It's a given that a person is truly never alone. For somewhere within your very home, between the walls, lurking in the cracks, crawling in the shadows, there are creatures that you definitely wouldn't want to have around.
Pests are never fun to have in the home and though some won't cause much trouble; there are those that can be more than just a little inconvenient. You may wake up one day to find parts of your house or items damaged, strange smells being emitted or even worse, you find these pests getting into your dinner and giving you a massive case of food poisoning.
Obviously, telling these pests to get out and leave won't help much. If they're causing a lot of damage, your best option would be to get an exterminator (do remember to do the necessary research for this!). They will examine your situation for free and then offer you their best price to help you with your pest problem. But prices vary depending on the kind of pests, level of damage and method of extermination used,so there's no real way of knowing how much it will cost until you're given a bill.
But if your situation isn't so severe, you can actually handle these pests yourself. And it would be a lot cheaper too. Here are some DIY ways to get rid of an infestation before they take over the house.
There isn’t a home around that doesn’t have these pests around. Dropped some crumbs? Spilled some honey? You can bet these little critters would be upon you in minutes. And just when you think you’ve killed them all; more appear the next day. It turns out that killing a huge number of ants don’t actually help. The colony will just make more ants to adapt to the situation. This makes them one of the hardest pests to be rid of.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Ants help to control the population of other insects, aerate the soil and they can even disintegrate organic matter. As such, it won't be wise to get rid of them completely. The best method is to control them. So, if you’re in a situation where you find them uncontrollable, we've listed some things you can do.
Exterminators would use either chemical spraying or ant baiting. While creating your own chemical spray for ants is dangerous, you can buy ant bait for RM1.00 at any major grocery store, where ants take the “bait” which is poisonous and gives it to their queen, eventually killing them all. This will take a number of days for it to work effectively though.
Have some bitter cucumbers? Don’t throw them out. You can actually put them at the ants’ point of entry or at areas you don’t want them to be at as ants aren’t fond of cucumbers. You can also use other items such as cinnamon, lemon juice or even stuff a bit of garlic within the cracks where ants are usually seen to keep them away.
This is one pest that has a bad rep and remains a complete turn-off to almost everyone. They can eat into your food pantry, leave a terrible smell or even give you illnesses such as gastroenteritis and induce allergies. They can last for 30 days without food and they’re one of the toughest insects around, being able to adapt to their environment and changes quickly, especially since these guys have been around since the age of the dinosaurs.
You can buy cockroach baits for around RM6-RM8 or cockroach aerosol sprays where at 570ml they can cost RM12.50. There also gel baits which are known to be the most effective to get rid of cockcroaches though they can be on the more expensive side.
Bayleaves, pandan leaves, cucumber slices or even garlic work as a deterrent for cockroaches. If you’re looking for a more direct approach to kill them, having a spray bottle with soapy water can help as an alternative to aerosol sprays. The best way to keep cockroaches as bay is to keep your place as clean as possible, even within cabinets.
Rats are one of the most destructive pests around. They chew on wires, your plastic items, gnaw at your pipes, leave droppings and carry contaminants that bring sickness and disease such as leptospirosis, meningitis and many more. Heck, they were known for bringing the plague! They are just as tough to be rid of and just as terrifying as cockroaches once seen by your girlfriend. Or maybe even your boyfriend.
Small glue boards can cost anywhere between RM6-RM10. There are also rat traps which can be as cheap as RM8 or the more expensive ones can be up to RM30. If you have more than one rat, or worse, have one whole family of rats infesting your place, exterminators may use the baiting system.
Other than closing the rat’s access to your home, you can soak rags in ammonia or put mothballs in open containers, placing them on areas where rats tend to be. You can also rub peppermint oil on beams where they travel, or dried mint leaves too.
After rats, termites are known to be incredibly destructive as they eat through wood; destroying houses, furniture and all other forms of woodwork you may have in your house. They’re a financial disaster as they can wreck a lot of things to the point of being irredeemable. If you find mud trails along the walls and door frames, or find ant-like insect which is brown in colour but looks different from ants, take a good look around the house as you may have a termite infestation already.
Because termites are so tricky to find and kill, there aren’t many items available in stores that can help you be rid of them. You will have to depend on an exterminator to do the baiting system or even chemical soil treatment as that is where most of the termites would be. There are DIY baiting boxes to remove termites online costing RM110 per box but we can't guarantee how useful these can be.
There aren’t many options to remove termites naturally. If you’re looking for a quick fix, you can use a cardboard trap, where you soak some pieces of cardboard, put them near the termite infestation to draw them to it and when you’ve attracted a huge number of termites on the cardboard, take it out and burn it. You can try exposing your furniture to sunlight, or if you’re lucky to have a giant freezer, you can freeze them instead. But if your termites are within the walls of your home, the most you can do is stop their water source. After that, if the infestation is really bad, get an exterminator.
It's not fun at all to have pests at home, especially since getting rid of them can take a hit on your wallet. So do what you can to keep those pests at bay to keep your family happy and healthy.