Pest control experts said the requests for treating termite infestation, which penetrates deep into the furniture and eats into the wood, have soared fivefold in Hong Kong homes.
Amy, a resident at Cheung Lung Wai Estate in Sheung Shui, found up to 300 termites in her apartment one night after opening the windows.
“I turned off the lights hoping that they would fly away, but ten minutes later they were still here,” she said.
Termites are the most active during the rainy season which lasts from April to July, said Henry Cheng Kwok-hang, CEO and chairman at Ivy Pest Control.
“We only received four or five requests in April, but that increased to more than 20 in May,” he said.
Most of Cheng’s clients live in the New Territories, including Ma On Shan and North District. “If you live near mountains or somewhere with lots of trees nearby, it’s best to close the windows before sunset as the light will attract termites,” said Cheng.
Termites are easier to deal with if they come from outside the house, said Cheng, but nests already built in an apartment are more troublesome.
“Termites can build basketball-sized nests that house entire colonies, and the queen ant can give birth to worker and soldier ants that eat wooden furniture,” he says, reminding the public to call exterminators to deal with any ant nests.