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Bug busters

Dawn Gibson
Monday, September 23, 2013

EVER get tired of swatting at a cockroach, sunning your mattress out to kill the bedbugs or constantly having to wipe down your kitchen bench because armies of ants continue to invade?

Assuming your answer was "yes", it's time to knuckle down and get some good hygiene habits to prevent these bugs from continuously breeding and spreading through your home.

Number one is the cockroach and according to director of locally-owned pest eradication company Fastkil Pest Control, Vinay Chand, this little creature has the ability to survive pretty much anything — making them very difficult to remove.

"With cockroaches, they have such a different system from other insects and humans, they can survive anything. When dealing with them, hygiene is what you have to address," Mr Chand said.

"They tend to hide under things as well, especially if they're dark and damp, or have food stuff nearby."

The Rentokil Fiji website revealed that Fiji is in fact home to several different cockroach species — the American cockroach, the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach.

"Key areas of risk are gaps under doors or around pipes to the exterior or neighbouring properties," the website suggests.

The cockroach is a nocturnal insect and spends most of the day in hiding — under freezers, in wall crevices and under sinks.

"Store food in containers or in strong sealed plastic bags, clean all waste food and liquid spillages immediately, remove pet food, water and clean up animal droppings litter trays before nightfall," it says.

Mr Chand also suggested basic things such as clearing clutter so roaches are not encouraged to situate themselves among it.

Number two is the bedbug, which in many cases can result in high levels of irritation for the person bitten.

"Hygiene is so important when it comes to bedbugs, especially when you have visitors," Mr Chand said.

He said Fastkil Pest Control had attended to about 70 cases of bedbug problems in the country within the past five months because they were transferred so easily.

"Bedbugs can enter your house through people who come to visit your home. They travel from one home to another through visitors. That's where breeding can begin."

According to the Rentokil Fiji website, these are one of the most difficult bugs to eradicate.

"They are becoming a significant problem in this country and around the world. The current resurgence in bedbugs could well be related to the increase in international travel," it read.

And number three is the centipede, which unlike roaches and bedbugs, can leave you with a nasty sting and even poison you.

Mr Chand explained that people had to pay particular attention to the harm centipedes could cause them.

"They are like the snake of Fiji, you have to be very careful of them because they're poisonous. You have to check your pillows before bedtime, check outlet chambers in your home, such as sinks and water pipes. These need to be cleaned before bedtime."

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