We spend a substantial amount of time in our cosy home for work, rest, bonding and catching up with culinary. However, regardless which part of the home you are at, you seem to spend your family time with household pests. To name a few, mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches come into your top of mind unwanted pests recall. There are some tips and tricks in organising your home to optimise pest prevention efforts. Rentokil shares ten easy tips to promote a pest free home.
Ten useful home organising tips to keep a pest-free home
Fix shelves in the storeroom and elevate cartons
Is the storeroom one of the most under-visited parts of the home? For some, storeroom cleaning only takes place once a year during the year-end spring cleaning. Yet, with proper organising and shelving, you can turn your storeroom efficiently to curb clutters and piles. For example, fix shelves and holders to house items that are lying around the living hall or kitchen. The shelves should be raised from ground up for easy cleaning as well.
Install organising racks to drain wet utensils and store items
Do you often leave a series of items around the kitchen counter top? For instance, used or unused jars and containers, packets and utensils? These accumulated items build up clutter and mess thus making cleaning more difficult. It also allows pests to feed on them and lurk around your kitchen. Organising racks and dividing compartments can store these visible items away, minimise water spills and prevent pests to have their hands on it.
Place a floor mat or carpet to absorb water
Good, non-slip and super absorbent floor mat is essential in every home, not only to enhance safety level but also to trap those moisture and water excess. Particularly at commonly wet surfaces including the bathrooms, door entrance, balcony entrance and kitchen. Do you know? Water is one of the main and common culprit triggering a pest infestation. Not only pests require moisture to survive but it breeds mosquitoes too.
Use light colour kitchen top finishing for pest visibility
No doubt, granite or black polished finishing looks sleek and stylish, however it makes visibility more challenging to spot for residues, crumbs, pests’ signs and crawling pests around. Pests are usually brown, reddish or black in colour, and are flat with tiny size. Detecting pests is already a challenge, let alone against a dark background with a low contrast. When you are thinking to replace those tiles and surfaces, consider switching to a more vision-friendly colour choice.
Make use of airtight containers and jars for storage
Investing in adequate airtight containers or food jar and zip lock bags can make a difference in limiting food supplies to the pesky pests. Firstly, ants and cockroaches are attracted to sweets, starch, protein and fats while rats can chew off food packaging and feed on them. Make an effort to transfer and store your food and ingredients in these airtight containers and keep them away in your cabinets. It can help keep out of reach among hungry pests.
Build a kitchen divider between kitchen and living hall
Simple home structure can help contain pests within a targeted location. Installing a divider with a door between the kitchen and living room or dining hall can prove pests that are surfacing in the kitchen. Efforts on pest eradication within the home is narrowed to just focusing the kitchen while maintaining pest protection in other parts of the home. This way, it helps to diligently conduct food preparation and consumption within the kitchen, thus minimising food and drink spills elsewhere.
Have sufficient cabinets and storage spaces to declutter
Having sufficient cabinets and storage spaces around the home helps to declutter common and open spaces. Pests tend to hide among clutters and items and because of the busy item placement, we either missed noticing them or have gaps in proper cleaning. Another common habit is to stack boxes and packaging on top of one another and on appliances as well. Declutter them away for easy cleaning and pest detection with adequate storage spaces.
Invest in a dishwasher to ensure thorough cleanliness
If you are among the guilty groups of saving your dishes and cleaning the end of the day or worse of all, procrastinating until the next day, perhaps you should invest in a dishwater. Firstly, cockroaches enjoy lurking among soiled dishes and unhygienic sinks as they feed on decomposed matters and food waste. Secondly, utensils and cutleries might not be cleansed thoroughly leaving grime and grease behind that attracts pests. Finally, sinks will turn soiled and dirty with residues staining around the surfaces. Start your cockroach prevention efforts by paying more attention to the hygiene and sanitation standards of your kitchen sinks.
Seal any cracks and crevices to prevent pest entry
You may close your doors to pest but what about indirect entries. Yes, with their flexible, flat and miniscule body size, they can join you in your home uninvited. They do not need big spaces or openings but as small as one centimetre like rats. Over time, a home structure will develop cracks, crevices, gaps and slits due to home denegation, usage and weather expansion. Seal those openings and pest proof your home such as door and window openings to prevent pests entering your home.
Use a bin with a lid on and well secured from external entries
Bin is not just a waste bin to drop off your unwanted items and food waste. However, a bin that is properly covered with a lid (some comes with a pedal) and firmly secured without openings. Some homes tend to leave bin exposed that invites pests rummaging those decaying things and leaving a foul smell. For some, they leave waste in the bin overnight or only disposed of much later. This is a simple poor home mistake to correct that helps in keeping pest problems under control. You can start to get rid of cockroaches by adopting diligent waste management in your home.
Five common home mistakes that attract pests
Eating in the living hall or while working in the study room
Most homes are used as a source of study or work venue while the remaining time to catch up on entertainment. This means, bringing meals and snacks out of the dining hall or kitchen. The danger of doing so is leaving behind residues, food crumbs and bits and drinks’ spills. In particular, when these food sources get trapped amongst grooves of seats or in between furniture and flooring cracks. This creates a chance for problems such as an ant infestation as they have incredible preference for this food choice. These locations are also one of the most difficult to reach and clean spaces, thus accumulating food sources for pests to feed on.
Flicking wet hands after washing hands or dishes
Most bathrooms and kitchens come with hand and tea towels to wipe off wet hands and items. However, for convenience and time saving sake, we have the habit of flicking our wet hands, utensils and cutleries to drain off excess water. When this happens, water spills and drips will remain on surfaces and on the floor, thus attracting pests.
In fact, one hidden pest from most individuals’ eyes such as termites requires loads of water to survive. This is especially so for wooden flooring and kitchen-built-in concepts that bears a risk of resulting in a termite infestation. The challenge for most homeowners is that signs of termite infestation are never obvious until the condition turns serious.
Overly watering plants in the living room or balcony
In such a warm climate in a tropical city like Singapore, dehydration is a big concern not just to individuals but also to plants and greenery. To ensure we are not drying up and withering the plants, we tend to over water them. When this happens, there are puddles collected in the flowerpots or trays and on the floor. Mosquito breeding takes place with just a twenty-cent coin puddle and places us at danger of contracting dengue fever caused by Aedes Mosquitoes. With the rising dengue cases in Singapore, it is essential to take extra precaution in ensuring mosquito prevention efforts are in place.
Leaving cooked food exposed in the dining hall
Indulging in hearty meals especially after a long day of work is rewarding. However, leaving the overly prepared exposed on the dining table is a common home mistake that promotes pest infestation. These foods should be either well covered with a lid or stored in a food container or thermal flask for later consumption. Besides attracting pests, it minimises the risks of contamination that causes food poisoning symptoms. Start to enhance your family’s health and safety but adopt these simple habits of home pest control.
Procrastinate housekeeping or engage in poor maintenance
We can spend time sprucing up home or fixing DIY home decor, however housekeeping and home maintenance is a common procrastination. Firstly, sweeping and mopping is a regular and ongoing cleaning regime to remove not just dirt, dust and food bits but possible traces of pests and their eggs. This helps to get rid of ants by eliminating their basic needs including food, water and shelter. Secondly, wiping clean surfaces from grime and grease promote a healthy general wellbeing but also remove pest attractants that triggers a cockroach infestation. Thirdly, the bathroom is a house to pests such as ants, cockroaches and termites. Keeping them clean can prevent pest harbourage due to moisture availability. Finally, you can take the opportunity to detect unusual home signs relating to pest infestation amidst the housekeeping process. Read more to find out why we should not procrastinate housekeeping.
Find out the six common food pest love
So, what do pests feed on and do they have any particular diet favourites. Here is a list of their common food craves which happens to be our staples as well.
- Sweets and sugar: Ranges from sugar itself to sweet desserts and drinks such as cookies, chocolates, donuts, cakes, juices and carbonated drinks
- Grains and cereals: A whole list of healthy feeds including seeds, grains, wheat, cereals and flour, including carbohydrates such as rice and bread
- Dead insects and pests: When there is food scarcity or competition, they can turn to dead insects or pests as a food source, which is also because they contain fats and protein.
- Food waste and scrapes: While this are not our obvious choice, pests feed on decomposing or decaying matter including food waste, trash and scrapes
- Proteins and fats: Food that is rich in protein including meat and eggs or fat and grease such as fatty and fried items which certainly everyone loves
- Fruits and vegetables: Sweet fruits such as oranges, mangoes and honeydew, including their sweet nectar and juices they excrete
In addition, they also do eat non-organic items such as a series of non-edible food among humans including paper, cardboard, plastic, cellulose, wood and books. This whole list summarises the entire chunk of food supplies and availability in the entire home! Thus, pest control services are critical to deal with the constant opportunities to breed pests around every day.
Where do pests hide in the home?
There are only the few and common specific locations within the home that pests lurk around. Imagine, we have unwanted guests spending time with us every day in almost every part of our cosy home. Rentokil Initial summarises a list of their internal and external hideouts.
- Kitchen: No doubt the number one favorite haunt of all areas with spread of food and water
- Bedroom: Pests such as bed bugs seeks hosts with body warm to feed on blood meals
- Living and dining hall: Common open spaces where ants and cockroaches crawl around for food
- Bathrooms: Water and moisture is all pests need to survive while they can skip actual food
- Attic and roof: Rats climb high and well and may enter from the top into your home
- Grease traps and pipes: Pests swims and survive underwater and slip in for shelter
- Garden, front porch and balcony: Mosquitoes are to greens and carbon dioxide as they seek human host to bite and suck blood for growth
- Storeroom: The most undisturbed and peaceful hideout for pests to hide, rest and breed
- Among clutters, junks, piles and cartons that pests hide within without getting noticed
- Beneath or behind appliances and furniture, under the sinks and within cabinets
Why do pests invade in your homes?
There are many reasons why you find pests in your homes and how it got into your home in the first place. Regardless if you have kept the home spot clean or diligently engage in pest control. Pests invade home due to several factors.
Firstly, it is inevitable for pests to travel from its surrounding into your home and enter through door gaps or opened windows. Secondly, homes wear and tear overtime resulting in cracks and crevices for multiple pests entries. Thirdly, some pests are cross-infestation by nature, such as bed bugs or other crawling pests that hitch on you as you return home. Fourthly, due to environment and situation conditions such as nearby construction or rainy weather, pests relocate and seek alternative shelter. Finally, termites are pests that exist in homes 24/7 unless there is a termite control in place to eliminate the termite colony. This is due to their presence underground, just right below our home and they make their way up as they construct mud tubes to travel back and forth for food.
Pest prevention tips to adopt for your home
With the many risks and challenges in dealing with pest elimination, it is also not possible to keep pests under control. Besides ensuring a good housekeeping regime, proofing your home adequately, you should engage a pest control company to keep in checks for you. Professional pest control specialists not only do the regularly scheduled pest treatment for your home, but also provide useful recommendations and prevention tips. It is highly recommended to opt for integrated pest management that covers not just the treatments but overall safety wellbeing.
- When do we start calling for professional help? What are some home scenarios to decide if you should continue DIY self-help remedies or call for pest control? Some examples include:
- When ant repellents or deterrent methods such as using natural ingredients do not help in getting rid of ants, professional ant control should be considered
- If you notice cockroaches in the daytime could mean a heavy infestation or cockroach nesting in the home. Cockroach control is necessary as they are pest or poor hygiene and causes various health dangers
- Homes located within dengue clusters, have high mosquito population or breeding sites reported, or situated within high-risk mozzie areas such as high vegetation sites.
- Where there is abundance of wood and moisture for termites to grow their colony. This includes wooden flooring, structure, picket fences, panels and furniture. Termites travel and once a home safe from termites is not guaranteed permanently. Find out the various termite treatment options for your home.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.