General Pest Control Services

We can provide general pest control services for any commercial, industrial or domestic buildings in the Byron & Tweed shires & surrounds. We will also provide free quotations on any pest problem or routine control.

Termite Inspections & Control

We provide both routine termite inspections and pre-purchase termite inspections. We have over 20 years experience in termite control and can provide & service the latest termite barrier technologies.

Pre-purchase Pest Inspections

We specialise in pre-purchase pest inspections in the Tweed & Byron areas. We are fully licensed, accredited & insured and work with many local real estate agents as their preferred pest inspectors.

Byron Pest Control

Cape Byron Pest Management / Byron Pest Control are a family run business located in Ocean Shores, NSW. We service all of the Byron shire & surrounds including Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Bangalow, New Brighton, South Golden Beach, Billinudgel, Brunswick Heads, Tyagarah, Myocum, Wilsons Creek, The Pocket, Main Arm, Ewingsdale, Suffolk Park, Pottsville and most suburbs in between. Our team have over 20 years experience in general pest control, termite inspections & pre-purchase inspections. We provide a reliable & friendly service and are fully licensed, accredited & insured. Whether it's domestic, commercial or industrial we are happy to provide a quote for any pest problem or routine inspection service.

Pest Control FAQ

Identification
Termite workers and soldiers resemble ants, but do not have the "waist" of an ant. Most termites are pale in colour, soldier caste with a darker head (although there are some pale ants too). Like ants, termites are social insects - they live in colonies. Some species build characteristic mounds, while many others live entirely underground. Termite species are commonly classed as either "subterranean", "drywood" or "dampwood" termites. Alate (winged) termites have dark, cylindrical bodies and four long, delicate wings which they shed after their mating flight. Australian pest species belong to the genera Coptotermes, Heterotermes, Nasutitermes, Schedorhinotermes and Mastotermes (the last in the tropics only).

Distribution
Australia-wide, but more diverse in timbered and northern (tropical) parts of the country.

Life history
Termites feed on cellulose in the form of living or dead plant tissue, such as timber, grass and man-made products like paper and cardboard. They live in colonies consisting of a the primary pair (queen & king) assisted by a large number of workers together with fewer soldiers which defend the colony from predators. Juveniles are also usually present. Certain, usually stormy weather conditions trigger mating flights in which male and female alates leave a parental nest to mate, disperse and establish new colonies.
Most pest species in Australia are subterranean termites and need contact with the soil and moisture. Their nests may be visible as a mound, or be concealed underground, in damp timber or in a tree. From the nest, workers make subterranean tunnels, sometimes more than 50m long, to remote feeding sources. Where buildings are attacked there may be more than one entry point. Timbers vary in their susceptibility to attack, but those that are susceptible include both soft and hardwoods. Infested timber is often hollowed out.

Pest Status
Damage to house frames may be expensive and need costly repairs; in the worst cases the house may be condemned. Subterranean termites are estimated to cost Australia $80-100 million/year in structural damage and associated pest management. Approximately 1 in 4 houses are attacked by termites.

Management
Termite management consists firstly of keeping the pests away from susceptible structures - prevention is better than the cure. Preventive measures include physical barriers, chemical barriers, baiting systems or the use of termite-resistant building materials.
Timber pergolas, verandahs and steps should not be in contact with the ground. Do not plant trees, shrubs and climbers against a building, and be aware that nests in mature eucalypts, tree stumps and hardwood sleeper walls are potential sources of building infestations. If the building is on a slab, avoid piling soil or timber against external walls. If the floor is on stumps or brick piers, inspect the "ant" caps regularly for breaches, and make sure no flooring timbers are in contact with the ground.
Where a building is found to be infested, the infestation can only be chemically treated by a licenced pest controller. The pest controller will attempt to locate and treat the source nest if possible, or install a chemical soil barrier or baiting system. Bait systems are useful for monitoring and treating infestations.
Here on the North Coast of New South Wales we have lots of things that bite. We live in a sub-tropical environment that is alive with plants, animals and insects. Visitors come here from all over the World and fears and expectations vary. This is especially challenging to the local Pest Control industry.
If you are being bitten by something, you may find this information helpful.
We offer free advice on all pest problems, please feel free to contact us.
 
THE SENSATION OF BEING BITTEN
You have called out the Pest Manager to treat ‘bities’. You expect he will treat the premises and when he has finished you will not feel any more bites. Is this a correct expectation? The cause of ‘bites’ is often unknown, the solution may be difficult to uncover. The reaction to bites varies between people. Some people appear to be more attractive to insects and/or react more severely to bites. This variance in reaction often makes it difficult to diagnose the cause from the ‘bite’ alone. Quite often it is not a pest problem but a medical condition.
There are a range of causes for the sensation of being bitten, producing symptoms of ‘bites’: 
  • Insects and related animals
  • Physical irritants
  • Chemical allergens
  • Sympathetic reaction to others showing signs of being bitten
  • Delusions of being bitten – these may be stand alone conditions, disease related or can even be drug induced.
Visible insects and related animals
Distinct bites on exposed parts of the body, the cause is normally apparent, although the pest may leave before being spotted. Examples include ants, fleas, mosquitoes, bees, spiders and wasps.
‘Invisible’ insects and related animals
Bedbugs – bite just before dawn. Blood spots may be found on bedding and dried blood and live insects on the mattress, cracks in furniture and attachments to the wall, curtains and the smooth edge under the carpet. These require a very thorough treatment.
Caterpillar hairs – processionary caterpillars drop stinging (urticating) hairs as they trail and also around their silken shelters. When the hairs touch the body, a stinging sensation results.
Lice – body, head and pubic. These are obligate parasites of people and are medical problems, requiring chemical rinses of the affected parts and washing of clothing/bedding in contact with the body.
Book lice, or psocids, do not have sucking mouthparts so do not bite but their rasping action may cause irritancy.
Midge – or sandflies. Can inflict a painful bite but are not proven to be a vector of disease.
Mites – some bird and rat mites can inflict painful bites. Bird mites are prevalent when the young leave the nest in spring, streaming down one or two walls in the house, looking for their next feed. Long-term control is achieved by removing the hosts and bird proofing the area. The female scabies mite burrows into the skin to lay eggs and must be treated as a medical problem. Dust mites do not bite, they cause an allergic reaction resulting in asthma.
Thrips – attracted from plants to white washing, biting the unsuspecting person as they put the clothes away.
 
Physical irritants
The effect is often delayed from the time of contact.

Synthetic and plant fibres – the effect of fibres is felt when they penetrate pores of the skin opened by heat such as in a hot shower. Synthetic fibres are found in some lounge suites and fibreglass insulation. Plant fibres from office paper dust, grass seeds and coconut fibre in hanging pots are common causes of ‘bites’.

Heat rash – especially at change of season where the night temperature fluctuates from day to day – people leave the warm covers on warm nights.

Static electricity – an oldie but a goodie – we understand the zap as we get out of the car on a dry day but imagine that repeatedly in smaller doses for ladies wearing stockings in the dehumidified computer rooms of old. Dry air and static electricity can cause particles of carpet fibres, paper splinters and fibreglass fibres to jump onto arms and legs. These particles feel like little ‘pin pricks’ and cause irritations that feel and may look similar to bug bites. Applying moisture (with or without chemical) will give temporary relief. An anti-static spray may be useful.

Chemical allergens - contact with chemicals taken internally such as medications and dairy products or by contact such as detergents, perfumes, plant resins and paper dust can cause allergies manifesting themselves as dermatitis and hives.

Medical conditions - Ringworm, hookworm, pinworm and athlete’s foot may cause itching and rashes similar to those from bug bites. Prescription and recreational drugs may cause symptoms consistent with bugs crawling, biting and burrowing into the skin. Other causes are listed below.There is also a possible link to oestrogen deficiencies which would explain the dominance of ‘change of life’ females that report ‘bities.
Sufferers of ‘bities’ are often desperate for relief and demand treatment, sometimes gaining short-term relief and demanding re-treatment again and again. The addition of more chemical into their environment may lead to other problems, especially as their plight often causes them to find relief by daubing their skin with unusual concoctions in excess.

THE PEST MANAGER WILL ASK QUESTIONS AND TRY TO IDENTIFY THE PEST – when and where the bites occur – location and parts of the body. Symptoms and suffering are real but are often caused by something other than biting pests. Irritations may become infected and compound the problem. If a likely cause cannot be found medical advice should be sought. Tests can be done to rule out some of the possibilities. If the cause is not from an insect or related animal, any treatment undertaken will not succeed.
Some properties are invaded in autumn every year as rats and mice seek shelter in cooler weather. Others may be invaded when nearby areas are developed. If you are aware of a potential influx, contact us to introduce a program before the event.
- Pet food is a major attraction for rodents. Ensure that all pet food is never left outside overnight and by storing in metal containers. 
- The house should be inspected for potential entry points, concentrating on gaps in the wall, such as weep holes, doors and windows and penetrations for plumbing and electrical services. 
- Trim all tree branches away from the house. Remove ivy and trellises from the walls. 
- Do not store timber or debris adjacent to the house. 
- Repair leaky taps and remove other water sources. 
- Rodents develop territories and have a social hierarchy. Not all will have equal access to baits. The most dominant and aggressive individuals tend to be the oldest and largest male members of the colony. Treatment programs must be designed to control the colony, rather than a few individuals. 
- An adult house mouse produces 50 to 100 droppings and up to 3,000 micro-droplets of urine per day, a rat about 40 to 50 droppings per day or 15,000droppings and over 10 litres of urine per year. 
- Rodents may die in inaccessible places such as wall cavities. Odours from dead mice are seldom a problem but rats, because of their larger body mass may cause an odour. Your Pest Manager may be able to find and remove the carcass or apply odour absorbing products.

Controlling rats & mice in domestic situations
Rodents are the most common mammals in the world, both in numbers and in species. Australia has more than 60 species of native rodents. These natives rarely invade homes but some do cause problems in agriculture. 

There are also three introduced rodents:
  • Rattus norvegicus the sewer or brown rat
  • Rattus rattus - the roof or black rat
  • Mus musculus - the house mouse
It is the introduced rodents that cause problems in urban areas. These are known as commensal rodents – those that live with or near people and depend on humans for at least part of their food or shelter. They are often attracted to houses for food and shelter as the weather cools in autumn/winter. Rodents prominent incisor teeth grow continuously. ‘Rodent’ is derived from the Latin ‘rodere’ which means ‘to gnaw’. Gnawing is a natural and necessary survival behaviour of the rat and mouse. Rats and mice enjoy gnawing wires – a potential cause of fires in houses. Rodents contaminate our environment with their urine and droppings and by spreading disease. Rodents are known to be vectors of over fifty disease organisms including the causes of plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus and food poisoning. 

Rodent species
SEWER RAT - Rattus norvegicus Originated in Central Asia. Large, aggressive, adaptable and sly. 
ROOF RAT - Rattus rattus A native of the forests of equatorial Southeast Asia. It was the most common rat in urban areas in Europe during the outbreaks of plague.
HOUSE MOUSE - Mus musculus Believed to have originated in Central Asia. Mice adapted to structures associated with the storage and transport of grain, with their provision of shelter, warmth and food.

CONTROL INSPECTION To determine the species, the extent and severity of the problem, the location of harbourages and areas of activity and appropriate control strategies.
HYGIENE Mow the lawn, eliminate clutter, debris, rubbish and access to pet food (metal containers and take in at night). Limiting food, water and shelter makes it harder for the rodent to survive and increases the effectiveness of control strategies. 
PROOFING Keep them out! This may be simple or not practical – a mouse can get through a hole the size of the tip of your little finger, a rat requires the size of the tip of your thumb. The main areas of entry are doors, overhanging branches, vents and penetrations for plumbing and electricals.
TRAPPING There are a variety of traps including curiosity traps, sticky boards and snap traps. The placement of these devices is critical to their success.
BAITING This is the most common method used by Pest Managers and by the general public – the differences are that Pest Managers know which active ingredients and formulations are most suitable for the situation at hand and they will often integrate other actions listed above, depending on what they find in the inspection. The baits used in urban areas are anticoagulant rodenticides. These reduce the ability of the blood to clot causing internal haemorrhage. Death occurs from four days after commencement of feeding. Baits must be kept out of reach of children and pets. If a non-target animal feeds on the bait, take the animal and a sample of the bait to a veterinarian. If the animal shows signs of poisoning, the vet will administer an antidote. 
Below is a list of naturally termite resistant timbers. Many of these timbers are not readily available in some areas and quite often aren't cheap to buy. They are though readily found in some older buildings and it can be handy to identify them. You may find that you don't need to spend money protecting timbers in your home that are already termite resistant. Several of the timbers listed were milled and widely used in the Byron Shire for framing and flooring timbers. If you're not sure and you'd like to know you can speak to a local builder or contact us.

NATURALLY TERMITE-RESISTANT TIMBERS AS PER AUSTRALIAN STANDARD A.S. 3660.1
AUSTRALIAN HARDWOODS
Botanical name - Common name

Eucalypts
Eucalyptus acmenoides - White mahogany.
E. andrewsii - New England blackbutt
E. astringens - Brown mallet
E. blakelyi - Forest red gum
E. bosistoana - Coast grey box
E. botryoides - Southern mahogany
E. camaldulensis - River red gum
E. canaliculata - Grey gum
E. cladocalyx - Sugar gum
E. cloeziana - Gympie messmate
E. consideniana - Yertchuk
E. crebra - Narrow-leaved red ironbark
J E. eugenioides - White stringybark
E. fibrosa - Broad-leaved red ironbark
E. gomphocephala - Tuart
E. goniocalyx - Long-leaved box
E. gummifera - Red bloodwood
E. haemastoma - Scribbly gum
E. leucoxylon - Yellow gum
E. longifolia - Woolly butt
E. macrorhyncha - Red stringybark
E. maculata - Spotted gum
E. marginata - Jarrah
E. melliodora - Yellow box
E. microcorys - Tallowwood
E. moluccana - Grey box
E. muelleriana - Yellow stringybark
E. paniculata - Grey ironbark
E. patens - W .A. blackbutt
E. pilularis - Blackbutt
E. polyanthemos - Red box
E. resinifera - Red mahogany
E. salmonophloia - Salmon gum
E. sideroxylon - Red ironbark
E. spha~roca:pa - Blackdown stringybark
E. teret,cornls - Forest red gum r:
E. wandoo - Wandoo
 
Non-eucalypts
Acacia acuminata - Raspberry jam
A. harpophylla - Brigalow
Allocasuarina luehmannii - Bulloak
Lophostemon confertus - Brush box
L. suaveolens - Swamp box
Syncarpia glomulifera - Turpentine
S. hillii - - Satinay
Xanthostemon chrysanthus - Brown penda
X. whitei - - Red penda
 
AUSTRALIAN NATIVE SOFTWOODS - AS 3660.1-1995 54
Athrotaxis selaginoides - King William pine
Callitris endlicheri - Black cypress pine
C. columellaris - White cypress pine
Lagarostrobos franklinii - Huon pine
Phyllocladus asplenifolius - Celery-top pine
 
IMPORTED HARDWOODS
lntsia bijuga - Kwila (Merbau)
Pterocarpus indicus - New Guinea rosewood
Tectona grandis - Burmese teak
Shorea albida - Balau
 
IMPORTED SOFTWOODS
Sequoia sempervirens - Redwood
Thuja plicata - Western red cedar

  Some of our satisfied customers...

We have been using Cape Byron Pest Management for over 10 years and have always been happy with their service, reliability & price.

Peter - Ocean Shores,

Pests

Some of the most common pests found in Australia.

Fleas

Fleas

The main concern about fleas is usually the distress and discomfort that flea bites may cause you or your beloved pet.

Ants

Ants

Ants like to feed on sugars, proteins, fats and vegetate matter. They eat and spoil food and pose a real sanitary risk.

Spiders

Spiders

Australia is home to many different kinds of spiders, some are venomous and some are not. Spiders are generally considered the most feared of all household pests.

Termites

Termites

Termites are considered to be the most destructive insect pests in the world. Many buildings and structures are damaged by these pests each year.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches

The three main types of cockroaches commonly found in homes in Australia include the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach and American cockroach.

Rats & Mice

Rats & Mice

Some properties are invaded in autumn every year as rats and mice seek shelter in cooler weather. Others may be invaded when nearby areas are developed.

02 6680 3227 | 0412 009 536

27 Coomburra Crescent, Byron Bay, NSW

info@byronpest.com.au