Slaying the diminutive demons
Pests are an exasperating lot. BIJU GOVIND looks at some smart ways to get rid of them.
PHOTO: S. RAMESH KURUP
Wage a war:Pest management is required when shifting to a new house, during renovation, and installation of wooden furniture, false ceilings, and panelling.
Pests invade every home no matter how much it is fortified against them. Cockroaches fly in from nowhere, and termites, ants, spiders, lizards, and rodents seem to be everywhere.
Time was when grandma's techniques worked to keep these intruders at bay. People even used to apply banned pesticides such as DDT and BHC to get rid of these unwanted elements.
Today's smart homes, however, need smart solutions to deal with pests. Similar to those professional agencies that help keep your house clean, a few companies are there to help you finish off the aggressors. One such is Pest Control (India) Ltd.
“Our professional service and quality products are unmatched. We have a package for each pest menace,” says Rajiv Kurian, base manager, Kozhikode.
The company caters to household and commercial needs, giving what it calls hassle-free, odourless, and safe solutions. Pest management is required when shifting to a new house, during renovation, and installation of wooden furniture, false ceilings, and panelling.
There are short- and long-term packages. Annual maintenance contracts running to two, three or five years are also on offer. In some cases — for example, in the elimination of termites — the company gives a warranty of five to 15 years. The rates differ from house to house, Mr. Kurian says.
The use of chemicals is minimal, depending on the requirement in each house. For each pest, the company has a branded and specific product. A gel bait, weighing less than 2 g, is sometimes used to destroy cockroaches. Cockroaches, apart from their nuisance value, transmit respiratory diseases and contaminate food and other articles. They are found in kitchens, cracks, and crevices. These insects live in sewers and manholes and multiply in large numbers within a short time, giving a tough time to people, Mr. Kurian says.
The world of ants is attractive in one sense, but these can be pesky when swarming around leftovers and food packets. There are 12,000 types of ants in the world, but only a few varieties are usually found in our homes. A simple ant colony can have nearly 2.5 lakh of these tiny creatures. They form a trail and move about the house. The bites can be painful.
Other common invaders include silverfish and firebrats, insects that damage books and fabrics. Bedbugs suck blood and cause sleepless nights. A low-odour spraying treatment is done to eliminate them.
Mr. Kurian says that termites cause structural damage to houses as they scout for food containing cellulose, such as wood, paper, and clothes. Winged termites attack houses during the monsoon, leaving no sign of damage. Termites go undetected till much of the damage is done.
Woodborers cause powdering of wooden furniture. A chemical is injected into the exit holes to provide effective treatment. A preventive method is treating plywood before applying varnish and paint.
He says the company conducts a “Pied Piper” service to eradicate rodents, which can cause leptospirosis and even plague. The service includes a total rodent management solution package for housing societies. Low-dose rat baits are used, besides taking up continuous monitoring.
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