Flies are found in virtually every human habitat because they’re attracted to the same things we are – food and water. They like to breed in areas that are warm, wet and often overlooked during routine cleaning, such as floor drains, refrigerator evaporation trays, and rubbish bins that have decaying food residues.
Mosquitoes are notoriously difficult to control due to their rapid breeding habits, for which they need standing water in the immediate environment. Clearing blocked drains, emptying or eliminating water containers and raking up leaves that hold moisture will help drive them away.
Termites are one of the sneakiest pests – often there’s little evidence of their existence until the timber is so weak it fails. Mud tunnels may lead to their nests and owners of wooden buildings should look for them. Native New Zealand termites don’t generally cause much damage but their Australian cuzzies, who may arrive in wood shipments, and the West Indian dry wood termite, can do significant structural damage.
Swap out your bulbs: LED, high-pressure sodium vapour or halogen lights are less attractive to insects than incandescent and fluorescent lighting.
Flies are attracted to all flowering plants, so nice as it is to decorate a building’s entrance with a flowering garden, this could also be drawing unwelcome guests in the front door. Cutting back plants, bagging all rubbish and keeping the bins tidy, and a regular deep cleaning schedule for vent outlets and drains can go a long way toward limiting the local fly population.
As for termites, if you think you have them DO NOT DISTURB – if bothered, they’ll move to another part of your house. They are best treated where they are established.
Wasps can fly, but they took the easy flight to New Zealand. They hitched a ride on airplane parts from the United States back in the 1940s. They’ve since become New Zealand’s most damaging invertebrate pest. They harm the honey industry by attacking hives, disrupt vineyard pollination and compete with native birds and animals for food. Plus, they sting – between 2010 and 2013, ACC dealt with over 4,000 claims arising from wasp attacks, costing in excess of $330,000.