Australia is known the world over for it's rich, varied and sometimes deadly plethora of creepy crawlies. A pest inspection might be the only way to find out what's living under the cover. Even if you may not want to!
They’re difficult to avoid – they scurry, saunter and smooch around our homes and gardens looking for the scraps we don't know we're leaving in our wake. Some are pests requiring eradication from friendly people in vans who know just what to do to make them disappear (or die). Some we don't even realise are there.
For every human on earth, there are 150 million insects. They constitute more than 80% of animal life on the planet. In Australia, they’re a fact of life. They’ve got us surrounded. And while our first response is to kill them, if all the insects in the world were to die tomorrow, so would we.
So, let’s take a look at the creepy crawly pests that you never knew might be living cheek by thorax with you right now:
- The Giant Centipede. We’ve all seen nocturnal centipedes wending their way across our carpets and bathroom tiles when the weather is right, but this giant sixteen-centimetre variety is a relatively rare sight. However, experts say it lives all across Australia – including in your home. What to do about it: The giant centipede will only bite if you handle it, but it can cause severe pain for a few days. The good thing about letting it live alongside you, however, is that they’re known for eating other insects including (like its smaller cousin, the common house centipede) spiders.
- The Cockroach. You're not alone if you've seen a cockroach scurry away when you turn on the kitchen light – they're a common sight across Australia, especially in more tropical climates. However, what you might not realise is that, if you see one, there's probably dozens more lurking in the shadows. There are over 400 species of cockroach in Australia, and they love our homes – particularly where we prepare or store food. You'll find them in cracks, behind and under the fridge, beneath your sink or in your pantry cupboard – anywhere there's likely to be crumbs and food spills. What to do about it: If your home becomes infested with these little critters, make sure you clean up food areas thoroughly and regularly. Seal food in containers and put away pet food bowls overnight. Cockroaches also need water to survive, so it's best to clean up spills and fix leaky taps. If things get too hairy, you'll need to get a pest inspection.
- The Redback. An iconic Australian, we all know what a redback looks like because they love living near people. However, they’re usually retiring creatures unless you happen to disturb or sit on them. They like dark, dry, sheltered spaces, so they’ll happily come into your home during the wet season. The female’s venom is deadlier, but because it’s delivered via teensy tiny fangs, they’re not often fatal – expect pain, nausea and fatigue. What to do about it: Look for messy, asymmetrical webs in out of the way places – below chairs and cushions, under beds, on patios, in window structures. You probably won’t see the Redback unless you disturb the web. Pesticide is useless for these spiders – once you’ve identified their hiding place, call a pest expert.
- The Earwig. With nearly one hundred species of native and a few introduced versions, earwigs are forever omnipresent in our gardens. They travel inside via produce, plants and flowers and will use their pincers on you in defence. However, while painful, earwigs carry no venom – it's just their unfortunate misnomer of a name that strikes fear into the heart. Rest assured, while there have been a few reported cases of earwigs crawling into a human ear; they do not lay eggs there or in your brain. What to do about it: Spray them with a mix of dishwashing liquid and lukewarm water for a pesticide-free solution.
Scared of creepy crawlies in your home? If in doubt, give us a call. We can do a building and pest inspection for you and make a plan to fix the problem.