On the 14th of May, 2014, Ridpest has teamed up with Foggers Sdn Bhd and Bayer on a mission to eradicate pest infestation in Ulu Baram, interior Sarawak.
The company took the initiative after its founder and CEO, Mr Stephen Liu, has heard about the severe cockroach infestation that hit Long Lobang village in Sarawak where no pest control company is available to address the problem. “My immediate response was: Ridpest can do it, let’s go!” said Stephen.
The team, led by Stephen, came with latest products from Bayer including Temprid and Makfor F gel bait, both having a residual effect against cockroaches. Fogger has also contributed with tools including Foggers Duraspray and personal protection equipments such as Sekur Double Respirator.
The journey to Long Lobang started at the city of Miri and took more than 8 hours on a four wheel drive vehicle. The team spent half of the trip’s time on cutting down trees to make a road as the region was inaccessible to vehicles. Stephen and team started at 6.30 am and reach Long Lama at about 9.30am. There were no bridges near the area, therefore, the team had to use a ferry to transport the vehicle across river.
Besides helping the small Long Lobang community to eliminate cockroaches and other pest infestation problems, Stephen and the team also brought along groceries, clothes, balloons, chocolate and sweets as gifts.
The previous team which visited this community several months ago had an eye opening experience at night when they were literally invaded by hundreds of cockroaches. Upon checking with the headman, the villagers also could not sleep most of the night and especially the kids because the cockroaches were crawling all over them to and extend of biting them. This was how nasty cockroaches can be if they are in large numbers.
The village not only suffered from cockroaches but also several other pests including ants, sandflies and houseflies. The food there has to be covered with lids and the flies were all over them most of the time. The sandflies infestation, particularly, was very severe. “They are so many and tiny and you can feel the pain when a sandfly bites you. After a few days, you will feel the itchiness in the bite site. My friend has suffered from several sandflies bites during the last 5 month trips and he has’t fully recovered from it” said one of the team members.
Ants infestation is also a major pest in the long houses at Long Lobang. Jemas, one of the village’s elders, is suffering from hearing problem after ants entered his ears damaging them. As a result, he completely lost his hearing ability in one of his ears while that of the other ear was reduced by 70%. “I was very surprised and shocked that such thing would happen in 21st century. In my 35 years of servicing in the pest control industry, this is the worst incident that I have seen to be caused by ants.” said Stephen.
After the pest treatment, the entire community was able enjoy and sleep peaceful at night and no longer fear to be awaken by cockroaches or other pest. However, the team has realized that the treatment is just one side of the solution. To address this issue in the long term, the villagers need to raise awareness about basic sanitation and hygiene in order to prevent or minimise pest re-infestation in the future. In addition to that, there is an urgent need for proper drainage system where water from the kitchen and toilets can flow out through a drain without causing clogging.
After the team’s duty came to an end, they’ve shared important pest control measures with the community. They included keeping dry food in airtight containers or cupboards (for food safety) as well as placing screen on all windows and install door seals on all doors to prevent pest infiltration.
At the end of the day, the productive collaboration of industry leaders: Ridpest, Bayer and Foggers have brought joy and happiness to the the Penan community at Long Lobang.