Pest control has always been a burning issue in the hot and humid weather conditions of Singapore. Two years ago a shocking news of an old woman crashing her car into an overhead bridge in Jurong East appeared in the Straits Times. Reason? - the sight of a cockroach crawling in the car panicked her and thus she lost control of the car.
Not only vehicles, our homes are also infested with pests. Our living spaces are conducive environments for many kinds of pests that are harmful to our health and safe living. Therefore periodic pest control along with regular cleaning is necessary to keep pests at bay.
In order to understand the best pest control practices, you need to know the most common types of pests found in Singapore, and the kind of threat they pose to your daily lives.
Common Types of Household Pests in Singapore
Mosquitoes spread diseases like Dengue and Zika. Dengue is a seasonal crisis Singapore faces every year. We witnessed the worst outbreak this year since 2013. Our tropical weather makes for a safe breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Mosquito eggs breed in stagnant water in and around our homes. Clearing water collected in pails, flower pots, drains etc. will prevent the growth of mosquitoes. Here is a guide to how to get rid of mosquitoes.
Who knew a cockroach could cause a car accident in Singapore? The more braver among us make fun of squeamish souls who scream at the sight of a cockroach. Even though cockroaches are a common sight in households, they should never be taken lightly. They multiply in large numbers in a short time before you know it. Are cockroaches harmful? According to the World Health Organisation, cockroaches are “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements.” They are carriers of intestinal diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. Free roaming of roaches will result in transfer of bacteria to food left for consumption at home. They are also known to cause allergy and asthma. Children are more susceptible to cockroach allergens than adults.
Bed bugs are a nightmare. You will never be able to spot them until night falls on. Lack of hygiene and cleanliness is the main cause of bed bug infestation. However, it may not be the only cause. A single bed bug hitchhiking to your home is enough to cause you trouble for a lifetime. They multiply and survive in humid and moist conditions with no direct sunlight. They are found in gaps between doors, in furniture, mattresses, bed frames, curtains etc. Early detection of bed bugs is key to controlling the spread. Bed bugs usually do not transmit diseases but bed bug bites cause itchiness on skin which may further lead to infections from incessant scratching. Kids and adults alike are sure to lose sleep with bed bugs loitering around to suck human blood.
Ants are conquerors that colonise the place they forage into for food and safe haven. They are one too many and therefore it will be really hard to trace their trail to the source. You will find them in areas where morsels of food are left accidentally, in the corners of your rooms, or around carcasses of other insects. Now that we work from home and eat from work desks, ensure your table and chairs are clean so not to invite ants over. Ant bites cause itchiness and rashes on your skin and since they are prone to carry bacteria and other germs, you may get infected through open wounds or from consuming food that has been contaminated by ants. There are different types of ants and each of them need separate treatment procedures to eradicate completely.
The most common types of rats in Singapore are the brown rat (sewer rat) and black rat (roof rat). Singapore is a food haven and therefore it is not surprising to find rats in households and commercial establishments. Brown rats are mostly found in households whereas black rats are spotted in open urban areas. Rats at home is a scary sight. Not only do they pose health hazards, they will go around gnawing furniture, chewing on electric wires and thus spoiling expensive home appliances. Direct contact with rat faeces or urine leads to infections, viral diseases and severe fever.
Best Pest Control Practices for a Safer Home
There are many more pests like termites, booklice, silverfish etc that infect households than mentioned above. To keep them at bay, we need to follow the best pest control practices. Some of the measures that can be implemented at home are:
Getting rid of unwanted items off your shelves is the first step towards a cleaner home. Reorganise your home to make way for better ventilation and light. Pay special attention to areas like kitchen, garage, toilets, and bedrooms where you hoard items that are no longer of use. A clean and organised space no longer attracts pests and therefore pest-induced problems.
Pests especially rats and ants enter our home through unnoticed gaps or openings from where electrical wires of aircon fixed outside enter or gaps in splintered furniture that act as safe haven for ants and termites. Do a thorough inspection in and around your home to seal off such small gaps to ward off pests as part of pest control activities.
Removing Excess Moisture and Dampness
Pests like bed bugs thrive in humid and moist conditions. Therefore remove excess moisture in your rooms. Proper ventilation is the key to reducing humidity. Leave your windows open as and when possible to let outside air in. We advise you to install ventilation fans in kitchen and shower rooms for fresh air movement. A good air conditioning unit can keep your rooms well ventilated by ensuring proper circulation of air. Leaking pipes, faucets and air conditioners create dampness in a room which is conducive for pests to breed and multiply. So, it is important to fix water leakage to prevent pest infestation as part of pest control measures.
Regular cleaning, at least once a week, of your premises is paramount to prevent pest infestation. Keep separate garbage bins for food, plastic and other waste. Dispose of food waste carefully in tightly sealed trash bags without spilling them over on the kitchen floor. Smell of food waste invites rats and cockroaches with glee. Piled up laundry is another cause of concern for pest infestation. Send clothes out to the laundromat that are dampened by sweat immediately or leave it out to dry in open air before dumping them in laundry baskets. Similarly curtains, carpets and mattresses also require periodic deep cleaning to prevent accumulation of dust and dirt that welcome pests home.
Professional Pest Control Service in Singapore
Several DIY and home remedies are available to exterminate pests. However, as a Reddit Singapore user commented, home remedies or preventive measures may not be effective in getting pests out completely. Severe bed bug or termite infestation require professional pest control services and it is worth every penny in the long run.
A professional pest control company will conduct a thorough inspection of your home and surroundings to identify and evaluate the infestation level. Depending on the severity of infestation, they will recommend various treatments and effective control measures. Sendhelper offers best pest management solutions at attractive prices for households and commercial properties. Download Sendhelper app to make a booking, and let professional pest controllers take over your home to eliminate all your worries.