Pest prevalence in SA – part 1

27 July 2017

We’ll be a running a series of articles over the next few months on when to keep an eye out for those pesky pests as certain seasons and times of the year are more conducive to infestations.

We’ll be breaking down the seasons so you can be better prepared for a possible pest infestation.

Make sure to look out for our handy infographic at the end of the series.

January to April

The abundance of food and favourable weather conditions over this season means it is the time of year when most creepy crawlies come out to play – so take care to watch out for the various signs of possible infestations.

There are five common pests to keep an eye out for over this period, mainly:

If you spot any of the signs mentioned below, then we highly recommend that you contact us today and we will determine the best solution for your pest problem, using the highest quality and safest chemicals and methods.


An insect theme: Fly macro

Considered one of the worst forms of pests, flies are a major health hazard as they spread germs, bacteria and various diseases such as:

  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonella
  • Tuberculosis
  • Leprosy
  • Poliomyelitis

Eggs are laid in moist decaying matter such as office refuse/waste, compost or dung and it takes between 4 days in the summer months for fully formed flies to emerge.

Signs of an infestation:

  • Many flies, especially in kitchens, around dustbins, waste areas, places where water pools or even in waterlogged pot plants
  • Maggots – these are flies in their larval stage and could indicate a breeding site on your property
  • Egg clusters – small, oval-shaped and whitish in color found on and around waste sites




A cockroach infestation is no laughing matter. Not only are they notorious for spreading pathogens and diseases, such as E.coli, they also:

  • Contaminate foodstuffs
  • Damage goods — cockroaches will eat almost anything
  • Breed uncontrollably – making the problem more difficult to get rid of

They particularly like warm, humid and dark places where there is decaying organic matter, which they feed on.

Signs of an infestation:

  • If you spot a cockroach during the day, it generally means there is a larger infestation and it is being forced out of the nest
  • Unpleasant smell. Cockroaches give off a strong musty or oily scent
  • Cockroach droppings that will look like ground coffee – the more droppings there are, the larger the infestation


Close up of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) or simply RIFA

Every year at the beginning of the warm season, people report seeing flying ants. This is known as an ant swarm and means that the young queens fly away to set up their own colonies.

Every year at the beginning of the warm season, people report seeing flying ants. This is known as an ant swarm and means that the young queens fly away to set up their own colonies.

Signs of an infestation:

  • Numerous ants – especially where food is prepared or stored
  • Ant nests on the floors which looks like little mounds of dirt
  • Ant pathways – a line of ants coming in our out of your premises means that a worker ant has found a good food source and it left a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can also find the food

Stored product pests


Beautiful specimen of a maybug in springtime

There are a variety of insects that vary in size, shape and colour that claim the name of stored product pests. However, they all have one thing in common:

They are tiny, infest, mate inside of and feed on dry stored food with potentially devastating effects on certain industries such as restaurants, retail and manufacturing.

An infestation can result in food spoilage and monetary loss.

Signs of an infestation:

  • Dry foodstuffs cake together creating a spider web appearance
  • Small beetles crawling over counter tops or inside cupboards
  • Moths flying around kitchens or rooms
  • Caterpillars crawling up walls or across ceilings


Close up termites or white ant on damaged wood texture

Known as the “silent destroyers”, termites have a reputation for massive property damage.

Swarms invade and feed on most species of wood, making them capable of costly damage to property such as businesses, homes, furniture, flooring, shelves and even books, plastic and dry wood.

They are notoriously difficult to get rid of and infestations may go undetected for years, causing huge amounts of structural damage.

Signs of an infestation:

  • Dry wood in which holes have become visible
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in your business or from the soil outside buildings
  • Cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings)
  • Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden fences or decks
  • If there are little soil mounds close to building foundations and skirtings

Perfect pest solution

At Bidvest Steiner, we have a range of pest management services and solutions to suit your specific needs.

Our Integrated Pest Management is an all-inclusive solution that provides superior pest control and consultation services to a broad spectrum of commercial clients such as:

  • Food Manufacturers
  • Retail
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Facility Management Firms
  • Local Municipalities within South Africa

If you suspect that your company may have a possible pest infestation, then contact us today for more information around our complete range of solutions.

Remember to keep an eye out for part 2 of the series.



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