The Ultimate Queensland Pest Control Guide
Table of Contents
- 1 Guide To Management and Treatment of Pests
Guide To Management and Treatment of Pests
Pest control in Queensland is guided by the Pest Management Act of 2011 and the Pest Management Regulation of 2003. In addition to these two, there are also clauses and by-laws that help make it easy to manage all kinds of pests. Some are local while others are international such as the U.N Biosecurity Act of 2014.
Pests affect not only Queensland’s primary industries but its natural ecosystem, human, and animal health. The climate in Queensland is suitable for different kinds of pests. Nonetheless, insect pests such as the potato moth, the Silverleaf whitefly, and the Queensland fruit fly are the most common.
Bed bugs, cockroaches, and termites further add to the list. Due to recent weather fluctuations, pest activity in Queensland has increased recently and the number of people requesting for inspections and treatment is on the rise.
This Queensland Pest Control Guide will cover various topics related to the industry. You’ll learn information about common pests, how to treat them and also other handy information relating to the states regulations and licensing.
The Importance of Controlling Pests
Contamination by pests leads to substandard produce in farms and gardens and in some instances affects the fertility of the land to a great extent. Almost 20% of the world’s food population is consumed by rodents alone. In Queensland, the house mouse has been reported to be a major cause of damage alongside the silverfish and termites.
Pest control is important as it not only protects you from health hazards caused by insects, bird pests, or rodents but it also protects you and your family from the inconveniences the pests cause. In addition, without pest control health regulations, food sanitation, and food regulation would be hardly achievable.
Pests are also a major cause of disease for farm animals. Even worse, some of these diseases such as the Hendra Virus, Brucellosis, and Ringworm can be transmitted from animals to humans. Due to this, some animal species are regarded as pest animals in Queensland such as feral dogs or the feral pig that have serious economic blowbacks after they destroy crops. Pest control is also important because it prevents further infestations. Rodents may pose this danger best due to their fast reproduction but they are also carriers to other pests such as ticks, mites, and fleas. These pests carry diseases such as Lyme disease, malaria, and plague which can be transmitted to both humans and animals.
So how do you protect yourself and your family? You have two choices. The first is by using local pest control expert, and the second is by performing some DIY pest management your own. Do it yourself methods can be done by using some common solutions found at your local hardware and even some more eco-friendly methods.
There are over 400 species of native cockroaches in Queensland. Of these, four are major; the oriental cockroach, the Australian cockroach, the German cockroach, and the American cockroach. However, the most common one is the Australian cockroach. 30-35mm in length, the only bigger cockroach is the American cockroach.
This cockroach can be identified through the distinctive pale yellow ring around the head, or in this case the pronotum and the pale yellow insignias on the front edges of the forewing. The cockroaches prefer places with moisture but can also live under dry conditions.
The German cockroach is 10 mm long and with two dark bars running laterally along the thorax. This 10mm long pest is common in South-east Queensland. Despite the name, the Australian cockroach is not from Australia, rather it was introduced from Asia. Nonetheless, it is very common all across Queensland.
The American cockroach is the largest in Queensland with 40 mm of length coupled with a reddish-brown color with a brown pattern in the thorax. Just like the Australian cockroach, it is not reserved to one geographical region, rather it is common all across Queensland.
There are numerous pesticides that can help you get rid of cockroaches such as the Vendetta Roach Bait Cockroach Bait Gel or the Intice 10Perimeter Bait. Many of these have clear-cut instructions but it is advisable to consult or get a licensed worker from certified pest animal control and support services.
Cockroach cuticles, feces, and debris are well-known asthma and allergy triggers. In addition, fumigation or any form of treatment may lead to some of the medicine used being left behind on your property. A licensed pest control specialist will best advice you on what to do and how much time you need to spend away from your house after they are done ridding you of the pests.
Fleas and Ticks
There are 8 common types of fleas in Queensland; the bird flea, human flea, cat flea, rabbit flea, hedgehog flea, dog flea, tropical flea, and the mole flea. Adult fleas are 1-8mm in length and are brownish in color. Their side-to-side or flattened appeal makes it easy for them to navigate through fur and hair. Fleas can be a major cause of discomfort due to their size and they tend to increase rapidly in number.
Ticks, on the other hand, are a little thicker and are easily visible unless covered by fur or feathers. Tick bites often cause minimal discomfort to humans but can transmit paralysis, allergic reactions or tick-borne diseases to animals.
Fleas live on warm-blooded animals feeding on humans and birds too. After finding a host, fleas are reluctant to leave and multiply rapidly. Ticks too are widespread across Queensland and mostly affect animals. Nonetheless, they will feed off a human too if they get a chance. There have been reports of ascending flaccid paralysis in domestic pets caused by tick bites around Queensland.
Fleas and ticks spread extremely fast if not carefully exterminated. Numerous pest control companies across Queensland offer flea and tick control. Proper extermination provides comfort and helps prevent diseases like murine typhus or tapeworms mostly transmitted by fleas.
Flea bites are harmless but cause inflammation, itching, which creates a puncture wound thereby allowing secondary infections and hair loss after scratching the wounds. Large infestations can cause an anemia which can kill small animals. Seek medical care if the problems persist.
The best treatment for tick bites is removing the tick quickly and completely. This is achieved using fine-tipped tweezers. Grip the tick as close to the skin as possible then gently pull it out. In case you have problems removing all parts of the tick, be sure to seek medical attention. For a tick outbreak, contact pest control services at once.
Two of the biggest rodent species, rat, and mice look similar to each other. The only exceptions are the house mouse and the water rat. Rats, mice, and almost all rodents are attracted to food supplies in homes, restaurants or even dumpsites.
Other rodents in Queensland include; squirrels, guinea pigs, picas, capybaras, beavers, lemmings, and moles. The most common rodent, the house rat, can live almost everywhere from swamps to ceilings to refrigerators and it reproduces at a fast rate.
Rodents are common all across Queensland. True rats are natives here with the European Black Rat, the Asian Black Rat, and the Brown Rat dominating the mainland. The house mouse is perhaps the most common to humans. Their large numbers are down to their extremely quick breeding.
With a gestation period of just 19 days, populations sometimes explode into plagues where there is abundant food. Water rats, hoping mice, rock rats, tree mouse, and mosaic-tailed rats have been cited in Queensland.
Rodents transmit a variety of diseases and can cause serious damage to your property not to mention the noise they make if allowed to grow in numbers. Store your leftovers, keep your cupboard doors locked, repair any wall breakages and roof cavities, and put metal gauzes over external building pipes to prevent any rodents getting access your house.
In addition, poison baits and traps a common way to catch mice and other rodents. However, if in large numbers, find a licensed pest control specialist to help further. Rat bites can transmit streptobacillary rat bite fever often characterized by joint pains, vomiting, muscle ache, rash, headache, and a fever.
However, these symptoms take 3-10 day to show so in the event of a rat or rodent bite, seek medical attention at once.
Bed bugs are reddish-brown bugs that turn purple after a blood meal. 5mm in length as an adult, they can further expand up to 6 times after feeding. Regardless of the name, bedbugs are not found in bedrooms only, rather they use suitcases, second-hand furniture, bags, and laundry to travel until they find the right host.
Bed bugs suck blood and feed on warm-blooded animals and humans. However, they prefer humans because of their exposed skin as opposed to animals which have fur. By injecting saliva with anticoagulant and anesthetic properties, they suck blood and the host does not feel the bite.
Bed bugs are found in human habitations throughout the world including Queensland. They reproduce fast and unless carefully exterminated can withstand less potent drugs meant to eliminate them. Their adaptation process, traveling using almost anything or anyone, further aids their dissemination.
Bed bugs are often found on the bed frame, pillows, mattress, headboard, carpet and almost every other part of the house if allowed to spread. Professionaly licesned companies are located all across the state to help you deal with a bedbug infestation. Professional extermination is the best and most efficient way to control bedbugs.
Bed bug bites leave your skin with red swollen areas with a dark red center that is very itchy. These bites are more annoying than they are dangerous and can be treated with an anti-itch cream or ice packs for the itching or antiseptic cream in case of an infection. However, if symptoms persist seek medical advice.
Termites can cause serious structural damage to buildings and damage crops even more. Their presence often goes undetected until the damage is done. Termites live in colonies but body shape, behavior, and tasks performed further subdivide them into castes.
The worker caste is the dominant one in the colony and is blind, wingless, and sterile. They tend to the eggs and the young, gather food and build the nest. The soldier caste is also blind, wingless, and sterile but is divided into nasute (with a pronounced) snout and mandibulate (with prominent jaws). They mainly defend the colony.
The reproductive caste has wings, a functioning reproductive system, and eyes. Their chief function is forming new colonies.
Termites are considered the most destructive pests in Queensland. As such laws such as the timber pest inspection, every 12 months but more frequently in higher risk regions, have been passed to help curb their spread.
As such, multiple pest control companies have greatly profited off of helping get rid of them. Even building regulations have changed recently to allow barrier systems coupled with ongoing inspections as a less harmful way of controlling termites. In case you find termites, do not spray them or cause a commotion, they can do a lot of damage in a matter of hours. Contact a certified pest control agency who specialises in termites for further assistance.
Silverfish are as equally destructive as termites although the damage they do can be noticed a little bit earlier. They have a silvery-blue color, tiny scales, and move in a wiggling motion as that of fish. They are also commonly known as carpet sharks or fish moths.
Silverfish have a tail-like appearance and are tapered with 2 slender antennae. They are also wingless and measure up to 10-12 mm in length. They are also highly reproductive with one species laying 2-20 eggs daily and the other laying an egg a day.
Silverfish hide their eggs in cracks and crevices thereby making them very hard to locate. They also prefer humid places so you are most likely to find them in bathrooms and kitchens. However, they are also attracted to damp clothing and paper.
Silverfish are often referred to as the most common enemy to paper and photographic materials. They are widespread all across Queensland and affect not only homes but offices too. Humans pretty much provide the best conditions for them to thrive through dark and damp areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Control silverfish in your home by fixing leaks in pipework, improving your ventilation, and using humidifiers. Silverfish feed on sugar, starch, and cellulose often found in common household items such as fabrics, pasta, paintings, and food debris.
To discourage them, store food in containers with tightly sealed lids and vacuum rarely disturbed areas of the house. In addition, keep dust and debris to a minimum. In the case of an outbreak, contact a certified pest control agency.
There are three ant species considered to be the most destructive and most common in Queensland; electric ants, fire ants, and yellow crazy ants. All three are seriously invasive and cause extensive damage in the agricultural and environmental sectors.
Ants are very common in Queensland. As such, laws such as the Biosecurity Act of 2014 and the Biosecurity Regulation of 2016 explicitly place obligations on people to reduce the spread of electric ants.
Fire ants too are listed as category 1 restricted pests under the Biosecurity Act of 2014 and are spreading slowly across Queensland. A spread from the Brisbane infestation led to further infestations around the greater Brisbane area, Redlands, Ipswich, and Logan.
Ants cause painful bites or stings with some stinging once and others with the ability to sting repeatedly. This often causes swelling, redness and blistering. If the blisters are broken, the area risks getting infected. You can treat the stings by washing with soap and water then applying an antiseptic.
Also, an ice-pack is a sure way to reduce pain and curb the swelling. You can also use painkillers but if you develop signs of infection visit a doctor immediately.
Projects such as the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program monitor fire ant populations and help treat outbreaks. Still, you can also call pest control services to aid with their control.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Tips
Additional pest control tips include cleaning gutters, landscaping your home, and repairing cracks in the walls. These make it hard for pests to invade your home or build habitats in certain areas of your compound. You also need to understand the health risks associated with different pests, check and inspect your house as often as possible.
In addition, keep your house clean, ensure that it is properly ventilated, check your drainage often, use traps and baits for mice, and look for insecticides and pesticides that you can spray in your home to keep away pests. However, carefully read the instructions to prevent poisoning.
Eco-friendly pest control tactics are welcome not only in Queensland but all across the globe as well mainly due to the minimal negative impact they have on the environment. Fumigating your house means you will have plenty of chemical residue even if you had covered your furniture and other household items. This exposure has proved lethal in some instances.
Eco-friendly ways to control pest include the use of throwing sage or rosemary on the coals on your barbecue to repel mosquitoes. Putting a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and leaving them on your house’s entry points is another eco-friendly way to repel ants. Dried lemon peels also act as a natural moth repellant while bay leaves, garlic, and cucumber slices deter cockroaches.
Some pests such as the yellow crazy ant are recognized internationally as environmental pests and are listed in the top 100 worst invasive species in the world. As such, Queensland follows the Biosecurity Act of 2014 to help curb their spread and help in their control. The law explains more about biosecurity and its importance to the environment, classifies the different pests there are in Brisbane and gives instructions to permits which allow pesticide use.
However, the Pest Management Regulation of 2003 governs pesticide use in Queensland for companies and individuals as well. This law; [View PDF] offers explicit instructions on how to manage pest infestations safely.
Pest Management Licenses
The Australian Pest Control Association has a hand in making the laws that ease licensing in Queensland. This association found here, works with local laws to ensure that licensing is done properly. Laws such as the Pest Management Regulation of 2003 in accordance with the pest management act of 2011 aid in pest management licensing in Queensland. Queensland Government department of health is responsible for issuing pest control licenses for commercial and domestic buildings. You can find out more from the Department of Health.
The Queensland governments’ Primary Industries Department is in charge of issuing pest control licenses for horticultural and agricultural purposes. Some states require business registration while others don’t.
Needless to say, it is wise to find out about the laws governing pest control in your area to avoid any trouble with the law. The fees for any license with regard to pest control in Queensland is $30.95 for a year and $72.70 for 3 years as of July 1st, 2016.
An unrestricted license is the first license most pest control experts get and it covers preparation and application of chemicals, weed control, and transportation and storage of chemicals.
After this license, your accreditation can help you apply to Biosecurity Queensland and get a commercial operator’s license. For this process, complete this form, and accompany your application with certified copies of relevant statements of attainment certified by a Commissioner for Declarations or a Justice of the Peace.
If from out of state, you can apply for a full accreditation license, a mutual license or a partial license to enable you to keep practicing pest control in Queensland.
How to find a qualified Exterminator
Qualified exterminators are experienced professionals who understand the best procedures and pesticides to use. Reliable professionals can be found all across Queensland. The best way to find a reliable technician is to ask friend and family or use social media to find recommendations. You can also read reviews from Google+, Yelp and the Yellow Pages.
Pest control has evolved dramatically in Queensland thanks to the regulations put in place by the Queensland government. Pests not only cause discomfort but can facilitate the outbreak of dangerous diseases or cause severe allergic reactions.
Some pests, such as mice can be handled easily from your home and in an eco-friendly manner. However, outbreaks or large numbers of a certain pest demand a call to an expert to prevent the spread of diseases or further damage to property, foodstuff, or land.
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