It has been challenging and difficult times as we embrace the safety implications and business uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic period. In addition, to further safeguard ourselves, additional protection measures were in place, such as closure of services, social distancing, working from home and other regulatory and mandatory safety compliance. Some solutions would have either to halt or compromise during the circuit breaker period, including pest control solutions. However, part of the recovery process is to minimise any other harm and damages, arising from pest infestation or the coronavirus.
Common residential and commercial pests
Pest species are similar in some way, ranging from their habits, food preference, attraction and habitat. Food, shelter and water is what they seek and in terms of presence in both residential and commercial, they are somewhat similar. For instance, cockroaches and ants feed on food ingredients, waste, sugar drinks, juice, water and crumbs. These are found in most parts of homes such as kitchens and living halls and as well as pantries or canteens in commercial offices of industrial plants.
Mosquitoes for instance, is a common hated pest that invades any part of the island for their blood meal. Firstly, they favour the greens and plants for carbon dioxide. Secondly, as long as there is presence of warm, body heat and lactic acid as this is what they are attracted to. Thirdly, with possible entries be it at home or work, they can fly in to bite on us.
Rats on the other hand, might seem to skew towards a commercial nature, due to the infrastructure and environment landscapes, however, they can enter even into residential homes through outdoors, roof and nearby sewers and drains. Above all, if there are surrounding burrows that illustrate rats activity, risks of invading a home are high. Hence, it is important to get rid of rats due to the hazardous damages it can cause to a premise and the diseases they spread.
Health risks and damages caused by pests
Besides the emotional and psychological consequences as some of us would have various phobias to pests, cockroaches and rats infestation in particular, here are some risks and damages if we do not take pest problems into control.
- Transmission of diseases such as gastroenteritis and salmonella causes food poisoning symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache and feeling of unwell.
- Skin rashes, allergies and infections resulting from pests bites.
- Life threatening health conditions like the dengue fever
- Damages to the packaging and finished goods, property and structure
- Contamination to raw ingredients during food manufacturing process
- Financial consequences, business closure and operation disruption
- Implications to brand reputation and image, social media crisis risks
- Unsightly damages and aesthetics challenges with cracks, stains and droppings
- Expenses and investments around recovery, replacement and reimbursement
Challenges dealing with pest elimination
Firstly, pests are generally small creatures, and in some species like the bed bugs and ants, they are tiny-minute that can escape our eyes. Secondly, most infestations start with less obvious or unrecognisable pest signs that we can miss. Thirdly, unless we are backed with pest biology studies, we may lose direction on exactly where to find those breeding sources. Fourthly, pest elimination requires special treatments and active ingredients at carefully timed frequency to control the problem. Finally, some pests such as termites are more complex and challenging to address with basic and limited approaches. Above all, pests’ management also requires complementary efforts such as further inspection and monitoring, pest proofing advice and housekeeping recommendations from experts. Engage a commercial pest control to manage your premise.
Managing dengue fever after circuit breaker
Aware of where are the dengue clusters
Dealing with a battle requires knowing your target well and one way to protect your employees, families and guests from the dengue disease, is to understand where the hot spots are. The National Environment Agency (NEA) reports locations with active transmission where two or more cases found within a 14 days period. These dengue clusters are categorised to three levels of alert, namely high-risk area with 10 or more cases, high-risk area with 10 cases or less and no new cases that are under surveillance and monitoring for the next 21 days. Rentokil Initial shares more on topics around dengue trends in Singapore, including the four dengue serotypes. More importantly, tips and recommendations on how to prevent dengue transmission. As of 28 April, there are seven death cases relating to dengue. In conclusion, mosquitoes’ preventive measures should start early.
Clarity of the types of mosquitoes in Singapore
It is important to understand fully which mosquito species is putting you at risk of dengue fever. There are various mosquitoes’ types around the world. Firstly, the Aedes Mosquitoes will transmit the disease. Secondly, only the female gender will bite and suck blood for their reproduction. Thirdly, they are typically active for host sourcing during dawn and evening period. Finally, the physical outlook of Aedes Mosquitoes is distinctive. They have white-markings stripes along their dark coloured body and have banded legs.
Sign of mosquito infestation
The concept of staying vigilant and having full awareness of an individual’s symptoms of flu and even the COVID applies to mosquito infestation. It is helpful to learn the causes of mosquito infestations and what signs to look out. For example, do you notice ongoing mosquitoes buzzing around you? Are there presence of larvae in stagnant water in places such as drains, ponds and receptacles? Do you experience mosquito bites on your hands and legs? Find out which other pests will bite humans as well.
Detecting and removing mosquito breeding
Mosquito prevention starts by removing bad habits such as allowing mosquito breeding sites to remain as a reproduction source. It starts by growing more awareness on where the possible breeding source, understand how larvae breeding stagnant water looks like, but more importantly, is to remove these sites or prevent mosquito breeding from developing by eliminating all possible receptacles and breeding sources. Just a twenty-cent coin size of stagnant water is enough for Aedes Mosquitoes to breed. Mosquito pest control programmes are also available to remove these breeding through larviciding solutions.
Mosquito preventive remedies and tips
Firstly, we should ensure a community effort in wiping out these mozzies with useful tips set by the NEA such as the 5-step mozzie wipeout. Secondly, by understanding what attracts mosquitoes can help in preventing their proximity with you in risking getting bites. For example, they are attracted to lactic acid especially if we engage in exercises, carbon dioxide and body heat. In addition, they do have certain colour preferences, which are the darker shades of clothing worn. Here are some easy tips we can apply to protect ourselves from these nasty pests.
- Put on a mozzie patch or spray with a repellent especially engaging outdoor activities
- Wear light colour clothing, in addition long sleeves and pants to avoid exposure to bites
- Keep cool always and have a wipe off of perspiration
- Use some repelling measures such as lemongrass and citronella
- If you are indoors, apply proofing with mosquito netting or mesh screen
Dr Chan debugging pest myths around mosquitoes
Can Aedes Mosquitoes transmit COVID-19 to humans?
Currently, there is no scientific study or evidence that shows COVID-19 is possible to transmit through a mosquito bite. Some other diseases that mosquitoes transmit include Dengue, Chikungunya (same symptoms as Dengue) and Zika.
If a patient is diagnosed with Dengue Fever previously, he will only be immune to the same strain of virus. However, he may get the other strain of virus, and the condition might be more severe. In some cases, some individuals might not show any symptoms when they are diagnosed with Dengue. The third strain has resurfaced and the public lacks the knowledge and immunity on this strain. This could result in more cases that are more severe.
Does a mosquito transmit after biting someone who just recovered?
It is possible if the mosquito species type is an Aedes Mosquito. It also depends on the incubation period of the virus in the human’s body. If the person has recovered and passed on the incubation period of the virus in the body, then the possibility is low.
Can mosquitoes breed in boiled water with a layer of oil?
Clean water is a preference such as clear and stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed, however they can also breed in dirty and polluted water such as the Culex Mosquitoes. However, if there is a layer of oil on the water, it is then not possible for them to breed.
What are some common places of mosquito breeding at home?
Some of the common home furnishings or hot spots include flower vase, base plate of vase and flowerpots and soil. With dehydration over due to the lack of plant water, dried soil is hardened and developed. In this instance, they are unable to absorb water thus causing breeding opportunities with the stagnant water collected under. Roof gutter is a common place for mosquito breeding as well. The holder to secure bamboo sticks at the exterior of older HDB buildings is a potential receptacle that can breed mosquitoes too.
My house is clean and I spray insecticide at home every evening. Does it help?
Firstly, if there are no existing flying mosquitoes around, spraying with an insecticide will not have any use in getting rid of mosquitoes. Secondly, it also depends where the mosquitoes are located, for instance are they indoor or outdoor? Thirdly, different species of mosquitoes conduct their activities at different times such as the mornings or evenings. Finally, mosquitoes may breed in different water conditions. In conclusion, mosquito activities related to dengue are active during dawn and evening and breed in clean water.
With the current hot climate, will this heighten the dengue cases in Singapore?
Yes. The life cycle of the mosquitoes is shortened, which means their eggs will turn into adult mosquitoes in a shorter time, resulting in higher development of adult mosquitoes in the environment. Usually in cooler climates, the lifecycle takes around 15 days to complete. However, with a warmer climate, the life cycle is now reduced to only 7 days. This speeds up the production and volume of adult mosquitoes to spread around location to location and seek their hosts for food sources.
What are some misconceptions about the spread of Dengue Fever?
A person infected by dengue would gain immunity towards dengue. However, many do not know that there are four dengue virus serotypes. If a person is infected by one of the serotypes, he will only gain immunity towards that particular serotype but not the rest. If this person gets a second dengue infection (of a different serotype), the severity of the infection will increase. In addition, not everyone infected by dengue shows clinical symptoms. Finally, dengue virus may have infected a person who seems healthy.
Are there any other places in Singapore (other than homes) that are more prone to infestation and become breeding grounds for Aedes Mosquitoes?
- Sectors may vary, however observations are around construction sites, apartments and condominium buildings, industrial and manufacturing environments, hospitality and recreation, schools and education centres. Finally, not forgetting high dependency sectors such as food processing, medical/hospitals and pharmaceutical
- Places with opportunities to breed mosquitoes are prone to infestation, such as presence of drains, gully traps, potted plants, rain gutters or unchlorinated pools/ponds
- Locations with poor housekeeping for receptacles opportunities such as discarded containers, tyres, barrels, bottles, canvases
- Environment with greens and plants where mosquitoes may rest or breed (dried leaves, plant axils, trees and shrubs)
Preparing your business for operations
Ensure cleanliness of the environment
Cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation not only is connected with possible pest attractions but also managing bacteria and viruses, which is a key concern during this COVID-19 period. At this recovery stage, do ensure the premise is pest-free to prevent further spread of pest-borne diseases. In addition, surface disinfection should be carried out to reduce any possible presence of pathogens that may be lingering around.
Taking care of your employee’s general well-being
Your employees would have gone through stress and pressure in dealing with various uncertainties and health threats. Their health and safety should be well looked after by ensuring the premise is suitable and safe for operations by conducting thorough inspections and checking for any presence of pests. In addition, to enhance their safety by promoting sound personal hygiene among colleagues.
Providing an assurance to your customers and guests
Gain the confidence and trust back to deliver your financial goals through routine cleaning and disinfection and sanitisation efforts. Prioritise the health and safety of your customers by engaging adequate protection activities to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, and possible transmission of diseases or illnesses. The aim is to avoid reporting of possible COVID-19 cases, absenteeism or productivity challenges, and workday loss around resources matters.
Top three concerns on operations readiness
With restrictions and roadblocks over the past few months, and potentially facing further business challenges and financial risks, here are some questions to ensure the team is ready to resume.
- Recovery time: How quickly and safe can we ensure the facility is up and running and what procedures and measures to put in place urgently to resume operations
- People assurance: Did we do everything in ensuring there is zero-tolerance to health and safety risks of the users within the premise? More importantly, ensure adequate demonstration of the actions taken to win back trust of the people.
- Compliance standards: Protection and safety is an ongoing process. Are there stringent and robust hygiene standards in place? What additional initiatives are required to ensure full adherence, compliance and sustainability to safety policies.
Stepping up on hygiene and sanitation
While there are many heavy emphasis and focus around pest control, hygiene and sanitation is as essential. Back to our early school days, hand hygiene and hand washing is a social topic as part of our educational curriculum. As we engage in a busy work schedule and are provided with various lifestyle activities and options, we could have forgotten to cultivate good hand hygiene habits. For example, did we wash our hands after a sneeze, cough, or visiting a washroom? Are we washing our hands correctly and adequately? Do we have the practice of using hand sanitiser when we are interacting outside? Consider placing hand hygiene and hand washing steps posters around washrooms and pantries to raise awareness on hand care importance.
Safeguard business with continuous disinfection
Firstly, protection is an integrated approach. It requires a good combination among pest control management, hygiene and sanitation, surface sanitisation and overall housekeeping. Disinfection is as a long term and regular service rendered rather than a one-off ad-hoc treatment as part of crisis management. This is to assure eradicating any lingering and potential harmful contamination to avoid any further downtime. Professional pest control companies conduct proper on-site surveys, disinfect premises with safe, discrete and complying manners. In addition, all pest control specialists are required to gear up with appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and utilise solutions and active ingredients that are legally registered.
|DIY Cleaning Solution||Professional Disinfection Service Provider|
|Save on cost and expenses||Misting technology treats hard to reach areas|
|Utilising additional resources to clean the facility||Landing on surfaces that pathogens are found|
|Additional time incurred with operational pressure||Highly trained specialists in biohazard and disinfection|
|Productivity and efficiency impacted||Efficacy proved with 99.99% of pathogen removal|
|Compromise on effectiveness and efficacy||Full compliance with regulatory standards|
Air purification is not just for COVID-19
In Singapore, we face various health risks pertaining to the air quality. For instance, the air pollution that is also affecting many parts of the world, the haze condition that typically sets in mid-year onward, the particles around us that are flowing around 24/7, volatile organic compound (VOC) that is present especially in a commercial environment and lastly, the pathogens comprising bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Find out how InspireAir 72 technology can remove up to 95% of harmful pollutant and is compliant with REACH standards.
Talk to a pest control company
Not sure which solution or treatment to adopt first? Unsure which pest to focus first? Unable to decide which location or area to treat? Experts from a pest control company can give you better advice on what approach and considerations to take for your residential home or commercial business. This also includes what is the price to do pest control in Singapore.
- What kind of business are you operating? For instance food sensitive business? High labour centric environment that has high traffic attendance? Residential home with family, young and elderly?
- Is there any regulatory compliance or audit requirements? For instance, is the business liable for food grade licence in food safety according to the National Environment Agency (NEA)?
- Are the users of the environment consist of kids, guests or patients that require stringent safety and health protection?
- Is the current premise and property in a compromised integrity or has a pest infestation history?
- Is the surrounding environment high-pest-risk nature? For example, a construction or renovation taking place or has poor sanitation and housekeeping?
Rentokil pest control solutions
As the experts in pest control, we design solutions that are innovative, safe, affordable and effective. An integrated pest management approach is recommended to ensure the premise is controlled well from pest challenges.
- Common ants and cockroach treatment that involves spray, misting and gels to control the population
- Rat control programmes including placing of traps, baiting stations and snap traps with sensing technology to eliminate rats
- Placing mosquito traps is a contactless innovation. It lures female mosquitoes to lay eggs within the trap and delivers a domino effect in eliminating both adult mosquitoes and their offspring
- Adopting effective fly pest control to eliminate flies especially among food-sensitive business. This includes restaurants and food manufactures businesses. Find out more on Rentokil’s Lumnia Fly Control that brings energy cost savings with its LED technology.
Top trending blog articles
It has been a trying journey since the start of COVID-19 outbreak. There are also many questions, queries, concerns and clarifications surface around pest control, pest prevention, disinfection and surface sanitisation. Rentokil shares a series of useful contents and articles as follows.
FAQ and checklist on disinfection and sanitisation
- What you need to know about outdoor disinfection service
- Debugging common myths around surface disinfection and cleaning
- Complete guide to disinfection misting and sanitisation solutions
- Five ways of cleaning and sanitising contact surfaces
- Six reasons why surface sanitisation is essential for everyone
Important facts for mosquito control and dengue
- Understanding more about mosquito bites
- Seven reasons why we are not controlling mosquitoes effectively
- Are natural plant effective remedies to get rid of mosquitoes
- Five common misconception around mosquito infestation
- Top seven common home mistakes that attracts mosquitoes
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control and disinfection services today.
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