Teaching staff about IPM

Effective Integrated Pest Management for Businesses: Involve Your Staff

The only thing your business should warmly welcome are your customers, not pests. Whilst it’s highly likely that you already have an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program in place, the question is if your employees are familiar with the most common pests lurking in your commercial space.

Do your staff know the tell-tale signs of rats and mice? What about those of cockroaches?

When it comes to defending your business against pests, your employees are the front-liners. It’s important that they know your IPM program by heart so they can help detect and report pest issues. This, in turn, will enable you to resolve any arising issues quickly.

Why this matters, you might ask? Apart from being downright nuisances, pests can threaten the health of your customers, especially if it’s an infestation we’re talking about. E.coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Shigella, Bacillus and Clostridium are just a few of disease-causing pathogens pests such as flies, rodents and cockroaches transmit.

What’s more, pests and poor pest control practices can cost your business annual audit points. A poor score can damage not only your reputation, but also your bottom line.

Avoid the risks pest pose and involve your staff on the front end. Follow the simple steps below and you’ll be on the right track in training them.

Be Proactive

Establishing daily sanitation routines is essential. A few practices to enforce include the following:

• Sweep and mop on a regular basis. Be careful not to leave out the space underneath machines, tables and beds.

• Wipe down equipment regularly.

• Wipe off countertops and sweep floors especially where food is present.

• Line and cover all trash cans securely. Dispose of trash every day and ensure garbage bins and dumpsters are cleaned regularly.

• Clean spills around the sinks of bathrooms and break rooms. Pests such as mice and cockroaches only need a minimal amount of water to survive for multiple days.

Always Inspect

Closely monitor every square foot of your commercial space. Ensure the following pest hot spots are regularly checked by your staff:

• Hidden, protected places such as wall voids (through access panels) and under appliances

• Food preparation and dining areas

• Staff locker rooms

• Storage areas and closets

• Laundry areas

• Loading areas where shipments come in and go out

See Something? Say Something.

Early and proper communication is a vital part of an IPM plan. Create a pest-sighting protocol that clearly defines the steps to be taken if a pest is spotted. This ought to include whom to report it to. Ensure every staff member understands and can implement the protocol as well.

To give your pest manager the best chance to come up with a customised solution to resolve the issue, your employees will need to record when, where and how many were seen at the time. What’s better is if you can catch one of the pests for later identification. Just remember to keep it in a container.

It’s paramount to be on the forefront when it comes to preparing for a pest problem. Properly and continuously educate your staff on pests and pest prevention practices. This will enable you to maintain a clean and healthy space not only for you and your employees, but also and especially for your customers.

Got a pest infestation? Call Bob Gunn Termite Solutions in Brisbane today. We offer FREE quotes for all our services.

Man reading a paper with HVAC on it

HVAC System Pest Control Tips

Like humans, pests need to shelter themselves and keep dry. This is why they persistently invade buildings even after countless efforts of being repelled. The HVAC system is one integral part of commercial properties that can be easily infested. Once pests begin to breed and live inside the HVAC system, you can expect several health risks, including allergies and respiratory problems.

Another reason why it’s paramount for facility management to properly maintain the system is because pests can invade its parts and cause massive damage. Some of them can even get trapped inside and die. Not only can this result in costly repair bills, but also in a problematic indoor air quality.

Pests That Can Invade HVAC Systems:

• Mice and Rats
• Cockroaches
• Spiders
• Snakes
• Possums

HVAC System Pest Control Tips:

• Clean and secure your ducts, vents and flues post-installation
• Inspect for any cracks and gaps
• Get an annual HVAC maintenance
• Have air-vent screens installed and clear outdoor units
• Keep cooling system free of vegetation and debris
• Change the filters on a regular basis
• Ensure exterior areas around the building are free of weeds and overgrowth

Seek the Help of Professionals

Effectively keep pests out of the HVAC system in factories, schools, retail stores, and other commercial properties by scheduling regular pest control treatment and maintenance. When it comes to seasonal pests, quarterly treatments are suggested.

At Bob Gunn Termite Solutions, we offer commercial pest control and can assist you with HVAC system pest control. Get in touch with us in Brisbane today and let us know about your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

american cockroach bite

What You Need to Know About Cockroach Bites

Cockroaches are nocturnal omnivores that can bite human skin. Whilst they rarely do so, a simple wound they’ve caused can last for up to a week.

Can All Types of Cockroaches Bite?

Yes, all cockroaches can bite. If they feel threatened, they choose to be offensive rather than defensive. It’s also important to note that some cockroaches are more likely to attack than others.

When their food supply is low, that’s when they attack. On the other hand, they’re unlikely to do so if there’s an existing food source such as a garbage bin or uncovered food.

Their timid nature doesn’t stop them from attacking humans while they’re asleep. Cockroaches go for places where food residue may be left behind. These can be the following:
• Mouth
• Hands
• Fingernails
• Feet
• Eyelashes

How Painful Is a Cockroach Bite?

The pain of a cockroach bite depends on the bitten person’s tolerance level. He or she may experience a slight twinge or pinch but the discomfort doesn’t last very long.

What Does a Cockroach Bite Look Like?

You can easily mistake a cockroach bite for a bed bug bite or a bite from other insects (mosquitoes, fleas, etc). However, there are a few differences which set a cockroach bite apart.

Compared to a bed bug bite, a bite from a cockroach is bright red in colour, 1-4 mm in width and is a little hefty. Also, there won’t be a series of bites as in the case of a bed bug attack. There will only be one wound.

Swelling and itching most likely occur. Once infected, the bite can lead to inflammation and outgrow in size.

What Are Some Cockroach Bite Home Remedies?

Wash the area thoroughly with a disinfectant as soon as you’re bitten. This will not only help eliminate bacteria, but this will also prevent contracting infection.

If swelling happens, apply an ice pack to reduce it. Take an antihistamine if itchiness begins. Warm water, lemon juice and Aloe Vera are a few home remedies that you can apply.

Remember to never scratch a cockroach bite as it can cut the skin, risking an infection.

How to Prevent Cockroach Bites

Practice good sanitation and you’ll find virtually zero cockroaches in your home. However, if they’ve started to infest your property already, it’s best to hire reputable pest control technicians.

For cockroach treatments that work, contact Bob Gunn Termite Solutions in Brisbane today. A Queensland pest manager multi-award winner, we adopt measures based on your specific situation and go the extra mile for our customers every time.

Bee leaving stinger on skin

What You Need to Know About Bee Stings

In Australia, bees claim about two lives annually. Whilst fatalities caused by bee stings are rare, bees hospitalise people more than any venomous creature.

Read on and learn what happens when you’re stung by a bee, and how you can tell whether you’ll get a severe reaction or not.

How Do Bees Sting?

Bees possess a venom sac and, at the end of their abdomen, a barbed stinger. They use these parts when they feel threatened or under attack, mainly to defend their hive from being destroyed.

Once the bee pierces the skin with its barb, venom is injected and pheromones are released. These pheromones can stimulate nearby bees to join the defensive attack.

Bee Venom

When injected into our body, bee venom can lead to itching, irritation, local swelling and pain that may last for hours. In spite of this, certain bee venom components have been utilised in cancer treatments.

How Our Body Reacts to Bee Venom

Whilst a single sting is almost always limited to the aforementioned local effects, there are people who develop an allergy to some bee venom proteins.

Anaphylaxis can be launched by our body’s immune system to try and protect us against the venom. It is a severe allergic reaction that can be lethal.

What causes life-threatening problems and hospitalisation is actually not the bee venom itself but our body’s allergy to it.

How Do I Know If I’m Allergic to Bee Venom?

You are unlikely to be allergic to bee venom if you haven’t been stung by a bee before. Otherwise, you can develop an allergy.

You may have an allergic sensitivity if you have gone through large local reaction from the sting, or symptoms separate from the site where you’ve been stung. These include swelling, rashes and itchy skin elsewhere, dizziness and difficulty breathing.

Get assessed by a doctor who will take a full history of your reactions. Blood allergy testing or skin testing can also help eliminate or confirm potential allergy triggers.

First Aid

What to Do When You’ve Been Stung by a Bee

Unlike wasps, bees leave their sting on the skin, dying shortly after. When you’re stung, get rid of the sting within half a minute. Doing so keeps the amount of venom injected to a minimum.

To flick or scratch out the barb, use a hard surface. This can be the edge of a credit card, fingernail or key. A cold pack may help relieve symptoms of a minor reaction such as local swelling and pain.

If you’re stung in the neck region, or you have difficulty breathing or experience any dizziness, light-headedness or wheezing, seek medical attention immediately.

Prevention

Bees play an essential role in the environment. If you see a bee, best leave it alone. Don’t try to swat it or step on it. Remember: bees don’t attack unless they feel their hive is in danger.

To relocate a hive on your property, call an expert. At Bob Gunn Termite Solutions, we are more than capable and glad to assist you with this. Contact us in Brisbane today. We offer FREE quotes on all our services.

Bed bug bites on the box

Bed Bug Bites & Flea Bites: Appearance, Treatment, Prevention

A group of small dots on your skin can either be bites from bed bugs or fleas. One difference between flea bites and bed bug bites is that flea bites are most commonly found on lower parts of the body like elbows and knees. On the other hand, bed bug bites are usually around the neck, on the arms and face—the upper parts of the body.

Barbecued meat on a grill

7 Tips to Avoid Bugs on the Barbie

Friends having a barbie


Spring and summer bring the perfect weather to enjoy a good ol’ backyard barbecue party with family and friends. However, as the months get warmer and warmer, more and more pests come out from hiding too.

Ants, mosquitoes, wasps and flies are just some of the nuisances that can ruin the fun. Avoid these and other bugs on the barbie with the following tips from Bob Gunn Termite Solutions:

1. Wear Light-Coloured Clothing and Use Neutral Food Containers and Plates


Insects such as bees and mosquitoes have impressive visual perception. Red, orange and yellow attract bees (even though they cannot actually see the colour) while black, blue and red attract mosquitoes. Flower-looking patterns are also bug magnets. Keeping everything plain and in light colours prevents winged insects from landing on your food (and you).

2. Don’t Put on Cologne, Perfume and/or Fragrant Lotion


The olfactory sense of insects is, more often than not, as strong as their sense of sight. Apart from the smells of food, they are easily drawn to the scents of perfumes and colognes (and even sweat!). Avoid the bugs by swapping fragrances with spray repellents, preferably those with DEET or menthoglycol.

3. Take Advantage of Candles


A lit candle’s heat irritates flies. Use this to your advantage. Light up a candle near your plates and see the number of pesky flies hovering nearby reduce. It’s simple but it works! Just make sure to secure the candles from being knocked over, especially by little hands.

4. Keep the Bin Away


Never set up your barbie within 50 feet of a rubbish bin. Ants and other insects swarm around trash and often surround the bin.

5. Prioritise Cleanliness and Sanitation


Wipe spills right away. Similarly, fallen pieces of food or crumbs should be picked up or swept away and thrown in a (faraway) bin immediately. Maintaining the cleanliness of your area goes a long way in preventing bugs from disturbing your barbie.

6. Cover Your Food and Drinks


The only sure way of keeping insects from landing on your food and falling in your drinks is by covering your edibles and beverages at all times—a self-explanatory tip.

7. Build a Barrier


Make a “moat” for your table by placing a saucer filled with water under each table leg. This makeshift moat will keep ants from climbing up for sure.

If this is not possible, rub cinnamon or talcum powder with a cotton ball around the area where the food will be. You can also apply it on the table legs and the bare table (if you’re using a tablecloth) just for added protection. Wipe off any excess cinnamon or talcum powder.

When to Call a Professional


Follow these tips and have an awesome, pest-free barbie this season. If you think that the bugs have become unstoppable, however, it is best to call a pest control company that offers a range of cost-effective solutions—just like Bob Gunn Termite Solutions.

For your pest control needs, contact us today. We offer free quotes to clients in and around Brisbane.

Protect Your Garden From Rodents - Woman Digging in a Vegetable Garden

How to Protect Your Garden From Rodents

Horticulturists are faced with a broad range of challenges on a day to day basis. These may include unfavourable weather, defective irrigation and, on a larger scale, current economic conditions. The most mundane yet biggest problem that most of them have, however, is perhaps safeguarding their crops against rodents.

If you’re a horticulturist or simply a gardener, you’re in for a treat. Bob Gunn Termite Solutions has provided you with the following tips on how you can protect your garden from rodents:

1. Determine what kind of pest is lurking in your garden. Faeces, mounds of soil and tunnels are a few signs that something has chewed an opening into your property.

2. Inspect your yard and garden closely and identify the spaces which attract rats and mice the most.

3. Ensure you don’t have a water source or pet food waiting for them. Rodents can also turn wood piles or ground covers into their homes. In fact, merely owning a garden is enough to lure them in.

4. Once you’ve determined what rodents are on your property and the reason why they’re there, devising a control and management plan is necessary. Our team can help you with this one. We implement eradication solutions that are based on each pest’s biology and habits. This ensures that no harm is done to the environment and to other animals in the vicinity.

5. Make your yard less attractive to them.

6. Isolation is typically a key in controlling rats and mice. Cover potential entrance holes, install fences such as electric ones and use hardware cloth to prevent animals from tunnelling under the wall and getting into your garden beds.

Whilst you can utilise deadly tactics such as traps to protect your garden from rodents, it is imperative to leave rodent control in the hands of those who know best. Let Bob Gunn Termite Solutions address your pest issue for you. Contact us in Brisbane today and worry about one less thing when it comes to your crops, garden and home.

Types of bees: Honeybees depositing nectar

Identifying the Different Types of Bees

Bees, if not for their pollinating or honey-making capability, are known for their stinging mechanism. That’s why people treating them as pests comes as no surprise. What a lot of humans don’t know, however, is that not all of them are aggressive (nor are all of them designed to make honey).

Checking for bed bugs

How to Check Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

Hotels, inns and other establishments in the hospitality industry are very much prone to bed bugs. With hundreds of guests going in and out, infestations come as no surprise.

If you’re a constant traveller, it’s important to protect yourself from these blood sucking pests—of course, unless you want an unpleasant bed bug situation to hold you back from the main purpose of your trip.

Clueless on how to examine your hotel room for bed bugs? Bob Gunn Termite Solutions has got you covered.

Ensure your stay is bed bug problem-free by following these steps:

1) Once you enter your room, don’t unpack immediately. Instead, place your luggage in the bathtub. Avoid the luggage rack or valet as there might be bugs present from the previous guest’s luggage.

2) Equip yourself with some useful tools for inspection. Use a penlight or flashlight (or that of your phone) and a credit card.

3) Completely remove the cover and check the sheets’ surface.

4) Expose the mattress, removing the linens including the blanket from the bed. Start with the corners as this is where bed bugs like to hide. Look for:
• Live bugs about 4mm long
• Rusty or reddish stains
• Dark brown blood spots
• Eggs and eggshells about 1mm in size as well as pale yellow skins (shed by nymphs)

5) Use a credit card to get underneath the mattress’s folds and, with a flashlight, examine the darker hiding spots.

6) Don’t leave any corner of the mattress unchecked.

7) It’s crucial to check the headboard and the nightstand as well—all the cracks and crevices.

8) Inspect framed pictures hanging on the wall.

9) Check the seams and folds of any upholstered furniture in the room.

10) Examine the curtains thoroughly.

If you find any sign of bed bugs or live ones, notify the front desk immediately. Look for another hotel or simply request to be moved to a new room that’s far away from your current room. While you’re at it, encourage your hotel to hire the services of a reliable pest control company, just like us at Bob Gunn Termite Solutions. For more information, contact us today.

Hantavirus causes breathing problems

Hantavirus Facts You Need to Know

Rodents, such as deer mice, white-footed mice, rice rats and cotton rats, have been known to carry hantavirus. Exposure to infected rodents or their urine, saliva or faeces can cause diseases like hantavirus haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). With a mortality rate of 38%, HPS can be fatal.

Here are some things you need to know about the rare yet deadly virus:


1. Anyone can contract HPS, even healthy people. That is why it is important to stay clear of mice or rats more so rodent-infested areas.

2. Hantaviruses are airborne. Once inhaled, they dwell in the lungs and occupy one’s capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, breaking them. Then, fluid fills the lungs, leading to HPS in some cases.

3. Early symptoms are much like those of influenza or pneumonia. These may consist of fever, headaches, chills, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain. Late symptoms include coughing with secretions, shortness of breath and low blood pressure. These happen 4 to 10 days after the initial phase of the illness.

Hantavirus Prevention


Whilst taking extreme care in cleaning up rodent excretions and nesting materials helps in preventing hantavirus, the best way is still by keeping rodents out of your home. Don’t risk your loved ones’ health and yours. Instead, seek the help of a professional pest control company—just like Bob Gunn Termite Solutions.

With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, we are more than capable of ridding you of your rodent issue—or any pest problem for that matter. Contact us in Brisbane today! We offer quotes FREE of charge.




Reference:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Signs & Symptoms | Hantavirus | DHCPP | CDC.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Facts About Hantaviruses: What You Need To Know To Prevent the Disease Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).