Odd & Fascinating Behaviors of Termites

There are over 2000 species of termites in the world.  Besides us knowing that they cause millions and even billions of damages to buildings every year, they exhibit behaviors not many people know of.

(i) Some species of termites such as Macrotermes and Cubitermes native to Australia and Africa are talented architects, for they can build mounds as their habitats at towering heights between 15 and 17 feet or as tall as a two-story house.

(ii) These blind insects use vibrations to locate their food, and they bang their heads to communicate with one another.  Sometimes termites bang their heads against a hard surface as a warning signal of a threat to their nest.

(iii) Adult termites have wings and they mate during their flights.  Once they have found a suitable place to build their family home, they’ll break their own wings to settle down and live happily ever after.

(iv) Termites feed on each other’s poop in order to grow symbiotic protozoa and bacteria in their body to help them digest the hard wood material they have gulped.

(v) Termites are hygienic insects.  They groom with their buddy mates regularly to keep one another clean, as hygiene is vital to their survival.

Having termite problem?  Call AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for professional termite control solution.

References:
http://animals.mom.me/odd-habits-termites-8533.html 
https://www.thoughtco.com/fascinating-facts-about-termites-1968587
https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/termite-build-castles-fungus-other-weird-things-you-dont-know
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Female_Coptotermes_formosanus.jpg 
  (Image source)
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Facts You Didn’t Know About Mosquitoes

You think you know about everything there is to know about mosquitoes?  Well, you don’t, actually.  You will be amazed to learn more of their secrets and behavior.

(i) Mosquitoes attack us because we breathe.  They are attracted to us due to the carbon dioxide we exhale, and they can sense this from 100 feet away.  Why do mosquitoes like to buzz in our ears?  Because they sense the carbon dioxide that comes out from our nose and mouth.  How to avoid this?  Stop breathing.

(ii) The smell of chocolate can distract them.  If you want to confuse the skeeters and make them lose their target (that’s you), surround yourself with scent that smells like caramelized, minty or fruity chocolate; this would render their carbon dioxide sensor malfunction.

(iii) Mosquito spittle can produce itch. Why does your skin feel itchy after being bitten by mosquitoes?  Because their slobber contains a compound that serves as an anticoagulant to facilitate their feasting on blood but, “in return”, causes an allergic and itchy reaction to humans.  In conclusion, don’t let a mosquito spit on you.

(iv) Your dirty socks can make them go nuts.   Mosquitoes infected with malarial parasites are easily drawn to human sweat.  Ergo, you better change and clean your stinky, sweat-soaked sox and take shower every day.

(v) Mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures on Earth.  Compared to other animals, mosquitoes cause the highest (human) body count!  Thanks to their “contributions” of yellow fever, malaria, breakbone fever, and encephalitis.  Such viruses mutate the mosquito genes and make them more aggressive, eager for more blood meals and enhance their sense of smell making them better hunters!  One such virus-carrying mosquito can infect more than 100 human beings and, according to the World Health Organization, malaria kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa.

Having mosquito problem?  Call AntiPest at 03-8023 1888 today for consultation and professional solution.

Reference:
https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-mosquitoes
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Health Hazards Posed by Rats & How They Transmit Diseases

Our world is surrounded by countless of rats and their numbers are rapidly growing every day.  Their presence must not be ignored, for they pose a greater health risk to our community than you can ever imagine.

These odious little rodents can transmit over 35 types of disease such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, Haverhill fever, and black death.  Not only can these lethal diseases affect humans, they can infect animals as well.

The transmission channels of rat diseases:

  • Through rat bites.
  • Ingestion of food and water contaminated with rat saliva, hair, excrement, and urine.
  • Direct contact with and handling of infected rats.
  • Inhalation of dust contaminated with rat feces and urine.
  • Indirect transmission by fleas, mites and ticks that live on infected rats.

Proper and professional rat control must be exercised in order to stop the outbreak of rat infestation and diseases before the situations get worse and threaten the precious lives of you and your loved ones.

Having rat problem?  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for our expertise and professional rat control solutions.

References:
http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Protect-your-health-keep-rats-under-control
https://www.decodedscience.org/ows-protesters-could-face-zoonotic-and-vector-borne-diseases/4226 (Image source)
https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/391830/Giant-rats-strike-Brits-lethal-disease (Image source)
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Things That You Should Know About Our Daily Enemy – Mosquitoes

There are a number of “interesting” facts that you should know about mosquitoes which surround us almost 24-7.

(i) Of the countless types of pests on Earth, mosquitoes are the deadliest pests of them all!  This is because more deaths are associated with mosquitoes compared to others.  They carry a number of deadly diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, encephalitis, and even heartworm that is fatal to dogs.

(ii) Not only can mosquitoes sense our body heat and humidity, they are also attracted to carbon dioxide we exhale, octenol and lactic acid that are inherent in our breath as well as sweat.  Moreover, they are easily drawn to beer drinkers.

(iii) Male mosquitoes do not bite humans, only females do.  Female mosquitoes feast on human blood for protein so that they can lay eggs whilst male mosquitoes feast only on plants or flower nectar.  The saliva of a female mosquito contains an anti-coagulant which can induce an allergic reaction from the human’s immune system; this is what causes the human skin to itch and swell.

(iv) There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes and not all of them feed on human blood.  For example, Culiseta Melanura bites only birds and Uranotaenia Sapphirina feeds on the blood of only amphibians and reptiles.

(v) When a male and female mosquito meet, they flap their wings to the same speed and rhythm.  This is their lovers’ duet.

Having mosquito problem?  Wait no further.  Call AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for your skeeters’ solution.

References:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-not-so-fun-facts-about-mosquitoes-36242998/
https://www.thoughtco.com/fascinating-facts-about-mosquitoes-1968300 
https://phys.org/news/2013-03-female-mosquitoes-savvy-other-species-suitors.html 
(Image source)

 

 

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Make a Simple Fruit Fly Trap & Prevention of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies, our occasional companions that show up after your confectionary fruit gnawing and at the “aftermath” of your fruit meals, are not only the uninvited guests we should get rid of, the eggs that they lay in your house should also be eliminated as well.  Despite their short, 8-day-only life span, they reproduce at an accelerating rate and their eggs hatch within 8 to 10 days.  Fruit flies are attracted to rotting or overripe fruits, the remnants of which left in your garbage bin, dank sink and drain can also attract them.  To get rid of them, you can make a simple fruit fly trap.

Use a jar or any tall container, put in some sugary stuff such as slices of bruised banana, honey, pieces of rotting fruit, maple syrup, and the like.  Next, roll a piece of paper to create a funnel with a tiny opening at the tip and place it in the container with the narrow tip facing down without touching the bait within; remember to tape the paper funnel so that it is firmly in shape, and do not make the tip’s opening big (This is to prevent the fruit flies from getting out of the funnel after they are baited into the container).

Place the trap near fruit bowl, kitchen sink or garbage can.  Leave the trap there overnight.  Next day, you should see some fruit flies inside the container, they were smart enough to fly in to the container but dumb enough to fly out.  Once they are trapped, mix some warm water with dish soap and pour it into the container, the soap will reduce the surface tension of the water and consequently drown them.  Wait for a minute or two and then discard the contents (together with the carcasses of the dead flies) of the container outside your house.  After that, wash the container with hot water so that you can reuse it to build a new trap.  You can put as many of these traps at the fruit fly-infested areas in your house.  It is recommended to do the trapping every day for a week or two or until you see no more of these pesky bugs in your house.

To get rid of the eggs, you will need to do proper and regular kitchen cleaning:

(i) Kitchen sink drain should be cleaned because tiny bits of fruit scraps can get stuck in the drain and rot.  Simply pour some boiling water with soap dish into the drain to kill the eggs.

(ii) Trash can and compost bin (if you have one) should be cleared and washed.

(iii) Damp sponges and mops should be cleaned, for fruit flies like to breed in these moist stuff too.

(iv) Wash all dishes immediately after meal.

(v) Cover your windows with screens to prevent outside fruit flies from coming in to your kitchen.

Reference:
https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Fruit-Flies 
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Tips on Getting Rid of Ants using Natural Remedies

Ants are amongst the most difficult to control compared with other types of pest.  This is mainly due to their overwhelmingly huge numbers as well as the sheer monstrosity of their unbelievably fast and perpetual reproduction rate; the most frightening fact remains that, they come from everywhere and they are around us all the time.

Ants can damage building materials (for example, Carpenter Ants), spoil your food, destroy plants, and other ants (such as Fire Ants and Harvester Ants) can even cause vexatious bites on your skin.  It is not possible to completely get rid of them but you can reduce their numbers to a certain degree.  There are some natural home remedies you can use to help you control their infestation level.

(i) Cinnamon – Pour some cinnamon powder on areas of frequent ant infestation, such as, entrance of house, windowsills and other possible points of entry.

(ii) White vinegar – Not only can the strong smell of white vinegar ward them off, the odor can even mask their scent trails and cause them to lose direction,  Mix white vinegar with water of equal amounts into a spray bottle, add a few drops of essential oil, shake the bottle and spray at places where you have sightings of ants.

(iii) Pepper – Ants crave sugar but loathe pepper.  Scatter some pepper around the house to keep them out.

(iv) Salt – You can use salt in lieu of pepper.

(v) Lemon – Place some lemon peels or squeeze some lemon juice at areas of possible ant infestation.

(vi) Orange – Make an orange paste by mixing warm water with orange peels in a cup.  Apply the paste at areas where ants frequent.

(vii) Peppermint – Spray some peppermint oil around your home.  Ants hate that.

(viii) Chalk – Ants are averse to chalk as it contains calcium carbonate.  Sprinkle some chalk powder in your home or you can draw lines of chalk at entry points such as door frames, windowsills or on baseboards.

For effective ant treatment, call AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for your ant solution.

References:
https://food.ndtv.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-ants-8-home-remedies-that-do-the-trick-1666939 
https://www.livescience.com/3550-ants-smell-death.html (image source)
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How to Ward off Spiders from Your Home (Part 2 of 2)

(vi) Lights out

Spiders are attracted to light.  Dim the environmental lighting to a minimum level and turn off the lights when there’s nobody in the house (but, beware of burglars because they’ll know nobody is at home).  This will discourage them from entering and nesting in your dwelling to a certain extent.  Besides, this is a good way to reduce your electricity bill too.

(vii) The hidden power of eucalyptus

Spiders detest eucalyptus.  Place some eucalyptus leaves or oil in your bedroom, bathroom, wardrobes, and living room to keep these critters away.  Your house will also smell fresh with the scent of eucalyptus.  Moreover, you can set up a “barrier” around your house by planting a eucalyptus tree in the garden.

(viii) An advantage of getting a pet

Having a pet around can help you deter pests from creeping in to your residence.  Cats, in particular, like to fight off and chase away spiders in addition to other insects.  All in all, pets will help to clear your house of pests.

(ix) The pleasant smell of cinnamon

Spiders also loathe cinnamon.  Light some cinnamon candles and fill your house with the aroma.  Spiders would not dare to step foot in your abode.  You can place and light these candles in your bedroom, bathroom, and the like; just be careful not to burn down your house.

(x) Fortify your home

It is important to seal off the points of entry in the house by these eight-legged creepy-crawlies.  Fill the fissures, caulk all the cracks on the walls and cover the vents with mesh netting to prevent these critters from coming in.

References:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4083260/spider-proof-home-get-rid-webs/ 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stronger-than-steel-scientists-begin-to-unlock-the-secrets-of-spider-silk-10253766.html (Image source)
http://www.sowoils.com/?product=eucalyptus-radiata-essential-oil (Image source)
https://www.homestoriesatoz.com/holiday-ideas/cinnamon-stick-candles-fall-ideas.html (Image source)

 

 

 

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How to Ward off Spiders from Your Home (Part 1 of 2)

Most of the people are averse to making spiders their uninvited guests in their residences, not to mention their unsightly appearance and the spine-tingling feeling you have when a spider crawls over your skin.  Here are some of the methods you can use to prevent these creepy crawlers from sneaking in to your comfy home.

(i) Give your disgusting spiders a taste of lemon

Spiders hate the smell of citrus.  Use citrus peels to rub on windowsills and along skirting boards, mop the floors using lemon-scented detergent and fill your house with the scent of citrus by burning citronella candles.  You can also keep some oranges and lemons in your house or consume them regularly so that the spiders will stay away from you.

(ii) Make yourself some spider-repelling agent

These eight-legged critters also loathe vinegar and peppermint oil.  Mix any of these with water in a spray bottle and spritz at doors, windows, bathroom, and at every corner of the house.  Don’t forget to spray at clefts on the walls as they are possible points of entry by these creepy critters.  Be careful when you spray vinegar on varnished surfaces as the acidic vinegar could tarnish them.

(iii) Cedarwood and conker as deterrents

Scatter some cedarwood cubes or blocks in the house and place some horse chestnuts in rooms to deter spiders.  Please note that conkers may be poisonous to cats and dogs.

(iv) Bring in ladybirds

Ladybirds are good at hunting spiders.  Plant some ladybird-enticing plants such as marigold, fennel or dill in the garden or around the house and the beautiful ladybirds will stand guard over your residence against those vexatious spiders.

(v) Make room and make it clean

It is important to clean and declutter your home at regular intervals as spiders love to seek shelter in every nook and cranny.  Remove webs via vacuum cleaner or soft duster so that they don’t have a place to sojourn and reproduce without the webs.

To be continued …

References:
https://www.msn.com/en-my/lifestyle/home-and-garden/5-ways-to-keep-spiders-out-of-your-home/ar-AAsD67E?li=AAaD1A0&ocid=spartanntp 
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4083260/spider-proof-home-get-rid-webs/

 

 

 

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Mosquitoes are Crazier in Hot Weather & Prevention Tips

The unusually hot weather in Malaysia lately not only attracts more mosquitoes but also brings about a rise in cases of dengue fever.  The heat shortens the life cycle of mosquitoes from one week (which is normal life span) to less than that and, this, in turn, causes them to bite us more frequently as well as aggressively.

Below are some of the prevention tips (both orthodox and unorthodox methods) that can help you ward off those vexatious and disease-ridden mosquitoes:

(i) Avoid wearing dark-colored clothes because mosquitoes are attracted to them.

(ii) Stay away from beer in that mosquitoes crave for beer drinkers, in particular.  To be utterly safe, stay sober at all times and avoid any alcoholic beverages.  At any rate, treat this as an urban legend.

(iii) Mosquitoes love to come out from dusk to dawn.  So it’s best to stay indoors protectively when night falls.

(iv) Mosquitoes are attracted to floral scent emitted by the nectars of plants.  Hence, it is best to stay away from places grown with fragrant flowers.

(v) Rub orange and lemon peels all over the exposed areas of your body to keep the mosquitoes away.

(vi) Grow some specific mosquito-repelling plants in your yard.  Plants that mosquitoes hate are Citronella, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Marigold, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Garlic, Pennyroyal, Rosemary, and Geranium.

Having mosquito problem?  Call AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today for your practical and professional mosquito solution.

References:
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/327193
http://www.naturallivingideas.com/11-plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/
https://globalnews.ca/news/2607609/more-mosquitoes-and-blackflies-what-a-warm-winter-means-for-spring/ (Image source only)

 

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Rat & Mouse Infestations, the Problems & How to Treat Them (Part II of II)

(i) There are different types of mousetrap to use, the famous ones are: a) Havahart Live Catch Mousetrap –  a conventional mousetrap with cage design which is humane and easy; b) Victor Electronic Mousetrap – like the name suggests, it’s electrifying and quick; c) Snap-E Mousetrap – solid and effective.

To achieve a high success rate of catching the mice, you need to place the traps strategically at the “ideal” locations, such as near the places where they sleep, behind furniture, places where they appear frequently, and the like.

(ii) Use bait stations when you decide to use poison on the rats.  It is recommended to use sealed stations for safety reason.  Place the stations behind the fridge, under kitchen cabinets, etc., as these are their favorite hideouts.

(iii) Hiring a pest control professional is the best way to get rid of your rat problem in the most effective manner.  This is because pest exterminators are well-trained in locating and attacking the source of your rat problem; they are good at tackling the cunningness of rats in their avoidance of being ensnared, and, most importantly, they know the best strategic method of how to handle different mousey situations.

(iv) Use natural and household remedies (e.g. onion, peppermint oil, cat litter, steel wool, etc.) to make your rat hunting experience more interesting.  For this, you can peruse our previous article posted at http://www.antipest.com.my/apblog/?p=961.

(v) Prevention is as important as treatment, in fact, the former takes precedence above all else.  Adopting preventive measures allows you to greatly minimize your rat problem and can possibly even assure you of a rat-free environment in your premises.   The 2 most important preventive steps are: a) Proper food storage – Food and any sweet stuff must be stored away securely in sealed, airtight containers so as to cut off their food source; and b) Sealing off points of entry – All possible entries by rats in the premises (such as crevices on walls, cracks or holes in some parts of the building, etc.) must be sealed off with the purpose of preventing access by these nasty rodents.

Having rat/mice problem?  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for free consultation and non-obligatory inspection of your premises.

References:
http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/ 
http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/mousetrap-types/ (Image source)
http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/havahart-mouse-trap-review/ (Image source)
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