All posts by asepsis

Flies control in homes

Flies are one of the insects that are a totally a nuisance to many people. Flies are carriers of deadly diseases and are fond of facilitating the spread of disease. Flies are very restless thus they hover between food and dirt thereby spreading diseases e.g meat and other food items. Flies live in habitats that provide a suitable environment.

flies
a fly

 

a germful fly
a fly on a surface

Contamination

Flies are always attracted to food by their strong sense of smell. It’s surprising that flies feed on solid food directly. However, when a fly gets onto a solid food; it vomits on the food thereby creating a solution. The fly  then sucks the food. This is how it contaminates the food.

Diseases

Flies cause diseases like, typhoid, diarrhoea, dysentery, tuberculosis and cholera among many other diseases.

Preventive measures to undertake in the control of flies

As it’s always put, prevention is better than cure, hence it’s better to undertake preventive measures before infestation has taken place. This can be done by:

  • Food should always be well covered since it can be contaminated by the flies upon coming into contact with it. This way stops the spread various kinds of diseases by flies since they will lack something to feed on.
  • All food and liquid materials should always be cleaned upon spillage. This is because flies are known to have a good sense of smell for food.Hence, if left uncleaned; they shall become visitors into your home.
  • All food debris under kitchen appliances should also be properly cleaned. Contrary to which flies will infest your home.
  • People should also ensure that all their litter bins have properly lids that can be closed tightly. This will prevent the flies from establishing their breeding sites in the litter bins.
  • The compost pit should always be covered and enclosed. This is because if they are left that way the flies will establish their breeding sites in them.
  • One should always be cleaning up pets refuse; this is because faeces are not only good breeding places for flies but also a place where flies might land before getting onto your food

Control of house flies

In order to effectively control house flies one need to do various things:

  • One should first find their breeding sources. Their most common breeding sources are food, animal and human waste dump areas, dump sites, garbage and compost heaps. Their sources may not be that close since others might be located up to five hundred meters away
  • Once you have noticed their breeding places around you, take the objective of cleaning up the places. In addition the walls and floor should be properly cleaned using soap and water to remove the fly specks.

Other methods that can be employed include:

  • Use of insect repellents like herbs of aromatic plants, smoke and fry repellent oil like eucalyptus oil.
  • Second is the use of traps, for instance the human made fly trap made up of a jar, cone paper and sugar solution and the artificial fry trap that is sticky and poisonous. This traps the flies killing them.
  • Third is the use of electrical methods for instance, the use of a handheld electrical fly swatter. This resembles a bad Minton bat. It’s usually charged to very high voltages and it has the capability of killing flies mid air upon turning it on.
  • Use of chemical sprays like doom can also be employed. It’s very effective since it instantly kills the flies; however it has effect to the environment.
  • Natural method includes the planting of insectivorous plants near your home for instance the Venus fly trap, or pitcher plant. This is a very environment friendly method.

 

spiders control in and around the home

Though some spiders are known as being quite fatal, they too have some benefits. For example, spiders help in the control of insects in our homes by feeding on them. This does not mean spiders should be wholly tolerated. Many people tend to mistake spiders with insects, which is not correct, several things distinguishes them.First,spiders have eight legs whereas insects have six,spiders also are segmented into two body parts whereas insects are segmented into three among other slight differences.

Several methods can be undertaken for control of spiders.                

                     I  through barring entry of spiders

It’s always said prevention is better than cure. Therefore prevention of spiders from getting into your home is key in control of  spiders.This can be achieved through sealing all the cracks and crevices through which the spiders can enter your house. Doors and windows should be regularly inspected so as to ensure there are no holes or openings for entry of spiders. Gaps below the doors and windows should also be checked and sealed

                    II.            Through observing sanitation

Spiders are prone of taking shelter in stuff that are rarely moved in homes. So as to get away with such haborages, one should remove any trash, unused cottons and all other unused items.Regular sweeping and dusting should also be frequently done, not forgetting removal of cob webs.                             

               III.       the use of non-chemical method

This can be done through the manual removal of spider eggs. To achieve this one should use either gloves or a piece of cloth then pick the spider web and its eggs and discard it. A vacuum cleaner can also be used to destroy the web and egg. Use of sticky insect traps  also is employed where they should be placed in corners and along baseboards so as to get hold of moving spiders                        

                 iv.            Use of chemical control

Chemical spider control can be achieved through the use of residual insecticides. The insecticides should be sprayed on corners and in places where the spiders spin their webs and lay eggs.          

              V.            Control of spiders outdoors

This is done through the removal of spiders that have their harborage on buildings by use of water under very high pressure.

Besides that, there are other general preventive techniques that can be employed:

  • Tree branches that lead into and touch your home should be trimmed. This will help in the elimination of the pathway of pests like spiders’ into your home
  • Regular inspection should be carried out on your doors and windows to check whether there is the existence of cracks or holes. If they are there they should be repaired.
  • Also, its important to keep your compound free of litter, standing water or weeds that may form harborage for pests. People should also ensure that litter bins have tight fitting lids. Regular sweeping should also be done around the dust bins and all the spills and debris removed. This will deny the spiders a source of food.
  • Fourth all the cracks and gaps inside your house should be sealed as they can form a pathway for spiders.
  • Lastly people should always keep their homestead clean, since the cleaner the home is, the lesser will the pests be attracted.

Bed bugs control in schools

Bed bugs infestations are commonly from  homes and schools. They are mainly transferred in student’s possessions, mostly beddings.  They can also be carried by anyone as these don’t discriminate age. Bed bugs  treatment though achievable can be difficult and costly. However, the sooner the infestation is detected the easier to control.

Appearance of bed bugs

Adult bed bugs are oval flattened brown and wingless insects, approximately five to nine millimeter long. After feeding bedbugs change their colour from brown to purplish red

Common bed bugs biting places

Bed bugs feed two –five minutes until full then move to hiding. The most common target spots on the body include;

  • Head and neck
  • barearms
  • hands and legs.

How to detect bed bugs

The best way is to check where you sleep or rest. Their hiding places in students cubes are:

  • On and around box springs,
  • Mattresses and buttons of mattresses,
  • bed frames

They can also be found in furniture’s such as desks and chairs

Effects of bed bugs

Different people react differently to bed bugs bite. Some are not affected by bed bugs bite while others have severe allergic reactions Some of the effects of bed bugs are:

  • Rashes on skins and limbs depending on the student’s immune response.
  • Visible marks and itchiness which may make the student uncomfortable
  • Sleepiness during class-time due to bed bugs bites during rest

Measures to control bedbugs

1. In student belongings

  • Providing plastic bags  or bins to store their belongings
  • Isolations of belongings so as to prevent those infested from transferring of bedbugs to others
  • Reduce the number of items transported from home to school  and vice versa by a students
  • Regular self and authorities inspection of common problem areas for bedbugs
  • Avoid accumulation of students belongings in one place

2. In school

  • Educating members of school communities on bed bugs control procedures.  This can be done by provision of materials to staff and parents
  • Ensure all school facilities are clean and uncluttered. This will facilitate easy identification of bed bugs before the infestation gets established. This can be achieved by: regular cleaning of lost and found items, sleeping areas such as dormitories, wall mounted items such as watches and pictures
  • Where possible, storing items such as bedding and clothing in clear plastic containers will also help achieve this bed bug control.

Significant methods in the control of bedbugs

The most significant action in the control of bedbugs is the seeking of assistance from a professional in a pest control company. Depending on level of infestation, it may involve moving and disassembly of furniture and specialist equipment. For effectiveness, it requires careful inspection in conjunction with an appropriate action plan. Choices range from chemical to non-chemical solutions. This methods include: heat treatments, vacuuming and steam treatments. In addition to that there is insecticide treatment which is a chemical method

  • Heat treatment

This is done by use of specialized equipments in the infested areas. The equipments raise temperature to about 48 degrees Celsius. This controls bed bugs effectively at all stages when properly done. In some minor cases, using of sun light may be helpful in destroying eggs.

  • Insecticides

Use of insecticides is another significant method in the control of bed bugs. However, most of the over the counter insecticides are not effective in controlling bed bugs. It’s therefore advisable to seek the assistance of a professional pest controller. However if need be to do it by yourself, one should carefully read and understand the label before using and follow all the label instructions Other methods include vacuuming of bed bug infested areas and laundering in hot water

Landscape paving tips

Landscape paving tips

The possibilities in this line are only bound by our imagination and available material. We can look at these paving in terms of space function. The most common spaces for a home landscape for example include, driveway, front yard and backyard. In some homes, you may find patios, gazebos and barbecue corners. All these may use different paving material. Common hardscape surface choices include;

  • Gravel
  • Building stone
  • Pre-cast concrete cabro blocks
  • Brick blocks and ceramic tiles

Gravel paving

Gravel is loved a lot  in landscape paving because of its cheapness and ready availability. The loose finish allows crunch sounds as you walk or drive along this surface. Its however best for short driveways with good drainage, otherwise you’ll end up needing to refill the place up if it keeps sinking. Though usually used for less traffic spaces, a hardy base can allow heavier traffic. A gravel driveway and path Though not common currently in Kenya, there’s combination of technologies that use cell like membranes to increase porousness of this surface and traffic tolerance. A similar technology is used in turf surface design where grass is grown on a membrane.

Stone paving

Building stone is a wonderful landscape paving material for driveways and small walkways. Where done with uniform sized stone, different patterns can be achieved with this  landscape paving. Owing to its vast availability, anyone can use it and is fairly affordable. Common method people go for include placing the stones on the tire paths of vehicles only. For more advance motifs, different shapes and colour of stones may be used. It’s however best to go for the harder stone types. This will ensure durability of your driveway or walkway Pre-cast concrete blocks  

Cobble and cabro landscape  paving blocks are some of the most commonly used precast paving in urban areas. They come in different shapes and colours and usually sold in terms of square meter coverage. Owing to their uniform shape, they can easily be replaced if damaged. Their use varies from simple walkways to whole streets and driveways. Concrete slabs also fall in this category. There are ideal for walkways. They may be permanently set in cement or laid on sand base. In some cases, mixing the slabs with brick may be used for achieving different shapes and colours. They are most ideal for heavy traffic areas, are fairly durable and weather tolerant. You may see a lot of this in urban streets. In some places, these pavers have been used for patios and barbecue areas outdoors.

Brick paving blocks

Brick is one of the oldest material used in building construction. The long use of this material has resulted in even landscape paving solutions using the same. Brick may be used for edging, surface and even seat wall and retaining walls. Due to the reddish colour, it’s a bit earthy and sits well in any landscape. Landscape paving with this material may involve placing option or setting with cement. Though very longlasting when made into tiny pieces, the larger pieces are prone to cracking and breakage on intense use.

ANTS CONTROL IN HOMES

In order to effectively control ants, one needs to first understand their behavior. Behavior of ants

  • Ants are known to live in colonies. The colonies consist of short lived males, egg laying females and female workers. Those that are commonly seen hunting in kitchens and gardens are the workers. When they locate food they communicate with the other workers by depositing a trail of pheromone as they go back to their nests. A trail of pheromone is a chemical message on the substrate that helps the other ants in locating food.
  • During the dry seasons the ants acquire wings which they use to fly to new locations. They may end up invading homes as one of their new locations so as to hunt for food and also establish new nests.
  • Ants have a wide food range. They are known to feed on sugary foods, starchy substances, greasy materials, wood, plants and animal materials.

There are two types of ants, those that live outside and forage of the homes and those that live inside the home. To effectively control them one needs to understand the type of infestation. Ants living outside and foraging inside homes Those living outside enter our homes in search of food. To prevent them from finding their way into our homes one needs to:

  • Seal all cracks and crevices that lead into the home. This will eradicate their passages. Contrary to this precaution, the ants will later find their way into your home.
  • By use of detergents scrub around the entry points. This will help in the removal of the trail pheromone. One should then spray a residua insecticide around the entry points so as to completely destroy them and repel them.
  • Use of baits and insecticides can effectively control in the outside nests. For effectiveness the baits should be kept at locations with a high frequency of ants so that the baits are eaten and taken back to the nests. Use of dilute insecticides can also be used to eliminate ant nests effectively. However one should careful go through the label before using the insecticide.

Ants that live inside the homes For effective control of these ants, a thorough inspection needs to be carried out first. This should be done with an aim of finding the ant nests. To easily find them one should trace the pheromone trail of the ants. Thereafter, one should inspect around the doors, windows, along carpet edges and around the kitchen It should be known that there are some ants that not only enter houses to forage for foods. Instead they also establish colonies. Various methods can be employed to effectively control these ants.

  • First is the spraying of non-residual repellent insecticide. To effectively stop them, one needs to first establish the ant nets. If not so this method will only provide a short term solution. If the nest has been established behind a wall you will be obliged to drill some holes which would be used or dusting of the ants.
  • Second is the use of non-repellent insecticides. This is very effective since it works without the ants detecting and hence it eliminates them.
  • The third method is the use of baits. Its effective since once the worker ants have fed on the baits they take back the pieces to the queen in the nest thereby killing the whole colony. To effectively use the baits; they should be placed in regions with high ant activity a residual repellent should not be used near the bait and lastly the bait should have a combination of both sweet based and greasy foods.

BEE CONTROL

 

bee
a bee

Bee sting is one of the most painful experiences in our day to day life. It’s even more risky to people who are allergic to bee stings. However one can avoid bee stings by taking several precautions outdoors and proper management of bee nests.                           IDENTIFYING A BEE STING                                                                    Bees are least likely to sting somebody unless provocated stood on or sat on. The most outstanding sign of a bee sting is that bee leaves a stinger inside the skin that contains venomous sac that releases poison continuously for even more than a minute. Once stung by a bee, a reddish color will be seen around the area of the sting. There will also be the formation of a raised welt which which will reduce after some hours. One will also feel an itching sensation which may go on for a couple of days.                                                                STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A BEE STING

  •   First by use of a pair of tweezers one should promptly carefully remove the stinger off the area affected. Removal of the singer should be done carefully so as to avoid squeezing the sting sac as it will end up releasing more poison into the wound.
  • The next step will be cleaning the wound by use clean water and soap. To reduce the swelling the wound can be soaked in water or covering it with ice in a clothing
  • Itching can then be reduced thru applying anti histamine cream around the wound or taking oral anti histamine tablets. If the itching is persistent one should quickly seek the help f a doctor.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH AN ALLERGIC REACTION AS A RESULT OF BEE STINGS                                                             People with moderate allergy reactions may encounter a common swelling around the wound. If the swelling becomes more severe and persistent one should seek the help of a doctor. However some strange symptoms might be experience especially by people who are allergic to bee stings. If within the first half an hour of the sting the casualty experiences any of the symptoms below, they should be quickly rushed to the nearby hospital so as to avoid complications; The symptoms are:

  • Production of a wheezing sound, chocking or inability to properly breathe
  • Convulsions ‘dizziness or headaches
  • Swelling around the mouth, throat or tongue that may restrict breathing
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Chest pains                                                                                           It should be noted that allergy stings can develop at any time. People stung in two or more occasions in the previous years are most likely to develop allergies as a result of bee stings.Moreso those who suffer from other allergies like dust are at a higher risk of developing sting allergies.                                                              STEPS TO GETTING RID OF BEES                                                       In order to get rid one needs to do several things.
  • First one should ascertain if they are dealing with bees or just any other insect. This is because people tend to mistake other stinging insects like wasps with bees. This should be done with a lot of care.
  • Secondly one should ascertain the type of infestation. For instance they should know if it’s a swarm of bees or if the bees have made a hive.
  • After ascertaining the type of infestation, one should then take an objective of calling a professional to remove the bee hives or the bee swarms. This is because it may be very fatal to remove large amounts of bees by yourself.
  • An image of a bee
    An image of a bee

WASP CONTROL

WASP CONTROL

One of the most painful experiences is being stung by a wasp. It’s even more serious for people who are allergic to stings. However the risks of being stung by wasps can be reduced outdoors through taking precautions and proper management of wasp’s nests. One of the most significant precautions that one can take to minimize wasps’ stings is through destroying of their nests in and around your home

IDENTIFYING WASP STINGS

Wasps are one of the most common stinging insects .they are very aggressive and can sting anyone without being provoked or disturbed. Once stung by a wasp a small puncture hole is likely to develop on your skin. The surrounding area of the skin will redden and a swelling welt will appear. This welt will reduce with hours but an itching sensation may continue for some days.

GUIDELINES ON TREATING A WASP STING                                                                                                                                                          

  • First one should remove the stinger promptly and carefully by using a pair of twizzers.This should be done with a lot of care so that the sting sac is not squeezed as this will inject more poison into the wound.
  • One should then wash the wound with soap and water. To reduce the swelling one can either soak the wound in cold water or cover it with a cold compress for instance ice in a cloth.
  • For one to relieve the itching one can apply the anti histamine cream for bites and stings or take an oral anti-histamine tablet. However if the itching is more severe one should seek the doctors attention.

SYMPTOMS AN ALLERGIC REACTION AS A RESULT OF WASP STING

People with moderate allergy reactions are likely to experience general swelling around the wound. However if the swelling is more severe and persistent one should seek the doctors attention. In case of a sting and one experiences strange symptom within the first half an hour of being stung. The casualty should be immediately rushed to the nearby hospital so as to avoid complications. The symptoms are:

  • Wheezing, chocking or inability to properly breathe
  • Convulsions, dizziness or headaches
  • Stomach cramps and nausea
  • Swelling around the mouth, throat or tongue that could constrict breathing

It should be noted that allergy to stings can develop at any time. People stung in two or more occasions in the previous years are more likely to develop allergies as a result of stings.stings. More so those suffering from are other allergies are equally at a higher risk.

GETTING RID OF WASPS

Equipment for proper elimination of wasp nests. Some of the nests could be very large underneath and trying to get rid of them by yourself can cause a lot of damage for instance death or even severe allergies. Several methods can be employed to get rid of wasps for instance use of baits, traps ,spraying with homemade mixtures for instance lemon oil and water. Wasps are more active during the day than at night. So night time is the best time of getting rid of them ,this will be advantageous in that the wasps are not overly active and they are least likely to strike back.moreso most of the wasps will be in their nests during the night making the process easier since one needs apply the pesticide  for a second time. Wasp spray is the most commonly used in wasp control .when looking for one ,one should choose one that will instantly knock them down before they realize that their nest is under attack making them to turn to the person spraying them. One should be conversant with the structure of the nests in order to make sure that all openings are sprayed. Repellents may also be used where the wasps have started nest construction. One should wear as much as heavy clothes as possible in order to prevent any exposed skin from stings and also pesticides. One should also wear eye protection gears and gloves.

Kicking out bedbugs!!

There’s nothing as annoying as biting insects. From mosquitos to bedbugs, we all can’t wait to get rid of them quick. For today, let’s talk about pest control of bedbugs and how you can actually keep them out of your home/ office.

How they spread and thrive?

Where to get bedbugs
Bedbugs hiding under a matresss

Bedbugs have a tendency for the dark corners especially within furniture, storage, clothes and drapes. The most Common Avenue through which they may end up at your place include;

-from public places (buses, trains, lodgings even market places)

-from your kids coming in from boarding school (they may hide in beddings and clothes)

-from neighbors through clothes on lines

-storing damp laundry

-Second hand furniture may harbor some (maybe that’s why the owners ‘disposed’ it in the first place)

In controlling bedbugs, you should be sure to get rid of their eggs too so you don’t have future problem. If ever you have a problem, U.V. light (sunlight) can help get rid of them. Airing out clothes, carpets and drapery can help keep bedbugs at bay. For worst case scenarios;

-call exterminators for chemical fumigation

-though not popular in Kenya yet, steam treatment for bedbugs is applied elsewhere globally

So don’t suffer with bedbugs in silence, now you know!!! 🙂

Continue reading Kicking out bedbugs!!

Balcony gardens for our ‘concrete’ cities

Modernity brings in its wake rise in concrete jungles. Apartments, homes, highways and office blocks eat away into our green spaces. With time, our play space even for kids in the estates has been taken over by shops or a parking lot. For those living in apartments, the only sense of owning the outdoor may be the balcony. The idea of greening this up results in  balcony gardens.

This balcony garden combines grass, wood casement pots and ceramic pots for a simple but elegant look

Luckily, throwing in a few plants and design ideas may make you a small paradise of your home. Balcony gardens are slowly catching on and the ideas are limitless. In co-operation of some hardscapes and plants can create outstanding results. Miniature fountains, ceramic pots, small grassy patches, gravel and ‘mazeras’ slabs are just but a few features you can throw in.

To help you start off your balcony garden, here’s a few tips;

  • Using high quality soil mix or enriched planting media helps boost your plants development
  • Cluster your plants for ease of watering them
  • Place your plants with size, light demand in question e.g. Taller ones at the back and the higher the light demand the closer it should be to sun path
  • Herbs are the best choice for an edible balcony garden collection. Most grow to manageable size
  • Vines and quick growers are ideal for small spaces as the ascent verticality making illusion of bigger space
  • Fruits like strawberry, blueberry’s and passion can do well here

Go ahead, try it yourself. You may find this is what your home or office has been missing.

Water solutions for your garden-gray water

By simple definition, graywater is as any domestic wastewater produced, excluding sewage. One main difference between graywater and sewage (or blackwater) is the organic concentration. Sewage has a much larger organic loading compared to graywater. Kitchen water, though classified as black water because of its content of grease, oils and other organic matter can be treated for reuse if pre separated from sewage.With depletion of fresh water reserves, rethinking your water re-use should be appropriate.


Benefits of Graywater Re-use

Re-use doesn’t diminish our quality of life, however it can provide big benefits.

  • Reducing the need for fresh water. This can significantly reduce household water bills, but also has a broader community benefit in reducing demands on public water supply.
  • Reducing the amount of wastewater entering sewers or on-site treatment systems. Again, this can benefit the individual household, but also the broader community.
  • Gray water is rich in phophorous and nitrogen from soaps beneficial to soil and plants

Where to use Graywater

Treated greywater can be used to irrigate both food and non food producing plants. The nutrients in the greywater (such as phosphorus and nitrogen) provide an excellent food source for these plants. Its however not to be applied on leaves and fruit of edible plants.

Where properly filtered, it can be applied through normal irrigation systems. Its best to apply slightly below or on the soil surface. Leach fields from gray water distribution may also be applied.

More tips

  • Use when natural precipitation and normal irrigation water are not available
  • Control gray-water application and infiltration to prevent standing puddles and surface runoff.
  • Apply gray water to soil. Don’t spray on foliage, twigs or stems.Also don’t soak bark or root-collar area.
  • Don’t use on root or leaf crops consumed by people or domestic livestock.
  • Don’t use on new transplants
  • Don’t use on indoor trees or other plants with limited rooting space, in small containers, or plants normally under saturated conditions
  • Avoid using micro or regular sprinkler heads that can blow gray-water aerosols downwind
  • Always apply gray water at or slightly below the soil surface. Apply over or under mulch, if present