Pest infestation can be trivial and less damaging, however for certain pests and depending on the escalation; pest problems can be serious and consequential. For many households, seeking DIY remedies such as sticking baits and spraying insecticide directly on pests is the top of mind recall. However, why is pest control necessary and exactly when do we need to start considering for our home? Rentokil shares more on the top 10 questions you need to know about pest control.
- What is pest control?
- Why do we need pest control?
- What are the types of pest treatments available?
- How do specialists carry out pest management?
- How much does pest control packages costs?
- Evaluation and selection of pest control company
- Difference between residential and commercial pest control
- Pest prevention tips you can apply for your home
- When do we start to engage professional services
- How often do we need to call for pest control solution?
What is pest control?
Pest control is about performing treatments and services targeting pest eradication, with the objective to protect the safety of the people. This is conducted by understanding the environment and premise conditions and risk factors, understanding and locating the type of pests invading, and delivering a series of targeted treatments by pest control specialists.
Pest management does not eliminate pests only, but maintain ongoing partnership and support to users. This includes monitoring the condition and situation, and recommending additional tips and information to optimise the control level. Ultimately, is to ensure premise is pest-free to avoid property or structure damage or health consequences such as diseases and food contamination.
Why do we need pest control?
Pest control is necessary for various reasons, besides removing these nasty pests that sets off phobia among some.
Food safety and health protection
Pests carry various types of pathogens and microorganisms from poorly sanitised and unhygienic surfaces and environments. For example, cockroaches and rats feed on food scrapes and decaying matter from waste bins and soiled dishes, and potentially transfer these bacteria onto food sensitive items. For example, table top, chopping board, utensils, cutleries and drinking cups. These causes diseases such as Salmonella and E.Coli that triggers symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and fever.
In addition, pests’ droppings, saliva and urine such as cockroaches and termites are also harmful that causes allergies among some individuals, including a reaction and asthma. These are signs of infestation that go unnoticed without diligent pest detection and inspection that is normally conducted by professionals.
What’s more, dengue fever in Singapore is no stranger to many of us. Typically caused by mosquitoes bites among the female Aedes mosquitoes species, dengue cases are triggered without controlling the mosquito population effectively. As mosquitoes fly, travel and breed, it is as important to eliminate the adult mosquitoes while removing any mosquito breeding sources.
Finally, no one enjoys suffering from itchy bites that turn infected, red, swollen or even painful. Besides mosquitoes, other pests do bite and/or sting that leaves unpleasant bite wounds and potential allergy and reaction. While most are not harmful and generally recover soon, some bites may turn life threatening due to the stings and toxic they inject. Above all, there are times where we are not aware of going through these bites until the following day. This is the case of bed bugs, whom inject an analgesic element during their biting process at night while we are asleep, thus leaving no feeling before visible bite signs surface.
Prevent property and structure damage
Apart from health implications, pests no doubt their minuscule size is capable of damaging and destroying the property. In severe cases, detrimental outcomes such as short circuit, fire and structure collapse takes place. Firstly, termites feed on wood and chew off your wooden structures, frames, panels and furniture, thus weakening structure and damaging those furnishing. Secondly, rats need to gnaw in order to season and balance their incisors, especially on hazardous items such as wire, thus causing potential circuit and fire incidents. Finally, bed bugs, while not as damaging, however, their traces of bloodstains and droppings on mattresses, bed sheets, and curtains are detrimental in terms of time and money spent replacing them.
Business continuity and assurance
While pests are more of a nuisance and health concern among homeowners, pest infestation to businesses pose larger implications. For example, in terms of production and packaging, it may cause a product recall and operation halt or disruption. Non-regulatory audit compliance can result in penalty, suspension or even closure. In addition, for businesses with complex operation processes driving efficiency and productivity, pest problems can result in downtime and opportunity loss. Finally, typically among customer fronting businesses, brand reputation, customer reviews and ratings and media crisis is utmost important, and potentially at risk if without adequate pest control.
What are the types of pest treatments available?
There are many types of treatments targeting the vast numbers of pest species around. It can range from less common pests such as bees, spiders, birds to ticks, there are some common pest treatments that most businesses and households will engage in.
Firstly, cockroaches and ants are the most common pest invading in any environment so long as there is food supplies and water. Residual sprays and baits are commonly used to treat cockroach and ants infestation. Secondly, rats in Singapore has been an ongoing issue, and particularly in commercial premises, rat control is essential for food and property protection. In recent times, more businesses are seeking digital rodent control for enhanced levels of detection and control. Thirdly, mosquito control is an ongoing effort to bring down the dengue cases in Singapore. This includes fogging to eliminate adult mozzies and larviciding to remove larvae. However, recent innovation such as the In2care mosquito trap can eliminate mosquitoes at all life stages.
Fourthly, termite treatment may not be a common treatment or well known among many, however, it is an essential protection for homes to prevent weakening and collapsing of structure. Treatments are done around the perimeter of the home. They include placing baits or injecting localised foaming agents on frames and beams to eliminate Drywood termite.
Finally, for most travelers, bed bug infestation may sound like a familiar ordeal. Due to its cross infestation nature, bed bugs invade home and multiple quickly, spreading from room to room. Bed bug control involves performing residual spray across a three-week interval and additional steaming treatment to remove eggs. Usually complete over a month, bed bugs are usually not easy to eliminate without professional engagement.
How do specialists carry out pest management?
It is important for an initial study of your premise and performing a site risk assessment before carrying out any work. Thereafter, the specialist will advise and elaborate on the list of activities they will be carrying out, what to expect and time duration. This includes a pre-treatment and after-treatment checklist for safety reasons. For example, covering of food sensitive or critical items, vacating the premises, cleaning up the place prior for treatment, moving away clutter and furniture, and ventilating the place after treatment. Additional advice relating to housekeeping, proofing, lifestyle habits and ways to detect pest signs. Not forgetting, the monitoring and inspection of the site to ensure infestation is well controlled, and to take any quick rectifying actions should any new or worsening of infestation arise.
How much does pest control packages cost?
Pest treatments are either done on a long term and ongoing basis as a contract or one-off service as a job. Depending on severity, premise size, type of pests and needs, pest control price differs. In recommending the package, an initial site survey and risk assessment is conducted that determines the following that contributes to the price range.
- Complexity of the pests for instance termite treatment vs ants control
- Number of pests infesting the premise currently
- How big is the area to treat? A residential home with 2 or 3 bedrooms may cost differently compared to a landed property with backyard and front pouch
- Frequency and number of treatments required (usually low infestation level or maintenance do not require intensive visits)
- Type of active ingredient used – there are better quality or eco-friendly solutions
- Application method and technology such as digital and contactless pest control
However, the price of pest control also includes additional and intangible factors. They include the brand credibility, value added services, reporting and technology and professional expertise. For example, performing pest species identification, pest trend analysis, training and outreach education and audit support.
Evaluation and selection of pest control company
It can be rather confusing and taxing to evaluate and decide which pest control company to engage. This is especially so with so many options in Singapore providing similar services. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating your option:
- Credibility and trustworthiness of the company
- Brand reputation in the industry
- Resource and capacity to perform complex and fast response service
- Type and quality of active ingredients, technology and tools used
- Team expertise such as presence of field biologist
- Reporting quality and facility
- After sales service and customer service standards
- Efficacy and completeness of treatments – find out more through customer reviews
- Accolades, awards, achievements and certifications on standards and quality
During the selection process, you may pose some questions to determine the support level in terms of clarifying your doubts. You should find out how they carry out the treatments, learn about the pest infestation issue and gauge their responsiveness and dedication towards your pests needs.
Difference between residential and commercial pest control
Be it commercial and residential, the fundamentals of pest control are the same. However, there are some differences between both in terms of the nature of the environment, the premise and needs. Firstly, due to the location and space, commercial settings may invite more pests than a residential home. Secondly, there could be more reporting and regulatory compliance support that businesses seek. Thirdly, size of pest coverage is typically larger in a commercial sector, while compound covers areas such as warehouse, offices, canteen (for some sectors), production or packaging area and additional amenities such as recreation area (for hotels and retail malls). Fourthly, fumigation requirements exist for import, export and shipping activities, but not required for the case of residential. Finally, for some businesses such as food establishment pest control is a mandatory requirement and financial penalties and demerits may be imposed for none or poor compliance.
Pest prevention tips you can apply for your home
Unfortunately, having regular and consistent pest treatments in place is not the solution to maintain a pest-free environment. It requires efforts from users as well, particularly at activities and conditions that attract pests. For example:
- Remember to always clean up dishes and leave no soil remains in the sink
- Dispose and remove trash immediately, and secure those bags before disposal
- Vacuum and sweep up dirt, dust, debris and any food bits that attract pests
- Keep the place dry, and wipe off wet surfaces or removing standing water
- Seal any visible cracks and crevices, or gaps in between to prevent entry
- Close the doors and windows if you do not require as pests will fly in
- Avoid interior designs and choice of materials that attract pests e.g. termites
- Minimise food consumption at other parts of your home (or office)
- For travelers, avoid placing luggage on the bed to unpack but by the floor
- Take note of breeding sites such as stagnant water that breeds mosquitoes
- For complex and open space compounds, apply additional proofing defense
For some, natural pest deterrent such as using herbs/plants, essential oils, condiments and spices such as vinegar and cinnamon and the common remedies like lemongrass and citronella is used to deter pests including mozzies, ants, cockroaches, rats and bed bugs.
When do we start to engage professional services?
For these matters, it is good to start protection early and engage early detection. This ensures infestation does not turn serious or complex to rectify. Engaging professional services can begin with just basic protection and maintenance and ensure regular inspection of the premise. However, if you notice any signs of infestations, do not procrastinate and seek your own remedies but to engage professionally. Using insecticide spray may help in some instances. However, there are challenges in terms of efficacy, efficiency, time and money spent and safety reasons. More importantly, it does not aid in eliminating the root source.
How often do we need to call for pest control solutions?
Pest control services are usually done fortnightly to monthly for medium to low infestation level or with a purpose to protect and maintain. However, there are cases where regular treatments are required due to environmental or situational reasons, or an acute infestation arises. For example, if a home is residing within the dengue clusters, additional mosquito prevention measures should be taken to safeguard against dengue. Also, if there is a nearby construction that forces pests such as rats to relocate their nesting area may also be an acute infestation risk to your premise. Weather, on the other hand especially during the monsoon period may increase pest presence due to their need to seek shelter indoors.
Of course, if you are observing more pests population than usual, or sighted more droppings and worse of all, notice nocturnal pests even in the daytime, it may signal a heavy infestation, and need to call for pest control more frequently. Above all, we should avoid procrastination in seeking proper elimination methods by the “wait and “see” approach or trying hands on DIY home remedies that largely repel and deter pests.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control services today.