Exhibition of the new technologies and solutions of pest control during the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer) PestWorld East 2019 conference in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Ants are the biggest pest nuisance for Abu Dhabi residents said a senior official from Tadweer on the sidelines of the PestWorld East Conference at the St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi Corniche on Tuesday.

Over 300 delegates attended the two-day pest control conference including Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

“The highest number of orders we get are related to removing ants from people’s homes,” said Mohammad Mahmood Al Marzouqi, Pest Control Projects Department director at Tadweer. “Pesticide measures are difficult because they are smart and transfer their colony to different areas,” he added.

Cockroaches are the second biggest pest menace followed by bed bugs, and Al Marzouqi said the best preventive measure to handle ants and cockroaches in particular was to maintain hygiene around the house.

“Pests will always be present in numbers when hygiene is bad,” he said. “So if you don’t want pests in your home then you have to look after the house and don’t leave food waste lying around.

If you don’t want pests in your home then you have to look after the house and don’t leave food waste lying around.

- Mohammad Mahmood Al Marzouqi, Pest Control Projects Department director at Tadweer

“There is no way there will be high pest activity if there is good hygiene, it is having bad hygiene in the house that gives them a chance to enter your home. There are three things they need to be able to thrive — shelter, water and food, and so you need to eliminate these three things to avoid them,” he added.

Regarding bed bugs, Al Marzouqi said: “You may need up to four treatments before the problem is gone.

“They are very small and their eggs are laid in places where the pest controller may not reach them near curtains and under bedsheets. In these cases we need the residents to work with us.

“We advise them to clean mattresses or leave their furniture out in the sun. It’s always important to ensure that furniture and clothing is properly looked after, so if you’re sending your clothes or bedsheets to a laundry make sure that it’s a good one that maintains high [hygiene] standards,” he added.

Exhibition of the new technologies and solutions of pest control during the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer) PestWorld East 2019 conference in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Tadweer received 80,000 calls related to pest complaints last year, added Al Marzouqi.

“That was for all types of pests including ants, cockroaches, mosquitos, fleas, scorpions, spiders and rodents. Our annual budget is more than Dh71 million and since 2014 we have reduced complaints in Abu Dhabi by around 30 per cent.”

Al Marzouqi said the centre was also reducing the amount of chemical pesticides it used, with the number going down from 55,000 litres in 2014 to the 29,000 litres at present.

How to stop pests

■ Keep your home neat and tidy

■ Don’t leave food waste around the house, pests are attracted by food

■ Don’t wait until the next day to clean any mess up, small or big, by the time you clean it up the next day, pests could have already become attracted to that area during the night

■ Make sure the garbage waste area in your home is properly maintained and sealed

■ Dispose off your garbage waste in a proper way as well, make sure the bag is properly wrapped and sealed

■ Avoid purchasing food items such as fruit in cartons. If you do use a carton, make sure to check the carton outside your home first, clean it if before taking it inside.

■ Make sure your local laundry shop maintains high standards when you send your clothes and bedsheets for washing. Bad and unclean practices could lead to bed bugs (and their eggs) finding their way to your clothes

■ Check around your bed, mattress, curtains, and under your couch for signs of any bed bugs, the earlier you can handle and remove the bed bugs the better