Category Archives: Pest Control

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

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.

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!!

Controlling rodents -rats and mice

Rats and mice are a common problem in all parts of the world.

Identifying rat and mice problem

You will identify rodent problems by their activity and by seeing them. Rodents will chew on items such as clothes,electrical cables and shoes. You will also hear noises on your roof, ceiling and attic. On close examination ,most often you will see their stool.

Control

There are various methods of controlling rats and mice. These include;

  •  Chemical
  •  Mechanical
  •  Biological and
  •  A combination of two or all of them.

Chemical control

The most effective way of controlling rodents is the use of anticoagulant baits. BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and other companies that manufacture pest control products have these types of baits. These can be put in bait stations to protect the baits themselves from the elements of weather and to protect pests. Keeping them out of reach of children is extremely important.

As much as possible, avoid knockdown chemicals such as Zinc Phosphine commonly referred as rat and rat. They do not work as well because rodents soon learn to avoid them. Similarly, they leave the area smelly and are dangerous poisons.

All rodent control products must be used with great caution. Consult licensed pest control professionals for proper assessment and treatment.

For the roof attic and difficult to reach areas, the bait blocks can be thrown in these areas. In general however, proper control of rodents in the compound will eliminate the ones on the roof too because rodents do move around.

Mechanical control

Two types of mechanical control of rodents can be used

1.   a) Entry proofing

By blocking rodent pathways and entry ways rodents can be controlled effectively. Consider this method for drains, ducts, doors, windows and any other entrances that can be used by the rodents. Use of wire nets and ensuring that all windows and doors have no gaps is a good measure. Start by preventing them from entering the compound first if possible and follow up with blocking entrances to stores. For grain stores, poultry houses and other elevated areas, rodent deflectors made of simple sheet metal placed on the supporting posts will effectively prevent rodents from entering.

2.      b)Trapping

Many types of traps exist. The most common are trigger traps, cages and glue traps

Trigger traps

 The trigger traps trip when a rodent walks on them and the quick tripping action hits and traps the rodent. Large rodents have been known to drag these traps to their hideouts.

Cages

The cages work by luring the rodents into the enclosure that has a trap door. This means that once the rodent is inside, it cannot be able to leave the cage. The rodent is then allowed to die or starvation or killed by any other means.

Glue traps

Glue traps are place on rodent pathways. They are most effective against mice due to their small size. A rodent bait can be placed on the glue to encourage the rats or mice to walk on the glue. Once trapped, the glue plate has to be discarded. Glue traps can be bought or can be made by smearing rodent glue on cardboard pieces

For all mechanical traps, it is important to inspect the traps regularly to remove the trapped rodents, to replenish the bait, to clean the trap and to reset the trap.

Biological control

For proper biological control, one needs to understand the rodent ecosystem. Rodents are part of a food chain that involves their food and their predators. They also flourish in certain environments. Some of the natural predators to rodents include cats, birds of prey and snakes. If they are absent in the ecosystem, rodent populations can explode. This is common in urban centres. Rodents thrive in environments where they can hide, breed and where there is plenty of food. Eliminating these factors minimizes problems associated with rats, mice and other rodents that are of public health concern.

 

How to control cockroaches

Example of a coakroach infestation problem in the kitchen
Example of a coakroach infestation problem in the kitchen

Roaches are some of the most annoying pests we may encounter in the home. The health risk they pose and their ability to overpopulate quickly makes them very irritating. Cockroaches belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and Order Blattaria. They are known to breed and expand colonies at a very fast rate depending on conditions. Cockroaches are very resistant insects and most times, prevention may be actually better than ridding them completely.

Types of common coakroaches
Types of common cockroaches
  • How they get in: they access homes through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses and on our person!
  • Their Ideal environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground for certain pest species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
  • Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. They hatch very tiny eggs that look dust like
  • Evasiveness: Because cockroaches typically are nocturnal and like hiding. If you spot one any other time, you probably have an infestation
  • health hazard: in children and sensitive individuals, the debris created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies.
  • Getting rid of them: Where accessible, rid yourself of roach eggs in draws, kitchen corners, fridge door rubber, under oven and microwaves.If they are too many in numbers, consider an exterminator because they gain resistance to over the counter insecticides very quickly

Control of bees

Classification of honey bee

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Genus

Apis

Species

Apis Mellifera

Bees are closely relatives to ants and wasp. They play a very important role in the sustenance of life on earth. However, they can also be pests.

Importance of bees

·         The most notable contribution of bees is pollination. Without bees, life would not exist as it is today. Pollination leads to seed production

  • ·         Increasing bio-diversity because of cross pollination
  • ·         As producers of honey
  • ·         As cultural, mythical examples of hard work, diligence and organization  

Bees as pests

Bees can only be considered pests when they endanger the lives of humans, livestock and wildlife. This is only relevant to stinging bees and when they swarm around humans. In general, bees will not sting until disturbed

Life threatening allergies (anaphylaxis)

To some people, bee stings can cause life threatening allergies known as anaphylaxis. This occurs in some people in a population. Again, the reaction could differ depending on the bee species. It is therefore extremely important to eliminate bees from human residences especially if there are young children. This is because the reactions to bee stings may not be known.

Treatment of bee stings

  • Remove the stinger as soon as possible
  • Apply a weak base/alkali such as tooth paste or soap. Bee sting is highly acidic containing melittin
  •   A tetanus injection may be required
  •   For serious reaction, get to a health facility as soon as possible where the doctor may prescribe epinephrine injection

Control of bees

  • Fumigation or spraying with an appropriate insecticide will often control bees. Pest control professionals will prescribe control and preventive measures to discourage re-colonization.
  •   Prevent entry and colonization by entry proofing. Bees will mostly be found in ceilings, chimneys and between panels in a building
  •   Where, pesticides are used, all the honey and honey combs must be disposed of well by the pest control professionals. No trace should be left at the sit
  • Usually, the control of bees is done in the evening and uses smokers. Appropriate PPE must be worn during the activity.

 

Control of Snakes

Snakes are pests. In general people have great fears for snakes and there are many beliefs around snakes. Snakes can be difficult to see in the environment and can go undetected for long periods.

Many methods exist in prevention of snake infestation. These include;

  • Control of rodents
  • Clearing of bushes and grass
  • Covering gaps and holes to prevent entry in houses
  • Keeping predator pets like cats, ducks and other poultry

In Kenya, Chemical control of snakes is available too. This includes the use of a snake bait that is Nicotine based, Going by the name snake fix, the product is excellent for professional pest control.

It is not suitable for use at home or by non-professionals because as a bait, it can attract snakes to you if not kept properly or if gloves are not used.

Termite control

Termite control

Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Subclass Pterygota
Infraclass Neoptera
Super-order Dictyoptera
Order Blattodea
Infraorder Isoptera

 

Termites are eusocial insects (insects with a high level of social organization and order). They therefore exist in colonies with division of labour, overlapping adult generations and collective caring of the young ones and each other.

Termites are important because of several reasons

  • As detrivores contributing to decomposition and the nutrient cycles
  • As pests that can cause considerable losses in grains, timber structures, agriculture, forestry and many other materials destruction of an economic nature

The idea of termite control should therefore not be seen as a means of eliminating them from the ecosystem but rather the protection of materials and economic destruction.

How to recognize termites in your home or facility

  • Check for mud tubes especially around the house skirting or on timber
  • Heck for hollowness on timber. Knocking slightly or using a sharp tool can reveal termite damage
  • Differences between termites and ants
Ants Termites
The antennae are bent at an angle of ninety degrees The antennae are straight and parallel to the body
The front wings are longer than the hind wings The wings are roughly equal in length

 

How to prevent termites from establishing colonies in your home or facility

  • Over all openings and cracks on the foundation or house slab
  • Attend to leaks in time
  • Avoid growing flowers, trees and other plants too close to buildings
  • Avoid storing timber and wood next to the house for too long
  • Avoid rain water from falling too close to the house
  • All construction should be preceded by termite treatment

Treatment control measures

Termites can be controlled by physical, chemical and biological means. The most common methods of control are chemical methods

Some of the popular chemicals used in Kenya come under the following brand names

  • Termidor,
  • Premise,
  • Dragnet and
  • Gladiator