rodent guide singapore

The Complete Guide to Rodent Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore 

Rodents are mammals with a high degree of intelligence. Rodents belong to the family Rodentia which houses many other animals such as squirrels, hamsters, and guinea pigs. Among all rodents, rats and mice cause the most problem to our living environment. They can infest food, damage houses and buildings, and threaten public health. A rodent infestation is said to be a real headache in the pest management industry. The skills of rodents make the controlling efforts a challenging task.

Types of Rodents in Singapore

types of rodents in singapore

There are 3 common rats and mice in Singapore, which are Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), roof rats (Rattus rattus) and house mice (Mus musculus).

Norway rats are the biggest (body length range from 22 to 26 cm) among the three common species. They are also known as sewer rats, as we can always find them in the drainage system. Thus, that is one of their main travel pathways. Norway rats can be distinguished by their size, heads, ears, and tails. They have a robust body appearance, with a blunt muzzle and a shorter tail than the body.

Roof rats are famous for their climbing abilities. They are so-called agile climbers and are primarily found in elevated spaces. They have a smaller size (about 16 to 20 cm of body length), a head with a pointed nose, larger eyes, and ears similar to that of Norway rats.

The size of a house mouse is about 5 to 8 cm. Thus, they are smaller in size compared to rats. Like roof rats, mice also possess large ears and small black eyes.

Life Cycle and Biology

Rodents are excellent in hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. However, they have poor eyesight. They are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are primarily active at night. As mentioned, rodents are smart. They explore and constantly learn, memorize food, water, pathways, nests, and the features of their environment. In addition, they have neophobia behaviour. Rodents usually avoid new objects such as traps and baits for a few days or more following their initial placement.

Norway rats are usually found at building foundations or lower levels of the buildings, especially in the basement. They are the main burrow builders and excellent swimmers. Norway rats can reach sexual maturity in about 2 to 3 months. They can reproduce and breed throughout the year in favourable conditions. One female can give birth to about 5 to 14 litters per year.

Roof rats are agile climbers who usually nest at a higher elevation, such as false ceilings, attics, cabinets, trees and dense vegetation. When roof rats invade buildings, nesting materials such as shredded paper, newspapers, and dried plant materials are used. You can always see them running along utility pipelines and overhead fence tops. One female roof rat can produce 3 to 5 litters per year.

House mice are also excellent climbers. They can even squeeze through holes of less than 1 cm in diameter because of their tiny size. House mice can have 5 to 10 litters in a single year. They can also easily enter buildings. As a result, house mice infestations are more common and severe than rat infestations.

Medical Importance

Rats and mice are capable of causing structural damage and transmitting diseases (to human beings) such as:

  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis (food poisoning)
  • Leptospirosis

Diseases are transmitted through bite wounds, food, waste products, or indirectly by fleas, ticks and mites via close contact.

Here are some of the symptoms of rodent-borne diseases: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Headaches 
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

In severe cases, some symptoms may show, such as: 

  • Weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Swollen ankles, feet, or hands 
  • Decreased urination 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Jaundice
  • Confused mental state
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Seizures
  • Inability to control your movements
  • Inability to speak
  • Aversion to lights

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

signs of a rodent infestation

Rodents are nocturnal animals. We often do not notice their presence until the infestation becomes severe. Here, we will share the tell-tale signs of a rodent infestation.

1. Gnaw marks

As mentioned, the incisors of rodents never stop growing. This is one of their survival behaviours! They gnaw their incisors to gain food, resources, invade buildings, build nests, assist in climbing and they use them as weapons to fight the enemy. Rodents are seemingly attracted most to electrical wires and wooden structures.

2. Bite signs on food packaging

Rodents can bite through many food packages such as plastics, paper sacks and cardboard. Their teeth are strong and sharp enough to bite through those materials to obtain food. 

3. Rodent droppings

Rodents can produce 20 and 30 droppings in a single day. In short, droppings are a good indicator to inspect for rodent activities. Furthermore, the shape and size of droppings can help in checking for rodent species.

4. Rub marks

Rub marks refer to the dark grease left by rodents when they follow a trail or pathway between their nest and available food source. The dark grease or dirt marks are caused by the oily fur of rodents.

5. Urine stain and odour

In heavily infested rodent areas, we can sense stale smells coming from hidden places. Rodents use scent to mark their territory, convey information and social dominance. 

6. Burrows

Norway rats’ burrows are always found along building foundations, especially in the external garden area. When they invade the building, they usually nest at lower elevations.  

7. Live / dead rodents

Seeing a live or dead rat or mouse in your premises is a potential sign that you have a rodent infestation. Also, if you find rodents during the daytime, this may indicate that you have a heavy infestation on your premises.

How to Prevent Rodents from Invading Your Home

tips to prevent rodents

You may have probably been disturbed and heard rodents squeaking at night or seen them running in the kitchen area or backyard. This is because they always live near humans, searching for food that people leave behind.

As mentioned, rodents are excellent swimmers or agile climbers. For them, it is not a difficult task to find a way to invade our premises. Hence, how do we prevent them from coming in?

1. Make sure rubbish bins are always covered properly

Rodents, especially house mice, can squeeze through tiny spaces. It is advisable to always keep rubbish bins closed. As such, they are denied access and cannot gain food from bins. 

2. Empty your bins before night falls

The smell of food waste in kitchen bins can attract rodents and other pests to thrive. Rodents are nocturnal pests. So, make sure food waste is always disposed of daily before night. 

3. Seal up potential entry points

Both rats and house mice are capable of climbing. Therefore, make sure to inspect buildings, especially rooflines. Also, be aware of the potential rodent entry points and take necessary sealing and repairing works on the entry points found. 

4. Trim bushes and trees

Rodents use thick foliage to protect and cover themselves from predators. Roof rats and house mice can climb up to buildings or premises from shrubs and trees near the exterior foundation. Hence, always make sure to trim bushes and trees around your premises to prevent giving them a favourable environment to thrive.    

5. Store food in the right way

As rodents can bite through food packages, storing food in tightly sealed containers or placing food in the refrigerator is essential. The same goes for pet food, which should not be left out all day long or overnight as it will attract rodents and other pests. 

6. Reduce water sources

Leaking pipes need to be fixed to reduce available water sources for rodents and other pests. The drainage system also needs to be improved if standing water is sighted and the drains are blocked. Besides, floor traps need to be covered at all times to prevent rodents from coming in through the drainage system.

DIY Methods to Get Rid of Rodents

Set your own rat/mousetrap:

  1. Buy traps in the market (it is recommended to buy traps that can prevent them from suffering).
  2. Make your own traps by referring to online tutorials (avoid catching the live one as you may need to kill or starve them afterwards).
  3. Choose peanut butter as the bait rather than cheese (they prefer high protein and oil-based food).
  4. Place traps perpendicular to walls (as that is their pathway).
  5. Wear removable gloves.
  6. Dispose of them by using tightly sealed black plastic bags.

facts about mice and rats

Professional Rodent Treatment

In the case of a severe rodent infestation, treatment methods can become complicated. It is usually the combination of at least 2 to 3 methods to identify and solve a heavy rodent infestation. Help from a professional pest control company is strongly advised.

Exclusion

Identifying rodent entry points can be challenging to untrained eyes as mice can squeeze through dime-sized holes. These tiny holes can be easy to miss out on. Our pest management technicians are trained to inspect and identify the potential holes rodents or mice might use to gain food in your premises.

Rodenticides

When the rodent infestation is severe, we might need to place rodent baits outside the premise to achieve adequate control. Rodenticides are placed in a tamper-proof rodent bait station to avoid non-target animals from feeding.

Trapping

Pre-baiting 

As rodents have a neophobia (bait shy) effect, pre-baiting is usually the initial stage to ensure they feed on the baits placed in the traps. The baits that we use are non-toxic and formulated with more than 15 human foods to gain attraction.

Trap with baits 

After pre-baiting (usually about a few days or weeks), traps with the same baits will be activated. This stage usually proceeds until no more rodents are trapped and signs of infestation are not sighted anymore. 

Our trap can send an alert to us once the rodent is caught. Then, immediate removal of the carcass can be done.

Rodents live in close association with humans and feed on whatever humans eat. Hence, you might have been providing them food without even knowing it! Therefore, maintaining the best housekeeping practice is the most reliable method to keep your premises clear from pest invasions.

However, controlling and catching rodents on your own is not a good idea when it comes to heavily infested areas. Instead, seek help from professionals now! 


Midges in Singapore

The Complete Guide to the Prevention, Treatment and Control of Midges in Singapore

Midges are common insects in urban environments. In Singapore, it is not unusual to see swarms of midges near reservoirs. These areas provide favourable conditions such as ample food in the water and optimal temperature during certain times of the year. Midges are often mistaken to be mosquitoes because of their similar appearance. However, you can actually recognise midges if you look closely. Their bodies are slender and longer compared to mosquitoes. Most of the midges found in Singapore have distinct green bodies.

Types of Midges

common types of midges in singapore

Midges can be categorised into two main groups, namely: 

Biting midges found in Singapore are in the family of Ceratopogonidae, while non-biting midges are in the family of Chironomidae. In Singapore, biting midges are also known as sand flies, but some may call them "No-See-Ums''. As the name implies, biting midges are bloodsuckers, leaving painful bites on human and animal skins. On the other hand, non-biting midges do not bite and feed like biting midges. Non-biting midges do not cause and transmit diseases to humans as mosquitoes do. However, they are defined as nuisance pests to human.

Life Cycle and Biology

The life cycle of midges is similar to that of mosquitoes. The life cycle of both biting and non-biting midges involves four development stages, namely: 

  • Egg 
  • Larval
  • Pupal
  • Adult

Biting midges

The complete life cycle of biting midges takes about 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the species and environmental factors. Both male and female biting midges feed on nectar. However, females require human or animal blood for their eggs to mature. Females usually fly into the male swarms for mating. This occurs when females finish feeding on blood.

Larvae development requires a moisture source. They need water, air and food for survival. Larvae develop in ponds, streams or muddy substrates, and they feed on organisms around them. The pupae stage can last from 2 to 3 days. The lifespan for an adult biting midge is usually up to a few weeks.

Non-Biting Midges

Non-Biting midges do not possess proboscis. The proboscis is a needle-like mouthpart found on insects such as mosquitoes and biting midges. It is an important feature used to suck blood.

The breeding habitats of non-biting midges are similar to mosquitoes, namely in stagnant water and slow-flowing water. Common places where you can find them are drains, water reservoirs, water tanks, ponds and lakes.

The complete life cycle takes about three weeks to complete. Non-biting midges have a better reproductive capability than biting midges. Females can lay eggs in masses that contain up to 3000 eggs. The larvae feed on sediments or organic matters in the water.

Signs of Midge Infestations

signs of a midge infestation

The swarming of midges is the most obvious sign of a midge infestation. You can notice the swarms especially during dawn and dusk. Non-biting midges are harmless but are a nuisance to people. However, biting midges or sand flies can deliver painful bites, leaving red bumps that cause an itch.

Medical Importance for Biting Midges

Biting midges can cause a disease called leishmaniasis. Not to worry, there is no endemic transmission record of this disease in Singapore. Besides, the species that cause this disease are Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia spp., which do not appear active in Singapore.

How to Prevent Midges In and Around your Home

tips to get rid of midges

1. Keep your doors and windows screened or tightly closed

To screen your windows, the wire mesh size must be small enough to exclude all species. Ensure always to remind yourself to close doors and windows, especially during dusk and dawn, as these are midges most active hours. Prevention during this time prevents Aedes mosquitoes as well. If you are not planning to screen your windows, you may install curtains to lower the chances of denying their access. 

2. Always inspect stagnant water and slow-flowing water in and around your home

As previously mentioned, the developmental stages of midges are similar to mosquitoes. They need to go through larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. Midge larvae are most likely to be found in reservoirs, lakes and ponds. Other than that, they can be found in stagnant and slow-moving water.

The greenery and plants around the home are the most susceptible areas to become their breeding habitats. Stagnant water found on soil, in planter plates, or in boxes can become potential breeding places. Besides, the soil nutrients further contribute to the growth of their larvae, giving them access to ample food and enough water to survive through their developmental stages.

3. Use fertiliser 

Midge larvae prefer to develop in nutrient-rich habitats. Always remember to fertilise your plants properly by checking and following the guidelines of the fertiliser used. This is to prevent excessive use of fertiliser, resulting in fertiliser runoff in the soil to the surrounding ponds, drains, and streams. The excessive use of fertiliser can promote their growth of development as nutrients are drained from the soil to their breeding habitats.

Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Midges (DIY Methods)

1. Use insect repellents

Insect repellents aim to repel midges away from you without killing them. Some people may have sensitive or allergy skin towards chemical-laden repellents. To protect sensitive skin from chemicals, you may apply natural insect repellents that contain substances such as citronella and tea tree oil from the market.

Although non-biting midges do not bite and transmit diseases, they can be a nuisance. Application of insect repellents is the easiest and most environmentally friendly method to protect you from midges' disturbance.

2. Use dim or yellow lights

Midges are highly attracted to bright light. Hence, yellow or dim light bulbs are advised, especially at doors and windows. In addition, you can always switch off the lights that are not in use in the exterior part of your home. This method is not aimed at eliminating midges but can help to reduce the presence around your living environment.

3. Make the environment less conducive (eliminate their habitats)

The reasons for midges to breed around your home are always the presence of stagnant and slow-moving water bodies. This includes over-watering of plants, hardened soil and insufficient drain gradient. Overwatering of plants and hardened soil in the planter boxes often cause the formation of stagnant water on the soil.

Always make sure to loosen the soil regularly and avoid over-watering plants to prevent the formation of ponding water. On the other hand, you may need to remove blockages such as stones, dry leaves, debris and algae formed in the drains regularly to improve the flow of drain water. You may also re-grade your drain if a poor gradient was found as midge larvae can withstand the weak water current in the drain. 

4. Use Bti or mosquito dunk  

Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) or mosquito dunks can easily be bought in stores. These can be placed safely in and around your home if the formation of stagnant water bodies is difficult or troublesome to be cleared.

Bti is a bacterium that can infect the guts of mosquito and midge larvae. It is environmentally friendly as it does not affect or kill beneficial insects, aquatic animals and plants. Bti can be introduced into ponds, poorly maintained water fountains and gutters.

all you need to know about midges

Professional Midge Treatment

It is quite a simple task to deal with a small number of midges present at your premises. However, it can become challenging to control midges when their numbers increase and starts affecting your daily life.

The treatment methods used in Singapore for midges can be divided into the following methods: 

  • Physical 
  • Biological 
  • Insecticidal

The most basic physical method is the removal of their breeding sources. Inspection plays a vital part in this. Remove midges' breeding source via S&D (search and destroy). However, some other methods have been used in Singapore. For example, a 3 metres high netting was introduced at the reservoirs to prevent midges from flying or being blown to the residential areas. Besides, spotlights were deployed remained switched on from 7 am to 7 pm to attract and keep midges within the reservoirs.

The application of Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is one of the biological methods that the government and pest control industries use. This is because it is safe (no risk to human, animals and aquatic life), target specific and does not affect the water quality. Another biological method that the government uses is the release of predators to hunt for midge pupae (the prey), reducing the population of adult midges. In Singapore, thousands of predatory fish (guppies, mollies and swordtails) were released into the reservoirs as they are the predators of midge pupae.  

Furthermore, insecticidal approaches are commonly used in pest control industries in Singapore, namely: 

  • Thermal fogging 
  • Misting 
  • Larviciding

Thermal fogging and misting are two treatment methods to target adult flying insects, especially mosquitoes and midges. Thermal fogging targets flying insects present during the treatment period. Misting creates a residual effect on the treated surface and kills them upon contact. In short, thermal fogging acts as a "quick fix" solution to provide fast control to reduce the population of targeted insects while misting protects over a more extended period. 

On the other hand, larviciding is the application of larvicide into stagnant water. It is used to target larvae before they can grow to adults. Licensed and certified companies in Singapore strictly carry out all the methods discussed here.  

At Killem Pest, we provide a physical approach by carrying out S&D (search and destroy). Inspection is not an easy challenge. Our pest control professionals are trained to have the required knowledge and ability to search for midges breeding places.

Besides, environmental health is always our concern. Hence, we also offer a biological approach by providing or applying Bti upon request or in sensitive areas. In addition, all the chemicals used in insecticidal methods are approved by NEA (National Environment Agency). The chemicals do not pose harmful effects to humans and animals.


common snakes in singapore

The Complete Guide to Snake Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Snakes are one of the most common reptiles that we may encounter in our daily lives. Despite having no limbs, snakes can slither with smooth and agile movements. In Singapore, encounters with snakes are not rare. There are frequent news reports on snake presence in Singapore.

Snakes are kept as pets by people in other parts of the world, but it is illegal to keep snakes in Singapore. Although snake enthusiasts may find their pets alluring, snakes can be fearsome to some people, especially those who have had bad experiences with snakes. One of the reasons that cause people to be afraid of snakes is their ability to deliver fatal bites. However, not all snake bites are dangerous. There are plenty of non-venomous snake species.

Types of Snakes in Singapore

common snakes in singapore

There are over 3000 snake species in the world, but not all of them can be found in Singapore. Here are some common types of snakes in Singapore: 

Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus)

The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world. It can reach over 8 meters. Reticulated pythons have a distinct, alternating, consistent zigzag pattern of black, yellow, brown, and white scales. It is non-venomous and feeds mainly on small mammals, rodents, and birds.

Although the reticulated python is non-venomous, it has the strength and length to constrict its prey before feeding on it. It is nocturnal, meaning that the reticulated python is primarily active at night. In addition, it can be found in a wide range of habitats from low land to highland, forests, mangroves, and drain canals. In Singapore, pythons are commonly found inhabiting urban areas such as drains and canals. 

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

The king cobra is notoriously known as the world's largest venomous snake with an average of 3 meters in length. King cobras can be found in varying colors but are mainly in shades of light brown to dark brown and even black with a pale-yellow tint.

King Cobras are diurnal as they usually hunt during the day. Their diet consists of other snakes, rodents, and lizards. King Cobras are shy and retreating. However, they can be aggressive when provoked or cornered. Thus, one should never try to confront King Cobras to avoid getting fatal bites.

Black Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana)

The Black Spitting Cobra is also known as the Equatorial Spitting Cobra. As the name suggests, the black spitting cobra can contract its venom gland to spit venom onto its target, mainly aiming for the eyes. The venom can cause severe damage to the eyes and their surrounding areas, and may cause blindness if left untreated. The Black Spitting Cobra diet consists of rodents and amphibians. It is active at night, and prefers cooler places like shelters, drains, and garden walls. 

Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)

The oriental whip snake is a fairly small and lanky snake. Its appearance can range from light brown to bright green, and its coloration allows it to blend in with vegetation. Oriental whip snakes can grow up to approximately 2 meters in length. They feed on birds, lizards, and frogs with the help of their venom. As the venom is usually relatively weak, oriental whip snakes are not problematic to humans. Oriental whip snakes are active during the day and are typically seen amongst low-hanging trees or tangled between vines in forested areas.

Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus)

The banded krait is one of the more prominently patterned snakes with black and white stripes from head to tail. It feeds mainly on other snakes as well as animals such as rodents, lizards, cats, and fish. Banded krait is nocturnal and can be found in forested areas near rodent holes, termite mounds, and places close to water. This species should always only be spotted from afar and not approached, as it is venomous and may bite if threatened.

Banded Malayan Coral Snake (Calliophis intestinalis)

The banded Malayan coral snake has an average size of 40 to 60cm in length. It can be distinguished by its bright red tail and reddish stripe along the length on the top side of the body. Banded Malayan coral snakes feed on other snakes and are active at night, commonly found in forests, parks, and gardens. Although a banded Malayan coral snake may look small and attractive, its venom is potent, so one should never try to approach it. 

Life Cycle and Biology

Depending on the species, snakes can live more than 20 years, with the larger ones having a longer lifespan than the smaller ones. Snakes are born in eggs. There are two types of egg births known: 

  • Oviparity
  • Ovoviviparity 

Most snakes are oviparous, meaning that they lay their eggs outside their bodies, and young snakes will hatch from the eggs. Ovoviviparous snakes also produce eggs, but they keep the eggs inside their bodies during incubation. The newly hatched snakes will look like they were born directly from the mothers' body.

Although snakes are legless reptiles, not all legless reptiles are snakes. For example, lizards only have front or back limbs or are completely legless. All snakes are predators, but only a portion of them are venomous. Even a smaller fraction of snakes are capable of inflicting lethal bites. 

facts about snakes

Medical Importance

One reason that causes the fear of snakes is a snakes' ability to inflict lethal bites. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): 

  • There are over 3000 species of snakes in the world 
  • 600 snake species are venomous 
  • Over 200 species of venomous snakes are considered to be medically important 

These medically important venomous snakes can cause injury, disability, and even death. The symptoms associated with snake bites vary depending on the type of snake. 

Symptoms include:  

  • Puncture wounds or bite marks on the skin  
  • Redness, swelling, bruising, blistering, or bleeding around the bite
  • Severe pain and tenderness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate, weak pulse, low blood pressure
  • Metallic, mint, or rubber taste in the mouth
  • Increased salivation and sweating
  • Numbness or tingling around the face and/or limbs
  • Muscle twitching

Signs of Snake Infestations

signs of snake infestations

1. Shed skin

Snakes shed their skin as they grow. The discarded skins may be found in places where snakes rest. This is one of the most apparent signs of snake infestations. While it may be fine to spot one around your house, you should be concerned if you see snakes frequently.

2. Slither tracks

Snakes have a unique movement known as slithering. As they slither, they leave behind distinct tracks on the dusty or sandy ground.

3. Droppings

The faeces of snakes are another important sign of a snake infestation. Snakes' faeces may resemble birds' droppings as they are liquid and contain urine, or they may be in a solid form that contains undigested pieces of their food, such as bones and hairs.

4. Strange noises

Although snakes are silent and do not vocalise, they may make noises as they move through cluttered areas and touch other objects. The sounds of slithering and falling objects may be a sign of a snake infestation.

How to Prevent Snakes from Invading Your Home

tips to get rid of snakes

1. Remove piles of rocks, wood, and debris

Piles of rocks, wood and debris serve as the hiding places of snakes and their prey. Maintain good housekeeping and keep your house free from debris help prevent infestations of snakes.

Clutters and piles of debris provide ideal hiding and breeding sites for animals such as rodents, which serve as a food source for snakes. Snakes can also seek shelter among the clutter as they provide protection from predators and harsh weather conditions.

2. Clear trash and food waste

Although snakes are predators and do not feed on human food waste, food waste attracts pests like rodents. Rodents, in turn, are food sources of snakes. Waste bins should be covered. Food waste should be properly disposed of to prevent rodents from gaining access to the food, as this can cause rodent infestations, and subsequently, snake infestations.

3. Keep the grass short

Not only does grass attract mosquitoes, it also attracts snakes. Long grass provides the perfect cover for snakes to hide from their predators and sneak up to their preys. Snakes are found in a variety of colours and patterns that they use as camouflage. The presence of long grass further facilitates snakes to blend in with the surroundings.

4. Seal cracks and crevices

Cracks and crevices are the hiding spots for pests, including snakes. Cracks and crevices provide shelter for snakes and protect them from threats present in the surrounding environment. Snakes can also enter your house from the surroundings through cracks or holes. Do look out for all potential entry points, cracks and crevices around your home. Make sure to seal them to avoid harbouring snakes and other pests in your house.

DIY Methods to Prevent Snakes in Singapore

Instead of trying out various methods to repel snakes, you can try to maintain good housekeeping around your house to keep snakes away from you. Sealing all the potential entry points and hiding sites mentioned above will help to prevent snakes from entering your home.

Professional Snake Removal in Singapore

Snakes can be aggressive when provoked or frightened, so you should never attempt to approach them when you see a snake. Avoid confronting or attacking a snake with a stick or broom as it may still be able to injure you. If you ever get bitten by a snake, it is important to try to 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 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 if you ever get bitten by snakes is to minimise movement and call a doctor or an ambulance immediately.

In short, handling snakes on your own is not a good idea. Seeking help from professionals is the right way. Here, at Killem Pest, our Pest Management Professionals (PMP) are specially trained and licensed to carry out the removal of snakes.

With the recent enforcement of the Wildlife Act in Singapore, special courses and training were prepared for people involved who deal with wildlife removal activities. Our PMPs have attended the training and are certified professionals who can remove wildlife if needed, including snakes. Our professionals also advise you on the dos and don'ts when encountering a snake. 


Types of Flies in Singapore

The Complete Guide to Flies Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Flies are present around us. Their presence can cause severe problems to some people, such as the owners of food and beverage outlets. Besides food, flies are attracted to other materials such as rubbish, faeces, and decaying materials.

Types of Flies in Singapore

types of flies in singapore

Housefly (Musca domestica)

The houseflies are probably the most notorious species of flies. They can be recognised by the presence of four vertical stripes on their back and their grey colour body. Houseflies are usually found near the waste collection area, such as waste bins and bin centre, as they feed on food waste as well as excretory waste. Their presence at homes is a nuisance to many homeowners.

Fruit fly (Drosophila spp.)

The fruit fly is another species of flies that is found around us. They are around 3mm in size, yellowish-brown, and most of them have red eyes that makes it easy to distinguish them. Fruit flies are attracted to 

  • Ripened fruits 
  • Vegetables 
  • Wine
  • Liquor

Bluebottle fly (Calliphoridae)

The bluebottle flies have a distinct metallic-blue body and red eyes, with a body size ranging from 10mm to 14mm. They are often found flying around waste bins searching for food. Bluebottle flies are also attracted to the faeces and decomposing dead bodies of animals.

Flesh fly (Sarcophagidae)

Flesh flies are similar in size to bluebottle flies, but they have a grey body and can be distinguished by the three vertical stripes at the back of the thorax. Flesh flies breed on faeces, dead bodies and even open wounds (which their name implies).

Drain fly (Psychodidae)

The drain flies or sewer flies are also known as moth flies, as they have a fuzzy body that resembles moths. They are usually around 2mm and can be found around the sewage system, such as drains and floor traps which serve as their breeding sites. Drain flies feed on organic matter that is found in the sewers.

Phorid fly (Megaselia)

The phorid flies are another important fly species commonly found in Singapore. Due to their appearance, they are often mistaken to be fruit flies. Phorid flies breed in the drainage system as well as decaying materials, including plants. 

Life Cycle and Biology

Flies undergo complete metamorphosis, and their life stages consist of the egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. The eggs differ in size and shape depending on the species. Generally speaking, they are laid on or near the larvae's food sources, such as food waste in the case of house flies. The eggs hatch into larvae that resemble a worm. Some are commonly known as maggots. The larvae feed, store nutrients and gain energy. Then they turn into pupae before emerging as adults.

facts about flies

Medical Importance

Flies are associated with poor sanitation and hygiene as well as the ability to transmit diseases. People dislike flies for these reasons.

Flies are mechanical vectors of diseases and conditions such as: 

  • Dysentery 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Cholera 
  • Typhoid
  • Salmonellosis 

Flies pick up pathogens as they crawl and feed on infected surfaces with poor sanitation. They then transmit the pathogens to another object that they rest on, or through direct contact with humans. As flies feed, they regurgitate food, and this process facilitates the transmission of pathogens. The transmission of diseases can be prevented by avoiding unsanitised or contaminated cooking utensils and by making sure that food is not contaminated. It is important to keep flies away from food and utensils through proper storage and good housekeeping practices.

What Attracts Flies  

Flies have an excellent sense of smell. Studies have shown that certain flies can detect odours from up to 7km away. They can also detect odour from stains that are not visible to the naked eyes, making them highly efficient in searching for food. The presence of the following items may be the reason why flies are found around your house or premises:  

  • Food waste or decaying food  
  • Food stains  
  • Ripen fruits  
  • Sewer or drains  
  • Faeces or dead bodies of animals

Signs of Fly Infestations

signs of fly infestations

1. Sightings of flies around your house

It may be normal to occasionally spot flies around your house, as they may enter your home from the external while foraging for food. However, if you have seen flies around your house frequently or if you are noticing an increase in the number of flies, you may want to start looking for breeding sites of flies.

2. Presence of maggots around the house

Besides seeing flies flying around, the sighting of maggots usually signals a fly infestation nearby, as they usually will not venture far from their breeding sites. Follow the trails of the maggots or search the nearby areas. You should then be able to locate the breeding sites of flies.

Tips to Prevent Flies from Invading Your Home

how to get rid of flies

1. Maintain good sanitation and housekeeping

One of the most effective ways to keep pests out is by maintaining good housekeeping practices. Bad housekeeping and sanitation provide pests with sources of food, water and shelter, thus attracting them. Here are some important actions to take note of to keep flies away from home.  

  • Cover food. Flies have excellent olfactory senses, so the smell of food can attract them from afar. Properly covering food will prevent you from sharing food with flies and avoid contamination of food.  
  • Cover bins and empty them regularly. The kitchen bins and dustbins are where the food waste and leftovers end up. Flies are not as picky as humans, so the bins are great places for them to look for food. Covering the bins with lids will prevent flies from gaining access to food. Regularly emptying the bins will help avoid the accumulation of rotten food that attracts flies.
  • Wipe and clean properly. Flies can feed on human food stains and grease. Thus it is important to keep the surfaces of food preparation areas and dining areas clean. Flies can detect stains or chemicals that are not visible to the human eye. Therefore, it is important to clean and wipe the kitchen. Cleaning properly will remove any materials that may attract flies. Do not let the dishes sit in the sink for too long, as the stains can also attract flies. Cutlery and utensils should be cleaned as soon as possible after use to avoid attracting flies.
  • Keep drains clear. The accumulation of organic materials in drains form the ideal breeding sites of drain flies and even phorid flies. To prevent the breeding of drain flies, it is essential to make sure the drains are not clogged. Drains can be cleaned using drain cleaners or even hot water to remove the build-up of organic materials.

2. Keep the doors and windows closed

You can keep flies out by keeping the door and windows of the kitchen closed. Installing insect screens is another feasible alternative as it can keep flies out without making your kitchen and your home stuffy. Air curtains use fast-moving air to create a barrier that prohibits flies from passing through.

3. Improve air circulation

The movement of air disrupts the flight of flies, especially the smaller species, as they are weak fliers. Keep air circulating inside the kitchen by switching on the fan. This helps keep flies away.

4. Use fly traps

Fly traps are effective tools that are widely used in the control of flies. However, the use of fly traps with zappers is not recommended in the kitchen or dining area as they tend to break flies into pieces. Those body parts may fall into the food.

5. Inspect for potential breeding sites

Carry out regular inspection around your house or pay extra attention to the surroundings to spot the breeding sites of flies. Fix any cracks or building defects to prevent the breeding of pests, including flies. Early detection of fly activities will prevent the situation from escalating.

DIY Methods to Prevent Flies in Singapore

There are many types of homemade fly traps that are effective against flies. One of the easiest ways to make a fly trap involves using a bottle/ jar and a cover/lid, apple cider vinegar and dishwasher liquid. The trap is prepared by mixing one tablespoon of dishwasher liquid with apple cider vinegar in a bottle or jar. The bottle or jar is then covered correctly. A small hole is made on the cover as an entrance for the flies. This trap is effective against house flies and fruit flies as its scent will attract them. 

Professional Flies Treatment

If you ever feel that the infestation is getting out of control, or if you wish to have peace of mind without worrying about flies infesting your properties, seek assistance from pest management professionals. Pest management professionals will design a management programme that is best suited for you to combat flies.

The first step of professional flies treatment involves thorough inspection to obtain information such as the severity of the infestation and identifying the source of the infestation. At Killem Pest, our pest management professionals (PMP) are professionally trained and updated with knowledge of pests. The PMPs will be able to determine suitable management programmes based on their evaluation. They can also identify breeding sources that may not be discoverable to ordinary people based on their experience in the field.

As mentioned earlier, fly traps are essential tools in fly management. The fly traps used by Pest Management Professionals are the insect light traps that attract flies using ultraviolet (UV) light. The UV light traps used by the professionals emit rays of a specific wavelength which, in turn, attracts flies. The flies are then trapped by the glue boards placed near the light source. The placement and position of the light traps play an important part in determining the effectiveness of the flies control programme. Poorly positioned insect light traps are ineffective and may cause other hazards if not installed correctly. Our PMPs will determine the ideal locations for the deployment of traps based on the inspection carried out.

Another treatment method for flies involves residual spraying. Residual spraying should only be carried out at locations without food to prevent contamination of food with chemicals. Residual spraying can be carried out in areas where flies rest, such as on the walls. Residual spraying should be carried out while paying attention to the surroundings to limit humans and pets' exposure to the chemicals.

Are you having problems with flies in your properties? Contact Killem Pest now.


The Complete Guide to the Prevention, Treatment and Control of Fleas and Ticks in Singapore

Fleas and ticks are tiny pests that are capable of causing great problems to humans. They leave itchy bites with distinct bite marks on human skin.

Fleas and ticks are two different pests that are often mistaken with one another. Fleas have long and powerful hind legs that allow them to perform high jumps. Ticks, on the other hand, do not jump. They have four pairs of legs which make them part of the spider family (arachnids).

Types of Fleas and Ticks in Singapore

common types of fleas and ticks in singapore

What are some of the common species of fleas and ticks found in Singapore? 

Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis) 

Cat and dog fleas are the most common type of fleas found in Singapore. They can be found on pets, stray dogs and cats. However, despite their names, neither type of flea is exclusive to only cats or dogs. These fleas are usually 1-4mm in size. It isn't easy to differentiate between the two species with the naked eye. Cat and dog fleas are excellent jumpers with the ability to reach 18cm vertically and 33cm horizontally, which is about 100 times their body length!

Dog Tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) 

The brown dog tick is the species of ticks commonly found in Singapore. A dog can pick up ticks from the surroundings as ticks infest more than one host during their lifetime. The ticks can be found on the skin of the pets' head, neck, ear and feet. In heavy infestations, the ticks can be found in nearby parts such as kennels or cages.

Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopsis) 

Although the Oriental rat flea is not commonly found in Singapore, it is worth mentioning it. The Oriental rat flea is the vector for the bacterium that caused more than one of the deadliest pandemics in history. This flea type was responsible for spreading the bubonic plague, leading to the Black Death in the 14th century and killing over 25 million people.

Life Cycle and Biology 

Fleas undergo a complete metamorphosis. They go through the following stages of life: 

  • Egg 
  • Larvae 
  • Pupae 
  • Adulthood

Fleas have an average lifespan of 2 to 3 months. The fleas found on animals are always adults. Eggs are laid on the animal host's body but will fall to places where the host's rest, such as cages and cat baskets. The adults ingest blood from the host and produce faecal matters that become the food for the larvae.

Before turning into adults, the larvae form cocoons. The adults then emerge when stimulated by vibration, movement, or increased carbon dioxide (which indicates animal hosts' presence).

The dog tick is a 3-host tick that encounters three hosts throughout its entire life span. The larva takes a blood meal and turns into a nymph. Then, the nymph feeds once before developing into an adult. An adult takes a blood meal before it lays eggs.

A female tick can lay an average of 4000 eggs. The number fluctuates with the amount of blood ingested. The host-seeking behaviour of a tick causes it to be seen in the open as it actively searches for a new host to latch on. Ticks have a long life span and they can survive without feeding for 3 to 5 months.

fleas and ticks facts

Medical Importance 

There are three common diseases associated with flea and tick bites: 

  1. Murine Typhus
  2. Plague
  3. Lyme Disease

Murine typhus 

Murine typhus is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterium known as Rickettsia typhii. There have been several reports of murine typhus in Singapore. Humans become infected when the site of a flea bite is exposed to the flea's faeces, or by inhaling the bacterium from an environment contaminated with fleas' faeces. Murine typhus is primarily transmitted by the rat flea, but cat fleas may also be one of the vectors.

Symptoms of murine typhus include: 

  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The disease can deteriorate to cause severe illness and damage to other organs, including the lungs, liver, kidney, heart and brain. 

Plague

Plague is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia pestis. Transmission of this disease is similar to that of murine typhus: through the bite of the infected fleas or by inhalation.

The plague is transmitted by oriental rat fleas and is mostly prevalent in Africa. Although the plague has claimed the lives of millions of people throughout history, today it can be treated with antibiotics and prevented with standard preventive measures.

Lyme disease

One of the major tick-borne diseases is Lyme disease. It is caused by the deer tick, which is not found in Singapore. Lyme disease's most common sign is an expanding rash at the bite that may form a bulls-eye pattern.

If left untreated, the infection can spread and cause pain to the joints as well as causing neurological problems such as: 

  • Meningitis
  • Temporary paralysis of one side of the face (Bell's palsy)
  • Numbness or weakness in limbs
  • Impaired muscle movement

Signs of Flea & Tick Infestations

flea and tick infestation signs

It might not be easy to detect fleas and ticks at home because of their small size and cryptic behaviour. Here are some signs that may indicate a flea or tick infestation.

1. Itching or infected skin 

Even though they can feed on human blood, animals are the primary hosts of fleas and ticks. Your pets may have itching skin. Hence, they might scratch their skin or bite their skin more frequently than usual. Besides, symptoms such as hair loss and rashes may develop on your pets as the fleas or ticks bite and cause infections on their skin.

2. Finding them on or around your pets 

Although fleas and ticks are difficult to spot, it is not impossible. They can be detected on your pets' body when you comb their hair. Ticks and fleas can also be found around the cage or bedding where the pets rest. It is possible to see them moving around as they venture out away from their nests seeking a new host.

3. Bites 

Fleas leave itchy bites on humans. Those bites are one of the most obvious signs of flea infestation. Flea bites are itchier compared to mosquito bites. The reactions that the skin develops from them are usually more severe and include: 

  • Rashes 
  • Hives 
  • Blisters

On the other hand, tick bites are usually not painful or itchy. However, they do leave red spots or bumps on the affected skin. 

Tips to Prevent Fleas and Ticks from Invading Your Home

how to get rid of fleas and ticks

1. Vacuuming frequently 

Vacuuming is not only a way to clean your house and remove unwanted dirt and dust. It also helps you prevent infestations of fleas and ticks. Vacuuming can physically remove the pests, their eggs and larvae. If you suspect that you have fleas or ticks at home, you should seal the vacuum bag and dispose of it properly after vacuuming. This ensures that the pests cannot make their way back into your home. 

2. Wash bedding regularly 

As mentioned earlier, fleas and ticks do not spend their entire lifespan on their hosts. They can sometimes be found nearby. Fleas and ticks can infest (pet) bedding. Bedding should be washed in hot, soapy water every two to three weeks to eliminate the pests.

3. Treat your pets with anti-flea medication 

Flea medications can not only be used to treat an existing infestation of fleas. It can also be used for prevention. There are medications taken orally by the pets and those that are applied topically onto the pets' skin. Flea medications can be administered once a month to protect you and your pets from fleas.

4. Keep vegetation short 

Ticks often climb onto grasses to increase their success rate of finding a new host. By keeping the vegetation short, you can prevent this from happening and reduce the hiding options. 

DIY Methods to Prevent Ticks and Fleas in Singapore 

Essential oils are known to have many benefits, including insect-repelling effects. Cedarwood essential oil can be diluted and applied to the pets' skin to kill and prevent fleas. It can also be added to a diffuser to protect your house against fleas. Some essential oils, such as rosemary, can be added to the pets' bath to provide long-acting flea repelling effects.

Professional Fleas and Ticks Treatment 

Inspection and identification 

Inspection is an essential step in any pest management approach. It helps Pest Management Professionals (PMP) identify the cause and level of infestations. By identifying the pest species causing the issue, PMP's in Singapore can plan suitable control measures to handle the situation.

Advice 

After identifying the problem, our PMP can provide you with more information (if needed) so that you can seek advice from medical professionals and veterinary experts.

Habitat modification  

Based on the inspection carried out at the infested premises, our PMP will provide house owners with recommendations to prevent flea and tick infestations in the future. Building defects such as cracks and crevices may be discovered during the inspection. Hence, our PMP will provide advice on how to solve the deficiencies.

Chemical treatment 

Chemical treatment is the fastest and most effective method to eliminate an existing infestation. The insecticides that we use are safe for pets. All our PMPs are trained to carry out the treatment by following proper procedures.


cockroach infestation

The Ultimate Guide to Cockroach Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Cockroaches have been around on earth for more than 300 million years. They are one of the most common insects infesting households. There are more than 4500 cockroach species in the world, but less than 1% of them are known as pests.

Most cockroach species are in the wild. The ones that are associated with human habitats are classified as pests. Cockroaches play essential roles in the natural ecosystem. Some people even regard them as pets.

Types of Cockroaches in Singapore

common types of cockroaches in singapore

As mentioned earlier, only less than 1% of cockroach species are pests. Here are three species commonly found in Singapore:

American cockroach

The American cockroach may be the most commonly seen cockroach in Singapore. It has a reddish-brown body and a yellow band at its pronotum (plate-like structure behind the head). The size of an American cockroach can reach up to 40 to 50mm in length. American cockroaches are active both indoors and outdoors as they infest the sewer system.

German cockroach

German cockroaches are around 20mm big. They have a light brown or tanned colour. Adult German cockroaches can be recognised by the two dark stripes on their back.

These are some places where you'll commonly find German cockroaches:

  • Indoors
  • Kitchen
  • Food preparation areas

Large German cockroach infestations cause nightmares to owners of restaurants and F&B outlets. The control strategies for this species is more challenging compared to the other species. This is due to the development of insecticide resistance and its high reproductive rate.

Brown-banded cockroach

The body size of brown-banded cockroaches is similar to that of German cockroaches. The males are light yellowish or brown, while the females have a darker colour. The brown-banded cockroach gets its name from the transverse stripes that are present on its bodies. This species is also responsible for cockroach infestations in homes and offices.

Life Cycle and Biology

Cockroaches undergo incomplete metamorphosis. They develop from egg and a few instar stages to adulthood. Newly emerged nymphs are miniature wingless adults. They will need to moult several times to reach the adult stage. Different species of cockroaches will have varying development periods and amounts of moults.

Cockroaches like to hide in cracks and crevices.

In common areas, they prefer to move or venture along the side of the wall. An interesting thing about cockroaches is that they feed on almost every organic material, preferably starchy food. They can feed on moist cardboards and even a piece of paper! Cockroaches are often reluctant to forage food far from their nesting area unless being deprived.

facts about cockroaches

Medical Importance

Mechanical vectors of diseases

The living and feeding habits of cockroaches are commonly associated with poor hygiene and sanitation. This exposes them to a wide range of pathogens. They pick up the pathogens with their body and legs and transmit them to food, kitchen utensils and food preparation areas as they crawl past the surfaces.

Cockroaches are known to carry pathogens that cause diseases such as:

  • Food poisoning
  • Salmonellosis
  • Cholera

The pathogens are invisible to the naked eyes so we must eliminate their vectors to avoid being infected by them.

Asthma and allergy

The body parts, excretory waste and even saliva contain allergens that may trigger allergic reactions. Typical allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Skin rash

Cockroach allergies are a common cause of asthma in both adults and children. If you have a cockroach infestation at home, you are at risk of developing prolonged allergic reactions that may lead to other medical problems.

Katsaridaphobia

Katsaridaphobia, or more commonly known as cockroach phobia, is the irrational and extreme fear of cockroaches.

Katsaridaphobia is not the same as being disgusted after seeing a cockroach. People with katsaridaphobia have unwarranted fear towards cockroaches that may cause them to:

  • Stay frozen
  • Have an elevated heart rate
  • Have difficulty breathing
  • Get panic attacks

One of the causes of katsaridaphobia is a bad or traumatic experience with cockroaches in the past. Katsaridaphobia is a mental disorder that can be overcome via psychotherapy, such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Signs of Cockroach Infestations

signs of a cockroach infestation

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, most active at night. During the daytime, they hide in dark and moist areas. Hence, we often don't notice their presence until the infestation becomes severe. Here, we'll describe the tell-tale signs of a cockroach infestation.

1. Droppings

Cockroach droppings look something like black pepper with a cylindrical shape. Their droppings are usually scattered along the wall or at the corners and edges of the cabinets. These are their main pathways and hiding areas.

2. Shed skins

Cockroaches go through moulting to reach a mature stage. Therefore, they will need to shed their skins periodically, around 5 to 8 times. If you see brownish shed skins at the potential areas mentioned above, that's probably the evidence of a cockroach infestation.

3. Oothecae (cockroach eggs)

Oothecae are oval-shaped casings (inside full of multiple eggs), which are bigger and much more evident than cockroach droppings. It is vital to remove the ootheca before it hatched. The hatching of one cockroach ootheca can worsen a cockroach infestation.

4. Unpleasant smell

The scent released by a cockroach is usually undetectable by human beings. However, when it comes to a major cockroach infestation, a musty odour can be present.

How to Prevent Cockroaches from Invading Your Home

tips to prevent and get rid of cockroaches

1. Identify their entry points and hiding places

Inspection is a key activity in identifying the entry points and hiding places of cockroaches. Since cockroaches are nocturnal insects, it would be best if the inspection is carried out at night.

Cracks, crevices or gaps formed around the utility line and pipes are their potential entry points. Silicone-based caulk can be used to seal those entry points found. Besides, remember to inspect, clean and ventilate areas underneath the kitchen sink and refrigerator as these are the humid places which can become cockroach harbourages.

2. Eliminate food and water sources

Food and water are the primary necessities of cockroaches. One of the best ways to prevent cockroaches from entering your property is to remove all available water sources. Maintaining the housekeeping of the house is vital.

We cannot forget to clean stains, grease and food scraps left in the kitchen as these can act as the food and water sources for cockroaches. Furthermore, make sure all stored food is sealed correctly to deny access. Cockroaches can squeeze their bodies through a gap as small as 2mm wide.

3. Clean and organise your home

Messy and cluttered areas, especially those with paper and cardboards, are ideal harbourage and nesting sites of cockroaches. The paper products do not only serve as their hiding place. They also serve as food in case other food sources are not available.

It is essential to keep your home tidy and remove clutters regularly. The use of carton boxes for storage may allow cockroaches to hide in them. Thus, other alternatives, such as plastic boxes, can be used to prevent cockroach infestations.

DIY Methods

Traps can capture and remove cockroaches from your home. The most common method is a sticky trap. These traps can be purchased from regular stores.

You may wonder the effectiveness of using pandan leaves to prevent cockroach entry. Here, we tell you the truth. Pandan leaves release some pleasant smells which may serve as a weak natural repelling agent to deter cockroaches from coming near. However, when the leaves dried out, it can actually turn into a harbouring place for cockroaches! Hence, the use of pandan leaves is not a permanent solution for a cockroach infestation.

Professional Cockroach Treatment

Treating a cockroach infestation is more than just hitting them with your slippers or spraying insecticide aerosols on the cockroaches.

Insect monitoring stations are useful tools to detect the presence of cockroach infestations in Singapore. In premises with cockroach infestations, these stations can provide trained pest management professionals (PMP) with information such as the:

  • Level of infestation
  • Type of cockroach species
  • Location of the nests or breeding sites

This information is important in determining a suitable treatment method. It has a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the control programme.

Residual spraying is the most common method used to eliminate crawling insects, including cockroaches.

The insecticides used in professional cockroach treatments are different from those available to the general public. Residual insecticides offer long-lasting protection against cockroaches. Its effect can last for months after application. Trained PMPs carry out residual spraying at locations where cockroaches are usually found, such as cracks and crevices.

Cockroach baits combine insecticides with food attractants to kill cockroaches. The bait does not kill cockroaches immediately, but it intoxicates the cockroaches once they feed on the bait. The intoxicated cockroaches may leave behind their toxic vomitus, faeces or even their own dead bodies.

Cockroaches feed on the faeces and vomitus of their nestmates.

This behaviour, together with the cannibalising behaviour of cockroaches, make the transfer of toxic bait effective and efficient as cockroaches move back to their nesting site and die off after foraging and feeding on the bait.

Innovation is important in the pest management industry to keep up with increasingly challenging pest issues. Pests, including cockroaches, are continually evolving and developing resistance towards the control methods and insecticides that are used to eliminate them.

One of the latest cockroach treatment methods used in Singapore is dry treatment using Mirakn, a gas cylinder filled with a mixture of carbon dioxide and an active ingredient. There are three types of Mirakn treatments, each with different active ingredients that are suitable for targeting different pests.

The dry treatment has various characteristics. They are:

  • Stainless
  • Residue-less
  • Non-flammable
  • Odourless

Furthermore, the gaseous chemical provides excellent penetration over the other treatments. Dry treatment is a popular cockroach treatment in cars. Cockroaches thrive in cars, but it isn't easy to control them due to the complex internal structures of the car.

Mirakn provides the ideal solution for hard-to-access areas as it can penetrate to all parts of the treated area and leaves no stains. Thus, home and car owners need not worry about the cleaning process.

Killem's team of pest management professionals are trained and experienced in cockroach treatment programmes. Our professional knowledge and experience enable us to formulate a suitable solution to protect your property from cockroaches.


bees in singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Bee Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Bees are one of the most important pollinators. Without bees and other pollinators such as flies, butterflies and beetles, we would not be able to produce enough crops to feed the global population. Having said that, the presence of bees in some occasions may cause inconvenience and disturbance to humans.

Types of Bees in Singapore

common types of bees in singapore

There are more than 20,000 species of bees in the world. The honey bees might be the most famous type of bee. Other species are important to the ecosystem too.

What are some of the common species of bees found in Singapore?

Giant Honey Bees

The giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) get their name from their large size. Giant honey bees can become 17 – 20mm in length. This species usually has their nests built in an exposed area far off the ground.

Giant honey bee nests are commonly spotted on tall trees and building structures. The nests consist of large single combs that can reach up to 1.5m in length and 1m deep. The combs can be seen hanging down tree branches or other structures.

Dwarf Honey Bees

The dwarf honey bees (Apis florea) are small-sized (7 – 10mm long) honey bees. They are commonly found in the tropical region. The dwarf honey bees build single combs as their nests. The combs can be found around small tree branches instead of hanging down the branches as in the case of giant honey bees.

Asian Honey Bees

The Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) are approximately 10mm in length. They are known to nest in empty spaces and cavities so they can be found in attics and roof cavities. Some of the cavities or enclosed openings are unreachable for humans. Thus, it is more difficult to get rid of their nests compared to the nest of outdoor species.

Stingless Bees

The stingless bees (Trigona spp.) are very small sized, measuring around 3 – 5mm. They also build their nests in cavities. Sometimes they can be seen entering or exiting the nests through an entrance tube. As their name suggests, a stingless bee cannot sting, but it can still bite when it feels threatened.

Carpenter Bees

The carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) are the largest in Singapore. They are about 20 – 30mm in length and are usually dark-coloured. The carpenter bees form their nests by creating burrows in solid wood which branch out into parallel passageways. Carpenter bees are solitary bees which live singly or in small groups and they do not form colonies. Although the sight of these bees can be intimidating due to their large size, they are relatively harmless unless disturbed.

Signs of Bee Infestations

signs of a bee infestation

1. Sighting of Live Bees

Sighting of bees is one of the most obvious signs that indicate an infestation. Seeing bees flying in or around your house may indicate that their hive is nearby. Follow the path of their flight and you might be able to trace their nests.

2. Sighting of Beehives

The presence of a beehive indicates that your house is infested with bees. The hive is located on the branches of the plants in your home. In some cases, the hive is concealed in empty spaces in the building. A large number of bees surrounds a beehive. Thus, it is not difficult to identify a hive once you have spotted it.

3. Buzzing Bees

In some cases, house owners may not be able to spot bees. This is because bees build their nest high up from the ground. However, due to their large number, the buzzing sound that they produce may lead you to their nests.

4. Presence of Holes on Wooden Structures

Carpenter bees create burrows in wooden structures and leave a hole on the surface of the wood. If you have been noticing holes on your furniture or wooden decorations, you might be having carpenter bees in your house.

Life Cycle and Biology

Most bees are social insects that live in colonies and practice division of labour. The three functional castes in a bee colony are the:

  • Queen
  • Workers
  • Drones

The queen's primary function is to reproduce and maintain the unity of the colony.

The workers are responsible for maintaining the nest, tending to the young ones and the queen, protecting the nest as well as foraging for food.

Drones are males whose primary function is to mate with an unfertilised queen. They die shortly after mating.

If the queen dies, a new queen gets selected. The new queen is fed with royal jelly (a nutrient-dense substance that is essential for the development of a queen bee) by the workers.

Bees undergo complete metamorphosis. Their life-cycle consists of four stages:

  • Eggs
  • Larvae
  • Pupae
  • Adulthood

In a honey bee colony, a queen bee can produce thousands of eggs per day in the hexagonal cells that form the honeycomb. Fertilised eggs will hatch into female workers. Unfertilised eggs will become males (drones).

The bee larvae are white, legless and require the workers to feed them. The larvae grow into pupae. During this stage, the wings, legs and eyes form, transforming the white coloured worms into the bee that we know. During the pupal stage, the bees do not eat so they depend on all the nutrients stored when they are in the larval stage.

Adult bees then emerge from the wax cells to fulfil their tasks as a member of the colony.

facts about bees

Hazards

Pain Caused by Bee Stings

One major reason that many people fear or detest bees is their ability to sting. Bee stings can be painful and annoying. Bees sting to protect the colony when they feel threatened, and for honeybees, they lose their lives doing so.

When a honey bee stings a human, it is not able to pull out its stinger, so when it tries to escape after stinging, it will break off the rear part of its body and damage its internal organ.

Other species of bees have a smooth stinger that can be removed from human skin after getting stung, causing them to be able to sting more than once in their lifetime.

Warning: Allergic Reaction to Bee Stings

To most people, bee stings cause pain that goes away after a few days or even hours. However, to people that are allergic to bee stings, the reaction can be lethal in severe conditions.

Severe allergic reactions do affect not only the skin but also cause swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness and loss of consciousness. In most cases, medical attention is not required for a bee sting. If severe allergic reactions develop, you should seek medical care immediately.

Structural Damage Caused by Carpenter Bees

The carpenter bees get their name from the fact that they affect wooden structures. They do not consume the wood, but they create burrows and nest inside the wood. Carpenter bees create passageways and tunnels to make space for their eggs and young ones. They cause damage to the aesthetics of the wooden structures by forming holes on the surface of the structures. In doing so, they cause risks to the stability of the structure.

Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Bees

tips to get rid of bees

1. Seal off potential entry points

Bees can access a hole with only a quarter of an inch, approximately 0.6cm. We recommended inspecting your premise for any possible entry points for bees. The entry points found can be sealed up using durable materials such as caulk-based silicone, metal screen or hardware cloth. However, this method needs to be carried out before a bee swarm is present.

2. Reduce outdoor clutter

Remove or reduce clutter around the house can prevent bees from nesting in the yard. Unused items, appliances and lawn equipment around the house can attract bees to build their hive. What's the reason for that? Unused materials and equipment can provide shelter for bees to thrive, especially when the house is surrounded with plants and flowers (presence of food source).

3. Remove honeycomb in and around your estate

Make sure there is no honeycomb left in and around your house. The presence of honeycomb left by previous beehives will release pheromone scent that can attract newcomers. Honeycombs are usually located inside inaccessible areas such as attics and roof eaves. Hence, sometimes we may need to repair a roof portion after removing the honeycomb.

4. Avoid planting colourful and high-scented flowers

Flowers that are blue, violet, purple, yellow and white can attract bees to come and thrive. Also, planting high-scented blooms will further lure them into coming over to your garden.

If you wish to have beautiful and colourful flowers in your yard but do not want them to become one of the bees' favourites, you can opt to plant trumpet-shaped flowers such as morning glory and narcissus. These trumpet-shaped flowers do not look much appealing to bees as it is difficult for bees to reach for the nectar.

DIY Methods

There are some methods to deter bees from nesting around your house without killing them. These methods make use of the strong smells released from substances or plants. For example, mothballs. Bees do not like the odour of mothballs.

You can hang mothballs around areas where bees are active. This will help keep bees away. You can also plant the following:

  • Mint
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus

These three act as strong bee repellents. Mint, citronella and eucalyptus are easy to grow and help enrich your garden.

If it is too late to deter bees (if they have already built their nest in your house), you can try to scatter some cinnamon around their nest. The strong smell released by cinnamon can make bees relocate to another place for nesting.

Professional Bee Treatment

Chemical treatment effectively handles the infestation of bees. Pest management professionals are adequately equipped with personal protective equipment to prevent bee stings. Insecticides act on the bees to eliminate the entire colony. The beehives quickly get removed from the site.

Bees that we commonly encounter are generally non-aggressive. However, their presence may worry some people as they can sting when provoked. Killem's team of trained pest management professionals can help you to get rid of your worries and make you feel safe again.

 


How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

The Ultimate Guide to Bed Bugs Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Have you been getting unbearably itchy bed bugs bites causing sleepless nights? Or have you been noticing skin rashes that pop up from nowhere when you wake up every morning? If the answer is yes, then you might be facing a bed bug infestation.

You might be wondering what the source of a bed bug infestation is? And where do the bugs come from? The answer may surprise you. Humans bring in bed bug infestations, so we need to take some responsibility. Someone may pick up bed bugs from a hotel room, theatre, a plane or even from public transport. They climb onto your clothes or sneak into your luggage bags. Eventually, the beg bugs find a way into your home.

A bed bug infestation may be a headache to a lot of people. However, with some understanding, you can prevent or get rid of bed bugs infestations.

Types of Bed Bugs in Singapore

common types of bed bugs in singapore

There are two commonly found species of bed bugs in Singapore:

Cimex lectularius has a worldwide distribution, especially in temperate regions. Cimex hemipterus is a common species found in tropical and subtropical areas including Singapore. Both species feed on human blood and are important pests to the travel and hospitality industries.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

  • Oval-shaped body
  • Reddish-brown colour

Life Cycle and Biology

A female bed bug can lay 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime and the eggs hatch in 6 to 10 days. The life cycle of a bed bug can be completed in as little as three weeks.

Bed bug larva undergoes incomplete metamorphosis. It takes five stages before a larva matures into an adult bed bug. A blood meal is needed each time before a nymph moults into the next stage. Bed bugs are opportunistic feeders. They consume as much blood as possible from you until they are fully engorged.

A tropical bed bug can live for up to 100 days while a common bed bug can live for up to 1 year. As much as they need blood meals for growth, bed bugs were found to be able to survive a long period without blood meals.

Have you ever wondered how a tiny bed bug can find its way to you? Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat given off by human bodies. A higher concentration of carbon dioxide due to human presence stimulates bed bugs to feed. As they approach the human host, they are attracted by the body heat of the host.

bed bug tips

Hazards

Unlike many other pests, bed bugs do not transmit diseases to humans nor cause structural damage to buildings. However, bed bugs feed on human blood. Their presence can still have severe impacts on humans.

1. Allergic reactions

Bed bug bites are not harmful to humans. Some people do not even develop reactions towards the bites. However, people that develop allergic reactions to bed bug bites may have painful swelling or intense itching around the bites. In this scenario, medical attention will be needed to ease the symptoms of allergy.

2. Effect on mental health

Bed bug bites can be extremely itchy to some people. The itch from the bites can cause insomnia and even anxiety in cases of heavy infestations. Bed bugs may cause an affected individual to have sleepless nights, and the lack of sleep can further affect the mental health and the ability to carry out normal daily activities.

3. Property damage

Bed bugs do not cause structural damages like termites and rats, but they can cause cosmetic damages to the property. In a heavily infested unit, blood speckles and the droppings of bed bugs can be found all over the unit including the mattresses, bed frames and walls. Owners need to replace the items if the stains are not removable. Also, repainting the walls can be costly.

4. Economic and reputation damage

Bed bugs are a serious threat to the hospitality industry as well as the transport industry. Hotels suffer a loss when the bed bug infestation decreases their capacity to accept guests. The cost to treat bed bug infestations is usually a significant amount that can badly affect a company.

Besides hotel rooms, bed bugs can also be found on planes, buses and trains, causing significant losses to the businesses. A business' reputation can be badly affected by bed bugs. Numerous lawsuits may also come from bed bug infestations.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

signs of a bed bugs infestation

Here are some signs that tell you that you have a bed bug infestation.

1. Bites

One of the most apparent signs that indicate a bed bug infestation is the presence of bite signs. It might be difficult to differentiate between the bites caused by bed bugs and other insects such as mosquitoes.

A bed bug usually bites more than once, so it is likely to leave numerous bites that cluster around several exposed parts of the body such as face, neck, arms and legs.

2. Blood speckles on bedding and wall

Bed bugs hide in the corners and edges of a mattress, as well as other locations with cracks and crevices, including the wall. During the night, as bed bugs leave their hiding place to forage, you might accidentally crush them during your sleep. Crushing them causes their bodies to rupture, leaving behind blood stains on the mattress or wall.

3. Dark spots on mattress and wall

The droppings of bed bugs consist of digested blood which resembles black pepper flakes. They are commonly found near the hiding sites of the bed bugs so be sure to check the corners and edges of your mattresses and bed frames if you suspect a bed bug infestation.

4. Sickly sweet odour in the room

In places heavily infested with bed bugs, a pungent smell can be detected. People can have a different perception of how the odour smells. The odour is caused by the pheromones released by the bed bugs. Thus, the odour intensifies as the number of bed bugs present increases.

5. Cast skins of bed bugs

As mentioned earlier, bed bugs need to moult (cast off their skin) to grow. The sighting of cast skins (also known as exoskeletons) indicates the presence of bed bug infestations. The sightings of live bed bugs are also possible.

Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Bed Bugs

prevent and get rid of bed bugs

1. Check your bed and sofa

While bed bugs are mostly found around your bed, they can hide around other locations such as the sofa too. Bed bugs locate themselves near the seams and zippers of mattresses and cushions.

They can also infest the gaps between cushions as well as the frames of beds and sofas. Inspecting the beds and sofas helps to detect bed bug infestations. This allows early action before the infestations worsen.

2. Check your luggage

Another major source of bed bug infestation is infested accommodation. As you are enjoying your vacation in resorts or hotels, bed bugs from an infested room may climb into your luggage and follow you back home. Inspect your luggage as you are unpacking them may help you prevent a bed bug infestation.

3. Be mindful when using shared laundry services

Launderettes and shared laundry services are convenient for people living far from home. However, the convenience does come with a risk of exposing yourself to bed bug infestations. Bed bugs may hide in the shared equipment, so do check your washed clothes for signs of bed bugs after using shared laundry services.

4. Check secondhand furniture and clothes

Buying pre-loved items are a great way to save costs and care for the environment. However, sometimes you are getting more than what you wish for as bed bugs may hide in items such as furniture, clothing and even stuffed toys.

Bed bugs can survive without a blood meal for up to 4 months, so they can even be found in items that have been left unattended. Make sure you check the items before you use them again to prevent bed bug infestations at home.

DIY Methods

Getting rid of bed bugs on your own is not an easy task. However, some methods can reduce their presence or even remove them entirely in cases of light infestations.

1. Wash and dry in high temperature

Bed bugs can be killed when exposed to temperatures higher than 60°C. Washing or drying your mattress linen and clothes at high temperature is one of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs.

2. Vacuuming

Vacuuming can remove the adult bed bugs, the nymphs and even the eggs. Focus on the potential hiding spots of bed bugs such as wall joints, cracks and crevices. Thoroughly vacuum the bed, including mattresses and bed frames to remove bed bugs.

Vacuuming together with washing linens in high temperature may help to eliminate the bed bugs. However, if the situation does not improve, professional pest treatment is required to help solve your problem.

3. Use bed bug-proof encasements

Bed bug-proof encasements restrict the movements of bed bugs, thus preventing new infestations as well as trapping existing bed bugs. They are available in the market and work well to keep bed bugs off your bed as long as you install them correctly.

Professional Bed Bug Treatment

Residual insecticidal treatment is one of the treatment methods to get rid of bed bugs. The chemicals and products used by pest management professionals are different from those that are available over the counter (less effective). The application of residual insecticides targets the areas where bed bugs are most likely to hide and reside, such as:

  • Seams of beds
  • Folds of sofas
  • Wall crevices

Killem Pest has employed steaming treatment as an alternative solution for bed bug control.

It is an environmentally friendly solution as it resolves and eliminates bed bugs and their eggs without the use of any insecticide.

The superheated dry steam from the specially designed appliance can be steamed up to 180°C, which directly kills the bed bugs and eggs upon contact. The steam generated will not cause damage to any surface or fabric. Instead, it can help to eradicate viruses, bacteria, germ and fungi on the treated surface.

Bed bug problems should not be underestimated. They are best solved before they become much more severe. In the case of a serious bed bug infestation, treatment methods may vary and can become more challenging. It is vital to identify the root cause of bed bug problems, recognize the source to avoid continuously bringing them back from outside. Lastly, help from a professional pest control company is strongly advised.


How to Get Rid of Ants

The Ultimate Guide to Ant Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Have you ever walked into the kitchen only to find ants feasting on the cakes that you forgot to place in the fridge? Or you found the carcasses of ants in the drinks that you were just about to finish? These scenarios are familiar to most of us. The presence of ants may be a sign of a larger ant infestation. Ant infestations are relatively harmless in most cases. Severe ant infestations may cause problems and badly affect the quality of life.

Types of Ants in Singapore

ant species in singapore

Some of the most commonly found ants in Singapore are:

These ants may enter homes searching for food and shelter. Buildings appeal to ants since they offer protection from weather and predators.

Ghost ants

Ghost ants - also known as sugar ants - love moist environments. They are usually active in kitchens. For example, inside cabinets, under the sink or behind the fridge.

Characteristics of ghost ants:

  • 1.3 to 1.5mm big
  • Dark heads
  • Translucent bodies
  • They love sweet and sugar-rich foods as they contain carbs to feed the colonies

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants are a real nuisance. They can be hard to handle. Pharaoh ants are relatively resistant to pesticides. If you spray pesticides, their colony will break and move into new territories. This makes it challenging to eliminate pharaoh ants. Also, pharaoh ants tend to bite when threatened.

The characteristics of pharaoh ants include:

  • 2mm big
  • Distinctive golden or brown colour
  • They enjoy oily and protein-rich foods
  • Queens can live anywhere from 4 to 12 years

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants, as their name implies, live in wooden structures. Though they do not eat wood, they will create an area for their colony with their mouths. Hence, carpenter ants are sometimes thought to be termites.

Characteristics of carpenter ants:

  • 15 to 17mm big
  • Black and reddish-brown
  • They love eating honeydew and dead insects
  • Often found in moist-rich areas such as bathrooms

Crazy ants

Last on this list is the crazy ants. Their name relates to their defence techniques. Once disturbed, crazy ants will swiftly move in all directions. This makes it challenging to eliminate them.

Characteristics of crazy ants:

  • 2 to 3mm big
  • Long legs
  • Black or dark red colour
  • Antennae
  • They love sugary foods (hence they will occupy similar places as ghost ants)

Signs of an Ant Infestation

signs of an ant infestation in singapore

 

Ants from the external surroundings may enter your house occasionally as they forage for food. Thus, you should not have to worry when you see one or two ants in the house. However, there are some tell-tale signs indicating that you might be having an ant infestation around your home.

1. Live ants

One of the most apparent signs indicating an ant infestation is the sightings of a large number of live ants. They are usually present around food and food preparation areas as they forage for food.

2. Ant trails

Ants leave a trail of pheromone as they forage. This allows other members of the colony can follow. An ant trail forms as ants travel on the same path with the pheromone. Following the ant trail may lead you to their nest.

3. Presence of sawdust

The presence of sawdust may indicate the presence of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants do not consume the wood that they infest. Instead, they expel the wood from the tunnels they make, leaving behind piles or trails of sawdust.

Life Cycle and Biology

Similar to insects like mosquitoes and butterflies, ants undergo a complete metamorphosis. Their life stages consist of:

  • Eggs
  • Larvae
  • Pupae
  • Adulthood

Ants are also social insects that practice a caste system. Thus, the normal function of a colony is maintained through the division of labour by different castes. An ant colony consists of a queen, alates, workers, pupae, larvae and eggs.

Reproducing

The queen is the largest individual in a colony. Her primary function is to reproduce and grow the colony. The queen only mates once but continues to reproduce throughout its entire lifespan.

A male’s sole function is to mate, and it dies after its task is accomplished.

The alates are the winged individuals that fly off to form new colonies. New colonies can also be created through a process known as budding, whereby the queen ant leaves the nest to start a new colony in another location.

Workers

The worker is the most common caste which encompasses the ants that we see in the surrounding. The tasks of the workers include:

  • Foraging for food
  • Feeding the workers
  • Guarding and tending to the nest

Some species of ants have workers that are dimorphic. This means that the workers are further classified into:

  • Major workers: larger
  • Minor workers: smaller

The larvae are fragile and legless, so they need nursing from the workers.

Hazards

Ants are not important vectors of diseases, so they pose little medical concerns. However, the presence of ants still poses risks to homeowners.

1. Nuisance

The sight of ants around your house may be unpleasant. Ants are an eyesore to people who hate insects. They may also climb onto your body unnoticed and cause irritation.

2. Structural damage

Severe infestation by carpenter ants may hollow out wooden structures, causing the structures to weaken. In turn, this increases the risk of collapsing.

3. Occurrence of other pests

The presence of ants may cause other entomophagic pests such as spiders and geckos to thrive. Ants serve as a food source of these pests. Thus, the increase in food supply would undoubtedly benefit their predators.

Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Ants

prevent and get rid of ants

 

6 ways to prevent and get rid of ants in Singapore:

1. Identify and close entry points

How do ants find their way into your home? Understanding this will allow you to block ants from entering. Usually, ants enter through cracks in the walls, floors, ceilings, windows and pipelines. Even the tiniest of spaces is enough for ants to enter. Prevention is key, thus your first task is to find and seal all possible entry points.

2. Remove water leaks

Water is one of the sources that ants thrive on. Ants also nest in moist areas. Therefore, water leaks are an attraction for ants. If you see ants in your house, there may well be a water leak somewhere. We recommended you to inspect your home for leaking pipes.

3. Keep proper sanitation

All creatures need food to survive. It is important to keep your home clean at all times. By doing so, you will not attract ants. Make it a habit to clean your home thoroughly, including counters, tables, floors and especially all parts of the kitchen. Regularly throwing out the garbage also helps a lot in preventing ants.

4. Store food in airtight containers

Food storages are great attractions for ants. Their tiny bodies can usually squeeze through any narrow gaps in search for crumbs and other food rests. Thus, we recommend using airtight storage containers for your food. Also, consider storing fresh items such as fruit in the fridge.

5. Take good care of indoor potted plants

Even if you follow the first steps rigidly, there is still a chance of an ant infestation. Our next tip addresses plants. As plants need water, so do ants. Thus ants are often attracted to indoor potted plants. They may even build a colony inside a pot. Hence, carefully check around plant pots for signs of ants.

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

Taking care of your garden is our final tip. Why take care of the outdoors? Because this where the ants are coming from. If you want to get rid of ants, start in the outdoors. Examples include trimming tree branches and keeping things neat and tidy.

DIY methods

Ants are sensitive creatures, not only able to sense sweet stuff but also capable to detect the smells they hate. Home remedies such as cinnamon, lemon juice and peppermint can act as natural ant deterrents to prevent their access to our homes. The home remedies can be sprayed at doorways, windowsills, and potential entry points to help in deterring them away.

Professional Ant Treatment

ant tips

Residual spraying is the most common method used to treat ants. However, it does not always work for all species. It is usually used when we can detect and access the ant nest. Or, the ants will not be shaken by the insecticide, which can worsen the infestation. Residual chemical can also be sprayed at the entrance or potential entry point if we want to prevent garden species from coming into our premise.

Some species of ants are hard to handle. They are eliminated but then re-appear. Some ants cannot be eradicated with insecticide spray. Thus it is important to identify the type of ant infestation.

The baiting method is preferable, especially when dealing with ants indoors. The bait that we use is a mix of an insecticide and some food attractants. It is non-repellent and slow-acting, which does not kill ants quickly. The bait will be placed at multiple locations where their activity is identified. The slow-acting nature of the bait works when the workers carry the bait back to their nest and feed it to the brood, nest mates and queen. Subsequently, the nest is eliminated.

Notice any ants? Remain calm and contact a professional to prevent further spread of ants. Our staff are licensed and certified with the National Environment Agency (NEA). Our service technicians understand the habits of different types of ants and will provide the correct type of treatment.


The Ultimate Guide to Mosquito Prevention, Treatment and Control in Singapore

Mosquitoes are tiny creatures. Without their wing’s buzzing sounds, we might not be aware of their presence. Nevertheless, they feed on humans and animals, leaving itchy, annoying bites on the flesh that can cause excessive irritation and infection. Mosquitoes cause annoyance with their uncanny ability to detect humans’ presence, taking blood and disappearing before a fatal swat.

Types of mosquitoes in Singapore

Numerous species of mosquitoes are active in Singapore. Some of the species are uncommon or seldom pose a threat to public health.

Mosquito and dengue in singapore

The primary mosquito species of concern in Singapore are:

  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aedes albopitus
  • Culex quinquefasciatus
  • Anopheles sundaicus
  • Anopheles maculatus.

Aedes Mosquitoes

Aedes mosquitoes exist in urban and suburban areas. They are black with white stripes on their body and legs. They are the so-called container breeders that prefer to breed in stagnant water, including natural and artificial containers.

Aedes Aegypti

Aedes aegypti is an indoor species that tends to breed and rest in cool dark places.

Aedes Albopitus

Aedes albopitus mosquitoes prefer to breed outdoor, especially in areas with vegetation.

Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes

Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes are night biters. Most of them are brown. Culex mosquitoes tend to breed in polluted water while Anopheles mosquitoes breed in brackish water (depending on the species).

Signs of Mosquito Infestations

A mosquito infestation in premises is most easily detected through mosquito bites.

These bites leave itchy bumps on people’s skin.

Besides mosquito bites, you may also notice an irritating buzzing sound as mosquitoes fly near your head. It is common to spot flying adult mosquitoes around the infested premises. Their larvae and pupae may be found in water bodies such as vase and flowerpot plates.

aedes mosquito and dengue

Life Cycle and Biology

The life cycle of Aedes Mosquitoes (from eggs to adults) takes around one week under favourable conditions. The tropical climate in Singapore provides mosquitoes with optimum temperature for their growth. Compared to other countries outside the tropical region, mosquitoes require less time to complete their life cycle in Singapore.

A female mosquito generally can lay about 100 to 200 eggs per time.

Also, it can lay eggs up to 5 times in its lifetime. Hence, a viable female mosquito produces a thousand eggs. One terrible fact about Aedes mosquitoes’ eggs is that they can resist dehydration for more than 6 months. In other words, the eggs can survive in a dry condition for up to 6 months or more and hatch once they are exposed to water.

The hatching of eggs takes about 2 to 3 days. The larvae formed have four developmental stages. They grow from one stage to another, moult in water and get bigger. It usually takes about 4 to 5 days for a larva to become a pupa.

As they grow to become pupae, this is a stage where they do not feed at all. They will usually rest at the water surface and wait for their emergence of becoming adult mosquitoes. This process only takes 1 to 2 days.

For adult mosquitoes, females will suck blood to provide nutrients for their eggs. However, male mosquitoes will only feed on nectar or plant juices. Both sexes prefer to stay in cool and dark places.

Medical Importance

Beyond the nuisance factors, mosquitoes are vectors of some deadly diseases, including Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Zika, Japanese Encephalitis, and Malaria. Among these diseases, Dengue Fever is one of the most severe vector-borne diseases affecting our community in Singapore.

Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopitus are the two main species of Aedes mosquito that can transmit Dengue fever in Singapore.

The most common mode of transmission starts when an Aedes mosquito bites a person infected with Dengue virus. The virus then undergoes an extrinsic incubation period in the mosquito. It takes about 8-12 days before granting the mosquito the ability to transmit the virus for the rest of its life. The infectious mosquito then transmits the virus to humans via its bite. The intrinsic incubation period in humans can take up to 10 days. An infected human will then begin to show symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms of Diseases

symptoms of dengue

If someone is infected with Dengue fever, they may only show few or no signs of the disease. This is called asymptomatic. Some people may experience symptoms a few days after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus.

The common symptoms of Dengue fever are:

  • Recurring fever
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Bone pain
  • Severe headache
  • Skin rash with red spots

While the fever is usually not fatal, it can progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Life-threatening complications may then occur.

The symptoms of DHF include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Bruising
  • Uncontrolled bleeding

Finally, DHF can also lead to a high fever (lasting between 2 to 7 days) and Dengue Shock Syndrome.

Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Singapore’s hot and humid climate makes it a paradise for mosquitoes to breed. The threat of Dengue in Singapore is all year round. However, there are still no vaccines or drugs that can effectively treat or prevent dengue fever. Hence, reducing the risk of getting mosquito bites will lower the chances of having dengue fever. Several factors can affect the attraction of female mosquitoes towards a blood meal, namely carbon dioxide, body odour and the heat emitted by animals and human. Here are some ways to prevent mosquito bites:

1. Use insect repellents

Apply insect repellent to bare skin when going outdoors. Repellents containing DEET (the 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. They are proven to be safe to use.

2. Wear protective clothing

Vision is one thing mosquitoes use to search 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 means they are not that efficient at flying and are not able to handle strong wind. Use of electric fans 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 the ground. Therefore, aim fans towards 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 idea.

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 flowerpots, 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 rainwater from splashing 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.

mosquito tips

How to Prevent Mosquito Breeding In and Around your Home

Controlling and preventing mosquitoes in Singapore is a real challenge. As mentioned, the climate offers an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. However, public awareness, preventive methods, and collective efforts are crucial in the battle against Dengue in Singapore.

Aedes mosquitoes can breed in water bodies that are as small as the size of a 20 cents coin. Thus, all stagnant water must be eliminated to prevent mosquito breeding.

Practice the following 5-step Mozzie Wipeout recommended by the National Environment Agency:

  1. Turn any unused pails
  2. Regularly change the water in vases
  3. Flip flowerpot plates
  4. Loosen hardened soil in flowerpots or planter boxes
  5. Clear roof gutter and place biological control (Bti)

Other than the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout, we must also do a thorough check-up and prevention including:

  1. Cover rarely used gully traps/ install anti-mosquito valves
  2. Cover all containers storing water
  3. Clear water from dish rack trays
  4. Cover bamboo pole holders
  5. Keep drains free from obstructions such as dry leaves and tree branches
  6. Seal up tree holes in gardens using sand or cement to prevent the collection of stagnant water
  7. Seal up gaps around covers using a silicone-based caulk
  8. Remove unwanted receptacles to avoid the accumulation of rainwater
  9. Repair outside leaks
  10. Consider poking a tiny hole with a pin in leaf axils (between the leaves and the stem) for proper drainage as those areas are likely to collect water.

DIY methods

The use of essential oils to repel mosquitoes is not a new thing. The essential oils extracted from some plants such as lemongrass and peppermint contain chemical constituents that are proven to be effective mosquito repellents. If you cannot stand the smell and smoke of mosquito coils, you may consider using essential oils since they are derived from natural plants while also packed with other benefits to the human body.

One of the most effective ways of preventing mosquito bites is by keeping them out of your house.

You can do this by using insect screens. This method is simple, chemical-free yet effective since you can protect your home from the invasion of mosquitoes and other pests.

Professional mosquito treatment

Adoption of permanent measures is strongly advised to address and eliminate the root cause of mosquito breeding. The DIY methods are recommended if the level of mosquito activity is low, and if our only aim is to repel them. The common ways of reducing the number of adult mosquitoes and eliminating the breeding source are thermal fogging, misting and larviciding.

Thermal Fogging

Thermal fogging is widely used in Singapore. It is a method used to kill adult mosquitoes. The hand-carried fogger runs by heating mixed solution with gasoline from the combustion chamber. The insecticide will be pumped via a delivery valve and injected to the fog head or nozzle. From there, insecticide liquid will be vaporized into hot gas and released into the target places.

Thermal fogging provides a better penetration of aerosol insecticide, which the insecticide can reach target areas more effectively. However, the duration of its residual effect is short, which can only kill adult mosquitoes present during the treatment.

Misting

Misting is a motor-driven ULV unit that targets flying insects, especially mosquito species. This method sprays fine mist of insecticide into the air. The gasoline-driven engine is used to pressure and force the formulation from the insecticide container to produce the high-volume insecticide mists through the nozzles. Misting leaves behind insecticide droplets and creates residual chemical effect on the treated surface to kill adult mosquitoes upon contact. However, the droplets can be washed off by rainwater.

Larviciding

Larviciding is used to eliminate the larvae found in a water body, and to prevent the breeding of mosquito larvae before it takes place. Some of the most common larvicides used are larvicidal oils, chemical insecticides and biological larvicide such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti).

Larvicidal oils have a physical mode of action whereby they act as surfactants that prevent mosquito larvae and pupae from rising to the water surface for respiration, causing them to drown. Chemical larvicides usually kill larvae and pupae by affecting their nervous system. Bti is a microbe that will be ingested by the larvae, and their toxins will be activated in the larvae’s midgut, paralyzing and damaging their digestive systems, thus killing them.

Vehicle Mounted Fogging & Misting

Killem Pest is one of the few pest control companies in Singapore that uses the vehicle-mounted fogger and mister. The fogger is a large version of the common hand-carried fogger and has a higher performance because of its faster application rate.

On the other hand, the vehicle-mounted mister provides a better application compared to the normal hand-carried mister. The adjustable aerosol nozzles allow a better variation of misting direction and ensure wider distribution of insecticides towards the treated areas.

Controlling the population of mosquitoes in Singapore is not an easy challenge, but we are certainly taking it on. Early detection facilitates the prevention of their breeding and management of their population. With more research and knowledge about the insects, we will be able to keep their populations under control.


rodents webinar

Webinar Series: Innovative Pest Control in Singapore

As part of our effort to educate our customers and the public about pests and the latest technology advancements in the pest management industries, we are proud to present our first three-part webinar series. In this article, we summarise the three webinars held in 2020. The first three Killem Webinars were specially designed for facility managers while remaining relevant to the general public.

Dengue, Disinfection and Distancing

The topic of the first webinar was "Dengue, Disinfection and Distancing". In this webinar, we discussed the rising number of dengue cases in Singapore amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

Dengue in Singapore

Topics include:

  • The reasons behind the rise of dengue cases
  • Ways to control the mosquito population
  • The new norm (disinfection) that everyone is adapting now due to the pandemic
  • Different types of disinfection methods
  • The most critical areas to focus on during disinfection
  • Things to consider when taking up a disinfection service

Q & A session

Why is fogging still being carried out while misting treatment has a more prolonged residual activity?

Although misting is effective with areas around landscapes and plants, thermal fogging is still an effective method to kill mosquitoes present during the treatment. Thermal fogging is also used to comb a space to get rid of the mosquitoes.

Can fogging be done around swimming pools?

The answer is no because the carrier of the insecticide used is usually kerosene or diesel. They cause the surface of the treated area to be oily and slippery. Therefore, carrying out thermal fogging near swimming pools may cause people to slip and fall. On the other hand, misting can be done near swimming pools since the carrier used is water and will not make the floor slippery.

Beside fogging and misting, mosquito treatment around swimming pools can be done by carrying out "Search & Destroy." This method involves looking out for mosquito breeding sites and destroying them. Proper housekeeping around the swimming pool is also essential to eliminate harborage sites of mosquitoes.

How safe are the mosquito treatment methods?

The insecticides that we use are specifically formulated to affect designated pests. They are target-specific and will not affect other organisms like humans and animals. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to be used by Pest Management Professionals to prevent overexposure to chemicals. The small amount of chemicals that we breathe in during fogging treatment is not harmful to the general public.

What about the safety of sand granules used in mosquito control?

The sand granules are slow-releasing insecticides that can prevent mosquito breeding in locations with ponding water. They can also be placed at locations that may collect water to prevent mosquito breeding. Compared to larviciding using residual chemicals, sand granules' action may be slower, but it can provide a longer-lasting effect.

What can be done to prevent mosquito breeding at public bin stations and bin centres?

Proper cleaning practices at these locations are important to prevent mosquito breeding. Gutters must be flushed daily to prevent the collection of water. Any uneven surfaces should be fixed so that water cannot build up. Another advice from our operations director was to drill holes at the bottom of the rubbish bins so that water can escape from the bins to prevent water collection.

What are the effects of disinfectants on humans?

Inhaling small amounts of disinfectants will not have a significant effect on human health. However, we recommend avoiding overexposure to the disinfectants as much as possible. Thus, we need to ensure all safety precautions are in place and ensure no one is on-site during treatment. A treated area needs to be ventilated for one hour after disinfection is carried to allow the disinfectant particles to escape.

Is it true that certain disinfectants can last up to months or even years?

It may be true that a disinfectant can stay effective for a promised timespan. However, other factors may cause it to lose its effectiveness. For example, when people frequently touch a surface, the disinfectant on it may be wiped off. Besides, other pollutants such as dust and dirt may also contaminate the surface.

Cockroaches and Termites

In the second webinar, we discussed cockroaches and termites. These two insects are commonly encountered in our lives.

Drywood termites and subterranean termites

Topics include:

  • Biology
  • Prevention tips
  • Technologies and treatments for the pests

Q & A session

What is the hatching time of cockroaches' ootheca?

The time needed for the ootheca to hatch differs between species. However, the typical household species take approximately 20 to 30 days to hatch into young cockroaches.

What is a suitable cockroach treatment method at pneumatic waste collection system in high-rise buildings?

One of the latest treatment methods for cockroaches is using a product called Mirakn. Mirakn is applied using dry spraying treatment. It consists of only the active ingredient and carbon dioxide as its carrier, making it an environmentally friendly insecticide that is stainless, odourless and non-combustible.

The carrier gas allows the insecticide to have excellent penetration. In addition, it can reach narrow gaps that are inaccessible via other treatment methods. Mirakn is safe for humans and pets, but the treated area should be left vacant to minimise exposure to chemicals.

All our Pest Management Professionals have undergone specialised training before they could become certified applicators of Mirakn. The frequency of Mirakn treatments at bin chutes can be affected by several factors. Depending on the infestation level and sanitation level, premises may need more frequent treatments to keep the cockroach population under control.

How to differentiate between subterranean termite and drywood termite infestations?

The signs given off by the infestations of these two groups of termites are different.

For subterranean termite infestations, the most distinguishable sign is the presence of mud tubes or soil-like materials in the infested area. The mud tubes are passageways constructed by subterranean termites to travel from one point to another. The most common sign of infestations by drywood termites is the presence of faecal pellets that resemble sawdust around the infested items or structures. The exit holes where the faecal pellets are pushed out of the infested wood can also be seen on the surface.

What are the effects of the termiticides on plants and the surroundings?

The termiticides that Killem uses are Green Label certified. This guarantees that they are environmentally friendly. Besides, we strictly follow the termiticide's recommended dosage to prevent harm and pollution to the environment.

What are the potential risks of the baiting treatment program for pets?

The active ingredient of the baits used for subterranean termite treatments targets the moulting process of termites. Animals with endoskeletons, such as dogs and cats, do not undergo a moulting process. Thus, pets are not affected by the baits.

How many bait stations need to be deployed in a heavily infested unit?

Subterranean termites live underground. Mud tubes are used for foraging. Therefore, although many mud tubes are found in a unit, they may belong to the same colony. Just one bait station is needed to control the termites in this unit. The termites will feed on the bait and bring the bait back to the nest. In turn, the bait is shared among the colony members.

Rodents: The Year of The Rat

In the third and last webinar, we focused on rodents. In this webinar titled "Rodents: The Year of The Rat', we were honoured to have Dr How Yee Fatt as one of the speakers. Dr How is one of the leading entomologists in Singapore who is also the Business Support Manager (Technical R&D) of Bentz Jaz Singapore.

rodents webinar

During the webinar, we discussed the biology and signs of rodent infestations. The speakers also shared several innovative prevention and management solutions. Killem Pest offers a special rodent monitoring and control system known as IPM square.

Q & A session

What are the advantages of choosing IPM Square systems over other rodent monitoring systems?

There are many rodent monitoring systems in the market. The IPM Square Rat differs from the others as it incorporates snap traps with the use of sensors. While the system is detecting rodent activities, it simultaneously traps rodents and protects your house from infestations.

The IPM Square Rat is the camera used in rodent monitoring. It is highly intelligent and is able to recognise rodents using technology similar to facial recognition for humans. This technology enables accurate monitoring of rodent activities.

How do the monitoring systems work when there is a breakdown in power supply or Wi-Fi networks?

The monitoring sensors and cameras are battery operated. Thus, they can function without a power supply. The outage of Wi-Fi system may disrupt the monitoring systems since the data is continually being uploaded to the cloud servers.

However, the monitoring cameras have memory cards in them. Thus, they are still able to record the footages and store them in the local device storage. Users can also still review the footage by retrieving the local memory card and going back to a timeframe in the past.

How often should the rodent flush-out program be carried out? The rodent flush-out program is an intensive program to manage rodent infestations. Depending on the infestation level, we have clients that require rodent flush-out programs with frequencies ranging from twice a year to monthly. Premises with heavy rodent infestations require more frequent rodent flush-out program applications. Routine maintenance can also help keep rodent populations under control.

Are glue boards safe for use in childcare centres?

Proper treatment methods are the key to ensure a treatment is safe. Glue boards should be strategically placed. Examples include the false ceiling or inside tamper-resistant bait stations (only accessible to Pest Management Professionals). The glue board method is applied to:

  1. Ensure the effectiveness of the control program
  2. Minimise the impact on the residents

Besides cages, are there any other rodent prevention methods for the garden or other outdoor spaces?

The tamper-resistant rodent bait station is a useful tool for rodent control. Rodenticides or traps are placed inside the station. Then, the station is placed in the garden. The bait stations prevent other animals, such as cats and dogs, from consuming the bait or activating the traps. Fallen leaves can serve as a home for rodents. Thus, keeping your garden and outdoor area clean and tidy is also important.

What is the rodent sealant?

During the webinar, we introduced a rodent sealant. This sealant can remain on the treated surface as long as there is no external disturbance. However, the sealant should be replenished or reapplied if it is disturbed by rodents or even humans. The sealant has a mild smell that repels rodents and is not detectable by humans during daily activities. The sealant has a shelf life of approximately five years. To maximise its shelf, proper closure and storage is recommended.

Is it possible to have more than one rodent species infesting a house?

Yes, it is possible. However, the rodents will nest at different locations. Roof rats and Norwegian rats are commonly found in Singapore. Roof rats (as their name implies) spend their time at higher elevations such as attics and false ceilings. Norwegian rats form burrows on the ground, or they nest in the sewers. The two species will not have the same nesting site as they are territorial.

What is the difference between shrews and rodents?

Shrews are animals that resemble rodents. Unlike rodents, shrews will not chew on wires or other items as they have different body structures. Shrews feed mainly on insects and other small animals such as birds, snakes and even rodents. Shrews are less likely to carry diseases because their behaviours are different from rodents. Rodents feed on a wide range of food, including rubbish and waste. They are commonly found in areas with poor sanitation such as the sewer and waste collection sites, which increases their chances of contracting various pathogens.


Pest Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry plays a significant role in defining human health, so they are subjected to strict governance and regulations. The presence of pests at any stage of the production process may cause severe economic losses. Besides the production areas, pests may contaminate the raw materials, storage areas, laboratories, packaging areas, and finished products.

The presence of pests in a pharmaceutical facility can cause severe consequences to the company, such as:

  • Damage to brand and reputation
  • Loss of trust from customers
  • Financial loss for damaged products and batch recalls
  • Revenue loss due to cessation of production
  • Claims for compensation by customers and consumers
  • Legal action by regulatory bodies and public health authorities

Common Pests in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pests that may be present in and cause threats to a pharmaceutical facility include cockroachesfliesrodents and stored product pests.

  • Cockroaches and flies are mechanical vectors for various diseases. Their droppings and other excretory waste can contaminate and stain the facility. Other potential contaminants include body parts, shed skins and egg cases.
  • Rats and mice also pose risks to the building, contaminate equipment as well as the products. Their gnawing behavior causes fire hazards as they chew through wire insulation, exposing the inner wire, which may lead to short circuit and fire.
  • Stored product pests (beetles, weevils, moths and mites) depend on raw materials and herbs for food in pharmaceutical facilities. Infestation by stored product pests can be difficult to detect and they can contaminate the product if they enter the production process.

Modern Pest Management Program

Pest management today is no more a one-size-fits-all approach; it has become a uniquely designed program customized to fit the facility it is used in. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most vulnerable sectors that rely on pest management companies to protect and maintain the high quality of their products. It differs from some other sectors, which mainly concern about the existence of mosquito breeding. The pest management program used in pharmaceutical facilities is known as IPM (Integrated Pest Management).

An IPM is tailor-made to different types of facilities and needs as there is no silver bullet to control pests. The IPM program aims to address the root of a pest problem and use pest management tools on practical plans. A pest management service provider should conduct a site survey and offer a suitable plan for a pharmaceutical facility.

Traditional Pest Management VS Integrated Pest Management for the Pharmaceutical Industry

One significant difference between the two is that traditional pest management is often reactive rather than proactive. In a traditional pest management program, action is taken only when pests are sighted, whereas in an IPM program, monitoring plays an integral part. Through monitoring, pest activities and their trend can be detected so early actions can be taken to prevent pest infestations.

Many traditional pest management programs rely on regular treatments to control the population of pests. However, in an IPM program, monitoring is more important and treatments will only be carried out when the pest population exceeds the threshold. This avoids unnecessary use of pesticides, thus preventing contamination.

Pest identification is an essential part of IPM. It allows you to target the correct species by knowing its biology, behavior, life cycle, and feeding habits. Knowing what pests you are dealing with allows you to be aware of the potential damage they can cause and determine the suitable control methods to be used. Pest identification also allows the source of infestation to be traced, whether it is introduced from the supply chain or is caused by a structural defect.

While the main focus of a traditional pest management program may be killing pests and reducing their numbers, an IPM program strives to prevent them from establishing infestations. Pests may enter a pharmaceutical facility through a leaking pipe, introduced from incoming shipments, or other sources that might be overlooked. An IPM program aims to identify these causes and resolve the problem, preventing future infestations.

Ways to Prevent Pests in Pharmaceutical Facilities

Beside pest management, pharmaceutical facilities should also take note of the other aspects:

  • Exclusion

Keeping doors, shutters and windows closed to keep flies and birds out. Structural defects such as cracks and leaks should be fixed to prevent rodents and cockroaches. Pest proofing the building by filling up gaps and holes prevents pests from entering.

  • Practice good housekeeping

Food, water and shelter are the basic needs of pests. Strategic placements of rubbish bins and good sanitation help to keep pests away.

  • Practice proper storage methods

Avoid using cardboard to store items as they are ideal harborage sites of cockroaches. Proper arrangement of goods helps prevent rodent infestations.

  • Utilize monitoring tools such as stations and traps

The advancement of technology allows monitoring to be done 24/7 via sensors and traps connected to the internet. This allows immediate actions to be taken once an activity is detected.

Choosing the Right Pest Management Vendor

When choosing a pest management service provider for a pharmaceutical facility, one may need to consider more criteria besides choosing a reputable company. With 27 years of experience in the pest management industry, Killem is supported by well-experienced pest management professionals. Nevertheless, we are always ready to embrace novel innovations to increase pest management programs’ effectiveness and efficiency.

Our quality assurance department provides technical support internally and for our clients while keeping our services under check. We take pride in making sure our clients are worry-free when it comes to pest-related issues and none of our clients have never failed any audits conducted both internally and externally.