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The three principal types of termites found in South Africa are Cryptotermes brevis, which is able to live completely inside timber structures and articles such as furniture, Microtermes spp (miniature termites), which are subterranean, and Harvester termites (Hodotermes mossambicus), which are also subterranean and infest fields and lands, but may also be found in buildings.
These termites are the most destructive and frequently encountered kind of termite found throughout the country. Although they sometimes nest in soil, termites can attack structures by building tubes that connect their nest to wood in structures. Aerial nests can sometimes occur without a ground connection if all castes of the colony are present and moisture is available.
Termites are insects that can invade and damage structures. They constantly forage for sources of cellulose and can enter a structure through a gap as small as 0.3 mm. Sources of cellulose can be structural wood, floors, kitchen cupboards, finished wood, skirting boards, roof timber, paper covering of drywall, books, records, stored products, furniture, grass bark and many other wood or paper based products. Termite feeding on these materials can cause hundreds of thousands of rands of damage in a short period.
Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies whose tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) pierce the hosts’ skin to consume blood.
Though the loss of blood is seldom of any importance to the victim, the saliva of the mosquito often causes an irritating rash that is a serious nuisance. Much more serious though, are the roles of many species of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.
Mosquito treatment is usually an integrated effort involving source reduction plus the use of chemical control products when needed. Since mosquitoes develop in water, source reduction targets and eliminates water sources favorable for mosquito breeding. While source reduction is the more effective long-term approach to mosquito treatment, the mosquito treatment plan may require using chemical products to supplement source reduction.
Cockroaches are an ancient group insects of the order Blattodea, which also includes termites. About 30 cockroach species out of 4,600 are associated with human habitats. About four species are well known as pests.
They are common and hardy insects and can tolerate a wide range of environments from Arctic cold to tropical heat. Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger than temperate species.
Finding cockroaches in your home or business can be very distressing. As known carriers of diseases such as Salmonella, Dysentery & Gastro-enteritis, exposure to this pest also poses significant health risks. Increases in eczema and asthma have even been linked to cockroach droppings.
Cockroaches are very tough insects and their ability to breed rapidly makes professional treatment essential to control any infestation. Only expert products and solutions are powerful enough to eliminate all stages of their lifecycle.
If you have noticed an unpleasant, lingering odor under sinks, behind appliances or in store cupboards, it’s time to check for signs of cockroaches.
Once an infestation is established, cockroaches can spread quickly to neighboring properties. This makes prompt action at the first signs of activity critical to enable fast and effective control.
Rats & Rodents
Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that, like humans, can be found throughout the world. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing and check teeth, which are adapted for chewing. Rodents chew on a variety of items available to them and cause great damage in and around homes.
Rodents’ biology and habits can make them challenging to control, and they present a serious menace to your home. If you’re in need of rodent control services, here’s what you should know about these pests:
Instincts: Rats are instinctively wary of things new to their environment, including rat control measures such as traps and bait, and colonize in attics, burrows, under concrete and porches, in wall voids and other hard-to-reach places.
Disease: Rats can harbor and transmit a number of serious diseases. They can also introduce disease-carrying parasites such as fleas and ticks into your home.
Access: They invade your home seeking food, water and warmth.
Contamination: Each mouse can contaminate much more food than it eats.
Fleas are small flightless insects that are external parasites of warm-blooded animals, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds. The adults are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and usually brown. They are flattened sideways to enable them to move through their host’s fur or feathers and have strong claws to prevent themselves from being dislodged. They are wingless insects, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood and hind legs adapted for jumping. They can leap a distance of some 50 times their body length, a feat second only to jumps made by froghoppers. The larvae are worm-like with no limbs; they have chewing mouthparts and feed on organic debris.
There are several things you can do to get rid of fleas if you catch the problem early enough. Here’s our to-do list for a flea-free home:
Before you do anything else vacuum carpets, furnishings, cracks in the floorboards and upholstered furniture. This will not only get rid of adult fleas but also their eggs and larvae. The larvae feed on adult flea feces and other organic matter, which collects in things like carpets and rugs. Removing this source of food is an important step.
Empty your vacuum cleaner very carefully away from the house because the fleas will still be alive.
Groom your pets regularly with a flea comb and wash their beds every week (ideally at 50°c or above).
If your pet is scratching or biting its fur you should talk to your vet. They can recommend the best flea sprays or powders to use to treat your pet.
If the fleas keep coming back, or you want to ensure complete removal, just contact Pest Guru.
Ants are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.
Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals.
Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands.
Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings.
Ant populations are managed by a combination of approaches that make use of chemical, biological and physical methods. Chemical methods include the use of insecticidal bait which is gathered by ants as food and brought back to the nest where the poison is inadvertently spread to other colony members through trophallaxis.