Could pests spell catastrophe for your business? How common pests in Australia affect your business

No business is safe

Nobody wants to deal with a pest infestation, especially when that infestation happens to your business. A pest infestation means lost revenue, potential loss in customer trust, and heavy extermination costs.

Unfortunately, many Australian business owners will have to deal with a pest infestation at one time or another. Be it birds, termites, cockroaches, or rodents, there are tons of pests in Australia that can cause an issue right under a business owner’s nose.

Keep reading to learn all about the most common Australian pests, and what they can do to your business.

6 Most common Australian pests:

1. Birds

Birds pests

You may not consider birds pests, but you will once they infest your business.
Not all birds are classified as pests. The most common birds considered Australian pests are:

  • Feral pigeons
  • House sparrows
  • Common (and European) Starlings
  • Common (and Indian) Mynas

Birds can cause more problems than you might think. Apart from being a nuisance, they also have the potential to spread over 60 diseases and bring in other pests, like bird mites.

If you own an indoor or food business, birds could damage products, defecate in the store, and even harm customers as they demonstrate territorial behaviour. Once inside they’ll make a nest somewhere and start breeding, meaning the problem will only get worse.

Birds also pose other serious risks to your building:

  • Nesting near air conditioning and ventilation systems causing damage and spreading diseases
  • Causing water damage when their nesting materials block gutters
  • Bird droppings can also be corrosive causing thousands of dollars damage to equipment and machinery

2. Bird mites & lice

Bird mites & lice

One of the worst things about birds is how they bring in more pests with them.

Bird mites, also known as lice, are a common issue that comes with birds. They’re only about 2mm long and transparent, making them difficult to find. Although they die within 7 days, their eggs hatch within three days, meaning you can get stuck with an infestation in no time.

Every common pest bird can carry bird mites. The mites love to eat the blood of the birds and often come into a business on their backs.

Even if you take care of your bird problem, the mites might stick around. They might separate from the birds and make their own nest in your business. This puts you and your customers in danger of getting lice!

3. Rodents


Rats and mice are very common pests for Australian businesses. While rats are larger than mice, they generally pose the same threats.

The most common rodent types in Australia are:

  • The Norway rat
  • The roof rat
  • The house mouse

Mice and rats can chew through wires, furniture, and even plastics, meaning big repairs for your business. They won’t hesitate to chew through food packaging and eat all your product. What’s more, they’re common carriers of disease, putting you and your customers’ health at risk.

Rat and mouse droppings can be hard to see, leading to a nightmare cleaning job. They could even be present in your unused food if the rodents have accessed it. You’re going to need to throw out a lot of product if you face a rodent infestation.

What’s worse, rodents multiply quickly and they’re hard to catch. They’re immune to certain poisons, and learn how to avoid traps. Getting on top of your rodent problem right away is of the utmost importance for business owners.

4. Cockroaches


Cockroaches are the most dreaded pest for many thanks to how generally disgusting they are. They’re also some of the most common household bugs in Australia.

Australia has several types of cockroaches that businesses should be aware of. These include:

  • The Australian cockroach
  • The German cockroach
  • The Oriental cockroach
  • The American cockroach
  • The brown-banded cockroach
  • The smoky brown cockroach

Each of these cockroaches looks distinct, but carry some similar issues.

They’re all very resilient, great at hiding, and carriers of disease. They can chew through food packaging, cause allergic reactions, and breed quickly. Cockroaches will easily contaminate your food with their excrement, which can get you and your customers sick.

5. Fly

smoky brown roaches

Did I mention they fly? Yes, you read that right. Some species, namely the Oriental, American, and smoky brown roaches, have wings. They can nest in high spots in your business, making them even harder to take care of.

The last thing you want your customers to see is a cockroach, let alone a flying one. Considering how large roaches can get, and how fast they multiply, failing to hire an exterminator fast runs exactly this risk. That means a lot of lost trust between you and your customers.

6. Termites


Termites pose a serious threat to any and all business owners. They have the potential to do some serious structural damage, much more than roaches or birds.

Some of the most common termites include:

  • Subterranean termite
  • Drywood termite
  • Dampwood termite
  • Giant northern termite

As you’re probably aware, termites love eating through cellulose and wood. They won’t hesitate to chew through your furniture, your counters, and even your floorboards. They can severely weaken a building’s structure, leading to expensive repair jobs after an extermination.

A bad termite infestation can put you, your customers, and your employees in immediate danger. They can cause chair-legs to break, collapses in parts of the roof, and deeper damages within the walls and ceiling. If you run a lumber or furniture company, your products are prime eating for these little pests.

If your building is made of wood, you could be running a termite buffet. If you notice any common signs of termite damage, call an exterminator right away.

Eliminating pests in Australia

There are hundreds of pests in Australia, but the four listed above are some of the most common and destructive. They can cause immeasurable damage to your business’s structure, and integrity. If you notice any of these Australian pests in your business, it’s time to call in a professional.

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
Chris is the Managing Director of Sydney-based pest control business Forensic Pest Management Services. Having been in the industry for well over 20 years, Chris is well respected for his expertise in the commercial property sector.
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