Kiwis ought to anticipate an virtually ‘biblical plague’ of bugs as climate clears, specialists warn

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Kiwis should expect an almost ‘biblical plague’ of insects as weather clears, experts warn

This prediction is made by the Vice President of the Pest Management Association of New Zealand (PEMANZ), Dr. Paul Cradock, who expects a “huge surge in numbers” over the next week or so.

“So these are flies, mosquitoes, and other fast-breeding insects like these.”

Another danger to be wary of is the various diseases that flies can carry.

Cradock said diseases like campylobacter and salmonella are “a very real risk”.

“You’re dealing with flies that are outside buzzing around the dog poop in the backyard, and from there it’s a short hop inside or even onto your patio or grill.”

Stobart said, “You have to try to reduce your exposure to flies to reduce your risk of getting sick.”

While flies, mosquitoes and roaches are pretty gross, Kiwis should also be on the lookout for an increased presence of spiders.

“Remember, they don’t just eat flies, they eat other stuff too. All spiders eat cockroaches, earwigs, anything that falls into their web, they eat,” Stobart said.

Stobart and Cradock shared some of their top tips for keeping bugs out of your living and dining areas.

Both emphasized the importance of hygiene, with a particular focus on reducing food odors to lessen your home’s attractiveness to these insects.

Another simple solution is to create airflow through your home.

Cradock noted that “Flies don’t like moving air. If you have fans, ceiling fans, pedestal fans that just push air around, it keeps them from being there.”

Both also recommend tidying up your section, whether it’s picking up dog poo on the lawn, moving piles of wood away from the house, or making sure your compost pile is healthy.

Her tips are worth keeping an eye on, as Cradock sees the bug barrage last for a while.

“We’re probably looking towards the fall when things cool down. We’re talking April-May before insect numbers really start to drop.”

If things get bad enough, Stobart recommends putting mosquito screens on doors and windows, which is common practice in Australia.

And if the problem gets bad enough, consider calling in a professional pest controller.

Cradock recommended people to become a PEMANZ member as part of their quality assurance program.

“The typical treatment would be spraying surfaces with an insecticide, which then dries, and if the flies land on that surface, they die.”