Pest Control Guide

Your Guide To Pest Management – Victoria

Pest Control Guide

In this pest control guide we will explore various aspects of pest management, prevention techniques. We will also cover areas of pest licenses, and DIY pest control procedures.

What Is Pest Control?

Pest control is a process of managing or eliminating a variety of pests that can prove to be detrimental to a person’s health. Effective pest control generally involves removing these unwanted elements from our homes, schools, offices, public buildings, and other places by using appropriate types of pesticides or insecticides. It also involves taking preventive measures to ensure that pests do not infest the living spaces again.

Importance of Pest Control

Pests are responsible for destroying many contents of homes and buildings. It is estimated that termites alone cause damage worth billions that are not covered by any material and home insurance.

Pests can often transmit diseases and deadly disease-causing organisms that can cause hepatitis A, Murray Valley encephalitis, dengue fever, gastroenteritis, trachoma, etc. Hundreds and thousands of people are rushed to the hospital every year because of insect bites and stings. Rodents carry deadly fleas and ticks that have the capability of spreading diseases. They consume or contaminate a vast amount of world’s total food supply. Rodents infesting a home can be the cause of fire because they often chew into wires and spill inflammable substances.

Without pest management, it is estimated that pests could destroy food crops worth 50% of the total production. It is also interesting to note that around 7 to 8% of the general population around the world is allergic to cockroaches. A recent survey found that allergens spread by cockroaches count as the third highest contributor of asthma in children.

Bed bugs are also a common problem that many households face. It is reported that this pests has made a resurgence around the world due to increased international travel and ineffective pest treatment practices.

Professional Pest Control Procedures

Professional pest control technicians will generally use five different stages when treating a property:

1. Inspection: The first step involves hiring a professional pest inspector who will thoroughly check the property for the signs of pest infestation. This process may take time depending upon the extent of infestation and size of the property.

2. Identification: Eliminating pests becomes problematic if the species is not identified. Professional pest management personnel will use various methods of identification so that they can determine which form of pest elimination method would work the best.

3. Analysis: Once the pests have been properly identified, the inspector would try and find causes of pest infestation. Is it because of accumulated junk? Or is it because of the foul smell coming from a certain area of the house? The key finding the ideal choice of technique lies in the answer to these questions.

4. Treatment: Depending on the analysis findings, the inspector will decide what kind of treatment would be more suitable for complete elimination. Usually, chemical treatments are used as a last resort when all the options have failed to produce the desired results.

5. Monitoring: Pest management and control is an ongoing process, and constant surveillance ensures long-term results. A professional pest technician can provide regular checkups for sanitation issues or other things that may cause pests to re-infest so that appropriate preventive measures can be adopted.

Speaking of pest treatments, these are some of the most effective and widely used methods :

 > Fumigation fogging: This is a method that it is mostly employed to treat severe infestations. The chemical known as pyrethrum insecticide is emitted out of a specialised fogging equipment which can flush out bedbugs, cockroaches, and other nasty pests from their hiding places.

 > Space treatment: This method is quite is similar to fumigation, except here liquid insecticides are used in fogging applicators. In this approach, there is no need to seal an entire room or house for the insecticide to be effective.

 > Spray treatment: This is a method that involves spraying poisonous chemicals through hand-held sprayers. It is one of the most common treatments used to eradicate or manage mosquito levels and other pests that affect crops.

 > Using repellents: This is another common method used by many to keep away rats or other types of rodents. It has gained popularity because of the use of non-toxic chemicals like balsam fir oil obtained from trees.

Pest Inspections

The importance of regular pest inspections can never be undermined because it can help ward off deadly pests that can have a tremendous impact on one’s property or their health. Pest inspection is also common when people are looking to buy new property. Inspection helps to protect their investment as a property that has been damaged by pest infestation would generally cost a lot less. A professional pest inspector can assist in keeping one’s house clear from infestations by rats, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, termites, carpet beetles, and other types of unwanted elements. Most of the time, problems related to pests are not visible to the untrained eye, and there arises the need to hire an expert inspector to properly check out the entire property.

Does a Pest Controller Need to be Licensed?

Yes! A pest controller in Australia must have a licence to operate a business related to pest control. All exterminators must have a pest management license, which may be either their own or belonging to their employer. Even though there is no national pest license in Australia, all territories and states have different regulations and requirements for obtaining a licence. Working without an appropriate license can attract fines up to $ 5000.

Pest Management Licenses In VIC

1. Overview

Pest Management Technician Licence in Victoria is issued by the Victorian Department of Health, Victorian Department of Environment, land, water and planning (DELWP), and Worksafe Victoria. The requirement of licensing in the pest industry has been implemented to protect the consumers, pest control operators (PCOs), the general public, and the environment from the adverse effects of pesticides.

2. How to apply?

Application for pest control licenses can be applied in three different ways depending upon the type the applicant wants to apply for. It is a two-step process that involves:

  • A completed application and other relevant documentation have to be submitted to the proper department. Once the application has been processed, the department will ask for a fee for such prescribed license and send it to the applicant.
  • If for any reason, payment is not received within 48 days from the time the request for payment was generated, the application will be abandoned, and the applicant has to reapply.

3. Eligibility criteria for a pest controller

The eligibility criteria for a pest controller requires a person to meet these following requirements:

  •  Hold a full license as pest management technician or must employ someone who has the licence.
  • Must have adequate knowledge of the related regulations and practices that must be followed while conducting the business of pest management.
  • Must have the appropriate equipment necessary for work.

4. Eligibility criteria for a pest management personnel

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, pest control licences are granted to individuals who have attained or are in the process of attaining an appropriate qualification that is relevant to this profession.

To qualify for the full license, an applicant must have obtained a qualification listed in the schedule 2 of the PHW regulations. The licence shall only be granted with the following authorisations:

  • Pesticides formulated strictly for the treatment of pest animals
  • Pesticides formulated for controlling rodents, arthropods, fungi, birds, which are used to manage pests that are not pest animals
  • Pesticides that are in the form of fumigants

The licence gives authorisation for use of only the pesticide that they are qualified and experienced in handling.

Applications can be submitted through the Victorian Government portal here.

What Are Pesticides?

A pesticide is said to be a substance or a mixture of various elements that can be used to eliminate, suppress, or modify the life cycle of any pest. Pesticide use should be closely monitored. The chemicals are use to directly or indirectly:

  • Destroy, repel, stupefy, or prevent infestation by attacks of, any pest relating about plant, thing, or a place; or
  • Kill a plant; or
  • Modify the plant physiology so as to order its natural growth, quality, productivity, and capacity for reproduction; or
  • Change individual effects of another chemical product related to agriculture; or
  • Attract pests for the purpose of eliminating it

Pesticide Poisoning

Exposure to harmful pesticides for longer periods can lead to detrimental health effects. Most chemical pesticides affect the nervous system, and the effects can range from mild to severe poisoning. Pesticides may enter one’s body in a variety of ways – through the skin, by inhalation, or by ingestion. Some of the common symptoms ranging from mild to extreme poisoning are dizziness, headache, irritation of the skin, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, excessive celebration, rapid pulse, excessive perspiration, muscular coordination, loss of reflexes, chemical burns on the skin, unconsciousness, and even death. Due to the toxic nature of pesticides, it is essential that people take precautionary methods of protecting themselves from harmful exposure ingestion of these chemicals.

Common Pesticides Used in Australia

Some chemical products or group of chemicals that are considered pesticides under NSW legislation are:

Fungicides: This pesticide has properties that can destroy and regulate fungus.

Bactericides: These destroy, prevent, or suppress the spread of bacteria.

Baits: These are products that have to be mixed foodstuff to manage a certain pest.

Herbicides: These compounds prevent, suppress, and destroy spread of unwanted natural vegetation like the spread of weed.

Rodenticides: As the name implies, these are chemicals used for controlling rodents like rats and mice.

Repellents: While these chemicals cannot eliminate pests, we can be used to repel insects like mosquitoes, cockroaches, etc.

Nonchemical Pest Treatments

Use of chemicals is not the only way toremove pests because there are organic methods as well. Most organic methods make use of natural enemies of a particular pest that biologically interferes with their capability to breed. Fishes that are native to Australia are often used to eliminate mosquito larvae that exist in water bodies. The beetle is also used to break down cow feces so that the place does not turn into a breeding ground for flies. Biological products have been partially successful in the field of pest control, which can be demonstrated by the fact that BTI was once used to limit the spread of mosquito larvae. Pests can also be controlled by other methods like trenching, baiting, dusting, reticulation, or by the creation of barriers.

Tips For Pesticide Safety

Pesticides should always be handled with care. They can be dangerous is not used correctly. You can find out more information through Better health which has comprehensive information on home pest management procedures.

  • Always read the instructions carefully and use the product only as directed. Never use more than the recommended amount and be sure to take all safety precautions.
  • Mixing of pesticides can lead to a potentially harmful chemical reaction that may affect a person’s health.
  • Always remember to store the pesticide in its original container. Seal the lid firmly and store it in a higher place where the children cannot reach them.
  • Never store pesticides into food and drink containers as others can make a mistake and consume it.
  • Wear protective clothing and accessories while handling pesticides.
  • Washing hands is mandatory after handing toxic pests.

 

DIY Pest Control

DIY pest control simply translates to various ‘Do-It-Yourself’ methods of controlling pests that does not require the services of a pest control professional, and can be carried out by the homeowner. DIY methods are highly useful mostly in the initial stages of infestation as mild chemicals can have the desired effects on the pests.

Advantages

  • DIY methods for pest control use products that can be found in regular stores
  • One does not have to go through the tedious process of finding a good pest expert
  • Since the products are easily available in stores, it costs less money than hiring a pest management company
  • There are various environment friendly DIY methods available

Disadvantages

  • A certain degree of knowledge about DIY products are required
  • Not all DIY methods are environmental friendly, and they can cause damage if not used properly.

DIY Pest Products

Most DIY kits contain products to eliminate or deter ants, termites, bedbugs, cockroaches, mice, and other types of pest that may interest someone’s property. Some essential oils and components like citronella, lemon eucalyptus, the tree, peppermint, and also be used to concoct a mixture that can keep pests at bay.

Common Pests in VIC

 > Cockroaches: one of the most common pests in Victoria is the cockroach, and several species of cockroach infest houses across the state.

 > Ants: Ants are common all around Australia and tend to infest buildings and other surroundings.

 > Fleas: Fleas are often spread through cats, dogs, and other sorts of domestic animals. These pests have different life cycles.

 > Spiders: Spiders are also common in and around Victoria, and the best method of controlling them is preventing their entry into the house.

 > Bed bugs: These are relatively common pests and can be treated using a combination of chemicals and nonchemical components.

> Rodents: The most common species often found in Victoria are the house rat, roof rat, and Norway rat.

How to Find a Good Pest Expert

Two important things that one should take into consideration for finding a good pest expert are their reputation and experience. Most well-established pest services in Victoria already have an established background, which they have developed through years of excellent customer service. These experts have the appropriate licensing to carry out pest control and elimination, which makes them a reliable to be hired for all sorts of infestation problems. The best ways to narrow down a professional exterminator is by doing a quick look at online search or by seeking advice from other family members, friends, or relatives to find out about an efficient pest controller.. One can make use of reviews, referrals, Yellow Pages, and Local Government Licensing websites to find a professional pest control agency.

Conclusion

Pest prevention and monitoring is not easy as some people think it is; there are a lot of complications and considerations pest control experts take into account before heading out to do their job. The variety of pests in around Victoria, like rodents, bedbugs, cockroaches, spiders, etc. can be treated by DIY methods in the initial infestation stages but later on a person has to approach certified professionals who are experienced in dealing with pest elimination. Pesticides have to be handled carefully because most synthetically created compounds are toxic and can cause extensive damage to a person’s health if they are not used properly.

Article published by Frank Townsend from iPest Control Melbourne