Ants

Pestwise NZ

Ants are one of the most successful groups of insects. They are social insects that live in colonies which are usually located outside, but may enter buildings for shelter and/or food. Ants feed on practically every kind of food but those entering homes are often looking for sweets and/or protein-containing substances.

  1. Q
    What does a pavement ant look like and where does it live?

    The pavement ant is 3 mm to 4 mm long and is brown to black in colour.

  2. Q
    What do pavement ants eat and where do they live?

    They nest in soil beneath slab and between walls. They prefer to eat grease and oils but will eat insects and sweet materials.

  3. Q
    What does a thief ant look like and where does it live?

    A thief ant is 1 to 1.5 mm long and is a shiny yellow to brown colour. They live in large colonies under ground, in rotting wood and near foundation walls. They prefer to eat protein- base food and will not eat sugar.

  4. Q
    When are ants most common?

    During warm weather ants can be seen outdoors. Swarms of ants (reproductive) are commonly seen in Summer Season. If you see ants inside your home during winter months, a pest control expert should be contacted.

  5. Q
    Are ants hazardous to humans?

    Yes. Since ants are attracted to foods such as honey, fruit and meat they can carry disease germs from one area to another.

  6. Q
    What can I do to prevent an infestation of ants?

    Good housekeeping practices such as keeping foods in sealed containers and areas free of spillage and crumbs will prevent ants, as will sealing of openings where ants may enter from outside.

Cockroach

Pestwise NZ

To the untrained eye, all cockroaches may look alike. However, there are actually five species of significance. German, Brown-banded, Oriental, American and Common Wood cockroaches are all unwelcome pests.

The most common cockroach is the German cockroach. It has a flattened oval body with long spiny legs and measures 15 mm (3/4") when fully grown. Both male and female are winged. Color is light brown with two dark brown stripes running lengthwise on the middle section.

  1. Q
    Do cockroaches cause damage?

    Yes. The presence of cockroaches is normally associated with damage to buildings.

  2. Q
    Are cockroaches hazardous to humans?

    Yes. Because of their movements through various habitats, including refuse heaps and sewers, they are capable of transmitting diseases to man, including: salmonella bacteria (food poisoning) and many forms of viruses.

  3. Q
    What attracts cockroaches?

    Cockroaches are attracted to food, water, and shelter. They will eat anything and are particularly attracted to starchy foods.

  4. Q
    Are cockroaches only found under unclean conditions?

    No. They can be found under the cleanest conditions, wherever food and warmth are present. For this reason they are a major problem in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, multi-unit residences and homes. Their habitat is around sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators, in drains and cracks.

  5. Q
    Do cockroaches die off in cold months?

    No. These hardy and very adaptable insects are primarily indoor pests and infestations are not affected by outside temperature.

House Fly

Pestwise NZ

Flies are a common pest in homes and commercial establishments. Flies normally are associated with decayed or spoiled debris. In this kind of habitat of both feeding and breeding, it is a certainty that flies and their maggots will come into contact with a wide variety of bacteria. Because they are associated with disease and because they can readily gain entry to buildings, flies pose significant pest problems.

  1. Q
    What are the most common pest flies?

    The most common flies associated with homes and commercial establishments are the house fly, the fruit fly and the cluster fly.

  2. Q
    How do I recognize a house fly and what does it feed upon?

    The house fly is 4 to 7.5 mm long and has 4 dark stripes. This species will feed upon a variety of organic waste matter including garbage and excrement; they often crawl on people and their food.

  3. Q
    What are the breeding characteristics of the house fly?

    The life cycle can be completed in 8 days under warm conditions. As many as 12 generations can occur in one summer.

  4. Q
    How can I control house flies?

    Since house flies feed on garbage and decaying debris, improved sanitation is a key. As well, doors should be kept shut and windows screened to prevent entries of flies from outside. The use of Flying Insect Light Traps is very effective in controlling house flies.

  5. Q
    Can I control Cluster myself?

    Since sanitary improvements and exclusion are an important part of fly contro. Cluster flies typically require assistance in control due to their biological tendency to over winter in structures and potentially very large populations.

Stored Product Pest

Pestwise NZ
  1. Q
    What does an Indian meal moth look like?

    Adults of the Indian meal moth have a wing span of about 1.5 cm. The front wings are tan the front one-third are reddish brown with a copper lustre on the back two-thirds. The larva is a dirty white colour with a sometimes green to pink tint.

  2. Q
    What do the red beetle look like?

    The confused flour beetle is often mistaken with the red flour beetle but the antennae of the confused flour beetle is gradually enlarged whereas the red flour beetle's antenna enlarges abruptly to form a three segmented club. The confused flour beetle is more common than the red flour beetle.

  3. Q
    What do the merchant and saw-toothed grain beetle look like?

    These grain beetles are a small brownish beetle approximately 3 mm long. They are easily distinguished by the six saw-like projections on each side of the thorax. The saw-toothed grain beetle is the most common of the two.

  4. Q
    Where do you find strored products pest insestation?

    Stored product pests are found living in dried products such as dried fruits, spices, flour, bran, peas, dried vegetables, dried flowers, grain, cereal products, dog food, nuts, candy, macaroni and other similar products. Stored product pests contaminate far more food than they eat and are common in food processing plants as well as domestic settings.

  5. Q
    Guidelines for a Treatment?

    Completely clear kitchen cupboards of all dishes and food. Drawers can be removed.
    Place food in the refrigerator and the rest on the dining room table. Make sure the kitchen counter is cleared.
    All dried food products should be inspected for infestation. Infested foods should be disposed of or placed in a freezer for at least one week. Foods not infested should be placed in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.
    Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.
    Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.

Spiders

Pestwise NZ

About twelve different species are commonly found in homes. Spiders have two body regions, connected by a restricted waist. The fused head thorax has two jaws, two palps, eight legs and eight or fewer eyes. The abdomen is unsegmented and hold the spinneret. The harvestman or daddy-long-legs spider differs in that its abdomen is segmented.

  1. Q
    Where do I find spiders?

    Spiders are generally found outdoors. They are often brought indoors on firewood, laundry and flowers. They can often be found around windows or around outdoor lighting since other insects are attracted to these areas.

  2. Q
    Are spiders active in winter?

    Inside spiders are found year round, but are most prevalent during warm months. Outside adult spiders will die in cold months, but the young will over-winter in a dormant state.

  3. Q
    Are spiders poisonous?

    Two species of spiders are considered to be dangerous to humans. They are the black widow and the brown recluse. If bitten by these spiders you should receive immediate medical attention.

  4. Q
    What are their breeding habits? Do spiders multiply quickly?

    The female house spider lays approximately 50 eggs in a silken sac. Nine egg sacs are common in a season and these sacs hatch after a week depending on environmental conditions.

  5. Q
    Do all spiders spin webs?

    No. Some spiders spin webs for catching prey while others are ground dwelling.

  6. Q
    What can I do to prevent spiders?

    Removing the food source is necessary. Sweeping of the basement and crawlspace inside the home along with removal of wood piles, high grass and litter around the home will deter infestation.

Rats

Pestwise NZ

Rats attack the food of man in the farm fields, orchards, and livestock facilities, during its processing, storage and transport, and while it is in our supermarkets, restaurants and homes. What rats do not eat, they spoil by contaminating it with their urine, feces or fur. It is estimated that rats and mice destroy enough food each year to feed 200 million people.

  1. Q
    Do rats cause damage and are they hazardous to humans?

    Rats are known to be a source of numerous diseases affecting man, such as the Plague and Murine Typhus. Rats contaminate food and cause extensive damage to buildings and equipment In houses, granaries, restaurants and other areas they inhabit. Rats are able to gnaw through wood, electrical wires, and even unfinished concrete.

  2. Q
    Where do rats build their nests?

    Rats nest in any safe location where food and water are available such as under rubbish, between walls or between floors. Outdoors, they will burrow into the ground.

  3. Q
    What are the breeding habits of the rat?

    Rats are mature 2 to 3 months after birth and have a gestation period of 22 days. 4 to 7 litters are common per year, and each litter will contain 8 to 12 young. The average life span of a rat is one year.

  4. Q
    How can I tell if I have an infestation of rats?

    Rat droppings are a common indicator of the presence of rats. As well, gnaw marks, tracks, burrows, and greasy markings on walls are often evident.

  5. Q
    What can I do to prevent an infestation of Norway rats?

    Removal of food sources for rats is an important element of their control. As well, elimination to potential rat entry points and removal of rubbish and other potential nesting areas are essential.