The best way to avoid ants in your house or building is to minimise the chance of them finding a food source.
Ants are often found around foundations of buildings and in kitchens, lawns and gardens. While ants generally live in nests located in soil, wood or among rocks, poor conditions can force a colony to relocate. When ants discover a food source, they travel along well-defined and scented trails back and forth to the nest.
The following steps may help you avoid an ant infestation in your home or building:
Direct treatment of the nest provides the most effective long term control of ants. Follow the trail to locate the nest. Alternatively, you can create chemical barriers between the nest and possible food sources.
If your ant infestation is out of control, you may require a pest control expert to perform an inspection and treat the nest.
Cockroaches are attracted to the food, shelter and temperature of houses and other buildings, and can be found in cracks and crevices.
Cockroaches eat almost any human or animal food, and any dead animal or vegetable matter, including leather, cardboard, glue and dog biscuits. They are mostly nocturnal creatures, becoming active after sunset.
Cockroaches are considered pests because:
The following steps may help to avoid a cockroach infestation in your home or building:
You can also use insecticides such as surface and space sprays, insecticidal dusts or baits and traps to eliminate cockroaches.
If your cockroach infestation is out of control, you may need the help of a pest control expert.
European wasps are about the same size as bees but have yellow bands with black V-shaped markings down their backs. They have the ability to sting repeatedly and can trigger allergic reactions.
European wasps are attracted to sweet food and drinks, and have become a pest at outdoor events and barbecues.
To avoid wasps coming onto your property, you can do the following:
If stung, apply an ice pack to the sting. If an allergic person is stung, apply pressure to the limb or sting area and seek medical help immediately. Ventolin may help to treat breathing difficulties.
The only effective way to control a European wasp problem is to destroy the nest. Local Law requires residents to ensure a wasp nest does not remain on their premises. The safest way to remove a wasp nest is to contact a pest control expert to treat the nest, as the wasps can become extremely aggressive if the nest is attacked.
In winter the queen wasp will hibernate, usually in firewood, stacked materials or in roofs and sheds. In early spring, they fly around looking for a new nesting site. This is a great opportunity to prevent a nest being developed. Queen wasps are large and slow moving, making them an easy target for spraying with an insecticidal spray.
European wasps make their nests in sheltered areas around buildings, rubbish heaps, rocks, trees or shrubs. The nests look like grey cardboard and are usually the size of a football. You can often locate a nest by the constant stream of wasps flying to and from one particular location.
n Australia the most common type of bee is the European Honey Bee, which is yellow and brown in colour and ranges from 2mm to 6mm in length.
Swarming is a natural behaviour for honey bees, as part of the reproductive life cycle. Honey bees usually swarm in warmer weather during spring and summer. The swarm may remain on the move for several days in search of permanent nesting site.
If a swarm settles on your property, ensure you keep family and pets away from it.
You should not attempt to move a bee hive or swarm by hosing it, poking it, throwing stones or any similar action, as this will only aggravate the honey bees to defend themselves.
We recommend you use either a registered beekeeper or licensed pest controller to remove or treat a bee hive.
If you find a hive in an open and accessible area, you can ask a beekeeper to come and remove it. For more information and details for the Bee Removal Help Line, visit the Victorian Apiarist Association website.
If you find a hive is found in confined space or hard to access area, you can ask a licensed pest controller to treat and destroy it. Refer to your local business directory.
If you are stung by a bee, you should take the following actions:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering an allergic reaction to the bee sting, known as anaphylactic shock:
If you know you are allergic to bee stings and carry an EpiPen, use this straight away, rather than waiting for allergic symptoms to appear.
To treat an allergic reaction to a sting, apply pressure to the wound and immobilise the limb or sting area and seek medical help immediately. You can also use Ventolin to help treat breathing difficulties.
Indian Mynas are a small brown bird with a yellow beak.
They are an introduced species that compete with native birds and animals for food and shelter. They can displace animals as large as kookaburras and sugar gliders from their nests.
Indian Mynas are not a declared pest and there is no legal requirement to control them, but concerned community groups are running programs to reduce the impacts of these birds.
Foxes are vermin and a danger to local wildlife. If you are experiencing problems with foxes on your property, you should contact a qualified pest control company.
Mice and rats are rodents that tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter, particularly during winter.
Both mice and rats tend to nest within floors, behind walls and between partitions. They can also be found in sheds, near compost heaps and underneath hedges.
Rats and mice are considered pests because they:
Mice come out at night in search of food, and are rarely seen during the day. However, rats appear during the day and night.
Signs of rats and mice in the house include:
You can use poison bait to control the spread of mice or rats within your home. You can buy this from your local hardware store or supermarket. Ensure you follow the guidelines on the product packaging.
Note: Ensure people and pets do not eat the bait, and take extra care when children are in the house.
For more information and warnings about pest control, visit the A - Z of Pest Animals.