The top 10 common Household Pests in Australia


Australia is blessed with an abundance of unique bugs, house insects and mammals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The flipside to having such a diverse array of small native animals is that we also have to deal with them invading our houses and properties.

Despite our reputation for being home to some of the most lethal critters, not many common household pests are actually life-threatening. However, this doesn’t mean they pose zero threat. Common house insects and house bugs such as termites (white ants) could end up costing you a motza in repairs, while cockroaches are known to spread diseases such as salmonella.

Hiring a pest control specialist such as Competitive Pest Services is the right choice if you believe pests have taken up residence in your home. To ensure you know the risks and dangers associated with a pest invasion, we’ve created this instructive guide on the top 10 house pests and bugs in Australia.

With this information at the ready, identifying common household bugs in Australia and undertaking house pest control becomes a walk in the park. Read our list of pests and discover how to tell the difference between pest types such as flying pests in the house and Australian household insects, plus the dangers they pose to the average home and how to treat them.

What is a household pest?

Household pests are classified as common household insects, common household bugs or animals that cause damage to residential properties or have the capacity to endanger humans within a home. All household pests are drawn to your home with the aim to find shelter, feed and breed.

List of household pest types

Want to learn why identifying household pests is important? See below to discover the top 10 pests and common household insects in Australia.

1. Cockroaches

Cockroaches are some of the most pervasive house bugs in Australia. They love damp spaces and will be drawn to homes that offer warmth, especially in colder climates.

Cockroaches are known for their ability to spread a wide range of diseases to humans by coming into contact with our food. Gastro-enteritis, salmonella and dysentery are some of the more common diseases that they transmit, however, their droppings have also been known to exacerbate eczema and asthma in kids.

Leftover food and even materials such as cardboard and glue are favourite food types of cockroaches. They’ll also feed on carcasses, faeces and other dead cockroaches. Since cockroaches are a household pest that comes out at night, they can be hard to identify. Droppings, small brown smear marks and skin husks are telltale signs that there are cockroaches present in your abode. Since they also release a pheromone to attract other cockroaches, there may also be a distinctive odour.

Given the danger that cockroaches post to the average household, we suggest getting in touch with a pest extermination team as soon as possible if you suspect there is a cockroach infestation in your home.

2. Termites

Termites are considered the most expensive pest in Australia, causing almost $700 million in damage each year to homes around the nation. Mainland cities that have these pests are Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, but they can be found anywhere the weather is warm.

It’s said that 1 in 3 Australian homes will be infected by termites at least once in its lifespan. The costs involved in repairing termite damage, not to mention the headaches they cause when it comes to selling a home, means a termite infestation requires urgent attention.

Termites can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, which further illustrates just how time-sensitive a termite infestation is. With one phone call to us, we can begin the process of eliminating all termites in your home and ensure no serious damage is done. Note that timber homes are particularly susceptible to termites, given that wood is their food of choice.

If you find tiny holes drilled into the beams in your ceiling or hollow tunnels that run along the grain of the wood in your home, call Competitive Pest Services immediately. We’ll dispatch a team to analyse the extent of your termite problem and offer advice on which type of pest treatment we believe will be the most effective.

3. Spiders

Australia is home to over 2,000 species of spider, including some of the most venomous species in the world. A bite from one of these spiders can prove fatal if left untreated, while others might only leave a painful yet non-life-threatening wound.

A favourite hiding place of spiders is anywhere that is out of the way, such as behind bookcases, wardrobes, eaves, overhangs and air vents. They prefer dark and damp spaces and will weave webs in order to collect food. Some species of spider can also be found in and around your home in places such as the garden, the firewood stack or the kid’s cubby house.

Mature spiders live for multiple years, with some females laying egg sacs during the warmer months that contain up to 3,000 individual eggs. While full-blown spider infestations are rare, deterring them from taking up residence in your home is a matter of safety. This is especially the case if the spider species in question is deadly.

By calling Competitive Pest Services to clear spiders from your property, you can better safeguard your family from the risks associated with spider bites and get rid of bothersome cobwebs from your home.

4. Ants

Ants are considered to be more of a nuisance than a danger, however, Australia is home to about 1,300 different species and not all of them are harmless. Bull ants, for example, are found all over the country. They are highly aggressive and can deliver a bite that is quite painful, especially for those who are allergic. This makes ants one of the more irksome house insects in Australia.

Other species of ant found in Australia include Argentine ants, carpenter ants, coastal brown ants and the common black house ant. All of these types of ants have been known to invade homes. While not as medically threatening as cockroaches or mosquitos, some ants carry bacterial and fungal organisms that are also disease pathogens.

Ants like warm sunny places. They also feed on just about all organic matter, however, they’re especially drawn to sweets and proteins. Once they’ve found a reliable food source, they will begin to build their colony. These colonies can become massive in only a short amount of time. A thriving Argentine ant colony can encompass literally millions of ants.

Certain ants have been known to destroy electrical wiring and plastic, which means an ant infestation could also lead to expensive home repairs. If you notice small mounds of soil at the base of your exterior walls or lines of ants leading in and out of your home, you probably have an ant infestation.

We utilise insecticides in order to eliminate ants from homes. We also remove all potential food sources and identify where their colony is located. Once we’ve found their breeding and nesting ground, we can then eradicate them for good.

5. Fleas

They might be tiny, but fleas are an absolute menace in the house. Many people will agree with us when we say they are good for nothing. Worst yet, these tiny terrors can thrive both inside and outside of your home. They’ll also attach themselves to your pets as well as anyone who comes into contact with the infected animals.

Once fleas enter a home they can be incredibly difficult to get rid off. A single female flea alone can lay hundreds of eggs, turning a minor flea problem into an all-out disaster in rapid time. Flea life cycle development is also sped up in the right conditions, with larvae reaching maturity in three weeks as opposed to two months.

Anyone or any animal that has fleas will experience serious discomfort, with both itching and scratching are sure signs that they’ve infiltrated your skin. They’re also known for their ability to transmit parasites such as tapeworms when they bite you or your pet.

To keep yourself, your kids and your pets safe, we suggest targeted extermination techniques carried out by a trained house pest control specialist. In the meantime, don’t let the infestation affect your sanity. Take action by changing your pet’s bedding and treating them to a natural flea wash bath. It may not instantly solve your flea problem, but it’s one of the best ways to get on top of the issue until we can arrive.

6. Wasps and bees

There are over 1,500 species of native bees in Australia and while vital to our ecosystem, they can be a real problem if they find their way into your home. The good news here is that bees rarely build their hives in close proximity to a residence.

Wasps, on the other hand, can nest in eaves and under verandas, going undetected for extended periods of time. Both bees and wasps can dish out a terribly painful sting. We mainly get called out to deal with the commercial honey bee and the European honey bee, but it’s the European wasp, paper wasp and mud wasp that do the most damage.

The truth is though that if you suspect your property is home to a beehive or wasps nest, you and your family may be at risk. Both wasps and bees can infest the walls, roof or outdoor perimeter of your home. Wasps, in particular, can build large nests that are 20,000 strong. A wasp nest of this size is incredibly dangerous, given that a coordinated attack can be deadly to those who are allergic to their venom.

Wasps can also sting multiple times, which makes them decidedly more threatening than bees. That being said, a beehive can also wreak havoc on your daily life if left untreated. Never attempt to get rid of bees or wasps by yourself. Simply call our team and we’ll deal with them accordingly, whether that means relocating the hive or eradicating the entire wasp swarm.

7. Flies

Flies hold the unenviable position of being Australia’s most annoying pest. They’re also practically synonymous with our country, which means we’ve more or less come to accept them buzzing around our homes, our families and our pets.

The fact that they are a common household insect in Australia, however, doesn’t mean you should treat them any differently to a cockroach or a mosquito. Flies pose health risks to humans and animals and can spread dangerous diseases such as salmonella and E. coli. Some flies, such as the bothersome March or horse fly, can even dish out a painful bite.

If you detect maggots in or around your home or frequently see flies buzzing around refuses areas, you may have a fly infestation. With females laying 150 plus eggs per day and a few fly species able to go from egg to adult in only seven days, a minor problem can become borderline uncontrollable in only a short amount of time.

Installing flyscreens, keeping all food preparation surfaces clean and ensuring your bins have tightly sealed lids will keep flies at bay. For situations that demand more serious action, get in touch with the team at Competitive Pest Services. We’ll identify the threat and create a plan to contain and remove any and all flies from your household.

8. Rodents (mice and rats)

Both mice and rats were introduced to Australia by the first European settlers. Since then they’ve spread to all corners of our country, transmitting diseases, fouling up homes and damaging buildings wherever they settle. These pest types are a hazard to humans and animals for two main reasons.

The first of these is that mice and rats carry a wide variety of diseases, such as typhoid, meningitis and infectious jaundice to name a few. Among these conditions, symptoms such as nausea, fever and swelling are frequently reported. This means that mice and rats have the potential to harm adults and children, but especially so if the infected person or persons are suffering from a depleted immune system.

This threat of disease alone is enough reason to call a professional and implement control procedures. When combined with their ability to multiply quickly, however, the presence of rodents becomes a significant dilemma. Black rats, for example, produce up to 10 young per litter and have between 3 and 6 litters per year. It also only takes them roughly 12 to 16 weeks to reach sexual maturity.

Droppings, musty smells or scratching noises coming from your walls or ceilings could be indicative of a rodent problem. It’s vital that you reach out to a professional team at the very first inkling you have mice or rats in your home.

9. Mosquitos

Everyone can identify a mosquito with their high-pitched drone and irritating bites. They often strike when we’re trying to relax or have fun and will generally come out to feed in the morning and at dusk.

The mosquito is a pest that always seems to come back for more, no matter how many times you swat them away. They love humid weather and are commonly found near a water source. When conditions are right, mosquitos can go from egg to adult in as little as 4 days, depending on the species.

In regards to their threat level, mosquitos should be considered a serious danger to both humans and animals since they’re known to carry transmittable diseases such as Dengue fever and Ross River virus. Symptoms of these diseases can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening.

To protect your family from a mosquito bite and the diseases that they carry, keep windows and doors closed and invest in flyscreens. Since mosquitos breed in water, it’s also a good idea to pour out or cover any stagnant water that may be pooling around your house.

Beyond these tips for warding off a mosquito infestation, we recommend reaching out to the Competitive Pest Control team. Not only will we use various eco-friendly techniques to kill living mosquitos, but we’ll also eradicate any trace of larvae on your property.

10. Bed bugs

House bugs in Australia such as bed bugs are bad news. Once inside your dwelling, bed bugs can do considerable damage despite their diminutive size. Many families have woken up with blood on their sheets and itchy welts, only to be confused as to the reason for the bleeding and bites. The culprit in this instance is most likely a bed bug since their main food is blood.

Because they are nocturnal and incredibly small, bed bugs can be near impossible to detect. They can be found all over a home and not just in the bedroom, too. Some favourite hiding spots for bed bugs include bed frames, mattress seams, carpets, wardrobes, skirting boards and of course sheets.

If left untreated, a bed bug invasion will only continue to worsen. They can survive for 12 plus months without any food and females lay up to five eggs per day or 200 to 250 eggs in one lifetime. These eggs can then hatch within 12 days of being laid, with the nymph maturing after roughly 10 weeks.

There are various actions you can take to rid your home of bed bugs. Washing infected items at a high temperature, vacuuming regularly or leaving your mattress outside in the sun are all somewhat effective. Given a bed bug’s size though, it can take many rounds of intense treatment in order to eradicate each and every one of them. Call us immediately if you believe you have a bed bug problem and we will perform a thorough clean of the infected areas to guarantee complete eradication.

Phone 1300 766 614 today for affordable household pest management and eradication solutions

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