These habitats protect them from their predators and facilitate nesting. Some rats live in storage areas like sheds, composite piles, and wood piles that offer space to nest and sleep undisturbed.

Signs of Rats and Mice Infestations:

Droppings

Droppings that look like black pellets are strong indicators that you have rodents in your home. If you find droppings in different sizes, then it indicates the presence of different sized rats and mice. While mice droppings are about 1-2 cm long in brown/black colour, the rat droppings look similar but are usually larger.

Odour

Another sign that you may notice is a very distinct, musky, pungent odour throughout your house. When rodents invade a home, they leave droppings and urine all over the nest site. So, if you smell the bad odour in your home, a nearby rodent nest or a dead rodent could be the source.

Gnawed Holes

Mice tend to leave small holes with clean-cut edges in containers whereas rats leave bigger holes with rougher edges. So, if you find nibble marks on furniture, boxes, containers, papers, and other items around your house, most likely your house is infested by rats or mice.

Pet Behaviour

Pets like cats and dogs get disturbed when they smell or hear rodents in your home. If you notice that your pet pays extra attention to any specific area of your home that they had no interest in before, this might be a sign that they have seen, smelt or heard a rodent in your home.

Noises

Rats and mice are nocturnal, meaning that they are active at night. If you hear a scratching noise from your ceiling, roof, yard, shed or garage during night times, it indicates that you have mice or rats in your home. Sometimes, you may even spot them scurrying across the floor if you are up late.

How to Deal with Rodent Infestation?

If you see one mouse or rat, you may have more than one. There are several things you could attempt such as using traps or baiting. With trapping, you will need to seal any potential entry points.

Hire a Pest Control Expert:

If you are not sure which type of rodent has infested your property, you can call the experts at Positive Pest Solutions for professional help. The experts will conduct a thorough pest inspection of your property and look for signs to determine the type of pest invaded your home. Based on the findings, the pest control experts implement the right rodent control techniques to make your home or business pest-free.

How to Keep Rodent Out Of Your Home This Winter?

Rodent may look cute in the movies but not in the house. They are a triple threat to homeowners as they can destroy property, contaminate food and spread serious diseases. As the winter is approaching, the rodent can settle into your home, especially in the kitchen, which offers everything from food, water, and warmth to shelter that the rats and mice are looking for. A rodent can easily get into your home. They will squeeze through a small hole and colonise in burrows, porches, attics, walls, concrete and other hard-to-reach places.

Rodent Control Melbourne

Common Types of Rodent:

Mice and rats are the most common types of rodent you are more likely to encounter in your home. Rats are larger than mice and grow up to 19 inches (48cm) long, whereas mice are smaller rodent that typically measures about six to seven inches (17cm) long. Other types of rodent such as squirrels and possums may also find their way into the home and cause trouble and make a mess around your home. 

Warning Signs of Infestation:

Wondering if you are dealing with a rodent infestation? Look out for these three warning signs:

Droppings: If you find droppings of the rodents, you are certainly dealing with an infestation. If more droppings are found around your home, you are likely to be dealing with a larger infestation.

Noises: If you hear scratching or squeaking noises coming from inside your walls, it could be a sign of a rodent infestation. As the rodent are nocturnal, they are more active during night times.

Nests: Rats and mice build their nests in your attic, walls or basement using shredded paper, insulation and other materials. Nests are usually found in warm areas in close proximity to water and food.

Dangers and Risks Of Rodent:

Property Damage: Mice and rats can wreak havoc on your home’s structure. Rodent tends to dig through food containers in your kitchen cupboard, chew holes through walls and shred ceiling insulation, causing extensive damages to the property.

Disease & Allergic Reactions: Rodent saliva and droppings can transmit serious diseases such as leptospirosis, Hantavirus, Salmonella, and other illnesses. Some individuals can suffer from mild to severe allergic reactions when they come in contact with rodent droppings.

What Attracts Rats To Your Home?

During the harsh winter months, only fewer food sources are readily available. That’s why rodent find their way into your home when it gets cold outside. There are other factors too which can attract rats to your house.

  • Leaf piles, woodpiles, shrubs, a heap of debris, and other areas that provide shelter.
  • A messy home where the food spills and leftovers are left unclean.
  • When there is easy access to food and water sources.
  • Pet food or excrement
  • Ways to enter your home

How to Keep Rodent Away This Winter?

Eliminate Entry Points:

Inspect your home for loose siding, cracks in the foundation, gaps around doors and windows and holes around dryer vents. Seal such openings in which mice could enter.

Store Your Goodies:

Make sure all of your food is stored in sealed containers to hinder their easy access. Pet foods are a common draw for rats and mice, so keep pet food sealed as you do with your food.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean:

An unclean kitchen with bits of food on counters, floors, and sink can attract rodent into your home. By keeping your countertops and other surfaces free from food and residue, you can prevent rodent from coming in.

Remove The Clutter:

A rodent can thrive in areas such as garages, attics, and basements where there are lots of clutters. Performing a quick tidying-up can make these areas less tempting for rats and mice. Clear out stacks of newspapers, books, magazines, and other junks. Also, make sure your stored items are organised and kept above the ground.

Maintain Landscaping:

Before winter approaches, perform landscaping and yard maintenance. Trim those branches that hang very close to your house. Remove weeds and fallen leaves to ensure that the rodents have only a fewer hiding place.

Call The Professionals:

It does not take a long time for a rodent problem to go out of control. So, as soon as you notice the warning signs of rats and mice, turn towards Positive Pest Solutions for rodent control treatments. We will thoroughly inspect your property and recommend the best treatment to keep your home and family safe from rodent infestation.

 

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