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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Mindful placement of bins

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

2. Always keep bin lids and bin chutes sealed properly

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

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

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

4. Make sure your bins are always clean

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

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

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

6. Bag your food waste

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

7. Do not let bins overflow

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

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


pest control history

The Biggest Jobs in Pest Control History

Pest control history Singapore may be currently experiencing a rise in rodent populations due to an increasing human population (therefore an abundance of food and shelter), however, we should count ourselves as lucky as this is nothing compared to some of the pest control jobs below…

Rooting out the Rats

The Rat Islands; an unappetizing nickname for a place overwhelmed with unsavory creatures. Located in southwest Alaska, the Aleutian Islands were infested by rats after a fishing vessel arrived on the coast and accidentally introduced the population into the ecosystem in 1780.

With few natural predators, the rat population flourished and numbered into the thousands, decimating the local seabird numbers. An invasive pest, rats were recorded by subsequent voyages throughout the 19th century and continued until the 21st. Annoyed by the scourge, the federal government of the United States teamed up with local conservation groups and launched a $2.5 million project that involved state-of-the-art technology and chemical trickery.

Rats are intelligent creatures; if a food seems poisonous, the rest of the population will avoid it. In order to trick the rodents, scientists placed a slow-acting toxin in grain pellets that would take five days to act. Within a few weeks, the rat population died underground in their burrows, restoring the natural ecosystem.

Rat Control

Pests are invasive and, when left unchecked, can wreak havoc on entire islands.

The Argentinean Plagues

Argentina is a South American nation that experiences annual locust problems due to the warm, wet climate and agricultural economy. The locusts breed in the forests, spreading their offspring each year and raiding farms for food. However, previous insurgencies were nothing compared to the epidemic that struck the nation in 2016.

Clouds of locusts ranging from four miles wide to two miles high could be seen across northern Argentina, and boded ill for farmers who soon found their homes surrounded by young. Fumigators in 66 counties spent a month working for Senasa – the Argentinean agricultural agency. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent combatting the plague before it could descend upon farmers, sparing them the loss of crops worth millions.

However, this was not the end for Argentina. Despite their efforts, fumigators missed large chunks of the population. Helicopters were called in to spread pesticides throughout the countryside, adding even more expense to the already costly infestation. Argentina’s problem is a prime example of a simple maxim: do not let a pest population grow out of control.

Locust Swarm

Four Small Pests: One Large Failure

Good intentions can have bad outcomes. In 1958, leader Mao Zedong introduced the “Four Pests” campaign designed to target four creatures that spread disease and damaged crops in China. Mosquitos, rodents, and flies were common pests eliminated through traps and poison.

Sparrows were the fourth “pest” but would have drastic consequences. People would destroy nests and baby sparrows, shoot the birds, or prevent them from sleeping by drumming until they fell dead from the sky. The scale of this operation was enormous – truly one of the greatest pest control jobs in history. Millions of people engaged in competitions to see who could eliminate the most pests; the winners were rewarded.

Sparrow

By 1960, severe ecological damage had been wrought. Rice, the staple crop, withered and was devastated by hordes of insects that no longer had their natural predator, the sparrows. Poor pest control, in combination with misused pesticides and deforestation, led to a famine that killed between 20-40 million people.

One major lesson can be learned here: pest control should be left to the professionals.

If you have a pest infestation that is beyond your control or other pest control providers have not given effective solutions, please get in touch with us. There is a reason our motto is: “When all else fails, Killem prevails”. We are confident that we can provide the most effective and least disruptive solutions to your pest problems.


remove rats

Killem Pest Profile: How to Identify and Remove Rats and Mice

In the pest control industry, we use the term ‘rodent’ or ‘rodents’ to refer to both mice and rats. Rodents are becoming a rising concern in Singapore due to a very dense population and therefore an abundance of food and shelter that they can find.

The NEA has even set up a special task force to coordinate and monitor rodent control in Singapore. Below we take a look at the biology and behavior of rats and mice.

How to Identify Mice

Singapore has only nine native rodent species, but animals from other regions have invaded and constitute some major pests. One of the most common species is the house mouse. The average mouse weighs half an ounce and can range from 5.5 to 7.5 inches long.

They come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to brown to grey. Because of their size and natural predators, they have keen senses of smell, sight, and hearing, and are cautious around people.

Example of a Mice Infestation

They also make excellent escape artists, being able to squeeze through holes in the walls, slip under doors, and even climb into cabinets.

Part of what makes them a difficult pest to deal with is their reproductive capacity: one female mouse can have 5-10 litters every year, producing 5-6 offspring each time. In total, this means one pair of mice can have 25-60 children in 12 months.

Although they may appear small and fluffy, mice are not pleasant inside homes or work places. Their fecal matter contains the bacteria necessary to contract salmonella, and they can spread it to food through their feet.

While their diet primarily consists of grains, they will nibble on a wide variety of foods, making them common kitchen pests. Often living in basements, attics, and walls they sneak out from their dens when the homeowners are sleeping and inactive to search for food.

How to Identify Rats

Rats are often confused with mice but are considered a more serious threat. In Singapore, the most common types of rat are the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat. The Norway Rat weighs roughly 1.1 pounds and is usually brown or grey with a scaled tail and ears. They live in underground burrows to breed and often seek out the food sources that can be found in homes, restaurants, shopping centers and commercial buildings.

Their counterpart, the Roof Rat, is slightly smaller at 12 ounces and tends to be black or grey. They also live in underground burrows, but are adept climbers and can roost near roofs, giving them their name. Both rats are longer than mice and are prolific breeders, producing 32-84 offspring a year. Like mice, they are agile and can scurry, jump, hide, and climb through small spaces.

Example of a Rat

One of the key differences between a rat and a mouse are the scales present along rats’ ears and tails, as well as the longer body and higher weight. Rats also possess large teeth which they use to bite; their bites transmit diseases like rat bite fever. Salmonella from fecal matter is also a threat, and rats can host fleas, presenting another pest problem if left unchecked.

Signs of Rodent Infestation and Prevention

One of the first signs to look for is rodent droppings. These should never be touched as they are full of bacteria and can transmit viruses like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). House mouse droppings are the smallest at one .25 inches with pointed ends.

The Roof Rat’s are also pointed, but are roughly .5 inches long. Finally, the Norway Rat has the largest feces at .75 inches with rounded ends, making them more distinguishable from the other two. If droppings are found in the home, there is likely a habitat nearby. Chew marks on food packaging and furniture is another sign of rodents, as is grease marks near cracks and holes, which indicate that rodents have been using them as entry points. If squeaks and rustling are heard in the walls, that is another hint.

Sanitation can help prevent mice and rats from infesting homes, restaurants, and other buildings, but it does not assure that problems won’t occur. To truly prevent rodents, buildings need to be designed and sealed so the pests cannot access food. Any food should be sealed in tight containers and kept high in cabinets or fridges. Walls should be properly caulked and holes should be filled immediately.

If these methods fail, calling an exterminator to set traps and find nests is the final and most effective option. Pest control providers can use glue boards which will trap the creatures on a sticky surface, snap traps, and rodenticides that will poison the rodents but are kept away from areas accessible by children and pets.

Killem has carved a niche for itself with our rodent maintenance and flush out programs. Do check our rodent pest control page for more information on rodent control.


common pests in your garden

What Common Pests Are Found in Your Garden?

You may love spending time in your backyard and tending to your garden. Your children and pets also enjoy playing outside. Perhaps you grow flowers, or vegetables and fruit for you and the family to eat. However, many different types of pests enjoy the garden just as much as you do, and that can be a problem. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pests that like to hang out in the garden.

Bees and Wasps

If you see a bee or two in your garden, it’s not usually a sign to worry. In fact, bees are essential for pollination, and they can do your garden, and the rest of the gardens in the area, a favor. However, when it comes to wasps, or if you have too many bees that are causing problems, you may want to contact a bee or wasp removal specialist to have them removed because the stings are not only painful, but may also be fatal to people that are allergic to bee and wasp stings.

Bee on Flower

Snakes

Most people hate seeing snakes in the garden, and they do have the potential to be a problem. If you have non-venomous snakes that are small and not overly aggressive, they can help to control the rodent population, which is another garden pest we will discuss. However, if the snakes are venomous, if it is very big, if you are unsure about them, or if you simply have a fear and dislike for snakes, you should have them removed as soon as possible. This is an especially good idea if you have children or pets.

Garden Snake

Termites

If you notice termite mounds in your garden, this is a very bad sign and an indication that you already have an infestation. While those termites will not be interested in the flowers and vegetables you are growing, they will be interested in marching to your house so they can start eating the wood so get a termite control specialist in to remove them as soon as possible.

Termite Mound by Tree

Rodents

Rodents in the garden can be very destructive. They may start to eat at the items you are growing, and they are disease carriers. Nothing good comes from having rodents in the garden, and they may also decide to move inside your home where they can get at even more food and cause more issues.

Mouse

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are very dangerous, not just annoying. These pests carry diseases, such as the Zika Virus and Dengue. They breed in areas of standing water, which could be a bird feeder, a puddle, or a water collection bin. It is always a good idea to have someone take care of the mosquitoes before they become a problem.

Ants

Depending on the types of ants in the garden, it might not be a problem. Smaller ants can help with the pollination as they are crawling around the garden, and they can also help to keep caterpillars and other types of pests at bay. They do not generally cause issues by eating anything in the garden, but if you have a lot of ants, they could always decide to head inside. It might still be a good idea to contact pest control.

What Should You Do?

If you have pests in the garden, the best way to get rid of them is to call a professional for help. They can come and look at your problem, and then determine the best way to proceed and to provide you with a pest free environment.

If you would like more information on how Killem can help you keep your garden pest free, visit our residential pest control services page.


safe pest control with children

How to Carry Out Safe Pest Control with Children and Pets in Your Home

Safe Pest Control with Children and Pets in Your Home – Let’s be honest, no one wants to have pests in or near your home, especially when you have children or pets.

Infants and babies may be exposed to more pesticides than adults because they often spend more time closer to the ground, touching furniture bases or playing in the gardens where pesticides may have been applied. Infants and babies are also more likely to put fingers, toys and other objects that may have come into contact with pesticides into their mouths.

There are many different types of pests that can cause serious problems if they get out of hand, and you need to find ways that you can control those pests safely and efficiently, without compromising the health and safety of your children and pets.

You can do some basic things that will help to keep the pests out of your home, but there might come a time when you need to call in the professionals.

What Are the Most Common Types of Pests?

While there are many different types of pests that could be plaguing your home, some of the most common and intrusive include:

Ants

Cockroaches

Mosquitos

Rodents

Termites

Pests have the potential to destroy your home, get into your food and carry diseases. You should never have to live with pests. You should find ways to eradicate them.

What Are Safe Pesticides?

When it comes to choosing pesticides that you want, or you want your professional provider to use in and around your home, you need to be very careful. Many brands on the market are full of chemicals that could harm your children and your pets if it were ingested.

When you are choosing pesticides that you can use to deal better with the pests that you find, you should look for those that are organic and that do not have toxic chemicals in them.

One of the best things about working with Killem Pest for your pest control needs is that we use original, non-generic chemicals that are environmentally friendly and they have a low mammalian toxicity. This means that even if children or pets accidentally ingest the pesticide, they would not become ill.

In addition, you can do other things that will help to keep your children and pets safe. If you are putting out bait for rodents, for example, never leave it in an area where your children or pets could have access to it. They could put it in their mouth. Instead, put the bait into a locked bait station or in an area that cannot be opened or reached by children or pets so that only rodents can access it.

If the pest control company has come and sprayed, make sure that any of the residual spraying has dried before allowing children or pets into the area. Make sure your animals are not licking the plants or the walls where the chemicals were sprayed, too.

You should also always make sure your children wash their hands after they have been playing outdoors, and stress the importance of not touching any bait stations that you might have.

Pet Pest Control SafetyChild Pest Control Safety

How to Keep Pests Away

The following are some very simple and basic tips that can help you to control some of the pests in and around your home:

  • Keeping your food in airtight containers can help to control the influx of ants, as well as rodents and roaches.
  • If you have fruit that is left out on the counter, check it regularly to see if there are any bad spots on it, as this can draw fruit flies and other types of pests.
  • A natural type of pesticide that you can make at home is citrus oil. You can use equal parts orange peels and water, and simmer them. Remove the peels and put the water into a spray containers and then spray around the windows, doors, and other areas where pests might be getting into the property.

Call in the Professionals

Of course, when it comes to pest problems, sometimes, the DIY home pest control methods are simply not enough. You need to call in the professionals that can provide you with a thorough service and remove those pests for good no matter what type they might be.


pest control in singapore

When Will You Most Likely Need Pest Control in Singapore?

Is Pest Control Seasonal in Singapore?

Have you discovered that you have a mosquito problem in the backyard? Perhaps you’ve seen rodents in the pantry or you have a nasty nest of wasps up under the leaves that you would like to have removed. Regardless of the pests that might be causing problems for you, or whether they are in your home or business, you want to have them removed as soon as possible.

What Is the Impact of Weather on Different Pests?

In some parts of the world, pest control tends to be seasonal, as there could be various types of insects or rodents that are more problematic during certain times of the year.

Being one and a half degrees north of the equator, Singapore’s climate is classified as a tropical rainforest one. Thus, Singapore does not have traditional seasons, although it does have a wet and a dry season. While pests of all types have the potential to be a problem all the time, you will find that certain pests tend to be more active based on whether it is the dry or wet season. Singapore’s warm climate and high humidity also make it an attractive environment for pests to breed more quickly.

Wet vs. Dry Season

During the wet season, for example, you may find that insects are more of a problem which could increase the chance of you requiring services such as ants, fly or mosquito control. They may want to escape from the downpours outside. Of course, during extremely dry times ants, rodents, and other pests might try to come inside trying to find water to drink. This means that pests of all types tend to be active in the Singapore area throughout the year, and you need to be vigilant if you hope to keep them under control.

Wet Season Umbrella

There are some things you can do to reduce the “attractiveness” of your property to different types of pests. Make sure that they do not have easy access to food or water, for example. They will not be as likely to want to make your home their new residence if they do not have the things they need to survive. Of course, this is not always easy, and you might find yourself inundated with pests whether it is the wet or dry season. In those cases, you need some help.

We have collected data on the pest control jobs we have carried out over the calendar year to provide you with a guide on when you are more likely to require certain types of pest control during the wet and dry seasons:

Pest Control Season
Dry Season Wet Season
Ant Removal Medium Requirement Medium Requirement
Fly Control Medium Requirement Medium Requirement
Mosquito Control Medium Requirement High Requirement
Rodent Control High Requirement High Requirement

Getting Help for Pest Control in Singapore

No matter the time of the season, you need to make sure that you have control at your home or business. Whether they are rats, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, flies, or any other type of pest, it is vital that you have them removed quickly and efficiently. This means you should hire a professional service for pest control in Singapore. Have the professionals come to your property to kill and remove the pests, and to provide you with tips on how you can keep those pests from returning.

Research the company you are considering and make sure they have the experience and expertise to handle the type of pest problem you have currently so you can keep the property free from infestations of all sorts.