Fumigation Treatment

Fumigation Treatment: All You Need to Know

Fumigation treatment – The never-ending battle between humans and pests has led to the rapid development of pest management services in Singapore. The wide-ranging pests and their nature of behaviour can interfere with human activities. The difficulties of controlling pests – due to the limitation on certain treatments’ application – has led us to using fumigation treatment to deal with severe pest issues.

Fumigation treatment in Singapore is usually carried out in the freight, shipping, storage and food manufacturing industries. All fumigators must apply for training and licence from the NEA (National Environmental Agency). Beyond that, pest management companies are also responsible for the application of fumigation permits before they are allowed to carry out fumigation treatments in Singapore.

Fumigants in Singapore

Fumigation treatment is a unique form of action for pest management. It is usually adopted by pest management companies and clients when there are no other feasible forms of control to the target pest. However, most fumigants such as hydrogen cyanide, methyl bromide and hydrogen phosphide are toxic to pests as well as humans. Nevertheless, fumigation treatment has effective killing effects and has become an inevitable pest management method in Singapore.

Mode of action of fumigation treatment

Fumigation treatment is a process of release or dispersal of toxic chemicals onto the targeted pests. It can be very fast as the volatile nature of fumigants is able to pass through inaccessible spaces. It has almost no limit to penetrate any object as long as tiny pores are present on the surface of the treated object.  In other words, the entire structure is secured with the fumigation treatment. The toxic chemicals enter the pest body mainly through its breathing system.

Target pests in fumigation treatment

In general, fumigation treatment is helpful in dealing with all types of pests including stored product pests, wood borers, subterranean and drywood termites, bed bugs, cockroaches and even rats. It is often carried out in enclosed shipping containers, vessels and warehouses.

Fumigation on smaller structures such as infested wood and furniture is usually done for targeting drywood termites and wood borers. In this case, infested wood has to be removed and placed in an air-tight space to allow the proceeding of fumigation treatment.

Disadvantages of fumigation

One main disadvantage of using fumigation treatment is that there is no residual effect on the treated structure. Therefore, no residues remain in the treated spaces once the areas have been ventilated and cleaned properly. Hence, it does not help in protecting the treated structure from future pest infestations.

Since the knockdown effect of target pests depends on its respiration rate, low temperature of the treated environment may make the pest less susceptible. This is due to the fact that the lower the temperature of the surrounding, the lower the respiration rate of the pest.

Factors contributing to fumigation failure

Fumigation failures are common. It can be due to the improper application and pest resistance. In addition, inappropriate choice of fumigants and loss of fumigant through leakage in treated spaces can also affect the effectiveness of the treatment. Hence, a leak detector is sometimes utilized before the treatment.

Final note

Fumigation treatment, while seen to be effective because of its volatile and gaseous nature to target pests, can actually be harmful to human and pets. The excessive use and misuse of the fumigants not only pose harmful effects on human’s health but cause adverse effects on the treated commodity and property.

The use of it must be handled by trained and certified fumigators as they will have enough knowledge on its application and precaution steps before and after the treatment. Careful planning and application must be adopted before the treatment is carried out. The appropriate choice and use of fumigants are vital as it may cause fumigation failures and hazards to the environment.


cockroach infestation

Cockroach Infestation: What are the Signs and Prevention Methods?

There’s nothing worse than a cockroach infestation. Just think about it: what is the most terrifying insect you may see in your house? We believe most people would answer a cockroach! The cockroach is always described or depicted as a disgusting creature. Its existence often gives an indication of dirt or decay. The presence of it in food and beverage outlets poses health issues.  In fact, it is very rare to encounter someone who sees a cockroach as an adorable or lovable insect.

Most people who live in urban or city areas cannot withstand the existence of a cockroach infestation in their house. Some may even get depressed.  Indeed, controlling cockroaches requires knowledge and technique. Here we will look at the signs of a cockroach infestation before making treatment decision.

Signs of a cockroach infestation:

1. Unpleasant smell

Do cockroaches carry a smell? Yes! Scent from cockroaches is normally undetectable by humans. However, when it comes from a big cockroach infestation, the smell will be present. The smell is considered stinky for most people but when it comes to cockroaches, it carries important means!

2. Cockroach droppings

You may wonder how cockroach droppings look like? Well, the appearance of cockroach droppings resembles black pepper with a dark colour and cylindrical shape. Their droppings are usually gathered around the corners and edges of cabinets as those places are their common hiding areas and pathways.

3. Cockroach eggs (ootheca)

Cockroach droppings and egg cases

When it comes to comparing the size of droppings and eggs, their eggs are bigger and more obvious than their droppings. A scary fact is that one ootheca can incubate more than 20 cockroaches inside! Therefore, if you find an empty ootheca in your house, you may have to accept the fact that cockroaches have already built its family inside your home.

4. Shed skins

Cockroaches moult just like other insects. Moulting is a step in their growing process to reach the mature stage. Hence, if you see their skins shed inside your property, you must start taking controlled action against them.

The best way to prevent them from harbouring is keeping your house clean. Other aspects such as techniques of storing food and structural defects inside a property cannot be neglected.

Prevention tips:

1. Identify hiding places and entry points

Inspection is a critical step in controlling cockroach infestations. It would be best if you can carry out the inspection at night as cockroaches are nocturnal insects. Get yourself a torchlight and search for signs of their activities as mentioned above.

Furthermore, you should also check cracks or crevices and gaps formed around the utility lines or pipes to reduce potential entry points for cockroaches. You may use silicone-based caulk to seal those entry points.

2. Make the infested area less conducive

After the inspection, keep in mind to remove, vacuum or wipe areas where cockroach eggs (ootheca), droppings and their carcasses were found. Remember one egg case can harbour 20 cockroaches inside, so remove it before it hatches to prevent a cockroach infestation.

You might not believe that cockroaches eat their own or nestmates’ droppings. Female cockroach droppings were seen highly attractive to nymph. The droppings also release pheromone (chemical substance used to affect cockroach behaviour and physiology).

3. Eliminate food and water sources

The main necessities for cockroaches to thrive are food, water and housing. Removing all these available sources for them is the best way to prevent them from entering your property. Cockroaches are able to squeeze their bodies through a gap of only 2mm wide. Hence, make sure your food is properly sealed.

Stains, grease or food debris are other important food sources for them so we cannot forget to clean these up. In addition, some humid areas such as underneath the kitchen sink or refrigerator are potential nesting areas for cockroaches. So remember to inspect, clean and ventilate these areas to prevent a cockroach infestation.

4. Organize your stores

Cockroaches like to move and hide in cluttered areas, especially the areas packed with newspapers and cupboards as these materials act as their housing and food. Cockroaches are general feeders. So, it is normal for them to feed on paper if there are no alternative food sources for them. Always remind yourself to remove clutter in your home, keep things clean and tidy so that your home can be inspected regularly.

5. Seek professional help

It would be an exhausting task to deal with a major cockroach infestation. Fear of cockroaches is the first barrier that most people will face. To deal with them, you may need to have plenty of time to fight. However, this is almost impossible for most people.

The short life cycle and high reproductive potential of cockroaches even make the control effort difficult. Hence, it would be easier to hand over this task to pest control professionals as they are more familiar with your enemy and has the best technique to manage the pest.


How to Get Rid of Ants

7 Tips on How to Get Rid of Ants

How to get rid of ants – Waking up early in the morning to prepare a delightful breakfast for your loved ones is a sign of good start of the day. However, unpredictable threats often follow after our expectations. You might be familiar with the situation that a group of ants, the nuisance intruders, infested your well-prepared food when it was out of your sight. You might also face seeing carcasses of those intruders floating on the surface of your drinking water after a few minutes on the dining table. Well, if you have encountered any of the above situations, now is the time to read on and get rid of the trauma. In this article we answer the question and give tips on how to get rid of ants.

Ants are neither the disease vectors nor carriers. However, their presence can be traumatic as they may sting, bite or damage our home structures. Pustules and blisters may be formed following the sting of fire ants. Some ant species also transmit germs to humans.

Ants’ activity may still be present even though treatment actions had been done on it. It is most likely that improper control techniques were used by homeowners to deal with them without knowing their species, biology and behaviours. Here, we provide you the correct ways of how to get rid of ants.

How to get rid of ants

1.      Identify the entry point

Understanding how ants find their ways to invade our home is always the first step to curb them. The invasion of ants usually starts with the cracks and crevices in the wall, seam of walls, floors, ceilings, corners or windows, and gaps around the utility lines or pipes. We often pay less attention to these areas while they actually provide enough space for tiny ants to access into our homes. But it’s not too late for you to prevent them from entering! Giving you a task as a home protector, it is the time to start investigating any potential entry point in your home. You may use silicone-based caulk to seal if you find those entry points.

2.      Remove water leaks

It is common that we don’t realise the existence of water leaks in our homes. In this situation, ants can be beneficial to alert you that water leaks may be inside your property! Water is one of the main sources for ants to thrive on. Furthermore, they prefer to nest around moisture sources. Hence, if you find ants inside your home, you might want to start inspecting any leaky pipe or water source for them. Make sure you repair the leaky pipe as there is higher chance for them to coming back. If you want to know how to avoid or how to get rid of ants, this is an important part of it!

3.      Keep proper sanitation

Food is a must for all living creatures. Keeping your home tidy, especially the kitchen area, can help to quell their activities. Foster a good habit of tidiness by regular cleaning of your home not only to keep ants but other pests away as well. Counters, floors, table and kitchen appliances are usually their favourite forage areas. Sweep or wipe down these areas as to remove any crumbs of food and spills of juice that can serve as an attractive food source for them. In addition, remember to dispose your garbage and trash on a daily basis.

4.      Store food in airtight containers

Don’t be surprised if you find ants inside your stored food since they are so tiny that they can squeeze through any gap formed between objects. Hence, make sure you store your food in pest-proof or airtight containers. Furthermore, ripe fruits or other food sources like bottles of opened juice or wine should be stored in the refrigerator since there might be some sugar-based residues on the outer surface.

5.      Look out for the indoor potted plants

You might get frustrated by the reoccurrence of ants inside your house even though you have done the first four steps. Here is another tip for you – take note of the indoor potted plants! Plants need water to survive, same goes to ants too! Ants may have built their colony inside or around your indoor potted plants before you take precaution steps against them. Hence, carefully check around your indoor potted plants and look for the signs of ants’ activities. If you found them inside, you have to remove and replace the infested soil. Make sure to always remove accumulated water inside the drainage plate at the bottom of your plant pot as these can serve as the water source for them.

6.      Trim trees and keep shrubbery away from home’s exteriors

Keep in mind that ants usually come from the outside environment. Thus if you want to know how to get rid of ants, start outside. The reasons of their occurrence inside a house are always food, water and shelter. Therefore, preventive actions against them at your home’s exteriors cannot be neglected. Trimming tree branches away from touching the wall and roof of your house can help to reduce their entry.

7.      Get help from professional

Some species of ants are just too troublesome to be eradicated such as pharaoh’s ants and crazy ants. Somehow, we eliminate a species, while a few weeks or months later a secondary species of ants come out from the same treated spot. Hence, identifying the ant species is crucial as there are some ant species that cannot be treated with insecticide spray but specifically designated bait. From a young age, we may have the same concept that ants love sugar-based food. However, that is not always true! Some ants prefer to feed on oil-based food while some even prefer MSG-contained food (monosodium glutamate, a common flavour enhancer in food)! Don’t panic if you see them, keep calm and get help from our trained professionals to keep your home free from them!


How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

7 Tips on How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

How to get rid of bed bugs Bed bugs are small little insects that are capable of giving you sleepless nights while leaving behind itchy bites on your body. It takes 3 weeks for bed bugs to develop from eggs to adults. During their development, the immature stages (nymphs) must take a blood meal before they can grow to the next developmental stage.

In the past, bed bugs have been associated with poor living conditions but their infestations have spread like wild fire in cities around the globe. This phenomenon is contributed by the shift in pesticide usage globalisation. The thriving travel and tourism industry further promotes and increases the rate at which bed bugs are spread all over the world.

Bed bug infestation at home can be a nightmare but here are some things you can do to keep bed bugs away from you and your family members.

How to get rid of bed bugs?

1. Check Your Bed and Sofa

Bed bugs bite you without you noticing them. They do so when you are sound asleep, or even when you are sitting on the sofa enjoying your favorite movie. Check the gaps between cushions as well as the seams and zippers of the cushion covers to look for signs of bed bug infestation. If you see black spots at the corners and edges of the cushions or mattresses, you probably have bed bugs lurking around you. Inspecting your hotel room before unpacking your luggage can save you from the troubles of bed bug infestation.

2. Check Your Luggage

Do pay attention to your luggage when you come back from vacations to look out for any unwanted guests that secretly followed you back home. Bed bugs in an infested room may crawl into your suitcases and hitch a ride to their new home.

3. Wash and Dry with High Heat

Exposing bed bugs to a temperature higher than 60°C for 15 minutes will kill them. Washing or drying your mattress linen and clothes under high temperature kills the bed bugs. High temperature have been known to kill bed bugs effectively, therefore steamers that produce high temperature dry steam are used by professional pest control service providers as a greener and safer approach to eliminate bed bugs.

4. Be Mindful When Using Shared Laundry Services

Launderette and shared laundry services are convenient for people living far from home or people who do not do their laundry at home. However, the convenience does come with a price in which you will have to share the place where you wash your clothes with other people and even strangers. Although this seems to be not a problem to most people under most circumstances, there is a risk that you might pick up a bed bug infestation from the laundry.

5. Check secondhand furniture and clothes

Pre-loved items may seem like a good bargain but always be sure to check furniture, clothing and even stuffed toys for any bed bugs hiding inside those items. Bed bugs are able to survive without a blood meal for up to 4 months so it is possible for them to hang around even at items that have been left unattended.

6. Use Bed Bug-proof Encasement for Your Mattresses

Bed bug-proof encasements for mattresses are available in the market and they work well to keep bed bugs off your bed as long as you install them correctly. They trap existing bed bugs and prevent the infestation of newly introduced bed bugs by restricting their movements. With them, you will be able to sleep soundly without having to worry about bed bug bites.

7. How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Seek Help from the Professionals

Professional pest control managers are the best people you can look for to manage the bed bug infestation at your house. Professional pest control operators will conduct effective treatment after careful inspection. Conventional treatment methods for bed bug infestations include gassing and residual spraying method. Gassing delivers fast knockdown to the bed bugs and residual spraying chemical kills bed bugs that come into contact with the chemical after the treatment. This is important as the eggs of the bed bugs can usually survive the treatment so residual effect of the chemical kills the newly-hatched bed bugs.

Bed bug infestation is a growing concern around the world. If you have them, it is important to know how to get rid of bed bugs. It should be taken seriously as it can cause stress to the victims even though bed bugs do not transmit diseases. Since prevention is better than cure, being mindful in daily life can help to prevent a bed bugs infestation and keep them away from you.


mice

7 Tips to Keep Mice Away

While mice are portrayed as characters in many popular cartoons and movies, they are not as welcome in our house as on the big screen. Mice belong to the family Rodentia which houses many other animals such as rats, squirrels and hamsters. Among all rodents, mice and rats cause the most problems to the urban environment, thus making them an important urban pest.

Mice species

The most common species of rodent pests found in the urban environment are the house mouse (Mus musculus), roof rat (Rattus rattus) and Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). The house mouse can be distinguished from the other two species through several characteristics. They are small (5 to 7 inches long) and are usually light brownish to grey in colour. Mice possess relatively large ears and small black eyes. They are relatively smaller in size when compared to rats.

These small critters need to be taken seriously, not only due to being a nuisance and or their ability to transmit diseases such as leptospirosis, but also because they can cause structural damages to buildings.

There are several things that you can do to keep them away from your house.

1. Inspect your house and its surrounding for signs of infestation

Droppings, gnaw marks and tracks are the most obvious indications of a mouse infestations. The droppings are small, usually less than 6.4mm. Similar to other rodents, mice practice gnawing behaviour to file down their teeth. They tend to chew on wooden structures and wires and this can cause serious structural damages as well as fire hazards.

2. Always make sure doors and windows are properly closed

We should always keep the doors of our house closed to prevent unwanted guests from entering. Windows should be shut whenever there is no one home so that you will not come back home to find “new tenants” in your house. Mice are agile climbers so they will have little problem climbing up the windows and making their way into your house.

3. Seal up all possible entry points of mice

Mice are so small and their bodies are so flexible that they are able to squeeze through openings that are as small as ¼ inches across. Besides closing all the doors and windows, other possible entry points should be sealed up to prevent them from entering the house. The possible entry points may be gaps around pipe work, holes on the roof or even the gap between doors and floor. All openings that may serve as entry points for mice should be sealed with materials that cannot be gnawed down by mice, for example cement and wire mesh that is smaller than ¼ inches to deny their access.

4. Keep all food airtight

A mouse will feed on whatever humans eat. By leaving your food uncovered, you are making your house vulnerable to the infestation of various pests such as mice, ants, flies and cockroaches. Make sure your food is properly stored to prevent not only pests but also germs.

5. Dispose of food wastes properly

Mice are not as picky as we are when it comes to food. They will be attracted to, and happily feed on, the food wastes we leave behind. Proper disposal of food wastes is important as it will make your house less favourable to them due to the lack of food sources. Always practice good waste management to keep the rubbish chute and bins in your house free of mice as these are the popular locations for mice to forage for food.

6. Get rid of possible nesting sites for mice

A house mouse nests in sheltered locations and construct their nests using shredded paper and other fibrous materials. If you recall the scenes from cartoons, the “house” of a mouse is always a hole or opening located at the bottom of a wooden wall. A mouse hole is one of the places where mice can be found because they are able to gnaw through wooden walls to construct their nests inside the hollow spaces behind the walls. By clearing all rubbish and sealing all holes or cracks around your house, you can prevent sharing your house with these sneaky critters.

7. Use traps

If your house is already infested with mice, traps can be deployed to remove them from your house. Some of the traps that can be used include snap traps, glue traps, cages and electrocution traps. Placement of traps is crucial to the success of the traps. Traps should be placed behind objects, in dark corners and at edges near walls because mice tend to move about touching the wall. Furthermore, attractants can be placed to increase the success rate of your traps.

In order to keep mice away from us, it is important to stay vigilant and be mindful towards the surrounding environment. Early detection of activities facilitates the prevention of infestation and management of their population.  Poor sanitation is always the cause of infestation so by practicing good sanitation practices, we will be able to keep mice away from us.


Handling Snakes in Singapore

Handling Snakes – Snakes have been frequently making the news in Singapore. Singapore is filled with green plants and colourful flowers; this landscape not only fascinates the public but also attracts a wide range of wildlife around the area. As a tropical country, it is not uncommon to encounter snakes in Singapore and urbanisation has forced them to live in close proximity to houses and buildings. The encounter with a snake can be a surprise, hence, it is important to be educated and to understand the basics of how to handle snakes.

It is easy for us to differentiate snakes from other wildlife, but most of us have little knowledge on their species, biology, behaviour and most importantly, whether they are venomous or not.

6 common snakes found in Singapore:

  • Banded Kraits (Bungarus Fasciatus), one of the venomous snakes that prey primarily on rodents, cats, lizards, and fish. This species is nocturnal and usually can be spotted near rodent holes, termite mounds and places close to water.
  • Banded Malayan Coral Snakes (Calliophis intestinalis), venomous snakes which are active at night and prey on other snake species. They are usually spotted at forests, parks and gardens.
  • Black Spitting Cobras (Naja sumatrana), spit venom when they feel threatened and they aim their venom at the victim’s eyes. They are also nocturnal species, feed on rodents and amphibians, and can be found in cooler places like shelters, drains and garden walls.cobra snake
  • King Cobras (Ophiophagus hannah), the largest venomous snakes in the world are very different compared to other venomous snakes. If encountered, it is best to stay clear of its path and move away quickly as a bite and venom from this snake can be fatal. King Cobras can be seen in forests or lowland areas to areas of high elevation.
  • Oriental Whip Snakes (Ahaetulla prasina), not all are venomous and the venomous ones will not result in death. Their venoms are not strong enough to kill a human. Small birds, frogs and lizards usually fall prey to this snake. This species can be found in forests, parks, residential areas with trees and amongst vegetation.
  • Reticulated Pythons (Malayopython reticulatus), non-venomous and active mostly at night from low land to highland, mangroves, forests and drain canals. Although they may not be venomous, they are still able to bite and suffocate their victim.

Handling snakes by Killem

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 and handling snakes, working closely with these agencies to ensure that these animals are handled with care and handed over to them. Our PCOs are kept updated on any changes and continually attend seminars like the Wildlife Handling Seminar organised by the Singapore Pest Management Association (SPMA).

Our PCOs are trained in using a variety of equipment to trapping and handling snakes safely and humanely. Snake tongs is a piece of equipment with a long pole which ensures a safe distance from the head of the snake. The controllable jaws at the end of the grabber help to lift or drag the snake away firmly and gently. Besides snake tongs, other ways snakes can be captured include using towels, bags, pillow cases and dustbins.

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. From our experience, snakes should never be restrained at the head or by its tail. This is because these are their sensitive regions, restraining their head and tail can provoke their aggressive behaviour as they feel threatened. 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.

What to do when you encounter a snake?

Snakes are not as terrifying as they seem. By knowing what to do when you encounter them, no harm will be done to you or the snakes. Always remind yourself to remain calm and do not panic when seeing a snake. Panicking may cause you to make the wrong decisions. The snake may be startled or provoked by your actions thus causing them to attack you. Snakes usually have no interest in humans as they usually prey on other small animals. It is likely for snakes to flee when they see humans, so you should also walk away from them if possible.

Handling snakes on your own is not a very good idea. Seeking help from professionals will be the right way. If you ever get bitten by a snake, it is important that you stay calm and seek immediate medical attention.  You might have probably seen someone sucking out snake venom from a victim in a movie scene. However, in the reality, it is almost impossible to suck the venom out as it spreads quickly and efficiently in the lymphatic system. The best thing to do in case you get bitten by snakes is to minimize movement and call a doctor or an ambulance immediately.


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.


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.