Pests

Below you will find information and advice on common pests and how to control them. 

Ants

Ants  

The main ant pest species found by homeowners include:

  • White-footed house ant
  • Odorous house ant
  • Coastal brown ant
  • Carpenter ant
  • Bulldog ant

A few of the ant pest species can inflict a painful bite, but most are a nuisance pest when they infest pantries, kitchens and barbecue areas in large numbers. Summer time is most problematic - the ants are out in force, building up their numbers and searching incessantly for food to be stored in their colony nest for the colder winter months.

Limiting Ants

Internally

1. Remove any source of food by cleaning up crumbs, spilt food and sticky liquids as soon as possible.
2. Use a household surface spray around windows, doors and any cracks or openings in walls, ceilings etc. Follow directions carefully

Externally

Inspect external areas to search for nests, following trails and treating them with effective chemicals should prevent the ants from entering your home.

1. Use ant bait granules or dust around edges of garden beds and along ant trails. Follow directions carefully.
2. Use outdoor insecticidal sprays around doors windows and under eaves. Follow directions carefully.

Locating the nest is sometimes impracticable as the ants may nest in concealed locations. However, where a nest is found, particularly in the soil, then an insecticide spray can be used directly into the burrow and the colony nests.

Treatment

For advice on how best to deal with ant infestation go to the Department of Proimary Industries website.

What not to do

  • Do not use any insecticides on kitchen benches, equipment or other surfaces where likey to have contact with food
  • Do not use dangerous chemicals or flammable liquids to control ants or eradicate nests
  • Ensure safety directions on the packs of insecticidal chemicals are followed carefully

Council Health Services provides basic advice on the control of ants. It is recommended that a pest control operator is engaged for more extensive problems.

 

European Bees and Wasps

Call out to all bee keepers and enthusiasts!

If you a registered apiarist, live in our municipality and would like to be advised of where reported hives and swarms are that need to be relocated please email parks@frankston.vic.gov.au for further information.

Please include your name, address, address of where bees would be located to,  phone number, email, beekeepers registered number and expiry date.

Non registered enthusiasts are also encouraged to express their interest.

Bees and wasps are often confused due to their similarities; however their behaviour is strikingly different. 

European Bees and Wasps

European Bees

European honey bees, which are yellow and brown in colour, are the most common bees found in Australia and are up to 6mm in length.

European Bees are generally plumper and very hairy compared with wasps. They are mild mannered and interested in flowers, not your lunch or garbage

Bees are important pollinators

A natural part of the reproductive life cycle of the honey bee is to swarm. This is when the queen and a percentage of an existing hive leave in order to locate to a new nesting site. The swarm may be on the move for several days in search of a permanent place to nest. They may settle for a few hours during this time in one location before moving on again. If a swarm does settle on your property ensure you keep family and pets away from it and do not disturb the swarm in any way.

Management

Private property

You should not attempt to remove a bee hive or swarm yourself (by hosing for example) as this may aggravate the bees and they may defend themselves.  A swarm may in time move on to another location.

If you locate a honey bee nest on your property you can contact a local bee keeper to have the nest and bees taken away.

Council officers do not remove bees on private property however if you have concerns with a hive on a neighbouring property you can report it by calling customer service on 1300 322 322 or report an Issue on the website and our Planning enforcement officers will respond.

Council land

Call customer service on 1300 322 322 and advise of the location of the nest if it is in a highly used area or “report an Issue” on the website. Include your contact details on the request as Council officers may need to contact you for further information

Bee keeping

For household’s wanting to keep bees on their properties, refer to the Apiary Code of Practice. These hives will also have to be registered with Agriculture Victoria. More information can be found here.

European Wasps

European Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and appear smoothed-skinned and shiny. They can be aggressive, and interested in food and garbage

European Wasps have the ability to sting repeatedly and possibly trigger an allergic reaction.

European Wasps can be dangerous and damaging to the environment. Householders should engage a pest control operator to eradicate the nest.

Management

Private property

You should not disturb a wasp nest. Council recommend you refer to your local business directory and contact a qualified pest removalist to have the nest exterminated.

If the wasps nest is located on your neighbour’s property you should talk with your neighbour about having the nest removed.

Council officers do not remove wasps on private property

Council land

Call customer service on 1300 322 322 and advise of the location of the nest or “report an Issue” on the website. Include your contact details on the request as Council officers may need to contact you for further information

Precautions

You can reduce the population of European wasps around your home and reduce the risk of stings in a number of ways.

  • Do not leave food, drink or pet food outside
  • Pick up any fallen fruit
  • Ensure outdoor rubbish bins have tight-fitting lids
  • Cover compost bins
  • Cover food during a barbecue or picnic 
  • Do not drink straight from a can or bottle when outside, as it could contain a Wasp - drink from a straw
  • If you see a European wasp, leave it alone - it will only attack if provoked

 

Birds

Seagull  

Please do not feed native birds or wild birds including seagulls and other sea birds.

Feeding them can be harmful to the birds and creates an environment which is unsightly and potentially hazardous to public health. Apart from creating nuisance conditions such as noise and swooping, the accumulation of bird droppings in the neighbourhood can be a precursor to health issues such as psittacosis, property damage and slip hazards.

Please ensure any food waste is wrapped and placed in rubbish bins when in public places - don't leave your hot chips for the birds!

Native and Wild Birds

All native birds are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and there are serious penalties for taking, harassing or injuring native wildlife. It is illegal to kill birds, destroy their nests or eggs without a permit or authority.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) also discourages feeding native and wild birds.

Seagulls and other Seabirds

Seagulls traditionally nest offshore; however in recent years have increasingly migrated to urban areas, such as the Frankston Cental Activities Area (CAA). Seagulls are known to breed all year, but the peak breeding season occurs in Frankston from July to October each year.

The presence of seagulls in Frankston's city centre has a number of potential impacts, including:

  • Blocking gutters and subsequent flooding
  • Corroding metal roofs
  • Amenity issues involving unsightly fouling of roofs, cars, and work and recreation areas
  • Creation of slip hazards

There are a number of preventative measures available to help reduce the presence of seagulls, including:

  • Removing egg and nesting materials from roofs in accordance with DSE permit requirements
  • Frightening seagulls with speakers creating sounds that imitate 'birds of prey'
  • Modifying roofs to remove potential nesting sites
  • Prevent access with overhead line structures or nets

A DSE representative with particular expertise in the behaviour of seagulls has advised most of these methods only provide a short term solution. The exception is the use of appropriately fitted netting or line structures to prevent access to rooftops by seagulls.

Bird Swooping Season

As the managers of local parks and reserves, a key issue for many councils is public response to bird swooping season around August/September - particularly being contacted about removing 'nuisance birds' or seeking advice on what to do when there are swooping birds in the area.

The Swooping Campaign
An online 'Swoop Off' kit is available including:

  • Top 10 Tips to protect yourself from swoop attacks
  • A set of printable 'eyes' to stick on the back of helmets or caps; and
  • A 'Beware: Swooping Birds in the area' poster

For information on native bird feeding and permits for nest removal contact  Department of Sustainability and Environment on 136 186.

 

Rats and Mice

Rats and Mice  

Rats and mice are well adapted to living in close association with humans and can be found anywhere humans and their homes are located. These animals can be found in houses, sheds, garages and gardens.

Signs of Rodent Activity

  • Droppings

  • Sounds of gnawing, squeaking, scratching or movement in walls, ceilings or cupboards

  • Burrow holes around buildings, along walls, in creek banks, roof insulation

  • A travel path or “runs” that may have developed

Preventing rats and mice around the home

Rats and mice may live and nest within buildings indefinitely, provided they have warmth, shelter, food and water. If you have rats or mice at your property, it’s likely that you’re providing them with these conditions.

You can help prevent the risk of rats or mice harbouring at your property by changing the environment, the following tips may assist:

  • Remove access to shelter – repair holes and seal gaps and cracks under external doors.

  • Clear your house of any rubbish and building materials

  • Remove food and water sources – ensure food is stored and kept in sealed containers, have secure-fitting lids on rubbish bins, don’t leave pet food lying around, eliminate any standing water sources

Baiting/Trapping

Always follow safety directions when using baits and traps.

Baiting is the most effective way of dealing with rats and mice. Rodent baits are toxic to humans and animals, ensure to keep out of reach of young children and pets and be sure to read the product instructions.

Baits and traps can be purchased from supermarkets and hardware stores. Alternatively engage a local Pest Controller who can inform you on the most appropriate course of preventative pest control.

 

Spiders

Spiders  

Generally, spiders have eight legs, two-part bodies, fangs and organs that spin webs. Spiders are essential to our ecosystem as they prey on insects and keep their populations under control.

Australia has about 2,000 species of spider but most are relatively harmless to humans. Since the introduction of antivenom, there have been no recorded deaths in Australia from a confirmed Spider bite. Seek immediate medical help for bites from a funnel-web, mouse, red-back or white-tailed spider.

Spider-proof your home

It may be impossible to eradicate spiders from your garden, but you can stop most spiders from living in your house. Suggestions include:

  • Clear away trees, shrubs and bushes from around doors or windows
  • Avoid insecticides in the garden, as spiders may be encouraged to flee into the house
  • Fit draught-strips to all doors. Spiders may crawl in under doors
  • Install flyscreens to windows and any vents, such as wall ventilation slots
  • Install weather-strips on doors to stop most spiders from entering your house
  • Don't leave equipment or clothing (such as shoes) outside. If you do, shake out before you wear them or bring them inside the house
  • Keep the windows of your parked car wound up to avoid being surprised by a spider while you're driving
  • Pour boiling water (from a kettle) into any Spider holes you find near doorways and windows. This will kill the spider
  • Consult with a licensed pest control operator for professional advice

Tips

  • Always wear gloves, long trousers and shoes while gardening
  • Wear shoes when walking around in the garden
  • Inspect any suspected spider web or lair with a stick (or something similar), not your hands
  • Shake out shoes before you put them on
  • Do not leave clothes on the floor - if you do, shake them out before you put them on
  • Instruct children not to touch spiders
  • Don't assume that a spider at the bottom of a swimming pool is dead. Some spiders can survive on an air bubble for 24 hours or more.

Council Health Services provides basic advice on the control of spiders. It is recommended that a pest control operator is engaged for more extensive

 

Mosquito

Mosquito  

Mosquitoes are not just annoying but some spread disease.

The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct stages of its life cycle. Stagnant water and warmer temperatures may lead to a mosquito problem for residents and householders should routinely empty any accumulated water on their property.

Council recommends that residents use personal protection measures during warmer months and at those times of the day when mosquitos are more likely to be prevalent. Such as wearing loose-fitting clothing; and regularly using mosquito repellent with DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin.

Control of mosquitos around the home

You can reduce the risk of mosquito bites by eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites around your home:

  • Install flywire screens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors, check and mend holes in the flywire.

  • Check your backyard and surrounding areas for stagnant/pooling water which may exist in un-used plant pots, base of plant pots, disused containers and poorly maintained swimming pools

  • Clean gutters and drains regularly

  • Keep fishponds stocked with fish

If you have a rainwater tank or a septic tank:

  • Ensure any covers, lids and inlet pipes are close fitting and have screens fitted where possible,

  • Make sure any water collection containers have secure lids or screens and are drained regularly.

  • If you can see mosquito larvae (wrigglers) in rain water or septic tanks then adult female mosquitoes have been able to enter the tank and lay eggs. The tank should be checked for gaps or loose fittings and extra screens fitted where possible.

  • If your septic tank is cracked or damaged please contact Council’s Health Team to discuss its replacement.

Seaford Wetlands

Melbourne Water in cooperation with Council, run a mosquito monitoring program in wetlands including Seaford wetlands.

The Seaford wetland is routinely surveyed during summer (August to April) for mosquitoes. When excessive larvae numbers are present, the use of larva cite briquettes are distributed in the wetlands. The briquettes mimic the mosquito juvenile hormone and disrupt the development of larvae and pupae in the water with minimal impact on other fauna. They act for up to 150 days.

For more information please visit Melbourne Waters website or contact Melbourne Water on 131 722

Beat the Bite

There are simple things you can do to Beat the bite! For more information visit:

Buruli Ulcer

Visit Council’s Burili Ulcer page for further information. It is not yet known if mosquitoes are involved in the transmission of this skin disease.

 

Termites

Termites  

Termites, also called white ants (although not related to ants), are a part of the natural environment but can cause significant damage to timber structures. They generally have pale brown to white bodies with a darker head and have no waist between the thorax and abdomen.

Limiting Termites

Regularly inspect your home and the surrounding area and keep your property free of stored timbers.

1. Inspect the areas around the building, the external lower edges and secluded spaces such as the under-floor
2. Piers and stumps should be examined for mud tubes by viewing with a torch. In some cases 'ant caps' or shields may have been included with the original construction of supports and floor bearers
3. The presence of winged ants usually on summer nights indicates the possibility of a termite colony nearby and should prompt a check

Do

If you suspect a termite infestation in your home

1. Obtain a professional Termite Inspection Report
2. A thorough inspection of the buildings and surrounds
3. A written inspection report and detailed specifications to A.S.3660 for an integrated termite control program.

It is recommended you take careful consideration of the report from the pest control operator and request a second opinion from other operators before consenting to further treatment.

Don't

  • Do not disturb the area or attempt to spray the termites with insect spray as this will likely move the insects on into other areas rather than eradicate them
  • Ensure water leakage from plumbing pipes in the bathroom, the shower recess, kitchen, down pipes, guttering and air conditioning unit overflow is diverted away from the dwelling using Ag drains.
  • Remove any timber in contact with the soil. Timbers should be stored above ground level to allow full inspection for termite activity
  • If your home is on a concrete slab make sure you can inspect the entire external slab edge for evidence of termite mud-shelter tubes. Do NOT allow this area to be covered by pavers, landscaping, planter pots, etc, as termites often gain entry into the wall cavity through external weep holes and gaps in the mortar of brick-work.

Council Health and Building departments can provide basic advice on termite identification and treatment. It is recommended that a pest control operator is engaged for more extensive problems.