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5 Ways To Keep Your Home Pest Free

26 Aug 2016

Tips & Advice

You may not find a python in your toilet, or a possum in your garage like people do elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, pests still exist in Singapore’s concrete jungle; and regardless of how tiny or harmless they may be, pests at home are, by definition, pesky.

With minimal effort but delivering maximal results, here are 5 simple ways to keep your home free of pests most common in Singapore:

1. Wash Your Sheets At Least Once A Fortnight

Grandeur Condominium by U-Home Interior Design Pte Ltd
Grandeur Condominium by U-Home Interior Design Pte Ltd

Much of the ‘dust’ we find indoors is actually the fecal waste of microscopic dust mites – eek! So if you’ve got dust at home, you’ve probably got dust mites too. Because dust mites feed primarily on dead skin flakes of humans and pets, having an anti-dust mite pillow and/or mattress isn’t enough. To make matters worse, dust mites tend to thrive in warm, humid environments, making the average Singaporean’s household the perfect spot for dust mites to make their homes.

While it is virtually impossible for your home to be free of dust mites, washing your sheets at least once a fortnight will regularly rid them of any resident dust mites and dead skin cells that you shed every night. Needless to say, washing your sheets regularly is also a good deterrent against bed bugs from invading your personal sanctum.

Built-in cabinets are also great for pest prevention. Wayne Chuan from The Local INN.terior explains: “Ready made wardrobes and cupboards often leave gaps between the walls which make great hiding spots for insects and dust. Built-in fixtures on the other hand, eliminate that space in the back of the cupboard and the top.”

2. Store Your Food In Airtight Containers

OfficeInterior by Brick & Tungsten Pte Ltd
OfficeInterior by Brick & Tungsten Pte Ltd

As much as this is a no-brainer, food left in the open remains the number one reason why ants, lizards and rats are able to co-exist with you in your home. Sure, plastic bags provide some sort of a deterrent against these pests. Yet, any small opening essentially gives ants access to food that’s meant to be for humans, while rats simply do not think twice before biting through what’s in the way of their dinner.

According to Ronnie Goh from Swiss Interior Design, jar and food items aren’t the only things you’ll want to seal tight: “One of the easiest and cheapest ways to prevent a pest assault is to install a rubber seal at the bottom of your front door. It works especially well if you live on the ground floor.”


3. Allocate One Trash Bin For Organic Food Waste, And Empty It Daily

HDB Standard 5-Room BTO - PasirRis by The Local INN.terior
HDB Standard 5-Room BTO – PasirRis by The Local INN.terior

Disposing your organic food waste into the dumpster daily not only ensures your home won’t smell like something’s dying; it’ll keep the cockroaches, ants, lizards and rats at bay. Sure, clearing multiple trash bins a day might be quite a hassle. Allocate one trash bin specifically for organic food waste (most sensibly the one in your kitchen if you cook at home) so you’ll only have to empty that single trash bin daily.

4. Get Them To Do Your Dirty Work For You

Shestakoff /

Insecticide sprays may be useful against ants in your home for a short while. Yet, their effectiveness necessitates constant spraying, which gives off a poisonous odour that isn’t the best thing for young children at home to be inhaling.

A more lasting solution would be to place Combat Ant Killers, which bait ants with their scent, in each room. Here’s how they work: these Ant Killers contain tiny granules that ants assume are food; the ants then bring these granules back to their nests as food for the colony. Not knowing that these granules actually contain active ingredients that slowly poison ants when ingested, these worker ants effectively do the dirty work for you. Morbid as it sounds, these Ant Killers wipe out entire colonies of ants in a matter of days.

Speaking of ants, their not so far-flung cousins – termites are nightmares for homeowners. Ken Chew from Elementz Design Studio gives some advice: “There are some precautions you can take for termites. Old, damp wood is great for termites, so replace and old wooden furnishings you have. For new homeowners, doing some research on your area to check for termite infestations can save a lot of heartache. Areas like Hill View are notorious for termites and wooden furniture would be ill advised.”

5. Place Moth Balls In Dark And Hidden Corners

Vinod K Pillai /

Ever switched on the lights at night only to get the scare of your life with compliments from a lizard suddenly squirming its way across the floor/wall? While household lizards may be useful to the extent that they are the natural predators of smaller insects/bugs, the thought of having these creepy crawlies running around your home can be rather disconcerting.

Win the scaring contest by placing naphthalene balls (commonly known as moth balls) in dark and hidden corners – e.g. behind a cupboard or the sofa – the smell drives them away instantly!

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