TREATING TERMITES

My wife is pregnant. How do we protect our home without jeopardizing the baby?

There are several ways to protect your home from a termite attack. In situations where a pregnancy is involved, we suggest that you consider a non-toxic bait station option. Bait stations are very effective and there is absolutely no risk to your family, pets or the environment. The bait we use is actually less toxic than table salt?

You’ve put bait stations in the ground, what happens if we want to do work in our garden?

The beauty of the bait station system is that they can easily be moved. However, the stations would have been located in the most ideal position to intercept the termites, so if work is being carried out please let us know so that we can reinstall the stations accordingly. It’s also necessary to add more termite attractant to the soil surrounding the stations – which we will do for you at the same time.

Which chemical is the best for my home?

There are a dozen factors that come into consideration when determining the best treatment option for a home. At the end of the day, it boils down to one important question: ‘can we achieve a continuous barrier’? The construction, and surroundings of a home will determine this factor. Giving a quote sight unseen is irresponsible as it could result in you paying more than the job is worth. More importantly, it could mean that you are having a treatment done which is not sufficient for protecting your home from a termite attack.
We need to determine if it’s possible for termites to still attack after a treatment is installed. Chemicals fall into one of two categories – either repellent or a non-repellent. The difference is simply this; with repellent, the termites can detect the substance and stay away, whereas a non-repellent chemical is undetectable. In this case, the termites forage through it and die. If we believe that we can achieve a full continuous barrier then a repellent chemical (Biflex) is sufficient. Just as termites can detect a repellent, they can also detect where it is not in place. This means that if there is a gap in the barrier, it’s possible that termites could still attack your home. If a full barrier is not possible, then it’s best to go for a non-repellent (Termidor) option or have bait stations installed.

How do we know if the existing treatment was done properly?

You can always elect to have a soil sample done to determine if there is a barrier in place,. However, there are several other key factors that you can investigate to determine if the job was done properly.  If there are signs of inaccuracies in the treatment, then chances are you still need to have a professional company protect your home.
1.   Drill holes – The variance in treatment methods between companies is vast.  Many companies will drill holes between 200-800mm apart.   Just simply reading the product label will help you determine if the job was done properly.  If you had a Termidor treatment carried out on your property, the drill holes should be no more than 200mm apart.  If you had Bifenthrin or a Biflex product used on your home, then the drill holes should be no more than 300mm apart.  If your drill holes are further apart than the legally binding label states, then we suggest you contact your pest control company to have them explain.
2.   Paper Documentation – Has the company provided you with a certificate of treatment explaining what was treated, what couldn’t be treated, and what risks still occur on your property?  Has the company placed a notice of treatment in your meter box?  Has the company provided you with a copy of their licence, their qualifications, their insurance, their PestCert accreditation certificate?

TREATING COCKROACHES

Will I have to empty my cupboards?

This will depend on the species of cockroach infesting your home as well as the amount of cockroaches you have. There are numerous products available for treating cockroaches ranging from airborne fumigants or pest bomb to a localized gel. The chemical sprays that we use in food preparation areas will require you to empty the cupboards. Sprays usually have quicker results, so if possible, emptying your cupboards prior to our arrival will save time and give you the best result.

What if I am pregnant and we have a bad cockroach infestation?

There are a couple of options available to you. We can treat your home with products which only last for four to six hours and give excellent results. After this time, there is no chemical residue left as it biodegradable, and breaks down very quickly. When pregnant, we always recommend that you leave the home for a period of at least 24 hours. This is for your safety, as your safety is our greatest concern.
Alternatively we can place a cockroach gel in the cracks and crevices around the area that the cockroaches are inhabiting. Without any airborne chemicals, there is no health risk to you or your baby. However, the gel works by attracting the cockroach to the bait source and then, when they consume the bait, the cockroach dies. In our experience, this method of treatment usually only works with small infestations.

Do over-the-counter baits work?

Usually people will call us after they’ve spent a lot of money on baits and found that they didn’t eliminate the problem. Do you know where to put the baits? Do you know what everyday products used around the house will render these baits ineffective?
In our experience, these baits only work if there is a very small infestation, if they are placed in the correct locations, if the house is free of all forms of aerosols and if the environment is kept clean of other food residue (other competing food sources). Remember, if you see more than one cockroach the chances are that your infestation is a lot larger than you think and spending money on baits may be a waste of time and money. The worst case we’ve had was a client who spent over $500 over twelve months on over-the-counter products. We killed over 1,000 cockroaches, and this was after they used a lot of over the counter bait.

TREATING SPIDERS

Should I knock down all the spider webs prior to the treatment?

Absolutely not! Certain species will consume their web which gives us a massive advantage in eliminating spiders around your home. Spiders do not spend all of their time in their web so it’s possible that the spider itself will not be present when the treatment is carried out. This is okay, as we will spray each web during our treatment and then when the spider eventually returns to it’s web, it’s days are numbered. If you want the best result possible around your home, please do not touch any of the webs prior to our treatment. In fact, we strongly recommend that you keep the webs up for a period of 7-10 days after the treatment.

Is it true that funnel-web spiders are not found in WA?

Last year we found at least a half dozen homes where funnel-web spiders were located. They are certainly a threat in Perth and should be taken seriously.

When is the best time of year to have my home sprayed for spiders?

Normally the best time to treat for spiders is whenever you see them. Redback spiders, for example, are no less poisonous in winter than in summer. We strongly recommend that you have your home treated in spring and then again once spiders start to reappear. Many people spray early in the summer months as a once-a-year treatment, but spiders will venture inside during winter, so it’s important to treat the home in April as well to eliminate them from gaining access to the inside of your home. Over 90% of the calls that we receive in winter regarding spiders is due to Redbacks being found in a child’s bedroom.

What do we need to do prior to a spider treatment?

The main concern for you is to identify those items you do not want any chemical spray to get on. Ensure that pet bowls (especially water bowls) are brought inside. Children’s toys should be gathered into the middle of the lawn as far away from any spider areas as possible and then covered with a drop sheet. It’s also important that you ensure your clothes are off of the clothesline, as this is an ideal forage area for spiders. Fish ponds must be fully covered, and we ask that you double cover the fish pond as fish do not appreciate the spider chemicals. As a general rule of thumb, anything you don’t want sprayed, should be covered or brought inside. If that’s not possible, just be sure to advise us when we arrive so that we can avoid the area concerned. If you have any edible vegetables, herb garden or fruit trees we ask that you cover them prior to our arrival.

Will the spray ruin my plants and fruit trees?

All the chemicals that we use are biodegradable. They will not have any effect on your plants or fruit trees. However, as a general rule of thumb, we do not spray in the areas where edible vegetables or fruit are found. We ask that you cover them prior to our arrival.

TREATING RATS AND MICE

Are my pets at risk?

There are several different kinds of rodent bait to choose from and we have some that are less toxic than others. What this means is that the lethal dose (amount of bait required to kill the rodent) is generally greater, meaning the less toxic the bait, the longer it takes for the rodent to die. If it is likely that a cat or dog will eat a dead or sick rodent, please let us know prior to arriving on site so that we can bring enough non-standard bait with us. There is also the option of having non-chemical traps, glue boards, etc. Be sure to mention your fears of endangering pets when you phone, as this can alter the quote. SWATAPEST uses plastic tamper-resistant bait boxes for all its rodent bait. These stations require a special key to open which means that children, pets, or 3rd parties cannot gain access to the bait.

Do we get a copy of the bait box unlocking key?

Our company policy is designed around the safety of you, your family and your pets, and therefore the answer is ‘No’. We have put into place policies and procedures designed to ensure that no person or pet will be harmed from our treatments. The one time we did give a client a key, they opened the bait box, noticed that half the bait was eaten and decided to add some more over-the-counter bait and whilst he was in his shed, the family dog ate the bait that was in the box. Unfortunately the much loved family hound later died. So it is with your own safety in mind that we do not allow any 3rd party access to our bait and have elected not to give out the keys. We will however offer a 12 month service of regularly checking the baits to ensure there is adequate bait in the boxes. We endeavor to always consider your safety as a first priority.

I hear noises in the roof; can I treat them myself?

Yes, of course you can treat them yourself, but before you do please understand the difference between we can do for you vs treating yourself. You will probably find claims on the packages on any over-the-counter bait that state it’s the same active as the professionals use. This is indeed true however, the main difference is the additives. If a rodent eats the standard poison you can purchase in hardware stores and supermarkets, when they die in the roof, or in between the cavity walls or under the house, you will have a distinct smell for approximately two weeks – unless you can gain access to the dead rodent and eliminate it yourself quick enough. That distinct smell is the rodent actually decaying. You may find a surgence of flies, bees, magots, etc in your house during this time. With the products that we use, in most instances they will die away from the home. If they do expire in your home, you will often have no smell at all, or at the most a lesser odour for no more than a couple days.
Another thing to consider is the placement of the baits. Often we will go to places where the homeowner has tried setting the baits themselves and we find that they’ve put the bait in all the wrong places. Rodents like to feel safe and they will generally not venture out to an area they have not been before, unless you make that environment safe. Another difference is the attractiveness in the baits that we use. Rodents can smell our baits from some distance and seek them out. In our experience this is not generally the case with products purchased over the counter.

We own a commercial premises, can you help us?

Absolutely, in fact one of our directors specilises in commercial rodent control. One of the greatest challenges that commercial premises face, is the damage side to rodents. Rats chewing through electrical cabling, contamination of food or storage containers. We have a client in Perth where rodents had chewed through the boxes of all their large screen LCD TV’s in the storage room, causing thousands of dollars in damages. SWATAPEST has access to all of the latest technologies, including attracting rodents to our baits from up to 1km away. We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can help remove any rodent threat to your premises.

TREATING FLIES

With the fly traps that SWATAPEST sell, what is the best attractant for flies?

We have found that chicken bones work well as long as you leave a little meat on them. However, they generally don’t start working until the meat starts to smell. Raw meats, liver, fish, steak, or mince also work well. However with the mince, it can depend on the fat content in the meat as fat actually appears to be a bit of a barrier. Any time you have rotten meat that you would normally throw away, chop it in pieces, keep it in the freezer and put a new piece out every couple of days. If you can catch hundreds of flies then at least you got something out of it. Fresh animal excrement also works extremely well but that can be a little disgusting for most people. When we were trialing the fly traps, we always used to put the meat juice/blood into the base of the trap every time we had a BBQ. This was by far one of the better attractants for fly catching – in some cases hundreds in a day. Other good attractants can be molasses, eggs, beer, or brewer’s yeast.

If you are trying to catch fruit fly, just put in some fruit juice or some rotting fruit. It’s also important to note that different species will inhabit different areas, so bait that works well in one area may not be as productive in another area, so be sure to experiment to find what works best for the flies in your area.
It’s always important to use fresh bait regularly and keep the bait as wet as possible for best results.

How many flies will my fly trap catch?

This depends on the type of bait used, and how often you add fresh bait.  We’ve experienced catching hundreds of flies in each trap each day and this was in an area where we were told there wasn’t really a bad fly problem.  If flies are a real issue, it may be a good idea to put several fly traps around the area.
Fly traps can be purchased from SWATAPEST  for only $40.00
To order please call  SWATAPEST on 9313 8484

After we put in a fly trap, does that mean we will not have any more flies coming into our house?

You will have a reduction – how much of a reduction will obviously depend on the availability for flies to come inside. If all your windows have screens and the house is well shut up, then chances are, those pesky flies that follow you inside will greatly diminish in number. If your home is open and they can come and go, then whilst you will certainly have less, you will still have the odd few coming inside. If this is the case we would strongly recommend that you put up 2-5 fly traps around your home to give you the best level of protection possible.