25 Jul 2011
It’s not nice to think about (let alone say), but vermin are still a domestic reality in all parts of the country. Household critters have been discussed on the news a bit lately, so what better times to talk about rats, mice, cockroaches and other creepy crawlers and what can be done to guard against them? Here’s a quick guide, no matter what your living situation is.
If you’re renting…
In most states, once you have signed the lease you are responsible for ensuring that new infestations of pests don’t occur. If you notice signs of infestation when you move into a new property, tell the property manager straight away. If you only need to deal with a small scale problem (like a minor cockroach problem in a built up area) then it’s often best to bomb or bait the area yourself.
If you’re renting an apartment in town, be aware that vigilance is crucial – pest control should become part of everyday life. Dirty dishes, unemptied bins and leaking taps are all invitations to unwanted guests. In high-risk areas like the kitchen and bathroom, consider leaving cockroach
baits full-time – and don’t forget to change them regularly.
If you’re buying…
A pest inspection is an important part of the buying process. It allows you to establish the current state of the property and could influence your decision to proceed.
If the house you’re purchasing is a bit of a ‘fixer-upper’ then try to take minor problems that don’t affect its integrity in your stride; if you can fix it with baits or professional treatment, then what may turn other buyers off could snag you a bargain. Of course, if termites or wood borers
are present you might want to reconsider the purchase – there’s no point buying a house that will become structurally unsound and a financial black hole.
If you’re a home-owner…
For a lot of home owners, the feeling of discomfort upon discovering another family (especially a vermin one) living under their roof is unrivalled in its ‘ick’ factor. Whilst the temptation may be to get your hands on as many poisons and traps as humanly possible, it’s worthwhile to think of alternative options – particularly if you have curious children or pets. For small numbers of mice, consider humane traps; your house guest could be a confused native bush rat
A special note about possums…
Sometimes, particularly in leafy areas, the sound in your roof could be a native species such as an endangered ringtail possum
. This is one of many reasons that you should consult a professional when it comes to ceiling infestations, as our rare varieties of possum are to be valued and preserved – even when they’re breeding in our roof!