Getting rid of pests from your home by buying a chemical spray is not a hard task, but the procedure takes patience and caution.
'While buying the chemical spray, make sure none of the people living in the house is allergic to the ingredients,' says George Chow, chief operating officer at Rentokil Initial Hong Kong's pest control division.
'Before you start spraying the chemicals in your home, remember to get children and pets out of the house. And when you spray your home, make sure you wear a mask and gloves.'
All people and pets should leave the house for at least half a day after the spraying process and, when tenants get back, they should use a cloth and wipe all furniture to prevent young children and pets from inhaling chemical residues.
Although there is often squealing when people see a rodent or cockroach running around their homes, the mentality of people towards this problem has changed over the years. 'In the past, people treated pests as a big problem, but now they have become 'just a pest' and people aren't making as big a deal out of it,' Chow says.
Pests can slide, crawl and fly, but the most common in Hong Kong are cockroaches, rats, flies, mosquitoes and termites.
The usual factor that triggers pests to appear is bad hygiene. For example, rubbish lying around attracts rodents and cockroaches, while water leakages draw termites and mosquitoes.
A change of weather can also bring problems. 'Rats rarely appear during winter. The period from April to September is the peak season for termites because of high humidity, and summer is when there are the most cockroaches, rats and flies,' Chow says.
If you are facing serious pest problems that you can't deal with yourself or you wish to take preventive measures, using a professional pest control company is another option.
In Hong Kong, there are more than 100 of these companies, but Chow advises people to choose those with a reputable background.
The cost of the process varies according to several factors. The price quoted by Rentokil is determined by the type of pests. For example, exterminating termites is more expensive than removing cockroaches or rats, as the latter are easier to get rid of.
Also, the more serious the damage and the bigger the home, the more expensive it will be, according to the company.
'Rentokil first sends a sales surveyor to the affected home to do an inspection and give a quoted price to the tenants. Our prices start from HK$500,' Chow says.
Rentokil also provides a free service that allows people to call the company and ask for advice on how to get rid of pests by themselves.