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Phone: 04 576 0528
Fax: 04 526 9162

Phone: 09 281 3187

Palmerston North: 06 353 1110 or 027 232 9878

Phone: 027 497 9374
Toll Free: 0800 487277
Depot: 03 323 6961

Phone: 0800 662 6737

Phone: 0800 662 6737



Crawling Insects

Crawling insects such as cockroaches, silverfish, stored product insects, carpet beetles and booklice cause concern for the hygiene of food as they contaminate food preparation surfaces, stored food and packaging. Target Pest have a range of products for the control of these pests including gaseous fumigation, bait stations, and ‘people-safe’ contact pesticides that provide effective control for extended periods and housekeeping advice.


Silverfish. Similar to firebrats. Ancient form of wingless insect.Silverfish are a major problem for archives, books and storage areas. Silverfish eat a wide variety of foods, including glue, wallpaper paste, book bindings, paper, photographs, starch in clothing, cotton, linen, rayon fabrics, wheat flour, cereals, dried meats, leather and even dead insects. Silverfish often live in damp, cool places such as basements and laundry rooms with females laying up to 100 eggs in a lifetime. The life cycle may be completed in 3 to 4 months leading to a rapid build-up in numbers.

Stored Product Insects

The term ‘stored product insect’, refers to insects that infest stored food products, from grain warehouses to a packet of cornflakes. There are too many pest species to discuss them all here. They include spider beetles such as the Australian Spider Beetle (Ptinus tectus), weevils (e.g. Sitophilus granarius), psocids, mites (order Acarina) and spiders (Arachnida spp.).
The Australian Spider Beetle is a common pest of warehouses, shops and even your kitchen cupboard. Perhaps introduced on a packet of cornflakes from an infested warehouse!
The weevils are a large group of beetles including the grain weevil (Sitophilus granarius) that can infest stored foodstuffs. Often the beetle is specific to the foodstuff in question.


Booklice or psocid. Tiny insect pest of paper packaging and books.Psocids (pronounced sosids) are a group of tiny pale insects often referred to as booklice. Most problem infestations will be caused by Liposcelis bostrychophila. There are over 3,000 species of them to be found across the world, although less than 50 are associated with human activities. They are not related to the true lice and do not bite or harm humans.
However, they do damage books and other paper products including paper packaging. They do not feed directly on the paper but on microscopic fungi that grow on the paper where the humidity levels permit. Paper packaging in warehouses is particularly susceptible to psocid infestation as the atmosphere in warehouses and therefore the packaging is difficult to control and keep very dry. Products such as flour can be rendered un-saleable by an infestation of psocids. The tiny insects can penetrate the packaging and contaminate the product within. The treatment and prevention of these pests relies first on an accurate identification of the pest species and an understanding of the stored products infested. Only then can an effective strategy be tailored to the elimination of the source of the infestation, the prevention of the insects entering the affected areas and the destruction or removal of any insects present.

Carpet Beetles

Woolly bear, larvae of a domestic carpet beetle which damage wollen sweaters and carpets etc.

Carpet beetle adult

Carpet beetles are small (5-7mm) mottled or striped round beetles. They are good fliers and can be found in the garden. The adult causes no damage. It is the larvae, sometimes known as ‘woolly bears’ that damage woolens, and other fabrics of animal origin.  There are a number of species that frequently infest homes and places where animal fabric and fur is stored. The Black Carpet Beetle, the Common Carpet Beetle, the Varied Carpet Beetle, the Furniture Carpet Beetle and a close cousin, the Fur Beetle have all been introduced to New Zealand and are frequently found devouring the woolens and carpets of New Zealand homes.

The Wooly Bears are small (3-5mm) brown or black, sometimes hairy larvae often stripped brown and yellow, although their colour is species and age specific. The pupae are similar in appearance to the larvae but lack the legs and hairs. If you find the larvae or pupae in your home eradication and control can be achieved by a combination of thorough vacuuming to remove larvae, pupae and animal hairs, and insecticidal treatment of affected areas. Call Target for identification and treatment.

Other Crawling Insects and ‘Bugs’ Controlled

Other crawling insects and ‘bugs’ controlled include ants, bed bugs, fleas, spiders, mites, woodlice or slaters, other beetles.

Control Methods

Insect detectors attract insects where they are trapped and can be identified.TARGET PEST uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Intensive monitoring of pest numbers and locations enables targeted control avoiding the unnecessary use and expense of chemicals.

TARGET PEST will first identify the insect involved in the infestation and then the conditions that have encouraged the infestation. If a change in the conditions can be implemented then that will be the favoured option for control. However, it is frequently the case that more active control is necessary. Bulk products may require fumigation with methyl bromide. Warehouses may require misting or fogging with insecticide and/or residual insecticide sprayed around premises to prevent infestations spreading to other products or areas

We use non-toxic AriSense insect detectors for monitoring crawling insect activity.

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