How to choose a reputable pest control provider

MARIO Pluke, technical manager at Rentokil South Africa, says choosing a professional, registered and reputable pest control partner is critical if you want to combat pest infestations in a safe and environmentally responsible fashion.

Rentokil urges the public to ask the following questions when choosing a professional pest control partner

1. How many years has the pest control company been in business?

2. How are employees trained?

3. Is the company registered with the South African Pest Control Association (Sapca)?

4. Are the pest control technicians who work for the company registered with the Department of Agriculture?

5. How does the company keep its staff informed of changes in regulations, products, techniques and safety?

6. What is the company’s attitude towards health and safety of both employees and customers?

7. Does the company adhere to the Department of Agriculture’s approved product list?

Pluke says that while do-it-yourself pest control options may seem appealing, one must remember that, if administered incorrectly, pesticides can be hazardous to the health of humans as they are designed to kill living organisms.

“It is therefore essential that the use of pesticides around people, especially small children, is carefully controlled.

“When selecting a pest control partner, consumers are urged to choose a reputable, professional pest control company,” he said.

Pluke provides DIY green pest control remedies

1. Cucumber peels — ants are quite turned off by cucumber peels, and sprinkling them around areas of your home that serve as entrance points for ant colonies is a great preventive pest control method.

2. Mint leaves — plants such as peppermint and spearmint are natural insect deterrents, especially for ants and aphids.

Plant a few varieties around your home, and you should see a noticeable drop in ant populations.

3. All-natural sprays — there are a number of great eco-friendly pest control sprays you can make at home.

Mixing water with isopropyl alcohol, concentrated garlic oil, salt or boiled elder leaves makes deterrents that you can spray on indoor and outdoor plants to help control infestations.

4. Baking soda and powdered sugar — if roaches are your problem, try mixing baking soda and powdered sugar and sprinkle it around problem areas. The sugar attracts the pests and the baking soda kills them.

5. Eucalyptus oil — drop a bit of eucalyptus oil on a cloth and place it near areas of infestation of flies and moths.

6. Soapy water — if you want to instantly kill an insect in your home, mix water and soap into a spray bottle — you can kill all bugs on contact. This is because the soap component breaks down the waxy exoskeleton and lets the water enter the bug, killing them quickly.

7. Cedar oil — cedar oil is very lethal to termites but totally non-toxic, organic, and chemical-free.

It is a very effective contact killer and repellent to termites, and can be used on any wood structure.

The way it works is that the product penetrates the wood, and the aromas from the cedar oil disrupt termite pheromone systems in a lethal manner.

8. Lemon juice as bug spray — simply add lemon juice and water 50/50 in a spray bottle and add essential oils.

Various natural oils are also effective

- Lemongrass against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies

- Lavender against fleas, ticks, flies, lice, nits, silverfish, mosquitoes, moths

- Tea tree oil against centipedes, fleas, flies, and other insects

- Lemon, orange or other citruses against fleas, ants, roaches, lice, nits, flies

— Property24.