Dealing with Common Household Pests
Living in a tropical garden city, you may encounter more pests in your house than you had before. In cold climates, many insects are less active, and during the winter, many die and some go into hiding to avoid the cold. In Singapore where it’s always warm, however, insects are active all year round. Insects like flies and cockroaches also thrive in the local climate, as high temperatures increase the rate of decomposition. Some of the most common pests that you’d find in Singapore include insects like bed bugs, ants, termites, cockroaches and mosquitoes.
- Bed bugs
The recent re-emergence of bed bugs in Singapore over the past year has made people more cautious about the cleanliness of the places they frequent, and suspicious of any odd red marks they might find on their skin. Bed bugs can be transmitted easily from places such as cinemas or hotel rooms, and brought back to your place. Bed bugs can also be introduced from used or recycled furniture, and may easily spread from apartment to apartment. If neighbouring apartments are infested by bed bugs, it’s best to inspect your own carefully. While bed bugs usually don’t carry diseases, you may still experience allergic reactions from their bites and your skin may develop itchy welts. It’s not an easy task to remove bed bugs from your apartment. Other than treating the mattresses and bedsheets, you would also need to treat loose items as bed bugs typically hide in dark crooks and crannies.
Termites are the nightmare of many house owners as these insects devour wood and cause damage to interior walls or furniture. Worse still, they may leave little sign on the exterior until the damage becomes obvious. Termite infestations cause over 5 billion dollars’ worth of damage in the United States alone, according to the National Pest Management Association. Some signs of termite infestation that you should look out for include buckling wood, swollen floors or ceilings, and a sweet smell akin to mildew. To get rid of a termite infestation, it’s best to check with a professional. If you wish to tackle the problem on your own, you can try setting affected furniture out in sunlight as termites thrive in dark places, coat furniture and walls in boric acid, and purchase termite traps.
- Flying ants
Commonly referred to as flying ants, these winged insects refer to both termites and ants. To tell the difference between the two, two easy ways are to check and see if the waist of the insect is straight (termite) or cinched (ant), and if the four wings are of equal length (termite) or unequal lengths (ant). Whether it’s an ant or a termite, the winged insect is a reproductive male or a queen that’s looking for a nesting site to reproduce. Quite a few of these are likely to die before they’ve found a suitable nesting site. To remove flying ants from your house, you could use a natural method to remove insects by spraying a little peppermint oil on infested areas.
These pests live in dirty environments so it’s very important to make sure that your accommodations are clean and organized. Places with plenty of space for cockroaches to hide such as your bin bags, newspaper stacks or the crooks and crannies of your kitchen, should be checked regularly. To avoid attracting cockroaches and other pests to your home, make sure that there are no food particles left on the floor and furniture and that no food is left out in the open. When you’re disposing of food in the rubbish bin or in the rubbish chute, it’s important to keep the area clean as well.
According to the World Health Organization, mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world and they have the ability to cause millions of deaths every year. Diseases such as malaria, dengue, zika and yellow fever are all spread by the Aedes mosquito. The mosquito is also found in Singapore, though fortunately the last major outbreak of dengue occurred in 2013 and the outbreak of zika took place in 2016 and one cluster in 2019. In order to reduce incidences of disease, it’s important to control the mosquito population by removing sources of stagnant water around the house. Ensure that there’s no stagnant water left in pots and plant saucers, and check that drains are covered and cleared from blockages so as to avoid mosquitoes breeding.25 Sep 2019
I suspect that Covid might have prompted more Malaysians than ever to apply, raising the bar for everyone else. So an increase in rejections might have more to do with the number of Malaysians in the queue (we know who gets ultimate priority).