A Look at Pests in Perth, Western Australia
As the capital of Western Australia and a city with a population in excess of more than two million people, Perth is the fourth-largest city in Australia. While its population growth was initially fueled by the late Nineteenth Century gold rush in the region, more recent times have seen many in the city and area focused on preventing the growth of another population: pests. For while Perth and Western Australia is blessedly free of many of the world’s most troubling insect pests, that does not mean that it is entirely pest-free.
A Variety of Ants
Invasive ants are always a concern in the area. There are five major invasive ant types that are routinely identified in Perth and the surrounding region, including the coastal browns, odorous ants, white-footed and black house ants and the Argentine variety. Of those five groups, the white-footed variety is the most likely to intrude into homes if no ant control measure is exercised.
The Bee Problem
While there is an industry devoted to beekeeping throughout Western Australia, other bees are not so welcome in Perth and surrounding environs. The European bee was first brought to the region as a way for settlers to pollinate the plants they used for food, but today there is a population of so-called feral bees that now compete with indigenous birds and small mammals for nectar and lodging resources. To make matters even worse, these bees can become quite aggressive when encountered, and have been regularly known to swarm in large numbers.
The Mole Cricket
Since the 1990s, there has been growing concern in Perth and other areas of Western Australia about a sudden noticeable rise in the number of mole crickets that have been appearing with regularity. These crickets are a particularly troublesome nuisance around garden plots and potted plants; have been known to drown in homeowners’ swimming pools; and often find their way into homes and businesses.
The Flea Circus
Okay, maybe it’s not a circus in the most technical sense of the phrase, but there’s certainly nothing orderly about the region’s flea problem! Fleas are tiny, flat insects that rely on blood for a food source. The real danger with these insects is not in the threat that they pose to humans – most human beings, after all, know when they are being bitten and can take measures to deal with the problem. The real problem here is that these fleas tend to focus their attention on dogs and cats. And, as we all know, your pets often struggle to let you know what ails them. Most people manage these pests using various flea-killing products.
A Variety of Flies
Perth has no shortage of flies either, and they come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. From fruit flies and mosquito-like crane flies to giant horse flies and hovering species that mimic wasps and bees, these pests can sometimes seem as though they are everywhere.
Speaking of mosquitoes, there are about four dozen different species that can be found throughout Western Australia. Fortunately, only about eleven of those are commonly see in and around Perth. Those species are not the type that routinely carries disease, so most of the emphasis on controlling them is targeted toward reducing their annoyance as pests. Still, even disease-free mosquitoes can be amazingly troublesome and uncomfortable to have in your general vicinity.
There are obviously plenty of pigeons in and around Perth, the natural result of their importation by European settlers in the early days of the country’s history. Originally, these birds were of the homing variety, and even today there are many enthusiasts who race pigeons throughout Western Australia. Today, however, there is an even larger population of feral pigeons that have come to be a major pest problem in urban areas and small town settings. As their numbers have grown, so too have problems associated with their presence in the area, including damage to buildings, destruction of air-conditioning units, mass droppings, and disease.
If you’re one of those people who are understandably discomfited at the sight of a many-legged creature crawling around in your home, then you’ll understand why the Portuguese millipede is considered a major pest in the Perth area. Like many other pests in Australia, these millipedes were brought to Western Australia from southwest Europe, as stowaways aboard ships in the 1800s. Unlike the area’s native variety of millipede, these tend to gather in large numbers and are destructive when their population is at those higher levels.
Those Rascally Rodents
Forget Bugs and Mickey. In the real world, rodents are not the cute and cuddly creatures they’re portrayed as in most animated forms of entertainment. Instead, they can be some of the world’s most annoying and destructive pests. That fact is keenly felt in Perth, as rats, mice, and feral rabbits can invade your home and garden and leave devastation in their wake. Around the world, rodents are often credited with destroying as much as a third of the world’s food resources. Their reputation as pests is one that they clearly work hard to justify!
Silverfish are a particular concern for homeowners in the Perth area, as they are one of the few species of pests that do their damage within the home. In this case, the damage is targeted toward the family food store, as silverfish are drawn to cereals, flour, sugar, and even coffee. They’ll even eat paper and leather when they are hungry enough. Because of their powerful need for plentiful amounts of water, most people will first encounter them in sinks and bathtubs.
Snakes, snakes, and more snakes
As is true in many area of the world with great natural landscapes and resources, snakes are plentiful in the Perth area and throughout Western Australia. These reptiles should not be considered pests in the same way we think of many invasive creatures, of course, since they are an essential part of the local ecosystem. Even so, their presence in urban areas can be quite disconcerting, and that sentiment is only heightened by the fact that some of these snakes can be quite deadly as well.
Two of the most dangerous are the dugites and tiger snakes. Both of these snake species are routinely found in the metro area, and both are extremely venomous. For that reason, it is wise to keep your distance from these animals, and take precautions to keep your grass short to deny them the cover they seek. When you see snakes on your property, contact a reptile remover.
There are dozens of species of spiders located throughout the Western Australia region, and most of them are harmless to humans. More than that, they can be invaluable additions to your property, as they consume other insect pests and help to keep their population numbers in check. There is, however, one arachnid that should be a concern to residents in Perth: the Red-Back Spider. This spider has neurotoxin venom that can be surprisingly slow in its effects.
Victims who are bitten by this creature often notice only minor effects and may assume that there is no real threat – especially if they are unfamiliar with the species or fail to recognize it. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fever. Some cases can result in paralysis. The problem is that if the bite is not treated promptly, those symptoms get progressively worse in the hours afterward. If untreated, survivors often need weeks or even months before they completely recover.
Throughout Perth and Western Australia, termites are an ever-present concern. These pests seemingly know no boundaries, and infest commercial buildings and homes with equal ferocity, wreaking havoc wherever they go. Often called “white ants” by people who see them, they have a voracious appetite for the wood in most human dwelling places, and often create thousands of dollars of damage in a very short period of time. While they play an invaluable role in the outside environs, their presence within any human building needs to be dealt with properly.
Of course, there are a host of other creatures that negatively impact human quality of life, including a variety of both ground and aerial pests. Toads, the red fox, feral goats and cars, wild pigs, and even deer can all destroy land, and wreak extensive destruction on indigenous animal, bird, and insect populations. Worse, some can also help to spread disease.
Prevention and Removal
Australia is extremely modern in its approach to pest prevention and management, and has a variety of central government-initiated programs designed to help prevent the spread of many of these invasive species. High tech sensors and other forms of technology have also been brought to bear in the effort. Volunteer pest removal efforts are often available to get rid of creatures like snakes and various rodents. For most insects, there are also many commercial pest removal services available in most cities.
Prevention is critical, of course. Homeowners are not completely helpless when it comes to removing many of the attractions that entice these pests to invade their properties. Insects that are attracted to sugar and other foods can be deterred when those enticements are not available. Snakes and many rodents can be kept at bay by sound yard and garden management. The key is to learn about these pests and what you can do to make your home less attractive to them.
At the same time, however, it is important to realize that no strategy of prevention is foolproof. The fact is that Perth and Western Australia are home to an incredible array of pests, and at some point or another you will encounter them in your domicile. When that happens, you need to know who to call to deal with the problem. Rockypest Service has the expertise and experience needed to isolate and remove pests in your home before they become an even bigger problem for you and your family.
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