Dealing with bugs

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zzm9980
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Dealing with bugs

Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 9:29 am

Hello,

I imagine most of this comes with the climate and high-density housing, but I have a lot more insects than I'm used to dealing with. Tiny ants, tiny fruit flies, and the one I really don't like, some roaches. The ants I know how to deal with, it's usually me leaving something out or not cleaning. (they even swarmed on a small patch of toothpaste I didn't wipe out of the bathroom sink the other day... persistent frakkers)

The roaches though... I have a 9 month old, so I'm a bit sensitive to how much chemical warfare I go with. I've used some "safe" spray, and that keeps them away a few days, but isn't effective long term. (And it costs like S$30 a can!) The best thing I've found are those Pandan leaves. The roaches seem to avoid the areas I leave them in... Is this the best I can do? Does living in an HDB mean I just have to deal with this? (Are condos even much better anyway in this regard?)

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 9:47 am

Well the pandan leaves (and also other pungent smelling leaves like lemongrass, citrus leaves etc) only serve to repel insects (including roaches) away from that area, but it doesn't mean they will not find other potential locations to hide.

However, they lose effectiveness once they dry up so you need to keep changing to fresh ones.

What you can do regarding roaches (and also other crawling other peskies) without exposing your family to the chemical.

1. Get the roach bait instead of bug spray. Follow the instructions and place them (especially where you tend to find them often - kitchen cabinets etc). Have the habit of clearing off the dead roaches you find because if you don't, the carcasses serve as free food for the surviving roaches (and it is not hygienic too)

2. Let's say you still like bug spray but you wanna keep it safe for your family, here's a personal method I can share.

a. Make sure your bug spray is the one meant for roaches and crawling insects (you will find that it has slight oily residue; the ones for flying insects usually produces mist-like sprays when spray in air)

b. When your child and/or pets are not around, spray a line along edges of wall-floor joint at places where you often find roaches. Wait for it to dry completely.

c. The residue will stay for days or even weeks. Think of it as perimeter barrier where roaches that crawl over it will come in contact with the residue. You can respray over the same edges if you still need it.

At least you can minimise the exposure, and at the same time, still being on cautious side.

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:27 am

Hmm ok, yeah I'll try that. We spray the eco-green-hippy organic bug spray like that along edges now. The Pandan leaves work well, as the roaches aren't leaving their "marks" in the cabinets anymore. I was kind of hoping they were eating it and dying...

You're also right though, they only go somewhere else. What prompted this post was seeing a giant roach in the shower this morning!

So is this a downfall of HDB life only and why people pay more for condos?
or a downfall of living in an equatorial jungle?

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 10:43 am

zzm9980 wrote:Hmm ok, yeah I'll try that. We spray the eco-green-hippy organic bug spray like that along edges now.

That interest me. What's the active ingredient stated in the label? :P

The Pandan leaves work well, as the roaches aren't leaving their "marks" in the cabinets anymore. I was kind of hoping they were eating it and dying...

Haha I wish so too. That would have made the cheapest roach control - ever!

You're also right though, they only go somewhere else. What prompted this post was seeing a giant roach in the shower this morning!

Oh yes, roaches have few entry points and sink holes and gully traps are among them. If you tend to see roaches coming out from gully trap, you can install the valve.

So is this a downfall of HDB life only and why people pay more for condos?

Trust me, condos have just the same problems like HDBs - and sometimes worse. It all depends on the design and how old is the building. You will be surprised that HDBs that have CRC (central refuse system; refuse point only in lobby and not in individual units) have less cockroach problems among dwellers than condo owners who have bin chutes in their own kitchens at their disposal :P

or a downfall of living in an equatorial jungle?

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:52 am

the lynx wrote: Trust me, condos have just the same problems like HDBs - and sometimes worse. It all depends on the design and how old is the building. You will be surprised that HDBs that have CRC (central refuse system; refuse point only in lobby and not in individual units) have less cockroach problems among dwellers than condo owners who have bin chutes in their own kitchens at their disposal :P
You are probably right to that extent where we are talking about the design, but every condo I lived so far had regular "kill all the bastards" exercise every few months. Is it that regular and frequent for HDBs? Again, for all the places we encountered an alive roach inside our flat not more frequently than 1 every half a year (average). It was typically at the time the pest control was executed so all what crawled tried to escape up the bin chutes or rather up the external walls and staircases as there were not big enough to open the chute door by themselves :)

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:13 pm

Unfortunately, it normally is regular at most HDB's. But the problem is that the intervals are spaced too far apart to contain the problem. Also, a lot of people in HDB are of a lower class/educational level than those in condo's (not all obviously but percentage wise) so their hygiene levels are not nearly so good. Doesn't help when there are "clusters" e.g., flats, where they are safe to reinfect after the fogging/spraying loses it's potency. But, try to do it more often would result in higher conservancy charges which would cause an uproar with the flat owners. What to do? Ideally, fogging/gelling (better) should be done monthly. But a lot depends on the quality of the job done. Not only rubbish chutes need to be done, but also rubbish collection centres & rubbish bins as well need to be sprayed (not only in the bins but around & under the bins & wheel assemblies. Also, fogging should be done from the top down not the bottom as that only causes the buggers to run up to the higher floors.

Normally notice will be posted at the elevators & stairwells prior to the fogging. To keep the buggers out of your flats you need to actually tape the chute door. A lot of the chute's rubber gaskets are cracked or missing or the door no longer shuts tightly so they will still find a way in if not taped.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 1:17 pm

They've fumigated once or twice while I've been here, but it hasn't been terribly effective. Maybe on my next holiday I'll load the entire unit with Pandan leaves and hope they just migrate over to a neighbor's flat :D

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 1:44 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Unfortunately, it normally is regular at most HDB's. But the problem is that the intervals are spaced too far apart to contain the problem. Also, a lot of people in HDB are of a lower class/educational level than those in condo's (not all obviously but percentage wise) so their hygiene levels are not nearly so good.
Doesn't help when there are "clusters" e.g., flats, where they are safe to reinfect after the fogging/spraying loses it's potency. But, try to do it more often would result in higher conservancy charges which would cause an uproar with the flat owners. What to do? Ideally, fogging/gelling (better) should be done monthly.

Actually the current TR for most town councils for pest management are twice monthly (spaced between two weeks). But I only personally know that Jurong Town Council does in that schedule.

But a lot depends on the quality of the job done. Not only rubbish chutes need to be done, but also rubbish collection centres & rubbish bins as well need to be sprayed (not only in the bins but around & under the bins & wheel assemblies).

You are right. It should be done that way as well but we probably know by now the quality of work done by these people these days (but I am not discounting the fact that there are quality pest management companies).

Also, fogging should be done from the top down not the bottom as that only causes the buggers to run up to the higher floors.

Not possible. Most HDBs (and also condos) have bin chute design with chambers only at the bottom, which allows the technician to access and fog in.

Normally notice will be posted at the elevators & stairwells prior to the fogging. To keep the buggers out of your flats you need to actually tape the chute door. A lot of the chute's rubber gaskets are cracked or missing or the door no longer shuts tightly so they will still find a way in if not taped.

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Post by x9200 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 2:10 pm

zzm9980 wrote:They've fumigated once or twice while I've been here, but it hasn't been terribly effective. Maybe on my next holiday I'll load the entire unit with Pandan leaves and hope they just migrate over to a neighbor's flat :D
When they do it right on the first day you see all the sudden a lot of roaches in the places like basement carparks. They are still alive but clearly affected. Next 2-3 days all is gone and then it should stay gone for at least 3-4 months.

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Post by boffenl » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 2:37 pm

In the 5 years we've lived in an HDB we've had 4 roaches in our apartment--and all four died soon after they crawled in because of the bug bombing in the garbage bins/vents. I used to tape our garbage "vent" but it's been over a year with no roach and we've been leaving our windows open all that time too.

Sounds like you need to take radical action--I'd leave if there was a live roach in my shower. Urgh! Get someone to spray your whole place and then buy some plaster and close every hole everywhere. The small ants can't eat through the crazy glue I shoved into their migratory holes. :) Plus we now have two little lizards who live in our flat and keep the ants at bay.

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 2:42 pm

You can also use silicone gel or plaster of Paris to seal up those holes.

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 3:07 pm

Oh, it's a pretty old unit and the kitchen is a rat's nest (not literally hehe) of holes and cracks and crevices. I think I'll start spraying and caulking this weekend. Like I mentioned, the Pandan did decently well in the kitchen, but I didn't have any in the bathroom.

As for that poor roach in the bathroom. He got 'firehosed' with the little hose thingy next to the toilet (no idea what they're called as I'm from the states :P) until he was obviously dazed. Then mummified in paper towel and tossed down the garbage shoot.

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Post by BillyB » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 3:12 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Oh, it's a pretty old unit and the kitchen is a rat's nest (not literally hehe) of holes and cracks and crevices. I think I'll start spraying and caulking this weekend. Like I mentioned, the Pandan did decently well in the kitchen, but I didn't have any in the bathroom.

As for that poor roach in the bathroom. He got 'firehosed' with the little hose thingy next to the toilet (no idea what they're called as I'm from the states :P) until he was obviously dazed. Then mummified in paper towel and tossed down the garbage shoot.
Have you tried the Baygon brand of bug spray? Its a big black can and works a treat. We had a batch of roaches under the fridge - that only came out at night. Half a can later, about 200 of the little things crawled out and went to the afterlife. Probably best to take your kid out of the condo for a few hours, as it smells pretty harsh!

Repeat a couple of times and you should be done for a few months!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 3:32 pm

zzm9980, I believe the little hose thingy (the one attached to the wall, that is :P ) is called a poor man's bidet.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Feb 2012 3:55 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:(the one attached to the wall, that is :P )
I see what you did there

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