At some time, everyone comes into contact with a variety of household pests. What could be more of a nuisance during the summer, for instance, than the incessant buzzing of mosquitos around your ears when you are trying to sleep – not to mention the intense itching that invariably follows their bite once you’ve finally dozed off? A procession of ants leading from the garden to a poorly sealed pot of your favourite jam can be equally irritating especially if they end up embedded in the contents. Who has not, at some time, opened a packet of mielie-meal only to find it crawling with weevils?
However annoying these encounters may be, such occurrences are still relatively minor when compared with the potential damage that can result from a full-scale infestation. There is no shortage of creatures for which the vital structures of your home may be a tasty snack and, given enough time and sufficiently large numbers, their voracious appetites could result in its collapse. A classic example is the termite. We only see them at the time of year when they mate, spread their wings and take to the skies in search of new accommodation. However, during the remainder of the year, these common pests remain hidden underground where they can access your home and devour everything wooden at their leisure. Since this includes crucial structures such as roof trusses and supporting beams, the consequences could be catastrophic.
However, it is not only the timber in your home that is at risk, despite the similar dietary preferences of other creatures such as ants, borer beetles and fish moth. Your clothes and soft furnishings, where these are manufactured from natural fibres, serve as an irresistible treat for several species of moth including the fish moth. Beneath your feet, as you watch your favourite soapie, that expensive shag pile rug could actually be feeding a vastly extended family of hungry carpet beetles that vacuum cleaning alone will never succeed in evicting.
When rats and mice are at large, it is not only your food supply that is in danger of being consumed or contaminated. Though your children may like to keep them as pets, in their wild state these furry creatures also qualify as pests. Furthermore, their tastes extend well beyond the usual human edibles and can include electrical wiring and plastic pipes which, when gnawed sufficiently could lead, not just to inconvenience, but to fire and flooding.
Ticks and fleas are often carried into the home by the family’s beloved cats and dogs and are happy to make their home wherever it is warm. They can not only be responsible for some irritating bites but, like mosquitos, are also able to carry and to transmit a variety of rather unpleasant parasitic diseases. The stark reality is that if you do not rid yourself of these unwelcome visitors before their numbers are too great you will need the help of a professional pest management officer.
Whoever you select for the task should be chosen with care and should preferably be a registered member of the South African Pest Control Association – you can check this on the website. These skilled professionals will use the latest equipment and appropriate chemicals to rid your home effectively and safely of offending pests.