Insects. From the noble dragonfly to the loathsome cockroach, insects make up an important part of our ecosystem. We can’t live without them… and yet, we can’t quite live with them either. There’s something about seeing a housefly in our home that makes us want to pick up a swatter.
Pests can take on so many forms that some businesses dedicate themselves to conducting pest control for a certain species.
So, how do you get rid of ants, roaches, mosquitoes and other pests at home?
If you are looking to get a home of your own, read our guide here on the different types of property launched by HDB periodically.
What attracts insects to my home?
Before you pick up a can of insecticide, it’s important to know what’s contributing to the presence of insects in your home.
Insects such as ants and cockroaches tend to be attracted to food that’s left out in the open. It applies to all kinds of food, but more so for meat and fish products. Unfortunately, these are the things we have to thaw the longest out in the open.
If you have to leave such food unattended, use a barrier that insects can’t get through. You can also elevate the dish above a plate of water, or use a food cover.
Some of the older HDB flats come with rubbish chutes built into their homes, which lead directly to a massive central bin. This bin serves as a breeding ground for thousands of insects, which will only be too happy to crawl up the chutes and into your home.
Fortunately, newer HDBs no longer use this system. If you still have one of these chutes in your house, your best bet would be to seal up all the cracks and holes around the chute entrance. This will be helpful if you are trying to get rid of ants, roaches, and flies.
Water pooling in old tyres are a common breeding ground for mosquitoes
Mosquitoes breed by laying eggs in stagnant water, which can pool in places such as plant dishes and dripping pipes. Mosquitoes are responsible for an estimated 725,000 deaths every year by transmitting diseases such as dengue and malaria.
Make sure to keep your home as dry as possible to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
What about other types of insects in my home?
If there is a sudden rise in the population of spiders or lizards in your home, it might be helpful to understand their motivations. As mosquitoes and smaller insects are food sources for these insects, their growth in number might be due to a secondary insect infestation in your house. HDB has some contacts for some pest control services you can consider in case things get out of control.
How do I get rid of ants?
People tend to have mixed feelings about ants. After all, they’re tiny and mostly harmless. Some people are even fascinated by them. However, most won’t want to find them on their dinner.
Luckily, there is an easy way to get rid of ants. One method is to use a solution of water, sugar, and borax. Soak the solution up with cotton balls, and leave it somewhere that ants frequent. The poison will kill off the entire colony once the solution is ingested by ants and brought back to their nests.
After you’ve gotten rid of ants, you still need to prevent them from re-entering. Put some vinegar in a spray bottle, apply it to the entrances of your home, and wipe it off with a clean towel. This will deter them since they hate the smell of vinegar.
Keeping your house clean will also help to prevent ants from setting up home in your house. The best way to get rid of ants is to deny them access to food – make sure you wipe down surfaces after meals and clean your home regularly.
How do I get rid of cockroaches?
You’ll never see just ‘one’ cockroach. These pests often congregate in dark, sheltered areas, and places with plenty of food and water. They are a little trickier to get rid of because they don’t behave as predictably as ants, and move much faster.
There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches, but the most common ones we can find in our houses are the German cockroach, Brown Banded cockroach, and the American cockroach. Of the three, the American cockroach is the largest and most commonly seen, often growing up to four centimetres long and residing near rubbish chutes.
Bait traps are one of the most useful tools to get rid of a cockroach infestation. They work via a slow-acting poison, which the cockroaches ingest and bring back to their lair. Once these cockroaches die, they are eaten by other cockroaches, who will then die of the poison as well.
Ultimately, the best way to keep your home clear of cockroaches is to practice good hygiene. Clean up corners and unclutter your furniture so they have nowhere to hide.
How do I get rid of mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which is something you can’t stop yourself from producing. Thankfully, a quick search on Google will provide you with a ton of DIY carbon dioxide mosquito traps that you can experiment with.
To prevent an outbreak in your house, the best method would be to prevent them from laying eggs. Get rid of any stagnant water, and use mosquito dunks to kill off any larvae.
If you stay in an HDB and want pets instead of pests, read our guide here on which animals are allowed.
To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.