Effective pest control starts with a thorough pest inspection
ADVION video education series.
Module 1 of 5: Effective pest control starts with a thorough pest inspection
Inspection techniques tend to follow a similar approach, whether you’re treating a commercial property or a client’s home. The only thing that differs is the biology of the pest you are looking at, which will impact their behaviour and the places you need to search.
Tips on cockroach inspections
Cockroaches hide in places that provide them with shelter, moisture, warmth and food. They are nocturnal and prefer to move around in the darkness, so you probably won’t see them. Look for signs of activity instead, such as faeces spots (which look like coffee stains) and skin shedding.
- Kitchens – behind and under fridges, microwaves, stoves, dishwashers and kitchen cabinets
- Food storage areas – cockroaches eat anything, which means you are likely to find them in in food cupboards, cellars and pantries. Inspect any area where raw or packaged food is stored. To discourage infestations, food waste bins should be secure, and food waste removed from food handling areas.
- Bathrooms – check behind the bathtub, shower, sinks and toilet. Also inspect in and around floor drains by opening the covers and checking the foundation.
- Holes, cracks and crevices – cockroaches aggregate by emitting pheromones. Look in any holes in pipes or dripping joints, between cracks in the floor or walls, behind wall-mounted pictures or clocks, under floor mats and loose wallpaper. Also look for cracks and holes that cockroaches may be using as an entry point.
- Electrical – don’t forget to check in electrical or control areas inside.
Hot tip: When looking in a dark room or area, leave the lights off and use a flashlight to search. Once you find some cockroaches, turn the lights on and watch where they scatter. They should lead you to their harbourage areas.
Tips on ant inspections
Ants have a different biology to cockroaches, which will affect the way you approach them. Remember: you are treating a colony in an environment, not a lone insect. Ants are social creatures which form colonies of up to several thousand or even millions of workers. They are also active both day and night, and continue foraging even when there is movement or human interruption close by. This makes them much easier to trace than cockroaches.
Here are some tips for inspection:
- Look for ant trails or single ants, then follow back to where they start. Trails can vary from a few ants to dozens of ants per minute. Look both outdoors and indoors, inside walls of buildings, in voids and insulation boards.
- As well as trails, look for ant scouts, ingress points and nests. Ant scouts are single ants seen searching for food sources. Once they find food, they lay a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony. An ant nest is often located just behind the entry point.
- Depending on the species, an ants nest can be hidden in the garden or under pavement. Coming from outside, they use small, often hidden entry points into buildings. Pay close attention to overhanging foliage, adjoining structures (decks or pergolas), exterior cracks, gaps, garden beds, entryways and shaded areas that could be a source of food or water.
- Take care to identify the species of ant you are dealing with. This may influence the way you treat them, e.g. if an ant species is polymorphic (a colony with more than one queen) rather than monomorphic, more gel may be required for treatment to be successful.
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