Flying insects in Singapore and how to get rid of them

PHOTO: Unsplash

Know your enemy before you destroy them. We dug around for more info on those commonly found winged pests in Singapore and have discovered methods (organic, effective and inexpensive) to get rid of them.

PHOTO: Termite Web

Flying termites

One of the most commonly found winged insects are flying termites. You might recognise them swarming around fluorescent lights in your home during humid and rainy nights.

Don’t be afraid of them though, because they’re generally harmless. During this stage of their life, they’re simply swarming to mate and form new colonies.

Note that this is the only time you’ll see termites flying – after the deed is done, their wings drop, the males die and the females burrow in warm and damp areas to lay eggs.

PHOTO: Pixabay

You can easily get rid of flying termites with these two affordable and organic methods!

1. Pail or bowl of water

Hold a pail or bowl of water about 10cm away from the swarm – the bright reflection on the water should attract the termites, drowning them. You’ll have to hold it up for awhile, though.

2. Orange oil spray

Orange oil works so well that it’s recommended even by professionals! Simply purchase some orange oil and put it into a spray bottle. Now, all you have to do is spray any flying termites you see or areas where you see termite activity.

3. Turn off the lights

One absolutely fuss-free trick that worked for us was to simply turn off the lights in the room (or kitchen, in our case). Leave your windows open so they are attracted to the corridor or lights outside.  No sign of flies or remnants of wings after in a couple of hours!

PHOTO: Pixabay

Flying ants

Another commonly seen winged bug is the flying ant. They look pretty similar to the flying termite but don’t mix them up! They bite and rarely come indoors.

(Here’s the natural way to get rid of another flying pest — the mosquito. Having these plants will help, too.)

Here are some (organic & inexpensive) ways to eliminate flying ants!

1. Dish soap spray

Dish soap alone is effective against flying ants – it sticks to the ants’ bodies and dehydrates them.

To make this dish soap spray, simply dilute the dish soap with water inside a spray bottle and voila!

PHOTO: Heartland Adhesives

2. Trap them with tape

If these pests are bugging your food, lay down some tape, sticky side up, around the food sources. When the ants land on the tape, they’ll get stuck and won’t be able to fly away.

This method isn’t the most effective because it’s not guaranteed that they will land on the tape. Even so, it’s a non-toxic and super affordable option which may still be worth a shot.

PHOTO: Pixabay

Moths

Moths are another common household problem – they can be very damaging as they feed on grains, cereals and closets. However, you can easily get rid of them with items already lying around your house.

Besides using a moth ball, we’ve found two practical ways to repel moths.

1. Essential oils

Moth balls are an effective way to kill moths but they are also made using toxic chemicals and leave a pungent scent on your belongings.

Try natural substitutes – essential oils made from herbs like dried rosemary, thyme, lavender or bay leaves are effective as well. Simply sprinkle them in your closet or cupboard.

PHOTO: The Favor Stylist

2. Herbal sachets

If you don’t have essential oils around, an effective alternative is using sachets. All you have to do is fill a small cloth bag with said herbs, tie it with a string, and hang it up.

PHOTO: Manitoba

House Flies

House flies, although seemingly harmless, are major carriers of disease and can infest all types of premises! They are attracted to all types of food, including human food, pet food, food waste, and even faeces.

You’ll be able to recognise house flies from their yellow-brown abdomen and a dark grey thorax with four narrow stripes. Once indoors, they’re typically found resting on walls, floors or ceilings. When outdoors, they can be seen on plants, the ground, fences, compost heaps and rubbish bins.

Make sure to keep house flies away with these solutions!

1. Plants

If you’re looking to remove flies outdoors, garden plants like basil, lavender, bay leaf, and mints do wonders when it comes to deterring flies.

PHOTO: Lazada

2. Sticky Tape

You can also use sticky tape for house flies and fruit flies. These are non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets.

VA Fly Catcher Strips, $13.83 for a pack of four, available at Lazada.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Another environmentally-friendly solution to house flies is to fill a glass jar with apple cider vinegar and place a paper funnel in the jar.

The scent will attract the flies, while the paper funnel will prevent them from flying out.

Fruit flies

Yet another winged pest is the fruit fly. They’re commonly seen infesting fruit or hovering around rotten fruit. Despite their small size, fruit flies can turn into a huge nuisance, especially once they start breeding.

What sets them apart from other flies is their yellow-brown colour and bright red eyes.

Here’s how you can get rid of pesky fruit flies!

1. Red wine

Pour a mixture of red wine and a bit of dish soap into a small container, then wrap the top of the container with plastic wrap and punch a few holes. Set it up near the presence of fruit flies and let the magic happen!

2. Rotten fruit trick

Similar to the previous method, stick a rotten or overripe fruit into a container, put a plastic wrap around the container, punch a few holes into the plastic and watch as the fruit flies fly into the trap like a moth to a flame.

Find out how to get rid of ants, lizards and mosquitoes here.

This article was first published in Home & Decor.