What Attracts Cockroaches? The most obvious thing that attracts cockroaches is food because it is food that helps them to thrive and keep them alive. Storing food properly in restaurants, homes, offices, shops, and factories is the number one deterrent against roaches, plus ensuring your environment is kept pristinely clean after using the services of a professional pest control company will ensure these nasty bugs will be kept at under control.
No matter how fastidious we are, there are times when these tenacious creatures simply won’t die! Calling in pest control experts is the only way to get rid of these clever creatures, plus it will take time and patience before roaches are eliminated – hence the need for continuing keeping your immediate environment clean.
Here are a few tips to keep cockroaches away
Never leave food out on counters and rinse out any empty containers if you are recycling to keep your environment bug-free. Never leave garbage overnight (cockroaches are nocturnal creatures); throw away rubbish every day.
When retiring at night it is advisable to wipe down all countertops and to clean floors. Any appliances on countertops need to be wiped down.
Ensure the spaces under counters, under refrigerators and freezers and stoves are also kept clean.
Always store all food in airtight containers off floors – this applies to pet food as well.
Fridges and freezers should seal properly.
Never leave old magazines, newspapers or cardboard boxes lying around as cockroaches love to feed on these and breed inside these.
Cockroaches are attracted to warm spots for shelter
Keep your environment clutter-free, and ensure your doors and windows are sealed.
Remember that cockroaches communicate through pheromones; that is why it is advisable to keep wooden surfaces clean (the pheromones soak into these surfaces) and to remove any cardboard.
Cockroaches love water and damp areas
Repair leaks and drips and ensure that the spaces between your sink and bath are kept dry with sealant and grouting.
Standing water attracts roaches to pets drinking water and avoid stagnant water in pot plants.
Keep bathmats, sponges, towels and dishcloths dry.
Cockroaches breed throughout the year and are therefore problematic all year round – they are not seasonal breeders. It is difficult to gauge what the cockroaches were attracted to in the first instance, but once they start breeding it is tough to get rid of an infestation.
Because most DIY treatments are often ineffective, it is far wiser to seek the services of your professional pest control experts to assist with the elimination of these problematic pests.
It is a surprising fact for most of us that there are thousands of cockroach species – there are in the region of 4 600 of these creatures. However, only about 30 of these species are viewed as being common pests. The most common cockroaches are between 15 mm and 300 mm in length. Some unusual and less common cockroaches can grow as much as 97 mm in length but thankfully these are native to remote parts of South America!
The colours typically range from light brown to a dark, red-brown and some are grey or white with characteristic markings.
Having evolved over thousands of years, these nocturnal creatures are highly adaptable and resourceful and can prove to be a nightmare to get rid of once they start breeding in your home or place of work.
In South Africa, alone, there are over 3 000 different cockroach species although the most common are the German Cockroach, the Oriental Cockroach, the Brown Banded Cockroach and the American Cockroach.
Cockroaches are carriers of several diseases including poliomyelitis, salmonella, diarrhoea, typhoid, gastroenteritis and dysentery, to name a few of the many.
The German Cockroach (Blatella Germanica)
- This roach is between 12 to 15 mm in length
- The German Cockroach is yellowish and brownish and has two distinct longitudinal black streaks on the pronotum.
- They have wings, although they don’t fly
- The female carries the ootheca which is attached to her abdomen until her nymphs reaching hatching stage and live from 100 to 200 days. The females produce between 4 to 8 ootheca (egg cases) throughout their lives
- They are nocturnal creatures
The Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella Longipalpa)
- These cockroaches are between 10 to 15 mm in length (adults)
- The Brown Banded roach is reddish/brown and has a yellow halo around the pronotum edge; furthermore, they have two light yellow/brown bands across their bodies, have a flat shape with prickly legs and longish antennae
- The males can fly
- The females glue their egg cases in closets and furniture and produce between 10 to 14 eggs cases with each case containing between 10 to 18 eggs
The Oriental Cockroach (Blatta Orientalis)
- Between 17 to 30 mm in length (adult)
- The Oriental Cockroach is very dark – almost black
- They have wings and do not fly
- They can live up to 500 days
The American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)
- The American Cockroach reaches 25 to 40 mm in length
- The American Cockroach has wings that are reddish which cover the abdomen – they have a yellow band around the pronotum
- They can fly
- They live for 450 days
- The females produce between 9 and 10 cases during their lifetime with each containing between 12 to 16 eggs
It is advisable to call in pest control experts regardless of what species infiltrates your premises, whether it is your home or place of work.
The big question is – what happens to termites, ants and flies when the spring rains arrive in South Africa? With the warmer weather fast approaching and the relief of spring rains arriving, some insects become more active; these include flies, ants, fleas and numerous other creepy crawlies. It is best to tackle a problem of this magnitude by calling in pest control exterminators to give advice and to address this problem before it gets out of control.
Ants belong to the hymenopteran species which live in highly organised nests and belong to a wingless caste. There are in the region of 8800 species of ants found throughout the world and make their home in numerous habitats, except in the freezing Arctic regions and extremely high altitudes.
The ants that are found in our homes throughout South Africa are referred to as black or red ants and are very different from white ants or termites. They also belong to a different sub-species, and although the lifecycles differ, a similar programme is implemented to control them that will be applied by your pest-control expert company.
Black ants generally become problematic in homes and if the problem is not tackled correctly, they can and will become more than just a nuisance as they are known to cause damage to paving areas and can cause the soil to collapse.
In some instances, these colonies, when multiplied in vast numbers, can damage plants and lawns.
In South Africa, we have two species of ants that are most common; they are Pharaoh ants and the common black ant (The former belongs to the Monomorium Pharaonis species, and the latter to the Lasius Niger species). Of the two species, the Pharaoh ant is the species that could pose the most risk to the health of humans as they are found in unhygienic areas such as garbage and drains and can, in turn, carry harmful pathogens.
DIY methods of getting rid of ants are often unsuccessful – it is advisable to call in pest control experts to eradicate the problem regardless of what time of the year it is.
We live with different ant species in South Africa – although we might think that we have two main types of ants in this country, we actually have 550 species that are known to us, and only a handful are viewed as being “pests”.
Some of the ant species that are commonly known to us include the Coastal Brown Ant, the Argentine Ant, the Black House Ant (perhaps the most problematic of them all), the Pavement Ant, The Garden Ant and The Fire Ant (we know how it hurts when one of these little fellers bite us).
South Africa enjoys a diverse and rich wildlife animal species; we have abundant creatures both large and small, and we have as many ant species as we have wildlife.
Here are a couple of examples of the prolific ant species we have living amongst us:
About the Argentine Ant
- They are dark brown in colour
- The worker ants of this species are almost 1.6 mm in length
- The queens and kings have wings which means that they can fly to find a mate
- The worker ants travel for extensive distances
- Their diet consists of dead or alive insects as well as sweet things, meat, cereals and grains
About the Coastal Brown Ant
- The Coastal Brown Ant is either yellow or brown in colour
- Coastal Brown Ants range in size from 1.5 mm to 2.5 mm in length
- They form small eggs and larvae which are fed by the adult ants
- The wingless ants are the workers and are sterile
- The males have wings which assist in finding mates
- The females are larger in size and enjoy longevity
- Nesting takes place in the soil
- Coastal Brown ants exist on a diet of fruit, sweet food and greasy food as well as meat
About Fire Ants
- The Fire Ants have copper heads and upper bodies, with darker abdomens
- The worker Fire Ants are between three to six mm in length
- The females can lay up to 125 eggs every spring
- The larvae are fed via the salivary glands of the queen ants
- Fire Ants destroy crops and invade both indoor and outdoor areas
- Fire Ants feed on dead animals as well as other insects and worms
About Pharaoh Ants
- The Pharaoh Ant workers are a brownish-yellow in colour with a brown abdomen
- Pharaoh Ant males are equipped with black wings which assist in the mating process
- Males are 3 mm in length, and the workers are between 1.5 mm and 2 mm in length; the queens, on the other hand, are 3.5 and 6 mm long
- These ants enjoy a diet rich in protein such as fat, meat, blood and dead insects
- Queens can produce as many as 3 500 eggs during their lifetime
- Colonies are large and consist of between a couple of hundred to 300 000 ants
The above descriptions include only a handful of ant species found in South Africa. There are, however, numerous other species that can be found in our environment and vary in size and colour. However, all ants enjoy phenomenal teamwork regardless of their species.
Getting rid of disease-carrying mice and rats professionally is the best way to keep these pests at bay. You may have spotted a lone mouse and are wondering if one mouse is serious enough to call in the professionals. Well if you see one think mouse infestation.
Why Getting Rid of Mice Professionally Matters
If you have spotted a lone mouse, it is almost guaranteed others are in proximity. The failure rate for getting rid of vermin by using DIY methods is high. Rodent populations increase at an alarming speed, so it is best to tackle the problem immediately and professionally.
How 1 Mouse Pair Can Turn into an Infestation
Although the breeding season is relatively short (about three months of the year), female mice can still produce between five and ten litters a year. Their gestation period is only 19 – 21 days but can be extended by several days if the female is producing. Then comes a litter of 3 – 14 little mice.
Mice get sexually mature at a very young age¾about six weeks, with a bodyweight of just 25 grams. They continue growing in weeks after that until they reach a weight of between 40 – 50 grams. Mice are born without fur and are also born blind. They become fully furred at about ten days, and they open their eyes at 14 days.
That means within a span of three months, two mice can turn into hundreds. If one female mouse gives birth to a litter every 20 – 30 days, and it takes females in that litter 6 weeks before they can start reproducing, the knock-on effect can leave you with an epic infestation in a short amount of time.
What to Do to Protect Your Home and Business
Mice and rats carry diseases. If you suspect you have these vermin-carriers in and around your home or workplace, ending the problem before a full-blown infestation is essential. The best way to do this is by calling in expert pest control teams to guarantee a vermin-free environment.
Professional pest control companies will only use rodenticides as the very last resort and once the mice have been denied all food access. Pest control companies will take other factors into account, such as pets and young children or nearby wildlife, birds, and other considerations prior to treating mice and rats. The peace of mind of a rodent-free environment is only a phone call away.
It is a known fact that roof rats can enter homes and other structures through the smallest of openings, whether these are doors and windows that are not fitted properly, air vents that are not in good working condition or screens; they will find a way of getting into the smallest spaces.
By taking a couple of steps to reduce gaps in windows and doors and other spots that are easily accessible, you are already putting steps in place to reduce the rat population in and around your surroundings.
Take these measures to reduce the rat population:
- Seal all openings that are more than a cm with wood, mesh, caulk or similar
- Fit all doors and screens tightly or cover these with metal sheets
- Sewer pipes and drains should have covers that fit tightly to prevent access to these openings
A regular, thorough inspection is essential to gauge whether there are rats and mice is important. The signs to look out for are gnaw marks, droppings, grease marks, rat urine stains, live or dead rats and mice and the noises they make.
Once established, it is a good idea to then embark on a plan of action such as calling in pest control experts.
Look out for these signs for roof rats:
- Gnawing holes – these are usually about 4 cms in diameter and will have rough edges. Roof rats like to chew on wood but can also be the cause of electrical wire damage and damaging the packaging of foodstuffs
- Droppings – Roof rat droppings are usually about 6 mm to 12 mm in length, have a capsule shape with blunt edges and usually shiny and black in appearance although this largely depends on what the rats eat. Rat droppings are in the region of about 3 x the size of that of mouse droppings
- Sighting and hearing rats – rodents are nocturnal creatures, therefore, if sighted during the daytime it means the infestation is severe
- Urine stains & odours – these appear as a line of fine drops or streaks that can be spotted under ultraviolet lights or black light tool
- Tracks – the runways of roof rats are smooth and impacted outdoors, plus they are vegetation-free. Furthermore, roof rats leave a hind foot track plus they drag their tails which leave a trail between their foot tracks.
- Grease marks – these usually appear along the walls next to the runways
While you are preventing future rat population growth through inspection, sanitation, and exclusion, you will also want to begin working towards the complete elimination of the population that is already present through the use of a professional pest control company.
Avoid bites and stings this summer by calling in the experts. Avoid mosquito, flea and spider bites during the hot summer months by taking a few preventative measures. Keep your home free of roaches and your roof free of birds, too, to ensure your entire environment is safe and clean for you and your family.
Prevention is always better than cure, so be sure that Rover and your cats are dewormed and de–flea on a regular basis; change your linen every week and vacuum the insides of your cupboards vigilantly to avoid any nasty surprises.
This is where the experts enter the equation – call in pest control services to pinpoint where roaches breed, to oust spiders that are dangerous, lurking in corners and other spots such as the garage and sheds, eradicate ant nests and get rid of pesky birds in the roof that also carry fleas and other bugs such as ticks.
Never scratch bites from fleas and mosquitoes, ants and flies (yes – these can administer nasty bites too), as this could lead to infection. Some preventative measures include covering arms and ankles, especially at night, and placing wire or gauze over doors and windows. Fans will also discourage flies and mosquitoes in the home.
Choose insect repellents from the wide range readily available from your pharmacy or supermarket which come in a variety of lotions, creams, sprays and patches.
Repellents do not prevent bee, wasp, yellow jacket and hornet stings. Choose light-coloured clothes over bright clothes and try not to wear heavy scents and perfumes that could attract stinging insects.
Pest control experts assist with other insects and pests including bats, wood borer insects, termites and rodents.
Furthermore, South Africa plays host to a multitude of snakes – your pest control experts will remove reptiles from your property safely.
Prevention is always better than cure; ensure your home is safe from infestations of every description by using expert pest control services.
A beautiful lawn is one that is lush and emerald green, and also completely free of weeds. Weeds are part of what happens in gardens and keeping your weeds under control can prove to be both difficult and costly, as well as downright annoying.
No matter how much effort you put into growing your flower beds and landscaping, your garden will never look good if your lawn is infested with weeds and patchy.
Here are ten things to do to grow a beautiful lawn
- Getting rid of weeds in South African gardens can be a relatively easy exercise as most weeds that invade our lawns are of the broad-leafy variety. The weather patterns have changed, and gardens have either been exposed to extremely dry spells or flooding. As a result, weeds have taken over many lawns and are practically impossible to get rid of.
- The only way to rid weeds in your garden is by calling in the pest control experts to assist. Once the lawn is free of weeds, taking care of your grass should be a lot easier.
- Avoid mowing your lawn prior to herbicide being applied to your lawn and always allow 24 hours to pass after applying any treatment of weeds.
- Destructive insects can destroy your lawn completely. Instead of going the DIY route to eradicate your lawn of destructive crickets and other insects call in pest control professionals to assist.
- Always consider the climate and the amount of sunlight the lawn will be exposed to and how much traffic the lawn will be submitted to when planting a lawn. Kikuyu is a popular choice for warm season grasses, followed by LM lawn, although Cynodon and Buffalo lawn is great for sunny areas and are hardy which means they are more tolerant to traffic and easy to maintain and establish.
- Mowing is perhaps one of the best ways to bring out the best in your lawn – if a lawn grows fast, it is a good idea to mow your grass at least twice a week.
- The biggest lawn care mistake made is by cutting the grass too short.
- It is important to never cut off more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in one mowing session.
- It is always important to keep the blades of the mower sharp.
- An easy way to tell if your lawn needs water is to walk on it – a healthy lawn is soft underfoot and if the lawn is crunchy in any way whatsoever and if it breaks then it means it should get more water.
Call in the experts to eradicate your lawn of weeds to ensure you have a lush, green lawn at all times.
Ladies – forget about getting your husbands to rid your home and the surroundings of rats and mice; instead, call in the experts to assist.
With climate change resulting in global warming, there has been an upsurge in the number of rodents in our environment.
Rats and mice are everywhere, and they cause havoc in our lives, carrying diseases such as hepatitis, jaundice, plague and salmonellosis. Additionally, they cause damage to buildings, electric wiring, furniture and other materials.
Rats nest in places such as trees, shrubs, food stores, ceilings and roofs as well as close to rubbish bins and dumps.
Rats start breeding as early as six weeks, as often as four times a year and have litters from between eight and ten babies being born every time! It should therefore not come as a surprise that the rat population is exploding causing infestations.
Rats transmit disease by a person having direct contact with them, their faeces and their urine. People can also become ill by consuming food and water that is contaminated with the faeces and urine of rats and mice, too.
Rats and mice are carriers of parasites including fleas, ticks and live, causing diseases including leptospirosis, Bartonella, food poisoning and plague which, as we know, can affect an entire population. Who can forget the Black Death, which was one of the biggest pandemics in human history, wiping out 200 million people in Eurasia?
Leptospirosis is caused by the urine of rats being in contact with any broken skin of a human or the ingestion of contaminated food.
Bartonella can infect healthy humans when they are bitten by fleas or ticks carried by rats. The disease is particularly harmful to HIV positive individuals who have long-term infections.
Rat bits is a worry in communities – particularly babies and young children when they are sleeping when they bite their noses, fingers or toes or other soft parts on their bodies.
The rat population needs to be discouraged in our communities, though, as getting rid of them is a temporary measure. People preparing food and washing pots in drains and disposing of food in catch pits will encourage the presence of rats and mice.
Scrap food needs to be separated from water and waste should be disposed of correctly. Rat infestations will only be eliminated if sources of food and water are unavailable to them on all levels. Try and get rid of sources of food and water as rats will never eat poison while there are other food sources readily available to them.
DIY eradication of rats and mice just won’t cut it – that is why it is imperative to call on the experts.