Common Causes of Bed Bug Infestations

Common Bed Bug Causes: Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

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Common Causes of Bed Bug Infestations

Bed bugs infestations can cause a lot of frustration and pain for homeowners and hotel guests. These tiny insects leave small itching bites that make you feel “dirty”. However, it is a common misconception that bed bugs are drawn to filth: they can live in any environment. So what are common bed bug causes and how to prevent them from infesting your home?

What causes bed bug infestations?

Bed bugs tend to live where lots of people live or come and go frequently. They can survive up to a year without any food, and they can easily attach themselves to people’s stuff until they find a nice place to live in. Knowing the common causes of bed bug infestations can help you prevent them from occupying your property.

Here are some of the most common causes of bed bug infestations:

  • Travel: Bed bugs can easily travel on your luggage, clothing, or other personal items. If you stay in a hotel, hostel, or other accommodation with bed bugs, they can easily make their way back home with you.
  • Secondhand Items: Bed bugs can also be found in used furniture, clothing, and other secondhand items. That’s why it is important to inspect those items before bringing them home.
  • Crowded Living Conditions: Bed bugs thrive in crowded living conditions, such as apartment buildings, dormitories, and shelters.
  • Poor Sanitation: While bed bugs can thrive in any (even the cleanest) environments, cluttered or dirty spaces can make it easier for them to hide and reproduce.
  • Lack of Awareness: Many people are not aware of the signs of bed bugs, which is key to preventing bed bug infestations from becoming a serious problem.

main causes of bed bugs

Where do bed bugs come from?

Despite their name, bed bugs can come from a variety of sources and places. Here are some of the most common places where bed bugs come from:

  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodations
  • Secondhand furniture, clothing and other items
  • Public places, such as movie theaters, public transportation and waiting rooms
  • Apartments, dormitories, and shelters
  • Office buildings
  • Schools, colleges and universities

They can attach themselves to different objects, like:

  • Sheets and blankets
  • Suitcases or luggage
  • Various clutter, like piles of clothing
  • Walls, floors, and other openings
  • Seams of upholstered furniture
  • Cardboard boxes, etc

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How to avoid bringing bed bugs into my home?

Knowing how bed bugs can get into your home is essential to take proactive measures to prevent them from entering your home. They can easily find their way into your home through a variety of sources, so here are some tips to avoid that:

  • If you spend the night in a hotel or resort, or even visiting your friend’s house, you can bring the bed bugs home. To avoid this, keep your belongings off the floors. Also, check bedding and furniture in a room where you’re staying.
  • They can also hitch a ride on public transportation or from work, making it important to keep an eye out for bed bug bites or any signs of bed bugs.
  • Another common way bed bugs can enter your home is through guests staying with you, who could bring them along unknowingly. To prevent this, it’s always a good idea to wash their bedding at the hottest temperature once they leave.
  • If you take or purchase used furniture (not only beds), it is also important to inspect those items for black streaks, shed insect casings, and bloodstains.
  • Clear your home of clutter where bed bugs can thrive.

What are some signs of a bed bug infestation?

Recognizing the signs of a bed bug infestation early on can help you take prompt action to address the issue effectively. Besides painful swelling bites, you may also notice:

  • Bloodstains on sheets
  • Dark or rusty colored stains on your mattress, bedding, or nearby furniture
  • Eggshells and shed skin, droppings and small white eggs resembling rice
  • In some cases, you may also notice bed bugs themselves

Pro Tip: If you discover bed bugs in your home, contact Killem Pest to get necessary help before it becomes a bigger problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bed bugs are attracted to several factors in homes, including warmth, carbon dioxide exhaled by humans and animals, body heat and human odors such as sweat and body oils, and dark and tight spaces to hide (e.g. cluttered areas and crevices).

Bed bugs primarily feed on the blood of humans and animals, so they do not consume food in the traditional sense.

Bed bugs are attracted to human and animal hosts by scents such as carbon dioxide, body odor, and lactic acid. They are also attracted to the smell of dirty laundry or dirty bedding, so it is important to do your laundry on a regular basis.

Bed bugs do not feed on or show interest in scents associated with regular food items like crumbs, leftovers, or sweet-smelling substances. Additionally, bed bugs are not attracted to light, as they prefer to be active during the darkness of night.

How To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

How To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

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How To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles may seem as tiny harmless bugs at the first glance, but they can cause significant damage to your home and belongings. In a very short time they can damage carpets, clothing, furniture and other items made from natural materials like wool, silk or leather. Carpet beetles also pose a real threat to humans and pets, causing allergic reactions, skin irritation or respiratory issues.

If you suspect carpet beetles at your home, you need to know how to treat the infestation and get rid of these pests before it spreads to other areas of your home.

Why are they called carpet beetles?

Carpet beetles got their name from the association with carpeted areas where they often were first noticed. Despite their name, carpet beetles can infest a wide range of materials, including clothing, bedding, furniture, and even food products. But the name “carpet beetles” has stuck over the year due to their initial connection with carpets.

carpet beetles

How do you get carpet beetles?

Understanding where carpet beetles come from is crucial in preventing infestations. There are multiple possible entry points into your home. One common source is through open doors and windows, as carpet beetles are attracted to the scent of flowers and plants. They can also hitch a ride on infested items brought into your home, such as secondhand furniture, rugs, or clothing. Additionally, carpet beetles can enter through cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior, making their way inside to seek shelter and sources of food.

Pro Tip: It's important to regularly clean and inspect these areas of your home to help prevent carpet beetle infestations.

Where can carpet beetles be found in the home?

Carpet beetles are attracted to natural fabrics and foods, and can be found on or near carpets, clothing, pet food and dried food products. Common areas where carpet beetles can be found include:

  • Carpets and rugs, especially in areas that are not frequently cleaned
  • Upholstered furniture, including sofas, chairs, and mattresses
  • Clothing, curtains and drapes made from natural fabrics and stored clothing that has not been properly cleaned or protected
  • Storage areas where natural fiber items are kept, such as attics, basements, and closets
  • Pet bedding, as well as areas where pet hair and dander accumulate

How to kill carpet beetles

How to kill carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae

With the right knowledge and strategies, you can effectively eliminate carpet beetles and put an end to their destructive activities. Here are some steps you can take to kill carpet beetles and carpet beetle larvae:

Vacuum your carpets and furniture: start by thoroughly vacuuming all areas of your home, especially those where you have spotted carpet beetles or larvae.

Wash infested items in hot water: This method kills both the beetles and their larvae.

Freeze infested items: If washing is not an option, freezing the infested items for several days can also effectively eradicate the beetles.

Use natural insecticides: like boric acid, vinegar, etc: apply it on areas where you have seen beetles and leave for several hours before vacuuming it up.

Use essential oils: such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to repel carpet beetles.

Hire a professional pest control company: If you have a severe carpet beetle infestation, it may be necessary to hire a professional pest control company. Their expertise and specialized treatments can effectively eliminate the beetles and larvae, restoring your home to a pest-free state.

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How to get rid of carpet beetle larvae naturally

If you’re dealing with carpet beetle larvae and prefer natural methods to eradicate them, there are several effective natural remedies to consider like vinegar, boric acid, diatomaceous earth and insecticidal soap. It is important to be patient when using natural remedies and remember that it may take several applications before you see results.

In cases of severe infestations, chemical treatments may be necessary. Chemical insecticides formulated specifically for carpet beetles can provide targeted and effective control.

How to get rid of carpet beetles in mattresses

Getting rid of carpet beetles in a mattress can be a bit more challenging than other areas of your home. Some strategies that can help you to get rid of carpet beetles in your mattress include:

  1. Thoroughly vacuum your mattress. Pay close attention to the seams, corners, and edges of the mattress.
  2. Wash all your bedding in hot water, including sheets, pillowcases, and comforters.
  3. Use a mattress encasement designed to keep bed bugs and other pests out.
  4. Use heat treatment to kill carpet beetles and their larvae in your mattress.
  5. Use insecticides specifically designed to kill carpet beetles and their larvae.

How to prevent carpet beetles from coming back

Preventing a re-infestation of carpet beetles is just as important as getting rid of them in the first place. Start with maintaining a clean environment and implementing proper storage practices for items like woolens and natural fibers. Seal cracks and gaps in windows, doors, and walls to prevent carpet beetles from entering your home.

Additionally, maintain optimal humidity levels and ventilation to discourage their presence. Regularly monitor susceptible areas, such as carpets and stored clothing, for any signs of infestation and promptly address them if you notice any signs of carpet beetles.


Getting rid of carpet beetles requires a proactive and multi-faceted approach. By understanding their behavior, implementing preventive measures, utilizing natural remedies, and, when necessary, seeking professional assistance, you can effectively eliminate these pests and protect your home and belongings from further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Carpet beetles can be caused by a variety of factors, including the entry of adult beetles from outdoors and the introduction of infested items into your home.

Carpet beetles generally do not pose significant health risks to humans. However, their larvae can cause a costly damage to fabrics, carpets, and other natural materials in your home. Additionally, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to carpet beetle larvae hairs, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory issues.

Unlike some other pests, carpet beetles do not cause structural damage to buildings. However, they can cause significant damage to fabrics, carpets, and other organic materials, leading to costly repairs or replacements if left unchecked.

Freezing can be an effective method to eliminate carpet beetles and their larvae. Carpet beetles are susceptible to extreme temperatures, and freezing can kill them.

It is recommended to vacuum your carpets, rugs, and furniture at least once a week, paying close attention to areas where carpet beetles or larvae have been spotted. Regular vacuuming helps remove adult beetles, larvae, and eggs, reducing their population.

Mild to moderate infestations can often be addressed with DIY methods. However, for severe or persistent infestations, it may be necessary to seek professional help. We at Killem Pest have the expertise, tools, and treatments to effectively eliminate carpet beetles.

The timeline for eliminating carpet beetles varies depending on the severity of the infestation, the methods employed, and the diligence in implementing preventive measures. It may take several weeks or months to completely eradicate carpet beetles from your home.

How to Get Rid of Fleas Natural Ways to Kill Fleas

How to Get Rid of Fleas: Natural Ways to Kill Fleas

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How to Get Rid of Fleas Natural Ways to Kill Fleas

Fleas are tiny pests that can be present in every household, but they are especially common in homes with pets. Their bites can cause itching and discomfort for both humans and animals, so it’s important to implement measures when you indicate the first signs of the infestation. While there are many chemical-based products available, opting for natural remedies is not only safer for your family and pets but is also better for the environment.

Are There Any Natural Ways to Kill Fleas?

There are several natural ways to kill fleas. Some effective methods include sprinkling herbal repellents or applying essential oils to the infested areas. You can also try using diatomaceous earth or salt to dehydrate fleas. Additionally, regular vacuuming and washing of bedding and fabrics can help eliminate fleas. Common products used to kill the fleas naturally include:

  • Cedarwood
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon spray
  • Rosemary

What are the natural ways to kill ants?

Why Natural Remedies Are Beneficial for Fleas?

Opting for natural remedies to kill fleas offers numerous benefits when compared to chemical-based solutions, including:

  1. Safety for people and pets: Chemical solutions often contain toxins that can be harmful for people and pets if not used properly. Natural remedies, on the other hand, offer a safer way to deal with fleas’ infestation, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions or allergies.
  2. Eco-friendliness: Chemical solutions typically contain ingredients that can have negative impact on the environment and cause pollution. While natural remedies are a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Natural flea control methods are often more cost-effective than chemical treatments. Many natural remedies can be made using common household items (e.g. baking soda, vinegar, herbs) which are inexpensive.
  4. Long-lasting effects: Natural flea control methods may take longer to work than chemical treatments, but they often have long-lasting effects. By focusing on root causes of infestations and taking preventive measures, natural solutions can reduce the likelihood of future infestations.

However, despite all the listed benefits, it’s important to note that severe flea infestations may require the help of a professional pest control company.

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DIY Remedies to Get Rid of the Fleas in Your House

There are many DIY flea remedies that can help you prevent and get rid of the flea infestation in your house. Some options to consider include:

  • Vacuum and steam clean regularly. Fleas are known to nest in carpets, rugs, and curtains, so it’s important to keep these areas as clean as possible. Thoroughly vacuum carpets, rugs, floors, furniture and other areas, paying special attention to corners and crevices where fleas can hide. After vacuuming, consider steam cleaning your carpets and washing bedding, curtains and other fabrics in hot water to kill fleas and their eggs.
  • Maintain your house surroundings clean. Make sure that fleas don’t enter your home from the yard – trim your grass regularly and remove any debris or clutter that could attract fleas.
  • Use diatomaceous earth on infested items to dehydrate the fleas and their eggs. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your carpets, furniture, and pet’s bed, and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.
  • Use essential oils – these oils have a strong scent that can repel fleas. Just add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it around your home.
  • Make natural flea sprays using ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to repel the fleas.
  • Using flea traps to attract and trap fleas.

Although DIY flea remedies can help you manage the infestation at some level, they may take longer to work and may not completely resolve the problem. In case of a severe flea infestation, it is better to consult with pest control professionals and take necessary measures before the infestation gets out of hand.

natural remedies for fleas

What Natural Oils Kill Fleas?

Essential oils are often used as a natural repellent to get rid of pest infestations. No wonder that they have also been known to have flea-repelling properties. Some of the essential oils that are known to be effective when dealing with a flea infestation include:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree oil

When using essential oils, you can either add them in a diffuser or mix with water to create a spray and apply it to the infested areas. However, it’s important to note that essential oils alone may not completely eradicate a flea infestation. It is best to use essential oils in conjunction with other flea control methods.

Pro Tip: In case of a severe flea infestation, it is necessary to consult with pest control professionals along with using natural remedies for fleas.


Each infestation needs to be evaluated properly in order to determine the best course of action for your particular situation. While natural remedies for flea infestations work well in mild cases, if the situation seems out of control consulting with a professional might be the best solution.

Whatever method you choose it is essential to follow through and make sure that all potential hiding spots are treated with whatever approach you have selected. If getting rid of these pests has become an extra burden on top of your everyday activities don’t hesitate to contact Killem Pest as our experience and knowledge could make a world of difference when it comes to eliminating any flea infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, sunlight can aid in getting rid of fleas naturally. Fleas thrive in dark and humid environments, so exposing infested areas to direct sunlight can help kill them. However, it’s important to combine this method with other flea control measures for maximum effectiveness.

While professional treatments can provide immediate relief from a flea infestation, natural methods help in preventing future infestations and reducing reliance on chemical-based solutions.

If you have tried natural flea control methods for an extended period without success, or if you have a large infestation that poses a risk to the health and comfort of your family and pets, professional expertise is crucial for effective and efficient flea eradication.

Yes, pest management experts offer a comprehensive approach to flea control. They have access to a wide range of professional-grade products and treatments that can effectively eliminate fleas at all stages of their life cycle. In addition to treating infested areas, they can also provide advice on preventative measures to minimize the risk of future infestations.

How to relocate bees without killing them

How to Relocate Bees Without Killing Them

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How to relocate bees without killing them

Bees play a vital role in the ecosystem of the planet. Besides offering honey, beeswax, pollen and other products, bees also help plants reproduce. They do this through pollination, a process whereby the bees take and spread the pollen from flowers. The bees thereby directly help plants, flowers, trees and other food crops to grow. Without bees, human beings would not have the same access to vegetables and fruits, and nature would be far less diverse. We need bees! In this article we will explore a unique approach to bee removal without killing them.

Why you should remove bees?

In many cases, there is no need to remove bees. They often locate themselves in trees away from urban areas. However, there are some cases where bees settle near a person’s home. If you leave them alone, they most likely won’t cause any issues. But sometimes the bees get too close for comfort and people prefer to call a pest control company to remove the bee hive.

These are some other common reasons why people prefer to remove bees:

  1. Allergic reactions: Some people are highly sensitive to bee stings, in rare instances even causing life-threatening reactions. It’s clear that a bee hive needs to be removed if the bees are located close to a person who has a bee allergy.
  2. Noise: Bees can be an annoyance due to their loud presence, especially when there is a large bee colony.
  3. Attract other pests: While bees are usually harmless by themselves, they can attract other pests like rodents.
  4. Structural damages: Bee hives occasionally cause structural damages to properties.
  5. Self-protection: Bees sometimes awkwardly and unknowingly position themselves close to areas where they themselves can get disturbed, such as near a highway or busy urban area.

If any of these situations applies to you, you may wonder what your options are. Many people think that killing the bee hive is the way forward, but here at Killem Pest we relocate the bees. The remainder of this article will focus on how to remove bees without killing them.

Pro Tip: Bee decline affects human lives, so it is important to control bees without killing them by hiring bee relocation professionals.

Can bees be removed without killing them?

The simple answer is yes: Bees can be removed without killing them. Killem Pest collaborates with The Sundowner Bee Rescue to not only safely remove bee hives, but to give the bees a new, safe home as well.

In this way, bees can continue their vital practice of pollination in a protected area.

Ways to remove bees without killing them

Removing bees by yourself may not be a smart idea. There are various safe ways to remove bees without killing them, and they all involve the help of a pest control professional and/or beekeeper. To handle a bee removal, you need to have the right protective equipment, knowledge as well as experience. So unless you have a background in beekeeping or pest control it is best not to attempt to remove the bees yourself.

Learn about Killem Pest & The Sundowner Bee Rescue Partnership

A professional will start with identifying the type of bee and the size of the hive. They will sometimes apply smoke, not to harm the bees, but to calm them. This creates a safe foundation for removing the bees without killing them.

Then, when the bees are least aggressive, the removal job can take place. Depending on the type of bee, a beekeeper or pest control company will vacuum away the bees into a container or cut around where the bees are located, ie a piece of tree trunk. This can be a tough job, especially if the bees are located at higher levels. Once the hive is removed, it can then slowly be relocated to a new site where the bees can live a happy, carefree life.

bee relocation

Early signs of a formation of bee hives

People often contact a professional when a bee hive is large. It is best to take note of the early signs of bee hive formations, as it will make a bee relocation job a little easier and safer. Also, by detecting bee hives in their early stages near properties, there is less risk of getting disturbed by the bees.

Scout bees, as their name implies, are bees who’s main role is to do field research. Their job is to find a suitable spot for a bee hive. If you suddenly notice lots of bees flying around, it may well be a bunch of scout bees.

Wax flakes are one of the first things bees make when they start building a bee hive. The flakes or small and have a white colour. They can be found on walls or in trees, basically near any potential settlement for bee hives. Spotting these wax flakes may be an early sign of the formation of a bee hive.

In general, the clearest sign of a potential bee presence is increased bee activities around your property. They may also be heard through their loud buzzing sounds.

So once you’ve spotted a bee hive, how to remove it?

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how to remove bees without killing them

How to remove a bee hive

We’ve learned two main things so far when it comes to how to remove a bee hive safely:

  • Don’t do it youself, leave it to a professional beekeeper or pest control technician
  • There is no need to kill the bees, as they can be relocated

Killem Pest encourages the safe removal of bee hives without doing harm to the bees. We recognize that bees play an important role in the biodiversity of the planet, and that bees do far more good than harm.

Simultaneously, we know that bees can cause discomfort for people, especially when there are large swarms of bees.

Together with The Sundowner Bee Rescue, we offer a unique, sustainable approach to handling bee problems. While we provide help and expertise with safely removing the bees, The Sundowner gives the bees a safe home on their roof terrace, where they can live freely and enjoy the flowers that are abundant.

We believe this is the ultimate solution for bee issues in urban areas, and a solution that should be adopted by more pest control companies around the globe. Together we can save the bees!

Frequently Asked Questions

It is not recommended to relocate bees on your own, as it can be dangerous without the proper knowledge and equipment. It is best to contact a professional beekeeper or a pest control company that offers humane bee relocation services.

Most types of bees can be relocated, including honeybees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. However, some species, such as Africanized bees, can be more aggressive and may require more specialized equipment and techniques for relocation.

Bees should be relocated to an area that is at least several miles away from their original location to prevent them from returning. It is also important to ensure that the new location has suitable resources and habitat for the bees to thrive.

If you have a bee infestation on your property, it is best to contact a professional pest control company that offers humane bee relocation services. Do not attempt to remove the hive or disturb the bees on your own, as this can be dangerous and can lead to further harm to the bees and yourself.

Bees can be naturally deterred by the smell of cucumber, peppermint, garlic, and citronella. Placing these near the hive or in the area where they are gathering can make the bees go away.

Ant Repellents Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

Ant Repellents: Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

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Ant Repellents Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

We often get asked about simple DIY ant control methods. In some cases, natural ant repellents can be useful, but if you are looking to quickly and efficiently get rid of your ant problem, natural remedies are not recommended. Trained pest treatment professionals offer durable ant elimination treatments.

With that said, let’s take a look at some natural ant repellents.

Common home remedies for ants

Here is a list of 9 commonly mentioned natural ant repellents:

  • Pepper
  • Peppermint oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Neem oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Lemon
  • Coffee
  • Cinnamon
  • Vinegar

Essential Tips on How to Get Rid of Ants

Does peppermint oil repel ants?

The scent of peppermint is not a pleasant one for many bugs including ants and mosquitoes. Peppermint oil extract offers a powerful, condensed form of the mint plant that acts as a natural ant repellent.

There are compounds available in peppermint that appear to repel ants, mainly menthol and thymol. The smell caused by the oil can also confuse ants, irritate them and they can even die because of exposure.

If you want to give peppermint oil a try, you can place about 15-20 drops of peppermint oil extract in a plastic bottle and mix it with water. All you need to do then is spray the mixture in the affected areas. Repeat the process every few days if needed.

natural ant repellents

Does lavender oil repel ants?

Lavender oil is another powerful plant extract that is commonly referred to when discussing DIY ant repellents. Lavender flowers are known for their strong scent and are often used not just as pest repellents, but also in perfume. Generally speaking, human beings like the smell of lavender. To the contrary, pests like ants, flies and mosquitoes are not too keen on its smell. In fact, many store-bought natural pest repellents already contain lavender oil.

So how to apply lavender oil? Similar to peppermint, you can use a spray bottle and add a mixture of water and 15-20 drops of peppermint oil. Next, apply to the affected areas. You can also use a cotton balls for applying the mixture.

What's the best way to get rid of ants naturally?

There is no one right answer to this question. Each type of ant is different, each environment is different. And most importantly, the level of infestation plays a huge factor in whether or not natural ant repellents will work.

In Singapore alone, there are over 130 ant species. While many ants don’t like the natural pest repellents mentioned in this article, some will hardly be affected by it. Hence, you always need to keep a close eye on the presence of ants and consider contacting a pest control company in Singapore.

With that said, peppermint oil and lavender oil are two of the best known ant repellents that are worth trying out.

Pro Tip: Depending on the type of ants and the level of infestation, consider contacting pest management professionals to solve the problem before it gets even bigger.

How to prevent ants

While this article focuses on getting rid of an existing ant infestation, some of you may wonder how you can prevent ants in the first place.

As with most pest prevention tips, the first and foremost thing you need to is to keep food sealed. Ants are like hoovers and will come where there is food available. Cut off the supply of food and the likelihood of encountering ants drops significantly.

Other things you will want to do is avoid any standing water and keeping things clean, including emptying out the bins regularly.

Finally, denying access points as much as possible helps as well. That means making sure there are no cracks, holes or gaps where the ants can enter.

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What if natural methods don’t work

Ants can be a real annoyance in your residence or at work. There are many treatment methods that include natural ant repellents. Some may work, some may not. The success depends on the size of the ant infestation and on the types of ants. In many cases you will need to contact a pest exterminator to get the job done once and for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ant repellents are substances that are designed to repel or deter ants from entering an area. They work by emitting a scent that is unpleasant to ants or by creating a physical barrier that ants cannot cross.

Yes, natural remedies can be effective in getting rid of ants. These remedies work by disrupting the ants’ scent trail, making it difficult for them to navigate and find food.

Most ant repellents are safe to use around children and pets, but it’s important to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Some ant repellents may contain chemicals that could be harmful if ingested, so it’s important to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Yes, ants can develop resistance to ant repellents over time. This is why it’s important to rotate the use of different types of repellents to prevent ants from becoming immune to a particular substance, and contact pest control companies when natural repellents stop working.

The Ultimate Guide to Lizards in Singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Lizards in Singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Lizards in Singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Lizards in Singapore

Planet earth is home to more than 6000 types of lizards. Many of these reptiles are known for their colourful appearance, especially the tiny geckos and iguanas. The large species known as monitor lizards is more common in Singapore. Lizards are generally harmless creatures, but there are some features that are worth noting.

Lizard biology

Lizards are closely related to snakes. Their build, copulatory organs and skull are identical. Most lizards have long tails and four legs.

Their colourful appearance is a special attribute of most types of lizards. The lizard family is so large that it is hard to describe their characteristics in too much detail. Geckos, for example, are tiny lizards (about 3cm long), while some species of monitor lizards can grow up to 3m long.

Most lizards eat insects, which actually makes them a genuine candidate to help with pest prevention. Iguanas are also part of the lizard family, though they eat plants instead of insects. The monitor lizard species are another exception. Besides insects, they also feed on snakes and fish.

lizards facts - defence mechanisms

Types of Lizards in Singapore

There are many types of lizards in Singapore. We will focus on the species that are most common outdoors and indoors. The monitor lizards are active outdoors and fall under the Singaporean Wildlife Act, while geckos are known to be house lizards.

Types of lizards in Singapore:

  • Malayan water monitor lizard
  • Clouded monitor lizard
  • Dumeril’s monitor lizard
  • Four-Clawed Gecko
  • Asian House Gecko
  • Flat-Tailed Gecko
  • Spotted House Gecko

gecko lizard on the tree

Monitor Lizards

The most noteworthy type of lizard in Singapore is the monitor lizard. Monitor lizards have various sub-types, including the Malayan water monitor lizard, clouded monitor lizard and Dumeril’s monitor lizard.

Monitor lizards are protected by Singapore law as they are considered to be wild animals. Under the Wildlife Act it is illegal to remove wild animals. In addition, monitor lizards fall under the Parks and Trees Act. As such, they are protected in nature reserves and other areas that are managed by the National Parks Board (NParks).

Killem Pest is accredited by NParks to trap and take certain wildlife in line with the Wildlife Act 1965.

monitor lizard

What to do if you see a monitor lizard?

Monitor lizards are shy and they generally stay away from humans. Only in rare cases will they attack you. Do not touch, chase or provoke monitor lizards as that can trigger an unlikely attack.

If you do receive a bite, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Monitor lizards are one of the few lizard species that are venomous, though the venom is not fatal to humans.

Unfortunately, poaching of monitor lizards in Singapore occurs. The National Parks Board advice is to take photo or video evidence if you encounter poaching, and to call the Animal Response Center: 1800-476-1600.

Pro Tip: If you notice a lizard at your home, do not try to catch and remove it on your own and contact pest management professionals.

Are house lizards dangerous?

House lizards (geckos) generally pose very little risk. In rare cases, lizards can carry salmonella. The droppings and urine can transmit salmonella. Keeping the house clean and food covered is a good practice to minimize the risk of salmonella.

As mentioned previously, some lizards are actually useful as they eat other insects. House lizards will do their best to eat flies and mosquitoes. If you have a lot of lizards at home, it is probably a sign of many insects in your house as well.

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Lizards & Predators as a Pest Control

Are lizards pets or pests?

Whether you consider a lizard or any type of species to be a pet or a pest is totally up to you and your personal preferences. Mice are a good example. Some people keep mice as pets, but most people consider mice to be a pest.

In the case of lizards, the colourful iguanas are often seen as a pet. The small, tiny house lizards that come into your home uninvited and can cause health hazards, can be seen as a pest.

What are lizards attracted to?

Lizards are attracted to tiny insects. If you have lots of flies and mosquitoes in your home, lizards may start to appear. If there are no such small insects around, you will most likely not see a lizard either.

What DIY pest control methods to use at home?

Where to find lizards around the home?

Lizards are attracted to dark and warm spaces. So, you’ll often find them behind doors, in cupboards and on the walls and ceilings. Standing water also attracts lizards.

How to get rid of lizards

There are several simple things you can do to get rid of lizards:

  • Keep your home clean
  • Cover food to prevent flies, which attract lizards
  • Seal windows and doors

Frequently Asked Questions

Most lizards are harmless to people and will only attack you as a last resort trying to defend their life. However, you need to be aware of the bacteria that lizards carry, and a few venomous species.

Yes, lizards can be attracted to areas that are well lit and warm, so turning off lights can help prevent lizards from appearing in your home.

Lizard bites are very rare and happen when lizards feel threatened or get provoked. If you come into contact with a lizard, it’s important to remember to move slowly and avoid sudden movements, as this can startle the lizard and cause it to feel threatened.

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

Millipedes are small, worm-like creatures. The name has a Latin origin:

  • Mille (thousand)
  • Pedis (foot)

The ‘thousand-feet’ creature is known to be active in Singapore, as they are attracted to moist and warm environments. Millipedes are close counterparts to centipedes. In this article, we will look at various ways to get rid of millipedes, both indoors and outdoors.

How to get rid of millipedes indoors

Generally, millipedes don’t come indoors, but in some case they do. There are several ways to get rid of millipedes indoors. The first thing to do is prevent entrance by sealing off any cracks or openings that may allow millipedes to enter your home.

You can also use a dehumidifier to keep the indoor area cool. Remember that millipedes are attracted to hot and humid areas. By controlling the indoor climate you can make it unappealing for millipedes. Also pay attention to any still-standing water and leaking pipes that will increase humidity levels.

how to repel millipedes naturally

Will baking soda kill millipedes?

There are some natural ways to get rid or millipedes in indoor areas. Baking soda is a popular and widely-used method for various things, including as a millipede repellent. Sprinkle some baking soda in parts of your house where you think millipedes are active. Millipedes hate baking soda, so they will quickly move away.

Is neem oil suitable for getting rid of millipedes naturally?

Neem oil is another powerful natural treatment method for millipedes. The oil contains compounds that millipedes strongly repel against. All you need to do is spray some neem oil around your home. Pay special attention to the entry points to your home, in particular doors and windows.

What DIY methods are used for pest control?

How to get rid of millipedes outside

If you’re looking to get rid of millipedes outside, there are a few steps you can take. First and foremost, make sure to inspect your home or property regularly for any entry points that may allow millipedes into your home. If you find an opening, seal it immediately to prevent more millipedes from coming in. Additionally, get rid of any sources of standing water or debris around your home which can attract these bugs.

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millipedes vs centipedes guide

Will vinegar kill millipedes?

Vinegar is another powerful and natural method to get rid of millipedes. The contents of vinegar are so strong that it can kill millipedes upon contact. Make sure to apply it regularly to achieve optimal results. Note that if you there are many millipede larvae or eggs, vinegar will not be an effective treatment method.

Use a spray bottle and mix one part vinegar and four parts water to create an effective anti-millipede mixture. Apply it in the areas that are known to be popular for millipedes such as doors, windows and basements.

Does soapy water kill millipedes?

You may not think of it as a common pest treatment method, but soapy water does appear to be useful in some cases. Millipedes in particular are not too keen on soap. The soapy water suffocates and dehydrates millipedes, ultimately killing them. All you need to create the perfect mixture is to combine one part dish soap with four parts water in a spray bottle. Apply it in all areas of your home where you spot millipedes.

Pro Tip: Applying pesticides is the most effective and quick option to get rid of millipedes around your house.

Should I use pesticides for millipedes?

Pesticides are commonly used to treat pest infestations. The big downside of pesticides is that the chemicals can sometimes be toxic. However, when pest infestations are out of control, you may have no other option but to contact a pest control company to apply pesticides.

In the case of millipedes, we have already seen that natural treatments may not be very effective at getting rid of larvae and eggs. Pesticides offer a better solution. Contact your nearest pest control company to apply an effective pesticide treatment.


As we have seen, there are many things you can do to get rid of millipedes, both naturally and through a pest control company. There are some natural treatments that appear to be effective, but in many cases the millipede presence is so dense that it requires a proper pest-elimination plan to be executed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some common methods to repel millipedes include applying boric acid, cayenne pepper, or diatomaceous earth to the affected areas and across the home, and using yellow (sodium) lighting outdoors.

Millipedes hate tea tree oil and peppermint oil, so creating an essential oil spray and applying it around door frames, windows, and other entry points will help to keep millipedes away.

The most effective way to kill millipedes is spraying the perimeter and entry points of your house with insecticides and pesticides.

How to get rid of booklice

How to Get Rid of Booklice

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How to get rid of booklice

Booklice are tiny bugs that are relatively common in Singapore. Also known as psocids, booklice are especially attracted to warm and humid climates. Hence, Singapore is an ideal spot for booklice to thrive. The tiny bugs feed on mold and fungus, so you will often find them in kitchens and bathrooms. Books that are located in damp areas can sometimes be riddled with a booklice infestation. There are some things you can do to get rid of booklice. In this article we will discuss 5 tips as well as some natural treatment methods.

Identifying Booklice

Before getting rid of booklice, it is important identify them accurately. They are tiny insects, approximately 1 to 2 mm in length. The colour of booklice varies depending on the species, but generally they are white or grayish-brown. Another specific way to identify booklice is by their six legs and antennae on their heads. Booklice also have wings but strangely enough they are not very good at flying. Do you recognize any of these characteristics when checking your surroundings for booklice? Then it is likely you have an infestation. Let’s look at ways to eliminate booklice.

What are the main characteristics of booklice and bed bugs?

5 tips on how to get rid of booklice in your home

Here are five tips to help you get rid of booklice in your home.

1. Reduce humidity

We know that booklice love the warm and humid environments such as the Singapore climate. Naturally, what you can do to reduce the presence of booklice is minimize moisture levels in your environment. You can use:

  • Dehumidifiers
  • Fans

These two tools help circulate the air and keeps the humidity levels low. In addition, check for any leaks as to avoid unnecessary added humidity indoors.

2. Clean up debris

We often talk about keeping your home and offices clean at all times. This helps prevent and get rid of not just booklice, but all types of pests. So regularly clean the counters, hoover the floors, get rid of thrash and keep all food items sealed airtight. Basically, your job is to remove all items that attract pests such as booklice.

3. Use insecticides

Cleaning your home and reducing the humidity levels may not be enough, depending on the stage of the booklice infestation. You may need to use insecticide sprays targeting booklice. While we generally advice to go for tip 5, if you do decide to take action yourself, make sure to reach the instructions of the insecticide carefully when applying chemicals indoors.

4. Seal cracks and crevices

Cracks and crevices are on the main reasons pests get access to your home or office. So make sure to check all rooms, corners, windows and doors for any cracks and crevices. Apply the correct sealing materials to help keep booklice away.

5. Contact an exterminator

If all else fails, Killem prevails. We are a professional pest control company in Singapore with experience treating booklice for more than 30 years. We can offer specific and effective pest treatments to get rid of your booklice problem in no time.

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guide to booklice in your home

Natural solutions to get rid of booklice

So far we’ve talked about the main tips to get rid of booklice. Now let’s look at some natural solutions, as this is something people frequently ask about. A side note here is that natural solutions may sometimes not be effective depending on the size of the booklice infestation.

If you do want to try out natural solutions, one of the more effective ways to eliminate booklice is to use essential oils. Peppermint oil and tea tree oil may be good starting points. They can be used as a spray by diluting it with water and then spraying onto the infested areas.

Vinegar solutions may also provide a good natural treatment option. Mix one part with vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Then apply the mix to the infested areas. Be careful, this is a strong mix that could discolour items in your home or office.

Pro Tip: If you have a large booklice infestation, using strong dehumidifiers will help reduce the excessive amount of moisture and eliminate the booklice.

How to prevent future booklice infestations

If you’ve applied any of the tips from above, you will have hopefully found a solution for your booklice infestation. You may now be wondering how you can prevent future booklice infestations.

Let’s start with the bookshelves. Make sure to position bookshelves away from walls where moisture tends to be most present. We also recommend continuing to use dehumidifiers frequently as this helps keep the environment unappealing for booklice.

Regular cleaning will help keep booklice away. This includes vacuuming, sealing food and especially keeping the kitchen clean.

booklice prevention infographic


We know that booklice can cause real problems if their presence goes by undetected. By applying the right measure to get rid and prevent booklice, you can make sure to be free from booklice infestations. Focus your attention on all the items that make the environment unappealing for booklice, such as lowering the humidity levels. Finally, if you are unsure of what to do or all your efforts appear to have no impact, contact your nearest pest control exterminator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting rid of the infested items, reducing the humidity and increasing ventilation will typically kill booklice in your home.

Check the common spaces that get infested with booklice, such as kitchen cupboards and appliances, books and magazines, storage rooms, and other humid dark places in your home.

Freezing containers, products, and books for 24 hours can kill booklice at any stage of their life span, including when they are still just eggs.

Booklice versus bed bugs main differences

Booklice Versus Bed Bugs: What Are the Main Differences?

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Booklice versus bed bugs main differences

We often get questions about the differences between booklice and bed bugs. If you want to spot and remove an infestation of booklice or bed bugs, you need to know the signs of both.

Booklice versus bed bugs: Why is it important to know the difference between the two?

Each type of pest infestation is aggravating to home and business owners. Understanding the type and size of an infestation is critical to determine the right treatment method. When it comes to booklice and bed bugs, both types of pests behave differently.

While booklice are generally harmless, bed bugs bites can be painful to humans. Booklice and bed bugs are also active in different areas. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.

booklice vs bed bugs comparison infographic

What are the main characteristics of booklice and bed bugs?

  1. Booklice are smaller than bed bugs
  2. Bed bugs feed on blood, booklice feed on mould or mildew
  3. Bed bugs leave painful and itchy bites on humans, while booklice do not bite

What you need to know about bed bugs

Signs of bed bugs and booklice

We now know that bed bugs and booklice behave differently. Are you concerned that you may have an infestation of bed bugs or booklice? Let’s sum up the main signs.

The main signs of a bed bugs infestation include:

  • Reddish stains on bed sheets
  • Dark spots on the mattress
  • Dark spots on other furniture
  • A sweet, musty smell
  • Bites and itches on your skin (red spots)

The main signs of a booklice infestation include:

  • Powdery or small black spots near cardboard materials and books
  • Crawling insects near windows, doors, bookcases and areas with high humidity

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old book with booklice

Bed bugs versus booklice: What damage can they cause?

The most important creature to cause damage is a bed bug. They leave painful, itchy bites on the human flesh. Booklice are not that interested in human beings.

Both bed bugs and booklice can cause material damage. In the case of bed bugs, they can turn your bedroom into a living hell. Stains of blood from bed bugs is the most common damage caused by the little insects.

Booklice spend most of their time around products made of paper and cardboard. Hence, one of the most common types of damage caused by booklice is the destruction of books. You may also want to protect your most important paper documents to prevent booklice from destroying them.

Pro Tip: To get rid of any infestation, you need to identify what type of pests you are dealing with and where they come from.

How to remove bed bugs and booklice?

Let’s move to the most important part of our comparison of bed bugs versus booklice. There are various approaches to removing pest infestations.

If you think you have a booklice infestation, you can take some action yourself to try to remove them. One of the things you can do is reduce humidity by using dehumidifiers. If you have any water leakage, it is also worth to get it fixed. There are some essential oils that may prove to be helpful, such as peppermint and lavender oil.

A bed bugs infestations is much more serious and requires the intervention of a professional. Contact your nearest pest control company for an inspection and removal treatment. If you do want to take some action yourself in the meantime, it is a good practice to wash your bedding frequently in hot water. This will help prevent further aggravation in the short term. To get rid of the bed bugs infestation for good, a pest control technician needs to come in and go to the source of the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Booklice can be easily mistaken for bed bugs, especially bed bug nymphs. Both are light-colored but bed bug nymphs have less elongated bodies.

Booklice are less harmful to people and animals as they don’t bite, however, both bed bugs and booklice can cause some disruption and stress.

Booklice can be found anywhere with moisture, including upholstered furniture, damp papers or books, and old mattresses.

Bed bugs can be mistaken for bat bugs, spider beetles, baby cockroaches, carpet beetles, ticks, fleas, booklice, or headlice.

scorpions guide singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Scorpions

Scorpions are arthropods that are related to spiders. Some features of scorpions are that they have a long tail with a stinger on the end and a set of pincers on the front of the body. In this article, we discuss some interesting and useful facts about scorpions. There are scorpions in Singapore along with other stinging pests such as bees, wasps, and hornets. Scorpions occur in many different types of habitats including deserts, but in Singapore, they are most often found inhabiting forested areas. 

Scorpion biology

Scorpions are predators that feed on other small creatures that they come across in the environment. Mostly they prey on insects and tiny arthropods, but larger-sized scorpions may even take small vertebrates such as lizards.

They have a flattened segmented body and jointed limbs. A scorpion also has four legs, a pair of pincers near the head area, and a tail with a stinger. The average size of a scorpion is about 6 cm. 

They breed during the warm season or year-round in the tropics. The mating process involves a complex courtship ritual. Scorpions can mate many times and the females have live births. The average number of offspring is 25.

scorpions fact

Types of scorpions

There are many different types of scorpions (almost 2000 species of scorpions) found in many habitats around the world. In Singapore, the most important species of scorpions are listed below next to the family name:

Family Buthidae

  • Lesser brown scorpion – Isometrus maculatus
  • Long-tailed scorpion – Lychas scutilus

Family Chaerilidae

  • Chaerilus rectimanus

Family Hemiscorpiidae

  • Dwarf wood scorpion – Liocheles australasiae

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Do scorpions bite?

Scorpions do not bite normally, instead their defense mechanism is to sting. You should avoid touching and picking up a scorpion because you risk receiving a painful sting that may be harmful to you.

Are scorpions poisonous?

Scorpions are not considered poisonous; however, all species are venomous to some extent. This means that they contain venom in their tail which they inject when they sting someone. The venom of a scorpion is a toxic substance that directly affects the nerves or blood cells. The exact type and potency of the venom vary depending on the specific species of scorpion. 

Did you know: Scorpions cause over 3000 human fatalities a year world-wide.

Are scorpions dangerous?

Scorpions can be deadly; they do cause over 3000 human fatalities a year world-wide. However, not all species are dangerous to humans. In many cases, the venom may not be dangerous for people. 

There are a few that are more harmful to people. The most dangerous scorpions are in the two scorpion families: Scorpionidae and Buthidae. They are responsible for almost all cases of human injury. 

Which are the most dangerous scorpions?

Although Scorpionidae looks more intimidating since they have larger pincers, it is actually the Buthidae that are more venomous, even deadly at times. The Buthidae have smaller pincers and a thicker tail than the Scorpionidae but the venom they produce is much stronger.

Many scorpions do not kill humans when they sting them but the sting can cause pain and swelling. Another concern is the possibility of an allergic reaction that can even lead to anaphylaxis. 

The sting of any scorpion could cause anaphylaxis in vulnerable individuals. Anaphylaxis can quickly cause death, so it is best to rather avoid direct contact with scorpions. Even if you have never before had a dangerous allergic reaction it can still happen with any type of sting.

How to spot a scorpion

How to spot a scorpion

Scorpions are active at night and many show up under ultraviolet light, so using a blacklight is one way to spot them. They often hide under logs or fallen debris. In houses, you could potentially find them in crawl spaces and attics. Scorpions prefer darkened spaces in dwellings, such as cracks and joints where they can hide out during the day.

How scorpions can enter your home

Scorpions can enter a dwelling through small cracks and holes. These insects are flat-bodied and can even crawl under doors, so having weather-stripping in place is a good idea.

These arthropods are predators that feed on other arthropods including insects like crickets. An infestation of crickets or other insects in your home may attract scorpions looking for food. You may not even know you have a scorpion in the home until you happen to spot one. 

It is not common to have many scorpions infesting a home. However, they can be dangerous to people and pets depending on what type they are.

scorpions pest prevention

Pest prevention measures for scorpions

  • It is better to prevent the entry of scorpions and other small pest insects into the house, to begin with. This can be accomplished by checking for holes and cracks and sealing off and repairing where needed.
  • Make sure weatherstripping around doors and windows is in good shape.
  • Check for water leaks since this attracts scorpions and other noxious insects like cockroaches.
  • Avoid clutter in the house since this provides hiding places for scorpions.
  • Clean the house often; this is a good way to notice if there are pests present.
  • Remove debris close to the house since this can attract scorpions.
  • Make sure firewood is being stored some distance from the house since this also will be attractive to scorpions and other pest insects.
  • If you suspect a scorpion may be present, invest in a blacklight and search at night for any signs of the animal. They will glow under UV light and be easy to see.

Pest control measures for scorpions

Scorpions are usually simply directly killed by spraying them with insecticide. Fogging is not required unless you have a big infestation of some other type of pest like cockroaches. 

Always be careful using insecticides in the home, especially if you have pets and small children. 


Scorpions are arthropods that sting with their tail. The venom of many species is not a big concern to humans but pets and small children are at higher risk. Even though most species will not kill you it is wise to prevent scorpions from entering your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although scorpions and insects have some similarities, scorpions belong to the class of animals known as the Arachnids. This makes scorpions a distant relative of spiders.

First, scorpions use their claws to grab the prey; smaller victims get crushed and killed with the scorpion’s grip. Then, scorpions sting the prey with its tail to inject the venom.

Usually scorpions won’t attack people, unless they feel threatened. Their stinging is the defence mechanism against being attacked or getting crushed.

Scorpions are not considered poisonous; however, all species are venomous to some extent. Only some of the species produce the venom that is deadly.

The most dangerous scorpions are in the two scorpion families: Scorpionidae and Buthidae. They are responsible for almost all cases of human injury.

All scorpions will glow in the dark under a ultraviolet (UV) light, also known as a “blacklight”. This is caused by an unidentified substance in their skin.

In addition to deserts, scorpions can also be found in tropical and subtropical environments, such as grasslands, savannas, and forests.

Most scorpions hide under rocks, logs, clutter or boards. This is why you should avoid clutter and debris around and in your house, and make sure there are no holes or cracks for scorpions to hide.

monkeypox guide

The Ultimate Guide to Monkeypox

Monkeypox is one of the orthopoxviruses that can infect people and cause illness. Prior to 2022, monkeypox was rather limited in distribution, occurring in countries in Central Africa and West Africa. The most recent outbreak started in May 2019 with a single monkeypox case detected in Singapore.

The patient had traveled from Nigeria, where monkeypox is actually endemic. Monkeypox in Singapore has since been confirmed in more patients. A total of 15 men in Singapore have been confirmed as monkeypox cases. Read on to learn more about monkeypox.

Where Did Monkeypox Come From?

Monkeypox was first identified in the 1970s in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. The belief is that the virus spread from a mammal to a human at some stage. Monkeypox is, therefore, called a sylvatic zoonosis since the virus has spread from a natural animal host to humans.

Monkeypox can occur in a variety of mammals including rats, shrews, squirrels, hedgehogs, and anteaters. Scientists suspect that the virus was at some stage transmitted from a rodent to a human.

Animal drawing with text

Monkeypox Symptoms

The signs of monkeypox appear anywhere from 7 days up to 21 days after exposure to the virus. Not all the symptoms are present in every infected person. The person stays contagious for up to a month when all the pustules should have scabbed over and fallen off.

The symptoms of monkeypox include the following:

  • A rash that occurs on the face, chest, hands, and genitals. The rash consists of vesicles that form blisters. The vesicles can be itchy and also very painful.
  • Fever of more than 38°C
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Respiratory signs such as a cough, a sore throat, and a stuffy nose

Common symptoms of dengue fever

Complications of Monkeypox

There are some dangerous complications that can occur in people who have monkeypox. These complications are listed below.

  • Encephalitis
  • Bronchopneumonia
  • Corneal infection that can lead to blindness
  • Death

Monkeypox can lead to death in anywhere from 1% to 10% of cases depending on the country where the outbreak occurs. The average worldwide death rate for monkeypox is about 3% to 6%. Individuals who have a compromised immune system, infants, and children are especially susceptible to severe illness and complications. 

Monkeypox diagnosis and treatment

Monkeypox Diagnosis

Diagnosis of monkeypox is usually by blood tests and PCR. PCR is the best way to detect the virus and is better than immunology tests looking for antibodies. The infection is still less common than other rash-producing illnesses so doctors need to eliminate other potential causes of a person’s symptoms before assuming they have monkeypox. Travel history of the person and contact with individuals already diagnosed with monkeypox raises the level of suspicion that the person has the monkeypox infection. Molecular tests such as PCR can confirm the diagnosis, as previously mentioned.

Monkeypox Treatment

Treatment is difficult since monkeypox is caused by a virus, which means antibiotics will not work. Supportive therapy and some antiviral medications can help manage a monkeypox infection. The antiviral tecovirimat has been used to treat some cases of monkeypox. 

Supportive therapy includes giving patients fluid and helping them keep their nutrition up. Many people do recover after a few weeks.

There are at least two vaccines that are somewhat helpful against monkeypox and can make symptoms less severe. The Ankara vaccine was developed for monkeypox in 2019 but it is not always easily available. 

Pro Tip: The best way to prevent monkeypox is by avoiding close contact with infected areas, people or animals.

How Monkeypox is Transmitted

People can catch monkeypox from eating uncooked bushmeat. A person can also become infected if bitten or scratched by an animal that is infected with monkeypox.

Transmission among people is by close physical contact. The virus spreads by contact with:

  • body fluids such as saliva, semen, blood, fluid from blisters, and urine
  • the monkeypox skin lesions
  • articles of clothing and linen used by the infected person
  • respiratory droplets

The virus can also spread from a mother to her fetus. This has resulted in fetal deaths. 

Monkeypox prevention tips

Monkeypox Prevention

You can prevent catching monkeypox by following some simple rules outlined below.

  • Avoid visiting areas where monkeypox is endemic, or if unavoidable, take extra precautions in those countries.
  • Avoid close contact with people currently ill with monkeypox.
  • Do not have unprotected sex because this is one way the disease is spread among people.
  • Health workers need to use protective equipment and take care to avoid infection when treating people who are sick with monkeypox.


Monkeypox is a serious illness that can result in death. The symptoms are similar to many other illnesses meaning that diagnosis may be difficult initially. There are also limited treatment options for monkeypox, which is why your best strategy is to try to prevent becoming infected in the first place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rodents are thought to be a likely natural reservoir of the monkeypox virus. This means that the virus is quite commonly found infecting rodents.

Rodents can and do transmit monkeypox. In fact, the presence of monkeypox in the western hemisphere has been linked to infected rats that came from Africa. In the United States, a past outbreak occurred when rats imported from Africa infected prairie dogs. People then became infected when coming into contact with the infected prairie dogs.

Since rodents do carry monkeypox, pest control methods can potentially help decrease the chance of getting infected by eliminating rodent pests in the home.

There is not currently a vaccine that is only for monkeypox, however, people who have had the smallpox vaccine may have some protection from monkeypox since the viruses are similar in structure. There is also a vaccine called the modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine, which can be used for both smallpox and monkeypox.

Monkeypox has not yet been classified as a pandemic although it is found in more than one country. So far, as of late July 2022, over 9000 cases have been reported from 63 countries. 

Though closely related to smallpox, monkeypox is not nearly as contagious. This illness is also not as severe as smallpox.

Monkeypox has an R0 number of about 1.5 to 2.4, varying from place to place. The R0 number indicates how many people a sick person is likely to infect. Unlike measles which had a large R0 number of 12 to 18, monkeypox is not highly contagious. 

Scientists recognize two strains of monkeypox: one is a Congo strain, and the other is a West African strain.

centipedes millipedes guide singapore

The Ultimate Guide on Centipedes and Millipedes

What are Centipedes and Millipedes?

Centipedes and millipedes are both invertebrates but not insects. They are arthropods which have a hard exoskeleton and multiple legs. They are invertebrates that are most often found in damp conditions under leaf litter and in the soil. Usually, they don’t enter homes, but can be attracted to the moisture and warmth found inside a house. 

These arthropods are not major pests but can become a nuisance, which is why we have also included a discussion on how to get rid of centipedes and millipedes.

millipedes fact

What Is the Difference Between Centipedes and Millipedes?

Although similar, centipedes are not the same animals as millipedes. They differ in appearance, feeding habits, and amount of movement. 

You may be wondering what do centipedes and millipedes look like? Centipedes have a flatter body while millipedes are rounder.  

This is not the only difference between the two because centipedes also have only one leg per segment on the body compared with millipedes which have two legs per segment. The feeding habits and even how active these inverts are is also different.

Centipedes vs Millipedes Difference

Biology of Centipedes

Centipedes are predators that can run quite fast to catch prey and escape from danger. Centipedes are predacious, feeding on other small insects and arthropods; they also move quite fast and readily hide. They are commonly found when you pick up a rock or disturb leaf litter. While most centipedes cannot hurt you there are a few species that can bite if they feel threatened.  

Centipedes either lay eggs or bear live young depending on the species. If they lay eggs these are deposited in the soil during the warm season. The babies hatch from the eggs and look like the adults but are very small. In time they molt and grow until they reach adult size. They can live up to 6 years.

Biology of Millipedes

Millipedes feed on plant matter, decaying material, and on organic matter found in the soil and under leaf litter. These inverts are scavengers and do not actively hunt so they do not move fast like centipedes and instead will curl up into a ball when threatened.  

Millipedes do lay eggs. They can produce as many as 300 eggs which hatch in a few weeks into tiny millipedes that eventually molt into the adult form. The millipedes can live a few years. 

While millipedes do not bite, they do produce a chemical that is toxic but only serves as an irritant when it comes into contact with human skin.

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Signs of a Centipede or Millipede in the House

Unlike other arthropods like cockroaches, there will not be many signs that you have a centipede or millipede in the house. Usually, the only sign of one of these arthropods is seeing the actual animal inside.  

There have been stories of centipedes and millipedes in Singapore, including a story of a lady who was bitten by a centipede. They, therefore, can be a nuisance in the home, along with millipedes. In general, these insects are really just a nuisance and not harmful unless they come into close contact with people or pets in the home.

How to Prevent Centipedes and Millipedes From Entering Your Home

It is very unlikely that you will have a centipede and millipede infestation in your home because they really do not normally try to enter a house or dwelling. However, during dry conditions it is possible that these arthropods will find themselves inside a house because they look for moisture. A change in weather is one of many possible causes of centipedes and millipedes entering the home. 

Centipedes and millipedes cannot survive in very dry conditions and will actively seek out moist warm conditions; this can mean that they crawl inside through gaps or small openings near the base of your house.  

We have listed some centipede and millipede prevention tips below to help you prevent centipedes and millipedes from entering your home. 

  • Check weatherstripping and caulking to make sure these have not deteriorated leaving spaces through which pests can enter.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks that could allow arthropods to enter your home.
  • Fix any leaking plumbing fixtures including pipes and faucets that may be dripping.
  • Use a dehumidifier or other means to dry out your house.
  • Remove any leaf litter that may be right next to the house.

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How to Get Rid of Centipedes?

You may wonder how you can rid yourself of centipedes in your house. The first step is to make sure you do not have any damp areas around. Fixing any leaking pipes or faucets can help. Dry out areas of the house where there is dampness.  

You can also inspect and directly remove any centipedes that you come across but remember that some species do bite so perhaps use tweezers to pick up any you find. Control measures can include using pesticides but this can be tricky if you have pets and small children in the house, and is best left to a professional pest control treatment. 

Pro Tip: It's best to get advice from pest control professionals if you are concerned about centipedes or millipedes in the house and how to treat them effectively. 

How to Get Rid of Millipedes?

You can use a similar approach to getting rid of millipedes. Removing moisture and checking under boxes and in dark corners can help you find millipedes. Millipedes do not move fast so they are fairly easy to catch and remove. However, they do secrete substances that can be irritating so perhaps wear gloves if you choose to physically pick up and remove these arthropods yourself.   

Consulting a pest control specialist is a good idea if you are concerned about centipedes or millipedes in the house. They will also be able to advise you on which pesticides to use or if fumigation is needed. 

How to prevent centipedes and how to prevent millipedes from entering the home means making sure that conditions are not favourable for them. Even though millipedes and centipedes are mainly just a nuisance and not usually major pests, the presence of these arthropods can mean that other worse pests are also able to enter your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many centipedes are venomous, though not all are. Millipedes, unlike centipedes, are not venomous and are generally considered to be non-poisonous.

Centipedes’ bites can be quite painful for people as they use their venom as a defense mechanism. Although typically not fatal or dangerous, their bites can hurt, especially when centipedes are large.

Millipedes are not venomous or poisonous, although their defensive spray contains fluids that may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

Unlike centipedes, millipedes do not bite or sting. They usually produce a fluid that keeps the predators away.