Do you know almost anything in your home is a possible and potential food source for pests to feed on? While we know, water is a must-have survivor element not just for pests but for individuals, there are many other unexpected food choices. Rentokil shares the top seven foods that pests are attracted to your home that can potentially cause a pest infestation.
Water is an essential survival element for all of us including pests. While some pests can survive without food for a month such as the cockroaches, however, most could not sustain without water and moisture. They are available easily through various factors, and with proper house maintenance and housekeeping, we can prevent pests manifesting further.
- Excess water flicked on floor or counter taps after washing hands or utensils
- Overly watering of plants that cause puddles and droplets for mosquito breeding
- Spill of drinks, glass of water and soups and not wiping them clean and dry
- Defective plumbing and piping that causes water leaks and drips
- Shower and washing in bathroom that generates wet surfaces and prints
Besides attracting these common pests such as ants, cockroaches and rats, water presence is one of the main factors resulting in dengue cases in Singapore. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and thrive particularly well in warm and humid weather such as Singapore. As small as twenty-coin size of standing water is enough to attract mosquitoes and develop into an infestation causing dengue fever.
Might not be the obvious choice of food among most pests however it is the top favorited among termites. You may not be aware but termites form a colony to nest and breed below your home where soil is their natural habitat. They feed mainly of cellulose material including fibre and wood. Because wood is organically hard to chew and digest, they utilise microorganisms to break down into edible format. This also explains how your home structure is damaged and internal wall turns follow due to their feeding approach. You should be concerned since wood represents almost the entire part of your home, including the flooring, structure beams, panels, lumber logs, trees and furniture.
Sugar and sweets
You are not the only with a sweet tooth but some pests are as well. Cockroaches and ants are pests that like sweet and sugary stuff such as comfort food we seek including cakes, fruits, sweets, biscuits, cookies and even jam. They are common staples that we find in the kitchen, dining hall and even living room. They are often left around for pests to feasts on them due to:
- Snacking and having meals at the sofa thus spilling food crumbs and residue
- Leaving sweet food exposed on dining table that promotes ants infestation
- Not covering or store sugar and cakes in airtight containers or jars
- Not wiping off food preparation areas that has sweet elements
- Leaving half consumed sweet drinks on the living room table that attracts ants
Waste and trash
There are items where it is not suitable for human consumption but is otherwise in the case of pests. Cockroaches and rats for example feed on trash and garbage and lurk around the most undesirable places such as sewers, trash bins and garbage centres. They feed on decaying and decomposed matters and food scrapes as well. This is also the reason why they are called the pests of poor hygiene, transmitting harmful organisms and causing food contamination. Remember to dispose of those trashes, cover the lids well and remove the presence of food leftovers. Taking this first step is one way to get rid of cockroaches in your home, besides complementing with repelling and controlling efforts.
It is possible feeding on dead insects or among pests themselves when there is food competition or scarcity. Some of the common scenarios include a premise with heavy infestation and pests are shortage of food supplies, or an environment free from food sources. However, there are scenarios where pests are omnivorous where they eat dead insects such as cockroaches, rats and lizards. Hence, it helps to engage in regular pest control services to bring down the level of pest population, and minimise dead insect food meals as well.
Fats and Grease
Perhaps considered comfort food, who does not like fatty and greasy food? Pests like to have their hands on fried and greasy meals such as fries, buttery dishes, bacon and lard. This is not forgetting that grease on the cutleries, utensils and wash basins that is soiled and unwashed till later. Cockroaches like grease and grime and lurk around sinks with dishes uncleaned. In addition, it helps to prevent sink chokes, foul smell and ugly stains.
Not in the name of vampires and Draculas as documented in movies, however there are pests that consume blood! Yes, both the mosquitoes and bed bugs seek blood meals to live, reproduce and target hosts like us. The female mosquitoes detect us through body warm and carbon dioxide and bite us for their blood meal and protein. Similarly, bed bugs surface at night and locate our body heat while we are asleep. This explains why bed bugs are often found in bed and furniture where human bodies are around. Prevent those mosquitoes’ bites from happening by protecting yourself with repellents and installing indoor and outdoor mosquito traps.
Remove food supplies that attract pests
Pest prevention begins by eliminating food opportunities for pests to feed and live on. Firstly, keep the place and surfaces dry from water and moisture by wiping them up, place a floor mat and install shower screens. Secondly, adopt regular and daily housekeeping by sweeping up residues and food debris on tabletop and floor. Thirdly, use a waste bin with well secure lids, dispose trash as soon as possible and seal tight trash bags before disposing. Fourthly, manage the pest population in your home through seeking services from pest control companies. Above all, you can minimise wooden materials and furniture in the home to prevent possible termite infestation.
Type of household pests invading a residential home
Cockroaches and ants
They are anywhere in the home where there is food, water and shelter. For example, the kitchen where organic food, trash and condiments are available for their meals. Bathroom is another favourite cockroach haunt where there is abundance of water and emerging through sewers. Cabinets and appliances is another favourite hideout where it is a dark, cosy and undisturbed habitat. Finally, anywhere that is moist and damp such as drains, grease traps and sinks.
Mosquitoes and midges
You may find mosquitoes anywhere including both indoors and outdoors. They usually enter a home through any openings they can find or have developed through a breeding internally. Places they lurk around include garden, patio, car pouch, plants, and balcony or even within the rooms and living hall where hosts are. Especially for homes located within the dengue cluster, it is essential to have mosquito control services in place to protect your family against the dengue disease. For homes that are near to water banks such as reservoirs, midges can infest and fly to residential homes due to their lightweight nature. They are similar to mosquitoes’ as they require water in their development process and go through the four life stages. Find out more the difference between the mosquitoes and midges.
Termites are home’s best companion because of the vast supplies of moisture and wood they rely on. Regardless whether an apartment, flat or landed home, termites can appear to chew on the home and infest 24/7 daily. As they travel upwards and sideways, and build mud tubes as a traveling tunnel, termites can spread to the entire home and surrounding homes quickly. This means termites can infest your home any one time and it is important to take proactive actions by taking up termite control for long-term protection rather than waiting for the termite protection to take place.
Not so much as the name suggests that bed bugs are often found in homes, however their modes of invasion are often cross-infestation. Bed bugs are tiny and flat and cling on items, belongings and on hosts like us to move from location to location. They are often brought home through second-hand furniture, luggage and suitcases and through our body ourselves. One of the main reasons why we see them in bedrooms most of the time is because of the body heat we exude. However, not just bedrooms they hang around, and your bed bug detection efforts should broaden to other parts of the home, including living rooms where there is human presence.
Protect your home with pest control
There are ways to protect your home with pest control that involves a multi-prong approach. Besides adopting a healthy housekeeping regime, we can prevent pests from entering into the home through proofing efforts. Firstly, you can fix an insect or pest magnetic screen on window panels or balcony frames to prevent pest entries. Secondly, you can fix those gaps, cracks and holes resulting from aged, defective or degenerating parts of the home. Thirdly, there is proofing and mesh that you can install to block entries underneath the door, grease trap and drainage or sewer system. Finally, if not required, it helps to keep doors or windows closed at some time to prevent opportunities for pests to crawl or fly in.
Do you have adequate pest control protection?
Does your home have adequate protection with pest control? Pest control refers to delivering well scheduled treatments to various parts of the home with regular inspection and detection. However, besides having these treatments in place, one should also consider the below factors:
- Have we identified the right pest species to target the right treatment?
- Is the company recommending the relevant pest treatments?
- Have we covered all the key risk areas with pest activities well?
- Are the treatments on a regular basis or an ad-hoc solution?
- Are you receiving post treatment monitoring and inspection?
- Do you receive ongoing recommendations and useful tips?
Pest control measures change as the environment and situation changes. For example, there may be a sudden and acute pest infestation due to seasonality or epidemic such as dengue. There could be nearby construction works that forces rats to relocate and invade into your home. A recent travel or visit to a bed bug infested place could cause a sudden and unexpected bed bug infestation. Alternatively, a cross infestation and isolated case where pests enter from an external source. This means, the type and number of pest presence may change or increase and the pest coverage will differ. There are times where the intensity or frequency of pest control service has to be increased to deal with sudden surge of pest infestation. Lastly, we recomend a flush out programme or ad-hoc treatment to control the surge quickly.
Speak to a pest control specialist to understand the best-designed plan and package for your home. A credible specialist will study the premise and environment adequately, ask a few questions to understand your lifestyle and home habits better and assess the risk factors affecting the infestation level. Rentokil Initial has summarised a useful FAQ checklist on questions you should know on pest control services.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solutions today.