mosquito bites

7 tips to reduce your risk of mosquito bites

Mosquito bites – Revelling in outdoor activities like jogging, hiking, and barbeques during a long-awaited weekend or school holiday in perfect weather are our desired plans. However, nothing spoils these plans like the whine of a mosquito searching for a fresh blood meal. The itchy mosquito bites and whiny hum of their buzzing wings can ruin not only our daily activities but also affect our quality of sleep.

Beyond the nuisance factors, mosquitoes are vectors of some deadly diseases including Dengue fever, Chikungunya, Zika, and Malaria. These mosquito-borne diseases are transmitted by infected mosquitoes to healthy and uninfected people. Unfortunately, there are still no vaccines or drugs to treat or prevent dengue fever, other than avoiding ourselves from getting mosquito bites.

Learning how to reduce your risk of mosquito bites will lower the chances that you encounter these unwanted guests in your surroundings.

Here are 7 tips to reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

1. Use insect repellents

Apply insect repellent to uncovered skin when going outdoors. Repellents containing DEET (common active ingredient in insect repellents) are the most widely available insect repellents in the world. A great deal of testing has been done on DEET insect repellents and they are proven to be safe to use.

2. Wear protective clothing

Vision is one thing mosquitoes use for searching for their blood meal. Black or dark coloured clothes are proven to be more attractive than light coloured clothes for mosquitoes. However, mosquitoes can bite through clothing that is made of thin materials like tights. Hence, long-sleeved thick clothing is advisable as mosquitoes might find it difficult to bite through.

3. Avoid peak mosquito hours

To avoid mosquito bites, you might need to plan any outdoor activities when mosquitoes are less active. Although different species have different active hours, mosquitoes are generally more active during dawn and dusk.

4. Keep air circulating

Mosquitoes are weak fliers, which mean they are not that efficient at flying and are not able to overcome strong wind. Use of electric fan for outdoor activities and gatherings can prevent you and your family from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes usually fly at the lower half of our bodies and near to the ground. Therefore, aim fans to that area.

5. Sleep under a mosquito net

If you notice mosquito bites on your body after hours of sleeping, using a mosquito net would be a good call for you.

6. Get rid of stagnant water

Any puddles of water around your home can become a potential breeding source for mosquitoes. Always be mindful to empty water from flower pots, plates, pet food, WC pan collar, buckets, barrels and cans at least once or twice a week as mosquitoes’ life cycle can be completed within a week. Always cap the bamboo pole holders when not in use to prevent rain water being splashed into the holders.

7. Keep your landscapes and home clean

Remember to keep the gully traps, scupper drains, and roof gutters clean. Thinning dense vegetation will help to improve air circulation. You can avoid getting mosquito bites by making your environment less desirable or appealing to them.

The recommended measures discussed above may help to protect you from mosquito bites. However, mosquito bites are inevitable during some uncontrollable situations and in specific environments. To read more, click here.

Adoption of permanent measures is strongly advised to address and eliminate the root cause of mosquito breeding. To find out the available permanent measures, you may seek help from our expert team.


termite infestations

7 tips to protect your home from subterranean termite infestations

Termite infestations – Have you found mud tubes forming on your wall or at the side of your cabinet? Have you seen discarded insect wings on the ground around your home? Have you heard hollow sounds when tapping on wood or timber inside your house? If yes, subterranean termites may have already established their nest inside your house! If not, now is the time for you to do some prevention.

Subterranean termites are known to be the highly destructive insect pests in the urban environment. Each year, about US$40 billion of damages were accounted worldwide. Their silent activities inside the structures can cause serious destruction well before you notice the infestation.

No one wants their home to serve as termites’ food. Getting rid of them can be expensive and repairing of damaged structures can be troublesome. Therefore, it is vital to protect your house before the intrusion of subterranean termite infestations.

Here, we discuss 7 tips to protect your home from subterranean termite infestations.

1. Ventilate and reduce moisture source

Understanding your enemy will help you better prepare against termite infestations. Hence, understanding the conditions that favour subterranean termite activities are important, for example their dependency on moisture. Moisture damage wood structures should be replaced as this types of wood is most welcoming for subterranean termite infestations. Moisture damage wood is one of the roots of moisture problems in every house. Ensure crawl spaces (floor joints and subf-looring) are properly ventilated to minimize the amount of moisture around the areas.

2. Maintain your building exteriors

Leaky pipes around your home need to be repaired to prevent water from leaking into wooden siding and windows.  Furthermore, trim all shrubs near home exteriors can help to quickly dry damp areas.

3. Use proper landscaping materials

Synthetic mulch can be used when landscaping. Unlike wood mulch, it does not feed termites and any other pest. Besides, pea gravel can be used for keeping your wood mulch from contacting your home’s foundation.

4. Reduce or monitor planter boxes around your home

Planter boxes abutting building wall can give the chance or facilitate the process for foraging termites to enter the building. Make sure there is no close proximity between planter boxes and building walls to avoid future subterranean termite infestations.

5. Use of wood polish

Wood polishes not only give a good looking appearance to the wood used but also provide a protective coat to the wood. It can also provide water resistance to the wood which helps reduce the moisture source for subterranean termites. Make sure wood polish is applied thoroughly on the wood surfaces including the edges and sides of the wood used to prevent any entry point found by subterranean termites.

6. Get your home inspected annually by an expert

Subterranean termites are the most highly destructive insects that can damage your home. Early detection of subterranean termite infestations can help to avoid financial burden. Hire a pest control professional who is trained in termite detection. They have adequate equipment and experience to look for the tell-tale signs of termite infestations.

7. Barrier treatment

This management treatment can be divided into treatment prior to construction (pre-construction soil treatment) and after construction (corrective soil treatment). Pre-construction soil treatment involves creating chemical barriers in the soil around and under the building foundation to prevent the intrusion of soilborne subterranean termites. Corrective soil treatment, in contrast, creates chemical barriers along the perimeter of the building.

The occurrence of subterranean termite infestations can become challenging to house owners to successfully manage on their own. Proper inspection and identification of the type of termites is a more efficient way to manage them.

Click here for further information. Killem Pest can solve your problem!


keep flies away

7 tips to keep flies away from your kitchen

Keep flies away! Have you ever been annoyed by flies circling around you? You might be trying to enjoy your breakfast when an annoying one starts flying around you. You tried shooing them away but they kept on coming back. You tried swatting them with a newspaper but to no avail because they can see your movements with the thousands of visual receptors they have.

Flies are not only annoying but they also act as mechanical vectors for many diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. They carry bacteria on their body and pass them onto your food when they land on the food. It is thus important to keep flies away from us to prevent being infected by these disease-causing bacteria.

Flies are attracted to human food and rotting materials. They can find plenty of food sources in your kitchen as it is where you prepare food. Improper management of food waste serves as invitation for their breeding.

Since swatting them with a newspaper is not a very effective way to get rid of them, are there any other ways to keep flies away from your kitchen?

1. Deny flies access

Closing doors and windows is the simplest way to keep flies away from your kitchen. A better option would be to install fly-screens as you can keep flies away without making your kitchen stuffy.

2. Improve air circulation

Circulating air disrupts the their ability to fly, so using a fan to keep air circulating inside your kitchen helps keep flies away.

3. Keep food covered

Flies have a sensitive olfactory system so they will be able to smell food from afar.  Make sure that no food is left exposed if you do not want to share your food with flies. By making sure that your food is covered, you can also prevent contamination of food.

4. Keep up on the dishes

Do you always leave your dirty dishes in the sink after meals and wash them only after days? Flies love all the food stain and leftovers so your sink that is full of dirty dishes will be the perfect place for the flies to hang out and get food. Cleaning your dishes after meals is a good way to prevent that from happening. It is also good to put your dirty dishes in a dishwasher if you are unable to clean them immediately.

5. Clear bins regularly

A kitchen bin containing rotten food wastes provides ample food source for both adult flies and their young ones. Kitchen bins with your food waste should be emptied daily at the end of day to keep flies away.

6. Keep the drains clean

Like many other insect pests, flies are attracted to moist places so dirty drains provide both moisture and food source for them. To clean your kitchen drain, you can pour vinegar and baking powder into the drain and then flush them with boiling water.

7. Plant aromatic herbs

Some aromatic herbs are known to repel flies and other insects. Some examples of these insect-repelling herbs are basil, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm and thyme. Furthermore, planting these herbs in your kitchen can increase the greenery in your house and also add some extra flavor to your food if you use them in your cooking.

Keeping flies away is not really that difficult. By putting in a little effort you can protect your family members from these harmful pests. If you have an established fly infestation around you, you should seek professionals’ help to solve it. Killem provides professional solutions to solve the fly infestation around your property and keep you safe from the pest.