Tips on Getting Rid of Silverfish (Part 1 of 2)

Silverfish, one of the nuisances in pest family, measures about half inch in length, ranges in color from dark silver-blue for adult to pale silver for adolescent, has a scaly appearance with two antennae on the head and two to three prongs on the tail. Do not underestimate their reproductive ability, for a female silverfish can lay 2 to 20 eggs per day; in a few weeks, you will have enough population of silverfish to organize a bash in your home.

Silverfish live in dark and moist areas. You can usually find them in bathroom, closet, under sink, basement, and laundry room. They love to gnaw on books, paper boxes, wet wood such as damp windowsill, and cupboard. It is not easy to catch them somehow because they like to scamper around in the dark and, by the time you turn on the lights, they have already gone into their hideouts.

Here are some of the methods you can adopt to rid of silverfish.

(i) Silverfish dislike the smells of peppermint, citrus, camphor, lavender, and rosemary. You can create a repellent out of them by mixing these organic substances with water into a spray can and spray at the infested areas. Alternatively, you can grind these herbs into powdery form and sprinkle them on the silverfish nests. You can also place these herb leaves into sachets and hang them in closets, cabinets, on bookshelves, and around the dark and damp areas of the house. Another way is to dip some cotton in these herb oils and wipe around the infested areas or place the soaked cotton balls at their hideouts.

(ii) Use air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier machine to lower the humidity level inside your house. Remember to seal off the cracks and crevices on the walls with caulk before you do the dehumidification.

(iii) Vacuum your house thoroughly. Vacuuming helps to reach the hard-to-access places (such as narrow openings and holes) and suck out the silverfish as well as their larvae. Dispose of the sucked silverfish and eggs in a proper manner by placing them in a plastic bag, seal the bag and discard it in the trash can.

References:
https://housewifehowtos.com/clean/how-to-get-rid-of-silverfish-and-keep-them-away/
https://www.almanac.com/pest/silverfish
http://manvspest.com/get-rid-of-silverfish/
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Auspicious Pests

In Chinese culture, there are a number of animals (both real and mythical), insects and even pests that are believed to bring good luck, health and fortune to people. Let us look at some of these portentous pests.

(I) Bat

The name of the creature in Chinese, 蝠, is the homonym of blessing and fortune, 福. This creature symbolizes good fortune. Hence, many Chinese art paintings revolve around this creature, for example, a drawing of bats flying around a vase or a garment with images of bats flying around systematically.

A depiction of five bats in a painting signifies the 5 Blessings: Prosperity, Long Life, Health, Love of Virtue, and Natural accompanied with Peaceful Death. Back in the olden days, there were brocades and silk fabrics woven with bat shapes. There were even bat designs used on the fabric flowers for wearing on women’s heads and on utensils for birthday parties and weddings as well.

(II) Spider

Spider is given the nickname of “Happy Insect” simply because spider in Chinese, 蜘蛛, possesses an alternate name, 蟢子, which has the same pronunciation as, 喜, meaning happiness.

Originated from the Han Dynasty, people regard spider as a good omen, especially when it hangs and falls from its web because of the derivation from the famous idiom, 喜从天降, meaning “Happiness Descends from the Sky”.


(III) Magpie

Magpie, one of the most popular birds in Chinese society, is viewed as a good-omen bird. Its Chinese name, 喜鹊, again, has the character, 喜, which means happiness.

In ancient times, Chinese people loved to associate their weddings and festivals with magpies as a symbol of blessing. Moreover, people liked to draw magpies in their paintings as symbolization of good omens.

Reference:
http://www.visiontimes.com/2014/04/13/5-surprising-auspicious-chinese-symbols-bats-and-spiders-are-good-luck.html?photo=2
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Tips on Deterring Flies

Ever wondered what it feels like when you enjoy a good meal and a fly suddenly disrupts your feasting pleasure? Well, it certainly feels annoying not just by the sight of such pesky insect, hearing its buzzing sound around you is enough to turn off your good mood. A single fly is capable of laying 9,000 eggs, imagine what it does to your food before you ingest the food together with the eggs in it … Totally unimaginable!

There are some ways to help you ward these pests off or minimize their unwanted presence.

(i) Flies are attracted to strong scent of food. Keep the kitchen door and window closed when you cook; this, however, can be impractical, as doing so can be very stuffy in the kitchen. An alternative suggestion would be to place a fan in the kitchen and direct the running fan to the open door or window, this is because flies hate to be blown by wind. Clean up the food after meal and make sure there are no leftover remnants on the dining table or the cooking place/space (for example, the frying pan). Wash the dishes and do not let them stay uncleaned overnight.

(ii) Seal the uneaten cooked food and place it in the refrigerator or store the excess food in tight container. Waste food must be discarded in the trash can and the lid must be closed securely. Get rid of the trash the next day. Flies crave for compost too, ergo, keep the compost as far away from the house as possible.

(iii) Flies love to wander around animal feces. If you have a dog or cat, be sure to dispose of its excrement in a proper manner by flushing it in toilet, burying it or putting in a plastic bag, seal the bag & discard it.

(iv) Flies like to hide in bushy shrubs and tall grass. Hence, it is recommended to mow your grass often and manicure your lawn on a regular basis.

(v) Like mosquitoes, flies desire for standing water. Drain the unwanted or excess water around your house. Pour boiling water down the drains and cover them up.

(vi) If you still see flies around despite undertaking the above-mentioned preventive measures, check your house and garden thoroughly to see if there’s any carcass (example, dead rat, dead insects, etc.) or maggot, and dispose of them accordingly.

(vii) Engage a pest control professional.

Contact AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today. We provide fly traps known as Electronic Insect Trapping Devices that come with 2 models (Discreet & Hercules) to help solve your pesky fly problem.

References:
https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/14-tricks-get-rid-flies/
https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/09/08/pestered-by-mystery-flies/ (Image source)
https://nowthisnews.com/videos/food/you-might-want-to-throw-away-your-food-if-a-fly-lands-on-it (Image source)


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Tips on Getting Rid of Booklice

Booklice, though harmless to humans and they aren’t major pests compared to others like rats, ants, roaches, mosquitoes, and termites, these lice love to feast on the binding materials of books as well as the mold present in old books.  In addition, booklice crave for food particles found in kitchen.  These tiny crawlers are hard to spot, for they are only 1/16 inch in length and they are wingless.  They are usually found in moist and humid areas of your home and in food items.

To get rid of them, you must ensure that the foods infested with them are properly disposed of.   If you have humidifier in the kitchen, turn it off.  Clean your kitchen cabinets with soapy water, rinse well and wipe them with a clean cloth.  After that, leave the cabinet doors open until the insides are dried off completely.   Lastly, vacuum your kitchen and the rest of the house to make sure that there are no leftover food particles.  Remember to vacuum the fissures on the walls as well; you can also put some diatomaceous earth or talcum powder in the crevices and other crawl spaces to dry out these areas.

If there are still booklice around, use insecticide intended for booklice and only spray in well-ventilated areas.  You can kill off the booklice in an infested item by placing it in the top section of the refrigerator where the ice is stored, because the freezing point can “undo their existence”.  For old books with mold in them, you can use mold cleaning products which you can buy in shops.

References:
https://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-get-rid-of-booklice
https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-get-rid-of-psocids-2656435
https://livingwithinsects.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/living-with-booklice/ (Image source only)
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How to Keep Your Kitchen Away from Pests

Which part of your house or a commercial building has the highest chance of getting infested with various kinds of pest?  Kitchen, no doubt, as it is the main area for storing food that can attract the critters; to them, kitchen is the place of their gathering and get-together because it is their food source.

A proper and disciplinary pest control in the kitchen is essential in ensuring that you are being fed with fresh and uncontaminated food and, in the case of commercial kitchen, pest-ridden and unclean food can turn off the customers resulting in loss of business to the restaurant owner, not to mention contaminated and disease-ridden food caused by rats that can endanger the health and lives of the diners.

To maintain the cleanliness and a pest-free environment in the kitchen, here are some tips to help you ward off pests from your kitchen.

First things first.  It is important to identify the “problem” areas that are easily accessible to pests in the kitchen.  Pay attention to the food storage area (e.g. cabinet), dining area (dining table), waste disposal area (garbage bin), and food preparation area (kitchen table or sink).

(i) Always cover your trash can to prevent the smell of food from spreading out.  Clean and empty your can regularly.  A dirty garbage can with rotten leftover food is a favorite hot spot for rats, in particular.

(ii) Seal all the cracks and caulk the fissures on the walls in your kitchen because cockroaches love to hide in these holes.

(iii) Store all your foodstuffs in airtight containers.  You wouldn’t want a massive ant invasion of your yummy foods.

(iv) Keep the doors and windows in the kitchen closed to avoid those uninvited guests.

(v) Let a licensed pest controller do the dirty work for you, help you ease your job and make the pest control treatment more effective.

Having pest problem in your kitchen?  Wait no further.  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for our expertise and professional pest control solution.

References:
https://medium.com/@bayswaterpestcn/how-can-i-prevent-pest-infestation-in-my-commercial-kitchen-area-ee97c585c0db
https://www.foodsafety.com.au/resources/guides/how-to-keep-your-commercial-kitchen-clear-of-pests
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/425379127291100252/?lp=true (Image source)
http://www.earth-community.org/luxurious-kitchen-setup-for-home/sJ2y-4047/ (Image source)
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What Attracts Mosquitoes to Bite You?

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you are easily susceptible to mosquito bites?  The general consensus is that mosquitoes are attracted to individuals who are “sweeter”, but what causes you to emit the sweet scents that are perfume to these skeeters?  Let’s find out if you want to avoid the itchy bumps on your skin.

There are 5 types of human scent that will make mosquitoes come to you: Blood, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, secretions, and body odor.

(i) Mosquitoes have preferences for humans with different blood types.  People with Type O blood have 83% higher chance of getting visits from your unexpected guests.  However, mosquitoes have the least interest in Type A blood.  Accept your fate, you can’t change your blood type.

(ii) Your skin emits lactic acid when you exercise a lot and when you eat certain kinds of food such as fish, confectionery, salads, pickled vegetables, dairy products, etc.  The higher the lactic acid in your body, the higher the chance of you becoming mosquitoes’ target.  To reduce the lactic acid production, wash your body with soap and towel your body dry.

(iii) The carbon dioxide we exhale attracts these pesky insects.  Adults exhale more carbon dioxide compared to children, this is why the former are more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes compared to the latter.  Pregnant women, in particular, are the prime targets of these skeeters because they exhale a lot more carbon dioxide.

(iv) About 80% of humans secrete antigens and saccharides through their skin and these compounds are attractions for mosquitoes.  There’s nothing we can do about this.

(v) Your body sweat combined with bacteria produce a sweet odor that mosquitoes can’t resist; without bacteria, our sweat would be odorless.  Beware that some fragrances and perfumed products can also attract mosquitoes.

(vi) Alcohol consumption can raise the temperature of your body making you a likely target, because mosquitoes are easily drawn to body heat.

Having mosquito problem?  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for our expertise and professional pest control solution.

References:
https://www.msn.com/en-my/health/medical/why-mosquitoes-bite-you-the-most-explained/ar-BBNgaVq?li=AAaD62f&ocid=spartanntp
https://www.mosquitnoband.com/why-do-mosquitoes-like-me-more-than-anyone-else/
http://www.lactic-acid.com/lactic_acid_in_food.html
https://tailwind-coaching.com/category/hit-workouts/page/2/ (image source only)
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Methods to Ward off Fire Ants

Fire ants are a major nuisance to both humans and animals.  Not only do they inflict one of the most painful stings in flesh, the pain is highly intolerable and seemingly everlasting; well, once bitten, some people will have to suffer the burning “sensation” for weeks.

There are some ways you can use to minimize your fire ant problem or hopefully eliminate them for good.

(i) Bucket them

First, you’ll have to identify their nest.  Once you’ve spotted it, dig up the mound swiftly and dump it into a bucket.  Cover the mound with some baby powder or cornstarch in the bucket to prevent the fire ants from climbing out.  Lastly, fill the bucket with water mixed with some dish soap to drown them; the purpose of the dish soap is to break the surface tension so that the ants can be drowned faster.  Anyway, you will have to leave your handiwork overnight to see the result.

(ii) Give these fire buggers a hot bath

Pour hot water directly onto the mound (their colony), this is the most straightforward method.  You will have to do this 3 to 4 times, with each application requiring 3 or 4 gallons of hot water.  Be careful when using this approach, for hot water can kill the grass and injure your skin.

(iii) Dry them up with diatomite

This miracle earth known as diatomaceous earth can dehydrate the fire ants and consequently bring about their demise.  This approach is not so practical because, if you simply pour the earth onto them, they can escape.  The only way is to bag them up and fill the bag with this earth.

(iv) Use steam injectors.  Like hot water, they can destroy grass and shrubbery.

(v) Enlist the help of a professional pest controller.

Having ant problem?  Contact AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for your pest control solution.

References:
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20705655/how-to-get-rid-of-fire-ants/
http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/fireant/The%20Drip%20Line.html
https://harmonicarts.ca/product/diatomaceous-earth/
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Unbelievable Facts About Cockroaches

Despite your basic knowledge of cockroaches as uncomely, disease-ridden and vexatious, there are a number of awe-inspiring facts to learn more about these six-legged freaks.

(i) Cockroaches are cold-blooded in nature and have been in existence for 359 million years, i.e. they have existed longer than dinosaurs.  They can live under cold temperature as low as 32-degree Fahrenheit.  How did they manage to survive for so long when so many other creatures have already become extinct?

(ii) There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches on Earth, with one kind capable of surviving in the desert by using its unique mouth structure to absorb water vapor when there’s no water around.  Another species known as Saltoblatella Montistabularis or Leaproach discovered in South Africa can even jump like grasshopper!  The longest cockroach named Megaloblatta Longipennis native to Central and South Africa measures up to 3.8 inches in length with 8-inch wingspan.

(iii) Cockroaches have the danger of triggering asthma.

(iv) Cockroaches feast on all sorts of things in addition to human food.  These include soap, wood, glue, carcasses of insects, cloth, paper, hair, and even feces.  Roaches can live without food for weeks due to their naturally low metabolism rate and can survive without water for up to 2 weeks.

(v) Cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting.

(vi) It is not easy to drown a cockroach for it can hold its breath for up to 40 minutes in water.  Roaches inhale air through spiracles in their bodies and they close their spiracles when immersed in liquid.

(vii) If you cut off a cockroach’s head, it can still survive for a week without its head.

(viii) Cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust, for they can withstand high radiation exposure.  Roaches were found alive in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl after the nuclear bombings.  Scientists believe their survival was related to their slower cell cycles which molted only once a week.

(ix) Cockroaches are edible.  You can find deep-fried roaches in Thailand and China.  Bon appetit.

Having pesky roach problem?  Call AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for our professional cockroach control and solution.

References:
http://ipfactly.com/15-creepy-amazing-cockroach-facts/
https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/fascinating-cockroach-facts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/samsonso_photography/149431001 (Image source)
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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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