It’s not clear if this was deliberate on the part of English language developers, but it’s curious that the spellings for ‘pets’ and ‘pest’ are so similar. And indeed, your favourite furry may be quite an annoyance to the person next door, whether it’s your cat’s annoying yowls, your dog’s forages into their yard, or the frustrated caws of your parrot while you’re away at work. On the other hand, some people keep mice, bugs, and even snakes as pets, so enough said.
There isn’t any one creature that we all agree is pesky. Well, maybe bedbugs. You might have thought about crickets (who can sleep through the noise?) but it’s actually a popular pet in China. Some people even keep crickets as a kind of guard bug. They make noise constantly but go quiet when someone approaches, so that’s one way to catch teenagers sneaking in past curfew. It only works if you’re awake though. Otherwise you wouldn’t notice the silence.
Domestic guests aside, some pests are pretty easy to spot. Ants, for example. They’re a common target for pest control in Brisbane, and their trains are hard to miss. If you do a Google search, you’ll find people claiming they’re ‘easy to get rid of’ and offering all kinds of solutions from wiping your windows with vinegar to lighting eucalyptus and citrus incense … which seems more like casting a spell than pest control.
Tougher Than It Looks!
If you’ve actually tried any of those home remedies, you know it’s NOT ‘as seen on TV’. For one thing, the ants keep coming. And unless you bleach your kitchen before bed every night, there’s always that one sticky droplet you overlooked, and it will call out to those ants like a bat signal, leaving the same tell-tale ant-trail to greet you next morning. To truly get rid of ants, you need to find their houses and destroy the problem from there.
Pest inspections are good at this, and calling them is a lot more palatable than wandering around with a flashlight trying to find an ant mound. Ant inspections can help your exterminators spot termites as well. They (the termites, not the ant inspectors) can chew through a foot of wood in less than six months, so by the time your walls are hollowed out (a popular home test for termites), then your home is pretty close to crumbling.
And once the termite colony has grown to that size – or worse, when you have competing colonies in different parts of your house, it can become a real problem. To be safe, have an insect inspector visit your home two or three times a year. Some exterminators will throw in free evaluations before they give you a quotation. The really good ones understand pests come back – not just termites, but bigger ones too. So as part of their pest control package they’ll throw in some repeat visits just to be sure the pest problem doesn’t recur.
Reptiles And Larger Rodents
You’d think the bigger ones would be harder to spot, but that’s not always the case. Possums – for example – can hide in nearby trees, or in your ceiling. You’ll rarely spot them during the day, but after lights out, they’ll raid your kitchens and garbage bins, causing all kinds of havoc. And because Aussies aren’t as gun-happy as our American cousins, we’re a lot less likely to set up a sniper post and shoot possum for breakfast. Besides which, possums are a protected species in Australia, so shooting one could land you in jail.
And no, it doesn’t mean you can stab, hang or poison them instead. You need a licensed exterminator (with a valid possum permit) to get rid of them. Even the exterminators themselves aren’t allowed to kill possums. They can only trap them and relocate them to safer areas. But first, you have to spot the possum posse. Other common pests in Brisbane include spiders, fleas, cockroaches, wasps, and bees. These might nest in your house (or inside kitty’s fur), or build a base nearby and forage your home during day trips (or rather, night trips).
The average pest will give some kind of indicator of their presence. Pawprints in the floor, bites and welts on your body, dropping on the window sill, strange sounds in the night. But without an expert eye, it can be difficult to tell. Just as an example, mouse droppings are cockroach droppings are eerily similar. As yes, there are really tiny mice and really massive roaches, so no, size doesn’t matter. (Pro tip: rat/mouse dropping are pointy and twisty at the end.) So to avoid putting out roach poison and killing your escaped pet mouse instead, bring in the professionals for pest assessment, rodent registration, and termite inspection in Brisbane.