We all do not like pests and will try all kinds of methods to prevent them from turning into a permanent house resident. It can range from DIY remedies to pest myths that are often shared online or eliminating methods such as spray. In this article, Rentokil shares why pest infestation occurs in the first place and what are the various pest prevention methods.
Why does pest infestation occur?
Pest infestation occurs because of various reasons. Their presence somehow is inevitable, be it at home, work or leisure. For some homes, due to negligence and lack of awareness, pest problems arise easily. However, for households that keep up to standard be it sanitation or control, pests still invades. Here are the key reasons why pest infestation occurs.
- Poor housekeeping standard with debris and crumbs left around for pests to feed
- Wet and damp conditions with presence of water and moisture that attracts pests
- Food scraps lying around with trash and garbage not cleared promptly
- Cross infestation means by carrying pests home from items or body latching
- Modes of entry via door, window, ventilators and any means of entrance
- Lack of detection and inspection of the premise resulting in pests to breed
- Structure defects and integrity condition with cracks and crevices unfixed
- Weather and climate conditions that promotes pest activity and population
- Environment and situation factors such as vegetation and construction sites
Besides these environmental and structural conditions, there are other indirect and underlying reasons that causes pests to manifest. Firstly, the premise could have a pest breeding taken place but no proactive actions to eliminate the development. Secondly, the elimination methods may be incorrect, inadequate or insufficient that causes a pest infestation to continue surfacing. Thirdly, some pests such as termites are less visible in their infestation signs and hence no action is taken until the condition gets serious. Above all, identification of pest types may be wrong, hence carrying out pest control services that do not work.
How do you know if you have infestation?
There are many indicators that your home is infested with pests, no doubt the most obvious signs is seeing the pests itself flying or crawling around the premise. It can be mosquitoes buzzing around the home, line of ants marching along the wall or rats running or cockroaches gliding past you in the kitchen. However, it is important to note a heavy infestation could occur in your home if you notice nocturnal pests scurrying around in the daytime. Besides spotting their physical presence, what else should you look out for?
Pest infestation signs
- Presence of droppings, poops or faeces on the surfaces
- Larvae breeding in stagnant water or on damp wet puddles
- Bad or unusual stench and odour that does not seem normal
- Stains or marks on the surfaces that resembles urine or blood
- Uncommon sounds such as scratching, banging or scurrying
- Holes, cracks and damages on the wall, furniture or ground
- Uncommon sight such as “saw dust” or mud tubes from termites
While we can take notice of these visible and physical signs of pests, there are certain signs that we should be well aware in terms of our wellbeing. Firstly, check if you are experiencing bites that are red, swollen or itchy on your exposed skin such as legs, arms and neck. Some pests such as bed bugs and mosquitoes are capable of generating an analgesic effect that sting and bite us without noticing much. Secondly, do you or your family suffer from unexplainable food poisoning symptoms such as diahhrea, vomiting, headache, fever and stomach cramps? This could be a result of food contamination through pests as they spread bacteria to the food you consume. Thirdly, are you triggering allergies more than usual? Some pests such as cockroach droppings and saliva contain allergens that trigger an allergy and as well as termite frass when in contact with skin causes allergic reaction.
Finally, perhaps the most fatal and detrimental infestation sign is contracting diseases such as dengue fever. Dengue cases in Singapore have been increasing in recent months with more mosquito breeding and dengue clusters resulted.
Stay vigilant by understanding mosquito infestation signs and risks
- If your home is residing within the dengue cluster that has constant active cases
- Are there more vegetation, plants and greeneries in your location that attract mozzies?
- Do you get frequent and repeated mosquito bites on your arms and legs
- Do you see more mosquitoes hovering around you or in your home?
- Are there mosquito breeding seen in your home or close proximity
- Any reported dengue cases within your property or workplace?
Pest prevention methods you can apply
Active pest detection and inspection
Firstly, start to spot your pest enemies by identifying their presence and activities. Proactive and early detection not only minimises the damage impact, reduces the spread but is less costly in terms of price of pest control and recovery. This means a more straightforward control effort and requires lesser treatments or combinations to resolve. Over time, pest control can be treated as a protection and maintenance basis.
Diligent housekeeping and cleaning activities
Maintaining tip-top sanitation and housekeeping regime is one of the ways to prevent pests. Start by eliminating their food source such as food ingredients, sweets, fats, grease, waste and scrapes. This includes water spills and leaks that all pests require in order to survive. In addition, by actively keeping the place clean, you can remove any breeding eggs to prevent them from reproducing while keeping a lookout for pest signs such as droppings and stains.
Apply proofing to prevent pest entries
Because pests are tiny, flat and flexible, they can enter homes easily be it a crack, gap, hole, crevices, let alone bigger entrances such as windows, doors, ventilators and any other structure opening. First step is to seal and caulk those defects due to wear and tear, usage condition and climate. Next, is to install mesh and insect screens to block pests from entering through windows or balconies. In addition, include blockers in openings such as grease traps and manhole and brush blockers at the doors.
Repel and deter pests with natural remedies
Those natural ingredients such as spices, herbs, fruits and plants have more than consumption purposes. Yes, some of the common and typical pest myths include using ingredients such as vinegar, pepper, garlic, peppermint, lavender, pandan leaf and even cucumber peel to deter and repel pests. To some extent, these remedies work by masking the scent trial and confuse pests in their navigation for a short while, however this will resume back to normal quickly.
Constant and regular pest monitoring
It does not work by just working out some prevention actions without monitoring if the method works, how the pest activities and population are going and if there are more than one pests invading. Constant monitoring keeps balances in check and determines if there is any surge due to acute or one-off environment factors or is the infestation related to home activities and lifestyle? This can help to tweak the prevention efforts, by either taking another approach, increasing the frequency or perhaps it is time to call the pest control specialist.
What happens if pest prevention does not work?
Unless it is a mild case of infestation, low environmental risks and well maintained space, pest prevention does work to some extent. However, what happens if these remedies do not work?
Firstly, it is likely that the infestation will escalate with increased population or spread to surrounding locations. Secondly, it can cause physical damage to property, cabling, food items and furniture. Thirdly, pest damages are also represented in the form of unsightly and perhaps permanent markings, stains, tubes and cracks. Fourthly, making us sick and unwell by contracting diseases spread by pests are perhaps the most undesired outcome. Finally, the cost and investment involved in terms of rectification, renovation and replacement. Above all, the emotional stress and worries we have to go through in dealing with the current pest condition and aftermath especially among families with kids and/or elderly.
Pest control options when prevention methods do not work
Fret not if your pest eradication methods do not work. More importantly, you should not take too long to take professional help from a pest control company who has the expertise to provide effective and safe treatments, access your environment and provide additional recommendation and advice.
Common pest treatments engaged by residential homeowners
- Cockroach and ants treatment: To keep these two common pests away from the kitchen, dining hall and living room. It involves performing residual spraying at strategic corners, applying baits and gels are targeted areas.
- Integrated mosquito control: It is important to eliminate mosquitoes at all life cycles, including both the indoors and outdoors. There are options of fogging, larviciding and mosquito traps to opt for.
- Termite treatment programme: Regardless if you are residing in a landed property, flat or apartment, termite infestation is possible as their main source of food is wood. Treatments ranging from termiticide application, foaming or baiting.
- Bed bug control: Bed bugs are not just related to travel but cross infestation. It spreads and reproduces quickly and quick bed bug treatment including residual spray and steam treatment should be carried out.
- Digital Rodent Control: Rats enter from external compounds and are able to slip through tiniest gaps and home. Go for digital rodent control that detects rat activities accurately and control remotely through a command centre.
To manage affordability and cost effectiveness, pest management can be in the package for long-term protection or ad-hoc and one-off treatment to resolve an existing problem. However, there are various factors that contribute to the price factor including the type of chemical or active ingredient used, the frequency, mode of application, coverage size, infestation intensity and number of types of pests treated. It is best to speak to a pest control specialist to access the condition, analyse the treatment needs and budget preference. Pest control solutions are not a one-size-fits-all and should be planned with proper assessment and site survey.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.