Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Hunting for bed-bugs?

They're hard to find

This is what you need to look for.

If you think you've got bed-bugs and want to inspect your bed to confirm it......this is a great example of what you're looking for.

The following video has some excellent close up shots of all stages of the bed-bug life-cycle as well as good examples of faecal specks and moulted shells. This is filmed very close up so to get a good idea of scale, the large adult bed-bugs you're seeing are about the size of an apple seed.

The size of these infestations are quite large, so the signs are quite obvious. For a smaller infestation you would be looking for faecal specks in seams of the mattress........or more likely at the head end of the bed-base in/under wooden slats or if a solid base on the underside of the base in the material seams around the staples.

If you don't find any obvious signs you may still have an infestation but it's probably in the early stages.

We hope this helps and as always, please feel free to give the team a call for advice or to help diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatments.

The team at Bug King/Chimney King              0800 KING KING (54 64 54)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Oh no it's the ants invasion

Everybody seems to be having problems with ants at the moment.

We're getting a high number of calls about ants at the moment. Why?

Well at this time of year the cold wet weather affects the ants food supply. Diminishing food sources outside are making ants forage indoors for substitutes and our high sugar/carbohydrate, high protein foods make an excellent alternative.

In addition to this rain is affecting ants that nest outdoors and forcing them to re-locate somewhere warmer and dryer.......your garden shed, your home and even your car.

As the little pests have started moving inside we've noticed a significant increase in calls about how to get rid of them......and that all depends on the type of ant. There are a number of different species of ant out there and the methods required to exterminate them vary significantly depending on the species. To make this post simpler, we'll target the information to the two which generate 90% of our ant calls;

  1. The white footed house ant.
  2. The black house ant.

White-footed House Ant

The white-footed house ant is hands down the most common invader of Auckland homes. This is because they prefer to live in the walls and ceilings of your home. This is a  lot closer to your food than other ants. Which means a far greater probability the foragers will find it, let the rest of the nest know and.....WHAM an
ant party all over the bench in the morning.

White-footed House Ant
White-footed House Ant
Actual size 3.5mm
When this happens people usually pop down to the local hardware store for some bait. When you do this all that usually happens is you start getting piles of ants on the window sills and under light fittings as the ants throw the ants killed by the bait out of the nest. This is because white-footed house ants feeding habits usually mean only the ants that directly take the bait are killed.

The most effective treatment against white-footed house ants is a slower acting contact treatment that the ants will pick-up on their legs and bodies, track back to the nest and pass it on to all other workers and the queen, eventually exterminating the nest.

We also strongly recommend applying a repellent barrier treatment 1-2 weeks later to stop the territory left by the exterminated ants being taken over by the neighbours ants. Do not....I not apply a barrier treatment before you exterminate the nest. All you will do is trap the ants inside the house and
make the problem much, much worse.

Black House Ant

Black House Ant
Actual size 2.5mm
Another common invader of Auckland homes is the common black house ant. These guys usually live outside but can occasionally be found living in the home. If you get an invasion they'll more than likely be feeding on a sugary liquid (beer, cans of soft drink, etc). We don't get as many calls about these guys as there feeding habits mean baits work a lot better on them, however you will need a lot of bait and I do mean a lot of bait. If you're not to worried about them being outside and just want to stop them getting in the home an external barrier treatment is usually sufficient. Alternatively we can find the nest, kill it and apply a barrier treatment around the perimeter of your property to stop the neighbours ants taking over the vacant territory.

These are the main two that will cause problems, however there is another ant that's becoming an increasing  nuisance. The Argentine Ant. This one is a whole different kettle of fish and I'll blog about this separately.

So in summary.

  • It's getting cold and wet as Winters almost here.
  • This affects the ants food and harbourage, forcing them inside to survive.
  • You may be able to get rid of the black house ants with baits.
  • Your going to need a professional to control white-footed house ants.

As always, if you need any assistance or advice about ant issues, please feel free to call the team at Bug King on 0800 KING KING (54 64 54)

The team at Bug King/Chimney King

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

There's a rat in my kitchen

Bug King got another mention in the NZ Herald today, so......

Seems like a good time for another post.

Today there was an article in the NZ Herald re: the increasing rodent problem in Auckland. You can read it  here

The gist of the article was about the increasing problems with rodents in the home. So, is the rodent population in Auckland increasing?


Is it more noticeable than usual?


Why? Well it's been a long hot summer, which means it's been great breeding conditions for rodents.......but, unfortunately it's also been a very dry summer. Why's this unfortunate? Well rodents, just like us, have 3 basic needs. Food, water and somewhere to live. This summer has provided food and shelter in abundance but because it's been so dry the usual water sources for rodents have dried up. This is forcing them to search for water in places they wouldn't usually frequent this time of year. Pet water bowls, fish ponds, bird baths or even worse indoors. This is why where noticing the unusually high rodent activity now.

Unfortunately things aren't going to improve. When winter finally takes hold the problem is only going to get worse as the abundance of rodents that have bred outside seek shelter from the cold wet weather and start to move indoors.

At Bug King we're predicting a bumper rodent season this winter.

If you need more information about rodents look at the frequently asked questions about rodents at our website here.

As always, if you need any assistance or advice about rodent issues, please feel free to call the team at Bug King on 0800 KING KING (54 64 54)

The team at Bug King/Chimney King

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The top pests for December were.......

There's been a big change in pest activity leading up to the Christmas break.

The holiday break always see's a big increase in calls about;

Number 1: Fleas
These are always a major problem over the Christmas break and it's because Kiwi's love to go away on holiday.

Why flea problems? Well, fleas always prefer to live on your pet but when you're off on holiday you tend to put the fur babies into a cattery/kennels or confine them to the yard. The problem with this is there's nothing for the fleas to feed on while your away......and when you get home they're going to be very, very hungry and not  to picky about their food source. So you'll come back from holiday, walk in door and get covered in fleas as the vibrations of your feet bring them out of hibernation.

It's all to do with the flea life-cycle, for more information click on our blog post here.

Number 2: Flies
Fly populations always explode as the weather warms up, this is due to an increase in their food supply. As the temperature increases so do the calls about fly control.

Treatments for flies are one of the most common requests over the Summer. We're actually very lucky because of our temperate climate. This makes these treatments a very effective means of fly control. In most countries where there are major fly problems, fly treatments aren't effective as temperatures are generally greater than 28 degrees. Temperatures higher than this allow the flies to pass the treatment through their system (metabolise it) before it has a chance to take effect.

Number 3: Spiders
Same as flies, the increase in the spider population over the Summer months is due to an increase in the food source. This year has been no different with spider control coming in at number 3 on the top pest for December list.

There have been reports of an increase in white-tail spider activity (see the New Zealand Herald article here) but at Bug King we're seeing the same level of enquiries as past years.

It's been a very, very busy few months for the team at Bug King and it looks like continuing into January, February. If you're having problem with any of these pests (or any others) don't hesitate to give the team at Bug King a call.

The team at Bug King/Chimney King