Dubai // Eight out of ten pest control complaints in Dubai are about bedbugs and cockroaches, according to an online survey.
To gain a better understanding of pest problems in the emirate, Imdaad, a facilities and waste management company, worked with MoveSouq.com to conduct a survey through Facebook.
The majority of the complaints came from residents in Deira, Satwa and Bur Dubai.
“Cockroaches and bedbugs continue to be a major pest control issue in Dubai,” said Imdaad chief executive Mahmood Rasheed.
The remaining pest complaints were for ants (10 per cent) and spiders, snakes and lizards, which made up the final 10 per cent.
Thirty five per cent of the respondents indicated they had employed the services of a pest control company in their homes in the previous three months.
Bana Shomali, chief executive of MoveSouq.com, a UAE website connecting residents and home service providers, said it recently updated its listings to include a pest control section after finding “a surge in demand for these services”.
Dinesh Ramachandran, technical manager with National Pest Control in Dubai, agreed with the findings.
“If you’re living in domestic apartments and multi-unit housing, yes bedbugs and cockroaches are the biggest problem,” he said.
“Bedbugs hide within cracks and crevices, they are unnoticed to the human eye,” he said.
Although they can often be found in mattresses, he said they are not restricted to beds.
“We call them bedbugs but they are found in all types of places, like public transportation, mosques, churches, staff accommodations, and in the home in picture frames.”
When infestations become particularly troublesome, he said people will start to notice bites on their bodies and blood markings on furniture.
It is easy to spread the pests, he said, making prevention of an infestation more difficult.
“If you’ve been to an infested property, chances are you can be carrying one or two bedbugs,” he said.
“Bedbugs don’t feed on food, they feed on blood.”
As for cockroaches, he said, “clean places do not attract cockroaches”.
Tidying up food scraps and avoiding excess moisture by fixing plumbing and leaking pipes will work towards keeping a home cockroach-free, he said.
Mr Ramachandran said infestations require the services of a professional, particularly after an incident in Sharjah recently where a three-week-old boy died after a banned pesticide was used in a flat next door to his family's home.
In that incident, a neighbour was charged with causing the wrongful death of a child after police found cans of the illegal pesticide aluminium phosphide in the apartment building.
“They call them bombs. It is a substance that releases gas,” Mr Ramachandran said.
“Do not do this yourself. People don’t have the knowledge on how to use them.
“You need to know that if you’re getting rid of [pests], you won’t kill your neighbours,” he said. “It’s best to call a professional. They will know how to effectively and safely use the chemicals at hand.”