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Frequently Asked Questions About Pest Control

Pest removal is a nasty and often unsuccessful venture especially when you have no idea what you’re doing. That is why pest control management specializes is solving such a problem because it needs expertise in the use of chemicals that might harm residents, pets, and other non-target beneficial creatures.

For commercial businesses specially restaurants and hotels, it’s important to schedule regular pest control services visits as places where food and people are common are attractive to pests. Below are common questions most customers ask about when they want to terminate pest.

Why can’t I eliminate pests myself?

Pests such as rodents, cockroaches, bed bug, and mosquitoes are resilient creatures that are very good at hiding and evading traps. After all, they have been able to survive in harsh conditions and with limited food. There are plenty of pest control methods you can do at home, but it’s advised to seek professional help if the case gets worse. To eradicate household bug contamination in your Singapore home successfully, hire the services of a pest exterminator. These experts know how to identify the pest species, their habits, hiding places, food, and the methods that might work best on them.

How long does the treatment last?

The pest control worker has to assess the extent of the pest problem infestation in your home or business to determine the type of method to be used and how long it will take. Smaller populations can be handled easily by a 24 hours pest removal company, but for more serious problems such as termites, it will take a longer time. Sometimes the pest control company will recommend repairs or replacement of damaged walls or ceilings to remove termites completely. Also, the use of baits to exterminate rodents can take a long time some time to reduce their population because it has to be ingested by the animals before it can kill rats. Guaranteed pest control assessment should be able to give you a definite timetable of the treatment.

What are the common pests?

In Singapore homes, restaurants, hotels, and other buildings the most common pests include rats or mice, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, ants, and termites. Some of the pests have several species that survive in different conditions and can survive on different sources of food, like the termites, while others can learn to adapt by avoiding commercial pest chemicals and traps. You can do DIY methods at home to get rid of termites, but there is no absolute guarantee these methods will be safe or effective. Termite control can be a tricky thing to do, so it’s better to talk to a professional pest control company in Singapore about the safest way to manage removal of termites.

The damage done to the property and the health risks of these pests can cost a lot of money and may even lead to deaths. Pests such as rats, cockroaches, and mosquitoes are known carriers of diseases and parasites that can harm humans and pets.

Are smaller pests more difficult to remove?

It takes more time to get rid of cockroaches, termites, bugs, and ticks than rodents because they are mobile and highly adaptive. Re-infestation is still possible even after a successful treatment if the area is not maintained and no regular inspection by an expert is done.

Is it safe for my family?

Most people are concerned about the effects of the industrial-grade pest control chemicals, but the pest control services do not use their equipment haphazardly without proper assessment. They are aware of the effects of the chemicals, that is why the treatment has a timetable and plan. Most of the chemical pesticides are also tested and monitored before they can be used and are applied only in recommended amounts. If you are still worried about the effects, there are other options such as organic chemicals and non-chemical treatment options such as baiting.

How are termites controlled?

The exterminators are equipped with equipment that will allow them to hear termites through the walls or ceilings. They also use radar, heat sensors, and motion sensors to find the termites. Depending on the extent of the infestation, the company might use baiting to inhibit termites and will slowly affect the rest until the colony collapses. The application of the liquid termiticide is also an option ad can be used to prevent termite infestation in the future. If there are colonies found outside but near the home, these must be removed or relocated.

How much will the treatment cost?

The pest control management company can give you an exact quote depending on the type of pests and the level of infestation. A thorough inspection must first be performed so you can discuss the treatment options and the timetable for the job.

What are the common methods used?

There are three general types of methods used to control pest infestation such as biological, mechanical, and chemical, but for residential and commercial spaces, mechanical and chemical pest control are primarily used. The first step is to ensure sanitation to remove possible sources of food for the pests. Mechanical methods are used to trap and catch pests, while chemicals are for controlling a large population of pests for a short time.

How Property Managers Help You Make More with Less Work

Property management is an important consideration when it comes to making sure that your property maintains its upkeep. Hiring a managing agent in Singapore can do a lot to help you not just with making a profit for your real estate, but also with making sure that your property increases in value over time.

Benefits of Property Management

Like all good things, prime real estate needs prime maintenance in order for it to make a profit. One way to maintain it as an investment real estate is by being a hands-on landlord yourself. However, if you don’t want to do that, this is where having a property manager comes in.

When it comes to buying real estate, a broker can also act as a managing agent or condo manager with property management included in their roster of services. These services include, but aren’t always limited to, the following:

1. Screening potential tenants – Managing agents all have a system of screening potential clients. These help to minimize accusations of discrimination, as well as filter out the best tenants that can not only pay for longer, but also pay on time and are less likely to cause any problems with your property.

A managing agent can also make sure that the property is marketed to as wide a tenant base as possible, which is something that you may find hard to do alone.

2. Rent collection – Aside form screening for tenants, managing agents can also set the initial rent level (which depends mostly on how much certain units of the property need to be priced in order to recover the investment and continue making a profit), they can also collect and adjust the rent in your absence.

Essentially, if you don’t want to manage the property yourself, hiring a property manager can free you up with having to look after the monthly upkeep.

3. Maintenance and repair services – Whether they are personally in charge of estate maintenance or hiring a third-party estate maintenance service, managing agents are more than capable of managing building maintenance in Singapore and making sure your property is in peak condition. Because of this, they often have large networks of reliable people who can do the job.

4. Budget management – A managing agent (or condo manager, depending on the type of property you want to invest in) also helps in detailing budget plans as well as establishing and keeping existing records, such as income, expenses, complaints, maintenance and repair costs, etc.

How Managing Agents Market Your Property

Properties that slowly become undesirable will at some point experience a dip in rent, which will leave you with a less attractive return on your investment real estate over time.

In order to make sure that you can still experience a profitable return on your investment, having a managing agent or condo manager for your investment real estate is essential – aside from their function in making sure the property appeals to potential tenants, they also have to market the property to said tenants.

Managing real estate in Singapore involves understanding the operating expenses and the level of budgeting required in order to keep these expenses manageable. The appropriate rental rates are estimated based on the existing costs needed to maintain the property and the increased percentage of return, among others.

How Managing Agents Price Rent for Your Property

Investment real estate works on a different way than most real estate properties, as they are used mostly as a source of income rather than a primary residence. There are also a lot of factors that your managing agent or condo manager needs to keep in mind when calculating the cost of rent for your properties and marketing it to potential tenants.

Depending on how lucrative the property is as a living space (i.e. the property’s condition, proximity to amenities, transport hubs, markets, etc.), the price can be made high or low.

Examining the “Buy-Low-Sell-High” Strategy

The phrase “buy low, sell high” has become a mantra seemingly ingrained in every real estate investment seminar, and has since been incorporated into every book and infomercial on the subject. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds – in fact, the principle is incredibly difficult to execute.

While your property may increase in market appreciation and accrue considerable market equity on paper over time, it’s important to prepare for when you reach an income cap, and the earnings start to decrease from then on. If your investment is located in an area with high appreciation rates, this can have a negative effect on your return rates.

There are existing exit strategies that you can use in order to avoid seeing your investment turn into a costly white elephant, such as reinvesting in new property or selling the existing property outright, though this may take some strategic planning with your managing agent in order to pull this off.

On Competitive Pricing

As a property owner, you may also need to embrace the possibility of competitive pricing. Your managing agent needs to do this in order to make the rent strike the balance between yours and the tenants’ interests is also something that a managing agent or condo manager needs to be able to do.

While the price of rent may seem disheartening to you at first, the profits that they will generate will eventually accumulate over time. Keep in mind that the results are not immediate – pouring your investment in real estate may not guarantee fast results, but the results are definitely guaranteed.

When to Call a Plumbing Service

A lot of homeowners tend to do their plumbing works on their own for many different reasons. Some are motivated by being able to save money while for others, it’s the feeling of fixing your own property and being able to try out their own skills and craftsmanship.

However, not all repair jobs can be done by the average homeowner. There are some jobs that require the experience, expertise, and tools that can only be provided by reliable plumber. But when should you throw in the towel and let the professionals handle the plumbing works? Here are a few things that you should call a plumbing service for.

1. Maintenance

A regular maintenance schedule can help you avoid costly repairs. Pipes need to be regularly maintained to make sure that small fixes do not lead to larger, more expensive breakdowns. A reliable plumber has the knowledge to do a thorough inspection of your plumbing works, from detecting leaky pipes to clearing clogged drains.

During an inspection, a reliable plumbing company in Singapore will clean aerator heads on your faucets and shower heads. They will also clean garbage disposals and water heaters, conduct pressure tests to detect leaks, inspect your filter system, and test for lead.

2. Clogs and slow drains

Of course, clogs are some of the most urgent problems that your pipes can have. While you may try to clear the clog with a plunger, some clogs just won’t budge. This could be because your plunger is too small for the sewage line. Some homeowners go down and dirty by trying to break-up the clog themselves, but this could damage your porcelain, or cause further damage to your pipes.

To make sure that you don’t worsen the problem or have your efforts wasted, call an expert. If you already have a clog that is causing a flood, you will need plumbing services immediately. On the other hand, if a clog ever occurs at night, don’t hesitate to call a 24 hours plumber in Singapore.

Slow drains can be as much of an issue as clogged pipes. Water that drains slowly, such as those that could happen in sinks and tubs, can worsen to become full-blown clogs. It is always a good idea to call a plumber as soon as you notice water draining slower than usual.

3. Leaks and drips

Leaks and drips are a nuisance in many ways. Not only do they raise your water bill, costing you money on wasted water, they can also damage your property and belongings. Not only that, leaks can also be noisy and annoying. Leaky faucets and showers may be easy to fix; you may only need to change the washer or tighten a screw or two. However, if this doesn’t work, it’s time to call a professional plumber to make sure that you don’t waste any more water or damage your property further.

4. Reduced water flow

If instead of too much water it’s not enough water that’s your problem, it may mean that you need to call a plumbing contractor. Weak water pressure can mean that your shower’s aerator is clogged, or coated with residue. While you can remove and clean an aerator yourself, certain models can make DIY fixes overly complicated. If you try to force your way into unclogging an aerator, you may simply worsen the problem, so it is best to call a licensed plumber instead.

5. Inconsistent water pressure

An inconsistent water pressure is a tell-tale sign of bigger issues. Whether it’s just the pressure of a single pipe, or a problem with your entire house, it’s always a good idea to have it checked by a licensed plumber.

While the problem may be something as mundane as a clogged pipe, finding out the cause of the problem by yourself can very costly. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to figure out where the problem lies without having to manually check every pipe, saving you time and effort.

6. Visible water damage

Signs of water damage that is left untreated can mean great costs for you in the future. These signs can include water stains, mold, and discolored walls. It is a good idea to contact one of the many plumbing services in Singapore like http://www.superplumbers.sg/ the moment you notice any signs, as water can cause costly damage on your property and belongings.

7. Gurgling pipes

If your pipes gurgle whenever they are used, or moments after you have turned off a faucet or flushed the toilet, this means that your pipes are clogged. If they gurgle when they are not used, it may mean that air is being drawn into the drains, due to a blockage.

As the drains continue to be used, a back-up may occur. This may also cause sewage smells to occur in a building. If you hear gurgling sounds within your plumbing system, try to minimize water use and call a plumbing service immediately.

8. Major installations

When you’re installing major appliances or fixtures, you will need the expertise of a plumber. Trying to install an appliance yourself may cause avoidable repairs, and may even lead to a re-installation. Even if you will have to spend some money, a consultation with a plumbing service can save you time, effort and money in the long run.

You will also need the services or a plumber when doing remodels and renovations. When changing the structure of a room, you will often need to move appliances and fixtures around, which means that you may need to move supply lines and drains. If you attempt to do this yourself, you may end up ruining your lines, resulting in even more costs.

5 Types of Brand Names in Trademarking: A Brief Guide

Protecting your intellectual property through trademarks prompts a cautious assessment of what trademarking entails. Simply put, a trademark is essentially a registered mark which is composed of a unique name, set of words, symbol, device, or a combination of these factors. These marks are primarily used to identify and distinguish a company from the rest – of which includes the specific products and services they offer.

Trademark registration also allows commercial companies to protect their products and stop competitors from using and/or misusing the same products and services. More than just the need to protect your brand, registered trademarks help in instilling brand loyalty among avid customers and in shaping their perceptions regarding the services you offer.

What makes a good trademark?

If you would like to perform a trademark registration in Singapore a trademark firm would likely urge you to come up with a distinct and unique name. It seems like the more exclusive your trademark sounds or appears like, the better it is at protecting your company – but that belief is entirely all up for debate, though.

Business owners often go with generic names initially, only to set their name into something more unique before they officially register trademark. Doing so makes them stand out from the rest of their competitors across the city-state. Hence, coming up with an effective trademark is crucial for any business endeavor.

In general, there are 5 types of brand names when it comes to trademarking:

1. Generic

Generic brand names encompass an entire group/class of products. This category is considerably the weakest; therefore, they cannot be legally trademarked in Singapore. Examples of this type would be words like: ‘Cold Beer’, ‘Smartphone’, or ‘Bread’. Even though they can’t be trademarked, you may still see these brand names on some commercial products.

These names are still effective, though. People tend to quickly associate them with the products and other commodities they need because they are simple and easy to remember. But because they are far too generic, these brand names cannot be used to register TM nor used exclusively by a single company.

2. Descriptive

A little step above the generic category is the descriptive brand names, which are still notably difficult to protect. They’re called descriptive because of the adjective/descriptor present before a generic word. You won’t have a hard time distinguishing generic names from descriptive ones. The presence of any descriptive word effectively kicks them up a notch than mere generic brand names.

Examples of descriptive trademarks include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Holiday Inn – all of which has earned legal trademark protection. That means, corporate owners of these companies possess the right to prevent other establishments from copying their name or coming up with a brand name which is closely like theirs.

3. Suggestive

Suggestive brand names have greater chances of acquiring legal protection. Names such as Greyhound and Amazon are highly correlated with something else – thus they invoke the power of analogy. The word ‘greyhound’ generally refers to a certain dog breed, but in this case, it is a registered trademark for an intercity bus common carrier (Greyhound Lines, Inc.). Meanwhile, ‘Amazon’ is the name of a race of Greek female warriors, but the word is now trademarked for one of the biggest online shopping sites internationally.

Although they’re notably harder to market compared to other types of brand names, having suggestive marks make it easier for trademark registration company to register your trademark.

4. Fanciful

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts in trademark registration, the use of fanciful and unique names is also considered the easiest to protect. Using this category of brand names requires creativity and wittiness. Since they’re distinct, fun, and easily protected by the law – a lot of business start-ups opt to create or coin fanciful trademarks themselves.

This trend can be observed in the tech world, notably in brands such as Xerox (a global corporation which sells document solutions), Twitter (an online news and social networking service), and Google (a sought-after company specializing in Internet-related services and products).

5. Arbitrary

The last category belongs to arbitrary brand names. These are names which appear to be generic, but they possess certain trademarkable traits because of the obvious way they’re used out of context. For instance, the global oil company Shell was able to trademark the name because the product and services they offer to the public are unrelated to ‘seashells’.

Another example would be “Apple” computers and smartphones. The tech giant gained trademark rights over the name because their business endeavor was not in line with selling produce. Obviously enough, not even a bit.

The process of trademark registration doesn’t just happen overnight. After you sign the documents, you need to give it time before the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore or other related government institutions review your application. Some cases take about 3-6 months of processing time, others even take up to years.

Companies who applied for generic and descriptive brand names were notably the ones who took time in waiting for their trademarks to be legally registered. The board must first ensure there’s no opposition from third parties and there’s no existing business which already uses the same name before they can bestow you the legal rights to protect your brand name.

To protect your brand efficiently, allot generous amount of time in brainstorming about potential trademark names. It is also encouraged to seek the assistance of trademark attorneys before you proceed on applying for your trademark to reduce any chances of errors and fines.

Choosing Your Child’s First Bicycle

Unlike adults learning to ride the bicycle for the first time, children will eventually outgrow their bikes even if you make it a point to upgrade the bicycle accessories as the child’s skills improve. So, is there a difference in the type of bicycle an adult beginner needs from a young beginner?

When choosing your child’s first bike at the bicycle shop in Singapore, you need to take note of these factors.

1. Bike Size. The first thing to consider is finding the right bike size for your child’s age and height, not only because he/she will have a hard time handling a large bike, but more importantly, choosing the wrong size could lead to accidents. While trying the bicycle is the surest way to determine if it’s the right size for your child, there is also a formula that you can follow when looking for a new bike at the bicycle shop.

Seat Height. This category is the most accurate way to tell if the child is using the right bike size. Although there are recommendations of bike sizes in bicycle shops for certain ages, the height of the child should be the determining factor. The height of the handlebar versus minimum seat height also differ among brands, that is why it’s better to let the kid try the bike before purchasing.
Bike Pedal. Children will need special pedals for their first bicycle, especially if they are still learning how to balance or are not yet used to using the brakes. The attendant at any bicycle shop in Singapore might recommend models with pedals that match the minimum seat height to make it easier for the child to use his/her feet when stopping the bike.
Standover Height. This refers to the height required by the bicycle rider to stand over the bike. For children, a minimum of 1 to 2 inches of clearance between the inseam and the top tube is required to avoid any injuries.
Tire Size. This refers to the diameter of the bicycle tires, but looking for the right size can be tricky because not all brands recommend the same tire size for children. Depending on your child’s height, you can start with a 12-inch tire or a 14-inch tire. Most brands recommend the 12-inch tire for kids 4 years and younger, while the largest tires at 2 inches are recommended for kids 7 to 10 years. This should only serve as a guide, however.

2. Bike Weight. Although ideally, a child’s bike should weigh less than 40% of his/her body weight, most bikes are essentially heavy. The trick is to find the lightest bicycle at the bicycle shop with a quality and sturdy frame and complete bicycle accessories, such as handbrakes.

3. Bike Width. This refers to the distance between the edges of the inside of the pedals or the Q-factor. When trying out bicycles at the bicycle shop in Singapore, look for models that will allow your child to create efficient pedal stroke without having to splay his/her legs too far apart.

4. Bike Accessories. If your child is still new to the hobby, make sure to purchase bicycle accessories that will help prevent any injuries, such as; coaster brakes, hand brakes, reflectors, training wheels for beginners or specialty handbrakes. You should also include safety bicycle accessories such as a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.