Pest Control in your dream home

The author of this blog is Hema, an employee of  HomeInspeKtor who has plenty of experience in Facility Management. You can get in touch with her here.

Are you one of those who think pest control is all about applying pesticides? If yes, read on to know the common mistakes people make in dealing with pest issues. I learnt this with my experience of dealing with pest issues in different places that I stayed or I worked.  

Pest “Control” as it sounds in itself is all about “prevention” rather than “treatment”. Yet when we spot a rat or a cockroach, the first thing we do is to reach out to the pest control agency. While this can be the case once you have moved into the home, there are a lot of things you can do proactively even before you move into a new home (yes you heard it right, new home) or a rented home. Let me share some of the areas you can check before you move-in: 

Gap in Kitchen countertop
pest control
Uneven slope on flooring
pest control
pest control
  • Unfinished civil works: Identify gaps in the premises – cable entry points (electrical, network cable etc), shaft doors, ceiling, gaps while fixing the exhaust fans, chimneys, AC appliances and so on and get it closed using appropriate sealants since these are “rodent entry points”. In case the place has a false ceiling, make sure there are absolutely no gaps, since rats, birds tend to enter or settle in there and it’s extremely difficult to deal with them.  Make sure the chimney/exhaust vent in the terrace area is covered with a meshed enclosure since this is one of the most common entry points for rodents, birds etc due to food smell.  
  • Gaps in Kitchen countertop: Check for gaps while laying the kitchen countertop and ensure it is packed with appropriate sealant material since accumulation of food particles in the gaps may attract insects especially cockroaches.
  • Insect traps in the sink & toilet/bathrooms: Pests, especially cockroaches, enter through drain pipes. One of the best ways to prevent them is to ensure that the builder/contractor has provided insect traps in the drain pipes in the kitchen sink, bathroom(s), utility and balcony areas. This saves a lot of hassles once you move in.
  • Trees coming in contact with building: Check if there are any trees in contact with the building structure to prevent rodents, ants and termites damaging the structure or entering the premises. 
  • Gaps in and around the door, window or sliding elements: In case there are gaps around the door or window frames or sliding doors, it is advisable to engage the competent service provider who may provide rubber beading or address it as it deem fit. This helps in preventing insects, mosquitos and/or other pests entering the premises. 
  • Termite infestation: Look for termite infestation in the surrounding area, especially if the house/flat you have chosen is on the ground floor. Barring the costs, it is advisable to go for metal kitchen cabinets & wardrobes instead of wood or ensure to go with service providers who standby in the long run in case of any infestations. Also, it is advisable to have a raised platform for the modular kitchen or wooden cabinets to prevent termite infestation, especially for people living in ground floors. 
  • Water tanks: Ensure the water tanks (over-head or underground) are provided with appropriate lids/enclosures to prevent pests from falling into it. 
  • Drainage System: In case you have chosen a house/flat which is close to open drainage, you can talk to the builder and/or layout owner to have it covered properly since drains are the breeding ground for many pests especially mosquitoes. If you are in an apartment complex, it is advisable to ensure that Association follows regular larvicidal treatment being carried out to the drains as a proactive measure to prevent breeding of mosquitoes than reactive treatment later.  
  • Gaps in flooring: Check if there are uneven or chipped flooring in and around the house (bathroom, portico, balcony, parking space etc.) and if so, get it addressed on priority else it may lead to stagnation or seeping of water which is happy case for pests breeding.  

As the saying goes prevention is better than cure”, taking care of some of the above measures can go a long way in controlling the pests in your home. Happy Living! 

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