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The two major pest ants in the Greater Wellington Region are the White-footed Ant and the Argentine Ant. The White-footed ant is called “White-Footed” because the extremities of its feet are pale white under a magnifier. It is a little black ant which has many nests throughout the structural cavities of a building. It generally prefers to feed in gardens, mainly from the secretions of aphids and scale insects. Often when its food source is disrupted by the weather it enters living and work spaces looking for alternative sources of food. The Argentine Ant is slightly smaller and is yellowish brown in colour. It usually nests outside, and raids buildings for food.
For more information on the treatment of ants, visit the Antman website
Bed bugs feed on the blood of sleeping people at night. During the day, they hide in dry, dark sites normally not too far from their feeding places. They are not known to transfer germs when they bite, but the bites cause strong irritation, scratching and consequently infections. Bed bugs travel with luggage or second-hand furniture.
There are 3 main groups of these insects: Honey bees, Bumble bees and native bees. They are not normally pests, but when they are found in the wrong place they may cause issues. We do our best to educate people about bees. In some situations we can relocate them.
Sparrows, pigeons, starlings and seagulls can sometimes be considered a nuisance under certain circumstances. The droppings they leave behind are unsightly in commercial and residential buildings alike, and they can cause damage to products and property, as well as being a safety and health liability or slip hazard to people.
Wood boring insects invade and damage wooden furniture as well as structural and cosmetic wood inside buildings. The beetle larvae feed in, and do most of the damage to wood. The adult beetles later emerge through round exit holes, which they create by chewing through the wood surface.
The German Cockroaches mainly infest kitchens in homes and businesses. They tend to nest in cracks and crevices, in electrical appliances and carry lots of germs. The native wood cockroaches and Gisborne cockroaches normally live outside houses in cracks and crevices, but may also enter dwellings and become pests when they do so.
There are 2 types of Fabric Pests, the larvae of which damage fabrics. These are the carpet beetles and the clothes moths. A few other insects such as silverfish and cockroaches can also feed on fabrics, but tend to do so only infrequently.
The 3 flea species are the Cat flea, the Dog flea and the Human flea. The Cat and Dog fleas are the most common and are particularly noticeable after the loss of a pet. The Human flea often occurs in crowded households where some basic housekeeping practices have been neglected, or they can even be transmitted with people to other houses and work places.
Households and businesses have to deal with many groups of flies: Blowflies are the most common and diverse group and range from 6 to 14 mm in length. The common housefly is becoming more common because of warming weather. The lesser house fly is smaller than the common housefly, and is best known for its habit of entering buildings and circling near the centre of rooms. We also have the vinegar flies, fruit flies and drain flies.
The House mouse is found in and around homes and commercial structures, as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. Mice can sometimes transmit diseases, contaminate food and damage food packaging.
The house dust mite has been associated with a range of respiratory and dermatological allergies including asthma and eczema. The main component of dust is shed skin flakes, which is the mite’s preferred food source. Areas around the home that are heavily used, such as beds and upholstered furniture, will have higher mite populations.
A variety of different insects attack cereals, flour, herbs, spices, chocolate, dried fruits and similar items in our homes. Some of these insects may be present but go unnoticed. These pests are usually not noticed in the home until they become abundant.
Possums are a major threat to a wide range of native plants and animals. They may also spread bovine tuberculosis. Possums frequently damage plants and trees in suburban gardens, and they even manage to enter commercial and residential buildings.
Rats are amongst the most damaging pests in New Zealand. They consume and contaminate food, damage structures and property, and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. They are often found in and around homes and other buildings, farms, gardens, and open fields. Rats (just like possums), are a major threat to native plants and animals. The main species we are dealing with are the Roof Rats (also known as Ship or black rats) and the Sewer Rat (Water and Norwegian Rats).
Some spiders favour humidity and are therefore found in the damp parts of buildings such as sub-floors, crawl spaces, and under decks. A good example is the Tunnel Web spider which lives in damp areas, but often ventures inside houses where it gets lost and becomes dehydrated. Other spiders prefer dry and warm places such as areas near the ceiling or inside the roof space. They feed on insects and on other spiders. A good example of one of these is the White-tail spider.
The main pest wasp species in the Greater Wellington Region are Common wasps, German Wasps and Paper wasps. Wasps compete with native birds and insects for nectar. Wasps also consume native insects and even attack bird chicks in their nests. Just like the introduced possums, wasps have no natural predators in New Zealand, and they have access to plenty of food. Wasps are unwelcome guests in houses and businesses. Some people react very badly to their sting and venom.