Termites; Why are they known as ‘Silent Killers’?

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Termites get that special title widely known as ‘silent killers’ because of their ability to destroy things so quickly, and yet undetectable. By the time the homeowner realizes it, the damage are mostly already severe to the extent that it is impossible to be repaired.

Lucky for you, we know our pests and the way to get rid of them for good.

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What are termites?

Just in case you haven’t encounter one yet, termites are small pests that feeds on cellulose-based plant materials. These materials that we’re talking about are referring to wooden items that includes the furniture, ceilings, floors and even wallpapers in your house. Unfortunately, all homes can provide this cellulose food for termites infestation. Thus, beware.

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Termites has three level of castes namely the workers, the soldiers and the reproductives. Be aware that these three castes has their own role among the colony:

  1. Workers – To gather food
  2. Soldiers – To build shelters
  3. Reproductives – To reproduce another colony of termites

Identifying termites in the early stages are important, and it eliminate the risk of being heavily infested by them. Make sure to look for mud tunnels or mud tubes around the house, on the window pane, door sill and also the walls of your house.

How to prevent termites?

IMG-20170725-WA0021Identifying termites are the first step into getting rid of them. The next step would be to minimize or get rid of the ideal habitat of termites. You can do this by eliminating moisture around your house. Eliminating moisture means to:

  1. Keep your gutters and downspout clean
  2. Repair any broken or faulty faucets, water pipes or air-conditioner unit
  3. Divert water from foundation in case your house tends to collect puddles (mostly happens when your house is on a slope or has a failed drainage system)

These should keep termites away from harboring themselves to your house.

What to do when the house is infested?

It doesn’t matter what season it is, termites will come to your house by crawling or flying. At some stage of their life cycle, termites develop wings and travel in a group. They’re mostly attracted to lights and when the ‘wings’ season is over, they’ll leave their wings behind and starts to look for shelter. Your house could be a target.IMG-20170603-WA0000

Should you come across termites in your house, please call the Pest Management Professional for an immediate attention to the termites issues. Know that to get rid of termites are not just a one-time event, it would take an all-year process to completely eliminate the termites, and to ensure that you and your household live in a safe environment with the comfort of your own home – without termites intervention.

Ridpest’s Termite Management Professional is offering our respected customers with an Extended Warranty up to 3 Months, worth more than RM300 for termites treatments. Request quote by using the promo code: Save300.

Tips to prevent bed bugs from hitch hiking their way to your home

Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectulariusBed bugs are parasite insects that live near or inside beds and bedding or other sleeping areas. Unlike active insects like mosquitoes, bed bugs are dormant creatures which means that they will only show up from their hiding place when it’s dark or when they feel safe. Despite being dormant, it cause problems to humans for the irritation on the skin that follows after its bite that can lasts up to two weeks or more. It’s best for everyone to prevent bed bugs before they infest your home severely by.

Travelling

When travelling, some hotels, motels or even home-stays might have bed bugs problem. Know that bed bugs are hitch hikers, crawling with their 6 legs (they do not have wings to fly nor long legs to jump) and embed themselves on your bag or luggage or on your sleeves when you’re travelling. Note that they’re so good at hiding themselves, away from human sights that you might have to be extra sensitive when it come to bed bugs inspection.

live-bed-bugsBest advice? Check your hotel room before you crash on the bed. Examine the bed, closet door, sofas, and even the curtains. Typically, bed bugs tend to stay at the corner or on the ends and seams of the fabrics and furniture. You should be looking for a live bed bugs, eggs, black stains(almost moldy), and shed skin as that could mean that bed bugs are around.

Coming home after holidays

You’ve taken the necessary steps to prevent bed bugs from tagging along with you. Next step is to take further precaution to avoid the unwanted ‘souvenir’ from spreading in your home. Transfer your clothes first in a black bin liners and never place the clothes you use for travelling scattered around the house upon arrival because that’s how bed bugs spread. Wash your travel clothes in hot water preferably at 60oC because adult bed bugs and their eggs can be killed completely in this temperature. It is advisable to put your luggage under the sun immediately even if you have taken careful steps in preventing bed bugs from sticking on your travel bags. Keep in mind that bed bugs HATE the blaring sun or any open space thus that should get rid of them. Overall, if you have encountered bed bugs in your homes, you can get help at Ridpest.

Special Promotion Available till 31st October 2017

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Natural & Non-Toxic Mosquito Repellent

Growing up in the city, we are so used to the ordinary chemical-based repellents like the aerosol sprays, mosquito’s coil and electronic vape burner as it is the easiest alternative for mosquitoes repellent. It’s our natural reflex to grab on the bottle of aerosol and press away to the air hoping we get rid the mosquitoes that has been bothering us for a while.

But it doesn’t always end up them being dead.

All we did was, (1) spray out the chemical-based mosquitoes repellent in the air, (2) repel the mosquitoes for a short period of time (not dead), and (3) when the chemical loses its strength we started to re-spray to keep the mosquitoes away ignoring the fact that the chemicals could disrupt our health when being used too frequently. Often, we never really take the matters seriously due to our busy schedule, plus, the mosquitoes repellent had been approved by the KKM (Ministry of Health). So what could possibly go wrong?

Is chemical-based insect repellent harmful?

Imagine spraying it around the house and we have no idea how it’s going to affect our health. Most bug sprays contains DEET aka diethyltoluamide, is an extremely efficient chemical that repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other flying pests. A study documented that DEET poses risk to kidney and liver damage as well as possessing risk for birth defects and developmental progress. It also potentially causes neurotoxicity, irritation and sensitivity.

However, another studies show that DEET does not pose significant health risks to consumers but it still can interfere with the activity of enzymes that are vital for our nervous system to function properly. Nevertheless, when it comes to chemical products, we can never be too sure if it is 100% safe.

How does this chemical affect our health?

  • Affect your family through inhalation and skin absorption.
  • Overexposure to aerosol sprays can cause a person to feel drowsy for several hours.
  • In extreme cases, the bug spray can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion.
  • Repeated use can cause damage to certain brain area known as the hippocampus, which controls memory. This may lead to difficulty learning new things or carrying on a simple conversation.
  • Inhaling a high amount of aerosol can also damage myelin, a brain tissue that facilitates the passing of messages through nerves.
  • All in all, not all aerosol products are the same. Read the label on the can before use; follow the precaution measure and its specific safety direction.On top of that, only use aerosol sprays in well-ventilated areas. Yes, it’s a lot to cover for just spraying a bug and do REMEMBER that specific brand name does not guarantee better protection; it only provides longer protection time.

How does it affect our environment?

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Whenever chemical spray is being used, it indirectly effects our environment as well. This semi-direct effect contributes to smoky haze as well. If you’re thinking a small amount of aerosol you spray in your room will not give much affect, think about a thousand of other user who is spraying at the same time. That’s a ton load of aerosol right there!

Nevertheless, since there are no specific instruments to measure aerosol within clouds, we’ll never know for sure how much of chemical are we breathing right now.

Why We Should Go For Natural Repellents

Doesn’t it just made you feel relieved at the thought of ‘naturalmethods? Not only it is naturally harmless, it also provides these advantages:

  • Works better and comes with additional perk: smell better too.
  • Natural repellent means chemical free! Completely safe for a home with children and on top of that, free from mosquitoes!
  • 0% toxic: means we can maintain our health and most importantly, prevent DENGUE!
  • Save us bucks & consider ourselves responsible in protecting Earth as well.

Studies by Pahang Health Department

Newsflash: The Pahang Health Department had identified plants that can effectively repel mosquitoes. Studies on both of these Malaysian well-known plants had started since 2010 and this can be our next weapons against dengue. Since the mosquito’s seasons are 12 months a year in this country, we definitely need these two:

  1. Geranium or Citronella plant with scientific name of Pelargonium Radula aka Jeremin or “pokok halau nyamuk” or “pokok jari lima

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It is long known as mosquito’s repellent since the old days. The plant releases tiny dusts that mosquito hates which made it clear on how it got its name. Despite its lack of capability to live under direct sunlight, it is definitely one of the plants that are easy to maintain. Best to place it indoor, this way no mosquitoes shall enter!

No doubt our ancestor definitely knows best from experiences far before science interferes and confirms it.

  1. Lantana camara or “bunga tahi ayam”

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Originally from south America, is a floral plant that produces bright and striking flower. It is also called “tahi ayam” by the local, which literally means chicken’s poop due to its stinky smell. Probably the main reason why it repels mosquitoes! But the flower is definitely ain’t poop, its beauty is one of the main reasons it is usually grow for the gardens or yards decoration. It is easily maintain as well but perhaps not indoor unless you don’t mind its odour, though it’s absolutely depends on your sensitivity. The unpleasant smell also occurs if you crush its leaves and stems.

Other non-toxic mosquito’s repellent plants!

If you can’t get your hands on neither Geranium or Lantana Camara, there are other natural repellents plants that can be found in Malaysia. Some of the easy maintenance plants are:

  • Marigold
  • Catnip
  • Lemongrass
  • Basil
  • Garlic plant
  • Mint

Before we go…

“When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.”— Augusten Burroughs.

Let’s end this with a friendly reminder that your health is extremely important; in case you hadn’t heard that. Know that it is the only thing that you need in order to function the way you were supposed to be—physically, mentally or spiritually. Using aerosol spray or any other alternative methods that is chemical-based are undoubted an easy way to get over pests problems but that only means that you are taking your health for granted.

You can avoid that by choosing a natural-based mosquito repellent instead to keep you and your household safe from not only mosquitoes but from possibly harmful chemicals. Things may be convenient and efficient now using aerosol sprays, but would it be worth it in the long run? Think about it.

So if you’re looking for a safe mosquito repellent, the best choice that we would like to recommend to you is RIDMOZZIE, a new way to eliminate mosquitoes.

Do not worry if your house does not have any mosquito’s repellent plant as above because RIDMOZZIE is a special environment-friendly formulation that turns plants to mosquitoes killing machine.

RIDMOZZIE uses plant based organic formulation and has long-lasting protections (up to 28 days).

For more info, visit http://caring.ridpest.com/mosquito-control-in-malaysia

Quick Tips for a Dengue-Free Home

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Dengue fever is no shocking news but once in a while it hits the national TV and shockingly killed thousands of people. Even every now and then we may come across a reminder to prevent dengue and be extra cautious but usually we only take action when the damage is done. So we heard the terms of prevention is better than cure however are we aware that the main idea is to take precaution before it actually happen? These are some easy steps you can remember to have a dengue-free home before it’s too late!

  • Keeping it dry—literally!

Watch over your kitchen territory and avoid stacking up your sink for too long. Look after the bathroom area especially the sink and the floor to prevent any water accumulation. Let’s not forget if you own a garden, pots and vases are few objects that stock up water so toss them out at least once a week. Clear out gutter and check the drain nearby to prevent any blockage. If you are storing water for future use, make sure you kept it closed with tight lids. Waters are essential for mosquitoes to breed and grow so a dry area is a safe area!

  • Clean it up!

Put up a reminder and spare some time for weekly or monthly cleaning session around the house. You may never know if there are any parts of the house clogged up or any trash stacking up somewhere. Clear out the trash can or place it far from home and make sure it is covered. Constant cleaning routine should keep the mosquitoes away so get everyone at home involved and do it together!

  • To repel or not to repel?

Keep your door and windows shut at night or use netting for convenience. Be it natural or chemical repellent; always use them before going to sleep. Other recommendations include growing plant that naturally repels mosquitoes or put on a repellent lotion. It requires extra effort but hey, if it works, it helps. An early prevention is always a good idea and early consultant with pest-control experts definitely won’t bite.

These quick tips are not as simple as it sounds but it is definitely easier once it is done! For what is worth, always look out to find more tips to get rid of mosquitoes at home and it sure will keep your head off the dengue issue now that your living place is a dengue-free zone.

Spraying insecticide or any home remedy is dumb choice:What A Mistake!

Source :The Star
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BEIJING: A man in southern China sprayed pesticide into his ear canal to kill a cockroach that was trapped inside for almost three days.

The Chengdu Economic Daily reported that a cockroach crawled into the ear of a 60-year-old man in Chengdu on February 1.

As a last resort, after trying by every means he could think of – including tooth picks and tweezers – to scoop the invader out after almost three days, the frustrated man sprayed pesticide into his ear canal, which killed the pest.

However, the carcass of the cockroach remained stuck in the man’s ear, which had turned swollen from the external irritation and chemicals in the pesticide.

He went to a major hospital to remove the pest, which was found to be about 1cm long.

A doctor at the hospital explained to the Daily that cockroaches seek warm places to shelter in winter and human ears ticked most boxes on the list of desirable qualities for cockroach habitat.

The doctor advised that when a cockroach snuck into an ear, the best solution was the to flood the ear with clean oil, which is more effective than water in smothering the insects. – South China Morning Post

 

Mutation? Giant Rat found! Why?

Source : Daily Star
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HUGE: Pest control expert Terry Walker snared the 19- inch beast

Terry Walker snared the 19- inch beast as the UK is swamped by over 200million of the disease-ridden rodents.

Terry, who has worked as a rat catcher for 20 years, said: “You would struggle to find a pest controller who has found a bigger one.

“It is the biggest I have ever caught.”

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MONSTER: ‘It is the biggest I have ever caught’, says Terry

The monster – which dwarfs many cats – was discovered not far from Poole High Street in Dorset.

It was just yards from where former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and his TV pundit son Jamie and pop star wife Louise have homes in the millionaires’ resort of Sandbanks.

Rat numbers have rocketed thanks to warm summers and cuts in bin collections.

Experts say they are mutating to become immune to poison.

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SHOCKING: Experts say rats are mutating to become immune to poison

And Terry warned rats have increased in size in recent years.

He added: “It comes down to a lot of things including refuge at the back of buildings and people feeding birds.”

A Poole council spokesman said “People must store waste properly in bins with lids.”

 

New Zealand is a nightmare!

Source : Stuff

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A biting sandfly enjoying a ”blood meal”.

Most outdoorsy types have a horror story.

New Zealand explorers were often driven to distraction, Maori in the South Island knew all about them, and European settlers apparently smothered themselves with rancid bacon fat as a deterrent.

Mine was at the head of the Hollyford, in Martins Bay, as clouds of beasties swirled so thick they got in my mouth.

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Stunning Martins Bay, Fiordland. From here, the sandflies aren’t visible.

They tear at our skin, using saw-like barbs to widen tiny wounds, and suck our blood. (Really, that’s how they feed).

Yes, it’s the humble New Zealand blackfly, commonly known as the sandfly.

On occasion, the bites cause nasty swelling, itching, hives, and a general desire to scream.

At their worst, in the most intense sandfly-ridden spots of the West Coast, entomologists have recorded a bite rate of up to 1000-an-hour. In a couple of minutes, that could be hundreds of little bites, on your arms, neck, face, feet.

Sandflies, on a minute level, rip and tear the flesh to open the skin and access blood, using anti-coagulating qualities of saliva to feed. It’s histamine that causes the itching and swelling.

Entomologist Trevor Crosby is a co-author of an authoritative study of sandflies in the Fauna of New Zealand series for Landcare Research.

He said the name probably derives from Captain Cook’s reference to “mischievous animals” that caused pox-like ulcers in Dusky Sound in 1773.

HUMAN BAIT

Crosby has acted as human bait in the past to study sandfly bite rates.

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Entomologist Trevor Crosby, who has acted as human sandfly bait in the name of science.

“It’s only the females that bite and there are three main species that bite humans. One of the species is throughout New Zealand, the other two species are only in the South Island, the ones that really bite.

“The worst biter, that’s Austrosimulium ungulatum, that’s not found in the North Island.

“What we complain about are the biting females.”

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The head of a female New Zealand sandfly.

Ask anyone who has visited the West Coast of the South Island and they will probably have something to say about sandflies.

Crosby said sandflies evolved to prefer penguins as a “blood meal” (that’s the technical term) over humans but, in the absence of tasty penguins, sandflies are particularly attracted to people.

Why?

Entomologists don’t have enough information to explain this.

“I don’t know whether we are a preferred host. Individuals react differently. That probably indicates the scent of people and maybe their clothes and how much CO2 they give off.

“Again there’s a lot of mystery there as to what’s attracting them.

“Dark colours seem to be more attractive to them than light colours. I think what’s interesting is that a species comes to humans [but] where there are penguins we’ve stood there and watched the species fly straight past us to get to the penguin. They prefer penguins.”

REMEDIES

People react differently, some people erupt in hives and intense itchiness, but – again – there have been very few studies on why humans react so differently to bites.

Using tiny claws and a proboscis-like mouth, sandflies stretch the skin to make it taut and use mandibles to tear and saw through the tightened skin. An anti-coagulant in their saliva helps the blood pool and histamine causes itching.

“What they inject into you causes a bit of numbness but it’s not as evolved as some overseas species that can bite and you don’t feel it. They have hooks that push the skin and use the mandibles to cut through.

“The New Zealand species is different. Once they’ve cut it they have these little spear-like little saw hooks to deepen the wound and make a little pool of blood. They need the blood to mature their eggs,” Crosby said.

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Female West Coast sandfly claws. The scale bar is 0.2mm.

They can breed year-round, and in the early stages of their waterborne cycle, they help purify the surrounding water.

“We’re fortunate that they are not known to carry any diseases of humans. They are a pain but there’s no disease. There’s one disease, a malaria-like blood parasite, carried to the Fiordland crested penguin,” Crosby said.

Remedies?

There are many, but even the hardiest prophylactic often fails and, somehow, one of the insects gets into your tent, or your car.

DEET can be effective, but many people don’t like using it, and there are lots of natural remedies available. Sandflies do not like rain, or smoke.

One home remedy involves a mix of Dettol and baby oil, others reckon garlic, or Vegemite does the trick.

Theoretically then, one way to deter sandflies is to walk around carrying a penguin as bait, while eating garlic, covered in Dettol and baby oil. That might raise eyebrows as penguins are protected, so best not.

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Captain James Cook, who described sandflies as ”the most mischievous animal”.

TRAMPING TIP

Crosby has one tip.

“When you’re out tramping, if you want to have a rest, most people stop on the edges of clearings between the trees or a grassy area. That’s where they congregate. [If you’re building] it’s best to be in the middle of a bleak field with a cleared area.”

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Travel journalist Siobhan Downes’ sandfly-bitten feet. She did not get along with the West Coast sandflies and was interviewed about her ordeal by a local newspaper.

Christchurch-based travel blogger Lis de Brauwer said she had not managed to find any effective remedy except covering up.

“Apparently if you get bitten enough you’ll eventually get used to it.

“But I don’t really like that strategy, so I just cover my skin with clothing. That works, but can be annoying when it is a hot day.”

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A model of a sandfly at the cafe on the West Coast.

Maori inhabitants of the South Island had some plant-based deterrents and smoke was another method. Sandflies do not like wind, and are most numerous during daybreak and dusk in humid, overcast conditions, just before it rains.

The West Coast of the South Island, particularly Fiordland, is notorious.

Te Papa entomologist Dr Phil Sirvid said new species of invertebrate were being discovered all the time. New Zealand does not have any native invertebrate species capable of causing serious harm. The native katipo spider, although related to the black widow, is rare and its bite painful, but it’s not life-threatening.

“We are in many senses of the word still an undiscovered country.

“We have mosquitoes that can carry potential vectors for certain species of disease.

“We have a number of species imported from Australia. The potential is there – we are just lucky.”

Entomological Society of New Zealand president Dr Cor Vink said there’s simply not much to be done about sandflies.

“They interact with blue and they’re attracted to warmth. There’s not a great deal you can do about them other than the insect repellent you can put on.

“A mosquito has a pushing [mouth], it’s long, a proboscis. These guys, they rip apart the flesh at a small level.”

A Maori legend has it sandflies – namu – were created to prevent people lingering in beautiful parts of the country, and entomologists think birds were the main target for feeding before the arrival of Pacific voyagers.

There are more than a dozen native New Zealand species of sandfly, but only three species bite.

The Landcare Research series on the fauna of New Zealand by Prof Crosby and Canadian entomologists Douglas Craig and Ruth Craig says almost every New Zealander and most tourists have been bitten at some stage in their lives.

In the North Island, the main offender is the Australian black fly – Austrosimulium australense – but the insect that really gives the species its reputation is the West Coast blackfly, A. ungulatum.

“The females of A.ungulatum will fly long distances to obtain a blood meal and their ferocity has generated many horror stories from early settlers and more recently the annual million or so overseas tourists. Few of the latter leave New Zealand unscathed if they visit Fiordland.”

They get through clothes, in your hair, inside your tent.

Stop for a sandwich break at the side of a road and they divebomb you.

They need running water to breed but they go away at night because they can’t see in the dark so after a tramp or a visit to the beach battling clouds of the toothsome little biters, you can at last get some rest.

Captain Cook, by the way, did not take long to notice them at Dusky Sound in 1773.

“The most mischievous animal here is the small black sandfly which are exceeding numerous…wherever they light they cause a swelling and such intolerable itching that it is not possible to refrain from scratching and at last ends in ulcers like the small Pox,” wrote Cook, according to the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

Picture of rat in food warmer goes viral

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Source : The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: A picture of a rodent inside a food warmer at a 24-hour convenience store in Kelana Jaya has gone viral.

The image, which was appended to a Facebook post, shows a rodent on top of a row of sausages and fish balls at the 7-Eleven outlet in Kelana Centre Point.

The incident is reported to have taken place on Jan 2.

7-Eleven Malaysia responded to the viral post on Friday, assuring that the issue was “an isolated incident”.

“Please be assured, this is an isolated incident as we have certified quality assurance audits and regular pest control steps in place to prevent such occurrences,” it said in a post on its Facebook page.

The company said it has conducted its own internal investigations and has cooperated with the Health Ministry office for the district of Petaling.

“The safety and well-being of our customers are of the utmost importance to us,” it said.

It added that “further corrective actions” would be taken to prevent such an incident from recurring.