These social insects are members of the order Hymenoptera, which also includes bees, hornets, and wasps. Ants live in colonies, or huge ant cities. Sometimes, these ant colonies encroach into our living spaces and create a problem that calls for a pest management solution. Next to cockroaches, ants are the most common reason people call a pest management professional.
When people think of insect pests, cockroaches are what most often come to mind. These six-legged troublemakers breed like rabbits, they carry disease pathogens and allergens, including triggers for asthma, and their presence is creepy and unacceptable to most people. Spot one in a restaurant, and it’s time to find someplace else to eat, because roaches contaminate food and eating utensils. There are around 4,000 species of cockroaches in the world, 5 of them are considered a major pest in South Australia. The cockroaches’ life cycle follows a pattern of simple or incomplete metamorphosis, which means that they hatch from eggs as nymphs, and then they go through several molts before reaching the adult stage.
There are more than 35,000 species of spiders worldwide a few thousand of which (including the most dangerous) are found in Australia alone.
Spiders can be a particular nuisance in the home. They are attracted to warm, dark small spaces, like wall cracks, corners, air vents, and in the eaves of your home. Other spider species prefer to stay closer to the outdoors, weaving their webs in your garden or near your outside lighting. Most spiders are a nuisance primarily because of their webbing.
Earwigs are usually found hiding under a stone or board that is lying on slightly damp soil, and they are easily recognised by their dangerous-looking pinchers. Although these structures can give a mild nip, they are weak and otherwise harmless; they are used for catching and manipulating prey and sometimes for fending off enemies.
Bed bugs belong to the family Cimicidae and class insecta. They are flat, oval and wingless. These are reddish-brown bugs that are usually less then 7mm long, have moderately long, slender antennae, thin legs and vestigial wings in the form of stubs. They can run surprisingly fast. They are found in human habitations, particularly bedrooms and feed upon human blood. Lacking human blood, this insect will feed on the blood of rats, mice, rabbits or chickens. It can survive without food for up to 15 months. The bed bug is not known to transmit any human diseases.
For many homeowners, the millipede may only be an occasional invader and are unlikely to experience an infestation. However, for homeowners in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, they can become victim to an invasion of portuguese millipedes as these can build up in huge numbers in garden beds. An infestation will be apparent when large numbers suddenly appear in the house.
During the day, silverfish hide. If the object they are hiding under is moved, they dart toward another hiding place. They come out at night to seek food and water. Items on their preferred menu are cereals, moist wheat flour, books, any paper on which there is glue or paste (including wallpaper) and book bindings, and starch in clothing. They can live for several months without food. Silverfish can be found in any part of the home. They hide in baseboards and around window and door frames from which they seek out food sources. Sometimes they are seen in the bathtub or sink.
The flea carries disease and causes itching from biting both animals and people. It feeds on the blood of dogs and cats, and uses animal eye fluids to quench its thirst. It can be found on animals, and in rugs, beds, and the fabric of furniture.