12 December 2023

Hot tips to keep your home comfortably pest-free this summer

| Morgan Kenyon
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window wall on home

Midges in the morning, flies during the day, mosquitoes at night… summer can attract all manner of unwelcome guests into the home. Photo: Monaro Screens.

Citronella candles only go so far against the telltale whine of the dreaded mozzie.

Common flying pests active in Canberra during warm weather include midges, mosquitoes and flies, moths, beetles, cockroaches and wasps. And while they may not be airborne, spiders, ants and silverfish can still make their way indoors with ease.

Most homes in the region have screens protecting doors, windows and outside spaces but, if there are any weaknesses, invading bugs are bound to find them eventually.

To keep insects out this summer, technician Michael Devries from Quality One Pest Control advises a combination of physical and chemical protection.

READ MORE Why homeowners are choosing to refresh rather than renovate during tougher times

“Good pest control is all about managing populations to a number we’re comfortable with and safe around,” he says.

“It’s not necessarily eradication – living in the bush capital means you’re always going to come across spiders, ants and wasps to some extent, but we don’t want them running rampant where we eat and sleep.”

Best practices around the home such as carefully storing food and rubbish, keeping indoor spaces dry, minimising outdoor clutter and cleaning drains helps to deter the arrival of pests.

“Be proactive – prevention is always best,” Michael says.

“Maintain a good baseline by having your property sprayed annually, and for larger problems like nesting rodents and birds, always get a licensed technician in to help.”

For homeowners avoiding chemical protection, physical barriers can help manage insect numbers around the property, but should be high quality and regularly maintained.

Secondary screwworm fly on plant

Blowflies enjoy warm, humid weather conditions and will travel multiple kilometres to find a comfortable place to feed, then quickly multiply. Photo: Bob Balestri.

Pest problems aside, living in the ACT also means dealing with unpredictable weather. Forty degree days and damaging thunderstorms are followed by nights that freeze over just a few months later, with hail, high winds and pollen attacks scattered in between.

Monaro Screens general manager Ben Byatt says navigating Canberra’s climate is indeed a challenge, but there are ways to make it easier at home.

“When you have massive highs and lows in weather like we do in the ACT, combined with the usual antics of Australian pests, it can be tricky to find the right fit when it comes to screening your home.

“If you’re looking to install or upgrade your protections, it’s important to start by outlining your priorities.

“Think about why you need a screen, what it will be used for and when, the budget and space you’re working with, and what you want it to look like.”

If you have bi-fold or French doors and just want to let the morning breeze in on weekends, Ben suggests a retractable insect screen.

“Long gone are the days where you install a clunky, prison-like screen door that never quite closes properly. They’re slim, modern, easy to clean and very durable, plus we can make them in 30 different materials to suit any style,” he says.

“If you’re not sure what to look for but aren’t happy with your current design, any reputable provider should be able to talk you through it and present a few different options.”

Monaro Screens is also a leading Crimsafe provider, and while the brand can come with a hefty price tag, Ben says it’s best to go with the highest quality you can afford.

“I see clients every day who are worried about their house being broken into and their family harmed or valuables stolen, especially as Canberra’s population continues to rise amidst a cost of living crisis,” he says.

“Crimsafe is probably your best bet if you want some extra security against would-be intruders, or even an escape artist pet. It’s the highest standard of safety screening in the country, but it doesn’t hinder your view or block the breeze.

“It might seem simple but these products really do save you time, stress and money, and ultimately improve your quality of life.”

Explore Monaro Screens’ products, craftsmanship and design in person (4/75 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick) or check out its virtual showroom online.


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