With the recent, tragic bushfires and smoke issues in NSW, Lynton Paddick, the Divisional Manager for Jim’s Termite and Pest Control Sydney, has seen a sharp rise in pests invading homes. He has been dealing with pests for more that 30 years, across multiple states, and knows how dust, bushfire smoke and hot weather can affect pests.
Recent bushfires and smoke have caused our native animals to seek shelter, and Australian pests are in the same boat.
It is well known how fire affects large marsupials like kangaroos, koalas, and wombats. However, not much is known about how fire affects pests like rats, mice, spiders, and other creepy crawlies.
Bushfires result in the loss of pest habitats
Fire results in destruction of undergrowth, bark and leaf litter. This undergrowth is what pests use to hide from predators like birds and lizards. If they manage to survive a fire storm, there will not be enough undergrowth left to shelter them.
Mr Paddick said
“You will often see birds flocking to an area which has been burnt because they know that the pests there will be easy pickings. This leads to pests quickly seeking out refuse in unburnt areas and structures. The gardens around a home are an ideal safe area. As a bonus, the structure of the home will provide nooks and crevasses for them to hide in.”
Air conditioning invites pests
Home and office air conditioning are great in times of excessive heat. They provide a nice cool environment for humans and pets to shelter in. But, due to homes and offices not being airtight, some of this cold air will escape under doors and around windows.
Mr Paddick has indicated that
“As pests scurry about, they often go past these cool airflows. To a pest this can come as a welcome relief and often enter to explore this new environment.”
In the wild, a cool airflow is often associated with water and or a damp, safe place. This is exactly where pests want to be. It will provide water and a possible food source in the form of rotting vegetation and insects.
Once they enter a home or office, they will often come across food sources like food scraps. Water sources are provided in the form of a dripping tap or the drip tray under the fridge. Unlike the outside environment there are very few predators to deal with. This often allows them to breed up in significant numbers. When these numbers are in plaque proportion, they will be readily visible to people.
This is when a professional pest controller is called in to deal with an outbreak.
Smoke and dust reduces the effectiveness of pest treatments
When smoke hangs around for weeks or months in can significantly reduce the effectiveness of pest treatments. Large dust storms that come from burnt fire grounds will have a similar effect.
Mr Paddick indicates that the reason behind this reduction is quite simple.
“Dust, ash or smoke particles can simply put a fine layer over chemical barriers. The insects or pests are then able to simply walk across this layer and are unlikely to get exposed to the chemical beneath.”
Jim’s pest control technicians recommend that you lightly hose the treated areas with water to wash of the dust, ash and smoke particulates. Obviously, this can be difficult in times of water restrictions that NSW is now experiencing.
It is however not recommended to blast the treated areas with a high-pressure cleaner or the use of detergents. Detergents and high pressure will strip away the treatment leaving nothing to deal with the pests.
If you have any questions about how you can reduce the pests around your home and office, then get in touch with a local professional pest controller, like Jim’s Pest Control.
Jim's Pest Control
Jim’s Pest Control has been servicing clients across Australia since 2010. There are currently 85 plus local business owners delivering all pest control services across Australia. On average Jim’s provides pest control services to 2,500 clients weekly.
Lynton Paddick has 30 plus years dealing with pests. He, with his wife Stephanie, currently assist 34 plus local business owners in New South Wales and South Australia.
He has honed his pest control skills from working with some of the leading experts in the industry.
Industry experts and suppliers recognise that Lynton and Stephanie’s efforts are changing the industry for the better.