When To Do Pest Control For Your Home

Regularly

When do you need to do pest control for your home?

  1. When your home is newly built
  2. Once every quarter for prevention 
  3. When you see signs of infestation

 

If you’re wondering when to do pest control for your home, we’re here to tell you all about it. Pest prevention is often neglected, which only means that an infestation can happen again and again. But, it’s important to remember that there are certain scenarios when pest control should be the priority to avoid diseases from spreading and costly home repairs. Read on to learn more about these! 

 

When Your Home is Newly Built

When Your Home is Newly Built

You just moved into your newly erected home. You might be wondering if you really need pest control services since everything is still new. But, homeowners should understand that even newly built homes can have pests.

 

How? Your home was open to everything during the construction period, so rodents can easily get in and build their nest. Plenty of building materials are also often stored in open and damp conditions. Sometimes, pests are already in the building materials prior to being delivered. Any leftover wood can attract termites. 

 

During the construction period, it might have also rained several times. Water puddles might have built up. Remember that several pests, like mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. 

 

If the area nearby where your new house stands has just been cleared prior to construction, the area can be disturbed, along with the pests that live in them. These pests will look for shelter, which can be your new home. In some newly built homes, pests can also squeeze their way through cracks along the foundation and nest. 

 

Once Every Quarter for Prevention

While most people generally consider pest control services to remedy an ongoing infestation, having regular pest control treatments throughout the year can go a long way when it comes to protecting your home and your loved ones’ health. Preventive pest control eliminates the overwhelming stress and saves you from headaches in the long run. 

 

The general recommendation when it comes to routine pest control is to do it once every quarter. General pest control can become ineffective after a few months, so it should be repeated. 

 

Note that there are some things that affect the frequency of the pest control treatments. The first one is location. For example, homes in pest-prone regions may need more frequent inspections and treatments. Other than that, the age and history of the property should also be considered. Older homes and properties that have been vulnerable to pest infestations in the past might need more frequent treatments too. 

 

When You See Signs of Infestation

When You See Signs of InfestationIf you see signs of infestations, it’s obvious that will need immediate and frequent pest control treatments. A serious pest infestation is not treated in just one visit. Through several appointments, an expert pest control team will find ways to eliminate the root cause of the infestation, stop pests from coming back, and prevent damage to your home in the long run.  

 

The number of appointments and duration of a pest control treatment will depend on your infestation case. Some pests take longer to deal with compared to others. The three most difficult pests to exterminate are termites, cockroaches, and bed bugs. For homes that suffered from an infestation in the past, regular pest control treatments can also be helpful in ensuring that the pests don’t find their way back into the home. 

 

So, make sure to choose a pest control service provider that uses effective treatments for different types of pests. 

 

Key Takeaway

It’s a good idea to have pest control treatments even if you don’t have an infestation, as this can help protect your home in the long run! 

 

If you’re interested in pest control services in the Philippines, you can contact us here at Topbest. Since 1997, we have been the most reputable pest control service provider for both residential and commercial properties in the Philippines. We offer our services to those who live in Pasig, Quezon City, Antipolo, Katipunan, Ortigas, and other Metro Manila and provincial areas. 

 

Topbest pest control specialists and exterminators can provide long-term protection from termites, bedbugs, rodents, cockroaches, ants, and mosquitoes. We offer general pest control, pest management, disinfestation, fumigation, and many more! We can also advise you on when to do pest control for your home. Click here for a free pest consultation!  

4 Common Ant Species in the Philippines

4 Common Ant Species in the Philippines

What are the common ant species in the Philippines?

  1. Pharaoh Ant
  2. Weaver Ant
  3. Pavement Ant
  4. Black House Ant

 

Anywhere you may be in the world, the chances are high that you’ve been annoyed by all kinds of ants. Ants are small, vicious, and worst of all, ubiquitous. You’ll find them everywhere, in all kinds of habitats in any kind of weather. The Philippines is considered to be a biodiversity hotspot, with a wide range of ant species that makes its study more interesting. There are more than 12,000 known ant species worldwide, but here, we’ll talk about # of them.

The most common ant species in the Philippines are the ones we encounter in our homes because food sources are abundant there. They like to make colonies they have access to food that we discard or leave out in the open. As you read the list, you may recognize some of these ants as unwanted visitors to your home. Let’s get started with the first one:

 

Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

The Pharaoh ant, sometimes mistakenly called the Pharaoh’s ant, is a common ant in the Philippines. They are considered an invasive species worldwide, and a major indoor pest in the United States.

Appearance: The Pharaoh ant is a tiny and slender ant of yellow-brown color. Males are slightly larger than the average worker, and they have a darker color with wings. The Queens are even larger than the males, are bright red, and winged.

Behavior: These ants like to make ground nests and are generally scavengers. Their habit of making nests in hard-to-reach places makes them difficult to control. Colonies can also have multiple queens that are interchangeable, allowing their colonies to have longer lifespans.

 

Weaver Ant (Oecophylla)

Weaver Ant

The weaver ant can be encountered even in urban areas of the Philippines. They are commonly known as the “hantik”.

Appearance: Weaver ants are large ants that are red and sometimes green. They are generally larger than other common ants in the Philippines so they can easily be spotted.

Behavior: Hantiks are known for their aggressive and territorial behavior. When people encounter them, they tend to steer clear because it is likely that they will get bitten. Weaver ants get their names because they like to weave mango leaves together and call it home. One colony can make several nests in different trees, and they are found mostly on canopies. Because they make their home in leaves, they have evolved to be averse to fair. If you light a matchstick near some weaver ants, they will attempt to put it out by secreting a liquid from their abdomens.

 

Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum)

The pavement ant is another ant species that are considered invasive in the Philippines. They are typically found in agricultural and highly disturbed areas. You’ll find them under rocks and loose bark.

Appearance: Pavement ants come in dark brown and black, have two spines on the back and a groove on the head. These ants are relatively small, and the winged ones are often mistaken as termites.

Behavior: These ants are labeled as aggressive breeders, and they are not picky of the time of the year to swarm your household. They like to scavenge and are generalist predators. They’ll often be foraging on the ground and building nests in twigs, rocks, and bark. They don’t bite, but they can sting you. Thankfully, they’re not as aggressive as weaver ants and would most likely leave you alone.

 

 

Black House Ant (Ochetellus glaber)

Black House Ant

The black house ant is one of the most common ants in the Philippines, being present in households anywhere in the country. These ants are not dangerous, but they can be annoying at times.

Appearance: As the name suggests, these ants are small and black. They are small, just 2.5-3 mm long, and they are often described as shiny.

Behavior: Black house ants are arboreal when nesting outside, but they like to go ground-foraging. Indoors, their black bodies can be easily noticed, and they form very noticeable columns when traveling to and from the colony. They are fast-moving, but not aggressive and rarely bite humans. The only threat they can pose is unintentionally spreading disease-causing bacteria to food sources.

 

Key Takeaway

As mentioned earlier, there are way too many common ant species in the Philippines to be discussed on a single page. The ones you’ve read here are some of the most widespread in the archipelago, making them familiar problems in Filipino households. Even though biodiversity is good, having invasive species might be more damaging to both humans and the environment.

If you’re having an ant problem, then the best way to solve it is to call for professional pest control. We at Topbest have been the first choice of Filipinos when it comes to pest control solutions. Our experts have liberated over 5,000 homes in the Philippines from harmful pests of different kinds. Interested? Feel free to contact us anytime for a free consultation!

What Eats Mosquitoes?

What Eats Mosquitoes

What eats mosquitoes?

  1. Spiders
  2. Lizards
  3. Bats
  4. Dragonflies
  5. Fish
  6. Frogs
  7. Birds

 

Mosquitoes can be considered as one of the top pests that people need to avoid. Not only are they annoying and cause a lot of itching, but they are also prime disease spreaders, which even earned them the title of the most lethal animal in the world. There are many man-made solutions against mosquitoes, but there are also plenty of natural predators that help us control mosquito populations. This begs the question: what eats mosquitoes?

Most of these animals can be found near our homes — in our backyards, in the pond, and even on our ceilings! While they eat mosquitoes on the regular, we don’t notice it enough and take them for granted. Many people would kill or chase these animals away, even if they’re harmless to humans.

If you don’t know what animals in your house are helping you with the war against mosquitoes, we’ve compiled a list of some natural mosquito killers you might encounter. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Spiders

As we all know, spiders love chowing down on insects. Their main diet is comprised of all sorts of insects, mosquitoes included! Any type of spider would enjoy a good mosquito on the menu. If you see a spider web around, you can be sure that any unlucky mosquito that gets caught in it will be spider dinner.

Because they wait for their meals to come to them instead of actively hunting them, spiders don’t make much of a dent in mosquito populations. Adding to that is our tendency to take down the spider webs that we see around the house. However, if we let the spider webs be, then we’d have a natural pest filter around that won’t bother anyone else.

 

Lizards

Lizards

Another common sight in Filipino homes, lizards are also friendly pest munchers. They like to eat insects of all kinds, and they’re always on the hunt. If a mosquito makes the mistake of hovering too close to the ground (or ceiling, or wall, wherever the lizard is!), they’ll become lunch for sure.

 

Bats

There are many types of bats out there, and yes, some of them eat fruit (and blood). But plenty of bats are insectivorous.  They would eat any type of insect as long as they can catch it, and with their flying skills, they can catch almost anything! Their echolocation also helps them locate insects and snap them up even in mid-flight. With a large population of bats hanging around, mosquitoes will always have their numbers reduced at night.

Because they prey on a wide range of insects, bats won’t focus on mosquitoes only. The presence of bats is helpful, but they are not enough to put a damper on that mosquito problem you may have.

 

Dragonflies

Dragonflies

Dragonflies are excellent mosquito predators. First, they have air superiority over them. They can fly faster and have better maneuverability mid-air, with wings that let them zip around at 40-48 kilometers per hour. They also have better vision, the better to see the mosquitoes with. Compared to dragonflies, mosquitoes are lumbering around in the air, easy to snatch up and devour.

Also, since dragonflies like to hang around near water, they prey on young mosquitoes and even mosquito larvae. Even immature dragonflies, who still live in the water, make snacks out of mosquito larvae.

 

Fish

Almost any type of fish would feast on mosquito larvae that they find in the water. But the Gambusia affinis, or mosquito fish, have a particular liking to eating mosquito larvae. They like to do this so much that some pest control agencies use them to get rid of mosquito larvae in affected waters.

 

Frogs

Frogs

If given the chance, adult frogs would most likely eat something else other than mosquitoes. After all, they are too small to fill them up. That doesn’t mean they won’t snap up any mosquitoes with the gall to hover close enough to them. Also, younger, smaller frogs won’t be as picky as the adults, making mosquitoes good targets for them.

Some species of tadpoles have also been known to prey on mosquito larvae, but they rely mostly on plant-based particles in the water. They can, however, compete with mosquito larvae for sustenance if they’re in the same area.

 

Birds

Of course, we won’t forget one of our best allies when it comes to natural pest control: birds. Most birds would be happy to eat a mosquito or two if they come upon them. In the Philippines, the maya or the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is one of the most common birds, and they like to fly after mosquitoes too!

With their sharp eyes and quick reflexes, birds of all kinds will be glad to control pest populations in exchange for a good meal!

 

Key Takeaway

Even though we’ve come up with a list of what eats mosquitoes, they still won’t be enough to combat your mosquito problem entirely. These natural mosquito predators are only there when they want to be, and their diets are not limited to mosquitoes only. While their presence surely helps, solving the problem would call for other measures.

If you’re having mosquito problems, then a professional pest control service should help! Getting in touch with Topbest, the leading pest control solutions provider in the Philippines, is your best bet for losing all your pest problems! You can contact us here for a free consultation!

6 Facts About Mothballs

6 Facts About Mothballs

What are some facts about mothballs?

  1. They contain toxic chemicals.
  2. They are more than just repellants.
  3. They are harmful to humans and pets.
  4. Children are especially vulnerable.
  5. They should be used in tight containers.
  6. They don’t repel all pests.

 

There’s a certain smell that most people associate with old clothes and old closets or cabinets. It’s that mothball smell that many parents used to repel moths or other fiber-eating pests. Though it evokes some feelings of nostalgia, it may not be a good sign if you’re familiar with that scent from your childhood.

Mothballs may be great pest-repellants, but they cause harm to humans, pets, and especially children. Here, we compiled some facts about mothballs that you should know about if you plan to use them. Read on to learn more!

 

They contain toxic chemicals

There’s a reason why mothballs are effective against moths, and that’s because they contain toxic chemicals. These repellants are made with paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene, which is why they are sometimes called naphthalene balls. Naphthalene comes from crude oil or coal tar and can also come from burning things. It can also be found in some glass and window cleaners.

Mothballs are basically these chemicals in solid form, slowly dissolving into gas and dispersing into the air. Because of their toxicity, moths are repelled and sometimes killed. Unsurprisingly, the chemicals are known to be harmful to humans and other animals.

 

They are more than just repellants

They are more than just repellants

Repellants are expected to keep pests away which, admittedly, mothballs do well. But their effect doesn’t stop there. The toxic gases they produce are enough to kill insects and could potentially cause harm and death to humans and other animals. They are marketed as pest repellants, but they are actually pesticides.

Naphthalene has been used as an insecticide and was even registered as a pesticide in the United States. Knowing these, make sure you follow the instructions in the container and treat it as you would other commercial pesticides.

 

They are harmful to humans and pets

Mothball vapors, if enough is inhaled, can cause substantial damage to humans and pets. While the most common way for the chemical to enter our body is through breathing, they can also be absorbed through the skin. Also, children and pets could mistake the little white balls for food or candy and consume them. Exposure may irritate the eyes and lungs and symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

When naphthalene gas is absorbed by our body, it is broken down into alpha-naphthol, a chemical that can cause hemolytic anemia. The condition causes the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells, making it difficult for oxygen to reach our organs and body parts. It can then damage our organs and cause even more complications.

Naphthalene is also labeled as possibly carcinogenic for humans based on trials done on animals. This means that though it’s not confirmed, there’s a chance that the chemical can cause cancer. The chemicals in mothballs can be spread by humans through blood, fat, and breast milk.

 

Children are especially vulnerable

Children are especially vulnerable

Children and babies are more vulnerable to the effects of not only mothballs but all pesticides. As mentioned earlier, they can mistake mothballs for candy and consume them, which would definitely be bad for them. Younger people, especially babies, have fewer capabilities to clear out the toxic naphthalene from their blood, so the effects are worse.

Approximately 4000 children are exposed to mothballs per year, and over 600 of those exposures warrant emergency medical attention. It is important to remember that babies can absorb naphthalene through blankets that were covered with mothballs in storage, so make sure to wash everything before using them.

 

They should be used in tight containers

The proper use of mothballs is to put them with clothes in a sealed container. As the mothball turns to vapors, it does not escape the container and keeps the clothes safe from moths.

Mothballs placed in cabinets and closets still release toxic vapors to the air in your household as those containers are not airtight. With naphthalene present in the air, it can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or get absorbed into the food we eat. To keep yourself and your family safe, read the label of any mothballs you plan to use and follow the instructions accordingly.

 

They don’t repel all pests

They don’t repel all pests

Some people use mothballs to repel all sorts of pests including rodents and snakes. The reason why they were named that way is because they were designed to keep moths away. It doesn’t have the same effect on other pests. While the smell itself might make a mouse avert its attention, it’s not effective enough to repel them. Snakes don’t get affected at all. If you want to keep pests other pests away, like termites and ants, there are other ways to do that.

 

Key Takeaway

Mothballs are generally toxic and should not be used carelessly. If you still want to use them, then at least keep these facts about mothballs in mind to help you be safe.

The naphthalene balls could repel moths for you, but it won’t help with other infestations you may have. If you’re having problems with pests such as termites, ants, and rodents, then we can help! Topbest provides pest control solutions in the Philippines, helping people terminate infestations of different degrees. Learn more about us here, and simply contact us here for a free consultation!

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

How do you treat bed bug bites?

  1. Wash with soap and water
  2. Apply a cold towel or ice pack
  3. Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion
  4. Take an oral antihistamine
  5. Take over-the-counter painkillers
  6. Go to the doctor

 

Bed bugs are small pests that like to bite people when they sleep. If you have itchy marks on your skin, there’s a chance that these bugs are responsible. They like to hide around the area of your bed: the mattress, your sheets, the headboard, and others. As you sleep, they crawl out, bite your skin, and drink your blood. Unpleasant as it sounds, you wouldn’t feel anything right away because it takes some time before the bites show. When they do, you have to know how to treat bed bug bites.

The bites usually present as red, itchy marks on your skin. They are generally low-risk, but there are rare times when an allergic reaction or infection may happen. What should you do when you find bed bug bites on your skin? Keep reading to find out!

 

Wash with soap and water

Wash with soap and water

Since bed bugs drink blood, it’s easy to figure out that their bites make a break in the skin. That’s why the first thing you need to do is to wash it with soap and water. Just like any other wound, a bed bug bite can become infected. Washing the affected areas would not only prevent infections but also soothe the symptoms slightly.

If you have a persistent bed bug problem, make sure you wash the affected areas regularly until you get rid of the bed bugs for good. You wouldn’t know if you’re getting bitten because of the bug’s anesthetic, so it’s best to be safe.

 

Apply a cold towel or ice pack

Bed bug bites are rarely serious injuries and are even less likely to be life-threatening. But they are incredibly itchy! The bites will heal in around 1-2 weeks, but the itchiness will make it really uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate this.

Applying a cold towel or cloth, or an ice pack to the affected area will help with the itchiness.

 

Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion

Use an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion

If you can, using an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion would reduce the itching better than ice. Make sure you use only over-the-counter anti-itch cream to avoid any other complications. Otherwise, follow the advice of your dermatologist for a stronger dose. It’s also important to remember that they won’t cure the bites themselves but only reduce the itching. To avoid any further damage, it’s better to take care of the infestation itself.

 

Take an oral antihistamine

Another way to stop the itching is by taking an oral antihistamine. For this, it’s best to get a prescription from your doctor first. Antihistamines can control allergic reactions and itching. But they can’t control the severity of the bed bug infestation you have.

 

Take over-the-counter painkillers

Take over-the-counter painkillers

Sometimes, bed bug bites can swell and become painful. The combination of being itchy and painful at the same time is really annoying. Scratching the bites will hurt and make the problem worse. If your bed bug bites have become painful, then you should take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain. Just take the usual ones like paracetamol to keep safe.

 

Go to the doctor

Keep observing yourself to catch any signs of worsening in the bites. There are rare cases when bed bugs cause an allergic reaction. If it’s a severe one, you’ll need an emergency dose of antihistamines or an EpiPen. It’s better to go to the doctor right away.

Infections don’t happen often too, but unlike allergic reactions, they can happen to anyone. You know the infection has gotten bad when you start getting chills and a fever. For these instances, you should go to the doctor as soon as possible.

 

Key Takeaway

Bed bugs can turn really bad quickly if not taken care of. It’s good to know how to treat bed bug bites, but you wouldn’t need that information if you didn’t have bed bugs in the first place. There are several natural bed bug repellents that you can use, but they won’t be enough to get rid of the infestation.

Do you want to clear your home of any bed bug infestations? Then it’s time to call a professional pest control service! Topbest is the leading pest control solutions provider in the Philippines. Just click here to get a free consultation from us, and start the process of beating that infestation!

5 Natural Bed Bug Repellents

5 Natural Bed Bug Repellents

What are some natural bed bug repellents?

  1. Rubbing Alcohol
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Diatomaceous Earth
  4. Powdered Pepper
  5. Lemon

 

If you’ve ever woken up to itchy marks on your skin for seemingly no reason, you may have been bitten by bed bugs. Bed bugs are insects that bite humans and feed on our blood. Infestations will cause uncomfortable itches on the human’s skin. They can be present anywhere, and it is very easy to get an infestation. A solution could be by using natural bed bug repellents.

Getting rid of these pests is likely to be a pain. Pests often have the quality of being annoying, so make sure to try as many of these methods as possible to see which works best for you. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Rubbing Alcohol

The smell of rubbing alcohol is one that bed bugs can’t stand. This substance can also dry out bed bug bodies, making it potentially deadly to them. Some even claim that direct contact with alcohol will kill the bed bugs right away. If you have rubbing alcohol, try applying it in places where you suspect bed bugs to be. Hopefully, it will repel them and make them look for a different place to creed.

Be careful though, alcohol is very flammable. Just make sure to keep any sparks or open flames away from it!

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Some essential oils have been known to have some pest repellent (and even insecticidal) properties. For example, the scent of tea tree oil can repel bed bugs from an area. If you have tea tree oil for your skin, you can also spray it around your bed. It will then have a pleasant smell and it will be free of bed bugs. Lavender oil is another scent that we love but bed bugs can’t stand. If you’re looking for something more natural, then maybe orange oil will help. Peppermint oil has shown repellent properties against mosquitoes, and some people claim that they work against bed bugs as well. It would hurt to give it a try.

In any case, spraying these essential oils to affected areas should keep bed bugs away for a time.

 

Diatomaceous Earth

If you don’t know it yet, diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective alternative pesticides. It is an abrasive powder that will dry out an insect’s exoskeleton. It absorbs the protective oils that cover the insects’ bodies. If they come into contact with it, they can easily dehydrate. It’s best to spread the powder into cracks and crevices on the floor or anywhere else you think bed bugs might be hiding. But you should avoid putting it on your mattress because it can hurt your lungs.

This powder can easily be spotted and avoided by bed bugs. At first, they might fall victim to it and some might get killed, but once they learn about it, they will stay away. It then becomes a good repellent as well.

 

Powdered Pepper

Powdered Pepper

Powdered pepper is something that can be found in any household’s kitchen. Aside from adding flavor to your food, it can also be used to keep away bed bugs. Pepper is another addition to the lift of scents that bed bugs don’t like and would actively avoid. Its availability and convenience make powdered pepper a good natural bed bug repellent.

 

Lemon

Citrus scents like that of lemon will help drive bed bugs away. By using fresh lemon juice, your room and mattress will smell fruity fresh and become bed bug-free. Some even claim that the acidity of the lemon juice is enough to kill bed bugs.

A study has shown that citronellic acid has some potential to repel bed bugs, but they don’t hate the scent enough to stop from feeding on a blood meal. If you want to use lemon, you might want to use it when you’re not in the room.

 

Key Takeaway

Bed bug infestations can be nasty, uncomfortable, painful, and unhealthy at the same time. Once you notice itches, or once you confirm that you have bed bugs, it is important to get rid of them as fast as you can. For temporary, at-home measures, try the bed bug repellents that we mentioned in the article above.

Natural and temporary repellents are still not enough to completely eradicate an infestation. For that, professional intervention is needed. Topbest handles pest control for termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes, other pests, and of course, bed bugs. To end all your pest problems, just contact us here for a free consultation!

5 Common Types of Spiders in the Philippines

5 Common Types of Spiders in the Philippines

What are the common types of spiders in the Philippines?

  1. Huntsman Spider
  2. St. Andrew’s Cross Spider
  3. Hawaiian Garden Spider
  4. Batik Golden Web Spider
  5. Jumping Spiders

 

If you live in the Philippines, then you already know that there are plenty of spiders everywhere. Their scary appearance can easily scare people, but are they all actually dangerous? How many can you identify? To be more informed, you have to learn the common types of spiders in the Philippines.

Spiders can be found in any place you might be. They can be inside your house, in your garden, in your bathroom, and even in your shoe. If you can recognize them, you’ll easily figure out if they’re dangerous to you or not. Read on to know more about the common spiders in the Philippines!

 

Huntsman Spider

The Huntsman spider is a scary-looking arachnid from the family Sparassidae. These spiders are large and long-legged. Their bodies have a flat design to fit into small cracks or between rocks. In the Philippines, they have been terrifying homeowners by suddenly scurrying out from behind furniture or from inside dark, unused rooms. Sometimes, they can even be found hiding out in cars.

Their main habitat is outdoors, in between rocks or under logs and bark, so when you see one in your home, they probably just wandered there. Even though they look scary, they are generally not dangerous spiders. It is more likely that they would run away than bite when you startle them, but remember that they still do carry some venom.

These spiders mainly feed on insects and other invertebrates. They can serve as natural pest control if left alone. But beware, they will get bigger!

 

St. Andrew’s Cross Spider

St. Andrew’s Cross Spider

The St. Andrew’s Cross spider is from the genus Argiope. They are named after their web decorations that are bright and cross-shaped. They make zig-zag lines of silk that form a cross, making their webs highly distinguishable. This is also the reason why they are locally known in the Philippines as “gagambang ekis”.

These spiders also have colored abdomens that make them stand out even more. When threatened, these spiders either drop from their web or shake the web vigorously to confuse attackers.  They are generally not aggressive towards people and their bite is not toxic.

 

Hawaiian Garden Spider

Another spider from the Argiope genus, the Hawaiian Garden Spider can commonly be seen in gardens in the Philippines. Because they’re close cousins to the cross spider, their webs look alike and they also have colorful abdomens. Though these spiders grow large, their bites are not toxic to humans.

These spiders can live almost everywhere. They prey on insects that get caught in their web, so their presence in the garden can be quite beneficial. The females often grow larger and more colorful than the males. Most spiders prefer living in solitude, but these Hawaiian Garden spiders don’t mind living close to each other.

 

Batik Godden Web Spider

Batik Godden Web Spider

The Batik Golden Web Spider, with the scientific name Nephila antipodiana, is a large spider that can be found in fields, gardens, and even in the city and home areas. The spider gets its name from an Indonesian technique of cloth dyeing. This species’ females are significantly larger than the males. Its abdomen, measuring 3 cm alone, is adorned with distinguishable yellow markings. The males are so small that they can live on the female’s web and eat their food, and the female wouldn’t notice.

In the Philippines, these spiders have been seen with webs on electrical wires. It has earned them the local name of “gagambang kuryente”. Their webs can last several years, unlike other spiders who dismantle their webs every now and then.

 

Jumping Spiders

Adding to the list of spiders that have scared many people in the Philippines are the jumping spiders. These medium-sized spiders have very good eyesight and are a common presence in Filipino homes. They generally avoid direct contact with humans and are not aggressive, but they do like to hang around and observe us.

They hunt insects that are smaller than them so they are not a threat to humans. They don’t bite unless they feel they’re in mortal danger, and it rarely penetrates the skin. These spiders are a challenge to catch because they can jump from 6 to 50 times their body size!

 

Key Takeaway

If you’re in the country, then you’ll surely meet at least one of these common types of spiders in the Philippines. Recognizing them means the difference between saving yourself from a painful bite and losing a helpful pest control assistant.

The presence of spiders can also mean the abundance of their prey, which are also our pests. Thankfully, Topbest is the best pest control service in the Philippines! If you think you have an infestation problem, then just contact us here for a free consultation!

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

6 Facts About Orange Oil Termite Treatment

What are some facts about orange oil termite treatment?

  1. It has a low termite mortality rate
  2. It is not harmful to the environment
  3. It is flammable and should not be ingested
  4. Kills termites on contact only
  5. Larger treatments are more expensive
  6. It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

 

The havoc that termites wreak on any of the wooden parts of your home needs to be controlled before causing too much damage. Sure, we have pesticides and such, but these products can be quite harmful to humans. But some people discovered the orange oil termite treatment that we know today.

Its fame quickly grew as an effective, easy-to-make, and easy-to-apply termite solution. Orange oil is easy to come by because it is an extract that comes from orange rinds. It is the D-limonene in orange oil treatments that is believed to kill termites. But how effective is it really? What do you need to know about this termite treatment? Keep reading to learn more!

 

It has a low termite mortality rate

For something considered a termite control option, orange oil has a surprisingly low mortality rate. A study showed that an orange oil treatment only has a 77% mortality rate among termites. Anyone who knows anything about termite control would know that this number is very low.

To put that number in context, it would kill only 770 in 1000 ants. Only 2 are needed to restart the colony. The average colony size is 60,000 to 1 million. It is safe to say that orange oil treatment is not enough to wipe out a termite colony.

 

It is not harmful to the environment

It is not harmful to the environment

The good thing about orange oil is that it isn’t harmful to the environment. Commercial aerosol pesticides are known to be toxic to people and animals. When applying the typical pesticide treatment, people should stay out of the room for some time. You should cover your things and remove all food. You don’t have to do this with orange oil.

The substance itself isn’t toxic to humans. You don’t need to stay away from the room where you apply the treatment. Your food, plant, and pets are all safe, and your tiles and walls will not be damaged at all. It also doesn’t contain CFCs that might be harmful to the environment itself.

 

It is flammable and should not be ingested

Orange oil is highly flammable. You should be wary of open flames when applying orange oil treatment inside the house. You should also avoid combusting the oil at all because its fumes are not good for your health. For this reason, you should also avoid ingesting orange oil all in all.

Being exposed for an extended time to either the oil or its fumes can cause the following symptoms: skin and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, lung irritation, and others. So even though you don’t need to leave the room, try not to stay in contact with it or get too close to it for too long.

 

Kills termites on contact only

Kills termites on contact only

The effectiveness of this treatment depends on how well it kills termites. It works as a pesticide because orange oil itself is toxic to termites. It can break down the termites’ exoskeletons and also kill their eggs. But it needs to make direct contact with them.

This also means that they are only effective for spot-specific infestations. If you want to clear a certain spot of termites, then you can apply orange oil treatments to kill them. But if you want to get rid of whole dry wood infestations, or even some subterranean colonies, orange oil treatment would not work as well as other pesticides.

 

Larger treatments are more expensive

What makes orange oil treatments charming to many households is that it is easy to make. You can get an extract from orange rinds that you have around the house or from oranges you’ve eaten. But that small amount can’t cover larger areas of infestation.

Many termite infestations, especially if it has gotten more severe, can cover large areas of the wood foundation of the house. If you want to end this infestation with only orange oil treatments, you would have to acquire many more oranges and extract oil from all of them. All of the expense wasted on that could have gone to real pesticides or hiring professional pest control services.

 

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

It doesn’t have a long-lasting effect

Commercial pesticides can stay on the area where you sprayed them for longer times. The chemicals are absorbed by the soil or wood so that termites wouldn’t easily be able to return. Once they’ve been killed or moved away, the area is more or less free of infestation.

Orange oil treatments don’t linger in the area of application. They can simply kill termites that come in contact with them. This adds to the list of reasons why they can’t be used to exterminate severe infestations. How could orange oil prevent the threats of re-infestation, after all?

 

Key Takeaway

A termite infestation is more often than not a persistent problem. Like all animals, they try to survive no matter what we do. By using an orange oil termite treatment, you can kill a majority of termites and stop small spot infestations. But if you really want to get rid of these pests, the best thing to do is to contact professional pest control services near you.

Are you plagued by termites in your home? Are your DIY treatments not strong enough to fight the infestation? You’re in luck! Topbest is the best pest control solutions provider in the Philippines, and we offer FREE consultations! Just send us a message here and we’ll talk about clearing your house of pests!

7 Things That Attract Pests to Your Garden

7 Things That Attract Pests to Your Garden

What are things that attract pests to your garden?

  1. Stagnant Water
  2. Birdseed and Pet Food
  3. Trash Bins
  4. Dirty Grills
  5. Open Compost
  6. Outdoor Lights
  7. Overripe Fruits

 

Are you having a pest problem in your garden? Though this is a common problem among gardeners, there are ways to fight this. The best method is to avoid making your garden attractive to pests. That means you need to avoid all the things that attract pests to your garden. You may not know it, but some of these are most likely present in your garden.

Getting rid of these pest attractors will quickly lessen the number of pests that come to your garden, but it shouldn’t stop there. If you want to avoid garden pests, read on to learn what things you should keep an eye out for in your garden!

 

Stagnant Water

Stagnant Water

You’ve probably heard this before, and you’ll hear it here again. Stagnant water will attract pests. Standing water is a prime breeding spot for mosquitoes and other insects attracted to water. Try to eliminate stagnant water from buckets, birdbaths, bowls, or other places in your garden where water can gather. Make sure to also check if you have a clogged gutter, which is a common spot for standing water.

 

Birdseed and Pet Food

A bird feeder in your garden might attract beautiful birds, but it can also attract pests. Birdseed would be an easy meal for any pests that might be attracted to grains such as rodents. Even the birdseed bags themselves, if not properly sealed, might attract moths and other bugs. If you wish to avoid attracting pests into your garden, then consider removing the birdseed from out in the open.

Another thing to watch out for is pet food in your garden. Sometimes, our pets don’t finish the food we give them and some are left in their bowls. These would also get the attention of insects and rodents alike.

 

Trash Bins

Trash Bins

There are plenty of trash-loving pests out there, and if your garden is near any area with buildups of trash, then it is likely that pests will get attracted to your garden too. Of course, food scraps in the trash are also attractors for many pests, but even the odor itself could get some insects coming. That’s why aside from taking out the trash and not letting it build up, you should keep the trash bins as clean and odor-free as possible.

 

Dirty Grills

Having a garden party with a grill is something that most people enjoy. If you recently had an outdoor cooking thing in your garden, make sure to properly clean your grills after the party. The smell of food itself from the cooking would have already attracted some pests. Leaving the grills uncleaned in your garden is not good because the residue of food and oils in your grill will attract all kinds of bugs and rats.

Also, don’t spill soda on your garden because the sugar will attract ants for sure.

 

Open Compost

Open Compost

Many gardeners do compost to improve their soil’s health. While this is a good way to dispose of organic wastes, this is also a huge neon sign for free meals for bugs and other pests. An open compost pile will almost certainly catch the attention of hungry pests, so switching to a more enclosed system of composting would be better. You could also mix garden wastes, such as leaves and grass, to undercut the smell of the food scraps in there. Avoiding fats, meats, and dairy products in your compost pile would make it less attractive to pests.

 

Outdoor Lights

Having some lights in our garden can give it an ambient feel, or even just illuminate the lovely flowers and plants there. But many species of insects are attracted to light sources, especially at night. This means that although it makes your garden look better, outdoor lighting can actually increase the pest population in the area. You might want to consider taking them down or use light bulbs with less attractive rays if you really need the light.

 

Overripe Fruits

Overripe Fruits

If your garden produces fruit, then you already know that they are prime pest attractors. Fruit flies love fruits, and other insects get attracted by their aroma as well. If you don’t pick those fruits and store them properly though, they might just turn overripe. Overripe fruits produce that yummy ethylene gas, which is what gives off that overripe smell we all know, that will make them bigger targets for fruit-loving pests.

 

Key Takeaway

Keeping your garden pest-free is definitely a challenge that can have many different solutions. But simply avoiding these things that attract pests to your garden would already lower the local pest population significantly. By making your garden less attractive to possible pests, they would see no reason to visit your garden.

Avoiding attractors can help with pest control, but it is not enough to eliminate the pest problem entirely. If you want to get rid of the pest problem, then getting professional pest control services is the way to go. We at Topbest ofter the best pest control services in the country. Simply contact us here for a free consultation and we can talk about eliminating your pest problems!

5 Facts About the Life Cycle of an Ant

5 Facts About the Life Cycle of an Ant

What are some facts about the ant’s life cycle?

  1. Some eggs hatch, some get eaten
  2. Larvae feeding is crucial
  3. Ants metamorphose
  4. Colonies have castes
  5. Timelines differ per species

 

Where do ants come from? Have you ever wondered what goes on underneath those ant mounds you see outside? Their tunnels are filled with thousands of ants for one queen, and yet we almost never see what happens to their growth. The ant life cycle might be mostly hidden from our eyes, but it’s no longer a secret.

Ants go through four stages in their lives: as eggs, as larvae, as pupae, and as adults. Keep on reading to learn some more facts about the lives of ants!

 

Some eggs hatch, some get eaten

All ants start as eggs. They are white, oval, and roughly 1 mm in length each. I’m sure you could imagine just how small the eggs of insects as small as ants must be. But ant eggs are more than just amazingly small.

Queen ants can lay up to 800 eggs on average each day. When an egg is fertilized, it will hatch into a female. Unfertilized eggs produce males. You could understand how ant colonies grow so populous, but not all eggs become adults.

Some eggs get eaten before they even hatch. While the colony is just starting, the queen may eat some of the eggs for sustenance. Workers would also feed some eggs to the larvae. Tough luck for them!

 

Larvae feeding is crucial

Larvae feeding is crucial

Ant larvae emerge from the eggs after about 3-4 weeks. These larvae look like worms with no eyes. During this stage, the larvae do nothing but eat and grow. They get fed by the workers and they rapidly molt and grow. These larvae would shed their skin again and again during this 1-2-week stage of their lives.

How is this crucial? Larvae that get fed more grow bigger. And eventually, they grow into queens. The other less-fed larvae grow into simple workers. Future queens are determined by the amount that larvae eat.

 

Ants metamorphose

Metamorphosis isn’t exclusive to butterflies. When larvae get big enough, they pupate or become pupa. This is the transition period when they metamorphose (transform) into full-fledged adults.

They start to look more like adults in this stage, except with legs and antennae tucked close to their bodies. Some species of ants even form a silk cocoon and attach themselves to walls as they pupate. After 9-30 days, the transformation will be complete.

 

Colonies have castes

Colonies have castes

Adult ants arise from pupae, and then the direction of the life cycle branches out. As fully formed mature ants, they stay the same size for the entirety of their lives. However, adults are separated into different castes and play different roles for the colony.

Adult ants can become queens, workers, or males. The biggest of them are the queens. These ants have wings that let them fly off, mate, and start their own colonies, completing the ant life cycle. The queens tear off their wings before burrowing into the ground and laying the first eggs of the colony.

Workers are smaller females than queens, and they are the backbone of the colony. Workers do everything; they gather food, take care of the young, build and maintain the colony, and everything in between! Larger workers are the ones that defend the colony, sometimes called soldiers.

Males, or drones, are winged and fertile. They can fly and they can mate with queens. Other than that, they don’t really do anything. They don’t help with any of the chores of the colony, and they die after a few weeks.

 

Timelines differ per species

The life cycle lasts around 6-10 weeks on average, from egg to adult. The timeline becomes a lot different when they become adults in their own castes, and it’s also different for each species.

Drones only last for a few weeks. They’re the quickest to die in a colony, and since they don’t help anyway, that’s one less mouth to feed.

Workers can live for a few months at a time, but they have high mortality rates. After all, they’re the ones who venture out of the nest. Good thing the queen can produce hundreds in a day!

Ant queens are tough. In the right conditions, they can live for over a decade. They keep the colony alive, so if you wanted to get rid of them, the queen should be a prime target.

The lives of ants differ largely on the species and conditions that they are in, so it is difficult to give a single estimation for all ants.

 

Key Takeaway

Ants live life very differently from us. Understanding how they live and how they develop gives us more insight into how they function. This deeper understanding can help us study them better, or learn how to counter them.

Ant problems are very common, and we know that very well. If you have an invasive ant problem, then you’re in the right place to be! Just send us a message here and we can talk about shortening the lifespan of the ants in your home!