Some pests go hand in hand, and often one pest will be the cause of another – it’s just one of those facts about pest control that can’t be avoided. Learn more about some of the more common pest-partnerships you may encounter.
Over the last few years of writing about pests I’ve often addressed the “relationship” they have with the spread of disease, and how most of the pests we protect against have their own special way of introducing health hazards to your premises.
In this blog however, we’ll be listing the relationships different pests have with each other; a Bonnie and Clyde scenario – or in some cases more like Tom & Jerry – with your premises as the stage on which these relationships unfold.
1. Birds and Fleas – The Flying Menace
Birds – such as pigeons – are considered a huge nuisance. They are a nuisance not only to residences, littering your car with their unsightly droppings moments after you’ve just washed it, but to businesses as well. They can cause quite a lot of damage by dislodging roof tiles, blocking guttering, building nests and leaving droppings that corrode building material.
However what many people may not know is that like the Trojan horse that was used by the Greeks to infiltrate the impenetrable city of Troy, birds secretly carry fleas, mites, ticks, lice and other biting insects. So though you may easily “shoo” away a bird upon spotting it, you’re probably unaware that it’s left its partner in crime behind to “finish the job”.
This is why it’s so important to have bird prevention solutions on your premises. Birds bring in far more problems than you may think at first glance.
2. World War C – starring ‘Roach Pitt et al.
Cockroaches are some of the most resilient and resourceful pests you’ll ever find – and in my opinion the most disgusting as well. You’re probably wondering why I chose the heading above. Well, that’s because cockroaches are constantly under threat from a myriad of predators in what may seem like an “us against the world” scenario. I suppose this is what led them to being so hardy.
When out in the open they are often targeted by birds, parasitic wasps, fungi that produce lethal spores that attach to their bodies, and a variety of small reptiles and amphibians.
When indoors they may fall prey to spiders, some ant species, mice, a flying shoe or two and adventurous reptiles and amphibians that aren’t afraid to journey into your premises. Furthermore, should they live long enough to die of old age, pests such as silverfish and beetle larvae are often present to lead the funeral processions – which involve eating left over carcasses.
Therefore, having a cockroach infestation – be it indoors or outside – could turn your premises into an ecological warzone as all sorts of other pests move in.
3. The Great Escape – starring Rat McQueen & Snake Gardner
(real events not based on the book of the same name)
Rats and mice can be very persistent when trying to gain access to your premises, with some species going as far as burying through the ground, jumping from nearby trees to gain access to your roof, or even gnawing through or squeezing under your doors. This is often done with the goal of seeking shelter and food – as they have many natural predators when out in the open.
One of which, if the heading didn’t give it away already, is snakes. Admittedly these may not be so prevalent for those of us that live in the city – however snake encounters are quite common in many parts of South Africa, most especially in farmlands and rural areas. Snakes tend to avoid human activity as a rule of thumb, but in their hunt for the rodent ‘escapees” may find themselves slithering about in search for their prey.
Therefore, should you notice regular snake activity in and around your premises it may indicate that you may have a rat or mice infestation that you may have not dealt with yet.
The importance of integrated pest management
At Rentokil we believe that pest control can only be effective when it’s based firmly in the principles of Integrated pest management (IPM). Integrated pest management employs a combination of practices including comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests, their behaviour, biology, and relationships with their environment ( and other potential pests) to eliminate the root cause of a pest infestation.