How to Control Bed Bugs

Bed bug (01)Bed bug is one of the most difficult pests to control. To completely get rid of them is an almost impossible task largely because of their vast numbers and insanely fast reproduction cycle, plus, they are everywhere! The worst part is, when they are in larval form, they are immune to numerous kinds of treatment. To effectively control them will require a number of endeavors and it can take weeks and even months to see the result, depending on the extent of the infestation; ergo, a one-time treatment job will not do them justice.

bed bugsFor better control of bed bugs, we must first identify and inspect the infestation area. Necessary treatment will be carried out upon detection of the infested area (What sort of treatment are we talking about here? We’ll come to that later below). Items that are infested with bed bugs but cannot be treated must be isolated and placed in a sealed plastic bag until the bed bugs in it are dead (well, the period of time it takes for such isolation and the demise of the bugs varies and can take up to a year!). An alternative is to dispose of the infested things (if they are not so valuable to you), seal them up and place them in the trash can.

There are few methods to treat bed bugs:

(i) Non-chemical treatment – “Expose” the bed bugs to high degree of heat or extreme cold temperature at 0o F.  Seal the items infested with bed bugs in a black plastic bag and place the bag under direct sunlight or place it in a fridge for 4 days; if the temperature of your refrigerator is not set to 0o F, it will have no effect in killing the bed bugs. Such methods won’t be able to help you to totally eliminate the bed bugs but their numbers can be reduced.

(ii) Chemical treatment – Engage a pest control professional who will use different kinds of chemical to properly control the bed bug infestation. However, treating bed bugs is a long-term monitoring process which will require cooperation between both parties, i.e. the customer and the pest controller, and each must do his or her part in properly controlling the infestation of bed bugs.

Bed bug interceptor(iii) Gadget – Place bed bug interceptors under the legs of furniture for catching bed bugs and preventing them from climbing up to the furniture as well.

 

References:
http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control#identify
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-bedbugs (image source only)
http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs/bed-bugs-appearance-and-life-cycle (image source only)

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How to Know if You Have Termite Problem?

Termites are the most nightmarish pests to home and building owners due to their disastrous and insatiable hunger for wooden materials.  Their presence is unbelievably damaging that they bring about billions in property damages every year!  Termites like to move in swarms from place to place to found new colonies.  Believe it or not, a termite colony is capable of consuming a pound of wood a day!

Termites can be pretty difficult to spot somehow, as they can be hiding within wooden materials.  Subterranean termites, the most common termite species, love to chew wood from inside out and you won’t be able to see their handiwork until the massive damage has risen to the surface.  To protect your home against damage by termites, it is important to learn and look for the signs that can tell whether you have termite infestation in your property.

(i) Identification of termite wings

Termites have straight and beaded antennae on their heads, and these flying white ants have 2 sets of wings that are almost the same size.  Termites often shed wings, and, if you find these discarded wings, be prepared to enlist the help of a termite control specialist in no time.  Termites live in humid environment and you can easily look for their wings in damp areas.

(ii) Termite shelter tubes

Termites are fragile insects.  Whenever they are not inside the wood or under the soil, they build tubes as safe passageways and tunnels which are dark brown in color and made of cellulose and mud in order to protect themselves; they also use these tubes for foraging of food.  If you find such tubes, say, on the walls or around water pipes, make sure that they are fresh ones and not some past, old trails.  To distinguish them, remove a small section of a tube and wait for a few days to see if there is any termite coming to repair the broken gap of the tube; this is the only way to prove whether you have an existing termite problem at hand.

(iii) Termite cement

Check to see if there are any cracks or fissures that are filled with unnatural wizened mud in your house, because these holes were sealed up by termites with the purpose of reducing airflow and maintaining the humidity inside the cracks.

(iv) Damaged wood

Tap on a wall or wooden structure to hear and feel if it’s hollow inside.  If it is, that means the inside of the wall or wooden structure had already been chewed up by termites, thus confirming their presence.  Through visual inspection, the affected wall or wooden structure will appear striated or ridged.

Having termite problem?  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for a free and non-obligatory inspection of your premises.

References:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/insect-control/how-to-tell-if-you-have-termites1.htm 
http://killtermitesguide.com/9-signs-of-termites/
https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2016/05/30/evidence-termite-swarm/ (Image source)
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Homemade Cockroach Traps

Cockroach infestation is a common and never-ending problem in our daily lives.  Roaches are everywhere, they are hard to catch and are prone to nocturnal activity.  How about making some cockroach traps on your own and let them work wonders at night while you can have a good night’s sleep?

(i) Duct tape trap

Use a paperboard, place strips of duct trap next to one another with the sticky side faced up onto the cardboard; tape down the duct tapes with adhesive or masking tapes at the ends of the strips of duct tapes so that they stay firmly in place on the cardboard.

Next, you need to put some roach attractant on the duct tapes to lure them, for example, flour, sugar, peanut butter, and the like.  You can also add in a little boric acid as topping on the sweet stuff (because a sufficient amount of boric acid can mess up their innards and kill them subsequently).  Place the cardboard on the ground under or near the refrigerator, cabinet, washing machine, etc.  When you wake up next morning, check to see if there’s any cockroach stuck on it and dispose of the cardboard along with the roaches on it.

(ii) Jar trap

Any jar will do, be it pickle jar, mayo jar or peanut butter jar.  Apply some petroleum jelly inside the jar at the area where it curves in for the opening, this will make the roaches that climb in to the jar unable to get out due to the slippery nature of the petroleum jelly.  Put some sweet stuff as bait in the jar to attract them.  You can also pour some beer as alternative bait into the jar to drown them.

Besides using jar, you can use wine bottle as an alternative trap and, instead of using petroleum jelly, you can use cooking oil.  Put some cooking oil in the bottle, swish it until the inside of the bottle becomes oily, then pour out the excess oil and finally put in your desired bait.  Make a few of these traps and place the jars or bottles in areas where the roaches frequent or suspected hideouts of the cockroaches such as kitchen cabinets, stove area, etc.

The above-mentioned are just some fun traps to ensnare a few cockroaches.  If you plan to take out a huge number of them, such traps would simply not be so effective.  In fact, some roaches would be smart enough not to fall for these simple traps.  In this case, the only solution will be to engage a pest controller to help you solve your serious roach problem.

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

References:
http://pestsoff.com/how-to-get-rid-of-cockroaches/cockroach-traps/
https://localwiki.org/davis/Cockroaches 
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Getting Rid of Mice & Rats Via Household Remedies

Many homeowners and farmers have come up with their creative and natural ways to get rid of mice and rats using home remedies instead of rat poison and mousetrap.  Let’s hear them out below.

(i) Cat litter

Mice and rats loathe the stink of cat urine.  It is suggested to place tubs of used kitty litter near the entryways where you suspect the rats and mice will use to gain access to your premises.

(ii) Steel wool

In lieu of caulking the cracks and patching the crevices in your house using green kitchen pads or copper scouring pads to prevent rats and mice from entering your home, you can stuff steel wool into the holes because rats and mice are unable to chew through the wires as such act will irritate their teeth.

(iii) Peppermint

Rats and mice have strong antipathy of peppermint.  Its scent may be pleasing to us but not to them.  You can plant some mint in the garden or along the exterior of your house to ward them off.  Moreover, immerse cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in kitchen cabinets and suspected entry points; using mint toothpaste and mint leaves should also deter them.

(iv) Instant mashed potatoes

Scatter some mashed potatoes at suspected areas of rat activity.  The rats and mice will feed on the potatoes and the flakes of which will expand in their stomach and eventually kill them before they were able to fully digest the ingredient.  For safety reason, keep the flakes out of the reach of your pet(s).

(v) Onions

The smell of onions can be used to repel rats and mice.  Place them in areas where the rats and mice frequent.  Word of caution:  Keep the onions out of the reach of dogs and cats as these are poisonous to them.  If you use this method to deter rats and mice, you’ll have to replace the onions regularly (say, every day) because onions rot easily.

(vi) Plaster of Paris and cocoa powder

This solution comes from a farm lady who suggests mixing dry plaster of Paris with cocoa power.  Once the rats and mice ingest the mixture, they’ll become thirsty and, if they are unable to find water on time, they’ll die of this ultimate thirst.

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

Reference:
http://how-to-get-rid-of-mice.com/natural-home-remedies/

 

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Weird Pests in Malaysia & Their Uncanny Abilities (Part 2 of 2)

(iv) Whip Scorpion

This stingless scorpion is “equipped” with a whiplike tail that can whip its prey to death.  Nah!  The actuality is that, if you are too close to this bug, it will emit acidic and unbelievably stinky chemical at you!  Perhaps a distant relative of skunk?  Whip Scorpion is a professional roach killer and it is good at controlling the population of cockroaches.  Maybe it is a good idea to keep some Whip Scorpions as pets to help you get rid of those nasty roaches in your home.

(v) Violin Beetle

Beware … This ain’t a romantic violin player that you can find in an opera house, and, do not be fooled by its amusing looks.  When disturbed, it will spray a harmful fluid at you causing damage to your eyes and hands!


(vi) Stick Insect

The name says it all.  This kind of insect looks like a twig and it can camouflage itself as the shoot of a plant!  Stick insects come in different shapes and sizes, and are commonly found in Sabah.  The female Stick Insect can produce offspring without going through copulation with the male.

Reference:  http://www.mysabah.com/wordpress/10-weirdest-bugs-of-borneo/

 

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Weird Pests in Malaysia & Their Uncanny Abilities (Part 1 of 2)

Deep inside the Malaysian forests, there are all sorts of bug species that we don’t normally see in our everyday lives.  Some of them look weird in appearance whilst others look fascinating.  However, the interesting things to know about some of these pest species lie upon their eccentric behavior and what they can do to their prey.

(i) Ninja Slug

This kind of bug has a unique way of looking for a soul mate – the way of the Cupid, except that it doesn’t shoot arrow; instead, it shoots out love darts infused with hormones at its target so that she will fall in love and mate with him.  Only the male slugs have such unique ability.  What a sexist world!

(ii) Horsehair Worm

If you think this is a shoelace, you are sorely mistaken.  This is a parasitic pest that enters the body of another insect (cricket, mantis, for example) and uses it as a host to grow.  When it reaches its maturity, instead of bursting out through the rib cage of its host like a xenomorph (Alien … ring a bell?), it will use its mind-control ability to persuade the host to commit suicide by drowning itself so that it will wriggle out from the anus of the host after the host bites the dust.

(iii) Assassin Bug

This nasty little bug likes to prey on ants, plus, it has a sick habit of wearing its victim’s dead body as a fur coat.  After an assassin bug kills an ant, it will put its carcass on its back like a trophy.  An assassin ant is capable of stacking more than 20 dead ants at a time.

References:
http://gizmodo.com/5711526/this-weird-ninja-slug-shoots-love-darts-at-potential-mates
http://www.mysabah.com/wordpress/10-weirdest-bugs-of-borneo/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2138325/Assassin-bug-carries-dead-ants-ward-enemies.html
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How to Get Rid of Bats

Bat – One of the dreadful night fliers that is bigger and more terrifying than a rat.  Bats are generally not as contagious as rats but their feces can cause histoplasmosis (an influenza-like disease) if you inhale them.  Moreover, a few of them might even carry rabies, so it is best not to catch them with bare hands or come into contact with their bodily fluids.

What do you do when bats enter your premises and sojourn on the trees in your garden?  Here are a few tips that you can adopt to get rid of these night creatures.

(i) Locate & seal off points of entry.  Find out where the bats fly in to your premises.  Look for cracks on the roof, fissures on walls, missing shingles in building, and the like.  Seal off these openings to prevent their entry.  You can also use one-way devices or make one from PVC pipes, netting or caulking.

(ii) Wrap some mothballs in a cheesecloth & tie the gauze up to form a sack.  Place the sack in the area where you have identified as the bats’ nest.  The odor emitted from the mothballs will drive the bats away and discourage them from roosting there.

(iii) Spray dog or cat aerosol repellent on the spots where bats like to hang out, such as, branches of a tree.

(iv) Hang Mylar balloons or strips of thin foil on the trees so that the bats have no place to roost or find it uncomfortable to roost on the trees.

(v) Spray water in the areas of roosting so that they’ll get away, but this has to be done regularly as they have a habit of returning to their old nesting sites.

Despite their hideous appearance and pesky behavior, it is, however, advantageous to have a few bats hanging around as they help us gulp up mosquitoes and other pests.  Indirectly speaking, bats also serve as our pest eliminators.

References:
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Bats 
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/bioinspired-assistive-devices/  (Image source)

 

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Crazy Ants

Originating from the Southeast regions of US, these extraordinary ants known as Rasberry (or Tawny) Crazy Ants, are one of the weirdest species in the ant world.  Their existence is not only a nightmare to humans but they also pose mortal dangers to other ant species as well.  They earn the term “Crazy” because they are invasive, have a strange and unique appetite, plus, they are suicidal!

Crazy Ants crave for something electronic other than the normal sweet stuff.  They like to chew through electronic cables, components and any electrical circuitry.  The craziest part is that they love to kill themselves when they eat into the live electric wiring!  And, as they get fried, they emit a chemical that summons their friends to the same spot (or their dead spot) to avenge their death!  All in all, your computers, TVs and mobile phones are no longer safe once a swarm of these ants attack them.

Other than their “electrifying” attitude, they are no friends to other ant species.  They attack and kill other ants (fire ants, in particular) and take over their nests.  One final bad news, their reproduction is much faster than the other ant species!  We better pray that they wouldn’t invade our homeland someday and make Malaysia their new home!

References:
http://listverse.com/2013/12/17/10-strange-and-mysterious-insect-behaviors/
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/crazy_ant.htm (image source)
http://arceneauxpest.com/tawny-rasberry-crazy-ants/

 

 

 

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Weird Habits of Cockroaches & Their Hidden Powers

Though cockroaches are our everyday pests, they are not as common and simple as we think they are, for the bizarre facts about them add a layer of mystery and complexity to their existence as well as the ways they affect our lives.   Get ready to be thrilled at the following secrets that cockroaches don’t want you to know.

headless-roach(i) This isn’t Twilight Zone.  Believe it or not, a headless cockroach is not a lifeless bug!  If you cut off its head, its body is still alive and kicking, and it can survive for weeks without its head because of its simple circulatory system; it can breathe through tiny holes in its body.  However, a headless roach will eventually die of starvation simply because it has no mouth to eat.

smart-roach(ii) If you think cockroaches are brainless little bugs, you are sorely mistaken.  Cockroaches can develop memories.  They learn to associate specific odors with sugar solutions.  They remember things just like we do (How creepy are they?).

(iii) Not you, not even a professional runner can ever outrun a cockroach.  Born without trained professionalism of an athlete, a cockroach can naturally run 3 miles per hour, well, that’s not record-breaking … but its six highly flexible legs and lightning reflexes will make you sweatily hard to catch up with them.

drinking-roach(iv) Cockroaches are alcoholics!  They love the taste of a good brew.  Offer them a glass of beer and they’ll enjoy a good time.

(v) This is something that cockroaches hate to share with you.  They are filled with protein, highly edible and are delicious!  They are served as popular snack and meal in Asian countries (try Thailand).  You can fry them, toast them, boil them, and even saute them.  Anyway, bon appetit!

fried-roaches

References: 
https://www.abchomeandcommercial.com/blog/5-secrets-cockroaches-dont-want-you-to-know/  
http://durbancentral.blogspot.my/2011/01/grand-cockroach-showdown.html (image source)
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-11-08/im-a-celebrity-2013-7-places-to-try-bushtucker-trials (image source)
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2w473t (video & image)
http://www.huffingtonpost.kr/2015/02/10/-_n_6658162.html (video & image)

 

 

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Everything You Need to Know about Zika Virus

whole-pictureZika is a virus transmitted by an aedes mosquito which in turn spreads diseases such as breakbone fever and chikungunya through bite in the human flesh.  Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, joint pain, vomit, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, rash, and headache; worst of all, it can cause microcephaly which affects the unborn baby’s brain growth in a pregnant woman (after the mother is infected with the virus).

To avoid contacting Zika virus, take heed of some of these useful prevention tips:  (i) To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to cover your skin as much as possible.  (ii) Use mosquito nets to cover your bed when you sleep.  (iii) Close your doors and windows during nighttime.  Also make use of window screens.  (iv) Remove mosquito breeding grounds by emptying containers (for e.g. flowerpot, bucket, etc.) that store water and cleaning and keeping the surrounding areas of the house dry.  (v) Use mosquito repellent.  (vi) Engage a professional pest control company.

aedes-mosquitoAs of today, there’s no treatment and vaccine for Zika virus.  If one is infected with the virus, all (s)he could do is:  (i) consult a doctor and get hospitalized, (ii) drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and (iii) get plenty of rest.  No matter what, prevention is always better than cure.

Having mosquito problem?  Call AntiPest today (03-8023 1888) for a free and non-obligatory inspection of your premises.

References:
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/aquatic/aedes_aegypti.htm (image source only)
http://millionpictures.co/article/4534/zika-virus-symptoms-preventions-treatment/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f18y57qex4k
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