The warm and humid Hong Kong summers accelerate the growth and reproduction of insects. Poor hygiene and pest control can turn your home into a hotbed for common household pests. Here is a list of a few common household pests and natural home remedies that will keep these unwelcome guests and potential health risks at bay.
Common Household Pest #1 - Cockroaches
Cockroaches, members of the order Blattodea, are a common household pest that gives a lot of people headaches. Not only are they good at hiding, but they are also fast and elusive. The slightest movement will startle these creatures and send them darting back to their hiding place. The most common types of cockroaches found in the homes of Hong Kong are American cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, and German cockroaches. They prefer dark, warm and damp environments, usually seen in kitchens, and cracks and gaps found in bathrooms.
Being omnivorous, cockroaches are especially attracted to starches and strong odours. They expel a secretion that spoils food while their excrement can cause rashes and other allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes. It is, therefore, best to regularly clean kitchen greases and food residues so as to cut off their food sources. Minimize hiding spaces for cockroaches and the chances of having them invade your home by avoiding accumulation of items such as cardboard and magazines.
Common Household Pest #2 - Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a species of Cimicidae. They release a pheromone that will leave a trace of unpleasant smell. Although active throughout the year, the hot and wet summers of Hong Kong provide particularly favourable conditions for bed bugs breeding. They prefer darkness and like to hide in warm and dark places, anywhere from walls, bed frames, wardrobes to sofas, making them a nightmare for pest control as they can be hard to spot.
Bed bugs feed on blood and tend to forage for a host in groups at night. Children are often targets of hungry bed bugs because of their higher metabolic rates and body temperature. Their bites can result in skin inflammation and itchiness, and even rashes and eczema in more severe cases. To get rid of bed bugs, it is important to maintain a balanced humidity indoor. Bed bugs often hitchhike their ways into homes with second-hand furniture. Prevent introducing bed bugs to your home by avoiding the use of second-hand furniture.
Common Household Pest #3 - Silverfish
Silverfish, sometimes known as bookworms, are typically found in dark and humid environments like closets, bookshelves, drains and pipes, or underneath a washing machine where they are least likely to be disturbed. Generally speaking, silverfish don’t bite humans nor do they carry harmful bacteria or spread diseases.
These insects feed on a wide range of materials from starches, manmade fibres to cotton. Those tiny holes you spot on your books and clothes are likely to be caused by silverfish. Other than controlling the humidity at home, checking furniture and closets regularly and getting rid of excess moisture are also ways to prevent your home from becoming a breeding ground for silverfish.
Natural Home Remedies for Pest Control
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Star Anise
Alcohol can act as a solvent for some organic compounds including gloss finishes or sealants commonly applied to wood furniture and leather products which are not resistant to solvents, heat and corrosion. A common example would be the white, chalky heat stain that appears after placing a hot water bottle or pot directly on a wooden table. Similarly, high-concentration alcohol can also damage and dissolve the finishing on wood furniture and leather products.
Mix one part of water with one part of white vinegar then clean surfaces and areas where insects have been spotted. This allows you to disinfect the area as well as get rid of any scents that have been attracting insects.
Star anise can do much more than season your food, it is also an effective home remedy for pest control. Put the star anises into a breathable bag like those mesh boiling bags and place them inside wardrobes or on bookshelves. The spice’s strong scent can act as an insect repellent.
Homes kept dry and cool is the key to having some quality rest in the muggy Hong Kong summer. It’s hard to relax in a pest-infested house full of clutters. The Store House offers affordable and flexible storage spaces that are safeguarded with 24/7 security systems across Hong Kong. Contact us now to find out how we can help.