Pests have three basic needs in order to survive, namely, food, water and shelter. Water in fact, is not just a food source but also a harbourage cause for some pest species. In this article, Rentokil shares which pests are strongly linked to water or moist and how to eliminate pests with the right techniques.
Five pests connected with water and moist
Growing mosquito population begins with the presence of stagnant water for them to breed. Larvae are hatched within 48 hours and water is an essential habitat for them to live. Aedes mosquito, which is the mosquito species type that causes dengue cases in Singapore lay their eggs on the water surface. Mozzies undergo a complete life cycle, develop as an adult and lie on the water surface to rest before taking off to source for blood feed. They rely on their siphon tubes to breathe by hanging upside water direction along the water surface. All they need is a tiny coin size of stagnant water presence for mosquito breeding to take place.
Here are some examples of common mosquito breeding sites:
- Cans, containers, pails and buckets left in the open
- Air-conditioning trays
- Rain gutters, gully traps and drains
- Wood and leave piles that can trap water
- Flower pot trays
- Potted plants with dried and hardened soil
- Discarded tires
- Attended pool, fountain and water feature decorative
- Surfaces along balcony and patio
The miniscule but mighty home destroyer in fact favours a high moisture environment to survive. They are afraid of the sunlight and once they are exposed for a few minutes, they will not live long after exposed for a few minutes. Different termite species obtain their water supply differently. Firstly, subterranean termites (which are common pests found in homes) get their water through the soil. Secondly, dampwood termites that are often seen outdoors seek high water content from the wood or rotten trunk they consume. Lastly, drywood termites have lesser moisture needs compared to the other termite species and have capable water retention.
A big fan of water, cockroaches cannot survive more than two weeks without water. In fact, they can survive underwater by holding their breath for 40 minutes. Cockroach species such as American and Oriental cockroach are attracted to damp and moist environments such as sewers, drain, basement and bathroom. For German cockroaches, they are commonly found in areas with water sources, such as kitchen and bathroom.
While they cannot survive without water, they dislike the wet weather – rain. To avoid drowning in their hideouts along the drains and sewer systems, cockroaches will seek shelter such as your home. Cockroaches unlike rats are not good swimmers but they have the ability to float. Another way of invading your home is through exiting the pipes they are flushed up with the accumulated water.
These pests feed on mould and mildew in humid and moist environments instead of books as their name suggests. With their strong attraction to high humidity and damp condition areas, their food source is largely mould instead of water or moisture. Mould can grow on bookbinding glue, cardboard, paper, wallpaper, starch and any paper-based materials. These items are a common part of a residential home and an expected pest to deal with. They do not bite, but unfortunately, in a warm and humid climate in Singapore, booklice can thrive better in such conditions. Read more on quick tips to deal with a book infestation in your home.
These are chironomids and resemble that of mosquitoes to many. Midges also lay their eggs in large water bodies such as puddles, ponds, reservoirs, streams and swamps. In addition, they require moisture to survive and reproduce. The life cycle takes around 3 weeks to complete and is more active during cooler climates such as early morning and late evenings. One main factor that can cause midges infestation is rainfall, temperature and water quality changes. If you notice swarms and heaps of midges found on the cars or windows, it is the fact that they are light and blown by the wind. The difference between midges and mosquitoes is that midges do not bite and spread diseases like dengue fever. Read more on useful FAQ on midges in Singapore.
Interesting facts of pests with water
Water and moisture plays a vital role among pests and here are some interesting pest facts around water.
- Cockroaches can live without their head for a week. However, they will eventually die from thirst. Otherwise, cockroaches can submerge in water for as long as half an hour.
- Not all ants can swim other than fire ants and the majority can stay underwater for 24 hours. They use their spiracle to breathe thoroughly.
- Rats are good swimmers, able to hold their breath well and can tread water for up to three days.
- It is possible to revive a drowned fly in its homeostatic state by removing the excess water from their breathing tube
- Bed bugs are poor swimmers and can drown in water, as they do not have lungs or mouth to breathe. Instead, they depend on pores in their water that are unable to absorb air and thus, die as a result.
Five locations with high presence of water
Identifying where your targets and enemies can help safeguard yourself from any potential harm. There are areas within your home that are more prone to water exposure and activities. These include:
- Balcony: Putting up wet laundries, poor plants watering habits and rainy conditions increases the risk of water collection at the balcony
- Washroom: An area where most water activities take place such as brushing of teeth, washing of face and hands and taking showers.
- Kitchen: Frequent hand washing, food preparations and consumption and cleaning up the dishes promotes water spills around
- Outdoor Garden and front pouch: Highly exposed to water spillages and receptacles through activities such as weather, planting, landscaping and car washing
- Drainage and grease trap: Found both indoors and outdoors, both are potential receptacles that can collect stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed from rainfall, washing and rinsing of wet items.
Possible causes of water leaks and spills
Most facility maintenance and housekeeping gaps such as water leaks and spills start with home habits and structural defects. Firstly, personal habits such as flicking hands after washing causes water drips on the floor and surfaces. Secondly, some shower rooms without show screens cause water splashes around the bathroom. In addition, bath mats may not be present to dry wet feet after a shower. Thirdly, defective pipes located at the kitchen sinks and bathroom causes unexpected and uncontrollable leaks. Fourthly, poor ceiling conditions that are connected to neighbouring units can indirectly cause water leakage into your home. Finally, there are also poor watering plant habits such as over sprucing without wiping dry can promote receptacle opportunity.
Did you know, for plants that have not been watered for many months can cause the soil beneath to harden? This means the soil is unable to absorb moisture, thus collecting water in the flowerpots as a result. Above all, weather can influence possible causes of moisture generation. For instance, wet umbrellas that are not sun to dry, rain entering from the windows or door entrances or collected among receptacles found outdoors.
Things you can do to prevent moisture
Some conditions are inevitable and uncontrollable; however, there are preventive actions you can take proactively. Mostly involves facility maintenance and cultivating diligent housekeeping habits.
- Make it a habit to keep surfaces dry by wiping spills off counter tops, table and flooring.
- Use a hand towel for drying hands after doing the dishes or using the bathroom
- Place a floor mat and bathroom mat to trap excess water from your feet
- Keep wet and dripping umbrella dry and ventilated outdoors
- Keep the home well ventilated to minimise humidity around the environment
- Install shower screens to prevent further water splashing and floor wetting
- Do keep the windows or balcony sliding doors shut during rainy conditions
- Check for gaps, crevices, entry holes or damages that can cause leakages
- Do simple renovation to improve integrity of the structure
- Check if defects and leakage is coming from the neighbours’
When will pests surface for food?
Pests eat almost everything and are especially attracted to raw ingredients, sweet and greasy food, protein, water and down to food waste, scrapes and decomposed matter. In fact, pests are categorised into daytime pests and night time pests.
For example, flies are attracted to bright lights and well-lighted environments, which explains why they are often seen in restaurants and cafes. Hence, it is crucial for food establishments to ensure optimal sanitation standards. Mosquitoes are another active daytime pests, like the Aedes Mosquitoes who emerge in the morning for their blood meal. Thus, you may notice getting more mosquitoes bites as you engage in exercises and sports during early hours.
Night time pests
For pests such as cockroaches, rats and bed bugs, they are the late bloomers. They typically rest in the daytime and emerge at night to start finding their food. This also made pest control efforts more challenging as there is less visibility when it comes to pest detection and monitoring. An indicator that your home might be having a serious cockroach infestation if these cockroaches are scurrying in the day. It is essential to start checking for signs of cockroaches including droppings, egg cases and musty strong odour.
Rat detection is much more challenging besides being a nocturnal pest is the ability to hide really well. Their flexible body and agility help them rest at impossible to reach and beyond visibility spaces. To top it up, they are smart pests that do not fall into lures and tricks easily. Thus, it is beneficial to engage pest control specialists to deploy a robust and effective rat control to manage your rat infestation.
Do you notice a straight single line of itchy red bumps on your hands and legs the next morning? This may be the work of bed bugs that prefer dark environments and come out during your sleeping hours. One of the many challenges in identifying bed bugs include being tiny, flat, small and easily missed by our sight. They lurk at negligible spaces such as seams of mattress, corner of rugs and carpets and along slits of curtain. What is worse is, bed bug bites have an analgesic effect that does not generate any pain or feel until the next day.
Why we should not treat moisture lightly
As minor and trivial as it seems, pest infestation begins with the slightest gaps and negligence. Regardless whether it is a little spill, receptacle as tiny as a coin size or damp surfaces, pest breeds and reproduce in days and weeks. Firstly, untreated pest problems will turn into a serious infestation and spread further within the home or externally. Secondly, some pests cause physical damages to the home such as damaged walls, mud tubes grown on the wall, torn packaging and gnawed wires or cables. Thirdly, there is unpleasant smell emitting around the home such as pungent urine stench among cockroaches and sweet musty smell by bed bugs. Fourthly, pests cause harmful diseases such as Salmonella, Hantavirus, E. Coli, allergies, skin infections and dengue fever. Above all, wet and slippery surfaces pose as a health and safety hazard, causing trips and slips at home. Particularly, for homes with elderly, it is even more critical to wipe off those wet spills and leaks.
Taking pest control actions to get rid of pest problem
An integrated pest management approach can help to get rid of pests more effectively.
Start with pest inspection and detection
Pest control companies possess the expertise and knowledge-know-know to detect and identify pest presence and infestation. They are trained to spot infestation signs, differentiate the type of smell indicator caused by pest infestation and identify targeted hot spots. Accurate pest detection also means recommending the appropriate pest control services for the targeted species and the right location. For example, termite control is very different from eliminating ant infestation. In conclusion, it enhances pest efficacy and avoids additional investments due to rein-infestation.
Engage credible and trustworthy pest control company
It is beneficial to engage in pest control treatments to safeguard your family members from harm and risks caused by pests. Entrust your home protection to a credible pest control specialist who can give expert recommendations and advice. Firstly, they will first access the environment and perform a site assessment in terms of location, environment and complexity. Secondly, they will detect and inspect for any signs of pest infestation. Thirdly, a discussion around protection needs, home activities and cost preference will take place. Fourthly, rendering treatment recommendations, usually covering cockroaches and ants, termites, rats and mosquitoes. Finally, they take you through a journey comprising a pre and post treatment checklist.
Cockroach Control and Ants Treatment
Cockroach prevention and getting rid of ants can be managed better with proper cockroach and ants control in place. This includes prior inspection of the premise, applying gel and baits and using residual spray around skirting and strategic corners.
Anti-Termite Prevention Programme
Termite infestation signs are usually less visible unless there is serious damage caused by termites. Otherwise, they are usually within structures, panels and frames or live in the soil. Hence, a proper termite control is necessary to safeguard your home against termite infestation. Termite specialists can detect termite activities accurately with Microwave technology and identify key risk areas within your home. Termite treatments varied according to the different types of termite species. For example, termiticide injections of an active ingredient is applied around the home for subterranean termites. For Drywood termite, a localised foaming is injected with the active ingredient on targeted items including door frames, kitchen cabinets build-in and structure panels. There are many options of the solution available and for owners with eco-friendly interest, Rentokil Initial offers Green Pest Control.
Mosquito Control Solution
Getting rid of mosquitoes is not an easy task, especially if we are constantly exposed to outdoors and surroundings. Mozzies fly in either through balconies or windows, or the home might potentially be a breeding site. This is even more critical if the home or workplace situated is within the dengue cluster.
It is necessary to adopt a comprehensive mosquito control programme that eliminates mozzies at their entire life cycle. This includes fogging the premises to eliminate adult mosquitoes and apply larvicide along drains and any key risk areas to remove breeding. Mosquito prevention requires a community effort, comprising homeowners, neighbours and pest control companies.
Find out how you can switch to contactless pest control by installing the In2care mosquito traps that controls both adult mosquitoes and larvae. It is green and safe and able to spread the active ingredient to the surrounding sites to optimise control efficacy. Request for a complementary one-month trial today.
Ensure constant and regular monitoring
Due to the ongoing activities and movements at home, pest entries and infestation can occur anytime. Even if there is a treatment in place, pest can infest a home due to various factors such as the following:
- Cross infestation by bringing in pests from bags, parcels or through yourself
- Lapse in sanitation and housekeeping routine
- Cracks and crevices that allow pests to slip in quietly
- Indirect pest invasion through your neighbours
- Inadequate proofing that opens up access opportunities
Hence, it is important to keep monitoring for any possible early pest signs, in order to treat the infestation quickly. This way, not only it minimises the impact risks, ease the treatment needs while maintaining cost efficiency.
Complement pest control maintenance with proofing
One way of pest prevention is by proofing the home adequately. There are many possible entry points pests can find their way in and proofing helps to deter them. For example, in most homes there would have a gap between the door and flooring? You can fix door-proofing brushes to protect outdoor pests from running into your home. Installing magnetic insect screens that on window screens and door panels also helps to keep pests away. Cover sewer and piping systems with grease traps mesh and protector to prevent cockroaches from slipping in.
Maintain diligent housekeeping regime
There is no easy and quick way out on how to get rid of cockroaches of mosquitoes for example. However, you can step up on keeping pest problems under control by maintaining a diligent housekeeping regime. It requires combination efforts of cleanliness, detection and treatments for an effective pest control outcome. Most things found in the home attract pests – food waste, crumbs, water spills, exposed food, sugar drinks, cellulose and garbage. They are also able to find good hiding spots if there is abundance of clutters, cartons, piles or poorly kept storages. Hygienic and well maintained home also provides a healthier living environment for your family. In summary, limiting food source and hiding spaces for pest harbourage can minimise frustrations of pests.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.