Conquer Termites is often asked by media to comment and offer advise on pest control matters. Please read below the last article to appear in the Sunday Mail, 23 December 2012

Keep Chrissy free of pests

UNWANTED guests can ruin Christmas dinner – not relatives, but pests of the insect variety. Rowan Bates, Conquer Termites and Pest Management manager, says serious invasions call for expert help but there are simple ways to discourage cockroaches, ants and flies.


There are three types of cockroaches common in Queensland: American. Australian and German. No matter which is invading your kitchen, good hygiene is the best defense. Rowan says Australian and American cockroaches are the largest while the smaller German cockroaches are prolific breeders and because they are smaller, can get into tighter cracks and crevices. If you don’t persist with good cleaning habits they will quickly take over. “Dishwashers are normally the epicenter for cockroaches,” Rowan says. “They have moisture and warmth and cockroaches love it.” He recommends regularly cleaning the filter of food scraps. Coffee lovers should also ensure they don’t leave any water in the machine after they use it.

Rowan says screens stop Australian cockroaches from flying in and if you have a brick or rendered home, there are insects at hardware stores that go into the weep holes to stop vermin getting in, but which don’t completely block them.  He says surface sprays are also effective, but if you see a cockroach during the day, you definitely have a problem and need some expert help.


Rowan says to make sure you keep meal preparation areas clean, put away leftovers and wipe away crumbs.

And take out the rubbish. “Get into the routine of taking out the rubbish every night, because insects will come out at night most of the time, particularly cockroaches,” he says. “You should tie up your bag tightly put it into another bag and put it in the wheelie bin.”

“You need the second bag because it can be in your wheelie bin for six to seven days and you want to make sure that doesn’t become a good source for general pests.” Rowan says it is also important to clean the bin insides carefully, making sure you get rid of any “juices”. He says also to clean out pet bowls. Rowan says that adult ants eat nectar so you will attract them if you have a lot of succulent plants around the house. “If you have trees up against the house, cut the branches off so they can’t get entry,” he says “You will be surprised how often they do that. “Sometimes ants will nest inside the wall cavity, if you have a small gap in the kitchen or bathroom between the tiles, you could see a trail of ants coming out. Get some ‘No Gap and plug them.” If they are persistent use surface spray to break they pheromone trail. This is the trail that tells other ants the way to the food.


Mosquitoes breed in water, so get rid of any stagnant water or make sure any is screened or covered. Brisbane City Council recommends emptying the water from pot plant bases every week or fill them and self-watering pot cavities with sand. Drain and cover boats and clear leaves from roof gutters to prevent pooling. If you have a pond, stock it with native fish.


The best way to stop flies coming inside is screen doors and windows.


  •  Clean up the kitchen
  • Put leftover in sealed containers
  • Take out the rubbish
  • Vacuum to get rid of crumbs
  • Don’t leave out pet food
  • Don’t leave water in coffee machines
  • Clean the dishwater filter
  • Install screens over windows and doors
  • Use surface spray
  • Cut back any tree branches touching your house



American Cockroach

Large, length about 40 mm, reddish- brown with an indistinct brown pattern on the thorax and no yellow edges on the fore wings.

Australian Cockroach

Large, length about 40 mm, reddish – brown. The thorax is yellowish with dark brown edges and a central patch, and the forewings have yellowish edges at their bases. Despite its name, this species are introduced, possibly from Asia.

 German Cockroach

Length 10 mm. Pale with two dark bars running lengthwise along the thorax. This is the common small household pest cockroach in southeast Queensland.