What are pests, what is the meaning? What are the different types? What is the most common type of pest? How do you control them?


What are pests, what is the meaning? What are the different types? What is the most common type of pest? How do you control them?

What is meant by the word pest? What are the different types of pest that infest our homes and which is most common? And most important of all, how d

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What is meant by the word pest? What are the different types of pest that infest our homes and which is most common? And most important of all, how do you control them? 

In this article, we’re going to explore Australia’s pests in greater depth for your convenience and peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know…

What are pests, what is the meaning?

white ants

The literal definition of the word pest is: “a destructive insect or other animal attacks crops, food, livestock, etc.”

With the informal meaning being: “an annoying person or thing; a nuisance.” 

Combine the two, and you have “an annoying and destructive insect infestation / nuisance rodents sneaking around your home, scratching behind walls and under floorboards.” 

Pests make you feel itchy when you think about them. They give you the shivers when you see them crawling around your home. And they can be the source of much anxiety.

What are the different types of pests?

different types of pests

Pests come in all shapes and sizes and in Australia in particular, the list is seemingly endless. In any case, here are some of the more common household pests to watch out for: 

  • Cockroaches: cockroaches are, for lack of a better word, horrifying. Not only that, but they are among the most pervasive house pest in Australia – and much of the world. They love damp spaces and are always drawn to leftover food and pooling water. They’ll even feed off the carcases of their fallen brethren! The worst thing of all however, is the fact that cockroaches spread many different diseases
  • White ants (termites): termites (or white ants) are the single most expensive pest in Australia, causing somewhere in the region of $700 million in damage every single year. They can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day and feast on the foundation of your homes. Wood is their food of choice, but they have been known to eat other materials, such as plastic and thin sheets of led. 
  • Spiders: Australian spiders need no introduction! With over 2,000 species (a number of which are highly venomous and thus extremely dangerous), keeping your home free of these pests is a matter of health & safety. 
  • Ants: Ants are widely considered as being more of a nuisance than a danger, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating when they infest your home. And while the majority are harmless, certain species such as the Bull Ant can deliver incredibly painful bites. 
  • Fleas: While teeny tiny, fleas are a total nightmare – particularly for your poor pets. Once they attach themselves, getting rid of them can be very difficult, especially when they start to spread from one carrier to another. 
  • Wasps: Wasps are terrifying and can deliver a nasty sting – which is even more nightmarish when you find a nest in your property. Many nests can go undetected for years, growing exponentially. Bees can also be a bit of a pest, however, given how vital they are to our environment, it is always better to relocate their nests, rather than eradicate them as you would wasps. 
  • Flies: Fruit flies are the most annoying pest of all and they can spread diseases as well – particularly when landing on our food. If you detect maggots around your home or seem to be getting more flies than usual, it could be a sign that you have an infestation somewhere. 
  • Rodents: Rodents such as rats and mice, while seemingly cute, can cause a lot of havoc in your home – not to mention the potential to spread diseases
  • Mosquitos: These blood-sucking, high-pitched droning, itchy biting buggers are just the worst! Mozzies are absolutely relentless and will keep coming back for more blood no matter how many times you swat them away. The worst thing, aside from their itchy bites, is the potential for spreading dangerous diseases, such as dengue fever
  • Bed bugs: bed bugs, despite being tiny, can cause a serious amount of devastation in homes. Often, when people wake up with blood on their sheets and bites on their bodies, they mistake the culprits as being something else – never suspecting that their sheets are infested!

What is the most common type of pest?

So, which is the most common type of pest of all? This depends. Fruit flies for example, are easily the most common pest in Australia as they are everywhere! It’s practically impossible to avoid encountering flies on a daily basis. However, they aren’t the most common pest to infest homes. 

Ant infestations are very common, particularly in homes that aren’t particularly clean. 

Cockroaches are another highly common pests and they can easily infest a space if left unchecked. 

It is also believed that 1 in 3 Australian homes will have a termite infestation at some point, so they are incredibly common as well!

How do you control pests?

How do you control pests

And how do you control pests? Is there any way to prevent them entirely? The bad news is that there is no way to guarantee that your home will forever be free of pests. However, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of them entering, for example:

  • Seal up your home: go around your home with a fine toothed comb and seal any gaps that could be entrance points for insects. Under window sills and door frames are common spots. 
  • Keep it pristine: make sure your home is cleaned thoroughly regularly – especially after cooking in the kitchen. 
  • Keep food stored in sealed containers: don’t leave any food unsealed as cockroaches, ants, and other pests will surely sniff it out and enjoy a feast. 
  • De-clutter your home: rodents, roaches, and spiders love clutter – particularly when it comes to nesting! Don’t give them excuse and keep your home as clean and free of clutter as possible. 
  • Call the experts: if you try all of the above and you still end up with a pest problem, the easiest solution is to call the pest control experts. Find a local company like SWAT Pest Control in Brisbane you can kiss those nuisance pests goodbye!