Getting rid of pests

Help identifying pests

Here's some advice and information about the different types of pests and recognising their signs.

Ants and cockroaches

You may have an ant or cockroach infestation if you:

  • See any roaming on your floor
  • See them dead in the cupboards or cabinets
  • Find cockroach manure - they look like bits of greasy, dark sand
  • Find any on piled garbage, exposed food and sink water or water on dirty dishes

Cockroaches can carry bacteria such as E. C​oli and salmonella on their bodies, which can contaminate food, cooking equipment and food surfaces.

The presence of ants means that there's the potential for food contamination.

Bedbugs and fleas

You may have bedbugs or fleas if you've:

  • Bites on your body with a red centre
  • Bites on your leg, around your ankles and feet
  • Tiny blood stains on your bed clothes
  • Black specks of tiny insect faeces inside your mattress folds, creases or zippers

Typically biting human beings, fleas can cause itchy, unsightly marks as well as severe allergic reactions

Bees

Bees don't cause any problems to your property. You're also in no danger of being stung if you leave them alone and unprovoked.

When summer is over, bees will go away on their own. They will not return to the nesting site next year.

By the time a colony has become obvious, its activity will be about to decline naturally. Generally, colonies formed in spring usually decline naturally by late July, if not sooner. Whenever possible, bee nests should be left alone to thrive as their presence is actually beneficial for gardeners and their crop.

If you're stung by a bee:

  • The honey bee leaves its barbed sting inside you then dies, it's important to remove the barb to stop infection setting in
  • Bee stings are painful, but unless you have an allergy to bees, they're unlikely to cause serious damage
  • View advice and information on bee stings

Flies

Flies are more prevalent in warmer weather.​ ​They can be seen flying or settling both indoors and outdoors.

​Flies can be a nuisance and potentially cause harm spreading diseases like salmonella and e-coli. They can also contaminate food and some bite humans or animals.

We do not offer treatments for flies however, there are ways you can prevent and treat them at home.

They can be prevented by:

  • Strict hygiene and cleanliness of kitchens and bins - consider doing a thorough deep clean
  • Disposing of all household rubbish quickly - especially food waste
  • Fitting bins with tight lids and locating them away from doors and windows
  • Always covering meat and other foods
  • Buying fly products to install and use around the home - such as fly papers, fly traps, fly sprays and fly screens

Rats and mice

You may have a rat or mice infestation if you see:

  • Holes gnawed through food wrappers, boxes, sacks and external doors
  • Shredded scraps of paper used for nesting
  • Gnawed chair and table legs
  • Small, long, black droppings found where they are feeding or active
  • Nibbled scraps around dustbins and vegetable or fruit stores

Rodents contaminate food and carry bacteria that can easily be transmitted to livestock, pets and humans. This bacteria causes anything from food poisoning to the sometimes fatal diseases.

Squirrels

You may have a squirrel infestation include:

  • Finding chewed wiring or cables
  • Seeing trees with bark stripped from them
  • Hearing possible noises in the roof area

Wasps

Wasps nests are grey or beige. They're usually found in rooftops, cavity walls, sheds, trees or flowerbeds

Wasps are bright yellow with black stripes and smooth. They have a high pitched buzz and are attracted to all things sweet.

​You won't have an allergic reaction after your first sting by a wasp. However, you can develop a serious allergic reaction after one or more stings have "sensitised" your system.