How to prepare for Summer Pests
Summer is peak pest period, and being prepared is the best way to nip nasties before they become a problem. Whether you’re battling pesky mosquitos or uninvited rodents, here are some expert tips and pest-prevention products to help keep your home protected.
How to get rid of mosquitoes
With their irritating presence and itchy bites, mosquitoes are unwelcome guests in the home and garden. Flyscreens on doors and windows are effective for keeping them out of the house, but what about the backyard?
First, mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant or stale water in the garden, so remove or cover as many water sources as you can.
Second, arm yourself with easy-to-use products that keep mosquitoes away, like Sandalwood Incense Sticks, a natural deterrent that has the added bonus of helping relieve stress.
Citronella is another naturally occurring repellent that works by masking the scents insects find attractive. There is a wide range of products to choose from to complement any décor, from pretty Art Deco Citronella Tealight candles, to contemporary looking Cement Table Top Oil Burners, to stylish Wind Resistant Vanilla Scented Citronella Candles. Mosquito coils boosted with citronella also pack a punch.
For a different ambiance, try mini bamboo torches with citronella oils, to give your backyard a tropical resort feel while keeping the bugs at bay.
Another effective deterrent is to use the force! The Thermacell Insect Repeller Perimeter System uses butane to release a repellent that generates a type of “force field” against insects over a 42-square-metre area. It’s ideal for patios, backyards and decks.
How to get rid of wasp nests
Wasps are important pollinators, but no one wants a wasp nest in their backyard. Prevention is the key here, so inspect the eaves and cladding around your home during the spring and summer months and cover up any holes.
If you do have a nest and the wasps are being aggressive and causing a nuisance, you may need to remove it. Use a spray like Hovex’s Fast Knockdown Wasp Killer, which delivers a powerful jet spray allowing you to maintain a safe distance. For best results, spray the nest late in the evening when the wasps are dormant, and always wear protective clothing. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and re-spray if required.
Once any nests are removed, planting mint, citronella, thyme and some eucalyptus can help to keep wasps away from the area, or spray diluted peppermint oil under eaves or other areas where wasps like to make nests. (Wasps are not big fans of mint.)
How to get rid of moths
They might be small, but moths can do a lot of damage if left unchecked. If you spot bare patches or holes in your woollen carpet or clothes, food packages with small holes or webbing, or if you happen to see one in your home (they prefer dark corners and can be hard to spot), it’s time to get proactive.
First, expose the area to light and do a thorough clean: vacuum carpets, wash woollens and wipe down wardrobes and cupboards.
Next, hang or place EnviroSafe Domestic Clothes or Pantry Moth Traps in areas where moths are active. These non-scented, pesticide-free traps lure moths with pheromones, and trap them easily.
How to get rid of ants
These resourceful insects are experts at invading indoor and outdoor spaces in search of food. They usually send out scouts, so if you spot an ant or two, wipe down the area to get rid of ant trails (pheromone markers) that could lead to other ants.
Next, caulk up or block any holes, gaps or cracks they’re using to get into the house, make sure your food is well sealed, and follow up by treating the area. Some possible D.I.Y. treatments include spraying with glass cleaner, diluted detergent, or a little peppermint, tea tree or eucalyptus oil mixed with water.
If the ants persist, you can step up to products like Gardener’s Friend 500g Ant Killer Dust (an easy-to-apply dust sprinkled around food prep, storage and sleeping areas) or Hovex 2L 3-in-1 Indoor and Outdoor Surface Spray (a barrier or extermination spray that can be used in the home, backyard and garden). Insecticide bombs are also effective in treating ant infestations.
How to keep rodents away
Rodents such as mice and rats are unwelcome pests around the home. They’re usually seeking food or shelter, so the best way to discourage them is to keep areas clean and store food in sealed containers.
However, if you’ve spotted evidence of rodent roommates, it’s time to deploy solutions. Bunnings has a range of rodent control products, including traps. The RATSAK Clean Kill Mouse Trap is an easy-to-set-up trap that is safe to use around kids and pets.
Thanks to Bunnings Australia and for further advice pop into your local Bunnings store at Cairns or Smithfield.