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What happens to pest control during COVID-19

Understanding the current COVID-19 situation in Singapore

According to the updates on COVID-19 cases reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore has over 9,000 cases with over 3,500 patients hospitalised. In addition, the nation has now over 25 individuals in critical condition and reported death cases of 11.

Circuit breaker measures have been announced on 7 April that include stringent social distancing measures, closures of non-essential business services and non-dining-out services at food establishments during this period. In addition, the circuit breaker period is extended to 1 June where more protective measures and compliance are stated. This covers additional closures of businesses under the essential services, strict social distancing regulations and limited access to work force and resources.

Safety activities conducted during Coronavirus period

There have been several proactive and well-practiced safety activities among businesses and individuals. This includes:

  • Maintaining adequate and optimal hygiene standards. In addition, ensure diligent hand washing and using hand sanitisers for personal protection.
  • Full compliance with social distancing and movement control regulations
  • Adhering to the COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures, including putting on mandatory masks and visiting a doctor when unwell.
  • Conducting disinfection and sanitisation services at commercial and service spaces
  • Boosting individual’s health and immunity by eating well, resting early and keeping fit

Practicing good hand hygiene such as hand washing and sanitising is essential to reduce bacteria and viruses.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Hand Washing

What pest infestations happen during COVID-19 stage?

Changes to home activities due to working from home

With the new arrangement to work from home during this circuit breaker period, it also means spending a lot more time at home. In addition, for some homes that are not designed with proper workspaces, homeowners will compromise with working at available corners of the home. Above all, they might end up having quick lunches at these corners ranging from bedroom, living hall or dining table. Hence, leaving food crumbs and water spills behind that attracts ants and cockroaches to feed on. Find out what causes cockroach infestation in homes.

More activities among families during stay home period

With closures of various non-essential services including retail shops, recreation, libraries and attractions, families would be spending more time at home. Firstly, there is more traffic and activities run the entire day. Secondly, clutters, piles and mess may accumulate. Thirdly, sanitation is compromised without regular and active housekeeping. Fourthly, with more food cooking and consumption in the house, the presence of food waste and garbage, water spills and dirty dishes would cause a pest infestation. Besides the kitchen, cockroaches tend to lurk at other hiding spots in your home including bathrooms. Cockroach control might be necessary if infestation turns serious when you start spotting them even in the daytime.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Food Preparation

Increased food preparation activities at home can lead to a pest infestation.

Mosquitoes are free to linger and enter homes

Unfortunately, pests such as mosquitoes are free to roam around and source for their host to feed on. These adult mosquitoes could enter your homes, especially with more people within the home, ventilation is essential by keeping windows and balcony open. In addition, as we approach the warmer climates, this heightens the mozzie activity and thrives better under such conditions. We could risk ourselves from receiving mosquito bites as a result. Rentokil shares nine facts on what we should know about these mosquitoes’ bites.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Bites And Itch

Mosquito bites can lead to red, itchy and swollen skin.

Vacated and shut down premises can harbour pests

Most of us would think closing tight a place would mean shutting down clean from pests. On the contrary, this perception is not true for a few reasons:

  • Pest entries are still possible through the gaps and crevices on the structure
  • Ventilators have openings to allow pests to crawl in
  • Non pest-proofed doors give pests a chance to slip in underneath
  • Pests seek shelter that is cosy and quiet to rest and harbour
  • Drainage system, sewers, manhole, grease trap and piping are a source of entry

Undetected pest activities and nest build-up could escalate to a pest problem with no actions taken for a period of time. For some pests, such as rats that have efficient reproduction capabilities in a quick period, this may bring about more serious pest issues when the premise is open for operations. Read here to find out why pest proofing is important for properties and premises.

More room for food safety lapse with higher food orders

With more demand and needs in food order and delivery, there could be more food preparation activities that lead to potential gaps and risks in food safety. This includes:

  • Negligence in personal hygiene towards food preparation
  • Ingredients and cooking tools contaminated by cockroaches
  • Unattended ood trash and garbage
  • Sanitation and cleanliness of kitchen and equipment not being upkeep
  • Less observant on pests signs and presence amidst busy operations

These operation challenges could potentially attract pests and contaminate food consumption orders. Some of the diseases spread by cockroaches and rats include Salmonella, Hantavirus, Gastroenteritis, Dysentery and Cholera. In this situation, we do not hope to add on more health and safety risk while trying to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria and virus.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Food Safety

Leftover food attracts pests and eventually result in contamination.

Common pests found in residential & commercial

Common home pests - Cockroaches, ants and mosquitoes

Top wanted home pests are namely cockroaches, ants and mosquitoes. Firstly, for cockroaches and ants, they are largely caused by food consumption, untended trash and garbage, poor housekeeping and presence of water and moisture that attracts that. Secondly, mosquitoes come about as a “passer-by” as they fly in from surroundings and neighbouring sites. Thirdly, there could be presence of mosquito breeding source that develops into adult mosquitoes found within the home. Above all, these pests seek three basic needs: Food, water and shelter to survive just like us.

Cockroaches, mosquitoes, rats and flies lurk in commercial places

In a business sector environment, besides the common pest culprits such as the cockroaches and mozzies, flies and rats tend to have more exposure in the commercial space. Rats are often found at garbage and disposal areas, drains and burrows and tend to find their way in a property through the gaps they can find. Due to their good climbing and swimming nature, they can handle heights by climbing and hiding at ceilings and rooftops.

Flies on the other hand are highly associated with food sources such as decomposed and fermented matter, fruits and vegetables scraps, juices or sweet liquid. They are commonly found in kitchens, catering production, canteens or centralised kitchens, particularly greasy and unhygienic drains choking with bacteria and grime.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Flies Contaminate Food

Implications towards pest control during COVID-19

With these changes in activities that are taking place both at work and at home, and possible development of risks and gaps, there are some implications resulting in relation to pest control management. Firstly, pest infestation of various pest species may occur, namely ants, cockroaches, rats, mosquitoes and flies. Secondly, health and safety of the families and public may be at risk such as potential short circuit and fire resulting from rat gnawing. Thirdly, food poisoning and contamination due to the bacteria and pathogens pests from their carried-on surfaces to the food. Fourthly, vector diseases such as dengue fever caused by Aedes Mosquitoes. Above all, the need to spend time and investment to perform a deep cleaning and flush out treatment for pest eradication and pathogens.

The dengue cases in Singapore is reported to exceed the 16,000 cases reported in 2019 by the National Environment Agency (NEA). In mid-April, there have been 5,800 cases and dengue transmission could worsen with the rise of dengue virus stereotype 3 (DENV-3).

Mosquito prevention requires a community effort to control just like how we are doing our part to safeguard our health from COVID-19 transmission risks. Particularly with stay-home schedules this period, we can also remain vigilant by stepping up on mosquitoes’ preventive measures. For example, remove breeding sites that are opportunities for mozzies to breed. Families can remove any presence of stagnant water and inspect high-risk items such as gulley traps, flower-pots, drains, pails or dish trays. In particular, if you are residing among the reported dengue cluster in Singapore, it pays to take more effort and initiative to get rid of mosquitoes. Safeguard your family from both COVID-19 and dengue fever this time.

What additional pest protection measures to take?

We can take proactive steps to protect ourselves from both harmful coronavirus and pathogens and diseases transmitted from pests through these initiatives:

  • Conduct regular and ongoing pest detection and inspection around the place
  • Look out for pest infestation signs such as egg cases, strong musty order or droppings
  • Maintain your pest control services and treatment for ongoing protection
  • Practice good housekeeping habits and upkeep the facility cleanliness
  • Instill more awareness on education around pests facts and their habitats
  • Engage in professional pest control company to perform flush out programmes
  • Ensure surface disinfection and sanitisation in place to remove pathogens

What additional pest protection measures to take?

Switch to contactless mosquito pest control

Rentokil Singapore offers mosquito traps that control both the adult mosquitoes and larvae. These are placed outside the home, usually at the car pouch, garden, courtyard or backyard. As we observe social distancing and minimise interaction, this mosquito control innovation requires a bi-monthly service to replace active ingredients in the unit and does not require entering into a home premise.

Mozzies entering into the unit brings along with her the active ingredient to other parts and sites for hosts sourcing. This in turn contaminates and eliminates the larvae at these new sites within 7 to 14 days. In this time where we favour green pest control, this mosquito pest control has low toxicity and is effective towards insecticide resistance. Book now for a free trial.

Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Mosquito Trap

Introducing Rentokil's In2Care outdoor mosquito trap that effectively reduces the mosquito population.

Perform rat control services remotely and digitally

Rentokil Initial has developed a cutting-edge-solution to get rid of rats using sensing technology by sending signals in a connected manner to a command centre. Pest control specialists receive alerts of any rat infestation activities and are recorded and tracked through the digital platform. Efforts to heighten rat elimination through optimal monitoring of rats and identifying key risk areas more accurately. This is particularly helpful where detecting rats is a challenge given their nocturnal nature. Find out more on the digital rat pest control today.

Apply DIY Pest control home remedies

DIY home remedies may not work as well as compared to the professionals. However, we can apply remedies to serve some form of deterrent as we continue spending loads of time working and learning from home. Some of the common cockroach control and ant control home remedies include:

  • Using insecticide sprays on physical cockroaches and ants
  • Applying gels at corners and hiding spots within cabinets
  • Sticking traps and baits at high activity areas
  • Using essential oils and diffusers to help in some deterrent
  • Adopt pest myth ideas such as spices, condiments example vinegar and baking soda
  • Vacuum the place to remove any droppings and eggs
Debugged Blog What Happens To Pest Control During COVID-19 Pest Myths Baking-Soda

Many has attempted to use baking soda as a home remedy to get rid of pests.

Activate digital pest reporting

Instead of speaking to a specialist at this sensitive period of social distancing, you can log into myRentokil. It is an online reporting platform to understand your current pest trend analysis, key risk areas, recommendations to adopt and service history. In addition, documentations, service reports, SDS certs and other relevant information and certification are uploaded for your reference.

Various mode of communication on pest

We understand the need for individuals to rely on self-help initiatives at this stage. Rentokil shares a series of communication channels and information libraries for your reference. For example, how to get rid of ants and what are some effective cockroach prevention remedies to apply.

  • You may drop your query, concerns and pest doubts to #askdrchan. Dr. Chan is a medical entomologist who analyses pest species and offers pest recommendation and explanations that is challenging to clarify through research
  • Read the common pests, habitats and signs to look out for in the Pest Guide Book
  • Get all the useful pest quick tips and home remedies to consider
  • Download FAQ and pest checklist for your reference
  • Catch up on experiences, pest myths and encounters at the Rentokil Debugged Blog

Call Rentokil for pest control advices

We are just a call away; alternatively, you may drop your query on a quick form or chatbot messenger. The brand serves a wide range of customers ranging from commercial, residential and industrial over the past 50 years. Trusted by many, Rentokil has won the hearts with attainment of Voted Best Pest Control award and received assuring positive reviews from customers on Google My Business. With a big interest in safety, Rentokil offers green and low toxicity solutions to control pests.

Call Rentokil Pest Control at  (65) 6347 8138 for professional pest control services today.

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