Killem Pest Blog

7 tips for keeping our bins and bin chutes free of rodents

7 Tips for Keeping Our Bins and Bin Chutes Free of Rodents

Rodents – In our effort to become a garden city, plants and greenery have been incorporated in the buildings and structures around Singapore. With all these plants around, they provide opportunities for other organisms to thrive. While many of these organisms such as birds and butterflies might be harmless or even beneficial to us, some might cause problems to humans.

Rodents nest in burrows in soil where plants grow in. In our effort to bring greenery close to our living environment, rodents are also closing in to our lives. They pose public concerns as they are not only capable of transmitting diseases such as leptospirosis and rat bite fever but also causing structural damage when they chew on wires and other building structures.

You have probably seen rodents running around residential areas or at the void deck of flats, or heard them squeaking in the middle of the night. This is due to the fact that rodents are commensal so they live in close association to humans and feed on whatever humans eat.

You might have been feeding rodents without even knowing it. They scavenge for any food that you throw away so the rubbish bins and bin chutes might be their favorite haunt for nice, free food.

How do we keep rodents away from bins and bin chutes.

1. Mindful placement of bins

Rodents might perceive the placement of bins near to windows and doors as an invitation so you might want to make sure the bins are kept away from the entrances. Avoid exposing the bins to direct sunlight to help reduce the smell of food.

2. Always keep bin lids and bin chutes sealed properly

Rodents are so flexible that they can squeeze through a space as thin as a pencil so it is important to make sure that the bins have been completely sealed. Furthermore, rodents are excellent climbers that are able to climb walls with rough surface. Be sure that the bin chute hoppers are closed tightly so that these unwelcomed guests are unable to gain access to upper floors.

3. Get broken bins and bin chute hoppers replaced or repaired

If bins are cracked or broken, have them replaced as the cracks serve as open doors for the rodents. Faulty bin chute hoppers should be repaired to make sure that they can always be closed tightly.

4. Make sure your bins are always clean

Cleaning your bins regularly and rinsing them with disinfectant and hot water is a good way to get rid of smell that attracts rodents while removing any pathogens present around the bins. Killem offers bin chute flush out treatment to control the population of pests that are commonly found in bin chutes. By having clean bin chutes you can have your mind at peace as you will not have to constantly worry about pests sneaking into your house from these places.

5. Do not let food sit in the kitchen bin for too long

Kitchen bins with food waste attract rodents and other pests such as flies so it is important to empty them regularly.

6. Bag your food waste

Throwing food waste into garbage bags or plastic bags will help isolating their smell while keeping the bins and bin chutes clean.

7. Do not let bins overflow

Garbage should always be inside the bins and not be left exposed.  Rodents are capable of biting through the garbage bags so make sure the garbage are always contained inside the bins.

By giving a little bit of extra attention to the bins around us, we will be able to keep these unwelcomed guests at bay.


Wildlife in Singapore

How to Handle Wildlife in Singapore

Wildlife in Singapore – The landscape in Singapore is built and maintained such that wildlife co-exist with the people living around their habitat very closely. With limited living spaces, it is not uncommon to find a monitor lizard crawling near concrete buildings that are close to parks and woodland, or for wild boars to be seen crossing roads in quiet residential areas. There are signs in places like parks to ensure that people are warned of probable encounters with wildlife and to stop feeding or disturbing them. These animals forage beyond their homes, lurking near food sources left by people. They may not be the dangerous wild elephants or tigers found in other Asian countries, but wildlife in Singapore can become a threat if encounters are not handled appropriately.

Wildlife in Singapore: Protection and education

Many agencies like Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) are dedicated to protecting and educating the community about wildlife. Killem is no stranger to wildlife, working closely with these agencies to ensure that these animals are handled with care and handed over to them. Killem’s Pest Control Officers (PCO) have many run-ins with wild snakes, monitor lizards and many other animals. They are competent in handling any situation, always ready with their protective equipment and abide by the law and acts pertaining to the wildlife in Singapore.

boar wildlife in singapore

Our PCOs are kept updated on any changes and continually attend seminars like the Wildlife Handling Seminar[1] organised by the Singapore Pest Management Association (SPMA) in June this year. Dr Abraham Mathew, who is a senior veterinarian and wildlife expert from WRS, conducted a meaningful seminar that was attended by 8 of Killem’s representatives. He was very wilful in sharing his thoughts and techniques on handling wildlife in Singapore to ensure the safety of both the people and especially the animals. It was an eye opener for many as we learned that animals are just as afraid of us as we are of them, finding ways to protect themselves in fear of harm. The ways in which people can protect themselves are as simple as moving away and placing space between animals and not making quick or sudden movements.

Wildlife in Singapore: Snakes

One of the more feared and underappreciated animals are snakes but Dr Abraham Mathew was able to place confidence in us with techniques and pointers at handling them. Like many, we were concerned of snake bites as Singapore is home to both venomous and non-venomous snakes. The non-venomous kinds leave a row of bite marks when bitten, evidence that they don’t have venom. Concern rises when it’s a venomous snake that has bitten where the snake leaves two fang punctures and starts to chew. Even though the venom is for digesting its food, people once bitten should get immediate help. Our PCOs realised how the situation can be handled without any stress with the right treatment of the animals.

Dr Abraham Mathew stressed the importance of the strength in gentleness when handling snakes and wildlife alike. It may seem like a daunting task to remain calm in the presence of a snake or when bitten by one but doing just that can help with the situation tremendously. The gentlest movements can put a hyperalert snake at ease to an extent it mistakes its handler’s hand for a tree branch. Proper restraining techniques and equipment should be used as total immobilization of animals or restricting movements will affect animals’ behaviour and activities.

Our PCOs have experience handling snakes[2] and thus are confident in using equipment like snake thongs when restraining them. Other ways snakes can be captured include using towels, bags, pillow cases and dustbins as makeshift snake containment enclosure. Venomous snakes require more caution when handling compared to non-venomous snakes as they differ in terms of movement and behaviour where the former moves its head before moving its body. Snakes should never be restrained at the head or by its sensitive tail. Restrained or temporarily captured venomous snakes should always be labelled, as some can spit venom up to 2m and even chew through the bags they are contained in.

In addition to the presentations done by Dr Abraham Mathew, Mr Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan of ACRES enlightened the attendees on how the drainage structures all over Singapore act as passage ways for snakes and reptiles to move around and as habitation. From time to time, wild animals can cross our paths but to ensure they don’t venture too close to our living spaces, homes should be inspected for holes or gaps, sealing them shut.

Wildlife in Singapore: Policies

The Wild Animals and Birds Act (WABA)[3] was highlighted, and it was made clear that feeding wildlife in Singapore is illegal. Animals should not be accustomed to food handed from humans as this might alter their behaviour towards human, making them more aggressive. An endearing long-tailed macaque can become a hostile animal with just a flash of teeth from our smiles and laughs as what we assume as a harmless action is deduced as a sign of challenge for a monkey.

monkey wildlife in singapore

There were many concerns raised by the Wild Animals Legislation Review Committee (WALRC) formed by Member of parliament for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng and consisting of various stakeholders from the pest control companies, religious organisations, town councils and nature community on the recent proposals for amendments[4] to the WABA. The WALRC has proposed as one of the amendments, for deployment of traps for all wildlife to be done only by qualified individuals. Animals such as wild boars have reportedly increased in sightings, indicating the ideal living conditions and increase in population. These bans in deploying traps can safe guard animals from illegal poaching and endangerment.

People have responded in favour of stronger penalties and protection for wildlife in Singapore through the discussions and surveys conducted by WALRC. The proposed amendments aim to fill any gaps in the WABA, protecting wildlife all the same, regardless of whether they are in protected national park areas or beyond.

Our PCOs are trained to refrain from unnecessary disruption to wildlife, respecting each being and handing over to the respective authorities when its beyond their means. Wildlife in Singapore, however small, will be a part of our living spaces from time to time. Killem aims to pursue more humane ways when handling wildlife and playing its part to ensure the safety of the public and not forgetting the animals.

[1] SPMA Wildlife Handling Seminar 2018

[2] Killem Pest Profile: The 6 Common Snakes in Singapore

[3] Wild Animals and Birds Act, Revised Edition 2000

[4] Channel News Asia, Strong support for tougher wildlife protection laws in Singapore: Survey


Predators as pest control method

Predators as a Pest Control Method

Predators – Pests can be difficult to deal with and sometimes people decide to fight fire with fire. Instead of relying on chemical repellents, humans have decided to return to a natural method: They introduce a predator into an environment in which it will eat pests.

Sometimes, this action works out great. In the majority of cases, however, the introduction of a foreign animal creates an invasive species. These creatures are animals who have entered a new environment where they themselves lack natural predators or weaknesses to help keep their population in check. Below are some of the best known examples of this form of pest control as well as the outcome of each decision.

 

Predators: Pets for Pests

There is evidence that animals like cats have lived alongside humans for almost 10,000 years. Cats are an excellent form of pest control because they eat nuisances like rats and mice. In medieval times, it was popular for cats to be used as mousers or to live in barns and granaries to stop pests from feasting on the local food supplies. During the Age of Discovery, felines were taken along on voyages and kept as shipcats to stop stowaway rodents from eating all of the supplies.

Other domesticated rodent killers were dogs and weasels. Many breeds of canine were trained to hunt mice, rats, groundhogs, and other creatures that could dig up gardens and crops. This subset of dogs are frequently known as terriers, although they are not used as regularly in modern times. Weasels are an older form of pest control which dates back to Ancient Europe, Rome, and Greece. Weasels were trained and kept around households as another form of rodent removal.

Indian Runner Ducks

Ducks are found around the world but haven’t been used as a form of pest control until recently. In South Africa, some farms and vineyards have trained Indian Runner Ducks to parade from their rooms each morning and enter the fields. The ducks spend all day eating insects, snails, and slugs that grow on the vines. These bugs feed on the leaves of the plants as well as the edible crops, posing a considerable problem for farmers. The ducks stop these pests while allowing the crops to grow. Alongside the ducks are other trained waterfowl, including geese.

Duck

The Cane Toad

The saga of the cane toads is perhaps the most well-known example of a predator used to fight pests. In the early 20th century, Australia was known for its sugar production and many farmers and scientists wanted to combat cane beetles, which were destroying crops. The Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations brought over cane toads from Hawaii and released over 100 of them in the wild. The toads reproduced rapidly and now number over 200 million across the continent.

Cane Toad

Unfortunately, the toads were not interested in the beetles and started to eat other native species instead. Because the cane toad naturally produces a toxin to defend against enemies, it has also started to kill other animals who try to ingest it. The situation with the cane toads constitutes an ecological emergency. Today, scientists have tried to come up with new pest control methods to control the invasive species. Some want to release sterile males in the environment to compete for resources, while others want to use a gene to change the females so they only produce males, limiting the population. Another method is releasing a virus which the toads are susceptible to, but this can harm native species.

This failed example of predators as pest control demonstrates some of the drawbacks of this method.


pest control lawsuits

The Largest Pest Control Lawsuits

No industry would be complete without legal repercussions. In pest control, lawsuits come in different varieties. Pest management companies can be sued for using the wrong pesticides and chemicals. Hotels, motels, and hostels can face reputation issues if they fail to keep a pest-free environment. Considering the potential issues insects, rodents, and other nuisance animals can create, it should be no surprise that the associated lawsuits can result in payouts in the millions.

 

Termite Termination

The United States features a thriving pest control industry worth billions of dollars each year. One of the largest pest management companies is Orkin, which specializes in residential exterminations. Recently, one of its employees by the name of Robert Still filed a whistleblower lawsuit. A whistleblower case is when a company insider brings to light ethical and legal problems within the business with evidence of obvious wrongdoing.

He accused Orkin of forcing employees to disregard pest management safety protocol and spray termite pesticides on wet ground. In the United States, it is against federal, state, and local law to do so because of the potential danger and how it weakens the chemicals. After working for 19 years with the company, he reported the issue to his supervisor. The supervisor told him to ignore the violation. Shortly afterwards, he was suspended from his job and then fired.

Still discovered that unlicensed employees were being asked to perform similar dangerous violations. He exposed his former employers after his termination for all of these actions. What resulted was the largest whistleblower verdict in the state of New Jersey. The jury awarded Stills $5 million and Orkin faced penalties for its mismanagement of resources and endangerment.

Armadillo Worm Bug Insect

 

The Bugs Bite Back

Bed bugs are considered the most numerous pest in the world and have seen a rise in population over the last decade. With their increasing numbers, more and more businesses have found it difficult to curb their presence in hotels and areas to rest.

In the United States and many other nations, it’s considered negligent for people in the hospitality industry to subject their customers to bed bugs. People who have been bitten while staying the night have been able to bring lawsuits against the companies for damages and emotional distress from the bites. It has gotten to the point where many lawyers and law firms specialize in bed bug cases. As of 2018, businesses have been forced to pay over $2 million to customers who were bugged by bed bugs.

 

Beware the Geese

Geese are terrifying. Geese during mating season are even worse. Perhaps the strangest type of pest control lawsuit occurs when these waterfowl come into town and start building their nests.

Flock of Geese

One of the most aggressive birds is the Canadian Goose, which travels and lives throughout North America. In many locations throughout Canada and the United States, properties can be and are frequently sued for failing to manage aggressive nesting geese. When they think their nests and goslings are being threatened, geese attack. Most of these attacks don’t result in injuries, but the ones that do can be serious. Many companies and properties have been forced to pay millions of dollars as compensation.


prevent mosquitoes

The Best Ways To Prevent Mosquitoes

Prevent Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes feed on humans and animals through an appendage called a proboscis, which pierces skin and allows the females of the species to find blood. These pests are not choosy about their victims. They feed on reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish, and birds. Feeding leaves itchy, annoying bites on the flesh that can cause excessive irritation, infection, and the transfer of disease. Some common illnesses transferred by a mosquito bite include malaria yellow fever, the Zika virus, and Chikungunya.

Because of the potential risks, dangers, and all-around irritation of mosquitoes, it should be no surprise that humans have developed numerous methods to prevent mosquitoes.

They Live in the Water

One of the most natural and easiest ways to prevent mosquitoes from lurking is removing sources of standing water. Stagnant moisture is an attractive location for females to lay eggs. Their larvae live in the water until they have developed and prefer shallow pools less than two feet deep.

One of the quickest ways to prevent mosquitoes is to ensure that you have few water features that are not treated in some way. There are many chemical additives for pools and ponds that can make the liquid unpleasant to mosquitoes. People who are uncomfortable with chemicals can regularly remove organic material such as algae and can only install water features deeper than two feet and with steep sides.

Puddle Of Water On A Street

The Mist

The most effective method to keeping mosquitoes out of a property is the installation of a misting system. Misting systems are automated devices which regularly spray low-grade pesticides around a property. They can be installed on fences and will release pesticides during timed intervals or when the owner manually presses a button.

The misting systems release chemicals that contain pyrethrins and permethrin. Although effective, these systems can be dangerous. Pets and children who come into contact with the pesticides can be poisoned and face other serious health hazards. The mist will additionally kill other pests in the area, including beneficial ones like spiders and bees. These should be used with caution but are great for preventing mosquitoes.

Prevent Mosquitoes: A Spritz of Citrus

People who dislike using traditional repellents can invest in citronella spray. Citronella is a natural ingredient that has been used to fight and prevent mosquitoes since the 20th century, when it was used by the Indian army. Citronella repellent is formulated into a mixture that includes about 5% to 10% of the plant extract. This can be sprayed every two hours without causing skin irritation. It is also possible to purchase citronella candles which can be lit outdoors to protect gatherings. One downside of this method is that while its use can cause a 50% reduction in mosquito bites, it must be reused regularly to maintain protection.

Insect Repellent

Finally, individuals can prevent mosquitoes by using approved insect repellents. These repellents often contain a mixture of ingredients which are unpleasant or toxic to the pests. They can be sprayed on the skin, fabrics, and objects like backpacks to prevent bites. The majority of insect repellents use DEET or citronella oil in their formulation and can be reapplied every four hours. Many insect repellents remain effective after consistent use because mosquitoes have failed to become resistant to the natural ingredients. For people who need to be on the move, these are an effective solution.

Close Up Of A Fly

Conclusion

No one likes mosquito bites. The chances for irritation and disease are too high and cause many to worry about the flying menaces whenever they go outdoors. To help combat this pesky pest, it’s important to choose a method which suits an individual’s lifestyle and helps protect a person without endangering them further. These featured solutions can help keep people safe whenever they want to go outside.


natural remedies for insect bites

Natural Remedies for Insect Bites

Not everyone feels comfortable using certain insect bite medications because of their potentially harsh ingredients. For people suffering from insect bites but dissatisfied or uncomfortable with chemical solutions, there are natural remedies that can help soothe irritation and swelling. Some can also reduce redness and even repel pests like mosquitoes due to their scent.

So, what can someone do to stop uncomfortable sensations?

 

Smooth and Mild

One of the first available solutions is to mix baking powder with unscented body lotions. The baking powder reduces inflammation and redness while the lotion holds it in place. Anyone who has ever worked with baking powder knows that it refuses to stay in one location for long, so it is important to find a mild adhesive to help! The mixture can be left for ten minutes and then wiped away with a damp cloth. As it is mild, affected people can reapply the mixture as often as needed. A similar material is oatmeal, which can be mixed with water and then applied as a paste.

 

Soothing Aloe

Another potential remedy is aloe vera. This spiky plant produces a thick, sticky gel inside of its tendrils which can be scooped out and applied to insect bites, burns, and other forms of skin irritation. Its composition helps sooth bites and redness and contains a healthy amount of water and antioxidants. To this day, it is one of the only natural remedies which is also frequently used by doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the beauty industry. Chances are that if someone has received a sunburn, they have used aloe vera. The same properties that calm these burns also help fight back against the irritation of insect bites.

Succulent

 

It Sticks With You

People who are not afraid to deal with stickiness can use common household items like toothpaste or honey. Mint toothpaste is especially potent because the mint cools the affected site and can numb pain and discomfort while reducing swelling and redness. Honey possesses antibacterial properties that can help prevent some common forms of skin irritation. The thick substance additionally helps stop itching and can keep children from scratching at insect bites. Both items can be bought from local grocery and general stores, making them quick remedies to a common problem.

 

Fragrant and Cooling

Finally, there are products with calming scents and properties. One method individuals can use is to develop a peppermint paste, which cools the inflamed and annoying site of an insect bite. Chickweed has a similar effect and can be found at many herbal stores. Another common natural remedy is the use of essential oils, which have gained popularity in recent years. Tea tree oil has been shown to be particularly effective because of its antiseptic properties, while lavender and peppermint have similar effects and a more nuanced smell. The only downside to these methods is that the scents can be irritating to people with sensitive noses or skin, so they might need to be diluted.

Essential Oils

Conclusion

Most of these natural remedies can be found at regular stores, and some are even used in pharmacies as common treatments. By using one of these solutions to insect bites, individuals can prevent potential further irritation from the bite and the chemicals in more processed materials like antihistamine creams. Nevertheless, if swelling and irritation persists after trying these home remedies, you should follow up with your GP to be prescribed the appropriate treatment.


history of pest control

The History of Pest Control

As long as humans have been around, so have the pests that plague them. A history of how humans have battled pests throughout the years.

Pest Control in the BC Years

People have been developing methods to keep pests away from themselves and significant food sources since at least 2500 BC, when the first documented instances of pest management have been found.

In ancient Sumer, doctors developed methods of treating insect bites such as the application of sulfur to soothe irritation. Other cultures like the Greeks and Romans mandated certain times of the year when members of the population were required to go out and capture and kill as many locusts as possible to defend crops.

Pest control has also been around as long as agriculture. For many ancient farmers during the BC era, this could be as simple as planting extra seeds to try to accommodate for the amount of food that menaces like birds, beetles, and locusts would eat during any given year. By 1500 BC, they had learned to time the planting of crops to avoid pest reproductive cycles. In 300 BC, records were found of Chinese farmers who had noted when pests were likely to appear and had also adjusted their planting cycles.

Close Up Of A Tick

 

Before the 20th Century

While a lot of knowledge was lost during the early AD years, humans managed to build upon old pest control methods to develop increasingly intricate methods.

The Chinese introduced mites into ecosystems to handle more damaging pests; this action is one of the first written instances of humans using a predator to handle nuisance creatures. Asian farmers additionally learned by 400 AD that if they applied arsenic around the base and roots of their crops in rice paddies, they could prevent infestations that would damage the supply of the main staple food in the area.

When Asia entered the Middle Ages (476-1450 AD), people had learned that they could apply natural concoctions like lemon oil and wormwood to their skin to stop mosquitoes and mites from biting them.

Europe did not fare as well as other regions when it came to pest management. It wasn’t until the Renaissance (1300-1700 AD) that efficient pest control methods developed. One of the main reasons for this failure to create treatments was Christianity.

Many Europeans believed that pests and disease were a punishment sent from God and therefore refused to find ways to handle nuisances. After the Black Plague decimated 25% of the population during the 14th century, people began to kill rodents in an attempt to stop the spread of disease. By the 1800s, humans were using copper and nicotine on their crops and around their homes to kill pests.

 

Pesticides and Integrated Pest Management

The 19th and 20th centuries were the time of the pesticide.

Fogging

Humans began to realize that the use of chemicals was one of the most effective ways to stop pests from eating crops and spreading disease. Inorganic compounds became the popular choice for farmers and gardeners, and the span of the 1940s and 1950s became known as the “pesticide era” because of the plentiful number of products available. The number of pesticides increased by a factor of 50, and scientists began to bring them to developing countries to try solve pest problems like locusts and mosquitoes.

Many of these products contained DDT, a tasteless, colorless, and odorless chlorine-based pesticide. This product had been used extensively during WWII and trips to other nations to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes and continued to be people’s first choice against pests.

The World Health Organization additionally used DDT to curb malaria around the world, targeting areas in Asia where it was rampant. Unfortunately, it was soon discovered in the 1960s that DDT was highly toxic and caused numerous ecological problems, including birth defects, the sterility of animals, and death. Many countries around the world started to ban its use, including Singapore in 1984.

Following the age of pesticides came the era of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This practice combined numerous approaches to pest control to stop infestations before they started and develop healthy living environments. IPM encourages people to maintain clean buildings and seal away food and other resources that can attract pests. It advocates the use of pesticides and other harsh measures only as needed and focuses on controlling pest populations so humans no longer have to worry about the negative effects of pesticides and their toxic compounds.


ants in singapore

Killem Pest Profile: Ants In Singapore

There are over 130 species of ants in Singapore as of 2018, with many coming from other regions of the planet due to increased trade.

Ants are social insects which form colonies which range in size from a couple dozen to over a million individual members. Most ant colonies possess a hierarchical structure where every individual possesses a job. It’s not uncommon for these pests to be divided between the queen, soldiers, and drones. Ants are true insects with three body segments: the head, abdomen, and thorax. They also possess six legs and identifiable antennae on their heads.

Ants are well-known for their division of labor and ability to solve complex problems. When they enter a property, it can be hard for the owners to kill them. Many species of these pests leave hormone trails so ants know where to go to find food. They can also identify unsafe spaces based on where the trails end. The older, more experienced drones will also train their younger counterparts how to find food and will lead them to resources through a process called tandem running.

In Singapore, it’s not uncommon to suffer an ant infestation due to the climate and number of species which frequently plague urban areas.

The 4 Most Common Singapore Ants

Close Up Of Ants

The four types of ants which homeowners in Singapore need to worry about are the ghost, pharaoh, carpenter, and crazy varieties. All of these pests will enter properties in search of food and resources. They might also find buildings attractive because they provide shelter from cooler weather and natural predators. When dealing with an infestation, people are most likely to encounter a colony of ghost ants.

Ghost ants

Ghost ants are also called sugar ants and favor moist environments. They are commonly found in kitchens in places like under the sink, in cabinets, or behind appliances like the refrigerator. This type favors sweet and sugary foods which possess the carbohydrates ghost ants need for their colonies and survival. Ghost ants are roughly 1.3 to 1.5 mm. long and are characterized by their dark heads and translucent bodies.

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants are difficult for property owners to handle. These pests do not react well to pesticides. When sprayed, the ants will break up their colony and scatter to new locations, making them difficult to eliminate. Pharaoh ants will also bite when they feel threatened. They are 2 mm. long and feature queens who can live between 4 and 12 years. Each ant is recognizable because of its distinctive golden or yellow-brown color. They are nocturnal and like to eat oily or protein-rich food and will live anywhere that they can form a colony.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants derived their name from their habit of living in wooden structures and trees. They do not eat wood but will carve out an area for a colony with their mouths. Because of this trait, they are frequently mistaken for termites. Carpenter ants can be large, measuring up to 15 or 17 mm. in size. They are typically black and reddish-brown and enjoy eating honeydew and dead insects. Because they are attracted to moisture, people will find them in bathrooms, kitchens, and other frequently damp areas.

Crazy ants

Finally, there are crazy ants. Crazy ants have long legs and are typically black or dark red in color. Their name comes from one of their defensive techniques. When the colony is disturbed, they will scatter in all directions, making them difficult to kill. They can be 2 to 3 mm. in length and have long legs and antennae which give them a distinctive appearance. Crazy ants feed on all types of food but prefer sugary materials, so they will frequently live in the same region as ghost ants.

Signs of an Ant Infestation and Prevention

Ants In A Bowl

It can be difficult to tell if ants are on a property. The easiest ways to tell are to locate an ant nest near your home, usually made of dirt, or to see a live ant as it searches for food. The best method of handling ants is to prevent an infestation before it begins. Because they are attracted to buildings because of food, it’s important to clean up spills, crumbs, and messes.

All food packages should be kept sealed and excessive moisture should be wiped up. It’s also crucial to ensure ants do not have a way of entering a building. Sealing cracks around doorways, windows, and in the walls can close off potential entryways and keeping buildings safe from this pervasive pest.


DIY Pest Control Methods

DIY Pest Control Methods

Do-it-yourself or DIY pest control is becoming more popular.

Pest control is the processing of managing nuisance bugs and animals that can spread disease, damage food, and overall be irritating for life. Sometimes people don’t want to contact a professional company for a minor problem. At other times, property owners might be interested in saving money by taking care of issues themselves. Whatever the reason might be, DIY pest control is rapidly becoming safer and easier for regular people.

Before using any method, it’s important to assess all of the potential risks involved in any treatment. Individuals should educate themselves about the chemicals used in products they purchase and any hazards associated with traps. People should remember to read all of the ingredients and follow directions precisely.

DIY pest control can be an easy process once the property owners who would like to try it research and know what they’re doing. Additionally, not all of the methods are dangerous. Some are common things that everyone can do to ensure they live in a pest free environment.

Below are some of the simplest and most efficient DIY pest control treatments.

Clean Up!

Clean Kitchen Table

One of the easiest DIY pest control methods is to keep a property clean.

The majority of insects and rodents are attracted to homes and businesses because they provide valuable resources. Sealing food containers, cleaning up spills, and closing any cracks in the walls or around doors and windows can help keep pests out.

Cleanliness is a significant part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a method in the pest control industry which relies on a variety of factors to keep nuisance creatures in check. Before concoctions like pesticides or devices like traps are needed, pest management professionals will strive to develop plans to prevent infestations. One of the most significant steps is keeping an area clean and limiting a pest’s access to resources.

Improve Ventilation

Many pests like ants, rodents, and cockroaches are attracted to damp environments. They flock to basements, kitchens which are not properly cared for, bathrooms, and other locations.

One way property owners can stop an infestation before it begins is to ensure every area in a building is properly ventilated. Some methods of doing so are to open windows with screens and allow natural air inside, use dehumidifiers, and improve the structure’s overall ventilation system. Hard to reach areas such as basements should regularly have their humidity levels checked and people should never leave standing water inside of a property for long. This includes areas in and around sinks and bathrooms.

Traps and Sprays

Mouse Trap With Cheese

The most ubiquitous form of DIY pest control is the use of pesticides and mechanical traps.

Increased research into the inherent risks of the chemicals used in pesticides has allowed scientists to engineer versions which are safer for at home use. Many can be purchased at general and hardware stores. They contain ingredients like pyrethrins and permethrin, which kills pests like bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ants. It’s important to remember that these materials are also hazardous to humans and pets and should be sprayed away from other living creatures.

Traps can also be bought and come in many varieties. Rodent traps are the most well-known and include the traditional plastic and wooden varieties with a snapping metal wire that people are used to. Some other options include humane boxes which will lock a rat or mouse inside, so it can be released later.

Finally, there are glue traps. Glue traps used against rodents are considered inhumane, but people can also recognize them as flypaper. Both traps and pesticides can be used to great effect without requiring a property owner to call a professional pest control company.


famous buildings with pest control problems

Famous Buildings With Pest Control Problems

Not even famous places are safe from pests. Sometimes creatures typically considered a nuisance are invited into the space. More often than not, though, pests invite themselves. Recent developments in environments across the globe make the areas where famous buildings are located more attractive to pests by providing resources and shelter.

Climate change is a large culprit because some regions have become warmer and more humid, providing ideal conditions for invasive insects. Below are some of the most famous buildings around the world and their struggles with pests.

Rat Worship

Temple Prayer

The prospect of 25,000 rats in a building is not an appetizing concept to many people, but that is the situation with the Karni Mata Temple in India. The temple was inspired by the story of Karni Mata, a man who was resurrected as a rat after drowning in a pool of water. People come from all across the country to feed and interact with the rats. The few white rats who live on the property are considered exceptionally holy and lucky, and encountering one is thought to be a blessing.

The Karni Mata Temple is located in Deshnoke and hasn’t seen a decline in visitors since its creation, even during disease outbreaks. Indeed, many people visit the location to be healed of their ailments. The primary inhabitants are black rats, which are common throughout the world. These rodents are not to be harmed by visitors or locals, and are given everything they need to survive and thrive in their environment.

Tourist Traps

Eiffel Tower

Unlike the Karni Mata Temple, there are many famous buildings where rats aren’t invited guests. The White House in the United States and the Eiffel Tower in France are two popular tourist destinations, significant cultural monuments, and two areas plagued by infestations of rats.

The White House is the presidential home for the U.S. and has recently filed hundreds of pest control requests to deal with a growing population of insects and rodents which have found their way into the stately manor. Rats have been sighted in the kitchen, outside of politicians’ and officials’ offices, and even in the infamous Situation Room.

Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower has been forced to close several times over the last two years as the city of Paris struggles to manage a growing rodent threat. Paris is a massive city which has struggled with rats for many centuries. Due to the large population and the number of tourists who visit each year, the environment features all of the conditions rats need to thrive.

The Eiffel Tower is a popular destination for rodents because people leave behind food and drinks while the buildings and sewer system in the surrounding area provide adequate shelter. The government has increased the number of pest management services available, but results have been limited.

Climate Change for Termites

Scientists have noticed the effects of climate change for several decades, including its effects on local pest populations. As certain regions across the globe develop warmer, more humid climates, certain species are able to thrive.

In Korea, a shift in the standard temperature and humidity has resulted in the spread of termites. Termites only lived in a few areas of the peninsula, but they have now spread to almost every location. These pests create problems for numerous buildings, including ancient Korean temples constructed of wood.

Professionals discovered termite populations in several significant cultural locations like the Gyeongju Hyanggo. This temple is listed as one of South Korea’s cultural heritage sites and faces severe consequences if termite populations continue to grow.

Because many of the old temples are constructed entirely out of wood, termites can weaken the structure and possibly cause collapse. Pest control operatives trained dogs to recognize insect hormones and have been using them to regularly check the region for termites and other wood-dwelling insects. The Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea recognizes the termite problem and has dedicated increased time and resources to trying to preserve temples.