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Pest Control — Commonly Asked Questions

Pest infestation is a common problem in Singapore, especially problems related to mosquitoes, ants, bed bugs and termites.  When we face pest infestations, hiring a professional to solve the problem once and for the long-term saves us time, money, and importantly the frustrations.

What are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to finding a credible pest control professional in Singapore? In this FAQ list we cover over a dozen of commonly-asked questions when it comes to selecting and hiring an exterminator in Singapore.

Engage a pest control company

Table of Contents

General Pest Control Questions

What do pest control professionals do?

A pest control professional get rid of pest infestations, and usually spend a significant amount of time educating distressed customers about the various methods that may be used when dealing with the pests.

Pest control professionals typically deal with the following pests:

  • bed bugs
  • mice
  • rats
  • wasps
  • fleas
  • moths
  • cockroaches
  • ants
  • spiders
  • silverfish
  • squirrels
  • flies
  • woodworm
  • pigeons
  • dust mites
  • carpet beetles

Regulations in Singapore — NEA’s Pest Control Organization (PCO)

We refer you to look at http://www.nea.gov.sg/public-health/vector-control/engaging-pest-control-operators-(pco)for more accurate information.

It is important to make sure that the pest control operator (PCO) you engaged is fully competent to do the job well. Asking for the following information in your quotation/tender invitation will enable you to make a more informed decision:

  1. of trained technicians and workers in the pest control company and their years of experience in vector management
  2. of staff in the company
  3. on the type of technology or equipment (e.g. fogging/misting machines) used for vector control
  4. on past and current track records

The links below will provide more information on engaging PCO for mosquito control and rodent control:

Engaging Pest Control Operators (PCO) for Mosquito Control

Engaging Pest Control Operators (PCO) for Rodent Control

When a PCO declares that his company only uses NEA Registered chemicals, what does this mean?

NEA registered chemicals are environmentally safe and label instructions give the proper application instructions for the product. It states what the active ingredient is and all the safety precautions to be taken.

What are the most common pests in Singapore?

  • Bed bugs
  • Termites
  • Rodents (rats, mice)
  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Mosquitoes
  • Houseflies

If I notice some pest activity (e.g. rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes, insects), what should I do?

It is advisable to alert the people who are responsible for managing these pests to have them eliminated quickly and safely, without harming the environment. If you are responsible for this role and need professional help, we suggest that you contact a reliable pest management company immediately.

Do I have to leave my home when it’s being treated?

It depends on the treatment. If the pest control professionals need to enter your home, it is advisable to stay home to prevent possible misunderstanding (such as lost items) and monitor the work.

Do I need to treat my property monthly?

In most cases, pest control work is usually only needed once.

However, if the problem is complicated, you may need the professional to visit again to treat the issue.

Speak to a local pest control company

How can I prevent a pest problem?

It depends on what kind of pest infestation you are having.

In general, you must ensure:

  • Proper sanitation/housekeeping.
  • Correct defective engineering/architectural design to prevent pest entry and harbourage.
  • Treatment by licensed and NSRS certified pest management professionals.

You can check out our guide on termite control in our blog.

Is there a connection between pests and asthma in children?

Yes, bed bugs and cockroaches are known to trigger allergies and even lead to developing asthma in children. Their saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies contain allergens which trigger allergies and worsen asthma attacks.

What should I look out for in a competent and reliable pest control company?

We cover a checklist of traits a good pest control company has. As a guide, here are some pointers:

  1. Test the Company as to whether they are prepared to quote to you over the phone. If they are prepared to quote, they are doing it without many vital information that are necessary to do a proper job at the proper pricing. You should rule this Company out for obvious reasons.
  2. Check what type of chemicals the Company uses. If they answer that all their chemicals are approved and registered by NEA, they can be classified as safe. How they use it comes into play ie, do they follow the label instructions, do they have proper measuring utensils, do they use proper personal safety gear when handling chemicals etc.

Company background

The simplest guide is to find out how long the company has been in operation. Next, the number of staff in their company is a good indicator of the scale of work they do.

You can check how skilled are their field staff, such as asking the types of training they had gone through and number of years of experience.

Experienced Pest Knowledge

Having extensive pest knowledge is definitely a good guide to how competent the company is. Check the track record of the company, such as asking:

  • Type of work they’ve done before
  • Type of pests they have dealt with
  • Complexity of past projects they have handled previously

Technical Certifications

It is important to make sure the pest control service you have hired is carried out by our local National Environment Agency (NEA) certified pest management professionals whom have gone through the technical training program.

Ask for certifications and license if necessary.

Solving Root Source of Infestation

Besides providing the solution to control pests, professionals should be able to identify the root source of infestation such as an ant’s nest, mosquito breeding grounds, rat burrows and bed bugs nesting deep in furniture.

A pest control professional take into account both internal and external environment to determine the root source of infestation. They usually educate their customers key risk areas and actions to prevent future pest infestations.

Innovations & Technologies

A competent pest control company should offer better treatments and control methods to ensure that you get the best. Innovations with new technology and staying updated with the latest solutions should be seen highly encouraged in the business environment.

Post termite treatment monitoring

A committed specialist cares for the safety and wellbeing of their customers on a long-term basis. A credible pest control professional constantly communicates, educates and recommends useful tips and practices, not just the pest they are treating, but conducting overall home check for safety and assurance. Post termite treatment requires yearly inspection of the premises to ensure colony management is in order and there is no presence of unidentified pest activity.

How quickly can the pest control companies respond to job requests?

You can check out pest control professionals who operate 24/7. If schedule allows, pest control companies can usually be there within the hour, if not certainly in the same day.

Get quotes from pest control pros

Are there any alternatives if spraying is not allowed?

Should you face any problems to the current pest control method (such as small children & pets and spraying is not an option), you can talk to your pest control professional for alternative ways of killing the pests.

An example is using gel baits and bait stations for both cockroaches and ants, which will not be harmful to human and other animals.

Pest control safety and hazard precaution standards

When dealing with a pest control company, it is important to monitor the health and safety issue which may pose a threat to your family’s health, especially for the young and the elderly.

It is important that the pest control company is NEA approved and uses only NEA approved chemical to deal with the pests.

Check key information such as reduced risks status with the pest control professional to fully understand the process behind pest control.

Get help for your pest problems

Eliminating Pests in Singapore

Termites

What are termites?

Termites are small, pale soft-bodied insect that primarily feed on cellulose, a part of wood, but also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems.

Why are termites harmful?

Termites basically consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. Though small, termites have the ability to damage properties such as house foundations, furniture shelves and even paper documents or books.

Why do termites eat wood?

Termites eat wood to derive the cellulose and nutrients they need to live. Termites have protozoa and bacteria in their gut that allow them to break down the cellulose fibers in wood, which is difficult for other creatures to digest.

What are the types of termites?

There are 3 main types of termites:

  1. Dampwood termites
  2. Drywood termites
  3. Subterranean termites

What is the lifecycle of termites?

We have discussed previously on the lifecycle of termites in our article.

How do I get a termite infestation?

  1. Moisture
  2. Wood and wooden structure that comes into contact with your home
  3. Openings in your home foundation, roofs or walls

What are the tell-tale signs of termite infestation?

How can I tell if I have a termite infestation? What are the signs of damage associated with termites? There are 8 signs of termite infestation, they can be traced to:

  1. Wood damage
  2. Subterranean tunnels
  3. Discarded wings
  4. Mud or shelter tubes
  5. Brown Pellets of Excrement
  6. Termite Tapping Noises
  7. Uneven or Bubbling Paint
  8. Hollow Sounding Wood

What are the preventive tips against termites?

  1. Eliminate moisture problems
  2. Removing contact between wood materials and home exterior
  3. Periodic monitoring, checking for activities

Speak to a few pest control pros

How long does it take to get rid of termites?

Time to elimination depends upon the control product you select. It can take up to 90 days to fully eliminate termite activity in a structure.

Can you tell the difference between flying ants and termites?

Termites look a lot like ants. In fact, homeowners often mistake flying ants for termite swarmers and become alarmed. But look closely and you’ll see several differences.

What are some of the DIY methods I can use to eliminate termites?

We have covered some DIY tactics to eliminate termites. However, a mature nest will have at least 1 million inhabitants and it could be almost impossible to do it yourself..

It is best to call in a pest control company to diagnose the problem and address the issue.

Questions To Ask Pest Control Professional

Credibility and years of experience

It is important to check on the background of the company, using metrcis such as:

  • Brand credibility
  • Size of the business
  • Number of years practicing pest management in the industry
  • Reviews and ratings of pest control company by past customers

Warranty 

It will be helpful to ensure the pest control is effective for you by checking if the company issues a warranty. There are trustworthy and quality solutions that are backed by research and testing to warrant a longer assurance period.

License and quality standard

Is the professional licensed to carry out pest control services, as well as having field staff fully licensed? The professional should be licensed by NEA to provide Vector Control services. All field staffers should be licensed and certified accordingly by NEA.

Are the exterminators from the company NSRS trained?

Being an NSRS Accredited Company is a good standard that the company can provide higher quality services and assurance.

Are the exterminators bonded and insured?

Being bonded and insured adds another layer of professionalism and credibility of the pest control company.

How does the pest control company decide what treatment is needed?

Here is a list of questions you can ask to determine how professional these exterminators are. Take note of their answers and compare against online resources. Examples of questions include:

  • What kind of pests are in my home? Are they common in this area?
  • What stage of life are the insects in– egg, larva, pupae, adult?
  • How serious is the infestation?
  • How long have the pests been in my home?
  • How long will it take to eliminate the infestation?
  • Will the pests ever come back?

Is the company ISO Certified?

ISO is another certification that benchmarks the quality standards provided by the company.

Are your insecticides and baits safe to use especially for homes with children (babies) and pets?

All insecticides/chemicals the professional use should be approved and registered by NEA. Professionals should also take special care not to use them or place them in areas where children and pets may come in contact with.

A further safety measure taken is the use of tamper proof boxes which will prevent children and pets from making direct contact with the baits. Depending on the type of insecticide and its application, it would be best for you and the baby to remain out of the treated premises for a couple of hours.

What kind of training have the pest technicians passed?

It will be helpful too to check if the pest exterminators pass other external tests, such as the Safe Use of Pesticides, Kill Germ Training courses.

What if I’m unhappy with the end result?

Depending on the company, some pest control professionals will redo the work again if it is not well done the first time round. We advise you to check with your exterminators to ensure they deliver the result, even if there needs to be a rework.

Find reliable pest control companies in Singapore

SGHomeNeeds provides a list of reliable pest control companies in Singapore. Pest control companies typically deals with the following infestations:

  • insects: ants, bed bugs, termites, wasps, fleas, lizards, cockroaches
  • rodents: mice, rats

If you are looking for pest control professionals to match your personalised requirements, you can contact SGHomeNeeds HomeMatch for a more quick and fuss-free experience.

Get in touch with a pest control pro today

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SGHomeNeeds’ vision is to provide comprehensive, unaltered and honest feedback about all home service providers in Singapore. Our platform aims to empower homeowners to select the home service providers which can best suit their needs.

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