We pay a lot of attention indoors, trying to get rid of cockroaches or ants, and battling with the surge of mosquitoes that result in dengue cases in Singapore. However, do you know some of these pests start from harbouring from the outside and enter into our homes as cross-infestation? Home pest control is not just treating and monitoring from the inside but outside. Rentokil shares the five outdoor pests we have to be aware of and the pest control options to consider for your protection.
Due to mosquitoes’ preference for vegetation and shady conditions, they are often seen lurking around grass, garden, trees and parks. They seek hosts by detecting carbon dioxide emit from us individuals and the body heat we exude as the body or climate temperature rises. They need to breed and reproduce and thus, they need to find sites for landing and perform mosquito breeding purposes. However, they are often mistaken for midges that appear to bite. However, they are non- biting chironomids that also breed in water with four life stages. More importantly, they do not spread harmful life diseases such as dengue fever.
Trash bins, refuse centres, burrows, drains and roof attics are some haunts of rats due to its likes for moisture, damp conditions and food supplies. However, these pests are also indoor driven as they seek hideout and shelter and make their way in through gaps or sewers opening, leading internally. With the vast supplies of food that rats feed on, and abundance of wires and aluminium for them to gnaw on, these outdoor driven pests are also known as indoor pests interchangeably. However, this intelligent pest should not be confused with mice despite some similarities.
Most of us have encountered close proximity with birds at the carparks, dining at outdoor cafes or walking along outdoor corridors. They are either picking at food, landing at a water puddle or flock as a group. They can cause a series of harm and damages such as contaminating food they land on, stain cars with their corrosive dropping or even dislodging tiles and gutters. Importantly, to stay away from birds as they turn provocative when harm or lack of food supply.
Bees and honey may seem well accepted as a combination; however, they can pose some harm to us in the event of a swarm attack. In fact, this is a misconception as bees are generally harmless under provocation. Compared to wasps and hornets, these species sting and may cause life threatening allergies and reactions. It is important regardless of any of these species, to stay calm and not to panic, but seek professional pest control services help. One way to protect yourself further is to avoid high-forested areas as they nest amongst trees and flowers and put on long sleeves and pants to avoid exposing your skin to potential bites.
These wood-driven pests are largely found in homes as they infest different parts of the house but they make their way externally in. Subterranean termites live in underground soil and Dampwood termites found among damp and decaying logs, timber and wood outdoors. This is especially so in gardens and courtyard that is not well maintained in terms of landscaping causing wood to infest. Termites can also enter into our home through those tiny cracks and crevices or via mud tubes; they build as a travelling tunnel. Termite infestation starts with presence of both wood and moisture, with poor home maintenance.
Pest signs to look out for
It helps to pay more attention to unusual signs just like your health and early disease symptoms. Pest signs can be detected early, take swift and proactive actions and keep damages and rectification minimal. With this, cost and expenses better controlled, and disruptions well managed. Here are some common signs to look out for, and in any doubt, never hesitate to contact a pest control specialist for an accurate pest detection.
- Presence of droppings or poops along surfaces, corners or within cabinets and drawers
- Nocturnal pests seen even in the daytime could mean food competition or heavy infestation
- Packages or goods bitten or damaged from pest bites and gnawing works
- Walls with cracks, lines or damages that is resulted from termite activities
- Distinctive and unusual smell that is caused by urine, their waste and body
- Sounds that you are unable to identify, such as banging, clicking or scratching sounds
- Eggs, larvae, cases and breeding on surfaces and on standing water
- Experiencing bites and welts on your exposed skins, particularly on hands and legs
Pest can cause various harm and safety risks
Dengue fever or Zika is widely known pest harm particularly in Singapore. However, pests caused more damages than just these diseases. Firstly, most pests because of their filth interaction and bacteria they carry, they cause food contamination and food poisoning symptoms. Secondly, their bites might trigger allergies, reactions and skin infections especially if untreated. Thirdly, they can implicate the surrounding safety with weakened structure or gnawed wires that can result in fire. Finally, the emotional and mental stress of having to deal with pests that damages home, affect health being or aesthetics of the interior. Above all, more importantly is the investment and expense needed to incur for either pest control treatments or rectification and replacement cost.
In terms of commercial, implications maybe more detrimental and consequential such as:
- Business closure, financial penalty and operation disruptions
- Non-regulatory compliance and audit failures
- Ruined brand reputation and image, engaged in media crisis
- Poor customer reviews, resulting in poor patronage or purchase
- Reimbursement and compensation, monetary loss for the business
- Employees’ safety at risks, work day lost or reduced productivity
- Product recall or damaged packages due to pest damages
Protect yourself from outdoor pests
Prevent pests from happening in the first place
Prevention is better than cure is not just a saying but positive habitual culture to adopt. Just like staying away from health implications, we eat healthy, stay fit and go for regular health checks. In terms of pest prevention, key action is to prevent pest infestation from starting. Here are some prevention tips you can practice:
- Maintain regular and daily housekeeping routine and regime
- Keeping place dry from water spills or moisture
- Bringing down the humidity level with a dehumidifier
- Remove all sources of food supplies including waste and garbage
- Always keep a lookout for pest signs and physical pests around
- Do not procrastinate in the event of a pest problem arising
Deny their access and entries into your home
What better way to protect yourself from enemies through good safeguarding and a strong line of defence? This applies to pests by preventing them from entering into your home if you have established pest proofing. Firstly, to assure cracks and crevices are sealed and fixed. Secondly, gaps can be blocked with proofing tools and pest screens or mesh. Thirdly, keep doors and windows when not in use or required. Finally, always check on your items and belongings when upon returning home to avoid bringing in pests unknowingly.
Protection measures to safeguard yourself outdoors
Learn to protect yourself and take care of your safety and well-being when outdoors. Here are some tips you can adopt:
- Apply a repellent or mosquito patch when taking a stroll in the garden or engaged in exercises
- Put on a long sleeve and pants attire to avoid exposing your skin for pest bite opportunities.
- Wear lighter shades clothing as dark colours attract pests such as mosquitoes.
- Do not attempt to remove outdoor pests or provoke them when encountered.
- Avoid going into high forested or critical risk environments where pests are nesting.
- Be more attentive in the surroundings to spot unusual pest signs and presence.
Seek pest control company to resolve the problem
Pests bring with them a series of harm and damages and not advisable to deal pest infestation by yourself. This includes targeting them with sprays and baits or applying non-proven or risky DIY home remedies that puts you at risk or escalating the condition. Especially for pests that turn aggressive when dealt wrongly such as the Pharaoh Ants, or complex pests that are not resolved through DIY means like termites. However, pest control is not just delivering the treatment, but a series of integrated pest management and engagement to complement the pest eradication process.
Essential outdoor maintenance and housekeeping checklist
Landscaping and land mowing
Maintaining top quality landscaping and garden moving not only improves aesthetics and wellbeing but also promotes healthier environment against pest attraction. By pruning, those overgrown shrubs and grasses prevent pests from hiding within and sneak out suddenly. Infested logs, timbers or picket fences that are rotten or damaged will be disposed of to avoid termite activity. Weed control and proper fertilising ensure well-kept and sanitised outdoor space to keep pest infestation risks low.
Drainage and sewage maintenance
They may seem the least important and an ignored area due to its nature of function. However, drain and sewers harbour transfer various bacteria to crawling pests such as rats and cockroaches. These pests then passed on these harmful pathogens onto food-sensitive surfaces such as food, cutleries and food preparation tips. Pests are flushed along the drains during rainy weather. They then enter into our home via these entries to seek shelter. Lastly, unattended drain and sewers create opportunities for mosquitoes to breed.
Declutter piles and outdoor junks
Front car porch or garden tends to be a dumping ground as time passes. Discarded cartons, unused furniture, bulky items, sports equipment, neglected pots and ornaments are some common items left outdoors. Do you know accumulation of these uncleared junks provide hideout opportunities such as rats and snakes to seek shades and shelter? They are also potential receptacles that trap water after a rainfall or any watering activities. In addition, they limit visibility in detecting and spotting pests and their infestation signs. Above all, furniture or items made of wood and in contact with moisture may rot over time, and promote termite infestation.
Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites
One of the main factors and reasons why mosquito is an ongoing outdoor pest challenge is the high number of mosquito breeding sites in Singapore. Various reasons contributes to the breeding opportunities. Firstly, the hot weather and regular showers promote mosquito activities and breeding sites. Secondly, urbanisation and environment conditions promote mosquito activity. This includes more greenery landscape, open concept restaurants and water feature décor. Thirdly, inadequate facility management and plant watering activities incur excess standing water. Fourthly, unattended, vacated or constructing sites tend to create receptacles with breeding risks. Above all, missed and neglected drains and gutters can harbour mosquito development.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.