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We are constantly exposed to various environmental harms such as pollutants, germs, bacteria, viruses and even pests. Pests are inevitable and we may see them at any part of the day, when we commute to and from work, heading out for lunch or running errands. Here are the 5 common outdoor pests that you should not ignore.
Pest #1: Mosquitoes
Danger: Getting bitten by an Aedes Mosquito is a common fear among many of us, as contracting Dengue Fever or even Zika can be health or even life threatening. For the less serious cases, bites, itch and rash can be annoying and disruptive to some extent.
Where: Garden and green areas (with grass patches, trees and shrubs), places with presence of heat and carbon dioxide or shaded areas where they hide and rest.
Tips: Avoid dark colours, reduced exposed skin, use an insect repellant when engaged in outdoor activities, keep skin dry and wipe off perspire after an exercise
Read more on Top 5 reasons why mosquitoes bite
Pest #2: Rats
Danger: Risk of suffering from food contamination and diseases such as Salmonellosis that display symptoms such as fever, diarrhea and nausea. This is because rats are agile and leave their urine and droppings freely which can contaminate our exposed food and drinks when we do outdoor dining and snacking. Their gnawing habits on materials such as metal and electrical wiring, may potentially cause short circuit or even fire, which places us at health and safety risks.
Where: Edges of side-walks, curbs, pavement or hidden among green area such as shrubs and tall grasses, presence of burrow along the ground area or gardens. Along perimeters against the wall of an outdoor building, garbage and trash areas and drain alleys where there is food source for rats are not spared.
Tips: Seal or cover your food or drinks if you do not intend to consume it immediately, and wipe clean utensils before using it. Avoid walking along curbs, drains or trash areas if possible.
Pest #3: Bees
Danger: Being stung by a bee is not a pleasant experience, resulting in allergic reaction and in some severe cases, there may be a risk of anaphylactic shock that requires urgent medical attention before It turns life and death threatening. Bees may be considered less dangerous compared to wasps, but they may sting when provoked. Read more on tips to avoid stings and what you should do if you are being stung.
Where: Typically found in the garden or forested areas where they nest on these hollow trees, or places with traces of pheromone scents and flowers that attract bees. Less traffic or undisturbed spaces such as under the sheds, gaps between concrete blocks, bricks and siding are some other nesting areas among these stinging insects.
Tips: When engaged in outdoor activities particularly a picnic in the gardens, avoid using bee attractants such as strong sweet smell, bright colour attires with bold floral prints and remember to cover your food or drinks when not consuming to avoid bees flying or crawling in.
Pest #4: Snakes
Danger: Who isn’t afraid of snakes just by the thought of it? A common phobia among most people, snakes cause stress, fear and panic when we encounter one unprepared. While not all snakes are venomous, it is critical to treat the wound or bite with adequate care such as observing symptoms after a bite.
However, some snakes are venomous that releases toxins such as Cytotoxic (by Vipers), Haemotoxic and Neurotoxic (by Cobras) and it is critical to seek proper and urgent medical treatments right away.
Where: Some of snakes’ favorite hide-outs include moist and cool living conditions such as forested and vegetation area, gardens, lawns and parks, or well mulched spaces, or sites with tall grass and shrubs, and wet places such as pongs, swamps and mangrove. Snakes are not a fan of heat and warmth, hence shady spaces such as piles of wood, debris, rocks are not spared.
Tips: Always remember to remain calm in the event you encounter a snake, they typically do not pose any harm to public unless they are provoked.
Read more on 5 useful tips if you encounter a snake
Pest #5: Birds
Danger: Birds are known to carry diseases that may cause potential danger of flu symptoms (similar to Influenza) through their spores in the bird droppings. The common diseases include Salmonella and Histoplasmosis.
Birds are excellent hosts to parasites such as ticks, fleas and bird mites, a common pest-transfer to pets and humans. Besides worrying on the health consequences, bird droppings might cause slippery surfaces and acid corrosion that damages property, facility or even vehicles.
Where: Their nesting areas such as under air-conditioning, tree tops, shady greens, under bridges or ground area and even outdoor cafes and dining where are there food leftovers and at times land on the food you are consuming.
Tips: Avoid feeding or scattering unwanted food in the public, which helps in reducing harborage opportunities, causing an overpopulation of birds and competition in food supply. Bins and trash bags should always be securely covered by a lid or well-tied to avoid birds picking food leftovers. Bird nettings and deterrent methods may be considered.
These outdoor pests may be dangerous and challenging to self-manage. Pest populations which start to invade human lives can be properly controlled by a local pest control company in Singapore.