Warm weather has bug control phones buzzing

Posted on: February 12, 2013

A hot, humid summer is prompting an influx of Western Bay residents calling on exterminators to rid their homes of creepy crawlies and flying pests.

Tauranga’s Bugs Or Us co-owner Duncan Kerr said business was “cracking”, especially with bookings from Papamoa.

“There are lots of ants in Papamoa. I can’t really explain why Papamoa, but it seems to be very busy at this time of year. We are working in all areas but certainly over the next week or two, Papamoa is well represented,” Mr Kerr said.

Last summer’s dismal weather meant things were quiet for Mr Kerr and his father, Doug.

But recent hot, sunny weather had sparked the reappearance of pesky summer insects such as flies.

“Last year was a bit of a dud for flies. We didn’t get enough warmth and no humidity. Whereas we have humidity now,” Mr Kerr said.

All pests have a natural increased activity during summer and flies and ants were becoming especially prevalent in some Western Bay areas, Mr Kerr said.

Flies seemed to be the trigger point for many families, who were content to put up with other bugs until the presence of flies pushed them into booking an exterminator.

Fleas also made their presence known at this time of year, Mr Kerr said.

“Fleas are pretty prevalent at the moment, especially when you go on holiday and come home.

“The fleas in there breed but have nothing to feed on. So when you walk in the door, boom, they have something to feed on.”

Despite demand for white tail spider extermination, the insects did not appear especially problematic in the Tauranga area, Mr Kerr said.

“A lot of our clients are repeat clients, so they don’t have white tail spiders. They just want to keep topped up with their eradication.”

White tail spiders’ preferred habitat is under dry bark and plants but they can often be seen inside homes, where they look for shelter from the light, after hunting at night. They often hide in clothing, especially if it is left lying around on the floor.

“I woudn’t say this year’s particularly bad for white tail spiders more than any other year. It’s just something in the back of people’s minds that is something they don’t want,” Mr Kerr said.

In Gisborne, pest controllers have been flat out with calls to eradicate white tail spiders.

Stomp’em Out Pest Control owner James Guyton said the number of white tail spider call-outs was definitely higher this summer.

Tauranga Hospital’s emergency department had not treated anyone for white tail spider bites since Christmas and local doctors spoken to said they had not encountered any patients with white tail bites.

Des Smith of Wil-Kil Pest Control said he anticipated the warmer weather would lead to things becoming “much busier” over the next few weeks.

Running through his list of bookings for the day, Mr Smith said there was a lot of demand for cockroach eradication.

Ants, cockroaches, spiders, ants, cockroaches. Most of my customers are year by year and do the same type of job each year,” Mr Smith said.